This video accompanies Science’s editorial, “America’s science legacy” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. In his editorial, Tyson celebrates the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address but also reflects on how Lincoln set a course for science to impact the future wellbeing of the nation. Tyson shares his 272-word speech “The Seedbed,” inspired by the 1863 Gettysburg Address. Published earlier this year, it is an impassioned reminder of the importance of science to America’s future.
By Roni DenglerDec. 12, 2017 , 11:00 AM Ancient penguins were huge. That’s what fossils of a newly described penguin species dubbed Kumimanu biceae suggest. Researchers estimate the bird weighed in at 101 kilograms, and—based on the length of a femur bone found near the eastern coast of New Zealand’s southern island—was about 1.77 meters tall, about the same as an average adult human. In contrast, today’s largest living penguin, the emperor penguin, is half as massive and shorter by half a meter. The new fossil isn’t the only known giant penguin—others were similar in size and the largest likely stood about 2 meters tall—but K. biceae is one of the oldest. The bird lived 55 million to 60 million years ago, just after the mass extinction that took out the dinosaurs, researchers report today in Nature Communications. That means these penguins became sizable soon after they became flightless divers. Once their body size wasn’t constrained by a need to be aerodynamic, they could grow to substantial dimensions. When the dinosaurs disappeared, large marine reptiles vanished, too, and that may have left the seas open for K. biceae to inhabit. So, why aren’t modern penguins as humongous? The disappearance of gigantic penguins coincides with the rise of seals and toothed whales, the researchers say, so there may have been competition for food and safe places to breed and rear young. But, exactly how these mammals pushed out the gigantic birds is still a mystery. G. Mayr/Senckenberg Research Institute Ancient penguins may have weighed more than 100 kilograms, been as tall as a human
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute We’ve all seen images or animations of hurricanes that color code the wind speeds inside the whirling mass—but it turns out we can do a better job measuring these winds and, as a result, better predict the path of the storm. Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how a microsatellite-based project for measuring hurricane wind speeds is showing signs of success—despite unexpected obstacles from the U.S. military’s tweaking of GPS signals. Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Samantha Trumbo, a Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, about spotting chloride salts on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. What can these salts on the surface tell us about the oceans that lie beneath Europa’s icy crust?Download a transcript (PDF) This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Ads on the show: KiwiCo.com; MagellanTVListen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Arizona Primary Election is less than two weeks away By Linda Kor The Arizona Primary Election is less than two weeks away and this Friday, Aug. 17, is the last day to request an early ballot, with the last day to vote in personSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad August 13, 2018
“Most businesses are almost praying for a solution,” said Patrik Berglund, who tracks global trade as the CEO of Xeneta, an Oslo, Norway, firm that provides data on the shipping industry. “These things will have enormous consequences. We’re so connected in this global world.”Trump’s earlier tariffs largely spared American consumers by focusing on industrial goods that don’t show up directly in the mall or big-box stores. But the new round will inflict financial pain on ordinary households because it will affect many consumer goods, from cellphones and computers to shoes and silk scarves.“We’re talking about things that you and I buy and buy in a store, and that’s going to be felt directly by consumers,” said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the US Chamber of Commerce. The companies that serve the retail market, he said, tend to have “much, much less margin to absorb those increased tariff costs.”A report commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that American consumers would pay an additional USD 4.4 billion a year for clothing, USD 2.5 billion more for shoes and USD 1.6 billion more for household appliances. Excluding motorcycle parts from the tariffs, a company lawyer, Paul Vitrano, wrote, would “avoid the unintended consequence of providing foreign-based motorcycle manufacturers with a competitive advantage.” After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising More Explained More broadly, economists say the tariffs could weaken a US economy that appears to be on shakier footing. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the higher import taxes would leave the United States with 900,000 fewer jobs than it would have had otherwise.“The US economy will be flirting with recession later this year and early next,” Zandi said.Jeffrey Pratt, leader of the supply chain practice at the accounting and consulting firm BDO, called the looming tariffs “a bit of gamechanger” for his clients. Many can’t afford to absorb the taxes themselves and would pass along the higher costs to their customers.Atlas PyroVision Entertainment in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, relies on China for 90% of the fireworks it sells.“Simply imposing a 25 per cent tariff will ultimately cause significant harm to our family business,” CEO Stephen Pelkey said in a filing with the US Trade Representative. “We would be forced to pass along the increase directly to our customers.” Noting that community nonprofits often use the fireworks for Independence Day celebrations, Pelkey wrote: “In most cases, a 25% hike in price will force their skies to go dark on the 4th of July.”Bracing for the new tariffs, Yedi Houseware, a Los Angeles family business, has postponed plans to hire and move into a bigger warehouse. Bobby Djavaheri, a company executive, echoed a common complaint: The administration is taxing products — in his case, things like air fryers — that aren’t made by American companies. They must be imported. So no US producer benefits from the tariffs; US importers just get socked with a tax.