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State Roundup Sequestrations Impacts Include Less Grant Dollars

first_imgA selection of state health policy stories from Texas, Missouri, Connecticut and North Carolina.Stateline: Health Care Cuts From Vaccinations To ResearchSequestration spares Medicaid and almost all of Medicare, but automatic cuts to other federal health-care programs will make it more difficult for low-income Americans to get maternal and infant care, vaccinate their children, and receive treatment for mental illness. The federal government gives states tens of millions of dollars in grant money for health services each year, and all of those programs are subject to sequestration cuts. In addition, Washington will be funneling less public health and research money to states because of automatic cuts to federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health (Ollove, 3/11). The Associated Press: Right-To-Life Groups Split On End-Of-Life DecisionA battle is brewing at the Texas Legislature among right-to-life groups, but rather than debating when life begins, they are fighting over the rules that govern the end of a terminally ill person’s life. The dispute revolves around what should happen when the patient’s family wants to continue medical treatment when the doctors think it would only prolong the suffering (Tomlinson, 3/10).Kansas City Star: Missouri Bill Would Let Health Providers Opt Out Of More Reproductive ServicesLaws allowing health care workers to refuse to participate in an abortion have been on the books for decades. Missouri legislators, however, don’t think they go far enough. They want to expand those laws to allow medical professionals to opt out of providing birth control, sterilization and assisted reproduction services and stem cell research. They would also be able to deny referrals for care. Under legislation that could come up for a vote in the Missouri House as early as today, health care providers would be shielded from punishment for refusing to provide this type of care if it violates their religious or moral principles (Hancock, 3/10). CT Mirror: Residents Want Local Approval Power Over Inmate Nursing HomeFeeling duped and fearful of the state’s plan to move inmates and mentally ill patients into a former nursing home without zoning approval, Rocky Hill neighbors and town leaders testified Friday for a bill that would require local site approval. Lawmakers representing Rocky Hill proposed the bill to prevent the state from opening similar prison nursing homes in the future. … The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Corrections plan to place infirm inmates who are near parole and mentally ill patients from the Connecticut Valley Hospital in the 95-bed nursing home. The home is privately owned will be privately run by iCare Inc. of Manchester (Merritt, 3/9). North Carolina Health News: More Changes, Consolidation To Come In Mental Health SystemThe future for mental health care services in North Carolina looks like one with fewer agencies managing the dollars and still more upheaval. There are presently 11 managed care organizations delivering mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance abuse services around the state (Sisk, 3/8).North Carolina Health News: Bill Provides Relief For Mentally Ill In Legal LimboA bill revived from last year’s session would keep defendants with mental health problems from bouncing between state psychiatric hospitals and county jails while waiting to be tried (Hoban, 3/11). State Roundup: Sequestration’s Impacts Include Less Grant Dollars This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Samsung expands SmartThings with new camera plug and bulb to take on

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Samsung has announced three new products as it looks to become a bigger challenger in the smart home space. The SmartThings Cam, WiFi Smart Plug and Smart Bulb make up the new additions to the range.Samsung is hoping to make SmartThings a more serious option for smart home enthusiasts. The company announced a new range of products but put the focus on its new smart home camera – the SmartThings Cam.Related: Best security cameraThe SmartThings Cam is similar to products like the Nest Cam and Hive View. The camera is intended for inside your home and should give you some great clarity with Full HD, HDR (High Dynamic Range) and wide-angle video.The camera features a range of monitoring features including advanced object detection to sense motion. It will be able to see plenty, too. The SmartThings Cam has a 145-degree view.To see what your SmartThings Cam can see, you’ll just have to pop into your SmartThings app – you can even receive notifications regarding different types of activity that the camera spots. You’ll also be able to use the camera’s two-way audio to allow for communication via the device.Related: Best smart plugAnother handy feature is that the new SmartThings Cam doesn’t need a smart hub to work. Instead, the SmartThings Cam can be used by simply connecting to your Wi-Fi –  so there’s no need to buy an expensive SmartThings Hub. The SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug – which was also announced today – doesn’t require a hub to work either. Rounding out the new products is the Smart Bulb – Samsung’s attempt to draw customers away from the massively popular Philip Hue smart light bulbs. The Smart Bulb does require a SmartThings Hub, however. The SmartThings Cam is priced at $89.99 (~£71). The SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug comes in at $17.99 (~£15) and the SmartThings Smart Bulb is just $9.99 (~£8). We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Razers Star Wars keyboard and mouse look out of this world awesome

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Most gaming peripherals look like glow stick-raving goths, sporting jet black design and RGB lighting galore. Razer’s changing it up a bit today though, launching a slew of snazzy Stormtrooper gaming peripherals ahead of Star Wars Day on 4 May. These products aren’t entirely new mind, with the previously available Razer Atheris Wireless Mouse and Razer BlackWidow Lite Silent Mechanical Keyboard both being treated to the Stormtrooper spruce. There’s even a new 920mm-wide Star Wars mouse mat, which is so long you’ll probably need to take a trip to Ikea for a larger desk. But while the specs and hardware remain the same, the opportunity to upgrade your gaming setup with such svelte Star Wars gear is mighty tempting, even if you might end up looking like a space nazi sympathiser. What we’d do for a Skywalker alternative range. Razer was kind enough to send over these Stormtrooper goodies for a close-up look, so we’ve compiled a feature range just in case you fancy turning to the dark side of gaming.Related: Best Gaming Laptop 2019Razer BlackWidow Lite Silent Mechanical Keyboard – Stormtrooper EditionEven if you’re not a Star Wars obsessive, it would be difficult to deny the Stormtrooper edition of the Razer BlackWidow Lite looks incredibly stylish. That white glow radiating underneath the keys is very ominous, especially when paired with the inky black keys.Even the keyboard’s braided cable has a black-and-white colour scheme, giving the illusion you’re viewing it through old detective noir filter. And let’s not forget the Imperial crest invading the escape key, which is pretty fun to violently smash. As mentioned, all the specs remain the identical to the regular Razer BlackWidow Lite keyboard. You get Razer Orange Mechanical Switches, 1000 Hz Ultrapolling, fully programmable keys and an 80-million keystroke lifespan. The the inclusion of O-rings also mean you can customise the loudness of the key’s clickety-clack, so you can be a silent as Boba Fett during a hunt. Retailing for £99.99, the Stormtrooper edition costs no more than the standard one. We’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far, and it’s a refreshing change to see Razer steer away from the uniform black design. We’ve actually got a review in the pipeline, so keep your eyes on Trusted to see our final verdict.Related: Best Gaming Mouse 2019Razer Atheris Wireless Mouse – Stormtrooper EditionThe Razer Atheris is a diddy little wireless mouse, and while it lacks much in the way of features or design quirks it’s a solid and super-responsive peripheral. If you’re bored of black, the introduction of the Stormtrooper helmet design looks a serious upgrade. And despite going for plastic, the mouse feels very premium and is so smooth we can’t stop stroking it.The textured grey rubber on the sides stands out a lot more this time round, and complements the ice white of the rest of mouse fabulously well.The 7200 DPI optical sensor means the Razer Atheris isn’t among the speediest gaming mice in the galaxy, but it should still easily be responsive enough to gun down your enemies – well, unless you’ve the aim of a Stormtrooper that is.The claimed 350-hour battery life via a pair of AA batteries also means you’ll have to play a hell of a lot of Apex Legends rounds to deplete the charge. The 2.4GHz wireless connection should also be very stable, so you don’t need to worry about losing control in the middle of a firefight. The Razer Atheris Wireless Mouse – Stormtrooper Edition costs £59.99, so you’ve got to pay a £4.99 premium on the standard black version. That’s a little disappointing, but easy to justify if you want your gaming room to replicate the interior of a Death Star.Related: Best Gaming Keyboard 2019Goliathus Extended Gaming Mouse Mat – Stormtrooper Edition Completing the Stormtrooper set is the Goliathus Extended Gaming Mouse Mat, with the Imperial soldiers posed like a boy band about to take part in some paintball action. Despite the comparison to One Direction, this Goliathus mat looks stone-cold cool. It continues the black-and-white aesthetic, while also subtlety implementing the Imperial badge in the background.With a 920mm width, it is a little too long for our liking, with a number of eyebrow raises throughout the Trusted office. Then again, this mouse mat is intended to accommodate your keyboard too. You’re going to have to cough up – and we mean a Vader-intensive cough up – a mighty £34.99 for the pleasure of this mouse mat, which is pretty steep.That said, with the entire Razer Stormtrooper range assembled on your desk, we can’t deny that it looks seriously slick. We know for sure that Vader would use such a setup when racking up his death-to-kill ratio on Battlefront 2. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

