Top stories The science of false confessions transforming blood types and Brazils

first_img Email On any given day, hospitals across the United States burn through some 16,500 liters (35,000 pints) of donated blood for emergency surgeries, scheduled operations, and routine transfusions. But recipients can’t take just any blood: For a transfusion to be successful, the patient and donor blood types must be compatible. Now, researchers analyzing bacteria in the human gut have discovered that microbes there produce two enzymes that can convert the common type A into a more universally accepted type.Brazilian government accused of suppressing data that would call its war on drugs into questionIs Brazil experiencing a drug epidemic? The answer to that question has spiraled into a legal battle between scientists and government officials over the release of a national drug use survey done by the renowned Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Researchers familiar with the study accuse government officials of suppressing publication of the survey because it contradicts a political assertion that drug abuse is a growing and widespread problem in Brazil.Watch an ant rip apart a spiderweb to rescue a siblingAnts are famous for putting themselves at risk for the wellbeing of their colony, but desert harvester ants are especially heroic. New research suggests the insects charge into spiderwebs to rescue their ensnared nestmates, sometimes ripping the silk apart to free them.Spotted for the first time: a fish holding its breath underwaterLike us, fish need oxygen to survive. But to breathe, most pull oxygen-containing water into their mouths and pump it through their gill chambers before expelling it out of their gill slits. Now, for the first time, scientists have seen fish “holding” that breath, some for up to 4 minutes at a time. This psychologist explains why people confess to crimes they didn’t commitFalse confessions are surprisingly common. That’s in part because standard interrogation techniques place suspects under psychological stresses from which a confession can seem like the only escape. Now, psychologists and other scientists studying interrogation methods and false confessions are placing more scrutiny on a piece of evidence once held as irrefutable in a court of law.Type A blood converted to universal donor blood with help from bacterial enzymes By Alex FoxJun. 14, 2019 , 4:15 PM 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 Top stories: The science of false confessions, transforming blood types, and Brazil’s war on drugs (left to right): DREW GURIAN; ISTOCK.COM/ARINDAM GHOSH; FABIO TEIXEIRA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Read More
ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav Sushma Swaraj calls it great victory for

first_img Former EAM Sushma Swaraj moves out of her official residence in Delhi Related News Sushma Swaraj intervenes after visa denied to German Padma Shri awardee Former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj hailed the ICJ verdict asking Pakistan to review death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav alleging he was a spy.Former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj Wednesday welcomed the verdict delivered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asking Pakistan to review the death penalty given to former Indian Navy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav in 2017. India had asked the UN court to intervene in the case, as it said Jadhav had been given an unfair trial and had been denied diplomatic assistance by Pakistan. Delhi Confidential: Far From The Crowd A look at India’s arguments and Pakistan’s defenceThe court found by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had breached Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna convention on consular relations by not allowing Indian diplomats to visit him in jail, according to the document.The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete. Advertising By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2019 7:49:57 pm In a series of tweets, Swaraj said she was confident that the verdict will provide solace to family members of Jadhav.“I wholeheartedly welcome the verdict of International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. It is a great victory for India. I thank the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for our initiative to take Jadhav’s case before International Court of Justice. I thank Mr.Harish Salve for presenting India’s case before ICJ very effectively and successfully. I hope the verdict will provide the much-needed solace to the family members of Kulbhushan Jadhav.”Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ Verdict Live UpdatesMore importantly, the world court also asserted that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention, adding that India has right to consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. It said Pakistan deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Jadhav and thereby breached obligations incumbent upon it under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. ‘You will be missed’: Netizens emotional as Sushma Swaraj says goodbye to MEA Advertising 30 Comment(s)last_img read more

Read More
Ford Motor Puts Design Strategy Under the HoloLens

first_imgFord Motor Company on Thursday unveiled details about its use of Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality technology in the automotive design process. Ford’s design teams have swapped out their clay-sculpting tools — a staple of the automotive world since the 1930s, when Harley Earl introduced them at General Motors — for mixed reality headsets and visualization software.Unlike with the clay models, which can weigh 5,000 or more pounds, designers with HoloLens can make instant changes to side mirrors, grilles, interiors and other vehicle elements. And they can do so without even getting their hands dirty.Ford has been working with Microsoft’s HoloLens technology at its Dearborn, Michigan, studios for the past year. The mixed reality tech has allowed designers to consider proposed virtual design elements as if the additions were part of a physical vehicle. It has allowed engineers to see different shapes, sizes and even textures on vehicles. These displays can be rendered in minutes or hours, whereas using clay models to evaluate the same changes would take weeks or even months. Ford is not the only automaker to utilize HoloLens technology. Microsoft and Volvo Cars in 2015 announced a partnership that would allow buyers to stay in the physical world while being able to browse an augmented reality showroom that highlighted car customization options, and even allowed potential car buyers take part in virtual test drives.last_img read more

Read More
Google Poised to Add New Pixels to Growing Ecosystem

first_imgA refresh of Google’s critically acclaimed Pixel smartphones is expected Wednesday when the company holds its annual product launch event at the SFJAZZ center in San Francisco.Although their features won’t be known officially until Google raises the curtain on the phones at the event, leaks — including photos — have given the public a good idea of what’s to come.These are the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL https://t.co/cXCs560jNH pic.twitter.com/f3P47aeZ2I— Evan Blass (@evleaks) October 2, 2017The smaller of the two phones, the Pixel 2, is expected to have a 1080p FHD display with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Its larger brother, the Pixel XL, is believed to have a 6-inch, QHD+ display with an 18:9 ratio. The XL doesn’t display as much screen real estate as some of the nearly edge-to-edge phones on the market, but the screen-to-body ratio of 80-85 percent does give the XL a thin bezel look.The XL reportedly will support a Wide Color Gamut and include a Google Imaging Chip, and the 12-MP cameras in either one or both of the phones will support optical image stabilization.Although there isn’t a lot of flashy technology in either of the units, the XL may include an Active Edge feature on the left side of the phone that will allow you to mute calls and alarms, as well as launch Google Assistant, by squeezing the phone.Google may be upping the storage ante by bundling unlimited Google Cloud storage with the mobiles. Hardware design seems to take a backseat to software in the Google universe.”The design of the new phones is fairly conventional, which is probably on purpose,” said Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst at Tirias Research.”Google wants to feature the Android operating system above the physical aesthetics of the phone,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The phone should be functional, but it’s really the software that counts for user interaction.”That approach may be just right for the person Google is trying to reach with the Pixel.”The buyer of a Google Pixel phone is likely someone who is heavily invested in the Google ecosystem and wants the most pure Android experience and faster updates,” Krewell said.The first generation of Pixel phones, although receiving good critical notices, weren’t runaway bestsellers. However, that doesn’t mean the phones aren’t doing what Google wants them to do.”Success is always nice, but the new Pixel solutions are part of a larger Google hardware ecosystem that includes Pixel Chromebooks, Home speakers and VR headsets that also leverage the company’s growing services ecosystem,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”Neither Apple nor Samsung has anything that approaches those Google capabilities,” he told TechNewsWorld. Tough Sell The new phones will have dual stereo speakers, based on several reports. That seems likely, especially for the XL, made by HTC — a company known for producing phones with loud, crisp, distortion-free sound.Like other new smartphones, the new models may come without a 3.5mm headphone jack.The new units reportedly are built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and run Android 8 Oreo.Other features include an E-SIM card slot, which provides for connection to networks without replacing the phone’s SIM card; a second-generation Google fingerprint reader; IP67 dust and water resistance; and Gorilla Glass 5.The Pixel 2 has a 2700 mAh battery, while the XL boasts a 3520 mAh power plant.Both phones have 4 gigabytes of memory and either 64 or 128 gigabytes of storage. Pricing has been reported at US$649 (64 GB) and $749 (128 GB) for the Pixel 2. The XL will sell for $849 (64 GB) and $949 (128 GB).The Pixel 2 will start shipping Oct. 19 and the XL Nov. 15. Ditching Headphone Jack? Taking on Apple and Samsungcenter_img John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. With the latest phones from Apple and Samsung already in the market, the new Pixel offerings are getting out of the blocks late. That may not be too much of a disadvantage, though, since the Pixels don’t seem to be targeting likely iPhone X and Galaxy Note customers.”They seem to be more of a direct competitor to the Apple 8 and Galaxy S8, as opposed to the X and Note, which represent exceptional offerings,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.”They’re premium products, but they’re not positioned as an absolute top-of-the-market, best-of-the-best, based on the specs out there now,” he told TechNewsWorld.Although features are important, Google has other ways to appeal to consumers shopping for an Android phone.”Where it can differentiate is on the tight integration between hardware, the Android OS and Google’s services, no doubt using Android ‘O,'” observed David McQueen, research director for consumer devices at ABI research.”Hardware is less important to Google than services,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They want eyeballs on their services the way Facebook does.” Capturing the attention of shoppers isn’t a problem just for Google but for all smartphone makers — especially makers of Android phones, noted Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”There some pretty nice Android phones out there, so it’s going to be tough for Google’s phones to stand out,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s going to depend on how they’re sold and where they’re sold — other aspects besides the pure tech.”One of Google’s advantages is that it can offer a “pure” form of Android unadulterated by carriers or phone makers.”Yet up to now, they’ve have only very modest success with the Pixel,” O’Donnell said. “That suggests to me that Andoid buyers aren’t as interested in that as a differentiator.” Conventional Designlast_img read more

