Novel sensor could allow doctors to remotely monitor recovery of patients

first_imgAug 29 2018A self-powered sensor developed at the University of Waterloo could allow doctors to remotely monitor the recovery of surgical patients.The small, tube-like device is designed to be fitted to braces after joint surgery to wirelessly send information to computers, smartphones or smartwatches to track range of motion and other indicators of improvement.“That data would be continuously collected, so it would be as though the physician or physiotherapist was always there, always observing the patient,” said Hassan Askari, an engineering doctoral candidate at Waterloo.Related StoriesResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsThe same sensor could also be used in a variety of other ways, including in the tires of autonomous vehicles to detect and respond to icy roads.A prototype built and tested by the researchers combines electromagnetism and triboelectricity, a relatively new energy harvesting technique that involves bringing different materials together to produce current.When bent or twisted, the device generates enough electricity for sensing and powering electronic circuits for processing and wireless signal transmission. “The aim was to develop a sensor that works without having a battery attached to it,” said Askari. “It is its own power source.”That makes the device well-suited for applications that put a premium on reliability and where it would be difficult or expensive to replace worn-out batteries. Askari estimated the sensors – about six centimeters long and one centimeter wide – could be commercially manufactured for $5 to $10 each.Research is now focused on making them smaller and more sensitive using triboelectricity alone. The software is also being developed to process signals for the tire application.When attached to the inside of tires, they could sense changing road conditions and instantly send information to control systems to enable self-driving vehicles to make adjustments.“Based on the forces, the interaction between the road and the tires, we could actually detect ice or rain,” said Askari. “That is extremely important information for autonomous driving.” Source:https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/new-sensor-could-help-doctors-monitor-patient-progresslast_img read more

New guidelines for evaluation and treatment of perimenopausal depression

first_img Source:http://www.uic.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 5 2018It is well-recognized that women are at increased risk of depression during postpartum when hormone levels are changing, but the risk of depression associated with perimenopause — the time right before menopause when female hormones are in decline — remains under-recognized and clinical recommendations on how to diagnose and treat this kind of depression in women have been lacking until now.A multi-institutional panel of clinicians and scientists convened by The North American Menopause Society and the National Network on Depression Centers Women and Mood Disorders Task Group, and endorsed by the International Menopause Society, have published the first-ever guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of perimenopausal depression simultaneously in the journal Menopause and the Journal of Women’s Health.”The reason these guidelines are needed is because depression during the perimenopausal phase can occur along with menopausal symptoms, and these two sets of symptoms are hard to tease apart, which makes it difficult for clinicians to appropriately treat these women,” said Dr. Pauline Maki, professor of psychology and psychiatry in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and co-lead author of the new guidelines. “Many women experience a new onset of depressive symptoms. If there is underlying low-level depression to begin with, perimenopause can increase the intensity of depressive symptoms.””There has been a need for expert consensus as well as clear clinical guidance regarding how to evaluate and treat depression in women during the perimenopause,” said Dr. Susan Kornstein, professor of psychiatry and obstetrics & gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University and co-lead author of the guidelines. “These new clinical recommendations address this gap and offer much-needed information and guidance to health care practitioners so that they can provide optimal care and treatment for midlife women.” Kornstein is also executive director of the Institute for Women’s Health at Virginia Commonwealth University.The task force, co-chaired by Maki and Kornstein, reviewed the scientific literature on depressive disorders and symptoms in perimenopausal women and focused on five areas: epidemiology, clinical presentation, therapeutic effects of antidepressants, effects of hormone therapy, and efficacy of other therapies such as psychotherapy, exercise and natural products. Perimenopause refers to the three- to four-year period immediately prior to menopause when periods become irregular and eventually stop, as well as the first year after the final menstrual period. Symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances often begin at this time and can co-occur and overlap with symptoms of depression, the new guidelines state. “Eighty percent of women in menopause experience hot flashes, and when they occur at night, also known as the ‘night sweats,’ sleep can be interrupted. Persistent sleep disturbances caused by hot flashes contribute to the development or exacerbation of depressive symptoms,” said Maki.During perimenopause, women often juggle multiple responsibilities and face multiple stressors. They care for their own children, experience children leaving the home, help aging parents, retain primary responsibility for the home, and face increasing job demands at a time when they may be approaching the peak of their career. All of this can be extremely stressful, Maki explained.Related StoriesPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsSome children are at greater risk of ongoing depression long after being bulliedExploring how schizophrenia and depression are related to drug consumption”Relationships can be taxed and the realities of aging can become quite apparent,” she said. “Life stressors, low social support and physical health problems are strongly related to depression during perimenopause. When you add in hormonal changes that can affect the brain’s ability to cope with these stressors, it’s no surprise that depression is a common occurrence in midlife women. The good news is that there are effective treatments.”The root causes of perimenopausal depression can be hard to identify, said Maki. “Are women experiencing low energy because they are having night sweats and losing sleep? If so, treating with hormones may be the best bet,” she said. “Alternatively, is a woman with a past history of depression having another depressive episode? In that case, antidepressant therapy might be most effective. Is the issue primarily due to family and job burden? If so, cognitive behavioral therapy with or without an antidepressant might be best.”Maki explains that while it is common for women with menopausal symptoms to experience depressive symptoms, most of the time those symptoms do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of depression. But, she said, even low-level depressive symptoms can lower quality of life and strain relationships, and hormone therapy might help. “It is important for women and their health care providers to recognize that these symptoms are common during perimenopause and can be treated,” she said.Some of the findings of the panel include: Perimenopause is a window of vulnerability for the development of both depressive symptoms and a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. The risk for depressive symptoms is elevated during perimenopause even in women with no prior history of depression. Several common symptoms of perimenopause (hot flashes, night sweats, sleep and sexual disturbances, weight/energy changes, cognitive changes) complicate, co-occur and overlap with the presentation of depression during this stage. Life stressors including caring for children and parents, career and relationship shifts, aging and body changes and family illness can adversely affect mood. Proven therapeutic options for depression (antidepressants, cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapies) should remain as front-line antidepressive treatments for major depressive episodes during perimenopause. Clinicians should consider treating co-occurring sleep disturbance and night sweats as part of treatment for menopause-related depression. Estrogen therapy is ineffective as a treatment for depressive disorders in postmenopausal women. Hormonal contraceptives may improve depressive symptoms in women approaching menopause. Evidence is insufficient for the recommendation of botanical or alternative approaches for treating depression related to perimenopause.center_img “Perimenopause is a window of vulnerability for the development of both depressive symptoms and major depressive episodes,” Maki said. “The recent suicide of Kate Spade at 55 years of age shows the seriousness of mental health issues in midlife women, a group that has shown a 45 percent increase in suicide rates over the past 15 years,” said Maki.last_img read more

Public awareness of urological conditions found to be alarmingly low across Europe

