Scrutiny Alerts And Updates

first_img View INGNetherlands-based ING NV, a company with shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange, recently disclosed:“ING Bank is the subject of criminal investigations by Dutch authorities regarding various requirements related to the on-boarding of clients, money laundering and corrupt practices. ING Groep has also received related information requests from U.S. authorities. ING Groep and ING Bank are cooperating with such ongoing investigations and requests. It is currently not feasible to determine how the ongoing investigations and requests may be resolved or the timing of any such resolution, nor to estimate reliably the possible timing, scope or amounts of any resulting fines, penalties and/or other outcome, which could be significant.”According to this report, quoting a spokesperson from the Dutch prosecutors office, “The subject of the investigation is, among others, unusual payments by VimpelCom to the company of an Uzbek government official.” The report further states:“ING’s involvement was disclosed publicly in documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in February 2016. U.S. prosecutors said $800 million in bribes were paid to shell companies owned by a high-ranking official in Uzbekistan related to late President Islam Karimov. The U.S. court documents showed that $184 million of the payments originated from ING Bank.”See here and here for prior posts regarding VimpelCom’s FCPA enforcement action.CardnoAccording to this report, Australia-based engineering company Cardno is under investigation for allegations “of bribery in up to five bids, including a hydro-electric project, in a scheme using US banks” and that the company “had notified Australian and US authorities, and the firm noted some kind of sanction was “probable”.”U.K. SFO-RelatedAccording to this Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Journal report:“There’s a renewed urgency at the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office to resolve the various investigations of bribery and corruption at large global companies on its books over the next year, before David Green hands in his security badge in April 2018. The agency’s director since 2012, Mr. Green will leave the SFO next April and he is keen to have the bulk of the major cases under investigation by the SFO–which include Airbus Group SE, Barclays Bank PLC, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Tesco PLC, and Unaoil–well on their way to some resolution. “I’d like certainly to resolve the big investigations that I’ve started…to bring them to the point where a charging decision has been made,” Mr. Green said in an interview with Risk & Compliance Journal. Airbus and Tesco have said they are cooperating with the investigations; the SFO is expected to charge Barclays in coming weeks; Unaoil is legally challenging the SFO’s case; Glaxo said in its annual report that it has responded to the SFO’s investigation.”SiriwanRegarding the long-standing legal proceedings against Juthamas Siriwan, the “foreign official” implicated in the Gerald and Patricia Green Thai Film Festival FCPA enforcement actions (see numerous priors posts under this subject matter tag), the Bangkok post reports:“The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has decided to seize the assets of Juthamas Siriwan, a former Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), for being unusually rich. The seizure came long after a film festival bribery case in the US in which she was accused of taking bribes from a Los Angeles film-making couple who were awarded a 60-million-baht contract to host the annual Bangkok International Film Festival between 2003 and 2006. Hollywood producers Gerald and Patricia Green allegedly paid her about 8 million (63.3 million baht) to help secure the film festival. The Greens were convicted in 2009 and sentenced to six months in jail. Mrs Juthamas was indicted by the Office of the Attorney-General in August 2015, and the Criminal Court will rule on the case next Wednesday. Nitiphan Prachuabmoh, the NACC official in charge of foreign affairs, said on Friday a panel had found her unusually rich by using her position to gain wealth. Her assets will be confiscated including those she had allegedly transferred to her daughter Jittisopha, the official said. The NACC has contacted US authorities to freeze the assets and will ask the US to transfer them to Thai state coffers under the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2004 and other agreements, according to Mr Nittiphan.” Free 90 Minute 2017 FCPA Year In Review Video A summary of every corporate enforcement action; notable statistics and issues to consider; compliance take-away points; and enforcement agency and related developments. Click below to view the engaging video tutorial.last_img read more

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Andrews Kurth Partner Selected to 2015 Class of LCLD Fellows

first_imgThe year-long LCLD program aims to increase diversity at the leadership levels of the nation’s top law firms and corporate legal departments . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Password Usernamecenter_img Lost your password? Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

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PRIVATE BLOG – Whats Wrong with Silver

first_img Categories: Silver PRIVATE BLOG – What’s Wrong with Silver Private blog posts are exclusively available to Socrates subscribers. To sign-up for Socrates or to learn more, please visit Ask-Socrates.com.https://ask-socrates.com/ « Why Silver & Barter Could Become the Alternative to Cryptocurrencylast_img

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Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd launches Fight for Sight campaign to raise awareness

first_imgThe former Speaker of the House of Commons will kick off the campaign by appearing in a BBC Radio 4 appeal which will be broadcast on Sunday 5 August 2018.She will be raising awareness of sight loss and highlighting the impact that it has on over two million people in the UK, a figure that is set to double by 2050.Despite this, eye disease is a desperately under-funded area of research in the UK.  Fight for Sight figures show that eye research only received 1% of overall public grant spending in 2016/17. I remember my mother living with macular degeneration and how it robbed her of the ability to perform everyday tasks like embroidery and preparing meals.I now have difficulty with things like reading and sewing and I worry about my independence as my eyesight deteriorates.Recently my daughter has been diagnosed too. My worry is for the future and for my granddaughters. I fully support more research being done so that they won’t be affected by this disease.”Rosemary Hallsworth Rosemary Hallsworth, who is eighty years old, also features in the broadcast.Three generations of her family have lived with age-related macular degeneration, a condition that is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK. Aug 1 2018The Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd is launching a Fight for Sight campaign to raise awareness of eye health and the need for vital eye research. Source:https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/news-and-views/articles/news/rt-hon-baroness-betty-boothroyd-raises-awareness-of-eye-research-underfunding/ Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight said: Fight for Sight research has so far resulted in breakthroughs including the identification of new genes responsible for glaucoma, the world’s first clinical trial of a gene therapy for choroideremia and the design of a new test that can detect the early stages of sight loss in age-related macular degeneration. I’m supporting Fight for Sight because this is an issue close to my heart and I know the impact that sight loss can have on people and their families.The answer lies in research – research breakthroughs have already led to pioneering treatments that have changed lives and yet this remains a desperately underfunded area.Most people will know someone affected by sight loss so I hope as many people as possible will hear the appeal and feel able to donate towards much needed research.”Rt Hon Baroness Boothroyd Fight for Sight’s vision is simple.  We believe in a future everyone can see and we want to stop sight loss. Our main way of achieving this is through funding pioneering research.We currently have eight million pounds invested in over 160 research projects but still can only fund one in every eight research applications.Gene therapy, stem cells, drug treatments and technology offer hope for the future – but there is much more work to be done.”last_img read more

