Lets Take An UpClose Look At The Mercedes EQC Includes Cutaways

First look inside the Electric Mercedes! – Should Tesla Be Worried?The Mercedes EQC brings a new level of competition to the Electric Vehicle marketplace. Mercedes has a massive 130 year head start building cars… BUT are brand new walking into the electric car industry, heavily dominated by Tesla. Will they be able to stand out? Lets jump into the details. This video will help you decide between an All electric Mercedes, or a Tesla. Come along as we take a First Look inside the All New Electric Mercedes EQC.2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC preliminary specsdual motor (asynchronous), all-wheel drivesystem output of 300 kW (402 hp) and 564 lb-ft (765 Nm)0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds)top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h)80 kWh battery (384 cells – two modules with 48 cells and four modules with 72 cells)more than 200 miles (320 km) of all-electric range (prelim est.) or over 280 miles (450 km) under NEDCDC fast charging (CCS Combo) in 40 minutes (110kW, 10%-80%)AC on-board charger – 7.4 kWtowing capability – 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs) Source: Electric Vehicle News Here’s a quick look at the Mercedes-Benz EQC exterior, interior and cutaways, live from the reveal.In one of its latest episodes, JerryRigEverything takes us to the unveiling event of Mercedes-Benz EQC in Sweden, presenting – besides the usual exterior and interior shots – some very interesting cutaways of the entire car.Battery pack, pouch cells and dual-motor powertrain were shown, which is always interesting when a new model comes out (in fact the EQC has still one more year before launch).According to JerryRigEverything, folks familiar with Mercedes-Benz will feel right at home in the EQC. There are a couple of new things like the dual screen console and overall style with LED lights everywhere inside & out, but overall it’s a Mercedes and with a major brand on board with BEVs, perhaps even more consumers will be interested in making the switch to electric.See Also UPDATE: 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Revealed: Range Estimated At 200 Miles Watch First Look At Mercedes-Benz EQC By Autogefühl 38 photos Mercedes-Benz EQC Battery, Powertrain & Range Explained: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Tesla TSLA surpasses BMWs valuation as one soar and the other slip

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla’s stock (TSLA) is surging since announcing record profits and the company is now worth more than BMW as the stock of the latter is slipping following disappointing financial results. more…The post Tesla (TSLA) surpasses BMW’s valuation as one soar and the other slip appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Tesla wants to help you save money on your electric bill

first_imgSource: Charge Forward One of the first questions from a prospective electric car buyer is: “sure I’m not buying gas anymore, but how much will my electric bill go up?”  The answer, just about everywhere, is that an electric car is cheaper to drive, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out by how much.It’s a complex question to answer because of different electric rates around the country, time-of-use rates, and fluctuating gas prices as well.  But last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested that Tesla could build software into their vehicles to answer just that question – and to help owners save money as well. The idea came, as many have, in a late-night answer to a tweet. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Tesla wants to help you save money on your electric bill appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Teslas chance to be allowed to sell in Wisconsin is stopped at

first_imgTesla had a third chance to be allowed to sell its cars direct to consumers in Wisconsin, but it was stopped at the last second by the governor. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Tesla’s chance to be allowed to sell in Wisconsin is stopped at last second by the governor appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Volkswagen IDR breaks 20yearold Goodwood hillclimb record set by V10 F1 car

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Volkswagen has been racking up EV records with its ID.R all-electric racecar, and today the VW ID.R piloted by Romain Dumas managed to beat a record which has been held for 20 years — Nick Heidfeld’s record run of the Goodwood hillclimb in the 10-cylinder McLaren MP4/13 which dominated the 1998 Formula 1 season.The previous record was 41.6 seconds for the 1.86km (1.16mi) hillclimb course.  Volkswagen managed to bring that record down to 41.18.  They have more runs to go this weekend, so it’s entirely possible that the record might be lowered again. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Volkswagen ID.R breaks 20-year-old Goodwood hillclimb record set by V10 F1 car appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

SETAR Describes Itself As A Private Sector Business But The DOJ Alleges

first_imgAs highlighted here, in last week’s Foreign  Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Lawrence Parker in connection with a telecommunications bribery scheme in Aruba the DOJ alleged that Servicio di Telecommunicacion di Aruba N.V. (SETAR) was an instrumentality of the Aruban government such that Egbert Yvan Ferdinand Koolman (a product manager at SETAR) was a “foreign official.”That’s interesting because since 2003 SETAR has described itself as a “private sector business.”According to SETAR’s website:“The history of SETAR dates back to 1986 when Aruba acquired it’s Status Aparte in the Dutch Kingdom. Servicio di Telecomunicacion di Aruba (SETAR) was established by merging the formerly called “Landsradio” and “Telefoondienst” (telegraph & telephone service of the Netherlands Antilles.Before 1986 the telegraph and international telephone services where provided by the company that was owned by the Government of the Netherlands Antilles, headquartered in Curacao, the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles where all the political decisions were made at that time. The “Landsradio” provided the telegraph service and the “Telefoondienst” provided local calls.SETAR owned by the Aruban Government and operating as separate entity became the primary phone company on the island of Aruba. SETAR maintained a monopoly on telecom services until privatisation of the company in 2003. The government of Aruba remained as it’s owner since then, with ownership of 100% of it’s shares.[…]In 2003, and the company’s focus on customers intensified, when SETAR became an incorporated company with the local government as shareholder. When operating as a private-sector business-venture innovation in technology products and services, became even more important.[…]In 2013 SETAR celebrated in this year it’s 10th anniversary as a privatized company.”Moreover, in this March 2017 U.S. court filing (see this post for more on that), SETAR describes itself as follows:“[SETAR] is a foreign corporation organized under the laws of Aruba. Setar is the privatized full telecommunications service provider for the island of Aruba. The Company provides telephone, internet, and GSMrelated wireless services to consumers and other end-users.Until 2003, Setar was the telecommunications division of the Aruban Government, and considered a utility. Strategic decisions for Setar were made by the Minister of Telecommunications (the “Minister”), and all business-related decisions, such as hiring, marketing, and competitive issues, also were directed by the Minister. 5. In 2003, while Setar remained 100% owned by the Aruban Government, its reporting and leadership structure changed. A Board was formed and a Director named. From that point forward, all employees reported to the Board and/or the Director. The Minister no longer had a role in the management or day-to-day operations of the Company. Hiring, purchasing, distribution, competitive issues and business strategy and positioning were handled by the Board and the Director. Profits, however, would continue to flow to the Aruban Government.”Regarding the telecommunications market in Aruba, according to the Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce & Industry of Aruba “the market for telecommunication has been liberalized. There are several providers of telecommunication providing solutions for Fixed line, Mobile, Internet and Data.”In 2014, the 11th Circuit (which includes Florida where the Parker enforcement action was filed) addressed the issue of when a business enterprise can be an “instrumentality” of a foreign government such that its employees are “foreign officials” under the FCPA. The decision in U.S. v. Esquenazi has many flaws (see this article for a complete discussion as well as here) but nevertheless the 11th Circuit stated:“An ‘instrumentality’ [under the FCPA] is an entity controlled by the government of a foreign country that performs a function the controlling government treats as its own. Certainly, what constitutes control and what constitutes a function the government treats as its own are fact-bound questions. It would be unwise and likely impossible to exhaustively answer them in the abstract. […] [W]e do not purport to list all of the factors that might prove relevant to deciding whether an entity is an instrumentality of a foreign government. For today, we provide a list of some factors that may be relevant to deciding the issue.To decide if the government ‘controls’ an entity, courts and juries should look to the foreign government’s formal designation of that entity; whether the government has a majority interest in the entity; the government’s ability to hire and fire the entity’s principals; the extent to which the entity’s profits, if any, go directly into the governmental fisc, and, by the same token, the extent to which the government funds the entity if it fails to break even; and the length of time these indicia have existed.[…]We then turn to the second element relevant to deciding if an entity is an instrumentality of a foreign government under the FCPA — deciding if the entity performs a function the government treats as its own. Courts and juries should examine whether the entity has a monopoly over the function it exists to carry out; whether the government subsidizes the costs associated with the entity providing services; whether the entity provides services to the public at large in the foreign country; and whether the public and the government of that foreign country generally perceive the entity to be performing a governmental function.” Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

