Trash Buildup in NCW Forests Causing ConcernCommittee To Examine Future Of Timberland

first_imgThere’s concern over a buildup of garbage in eastern Washington forest lands.  Melting snow packs from warming temperatures are exposing trash which may have been discarded over the winter.Robin DeMario of the Okanogan-Wenatche National Forest says the accumulation appears to be along roads in the woodland area she represents.” She says “One rock climber said he’d picked up lots of beer cans and trash left in the snow”.She also notes a buildup of discarded plastic sleds is an issue the year.  “We’ve had piles of those show up in areas where people have gone sledding.”  DeMario says most people are careful to dispose of their garbage, but a lot of trash is still left in the woods.last_img

The Green House Project From Tupelo to California Oh How Far Weve

first_imgby, Rachel Scher, The Green House ProjectTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares [View the story “The Green House Project: From Tupelo to California, Oh How Far We’ve Come…” on Storify]Related PostsThe Apple of Long Term CareIf McKnight’s Long Term Care News thinks The Green House Project is the Apple of aging services, let me introduce you to the “Steve Wosniak” of the Green House.The Green House Project at The White House Conference on AgingThe Green House Project’s landmark approach to skilled nursing care will be highlighted at the White House Conference on Aging.Arkansas Green HouseTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: THE GREEN HOUSE Project Tupelolast_img

Tiny Wireless Pacemaker Implanted in Rabbit

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 The days of clunky, battery-operated pacemakers may soon be over. Researchers have built a wirelessly powered pacemaker the size of a grain of rice and successfully implanted it in a rabbit. If the results hold up, a new generation of smaller and safer medical implants could be on the market in the next 5 to 10 years.Today’s pacemakers, cochlear implants, and other internal medical devices require batteries that are either built into the implant or connected by long wires, making them bulky and requiring surgery any time the batteries need to be replaced or the wires need repair. Recently, researchers have worked to make pacemakers smaller; one recent design is so tiny that doctors can use a catheter to guide it through a vein that starts in the thigh to implant it directly inside a patient’s heart. But no matter how small a pacemaker is, its batteries still need to be replaced eventually.An alternative, first suggested in the 1960s, is to power a pacemaker by transmitting radio waves to it from outside the body using Tesla coils, the doughnut-shaped metal coils Nikola Tesla originally proposed as an alternative to standard electrical power lines. In this scenario, the batteries required to run the transmitter would remain outside the body, eliminating the need for surgery to replace them. In theory, a pacemaker powered with a Tesla coil could run indefinitely with no tinkering. And by eliminating internal batteries, a pacemaker could be much smaller—just a simple electronic circuit and a tiny receiver coil. In practice, however, current designs are so inefficient that to power a pacemaker, the transmitting coil mounted on a patient’s chest has to send about 100 watts through the skin—more than enough to burn. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email “Safety is probably the single most important problem with wireless power,” says John Ho, lead author of the new study and an electrical engineering graduate student at Stanford University in California. The key to a safer wireless pacemaker, he says, is designing a better transmitter. After some initial research, he and his colleagues realized that a Tesla coil isn’t actually the best choice: Because it shoots energy in many different directions, doctors would need to crank up its power to dangerous levels in order to be sure a fraction of that energy would be absorbed by the pacemaker. To make wireless power a reality, researchers need a design that focuses energy directly on an implant, he says.To begin to address the problems, Ho, Qualcomm engineer Sanghoek Kim, and Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon last year decided to completely rethink transmitter design. They first devised a series of equations that the electrical currents in an optimal transmitter would have to satisfy and showed that the ideal currents followed semicircular paths and switched back and forth 2 billion times a second, about the same frequency at which cellphones broadcast. Based on that observation, they played around until they found a transmitter design that came close to producing the optimal electrical currents: a 6-centimeter square plate with four trident-shaped cutouts arranged in a circle, operating at 1.6 gigahertz, and, like earlier designs, placed on the skin above an implant.Now, Ho and his team have built a model of their device and used it to transmit power to a tiny receiver coil mounted on a 2-millimeter-long pacemaker embedded in simulated human hearts and brains. Their tests showed they could run the implant with about 100 times less power than Tesla coil–based designs, they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In a second test, the team implanted a pacemaker in a rabbit and used it to successfully control its heart rate without burning the animal’s skin.“It’s a very interesting idea,” says Vivek Reddy, director of Arrhythmia Services at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and a researcher who’s performed clinical trials on capsule-sized, battery-powered pacemakers that fit inside the heart. Still, the idea of wirelessly transmitting power raises issues such as whether patients could be trusted to replace the transmitter’s batteries or to properly position it over a medical implant without a doctor’s help. When it comes to pacemakers, implanting both the device and its transmitter may be safer for patients because doctors could then monitor and control its operation, Reddy says. Still, he says, the technology should be valuable for cochlear implants or other implanted devices where a dead battery isn’t a matter of life and death. read more

Technique aims to cut diseasecausing mutations out of eggs and embryos

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Your mother may have given you her eyes, but she could have also given you mitochondrial DNA that carries disease-causing mutations. A study in mice shows that two techniques can drastically reduce the amount of this potentially harmful DNA in eggs and embryos, thus potentially sparing children from the illnesses. The methods could provide alternatives to a controversial mitochondrial replacement procedure that would result in so-called three-parent embryos.Although researchers have not yet tested the method in human embryos, the work “is unprecedented,” says molecular biologist Mikhail Alexeyev of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, who wasn’t connected to the study. “It’s the first time this has been done in an embryo.”Mitochondria produce the energy that powers cells. The organelles carry their own DNA, separate from the nuclear DNA that contains most of the cell’s genes. That’s not their only quirk. You inherit your mitochondrial DNA from your mother, because an embryo retains only the mitochondria that came from the egg, not the sperm. However, about one in 200 women carry defective mitochondrial DNA, and their children can develop serious or fatal diseases such as cyclic vomiting syndrome, which results in bouts of nausea and fatigue, and Leigh syndrome, in which babies gradually lose muscle strength and control. Mitochondrial diseases are rare, but they are untreatable so far. Researchers are consequently developing several ways to jettison faulty mitochondrial DNA or prevent its transmission to offspring if doctors know the mom carries defects in these organelles. One technique, mitochondrial DNA replacement therapy, involves transferring the mother’s nuclear DNA from one of her eggs into the egg of a woman who has normal mitochondrial DNA. The recipient egg is then fertilized and implanted into the mother. However, the technique stirred up controversy. Some scientists question its safety, and ethicists objected because any baby produced would contain DNA from three people. Earlier this year, the United Kingdom approved the procedure for patients, and the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to allow it in the United States.Instead of swapping bad mitochondria for good ones, a team led by developmental biologist Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, decided to alter transmission of the organelles’ DNA. The researchers first tested an RNA strand that carries the instructions for making a DNA-snipping enzyme and an address segment that directs it to mitochondria. Inserting the strand into cells spurs their mitochondria to produce the enzyme, known as a restriction endonuclease, which cuts faulty mitochondrial DNA and leads to its destruction.Izpisua Belmonte and colleagues injected the RNA into the eggs and early embryos of mice that harbor two varieties of mitochondrial DNA, making them a suitable model for testing the reduction of a disease mutation. The enzyme slices one variety but leaves the other intact. The technique slashed the abundance of the targeted mitochondrial DNA variety in eggs and embryos, the researchers report today in Cell. To determine whether the method harmed the embryos, the researchers implanted some of them into female mice. The animals gave birth to healthy pups, which also produced normal young.In this experiment, both kinds of mitochondrial DNA were normal. But the results illustrate that it’s possible to diminish transmission of one mitochondrial DNA variety to the next generation.The restriction endonuclease technique would have limited use, the researchers note, because it would work against only one mutation that occurs in two mitochondrial diseases. So they turned to a second DNA-targeting technique, known as TALENs, that entails inducing cells to produce enzymes that work together like a pair of scissors to cut DNA. Researchers can customize these molecular shears to slice any mitochondrial DNA sequences they want.When the team injected RNA for the TALENs enzymes into mouse eggs that contained two varieties of mitochondrial DNA, it similarly reduced the levels of one type. To measure whether the technique could diminish disease-causing mitochondrial mutations, the researchers created hybrid cells by fusing mouse eggs to human cells that harbor either of two disease-causing defects. The team showed that the TALENs technique drastically reduced the amounts of faulty DNA in the hybrid cells.Fertility clinics already have the expertise to perform both RNA-injection procedures, Izpisua Belmonte says. Although neither technique eliminated the targeted DNA from eggs or embryos, that probably isn’t necessary, he says. Most people typically carry a mixture of mitochondrial DNA varieties, and illness results when the proportion of “bad” mitochondrial DNA falls between 60% and 95%. “We want to decrease it to below the level for the diseases to appear,” says Alejandro Ocampo, a postdoc in Izpisua Belmonte’s lab and co-author on the paper.Cell and molecular biologist Giovanni Manfredi of the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City gives the study high marks. “They can drop the amount of mutant DNA significantly to levels that … the likelihood of having a disease is virtually zero.” He predicts that the techniques won’t draw the ethical objections of mitochondrial DNA replacement therapy because “the mitochondrial DNA remains that of the mother.”Izpisua Belmonte and colleagues are already testing whether the techniques will work and are safe in human eggs and embryos discarded by fertility clinics. Emailcenter_img 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

