Hughton reveals he is excited about facing Warnock

first_imgBrighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton reveals he is looking forward to crossing paths with Neil Warnock when the Seagulls travel to the Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon.The former Newcastle United manager takes his side to Wales in 12th position in the Premier League after three wins from three in October, and Hughton was keen to repay the positive comments made by Warnock.He said, according to the club’s official website:“It’s always nice to hear people say good things about you, but it’s also very difficult in this profession to be nice all the time because you always have to make tough decisions that you hope can lead to success.”BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Chris Hughton, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at American Express Community Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)Hughton’s first words after being sacked Manuel R. Medina – May 22, 2019 The former Brighton and Hove Albion manager says he was “hugely disappointed and surprised” when he was fired from the club.“For us, success is about keeping the team in the Premier League and building from there, so it’s impossible to do all of those things and be nice all the time – what you try to do is try to approach the game within your personality.”“What I do look forward to is seeing Neil – he’s somebody I know very well, and we’ve crossed paths on many occasions both on and off the pitch.”“He’s a manager who I have great respect for, and he has a wonderful track record – he’s brought a team into this division and continues to do a very good job there – it makes Saturday very tough for that reason.”last_img read more

Read More
Salmon Forum Highlights Habitat Protection

first_imgCook Inletkeeper recently recognized the Kenai Peninsula Borough for the passage of the 50-foot setback rule. Berkhahn: “I don’t know how we can actually stop these big projects, and we can’t. But we are moving forward in the right direction.” Another question put before the panel was in regards to the KPB’s 50-foot setback on property near the river bank. Each noted the importance bank habitat provides to a healthy stream. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Over 50 people attended a salmon conservation forum last Thursday, at the Soldotna Public Library, hosted by Cook Inletkeeper. The forum, held a four-person panel: Marcus Mueller, land manager at the Kenai Peninsula Borough; Sue Mauger, science director at Cook Inletkeeper; Patti Berkhahn, who worked for Alaska Department of Fish and Game; and Branden Bornemann, executive director at the Kenai Watershed Forum. The panel answered questions about science, policy, and citizenship and how they intersect in the realm of salmon conservation. When asked about the upcoming Stand for Salmon ballot initiative that will be on the November ballot, each member of the panel said it would “be a great thing.”last_img read more

Read More
Facial recognition bans spread across America

first_imgThe Oakland (California) City Council has voted to ban facial recognition technology. James Martin/CNET Oakland, California, has has become third city to ban the municipal use of facial recognition technology. Late Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council approved the ordinance, which requires a second and final vote that’s scheduled for Sept. 17.Oakland neighbor San Francisco in May became the first city to ban its police officers from using facial recognition technology, citing a breach of citizens’ civil liberties. The Somerville City Council in Massachusetts followed suit last month. Legal Facial recognition How San Francisco’s ban could impact facial recognition… Mobile Security Computers Politics Security Cameras Now playing: Watch this: 0 Facial recognition technology and human rights Aibo robot dogs and the people who love them 25 Photos Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who prepared a report on the proposed ban, cited limitations of the technology, the lack of standards around its implementation, and its potential use in the persecution of minorities, according to KPIX.Matt Cagle, a technology and civil liberties attorney for American Civil Liberties Union Northern California, said it should be elected representatives making decisions on the government’s ability to collect and use facial recognition imaging.”Decisions about whether we want to hand the government the power to identify who attends protests, political rallies, church or AA meetings should not be made in the secret backroom of a police station, lobbied by corporate executives that market this technology,” Cagle said Wednesday in a statement.The ACLU said US House of Representatives on Tuesday night also passed an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 that would require the Director of National Intelligence to report on any government use of facial recognition technology (PDF).Reports would include information on the accuracy of the technology, as well as policies and procedures to protect human rights and First Amendment rights. The law shows Congress is recognizing “that this surveillance technology presents an unprecedented threat to our most fundamental democratic values,” said Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU senior legislative counsel. 3:04 null Share your voice San Francisco becomes first city to bar police from using facial recognition AI experts want Amazon to stop selling facial recognition tech to police Huge leaps in AI have made facial recognition smarter than your brain Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack Smart home cameras bring facial recognition ethics to your front door Tagslast_img read more

Read More
Amu tells CJ this is Bangladesh not Pakistan

first_imgIn an oblique reference to chief justice’s remarks, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu on Sunday said Bangladesh did not emerge from any communal poison like Pakistan but through the sacrifices of three million people. “Such utterances are meaningless… this is not Pakistan…this is Bangladesh,” he said apparently venting angers at the chief justice’s remarks.Chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, as media reported on Sunday, said the judiciary is having enough patience. Amu said, “We’ve heard our chief justice asked to look at Pakistan. We had looked at Pakistan many days ago, not today.”Recently, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ousted its prime minister Nawaz Sharif over corruption claims.The Awami League leader said the judges came to the court set up for hanging Bangabandhu in the Agartala “conspiracy” case but the people of Bangladesh and Pakistan do not know how and when they (judges) fled. “We’ve had that experience. If such things need to be seen again here, then the people of the country are ready (to face it).”The industries minister said conspiracies are being hatched against Bangladesh to make it a failed state. “We’re seeing conspiracies from various fronts. Some are trying to catch fish in troubled waters. A vested group is conspiring to hamper the country’s security and halt its pace of development,” he said.Amu said Pakistan is now a failed sate and they cannot tolerate today’s progress of Bangladesh. “That’s why they’re conspiring to make Bangladesh a failed state.”The minister came up with the remarks at a discussion organised by the Ministry of Industries marking the 15 August.About Bangabandhu, he said the killers did not only kill the person Bangabandhu on the black day of 15 August but also tried to kill the spirit of the independence.last_img read more

