With Climate Change Surge in Heat Wave Days Vectorborne Diseases Haunt India

first_img Chikungunyaclimate changedengueheat First Published: July 17, 2019, 11:55 AM IST | Edited by: Ahona Sengupta New Delhi: Climate change is rapidly having an impact on the spread of vector-borne diseases. While dengue, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya, virtually unknown in the Odisha until the past decade, are rapidly increasing and the season conducive for the spread of such diseases has been extending to virtually half the year, found a study.The study, titled, ‘Climate change and public health: a study of vector‐borne diseases in Odisha, India’ was published in the Natural Hazards Journal. The study has been authored by Mithun Karmakar of the National Health Mission-Odisha and MM Pradhan, National Vector Borne Disease Control Program of Department of Health & Family Welfare, Odisha government. The study analysed the number of heat wave days and said, “The analysis indicates an increase in number of heat wave days in the month of June in recent years, which may be an indicator of gradual shift of monsoon season in Odisha. The results also indicate that vector-borne disease conducive season extends from July till November, nearly half of the year.”While malaria, a disease that had once been synonymous with Odisha, has long been the government’s focus in terms of vector-borne diseases and its control in the state, the study flagged a warning. It said, “The other vector-borne diseases observed in Odisha since last decade include dengue, Japanese encephalitis and chikungunya. The mid-June period is usually characterized by onset of South West monsoon in Odisha in past.” It added, “Further, the dengue and chikungunya are more prevalent in coastal districts, whereas malaria and JE have been experienced in interior districts.For instance, the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) reported an increase of dengue cases by 46% (from 99,913 in 2015 to 188,401 in 2017). This has a distinct parallel in Odisha, where these VBDs hadn’t been reported until the past decade. Cases of JE in India has almost doubled in the past five years (from 7,825 to 13,672 during 2013-18). Dengue has seen a similar increase. It was in 2010 that Odisha first reported 29 cases of dengue. By 2018, this number had jumped to 5,198. Until 2013, Odisha was among the eight states in India that had not reported even a single case of JE. This is no longer the case.“The epidemiological analysis reveals that dengue, JE and chikungunya have also emerged as VBD threats in Odisha since the year 2010, added with malaria. The occurrence of these VBDs has increased in recent years. Further, dengue is more prevalent in nine coastal districts, whereas malaria and JE are more prevalent in mountainous, highland and upland regions,” the study said.There is a growing body of scientific research that has studied the ways in which increasing temperatures can acutely impact transmission of vector-borne diseases – ranging from increased transmission of dengue with mosquitoes reproducing faster and biting more frequently to higher temperatures reducing the time between a vector feeding on an infected host and being able to transmit the pathogen. “Scientific evidence establish the fact that the impacts of climate change are having wide immediate, as well as, long-term indirect effects on public health. Especially the focus is on climate change impacts in terms of increased severity, frequency and spread of vector-borne diseases. Climate changes in terms of increased average temperatures, more intense rainfall, extended summer season and less intense winters can impact the range and incidence of infectious and vector-borne diseases,” the study notes.Of the 11 nations that account for 70 percent of the global malaria burden, only India was able to reduce its disease burden (a drop of 26 percent from 2016 to 2017) and this was largely due to work done by authorities in Odisha, found the World Malaria Report 2018. This period saw an 80 percent drop in cases, from 347,860 in 2017 to 66,301 in 2018. last_img read more

Humans Descended from Sages Not Monkeys BJP MP Again Rejects Darwins Evolution

first_imgNew Delhi: BJP MP Satyapal Singh again questioned Darwin’s theory of evolution on Friday, saying human beings are descendants of sages and not monkeys as propounded by the British scientist.While speaking in Lok Sabha during a discussion on Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Singh said Indian culture has always valued human beings. “It is our belief that we are descendants of rishis (sages),” he said. His remark drew sharp retort from the Opposition benches. The BJP MP from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh had earlier too rejected Darwin’s theory saying it “scientifically wrong”.When he was Minister of State for HRD, he had said he does not consider himself a descendant of monkeys. Singh had also emphasised on the need to change school and college curriculum teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.Reacting to Singh’s statement, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, “Unfortunately, my ancestors are not rishis. My ancestors are homo sapiens, as science says, and my parents are Shudras.” “They were not even born of any God, or part of any god. They were born outside and I am here and many people from my state are here because of the social justice movement and the human rights which we fought for till today and we would continue doing that,” she added.Opposing Singh’s argument, TMC MP Suagata Roy said the remark is an antithesis of the Constitution. “Article 51(A), sub-Section (h) of the Constitution says that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform. What Satyapal ji has said is that we have not evolved from monkeys. He is denying the theory of evolution of Darwin,” Roy said. BJPDarwin’s theoryEvolutionhuman rights amendment bill First Published: July 19, 2019, 11:15 PM ISTlast_img read more

New Windows 10 S laptops are designed for Firstline Workers

first_imgWhen Microsoft announced Windows 10 S, it was clearly seen as an attempt to regain lost ground from Chrome OS. Especially with its focus on the education sector and Chromebook-like laptops. But just as Chrome OS and Chromebooks aren’t just used in schools, Microsoft is also aiming its guns at another, and potentially more lucrative, audience: the enterprise. At its Ignite conference, Redmond announced four new Windows 10 S devices but, this time, it’s specifically targeting what it calls “Firstline Workers”. It’s really just a fancy term for sales personnel, customer representatives, and other employees who are the company’s “first line” or first point of contact with customers. These workers are often given affordable, or at least subsidized, devices, which often end up being iPads or, to a lesser extent, Android tablets. Of course, Microsoft wants in on it, too.So instead of giving firstline workers some niche device, Microsoft is encouraging businesses to get one of the four upcoming Windows 10 S laptpos instead. They’re just as, or, compared to iPads, even more affordable but also run Windows. Well, more or less Windows. It is, of course, Windows 10 S, which is the locked down version of Windows 10. That might be a hard limit for desktop users but exactly what employers and IT departments want.Mind, these laptops are not that different from previous Windows 10 S laptops in that they are mid-range devices. Details are still slim at the moment, but, if their predecessors are any indication, they are mostly Intel Celeron-powered laptops. The list includes:• HP Stream 14 Pro – October 2017, $275• Acer Aspire 1 – Q4 2017, $299• Acer Swift 1 – Q4 2017, $349• Lenovo V330 – February 2018, $349Microsoft has made no mention of whether these new laptops will be allowed to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free as well. Considering Microsoft extended the deadline of that offer, that might indeed by the case.SOURCE: Microsoftlast_img read more

Huawei Mate 10 Pro teardown reveals hidden repair traps

first_imgThe Mate 10 Pro doesn’t have wireless charging. It is definitely a lost opportunity that comes when you have glass on your back. It’s still a puzzle why it chose not to do so. Unlike OnePlus, it doesn’t exactly boast of a very fast charging technology to make up for it.The smartphone does boast of IP67 water resistance that the regular Mate 10 doesn’t have. But that seems to fly in the face of two facts. One, the back adhesive is easily pried off when heated. Second, the volume rocker button uses easily broken plastic sealing parts, which also make it harder to repair.But while it’s easy to initially get inside the Mate 10 Pro, the rest of the journey is a bit weird and ends up in a disappointment. The screws, save for one, seem to be made of an alloy that isn’t attracted to magnets, making them harder to pull out and easier to lose. Fortunately, there are only very few of them. The front camera is snugly screwed to the screen, which is nearly impossible to remove without breaking.With its only saving grace the easy to open back and a modular USB port, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro unsurprisingly scores 4 out of 10 in the repairability index. Perhaps it’s a good thing that it won’t be coming to the US. Not unless the rumors of an AT&T exclusive come to pass.SOURCE: iFixit The trend towards more fashionable, glass back phones come at the price of repairability and sometimes even durability. While Huawei is boasting of how it is challenging the giants with its built-in nueral processing engine and its new desktop mode, it sadly isn’t daring to buck the trend when it comes to that new design fad. iFixit sinks its teeth into the Mate 10 Pro and discovers that Huawei’s most premium model has all the disadvantages of a glass and metal sandwich without the perks.last_img read more

