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Volunteers Needed for National Public Lands DayConditions improve on Jolly Mtn FireClasses

first_imgThe Bureau of Land Management along with the US Forest Service are seeking volunteers to lend a hand Saturday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for National Public Lands Day.Volunteers will help with BLM campsite maintenance as well as USFS road maintenance at the BLM/USFS Liberty campground. This recreation site is located just off Highway 97, approximately 16 miles north of Cle Elum, Wash.Tools, project materials and refreshments will be provided. Participants are encouraged to wear closed toe shoes, long pants, and to bring water and sunscreen. Please meet at the north entrance to the campground.They are asking volunteers to call ahead by Friday September 22 so they can get a count for the tools and resources needed. For more information about the Liberty Campground National Public Lands Day event contact Diane Priebe or Rusty Gates with the Wenatchee BLM Field Office at (509) 665-2131.last_img read more

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Black adults more likely to develop high blood pressure by age of

first_img 75.5 percent of black men, 75.7 percent of black women, 54.5 percent of white men, and 40.0 percent of white women developed high blood pressure. Jul 11 2018Approximately 75 percent of black and men women are likely to develop high blood pressure by the age of 55, compared to 55 percent of white men and 40 percent of white women in the same age range, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.The researchers identified 3,890 participants from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study who enrolled in the study between the ages 18 to 30 years without high blood pressure, defined as systolic/diastolic blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg or higher and who were not taking medication to control blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. The researchers found that by age 55 years: The researchers found that higher body weight was associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure, regardless of race or gender, and those who adhered to the DASH-style diet, both blacks and whites, were at lower risk for hypertension. DASH style (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low or fat-free dairy, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts and limited in red meat and salt.”Regardless of blood pressure levels in young adulthood, blacks have a substantially higher risk for developing high blood pressure compared with whites through 55 years of age,” said S. Justin Thomas, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “It is urgent that healthcare providers counsel young patients, particularly blacks, about eating a healthy diet, being physically active and controlling body weight. The risk of high blood pressure can be significantly reduced with a healthy lifestyle.”Related StoriesHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineNew ACC/AHA guidelines could improve detection of gestational hypertensionStudy reveals how habitual smoking may contribute to development of hypertensionIn the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guideline for hypertension, released in 2017, the threshold for stage 1 hypertension, or high blood pressure, changed to 130 mmHg or higher for the top number or 80 mmHg or higher for the bottom number. The previous threshold for high blood pressure was at or above 140/90 mmHg. The researchers used the new definition of high blood pressure in their analysis.”Since the definition for high blood pressure was recently lowered, it is expected that even more young African American adults will be considered to have high blood pressure,” said Thomas.”It is important to note that most high blood pressure is preventable through lifestyle changes,” said Willie E. Lawrence, Jr. M.D., a spokesman for the American Heart Association and chief of cardiology at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. “We need to encourage all young people, and especially our young African Americans who are at highest risk, to think about their future health and make choices that will change these statistics.”center_img Source:https://newsroom.heart.org/news/most-black-adults-have-high-blood-pressure-before-age-55?preview=ad1blast_img read more

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Embryonic stem cells and fetal tissue research—will Trump intervene

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Fetal tissueTissue from aborted fetuses, used both to study early disease development and in experimental therapies that transplant cells into the brain or spinal cord, figured into 184 projects that last year received about $80 million in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That research has faced strong opposition from some members of Congress, and some state legislators, since late last summer, when an anti-abortion group released undercover videos in which a Planned Parenthood employee discussed fulfilling research requests for fetal tissue. Alleging unlawful sale of tissue, Republican lawmakers have tried to withdraw federal funding from the organization, and launched a special panel in the House of Representatives to investigate relationships between abortion clinics, tissue procurement agencies, and research institutions. Of all the materials valued in biomedical research, embryonic stem (ES) cells and fetal tissue have gotten disproportionate attention from politicians. Because creating ES cell lines initially requires destroying a human embryo, President George W. Bush tightly restricted the use of federal funds for research on all but a few stem cell lines. President Barack Obama then made lifting those restrictions one of his first official actions after he took office in 2009.More recently, accusations that abortion clinics were unlawfully selling fetal tissue to researchers has stoked opposition to that type of research. So far, however, members of Congress have been unable to enact any restrictions into law.Now, biomedical researchers are wondering: How will a Donald J. Trump administration handle these ethically delicate materials? Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Trump has promised to support barring Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding. It’s not clear, however, if he’d be motivated to place a broader ban on fetal tissue research through an executive order. (The Republican Party platform states that Congress should “make it a crime to acquire, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research.” But platform language is often ignored once an election is over.)Embryonic stem cellsES cell research, meanwhile, received about $180 million in NIH funding for 250 projects last year. All rely on cell lines originally created from donated embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures. NIH maintains a registry of funding-eligible human ES cell lines, created through President Obama’s first executive order in office, which loosened the Bush-era restrictions.President-elect Trump hasn’t indicated any position on embryonic stem cell research, though he has vowed to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama” in a plan he released in October for his first 100 days in office.“Trump could clearly go in and reverse the president’s executive order and change NIH’s policy,” says Tony Mazzaschi, senior director for policy and research at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health in Washington, D.C. “The ramifications of that would be difficult to parse,” he adds. Though the reversal would remove the underpinning of the NIH registry, it might take an additional executive order to shut down federal funding for ES cell research completely, or limit it to a certain number of cell lines.Vice president–elect Mike Pence, meanwhile, has consistently opposed ES cell research, arguing that the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells—reprogrammed adult cells that take on stemlike properties—make it unnecessary to take cells from embryos.Indeed, IPS cells “have taken some of the heat off the embryonic stem cell research,” says Timothy Kamp, a cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who works with ES cells. But they aren’t poised to replace it altogether, he says. Embryonic cells remain a “part of the tool set that we like to use to show that our finding is robust, reproducible, and not an artifact of reprogramming or keeping cells in culture,” he says. “I think it would be quite devastating to take those lines out of federally funded protocols.”State response?Some have suggested that if a Trump ban did come to pass, it might stimulate support for state-level funding sources. The $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was created by a state ballot initiative in response to the Bush-era restrictions, for example, and expects to run out of money after 2020 without a new source of funding. A renewed federal ban could help the California institute’s backers make a stronger case to voters and legislators for a new injection of funds.But many aren’t ready to speculate about a return to more restrictive funding until the new administration indicates its position. “I personally would be very surprised if reason doesn’t prevail here,” says stem cell biologist Ali Brivanlou at Rockefeller University in New York City, who worked with embryonic stem cells throughout the Bush administration. “I have seen this movie 16 years ago,” he says. “I would be very shocked if it happens again.”last_img read more