From band director to chief data cruncher Trumps choice to lead US

first_img By Jeffrey MervisJan. 12, 2018 , 2:50 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The people appointed to lead the flagship U.S. agency that collects and vets education statistics typically have spent many years working for the federal government or a university and have managed large organizations before taking the job. But James “Lynn” Woodworth, President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), doesn’t fit that mold. And researchers are divided over what his unusual background could mean for an agency responsible for analyzing education data both domestically and around the world.Woodworth, whose appointment the White House announced last week, joined the U.S. Marine Corps after college and spent 6 years as an intelligence officer monitoring communications in Arabic. He then spent a decade as a high school music teacher and band director in rural Arkansas before returning to school for a Ph.D. in education reform from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (UAF). For the past 5 years he’s been a research analyst at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.Some researchers are worried that those jobs aren’t sufficient training to run the agency, a part of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education. “We have long sought the appointment [to NCES] of a highly experienced leader and expert in this field,” says Felice Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association based in Washington. D.C. “Dr. James Woodworth is relatively new to and not well known in the research, statistics, and data community,” she notes. From band director to chief data cruncher: Trump’s choice to lead U.S. education statistics agency raises eyebrows Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of State (IIP Bureau) center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) But others see his diverse experiences as an asset. “He’s got three things in his favor,” says Sean “Jack” Buckley, who served 3 years as NCES commissioner under former President Barack Obama and now works at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. “He was a teacher, and that’s seriously important, especially being at the K-12 level. He’s been in the military, so he knows what it’s like to be part of a big bureaucracy. And he’s worked with longitudinal student unit record systems and appreciates their value.”NCES may be unfamiliar to the public, but last year it celebrated its 150th anniversary. Its most visible product is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), billed as the nation’s report card, which measures what U.S. students know in reading, math, and other subjects. It also conducts the U.S. component of various international assessments and a range of other domestic surveys.Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), where Woodworth now works, has built a reputation for high-quality analysis of various characteristics of charter schools, including how well their students do compared with those attending traditional public schools. The impact of charter schools on the U.S. education system is part of the highly charged political debate over what’s known as school choice: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and most Republicans advocate greater parental control over education through mechanisms such as vouchers that allow parents to use public funds to pay for private schools, whereas many Democrats believe those policies will inevitably weaken public schools and reduce opportunities for poor and minority students.CREDO’s director, Margaret Raymond, and the Hoover Institute are major players on the Republican side of that debate, although Raymond has occasionally questioned some aspects of the dogma, notably the benefits of for-profit charter organizations. The UAF program that Woodworth attended is run by education professor Jay Greene, another major figure in the charter schools movement.As a statistical agency, however, NCES is supposed to remain above the political fray. The results of its surveys are meant to help policymakers make informed choices, not to sway discussions by tinkering with the ways information is gathered, assessed, and presented.Previous commissioners have walked that fine line and defended the agency’s independence, say both Buckley and Greene, even to the point of self-criticism. In 2006, then-Commissioner Mark Schneider faulted his staff for its analysis of the results of a study, begun before he became commissioner, comparing the academic performance of students at public and private schools. That’s not what NCES should be doing, he told the trade publication Education Week.“Our job is to collect the data and get it out the door” to researchers, Schneider said at the time. “What you do with it is your business.” Schneider left NCES in 2008, but his view of the agency still matters: In late November 2017, he was nominated to become IES director, that is, Woodworth’s boss, and is awaiting confirmation by the Senate.Buckley says he doesn’t know Woodworth’s personal views on charter schools and other topics. But he thinks it would be wrong to assume that they would shape his actions as NCES commissioner. Woodworth declined a request from ScienceInsider to comment on his appointment.Ideology aside, Buckley says one big challenge for Woodworth will be figuring out how school districts around the country can make NAEP a totally digital exercise using their own computer systems. Another item on Woodworth’s to-do list is how to broaden access to education data collected by other entities, including local and state governments.Some in the statistical community point to Woodworth’s lack of management experience as a potentially major impediment to tackling those and other issues. “He doesn’t fit the profile” for the position spelled out in federal statutes, says Kitty Smith Evans, head of the Washington, D.C.–based government affairs office for the American Economic Association. She is past executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, a Washington, D.C.–based coalition of stakeholders. Specifically, she notes that the law stipulates the NCES commissioner “shall be highly qualified and have substantial knowledge of statistical methodologies and activities undertaken by the center.”Smith also worries that Woodworth may not have the breadth of statistical knowledge needed to fill another role at NCES—as “the last point of quality control” for studies before they go out the door. “Someone else may have to do that technical clearance,” she speculates.In Woodworth’s defense, UAF’s Greene says Woodworth is very skilled in managing the type of large databases that NCES produces. His doctoral thesis on school financing formulas relied on his piecing together vast amounts of data from many sources, Greene notes, “and that ability got him hired at CREDO.”Several education researchers declined to comment on his appointment, saying they were not familiar with his work in the field. But they won’t have to wait long to see him in action. The job of NCES commissioner no longer requires Senate confirmation, and Woodworth is expected to take up his position shortly.last_img read more