“It’s really dumbfounding,” he said.Indian Motorcycle Co. in Medina, Minnesota, complained that its foreign competitors won’t have to pay a tax on Chinese parts, allowing them to “import the finished motorcycle into the United States — without increased costs.” US House rejects Saudi weapons sales; Trump to veto Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump By AP |Washington | Published: June 17, 2019 1:32:22 pm Related News A New Hampshire fireworks company says it would have to raise prices, likely lose business and force some small towns to cancel their Fourth of July fireworks displays.A Minnesota motorcycle maker warns that it would lose business to foreign rivals that don’t have to pay taxes on Chinese parts.A Los Angeles designer and distributor of houseware goods say it would have to extend a hiring freeze and delay plans to expand into a larger warehouse.The administration, in the midst of the trade war it began with Beijing, had asked for comments on its plan to extend 25 per cent tariffs to everything China ships to the United States.It’s getting an earful. LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Advertising Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen Best Of Express Taking stock of monsoon rain Post Comment(s) Advertising Hundreds of businesses, trade groups and individuals have written to complain that the additional import taxes would drive up prices for consumers, squeeze profits and leave US companies at a competitive disadvantage to foreign rivals that aren’t subject to higher taxes on the vital components they buy from China.They’re pleading with the administration to rethink the tariffs — or at least spare the particular imports they and their customers rely on. Some will appear in person to air their grievances in seven days of hearings in Washington that begin Monday.A common theme in their pleas is that American businesses — not China, as Trump often asserts — must pay the import taxes the president is imposing on Chinese goods. And in the end, many of these companies will pass their higher costs on to their customers.Trump has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on USD 250 billion in Chinese imports. The goal is to pressure Beijing to stop stealing American technology, forcing US businesses to hand over trade secrets and unfairly subsidizing Chinese tech companies.Eleven rounds of negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute over China’s aggressive drive to surpass America’s technological dominance. Businesses and investors say they hope the negotiations will gain momentum if Trump and President Xi Jinping hold a face-to-face meeting at a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan in two weeks. Eleven rounds of negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute over China’s aggressive drive to surpass America’s technological dominance. (Reuters)What happens if President Donald Trump carries out his threat to impose tariffs on the remaining USD 300 billion in Chinese goods that he hasn’t already hit with 25 per cent import taxes?
White House rejects request for Trump, Putin communications Had a very positive conversation with Putin on Venezuela, says Trump Google to Qualcomm, top tech companies begin to cut off vital Huawei supplies Manafort, 70, was moved from a federal prison in Pennsylvania to the Metropolitan Correctional Facility on Monday morning, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the transfer has not been disclosed.The news was first reported by CNN. An attorney for Manafort did not respond to a request for comment. Manafort had been at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania since being sentenced in March to 7-1/2 years behind bars on tax fraud, bank fraud and other charges that stemmed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.Manafort, a veteran Republican political consultant, is also facing New York state charges filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance alleging residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records. Manafort will seek to dismiss the state charges on double jeopardy grounds, his lawyer told Reuters last week. Manafort, 70, was moved from a federal prison in Pennsylvania to the Metropolitan Correctional Facility on Monday morning (AP)Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was transferred to a detention facility in Manhattan on Monday ahead of an expected arraignment on state charges in New York, a person familiar with the matter said. Manafort’s transfer to Manhattan likely signals his arraignment in New York is near, although he remains in federal custody and no arraignment date has been set, the person familiar with the matter said.Vance’s case appears largely tied to the same conduct — applications for mortgages from Citizens Bank and the Federal Savings Bank secured by properties in New York — for which Manafort was prosecuted in federal court.Vance’s indictment of Manafort was therefore widely seen as an effort to ensure that Manafort serves significant prison time even if Trump pardons him. A U.S. president can issue pardons only for federal crimes.Under New York law, a person cannot be prosecuted twice for the same act unless at least one element of the crimes is distinct and the statutes address “very different kinds of harm or evil.” However, Vance’s office could argue an exception to New York’s double jeopardy protections is warranted.In a ruling with potential implications for the Manafort case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to limit the ability of federal and state prosecutors to separately charge people for the same underlying crime. Once Manafort is arraigned in New York, he could end up at Rikers Island, a troubled city jail complex, pending trial. Advertising By Reuters |New York | Updated: June 18, 2019 11:42:59 am Advertising Related News Post Comment(s)
Post Comment(s) Related News Opposition criticises low priority to agriculture in Budget Current Session may be extended to clear pending legislation Advertising AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports.Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Sixteen airports will be under the jurisdiction of AERA. All the other airports which would not be major airports will continue to be looked after by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Government of India.”Puri was replying to the debate before the passage of The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Govt cancels postal exams after Tamil Nadu members disrupt Rajya Sabha Currently, all major airports with an annual capacity of handling 1.5 million passengers come under the purview of AERA. If the amendment is passed by Parliament, the definition of major airports will change to any aerodrome which has or is designated to have an annual passenger capacity of 3.5 million.The minister also asked the members to pursue their states to cooperate when the issue of taxing aviation turbine fuel comes in the GST Council. Advertising AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports.The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill allowing the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure. By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2019 2:37:18 am
