Almost 7 Of BMW Group Car Sales Plugged In August 2018

435-Mile BMW Vision iNext CUV Spotted Boarding Airplane: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 16, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News “Sales of BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles continue to grow around the world. In August, global BMW i sales were up 30.0%, BMW iPerformance increased deliveries by 77.2% and MINI Electric sales grew 51.4%. The share of electrified as a proportion of overall BMW Group sales also continues to increase: in August 2018, electrified vehicles accounted for almost 7% of global BMW and MINI sales, compared with just over 4% in the same month last year.” U.S. BMW Plug-In Electric Car Sales Up In August New 2020 BMW X5 xDrive45e To Boast 50 Miles Of Electric Range Every 15th car sold by BMW/MINI was a plug-in last month on the global level.BMW Group is consistently increasing sales of plug-in electric models and in August delivered 11,669 units, which is 62.3% more a than year ago.The most important part is that plug-ins now account for 6.74% of total volume (a new record) for the month and 5.2% for the eight-month period thus far in 2018.BMW news BMW i + BMW iPerformance + MINI PHEV sales worldwide – August 2018 BMW i + BMW iPerformance + MINI PHEV sales worldwide – August 2018With 82,977 (+43.3%) sales so far this year, BMW Group remains on track for goal of 140,000 in 2018.Pieter Nota, BMW AG Management Board member responsible for Sales and Brand BMW said:“These figures mean we are well on track to achieve our target of 140,000 electrified deliveries this year, and customer demand continues to grow. In Norway, we’ve just launched a pilot project to pre-order the BMW iX3, which is due to start production in 2020, via an app. Within less than two weeks, around 1,000 Norwegian customers have already registered, including paying a €1,600 deposit on the first-ever pure-electric BMW core model,”. Source: Electric Vehicle News read more

Kia unveils 2020 Soul EV with much larger battery pack for over

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Kia is skipping a year and unveiling its 2020 Soul EV at the 2018 LA Auto Show.The automaker’s flagship electric vehicle is adding the same 64 kWh battery pack found in the Niro EV to push the range of the Soul EV to over ~200 miles. more…The post Kia unveils 2020 Soul EV with much larger battery pack for over ~200 miles of range appeared first on Electrek.last_img

While Teslas Elon Musk May Not Be Punctual Big Auto Is Barely

first_imgFORMER TESLA STAFFER: CARMAKERS WEDDED TO OLD TECH ARE ‘HEADED FOR OBSOLESENCE’Elon Musk is consistently accused of being late. Sure, Tesla typically takes longer to launch its electric cars than Musk’s overzealous timelines. But no one can argue with his sense of urgency to expedite EVs to market. On the other hand, how are legacy automakers faring in their race to go electric?Check Out These Stories: Big Auto’s Tesla Killer Plans: Serious Investments or Vanity Projects? Above: A look at one of Tesla’s Superchargers (LinkedIn: Hamish McKenzie)Meanwhile, “Other automakers seem to be hoping that mild gestures and good publicity will get them through… The problem for traditional automakers is that they are too deeply wedded to an old technology headed for obsolescence — along with the way they’ve been doing business for decades.” As an example, McKenzie points to “BMW [which] has announced plans for 25 electric models by 2025, but its head of research and development has said he expects 85% of the company’s cars will still have internal combustion engines in 2030.”McKenzie sat down with Carsten Breitfeld who previously ran BMW’s i3 and i8 electric car programs. According to Breitfeld, “They’re doing too many cars right now with the old technology, earning a lot of money out of it, being very profitable.” The board directors at these companies are focused on three-to-five-year outcomes instead of the long term, says Breitfeld. “They’re concentrating very much on today’s and tomorrow’s businesses.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 18, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Above: A look at Tesla’s luxury sedan, the Model S (LinkedIn: Hamish McKenzie)At the end of the day, McKenzie explains, “The established automakers still have a chance of participating in an electric revolution, but those who assume they will be there by default are being overly optimistic. The car company of the future is not one that can produce the occasional good electric car among a suite of gasoline-burners. It must concentrate on developing cars that will dominate the next 20 years. The longer it waits, the greater the challenge becomes. Ask yourself who you’d rather be: Tesla or GM? Better yet, ask Nokia.”===Source: Marketwatch*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Tesla Primed To Succeed Against Big Auto The Impending Big Auto/Oil Implosion Explained: Video Above: Author Hamish McKenzie and his new book, Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked a Revolution to End the Age of Oil (Image: Marketwatch)According to a former Tesla staffer, Hamish McKenzie, and author of Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked a Revolution to End the Age of Oil, “Other car companies, from General Motors to BMW aren’t showing the same sense of urgency — and that could be their downfall.” For instance, “GM has promised 20 electric models by 2023 and has said it believes ‘the future is all-electric,’ but it hasn’t set a date by which it will make the full transition.”McKenzie writes in Marketwatch that “trends from Tesla alone should be enough to scare the hell out of established automakers. In August, Tesla’s Model 3 comfortably outsold the perennially best-selling BMW 3-Series in U.S. according to sales estimates. That’s impressive for Tesla’s first foray into the premium mass-market segment, but it’s only just getting started. The cheapest version of the Model 3 is yet to come, and Tesla still has hundreds of thousands of back-orders to fill. Last quarter, Tesla made twice as many cars at it did in the previous quarter. And it’s now profitable.”last_img read more

Mickelson rediscovers magic touch as Woods flounders in strokeplay return

first_imgShare on Messenger Golf Golf Share via Email • American world No3 makes good his boasts with 66• Tiger Woods languishes in a tie for 35th place at Doral Support The Guardian Fri 13 Mar 2009 20.07 EDT First published on Fri 13 Mar 2009 20.07 EDT Share on WhatsApp Mickelson rediscovers magic touch as Woods flounders in strokeplay return Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Phil Mickelson hits his second shot at the 10th during the second round of the CA Championship. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics Share on Twitter Lawrence Donegan in Miami Tiger Woods news Shares00 Share via Email As the cynics smirked and the golf historians reached for the record books, Phil Mickelson declared this week he is playing the best golf of his career. It was hyperbole, maybe, but there was a little less scepticism in the air last night after he took apart the Doral course for a second successive day to move clear of the field at the CA Championship.The American left-hander ended the day at 13 under par, two shots clear of his countryman Nick Watney. Kenny Perry, a 49-year-old who proved age is no barrier to great golf, and Rory McIlroy, a 19-year-old who proved, well, exactly the same thing, finished the day one shot further back.Tiger Woods, meanwhile, was much, much further back, charting unknown territory – for him – in a tie for 35th place, 10 shots adrift of the leader. No offence to Watney and Perry, both of them good players and decent coves, but if neither is the favourite to win – this looks like Mickelson’s tournament to lose – then they are in a two-horse race for the spoilsport of the week award. The prospect of the world No3 and McIlroy playing together in the final pairing of today’s third round was almost too delicious to contemplate.Never mind, it may only be delayed by a day. Indeed, it seems almost inevitable given the way McIlroy and Mickelson reduced the defences of the fabled “Blue Monster” yesterday to something less frightening than confetti.McIlroy, three weeks into his professional career on this side of the Atlantic, continues to be a revelation, so much so that his six-under-par 66 might be described as the worst he could have scored. The blemishes – a ­couple of short putts missed – were more than outweighed by the brilliance.One shot in particular, an arrowed 268-yard fairway wood over water to the par-five 8th green, will live long in the memory. The galleries were agog; America is agog. The only person who is seemingly unfazed is McIlroy himself.”It has been said a lot of guys my age have the same attributes and the same physical talents,” assessed the 19-year-old. “But I suppose it is how you deal with the attention and the pressure. I seem to deal with it pretty well.”A good third round today and the world will discover exactly what the young man is made of. Should he find himself in Mickelson’s company tomorrow, he will find himself cast into the molten core of the golfing world.Woods has looked nothing like the world No1 this week, but the left-hander has been a more than capable stand-in, both in intent and in execution.”I am playing as well as I ever have. From 50 yards in, my short game has never been better and I have never driven the ball this far and this straight,” Mickelson said on Thursday – a bold statement from a man whose career has been built on a breathtaking short game.To that he has added an infinitely more accurate long game. Standing up and giving the ball a rip off the tee might not work on a US Open course, but it has certainly worked at Doral, where the rough is shorter than a marine’s crew cut.Indeed, the most critical thing that could be said about Mickelson’s second round of 66, six under par, was that it was one shot worse than his first round; the most complimentary thing is that it was a thrilling exhibition of ball-striking and sheer nerve, making seven birdies and using the driver with surgical precision.”I can’t wait for Augusta to get here,” he said. It’s coming Phil. It’s coming. This article is more than 10 years old Share on Twitter Share on Facebook This article is more than 10 years old Reuse this contentlast_img read more

