Month: July 2019

Elon Musk Suggests Ford Will Not Survive Next Recession

first_imgIf plug-in electric car sales are any indication of what the future will holds, we are afraid Ford really will be in trouble. Sparks on the Elon Musk / Ford line again.It’s not a secret that Ford and Tesla/Elon Musk have occasional run-ins.Maybe it started when Ford registered “Model E”a few years ago, basically stealing Elon Musk’s idea of having a lineup consisting of Model S, Model E and Model X and Model Y (for “SEXY”) – or maybe it started even earlier.Regardless, while Tesla sales surge to record highs and the company becomes profitable, Elon Musk casts doubt on the financial condition of Ford, the only U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy during the last recession. Quoting Musk:“There’s a good chance that Ford doesn’t make it in the next recession.” Source: Electric Vehicle News See Also Ford Update: October 2018 U.S. Plug-In EV Sales Report Card Volkswagen Considers Sharing Electric Car Platform With Ford Graphing The Downturn Of Ford Plug-In Electric Car Sales: 2010-2018 Tesla sales in U.S. – October 2018Musk mentioned Apple too, which is losing its luster.“They still make great products, but there’s less of that”Maybe it’s time to start selling electric phones? Wait… scratch that. Maybe Tesla should enter the mobile phone biz?Source: Bloomberg Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 3, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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Elon Musk Tesla is not going to refresh Model S and Model

first_imgTesla CEO Elon Musk claims that the automaker is not going to ‘refresh’ the Model S and Model X and only ‘minor ongoing changes’ are coming.What does he mean by that? more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Elon Musk: Tesla is not going to ‘refresh’ Model S and Model X, only ‘minor changes’ coming appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

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Time Out Regarding Certain Goodyear Commentary

first_imgPardon me for being that guy, but in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space someone needs to put on the stripes because the information gatekeepers of much FCPA content tend to be non-lawyer journalists writing stories by cobbling together the views of experts who use the opportunity to comment as free marketing for FCPA compliance and investigative services.And let’s call a spade a spade, FCPA practitioners often have a self-interest in more FCPA investigations, more voluntary disclosures, more enforcement actions and more post-enforcement action compliance obligations.Much to my surprise, the recent SEC administrative action against Goodyear (see here for the prior post) has generated an unusual amount of commentary.  Indeed, in the days that followed I was contacted by numerous media outlets but my consistent response was along the following lines: “There is nothing noteworthy or special about the Goodyear FCPA enforcement action.  The media and law firm coverage of this otherwise ordinary settlement is just the latest example of FCPA Inc. using enforcement actions as opportunities to market FCPA compliance services.”So in the spirit of March Madness, I call a time out regarding certain Goodyear commentary.A Law360 article titled “Attorneys React to SEC’s FCPA Action Against Goodyear” contained a roundup of sorts of attorney comments.One practitioner stated:“Today’s settlement demonstrates that the SEC and the DOJ are continuing to investigate and bring high-profile FCPA cases against large U.S. companies with multinational operations.”Whoops, wrong talking point as the Goodyear enforcement action was SEC only with no DOJ component.Another practitioner stated:“In recent years … the SEC adopted an increasingly broad view of parent-subsidiary liability, now charging parent corporations with anti-bribery violations based on the acts of their subsidiaries without pleading any direct involvement by the parent in those violations. Goodyear is the latest example of this trend.”Whoops, again the wrong talking point as Goodyear: (i) was not “charged” with anything (the enforcement action was an SEC cease and desist proceeding); and (ii) the SEC merely “found” violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions – not the anti-bribery provisions.Another frequent observation from commentators was that the Goodyear action evidences how the SEC is “pursuing” commercial bribery cases given that the SEC enforcement action made generic references to alleged payments to private customers in connection with tire sales.Let’s go to the monitor for this one.  The Goodyear enforcement action, like most corporate FCPA enforcement actions, was based on a voluntary disclosure.”  Can the word “pursue” really be used to describe enforcement actions that originate from voluntary disclosures?  Or would it be more accurate to say that the SEC “processed” the company’s voluntary disclosure?Another frequent observation from commentators was how Goodyear “staved off criminal prosecution and fines” through its voluntary disclosure and cooperation.Time out on this one, and not just a 30-second time out, but a full one.There is no allegation or suggestion in the SEC enforcement action that Goodyear was involved in or had knowledge of the alleged improper conduct at its subsidiaries.  A parent company like Goodyear is a separate and distinct entity from its foreign subsidiaries and is not automatically liable for foreign subsidiary conduct – including potential anti-bribery violations – absent knowledge, approval, or participation in the bribery scheme.  In other words, criminal legal liability does not ordinary hop, skip and jump around a multinational corporation absent an alter ego analysis or control / participation in the underlying conduct.On the other hand, the SEC takes the position that because foreign subsidiary books and records are consolidated with the parent company’s for purposes of financial reporting that subsidiary books and records issues are parent company issues.  As to internal controls, the SEC takes the seemingly simplistic position that because certain alleged payments were made by foreign subsidiaries, the parent company issuer must not have had effective internal controls.In other words, based on the SEC’s allegations – or lack thereof – what criminal prosecution did Goodyear stave off?And then there were the comments seeking to invoke fear – a common FCPA Inc. marketing device.  One practitioner stated:“[The Goodyear action] could presage an uptick in enforcement activity in Africa, which has attracted increased global investment and, in certain countries, posted impressive recent economic growth. Despite these advancements, several African countries remain high on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. As such, the [enforcement action] provides a clear reminder of the need to conduct appropriate pre- and post-acquisition due diligence on businesses operating in regions and industries that pose a high corruption risk.”Another frequent comment, sure to induce March “madness” in informed readers, was the comparison to the settlement amount in Goodyear compared to say, Avon or Alcoa.This article asserted as follows. “For Goodyear … coming clean seems to have paid off—at least compared to the penalty imposed on Avon Products Inc. in December.”For starters, the Avon enforcement action – like the Goodyear enforcement action – was the result of a voluntary disclosure.Second, and most importantly, FCPA settlement amounts are largely a function of the net financial benefit obtained through the alleged improper payments.  Thus comparing one settlement to another is of little value.A full time-out is also needed to comment on this Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Journal which carried the headline “Lawyers Point to Goodyear As a Model In Its Handling of Bribery Probe.”  Based on the views of two FCPA practitioners, the article asserts that the Goodyear enforcement action provides a “model for companies to emulate when they discover misconduct in their own firms.”I beg to differ.The conduct at issue in the SEC’s enforcement action was very limited in scope (compared to Goodyear’s overall business operations) and the company learned of the alleged improper conduct through an effective internal control  – a report through the company’s confidential ethics hotline.Given these circumstances, a perfectly acceptable, legitimate and legal response would have been for Goodyear to thoroughly investigate the issues, promptly implement remedial measures, and effectively revise and enhance compliance policies and procedures – all internally and without disclosing to the enforcement agencies.Indeed, as recently noted in this Global Investigations Review article, James Koukios (Senior Deputy Chief of DOJ’s Fraud Section) recently stated: “We understand that sometimes companies choose not to self-report, and it is not always the wrong thing to do. I think a lot of it depends on how serious the issue is and whether it is an issue that can be investigated, addressed, remediated internally, and is more of a one-off versus systemic problem.”Likewise, as former DOJ FCPA enforcement attorney Billy Jacobson notes in this recent WSJ Risk & Compliance Journal article “more and more companies are making the decision not to disclose instead they remediate controls, get rid of culpable individuals and clean up compliance internally.”In short, Goodyear’s decision to voluntarily disclose was not necessarily a model for other companies to emulate.  Indeed a credible argument can be made that Goodyear’s decision was a poor decision that caused needless expenditure of shareholder money. Although, to my knowledge Goodyear did not disclose it pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses, in a typical FCPA enforcement action, such professional fees and expenses exceed (often by ratios of 3, 5, or more) the enforcement action settlement amount – which in the case of Goodyear was $16 million.Moreover, as a condition of settlement, Goodyear was required to report to the SEC, “at no less than 12 month intervals during a three year term” on the status of its remediation and implementation of compliance measures.”  As highlighted in this prior post, this is little more than a government required transfer of shareholder wealth to FCPA Inc.last_img read more