However, the new sensor is designed and manufactured with techniques that improve light collection efficiency and photoelectric conversion efficiency over conventional products, Sony said.The smaller pixel size makes the sensor suitable for many mobile phones.”Any component that fits into current hardware design trends, like thin bezels, will be attractive to OEMs,” noted Gerrit Schneemann, a senior analyst with IHS Markit.Meanwhile, the large number of pixels enables high-definition imaging, even on smartphones that only have digital zooms.”Having that much pure resolution opens up more options when it comes to a digital zoom, as opposed to optical zoom, which happens in the lens,” said Stan Horaczek, technology editor at Popular Science.”Digital zoom happens by basically cropping in on an image as you capture it, rather than in post capture,” he told TechNewsWorld. “More megapixels help for that, because the system doesn’t have to guess what details should look like.” Better Digital Zooming Red Meat for Marketers To pack that many pixels into such tight quarters, Sony had to shrink their size to 8 microns. Shrinking pixel sizes usually results in performance degradation, not improvement. It usually results in poor light collection and a drop in saturation sensitivity and volume.”With traditional sensor architecture, the pixels get so small that they pick up a lot of noise, so the pictures aren’t as good as sensors with fewer but larger pixels,” David D. Busch, creative director of the David Busch photography guides, told TechNewsWorld. ‘Amazing Product’ ‘Pixel Wars’ Mobile phone cameras are about to get a significant performance boost.Sony on Monday introduced a 48-megapixel sensor for cellphone cameras that measures less than one-third of an inch diagonally. The sensor is slated for release in September. Sony’s sensor can deliver dynamic range results that are four times that of conventional products, according to the company. What that means is that even scenes with bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows.”If the new sensor has four times better dynamic range than conventional sensors, that suggests that performance in both full and low-light modes should be outstanding,” Pund-IT’s King told TechNewsWorld.During the age of the “pixel wars,” when megapixel count was a major selling point for both phone and camera makers, a 48-megapixel sensor would have drawn a lot of attention. That’s less so today.”Today, the traditional association between megapixels and printing quality no longer has a lot of significance,” noted Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.However, there are some advantages to higher resolution, he said.”When Nokia came out with the 1020, which was a 40-plus megapixel camera , they touted its high resolution as a substitute for an optical zoom,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld. The new Sony sensor is an “amazing product,” said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research.The sensor blends a 48-megapixel super resolution mode with a lower resolution mode that offers high sensitivity for low light conditions, he explained.”The 48-megapixel mode, combined with a precise lens, will offer very detailed pictures,” Krewell told TechNewsWorld. “The smaller area for each pixel will limit the amount of light those pixels receive, but the quad-pixel, low-light mode addresses that limitation.”Sony works its low light magic through something called the “Quad Bayer color filter array.” In low light conditions, that technology allows the signals from adjacent pixels to be added together, effectively doubling their sensitivity.”Sony is combining four smaller pixels into one in order to improve resolution in low light circumstances. Overall, this is a proven, sensible approach to solving a common problem,” observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”Huawei is another OEM utilizing this type of technology to increase low-light performance,” IHS’ Schneemann told TechNewsWorld. “Subjectively, this has worked for Huawei. It remains to be seen if Sony can deliver as well.”Manipulating pixels may have some tradeoffs, however.”My guess is that when they group smaller pixels to form larger pixels, they may be able to smooth over the noise in the image, but there may be loss of sharpness in the details,” said freelance journalist and photographer Terry Sullivan, a former associate editor for digital cameras and imaging at Consumer Reports.”It will also affect dynamic range,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Details will be missing from lightest highlights and darkest tones.” King of Megapixels Sony will hold the leadership position in the megapixel category for some time to come, said Ken Hyers, director of emerging device technology research at Strategy Analytics.”Most smartphone vendors aren’t going for a huge number of megapixels,” he told TechNewsWorld.Only 2.5 percent of smartphones shipped this year will have 20 or more megapixels, Strategy Analytics has forecast.”The sweet spot this year is at 12 to 15 megapixels,” Hyers said.That may change, though, as resolutions of smartphone displays increase.”We might start seeing smartphone companies pushing resolution up as the future of high-res screens looms,” Popular Science’s Horaczek said. “Filling an 8K screen takes something like 33 megapixels, so more image data is probably going to be the order of the day.” When the new sensor starts to hit the market, it most likely will appear in high-end phones.”Shooting pictures in 48-megapixel mode will use up more storage and will require an applications processor with high-performance image processing, which should limit it to the high-end phones,” Krewell said.”That said, it will likely kick off another round of pixel wars,” he added.Whether a new round of pixel wars starts or not, that 48MP number will be red meat for marketers.”I think both sensor makers and handset OEMs will view this as an opportunity to stand out with a headline-grabbing hardware spec,” Schneemann said.That said, “I am not convinced that this will necessarily shift the overall market in a significant way, where consumers abandon one brand over another, because of more megapixels,” he continued.”The output of the sensors is subjective for consumers, and the implementation of a sensor by each OEM varies as well,” Schneemann pointed out. “The Nokia Pure View and 1020 both hit 40 megapixels, but that did not impact the fate of Nokia’s smartphone business materially.” 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.
Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Technology 1: Organic Printing Ever since Nikola Tesla started talking about being able to broadcast power, it has been a known game-changer. Granted, Tesla may have gotten his ideas from aliens, but if you don’t need batteries, then electric cars, planes, trains and personal electronics become smaller and far more reliable.Qualcomm is working on a technology called “Halo”, initially to charge electric cars without having to plug them in. However, its vision includes putting this technology in roads so that you’d never have to charge your car again — it would charge while you were driving.Rather than replacing a gas pump with a far slower charging station, you would just get rid of it. While not as good as true broadcast power, technology like this could work in cars, planes and offices, and we would never have to worry about charging our personal stuff or cars ever again.A similar technology from WiTricity is being used to develop wireless charging for all our devices and currently being built into Dell’s laptop charging docks. I just finished reading an interesting hard science fiction book called The Punch Escrow, by Tal M. Klein (a movie is in the works).What makes the difference between hard and soft science fiction is that hard science fiction is based on science, while soft is, let’s just say, far more imaginative. To be honest, I enjoy both types, and the soft stuff is a ton easier to write. Those pesky physical rules don’t get in the way, and you don’t have to do research.The story takes place several decades in the future, and it revolves around the idea of quantum foam and teleportation. It points out why teleportation never may be practical, but it brings up the idea of human 3D printing, which could be used more effectively for space exploration.However, it also would have a massive number of other uses, both good and bad, which got me thinking about what else could change our future in a massive way. I came up with a list of five potentially world-changing technologies.I’ll close with my product of the week: a book on management that could have a massive effect on your company’s success, based on the black boxes used in airplanes. It’s called Black Box Thinking. Technology 5: Wireless Power Technology 3: AI Salting Put these technologies together, and we’d have our food coming to us anyplace in any form and at any time we wanted. We’d have bugs making the world a better place to live.AIs would be our friends — not the problem Elon Musk is envisioning (though I kind of question his idea that government should fix this, given how bad it is at fixing things), or they’d just be much better at “taking care” of us — but not in a good way.Finally, if we can get better energy storage and distribution, we end up in a far more reliable and less-polluted world, coming damn close to a future Utopia. Though, as The Punch Escrow points out, if we can’t fix ourselves, the result still could be pretty nasty.Just think of the implications of printing people… As the only sure thing about the future is that it will be very different than the world of today, here’s hoping that is a good thing. The reason this hits home for me is that it points to hospitals as places where errors are covered up aggressively to avoid liability. Black boxes, which capture errors but can’t be used in litigation, are used to determine fault — not to assign blame, but to ensure that the mistake never happens again. This one practice has helped transform air travel from one of the least safe ways to travel to one of the safest.The big takeaway is that if you and your company can focus more on mistakes as learning opportunities and on ensuring that they are one-time events, rather than focusing on shooting the poor sap who made the mistake, which is much more typical, you’ll end up not only with a far less hostile working environment, but also a far more successful company.One of my big personal concerns is that we’ll transfer this process of blame and covering up mistakes to our coming wave of ever-more-intelligent machines, which could speed up the related problems to machine speed. I doubt we’d survive that.So, a book that makes workplace environments better, companies more successful, and humans more likely to survive is worth reading, I think, and it’s my product of the week. Technology 4: Ultracapacitor Batteries Summer is the time I get caught up on my reading, and after reading The Punch Escrow, I moved to another recommended book that is far more practical. Black Box Thinking is based largely around comparing the healthcare industry to the airline industry, and pointing out that airlines have become massively safer over the years. However, hospitals may be the third biggest killer of people, largely because airlines have black boxes. We can use 3D printers for plastics, ceramics, metals and some blends, but our efforts even to print food have been more in line with automated icing machines for cakes than printing food.If we could print food affordably using nonperishable components, it would mean not only that we would be better able to address the massive amount of global hunger that exists, but also that we potentially could cut the cost of food manufacturing and eliminate most food-borne illnesses.There is an amazing amount of activity in this area, suggesting that by 2030 we actually might have something like the Star Trek replicator in our homes.Given that this same technology likely could manufacture drugs and better prosthetics, this single step could have a massive impact on how we live — far beyond the way we eat. Technology 2: Advanced Bio-engineering A division of Google is releasing millions of bio-engineered mosquitoes to eliminate those that carry sicknesses. Granted, I do remember that many apocalyptic movies start this way.The ability to manufacture insects that can address certain problems could have a massive impact, good and bad, on our environment. The bad would come from a mistake, or if someone decided to create militarized mosquitoes.In the world of The Punch Escrow, there are mosquitoes that have been engineered to eat pollutants in the air and pee H20 — and characters have to dodge constant pee drenchings from the mosquitoes.Still, bio-engineered life forms could offset much of the damage we’ve done to the world — addressing global warming as well as land, sea and air pollution — and go places that people currently are unable to go. Wrapping Up As Elon Musk repeatedly has said, batteries suck. Ultracapacitors can be charged and discharged almost instantly. They don’t have the level of temperature problems that batteries currently exhibit. They are much lighter, which increases efficiency in things like cars, and their life cycle is vastly longer than current batteries.The problem is, they don’t do a good job of storing energy for any length of time. Some recent promising news from the scientific community suggests we may be close to sorting this out.Batteries that could charge instantly and produce far more energy without problems would be a huge step toward making off-grid home power and electric-powered cars far more convenient. Artificial intelligence salting is another concept author Klein introduces as a major plot element in The Punch Escrow. AI salting isn’t meal preparation, for when we humans eat AIs (boy, talk about a concept that could start a Terminator event) it means a specialized technician teaches an AI to think more like a human.Basically, it is individual AI deep learning of human behaviors. The underlying concept, making computers think more like humans, is critical to make them more effective at interacting with humans and interfacing with us more effectively.If we really can’t tell the difference between an AI and a human, or if an AI handling a human-related task could be made to be empathetic, the improvement in the interaction and the effectiveness of the AI would be improved vastly.However, few are focused on the human part, and the challenge to train AIs to be more human-like could change forever the way we interact with and use them. At the very least, it would be a huge step in creating robots indistinguishable from humans and making the Westworld experience real.