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July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 13, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Santiago had always been expected to host the third round of the 2018/19 championship, but the race remained without an assigned location while FE and city officials negotiated terms for the electric championship to return and hold a second event.More Formula E News Agag Pushing Back Against Formula E 4WD Idea Formula E has confirmed Santiago’s place on the season five calendar and revealed a new track location and layout in the Chilean capital. Agag Reveals How Close Formula E Came To Collapse Source: Electric Vehicle News The negotiations and new layout were necessary after logistical challenges were encountered at the inaugural race, which faced intense opposition from local residents due its use of roads through Santiago’s Forestal Park.The second Santiago ePrix will therefore take place on roads inside the O’Higgins Park in the city centre.The 14-turn circuit, which is still subject to official homologation confirmation by the FIA, runs around the Movistar Arena that sits in the middle of the park.Race sponsor Antofagasta Minerals has also joined FE as the championship’s official coppermining partner.“I’m incredibly happy that Santiago will again feature on the ABB FIA Formula E championship calendar for season five,” said FE co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo.“I have particularly fond memories of the event last year and I really like the atmosphere of the city and backdrop against the Andes.“I’d like to thank the Mayor Felipe Alessandri for his support – as well as the Minister of Sport Pauline Kantor, the Minister of Energy Susana Jimenez, the Intendenta de la Region Metropolitana Karla Rubilar and the president of [Chilean motorsport federation] FADECH Mauricio Melo Avaria for making it possible to host a race in Chile.“O’Higgins Park is an ideal location for an international sporting event such as ours.“Also, I’d like to express my gratitude to Antofagasta Minerals for their continued partnership and I look forward to working closely with them as they join the Formula E family as an official partner.”Alessandri stated that city officials had consulted residents regarding the new track’s location.“Now we’re changing the location – we learned and we listened to the neighbours,” he said.“We’re talking with them to mitigate the negative externalities that means organising this event inside O’Higgins Park.“Therefore, the work is done during the day and retaining open access – swimming pools and recreational areas still in operation.“As happened in Forestal Park, the monies obtained by the concept of municipal rights are invested in projects that improve the quality of life for residents.“[This includes] the installation of new public lighting, recovery of facades, bollards and improvements to playgrounds, pet areas and the installation of an exercise zone.” Watch Audi RS3 With Formula E Motors Get Tested read more

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgCarbon nanotubes could make high-powered, fast-charging lithium metal batteries an alternative to lithium-ion batteries, according to new research from Rice University.In a paper published this month in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers show how a carbon nanotube film can be used to keep batteries safe from dendrites, spear-like protrusions that naturally form on unprotected lithium metal anodes. Left unchecked, dendrites can penetrate the battery’s core, pierce the cathode, and cause it to fail.Lithium metal’s advantages over lithium-ion electrodes include faster charging and the potential for as much as ten times greater energy density. However, the risk of battery failure caused by those pesky dendrites has limited lithium metal’s commercial use. By coating the lithium metal with a carbon nanotube film, the Rice researchers say they’ve mitigated the growth of dendrites over 580 charging cycles, while maintaining the material’s Faraday efficiency at 99.8 percent.Illustration shows how lithium metal anodes developed at Rice University are protected from dendrite growth by a film of carbon nanotubes. Courtesy of the Tour Group“One of the ways to slow dendrites in lithium-ion batteries is to limit how fast they charge,” said James Tour, a synthetic organic chemist whose Rice lab conducted the study. “People don’t like that. They want to be able to charge their batteries quickly. What we’ve done turns out to be really easy. You just coat a lithium metal foil with a multi-walled carbon nanotube film. The lithium dopes the nanotube film, which turns from black to red, and the film in turn diffuses the lithium ions.”While the battery is in use, the carbon nanotube film discharges its stored ions, which are then refilled by the lithium anode underneath, enabling the film to continue mitigating dendrite growth.“Physical contact with lithium metal reduces the nanotube film, but balances it by adding lithium ions,” said Rodrigo Salvatierra, a Rice postdoctoral researcher and co-lead author of the paper. “The ions distribute themselves throughout the nanotube film.” Source: Rice University Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgIn another episode ‘Is Elon Musk kidding?’, Tesla actually did release a ‘fart app’ as an Easter egg in its vehicle software. more…The post Tesla actually releases a ‘fart app’ as an Easter egg in its vehicles appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Nikkei Asian Review Generous subsidies have helped China to become by far the world’s largest EV market. However, the government has begun to phase out the incentives – EV subsidies are expected to be substantially reduced in 2019, and eliminated completely in 2020.“Next year’s subsidies will likely be reduced by approximately 30% compared with this year,” a representative from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers told Nikkei. The official People’s Daily confirmed the prediction, which was unwelcome news for some in the industry.“If subsidies for popular models are steeply reduced, sales could soften,” an executive at a major Chinese automaker said.Subsidies are linked to driving range, so certain models may end up with increased subsidies even as overall subsidies decline. Some suggest that the Chinese government wants to use the subsidies to guide vehicle sales by model. For example, this year, EVs with a range of 150 km receive a 15,000 yuan ($2,178) subsidy – down 60% from 2017. But incentives for models with a 400 km range got a 10% boost to 50,000 yuan.If the central government cuts subsidies as expected, local governments, many of which also offer various incentives, are likely to follow suit.Nikkei predicts that some 28 million new autos were sold in China in 2018. “New energy” vehicles are expected to account for 1.2 million units, up 50% from 2017.last_img read more