The Octopus The Kingfish and Cold Cash Following the Corruption Trail in

first_imgToday’s post is from Gregory Paw (a partner in Pepper Hamilton’s white collar practice group, and a senior consultant to Freeh Group International Solutions).  Paw has spent much of the past 18 months working on an extended project in New Orleans and enjoying the rich cultural heritage of the city.  He lives in New Jersey, and has a great deal of empathy for those who must endure corruption jokes about the place they call home.*****White collar practitioners from around the nation are gathering in New Orleans this week for the annual ABA White Collar Crime meetings.Visitors with some spare time may wish to tour some local attractions that have played unique roles in FCPA and other corruption cases from Louisiana, a state where populist governor Earl Long once noted that his constituents “don’t want good government, they want good entertainment.”  In fact, among its fascinating local history, New Orleans can stake a credible claim to being the birthplace of the FCPA, as is made clear on the first stop of the Crescent City “Corruption Trail”:321 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans — Home of The OctopusA few blocks from the hotel hosting the ABA meetings sits an ornate building of unique importance to the FCPA.  Behind the fruit-filled cornucopia carved into the doorway, the United Fruit Company built a lucrative early 20th century empire trading in tropical fruit grown on Latin American plantations and sold in the United States and Europe.  Called “El Pulpo” (“the Octopus”) for having its “tentacles into everything,” the company came to control vast territories and transportation networks in Central and South America as it turned the banana into a mass-market product.  United Fruit altered both the physical and social landscapes – deemed “la hojarasca” or “the leaf storm” by García Márquez – of the nations where the company harvested.  In the process, the company developed a virtual monopoly in what O. Henry called the “banana republics,” and even managed Guatemala’s postal service and its Tropical Radio & Telegraph Company.  The company moved its fruits on a “Great White Fleet” of steamships, which called the New Orleans port its home and even offered luxurious tourist accommodations to several Caribbean destinations.  The fleet’s flag can still be seen today on a popular taxi cab line operating in town.United Fruit was rumored to have been involved in the 1954 coup in Guatemala, with the story fanned in part because Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had negotiated land deals for the company while practicing law, and CIA Director Allen Dulles did legal work for United Fruit and sat on its board.  Walter Bedell Smith, CIA director until 1953 and Under Secretary of State at the time of the coup, also later served on the board.Corporate raider Eli Black targeted United Fruit in the late 1960s with a $40 million open market purchase of 733,000 shares of company stock.  Black later merged United Fruit into a conglomerate, renamed United Brands.  Already hurting from tight competition, the company suffered further loss when Hurricane Fifi destroyed the Honduras banana crop in 1974.  The next year, Black committed suicide by jumping from his office on the 44th floor of New York’s Pan Am Building, as the Securities & Exchange Commission was investigating a scheme by the company to bribe Honduran officials in exchange for a tariff reduction.United Brands later argued that the Honduran payment “had been agreed to by prior top management of the company” and was a “unique aberration” rather than part of a pattern.  A federal judge in Manhattan imposed a $15,000 fine against the company.  Yet the publicity of the incident, combined with similar issues unfolding at other American corporations, caught the attention of a post-Watergate Congress.  As explained by Professor Koehler’s excellent 2012 article, in 1975, Congress began a series of hearings on foreign bribery by U.S. companies that culminated two years later with the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans — The Kingfish’s Deduct BoxLined with Art Deco murals and mahogany panels, the lobby bar in the Roosevelt Hotel is named for the Sazerac, one of New Orleans’ most beloved concoctions.  But it was another famous New Orleans drink — the Ramos Gin Fizz — that inspired Governor Huey P. Long in 1935 to fly a Roosevelt bartender to the New Yorker Hotel to teach the staff to properly execute and shake his favorite blend.  After sampling the mix to make sure Manhattanites were getting the “real thing,” Long is alleged to have proclaimed, “And this, gentlemen, my gift to New York.”Long converted the Roosevelt Hotel into the hub of Louisiana politics in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  From an opulent 12th-floor suite that served as his unofficial governor’s residence and Senate office, Long befriended a one-time hotel barbershop manager, Seymour Weiss, who was rising rapidly in the hotel’s operations and would later become its owner.  Weiss grew to become a trusted Long advisor.  Long made legendary use of state patronage during his tenure, and is said to have required some beneficiaries of bureaucratic employment to return a portion of their salary back to Long’s political machine.  Payments were to be placed in a brass “deduct box” safeguarded by Weiss and said to hold as much as the modern equivalent of a million dollars at a time.  Before Long left the Roosevelt for Baton Rouge on the September 1935 day that he was assassinated, Weiss was rumored to ask about the location of the deduct box.  “I’ll tell you later, Seymour,” Long said as he departed the hotel.  The deduct box purportedly was never found, but a replica sits today in the Roosevelt lobby.Some say that the Sazerac Bar’s wood panels still bear bullet fragments from a stray shot originating from one of Long’s bodyguards.  While this story has dubious historical support, the Roosevelt has confirmed that its basement contains a “mysterious jail cell” inside of a steel vault.  The cell allegedly no longer locks, which may be good news for conference goers who wish to sample some of the “real thing” at the Sazerac Bar.1922 Marengo Street, New Orleans — William Jefferson and Cold CashFormer U.S. Representative William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, the first U.S. public official charged with an FCPA violation, represented Louisiana’s Second Congressional District, which includes a large portion of the greater New Orleans area.  Perhaps best remembered for storing $90,000 in cash from an FBI sting in the freezer of his home outside of Washington, Jefferson also holds a unique place in New Orleans history.Rising from the poverty of one of Louisiana’s poorest parishes, Jefferson went on to earn a Harvard law degree and become Louisiana’s first black Congressman since Reconstruction.  In the House, he came to occupy a key position on the Ways and Means Committee.A month before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the FBI searched Jefferson’s Virginia home.  The same day, agents also searched Jefferson’s residence in New Orleans’ Garden District.  As later revealed at Jefferson’s criminal trial, an FBI agent testified that the nine-term Congressman tried to hide some documents during this search of his home on Marengo Street.  The agent said Jefferson asked for a copy of the subpoena, which she watched him take and fold in with “other papers” and then tuck under his elbow.  The agent later confronted Jefferson, who is said to have then turned over the papers, which included a fax from a person whose name also was listed on the government search warrant.  But Jefferson also cooperated with the FBI agents while they searched his home, and even went so far as to find a locksmith to help open a safe for which he had lost the combination.  He learned from the agents that day that the cash in his freezer had come from the FBI, and even watched a video of himself carrying a red bag filled with the marked bills from a government cooperator’s car trunk.A month later, Jefferson was in New Orleans during the chaos following Katrina.  Jefferson sought to tour the affected portions of his district, and a National Guard unit prepared a military truck to accompany him on the trip through the flooded and dangerous streets.  Troops later said that Jefferson asked that the truck take him to Marengo Street to see his home, where water still reached the steps.  Sources said Jefferson went into his home and later emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box “about the size of a small refrigerator,” all of which were loaded onto the military truck.Asked if he received a privilege not available to most, Jefferson told local reporters, “If you were an elected or appointed official, you would have been escorted around town.”  Jefferson also said the items he retrieved belonged to his children, and had no connection to the search warrant.  The National Guard noted that they had provided assistance getting around the New Orleans area to a wide range of officials, including President Bush.After a 2009 trial in federal court in Virginia, a jury acquitted Jefferson on the obstruction of justice charge arising from his alleged acts at his New Orleans home in August 2005.  The jury also acquitted Jefferson on the FCPA charge arising from the transfer of the cash recovered from his freezer.  But the jury convicted Jefferson on 11 other counts, including conspiracy to solicit bribes and money laundering.  He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.The stop on Marengo Street leaves the visitor within a few blocks of Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans landmark and former home to chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.  The restaurant is a perfect place to have a drink, observe the pace of the city and reflect on the unique history of this special place in America.  Enjoy, and make sure to keep away from the jail cell at the Roosevelt!last_img read more

