Volkswagen Starts Final Countdown To Phase Out Of Gas Diesel

first_img VW I.D. BUZZ CARGO, I.D. R & Cargo e-Bike Show Up In LA Source: Electric Vehicle News VW Will Build New North American Factory For Electric Cars Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 5, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News “In the year 2026 will be the last product start on a combustion engine platform,” Michael Jost (VW’s strategy chief) told the Handelsblatt automotive summit conference at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.The decision shows us how big a transformation is ahead for Volkswagen and other manufacturers.Source: Reuters The last internal combustion engine is to be launched in 2026.According to the latest news, Volkswagen plans to introduce the last generation of combustion engines in the year 2026. It will be produced for some time, but there will be no new generations afterwards.The German manufacturer will focus on electric cars, which in volume will be produced from 2020 (using all-new MEB platform for double-digit models under several brands).More from Volkswagen Exclusive: VW’s $21,000 Future EV Is Actually A Next-Gen e-Up!last_img read more

Tesla opens orders for cheaper Model 3 version in Europe and China

first_imgSource: Charge Forward https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVp0Cr2Pg4g&t=3308sThe post Tesla opens orders for cheaper Model 3 version in Europe and China appeared first on Electrek. Along with the changes to its vehicle lineup last night, Tesla also opened orders for a cheaper version of the Model 3 in European markets and China. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.last_img

SEC Chair Nominee Clayton – Because Of Exposure To FCPA And Related

first_imgThe flawed New Yorker article about the Trump Organization and its potential FCPA liability (see prior posts here and here as well as additional commentary here) continues to percolate.During yesterday’s Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on Jay Clayton’s nomination to head the SEC, the below exchange took place between Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Clayton.It was the only Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related question posed to Clayton during the hearing. (See this prior post for coverage of a report titled“The FCPA and its Impact on International Business Transactions – Should Anything Be Done to Minimize the Consequences of the U.S.’s Unique Position on Combating Offshore Corruption?” by the Clayton-chaired International Business Transactions Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York).BROWN: You’ve clearly thought a lot about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. As a lawyer in private practice, how — how would you advise a client interested in complying with the act, if that client was weighing going into business in Azerbaijan with a politically connected family known to be corrupt and tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard — and you know that’s not just a what if, that’s a real case?CLAYTON: No, I — I — I think that is a real case, and I’m — I’m going to not comment on a real case, but I’m going to comment on the question of how do you advise a client whose subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, who may be entering into business in a country that is well known for corruption.I think you have to tell the client to think long and hard about whether you want to have the potential exposure to — and not just the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but — but, thankfully now, which was not the case five, seven years ago, similar oversight and enforcement from other OECD countries.And — and — and in fact there are some jurisdictions where in the vast majority of the cases it may — it may make sense just not to participate.BROWN: I’m sure you know that the president was involved in that situation in 2012. He said that the FCPA is a horrible law that should be changed because it puts U.S. business at a huge disadvantage. I’m not asking you — I know you’ve had some similar kinds of thoughts, but I’m — I’m — I just — I think all of us want you to understand how important it is with a president like no other, in terms of family investments, in terms of the president’s family has gone overseas to do more investing while US taxpayers have paid to protect his families — his family when they are overseas.And how those raise questions, not for this hearing, but that you need to be particularly vigilant because he is your boss. I understand you have a fixed term but he is your boss and he is — continues to appear to be making money from around the world.And I’m hopeful that the standard will be high. We should send the message that American businesses — we — we shouldn’t be sending the message American businesses can be so successful partnering with corrupt entities.I — it’s bad for our moral standing in the world. It’s bad for developing country. It’s bad for investors.”last_img read more

UABled clinical trial intends to find innovative treatment for multiple myeloma patients

first_img Source:https://uab.edu/news/research/item/9429-uab-recruiting-for-clinical-trial-to-determine-therapies-for-eradication-of-multiple-myeloma May 15 2018Multiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer in the United States, impacting more than 25,000 people each year and disproportionatly affecting African-American men. While patients have access to more quality treatment therapies than ever before, the disease is still regarded as an incurable condition that often leads to death for those affected.However, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Hematology and Oncology are leading and currently recruiting for a Phase II clinical trial that intends to provide newly diagonosed multiple myeloma patients an innovative treatment plan. The hope is that the therapies will eradicate the disease in a significant proportion of patients and measure disease response more accurately than ever before.The clinical trial Monoclonal Antibody Sequential Therapy for Deep Remission in Multiple Myeloma, also known as MASTER, utilizes next generation sequencing technology to detect minimal residual disease down to a level of one cancer cell in 100,000 -; or 100- to 1,000-fold more sensitive than traditional methods to evaluate response. With a goal of enrolling 82 patients, those in the trial will be treated with a combination of anti-myeloma agents and immunotherapy that have a proven record of eliminating minimal residual disease, including the drug carfilzomib and the monoclonal antibody daratumumab, agents that are currently only approved to treat patients whose disease has returned.”I believe for the first time that we have treatments that are effective enough to make it possible to eradicate multiple myeloma definitively in a substantial proportion of patients, along with having the technology to detect that the disease has been targeted and that treatment can be stopped,” said Luciano Costa, M.D., Ph.D., scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, lead of the Hematologic-Malignancy Working Group, and principal investigator of the MASTER study. “That is what patients want, after all -; a treatment that gives them the possibility of eliminating any trace of the myeloma without having to be on therapy for the rest of their lives. It is a bold move, but bold moves are what our patients deserve.”Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwideMultiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer in the U.S., impacting more than 25,000 people each year and disproportionatly affecting African-American men.This is one of the first trials in multiple myeloma to use minimal residual disease as primary endpoint and the very first one to modify therapy based on achievement of minimal residual disease eradication.Up until now, existing therapies have been developed on trials that assigned treatment for a defined duration of time, irrespective of depth or speed of response, often followed by maintenance therapy for indefinite duration and with potentially adverse impact on risk of complications and cost. As it stands, patients with billions of cancer cells in their bodies and patients with true disease eradication will both appear to be in complete remission using current methods to measure disease response to therapy.More than improving the results of the initial treatment, the MASTER study will treat patients for the necessary time to confirm elimination of minimal residual disease and then discontinue therapy. Patients will be monitored for relapse at the molecular level, before disease becomes again symptomatic.last_img read more