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Commercial Mushroom Harvesters Expected to Swarm into National ForestNew and Detailed Pilot

first_imgCommercial mushroom harvesters from around the country are headed to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest for a bumper crop.Morel mushrooms bloom in the spring, and forest spokesperson Robin DeMario says they’ll be especially prevalent this year.“Morel mushrooms usually will hop up in fire areas, areas that burned in the previous summer.  Because we had so many large wildfires last summer, people will be coming to this part of the state.”Commercial permits to pick Morel mushrooms go on sale Monday.  A two-day permit costs $30, while a 30-day permit is $80.  A season permit, which runs from Monday through July 31st, costs $100.  DeMario says permits must be in the harvester’s possession when collecting mushrooms.People hunting them for personal use can gather up to 5 gallons at no charge.  Anyone doing so is required to have a copy of the “Free Incidental Use Mushroom Information Sheet” with them.According to the Okanogan-Wenachee National Forest, “Four areas will be designated as commercial mushroom harvester camps—North Summit Sno-Park and Black Canyon Sno-Park on the Methow Valley Ranger District; a dispersed campsite at Peony Camp next to the Peony Seed Orchard and Lyman Lake Campground on the Tonasket Ranger District.  Commercial mushroom harvesters will be directed to use these locations when staying overnight in the national forest.”last_img read more

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Wenatchee PD Asking for Help Identifying ThiefTake Part in the Polar PlungeNCWEDD

first_imgThe Wenatchee Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a local shoplifter.The suspect stole a Samsung J7 phone from the Wenatchee Target on January 29, 2019 and evaded capture as officers arrived in the area.  A picture of the suspect exiting the Target was caught by security cameras and shared on the department’s Facebook page.According to the Wenatchee PD Facebook post, “Shoplifting is a never-ending problem that we as a department continuously try to stop.”If you happen to know who the suspect is, please do not post the name in the comments below. You can message the Wenatchee Police Department via their Facebook page or email Officer Valdez at tvaldez@wenatcheewa.gov regarding case#19W01337.last_img read more

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Researchers develop new method that could increase longevity of artificial hips

first_imgMay 14 2018Mechanical engineering researchers have developed a method that could extend the life of an artificial hip by adding an array of microscopic indentations that increase the thickness of a lubricating film on its surface.”Lubrication plays a key role in the wear process of the implanted joint interface,” said Min Zou, professor of mechanical engineering. “But this mechanism is challenging to understand because of the complex nature of the viscous fluid used for lubrication. Our study reveals promising results for understanding this mechanism better and significantly improving implants.”Each year in the United States, orthopedic surgeons perform more than 300,000 hip-replacements, including roughly 36,000 revision surgeries when a replacement wears out. Though there are several environmental factors that affect the health and longevity of artificial hips, these implants last an average of 15 to 20 years. However, about half of all hip-replacement surgeries are performed on patients between the ages of 45 and 64, people who could live another 25 or 30 years.Hip-replacement procedures involve the surgical removal and artificial replacement of the femoral head – the top of the femur, or thigh bone – and part of the pelvis called the acetabulum, a concave surface into which the femoral head fits. Many people refer to this joint as a ball and socket – the femoral head acting as the ball and the acetabulum as the socket.A primary reason for artificial joint failure – and thus the need for revision surgery – is a loosening of the bond between the implant and bone, which in many cases is caused by the body’s autoimmune response to particles and wear on the surface of the implant, as well as the toxicity of metallic ions released into the body because of this wear.To address this problem, researchers focus on a lubricating film that forms between the interacting surfaces of the femoral head and the acetabulum. This film is created by a naturally occurring lubricant called synovial fluid, which is produced and released by cartilage. Although cartilage is also removed during hip-replacement surgery, the body produces enough synovial fluid to form a thin layer between the implants. The formation of this film after surgery and especially its thickness determine the long-term success of the implant.The U of A experiment was designed by Dipankar Choudhury, post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Advanced Surface Engineering, and performed at the direction of Zou, who is director of the center. Their results were published in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Rather than manipulating synovial fluid, which most hip prosthesis research focuses on, Zou and Choudhury simulated the textured surface of cartilage, its so-called “converging gaps,” or natural dimples, that promote the secretion of synovial fluid and enhance the thickness of the lubricating film.Zou and Choudhury designed square-, triangular- and elliptical-shaped indentations on the surface of artificial femoral heads. (Magnified images resemble the surface of a golf ball.) These prostheses were made of chromium, cobalt and molybdenum, the standard metallic alloy for hip-replacement implants. The indentations, fabricated with a picosecond laser by a collaborator in Japan, were 20 to 50 micrometers wide and 0.2 to 1 micrometer deep.Then, collaborating with a research group in the Czech Republic, Zou and Choudhury joined the prosthetic parts and performed wear and friction tests with a pendulum that simulated the swinging motion of a human leg. When the pendulum returned to equilibrium position – after the lubricant film had fully developed – test results revealed significantly enhanced thickness of film. Compared to the non-dimpled prostheses, all three shapes improved lubricant film thickness. The prostheses with square- and triangular-shaped indentations demonstrated an average lubricant film thickness 3.5 times greater than the non-dimpled prosthesis.The prosthesis with square-shaped indentations formed its lubricant film less than a second after the pendulum started moving, much faster than all other prostheses, including those with indentations made of other shapes. This clearly demonstrated that shape had a significant effect, Choudhury said.”Also, hardly any scratches appeared on the post-experimental prosthesis with square-shaped dimple arrays, and only a few scratches were found on the prosthesis with triangular-shaped dimple arrays,” said Zou. “We think that prostheses with square-shaped dimples could be a potential solution for durable, longer-lasting artificial hip joints.”Zou recently developed processes for fabricating smaller micro-dimples of various complex shapes, which are expected to further decrease friction and wear of the prosthetic joints. Source:https://news.uark.edu/articles/41969/new-method-could-improve-longevity-and-lessen-wear-of-artificial-hipslast_img read more