The reactions to the BBCs bizarre Facebook documentary prove that its well

first_imgOh dear, BBC. Who got you to make this appalling programme – did Mark ring you, or did you ring him! #InsideTheSocialNetwork— Tanja McFadyen (@TanjaMcF) July 16, 2019If you missed it, don’t worry because it’ll be available to stream on BBC iPlayer for the next 29 days. To tune in now, just follow this link.It’s well worth a watch, if only for the laughs.Oh, and if you’re on your holidays and not sure if you’ll be able to access iPlayer where you are, a common workaround is to use a VPN. We’ve rounded up three of the best VPNs for streaming below: Best VPNs For StreamingExpressVPNNo.1 trusted VPN on the market, with unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off on their one year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.Express VPN|Save 49%|£6.67/monthView Deal£6.67/month|Save 49%|Express VPNHotspot ShieldOne of the best overall VPN’s on the market, Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN for streaming, browsing and security. Pay for one year now and save 77%.Hotspot Shield|Save 77%|£2.99/monthView Deal£2.99/month|Save 77%|Hotspot ShieldNordVPNNordVPN is one of the fastest and most secure VPN services with unlimited and private P2P. Pay for a 3 year subscription and save 75%.Nord VPN|Save 75%|£2.29/monthView Deal£2.29/month|Save 75%|Nord VPN What on earth is going on with the BBC? #InsideTheSocialNetwork is just one long puff piece with extremely soft, almost meaningless critical counterpoints.— Brexit is a con (@WaseemZakir) July 16, 2019 We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. You have to commend Facebook for their ability to get an entire hour of controlled narrative publicity on the BBC. This whole thing has completely glossed over the data breaches and extremism and not paying tax. #insidethesocialnetwork— Clairey (@claireyfairy1) July 16, 2019 Big tech propaganda on #BBC2 currently. Amazing the perks a company like Facebook can give it’s employees when it pays little to no tax on it’s massive profits, and receives derisory fines from regulators for misusing customer data. #InsideTheSocialNetwork— Ciaran (@negative1907) July 16, 2019 #Facebook #insidethesocialnetwork @BBCTwo “we don’t care about money, that’s secondary, we care about people” @facebook best joke of the day lol pic.twitter.com/J10ZOgNqI2— Harpo Can Talk (@HarpoCanTalk) July 16, 2019And @HarpoCanTalk wasn’t the only person that couldn’t quite believe what they’d just watched. Here’s a taster of how the documentary went down:center_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. A documentary on Facebook was on the telly last night, and it was genuinely bizarre.While Facebook, Google and other tech giants are regularly in the news, they’re rarely the focus of a mainstream documentary. ‘Horizon: Inside the Social Network: Facebook’s difficult year’ promised to tackle the “difficult questions”.And there are plenty that need tackling. The role Facebook played in the Brexit vote, the role it played in Donald Trump’s election, its role in the spread of hate-fuelling misinformation, a multitude of enormous data breaches, and the company’s tax and advertising practices − the list goes on.Unfortunately, at times this felt much more like an extended ad for the site. And by the end I was almost sold.Related: How to delete your Facebook accountThe standout moment was undoubtedly the bit where Kyle (no surname given) tried to convince a group of new hires (and viewers at home) that Facebook cares more about society than profits. I kid you not.“Everything we do, we’re doing to connect people, and we’re doing to try and bring social value in that connection,” he said.“That means that every product decision that we make is tuned for: ‘Does it do good in the world?’ We’re not a company that’s designed to make money. We’re a company that’s designed to create communities, and let those communities make a difference in the world. We think about money as a secondary thing.” Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

Trudeau says Canada wants out of 13 billion deal to sell armored

first_imgTrudeau’s administration has said it wouldn’t issue new export permits during its review of the deal, which was signed by the previous government.The Canadian leader had indicated previously that his government’s hands were somewhat tied by the contract, saying it could cost $1 billion to cancel it.“The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that’s why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” Trudeau told CTV.Bloomberg.com General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Lav 6 vehicles are shown carrying troops in 2016.Sgt Jean-Francois Lauzé/Combat Camera/General Dynamics Bloomberg News Comment Reddit Canada was looking for a way out of a US$13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a televised interview Sunday.“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV on Sunday, without elaborating.Amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government has been reviewing the planned sale of the armored vehicles made by London, Ontario-based General Dynamics Land Systems, a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp.General Dynamics Land Systems in London, Ont. More Trudeau says Canada wants out of $13 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia Review of sale comes amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → Twitter Share this storyTrudeau says Canada wants out of $13 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Recommended For You’We were experiencing headwinds’ — Canopy Growth stock heads south on poor sales ramp-upDefining the future of Canadian competitiveness: How partnerships between industry and educational institutions can help lead the way forwardTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016 Facebook Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network December 17, 20187:03 AM EST Filed under News Economy 0 Comments advertisement Natalie Obiko Pearson Email Sponsored By: Featured Stories ← Previous Next →last_img read more

Green Deals Sun Joe 2030 PSI Electric Pressure Washer 109 Reg 150

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Amazon offers the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI 1.76-GPM 14.5A Electric Pressure Washer for $109 shipped. Also available at Home Depot. That’s goods for a $40 discount from the going rate and is a new Amazon all-time low. Sun Joe’s Pressure washer includes a 14.5A electric motor and sprays 1.76GPM of water at 2030 PSI. Plus it has a 34-inch extension on the spray wand. As a #1 best-seller, over 5,800 shoppers have left a 4.2/5 star rating. more…The post Green Deals: Sun Joe 2030 PSI Electric Pressure Washer $109 (Reg. $150), more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Teslacam Dashcam Captures Tesla Model 3 Barely Avoiding Crash

first_img Mad Max Motorcycle Road Rage Captured On TeslaCam Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 17, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News No road rage this time around, but there is still some scary footage.This Teslacam dashcam clip shows us a really close call in which the Tesla Model 3 barely avoids a wreck.More Teslacam Clips Source: Electric Vehicle News More Tesla Dashcam “TeslaCam” Road Rage Antics Watch TeslaCam Capture Motorcycle Versus Car Crash As you’ll see in the clip, the Tesla Model 3’s active accident avoidance systems (such as front radar & Automatic Emergency Braking) stepped in to keep the car from crashing.In an incident such as this, the car is typically quicker to react than even a skilled driver and this is what prevents the Model 3 from smashing into the car in front. As the Model 3 in the video changes lanes, the vehicles ahead come to an abrupt stop and collide. From the footage and the video description, it appears as though the Model 3 came within inches of hitting the vehicle in front.Aside from clips like this, Teslacam has proven useful in capturing the license plates of offending drivers too. Honestly, it’s a feature that should be standard on all cars. Unfortunately, you’ll only find it on Teslas right now.But with more and more of these types of videos surfacing, as well as those road rage ones, we tend to think that something like Teslacam will become increasingly popular, even at the OEM level.Video description:Super close call on I-75 S just north of the perimeter in Atlanta. Footage taken directly from the built in TeslaCam.last_img read more

Honda Trademarks Honda e For Possible Electric Car Brand

first_img Honda Reveals First Glimpse Of Interior Of Urban EV Prototype Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News China’s CATL & Honda Sign Massive EV Battery Deal How about “Honda e Civic”?Honda has recently filed trademark applications (in Switzerland and the European Union) for the name Honda e, in a category reserved for vehicles, according to HybridCars.com.The new name Honda e suggests that the Japanese manufacturer is preparing a new electric sub-brand or at least it will be the name of a new model. We bet more likely on sub-brand, as many automakers around the world already adopted a similar system like Audi x e-tron, BMW ix, Mercedes-Benz EQx, etc.Honda news At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, which appears likely to become the biggest EV unveiling event in history, Honda will present its latest prototype version of the Urban EV model.Honda is a bit late to this real EV party, but it does have success with its Clarity PHEV, a long-range plug-in hybrid. Therefore, we’re confident Honda will be able to succeed in the pure electric segment when it actually puts a real effort in.Source: hybridcars.com Honda Unveils Adorable Urban EV-Like Electric Conceptlast_img read more