Read More
Khaledas adviser Taimur arrested

first_imgTaimur Alam KhandakerTaimur Alam Khandaker, adviser to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, was arrested in Narayanganj on Tuesday in an explosives case.Narayanganj police arrested Taimur from Chandmari area of the district around 11:15am.Motiar Rahman, additional police superintendent of Naraynganj, said a case against Taimur had been filed with Narayanganj Model Police Station on 5 January 2015 for his involvement in a bomb blast and vandalisation.An arrest warrant was issued against him long ago, Motiar added.Taimur was the former president of district Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).last_img read more

Read More
Asian tourism fair begins in Dhaka

first_img.The three-day 7th Asian Tourism Fair-2018 (ATF) began in the city on Friday to promote tourism industry of the country, reports UNB.Parjatan Bichitra in collaboration with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board arranged the fair at International Convention City, Bashundhara (ICCB) as part of celebrating the World Tourism Day 2018.Civil aviation and tourism minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal inaugurated the fair as the chief guest. The fair will remain open for all from 10:00am to 8:00pm till Sunday.Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry Muhammad Faruk Khan attended the function as a special guest.BPC chairman Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir, BTB CEO Jahangir Hossain, ambassador of the Philippines Vicente Vivencio T Bandello and ambassador of Indonesia Rina P Soemarno and convener of the Asian Tourism Fair and editor of Parjatan Bichitra Mohiuddin Helal were also present.Around 120 stalls of different countries like India, Nepal, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore apart from Bangladesh are taking part in the fair.Travel-loving people of Bangladesh are offered to buy many interesting packages to visit home and abroad.last_img read more

Read More
ANALYSIS The Biggest Threat To Texas Republicans Texas Republicans

first_img Share It might not work in mailers from Republican senators like Cruz, but Abbott’s works — and those of the state’s lieutenant governor — are pretty good evidence that some of the folks at the Texas GOP’s family reunion would like to throw out some of their political kin.Susanna Dokupil, an assistant solicitor general when Abbott was the state’s attorney general, will have the governor’s support — for what that’s worth — against Davis in the Republican primaries. What that is worth depends on the governor himself. Two Republican incumbents — Doug Miller of New Braunfels and Wayne Smith of Bay City — lost their runoffs in 2016 in spite of Abbott’s endorsements. His name alone was not enough to save them. But the governor, who has a huge campaign account and no formidable opposition in his own bid for reelection, could bring heavy artillery to back up his choices in legislative races.There’s a tie here to one of Abbott’s perennial “emergency issues” for the Legislature: His call for ethics reform. He seems more interested in it for other officeholders than himself. The governor’s office bristled — governors have minions to do that for them — earlier this year when the House overwhelmingly supported a bill that would have barred big donors to governors from gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions. Some lawmakers believe that’s a little too blatant a case of quid pro quo. For this governor and his predecessors, fancy seats for big givers is simply the way things are done.Davis wasn’t the author of that gem — state Rep. Lyle Larson was. He might be on Abbott’s hit list before this is over. But Davis was part of the club, and one of the noisiest critics when Abbott didn’t put ethics reform, an issue he declared an “emergency” earlier this year and two years ago in his first session as governor, on the list of 20 things he wanted done during the summer’s special session.If the governor is successful, Davis won’t be one of the thorns in his paw for much longer. It would tell the surviving members of the Legislature that crossing the governor has real costs. It would tell members of the more conservative Senate that the governor is on their side of the bubbling Senate v. House turbulence that colored this year’s legislative debates.It also puts the governor’s thumb into the race for speaker of the House. Joe Straus, the current speaker, is leaving. The people elected to the House in 2018 — a group that will include Davis or Dokupil or a Democrat who beats the Republican nominee — will select the next speaker. Abbott evidently wants more people in that chamber that vote like the state’s conservative senators, and picking off the least-conservative members of the House is a way to move things in that direction. Abbott isn’t the Texas GOP’s only cannibal. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign consigliere, Allan Blakemore, has signed on to run a challenge to state Sen. Kel Seliger, an Amarillo Republican who doesn’t always toe the movement conservative line favored by Patrick.The two leaders are trying some political behavior modification on their own party. They can’t kill many more Democrats, but the Republican-drawn House and Senate political maps have minimized the danger from the minority party. They’re trying to straighten their own ranks, to remove obstacles within their own party that have successfully blocked or slowed their agendas.And they’re betting Republican primary voters are with them. Davis answered Abbott’s endorsement of her challenger with a cautionary note, noting Hillary Clinton’s 15-point advantage over Donald Trump in her district and pointing to that as evidence that a moderate Republican is what her voters want. Electing a more conservative Republican in the March primary, she said, risks a Democrat winning the seat in November.They can’t all be right. Marjorie Kamys CoteraRep. Sarah Davis R-West University Place, speaks to media regarding her request to add ethics reform to the special session on Aug. 2, 2017The Republican big tent shares a risk with big family reunions; everybody shows up, and the name is sometimes the only thing they have in common.In the latest installment of the GOP’s family feud, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican whose own state representative is a Democrat, came out against a Republican Houston incumbent this week by backing the GOP challenger to state Rep. Sarah Davis in the lead-up to next year’s March 6 primary.This is a big deal. Texas governors generally don’t endorse against incumbents, never mind endorsing against incumbents in their own party. Sure, this is politics and politics ain’t beanbag and all that. But this puts a sort of official stamp on a split in the GOP that so many Republicans won’t even acknowledge.In a recent email to supporters, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz nodded to that, saying, “The media continues to pit Republicans against each other in squabble after squabble …” But here’s Abbott putting a squabble on his list of things to do in the next four months. He’s not done, either: Aides told The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek that he’s likely to add more Republican incumbents to the list.last_img read more

