Microscopic imaging helps better understand cancer bone metastasis

July 20, 2019

first_imgAug 2 2018Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have engineered a system allowing microscopic monitoring and imaging of cancer that has spread to the bone in mice so they can better understand and develop treatment for bone metastasis in humans.”Advanced prostate cancer and other cancers metastasize to the bones, causing resistance to therapy and pain for patients, but it’s not really clear what makes the bone so special to prostate cancer progression,” said Eleonora Dondossola, Ph.D., instructor in Genitourinary Medical Oncology and lead author of a paper in Science Translational Medicine.”Bone probably provides cues and an attractive microenvironment for cancer cells to grow,” she notes, but noninvasive microscopy to study the process in detail is hindered by the thickness of the outer bone blocking the view of inner cavity and bone marrow.”It was a black box. Finally, our model allows us to get inside the bone with intravital multiphoton microscopy and shed some light on these phenomena,” she said.The researchers show how the technique can monitor and capture the dynamics of tumor cell interaction with bone and bone resident cells as they occur over time. Source:https://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/2018/07/microscopic-imaging-pierces-the–black-box–of-cancer-bone-metastasis.html A tissue-engineered construct under a mouse’s skin develops in about a month into bone with an internal cavity and a thin outer layer that the microscope can “see” through. After bone marrow and other cells populate the cavity, a cancer cell line is injected. Interactions between malignant cells and bone cells are viewed through the multiphoton microscope via a small glass window sewn into the skin above the bone.center_img Multiphoton microscopy is a fluorescent imaging technique used to image living tissue. The microscopes in the lab of Peter Friedl, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, can capture up to seven parameters at a time. Friedl is senior author of the study.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsLiving with advanced breast cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThe bone construct was developed by a team of scientists at the Centre in Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane, Australia, led by Dietmar Hutmacher, Ph.D.Normal bone biology involves a balance between bone-creating cells called osteoblasts, and bone-destroying cells called osteoclasts, Dondossola notes. Cancer tips this balance, altering the equilibrium between these two populations and leading to symptomatic bone remodeling.The team’s microscopy showed bone loss concentrated around osteoclasts near the tumor. This phenomenon is a known and painful issue for patients with prostate cancer bone metastasis, and a class of drugs called bisphosphonates is used to relieve this symptom. In the clinic, the effect is known to be palliative, relieving pain but not prolonging survival.The team’s multiphoton microscopy captured this effect. They treated the mice with the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid and found that the drug did not reduce the number of osteoclasts, but slowed their activity, preserving bone. Notably, the treatment had no effect on tumor growth, and this explains why the bone is stabilized but patient survival is not prolonged.Friedl’s lab is using this model to study cancer treatments in mice, including co-clinical work in immunotherapy and radiation. Drugs that free the immune system to attack cancer are often thwarted by resistance factors in the tumor microenvironment, which the team hopes to observe and characterize.last_img read more

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Scientists make surprising discovery in nerve cells

July 20, 2019

first_imgAug 10 2018Purkinje cells are a central part of the human cerebellum, the part of the brain that plays an important role in motor learning, fine motor control of the muscle, equilibrium and posture but also influences emotions, perception, memory and language.Scientists from the Institute for Virology and Immunobiology of the University of Würzburg and their US colleagues have now made a surprising discovery in these nerve cells. They found a high infection rate of Purkinje neurons with the human herpesvirus HHV-6 for the first time in patients with bipolar disorder and/or severe depression. The study was led by Dr. Bhupesh Prusty, group leader at the Department of Microbiology. The scientists have now published the results of their study in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.Related StoriesChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brainScientists improve working memory by extending brain signalsLight therapy may dramatically reduce neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s diseaseVirus-related inflammation in the brain”Inherited factors have long been known to increase the risk of developing several types of psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia,” Bhupesh Prusty explains. But there is also strong evidence that environmental factors, particularly those that lead to neuroinflammation early in life, might play an important etiologic role in the pathogenesis of these disorders as well. Viruses are such an environmental factor.”Pathogens may disrupt neurodevelopment and cross talk with the immune system at key developmental stages,” Prusty explains. Children that are infected at a young age usually recover without any late complications. However, the viruses lie dormant (latent) in various organs and tissues including the central nervous system and the salivary glands and can be reactivated under certain circumstances, even after years.Increased infection rate in two psychiatric disordersPrusty and his team suspected the human herpesviruses HHV-6A and HHV-6B to play a key role in the genesis of psychiatric disorders. So they studied two of the largest human brain biopsy cohorts from Stanley Medical Research Institute (USA) and what they found confirmed their assumption: “We were able to find active infection of HHV-6 predominantly within Purkinje cells of human cerebellum in bipolar and major depressive disorder patients,” Prusty sums up the central result of their study. The results show for the first time that type HHV-6 viruses are capable of infecting neurons and possibly causing cognitive disturbances leading to mood disorder.According to the scientists, the study disproves the belief that viruses which lie “dormant” and hidden in organs and tissues never cause any disease. “Studies like ours prove this thinking as wrong,” Prusty says and he cites another study which shows that Alzheimer’s disease can also be caused by human herpesvirus 6A.In the next step, the Würzburg researchers want to figure out the molecular mechanisms behind HHV-6A mediated cellular damage to Purkinje neurons. Source:https://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/news-and-events/news/detail/news/surprise-finding-in-neurons/last_img read more

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First look New US spending deal a mixed bag for science