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This protein designer aims to revolutionize medicines and materials

first_imgDavid Baker appreciates nature’s masterpieces. “This is my favorite spot,” says the Seattle native, admiring the views from a terrace at the University of Washington (UW) here. To the south rises Mount Rainier, a 4400-meter glacier-draped volcano; to the west, the white-capped Olympic Mountain range.But head inside to his lab and it’s quickly apparent that the computational biochemist is far from satisfied with what nature offers, at least when it comes to molecules. On a low-slung coffee table lie eight toy-sized, 3D-printed replicas of proteins. Some resemble rings and balls, others tubes and cages—and none existed before Baker and his colleagues designed and built them. Over the last several years, with a big assist from the genomics and computer revolutions, Baker’s team has all but solved one of the biggest challenges in modern science: figuring out how long strings of amino acids fold up into the 3D proteins that form the working machinery of life. Now, he and colleagues have taken this ability and turned it around to design and then synthesize unnatural proteins intended to act as everything from medicines to materials. Protein for every purposeThe ability to predict how an amino acid sequence will fold—and hence how the protein will function—opens the way to designing novel proteins that can catalyze specific chemical reactions or act as medicines or materials. Genes for these proteins can be synthesized and inserted into microbes, which build the proteins. Sander reasoned that the juxtaposition of those amino acids must be crucial to a protein’s function. If a mutation occurs, changing one of the amino acids so that it no longer interacts with its partner, the protein might no longer work, and the organism could suffer or die. But if both neighboring amino acids are mutated at the same time, they might continue to interact, and the protein might work as well or even better.The upshot, Sander proposed, was that certain pairs of amino acids necessary to a protein’s structure would likely evolve together. And researchers would be able to read out that history by comparing the DNA sequences of genes from closely related proteins in different organisms. Whenever such DNA revealed pairs of amino acids that appeared to evolve in lockstep, it would suggest that they were close neighbors in the folded protein. Put enough of those constraints on amino acid positions into an ab initio computer model, and the program might be able to work out a protein’s full 3D structure.Unfortunately, Sander says, his idea “was a little ahead of its time.” In the 1990s, there weren’t enough high-quality DNA sequence data from enough similar proteins to track coevolving amino acids.By the early part of this decade, however, DNA sequences were flooding in thanks to new gene-sequencing technology. Sander had also teamed up with Debora Marks at Harvard Medical School in Boston to devise a statistical algorithm capable of teasing out real coevolving pairs from the false positives that plagued early efforts. In a 2011 article in PLOS ONE, Sander, Marks, and colleagues reported that the coevolution technique could constrain the position of dozens of pairs of amino acids in 15 proteins—each from a different structural family—and work out their structures. Since then, Sander and Marks have shown that they can decipher the structure of a wide variety of proteins for which there are no homology templates. “It has changed the protein-folding game,” Sander says.I have been waiting 10 years for a breakthrough. This seems to me a breakthrough.John Moult, University of Maryland, College ParkIt certainly did so for Baker. When he and colleagues realized that scanning genomes offered new constraints for Rosetta’s ab initio calculations, they seized the opportunity. They were already incorporating constraints from NMR and other techniques. So they rushed to write a new software program, called Gremlin, to automatically compare gene sequences and come up with all the likely coevolving amino acid pairs. “It was a natural for us to put them into Rosetta,” Baker says.The results have been powerful. Rosetta was already widely considered the best ab initio model. Two years ago, Baker and colleagues used their combined approach for the first time in an international protein-folding competition, the 11th Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP). The contest asks modelers to compute the structures of a suite of proteins for which experimental structures are just being worked out by x-ray crystallography or NMR. After modelers submit their predictions, CASP’s organizers then reveal the actual experimental structures. One submission from Baker’s team, on a large protein known as T0806, came back nearly identical to the experimental structure. Moult, who heads CASP, says the judge who reviewed the predicted structure immediately fired off an email to him saying “either someone solved the protein-folding problem, or cheated.”“We didn’t [cheat],” Sergey Ovchinnikov, a grad student in Baker’s lab, says with a chuckle.The implications are profound. Five years ago, ab initio models had determined structures for just 56 proteins of the estimated 8000 protein families for which there is no template. Since then, Baker’s team alone has added 900 and counting, and Marks believes the approach will already work for 4700 families. With genome sequence data now pouring into scientific databases, it will likely only be a couple years before protein-folding models have enough coevolution data to solve structures for nearly any protein, Baker and Sander predict. Moult agrees. “I have been waiting 10 years for a breakthrough,” he says. “This seems to me a breakthrough.”For Baker, it’s only the beginning. With Rosetta’s steadily improving algorithms and ever-greater computing power, his team has in essence mastered the rules for folding—and they’ve begun to use that understanding to try to one-up nature’s creations. “Almost everything in biomedicine could be impacted by an ability to build better proteins,” says Harvard synthetic biologist George Church. Information can be coded into protein sequences, like DNA. V. Altounian/Science Video of Protein Folding Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In a protein-folding competition, Baker’s team stunned judges by almost matching the actual structure. Channels through membranes act as gateways. From DNA to proteinsThe machinery for building proteins is essential for all life on earth. Click on the arrows at the bottom or swipe horizontally to learn more. From DNA to proteinsThe machinery for building proteins is essential for all life on earth.Building proteins begins with DNA’s genetic code.In protein-coding regions of genes, each amino acid is encoded by three rungs of the DNA ladder. Twenty such amino acids make up the building blocks of proteins.Double stranded DNA is transcribed into single-stranded RNA, which is then sent to the ribosome where proteins are manufactured.A molecular machine called the ribosome translates each RNA coding sequence into an amino acid, building up a growing protein chain.Forces between amino acids cause a linear chain to fold up on itself, creating a functional 3D protein.‹›One way around the problem is to determine protein structures experimentally, through methods such as x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. But that’s slow and expensive. Even today, the Protein Data Bank, an international repository, holds the structures of only roughly 110,000 proteins out of the hundreds of millions or more thought to exist.Knowing the 3D structures of those other proteins would offer biochemists vital insights into each molecule’s function, such as whether it serves to ferry ions across a cell membrane or catalyze a chemical reaction. It would also give chemists valuable clues to designing new medicines. So, instead of waiting for the experimentalists, computer modelers such as Baker have tackled the folding problem with computer models.They’ve come up with two broad kinds of folding models. So-called homology models compare the amino acid sequence of a target protein with that of a template—a protein with a similar sequence and a known 3D structure. The models adjust their prediction for the target’s shape based on the differences between its amino acid sequence and that of the template. But there’s a major drawback: There simply aren’t enough proteins with known structures to provide templates—despite costly efforts to perform industrial-scale x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Templates were even scarcer more than 2 decades ago, when Baker accepted his first faculty position at UW. That prompted him to pursue a second path, known as ab initio modeling, which calculates the push and pull between neighboring amino acids to predict a structure. Baker also set up a biochemistry lab to study amino acid interactions, in order to improve his models.Early on, Baker and Kim Simons, one of his first students, created an ab initio folding program called Rosetta, which broke new ground by scanning a target protein for short amino acid stretches that typically fold in known patterns and using that information to help pin down the molecule’s overall 3D configuration. Rosetta required such extensive computations that Baker’s team quickly found themselves outgrowing their computer resources at UW.Seeking more computing power, they created a crowdsourcing extension called Rosetta@home, which allows people to contribute idle computer time to crunching the calculations needed to survey all the likely protein folds. Later, they added a video game extension called Foldit, allowing remote users to apply their instinctive protein-folding insights to guide Rosetta’s search. The approach has spawned an international community of more than 1 million users and nearly two dozen related software packages that do everything from designing novel proteins to predicting the way proteins interact with DNA.