New research reveals why heart function is reduced at high altitude areas

first_imgMay 29 2018For over a century, we have known that high altitude reduces the amount of blood the heart pumps around the body with each beat. New research published in The Journal of Physiology has unearthed why this is the case and the findings will be important for people who live, travel and exercise at high altitudes.Over the years, several theories have been proposed to explain the reduction in the amount of blood the heart can pump; this was even of interest to the scientists involved in the first summit of Mt Everest in the 1950’s. It has now been shown that this is because at high altitudes (over 3000 m), the lower amount of oxygen in the air leads to (1) a decrease in the volume of blood circulating around the body, and (2) an increase in blood pressure in the lungs. The researchers found that both of these factors play a role in the reduction in the volume of blood the heart can pump with each beat, but importantly neither of these factors affects our ability to perform maximal exercise.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalThis research is important because it improves our understanding of how the human body adapts to high altitude areas. This will help us make exploration and tourism of Earth’s mountainous regions safer, and may also help facilitate exercise performance in a wide range of sporting events that take place at high altitude.The research conducted by Cardiff Metropolitan University, in conjunction with the University of British Columbia Okanagan and Loma Linda University School of Medicine, involved collecting data on how the heart and pulmonary blood vessels adapt to life with less oxygen. The researchers and participants conducted the study during two weeks at a remote research facility called The Barcroft Laboratory on White Mountain, California.It is important to note that the sample size of this study was small and the effects of these mechanisms were only compared in individuals of European descent. Furthermore, echocardiography was used to assess cardiac and pulmonary vascular function which is non-invasive and indirect.Michael Stembridge, the chief investigator on the project commented on future research plans: “Currently, a number of the research team are ready to depart for an expedition that will focus on high altitude natives who live and work in the industrial mines of the Andean mountains. Unfortunately, a third of these individuals experience long-term ill health due to their residence at high altitude, a condition termed ‘Chronic Mountain Sickness’. We hope to apply the findings of this work to help improve the health and well-being of these populations by furthering our understanding of the condition and exploring therapeutic targets”. Source:http://www.physoc.org/last_img read more

Scientists discover genetic causes underlying group of related infant cancers

first_imgJun 18 2018The genetic causes of a group of related infant cancers have been discovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Wuerzburg and their collaborators. Whole genome sequencing of tumors revealed mutations which are targetable by existing drugs used to treat lung cancer and melanoma.The results, published today (18 June) in Nature Communications have implications for clinical practice and the diagnosis of rare cancers in infants, and could lead to new, targeted treatment options for these children.Each year in the UK, over 100 infants under the age of one are diagnosed with rare cancerous tumors in their soft tissues. One of these soft tissue cancers, known as congenital mesoblastic nephroma (CMN), is the most common kidney tumor diagnosed in early infancy. Occasionally spotted as a lump in utero during an ultrasound scan, these tumors are diagnosed definitively after birth. Treatment involves surgical removal of the tumor and sometimes chemotherapy, both of which can damage surrounding tissues at a critical time in life.The genetic causes underlying these infant cancers are unclear, with over 30 per cent of cases of CMN having no known genetic changes driving the cancer.In a new study using samples from archives in Germany and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators sequenced the whole genomes and transcriptomes of 17 CMN tumors, and extended their findings to a total of 350 cases, including CMN and five related soft tissue tumor types: infantile fibrosarcoma (IFS), nephroblastomatosis, Wilms tumor, malignant rhabdoid tumor and clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.Researchers discovered at least one, if not two genetic changes in each of the tumors that were driving the cancer. In particular, the genetic data revealed mutations in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) in CMN tumors, and both CMN and IFS tumors had mutations in the BRAF gene.Related StoriesNew method spots rare immune cells reactive against cancerSandia researchers uncover personalized medicine software vulnerabilityAEBP1 gene may play key role in the development and severity of liver diseaseThe EGFR mutation identified is targeted by an existing EGFR inhibitor drug called afatinib, used to treat lung cancer, whereas drugs designed to treat melanoma skin cancer target BRAF. It is possible that these existing drugs could help infants with soft tissue tumors, based on their mutations.Dr Sam Behjati, co-lead author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, said: “We have discovered new diagnostic markers for soft tissue cancers in infants, including CMN, in which the genetic cause of the disease was unknown in one third of patients. These results indicate which existing drugs could be used to help children overcome these tumors in infancy.”Dr Grace Collord, co-first author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, said: “Sequencing the whole genomes and transcriptomes of these related cancers showed that while anatomically these cancers appear different, genetically they are very similar. We found mutations affecting EGFR and BRAF, both of which are targets for existing drugs. If infants with very large soft tissue tumors could be treated with these targeted agents, there’s a chance it could shrink the tumor enough that the necessary surgery would be less damaging.”Professor Manfred Gessler, co-lead author from the University of Wuerzburg, said: “Genomics is changing how we do health research. The genetic diagnostic markers discovered in this study can be readily integrated into routine clinical practice to give confident diagnoses and match patients with soft tissue tumors to the most appropriate clinical trial, helping to make the trials more effective and ultimately help these children.” Source:https://www.sanger.ac.uk/news/view/genomics-offers-new-treatment-options-infants-range-soft-tissue-tumourslast_img read more

HartsfieldJackson airport installs 285 new Cardiac Science G5 AEDs

first_imgJul 5 2018To further the effort of making Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson “the safest airport in the world” for cardiac events, officials announced that the airport has completed installation of 285 new Cardiac Science G5 AEDs—one every 75 feet—in every terminal.Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport receives an average of 24 medical calls a day and deploys an automated external defibrillator approximately 10 times a month on average. The program will help ensure the safety of travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson by upgrading the AED fleet to the latest and best technology.More people travel through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport every year than any other airport worldwide. That includes other major airports such as Chicago O’Hare, Beijing Capital International and London Heathrow. The probability that a traveler might experience a cardiac arrest on any given day is higher than at most public places which have less traffic.Related StoriesSchool District of Philadelphia chooses Cardiac Science Powerheart G5 AEDHealth Canada approves fully automatic Powerheart G5 AEDCardiac Science provides five Powerheart G5 AEDs to Cristo Rey Jesuit Atlanta High SchoolAccording to the American Heart Association, more than 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States every year. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is an abrupt loss of heart function causing blood to stop flowing to the brain and other vital organs, and causing the person to collapse. SCA can occur among people of all ages and is often fatal if not treated within minutes of onset. Early CPR and early use of an AED are critical in increasing survival outcomes—in fact, the American Heart Association recommends early defibrillation within three to five minutes for the best chance at survival. That’s where Hartsfield-Jackson’s new fleet of AEDs comes into play.“We are very pleased that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport chose to deploy Cardiac Science G5 AEDs,” said Dev Kurdikar, President and CEO of Cardiac Science. “The G5 has many features that make it suitable for such a deployment, including self-tests for rescue readiness, the ability to increase shock energy levels if needed, and the capability of switching the language of the voice prompts with the touch of a button.”More than 270,000 passengers travel through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s seven concourses and 207 gates on a daily basis. The new program will help ensure that if any traveler experiences a sudden cardiac arrest incident, the airport will deploy the best technology available in response. Source:https://www.cardiacscience.com/hartsfield-jackson-airport-makes-all-terminals-hartsafe-with-installation-of-state-of-the-art-aeds/last_img read more