DOJ Charges WellKnown Venezuelan Billionaire Raul Gorrin With FCPA And Related Offenses

first_img Order Your Copy Strategies For Minimizing Risk Under The FCPA A compliance guide with issue-spotting scenarios, skills exercises and model answers. “This book is a prime example of why corporate compliance professionals and practitioners alike continue to listen to Professor Koehler.” I recently had a conversation with a lawyer who speculated that the recent spate of Venezuela-focused Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions was part of a U.S. government effort to facilitate regime change in the country.Who knows, but it is hard to ignore the many recent FCPA enforcement actions focused on conduct in Venezuela (see here, here, here and here for prior posts).The latest is this recently unsealed criminal indictment against Raul Gorrin Belisario, a well-known Venezuelan businessman and described by the DOJ as a citizen and national of Venezuela who at various time periods relevant to the charges was a resident of the U.S. with a residence in Florida.According to the criminal indictment, Gorrin “offered and agreed to pay bribes to Foreign Official 1 [described as a high-level official with decision-making authority and influence within the Oficina Nacional del Tesoro (ONT), the Venezuelan National Treasury] for purposes of obtaining and retaining business; specifically, influencing and inducing Foreign Official 1 to permit Gorrin to conduct foreign currency exchanges for the Venezuelan government and securing an improper advantage in acquiring the right to conduct such exchange transactions.”Specifically, the DOJ alleges that Gorrin caused bribe payments totaling at least approximately $94 million to be paid for the benefit of Foreign Official 1 including, after Foreign Official 1 left office, for introducing him to Foreign Official 2 (also described as a high-level official with decision-making authority and influence within the ONT) and facilitating the continuation of the bribery scheme with Foreign Official 2.According to the DOJ, in addition to wiring money to and for the benefit of Foreign Official 1, Foreign Official 2, and Co-conspirator 1 (described as the spouse of Foreign Official 2), Gorrin “also purchased and paid expenses related to approximately three jets, a yacht, multiple champion horses, and numerous high-end watches … for Foreign Official 1’s benefit” and “purchased and paid expenses related to jets and a yacht .. for Foreign Official 2 and Co-Conspirator 1’s benefit.”The DOJ’s conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions charge invokes both the dd-2 prong of the statute applicable to “domestic concerns” as well as the dd-3 prong of the statute applicable to “person other than issuers or domestic concerns.” As to the later, the DOJ alleges conduct in the U.S. such as meetings in which bribe payments were discussed as well as the use of U.S. bank accounts.In addition to the FCPA charge, Gorrin is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and several substantive money laundering offenses.For more on the enforcement action, see here from the Miami Herald.In addition to the Gorrin charges, the DOJ also announced:“Alejandro Andrade Cedeno (Andrade), 54, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Wellington, Florida and a former Venezuelan national treasurer, pleaded guilty under seal on Dec. 22, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray (Jimenez), 50, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Chicago, Illinois and former owner of Banco Peravia bank, pleaded guilty under seal on March 20, 2018 in the Southern District of Florida before Judge Rosenberg to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Charges against Andrade and Jimenez were unsealed today. “As stated in the DOJ’s release:“As part of his guilty plea, Andrade admitted that he received over $1 billion in bribes from Gorrin and other co-conspirators in exchange for using his position as Venezuelan national treasurer to select them to conduct currency exchange transactions for the Venezuelan government.  As part of his plea agreement, Andrade agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $1 billion and forfeiture of all assets involved in the corrupt scheme, including real estate, vehicles, horses, watches, aircraft and bank accounts.  His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27. As part of his guilty plea, Jimenez admitted that, as part of the scheme, he conspired with Gorrin and others to acquire Banco Peravia, through which he helped launder bribe money and scheme proceeds.  His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.”last_img read more

Patent Suits Dwindle As New Era Dawns In EDTX

first_imgA Supreme Court ruling helped steer more plaintiffs to places like Delaware, though experts believe East Texas’ efficient justices will maintain the district’s popularity as a place to settle patent spats. The Texas Lawbook has the stats . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Password Remember mecenter_img Lost your password? Usernamelast_img