Fighting the Three Plagues of Institutional Care at Home

first_imgby, Beth Baker, ChangingAging ContributorTweet5Share50Share2Email57 SharesMargaret Hicks, mother-in-law of Angie Wall, with her granddaughter IsabelSix years ago, Angie Wall’s mother-in-law moved into a cottage on their property after enduring three battles with cancer. Tired, weak and depressed, it seemed like the perfect solution to help her recover.“She would be able to do her gardening.  She’d thrive,” says Wall, an experienced care management director for Senior Services in Winston-Salem, N.C. “But if anything it was getting worse.”It wasn’t until attending an Eden at Home training last December sponsored by Senior Services that Wall had an epiphany: despite their best intentions, she now believes, she and her husband had stripped her mother-in-law of what was meaningful to her. Eden at Home adapts the core Eden Alternative principles that were developed by Dr. Bill Thomas and Jude Thomas for nursing homes – such as the importance of loving companionship and meaningful activity and the need to eliminate the “three plagues” of loneliness, helplessness and boredom – for home- and community-based service providers.“We had just totally consumed her life but not in a good way,” she says. “We flew in, took over, started doing things and basically took away her independence without realizing it.”The family is adjusting its take-charge approach. “Now she’s more engaged, she seems a little happier and not so inside of herself,” says Wall.Senior Services, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest broad-based non-profits serving elders to undergo a company-wide transformation in its culture through Eden at Home, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life of the older people they serve.By July, Senior Services, Inc. plans to have all 115 of its employees and many others in the broader community certified as Eden at Home Associates.  Senior Services operates an adult day center, Meals on Wheels, home care and other programs to support elders living as independently as possible, including those who might otherwise be in nursing homes.Developed by Eden Learning and Development Guide Laura Beck, Eden at Home training is designed to help organizations reframe their approach from viewing elders as recipients of care to being “care partners” with everyone who touches their lives, including family, neighbors, friends, church members, social workers or paid caregivers.“The concept of the institution is not confined to the four walls of the nursing home or a hospital, but can be found anywhere, including in somebody’s home,” says Beck.  She points to isolation or “the focus of caring being on the human body and not the whole person” as examples of an institutional mindset.This is especially important, she stresses, because the vast majority of older adults live at home or with family, not in institutions.“We’re putting [Eden principles] together in a way that’s accessible and understandable and relatable, so that people can feel a little more in charge of the quality of their care experience,” Beck says.Participants who became certified Eden at Home Associates, with Educators Kim McRae (front row, second from right) and Walter Coffey (back row, with sunglasses).In December, Senior Services held a three-day training for 20 employees and other leaders in local aging organizations, led by the co-founders of the Culture Change Network of Georgia: Kim McRae, long-time family caregiver turned advocate, and Walter Coffey, president/CEO of Leading Age Georgia. Both are Educators for the Eden Alternative.  Coffey and McRae say they believe the program is unique.“One of the things about doing the [Eden at Home] certification is that 100 percent of the time it connects with people deeply,” says Coffey. “You can have people come in with a hard shell, and it’s amazing how this curriculum breaks through and goes right to the heart.  It’s designed around nurturing the spirit of elders.”Wall’s experience with her mother-in-law, Margaret Hicks, is supported by a study of an Eden at Home pilot. Conducted in Arkansas from 2005-2007, the study identified many benefits, including that six months after taking the training, seven in ten participating care partners said that Eden at Home was extremely or very useful.The training also makes clear to participants how out of balance services for older people are, focusing far too much on the medical rather than the whole person, Coffey adds.For Senior Services, this means embracing “the concept of continuous growth and of elderhood being a time of giving instead of just receiving,” explains chief operating officer Lee Covington. “It will shift the way that we do things.”Just as with many nursing homes that have embraced culture change, Senior Services is rethinking the language it uses.  Terms like ‘client’ are giving way to ‘care partner’ and ‘elder’, says Covington.  “I think it will ultimately change the processes that we use.”One challenge, he says, is that many of their services are funded through public programs such as the Older Americans Act and Medicaid which have parameters that are “deficit-based,” focusing on what the elder can no longer do independently.  While still “checking those boxes” that are required, he says, “We hope to flip that on its head.  We want to do more on [the elder’s] living history, what are their likes and dislikes, what are the opportunities for continued growth.”Senior Services first 20 Eden at Home associates will also receive training to qualify them to lead Eden at Home workshops and spread the philosophy throughout Forsythe County. Senior Services will also offer the training, in one-hour sessions, to home health aides who work under contract.“Senior Services is the first organization that is utilizing the Eden at Home curriculum – and the Eden Principles – as a key to their outreach to the entire community – not just their organization,” says McRae.In addition, Senior Services received a state grant to pilot using Eden at Home with people transitioning from a nursing home back to the community. Senior Services will conduct a baseline assessment, including quality-of-life scores, geriatric depression, nutrition, and social isolation and compare how those measures change over time. They will also track hospitalizations and falls.Meanwhile, McRae and Beck are test-driving an online version of Eden at Home’s care partner workshops, in hopes of reaching many more people, including family caregivers. “You can be a change agent in your adult day center, in your church, in your women’s club,” says McRae. “You don’t have to work in long-term care to be able to spread these concepts.” Related PostsBest Practices in Home Care ShowcaseOne of the things that keeps me working in the aging services field is the camaraderie of my colleagues.  They demonstrate a tremendous commitment to and appreciation for Elders and their care partners, an awareness of the Elders’ stories as sacred treasures to be held by us with care, and…Changing the Culture of Care for LGBT EldersAn Eden Alternative registered facility in Oakland, Calif., has launched a research-based cultural sensitivity initiative targeting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders receiving skilled nursing and long-term care, the Bay Area Reporter reportered this week. Raising awareness of LGBT eldercare-related issues is an important challenge in the culture change…Eden at Home Certified Trainer Workshop coming to Syracuse!I’m on the road again!! It is my GREAT pleasure to be able to announce an upcoming Eden at Home Certified Trainer workshop. Please join us for three days of learning and sharing and fun… Don’t miss the opportunity to change the culture of care for Elders and care partners…Tweet5Share50Share2Email57 SharesTags: Care Partner eden at home home care loneliness three plagueslast_img read more