Read More
Giant prehistoric crocodile shieldcroc identified

first_imgImage: Henry Tsai, University of Missouri © 2011 PhysOrg.com Discovered in Morocco and subsequently carted off to the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada, the head sat ignored for nearly a decade before Casey Holliday, a paleontologist at the University of Missouri decided to look a little deeper. After analysis the head piece turned out to be from an animal that belonged to the family crocodyliforms, which of course is where modern crocodiles, alligators, caimans and others come from.Interestingly, despite its massive size, the old croc appears to have been rather weak jawed, and thus was more likely to eat fish swimming by (such as the car-length coelacanths) than grabbing animals off the shore and twisting them down into the water to drown them as modern crocs do.Holliday believes the shield was used to help cool the animal, due to the presence of skin and blood vessels similar to those in the frill of triceratops. Thus it would have been too soft to serve as protection, which makes Holliday believe it was likely mostly used to either frighten off other males, or to attract females.Also, because the head fragment was found in Morocco, new fuel has been added to fire in the ongoing debate among paleontologists regarding the origins of crocodyliforms. This new evidence points to North Africa of course, near the Mediterranean, though many still believe the original location was much farther north But since we’re talking about animals that lived around a hundred million years ago; so far back that land masses were configured differently from today, it’s likely the arguments will go on without ever being proved one way or the other.Holliday says the shieldcroc likely had an extra long face that was sort of flat with a roundish nose and small teeth. Its head alone was likely the size of a full-grown man. He also believes the giant beast’s feeding habits were more like modern pelicans than crocodiles and alligators. Ancient crocodile relative likely food source for Titanoboa (PhysOrg.com) — A scientist working in Canada studying a part of a head of a dinosaur found some ten years ago in Morocco, has uncovered what may be the great granddaddy of all modern crocs. The ancient beast, believed to have been wandering around during the Cretaceous period is estimated to have been nearly the length of a school bus and had a strange shield type crown covering the top of his head that researchers believe might have been more for showing off than fighting.center_img Explore further Citation: Giant prehistoric crocodile ;shieldcroc; identified (2011, November 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-giant-prehistoric-crocodile-shieldcroc.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Read More
Bird embryos respond to adult warning calls inside their shells

first_imgA pair of researchers with Universidad de Vigo has found that yellow-legged gull embryos respond to parental warning calls by vibrating inside their shells. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, Jose Noguera and Alberto Velando describe their study of the gulls in their lab and what they learned. © 2019 Science X Network Prior research has shown that embryonic birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even insects receive sensory information that helps them prepare for the harsh reality of the real world. In this new effort, Noguera and Velando have found evidence that yellow-legged gull embryos hear the warning cries of their parents and respond to them. They also found that hearing adult warning cries resulted in chicks with physical and behavioral changes, as well.The experiments by the researchers involved collecting 90 gull eggs from nests along the shores of Sálvora Island and bringing them back to their lab for testing. They separated the eggs into individual three-egg clutches and incubated them. The researchers then pulled two of the three eggs from each incubator and exposed them four times a day to either recorded adult warning sounds or silence.The researchers report that the embryos exposed to the shrill warning calls would vibrate when the recordings were played—and they continued vibrating for some time even after they were returned to their incubator. They suspected that the vibrations could be felt by the nest mate that had not heard the recordings. To find out, they monitored the embryos after they hatched as chicks. They report that the birds exposed to the warning sounds took longer to hatch, and when they finally did so, they were quieter than the chicks that had been exposed to silence. The hatchlings also crouched lower when exposed to perceived threats. And they were smaller overall, and had shorter legs. Interestingly, the clutch mates of the chicks exposed to the recordings had all the same differences, though they were not exposed to the warning calls. The researchers suggest this indicates that they felt the vibrations of nearby embryos and responded as if they had heard the warning calls themselves. Explore further More information: Jose C. Noguera et al. Bird embryos perceive vibratory cues of predation risk from clutch mates, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0929-8 Citation: Bird embryos respond to adult warning calls inside their shells (2019, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-bird-embryos-adult-shells.htmlcenter_img Yellow-legged gull eggs. Inside, gull embryos hear, and respond to, warning calls from adult gulls. CC0 Public Domain. Fairy wren embryos found able to discern between adult calls Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution 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
Teacher beats up 5yrold in Joka school

first_imgKolkata: A five-year-old student of a primary school in Joka was allegedly beaten up by a teacher after she was found sitting in the classroom of her elder sister who studies in class I in the same school. The victim’s family members have lodged a complaint against the teacher at Haridevpur police station.According to the complaint, the victim, who studies in KG of Kolua Aboitonik Prathamik Vidyalaya in Joka, had gone to the classroom of her elder sister and sat beside her when tiffin break was going on. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhen Lipika Bhaduri Das, the accused teacher saw the little girl, she enquired why she had come to a class in which she does not belong. Before the girl could say anything, the teacher started beating her up with a tin ruler.She suffered injuries on her hand, feet and back and black spots were found on her body even on Tuesday.The victim’s father Vicky Ghorai who is a driver, was in Siliguri on Friday when the incident occurred. When he returned on Monday afternoon and heard the matter, he spoke with the headmistress of the school and lodged a police complaint. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedGhorai claimed that the headmistress had herself told KG students that if anybody’s guardian comes late to school after classes get over, she may go and wait in the class of her elder brother or sister if the latter studies in the same school.He further said that the teacher had earlier beaten up a physically challenged student of the same school. However, the accused teacher, who did not turn up at the school on Tuesday, denied the allegations.”I was not in school when the incident happened. I have heard the matter and will surely look into it,” headmistress Aparna Bose said.last_img read more