The Pocophone F1 mystique Why is this phone still trending

first_imgGreat BrandingThe Pocophone F1 was made by Xiaomi under the brand name Pocophone. It’s a sub-brand device made to do battle in India with brands like OnePlus. In the process of creating this brand, they forged a brand that’s slightly easier for the world to pronounce – and a mission that’s extremely clear. One phone with a brand new, high-end processor for a surprisingly low price. And it doesn’t hurt that the device kinda sorta looks like an iPhone X. Looking the part is sometimes half the battle. Updates from XiaomiSoftware updates are not to be underestimated in the year 2019. Sending updates to a phone allows a phone to grow and change – and get better than it was at launch. But even better than that, software updates are like a message of good will from the manufacturer to the end user. AdChoices广告SEE: Our original Pocophone F1 ReviewIt’s like saying “Hey, we appreciate that you bought this phone, so let us prove to you that you made the right decision.” Another company that’s got this lesson long-since-learned is NVIDIA. Their NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV’s been the best on the market since May of 2015, and the updates are STILL coming!The latest update from Xiaomi comes in the form of a MIUI beta, and it includes 4K 60fps video recording. What in the world? This phone already got a sort of sly upgrade to so-called 960fps video recording before – now we’ve got real-deal 4K 60fps recording too. That’s pretty great. More information on the Beta release can be found in this XDA Developers post from earlier this week. There you’ll also find a big community devoted solely to the Poco F1 – there’s a whole forum section for it!Sales on the deviceThe Poco F1 has been put on sale more than once already. It was released at the tail end of 2018, and we’re here in the first quarter of 2019, and we’ve seen several sales already. Generally that means a smartphone isn’t doing too great.In Pocophone’s case, a sale just means they understand the market at which they are aiming. In this case that means India, primarily – as the current March 7-8th Flipkart Women’s Day sale once again proves. In said sale, the Pocophone is one of only a few that are only having their sale price shown in a big reveal once the event’s begun.HackabilityReally hackability and modifiability come down to the attention a phone’s gotten. When a phone gets popular, the hacking community tends to want to do work. When I say “hackability” I mean that in a good way. I mean developers making their own custom-built software for the phone and releasing it for free, for the fun of it (See: XDA link, above).Popularity breeds successA lot of people buy a certain kind of phone because it’s the model they’ve seen used by their friends. The more you see a device in a positive light, the better the potential that you’ll want to get one for yourself. This phone is popular because its interesting, and it’s interesting because it’s popular. Differences that are ever-so-slightThe Poco F1 is a different sort of phone – it’s not your everyday average LG, HTC, Samsung, Apple, or Huawei phone. In several key ways, this phone looks different and feels different from most of the pack. I mentioned above that it looks sort of like an iPhone X – it does, but not to a degree that’s altogether overboard.Poco F1 followed the notched display trend, but it’s not a glass phone. It’s got a vertical camera array on its back, but both lenses sport their very own bright red accent rings. The phone is a lot lighter than most other phones. This is probably largely because of its mostly-plastic exterior.It’s the little things that really make a difference with a device that could so easily be lost in a sea of like-minded phones. Xiaomi has the right combination of high-end specs, low cost, official support, and hype here – and it just works. I would not be shocked to find Pocophone making another device that does just as well later this year – just you wait and see! There’s something about the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 that’s stuck with users across the internet since launch. This is a relatively inexpensive phone with an alternate name: POCO F1, and a set of specs that make it seem too good to be true. But so what? That sort of thing isn’t rare anymore. Is this just a matter of stoking the flames from behind the scenes – is Xiaomi just doing a very good job on a rogue social media mission? Why does this phone still seem so intriguing?center_img Story TimelinePocophone F1 teardown: easy and surprisingPocophone F1 US pre-order starts but there’s a big catchXiaomi Pocophone F1 scores surprisingly well on DxOMarklast_img read more

McLarens epic 720S Spider gets MSO makeover

first_imgMclaren’s cars are already sexy and fast, but when MSO gets hands on the “normal” McLaren cars, even better things happen. The customized McLaren 720S Spider by MSO is a beautiful car swathed in a blend three different MSO metallic colors. MSO created a color called Coriolis, which is a blend of Cerulean Blue, Burton Blue, and Abyss Black. The color was used to accentuate the aerodynamic elements of the car like the front splitter, lower door panels, lower side intake panels, and rear bumpers. MSO says that the Coriolis paint blend took 260 hours to apply alone because of its complexity. The blue color is applied to only certain parts of the car and fades expertly into the main body color called Meteorite Gray, itself a bespoke MSO color developed just for this design theme. The car also has an MSO Defined Gloss Carbon Fiber Tonneau cover along with the Stealth Pack and Sports exhaust. The glass roof of the car is Electrochromic glass. Inside the car is trimmed with Burton Blue Alcantara and jet black leather. Lots of carbon fiber bits are found inside the car. Other than the fancy style of the car, it is a standard 720S Spider underneath. We had a chance to drive the standard version of the car recently, and it’s an impressive ride. The vehicle has a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine that makes 710hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 124 mph in 7.8 seconds after trouncing 60 mph in 2.8-seconds. Pricing for the standard 720S Spider is over $315,000, how much more this MSO version would cost is unknown.last_img read more

State Highlights NY Birth Control Discrimination Bill Mich Nursing Home Costs

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, California, Texas, Washington state, Missouri, Massachusetts and Colorado.The New York Times: New York Legislature Reaches Deal On More Laws To Fight Heroin ProblemFor the second time in two weeks, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gathered reporters on Wednesday to make an announcement about the state’s heroin problem, which has dominated discussions at the close of the legislative session in Albany. Last week, flanked by law enforcement officers, the governor was behind a lectern emblazoned with the words “Heroin Epidemic” (Goodman and McKinley, 6/18).The Wall Street Journal: Deal Struck In Albany On Tackling Heroin SurgeMr. Cuomo, a Democrat, cited statistics showing heroin’s increasing share of the state’s illegal drug market. Between 2004 and 2013, heroin and prescription-opiate treatment admissions in New York rose to 89,269 from 63,793, according to the state. The piece of the legislation with potentially the most immediate impact involves how insurance companies define treatment that is “medically necessary,” a threshold used to determine whether to cover treatment. Advocates have complained that definitions of medical necessity differ among insurance companies and are applied unevenly (Orden, 6/18).The Associated Press: N.Y. Assembly Passes Birth Control Insurance Bill A bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against workers for reproductive health decisions has passed the Democratic-led Assembly. The “Boss bill,” passed 80-22 on Wednesday, seeks to close a loophole in New York’s anti-discrimination laws (6/19).Detroit Free Press:  Nursing Home Care Now Costs More Than Twice Seniors’ Average IncomeThe annual cost of nursing home care may have grown even less affordable to Michigan’s seniors and people with disabilities, now costing families about $93,075 — more than 2 1/2 times older adults’ average income of $35,504, according to a new report. The drastically outsized cost of care compared to income — 262 percent in Michigan — is staggering elsewhere as well. The national average was 246 percent in 2013 compared to 241 percent in 2010, according to the report, Raising Expectations, a joint venture between the Commonwealth Fund, a health research foundation, and two advocacy groups for older adults, the Scan Foundation and AARP (Erb, 6/18).Asbury Park Press/USA Today: Report: Sandy Left Mental Health Issues In Its WakeWhat had long been predicted in the immediate aftermath of Sandy is finally appearing in the data research: More individuals in the 10-county area affected by Sandy in New Jersey are seeking help for behavioral health concerns such as alcohol and substance abuse, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (Cervenka, 6/18).The Washington Post: McDonnell Reflects On Cantor’s Loss, Gillespie’s Chances At GOP Gathering In Va.Romney also endorsed Gillespie, who he said dropped everything to work for his 2012 presidential bid, and slammed Warner over taxes, Obamacare and foreign policy. … Gillespie made a pitch for doubling the nation’s economic rate, although he provided no specifics. “We know that our policies will create jobs and raise take-home pay and hold down health care costs and reduce energy prices,” he said, adding later: “Instead of having a blank check for President Obama, we can have a check on President Obama” (Portnoy, 6/18).Baltimore Sun: Closing Of Health Centers Causes Patients To ScrambleWhen Will Boyd arrived Wednesday at the People’s Community Health Center’s Brooklyn Park clinic, he was furious to learn that the center will close at the end of the month. The 63-year-old has two broken teeth needing repair and said he was told he couldn’t be helped there. “This is not a way to take care of people when they’ve got pain,” said the Brooklyn Park resident. Local and state health officials are scrambling to find alternate health care providers for People’s 1,100 low-income clients after the Baltimore-based nonprofit announced this week that it will close its five centers in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County (Wood and Cohn, 6/18).North Carolina Health News: Health Care Issues Among Flurry Of Last-Minute Bills Wednesday’s regulatory and reform committee meeting showed how political maneuvering can get special interests sneaked into an omnibus, vaguely described bill during the short session, which is supposed to focus on the state budget and bills leftover from last year (Namkoong, 6/19).Reuters: California Bill Would Restore Funding For Adult Day Care Centers California lawmakers advanced a bill on Wednesday that would restore adult day care services as a benefit under Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income and disabled residents. The program, which provides a variety of healthcare and social services to people with disabilities, was cut during the state’s budget crisis in 2011, but is one of several pieces of the state’s tattered safety net Democrats have been pushing to restore (Chaussee, 6/18).Houston Chronicle: Nursing Home Scorecard Dings Texas For Staff Turnover A national report ranks Texas last for nursing home staff turnover — one of the quality of care issues that directly impacts the safety and well-being of nursing home residents. Overall, Texas ranked 30th among the states and the District of Columbia, improving slightly from its No. 32 ranking in the report’s first edition, which was released in 2011 (George, 6/19).Texas Tribune: Texas Parents Find Access To Medicaid Without ExpansionTexas’ Republican leadership made sure the state didn’t expand its Medicaid program to poor, uninsured adults — an optional provision of the Affordable Care Act. But low-income parents here are increasingly getting covered by the joint state-federal insurer anyway — through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. … The Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates that more than 140,000 adults received Medicaid through their TANF eligibility in May — a 21 percent increase over November (Ura, 6/19).Seattle Times: Seattle Children’s Argues In Favor Of Rulings By Embattled OIC JudgeSeattle Children’s hospital on Tuesday made another move in the high-profile legal tussle over which facilities and doctors must be included in insurance plan networks in order to adequately protect customers. The case — already significant because of the importance of the network adequacy debate — became even more controversial following allegations that the judge overseeing the dispute has been unfairly influenced. The allegations came from the judge herself, Patricia Petersen, chief presiding officer at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (Stiffler, 6/18).St. Louis Post-Dispatch: UnitedHealthcare Cuts Missouri Physicians From Medicare AdvantageUnitedHealthcare has notified more physicians in Missouri that they will be removed from the company’s Medicare Advantage plan on Sept. 1. This is the second round of cuts to UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage physician ranks, following reductions in April. The provider is the largest carrier of Medicare Advantage plans for seniors in the nation, with about 95,000 plan members in Missouri (Kulash, 6/19).Modern Healthcare: Massachusetts Medical Society Opposes Nurses Initiatives The Massachusetts Medical Society is opposing two initiatives developed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association that would designate nurse-patient staffing ratios and would impose penalties on hospitals whose profit margins go above 8 percent and whose CEOs’ annual compensation exceeds 100 times the compensation offered the hospital’s lowest-paid employee. Dr. Richard Pieters, MMS president, said in a news release that healthcare institutions can assume that they will be receiving no additional state and federal funding, so increasing nurse staff would mean personnel would be cut elsewhere. Pieters added that the other measure was unnecessary and its proposed limits and penalties arbitrary (Robeznieks, 6/18).Health News Colorado: Doctor Shortages Accelerate As Patients Pour In For CareNewly insured patients are pouring into Colorado’s safety net clinics, but in some cases, sparkling new exam space sits empty because there aren’t enough doctors to care for the influx of patients. The Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) this month celebrated its first anniversary at a large new state-of-the-art clinic in Wheat Ridge, the newest of its 22 locations in the Denver area. One pod is ready to serve older patients and those with mobility issues. Extra wide “barn” doors allow easy access for people in wheelchairs and there’s a special spot to park walkers and other devices for people with special needs (McCrimmon, 6/18).  This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: N.Y. Birth Control Discrimination Bill; Mich. Nursing Home Costslast_img read more