Study could open new therapeutic avenues to attack herpesviruses

first_img Source:https://gladstone.org/about-us/press-releases/scientists-find-new-way-attack-herpesviruses Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 28 2018Human cytomegalovirus is a leading cause of birth defects and transplant failures. As it’s evolved over time, this virus from the herpes family has found a way to bypass the body’s defense mechanisms that usually guards against viral infections. Until now, scientists couldn’t understand how it manages to do so.A team of scientists led by Leor S. Weinberger, PhD, the William and Ute Bowes Distinguished Professor and director of the Gladstone-UCSF Center for Cell Circuitry, uncovered the mechanism that allows the virus to replicate. Their study, published in the scientific journal PNAS, could open new therapeutic avenues to treat not only cytomegalovirus, but other viruses as well.Normally, when a virus enters your cell, that cell blocks the virus’s DNA and prevents it from performing any actions. The virus must overcome this barrier to effectively multiply.To get around this obstacle, cytomegalovirus doesn’t simply inject its own DNA into a human cell. Instead, it carries its viral DNA into the cell along with proteins called PP71. After entering the cell, it releases these PP71 proteins, which enables the viral DNA to replicate and the infection to spread.”The way the virus operates is pretty cool, but it also presents a problem we couldn’t solve,” said Noam Vardi, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in Weinberger’s laboratory and first author of the new study. “The PP71 proteins are needed for the virus to replicate. But they actually die after a few hours, while it takes days to create new virus. So how can the virus successfully multiply even after these proteins are gone?”The researchers found that, while PP71 is still present in the cell, it activates another protein known as IE1. This happens within the first few hours of the virus entering the cell, allowing the IE1 protein to take over after PP71 dies and continue creating new virus.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerTo confirm their findings, the team created a synthetic version of the virus that allowed them to adjust the levels of the IE1 proteins using small molecules. With this technique, they could let the virus infect the cell while controlling how quickly the IE1 protein would break down in the cell.”We noticed that when the IE1 protein degrades slowly, as it normally does, the virus can replicate very efficiently,” said Vardi. “But if the protein breaks down faster, the virus can’t multiply as well. So, we confirmed that the virus needs the IE1 protein to successfully replicate.”This study could have broad implications for the scientific community, which has been struggling to determine how cells maintain their identity over time. During development, for instance, stem cells choose a path based on the proteins that surround them. But even after these initial proteins disappear, the specialized cells don’t change. So, stem cells that turn into neurons during development continue to be neurons long after those proteins are gone.”The issue is similar for the virus,” explained Weinberger, who is also a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UC San Francisco. “It was not clear what mechanisms allowed the virus to continue replicating long after the initial signal from the PP71 had decayed to a whisper. Our findings uncover a circuit encoded by the virus that controls its fate and indicate that such circuits may be quite common in viruses.”The new study could lead to a new therapeutic target to attack cytomegalovirus and other herpesviruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus that causes mononucleosis and herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 that produce most cold sores and genital herpes.last_img read more

One year after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico

first_img Source:https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-september-19-2018/puerto-rico-one-year-later.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 20 2018On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, wreaking destruction that still lingers. The Category 4 storm caused a humanitarian crisis that ultimately cost nearly 3,000 lives, and imperiled Puerto Rico’s economy, universities and environmental health. Yet chemists there remained resilient and united in their resolve to recover from the devastating storm, according to this week’s cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchMaria was the strongest storm to hit the island in a century, with flooding and 155-mph winds causing billions of dollars in damage. But the situation was made more critical by the long-term loss of power and communications and the slow government response. In a series of three articles, C&EN describes how the hurricane impacted Puerto Rico’s pharmaceutical industry, academic institutions, and water and air quality.Hurricane Maria threatened to cripple Puerto Rico’s drug manufacturing industry, which supplies the U.S. with more medications, on a dollar basis, than any other state or country. Big pharma firms managed to largely keep the drug supply chain steady. Likewise, Puerto Rican universities were hit hard, with many classrooms, research laboratories and expensive instruments destroyed by the storm. Faculty, staff and students were united in their resolve to restart their science, but they still face challenges getting back to normal. And finally, environmental researchers are studying how Maria may have threatened the long-term health of residents exposed to water and air that were tainted by hazardous pollutants and mold.last_img read more

US agency says 20 coral species are threatened

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 Email Ocean acidification, warming waters, and disease could lead 20 species of Caribbean and Pacific corals to be at risk for extinction by 2100. That argument formed the basis for a decision Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to add them to the list of threatened corals under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).   “I don’t think we can make any decision anymore about ESA listings without taking into account the reality that the planet is warming, that the ocean is changing, and will continue to change,” said Russell Brainard, NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division chief, in explaining the agency’s action. Two coral species are already listed as threatened, a less protective category than endangered. The agency must now decide how to reduce the stress of those changes on coral species, some of which have declined by 90%.            In 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) asked NOAA to list 83 species under the federal law, arguing that each one had declined by at least 30% in 30 years. In 2012, NOAA proposed listing 66 of those petitioned corals as threatened and moving the two species already on the list, the Caribbean elkhorn and staghorn corals (Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis), to the most protective category of endangered. David Bernhart, the protected resources chief for NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast region, told reporters yesterday that new information about the abundance of each coral species, their location, and how they respond to threats like pollution and ocean warming led to fewer listings than had been anticipated. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) While protecting five Caribbean and 15 Indo-Pacific corals “marks an important acknowledgement that corals are in trouble,” said CBD’s Miyoko Sakashita, it falls short of what the environmental group had wanted. “There is a little bit of a mixed reaction because there were some corals that we felt deserved protection that didn’t ultimately get it.” According to Melanie Rowland, a retired NOAA attorney and ESA expert not involved in the listing decision, it’s not unusual for an agency to change its mind between its initial proposal and its final decision, especially when there is new research.Now that 20 corals are listed, the question is how to arrest their decline. Threatened status does not automatically restrict activities like fishing or coastal development. However, other federal agencies undertaking projects that could harm corals, such as building ports, must now consult with NOAA first. “Those bigger threats [from] climate change have bigger impacts and harder solutions,” said Mike Tosatto, NOAA’s fisheries administrator for the Pacific Islands. “Land-based impacts of fishing and land-based pollution are generally lesser threats overall, but [they are] something that we might be able to more effectively address.”The agency already has a coral reef conservation program, and it will continue to study climate change impacts to corals while trying to reduce overfishing of reef ecosystems and reduce polluting runoff from land that can cause coral disease. But many scientists fear those steps, by themselves, won’t be enough to save corals. “Without reducing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, no amount of good management of these ecosystems is going to save coral reefs,” said Katharine Ricke, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Palo Alto, California, who has modeled large-scale climate impacts to corals. *Clarification, 10 September, 2:35 p.m.: David Bernhart’s NOAA position has been clarified.last_img read more