Read More
Lion cub smuggling case Forest dept to move to higher court

first_imgKolkata: The state Forest department will move to a higher forum, seeking cancellation of bail for the three persons who were arrested in the wee hours of Saturday on charges of smuggling a lion cub and three langurs. The trio was granted bail on being produced at Barrackpore Court later in the day, even though the Forest department had prayed for judicial custody.”We are speaking with our public prosecutor and will move to a higher court, preferably the Calcutta High Court, for cancellation of bail of the three arrested persons. We are not ruling out the involvement of an international racket in this illegal animal trade and we need to take them into custody and interrogate them for more leads,” said state Chief Wildlife Warden Ravikant Sinha. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA three-month-old lion cub and three white headed langurs, which included two adults and one juvenile, were rescued from a vehicle on Belghoria Expressway through a raid carried out jointly by the state Forest department’s Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) and the Centre’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). According to preliminary investigation, the lion cub trapped inside a nylon bag and the three langurs were being smuggled from the Benapole-Petrapole border via Kolkata to Western India. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe rescued animals were taken to Alipore Zoo’s Hospital later in the day. “They are in quarantine and are doing well. The veterinary doctors at the zoo hospital are giving them proper medicines and diet,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, member secretary of West Bengal Zoo Authority. The animals were very weak and famished when they were rescued. According to a senior Forest department official, possession, transportation or confinement of any animal protected under the Wildlife act is a punishable offence and the maximum punishment, if proven guilty, is seven years of imprisonment. The International Union for Classification of Nature (IUCN) has classified white headed langur as a ‘critically endangered’ species, while Asiatic lion is classified as ‘endangered’.last_img read more