First Edition July 15 2014

first_imgToday’s headlines include news about how some states are planning to address their backlogs of new Medicaid enrollees.  Kaiser Health News: Insuring Your Health: Readers Ask About Contraceptive Coverage And Medicare EnrollmentKaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers readers’ questions (7/15). Read her responses.The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: The Feds Have Had It With Medicaid BacklogsIf you’re a fan of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, the quick and significant boost in Medicaid enrollment the past few months has been one of the law’s biggest successes so far. But the rapid jump in Medicaid enrollment has also provided one of the biggest logistical headaches so far, with hundreds of thousands of people, and possibly millions, still waiting for their applications to get processed and their coverage confirmed (Millman, 7/14).The Associated Press: States Told To Find Way To Clear Medicaid BacklogA half-dozen states with backlogs for Medicaid enrollees were facing a federal deadline Monday to create plans for getting those low-income residents enrolled in health coverage. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent letters dated June 27 to Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee asking those states to address gaps in their eligibility and enrollment systems that have delayed access to coverage for poor and disabled people (7/14).Politico: In North Carolina, An Obamacare DisconnectNorth Carolinians came out in droves for Obamacare enrollment, signing up at a rate that beat nearly every other red state. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to come out for the law — or the Democratic senator who supported it — at the voting booth in November. More than any other state, North Carolina may represent the huge disconnect between Obamacare’s success in getting people health insurance and its failure to help the Democratic politicians who voted for the law (Haberkorn, 7/15).The Washington Post: N.C. Gov. McCrory: ‘Door Open’ To Medicaid ExpansionNorth Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said Monday he would leave the door open to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act if federal officials allow his state to craft a plan that fits its own individual needs. In an interview on WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR affiliate, McCrory defended North Carolina’s refusal to expand existing Medicaid programs until fixes are made (Wilson, 7/14).The Associated Press: Groups Spend Heavily Lobbying On Medicaid The trade group representing Virginia hospitals and the conservative advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, spent heavily on lobbying during their fight over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility, newly filed reports show. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, the leading pro-Medicaid expansion advocate during this year’s legislative session, said it incurred more than $400,000 in lobbying expenses from May 2013 to April 2014 (7/14).The New York Times: Groups Under Health Act Are Said To Aid MillionsMore than 4,400 consumer assistance programs created under the Affordable Care Act helped an estimated 10.6 million people explore their new health insurance options and apply for coverage during the initial six-month enrollment period, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey (Goodnough, 7/14).The Washington Post: Why We Still Don’t Know How Many Small Business Signed Up Through ObamacareIn contrast to the widely publicized enrollment numbers on the health care law’s individual marketplace, there’s apparently no way to know how many business owners and employees have signed up through the law’s new small-business exchanges. By all indications, though, it’s not very many (Harrison, 7/14).The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Democrats On Hobby Lobby: ‘Misspeaks,’ ‘Opinion‘ And Overheated RhetoricIn the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling that, as a closely held company, Hobby Lobby was not required to pay for all of the birth-control procedures mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Democrats have rushed to condemn the court. But in some cases the rhetoric has gotten way ahead of the facts. Here’s a round-up of some of the more noteworthy claims. In some cases, lawmakers concede that they make a mistake; in others, they are argue that they are offering what amounts to opinion, even though the assertion was stated as fact (Kessler, 7/15).Politico: Harry Reid: Judge Judy Would Toss Obama SuitWould Judge Judy take up House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against the president? Harry Reid certainly doesn’t think so. In a nearly 15-minute speech on Tuesday afternoon attacking the House’s proposed legal action, the Senate majority leader concluded that the syndicated courtroom TV star — retired family court judge Judith Sheindlin — would swiftly toss out the House’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on health care (Everett, 7/14).Los Angeles Times: VA Overpaid $230 Million In Disability Claims, Official Tells CongressThe Department of Veterans Affairs’ disability system has improperly paid former service members at least $230 million over the last few years, according to the VA’s inspector general’s office. The overpayments stem largely from the department’s attempts to clear a massive backlog of claims for disability compensation (Zarembo, 7/14).Los Angeles Times: Second Investigation Of CDC Anthrax Lapse Finds More ProblemsAnother federal investigation has found numerous safety problems at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s bioterrorism lab after a lapse last month that potentially exposed several dozen workers to anthrax, according to a House memo posted Monday. The problems included storing anthrax in unlocked refrigerators, transferring dangerous materials in Ziploc bags, and using expired disinfectants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found (Raab, 7/14).The Washington Post: Health Survey Gives Government Its First Large-Scale Data On Gay, Bisexual PopulationLess than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation. The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual (Somashekhar, 7/15).The Associated Press: Jails Struggle To Deal With Flood Of Mentally IllThe numbers, posted daily on the Cook County sheriff’s website, would be alarming at an urgent care clinic, let alone a jail: On a Wednesday, 36 percent of all new arrivals report having a mental illness. On a Friday, it’s 54 percent. But inside the razor wire framing the 96-acre compound, the faces and voices of the newly arrested confirm its accidental role as Chicago’s treatment center of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses (7/14).The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Workers Eye One-Day StrikeAbout 70,000 New York City area nurses and other health-care workers are poised to authorize a one-day strike that would take place July 31. Negotiations over a new contract happen every three to four years, but now both union and hospital leaders are grappling with a new issue: an industrywide shift away from hospitals toward outpatient clinics (Krusisto, 7/14).Propublica/NPR: Why Are Obstetricians Top Billers For Group Therapy In Illinois?A few years ago, Illinois’ Medicaid program for the poor noticed some odd trends in its billings for group psychotherapy sessions. Nursing home residents were being taken several times a week to off-site locations, and Medicaid was picking up the tab for both the services and the transportation (Ornstein, 7/14).The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Small-Town Mayor Begins 273-Mile Walk To WashingtonA small-town Republican mayor set out Monday on a 273-mile walk to Washington, D.C., to draw attention to the plight of rural hospitals. Mayor Adam O’Neal is fighting the recent closure of Pungo Vidant Hospital, the biggest employer in his coastal town of Belhaven, N.C. (pop. 1,700). The hospital’s situation was profiled in an article in The Wall Street Journal in May (Bauerlein, 7/14).The New York Times: Abortion Clinic Protections Proposed In MassachusettsMassachusetts lawmakers expressed support for a bill filed on Monday that they say would address safety concerns that arose when the United States Supreme Court last month struck down 35-foot buffer zones for demonstrators standing near entrances to abortion clinics. Supporters say the bill, filed by State Senator Harriette L. Chandler, would strengthen existing laws and add new protections from protesters for women entering and leaving abortion clinics, and would do so within the confines of the court’s ruling (Bigood, 7/14). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: July 15, 2014 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. 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The Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer is here and its the stuff

