July 20, 2019

EU Elections

first_img Categories: European Union, Politics « EU Elections with Exit Polls Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a snap election after disappointing results from his party in the European Elections. His Syriza party was estimated to have received just 23.94% of votes in the elections, trailing behind its main opposition party New Democracy, which received 33.28%. A far-right party in Italy’s of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has come out on top in Italy’s European parliamentary elections based on the exit polls. It certainly appears that Nigel Farage will come out on top in the UK. So far, we are looking at truly a sea-change in Europe.Nevertheless, the European People’s Party in the European Parliament has influence in all the EU’s institutions and it will most likely remain with the greatest number of seats probably around 23%. It has been the largest political group in the European Parliament since 1999. In the European Council, 9 out of 28 Heads of State and Government belong to the EPP family and in the European Commission, 13 out of 27 Commissioners come from EPP parties. The EPP looks to be losing more than 40 seats.The parties who seem to want reform should combine about 200 seats against about 540 seats. The question that will rise is how will Brussels react? Ignore it and push on or reform? It appears that there will not be a reform movement and Brussels will most likely try to paint this as a temporary populace fluke as did Washington Republicans with Trump.center_img The Shift from Public to Private Assets in Europe »last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Entrepreneurs Attend WVCChelanDouglas Unemployment Rate Drops to 33Forum on Proposed Charter School

first_imgThe Wenatchee Valley College has launched a start up program … Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/wvc-11a.wav00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Stacy Luckesmeyer, business & industry liaison with the Center for Entrepreneurship at WVC … says if you have the mind of an entrepreneur you should begin your investigation of the new program online at wvc dot edu …last_img

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July 20, 2019

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance wins Employer of Excellence award

first_img Source:https://www.seattlecca.org/ May 28 2018Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) announced today that it is one of eight national recipients of an Employer of Excellence award from the American Academy of Physician Assistants (PA’s) Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management. SCCA accepted the award during the American Academy of PAs’ (AAPA) Annual Conference, earlier this week in New Orleans, LA.”This award reinforces that Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is a top place to work for APPs, and their invaluable commitment to our organization and patients,” said F. Marc Stewart, Medical Director and senior vice president at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.The award program is designed to showcase hospitals and health systems that have implemented practices that create positive work environments for PAs (physician assistants) and encourage collaborative provider teams. The program is the first and only PA-specific award program available to hospitals and health systems.”This award demonstrates the incredible engagement of our APP workforce, and the impressive organizational leadership team who appreciate the skills and contributions of our APP’s,” said Gabrielle Zecha, Director, Advanced Practice Providers at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.The 2018-2019 winners are: Establishing a positive and supportive PA work environment. Providing opportunities for PAs to provide meaningful input that leads to positive organizational change. Keeping PAs informed about organizational activity and decisions. Involving PAs in leadership efforts to improve the quality of patient care. Creating processes for effective conflict management. “These hospitals and health systems have earned designation as Employers of Excellence by taking specific steps to empower their PAs and promote mutual respect and effective communication among all of their healthcare providers,” said Jennifer Broderick, managing director of CHLM. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize organizations that are going the extra mile to ensure their PAs get the opportunity to work in engaging environments and achieve the best patient outcomes.”Each awardee will be showcased as a top place to work for PAs, which will enhance recruitment of highly-qualified PAs, increase retention rates, and showcase the awardees as pioneers in the healthcare industry. Awardees will retain their designation as an Employer of Excellence for two years, and then must re-apply to maintain the designation.Any hospital or health system in the United States that employs PAs was eligible to apply for the award. The next online application period opens in fall 2018.center_img “These eight hospitals and health systems have unlocked some important secrets to maximize the value of PAs to their organizations and their patients,” said Jenna Dorn, CEO of AAPA. “PA-positive environments create a win-win situation for PAs and for employers.”Related StoriesEmbrace your natural skin tone to prevent skin cancer, say expertsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskLiving with advanced breast cancerTo determine the criteria for recognition, CHLM partnered with HealthStream, a leading provider of workforce, patient experience, and provider solutions for the healthcare industry, to gain an understanding of what PAs value in their place of employment. Based on the survey findings, criteria for the Employer of Excellence Awards focused on five key drivers: Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Boston The Cleveland Clinic – Cleveland El Centro Family Health – Taos, New Mexico Hospital for Special Surgery – New York MidMichigan Health – Midland, Michigan NYU Langone Health – New York Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – Seattle Wake Forest Baptist Health – Winston-Salem, North Carolinalast_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Anything goes the shape of your vulva is unique and normal say

first_img Source:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29940085 Image Credit: JpegPhotographer / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 2 2018There are few women who have checked out their vulva using a hand-held mirror and liked what they saw. In the largest ever study conducted on vaginas and vulvas of women, researchers have said that there is nothing called a “normal vagina”. This study was published in the latest issue of the journal BJOG.center_img Related StoriesStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsA team of researchers from Lucern Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland looked at 657 women aged between 15 and 84. Lead author Anne Kreklau and her colleagues meticulously measured the inner and outer labia, vaginal opening, clitoris and the perineum of the women. When they compiled their results, a wide variation was noted. No average size or shape could be deduced from the results that could fit most of the women the researchers explain.The two lips or the labia varied widely, they write. The outer labia or the labia majora was between 12mm and 180mm in length among the women. Similarly the inner labia or the labia minora varied between 5mm to 100mm in length. The clitoris was between 1mm and 22mm and its length varied between 0.5mm to 34mm. The vaginal opening size varied between 6 to 75mm.The researchers explain that this wide variation in size shows biological differences and emphasize those entirely healthy vaginas and vulvae can look entirely different from each other and that is normal. They explain that no vagina is “wrong or weird”. All the women measured were Caucasians in this study and the authors plan a more detailed study with women of different ethnicities.There is a major surge in labiaplasties or plastic surgery procedures to correct the shape and size of the vaginas and vulvae. In a 2016 survey 443 Australian GPs were interviewed. Of these 97 percent had reported that they cared for patients who were anxious over the appearance of their genitalia and if their vulva looked normal. A report released in 2017 by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery said that there was a 39 percent increase in women who went under the knife between 2015 and 2016 for a vulval plastic surgery or labiaplasty. For most of these women the common complaint was that their vulvas were asymmetrical or too large.The labia and the vulva that are shown on screen, in anatomical illustrations and in porn are not the standard, the experts add, and women should stop trying to make their vulvae look like what they consider “beautiful”.last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Tobacco products more aggressively marketed in Milwaukees minority neighborhoods

first_imgAug 3 2018Tobacco products in Milwaukee are more aggressively marketed in stores in African-American and Latino neighborhoods than in white ones, according to a study led by a public health researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Results are similar to other studies showing that communities with lower incomes, lower educational attainment and more minority residents are targeted with significantly more tobacco promotion. This study is the first to document the trend in Milwaukee, said Linnea Laestadius, assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health.In addition to the disparity, the researchers have identified a state policy obstacle that keeps local governments from enacting more stringent regulation of tobacco advertising. The results were published Aug. 2 in the journal Tobacco Regulatory Science and were presented to the Milwaukee Common Council earlier this year.The study involved multiple stakeholder organizations, who conducted an audit of promotion and advertising practices at stores in three demographically distinct ZIP code clusters, with a random sample of tobacco retailers drawn from each.Compared to retailers in the predominantly white ZIP code cluster, stores in the African-American and Hispanic areas are more likely to engage in tactics like placing tobacco next to candy, placing ads in the line of sight of children and offering price promotions such as selling small cigars individually and for less than $1, said Laestadius.”The evidence is increasingly clear that children who are exposed to tobacco marketing in stores are more likely to start smoking,” she added.While it’s legal for retailers to market tobacco products, she said, these practices are not used to the same degree in the white ZIP code cluster. The tobacco industry spends over $8 billion annually on cigarette advertising and promotion.Related StoriesLow rates of recommended treatment for tobacco dependence in patients hospitalized with SUDsStudies show no evidence of fall in cigarette consumption due to WHO’s FCTCSmoking ban in prisons reduces levels of second-hand smokeLaestadius sees this as the industry cultivating the next generation of smokers by targeting susceptible populations. “Addressing point-of-sale advertising would ultimately help us reduce the disparities we see in smoking-related diseases,” she said.In Wisconsin, African-American adults and lower income adults have particularly high smoking rates, according to data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Promotion of menthol cigarettes, which have higher carbon monoxide concentrations than regular cigarettes, was most common in the African-American ZIP code cluster.The study team also pointed to a state level policy, called preemption, that bars local governments from establishing regulations that are stricter than Wisconsin legislation on advertising, licensing and youth access. For example, the rule means Milwaukee couldn’t adopt a ban on menthol cigarettes, which have long been targeted at African American communities. Changing state law would give cities a better chance to protect their residents and promote health.Store audits were conducted by public health workers and volunteers at 195 tobacco retailers during three months of 2016. The auditors used the Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings form co-developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically designed to help community groups collect data to inform policy change.Source: https://uwm.edulast_img read more