Read More
Deficit to GDP Debt to GDP

first_imgDeficit to GDPDebt to GDP Greece28.91% Italy$107,000$552,000 -8.5% -4.2% Dear Reader,Chris Wood here, filling in for David Galland. Today’s issue is full of good stuff. Robert Ross will kick it off with an interesting look at the future and economic implications of asteroid mining. Then Adam Crawford will delve into the troubling economic situation in France. And, of course, we’ll end it all with some Friday Funnies. Let’s get started. Space Prospecting: Planetary Resources and the Future of Asteroid MiningBy Robert Ross, Junior AnalystAlthough it may sound like it was ripped from the pages of an Isaac Asimov novel, asteroid mining could be a huge step forward for mankind. The concept has been around for over a century, with Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky first postulating the idea in 1903. At the moment, the trek into the great asteroid-laden unknown is being led by one company – Planetary Resources.One thing Mr. Tsiolkovsky didn’t have was connections, something that Planetary Resources has in droves. With a lineup of investors and board members that includes various Google executives – including founder and CEO Larry Page and former CEO Eric Schmidt – acclaimed film director James Cameron, former Microsoft executive Charles Simonyi, and Ross Perot Jr., son of former presidential candidate Ross Perot. Seed funding shouldn’t be an issue.Nor did Tsiolkovsky have the vision. Planetary Resources has a three-step plan, with an aim to mine asteroids for water and precious metals. More specifically, the company intends to create a swarm of robotic spacecraft that can use artificial intelligence to coordinate complex mining operations without a human presence.The whole thing may seem like a bunch of eccentric billionaires getting together to throw hoards of money at a project with little possibility of success. But it’s not. According to the company’s president and chief engineer Chris Lewicki, Planetary Resources is already cash-flow positive:“When we started the company, one of the first things we did was to identify the roadmap that would get us from now until we got to the asteroids. That way, we could identify who would be interested in the things we’d be developing along the way. We already have contracts with NASA, some private companies, and even a few private individuals.”That roadmap starts with the Arkyd series 100, also known as the Leo Space Telescope. By designing and selling this “low-cost” telescope, the company believes it will be able to gain the necessary experience to develop more complex models, while generating cold, hard cash in the meantime.Artist conception of an Arkyd 100-series space telescope. (Credit: Planetary Resources)The Leo Space Telescope is designed to track and analyze the size and orbital patterns of near-Earth asteroids. But, in order to generate cash in the short term, the company plans to point some of the telescopes down at Earth. The satellites will gather vast amounts of data which can then be sold to universities, businesses, and governments. Planetary Resources claims the Leo Space Telescope will be sold on private markets at a price “in the single-digit millions,” making the Leo the first private space telescope on the market.The company plans to build on what it learns during the development and launch of the Leo Telescope to get to the next phase, the Arkyd Series 200 – Interceptor. The new fleet of satellites will have added propulsion capabilities, which will be used to hitch a ride on asteroids crossing through Earth’s neighborhood.According to Planetary Resources, two or more Interceptors can work in tandem to identify, track, and “fly by” near-Earth asteroids, capturing high-resolution data in the process.The new technology will also create an opportunity for the company to update our deep-space communication network. According to Lewicki, who has experience working on the Mars rover projects, the deep-space communication network currently in use is 50 years old and is based on primitive, Earth-based antennae. To improve upon this, the company seeks to develop small, low-power optical communications technologies to couple with the Interceptor, which would offer better communications than the limited bandwidth available on NASA’s network.The third phase of the project will expand upon the Interceptor design. By augmenting it with deep space laser communication capability, the Arkyd Series 300 – Rendezvous Prospector will allow the characterization of an asteroid’s value prior to mining operations, collecting data on the asteroid’s shape, rotation, density, and surface and subsurface composition. In short, the satellite will serve as a tool to establish which asteroids hold the most valuable resources and which are the most feasible to mine.The final phase is to actually mine these asteroids. Planetary Resources claims that the initial space-resource development projects will focus on water-rich asteroids. By focusing on water – which can be used in space for hydration, breathable air, radiation shielding, and formulating rocket fuel – the company hopes to enable large-scale exploration of the solar system.The company has a few ideas on how the actual mining operations will take place. One advanced technique mentioned by Lewicki is to harness the energy generated by the heat and cold differential on an asteroid; this is generated by sunlight hitting part of the asteroid while the rest is in shadow.. In theory, this should provide the energy needed to extract the targeted resources.Apart from making science-fiction fans cheer, mining asteroids has many implications for life inside and outside our atmosphere. It could make long-term space travel more feasible, since astronauts would not have to return to Earth to resupply certain essential resources, such as water, gas, oxygen, etc.Another attractive opportunity is the plethora of rare-earth metals – such as scandium, cerium, and gadolinium – contained in certain near-Earth asteroids. It’s speculated that a relatively small, 1.6-km diameter asteroid with the right physical characteristics could contain more than $20 trillion worth of industrial and precious metals. For example, near-Earth asteroid 16 Psyche is believed to contain 1.7×1019 kg of nickel-iron, which would be enough to supply current world production requirements for several million years. Not too shabby.Basic economics informs us that doubling or tripling the supply of anything while keeping demand constant will certainly drive down its price. If a Planetary Resources fleet returned from a voyage that increased the amount of gold on Earth by 100 times, the price of gold would certainly plummet.In step, by extending the reach of potential mining operations to space, Planetary Resources could potentially alter the way we currently conceptualize scarcity. It also has the potential to ruin the company’s return on investment.But Lewicki isn’t fazed:“Of course, it’s all about supply and demand, and we’re subject to those risks as much as any other company. But if we as engineers had materials that were best for a job and could use those materials all the time without thinking of the costs, it would change the world. It’s not about scarcity, it’s about access. Fundamentally, that’s what we’re focused on. We want to take opportunities and deliver value just like any other business. Only our business will extend the economic sphere into the solar system.Although this could leave some BIG GOLD subscribers shaking in their boots, don’t expect any of this to come to fruition any time soon. The company plans on launching its first Leo Space Telescope in 18-24 months, and it will probably be decades before any actual space mining takes place.Of course, the scientific community is not without skeptics. Former NASA aerospace engineer Louis Friedman says it would take “hundreds of millions of dollars” to get started. This shouldn’t be a problem considering Planetary Resource’s wealthy stakeholders and friends, not to mention the private sector’s ability to innovate and cut costs.It’s also worth noting that upcoming NASA mission OSIRIS-Rex will be engaging in some asteroid mining of its own. The mission’s goal is to harvest two ounces of material from an asteroid and return to Earth at a cost of about $1 billion. But we all know how efficient government-funded projects are.Private versus public arguments aside, there are some other fundamental issues related to asteroid mining. Friedman states that the company would have difficulty transferring raw materials extracted from asteroids back to Earth, given the cost of going in and out of Earth’s gravity well. So hang on to your gold.There’s also some competition, although it’s taking a different approach. Moon Express, led by Intelius founder Naveen Jain, seeks to mine the moon, and he’s already secured a $10-million NASA contract. But, considering the legal wrangling that would be involved with strip-mining the moon, I would be skeptical of the company’s outlook.In my opinion, both are interesting concepts that could have far-reaching implications for us here on Mother Earth. Could this technology allow humans to travel millions of miles into space, harvesting water and other nutrients from asteroids along the way?The science-fiction fan inside of me sure hopes so. France’s Economic CrisisBy Adam J. Crawford, Junior AnalystThus far, France’s troubled economy has eluded the spotlight of the popular press. This may soon change, however, as the realization that France’s economy is as fundamentally flawed as the highly publicized PIIGS economies takes hold.France looks like PIIGSFor many years, France has been on a borrowing binge while feeding those funds to its citizens through various entitlement programs. The amount borrowed each year has accumulated over time, resulting in the dangerously high level of debt to GDP seen today. Source: Bloomberg 107.8% Italy6.04% 120.1% -5.2% So far, France has escaped the wrath of the sovereign bond market. In fact, the yield on France’s 10-year bond recently slid to an all-time low. But the smart money is beginning to question the French government’s ability to repay its debt. The evidence can be seen in credit default swaps (CDS), which have spiked nearly 35% since March. The cost to insure $10 million in French debt for five years currently stands at $213,000 per year. This number is relatively small when compared to the cost to insure the debt of other troubled nations in the Eurozone. However, it is strikingly similar to the cost to insure the sovereign debt of these same troubled nations three short years ago. Italy Ireland$220,000$679,000 -9.1% David Hinman, comanager of SW Asset Management firm, believes insurance on French debt could soon follow the PIIGS’s path into the stratosphere:“The severity of French CDS’ going from 220 to 500 is going to be very meaningful and it could very easily happen. There is too much debt with very little prospects for them being able to work it out. I am not sure how all of this plays out.”This time isn’t differentOne thing is for sure: the boneheaded economic agenda of France’s newly elected Socialist leader will only make the country’s precarious financial situation much worse. Here’s a list of President Hollande’s most memorable campaign promises:Raise taxes on the “rich”Freeze fuel pricesIncrease welfare paymentsHire 60,000 new teachers; and“Make layoffs so expensive for companies that it’s not worth it” (my personal favorite).The scary thing is, implementing these reckless reforms should be a piece of cake given that the Socialists are likely to win a majority in the Parliamentary elections. If this does happen, expect to see soaring debt and a sinking stock market in the near future (just like last time the French elected a socialist leader).France’s economic predicament is but one of myriad opportunities the world’s shaky economy is presenting to self-directed investors. Some particularly intriguing speculations can be found in our flagship publication, The Casey Report, which is helping subscribers position themselves to profit from the Volatility Index, options on a Chinese index fund, and a host of emerging trends that Wall Street is ignoring.But perhaps the biggest opportunity that awaits subscribers – indeed, all investors – lies beneath the surface of the United States’ teetering economy. Friday FunniesCongratulations, GraduatesThe Source of Our ProblemsCongressional Express – Don’t Leave Home Without It!Greek MythologyThe Modern WorldThat’s it for today. Thank you for reading and subscribing to Casey Daily Dispatch.Chris Wood Senior Analyst Casey Research, LLC 165.3% Portugal 10.67% Greece Portugal$79,000$1,070,000 Spain6.51%center_img 10-year bond yield Ireland8.21% Spain France$39,000$213,000 -3.9% Spain$98,000$600,000 Source: Eurostat 2011 data 108.2% 85.8% 2012 2009 -13.1% Portugal This reckless borrowing ends and the painful – but necessary – economic contraction begins when the market punishes heavily indebted countries with higher interest rates. This is what is happening to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. France Greece$162,000$8,161,000 Source: Bloomberg 68.5% Irelandlast_img read more