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgDressed in Arctic White with exquisite deep blue-tinted carbon fiber body elements, the C-Two for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show represents Rimac’s way of telling us everything is going according to the plan. Prototypes of the electric beast are already in production, and the Croatian marque hints at powertrain improvements set to be implemented in the customer-spec production cars due in 2020. Rimac Teases California Edition Of C_Two Source: Electric Vehicle News See The Rimac C_Two Up Close In New Video The showcar’s interior cabin is also a sight to behold thanks to a matte carbon fiber theme combined with petroleum blue for the leather noticeable on the seats, door cards, steering wheel, the central armrest, and even on the floor mats.Rimac isn’t willing to go into any details for the time being regarding the upgrades they’re planning for the powertrain, but they do say these will be possible thanks to “new development efforts.” For the time being, we know the C_Two has four electric motors with a combined output of 1,914 horsepower and an instant torque of 2,300 Newton-meters (1,696 pound-feet). It’s enough electric punch for a sprint to 60 mph (96 kph) in precisely 1.85 seconds, with the 0-186 mph (0-300 kph) taking just 11.8 seconds.Thanks to a large 120-kWh battery pack, the Rimac C_Two can travel for 550 kilometers (342 miles) as per WLTP or 650 km (404 miles) according to NEDC.It will be interesting to see how Rimac is going to improve these already amazing specs. Meanwhile, we can enjoy looking at this gorgeous Geneva-bound showcar that will be on display starting tomorrow. More C_Two News Rimac C_Two Sells Out Before Its U.S Debut Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 4, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News The showcar for Geneva wears a new Arctic White livery with blue carbon accents.Supercar enthusiasts have a lot of reasons to get excited about automakers embracing electrification as plenty of zero-emissions machines have been announced with staggering technical specifications. Case in point, Rimac unveiled the C_Two nearly a year ago in Geneva and now they’re about to show the bonkers electric hypercar with a fresh new coat of paint.last_img read more

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgTesla Semi was seen again with a new type of cargo.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgMarubeni2014 ($88 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Indonesia)2012 ($55 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Nigeria)Tyco2012 ($26.8 million enforcement action concerning conduct in China, India, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iran, Saudia Arabia, Libya, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Congo, Niger, Madagascar, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, and Poland)2006 ($50 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil)(Note: this was largely an accounting fraud enforcement action and the FCPA prong was a relatively minor component).IBM2011 ($10 million enforcement action concerning conduct in South Korea and China)2000 (cease and desist order concerning conduct in Argentina)General Electric2010 ($23.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Iraq)1992 ($9.5 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Israel)(Note: FCPA as well as related charges)ABB2010 ($58.3 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Mexico and Iraq)2004 ($16.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Nigeria, Angola and Kazakhstan)Lucent / Alcatel-Lucent2010 ($137.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia, Taiwan, Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Angola, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Mali)2007 ($2.5 million enforcement action concerning conduct in China)Aibel Group / Vetco Gray2008 ($4.2 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Nigeria)2007 ($26 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Nigeria)Baker Hughes2007 ($44 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Angola, Indonesia, Russia, Uzbekistan)2001 (cease and desist order concerning conduct in Indonesia, India and Brazil) As highlighted in this post, 13 companies have resolved FCPA enforcement actions – not once – but twice. Four of these instances have occurred in just the past approximate 1.5 years.Note: this post uses the term repeat offender to mean a business organization that has resolved more than one FCPA enforcement action regardless of which agency (the DOJ or SEC) brought the enforcement action; regardless of the form of resolution (plea agreement, NPA, DPA, administrative order, etc.) and regardless of whether the charges or findings were anti-bribery violations vs. books and records and internal controls violations in connection with foreign bribery issues). Stryker2018 ($7.8 million enforcement action concerning conduct in India, China, and Kuwait)2013 ($13.2 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Argentina, and Greece)Halliburton2017 ($29.2 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Angola)2009 ($177 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Nigeria)Biomet2017 ($30.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil and Mexico)2012 ($22.8 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil, Argentina and China)Orthofix2017 ($6 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil)2012 ($7.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Mexico)Goodyear2015 ($16 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Kenya and Angola)1989 ($250,000 enforcement action concerning conduct in Iraq) Support This Free Public Website FCPA Professor is widely regarded as a leading source of FCPA news and commentary. All of this takes time, money, and substantial effort. Thus, if FCPA Professor adds value to your practice or business, please consider a donation.center_img Donatelast_img read more

July 21, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgNot a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Lost your password? Password Remember mecenter_img Username Houston-based Targa Resources Partners LP and Targa Resources Corp. are acquiring Atlas Pipeline Partners, LP and its Pennsylvania-based master limited partnership, Atlas Energy, LP, for $7.7 billion . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.last_img