July 20, 2019

first_imgNASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) appear to be among the winners—relatively speaking—in a spending deal reached Tuesday night by lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, with both agencies receiving modest funding boosts. But research budgets at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy would remain flat.The legislation also includes provisions that would continue efforts to open a national nuclear waste dump in Nevada, prevent the Obama administration from moving ahead with new environmental rules aimed at strengthening protections for small streams and wetlands, and bar adding the sage grouse to the endangered species list.The $1.013 trillion package sets spending levels for the 2015 fiscal year, which began 1 October. Lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on 2015 spending levels in September, however, so the government has been operating on a temporary measure that has frozen spending at 2014 levels. The temporary measure expires on 12 December, and both bodies are now moving to vote on the new spending agreement later this week. It is expected to pass. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email A ban on funding for the Army Corps to change the definition of “fill material.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country No funding for the “Green Climate Fund,” an international effort to finance climate change efforts in developing nations. Below are highlights for some key science agencies drawn from summaries prepared by the House appropriations committee. Come back to ScienceInsider on Wednesday for more details.NIH: The nation’s largest research funder gets $30 billion, $150 million above the fiscal year 2014 level. Advocates for biomedical research note that the small increase won’t allow agency spending to keep pace with inflation. “Congress has missed a major opportunity to fund advances in science and medicine that improve our nation’s health and economic outlook,” said Carrie Wolinetz, a lobbyist with the Association of American Universities and president of United for Medical Research, a coalition that advocates for biomedical research funding, in a statement. “Sustained increases to the NIH budget are necessary to close our nation’s innovation deficit—the widening gap between the current medical research funding levels and the investment required to ensure the U.S. remains the world’s innovation leader.”Department of Energy’s Office of Science: The nation’s biggest funder of physical science research would get $5.1 billion, the same as 2014. Lawmakers rejected cuts proposed by the White House to domestic fusion energy research programs, and a Senate proposal to cancel funding for the ITER fusion project under construction in France. The bill retains language, however, making much of the ITER funding contingent on the project’s willingness to make management reforms.NASA: NASA will get about $18 billion overall, an increase of $364 million. One big winner is the space science program, which would grow to $5.245 billion, $94 million more than the 2014 level of $5.151 billion. The White House had requested a 3.5% cut to $4.972 billion.NSF: NSF received a 2.4% increase, to $7.344 billion. That amount is $89 million above the president’s request, although it falls short of the $222 million boost that the House of Representatives had approved in May. Within that total, NSF’s six research directorates would grow by $125 million, to $5.93 billion, and its education directorate would rise by $20 million, to $866 million. NSF also gets two-thirds of the $40 million increase it had sought in operating expenses, most of which will go toward its planned move to a new building in northern Virginia.National Institute of Standards and Technology: NIST is funded at $864 million, which is $14 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): The bill provides $5.4 billion for NOAA, $126 million above 2014, and includes funding to keep several troubled weather satellites on track.Ebola: Efforts to combat the virus get about $5.2 billion in emergency spending (which is not counted as part of the regular budget), some $800 million less than the White House had requested. Included is $25 million for the Food and Drug Administration, some of which may be used to expedite testing and approval of human drugs and vaccines.Other provisions:Language restricting an Obama administration clean water plan to regulate farm ponds and irrigation ditches in agricultural areas. A ban on adding the sage grouse, a grassland species in the western United States, to the endangered species list. Critics said a listing could cripple the oil and gas industry and private landowners. “It is outrageous that Congress would include such a grossly irresponsible rider,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, the president of Defenders of Wildlife, in a statement. “There are more than 350 species of conservation concern in the Sagebrush Sea, of which 60 are listed or candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act – walking away from the sage-grouse for political expediency could condemn many of these other species to the same imperiled fate down the road.”To see all of our stories on the 2015 budget, click here. Funding for safety studies of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada. A continuation of a ban on funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. 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

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Identifying the gene switch that turns fat cells bad

July 20, 2019

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Following this clue, the researchers checked the activity of eight genes suspected of interacting with FTO in adipocyte progenitor cells from healthy European subjects. About half of the people carried the version of FTO associated with obesity risk and two genes, called IRX3 and IRX5, were more active in their cells than in those of people without the gene variant. That gene pair, in turn, seem to determine what kind of fat cells the progenitors form, the researchers report today in The New England Journal of Medicine.Increased activity of IRX3 and IRX5 prompt the developing cell to become a white adipocyte, which stores energy as fat. Lower levels lead to a beige adipocyte, which uses energy to produce heat. (Beige fat is best known for keeping animals warm in cold environments.) The version of FTO that can prompt weight gain apparently is unable to turn off IRX3 and IRX5, leaving the progenitor cells more likely to form white fat instead of beige fat.The researchers strengthened their case by using the increasingly popular gene-editing method called CRISPR-Cas9 to convert the obesity-promoting FTO variant to the more common version in adipocyte precursor cells, which had been collected from donors. The treated cells had lowered levels of IRX3 and IRX5, took on characteristics of beige adipocytes, and dramatically spun up their energy-burning machinery.Understanding how FTO works in fat cells “is of huge clinical relevance,” and the work is convincing, says Shingo Kajimura of the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the cell biology of obesity.Kellis predicts that doctors in the future will be able to flip the FTO switch to help obese people melt away extra pounds. “We now have the circuits, and can turn the knob to energy storage or energy dissipation,” he says.That might be possible someday, Kajimura agrees. But although the new work “suggests that beige fat is playing an important role in human obesity,” he cautions that it is not yet clear that increasing beige fat can induce weight loss, whether in experimental animals or humans.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers may have finally explained how an obesity-promoting gene variant induces some people to put on the pounds. Using state-of-the-art DNA editing tools, they have identified a genetic switch that helps govern the body’s metabolism. The switch controls whether common fat cells burn energy rather than store it as fat. The finding suggests the tantalizing prospect that doctors might someday offer a gene therapy to melt extra fat away.Along with calories and exercise, genes influence a person’s tendency to gain—and keep—extra pounds. One of the genes with the strongest link to obesity is called FTO. People with certain versions of the gene are several kilos heavier on average and significantly more likely to be obese. Despite years of study, no one had been able to figure out what the gene does in cells or how it influences weight. There was some evidence FTO helped control other genes, but it was unclear which ones. Some researchers had looked for activity of FTO in various tissues, without finding any clear signals.Melina Claussnitzer, Manolis Kellis, and their colleagues at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, turned to data from the Roadmap Epigenomics Project, an 8-year effort that identified the chemical tags on DNA that influence the function of genes. The researchers used those epigenetic tags to look at whether FTO was turned on or off in 127 cell types. The gene seemed to be active in developing fat cells called adipocyte progenitor cells.last_img read more

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Scientists struggle to fit this strange vegetarian dinosaur into the family tree

