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  • I am Looking for the Best

    first_imgby, Dr. Bill ThomasTweetShareShareEmail0 Sharesthe-sandwich-generationI am looking for what you think are the best videos/films that capture the truth of the caregiving experience. Not looking for idealized stuff but rather material that is authentic and largely unvarnished. I am very interested in content that makes use of the voices of the people involved in partnering rather than lectures by “specialists.”Julie Winokur’s videos (Sandwich Generation, Losing Herbie) are along the lines of what I am searching for.Thoughts?Millions of middle-aged Americans are caring for their children as well as their aging parents. When filmmaker-photographer pair Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi took in Winokur’s 83-year-old father, they decided to document their own story. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/the-sandwich-generationRelated PostsTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Care Partner caregiving sandwich generationlast_img read more

  • Lehigh University to present telehealth symposium featuring federal initiatives and state policy

    first_imgMay 9 2018Lehigh University presents its 2018 Healthcare Systems Engineering Symposium on May 24, 2018 featuring federal initiatives, state policy and current implementations on telehealth.The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.The symposium is sponsored by Lehigh’s Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) program — a part of its Industrial and Systems Engineering department — in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare and the Lehigh Healthcare Alliance.Related StoriesDynamic Light Scattering measurements in concentrated solutionsUsing Light Scattering to Characterize Protein-Nucleic Acid InteractionsLight at last: why do more women develop Alzheimer’s disease?The symposium begins 1:30 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018 in the Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall, at Lehigh’s Mountaintop campus.Karen S. Rheuban, MD, co-founder of the Center for Telehealth at the University of Virginia Health System, will give the keynote, and industry professionals and leaders will follow with an afternoon of education, ideas and panel discussions. A networking reception with light fare and beverages will close the event.Lehigh’s Professional Master’s (M. Eng.) degree program in healthcare systems engineering is designed to provide innovative thinkers with the skills and perspective required to lead health and healthcare organizations in improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery.”HSE graduates can walk into a healthcare organization with a leg up on traditional candidates,” says HSE director and professor of practice Ana Alexandrescu ’10 ’12G. “They know the vocabulary and infrastructure of healthcare management while possessing deep engineering skills required to make lasting impact.”Lehigh’s HSE program maintains close relationships with major hospitals, home-healthcare agencies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies that help focus its activities on hot-button industry issues such the current symposium topic of telehealth.The symposium is free; the registration deadline is Thursday, May 17. Source:https://www1.lehigh.edu/last_img read more

  • Study reveals how mTORC1driven changes in crowding could influence major diseases

    first_img Source:https://nyulangone.org/press-releases/crowding-inside-cells-influences-many-functions-major-diseases Jun 22 2018Among the most studied protein machines in history, mTORC1 has long been known to sense whether a cell has enough energy to build the proteins it needs to multiply as part of growth. Because faulty versions of mTORC1 contribute to the abnormal growth seen in cancer, drugs targeting the complex have been the subject of 1,300 clinical trials since 1970.Now a new study finds that mTORC1 has a second function of profound importance: controlling how “crowded” human cells become.Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and published online in the journal Cell on June 21, the finding explains for the first time the workings of a physical quality that cells use to regulate their actions, and more closely links malfunctions in mTORC1-related genes to several diseases of aging.”Our results begin to clarify how mTORC1-driven changes in crowding could cause the insides of human cells to solidify as a person ages, packing more proteins into the same space and interfering with functions that require them to move around,” says senior study author Liam Holt, PhD, assistant professor in the Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Health. “This work may also help explain the origin of the solid protein clumps that appear in the cells of patients with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.”Freedom to MoveBased on past studies, biologists have long concluded that cells require for survival a limit on the number of proteins in their fluid-filled inner spaces, the cytoplasm where many cellular functions occur.Specifically, the current study found that the mTORC1 complex controls crowding by determining the number of ribosomes, multi-protein machines that build other proteins there.By engineering cells to make their own glowing tracers to measure crowding, the researchers showed that, by adjusting levels of mTORC1 action, they could cause a two-fold swing in the ability of multi-protein cellular machines to move around (diffuse) in the cytoplasm of human kidney cells.Experiments further confirmed ribosomes as the main “crowding agent” regulated by mTORC1, influencing the physical environment of large molecules – like those particularly important to cell growth and death – but leaving alone reactions depending on single proteins.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsMany proteins are barely dissolved in the cell, with as much chance of glomming onto each other as to interact with the liquid surrounding them. Crowding increases the chances that these like-structured molecules will together undergo a shift from one state of matter to another (e.g. liquid to a solid), say the authors. In one such “phase transition,” similar proteins spread out in the cytoplasmic fluid come together to form dense liquid droplets, the way oil forms its own globs in vinegar.”The biological consequences of phase changes are an area of intense inquiry right now, with emerging theories suggesting that genetic material, for instance, forms droplets that help to turn genes on and off,” says Holt, also faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Langone Health.By separating protein complexes into phase-separated droplets, or into even denser gels, the cell forms semi-compartments that do not mix as freely with their surroundings, spaces in which more distinct, faster biological reactions can proceed.The current study suggests that malfunctioning mTORC1 may increase crowding, and therefore cause droplets and gels to become the solids found in cells with diseases of aging – like the tau fibers that build up in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients.Furthermore, the decades of limited success by mTORC1-based cancer drugs could proceed in part from the crowding effect, says Holt. For example, mTORC1 activation may be important to initiate cancer in some cases, but could hinder aggressive growth later as cancer cells become crowded with ribosomes. Thus, the current line of work may help to set new guidelines about when to use mTORC1 inhibitors based on the stage of a patient’s cancer.Moving forward, the team also is studying how crowding affects phase change in different cell types, with the long-term goal of designing anti-crowding therapies for neurodegeneration and cancer.last_img read more