Read More
From Jim Rogers… to Marc Faber… to Congressman Ron

first_imgFrom Jim Rogers… to Marc Faber… to Congressman Ron Paul, this book is sitting on the desks of some of the world’s smartest thinkers…And for good reason, too.Inside you’ll find 47 ways to protect your wealth from the declining value of the U.S. DollarDiscover FIVE of those 47 ways for free, right here. Sponsor Advertisement The northern hemisphere’s summer season is now history…and reality has returned. It sure doesn’t look good, does it?With North America shut for the Labour Day long weekend, there wasn’t much activity in the gold price yesterday…and volume was non-existent.  Gold traded a handful of dollars either side of the $1,690 spot mark…but managed to get as high as $1,697.10 spot just before Globex trading ended at 6:15 p.m. in London.  From that high it got sold off a few dollars into the close…and finished at $1,692.60 spot, up a buck from Friday.The only real signs of life were in the silver market.  After not doing much of anything up until 1:00 p.m. in London trading, the price began to develop a positive bias…and was actually up 60 cents at one point, before giving some of that back just before the 6:15 p.m. BST Globex close.Silver finished at $32.10 spot…up 36 cents from Friday.  Volume was very light as well.Of course the dollar index didn’t do much after the 6:00 p.m. Eastern time Sunday night open, either.With the U.S. shut tight, there was nothing from the CME, SLV, GLD…and the U.S Mint.However, the report from Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the period ending Thursday, August 30th showed that their gold ETF added 30,083 troy ounces and, if this number can be believed, they added an eye-watering 4,001,096 ounces of silver to their silver ETF during the August 22-30 reporting period.  I sent an e-mail to ZKB asking for confirmation of that silver number, but Nick Laird told me that it was correct.  That’s more than two full days of world silver production.Based on that number, one can only imagine just how much physical metal the SLV authorized participants must owe that ETF…but I would be bet that it’s quite a few orders of magnitude more than that.I’ve got a couple of charts for you today.  The first is from Australian reader Wesley Legrand.  It shows the gold price in both US$ dollar terms…the red trace…and non-US$ dollar terms…but blue trace.  As Wesley pointed out, there hardly seems to have been a correction at all when one looks at non-US currencies…more like a “sideways consolidation”.(Click on image to enlarge)The second chart is courtesy of reader Mark Childers…and shows World Gold Production for 2008.  It requires no further explanation from me.And lastly is this eye candy for silver lovers that Nick Laird sent me last night.  It’s titled “Gold/Silver Ratio: Future Potential Ratios“.  Please use the ‘click to enlarge’ feature…and then let your imagination run wild.(Click on image to enlarge)The main reason for today’s column is the long list of stories that I’ve accumulated over the weekend…and I hope you have the time to at least read the parts that I’ve cut and paste.  But, as always, the final edit is up to you.There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt. – John Adams, 1826Gold did virtually nothing yesterday, but it’s attempted foray to almost $1,700 the ounce got turned back shortly before the close of Globex trading in London at 6:15 p.m. BST yesterday.  Silver ran into the same seller as well.The northern hemisphere’s summer season is now history…and reality has returned. It sure doesn’t look good, does it?  There just isn’t any good news in sight…and the further the economic, financial and monetary can gets kicked down the road, the worse the disaster is going to be when it finally does blow up…or melt down…or both.There just isn’t any way out of this, except maybe the gold card…and the world’s banks and governments don’t have a “Plan B”…unless it is precisely that.  But, if they are going to play it at some point, then they’re keeping that secret awfully well.  It will be interesting to see if this new gold commission the Republicans have talked about at their national convention will amount to anything.  But one thing it will do, if it does comes to pass, is that will give even more publicity to the fact that fiat currencies always end up at their intrinsic value, which is zero.And as Alan Greenspan mentioned about a decade ago…and I’m paraphrasing here…fiat currencies, in extremis, may not be accepted as payment, whereas gold always will.It’s going to be a wild ride between now and Christmas…and there’s not much any of us can do except sit back and watch the show…all the while hoping that we’ve prepared for every eventuality as best we can.Not much happened during Far East trading on their Tuesday…although the gold price made a rather weak-kneed attempt to break above the $1,700 spot price once again, before getting sold down.  Nothing much is happening in London trading either, now that trading has been going on for a bit over two hours.  Volumes in both metals is reasonably light once again…and the dollar index is down about 10 basis points as I hit the send button at 5:15 a.m. Eastern time.See you tomorrow.last_img read more