Team Trump warns Congress it will take billions more to run the

first_img Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP Images Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testified last week before a House of Representatives panel that oversees the 2020 census. “While I commend Secretary Ross for recognizing that the census is underresourced, I’m not yet confident that he is proposing enough funding to make up for lost ground quickly,” says Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former congressional aide and consultant on census issues based in Stamford, Connecticut. And many scientists worry about the long-term implications of insufficient funding. “It could be a real mess, and further undermine the credibility of the census,” says Timothy Johnson of the University of Illinois in Chicago, who specializes in survey methodology. “And some politician will ask why we’re spending billions of dollars on something that was done so poorly. It could even blow over into 2030.”At the 12 October hearing of the House oversight committee, Ross explained why the cost estimate has risen. One reason is a growing distrust of government, which leads to a poorer initial response to the 10-question census. That adds to the need for follow-up by field workers, the census’s biggest single expense. A tight labor market could require higher salaries for the 500,000 field workers, he added. A third factor is the usual problems getting new technology to work properly.Ross ordered up the new estimate after saying he didn’t trust the figures that Thompson, appointed in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, had generated. The prior administration provided “overly optimistic assessments of both the ease of implementing new technologies and the cost savings they would provide,” he testified. But Ross also pointed a finger at lawmakers, using the euphemism of “appropriations constraints” to describe how a Republican Congress repeatedly cut Obama’s proposed budgets for the census. “We really need the entire $15.6 billion,” he told a legislator who suggested that the census could be done for half the price.Recent tight budgets have forced the Census Bureau to curtail, delay, or cancel several activities designed to test and implement proposed changes, as well as fine-tune systems used in previous censuses. For example, a dry run of all the census systems was originally planned for April in three locations, providing a variety of demographic and logistical challenges, but will instead be conducted at only one site.Democrats prodded Ross on whether Census officials are doing enough to contact groups traditionally undercounted—including the poor and homeless, minorities, those in rural areas, and immigrants—and complained that budget woes have already forced cancellation of the communications and community outreach component of next spring’s dress rehearsal. Ross tried to reassure them by pointing out that the new cost estimate includes $750 million for such activities prior to Census Day on 1 April 2020.Thompson says he’s heartened by Ross’s emphasis on outreach and request for additional funding this year. “I am feeling better than I have in quite a while,” says Thompson, who resigned last spring just days after testifying before Congress on large cost overruns in the new information technology system. He now leads the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics in Washington, D.C., whose members rely on government statistics to do their jobs.It’s far from certain that Congress will embrace Ross’s requested increase for 2018 in its final spending plan. (All agencies are now under a freeze.) The House has already approved the president’s original request for the decennial census, and Senate appropriators have reiterated their hold-the-line philosophy in their spending bill. “The commerce secretary is charged with getting this done right,” Johnson says. “I just hope he can persuade Congress.” Team Trump warns Congress it will take billions more to run the 2020 census For years, Congress has told the U.S. Census Bureau that the cost of the 2020 census cannot exceed the $12.1 billion spent in 2010. The legion of social scientists, community planners, and businesses that uses data from the once-a-decade head count of the U.S. population say it was an unreasonable demand given inflation and a growing and more mobile population. But former Census Director John Thompson did his best to comply, coming up with a modernization plan he said would save $5.2 billion.Those changes include a first-ever use of the internet, greater use of satellite data to compile the master address file, handheld devices to better manage the army of field workers, and a call center to help respondents fill out the 10-item questionnaire. Even after legislators repeatedly gave the agency less money than needed to test and implement the improvements, Thompson kept telling Congress he could get the job done.Reality is setting in. Last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whom President Donald Trump appointed to lead the department that oversees the Census Bureau, told a congressional panel that the agency will need to spend a total of $15.6 billion, some $3.3 billion more than a 2015 estimate, to conduct a “full, fair, and accurate census.” Email (GRAPHIC) J. YOU/SCIENCE; (DATA) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE The rising cost of counting Technological upgrades for the 2020 U.S. census should save money over classic methods, but not as much as originally hoped, according to a new cost estimate. 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 Ross says he can put the 2020 census back on track if Congress adds $187 million to the president’s $800 million request for the current fiscal year, which began on 1 October. But census advocates say even more is needed, and last week a group of Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed adding $441 million to Trump’s request for the bureau, with the money earmarked for the 2020 census. By Jeffrey MervisOct. 18, 2017 , 1:55 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

This asteroid came from another solar system—and its here to stay

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) C. Veillet/Large Binocular Telescope Observatory While astronomers around the world had their eyes fixed last year on ‘Oumuamua, a lump of rock from another planetary system that whizzed through ours, little did they know that another interstellar interloper was quietly living among us. And this one appears to have been here for billions of years.Astronomers first spotted the object, an asteroid called 2015 BZ509 that is orbiting close to Jupiter, in 2014. They knew it was unusual because it was traveling around the solar system in the opposite direction as almost everything else. (Its motion is shown in the animations above, with 2015 BZ509 circled.) Astronomers have found other objects in “retrograde” orbits, perhaps knocked off course by passing too close to a giant planet, but 2015 BZ509’s orbit was the weirdest of all because it is also elongated and out of alignment with the planets and other bodies.To find out why, a pair of astronomers ran a series of 1 million simulations of the asteroid’s orbit, each with slightly different parameters. Jupiter’s orbit is a busy part of the solar system where the risk of being knocked off course is high, so eccentric orbits that are stable long term are unlikely. But the researchers found a number of possible orbits that were stable and concluded it is much more likely that 2015 BZ509 is in one of them, rather than that it happened to arrive for a short-term visit. Some of those stable orbits, if wound back in time, would mean that 2015 BZ509 has been with us since the beginning of our solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By Daniel CleryMay. 21, 2018 , 8:00 AM This asteroid came from another solar system—and it’s here to stay Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country There is no known mechanism that could have produced 2015 BZ509 in such an orbit when the planets were forming, the researchers report today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. Instead, the asteroid must have been drifting through space and was captured by the sun’s gravity.That’s not as far-fetched as it seems. The sun and its planets formed inside a closely packed cluster of stars—which have since moved on—and any object ejected from one planetary system by gravitational interaction could conceivably end up in another. The discovery of 2015 BZ509 quietly living in the solar system suggests we should look again at some other oddball asteroids; the team’s simulations suggest that some of them may be interstellar interlopers as well. And if space agencies deemed it worth visiting one of them, we could find out whether other planetary systems are made of the same stuff as ours.last_img read more