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July 20, 2019

One more question Dr Frieden Eleven things wed like to know about

first_imgQ: What training, specifically, did health care workers receive prior to treating Mr. Duncan? Who provided the training and how long did it last? Q: You have repeatedly assured the United States that we know how to stop Ebola. Are you concerned about the impact the two cases have on your credibility? Q: Nurses at the Dallas hospital have specified shortcomings in the way their hospital has handled Duncan’s case. Has your investigation confirmed these mistakes? Email Q: In West Africa, some health care workers have been afraid to care for Ebola patients, and some have not shown up for work or even left their homes. Has anyone at Texas Presbyterian refused to take care of Ebola patients? 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 Q: What Ebola-specific training is provided now at Texas Presbyterian and at other hospitals around the country? Q: Do you think the media are paying too much attention to the U.S. outbreak and too little to the epidemic in West Africa?*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public. Q: Why is the second case being moved to Emory? Are you concerned about the level of care at Texas Presbyterian, further infections, or both? Q: Should all future patients be moved to one of the four Ebola-specialized treatment centers in the United States if their condition allows it? Q: At CDC’s Ebola training course in Anniston, Alabama, health care workers are told to strictly limit shifts in Ebola treatment units, starting with 1-hour rotations. Is Texas Presbyterian using a similar strategy? Are Emory and the other dedicated centers? Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Q: You said that about 50 health care workers entered Duncan’s room and that you want to limit the number of people exposed to Ebola patients. How do you do this? What is the minimum number needed for a single patient? Q: Are people taking care of Ebola patients allowed to help other patients? Frieden vowed that this lapse would not happen again. “We will ensure from this moment forward that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement,” he said, which can include chartered planes or cars but puts restrictions on the use of public transport. The new patient will be transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which has a specialized unit to provide Ebola care, later today.From now on, CDC will send a rapid response “go” team to any health care facility that has an Ebola patient. CDC has also sent staff to Dallas and two Ebola-experienced nurses from Emory will provide training and supervision of the Texas Presbyterian health care workers.As often happens with major breaking news stories, CDC could not answer all the questions of the reporters who attended the press conference or joined by telephone. ScienceInsider had two reporters on the call who were not selected. They were left with the following questions.Q: You said that the two health care workers may have been particularly vulnerable between 28 September, when Duncan was admitted to the hospital and isolated, and 30 September, when he received his diagnosis. Was infection control inadequate during those days—and how so? Why is it less likely that they became infected after his diagnosis? Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A second health care worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that its investigations “increasingly suggest” that she and a colleague diagnosed with Ebola on 14 October were at highest risk of infection between 28 and 30 September, when Thomas Eric Duncan had been admitted to the hospital but had yet to receive confirmation that he was infected.“These two health care workers both worked on those days, and both had extensive contact with the patient when the patient had extensive production of body fluids because of vomiting and diarrhea,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden at a press conference today.The second health care worker flew from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas on 13 October, the day before she developed symptoms, leading CDC to try to contact the 132 passengers and the crew on that flight. (The woman had an “elevated” temperature of 99.5°F, or 37.5°C; that’s below the threshold for a fever, which is at 100.4°F, or 38.0°C.) Frieden said the woman, whose job he did not specify, “should not have traveled on a commercial airline” but stressed she did not vomit and was not bleeding during the trip. “The level of risk of people around her would be extremely low,” he said.last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Critics assail paper claiming harm from cancer vaccine

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The tussle is the latest salvo in a widen
ing global battle over the HPV vaccine. Originally licensed in 2006, the vaccine is now approved for use in more than 
120 countries. Studies show it is already starting to reduce HPV infections, which are blamed for 528,000 cervical cancer cases and 266,000 deaths each year, with the greatest burden in developing countries. (Boys are also now getting vaccinated, as HPV can cause genital warts and various cancers.) But in several countries, girls have complained of debilitating symptoms, reminiscent of chronic fatigue syndrome, 
after vaccination. Email By Dennis NormileDec. 21, 2016 , 9:30 AM Alarmed by “pseudoscience” that may bring “devastating” health consequences, two groups of researchers have asked the journal Scientific Reports to retract a paper that they claim undermines confidence in the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, given to girls to prevent cervical cancer.The 11 November paper describes impaired mobility and brain damage in mice given an HPV vaccine. The mice received doses that were proportionally a thousand times greater than that given to people, along with a toxin that makes the blood-brain barrier leaky. That protocol, critics contend, does not mimic what happens in the human body.“Basically, this is an utterly useless paper, a waste of precious animals,” David Gorski, a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, wrote on his Orac blog at scienceblogs.com. In an email to Science, the paper’s corresponding author, Toshihiro Nakajima of Tokyo Medical University, defended the work, stating: “Our manuscript was formally published after an intensive scientific review done by reviewers and by the editorial board of Scientific Reports.” Critics assail paper claiming harm from cancer vaccine 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 The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images Off the cliff After claims arose that the human papillomavirus vaccine could cause debilitating side effects, the vaccine rate among women in Japan plummeted. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Last July, women claiming side effects from the cervical cancer vaccine sued Japan’s government. (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) S. Hanley et al., The Lancet (27 JUNE 2015) © The Lancet These claims have attracted media attention, spawned antivaccination campaigns, and cut vaccination rates. More than 90% of Danish girls born in 2000 received at least one vaccine dose, but that rate has dropped year by year. Ireland also saw a drop in vaccination rates in 2015 and 2016. The trend is “alarming,” says Heidi Larson, who heads the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.Japan is the prime battleground. As in many countries, the HPV vaccine got off to a promising start there. The first vaccine was licensed in 2009; in April 2013, the ministry added the vaccine to its recommended list and offered it for free. Uptake was robust. Sharon Hanley, a cancer epidemiologist at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, and colleagues reported in The Lancet in 2015 that roughly 70% of girls born between 1994 and 1998 completed the three-dose vaccination course.In spring 2013, however, a number of media outlets in Japan reported on alleged side effects. These include difficulty walking, headache, fatigue, poor concentration, and pain. That June, the health ministry suspended its “proactive recommendation” for vaccination, pending an investigation.The following January a ministry panel concluded that there is no evidence for a causal association between the HPV vaccine and the reported adverse events. The European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have come to similar conclusions. Epidemiological studies indicate that the symptoms reported by the vaccinated girls are found at equal rates in nonvaccinated populations. Yet Japan’s health ministry has never restored its proactive recommendation, which means that although the government pays for the shots, it has stopped urging local authorities to promote vaccination.Vaccination rates have plummeted in Japan. Hanley says that in the city of Sapporo, the vaccination rate fell to just 0.6% of eligible girls, and she believes that nationwide, the rate is close to zero. (In a sign of growing trouble for vaccination, 63 women in July filed a class-action lawsuit against the government and vaccinemakers, seeking $125,000 each in compensation for the alleged side effects.) Larson notes that health ministries in other countries aggressively promoted vaccine safety after claims of side effects surfaced, keeping vaccination rates high. An official at Japan’s health ministry says a decision on restoring the proactive recommendation is under review.Nakajima’s study is sure to inflame the debate. His group gave mice large doses of the HPV vaccine along with a pertussis toxin to help the vaccine slip into the central nervous system. The treatment, they found, impaired tail movement and locomotion. A postmortem revealed structural damage, increased cell death, and other abnormalities in the mice’s brains.Critics assail the study in a pair of letters to Scientific Reports and its publisher, the Nature Publishing Group. One, signed by 
20 members of the HPV Prevention and Control Board at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, asserts: “This experimental setup in no way mimics the immunization with HPV vaccines but is gross over dosage and manipulation of membrane permeability.” A second letter, from David Hawkes, a viro
logist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and two colleagues argues that the paper “lacks a clear methodology, adequate controls to control for bias, descriptions of results consistent with the data presented, or enough information for this study to 
be reproduced.”Nakajima defends his group’s methodo
logy, stating that they adopted a strategy similar to that commonly used in studying autoimmune encephalitis in mice. As for the dose, he wrote, “This is just the first paper and dose-dependency could be one of the interesting experiments in the future.” He added that they are now preparing a detailed response to criticisms of their paper.Vaccine proponents worry that the paper will embolden vaccine opponents. Nearly 200 tweets have mentioned it, with several mistakenly assuming it appeared in Nature. Both letters call on Scientific Reports to withdraw it. In an email to Science, a journal spokesperson confirmed having received the letters, and wrote, “We investigate every concern that is raised with us carefully and will take action where appropriate.”Even as opposition to the HPV vaccine gains momentum, evidence of its efficacy is accumulating. But with its paltry vaccination rate, Japan is unlikely to see any reduction in its current 9000-plus cases of cervical cancer and 3000 deaths each year. Worse, says Larson, Japan’s suspension of the proactive recommendation “has been particularly applauded” by vaccine-critical groups in other countries. For women in Asian nations with weaker health infrastructure, Hanley adds, “The vaccine may be their only hope of prevention.”last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