Read More
Justins note Todays essay comes from my collea

first_imgJustin’s note: Today’s essay comes from my colleague Jeff Brown, editor of The Near Future Report. Jeff has been working in the tech field for over two decades. He’s always on the lookout for the next world-changing developments. Last year, Jeff recommended chipmaker Nvidia – the best-performing stock of 2016 – before it climbed 330%. Today, he explains this year’s biggest tech trend…and why it’s just getting started…By Jeff Brown, editor, The Near Future Report Autonomous driving technology is about to completely upend the global automotive industry, which shipped 73.9 million vehicles in 2015. That represents a more than $2 trillion market. And that is just the beginning. As you can see in the chart below, the $2 trillion market for vehicles is several times larger than the consumer market for televisions, personal computers, or smartphones. Now, you might think that self-driving cars won’t be here until far off in the future. I wouldn’t blame you, either. In a Wall Street Journal article I read recently, it quoted a professor from Duke University who stated, “We’re a good 15 to 20 years out from [self-driving cars]…” I’ve also heard similar comments at industry conferences that I’ve attended from executives who work for the “old school” automotive companies. But you may, in fact, be surprised to hear that the technology is actually available today, in production, and being used by tens of thousands of people. Around where I live, in Silicon Valley, I typically see one or two of these vehicles driving around every single day. Yes, cars without drivers in their front seats. Every day. These vehicles are produced by Alphabet, formerly known as Google. They are used to shuttle around the company’s employees from location to location. There is no driver at all. Just room for two or three people to sit in the back of the car. Self-Driving Cars Will Be a Reality This Year Very few understand how quickly this autonomous driving technology is advancing. It will come as quite a surprise to most to see a fully autonomous passenger car on the market in 2017. The innovation that has taken place in semiconductors, specifically graphics processing units, or GPUs (camera vision, radar, and machine learning), is responsible for enabling what is truly exponential growth in technology development. 2016 was also a record year for funding early-stage automotive technology companies primarily focused in and around autonomous vehicle technology and related systems. Eighty-seven deals took place at a value in excess of $1 billion. On top of that, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee gave its approval for the SELF DRIVE Act. Given the pace of the progress, it is entirely possible that the bill could get through Congress before the end of the year. Recommended Link Revealed on Live Q&A Tomorrow: The Secret to Explosive Gains With Cryptocurrencies Teeka Tiwari’s cryptocurrency recommendations have given his readers the chance to make 1,241%… 2,050%… even 14,000% – in as little as 6 months. Tomorrow, Teeka’s revealing his secrets and answering your questions in a live Q&A. Click here to attend for free, and to submit your questions in advance. — Criminal investigation at Agora Financial! A serious crime was recently committed at Agora Financial headquarters. This is security-cam footage of the break-in. At this time, Baltimore Police have no credible leads on the identity of the thieves… But their own internal investigation points to a shocking possibility. To get all the details on this crime — and how it affects you — click here. Recommended Link — The legislation is significant in that it supports the deployment of driverless vehicles (this includes trucks for logistics) and, at the same time, blocks states from preventing these deployments. Also exciting is the launch of the new Tesla Model 3. The first 30 production models were delivered as planned on July 28. Tesla announced it now has more than 500,000 pre-orders for the Model 3. The car is absolutely beautiful and affordable, and it comes with the cleanest and simplest interior that I have ever seen in any car. Just about all the controls of the car are managed directly through a tablet-like screen that sits on the dashboard. And here’s the important part. Model 3s come loaded with all of the hardware for fully autonomous driving. A simple software download can be sent to the car to enable the features when they’re ready to be released to the public. The technology for fully autonomous vehicles will be ready well before the regulations get passed, therefore the regulatory discussions will be the gating factor for mass deployment. Self-Driving Cars Will Change Everything This is such an exciting time. Every month that passes brings major improvements in autonomous technology, more data, and more proof that the technology is already several times safer than human drivers. And the impact that autonomous technology will have on our society is remarkable. Once self-driving vehicles become the new norm, it is projected that… 1.2 million lives could be saved every year due to a massive reduction in traffic accidents. Car ownership will fall dramatically, potentially to a level where there is only one car per every 12 people. Auto insurance costs will decrease by at least 60%. Less fuel will be consumed, resulting in a 90% decrease in emissions. In total, it is estimated that there will be $1.3 trillion in savings from the adoption of autonomous cars. The savings will be driven by productivity gains, fuel savings, and accident avoidance. With such a strong tailwind, it is likely that children born in the next 10 years will never need to learn to drive a car. We are now at the very beginning of this explosive trend, but the potential is enormous… The autonomous vehicle technology market is forecast to reach $87 billion by 2030. Fully self-driving cars are on the verge of mass adoption. Not 10 years from now—right now. In 2017. So get ready… The future is here. Regards, Jeff Brown Editor, The Near Future Report P.S. This is just a short rundown of the autonomous car industry. There’s far too much to cover here. That’s why I put together a special online presentation to examine all the truly incredible things that are going on in this space – not to mention how I’m helping readers find the most profitable investment opportunities… It’s not Tesla or Alphabet. Click here to watch.last_img read more