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 24 2018Public awareness of urological conditions is alarmingly low throughout Europe. Results of a new international survey of more than 2,500 responders from 5 countries show that women know more about men’s health issues than men do, men have poor knowledge of key urological symptoms and don’t take early signs of potentially life-threatening urological conditions seriously.The low level of awareness indicated by the survey is of particular concern as urological conditions are on a rise due to the ageing European population. Prevention and early diagnosis are crucial to save lives and to control increasing costs.Fundamental Lack of Knowledge of Urology Responses showed that urology as a medical speciality still has a long way to go to reach general awareness: 40% of respondents were unable to identify what a urologist does, 10% stated that they had never even heard of a urologist and almost 15% believe that a urologist treats disorders of the skeletal, nervous or circulatory systems.”The results of our latest survey clearly demonstrate that people are ill-informed when it comes to urological conditions. Men in particular have less knowledge than women and turn a blind eye to symptoms and early diagnosis” comments Prof. Hein Van Poppel, urologist and Adjunct Secretary General of the EAU. “Persuading men to take their health seriously presents a serious challenge. They need to have a better understanding of the risk and symptoms of their conditions. They should be encouraged to seek support from a medical professional if they suspect anything unusual.”The Prostate Remains a Mystery to Many MenEvery year, almost 450,000 men across the continent will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, leading to 92,000 deaths in Europe2. Despite prostate cancer being the most common cancer in males throughout Europe, three quarters of men admitted that they have limited knowledge of its symptoms. Men are, in fact, more confident in recognizing the symptoms of breast cancer (31%) than they are of prostate cancer (27%).In addition to the low awareness of prostate cancer symptoms, just 1 in 4 respondents could correctly identify the location of the prostate and surprisingly, a higher proportion of women (28%) were able to identify the location of the prostate than males (22%). Worryingly, 54% of men believe that women have prostates.Erectile Dysfunction and Incontinence Still TaboosErectile dysfunction (ED) prevalence in Europe is estimated at 50%3 of the sexually active men of 50 years and older. However, the topic remains a taboo leading to misunderstanding and ignorance. 75% of the respondents were not aware of the numbers of men that suffer from erectile dysfunction in their country. Similarly, 85% were unaware of the amount of people in their country that suffer from urinary tract issues.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryNew minimally invasive technique to help men regain erectile function after prostate cancer surgeryScientists identify two genes that may play a role in prostate enlargement”Men’s health issues involve partners too”, says Prof. Van Poppel. “Women are more used to checking their bodies. They should encourage men to do the same and discuss their health more in detail. Women should actively participate in conversations with their male partners and doctors.”International Differences in Testicular Cancer KnowledgeTesticular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect younger men. However, survey results stated that only 18% of male respondents knew that men aged 16 to 44 years have the highest risk. Whilst knowledge was found to be low throughout Europe, there were stark differences; only 10% of the respondents from Spain know the at-risk age group compared to 27% in the UK.Symptom awareness was also low with 70% of men lacking confidence in recognizing the symptoms of testicular cancer, which may include a swelling or lump in one of the testicles and a dull ache or sharp pain in the testicles or scrotum.Significant Delays in Visiting the DoctorSymptom awareness is recognized as a leading factor in the early diagnosis of urological conditions. The majority of deaths in male cancers occur because most men do not address their conditions in time. Despite this, they continue to ignore their symptoms and delay seeing their doctors.The survey reveals that 43% of people would not go to their doctor straight away if they notice blood in their urine; 23% would wait longer than a month if they suffered a frequent urge to urinate; 28% would wait for more than a week if they suffered burning or pain during urination; and only 17% of people surveyed associate pain in their lower abdomen with a serious problem.Professor of urology and Executive Member for Communications at the EAU, Manfred Wirth adds “Urological diseases are extremely common; they cause a lot of discomfort and at times, can be life-threatening. It’s time for Europe to change its attitude towards urology and invest in educational campaigns to increase urological knowledge and to break taboos.” Source:http://uroweb.org/last_img read more

Biologists identify the backup systems that ensure genes build limbs

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe COLD SPRING HARBOR, NEW YORK—Some aspects of our genomes would make a NASA engineer proud. Whereas spacecraft have many redundant systems that can kick in, such as when a thruster fails, cells have their own backup systems for regulating gene activity. But they are extraordinarily hard to understand, as was made clear last week when molecular biologists for the first time described the regulatory backups for two genes involved in mammalian limb formation. Understanding these redundancies, and how to bypass them, could be important for biomedical researchers wishing to manipulate gene activity to treat human diseases.Genes may carry information for building proteins, but a host of other factors, including the DNA between genes that doesn’t encode proteins, tells them when to make their proteins. And this so-called noncoding DNA plays a role in some diseases, studies have shown. Noncoding DNA includes stretches called enhancers, short sequences that help control a target gene.  Geneticists have identified hundreds of thousands of potential enhancers in our genome, but verifying their role in DNA regulation and disease is a daunting proposition. “We still don’t have a good understanding of what [many do],” says Yang Li, a computational biologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.For the new study, presented last week at the Biology of Genomes meeting here, molecular biologist Marco Osterwalder of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and colleagues harnessed a powerful new gene-editing technique called CRISPR to figure out exactly how some of these candidate enhancers work. The method speeds up the development of “knockout” mice that lack a particular enhancer, helping reveal its function.center_img The lab already had preliminary evidence for more than 1200 enhancers. And in the new tests, Osterwalder used CRISPR to knock out 10 of the enhancers in different mouse embryos. These enhancers were located close to genes involved in limb development, so he and his colleagues expected the embryo’s limbs to be defective in some way. But to their dismay, there were no such abnormalities, he reported last week. Wondering whether other enhancers pick up the slack—providing a backup system to keep limb development on track—Osterwalder and his colleagues bred mice lacking a pair of enhancers specifically implicated in digit formation.  Those mouse embryos developed extra digits, just as an embryo would have if the enhancers’ target gene, Gli3, itself had been defective, he reported at the meeting.To further explore this redundancy, the team then knocked out one or both of those enhancers in mice in which they had also knocked out one of the pair of Gli3 genes that control digit number. Typically, with one copy of that gene out of commission, embryos make only half the normal amount of Gli3 protein—and an extra thumb forms. When scientists also knocked out just one of the enhancers in the same mice, the embryos again grew an extra thumb. But when scientists knocked out both enhancers in the mice with one missing Gli3, the mice grew several extra digits. Those results are the same if the enhancers are intact but both copies of the gene itself are defective, indicating that the amount of protein determines the number of digits. The enhancers “are redundant on an organismal level, but additive at a molecular level,” Osterwalder concluded. “It is really a wonderful experiment” says William Greenleaf, a biophysicist at Stanford who was not involved with the work. “It represents the logical next step in the mapping of regulatory elements.”Three years ago, another team studying enhancers in the development of the mouse face and skull uncovered similar complexity. And studies in Drosophila suggest, too, that interactions of multiple enhancers are commonplace. Already, researchers have linked noncoding DNA to Crohn disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders, suggesting that enhancers could be targets for medical manipulation. And “we are finding more associations all the time,” says Joseph Pickrell, an evolutionary geneticist at the New York Genome Center in New York City. But given the complexity revealed by the CRISPR experiments, understanding how enhancers interact with diseases “is going to be a marathon,” he predicts. Emaillast_img read more

