Outsiders swoop in vowing to rescue rural hospitals short on hope —

first_imgSurrounded by the Warner and Modoc mountains and forests in California’s northeastern corner, Surprise Valley is home to four small communities. The largest is Cedarville, population 514, at last count.The valley, covered in sagebrush and greasewood, is part of Modoc County, one of California’s poorest, with a median income of about $30,000. The closest hospital with an emergency room is roughly 25 miles away, over a mountain pass.One of hundreds of rural hospitals built with help from the 1946 federal Hill-Burton Act, the Surprise Valley hospital opened in 1952 to serve a thriving ranching community. But it has struggled since, closing in 1981, reopening as a health clinic in 1985, then reconverting to a hospital in 1986.A county grand jury report in 2014-15 found that “mismanagement of the [hospital district] has been evident for at least the past five years.”By last summer, those in charge didn’t seem up to the task of running a modern hospital. By then, it was hardly a hospital at all. Crushed by debt, it primarily offered nursing home care, an emergency room, a volunteer ambulance service and just one acute care bed, with three others available if needed.When state inspectors arrived last June, they found chaos. The hospital’s chief nursing officer resigned during the inspection. Staffers reported unpaid checks to vendors hidden in drawers. Inspectors learned that the hospital had sent home temporary nurses because it couldn’t pay them, according to their report.The hospital’s then-chief administrator, Richard Cornwell — who staffers said had instructed them to hide the checks, according to the report — had taken a leave of absence and was nowhere to be found. Cornwell, a health care accountant from Montana, was later fired and replaced with the hospital’s lab director, who in turn resigned, according to public records. Reached by Kaiser Health News, Cornwell declined to comment.Federal regulators suspended Medicare and Medicaid payments to the hospital — a rarely invoked financial penalty — over concerns about patient care. Those payments have since been reinstated, but a follow-up state inspection in November 2017 identified more patient care concerns.Jean Bilodeaux, 74, a journalist who lives in Cedarville says members of the hospital board “blew up” at her when she raised important questions about the hospital’s finances in stories she wrote for the Modoc County Record, a weekly newspaper. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)Infighting ensued, with some residents fiercely committed to keeping the hospital open and others favoring closure, perhaps replacing it with a small clinic. Local journalist Jean Bilodeaux, 74, said board members often kept the public in the dark, failing to show up for their own meetings and sometimes making decisions outside public view.When Bilodeaux raised questions about the hospital’s finances in the Modoc County Record, a weekly newspaper, she recalled, board members “started screaming at me,” she said. Now “I don’t even step foot in that hospital.”Ben Zandstra, 65, a pastor in Cedarville, said that while Cornwell was in charge, he too got a chilly reception at the hospital, where he had long played guitar for patients on Christmas Eve. “I became persona non grata. It’s the most divisive thing I’ve seen in the years I’ve lived here.”A White Knight, VanishedEven residents who say they have experienced poor care at Surprise Valley Community believe its continued existence in some form is crucial — for its 50 or so jobs, for its ER, and because it puts the region on the map.Eric Shpilman, 61, a retired probation officer, said his now-deceased wife received “unspeakable” treatment at Surprise Valley. But to shut it down? “It would take out the heart of Surprise Valley, the heart out of Cedarville.”Last summer, the board turned to an outside management company for help.Jorge Perez, CEO of Kansas City-based EmpowerHMS — which promises on its website to “rescue rural hospitals” — agreed to take over Surprise Valley’s debt and operate the hospital for three years, according to a management agreement with the board.In the two months after EmpowerHMS took over management, Surprise Valley’s revenue more than doubled, according to financial documents provided by the hospital.Then, according to hospital officials’ public statements, the company stopped making the promised payments, and they haven’t been able to contact EmpowerHMS or Perez since. In January, when Surprise Valley filed for bankruptcy, documents filed in court said EmpowerHMS had “abandoned” the hospital.Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsAround the time Perez took over, he and companies with which he was involved were dogged by allegations of improper laboratory billing at facilities in Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri, according to ongoing lawsuits by insurers and others, a state audit and media reports. Missouri’s attorney general in May opened an investigation into one of the hospitals Perez managed, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) recently called for a federal investigation into lab billing practices at one of the hospitals.Medicare rules and commercial insurance contracts, with some exceptions, require people to be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis by the hospitals that are billing for their lab tests. But insurers have alleged in court documents that hospitals Perez was involved with billed for tests — to the tune of at least $175 million — on patients never seen at those facilities. Perez has maintained that what he is doing is legal and that it generates revenue that rural hospitals desperately need, according to Side Effects Public Media.Experts say insurers are catching on to voluminous billing by hospitals in communities that typically have generated a tiny number of tests. At one Sonoma County district hospital not associated with Perez, an insurer recently demanded repayment for $13.5 million in suspect billings, forcing the hospital to suspend the lucrative program and put itself up for sale.Lab tests for out-of-town patients have “been a growing scheme in the last year, slightly longer,” said Karen Weintraub, executive vice president of Healthcare Fraud Shield, which consults for insurers. “There’s an incentive to bill for things not necessary or even services not rendered. It also may not be proper based on contracts with insurers. The dollars are getting large.”Some residents were aware of controversy surrounding Perez and his companies and said they tried to warn the hospital district board. “All they wanted to hear was, ‘We will pay the bills,'” Bilodeaux said.Neither Perez nor EmpowerHMS returned requests for comment. However, Michael Murtha, president of the National Alliance of Rural Hospitals, said in an email that he was responding on behalf of Perez, who chairs the coalition’s board.”The mission to rescue rural hospitals and set them on a path of sustainability is a difficult undertaking, and it would be a disservice to their communities to preclude struggling facilities from availing themselves of every legal and regulatory means to generate badly needed revenue,” Murtha wrote, in part.”Such pioneering efforts are not always welcomed by those who have benefited from the status quo,” he said.Regarding Perez’s role at Surprise Valley, Murtha wrote that Perez tried to help save the facility by “effectively” donating over $250,000 but then discovered it faced “more challenges than had been initially realized.” Murtha said Perez worked to attract others who might be better able to help the hospital.A New Savior?One of those “others” in Perez’s orbit was Gertz, the Denver entrepreneur, who arrived in Surprise Valley several months ago.The Denver executive told residents and Kaiser Health News that he operated a lab that previously performed tests for hospitals owned or managed by Perez’s companies. At one hospital board meeting, Gertz also said he had handled marketing for Perez companies for 1½ years.However, he said he had parted ways with Perez after learning of his controversial dealings in other states, and Gertz said Perez now owes him more than $14 million. (Gertz and his companies have not been named as defendants in lawsuits reviewed by Kaiser Health News involving Perez and his companies.)”I come in with a certain guilt by association,” he told the Modoc County Board of Supervisors in April, according to a recording of the meeting. But Gertz sought to assuage any concerns, telling the supervisors he had a “passion” for rural life. He’d grown up on a farm, he said, where he “hung out with the chickens” and cleaned the stables every morning.Gertz said his plan was different from Perez’s and legal because the hospital and one of his Denver labs, SeroDynamics, had become one business. With the hospital board’s approval earlier this year, he loaned the district $2.5 million for it to buy SeroDynamics — effectively an advance on the hospital’s purchase price of $4 million, according to bankruptcy court documents. SeroDynamics’ website now proclaims the lab a “wholly-owned subsidiary” of the Surprise Valley hospital, with “national reach.”Robert Michel, a clinical laboratory management consultant who learned of the terms of the transaction from a reporter, offered a critical assessment. “The essence of this arrangement is to use the hospital’s existing managed-care contracts with generous payment terms for lab tests as a vehicle to bill for claims in other states,” said Michel, editor-in-chief of a trade magazine for the lab industry. This arrangement “should ring all sorts of bells” for the hospital board, he said.For now, Gertz has said, dollars are flowing in. According to the journalist Jean Bilodeaux, Gertz phoned in to a Surprise Valley hospital board meeting last month to report that the lab billing so far had netted about $300,000. According to bankruptcy court documents, 80 percent of the profits will go to his companies, 20 percent to the hospital.Those are terms some in Surprise Valley are willing to live with.The next step, for Gertz, is taking ownership of Surprise Valley’s entire operation. For the 1,500 district residents, voting no on Tuesday almost certainly means closure, leaving taxpayers with potentially more debt, including any money they may owe Gertz.That is good enough reason to go with the Denver entrepreneur, said acting hospital administrator Bill Bostic.”He’s got something we haven’t got — which is money,” Bostic said.This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.Heidi de Marco: heidid@kff.org, @Heidi_deMarco In worn blue jeans and an untucked shirt, the bearded entrepreneur from Denver pledged at this town hall meeting in March to revive the Surprise Valley Community Hospital — a place many in the audience counted on to set their broken bones, stitch up cattle-tagging cuts and tend to aging loved ones.Gertz said that if they vote June 5 to let him buy their tiny public hospital, he will retain such vital services. Better still, he said, he’d like to open a “wellness center” to attract well-heeled outsiders — one that would offer telehealth, addiction treatment, physical therapy, genetic testing, intravenous vitamin infusions, even massage. Cedarville’s failing hospital, now at least $4 million in debt, would not just bounce back but thrive, he said.Gertz, 34, a former weightlifter who runs clinical-lab and nutraceutical companies, unveiled his plan to pay for it: He’d use the 26-bed hospital to bill insurers for lab tests regardless of where patients lived. Through telemedicine technology, doctors working for Surprise Valley could order tests for people who’d never set foot there.To some of the 100 or so people at the meeting that night, Gertz’s plan offered hope. To others, it sounded suspiciously familiar: Just months before, another out-of-towner had proposed a similar deal — only to disappear.Outsiders “come in and promise the moon,” said Jeanne Goldman, 72, a retired businesswoman. “The [hospital’s] board is just so desperate with all the debt, and they pray this angel’s going to come along and fix it. If this was a shoe store in Surprise Valley, I could care less, but it’s a hospital.”Looking For SalvationThe woes of Surprise Valley Community Hospital reflect an increasingly brutal environment for America’s rural hospitals, which are disappearing by the dozens amid declining populations, economic troubles, corporate consolidation and, sometimes, self-inflicted wounds.Nationwide, 83 of 2,375 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. These often-remote hospitals — some with 10, 15, 25 beds — have been targeted by management companies or potential buyers who promise much but often deliver little while lining their own pockets, according to allegations in court cases, a Missouri state audit and media reports.Enticed by such outsiders, some struggling rural hospitals around the country have embraced lab billing for faraway patients as a rescue plan. That’s because Medicare and commercial insurers tend to pay more for tests to sustain endangered rural hospitals compared with urban hospitals and especially outpatient labs. In general, this kind of remote billing is controversial and legally murky, and it recently has resulted in allegations of fraud in several states, according to government documents and media reports.Rural hospital boards, however, tend not to have expertise in the health care business. The president of Surprise Valley Community’s board, for instance, is a rancher. Another board member owns a local motel; a third, a construction company. That lack of experience “leaves them vulnerable in many cases,” said Terry Hill of the nonprofit National Rural Health Resource Center, based in Duluth, Minn.Seeking to distinguish himself from other would-be rescuers who ran into legal trouble, Gertz described his proposal to residents as perfectly legal — a legitimate use of telemedicine, essentially remote treatment via electronic communication such as video. “If you do it correctly,” he said in an interview with Kaiser Health News, “there is a nice profit margin. There [are] extra visits you can get from telemedicine but … it has to be billed correctly and it can’t be abused.”Gertz runs several companies — founded within the last four years —including two labs, SeroDynamics and Cadira Labs, as well as a wellness company called CadiraMD.He pledged in court documents to buy the bankrupt hospital for $4 million and cover its debts, saying he had lined up a $4 billion New York company as a financial backer. Kaiser Health News was unable to locate the company under the name Gertz cited, Next Genesis Development Group. He did not respond to emails seeking clarification on the issue.Gertz, who acknowledged that he had never before run a hospital, was asked at the same gathering whether he had disclosed his “financials” to the hospital board. “As a private entity, I don’t have to show my financials and I have not provided my financials to the board,” he replied.It was not clear whether board members had ever asked. Surprise Valley Health Care District board President John Erquiaga declined to comment.A Sad Decline Barbara Feder Ostrov: barbarao@kff.org, @barbfederostrov 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. Jun 4 2018Beau Gertz faced a crowd of worried locals at this town’s senior center, hoping to sell them on his vision for their long-beloved — but now bankrupt — hospital.last_img read more