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Short and long daily sleep duration found to be risk factors for

first_imgJun 6 2018Short and long daily sleep duration were risk factors for dementia and premature death in a study of Japanese adults aged 60 years and older. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.Among 1,517 adults who were followed for 10 years, 294 developed dementia and 282 died. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence rates of dementia and all-cause mortality were greater in those with daily sleep duration of less than 5.0 hours and 10.0 hours or more, compared with those with daily sleep duration of 5.0 to 6.9 hours. Participants with short sleep duration who had high physical activity did not have a greater risk of dementia and death, however.”Given the beneficial effects of physical activity on risk of sleep disturbance, these findings indicate that not only maintenance of appropriate sleep duration, but also modification of lifestyle behaviors related to sleep may be an effective strategy for preventing dementia and premature death in elderly adults,” the authors wrote.Source: http://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journal-american-geriatrics-society/optimal-sleep-linked-lower-risks-dementia-and-earllast_img read more

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Researchers use DNA editing tool to reveal mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases

first_img Source:http://agencia.fapesp.br/study-advances-understanding-of-how-autoimmune-diseases-develop-/28353/ Aug 2 2018A group of researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil used a DNA editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9 to manipulate on of the genes associated to the autoaggressive T lymphocytes responsible for inducing autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1) and type 1 diabetes.The autoimmune regulator or “Aire” gene acting in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) was recently described as playing an important role in controling “aggressive autoimmunity” – which is how it is defined when the human immune system sometimes fails to recognize tissue and organs as healthy body parts and attacks them as if they were harmful invaders.”For the first time, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to block Aire in cultured murine mTECs and to study the effect of loss of this gene’s function,” said Geraldo Aleixo Passos, coordinator in the research project supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP.A professor at Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP) and Ribeirão Preto Dental School (FORP), Passos states that the use of CRISPR/Cas9 opens up important new research prospects in mimicking Aire mutations found in autoimmune disease patients.”This will greatly facilitate research into the effects of pathogenic Aire mutations,” Passos said. “The human and murine genomes are very similar in terms of DNA sequences [over 80% identical], so we can continue using CRISPR/Cas9 on mouse cells to study the mechanisms of aggressive autoimmunity in humans and, in future, maybe try to control them.”An article published recently at Frontiers in Immunology shows the main results of the study. Research also derived from a Master thesis by Cesar Augusto Speck-Hernandez in FMRP-USP.APS-1 patients have mutante AireAs Passos explained, autoimmune disease is triggered by autoantibodies (antibodies directed against the organism) or by autoaggressive T lymphocytes. These cells, which originate in thymocytes, are “educated” in the thymus (a gland located just behind the sternum in the middle of the chest) not to attack elements of their own organism.When this education fails, the thymus allows autoaggressive T lymphocytes to escape into the body, and they may attack organs such as the adrenal or suprarenal glands (causing APS-1) or the pancreas, where they destroy insulin-producing cells and cause the development of type 1 diabetes.Researchers in the field of immunology always associate the function of Aire with the elimination of autoaggressive thymocytes, since APS-1 patients, for example, have mutations in this gene’s DNA sequence, but until now, the link had never been irrefutably demonstrated.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantResearchers explain how ‘viral’ agents of neurological diseases ended up in our DNA”We decided to test the hypothesis that Aire is involved in eliminating autoaggressive thymocytes by controlling their physical adhesion or contact with mTECs. In the absence of physical contact with mTECs, autoaggressive thymocytes aren’t eliminated,” said the coordinator of the FAPESP-supported project.Editing the geneThe researchers suspected that if Aire mutations are found in autoimmune disease patients, this must mean the gene has lost its function of controlling adhesion between mTECs and autoaggressive thymocytes.They tested this hypothesis by using CRISPR/Cas9 to disrupt the DNA of Aire in murine mTECs and cause mutations in the gene that made it lose its original function.A gene must be complete and lacking in deleterious mutations in order to work properly. When its DNA is disrupted using CRISPR/Cas9, the cell activates an emergency “repair” system to splice the two strands back together again before it dies. Because this repair system is not perfectly efficient, the cell itself may make mistakes in sequencing the target gene, and the result is a mutation.”The mutant target gene usually loses its original function, and this causes some kind of problem in the mutant cell,” Passos explained.The FAPESP-funded study found that Aire-mutant mTECs were worse at adhering to thymocytes than their normal (wild-type) counterparts.When they sequenced the transcriptomes of the Aire-mutant and wild-type mTECs, they observed that Aire also controls messenger RNA sequences (mRNAs) that encode the proteins involved in cell-cell adhesion. The transcriptome is the complete set of RNA molecules in a cell, from protein-coding mRNAs to noncoding RNAs.In a previous study conducted as part of the master’s research of Nicole Pezzi, supervised by Passos, the researchers used a gene silencing technique called RNA interference to show that Aire controls adhesion between mTECs and thymocytes.”These new findings reinforce the theory that Aire is involved in adhesion between mTECs and thymocytes, a key process for the elimination of autoaggressive cells and prevention of autoimmune disease,” said Passos, who is affiliated with the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID), one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCS) funded by FAPESP.last_img read more