Nissan LEAF Plus first drive review more of a good thing

first_imgLast week we were invited to San Diego to drive the new Nissan Leaf Plus, the updated version of the Leaf with a new 62kWh battery pack, which will start sales in March.  We spent the day driving it all through the county on a variety of roads, and came away impressed if not surprised by this iteration on an already-solid package. more…The post Nissan LEAF Plus first drive review: more of a good thing appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Fasting diets could raise risk of diabetes say experts

first_imgAccording to their research findings, the team noted that these diets based on frequent or alternate day fasting could damage the way sugar-regulating hormone insulin works in the body. Frequent fasting can alter insulin function and secretion and raise the risk of getting diabetes they warn. Ana Bonassa and her team from University of São Paulo in Brazil, in their study looked at the health effects of these fasting diets.Bonassa explains that this is the first study that looks deep into the effects of fasting diet on health. She explains that fasting intermittently can damage the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for secreting insulin hormone in normal healthy individuals. this could lead to diabetes and other health problems she added.Intermittent fasting diets have become a weight-watchers’ mantra these days say researchers with many people swearing by it. There is a 5:2 diet, where the participants fast for two days in a week on alternate days. The long term effects of this type of diet were hitherto unknown. There have been studies that show that on fasting, in the short term too there can be health risks. For example fasting can lead to production of free radicals that are highly reactive and can cause damage to the cells and tissues. These free radicals have been implicated in causing cancer, long term diseases and also accelerating the ageing process.Related StoriesObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantDiabetes medications mask euglycemic ketoacidosis at the time of surgeryNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsThis latest study looked at the effects of fasting on alternate days on the changes in body weight and also levels of free radicals in blood and insulin function. They tested this on normal adult rats for three months. They noted that over time the fasting diet reduced the amount of food that the rats were taking but the fat around the bellies actually increased. Further, the intermittent fasting had caused damage to the cells of the pancreas that release insulin. This led to insulin resistance and low amounts of insulin. Free radical levels rose too with the fasting diet regimen.According to Bonassa, this study gives a fair idea of what these diets are doing to humans. In the long term this diet may be causing more harm than we know now she added. She explained that people who are overweight or obese may already have insulin resistance. When they adopt the fasting diet, they just worsen their condition. Insulin resistance is tied to development of type 2 diabetes she said. The diet works initially by helping in dramatic weight loss initially but the damage occurs in the long term Bonassa explained.Type-2 diabetes is one of the major health problems worldwide and is associated with poor diet and inactive lifestyles. It is linked to obesity and insulin resistance intricately. Image Credit: Ekaterina Markelova / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMay 21 2018Br Dr Ananya Mandal, MDOne of the new fangled diets include fasting frequently to lose weight. A team of researchers speaking at the European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting at Barcelona last weekend have said that this could be severely detrimental to health.last_img read more

Hearthealthy diet could be great way to prevent reduce abdominal obesity

first_img Source:http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2018/08/23/_one_weird_trickto-go7Y.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 24 2018Do you wish you could decrease your waistline? Reducing abdominal obesity can lower health risks – but despite claims you may have seen on the Internet, no trending diet can help you specifically eliminate belly fat, according to an article in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®, an official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. “There is still no miracle diet, food, nutrient, or bioactive component that will target abdominal fat,” writes Kari D. Pilolla, PhD, RDN, of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. But a heart-healthy diet high in fiber and low in saturated fats is a great way to prevent and reduce abdominal obesity, according to the article, part of a special theme issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, focusing on Nutrition.What’s New in Nutrition? New Updates for Health and Fitness ProfessionalsAmid the ongoing obesity epidemic, there is increasing attention to the health risks associated with abdominal obesity – excess fat stored around the abdomen. According to the most recent data, 54 percent of Americans have abdominal obesity, while the estimated average waist circumference is growing.”Independent of body weight, a larger waist circumference increases risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome,” Dr. Pilolla writes. These risks are mainly related to visceral adipose tissue – fat stored below the abdominal muscles, surrounding the major internal organs. Visceral adipose tissue appears to be more “metabolically active” than subcutaneous fat, stored under the skin but above the abdominal muscles.While definitions vary, abdominal obesity has been defined as a waist circumference of about 34 inches in women and 40 inches in men. Measuring waist circumference is the most common and convenient method of assessing abdominal obesity, and it corresponds well to other techniques (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and CT/MRI scans). Risk of abdominal obesity increases with age, especially in women, and with changes in hormone levels.Can diet help to fight abdominal obesity? These days, the Internet is full of extravagant claims of “new discoveries” to “cure belly fat.” Diets touted as reducing abdominal obesity include intermittent fasting, high-protein diets, the “Paleo” diet, and green tea, among many others. But there’s a lack of high-quality evidence on these trending diets, none of which has been shown more effective than other types of energy-restricted (reduced-calorie) diets.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsThe good news is, some diet characteristics appear helpful in reducing or preventing abdominal obesity – particularly lower intake of trans and saturated fats and higher intake of fiber. “These recommendations are consistent with heart-healthy diets like the NIH-developed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean-style diet,” Dr. Pilolla writes. Her article includes information on these diets – both great options as part of a weight loss program including diet and/or exercise, as recommended by the ACSM.Dr. Pilolla recommends that health and fitness professionals assess and monitor abdominal obesity in their clients, and to evaluate their cardiometabolic health risks. Clients should be educated about evidence-based, heart-healthy diets; working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help in achieving healthy weight loss through diet and exercise.”With the health consequences associated with abdominal obesity, research will not cease in this area,” Dr. Pilolla comments. “Health and fitness professionals should continue to stay up-to-date and critical of peer-reviewed, published research evidence. A single study, even if well designed, does not support changing diet or exercise recommendations.”The theme issue addresses a range of nutrition-related topics of interest to health and fitness professionals, including food and fitness for active older adults, sport nutrition to optimize performance, the benefits of a “food first” approach for athletes, potential harmful effects of common diet trends, and diet and exercise steps to a healthier gut. Laura Kruskall, PhD, RDN, CSSD, LD, FACSM, FAND, of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is Guest Editor of the special issue.”As a sports dietitian and ACSM-Certified Exercise Physiologist, I certainly understand that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand,” Dr. Kruskall comments. “It is important for both exercise and nutrition professions to give consistent information that is accurate, evidence-based, and applicable to our patients and clients. This special issue is full of such information written by experts in the field. I hope readers enjoy this issue and leave with some exciting take-away points that can be used in practice.”​last_img read more