Sleep supports antioxidant processes study suggests

first_imgJul 18 2018Understanding sleep has become increasingly important in modern society, where chronic loss of sleep has become rampant and pervasive. As evidence mounts for a correlation between lack of sleep and negative health effects, the core function of sleep remains a mystery. But in a new study publishing 12 July in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Vanessa Hill, Mimi Shirasu-Hiza and colleagues at Columbia University, New York, found that short-sleeping fruit fly mutants shared the common defect of sensitivity to acute oxidative stress, and thus that sleep supports antioxidant processes. Understanding this ancient bi-directional relationship between sleep and oxidative stress in the humble fruit fly could provide much-needed insight into modern human diseases such as sleep disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. A defect shared among short-sleeping fruit fly mutants suggests that sleep supports antioxidant processes. Credit: pbio.2005206 Why do we sleep? During sleep, animals are vulnerable, immobile, and less responsive to their environments; they are unable to forage for food, mate, or run from predators. Despite the cost of sleep behavior, almost all animals sleep, suggesting that sleep fulfills an essential and evolutionarily conserved function from humans to fruit flies.The researchers reasoned that if sleep is required for a core function of health, animals that sleep significantly less than usual should all share a defect in that core function. For this study, they used a diverse group of short-sleeping Drosophila (fruit fly) mutants. They found that these short-sleeping mutants do indeed share a common defect: they are all sensitive to acute oxidative stress.Related StoriesSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyPink noise enhances deep sleep for people with mild cognitive impairmentNovel bed system with VR brainwave-control for sleep blissOxidative stress results from excess free radicals that can damage cells and lead to organ dysfunction. Toxic free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, build up in cells from normal metabolism and environmental damage. If the function of sleep is to defend against oxidative stress, then increasing sleep should increase resistance to oxidative stress. Hill and co-workers used both pharmacological and genetic methods to show that this is true.Finally, the authors proposed, if sleep has antioxidant effects, then surely oxidative stress might regulate sleep itself. Consistent with this hypothesis, they found that reducing oxidative stress in the brain by overexpressing antioxidant genes also reduced the amount of sleep. Taken together, these results point to a bi-directional relationship between sleep and oxidative stress—that is, sleep functions to defend the body against oxidative stress and oxidative stress in turn helps to induce sleep.This work is relevant to human health because sleep disorders are correlated with many diseases that are also associated with oxidative stress, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. Sleep loss could make individuals more sensitive to oxidative stress and subsequent disease; conversely, pathological disruption of the antioxidant response could also lead to loss of sleep and associated disease pathologies.Source: https://www.plos.orglast_img read more

California Stem Cell Institute Picks Industry Veteran as President

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country After a 6-month search, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has announced a new president. Predictably, the $3 billion agency is turning to a veteran of the private sector to guide it through a phase where industry savvy will be critical to its survival.Randy Mills, who spent the last 10 years as CEO of the stem cell-focused Osiris Therapeutics, will take the helm as the agency plans for an uncertain financial future and attempts to move more of its research to the clinic. “We now reach a time in our CIRM life which is sort of mid-life,” the governing board’s chair, Jonathan Thomas, said at a meeting today in Burlingame, California. Since the 2004 California ballot initiative that funded the new agency with bond sales, CIRM has awarded about $1.7 billion in grants to scientists at 65 institutions, including university medical schools and private companies. But with funding from those bonds set to run out in 2017, CIRM is working to sweeten its relationship with industry and fulfill its mandate of getting therapies to patients.Mills fits right into that goal, Jeff Sheehy, a CIRM board member and HIV patient advocate, tells ScienceInsider. “We’re getting someone who’s actually taken a stem cell product to market.” Under Mills’s leadership, Columbia, Maryland-based Osiris became the first company to receive regulatory approval for a stem cell drug. Canadian regulators in 2012 approved Prochymal to treat complications from bone marrow transplants. “We need something like that to happen with some of our projects,” Sheehy says. The board’s choice “reflects an evolution of CIRM and how they look at themselves,” says Michael May, CEO of the Centre for Commercialization and Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada, who in 2012 served on an Institute of Medicine panel tasked with reviewing CIRM’s structure and policies. “The message is [one of] being more business-like.” Mills is viewed as a pioneer in the stem cell industry, May adds, and may help cultivate partnerships that support CIRM as it looks for new potential funding sources.Mills, who holds a Ph.D. in drug development, has served for 5 years on CIRM’s grant review board. He replaces Alan Trounson, a leading in vitro fertilization researcher who headed the agency for 6 years before announcing last October that he would step down to be closer to his family in Australia. read more

US urged to clarify extent of funding moratorium on risky virus research

first_img Email The U.S. government needs to move quickly to clarify and grant urgent exceptions to a recently announced moratorium on funding for potentially risky research involving certain viruses. Those are two of the main points made by a statement approved today by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which advises the government on life science research that can be used for good or evil.Today’s statement—which is still being finalized—is in part a response to a host of questions and concerns about the moratorium that researchers voiced at an NSABB meeting last month that focused on the so-called pause, which federal officials announced on 17 October. The pause, which has affected 18 research projects at 14 institutions, halts new federal funding for so-called gain-of-function (GOF) studies that make a pathogen more transmissible in mammals or more pathogenic. It applies to GOF work on any influenza strain and two coronaviruses, MERS and SARS. The idea is to provide a year for experts to work out a U.S. government-wide policy for reviewing GOF studies.Many researchers have been confused by exactly which viruses, and which experiments, are covered by the policy, said Dennis Dixon, a researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) who is leading efforts to implement the policy, during an NSABB teleconference today. But he said his agency—which funds all the research so far affected by the pause—has been working with researchers to clarify matters. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img For example, in letters to scientists, officials have made it clear that work involving any kind of influenza virus, and not just highly pathogenic strains, is potentially covered. But the criteria for determining exactly which experiments are GOF and must be put on hold “are much more complex and subtle,” he noted, and applying them “requires a case-by-case assessment” by a panel of NIAID scientists. Scientists are still “sending in the specifics” of their experiments so that the review process “can be done carefully,” Dixon said. The list of 18 affected projects is not expected to grow or shrink appreciably, he noted.Dixon also addressed questions about what kinds of research might fall under an exemption to the pause that allows the continuation of studies that address an “urgent” public health need. For example, he noted that the government is now examining MERS and SARS research that involves infecting mice with modified versions of those viruses, because wild-type viruses do not help address the targeted research questions. Decisions are expected soon, he said.That was music to the ears of some NSABB members, who said they were pleased the government appeared to be moving to clear up the confusion. They also reacted positively to an announcement by Andrew Hebbeler, assistant director for biological and chemical threats in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), that officials have posted a new Frequently Asked Questions document aimed at answering scientists’ questions.Still, several academic researchers called in to the meeting to share their concerns about how the moratorium is unfolding. Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, who helped push for the moratorium, raised questions about how the government is approaching certain studies that could be defined as GOF, but don’t appear to be covered by the pause. Influenza virologist John Steel of Emory University in Atlanta encouraged federal officials and NSABB members to remember that, even though just 18 projects are covered, the pause is a big deal to affected researchers.In issuing today’s statemnt, NSABB “wanted to make sure that we were formally heard,” NSABB Chair Samuel Stanley, the president of Stony Brook University in New York, told ScienceInsider by telephone after the meeting. “There should be clear definitions and pathways to exceptions where they are needed. We wanted to make clear that there is a sense of urgency. These are not the kinds of thing that should be dragging on for months and months.”Stanley says the group also wanted to remind government officials “that there are consequences to these actions, and to make sure that there aren’t unintended consequences,” such as halting work that is important to protecting public health. The group is also concerned that younger scientists could be scared away from the fields covered by the moratorium.During the teleconference, Stanley also announced that his group is making headway on developing the recommendations it will make to the government about GOF policy. It has appointed a 13 member working group to develop ideas. The group, which will meet twice by telephone in December and then face-to-face in January, is led by co-chairs Kenneth Berns, a microbiologist at the University of Florida, and biosafety expert Joseph Kanabrocki of the University of Chicago. The group is expected to draw input from a 15 to 16 December meeting on the GOF issue being organized by the National Academies in Washington, D.C. And Stanley said that, despite the early confusion about the pause, his group is “on schedule” to help the government meet its announced goal of devising a new GOF policy and lifting the funding pause within a year. “And we will work very hard to stay on schedule,” he added.Updated, 5:53pm, 11/25/2014: The story was updated to include comments from Samuel Stanley. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Grisly find suggests humans inhabited Arctic 45000 years ago

first_imgIn August of 2012, an 11-year-old boy made a gruesome discovery in a frozen bluff overlooking the Arctic Ocean. While exploring the foggy coast of Yenisei Bay, about 2000 kilometers south of the North Pole, he came upon the leg bones of a woolly mammoth eroding out of frozen sediments. Scientists excavating the well-preserved creature determined that it had been killed by humans: Its eye sockets, ribs, and jaw had been battered, apparently by spears, and one spear-point had left a dent in its cheekbone—perhaps a missed blow aimed at the base of its trunk.When they dated the remains, the researchers got another surprise: The mammoth died 45,000 years ago. That means that humans lived in the Arctic more than 10,000 years earlier than scientists believed, according to a new study. The find suggests that even at this early stage, humans were traversing the most frigid parts of the globe and had the adaptive ability to migrate almost everywhere.Most researchers had long thought that big-game hunters, who left a trail of stone tools around the Arctic 12,500 years ago, were the first to reach the Arctic Circle. These cold-adapted hunters apparently traversed Siberia and the Bering Straits at least 15,000 years ago (and new dates suggest humans may have been in the Americas as early as 18,500 years ago). Sergey Gorbunov excavates the mammoth carcass in frozen sediments in northern Siberia. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) But in 2004, researchers pushed that date further back in time when they discovered beads and stone and bone tools dated to as much as 35,000 years old at several sites in the Ural Mountains of far northeastern Europe and in northern Siberia; they also found the butchered carcasses of woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, and other animals.The Russian boy’s discovery—of the best-preserved mammoth found in a century—pushes back those dates by another 10,000 years. A team led by archaeologist Alexei Tikhonov excavated the mammoth and dubbed it “Zhenya,” for the child, Evgeniy Solinder, whose nickname was Zhenya. Pitulko et al., Science The researchers flew the block of ice by cargo plane to their zoological institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The injuries reminded Tikhonov of more modern human hunting practices. Elephant hunters in Africa, for example, often target the base of the trunk to cut arteries, causing the animal to bleed to death. The mammoth also had injuries to its jaw that suggest the tongue was cut out. Pieces of the tusk were removed, perhaps to get ivory to produce tools. “This is a rare case for unequivocal evidence for clear human involvement,” says lead author Vladimir Pitulko, also of the Russian Academy of Sciences.The injuries also fit with the pattern of damage seen on another butchered mammoth in Yana, also in Siberia, according to the authors. “One can almost see the blow-by-blow battle between people and mammoth fought on those frozen plains,” says Curtis Marean, a paleoanthropologist at Arizona State University, Tempe, who was not involved with the study. “The impact wounds on the bones with embedded stone fragments is conclusive evidence that people slayed this mammoth.”The big surprise, though, is the age. Radiocarbon dates on the collagen from the mammoth’s tibia bone, as well as from hair and muscle tissue, produce a direct date of 45,000 years, the team reports online today in Science. This fits with dating of the layer of sediments above the carcass, which suggest it was older than 40,000 years. If correct, this means the mammoth was alive during the heyday of woolly mammoths 42,000 to 44,000 years ago when they roamed the vast open grasslands of the northern steppe of the Siberian Arctic, Pitulko says. Researchers also have dated a thighbone of a modern human to 45,000 years at Ust-Ishim in Siberia, although that was found south of the Arctic at a latitude of 57° north, a bit north (and east) of Moscow. “The dating is compelling. It’s likely older than 40,000,” says Douglas Kennett, an environmental archaeologist who is co-director of the Pennsylvania State University, University Park’s accelerator mass spectrometry facility. However, he would like the Russian team to report the method used to rule out contamination of the bone collagen for dating—and confirmation of the dates on the bone by another lab, because the date is so critical for the significance of this discovery.Mammoths and other large animals, such as woolly rhinoceros and reindeer, may have been the magnet that drew humans to the Far North. “Mammoth hunting was an important part of survival strategy, not only in terms of food, but in terms of important raw materials—tusks, ivory that they desperately needed to manufacture hunting equipment,” Pitulko says. The presence of humans in the Arctic this early also suggests they had the adaptive ability to make tools, warm clothes, and temporary shelters that allowed them to live in the frigid north earlier than thought. They had to adapt to the cold to traverse Siberia and Beringia on their way to the Bering Strait’s land bridge, which they crossed to enter the Americas. “Surviving at those latitudes requires highly specialized technology and extreme cooperation,” Marean agrees. That implies that these were modern humans, rather than Neandertals or other early members of the human family. “If these hunters could survive in the Arctic Circle 45,000 years ago, they could have lived virtually anywhere on Earth,” says Ted Goebel, an archaeologist at Texas A&M University, College Station.last_img read more