New chapter in climate change politics begins with simultaneous House hearings

first_img By Nick Sobczyk, E&E NewsFeb. 6, 2019 , 3:45 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Democrats, unsurprisingly, talked about the issue in broad strokes, at times comparing it to the moon landing and the nation’s other great scientific and technological challenges.”In the 1960s, our government and our nation’s best rose to the Sputnik challenge by sending a person to the moon. Today, our course remains unclear,” said Representative Paul Tonko (D–NY), chairman of the E&C subcommittee. “How our committee responds at this inflection point will define our nation for the next half century and beyond.”But more notable was the response from Republicans on both committees. Instead of the denial and skepticism of science that has defined their stance on climate change for a decade or more, Republicans largely acknowledged the planet is warming and focused instead on industry efforts to meet emissions goals and technological advancement.The tone shift wasn’t universal, but it was surprising, even though the party still overwhelmingly opposes carbon pricing and other more ambitious solutions proposed by climate advocates.Republicans also honed in on the “Green New Deal,” an interesting point of focus, since even Tonko and full Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D–NJ) have expressed skepticism about the progressive policy platform.Subcommittee ranking member Rep. John Shimkus (R–IL) lamented that climate activists often push for “top-down” solutions to climate change and ignore the importance of nuclear power. He noted that U.S. Energy Information Administration projections suggest fossil and nuclear energy will remain dominant in the power sector until at least 2040.Full Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Rep. Greg Walden (R–OR) similarly acknowledged that climate change is “real” but asked for a “longer conversation about the Democrats’ Green New Deal.””We have heard about general tenets of the plan for the U.S., such as all renewable electricity generation by 2030, all zero emission passenger vehicles in just 11 years, a federal job guarantee and a living wage guarantee,” Walden said. “We have serious concerns about the potential adverse economic and employment impacts of these types of measures.”To put a finer point on the rhetorical shift, Rep. Diana DeGette (D–CO) at one point asked every witness before the subcommittee if they believe climate change is happening and primarily driven by greenhouse gas emissions. Every witness—brought by both Republicans and Democrats—answered “yes.””That in itself is a revolutionary step for this committee,” DeGette said.On the Natural Resources panel, meanwhile, Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D–AZ) pushed to go beyond the “innovation” rhetoric that was so common this morning among GOP members.”Today we turn the page on this committee from climate change denial to climate action,” Grijalva said in his opening remarks. “We need more than innovation. We need good policies.”Ranking member Rep. Rob Bishop (R–UT) didn’t touch much on climate science but said he would rather tackle public lands issues more directly in the committee’s jurisdiction.Grijalva has dubbed February climate month for the committee, but Bishop questioned whether Democrats are really trying to craft bipartisan legislation on issues such as carbon capture and sequestration or if the hearings are simply for the reporters in the back of the room “so that they can write cute stories.””I know you have made February as climate change month,” Bishop said. “I appreciate the fact you picked the shortest month of the year to do that.”“They’re delusional”The Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee will do much of the work in developing climate legislation in the coming years, but questions this morning from lawmakers were scattershot, with members focusing on issues that affect their districts or specific areas of interest.Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–WA) questioned Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath in Washington, D.C., on the benefits of hydropower, which she called a “clean, reliable, affordable” source of energy. Walden directed his questions about forest management and wildfires, a perennial problem in his district, to Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C.On the Democratic side, Rep. Scott Peters (D–CA) probed Michael Williams, deputy director of the BlueGreen Alliance, based in Washington, D.C., on the best way to craft a carbon pricing bill, while Rep. Nanette Barragán (D–CA) questioned the Rev. Leo Woodberry, pastor of Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina, about environmental justice issues.Pallone focused his questions on addressing climate change in an infrastructure bill, likely the first opportunity Democrats will have this Congress to press the issue in bipartisan legislation.Putting climate provisions in a major infrastructure package would be the thing “we can most likely do on a bipartisan basis and get Trump to sign,” Pallone said.The Natural Resources Committee, too, touched on a massive range of issues without much depth, including energy storage, solar, deepwater wind and offshore drilling.Both parties touched on the need for resilient infrastructure in a discussion with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D).While it’s clear there could be areas of bipartisan cooperation on climate in the coming months, Republicans are still resisting any broad legislation to cut carbon emissions, particularly if it incorporates ideas from the “Green New Deal.”For the GOP, solutions should be market-based or focused on research and development.As Rep. David McKinley (R–WV) put it, “we all agree” that climate change is largely driven by greenhouse gas emissions, but “where we disagree is on solutions.””If anyone thinks that decarbonizing America is going to save the planet, whether that’s 10 years or 20 years from now, they’re delusional,” McKinley said.Reporter Courtney Columbus contributed.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net. Cliff Owen/AP Photo New chapter in climate change politics begins with simultaneous House hearings A bipartisan pair of governors—Roy Cooper (D–NC, left) and Charlie Baker (R–MA, right)—shake hands after testifying on climate change before the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources today. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Read more… 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 Reprinted from E&E NewsDemocrats in the U.S. House of Representatives this morning brought climate change back to the political forefront for the first time in nearly a decade and were met with a Republican tone shift far from the skeptical attitude the GOP has taken to the issue for years.The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change and the full Natural Resources Committee met simultaneously to discuss the need to act on climate change and the costs of inaction.last_img read more

Granny Arrested After Pulling Gun On Black Couple

first_img Ruby Howell , Starkville , Starkville campground Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family #SayHerName: Black Women And Girls Killed By Police A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ More By NewsOne Staff See the smirk on her face in the mugshot below:Ruby Howell mugshotSource: Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office / Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s OfficeIn case you missed it, in a now-viral video, Howell is seen approaching Jessica Richardson, her husband Franklin and their dog while brandishing a gun and demanding that they leave. The Richardsons were having a picnic on KOA Kampgrounds.“This lady just literally pulled a gun because we’re out here and didn’t have reservations for a lake that we didn’t even know we needed to have reservations for,” Richardson can be heard saying as the video begins.As Howell stood there clutching her pistol, Richardson tried to tell her that there was a misunderstanding.“We didn’t know, the only thing you had to do was tell us to leave,” Richardson said. “We would have left. You did not have to pull a gun.“Well, I’m just telling you, you need to leave because it’s under private ownership,” Howell replied after tucking the gun into her shorts.center_img Baytown police shoot pregnant woman Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist The Richardsons would later learn from Howell’s husband that they did not need a reservation to access the lake. Kampgrounds of America (KOA), who employed Howell and ran the campground near the lake, fired Howell after massive backlash. KOA spokesman Mike Gast also released a statement condemning Howell for brandishing a weapon saying KOA “does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees.”Many social media users were calling for Howell’s arrest. The police explained to NewsOne, “We are waiting on that to happen. They’ve indicated they’d like to speak with an attorney first, so we’re sorta waiting on that to happen. And at that point, our intentions would be [to] investigate this thing fully for any potential criminal charges that could come out of it.”Sounds like she got the lightest charges possible.Although Mississippi is an open-carry state, it is illegal for someone to brandish their weapon in a “rude, angry or threatening manner in the presence of three or more persons.” That is according to Mississippi state law, which also states that a guilty party can face a $500 fine, three months in jail, or both with prosecutors not having to prove that the weapon was “charged, loaded or in a condition to be discharged.”SEE ALSO:Representation For The Mother Of Maleah Davis Accuses Her Of Not Being TruthfulLamar Odom Says Khloé Kardashian Isn’t White Ruby Howell has been allowed to roam the streets for over a week even after she pulled her gun on a Black couple trying to picnic in Mississippi. Finally, the 70-year-old has been arrested, only after she turned herself in.SEE ALSO: Muhlaysia Booker Incident Comes As Violence Against Black Trans Women Is SoaringStarkville Daily News reports Howell turned herself in to the Oktibbeha County Jail this morning. She was charged with a single misdemeanor of threatening exhibition of a weapon and  was released of posting a bond of $500.last_img read more

China reacts guardedly as Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead

first_img China, Carrie Lam, Extradition bill, China Extradition bill legislation, chinese extradition bill amendment, world news, Indian Express news Carrie Lam doubting the government’s sincerity on Tuesday reiterated “there is no such plan. The bill is dead”. (Representational Image)China on Tuesday reacted guardedly to Hong Kong’s embattled pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam’s declaration that the highly controversial plan to allow the extradition of Hongkongers to the mainland “is dead”, saying it has “nothing more to add” to its endorsement of her June 15 announcement to suspend it. The Chinese government has backed Lam’s move on June 15 to suspend the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 following violent protests by lakhs of people. After her plans to suspend the bill was rejected by protestors who continued to stage mass demonstrations, Lam on Tuesday announced that the widely-loathed move to allow extradition to the Chinese mainland “is dead” but again stopped short of protesters’ demands to completely withdraw the bill.“There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries (about) whether the government will restart the process with the Legislative Council,” she said in a press conference. “So I reiterate here, there is no such plan. The bill is dead,” she said.Asked how the Chinese central government views Lam’s announcement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters: “On June 15, after the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong decided to suspend the amendment, the Chinese government expressed its respect and understanding. I have nothing more to add for the time being”. Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China Advertising Hong Kong, a former British colony, became a Special Administrative Region of China in 1997 when Britain’s 99-year lease expired. It has its own judiciary and a separate legal system from mainland China.The city is governed under the principle of “one country, two systems”, under which China has agreed to give it some autonomy and preserve its economic and social systems for 50 years from the date of the handover. There have been massive violent protests in Hong Kong over a controversial extradition law which the locals apprehend could be used to send political dissidents from Hong Kong to mainland China for prosecution.Hong Kong Chief Executive Lam, who came under intense criticism at home and abroad, had put off plans to pass the controversial legislation and apologised but the protests continued, calling for its complete withdrawal and her resignation. China GDP growth slows to 6.2% in second quarter Advertising Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Prosperous China says ‘men preferred’ and women lose center_img Post Comment(s) After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express By PTI |Beijing | Published: July 9, 2019 7:24:25 pm Related News While the suspension of the bill was seen as a major setback for China’s increasing hold over the former British colony Hong Kong which was returned to China by the UK in 1997, the continued large scale protests demanding its withdrawal raised concern here over the growing opposition to Beijing among the local people, especially students.Lam’s latest announcement too met with opposition from the protestors who demanded its complete withdrawal as it still remained dormant in the local legislature.“The bill is dead, is a political description and it is not a legislative language,” Civic Party lawmaker of Hong Kong Alvin Yeung told the BBC, adding that the bill is still in the process of second reading technically. “We have no idea why the chief executive refuses to adopt the word withdraw,” he said.One of the leading figures of the protest movement, student activist Joshua Wong, reiterated the demand for the bill to be “formally withdrawn” and accused Lam of using wordplay to “lie to the people of Hong Kong”.Critics of the legislation argue it would undermine the territory’s judicial independence and could be used to target those who speak out against the Chinese government, the BBC report said.last_img read more