  • Most smokers seem to be confused about actual benefits of lung cancer

    first_imgJul 26 2018Regular cancer screenings can lower the chance of death from lung cancer. But they cannot reduce the risk of developing lung cancer for people who smoke. Patients seem to be confused about the actual benefits and limitations of lung cancer screenings, according to a study by the VA Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care in Seattle.Researchers asked smokers a series of questions about smoking and lung cancer screening. Their answers showed that most patients were mistaken about the benefits of such screenings and smoking in general. Only 7 percent of patients answered all five questions correctly.In light of these findings, Dr. Jaimee L. Heffner, lead author on the paper, emphasized the importance of communicating to patients the importance of quitting rather than just relying on screenings to protect them from cancer. “Quitting smoking is by far the most important thing a person can do to prevent lung cancer as well as a host of other diseases caused by tobacco use, and it’s important that this message doesn’t get lost in the discussion of lung cancer screening,” he said. Heffner, with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, collaborated with the VA team on the study.The results appeared online June 7, 2018, in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.In 2011, the National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) released the results of its National Lung Screening Trial. The trial screened more than 53,000 current or former heavy smokers for lung cancer using either a standard chest X-ray or low-dose computed tomography. LDCT uses X-rays to take multiple scans of the entire chest, providing a more detailed image of the lungs than a single chest X-ray.The study revealed that patients who had LDCT scans had a 15 to 20 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than those who had a standard chest X-ray. By giving a more complete picture of the chest and lungs, LDCT gives doctors a chance to catch and treat lung cancer more effectively than the old method.As a result of this study, more LDCT lung cancer screenings have been implemented nationwide, including in VA. But while this type of screening can reduce deaths from lung cancer, it is unclear how well patients understand the benefits and limitations of LDCT scans.To test patients’ actual knowledge about lung cancer, the researchers surveyed 83 smokers after they had an LDCT screening at one of four Veterans Affairs medical centers. Each participant was asked five questions:1.Does having a lung cancer screening test decrease your chances of getting lung cancer? (Correct answer: No.)2.Which disease is the leading cause of death in Americans who smoke cigarettes? (Correct answer: Heart disease [a list of diseases was provided].)3.True or false: If nothing abnormal or suspicious is found on your lung cancer screening test, it means you are safe from lung cancer for at least 12 months. (Correct answer: False.)Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumors4.True or false: All nodules or spots found in the lungs eventually grow over time to be life threatening. (Correct answer: False.)5.For people over age 55 who are current smokers, which is more likely to prevent the most premature deaths–lung cancer screening or quitting smoking? (Correct answer: Quitting smoking.)Almost all participants got at least one answer wrong. For the first question, 39 percent answered incorrectly. The majority, 66 percent, got question two wrong. Thirty-nine percent answered question 3 wrong, and 49 percent answered question four wrong. Perhaps most disturbing, nearly half (47%) answered the last question incorrectly, meaning they thought lung cancer screenings were at least as good as, if not better than, quitting smoking as a way of protecting against death.Along with these five questions, the researchers also quizzed participants on basic health literacy. Unsurprisingly, participants with lower general knowledge about health and medicine got more questions wrong on the screening survey.The results confirm the findings from a 2015 study by the same researchers. That study found that many smokers may interpret lung cancer screenings as a way of avoiding the harms of smoking. For some smokers, screenings were even shown to lower their motivation to quit because they believed that the tests protected them from the ills of smoking.The researchers conclude that patients overestimate the protective nature of lung cancer screenings against cancer. “Our results illustrate just how wide a gap exists between the expectations and the reality of lung cancer screening benefits among some groups of current smokers,” they write.One reason for this disconnect may be a misunderstanding of the difference between cancer mortality–the chances of dying from lung cancer–and risk–the chances of getting cancer because of smoking. While LDCT screening can lower mortality rates or smokers, it does nothing to lower their chances of getting cancer. Quitting smoking is the single most effective way to do that.Another reason for this misconception may be psychological, say the researchers. Believing that lung cancer screenings have a protective value on par with quitting may be a defensive justification by patients who don’t want to quit. For these smokers, education alone may not be enough to make them understand their cancer risks.In light of these results, the researchers believe that more efforts within VA are needed to help patients understand what LDCT screenings can and cannot do. They explain, “Our findings suggest that messages about benefits and limitations of LDCT for lung cancer screening are either not being provided or are not being actively received and/or recalled.” To make sure patients are as informed as possible, health care providers should regularly check patients’ knowledge as part of the decision-making process, they suggest. Source:https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0718-Smokers-hazy-on-actual-benefits-of-lung-cancer-screenings.cfmlast_img read more

  • Video Why a hammer wont break this unusual piece of glass

    first_imgVideo: Why a hammer won’t break this unusual piece of glass The tough-yet-fragile physical properties of the tadpole-shaped pieces of glass known as Prince Rupert’s drops have puzzled physicists for as long as, well, there have been physicists. Bash the head with a hammer, and a drop gets barely a scratch. But break off its thin tail, and it shatters into fine powder. Researchers long ago realized that the strength of the drops—named for Prince Rupert of Bavaria, who presented five of them to Britain’s King Charles II in 1660—has something to do with stresses in the glass created when a drop is made by letting a blob of molten glass fall into water, so that it cools rapidly. Twenty years ago, a pair of researchers took high-speed video of a drop disintegrating showing that, when the tail is broken, cracks propagate along the stressed glass at more than 1700 meters per second. Those researchers have now teamed up with others to study the stresses in the head of a drop. Using a technique called integrated photoelasticity, they immerse the drop in a liquid and shine polarized light through it. Stressed areas propagate the polarized light differently, and by processing the light with techniques similar to those used for medical computerized tomography scans, the researchers were able to map out the different layers of stresses inside the drop. The extraordinary strength of the head, they reported in Applied Physics Letters, comes not from tensile, or pulling, stress—as researchers have long believed—but from compressive stress. The team measured compressive stress in the drop’s head equivalent to more than 4000 times atmospheric pressure—making it as strong as some grades of steel. Tensile stresses, which exist in the tail and interior of the drop, tend to propagate cracks, but the overlying compressive stress in the head suppresses them. The compressive outer layer shields the head from hammer blows. But a snapped tail lets the cracks race through the drop, and although the compressive outer coat slows the cracks down, by that stage it can’t stop them. By Daniel CleryMay. 16, 2017 , 11:30 AMlast_img read more

  • First cow embryonic stem cells could lead to healthier more productive livestock

    first_imgJun Wu, part of the team that has now isolated bovine ES cells, has spent very little of his career contemplating the cow. The stem cell biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas has been more interested in capturing new types of stem cells from the mouse and human, and in developing chimeras that blend cells from two species, such as pigs with human cells that might someday grow into organs for transplant. In 2015, he and his collaborators reported that they had found the right culture conditions to derive a new type of human pluripotent stem cell that was easy to grow in the lab and inside of mice.But one collaborator on that project had his eyes on another prize. Reproductive biologist Pablo Juan Ross of the University of California, Davis, who had previously worked in Cibelli’s lab, hoped that these same culture conditions might finally sustain ES cells from livestock, which could make it easier to improve the animals’ genetics. So the group, which also included developmental biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte and his team at the Salk Institute in San Diego, California, exposed stem cells isolated from cow embryos to the new culture medium. The mixture had two key ingredients: a protein that encourages cells to grow and proliferate, and another molecule that inhibits them from differentiating into more mature cell types.“They used an accelerator and a brake at the same time,” says George Seidel, a cattle rancher and a reproductive physiologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The result: cells that retained their pluripotent state while growing for more than a year in the lab. “I’ve had many colleagues and students invest many years in trying to accomplish this,” Seidel says. When injected mice with weak immune systems, the cells grew into tumors made up of lots of cell types, known as teratomas—a key sign that they were truly pluripotent stem cells, the researchers report online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Interest in bovine ES cells has waned somewhat with the development of cloning, Seidel notes. Using the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep, in which DNA from an adult cell is place in an egg stripped of its DNA, livestock breeders can duplicate the genetics of an animal with desirable traits such as speedy growth or copious milk production. Valuable bulls bearing these traits turn profits for livestock breeders, who sell semen to cattle and dairy producers to inseminate their cows and bring better traits into each new generation.But the cells usually used to make these clones—connective tissue cells called fibroblasts—are short-lived, Cibelli notes, and can only divide 20 or 30 times. With these long-lasting ES cells, breeders could more easily hang onto a winning cell line, and make multiple rounds of edits to the cow genome through technologies such as CRISPR.Even without any genetic engineering—a technology that consumers might be reluctant to see applied to their steaks and milkshakes—ES cells could make it easier for cattle breeders to select for superior animals. They could test ES cells from different embryos for the presence of genetic advantages, like genes associated with more milk production. Once they identified a set of traits they like, Cibelli says, they could create unlimited clones from those cells.For Ross, the most exciting application depends on his team now figuring out how to develop these ES cells into cattle sperm and egg cells. If they succeed, livestock genetics companies could combine these sperm and eggs to create embryos with new genetic combinations and then isolate even more stem cells from the best ones. They could use this cycle—stem cell, sperm and egg, embryo, stem cell—to speed their way through ever-improving generations without any animal being born. That means less time spent waiting through a cow’s 9-month pregnancy, and fewer wasted animals. “It could accelerate genetic progress by orders of magnitude,” Ross says.For biomedical researchers, access to ES cells from a new species might also open new avenues of research. The authors note that scientists could tweak the genes of these cells to create large-animal models that might mimic human diseases more closely than mice do. (Few labs can accommodate a herd of these massive beasts, of course.)Despite the success in cows, ES cells from most species remain elusive. So far, the new culture medium appears to work for sheep cells, Ross says, but it has failed with pigs. Cibelli now has his eye on the technique for dogs, because access to these pluripotent cells could lead to new veterinary treatments or new models of human disease. “I’m dying to try it,” he says. Livestock breeders could now use embryonic stem cells to improve the genetics of their herds. 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 (*) After decades of effort, scientists have finally managed to derive embryonic stem (ES) cells from cows and keep them in their primitive state in a dish. Access to these versatile cells, which can become all kinds of tissues, from skin to muscle to bone, could make it easier to tweak and preserve useful genetic traits of beef and dairy breeds. That in turn could lead to animals that produce more milk or more tender meat, face fewer complications in giving birth, or have greater resistance to diseases. The discovery might also open up new ways to study the cow’s basic development and to model human diseases.“I thought I would never see this happen in my lifetime,” says Jose Cibelli, a developmental biologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, who was part of a team that attempted to harvest bovine ES cells in the late 1990s. In those efforts and many others since, stem cells from cow embryos would develop into other cell types when grown in a lab dish, meaning that they would quickly lose their “stemmy-ness,” or pluripotency.Researchers turned their eyes to cattle soon after the mouse gave up its ES cells in 1981, allowing researchers to study early embryonic development and test the effects of genetic defects. But other species have been more difficult. It would take researchers until 1998 to find the right broth of nutrients to culture human ES cells. HeshPhoto/Alamy Stock Photo center_img Email First cow embryonic stem cells could lead to healthier, more productive livestock By Kelly ServickFeb. 5, 2018 , 3:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