Crimesolving technique maps the underground lair of the Slovenian dragon

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS—Although the blind cave salamander Proteus anguinus is one of the national animals of Slovenia, it’s so shy that there have been only about 300 sightings in 300 years. Now, molecular biologists have learned how to keep track of these elusive animals without having to see them: by using a new probe that detects their DNA in the springs in which they swim. Already the probe—described here last week at the 2016 International Conference on Subterranean Biology—has detected Proteus in places it’s never been known to go. The approach has also provided tantalizing evidence that a rare black subspecies of the typically white creature might actually be a bona fide species of its own.The work opens up new possibilities for the salamander’s conservation and also for using so-called environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor animals that live where humans just can’t go. “It has fantastic utility because so many aquatic cave habitats are unavailable to us,” says Rick Olson, an ecologist at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky who was not involved with the work.Cave animals are among the most bizarre and understudied creatures on this planet. And Proteus tops the list, as the world’s biggest cave animal and Europe’s only cave vertebrate. It lives in underground aquifers in Slovenia, surfacing only when floodwaters sweep it from its lair. At 30 centimeters, Proteus is a giant among salamanders, and—like most cave creatures—it has lost its eyes and its color. Lab-raised specimens show that the amphibian can live for more than a century. It becomes sexually mature about the same time as humans (age 14), but it can reproduce only once every 7 years. And it can go years without eating a thing and survive just fine. Four hundred years ago, locals thought the salamanders were baby dragons, with mythical protective powers.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe But little has been done to ensure the animals’ survival, despite its status as a European “priority” species—one that deserves the government’s protection. The rare, black Proteus may be even more endangered than the white Proteus, the more common form of the species. Since it was first discovered in 1986, it has only been sighted at four springs in southeastern Slovenia.Frustrated that biologists don’t know the first thing about how big or widespread the salamander populations are, Špela Goricki, a molecular biologist at the Tular Cave Laboratory in Kranj, Slovenia, decided to borrow a forensic technique more commonly used in law enforcement: eDNA. The method, which detects DNA from skin cells, hair, and other cells released into the environment, has already been used to track surface organisms like invasive fish and snakes. But it had never before been used to track cave creatures.By analyzing Proteus DNA from previously collected specimens, Goric​ki designed genetic probes, short stretches of genetic material that differentially link to its DNA but bypass that of other organisms. Further, the team has designed the probes so they can differentiate white Proteus DNA from black. Goric​ki and her colleagues then systematically surveyed dozens of springs and caves in Slovenia known or suspected to have Proteus residents. They also checked underground water in nearby Montenegro and Herzegovina.Black Proteus DNA showed up in five new places all within a few kilometers of each other. The team also found evidence for white Proteus in new spots, including Herzegovina and Montenegro. What’s more, the team found the first evidence that these two groups might sometimes live side by side, suggesting that they are two separate species. If they were a single species, such side-by-side living would lead to interbreeding. But that doesn’t seem to have happened, Goric​ki says.But the wider range doesn’t mean that the salamanders are any safer than they were. More agriculture in the area means more nitrogen and phosphorous in the aquifers where they live, which could be toxic to the animals, Goric​ki says. “I hope the conservation authorities will fulfill their promise” to develop more effective ways to protect this species, she adds.Even if that plan is slow in coming, Goric​ki thinks her success will pave the way for other eDNA monitoring programs. “In 10 years, this will be the method of choice for rare and endangered species, as well as invasive species,” she predicts. Olson agrees. At Mammoth Cave National Park, researchers have already begun to use eDNA to keep track of the endangered Kentucky cave shrimp, Palaemonias ganteri. “Environmental DNA gives us a way of not only knowing if it’s present, but also the concentration of DNA can give an idea of relative abundance,” Olson says. And that will go a long way in helping conserve these species.last_img read more

To woo public Europe opens up on animal experiments but US less

first_img Such views contrast starkly with practices at many U.S. research institutions, which have been reluctant to publicly describe and defend their animal experiments. But the emerging European experience suggests that might be the wrong approach, says Tom Holder, UAR’s head of campaigns. He argues that “being more open doesn’t result in greater attacks from animal rights groups, but instead builds resilience in an institution and trust with the public.”Opponents of animal research counter that the new transparency is merely public relations. “A whitewash web page that includes content they choose to show—it’s just propaganda,” says Justin Goodman, vice president for advocacy and public policy at the White Coat Waste Project, a Washington, D.C.–based group that lobbies for transparency in U.S.-funded animal research.A fall in the polls Slipping support Pollsters have periodically asked U.K. adults whether they “accept animal experimentation” for medical research, and U.S. adults whether “medical testing on animals” is “morally acceptable.” By Meredith WadmanJul. 14, 2017 , 3:00 PM A pig at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom is prepared for surgery to insert an artificial blood vessel. Researchers hope to replace veins used in human heart bypass operations with more durable vessels. To woo public, Europe opens up on animal experiments, but U.S. less transparent Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In the United Kingdom, one catalyst for the transparency push was a sudden drop in public acceptance of animal research between 2010 and 2012—a decline of 10 percentage points, to 66%, according to a government-commissioned poll. UAR, the London-based Science Media Centre, research institutions, and funders including the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council began discussing responses. The result was a 2014 Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the United Kingdom, now signed by 116 life science organizations, including 42 universities. The signatories pledge to improve communication about their research by detailing when, how, and why they use animals, and by launching projects—such as the video tour—that pull in the public. Last October, for the first time, the top 10 U.K. research universities joined together to publicize the number of animal experiments they conducted the previous year. The number for the entire United Kingdom in 2016 was released yesterday. The Home Office reported that 3.94 million procedures were done, a decline of 5%, or 206,000 experiments, from 2015.Since the concordat was launched, public support for animal research has stabilized in the United Kingdom, although showing cause and effect is difficult. Meanwhile, similar efforts are underway elsewhere in Europe. In Spain, 90 institutions and societies last year signed an animal research transparency agreement. Institutions in Belgium, France, and Germany are exploring ways to emulate the U.K. model.In the United States, a lower profileIn the United States, few research players have adopted proactive communication strategies, according to Speaking of Research (SoR), a group based in London and Washington, D.C., that advocates for biomedical research. It monitors websites of institutions that conduct or fund animal research in a dozen countries, and grades their transparency efforts. To make SoR’s list, an organization must at a minimum maintain a public web page with a position statement on animal research.Although at least 1000 U.S. research facilities use animals, SoR’s list includes just 65 U.S. universities, as well as 39 other groups, including charities, government labs, and drug companies. Just two universities—the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, along with several federally funded National Primate Research Centers—earn SoR’s top marks. More than half of the universities—including private research powerhouses such as Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins universities—get low grades because they don’t present case studies, videos, or extensive public-facing information about their animal research on a dedicated website.Johns Hopkins says that it works hard to communicate its animal work by highlighting it in press releases, and that it lacks a dedicated animal research web page because its web content is decentralized. Harvard says it is treading a fine line between openness and keeping its scientists safe. Stanford pointed to a three-paragraph online statement on animal research that notes achievements such as the isolation of insulin.In contrast, the University of Wisconsin in Madison offers a website with a long, easy reading list of its animal research highlights. It includes scores of findings with relevance to human or animal health, including the 2012 discovery in a rat model showing that iron deficiency worsens fetal alcohol syndrome, and the use of pigs to learn that Tasers can send the heart into an often-fatal abnormal rhythm. A hot topics tab includes a video responding to a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in Norfolk, Virginia, which used public records law to obtain stark photos of a cat with a steel post implanted in its skull and wires connected to brain electrodes through holes drilled in her skull, used by university researchers to study how the brain processes sound. In the video, now-retired neuroscience chairman Tom Yin explains how the experiments in cats made clear that two cochlear implants would help deaf people more than one. The video opens with a formerly deaf man singing the praises of his implants.Because the University of Wisconsin’s 7-year-old website was up and running when PETA launched its campaign, “we had this place to respond,” says Terry Devitt, the university’s director of research communications. “We could tell our own story.”Some research advocates worry the anemic U.S. outreach is allowing animal research opponents to define the debate, and may be contributing to a slide in public support for animal studies. Approval of animal research hit a new low in a U.S. Gallup poll released in May; 51% said “medical testing on animals” is “morally acceptable,” down from 65% in 2001. Disapproval was highest among adults younger than 35. Such numbers suggest that “in the U.S. there has not been enough proactive communication,” says Kirk Leech, executive director of the London-based European Animal Research Association.One group, Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) in Washington, D.C., wants to change that. Last month it launched a website, Come See Our World. It provides photos and videos of research animals, along with background information on the experiments. Individual U.S. scientists are becoming more willing to publicly discuss their animal work, says Paula Clifford, AMP’s executive director. But “the sticking point is the risk assessment of the higher-ups” at research institutions, she says.Leech, for one, believes U.S. institutions must become more tolerant of the risks of openly describing their animal work. If research advocates keep “sticking our heads in the sand and hoping [animal rights activists] will go away,” he predicts, “we will fail.”To be sure, animal researchers on both sides of the Atlantic can be anxious about going public. Andrew Parker, a University of Oxford physiologist who uses rhesus macaques to study binocular vision, is one of the researchers who speaks about his work at LabAnimalTour.org. “I have had a number of people tell me that ‘It’s quite brave’—which in the U.K. usually is code for ‘risky,’” he says. But “the climate has changed” in United Kingdom, he believes. “There is more [public] willingness to listen to the discussion of and opinions of scientists on animal research—which in itself builds confidence.” Richard Scrase/Understanding Animal Research Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Credits: (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) Ipsos MORI, Gallup Last month, a London-based group that supports the use of animals in biomedical science began inviting the public to take an unusual digital tour of laboratories at four U.K. research institutions. At LabAnimalTour.org, users can watch a monkey with a bolt in its skull forage in its cage at a University of Oxford neuroscience lab and a technician check on some of the 8000 mice housed in one room at the Medical Research Council’s Harwell Institute. Another video shows researchers preparing a pig for surgery at the University of Bristol.The tour—created by the nonprofit Understanding Animal Research (UAR), which is funded by groups including universities, companies, and charities—is part of a growing push by research institutions and funders in the United Kingdom and some European countries to open up about animal experiments. Faced several years ago with polls showing declining public support for animal research, institutions there began shedding their traditional queasiness about discussing the sometimes controversial work.At the University of Bristol, where just 2 decades ago animal rights activists planted one bomb that damaged a major building and another that targeted a veterinary scientist, there was “complete positivity” about putting their animal research on display, says Maggie Leggett, the university’s director of communications. “We believe in openness. We are using taxpayers’ money. People have a right to know.”last_img read more