Research highlights major role of nurse practitioners in rural areas

first_imgJun 5 2018Primary care is a critical piece of the healthcare puzzle because, for many people, it is the first point of contact with the healthcare system. Primary care is the early line of defense for screenings for major health conditions. Primary care providers also help patients with chronic conditions manage their disease and improve quality of life.Despite the critical importance of primary care physicians (PCPs), the United States is facing a shortage of those doctors. The number of up-and-coming PCPs is nowhere close to the amount who are late in their careers or retiring. This shortage creates a challenge for some urban and rural areas, where primary care physicians are notoriously harder to recruit.A key way to combat this shortage is to tap highly skilled nurse practitioners (NPs), who are choosing primary care at a much higher rate than physicians. Of the 248,000 NPs in the country, about 87 percent are trained in primary care and more are in the pipeline.The University of Delaware’s Hilary Barnes, an assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing, recently published a research article in Health Affairs about primary care’s increased reliance in nurse practitioners in rural and nonrural areas. They now account for 1 in 4 medical care providers in practices in rural areas – a 43.2 percent increase overall from 2008 to 2016.However, legislation in many states does not permit nurse practitioners to fully serve as primary care providers. Barnes is studying state-specific legislation on NP’s scope of practice, which vary greatly.”Some states are very restrictive,” Barnes said. “An NP has to maintain written agreements with a physician to practice and prescribe medication. In the most extreme examples, the law states that an NP must talk about every patient with a physician. Or that the physician has to sign for prescriptions.”States with restrictions at the highest level include Pennsylvania. Such regulations are challenging given the dwindling number of physicians in the field, and those rules also greatly undervalue an NPs’ ability deliver primary care safely and at a high level, Barnes described.Barnes also pointed to what she described as “mid-level” states regarding regulation (including New Jersey), which provided additional latitude, but not autonomy for NPs.”There’s an in-between where an NP needs a collaborative agreement to prescribe medication,” Barnes said. “The provider can practice independently of a physician, but, without prescriptive authority, you are limited on the services that you can provide to patients.”Barnes said that at the fully autonomous level, such as Delaware, states allow NPs to practice primary care without supervision of a physician. In 2015, UD’s STAR Health Sciences Complex played host to the signing of a pair of Senate bills – SB57 and SB101 – that give Delaware advance practice nurses more independence. Through these and similar laws, NPs are nationally certified and can practice independently -; known as full practice authority.Not surprisingly, states with more modern laws have more NPs providing primary care services to residents.”In the states with more restrictive laws, say you are a trained NP in a rural area who wants to practice primary care,” Barnes said. “Because there is no physician in town, you can’t have a collaborative agreement. Therefore, you can’t practice at the advanced practice level. Or, say you live in Mansfield, Pennsylvania; you might have to sign a collaborative agreement with a physician in Harrisburg -; a two and half hour drive.”Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchStudy: Stress experienced by premature infants can carry on throughout their adult lifeIf the physician collaborator moves away or retires, the NP loses the ability to practice. Additionally, more research is needed, but anecdotal evidence suggests that many NPs have to pay physicians to sign a collaborative agreement.Evidenced-based research has shown that more restrictive laws don’t improve patients care.Barnes added, “In states where the restrictions have been removed, care has not diminished. These restrictive laws don’t do anything to improve patient safety or quality of care. All that they are really doing is putting up barriers to primary care. Removing the practice restrictions can really only be a benefit.”States like Pennsylvania are currently evaluating proposed legislation to reduce restrictions, including NPs becoming independent primary care providers after a certain number of hours under a primary care physician.”These transition-to-practice hours are kind of a compromise,” Barnes said. “You are supervised by a physician for two or three years, an arbitrary number, before you can become independent. These laws are new, so we don’t have data on whether they are helpful or not. But, on the surface, they seem like another restriction.”Employment of advanced practice cliniciansBarnes and several collaborators recently published a research study in JAMA Internal Medicine entitled “Employment of Advanced Practice Clinicians in Physician Practices.” The researchers investigated levels of and changes in advanced practice clinician employment across different physician practices -; comparing 2008 and 2016. Advanced practice clinicians include physician assistants and NPs.The study paid particular attention to specialty practices, finding that approximately one in four specialty practices employ advanced practice clinicians (compared with one in three primary care practices). Historically, the NP role was developed to focus on primary care; most advanced practice clinicians are NPs. Hence, the expectation is that advanced practice clinicians would have a greater presence in primary care practices. Yet, the proportion of practices with advanced practice clinicians grew modestly over the past eight years.This sort of shows the growing willingness/interest/importance of NPs to all segments of healthcare delivery – more practices are hiring them and using them to deliver care.”We concluded that overall growth may be driven by number of factors,” Barnes said. “Factors include recent increases in graduates from advanced practice clinician programs, the emergence of value-based purchasing models that incentivize team-based care and downward price pressure from public and private payers, which makes the lower costs of advanced practice clinician employment more attractive.” Source:http://www.udel.edu/last_img read more