If an alien ship left its trash near Earth heres what it

first_img By Daniel CleryMar. 15, 2019 , 5:05 PM If an alien ship left its trash near Earth, here’s what it might look like J. W. Young/TMO/JPL/NASA center_img Iridium flares are a familiar sight for sky watchers: The brilliant flashes take place when sunlight bounces off the solar panels of the remaining, low-orbiting satellites that were launched as part of the first Iridium communications system. Now, a researcher involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence wonders what similar flashes farther out might mean—perhaps a shiny alien artifact or spacecraft?To find out, he calculated what a shiny “technosignature” might look like. He started with the observation that even though a reflective surface can be seen from a long way off, our ability to see it from Earth depends on the surface area, which way it is oriented, whether it is spinning, and the sensitivity of Earth-bound telescopes. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS1), a 1.8-meter telescope on Haleakala in Hawaii that scans the sky for potentially threatening near-Earth objects, for example, could spot a mirror the size of a coaster out to 1 astronomical unit, the distance between the sun and Earth, if it was rotating slowly. For Pan-STARRS1 to see a fast-rotating mirror at the same distance, it would need to be the size of a tennis court.Given these variables, the researcher estimates there would need to be millions of mirrors across the inner solar system to see one in a single Pan-STARRS1 exposure, he reports today on the arXiv preprint server. Those chances might go up by focusing on Lagrange points, gravitational sinkholes where alien detritus might accumulate. If only a few hundred mirrors were present, a much smaller telescope could spot one. But the fact that we haven’t seen such flashes yet suggests any alien visitors—if they are out there—are doing a good job of cleaning up after themselves.last_img read more

Longunderfunded Lyme disease research gets an injection of money—and ideas

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country ISTOCK.COM/DIETERMEYRL Months after a U.S. Congress–mandated working group sounded the alarm about tickborne illnesses and urged more federal action and money, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is readying a strategic plan for these diseases. Last week it also, serendipitously, issued a rare solicitation for prevention proposals in tickborne diseases. The new pot of money, $6 million in 2020, represents a significant boost; NIH spent $23 million last year on Lyme disease, by far the most common tickborne illness, within $56 million devoted to tickborne diseases overall.”I’m happy for anything” new going toward research, says John Aucott, director of the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center in Baltimore, Maryland, who chaired the group that wrote the 2018 report. Strategies that may garner support include vaccines that target multiple pathogens carried by ticks or that kill the ticks themselves.Aucott’s panel included academic and government scientists as well as patient advocates; it formed as a result of the 2016 21st Century Cures Act. The group’s report described tickborne diseases as a “serious and growing threat.” About 30,000 confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported last year to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the agency believes the real number to be more than 300,000. Cases of Lyme disease have roughly tripled since the 1990s as ticks carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative bacterium, have spread in response to climate change, neighborhoods encroaching on animal habitats, and other ecologic shifts. By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelApr. 17, 2019 , 3:00 PM Long-underfunded Lyme disease research gets an injection of money—and ideas Emailcenter_img The black-legged tick can carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. 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 (*) The Lyme disease field has for years been mired in controversy—researchers receive hate mail from angry and desperate patients, and scientific disputes can be vitriolic. That may have left government agencies reluctant to wade too deep into the fray. “I think the discussion is starting to shift,” says Monica Embers, a microbiologist at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She and others still hope for additional money from NIH and CDC for diagnostics and treatment research. CDC’s budget for Lyme disease grew this year from $10.7 million to $12 million—the first increase in 5 years, albeit a modest one. “Preventing infection is going to go a long way if we can do it,” Embers says.Symptoms of Lyme disease vary but can include a rash at the site of the tick bite, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. After a course of antibiotics, 10% to 20% of those infected remain sick, and the question is why: Some scientists believe the bacterium can persist in the body, but others dismiss the idea. This dispute, combined with patients whom doctors often can’t help, has created a fractious field unlike almost any other.The $6 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is slated to fund up to 15 projects. The funding “will get new technology out of the shadows,” spurring development of nascent approaches and collaborations, says Maria Gomes-Solecki, a veterinarian at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis who has designed an oral vaccine for mice and other rodents against B. burgdorferi. It kills the bacterium in ticks feeding on the animals. A company called US Biologic, also in Memphis, is seeking marketing approval for the vaccine from the Department of Agriculture and hopes to sell it to homeowners and health departments.”Vaccines are certainly going to be at the top” of prevention priorities for tickborne diseases, says Samuel Perdue, chief of the Basic Sciences Section in NIAID’s Bacteriology and Mycology Branch in Bethesda, Maryland, noting that the institute already funds some vaccine research.The only Lyme vaccine for people had a difficult history: It was almost 80% effective but was pulled from the market in 2002 after safety concerns surfaced and sales tanked. Since then, tickborne diseases have become a growing problem, and the black-legged tick can transmit many of them, says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He favors developing a vaccine that protects against multiple pathogens, possibly by targeting ticks instead. Some scientists are studying how to design a tick-killing vaccine for people that reacts to the tick’s salivary proteins. Ostfeld knows firsthand that this is possible: After exposure to dozens of tick bites during fieldwork, his immune system now kills ticks when they begin to feed on him. “I’m not alone,” he says. “There are people who seem to attack the tick.” Animal models have backed the approach.Nonvaccine prevention efforts are underway as well. Across 24 neighborhoods in Dutchess County in New York, Ostfeld and ecologist Felicia Keesing of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, are leading an effort to test whether a tick-killing fungus and a pesticide that kills ticks when applied to animals can reduce infection rates in people and pets. Much of that project is supported by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which has spent more than $42 million on Lyme and other tickborne disease research since 2015. Two other groups, the Global Lyme Alliance and the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, have together directed more than $20 million to research in recent years. “These foundations are giving a lot of money,” says Embers, who receives foundation support. “They want translational research, and they want answers.”Foundations are keen to address the third rail of Lyme disease: how Borrelia bacteria persist—if they do—in treated patients who don’t get better. NIH’s strategic plan is due this summer, but Ostfeld says researchers coming together could make it easier for the agency to boost funding in a polarized field. “The responsibility,” he suggests, “lies at least in part with the community to try to avoid so much acrimony and to try to find areas of agreement.”last_img read more