July 20, 2019

first_img Sebastian Silva/EFE/Newscom Chilesaurus diegosuarezi has a puzzling mix of anatomical features that make it hard to classify. First thought to be a theropod, a new study suggests it’s an ornithischian.  Email By Carolyn GramlingAug. 15, 2017 , 7:01 PM After numerous statistical analyses, Novas and his team concluded that the animal was probably a theropod. But, he says, he’s been expecting to hear alternate hypotheses from his colleagues.First up: Matthew Baron, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and paleontologist Paul Barrett, also at the University of Cambridge. In March, Baron and Barrett found themselves in a swirl of controversy—still ongoing—after they and others suggested a “shakeup” of the dinosaur family tree based on their analyses of a massive data set of fossil dinosaur characteristics. Their data set had many more ornithischians—the group that includes Stegosaurus and Triceratops—than other such analyses; one of the conclusions of that study was that theropods and ornithischians were more closely related than once thought.Now, using the same data set, they decided to reanalyze Chilesaurus. “It was striking, it had a very ornithischianlike pelvis,” Baron says. The hip structures of ornithischians (“bird-hipped”) and saurischians (“lizard-hipped”) were one of the earliest features used to distinguish the groups. Theropods have traditionally been classed as saurischians.Baron and Barrett came to a different conclusion. Unlike Novas, they report today in Biology Letters, they conclude that Chilesaurus was probably a primitive ornithischian. The theropodlike features, they suggest, actually lend support to their original hypothesis: that theropods and ornithischians are more closely related than previously thought. And Chilesaurus might be one transitional form that links them.If their reclassification is correct, there would also be one less theropod that went vegetarian—an unusual transition. Herbivorous diets tend to be lower in nutrients than meat, and they’re tough on the teeth; such diets also require digestive adaptations such as gastroliths (gizzard stones) to break down tough plant matter. Even if Chilesaurus itself isn’t a theropod, scientists still have a handful of other theropods that have “gone green” to puzzle over, such as the therizinosaurs and another oddball called Limusaurus.Other researchers, however, continue to raise questions about the reliability of the data set used for Baron and Barrett’s analysis. It’s certainly possible that Chilesaurus is something other than a theropod, “but the analysis they use to test this is problematic,” says Martin Ezcurra, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Argentine Natural Science Museum who was an author on the original Chilesaurus paper. Although the original paper classified the animals as a type of theropod known as a tetanuran, the new analyses included no tetanurans. “How can you test this hypothesis if you are not including any tetanuran in your analysis?” he says.Novas, for his part, isn’t convinced that Baron and Barrett have the right answer, stating that their interpretation overlooks the many features Chilesaurus shares with theropods. Still, he says, “I welcome the novel interpretation by Baron and Barrett, because it promotes a necessary debate on poorly known aspects of dinosaur evolution as a whole,” he says. “I guess the discussion on Chilesaurus has just begun.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Scientists struggle to fit this strange vegetarian dinosaur into the family tree When scientists said in 2015 they had found a plant-eating theropod dinosaur, it was as if a vegetarian had crashed a meat lovers’ barbecue. Almost all theropods—the group of fierce predators that included Tyrannosaurus rex—were hypercarnivorous, eating a diet of more than 70% meat. Now, researchers are reporting that the dinosaur in question—the parrot-beaked Chilesaurus diegosuarezi—wasn’t a theropod after all, and instead belonged to a group of primarily plant eaters called ornithischians. They say it might even be a missing link between the two groups. But other scientists aren’t so sure the simplest answer is the right one.“Since its discovery, Chilesaurus has been an enigmatic dinosaur,” says David Evans, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who was not involved in the discovery of the dinosaur or the new paper. The dinosaur is a strange jigsaw of features from different groups, he notes, “that make placing it on the family tree of dinosaurs difficult.”Indeed, vertebrate paleontologist Fernando Novas of the Bernardino Rivadavia Argentine Natural Science Museum in Buenos Aires, who reported the dinosaur’s discovery, says he and his co-authors weren’t initially sure how to classify the 150-million-year-old Chilesaurus. It clearly ate plants with its flat teeth, and had a slender neck and horny beak rather than the thick neck and sharp teeth of a carnivore. But it also had numerous theropodlike characteristics, from the air spaces in its vertebrae to its stocky arms (although they ended in thick, short fingers rather than sharp claws). And it shared some features with other dinosaurs, such as primitive plant-eating sauropodomorphs and a particularly bizarre group of long-necked, vegetarian theropods known as therizinosaurs.last_img read more

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Ending AIDS These three places show the epidemic is far from over

July 20, 2019

first_img Related story: Russia In the face of a misguided response to HIV/AIDS in Russia, these bright stars are taking charge AzerbaijanGeorgiaKazakhstanMoldovaTajikistanUkraine At first glance, Nigeria, Russia, and Florida have little in common. But each has had difficulty mounting an effective response to HIV/AIDS at a time when neighboring countries or states, buoyed by recent research advances, have made progress toward bringing their epidemics to an end.Five of the main metrics that public health experts track to gauge progress against HIV are: How many people are living with the virus? What is the rate of new infection? What percentage of infected people are receiving antiretroviral drugs, which both stave off disease and prevent transmission? How many infected people have progressed to AIDS and how many have died from it? And how many children are infected by their mothers?Much of the world has seen encouraging declines on many of those fronts. But Nigeria, Russia, and Florida stand out from their neighbors and, in some cases, the entire world. None of these three locales has high numbers on every one of these measures. But each ranks first—an unenviable distinction—in at least one of the five metrics assessed by total cases, rates, or proportions. Florida: high across the board Compared with other U.S. states, Florida has a big problem. Georgia has the highest rates of new infection, but half the population of Florida. New York has a larger infected population, but has a lower death rate and fewer new infections. The United States only had 122 newly diagnosed children in 2016—some detected late and possibly born elsewhere—but Florida again stands out. HIV in U.S. states Choose a state to see how Florida compares to: Russia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is getting worse, not better Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Newly infectedchildrenLiving with HIVReceiving ARV*DeathsNewly infected10k20k30k40k2.5M5M7.5M1M2M3M4M50k100k150k200k100k200k300k Countries where data are not available for at least one measure are not shown. Dropdown menu shows the top 30 countries ranked in new infections. * ARV stands for antiretroviral treatment. The aim of this package is not to shame Russia, Nigeria, or Florida, or, given their profound differences in population, politics, and economies, to compare them head-to-head. Rather, these stories describe the distinct challenges that have hampered each locale’s response to HIV/AIDS. And they highlight people who are confronting those shortcomings and coming up with tailor-made, local solutions.Science produced these stories in collaboration with the PBS NewsHour, which is airing a companion five-part series. Reporting for this project was supported by the Pulitzer Center. Nigeria: children at risk Since 2008, Nigeria has had more cases of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) than any other country. Nigeria does not have the most severe epidemic in its region, but it has 3.2 million HIV-infected people—a huge challenge. Equatorial Guinea, in contrast, has the highest new infection rate and the highest prevalence of HIV, but it has a total population of only 1.2 million. HIV in Western and Central Africa Choose a country to see how Nigeria compares to: Newly infectedchildren**Populationinfected (%)Viral suppressionrate (%)Death rate (%)New infectionrate (per 1000)**51015200.20.40.60.8204060800.511.522.50.10.20.3 States where data are not available for at least one measure are not shown. ** “Newly infected” is used interchangeably with “newly diagnosed” even though diagnosis often happens long after infection. Transmission routes in Florida PodcastThe places where HIV shows no sign of ending, and the parts of the human brain that are bigger—in bigger brains South Africa 60,000 40,000 20,000 80,000 0 Nigeria 1990 2000 2010 2016 BeninBurkina FasoBurundiCameroonCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadCongoCôte d’IvoireDemocratic Republic of the CongoEquatorial GuineaGabonGambiaGhanaGuineaGuinea-BissauLiberiaMaliMauritaniaNigerSenegalSierra LeoneTogo Feature Special package: Far from overThree places where “ending AIDS” is a distant hope MTCT (%)Populationinfected (%)ARV coverage(%)Death rate (%)New infectionrate (per 1000)510152025246820406080246810123 Countries where data are not available for at least one measure are not shown. Children newly infected with HIV, all countries HomosexualHeterosexualNeedle sharingHomosexual andneedle sharingOther Related story: NigeriaBabies who dodge HIV may not be unscathedcenter_img South AfricaMozambiqueKenyaZambiaTanzaniaUgandaIndonesiaBrazilMalawiCameroonEthiopiaAngolaCôte d’IvoireGhanaPakistanUkraineSouth SudanDemocratic Republic of the CongoMexicoMyanmarVietnamPhilippinesBotswanaNamibiaSwazilandCentral African RepublicGuinea Feature‘We’re in a mess.’ Why Florida is struggling with an unusually severe HIV/AIDS problem Russia: a growing problem Russia’s rate of new infection outstrips every other country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia—even Ukraine, which has more infected people per capita. Limited access to ARV drugs contributes to the country’s high rate of new infections, because untreated people are more likely to transmit the virus. But Russia has succeeded in sharply reducing MTCT. HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Choose a country to see how Russia compares to: 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 Ending AIDS? These three places show the epidemic is far from over Editorial HIV—No time for complacency 2006 2010 2014 2008 2012 2016 Russia Ukraine Annual (per 1000) AlabamaAlaskaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaIowaLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNew HampshireNew MexicoNew YorkNorth DakotaOregonRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Feature Nigeria has more HIV-infected babies than anywhere in the world. It’s a distinction no country wants Comparing epidemics It’s difficult to compare HIV/AIDS epidemics from one place to another because of differences in population size. These radar graphics capture this complexity by charting five different measures for each country or state. The graphic below compares Nigeria, Russia, and the United States with the rest of the world in raw numbers. Although Russia has roughly the same number of people living with HIV as the United States, the paucity of treatment means many more deaths from AIDS and many more new infections. South Africa has more HIV-infected people than any other country, and more people receiving treatment, which explains why it has fewer deaths and fewer newly infected children than Nigeria does. A relatively small country like Mozambique (one-sixth the size of Nigeria) stands out because it has a large number of infected people per population. HIV/AIDS by country (2016) Choose a country to see how Nigeria, Russia, and the United States compare to: Related story: NigeriaBuilding TRUST in an LGBTQ-hostile country 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.8 0 MTCT (%)Populationinfected (%)ARV coverage(%)Death rate (%)New infectionrate (per 1000)51015200.20.40.60.811020304024680.20.40.60.8 Countries where data are not available for at least one measure are not shown. New infection rate, Eastern Europe and Central Asia By Jon Cohen, Jia YouJun. 14, 2018 , 3:15 PMlast_img read more