Patients who develop AFib following TAVR have greater risk for complications

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 3 2018Better care management strategies are needed to help reduce risksPatients developing AFib after TAVR are at higher risk of death, stroke and heart attack compared to patients who already had AFib prior to the procedure, according to a study today in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. The paper is the first nationwide examination of patients who developed AFib for the first time following TAVR.Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace aortic valves by inserting a catheter into an artery in the leg to reach the patient’s heart. Heart rhythm disorders, particularly atrial fibrillation (AFib), frequently complicate TAVR. Prior research has shown that if a patient has AFib before TAVR, they are much more likely to have worse outcomes after the procedure in comparison to patients who do not have pre-existing AFib. When it comes to patients who did not have AFib before TAVR, but developed it after the procedure, data has been limited until now.”We found that about 8 percent of patients undergoing TAVR that did not have pre-existing AFib developed new-onset AFib after their procedure,” said lead study author Amit N. Vora, MD, MPH, an interventional cardiologist and researcher from Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. “When you combine patients that had AFib prior to the TAVR procedure and those that develop it after, more than one-half of all patients undergoing TAVR have to also deal with co-existing AFib.”The study looked at data from the STS/ACC TVT Registry, a collaboration of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology, linked with outcomes data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Researchers analyzed 13,356 patients undergoing TAVR at 381 sites across the U.S. From this group, 1,138 patients developed AFib for the first time after the procedure. The study focused on how often new AFib was occurring, how it was managed if it did happen, and what the outcomes were for patients who developed AFib after TAVR.Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockThe analysis found that patients who developed new-onset AFib following TAVR were more likely to be female, older and have severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. TAVR that was not performed via transfemoral access was also shown to be associated with the development of new-onset Afib.The study also examined short- and long-term outcomes among patients who developed new-onset AFib. Rates of in-hospital death, stroke and heart attack were all higher among new-onset AFib patients. Additionally, these patients were at a 37 percent higher risk of death one year after the TAVR procedure as well.”Current guidelines are murky regarding the optimal treatment strategy for these patients, who often tend to be at high risk for stroke but also high risk for bleeding,” Vora said. “Although there are a number of trials that are examining various strategies for this population, we need to continue to look very closely at this and determine the best care management for these high-risk patients.”Source: https://www.acc.org/last_img read more

Implant Injects DNA Into Ear Improves Hearing

Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Many people with profound hearing loss have been helped by devices called cochlear implants, but their hearing is still far from normal. They often have trouble distinguishing different musical pitches, for example, or hearing a conversation in a noisy room. Now, researchers have found a clever way of using cochlear implants to deliver new genes into the ear—a therapy that, in guinea pigs, dramatically improves hearing.The most common cause of deafness is loss of the tiny hair cells within the cochlea, a hollow, spiral structure in the inner ear that translates sounds into nerve impulses. Hearing aids that merely amplify sounds don’t help people who have lost these hair cells. So since the 1970s, more than 320,000 children and adults around the world who are deaf or severely hard of hearing have received cochlear implants. Instead of relying on hair cells, the device converts sounds into electrical impulses, then uses electrodes to relay these signals to the auditory nerve leading to the brain. But because the auditory nerve lies buried within tissue, the implants don’t work as well as they could if the electrodes were closer to the nerve.Some researchers have spurred new neurons to grow inside the cochlea using a protein called a growth factor. They have pumped the growth factor into the inner ear, or used a virus to deliver a gene that codes for it into cells. But pumped-in growth factor doesn’t work for long unless it is replenished. And viral gene therapy doesn’t always put the gene in the right cells and carries risks, such as a reaction from the immune system to the virus. 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 (*) Graduate student Jeremy Pinyon and colleagues in the laboratory of neuroscientist Gary Housley at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, tested a different kind of gene therapy on guinea pigs made deaf with a drug that kills cochlear hair cells. The researchers created loops of DNA encoding a gene for a growth factor called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). While inserting a cochlear implant into the animals, the team injected the cochlea with a solution of BDNF DNA, then used electrical pulses from the device to create pores in the cells lining the cochlea and coax the DNA to enter the cells. The loops also included a gene for green fluorescent protein so that the scientists could see if the inserted DNA was taken up by the cells and translated into protein.In the next few days, the cells began pumping out BDNF, which, in turn, spurred the growth of long, spiky neurons toward the electrodes. Two weeks after the treatment, the researchers tested how sensitive the animals’ brains were to sounds of various frequencies. The results were closer to those for normal animals and much better than those seen in animals that had only a cochlear implant.“We’ve closed the neural gap,” Housley says. Although it’s hard to precisely measure sound perception in guinea pigs, if applied in humans, “we’re hoping that tonal colors and richness will be improved,” says Housley, whose team’s report appears today in Science Translational Medicine.One caveat is that the improved hearing didn’t last long—the cells stopped producing BDNF after about 6 weeks and the new nerves began to die. The DNA loops will have to be modified to work longer in cells, Housley says. Another potential problem is that it’s not known how long the cells that received the DNA last before they die and their BDNF-making ability is lost. Housley thinks these issues can be addressed, however, and he hopes to start a small clinical trial to test the procedure in people within 2 years.”The idea [of using BDNF] has been around. But this is the first study to put this idea together with cochlear implants,” says neuroscientist Jeffrey Holt of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The technique is “ingenious,” says hearing researcher Yehoash Raphael of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, whose group has used a virus to insert the gene for BNDF into cochlear cells. Housley hopes other implanted devices could also deliver gene therapy, such as small electrical devices sometimes inserted into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease to relieve their symptoms. read more