New EU research funding head stresses superdisciplinarity

first_img New EU research funding head stresses ‘superdisciplinarity’ By Tania RabesandratanaMay. 14, 2019 , 12:10 PM 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 Nanomedicine pioneer Mauro Ferrari will be the next president of the European Research Council (ERC), the funding organization announced today. He will come to the job in Brussels with limited European policy experience, after almost 40 years in the United States, where he worked at the University of California, Berkeley; the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland; and the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas.A dual U.S. and Italian citizen, Ferrari trained in math at the University of Padua in Italy before pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Berkeley. At the age of 43, while leading a department at Ohio State University in Columbus, he also took classes at medical school there. “I never got a medical degree. You can write that the ERC will be led by a med school drop-out,” he jokes.Now 59, Ferrari will take over from French mathematician Jean-Pierre Bourguignon on 1 January 2020 for a 4-year term at ERC’s helm. Since its inception in 2007, the funding body has awarded about 9000 of its coveted basic research grants, worth €16.9 billion. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img ScienceInsider spoke with Ferrari about his passion for interdisciplinary problems and his broad vision for the agency; the conversation was edited for brevity and clarity.Q: Why did you take this job? A: I’ve always kept in touch with science in Europe, and I admire how it merges different cultures and perspectives. Science is a worldwide endeavour, and [my taking the job] should not be read as anything negative about the U.S. I had a fantastic time there, and I look forward to continuing to interact with U.S. science.From 2003 to 2005, I spent 2 years at the U.S. National Cancer Institute as a special advisor to launch the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. The program had a big impact, funding thousands of investigators across the country. This was my first opportunity of enabling and helping research on a broader scale. That’s where I discovered my passion for serving scientists and, through them, the community.Q: How much do you know about ERC?A: I’ve never applied for an ERC grant; I have never been involved in an ERC [evaluation] panel. But the ERC enjoys a pretty universal, global respect. Many people refer to it as a model. Of course, it is a lot more famous in Europe than in other places.I’m very excited about its focus on excellence as the [selection] criterion, and on grants for individual investigators—one lab, one scientist. That’s very powerful.I also like the notion that the agency has a portfolio with life sciences, engineering, physical sciences, social science, and humanities, all under one roof. That’s very healthy. Boundaries between disciplines are in many ways artificial and counterproductive. [Different fields] have more opportunities for contact here than in other funding agencies.Q: What did you learn from your own research, applying nanotechnology to cure metastatic cancer, to make interdisciplinary approaches work?A: Interdisciplinary research is not just someone who knows about A working with someone who knows about B. The very boundaries of science are changing. For example, when we study the nanoscale, is it physics, chemistry, maths, engineering? I don’t really know! The focus should be on solving problems. When you study how you are going to treat cancer that has migrated from its original site to a vital organ, it requires biological knowledge at the cellular and molecular level, but also physics and engineering. That’s what I call “superdisciplinarity,” building on and respecting initial fields.Q: You will join ERC, possibly after Brexit, and after European elections this month that could see a Euroskeptic surge. Do you feel that ERC has a role to play in uniting Europe?A: Thanks for asking me an impossible question! Science applies to everybody everywhere in the same way. Cancer hurts people equally regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans. The beauty of science is that it brings people together, regardless of everything else. Science should be at the service of the community. It’s too early to say what will happen after Brexit. The U.K. has been a great member of the family here, and I hope there will still be great collaborations with scientists in the U.K. no matter what happens.Q: Critics say ERC’s focus on excellence excludes some scientists in Eastern and Southern Europe. Does ERC have a role to play in capacity building?A: Talent is everywhere, but opportunities sometimes are more limited in some places than in others. That’s not an argument against excellence, but we need strategies for talent to flourish and be competitive. Access to infrastructure, equipment, and collaborations is important.Q: I understand your Christian faith is important to you, and you serve on a bioethics group at the Vatican.A: I’m currently a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which focuses on biomedical ethics and includes people from different religions, as well as atheists. Religion is important for me in my private life, but I’m not a religious scholar or a moral theologian; I was brought into these groups because I’m conversant with the development of new biomedical science and methods. It’s a lot of fun. Some people ask me how faith interferes with science. I’m not here to answer for anybody, but for me it doesn’t. Beliefs don’t change the methodology or rigor of scientific research. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Mauro Ferrari will be the next head of the European Research Council in Brussels. European Research Council last_img read more

NIH should ask both institutions and investigators to report sexual harassment findings

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) To combat sexual harassment in biomedical research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should ask grant applicants directly whether they have been found guilty of sexual harassment and require institutions to tell NIH about any such findings, as well as investigations. Those recommendations were released today by a working group advising NIH about how to bolster its policies in this hot-button area.The group also urged NIH to help victims of sexual harassment rebuild their careers, and it called for the Bethesda, Maryland–based agency to give trainees more independence from their mentors. NIH Director Francis Collins welcomed the advice. “I’m happy the recommendations are quite bold,” he said after a presentation to his Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD). But, he added, much remains to be fleshed out, including what legal constraints the agency faces in following through.Mounting concerns about sexual harassment in science have prompted research agencies to examine their policies. The National Science Foundation (NSF) last fall began to require that institutions report when a principal investigator (PI) has been found guilty of sexual harassment. But although NIH has expressed concern, apologized to victims, and added a new way to report allegations, it has held off on new policies—instead appointing a working group that in February began to explore possible changes. By Jocelyn KaiserJun. 13, 2019 , 9:30 PM NIH should ask both institutions and investigators to report sexual harassment findings, advisory group says Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Lydia Polimeni/National Institutes of Health The working group today issued four interim recommendations. The first is that sexual harassment be treated “as seriously as research misconduct.” That would not mean adding it to the federal definition of research misconduct (now defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism) but instead establishing “parallel mechanisms.”In particular, NIH should require that institutions tell the agency about investigations and findings involving any kind of professional misconduct—including sexual harassment—within 1 week of an investigation’s start or a finding being issued. NSF’s new policy requires reporting about any harassment findings and any administrative actions that have been taken in connection with a harassment allegation, such as putting the investigator on leave. The report also recommends NIH set up a hotline for reporting sexual and other misconduct and work with other agencies to develop standard operating procedures for responding to investigations and findings.A second recommendation is to require PIs and co-PIs to “attest” on grant applications and progress reports that they have not violated and will not violate their institution’s code of professional conduct. A specific question might ask whether the applicant has been found guilty or been involved in a settlement involving sexual harassment or other misconduct within the past 7 years.A third recommendation is that NIH “recapture lost talent,” for example by encouraging sexual harassment survivors to apply to programs that help researchers restart their careers after dropping out for reasons such as having a baby. Finally, NIH should make more training awards directly to individual trainees, rather than to institutions or mentors; the idea is that if trainees have greater control over their financial support, they have greater power in the PI-trainee relationship, and less to lose if they report or push back against harassing behavior.Some members of the ACD questioned how the 7-year self-reporting limit was set. The working group didn’t want a PI to be “branded for life,” explained working group co-chair and NIH Associate Director for Science Policy Carrie Wolinetz. Others noted that PIs who commit research misconduct are often barred from receiving federal grants for 3 years, but sometimes the ban is for life.The appropriate time limit is one issue the working group will look at before it issues a final report in December, said co-chair Kristina Johnson, chancellor of the State University of New York system. Another is whether staff on a grant who are not a PI or co-PI should also be covered by the proposed policies.The working group did not discuss what NIH should do in response to reports of sexual harassment findings or investigations, which would go to staff but not study sections. “It’s going to be up to staff to figure out” how to respond, Collins said. NIH officials say implementing some of the recommendations could require a formal rulemaking process; the agency has previously said that hurdle prevented it from adopting NSF’s reporting policy. One prominent #MeTooSTEM activist was pleased with the report. “There are a lot of good things about these recommendations,” says BethAnn McLaughlin of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. One is that NIH would be more directly involved in sanctioning PIs who commit sexual harassment instead of leaving such actions to universities.McLaughlin also finds “hugely inspiring” new data that NIH shared disciplinary actions involving sexual harassment. In February, the agency said that in 2018 in response to 28 incidents, 14 PIs had been replaced on grants and institutions had disciplined 21 PIs; two people had been removed as peer reviewers. So far this year, NIH said it has received 31 inquiries involving 27 investigators and removed five PIs from grants, and 19 from peer review.Cases involving NIH’s own staff have also gone up: In 2018, the agency reviewed 35 allegations, formally disciplined 10 staff members, and informally disciplined 10 staff members. Since January, NIH has reviewed 171 allegations and taken actions against seven staff formally, and 27 informally.*Clarification, 14 June, 3:20 p.m.: The description of NSF’s sexual harassment policy has been clarified. 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