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and its incidence has risen sharply in the last decade. Since its progression depends on environmental factors, increases in daily temperatures, a manifestation of climate change, might be contributing to a rise in the number of ticks as well as a greater availability of hosts. A new study looked at the relationship between climatic variables and the incidence of Lyme disease in 15 U.S. states. The study found that rising temperatures are expected to boost the number of cases of Lyme disease by more than 20 percent by mid-century.The study, by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, appears in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology.”A sizable increase in the incidence of cases of Lyme disease in the United States due to climate change is imminent,” says Edson Severnini, assistant professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, who coauthored the study. “Our findings should alert clinicians, public health professionals, and policymakers, as well as the general public.”The number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States rose from 10,000 in 1991 to about 28,000 annually in the past five years. Growing evidence suggests that climate change may affect the incidence and prevalence of diseases like Lyme. This is because ticks spend most of their life cycle outside the host in an environment where temperature and humidity directly affect their development, activity, survival, and host-seeking behavior. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses the number of cases of Lyme disease as an indicator of climate change.Related StoriesAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyTo better understand the magnitude of the effect of climate change on incidences of Lyme disease, researchers examined the effect of climatic variables on frequency of the disease in 15 U.S. states with the highest incidence of Lyme disease; these 15 states, which are primarily in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, contribute to 95 percent of reported cases. In those states, researchers studied 568 counties, using annual epidemiological data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2000 to 2016; they also looked at meteorological data (temperature and precipitation) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Assuming that the temperature will rise 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century, which is what the U.S. National Climate Assessment predicts will occur based on projection averages for the period 2036-2065, the study predicts that the number of cases of Lyme disease in the United States will increase about 21 percent by mid-century. This means 8.6 more cases of Lyme disease per 100,000 people annually.”Tick-borne diseases are an important public health concern and the incidence of these infections is increasing in the Unites States and worldwide,” explains Igor Dumic, researcher at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and the Mayo Clinic Health System, who led the study. “Lyme disease is a classic example of the link between environmental factors and the occurrence and spread of disease. Source:https://www.cmu.edu/
Source:http://www.the-aps.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 4 2018Aerobic exercise may reduce the risk of diabetes-related kidney disease in some people, according to a new study. The findings are published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology–Renal Physiology and was chosen as an APS select article for December.Kidney (renal) disease is a common complication associated with type 2 diabetes, especially in people who are obese and do not exercise regularly. Early markers of diabetes-related kidney disease include high levels of protein in the urine and a reduced ability of the kidneys to filter out waste from the bloodstream. Chronic kidney disease can also lead to an imbalance of minerals in the body, particularly in the bones. Altered bone mineral content may contribute to disorders, such as the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis.Related StoriesUCR biomedical professor to investigate how body’s cannabis-like molecules influence obesityArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsNew imaging probe allows earlier detection of acute kidney failureResearchers studied two groups of rats–both composed of a combination of lean and obese animals–to explore the effect of exercise on kidney disease risk factors. The “exercise” group was exercised on a treadmill for 45-60 minutes each day, five days a week. The “sedentary” group was trained for 15 minutes twice a week to mimic a human sedentary lifestyle.The most significant finding the researchers saw was an improvement in blood vessel health and overall kidney function. All of the obese rats, regardless of group, had hardening or scarring of the renal arteries, increased protein in the urine, and fat deposits within the filtering structures of the kidneys. However, the obese rats in the exercise group showed a reduction in these factors when compared to the sedentary obese rats. The exercised obese rats also had changes in bone composition–higher levels of calcium and copper, but lower concentrations of iron–when compared to the lean rats. These changes were not enough, however, to affect the risk of developing osteoporosis.”We conclude that the introduction of an exercise program based in [aerobic interval training] is a good strategy to present alterations in kidney structure and urinary parameters caused by obesity and the development of diabetic [kidney disease] in obese Zucker rats,” the researchers wrote.
The CN Bio team is building the multi-organ consumable plates to be compatible with its award-winning PhysioMimix benchtop Organ-on-Chip system.PhysioMimix is a printer-sized device with open-well plates where micro-tissues that mimic the structure and function of human organs and tissues can be cultured. Linking two or more of these miniature systems using microfluidics means multiple organs interact and respond to stimuli.Launched in May 2018, PhysioMimix is being used by pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies globally and by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct Organ-on-Chip assays.Scientists use the device to culture micro-tissues that mimic the structure and function of human organs and run a wide range of assays and experiments. These provide essential data on how a new drug, food additive, cosmetic or chemical will affect the key organs in our bodies.The multi-organ patents have been licensed from the MIT School of Biological Engineering, laboratory of Professor Linda Griffith.CN Bio expects multi-organ consumable plates for PhysioMimix system to be available later in 2019. Early multi-organ studies will provide data on how drugs and chemicals interact within a gut-liver or lung-liver systems, two in-demand models for understanding drug metabolism and therapeutic safety respectively.Source: https://cn-bio.com/ Feb 28 2019London Organ-on-Chip specialist CN Bio today announced it has secured an exclusive license to technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for Organ-on-Chip systems which connect human tissues from up to 10 organs.CN Bio participated with MIT on a US$26M DARPA federal contract to develop a Human-Body-on-Chip system. In an article published in Nature Scientific Reports in March 2018, MIT researchers and CN Bio announced the successful final milestone of this program to bring 10 organs together on a chip.CN Bio CEO Dr David Hughes said: Scientists currently lack adequate means to determine whether a new drug to treat one organ is likely to have adverse effects on another. At present much of this information comes from poorly predictive animal studies. Many costly drug failures take place because we lack the ability to generate human relevant data in the laboratory – this is exactly the data which our PhysioMimix Multi-Organ-on-Chip studies will provide.These MIT patents extend our portfolio to cover multi-organ systems. We believe multi-organ safety and efficacy studies can bridge a serious gap in drug development between simple pre-clinical in vitro tests and difficult and expensive animal testing.By recreating human organ interactions on CN Bio’s smart-phone sized chip, scientists can measure the effects of drugs or other chemicals on different tissues of the body.”