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Astronomers offer vision of the next giant space telescope

first_imgAstronomers today laid out their case for building a new super-Hubble, a giant space telescope covering optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. The so-called High Definition Space Telescope would complement the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is due for launch in 2018 and will observe the universe at infrared wavelengths. A report published today by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C., lays out the rationale for another orbiting observatory. It will have a mirror as big as 12 meters across, to both look for habitable planets around other stars and peer deep into the early aeons of the universe.Reconciling those two roles was a tricky process, and astronomers may have a hard time convincing funders in Congress after the lengthy delays and huge cost increases experienced by JWST. But with this new report astronomers are laying the groundwork for the next decadal survey of astronomy and astrophysics, a priority-setting process that usually gives funders an idea of where scientists would like money to flow.last_img read more

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Trumps choice for interior gets mixed reviews

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By picking Representative Ryan Zinke (R–MT) to be secretary of the Department of the Interior, as the media have widely reported, President-elect Donald Trump is tapping into two common, and sometimes conflicting, attitudes toward federal lands in the rural West.A hunter raised in northwestern Montana, not far from the peaks of Glacier National Park, Zinke (pronounced “zeenkee”) has won plaudits from some conservation groups for pushing to keep federal lands in federal control and protect access for hunting and recreation. At the same time, he’s an ally of the fossil fuel industry who has railed against limits set by the Obama administration on coal mining and oil and gas drilling on those same federal holdings. Zinke has also questioned the science behind climate change.Zinke’s mix of positions makes him a less ideologically rigid Cabinet pick than several others expected to play a significant role in environmental issues, says Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Washington, D.C.–based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. He contrasts Zinke with the choice of former Texas Governor Rick Perry as energy secretary and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. “This guy is not doctrinaire or antithetical to the continued existence of his agency,” Ruch says. “So this is significant.” Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The Trump transition team hasn’t formally announced the job offer, and Zinke has yet to make any official statement.As interior secretary, the 55-year-old Zinke would be in a key position to shape policy on hotly contested environmental issues. The post oversees more than 200 million hectares of federal land, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which controls the bulk of the public leases for coal, oil, and natural gas extraction. Much of the nation’s protected wilderness, from national parks to national monuments, would be under his purview. So would the government’s handling of many endangered species through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.A former Navy Seal commander with an undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Zinke was a senator in the Montana state legislature from 2009 to 2011. He won the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and was reelected by a 15-point margin last month.In Congress, Zinke has allied himself with conservation groups on some issues related to protecting federal lands. He supported permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses royalties from offshore oil drilling to fund conservation programs. And he has split with some of his fellow Western state conservatives by resisting calls to turn federal lands over to state and local control. In July, he resigned from the Republican platform committee because the platform called for turning over some federal lands to the states.“Quite frankly, most Republicans don’t agree with it and most Montanans don’t agree with it,” Zinke told the Billings Gazette at the time. “What we do agree on is better management.”That stance has won praise from conservation groups ranging from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other hunting advocates to the Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF). “He’s certainly broken with some of the ideological doctrine on those issue, and I think he’s done a better job reflecting the interests of people in Montana to keep these lands managed by the federal government,” says Dave Chadwick, MWF’s executive director in Helena.But Zinke has clashed with the Obama administration on policies related to the energy industry. He has criticized BLM regulations to revive sage grouse populations in the West, arguing the states should have control instead. Sage grouse habitat overlaps with oil and gas fields, raising concerns that protections will restrict drilling. He has opposed Interior Department rules finalized in mid-November that clamp down on methane releases from oil and gas operations, and pushed legislation easing a moratorium on federal coal mining leases. He has also spoken in favor of the recently rejected Keystone XL pipeline.Alan Olson, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association in Helena, thinks Zinke’s appointment signals potential relief from recent restrictions on his industry. He hopes the department will be more open to accepting state standards regulating oil and gas extraction with Zinke at the helm. “He’ll sit back for a minute and he’ll look at what’s already being done now [and ask], ‘Why do we need additional federal rules?’” says Olson, who served with Zinke in the Montana Senate.For some environmentalists, Zinke’s alliance with the oil and gas industry tarnishes his conservation credentials. “Zinke loves oil and gas and coal. And he has completely changed his tune on climate change as his ambition has risen,” says Anne Hedges, deputy director of the Montana Environmental Information Center in Helena.In 2010, he signed a letter to President Obama urging him to pursue comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation, and warning that states faced “steep costs due to the risks associated with climate change.” But once he decided to seek statewide office, Hedges says, Zinke’s “moderate” views hardened. In a 2014 debate, for example, The Montana Standard newspaper quoted him saying that climate change is “not a hoax, but it’s not proven science either. … You don’t dismantle America’s power and energy on a maybe. We need to be energy independent first. We need to do it better, which we can, but it is not a settled science.”last_img read more

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This deepsea octopus is a jellyfish junkie

first_img By Erik StokstadMar. 27, 2017 , 4:45 PM Video courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute This deep-sea octopus is a jellyfish junkiecenter_img Jellyfish can be a menace to beachgoers and a threat to fisheries, but for some oceangoing species, they’re a meal. Even though jellyfish are mostly just blobs of low-calorie gelatin—think Jello minus the sugar—scientists are discovering more and more predators, from vampire squid to tuna, noshing on the tentacled beasts. Now, scientists are adding the giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron atlanticus to the list of jelly connoisseurs. Little is known about deep-sea food webs, so researchers using remotely operated submersibles in 2013 were excited when they spotted three of these mysterious creatures off California and Hawaii holding jellyfish remains in their arms (above; see the full video here). The jellies’ arms and reproductive organs, which contain most of their nutrition, were missing, suggesting they had already been gobbled up. And because the octopuses were holding the jellyfish from behind, scientists think they might have been using their prey’s stinging tentacles to catch more food, a trick employed by at least two other species of octopus. Back on land, the scientists took a trip to the Hamburg Zoological Museum in Germany to investigate the stomach contents of five preserved H. atlanticus specimens. Their findings confirmed that these 4-meter-long octopuses do indeed eat jellyfish. And because H. atlanticus is, in turn, eaten by large fish, blue sharks, and even sperm whales, jellyfish are an important part of the ocean’s food web.last_img read more