In lopsided vote US science academy backs move to eject sexual harassers

first_imgBuyenlarge/Contributor In lopsided vote, U.S. science academy backs move to eject sexual harassers By Meredith WadmanApr. 30, 2019 , 5:10 PM 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 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 (*) Breaking with their 156-year history, members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today voted overwhelmingly in favor of amending the elite organization’s bylaws to allow ejection of members who breach the group’s new Code of Conduct, which outlines offenses including sexual harassment. Historically, membership in NAS has been an honor conferred for life.Marcia McNutt, president of NAS, noted “the importance of the signal that [today’s vote] sends. And I’m grateful for the many members who showed support for it.”The vote by those who attended NAS’s annual business meeting in Washington, D.C., this morning was lopsided: 95 in favor; nine against; and six abstaining, according to one member who attended. But it is not final. Because of the seriousness of the proposed change to the bylaws, all 2347 academy members will be offered the chance to vote either online or by mail, which should be completed by mid-June, NAS explained in a statement. The change will require approval from a simple majority of voting members. The vote, which would allow ejection of a member for a range of offenses against the code of conduct, including bullying, discrimination, and fabrication of research, marked the culmination of months of groundwork by McNutt and NAS’s council. They were spurred by a wave of #MeToo-era revelations of sexual harassment by scientists, including NAS members, as well as by a landmark report that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued last year that documented widespread sexual harassment in science, engineering, and medicine.“Finally we are starting to have enough women in powerful positions to make things happen. I’m glad I lived this long to see it,” says Nancy Hopkins, who spoke in support of the amendment at today’s meeting and is a professor emeritus of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Hopkins was the driving force behind MIT’s groundbreaking examination of its own discriminatory treatment of female faculty 25 years ago.Vicki Lundblad, a biologist who last year settled a gender discrimination lawsuit against her institution, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, traveled to the NAS annual meeting in order to attend today’s meeting and vote on the amendment. The vote today “is a big deal,” she said afterward. “I think a lot of young people in science are looking at us and thinking: ‘Is [sexual harassment in science] going to change?’”Lundblad credited the move by NAS leaders to advocacy by neuroscientist BethAnn McLaughlin of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, who is also the founder of the nonprofit #MeTooSTEM. In May 2018, McLaughlin launched a petition urging the NAS to eject sexual harassers.McLaughlin called today’s vote “one of the many important steps every scientific society needs to take to ensure safety. Our science leaders should be ahead of the curve on decency and equity.”As ScienceInsider reported earlier this month, the bylaw amendment would allow a member’s ouster by a two-thirds vote of NAS’s 17-member council. An ejection vote would mark the last step in a process that could be initiated by anyone. That process would rely on NAS being presented with credible official findings from investigations by outside bodies and could end in less severe punishment.During this morning’s discussion, there were strong statements of support for the amendment. But a few participants raised fears that the process leading to a member’s ejection, as developed by McNutt and NAS’s council, could be misused. Some evoked the climate of fear created in the 1950s by then-Senator Joseph McCarthy (R–WI), who accused people holding all kinds of positions of supporting communism and tried to force from their positions. Some suggested every NAS member should vote on each individual ouster, rather than deferring that decision to the NAS council.NAS member Charles Bennett, an expert in the physics of computation at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, tried but failed, on procedural grounds, to amend the amendment. His proposed change would have limited ejection to those members who breached the code of conduct prior to being elected to NAS, but whose offenses were only later discovered. Members found to be guilty of present-day misconduct, he proposed, should not be kicked out but should be labeled as “disgraced” members—a designation that could later be reversed, he said, recalling the case of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a father of the atomic bomb, whose security clearance was revoked in 1954 for his alleged communist associations but who was later politically rehabilitated.“If there was a consensus” at the meeting, Bennett emailed afterward, “it was that the bylaw change itself, opening up the possibility of rescinding membership, was an important and necessary step, but that figuring out how and under what conditions to do it would not be a simple matter.”But McNutt was able to answer concerns about the process persuasively enough to win yes votes from nearly 90% of the those in the room. “Members were strongly in favor of the amendment,” she said. “But their concern was: ‘The devil’s in the details.’ All I had to remind them was: ‘The amendment doesn’t have any of the details.’”Those process details, she adds, are malleable, and can be adjusted by NAS members as time goes on.She also noted that the final vote is not a done deal: “If we really want to back up our code of conduct, we need to get this amendment into place.”last_img read more

Iron Age Gold and Treasure Found by Dental Assistant in a Muddy

first_imgAfter years of discovering next to nothing in her searches as an amateur archaeologist, a Danish dental assistant from Aarhus found more than 30 pieces of historically significant jewelry, including gold and pearls, in a muddy field on the island of Hjarnø. Mads Ravn, the research head at Vejle Museums, said the gold was believed to date to a time in the 6th century, just before the Viking period began.“Years can go by without amateur archaeologists finding gold, and some never do, so this is amazing,” the lucky woman, Terese Refsgaard, told DR. The gold included beads, pendants, a needle, and small pieces that were most likely used as currency.Photo by Vejle MuseumsHer discovery was made in 2017. Since then, professional archaeologists have worked the scene and secured more. Of 34 objects found, 27 of them are pure gold.The find suggests that people from Hjarnø had some contact with the Roman Empire.The island already had a rich history, with arrowheads found dating back many, many centuries, and artifacts washing up on the shore. On the southeast side of the island the ocean eats into the coast, leaving steep cliffs. On the southern part of the island are trails for hiking.Photo by Vejle MuseumsScientists are speculating that the Hjarnø gold treasure was an offering to please some “angry gods.”People connected to the Romans “probably took part in raids there, so our find is a small legacy from a turbulent time in world history in which gold speaks its own clear language,” Ravn told DR.The Roman connection comes into focus because of certain jewelry patterns and designs, the head of research said. “In terms of craft, they are completely unique, with gold markings that almost form spirals,” he said. “That is evidence of a high level of skill.”Stone ship from the wikinng age on Island of Hjarnø, Denmark Photo by Erik Christensen CC BY-SA 3.0One researcher who wrote on the find for Phys.org said, “We think that it was a typical offering made in the hope that the gods could help those who buried the treasure through a difficult time. And we know that it dates to the 6th century. Was it intended to appease angry gods and end the poor summers and dark skies following the El Salvador volcanic eruption?”“Or was it thanks to the ultimate collapse of the Western Roman Empire a few decades earlier, whereby the gold was brought to Denmark by returning ‘new rich’ aristocrats, who defined a new ritual practice and religion based on the Nordic Gods?” the researcher pondered. “We do not know.”The volcano in question erupted in El Salvador in 536 AD. The massive event could have instantly killed up to 100,000 people, displaced up to 400,000 more, and filled the skies with ash for over a year. Its effects were felt far beyond El Salvador, too.Photo by Vejle Museums“The sun gave forth its light without brightness,” wrote the Byzantine historian Procopius, “and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”There are questions about the next stage, but some scientists believe the eruption led to an extensive, though short-lived, climate change experienced across the northern hemisphere.In Denmark, there would have been poor summers and failed harvests.Numerous Roman sources describe the sun as dark during the day and, according to the 6th century Syriac Chronicle, there was “great despair among the people.”The Western empire was already disintegrating. The last Roman emperor, Flavius Romulus Augustus, ruled the Western empire for just one year, ending in 476 AD.Read another story from us: Early-Christian Basilica Found at the Bottom of a Lake could be Momentous SiteThe Viking age started in 793 and lasted until 1066. The Vikings come from Scandinavia, with Denmark considered its spiritual and historical home. On the island of Hjarnø, a preserved Viking ship is an attraction for visitors. The Kalvestenene is on the peninsula called Odden, believed to be a cremation burial site of the Vikings.The gold discovered on the island is now at The Vejle Museums.last_img read more