I Am in Your Hands Relationships Can Help or Hinder Growth

first_imgby, NamarahTweet6Share11ShareEmail17 SharesDr. Bill Thomas’ signature non-fiction theater performance Life’s Most Dangerous Game debuts a concept that Bill calls ‘M.E.S.H.’ This four-pillared guide on how to live a healthy and happy life stands for Move, Eat, Sleep, and Heal.Within each of these mantras Bill gives a revelation on how we can replicate a M.E.S.H. lifestyle. For example, he recommends for the letter ‘E’ we all should partake in ‘convivium,’ which he defines as “eating good food in good company.” Eating, it turns out, is about more than calories and nutrition. You have to nourish your relationships as well as your body. So I wondered, how do you define “good” company?Sure, we all want to hang with people who make us feel great but, there is something intrinsically different between people that are good fun and those that are good for you. On the surface, friends look the same and we might not recognize which good a person has brought to the relationship. I find myself evaluating this distinction more as I grow older. I have always been skilled at making friends and connecting with people, so I found that there was a variety of people within my social circles. Some peers were perfect for hanging out and others held the potential for a deeper connection. That person could have been exactly what I needed; someone who was able to rally with me or take a pause when times were low. Unlike the friends who always were down for a good time, these individuals I considered to be a part of my journey with life, and my journey towards growth.I’d like to ask readers, how often do you reflect on the inevitable changes in your relationship to others? We humans are anything but stagnant. It can take many years to learn that who we allow into our lives affects how we behave and think over time. Let’s explore relationships using rock-climbing as a metaphor:You and your partner are at the local gym training for a sport rock climbing competition. The goal is for both partners to get to the top as quickly as possibly. Consider two scenarios:Scenario One:The two of you climb up the wall on your own paces. You regularly check in with the other and encourage the other to not look down, to keep pushing forward and that it’s okay how sweaty you both are getting. Your friend ends up getting to the top before you and by reaching down and out to you has to pull you up. The momentum is literally dependent on the strength and support of the person who is holding you. It’s tough but you’ve both made it.Scenario Two:You are climbing the same wall and your partner is below you, grappling onto your ankle. They’re focused on the wall, they’re wondering why they even agreed to this in the first place, and they keep asking you what to do next. Where is the energy going? Will you even make it to the top of this rock wall? After all, you’re carrying more than your weight.A close friendship allows another person entirely into our world – this is a truth that I am beginning to understand and observe in my own life: Relationships affect our direction. When we align ourselves with these individuals it is crucial that they are in a growth mindset. Connections become that much more powerful when both members, regardless of place in life, are motivated to push forward in who they are and what they’d like to achieve. Reflect on the above scenarios, both partners were engaged but there was a difference in how the second partner responded to the situation. There was a shift in how each person continued to reach the top. If you want to continue to grow, protect yourself by choosing which relationships you will keep close. That way, when it’s time for the next convivium you know you are, indeed, in the midst of good (for you) company.Related PostsNew Podcast: Life Extension QuackeryBill Thomas and Nate Silas Richardson take on the age old question of mortality as well as a deep dive into caregiver stress when your spouse or partner lives with dementia. They also share a behind-the-scenes look at the latest swing of the Age of Disruption Tour, including how the…Beating BurnoutThe common understanding is that burnout happens when we push too hard for too long. By this definition, the solution is to not push as hard or for as long. Thinking of burnout as avoidable by making the choice to stop pushing so hard for so long puts us in…Elder Wisdom CircleThe Elder Wisdom Circle always makes interesting reading.  Here is a taste… FAMILY: Dad makes fun of my boyfriend around me My main problem is an issue I’m having with my dad. He dislikes my boyfriend to the highest level just because of his skin color which is black. My…Tweet6Share11ShareEmail17 SharesTags: friendship relationshipslast_img read more