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Neandertals ate woolly rhinos and mushrooms may have used painkillers and antibiotics

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Analyses of genetic material trapped in dental plaque on the teeth of several Neandertal fossils reveal the ancient hominins’ diet varied by region. Paleoanthropology Group MNCN-CSIC Email Belgian Neandertals dined on woolly rhinos with a side of mushrooms, whereas their Spanish counterparts feasted on pine nuts and forest moss—and may have even experimented with natural painkillers and antibiotics. That’s the conclusion of the first study to analyze genetic material trapped in the plaque on fossil Neandertal teeth—the same stuff that sends us to the dentist.The new findings are “very exciting, a whole new layer of evidence that Neandertals’ diets were varied,” says Amanda Henry, a paleoanthropologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the work. “Neandertals weren’t just consuming things for calories or for taste,” she says, but instead may have been taking advantage of the medicinal properties of certain plants and bacterial foodstuffs.As dental plaque or calculus forms, it often traps tiny bits of food. Because Neandertals weren’t known to floss, Laura Weyrich, a paleomicrobiologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, wondered whether she could study the material for clues to the diets of our ancient relatives. Those results back up previous archaeological studies that unearthed the bones of woolly rhinos and other large prey in Spy cave, Weyrich says. Although the remains of mouflon haven’t yet been found there, the creatures were widespread throughout Europe at the time, she notes.In contrast, the two fossils analyzed from El Sidrón—which have been dated to about 48,000 years ago—yielded no DNA from large animals. Instead, they contained genetic sequences consistent with pine nuts, forest moss, and edible mushrooms. Tellingly, scientists have suggested the area around El Sidrón was densely forested at the time, whereas Belgium about 36,000 years ago hosted a treeless steppe.Previous studies of microscopic wear patterns on Neandertal teeth from various locations, among others, had suggested the extinct hominins’ diets varied by region and included both meat and various plant material. But Henry also cautions that the new techniques shouldn’t be relied on by themselves, because studies of living humans have shown that not all foods get preserved in dental calculus. “Whether calculus is preserving the remains of a last supper or a long-term dietary average, we don’t know,” she adds.“This is a very interesting paper,” says Hervé Bocherens, a paleobiologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany. It’s always good to have new analytical techniques that complement others already in use, “because each one has its limitations,” he notes. For example, mushrooms don’t often get preserved in the archaeological record.Two findings from one of the El Sidrón cave fossils are especially interesting, Weyrich says. The team’s DNA analysis reveals traces of poplar (which contains the natural painkiller salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin) and of the antibiotic-producing Penicillium fungus (often found on moldy vegetation), both of which the individual may have been using to self-medicate a dental abscess, the researchers propose. The other fossils the team studied don’t include such DNA sequences, Weyrich says.The notion of self-medication in Neandertals isn’t new: In 2012, researchers reported a chemical analysis of dental plaque from five Neandertals unearthed at El Sidrón that found evidence of bitter-tasting compounds from plants like yarrow and chamomile. These plants have no nutritional value, the scientists noted, so they may have been used as appetite suppressants or may have been considered to have some sort of medicinal value.*Correction, 9 March, 10:04 a.m.: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Penicillium is a fungus and not a bacterium. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Sid PerkinsMar. 8, 2017 , 1:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Mauricio Anton/Science Source DNA from foodstuffs trapped in dental calculus of Neandertals (ridge on tooth at far right) provides insights into the diet of these ancient hominins. Her team started with teeth and jaw fossils from Spy cave in Belgium, El Sidrón cave in Spain, and an Italian cave known as Breuil Grotta—all well-studied sites where Neandertal remains have been found. Calculus on the fossils from Spy cave included DNA similar to that of modern rhinoceros and sheep, suggesting that Neandertals who lived there about 36,000 years ago ate woolly rhinoceros and mouflon, a type of wild sheep. The researchers also detected DNA similar to that of the edible gray shag mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea, they report online today in Nature.  Neandertals ate woolly rhinos and mushrooms, may have used painkillers and antibioticslast_img read more

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Why a flat 2018 budget could tie NSFs hands