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Fungus with a venom gene could be new mosquito killer

first_imgInsecticide resistance is weakening the protective effect of bed nets against malaria. SARAH WEISER Since then, researchers have tested dozens of different fungal strains against disease-carrying mosquitoes, but none was effective enough to pass muster. So researchers from the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park and the Research Institute of Health Sciences & Centre Muraz in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, endowed a strain called M. pingshaense with a gene for a toxin isolated from spider venom that turns on when it contacts hemolymph, the insect version of blood. In the lab, the team showed its creation could kill mosquitoes faster and that just one or two spores could cause a lethal infection. “But it’s hard to replicate the complexities of nature in the lab,” says UMD entomologist Brian Lovett, who helped lead the study.Burkina Faso was a promising place for a field test: Unlike many countries in Africa, it has an established system to evaluate and approve the use of GM organisms. It also has one of the highest rates of malaria in the world, and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes are widespread. For those and other reasons, the U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the MosquitoSphere, which is specifically designed to test GM organisms.The researchers cooperated with local residents to collect insecticide-resistant larvae from shallow pools and raised them to adulthood inside the facility. After biting, the female mosquitoes prefer to rest on a dark-colored surface, so the team mixed the fungus in locally produced sesame oil and spread the oil on black cotton sheets, which they hung in the sphere’s test compartments.The team compared sheets treated with wild type fungus, the transgenic fungus, and oil without fungus. They released 500 female and 1000 male mosquitoes in each test compartment and gave the mosquitoes a calf to feed on for two nights every week. After two generations—45 days—there were as many as 2500 adult mosquitoes in the control compartment, roughly 700 in the compartment with wild type fungus, but only 13 in the compartment with the GM fungus. “It’s an elegant study,” Farenhorst says. However, she notes that receiving approval for a GM fungus will be time-consuming and expensive in many places, and anti-GM groups may object, as they do against malaria-resistant GM mosquitoes. “I’m not convinced that this is the way forward.”But Gerry Killeen, a malaria expert at the Ifakara Health Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, says the transgenic fungus might have an advantage over those found in nature: If it could be patented, it could be easier to turn into a product worthwhile for a company to develop and market. “The greatest barrier to new malaria control tools isn’t lack of technology or imagination, it’s the lack of a market,” he says. And because the transgenic fungus needs so few spores to cause a lethal infection, the product could be longer-lasting and less expensive than unmodified fungi. “If this technology has the potential to reduce costs and extend product lifetime simply by being more potent,” Killeen says, “then bring it on.” By Gretchen VogelMay. 30, 2019 , 2:00 PM Fungus with a venom gene could be new mosquito killer In the 1980s, the village of Soumousso in Burkina Faso helped launch one of the most powerful weapons against malaria: insecticide-treated bed nets, which had early field trials there and went on to save millions of lives. But as mosquitoes developed resistance to widely used insecticides, the nets lost some of their power. Now, researchers are hoping the village can help make history again by testing a new counter-measure: a genetically modified (GM) fungus that kills malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In tests in a 600-square-meter structure in Soumousso called the MosquitoSphere—built like greenhouse but with mosquito netting instead of glass—the fungus eliminated 99% of the mosquitoes within a month, scientists report in this issue of Science.”To be able to clear insecticide-resistant mosquitoes to this level is amazing,” says entomologist Marit Farenhorst of In2Care, a mosquito control company in Wageningen, the Netherlands. But Farenhorst, who was not involved in the study, emphasizes that the fungus is a long way from real-world use. Because it is genetically modified to make it more lethal, it could face steep regulatory obstacles. The fungus also has clear advantages, however: It spares insects other than mosquitoes, and because it doesn’t survive long in sunlight, it’s unlikely to spread outside the building interiors where it would be applied.Fungi naturally infect a variety of insects, consuming the host’s tissues in order to reproduce, and they have been used for decades to control a wide variety of crop pests. In 2005, researchers tested a fungus called Metarhizium in test huts in Tanzania and found that it killed malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. But it did so slowly, and many infected mosquitoes survived long enough to transmit malaria. It was also difficult to ensure mosquitoes picked up a lethal dose of spores.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. 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These platelet decoys could prevent blood clots without spreading cancer