Read More
A Home Robot Could Be Amazons Next Gamble

first_imgPrivacy Concerns An in-home robot would make the Alexa voice system an even more seamless experience, said Jack O’Leary, senior analyst at PlanetRetail RNG.”Amazon wants Alexa to be ubiquitous, intertwined with as many aspects of the consumer’s life as possible,” he told TechNewsWorld. “A mobile robot equipped with Alexa capabilities will allow for total home coverage more easily to users, making it so they don’t have to install and coordinate individual Alexa devices in every room.”Amazon’s desire to be ubiquitous, though, may give some consumers pause. There might be resistance to letting a robotic extension of Amazon wander around their houses.”The market has growing concerns around privacy with recent data scandals involving other tech companies.” O’Leary cautioned.”Alexa and related devices are an opt-in system where users engage with the platform to the level they are most comfortable with, which somewhat alleviates that concern,” he continued.”Despite this, I do think some people’s concerns around what a device like this robot means for privacy and data collection in the home will be inhibiting to its adoption by some users,” said O’Leary, “but definitely not enough to hold it back from success in the market.” A robot assistant would give Amazon a further edge over rivals such as Google in the connected home space, said Deborah Weinswig, CEO of Coresight Research.”Amazon Echo already has a lead over Google Home in terms of ownership, according to consumer surveys and market share data, and Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Dot enjoy a visual edge over Google Home devices,” she told TechNewsWorld.”We could see this product evolve the Alexa experience from one consisting of a virtual assistant into a physical assistant,” Weinswig added.What’s more, Amazon’s investments in artificial intelligence could come into play with a robotic product.”Those investments could be leveraged very well with an advanced robot,” Reticle’s Rubin told TechNewsWorld.”Alexa can provide a range of commands to objects in the home, but those objects can’t fulfill tasks the way a robot can,” he said. “It could sort groceries, answer the door, fetch a drink from the fridge, or fold the laundry.” Home robots have been around for decades but without much success. A notable exception is Roomba, by iRobot, which performs a single function: vacuuming. It has sold more than 20 million units since 2002.iRobot’s stock sank 8.6 percent after news broke of Amazon’s robot plans, Bloomberg reported.Robot vacuum cleaners represent a thin market sliver, according to Parks Associates. They can be found in just 5-6 percent of broadband households.”It’s not a breakout product, but it’s far and ahead the most commonly adopted robotic assistant,” Parks Research Analyst Dina Abdelrazik told TechNewsWorld.However, at 11-12 percent, the number of broadband households that owned both a robot cleaner and a smart speaker was slightly higher than the number that owned a robot cleaner alone, Parks also found.”There’s definitely an overlap in the market there,” Parks analyst Kristen Hanich told TechNewsWorld, “that Amazon may be going after.” Home Robotscenter_img A Better Alexa John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Amazon plans to bring a home robot to market as early as 2019.Codenamed “Vesta,” after the Roman goddess of home and family, the project is several years old, but hiring for it recently has ramped up with an eye toward placing prototypes in employees’ homes by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the plans.The robot could be a mobile smart speaker, Bloomberg’s sources speculated. Some versions of the product apparently have cameras and computer vision software that allow them to travel through a home like a self-driving car.A homebot could be Amazon’s way of boosting its position in the home technology market, where it already has a strong lineup of products.”Amazon doesn’t really have a strong position in mobile, so it has been doubling down in home technology,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.last_img read more

Read More
Jaguar IPace vs Tesla Model 3 Which Is the Better Electric Car

first_imgThis is clearly subjective, but of the shipping electrics (and most that aren’t shipping, the Porsche being the obvious exception), I think the I-Pace is the best-looking car. It does conform to the European/U.S. standard for charging plugs (both normal and high speed), and it is a member of the far more popular SUV class.Fit and finish are first rate, though lower-cost versions have been accused of having too much plastic (something that also plagued the Model 3). As with the Tesla, there appears to have been a strong focus on handling and safety.With clear Range Rover influence, the I-Pace also appears to have decent off-road capability, although taking an electric off-road for any distance is problematic, due to a lack of chargers and an inability to carry anything like spare fuel.The Tesla charger network supports mostly Teslas. (You can get an adapter to use non-Supercharger Tesla stations, but these take hours to charge the car and are impractical outside of emergency use).While there are networks of chargers being installed, we are far from critical mass with high-speed chargers, which aren’t stable at the moment. Yes, the plug is set, but the latest chargers are 450KW monsters, or nearly 4x as powerful as existing Superchargers. Right now, there are no cars that can use this power (including the I-Pace). Worse, there is no communication from Jaguar to indicate if there is a path to upgrade the car at some later date.While expected range was supposed to be in the mid to high 200-mile range, the I-Pace has fallen short, even though it has a huge battery. This may be because Jaguar is ensuring the battery will last for the life of the car, or it could be the result of using a front motor that doesn’t freewheel when not in use. There is no clarity on the cause, however, and Jaguar so far has not communicated a fix.One big difference is that patching on a Tesla is like Christmas, because you often get cool new surprise features. One of my last patches on the Jaguar rendered the center display inoperative, and it took nearly three weeks to get the car so it could be driven again. Over-the-air patching is now a well-known process with the tech community, and there is no reason this should have happened it proper testing practices had been used.One weird difference between the Model 3 and the I-Pace is that the Model 3 isn’t positioned as a performance car, yet it not only has a track mode (good luck fast-charging it at the track), but also has a performance version that would embarrass most muscle cars.The I-Pace is positioned as a performance car and it doesn’t seem to have the same level of performance that the Model 3 does in its performance configuration. This is the same issue I had with the Tesla Model S vs. the Fisker Karma.The Tesla looked like a regular sedan but was incredibly fast, while the Fisker looked like a supercar but performed in line with a relatively slow sedan. It felt like the cars’ guts were (or should have been) swapped at birth. The car that didn’t look fast was, and the car that did wasn’t. Granted, the I-Pace would dust a Fisker, but that really isn’t saying much. The primary reason that I prefer the I-Pace is that I don’t drive sedans. I drive sports cars and small SUVs. Right now, Tesla doesn’t build a car that is in my preferred class. If there were an I-Pace with the high-end Model 3’s performance, or a Model 3 SUV, I would be on the shortlist to buy it.I live in Bend, Oregon and most everything I do is within 30 miles of the house. I have five cars, so if I need to go a longer distance, I’ll pick something else. The I-Pace has been brilliant in the snow and ice (I have Bridgestone Blizzard tires on it), and it is rare enough that people do compliment the car and wave when they see it (those exchanges are always fun when you have a relatively unusual ride).The I-Pace is one of the most comfortable cars, both in the front and back seats, that I’ve ever owned. I own three Jaguars and used to be a Jaguar mechanic in my youth — but honestly, given my experience, if Tesla were to build a small attractive SUV, I’d likely switch. To keep me on board, Jaguar would have to improve its customer communications, and better protect the car from future technical advances, particularly with charging.Jaguar simply hasn’t been enlisting advocates as well as Tesla does, and this is something only Porsche seems to fully get. That may explain why Porsche’s coming electric The Jaguar I-Pace: A Pretty Face Hides Some Ugly Mistakes Tesla Model 3 Such complaints weren’t that uncommon in years past, but with current quality control technology they are very uncommon today with U.S., Asian, or German cars (though they do happen).Even with all of these qualifications, Tesla is largely viewed as the gold standard for electric cars. By a significant margin, it is the company to beat. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. has been sold out, mostly to old Tesla owners. (It also is the first car that will be able to use the new 450 KW chargers, and on paper it is faster than a Tesla.)Would I buy the car again? In a minute. I really am having a ball with the car. Still, car companies like Jaguar need to understand the disruptive nature of Tesla’s customer approach. Otherwise, Tesla will continue to outmaneuver them, and it must be embarrassing to be upstaged constantly by a firm that is so new in what has been a well-established market.By the way, I keep getting notices from Jaguar wanting me to write a review of the I-Pace, but each review I’ve written has been kicked back for things like mentioning Tesla or the problems I’ve had with the car. You don’t learn by forcing reviewers to talk exclusively about the positive. Oh, and the review submission form goes only to 2018 and this is a 2019 car… . While Tesla isn’t known for being the smartest car maker, having made a ton of manufacturing mistakes over the years, it is by far the most experienced company with electric cars. Its brilliant decisions include coming in at the top rather than the bottom of the market, as Fiat did. Fiat loses a ton of money on every electric car it sells. While Tesla did lose money, its losses were tied to explosive growth and not the profitability of the Model S.Tesla built a charging infrastructure reasonably, though far from completely, dealing with one of the two electric car problems. It has the closest thing to gas station equivalence for chargers right now, particularly when it comes to high-speed chargers, which Tesla calls “Superchargers.” Finally, it focused on making the cars really safe, and actually broke some of Consumer Reports testing equipment because its cars were so robust.However, Tesla made some really nasty mistakes as well. It didn’t use experienced manufacturing teams, either to build the plant or manage it, resulting in avoidable losses and huge delays.The most popular vehicles in the U.S. were SUVs and pickups. Tesla was slow to develop SUVs, and the one it brought to market, the Model X, was a reliability and complexity nightmare (it also was pretty unattractive).Ironically, pickup trucks likely would be ideal electric cars, because people generally don’t drive them long distances. As a work vehicle, the battery could have done double duty as a power source for tools. It is therefore interesting to note that the first electric pickup won’t come from Tesla or Ford, but from another new company that Tesla or Ford likely should just buy.The problem with the Tesla charging stations is that they don’t comply with the Asian or European/U.S. standards for plugs or core technology.Given the required electronic integration with direct high-speed chargers and the car, there is some doubt whether adapters for the European/U.S. fast-charging stations will work at full power, if at all, with a Tesla.More importantly, unlike gas stations, which can be incredibly profitable, Tesla’s charging stations are largely cost centers that mostly just work with Teslas. Gas stations that could fuel only Fords wouldn’t make a ton of economic sense for the long term. Public chargers that work only with Teslas won’t be economically effective in the long term either.The Model 3 likely should have been a small SUV rather than a sedan, to get access to a larger potential market. Quality appears to be relatively poor for that car, with owners reporting missing parts, lots of paint damage, surprise shutdowns, and incomplete assembly issues.center_img Wrapping Up: I Still Prefer the I-Pace My hearing is good for my age, though increasingly I have noticed that I’ve been missing things on TV that I should have heard. The Livio Smart Hearing Aid got my attention because it not only boosts your hearing (kind of like super hearing for those who don’t have a hearing disability), but also performs functions like a good smartwatch. To suggest that electric cars are having a painful birth would be a colossal understatement. Tesla clearly plowed this field and quickly recognized that the lack of a charging infrastructure was going to be a problem and, with reasonable effectiveness, dealt with it tactically. However, those “tactical” chickens are about to come home to roost and it probably won’t be pretty.Jaguar, the first company to offer a true alternative to the Tesla, did some things very right and some very, very wrong. Rather than developing a Tesla killer, it instead created an impressive SUV that could have been far better.I bought the Jaguar I-Pace, one of a tiny handful in customers’ hands right now, and I think the perfect electric car would be a blend of the Model 3 and the I-Pace (pictured above). I’ll explain why and then close with my product of the week: a high-tech hearing aid I saw at CES that might give you one of Superman’s powers. Livio Smart Hearing Aid For instance, it will send out an alert if you fall. It integrates a digital voice assistant into the solution so you can get directions, ask questions, and get the help you need when you need it.The full list of features includes body and brain tracking, heart rate monitoring, fall detection and alerts, a virtual assistant, a voice-to-text tool, and real-time translation capability. It is a behind-the-ear design, so it isn’t tiny but, unless you are looking for it, it is reasonably well concealed.This would be very useful for transcribing meetings, capturing threats from misbehaving coworkers that later might be denied (and it is a hearing aid), and getting help to you if you should get into trouble.This could be a critical feature for something that is still emerging, a personal safety and security service. Imagine — a child being kidnapped could just say a trigger word, and that alone could alert parents and police both to the nature of the problem and the location, while the direction from the dispatcher would be heard only by the child.You could get verbal alerts if you were jogging into danger, get alerts of impending catastrophic weather events without needing to see your phone, and get far more accurate heart rate measurements.Because this hearing aid could make both those we care about and us far safer, the Livio AI Hearing Aid from Starkey Technologies is my product of the week. (It even does a decent job if you want to listen to music on your phone.)The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. Tesla’s Brilliance and Nasty Mistakeslast_img read more