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Paramount Pictures and SEGA have released the first trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog’s film adaptation, and it’s pretty terrible. Featuring Ben Schwartz as Sonic the Hedgehog and Jim Carrey as Dr.Robotnik, the film will follow this monstrous blue blur as he seeks to save the world from an Eggman-shaped threat.The film version of Sonic is terrifying, sporting overly long legs and a mouth filled with human teeth. Oh, and he seems to be hoarding shoes in his wretched hole of a home.Related: E3 2019 Expectations for the upcoming film, which is coming to cinemas in November, were already low, and it seems to have failed even meeting those. Jim Carrey’s performance might be the saving grace. While predictable, the Ace Venture-esque portrayal in the trailer has a nice charm to it, and could carry a few tongue-in-cheek jokes if we’re lucky.The trailer ends with an ill-fitting joke on child abduction, with Sonic being stuffed into a bag and smuggled into a highly-secured building. Not the best idea for a kid’s film? Who knows, it could end up surprising us and produce a stellar comedy adventure. Sadly, compared to Detective Pikachu, it’s simply not on the same level. Don’t get me started on the absurd use of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise either.  We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Samsung confirms the Galaxy Note 10s launch date − and teases its

first_imgSamsung fans won’t have to wait much longer to see the firm’s next generation phablet. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will be launched at a Galaxy Unpacked event on August 7 in New York, and you’ll be able to follow proceedings via live stream on Samsung’s website.The official announcement video prominently features the S-Pen, the trademark accessory for smartphones in the Galaxy Note series, along with a small camera positioned underneath, which acts as the point in an exclamation mark. This promotional design surely indicates a renewed focus on camera performance for Samsung’s latest flagship.Related: Best smartphoneFrom what we know so far, we’re expecting a triple camera on the rear of the phone, aligned vertically rather than horizontally for the first time in the series’ history.The main camera is rumoured to be a 12-megapixel sensor with a three-stage variable aperture: f/1.5 to f/1.8 to f/2.5. Alongside this we expect to see a 16-megapixel ultrawide angle lens with an f/1.9 aperture and 123-degree field of view, plus a 13-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto sensor to complete the set.Related: Best camera phonesThis rumoured camera lineup would be an impressive array for almost any smartphone, but the close resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy S10‘s setup leaves us wanting to see a little more.The camera tease in the video, accompanied by previous rumours of a Galaxy Note 10 Pro variant, could perhaps mean an impressive new camera option included with the top-of-the-range model. But we’ll just have to wait and see if those suspicions are confirmed in early August.Related: Best Android phonesSamsung will be fervently hoping that this event dispels all the bad memories of the botched Samsung Galaxy Fold launch. Expected to hit shelves in April, the cutting-edge foldable device has instead been delayed indefinitely after compromising screen problems surfaced just days after journalists first got their hands on them.Fortunately, the Galaxy Note line is far better established and should have none of the teething problems associated with first-generation products, so we expect to see a smooth launch this time around. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

Canada and 5 other nations pull trigger on worlds biggest trade deal

first_img Share this storyCanada and 5 other nations pull trigger on world’s biggest trade deal — leaving America out in the cold Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn 0 Comments Twitter The world’s most radical trade pact has come into force across the Pacific as the U.S. sulks on the sidelines, marking a stunning erosion in American strategic leadership.Eleven countries are pressing ahead with the Comprehensive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), defying barely-disguised efforts by the Trump administration to kill the treaty.A vanguard of Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Canada and New Zealand activated the treaty over the weekend, ripping down barriers to trade in almost all goods. It eliminates 18,000 tariffs and slashes others in stages over coming years.Tariffs-slashing Pacific trade pact will come into force in December amid rise in protectionismGlobal trade is the biggest question mark hanging over Canada’s corporate bond market next yearApple’s heady days are over and that means it can’t shrug off being sucked into a trade warThe great irony is that the U.S. itself drafted much of the original text under the Obama administration, aiming to ensure that Washington, not Beijing, writes the rules of global trade and commerce in the 21st century.U.S. President Donald Trump holds up an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, Jan. 23, 2017. Email ← Previous Next → What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → A vanguard of Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Canada and New Zealand activated the CPTPP over the weekend. Once Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei have ratified the treaty it will cover 13.5 per cent of global GDP.National Post Sponsored By: Comment The pact opens up trade in services on the basis of equal treatment. It cuts the costs of customs clearance, rules of origin and compliance to a minor friction. Once Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei have ratified the treaty it will cover 13.5 per cent of global GDP, bigger than the EU’s post-Brexit market and a faster-growing region of the global economy.South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Colombia have all expressed interest in joining. So has the U.K., despite being in the Atlantic. It promises to become the world’s biggest free trade zone in short order, and perhaps the nucleus of a new global order.The partnership – earlier known as the TPP – was originally a tool of U.S. foreign policy. It was to anchor the “Asian pivot” and underpin the US system of military and diplomatic alliances around the Pacific Rim.In the words of one former U.S. defence secretary it was worth more to American power than another aircraft carrier battle group. Above all, it was a way to “contain” the hegemonic reflexes of China.Instead it is the U.S. that has contained itself. President Donald Trump pulled the country out of the talks within days of taking office in January 2017, deeming it a “potential disaster” for American workers. Critics say it will go down as the greatest strategic blunder of his presidency.The White House assumed that the TPP would wither on the vine without U.S. impetus. Instead, long-standing U.S. allies across the Pacific have brushed off pressure from Washington and forged ahead regardless with what is now known as the “anti-Trump pact.” America is the biggest loser,” says the Peterson Institute in Washington. The fall in food tariffs under the CPTPP means that U.S. farmers will be undercut by exporters from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in the lucrative Japanese market.The latest twist is that Chinese officials have begun to explore the possibility of joining the pact that was supposed to exclude them, prompting a wary riposte from its founders.Jeffrey Schott from the Peterson Institute says the US achieved its core objectives with the original TPP, establishing a regime based on “US standards and practice”. It has thrown this accomplishment away.The Pacific free trade deal is in stark contrast to the fight between the US and China for technological supremacy. A 90-day truce in the bilateral trade war has delayed a further rise in US tariffs on $200bn (pounds 157.5bn) of Chinese goods from 10pc to 25pc.Yet the risk remains that Mr Trump will ultimately subject the gamut of Chinese exports to punitive tariffs. This would endanger almost $1 trillion of bilateral trade and threaten a global economic shock.China has tried to counter US trade policies by developing its “One Belt One Road” programme across an arc of 65 countries as far as Africa, largely through infrastructure projects.But it no longer has a large current account surplus and is having to ration capital outflows to defend the yuan. Its use of debt financing to gain control of ports and strategic assets in a “string of pearls” around the Indian Ocean has led to an angry backlash.Some Chinese officials judge it wiser to drop the neo-imperial pretensions and aspire instead to work more modestly through the multilateral framework of the CPTPP. Mr Trump has conveniently left them an open door. advertisement Getty Images The Telegraph Recommended For YouU.S. adviser Bolton travels to Japan, S.Korea amid trade disputeDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through Canada and 5 other nations pull trigger on world’s biggest trade deal — leaving America out in the cold Opinion: The world’s most radical trade pact has come into force across the Pacific as the U.S. sulks on the sidelines More Featured Stories Facebook December 31, 201811:35 AM EST Filed under News Economy Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in London Redditlast_img read more