  • BPA substitutes may be just as bad as the popular consumer plastic

    first_img Email In 2003, while carrying out mouse studies unrelated to BPA, Patricia Hunt, a reproductive biologist at Washington State University in Pullman, and her colleagues found that the compound was leaching out of plastic cages housing female mice. The result was an increase in chromosomal abnormalities in the lab animals and their offspring. That finding, along with others in animals that suggested BPA “disrupts” estrogen hormone receptors, triggered an avalanche of studies that fingered the compound as interfering with meiosis, the process by which the number of chromosomes is cut in half and chromosomal segments are shuffled during the production of sperm and egg cells. The finding also led to new mouse cages, made of a more durable plastic called polysulfone.But in recent studies, Hunt and her colleagues again noticed odd results in their mice. It was “a strange déjà vu experience,” Hunt says. “Our control studies started going wacko.” After months of work, Hunt and her colleagues traced the problem to contamination from cages damaged by washing and other normal wear and tear.Hunt sent samples from damaged and undamaged cages to Roy Gerona, a chemist at UC San Francisco. Gerona and colleagues determined that the damaged cages were leaching out compounds manufacturers often use to replace BPA, such as bisphenol S (BPS) and diphenyl sulfone.Gerona puzzled over an additional oddity: Polysulfone doesn’t contain BPS. After evaluating the starting material and leachates, Gerona says he believes the polysulfone degraded to produce BPS and other BPA-like compounds.After getting the contamination under control, Hunt and her colleagues decided to test the effects of BPA alternatives directly. They fed pregnant female mice low doses of BPA, BPS, diphenyl sulfone, or a placebo. Compared with unexposed females, those exposed to BPA or its alternatives produced more protein markers of genetic damage during meiosis, they report today in Current Biology.In previous studies, that kind of genetic damage has gone on to cause aneuploidy, an abnormal number of chromosomes that can trigger miscarriage in females and reduced sperm count in males. What’s more, in the current study Hunt and her colleagues showed that the effect lasts beyond the mothers and fetuses directly exposed to BPA and its alternatives. Genetic abnormalities persisted for two generations of male mice unexposed to BPA and its substitutes.Just what this means for people is hard to say. “Nobody has ever proven it causes harm at the levels to which people are normally exposed to it,” says Oliver Jones, a chemist at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. However, Hunt and others suggest that the strong similarities in chemical structure between BPA and some of its alternatives mean that consumers may be wise to be wary of labels that tout “BPA-free” products.The study also raises concerns about the reliability of widespread studies of BPA, says Monica Colaiacovo, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Ongoing studies of BPA’s effects commonly house animals in plastic cages previously thought not to expose them to bisphenollike compounds. Yet, Hunt’s cages were inadvertently subjecting animals to contamination.“If you are already producing an effect in your control [animals], you might fail to see a significant difference” in your experimental animals, Colaiacovo says. This could make it even harder for scientists in the future to sort out any real dangers of BPA and its family of replacements.*Correction, 13 September, 3:35 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that the first carcinogenesis study of BPA was launched by the National Cancer Institute in 1977.​ A new animal study suggests BPA-free plastics may carry health risks. Over the past decade, concerns about the health effects of bisphenol A (BPA) have forced food and beverage companies to largely abandon the use of the common plastic in many household items. In its place, they’ve turned to more than 50 “BPA-free” alternatives. Now, researchers report that some of these substitutes may cause the same ill effects in mice, particularly in reproductive cells. If the new results hold in further animal and human studies, they could upend efforts to mollify consumers’ health concerns over the plastics in food and beverage containers.“It suggests these replacement bisphenols are not safe,” says Patrick Allard, a molecular biologist at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles, who was not involved with the study.Concerns about BPA have been swirling since the 1970s. In the decade after, it became ubiquitous in water bottles, toys, canned food linings, and even cash register receipts, as its clarity and toughness made it an essential component of polycarbonates and other common plastics. A 2003–04 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 93% of Americans have at least trace levels of BPA in their blood. Nevertheless, extensive studies by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not shown that BPA is dangerous to human health at normal exposure levels, though the conclusion remains controversial. By Robert F. ServiceSep. 13, 2018 , 1:05 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img BPA substitutes may be just as bad as the popular consumer plastic ROLLE ROD/SIPA/Newscom 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 (*)last_img read more

  • Cometlike objects could be spreading life from star to star throughout the

    first_img When the U.S. football field–size, cigar-shaped object ‘Oumuamua entered our solar system last year, it didn’t just give us our first glimpse of an interstellar piece of rock. It also bolstered the plausibility of space rocks spreading life among the stars by ferrying microbes between distant star systems, according to a new study. “Life could potentially be exchanged over thousands of light-years,” says author Idan Ginsburg, a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.The idea, known as panspermia, has been around for centuries. Some astronomers have even speculated that life on Earth was seeded by microbes that hitched a ride on debris ejected from another life-harboring world in the solar system, perhaps on meteorites from Mars. But it seemed improbable that life could have come from interstellar space.Take computer simulations in 2003 by planetary scientist H. Jay Melosh, now at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. The analysis revealed that about a third of the meteorites shot off Earth were eventually thrown out of the solar system by Jupiter or Saturn, but that the process took millions or tens of millions of years—a long stretch for even the toughest bugs or spores to be exposed to the vacuum and radiation of space. And vanishingly few rocks would ever be captured by some distant system, Melosh found. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By George MusserOct. 15, 2018 , 4:20 PM Cometlike objects could be spreading life from star to star throughout the Milky Way 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 STScl/ESA/NASA center_img Email An artist’s representation of ‘Oumuamua Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The outlook improves if the receiving system is a binary star, which has a more complex gravitational field than the solar system. Yet any system that’s good at capturing is also good at ejecting, meaning refugees from another system are far more likely to be tossed back out in a game of interstellar hot potato than to settle on a hospitable world.‘Oumuamua is providing fresh hope for the idea of galactic panspermia. For the telescopic survey that found it, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, to have detected such an object in the region it had scanned, our Galaxy needs to have 1 trillion of them per cubic light-year, according to study published earlier this year. To fill space like this, every star in the Milky Way would have to eject 10 quadrillion such objects, and a few should be passing through our solar system at any given moment.In the new study, Ginsburg, along with astrophysicists Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, calculated the chances of such objects delivering life to an alien world. A binary star such as Alpha Centauri would ensnare a few thousand rocks of ‘Oumuamua’s size every year, and our solar system might snag one a century, the team estimates in a preprint posted last week on arXiv and in a forthcoming paper in The Astronomical Journal.The researchers then multiplied this capture rate by the number of stars an interstellar object will encounter before whatever bugs it carries all die. If the objects move, like ‘Oumuamua, at a velocity of 26 kilometers per second through interstellar space, 10 million of them will be captured somewhere in the Milky Way in a million years. “If you look at the galaxy as a whole, you expect this to happen fairly often,” Ginsburg says.Astronomer Jason Wright of Pennsylvania State University in State College says the analysis has merit: “For reasonable numbers, this suggests that planets and asteroids are commonly exchanged between stars.”But astronomer Ed Turner of Princeton University says the authors may be reading too much into the single example of ‘Oumuamua. “There’s no rigorous mathematical argument you can write about one event evaluated a posteriori,” he says.And even if our galaxy is thick with ‘Oumuamuas, they are unlikely vectors of panspermia, Melosh says. ‘Oumuamua is way too big to have been ejected from an inhabited planet, he says.Still, Loeb says more data could settle where galactic panspermia is plausible. Additional discoveries of interstellar interlopers would clarify their prevalence, and Loeb says the detection of life on other worlds would show whether it tends to cluster, as it would if it arose in one place and spread elsewhere by panspermia. If so, he says, our entire galaxy might be considered biologically interconnected, its vast distances offset by vast spans of time and the vast number of objects that set out to cross the void.*Correction, 16 October, 10:55 a.m.: This story has been updated to note that the new study will appear in The Astronomical Journal. A link to the study has been added.last_img read more