July 20, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgAug 14 2018The need to embrace technology to radically improve how the NHS successfully delivers its services is behind a new partnership between the University of Essex and Provide CIC.New health secretary Matt Hancock sees technology as the key to changing the NHS for the better – making it more convenient for people, as well as freeing up time for busy clinicians.The Innovate UK-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) will look at how artificial intelligence (AI) can help the NHS cope with the increasing demands of the 21st century by catering for people’s changing needs of how they use services.The project will also involve psychologists at the University of Essex gaining a deeper understanding of potential barriers to the use of new technology, so clinicians will trust and embrace it, where safe and appropriate to do so, as an effective tool to improve how services are delivered to people.Clinicians currently assess people (known as clinical triage) over the phone for many services, such as adult therapy, stop smoking support and general practice in the NHS, with administrative staff manually booking appointments. The new partnership is set to improve the efficiency of this process by creating a decision-making engine, powered by AI, which will identify the type of service people need and then signpost them to the bespoke level of support they require.”We’re excited to have this opportunity to use AI to determine the right approach for patients, deliver high levels of service and provide value for money,” said John Niland, Provide Chief Executive.The initial trial will take place across Provide’s musculoskeletal services – for people with conditions affecting joints, muscles and other soft tissues – and, if successful, will be deployed further via a web-based platform across community and primary health care services, improving their efficiency and effectiveness and consistency in decision making – one of the greatest benefits of machine learning and AI.John Niland, Chief Executive of Provide, said: Related StoriesMachine learning can be a modern approach in cognitive brain health assessmentMachine learning identifies bugs that spread Chagas diseaseUsing artificial intelligence to personalize the dose of radiation therapy for cancer patientsProvide delivers a range of health and social care services across Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk and approached the University of Essex for their world-leading research and expertise in data science.“The wider impact on the NHS of this project could be huge as the technological solutions we’ll be developing in partnership with Provide could eventually be rolled out to many other services and areas,” said Professor Maria Fasli, Director of the Institute of Analytics and Data Science and UNESCO chair in analytics and data science.The three-year KTP will help Provide innovate through a targeted collaboration with leading University of Essex social and data science academics and newly-recruited researchers.Professor Maria Fasli, Director of the University’s Institute of Analytics and Data Science and UNESCO Chair in Analytics and Data Science, is the lead academic on this project and will drive the development of the AI-powered decision-making engine for Provide.Professor Fasli said: Our analysis shows that accurate classification and grouping of people enables more effective interventions, this can be achieved via non-face-to-face appointments such as Skype and online self-assessment and other self-assessment approaches. We’re excited to have this opportunity to use AI to determine the right approach for patients, deliver high levels of service and provide value for money.” I’m very excited to have this unique opportunity to use AI to improve the way health services are delivered in the area where I live and work.The wider impact on the NHS of this project could be huge as the technological solutions we’ll be developing in partnership with Provide could eventually be rolled out to many other services and areas.I am very pleased that a central part of this project will focus on helping staff to understand the technology and truly embed it into their everyday working lives. Getting everyone behind our innovative approaches will ensure we get the most from this project and really improve the patient experience.” Source: https://www.essex.ac.uklast_img read more

July 20, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 30 2018Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Sprycel (dasatinib) in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The FDA action date is December 29, 2018.Related StoriesHeart failure drug could be effective in treating leukemiaNew Australian drug trial achieves remarkable results in patients with acute myeloid leukemiaCancer stem cells elude the body’s immune cells by deactivating danger detector”Sprycel was first established as an important treatment option for appropriate pediatric patients last year, when it was approved for the treatment of children with Ph+ chronic myeloid leukemia,” said Jeffrey Jackson, Ph.D., development lead, hematology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This latest milestone in Ph+ ALL reinforces our commitment to researching the potential of Sprycel in different types of pediatric leukemia and to providing this vulnerable population with access to potential new therapies.”The application is based on data from CA180-372 (NCT01460160), an ongoing Phase 2 trial evaluating the addition of Sprycel to a chemotherapy regimen modeled on a Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster high-risk backbone in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ ALL. Source: https://www.bms.com/last_img read more