After meeting Nobel laureates French president backs off suicidal science cuts

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Some of France’s most illustrious scientists were outraged—and yesterday, their president listened. After meeting five Nobel laureates and a winner of the Fields Medal, the world’s top honor in mathematics, French President François Hollande has canceled more than half of an unexpected €256 million cut in research and higher education budgets that had caused consternation in the country’s scientific community.The six laureates and two other Nobelists likened the cuts to “scientific and industrial suicide” in a letter published in Le Monde last week. The presidents of the scientific councils of five national agencies called the measures, introduced to offset unforeseen government expenses, “brutal” and said they would discourage young people from entering science.But in a meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris at the president’s invitation, “it was immediately clear that he was convinced by our arguments,” physicist and 2012 Nobel Prize–winner Serge Haroche of the Collège de France in Paris tells ScienceInsider. “He understood that this was giving the wrong signal to the scientific community.” Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Hollande agreed to take off the table cuts totaling €134 million that would affect four major agencies: the National Center for Scientific Research, the National Institute for Agricultural Research, the National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, and the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.The deal leaves another €122 million in reductions in place, most of which target higher education, says Patrick Monfort, secretary general of the SNCS-FSU, an influential union of scientists. “We’re not entirely satisfied,” Monfort says. But the cuts to the four agencies were the most controversial, he says, because they would have immediately imperiled ongoing research and the recruitment of young scientists. Research and education now provides a more reasonable share of the €1.1 billion that the government needs to balance its books, he adds.Haroche says Hollande also promised his visitors that he’ll try to free up more money for research and for France’s universities in the government’s next annual budget. “He understands the importance of research for the country,” Haroche says. “He told us it’s part of the culture and the intellectual appeal of France abroad, and he does not want to jeopardize that.”last_img read more