  • First marsquake detected by NASAs InSight mission

    first_img Mars is shaking. After several months of apprehensive waiting on a quiet surface, NASA’s InSight lander has registered a sweet, small sound: the first marsquake ever recorded. On 6 April, the lander’s seismometer detected its first verifiable quake, NASA and its European partners announced today.The quake is tiny, so small that it would never be detected on Earth amid the background thrum of waves and wind. But Mars is dead quiet, allowing the lander’s sensitive seismometer to pick up the signal, which resembles similar surface ripples detected traveling through the moon’s surface after moonquakes. The quake is so small that scientists were unable to detect any waves tied to it that passed through the martian interior, defying efforts to estimate its exact location and strength, says Philippe Lognonné, a planetary seismologist at Paris Diderot University who leads the mission’s seismometer experiment. Still, it was gratifying to observe, he says. “It is the first quake. All the time, we were waiting for this.”The detection is a milestone for the $816 million lander, kicking off a new field of “martian seismology,” added Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s principal investigator and a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in a news release. It proves Mars is seismologically active, and marks NASA’s return to planetary seismology after more than 4 decades. The mission is intended to peer through the planet’s rust-colored shell, gauging the thickness and composition of its crust, mantle, and core. But while on Earth, the lander was plagued by delay and cost overruns; since landing on Mars in a sand-filled hollow, the lander’s second instrument, a heat probe, got stuck soon after it began to burrow into the surface. Email First marsquake detected by NASA’s InSight mission By Paul VoosenApr. 23, 2019 , 2:50 PM While listening for quakes, InSight’s seismometer has had another pressing engagement, serving as a diagnostic tool for the stuck heat probe. Engineers at JPL and the German Aerospace Center in Darmstadt, which designed and built the instrument, have spent several rounds tapping the probe’s rod with a tungsten hammer at its tip and using the seismometer to listen to the noise, hoping to understand the ground the heat probe is trapped in. It’s possible the probe’s rod is stuck in gravel, but the sandy ground could also not be providing enough friction for the probe to gain traction. Testing is continuing, with JPL’s engineers seeing whether a nudge from the lander’s robotic arm might help.Meanwhile, this marsquake detection is just the start. As the lander’s 2-year primary mission continues, larger and larger quakes will likely be detected, Lognonné says. These will ultimately allow InSight to peer beneath the planet’s surface. “We’re starting to have many small quakes,” he says. By the end of the mission, he hopes, “we’ll have a super big quake.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) InSight’s seismometer is protected from wind and heat swings by a dome-shaped shield. 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 JPL-CALTECH/NASA Scientists had good reason to believe that Mars hosted such quakes even though it lacks plate tectonics, the force that drives most earthquakes. The moon suggested so: Seismometers deployed by the Apollo program had detected quakes caused by meteorite impacts, the solar-driven thermal expansion of its crust, and the gravitational tug of Earth. But the frequency was unknown. The InSight team estimated it might see one a month, but that number could be much higher or lower. And so, after deploying the volleyball-size seismometer and its shield in early February, the researchers waited. The seismometer was working well, they found: It was picking up background vibrations, called microseisms, in the martian surface that were induced by wind. But still, as the weeks ticked by, no quakes.The team now believes the seismometer needed time to settle on the surface. Week after week, background noise during martian nights has dropped. That allowed the 6 April detection and three other signals that could (or could not) be other marsquakes, detected on 14 March, 10 April, and 11 April. The 6 April quake is the only event to rise above minimum requirements set by the mission for detection, and it was observed by both the primary seismometer and a smaller, less sensitive sensor.The quake reminds Yosio Nakamura, a planetary seismologist at the University of Texas in Austin who worked on Apollo seismology, of what the seismometer that Apollo 11 brought to the moon revealed during its 3 weeks of operation. The quakes the device recorded were mysterious, and it wasn’t until NASA’s Apollo 15 team established a network of three seismometers that scientists realized that some of what Apollo 11 recorded had actually been quakes from the moon’s deep interior.“With a seismometer of better quality and better analysis techniques than what we had 50 years ago, I hope they can do better than what we did with the Apollo 11 data,” he says. “This may take a while, but we can wait.”last_img read more

  • Researchers use DNA to take pictures of cells

    first_img To look at a cell, you used to need a microscope. Now, researchers have found a way to view cells by using their own genetic material to take snapshots. The technique—called DNA microscopy—produces images that are less clear than those from traditional microscopy, but that could enable scientists to improve cancer treatment and probe how our nervous system forms.“DNA microscopy is an ingenious approach,” says geneticist Howard Chang of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, who wasn’t connected to the research. “I think it will be used.”To make the DNA microscope, postdoc Joshua Weinstein of the Broad Institute of in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues started with a group of cells in a culture dish. By creating DNA versions of the RNA molecules in the cells, they produced a large number of DNA molecules they could track. They then added tags—short pieces of DNA—that latched onto these DNA duplicates. Next, the scientists mixed in chemicals that produce multiple copies of these tags and the DNA molecules they connect to. As these copies built up, they started to drift away from their original location. When two wandering DNA molecules ran into each other, they linked up and spawned a unique DNA label that marked the encounter. Email 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 (*) 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 Researchers use DNA to take pictures of cellscenter_img By Mitch LeslieJun. 20, 2019 , 11:00 AM Weinstein et al./Cell A group of cells captured with a traditional optical microscope (left) and with DNA microscopy (right) These labels are crucial for capturing a DNA image of the cells. If two DNA molecules start out close to each other, their diffusing copies will hook up frequently and produce more labels than two DNA molecules that start out farther apart. To count the labels, the researchers grind up the cells and analyze the DNA they contain. A computer algorithm can then infer the original positions of the DNA molecules to generate an image.In a sense, Weinstein says, the original DNA molecules are like radio towers that send messages in the form of DNA molecules to each other. Researchers can detect when one tower communicates with another one nearby and use the pattern of transmissions among towers to map their locations.To determine how well the technique works, the researchers tested it on cells carrying genes for either green or red proteins. The image created with DNA microscopy was not as sharp as one the researchers obtained with a light microscope, but it distinguished the genetically distinct red and green cells, the team reports today in Cell. In addition, Weinstein says, it captured the arrangement of the cells. That ability could be useful in analyzing a sample from, say, an organ in a human body. The technique can’t yet reveal fine details within cells, however.“The goal is not to replace optical microscopy,” Weinstein says. But DNA microscopy can do some things optical microscopy can’t. For instance, optical microscopy often can’t distinguish among cells with DNA differences, such as tumor cells with specific mutations or immune cells, which are often genetically unique after shuffling their DNA. Weinstein says DNA microscopy may help improve certain cancer treatments by identifying immune cells that can attack tumors. As our nervous system develops, cells often produce unique RNAs that enable them to make specialized proteins, and the technique could also help researchers investigate these cells.The technique is “pretty cool,” says molecular technologist Joakim Lundeberg of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, who helped develop an approach for visualizing RNA in cells. But he cautions that the study is preliminary and that researchers still need to determine the technique’s capabilities. DNA microscopy would be valuable if it could produce 3D images of cells in a sample, he says. “They need to demonstrate this in a tissue to really understand how useful it is.”last_img read more