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first_imgBut something must hold the paired electrons together. In a conventional superconductor, that glue is provided by vibrations of the ion lattice called phonons. Phonons hold only so strongly, so the record temperature for an ordinary superconductor was 39 K (or –234.5°C) using the compound magnesium diboride.However, in the 1980s physicists discovered a family of “high-temperature superconductors,” complex compounds containing copper and oxygen that become superconductors at far higher temperatures, and a decade ago, they found a similar family of iron and arsenic compounds. In those materials, the interactions of the electrons alone appear to provide the glue—although physicists aren’t sure how.But even with these discoveries, some physicists still hoped to achieve higher transition temperatures with conventional superconductivity. As far back as the 1960s, Neil Ashcroft, a theorist at Cornell University, argued that at high pressures, solid hydrogen should become a superconducting metal. According to Ashcroft, the light hydrogen ions would shake with very high frequency phonons, the key to boosting the transition temperature. For decades, experimenters have searched for such superconductivity by squeezing bits of solid hydrogen between the tips of diamonds.Alexander Drozdov and Mikhail Eremets, physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and colleagues tried something slightly different last year: They squeezed a tiny sample of hydrogen sulfide and saw its electrical resistance vanish at 190 K, as they reported in December on the preprint server arXiv.org. That bested the record of 164 K for a copper-and-oxygen superconductor squeezed to 350,000 times atmospheric pressure. Some physicists were skeptical.Now, Drozdov and Eremets have put the doubts to rest by demonstrating a second sign of superconductivity. When exposed to a magnetic field, a superconductor should expel it, as free-flowing currents generate an internal field that cancels the applied one. Drozdov and Eremets see just that effect, as they report online today in Nature. That measurement was a significant feat, as the experimenters’ disk-shaped sample had a diameter smaller than the width of a human hair. The researchers now report that they’ve reached a transition temperature as high as 203.5 K.The high transition temperature doesn’t present any major mysteries, however. Last November, theorists in China calculated that pressurized hydrogen sulfide should become a superconductor with a transition temperature between 191 K and 204 K—specifically as H2S breaks down to produce H3S, which does the superconducting. “We were lucky because this model immediately began to explain our results,” Eremets says. There is little doubt that, as predicted, the material is a conventional superconductor. When the researchers replaced the lighter hydrogen atoms with heavier atoms of deuterium (hydrogen with a neutron in its nucleus), the transition temperature fell by about 20%—just as expected if phonons provide the glue.Is the incredible pressure really necessary for this kind of superconductivity? Maybe not, Eremets says. The pressure serves only to turn hydrogen sulfide into a metal, he says. So it may be possible to start with a compound that scientists can turn into a metal by tweaking its composition instead. Mazin is less optimistic. “It’s hard to conceive how these conditions could be achieved at ambient pressure,” he says.But rather than getting rid of the pressure, Norman predicts that researchers will do the opposite and look for new superconductors by squeezing other insulators. “In the last year, this is the big result,” he says. “It’s already having an effect on the community.”*Correction, 23 September, 5:54 p.m.: The story has been changed to correct the pressure at which superconductivity occurs in hydrogen sulfide and, in the caption, to correct the description of the experiment in the photo. 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 Hydrogen sulfide—the stuff that makes rotten eggs stink—becomes a superconductor at a record high temperature, physicists in Germany have shown. When solidified, the compound conducts electricity without resistance at 203.5 K. That’s still cold—about 70°C below the freezing point of water. But it’s far higher than anything ever achieved before and a big step closer to the lofty goal of achieving superconductivity at room temperature. The team’s preliminary claim was circulating for more than a year, but new data clinch the case, says Michael Norman, a theorist at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. “It’s the real deal.”The result may revive visions of superconductors that work at room temperature and magnetically levitated trains. But there’s a catch: Hydrogen sulfide works its magic only when squeezed to more than 1 million times atmospheric pressure, roughly one-third as high as the pressure in Earth’s core. This condition makes it impractical for most applications. “Where does it go from here?” asks Igor Mazin, a theorist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. “Probably nowhere.” Even so, the discovery is already altering the course of research in superconductivity.Scientists know of a few kinds of superconductivity. In so-called conventional superconductivity, a metal such as niobium carries electricity without resistance when cooled to nearly absolute zero, or 0 K. The metal consists of a cagelike array of positively charged ions through which the negatively charged electrons flow. The electrons ordinarily lose energy as they deflect off the rattling ions. But at very low temperatures, the electrons pair. Deflecting an electron then requires breaking a pair. As there isn’t enough energy around to do that, the pairs flow freely.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emaillast_img read more

July 20, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) More than half of Americans over the age of 70 have cataracts, caused by clumps of proteins collecting in the eye lens. The only way to remove them is surgery, an unavailable or unaffordable option for many of the 20 million people worldwide who are blinded by the condition. Now, a new study in mice suggests eye drops made with a naturally occurring steroid could reverse cataracts by teasing apart the protein clumps.“This is a game changer in the treatment of cataracts,” says Roy Quinlan, a molecular biologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom who was not part of the study. “It takes decades for the cataracts to get to that point, so if you can reverse that by a few drops in the eye over a couple of weeks, that’s amazing.”The proteins that make up the human lens are among the oldest in the body, forming at about 4 weeks after fertilization. The majority are crystallins, a family of proteins that allow the eye to focus and keep the lens clear. Two of the most abundant crystallins, CRYAA and CRYAB, are produced in response to stress or injury. They act as chaperones, identifying and binding to damaged and misfolded proteins in the lens, preventing them from aggregating. But over the years, as damaged proteins accumulate in the lens, these chaperones become overwhelmed. The mutated proteins then clump together, blocking light and producing the tell-tale cloudiness of cataracts. Email 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 Zimbabwecenter_img To treat the condition without surgery—which is out of reach for many patients in developing nations—researchers have looked to drug treatments. Although boosting the function of CRYAA and CRYAB seems to be a good target, developing a therapeutic has been challenging. Most drugs that act on disease-related proteins work by changing how the protein functions, something scientists can measure by monitoring the protein’s enzymatic activity. CRYAA, CRYAB, and similar proteins are known as “undruggable” because their activity can’t be measured, says Jason Gestwicki, a biochemist at the University of California (UC), San Francisco, and a senior author of the new study, published online today in Science.Gestwicki’s team decided to use a technology called differential scanning fluorimetry, which allows scientists to measure the temperature at which a target protein begins to melt. They analyzed CRYAA and CRYAB and discovered that in one type of hereditary cataract, CRYAB takes on a mutant form with a much higher melting temperature than its normal version. If they could find a molecule that would bind to the mutant CRYAB protein and lower its melting temperature back to that of a healthy CRYAB, they speculated, CRYAB should function normally and prevent damaged proteins from clumping in the lens. The researchers turned to a bank of 2450 molecules that exhibited similar properties to CRYAA and CRYAB. They added molecules to the mutant CRYAB, looking for one that would stabilize their target. They settled on compound 29, a steroid found naturally in the bloodstream but not in the lens, which has no blood supply. Mice with age-related and hereditary cataracts received drops in the right eye, whereas the left eye went untreated. After just a few weeks, the treated eye was visibly clearer, says Gestwicki, who conducted the work while at the University of Michigan. Cataract severity is measured on a scale of zero to four, with four being the worst case. On average, mice in the study had about a one-grade improvement in cataract severity after 4 weeks of treatment.This is the second study this year to find that eye drops made from a class of steroids called sterols can successfully reverse cataracts. In July, researchers from UC San Diego reported that lanosterol, a steroid found in the human eye, reversed cataracts in dogs.“It’s a me-too paper in the sense that this new study also treated cataracts with a sterol,” Quinlan says. “But they arrived at the same conclusion by completely different routes. That’s the way excellent science is done, and [it’s] something that should get philanthropists and pharma excited.”One key difference between the two studies is the way the different steroids were administered. The dog study administered the drug both by injection into the eye and eye drops. The new study used only eye drops.There’s still a lot to uncover before either study can move into clinical trials, Quinlan notes. The lens in the human eye is very different from those in mice or dogs, and neither study explains how the steroids work on cataracts. “Mechanistically, we really don’t know what’s going on here. It’s a black box.”Figuring out how the treatment reverses cataracts is the team’s next task, a key step toward clinical trials, which Gestwicki hopes to launch in the next year. ViewPoint Therapeutics, a biotech company he co-founded in San Francisco, California, holds the license to the technology and will launch more animal studies soon. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