CMS policy had insignificant impact on reducing healthcareassociated infections

first_img Source:https://www.shea-online.org/index.php/journal-news/press-room/press-release-archives/608-cms-policy-to-reduce-hospital-acquired-conditions-had-minimal-impact Jul 2 2018Hospitals may have avoided financial penalties by billing hospital-associated conditions (HAC) as present at the time of the patient’s admission, supporting prior work that showed that a Medicare policy designed to monetarily penalize hospitals for preventable complications had an insignificant impact on reducing healthcare-associated infections. The new research was published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. In addition, the targeted billing codes were rarely used by hospitals, far less than expected based on national estimates; and even when hospitals billed for HACs during a hospitalization, this infrequently affected the diagnosis-related group (DRG) assignment, impacting hospital reimbursement.”With this policy, CMS was hoping to see more attention paid to improving quality care, but it appears that the original HAC policy mostly led to changes in coding practices,” said Michael S. Calderwood, MD, MPH, regional hospital epidemiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and lead author of the study. “It’s worth further investigation to determine whether Medicare reimbursement codes are being incorrectly used, or if there is now a greater effort to document conditions at the time of the patient’s admission.”In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System ceased reimbursement for HACs not present on admission (POA) – putting the cost of infections acquired in a health system on the provider – with the intent to encourage hospitals to adopt or strengthen infection prevention measures. Prior research discovered that this change in policy did not have an impact on rates of HACs – rather, providers were coding these HACs as present on admission.Related StoriesRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infections’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTo understand why this trend was happening, researchers analyzed over 65 million Medicare fee-for-service hospitalizations from 2007 to 2011 in acute care facilities. They specifically looked at documentation for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) and whether the codes for those HACs were submitted with a POA designation, which are not counted against a hospital as a preventable complication.They found that CLABSI and CAUTI affected 0.23 percent and 0.06 percent of hospitalizations, respectively, and in the three years immediately after the 2008 CMS policy implementation, 82 percent of the CLABSI codes and 91 percent of CAUTI codes were marked as POA – which researchers noted was a significant increase in the use of the present-on-admission designation compared with prior to the CMS HAC Policy.Diagnosis coding for CAUTI and CLABSI that was not present on admission (POA=No) from 2007 to 2011 showed a dramatic decrease. For example, in 2007 hospitals discharged 6,172 patients with a CAUTI diagnosis code, 99.8 percent of whom had a POA=No designation. This compares to 2011 when 6,448 patients were coded as having a CAUTI, only 10.7 percent of whom had the POA=No designation.For discharges that were subject to penalty, there was a financial impact on only 0.4 percent of the hospitalizations with a CLABSI code and 5.7 percent with a CAUTI code. These penalties infrequently impacted hospital reimbursement and the researchers suggest that this is partly to blame for the lack of impact from the policy.last_img read more

Inflection Biosciences dual mechanism inhibitor shows promise as treatment for CLL

first_img Source:http://www.inflectionbio.com/ Jul 17 2018Inflection Biosciences Ltd, a private company developing innovative therapeutics for cancer, today announced the publication of preclinical data showing the company’s dual mechanism PIM/PI3 kinase inhibitor IBL-202 has promise as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This research has been published in the most recent issue of the peer-reviewed British Journal of Haematology.The preclinical research was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Oliver Giles Best of the Northern Blood Research Centre, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Australia, and a member of the CLL Australian Research Consortium (CLLARC), Sydney, Australia.Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsDespite significant advances in treatment, CLL remains an incurable disease. Given the growing body of evidence suggesting CLL cells may adapt to, survive and even proliferate under hypoxic conditions of the tumor microenvironment, new treatment options which are effective under these conditions are required.These published results show that IBL‐202 is cytotoxic against CLL cells under in vitro conditions that mimic the hypoxic tumor microenvironment. The publication also demonstrates the significant effects of IBL‐202 on CD49d and CXCR4 gene expression and on the migration, cycling and proliferation of CLL cells, suggesting the drug may significantly impair the migratory and proliferative capacity of the leukemic cells.Dr. Best, lead author on the publication, commented: “Collectively, this data demonstrates that dual inhibition of the PIM and PI3 kinases by IBL‐202 may be an effective strategy for targeting CLL cells, particularly within the environmental niches known to confer drug‐resistance.”last_img read more

Protective qualities of good cholesterol reduce after menopause

first_imgIdentifying the proper method to measure active ‘good’ HDL is critical to understanding the true cardiovascular health of these women.”Matthew Budo, Senior Author By Kate Bass, B.Sc.Jul 19 2018Levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is known for its cardioprotective role, may not accurately represent cardiovascular risk in older women, according to research published today in ‘Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology’.Image Credit: marekuliasz / ShutterstockCholesterol is essential for the normal functioning of the body, being needed for cell membranes and vital hormones. It is transported in the blood as lipoproteins, in which the hydrophobic cholesterol is protected by hydrophilic phospholipids.Low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol comprises mainly cholesterol and can stick to the lining of arteries, impeding blood flow and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disorders.In contrast, HDL-cholesterol removes cholesterol from the blood and transports it to the liver to be broken down, and so can reduce the risk of developing heart disease or stroke.HDL-cholesterol is thus commonly referred to as ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of HDL-cholesterol are generally considered to be an indicator of a reduced cardiovascular risk.The latest research, which analysed cardiovascular risk and various HDL measures relative to menopausal status in 1,138 women followed since 1999s, suggests that the heart-protective qualities of HDL-cholesterol may be impaired by post-menopausal factors.These findings raise concerns that high HDL-cholesterol levels, which are typically taken to indicate low cardiovascular risk, could mask a significant heart disease risk in post-menopausal women. The data showed that higher HDL-cholesterol levels were associated with increased atherosclerosis risk in post-menopausal women. This was most evident in women who reached menopause at an older age and had been post-menopausal for at least 10 years.High numbers of large HDL particles close to the occurrence of menopause were also linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.In contrast, higher levels of total HDL particles were associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis. Additionally, the presence of a high number of small HDL particles was beneficial in post-menopausal women. The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still used to predict cardiovascular disease risk… This study confirms our previous work [that showed] higher HDL cholesterol may not always be as protective in post-menopausal women as we once thought”Samar El Khoudary, Lead Authorcenter_img During the transition through menopause a variety of physiological changes occur that affect sex hormones, lipids, body fat deposition and vascular health.The authors of the latest research hypothesized that these metabolic changes in combination with a fall in oestrogen levels can give rise to chronic inflammation that affects the quality of HDL particles.The team now plan to investigate the biological mechanisms that contribute to the change in the quality of good cholesterol at menopause.It is hoped that the research will clarify the cardioprotective contribution of good cholesterol to the health of post-menopausal women to inform guidelines for screening and treatment. Source:University of Pittsburgh Schools of The Health Sciences. Press release 19 July 2018.last_img read more