Social media bots tried to influence the US election Germany may be

first_imgAdapted from pe-art/ISTOCKPHOTO by G. Grullón/Science Most researchers concentrate on Twitter, which does not prohibit automated accounts. The platform also makes 1% of tweets freely available through a programming interface—and, for a fee, it opens up 10%. After analyzing tweets from 14 million users worldwide, Emilio Ferrara, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute in Los Angeles, estimated that up to 15% of Twitter profiles—a whopping 50 million—are bots. And most are creatures of politics. “Among the few topics that bots focus on,” Ferrara says, “politics is certainly one of the most prominent, if not the most prominent.”Bots can inflate a topic’s importance or tarnish reputations by flooding social networks with fake news and by manipulating the currency of Twitter: likes and shares, follows and retweets. Just how that translates into votes is unclear, says Simon Hegelich, a political scientist at the Bavarian School of Public Policy at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. Bots are unlikely to change voters’ preferences, he believes, but they might influence decisions on whether to vote at all. “It’s hard to test this in a scientifically rigorous fashion,” he says.Germany seemed a good place to try. The German parliament’s network was hacked in 2015—Russia is said to be the prime suspect—leading to worries that stolen emails might be published strategically to affect the election. (In France’s presidential election this spring, bots drew attention to stolen, as well as faked, documents.) Last October, Merkel urged political parties to refrain from using social bots; all major parties except Alternative für Deutschland agreed.Now, research groups are trawling tens of millions of tweets related to the German elections for signs that bots are exerting influence. Lisa-Maria Neudert of the Computational Propaganda Project at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom is comparing current bot activity to patterns seen during Germany’s presidential elections last February. In that election, in which a political body called the Federal Assembly votes rather than the public, bots accounted for a small fraction of political tweets, Neudert says. She expects more bot activity in the upcoming election, where public opinion is at stake. On 3 September, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main opponent Martin Schulz faced off in an election debate that many viewers panned as more of a duet than a duel, a far livelier effort was underway on social media. People on Twitter started using the hashtag #verräterduell, which translates as “duel of traitors” and mirrors the claim by the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party that both Merkel’s mainstream Christian Democrats and Schulz’s Social Democrats have “betrayed” the country.Yet much of the venom may not have been fueled by angry voters, researchers say. Instead it looks like the work of bots, or fake social media profiles that appear to be connected to human users, but are really driven by algorithms.With Germans going to the polls on 24 September to elect their new parliament, experts are watching closely for signs of automated propaganda on social networks. So far, bots seem less active than they did in the recent presidential elections in France and the United States, where some commentators believe Russia was seeking to boost right-wing candidates. But researchers sensitized by past elections are making the German contest a laboratory for studies of how to recognize bots and trace their effects. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email By Kai KupferschmidtSep. 13, 2017 , 3:45 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Bot-spotting is one of the biggest challenges in the burgeoning field. Neudert’s metric is crude, she acknowledges: She labels any account that posts more than 50 tweets a day using certain political hashtags as a bot. “That’s wrong in both directions,” Hegelich says. Some human users post more, and some bots post far less. But Neudert says that method has been surprisingly good at spotting bots.Earlier versions of social bots were easy to identify because many posted continuously day and night, but in the arms race between botmakers and bot-detectors they have become harder to identify. (There are signs that botmakers have adapted to Neudert’s rule, staying just below 50 tweets.) “You can never be 100% sure whether a profile is a bot,” Hegelich says. To detect the fingerprints of bots during the Merkel-Schulz debate, scientists in a project called PropStop relied on other measures of behavior. They found that accounts using the #verräterduell hashtag tended to be newer profiles and retweeted existing messages more often than other accounts.Many researchers are turning to machine-learning techniques to distinguish real and fake users. For instance, Ferrara arrived at his estimate of bots using an algorithm that he trained on millions of tweets from verified human users and bots. It tracks hundreds of features, including an account’s age and use of emoticons. (Bot-generated content tends to be emotionally charged.) Hegelich, who is probing for correlations between voter turnout in the upcoming election and bot activity, examines factors such as the distribution of exclamation marks to pinpoint bots. Humans are inconsistent, he says. “Most bots either use a lot of exclamation marks or never.” But even the most sophisticated models probably miss many bots, Ferrara says. “We do a very good job at detecting simple bots, but for the more complex and advanced ones based on [artificial intelligence] we only have few examples, and we probably miss most of them these days.”Perhaps the most urgent question is who is behind the bots. Ferrara tracked bots that were deployed in last year’s U.S. presidential election. After Donald Trump’s victory, “these accounts sort of went dark,” Ferrara says. Some roared back to life in April, on the eve of the French election, pushing Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate in France’s election, he says. A number even switched to French language.Ferrara is now investigating whether the same bots are active in Germany. If that’s the case, a handful of bad actors may be leading a veritable army of social media bots, seeking to tip elections in country after country.last_img read more

US House approves 2018 spending bills but process far from finished

first_img By David MalakoffSep. 14, 2017 , 3:02 PM The U.S. House of Representatives today took a major step toward setting federal science budgets for the 2018 fiscal year that begins 1 October. But Congress is still far from the finish line, and final spending levels aren’t likely to be finalized until late this year at the earliest.Legislators voted largely along party lines in approving a package of 12 appropriations bills that would provide about $1.23 trillion in 2018 for so-called discretionary programs. That category covers about one-third of the federal budget and includes most research budgets. (The rest pays for mandatory entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and interest on the $20 trillion national debt.)The good news for the research community is that the 211-to-198 vote by the House largely rejects deep cuts to science programs proposed by President Donald Trump earlier this year—and even calls for spending increases at a few agencies, including $1.1 billion more for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But the budgets of several research agencies would shrink by a few percentage points, or remain at existing levels. Email Overall, the House bills call for increasing federal spending on basic research by about 2.6%, to $35.6 billion, in 2018, according to an analysis by the R&D Budget and Policy Program of AAAS (publisher of ScienceInsider). Much of that increase would be dedicated to defense and health research. Trump’s budget request had called for a 16.7% cut in basic research, to $28.9 billion. More detailed numbers on specific agency budgets are available on the AAAS program’s 2018 appropriations dashboard.The House bills will ultimately have to be reconciled with versions passed by the Senate, which has yet to finish work on any of its 12 spending bills. To give themselves more time, lawmakers have already voted to extend 2017 spending levels for 10 weeks into the new fiscal year. That extension, known as a continuing resolution, expires on 8 December, and it is not clear whether lawmakers and the White House will be able to reach a 2018 spending agreement by then. If they can’t, Congress will have to pass another continuing resolution to avert a government-wide shut down.In addition to the budget numbers, science and university groups have been tracking a number of policy provisions that have been attached to the House bills. Legislators adopted language that would block funding for efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, ease the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle a regulation aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands, and bar the administration from fully considering the costs of greenhouse gas pollution in setting regulations.Here’s a sampling of other research-related issues raised by the House bills: U.S. House approves 2018 spending bills, but process far from finished Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Abortion and public health: The House foreign aid bill would end funding for the U.N. Population Fund, and codify the Trump administration’s decision to bar federal funding to global health programs that aid overseas groups that provide information about abortion. (That ban previously applied only to family planning groups.) A Senate spending panel has taken the opposite stance on both issues. Climate change: The House prohibits U.S. contributions to the multinational Green Climate Fund to help developing nations combat climate change, and eliminates other climate-related programs. The Senate would continue some U.S. contributions to international climate programs and other climate-related programs targeted by the House. Fetal tissue research: The House bill that funds NIH would prohibit funding for research involving fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions. A Senate panel wouldn’t go that far, but it has called for NIH to study whether researchers could get by on fetal tissue obtained only from stillbirths and spontaneous abortions. Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E): The House wants to defund ARPA-E, a Department of Energy agency tasked with helping risky energy technologies move from the laboratory to the marketplace. But a Senate panel has voted to give it an 8% increase, to $330 million. Genetically engineered salmon: The House’s agriculture spending bill is silent on whether the United States should allow the import and sale of genetically engineered salmon, but the Senate bill would ban such fish. OGphoto/iStockphoto Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Here are some other recent ScienceInsider stories on the 2018 appropriations process.Why a flat 2018 budget could tie NSF’s handsChallenges mount for a successful 2020 U.S. censusTrump wants 2018 NIH cut to come from overhead payments With unusual candor, Senate appropriators ‘reject’ cuts to energySenate spending panel would squeeze science agencies but exceed Trump requestHouse lawmakers balk at most Trump science cuts in early billslast_img read more