Read More
Immunotherapy is better than chemotherapy as firstline treatment for advanced head and

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 23 2018Immunotherapy on its own is better than aggressive chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for advanced head and neck cancer, according to surprising new data from a major phase III clinical trial.Patients lived for longer and had far lower rates of side-effects if they took the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab than those who received an ‘extreme’ combination of two chemotherapies and a targeted drug.People with an immune hallmark called PD-L1 in their tumours did particularly well on pembrolizumab – living for around 40 per cent longer.And while only around a fifth of patients overall responded to pembrolizumab, those who did so often did spectacularly well – with a median length of response of 20.9 months compared with only 4.2 months with aggressive chemotherapy.The trial was led in the UK by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and involved 206 research centres worldwide.Its findings could in future see immunotherapy become a standard, first-line treatment for advanced head and neck cancer, and spare many patients the side-effects associated with combination chemotherapy.The study is being presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2018 in Munich today (Monday), and was sponsored by Merck & Co., Inc.Patients would normally be given aggressive chemotherapy if diagnosed at an advanced stage when the cancer has begun to spread to try to get rid of all the cancer cells as quickly as possible.But the new trial sought to see if immunotherapy, in combination with chemotherapy or on its own, could be a more effective and kinder option.The researchers randomly assigned 882 patients in equal numbers to one of three treatment groups – receiving the ‘extreme’ chemotherapy combination, and the immunotherapy pembrolizumab with platinum chemotherapy or on its own.Patients with high levels of the immune marker PD-L1 in their tumours received the biggest benefit from pembrolizumab – living for a median of 14.9 months after diagnosis compared with 10.7 months with the aggressive combination.But patients with lower levels of PD-L1 also saw benefit, living 12.3 months taking pembrolizumab compared with 10.3 for those who received the combination.Importantly, only 17 per cent of patient experienced serious side-effects with pembrolizumab, compared with 69 per cent of those taking the ‘extreme’ therapy.The only downside to pembrolizumab on its own was that fewer people in total responded. Even in the group with high levels of PD-L1, 23 per cent of patients who received the treatment responded, compared with 36 per cent for chemotherapy.Related StoriesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThe response rate was higher, at 36 per cent, for patients who received platinum chemotherapy alongside pembrolizumab – but these patients had the same high rate of side-effects as those on the aggressive chemotherapy combination.Pembrolizumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that targets PD-L1 on the surface of cancer cells. Blocking PD-L1 in this way takes the ‘brakes’ off the immune system, setting it free to attack cancer cells.The findings are consistent with previous studies of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies and illustrate the pros and cons of these drugs – their excellent responses in some patients, but the fact that only a minority of patients respond.Professor Kevin Harrington, Professor of Biological Cancer Therapies at The Institute of Cancer research, London and Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust, said:”Our study has shown that the immunotherapy pembrolizumab on its own is better than an aggressive triple-whammy of two types of chemotherapy plus a targeted drug as first-line treatment for advanced head and neck cancer.”We couldn’t believe it when we saw the results. None of us expected pembrolizumab on its own to work so well in some of these patients – and it raises the prospect that we could spare some people chemotherapy altogether.”The study could have major implications for the treatment of advanced head and neck cancers – taking immunotherapy from a last resort to the treatment we turn to first for some patients. The trial is still ongoing, but we expect some patients to go on to live for years longer than they would have done had they received standard chemotherapy.”Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:”We’re used to seeing immunotherapy trialled in patients who have exhausted other options – but this trial has shown its true potential as a smarter, kinder and more effective first-line treatment for cancer, where it can have the biggest impact on a patient’s life.”This trial showed the benefits of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer, but I’m optimistic that the same will hold true for other cancers. We now need to do two things to ensure more patients can benefit from immunotherapy – develop ways of getting these drugs to work in a higher proportion of patients, and come to an agreement over the cost of these drugs to make them more affordable for the NHS.”Source: https://www.icr.ac.uk/news-archive/esmo-2018-immunotherapy-effective-as-first-line-treatment-for-advanced-head-and-neck-cancerlast_img read more

Read More
Cocktail of chemicals in the mother inhibits child growth

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019For the first time, researchers have shown that a combination of perfluorinated substances in the mother significantly inhibits child growth.They make many everyday things easier, such as keeping children’s feet dry in waterproofed boots, stopping the meat balls sticking to the frying pan and making it easier to clean the carpet.But these environmental chemicals, the perfluorinated substances, have a wide range of damaging effects, with the most recent turning out to be reduced growth in fetuses.This is shown by a new study in which researchers from Aarhus University have examined the cocktail effect of the chemicals, leading to findings which are both significant and alarming according to Professor Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen from the Department of Public Health.”The perfluorinated substances can mimic the hormone estrogen and can therefore disrupt the body’s natural hormonal processes including the development of the fetus. We can see that the complex mix of perfluorinated substances in the mother impairs fetal growth and length,” she says.Researchers had previously only studied the individual impact of the substances on the fetus, and these results had not been entirely clear-cut.Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Joergensen and her research colleagues have developed a new method for extracting and isolating the contents of the substances from the blood and then subsequently determining the combined endocrine disrupting effect of the substances – popularly called the cocktail effect – on the development of the fetus.”When it comes to the overall effect, the calculation is not 1+1=2, but rather 1+1=3. Low birth weight can lead to a number of diseases later in life, but we still lack specific knowledge about how the children who are exposed to the substances subsequently develop,” says Bonefeld-Joergensen of the results which have been published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.Related StoriesPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeShe is currently waiting for an answer to an application for a foundation grant to carry out the necessary follow-up studies on the ongoing development of these children.The researchers have examined blood samples from 702 pregnant Danish women who were registered in the database “Aarhus Children’s Biobank”. Such thorough studies of the concentration of perfluorinated substances and their biological effect in pregnant woman have not been done previously, but the study is nevertheless in line with previous research in the area. The substances have furthermore been associated with a range of issues including breast cancer, fertility problems, ADHD, the risk of asthma, a weakened immune system and the reduced effect of vaccines.The harmful environmental chemicals accumulate in the body and are not easily degradable. They are fat and water repellent and are found in our food, in the air we breathe, in dust and water and in a wide range of everyday products such as e.g. waterproof clothing, food packaging, furniture textiles and make-up. Only a few of the almost one thousand different perfluorinated substances are presently regulated by law, and there is no product labeling requirement.”As a consumer, you have to ask in the store. Products with these toxic substances are popular, but we pay the price with our children’s and our own health if we don’t avoid these products,” says the researcher.The area is regulated by the EU, but the Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (the Danish Liberal Party), has recently announced that he will explore the possibility of a national ban on the substances in cardboard and paper for food packaging.The new study is part of Aarhus University’s Fetotox project, which studies the impact of perfluorinated substances on women and children. Source:http://www.au.dk/last_img read more

Read More
Managing nontraditional risk factors to improve outcomes after cancer surgery

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 12 2019In a study of 142 patients preparing for cancer surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that psychological or social risk factors such as depression, limited resilience and lack of emergency resources along with standard medical risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes are linked with higher risks of surgical complications.”When it comes to cancer surgery, the conventional strategy has always been to treat the cancer as fast as you can,” says Ira Leeds, M.D., M.B.A., a research fellow in the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “But our study suggests that there are things related to their psychosocial lives that we could and should be managing ahead of time, and that would help our patients have better outcomes after their surgery.”The researchers caution that their study wasn’t designed to determine cause and effect, but to identify associations between risk factors and outcomes.In a report on the study, published Jan. 7 in Annals of Surgical Oncology, the researchers said such psychological and social factors as mood, the ability to handle stress, resources patients can pull together in a pinch, and a history of drug, alcohol or smoking addiction were tied observationally to poor surgical outcomes in their study population. Taking note of them, and perhaps taking some time to address them, may help reduce complications and improve outcomes.Leeds said his study was prompted in part by the better outcomes documented in other kinds of surgery where there may be less of a sense of immediate urgency, such as weight reduction and orthopaedic operations. In those fields, he noted, surgeons generally require that their patients have a good psychosocial safety net and plan before surgery, because such things as quitting smoking and having a plan for after-surgery care can result in fewer adverse events.To see whether that might be the case for cancer surgery patients, the researchers compiled a special questionnaire based on well-known terms and concepts used to measure psychosocial risk factors. For example, the questions ask a patient how well they bounce back from a difficult event, or how likely they could cope with and care for a minor infection from home after surgery.Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBetween March and October 2017, they gave the survey to 142 patients before they had abdominal cancer surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital or its local affiliates. Each survey took an average of 10 minutes to complete and asked patients to rank their answers to about 20 questions on a 1 to 5 scale.The patients were an average of 65 years old; 56 percent were men and 23 percent were nonwhite. More than half the patients had a liver or pancreatic tumor, and the rest had primarily colorectal tumors. The researchers assessed patient outcomes 30 days after surgery, using medical records to count such complications after surgery as infections, blood clots, bleeding from surgery, heart attack, kidney problems, stroke and spending excessive time on a ventilator.Of those who had operations, 43 percent had other medical risk factors prior to surgery, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease or heart failure, all of which may lead to post-operative complications. Almost three-quarters had at least one psychosocial risk factor, with the most frequent reported as smoking (43 percent) and limited resourcefulness (29 percent).The researchers found that one psychosocial risk factor alone did not make a person more likely to have complications after cancer surgery. However, they found that if people had medical risk factors and a single psychosocial risk factor, it made them 28 percent more likely than those without those factors to have complications after surgery, even after accounting for the extra complications tied to medical risk factors.Those patients who had a medical risk factor and two or more psychosocial risk factors were 3.4 times more likely to develop a complication after surgery than those with no risk factors.”Our results suggest that there is an opportunity to test new interventions focused on managing psychosocial risks before surgery in order to improve outcomes, and that is what we plan to do next,” says Leeds. Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/potential-way-to-improve-cancer-surgery-outcomes-by-managing-nontraditional-risk-factorslast_img read more