WHO ponders treating Ebolainfected people with blood of survivors

first_imgThe Ebola virus has sickened at least 2127 people and killed 1145 of them in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. Those numbers may “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” WHO warned on Thursday. It is already the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded, and the unprecedented number of deaths has led to calls to try out experimental therapies that are in the early stages of development. On Tuesday, an ethics committee at WHO declared it was ethical under the special circumstance to use unapproved Ebola treatments such as ZMapp, a mix of antibodies that has been tested in animals and was given to two U.S. health care workers who fell sick in Liberia. Other experts are advocating the use of drugs that are approved to treat other diseases but may help Ebola patients, too. And Nigeria is reportedly exploring a controversial treatment called Nano Silver.As for using convalescent serum to treat patients, it is an attractive option for a number of reasons, Bausch says. Getting blood transfusions has become commonplace; no approval from agencies such as the U.S. Food or Drug Administration or European Medicines Agency is needed, and in the affected countries in West Africa many people have survived Ebola, meaning there can be a ready supply of the serum. In fact, the therapy has already been tried in the current outbreak. One of the two U.S. health care workers who was treated with ZMapp, Kent Brantly, earlier received a blood transfusion from a 14-year-old boy he had cared for and who had survived Ebola.But like the other treatments under discussion, it is far from proven that convalescent serum will help Ebola patients. The idea is simple: Because survivors have usually developed antibodies to fight the virus, transferring their blood could help patients. In the past, the strategy was used to treat people with SARS and Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever, like Ebola. David Heymann, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a former executive director of communicable diseases at WHO, says that the therapy’s use in 1976 was encouraging. Heymann, who was part of a team investigating the outbreak in Zaire, stayed behind for 2.5 months collecting a unit of blood every week from survivors, he says. The outbreak ended before the serum could be used in Africa, but some of it was given later that same year to a researcher in the United Kingdom who accidentally pricked infected himself while transferring blood from a guinea pig infected with Ebola. He survived. “The blood was stored in South Africa and at the CDC in Atlanta, but I don’t know what happened to it,” Heymann says.  Convalescent serum was tried again in 1995 in an Ebola outbreak in Kikwit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Doctors at the Kikwit General Hospital treated eight Ebola patients with blood donated by five people who had survived their infections. Seven of those receiving the serum also survived. A later reanalysis, however, concluded that the patients had survived their infection long enough before receiving the serum that they likely would have recovered without it. And a study in rhesus macaques, published in 2007, found no benefit from transferring blood of convalescent monkeys. “There are many variables and the quality of the immune blood or serum may vary widely from person to person,” says Thomas Geisbert, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and one of the authors of that study.The WHO filovirus clinical working group, convened in response to the current outbreak, discussed the evidence on convalescents’ serum at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, at the end of July, says Bausch, who is part of the group. A plan was proposed to fly blood of Ebola survivors to the United States and have Geisbert or Heinz Feldmann, a researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , try the therapy in nonhuman primates, Bausch says. But Geisbert, in an e-mail, notes that there are “no current plans to test this in nonhuman primates” and there has been “no official request from any agency” though he and Heinz “are both willing and ready to do whatever is needed to support the outbreak response.” Tom Solomon, director of the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging Infections based at the University of Liverpool, says he is also considering a trial of the therapy in humans. “We are in discussions with WHO and an international group of partners to develop a trial and are looking at both convalescent plasma and novel therapeutics,” he says. If serum is tested on humans, it should be checked in advance that it can neutralize the virus, says Stephan Günther, a virologist at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, who is now in Nigeria. “Otherwise, you don’t need to give the serum.” Neutralization could be measured in cell culture with real virus or a recombinant vaccine virus expressing the Ebola virus surface protein, Günther says.Even if the therapy works, there are challenges. One is the risk of infecting patients with other pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis C. Getting blood from recovered patients in the first place may also be a problem, Bausch says. “Blood is an entity that people pay a lot of attention to in West Africa. When people feel like they are losing blood that is an important and bad thing,” he says. Still, trying the therapy in nonhuman primates and then implementing it in the affected countries in West Africa makes sense, Bausch says. “It’s gonna be messy, it’s gonna be difficult to do, but at some point we’ll just have to try to plunge in and move forward.” Robert Colebunders, an infectious disease clinician at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, who was involved in treating Ebola patients in the 1995 outbreak, says if there are survivors willing to donate blood, doctors should try the therapy. “And then they need to follow it up scientifically, so we learn something from it.”Still, WHO warned today in a statement, the focus on untested therapies is “creating some unrealistic expectations. … The public needs to understand that these medical products are under investigation. They have not yet been tested in humans and are not approved by regulatory authorities, beyond use for compassionate care.”Focus on the therapies is also distracting from what really needs to be done, says Steven Riley, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Imperial College London. “We don’t need to export drugs. We need to export gold-standard public health processes,” he says. Infectious disease experts agree that tracing those who have been in contact with an infected person and isolating them is the key to containing the deadly virus.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public. 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 Emailcenter_img As the Ebola outbreaks rages on in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO), desperate for a way to help infected people, is reconsidering a potential Ebola treatment tried as far back as 1976, after the first documented outbreak of the deadly viral disease: using the blood of people who have recovered from an infection to treat those still fighting the virus. “Convalescent serum is high on our list of potential therapies and has been used in other outbreaks (eg in China during SARS),” WHO said in a written statement to ScienceInsider. “There is a long history of its use, so lots of experience of what needs to be done, what norms and standards need to be met.”There are not yet official plans to administer convalescent serum to ill people, but WHO said it will assess if the treatment approach was “safe and feasible” and was already working with officials in Ebola-affected areas to strengthen the blood-banking systems there. These moves come as researchers debate the mixed results of past uses of convalescent serum. “The jury is still out” on the approach, says Daniel Bausch, an Ebola expert at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nonetheless, he and others believe the therapy should be explored. “I feel we have a moral imperative to push forward with all the scientifically plausible modalities,” Bausch says. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Lawsuit aims to force USDA to repost scrubbed animal welfare records