Nitratecured meats may contribute to mania study finds

first_imgJul 18 2018An analysis of more than 1,000 people with and without psychiatric disorders has shown that nitrates-;chemicals used to cure meats such as beef jerky, salami, hot dogs and other processed meat snacks-;may contribute to mania, an abnormal mood state. Mania is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia.The findings of the Johns Hopkins Medicine study, which was not designed to determine cause and effect, were published July 18 in Molecular Psychiatry. Specifically, it found that people hospitalized for an episode of mania had more than three times the odds of having ever eaten nitrate-cured meats than people without a history of a serious psychiatric disorder. Experiments in rats by the same researchers showed mania-like hyperactivity after just a few weeks on diets with added nitrates.While a number of genetic and other risk factors have been linked to the manic episodes that characterize bipolar disorder and may occur in other psychiatric conditions, those factors have been unable to explain the cause of these mental illnesses, and researchers are increasingly looking for environmental factors, such as diet, that may play a role.The researchers say that their new study adds to evidence that certain diets and potentially the amounts and types of bacteria in the gut may contribute to mania and other disorders that affect the brain.”Future work on this association could lead to dietary interventions to help reduce the risk of manic episodes in those who have bipolar disorder or who are otherwise vulnerable to mania,” says lead author Robert Yolken, M.D., the Theodore and Vada Stanley Distinguished Professor of Neurovirology in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Mania, a state of elevated mood, arousal and energy that lasts weeks to months, is generally seen in people with bipolar disorder, but can also occur in those with schizoaffective disorder. Manic states can lead to dangerous risk-taking behavior and can include delusional thinking, and most of those affected experience multiple hospitalizations in the course of their psychiatric illness.Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 1 to 3 percent of the population of the United States and costs an estimated $25 billion a year in direct health care costs, according to a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders.Yolken, trained as an infectious disease expert, was originally interested in whether exposure to infections such as viruses transmitted through food might be linked to any psychiatric conditions. Between 2007 and 2017, as part of an ongoing study, he and colleagues collected demographic, health and dietary data on 1,101 individuals aged 18 through 65 with and without psychiatric disorders. Approximately 55 percent of the participants were female and 55 percent were Caucasian, with 36 percent identifying as African-American.Those with psychiatric disorders were recruited from patients receiving care at the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore. Individuals with no history of psychiatric disorders were recruited from posted announcements at local health care facilities and universities in the region.A study of their records between 2007 and 2017 showed that, unexpectedly, among people who had been hospitalized for mania, a history of eating cured meat before hospitalization were approximately 3.5 times higher than the group of people without a psychiatric disorder. Cured meats were not associated with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder in people not hospitalized for mania or in major depressive disorder. No other foods about which participants were queried had a significant association with any of the disorders, or with mania.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosa”We looked at a number of different dietary exposures and cured meat really stood out,” says Yolken. “It wasn’t just that people with mania have an abnormal diet.”Nitrates have long been used as preservatives in cured meat products and have been previously linked to some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, so Yolken suspected they may also explain the link to mood states such as mania.The dietary survey did not ask about frequency or time frame of cured meat consumption, so the researchers couldn’t draw conclusions about exactly how much cured meat boosts one’s risk of mania, but Yolken hopes future studies will address this.To get at the roots of the association, Yolken collaborated with researchers studying the impact of nitrates on rats.Kellie Tamashiro, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and M.D./Ph.D. student Seva Khambadkone, both of Johns Hopkins, and others divided a group of otherwise healthy rats into two groups: one received normal rat chow, and the other received both normal chow and a piece of store-bought, nitrate-prepared beef jerky every other day. Within two weeks, the rats receiving the jerky showed irregular sleeping patterns and hyperactivity.Next, the team worked with a Baltimore-based beef jerky company to create a special nitrate-free dried beef. They repeated the experiment, this time giving some rats the store-bought, nitrate-prepared jerky and others the nitrate-free formulation. The animals that ate the nitrate-free meat behaved similarly to a control group, while the animals that consumed the nitrates once again showed sleep disturbances and hyperactivity similar to that seen in patients with mania-;increased activity during normal sleep times and in new environments.The results were then replicated with a specially formulated rat chow that had either nitrate added directly to the chow, or no nitrate.Importantly, the amount of nitrate being consumed on a daily basis by the rats¾when scaled up to the size of a human-;was equivalent to the amount a person might eat for a daily snack, such as one beef jerky stick or hot dog.”We tried to make sure the amount of nitrate used in the experiment was in the range of what people might reasonably be eating,” says Yolken.When the group analyzed the gut bacteria of the different groups of rats, they found that animals with nitrate in their diet had different patterns of bacteria living in their intestines than the other rats. Moreover, the animals had differences in several molecular pathways in the brain that have been previously implicated in bipolar disorder.While the team also cautions that it’s too early to take any clinical messages from the results, and occasional cured meat consumption is unlikely to spur a manic episode in most of the population, Yolken says the findings add to evidence of the multiple factors that contribute to mania and bipolar disorder.”It’s clear that mania is a complex neuropsychiatric state, and that both genetic vulnerabilities and environmental factors are likely involved in the emergence and severity of bipolar disorder and associated manic episodes,” says Khambadkone. “Our results suggest that nitrated cured meat could be one environmental player in mediating mania.”Yolken’s group recently published results of a separate study showing that when people with bipolar disorder are given probiotics-;which can change the composition of gut bacteria-;after a manic episode, they are less likely to be rehospitalized in the following six months. “There’s growing evidence that germs in the intestines can influence the brain,” says Yolken. “And this work on nitrates opens the door for future studies on how that may be happening.” Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/beef_jerky_and_other_processed_meats_associated_with_manic_episodeslast_img read more

Average consumption of salt found to be safe for heart health

first_imgAug 10 2018New research shows that for the vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase health risks except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt.Fewer than five per cent of individuals in developed countries exceed that level.The large, international study also shows that even for those individuals there is good news. Any health risk of sodium intake is virtually eliminated if people improve their diet quality by adding fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, and other potassium rich foods.The research, published today in The Lancet, is by scientists of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, along with their research colleagues from 21 countries.The study followed 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from18 countries around the world and found there an associated risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes only where the average intake is greater than five grams of sodium a day.China is the only country in their study where 80 per cent of communities have a sodium intake of more than five grams a day. In the other countries, the majority of the communities had an average sodium consumption of 3 to 5 grams a day (equivalent to 1.5 to 2.5 teaspoons of salt).”The World Health Organization recommends consumption of less than two grams of sodium — that’s one teaspoon of salt — a day as a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease, but there is little evidence in terms of improved health outcomes that individuals ever achieve at such a low level,” said Andrew Mente, first author of the study and a PHRI researcher.He added that the American Heart Association recommends even less — 1.5 grams of sodium a day for individuals at risk of heart disease.”Only in the communities with the most sodium intake — those over five grams a day of sodium – which is mainly in China, did we find a direct link between sodium intake and major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.Related StoriesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggests”In communities that consumed less than five grams of sodium a day, the opposite was the case. Sodium consumption was inversely associated with myocardial infarction or heart attacks and total mortality, and no increase in stroke.”Mente added: “We found all major cardiovascular problems, including death, decreased in communities and countries where there is an increased consumption of potassium which is found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes and nuts and beans.”The information for the research article came from the ongoing, international Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study run by the PHRI. Mente is also an associate professor of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University.Most previous studies relating sodium intake to heart disease and stroke were based on individual-level information, said Martin O’Donnell, co-author of the report, a PHRI researcher and an associate clinical professor of medicine at McMaster.”Public health strategies should be based on best evidence. Our findings demonstrate that community-level interventions to reduce sodium intake should target communities with high sodium consumption, and should be embedded within approaches to improve overall dietary quality.”There is no convincing evidence that people with moderate or average sodium intake need to reduce their sodium intake for prevention of heart disease and stroke,” said O’Donnell.Besides Canada, this research paper involved individual and community information from the countries of Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, India, Iran, Malaysia, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe. Source:https://www.mcmaster.calast_img read more

New program to reduce harmful stress effectively improves mood in cancer patients

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 20 2018This is a story about something rare in health psychology: a treatment that has gone from scientific discovery, through development and testing, to dissemination and successful implementation nationwide.In a new study, researchers found that a program designed at The Ohio State University to reduce harmful stress in cancer patients can be taught to therapists from around the country and implemented at their sites, and effectively improves mood in their patients.”It’s challenging to take a treatment and scale it up to where it will work with a diverse group of therapists and patients under a wide variety of circumstances,” said Barbara L. Andersen, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Ohio State.”This study documents a remarkable success story.”The study appears online in the journal American Psychologist and will be published in a future print edition.The program, now called Cancer to Health, was developed by Andersen and colleagues in the early 2000s. It teaches patients how to think about stress, communicate with doctors and others about their treatment, seek social support, become physically active and take other actions to reduce their stress, improve their mood and enhance quality of life. It consists of 18 weekly sessions and eight monthly maintenance sessions, as well as homework assignments for patients.Dealing with stress is important because research by Andersen’s group and others has found that high levels of stress can lead to not just depression, lower quality of life and negative health behaviors, but also lower immunity and faster disease progression.”We need to help cancer patients deal with their stress, because it has effects on their physical as well as their mental health,” Andersen said.In several studies published between 2004 and 2010, Andersen and her colleagues tested the Cancer to Health program and found it effective with breast cancer patients at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State. Results showed that patients who went through the program felt better and also had significantly improved immune responses and a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThis new study aimed to see if some of the results could be duplicated around the country. It involved therapists who work with cancer patients at 15 sites, from California to Iowa to Maine. Most were associated with local hospitals or cancer support communities. All of the therapists came to Ohio State to learn how to implement the Cancer to Health program.They then took the program to their sites, where it was tested with 158 patients with a variety of different types of cancer.Participating therapists were allowed to modify the program for local needs and shorten it if necessary.Results showed that 60 to 70 percent of patients received the core components of the main program.Two-thirds of the sites offered some of the monthly maintenance sessions, but averaged only one-third of what was in the original program.Most importantly, Cancer to Health worked with patients. Results showed that patients showed significant improvement on a measure of mood after completing the program.In addition, patients became more physically active after Cancer to Health, with the average participant going from “moderately active” before the treatment to “active” afterward.”That’s significant because 71 percent of the patients were still receiving cancer treatment when they began our study, and maintaining, resuming or beginning physical activity during this period is difficult,” Andersen said.Moreover, most patients thought the program was helpful and reported that their therapists were very supportive. When asked to rate the program on a scale of 0 to 4, the average overall score was 3.48.Andersen said other research suggests there is a gap of about 20 years between development of a new health treatment and wider implementation in the medical community.”If we want to speed that up, we have to train providers. There have not been many studies like this one that involve actually training providers and then testing to see if they could not only implement what they had learned, but could also get their patients to improve,” she said.​ Source:https://news.osu.edu/a-behavioral-intervention-for-cancer-patients-that-works/last_img read more