first_imgPlatelet decoys (surrounded here by collagen fibers) could help us better understand platelet biology and potentially be a treatment for some patients. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelFeb. 13, 2019 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Anna Waterhouse, Anne-Laure Papa, Donald Ingber/Wyss Institute at Harvard Like Jekyll and Hyde, the platelets in your blood are both good and evil. These specialized blood cells halt bleeding and help reconstruct injured tissue. But they can also cause dangerous blood clots and protect cancer cells as they travel from one site to another. Now, a team of bioengineers has taken the first step toward tipping this balance to the light side by creating “platelet decoys,” which in the lab mimic the real thing without causing clots.“It’s a really fascinating sort of drug approach,” says Susan Smyth, chief of cardiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, who was not involved with the study.Platelets are more harmful in some people than in others. Those at high risk of blood clots—such as someone who’s recently had a heart attack or a blood clot in their lung—are often put on antiplatelet drugs. But if people on these medications need surgery or get into a serious accident, they’re at high risk of bleeding. In patients with cancer, previous work has found that platelets bind to cancer cells and, by building something of a clot-wall around the cells, cushion them as they journey through the bloodstream and seed elsewhere in the body.  center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email These platelet ‘decoys’ could prevent blood clots without spreading cancer It was this dance between platelets and cancer cells that first attracted Anne-Laure Papa, a bioengineer at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 2014, she and her colleagues reported that inhibiting platelets before chemotherapy in animals reduced tumor growth. Papa then turned her attention to how platelets drive metastasis. “Can we design something that could interfere with” platelets’ protection of cancer cells, she wondered, making it harder for tumors to crop up elsewhere? She envisioned a “platelet decoy,” a structure that could compete with platelets in the bloodstream. Cancer cells could bind to the decoys, but they wouldn’t benefit from safe travel in the same way they do with real platelets.At the time, Papa was working in the lab of cell biologist and bioengineer Donald Ingber, who directs the Wyss Institute at Harvard University in Boston. He suggested starting with a strategy he’d used in the past: Immersing cells in chemicals that strip away parts of their membrane and much of their contents. “You’re left with these little whiffle balls,” Ingber says. If the same was done to platelets, the stripped-down clot-stoppers could still bind to cells and “take up spaces where the normal platelets would go,” Ingber reasoned. But unlike real platelets, they wouldn’t cause clotting.To test the idea, the researchers added their stripped-down platelets to healthy platelets in a petri dish. They impaired the platelets’ natural clotting mechanism. On a “lab on a chip” that mimics the kind of clotting that can cause heart attacks, the decoys also blocked clotting when mixed with real human platelets.Next, the group tested its decoys in rabbits. The researchers used a suture to injure part of the animal’s carotid artery, causing blood clots to form there. The team then infused platelets, decoys, or a mixture. Adding decoys, even when combined with normal platelets, prevented blood clots from growing and migrating into the circulation. Studies in mice found that when they were injected at the same time as platelets and cancer cells, platelet decoys made with human cells could prevent the spread of breast cancer, the team reports today in Science Translational Medicine.Smyth says one of the problems she and other cardiologists run into is that the body takes a week or more to clear some antiplatelet drugs. This means that patients needing surgery must stop taking medication about 5 to 10 days beforehand—putting them at risk of clots during that time. Papa’s and Ingber’s work suggests that unlike antiplatelet drugs, it’s easy to quickly eliminate the effect of decoys from the body by administering real platelets. This means the decoys may be useful in that 10-day period for patients who can’t be on the drugs because of impending surgery, but who are also at risk of blood clots without those drugs.But what if the stripped-down platelets disappear too quickly? If their half-life is just a few minutes, their usefulness in patients will be limited, says Mortimer Poncz, a pediatric hematologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania who is also working on strategies to combat the negative effects of platelets. Papa says how long the decoys endure, and whether they might be coaxed to circulate even longer than platelets, is something she plans to study.Offering these decoys to patients is a long way off, but experts agree they could prove useful as a research tool more quickly. “There’s so much to learn,” says Jason Katz, a cardiologist and critical care physician at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Papa agrees, suggesting that biologists might use the decoys in experiments to untangle how platelets bind to different cells.*Clarification, 13 February, 5:30 p.m.: This item has been updated to clarify how long it takes the body to clear antiplatelet drugs.last_img read more

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Winslow Police Chief talks about the importance of community

first_imgWinslow Police Chief talks about the importance of community By L. Parsons         Winslow Police Chief Dan Brown is hopeful about two new programs getting their start in Winslow that will involve community members.         The Volunteer in Policing program (VIP) is currently seekingSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad July 3, 2019last_img

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Alabama woman who lost pregnancy in shooting is charged in foetus death

first_img Taking stock of monsoon rain More Explained Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Plea in Supreme Court: Abortion law violative of privacy The Yellowhammer Fund, which provides funding for abortion access in Alabama, said it was working to get Jones out of jail and provide her with a lawyer. The organization tweeted her story with a message: “Losing a pregnancy is not a crime.”a By New York Times | Updated: June 28, 2019 4:12:34 pm Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when she was shot in the stomach. Her foetus did not survive the shooting, which authorities say happened during a dispute with another woman.But on Wednesday, it was Jones who was charged in the death.Jones, 28, was charged with manslaughter and booked into jail on a $50,000 bond, according to the authorities in Jefferson County, Alabama. Police have said she was culpable because she started the fight that led to the shooting and failed to remove herself from harm’s way. Best Of Express Related News Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan The police initially charged the second woman, Ebony Jemison, with manslaughter in the death of the fetus. That charge was dismissed after the grand jury failed to indict her, according to AL.com.At the time, police said Jones’ “involvement and culpability” would be presented to a grand jury to determine if she, too, should be charged.“When a five-month pregnant woman initiates a fight and attacks another person, I believe some responsibility lies with her as to any injury to her unborn child,” Reid said then. “That child is dependent on its mother to try to keep it from harm, and she shouldn’t seek out unnecessary physical altercations.”The specific allegations about Jones’ role in the dispute were unclear.She was being held in a Jefferson County jail Thursday morning. The unusual case comes amid a heated debate over the rights of pregnant women and fetuses nationwide, and Alabama is ground zero for the issue. (Photo: Jefferson County Jail via The New York Times)Written by Sarah Mervosh Post Comment(s) Soon after the arrest of Jones, who is black, abortion rights groups came to her defense, citing the case as an example of the harsh treatment of people of color and the criminalization of pregnancy. In other cases, women have been charged for drug use during pregnancy or a car accident that resulted in the death of a fetus.“This is how people — especially women of color — are already being punished & having their pregnancies criminalized,” the National Abortion Federation, a professional association of abortion providers, said in a statement.The Police Department in Pleasant Grove, a city of about 10,000 outside Birmingham, and the district attorney’s office in Jefferson County did not respond to requests for comment Thursday morning. The police report and other records were not immediately available, and the details of the shooting were unclear.AL.com reported that Jones was shot in the parking lot of a Dollar General in December, in what authorities said was a dispute with another woman over the father of the child. The authorities rushed her to a hospital, where she underwent surgery, according to the report. Advertising Appeals court puts Trump abortion restrictions on hold again Advertising “The only true victim in this was the unborn baby,” Lt. Danny Reid of the Pleasant Grove Police Department, said after the shooting in December, AL.com reported. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”The unusual case comes amid a heated debate over the rights of pregnant women and fetuses nationwide, and Alabama is ground zero for the issue.In May, the governor signed a bill banning abortion at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizing the procedure for doctors, in what became the most stringent measure to prohibit abortion in the country. It is unclear if it will go into effect, but it sets up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the federal case that recognizes a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy.Alabama is among 38 states that have fetal homicide laws recognizing the fetus as a victim in cases of violence against a pregnant woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The law underpins the debate over abortion in that Alabama recognizes a fetus at any stage of development as a “person” for criminal homicide or assaults, with an exception for abortion. An Alabama Supreme Court justice challenged that exception in a recent opinion. Supreme Court notice to Centre on petition seeking to decriminalise abortion last_img read more