Evergrande Group Acquires 51 Of NEVS

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 22, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Faraday Settles Dispute With Main Investor: Might Have A Future Source: Electric Vehicle News Faraday Future Reports Problems With Evergrande Health’s Investment NEVS, on the other hand, is a company which several years ago acquired some assets of the bankrupt Saab Automobile in Sweden to produce – at some point in the future – electric cars in China, and maybe also for global market.The question is why does Evergrande want to engage of Faraday Future and now NEVS?Press release:Evergrande Group new main owner in NEVS ABEvergrande Group in China has acquired 51% of the shares in NEVS AB in Sweden.Evergrande Group is a well-known company included in the Fortune Global 500 list, with its businesses covering the cultural tourism, real estate, health and hi-tech industries.NEVS AB was founded in 2012 by Kai Johan Jiang when he bought the bankruptcy estate after Saab Automobile. Since then he has been major owner of the company.During the six years, NEVS has built a new car manufacturing plant in Tianjin, China, and now has started to build another one, in Shanghai, China, in addition to the one the company has in Trollhättan, Sweden.To do this and to develop new electric vehicles and transport solutions for the future requires a lot of money. Therefore, the company has for a long time looked for new strong investors.Today, it was announced that Evergrande Health will be the new owner, with 51% of the shares in NEVS AB to become a global leader in new energy smart travel ecology. Kai Johan Jiang, with his company, NE Holding, will have 49 % of the shares.“I am very pleased with this. It means that NEVS will get a financial strong main owner who also is very interested in developing our vision about green mobility transport solutions for the future”, says Stefan Tilk CEO at NEVS.“This in combination with the strong drive and entrepreneurship of Kai Johan Jang paves the platform for a great possibility in achieving our goals”, he adds.Facts on Evergrande Group Evergrande Group owns four listed subsidiary companies, i.e. Evergrande Health (0708.HK), China Evergrande (3333.HK), HengTen Networks (0136.HK) and Calxon (000918.SZ. Evergrande Group has accumulated total assets of RMB 1.77 trillion and achieved annual sales of RMB 550 billion, paying over RMB 200 billion in taxes and donating over RMB 11.5 billion to charity. It has 140,000 employees and creates more than 2.6 million jobs every year, ranking 230th in the Fortune Global 500 list and listed in the top 100 Global Brands.Evergrande Health Industry Group listed in Hong Kong is a subsidiary company of Evergrande Group that focuses on health industry.Source: NEVS via Green Car Congress Evergrande still interested in electric cars?Interesting news comes about Evergrande Group, which has acquired 51% of the shares in NEVS AB in Sweden.First we heard about Evergrande was when Evergrande Health (subsidiary of the group) invested in Faraday Future, which so far didn’t lead to commercialization of FF 91 as the future didn’t happen.Faraday Future news Did Evergrande Buy Stake In Faraday Future To Gain Tech For China?last_img read more

Watch New Tesla Roadster Take Down Toyota Supra Simulated Race Video

first_imgOf course, the lowly Toyota Supra is no match for the Tesla Roadster, neither in this simulation nor in the real world.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Johnson calls for transparency over increases in 2012 costs

first_imgShare on Twitter First published on Wed 18 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this content Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Wed 18 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Paul Kelso The London mayor, Boris Johnson, yesterday called for greater transparency to be applied by the government and agencies responsible for the 2012 Olympic project. At mayor’s question time at City Hall, Johnson restated his election pledge that any overrun on the £9.3bn budget would not be borne by London taxpayers.On Tuesday, Johnson’s Olympic cost watchdog, David Ross, revealed that construction costs are forecast to rise by £106m – almost 10% – and expressed serious concerns that the existing budget may be insufficient. Of particular concern is the financial package for the Olympic Village, which is being renegotiated in light of the credit crunch and falling house prices.Contractors Lend Lease agreed a private-public partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority, but with its ability to borrow affected by market conditions the contractor is seeking a greater public contribution. Ross believes underpinning the village project could wipe out the £1bn of contingency funds not yet allocated.”Like me, David believes the Games will be a huge success and a wonderful thing for this city and this country and his report recognises the excellent work already undertaken,” Johnson said. “However, he highlights some important issues including how important it is to have greater transparency and openness about cost forecasts than has been the case so far and I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm that Londoners will not pay a penny more council tax to pay for the Games – no matter the circumstances.”Johnson wants to be seen as the financial conscience of the project. In reality, most major design decisions have been made and contracts awarded.An ODA spokesman said: “There are cost pressures in some areas. Equally, there are potential savings in others, as David Ross points out. The net cost pressure on the overall budget is £16m. Given the challenging economic environment, we are in ongoing discussions about the level of public investment in the Olympic Village. We expect to finalise this later in the year. Work has started and this will clearly be a world-class development capable of delivering returns on any investment when the homes are sold after the Games.” Support The Guardian Johnson calls for transparency over increases in 2012 costs Share on Pinterest Share via Email Olympic Games 2012 Olympic Games 2012 Topics Share via Email Share on Messenger Shares00 Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Share on LinkedInlast_img read more