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019Menstrual cycle may influence addiction risk in women, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and University of Maryland School of Medicine. In female rats, craving for cocaine during abstinence from the drug was stronger during estrus—the phase in which ovulation occurs—than non-estrus, and female rats were more prone to relapse of cocaine use than male rats. This new link between menstrual cycle and drug craving may help explain differences between men and women in cocaine seeking and vulnerability to relapse after quitting.”Sex differences are extremely important in addiction. This new study suggests that the period around ovulation is the most vulnerable period for promoting addiction. This knowledge has implications for both prevention and treatment,” said John Krystal, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerThioredoxin antioxidant could soon be used to improve cancer treatmentDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosa”To the degree that results from animal models generalize to humans, our findings implicate the phase of the menstrual cycle as a risk factor for relapse in women and, therefore, should be taken into consideration in the development of relapse prevention treatments,” said senior author Satoshi Ikemoto, PhD, NIDA.To assess the influence of the menstrual cycle on addiction, first author Céline Nicolas, PhD, NIDA, and colleagues used a model of cocaine use in rats that mimics the intermittent binge-like pattern of human cocaine use. They compared this model with the standard rat model of cocaine use that provides continuous access to the drug. Although both access models led to progressively increased cocaine seeking during abstinence, referred to as incubation of cocaine craving, cocaine seeking was higher after intermittent access.Regardless of the type of access provided to the rats, cocaine seeking was higher in female rats than male rats. “In female rats, the magnitude of cocaine craving was critically dependent on the phase of the estrous cycle, demonstrating a novel role of ovarian hormones in incubation of cocaine craving,” said Dr. Ikemoto.Previous studies in humans suggest that women relapse faster after quitting cocaine and have stronger craving than men. The new findings reveal that the estrous cycle may contribute to these differences between women and men and highlight a potential target to help prevent relapse in women.Source: https://www.elsevier.com/
EasyJet hailed an “excellent performance” in the first half of the group’s financial year British low-cost airline EasyJet slashed its first-half losses as a collapse of rivals boosted passenger numbers, but the performance was weighed down by integration costs from Air Berlin assets. Losses after tax shrank to £54 million ($73 million, 61 million euros) in the first half of the group’s financial year or six months to March, EasyJet said in a trading update.That compared with a deeper loss of £192 million in the same period of the previous year.Sales surged by a fifth to £2.2 billion as it reaped the benefits from the collapse of European rivals including Alitalia and Monarch, and a flight cancellations crisis at Ireland’s Ryanair.Passenger numbers leapt three million to 36.8 million, helped by extra customers from the purchase of Berlin’s Tegel Airport from bankrupt German carrier Air Berlin.Stripping out Tegel integration costs, EasyJet added that pre-tax profit hit £8.0 million in the first half. That contrasted sharply with a loss of £212 million last time around.”EasyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8.0 million, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period,” said newly-installed chief executive Johan Lundgren.”Our performance was helped by the reductions in capacity from other airlines but was also driven by the strength of the easyJet brand,” added Lundgren, who took the reins last December from Carolyn McCall.Lundgren, the former deputy of TUI travel group, added that EasyJet will plough more investment into its holidays business.Many airlines usually post losses over the period because it covers the winter months, when demand is traditionally weak. 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. Explore further © 2018 AFP Citation: EasyJet says losses narrow on sales boost (2018, May 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-easyjet-losses-narrow-sales-boost.html EasyJet chief says European airline shakeup is not over
This photo taken on Thursday, June 28, 2018 and provided by Airbus shows the first BelugaXL rolling out of the paintshop, unveiling a special livery, in Toulouse, southern France. The BelugaXL will now undertake ground tests before its first flight planned in summer 2018. (Jean-Vincent Reymondon/Airbus via AP) Blue whale sighted in Red Sea for first time: Egypt © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A whale of a transport aircraft will be flying high later this summer sporting the grin of a Beluga whale. Explore further The Airbus BelugaXL, a massive transport plane, made a presentation on Thursday, its nose cone making it look like a whale. Airbus employees, 20,000 of them, voted on one of six looks and the whale face that matches its name won.After ground tests, the oversized aircraft is to make its first flight later this summer and enter service in 2019. Citation: New Airbus transport aircraft BelugaXL sports whale’s grin (2018, June 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-airbus-aircraft-belugaxl-sports-whale.html
Nintendo said Tuesday its quarterly net profit jumped 43.9 percent year-on-year to $275 million, driven by the global popularity of its Switch console and game titles. The Kyoto-based game giant reported net profit for the three months to June of 30.6 billion yen ($275 million), with operating profit soaring 88.4 percent to 30.5 billion yen.It said sales were up 9.1 percent to 168.16 billion yen, and it expects strong demand for the Switch console to continue into the second half of the year.”For Nintendo Switch, hardware sales in every region have been trending upwards since the video game expo, E3, was held in the US in June,” the company said in a statement.”In parallel with an increase in digital sales, software sales also have been moving in good shape towards the holiday season,” it said.In the April-June period Nintendo sold 1.88 million Switch console units—down 4.4 percent from a year earlier, shortly after its launch. At the same time it sold 17.96 million software units, more than double the same period last year.Game software sales were driven by “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze”, which sold 1.4 million copies worldwide since its release in May, the company said.”Mario Tennis Aces”, released in June, sold 1.38 million units.The “Nintendo Labo” series, a cardboard construction toy series for the Switch system, sold 1.39 million units, showing promise as the offerings in the series expand, the company said.”Sales of Nintendo Switch remain steady, but a decisive period for Nintendo is the Christmas season,” analyst Hideki Yasuda at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo told AFP before the results.”Results for the second half will prove to be a real test for Switch.”For the year to March, Nintendo maintained optimistic annual targets, forecasting net profit of 165 billion yen and operating profit of 225 billion yen on sales of 1.2 trillion yen.Analysts said Nintendo was expected to benefit from new software releases.”Demand for Switch is entering a second phase following its explosive initial demand,” Yasuo Imanaka, an analyst at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo, told AFP ahead of the earnings announcement.”Sales of Nintendo Labo are not strong enough to lead its profit, but expectations of the firm’s overall earnings are high as it is scheduled to release potentially powerful titles during the rest of the fiscal year, including a Pocket Monster title,” he said. Citation: Nintendo first-quarter profits up 44 pct to $275 mn on Switch sales (2018, July 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-nintendo-first-quarter-profits-pct-mn.html © 2018 AFP Explore further Nintendo has reported a jump in quarterly net profit thanks to its Switch console and games titles Nintendo annual profits soar 36 percent to $1.27bn on Switch sales 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.