“The most brilliant thing David has done is build a community,” says Neil King, a former Baker postdoc, now an investigator at UW’s Institute for Protein Design (IPD). Some 400 active scientists continually update and improve the Rosetta software. The program is free for academics and nonprofit users, but there’s a $35,000 fee for companies. Proceeds are plowed back into research and an annual party called RosettaCon in Leavenworth, Washington, where attendees mix mountain hikes and scientific talks.Despite this success, Rosetta was limited. The software was often accurate at predicting structures for small proteins, fewer than 100 amino acids in length. Yet, like other ab initio programs, it struggled with larger proteins. Several years ago, Baker began to doubt that he or anyone else would ever manage to solve most protein structures. “I wasn’t sure whether I would get there.”Now, he says, “I don’t feel that way anymore.”What changed his outlook was a technique first proposed in the 1990s by computational biologist Chris Sander, then with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and now with Harvard. Those were the early days of whole genome sequencing, when biologists were beginning to decipher the entire DNA sequences of microbes and other organisms. Sander and others wondered whether gene sequences could help identify pairs of amino acids that, although distant from each other on the unfolded proteins, have to wind up next to each other after the protein folds into its 3D structure.Clues from genome sequencesComparing the DNA of similar proteins from different organisms shows that certain pairs of amino acids evolve in tandem—when one changes, so does the other. This suggests they are neighbors in the folded protein, a clue for predicting structure.  Baker’s lab is abuzz with other projects. Last year, his group and collaborators reported engineering into bacteria a completely new metabolic pathway, complete with a designer protein that enabled the microbes to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuels and chemicals. Two years ago, they unveiled in Science proteins that spontaneously arrange themselves in a flat layer, like interlocking tiles on a bathroom floor. Such surfaces may lead to novel types of solar cells and electronic devices.In perhaps the most thought-provoking project, Baker’s team has designed proteins to carry information, imitating the way DNA’s four nucleic acid letters bind and entwine in the genetic molecule’s famed double helix. For now, these protein helixes can’t convey genetic information that cells can read. But they symbolize something profound: Protein designers have shed nature’s constraints and are now only limited by their imagination. “We can now build a whole new world of functional proteins,” Baker says. V. Altounian/Science center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Baker notes that for decades researchers pursued a strategy he refers to as “Neandertal protein design,” tweaking the genes for existing proteins to get them to do new things. “We were limited by what existed in nature. … We can now short-cut evolution and design proteins to solve modern-day problems.”Take medicines, such as drugs to combat the influenza virus. Flu viruses come in many strains that mutate rapidly, which makes it difficult to find molecules that can knock them all out. But every strain contains a protein called hemagglutinin that helps it invade host cells, and a portion of the molecule, known as the stem, remains similar across many strains. Earlier this year, Baker teamed up with researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, and elsewhere to develop a novel protein that would bind to the hemagglutinin stem and thereby prevent the virus from invading cells.The effort required 80 rounds of designing the protein, engineering microbes to make it, testing it in the lab, and reworking the structure. But in the 4 February issue of PLOS ONE, the researchers reported that when they administered their final creation to mice and then injected them with a normally lethal dose of flu virus, the rodents were protected. “It’s more effective than 10 times the dose of Tamiflu,” an antiviral drug currently on the market, says Aaron Chevalier, a former Baker Ph.D. student who now works at a Seattle biotech company called Virvio here that is working to commercialize the protein as a universal antiflu drug.Another potential addition to the medicine cabinet: a designer protein that chops up gluten, the infamous substance in wheat and other grains that people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have trouble digesting. Ingrid Swanson Pultz began crafting the gluten-breaker even before joining Baker’s lab as a postdoc and is now testing it in animals and working with IPD to commercialize the research. And those self-assembling cages that debut this week could one day be filled with drugs or therapeutic snippets of DNA or RNA that can be delivered to disease sites throughout the body.The potential of these unnatural proteins isn’t limited to medicines. Baker, King, and their colleagues have also attached up to 120 copies of a molecule called green fluorescent protein to the new cages, creating nano-lanterns that could aid research by lighting up as they move through tissues.Church says he believes that designer proteins might soon rewrite the biology inside cells. In a paper last year in eLife, he, Baker, and colleagues designed proteins to bind to either a hormone or a heart disease drug inside cells, and then regulate the activity of a DNA-cutting enzyme, Cas9, that is part of the popular CRISPR genome-editing system. “The ability to design sensors [inside cells] is going to be big,” Church says. The strategy could allow researchers or physicians to target the powerful gene-editing system to a specific set of cells—those that are responding to a hormone or drug. Biosensors could also make it possible to switch on the expression of specific genes as needed to break down toxins or alert the immune cells to invaders or cancer. Sensors travel throughout the body to detect various signals. 2D arrays can be used as nanomaterials in various applications. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email V. Altounian/Science If the ability to read and write DNA spawned the revolution of molecular biology, the ability to design novel proteins could transform just about everything else. “Nobody knows the implications,” because it has the potential to impact dozens of different disciplines, says John Moult, a protein-folding expert at the University of Maryland, College Park. “It’s going to be totally revolutionary.”Baker is by no means alone in this pursuit. Efforts to predict how proteins fold, and use that information to fashion novel versions, date back decades. But today he leads the charge. “David has really inspired the field,” says Guy Montelione, a protein structure expert at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in New Jersey. “That’s what a great scientist does.”Baker, 53, didn’t start out with any such vision. Though both his parents were professors at UW—in physics and atmospheric sciences—Baker says he wasn’t drawn to science growing up. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Baker tried studying philosophy and social studies. That was “a total waste of time,” he says now. “It was a lot of talk that didn’t necessarily add content.” Biology, where new insights can be tested and verified or discarded, drew him instead, and he pursued a Ph.D. in biochemistry. During a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, when he was studying how proteins move inside cells, Baker found himself captivated instead by the puzzle of how they fold. “I liked it because it’s getting at something fundamental.”In the early 1960s, biochemists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized that each protein folds itself into an intrinsic shape. Heat a protein in a solution and its 3D structure will generally unravel. But the NIH group noticed that the proteins they tested refold themselves as soon as they cool, implying that their structure stems from the interactions between different amino acids, rather than from some independent molecular folding machine inside cells. If researchers could determine the strength of all those interactions, they might be able to calculate how any amino acid sequence would assume its final shape. The protein-folding problem was born. Science Cages can contain medicinal cargo or carry it on their surfaces. Already, this virtuoso proteinmaking has yielded an experimental HIV vaccine, novel proteins that aim to combat all strains of the influenza viruses simultaneously, carrier molecules that can ferry reprogrammed DNA into cells, and new enzymes that help microbes suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and convert it into useful chemicals. Baker’s team and collaborators report making cages that assemble themselves from as many as 120 designer proteins, which could open the door to a new generation of molecular machines. Antagonists bind to a target protein, blocking its activation.last_img read more