Ancient Snowball Earth thawed out in a flash

first_img Julio Lacerda/Studio 252MYA Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ancient ‘Snowball Earth’ thawed out in a flash An artist’s impression of what Earth looked like during the Snowball Earth glaciations. 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! Countrycenter_img Email By Lucas JoelApr. 2, 2019 , 10:50 AM More than half a billion years ago, our planet was a giant snowball hurtling through space. Glaciers blanketed the globe all the way to the equator in one of the mysterious “Snowball Earth” events geologists think occurred at least twice in Earth’s ancient past. Now, scientists have found that the final snowball episode likely ended in a flash about 635 million years ago—a geologically fast event that may have implications for today’s human-driven global warming.The ice, which built up over several thousand years, “melted in no more than 1 million years,” says Shuhai Xiao, a paleobiologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg who was part of the team that made the discovery. That’s the blink of an eye in our planet’s 4.56-billion-year history, suggesting the globe reached a sudden tipping point, Xiao says. Although the  team doesn’t know for certain what caused it, carbon dioxide emitted by ancient volcanoes may have triggered a greenhouse event, causing the ice sheets to thaw rapidly.To shine light on the pace of deglaciation, Xiao and colleagues dated volcanic rocks from southern China’s Yunnan province. These were embedded below another kind of rock called a cap carbonate—unique deposits of limestone and dolostone that formed during Snowball Earth’s shutdown in response to high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Using radiometric dating techniques, the team found the volcanic rocks were 634.6 million years old, give or take about 880,000 years. Alone, this single new date couldn’t reveal the speed at which the melting happened. But in 2005, a different team of scientists dated volcanic rocks from above a similar cap at a different location—in China’s Guizhou province. They were dated to 635.2 million years, give or take 570,000 years. Together, the two samples suggest the melting event was a quick thaw of about 1 million years, Xiao and his colleagues wrote last month in Geology. The key, Xiao explains, is that these two dates are far more precise than those of past samples, with error bars of less than 1 million years. Those error bars essentially bracket the period in which the cap carbonates formed—and, thus, bound the period of the final Snowball Earth thawing event. Because previously discovered samples have error bars of several million years or more, Xiao says these new dates are the first that can be used to calculate the pace of melting with any certainty.However, because the two new samples come from southern China, they don’t paint a global picture of the ancient thaw, says Carol Dehler, a geologist at Utah State University in Logan. To do that, scientists would need to find datable volcanic rocks from other parts of the world, which are about “as common as unicorns,” she jokes. But, she adds, they might be out there “waiting to be discovered.”Meanwhile, understanding the nature of these ancient glaciations could help scientists dealing with climate change today: “I think one of the biggest messages that Snowball Earth can send humanity,” Dehler says, “is that it shows the Earth’s capabilities to change in extreme ways on short and longer time scales.”last_img read more

Water conservation How Bundelkhand is keeping drought at a distance by recharging

first_imgWritten by Esha Roy | Bundelkhand | Updated: July 15, 2019 7:07:16 am Banda’s district magistrate, Heera Lal, who is responsible for both pushing the campaign as well as christening it, says that till March this year, the administration had helped villagers across Banda to revive 1,800 lakes. “It has become a jan andolan (a people’s movement), which is what the PM has wanted. We have held public meetings across the district with villages and their pradhans (village chiefs) to spread awareness on how their water needs in this dry region can be met simply by reviving the traditional lakes and water bodies that have always existed in Banda,” says Lal.Pandey adds that two voluntary “missions” were added to the existing schemes as shramdaan (voluntary labour). One involved the villagers getting together to dig a pond, with rights to sell or donate the soil. The second roped in wealthy non-residents, often hailing from these villages, to fund the efforts. Fifty ponds have been voluntary “donated” by outsiders, he adds.Apart from these missions launched in Banda, ponds across Bundelkhand’s seven districts that fall in UP have been made under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). However, this was not as effective, say the officials, because ponds are dug without any thought to sustain them. “When we plan ponds, we see what the water catchment area is, where the channels, the inlets and the outlets are, which direction the water flows in and where it collects,” says Lal. It is Banda’s better planning won it an award for its water project from the Water Resources Ministry in April this year.The fifth scheme — called the “Apna Talaab Abhiyan” — was launched in UP in 2013. “This did not gain traction for a while. Ponds were dug sporadically. But over time the scheme started picking up as farmers started receiving partial funding from the government. As such, the number of ponds constructed quickly ramped up from 59 in the first year to 500 in the third. Last year 60,000 hectares of land was irrigated by such local ponds. Villagers such as 70-year old Chhedi Lal Tewari, whose family has lived in Gureh for generations, fondly recall the past when this well, the deepest among the 25-odd wells in the village, would fill up almost two-thirds during the monsoons and not just provide water for drinking and bathing but also for irrigating the farms. But in recent years, thanks to more erratic rains and siltation, the water level in the well steadily fell until it dried up completely last year, rues Ram Bahadur, the 50-year old village chief. Other wells, which were not as deep, suffered the same fate as well. Over the past month, however, Gureh’s villagers are turning things around.Encouraged by Banda’s district administration, which has taken on the region’s persistent droughts and paucity of rain on a war footing, Gureh’s villagers have got together to clean all the wells. Men have been hired to rappel down the stone walls to remove silt and debris, and the results are encouraging. Gureh’s response to its growing water crisis is part of a larger effort, involving both citizens and the government, in Bundelkhand, a region that stretches over 70,000 sq km across two of India’s biggest states — Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Over the past 15 years, water availability in the already drought-prone Bundelkhand has become critical. Both the number of days when the region received rainfall — 52 days — as well as the total quantum of rainfall — 800mm to 900 mm — have halved over the past decade-and-a-half.bundelkhand water conservation, drought bundelkhand, water crisis, water conservation wells, indian express, latest newsWhat made matters worse was the shift away from the traditional crops such as pulses, chickpea and bajra suited for this region. With water bodies drying up, Bundelkhand started relying entirely on hand-pumps and tube-wells for their water supply. This resulted in a sharp depletion of groundwater resources, further affecting crops and livelihood.Not surprisingly, since 2007, droughts have become an annual ritual. It is for this reason that 13 of Bundelkhand’s 14 districts across UP and MP were declared drought-prone and the government came up with a Bundelkhand Drought Mitigation package in 2009 with an outlay of Rs 7,266 crore. In the 12th plan period (2012-2017) the assistance package was increased to Rs 4,400 crore under the Backward Regions Grant Fund.It is in this backdrop that Gureh and Banda district’s response holds lessons for the rest of India. “In Banda, we have introduced a five-part abhiyan (mission). Some of these include existing schemes, some are new. One is Kuan talaab jiao abhiyan. Under this, the villagers are encouraged to restore and revive wells and existing ponds, most of which had dried up,” says the District Development Officer K K Pandey. He points out that of the 7,638 wells in Banda that are “not under dispute”, 2,500 have already been revived since the mission was launched in December 2018. Related News More Explained Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Bundelkhand BJP MP raises stray cattle issue, blames lack of water Lab to land: Reaching out to a million farmers center_img Best Of Express Water-scarce Bundelkhand: Clashes, anxiety as stray cattle take over fields Forty-five years old Shyam Dwivedi, who owns seven acres of farmland in Riwan village of neighbouring Hamirpur district, built his first pond under this scheme. As a result, he was able to harvest three crops instead of one. He is not alone. Many farmers in the area, who would have otherwise left the village in search of work, have now returned to Riwan to build their ponds and till their land.Even so, 50 per cent of Bundelkhand still receives water through tankers. It is imperative that the groundwater is recharged — not just for irrigation but also for the “nal se jal” (water from taps) scheme of the government to succeed. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Taking stock of monsoon rain bundelkhand water conservation, drought bundelkhand, water crisis, water conservation wells, gureh village, banda, mgnregs, india news, indian express, latest news Jai Sagar pond in Bundelkhand is one of the seven interconnected ponds that is being replenished. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)Smack in the middle of Gureh village in Bundelkhand’s Banda district lies an imposing ancient well. The seven-and-a-half thousand villagers talk about the well with pride. It has been there since “the time of the kings” they say. Advertising Explained Why India needs to conserve water In India, water availability per person has been falling at an alarming rate. In 1950, it stood at 5,100 cubic metres. Today it is just 1,400 cubic metres, and in the coming years, it is likely to go down to 1,000 cubic metres. Part of the problem is our inability to use rainwater. India receives 4,000 BCM (Billion Cubic Metres) of annual precipitation, but the holding capacity of the 5,400 reservoirs across the country is less than 300 BCM. If India has to arrest the slide in water availability, it urgently needs to find ways to not only conserve more water but also improve the efficiency of its use.“We have to complete the cleaning still, but we can already see the water coming back,” says Bahadur. Egged on by district officials, villagers also perform “kuan puja” (worshipping the wells) every evening to raise awareness and ensure the wells do not go into disrepair again. Apart from cleaning the wells, the villagers have also trained their attention on three large ponds flanking the acres of farmland. Gureh’s largest existing pond has been deepened by 1.5 meters. Another pond that had all but disappeared is also being revived and the third pond has been freshly constructed under the supervision of the village elders. The excess soil dug out from these ponds has been given to the labourers so that they could repair their homes. 6 Comment(s)last_img read more