If Australia’s electricity grid was targeted by cyber attack the fall out could be severe. Credit: Shutterstock More cyber experts and cyber incident exercisesAt just seven pages in length, in glossy brochure format, the CIMA does not outline specific operational incident management protocols. This will be up to state and territory governments to negotiate with the Commonwealth. That means the protocols developed may be subject to competing budget priorities, political appetite, divergent levels of cyber maturity, and, most importantly, staffing requirements. Australia has a serious crisis in the availability of skilled cyber personnel in general. This is particularly the case in specialist areas required for the management of complex cyber incidents. Government agencies struggle to compete with major corporations, such as the major banks, for the top-level recruits. The skills crisis is exacerbated by the lack of high quality education and training programs in Australia for this specialist task. Our universities, for the most part, do not teach – or even research – complex cyber incidents on a scale that could begin to service the national need. The federal government must move quickly to strengthen and formalise arrangements for collaboration with key non-governmental partners – particularly the business sector, but also researchers and large non-profit entities. Critical infrastructure providers, such as electricity companies, should be among the first businesses targeted for collaboration due to the scale of potential fallout if they came under attack.To help achieve this, CIMA outlines plans to institutionalise, for the first time, regular cyber incident exercises that address nationwide needs.Better long-term planning is neededWhile these moves are a good start, there are three longer term tasks that need attention.First, the government needs to construct a consistent, credible and durable public narrative around the purpose of its cyber incident policies, and associated exercise programs. Former Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan has spoken of a single cyber storm, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of a perfect cyber storm (several storms together), and Cyber Coordinator Alastair McGibbon spoke of a cyber catastrophe as the only existential threat Australia faced. But there is little articulation in the public domain of what these ideas actually mean.The new cyber incident management arrangements are meant to operate below the level of national cyber crisis. But the country is in dire need of a civil defence strategy for cyber space that addresses both levels of attack. There is no significant mention of cyber threats in the website of the Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub. This is a completely new form of civil defence, and it may need a new form of organisation to carry it forward. A new, dedicated arm of a existing agency, such as the State Emergency Services (SES), is another potential solution.One of us (Greg Austin) proposed in 2016 the creation of a new “cyber civil corps”. This would be a disciplined service relying on part-time commitments from the people best trained to respond to national cyber emergencies. A cyber civil corps could also help to define training needs and contribute to national training packages. The second task falls to private business, who face potentially crippling costs in random cyber attacks. They will need to build their own body of expertise in cyber simulations and exercise. Contracting out such responsibilities to consulting companies, or one-off reports, would produce scattershot results. Any “lessons learnt” within firms about contingency management could fail to be consolidated and shared with the wider business community. The third task of all stakeholders is to mobilise an expanding knowledge community led by researchers from academia, government and the private sector.What exists at the moment is minimalist, and appears hostage to the preferences of a handful of senior officials in Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and the Department of Home Affairs who may not be in post within several years. Cyber civil defence is the responsibility of the entire community. Australia needs a national standing committee for cyber security emergency management and resilience that is an equal partnership between government, business, and academic specialists. Provided by The Conversation Debates about cyber security in Australia over the past few weeks have largely centred around the passing of the government’s controversial Assistance and Access bill. But while government access to encrypted messages is an important subject, protecting Australia from threat could depend more on the task of developing a solid and robust cyber security response plan. Explore further This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. At least 57 negative impacts from cyber-attacks Australia released its first Cyber Incident Management Arrangements (CIMA) for state, territory and federal governments on December 12. It’s a commendable move towards a comprehensive national civil defence strategy for cyber space.Coming at least a decade after the need was first foreshadowed by the government, this is just the initial step on a path that demands much more development. Beyond CIMA, the government needs to better explain to the public the unique threats posed by large scale cyber incidents and, on that basis, engage the private sector and a wider community of experts on addressing those unique threats.Australia is poorly preparedThe aim of the new cyber incident arrangements is to reduce the scope, impact and severity of a “national cyber incident”. A national cyber incident is defined as being of potential national importance, but less severe than a “crisis” that would trigger the government’s Australian Government Crisis Management Framework (AGCMF).Australia is currently ill-prepared to respond to a major cyber incident, such as the Wannacry or NotPetya attacks in 2017.Wannacry severely disrupted the UK’s National Health Service, at a cost of A$160 million. NotPetya shut down the world’s largest shipping container company, Maersk, for several weeks, costing it A$500 million.When costs for random cyber attacks are so high, it’s vital that all Australian governments have coordinated response plans to high-threat incidents. The CIMA sets out inter-jurisdictional coordination arrangements, roles and responsibilities, and principles for cooperation.A higher-level cyber crisis that would trigger the AGCMF (a process that itself looks somewhat under-prepared) is one that “… results in sustained disruption to essential services, severe economic damage, a threat to national security or loss of life.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: New guidelines for responding to cyber attacks don’t go far enough (2018, December 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-guidelines-cyber-dont.html