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Study aims to investigate antimicrobial resistance of uropathogenic E coli from elderly

first_img Source:http://benthamscience.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 27 2018Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Escherichia coli is one of the bacterial agents with higher prevalence in community-acquired and health care associated urinary infections in elderly patients. Worldwide, a rise of Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) producing E. coli and multi-resistant isolates has been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate antimicrobial resistance of uropathogenic E. coli from elderly patients in a General Hospital, Argentina. During the period July 2011-July 2015, an observational, prospective study was carried out. Patients over 70 years old with urinary tract infections, without urinary catheters and with no antimicrobial therapy the previous week before sampling, were included.Related StoriesStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesGender biases are extremely common among health care professionals768 bacterial isolates were identified as E. coli. Resistances to ampicillin (80.5%), nalidixic acid (61.7%), ciprofloxacin (42.8%), TMS (37.6%), amoxicillin-clavulanate (28.6%), cefazolin (21.6%), cefuroxime (20.7%), gentamicin (13.8%), cefotaxime (9.7%), ceftazidime (9.7%), cefepime (8.4%), cefoxitin (3.1%) and nitrofurantoin (2.3%) were observed. Resistance to carbapenems was not expressed. Production of extended spectrum β-lactamases was detected (7.6%) in community acquired (96%) and healthcare associated (4%) isolates. The independent risk factors for urinary infections produced by multi-resistant E. coli were: diabetes mellitus, recurrent infections, hospitalization during the last year and exposure to β-lactams in the last 3 months.In this study, a high prevalence of resistance to β-lactams as well as to other antimicrobials were observed in E. coli isolates from elderly patients with UTI. Based on the results of this research we suggest to avoid using quinolones or TMS for patients older than 70 years old with at least one of the previously mentioned independent risk factors. Detection of these strains represents an alarm signal that motivates a continuous surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in adult patients with urinary infections produced by E. coli.last_img read more

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Apples Worthy iPhone 8 Models May Languish in Xs Shadow

first_imgReviews of Apple’s new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus started turning up this week, and for the most part, they’ve been laudatory. However, the reviewers can’t seem to get their minds off the jewel of the Apple universe, the iPhone X.Both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are “awesome” and better than last year’s models — but iPhone shoppers who want to be part of the future will save their money and buy an iPhone X later in the year, suggested David Pierce for Wired.”The iPhones 8 check every box a phone has ever checked before, but they feel like the last of something right as Apple and others prepare the first of something else,” he wrote.”When your phone can see you, and see the world,” he continued, “it will change what a phone is, and does, and can be. This fall, Apple’s giving you a choice: get a seat on the best piston airliner ever, or take a chance on jet engines.” 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. Smokes Android Especially impressive was the performance of the A11 Bionic processor in the new 8s. “This chip absolutely smokes every Android phone on the planet,” Spoonauer said.”Overall, my pick between the two new iPhones is the iPhone 8 Plus. It gives you a significantly bigger screen than the iPhone 8, longer battery life and more versatile dual cameras for just $100 more,” he pointed out.”The regular iPhone 8 is good,” Spoonauer continued, “but 4.7 inches just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.” While the X has hogged the spotlight, the 8s are more than mere consolation prizes, maintained Mark Spoonauer in his review for Tom’s Guide.”They pack a ton of improvements, including the fastest processor ever in a phone (seriously, it puts many laptops to shame), better cameras (especially on the iPhone 8 Plus) and wireless charging (yeah, it’s overdue),” he wrote. iPhone 8 or 7s? The 8s are familiar-looking phones that mostly operate the way people expect them to, observed Chris Velazco for Engadget.”They’re conventional, but that doesn’t mean they’re inherently lacking — far from it, in fact,” he wrote.”While I suspect all iPhones will look like the iPhone X soon enough,” Velazco continued, “the 8 and 8 Plus are expertly built, high-performance devices for people who want to ease into Apple’s vision of the future.”Like other reviewers, Velazco preferred the 8 Plus over the 8.”The iPhone 8 Plus shares a powerful foundation with the iPhone 8, but a few features give it a distinct advantage over its little brother,” he wrote. “Its 12-megapixel dual camera is one of the best we’ve used, and its bigger battery means it’ll stick around longer on a charge than the iPhone 8.”Though agreeing with assessments of the 8 Plus’ chops,Cnet Senior Editor Scott Stein advised iPhone shoppers to pause before buying one.”The iPhone 8 Plus is a superlative phone with a spectacular camera, but wait for the upcoming iPhone X before buying: it promises to fold all of the key features of the 8 Plus into a smaller, sexier package,” he wrote. One point of controversy is whether the new iPhone models deserve the “8” designation or are just “s” versions of the iPhone 7 in a glass case.”The iPhone 8 reminds me of the fifth Transformers movie — you know it’s new, though you can’t for the life of you figure out how it’s different,” wrote Geoffrey A. Fowler for The Wall Street Journal.”On its face, the 8 looks like an iPhone from 2014,” he added.However, the switch to a glass back with wireless charging and the new processor validate a full number bump, argued Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research.”There are enough changes to the design and functionality so that I would give it a full number increase and not an ‘S’ designator,” he told TechNewsWorld. Challenged by the X The 8s aren’t revolutionary like the X. They represent a continuation of what Apple has been doing for some time: tweaking and improving phones each year, noted James Titcomb for The Telegraph.”So the 8 improves enough on the most important aspects of a phone — the display, the camera, performance and reliability — to make me recommend it over the iPhone 7, even if you can pick up the latter for less,” he wrote.Base iPhone 7 models sell for US$579 and the 7 Plus for $669. The 8 sells for $699 and the 8 Plus for $799.Despite pricing differences between the 8s and the X, which sells for $999, Apple may have difficulty selling the lower-priced phones.”Apple will have a challenge convincing users to upgrade to an 8 with the X release date looming,” said David McQueen, research director at ABI Research.”They’re really just an s upgrade,” he told TechNewsWorld.The improvements in the 8s over the previous generation of iPhones and their pricing under $1,000 will be attractive to many Apple users, said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.However, “the iPhone connoisseurs most certainly will wait a little longer to get their hands on the best phone ever produced by Apple,” he told TechNewsWorld.Those connoisseurs will be a minority — although a substantial minority — of iPhone buyers, however.”The audience for the iPhone X in its first year will be the early adopters and those who can afford to spend the money on it,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.”That represents about a third of all who will buy the new iPhones.” he told TechNewsWorld. “But two-thirds will opt for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, because they’re less expensive, yet have increased power and features over last year’s models.” Easing Into the Futurelast_img read more

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New method to block immunosuppression in cancer discovered