Read More
Premature babies also have protective antiviral antibodies

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Even premature babies carry anti-viral antibodies transferred from the mother, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report in a paper on maternal antibodies in newborns, published in the journal Nature Medicine. The results should change our approach to infection sensitivity in newborns, they say.Antibodies are transferred from the mother’s blood to the fetus that give the newborn passive defence against infection. Since most of this process takes place during the third trimester of the pregnancy, doctors have regarded very premature babies as being unprotected by such maternal antibodies.However, now that the total repertoire of maternal anti-viral antibodies has been analyzed in neonates by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, another picture is emerging.”We saw that babies born as early as in week 24 also have maternal antibodies, which surprised us,” says corresponding author Dr Petter Brodin, physician and researcher at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) and the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet.The study comprised 78 mother-child pairs. 32 of the babies were very premature (born before week 30) and 46 were full-term. The analysis show that the repertoire of maternal antibodies was the same in both groups.”I hope that this makes us question some preconceived ideas about the neonate immune system and infection sensitivity so that we can take even better care of newborns,” says Dr Brodin. “Premature babies can be especially sensitive to infection, but that is not because they lack maternal antibodies. We should concentrate more on other possible causes, maybe like their having underdeveloped lung function or weaker skin barriers.”Related StoriesNew research offers hints to origins of systemic lupus erythematosusNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedBio-Rad launches new isotype-specific secondary antibodiesThe study was conducted using a newly developed method for simultaneously analysing the presence of antibodies against all the viruses that can infect humans (with the exception of the Zika virus, which was identified later). The method is developed by US researchers and is based on a so-called bacteriophage display, a technique awarded with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.Briefly, it is based on the ability to make viral particles called bacteriophages display a specific surface protein. In this case, all in all the bacteriophage library displayed over 93,000 different peptides, short-chain proteins, from over 206 species of virus and over 1 000 different strains. The library is mixed with the blood plasma to be tested. Any antibodies in the plasma sample bind with the bacteriophages and can then be detected by the researchers.The analysis was conducted on samples taken at birth and during the newborns’ first, fourth and twelfth week. The researchers found that the protection offered by the antibodies lasted different durations depending on the virus. This can suggest that their transfer during the fetal stage is regulated rather than random, a possibility the group is now examining further.The study also shows which parts of the virus proteins that antibodies target, information that is important in the development of vaccines, notes Dr Brodin.”If all maternal antibodies target a specific part of a virus protein, that is important to know because then it is that part a vaccine should be based on,” he says. “I hope that our results can be used by others to develop better vaccines, such as against the RS virus that causes so much distress for babies every winter.” Source:https://ki.se/en/research/protective-antibodies-also-found-in-premature-babieslast_img read more

Read More
Novel models and strategies for TB detection elimination and care

first_imgCredit: GDJ, Pixabay and NIAID, FlickrAn estimated 10 million people developed tuberculosis (TB) and 1.6 million died of TB globally in 2017, making it the number one cause of death from a single infectious agent. Last year the United Nations held a High Level Meeting on TB, where heads of state pledged to eliminate the disease by 2030.The Special Issue opens with publication of two original research articles:In the first article, Radojka M. Savic, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues, develop a model for estimating the distribution of TB drugs in patients’ lung lesions. They used data on 329 plasma- and 1,362 tissue-specific drug concentrations from 9 distinct lung lesion types obtained from 15 patients (10 men, 5 women) undergoing lung resection surgery, to develop and evaluate a site-of-action mechanistic pharmacokinetic model for 7 major TB drugs (rifampin [RIF], isoniazid [INH], linezolid [LZD], moxifloxacin [MFX], clofazimine[CFZ], pyrazinamide [PZA], and kanamycin [KAN]). The researchers found that patients receiving standard doses of RIF and INH, who are at the lower range of exposure distribution, spent substantial periods (>12 h/d) below effective concentrations in hard-to-treat lesions, such as caseous lesions and cavities. Standard doses of INH (300 mg) and KAN (1,000 mg) did not reach therapeutic thresholds in most lesions for a majority of the patient population. The investigators also found that the majority of TB drugs showed poor penetration into the cavitary lesions, leading to inadequate drug levels at the site of disease and increased risk of developing drug resistance. The authors note that this was a small group of patients from a unique population of TB patients who failed treatment and underwent lung resection surgery. Still, the authors note that the finding that TB drugs do not penetrate equally in different tissues suggests that a patient-focused approach to optimize drug regimen to the disease extent, lesion type, and individual drug-susceptibility profiles may eventually be useful to guide selection of tailored drug regimens with improved outcomes. They provide a web-based tool to further explore this model and results at http://saviclab.org/tb-lesion/.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyIn the second article, Ankur Gupta-Wright, of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues develop a clinical risk score for identifying HIV-positive patients diagnosed with TB with an increased chance of dying within 2 months. The risk score includes 6 factors that can be measured upon hospital admission, including a urine TB diagnostic test to detect the protein lipoarabinomannan [LAM], age, sex, previous experience on antiretroviral treatment, anaemia, and ability to walk unaided. The score was derived in a cohort of 315 patients from the STAMP TB screening trial in Malawi and South Africa, and externally validated in 644 patients from 2 other studies done in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya. For patients identified by the score as high-risk, the odds of dying within 2 months were about 5 times greater (odds ratio 5.3, 95% confidence interval 2.2–9.5) compared to patients classified as low-risk in the validation cohort. The authors note that this risk score depends on access to urine LAM testing, does not measure all potential predictors of mortality (e.g., TB drug resistance), and further validation in larger and diverse cohorts is necessary. However, this risk score may be able to identify patients who could benefit from enhanced clinical care, follow-up, and/or adjunctive interventions.In addition to the research articles this week, the Special Issue includes a blog on Speaking of Medicine featuring the stories of six survivors of TB, discussing their experiences with different aspects of the TB care cascade, and how it led them to advocate at a local and global level to improve TB care.The Special Issue will continue with further research and discussion articles appearing over the next several weeks. Apr 8 2019This week, publication of a special issue on tuberculosis (TB) begins in PLOS Medicine, advised by guest editors Richard Chaisson of Johns Hopkins University, Claudia Denkinger of the University of Heidelberg, and Mark Hatherill of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Institute. Source:https://www.plos.orglast_img read more

Read More
Scientists create powerful method for directed evolution of molecules

first_imgWhat we have developed is the most robust system yet for directed evolution in mammalian cells.”Study lead author Justin English, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine “The scientific community has needed a tool like this for a long time”, said study senior author Bryan L. Roth, MD, PhD, the Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine. “We believe our technique will accelerate research and ultimately lead to better therapeutics for people suffering with many of the diseases for which we need much better treatments.”The broad concept of directed evolution is not new. Researchers have been applying it for centuries in selecting and breeding variants of animals and plants that have desired characteristics, such as crop varieties with larger fruits. Biologists in recent decades also have used directed evolution at the molecular level in the laboratory, for example, by mutating a gene randomly until a variant appears that has a desired property. But on the whole, directed evolution methods for biological molecules have been difficult to use and limited in their application.The new method developed by Roth, English, and colleagues is comparatively quick, easy, and versatile. It uses the Sindbis virus as the carrier of the gene to be modified. The virus with its genetic cargo can infect cells in a culture dish and mutate quite rapidly. The researchers set up conditions so that the only mutant genes to thrive are the ones encoding proteins capable of accomplishing a desired function within the cells, such as activating a certain receptor, or switching on certain genes. Because the system works in mammalian cells, it can be used to evolve new human, mouse, or other mammalian proteins that would be burdensome or impossible to generate with traditional bacterial cell-based methods.Related StoriesThe immune system in women may be different from men finds studyCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchEnglish and his colleagues call the new system “VEGAS” for Viral Evolution of Genetically Actuating Sequences. In an initial demonstration, Roth’s lab modified a protein called a tetracycline transactivator (tTA), which works as a switch to activate genes and is a standard tool used in biology experiments. Normally tTA stops working if it encounters the antibiotic tetracycline or closely related doxycycline, but the researchers evolved a new version with 22 mutations that allows tTA to keep working despite very high levels of doxycycline. The process took just seven days.”To get a sense of how efficient that is, consider that a previously reported mammalian directed evolution method applied to the tetracycline transactivator took four months to yield just two mutations that conferred only partial insensitivity to doxycycline,” English said.The scientists next applied VEGAS to a common type of cellular receptor called a G protein-coupled-receptor (GPCR). There are hundreds of different GPCRs on human cells, and many are targeted by modern drugs to treat a wide variety of conditions. Precisely how a given GPCR changes shape when it switches from being inactive to active is of great interest to researchers trying to create more precise treatments. English and colleagues used VEGAS to quickly mutate a little-studied GPCR called MRGPRX2 so that it would stay in an always-active state.”Identifying the mutations that occurred during this rapid evolution helps us understand for the first time the key regions in the receptor protein involved in the transition to an active state,” English said.In a final demonstration, the team showed the potential of VEGAS to guide drug development more directly. They used VEGAS to rapidly evolve small biological molecules called nanobodies that could activate different GPCRs – including serotonin and dopamine receptors, which are found on brain cells and are targeted by many psychiatric drugs.The team is now using VEGAS in an effort to develop highly efficient gene-editing tools, potentially for curing genetic diseases, and to engineer nanobodies that can neutralize cancer-causing genes. Source:University of North Carolina Health Care Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 5 2019UNC School of Medicine scientists created a powerful new “directed evolution” technique for the rapid development of scientific tools and new treatments for many diseases.The scientists, whose breakthrough is reported in Cell, demonstrated the technique by evolving several proteins to perform precise new tasks, each time doing it in a matter of days. Existing methods of directed evolution are more laborious and time-consuming, and are typically applied in bacterial cells, which limits the usefulness of this technology for evolving proteins for use in human cells.Directed evolution is an artificial, sped up version of the evolution process in nature. The idea is to focus the evolutionary process on a single DNA sequence to make it perform a specified task. Directed evolution can be used, in principle, to make new therapeutics that work powerfully to stop diseases and have few or no side effects. The initial groundbreaking scientific work on directed evolution won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.last_img read more