  • Suspect Arrested In Missing Utah Students Death

    first_img Ayoola Ajayi , MacKenzie Lueck , missing Utah student Police said during a briefing on Friday that was the last time the suspect would be referred to by name. Original post: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Police in Utah arrested a person on Friday in connection to a local college student who went missing nearly two weeks ago, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Ayoola Ajayi was taken into custody as a person of interest before he was placed under arrest under suspicion that he killed MacKenzie Lueck, who was first reported missing June 17. BREAKING: Jail booking information from @SLCOMetroJail on Ayoola Ajayi. #MackenzieLueck @KUTV2News https://t.co/te0N2X2VBY pic.twitter.com/XUgi1EIhjH— Jeremy Harris (@JeremyHarrisTV) June 28, 2019 Photos online showed that the suspect is a Black man. Lueck, 23, is a white woman. This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.SEE ALSO:Howard University Student And Aspiring Dentist Killed By Car Being Chased By PoliceRickey Smiley Tapped To Take Over Morning Show When Tom Joyner Retires BREAKING: Missing Utah college student MacKenzie Lueck is dead; suspect Ayoola Ajayi charged with aggravated murder. Charred human tissue consistent with missing student found in suspect’s backyard.(AP Photo) pic.twitter.com/5qvnRzAxTh— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 28, 2019“Ajayi, 31, was being booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a body and obstruction of justice after a SWAT team took him into custody Friday morning at a West Temple apartment complex,” the local news outlet reported. Ayoola “Aj” Ajayi is now being held at the jail on suspicion of Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Kidnapping, and desecration. @SLCountyDA will review the @slcpd case and deteine if charges will be filed. That process may take a few days. @KUTV2News pic.twitter.com/A4eeHvm5Sq— Jeremy Harris (@JeremyHarrisTV) June 28, 2019According to journalist Chris Jones, Ajayi penned a novel called “Forge Identity” that features “a fictional character who watches 2 people being burned by angry mobs.” SLCPD took one person into custody this morning regarding the MacKenzie Lueck case. We will be providing an update at 11:30 a.m at the Public Safety Building. #MacKenzieLueck— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) June 28, 2019 There was an emerging xenophobic narrative on social media after it was reported that Ajayi was an immigrant from Africa.It was still unclear how their paths came to cross on the night of June 17, when Lueck went missing from a park. The two may have met via a dating app.“The college senior’s social media accounts reveal that she considered herself a sugar baby, and boasted about having at least two unidentified sugar daddies which she found through online sites Seeking Arrangement and Tinder,” the Daily Mail reported earlier this week.“DailyMail.com obtained screenshots of Lueck’s posts made nearly three months ago in a private Facebook group where Lueck gave advice on how she finds sugar daddies – wealthy older men who lavish younger women with gifts and money in return for company or sexual favors,” the news outlet reported.“Try tinder and be blunt about it,” one comment attributed to Lueck says. “Mine says ‘I want a SD/SB relationship with a real connection,’” she wrote. “If [they] don’t know what a SD/SB is, tell them bluntly sugar daddy and sugar baby. But if they don’t know, they aren’t really worth your time,” her comment said.She continued: “Set your age preferences from 35+. You’ll have the most luck there. Private message me, if you have more questions! I have experience.” Twitter Crowns Kamala Harris Winner Of The Second Democratic Debate US-VOTE-2020-DEMOCRATS-DEBATE JUST IN: Salt Lake City Police release mugshot of Ayoola Ajayi, suspect in kidnapping and murder of Mackenzie Lueck pic.twitter.com/3gN2P2XH8z— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 28, 2019 UPDATED: 5:38 p.m. EDT — Police in Utah have released the mugshot of the man suspected of killing a college student who went missing in Salt Lake Cty nearly two weeks ago. Ayoola Ajayi was arrested on Friday and charged with the murder of MacKenzie Lueck after officials were able to determine that the “charred remains” found in the suspect’s back yard belonged to the 23-year-old college student. WATCH NOW: Utah authorities announce charges against man in the murder of missing college student Mackenzie Lueck https://t.co/7wxmq1XFj5 pic.twitter.com/XfUfAFuavh— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 28, 2019According to the Daily Mail, Ajayi is a “former Army IT specialist who owns a home five miles from a park” where Lueck went missing from.Lueck had returned from California to Salt Lake City on June 17 when she requested a car from her Lyft ridesharing app to take her “to Hatch Park in North Salt Lake, nearly 9 miles from her home near Trolley Square, where she met a person at about 3 a.m. and left,” Salt Lake Cty Tribune reported. Her parent reported her missing on the 20th.Police said phone records linked Ajayi to Lueck and that signals indicated their cellphones were in close proximity to each other when she went missing.Ajayi told police in an interview before Friday that he “texted Lueck on June 16 at about 6 p.m. but had no further contact with her,” the Tribune reported. “He said he didn’t know what Lueck looked like and said he hadn’t seen her photos or online profile.” However, police said Ajayi had multiple photos of Lueck. Suspected murderer of #MackenzieLueck self published this book where #AyoolaAjayi writes about a fictional character who watches 2 people being burned by angry mobs. pic.twitter.com/H36CUOehCL— Chris Jones (@jonesnews) June 28, 2019Heavy.com noted that the liner notes for the book included a bio that says: “Ayoola Ajayi was born and raised in Africa. He has been a salesman, an entrepreneur, and a writer. He has survived a tyrannical dictatorship, escaped a real life crime, traveled internationally, excelled professionally in several industries, and is currently curating a multi-platform advertising campaign for his debut novel, Forge Identity, a sample of which can be found on Kindle, Amazon, Facebook, and any current social media. He lives in salt lake.” Neighbors told police Ajayi was in his backyard burning items on June 16 and 17. Inside Edition reported that Lueck’s “charred remains” were found in Ajayi’s backyard.An arrest report showed that there was no bond being offered for Ajayi.last_img read more