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first_imgiStock.com/webphotographeer By Kimberly HickokFeb. 9, 2018 , 8:00 AM What your keystrokes reveal about your gendercenter_img Your webcam may know your face, but your keyboard knows your gender. Computer models can predict with 95.6% accuracy whether a man or woman is typing, according to a new study. To conduct the research, computer engineers installed keystroke-logging software onto the personal computers of 75 volunteers—36 men, 39 women—which monitored their daily computer use for 10 months. The researchers then used a program they created, called “ISqueezeU” to calculate the relative helpfulness of different typing features for determining gender—things like the time between two specific keystrokes, or the amount of time a key is pressed down during a single keystroke. A few features stood out as being more useful than others. For example, the average time between pressing the “N” key to pressing the “O” key was the most helpful, followed by the average time between pressing the “M” and “O” keys. The program isn’t capable of specifying whether a man or woman types those keys faster or more often—only that there is a difference. The researchers then tested the program’s findings using five machine learning models, which are computer programs that build models based on what they “learn” from existing data. All five models were able to predict gender accurately more than 78% of the time, with the most successful model being more than 95% accurate, the engineers report this week in Digital Investigation. The team proposes the use of keystroke dynamics as a cost-efficient and nonintrusive way to identify the gender of unknown computer users in criminal investigations, such as in cases of cyberstalking or identity theft. The researchers plan to expand their data collection with more volunteers, and see whether incorporating other variables such as handedness or education level can increase accuracy.last_img read more

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first_imgIn the past 9 months, BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, has become the very public face of the #MeToo movement in science. Scores of women have reached out to her for advice, posting harrowing tales of harassment on the MeTooSTEM.com website that McLaughlin launched in June 2018. Now, her own scientific career is on the line. In 2017, a faculty committee that previously approved her tenure unanimously reversed itself. Unless something changes, she will lose her job on 28 February, when her National Institutes of Health grant expires.Radar reveals a second potential impact crater under Greenland’s iceJust months after revealing an impact crater the size of Washington, D.C., buried under the ice of northwestern Greenland, a team of scientists has discovered that it has company: another large depression 180 kilometers away that may also be an asteroid or comet impact crater.Here’s how your city’s climate will change by 2080, if you’re in Canada or the United StatesClimate change is a hard thing to imagine, especially 60 years into the future. With that in mind, environmental scientists have developed a web-based app that can tell people living in one of 540 cities in Canada or the continental United States how their homes will transform by the year 2080—and which modern-day city it is most likely to resemble. For example, residents of Washington, D.C., can expect a climate in the 2080s that resembles the current climate in Paragould, Arkansas, about 132 kilometers northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.New patent win for University of California upends CRISPR legal battleThe University of California has received good news on a patent for the invention of the genome editor known as CRISPR: As STAT reports, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, posted a “notice of allowance” last week for the school’s CRISPR patent, which it originally applied for in March 2013. The patent, which will likely move the fierce legal war over CRISPR closer to a peace treaty, should be officially issued within the next 2 months. Stonehenge, other ancient rock structures may trace their origins to monuments like thisStonehenge may be the most famous example, but tens of thousands of other ancient sites featuring massive, curiously arranged rocks dot Europe. A new study suggests these megaliths weren’t created independently, but instead can be traced back to a single hunter-gatherer culture that started nearly 7000 years ago in what is today the Brittany region of northwestern France.This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science—but her own job is in peril 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 (*) Top stories: The origins of Stonehenge, a #MeTooSTEM leader, and a new crater under Greenland’s ice Email (Left to right): ANDIA/UIG/GETTY IMAGES; ANITA KUNZ; NASA SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION STUDIO By Alex FoxFeb. 15, 2019 , 4:10 PMlast_img read more