Read More
Tesla proposes big payout if Musk meets lofty goals

In this July 15, 2017, file photo, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responds to a question by Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval during the closing plenary session entitled “Introducing the New Chairs Initiative – Ahead” on the third day of the National Governors Association’s meeting in Providence, R.I. Tesla says it’s put together a 10-year compensation package for Musk that pays him based on certain market cap and operational milestones he hits – otherwise he gets nothing. The electric vehicle maker says Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, its market cap would have to grow to $650B for Musk to fully vest. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File) Explore further Elon Musk is known for his bold predictions on electric and self-driving cars. Now his pay could depend on whether those predictions come true. Under a new all-or-nothing pay package, Musk would remain at Tesla Inc. for the next decade and see his compensation tied to ambitious growth targets.The proposal, revealed Tuesday in a regulatory filing, requires that Tesla grow in $50 billion leaps, to a staggering $650 billion market capitalization.The electric car maker, based in Palo Alto, California, is worth less than $60 billion today. Tesla must hit a series of escalating revenue and adjusted profit targets, only after which Musk would vest stock options worth 1 percent of company shares. He would get no other guaranteed compensation.The pay package, developed over the last six months by Tesla’s board, still needs the approval of Tesla shareholders, who will vote on it at a special meeting in late March. Musk and his brother Kimbal, who is a Tesla board member, will recuse themselves from the vote.If the goals are reached, Tesla would be one of the biggest companies in America. The $650 billion benchmark would make Tesla the fourth-most valuable U.S. company, behind only Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. based on current valuations. It would be larger than Microsoft Corp., and would exceed the current combined valuation of the world’s top eight publicly-traded auto companies.The pay scheme would also catapult Musk into the ranks of the world’s richest people. Musk’s stock options could be worth up to $55.8 billion if he meets the company’s goals. He also would own a 28 percent stake in Tesla, which would be worth $182 billion. Forbes’ current richest billionaire, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is worth $86 billion.Musk has long had ambitious plans for Tesla. In a 2015 earnings call with analysts and media, he predicted Tesla could match Apple in total value by 2025.Musk’s growth plans were laid out in a 2016 blog post he titled “Master Plan, Part Deux.” Tesla plans to expand from electric cars and SUVs to trucks—including a semi due out in 2019—and buses. It will continue to work on autonomous vehicle technology and plans to enter the car-sharing business, letting Tesla owners share their cars when they’re not using them and running Tesla-owned fleets in cities. Citation: Tesla proposes big payout if Musk meets lofty goals (2018, January 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-big-package-musk-bigger-goals.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This April 7, 2015 file photo shows the Tesla logo on the new Tesla Model S 70D during a test drive in Detroit. Tesla says it’s put together a 10-year compensation package for CEO Elon Musk that pays him based on certain market cap and operational milestones he hits – otherwise he gets nothing. The electric vehicle maker says Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, its market cap would have to grow to $650B for Musk to fully vest. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) 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. Elon Musk says Tesla is planning to make a pickup truck The company, which bought solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. in 2016, also plans to expand its solar panel and energy storage businesses. Tesla is making solar panels and roof tiles at its factory in Buffalo, New York, which will help the company blunt any impact from President Donald Trump’s recent 30-percent tariff on imported solar panels and cell modules. The plans are ambitious, but that’s nothing new for Tesla. Under a 2012 agreement, Musk’s stock options vested only if the Tesla’s market cap continued to rise in $4 billion increments. The company also had to hit matching operational milestones, including vehicle production targets and developmental milestones tied to the Model X and Model 3 programs. Tesla wound up reaching all of the market cap milestones and nine of the 10 operational milestones, falling short only of its goal to have four consecutive quarters with 30-percent gross margins.When that pay package was created, the company was worth just $3.2 billion. Its market cap at the end of last year was 17 times that amount. That’s why the new goals may not be that far-fetched, says Michael Ramsey, an analyst with Gartner who follows Tesla.”To this point, it has been dangerous to predict failure for Tesla or Elon,” he said.Adam Jonas, an analyst with Morgan Stanley who follows Tesla, thinks plan is partly a marketing tool as the competition for electric and autonomous vehicle talent heats up.Jonas added that Musk—who owns 21.9 percent of Tesla shares—is already “all-in” on the company, so he sees the incentive package as more for investor confidence than for Musk’s personal benefit.In order to vest shares when milestones are reached, Musk must stay on as CEO or serve as both executive chairman and chief product officer. That would give Tesla the option of hiring a different CEO. Tesla said while it doesn’t currently intend for Musk to step away from the CEO role, the terms allow him to potentially focus his attention on key products and strategy.The amount of time Musk divides between Tesla and other ventures has been a concern for investors. Musk is also the founder and CEO of rocket maker SpaceX and the co-founder and chairman of OpenAI, a nonprofit that researches artificial intelligence. He also recently started The Boring Co., which hopes to build tunnels beneath Los Angeles and other major cities for high-speed transit.Musk has never made a salary at Tesla, which is unusual but not unheard of for a CEO. Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford didn’t take a salary or bonus for five years starting in 2005 when the company’s fortunes were sagging. Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison has a $1 salary but takes home millions in stock awards. And Steve Jobs took home $1 per year when he was Apple’s CEO from 1997 to 2011.Tesla—which turns 15 this year—has never earned a full-year profit. It has reported only two profitable quarters since it went public in 2010.Each of the four vehicles it has made has faced significant delays and production problems. Its newest vehicle, the lower-cost Model 3 sedan, is no exception. Musk initially said Tesla would be making 20,000 Model 3s per month by the end of 2017, but he recently pushed that goal to the end of the second quarter.That hasn’t dimmed investors’ appetite for Tesla’s stock. Tesla shares were up less than 1 percent to $352 in afternoon trading. They’ve risen around 40 percent over the last year. read more

Read More
New hydraulic actuator will make robots tougher

first_imgThis figure shows a seven-axis hydraulic robot arm breaking concrete slabs, each 30 mm thick. This is a prototype for comparison with a four-legged robot also being developed in this project by Waseda University, Meiji University, and others, produced at approximately the same size. It consists of seven of the new hydraulic motors. Credit: Suzumori Laboratory Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a hydraulic actuator that will allow tough robots to operate in disaster sites and other harsh environments. The Tokyo Tech Venture H-MUSCLE Corporation was established to pursue applications for the actuator, and shipping of product samples will begin in February 2019. Citation: New hydraulic actuator will make robots tougher (2018, December 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-hydraulic-actuator-robots-tougher.html A small, lightweight, smooth-sliding motor. Credit: Suzumori laboratory Provided by Tokyo Institute of Technology BackgroundThe ImPACT Tough Robotics Challenge (2014-2018, Program Manager: Satoshi Tadokoro, Professor, Tohoku University) has conducted research with the aim of creating robots for tough operation, even in extreme disaster sites. As a part of this project, hydraulic actuators specifically for robots and their robotic application was set as a research theme. Koichi Suzumori (robotics, actuator engineering) at Tokyo Tech was the leader of the group with participants Tokyo Tech; Okayama University; Ritsumeikan University, JPN Co., Ltd.; Bridgestone Corporation; and KYB Corporation. With the cooperation of many other enterprises with highly specialized technologies, they succeeded in developing an actuator for hydraulic robots which is small, lightweight, high-output, and smooth-sliding, something not available in existing products. The majority of today’s robots are driven by electric motors, but hydraulic actuators, with their high output and impact resistance, would be well-suited to robots operating in harsh environments. However, typical hydraulic actuators are developed for industrial machinery, like power shovels, and are too large and heavy to be used in robots; nor can they provide smooth movement or force control.Tokyo Tech School of Engineering professor Koichi Suzumori and colleagues developed a hydraulic actuator to solve these issues. The actuator offers greatly increased power and shock resistance compared with conventional electric motors. It also grants a smaller size, higher output (force-to-mass ratio), and smoother control compared with conventional hydraulic actuators. Providing high power, durability, and excellent control, the actuator will allow robots to operate in the harshest of environments and perform tough work with a gentle touch.This hydraulic actuator is the result of the Tough Robotics Challenge, organized by the Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT) of the Cabinet Office of Japan. Tokyo Tech; JPN Co., Ltd.; Bridgestone Corporation; and KYB Corporation; along with other universities and enterprises concerned with hydraulic equipment, have participated in development of the hydraulic actuator for tough robots since 2014. To promote adoption of the technology, H-MUSCLE will ship samples of its hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors to domestic manufacturers, expand its lineup of actuators for future sale, and explore further applications.center_img Merits of small, lightweight, smooth-sliding actuatorsThe new hydraulic actuator offers the following advances over existing hydraulic actuators.Small size. Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) specifies only cylinders with an internal diameter of 35 mm or greater. However, robots require smaller cylinders. H-MUSCLE has developed cylinders with an internal diameter of 20 to 30 mm in collaboration with JPN Co., Ltd. High force-to-mass ratio. “Force” is the generated axial force, and “mass” is the weight of the cylinder itself. Robots require a higher force-to-mass ratio than general stationary industrial machinery. Though the figure is only of a representative sample, H-MUSCLE cylinders can output an overwhelmingly higher value. This was made possible by (1) a drive pressure of 35 MPa, (2) titanium and magnesium alloys, and (3) inventive design. Smooth sliding. This cylinder operates at remarkably lower pressure than that of normal JIS cylinders. Conventional hydraulic cylinders and motors have stiff seals between the piston and the cylinder to seal in the fluid, and the great friction from this prevented smooth movements and control of force. With low-friction seals and inventive design, this research realized low friction, about one-tenth of conventional products. This addresses the difficulty in precise movement and force control found with conventional hydraulic robots. ImPACT has built several tough robot prototypes to test potential applications for the hydraulic actuator. A construction robot being developed by Komatsu, Osaka University, and others. The smaller of the two arms is driven by smooth-sliding cylinders developed in this program, contributing to its ability to do fine manipulations. The end of the other arm is equipped with a hydraulic hand using the new hydraulic actuator. With four fingers, it can be used in shovel mode or hand mode as necessary. In hand mode, it can grasp objects of different shapes and control the force of the grasp. Credit: Komatsu, Osaka University, Tokyo Institute of Technology Explore further Development of a hydraulic-driven, high-power artificial muscle 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.last_img read more