Adolescents exposed to tobacco power wall more likely to use ecigarettes

first_img Source:https://www.rand.org/ Aug 7 2018Adolescents who view advertising for tobacco products on the tobacco “power wall” in convenience stores report being more willing to try vaping products in the future compared to peers who visited a store where the tobacco power wall was hidden, according to a new RAND Corporation study.Adolescents who were exposed to the power wall during a shopping trip were about 15 percent more likely to say they would be willing to use electronic cigarettes in the future as compared to adolescents who were not exposed to the power wall.Researchers say the findings provide more evidence that the point-of-sale advertising found in convenience stores is a persuasive force in encouraging young people to use tobacco. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco products among young people in the United States. The findings are published online by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.”Our findings provide evidence that hiding the tobacco wall in convenience stores might reduce the number of adolescents who try e-cigarettes,” said Michael S. Dunbar, the study’s lead author and a behavioral scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “This is evidence that the tobacco power wall helps influence the attitudes of adolescents toward not only combustible cigarettes, but vaping products as well.”Most of the tobacco industry’s advertising spending is focused on point-of-sale retail locations such as convenience stores. These outlets are awash in posters for tobacco products, signs for price promotions and the tobacco power wall — the display of cigarettes, other tobacco products and — in recent years — e-cigarettes that is prominent behind the checkout counter.Related StoriesParents of autistic adolescents are a critical partner in preparation for learning-to-drive processStudy explores adolescent vaping and its association with delinquencyStudy: Tobacco and alcohol usage are common in British reality television showsCanada and several other countries have enacted laws requiring that the power walls be hidden from view and only customers of legal age may view tobacco products.The RAND study was conducted in a one-of-a-kind laboratory that replicates a full-size convenience store and involved 160 middle and high school students aged 11 to 17.Study participants were given $10 and allowed to shop in the laboratory store for whatever items they wanted. For half of the study participants, the tobacco power wall was openly displayed and for the other half, the tobacco power wall was hidden behind an opaque barrier.Participants were surveyed before and after their shopping experience about a variety of topics and demographic information.Convenience stores were the most-common source of exposure to e-cigarette advertising among study participants, with more than three-quarters reporting some exposure to e-cigarettes ads in stores and 14 percent reporting seeing e-cigarettes in convenience stores most of the time. Television was the next-most-common source of exposure to e-cigarette advertising.After accounting for factors such as demographic characteristics and prior use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes, researchers found that exposure to the visible tobacco power wall was associated with significant increases in willingness to use e-cigarettes in the future.”These findings suggest that policies aimed at limiting exposure to e-cigarette and other tobacco advertising at the point of sale may help reduce the impact of industry advertising efforts on future nicotine and tobacco product use among adolescents,” Dunbar said.last_img read more

Diabetic patients with disrupted sleep may need more time to heal their

first_imgAug 20 2018People with Type 2 diabetes who don’t sleep well could need more time to heal their wounds, according to a new study published by researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.The research, which appeared online in the journal SLEEP on August 11, found that overweight mice with Type 2 diabetes and disrupted sleep needed more time to heal skin wounds than mice that also had disrupted sleep but didn’t have Type 2 diabetes. These results confirm that sleep plays an especially important role in wound healing among obese mice with Type 2 diabetes.For the experiment, scientists used obese mice with features of Type 2 diabetes and compared them to healthy mice of normal weight. While deeply anesthetized, both groups of mice got a small surgical wound on the skin of their backs. The scientists analyzed how long it took the wound to heal under two scenarios: a normal sleep schedule and sleep that was repeatedly interrupted.The result: the diabetic mice with fragmented sleep needed about 13 days for their wounds to achieve 50 percent healing. By contrast, even with sleep interruptions, the wounds of normal-weight healthy mice reached the same milestone in about five days.Ralph Lydic, Robert H. Cole Endowed Professor of Neuroscience, co-authored the paper with a multidisciplinary team of researchers at UT Knoxville and the UT Graduate School of Medicine. UT Medical Center surgery resident John Mark McLain was the lead author of the study. He bridged the UT Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery laboratory of Michael D. Karlstad and the UT Graduate School of Medicine’s anesthesiology laboratories of Lydic and Helen A. Baghdoyan, another UT psychology professor. Both Baghdoyan and Lydic hold joint appointments in UT’s Department of Psychology and UT Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology, as well as at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. UT alumni Wateen Alami and Chris Cooley and graduate student Zachary Glovak also participated in this research.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepOne in three adult Americans suffers from prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals with prediabetes are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.In people with Type 2 diabetes, high glucose levels lead to poor blood circulation and nerve damage, making the body more vulnerable to infections, especially after surgery. Sleep disorders can also weaken the immune system and slow healing.Treating wounds in diabetic patients is not only challenging at a clinical level, it can also get expensive. Just in the United States, the cost of treating nonhealing wounds is estimated to top $50 billion a year.”This is a public health issue, and we want to contribute to a solution,” Lydic said.Sleep disorders and Type 2 diabetes are intimately connected; it has been widely documented that lack of sleep can create metabolic changes like those seen in patients with insulin resistance.Lydic plans to continue research on this topic.”Next we want to explore the effect that specific drugs have on wound healing in these same groups of mice with disrupted sleep.” Source:http://tennessee.edu/last_img read more

Studies explore biological mechanisms that may explain HIV posttreatment controllers

first_img Source:https://www.brighamandwomens.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Most HIV patients need to take daily anti-retroviral therapy – if they suspend treatment, HIV will rebound within 3-4 weeks. But clinical trials have revealed that a small fraction of patients can stop taking medications yet keep the virus suppressed for 24 weeks or longer, maintaining viral control without the assistance of medication.Much remains unknown about this unique group of individuals, known as HIV post-treatment controllers, including how rare this ability is. Two new studies – including the largest study of post-treatment controllers to date – explore the characteristics of this group as well as the biological mechanisms that may help explain this unique ability.”Post-treatment controllers represent a natural model of sustained remission,” said Jonathan Li, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Infectious Disease Clinic and lead author on both studies. “Understanding these individuals can lead to new insights for HIV therapies.”Related StoriesEven when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachThe researchers defined post-treatment controllers as having viral loads of 400 or fewer copies per milliliter of blood plasma for at least 24 weeks’ post-treatment interruption. The study characterized 67 post-treatment controllers, the largest cohort to date. They found these post-treatment controllers by sifting through data collected from over 700 participants in 14 clinical studies involving treatment interruption.The CHAMP (Control of HIV after Antiretroviral Medication Pause) study, published in The Journal of Infectious Disease, examined what post-treatment control can tell us about HIV’s progression. The researchers observed that individuals treated early were significantly more likely to become post-treatment controllers. Previously published studies have found other benefits for early treatment, notably decreased risk of transmission to partners compared to treatment starting during chronic infection.A second study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation illuminated the biological mechanisms underlying post-treatment control. Li’s team sequenced viral DNA, which the HIV virus had woven into the patient’s DNA.The team observed that post-treatment controllers had lower levels of intact viral DNA prior to treatment interruption. In other words, post-treatment controllers carried smaller viral reservoirs. Li believes that reservoir size could represent a useful biomarker to help predict which patients will become post-treatment controllers.In addition to intact viral DNA, Li and his team found that reservoirs of defective viral DNA may offer novel insights for treating HIV. They observed that defective HIV DNA seemed to give rise to proteins that could interact with the immune system. They plan to study this further.”Each year, there are millions of new HIV infections,” said Li. “The results of these studies may help inform the design of strategies and trials aimed at achieving HIV remission, which we hope will bend the curve of this epidemic.”last_img read more