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 26 2018Belgian research groups from the UCLouvain and WELBIO, VIB and Ghent University, and the biotechnology company argenx elucidated the three-dimensional structure of an assembly of proteins operating on cells that dampen immune responses. They also discovered how an antibody can block this assembly and the immunosuppression it induces downstream. Such an antibody could serve to stimulate immunity against tumor cells in cancer patients, triggering the destruction of their tumors by immune cells. The study is published in the authoritative journal Science.Immunosuppression through a cascade of interactionsTregs (regulatory T lymphocytes) are immunosuppressive cells that normally counterbalance excessive immune reactions to prevent autoimmune diseases. But in cancer patients, they play deleterious roles by tempering immune reactions against tumor cells. Tregs induce their effects by producing a protein messenger called TGF-beta. This messenger transmits inhibitory signals to immune cells in the immediate vicinity, notably those that are supposed to destroy tumors in cancer patients.The way Tregs produce TGF-beta is complex and finely regulated, because TGF-beta is very potent and must be kept under tight control. Three years ago, Prof. Sophie Lucas and her team at the de Duve Institute of the UCLouvain discovered that TGF-beta is released by Tregs from a protein called GARP, present on the Treg surface. In collaboration with argenx, her team also discovered that it was possible to block the release of TGF-beta from GARP with specific antibodies, which were rare and difficult to obtain. The next thing to find out was how GARP regulates the production of the TGF-beta messenger and how antibodies actually block its release.The molecular mechanisms elucidatedTo address these questions, Sophie Lucas and argenx initiated a collaboration with the team of Prof. Savvas Savvides at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research, to resolve the three-dimensional structure of the protein assembly made of GARP and TGF-beta. The researchers used X-ray crystallography, a method that has been used to study the structure of molecules for more than a century and that is still being developed for the study of biological macromolecules at atomic resolution. However, they were confronted with the practical problem that they could not readily obtain crystals of the GARP and TGF-beta complex. Via a highly collaborative effort spearheaded by Dr. Stéphanie Lienart (UCLouvain) and Dr. Romain Merceron (VIB – Ghent University), the two teams decided to use a blocking antibody to stabilize the structure – a successful approach that not only helped to generate suitable crystals for structure determination, but also provided details about how a therapeutic antibody might function.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryProf. Savvas Savvides (VIB-UGent): “We discovered that GARP resembles a horseshoe that is straddled by TGF-beta. The two molecules are so intricately assembled that TGF-beta itself contributes to the structure of the GARP horseshoe. The antibody fragment sticks to both GARP and TGF-beta in the assembly. It appears to glue the two molecules to one another, ensuring that when other molecules pull on one part of the assembly, the small, active part of TGF-beta is not released, and is thus prevented from conveying its inhibitory message.”Prof. Sophie Lucas (de Duve Institute at the UCLouvain): “Visualization of this large molecular assembly illustrates the feasibility of blocking TGF-beta activity emanating from a precisely defined and restricted cellular source, such as the surface of Tregs. This can lead to the design of exquisitely specific approaches to treat various diseases associated with altered TGF-beta or Treg activity, most notably for the immunotherapy of cancer.” Source:http://www.vib.be/en/news/Pages/Belgian-researchers-discover-a-novel-method-to-block-immunosuppression-in-cancer.aspxlast_img read more

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Four young scientists receives Damon RunyonSohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 17 2019The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has named four outstanding young scientists as recipients of the prestigious Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award, committing nearly $1 million to help address a critical shortage of funding for pediatric cancer research.The Fellowship Award provides funding to basic scientists and clinicians who conduct research with the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of one or more pediatric cancers. Each recipient receives a four-year award totaling $231,000. Since 2012, this award has supported 31 innovative pediatric cancer researchers who were selected by a prestigious committee of leading pediatric oncologists in a highly competitive process.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancer”The program provides critically needed support for innovative young investigators working on high impact pediatric cancer research. We need their brilliant minds focused on curing childhood cancers,” says Andrew L. Kung, MD, PhD, Chair of the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship Award Committee, and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.Because cancer occurs less frequently in children and young adults than in the adult population, pediatric cancer research does not receive significant funding from either the National Cancer Institute (only four percent of its budget) or the biopharmaceutical industry. To help fill this gap, The Sohn Conference Foundation, dedicated to curing pediatric cancers, partnered with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the leading charity supporting brave and bold young cancer researchers, to establish the award. The Sohn Conference Foundation has committed nearly $3.2 million to the program to date. The award program continues to receive additional funding and recognition within the philanthropic community. Our Damon Runyon-Sohn fellows are committed to making daring discoveries in pediatric cancer pathology. We place our bets on funding bold and innovative ideas from emerging scientists, as they hold the promise of advancing treatment and cures for children with cancer.”Evan Sohn, Sohn Conference Foundation Source:Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundationlast_img read more

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Airbus profits soar despite new charge on A400M military plane

Explore further Airbus took a new 1.3-billion-euro charge against its A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft The European aircraft maker said in a statement that net profit nearly tripled to 2.87 billion euros ($3.6 billion) in 2017 from 995 million euros a year earlier.Full-year sales held steady at 66.8 billion euros.”We overachieved on all our 2017 key performance indicators thanks to a very good operational performance, especially in the last quarter,” said chief executive Tom Enders. “Despite persistent engine issues on the A320neo, we continued the production ramp-up and finally delivered a record number of aircraft,” he said.A net capital gain of 604 million euros resulting from the divestment of the defence electronics business and “a strong positive impact” from exchange rate developments also helped boost the group’s bottom line, it said.But Airbus booked a new one-off charge of 1.3 billion euros against its A400M turboprop military transport, plagued by delivery problems and technical problems. “On A400M, we made progress on the industrial and capabilities front and agreed a re-baselining with government customers which will significantly reduce the remaining programme risks. This is reflected in a substantial one-off charge,” Enders said. Airbus had already booked a charge of 2.2 billion euros on the A400M in 2016. Nonetheless, given the “strength of our 2017 achievements,” Airbus would propose lifting its dividend to 1.50 euros per share for last year from 1.35 euros a year earlier, Enders said. “This also endorses our earnings and cash growth story for the future,” he said. 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. Airbus said Thursday that increased deliveries, windfall gains from divestments and favourable exchange rates enabled profits to take off last year, even though it booked a “substantial” new charge on its A400M military transporter plane. © 2018 AFP Fiat Chrysler nearly doubles profits in 2017 Citation: Airbus profits soar despite new charge on A400M military plane (2018, February 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-airbus-profits-soar-a400m-military.html read more

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