  • How to shine in Indonesian science Game the system

    first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Surging ahead New incentives have driven a sharp rise in Scopus-indexed papers from Indonesia. An Indonesian scientist at work on Borneo. The country’s new index seeks to capture academics’ performance. In October 2018, Anis Fuad, a health informatician at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, presented RISTEK with a detailed analysis of the problems. Indonesia’s most-cited 2018 paper so far wasn’t a major breakthrough, Fuad noted, but a study titled “Analysis of Student Satisfaction Toward Quality of Service Facility,” presented at a workshop co-organized by the Indonesian Publications Collaboration Community (KO2PI) and published in conference proceedings, a type of publication that gets minimal peer review. The study had been cited 42 times, often in papers on unrelated topics—including mosque architecture and cold storage of fish—that were also published in conference series or in low-quality open-access journals no longer indexed in Scopus.One of the paper’s 10 authors was statistician Ansari Saleh Ahmar of the State University of Makassar, who won SINTA awards in two categories last July; he co-authored more than 100 papers in 2017 and 2018 and has been cited almost 600 times. Ahmar is also president of KO2PI, which has run workshops in an extraordinary range of scientific fields. On a poster produced in early 2017, KO2PI promised participants a paper in a Scopus-indexed proceeding in return for a 1.5 million rupiah ($106) fee. Ahmar says he was “surprised” by his own citation rate, but says statistical papers are often cited in seemingly unrelated fields. He says he is no longer active in KO2PI and, given the controversy, would now like to return his award.After asking Ahmar and other academics suspected of gaming the system for an explanation, RISTEK has deleted their SINTA accounts, Sadjuga says, but it has not withdrawn the awards because “the public shaming is punishment enough.” Sadjuga says problematic data in Scopus and scientists’ unethical behavior contributed to the problem but does not blame SINTA itself. (An Elsevier spokesperson says Scopus has stopped indexing three journals that many Indonesian scientists have published in and is investigating “concerns” about the conference series used by KO2PI, which is published by the U.K. Institute of Physics.)Gaming aside, Indonesia’s research evaluation should not rely on a commercial database, says Dasapta Erwin Irawan, a hydrogeologist at Bandung Institute of Technology. He also says the system’s preference for Scopus-indexed international journals is misguided, because research in Indonesian journals may be just as good and sometimes more relevant. RISTEK doesn’t entirely ignore local journals: It has created an online portal, named Garuda, to more than 7000 journals in the Indonesian language, as well as a journal accreditation system. But researchers win far fewer SINTA points when papers in local journals are cited and none at all for publishing in them.That lack of appreciation for locally relevant research violates the “Leiden Manifesto for research Metrics,” an influential paper Hicks and three co-authors published in 2015. Hicks says SINTA falls short on several other principles in the manifesto, which stipulates that metrics should “support a qualitative, expert assessment” and “account for variation by field in publication and citation practices.” SINTA currently does neither.A new version of SINTA, set to be launched this year, will integrate data from several additional sources, including the Web of Science and the Indonesian National Library. It will also give researchers credit for other types of output, such as books, artwork, and patents. A new tool will flag self-citation and the ministry will disseminate scientific integrity guidelines to Indonesian universities.But Mikrajuddin Abdullah, a physicist at Bandung Institute of Technology, says RISTEK should still review last year’s awards and retract them if they were based on misconduct: “It will teach us that scientific achievement does not come suddenly, but is the result of a long period of perseverance.” National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy Stock Photo (GRAPHIC) M. ENSERINK/SCIENCE; (DATA) RISTEK JAKARTA—Last July, when Indonesia’s Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEK) here honored eight researchers, along with institutions and journals, for their exceptional contributions to science, observers noticed something odd. Many of the laureates were relatively unknown academics from second-tier universities; underdogs had apparently become leaders.It didn’t take curious scientists long to figure out why. The honors went to top scorers in Indonesia’s Science and Technology Index (SINTA), a system introduced in early 2017 to measure research performance. Critics showed that several winners had inflated their SINTA score by publishing large numbers of papers in low-quality journals, citing their own work excessively, or forming networks of scientists who cited each other.It’s unclear whether formal rules were broken, but SINTA’s architects concede they were outwitted. And the revelations have led to a fierce discussion about SINTA, a unique nationwide attempt to capture the output of every academic in a single formula. Some say it should not be used to produce rankings, or should even be abandoned. But the government is undeterred: After a meeting on 3–4 January, it announced the rollout later this year of an improved version. SINTA “gives recognition to Indonesian scientists, triggers competition among them, and motivates them to be better,” says Sadjuga, RISTEK’s director of intellectual property management. (Like many Indonesians, he goes by only one name.) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Dyna Rochmyaningsih Jan. 8, 2019 , 5:15 PM How to shine in Indonesian science? Game the system 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 Indonesia has introduced several other policies in the past 6 years to boost research output from its more than 250,000 academics, who work at more than 4000 universities. University professors may lose almost half of their salary if they don’t publish in international journals, for instance. As a result, the number of papers published by authors in Indonesia has soared from just under 7000 in 2014 tomore than 28,000 last year, according to Scopus, a database operated by Dutch publisher Elsevier. Indonesia seems set to overtake Malaysia as the region’s biggest research producer by 2020.SINTA—also the name of a Sanskrit goddess—turned the pressure up a notch. It combines data from Scopus and Google Scholar with information submitted by Indonesian academics to track published papers, citations, and researchers’ h-index, a controversial metric reflecting both output quantity and citations. These numbers are used to calculate a personal score that is taken into account when academics apply for research grants; a high score may also help with promotions and salary negotiations.Many other countries use publication and citation data to evaluate research; some pay hefty cash bonuses for papers in top-tier journals. But, “There is nothing like [SINTA] that I know of,” says Diana Hicks, a research metrics expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The extra push was welcome, says Danang Birowosuto, an Indonesian physicist at CINTRA, an international research group in Singapore: “Our international competence in science is still very low.” But many Indonesian academics worried that SINTA might harm their reputations. Thousands joined groups on social media to help each other navigate the new numbers-driven landscape. “Although the original aim was sincere,” discussions soon turned to gaming the system, says plant biologist Andik Wijayanto of the State University of Malang.last_img read more

  • Three in four female physics undergrads report sexual harassment

    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 Fully three in four U.S. undergraduate women majoring in physics reported being sexually harassed over a 2-year period ending in 2017, according to a new paper in Physical Review Physics Education Research.That year, scholars surveyed more than 450 undergraduate women attending conferences sponsored by the American Physical Society. They represented a significant chunk of female physics undergraduates, considering that in 2015—the most recent year for which data are available—1349 women received bachelor’s degrees in physics.Questioned about specific forms of harassment, 68% reported experiencing sexist remarks such as “women aren’t as good at physics” or being treated differently, ignored, or put down because of their gender. Fifty-one percent said they endured sexual jokes; were the object of sexual remarks about their bodies, appearance, or clothing; or had their sexual activity discussed. And 24% reported receiving unwanted sexual attention. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The study found that experiencing harassment significantly predicted feelings of not belonging and of being an imposter, both of which are linked to students leaving scientific disciplines. Indeed, the harassment may help explain why only 18% of undergraduate U.S. physics majors are women. “Thirty years of literature [demonstrate] that the more women are harassed in a field, the more they contemplate leaving and ultimately leave,” the authors write, citing a landmark 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.The first author on the new study is Lauren Aycock, a science and technology policy fellow with AAAS in Washington, D.C., which publishes Science.center_img Three in four female physics undergrads report sexual harassment By Meredith WadmanApr. 23, 2019 , 1:45 PM Emaillast_img read more

  • Chinas environmentally stressed regions to curb industry in new rules

    first_img Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China Related News The order will compel regions to draw up “access lists” of areas where factories can and cannot be built, and these restrictions could have a significant impact on energy-intensive sectors like steel, metal refining, petroleum and petrochemicals.“It essentially aims to improve environmental quality and force local authorities to formulate a more sensible industrial plan,” said Liu Zhiquan, director of environmental impact assessments and emissions management at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), at a news briefing.The ministry has sent experts to assist local governments to gather data on their air, water and soil to help them base their industry development plans on current environmental conditions. By Reuters |Beijing | Published: June 28, 2019 5:06:50 pm Prosperous China says ‘men preferred’ and women lose Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach China, China pollution, China environment, China pollution industries, China environment, China news, Indian Express, latest news China has long warned that some heavily industrialised regions along its east coast have already exceeded their environmental capacity, meaning that factories and industrial plants are causing excess pollution and using more energy, land and water than surrounding areas can bear. (Reuters)China will order local governments to raise the approval threshold for new industrial projects and limit the number of polluting factories in regions where environmental conditions are already stressed, an environment official said on Friday. Best Of Express Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield center_img Advertising Eleven provinces and regions along the Yangtze River, as well as the province of Qinghai in the northwest, have drafted access lists and will publish them by the end of 2019.“(The environmental access list) is vital for local authorities in their future decision-making … It will help them avoid giving the go-ahead to some projects and then finding out they do not meet (environmental) requirements,” said Liu.China’s remaining 19 provinces and regions will aim to complete draft access lists by the end of this year and release them for public consultation in 2020.Liu said drawing up the access lists has been extremely difficult, with rulemakers dealing with huge amounts of ecological data, and constantly having to negotiate with governments at all levels to balance environmental protection with the needs of the local economy. Advertising China GDP growth slows to 6.2% in second quarter After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan China has long warned that some heavily industrialised regions along its east coast have already exceeded their environmental capacity, meaning that factories and industrial plants are causing excess pollution and using more energy, land and water than surrounding areas can bear.The three regions of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta produce more than half of the nation’s steel and oil products, for example, despite covering only 8% of the country’s total land area.Beijing is also considering plans for an early warning system that would signal regions to halt development before the local environment was put under too much stress.“For those governments that have already pushed out relocation plans for their heavy industries without taking environmental capacity into consideration, they would probably need to reshape their plans and trim other industries in their regions,” Liu told Reuters on the sideline of the briefing. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