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Spotted for the first time a fish holding its breath underwater

July 20, 2019

first_img Like us, fish need oxygen to survive. But to breathe, most pull oxygen-containing water into their mouths and pump it through their gill chambers before expelling it out of their gill slits. Now, for the first time, scientists have seen fish “holding” that breath, some for up to 4 minutes at a time.The scientists didn’t set out to catch such persistent fish. Instead, they stumbled on videos of coffinfish, a rarely studied group that lives on ocean bottoms throughout the world, captured by remotely operated vehicles in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expedition.The videos, shot in multiple locations in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, show eight deep-sea coffinfish holding large quantities of water in their gill chambers without any signs of inhaling or exhaling. When the coffinfish finally release the water minutes later, their bodies deflate by 20% to 30% (above). It’s their enormous gill chambers that let these fish store such large volumes of water for several minutes, the researchers report in the Journal of Fish Biology. By Erica TennenhouseJun. 7, 2019 , 8:00 AM Email Spotted for the first time: a fish holding its breath underwater Why do they do it? The researchers suggest that holding their breath for long stretches may help the notoriously lazy coffinfish conserve the energy they would otherwise use to actively pump water. Puffing up to such a massive size may also serve as a warning to would-be predators.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

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How do cats stay so clean Video reveals secrets of the feline

July 20, 2019

first_img By Frankie SchembriNov. 19, 2018 , 3:00 PM How do cats stay so clean? Video reveals secrets of the feline tongue Email 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 (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Besides pouncing, purring, and pestering their owners for treats, cats spend much of their waking time licking themselves. Now, scientists have shed light on how sharp, tiny cones on cats’ tongues give their coats and skin a deep clean, instead of merely spreading their spit around.Researchers created 3D scans of tongues collected postmortem from a domestic cat, a bobcat, a cougar, a snow leopard, a tiger, and a lion. The cones—or papillae—of all species sported hollow, half pipe–shaped cavities on their tips. By exploiting a property in water known as surface tension, wherein cohesive forces between water molecules keep them stuck together in a droplet and adhesive forces help the droplet stick to the papillae, these U-shaped cavities help cats move droplets of saliva through their upper layers of fur into deeper layers and onto the skin.Slow-motion footage of several housecats grooming revealed the felines flared their tongues outward as if taking a big lick of an ice cream cone so the papillae stood perpendicular as they move through the fur. This motion helps maximize how much fur each papilla can reach, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But cats don’t just lick themselves to stay clean. Saliva helps them cool off, according to thermal imaging—an important tool, as cats only have sweat glands on the leather of their paws.The scientists have used the findings to create a “tongue-inspired grooming [TIGR] brush” that mimics a cat’s tongue with 3D-printed papillae embedded in a flexible silicone pad. Compared with a regular, stiff-bristled hairbrush, the researchers say the TIGR brush tugged less as it passed through human hair, and was easier to clean. The brush could even help deliver medications directly to cats’ skin, the team says. And for those of us who love our pets but not their shedding, the cat comb provides an easy way to get fur off the couch.last_img read more

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West Indies goes down to Australia at ICC World Cup

July 19, 2019

first_imgShareTweetSharePinAustralia recovered from an awful start to beat West Indies by 15 runs in a wonderful World Cup encounter at Trent Bridge.A day where fortunes fluctuated throughout could have been over quickly when the ferocious West Indies pace attack reduced the defending champions to 38-4 and 79-5.Australia were held together by the unflappable Steve Smith, who made 73 and was only dismissed by the most incredible boundary catch by Sheldon Cottrell, one that perhaps bettered the grab of England’s Ben Stokes in the opening game against South Africa.By the time Smith was out, Nathan Coulter-Nile, batting at number eight, had already begun his power hitting in a 60-ball 92 that lifted Australia to 288 all out.After Chris Gayle threatened to thrill in his 21, West Indies were anchored by Shai Hope’s 68.Read more…last_img read more

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Parks stunning view of the cosmos leads to Dark Sky designation

July 19, 2019

first_imgJune 28, 2018 Park’s stunning view of the cosmos leads to ‘Dark Sky’ designation Photo courtesy of the Petrified Forest National ParkThe Petrified Forest National Park is being recognized for the stunning night sky view as seen here at the Painted Desert Visitors Center located at the north end of the park. center_img The National Park Service and International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) are pleased to announce that Petrified Forest National Park has been officially designated as an International Dark Sky Park. An IDA International Dark-Sky Park (IDSP) isSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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Yes Indias economy is growing but can you trust the data