Researchers develop intervention to encourage couples HIV testing

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 8 2019It’s long been known that couples HIV testing and counseling is an effective way to mutually disclose HIV status and link to health care–unfortunately, couples don’t use it even though it’s widely available.Lynae Darbes, associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, wanted to change that, so she and her team developed an intervention designed to improve the likelihood that couples will decide to engage in HIV testing together.The intervention, called Uthando Lwethu –“our love” in Zulu–took place in a rural area of South Africa in a province with the highest prevalence of HIV in the country. It worked, and of the 334 couples enrolled in their study, 42 percent of the experimental group chose to participate in couples HIV testing, compared to 12 percent of couples in the control group.The idea was that providing relationship skills to couples would improve their communication and their relationship in general, and this would in turn improve their ability to talk about sex and HIV–as well as HIV testing.The idea came about from Darbes’ earlier work, in which she asked couples why they didn’t do HIV testing together. Darbes conducted the research while at the University of California, San Francisco, and it was a partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council in Durban, South Africa.”Many people talked about the importance of communication, but didn’t know how to talk about HIV,” she said. “It seemed like if we taught them more effective communication, they could discuss HIV and testing, and then they might be able to actually do it.”What people haven’t acknowledged is that we haven’t factored in relationship dynamics as much as we should with HIV couples testing. HIV is a complicated conversation to have.”Related StoriesEven when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachAll couples received a group counseling session together, then were randomly placed into the experimental or control groups. The experimental group received an additional couples-based group session, in single-gender groups, followed by four single-couple counseling sessions. Topics included communication skills, intimate partner violence and HIV prevention. The control group only received the first group counseling, but after the study they were offered a condensed version of the couples counseling sessions.In order to make testing and counseling easily available in the rural area, where health services are often hundreds of miles away, researchers took a mobile testing van to the study participants instead of asking them to travel. Since the area lacks health professionals and therapists, the study team trained laypeople to counsel the couples.In addition to the higher couples HIV-testing rate, the experimental group also chose to test significantly sooner than those in the control group who tested together. At baseline, nearly 40 percent of the participants (both men and women) had never been tested for HIV, which surprised Darbes, considering the high rate of HIV in the area. Additionally, most couples had not disclosed prior HIV test results to partners.The model could work well in any area with a dearth of health care clinics and clinicians, Darbes said. It could also be tailored to other health conditions like diabetes, weight control, etc.”I think that general relationship conversations can cascade out into other health outcomes, and you can talk about issues and behaviors more easily if you improve your overall communication,” Darbes said.The next step is to apply for a grant to investigate ways to feasibly implement the counseling in a real-life community setting. Source:https://umich.edu/last_img read more

Brain blood flow discovery brings researchers closer to new therapies for Alzheimers

first_img Source:http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/02/brain-blood-flow-finding-gives-hope-alzheimers-therapy Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 12 2019By discovering the culprit behind decreased blood flow in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s, biomedical engineers at Cornell University have made possible promising new therapies for the disease.You know that dizzy feeling you get when, after lying down for an extended period, you stand up a little too quickly?That feeling is caused by a sudden reduction of blood flow to the brain, a reduction of around 30 percent. Now imagine living every minute of every day with that level of decreased blood flow.People with Alzheimer’s disease don’t have to imagine it. The existence of cerebral blood flow reduction in Alzheimer’s patients has been known for decades, but the exact correlation to impaired cognitive function is less understood.”People probably adapt to the decreased blood flow, so that they don’t feel dizzy all of the time, but there’s clear evidence that it impacts cognitive function,” said Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Cornell University.A new study from the joint lab of Schaffer and associate professor Nozomi Nishimura, offers an explanation for this dramatic blood flow decrease: white blood cells stuck to the inside of capillaries, the smallest blood vessels in the brain. And while only a small percentage of capillaries experience this blockage, each stalled vessel leads to decreased blood flow in multiple downstream vessels, magnifying the impact on overall brain blood flow.Their paper, “Neutrophil Adhesion in Brain Capillaries Reduces Cortical Blood Flow and Impairs Memory Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Models,” published in Nature Neuroscience.The paper’s co-lead authors are Jean Cruz-Hernandez, Ph.D., now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, and Oliver Bracko, a research associate in the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenThe paper, Schaffer said, is the culmination of approximately a decade of study, data gathering and analysis. It began with a study in which Nishimura was attempting to put clots into the vasculatures of Alzheimer’s mouse brains to see their effect.”It turns out that … the blockages we were trying to induce were already in there,” she said. “It sort of turned the research around – this is a phenomenon that was already happening.”Recent studies suggest that brain blood flow deficits are one of the earliest detectable symptoms of dementia.”What we’ve done is identify the cellular mechanism that causes reduced brain blood flow in Alzheimer’s disease models, which is neutrophils [white blood cells] sticking in capillaries,” Schaffer said. “We’ve shown that when we block the cellular mechanism [that causes the stalls], we get an improved blood flow, and associated with that improved blood flow is immediate restoration of cognitive performance of spatial- and working-memory tasks.””Now that we know the cellular mechanism,” he said, “it’s a much narrower path to identify the drug or the therapeutic approach to treat it.”The team has identified approximately 20 drugs, many of them already FDA approved for human use, that have potential in dementia therapy and are screening these drugs in Alzheimer’s mice now.Schaffer said he’s “super-optimistic” that, if the same capillary-blocking mechanism is at play in humans as it is in mice, this line of research “could be a complete game-changer for people with Alzheimer’s disease.”last_img read more