Trust at Stake

first_imgby, Eilon Caspi, ChangingAging GuestbloggerTweet7Share38Share13Email58 SharesWoodcarver: Eilon Caspi Photographer: Jason R. CampbellTruth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit, the more you nurture it. The deeper the search in the mine of truth the richer the discovery of the gems buried there, in the shape of openings for an ever greater variety of service – GandhiI strongly support efforts to cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These scientific breakthroughs would bring tremendous relief and hope to millions of people currently living with these conditions and many more who will develop them in the future. It is estimated that 5.5 million Americans of all ages were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with the disease may nearly triple to a projected 13.8 million, “barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease” (2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures, Alzheimer’s Association). Such sorely needed breakthroughs would also bring great relief to millions of family members and friends who currently support and care for these individuals. However, there is an increasing recognition among a growing number of experts that these efforts must be done in a more responsible, balanced, transparent, accountable, and ethical way than has generally been done to date. It is imperative to be truthful with the public about the current actual evidence-based likelihood for cure of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The public has the right to know. Giving realistic hope for cure is needed if we are fully committed to “Authentic Partnership” with this population (a term coined by Professor Sherry L. Dupius, Murray Alzheimer’s Research and Education Program, University of Waterloo, Canada).Frequent but unrealistic promises for cure of Alzheimer’s disease as “just around the corner” have been a commonplace and “business as usual” in the past several decades. Numerous thought leaders have recently expressed their deep concern about these misleading and unethical claims; some of whom have stated that such promises are a strategy for massive fund raising efforts aimed predominantly at curing the disease. For example, Professor Peter Whitehouse, a prominent geriatric neurologist, cognitive neuroscientist, and global bioethicist, who has seen thousands of people struggling with brain aging throughout his career, makes a strong case as to why he believes “We are giving people false hope.” He explains,“False hope is a better fund raiser than realistic expectations. Organizations that comprise the Alzheimer’s empire thrive because the Alzheimer’s myth is a cash cow that keeps on giving. Many of us in the field worry that the pursuit of truth has been eclipsed by the pursuit of raising funds.”In accordance, Dr. Paul Raia, a national expert who worked for nearly 30 years in various leadership positions at one of the founding chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association wrote me recently, “There is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and a misdirection of funds. There will not be any single cure, because there are many different diseases that combine to cause many forms of dementia. Prevention could significantly reduce the number of dementia cases…” My recent article – Trust at Stake: Is the “Dual Mission” of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association Out of Balance? – provides a comprehensive description of these concerns, the growing recognition of the “unbounded complexity” of Alzheimer’s disease, the major challenges involved in curing it (not to mention dozens of other forms of dementia…) as well as the far-reaching negative consequences these unrealistic claims have on the daily lives, support, and care provided to millions of people living with dementia and the support and education sorely needed by their family and paid care partners. Shortly after my article was published on August 25, 2017 (only the 150-word abstract of the article was publicly available at that point), I was told by a colleague of mine, a co-chair of a leading and innovative national dementia-friendly education and advocacy organization (i.e. “the organization”) that the National Office of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association contacted two of the organization’s board members and at least two of the organization’s partners about their concerns and “thinly veiled threats” to withhold funding to their organizations and companies if “the organization” would publish information about my article in its e-News (which it has already done at that point; the e-News stated that I raised “a crucial question” in my article). I was told that these board members and partners “voiced their concern about upsetting the Alzheimer’s Association.” In the words of my colleague at the organization, “The bullying reach of the Alzheimer’s Association hit “the organization.”A few days later, a colleague of mine who is living with dementia and a leading national advocate for this population, wrote me that the Alzheimer’s Association is “squashing the article wherever they see it.” He added that it has become toxic and people have removed it from their websites and social media due to pressure by the Alzheimer’s Association. He encouraged me to make the full-text version of the article publicly available as, in his words, “this will have a bigger impact.” Other colleagues told me that many people want to read the full-text article but are unable to do so because they do not have subscription to a university library database. Thanks to a generous donation made by an individual who for years was caring for a parent living with dementia (the donor asked to remain anonymous), the full-text article is now publicly available online free of charge. (Citation: Caspi, E. (2017). Trust at stake: Is the “dual mission” of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association out of balance? Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. Published Online Ahead of Print.)What makes it so that the predominant biomedical research focus on cure and the frequent but unrealistic promises for cure as being “just around the corner” represent one of the biggest problems in a field dedicated to serving, supporting, and caring for this population? For several decades, the gross imbalance has been systematically diverting precious societal resources – many billions of public (tax payers) and private donor dollars away from psychosocial research aimed at improving the safety, quality of care, support, and quality of life of people with dementia as well as from prevention of abuse and neglect of these individuals in the community and long-term care homes. As importantly, it diverted funding away from evidence-based person-directed care and timely support and education that should be provided to these underserved individuals and their family care partners. After reading my article, Dr. Paul Raia wrote me:“Too much attention is given to the quest for the ‘magic pill,’ too little attention is being given to prevention through healthy lifestyle, too little money and research is put into treating symptoms of those living with dementia with behavioral interventions, too little money is put into supporting families as caregivers, and too little effort is put into regulating services like adult day heath [centers], assisted living and dementia care in nursing homes. In all of this, the Alzheimer’s Association has focused on the wrong targets and exploited the general public lack of information.” Another colleague of mine who lives with dementia and is an advocate for this population wrote me, “It is useless to direct our energies to the Alzheimer’s Association…they are just too powerful with their funding and ability to kill off anyone who dares to question them.” A couple of weeks ago, when I asked my colleagues at “the organization” if they would be willing to share the link to the full-text version of my article within the organization’s network, I was told that the board of the organization expressed their wish that “the organization” would not “appear to be agitating the Alzheimer’s Association” (the comment was made in reference to the earlier dissemination of a link to the abstract of my article in the organization’s e-News) and therefore it would not be possible.  Which made me wonder…What about the dozens of millions of people living with dementia and their family members who are very frustrated, upset, and “agitated” by the fact that for decades sorely needed (including life saving) support services and educational programs are not provided to them because precious societal resources and funding (many billions of $) have been diverted away from these services and programs in the excessive quest to cure Alzheimer’s disease?  Interestingly, one Webster dictionary definition of the word “Agitate” is: “To discuss earnestly.” Unfortunately, the fear of certain organizations and individuals to publicly “say it as it is” and “speak truth to power” (the National Alzheimer’s Association has been described to me by my colleagues as an 800-pound gorilla) serves as a persistent barrier for our society’s ability to have a sincere and open national discussion about the most effective ways to serve and support people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and optimize their psychological well-being and brain health. It is worth noting that shortly after the publication of my article, a co-chair of “the organization” wrote me “I thought the article was very compelling and very realistic.” Another co-chair wrote me: “Kudos for such a terrific article!!” “Excellent job” and “This is an important body of work.” The person added that the organization “110% supports you.” Later on the co-chair wrote me, “Few people are willing to speak truth to power.” The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die – Martin Luther King Jr. The National Alzheimer’s Association knows the truth. I wrote the article to the general public, people in earlier stages of dementia and their family members, policy makers, federal funding agencies (such as National Institute on Aging), foundations, and private donors in hopes that they will become more informed when they develop their strategic plans and funding priorities. A notable example is Bill Gates’ recent donation of 50 million dollars from his personal money towards efforts to cure the disease: Bill Gates’ Newest Mission: Curing Alzheimer’s Disease, CNN, November 14, 2017.  In addition, numerous celebrities are systematically identified and recruited by the National Alzheimer’s Association often for the cause of curing Alzheimer’s disease. For example, the National Alzheimer’s Association Annual Report (Fiscal Year 2016; pages 37-40) lists no less than 146 “Celebrity Champions,” who, according to the association, “enthusiastically embrace our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.” To what extent these individuals are fully informed when they decide how to contribute their time, resources, wealth, and influence to addressing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia? The biomedicalization of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia frequently perpetuates the misconceptions and harmful stigma commonly associated with living with these conditions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “stigma is the use of negative labels to identify a person with a disability or illness. Stigma around Alzheimer’s disease exists, in part, due to lack of public awareness and understanding of the disease.” The association adds, “facing stigma is often a primary concern of people living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners.” True. Is it possible that the National Alzheimer’s Association, an organization claiming to “drive the national conversation about Alzheimer’s,” intentionally stigmatize the very population it serves? Does it suffer from Dementism? Dr. Stephen Post, bioethicist and author of the book The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease and recipient of the Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care, wrote in the year 2000,   “The convenient propensity to think more highly of some lives than others must be restrained by some principle of equal human worth.” He adds, “The term Ageism [i.e., “discrimination based on age”] does not capture the specificity of resentment against the deeply forgetful. We therefore need a new term, and I here suggest ‘dementism.’”In her ChangingAging post called Confronting Dementism (January 21, 2015), Lynn Casteel Harper, M.Div. a writer, minister, and chaplain, writes about barriers for a dementia-inclusive world:“Bioethicist Stephen Post uses the term ‘dementsim’ to describe the prejudice against the deeply forgetful. Dementism reflects a deep cultural sickness that combines a bias against old age (agesim) with a bias against impaired cognition (cognitivism). The result is a highly pessimistic and reductionist attitude toward persons with dementia. They are their disease; they are shells, husks, the “living dead”; they can have no quality of life. The disease is “the death that leaves the body behind,” which feeds the notion that dementia creates a category of sub-humans, not unlike zombies.”Is it possible that the National Alzheimer’s Association knowingly stigmatize people living with dementia as a means to control the national conversation about Alzheimer’s disease and serve its mission to “conquer” the disease? Sounds unlikely…right? Especially given the Alzheimer’s Association’s helpful webpage called Overcoming Stigma and 2-minute video called Alzheimer’s Stigma 2013 (informed by the great work of the Alzheimer’s Association Early-Stage Advisory Group).This possibility was recognized over half a century ago by Erving Gofffman, professor of sociology and author of the book Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963). He stated, “Stigmatization can serve as a means for formal social control.”Christine Bryden, an author and advocate who is living with dementia, observed that using negative images that are stigmatizing to people living with dementia serve a fund raising purpose. She says, “the stereotype tugs at the heartstrings and loosens the purse strings.”  A couple of recent examples that make one wonder whether this might be the case include the biased, deterministic, tragedy-oriented narrative, fear-fueling, stigmatizing, and disempowering PBS film Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts (January 25, 2017) (that, not surprisingly, concludes with a plug for medical research funding) and the Alzheimer’s Association’s recent stigmatizing and damaging campaign called Pure Imagination Project. For a balanced, informed, and responsible analysis of this film and campaign, see ChangingAging post Alzheimer’s: Every Person Counts: A Call for Action (January 23, 2017) and Anne Basting’s recent ChangingAging post called Stealing Hope (December 29, 2017).Another film is called Monster in the Mind: The Convenient Un-Truth about Alzheimer’s Disease, which was screened on July 26 2016 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Canada. The film is a product of Jean Carper, a former medical journalist who 30 years ago was “part of the propaganda machinery to sell Alzheimer’s to the public.” It describes the transformation she went through as she learned more and more about the disease over the years. It contains critically important messages to the public such as those that could enable to move beyond fear tactics as a powerful strategy for massive fund raising for cure and unrealistic promises for cure into the realm of informed action aimed at prevention of the disease.  A recent article by Dr. Peter Reed, Dr. Jennifer Carson and colleagues in AMA Journal of Ethics provides a compelling discussion of the far reaching negative impacts of “the tragedy discourse of dementia” (which currently is largely driven by the National Alzheimer’s Association) on perpetuating the stigma experienced by this population. It also describes the major missed opportunities caused by it; ones that prevent the implementation of large-scale initiatives and funding that would enable this population to live their life to the fullest despite having substantial cognitive disabilities. (Citation: Reed, P., Carson, J., & Gibb, Z. (2017). Transcending the tragedy discourse of dementia: An ethical imperative for promoting selfhood, meaningful relationships, and well-being. American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 19(7), 693-701.)  Pfizer’s historic decision to discontinue its efforts to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (announced on January 6, 2018) is an important landmark that may signal a paradigm shift; the decision warrants a closer look elsewhere (as more information will be released to the public about it in the future) not only because of the possible losses it may represent but as importantly the rare opportunity for positive and meaningful fundamental changes it could bring to this underserved population. Should we be surprised about Pfizer’s decision? The collective view of dozens of researchers in U.S., Canada, and U.K. as was reported in detail in the groundbreaking book Alzheimer’s Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging by Professor Margaret Lock (published in 2013) suggests that the answer is “No.” Why? Some of the fundamental premises underlying the majority of research studies aimed at finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease have been called into question in recent years. Examples include, the “Localization Theory;” “the Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis”; Insufficient strength of correlation between amyloid plaques and cognitive dysfunction; the fact that “a good proportion of individuals who harbor plaque (the substance commonly hypothesized to incite the molecular cascade that results in Alzheimer neuropathology) continue to be cognitively in good health;” and the fact that the leap from clinical trials in animal models (such as mice) to humans is substantial and not always fully appreciated and openly recognized. Dr. Allen G. Power, M.D., author of the two books: Dementia Beyond Drugs: Changing the Culture of Care and Dementia Beyond Disease: Enhancing Well-Being, asserts: “If you are waiting for the magic pill . . . .This is probably 50 or 70 illnesses with different combinations of causes, lifestyles, life events, and other diseases feeding into it. There is not going to be a magic bullet coming any time soon. I hope that we’re gonna have drugs that can modify the progression of the disease . . . The truth is that right now we need to care for millions of people who are going to have dementia and what happens is that we put all of our money into this basket of cure and we are putting no money into improving the care for millions of people that need it. So we need to change the balance, I am not saying we should stop doing drug research . . . but we need to drastically change the balance because it’s just not realistic to give 98% of our donation $ to try and find that pill and do nothing for these 5 million people that need something today. I am not saying that to create despair or discourage you. I am saying this to empower you.” He then added:“Go out today and change the life of someone with dementia. Don’t wait for the pill because there are things we can do right now that can re-engage people and create life worth living.”In accordance, Dr. William H. Thomas, M.D., Founder of the Eden Alternative; author of the book What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World, states:  “I would be willing to bet there will never be a simple, well tolerated medical cure for dementia. Why not? The human brain is an astonishingly complicated organ and its workings are vastly more complicated than the simple chains of cause and effect on which most medical treatment rely. Nonmedical approaches to the well being of people living with dementia can go far beyond anything any pill has to offer.”Professor Margaret Lock concludes her well-researched and eye-opening book by stating:“In the haste to find cures, less often marked is another problem, namely a shift of attention away from social, political, and environmental factors, including poverty, inequality, discrimination, and racism – factors deeply implicated in disease causation. These are the variables that thus far have received the least attention in the Alzheimer’s disease world.” She adds:“A public health approach to aging and Alzheimer’s will have a much greater effect in reducing the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide than will the technologically oriented molecular approach currently being heralded as a paradigm shift.” While Pfizer’s decision may at least partially reflect the repeated and very costly failures of “promising” compounds, moving from one extreme (predominant focus on use of public and private dollars for cure) to another (Pfizer’s decision) is likely unhelpful either. A collective scientific and public health pause to deeply, genuinely, and openly reflect about the fundamental premises underlying all previous, current, and future efforts to cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may ultimately prove as a more reasonable, responsible, and promising approach.  Such reflection might even lead to realizing Marcel Proust’s observation by which, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”Only through the full commitment to engagement in this deep transformational reflection (to ensure full transparency and accountability, key steps in the reflection process must be open to the public; tax payers and private donors who pay the lion share of drug treatments) it would be possible to regain the public’s trust, which is necessary if we are serious about creating an “authentic partnership” with people living with dementia.  “There is one thing that is essential to science more than intelligent methods; that is, the genuine passion to find the truth, whatever it may be” – Charles Sanders Peirce, American philosopher and scientist who is considered “the father of pragmatism.” Related PostsWhile Awaiting A CureWe owe it to ourselves and our communities to stand up and demand that, while we await development of a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, resources are to also be spent on figuring out how to live well with dementia.Will More Money Buy an Alzheimer’s Cure?To much fanfare from the Alzheimer’s disease research lobby, the Obama administration announced plans this week to dramatically increase federal funding on Alzheimer’s. But advocates for those who live with the disease are asking why more isn’t being done to educate the public and improve care and living conditions for…Report finds Alzheimer’s claims $202 billion in unpaid careThe Alzheimer’s Association just released 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report sheds light on the staggering cost of unpaid caregiving provided by family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Nearly 15 million people in the United States care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form…Tweet7Share38Share13Email58 SharesTags: alzheimer’s association Dementialast_img read more