July 19, 2019

first_img P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 More Explained Top News indian economy, india business, india gdp, india job rate, india growth rate, china gdp, china job rate, china growth rate, india news, world news, An assembly line at a scooter factory in Bangalore, India. (Source: Rebecca Conway/The New York Times)Written by Keith Bradsher Advertising Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India won re-election last week with what seemed to be rousing support for his market-oriented economic policies — yet few in India can agree on just how much growth or unemployment occurred in his first term.The Indian government’s official data shows the economy expanding 7% to 8% a year, rivaling or exceeding China since he took office in 2014. But changes in India’s statistical processes, particularly tracking whether jobs were created or lost under Modi, have prompted allegations of political interference and questions about data quality.A new national employment survey was scheduled for release early last year and was to be used to reassess economic growth but has been delayed repeatedly, prompting two senior government statisticians to resign in January. Some of its data was leaked to the Business Standard, an Indian newspaper, showing unemployment at 6.1%, more than double previous reports. Labor Ministry surveys from 2011 through 2016 had the jobless rate below 3%.The big question is: Whose data do you trust? Best Of Express The new method — which India has embraced — relies on financial data reported to the government. The financial results of 900,000 companies incorporated in India are assessed to gauge the country’s total economic activity. India is one of the first developing countries to adopt this method.But small businesses abound in India and until the past couple of years, they operated almost entirely on cash. This so-called informal economy, including agriculture, represents nearly half of India’s economic output. The new statistical method assumes that the informal economy will go up and down in parallel to the incorporated companies.Most of the time, that is a fair assumption, said Pronab Sen, a longtime civil servant who oversaw India’s economic statistics and the introduction of the new system before retiring in 2016. But small businesses were less able to cope with some big structural changes of the Modi years, he said.“Corporate India is doing very well,” Sen said at his home in southwestern New Delhi. “Noncorporate India, which accounts for about 45% of the economy, is not.” Post Comment(s) Some economists, particularly in academia, are deeply suspicious of the government’s statistics. “They have politicized this whole data-collection process,” said Jayati Ghosh, an economist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. “Nobody believes the numbers anymore.”At the heart of the debate is a change in statistical methodology that actually has little to do with current politics. The change was approved by Modi’s predecessor, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with strong support from multilateral institutions including the United Nations and International Monetary Fund, which endorsed it as a modernization.For decades, India had been following a simple approach: The government counted the quantities of various goods and services being produced. It was a broad sample survey, and the government then used the estimated prices for these goods and services to calculate growth.Countries around the world, including the United States, once used versions of that approach, although industrialized countries mostly abandoned it over the past several decades. But growth statistics produced by this method are highly dependent on the price estimates. For example, if you are counting cars, you could miss the economic growth that occurs as manufacturers charge more for their cars when they add fancier engines or leather seats. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain What is the true rate of economic growth now? Sen said that he would not even hazard a guess. By New York Times |New Delhi | Published: May 31, 2019 7:40:15 pm Modi abruptly recalled the country’s large-denomination currency bills in November 2016. It was a mostly unsuccessful effort to catch people skirting taxes. Large businesses could adapt by asking customers to use credit cards or bank wire transfers for easier transactions. Small businesses, reliant on cash, suffered months of severe disruption.Seven months later, in summer 2017, a single value-added tax was introduced, partly to better monitor taxable revenue. The new tax replaced a labyrinth of 17 state and national taxes, and considerably curtailed widespread bribery between businesses and tax collectors. Big businesses could afford to hire specialists to cope with the change and the government’s buggy software. Small businesses struggled, and are still struggling, to adjust.Government economic statistics have not measured the divergence between how small and large businesses were affected by the reforms. The Modi campaign ran partly on its efforts to free businesses from red tape but it provided no data from the past two years on joblessness, a key indicator of the informal sector’s health.Disputes over India’s data prompted rancor, including complaints from 108 economists and social scientists who signed a letter in March that contended the Modi government was silencing bad news. “In fact, any statistics that cast an iota of doubt on the achievement of the government seem to get revised or suppressed on the basis of some questionable ideology,” the letter said.Modi’s economic policy commission has insisted that the unemployment survey data — which remains unpublished — needs further review. Amitabh Kant, the commission’s chief executive and one of Modi’s top appointees, said that “India is creating a lot of jobs, but India is not creating quality jobs.”News reports that unemployment may have doubled, as the Business Standard account indicated, have inflamed the debate. Some business allies of Modi have taken to questioning how unemployment is even recorded.“We are foolishly chasing the myth of jobs,” said Shailesh Haribhakti, a Mumbai accountant and financier who is on the boards of 16 companies. “The world has moved on from the previous direction of putting people to work from 9 to 5 and paying them a monthly salary.”Sen, the retired civil servant, said he believed that workers who are paid directly for individual jobs, like Uber drivers, are being properly counted. The most likely explanation for the reported leap in unemployment, he said, is that many small businesses are still recovering from the currency overhaul of two years ago. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off last_img read more

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Israeli PM Netanyahu calls Irans enrichment move a very very dangerous step

July 19, 2019

first_imgBy Reuters |Jerusalem | Published: July 7, 2019 3:48:44 pm Iran says it has breached 2015 nuclear deal’s stockpile limit, IAEA confirms claim Israel PM Netanyahu plans to visit India ahead of repeat polls to boost his campaign Advertising “Iran has violated its solemn promise under the UN Security Council not to enrich uranium beyond a certain level,” he said.“I call on my friends, the heads of France, Britain, and Germany – you signed this deal and you said that as soon as they take this step, severe sanctions will be imposed – that was the Security Council resolution. Where are you?” Netanyahu said.If any one of the three European parties to the accord believe Iran has violated the agreement, they can trigger a dispute resolution process that could, within as few as 65 days, end at the UN Security Council with a reimposition of UN sanctions on Tehran.The other remaining signatories, Russia and China, are allies of Iran and unlikely to make such a move.“The enrichment of uranium is made for one reason and one reason only – it’s for the creation of atomic bombs,” said Netanyahu, a strong opponent of the 2015 agreement. Israel will be destroyed in half an hour if America attacks Iran: senior Iranian MP Netanyahu made the remarks after Iran said it is fully prepared to enrich uranium at any level and with any amount, in further defiance of US efforts to squeeze it with sanctions and force it to renegotiate a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.In a news conference broadcast live, senior Iranian officials said Tehran, which has denied seeking nuclear arms, would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact moved to protect it from U.S. sanctions.“This is a very, very dangerous step,” Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet. Related News Post Comment(s) Advertising Israel, Russia to cooperate on foreign troop exit from Syria: Benjamin Netanyahu “The enrichment of uranium is made for one reason and one reason only – it’s for the creation of atomic bombs,” said  Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong opponent of the 2015 agreement.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday an announced increase of uranium enrichment by Iran was an extremely dangerous move and he again called on Europe to impose punitive sanctions on Tehran.last_img read more

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74 people caught for holding illegal lion shows in Gir forest in