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country What would a flat budget mean for the National Science Foundation (NSF)?For many agencies, it means maintaining the status quo. And NSF may have trouble doing anything other than that thanks to some pointed instructions from a key legislator. The language in its pending 2018 spending bill—approved last night by the appropriations committee for the U.S. House of Representatives—could also rekindle a smoldering debate over whether Congress should set parameters for how much NSF invests in specific disciplines.First the good news. The House spending panel rejected a proposal from President Donald Trump to cut $672 million from NSF’s six research directorates. The committee instead approved the same amount of money—$6.03 billion—that those directorates received this year. (NSF’s overall 2017 budget is $7.338 billion.) NASA SMAP/T. Wynne By Jeffrey MervisJul. 14, 2017 , 1:45 PM Why a flat 2018 budget could tie NSF’s hands 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 Representative John Culberson (R–TX, center) with NASA officials in 2015 “We’ve protected the National Science Foundation because we understand that funding basic research is essential to the nation,” Representative John Culberson (R–TX), chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations subcommittee that oversees NSF’s budget, told the full committee before his $54 billion bill was adopted on a 31–21 party line vote. Culberson also promised to give NSF some additional funding should Congress decide to raise the current cap on overall domestic spending for 2018 and give his panel additional spending authority.The rest of the storyBut Culberson’s kind words don’t tell the whole story. NSF officials are certainly grateful that the Houston conservative rejected Trump’s big proposed cuts to the agency. However, they are probably less enthusiastic about a report accompanying the bill that provides additional guidance on what the agency should do with the money. (As per its policy, NSF declined to comment on pending legislation.)In particular, the report prohibits NSF from spending less next year on “research infrastructure.” The committee singles out large scientific facilities; observatories; and centers in astronomy, the geosciences, and high-performance computing. It also fences off the entire astronomy division—which sits within NSF’s math and physical sciences directorate—from any reductions.Those instructions will give NSF less flexibility to redistribute funding to meet its priorities. To understand why, let’s revisit how NSF handled the Trump administration’s plans to cut the agency’s 2018 budget by 11%.No peanut butterFirst, NSF Director France Córdova and her senior managers took a hard look at all programs. They decided that some should shrink by an even larger amount, whereas others should be spared from any cuts or even expanded. “Rather than say, ‘OK guys, just spread it like peanut butter,’ I decided to try and look at some of the bigger things we could take off the table,” she explained last month after testifying before Culberson’s subcommittee.Two areas in which NSF proposed large cuts for 2018 were its prestigious graduate research fellowships and a long-running program that helps states receiving relatively small amounts of NSF funding. In contrast, the agency protected research activities that bolster the agency’s recently created list of 10 big ideas—from better understanding the rules of life to exploring a more navigable Arctic—that NSF hopes to pursue in the years to come.Córdova launched that priority-setting exercise knowing NSF has spent the last 4 years fighting off attempts by another powerful legislator—Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chairman of the House science committee—to reshuffle the agency’s portfolio. Smith has wanted NSF to put a priority on funding the physical, computing, engineering, and biological sciences, and to downgrade research in the social and behavioral sciences and anything related to climate change. Smith has also repeatedly questioned NSF’s ability to choose the best science and has flagged dozens of NSF grants as frivolous uses of tax dollars.Science advocacy groups have fought Smith tooth and nail, saying that his proposals would hinder NSF’s ability to support multidisciplinary research and to respond quickly to unexpected opportunities across the entire scientific landscape. At the same time, Smith’s ability to influence NSF’s budget is limited. The panel he leads can shape NSF’s policies and recommend funding levels. But it is Culberson’s appropriations panel that actually has direct control over NSF’s spending.Culberson initially supported Smith’s efforts to designate funding for each research directorate (rather than only for the entire research account), and to disfavor the social sciences and climate research. (NSF’s education programs and any new large facilities it wants to build are funded through different accounts.) But in a 2016 spending bill, Culberson dropped the idea and promised a more hands-off approach.This year’s bill seems to backtrack on that pledge. But it would be easy to miss that message. The report takes the unusual step of explicitly rejecting the president’s budget, noting that “the Committee does not adopt the administration’s proposal to reduce Research and Related Activities.” The next sentence appears to offer a rationale for a higher level of support: “The Committee believes that strategic investments in the physical science areas are vitally important for the United States to remain the global leader in innovation, productivity, economic growth, and good-paying jobs.”But wait. The second sentence actually refers only to investments “in the physical science[s].” The omission of the rest of NSF’s portfolio could be read as an attempt by Culberson to align his spending bill with Smith’s desires.At the same time, the first sentence seems intent on convincing the scientific community that Culberson is much more supportive of science than the president. Together, the two statements allow Culberson to straddle the fence. And if his guidance is included in whatever appropriations bill Congress finally approves, it could also tie NSF’s hands.Looking out for astronomyCulberson, a self-avowed space enthusiast and huge astronomy buff, also wants to protect the federal government’s investments in astronomy. That interest is reflected in his bill’s generosity toward NASA’s planetary sciences program, which would grow by 19%, to $2.1 billion. For Culberson, the centerpiece of that program is a quest to find life on Europa, a jovian moon. Toward that goal, the budget of a proposed Europa Clipper mission would balloon by more than 50% in 2018, to $495 million.NSF’s ground-based astronomy program is much smaller than NASA’s programs, and no single project has caught Culberson’s eye. Still, astronomy is the only one of the 32 discipline-specific divisions and research offices at NSF that is explicitly protected in the bill, to wit: “The Committee expects NSF to sustain support for the programs and scientific facilities funded by the Astronomical Sciences Division at no less than the fiscal year 2017 level to maintain full scientific and educational operations.”Why does that matter? If NSF receives the same amount for research it got in 2017, wouldn’t astronomy be made whole?Maybe. In Trump’s request, astronomy was tagged for a $25 million cut in 2018, to $221 million. And NSF officials probably think that amount is too low. But the report mandates that astronomy receive at least $246 million—no matter what NSF thinks.Continued uncertaintyOf course, Congress in the end may not give NSF the full $6.033 billion for research. The Senate has yet to take up a comparable CJS bill. And the two bodies don’t have the same priorities.One big disagreement between the House and Senate is over the number of new ships in NSF’s fleet of academic research vessels. Last year NSF asked for money to start building two midsized ships. The House bill didn’t fund any, the Senate wanted three, and the Senate number ultimately prevailed.This year Culberson has taken the same stance: no ships. But yesterday he admitted that was just an opening gambit, telling his colleagues that he expected the final spending bill to contain money for at least one research vessel. The problem comes if Congress bumps up NSF’s construction account but doesn’t raise the agency’s overall top line. That means the money for building the ships would have to come from somewhere, and one possibility is research.Finally, the House bill would hike the current budget for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which helps have-not states, by $10 million. The Senate could add its own earmarks. And NSF officials would also have to find that money by taxing existing programs within the research account.Democrat legislators on the appropriations committee made several attempts yesterday to increase funding for specific programs and agencies within the bill. Representative David Price (D–NC), for example, proposed adding $600 million to NSF’s research account. He chose that number, he said, because it matched the authorized level of spending in a 2010 law—a promise that Congress didn’t keep.Culberson responded to Price, who withdrew his amendment, and every other petitioner by citing his hope that Congress would rewrite a 2011 budget agreement and lift the current ceiling on domestic discretionary spending, now $511 billion for 2018. He predicted that Republican leaders would then give his CJS subcommittee more money to spend.Of course, nobody knows the size of any such windfall, or whether it will actually materialize. But that didn’t stop Culberson from saying he would bolster several programs within the subcommittee’s purview—not just NSF’s research account, but also the aeronautics program at NASA, the Legal Services Corporation, and the Sea Grant program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.His ability to deliver on those promises will be put to the test as Congress works its way through the 2018 appropriations process. The answer may not come until well into the next fiscal year, which begins on 1 October. Emaillast_img read more