Plan to replicate 50 highimpact cancer papers shrinks to just 18

first_img An ambitious project that set out nearly 5 years ago to replicate experiments from 50 high-impact cancer biology papers, but gradually shrank that number, now expects to complete just 18 studies.“I wish we could have done more,” says biologist Tim Errington, who runs the project from the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia. But, he adds, “There is an element of not truly understanding how challenging it is until you do a project like this.”The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology (RP:CP) began in October 2013 as an open effort to test replicability after two drug companies reported they had trouble reproducing many cancer studies. The work was a collaboration with Science Exchange, a company based in Palo Alto, California, that found contract labs to reproduce a few key experiments from each paper. Funding included a $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, enough for about $25,000 per study. Experiments were expected to take 1 year. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Plan to replicate 50 high-impact cancer papers shrinks to just 18 DAVIDE BONAZZI By Jocelyn KaiserJul. 31, 2018 , 5:45 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The project quickly drew criticism from authors of the original studies and others who worried that the replication studies would inevitably fail because the contract labs lacked the expertise needed to replicate the work.Costs rose and delays ensued as organizers realized they needed more information and materials from the original authors; a decision to have the proposed replications peer reviewed also added time. Organizers whittled the list of papers to 37 in late 2015, then to 29 by January 2017. In the past few months, they decided to discontinue 38% or 11 of the ongoing replications, Errington says. (Elizabeth Iorns, president of Science Exchange, says total costs for the 18 completed studies averaged about $60,000, including two high-priced “outliers.”)One reason for cutting off some replications was that it was taking too long to troubleshoot or optimize experiments to get meaningful results, Errington says. For example, deciding what density of cells to plate for an experiment required testing a range of cell densities. Although “these things happen in a lab naturally,” Errington says, this work could have proceeded faster if methodological details had been included in the original papers. The project also spent a lot of time obtaining or remaking reagents such as cell lines and plasmids (DNA that is inserted into cells) that weren’t available from the original labs.One of the effort’s lessons: Disclosing more protocol details and making materials freely available directly from the original lab or through services like Addgene would speed scientists’ ability to build on the work of others. “Communication and sharing are low-hanging fruit that we can work on to improve,” Errington says. Another problem, Iorns adds, is that academic labs rarely validate their assays, making it difficult to know whether a positive result is real or “just noise.”The project has already published replication results for 10 of the 18 studies in the journal eLife. The bottom line is mixed: Five were mostly repeatable, three were inconclusive, and two studies were negative, but the original findings have been confirmed by other labs. In fact, many of the initial 50 papers have been confirmed by other groups, as some of the RP:CB’s critics have pointed out.The RP:CB team is now writing up the remaining eight completed studies and a meta-analysis and summary of the project. The 11 incomplete studies, which will be published in brief form, will still “have a lot of value, but not as much” as the completed replications, Errington says.last_img read more

House Democrats move to block part of Trumps fetal tissue policy

first_imgShawn Clover/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) By David MalakoffJun. 13, 2019 , 12:35 PM Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives moved today to block part of President Donald Trump’s recent policy to restrict federal funding for studies that use human fetal tissue donated after elective abortions. But their effort faces an uncertain road ahead.On a largely party line vote, lawmakers voted 225 to 193 in favor of an amendment to a 2020 spending bill that would bar the Trump administration from convening ethics advisory boards to review grant applications at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for studies that use fetal tissue. Three Democrats and all Republicans voted against the amendment.The Trump administration’s new policy, released 5 June, includes a requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convene a 14- to 20-member ethics advisory board to review each and every NIH application that has been found worthy of funding by reviewers and involves human fetal tissue from elective abortions. The board would have up to 5 months to make a funding recommendation to the HHS secretary, who can accept or reject the advice. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country House Democrats move to block part of Trump’s fetal tissue policy Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Today’s amendment, to a spending bill that covers HHS and NIH for the 2020 fiscal year that begins on 1 October, would bar HHS from expending money to convene the panels. The amendment is sponsored by Representative Mark Pocan (D–WI) and nine other Democrats.Yesterday, a coalition of biomedical research groups, universities, and patient advocacy organizations released a letter supporting Pocan’s amendment. “We are deeply concerned about the delayed development of new therapies and the loss of scientific knowledge that will result from [the Trump administration] policy, and strongly support your attempts to prevent its implementation,” the groups wrote to Pocan and other amendment co-sponsors.One opponent of the amendment, however, questioned its wisdom during brief floor debate this morning. “How can we stand in good conscience and say we’re going to take … one of the most controversial areas of research and wall it off and say the federal government can’t consider ethics?” said Representative Andy Harris (R–MD). “Oh my gosh, that’s a step way too far.”Pocan and his allies still face numerous obstacles to blocking the Trump policy. The Republican-controlled Senate would have to agree to allow the amendment to remain in any final version of the spending bill. And Trump could veto any spending package that carries the language. Any final deal on the spending bill might not come until late this year.Update, 13 June, 1:46 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect the roll call vote to pass the amendment.last_img read more

Charges Dropped Against Florida Teen Beaten By Police

first_img A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ So wrong!! Hurts me to my soul!! To think that could be my sons. . Scary times man https://t.co/tRxk6sV7sb— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 20, 2019Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen suggested last week that the arresting officer could have used much more discretion and tact.“After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away. If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground,” Bogen said in a statement released Friday.In the arrest warrant affidavit by Deputy Christopher Krickovich, one of the officers in the video, claimed Lucca took an “aggressive stance” toward another officer while they were arresting a different teenager for trespassing.“While I was dealing with the male on the ground, I observed his phone slide to the right of me and then behind me,” Krickovich wrote. “I observed a teen wearing a red tank top reach down and attempt to grab the male student’s phone.”The affidavit also said the “officers feared for their safety,” the cop punched the teenager as “a distractionary technique” and “this technique was successful and I was able to place him into handcuffs without further incident.” Broward County , Florida , Lucca , Police Brutality Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony A 15-year-old in Florida, who has only been identified as Lucca, went viral for all the wrong reasons last week after footage of him being brutalized by the cops spread across the internet. Lucca was pepper sprayed in the face and had his head slammed into the ground multiple times on Thursday because Broward County cops said he was acting “aggressive.”Although he was the victim, he was still charged with assault, resisting arrest and trespassing.Finally, Florida prosecutors dropped all the charges, NBC News reported Tuesday night. However, the fallout was far from over.SEE ALSO: All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s Execution“Once again, we see that this promise does not extend to people of color — one would hope that an unarmed 15-year-old child would not be treated in this brutal manner, no matter the circumstances,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, one of the lawyers representing Lucca’s family, said in a statement on Tuesday. WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY***This is typical of Broward Cops****Taravella is minutes from Parkland*****Our children deserves better****pic.twitter.com/OwGJdqDSaB— Ryan Deitsch (@Ryan_Deitsch) April 18, 2019The affidavit also claimed Krickovich and his partner Sgt. Greg LaCerra responded to a call from a McDonald’s in Tamarac, Florida, at around 3 p.m. on Thursday. Employees allegedly reported a large group of teens gathering for a fight outside the restaurant. Krickovich wrote that the McDonald’s was a popular after-school gathering place for students and the scene of frequent fights.Krickovich has reportedly been placed on leave but now that charges are dropped against Lucca, the question is — will the officers have charges filed against them?SEE ALSO:Some No Name, Pitchy R&B Singer Disrespected Keith Sweat And Gets Demolished On TwitterOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothes Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Familycenter_img Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Braford Jr. More By NewsOne Staff Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist Celebrities such as Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and LeBron James have spoken out about the injustice. See the video below of the Broward County police and decide for yourself if that is “successful.”last_img read more