Marchers around the world tell us why theyre taking to the streets

first_img Science provides an objective view that is important for decision-making Rintaro Mori, 46, medical doctor and public health epidemiologist at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo and director of Cochrane Japan New Zealand I evaluate biotechnology that might be developed in Uganda, mostly plant varieties. When we got information about the event organized in Washington, D.C., we thought, ‘Yes, it is a really important thing to do for Uganda.’ We have come together with the National Agricultural Research Organisation and other groups to show solidarity and to demonstrate to Uganda and the world at large that science has evolved over time and we cannot do without it. We are going to march from the ministry of science and technology for about 5 kilometers through the main street of Kampala. We are going to carry placards with information on how science has been useful, and some of the tools that we no longer think we need to use, like the hand hoe. We have other technology like genetically engineered crops that are resistant to herbicides. We don’t want this hoe. It is breaking our backs. We will carry all the old models of phones. We will carry herbal medicine. When we get to the Parliament, one of us will read a petition. We have requested that the speaker of the Parliament talk to us about the government’s position on science and technology. They should pass the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill. That will allow the government to regulate genetically engineered crops in a manner that is safe. We are going to have farmers, professionals, civil servants, and politicians in the march. When we contacted the police for clearance, they said police officers can also participate, because it is nonpolitical. The police have a brass band. A band is very good at mobilizing people. Everyone is upbeat and excited about the event. It’s going to be historical. —Erik Stokstad Australia Stefan Knittel Courtesy of Nazario Martín I feel everyone should know about it Nicola Gaston, physicist at the University of Auckland; helped organize the March for Science in New Zealand, but will be in the United States on 22 April and hopes to march in Washington, D.C. This is one of the biggest things we’ve done for science in Iceland. We’re going to march from a hill called Skólavörðuholt where there is a statue of Leif Erikson. That’s a bit symbolic. He discovered America, and now America is in trouble. We’re walking half a kilometer down to the center of the city. We’ll have a seminar with three speakers, talking about public policy and funding issues in Iceland. An American sociologist will tell us about the atmosphere in America. We got the idea for the march just after the Trump administration took over. We saw a disregard for science. People got very scared for the future of the planet. First of all, it’s the issue of what the Trump administration will do about global warming. It’s also the idea of informed policy, of evidence-based policies. We have to fight for that here in Iceland, like everywhere. Politicians use evidence when it fits their views. We feel like we’re shunned when it does not suit them. And we’re really struggling and fighting for proper funding of science. They’re cutting some of the competitive funds. We need 60% more funding to reach the average of [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries. This is not a very ambitious goal for a rich country. The person leading the march, Ævar Þor Benediktsson, is a bit of a TV celebrity here. He hosts a show for children about science and he also has a radio program. He’s a very positive, fun guy. One of the goals is to get people involved, to get them to think about science. Everyone should feel like they are part of science. —Erik Stokstad Portugal The march is a jolly good thing Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum in London Uganda I first heard of the March for Science through social media. We noticed a couple of march sites that started up in the United States. The response in Australia has not been as substantial as in the U.S., but I think it has been positive and relatively strong. We’re a bit disappointed that the big science associations are not participating. But we are up to about 10 marches. As for participation, we’ll find out on 22 April. If it doesn’t rain, we might have a few thousand in each city. I have long been concerned about the alarmingly low level of appreciation for science exhibited by politicians in Australia as well as in other countries. I firmly believe that an improved appreciation for science holds the key to all of the great challenges we currently face. It’s not just climate change; the antivaccination and anti–water fluoridation movements are fairly big here. There is a general lack of trust in and respect for what science can tell us; people don’t know how much faith to put into science. If the science doesn’t suit their preconceived beliefs, people feel open to alternatives. Science is very global. I collaborate with people in other countries every day, use data developed by other research groups, and make knowledge and information available to others. If science suffers in one country, the whole system suffers. Especially if that country has been contributing as much as the U.S. —Dennis Normile United Kingdom Science has always had open borders Renée Schroeder, 63, biochemist at the Max Perutz Laboratories in Vienna I strongly support the march for a host of reasons, which I articulated in a blog I wrote for the London march. I think that we are entering unchartered waters in this era of ‘Brex-ump’ and, more than ever, the world needs science; after all, through technology, it is the dominant force on modern culture. (And yes, all you snobs out there, culture is as much about science as it is about the performing arts!) I am alarmed by the rise of rhetoric that mocks experts, uneasy about whether the lifeblood of science—the global movement of people and ideas—will pump so freely in the era of Brex-ump and dismayed by ‘policy-based evidencemaking,’ which includes moves to curtail research that challenges government dogma with inconvenient truths. And, yes, I do think this is indeed a global issue. In a nutshell, though I cannot make it for personal reasons, I think the march is a jolly good thing. —Daniel Clery Austria Mexico This is not a march against Trump Martin Stratmann, 62, electrochemist and president of Max Planck Society in Munich Germany This is the first time I have been involved in such an activity. I have a huge concern and also have professional and academic interests in the sustainability of our global society. I believe the scientific community has a very important role to address issues honestly, even challenging taboos, to provide objective information so as to achieve sustainable development. We’re not advocating for funding. Rather, science provides an objective view that is important for decision-making. Too many decisions are biased by vested interests, and this is leading our society in a wrong way. I think the march is a very good opportunity to help the general public recognize this important role of the scientific community. One interesting phenomenon in this context is the use of the human papillomavirus vaccine. This is standard in many countries but Japan is well behind because of a series of events that created adverse publicity. The government has not been able to make a decision. The scientific community can help. Cochrane is one of the organizations supporting the March for Science. I don’t think the march is very prominent in the Japanese community yet. I am discussing how we are going to participate with my colleagues. We are still waiting for approval from the police department. (There was a delay in applying for march permits.) There should be no problem. But without that we cannot circulate information about what we are doing. We wouldn’t expect a huge number of people. —Dennis Normile I’m really proud that the call for the March for Science resonated in so many countries and that a march is organized in my home country, Portugal. About 480 marches are planned—for now—on the 22nd of April: It shows the broad support across the globe for research and science. Science is not a dispensable luxury. We need science for the advancement of our societies and to inform our education, improve our policies, and spur innovation. Science, as a common good, also helps all of us to make sense of and navigate the more and more complex world we live in. So when special interests threaten scientific evidence and long-term research and when access to and diffusion of science is hampered, we have to stand up in support of the scientific community. As the EU commissioner for research, science and innovation, I’m very proud to stand up for science and join the march in Lisbon. —Elizabeth Pain Greenland Courtesy Rintaro Mori We feel there is a lack of respect towards academia Marco Valente, 53, teaches Economics at the University of L’Aquila New Zealand This is one of the biggest things we’ve done for science in Iceland Erna Magnúsdóttir, 43, molecular biologist at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik and president of the Iceland Academy of Sciences Marchers around the world tell us why they’re taking to the streets for science I think this may be the most northern March for Science. It will start at one of the research institutes and go through the city center. In April, the weather in Tromsø can be everything from snow, to rain, to sun. I have a feeling that people are determined to attend. The Norwegians in general are not very sensitive to weather. We say, ‘There’s never bad weather, only bad clothing.’ My first reaction was that I wanted to participate to support my colleagues in the U.S. When I thought more about it, I realized it’s not just in the U.S.; supporting and recognizing the importance of knowledge is a global issue. There are issues in Norway related to resources, particularly oil and fisheries. If you want to use resources sustainably, it’s important to base your decision on knowledge. It will be the first demonstration I have ever participated in. I think it’s really important that people understand that most scientists work for the benefit of all of us. At the moment, my colleagues and I are doing research in the field of using [carbon dioxide] as a carbon source to make drugs, fuels, and plastics, instead of using oil. The other topic we work on is antibiotic resistance. It’s a good example of how ignoring knowledge can have important consequences for global health. There are marches all over the world. It would be very nice if that would encourage politicians as well as industrial leaders to really make decisions based on facts and not belief. —Erik Stokstad Stefan Amlie/UiT Colin MacDiarmid Courtesy Marco Valente Poland Trump was the thing that initiated it Craig Stevens, physical oceanographer at the University of Auckland, president of the New Zealand Association of Scientists I have an interest in communication between scientists and the public. I have loved science for a long time and when I talk to people about science I realize it is separate from their lives, especially in Korea. We have people who reject using chemical products such as bleach, detergent, and toothpaste. We say they have ‘chemophobia.’ It’s similar to the antivaccine feelings in the United States. I have a concern about this because my major is chemistry. I am also really concerned that the divide between science and the public will become more vast under Trump’s administration. This will be felt in the U.S. at first but the effect will spread worldwide because of the power of the United States. I heard about the march at a meeting of Femicircuit, a union of women science and engineering students, faculty, and graduates affiliated with top Korean universities. The environment is not favorable for women. There are numerous inequalities and inconveniences. There are even fewer toilets for women in science and engineering buildings. Our goals are to talk about this and make an environment that is equal. Maybe 16 or 17 members of Femicircuit will participate, and we’ll have an information booth to highlight the need for more women scientists and engineers. The March for Science is occurring all over the world, and we are trying to make participants here feel they are part of a global effort. —Dennis Normile I am a member of a network of university researchers that promotes better policies for public universities and fights research cuts. When we learned about the March for Science in the United States, we thought we had good reasons to join them. Science is being challenged in Italy as well; scientific evidence is questioned, and it is often distorted for political needs. The way the Xylella fastidiosa outbreak in olive trees in southern Italy was handled; the vaccine debate, with the dramatic drop of vaccination rates; or the infamous Stamina case, where an unproven therapy was tested on humans due to media pressure, are good examples. Newspapers and political parties often depict science, research, and professors in negative terms. We feel there is a lack of respect towards academia. Many people don’t know how much authority to attribute to various sources of information. We will participate in the march without any affiliation to specific groups and without a specific platform of demands. We just want to engage public opinion on the risk of losing scientific objectivity. Many people are letting us know they will support us, and we are beginning to receive the support of [nongovernmental organizations], universities, and research centers. What do we expect? That people understand the difference between a scientific debate and a debate about the future of society. As an academic, I would also expect politicians to trust us more. For at least 10 years, politicians have only produced repressive policies for universities. They don’t see academia as a promoter of knowledge but as a teaching institution. Finally, we’d like to see more attention towards global warming, with effective policies and more pressure on the U.S. to force them to change their position. —Luca Tancredi Barone Tropical Institute of Development Innovations South Korea European Union, 2017/Nicolas Kovarik We’re up to about 10 marches Stuart Khan, 45, environmental engineer specializing in chemical contaminants in water at University of New South Wales in Sydney Science is not a dispensable luxury Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation in Brussels. I decided early on that I would really like to go to the March for Science. I figured I could use some airline miles to get to D.C. Because I’m a field glaciologist, I was going to bring my parka, Baffin boots, and ski goggles. When the date was announced, I realized I was going to be in Greenland. Then about 3 minutes later, I realized there wasn’t any reason we couldn’t do it there. Several other teams will be there, many from Europe, staging in Kangerlussuaq, a town of maybe 600 people. It has the main airport in Greenland; roughly half the town is employed by the airport. I got in touch with Nini Frydkjær Holstebro, a Greenlander and a friend, to make sure that local officials were OK with it. She’s a small business owner and a pillar of the community. Due to the recent political turmoil here in the United States, I’ve become more active politically in the last year than I ever was in my life. Science in our country—and we’re not the only place—is coming under attack. Scientists are being portrayed as nefarious people. I work on a project funded by NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Program, part of NASA’s earth science division. Trump recently proposed cuts to the division—at a really crucial time. The changes we’re seeing in Greenland are dramatic. People in Kangerlussuaq have a reason to care. A bridge partly washed out in 2012, due to runoff from the ice sheet. I liken the attacks on science to turning off the headlights. We’re driving fast and people don’t want to see what’s coming up. Scientists—we’re the headlights. I’ve spent a couple hundred dollars of my own money on a 12-foot banner. It says “March for Science, Greenland. Science not Silence.” I plan to put up signs around town. We’ll invite anyone who wants to come. We’ll walk from the port station to the bridge. It will be like three blocks. Then we’ll drive out to the ice sheet and get some photos. Our march is just one of many, but it will be a powerful image from this remote corner that people care. —Erik Stokstad I’m in. Absolutely Karen Maex, 57, civil engineer and rector magnificus of the University of Amsterdam I’ve never marched for science before, but on April 22 I’m in. Absolutely. Academic freedom is one of the most important issues to me, and recent developments in Europe have threatened it. The Hungarian government has signed a decree that targets and silences Central European University. I don’t need to tell you that many academics in Turkey have been arrested and detained. I find that very worrisome. I’m concerned about the United States as well. Climate science is often sidelined without proper arguments and people promote ‘alternative facts’ that have no basis in academic research. Of course there are issues in the Netherlands as well, but they’re a different order of magnitude. I’m not the type of rector to start recruiting people for the march. This is not something that should come from the board; people can make up their own minds. But I know the issue is very widely discussed, and I think there will be a big delegation from our university, both students and staff. I know that rectors of several other universities are joining as well. This is something that the academic community in the Netherlands feels strongly about and we hope to send a clear message. —Martin Enserink The last and only time I went to a protest was as a pupil. This was around 1968, and we were marching to change the school system, which was too hierarchical. This time I am marching for two reasons: One is that the employees at the Max Planck Society, the Ph.D. students, the directors, will be happy to see their president showing his support for the movement. And I have a strong personal motivation: Today, science is more important than ever before, but evidence and knowledge are being questioned in many places, including politics. Like many people, I have been following the political developments in the last 18 months with great concern. This is a march pro-science and pro-facts, not a march against Trump. Of course, in the U.S., Trump has come to symbolize how little facts and evidence are currently being valued in politics, and that scientific freedom is restricted in part because results are politically inconvenient. But we face the same concerns in Europe; for example, a leading university is under threat in Hungary. In addition, the Max Planck Society has employees from all over the world—including from Iran, China, and Turkey. Many of these researchers know how science is restricted in their countries of origin. And that is often connected with restrictions of freedom in general. They want to say clearly that science should be free everywhere, that people should be free everywhere. I expect the march in Munich to be very diverse. It’s a cosmopolitan city that has the highest density of science in Germany. I think that younger people especially will take the opportunity to march for their future. They will face the consequences of our global problems in their lifetimes. We have to spell out to society that we cannot solve these problems without science. —Kai Kupferschmidt Aitana Forcén-Vázquez Japan Norway Horst Machguth Italy What started out as a march on Washington, D.C., has grown into well over 400 marches in more than 35 countries on 22 April. Some international participants are worried about science under the Trump administration; others have local concerns; many feel that science and reason are under threat. Science’s correspondents talked to marchers from 17 countries; click on the flags to jump straight to their stories. I am planning to march because I believe in society. We need to stand up for things we believe in, whether that is science, knowledge, or the value of evidence-based policy and informed democratic discourse. I feel like everyone should know about it, but the reality is that many New Zealanders have more important things to worry about than the status of science! Because science careers are often international, we need to stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the U.S. who are affected by the politicization of science and loss of funding. But even more than that, I am concerned with the dismissal of scientific and other forms of knowledge as the basis for rational conversation, and ultimately agreement within society. In New Zealand, former Prime Minister John Key famously said about scientist Mike Joy, who has raised concern about the impact of the dairy industry on freshwater quality, ‘He’s one academic, and like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counter view.’ After the march is over, I think we are going to see a lot more soul searching within the scientific community about the purpose of a march, whether it has achieved anything, and whether more collective action, perhaps internationally, is necessary in order to make progress on the issues that have been raised. One of the big issues is the issue of diversity in the scientific community, which is being widely discussed using the hashtag #marginsci. —Elizabeth Pennisi The global and local issues go hand in hand Nazario Martín, organic chemist at the Complutense University of Madrid and president of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE) We’ve realized we don’t want to focus too much on Trump Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi, 63, a geophysicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City and president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences Iceland We are planning a day filled with small events Justyna Wojniak, 38, educational policy researcher at the Pedagogical University of Kraków and spokesperson for the Polish Women Scientists Network By Science News StaffApr. 13, 2017 , 2:00 PM Justyna Wojniak On 22 April I would normally have been at a retreat with about 100 other scientists of our research project on RNA biology. But I was contacted by Oliver Lehman, the organizer of the march here in Vienna, and we have decided to skip lunch and cut the retreat short so that we can all take part in the March for Science. It’s important to advocate for science. Antienlightenment sentiments are rising worldwide. Many Austrians are against genetic engineering but don’t know what a gene is, for instance. I have a problem with that. It’s almost fashionable to be against science nowadays. But this march is part of a global movement that has really gained momentum after Trump’s inauguration. We had a similar situation here in Austria last year. There was a lot of fear that the populist Norbert Hofer would win the presidential elections, but a movement for enlightenment and tolerance, full of optimism, sprang up. This march feels like a continuation of that, and like science itself, it is international. Science has always had open borders, more so than nation states. I think the march will be fairly big. We’re still discussing what signs we want to make. There will be tables set out along the route where people can do experiments and scientists can engage with the public. Saturday afternoon is a good time because there will be lots of people in the city. —Kai Kupferschmidt This is the first march the network participates in. The Polish march has not been organized as an action against Donald Trump, although his international policy certainly worries us. In Poland, we are facing many other issues of concern. The right-wing government and conservative majority in the Parliament have introduced several changes to the legal system and new regulations for public institutions that many Polish people perceive as a serious threat to democracy. In the field of science, the government recently announced serious changes to the university system without widely consulting the scientific community. The main goal, it seems, is to make the university an entrepreneurial institution driven by market rules, competition, flexible employment, and cooperation with industry. There is now pressure and censorship on researchers in the social sciences and humanities to favor conservative and religious ideology. Polish science has other problems as well. It lacks a transparent granting system, a simple academic career path, and clear rules for promotion. We are planning a day filled with small events at different locations in Warsaw, including a lecture on the role of science in politics and society, workshops, and scientific cafés. We hope that the informal atmosphere will enable the public to feel that they are touching science and that science really matters in their everyday lives. We would also like to be heard and treated seriously by the minister of science and higher education. —Elizabeth Pain Spain This may be the most northern March for Science Annette Bayer, 45, chemist at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø Australia I heard about the March for Science when the academy received an invitation to participate from AAAS [Science’s publisher]. Another group was already organizing a march for science down Reforma Avenue, but I have had no luck getting in touch with them. So the academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine got together and decided to organize a parallel rally outside of the Palacio de Minería, a landmark colonial building downtown that used to be an engineering school. At first the main motivation was Donald Trump’s policies, especially about immigration. Limitations on visas could affect thousands of Mexican students and researchers, even those who simply want to attend a scientific meeting in the U.S. Maintaining international collaborations and openness benefits everyone. The fact that the U.S. has been able to attract the best students from around the world has been a source of strength and richness for the country. Mexico has more students in the U.S. than in any other country, and we also have many engineers working at NASA, for example. But as the organizing has gone on, we’ve realized we don’t want to focus too much on Trump. We want to send a larger message about how important science is for Mexico’s economic development and how it can create change in our country There isn’t a long history of activism for science in Mexico. Political protests happen all the time in Mexico City, and they don’t seem to change anything. Many people here don’t see the point of marching for anything anymore. Our challenge is to overcome people’s apathy and convince them to participate in this one, which we hope will be part of a global movement. —Lizzie Wade UvA It will be a powerful image from this remote corner that people care Mike MacFerrin, 37, graduate student in glaciology at the University of Colorado in Boulder ASSOCIATED PRESS We need to be more inclusive in science Tammie Smith, 25, majored in criminology and Indigenous studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney; data analyst at the University of Sydney I am a proud Australian Aboriginal woman, of the Dunghutti and Bundjalung peoples. I heard about the March for Science through Twitter and then one of the organizers invited me to join the Australian organizing committee. I see it as an opportunity to bridge the science and Aboriginal Australian communities. Aboriginal Australian cultures are rich in science, having developed over 65,000 years a knowledge of natural, ecological sustainability that was applied to our own lands. These methodologies are now important for bushlands that need vegetation and renewal, and they could be applied to Australian national parks and marine areas. The march is important at several levels: I’m from a small town and there is a big movement back home to promote natural and sustainable farming in response to the trend toward big-business agriculture. The local river runs into the ocean, carrying run-off pollution that has caused algal blooms. At the national level, there is the Great Barrier Reef, where shipping and overfishing are killing the ocean and Australian marine biodiversity. Internationally, there is a domino effect in which the policies of the United States will influence policies here. For example, coal mining is also big in Australia, and those promoting mining are not looking into the environmental impact it will have over the next 50 years. We need to be more inclusive in science. We should promote awareness of Aboriginal Australians’ views and encourage all Aboriginal peoples interested in a science career to study and go for it. —Dennis Normile Tammie Smith We will highlight the need for more women scientists and engineers Eun-Kyoung Jee, first-year graduate student in chemistry at Pohang University of Science and Technology Netherlands ESPECIAL/NOTIMEX/Newscom Kristinn Ingvarsson, University of Iceland Axel Griesch I have marched for science in the past, but this march is pretty unique because it originated in the United States in response to the denial of demonstrated scientific facts like evolution and global warming by Trump and his cabinet. This is no joke: It represents a threat for science and could affect the health and the future of our planet. Countries in Europe are reacting to this tsunami from the United States by defending science not only globally but also within their own national context. The global and local issues go hand in hand. In Spain, the situation is worrying because our political leadership shows no interest in empowering science. The government budget for 2017 represents a 2.6% decrease for research projects and institutions. The National Research Agency that the scientific community had been demanding for years is now starting operations, but it lacks the multiyear funding and scientific independence that were originally promised. All in all, we demand more financial support for research but also a better representation of science in politics. There isn’t much of a tradition of marches and protests among Spanish scientists, so at COSCE we launched a manifesto for science, in the hope to make up for a possible lack of physical support in Madrid on 22 April. We will be meeting representatives of the Spanish Parliament on 26 April and it would be great if we could gather the signatures of several thousands of scientists. I am also hoping that the public realizes the importance of science for social progress and welfare, and will join the march and the manifesto. —Elizabeth Pain Everyone is upbeat and excited about the event Clet Wandui Masiga, 41, plant and livestock geneticist at the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations in Entebbe Courtesy Eun-Kyoung Jee Because of the time difference, we were the first place in the world to march for women and we can be the first to march for scientists. We expect to have three or four marches around the country. Mind you, we are a country of just 3 to 4 million, with 11,000 scientists and an equal number of research students. And the march is not just for scientists; anyone who values science can participate. I’m going to be a speaker. I’m tentatively scheduled to talk at the Wellington march, but it’s not coming together as strongly as the one in Auckland, so I might go up to there. Trump was the thing that initiated it; we even put out a press release about his election. We have issues here but if it were not for the new U.S. administration, they would not have been enough to get us into the streets. As president of the society, we advocate for science and reject pseudoscience. We try to inject science into policy. We are a small player, so we depend on results from the rest of the world. There’s a big concern that if there’s an overall downturn in science, it will embolden people locally and internationally to cease to value the view of science. For New Zealand, this march comes at a good time. This is an election year and the march puts science more firmly in the political picture. It will raise the appreciation of science. —Elizabeth Pennisi Stuart Kahnlast_img read more