  • Hybrid theranostic complex shows high therapeutic efficacy against tumor cells

    first_img Source:http://eng.unn.ru/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 25 2018Emerging cancer nanotechnology enables target-delivery of substantial payloads of drugs to cancer sites with concomitant reduction of side-effects due to the lesser accumulation in the critical organs. This prompts loading of nanocarriers with therapeutic cargo and contrast agents, allowing combined cancer therapy and tumor visualization, respectively. Researchers from Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, have implemented such combined therapy using conjugates of radionuclide yttrium-90-doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNP) and targeted toxin. The resultant hybrid theranostic complex showed high therapeutic efficacy and high imaging contrast both in vitro and in vivo. More specifically, the developed complex addresses oncotherapy of HER2 positive cancers.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryNovel anticancer agents show promise to control tumor growth in nearly every cancer typeScientists use advanced imaging to track brain tumor ‘turncoats’Core of the complex represents an UCNP. Owing to their unique photophysical properties, UCNPs are widely used as a platform for assembling theranostics complexes. Conversion of deeply-penetrating in biological tissue near-infrared light (NIR) to the higher photon-energy visible, ultraviolet and NIR light is among UCNP most useful properties.The developed theranostic complex carries two toxic modules – beta emitter 90Y and targeted toxin DARPin-PE40, which exert toxic effects on tumor cells by different mechanisms. A strong synergism in the toxic effect was observed upon the use of two toxic modules, i.e. the total effect of the two toxicants was more than an order of magnitude greater than a sum of the separate toxic effects. “We speculate the targeted toxin blocks protein synthesis in the cells, while a beta-emitter 90Y causes the formation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species in the cells, along with direct damage of macromolecules. A significant increase in the toxicity of theranostic complex compared to its individual modules was due to damage of the protein synthesis involved in the antioxidant protection and repair of the ionizing radiation-mediated damage”, – Dr. Vladimir Vodeneev explains.Tumors are typically characterized by cellular heterogeneity. Oncotherapy based on administration of mono-drugs suffers from poor therapeutic efficacy, in addition to the development of multiple drug resistance. The designed theranostic complex featuring two toxic modules of differing therapeutic actions are believed to be more potent in the treatment of heterogeneous tumors with reduced drug resistance.The produced theranostic complex was capable to inhibit the growth of xenograft tumors upon an intratumoral administration. Apparently, this effect was due to the local action of both therapeutic agents and their long-term retention in the tumor, and because of a larger dose of the ionizing radiation absorbed by the tumour tissue. The obtained results show promise for effective combined oncotherapy leading to prospective translation to clinical practices.last_img read more

  • PrEP shown to be safe and effective for widespread use

    first_img Source:https://www.iasociety.org/The-latest/News/ArticleID/208/PrEP-is-safe-and-effective-for-widespread-use-research-shows Oct 30 2018New research presented at the HIV Drug Therapy Conference in Glasgow today shows that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could be given to millions of people worldwide with no increased risk of safety issues during treatment.PrEP is a combination of two drugs that people can take before sex to prevent HIV infection. Existing evidence shows that people who take tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC) as PrEP have a 90% lower chance of being infected with HIV than people not taking it.However, widespread use of TDF/FTC can be justified only if its preventative benefits outweigh potential risks of safety issues. These new results, presented today, show that PrEP is safe to use.The researchers undertook a meta-analysis of 13 randomized trials with 15,678 participants. People at risk of HIV infection were given either TDF/FTC as PrEP or no treatment (the control, or placebo). There was no significant difference in risk of high grade or serious adverse events comparing PrEP with control. The risk of serious adverse events was almost the same for both groups: 9.4% for those on PrEP and 10.1% for those on placebo. There was also no significant difference in risk of renal or bone adverse outcomes. The risk of bone fractures was 3.7% on PrEP versus 3.3% on no treatment. The risk of significant renal dysfunction was 0.1% on PrEP and 0.1% for no treatment.“In 2016, there were 1.8 million new HIV infections worldwide and the same number again in 2017,” International AIDS Society President Anton Pozniak said. “Across a range of studies, men who have sex with men have one in 30 chance of contracting HIV in a year. Other particularly vulnerable populations’, such as people who inject drugs or sex workers, have a one in 50 chance of being infected with HIV.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentReprogramming cells to control HIV infection“Worldwide, there are only 300,000 people estimated to be taking PrEP. This is far too small a number to prevent 1.8 million new HIV infections. Clearly, to have a significant effect on the HIV epidemic, we need to scale up PrEP to reach tens of millions of people worldwide.”Other PrEP modalities, such as long-acting injectable drugs and antibodies, are being tested in order to offer more choices of how PrEP could be taken.“Globally, there is a new HIV infection every 18 seconds,” study co-author Dr Andrew Hill, from Liverpool University, said. “Every person newly infected will then need to be treated for life, and could transmit HIV to others. We need radical changes in our prevention strategy to cut new HIV infections down to zero.”  The most widely used PrEP, a combination of TDF and FTC, costs only £40 per year to make. A generic TDF/FTC course is available in the UK for £300 per year and £50 in sub-Saharan Africa. With recent legal rulings, low-cost, generic PrEP is becoming more available. This provides an opportunity, with the decreasing costs making it increasingly feasible to provide PrEP to millions of people at risk of HIV worldwide.“The World Health Organization updated its official guidelines in 2015 to include the use of PrEP as a prevention method,” Dr. Pozniak commented. “The data is clear and it’s time to globally implement this recommendation.”These results are supported by another recent analysis, which showed no difference in adverse events between TDF/FTC and a combination of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and FTC when taken for treatment with an additional antiviral drug.last_img read more

  • Yale researchers use arthritis medication to treat patient with disfiguring sarcoidosis

    first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 26 2018An all-Yale team of researchers successfully treated a patient with disfiguring sarcoidosis, a chronic disease that can affect multiple organs, with a drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis. Successful treatment of two other patients with similarly severe disease suggests an effective treatment for an incurable, sometimes life-threatening illness is within reach, the scientists said.The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body. While some sarcoidosis patients recover without treatment, others suffer damage to the lungs, heart, lymph nodes, skin, and other organs. Current treatments, including steroids, are not reliably effective for the skin and can cause serious side effects.Related StoriesMultiple breaches of injection safety practices identified in New Jersey septic arthritis outbreakIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchBased on clues gleaned from prior studies, the Yale team decided to try the arthritis medication tofacitinib. The drug, a Jak inhibitor, blocks a pathway known as Jak-STAT. The lead author, Brett King, M.D., has pioneered the use of Jak inhibitors to treat other intractable skin diseases, including vitiligo, alopecia areata, and eczema.For several months, a 48-year-old female patient was treated with the drug, a twice-daily pill. The researchers observed that her skin lesions nearly disappeared. They also performed RNA sequencing on biopsied skin from the patient before and during treatment. “Before treatment, we were able to show that the Jak-STAT pathway is activated,” King said. “During treatment, not only does her skin disease go away, but there is no activation of the pathway.””We plan to evaluate the activation of the Jak-STAT pathway in the lung fluid and blood of over 200 patients with pulmonary and multiorgan sarcoidosis,” said co-author Nkiruka Emeagwali. These are big steps toward understanding a disease that has been a mystery for years, the researchers said.The findings are being tested further by the Yale team in a clinical trial. If confirmed, they could represent a breakthrough for sarcoidosis patients, King noted.”A frequently awful disease, which to date has no reliably effective therapy, may now be targeted with Jak inhibitors,” he said. “We have a relatively safe medicine that works.” Source:https://news.yale.edu/2018/12/26/yale-experts-treat-severe-disfiguring-sarcoidosis-novel-therapylast_img read more