Read More
A leading national disabled peoples organisation

first_imgA leading national disabled people’s organisation (DPO) is to campaign to produce a “sea change” in attitudes to disability, as one of its priorities over the next three years.In its strategic plan for 2016-19, Disability Rights UK (DR UK) says it will focus its campaigning on independent living, improving disabled people’s career opportunities, and – a new priority for the charity – influencing public behaviour and attitudes.In a blog accompanying the document, DR UK chief executive Liz Sayce (pictured) points to a phone-in on BBC Radio 5 live last month in which disabled callers spoke of being “rejected, demonised, stared at, [and] made to feel unwelcome everywhere from playgrounds to trains”. Sayce says DR UK now wants to collect disabled people’s experiences of some of the worst experiences they have faced, “whether it’s being viewed as scroungers or incompetents, being feared or looked down on, avoided or bullied”.And she suggests there is a need for a “strong, united message” that resonates with the public, as with the LGBT movement’s call for “equal marriage”, and the US “black lives matter” campaign.The strategy document says this message needs to demonstrate that disabled people are “contributors” rather than “costs”, and dismantle the “false dichotomy between scroungers and super-heroes”.Sayce says that contact with disabled people – in education, work and elsewhere – will play a huge part in changing the “assumptions and actions” of non-disabled people. “If we campaign to learn together, work together, pray together, live together – that will break down barriers,” she says.The strategy also pledges to help build a national network of hate crime reporting centres, providing safe spaces for disabled people to report hostility and hate crime, and to work closely with other DPOs, police and the Crown Prosecution Service to combat hate crime and hostility.DR UK will also focus on independent living as another of its three priorities, with plans to campaign to reduce the number of disabled people living in institutions and the use of coercive powers to detain and treat people against their will.It will also focus on the funding necessary to live independently, for example through benefits and social care personal budgets; and organise a national campaign on access alongside its members.On career opportunities, DR UK says it wants to show the government the importance of investing in peer support for skills and careers, and to focus on both the “carrots and sticks” that will persuade employers and education and training providers to take action.The strategy highlights some of the statistics it would like to see published by the government – with regional figures for the most important areas – to allow progress towards disabled people’s equality and human rights to be measured.These include the number of disabled people living in institutions; the pay gap between disabled and non-disabled people; and levels of disability discrimination, hostility and hate crime.last_img read more

Read More
Uber Plans to Fight 13 Million Fine in France

first_img Uber Plans to Fight $1.3 Million Fine in France Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 3 min read Legal Image credit: Shutterstock Add to Queue –shares David Meyercenter_img Next Article Uber’s entertaining week in France continues with a €1.2 million ($1.3 million) fine from a Paris court for making “ambiguous” recommendations to its drivers. The U.S. firm is appealing, claiming the underlying law is invalid.The Wednesday fine stemmed from a suit lodged by a national taxi union back at the end of 2014, over Uber’s alleged contravention of a law from that year that banned several Uber-like practices.One of those rules states that drivers from such services cannot wait on a public road between fares, but must instead return to a parking area until their next pre-booked appointment begins. The idea is to stop them from behaving like, well, taxis.The taxi union complained that Uber’s driver-training videos were less than explicit about this point, and the Paris commercial court agreed that the videos encouraged drivers to go to areas with high demand, and to accept fares from people even when they did not fall into the legally mandated scenario.The court told Uber to cut it out, but the union noticed that some of the training videos stayed up on YouTube during the first quarter of 2015. Hence the fine, which goes to the union, and which Uber is appealing along with the original ruling.Uber’s take on this is that the underlying law itself is null and void, as it does not comply with European legislation. The firm points out that the French government failed to notify the European Commission about the so-called Thévenoud law, which also bans private-hire drivers from using software to find clients, before passing it.This matters because Uber claims to be an “information-society service” rather than a taxi firm, and EU countries are supposed to tell the Commission about any new laws targeting information-society services before putting them into practice.“The merits of the case on which today’s decision was based are already under appeal. Clearly we will appeal this particular outcome too. There is a question mark over the very law itself, which the European Commission is investigating,” Uber said.Uber’s service was one of the subjects of protests this week in Paris, with taxi drivers blocking traffic and burning tires in outrage over the practices of the firm and others like it. They say the authorities have not properly enforced the Thévenoud law and their revenues have recently fallen by 20-40% — which is particularly tough when they have to pay around €200,000 for a license to operate a taxi and their new-fangled rivals do not.France’s constitutional court has already ruled that drivers can work for both traditional cab companies and services such as Uber, and Uber said last week that it wants to open up its platform to taxi drivers. A taxi syndicate representative told The Verge this was a “provocation.” This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. January 28, 2016 Register Now »last_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
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
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