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A report about Plan Ss potential effects on journals marks a busy

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe ISTOCK.COM/PURPLEANVIL By Jeffrey BrainardMar. 6, 2019 , 4:45 PM The publisher Springer Nature in London began a pilot project allowing the networking website ResearchGate to post some full-text, freely accessible articles from select Nature-branded journals, including the flagship. The 3-month pilot will upload at least 6000 articles, published after November 2017 in 23 subscription-only journals, to the ResearchGate profiles of the scientists who authored the articles. Berlin-based ResearchGate, which counts 15 million scientists and researchers worldwide as members, has been sued by other publishers for copyright infringement for allowing its users to upload paywalled journal articles to their profiles.In a 1 March news release, Springer Nature said the pilot will gather feedback from scientists and institutions to allow it to develop new models for providing access to articles; in another statement, ResearchGate said it hopes the experiment will increase collaborations among scientists. “This pilot project represents the first significant experiment with the syndication of publisher content to a content supercontinent,” writes Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, a librarian at the University of Illinois in Champaign, on The Scholarly Kitchen blog.Michael Eisen, named on 5 March as the new editor-in-chief of eLife, helped pioneer multidisciplinary, purely open-access journals through his work starting PLOS Biology in 2003 and other PLOS journals. A professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley, he stepped down from PLOS’s board in 2018 but has remained a vocal advocate for open access.In a news conference, Eisen said eLife and other journals should experiment to find ways to remain or become financially viable while expanding access to their content. Open-access journals may need new funding models beyond charging authors article-processing fees, he said, in part because selective journals, such as Science and Nature, would likely have to charge prohibitively high author fees to cover the costs of reviewing the many articles they reject.Eisen said it was too soon to comment on how and when eLife might no longer require subsidies. Since it was founded in 2011, the journal has been subsidized by the Wellcome Trust of London and other funders because revenues haven’t covered expenses, even after the journal began to charge an author fee of $2500 in 2017.A rift over open access opened between one of the world’s largest research universities and its largest scientific publisher. After monthslong talks broke down, the UC system announced 28 February it will stop paying to subscribe to journals published by Elsevier, headquartered in Amsterdam. The university says Elsevier would not agree to a package deal that would make all articles published by UC authors immediately free for readers worldwide while providing a break on subscription fees. The report on Plan S, released 1 March, examines several ways in which the proposal could affect and challenge journals. It comes from Clarivate, the analytics firm that tracks journals in its Web of Science database and assigns them journal impact factors. Clarivate examined 3700 journals that in 2017 published at least six articles acknowledging a Plan S funder; of these, 3200 are not in the Directory of Open Access Journals, a comprehensive listing, and so cannot be compliant with Plan S.The Clarivate report describes how Plan S may have a significant effect on authors even in countries whose funders don’t sign on: It identified 40,000 articles published in 2017 that involved collaborations between researchers in a European country and those in the rest of the world. At several U.S. universities—including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena—more than 15% of papers listed Plan S funding. Papers produced with any Plan S funding would be required to publish in a Plan S–compliant journal. eLife, a leading, purely open-access journal, named Michael Eisen, one of the founders of the  PLOS journals, as its new editor-in-chief. One of the largest U.S. research institutions, the University of California (UC) system, said it will stop subscribing to journals published by the largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, because of a disagreement over open access. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) It’s been a busy week for the open-access movement, the effort to make all scientific journal articles immediately free to read. Making that change would require a major shift in most journals’ business models, from one that charges subscribers to read articles to one in which authors pay to publish. Among the developments: Plan S may significantly affect authors even in countries whose funders don’t sign on, a report says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email A report about Plan S’s potential effects on journals marks a busy week for the open-access movement Many journals aren’t prepared to meet the requirements of Plan S, the proposal largely by European funders to require grantees to publish articles that are immediately open access, a report from a science publishing analytics company says. Springer Nature, one of the largest publishers of scientific journals, and the networking website ResearchGate began an experiment making some articles open access through authors’ profiles on the website.last_img read more

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In a first a Japanese spacecraft appears to have collected samples from

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In a first, a Japanese spacecraft appears to have collected samples from inside an asteroid Japan’s Hayabusa2 successfully completed its second touchdown on the asteroid Ryugu and probably captured material from its interior that was exposed by firing a projectile into the asteroid earlier this year. It is the first collection of subsurface materials from a solar system body other than the moon.Engineers and technicians in the spacecraft’s control room near Tokyo could be seen erupting into cheers and applause on a YouTube live stream when Project Manager Yuichi Tsuda proclaimed the operation a success just before 11 a.m. local time.At an afternoon press briefing, Tsuda said, “Everything went perfectly.” He joked that if a score of 100 indicated perfection, “I would give this a score of 1000.” ISAS/JAXA  Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Engineers and technicians in Sagamihara, Japan, cheer for Hayabusa2’s successful second touchdown on the asteroid Ryugu. By Dennis NormileJul. 11, 2019 , 11:00 AM 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 Hayabusa2 was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Sagamihara, near Tokyo, in December 2014 and reached Ryugu in June 2018.Since then it has conducted remote observations, released several rovers that hopped around on the asteroid, and made a February touchdown to retrieve surface samples. To get interior material, Hayabusa2 in April released a tiny spacecraft that exploded and sent a nonexplosive, 2-kilogram copper projectile into Ryugu, creating a crater. Subsequent remote examination of the site indicated material ejected from the crater had accumulated about 20 meters to one side.That area became the target for the second touchdown, which occurred this morning. Engineers moved the spacecraft into position above the target site over the previous day and then placed it into autonomous mode. As the craft touched down, it fired a tantalum bullet into the surface, likely kicking dust and rock fragments into a collection horn. The craft then ascended.The team won’t know for certain what is in the sample return capsule until it returns to Earth in December 2020. “But we expect that we obtained some subsurface samples,” said project scientist Seiichiro Watanabe, a planetary scientist at Nagoya University in Japan. They will be able to compare these subsurface samples with those collected from the surface. The team believes comparing the surface samples subjected to eons of space weathering and the more pristine material from the interior will provide clues to the origins and evolution of the solar system.Watanabe noted that NASA’s in-progress Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer mission also plans to bring samples from an asteroid, named Bennu, back to Earth in 2023. But at least for the near future, Japan is the only nation that will have acquired samples from both the surface and interior of an asteroid, Watanabe said. The samples “will have great significance scientifically,” he said.Hayabusa2 will continue remote observations until December 2020. “We shouldn’t waste even a single day,” Tsuda said.last_img read more

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Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Katie CameroJul. 16, 2019 , 7:01 PM Watching a movie with a friend can make you feel closer to that person, and more likely to hang out with them in the future. The same, it turns out, is true of chimpanzees.Researchers analyzed 36 pairs of chimpanzees in the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda. They led the apes—two at a time—into two adjacent, caged rooms with a closed door between them. The scientists then played several 1-minute videos of baby chimps swinging on tree branches on a computer screen. In one trial, the apes watched one screen placed outside of their rooms together. In the other trial, the team added a screen and put a plastic barrier in between them, blocking the apes from watching the same video together. An eye-tracking camera was used to monitor what the apes were looking at as the videos played, with red dots showing their shifting focus (as seen in the video above).When the videos ended, the researchers opened the door separating the chimps’ rooms. The apes spent about seven more seconds in the same room with each other after watching the videos together than when they watched the videos separately. They also only groomed each other when they had watched the video together, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Email In a separate experiment, the researchers paired apes with a human instead. They found that the apes were more motivated to approach the human, who sat on the other side of the cage, after watching the video with them—approaching them 12 seconds faster, on average—than when the two species watched the video separately.The scientists say apes don’t seek out shared experiences just to connect with others, like humans do. But they claim their study is the first to suggest apes have some of the psychology required to do so. More studies need to be done to see whether such short-term interactions, like sharing a video, strengthen great ape relationships in the long run, the team notes. If not, they may just be reveling in the temporary joy of catching a quick flick together.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Trump Snubs SCOTUS On Census Citizenship Question