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One of historys worst epidemics may have been caused by a common

first_img Christina Warinner. Image courtesy of the Teposcolula-Yucundaa Archaeological Project One of history’s worst epidemics may have been caused by a common microbe 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 Bos and her colleagues drilled into the skeletons’ teeth and extracted DNA from that inner chamber. Once they had sequenced all the DNA, the team began comparing strands against a large database of modern bacterial pathogens. Their analysis matched the DNA fragments to Salmonella enterica, they report in Nature Ecology & Evolution. This type of salmonella, paratyphi C, can cause enteric fever, a serious bacterial infection also known as typhoid or paratyphoid fever. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates enteric fever-causing salmonella results in more than 21 million cases globally and fewer than 6000 illnesses in the United States every year.The team found salmonella in 10 of the remains dating to the outbreak, but not in any of the five skeletons predating European contact. Plus, archaeological work from 2017 found the same type of salmonella in an 800-year-old Norwegian skeleton. That helps the argument that Europeans carried the bug to Mexico, potentially through livestock or human carriers. Once in the Americas, the bug would have leached into local food and water sources from feces or vomit from sick individuals, says Hendrik Poinar, an ancient DNA researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, who was not involved with the study. “The work is very good. We’ve been hoping for a while to get molecular insight” into the famed cultural, economic, and biological exchange between the New World and the Old World, he says.It’s harder to tell whether the salmonella alone killed these people, Poinar says. “I’m buying that it likely contributed to this epidemic. Is that what they died of? I’d be careful of saying that.” Perhaps salmonella was simply one of multiple infections that together became deadlier and caused cocoliztli, he says.Historical descriptions of the cocoliztli certainly don’t sound like salmonella, Acuña-Soto says. “The paper is great. We [now] know there’s an outbreak of salmonella,” he says. “But never in history have I heard of salmonella doing something like cocoliztli with the bleeding, the jaundice, the spread.”But Bos think salmonella still might be behind the cocoliztli, saying that in order for her team to detect the pathogen, these people must have had “massive” amounts of the bacteria in their blood. “When you get a very advanced bacterial infection, you can get bleeding from orifices and symptoms very similar to a hemorrhagic fever,” she says. “The historical records match a hemorrhagic fever, but we shouldn’t be too dismissive on what biologic agent it really was.”It’s difficult to say why the cocoliztli was so deadly for the native peoples, but the indigenous population may also have been suffering from malnourishment as a result of a great drought that afflicted the region at the time, Acuña-Soto says.If the bug wasn’t present in the Americas before European arrival, the locals may have lacked a strong natural immune response to the disease and made them more susceptible. Whatever the pathogen, it swept through the region like a storm. At the time, historian Fray Juan de Torquemada wrote, “In the year 1576, a great mortality and pestilence that lasted for more than a year overcame the Indians … the place we know as New Spain was left almost empty.”*Correction, 19 January, 10:35 a.m.: A previous version of this article stated that this bacterium, a type of enteric fever-causing salmonella, results in 1 million cases per year in the United States. There are more than 21 million cases of enteric fever globally and fewer than 6000 in the United States each year. This bug is different from the common food poisoning salmonella, as the previous title suggested. The symptoms were unlike anything the doctors of the time had seen. Victims turned yellow from jaundice, and blood ran from their ears and noses. They had hallucinations and agonizing convulsions. They died in days. Aztecs called it the cocoliztli, meaning pestilence in the local Nahuatl language. “The cocoliztli appeared from almost nowhere. Nobody knew what it was,” says Rodolfo Acuña-Soto, a historical epidemiologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.Even today, nobody knows what exactly was responsible for the epidemic, which first appeared in Mexico, then called New Spain, in the 16th century and killed an estimated 45% of the entire native population. Historical records suggest it was some type of hemorrhagic fever—like Ebola—but DNA evidence published this week suggests the culprit might have been salmonella—a common food-borne illness—brought by European colonizers.The evidence was tucked in the teeth of 29 skeletons unearthed from the ruins of an ancient city archaeologists call Teposcolula Yucundaa in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. The main inhabitants were Mixtec people, a distinct group from the Aztecs of central Mexico. Twenty-four skeletons came from a cemetery dating to the first cocoliztli outbreak in 1545, and five came from a cemetery roughly 100 years older. Pathogens that ravaged the body at its death can be entombed within the tooth’s inner chamber and detected years later, says Kirsten Bos, a molecular paleobiologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and an author on the study. Emailcenter_img By Angus ChenJan. 16, 2018 , 3:30 PM Researchers excavated 24 skeletons out of a mid–16th century mass grave in this plaza. The ruins are part of an ancient city in southern Mexico.  Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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Racing to match Chinas growing computer power US outlines design for exascale