Be Kind kids

first_imgBe Kind kids Photo by Linda KorStudents at Park Elementary School in Holbrook including, (left to right) Jacob Hatch, Dallas Hayes and McKenzie Baker learned the importance of not only being kind to others but also being kind to themselves through exercise, eating good foods and loving themselves just as they are. The event was presented by the Be Kind People Project, a grant funded organization that travels to schools throughout the nation to teach kids how to be fit, be healthy and be kind. December 21, 2017center_img RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Woodruff Falls

first_imgPhoto by Linda KorWith the significant snowfall this winter Woodruff Falls was running full bore last weekend. According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the rain and snowfall led to the removal of the exceptional drought status as well as the reduction of extreme drought and severe drought status in northeastern Arizona. March 7, 2019 RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img Woodruff Fallslast_img

Researcher Cracks HackerProof Crypto Wallet

first_imgFor its part, Ledger discounted the severity of Rashid’s findings.”The issues found are serious (that’s why we highly recommend the update), but NOT critical,” Ledger’s Chief Security Officer Charels Guillemet wrote in an online post. “Funds have not been at risk, and there was no demonstration of any real life attack on our devices.”Any backdoors planted on a wallet using Rashid’s methods would be detected when the device connected with Ledger’s servers to download an application or perform a firmware update, Guillemet explained in a separate “deep dive” post about the hack.Rashid had not yet verified if the firmware upgrade fully addressed his hack, he told Ars Technica, but noted that even if it does, the flawed design of the product makes it likely the attack could be modified to work again. Rashid’s vulnerability involved Ledger’s wallet implementation — not the security of any of the cryptocurrencies that might be stored in it, emphasized Kees Schouten, the senior director for product at NYIAX.”The security of blockchain transactions themselves are not in doubt or exposed with this hack,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The hack wasn’t the hack of the cryptography,” Latium’s Johnson added. “It was a hack of the wallet provider’s software. If someone had undone the actual cryptography that backs cryptocurrency, then you would have a major problem on your hands.” Serious but Not Critical John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Shadow Over Wallets Securing the Supply Chaincenter_img A hardware wallet for virtual currencies with millions of users has been compromised by a 15-year-old security researcher.Saleem Rashid explained how he cracked the firmware on the wallet produced by Ledger in an online post Tuesday.Rashid performed what’s known as a “supply chain” attack. That means a targeted device is compromised before any users get their hands on it.The attack on Ledger’s US$100 Nano S wallet creates a backdoor on the device that generates predetermined wallet addresses and passwords. With that information, a bandit could perform a number of nasty deeds, including sending money from the wallet to the attacker’s account.Rashid informed Ledger of his hack in November. Since then, the company has released a new version of the firmware that’s supposed to address the vulnerability in the Nano S, although it remains unaddressed in another model of the wallet, the Ledger Blue. Cryptocurrency Crypto Still Safe Although the vulnerability discovered by Rashid may cause some concern for user’s of Ledger’s hardware wallet, it’s unlikely to create anxiety among cryptocurrency users in general.”Ledger is a single provider of a hardware wallet. The majority of cryptocurrency users don’t use hardware wallets,” said David Johnson, CEO of Latium, an organization that pays people in cryptocurrencies for completing crowdsourced tasks.”I don’t believe this will have massive ramifications to the cryptocurrency community as a whole,” he told TechNewsWorld.While the attack may not affect the wider cryptocurrency community, it could cast doubt on other hardware wallets, suggested William J. Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies at Trend Micro.”It implies that all cryptocurrency wallets could be suffering similar vulnerabilities,” he told TechNewsWorld. Although Ledger chose to close the vulnerability in its wallet through a firmware update, tightening its supply chain security may be essential.”No matter how good, secure or safe a solution is, there always are — and always will be — weaknesses that can be used to crack it,” observed Kirill Radchenko, CEO of Paygine.”The question is how expensive it is to close those gaps and to prevent bad guys from using them. In this case, using tamper-proof packaging seems to be quite a sufficient measure that can be easily implemented and that does not affect the product price,” he told TechNewsWorld.”So if a weakness can be efficiently addressed and does not cost a fortune,” Radchenko continued, “there will be no need to change the device itself or its architecture to address the problem.”last_img read more

Hologics Cynosure division introduces TempSure Surgical RF technology in North America

Related StoriesHologic to highlight groundbreaking imaging products at RSNA 2013Tepnel Pharma Services uses Hologic’s Invader Plus technology to offer genotyping, CNV serviceFDA clears Hologic’s APTIMA Trichomonas vaginalis AssayTempSure Surgical RF technology is designed to enhance the existing TempSure radiofrequency platform and includes a variety of electrodes that integrate seamlessly with the main TempSure unit.In January 2018, Cynosure launched the TempSure radiofrequency platform with TempSure™ Envi, a device for treating facial fine lines and wrinkles, tightening the skin through soft tissue coagulation, and temporarily reducing the appearance of cellulite.New and existing customers now have the opportunity to customize their TempSure Envi system to include TempSure Surgical RF technology, TempSure Vitalia handpieces, or a combination of all three to help meet different clinical needs at their practice. Dec 18 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Hologic, Inc.’s Cynosure division announced today the North American launch of the FDA-cleared TempSure™ Surgical RF technology, a new offering of the TempSure™ radiofrequency (RF) platform that provides clinicians the ability to perform both surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures across a variety of specialties, on a single device.Cynosure also has returned TempSure™ Vitalia handpieces and probes to the market and will continue to market its MonaLisa Touch® CO2 laser following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inquiry on products used in energy-based women’s health procedures.Over the past several months, Cynosure worked closely with the FDA and reviewed and updated all its marketing and promotional materials to ensure they are consistent with the FDA’s labeling expectations.TempSure Surgical RF technology harnesses a 300-watt and 4-MHz radiofrequency platform that enables precise incisions with minimal lateral thermal damage to surrounding tissues.The resulting high-quality coagulation lessens sparking and charring during procedures, which promotes quicker recovery and better healing for patients.The device is designed to improve patient satisfaction and aesthetic outcomes and can be used by clinicians across a variety of specialties including plastic surgery, dermatology, gynecology, and ophthalmology. We’re continually innovating to ensure our customers set themselves apart with effective and diverse treatment offerings, and this enhanced platform is a gamechanger across specialties.The cutting-edge technology of the TempSure platform will now allow doctors to transition seamlessly from invasive to non-invasive treatments on one device.We’re pleased to reintroduce TempSure Vitalia and to continue offering MonaLisa Touch to provide clinically strong products for women’s wellness.Cynosure is the only medical aesthetic manufacturer to offer two different energy-based modalities for women’s wellness — radiofrequency and CO2 — and we remain committed to advancing women’s pelvic health around the globe.”Kevin Thornal, Hologic’s Division President, Cynosure TempSure Surgical is truly a breakthrough technology that has improved my surgical procedures and delivered fantastic results. I immediately noticed cleaner cuts and optimum coagulation during surgery, which gives me the confidence to tell my patients they will experience less bruising and better wound healing.With the addition of TempSure Surgical, I am now able to perform improved surgical incisions and also offer noninvasive wrinkle reduction with TempSure Envi. This technology has revolutionized my practice — and it will revolutionize your practice.”Dr. Barry DiBernardo of New Jersey Plastic Surgery Source:https://www.hologic.com/ read more

New technology identifies regions where coral reef ecosystems are vulnerable to human