Scientists Destroyed a 507 YearOld Clam While Trying to Pry it Open

first_imgIn the 507 years that Ming the Clam was alive at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea, the world changed. Great empires rose and fell again into the dust, the Industrial Revolution transformed human society, and two world wars claimed millions of lives. Ming’s age was calculated by counting the annual growth rings on his shell. However, the clam’s long life came to an abrupt end at the hands of the very scientists that were attempting to discover his age.Left valve of Arctica islandica shell WG061294R collected from the north Icelandic shelf. (Ming). Photo by Alan D Wanamaker CC By SA 3,0In 2006, a team of British scientists were engaged in a fact-finding mission off the coast of Iceland, as part of a study to discover the effects of climate change. Ming was collected with other specimens after they dredged the seabed.According to the Sunday Times, the scientists pried open the clam, killing it in the process. It was only later that they discovered that Ming was 507 years old, potentially one of the oldest living animals on Earth.Ming the Clam was born in 1499, which makes him the oldest living animal ever discovered. In the year that he was born, Leonardo Da Vinci was painting the Mona Lisa, and the Tudor king Henry VII was sitting on the throne of England.Ming the Clam. Photo by Bangoor UniversityThe clam was nicknamed Ming in the British media, as he was born during the rule of the Chinese Ming dynasty.In Iceland, he was named Hafrun, a female Icelandic name roughly translated as ‘mystery of the ocean’. The actual sex of the clam, however, remains unknown. He (or she) had been alive for so long it was impossible to determine.Ming’s untimely death may not have been entirely in vain. The scientists who discovered him hoped to analyze the growth rings on his shell in order to uncover the secrets of long life, in addition to understanding the long-term effects of climate change near the Arctic.Scientists funded by Help the Aged are attempting to find clues in Ming’s rings that will help us to understand why some creatures are able to resist the negative effects of aging. This could pave the way for discoveries that will help people to live for longer.Ming the Clam was born during the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor, who ruled the Ming dynasty in China between 1487 and 1505.The data from Ming’s shell has also helped scientists to understand the impact of climate change on marine life. According to National Geographic, quahog clams provide a particularly useful source of information about marine conditions, as each annual ring growth stores information about the environment and atmosphere in which they lived.By examining each ring, scientists are able to reconstruct historical sea temperatures and climatic conditions. Analysis of Ming, and the other clams in the sample, has demonstrated that changes to the world’s atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution are driving changes in sea temperatures and currents. These important discoveries help us to better understand the effects of human-induced climate change.Ocean quahog (Arctica islandica). Photo by Manfred Heyde CC BY-SA 3.0Ming the Clam is the oldest (non colonial) animal ever discovered, whose age can be calculated precisely. However, it’s highly likely that there are many more similar specimens under the sea, which may even be significantly older.The sample taken by the British scientists in Iceland was extremely small, comprising only 200 clams. Although Ming was the oldest clam found in the sample, it’s actually very likely that there are many more clams off the coast of Iceland, which may be 400 years old or even older.According to National Geographic, quahog clams like Ming stop growing when they reach a certain age and size. This means that it’s actually very difficult to tell whether a clam is 80 years old, or 300 years old.Read another story from us: Extinct Predator Cave Lions Could be Brought Back to LifeAlthough Ming’s life was cut short prematurely, he’s an important reminder that the oceans contain many mysteries yet to be discovered.last_img read more

Joining forces to make a difference

first_imgJoining forces to make a difference Photo courtesy of Cindy TafoyaMembers of the self-proclaimed Let’s Clean Holbrook Squad did just that on Oct. 21 as they tackled The Plainsman building on West Hopi Drive. The group cleared out weeds, removed debris and washed graffiti from windows, making a tremendous difference along one of Holbrook’s main thoroughfares. Those who took time out of their weekend to serve their community included (left to right) Sonya Brinkerhoff, Katrina Jaime, Johnny Jaime, Ray Bazan, Cindy Tafoya, John Jimenez, Sandy King, Theresa Tafoya holding Elijah Jaime, Tany Tafoya, Levi Tafoya, Tamara Bazan, Mayor Bobby Tyler, (not pictured) Pete Tafoya, John Truscott and Doris Gerwitz. Even the little ones helped out, including (in the wheelbarrow) Remy Tafoya, Hayden Tafoya and Adriel Jaime. RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img November 1, 2017last_img read more

Winslow to move forward with public transit plan

first_imgWinslow to move forward with public transit plan December 21, 2017 By L. Parsons The Winslow City Council voted to approve the hiring of a yet to be named transit manager, a generic overview of which transit plan to adopt and the matching $100,000 for theSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Real danger to Kashmir is not from Pakistan but from Kashmiri leaders

first_img Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena Saamana, Saamana, Saamana editorial, Saamana editorial Kashmir, Shiv Sena Kashmir, Kashmir Article 370, Article 370 Shiv Sena Mumbai, Mumbai news It criticised Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti for their stand against the abrogation of Article 370. (File)The Shiv Sena on Thursday said that the real danger to Kashmir is not from Pakistan but from Kashmiri leaders who, it said, are the enemies of Kashmiri people. Party mouthpiece Saamana said that the main issue in Kashmir is not the Assembly polls but the abrogation of Article 370. Related News In an editorial in Saamana, it said that the Jammu and Kashmir issue is not in Pakistan but in our country. Justifying the extension of Presidential Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, it said, “The environment in the Valley will be made normal. The main issue in Kashmir is not the polls but the abrogation of Article 370.”It criticised Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti for their stand against the abrogation of Article 370.“The people who are saying — Keep Kashmir independent without following Indian laws and Constitution, we have nothing to do with Kashmir and if you don’t pamper us, we are ready to sit on the lap of Pakistan — need to understand that the government is led by PM Narendra Modi in Delhi. The days of buying peace in Kashmir has gone,” said the editorial. 1 Comment(s) Pachora ready for Aaditya Thackeray’s maiden rally in Jalgaon Maharashtra: Shiv Sena to protest non-payment of farmers’ claims by insurance companies Advertising Shiv Sena’s protest against insurance firms ‘nautanki’: Congress’ Vijay Wadettiwar By Express News Service |Mumbai | Updated: July 5, 2019 9:15:48 am Advertising The Sena said that development works worth crores have been taking place in Jammu and Kashmir under Modi and the previous governments as well. “To generate employment, the industries need to come and tourism business should be run smoothly. To increase the trade and industry in Kashmir, the laws need to be changed and Article 370 needs to be abrogated,” the editorial said.The Sena further said that leaders like Dr Farooq Abdullah have become a burden for the country and Mehbooba Mufti’s hatred against India keeps coming out.“She made a controversial statement on the Indian cricket team’s defeat against England due to the saffron jersey. Her pain is that Pakistan went out of the World Cup due to India’s defeat… Such leaders are the enemies of the Kashmiri people. The real danger to Kashmir is not from Pakistan but from such leaders. Modi has crushed the hood of the Pakistani snake and it is now time to break these scorpions,” it said.last_img read more