Targeting cells involved in blood vessel formation could hinder brain tumor growth

first_img Source: Jun 20 2018A type of highly malignant brain tumor contains a large number of cells involved in the formation of new blood vessels, helping it proliferate and spread. Targeting these cells could hinder tumor growth, according to new research published in the Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology.Astrocytomas are tumors that can be found in the brain and spinal cord and originate from a type of cell, called an astrocyte, whose main function is to insulate and to provide structure for nerve fibers. They are the most common type of tumor that originates in the brain. There are four grades of astrocytomas, ranging from least to most aggressive. Grade IV astrocytomas are highly invasive and are almost always fatal. Lower grade astrocytomas are typically found in younger people while higher grade tumors are more often found in older adults.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsAstrocytomas depend on new blood vessel formation to grow and spread. Researchers in Malaysia wanted to know how the numbers of ‘endothelial progenitor cells’ (EPCs), which play a role in new vessel formation, changed with increasing grades of astrocytoma. EPCs represent a variety of cell types that circulate in the blood and adhere to the inner linings of blood vessels.The team of scientists examined brain tissue from 22 astrocytoma patients at the Hospital of University Sains Malaysia. They found that the numbers of endothelial progenitor cells were higher in the tumors than they were in surrounding healthy tissue. They also found that the numbers of these cells inside tumor tissue increased with age and higher tumor grade.Previous research has shown that patients with grades III and IV astrocytomas who underwent radiotherapy or chemotherapy demonstrated a reduction in the numbers of circulating EPCs. People with grades III and IV astocytomas who didn’t undergo treatment had higher numbers of circulating EPCs than healthy people.Other studies have also shown that significantly reducing EPCs led to impaired and delayed growth in tumors followed by a reduction in the numbers of blood vessels feeding them.The researchers conclude that their findings suggest that drugs targeting new blood vessel formation given in appropriate doses according to age and tumor grade could prevent astrocytoma growth.last_img read more

New leadless pacemakers less likely to cause complications research finds

first_imgThe findings of the research, led by Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic, appeared in the journal Heart Rhythm. The study compared patient outcomes for those fitted with new ‘leadless’ pacemakers compared with more conventional ‘transvenous’ designs.Lead author Dr. Daniel Cantillon, M.D., research director for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing at Cleveland Clinic, and a consultant for Abbott and Boston Scientific, said: Source: The data from this study is encouraging, and we expect complications from leadless pacemakers to continue to decline as the technology improves and physicians gain experience implanting these devices.While this research shows benefit for leadless pacing, we must keep in mind that the field is still too young to compare the long-term results of this technology, the implications of which will not be fully understood for at least another decade.” More than one million pacemakers are implanted annually worldwide, providing electrical stimulation to regulate a patient’s heartbeat. Conventional models are surgically placed under the skin of the chest, and connected to the heart via a wire that stretches from the shoulder vein to the heart. These leads – and their surgical implantation – are the most common source of complications among pacemaker recipients as a whole, occurring in up to 12 percent of this group, according to previous research.Leadless pacemakers, by contrast, do not need wires. These small, self-contained devices – about one-tenth of the size of a traditional pacemaker – are placed directly into the heart using a catheter that is carried from the leg to the heart via the thigh’s femoral vein. The first leadless pacemaker was introduced in 2014 and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) two years later.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchThe new multicenter study compared short- and mid-term complications between 718 patients receiving the Nanostim leadless pacemaker and 1,436 patients with conventional (transvenous) pacemakers. Leadless pacemaker patient data was taken from the LEADLESS II trial, a prospective, nonrandomized, multicenter clinical trial. Transvenous patient data were obtained from Truven Health MarketScan claims databases for patients implanted with single-chamber pacemakers between April 2010 and March 2014 and more than one year of pre-implant enrollment data. Statistical methods were used to match patients between the two groups to compare the outcomes of a leadless versus traditional pacemaker with other key clinical variables being equal.At one month, the study found that patients receiving one type of leadless pacemaker (Nanostim) overall had fewer complications (5.8 percent versus 9.4 percent). Leadless pacemakers eliminated lead and pocket complications, including infection. By comparison, complications among traditional pacemaker recipients included lead complications (3.62 percent), pocket complications (0.42 percent) and infection (1.74 percent).There were no significant differences between the groups in regard to rates of vascular complications, electrode dislodgement, or generator complications. However, the study did find that those receiving leadless pacemakers had an increased risk of developing pericardial effusion – bleeding between the heart and the sac that surrounds it – of 1.53 percent versus 0.35 percent. These complications were uncommon but serious, and sometimes required surgery.Beyond one month and up to 18 months of follow-up, leadless patients continued to experience overall fewer complications than transvenous patients (0.56 percent versus 4.94 percent). In the conventional pacemaker group, a number of complications were wholly absent from the leadless group, including lead-related complications, electrode dislodgement, infection, and pocket complications. Jul 10 2018Research finds use of smaller, self-contained devices reduced complications for up to 18 months compared with conventional designsPacemakers that don’t use wires to connect the device to the heart are successfully reducing the number of short-term and mid-term complications patients experience, a study in the United States has found.last_img read more

Hesperos receives SBIR grant to create humanonachip model to mimic Alzheimers disease

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Hesperos, Inc., announced today the receipt of a NIH Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Aging (NIA) to help create a new multi-organ “human-on-a-chip” model that can realistically mimic the biology of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and the effects of potential new therapies under realistic human physiological conditions.Hesperos founders Michael L. Shuler, Ph.D, and James J. Hickman, Ph.D., are pioneers of organ-on-a-chip technology, and their company is the first to create pumpless microfluidic multi-organ systems with fully integrated physiological functions, such as blood circulation and nerve connections.The AD model will be a three-organ system that includes brain cells (cortical neurons) and functioning liver and blood-brain-barrier constructs, as well as re-circulating blood and cerebral spinal fluid surrogates. This will enable scientists to study the body’s systemic response to any chemical introduced into the model, including how it metabolizes in the liver, and how it penetrates into the brain through the blood-brain barrier.This is important, because the toxicity of drugs can change once metabolized. In some cases, they become less effective; in others, the metabolites that are produced can cause unexpected — and sometimes dangerous — effects. Current human-based in vitro toxicity studies have only limited capacity to predict such functional changes, and that has been the demise of many potential therapeutics.”There are estimated to be 50 million people in the world with dementia — that’s more than the population of Spain, and it is projected to nearly triple by 2050. Many of the people with dementia have AD, resulting in an urgent need for new, effective treatment options for the disease,” said Hickman, Hesperos’s chief scientist and professor at the University of Central Florida’s Hybrid Systems Laboratory. “Development of a low-cost, easy-to-use system to assess drugs for AD would improve efficacy and toxicological evaluations for patient specific treatments, providing a significant benefit to the drug development community and patients.”Related StoriesComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharpAI-enabled device detects if targeted chemotherapy is workingScientists discover how resistance to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil arisesHesperos scientists will make models using both healthy brain cells created from pluripotent stem cells, and cells with different mutations consistent with AD. Functional readouts of responses to drugs administered to the models will give valuable insights into both direct central nervous system effects and peripheral effects.Later phases of the project will also test long-term effects, and include real patient samples, to test its viability as a tool to inform real-time, personalized treatment decisions as part of precision medicine.”The integrated use of these pre-clinical test systems and physiologically based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models provides a powerful tool for evaluating the dynamic interaction between drugs, aging biological system and disease, and will facilitate rational drug development and clinical trial design,” said Dr. Shuler, Hesperos CEO and founding Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. Source: read more