Brewers yeasts mate inside the guts of hibernating wasps

first_imgWhen Cavalieri and his collaborators first reported finding yeast in wasp intestines in a 2012 paper, they speculated that wasps feeding on yeasty grapes might transfer the yeast from fruit to fruit during warmer months and provide a safe place for it to wait out the winter. But they didn’t know what happened to the yeast during its months inside a hibernating wasp.To find out, they fed European paper wasps five different strains of S. cerevisiae each. After letting the wasps hibernate for as long as 4 months, they compared the gut-dwelling yeast with colonies that came from the same starting strains but were grown in the lab instead. The different S. cerevisiae strains from the wasps had bred with each other just as much as they had in the controls. In addition, some of the wasps’ S. cerevisiae strains had mated with S. paradoxus, a related species of wild yeast that doesn’t normally breed with S. cerevisiae in the wild.Together, the results show that the wasp’s belly is more than just a holding chamber for yeast. The yeast are “living, dying, battling for resources, all within this wasp,” says Anne Madden, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was not involved in the study.The fact that S. cerevisiae and S. paradoxus were able to mate inside the wasps means the gut environment could propagate hybrid strains that wouldn’t otherwise occur, the researchers argue.The findings suggest that wasps may be much more important than usually thought, Madden says. “What’s often perceived as a pest species by humans can have incredible relevance, not only to our understanding of greater ecology, but in terms of having real commercial and industrial value,” she says. “What we’re beginning to learn is that there’s wide unexplored world of microbes and bugs—insects, spiders, mites.”For instance, beers and wines have regional flavor difference influenced in part by their microbes, including yeasts. “Maintaining this uniqueness requires maintaining the uniqueness of the microbial communities,” says Cavalieri, who comes from a long line of vintners. Wasps could help. But he also thinks there’s a larger ecological context for the work.“We normally wage chemical warfare against insects all over the place,” he says. “What our findings are basically saying is that if we continue killing the wasps, we lose a fundamental part of the ecological cycle.” Cavalieri’s team is investigating whether similar processes occur in other insects, such as ants.Not everyone is convinced. Matthew Goddard, a biologist at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, notes that the team didn’t directly demonstrate that the yeast reproduced within the gut. But Cavalieri says his group’s microbiology techniques make it extremely unlikely that the yeast formed cross-species hybrids after they were removed from the wasps. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country If you can tell French Chardonnay from Italian, you might have an annoying insect to thank. Microbes that live on grape plants—specifically, yeast of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae—vary from place to place in ways that cause subtle but detectable differences in the taste of the resulting wine. Now, researchers have found that different strains of the yeast mingle and mate like crazy inside the guts of hibernating wasps. The findings suggest that wasps might help to foster yeast biodiversity, with important implications for ecology and industry.S. cerevisiae is one of the most widely cultivated fungi in the world—used not only in winemaking, but also in baking, brewing, and lab experiments. But researchers have known little about its ecology in the wild, where it grows on ripe fruit.Thanks to the new results, reported online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they know a lot more. “It’s the first evidence that shows that in the gut environment, S. cerevisiae can [produce spores], germinate, and mate,” says Duccio Cavalieri, a biologist at the University of Florence in Italy, who led the project. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emaillast_img read more

Snowball the dancing cockatoo is back—with a whole new set of moves

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Katie CameroJul. 8, 2019 , 11:25 AM The team, which reports its findings today in Current Biology, says five traits are needed to break it down on the dance floor: imitation; memorization; attentiveness; a tendency to form long-term social bonds; and vocal learning, the ability to learn and mimic language. The last one is unique to parrots and humans, which might explain why nonhuman primates like monkeys do not spontaneously bust a move to music. 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 Snowball the dancing cockatoo is back—with a whole new set of movescenter_img Snowball the cockatoo delighted researchers and the general public alike a decade ago when he bobbed his head and flicked his legs to the Backstreet Boys song “Everybody.” Now, he’s back with a whole new set of moves—and a new understanding of how he learns them.To see how many different dance moves Snowball has under his belt, researchers filmed the sulphur-crested bird dancing to the popular ’80s tunes “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Another One Bites the Dust” for a total of 23 minutes with his owner in the room. The scientists performed a frame-by-frame analysis of the videos and observed 14 new moves, which included full body rolls and hardcore head bangs.Scientists say Snowball wasn’t performing to get a reward; rather he was dancing just to dance. It’s also possible the bird was dancing to somehow bond with his owner, but more research will be needed to show this. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Sweet fatty foods could remodel the brain to drive overeating

first_img We know fatty, sugary foods can transform our waistlines. Much less is known about how they might transform the brain. Now, researchers have found that switching a mouse from standard chow to more fattening fare changes the activity of certain neurons that regulate eating, wearing out the cellular “brakes” that limit intake. If the same is true for people, the finding could help explain our tendency to overeat.Changing an animal’s diet “is a subtle manipulation,” says Randy Seeley, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center in Ann Arbor who was not involved in the work. “The fact that you can go in and see different properties of these cells is an amazing finding.”Neurobiologist Garret Stuber and a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wanted to understand the brain changes that accompany obesity. They were particularly interested in an area at the bottom of the brain known to regulate feeding, called the lateral hypothalamus. With collaborators in the United Kingdom, Stuber—now at the University of Washington in Seattle—sequenced RNA from cells in this area of the mouse brain and grouped them according to what genes they expressed. By comparing gene expression between obese mice on a high-fat diet and control animals on a standard one, the researchers identified a subset of neurons that changed most dramatically with the obesity-inducing diet. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country When lean mice become obese, neurons linked to feeding change their gene expression and activity levels. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Kelly ServickJun. 27, 2019 , 2:00 PM Sweet, fatty foods could remodel the brain to drive overeatingcenter_img Janson George/shutterstock.com Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) That set expressed the gene for an excitatory signaling molecule, glutamate. The researchers used a two-photon microscope to observe these so-called glutamatergic cells in the brains of living mice. They endowed the cells with a gene that made them fluoresce when they took up calcium—an indicator of neural firing. Then they watched the cells while mice lapped calorie-rich sugar water from a spout. If a lean mouse had just eaten, the neurons were more active in response to the sugar than if it had just been fasting. The cells seemed to act as a brake, signaling, “That’s enough!”But as lean mice became obese from a diet high in fat and sugar, these cells became less lively. By 12 weeks after the diet switch, the glutamatergic cells were roughly 80% less active in response to the sugar drink, the team reports today in Science.The study is one of the first to use calcium imaging to observe brain activity in animals long-term, says Lora Heisler, a neuroscientist at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom. It’s “a clever approach” to investigating how obesity develops, she says. One interpretation of the study: Regularly eating sweet, fatty foods “change[s] the way that our brain’s appetite centers function,” she says. “And by making the brain less responsive to the sweet stuff, it means that we will eat more than we need to.”But the study doesn’t distinguish which changed the neural activity: a feature of the diet or the weight gain itself. It also doesn’t prove the change in brain activity itself caused the animals to overeat and gain weight, Seeley notes. The taste of the new diet might have prompted mice to up their calories—worn-out brake or no. “You probably haven’t tasted rodent chow,” he says. “I have. It’s terrible. It is dry, salty, bland grossness.” High-fat mouse diets, on the other hand, usually “taste like sugar cookie dough.” Still, he says, the reduced activity of the glutamatergic neurons might have perpetuated obesity in the mice by failing to tamp down their appetites even as their weight climbed.“There are a lot of interesting areas for appetite in the brain. This paper makes the case that these neurons deserve additional attention,” says Scott Sternson, a neuroscientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. If future studies reveal a receptor present on this subset of neurons—but absent from most other cells—researchers could try to target it with drugs to selectively bump up activity. But that won’t be easy. Strongly stimulating these neurons is apparently unpleasant; mice in the study avoided electrical zaps to the area. So the approach would require a delicate tap on the appetite brake, Sternson says, “not slamming on it full-force.”last_img read more