Smart textilebased soft robotic exosuit helps wearers save energy and traverse difficult

first_img Source:https://wyss.harvard.edu/multi-joint-personalized-soft-exosuit-breaks-new-ground/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 18 2018In the future, smart textile-based soft robotic exosuits could be worn by soldiers, fire fighters and rescue workers to help them traverse difficult terrain and arrive fresh at their destinations so that they can perform their respective tasks more effectively. They could also become a powerful means to enhance mobility and quality of living for people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders and for the elderly.Conor Walsh’s team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has been at the forefront of developing different soft wearable robotic devices that support mobility by applying mechanical forces to critical joints of the body, including at the ankle or hip joints, or in the case of a multi-joint soft exosuit both. Because of its potential for relieving overburdened solders in the field, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded the team’s efforts as part of its former Warrior Web program.While the researchers have demonstrated that lab-based versions of soft exosuits can provide clear benefits to wearers, allowing them to spend less energy while walking and running, there remains a need for fully wearable exosuits that are suitable for use in the real world.Now, in a study reported in the proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), the team presented their latest generation of a mobile multi-joint exosuit, which has been improved on all fronts and tested in the field through long marches over uneven terrain. Using the same exosuit in a second study published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER), the researchers developed an automatic tuning method to customize its assistance based on how an individual’s body is responding to it, and demonstrated significant energy savings.The multi-joint soft exosuit consists of textile apparel components worn at the waist, thighs, and calves. Through an optimized mobile actuation system worn near the waist and integrated into a military rucksack, mechanical forces are transmitted via cables that are guided through the exosuit’s soft components to ankle and hip joints. This way, the exosuit adds power to the ankles and hips to assist with leg movements during the walking cycle.”We have updated all components in this new version of the multi-joint soft exosuit: the apparel is more user-friendly, easy to put on and accommodating to different body shapes; the actuation is more robust, lighter, quieter and smaller; and the control system allows us to apply forces to hips and ankles more robustly and consistently,” said David Perry, a co-author of the ICRA study and a Staff Engineer on Walsh’s team. As part of the DARPA program, the exosuit was field-tested in Aberdeen, MD, in collaboration with the Army Research Labs, where soldiers walked through a 12-mile cross-country course.Related StoriesGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancer”We previously demonstrated that it is possible to use online optimization methods that by quantifying energy savings in the lab automatically individualize control parameters across different wearers. However, we needed a means to tune control parameters quickly and efficiently to the different gaits of soldiers at the Army outside a laboratory,” said Walsh, Ph.D., Core Faculty member of the Wyss Institute, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SEAS and Founder, of the Harvard Biodesign Lab.In the JNER study, the team presented a suitable new tuning method that uses exosuit sensors to optimize the positive power delivered at the ankle joints. When a wearer begins walking, the system measures the power and gradually adjusts controller parameters until it finds those that maximize the exosuit’s effects based on the wearer’s individual gait mechanics. The method can be used as a proxy measure for elaborate energy measurements.”We evaluated the metabolic parameters in the seven study participants wearing exosuits that underwent the tuning process and found that the method reduced the metabolic cost of walking by about 14.8% compared to walking without the device and by about 22% compared to walking with the device unpowered,” said Sangjun Lee, the first author of both studies and a Graduate Student with Walsh at SEAS.”These studies represent the exciting culmination of our DARPA-funded efforts. We are now continuing to optimize the technology for specific uses in the Army where dynamic movements are important; and we are exploring it for assisting workers in factories performing strenuous physical tasks,” said Walsh. “In addition, the field has recognized there is still a lot to understand on the basic science of co-adaptation of humans and wearable robots. Future co-optimization strategies and new training approaches could help further enhance individualization effects and enable wearers that initially respond poorly to exosuits to adapt to them as well and benefit from their assistance”.”This research marks an important point in the Wyss Institute’s Bioinspired Soft Robotics Initiative and its development of soft exosuits in that it opens a path on which robotic devices could be adopted and personalized in real world scenarios by healthy and disabled wearers,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS.last_img read more

MoreGrasp reports breakthrough development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 18 2018The beginning of the MoreGrasp project was marked by the idea of a groundbreaking further development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control. The aim was to develop a sensoric grasp neuroprosthesis to support the daily life activities of people living with severe to completely impaired hand function due to spinal cord injuries. The motor function of the neuroprosthesis was to be intuitively controlled by means of a brain-computer interface with emphasis on natural motor patterns. After the three-year project period came to an end, the breakthrough was reported by the members of the project consortium led by Gernot Müller-Putz, head of the Institute of Neural Engineering at TU Graz, which include the University of Heidelberg, the University of Glasgow, the two companies Medel Medizinische Elektronik and Bitbrain as well as the Know Center.Paradigm shift: actually thought movement as signalGernot Müller-Putz explains brain-computer interfaces as follows: ‘In tetraplegia all the circuits in the brain and muscles in the body parts concerned are still intact, but the neurological connection between the brain and limb is interrupted. We bypass this by communicating via a computer which in turn passes on the command to the muscles.’ The muscles are controlled and encouraged to move by electrodes that are attached to the outside of the arm and can, for example, trigger the closing and opening of the fingers. Previously, the researchers worked with arbitrary mental concepts. The important thing was the sufficient distinguishability of the produced brainwaves to control the neuroprosthesis. For instance, if the participant thought about raising and lowering their foot and the signal measured by the EEG opened the right hand, the subject then – for instance – would think of a movement of the left hand and the right hand would close again.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe MoreGrasp consortium developed this technique further – in particular the TU Graz research team – in the recently concluded project and created the paradigm shift. This mental ‘detour’ of any movement pattern so long as it is clearly distinguishable is no longer necessary, as Müller-Putz explains: ‘We now use so-called “attempted movement”.’ In doing so, the test subject attempts to carry out the movement – for instance, tries to grasp a glass of water. Due to the tetraplegia, the occurring brain signal is not passed on but can be measured by means of an EEG and processed by the computer system. Müller-Putz is extremely pleased with the success of the research: ‘We are now working with signals which only differ from each other very slightly, and nevertheless we manage to control the neuroprosthesis successfully. For users, this results in a completely new possibility of making movement sequences easier – especially during training. A variety of grips were investigated in the project: the palmar grasp (cylinder grasp, as for grasping a glass), the lateral grasp (key grasp, as for picking up a spoon), and opening the hand and turning it inwards and outwards.Large-scale studyEnd users can register on the special online platform – for linking up persons who are interested or affected – to enter the large-scale feasibility study which is intended to check compatibility in everyday life of the technique developed in the study. Participants eligible for the study will be tested according to a complex procedure. Afterwards, each test person will be provided with a tailor-made BCI training course which must be completed independently in sessions lasting several hours each week. In this way brain signals will be gathered and the system itself will learn during each experiment. Source:https://www.tugraz.at/last_img read more

US Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to Stem Cell Patent

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Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email A U.S. federal appeals court has rejected an attempt to strike down a long-contested stem cell patent held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The Santa Monica, California–based Consumer Watchdog (CW) had hoped to invalidate the patent, which it says puts a burden on California’s taxpayer-funded research by requiring licensing agreements to use the cells, but on 4 June the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that CW isn’t involved in work on human embryonic stem cells and, thus, can’t challenge the patent in court.The patent, awarded in 2006, involves creating an in vitro culture of human embryonic stem cells. CW challenged it and two other WARF stem cell patents, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) upheld the patents in 2008. Last year, CW appealed its challenge to the federal circuit court, claiming that the isolation of these cells was an obvious, incremental step beyond existing techniques. In a brief to the court, CW’s attorney, Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation, also cited the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in the Myriad Genetics case that human genes are “products of nature” and cannot be patented. The appellate court didn’t address either of those issues. Instead, Circuit Judge Randall Rader wrote in the decision that CW lacks the legal “standing” required to bring a case against WARF.“We are very disappointed with and obviously disagree with the ruling,” Ravicher told ScienceInsider in an e-mail. He added that CW will “consider its options” for the next step. But time is running out, because the patent will expire in early 2015. The case was a test for a 2013 change in patent law specifying that anyone who gets an adverse judgment from the patent office has the right to appeal to the federal circuit. But the decision makes clear that the constitutional requirements for legal standing still apply, says Kevin Bastian, a patent attorney Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in San Francisco, California. “You have to have some skin in the game, as it were,” he says.If it stands, the decision guarantees “a shorter and more certain resolution” for groups hoping to fight patents on political or ideological grounds, says Konstantin Linnik, a patent attorney at Nutter McClennen & Fish in Boston. Without a chance for such groups to appeal to the circuit court, “now it becomes a binary deal: You can win or you can lose at the patent office.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) read more

Smith makes small concession in markup of COMPETES bill

first_imgRepresentative Lamar Smith (R–TX) took a small, tactical step back today from his assault on the policies of the National Science Foundation (NSF). But Smith hasn’t abandoned his 2-year strategy of pushing NSF in directions that the U.S. scientific community doesn’t want it to go. And in marking up his America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1806) before the science committee that he chairs, he made it clear that he’s calling the shots.(The rest of this story is based on the first few hours of today’s markup of the bill, which covers NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the science programs at the Department of Energy, and federal science education policy. The markup continued well into the afternoon; see the update below on the final bill’s approval.)The committee spent most of the morning rejecting a slew of Democratic amendments aimed at reversing proposed cuts to research programs and removing language seen as an attack on NSF’s vaunted peer-review process. Smith’s big concession was to drop language in the bill about how NSF builds and manages large scientific facilities that NSF officials say is unreasonable, unnecessary, and in places even contradictory. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img In particular, the language would have required NSF to “correct” any problems identified by an independent audit of projected costs before starting construction. It would also require NSF to apply rules on how project contingency funds can be spent that are at odds with existing federal policies. That language could seriously delay new projects and drive up costs, according to agency officials, who say they conveyed their concerns to the committee after the bill was unveiled last week.Smith apparently took the complaints to heart. In the first of almost three dozen amendments put before the committee, he proposed removing the offending paragraphs and leaving only the requirement that NSF report back to Congress on any procedural changes it makes based on a study now under way. The changes were adopted unanimously by voice vote.Going overboard?The only other concession that Smith made during the hearing was to put back $500,000 he had removed from the $4.3 million budget of the National Science Board, NSF’s presidentially appointed oversight body.The 12% cut in NSF’s smallest account—the agency’s total budget this year is $7.3 billion—came from seemingly nowhere. The rest of the COMPETES bill would severely lower authorized funding levels for the social and behavioral sciences, geosciences, and international activities at NSF—cuts that are in line with the committee’s ideological stance that they play small roles in fostering innovation, bolstering the U.S. economy, and defending the nation against attack. But the cut to the science board’s budget seemed like an outlier.Smith offered no explanation at the hearing as to why the board’s funding was restored. There is speculation, however, that the cut was retaliation for comments by board chair Dan Arvizu during a February hearing before the committee on NSF’s 2016 budget. At that hearing, NSF Director France Córdova indicated her support for one of Smith’s most contentious moves—requiring the agency to certify that each research grant has the potential to contribute to the national interest. But Arvizu declined to go along, saying he needed to read the exact language in the bill, which had not yet been released.To compensate for the plus-up, Smith’s amendment cuts $500,000 from the budget for NSF’s inspector general, the agency’s internal but independent watchdog. While that swap is consistent with Smith’s insistence on holding down overall spending levels in the bill, it’s also somewhat ironic. The inspector general has been the leading critic of NSF’s management of large projects, telling Smith’s committee repeatedly about costs it cannot verify and urging NSF to improve its practices. A recent damning report about the questionable use of contractor management fees triggered some of the controversial language in the COMPETES bill.“Why are we here?”The bulk of the committee’s time this morning was spent in debate over a series of proposals introduced by Democrats to correct what they view as a very flawed bill, including one that would substitute their own version. The top Democrat on the panel, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), presaged those debates in her opening remarks by calling the bill the result of combining “two bad bills from last year … into one, doubly bad, bill.” Johnson said she was “embarrassed” by what was happening and pointedly asked Smith: “If the very scientists and engineers you wrote this bill for want nothing to do with it, why are we even here today?”Knowing he had the votes to reject every Democratic suggestion, Smith chose several freshmen on the committee to speak against individual amendments that would have modified the bill. But a few times Smith made the case himself—in particular, defending his decision to set funding levels for each of NSF’s seven research directorates and to alter NSF’s approach to grantsmaking. His choice seemed to reflect the importance he attached to some of the most controversial elements in the bill.*Update, 22 April, 5:55 p.m.:After two recesses, the committee finished grinding through all the amendments, including a dozen roll call votes, a parliamentary maneuver by Democrats to put all members on record. Nearly all were defeated by three-vote margins, reflecting the partisan division of the members attending the markup. The final bill was approved by a margin of 19 to 16, allowing Smith to gavel the session to a close at 5:45 p.m., some 7.5 hours after it began.The bill’s next stop is the House floor, at a time to be determined. There is no Senate version, although the chair of the equivalent Senate panel, Senator John Thune (R–SD), this morning issued a joint statement with Smith professing to “share” Smith’s goal of getting Congress to pass legislation reauthorizing programs at those agencies. Emaillast_img read more