Former head of climate change panel to stand trial for harassment

first_img Email Gurinder Osan/AP Photo By Sanjay KumarSep. 18, 2018 , 10:40 AM A court in New Delhi on Friday ordered Rajendra Pachauri, former head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to stand trial on criminal charges alleging that he sexually harassed a former colleague.The woman filed a police complaint against Pachauri, 78, in February 2015, and he stepped down from IPCC that month. Women’s rights and legal activists have since charged that authorities have been slow to act on that allegation and complaints that Pachauri harassed other women.Pachauri, who denies the allegations, faces up to 3 years in prison if convicted. Former head of climate change panel to stand trial for harassment Rajendra Pachauricenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The woman who filed the 2015 complaint alleged that after she began to work at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2013, an environmental think tank in New Delhi where Pachauri was director general, he made “constant requests to have a romantic and physical relationship” with her and kissed and grabbed her inappropriately. When she refused his advances, she says, he threatened to retaliate by not giving her work or transferring her. As a result, she quit in November 2015.She gave police thousands of text messages and emails allegedly involving Pachauri. In March 2016, police filed a 1467-page charge sheet against him. That same month, TERI decided not to renew Pachauri’s employment.“The case is absolutely concocted, baseless, without any material, and has been filed to defame Dr. Pachauri,” his lawyer, Ashish Dixit, told ScienceInsider. What’s more, Pachauri filed a pending defamation lawsuit against another woman, who alleged in 2016 that he sexually harassed her a decade earlier while she was working at TERI. That woman also said she resigned because of the harassment.last_img read more

Strong quake causes panic in eastern Indonesia tsunami warning lifted

first_img Advertising Undersea quake south of Indonesia’s Bali causes brief panic By AP |Jakarta | Updated: July 8, 2019 7:34:45 am indonesia earthquake, Indonesia quake, Indonesia tsunami, earthquake in indonesia, indonesia tsunami warning, tsunami warning in indonesia, indonesia earthquake tsunami warning, world news, Indian Express The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.9 quake was centered 185 kilometers (115 miles) southeast of Manado in the Molucca Sea at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles).A strong subsea earthquake late Sunday night caused panic in parts of eastern Indonesian and triggered a tsunami warning that was later lifted. There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties. Face of Indonesia disaster relief efforts dies at 49 The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.9 quake was centered 185 kilometers (115 miles) southeast of Manado in the Molucca Sea at a depth of 24 kilometers (15 miles).The national disaster agency said the tsunami warning that was in place for North Sulawesi and North Maluku was canceled just after midnight, about two hours after the quake hit.It said it was still gathering information but was hampered by loss of communications with disaster officials in North Maluku. Related News Advertising A hospital in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province, was damaged and patients evacuated, according to a local disaster official.The quake caused panic in the city of Ternate in the Maluku island chain, where people ran to higher ground, a witness told The Associated Press.The disaster agency said residents in Manado ran out of their homes in panic. It said residents in North Sulawesi and North Maluku should return to their homes.Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 260 million people, is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. Indonesian woman jailed for reporting sexual harassment to seek amnesty Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Yes to yoghurt and cheese New improved Mediterranean diet

first_imgImage Credit: Rimma Bondarenko / Shutterstock Dec 11 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Thousands of Australians can take heart as new research from the University of South Australia shows a dairy-enhanced Mediterranean diet will significantly increase health outcomes for those at risk of cardiovascular disease – and it’s even more effective than a low-fat diet. Cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, affecting 4.2 million Australians and killing one Australian every 12 minutes. Low-fat diets are often recommended as suitable food plans for those seeking to reduce their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) has been shown to deliver significant health benefits.In this UniSA study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared the health benefits of a MedDiet supplemented with two to three serves of dairy each day, and a generic low-fat diet.The results show that the dairy-supplemented MedDiet (MedDairy) significantly improved blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, mood and cognitive function.PhD candidate Alexandra Wade says the new MedDairy diet challenges popular perceptions of what is considered healthy.“The MedDiet is fast earning a reputation as the world’s healthiest diet and is renowned for delivering improved cardiovascular and cognitive health,” Wade says.“But it’s also higher in fat, which can be a deterrent for people seeking to adopt a healthier eating plan, especially if they don’t realise the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats.“In Australia, low-fat diets are often recommended for improving heart health and they are still perceived as being healthy.“This study shows that the new MedDairy works better than a generic low-fat diet, ensuring better health outcomes for people at risk of cardiovascular disease.”Related StoriesScientists examine hormonal links between diet and obesityLow-carb diet may reverse metabolic syndrome independent of weight lossDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesImportantly, the MedDairy diet also meets additional calcium requirements recommended by Australia’s national health bodies.A typical MedDiet includes extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals, moderate consumption of fish and red wine, and low consumption of red meat, sweet and processed foods. It also includes 1-2 servings of dairy foods (700-820mg calcium), which is less than half the dairy recommended by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for older Australians.“Living in Australia, we have different dietary requirements, notably a need for more calcium to protect against osteoporosis,” Wade says.“These needs are unmet in the traditional MedDiet, which makes it difficult for people to adopt in the long term.“This study delivers healthier options for Australians by tailoring the nutrients in the MedDiet to meet the needs of a non-Mediterranean population.“In Australia, women up to age 50 years – and men up to age 70 years – should consume 1000mg per day of calcium per day and 1300mg thereafter, which is roughly between 3.5 and 4.5 serves a day.“The new MedDairy diet allows for three to four servings with dairy, which means Australians can more sustainably meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes while also maintaining the significant health benefits offered through the MedDiet.“When it comes down to it, people want to be able to enjoy a colourful, tasty and nutritious diet. And if you’re one of the thousands of people seeking to improve your cardiovascular and cognitive health – look no further than the MedDairy diet.”Notes Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, with 43,477 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2017. CVD kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Causes of Death 2017, ABS cat. no. 3303.0, September. Cardiovascular disease affects one in six Australians or 4.2 million people. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016, National Health Survey: First results, 2014-15, ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, March. Data customised using TableBuilder. Source: https://www.unisa.edu.aulast_img read more

Researchers identify cause of inherited metabolic disorder

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 16 2019A new study from BC Children’s Hospital, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and an international team of researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to identify a rarely-seen type of DNA mutation as the cause of an inherited metabolic disorder.Inherited metabolic disorders — where the body can’t break down specific nutrients from food leading to a range of serious health problems — are often caused by a defective gene.In this important study, researchers found an unusual genetic mutation behind three children’s undiagnosed, degenerative conditions: a repeat expansion of DNA. In this specific mutation, the gene appears undamaged but does not function because the DNA adjacent to it has extended several hundred times its normal length.”To detect this kind of DNA multiplication, you can only use whole genome sequencing and have to search through billions of pieces of DNA; it’s truly a search for the needle in the haystack,” said lead author Dr. Clara van Karnebeek. “With our new approach we have finally solved our mystery cases, and we now expect to find the genetic cause of other, as of yet unexplained, genetic metabolic diseases.”To date, DNA repeat expansions have been linked to approximately 30 different diseases.”For kids with rare diseases and their families, finding the root causes of their disorders is tremendously important,” said Dr. Wyeth Wasserman, a co-author of the study. “A diagnosis gives us the potential to intervene, relieves undeserved parental guilt, and provides insights into more common diseases.”For a child with an unexplained medical condition, a diagnosis lays the groundwork for further research that could lead to new interventions such as gene therapy aimed at “turning on” the impaired gene, dietary modification or supplements that provide the nutrients the body is missing. Effective treatment can slow or stop damaging symptoms, improving the quality of life of children with rare disorders and their families.In this study, initial work by van Karnebeek and her research team narrowed the search for the genetic causes of this rare disorder to key areas of the genome. However, after further investigations using exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing, the international research team couldn’t pinpoint the error in the DNA.Related StoriesMolecular switches may control lifespan and healthspan separately, genetic discovery suggestsFungal infection study identifies specific genetic vulnerability among Hmong peopleResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeIt’s here that researchers at BC Children’s took a novel approach. Through in-depth, manual analysis and the use of emerging bioinformatics tools and techniques study co-authors Dr. Britt Drögemöller and Phillip Richmond discovered and confirmed that the gene responsible for the disorder was intact but a repeat expansion error prevented it from functioning.”In our search, we focused on variations that would have been hard to discover through exome sequencing” said Drögemöller. “After months of experimenting with various different analyses, we finally uncovered this novel genetic variant by using new targeted approaches aimed at identifying DNA repeat expansions.””These findings were made possible by a multidisciplinary approach and advances in technology, techniques and software,” said Richmond. “It wouldn’t have been possible as recently as two years ago and, most importantly, it shows us what to look for in other undiagnosed cases.”The gene identified as the cause of this particular disorder is an enzyme that enables the body to turn an amino acid called glutamine into glutamate. More work is needed to determine how exactly this genetic error leads to disease, but it’s likely that either a build-up of glutamine or the lack of glutamate caused the children’s serious developmental delays and disabilities including difficulty with language, speech, balance and coordination.Through collaborations with sequencing consortiums around the world, researchers were able to confirm that this particular repeat expansion was found in only 1 in 8,000 people, establishing the mutation as very rare.Over one million Canadians suffer from a rare disease and in over 50 per cent of these cases, the underlying genetic cause of the illness remains unknown.”We can do better for children with rare diseases. For the 50 per cent who can’t find answers, this discovery and new approach will help us dig in and potentially find the causes of their disease,” said Richmond. Source:https://www.ubc.ca/last_img read more