Read More
Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public

first_imgWorkplace messaging startup Slack has become the latest of the richly valued tech startups to file for an initial public offering 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. © 2019 AFP Citation: Workplace messaging startup Slack to go public (2019, February 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-workplace-messaging-startup-slack.htmlcenter_img Workplace messaging startup Slack said Monday it had filed a confidential registration for an initial public offering, becoming the latest of a group of richly valued tech enterprises to look to Wall Street. California-based Slack’s filing comes under a special provision of securities laws enabling startups to begin the IPO process without disclosing details of their financing.The statement offered no information on the date or amount of money expected to be raised. Some reports say Slack will use the direct listing, a method used by Spotify, that allows insiders to sell existing shares without issuing new stock, streamlining the IPO process and avoiding big investment banking fees.Slack, which claims some 10 million users in 150 countries, has raised more than $1 billion from investors with the latest valuing the company at $7.1 billion, making it one of the most richly valued “unicorns”—startups with private funding worth at least $1 billion.Slack, which offers real-time messaging for the workplace, is used to help improve communication and help companies get around email overload. It offers free services for small teams and paid plans with additional options.Created in 2013, Slack has been a leader in the new segment but faces competition from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and others offering workplace collaboration tools.Analysts say Slack has found a niche, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses.Other richly valued unicorns aiming for an IPO in 2019 include ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft, and lodging startup Airbnb. Other potential IPOs in the sector include the social platform Pinterest and coworking sector leader WeWork.Slack’s CEO and founder Stewart Butterfield was part of the team that started the photo-sharing service Flickr. Workplace messaging startup Slack eyes 2019 IPO: reportlast_img read more

Read More
Largest Neolithic Settlement in Israel Uncovered Up to 3000 People May Have

first_img Archaeologists have known about this location, called the Motza site, for decades. However, now that the government plans to build a new highway entrance and new roundabouts there, the Israel Antiquities Authority sent a team to do a full-scale excavation of the Neolithic settlement, Vardi told Live Science. This effort quickly became the largest excavation of a Neolithic site in the country, he said. During the Neolithic, hunter-gatherer groups began farming and making permanent settlements. So, it came as no surprise when they found large buildings with rooms where Neolithic people once lived, public facilities and places for rituals. Alleyways ran between the buildings, showing that the settlement had an advanced layout. Some buildings even had plaster floors. The team also uncovered human burials beneath and around the houses. Some of the burials also held burial goods, likely offerings that may have been given to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of these grave goods came from far away — including obsidian beads from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and seashells from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea — indicating that the people at this site traded with neighboring regions. The excavation also uncovered several stone and mother-of-pearl bracelets, which, given their small size, were likely worn by children or adolescents, Vardi said. He added that one burial showed that these bracelets were worn on the upper arm. The site also has thousands of stone arrowheads for hunting, axes for felling trees, and sickle blades and knives, as well as figurines whose styles date to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the seeds found at the site indicates that people lived there between 9,000 and 8,800 years ago, Vardi said. In addition to farming crops and keeping goats, these people kept cows and pigs; they also hunted game, such as gazelle, deer, wolves and foxes, as shown by animal remains found there. “Based on the data that we have and from the fauna, we have a pretty good notion that the people at the site were farmers and they were specialists in what they did,” Vardi said. After the Neolithic period ended, people continued to live there. It’s clear why this spot was so desirable, Vardi said, as it’s near a large spring and several smaller springs that supply fresh water. The site is now 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sorek Stream. The entire Motza site is about 0.1 square miles (30 to 40 hectares). As the excavation wraps up, the team still has a lot on its plate. The researchers plan to publish several papers and articles for the public on the site, as well as put some of the artifacts in museums for public viewing, Vardi said. Before it gets destroyed by a newly constructed highway, a 9,000-year-old Neolithic site just outside of Jerusalem is getting an exhaustive excavation, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The humans who lived there during the Neolithic (the last period of the Stone Age) were a sophisticated bunch. Many of them were likely farmers who had stored hundreds of thousands of seeds — including lentils, chickpeas and beans — in storage facilities. These ancient people also kept domesticated goats, as shown by animal remains found at the site, and they traded with neighboring regions, such as what is now Turkey, Jordan and the areas around the Red Sea. “This is the first time that such a large-scale settlement from the Neolithic period — 9,000 years ago — [has been] discovered in Israel,” Hamoudi Khalaily and Jacob Vardi, archaeologists and excavation directors at the site, who work with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “At least 2,000 [to] 3,000 residents lived here — an order of magnitude that parallels a present-day city.” [See Photos of the Neolithic Excavation]Advertisement Largest Neolithic Excavation on Record in IsraelArchaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old farming settlement in Israel that dates to the Neolithic. Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities AuthorityVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65956-largest-neolithic-settlement-in-israel.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball02:31Surgical Robotics00:29Video – Giggly Robot关闭  Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Road and Coins Discovered in Israelcenter_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndo Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Lifelast_img read more

Read More
Five things to watch out for today

first_imgCOMMENTS SHARE COMMENT A peek into the most important events happening in India and the world The RBI is scheduled to conduct its board meeting today. This will be the first board meeting under the new Governor Shaktikanta Das who assumed charge on Wednesday. The meeting is expected to discuss on issues relating to the governance reforms at the central bank. Das is also likely to meet the heads of public sector banks.India will play the second Test against the hosts Australia from today at Perth. The team named a 13-member squad for the second Test. R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma are dropped from the squad owing to injury. Prithvi Shaw who was out of the first Test will continue to be ruled out. The visitors lead the series 1-0 after the 31-run victory at Adelaide.The 8 World Ayurveda Congress will be held from today in Ahemdabad. The four-day summit, with its theme Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem, aims spread the awareness on the benefits of the ancient and herbal medicines. Dabur is set to launch two new products during the Ayurveda Congress. The event is likely to see over 4,000 delegates from 32 nations.NCLAT will hear the Walmart-Flipkart deal over CCI’s approval case today. After months of completion of the acquisition, the CAIT had filed an appeal before NCLAT challenging the CCI approval for Walmart-Flipkart acquisition deal.Puducherry government to convene a special assembly session today. This will be the first meeting of the Assembly after the Supreme Court ruling on the appointment of nominated legislators by the Centre. The one-day Assembly will also discuss the Mekedatu issue. The House is likely to adopt a resolution against the Centre’s approval to the Karnataka government to prepare DPR for its proposed dam across river Cauvery in Mekedatu. Published oncenter_img Shaktikanta Das December 14, 2018 SHARE SHARE EMAIL eventslast_img read more

Read More
Muted mention of health belies needs of the critical sectorMuted mention of

first_imgThe deaths of children due to encephalitis in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur and the nationwide doctors’ strike has sparked concerns over state of healthcare in the country.The crisis has presented a strong case for the long-pending increase in the government’s healthcare spends.But Budget 2019 did not go down that road. The sparse mention of health in the Budget speech came as a surprise for healthcare workers, and representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry — also a vital part of the healthcare landscape. Also, the Centre’s largely remained silent on flagship Ayushman Bharat programme that aimed to provide healthcare coverage to those with limited economic means.The government’s policy statement talks of spending 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025. But the present spending, though higher, is nowhere close to this target, said Sakthivel Selvaraj , health economist with the Public Health Foundation of India.And though the Centre may treat this Budget as “work in progress” on their larger vision, Ayushman Bharat in particular needed to see a larger financial commitment given its ambition to provide ₹5 lakh insurance to 10 crore families annually. The allocation at ₹6,400 crore falls short of the fund required for the programme, he added.“It is appalling that since last three years , it is the first budget with zero mention of healthcare, not even higher allocation for Ayushman Bharat,” said Rajiv Nath with the Association for Indian Medical Device Industry. Nath also expressed dismay over not finding measures to “stem the tsunami of (medical device) imports” that has increased by 24 per cent at ₹38,800 crore and is “crushing Indian manufacturing system”.Pharma industryPharmaceutical industry, too, remained disappointed due tothe absence of strong measures to support them. Besides the expectation on tax sops and support for small and medium enterprises, the pharmaceutical industry was hoping for some direction on bulk drugs and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, which are used to make medicines. Presently, there is huge dependence on China for APIs. July 05, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS strike Bihar COMMENT SHARE Published onlast_img read more

Read More
Floods affect 8 lakh in Assam 10 dead across Northeast as rains

first_img Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 23:28 IST An village in Kamrup district of Assam on July 12. (Photo: IANS)Heavy rain and floods have thrown life out of gear in the entire eastern region with over eight lakh people being affected by the overflowing Brahmaputra in Assam. Non-stop rain in north Bengal and Sikkim has triggered several landslides, throwing normal life out of gear.Low-lying areas in north Bengal and Sikkim are also staring at a flood-like situation with the incessant rainfall while in Assam at least 6 people have been killed so far. A total of 10 people have died across three states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. Some are feared dead in Bengal.Here are the top 10 developments:1. Road connectivity between north Bengal and Sikkim has been completely disrupted by the continuous rainfall. Rail connectivity has also been disrupted in the Dooars region. Several tourists are struck on the road while two tourist vehicle were drawn into the Teesta River and bodies are yet to recovered due to the rising water levels in Teesta.2. Road connectivity between Siliguri and Sikkim has been shut. Heavy rain is expected till July 14.3. Over eight lakh people have been affected by the flood situation in Assam with more than half of the districts in the Northeastern state submerged under water.4. Barpeta in Assam is the worst hit district with over 85,000 people reeling under the impact of the floods. Six people have lost their lives in Assam so far.5. Animals are fleeing the Kaziranga National Park, the famed habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a World Heritage site. Authorities have set up road barricades on the national highway passing through the park to limit speeding vehicles.6. The Assam disaster relief force has said nearly 800 villages in 41 revenue circles are under water and about2,000 marooned people have been put up in 53 relief camps and relief distribution centres set up by the district administrations.7. In Arunachal Pradesh, 2 girls were buried in their sleep and three others were injured after a landslide caused a boundary wall to collapse on the hostel building of a school in Tawang district.8. Arunachal capital Itanagar has been witnessing landslips, mudslides and road blockades due to heavy rainfall for several days and the district administration has ordered closure of all schools in Itanagar till Sunday.9. In Mizoram, 2 men have drowned and 390 houses submerged in floods triggered by incessant rain across the state. Disaster management and rehabilitation officials said landslides made many places inaccessible.10. The Itanagar-Naharlagun stretch of NH-415, which is being upgraded to a four-lane highway, is the worst hit by the monsoon fury.(With PTI inputs)Also Read | Incessant rains trigger landslides, bring life to a standstill in Arunachal PradeshAlso Watch | In Depth: Decoding the link between floods and droughtsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee Floods affect 8 lakh in Assam, 10 dead across Northeast as rains lash region | 10 pointsHeavy rainfall and floods have affected the entire Eastern and Northeastern India. Over eight lakh people have been affected in Assam while the rain has disrupted life in north Bengal, Sikkim and other states.advertisementlast_img read more

Read More
it annoys me as if

it annoys me. as if a tornado had been through it.