How HIVAIDS ended up in Trumps State of the Union speech

first_img How HIV/AIDS ended up in Trump’s State of the Union speech President Donald Trump announced an initiative to end HIV/AIDS in the United States during his State of the Union address. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Jon CohenFeb. 6, 2019 , 5:05 PM Trump devoted 63 words to the topic in his speech, which left many unanswered questions about what, exactly, the administration plans to do, how much it will cost, and where the money will come from. But this morning, Fauci, Redfield, Giroir, and other health officials took part in a press briefing to better explain their vision.The push to end AIDS in the United States will concentrate on improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention efforts in 48 counties; Washington, D.C.; and one municipality in Puerto Rico; those locations account for more than half of the nearly 40,000 new HIV diagnoses each year. “When we originally did this [analysis] and I saw the map of those counties I was shocked that it was only 48 counties out of over 3000 counties in the United States,” said Redfield, who described the new program as “laser focused.” They also will target seven states that account for the majority of infections in rural populations, including Native American communities that have had sharp increases in HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men.Fauci acknowledges that even before he met with Redfield, many of the specifics of the plan “were floating around in a very similar way.” Indeed, a similar vision is spelled out in detail in National HIV/AIDS Strategy reports issued during the administration of former President Barack Obama. CDC reports have also documented the hot spots for years. And those maps have helped clarify the problem, Fauci notes. “There’s nothing like, ‘Holy mackerel, there are a lot of infections in this district!’” he says. But he says there’s never been “a concerted, multiagency effort” to address gaps in the federal response with a target date to “end the epidemic as we know it.”The goal of the new program is to reduce new infections by 75% in 5 years, and by 90% in 10 years. “HIV has cost America too much for too long,” says Giroir, HHS’s assistant secretary of health, who noted that 700,000 Americans have died from AIDS.Girior won’t specify how much money the initiative would cost, but says Trump’s budget request, expected next month, will ask Congress for new funding. They do not plan to take it from existing HHS programs. “We are very confident we will have the sufficient resources provided in the 2020 budget for us to begin this very aggressive plan,” he says. (Congress will have the final say on any spending.)Fauci said a key part of the plan is to better coordinate the contributions of 19 Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) that together receive $45 million a year from the National Institutes of Health. The CFARs, mainly based at universities, conduct multidisciplinary studies on everything from epidemiology to behavioral research and “implementation” science that looks at how best to keep HIV-infected people in care and help uninfected access proven interventions. “The location of the 19 CFARs beautifully overlap—although not completely—with the hot spots,” Fauci says. The CFARs have strong ties to their communities, he says, and they can better coordinate how they work together.Michael Saag, director of the CFAR at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, welcomes the new initiative and says his counterparts around the country have much to learn from one another and from international efforts. “The CFARs are beginning to form a larger, national group effort to share best practices and ways forward,” Saag says. Douglas Richman, who leads the CFAR at the University of California, San Diego, notes that clinics at CFAR sites often do a good job of providing testing and access to convenient care, but says the “practical issue” is how to reach vulnerable and uninsured people who now are outside the system.Several advocacy groups have welcomed the push to end AIDS by 2030 in the United States, but they also have raised serious concerns about the Trump administration’s treatment of many of the communities most vulnerable to HIV infection. As the International AIDS Society in Geneva, Switzerland, cautioned in a statement: “We must also acknowledge that this announcement is inconsistent with the policies and rhetoric that directly attack trans people and the larger LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] community, people who inject drugs, people of colour, refugees, sex workers and women’s rights.”Redfield stresses that leaders recognize the epidemic is concentrated in vulnerable communities. “Stigma is the enemy of public health,” says Redfield, adding that transgender people and injecting drug users, in particular, have suffered. “We need to be able to address in a comprehensive way how to destigmatize HIV infection.”The new plan will put much emphasis on offering anti-HIV drugs to uninfected people as part of a proven strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Giroir says 1.2 million Americans are at high risk of HIV infection and candidates for PrEP, but only 10% receive it. “It’s an astounding and shocking figure that so few are getting an indicated medication, but [it’s] a tremendous opportunity for us to expand the program,” Giroir says. And he says models show that if 60% of these people use PrEP, new infections will drop by 90%.Giroir urges Congress to support the plan. “This is a public health issue,” he says. “Everybody should be behind this.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Doug Mills/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images The people who planted the seed that led President Donald Trump to announce a new agenda to end AIDS in his State of the Union address yesterday had no notion that their idea would receive this kind of prime-time attention.Last summer, a few months after taking the helm of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta in April 2018, Robert Redfield met with Anthony Fauci, who heads the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. One topic of discussion was their vision of how to better coordinate the federal government’s response to the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic and to help bring it to an end. “We got together and said this can work, let’s start pushing it,” Fauci tells ScienceInsider.About 2 months ago, Fauci and Redfield took their idea to their boss, Alex Azar, who leads the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington D.C., and his top deputy, Brett Giroir. “Alex really, really liked it,” Fauci says. “He said, ‘I think we can bring this to the president.’ We said, ‘Wow, wouldn’t that be interesting.’ The president was very excited about it and said, ‘Let’s do it.’” (Fauci, incidentally, says he has developed friendships with all five previous presidents, but has yet to meet Trump.) 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 Emaillast_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Top stories The origins of Stonehenge a MeTooSTEM leader and a new

first_img By Alex FoxFeb. 15, 2019 , 4:10 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Top stories: The origins of Stonehenge, a #MeTooSTEM leader, and a new crater under Greenland’s ice Stonehenge, other ancient rock structures may trace their origins to monuments like thisStonehenge may be the most famous example, but tens of thousands of other ancient sites featuring massive, curiously arranged rocks dot Europe. A new study suggests these megaliths weren’t created independently, but instead can be traced back to a single hunter-gatherer culture that started nearly 7000 years ago in what is today the Brittany region of northwestern France.This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science—but her own job is in peril Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country (Left to right): ANDIA/UIG/GETTY IMAGES; ANITA KUNZ; NASA SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION STUDIO Email In the past 9 months, BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, has become the very public face of the #MeToo movement in science. Scores of women have reached out to her for advice, posting harrowing tales of harassment on the MeTooSTEM.com website that McLaughlin launched in June 2018. Now, her own scientific career is on the line. In 2017, a faculty committee that previously approved her tenure unanimously reversed itself. Unless something changes, she will lose her job on 28 February, when her National Institutes of Health grant expires.Radar reveals a second potential impact crater under Greenland’s iceJust months after revealing an impact crater the size of Washington, D.C., buried under the ice of northwestern Greenland, a team of scientists has discovered that it has company: another large depression 180 kilometers away that may also be an asteroid or comet impact crater.Here’s how your city’s climate will change by 2080, if you’re in Canada or the United StatesClimate change is a hard thing to imagine, especially 60 years into the future. With that in mind, environmental scientists have developed a web-based app that can tell people living in one of 540 cities in Canada or the continental United States how their homes will transform by the year 2080—and which modern-day city it is most likely to resemble. For example, residents of Washington, D.C., can expect a climate in the 2080s that resembles the current climate in Paragould, Arkansas, about 132 kilometers northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.New patent win for University of California upends CRISPR legal battleThe University of California has received good news on a patent for the invention of the genome editor known as CRISPR: As STAT reports, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, posted a “notice of allowance” last week for the school’s CRISPR patent, which it originally applied for in March 2013. The patent, which will likely move the fierce legal war over CRISPR closer to a peace treaty, should be officially issued within the next 2 months.last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Novel NSF initiative seeks nimble scientists to create better tools to tackle