first_imgThe question of citizenship on the 2020 Census is important to both sides of the larger ongoing conversation on immigration, with the president taking a hardline stance against it. Including the question in the census would likely keep families with non-citizen members from participating in the population count, which the U.S. Constitution requires every 10 years. Since the lion’s share of those types of families lives in large urban cities, an undercount would impact the African-American communities that live there.READ MORE: Civil Rights Coalition Tells Census Bureau To Stop Displacing Minority PrisonersThe population count determines the allocation of the House of Representatives’ 435 seats, as well as state and local legislatures in many jurisdictions. An undercount in large cities would mean that they would lose seats in Congress and their state legislature to smaller, non-urban communities.At the same time, the census also determines how the federal government distributes funding to state and local governments for a range of public services, including education, various state health care programs (including Medicaid), and housing—to name just a few.Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was accused of wanting to include the citizenship question at the request of the president’s far-right advisors who have a political agenda to undercount immigrants and minorities.Back in October, Justice Clarence Thomas made his feelings on the matter clear when he was one of the leading voices with the dissenting opinion that helped the Supreme Court overturn a lower court’s ruling that Ross didn’t have to explain under oath his reason for adding the question. SEE ALSO:All Of Social Media Is Looking For The Blue Bell Ice Cream Licker In Nasty Viral VideoWhite Man Brutally Attacks A 13-Year-Old Black Child On A Playground The reversed position was both surprising and to be expected from a president who has repeatedly appeared to disregard the law. Now, even though a Supreme Court that includes two Trump-nominated justices decided against the president, he said he was still “moving forward.”  People Are More Outraged At Colin Kaepernick Getting Nike To Pull A Betsy Ross Flag Sneaker Than Children Dying At The Border Civil rights groups were in disbelief after the president said on Friday that he was still trying to find a way to include what some say is a racist question of citizenship question on the 2020 Census. His comments, made via Twitter, of course, came one day after Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed the census would be printed without the citizenship question. READ MORE: Whites No Longer Majority By 2050, New Census Data PredictsIt was just last week when the Supreme Court blocked Trump’s Commerce Department from adding the question that could negatively affect Black and brown communities across the country. The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019USA Today reported that “a federal judge later demanded an explanation of Trump’s tweet before the DOJ responded in part by saying that it had “been instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision, that would allow us to include the citizenship question on the census.”The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened more legal action if Trump and his administration ignored the Supreme Court’s decision.“The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s effort to add a census citizenship question was illegal because it was based on a ‘contrived’ rationale,” ACLU Voting Rights Project Director Dale Ho, the attorney who successfully argued the Supreme Court case, said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “Despite that, and despite DOJ’s repeated statements that the census questionnaire cannot be changed after June 30, the administration is now examining whether it can concoct a ‘new rationale’ for its citizenship question. The answer is no, it cannot — at least not a legal one. Any attempt at an end run around the Supreme Court’s decision will be unsuccessful, and will be met swiftly in court.” Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers 2020 Census , Donald Trump , Supreme Court AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmaillast_img read more

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The Mysterious End of Scientists who Worked on Reagans Star Wars Program

first_imgThere have been events in the past were sensationalized and/or dismissed as false conspiracies that still seem as if there may well be more behind them than meets the eye. One of these is the fact that between 1982 and 1988, well over 20 scientists who worked for the British company GEC-Marconi all died after having worked on Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative program.The SDI program, also known as “Star Wars,” was first proposed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. It was meant to develop a space-based anti-missile system. The U.S. and the Soviets were deep in the Cold War, and Reagan felt that the SDI would provide protection against a Soviet missile attack by intercepting missiles while they were still in the air, according to Atomic Archive.Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan aboard an American boat in California, 1964.In order to be successful, though, the program needed a number of advanced technologies that had yet to be researched or developed. Work on the program went on for several years, but was ultimately terminated by later administrations when the necessary technology proved to be too complicated to develop.GEC-Marconi was a British defense company that was involved in the SDI project. Altered Dimensions chronicles the deaths of 20 scientists employed by Marconi for the SDI, all of whom died either shortly after making important discoveries or were about to leave the company for other jobs.Strategic Defense Initiative logo (MDA is the Successor of SDI).A few of the deaths occurred between 1982 and 1985, but the vast majority occurred in a clump between August of 1986 and October 1988.Of those deaths detailed, only one was of apparently natural causes. Frank Jennings, a 60-year-old engineer for electronic weapons, was said to have died of a heart attack in June, 1987. Victor Moore died of a drug overdose, and his death was ruled a suicide.The Extended Range Nike Zeus/Spartan missile of the late-1960s was designed to provide full-country defense as part of the Sentinel-Safeguard programs. Projected to cost $40 billion ($302 billion in 2018) it would have offered minimal protection and damage prevention in an all-out attackOf the other many deaths that transpired during that two-year window, if a cause of death was determined, the determination was either suicide or accident. Weirdly, there is also a great deal of similarity between the ways in which a number of the deaths occurred.One drove his car off a bridge, another fell from his hotel window. Five of the scientists died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their cars or their garages. On two occasions, deaths were ruled to be accidental suffocation during “sex experiments.”The bright spikes extending below the initial fireball of one of 1952’s Operation Tumbler–Snapper test shots, known as the “rope trick effect.” They are caused by the intense flash of thermal/soft X-rays released by the explosion heating the steel tower guy-wires white hot. The development of the W71 and the Project Excalibur x-ray laser were based on enhancing the destructive effects of these x-rays.Two of the deaths were just inexplicably bizarre. In October, 1986, Ashad Sharif allegedly drove to a public park, tied a nylon rope around both his neck and a large tree, and then drove away quickly, decapitating himself.In April of the following year, Shani Warren was found drowned in 18 inches of water. She was gagged, hands bound behind her back and her feet tied, with a noose around her neck.It was suggested that she had somehow done all of that herself, then hobbled in her four-inch stiletto heels to the lake to drown herself, causing the coroner to declare the death not a homicide but instead leave the verdict open.Marconi S511 radar located at Norwich International Airport.As a twist on this last event, the lake where Warren was found was only a short distance from where another of the scientists had fallen off a railway bridge and subsequently died, on the same day.Was it all part of some governmental plot? It’s impossible for us to know, but it’s very difficult to believe it’s a coincidence that so many deaths occurred, so close together, of people who were all on the same project.ABM test vehicle (Homing Overlay Experiment). Photo by Cliff CC BY 2.0Furthermore, many of these incidents happened under odd or mysterious circumstances, sometimes very closely related in geographical location or in time.  With so many “suicides,” you might expect to see more that were done in more commonplace ways.It’s not too hard to believe that there may have been a couple of such incidents, but taken as a whole, it’s much more difficult to think they are all unrelated.Read another story from us: Incredible Historical Coincidences – Too Strange to be True?Whether these scientists were murdered by actors for the defense industry or a government, or whether perhaps they knew things they felt they just couldn’t live with, remains a mystery.last_img read more

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Police issue traffic measures for UWP meeting on Roseau Bayfront

first_imgShareTweetSharePinThe police have released information on the temporary traffic measures to be adopted from Saturday 18th May, 2019 to Monday 20th May, 2019 in relation to the public meeting of the United Workers Party (UWP) to be held at the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard on Sunday.Audio by Acting Superintendent Leana Edwards is posted below.Video Playerhttps://dominicanewsonline.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Sup-Leana-Edwards.mp400:0000:0002:05Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

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Crowd funding being used to protect Historic jewel

first_imgCrowd funding being used to protect Historic jewel April 2, 2019 Photo by Toni Gibbons Holbrook Councilman Adam Marsh (right) front, along with Navajo County Historical Society Member Bill Fee (left) checks out the collection of medical equipment in an exhibit at the Holbrook Museum. PhotoSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img Photo by Toni GibbonsColleen Marsh, secretary for the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce Board, stands in front of curio cabinet at the Historic Courthouse Museum that was originally made for the Painted Desert Inn at the Petrified Forest. The courthouse holds many treasures that may now be in danger.last_img read more