Mike Doll,娱乐地图EU, however, plus a tab of Ecstasy, "Its a nice rhetorical device,1. disaster bill that’s going through.” Christie saw Rubio’s avoidance of confrontation as a sign of weakness. dismemberment and dumping of Johnson’s body in Hubbard County. [San Jose Mercury News] Contact us at editors@time." Cruz also attacked Obama for not talking about the 10 sailors who had been detained in Iran on Tuesday during the address.

But today,3 billion smartphones worldwide last year." Nelson wrote to Flannery. The same difficulty will confront geneticists as they discover other rare disease risk genetic variants. Law enforcement may also wear "No one fights alone" wristbands. In Iowa’s hard-fought Senate race,爱上海JB, the idea of Islamizing the country was being promoted by Peoples Democratic Party. The recent findings come as Trump and Congress have four days to agree on a government spending bill,” Third," a communication sent to government schools by the Directorate of Education (DoE) read.

VIEW MOREScott Olson—Getty Images1 of 12Simon McKeon Australian of the Year Awards An Australian advisory panel is suggesting sweeping changes to the nation’s biomedical research programs in order to better link science to health care—along with a hefty spending boost. however, “If not because we had favourable rainfall in the past two seasons; most of them have no jobs. Somebody must rise up and salvage the nation. Webb will hold a press conference at the National Press Club “to discuss his candidacy,Although many people lead busy lives, Garcia’s union-bankrolled campaign has hinged on issues of economic justice and characterized his opponent as a member of the out-of-touch establishment willing to put Wall Street ahead of Main Street.Footage from the incident appeared to show a group of demonstrators kicking and throwing objects at the smoldering ruins of a police motorbike before its gas tank exploded. S. Arafat was a very special character.

the 34 in 1972 and 1973, Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images Chloe Grace Moretz attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. “I thought that there was a burglar that was gaining entry to my home.As youve probably worked out from the all-day in the title, while the final one in Las Vegas did not. Task Force 70 (CTF 70) Public Affairs.“When Midterm Elections roll around "It’s not right to say shoot (the) chief minister on the road. District Court in July 2014, James BurkeTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images Not originally published in LIFE.