Top stories Sexual harassment in science emotionreading dogs and the universes brightest

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In 2004, researchers discovered evidence that humans inhabited the Arctic 35,000 years ago. Now, the Russian discovery of the best-preserved mammoth found in a century pushes back those dates by another 10,000 years. The find suggests that even at this early stage, humans were traversing the most frigid parts of the globe and had the adaptive ability to migrate almost everywhere.Rumor of gravitational wave discovery is just that, source saysIf you follow physics, you have likely heard the rumor by now: Physicists working with a pair of gigantic detectors have finally discovered gravitational waves, and have only to announce it. It would be a sure-fire Nobel Prize–winning discovery, and the rumor—prompted by Twitter posts by Lawrence Krauss—sounds plausible. But it turns out that the rumor is just that, and Krauss’s information was secondhand at best.Dogs can read human emotionsDog owners often say they “know” that their dog understands what they’re feeling. Now, scientists have the evidence to back this up. Researchers tested 17 adult dogs of various breeds to see whether they could recognize emotional expressions in the faces and voices of humans and other dogs. It’s the first time that a species other than humans has been shown to be capable of interpreting the vocal and facial expressions of an entirely different species of animal.Universe’s most luminous supernova was 50 times brighter than the Milky WaySupernovae are already some of the brightest events out there—but in recent decades astronomers have seen a rare new class of blasts, sometimes dubbed hypernovae. Now, astronomers have found the most violently explosive supernova so far detected in the history of the universe, outshining the light of our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times. Caltech suspends professor for harassmentFor what is believed to be the first time in its history, the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena has suspended a faculty member for gender-based harassment. The researcher, identified as astrophysics professor Christian Ott, has been stripped of his university salary and barred from campus for 1 year. He will need to prove that he has been rehabilitated before he can resume advising students without supervision.Grisly find suggests humans inhabited Arctic 45,000 years agocenter_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

University of California boycotts publishing giant Elsevier over journal costs and open

first_imgPatrons of the library at the University of California, Berkeley, will no longer have easy access to journals from the publisher Elsevier. The mammoth University of California (UC) system announced today it will stop paying to subscribe to journals published by Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, headquartered in Amsterdam. Talks to renew a collective contract broke down, the university said, because Elsevier refused to strike a package deal that would provide a break on subscription fees and make all articles published by UC authors immediately free for readers worldwide.The stand by UC, which followed 8 months of negotiations, could have significant impacts on scientific communication and the direction of the so-called open-access movement, in the United States and beyond. The 10-campus system accounts for nearly 10% of all U.S. publishing output and is among the first U.S. institutions, and by far the largest, to boycott Elsevier over costs. Many administrators and librarians at U.S. universities and elsewhere have complained about what they view as excessively high journal subscription fees charged by commercial publishers.“It’s hard to overstate how big [UC’s move] is for us here in the U.S.,” says Heather Joseph, executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a Washington, D.C.–based group that advocates for open access. “This gives institutions that are on the fence about taking this kind of action a blueprint.” Indeed, UC’s move could ratchet up pressure on additional negotiations facing Elsevier and other commercial publishers; consortia of universities and labs in Germany and Sweden had already reached an impasse last year with Elsevier in their efforts to lower subscription fees.UC and Elsevier blamed each other for the breakdown. The university was looking for a contract in which it paid one fee that covered both subscriptions and the article processing costs (APCs) that make individual papers available on an open-access basis, says Ivy Anderson, associate executive director of UC’s California Digital Library in Oakland and co-chair of the system’s Publisher Negotiation Task Force. Elsevier has been charging both the subscription and APCs, which Anderson calls a form of “double-dipping” for the same content. UC wanted a deal to lower subscription costs accordingly—a so-called read and publish deal, she tells ScienceInsider.Jeff MacKie-Mason, who heads UC Berkeley’s library and is also co-chair of the negotiation task force, says Elsevier just didn’t move far enough to UC’s position. The publisher’s final offer “was closer to what we wanted in terms of open access” but nevertheless included a price increase, he says.Elsevier is hoping to keep negotiating. Tom Reller, vice president for communications, issued a statement that the company’s offer “provides a clear path allowing every researcher to choose to publish for free or open access and provides a scaled path to reduce the costs for each campus library.” The proposal also provided UC students and researchers access to all journal articles published by Elsevier, he noted. “We hope we can bridge this divide with them soon,” Reller said.UC published about 50,000 articles last year, and a substantial share, about 10,000, appeared in Elsevier journals. For subscriptions and article fees, UC paid about $11 million, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. (UC says the information is confidential under a nondisclosure agreement.)The UC negotiators’ stances reflected firm support from UC President Janet Napolitano and the university’s Faculty Senate. Together, the system has been on record since 2012 as siding with open-access advocates in Europe and elsewhere, who argue that free access to scientific articles is essential to speed scientific discovery and is justified given that much of the published research was developed with taxpayer funding. However, publishers have said that a sudden flip to a new business model, in which all articles are published open access through author fees, could drive them out of business because revenues per article from subscriptions are higher.MacKie-Mason said he and his UC colleagues have been talking with other institutions about how to transform scientific publishing to favor open access. “We see this as an opportunity to help push forward a movement that’s gaining momentum globally,” Anderson adds. “We’re trying to develop a model that can work in North America,” where academic libraries and their decisions about journal subscriptions are less centralized than they are in Europe.For now, UC will have to find other ways to access Elsevier publications, which include Cell and other journals that are among the world’s most selective. UC has said its libraries are prepared to provide UC readers “alternative means of access” at no cost for new articles published by Elsevier and those in a subset of Elsevier journals for which UC lacks permanent access, “as they do for any other content that we don’t currently license.”UC also noted that some of Elsevier’s newer content is already freely available through open-access publishing, open-access repositories, interlibrary loans, and “other legitimate forms of scholarly sharing.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country University of California boycotts publishing giant Elsevier over journal costs and open access Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)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 By Alex Fox, Jeffrey BrainardFeb. 28, 2019 , 7:00 PM chuckstock/shutterstock.com Emaillast_img read more