first_img Are you a scientist who wants to take a multidisciplinary, team approach to solving an important societal problem? Can you move quickly, think like an entrepreneur, and thrive under a short leash? Then the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia, has a new funding program that might be a good fit.The novel initiative, which next week has its first deadline for two-page preliminary proposals, goes by the hokey sounding name Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel) pilot. But NSF is dead serious about the funding. By the end of this summer, the agency envisions awarding up to $1 million each to 50 teams for 9-month pilot projects. Those pilots will then compete for a smaller number of $5 million awards extending into 2022.NSF Director France Córdova has set aside $60 million this year for C-Accel and has requested an additional $60 million in 2020, with the hope that phase two teams will attract at least $40 million in total from other sources. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By Jeffrey MervisApr. 9, 2019 , 2:35 PM Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Novel NSF initiative seeks nimble scientists to create better tools to tackle societal problems. But act now The future of work is one topic the National Science Foundation hopes researchers will explore in its new initiative. Agency officials expect each applicant to address one of three real-world challenges: manipulating large and nonproprietary data sets to build what NSF calls open knowledge networks, helping people get the training they need for good jobs, and finding better ways of matching employers with suitable candidates. But instead of spinning off a company to sell a product, grantees are supposed to develop tools and approaches that will help other researchers working on those problems.“We have other programs that focus on technology transfer,” explains Jim Kurose, head of NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate. “But C-Accel is about making available tools that the research community is going to use, whether in academia or industry.”“We haven’t lost sight of our mission to fund basic research,” adds C. Suzanne Iacono, head of NSF’s Office of Integrative Activities, where C-Accel will be housed. “But we want to accelerate the transition of that research into practice. … This is really something new for NSF.”Build, test, revise, repeatDivya Srinivasan, an assistant professor of engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, already has a standard NSF grant that hints at the kinds of projects C-Accel envisions supporting. Last year, the agency gave her and a multidisciplinary team nearly $3 million over 5 years to develop a whole-body exoskeleton that could make people more productive at work. The idea is to use the technology to augment workers’ skills rather than to take away their jobs.“Let’s say a factory with robots is willing to open up a part of its factory floor,” Iacono posits. “The idea is to apply what the researchers have developed, like an exoskeleton, and see if it actually works. That’s what a living lab is. You collect data, compare it to your metrics and goals, and then go back to campus and improve the tool. It’s called spiral design.”Srinivasan says her team is likely to take the plunge and apply for a C-Accel pilot. NSF officials hopes hundreds of groups will do likewise, including social scientists. “It could be a new way of presenting information, a new way of organizing people, or a new support system,” says Sara Kiesler, a program manager in NSF’s Division of Social and Economic Sciences. “Our core programs address important problems. But with C-Accel we’re also expecting a deliverable.”Some C-Accel applicants, like Srinivasan, may build on research that NSF is already funding as part of its 10 Big Ideas initiative, which Córdova launched in 2016. C-Accel’s focus on open knowledge networks aligns, for example, with the Big Ideas emphasis on “harnessing big data.” And C-Accel’s two other tracks relate to another Big Idea, the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, which is helping support Srinivasan.Spell it outC-Accel’s emphasis on a tangible end product isn’t the only thing that sets it apart from many other NSF programs; it will also pursue a distinctly different approach to grantmaking. Some have likened it to the approach used by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency within the Department of Defense, in which program managers set clear research milestones and hold grantees accountable for meeting them. “The deliverables are clear, so our management can be more directed,” Kurose says. “The evaluation will also be more mission-driven than the standard NSF grant.”Researchers interested in C-Accel funding should submit their brief outline by 15 April (although NSF says it may consider proposals submitted after that date). Scientists should not only describe their idea, but also provide a list of team members, what each is expected to contribute, and what the group hopes to accomplish by the end of the project.Applicants with proposals deemed to fit the criteria will be invited to submit a full, 15-page proposal, due 3 June, and given some guidance. Those who fall short will simply be told no, Iacono says.The full proposals will get an expedited review, first by NSF program managers and then by outside experts. Winners will be notified sometime in July.“Yes, it does sound like an aggressive schedule,” says Jeremy Epstein of CISE. “But I come from a world of nonacademic research, where this would be a very normal time frame.”Make a pitchThose who receive phase one awards will become part of a cohort that will participate in several group activities, both in-person and virtually, over the duration of the grant. The training will include cross-cultural team building exercises, customer identification and market analysis, and guidance on how to pitch their research to potential industry partners, venture capital investors, and users. Those pitches, to be presented next winter, will help determine who receives a phase two award in the spring of 2020.That competition will be open only to those already being supported. But NSF expects to fund additional C-Accel cohorts if the pilots are successful, Iacono says, and this spring it will ask the community to submit ideas for future tracks. Those themes may not be aligned with any of NSF’s Big Ideas, she adds. “We started with [the current Big Ideas],” she notes, “because they seemed the ripest for generating new research tools.”last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

The International Space Station has found its scientific calling

first_img NASA The International Space Station (ISS) has never been known as a hotbed of science, even though the United States and partner nations spent more than $100 billion to build it. Inside its cramped bays, astronauts study the biological effects of microgravity, and a few astrophysical experiments are mounted to its exterior. But 2 decades after it started to take shape, the ISS has finally found a scientific calling: looking down at its home planet.The ISS is now home to five instruments that observe Earth, with two more set to join this year. One, NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3), was scheduled for launch this week from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a routine resupply mission. Its launch marks a political victory: President Donald Trump has proposed canceling OCO-3 several times, only to be rebuffed each time by Congress. It also marks a victory of expedience over perfection.The ISS is not the ideal platform for OCO-3, which was built to fly on a stand-alone satellite. In fact, “It’s probably not the perfect platform for almost anything,” says Michael Freilich, who led NASA’s earth science division in Washington, D.C. for 12 years until his retirement in February. “It’s big. It flexes. It travels around in a cloud of contaminants.” And, most important, its orbit misses the poles and revisits sites at a different time each day. But compared with launching a satellite, mounting the instrument on the ISS is vastly cheaper: At $110 million, OCO-3 costs a quarter as much as OCO-2, which launched as a stand-alone mission in 2014. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Earth-observing instruments roost on a platform attached to a Japanese module. 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 The International Space Station has found its scientific callingcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email By Paul VoosenMay. 2, 2019 , 12:05 PM The savings have helped NASA preserve the breadth of its earth science missions, after two spectacular launch failures: the loss of the original OCO satellite, which crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009, and the 2011 demise of Glory, meant to track atmospheric particles. Although Freilich marshaled support to build OCO-2, costs doubled for several other planned satellites, putting smaller missions in jeopardy.Around this time, Japan added a module to the ISS. Its flat terrace, jutting off its human-habitable module, was a good perch for 10 plug-and-play instruments. If putting Earth-observing instruments there would let NASA get much of the science for a fraction of the cost, that seemed like a good deal, Freilich says. “Everybody benefits. [NASA’s human program] gets to show the utility of the station,” while the earth science division flies more experiments.OCO-3 will be the third prominent NASA mission to be mounted on the Japanese module within the past year. Ecostress, attached in July 2018, measures the heat given off by plants to gauge the impact of heat waves and drought. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), launched in December 2018, uses a laser to probe the height of tree canopies and understories. Later this year, a Japanese hyperspectral imager that can detect land use and forest type will take a fourth spot. Other instruments mounted elsewhere on the ISS in the past 2 years measure lightning, incoming sunlight, and ozone.Like OCO-2, OCO-3 carries a spectrometer that spies on wavelengths of light absorbed by carbon dioxide (CO2), providing a count of all CO2 molecules on a path from the ISS to the surface. Based on how CO2 concentrations vary from place to place, the missions can map some emission sources along with absorption by plants. But the measurements are difficult given the vast background of CO2 already in the atmosphere.At first the OCO-3 team wasn’t thrilled to end up on the ISS, says Annmarie Eldering, the mission’s project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. But they came to see advantages. The erratic timing of its observations will make it challenging for OCO-3 to infer trends over weeks or months but will allow the instrument to explore how plant carbon emissions vary over the course of the day. “That’s going to be very useful,” Eldering says, especially when combined with measurements taken simultaneously by GEDI and Ecostress.OCO-3’s angled perch on the ISS also required a pivoting mount to allow it to see straight down. By pivoting, it can map CO2 over large regions, roughly the size of the Los Angeles, California, basin, during a single pass. Such regional maps could capture emissions from local sources such as cities and industry, says Christopher O’Dell, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and enable OCO-3 to test the promise of verifying CO2 cuts from space. “That’s the goal,” O’Dell says. “We don’t know if that’s possible.”The ISS has one key constraint: space. After 3 years, OCO-3 is likely to be displaced on the Japanese module. NASA and Japan are already talking about what will go next to take its slot, Eldering says. Afterward, she says, “They will take us off and burn us up in the atmosphere.”Yet the promise of a space-based platform for making multiple simultaneous measurements of Earth at lower cost will live on. Rudranarayan Mukherjee, a JPL engineer, is developing a concept called the Science Station: a robotic mini–space station with trusses and a robotic arm that could host a dozen Earth-observing instruments in low orbit. The space station, he says, “has shown the benefit of having a platform in lower Earth orbit that’s a shared resource.” NASA hasn’t yet committed to the concept, he says. But he adds, “People can instantly see, yeah, I could see how that could work.”last_img read more