Japans Honda revs up annual netprofit forecast

Japan’s third-largest automaker now expects net profit to hit one trillion yen ($9 billion) for the fiscal year ending in March, up from 585 billion yen projected three months earlier.For the nine months to December, Honda’s net profit jumped 82.8 percent from a year earlier to 951.6 billion yen.The upgrade was the third upward revision to the profit forecasts this business year.The company also said increased car and motorcycle sales volume and a lower yen enabled it to raise its operating-profit forecast to 775 billion yen from 745 billion yen, and the sales projection to 15.2 trillion yen from 15.05 trillion yen.A lower yen makes Japanese carmakers more competitive in foreign markets and inflates profits when repatriated.Foreign exchange will remain a decisive factor for Japan’s car industry, said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm.”Honda is likely to continue to enjoy good contributions from its motorcycle sales. The impact of Takata’s airbag scandal on its earnings has been subdued, reducing quality-control costs,” he told AFP.Operating profit grew by a fractional 0.6 percent to 706.7 billion yen due to costs related to faulty Takata airbags as well as the absence of a one-time gain earned in the pension account last year. But Honda’s net profits will be higher than earlier expected due to the reduction of corporate tax rates at US subsidiaries as the US Congress passed tax reform plans in December, the firm said.Sales grew 11.8 percent to 11.45 trillion yen. Nintendo ups profit forecast on strong Switch sales Citation: Japan’s Honda revs up annual net-profit forecast (2018, February 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-japan-honda-revs-annual-net-profit.html Honda Motor on Friday nearly doubled its annual net-profit forecasts, citing strong growth in the sales of its cars and motorcycles, as well as US corporate tax cuts. Explore further © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Honda nearly doubled its net profit forecast read more

Dropbox files for public stock offering of 500 mln Update

Explore further © 2018 AFP Dropbox says 68 million user IDs stolen The San Francisco company claimed 500 million users in 180 countries and $1 billion in annual revenues in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Dropbox said its shares will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DBX.”Its valuation based on recent funding in the group stands at around $10 billion, making Dropbox one of the biggest Silicon Valley venture-backed “unicorns,” or startups with a private valuation of more than $1 billion.”The market is hot right now,” tech analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said while discussing the move by Dropbox to go public with shares.”If you are going to do an IPO (initial public offering), you are in the window. People are investing.”What remains to be seen, Enderle noted, was whether Dropbox shrewdly spends the money it raises.Dropbox is one of a number of tech firms centered around the internet “cloud,” allowing users to store data on one device for access by other computing devices.Storing digital data from music and films to documents, presentations and images has become big business with the lifestyle shift to accessing content and services online from a cornucopia of internet-linked devices.Dropbox woos users with a free version of its online file-storing service, then entices with premium features to upgrade to paid subscriptions.While there were more than 500 million registered Dropbox users at the end of last year, only 11 million of them were paying subscribers, the firm said in the regulatory filing.”A majority of our registered users may never convert to a paid subscription at our platform,” the startup warned.Dropbox noted that the actual number of people using its service might be lower because some register more than one account.Yet to show profitWhile Dropbox has seen significant revenue growth since it was founded in 2007, but pointed out that the rate had started to slow.Dropbox has incurred losses annually since it has been in business, logging net losses of $111.7 million and $210.2 million respectively last year and the year prior.The company had an accumulated deficit of $1.05 billion as of December 31, 2017, according to the filing.”As we strive to grow our business, we expect expenses to increase in the near term,” Dropbox said.The internet-age economy runs on knowledge, with most of that digitally stored in the cloud, according to the startup.Dropbox described itself as a global platform for creating, sharing, and accessing digital content, particularly when it comes to getting work done.”Our market opportunity has grown as we’ve expanded from keeping files in sync to keeping teams in sync,” the company said in the filing.”We believe the need for our platform will continue to grow as teams become more fluid and global, and content is increasingly fragmented across incompatible tools and devices.”Taking on titansDropbox noted in the filing that it is up against Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft in a competitive and fast-changing market.The startup is among the few “unicorns” turning to the public stock market, with its larger peers such as Uber and Airbnb relying on private funding without the scrutiny of an IPO to become a publicly traded company.The company made public its filing on Friday, but noted that it submitted documents last year in a confidential filing with the SEC under rules for “emerging” growth companies.Dropbox put out word in 2016 that encrypted user IDs and passwords of some 68 million clients were stolen four years earlier were freshly leaked online.”We have responded to this event by expanding our security team and data monitoring capabilities and continuing to work on features such as two-factor authentication to increase protection of user information,” Dropbox said in the filing. Dropbox filed Friday for an initial public offering, seeking to raise an estimated $500 million for the Silicon Valley cloud computing storage startup. Drew Houston, founder and chief executive officer of Dropbox, which filed for an IPO Friday, is seen at a 2016 business conference in Sun Valley, Idaho Citation: Dropbox files for public stock offering of $500 mln (Update) (2018, February 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-dropbox-stock-mln.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Comcast challenges Disney for control of 21st Century Fox assets