Controversial pesticides can decimate honey bees large study finds

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Erik StokstadJun. 29, 2017 , 2:00 PM Controversial pesticides can decimate honey bees, large study finds Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) REUTERS/ADREES LATIF Emailcenter_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 Problems in commercial honey bee colonies helped stir concern about neonicotinoid pesticides. Europe’s largest field trial of controversial insecticides called neonicotinoids has delivered a split verdict on the danger they pose to bees. The £2.8 million, 2-year-long study of 33 sites in the United Kingdom, Hungary, and Germany, described this week in Science, provides the first real-world demonstration that agricultural use of these common pesticides can hurt both domesticated honey bees and wild bees. But on German farms, the honey bees did just fine, suggesting that in some situations colonies can weather the toxicity.”We learn again: It’s complicated,” says biologist Tjeerd Blacquière of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The mixed findings are likely to intensify ongoing debates about restricting or banning the compounds, with both sides claiming vindication.Neonicotinoids became popular as insects evolved resistance to other compounds, and they are now the world’s most widely used class of insecticides. They are commonly coated on seeds rather than sprayed on leaves, so they guard against soil pests; later, the seedlings take up the pesticide, protecting the plant from insects. But neonicotinoids also find their way into pollen and nectar, posing a threat to pollinators. In the laboratory, low doses cause disorientation and other effects in bees. That fed suspicions that the pesticides might play a role in honey bee declines that beekeepers were reporting. As a precaution, the European Union in 2013 put a moratorium on using three neonicotinoids on oilseed rape and other flowering crops that attract bees.Companies have argued that lab studies aren’t realistic. Field trials, meanwhile, have not found an impact on honey bees, but some have shown harm to other kinds of bees, including bumble bees and solitary mason bees. In 2014, Bayer CropScience and Syngenta asked the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), a government-funded research organization headquartered in Wallingford, U.K., to conduct an independent field trial of two neonicotinoids: clothianidin and thiamethoxam. After receiving exemptions from national regulators, the researchers planted treated oilseed rape, then monitored nearby bees. To explore the role of farming conditions, they did the trials in three countries.In Germany, they saw no lasting effects in honey bee colonies near the treated crops. But in Hungary, colonies near oilseed rape treated with clothianidin had, on average, 24% fewer workers the following spring. (Thiamethoxam had no effect.) U.K. trends were similar, but not statistically significant.Richard Pywell, an ecologist at CEH, thinks the German honey bees might have fared better because the colonies were generally healthier than in the other two countries. Wildflowers growing near the German fields might also have provided extra resources that could have made the bees more resilient. “What this study might be telling us is that the bigger impact on the pollinators is not the pesticides but the larger landscape,” says Peter Campbell, head of product safety research collaborations at Syngenta in Reading, U.K. (Both Syngenta and Bayer CropScience, which helped fund the trial, encourage farmers to plant wildflowers around fields.)Wild bees are thought to be more vulnerable than honey bees to neonicotinoids; some earlier studies showed that exposed wild bees and bumble bees have depressed reproductive potential. The CEH researchers found that similar signs of harm correlated with higher levels of the chemicals in nests. They also found that the nests contained low levels of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid that hasn’t been used in Europe since the moratorium. That suggests neonicotinoids persist in the environment and are taken up by wildflowers, exposing bees years later—”a cause for concern,” Pywell says.A separate study of honey bees in Canadian maize fields identified up to 4 months of chronic exposure to neonicotinoids that also appear to have persisted from prior plantings. “It’s a much longer period of exposure than anyone had thought,” says ecologist Nigel Raine of the University of Guelph in Canada.Together, the findings help justify the current EU moratorium, believes Matthew Shardlow of the conservation organization Buglife in Peterborough, U.K. Ecologist Jeremy Kerr of the University of Ottawa, who commented on the findings, agrees. “The risks of neonicotinoids have been understated in the past and the benefits have been overstated,” he says. But Christian Maus, lead scientist for bee care at Bayer CropScience in Monheim am Rhein, Germany, says the CEH study does not heighten his concern. “We continue to be convinced that the products are safe for bees.”Many regulators are reviewing the compounds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not restricted any approved uses, and preliminary risk assessments for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, released this year, concluded that most uses are safe for pollinators. Last November, Health Canada proposed a phaseout of imidacloprid, based on risks to aquatic insects, but has delayed a decision until next year. And in July, the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed will consider extending its moratorium to all crops grown outside of greenhouses.last_img read more

Four billion passenger pigeons vanished Their large population may have been what

first_img DNA from passenger pigeon museum specimens provided key new insights into this species’s demise. © Bailey Library and Archives, Denver Museum of Nature & Science In 2014, Wen-San Huang, an evolutionary biologist at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei, and colleagues turned to DNA in an attempt to solve the mystery. Genetic material from four 19th century museum specimens revealed that the species had relatively low genetic diversity—meaning that most individuals were remarkably similar to each other—and that its numbers had fluctuated 1000-fold for millions of years. Hunting and habitat loss came during a time when the species was already declining, the team concluded, which pushed the birds over the edge.But the new study lays the lion’s share of the blame back on people. Beth Shapiro, a paleogenomicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and colleagues sequenced the complete genomes of two passenger pigeons, and analyzed the mitochondrial genomes—which reside in structures that power cells—of 41 individuals. The specimens came from throughout the bird’s range. In addition, they reanalyzed data from Hung’s group, and, for comparison, sequenced the bird’s closest living relative, the band-tailed pigeon. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Four billion passenger pigeons once darkened the skies of North America, but by the end of the 19th century, they were all gone. Now, a new study reveals that the birds’ large numbers are ironically what did them in. The pigeons evolved quickly, but in such a way to make them more vulnerable to hunting and other threats.The pigeon’s fate may hold lessons for other animals under pressure from humans or other dangers, says A. Townsend Peterson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence who was not involved with the work.Scientists have long blamed hunting and deforestation for the passenger pigeon’s disappearance—the birds destroyed the very trees in which they nested—but biologists still couldn’t make sense of why they declined so quickly and completely. Passenger pigeons just couldn’t adapt to having smaller populations. 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 Four billion passenger pigeons vanished. Their large population may have been what did them in Like Huang’s study, Shapiro’s analysis found a remarkable lack of genetic diversity—given their population size—in passenger pigeons. Yet Shapiro’s team does not think this low genetic diversity resulted from populations fluctuations. Such fluctuations should affect all parts of the genome equally, but instead Shapiro and her colleagues saw concentrated pockets of low genetic diversity. What’s more, their analysis of the passenger pigeons’ mitochondrial genomes suggested that the bird’s population was stable for at least the last 20,000 years—countering the idea that the birds were already vulnerable when people began hunting them.Instead, the passenger pigeon’s huge population is what made it vulnerable, Shapiro’s team reports today in Science. The birds were able to adapt faster to their environment—and spread these changes quickly within their population—but this also caused all of them to be fairly genetically similar. And when a new threat—like human hunters and habitat loss—came around, they suddenly found their physiology and behavior were poorly suited for their declining numbers. Their population “went from being superbig to supersmall so fast they didn’t have time to adapt,” in part because they lacked the diversity to cope with this new way of living, Shapiro says.“This study suggests that the passenger pigeon’s most distinctive feature—its immense population size—left an enduring mark on its genome,” says Benjamin Van Doren, an evolutionary ecology graduate student at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom not involved in the work.“[Shapiro] did a great job to support the idea that natural selection works efficiently in large populations,” says evolutionary biologist Shou-Hsien Li, Huang’s co-author on the 2014 paper and colleague at NTNU. But Li and Huang say the work merely reinforces their team’s view that the bird’s low genetic diversity reflects an already tumbling population.Some outside the camp agree with Shapiro’s interpretation, however. “The idea of wildly fluctuating passenger pigeon populations is deeply entrenched, Peterson says. But “I am persuaded by [Shapiro’s] argument, given this in-depth analysis of massive data resources.”Regardless, says Van Doren, the passenger pigeon’s precipitous decline is a “a cautionary tale [that] teaches us that successfully conserving species with large populations may require keeping their numbers higher than we might otherwise expect.” If their numbers start to sink, they may lack the ability to persist, even though the absolute number might not be very low. By Elizabeth PennisiNov. 16, 2017 , 2:00 PM JOEL SARTORE/National Geographic Creative Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

This one newly discovered cell can remake a whole animal

first_img iStock.com/tonaquatic Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This one, newly discovered cell can remake a whole animal 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 Though often no bigger than an apple seed, planaria are the envy of the animal kingdom. Cut them into a dozen pieces, and each piece will regrow into a full new worm—a remarkable feat of regeneration beyond the ability of most other animals. Now, researchers have pinpointed the cell—and a key protein—that kick-starts this process.The discovery “is a major breakthrough in the field,” says Ricardo Zayas, a developmental biologist at San Diego State University in California who was not involved with the work.Researchers have known for decades that a group of unspecialized stem cells called neoblasts help planaria regenerate. But they’ve failed to figure out exactly which type of neoblast works this magic. So Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, a developmental biologist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri, tapped new techniques for isolating single cells and characterizing their gene activity. That quest led him and his colleagues to 12 possible candidate cell types for a master regenerative cell, of which one had an unusual protein on its surface that resembles a class of cell surface molecules, called tetraspanin, that has been implicated in human cancer—these proteins help tumor cells spread throughout the body. Emailcenter_img By Elizabeth PennisiJun. 14, 2018 , 11:00 AM Planaria are master regenerators, thanks to a certain type of stem cell. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By making a fluorescent tag that homed in on the worm’s tetraspanin, the researchers were able to isolate just this one cell type, dubbed neoblast subtype No. 2 (Nb2), for further testing. When the team cut planaria and followed wound recovery, the Nb2 cells increased rapidly in number, the team reports today in Cell. This army of cells healed the wound caused by the cut. In another experiment, a single injected Nb2 cell was able to multiply and diversify to rescue planaria that had been given a lethal dose of radiation.  Nb2 cells are a special type of stem cell. In other organisms, only the very first cells of the developing embryo (known as totipotent cells) are able to form all the body’s tissues. Later in life, humans’ and other animals’ stem cells can only make a limited selection of cell types (known as pluripotency) or a single type. “Somehow planaria have retained cells” that can become any type they want, Sánchez Alvarado explains.He and his colleagues discovered that Nb2 cells are always present throughout the planaria body. But they increase gene activity to make tetraspanin only in wounded individuals. And the protein seems key: When the researchers put neoblasts that didn’t make tetraspanin in dying planaria, the planaria did not recover.It’s not yet clear why this protein is so important, but it seems to be involved in cell-to-cell communication. Its role in spreading cancer cells suggests it may also help cells get to parts of the planaria that need fixing.With the antibody that can tag and isolate Nb2 cells, Sánchez Alvarado and others can now look in more detail at how the tetraspanin works and what turns on its production in these cells. Others, too, are making progress in getting at the molecular details of regeneration. Last month, Peter Reddien, a developmental biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge reported in Science that his team had tracked gene activity in every cell as the planaria regenerated. Another group did a similar study.Reddien is eager to go back to his study to see whether his group’s comprehensive look at all cells also identifies an Nb2 cell type. “It’s too early to say how those findings will translate into therapies,” to restore body parts in humans, Reddien says. “But discovering the mechanisms that allow natural regeneration to occur is a good start.”last_img read more

Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal

first_img A few years ago, Molly Przeworski of Columbia University and Joe Pickrell of the New York Genome Center in New York City met for lunch near Columbia’s campus. Talk turned to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Pickrell had been writing a blog, where he had discussed studies showing that between the ages of 70 and 85, carriers of the ApoE4 allele, which boosts the risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, died at about twice the rate of noncarriers. The pair wondered whether other gene variants affect survival so dramatically—and whether natural selection is weeding them out.When it comes to natural selection in humans, most studies have only been able to detect dramatic cases thousands or millions of years ago in genes of known function. Now, Pickrell and Przeworski wondered whether they could detect genetic variants that affect survival today—and whether natural selection in recent generations has been weeding out harmful ones or favoring beneficial ones.To do this, they realized they’d need data on DNA as well as on traits like participants’ age at death. For statistical confidence, they’d need a giant sample size—at least 100,000—to detect how the frequency of common alleles varied in people of different ages. Databases like the UKB were the answer. “We suddenly realized that the some of these databases were large enough to let us study selection in contemporary humans,” Przeworski says.They soon got access to genetic and health data on 57,696 people in the Resource for Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging database at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and 117,648 individuals in the UKB’s 2015 data release. They sorted participants into 5-year age intervals, and looked at the frequency of many alleles, including ApoE4, in each age group, as well as how the variants correlated with 42 traits potentially associated with early death or long life, such as cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, asthma, age at puberty, and menopause.Nearly all the variants they examined persisted at the same frequency even into old age, suggesting they had no large effect on survival. That implies natural selection has efficiently weeded out harmful variants, even if they act only in old age—perhaps, Przeworski speculates, because the variants curb older men’s fecundity. Or perhaps the hypothesized benefit that healthy grandmothers confer on grandchildren was at work.The researchers did find two genes that suddenly became rare at older ages, suggesting they were harmful. One was ApoE4: As expected, fewer carriers—especially women—lived past age 80. Also, fewer men with a variant of the CHRN3 gene that makes it harder to quit smoking survived past the age of 75 than did men without the variant.The researchers concluded that natural selection has not yet had time to eliminate these two alleles, perhaps because changes in the environment and human behavior only recently made them deadly. For example, the CHRN3 allele wouldn’t have affected survival until many men were smoking. And women who were more active in the past might have been less vulnerable to the cardiovascular diseases caused by ApoE4, Przeworski speculates.The researchers spotted another intriguing pattern. Genetic variants that lead to early puberty also became rarer in older age groups. Natural selection may have preserved those variants even though they shorten life span because they also boosted fertility. By Ann GibbonsJan. 3, 2019 , 1:20 PM [All these studies have generated] huge buzz among evolutionary biologists about how biobanks can provide very deep information about the genetics of different populations and their evolution. Kelso is one of many researchers who are turning troves of genetic and medical data on living people into windows on human evolution. In addition to unearthing archaic DNA, the studies are pinpointing genes that natural selection may now be winnowing out of the gene pool and other genes—for example those linked to fertility—that it may be favoring. Among the most fruitful of the data sources is the UKB, which makes its data accessible to researchers, no matter where they are and what their field. Its giant database is “a magical new resource that [will] help us answer a whole bunch of hard questions we’re struggling with now because all of the data has been under lock and key,” says population geneticist Jeremy Berg, a postdoc at Columbia University. “It is a step beyond other databases.”For the UKB architects, who designed it for biomedical research, the evolutionary discoveries are an unexpected bonus. “No one was thinking about Neanderthal traits when we designed the protocol,” says molecular epidemiologist Rory Collins of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, who is principal investigator of the UKB. “The experiment [is] working well beyond people’s expectations.” RONNY BARR/MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR EVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Janet Kelso fished for Neanderthal gene variants in the UK Biobank. A long life, though, is much less important to evolution than fertility. When it comes to the game of evolution, in fact, the person who has the most kids wins by passing on the most genes. With the advent of birth control, people in industrial societies have more control than ever over their own fertility—but new studies zeroing in on the genes underlying fertility show the forces of selection may still be at work.Multiple studies have suggested that when food sources became more reliable in industrialized societies, women began to mature faster, weigh more, give birth to their first child earlier, and enter menopause later—all traits possibly linked to having more babies. But researchers have been unable to tie those trends to underlying genes to get direct evidence of natural selection. Quantitative geneticist Peter Visscher and his colleagues at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, realized they could use the UKB to see firsthand which gene variants underlie those traits in people today, and whether they are really linked to fertility.They searched the UKB’s full cohort for people who had the most babies to see what traits they share, and what genes correlate with those traits. They documented the number of live births for women over age 45 and men over age 55. Then, they analyzed traits in women and men that might have influenced fertility, such as age of first birth, age of menopause, height, weight, body mass, blood pressure, and education. They found 23 traits in women and 21 in men linked to having more children. Not surprisingly, mothers who gave birth early and had late menopause—and therefore had a longer reproductive span—were more fertile. So were women who were heavier and shorter, perhaps because shorter bodies are more energy efficient, leaving a bigger reserve for pregnancy and nursing.Visscher and his colleagues then set out to identify the genetic basis of these fertility-linked traits. They analyzed data from 157,807 of the women and 115,902 of the men. As predicted, they found that the most fertile women had higher frequencies of alleles that tend to make them shorter and heavier. In men, greater fertility was associated with more alleles that contribute to a higher body mass index and hand-grip strength. That suggests men with genes that make them taller and bulkier have more kids than sedentary types, whether because of female choice, some health-related reason, or the men’s own preference.Not all traits linked to fertility are physical or likely to have a big genetic component: Among women who had their first child later in life, those who had more education and did better on an intelligence test had more babies. This may be because better-educated couples tend to be wealthier and can afford more children.But the fact that genes linked to traits thought to increase fertility are indeed more common in fertile people backs up the idea of recent selection on our genomes, even as both the environment and humans’ preferences for mates and families are changing. “The UK Biobank allows us to show that natural selection not only took place in the past, but it’s still ongoing,” Visscher says. Teasing out natural selection from other factors shaping genes can be tricky, however, especially when multiple genes work together to influence complex traits, such as height. About 5000 gene variants simultaneously influence a person’s height, some boosting it, some reducing it, says Jian Yang, a statistical geneticist at the University of Queensland. The UKB’s huge database allows researchers to find new variants and explore their impact and origins.Using other databases, researchers had found that the number of genes that contribute to tallness in Europeans increased on a cline from south to north. Many researchers, including Berg, had concluded that northern Europeans had inherited those genes from an ancient migration—that of the Yamnaya herders who migrated from the Eurasian steppe to central Europe about 4000 years ago. Berg and others suggested natural selection had favored tallness in the Yamnaya or their ancestors, and ancient DNA reveals that the Yamnaya were tall.But now, with UKB data, population geneticist Graham Coop of UC Davis and his colleagues, including Berg, are challenging that finding. In a bioRxiv preprint posted in June 2018, they analyzed genetic and height data on 500,000 people from the 2017 UKB data release. With so many people from similar backgrounds, the researchers could identify more height alleles, as well as note differences in diet, disease, and the environment. They found that northerners had no more tall variants than southerners.”It’s true people in northern Europe are taller on average, but there is no evidence this has anything to do with natural selection,” Berg says. He speculates that northerners’ height might be an environmental effect, perhaps from a diet richer in protein, or from fewer childhood or prenatal illnesses.Although UKB data cast doubt on natural selection’s role in that case, they do suggest that evolution has favored genes for shortness in pygmy populations on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Visscher and colleagues scanned the DNA of Flores people for genes the UKB had linked to short stature. They found that Flores pygmies carry more such gene variants than their closest relatives in New Guinea and East Asia, suggesting evolution favored genes for shortness on the island. All these studies have generated “huge buzz among evolutionary biologists about how biobanks can provide very deep information about the genetics of different populations and their evolution,” Kelso says.She hopes to work with researchers designing databases in Africa and Asia to identify archaic DNA in those populations. Thanks to the success of the Neanderthal work, many researchers are eager for data from Melanesians, because they have inherited traces of DNA from Denisovans—the mysterious cousins of Neanderthals who lived in Siberia more than 50,000 years ago. “That would be amazing, to get Denisovan DNA from more living people [in biobanks]. That’s our dream,” Kelso says. Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal legacy Huge trove of British biodata is unlocking secrets of depression, sexual orientation, and more PETER ARKLE Related story Neanderthals sneaked into the UKB in 2013, when Harvard University population geneticist David Reich was in Oxford to give a talk. His host, Oxford geneticist Peter Donnelly, was overseeing the design of chips to identify genes of interest in blood samples like those in the UKB. Donnelly asked Reich whether he’d like to add Neanderthal variants to a custom chip used to genotype the UKB participants; that would allow Reich and others to fish for rare Neanderthal variants in half a million people. “David was very enthusiastic,” Donnelly recalls.Soon after, Reich and his postdoc, Sriram Sankararaman, emailed Donnelly a wish list of variants to add to the chip: 6000 relatively rare alleles likely to come from Neanderthals. Their calculations suggested the UKB was big enough to include enough carriers of these variants so researchers could probe the function of the genes. “Imagine 1% of the population has a Neanderthal variant,” says Sankararaman, now a computational geneticist at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles. “If you’re looking at half a million people, you’re looking at enough copies of that variant in enough individuals [5000] so you can detect subtle effects.” Janet Kelso, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology 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 At the same time, computational biologist Tony Capra at Vanderbilt University in Nashville had the same bright idea to search for Neanderthal DNA in a large database. He used proprietary electronic records of 28,000 Americans. His team was the first to publish, reporting Neanderthal DNA variants that raise the risk of depression, skin lesions, blood clots, and other disorders in people today. Inspired by Capra’s study, Kelso jumped in, becoming the first to use UKB data to publish Neanderthal gene variants in living people. Her results suggest that although some Neanderthal gene variants may have been optimal for active lives outdoors in prehistoric Europe, they may be problematic for people now, who live mostly indoors in artificial light and get less exercise.Groups led by Kelso and Sankararaman are now looking for links between Neanderthal DNA and traits in genotyped data from 500,000 people—the total UKB data set, which was released in July 2017. Already, they are learning that Neanderthal alleles help cause baldness and mental illness and boost certain immune functions, Sankararaman says. Meanwhile, another team has found variants that help explain why modern humans’ heads are round, in contrast to the elongated, football-like shape of Neanderthal skulls. Those researchers plan to combine forthcoming MRI brain scans of 100,000 UKB participants with genetic data to probe the genetic basis of brain differences between us and our extinct cousins.Capra says when it comes to scanning and understanding DNA from Neanderthals, the UKB cohort offers even more analytical power than the medical databases he used, because it covers “a broader range of psychiatric and lifestyle traits.” Those rich data have also made the UKB a hunting ground for clues to evolutionary changes that have shaped people’s genomes in the past few generations—and may even be doing so today. Neanderthals are still among us, Janet Kelso realized 8 years ago. She had helped make the momentous discovery that Neanderthals repeatedly mated with the ancestors of modern humans—a finding that implies people outside of Africa still carry Neanderthal DNA today. Ever since then, Kelso has wondered exactly what modern humans got from those prehistoric liaisons—beyond babies. How do traces of the Neanderthal within shape the appearance, health, or personalities of living people?For years, evolutionary biologists couldn’t get their rubber-gloved hands on enough people’s genomes to detect the relatively rare bits of Neanderthal DNA, much less to see whether or how our extinct cousins’ genetic legacy might influence disease or physical traits.But a few years ago, Kelso and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, turned to a new tool—the UK Biobank (UKB), a large database that holds genetic and health records for half a million British volunteers. The researchers analyzed data from 112,338 of those Britons—enough that “we could actually look and say: ‘We see a Neanderthal version of the gene and we can measure its effect on phenotype in many people—how often they get sunburned, what color their hair is, and what color their eyes are,’” Kelso says. They found Neanderthal variants that boost the odds that a person smokes, is an evening person rather than a morning person, and is prone to sunburn and depression. Among participants in the UK Biobank are people whose Neanderthal DNA predisposes them to traits such as propensity to sunburn, staying up late, depression, smoking, and feeling lonely. The UK Biobank allows us to show that natural selection not only took place in the past, but it’s still ongoing. No one was thinking about Neanderthal traits when we designed the protocol. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Rory Collins, UK Biobank principal investigator Peter Visscher, University of Queensland Emaillast_img read more