Test your smarts on geneedited cows and eukaryotes without mitochondria

first_img An unknown exoplanet transiting across the star LOADING An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. To make them less aggressive Question For years, archaeologists thought humans arrived in the Americas about 13,000 years ago. But last week, researchers announced they found a 14,550-year-old stone tool, suggesting a much longer human presence in the New World. Where did they find it? 60% Scientists last week discovered a new pathway for creating the components of RNA, bolstering this explanation for the origin of life on Earth: Washington © The Science Picture Company/Alamy Stock Photo Special creation 1284 80% NASA/W. Stenzel Florida The gut of a pet chinchilla. Although mitochondria are a signature feature of eukaryotes, scientists have long wondered whether some of them might have ditched the organelles. For the new study, a team checked a single-celled organism in the genus Monocercomonoides that came from the guts of a chinchilla that belonged to one of the lab members. They discovered that it lacks all the key proteins that enable mitochondria to function. Monocercomonoides may not need mitochondria because nutrients are abundant in chinchilla guts, but oxygen, which mitochondria require to produce energy, is scarce. Instead of relying on mitochondria, the organism likely uses enzymes in its cytoplasm to break down food and furnish energy. Ice cores Equipment upgrades here on Earth. After the Kepler satellite recorded irregular flickering of light from KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star,” scientists found a century of data that revealed the star had dimmed 20% over the last century, an extremely unusual development. Some began to speculate that the dimming could have come from a megastructure such as a Dyson Sphere being built around the star. Now, researchers have concluded the brightness of other stars in the 108-year archive dimmed around the same time as Tabby’s Star, making it likely that the shift was caused by changing telescopes and cameras. 1284. Of 4700 planet candidates flagged by Kepler over 4 years, NASA verified 1284, more than doubling the number that the satellite has found so far. To find the planets, Kepler stared at a single patch of the sky from 2009 to 2013, monitoring the brightness of 150,000 stars. If a star briefly dimmed before returning to its original brightness, it could signify that an orbiting planet had passed in front of the star. Of the new exoplanets, nine are roughly Earth-sized and could host liquid water—and possibly life. This brings the total of potentially habitable planets discovered by Kepler to 21. Lava Panspermia Start Quiz Stalagmites 0 / 10 Legal culls. Experts have long argued that one of the best ways to conserve carnivores, such as gray wolves, is to kill them in government-sanctioned culls. Keeping the predators in check is supposed to help persuade carnivore-haters to become more tolerant and deter poaching. But a new study of gray wolf culling in two U.S. states suggests that the opposite is true. The scientists found that there was an 83% chance that the wolf population growth rate would fall whenever culling was allowed, suggesting a surge in illegal killings. The researchers believe that poachers regarded the culling announcements as a signal that prohibitions against illegal hunting would not be enforced. To get rid of their horns. Nearly 80% of U.S. dairy cows have their horns removed each year to protect their handlers and fellow cattle. But the practice, which is both painful and expensive, has come under increasing scrutiny from animal rights activists. To figure out a better way, the scientists introduced a natural allele linked to hornlessness into dairy cow embryos. Five healthy calves were born, all without horns. Naturally introducing the gene into the dairy cow population would take decades, so scientists hope their technique can become a cheaper and quicker alternative. The World Health Organization said last week that this percentage of cities around the world have unhealthy air: An alien megastructure, duh Bison. North America was once home to millions of these towering herbivores, but they were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 19th century. Now, tens of thousands of bison live across the United States, many of them in national parks like Yellowstone. As for your other furry options, the gray wolf is Turkey’s national animal and the white-tailed deer is recognized by both Costa Rica and Honduras. And although the unicorn might not be real, it still holds the honor of being the national animal of Scotland. 302 RNA world Gray wolf White-tailed deer Last fall, scientists detected unusual light patterns from a star that some said could have been created by an alien structure. Now, researchers think they have solved the mystery. What caused the strange patterns? To get rid of their horns The Science Quiz Scientists were stunned last week to discover a eukaryote that does not contain mitochondria, the power supply for complex cells. Where does this microbe live? 28 Bison In the milk of a gene-edited cow According to a new study, Earth’s atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago was less than half as thick as it is today. What did scientists use to determine ancient air pressure? The gut of a pet chinchilla May 16, 2016 Antarctica’s Lake Vostok Time’s Up! The United States has a national mammal at last! Which animal received the honor last week? Top Ranker Fossilized raindrops Equipment upgrades here on Earth Bacteria world 25% Every Monday, The Science Quiz tests your knowledge of the week’s biggest science news stories. No matter how much you know, you’re still likely to learn something — give it a try! Florida. Everyone’s favorite state now has something serious to offer. The tool, called a biface, was found in a sinkhole at the bottom of a river. Fourteen-thousand years ago, the site would have been home to a small, marshy pond that attracted both mastodons and human hunters. But thanks to rising groundwater, the area is now totally submerged. Archaeologists dove 10 meters deep to recover the biface, as well as a handful of other tools and many mastodon bones. The find, say scientists, is the best evidence yet for an early peopling of the Americas. NASA announced last week that its Kepler satellite had discovered its largest ever haul of exoplanets. How many new worlds were observed? Captive breeding programs RNA world. The molecular dance that led to the origin of life billions of years ago remains one of the deepest mysteries in modern science. Though the exact choreography is forever lost to time, scientists say they may have identified a key step: the process by which basic chemicals gave rise to compounds called purines—a key ingredient of DNA, RNA, and energy metabolism in all cells. To make them smaller Protected wilderness areas 80%. Outdoor air pollution—measured by levels of fine particulate matter (PM)—has risen 8% since 2011, particularly in growing cities in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. India is home to eight of the top 30 cities with the most air pollution, but the winner for worst urban air quality goes to Onitsha, Nigeria. There, levels of PM are about 30 times WHO’s recommended levels. Worldwide, 98% of cities with more 100,000 people in low- and middle-income countries have unhealthy air, whereas 56% of similarly sized cities in high-income countries have polluted air. Unicorn The deep ocean 0 Share your score May 16, 2016 The Science Quiz The faster you answer, the higher your score! Strict antipoaching laws 100% Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit A touted strategy to protect wolves and other endangered predators may not work after all. What is it? Last week, scientists announced they had edited the genes of dairy cows for what purpose? Legal culls Mississippi Alaska A shift in the star’s magnetic field 154 You Average Score To make them produce more milk Lava. In what is now the Australian Outback, basalt lavas poured out over thousands of square kilometers billions of years ago, hardening when they hit seawater. The lavas contained dissolved gases that fizzed as they emerged onto Earth’s surface, like bubbles escaping from a can of soda. Unlike the drink though, the hot lava quickly cools and freezes, trapping the bubbles. By measuring the size of the bubbles at the top—which were pushing against the weight of the atmosphere—and comparing them with the smaller bubbles at the bottom—which were pushing against both the atmosphere and the weight of the rock itself—the team came up with a proxy for ancient air pressure.last_img read more

Extinction that killed the dinosaurs may have led to frog explosion

first_img By Carolyn GramlingJul. 3, 2017 , 3:00 PM Extinction that killed the dinosaurs may have led to frog explosion The ancestors of this red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) may have gotten their big break thanks to the same mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. In the wake of that event some 66 million years ago, which marks the end of the Cretaceous period and the start of the Paleogene, frog species underwent rapid diversification. To better understand how frogs evolved, scientists created a new phylogenetic tree—a branching diagram of evolutionary relationships—using data from hundreds of frog genomes. From this, they examined rates and patterns of diversification of species and discovered that most modern frog groups didn’t originate in the Mesozoic, as once thought. Instead, some 88% of living frog species—including all tree frogs—came from three main lineages that arose around the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Like many species that flourished after the dinosaurs, these frogs may have opportunistically occupied ecological niches suddenly left vacant. And tree frogs in particular may have benefited from the massive loss of vegetation and subsequent rebounding of forests on the planet.last_img read more