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 26 2019Researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) and the State of Hawai’i Department of Health have developed and applied a new technology in Hawai’i that identifies where coral reef ecosystems and associated fisheries are vulnerable to human activities and where to focus management actions to minimize anthropogenic impacts.The authors of the newly published study in the journal Ecological Applications identified specific locations on land where improved wastewater management and landscape practices would yield the greatest benefits for downstream reefs in terms of mitigating harm to coral communities and associated reef fish populations.Human activities on land and in the ocean often have cascading effects on marine ecosystems. Expansion of coastal development, along with wastewater discharge and fertilizers, can harm coral reefs and their fisheries through increases in sediment and nutrient runoff. Consequent reef degradation directly affects ecological resilience, food security, human well-being, and cultural practices in tropical island communities around the world.The researchers focused on the ahupua’a (land divisions) of Hā?ena on Kaua’i and Ka’?p?lehu on Hawai’i Island, at opposite ends of the main Hawaiian Islands, where native Hawaiian communities are taking action to manage their resources through a place-based management approach.To determine where management on land can most effectively support current community-led efforts to restore reef health and abundance, the researchers built a fine-scale, linked land-and-sea computer model that integrates existing land-use with coral reef condition and fisheries health. The team then simulated various future coastal development and climate change scenarios to pinpoint areas in each ahupua’a where upgrading cesspools and reducing fertilizer application would provide the greatest benefits to downstream coral reefs.In every scenario, the tool confirmed that coral reefs on wave-sheltered shores with low circulation are more vulnerable to land-based source pollution under a changing climate, but also revealed that some reef areas on wave-exposed shores are vulnerable at the local scale. This has important implications for future development in these areas and shows that fine scale decision support tools are necessary to reveal spatial nuances between places and inform targeted marine and terrestrial management actions.Related StoriesResearchers hope to develop electronic “replacement fish”Complement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairDr. Jade Delevaux and Dr. Kostantinos Stamoulis from UH Mānoa, co-lead authors of the study explain, “This technology can be applied across the main Hawaiian Islands as well as in more data-limited regions worldwide, where satellite data are becoming more freely available. The products of this tool provide a platform for dialogue among decision makers and inform management of linked land and sea areas.””Cesspools in coastal areas can be detrimental to the health of coral reefs and nearshore fisheries, which is a huge issue right now,” said Dr. Kawika Winter, manager of the He’eia National Estuarine Research Reserve and a co-author of the study, who also sits onis also a member of the State’s Cesspool Conversion Working Group. “This research will help us to prioritize where we should focus resources when it comes to cesspool conversion in Hawai’i.”Beyond Hawai’i, these new methods are especially relevant for many indigenous island communities across Oceania seeking to revitalize customary ridge-to-reef management systems and for governments that recognize the need to apply integrated land-sea planning approaches.Dr. Tamara Ticktin, professor of botany at UH Mānoa, principal investigator on the National Science Foundation grant that funded the research, and co-author of the study, added: “This technology is widely applicable to other Pacific Islands, and is exciting because it demonstrates that resilience of coral reefs to global climate change can be promoted by coordinating local actions across land and sea, thereby empowering local people to become better stewards over their resources.” Source:https://manoa.hawaii.edu/last_img read more

Scientists discover mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation in MS

first_img Source:https://www.pasteur.fr/en/research-journal/news/discovery-mechanism-responsible-chronic-inflammation-patients-suffering-multiple-sclerosis Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 11 2019Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease. The defense system that usually protects patients from external aggression turns on its own cells and attacks them for reasons that are not yet known. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur have shown that ancient viruses are involved in the acute inflammatory defense response that may contribute to the disease.Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to irreversible damage to the brain and spinal cord. This disease is also associated with the reactivation of ancient viruses, which were inserted in our DNA during the evolution of humankind. It was therefore long thought that multiple sclerosis was due to a viral infection.Related StoriesNanotechnology treatment reverses multiple sclerosis symptoms in miceMice study suggests potential treatment approach for MS in humansNovel imaging molecule reveals brain changes linked to progressive MS”Our study shows that reactivation of ancient viruses does not correspond to an infectious phenomenon, but to a defense response of the body when faced with an acute inflammatory phenomenon” explains Christian Muchardt, Head of the Epigenetic Regulation Unit at the Institut Pasteur.Viral sequences were neutralized during evolution and no longer represent a source of infection. But these sequences are a source of external DNA containing information about virus behavior. Cells have therefore been able to control these sequences to detect infections as quickly as possible and turn on their defense genes during an attack.These viral sequences are, above all, used to control defense genes in stem cells. They lie dormant in adult cells and it is the more traditional sequences that become active. By examining samples from patients with MS, the scientists observed that regulatory sequences of viral origin emerged from their dormant state and were responsible for abnormal expression of several pro-inflammatory genes.To conclude, in multiple sclerosis, activation of viral sequences does not correspond to an infectious phenomenon but to the unexpected use of regulatory sequences, leading to chronic excessive inflammation.”The discovery of this mechanism, linked to epigenetic phenomena, may one day pave the way for management of MS using small molecules that inhibit chromatin modification enzymes” sums up Christian Muchardt.last_img read more

Relying strictly on genetic data from European descent may increase health care

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 20 2019Relying strictly on genetic data from those of European descent, rather than more diverse populations, can exacerbate existing disease and increase health care disparities, according to new research.The research letter was published today in the journal Nature. This was borne out in the study which examined thousands of individuals in the U.S. of non-European ancestry. The Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology study (PAGE) was developed by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to conduct and empower genetic research in diverse populations.Researchers genotyped 49,839 people and found a number of genetic variants replicated from studies strictly of European descent. But PAGE investigators found dozens of discoveries that would not have been possible in a single population study. This included both complex traits and in Mendelian, or monogenic disorders.”In light of differential genetic architecture that is known to exist between populations, bias in representation can exacerbate existing disease and health care disparities,” the study said. “Critical variants can be missed if they have a low frequency or are completely absent in European populations…” Especially rare variants.Related StoriesLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaFungal infection study identifies specific genetic vulnerability among Hmong peopleGignoux said the success of precision medicine and genomics means recruiting people from underrepresented populations for genetic studies. Right now, those genomic databases lack critical diversity despite the fact that many of in underrepresented groups have the greatest health burden and stand to benefit the most from being included.”The Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to personalized medicine here in our state and region that will benefit ALL people, regardless of who you are or where you came from,” said Kathleen Barnes, PhD, director of the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. “Initiatives like PAGE, and the work summarized in this manuscript by Chris Gignoux and colleagues, show us the way forward in achieving our goals of inclusion. It also illuminates just how important genetic diversity is in our understanding of the architecture of genetic disease. These approaches can now feed into our personalized ancestry information resource for patients interested in their own ancestry, as well as benefit our research and clinical community.”Gignoux agreed.”With studies of diverse groups we got a better overall picture of the genetic architecture which show the underpinnings of disease,” Gignoux said. “We want to understand how genetics can improve and ameliorate disease rather than make it worse.” Source:University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus There have been numerous discoveries in human genetics over the last few decades that have told us a lot about biology, but most of the work is being done on those of European descent. By limiting our focus, we are limiting our understanding of the human genetics underlying complex traits. The PAGE Study gives us an overdue opportunity to look at what we can find when studying a large number of groups together.”Christopher Gignoux, PhD, MS, Study First Author, Associate Professor, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campuslast_img read more