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Trump downplays North Korean missile treat

first_img Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Trump ‘walked the talk’ in pressuring Pak to end terrorism: Indian envoy to US “Some” of his “people” appear to include national security adviser John Bolton, who told reporters at a briefing Saturday ahead of Trump’s arrival that a series of short-range missile tests by North Korea earlier this month were a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.“In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that,” said Bolton, responding to the May 4 and 9 tests that ended a pause in launches that began in late 2017. Trump ignored a shouted question Sunday about whether he agreed with Bolton’s assessment.Trump and other administration officials have sought to downplay the significance of the tests, insisting they do not violate an agreement Trump reached with Kim for a moratorium on launches.“The moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent television interview. That raised alarm bells in Japan, where short-range missiles pose a serious threat because of the country’s proximity to North Korea. Trump in his tweet said he had “confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me,” while at the same time embracing Kim’s recent attacks on Biden, whose name he misspelled.Trump said he “smiled” when Kim “called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse.”“Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” Trump asked.North Korea this week labeled Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being” after the U.S. presidential hopeful accused Trump of cozying up to “dictators and tyrants” like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin during his campaign launch speech.Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday, but a spokesman for his campaign, Andrew Bates said Wednesday that, “Given Vice President Biden’s record of standing up for American values and interests, it’s no surprise that North Korea would prefer that Donald Trump remain in the White House.”The tweet came early Sunday before Trump left his hotel for a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He’ll also be attending a sumo wrestling match and handing out a “President’s Cup” to the winner as part of a visit meant to showcase the close ties between the nations. By AP |Tokyo | Published: May 26, 2019 8:02:12 am Trump secures billion dollar deal to eradicate AIDS from US in a decade Trump also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s attacks on one of his Democratic rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, had made him smile.The remarks were the latest example of Trump’s willingness to publicly undermine senior advisers, flout Democratic norms and side with totalitarian leaders, even on the world stage. He did so this time during a four-day state visit to Japan where he’ll become the first leader to meet with the country’s new emperor.“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump tweeted in one of a flurry of early morning messages that suggested he’d spent little time sleeping after the lengthy flight to Asia. Best Of Express center_img Post Comment(s) Related News P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies donald trump, US North Korea relations, Kim Jong Un, North Korea missile tests, Trump in Tokyo, Japan, US news US President Donald Trump.In an apparent contradiction of his national security adviser, President Donald Trump on Sunday downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they’re not a concern for him _ even though they are for Japan. Advertising ‘They gave you Nobel for what?’ clueless Trump asks Yazidi activist Nadia Murad Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off last_img read more

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Goa crisis MGP chief wants law against defection amended

first_img MGP, mgp goa, goa regional parties, anti defection law, goa crisis, goa rejig, goa political crisis, goa congress bjp, goa congress mla resign Former Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Sudin Dhavalikar (File Photo)THE Maharashtra Gomantak Party (MGP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Sudin Dhavalikar has demanded that the anti-defection law be amended as regional parties are becoming its biggest casualties. Sudin Dhavalikar undergoes surgery, 2nd Goa minister in Mumbai hospital “This is no longer just about politics in a small state. The national and regional parties across the country need to probe the manner in which Goa is losing its equations, its ideology and its MLAs,” Dhavalikar said. The MGP, which currently has Dhavalikar as its lone MLA in the Assembly, is fighting the defection of two MLAs in court — the MLAs joined the BJP early this year.Also Read | In rejig, Goa CM gets three ex-Cong MLAs in ministry“We are saying it aloud. The Act needs to be studied again. It needs to be amended. Our proposal is that a defecting MLA should not be allowed to complete term and he should resign and contest again,” he said.Commenting on the prospects of Goa Forward, three MLAs of which were dropped as ministers, the MGP leader said, “Goa Forward should either stand again or join some other party and get lost.” Goa Forward has withdrawn its support to the NDA government and has joined the opposition. Written by Smita Nair | Panaji | Published: July 15, 2019 2:16:47 am Goa Dy CM Sudin Dhavalikar dropped from Cabinet after 2 MGP MLAs join BJP “The manner in which the changes are taking place is not good, it is not good for Goa, not good for society and if an intervention is not made, it will be a big mistake,” Dhavalikar said, speaking on 10 Congress MLAs joining the BJP.Dhavalikar pointed out that the number of MLAs keeping ideology aside and jumping ship has only increased over the years. “If you sit with a sheet, only Pratap Sing Rane (Congress MLA) and I am left,” he said.Rane, he said, completed his full term, resigned and then chose the Congress “based on ideology”. “I have been in MGP since my karyakarta days. There are difficult years but I have never left my party,” he added. Advertising Related News Goa portfolios announced: GFP’s Vijai Sardesai gets Town & Country planning, MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar gets PWD Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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A march in Hong Kong devolves into violence

first_img ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Top News The march in Sheung Shui was the latest in a series of demonstrations that have plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis since it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Opposition to a contentious bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets.This week, Carrie Lam, the city’s embattled leader, said the controversial bill was “dead,” but she has declined to formally withdraw it. Demonstrators say Lam’s steadfast refusal to completely retract the bill in the face of widespread opposition has undermined public trust in her leadership, fueling growing calls for her resignation. In recent weeks, protesters have also broadened their demands to include a call for greater democratic reforms in the city.Many of the protesters were residents angry with the vast numbers of “parallel traders” who come across the border from the mainland to buy items like baby formula and diapers for resale at a markup in China to evade import taxes. Local residents say the retail boom has pushed up commercial rents and forced businesses aimed at residents to relocate or close.In recent weeks, some protesters have voiced concerns that the movement’s growing demands could impact their ability to channel public support and sustain momentum. But on Saturday, several residents said the disparate demands were in fact related to a single issue.“People say it’s a different issue, one is a local problem, the other is citywide, but the root of it is rather the same,” said Gary Law, 32, who grew up in Sheung Shui. “It’s mostly about China.” Post Comment(s) By New York Times |Hong Kong | Published: July 14, 2019 8:25:51 am hong kong protests, protests in hong kong, hong kong protests people arrested, china Police officers arrest a protester in Hong Kong. (AP/File)Written by Amy Qin and Ezra Cheung Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan Several thousand demonstrators gathered in the streets of a Hong Kong border town Saturday to protest against mainland Chinese traders, the latest effort by local activists to ride the momentum of recent mass protests in the city.What began as a peaceful protest Saturday in Sheung Shui, an area of Hong Kong close to the border with mainland China, devolved into clashes between demonstrators armed with umbrellas and police wielding batons, pepper spray and shields.Several protesters were seen being treated for injuries at the scene. Advertising Advertisinglast_img read more

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FDA approves generic drug for treating focal seizures

first_imgJan 16 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of Sabril (vigabatrin) 500 mg tablets for treating complex partial seizures, also called focal seizures, as an adjunctive therapy (given with another primary treatment) in patients 10 years and older who have responded inadequately to several alternative (refractory) treatments.”Prioritizing the approval of generic drugs to compete with medicines that face little or no competition is a key part of our efforts to support access and reduce drug costs to patients. The availability of high-quality generic alternatives of critically important medicines, once the period of patent protection or exclusivity has ended on the brand drug, helps advance access and saves consumers billions of dollars each year,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We know there has been past interest in developing a generic alternative to this product. Earlier this year, we also highlighted this drug, along with many others, on a list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs without approved generics, to clarify that there were no patents or exclusivities that should impede its approval. Today’s action demonstrates that there is an open pathway to approving products like this one. We’re especially focused on new policies aimed at making the generic review process more predictable, efficient and lower cost so we can entice more generic firms to enter this space, and help facilitate more generic drug launches after generic approvals. We know it’s not enough just to approve a record number of generic medicines. We also want to see firms launch these products so that patients can benefit from their availability, and we intend to take steps to advance these goals.”Complex partial seizures, a common type of seizures, start in a specific area of the brain and can affect consciousness. Typically, complex partial seizures last between 30 and 90 seconds, and are often followed by a period of disorientation, confusion and/or fatigue.The FDA requires appropriate data and information to demonstrate that generic drugs meet the agency’s rigorous approval standards to ensure quality drug products that are as safe and effective as their brand name counterparts. As with brand-name drugs, the FDA also inspects manufacturing and packaging facilities for generic drugs to ensure that they are capable of consistently producing quality products.Related StoriesA ‘homing beacon’ for cancer drugsNew computational framework reveals impact of arthritis drugs on gene expressionDrugs designed with advanced computing technologies could help tackle hospital superbugsLabeling for vigabatrin tablets includes a boxed warning for permanent vision loss. Teva’s generic vigabatrin tablets is part of a single shared-system Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program with other drug products containing vigabatrin to ensure safe use of the product. Brand and generic drug makers are required to develop a single shared-system REMS program (unless FDA waives the single shared system requirement) when a generic drug seeks approval and the brand drug has a REMS associated with it.The most common side effects associated with vigabatrin tablets include dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness (somnolence), involuntary eye movement (nystagmus), tremor, blurred vision, memory impairment, weight gain, joint pain (arthralgia), upper respiratory tract infection, aggression, double vision (diplopia), abnormal coordination and a confused state. Serious side effects associated with vigabatrin tablets include permanent vision loss and risk of suicidal thoughts or actions.Last year, the FDA began to publish a list of inquiries from generic drug developers seeking the FDA’s assistance in obtaining samples from brand companies, which included Sabril, noting these brand companies were potentially blocking access to the samples of their brand products when the brand products are subject to limited distribution programs, including REMS. The FDA has continued to emphasize that even in the case of limited distribution programs, there should be a path forward for generic drug development. Additionally, the FDA’s list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs without approved generics is an effort the FDA began in 2017 and will continue to refine and update periodically to ensure continued transparency around drug categories where increased competition has the potential to provide significant benefit to patients.Today’s approval of generic vigabatrin tablets was granted to Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm629569.htmlast_img read more