first_imgNearly complete, the 200-petaflop Summit will be a prelude to A21, the first U.S. exaflop computer. 700 px graphic 2010 2015 LYNN FREENY/DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY VIA FLICKR 700 px graphic China’s planned exascale computer threatens Summit’s position at the top Scaling up Since 2013, China has operated the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Summit is likely to reclaim the title for the United States this year. China is on track to unveil the first exascale computer in 2020. 100 Scaling up Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Robert F. ServiceFeb. 7, 2018 , 11:00 AM 300 px graphic 700 px graphic 10 “There was a lot of stress in the U.S. DOE, National Nuclear Security Agency, and industry,” Chang says. DOE changed tacks. It scrapped plans for Aurora, and replaced it with A21, a machine five times bigger. That pushed the launch date back to 2021, but because it was to be the first U.S. exascale machine, it also effectively pushed up the U.S. timeline by 2 years.Skipping the intermediate step of Aurora is risky, says Kenneth Jansen, an aerospace engineer at the University of Colorado in Boulder. “It means one of the stepping stones is not going to be there.” Still, others say it’s a risk worth taking. “This is the right way to do it,” says Thom Dunning, a computational chemist at the University of Washington in Seattle.Details of A21’s architecture remain closely guarded to protect proprietary technology. But scientists writing software for the new machine will be given detailed briefings on the new architecture after they sign nondisclosure agreements. Some of the first briefings are taking place this week in Knoxville at the second annual Exascale Computing Project meeting.Researchers already familiar with the plans say the machine is unlike any they’ve ever seen before. “A21 is a very different architecture,” Chang says. In general terms, he says, the design focuses on decreasing the need to move data long distances between processors, an energetically expensive process. He says the new machine will likely require 25 to 30 megawatts of power, only about twice that of Summit. Asked whether he thinks Intel will be able to pull off the new architecture, Chang says, “I am confident they will.”One outside challenge could be money. Congress has yet to pass the fiscal 2018 budget, and instead has funded the government through a series of continuing resolutions that keep funding levels the same as the prior year while forbidding the launch of new projects, such as building the A21 machine. For now, that’s not a problem, because DOE is still able to support the underlying scientific developments as part of its existing Exascale Computing Project, says Jack Dongarra, a supercomputing expert at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. But soon it will be time to start fabricating chips for A21, which is expected to cost between $300 million and $600 million, according to market research firm Hyperion Research. “In 2021 will the budget be there to do this?” asks Horst Simon, a supercomputing expert and deputy director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. “I don’t know.” Email 1 China’s planned exascale computer threatens Summit’s position at the top 700 px graphic Racing to match China’s growing computer power, U.S. outlines design for exascale computer K. Sutliff / Science Exascale 2005 2020 1000center_img Since 2013, China has operated the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Summit is likely to reclaim the title for the United States this year. China is on track to unveil the first exascale computer in 2020. 0.1 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Roadrunner, ChinaUnited States China and possibly Japan are still likely to reach the exascale promised land first. But if it’s completed on schedule, A21 could keep the United States from slipping too far behind. The faster pace reflects a change of strategy by DOE officials last fall. Initially, the agency set up a “two lanes” approach to overcoming the challenges of an exascale machine, in particular a potentially ravenous appetite for electricity that could require the output of a small nuclear plant.The agency had been funding two machines, both stepping stones to the exascale, that would take different approaches to cutting the energy demand. IBM and its partner NVIDIA, the makers of Summit, have focused on marrying central processing units (CPUs) with graphical processing units, which are faster and more efficient for calculations involved in complex visual simulations. Intel and Cray, meanwhile, have long aimed to increase the number of CPU “cores” operating in parallel and creating fast links between them. Their strategy was meant to lead to a 180-petaflop sister for Summit, called Aurora, to be built at Argonne.In 2015, DOE expected Aurora to be finished this year, with the first U.S. exascale machine appearing in 2023. Then China announced a 5-Year Plan that spelled out the goal of an exascale machine by the end of 2020. The United States wasn’t just falling behind, it was about to be lapped. In 1957, the launch of the Sputnik satellite vaulted the Soviet Union to the lead in the space race and galvanized the United States. U.S. supercomputer researchers are today facing their own Sputnik moment—this time with China. After dominating the supercomputing rankings for decades, the United States is now so far behind that the combined power of the top two machines in China easily outpaces that of all 21 supercomputers operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the country’s top supercomputing funder. CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) K. SUTLIFF/SCIENCE; (DATA) TOP500 Related story Jaguar, 1.8 Titan, 17.6 Sequoia, 16.3 Tianhe-1A, 2.6 K computer, 10.0 Tianhe-2, 33.9 Sunway TaihuLight, 93 Summit, 200 JapanEurope Peak performance (petaflops) 1.1 Projection Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Data: TOP500 But now, U.S. supercomputing researchers are striking back. Engineers at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have nearly completed Summit, a computer with twice the power of the top Chinese machine, the Sunway TaihuLight in Wuxi. When fully commissioned this summer, Summit will churn out 200 million billion floating-point operations per second (petaflops). Even more promising, scientists are meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, this week to get their first detailed look at designs for the next U.S. behemoth, its first 1000-petaflop—1 exaflop or exascale—supercomputer, to be built by 2021 at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. That’s 2 years earlier than planned. “It’s a pretty exciting time,” says Aiichiro Nakano, a physicist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who uses supercomputers to model materials made by layering stacks of atomic sheets like graphene.Called A21, the Argonne computer will be built by Intel and Cray and is expected to supercharge simulations of everything from the formation of galaxies to the turbulent flows of gas in combustion. “With exascale we can put a lot more physics in there,” says Choong-Seock Chang, a physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey who plans to use A21 to model the plasma physics inside a fusion reactor. BlueGene/L, 0.28 By Robert F. ServiceThis summer, when engineers flip the switch on Summit, a supercomputer being assembled at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the machine is expected to be the most powerful in the world. That would return the United States to the top of the supercomputing rankings for the first time since June 2013, when it lost the top spot to Tianhe-2, a machine housed at China’s National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou.”Of course, we hoped we could have [the top machine] for a longer time,” says Depei Qian, a computer scientist at Beihang University in Beijing. “But the government agencies understand that no country can be No. 1 forever.”In the global game of supercomputing leapfrog, China is likely to take back the title from the United States when it builds the first exascale computer: a machine capable of 1 billion billion floating-point operations per second, or 1 exaflop. Under the country’s 13th 5-Year Plan, released in 2015, China is committed to launching its first exascale supercomputer by the end of 2020. That could put it a full year ahead of A21, the first U.S. exascale supercomputer, planned for launch in 2021. Japan is also aiming for an exascale machine with a successor to its K supercomputer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, though the head of the project has said that its delivery could slip to 2021 or 2022. Finally, the European Union could cross the exascale threshold in 2021, according to market research firm Hyperion Research.But that won’t be the end of the race. The four supercomputing powers are convinced they need to push the frontiers in order to compete in a wide range of scientific disciplines, defense technology, industrial technology, and computer products. “Everybody is moving as fast as they can,” says Jack Dongarra, a supercomputing expert at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville who keeps close tabs on international supercomputing efforts. And once they cross one threshold, he says, “then it’s on to the next one.”With additional reporting by Dennis Normile.last_img read more