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first_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 The state of biodiversity and ecosystems is at its most perilous point in human history and the decline is accelerating, warns a landmark assessment released today. But the hope is that the bleak assessment—crafted by hundreds of scientists and historic in its depth and breadth—will finally persuade governments and others of the need to change course and prevent further harm to the ecological systems that provide for human well-being. “What’s at stake here is a livable world,” says Robert Watson of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., who chaired the organization that produced the report.Only transformative changes to economic, political, and social systems will allow nations to meet agreed targets for nature conservation, the authors conclude. The core message is “quite radical,” says Georgina Mace, an ecologist at University College London who reviewed the assessment. “You have to prioritize nature and nature’s benefits to people in everything you do.”The report confirms “that we can’t just preserve, we must reverse the trend by increasing biodiversity locally, regionally, and globally,” said Alexandre Antonelli, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom, in a statement. Landmark analysis documents the alarming global decline of nature Mint Images/Aurora Photos Seventy-five percent of land has been “severely altered” by human activities. More than a third of land and almost 75% of freshwater is used for crops or livestock. The extent of living coral reef has dropped by perhaps half since the 1870s. One hundred million hectares of tropical forest have been destroyed between 1980 and 2000. Wetlands, which provide clean water and fish, are being destroyed three times faster than forests. Plastic pollution has increased 10-fold since 1980 and 300 million to 400 million tons of industrial waste are dumped each year. Coasts are marred by some 400 low-oxygen dead zones, equivalent to the area of the United Kingdom. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img The report comes from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), based in Bonn, Germany, which includes representatives from more than 100 countries. More than 450 experts from around the world were involved in drafting the 1800-page report over 3 years. They reviewed some 15,000 scientific papers and other sources of data on trends in biodiversity and its ability to provide what are known as ecosystem services or nature’s contributions to people: everything from food and fiber to clean water and air.Many species are declining, the report notes. Out of 8 million known species of animals and plants, about 1 million are under threat of extinction, including more than 40% of amphibian species and a third of marine mammals. Even more are declining in numbers: Since 1900, native species have become, on average, about 20% less abundant. Measures of the extent and condition of natural ecosystems have declined 47% since the earliest estimates and many are deteriorating by 4% every decade.The report highlights other metrics of the decline of nature and its human domination. They include: Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Black rhinos, poached for their horns, are just one of some 1 million species that a new report warns are at risk of extinction. By Erik StokstadMay. 6, 2019 , 5:55 AM “The message is unfortunately very alarming,” says Hesiquio Benitez of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity in Mexico City, a national delegate who voted to approve the report. “We’re reaching the limits of the planet.”For the first time at a global scale, the report has ranked the causes of damage. Topping the list, changes in land use—principally agriculture—that have destroyed habitat. Second, hunting and other kinds of exploitation. These are followed by climate change, pollution, and invasive species, which are being spread by trade and other activities. Climate change will likely overtake the other threats in the next decades, the authors note. Driving these threats are the growing human population, which has doubled since 1970 to 7.6 billion, and consumption. (Per capita of use of materials is up 15% over the past 5 decades.) The report also includes perspectives from indigenous and local communities to a greater extent than before. Lands managed by indigenous peoples are declining less quickly than elsewhere, but 72% of indicators developed by such communities show deterioration of nature.There are a few bright spots, mostly the increasing creation of nature reserves and marine protected areas. But the progress is not nearly enough to meet most of the international conservation targets that nations set in the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010. The declining state of nature also jeopardizes efforts to meet many of the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals, such as ending hunger. “If we continue with business as usual, we’ll miss [the goals],” Mace says. “We’re quite good at making plans, and quite good at setting aside protected areas, but the response of the natural world is nothing like good enough to meet the targets.”The new report is the first global analysis of the state of nature since 2005, when researchers assembled what is known as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. But the hope is that the IPBES report will have a greater impact than that study. The new report “is significant, because it’s the first global assessment that has been asked for by governments—they’ve been involved in it, they’ve shaped it,” says Peter Bridgewater, a biodiversity policy expert and adjunct at the University of Canberra, who was not involved in the report. Delegates from member nations approved the report on Saturday, after a week negotiating the text of the 40-page summary for policymakers.According to scenarios included in the report that examine the consequences of various possible policy decisions to 2050, the news will keep getting worse unless transformative change occurs. That change would involve undertaking a wide array of activities, the authors write, including land restoration, more widespread adoption of agroecological practices such as preventing soil erosion, and more widely enforced limits on fishing. Fundamentally, reversing the trends will require a shift to a more sustainable global economy, the authors state, and “steering away from the current limited paradigm of economic growth.”In its call for transformation, the report anticipates pushback: “By its very nature, transformative change can expect opposition from those with interests vested in the status quo, but such opposition can be overcome for the broader public good.” IPBES will examine how to achieve such transformative change as part of its next round of work, notes Esther Turnhout, a science policy expert at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The goal, she says, would be to better understand “how we can tackle those challenges and why we haven’t done so.”Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of IPBES, is optimistic the global report released today will make a difference. “The moment for biodiversity has arrived,” she says, pointing to growing initiatives and interest in protecting nature. “There is so much evidence, and the scientific community is speaking with one voice,” Larigauderie says. “Now it’s not something that can be ignored.”last_img read more