Gut microbes could help trigger multiple sclerosis

first_img The trillions of bacteria that live in our intestines, known collectively as the gut microbiome, have been linked to maladies from eye disease to rheumatoid arthritis. Now, two new studies have added another disease: multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder that strips away nerve cells’ protective covers, leading to muscle weakness, blindness, and even death. What’s more, the studies suggest how our gut microbes make the immune system turn against nerve cells—a finding that could lead to treatments, like drugs based on microbial byproducts, that might improve the course of the disease.MS affects 2.5 million people worldwide, but little is known about what causes the disease, which progressively disrupts information flow from and within the brain. Most researchers think it starts when genetically predisposed people encounter an as-yet-unknown environmental trigger. Previous studies have identified particular bacteria present in increased amounts in the guts of MS patients. But the new papers “took it to the next level” in trying to understand how these bacteria affect the immune system, says Francisco Quintana, a neuroimmunologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston not involved with the work. “These are going to be landmark studies.”In the first paper, a team of researchers led by Sergio Baranzini, a human geneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed the microbiomes of 71 people with MS and 71 healthy individuals, aged 19 to 71. They found that two bacterial groups, Acinetobacter and Akkermansia, were four times more abundant in MS patients than in individuals with no disease. Another group, Parabacteroides, was four times as abundant in healthy people. Bo Veisland, MI&I/Science Source Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Artist’s illustration of gut bacteria, which may help trigger multiple sclerosis. The researchers then took naïve immune cells—which transform into different types based on the invaders they encounter—from the blood of healthy individuals and exposed them to bacteria in the guts of MS patients. In the presence of Acinetobacter and Akkermansia, they became a particular type of T helper cell, which trigger inflammation and help the immune system kill off invaders or infected cells, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). But Acinetobacter also ramped down the production of regulatory T cells, which help prevent autoimmune diseases by dampening the immune response.The researchers observed similar differences when they transferred the MS gut bacteria to germ-free mice and induced brain inflammation. Within 20 days, the mice receiving gut bacteria from MS donors developed severe brain inflammation. “But when we transferred the gut microbes from healthy people, the mice didn’t get nearly as sick,” Baranzini says.In a related study also published today in PNAS, immunologists led by Gurumoorthy Krishnamoorthy and Hartmut Wekerle of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, examined the gut microbiomes of 34 sets of identical twins, aged 21 to 63, in which only one twin had MS. They found that Akkermansia was slightly but significantly more abundant in MS patients than in their healthy twins. When the researchers transferred gut microbes from the twins into mice predisposed to develop a disease similar to MS, they found that after 12 weeks, three times as many mice receiving bacteria from MS patients developed brain inflammation as those receiving microbes from healthy donors. Gut bacteria from MS patients also seemed to block the production of molecules, like the cytokine IL-10, that reduce inflammation.Both studies analyze a relatively small number of individuals, notes Javier Ochoa-Reparaz, an immunologist at Eastern Washington University in Cheney who was not involved with either team. However, they provide “exciting new evidence” that some intestinal microbes might inhibit key anti-inflammatory molecules and help trigger MS, he says, together with other genetic and environmental factors.Understanding how intestinal bugs alter the immune response of MS patients could help develop treatments, such as cocktails of anti-inflammatory bacteria or drugs, Quintana says. But more work is needed to pinpoint the molecules produced by gut bacteria that alter the MS patients’ immune system, the authors of both studies note. “Therapeutic applications are in everyone’s mind,” Baranzini says. “But it’s still too early to think about that.”center_img Email By Giorgia GuglielmiSep. 11, 2017 , 3:00 PM Gut microbes could help trigger multiple sclerosis 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

Duke University settles research misconduct lawsuit for 1125 million

first_imguschools/istockphoto Duke University will pay $112.5 million to the U.S. government to settle a lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged that the university included falsified data in applications and reports for federal grants worth nearly $200 million. The university will also take several steps “to improve the quality and integrity of research conducted on campus,” including the creation of a new advisory panel that will provide recommendations to the president, the Durham, North Carolina, institution said in a statement released today.Late last year, ScienceInsider reported that Duke and federal prosecutors had moved to settle the case, but no details were available. It had drawn close attention from other universities, in large part because it involved a federal whistleblower law, the False Claims Act, that has rarely been used to address scientific misconduct. Under the law, Duke biologist Joseph Thomas, who filed the lawsuit in 2014, could receive as much as 30% of any settlement reached between the United States and the university. (RetractionWatch has reported Thomas will receive $33.8 million.)Thomas alleged that Duke biologist Erin Potts-Kant—a co-author on numerous papers that are now retracted—included fraudulent data in 60 grant reports and funding applications to U.S. agencies. “Duke discovered the possible research misconduct in 2013 after [Potts-Kant] was fired for embezzling money from the university, which also occurred over the same period,” the university noted in a statement released today. Potts-Kants “eventually pled guilty to two counts of forgery and paid restitution to Duke.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Duke University settles research misconduct lawsuit for $112.5 million “This settlement, which results primarily from willful misconduct that took place in one laboratory, but which affected the work of many more researchers, should not diminish the life-changing and life-saving work that takes place at every day at Duke,” said Duke University President Vincent Price in the statement. “Our difficulties in ferreting out and ending such misconduct remind us that important work remains to be done.”Duke’s new Advisory Panel on Research Integrity and Excellence, to be chaired by pediatric microbiologist and former research dean of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Ann Arvin, will examine ways of “improving the structure and function of research administration, with a focus on promoting research integrity,” the statement says. It is expected to provide its recommendations to Price by 30 June. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Science News StaffMar. 25, 2019 , 1:50 PMlast_img read more

John Singleton Reportedly Had A Stroke

first_img“Think Like a Man” director Tim Story wrote on Instagram, “Praying for my LA bro!!!” View this post on Instagram More By NewsOne Staff Prayers up, Oscar nominee John Singleton reportedly had a stroke. He is allegedly hospitalized.SEE ALSO: Some No Name, Pitchy R&B Singer Disrespected Keith Sweat And Gets Demolished On Twitter TMZ reports, “The legendary director and screenwriter is in the hospital … we’ve learned he checked himself in earlier this week after experiencing weakness in his leg. A family member tells TMZ, John had flown back from Costa Rica and the plane flight may have triggered the medical emergency. We’re told doctors are performing tests and also doing rehab. The stroke was described to us as ‘mild.’” View this post on Instagram Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Braford Jr. A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Singleton is known for films like 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood,” which earned him Oscar nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He was the youngest filmmaker to be nominated in those categories. He was also the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director.The 51-year-old has also directed episodes of “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Empire,” and “Billions.” He is also the winner of two NAACP Image Awards and an MTV Movie Award. The Los Angeles native has four children.A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. It’s often described as a brain attack. Brain cells die when they are starved of oxygen. John Singleton , Stroke center_img Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony Pray 4 my brother . @johnsingletonA post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Apr 20, 2019 at 3:57am PDT Praying for my LA bro!!!! A post shared by Tim Story (@timkstory) on Apr 20, 2019 at 7:23am PDT Rapper Snoop Dogg also wrote, “Pray 4 my brother.” Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist Approximately 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, making it the fifth leading cause of death for Americans. For African-Americans, however, the risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high compared to whites. Blacks also suffer the highest rate of death due to stroke. A stroke also occurs earlier in life for African-Americans compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to the National Stroke Association.We hope John Singleton gets better soon.SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clotheslast_img read more