first_imgJuvenile monkeys at Primate Products, Inc., in Immokalee, Florida in 2015. By Meredith WadmanFeb. 13, 2017 , 11:45 AM Lawsuit aims to force USDA to repost scrubbed animal welfare records Email PETA APHIS’s 3 February decision to take down the records was apparently a response to a lawsuit involving another law, the Horse Protection Act, ScienceInsider has reported. The plaintiffs in a 2016 Texas lawsuit accused USDA of violating their rights under the 1974 Privacy Act by posting inspection documents required by the horse law. A resulting USDA review of all its public postings led the agency to scrub from its website documents generated under both the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act.  In the future, the agency announced, people who want access to those records will need to file a FOIA request. The agency’s most recent FOIA report states that it takes an average of 94 days for the agency to respond to a simple FOIA request and 234 days on average for more complicated requests.In today’s lawsuit, the plaintiffs invoke a section of FOIA that requires agencies to make publicly available electronically all records that it has released under FOIA which “because of the nature of the subject matter, the agency determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records.”The plaintiffs, who sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, include Winders; PETA in Washington, D.C.; Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.; the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Boston; Born Free USA in Washington, D.C.; and the Beagle Freedom Project in Valley Village, California.USDA and the Department of Justice, which represents government agencies that are sued, both declined to comment on pending litigation.The groups are the first among many vocal critics of USDA’s action to file suit; on 7 February, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) threatened to reopen an older lawsuit against the agency. HSUS invoked both the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and a settlement of the earlier suit that it reached with the agency in 2009, under which USDA agreed to promptly and publicly post a number of the reports that it has now removed from the website.center_img Put the records back on the internet. That’s the demand made in a lawsuit filed today against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by an animal law expert at Harvard University, together with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and several other animal welfare groups. The plaintiffs allege that USDA violated the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this month when it removed thousands of animal welfare inspection reports and other records from a publicly accessible website.“Our lawsuit seeks to compel the USDA to reinstate the records, which it had no right to remove from its website in the first place,” said Delcianna Winders, currently the Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, in a statement. “The government should not be in the business of hiding animal abusers and lawbreakers from public scrutiny.”USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) generated the records, which document animal facility inspections, enforcement actions, animal censuses, and other information collected by the agency in the course of enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act.  The law covers animals in more than 7800 facilities, including zoos, roadside circuses, and research laboratories at government agencies and academic medical centers. (It exempts mice, rats, and birds used in research from regulation.) Click to view the privacy policy. 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Trump releases plan to reduce protections for wetlands

first_img Trump releases plan to reduce protections for wetlands Originally published by E&E NewsU.S. President Donald Trump’s administration today is proposing to severely restrict the number of wetlands and waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are unveiling a new definition for “waters of the U.S.,” or WOTUS, that would erase federal protections for streams that flow only after rainfall or snowmelt, as well as wetlands without surface water connections to larger waterways. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Ariel Wittenberg, E&E NewsDec. 11, 2018 , 12:45 PM Andrew Harnik/AP Photo Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler celebrated the new definition, saying, “Our new, more precise definition means that hardworking Americans will spend less time determining whether they need a federal permit and more time upgrading aging infrastructure, building homes, creating jobs and growing crops to feed our families.”Property owners should be able to stand on their property and be able to tell if a water is federal or not without hiring outside professionals.”The Trump administration proposal covers six types of aquatic resources: traditionally navigable waters, tributaries, impoundments, wetlands adjacent to traditionally navigable waters, some ditches, and some lakes and ponds.The proposal covers streams and creeks that flow year-round or intermittently into larger downstream waters, including navigable waters and other tributaries to them.Specifically, the new definition would apply to intermittent or perennial streams that contribute flow to navigable waters in a “typical year,” meaning over a rolling 30-year average, said EPA Office of Water chief David Ross. 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 Property owners should be able to stand on their property and be able to tell if a water is federal or not without hiring outside professionals.center_img Read more… Ephemeral streams that flow only after heavy rains or during snowmelt would not be covered under the proposal.Wetlands with a direct surface water connection to a tributary in a “typical year” would be protected. An example, Ross said, would be a river that floods its banks every spring and flows into a forested wetland on an annual basis.The Trump rule would not protect wetlands that are separated from tributaries by land, dikes or other features.At least some of the waterways excluded by the Trump administration would have been protected by the administrations of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.Policies from both prior administrations protected wetlands with either surface or shallow subsurface water connections to navigable waters, and they protected some wetlands that were not directly connected by water to larger waterways.Under the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, ephemeral streams were protected if they had an identifiable bed, bank and high-water mark. Bush-era guidance protected those streams if they had a significant hydrologic or ecological connection to navigable waters.Once today’s proposal is printed in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to comment. EPA and the Army Corps will then have to review the comments before issuing a final rule, which will almost certainly face a legal challenge from environmental groups.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net. Andrew Wheeler, Environmental Protection Agency President Donald Trump Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