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first_imgScott Hutchins at his Senate confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. United States Senate Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Trump’s nominee for USDA science post calls new U.S. climate report ‘genuine’ The entomologist nominated to be the chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C., said today he accepts the conclusions of a new federal report on climate change that President Donald Trump has dismissed and that he hopes science can help farmers adapt to some of the harmful effects already being caused by global warming.Scott Hutchins went before the Senate agriculture committee this morning in his bid to become USDA undersecretary for research, education, and economics. The 59-year-old Hutchins, who recently retired after a career in research and management at what is now the agricultural division of DowDuPont, would fill a position that has been vacant since the end of former President Barack Obama’s administration.Hutchins’s comments stand in sharp contrast to the hostile reaction from the Trump administration to the Fourth National Climate Assessment released last week. The 1600-page report concluded that “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.” It adds that “the impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify,” but notes that the severity might be mitigated by the country’s ability to adapt to those changes. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)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 By Jeffrey MervisNov. 28, 2018 , 4:45 PM Email Trump told The Washington Post yesterday that he and other people with “very high levels of intelligence [are] not necessarily believers” in the report’s conclusions. But Hutchins is not part of that group, he told senators today.“I have no reason to doubt the report itself,” Hutchins said in response to a question from Senator Sherrod Brown (D–OH). “I believe that the body of work that supports that report is genuine.”Brown wasn’t completely satisfied with Hutchins’s answer. But the Ohio lawmaker said he understood the need for the nominee to tread carefully.“I would have preferred that you had just said that humans have caused much of climate change,” Brown grumbled. “But I know you know that the administration tried to bury the climate assessment report, which was written by 13 agencies, including USDA, and its description of how climate change is threatening our economy, our farms, and our forests.”For his part, Hutchins preferred to talk about how USDA scientists and the research program he is in line to oversee can address that threat.“I think the key part of the report is what should we do about it,” Hutchins said. “We—and by that, I mean agriculture—can be a partial solution to the problem, by helping to sequester carbon, and by using best practices that are win-win for the growers, such as cover crops and good conservation practices. If confirmed, it would be my pledge to make sure that agriculture plays as much of a positive role as possible.”Drawing on his expertise in integrated pest management, Hutchins told the committee that “one of the things in the report that makes perfect sense to me, as an entomologist, is that we will see an increase in pestilence and an expansion of the range of invasive species. And the USDA can play a critical role in terms of helping us predict that and get a handle on that, in partnership with APHIS [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] and other USDA agencies.”last_img read more

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first_imgEleanor Kingwell-Banham, an archaeobotanist at University College London, joined the team to study the plant remains sifted from the excavated soil. She found an abundance of locally grown rice grains, but also more exotic products: charred black pepper dating to 600–700 C.E. and a single clove from 900–1100 C.E.—an exceptionally rare find, because ancient people were very careful with their spices, her team reports today in Antiquity. “Because [spices] are so valuable, people in the past really made sure they didn’t lose them or burn them,” Kingwell-Banham says. “These things were worth more than gold.” The clove, in particular, must have made quite a journey—about 7000 kilometers from its native home in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia.The team also found remains that could link the port city to the ancient Mediterranean world—processed wheat grains dated to 100 to 200 C.E. and grape seeds dated to 650 to 800 C.E. Neither crop can grow in Sri Lanka’s wet, tropical climate, so they had to be imported, possibly from as far as Arabia or the Roman world. Kingwell-Banham says her team is studying the chemical isotopes absorbed by the plants to determine where they were grown.But no matter their precise origin, the coexistence of rice and wheat is evidence of Mantai’s “cosmopolitan cuisine,” in which both local and foreign foods were eaten, she says. The discovery of wheat and grapes in Mantai “is entirely new,” and shifts the focus on goods transported from South Asia to the Roman world, to goods that went in the other direction,” Coningham says.So were there Roman merchants living in Mantai, importing and cooking the foods of their homeland? “It’s certainly a possibility,” says Matthew Cobb, a historian who studies ancient Indian Ocean trade networks at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter. But no one has yet clinched the case with Roman ceramics. So exactly who in Mantai had a taste for Mediterranean food remains to be seen.*Update, 12 December, 9:33 a.m.: This story has been updated to include the date of the wheat grains found in Mantai. iStock.com/RinoCdZ Grape seeds found in ancient Sri Lanka may have been imported by Roman merchants. 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 Visit Mantai, nestled into a bay in northwestern Sri Lanka, and today you’ll see nothing but a solitary Hindu temple overlooking the sea. But 1500 years ago, Mantai was a bustling port where merchants traded their era’s most valuable commodities. Now, a study of ancient plant remains reveals traders from all corners of the world—including the Roman Empire—may have visited or even lived there.Mantai was a hub on the ancient trade networks that crisscrossed the Indian Ocean and connected the distant corners of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The port town flourished between 200 B.C.E. and 850 C.E. During that time, it would have been a nexus for the spice trade, which ferried Indonesian cloves and Indian peppercorns to Middle Eastern and Roman kitchens.But for such a potentially important site in the ancient world, Mantai has been difficult for archaeologists to study. After excavations in the early 1980s, research was halted in 1984 by Sri Lanka’s civil war. “Mantai was firmly in the red zone,” says Robin Coningham, an archaeologist who studies South Asia at Durham University in the United Kingdom. Only after the fighting ended in 2009 could a team led by Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology return to continue excavations.center_img Email 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 Lizzie WadeDec. 12, 2018 , 7:00 AM Ancient grape seeds may link Sri Lankan trading port to Roman worldlast_img read more