How Obamacare Medicare and Medicare for All muddy the campaign trail

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 13 2019The health care debate has Democrats on Capitol Hill and the presidential campaign trail facing renewed pressure to make clear where they stand: Are they for “Medicare for All”? Or will they take up the push to protect the Affordable Care Act?Obamacare advocates have found a powerful ally in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in a recent “60 Minutes” appearance said that concentrating on the health law is preferable to Medicare for All. She argued that since the ACA’s “benefits are better” than those of the existing Medicare program, implementing Medicare for All would mean changing major provisions of current Medicare, which covers people 65 and up as well as those with disabilities.This talking point — one Pelosi has used before — seems tailor-made for the party’s establishment. It’s politically palatable among moderates who believe that defending the ACA’s popular provisions, such as protecting coverage for those with preexisting conditions, fueled the Democrats’ House takeover in 2018.Progressive Democrats argue that the time has come to advance a far more disruptive policy, one that guarantees health care to all Americans. Those dynamics were on full display on Capitol Hill, as recently as an April 30 Medicare for All hearing.But this binary view — Medicare (and, for argument’s sake, Medicare for All) versus Obamacare — oversimplifies the issues and distracts from the policy proposals.”It’s sort of a silly argument,” said Robert Berenson, a health policy analyst at the Urban Institute, of Pelosi’s talking point. “She’s trying to argue the Affordable Care Act needs to be defended, and Medicare for All is a diversion.”As the debate continues, one point should be clear: Medicare for All would not look like the ACA or like Medicare today. Instead, it — or any other single-payer system — would drastically change how Americans get health care.Analyzing Medicare Isn’t That Helpful In Understanding ‘Medicare For All’ Proposals.Medicare for All is complicated, analysts noted, and the phrase is often deployed to mean different things, depending on who is speaking.What’s clear is that the “Medicare” described in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) legislation — the flagship Medicare for All proposal — would create a health program far more generous than traditional Medicare’s current benefit, or even the vast majority of health plans made available through the ACA.Sanders relied heavily on this concept during his 2016 Democratic presidential primary run and recently introduced an updated version in the Senate.To be fair, though, Sanders also sometimes blurs the lines between the programs. In a May 5 appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” he used existing Medicare as part of his sales pitch: “Medicare right now is the most popular health insurance program in the country,” he said. “But it only applies to people 65 years of age or older. All that I want to do is expand Medicare over a four-year period to cover every man, woman and child in this country.”As counterintuitive as it sounds, understanding Medicare as it works today isn’t helpful in envisioning a Medicare for All plan. Unlike with existing Medicare, the proposed health plan would cover things like nursing home care, vision care and dental services. It would get rid of cost sharing — meaning no premiums, deductibles or copays. (Sanders has acknowledged that financing the program would mean raising taxes.)”It’s not Medicare. It’s something different,” said Ellen Meara, a health economist at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.But voters may not grasp the differences between the existing Medicare program for seniors and the hypothetical one being discussed. Pelosi’s comments may add to that confusion. Pelosi’s office did not respond to a request for comment.Prioritizing efforts to bolster the ACA based on Medicare’s current benefit package “is convenient and not necessarily compelling,” Berenson said, adding: “No one is proposing the Medicare benefit package would be taken and applied nationally.”Related StoriesMedicare recipients may pay more for generics than their brand-name counterparts, study findsSocial Security error jeopardizes Medicare coverage for 250,000 seniorsMedicare system aimed at improving care, lowering costs may not be having as much impact as thoughtThat said, many of the presidential candidates have advanced far less sweeping health care options that would lower the Medicare age to 55 or allow people to buy in to the current Medicare program — an approach often referred to as a “public option.” Those would keep the program essentially structured as it is today.The Democratic Health Care Debate Is More Complicated Than These Familiar Words Suggest. Every analyst interviewed for this story floated some kind of concern regarding a Medicare for All system. There’s the issue of how people would respond to losing the option of private insurance — a likely consequence of Sanders’ proposal — and the question of what level of tax hikes would be necessary to finance such a system, particularly if it covers a big-ticket item such as long-term care. There are also concerns about the financial impact for hospitals, often large employers in a community, or for the private insurance industry jobs that would likely disappear.Focusing on current Medicare benefits misses the point, suggested Sherry Glied, a health economist and dean at New York University. When debating the merits of the ACA versus Medicare for All, Medicare’s current generosity is kind of a red herring, she said.Plus, making Obamacare or Medicare for All an either-or debate ignores a sizable political bloc: Democrats who say they support the ACA and see single-payer as a next step. That tension is at play with presidential candidates like Kamala Harris, who frame Medicare for All as an ultimate goal, while also backing incremental reforms.Comparing Medicare To Obamacare Is Difficult Since Each Offers Different Benefits To Different People. The problem is that both Medicare and Obamacare are vast programs. Depending on your income, health needs and the version you sign up for, either one could prove the better choice.”It’s impossible to say the ACA as a concept has more or less generous benefits,” Berenson said.Broadly, the ACA has protections in place that traditional Medicare doesn’t. It caps how much patients pay out-of-pocket, and it has more generous coverage of mental health care and substance abuse treatment. But, in practice, those benefits have proved elusive for many since Medicare generally has a more robust network of participating physicians than many of the ACA’s cheaper plans, which restrict patients to a narrower coverage network.Also, most beneficiaries don’t solely have traditional Medicare.About a third use Medicare Advantage, in which private insurance companies construct Medicare plans with benefits and protections based on factors like company, tier and geography. They, too, are often restricted to narrower networks.More than 1 in 5 traditional Medicare beneficiaries also receive Medicaid coverage, according to figures kept by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and about a third of them buy so-called Medigap plans, which are sold by private insurance and are meant to supplement gaps in coverage.The ACA also encompasses an array of coverage options. Which plans are available in an area and whether earnings qualify a consumer for a government subsidy— a tax break meant to make an ACA plan more affordable — make a significant difference in evaluating whether Medicare or an ACA plan offers better benefits for a particular person or family.Suggesting that one is clearly better than the other, Meara said, is a “gross oversimplification.”But that kind of oversimplification may be hard to avoid, especially in a primary season where health care is a top issue.”The Affordable Care Act is also not one thing, the way Medicare is not one thing,” said Katherine Baicker, dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. “So much of health care is more complicated than we can explain in a sound bite.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more