QA The epic tale of the scientists who unraveled the mystery of

first_img Q&A: The epic tale of the scientists who unraveled the mystery of the monsoon Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University Q: Why did you decide to write about the monsoon and water?A: I was spending a lot of time in coastal areas in India and South Asia studying migration and, like many scholars, I sort of took the monsoon for granted. It’s simply seen as a backdrop. The cliché is that India is always just one bad monsoon away from disaster. But as I learned about the people who had tried to figure out what makes the monsoon tick and why it varies from year to year, I realized we hadn’t explored all of the implications. [The monsoon] is connected to so many things—food, floods, dams, climate change, sustainability. It turned out to be a much bigger book than I imagined.Q: Who among the early monsoon researchers stood out for you?A: I was especially drawn to one character, Henry Blanford, who became the first head of the India Meteorological Department [in 1875]. In some sense, he was an amateur. He was trained as a geologist and learned on the job about meteorology. But he really was the person who set up this massive infrastructure for monitoring rain and weather in India. Scientists still rely on it. And he was one of the first to recognize some of the [large-scale patterns] related to the monsoon, even though he didn’t really have the data needed to understand it all. He was writing to his colleagues across the British Empire, getting information. He was one of the first to observe the synchronicity of drought around large parts of the world. We know now that is associated with the El Niño-La Niña oscillation.Q: You write that Blanford, who was British, was unusual in training and supporting his Indian colleagues.A: He does stand apart from the typical view of colonial scientists being very exclusive and hierarchical. He was a relatively open person, keen to train Indian meteorologists. We have a rare view of Blanford because one of his Indian deputies [Lala Ruchi Ram Sahni] wrote a memoir. One rarely gets that kind of access. Most of the time, the Indian scientists [in the colonial era] are in the shadows—we don’t we know what they did. But by the 1930s, more and more of the senior officials in the meteorological service are Indian, even before India became independent [in 1947].Q: You make the case that efforts to harness and engineer water have deeply shaped the history of India and other South Asian nations.A: Yes. They often faced either too little or too much water. Sometimes you have both at the same time—flooding in [wet regions], drought in places that are among the most arid in the world. Eventually, [in India] you see the emergence of this idea that the nation needs to be liberated from climate.In areas where rainfall was seen as unreliable, [dams and other] big infrastructure projects were built. Groundwater pumping becomes a major source of water [for irrigation].As a result, [India’s] geography of water has become completely inverted. For centuries, the agricultural heart of the country was the area that received the most rainfall. Now, the areas that were historically the driest have become among the most productive agricultural lands. But the groundwater is being severely depleted. The question is whether this is sustainable. What was seen as an agricultural miracle is now seen as fragile.Q: You recently published an opinion piece in The New York Times about a new push by India and China to build hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, both to produce power and store water. You have some strong views about those plans.A: I think the historical record shows that relying on large-scale projects and purely technical and engineering solutions is a mistake and raises new risks. Dams epitomize that, and the dams in the Himalayas are particularly worrying. Until the 1980s, it was not viable to dam the rivers that far upstream in the mountains. That’s changed, and the risks are enormous. This is a seismically active zone, and the downstream consequences of a dam collapse would be serious. There are ecological risks. And because these rivers cross national boundaries, there is the risk of strategic and political conflict. We need to pay more attention to smaller local projects … and to broader social, political, and ecological concerns.Q: You have also urged more attention to how climate change and shifts in the monsoon could affect water supplies.A: That’s right. You have melting glaciers, for instance. And there is an increasing body of work on how the monsoon is changing, and the factors driving those changes. It’s not just global warming, but a whole set of local and regional factors. Planetary warming is interacting with aerosol emissions and land use changes to make the monsoon very unpredictable.Q: The arrival of the monsoon is a big event in parts of Asia. What is your most memorable monsoon?A: I grew up in Singapore, but spent a lot of time in India as a child, and the arrival of the monsoon is remarkable. You can see why it is celebrated in art, cinema, and poetry. I remember being in India when I was writing the book, in 2015 or 2016, just waiting after months and months of unrelenting heat. Watching the weather forecasters tracking it. Then, you could just see the clouds start marching in. Finally, the rains began. It was spectacular. 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 Emailcenter_img By David MalakoffDec. 18, 2018 , 8:00 AM Sunil Amrith Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This year, India’s monsoon rains—critical to the country’s harvest and water supply—were below average for the 13th time in 18 years. And alarm spreads when those annual rains don’t come between June and September, says Sunil Amrith, a historian at Harvard University who has just released a new book documenting the long quest to understand one of Asia’s most important weather patterns.Amrith became fascinated by the history of monsoon science while studying migration among coastal communities in South Asia. Now, he unfolds that history in Unruly Waters: How Rains, Rivers, Coasts, And Seas Have Shaped Asia’s History. He also explores how the quest to control water—whether to fend off floods or avoid the ravages of drought—has shaped the history of India and other Asian nations. Kirkus Reviews calls the book, published last week by Basic Books, a “lively history” that highlights the “obscure heroes” who developed modern meteorology and built irrigation projects, canals, and dams.ScienceInsider recently spoke with Amrith about his research, concerns about how climate change and human activities are affecting India’s water supply, and his own experiences with the monsoon. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.last_img read more