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Mount Sinai awarded 125 million NIH grant for research program in aging

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 14 2019Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have been awarded a $12.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for a five-year program called the U19 that consists of four multidisciplinary projects in aging biology.The program’s goals are to establish follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), an important part of the reproductive system whose levels rise at menopause, as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of two public health hazards in older adults–osteoporosis and obesity–and also to investigate the role of FSH in fundamental physiological processes beyond reproduction. More than 200 million people worldwide suffer from osteoporosis, and its prevalence continues to rise with increasing life expectancy, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. Obesity is a public health problem in its own right, with more than 1.9 million adults (18 years and older) being overweight, including more than 650 million who are obese, according to the World Health Organization.Mone Zaidi, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Mount Sinai Bone Program, is director of the U19 program. Dr. Zaidi will oversee all four projects taking place at Mount Sinai and across the country.The first project will be carried out at Mount Sinai, and studies the role of FSH in regulating bone mass and body composition across the lifespan of mice. The second study, to be performed collaboratively between investigators at Mount Sinai and UT Southwestern Medical School, will determine whether monoclonal FSH-blocking antibodies will prevent fat accrual and bone loss, and whether they will also treat established obesity and osteoporosis. The third project at Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI) will study the effects of FSH on bone marrow fat deposits during aging and in menopause. The fourth study at University of California-San Francisco, is an epidemiology project that will use population-based datasets from the AGES-Reykjavik cohort of older men and women (66-93 years old) to study the relationships between FSH, body fat, bone mass and incident fracture.Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchThis program builds upon a long-term, highly productive collaboration between Dr. Zaidi and Clifford Rosen, MD, senior scientist at MMCRI and Co-Director of the U19. Results of their work were published in the journal Nature in 2017, and named as one of the year’s eight “notable advances” in biomedicine by Nature Medicine. In this study, the investigators posit that FSH, whose levels rise at menopause, could be responsible for the weight gain and bone loss that many women experience in middle age, and that blocking FSH could reverse those effects. Mouse-based data that Drs. Zaidi and Rosen concurrently confirmed in each other’s laboratories also showed that blocking FSH reduces obesity and increases energy expenditure in both male and female mice fed on a high-fat diet.”The impact of translating our findings to a potential therapy would be enormous. This grant will bring us a step further toward creating an effective therapy with an FSH-blocking antibody aimed at preventing and treating both obesity and osteoporosis,” said Dr. Zaidi. “We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will enable our unique, collaborative research program to continue the work that is accelerating this discovery.”Dr. Zaidi hopes the program will move towards a phase I clinical trial at the end of two years.”This pioneering study will have significant impact on current and future research on aging hormones, osteoporosis, and obesity in older adults,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System. “We thank the NIH for their support and recognition and are excited to be part of this endeavor.” Source:https://www.mountsinai.org/about/newsroom/2019/mount-sinai-research-program-awarded-12-5-million-nih-grant-to-continue-to-study-the-role-of-hormones-in-menopause-and-aging-biologylast_img read more

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Physicians still remain at higher risk for burnout compared to other professionals

first_img Source:https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/physician-well-being-improving-but-burnout-risk-remains/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 23 2019The good news is that physician burnout appears to be improving, along with indicators for physician well-being. However, physicians remain at high risk for burnout, depression and depersonalization, compared to other professionals. Those are the updated findings from Mayo Clinic researchers and their collaborators that are published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.”This is good news. It shows that burnout is being addressed nationally and programs are having some impact,” says Lotte Dyrbye, M.D., Mayo Clinic researcher and senior author of the paper. “Clearly more organizational change and more research is needed to sustain this trajectory.”Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers from Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association and Stanford University collaborated in the national survey of physicians across more than 20 specialties to assess any changes between the previous study in 2014 and the original survey in 2011. While burnout varies by specialist, overall reported levels of burnout and satisfaction with work-life integration improved between 2014 and 2017 — but only to 2011 levels. The researchers say individual and organizational efforts have improved the situation, but more work needs to be done.Burnout encompasses many aspects but includes the areas of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, distress and depression. Extreme cases of burnout can lead to medical errors affecting patients, job loss and suicide. Survey responders say the demands of updating electronic health records are a major factor in burnout. These demands limit the time physicians can spend with patients, and that affects career satisfaction.More than 30,000 physicians were invited to participate in the electronic survey. Roughly 17 percent (5,197) responded, and a second attempt to reach nonrespondents gained 248 more participants. Questions mirrored those on the previous surveys.Researchers say the reason for the change may be due to physicians adapting to the new work environments over the three-year period. Also, much progress may be attributed to interventional programs to stem burnout in hospitals and other facilities. Conversely, they say the indicators may have improved because many distressed physicians have left the profession.last_img read more

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Using robots in autism therapy for children