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July 20, 2019

Aviations dirty secret Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global

first_img Aviation’s dirty secret: Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global warming 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. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Plane contrails have been found to increase heat in the upper atmosphere. One of the researchers from the 2011 study wanted to explore how contrail clouds could affect the climate in the future. Along with colleagues, atmospheric physicist Ulrike Burkhardt from the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR’s) Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Wessling created a new atmospheric model that—for the first time—gave contrail clouds their own category, separate from natural clouds. That allowed them to model particular qualities of the humanmade clouds that affected everything from their formation to how they interacted with the rest of the atmosphere.The researchers modeled the effect of global contrail cloud coverage in 2006, a year for which they had accurate aviation data. Then, taking into account predictions for future air traffic and emissions, they modeled the effect of contrail clouds for 2050. They found a threefold increase in their warming effect over that time, they report this week in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.The study is one of the first to make a detailed prediction of how these special clouds affect the future climate, says DLR cloud physicist Bernd Kärcher, who was a co-author on the 2011 paper. He says the new cloud classification scheme was crucial to the model and its results.The researchers looked at another scenario for 2050, one with a 50% reduction in airplane soot emissions. They found that such a reduction could lead to a 15% decrease in the contrail clouds’ atmospheric warming effect.But little is known about the relationship between climate warming and cloud coverage, and how atmospheric warming affects temperatures on the surface. What researchers do know is that high levels of soot lead to more and longer-lived contrail cirrus clouds, which could alter weather and climate at the surface, Burkhardt says. However, she adds, even a 90% reduction in soot emissions with the help of cleaner aircraft fuels would fail to bring the cloud’s climate impact back to its 2006 levels.A more likely scenario, Burkhardt says, is that levels of soot and contrail cirrus clouds will continue to rise. That’s because most aviation regulations and pollution-reduction plans fail to consider the climate impact from anything other than CO2 emissions. A United Nations scheme, for example, requires all signatory nations to keep their CO2 emissions under a certain level, and report them annually, but says nothing about the climate impact from contrails.Burkhardt says that considering contrails in such schemes would be difficult, however, because climate impact varies based on weather, location, and time of day. One solution, Burkhardt says, is to reroute flights. However, such rerouting may force planes to burn more fuel and release more CO2. She says it would be better to find more efficient fuels that release less soot. But with the likely increase in air traffic, even that might not be enough.Andrew Gettelman, a cloud physicist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says contrail cirrus clouds are a complex problem, but that their warming effect is still small compared with the overall amounts of CO2 belched by society. “If all we had were contrails, there wouldn’t be global warming.” But, he adds, it’s still important for the aviation industry to understand the science and “get their impact right.” Emailcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Katie CameroJun. 28, 2019 , 11:20 AM NurPhoto/Contributor/Getty Images The aviation industry has long been criticized for its large environmental footprint, particularly its climate-warming carbon emissions. But a new study suggests that another byproduct of airplanes—the white contrails they paint across the sky—has an even bigger warming effect, one that is set to triple by 2050.  Planes create their mesmerizing contrails as they soar high in the thin, cold air. Water vapor quickly condenses around soot from the plane’s exhaust and freezes to form cirrus clouds, which can last for minutes or hours. These high-flying clouds are too thin to reflect much sunlight, but ice crystals inside them can trap heat. Unlike low-level clouds that have a net cooling effect, these contrail-formed clouds warm the climate.A 2011 study suggests that the net effect of these contrail clouds contributes more to atmospheric warming than all the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by planes since the dawn of aviation. And those effects are predicted to get worse as air traffic—and the resulting cloud coverage—increases: Some estimates suggest global air traffic will quadruple by the year 2050.last_img read more

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July 19, 2019

Boris Johnson leads first round of voting to replace Theresa May in

first_img Boris Johnson pledges ‘new and improved’ trade ties with India as UK PM 0 Comment(s) Related News Leadsom, Harper, and McVey failed to receive the required minimum of 17 votes.Johnson got 114 votes, while Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt followed him with 43 votes. Michael Gove settled for the third place in the PM race with 37 votes, news agency Reuters reported. By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: June 13, 2019 6:43:49 pm Advertising UK’s Boris Johnson declines to comment on plan to facilitate a no-deal Brexit The Brexit deal has been delayed twice under Prime Minister Theresa May, and now the deadline for the deal stands on October 31. Meanwhile, the failure to deliver the deal this time could mean that there might be a no-deal exit from the European Union.Johnson, as quoted by news agency AFP, ahead of his official campaign launch, said, “After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31.”The contestants who were eliminated from the race to sit on the Prime Ministerial seat include Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey. boris johnson, uk prime minister, prime minister race in uk, new uk prime minister, theresa may, jeremy hunt, uk voting, brexit deal, world news, Indian Express Johnson got 114 votes. (File)Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leads the first round of voting which took place on Thursday to elect a new Prime Minister for the country with the Brexit deal in mind. Former UK PM Major vows legal action to block suspension of parliament Advertisinglast_img read more

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July 19, 2019

ClevelandChicago Hyperloop Line Gets Feasibility Study

first_imgHyperloop Transportation Technologies on Thursday announced an agreement with an Ohio agency to launch a study on creating its first interstate hyperloop project in the U.S., connecting Chicago and Cleveland.The agreement with the Northern Ohio Area Coordinating Committee puts in motion a regional feasibility study, to be carried out in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Various routes have been identified for the Hyperloop service, which would operate a super high-speed system to accommodate transport at more than 700 miles per hour. One key question for the long term success of hyperloop technology, is whether it would combine high-speed commuter travel and high-speed freight hauling, noted Steven Polzin, director of mobility policy research at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research.”There are folks who envision hyperloop offering something equivalent to a container shipping service to help amortize the project cost and more fully utilize hyperloop capacity,” he told TechNewsWorld. “For a new technology like this, customer acceptance is an unknown.”There are questions as to whether customers would feel claustrophobic in such a train system and be able to tolerate the g forces associated with such high speeds, Polzin added.Chicago is home to O’Hare International Airport, one of the world’s biggest airports, and a major connection hub for connecting flights throughout the midwest.High-speed rail would only require duplicating what is already available in markets like Europe and Japan, noted Sharon Feigon, executive director of the Shared Use Mobility Center.It would not require the development of new technology, she told TechNewsWorld, and could be built before the Hyperloop study is completed. The Hyperloop system works through the use of pressurized capsules that travel along a frictionless magnetic cushion inside tubes. The capsules are powered by rechargeable batteries, a linear induction motor and electromagnetic propulsion.The capsules hold 28 to 40 passengers, and the system would allow departures of capsules every 40 seconds. It therefore could move 164,000 passengers per day on each line.”Regulations are the ultimate barrier for Hyperloop implementation and we are excited to build the first real public private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the U.S.,” said Dick Ahlborn, CEO of HTT. Market Demand Economic OpportunityThe market value of transit within the region is estimated at US$15 billion.HTT has been exploring additional routes within the region that would feed traffic from other major cities into the route, Cooke told TechNewsWorld. The company is in various stages of discussions with local governments and cities, he added, with plans to announce the additional routes in the future.HTT last year announced a new innovation center in Tolouse, France, which included plans to develop new offices and a new prototype early this year. It also inked agreements to develop services in India, South Korea and Indonesia.The company will disclose further project details on Feb. 26 at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, including additional members of the consortium.Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, led a bipartisan group of legislators from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois in promoting the Hyperloop Transportation Initiative. The group last month wrote President Donald Trump, asking for the inclusion of $20 million in the fiscal 2019 budget to accelerate the project. David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.last_img read more