These ocean floats can hear earthquakes revealing mysterious structures deep inside Earth

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Erik StokstadApr. 17, 2019 , 3:15 PM A versatile, low-cost way to study Earth’s interior from sea has yielded its first images and is scaling up. By deploying hydrophones inside neutrally buoyant floats that drift through the deep ocean, seismologists are detecting earthquakes that occur below the sea floor and using the signals to peer inside Earth in places where data have been lacking.In February, researchers reported that nine of these floats near Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands had helped trace a mantle plume—a column of hot rock rising from deep below the islands. Now, 18 floats searching for plumes under Tahiti have also recorded earthquakes, the team reported last week at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting here. “It seems they’ve made a lot of progress,” says Barbara Romanowicz, a geophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley.The South Pacific fleet will grow this summer, says Frederik Simons, a seismologist at Princeton University who helped develop the floats, called MERMAIDs (mobile earthquake recorders in marine areas by independent divers). He envisions a global flotilla of thousands of these wandering devices, which could also be used to detect the sound of rain or whales, or outfitted with other environmental or biological sensors. “The goal is to instrument all the oceans.” A MERMAID undergoes testing off Japan’s coast in 2018.center_img These ocean floats can hear earthquakes, revealing mysterious structures deep inside Earth ALEX BURKY/PRINCETON UNIVERSITY Email For decades, geologists have placed seismometers on land to study how powerful, faraway earthquakes pass through Earth. Deep structures of different density, such as the cold slabs of ocean crust that sink into the mantle along subduction zones, can speed up or slow down seismic waves. By combining seismic information detected in various locations, researchers can map those structures, much like 3D x-ray scans of the human body. Upwelling plumes and other giant structures under the oceans are more mysterious, however. The reason is simple: There are far fewer seismometers on the ocean floor.Such instruments are expensive because they must be deployed and retrieved by research vessels. And sometimes they fail to surface after yearlong campaigns. More recently, scientists have begun to use fiber optic communication cables on the sea floor to detect quakes, but the approach is in its infancy.MERMAIDs are a cheap alternative. They drift at a depth of about 1500 meters, which minimizes background noise and lessens the energy needed for periodic ascents to transmit fresh data. Whenever a MERMAID’s hydrophone picks up a strong sound pulse, its computer evaluates whether that pressure wave likely originated from seafloor shaking. If so, the MERMAID surfaces within a few hours and sends the seismogram via satellite.The nine floats released near the Galápagos in 2014 gathered 719 seismograms in 2 years before their batteries ran out. Background noise, such as wind and rain at the ocean surface, drowned out some of the seismograms. But 80% were helpful in imaging a mantle plume some 300 kilometers wide and 1900 kilometers deep, the team described in February in Scientific Reports. The widely dispersed MERMAIDs sharpened the picture, compared with studies done with seismometers on the islands and in South America. “The paper demonstrates the potential of the methodology, but I think they need to figure out how to beat down the noise a little more,” Romanowicz says.Since that campaign, the MERMAID design was reworked by research engineer Yann Hello of Geoazur, a geoscience lab in Sophia Antipolis, France. He made them spherical and stronger, and tripled battery life. The floats now cost about $40,000, plus about $50 per month to transmit data. “The MERMAIDs are filling a need for a fairly inexpensive, flexible device” to monitor the oceans, says Martin Mai, a geophysicist at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.Between June and September of 2018, 18 of these new MERMAIDs were scattered around Tahiti to explore the Pacific Superswell, an expanse of oddly elevated ocean crust, likely inflated by plumes. The plan is to illuminate this plumbing and find out whether multiple plumes stem from a single deep source. “It’s a pretty natural target,” says Catherine Rychert, a seismologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. “You’d need a lot of ocean bottom seismometers, a lot of ships, so having floats out there makes sense.”So far, the MERMAIDs have identified 258 earthquakes, Joel Simon, a graduate student at Princeton, told the EGU meeting. About 90% of those have also been detected by other seismometers around the world—an indication that the hydrophones are detecting informative earthquakes. Simon has also identified some shear waves, or S-waves, which arrive after the initial pressure waves of a quake and can provide clues to the mantle’s composition and temperature. “We never set out to get S-waves,” he said. “This is incredible.” S-waves can’t travel through water, so they are converted to pressure waves at the sea floor, which saps their energy and makes them hard to identify.In August, 28 more MERMAIDS will join the South Pacific fleet, two dozen of them bought by the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. Heiner Igel, a geophysicist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, cheers the expansion. “I would say drop them all over the oceans,” he says.last_img read more