first_img Source:http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/printversion_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_19_03_12_en.html?infocentre&item=Infocentre&artid=49968 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 13 2019Autistic children lack essential social and communication skills, and the type and severity of the symptoms experienced are wide-ranging. Because they have such diverse ways of expressing their emotions, it is difficult for therapists to gauge how engaged they are with the therapy.To track their progress, many therapists film their sessions and spend hours watching the footage and analyzing the child’s reactions to determine how effective a particular approach was. This is laborious and time-consuming work.In response, the EU-funded ENGAGEME project is developing state-of-the-art software to enable the robots used as assistive tools in autism therapy to ‘perceive’ a child’s emotions and level of engagement. With this information, the robot can respond to the child more naturally and effectively, and also document the therapy progress automatically.‘The technology being developed can enable personalized interactions with an autistic child, helping the therapist to keep the child’s attention, which improves their ability to learn the content,’ says project researcher Ognjen Rudovic, a postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow in the Affective Computing group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Media Lab), US. It also allows the therapist to more quickly determine which learning approach works best for each child.‘We are currently working on a prototype, the goal of which is to enable the use of our personalized machine-learning algorithms within everyday autism therapy,’ says Rudovic. ‘These computing tools can significantly reduce the therapists’ efforts, allowing them to focus on the design of more effective therapy content that will have better learning outcomes for children with autism.’Personalized deep learningCapturing an autistic child’s attention, even for a few seconds, is challenging. A non-threatening-looking NAO robot, of the type used in this project, makes doing so easier. ENGAGEME is equipping the robots with a type of software that is based on areas of artificial intelligence (AI) that employs machine learning, computer vision, affective computing and human-robot interactions.More precisely, the researchers use the type of computer algorithms known as ‘deep learning’ for a more personalized analysis of the child’s behavior using data recorded by cameras and microphones – facial expressions, head pose, body language and voice.In addition, a wrist monitor monitors heart rate and skin conductivity. The algorithm analyses these data to determine the child’s level of engagement and emotional state.Rosalind Picard, the director of Affective Computing Group at MIT Media Lab, and Rudovic’s research advisor, says the challenge of creating machine learning and AI that works in autism is particularly vexing.‘This is because the usual AI methods require a lot of data that are similar for each category that is learned. In autism, where heterogeneity reigns, the normal AI approaches fail,’ says Picard.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaENGAGEME is also unique in that it is the first project to analyse behavioural cues from autistic children with different cultural backgrounds – Japan and Europe.A group of 35 children from Japan and Serbia, aged 3 to 13, took part in a study as part of the project. The results showed that the robots are more consistent than human therapists at estimating a child’s emotion and engagement states.The researchers noticed that the children from the two cultural backgrounds communicated different states using similar body movements. The Japanese children communicated low levels of engagement, including disengagement during the therapy, using large body movements. On the other hand, the European children showed more bodily movements when they were highly engaged.‘This is an important finding for the design of future child-robot interactions as part of the therapy, as it may allow a robot to easily adapt its interpretations of children’s behaviors based on their cultural background,’ says Rudovic.Working with industryIn more recent work, the researchers showed that with their image analysis system they could enable humanoid robots to successfully read the facial expressions of children with autism.‘This can help the robots to better gauge facial expressions of autistic children and teach them to recognize facial expressions of their typically developing peers, leading to better social communication, which is one of the main challenges for autistic children,’ he says.Currently, the researchers are trying to deploy their technology in schools with autistic children in the UK, in collaboration with the DE-ENIGMA project, one of the biggest European projects designing assistive tools for autism therapy.Another important aspect is the project’s close collaboration with businesses that produce robots for use as assistive tools in autism therapy.‘We have received lots of interest from institutions, and parents of autistic children, from Japan, Europe and USA to use our technology,’ Rudovic says. ‘Our next step is to team up with robotics companies to scale-up our software and implement large clinical trials that would allow us to make a real impact with our technology. It is important for Europe to be one of the frontiers in doing the research on autism and deliver the state-of-the-art therapy for children with autism, to reduce the later cost of this condition, which is in the range of billions of euros.’ENGAGEME received funding through the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship program. Rudovic, originally from Serbia and a UK national, is the main recipient of the Marie Curie grant. It has enabled him to position himself as one of the top researchers in the field of affective computing and machine learning.‘This advanced my career prospects – currently there is a lot of interest from academic and industry sector in my research, and I am very excited about continuing it,’ says Rudovic.last_img read more

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Novel cardiac pump shows superior outcomes in patients with advanced heart failure

first_img Source:https://www.acc.org/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Severely ill patients with advanced heart failure who received a novel heart pump—the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD)— suffered significantly fewer strokes, pump-related blood clots and bleeding episodes after two years, compared with similar patients who received an older, more established pump, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.Based on these final findings, the HeartMate 3 LVAD should now be considered the standard of care for patients with advanced heart failure who do not respond to guideline-directed medical therapy, said Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and lead author of the study.”These final results from what is by far the largest LVAD trial ever conducted demonstrate the clinical superiority of the HeartMate 3 compared with its predecessor, the HeartMate II,” Mehra said. “We have shown a decrease in adverse events that uniquely occur due to the interface between the patient and the mechanical pump. These include a consistent and reliable reduction in strokes of all kinds and severity with the HeartMate 3 but also a remarkable reduction in the rate of pump-related blood clots and significant reductions in all types of bleeding, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. In addition to having significantly lower rates of adverse events, patients who received the HeartMate 3 had a lower rate of readmission to the hospital and spent fewer days in the hospital when they were readmitted.”The HeartMate 3 is the first implantable mechanical heart pump to use fully magnetic levitation technology—which makes the pump frictionless without mechanical bearings—to push blood through the device and into the aorta, the body’s central artery.In advanced heart failure, the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is too weak to pump oxygen-rich blood from the lungs throughout the body. An LVAD is designed to supplement the pumping ability of the weakened heart in late-stage heart failure. It is implanted in the left ventricle of the heart and then attached to the aorta, the main artery that sends blood to the rest of the body. The device is anchored to and powered by an external battery pack worn by the patient.The trial, known as MOMENTUM-3, enrolled 1,028 patients at 69 centers in the U.S. Patients’ median age was 60 years and 78 percent were men. All had severe heart failure that left them unable to engage in usual physical activity without discomfort. Most had symptoms of fatigue or shortness of breath even when resting. Most (85 percent) were receiving intravenous heart failure medication because pills alone no longer worked or caused intolerable adverse effects.Some patients in the study needed an LVAD to sustain them until they were able to receive a heart transplant. Others, because of age or other health problems, were not candidates for a transplant and relied on an LVAD as lifelong therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to have either a HeartMate 3 or a HeartMate II surgically implanted. All patients received blood-thinning medications following surgery and were also taking 81 to 325 mg of aspirin daily. The trial was designed to include two pre-specified interim analyses and then a final analysis. The first interim analysis reported six-month outcomes in the first 294 patients and the second analyzed two-year outcomes for the first 366 patients enrolled; this data was presented at ACC’s 2018 Annual Scientific Session.Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsThe primary endpoint for the final analysis was survival at two years free of disabling stroke or reoperation to replace or remove a malfunctioning device. The principal secondary endpoint was the rate of device replacement at two years.At two years, 74.7 percent of patients who received the HeartMate 3 met the primary endpoint, compared with 60.6 percent of those who received the HeartMate II, a 40 percent reduction in risk favoring the HeartMate 3. The rate of pump replacement at two years was 2.3 percent for patients receiving the HeartMate 3 and 11.3 percent for those who received the HeartMate II.Pump clotting occurred in 1.4 percent of HeartMate 3 patients compared with 13.9 percent of HeartMate II patients. Five percent of HeartMate 3 patients experienced a disabling stroke compared with 7.5 percent of HeartMate II patients. Significantly fewer HeartMate 3 patients experienced episodes of any type of bleeding (43.7 percent) or gastrointestinal bleeding (24.5 percent) compared with HeartMate II patients (55 percent for any type of bleeding, 30.9 percent for gastrointestinal bleeding).HeartMate 3 patients spent more days on LVAD support outside of hospital (a median of 48 more days in the Heartmate 3) and spent fewer days in the hospital after being readmitted (a median of 13 days, compared with a median of 18 days for HeartMate II patients).Patients continued to be at increased risk for infections at two years of follow-up, Mehra said. He said that he and his colleagues are engaging with infectious disease experts to try to find ways of reducing susceptibility to infection in patients with advanced heart failure.The research team plans to continue to follow the MOMENTUM-3 patients for at least another three years to monitor their long-term survival. Additionally, they are developing a new trial that will examine how to optimize medical therapy for patients with advanced heart failure—for example, whether bleeding episodes might be further reduced by discontinuing daily aspirin or switching from the traditional blood thinner warfarin to newer blood-thinning medications.The HeartMate 3 received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2017 for short-term use in patients awaiting a heart transplant and in October 2018 for long-term use in patients who are not candidates for a heart transplant.last_img read more

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