Viruses genetically engineered to kill bacteria rescue girl with antibioticresistant infection

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe M. abscessus and other bacteria often colonize the thick mucus that builds up in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that afflicts some 80,000 people worldwide. The infections can lead to severe lung damage, for which a transplant is a last resort. Isabelle, for example, had lost two-thirds of her lung function. But her infection persisted after the transplant, threatening her life.To help Isabelle, Spencer’s team contacted phage researcher Graham Hatfull of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Hatfull and his team curate a collection of more than 15,000 phages, one of the world’s largest, many found by undergraduates at more than 150 schools who take part in an educational phage hunting effort. Hatfull and his team spent 3 months searching for phages that could kill M. abscessus isolated from Isabelle’s wounds and sputum. They found three.Hatfull’s group wanted to combine the phages into a cocktail to reduce the chances of M. abscessus developing resistance, but there was a catch. Two of the three are so-called temperate phages, which have repressor genes that limit their lethality. To turn those two into reliable bacteria killers, Hatfull removed the repressor genes with a gene-editing technique his lab developed to study phage genetics.Isabelle first received an infusion of the phage cocktail in June 2018. Within 72 hours, her sores began to dry. After 6 weeks of intravenous treatment every 12 hours, the infection was all but gone. Traces remain, however, so she still receives infusions twice a day and applies the treatment directly to her remaining lesions. But she lives a more normal teen life, attending school, shopping with friends, and taking driving lessons. “We are optimistic that in time it can completely clear the infection,” Spencer says.Spencer, Hatfull, and co-authors stress that Isabelle might have improved without phage therapy. They also note that her tailor-made cocktail doesn’t work against other M. abscessus isolates they have tested. Still, the apparent success has encouraged phage researchers. Other phages in Hatfull’s library infect and kill M. tuberculosis in test tubes, and he thinks they might prove useful weapons against drug-resistant strains.But William Jacobs, a TB specialist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, has tested those phages in a mouse TB model and seen no effect. “TB lives inside cells and I don’t think the phages are able to get inside,” Jacobs says. (M. abscessus primarily lives outside cells.) Others say there could be ways to ferry phages into the infected cells.Phage therapy companies have at least three trials underway to rigorously assess the worth of their potential products for several different bacterial infections. Even if the treatments succeed, they face tall practical hurdles, says Madhukar Pai, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “For this to become a real world therapy we need to find out if we can do this with less effort and cost.” Viruses genetically engineered to kill bacteria rescue girl with antibiotic-resistant infection THE HATFULL LABORATORY By Alex FoxMay. 8, 2019 , 1:00 PM One week after Helen Spencer’s 15-year-old cystic fibrosis patient had a double lung transplant in September 2017, the incision wound turned bright red. For half her life, Isabelle Carnell had been battling a drug-resistant infection of Mycobacterium abscessus, and now it was rapidly spreading, erupting in weeping sores and swollen nodules across her frail body. “My heart sinks when I see that a [lung transplant] patient has got a wound infection, because I know what the trajectory is going to be,” says Spencer, Isabelle’s respiratory pediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. “It’s a torturous course that has ended in death for all those children.”With the standard treatments failing, Isabelle’s mother asked Spencer about alternatives—adding that she had read something about using viruses to kill bacteria. Spencer decided to take a gamble on what seemed like a far-fetched idea: phages, viruses that can destroy bacteria and have a long—if checkered—history as medical treatments. She collaborated with leading phage researchers, who concocted a cocktail of the first genetically engineered phages ever used as a treatment—and the first directed at a Mycobacterium, a genus that includes tuberculosis (TB). After 6 months of the tailor-made phage infusions, Isabelle’s wounds healed and her condition improved with no serious side effects, the authors report today in Nature Medicine.”This is a convincing proof of concept, even though it’s just a single case study,” says infectious disease researcher Eric Rubin of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. But, he adds, “This needs to be tested rigorously with a real clinical trial.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email A tailor-made treatment combined three phages. HELEN SPENCER Phage therapy dates back a century, but until recently the idea was relegated to fringe medicine in most countries, mainly because of the advent of antibiotics. Unlike broad-spectrum antibiotics, individual phages typically kill a single bacterial strain, which means a treatment that works against one person’s infection might fail in another person infected with a variant of the same bacterium. Phages can also be toxic. But a string of recent successes against antibiotic-resistant bacteria have revived interest in the idea, leading major U.S. universities to launch phage research centers. Drug-resistant TB strains are an especially tempting target for phage therapy. Isabelle Carnell (second from right) with her doctor, Helen Spencer (left); phage researcher Graham Hatfull (second from left); and her mother (right). Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