Scientists teach computers fear—to make them better drivers

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Scientists teach computers fear—to make them better drivers By Matthew HutsonMay. 10, 2019 , 3:20 PM NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—Computers can master some tasks—like playing a game of Go—through trial and error. But what works for a game doesn’t work for risky real-world tasks like driving a car, where “losing” might involve a high-speed collision. To drive safely, humans have an exquisite feedback system: our fight-or-flight response, in which physiological reactions like a rapid heart rate and sweaty palms signal “fear,” and so keep us vigilant and, theoretically, out of trouble. Now, researchers at Microsoft are giving artificial intelligence (AI) programs a rough analog of anxiety to help them sense when they’re pushing their luck.The scientists placed sensors on people’s fingers to record pulse amplitude while they were in a driving simulator, as a measure of arousal. An algorithm used those recordings—80 minutes divided among four people—to learn to predict an average person’s pulse amplitude at each moment on the course. It then used those “fear” signals as a guide while learning to drive through the virtual world: If a human would be scared here, it might muse, “I’m doing something wrong.” AIs using this method still had to crash to learn safe driving skills, but they required 25% fewer crashes to reach the same level of performance as a nonfearful AI, the researchers reported this week at the International Conference on Learning Representations here.The researchers wondered whether this kind of arousal was just a rough proxy for distance to walls, so they trained another AI to drive using wall proximity instead of fear. But fear proved more useful, likely because it encodes a richer set of expectations, including the feeling of turning too rapidly, the paper hypothesizes. David Sullivan Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emotions help humans learn and make decisions, and researchers say this paper is a proof of concept that giving AIs viscerallike responses can bring their abilities closer to our own. It also suggests another application: training autonomous vehicles to avoid driving in a way that makes passengers uncomfortable or car sick, even if it’s safe. 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 Emaillast_img read more

Judge For Amber Guygers Murder Trial Is Black

first_img Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony The Dallas Black Criminal Bar Association ENDORSES Judge Tammy Kemp for the 204th Judicial District Court. #DBCBA #ElectionDayMarch6th pic.twitter.com/F7CEEuyW68— Dallas Black Criminal Bar Association (@DBCBAlawyers) January 29, 2018Recently, the 911 call was released, which Botham Jean’s mother said the leak came from Guyger’s team to create sympathy. Dallas News reports during a a 12-minute hearing, Kemp grilled the attorneys about the release of the 911 call despite their being a gag order. She was “dismayed to find out the 911 call had been leaked to the media” and said the person who leaked it “lacked the integrity and the fortitude to honor” the gag order.On Sept. 6, Guyger said that following a long day on the job as a Dallas police officer, she implausibly mistook his apartment for her own and, after ordering Jean not to move, shot him twice before realizing the error of her ways. Her story was met with doubt because of a number of factors, especially her assertion that Jean’s door was ajar. Videos posted on social media by neighbors appeared to show that apartment doors in the building shut automatically, which seemed to indicate that Guyger was lying. In addition to the inconsistencies in her alibis, which have changed several times, Dallas police, of which Guyger was a member for five years before being fired, appeared to be helping to cover up the shooting for their colleague. The department was accused of allowing Guyger enough time to scrub her social media accounts and get her story straight before turning herself in three days after killing Jean. It also gave Guyger enough time to move out of her apartment, which was never searched by police despite five warrants allowing them to do so.Jury selections begins on Sept. 6, 2019, a year to the date from when Botham Jean was killed.SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! 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 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Braford Jr. Amber Guyger gunned down Botham Shem Jean in his own in Dallas home back on Sept. 6. Her trial, which has been delayed several times, will finally be on Sept. 23 — unless her lawyers will find another way to delay. That said, the judge presiding over the trial is a Black woman named Tammy Kemp.See Also: A Timeline Of Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own HomeDistrict Judge Tammy Kemp is a Democrat and a former Dallas County prosecutor, on her second four-year term in the criminal court. According to Dallas News, back in January of 2018, Kemp “says she has reduced the number of people in jail awaiting court action from over 300 per month to about 100 monthly. She also sits on a committee of district court judges seeking bail reform, a positive move.”center_img When she was running for reelection last year, which she won, she was endorsed by the Dallas Black Criminal Bar Association. More By NewsOne Staff Amber Guyger , Botham Jean , Tammy Kemp Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’last_img read more

Martian dust devils may create rare rocket fuel ingredient

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country University of Arizona/JPL-Caltech/NASA 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 By Sid PerkinsOct. 29, 2018 , 12:35 PM Email Martian dust devils may create rare rocket fuel ingredient Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Almost immediately, some of the gases in the chamber broke down to form highly reactive, positively charged versions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen molecules. Over time, reactions generated substantial amounts of chlorates (ions that contain one chlorine atom and three oxygen atoms) and perchlorates. The team estimates rates of perchlorate formation inside martian dust storms could be as much as 10 million times higher than those driven by sunlight, the researchers report in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.To astrobiologists, perchlorates are intriguing. Although these substances are toxic to humans—and thus could endanger potential human settlements on Mars—some microbes can to use perchlorates to fuel their metabolism. The Red Planet is a rich source of perchlorates—chemical compounds used in fertilizer and rocket fuel that are rarely formed naturally on Earth. Now, lab experiments suggest how the unusual compounds are created on Mars: from the electrical fields formed by global dust storms, as well as whirlwinds known as dust devils.For more than 5 years, scientists have surmised that perchlorates are relatively common on Mars, thanks to evidence from the Phoenix Mars lander and the Curiosity rover. On Earth, the chemical reactions that generate these compounds are typically powered by sunlight. But models of atmospheric chemistry suggest mere sunlight isn’t enough to do the trick on Mars. Instead, they indicate that strong electric fields, such as those created by static electricity in global dust storms, could break down gases in the martian atmosphere and thus drive perchlorate-generating reactions.To test that notion in the lab, researchers put a gas mixture representing the martian atmosphere—95% carbon dioxide, 2% nitrogen, 2% argon, and 1% oxygen—in a large chamber, along with a source of chlorine, table salt. The researchers decreased temperature and pressure in the chamber until they matched Mars-like conditions. They then exposed the mixture to electric fields of the magnitude likely present inside martian dust storms and dust devils (seen from orbit, above).last_img read more