Netanyahu the magician may be out of tricks pundits say

first_img Related News More Explained 1 Comment(s) Advertising Advertising Netanyahu the ‘magician’ may be out of tricks, pundits say Less than two months later, after Netanyahu’s failure to assemble a governing coalition forced the country into an unprecedented do-over election, Israeli pundits are asking whether even magic can save him now. (NYT)Written by Ronen Bergman“He’s a magician! He’s a magician!” Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off “Before every election campaign, everyone here eulogized Netanyahu,” Segal said. “They say this is the end, that he is finished, but he comes back to life, surprises them all and wins. My advice to the Israeli political analysts is therefore, even if you see Netanyahu’s political corpse in front of you, and three medical experts say he is dead, wait. It is not certain that this is really the end.” Congress’ wisecrack on PM Modi’s ‘hugplomacy’ leaves BJP enraged Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising Netanyahu slams Iranian nuclear deal in his first Farsi tweet Best Of Express First, even if he wins the election, he would have trouble signing up coalition partners with indictments hanging over his head. In theory, the law does not prevent a prime minister from serving while under indictment, but that has never happened before.It is possible that the Supreme Court could intervene. There would also be tremendous pressure for him to step down.The second problem is calendrical. Netanyahu’s escape plan required Parliament to grant him immunity and to pass a law allowing it to overrule a possible Supreme Court judgment reversing that immunity.With Parliament adjourned until after the election, the chances of getting such laws passed before he is indicted are not high. Israeli PM Netanyahu accused Tunisia of planning terror attacks against Israelis With the new election still more than three months away, no one is foolish enough to write him off altogether. But the math and the calendar are unforgiving.Netanyahu claimed to have lined up 60 seats in his coalition during the past week. He needed 61 for a majority in Israel’s 120-seat Parliament.There is little reason to assume that the outcome would be any better when the new election is held Sept. 17. With his ability to form a government now in doubt, it could well be worse.Then there is the issue of the indictments.Netanyahu is facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases. The attorney general has scheduled a hearing for early October where Netanyahu, who denies the accusations and rejects the prosecution as a partisan witch hunt, can contest the charges.Indictments could come soon after.That creates two big problems for Netanyahu. It was nearly 2 a.m. on April 10, and supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had packed a sporting arena in Tel Aviv, were cheering his apparent election victory.Facing a stiff challenge from a former military chief and the prospect of criminal indictment on corruption charges, Netanyahu, whose unrivaled political instincts had him on track to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, had pulled another rabbit out of his hat.Less than two months later, after his failure to assemble a governing coalition forced the country into an unprecedented do-over election, Israeli pundits are asking whether even magic can save him now. On Thursday, the day Parliament dissolved, setting in motion a new election, “the countdown to the end of the Netanyahu era began,” veteran political columnist Yossi Verter wrote in the liberal newspaper Haaretz.Amit Segal, chief political analyst of Israel’s Channel 12 News, said that the dissolution of Parliament and the new election “created a real danger that he will not be able to escape prosecution.”“If a government had been formed this week,” Segal said, “he would probably have managed to get the case against him dropped.”Netanyahu’s political obituary has been written many times before: in 1996, when the polls said, incorrectly, that he had lost to Shimon Peres; in 1999, when he lost to Ehud Barak and announced his retirement from politics; in 2006, when his conservative Likud party won only 12 seats.Each time he has returned from the dead. He has served three consecutive terms as prime minister, four altogether, for a total of 13 years. In July, he will surpass the record of Israel’s founding father and first premier, David Ben Gurion.But his options have narrowed considerably.In the April election, Netanyahu himself was the primary campaign issue. His main challenger was Benny Gantz, a former military chief whose centrist Blue and White party ran on a platform with few substantive differences with Netanyahu beyond the fact that Gantz was not Netanyahu.Gantz’s party, which won 35 seats, said it would consider joining a coalition with Likud but not with Netanyahu as its leader.If the previous election was a referendum on Netanyahu, the September election is likely to be a repeat, but with a more damaged candidate and even less margin for error.Uzi Arad, Netanyahu’s former national security adviser and now a critic, said that as Netanyahu accrued power, he became careless and arrogant, leaving him with fewer and fewer allies.“His demise may occur because of the toxicity of his leadership style, characterized by impulsiveness, shooting from the hip, surrounding himself with sycophants of modest abilities, using divide and rule on all levels, a style that had led many to turn against him,” Arad said.Now even his right-wing base may be having second thoughts.“People on the right — at the moment only in closed conversations — are beginning to think that Netanyahu may have brought them victory, but also the resounding failure that happened later, and that perhaps the time has come to find a successor,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, a nonpartisan research institute. “King Bibi might no longer be invincible.”Netanyahu blamed Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the small ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, for denying him victory. Netanyahu had counted on the party’s five seats to give him a majority.But Lieberman refused to compromise with Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners over a new law that would eliminate the wholesale exemptions for ultra-Orthodox men to serve in the military.Some analysts said Lieberman’s position was a ploy to gain attention for his small party. But whatever his motives, he has exposed a real fault line in the traditional right-wing coalition between the secular nationalists and the ultra-Orthodox parties.Analysts say there is a narrow path Netanyahu could take to succeed in the next election.Segal said that about 300,000 right-wing votes went to parties that did not make the threshold for parliamentary seats. Those votes represent up to eight possible seats, more than enough to put Netanyahu over the top if they can be funneled into Likud or others parties that support him.If he wins the election, he would also have to form a government quickly enough to pass a law protecting him from prosecution and willing to do so.Verter said that is not possible. Segal said it is, barely. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies By New York Times |Tel Aviv | Published: June 2, 2019 9:45:02 amlast_img read more