Winslow purchases new aerial fire truck

first_imgWinslow purchases new aerial fire truck March 6, 2018 By L. Parsons In the absence of council members Marshall Losey and Curtis Hardy, the Winslow City Council approved the purchase of an aerial ladder truck for the Winslow Fire Department last week. The approvalSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Protestor grabs Indianorigin US presidential candidates microphone on stage

first_img Top News Approximately 10 minutes into her speech at MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum on Saturday, Harris was asked about her proposal to address the gender pay gap by moderator Stephanie Valencia when she was approached by a tall man dressed in black and wearing a press badge who jumped on the stage, the CNN reported.Harris appeared puzzled but remained calm as the protester grabbed the mic from her hand, it said.While taking the microphone, the protester, identified as 24-year-old animal rights activist Aidan Cook, said he wanted her attention for a “much bigger idea” than the gender gap she had been speaking about. Advertising By PTI |Washington | Published: June 2, 2019 8:58:04 pm Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Kamala Harris, Kamala Harris US, US presidential candidate, Kamala Harris US candidate, World news, Indian Express, latest news Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. (AP Photo)Indian-American Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris was interrupted on-stage by a protester who grabbed the microphone from her hand while she was answering a question on equal pay at an event in San Francisco. Advertising P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies “We were protesting just a few minutes ago asking for your attention to a much bigger idea…,” Cook said, as the moderator tried to intervene.The 54-year-old Senator calmly walked away from the protester as the security staff and some other people, including Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff, managed to remove the protestor, who was resisting to leave the stage, from the event.No charge was imposed on Cook for his action.After Cook’s removal, Harris returned to the stage and continued her speech.Meanwhile, MoveOn, the liberal advocacy group behind the event, have said they “severely regret” the security failing. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Puducherry CM Narayanasamy hails SC verdict on Kiran Bedis plea over turf

first_img Taking stock of monsoon rain Related News More Explained She said she could not, therefore, makeany comment as yet.She however stated in her message that she would reiterate that for her the interest of the people of Puducherry shall remain uppermost. Pondycherry govt machinery geared up to tackle Nipah Bedi and Home Ministry had challenged the verdict of the Madras High Court delivered on May 8 that the Lt Governor could not interfere in the day-to-day activities of the elected government in the Union Territory.Addressing reporters hours after the Supreme Court delivered its ruling upholding the verdict of the High Court, the Chief Minister said the ruling is a big victory for democracy and for the people of Puducherry. He termed the verdict of the apex court historic.Narayanasamy distributed `laddus` to the legislators and Parliamentary Secretary K Lakshminarayanan and the government whip R K R Anandharaman during the course of the press conference. Action plan being finalised for water conservation: Puducherry CM Advertising Puducherry, Puducherry cm, narayanswamy hauls sc verdict, kiran bedi, puducherry l-g kiran bedi, india news Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi (left) and CM V Narayanasamy.Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy Friday hailed the ruling of the Supreme Court rejecting the appeal by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Union Home Ministry in the ‘power tussle’ issue. Advertising Earlier in the day, the apex court refused to extend its order restraining the Puducherry government from implementing any cabinet decisions having financial implications and asked the Centre to move the Madras High Court with its plea on alleged power tussle between the chief minister and the Lt Governor. Best Of Express Narayanasamy, who had been at loggerheads with Lt Governor ever since she assumed office in 2016 ,also said that he had been drawing the attention of the Prime Minister all these three years to `the style of functioning of Kiran Bedi putting obstacles to the decisions of the elected government.’“I have also pleaded with the Prime Minister to recall Kiran Bedi as Lt Governor. I hope he would listen to the plea now,” he said.Narayanasamy wished that Kiran Bedi discharged her duties within the statutory limits.Kiran Bedi who was away in Delhi said in her whatsapp message that she was yet to read the orders of the supreme court on the appeal against the order of the Madras high court `relating to powers and functions of the Administrator (Lt Governor)`. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach 4 Comment(s) Puducherry turf war: SC extends restrictions imposed on Narayanasamy govt  Workers of the ruling Congress burst crackers outside the Assembly premises exhibiting their jubilation over the ruling of the apex court rejecting Lt Governor’s appeal on routine administrative matters.Narayanasamy said the Parliamentary Secretary had filed a petition in the High Court in April this year challenging the Union Home Ministry`s notifications issued in January and June 2017elevating the powers of the administrator (Lt Governor).The High Court had allowed the petition of the legislator and set aside the notifications and ruled that the administrator could not interfere in the day to day affairs of the elected government.Kiran Bedi challenged the High Court order in Supreme court in May this year and the apex court Friday dismissed the appeal. Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield By PTI |Puducherry | Updated: July 12, 2019 10:38:30 pmlast_img

Sweden rejects Chinas request to extradite exofficial Qiao Jianjun

first_img NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home While there was reasonable suspicion Qiao Jianjun had committed crimes in China, there was a risk he would be persecuted because of his political activity and treated in violation of the European Convention, the court ruled. “Under these conditions, extradition cannot take place,” Justice Council Petter Asp said in a statement.Court documents seen by Reuters showed that Qiao stated that he had fled from China in 2011 after coming under pressure for joining a banned political party. China had asked Sweden to extradite Qiao, also known as Feng Li, on suspicion of breach of trust and fraud relating to the embezzlement of the equivalent of about 100 million Swedish crowns ($11 million).He has also been charged with money laundering and immigration fraud in the United States, which is also seeking his extradition. By Reuters |Stockholm | Published: July 9, 2019 4:57:02 pm People in Sweden switch to trains to deter global warming Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Sweden, Qiao Jianjun, China, Qiao Jianjun,Qiao Jianjun Extradition, Qiao Jianjun extradition blockage, Qiao Jianjun asylum, Sweden legal system, Sweden-China, Sweden-China relations, World news, Indian Express news Sweden’s Supreme Court blocked the extradition of a former Chinese official wanted by Beijing on suspicion of embezzlement, ruling on Tuesday that he could face persecution if sent back to China. (Representational Image)Sweden’s Supreme Court blocked the extradition of a former Chinese official wanted by Beijing on suspicion of embezzlement, ruling on Tuesday that he could face persecution if sent back to China. Best Of Express Nine killed in plane crash during skydiving trip in Sweden Advertisingcenter_img “Now we have a precedent, that the court has found that China’s handling of the juridical system and human rights is appalling and cannot be accepted, at least not by a Swedish court,” Henrik Olsson Lilja, Qiao’s lawyer, told Reuters.“China cannot appeal this decision. There will be no extradition from Sweden.” Qiao was arrested in Sweden in June last year under the Chinese extradition request. He was released last month, then re-arrested days later under the U.S. request. The European Convention and Swedish law both bar authorities from extraditing people to countries where they would face political or religious persecution, torture or the death penalty.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China hoped Sweden could “face squarely the facts of Qiao Jianjun’s crimes” and extradite him back to China as soon as possible and avoid becoming a “haven for criminals”.China paid great attention to the protection of human rights, especially those of criminal suspects, Geng told a daily news briefing. China has already had extradited back to it more than 260 suspects from European, Asian, African and Latin American countries, which shows the international community’s confidence in its legal system, he added. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Advertising Related News “I again urge Sweden to acknowledge China’s demands,” Geng said. Lilja said the U.S. case remained open, with the United States having until Aug. 2 to say why it wants Qiao extradited.Qiao has been living in Sweden since 2013 and applied for asylum in March. A decision is pending. Explosion in southern town in Sweden injures 25, cause unclear Post Comment(s)last_img read more

US shutdown begins Its disheartening discouraging deflating

first_img The U.S. government today began the process of partially shutting down after President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress could not agree on a short-term funding deal. At the center of the dispute is Trump’s demand for $5 billion to begin building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, as he promised during his presidential campaign. Democrats and some Republicans in Congress oppose that demand, and the parties are trying to negotiate a resolution.The shutdown will not directly affect a number of major science agencies because they are already fully funded under spending bills signed by Trump. Those protected agencies include the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the departments of energy and defense.But the shutdown will scramble operations at a number of other agencies that fund or conduct research. That list includes the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Geological Survey, the Agricultural Research Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service. Overall, agencies will be forced to furlough about 380,000 employees under shutdown plans they have adopted. (An additional 420,000 “essential” employees involved in critical activities—such as air traffic control and military missions, or keeping spacecraft flying and laboratory animals alive—will be required to work without pay.) Email By Science News StaffDec. 22, 2018 , 9:45 AM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Dome of the U.S. Capitol at night U.S. shutdown begins: ‘It’s disheartening, … discouraging, … deflating’center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Past shutdowns have proved costly and disruptive. (This is the third this year alone.) As a result, science groups are expressing alarm. “Any shutdown of the federal government can disrupt or delay research projects, lead to uncertainty over new research, and reduce researcher access to agency data and infrastructure,” Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (which publishes ScienceInsider), said in a statement.Some lawmakers are also worried. “I want to point out that our federal science agencies have a long history of working hard on research and education programs that return huge payoffs to the American people. Those agencies are basically closed for business today,” said Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), who will become chair of the House of Representatives science panel next month. “As I’ve noted in previous shutdowns, as our competitors in other countries surge ahead in their R&D investments, we have basically shut down a large chunk of our federal science and technology enterprise. Shutting down the government is an embarrassment and the president should not be ‘proud’ of it.”It is not yet clear how long this shutdown might last, although Trump has said it could be a “very long time.” Agencies are preparing for the worst. Here’s a taste of what they might face:Smithsonian Institution: “It’s disheartening”The Smithsonian Institution will use remaining funds from budgets that Congress has already approved to keep operating through New Year’s Day, it said in a statement. Its popular public museums will be open, except for a traditional Christmas Day closure. And the institution’s broad array of research conducted by some 500 staff scientists—including studies in ecology, archeology, and paleontology—will have a week’s reprieve, too.After that, says Rick Potts, a paleoanthropologist who directs the Human Origins Project at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, D.C., the shutdown will leave him “unable to lead writing and discussions of manuscripts involving several dozen co-authors across the U.S. and other countries. … We are not allowed to use our Smithsonian/government email accounts during a shutdown, which prevents communications that are at the heart of collaborative science.”Another NMNH scientist who asked not to be identified spent Friday afternoon scrambling to prepare for a long-planned scientific expedition abroad for which they might—or might not—be granted permission to leave as planned on 29 December.“It’s disheartening, it’s discouraging, it’s deflating. All those d-words,” they said as they surveyed the piles of satellite maps, sample bags, and notebooks they were planning to cart home yesterday, in case they got the go-ahead. This person also worries about early career colleagues who will be counting on their guidance during the expedition.“If I get on the plane next Saturday and am in my field area by the first of January and there’s a complete shutdown, I will have to come back. I will feel like I am not fulfilling my responsibility to the science that I am trying to do and especially to my colleagues.”  —Meredith WadmanNASA: High-profile mission could go darkPerhaps no agency will have a higher percentage of its workforce furloughed than NASA, where some 90% of its 17,586 workers would be sent home, according to a plan released last week. Exceptions are made for supporting missions in progress, such as the International Space Station and its astronauts, along with operations of, for example, essential satellite and robotic missions.If the shutdown lingers through the new year, it could complicate what was meant to be a highlight for the agency: the New Horizons spacecraft’s first flyby—on New Year’s Day—of an original resident of the Kuiper belt, the far-flung flotilla of planetary grist on the edge of the solar system. The New Horizons team, which is run by Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will continue to work. So will the engineers behind NASA’s Deep Space Network, the massive radio antennas that enable communication with the space agency’s robotic fleet. But a shutdown could shutter NASA’s vaunted publicity machine. Twitter accounts could close. Press releases would remain drafts. Even the agency’s TV channel would go dark.Beyond the potential of such a media fumble, a shutdown that dragged into 2019 could start to cause serious delays for missions in development. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is technically a NASA contractor, so work could likely continue on its $2.5 billion Mars 2020 rover, which must hit a narrow launch window. But should the mission hit a point where the approval or review of a NASA employee is needed, all work would then stop.A similar story could play out for the delayed James Webb Space Telescope, now in the hands of contractors for testing. And even NASA’s return to human spaceflight, via the “commercial crew” vehicles developed by Boeing and SpaceX, could be postponed, including an uncrewed launch of SpaceX’s Dragon planned for next month from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. —Paul VoosenNSF: “Disruption in the grantmaking process”“There will definitely be a disruption in the grantmaking process,” says Amanda Greenwell, head of NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs in Alexandria, Virginia. It also means scientists and university administrators won’t be able to talk with NSF program managers if any questions arise about NSF-funded research. But NSF has no in-house labs, Greenwell noted, and the contractors that run major NSF-funded facilities such as observatories and research vessels have enough money in their accounts to weather a short-term shutdown. —Jeffrey MervisUSDA: Skeleton crewsAccording to a shutdown plan posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), most activities would halt at its Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the in-house research agency, and at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which houses the agency’s competitive grants program.And many agencies will have just skeleton crews because of furloughs. Just four of the 399 NIFA staff would continue to work, another USDA document indicates, and just about 18% of ARS’s staff of 6285 would be exempt from the shutdown—including “senior leaders” and those involved in “the protection of research property and data where significant damage could result if unattended for any period of time.” —Kelly ServickNIST: Empty labsWith campuses in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Boulder, Colorado, NIST employs some 2900 scientists, engineers, administrators, and support staff. The agency runs six laboratories for advancing measurement science and standards to help U.S. companies. Most will be furloughed, but more than 500 staff members are expected to stay on part- or full-time to oversee proper shutdown of equipment ranging from a cold neutron source to nanofabrication facility, as well as ensure the safety of vital equipment and buildings. —​Robert ServiceNOAA: Port in a storm? The agency will continue to run a collection of essential long-term data about the oceans and atmosphere and other field data. Fortuitously, all the agency’s vessels are in port for scheduled winter maintenance, a NOAA official said. —​Jeffrey Brainard 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 BKL/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) last_img read more