  • CMV airway infection enlarges spectrum of environmental allergens

    first_imgRelated StoriesVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyInhibition of p38 protein boosts formation of blood vessels in colon cancerScientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution studyCMV infection of the fetus causes birth defects, and in immunocompromised patients, CMV infection of the lung can result in life-threatening pneumonia. Holtappels and colleagues add a novel aspect of how CMV can contribute to airway disease. Primary infection with CMV occurs in early childhood and involves the airway mucosa, where CMV and inhaled environmental allergens can meet. This medically relevant situation was studied experimentally by using a mouse model of airway co-exposure to CMV and ovalbumin — a protein antigen with inherently low allergenic potential.Ovalbumin exposure or CMV infection alone failed to sensitize for allergic airway disease. By contrast, airway infection with CMV at the time of ovalbumin sensitization predisposed for allergic airway disease. This effect was mediated by activation of airway dendritic cells. The results show that even a protein antigen that has low-to-no allergenic potential on its own can sensitize for allergic airway disease when CMV activates airway dendritic cells for more efficient antigen uptake. According to the authors, future research should focus on defining the conditions under which CMV airway infection could possibly contribute to the development of full-blown asthma.The authors add: “Airway co-exposure to cytomegalovirus and environmental antigen sensitizes for allergic airway disease. Credit: Lemmermann NAW and Reddehase MJ ” CMV infection of the airways activates dendritic cells for a more efficient uptake of inhaled environmental antigens of otherwise low-to-no intrinsic allergenic potential. This mechanism sensitizes detrimental immune cells that can cause allergic airway disease after antigen re-exposure.” Source:https://www.plos.org Mar 8 2019Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can convert a harmless, inhaled protein antigen into an allergen, according to a study published March 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Rafaela Holtappels from the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, and colleagues. According to the authors, the findings suggest that CMV airway infection significantly enlarges the spectrum of potential environmental inducers of allergic airway disease.last_img read more

  • New study explains why heart failure patients have trouble with thinking and

    first_img Source:https://news.uoguelph.ca/2019/04/u-of-g-study-reveals-why-heart-failure-patients-suffer-depression-impaired-thinking/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 5 2019Heart failure patients often have trouble with thinking and depression.A new study by University of Guelph researchers explains why and points to ways to prevent and treat both heart and brain maladies through the emerging field of circadian medicine.Published recently in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the study is the first to reveal how cognition and mood in mice are regulated by the body clock and how pertinent brain regions are impaired in heart failure, said Tami Martino, a professor in U of G’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations.”Neurosurgeons always look in the brain; cardiologists always look in the heart. This new study looked at both,” said Martino, whose work in the emerging field of circadian medicine is supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She recently received a Mid-Career Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.Coronary heart disease, the most common cause of heart failure, causes one in three deaths in Canada, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.Human patients with heart failure often have neurological conditions such as cognitive impairment and depression, said Martino. She worked on the study with master’s student Austin Duong and PhD student Cristine Reitz – both co-first authors — and neuroscientists including U of G psychology professor Boyer Winters and biomedical sciences professor Craig Bailey.Martino suspected the heart-brain connection involved the circadian mechanism molecule, called “clock.”Circadian rhythms in humans and other organisms follow Earth’s 24-hour cycle of light and darkness, signalling when to sleep and when to be awake.Martino’s earlier research showed how disrupting circadian rhythms — as with shift workers, jet-lagged travellers and patients disturbed in intensive-care units — can trigger changes that worsen heart disease and impair overall health and well-being.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsSocial media use and television viewing linked to rise in adolescent depressive symptomsStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsFor this new study, the researchers compared normal mice with mice carrying a mutation in their circadian mechanism (called “clock mice”). They found that the mutation affected the structure of neurons in brain areas important for cognition and mood.Working with University of Toronto colleagues, the team also found differences in clock regulation of blood vessels in the brains of the clock mice.After inducing heart failure in mice to simulate human heart failure, they used microarray profiling to identify key genes in the brain that were altered in neural growth, stress and metabolism pathways.The results show that the circadian mechanism influences neural effects of heart failure, said Martino. Pointing out that no cure exists for the heart condition, she said understanding how the circadian mechanism works in the brain may lead to new strategies to improve patients’ quality of life.Patients recovering from heart attacks often experience disturbed circadian rhythms from light, noise and interactions with hospital staff at night. “Maintaining circadian rhythms especially for patients with heart disease could lead to better health outcomes.”More generally, the findings point to potential health benefits for people in general. Avoiding shift work for people with underlying heart conditions or sleep disorders, reducing light at night or avoiding social jet lag (going to bed late and waking up later than usual on weekends) could all help reduce neurobiological impairments.Those problems – and potential solutions – involve not just hearts but brains, she said. “If we’re not yet able to cure heart failure, we should at least be focusing on how we can improve quality of life for patients.”last_img read more

  • Kids and teens who consume zerocalorie sweetened beverages do not save calories

    first_imgThese findings are particularly important because nearly one in three kids in the United States is now overweight or has obesity, which puts them at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and other serious health conditions. This study was not designed to show that drinking low or zero-calorie beverages causes unhealthy weight gain. Rather, the study findings suggest a link between consuming sweetened beverages (containing sugar and/or low-calorie sweeteners) and higher intakes of both calories and sugar.While the role of diet beverages in weight management remains controversial, experts have weighed in with some practical advice for parents and kids. For example, an American Heart Association science advisory group recently advised, “against prolonged consumption of low-calorie sweetened beverages by children.”Sylvetsky agrees with that conclusion. She says that children and teens, like people of all ages, should follow the federal government’s guidelines for a healthy diet, one that emphasizes water instead of soft drinks, plenty of fruits and veggies, and whole grains.For a healthy alternative to sugary sodas or diet drinks, Sylvetsky suggests flavored sparkling water with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice or water with a few pieces of fruit mixed in. Source:https://publichealth.gwu.edu/content/children-and-teens-who-drink-low-calorie-sweetened-beverages-do-not-save-calories-compared Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 2 2019U.S. children and teens who consumed low-calorie or zero-calorie sweetened beverages took in about 200 extra calories on a given day compared to those who drank water, and they took in about the same number of calories as youth who consumed sugary beverages, according to a study published today.”These results challenge the utility of diet or low-calorie sweetened beverages when it comes to cutting calories and weight management,” said Allison C. Sylvetsky, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) and lead author of the study. “Our findings suggest that water should be recommended as the best choice for kids and teens.”A previous study by Sylvetsky and colleagues found that children and teens frequently consume low-calorie sweeteners, not only in diet sodas but also in a variety of reduced calorie juice and sports drinks, as well as food and snack items. The 2017 study found the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners jumped by 200 percent in children and teens from 1999 to 2012. Yet despite the rise in their popularity, researchers still do not know how these sweeteners affect total energy intake or if they are helpful for weight management as they are intended to be.To find out more, Sylvetsky and her colleagues looked at dietary recalls collected from 7,026 children and teens enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 until 2016. Kids and teens reported what they ate and drank during a 24-hour period. The research team zeroed in on the reported consumption of sweetened beverages – those with low-calorie sweeteners and those with sugar.Kids and teens who reported drinking low-calorie sweetened beverages, such as a diet soda, not only ingested extra calories compared to water consumers, but they also took in more calories from added sugars in foods and beverages compared to water consumers, the team found.Other key findings from the study included:Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in children After adjusting for body weight, consumption of low-calorie sweetened beverages, sugary beverages and combined consumption of both was associated with 196, 312 and 450 higher total calorie intake compared to youth who consumed predominantly water. Consumers of low-calorie sweetened drinks, sugary beverages and consumers of both took in 15, 39 and 46 extra calories from added sugar compared to water consumers. No differences in calorie intake were observed between consumers of low-calorie sweetened beverages and sugary beverages. The highest calorie intakes were reported in children and teens that consumed both low-calorie sweetened beverages and sugary beverages.last_img read more