July 19, 2019

first_img Advertising Related News Lion deaths: Ahmed Patel writes to PM Modi, suggests measures to tackle situation Lion found dead in Gir, samples sent for tests CCTV cameras have also been set up at checkpoints inside the forest and “friends of forests” have been appointed from villages bordering the forest, the government added.The Indian Express had reported in May 2019 how six persons were caught red-handed by the staff of the Junagadh forest division of Gir sanctuary for organising a lion show in Veraval taluka of Gir Somnath district. Of the population of 523 Asiatic lions in Gujarat, an estimated 167, or 32 per cent, live outside protected forest areas.This has caused a rapid rise in conflict with humans. Over 50 humans have been killed and 436 injured in attacks by either lions or leopards in Gir-Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli, between December 2013 to November 2018. Post Comment(s) In a written reply provided by the state government to a question posed by Congress MLA from Savarkundla Pratap Dudhat, the state government informed that legal action has been initiated against all those caught under The Wildlife Protection Act 1972.However, no official or employee of the state forest department was among those caught, the reply stated.In order to stop any illegal activity in Gir, the state government said walkie-talkies, vehicles and weapons have been provided to the field staff who conduct regular patrolling within the forest and the borders of the forest, stated the government in response to supplementary questions asked by the Congress MLA. Where the wild things are: A day in the life of Sagar Manjariya, a wildlife tracker in Gir forest gir, gir lions, gir forest, illegal lion shows, gujarat assembly, gir lions show, gujarat lions, Savarkundla Pratap Dudhat, gujarat legislative assembly CCTV cameras have also been set up at checkpoints inside the forest and “friends of forests” have been appointed from villages bordering the forest, the government said. (Gujarat Forest Department)During the last two years, a total of 74 persons have been caught for having a role in organising “illegal lion shows” in Gir forest, the Gujarat legislative assembly was informed during the Question Hour on Tuesday. Advertising By Express News Service |Gandhinagar | Updated: July 16, 2019 8:59:53 pmlast_img read more

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Watch a lightweight glove allow users to feel objects in virtual reality

July 19, 2019

first_img Virtual reality (VR) seems so lifelike—until you try to reach out and touch something. Now, researchers have solved this tactile problem—with a new kind of glove that allows wearers to actually feel objects in their artificial environments without clunky machines weighing down their arms.Existing VR gloves mostly allow the users to feel the texture of an object using vibrations. They don’t sense shape, or they require heavy motors or air compressors to put pressure on the users’ hands to do so. In the new study, researchers wanted to make a light, nonrestrictive glove with an open palm that felt natural to wear, while providing realistic feedback when the user touched a virtual object.To create the glove, they outfitted a piece of soft silicone with sensors that detect hand motions and actuators—small silicone bubbles coupled with electrodes to generate an electric force—that provide physical feedback to the user’s fingertips. By Eva FrederickJul. 18, 2019 , 12:05 PM Email 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 (*)center_img A team member wore the glove to interact with a virtual chess board. When the virtual hand touched a piece, software prompted the glove to produce electricity, which caused the center part of the glove’s fingertips to fill with air, giving a sense of the object’s shape, the team reports today in Scientific Reports.The entire device, including the battery and circuit attached to a strap around the user’s wrist, weighs about one-sixth of a kilogram, about the same as a medium-size apple. The researchers suggest the glove—just a prototype for now—could be linked with different VR software to let users easily pick up objects in games or feel realistic sensation when they press a button or pull a lever in a training simulation. Watch a lightweight glove allow users to ‘feel’ objects in virtual reality 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

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Defamation case Rahul Gandhi pleads not guilty granted bail

July 19, 2019

first_img Related News Advertising Post Comment(s) By Express News Service |Ahmedabad | Published: July 13, 2019 1:54:20 am Rahul Gandhi appeals to Cong workers to help in relief ops in flood-affected areas Advertising Appearing before the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate NB Munshi at Gheekanta in old Ahmedabad, Gandhi was asked if he knew what the charges against him were, to which he confirmed he did and pleaded not guilty. When asked, “Do you want to defend yourself?,” he replied “Yes.”Asked if he had received the relevant case papers, Gandhi affirmed he had. He, however, pointed out a spelling mistake in the word ‘Tughlak’ in his address, following which the court rectified it.Subsequently, arguments ensued regarding the appropriate provisions of law that would be applicable for Gandhi’s bail. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Defamation case: Rahul Gandhi pleads not guilty, granted bail Rahul Gandhi with Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee leaders on Friday at an Ahmedabad metropolitan court.Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who on Friday appeared for a hearing in a criminal defamation suit filed against him in Ahmedabad, was granted bail by the magisterial court. Gandhi pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of defamation in the case that had been filed against him by Ahmedabad District Co-Operative (ADC) Bank and its chairman Ajay Patel for allegedly defaming BJP president Amit Shah, who is a director in ADC bank, with accusations of money laundering during the 2016 demonetisation. The matter has been posted to September 7 for further hearing.In a tweet dated June 22, 2018, Gandhi said, “Congratulations Amit Shah ji, Director of Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank, on your bank winning first prize in the conversion of old notes to new race. Rs 750 crore in five days! Millions of Indians whose lives were destroyed by demonetisation salute your achievement! #ShahZyadaKhaGaya”Along with the tweet was a picture of Shah captioned, “THE DIRECTOR of the bank that collected the highest number of demonetised notes. The PRESIDENT of the party that got 80% richer after demonetisation.” Rahul Gandhi exempted from personal appearance in defamation case in Surat last_img read more

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Study identifies two types of internal models for precise motor control

July 19, 2019

first_img Source:http://www.igakuken.or.jp/english/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 26 2018It is generally accepted that precise motor control in our daily life depends on acquisition of an internal model. One motor learning for an internal model is necessary for execution of precise movements in our daily life. There are two hypothetical internal models for motor learning: where to move (i.e. calculation of destination for a given motor command) or how to move (i.e. calculation of motor command for a target). There has been long-standing controversy over “which internal model is actually working in our brain?” for more than 30 years.Takeru Honda, PhD, a lead author of this study, and his coauthors thought that both internal models are necessary to execute precise movement. If we learn where to move, our brain has to update the mapping from the motor command to the destination of movement. If we learn how to move, our brain has to update the mapping from the target (destination) to the proper motor command. The subjects repeatedly made a reaching movement to touch a target on a touchscreen with the index finger. Then they wore prism glasses to have their sights shifted rightward. During initial 10 trials after wearing the prism glasses, they were not able to touch the target precisely. Instead, they touched points shifted rightward from the target. After repetitive trials, they eventually learned to touch the target precisely. In this paradigm, the authors found learning elicited by correct touching on the targets and hidden learning elicited by error between the touch position and the target position. They also provided a theory and a simple empirical formulation. Their results show that learning where to move is necessary for explicit execution of correct movements, while learning how to move is necessary for implicit execution of correct movements. Furthermore, their theory predicts that cerebellar damages induce an impairment of “where to move” or an impairment of “how to move.” Indeed, we found both types of deficits in cerebellar patients by evaluating them by clinical indexes which we developed.Therefore, the applications of this finding may help to develop clinical tests to evaluate learning capabilities of different types of cerebellar patients. The test will help to measure effects of various rehabilitations or novel therapies for cerebellar ataxia. In sports field, the present results will also help to develop effective methods of training for top athletes.last_img read more