US researchers hope Congress will dig NSF out of a 1 billion

first_img Mike Lucibella/NSF For the second time in 3 years, President Donald Trump has recommended deep cuts to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia. And scientists are hoping Congress will again come to the agency’s rescue.One month after signing a 2019 spending bill that gave NSF a record $8.1 billion budget, Trump has proposed shrinking it by $1 billion in 2020. The president’s $7.1 billion request was apparently so depressing that NSF’s director, France Córdova, did not participate in a media call yesterday to review the request. Instead, she left it to her aides to insist that NSF will continue “to push the frontiers” of knowledge despite the proposed 12.5% reduction.The chair of the National Science Board, NSF’s presidentially appointed oversight body in Alexandria, also sees a silver lining in the dark budget clouds. “NSF will persevere at $7.1 billion and do wonderful things,” says Diane Souvaine, a professor of computer science at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “And if it gets additional funds, its impact on research will be even greater.” Email By Jeffrey MervisMar. 19, 2019 , 4:30 PM The proposed budget for the National Science Foundation would continue to fund a $410 million renovation of its McMurdo research station in Antarctica, where construction costs have risen. 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 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country U.S. researchers hope Congress will dig NSF out of a $1 billion budget hole There’s some reason to think NSF could see an increase once the annual budget battle is over. Last year, Congress turned Trump’s proposed $295 million reduction into an increase of $308 million, and in 2018 it transformed a proposed $820 million cut into a $295 million boost.NSF’s low-ball 2020 budget is part of the administration’s attempt to squeeze domestic discretionary programs while boosting military spending. Democrats and some Republicans in Congress oppose such an approach and in the past 2 years, Congress has reversed most of the administration’s proposed research cuts. But without an agreement on top-line numbers, the dispute is expected to extend beyond the 1 October start of the new fiscal year. NSF’s budget could be frozen at current levels if no agreement is reached, and an impasse could even trigger another government shutdown.If adopted, the 2020 budget would be NSF’s smallest since 2013. NSF officials estimate that the foundation would make 1000 fewer new awards (the figure was 9000 in 2018) and that the success rate for grant applicants will dip by 1%, to 21%. The proposed cuts stretch across all six research directorates, as well as its education directorate.Despite having $1 billion less to work with, Córdova found room to push ahead with a major new cross-disciplinary initiative, called NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. She’s seeking a total investment of $357 million in the multifaceted effort, up $75 million—some 26%—over projected spending this year.Each of the six research areas, which span from navigating the Arctic to understanding the underlying rules of life, would receive $30 million in 2020 to go with $30 million apiece this year. Two of the six—Harnessing the Data Revolution and the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier—would also get $30 million each to accelerate private collaborations and build institutional capacity.With both Congress and the science board backing more spending on new research facilities, NSF hopes to launch two such programs in 2020. The first, for projects costing between $6 million and $20 million, would be funded by adding $30 million to an existing $60 million pot spread across its research directorates. The second, to finance projects of between $20 million and $70 million, would tap into a $45 million allocation in 2020 within NSF’s major construction account.The construction account, for which NSF has proposed $223 million, would also provide $98 million for the second year of a 5-year Antarctic modernization project. Its price tag has grown recently from $355 million to $410 million, fueled by the rising cost of steel, aluminum, and concrete as well as an overheated construction industry that has pushed up labor costs. NSF has also requested $33 million to begin a 5-year, $150 million upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The account has room for these new starts because NSF has completed the 81-site, continentalwide National Ecological Observatory Network and has received full funding for three midsize research vessels now under construction.In contrast, a few activities would be sharply curtailed in 2020 under the president’s budget. A politically popular program to help states with little NSF funding become more competitive would be trimmed by $25 million, or 14%. The number of new slots in NSF’s flagship graduate research fellowships, begun shortly after NSF was created in 1950, would dip next year to 1600, from 2000 in 2018. Programs across the foundation to support early career scientists would shrink by 13% from 2018 levels, and efforts to foster research at predominantly undergraduate institutions would plunge by 28% from 2018.The deep overall cuts in the president’s budget would translate into $87 million less for its education directorate, now funded at $910 million. And that has prompted a realignment of several programs.Funding for a precollege computer science initiative would shrink by more than half, to $10 million, despite the fact that computer science education is an administration priority. A scholarship program for would-be science and math teachers would shrink by 27%, to $47 million. A $40 million program to support colleges with large Hispanic populations would receive only $15 million.There would also be a few winners. A long-running program at the nation’s community colleges to train more technical workers—another Trump administration priority—would grow by 14%, to $75 million. And the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science program to foster diversity across all levels of science, a signature effort by the director, would receive an 11% bump, to $20 million.*Correction, 19 March, 6 p.m.: This article has been updated to correct numbers in the fourth paragraph.last_img read more

Tejasvi Surya appeals to govt to extend NRC to Karnataka

first_img nrc, national registrar of citizens, nrc assam, tejasvi surya, bjp mp nrc karnataka, He claimed that a terror module was recently busted and it was found that Bangladeshi illegal immigrants were planning terror attacks in different parts of the country.BJP MP Tejasvi Surya on Wednesday appealed to the government for extending the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to Karnataka, alleging that “illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants” have become a security and economic threat to Bengaluru and the state. Tejasvi Surya: ‘Average Indian feels Modi’s victory is victory for new India’ Bangalore news July 1 highlights:Two Congress MLAs resign from assembly; Cong-JD (S) on shaky ground Raising the matter during Zero Hour, the Bangalore South MP said the influx of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants has become a “major security threat” to the country. He claimed that a terror module was recently busted and it was found that Bangladeshi illegal immigrants were planning terror attacks in different parts of the country.“It’s not only a threat to our national security, it has become an economic threat also,” he said, adding that the immigrants have taken up jobs as cab drivers and garbage pickers, “stealing” them from the local residents.Surya urged the Centre to extend the NRC as illegal immigrants are going to Karnataka and different parts of the country after NRC was introduced in Assam.The Congress’s Hibi Eden made a case for revamping PSUs in Kerala. Pointing out that PSUs are the wealth of the nation and the government must refrain from disinvestment, he gave examples of Cochin Port Trust and Cochin Shipyard and sought the Centre’s support in keeping them in good health. Advertising By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 11, 2019 1:52:55 am Bangalore news 13 June Highlights: Karnataka police arrest one more Ponzi scheme promoter, Misbah Mukarram Post Comment(s) Related News last_img read more