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first_imgMusic is generally thought of as a creative process rather than a technical one. Nevertheless, without technology there would be no music as we know it today. Acapella, as seen in movies like Pitch Perfect, is one of the few genres that doesn’t require instruments to get up and running. But if acts want their work recorded then it’s modern technology they’ll rely on.Singers and musicians of the 21st century have it relatively easy when it comes to laying down a track.Creating music at home.Back in the 1920s, when recorded music was in its infancy, things were a tad more complex. During this decade a piece of kit called a recording lathe came into being.Music had been recorded onto disc since the late 1800s, courtesy of Thomas Edison’s phonograph. As with any process, its development was mirrored around the world to varying degrees. However the business was seen as a luxury concern, only accessible to those who could afford it.Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed by Levin Corbin Handy in Washington, April 1878.The development of radio took a chunk out of this cosy arrangement. According to a 2017 article for Wired, “Record sales dropped 80 percent in 1926 alone.” Companies such as Columbia Records then decided to get out among the people using cutting edge tech.Cutting being the operative word. The lathe (a long-established term referring to a machine which shapes things) originally etched grooves onto wax discs. Recording lathes traveled across America, accompanied by operatives known as “song catchers.” The effect was to open up the music market and reinvent the industry in the process.Recording lathe. Photo by Spablab CC By SA. 2.0As Wired explains, “These portable machines toured the country in the 1920s, visiting rural communities like Poor Valley, West Virginia, and introducing musicians like the Carter Family to new audiences… Much like iTunes and streaming, the lathe democratized music.”The recording lathe itself was the preserve of John J. Scully and son Lawrence, via their operation Scully Recording Instruments. The website Preservation Sound offers a download of a 1956 profile from High Fidelity magazine.Its opening sentence sets the tone of the piece: “No-one can be in the record business very long without hearing the name Scully.”Scully Recording: Parts of the studio set-up of Max Brand. Photo by Thomas Ledl CC BY-SA 4.0Originally hailing from Ireland, John J. worked for the Columbia Phonograph Company in the early 20th century, where he helped come up with the dictaphone.Every Day Items Used As Movie PropsThen in 1920 “he went into business by himself to make a real recording machine, the first designed by a specialist for use by record manufacturers… it was driven by weights, just like old grandfather clocks.” The process was soon noticed by giant entities like Western Electric.The label of an electrically recorded Columbia disc by Art Gillham from the mid-twenties.A 100 pound weight was part of a pulley system that made the turntable for the 78 go round. Yet it did a lot more than facilitate the recording. It dictated the duration of the song itself.The reason many entries in the hit parade are around the 3 min mark is down to the time it took before the weight dropped to the floor, presumably with a rather audible impact.Electraphonic Recording’s Scully 8 track 1′ tape machine. Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff – Scott Bomar CC BY-SA 4.0This and the precise placing required around a microphone meant the smaller the group the better. The means had shaped the message, creating the format for decades of musical acts and playlists.Manufacturing vinyl records in 1959.When talking about the context, Wired states that “Recordings from the likes of Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James and Robert Johnson laid the foundation for the music of the late 20th century,” before quoting Bernard MacMahon, director of PBS documentary American Epic:“It brought about the advent of the American singer-songwriter, of people recording songs about their own lives, about what was happening in the world… For the first time, America suddenly heard herself—and began to communicate with herself—through music.”The label of an electrically recorded Columbia disc by Paul Whiteman.While the elaborate system was replaced, the principle remained the same. A tradition had begun, rooted in the reality of artists’ day to day experiences.Read another story from us: Why do People say “Hello” when Answering the Phone?The lathe and that intimidating 100 pound weight may have seemed like dead items of equipment. In fact they played a key role in giving modern music its mojo.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

July 19, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgPerformance vs. Features “It’s smoking,” Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research, said of the One X’s performance.”They went for the most performance they could possibly get out it,” he told TechNewsWorld.Performance prowess, though, is just one factor contributing to success in the console market.Traditionally, game content drives the purchase and upgrades of game consoles, explained Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates. Sony leads the console market in exclusive game content, and nothing yet from E3 indicates that advantage to have changed.”Though there are improvements in power, the Xbox One X does not offer any new differentiating features to drive purchases. Essentially, it is a more powerful Xbox One S,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The PS4 still offers a variety of features that are not available in the Xbox One X, such as remote play and VR,” Sappington continued, “and the Nintendo Switch differentiates itself with its motion controllers, haptic feedback technology, and TV-connected-to-portable functionality.” Microsoft earlier this week announced the next version of its Xbox line of gaming consoles, ahead of E3 2017, now ongoing in Los Angeles.The new Xbox One X, which goes on sale Nov. 7 for US$499, is slimmer than previous models and packed with power.With a 6-teraflop Scorpio engine, the One X has 40 percent faster graphics performance than its chief rival, Sony’s PS4 Pro.The custom Scorpio engine in the Microsoft box burns chrome at 1172 MHz — a 37 percent increase over its predecessor, Xbox One, and 28 percent faster than PS4 Pro.Since the inside of a console can get hot running at those speeds, Xbox engineers kept things cool with a liquid-cooled vapor chamber, a technology used on high octane PC gaming cards.last_img read more