Looming Parliament vote boosts Brexit jitters for UK scientists

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Only a few U.K. scientists see more upside than down. Simon Willcock, a tropical ecologist at Bangor University in the United Kingdom who supports Brexit, believes liberation from EU regulations will allow the United Kingdom to set its own science-based public policies, including reforms to agricultural subsidies. “I can see the U.K. being more of a risk taker, more of an innovator,” he says.If both the United Kingdom and the European Union accept the 585-page draft agreement, the landing could be soft. The deal doesn’t specifically address research, but it would minimize disruption through a 2-year extension of the status quo while future participation in EU programs is negotiated. U.K. researchers could apply for EU grants during that period, for example.The European Union is expected to green-light the withdrawal agreement, which includes a $50 billion divorce bill and would require the United Kingdom to follow EU laws during the transition without any say in them. Those conditions mean the agreement faces tough prospects in the U.K. Parliament. Hardline Brexit proponents within May’s Conservative Party say it doesn’t offer enough independence. Other opponents include “Remainers” in the Labour and Conservative parties, who argue that even a soft Brexit would be too damaging.A deadlocked Parliament could default to a no-deal Brexit, which would send the value of the pound plummeting 25% and shrink the U.K. economy by 8% in the following months, according to a report released last week by the Bank of England. Airlines flying between the United Kingdom and Europe could be grounded, because the United Kingdom would leave the European Union’s aviation regulations. New customs checks could strangle trade with Europe. An oversight committee in Parliament last week called a lack of preparation at ports for consequences such as massive backlogs of trucks “extremely worrying.”All that would hurt research. Many reagents and other supplies, such as antibodies and cell-growth media, are imported. U.K.-based pharmaceutical companies are stockpiling drugs used in some clinical trials as well as routine medicines. Some researchers are considering whether they also need to stock up. “You don’t want to feel alarmist, but you have to think about the sustainability of your experiments,” says Jennifer Rohn, a cell biologist at University College London who needs expensive and perishable cell-growth media made in Europe. But Oscar Marín, a developmental neurobiologist at King’s College London, says a supply shortage is the least of his worries. “To be honest, the disruption will be of such an order that not having the right antibody will be meaningless.”A no-deal exit would also immediately void many research agreements. The U.K. government has said that if the European Union terminates grants to U.K. teams, the treasury will take over the payments. But U.K. researchers couldn’t apply for new EU grants. It’s also not clear whether they could continue to lead existing collaborations with European partners. The legal status of joint clinical trials—about 40% of U.K. trials include sites in the European Union—is murky, and how data might be transferred is uncertain. “We are very concerned about a no-deal outcome,” says Beth Thompson, head of U.K. and EU policy at the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical philanthropy in London.Regardless of how the United Kingdom departs, it will have to negotiate new science agreements with the European Union. The European Union’s Horizon Europe program will fund $113 billion in research from 2021 to 2027, and the U.K. government wants to participate as an associated member, a status Norway and a few other non-EU countries already have. But associate membership will likely cost more than it brings home in grants, and some fear the government might trim the domestic research budget to compensate. As an associate, the United Kingdom might also lose influence over the program’s goals. “There’s no deal we could get that would be as good as the one we have at the moment,” says Anne Glover, head of The Royal Society of Edinburgh.Nevertheless, both the United Kingdom and the European Union would benefit from maintaining close scientific ties, so the chances are good for agreements on funding programs, research regulations on clinical trials, and Euratom, says Venki Ramakrishnan, who heads The Royal Society in London. Speed will be crucial, he says. “The longer the uncertainty, the less of a player we’ll be in European science.”To many, the largest risk that Brexit poses for science is the same one that threatens the whole United Kingdom: a recession, which would jeopardize recent large increases in domestic research funding and could cause a brain drain. The end of free movement with the European Union also has “huge implications for science,” says Naomi Weir, deputy director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering in London, which advocates for a smooth and affordable research immigration system. A long-awaited government white paper on immigration is expected to be published this month. Ministers have said they will welcome foreign talent, but Weir worries about an increased burden on employers and an advisory committee proposal for a £30,000 minimum salary for all immigrants, which could complicate hiring of technical staff.Some scientists want a do-over. “Brexit is simply bad for science,” says Paul Nurse, head of The Francis Crick Institute in London. “The best thing would be to go back and say we made a mistake.” But the politics of a second referendum are tortuous, and time is short. As the maelstrom intensifies, many researchers are focusing on their work. Nurse, however, urges more to speak out. “The scientific community really has to indicate why it’s so worried,” he says. “I don’t think we’ve done enough.” By Erik StokstadDec. 5, 2018 , 3:00 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe THIERRY ROGE/Avalon.red/Newscom center_img Looming Parliament vote boosts Brexit jitters for U.K. scientists Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to persuade Parliament to accept a plan for an orderly Brexit. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country U.K. scientists dreading the country’s impending departure from the European Union, known as Brexit, now face possible outcomes ranging from undesirable to potentially disastrous—with an outside chance of a last-minute reprieve. Two and a half years after a divisive popular vote to leave the European Union, against the wishes of most scientists, politicians must soon decide whether the divorce will be orderly or chaotic. “Everyone’s just holding their breath,” says economist Philip McCann of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, part of a team studying the implications of Brexit. “If it’s a disorderly exit, the consequences could be very, very severe.”On 11 December, Parliament will vote on a withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May reached with the European Union in November. It lays out the terms of a costly but smooth departure from the European Union, starting in March 2019. If the agreement is rejected, the United Kingdom could crash out instead, triggering chaos at the border, food shortages, and economic hardship. But a growing number of politicians, including former science minister Sam Gyimah, who resigned last week to protest the withdrawal agreement, are now agitating for a second referendum that might reverse the first one.Ever since that referendum in June 2016, many U.K. scientists have lamented the loss of EU membership perks that Brexit will mean. It will end the free movement of researchers across the English Channel and Irish Sea. It could prevent U.K. researchers from applying to EU grant programs. And the country will leave the Euratom treaty, which governs the operations of the Joint European Torus, a fusion facility near Oxford, U.K., and give up a role in ITER, a much larger fusion research reactor being built near Cadarache in France.last_img read more

JeM terrorist absconding after conviction held

first_img J&K: 6 militants among 9 killed in Valley Related News Advertising “Ahmad was initially arrested along with Abdul Gafoor, a hardcore JeM cadre from Sialkot in Pakistan, and others in 2007 following a fierce encounter in Delhi,” a senior police officer said. “He went into hiding after a trial court acquitted him in 2013. This decision was later reversed by the Delhi High Court, which convicted him in 2014.”Ahmad was carrying a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, police said. —With PTI Inputs Delhi’s dossier on Jaish chief Masood Azhar: Pathankot to Pulwama, his fingerprints By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2019 3:01:53 am JeM terrorist absconding after conviction held Ahmad was carrying a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head, police said.A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist, absconding for over four years after being sentenced by the Delhi High Court, has been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The accused, Basir Ahmad, a resident of J&K’s Sopore, was held in Srinagar and brought to Delhi to face sentencing by the High Court, officials said Tuesday. Anantanag attack: Govt must take suitable action to prevent incidents in future, says Congress Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Right Blasts Twitters Bot Takedown

first_imgTwitter “is attempting to compensate for people’s stupidity,” Jude said. “Rather than stating up front that nothing posted on Twitter can be taken at face value, they pretend that everything should be true.”That’s impossible in an open forum, which demands open discussion, he said. “People need to be discerning enough to check anything they see on Twitter with alternative sources.” A Better Way? Further, account holders’ services should not let a user select several accounts they control to follow specified account.Twitter also modified TweetDeck’s multiple account functionality so users no longer can select multiple accounts to tweet, retweet, like or follow. Conservatives on Twitter have been fulminating over their losses of followers measured in the thousands, a consequence of the network’s unannounced lockout earlier this week of suspected bot accounts.Among those objecting to the move are some high-profile figures known for expressing extreme right-wing views, including Michael Flynn Jr., son of the disgraced former national security advisor to Donald Trump; white supremacist Richard Spencer; Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson; and NRA TV host Dan Bongino.Those affected have been airing their complaints using the hashtag #TwitterLockOut.The twitter purge is real. You may have to refollow me after last night if you’re interested in my content. Twitter blocked me from twitter ads last night and purged thousands of followers. Spread the word. #TwitterLockOut @TwitterSupport @jack @twitter— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 21, 2018The Russian Embassy in the UK tweeted that it lost about 100 followers after Twitter’s action. Lost around 100 followers after #TwitterLockOut – means the rest 99.8% are real. We are proud of our amazing followers! pic.twitter.com/qgIbQdG6Hi— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) February 22, 2018″My best friend Polly got locked out of her account,” tweeted TheDeBsTer#ExonerateGeneralFlynn.🔥PATRIOT ALERT🔥My best friend Polly got locked out of her acct during #TwitterLockout. She lost 19k followers. Let’s make her whole again! #AmericanPrideTT45 riders can do it in no time flat!FOLLOW 👇🏻@SnarkyOracle 💥🔒💥🔒💥🔒💥🚂🚃RT🚃🚂💨#PatriotsUnite#ThrottleUP pic.twitter.com/0YJl0p9FRK— 🔥The DeBsTeR™️🔥#ExonerateGeneralFlynn (@APTT45Babe) February 22, 2018However, not all the victims were suspected trolls or Russian bots.Wow, I (a Catholic priest) was a part of the #TwitterLockOut? Strange…— Fr. Peter Law (@realFrPeter) February 22, 2018 Closed vs. Open Forums “One of the things that fascinates me about technology firms like Twitter is how little they seem to get how technology works,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.Twitter “could have tested with a sample,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They could have modeled their plan before implementing it. … Instead, they took an untested idea and implemented it.”Modeling “would have determined that the path they were taking would do them damage without their having to actually incur that damage,” Enderle suggested. “They chose fast over smart, and it backfired badly.”Twitter’s reaction to the fallout was “dismal,” he continued. The company “needs to apologize, restore the non-bot accounts, and put in place a modeling system so they don’t shoot themselves in the foot the next time. This would be a great application for a deep learning/AI system that was properly trained.”The complainers also could have handled the situation better, observed Michael Jude, research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.”It’s ironic that the conservatives feel they were abused by the system so they’re reacting like victims instead of asking for a constructive discussion,” he told TechNewsWorld.That said, “I’m sure there are ways to provide oversight without ticking off people,” Jude said. “It wouldn’t take much logic to build into the system hashtags keyed to the country of origin of a tweet.”Perhaps Twitter could establish a website listing suspect accounts, detailing why they’re suspect and providing guidance on how to verify the validity of accounts, he suggested. “These could be time limited — notify within X weeks or the account will be removed.” Twitter reacted to the furor on Wednesday with an online post spelling out its policy on using automation tools to exploit the platform.”To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behavior may result in enforcement action,” wrote developer policy lead Yoel Roth.Today, we’re clarifying our rules on automation using multiple accounts, as well as removing any possible ambiguity created by our own implementations. Please read, and note the March 23, 2018 deadline.https://t.co/DDznLRjGvQ— Twitter API (@TwitterAPI) February 21, 2018Twitter account holders must not simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts, whether the tweets are published at the same time or queued for future publication.Account holders can retweet content originating in one account from a small number of other accounts that they directly control. Bulk, aggressive, or very high-volume automated retweeting is not allowed and may be subject to enforcement. Twitter’s Response Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.last_img read more