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Everything We Learned From Kanyes Easter Sunday Service

first_img 16. 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival – Weekend 2 – Day 3 The Sunday Service merchI love Kanye but I ain’t paying 225 for a pretty basic hoodie pic.twitter.com/Iege8bQ0Hb— Yarin (@yarinht) April 21, 2019 This is the end of the line for Kanye’s merch tent at #Coachella. The line is long. Very long. pic.twitter.com/MUBUecAsXE— James H. Williams @ Coachella (@JHWreporter) April 21, 20194. “it wasn’t very churchy”Despite its name, Sunday Service wasn’t as religious as it may suggest, according to some fans who attended the Easter show. Yes, Kanye performed “Jesus Walks” and he shared an emotional moment on stage with DMX, who is known to recite biblical verses on stage. 11. Choir director Jason White Source:Getty Sunday Service with Yeezus @kanyewest pic.twitter.com/cLN6zXP0BY— Russo (@BrennanRusso) April 21, 2019That may or may not be one of Kanye’s metaphors that could possibly be a hint as to what’s next for the rapper who not-too-long-ago was cozying up to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. This recent run of Sunday Service shows seems to have caused some folks to come down with a convenient case of amnesia, forgetting that Kanye was readily embracing the president’s hate because the rapper has been spreading his own brand of love through his music on Sunday.And, according to the response across social media as well as other news reports, Kanye (even though he showed up extra late to his own show) didn’t disappoint his fans in this week’s installment of Sunday Service. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, here are five things we learned.2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 3Source: Rich Fury / Getty1. Kanye has a new songKim Kardashian‘s husband during the Easter Sunday Service debuted a new track that was apparently called “Water.” It features singer Ty Dolla Sign and was greeted warmly by the thousands in attendance. Kanye is known for his maniacal obsession with delivering a perfect product, so it was unclear when or if the song will be made available for public consumption, or if it will get a complete makeover. Until then, this will have to tide his fans over.2. He could have a new album on the way By teasing the new song, conventional wisdom would suggest an album was on the way. He’s been hinting at an album called “Yandhi” since at least last October. A new album would be Kanye’s first since last May when he released his “Ye,” which got a lukewarm greeting from critics during what wasn’t the best year, socially, personally and professionally.Kanye’s record label Def Jam tweeted about his new song on Sunday, adding to the speculation he was getting ready to drop a new album. this moment with kanye, cudi, chance and DMX really got me #SundayService #coachella pic.twitter.com/uSExFWvfzw— Genius (@Genius) April 21, 2019According to the Hollywood Reporter, “some fans said ‘it wasn’t very churchy’ and ‘I paid $500 for church.’”5. Kanye brought some big names with him to his Easter Sunday Service. 10. Teyana Taylor 1. Chance The Rapper Source:Getty INDIO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 21: Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,music,concert,performance,california,males,medium group of people,music festival,valley,kanye west – musician,day 3,sunday,indio – california,coachella valley music and arts festival 9. North West (L) and Ryan Romulus Source:Getty Source:Getty 4. Travis Scott 3. Willow Smith Highlight of #sundayservice was watching @OfficialWillow convince @ygofficialblink Lisa to join Kanye’s dance troupe pic.twitter.com/n7epdh44TO— Brodin Plett (@brodinplett) April 21, 2019 15. 6. DMX Source:Getty 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 3Source: Rich Fury / GettyFor a few months now, Kanye West has been providing a semi-public glimpse into his creative process by way of Sunday Service, his weekly religious-inspired gospel celebration of all things music. On Sunday, he brought Sunday Service his talents to Coachella for Easter, inviting a modest crowd of fans, celebrities and revelers alike to see what the big deal was about his latest musical endeavor.2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 3Source: Rich Fury / GettyIn classic Kanye enigmatic form, Easter’s entire Sunday Service was also live streamed to only provide online viewers with the vantage point of looking through a peephole.center_img 13. Source:Getty 2. Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner and Penelope Scotland Disick 12. Source:Getty New song #SundayService #Coachella— Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) April 21, 20193. Kanye’s Sunday Service merchandise is ridiculously expensiveIf the pricetags associated with his Sunday Service merchandise was any indication, the rapper who not so long ago complained of being broke was apparently looking to add a few more zeroes to his bank accounts. Kanye’s foray into fashion has officially been extended to include his music, which, of course, means that he was selling pairs of plainly designed “Jesus Walks” socks for a cool $50 each. Want a sweatshirt? It’ll set you back a cool $225. JESUS WALKS – @kanyewest’s verse @KanyePodcast pic.twitter.com/SdozewGaUW— pilgrim © (@sdpilgrim) April 21, 2019But those actually in attendance got an unadulterated view of Kanye performing updated renditions of a handful of his signature hit songs, including “All Falls Down.” Source:Getty Source:Getty Source:Getty 7. Justin and Hailey Bieber Hailey and Justin at Kanye’s Sunday Service at Coachella. pic.twitter.com/3P7KmpzKny— Hailey Bieber Outfits (@haileysoutfits) April 21, 2019 14. Source:Getty 8. Kendall Jenner 5. Lil Pump Source:Getty Source:Getty last_img read more