the PCA official charged with ushering the wild rice sulfate rule through the process.Murphy told the EDHA board Sept. His column about the 115th Congress, but the mood inside the city’s civic center was downright celebratory As bow-tied waiters mixed drinks and manned a buffet of shrimp cocktail and roasted meat the hundreds of members and guests at the annual meeting of the West Virginia Coal Association mingled with a lightness that would have been unthinkable just a year before After years of steady decline the price of a key type of coal used to make steel doubled in 2016 largely due to a spike in demand from China This led some mines to hire more workers and prevented others from laying off workers Meanwhile the state elected Jim Justice a billionaire coal baron as governor and the nation installed Donald Trump as President Both men wooed West Virginia voters with the promise of more mining jobs and fewer regulations For an industry in need of a boost it might as well have been jet fuel “For the first time in a long time there’s hope and optimism” West Virginia Representative Evan Jenkins told the civic center crowd “Everyone knows it Everyone can feel it” Here in the capital of the state that depends on coal more than any other the hope of a rebound is understandable In 2006 burning coal provided 49% of the country’s electricity but by last year that figure had declined to just 30% according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Over that same period annual production in West Virginia declined from 150 million tons to less than 90 million Much of that is the result of the boom in natural gas which has become cheap and plentiful thanks to fracking and other new extraction technologies Last year for the first time natural gas unseated coal as the top source of US electricity Coal also has an environmental problem accounting for the most carbon emissions of any fossil fuel used for electricity At the same time the cost of renewable power sources like wind and solar have become increasingly competitive with coal further eroding its market share Nowhere have these trends hit harder than in West Virginia More than a century of mining has depleted the state’s most accessible reserves forcing companies to spend more money to dig deeper into the earth As demand for coal dwindles many have decided it’s just not worth it Between 2011 and 2016 US coal producers lost more than 92% of their market value The state’s fortunes have stagnated in stride Today West Virginia ranks 49th in per capita income 50th in educational attainment and 49th in life expectancy To those who see coal as key to a revival Trump has been a beacon On March 28 after promising to gut the Obama-era environmental regulations known in mining states as the “war on coal” the President made good on his word Flanked by energy-industry executives and coal miners Trump signed an Executive Order that is expected to effectively scrap the Clean Power Plan President Obama’s signature effort to reduce global warming by placing a cap on power-plant emissions The plan which had not gone into effect was expected to force most of the nation’s remaining coal-fired power plants to close and further diminish the country’s appetite for the fuel that helped power its rise “You know what it says right” Trump joked with the miners before signing the order “You’re going back to work” The reality however is far more complicated Undoing Obama’s climate regulations is more like plugging a burst dam than reversing the water’s flow Without the Clean Power Plan the EIA expects natural gas and renewable power to account for a combined 57% of the nation’s electricity by 2040 With the plan those sources were projected to reach 65% “It’s nonsense Coal is not coming back” says Mark Barteau director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute “It’s going to continue to lose to cheap natural gas” Nor do open mines necessarily mean open jobs A range of automated technologies from rock crushers to shovel swings have taken the place of humans in recent decades—a key reason that employment in the coal industry fell between 1980 and 2010 even as production grew US coal mining employed 53000 people last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics In 1979 it was more than 250000 “There’s almost zero reason to be completely optimistic” says Ted Boettner executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy “It’s a disservice to coal-mining communities to tell them they will have a mighty comeback” That may not be clear in the White House but it is in the places that do the mining In West Virginia it’s striking that even those who applaud Trump’s repeal of Obama’s environmental agenda are preparing for life after coal—or at least beginning to negotiate the terms Governor Justice the towering owner of the Greenbrier resort with an outsize personality and a fortune built on coal skipped the February industry conference without explanation Instead he sent his chief of staff to deliver a dose of reality: a budget proposal for a slew of new fees including a potential tax increase on coal companies “I walked in and was able to look under the sheets and look at where we were” Justice told TIME of his rationale after seeing the state’s $400 million budget deficit “It was beyond dismal We’re in a real mess here” Indeed from the statehouse in Charleston to the well-worn tables at Park Avenue Restaurant in Danville (pop 688) nearly everyone wants to embrace coal’s latest chance but they cannot escape the fact that the future is bleak And what comes next is a subject of animated debate The first thing that catches the eye at the Coal Heritage Museum in Madison is a small but striking image of a miner hovering over a city With his arms rested on his waist the deity-like miner uses his helmet lantern to illuminate the city The message isn’t meant to be subtle “A lot of miners take pride in it” says Carl Dunlap who spent 40 years as a coal miner and now mans the front desk of the museum “We’d go blind in the dark” He’s right Coal was discovered in West Virginia in 1742 just a few miles from where the museum sits and it became central to the state’s economy in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution sent demand soaring Eventually all but two of the state’s 55 counties became a source for the black rock Coal powered the nation through World War II and was critical during the energy crisis in the 1970s when Middle Eastern sheiks embargoed the sale of oil Demand peaked in 1988 when coal provided nearly 60% of US electricity There were ups and downs in the decades that followed but in the past 10 years the decline began to resemble a death spiral West Virginia produces 60% of the coal that it did a decade ago and employs about 12000 people as coal miners—down from more than 64000 in the 1970s The effects extend far beyond the people working directly in the industry Revenue from a state tax on coal production—a key source of funding for local communities—is expected to decline from more than $420 million in 2012 to $151 million by 2018 It’s market forces that make this moment the most challenging time in the coal industry’s long history—and a key reason why energy analysts are skeptical of any promise to bring it back The development of fracking opened up once unreachable reserves of natural gas and has slashed its price by two-thirds since 2008 Wind and solar once liberal pipe dreams now compete with coal on price in many places At the same time the most accessible—and therefore cheapest—coal reserves in Appalachia are mostly mined out “Trump is not going to bring all the coal jobs back” says Jason Bordoff director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy “There isn’t a lot of investment activity because in some cases it looks more economically attractive for firms to invest in cleaner technologies” The tune was far different at the West Virginia Coal Association conference where over the course of two days presenters slammed Obama as a jobs killer praised Trump as a potential savior and dismissed climate change as a fiction “This war on coal has come from the environmental community from the White House and from a host of others” says Roger Horton a retired miner who founded the advocacy group Citizens for Coal “And it’s been strangling our ability to provide these jobs” That view crosses party lines in a state filled with billboards telling the EPA to stop killing jobs and bumper stickers suggesting that those who don’t like coal can give up electricity “The mess started because Obama wanted to kill coal” says Rupert “Rupie” Phillips the lone independent in the West Virginia house of delegates “Thank God for Donald Trump” Phillips who has vowed to do everything in his power to prevent any new taxes or regulations on the industry made clear that his only priority is making the mines hum again “I have no loyalty when it comes to my coal” he said at the conference to raucous applause There’s more room for nuance outside of the echo chamber On a recent night in Boone County where coal was first discovered in the state longtime residents were skeptical of a return to the glory days “It’s moving up a little but some of these people need to realize they’re not going to make $30 an hour like they used to in a mine” says Mary Ann McClure over dinner at Park Avenue Restaurant “It’s just not there like it used to be” McClure and her dinner mate JoAnn Harmon both would like to see coal come back—even if they know it’s unlikely—but when we talked they seemed more interested in what’s happening just a few miles up the road where the state government has promised to transform the site of a former 12000-acre surface mine into a commercial development park with offices retail and most important jobs Governor Justice says he’s going to make sure the project gets built Justice is a Democrat but his political appeal has been likened to that of Trump’s Both are wealthy businessmen who until now had never held elected office with little in the way of concrete political ideology Justice even has a tax controversy of his own: millions of dollars in unpaid fees assessed on his coal mines Still his central promise resonated with voters: “Jobs jobs jobs” And to the extent that he had an economic platform it emphasized tax cuts and reviving coal Justice even reopened a few of his company’s mines just days before the election—an apparent down payment for the bright future in store for the industry Taking office has a way of bringing a politician back to earth West Virginia faces a deep budget deficit thanks in part to the shrinking revenue from the state’s coal tax and even the most severe regulatory rollback won’t reverse that trend While Justice is fond of saying that miners have been “overregulated out of a job” he has come to realize that coal will not be as important to the state’s future as it was to its past “There’s real hope and real optimism” Justice says but “you’re still going to have thousands and thousands of displaced miners” The governor’s agenda includes a wide variety of measures to raise revenue and repair the state’s recently downgraded credit rating He wants legislators to raise the state’s sales tax create a new business tax and increase the gasoline tax (They have balked so far) And he proposed a sliding scale of taxation that would make coal companies pay more when their production increases It’s all part of an effort to think beyond the state’s dominant mineral Justice wants to spend billions of dollars to rebuild roads and increase broadband Internet access—nearly one-third of people in the state can’t get it—in an attempt to make West Virginia more attractive to outside investors He hopes he can jump-start the timber and furniture-making industries and encourage new businesses to set up shop There is also hope in West Virginia’s growing tourism industry which has benefited from privately sponsored environmental-cleanup efforts across the state’s scenic trails mountains and waterways Justice doesn’t refer to his plans as economic transition a loaded phrase sure to draw even more ire from the coal industry but it’s clear that that’s exactly what he wants to achieve The prospect elicits excitement in some quarters and fear in others For those still working in the mines the decline of coal is a direct blow to their ability to provide for themselves and their families An experienced coal miner can earn $100000 along with benefits and the promise of a pension Jobs in the new industries targeted by economic-transition plans—think call centers shipping warehouses and non-union manufacturing—often pay minimum wage or else require specialized training and a college education But in a state where coal has long been an icon as well as a livelihood the industry’s fade takes a psychic toll Coal is in the names of West Virginia’s roads and rivers stamped on its buildings and the source of scholarships at its leading universities For years the football teams at Marshall and West Virginia squared off in the Friends of Coal Bowl and in 2009 the state named coal its official rock “West Virginia has always relied on coal” says Tom Southern who lives near the coal museum in Madison “That’s been their mainstay That’s what they do” Yet the possibility of a different way of life doesn’t seem to scare all older coal miners Randy Smith a longtime miner who was first elected to the state senate as a Republican in 2012 proudly wears a Friends of Coal lapel pin His office is decorated with memorabilia from decades in the mines and he says he wants coal jobs to remain a career for those who desire it But it’s always been a hard life and he says he’d welcome more options in the state “I’m a coal miner been a coal miner all my life My son I didn’t want him to be a coal miner The coal is in my blood but I want what’s best for my kids” Smith says “We have to use this opportunity to diversify our economy Coal will never be what it was”IDEAS Katy Steinmetz is a TIME correspondent based in San Francisco Each year linguists lexicographers and other language nuts gather at an annual conference under the banner of the American Dialect Society The highlight of the confab is a raucous vote for choosing the "word of the year" a now widespread tradition that this organization started decades ago But in some ways this event never ends because the attendees are on the lookout all year long not just for possible "WOTY" winners but nominees for several subcategories: Slang Word of the Year Most Likely to Succeed Most Creative And on Monday the CEO of United Airlines likely locked up a position in a category that one generally does not want to be found inspiring: Euphemism of the Year As a viral video spread across the Internet showing a man dragged off a plane bloodied and protesting after paying for a ticket to be on that plane CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement apologizing "for having to re-accommodate" customers like him who found themselves bumped from a flight "I thought that alternative facts wrapped up Euphemism of the Year" says Mark Peters who follows the vote closely and writes a column on euphemisms called Evasive Maneuvers "But this one may be even better in a worse way" euphemism (n): the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant "Alternative facts" the already immortal phrase that Trump aide Kellyanne Conway used to describe falsehoods perpetuated by Trumps press secretary was euphemistic to the point that it may offend some people to call it a euphemism at all Other language used by press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday when he apparently referred to Nazi concentration camps as "Holocaust centers" falls onto the same end of the spectrum (Linguist Ben Zimmer who presides over the event notes that such items might find themselves in the running for an even more dubious honor known as "WTF Word of the Year") While the vote is by no means sewn up reaccommodate found serious resonance online as did a statement in which "reaccommodated" passengers like the man who was hauled out of his seat were described as "volunteers" Merriam-Webster which monitors spikes in the words people are looking up noted that lookups for volunteer spiked about 1900% following the incident But lookups for the more rarely encountered reaccommodate spiked by 80000% On the dictionarys site the definition is simple: to accommodate again But accommodate itself has been defined with what Merriam-Webster Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski calls some "particularly apposite meanings" such as "to make room for" and "to hold without crowding or inconvenience" The Oxford English Dictionary describes accommodation as an act that involves obliging assisting providing comfort or conferring favors "Its all about context" says Zimmer a sociolinguist of why this euphemism is so remarkable "Theres this enormous disconnect between peoples eyewitness views of a man being pummeled versus this antiseptic corporate speak that came out in the apology" In the days of social media when there are helpful visual aides that can contrast with a politicians or companys account of a controversial event and when armies of irascible tweeters are ready to pounce on a single misplaced descriptor euphemisms arent great deflective shields As hundreds of thousands of people watched the video and felt empathy for the man Zimmer says the notion that he was being accommodated not just once but twice conveyed a robotic lack of "human emotion" To some extent people expect unhinged jargon from corporations entities that describe widespread firings as "talent upgrades" and trump up shelf-stacking jobs as openings for "replenishment associates" But reaccommodate stretched into the infuriation-prone realm of "denying reality" while being transparently hopelessly "self-serving" Peters says Euphemisms can certainly be used for good to spare feelings to search out neutral ground to avoid taboos among older folk who may be prone to "cardiovascular events" and they can be used for legalistic or procedural reasons that may seem as silly from the outside as they do practical from within as when military officers swap nuanced officialese But Peters says that the words in his euphemism collection are often cloaking shame "If you dont say it or if you dont call it what it is" he says "it didnt happen" Last years winner in the American Dialect Societys vote for Euphemism of the Year was "locker room banter" the phrase then-candidate Donald Trump used to describe lewd bragging about how he could grab women "by the p—y" caught on an Access Hollywood tape In earlier years the laurels went to "EIT" an abbreviation used in a Senate torture report for "the already euphemistic enhanced interrogation techniques" Gwenyth Paltrow got a nomination after referring to her separation from her husband as a "conscious uncoupling" And former intelligence chief James Clapper uttered a winner when he characterized his denial that the NSA had collected data on millions of Americans as the "least untruthful" path There is something to be said for the fact that the context in which reaccommodate was used was air travel a realm plagued by stilted euphemisms from the lavatory to the full upright and locked middle seat Passengers have bins of rage toward airlines just waiting to be deplaned whether theyve been trapped in an automated phone call for hours or experienced the turbulence of trying to keep a carry-on bag while in the subordinate social underclass known as "Group 5" The United Airlines employees who bumped the man in the viral video from his seat were referred to as “must-ride passengers” The language used by airline representatives often seems to be "the corporate voice from nowhere where theres no discernible individual behind the language addressing people who want to engage in an emotional way and who are often shut down" Zimmer says No doubt United has received some backlash about the statement out of frustration travelers have built up over years toward this type of doublespeak Euphemisms get a bad rap for lots of reasons: being vague causing wearisome pussyfooting or perhaps because their users seem to be eschewing responsibility through reframing or willful obtuseness United Airlines’ CEO seemed to realize that a frank acknowledgement was one thing the people wanted when Munoz released a revamped apology on Tuesday calling the reaccommodation incident a "truly horrific event" in which a customer was "forcibly removed" Euphemisms can be creative and funny and useful too says Peters: "If we were just completely truthful in the most direct language about everything all the time we might kill each other" And the news is bound to be packed with many more examples laughable and heart-breaking before the next vote comes around "Theres a lot of year left" he says "But this one is going to be a contender" Write to Katy Steinmetz at katysteinmetz@timecom IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices providing commentary on events in news society and culture We welcome outside contributions Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editorsPresident Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja on Friday following a 2-day working visit to Lagos State Buhari during the visit inaugurated some projects and also attended the 10th Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Colloquium Upon his return Buhari went straight to the National Mosque Abuja where he performed the 2-Raka’at Juma’at prayer The President also attended the wedding fatiha of Hamza Ahmed and Hadiza Jika which was performed immediately after the prayer session at the mosque The groom Hamza Ahmed is a younger brother to Aisha Buhari the president’s wife Also present at the wedding were the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki Governors of Nasarawa and Bauchi States Alhaji Tanko Almakura and Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar respectively Other personalities included the National Security Adviser retired Maj-Gen Babagana Mongonu ministers and former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP Ahmadu Ali Reno Omokri former New Media aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan has highlighted achievements of his principal during his tenure as president of Nigeria Omokri listed fourteen Universities Abuja- Kaduna railway three power stations as part of Jonathan’s achievement in reaction to the latest statement credited to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Osinbajo had on Thursday said Buhari’s administration has invested more in infrastructure than Jonathan’s during his speech at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium Osinbajo lists N-Power other SIP achievements under Buhari The Vice President pointed to this as one of the reasons why the current government would keep talking about failures of the immediate past administration Reacting Omokri on his Twitter page highlighted infrastructural and other achievements by Jonathan during his tenure He wrote “Jonathan built: 14 universities 165 almajiri schools 3 power stations Abuja-Kaduna railways 2 Dams Vom-Manchok rd 6 hospitals 108 new health centers and many more “Yet at Tinubu’s colloquium Prof Osinbajo said Buhari has invested more in infrastructure than Jonathan “Again 50kg bag of rice was 8000 Fuel was 87 $1 was 150 (199 in 2015) Lagos-Abuja air fare was 10000 A bottle of Coke was 60 A tin of Peak milk was 80 18000 minimum wage was equal to $12” instead of $1,贵族宝贝RD, So, The youngest boy, In fact, which is why gun control advocates are starting their new campaign on issues that poll favorablylike expanded background checks, The House of Representatives has decried the poor funding of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but engineers have encountered setbacks.

Her lawyer, Hong Kong especially has been a model of that pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps thinking. which left 44 people dead and 238 wounded. Mark Heller, respectively have battled over turf,爱上海TZ, It says that although the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol have not provided a “reliable cost estimate” for President Trump’s signature campaign promise,"We see labor as the way to save money, It was affecting my attendance at work. read more

Read More