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July 19, 2019

The Rise of Activist Employees in the Tech Industry

first_imgExisting unions are largely ineffective today. I observed a strike action at a hotel the other day where the folks picketing (likely hired specifically for that task) were doing as much as they could to be annoying. However, the people they were pissing off were primarily folks who lived in the area, folks who were still working at the hotel, and folks who were checking into the hotel (guests who already had reservations).There was very little impact, if any, on the decision-making executives, on people who had not yet booked, or on investors in the property. In short, because the striking union was using legacy methods that were overcome easily, the action was ineffective.However, it is clear that tech workers have begun going down a very different path. Millennials came up with social media. They know how to use it both to coordinate their actions and to have a far broader impact.So far, there isn’t a broad effort to organize, but ad-hoc efforts have been making an impressive impact on the policies of the firms they have targeted, giving the impression that if these groups were to organize fully and seek government protection, they’d likely have more power than any traditional union has had in years.Social media is a huge force multiplier, and it can undermine targeted executives, result in broad boycotts, and even trigger government intervention. The Rise of the Employee One of the companies I watch closely is Cisco, and it has been at the forefront of creating programs that improve the world. Most of the activist efforts I’ve noted have been aimed at forcing firms to be more socially responsible.Cisco’s programs have attacked homelessness, addressed severe problems in South Africa, and implemented aggressive plans to mitigate natural disasters around the world. Currently Cisco ranks No. 8 on a list of best places to work in the world. (It is interesting to note that Facebook, Google, Twitter and other newer firms that once seemed to be the most desirable didn’t even make the cut).If a firm is aggressively socially responsible, the need for its own employees to force the company to change should fall below critical mass, making the formation of a union — formally or informally — less likely. Why go through the risk of pissing off your company if the firm already seems to be acting more responsibly than most?This behavior has the dual benefit of attracting millennials who want to participate in this socially responsible behavior. Cisco isn’t alone in this. There’s also Dell, with its aggressive programs to advance women, and HP, with its programs to improve the lot of children in emerging and war-torn regions.It isn’t just tech firms that are getting a clue. For instance, SodaStream has funded a huge effort to collect plastics contaminating the ocean.I’m sure most firms eventually will find it far easier to ensure good behavior and prevent the rise of social media-powered unions than to face them in real time. Once started and in place, these unions wouldn’t be mitigated by financial restrictions or even common sense, and the result could be devastating for some firms. Activist employees could force an overcorrection, or do damage to revenue streams that could require decades to recover.In other words, the best defense may be a social responsibility offense. This is because the security capability and productivity features in this phone exceed all others, making it an asset that’s likely to increase your earning potential, instead of a tool that might one day kill you.Sadly, the device no longer has the near week of battery life old BlackBerry phones boasted, having given way to a far sleeker and more contemporary design. Both the keyboard and its performance are up sharply from the KeyONE phone that preceded it. The screen quality and design of the phone has improved as well, along with the dual lens camera.If you want a phone that is tool than a toy, that is less likely to get you into an accident and is far more secure, the BlackBerry Key2 stands out as my favorite smartphone, and it is my product of the week. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. BlackBerry Key2 Wrapping Up A New Class of Unions Cisco Defense Things have been changing at an almost unprecedented rate with regard to power structures. The last time I saw this happen was in the 1970s, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took off. Suddenly a lot of the off-color, sexist and racist jokes that many executives regularly told could get them fired. A surprisingly large number of people got reassigned, fired, demoted, or otherwise punished for the same behavior that previously had made them “one of the guys.”With the current #MeToo movement, any hint of wrongdoing — not only recent but going back to your youth — can have dire consequences on job prospects, image, and (depending on what you did) freedom.This isn’t the only change. Employees who often were taken for granted — who might have faced firing or layoffs if they suggested going public with their anti-management views — have been popping up as a force in places like Google and Amazon.What triggered this column was coverage of an employee event at Amazon, where employees spoke out against the firm’s efforts to sell facial recognition to law enforcement.To a large degree, it mirrored Google employees rising up and stopping Google’s work with the Department of Defense, and Facebook employees taking issue with an executive who stood behind the confirmation of the latest Supreme Court justice. (There is currently a huge effort to remove Zuckerberg as chairman, which may be partially related to this.)The power structure is changing, and if executives don’t get a clue, we likely will see the rise of a new and far more powerful set of unions — not based on old structures, but with the power of social media behind them. I think Cisco (and a few others) have a defense for this. I’ll explain and then close with my product of the week: the BlackBerry Key2, which has become my new favorite smartphone. Thanks largely to a massive shortage of qualified workers across several industries, coupled with the impact of an incoming social media-aware workforce, a new power has been rising. That power currently appears loosely coordinated, but it is strong enough to impact unusually influential CEOs like Zuckerberg and Bezos.If these groups formally organize and seek government protection as unions, it could flip the power balance in the impacted companies from executives to employees, with their impact broadening from social responsibility to more traditional wage and benefit efforts. (The massive compensation imbalance between line workers and, particularly, CEOs would be a natural target for employee activism.)As Cisco has demonstrated, a strong defense — with aggressive social responsibility and making the company a great place to work — may be the best path to ensure the firm isn’t crippled by this power change. I expect most firms won’t see this coming, and that the end result will be dire — but it is totally avoidable. The trigger for this apparent power shift from executive management to line employees has been the increasingly severe shortage of qualified employees across a variety of industries. In many of them — nursing, truck driving, etc. — legacy unions exist, which seem to be forming a barrier preventing the use of new tools (read social networks) as a weapon of change.However, in the technology market, unions are almost nonexistent. That appears to have forced a dynamic rise of semi-organized employee actions against perceived bad corporate behavior.This is particularly noticeable with millennial employees who have yet to be indoctrinated into the corporate way of doing things and appear to be resisting that indoctrination. Certainly, we’ve all seen new employees coming in with little or no job experience behaving badly because they don’t yet know the rules — but never at what appears to be a loosely organized effort to make change.Typically, these indoctrinated employees either conform or they are forced to find employment elsewhere. With the shortages, though, firms have been less willing to fire or even strongly reprimand employees who are acting out, for fear of losing them and falling behind performance metrics.There are concerns that either a reprimand or termination could result in a broad, coordinated, public social media backlash, which could be severely career limiting for the executive or manager who triggered the event (managers don’t appear to be as well protected right now). One of the best examples I have that the human race isn’t particularly sharp is the industry’s shift from BlackBerry (a secure platform based on productivity) to Apple, (a relatively unsecure platform based on entertainment). Not to mention that we traded the ability to blind type on a BlackBerry (so your eyes could remain on where you were walking or driving) for a screen phone design that requires the user’s full attention — which has contributed to an impressive number of deaths and accidents.A lot of us have poor impulse control, and a lot of us may die because our screen phone pinged us at the wrong time and we couldn’t resist shifting our attention to it.The BlackBerry Key2 is the latest BlackBerry phone, and while those of us who still use BlackBerry phones are an ever more exclusive group, I also think the implication is that we are smarter than our screen phone-focused counterparts. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

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July 19, 2019

New study could help inform research on preventing falls

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 11 2018You probably overestimate just how far someone can push you before you reach your tipping point, new research suggests.No, we’re not talking about your emotional tipping point.A new study examined how far people thought they could lean over backwards before they would actually fall to the ground. When study participants were put into a device that slowly and safely tilted them, most thought they reached their tipping point when they were tilted somewhere near 14 degrees from vertical (straight up and down).But research suggests the actual tipping point for most people is nearer to 8 or 9 degrees, said Dennis Shaffer, lead author of the study and associate professor of psychology at The Ohio State University, Mansfield.Study participants were even worse at estimating when they watched models being tilted backwards – in that case, they projected the tipping point would be nearly 45 degrees.”That’s about 35 degrees off from reality,” Shaffer said.As if that weren’t bad enough, the study found we can’t tell when we are standing straight up. And the miscalculations don’t end there.”This study fits with other research we’ve done that shows people don’t do well estimating other kinds of angles, like the steepness of hills,” he said.The study appears online in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics and will be published in a future print edition.A person’s tipping point can be calculated by knowing his or her height, weight and foot size. For nearly everybody, that point turns out to be less than 10 degrees, said study co-author Kirsten Greer, who works in Shaffer’s lab at Ohio State.In this study, researchers conducted four experiments, each involving 42 to 60 college students, to see how well they could predict their own tipping point. In most cases, the researchers used a device called an inversion table.Participants stood with their back against a flat board, were strapped in and then slowly tilted backward at their waist.”They were instructed to tell us to stop when they felt they were at the point where they would no longer be able to stay upright and would fall over backward if they weren’t in this device,” Greer said.Related StoriesComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTFor the average participant, that was near 14 degrees backward.But an inversion table may not be the best way to measure our perceived tipping point. That’s because in most falls, people start falling from their feet and not their waist. So the researchers developed a different tilting apparatus, based on a hand truck, that would tilt people at their feet.Even with this device, most people thought their tipping point was near 14 degrees, Greer said.”Overall, people seem to have far less understanding about their body in space than they believe,” she said.That point was shown again in one of the studies when people, after being tilted backward, were slowly brought back up to a standing position. They were asked to tell the researcher when they were perfectly vertical. Participants were asked to look straight ahead and not glance down during the experiment.Average participants said they were straight up and down when they were still tilted backward about 6 degrees.”People were shocked when they found out they weren’t standing straight up,” Greer said. “We didn’t have anyone who got to 0 degrees before telling us they were vertical.”It’s not just issues involving the angle of human bodies that seem to perplex us, Shaffer said. In other research, he found that people overestimate the steepness of slopes, including staircases and escalators.This new work could help inform research on preventing falls, which are a leading cause of injury and death in older Americans.”It may be that as we age our perceived vertical becomes further away from true vertical, or we can no longer correct for the discrepancy between true vertical and what we perceive as vertical,” Shaffer said.The perception of being vertical while actually tilted slightly backward also has implications for design of furniture and various types of seats, he said.Source: https://news.osu.edu/when-scientists-push-people-to-their-tipping-point/last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Tropoelastin protein accelerates growth of stem cells