Study analyzes role of environmental exposures in pediatric asthma control

first_img Source:http://www.chestnet.org/News/Press-Releases/2018/10/Have Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 5 2018A study from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital analyzed environmental exposures, like pet and secondhand smoke, to determine if they have a role in asthma control among children whose asthma is managed per NAEPP (EPR-3) guidelines. Researchers found that once asthma guidelines are followed, environmental exposures to pets or secondhand smoke were not significant factors in overall asthma improvement over time.Related StoriesGrowing up on farm with animals may half risk of asthma and allergies, suggests studyNovel lung map reveals new cells responsible for asthmaEliminating asthma triggers right at the source to create healthier homesChildren with the diagnosis of uncontrolled asthma and were followed at a pediatric asthma center were provided asthma care as per NAEPP guidelines. At each visit (3-6 months), families completed asthma questionnaires including acute care needs, symptom control and asthma control test (ACT). Asthma control in patients was evaluated at each visit. Results were compared between patients with or without exposure to secondhand smoking and between patients with or without exposure to pets (cats or dogs) at home at baseline and over time.Three hundred and ninety-five children, ages 2 to 17 years, were included in this study; 25 percent were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, and 55 percent were exposed to a cat or dog at home. Clinical outcomes included over time in this cohort, and this improvement was independent of pet exposure. These findings suggest that asthma treatment is more important than certain types of environmental exposures.Further results from these two studies will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2018 in San Antonio on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Centre, Exhibit Hall. The study abstracts can be viewed on thelast_img read more

Veterans who suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries are at greater risk for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 28 2018A new Veterans Affairs study finds that post-9-11 veterans with a history of repeated traumatic brain injuries–versus none–are at much greater risk for considering suicide.The study, funded by VA’s Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), appeared online in the journal Psychological Services in November 2018.The researchers found that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) were about twice as likely to report recent suicidal ideation–suicidal thoughts over the past week–compared with vets with one TBI or none at all.Dr. Robert Shura, a neuropsychologist at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in North Carolina, led the study.”Suicide is a major concern with veterans,” he says. “Right now, the prime point of intervention is at the level of thinking about suicide. Therefore, identifying characteristics of veterans who are more likely to think about suicide is a high priority.”The findings stemmed from interviews with more than 800 veterans who held combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The researchers were mainly interested in whether the vets had experienced suicidal thoughts in the past week. About half of the veterans reported at least one TBI. Of those, nearly 20 percent with a history of multiple TBIs told of recent suicidal ideation, compared with 11 percent with one TBI and 9 percent with no history of a traumatic brain injury.The level of suicidal thinking was defined by the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation.The veterans with at least one TBI were much younger and more likely to be white and male than those with no brain injuries. The TBI group also reported significantly poorer sleep quality and much higher rates of depression, both of which are risk factors for suicidal ideation. Of the veterans with at least one brain injury, 18 percent met the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD), which is intense feelings of sadness over long periods of time.All the participants were enrolled in VHA benefits, but some were not using VA for care, Shura says. The researchers used specific items in the interviews, such as a positive response on the Beck Scale, to identify those who may need help. In those cases, a licensed mental health professional promptly completed a suicide risk assessment and proceeded based on clinical judgment, he explains.Shura says the results were consistent with prior research that has found a link between multiple TBIs and suicide. “But we need to be careful not to oversimplify things,” he adds. “There are folks with a single TBI in their past who have had suicidal ideation, and there are those with many TBIs who have not.”However, he found it “somewhat unexpected” that PTSD wasn’t consistently associated with suicidal ideation in veterans with TBI.”There’s research suggesting a relationship between PTSD and suicidal ideation,” he says. “Our results are only one piece of a complex puzzle and should not be taken to mean that veterans suffering PTSD do not have suicidal ideation. Suicidal ideation is not a defining symptom for PTSD, but it certainly is for major depressive disorder. Depression was consistently related to suicidal ideation in our sample, due to how we defined the diagnosis. A more interesting and clinically relevant result is that poor sleep quality was related to recent suicidal ideation. Providers probably need to pay more attention to returning veterans who continue to have sleep issues after re-adjustment from deployment.”Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe results in Shura’s study mirrored those in a civilian-based study that appeared in August 2018 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study included more than 7 million people living in Denmark between 1980 and 2014, of which nearly 35,000 died by suicide.Ten percent of those who killed themselves were diagnosed with some form of a TBI. Those people were nearly twice as likely to die by suicide, compared with those with no TBI diagnosis, according to the research. In addition, people with a severe TBI were at much higher risk of suicide than those with a mild brain injury.Shura isn’t certain why traumatic brain injury may increase the possibility of suicide. His best guess is that the risk isn’t related primarily to the brain injury, but to the theory that a series of difficult life events can have a cumulative effect on someone.”For example, during deployment, a service member is exposed to traumatic events, possible stressful situations at home, and chronic sleep deprivation,” he says. “On returning home, the veteran may struggle with chronic pain, difficulty adjusting, continued sleep issues, depression, and heavy alcohol use. TBI may have little to do with all of that. But those with multiple TBIs may be more likely than others to have that cumulative trajectory and thus thoughts of suicide.”Another possibility is raised by a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, by a VA team in San Diego. Based on assessments of 282 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans with a history of mild TBI, the researchers linked certain specific cognitive deficits that often occur in TBI to higher rates of suicidal thinking. They concluded, “Slowed processing speed and/or memory difficulties may make it challenging to access and use past experiences to solve current problems and imagine future outcomes, leading to increases in hopelessness and suicidal ideation in Veterans with three of more mTBIs.”A number of other VA studies to date have looked at TBI and suicidality, and Shura expects to see yet more research on the subject.”One or two studies does not tell the whole story,” he says. “Accumulating research from a variety of samples and methodologies is necessary to even begin to understand some of the complex relationships of this topic.” Source:https://www.research.va.gov/last_img read more