first_img © 2018 AFP A full-fledged bidding war for key assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox erupted Wednesday as media and cable giant Comcast announced it plans an all-cash bid that would top an offer already on the table from Walt Disney Co. “While a Comcast acquisition of Fox is surely challenging financially, Comcast has never shied away from a challenge,” the analyst wrote.Shifting TV landscapeEither deal could face intense scrutiny from antitrust regulators because of the implications for the television and cinema sectors.A tie-up with Disney would create giant a with up to 40 percent of US box office revenues, according to some estimates.Comcast’s Universal studios is smaller than Disney’s but could vault to the top of the market by adding 20th Century Fox.Either Comcast or Disney would gain global stature in the TV sector with Sky, the pan-European broadcaster with operations in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Spain. Comcast operates the NBC broadcast network while Disney owns ABC, and both have multiple cable channels.The move comes with Murdoch gradually withdrawing from the empire he built, giving more authority to his sons Lachlan and James.The group announced last week that Lachlan Murdoch would assume the role of chairman and chief executive at the “new” Fox, which would be tightly focused around the Fox News Channel and sports cable channels.The consolidation in the sector comes with traditional operators facing pressure from online and tech platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, which are shaking up the model of pay TV deliver as well as the studio system for content production.Another pending deal that would join telecom and broadband giant AT&T with media-entertainment group Time Warner is being challenged by the US Justice Department in an antitrust suit. A judge is expected to rule in that case next month. Analyst Richard Greenfield at BTIG Research predicted last month that Comcast would offer “a 25 percent premium to Disney’s bid” in an effort to win the deal. Comcast said it is in “advanced stages of preparing” the offer for the television and entertainment assets Fox agreed to sell to Disney in a $52.4 billion stock deal announced in December.Comcast, which owns the NBCUniversal media-entertainment group and is the largest US cable operator, said it was prepared to pay more than Disney for the operations, which don’t include Murdoch’s Fox News Channel, Fox Broadcasting and major sports channels.”Any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney,” the Comcast statement said.”The structure and terms of any offer by Comcast, including with respect to both the spin-off of ‘New Fox’ and the regulatory risk provisions and the related termination fee, would be at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer.”Either deal would dramatically reshape the media-entertainment landscape and scale back the Fox empire created by the 87-year-old Murdoch.Murdoch, who with his family controls 21st Century Fox, agreed to the tie-up in December that would give Disney the famed Fox studios in Hollywood along with Fox’s international TV operations and US cable entertainment and regional sports channels.Included in the sale is Fox’s 39 percent stake in the British pay TV operator Sky. Murdoch has sought full control of Sky but has faced opposition from regulators in Britain.Separately, Comcast last month made an offer of $30.7 billion in cash for Sky, in a move welcomed by the British firm.Some reports said Murdoch had previously rejected an offer from Comcast. But the controlling family and shareholders would face pressure if the new offer is better than the one from Disney.Fox had no immediate comment on the Comcast statement. But in its most recent earnings call, co-executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch said that “we are committed to our agreement with Disney” and that board members “are aware of their fiduciary duties on behalf of all shareholders.” Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal and is the largest US cable TV operator, says it is preparing an all-cash offer for media-entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox to top an offer from Walt Disney Co. Lachlan Murdoch, who shares the title of executive chairman of 21st Century Fox with his father Rupert Murdoch (L), has said the company is committed to a deal to sell key assets to Walt Disney Co., declining to comment on a planned counteroffer Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Fox rejected an offer from Comcast before Disney buyout: filing Citation: Comcast challenges Disney for control of 21st Century Fox assets (2018, May 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-comcast-disney-twenty-first-century-fox.htmllast_img read more

EU says BMW Daimler VW colluded to limit emissions tech

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: EU says BMW, Daimler, VW colluded to limit emissions tech (2019, April 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-eu-bmw-daimler-vw-colluded.html EU investigates German carmakers for possible collusion Explore further © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img The finding adds to the car industry’s woes after Volkswagen in 2015 admitted to cheating on emissions tests in the U.S., which led to a worldwide reevaluation of how cars are tested and how to limit emissions to make air cleaner and fight climate change.The EU antitrust regulator said that after an in-depth investigation, it found that BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, including its Audi and Porsche units, broke EU laws from 2006 to 2014 by illegally agreeing among themselves to limit the roll-out of the technology. The technology helps eliminate nitrogen oxides, which can be harmful to human health, from both gasoline and diesel passenger cars.The alleged actions could have limited Europeans’ opportunities to buy less polluting cars, but would not have affected price, the EU said. It did not explain how the companies might have profited.The probe is separate from other legal procedures against carmakers for allegedly breaching environmental laws or using illegal software in car engines.EU authorities raided the offices of the three companies in October 2017 and opened their investigation on this case in September last year.BMW said discussions among engineers were meant to improve exhaust gas technologies and that the whole industry was aware of these talks. It said they did not involve any secret agreements or intend to hurt customers.Daimler said it was cooperating with the EU and does not expect to receive a fine. Volkswagen said it was also cooperating and would issue a statement once it has reviewed the EU investigation.The EU noted that its preliminary findings do not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.The case comes after Volkswagen admitted four year ago to using software in diesel car engines to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. It has set aside some 27.4 billion euros ($32 billion) for fines, settlements, recalls and buybacks. Former CEO Martin Winterkorn was criminally charged by U.S. authorities but cannot be extradited; Audi’s division head was jailed.Renewed scrutiny of diesel emissions revealed that cars from other automakers also showed higher diesel emissions in everyday driving than during testing, thanks in part to regulatory loopholes that let automakers turn down the emissions controls to avoid engine damage under certain conditions. The EU subsequently tightened its testing procedures.Anti-trust fines can be steep. In 2016 and 2017 the EU Commission imposed a fine of 3.8 billion euros after it found that six truck makers had colluded on pricing, the timing of introduction of emissions technologies and the passing on of costs for emissions compliance to customers. European Union authorities said Friday that German automakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen colluded to limit the development of emissions-cleaning technology in cars. Cars are seen during an opening ceremony of the Mercedes Benz automobile assembly plant outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Germany’s Daimler AG has opened a new Mercedes factory in Russia, part of a 250 million euro ($281 million) investment it says will create 1,000 jobs. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool)last_img read more

A more accurate lowcost 39 GHz beamforming transceiver for 5G communications

first_img The transceiver, based on a 64-element phased-array design, takes up a chip area of 12 mm2. Credit: IEEE CMOS chips on an 18 mm x 163.5 mm evaluation-board. Credit: Atsushi Shirane, Kenichi Okada New 28-GHz transceiver paves the way for future 5G devices “We were surprised to achieve such a low gain variation when actually using the calibration based on our local-oscillator (LO) phase-shifting approach,” says project leader, Kenichi Okada of Tokyo Tech.In addition, the transceiver has a maximum equivalent isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of 53 dBm. This is an impressive indication of the output power of the 64 antennas, the researchers say, particularly for low-cost CMOS implementation.Indoor testing (under anechoic chamber conditions), which involved a one-meter, over-the-air measurement, demonstrated that the transceiver supports wireless transmission of a 400 MHz signal with 64QAM.”By increasing the array scale, we can achieve greater communication distance,” Okada says. “The challenge will be to develop the transceiver for use in smartphones and base stations for 5G and beyond.”The work is being presented at the 2019 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) in Boston, Massachusetts, US, as part of the morning session (Session RTu2E) to be held on 4 June 2019. The paper of this work “A 39 GHz 64-Element Phased-Array CMOS Transceiver with Built-in Calibration” by Yun Wang et al., received the best student paper award. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A team of more than 20 researchers at Tokyo Tech and NEC Corporation has successfully demonstrated a 39 GHz transceiver that could be used in the next wave of 5G wireless equipment including base stations, smartphones, tablets and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications.Although research groups including the current team have until now largely focused on developing 28 GHz systems, 39 GHz will be another important frequency band for realizing 5G in many parts of the world.The new transceiver is based on a 64-element (4 x 16) phased-array design. Its built-in gain phase calibration means that it can improve beamforming accuracy, and thereby reduce undesired radiation and boost signal strength.Fabricated in a standard 65-nanometer CMOS process, the transceiver’s low-cost silicon-based components make it ideal for mass production—a key consideration for accelerated deployment of 5G technologies.The researchers showed that the built-in calibration has a very low root-mean-square (RMS) phase error of 0.08°. This figure is an order of magnitude lower than previous comparable results. While transceivers developed to date typically suffer from high gain variation of more than 1 dB, the new model has a maximum gain variation of just 0.04 dB over the full 360° tuning range. Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and NEC Corporation, Japan, present a 39 GHz transceiver with built-in calibration for fifth-generation (5G) applications. The advantages to be gained include better quality communications as well as cost-effective scalability. More information: rfic-ieee.org/ Citation: A more accurate, low-cost 39 GHz beamforming transceiver for 5G communications (2019, June 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-accurate-low-cost-ghz-beamforming-transceiver.html Provided by Tokyo Institute of Technologylast_img read more