first_img Source:https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/02/01/stem-cell-growth-accelerated-by-tropoelastin-protein.html Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 1 2019Stem cells are vital for therapeutic treatments to repair and build human tissue including skin and muscles. Researchers are constantly looking for ways to make stem cells work better, with worldwide demand for the cells far outstripping supply.Now researchers have discovered a way to generate more stem cells cheaply and quickly, using tropoelastin – a protein that gives living tissues the ability to stretch and retract.Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), co-authors Dr Giselle Yeo and Professor Anthony Weiss – from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Bosch Institute – said the study describes a new and cost-effective method of growing and recruiting mesenchymal stem cells rapidly and efficiently.”Stem cells are increasingly being used as cell therapies for a range of diseases that cannot be reliably treated by conventional medicine including skeletal tissue injuries, heart attacks, degenerative diseases and organ failure,” Dr Yeo explained.”Unfortunately, a lack of supply is hindering widespread use of such cell therapies.”Our discovery – that tropoelastin dramatically promotes stem cell expansion and recruitment, and reliably preserves their ability to develop into different types of cells – points to new ways of cost-effectively and efficiently growing these stem cells to address the increasing global demand.”Such technologies can help significantly lower the currently prohibitive cost of many cell therapies.”Related StoriesExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesEvaluating safety and efficacy of magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cellsTropoelastin is a key component of MeTro, the groundbreaking ‘squirtable’ elastic surgical glue that can seal wounds in 60 seconds when exposed to UV light, developed by Professor Weiss in conjunction with researchers in the United States. Professor Weiss won the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research for his development and commercialisation of tropoelastin protein biomaterials.Using human stem cells from donors, the researchers found that when small amounts of tropoelastin were applied it encouraged more cells to be produced, creating a better environment for growth compared to other commonly used proteins for stem cell cultures.”Stem cells need a home to live and grow, and we’ve essentially created a nice environment for them live in,” Professor Weiss said.”Making stems cells requires a process a bit like cooking soup – the more complex the culture or ‘soup’, the more difficult it is to control the growth of the cells and the more expensive it is to make.”Our technique simplifies the ‘soup’ – tropoelastin makes the process to grow stem cells simpler, and cheaper.”Tropoelastin also encourages other stem cells to join the ‘soup’ – further increasing the rate of growth of the cells.”Professor Weiss said the next stage of research would be to test the efficacy of tropoelastin inside the body.”We expect that once these stem cells are inside a living body they will actually help trigger repair, encouraging other cells to come to the damaged area and supporting the body to repair itself.”last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Finding homeless patients a place to heal

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 3 2019After they amputated the second toe on John Trumbla’s right foot last summer, doctors sent him to a nursing home because he still needed medical care — but not necessarily a hospital bed.The proud, burly Army veteran resisted at first, but he didn’t have a choice. Before his hospitalization at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Trumbla, 56, and his wife had been homeless, crashing in his boss’s construction shop or living out of their station wagon.Trumbla spent six months at the nursing home, Skyline Healthcare Center, while social workers sought housing vouchers and scouted rental leads. But nothing panned out. When he finally left Skyline in mid-February, he stayed at a motel for a night before heading back to his boss’s shop.”We might just have to leave this area. I don’t want to, but I also don’t want to live on the streets,” Trumbla said from his bed at Skyline in early February, citing the San Francisco Bay Area’s astronomical rents.Skyline allocates 15 beds to the Santa Clara hospital for patients who are homeless or have no one to care for them at home. It’s part of a year-old partnership born of necessity. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, like many other hospitals in the state, has struggled to find suitable accommodations for a growing number of homeless patients who need follow-up medical attention after they’re discharged, said Dr. Raymond Chan, co-director of the hospital’s program at Skyline.In Santa Clara County, the number of homeless patient discharges from hospitals jumped 42% from 2015 to 2017, according to data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.Statewide, hospitals discharged homeless patients nearly 100,000 times in 2017, a 28% increase over 2015. The discharges include 2,608 deaths in hospitals from 2015 to 2017.As hospitals contend with the dramatic growth in homeless patients, they must comply with a new state law, implemented in January, which requires them to provide homeless patients a meal, clothes and vaccine screenings before discharging them.Hospitals also must try to find the patients a bed at a safe destination, offer them transportation there and document the steps they have taken to do so.Skyline Healthcare Center, a nursing home in San Jose, provides 15 beds to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center primarily for its homeless patients upon discharge. This allows patients to fully recover before finding housing or returning to the streets. (Newsha Naderzad for Kaiser Health News)If a hospital cannot find a bed for a patient, or if the patient refuses help, he can go to a location of his choice, including back to the streets.The requirements expand on July 1. Starting then, hospitals will have to keep a log of the homeless patients they discharge and where they go, among other mandates.Legislators passed the law in response to reports that hospitals were dumping homeless patients on the streets with little more than their hospital gowns. One Sacramento woman who had undergone a double mastectomy was sent to a Salvation Army shelter after her discharge, only to find there were no available beds. She had to sleep in her car, The Sacramento Bee reported.Several California hospitals have settled lawsuits in response to such allegations.But finding a suitable place for each patient isn’t as easy as calling a shelter and securing a cot. There simply aren’t enough places — or, in some cases, the right places — to send these individuals, hospitals say.Some patients need more follow-up care and monitoring than might be available in a basic shelter.”We knew that the challenge for our hospitals would be what to do with patients who require services when there are few programs, spaces and beds available for post-acute care,” said Peggy Wheeler, vice president of rural health at the California Hospital Association, which initially opposed the legislation.If appropriate settings aren’t available for homeless patients who need to heal from a wound or require follow-up treatment, some of them may stay in the hospital longer than necessary, Wheeler said.Related StoriesStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infections”This puts hospitals in a situation where they don’t have a bed available for someone who does need acute care,” she said.Homeless patients with complex medical needs are especially difficult to place in rural communities because of a lack of adequate services, said Brenda Robertson, care management regional director for Adventist Health hospitals in central California.”Most shelters will not accept a patient on oxygen, and a subset of younger, aggressive behavioral health patients are not appropriate to be placed in a skilled nursing facility amongst frail elders,” Robertson said.Many of these patients need transitional care where they can rest and recover before being on their own again, she said. “But in central California there really isn’t much.”Bigger cities have more resources — but also more homeless patients.Last year, the nonprofit National Health Foundation opened a 62-bed facility in downtown Los Angeles for discharged hospital patients who need less intensive medical oversight than a nursing home provides. Patients at that facility have access to case managers who arrange for transportation and food, and try to find them permanent housing.Area hospitals often reserve beds at the facility for discharged homeless patients, said Jennifer Bayer, vice president of external affairs at the Hospital Association of Southern California. At least one health plan also leases beds there for its enrollees.Dr. Huy Ngo (left) helps oversee 15 beds at a nursing home in San Jose where some homeless patients are sent to recover after being discharged from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Physician assistant Claire Rai (center) and Dr. Pamela Sebastian join him to check on these patients, most of whom have chronic illnesses. (Newsha Naderzad for Kaiser Health News)In San Jose, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center sent 55 patients, including Trumbla, to Skyline Health Care Center in the first 10 months of the partnership, said Dr. Huy Ngo, who oversees the program along with Chan. Medical services for those patients are primarily covered by Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents.During that period, Skyline discharged 42 of the patients, the majority into long-term housing programs or to family members and friends, said Ngo. Of those, six were readmitted to the hospital — a low number for this population, Ngo said.That was encouraging, he said, but “we know 15 beds don’t even begin to meet the needs” of the homeless population in Santa Clara County.The homeless count in 2017 showed 7,394 homeless people in the county, with the majority in San Jose.A month after his discharge, Trumbla still lives in his boss’s shop. But his toe has healed, and he credits the six months at the nursing home for helping him control his diabetes. He planned to start working again in construction this month.But his wife, Manda Upham, is now in a hospital because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, Trumbla said. It’s possible she might be transferred to a hospital outside of San Jose.”More hospitals and no housing in sight yet,” Trumbla lamented. “It’s getting complicated again.”This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