Top stories Ancient psychoactive drugs smart cats and a new drug for

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Labs studying feline social cognition are popping up around the globe, and a small but growing number of studies is showing that cats match dogs in many tests of social smarts. The new body of work could transform the widespread image of cats as aloof or untamed, and it may eventually offer insight into how domestication transformed these wild animals into some of our best friends.Experimental Huntington disease drug reduces toxic protein, newly published data confirmA drug that blocks the production of a mutant protein that causes brain damage in people with Huntington disease—an inherited and ultimately fatal neurological disorder—was officially declared safe this week in its first round of clinical trials. The New England Journal of Medicine study gives new hope to patients—and an official imprimatur to news that first electrified the community of patients with the disease 17 months ago.This 5000-year-old mass grave hides a family tragedyThe 15 men, women, and children discovered in a 5000-year-old mass grave near the southern Polish village of Koszyce must have suffered brutal deaths: Each was killed by blows to the head. Yet the tidy, systematic nature of their burial suggests they were laid to rest with care. Now, new genetic analyses reveal the dead all belonged to a single extended family, offering an intimate glimpse of a Bronze Age tragedy.Landmark analysis documents the alarming global decline of natureThe state of global biodiversity and ecosystems is at its most perilous point in human history, and the decline is accelerating, warns a landmark assessment released this week. But the hope is that the bleak assessment—crafted by hundreds of scientists and historic in its depth and breadth—will finally persuade governments and others of the need to change course and prevent further harm to the ecological systems that provide for human well-being. (left to right): JUAN V. ALBARRACIN-JORDAN AND JOSÉ M. CAPRILES; HOLLY ANDRES; JOHN LEHMANN By Alex FoxMay. 10, 2019 , 4:45 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Top stories: Ancient psychoactive drugs, smart cats, and a new drug for Huntington disease Archaeologists find richest cache of ancient mind-altering drugs in South AmericaResearchers have discovered a 1000-year-old bag containing the most varied combination of psychoactive compounds found at an ancient South American site, including cocaine and the primary ingredients in a hallucinogenic tea called ayahuasca. The contents suggest the users were well versed in the psychoactive properties of the substances, and also that they sourced their goods from well-established trade routes.Cats rival dogs on many tests of social smarts. But is anyone brave enough to study them?last_img read more

Ban antinational TikTok RSS affiliate

first_imgIn a letter written to Modi, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) co-convener Ashwani Mahajan highlighted the organisation’s concerns over the two platforms, which he alleged were exposing India’s youth to being influenced by “vested interests”.“In recent weeks, TikTok has become a hub for anti-national content that is being shared extensively on the application and which can rupture the fabric of our society,” Mahajan said.Talking about Helo, the SJM leader alleged that the app was found paying Rs 7 crore for over 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms. Advertising By PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 14, 2019 5:20:27 pm Related News Advertising Hyderabad: Man drowns in lake during a TikTok video shoot Post Comment(s) tiktok, tiktok ban, tiktok app ban, tiktok app, tiktok on google play, tiktok on apple play store, madras high court, madras high court bans tiktok, govt bans tiktok Ashwani Mahajan demanded that the Ministry of Home Affairs ban all the Chinese apps, including TikTok and Helo, in the country. (File)Chinese social media applications had become a hub for “anti-national” content. “Some of these ads were using morphed pictures of senior Indian political leaders. Functionaries of the BJP themselves wrote to the EC during the last general election raising these concerns,” he said.Mahajan demanded that the Ministry of Home Affairs ban all the Chinese apps, including TikTok and Helo, in the country. “As some segments of the Chinese establishment have negative intentions with regard to the sovereignty and integrity of India,” he said.The SJM co-convener claimed that the combination of apps like TikTok and interventions by Chinese government can be used to gain access to the private lives of Indian citizens and “create social turmoil in our country”.Mahajan expressed concern that India currently did not have any regulations to monitor the applications provided on Play Store in Android mobile phones and App Store in iPhones.He requested the government to being a new law that requires testing and regulation of such apps to “protect our national security” as well as the privacy of citizens. TikTok suspends accounts of trio who posted video on Jharkhand mob attack Karnataka student drowns while shooting TikTok video last_img read more

While You Wait 4 Potentially HigherStatus Alternatives to the iPhone 8

first_imgIf it weren’t for the Note7’s overheating problem, it could have been an iPhone 7 killer. Folks loved the phone — at least those who didn’t have the thing catch fire on them.The Note8 promises to provide a similar level of advancement, and one of the largest screens in the industry (6.3 inches), at price point that should fall below the iPhone 8 (estimated around $1,000).Due late in the third or early in the fourth quarter and likely to release after the iPhone 8, it will be the new flagship phone from Samsung.The Note8 has a stylus, a decent quality camera, and an odd place to put the fingerprint sensor, which likely will have you putting fingerprints on the camera lens. Given allegations that Apple is crippling its phones due to the Qualcomm litigation, this phone should outperform the iPhone, and its OLED display easily should be a match for anything Apple brings to market.This phone will favor folks who really want the biggest phone they can get and who want to write with it. It may be the best for mixed media content consumption and creation (including drawing and writing) in the group. PreziPresentation Software The Hydrogen One won’t show up until early 2018, but it may be worth waiting for. I’m intrigued because it is coming from the company that created the Red Camera, which costs around $50K and is used in movies like Transformers and Guardians of the Galaxy.With a price that is expected to fall well within the new iPhone’s range ($1,200 to $1,600) this Android phone obviously leads with the best camera ever put on a phone — basically, a DLSR with removable lenses.This would be for the person who wants to get truly professional-level pictures and videos using a smartphone. It has an interesting case designed to keep you from dropping this expensive camera phone while filming. The Hydrogen One also has a 3D display that doesn’t require glasses, and it has a Moto Z-like area that suggests there will be many attachments for this puppy.If your goal is to take the absolute best pictures and videos, this phone is the one for you, and it may be worth the wait. The 3D display could be cool or goofy, and I’ll hold off on that decision until it’s actually working on a phone. Given the price and the unique look of this phone, it has the potential to generate envy — particularly from those who appreciate high-quality pictures. I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with PowerPoint over the years. Yes, it is very easy to make a presentation but way too easy to make a crappy one. Bad habits result in presentations that basically are speaker notes that people don’t retain — and that I’ve come to dread seeing like I dread seeing the proctologist.Some weeks I feel like if I’m presented with just one more bulleted PowerPoint deck my brain will jump out of my ear and run across the border to Mexico.Granted, much of the problem is that we aren’t willing to take the time, and I include myself, to make a great presentation — but the result is that most PowerPoint presentations are a form of audience abuse.Prezi is a very different tool. It is cloud-based, and it forces you to think about presentations visually, organizing the information not as a summery but as each element interrelates visually. That makes it harder to create a presentation, but it should result in a far better — and by better, I mean more likely to be retained — result. We organize information visually, and Prezi uses that preferred organizational method by default. Hydrogen One Now if you want something quick and dirty and don’t really care if anyone remembers what you say, Prezi isn’t the tool for you. However, if you want to move the ball and convey a message that folks will remember — assuming you put in the effort — the result can be a far more powerful learning tool.The folks behind Prezi recently started to make AR enhancements that better blend the presenter and the material, making it a far more powerful tool for streaming presentations. It is the only tool I know of that anticipates all of us having access to AR glasses at some point. It is also the tool overwhelmingly preferred by millennials because they never learned PowerPoint.Because I do like to move the ball, and Prezi potentially does that, it is my product of the week. (And it is the only thing keeping my brain from escaping to Mexico.) At a rumored US$1,400 sale price the coming iPhone 8 likely will test just how much people are willing to pay for a new phone — particularly, how much parents are willing to fork over for their kids. While iPhones once conveyed status and sense of luxury, similar to a brand like Cadillac, pretty much everyone and their brother has iPhones today.The first few customers who get their hands on the latest model will be envied for about a week — but the phones will be extremely common by the end of the first month.Interestingly, there are some phones that may have more status than the iPhone, and they likely will have one or two advantages over it, including price.I’ll share some observations on smartphones and close with my product of the week: an interesting presentation product called “Prezi.” Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Essential Phone The Pixel 2 is Google’s showcase phone, and while the Pixel 2 XL is smaller than the Note8, at 6 inches it is still one of the largest phones you are likely to see in market.It too will have a beautiful OLED display, and it will have a better-placed fingerprint reader than the Note8.The Pixel 2 XL is what Google thinks a smartphone should look and feel like, and it should provide the closest thing to an Apple-like experience from any Android phone maker. At $1,199, the Pixel 2 XL isn’t cheap either, but it should provide the best consistent experience of any Android phone. It’s built by HTC and has an impressive camera.This isn’t the best-looking phone of this group, but it may be one of the best-engineered. This is probably the phone that the guys in Big Bang Theory would lust for. Pixel 2 XL Samsung Note8 This phone was supposed to release back in June, and with no new delivery date it is just a tad late. Apple has been working furiously to keep this phone from coming to market, suggesting that it could be the real iPhone killer in the bunch.Not a great deal is known about the final phone other than it’s likely you’ll be able to buy two of them for the price of the iPhone 8. It will have a reasonably priced 360-degree camera option, and it is coming from the father of Android, Andy Rubin. Apparently, it has a HUGE status bar.This phone is expected to price out around $700 with the 360-degree camera — you know you’ll want it — making it one of the better value phones in this collection.This is likely for the person who really doesn’t like Apple and wants a phone that is not only distinctive but also a clear affront to Apple and the iPhone. Yes, I have one on order, mostly to hold up to my friends who will be getting iPhone 8s, to point out how much money they could have saved and how cool a 360-degree camera is. BlackBerry KeyONE The BlackBerry KeyONE is what I currently carry myself. It has several advantages. At less than $550 unlocked, it is one of the cheapest flagship phones on the market. It has an actual keyboard, and it has impressively long battery life.It also has BlackBerry’s DTEK technology, making it one of the most secure smartphones on the market. This phone is for power users who text or write a lot on their phones, as well as for those who are very concerned about someone hacking into their smartphone.It has a decent camera with twin LEDs, and the fingerprint scanner is on the spacebar. Thanks to the keyboard, this phone looks very different and it tends to attract more attention than most as a result.This phone’s cost and productivity focus convey a sense of seriousness and maturity that other phones likely can’t match. It is a ton faster to type on than a more typical screen-based smartphone. Oh, and it’ll take the biggest SD card you can find for added storage. As noted, I have the KeyONE myself, which has the most positive differentiators, compared to the iPhone 8. You can buy it now, it is less than half the price, it has a keyboard, it is more secure, and it arguably is as distinctive as the Hydrogen One.There is something to be said for a phone that made it to retail — something the Essential Phone is struggling with now. While I’m probably lusting after the Hydrogen One the most, I also realize this is the firm’s first phone, which typically would have me recommend waiting at least until version 2 is released, as version 1 of anything will have issues.I’m less worried about the Essential Phone because it comes from an experienced team of phone folks, but they are having trouble shipping the thing, which suggests they have run into some production issues (likely not helped by Apple’s interference).In the end, if you want something other than the iPhone 8 — which, to be fair, is expected to contain some of the biggest moves Apple has ever made, including an OLED display and iris biometric security — there are some fascinating choices coming, any one of which could have certain iPhone 8 users potentially lusting after your phone.Something Apple users often forget is that the freedom to make a choice can be an amazing thing. Wrapping Uplast_img read more