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Amber Guygers Aunt Says Shooting Wasnt Racist

first_img Black boys and men killed by police composite photo AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Amber Guyger‘s aunt wants people to believe that her niece didn’t see color or race when she shot and killed Botham Jean in his own home last year, according to a new op-ed she wrote. However, Guyger’s aunt failed to mention how the Dallas Police Department seemed to do everything within its power to criminalize Jean after his death.READ MORE: Will Public Executions Of Black People Ever Stop?But it was the assertion by Nancy Bishop that Jean’s killing was not “a form of lynching” that may have rubbed some readers the wrong way. She said the “inflammatory comparison” makes her “shudder,” but it was unclear if she had the same feelings when (if?) she learned how Dallas police seemed to follow the racist playbook of how to lynch a dead Black man. SEE ALSO:Bill De Blasio’s ‘Black Son’ Tries To Redirect The Race Conversation To His DadAfter Poisoning Black People In Flint, Ex-Michigan Governor Is Rewarded by Harvard She was reacting to a Dallas Morning News news report published in May that quoted a Black activist who used the word “lynching” to describe Jean’s death.“What happened the night of Sept. 6, 2018, was different from other incidents that drew national attention when white police officers killed Michael Brown, Walter Lamar Scott, Stephon Clark and other black men,” Guyger’s aunt wrote in the Dallas Morning News.But Bishop did not finish that thought and write about what happened after those other instances of high-profile police shootings of unarmed Black men — each of their reputations was sullied by police. The aftermath of Jean’s killing by Guyger was no exception when police tried to center the narrative on the irrelevant small amount of marijuana allegedly found in his apartment, which the off-duty officer entered under the implausible scenario that she mistook her home for his. The implication was that Jean was a criminal and therefore, somehow, may have deserved to die.And while Jean was not lynched in the dictionary definition of the term, he was certainly lynched by police in the media when he couldn’t even defend himself because a Dallas police officer illegally entered his home and shit him to death.The apparent preferential treatment toward Guyger, who has been freed on bail, has continued by delaying the trial date and leaking confidential evidence, such as her 911 call, perhaps in an effort to sway potentially sympathetic jurors.The op-ed from Guyger’s aunt stood in sharp contrast to sentiments from Jean’s family, who has called the former cop a “murderer.”David Dennis Jr. summed up the situation quite nicely when he wrote about it for NewsOne.“While lynchings had traditionally used trumped-up crimes to justify subsequent murders, Botham Jean, and those like him, face bogus crimes to justify their murders after the fact,” Denis wrote. “Remember how the New York Times said that Michael Brown was “no angel” after he was murdered, citing his heinous crimes of … stealing cigars, drinking and cursing in rap songs? After Trayvon Martin was killed, social media was flooded with images of a scowling teenager who “looked” threatening enough to be justifiably killed?” 62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police Amber Guyger , Amber Guyger Murder Trial , Botham Shem Jean last_img read more

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Two cops arrested in connection with custodial death of prisoner in Kerala

first_imgBy PTI |Idukki | Published: July 3, 2019 12:47:55 pm Kerala to bring in Anti-Superstition Bill; draft bill submitted Weather Forecast Today HIGHLIGHTS: Red alert in six Kerala districts, Delhi-NCR wakes up to light rain The arrests of sub-inspector K A Sabu and civil police officer Sajeev Antony, who were taken into custody Tuesday, were recorded this morning by the Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, police said.Shortly after his arrest was recorded, Sabu fainted and was shifted to Kottayam Medical College hospital.Forty-nine-year-old Rajkumar, who was taken into custody in connection with a financial fraud case on June 12, was allegedly tortured by police personnel at Nedumkandam Police Station for four days following which he died at the Peermedu sub-jail. Advertising kerala custodial death, custodial death, kerala news, kerala police, cops arrested, Nedumkandam, Nedumkandam police, kerala police arrested over custodial death, idukki news, india news, latest news, indian express  Forty-nine-year-old Rajkumar was allegedly tortured by police personnel at Nedumkandam Police Station for four days following which he died at the Peermedu sub-jail. (Representational)Two police personnel, including a sub-inspector, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the alleged custodial torture and death of a remand prisoner last month. Advertising 2 Comment(s) Related News World Bank to offer $250 million to Kerala for disaster management The opposition Congress-led UDF had put the LDF government in the dock over the custodial death and had raised the issue in the state Assembly demanding a judicial probe.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had assured that the government would not protect any erring policeman involved in the case.“No one has the right to keep any person in custody illegally or beat them to death. Such people will no longer be there in the state police service,” Vijayan had told the state Assembly.Four police personnel– including the sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector and two drivers of Nedumkandam Police Station– were suspended and eight others transferred in connection with the incident.Rajkumar’s death had triggered widespread criticism of the state police and the home department, headed by the chief minister.last_img read more

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Las Vegas Captures Ransomware Crown