10th Anniversary iPhone Buzz Late Expensive Possibly Awesome

first_imgEdge-to-Edge Display John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Purposeful Leaks Lightning Connection Staying Plausible Delays Big Bang Theory Prior to DigiTimes’ report on the delay, Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly on Sunday claimed he had obtained documents confirming the final design of the iPhone 8.The phone has an edge-to-edge display with a cutout area at the top for a front-facing camera, speaker and sensor array, he said.”To me the edge-to-edge dislay is the main reason for the iPhone 8 to exist,” Tirias’ Krewell told TechNewsWorld.On the back of the phone, the dual camera, which was in a vertical orientation on the iPhone 7, is now in a horizontal orientation, based on Kelly’s report.The power button is larger, which has prompted speculation that it could be used as a fingerprint sensor. center_img Like other Apple products, the iPhone 8 is expected to have a Lightning connector, not a USB-C port — and, of course, there’s no 3mm headphone jack.”I really, really hoped Apple would go with USB-C,” Krewell said. “The Lightning port has problems. It collects lint, which makes it hard to keep a cable plugged into it.”Sticking to its Lightning port would be consistent with Apple’s past behavior, however.”It has a tendency to abandon industry standards for its own proprietary tech,” Pund-IT’s King noted.Rumors of other features believed to be in the iPhone 8, like wireless charging, also persist.”Wireless charging hasn’t become a killer feature for Samsung, but it would help promote the iPhone 8 as the cutting-edge phone,” Krewell said.”Wireless charging makes sense but requires the company to develop a glass-backed case,” King pointed out. Another topic that’s drawn widespread speculation is the possibility that the iPhone 8 will take augmented reality to a new level.”Will Apple add some additional hardware capability in the new models to make AR even better? I think that’s quite likely,” said IHS’ Fogg.”AR is going to be important not only for the new iPhones but for existing iPhones,” he continued. “That’s a significant technical achievement, because the competition requires an additional camera or sensors to enable augmented reality.”If it seems a lot is known about the iPhone 8 before its release, that may not be an accident.”The general consensus of most rumors supports the notion that Apple is willingly leaking details about the iPhone 8,” Pund-IT’s King said. “It may be to pique interest in the phone,” he continued, “but it could also help lessen the sting of the iPhone 8’s rumored high price — starting at $1,200, or nearly twice the cost of a current entry iPhone 7.” While documenting the delays may be difficult, the reasons suggested for them make sense.”The issues that are rumored to be causing delays — shortages of the new OLED display components and troublesome fingerprint-recognition technology — are both plausible,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”If there are delays, it won’t be surprising unless the iPhone 8 misses the holiday shopping season,” he told TechNewsWorld.A normal upgrade cycle for two new iPhone models can be daunting, but this time Apple is planning to launch three new models.”The big challenge Apple has with the iPhone is it’s a product that it’s trying to ship in very large volumes,” noted Ian Fogg, senior director at IHS Markit.”There are few products that go from being announced in one week and 10 days later being shipped in millions,” he told TechNewsWorld. ” That’s an incredibly hard thing to do.” With September fast approaching, speculation has begun to roil about the next generation of iPhones, particularly the iPhone 8, or whatever Apple decides to name its special 10th anniversary edition of its smartphone.However, fans aching to get their hands on the iPhone 8 may have to ache longer than those upgrading to the expected new iPhone 7s and 7s Plus models, if Monday’s report in DigiTimes is correct.The iPhone 8 won’t ship until the November-December time frame, the Taiwan-based trade newspaper reported, and even then it will be available only in low numbers.Yield rates at the companies manufacturing the phones have not yet reached levels to warrant mass production runs, DigiTimes said.Production of the more conventional 7s and 7s Plus models is one to two months behind schedule, it added, with full-scale production not expected until August. If the rumors about the iPhone 8 prove to be true, Apple will be packing a lot of new tech into the special edition smartphone.”The iPhone 8 is a technology stretch goal for Apple, and with all these new technologies, there’s bound to be manufacturing challenges,” observed Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research.Delaying shipments of the iPhone 8 may not be a bad thing for Apple, maintained Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.”From a sales and marketing perspective, it makes sense to stagger the actual product shipment dates,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Clearly, it is most advantageous for Apple to get the ‘s’ models out earlier and finish the year with a big bang,” Scherer said. “With this strategy the company will be able to have additional time to get the last kinks out of their highly anticipated product.” last_img read more

Apple Skirts Tech Addiction Issue in Response to Worried Investors

first_imgApple touted its efforts to look after the interests of both kids and parents within its ecosystem in a statement released to the press on Monday.The company’s operating system has built-in controls in its operating system that enable parents to control and restrict content, Apple said, including apps, movies, websites, songs and books.Parents also can block or restrict cellular data usage, control passwords, and block kids from accessing or downloading anything online.Apple keeps offensive content such as pornography out of its curated platforms, and it clearly labels apps, movies and songs to allow parents to judge age-appropriateness, the statement maintains.Further, the company promised to add new, more robust features and functionality to its parent controls in the future. A Software Problem ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ The Apple investors who called on the company to address the potential negative consequences of its mobile products won praise from James P. Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media.”We are very pleased to see that leading shareholders have spoken out about their concerns for the health and safety of kids on cell phones and online,” he said. “It is a hugely important development for shareholders to take public action like this on digital addiction and inappropriate cellphone behavior.”Apple should take a more proactive stance in addressing the issue of addiction, tweeted Tony Fadell, coinventor of the iPod and iPhone.7/10 Apple Watches, Google Phones, Facebook, Twitter – they’ve gotten so good at getting us to go for another click, another dopamine hit. They now have a responsibility & need to start helping us track & manage our digital addictions across all usages – phone, laptop, TV etc. https://t.co/wWBQNMdsYK— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) January 8, 20188/10 They’re the only ones who can do this – they own the OS & app ecosystem. They need to do more, like single-use device modes: when I’m reading an ebook on my tablet, listening to music (ala iPod)… no email or facebook notifications, no texts. https://t.co/wWBQNMdsYK— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) January 8, 2018 Use of the term “addiction” to describe obsessive smartphone behavior can be problematic, cautioned Joseph Lee, youth continuum medical director at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.”Obsession with video games and Internet pornography is a closer parallel to what we see with substance use than text messaging or using an app,” he told TechNewsWorld.”You can be conditioned to be compulsive about a lot of different behaviors, but addiction only starts to surface when those compulsive behaviors and preoccupation start to take you away from life priorities,” Lee explained.Compulsive behavior is more a software than hardware problem, he added.”It’s not about battery life or a fancy screen. It’s the things within that technology, like social media, that become very rewarding and habitual,” Lee said. “Those things come with strings attached. They influence people’s thinking, and they influence our national culture, and we’re not fully aware of the ramifications from that yet.” Kudos for Investors Apple on Monday responded to an open letter from investors who called for the company to address the negative impact of the iPhone on children and teens. Though the company listed a number of controls provided to help parents screen content, it offered little to address the investors’ chief concern: the amount of time teens and younger children spend on phones.Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which together have invested about US$2 billion in Apple, on Saturday published the letter, which urges Apple to give parents more choices and tools to help ensure that young consumers are using the company’s products “in an optimal manner.”There is a growing body of evidence that frequent use of Apple’s products by young people could be having unintentional negative consequences, notes the letter, which is signed by Jana Managing Partner Barry Rosenstein and CalSTRS’ Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan.The average American teenager who uses a smartphone first obtains a phone at age 10 and spends more than 4.5 hours a day on it — excluding texting and talking, Rosenstein and Sheehan pointed out.Seventy-eight percent of teens check their phones at least hourly, and 50 percent report feeling “addicted” to their phones, they added.”It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally,” Rosenstein and Sheehan wrote.center_img Jonesing for a Screen As earnest as Apple may be to offset the negative impact of technology on children’s lives, it may be an uphill battle.”I don’t know if we can make technology less addictive,” observed Gregory Jantz, author of Ten Tips for Parenting the Smartphone Generation.When tech addicts check in at Jantz’s treatment center, every device with a screen is quarantined, he told TechNewsWorld.”About the second day, people start getting sweaty palms, headaches, upset digestion — their heart rate increases. They’re going through physical withdrawal, and they demand to have their devices back,” Jantz said.”I don’t think it’s a fair expectation to expect Apple to deal with addiction,” he added. “Apple has done some great things with parental control on devices, but that’s not going to make them nonaddictive.” Apple Responds John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Although Apple has broad shoulders, dropping the full weight of technology addiction on it may be a little unfair.”The iPhone is not any more problematic than other handheld devices that provide access to social media and games,” said Timothy A. Pychyl, an associate professor in the psychology department at Carleton University.”We are, as Neil Postman said, ‘amusing ourselves to death’ across many platforms,” he told TechNewsWorld.”We waste a considerable amount of our lives playing with technology. By that, I don’t mean gaming per se, but in mindless clicking to view content that has no consequence to us other than entertainment,” Pychyl said. “These constant distractions are undermining our ability to move forward on our own goals and, as other researchers have pointed out, typically undermine our well being.” last_img read more