Samsung Unveils New S10s Pushes Envelope With Fold

first_imgSamsung held its annual Unpacked event in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Wednesday, presenting fans with a new product lineup that includes three versions of its flagship Galaxy S10, plus the Galaxy S10 5G, the Galaxy Fold, and several new wearables.All of the devices have an edge-to-edge display that increases the amount of screen real estate available. The smartwatch, activity tracker and cord-free earbuds are designed to accommodate a range of lifestyles, the company said.”Consumers are increasingly putting their overall well being at the center of their lifestyle decisions, and they’re looking for wearables that make it easier to get active and stay balanced every day,” said Koh.The Galaxy Watch Active offers blood pressure monitoring and stress management, as well as fitness tracking. Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard. 3 New Wearables Samsung debuted three new wearables: the Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit/Galaxy Fit e, and Galaxy Buds. The Galaxy S10 5G will be offered exclusively by Verizon Wireless in the United States.”So we’re down to 150 million people here (Verizon’s customer base) instead of 320 million,” Llamas said. “How many of them have 5G in their local areas?”Meanwhile, Samsung is rolling out the Galaxy S10 5G with a number of carriers across Europe.Trouble is looming, though: There is no single worldwide 5G standard, and the U.S. and the EU have been battling over different implementations. Galaxy Fold “Occasionally a new device is introduced that overcomes expectations and sets the industry on a new path,” said Samsung’s Koh. “A device like the Galaxy Fold.” All three of the S10 devices have a triple rear camera system and a dual front camera system. The cameras and lenses are embedded into the screen, each floating in a sea of pixels.They have the world’s first Infinity O-Display on AMOLED.”The quality of the screens is amazing,” noted Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.The S10 devices have the world’s first ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, embedded directly beneath the screen at the base.Also, they can double as wireless chargers for Samsung wearables.”The cameras and the reverse charging were a hit. The camera software democratizes pro photography capabilities,” Wang told TechNewsWorld.”Today marks a new beginning,” D.J. Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile communications division, told a packed audience. The new lineup “will launch the next decade of Galaxy.”However, these three phones “have technologies that were in previous models,” noted Ramon Llamas, a research director at IDC.”There’s a lot of incremental improvements, and if that’s setting the stage for the next 10 years, we have to be prepared for incremental improvements,” he told TechNewsWorld.Pricing is set at US$900 for the Galaxy S10, $1,000 for the S10+ and $750 for the Galaxy S10e. All three will be available from March 8 in stores and online. Samsung will begin taking preorders Thursday.Sales of the Galaxy S series will be challenging, Llamas predicted, because of the price and people’s reluctance to upgrade. Galaxy Wearables It had been widely rumored well before the launch that Samsung “would adopt a similar strategy as Apple and launch three devices, with one being a cheaper model,” noted Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.Samsung introduced the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10e. The S10e is the inexpensive model. Trotting Toward 5G The Galaxy Fold For the Fold, Samsung reinvented the display from the ground up, pioneered new technologies, and created new materials, among other things, Koh said.”The biggest surprise was the exceptionally great design of the foldable device,” Strategy Analytics’ Ukonaho told TechNewsWorld.”The Galaxy Fold defines a whole new category of smartphones,” he said. “It will be the device every other vendor wants to beat.”The Fold has a 4.6-inch cover (outside) with a QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED display. When it is unfolded to serve as a tablet, its two inside screens seamlessly conjoin to create a 7.3-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display.”We had to develop brand new ways to design, develop and manufacture” to make the Galaxy Fold, said Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice president of product marketing.The company had to invent a new polymer layer and create a display roughly half as thin as the typical smartphone display, said Koh.”One of the biggest challenges was building the backbone of the device,” Denison said. Samsung “developed a sophisticated fold system with hinges with multiple interlocking gears.”Apps can switch seamlessly among the screens with Samsung’s “App Continuity” feature. Users can open up to three active apps simultaneously.The Fold has a rear triple camera, one front camera and two inside cameras. It uses a state of the art 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor; it has 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. It supports Universal Flash Storage 3.0.Two batteries, one on each side of the Fold, offer a total of 4,380 mAH to power the device. Their power is combined into one source.The Fold is Fast Charging compatible on both wired and wireless. It runs Android 9.0 (Pie).The Galaxy Fold will be available from April 26, Denison said.It will be offered in an LTE and 5G versions. Pricing will begin at $1,980, depending on the region and carrier.”That’s quite high, but we expected this because of its complex mechanics,” Strategy Analytics Ukonaho remarked.”Most people were expecting it would come in at more than $2,000,” noted Constellation’s Wang.Samsung “is not the first to come out with a foldable phone,” noted IDC’s Llamas. “China’s Royole FlexPai is, but Samsung gets credit for bringing this out into the mainstream.”If you’re a real heavy-duty hardcore multimedia consumer, this might be for you,” he said, “but right now we’re talking almost a niche device.” The S10 Triumviratelast_img read more

How Deep Learning Could Fix Trump and Healthcare

first_imgIt isn’t a cheap date at nearly $70K — yes, that is seventy thousand dollars — and you’d still need to develop the related AI and train it. However, once trained, this little puppy could be your “don’t get into jail in the first-place” card.What would you pay to become superhuman?For now, this is mostly used for those who want to develop a deep learning system, and prices certainly will come down as more mainstream hardware vendors move to this opportunity. However, a person who, say, was a billionaire, and who could afford to make something like this work — oh, and who didn’t want to be impeached — might be willing to fund the first one. Just saying.In any case, although it likely is the most expensive mainstream workstation in the world, it likely is worth the price, and so the Nvidia DGX Station is my product of the week. Hillary Clinton Wrapping Up: Deep Learning One of the shortcomings of humans is that we are very selective about what we choose to retain. The most powerful of us often are more driven to appear right than actually to be right, leading to hosts of avoidable mistakes. Even though we have more information at our fingertips than ever before, we have an aversion to using it — choosing to learn by our mistakes rather than taking the effort to avoid them.This is the exact opposite of deep learning systems, and it is why they already are better at driving cars — and, on paper, better at flying planes. They lack the creativity and the out-of-the-box thinking that define the best of us, but they can avoid the kinds of mistakes that trip up the best of us. In short, applied properly, a deep learning system could turn any one of us into a “huuuuuge” success.Let’s hope this happens before a big-enough avoidable mistake turns us into fossils. The big problem with both the Obama and Trump efforts is that they were founded on several lies that way too many people believe. The three critical lies are these: 1. that you can make something that is unaffordable affordable by getting the government to pay for it; 2. that you can add a very expensive new government service without raising taxes; and 3. that insurance can cover pre-existing conditions.The first is a lie because government oversight adds cost — it doesn’t remove it. Alone, it is simply another expensive layer of management, and the additional costs still get passed on to you.The second is Economics 101. The money to pay for something has to come from someplace. Obamacare was creative, but because it required people who didn’t need insurance to buy it, insurance premiums became a tax that wasn’t called a tax. I could call a duck a dog and it would still be a duck.Third, it is clear that most folks don’t understand how insurance works. It isn’t a service — it is gambling. Much like going to Vegas, collectively we lose. What happens is that you bet the insurance company you will get sick, while they bet you won’t. The fee reflects the odds plus overhead and profit.It works, because the collective fees cover the costs when the insurance company loses. However, with pre-existing conditions, this would be like having a slot machine that always paid out. That isn’t gambling anymore — it is like betting on a horse after the horse race is over. To buy the winning ticket, you’d likely have to pay the face value plus any overhead for handling the transaction.Now, it isn’t uncommon for someone who doesn’t have insurance try to buy it after they have a loss that the insurance might have covered. Say you would have paid $5K for house fire insurance, but you didn’t get it. Then you have a fire with a $200K loss. Of course, it NOW looks good to pay $5K to get $200K back — but from the insurance company’s perspective, that would be going-out-of-business stupid.What a deep learning system would do is not only flag that pretty much everyone is misleading you on this topic, but also provide you with examples of where healthcare is working best and recommend that path. It likely would be a single-payer system where healthcare isn’t handled through insurance but as a government service — and better managed than most DMV offices now are. My best guess right now is that a machine would pick Luxemburg as the example (Australia is ranked 8th). One of the things you learn by going through one of the very few formal CEO training programs that exist in the world is the importance of causality — in other words, the understanding that you can’t do or fix anything successfully unless you understand deeply the mechanism that will, or did, create it.Many of the foundational skills for effective leadership aren’t taught — they are built through experience. The problem with experience is that we have a tendency to remember selectively the things that had the greatest beneficial impact and that support a view that we don’t make mistakes. Also, most of us tend to learn from our own experiences but not from the experiences of others.At the heart of the Trump train wreck is the president’s resistance to accepting his own mistakes or to learning from those of others. Things started out badly, and they now seem to be getting worse and spinning out of control.This is the kind of thing a deep learning system could fix. It not only learns from its own mistakes, but also aggregates the history that has been fed into it and learns from the mistakes and conclusions of its peer machines.Implemented properly, it would showcase in real time, and in gruesome detail, the outcome of any Trump decision. Simply placing it between the president and Twitter would massively change the character of President Trump’s tweets.In fact, given the president’s unwillingness to read, study or admit mistakes, he might be the poster child for the type of person who would benefit most from this kind of a system. A deep learning AI system is designed to do best what the president doesn’t seem to want to do at all. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was a different kind of train wreck. Early on, I pointed out that I thought she would lose because Bill Clinton would be more successful at causing her to lose than Trump would be at figuring out how to lose without looking like he was doing it intentionally.A few weeks back, the now ex-head of the FBI testified that Bill Clinton was indeed the trigger for his late reporting about Clinton’s emails, which perhaps played a major part in her loss.What should have been obvious was that despite Bill’s verbal support, Hillary’s win would have been a massive unacceptable loss for him. Being very status-oriented, he couldn’t accept going from being remembered as the 42nd President to being remembered as the first guy in a woman’s job — the first male First Lady.There was no way he could bring that up without sounding like a jerk, but someone in the campaign should have flagged it, and the fix would have been easy. Either rename and reposition the role as far more powerful — something that would have benefited every presidential spouse that followed him — or do what Trump effectively has done: Get someone else to fill it. Bill could have been given the title of “president emeritus” or something equally impressive-sounding.Trained deep learning systems can see patterns we might miss — and in this case, the pattern that should have emerged was that people don’t like to take title demotions. Those who are heavily driven by status stand out in this group. How often are people demoted successfully, even if they change companies, and how often does that not work out? The answers are rarely and very.Using a deep learning system to analyze a strategy likely would have pointed out that one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest assets, Bill, was going to become a liability. It could have helped her make a number of problematic decisions, like resource utilization, more effectively. It also might have flagged that a strategy of disparaging Trump’s voters would motivate them to vote while doing nothing to get her own people to the polls, because that’s what typically happens. The kind of cloud service that would provide the capability I’ve described above likely will come with a relatively affordable monthly cost eventually, but we are at least five and more likely 10 years away from that.If you wanted to create a secure personalized service for someone like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, then you’d likely start with a very unique workstation focused on deep learning and dedicated to them.Until this month, such a thing wasn’t available — but that changed with the launch of the Nvidia DGX Station. Nvidia earlier this month launched a massive new push for intelligent machines, including what is likely the most expensive volume workstation in the world designed for this purpose.IBM, which has a tight relationship with Nvidia, launched a quantum computing processor that has a good chance of massively increasing the speed and intelligence of thinking systems.IBM also has been the most aggressive in promoting the concept that systems such as these could have a dramatic effect on the performance of people who use them. I think that after last week, regardless of your personal political preferences, you likely wish a lot of folks in Washington were wired to these machines, because it feels like the country is being run by partisan idiots at the moment.A deep learning system could have reversed the election results. It’s too late for that, but it still could turn Trump from a train wreck into the best president the country has ever had. Furthermore, it actually could provide a healthcare system that is both comprehensive AND affordable.I’ll explain and then close with my product of the week: the workstation that has the potential to make you superhuman — and it only costs US$70K! Nvidia DGXStation President Trump Universal Healthcare Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more