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Red Flag Flying Over Flagship Phones

July 19, 2019

first_imgA wild card for future sales of flagship phones could be 5G technology, which promises faster data speeds. Those sales will not be immediate, though.”Even though the rollout of 5G will be quicker than 4G, it will take some time for subscribers to get access to it at scale,” Schneeman explained.”In the U.S., Verizon’s rollouts are geographically limited,” he said.”There is also still no killer application which would not only move existing premium smartphone users to upgrade quicker, but also move those subscribers with cheaper handsets to move into the premium price range,” Schneeman added.”I think 5G will have a significant impact,” he said, “once handsets in more than one pricing tier are available.”Media and services that take advantage of 5G will roll out a lot slower than expected, King predicted.”It’d be a mistake to believe that 5G alone will somehow pull the smartphone market out of its current malaise,” he said.”No one is going to get rid of their phones because of 5G,” contended Forrester’s Gillett.Moreover, the interesting 5G features are going to be limited to dense urban areas and it’s going to cost more to use it, he pointed out.”Because it’s more expensive, people will just wait until they get their next phone to get 5G,” Gillett said. “That won’t fuel any growth.”Advocates of 5G may have a problem selling the technology to consumers.”Joe and Jane consumer have no idea what 5G means, nor do they care — at least not right now,” IDC’s Llamas said.”Is 5G going to save smartphones?” he asked. “I don’t think so. If it is, it’s going to take a long time to happen, and a lot of consumer education.” 5G to the Rescue? Even a mid-range phone may be a tough sell in the future.”I believe we’re approaching saturation of the overall smartphone market,” said Frank E. Gillett, principal analyst at Forrester Research, a market research company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”As we approach saturation, the smartphone market will become a replacement market,” he told TechNewsWorld.Meanwhile, high-end smartphones will approach saturation sooner than the overall market.”We’re going to see a decline, and the high-end smartphones will stabilize at a new level,” Gillett explained.”There’s still going to be a bunch of people who want big screen, high-end smartphones,” he continued, “but it means they’re going to keep them longer, and the market of buyers will no longer be expanding.” Hitting Price Wall Mid-Range Phones Approaching Saturation Levelscenter_img Many consumers have hit the wall when it comes to what they’re willing to pay for a smartphone, observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, California.”It used to be that premium-priced flagship phones delivered substantial new features or design points that softened the sting of their much higher costs,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Incremental improvements don’t offer the same sort of pain relief.”People are holding on to their phones longer, too, not only because they see their existing phone as good enough, but also because it’s taking them longer to pay for it, since they paid so much for it in the first place, noted St. Paul, Minn.-based Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst at IHS Markit Technology.What’s more, “in areas where the overall market is still growing strongly, high-end devices are beyond the reach of many new and existing smartphone users, further limiting the addressable market,” he told TechNewsWorld.Flagship phones have less appeal now because they’re more about prestige than any significant differentiator, remarked Tuong Nguyen, senior principal analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory company based in Stamford, Connecticut.For example, cameras used to be a key differentiator, but “now, many mid-tier phones have excellent cameras,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s at the point that it’s not worth it to the average consumer to replace an existing phone for one with an even a better camera.” While the market for premium smartphones shrinks, mid-range phones seem to be doing well, Pund-IT’s King said.”Reports that Google plans to introduce a new lower-cost Pixel 3 handset suggest that the company is going where customers want to be,” he noted. “I expect other handset makers to follow a similar path.”Those reports say the new “Pixel 3a” could appear as early as next month, when Google holds its annual I/O show for developers.”There’s going to be a shift from the top-tier guys to the middle-tier guys,” Tirias’ McGregor predicted.”With the help of Qualcomm and others, high-end phone features are being added to the mid-range phones,” he continued. “If these top OEMs keep going after these really expensive phones, they’re going to continue to lose market share.”Mid-range and low-end phones fit into emerging markets and the economic situation of users there, IHS’ Schneemann noted.”Whether in Southeast Asia, India or Latin America, mid-range and low-end devices are affordable options for more users,” he said.”Apple’s struggle in India is a reflection of the reality that most Indian users cannot afford to buy an iPhone,” Schneemann added. These could be the worst of times for high-end flagship smartphones.Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday told Alphabet shareholders that his company’s flagship phones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, released last fall, had encountered some “year over year headwinds.”Samsung maintained that its flagship phone lineup, which includes the Galaxy S10, has been selling well, but it acknowledged that sales were being cannibalized by its lower-priced models.Meanwhile, Apple saw iPhone sales plummet, year over year — 15 percent during the holiday quarter of 2018, despite holidays typically being a hot time for smartphone sales. Wall Street analysts have predicted further drops for the first three months of 2019.”We’re starting to see a backlash against these expensive smartphones,” said Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst for mobile devices technology and trends at IDC, a market research company in Framingham, Massachusetts.”At a time when innovation has been moving slowly, consumers can’t justify the spend for incremental change and are retreating to less expensive stuff,” he told TechNewsWorld.”A thousand dollars for a phone is pretty ridiculous,” said Phoenix, Arizona-based Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm.”People should not be paying that,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They’re not getting the value for their money.” 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.last_img read more

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Study investigates how brain lesion affects childs language localization and abilities

July 19, 2019

first_imgRepresentation of the language areas in the healthy child brain The neuropediatric outpatient unit of the Children’s Hospital under the direction of Rainer Seidl specializes in developmental neurological consultation using fetal imaging. We are particularly happy about the great collegial cooperation with radiology, above all Daniela Prayer, Gregor Kasprian and Georg Lang. The radiology at MedUni Vienna is world-famous especially in the field of fetal diagnostics, and the combination of highly developed radiological expertise with neurolinguistic questions is unique.” Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCIn particular, the very early functional development of relevant brain structures will now be the focus of the research team. In a FWF-KLIF project (PI: Lisa Bartha-Doering), the researchers are working on the question of the extent to which fetal MRI diagnostics can predict the later localization and development of language. Two initial publications have already been published on this subject, which show a connection between structural fetal development of temporal brain structures and later language localization.Bartha-Doering: An interdisciplinary team from the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy at MedUni Vienna is investigating how the individual localization of language areas in the brain is related to the individual language abilities and how a lesion in the child’s brain affects the child’s language localization and language abilities.Healthy children with better language skills are therefore more likely to use a bilateral language network linking regions in both hemispheres. The researchers, led by neurolinguist and clinical linguist Lisa Bartha-Doering from the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, show that in healthy children, a larger vocabulary, greater verbal flexibility, and better verbal learning are associated with more bilateral language localization.Language areas are defined in the brain before birthIn children who had suffered a stroke, the researchers were also able to demonstrate a significant correlation between language localization and language abilities. While the age at the occurrence of the stroke, lesion size, or lesion localization had no influence on the language abilities, an atypical reorganization of the language areas was shown to be disadvantageous for the language abilities.Bartha-Doering: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 29 2018Children with brain injuries are able to reorganize their language relevant areas into other, healthy brain areas and thus maintain their ability to speak. However, this is only possible to a certain extent, they still often have poorer language skills compared to healthy children. Brain areas responsible for language are apparently already determined during fetal development. These are the first central results of an interdisciplinary research cooperation at MedUni Vienna, which investigates the development of language in the brain from the unborn to the adolescent.center_img Our results to date indicate that there is a predisposition to specific language areas in humans in the early childhood, probably even before birth. Even if an injury to neuronal structures occurs very early in development, the child’s brain is not fully capable of reorganizing speech-relevant areas. An atypical reorganization is accompanied by worse language skills. Here, however, there seem to be limits to the often-praised plasticity of a child’s brain.” In future, the results of this research should enable more precise forecasts of further cognitive development and the early planning of targeted therapeutic strategies. The aim is to use functional imaging to predict how healthy children as well as children with neurological diseases will develop cognitively. Source:https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/about-us/news/detailsite/news-im-oktober-2018/childrens-brains-reorganize-their-language-centres-after-lesions/last_img read more