EPFL scientists create first world map of regions with highest hepatitis E

first_imgRelated StoriesVirus employs powerful strategy to inhibit natural killer cell functionAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentHer co-author, Stéphane Joost, works at EPFL’s Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems. “One way to reduce that risk is to artificially increase river water flow rates during the hottest, driest periods of the year.”The need for more data The EPFL scientists have accomplished a monumental task in bringing together data from a number of online sources, yet their map is only one step towards developing prevention campaigns in high-risk areas. For instance, their map shows that measures urgently need to be taken in northern India. According to Carratalà, the next step would be to add information on annual HEV concentrations in the Ganges River to their dataset, along with the number of Hepatitis E cases recorded at local hospitals. That would give them greater insight into how environmental factors affect Hepatitis E epidemics in that region.The scientists worked with India’s National Institute of Epidemiology to collect data about the country. In a new project, they will look at how human activity affects the concentrations of HEV and other contaminants – like antibiotic-resistant genes – in the Rhone in Switzerland and compare that with concentrations in the Ganges. Source:Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneJournal reference:Carratalà, A & Joost, S. (2019) Population density and water balance influence the global occurrence of hepatitis E epidemics. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46475-3. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 11 2019EPFL scientists have created the first world map of regions with the highest prevalence of the hepatitis E virus (HEV). They hope that their map – freely available online – will help governments and NGOs design more effective prevention campaigns based on reliable data, particularly when it comes to setting up refugee camps. The scientists’ research has just been published in Scientific Reports.In Europe, China, Japan and North America, the main way people catch HEV is by eating undercooked pork, and the resulting disease is generally not fatal. However, in Mexico, India, Africa and most Asian countries, HEV is contracted by coming into contact with water from a river or well contaminated with fecal matter. According to the World Health Organization, there are around 20 million HEV infections worldwide every year and some 50,000 deaths from the disease. Hepatitis E epidemics are particularly deadly for pregnant women and generally occur after heavy rains and floods or after months-long droughts.Machine learningTo build their map, the EPFL scientists compiled data on all Hepatitis E epidemics recorded worldwide since 1980 and on environmental statistics like temperature, soil wetness and rainfall over the same period. They also factored in geographical location, population density and the rate of evapotranspiration, or how much river water evaporates during a drought. Evapotranspiration is important because the more that occurs, the more highly concentrated the intestinal pathogens are in the contaminated water that remains – water that is often used for cooking, washing or even religious ceremonies.Thanks to machine learning, the scientists were able to crunch through all the data and come up with actionable results. Our study confirmed that the areas most at risk are those with a high population density, heavy seasonal rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates.”Anna Carratalà, scientist at EPFL’s Environmental Chemistry Laboratory and the study’s lead authorlast_img read more

Cardiac arrest survivor meets four Good Samaritans who saved his life one

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019There was no time to spare when air passenger Hutz Hertzberg, DMin, PhD, suddenly collapsed at Midway Airport in full cardiac arrest.With each passing minute that his heart was stopped, Dr. Hertzberg’s chance of surviving dropped by roughly 10 percent. After five minutes, brain damage was likely. After 10 minutes, he likely would die or suffer severe brain damage.But fortunately, four medically trained air passengers – two EMTs and two nurses – were in the right place at the right time to save Dr. Hertzberg’s life. The four Good Samaritans had come to Midway from Colorado, Texas, Ohio and Kentucky. They worked as a team to administer CPR and shock Dr. Hertzberg’s heart back to life with an airport defibrillator.Dr. Hertzberg was taken to MacNeal Hospital, where he was put on life support, underwent an emergency cooling treatment to prevent brain damage and received two coronary stents.Remarkably, Dr. Hertzberg left the hospital after just three days and made a full recovery. It’s extremely rare to survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and not experience any impairments, said Darius Bartkus, MD, who coordinated Dr. Hertzberg’s care. “I’ve only seen it three times in my career,” he said. “When we get a win like this, it makes it all worthwhile.”Dr. Hertzberg recenbtly reunited with the Good Samaritans on the one-year anniversary of the day they saved his life.Dr. Hertzberg is president of Christian Heritage Academy, a preschool-through-12th grade Christian school in Northfield, Illinois. He also volunteers as the Senior Protestant Chaplain for Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports.On June 23, 2018, Dr. Hertzberg was at Midway waiting for a flight to Nashville for a Christian education conference. His wife Lynne and daughter Hiley were joining him for a few days before the conference began.At 1:35 p.m., as he was leaving the men’s room, Dr. Hertzberg collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest. His heart effectively stopped beating, he lost consciousness, stopped breathing and started turning blue.Good Samaritans Rick Yarbrough, a retired Air Force EMT, and Dan Blasini, RN, an Army-trained nurse, arrived at Dr. Hertzberg’s side first. Mr. Yarbrough gently rolled Dr. Hertzberg on to his back and checked for his pulse and breathing – there were none. Mr. Yarbrough secured Dr. Hertzberg’s neck while Mr. Blasini began chest compressions and yelled “Get a defibrillator!”Related StoriesCompression-only CPR associated with increased survival of out-of-hospital cardiac arrestBystander CPR less likely for African American kids from most disadvantaged areasCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseA security guard quickly retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED). Two other Good Samaritans, EMT Erika Van Hook and her sister-in-law Bridgett Tyler, RN, arrived. Ms. Van Hook helped Mr. Blasini with the chest compressions and they attached the defibrillator pads to Dr. Hertzberg’s chest. The AED checked Dr. Hertzberg’s heart rhythm and delivered a powerful electric jolt to restart his heart.Using a mask from the AED, Ms. Van Hook performed mouth-to-mouth breathing, as Ms. Tyler made sure his neck and head were properly positioned.Dr. Hertzberg’s color improved from blue to pale to pinkish, and by the time the paramedics arrived, he had a faint pulse. The four Good Samaritans – from Monument, Colo. (Mr. Yarbrough), San Antonio Tx. (Mr. Blasini), Corbin, Ky. (Ms. Van Hook) and Norwalk, Ohio (Ms. Tyler) – had come together to save his life.”They worked together so well, you would have thought they had known one another for years,” Lynne Hertzberg said.Paramedics rushed Dr. Hertzberg to MacNeal. His wife and daughter followed in a police SUV, running stop lights with the sirens blaring.At MacNeal, Dr. Hertzberg was put on advanced life support. He was hooked up to a breathing tube, and IVs delivered essential fluids and medications that aided breathing and circulation.A major risk of cardiac arrest is brain swelling, caused by the temporary lack of blood circulation. To prevent such swelling, Dr. Hertzberg was wrapped in cooling blankets filled with ice cold water. His body temperature dropped to 93 degrees F. To tolerate the cold, Dr. Hertzberg was put in a medically induced coma.An angiogram revealed that Dr. Hertzberg had two major blockages in his heart, said MacNeal cardiologist Kishin Ramani, MD. A main artery was 70 to 80 percent blocked and a branch artery was 100 percent blocked. To reopen the vessels, interventional cardiologist George Aziz, MD, performed a balloon angioplasty and stent placement in each artery.”I was so pleased with the medical care,” Mrs. Hertzberg said. “I felt we had the A team.”Mrs. Hertzberg was warned that Dr. Hertzberg could face a long recovery and significant cognitive deficits. But as soon as he woke up and began talking, she could tell he was the same.Dr. Hertzberg was hospitalized on a Saturday afternoon. He went home the following Tuesday and returned to work a little more than a month later.Now, every Saturday afternoon, Dr. Hertzberg and his wife and daughter pause at 1:35 p.m. to thank God for the moment when four strangers came together to save his life.”Every day is a gift from the Lord,” he said. Source:Loyola University Health System I will be forever grateful to God for using four Good Samaritans to save my life and for using the excellent staff at MacNeal Hospital to restore my life.”Dr. Hertzberglast_img read more