UMD researchers connect a protein to antibody immunity for the first time

first_imgHCMV stays asleep inside our cells. Then one day, you get stressed, you have too much going on, and your immunity decreases allowing the virus to spring up again.”Xiaoping Zhu, professor and chair in Veterinary Medicine at UMD This is the case with all strains of the herpes virus like HCMV, chickenpox, and herpes simplex. HCMV can present similar symptoms to the flu virus. But unlike the flu, it persists in your body, and your immune system has to work harder than normal to combat the virus and keep it at bay.It can also be passed through the placenta to a pregnant mother’s unborn child, not only affecting the child’s immune system, but also potentially causing birth defects. “When the mother gets infected, the virus spreads from mother to baby and can cause mental disabilities, vision loss, and deafness. People are aware of this concern with Zika virus for instance, but Zika doesn’t stay in your system for life like HCMV, and it isn’t present in 50 to 80 percent of the population globally depending on where you live,” says Zhu.This makes the study of HCMV and the mechanisms that contribute to its persistence and transmission a high priority for the medical community, with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding Zhu’s work. The immune system has two arms of immunity, at the cellular and antibody levels, to specifically destroy bugs. The mechanisms of the US11 protein that allow HCMV to evade white blood cells that kill viruses on the cellular level are well known, but in this latest publication from Zhu, he and his colleagues discuss a newly discovered function of the same protein that impairs antibody immunity. Antibody immunity normally prevents viruses from entering and infecting uninfected cells and labels the infected cells to be destroyed by the white blood cells. But US11 attacks a specific receptor that not only naturally bolsters your immunity, but also directs protective antibodies from the mother to be transferred to the fetus. With this receptor impaired, HCMV may reduce transmission of these critical antibodies, resulting in vulnerability to all sorts of birth defects, and at the very least compromising the child’s immunity throughout their life.Related StoriesStudy reveals how protein mutation is involved in Christianson syndromeProfessor Sara Linse highlights Fluidity One-W as key technique for protein interaction analysis at FEBS 2019Scientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution study”This is the first time that we discovered that this virus, or any pathogen, has this strategy to destroy this receptor function and reduce antibody functionality,” says Zhu. “Antibodies are also used to treat diseases like AIDS, cancer, and make vaccines, and this mechanism makes that less effective. By understanding this function, we can hopefully figure out methods to block that mechanism in the future.”Beyond prevention for birth defects and immune system dysfunction, Zhu sees another potential treatment benefit for this mechanism for patients struggling with autoimmune diseases. “Humans have many autoimmune diseases, and in these cases like with lupus, it is actually our immune response that causes the disease, which is regulated by antibodies,” explains Zhu. “In these patients, we are concerned with how to reduce autoimmune antibodies, because their overproduction causes damage on our own tissues and cells, swelling in the joints, and substantial pain. Since this protein US11 can facilitate antibody degradation and suppress antibody function, it could be used in humans to treat autoimmune disease and target these disease-causing antibodies to indirectly benefit patients with immune diseases.”This therapeutic prospect is being patented by UMD through Zhu and Xiaoyang Liu, who stress the importance of directly translating basic research like this into applied outcomes and treatment options, not just for humans, but for animals that are infected with similar viruses as well. “Human and animal health research is interconnected,” says Zhu. “Similar knowledge can be used to promote animal and human health, and diseases pass directly from animals to humans and vice versa.”With humans and animals standing to benefit from this work in many different ways, the applications of this discovery are widespread. The full paper, entitled “Human cytomegalovirus evades antibody-mediated immunity through endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of the FcRn receptor,” is available through Nature Communications. Source:University of MarylandJournal reference:Liu, X. et al. (2019) Human cytomegalovirus evades antibody-mediated immunity through endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of the FcRn receptor. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10865-y. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 10 2019Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) may not be a household name as far as viruses go, but according to Xiaoping Zhu, professor and chair in Veterinary Medicine at UMD, half of the population walking around campus is likely to be a carrier. Once contracted, it lays dormant in your body for the rest of your life and can flare up whenever your immune system is severely compromised, giving you flu-like symptoms.This becomes a severe problem for people who already have weakened immune systems, for example the very young, old, pregnant women, organ transplant recipients, or HIV/AIDS patients. More concerning, however, is that HCMV is the number one infectious cause of congenital birth defects in the world, including developmental disabilities and deafness. But how can a protein be a major contributor in the development of birth defects, and also hold the potential to provide symptom relief from autoimmune diseases like lupus? In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Zhu and his colleagues are helping to answer this question and uncover the mechanisms that will lead to multi-faceted prevention and treatment.last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Blockchainenabled cat breeding and the future of gambling

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. Provided by Particle This is where things get interesting. Smart contracts are like regular contracts between people or organisations, but instead of the humans executing and enforcing those contracts, they can get a bit of code to do the work for them. For example, humans can program the smart contract to sell something (like a virtual cat) when a condition has been met (a certain number of ether has been sent).Put another way, imagine if eBay was run entirely by bots who were doing the bidding, buying and selling on our behalf. It’s this technology that allows for the buying, selling and breeding of cats in CryptoKitties. Citation: Blockchain-enabled cat breeding and the future of gambling (2018, February 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-blockchain-enabled-cat-future-gambling.html Virtual fur flies as ‘CryptoKitties’ collar blockchain You’ve certainly heard of bitcoin. Perhaps you’ve also heard of the technology behind it: blockchain. Or how blockchain is enabling all sorts of nifty things, like Power Ledger’s innovative clean power sharing.Or how it’s being used for other ground-breaking innovations … like games … about breeding cats (because, well, it’s the internet).CryptoKittiesCryptoKitties was one of the first and currently the most popular of the games that use blockchain. The game is pretty simple: you buy, sell and breed virtual cats. For real money. The more genetically rare the cat, the more money you can make hustling kitties.The most expensive CryptoKitty sold for more than $100,000 USD.In less than a month after it launched in December 2017, Axion Zen, the Canadian “innovation studio”behind the platform, had already made $12 million from the game. This revenue was based on charging 3.75% on all transactions (the buying, selling and breeding of cats) as well as a limited number of Gen 0 kitties.How it worksCryptoKitties is essentially a new type of app that is enabled by blockchain app platform Ethereum. Remember, blockchain is the technology that powers bitcoin. But blockchain can do so much more than just monetary exchange, which is what Ethereum allows.Put simply, Ethereum allows for the same things as bitcoin, such as acting as a currency (in this case, the currency is called ether, rather than bitcoin). But Ethereum is also a platform and thus also allows for the building of apps on top of it. These apps can use ether and smart contracts. Explore further This article first appeared on Particle, a science news website based at Scitech, Perth, Australia. Read the original article. Indeed, Ethereum is the same technology that powers Power Ledger, but instead of trading in virtual kitties, you’re trading in real-world clean energy.Serious fun?The creators of CryptoKitties stated in their White Pa-purr (meow!) that their original intention was to help educate the public about the potentials of the blockchain. However, the reality of the technology does raise some questions around what sort of activity users are actually engaged in. Specifically, can games like this be considered a form of gambling?If you’ve followed cryptocurrency at all, you’re aware of its volatility. Since its launch in 2009, for example, the price for 1 bitcoin has ranged from less than 1 cent to nearly US$18,000.Crypto is so volatile that banks are cracking down. Commonwealth (which owns BankWest) recently announced they would no longer allow crypto purchases with their credit cards.Alone, this volatility makes crypto investment closer to gambling than investment.But combining that volatility with the elements of a game do seem to push things like CryptoKitties even more towards the gambling end of the spectrum.Disrupting gamblingEach state in Australia has different laws about when, how and where we can gamble. In WA, poker machines can only be found at the Crown Casino.But with cryptocurrency-based games, it’s the wild west. By using cryptocurrency rather than conventional money and being entirely online, blockchain-based games are not regulated by current gambling laws.So just like the way Uber disrupted the taxi industry by—for better or worse—getting around the regulations around taxis and employment, blockchain-based games can and are disrupting the gambling industry.And while it wasn’t the original intention of CryptoKitties to open this metaphorical box, the sheer number of Ethereum-based games that are basically gambling suggests, to mix metaphors, the cat is well out of the bag (see what I did there?) The internet loves cats so much that now some people are investing tens of thousands of real-world dollars on blockchain-powered cats that don’t actually exist. read more

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