Citation: Digital detox: Resorts offer perks for handing over phones (2018, December 21) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-digital-detox-resorts-perks.html Adam Bryan and Hannah Steadman work with their children Wesley and Greta Rose on puzzles included in complimentary backpacks provided with other incentives by the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Chicago on Dec. 1, 2018. A growing number of hotels are helping guests take a vacation from their vacation by offering incentives to guests willing to lock up their cell phones (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) Wyndham says 250 people have used the pouches so far at resorts in Florida and Texas. The program will be found at more Wyndham hotels next year.Wyndham Grand resorts also give families a 5 percent discount on their stay if they put their phones in a timed lockbox. The hotel provides supplies for a pillow fort, s’mores, a bedtime book and an instant camera for adults and kids who don’t know what to do with all the newfound time on their hands.That appeals to Matthew Cannata, who heads public relations for the New Britain, Connecticut, schools. He worries about the impact of technology on his two young children, and he tries to keep devices out of sight during family meals. Can you take a vacation from your cellphone? A growing number of hotels will help you find out. Alexa, send up breakfast: Amazon launches Echo for hotels Some resorts are offering perks, like snorkeling tours and s’mores, to guests who manage to give up their phones for a few hours. Some have phone-free hours at their pools; others are banning distracting devices from public places altogether.Hotels that limit cellphone use risk losing valuable exposure on Instagram or Facebook. But they say the policies reflect their mission of promoting wellness and relaxation. And, of course, they hope that happily unplugged guests will return for future visits.”Everyone wants to be able to disconnect. They just need a little courage,” said Lisa Checchio, Wyndham Hotels’ chief marketing officer.People’s inability to disconnect is an increasingly serious issue. Half of smartphone users spend between three and seven hours per day on their mobile devices, according to a 2017 global survey by Counterpoint Research, a technology consulting firm. In a separate study by the nonprofit Common Sense Media, 69 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens said they check their devices at least hourly.Wyndham knew it had a problem when hotel managers requested more beach chairs to accommodate all the people who would sit in them and stare at their phones. It discovered that the average resort guest was bringing three devices and checking them once every 12 minutes—or roughly 80 times a day.On Oct. 1, Wyndham Grand’s five U.S. resorts began offering prime spots by the pool, free snacks and the chance to win return visits when guests put their phone in a soft, locked pouch. The phones stay with the guests, but only hotel staff can unlock the pouches. Explore further Adam Bryan and his son Wesley work together on puzzles included in complimentary backpacks provided with other incentives by the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Chicago on Dec. 1, 2018. A growing number of hotels are helping guests take a vacation from their vacation by offering incentives to guests willing to lock up their cell phones (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) 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. At Miraval, a Hyatt-owned resort in Arizona, the emphasis is less on family time than on mindfulness and tranquility. Miraval, which will soon open two more resorts in Texas and Massachusetts, bans phone use in most public areas.Guests are encouraged to tuck their phones into soft cotton bags and leave them on small wooden beds in their rooms. Staff wears name tags with gentle reminders that guests should unplug and “be present.”Some resorts encourage a total ban. Wilderness Resorts, an African safari operator, intentionally provides no Wi-Fi at many of its camps. Adrere Amellal, a 40-room hotel at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, lets guests have phones in their rooms, but there’s no electricity or Wi-Fi.Not all vacationers want to be weaned from their devices. Phones double as cameras, music players, travel guides and e-readers. They also might be critical in an emergency.David Bruns, a communications manager for AARP Florida, uses two phones. He tries not to check his work phone after hours, but he carries his personal phone everywhere.”I don’t think I would like being made to put the thing down,” Bruns said. “It feels like that is more about me being told what to do by people I am paying to do something for me.”Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali, Indonesia, understands that, so it tries to meet guests halfway. Its winding River Pool bans phones between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. But it invites guests to take photos and post away to social media before and after those times. This Dec. 1, 2018 photo shows a locked box holding cell phones during a digital detox visit to the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Chicago. A growing number of hotels are helping guests take a vacation from their vacation by offering incentives to guests willing to lock up their cell phones.(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. “Any chance I can get to put the phone away is great. Sometimes, people need to be forced to do things to start a thought process and then create a habit,” he said.At the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, a so-called Detox Concierge will “cleanse” your suite of all electronic devices and replace them with games like Jenga and chess. Guests at its sister resort, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, trade in their phones for a bracelet that gives them free access to activities like snorkeling; they must do at least four activities to earn back their phones. A timer placed in the lobby shows how long each family has lasted without their devices.Emily Evans likes the idea of rewarding people for putting their phones away. A senior at Eastern Kentucky University, she says she barely keeps her phone charged while on vacation, but her girlfriend is constantly checking her phone.”I feel most millennials would choose discounts and saving money over having their phone out to Instagram and Snapchat pictures of their meals,” Evans said.