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EU Commissions Health Policy Platform to host EKHA program on transplantation

July 18, 2019

Dec 18 2018Every year, the European Commission’s Health Policy Platform hosts three thematic networks, led by stakeholders. The underlying idea of the platform is to ease communication between European Commission services and health stakeholders. The chosen networks have the ultimate aim of producing a joint statement which are essentially policy recommendations to the Commission.For the first time, an EKHA (“European Kidney Health Alliance”) program has been shortlisted and voted for. One of the members of this alliance of non-profit organisations representing key stakeholders in kidney health issues is the “European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association” (ERA-EDTA). The program that made it onto the European Commission’s Health Policy Platform is called “Improving Organ Donation and Transplantation in the EU”, and its aim is to improve Europe-wide access to kidney transplantation – the best renal replacement therapy, also from the medical perspective. However, there are barriers which limit the extent to which transplantation is used. The shortage of organs, especially, remains a devastating obstacle in the EU.Related StoriesChronic kidney disease patients are excluded from clinical trialsResearchers investigate whether hypertension poses health risk to older kidney donorsIndigestion remedy improves survival in people with late-stage CKD”EKHA proposed a thematic network which will bring together a broad group of stakeholders in the field of organ donation and transplantation to share best practices and support solutions to address main challenges faced by member states: how to increase organ availability, enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of transplant systems and improving quality and safety”, explains EKHA chairman, Professor Raymond Vanholder (Belgium).ERA-EDTA is very proud that many stakeholders voted for this topic, although all the competing projects were strong and innovative, too. “This poll result clearly shows that the shortage of organs and the long waiting lists for transplantation in many European countries are generally perceived as a huge societal issue”, says ERA-EDTA president Professor Carmine Zoccali. “People expect the EU government to provide solutions and to pave the way so that the best medical renal replacement treatment is equally available in all European countries. We hope that the chosen program builds bridges between the different policy areas and that we can achieve a sustainable improvement for patients on the waiting list”. Source:http://web.era-edta.org/ read more

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New graphenebased implant can record low frequency brain activity

July 18, 2019

first_img Source:http://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/Graphene-can-hear-your-brain-whisper.aspx Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 25 2019A newly developed graphene-based implant can record electrical activity in the brain at extremely low frequencies and over large areas, unlocking the wealth of information found below 0.1 Hz. This technology, which will be showcased in the Graphene Pavilion at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (25-28 February 2019) was developed by Graphene Flagship partners at the Barcelona Microelectronics Institute (IMB-CNM, CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), and ICFO. The prototype was adapted for brain recordings in a collaboration with the Biomedical Research Institute ‘August Pi i Sunyer’ (IDIBAPS). The study, just published in Nature Materials, describes how this ground-breaking technology will enhance our understanding of the brain and pave the way for the next generation of brain-computer interfaces.The body of knowledge about the human brain is keeps growing, but many questions remain unanswered. Researchers have been using electrode arrays to record the brain’s electrical activity for decades, mapping activity in different brain regions to understand what it looks like when everything is working, and what is happening when it is not. Until now, however, these arrays have only been able to detect activity over a certain frequency threshold. A new technology developed by the Graphene Flagship overcomes this technical limitation, unlocking the wealth of information found below 0.1 Hz, while paving the way for future brain-computer interfaces.The new device was developed thanks to a collaboration between three Graphene Flagship Partners (IMB-CNM, ICN2 and ICFO) and adapted for brain recordings together with biomedical experts at IDIBAPS. This new technology moves away from electrodes and uses an innovative transistor-based architecture that amplifies the brain’s signals in situ before transmitting them to a receiver. The use of graphene to build this new architecture means the resulting implant can support many more recording sites than a standard electrode array. It is slim and flexible enough to be used over large areas of the cortex without being rejected or interfering with normal brain function. The result is an unprecedented mapping of the low frequency brain activity known to carry crucial information about different events, such as the onset and progression of epileptic seizures and strokes.For neurologists this means they finally have access to some clues that our brains only whisper. This ground-breaking technology could change the way we record and view electrical activity from the brain. Future applications will give unprecedented insights into where and how seizures begin and end, enabling new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injury”Beyond epilepsy, this precise mapping and interaction with the brain has other exciting applications,” explains José Antonio Garrido, one of the leaders of the study working at Graphene Flagship Partner ICN2. “In contrast to the common standard passive electrodes, our active graphene-based transistor technology will boost the implementation of novel multiplexing strategies that can increase dramatically the number of recording sites in the brain, leading the development of a new generation of brain-computer interfaces.” Taking advantage of ‘multiplexing’, this graphene-enabled technology can also be adapted by some of the same researchers to restore speech and communication. ICN2 has secured this technology through a patent that protects the use of graphene-based transistors to measure low-frequency neural signals.”This work is a prime example of how a flexible, graphene-based transistor array technology can offer capabilities beyond what is achievable today, and open up tremendous possibilities for reading at unexplored frequencies of neurological activity” noted by Kostas Kostarelos, leader of the Health, Medicine and Sensors Division of the Graphene Flagship.Andrea C. Ferrari, Science and Technology Officer of the Graphene Flagship, and Chair of its Management Panel added that “graphene and related materials have major opportunities for biomedical applications. The Graphene Flagship recognized this by funding a dedicated Work Package. The results of this study are a clear demonstration that graphene can bring unprecedented progress to the study of Brain processes.”This new technology will be one of the Graphene Pavilion’s main attractions at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (25-28 February 2019). The exhibition will showcase the latest innovations on graphene and related materials made possible by the Graphene Flagship, one of the biggest research initiatives ever funded by the European Commission. Beyond applications in health and medical devices, the pavilion will be populated with new prototypes of graphene-enabled technologies for mobile and data communications, wearables, and the internet of things.last_img read more

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