first_imgAlthough Las Vegas topped the list for ransomware detections, half of the top 10 ransomware cities were found in the Rust Belt: Detroit, Michigan; Ohio cities Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.A lack of security awareness and misplaced trust may have contributed to the high rate of detections in that region.”They’re less security-aware than people living in larger metropolitan areas,” Kujawa said. “People are also more likely to fall for phishing attacks, which is one of the primary methods of malware distribution.”Ransomware has been a scourge over the past two years, but that will change in the coming months as the security industry finds new ways to block ransomware, suggested Nima Samad, a Malwarebyes data science analyst who also worked on the report.”Within the next year or two, we’ll see a dramatic decrease — at least in the kind of ransomware we’re seeing right now,” he told TechNewsWorld. Breach Diary Dec. 26. PakWheels, an automotive classified website, notifies its users that their personal data is at risk after its server was breached by an unknown third party. Dec. 27. Three Chinese citizens charged by United States of engaging in conspiracies to commit insider trading, wire fraud and computer intrusion in an indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan. Dec. 27. New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services says confidential information of as many of 15,000 people who received department services is at risk after unauthorized access to them by a patient at the state’s psychiatric hospital. Dec. 27. Global encryption software market will be US$2.5 billion by 2021, Allied Market Research forecasts.Dec. 28. InterContinental Hotel Group, which operates more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, says it’s investigating reports of a possible data breach at a small number of its hotels located in the United States. Dec. 28. The Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, which monitors the Ukraine-Russian conflict, says it suffered a data breach that compromised the security of its computer network. Dec. 29. Nevada takes its marijuana portal offline after a data breach exposed confidential information on some 12,000 applications for cards used to obtain medical marijuana. Dec. 29. FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security issue joint report detailing the tools and infrastructure used by Russian intelligence services to compromise and exploit networks and infrastructure associated with the recent U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. government, political and private sector entities.Dec. 29. Hong Kong Airlines apologizes to its customers for flaw in its Android app that allowed personal information of more than 100 passengers to be viewed by other usrs of the app. Dec. 30. President Barrack Obama expels from the United States 35 suspected Russian spies for “malicious cyber activity and harassment” in connection with Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.Dec. 31. Potomac Healthcare Solutions accidentally exposed to the public Internet confidential information on scores of psychologists and other healthcare professionals deployed within the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command, MacKeeper security researcher Chris Vickery says. Software development is in a state of transition. More and more organizations are getting apps to market faster and with better quality using technologies like DevOps, Agile and continuous improvement. Those technologies aren’t just changing software development — they’re changing the security industry, too.The days of making security purchases solely for compliance reasons are fading fast.”Plenty of security purchases were made to check off some compliance boxes, and it was hoped that the product would also deliver some real value,” noted Zane Lackey, chief security officer at Signal Sciences.With the adoption of DevOps and its emphasis on speed and quality, organizations are starting to demand more from security vendors.”Buyers are getting fed up with vendors not delivering on their promises,” Lackey told TechNewsWorld.As part of that value equation, security vendors need to shed a role many of them have had for years.”Security has always acted as this gatekeeper and blocker. Now buyers don’t want to know, ‘how does this slow me down less?’ but ‘how does this enable me to move faster?'” Lackey pointed out.”Security can’t be a compliance checkbox that just slows everything down,” he emphasized. “It needs to add real value and help me move faster as an organization.” “You can essentially authenticate and re-authenticate a user all the time by looking for things that are anomalous,” explained Dan Ingevaldson, CTO of Easy Solutions.There can be anomalies in how a browser is used or in the way a visitor logs in compared to the past, or in the makeup of the device used in a session.However, it’s important to understand that these passive systems deal in probability. They tell you what the probability is that a particular session is risky.”Very confident predictions can be made that one session is related to another. That’s really helpful. It can make things like stolen passwords unusable to attackers,” Ingevaldson explained.”We’re going to see a lot more of these systems in 2017,” he predicted. Teflon Security Friction is the great enemy of e-commerce. Consumers do not respond well to any delays doing what they want to do online. That’s why so many shopping carts are abandoned before shoppers pull the trigger on a purchase.More than two out of three carts (68.81 percent) are deserted by shoppers, according to the Baymard Institute.Friction creates a ticklish problem for security teams, because protecting merchants and consumers from fraud can create friction. Ideally, the best security scheme is one that gives consumers their cake and lets them eat it, too — one that offers maximum protection but is invisible to shoppers.Such a trend is occurring in global financial institutions, where adoption of passive risk assessment systems is growing. Those systems assess the risk of a consumer’s session with a financial institution, using a basket of factors about that session.What’s particularly beneficial about the systems is that they continually authenticate the author of the session. Typically, once a user provides a name and password, they become “trusted,” and their activity after login is ignored.With risk assessment systems, users are monitored constantly. Even if they use a correct name and password, risky online behaviors will be flagged, and action taken to authenticate their identities. Beyond Compliancecenter_img Useless Passwords Las Vegas is arguably the gambling capital of the world, but it’s also the king city for ransomware, based on recent research.Among the world’s nations, the United States ranked highest in ransomware incidents, according to a Malwarebytes report on the prevalence and distribution of extortion apps. The area of the country that logged the most incidents was the Las Vegas-Henderson, Nevada, region.Nevada cities led the nation in overall ransomware detections, most detections per individual machine, and most detections per population, according to the report, which is based on an analysis of half a million ransomware incidents.Las Vegas’ attraction to tourists and conference goers may be what attracts digital bandits.”When people go to conferences, they’re using their laptops on WiFi networks that may not be completely trusted,” explained Adam Kujawa, head of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes.Coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the city, that can make users more vulnerable to vehicles delivering ransomware.”When people are having a good time, they let their guard down,” Kujawa told TechNewsWorld. Rust Belt Targeted Upcoming Security Events Jan. 9. 2017 Predictions: Authentication, Identity & Biometrics in a Connected World. 11 a.m. ET. Webinar by BioConnect. Free with registration.Jan. 11. Double Yahoo Breach: Nothing You Can Do About It, But Learn. 3 p.m. ET. Webinar by ITSPmagazine. Free with registration. Jan. 12. 2017 Trends in Information Security. 11 a.m. ET. Webinar by 451 Research. Free with registration. Jan. 12. What Does the Massive Yahoo Hack Mean for Your Company? 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by Viewpost. Free with registration. Jan. 12. The Rise of Malware-Less Attacks: How Can Endpoint Security Keep Up? 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by Carbon Black. Free with registration. Jan. 12. FTC PrivacyCon. Constitution Center, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, D.C. Free. Jan. 13. How the Heck Did They Miss It? Lessons to Learn from the Yahoo Breach. 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by Acalvio Technologies. Jan. 13. I Heart Security: Developing Enterprise Security Programs for Millennials. 5 p.m. ET. Webinar by NCC Group. Free with registration. Jan. 13-14. BSides San Diego. National University, Spectrum Business Park Campus, 9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego. Tickets: $30 (includes T-shirt). Jan. 16. You CAN Measure Your Cyber Security After All. 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by Allure Security Technology. Free with registration. Jan. 26. The True State of Security in DevOps and Expert Advice On How to Bridge the Gap. 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by HPE and Coveros. Free with registration. Jan. 31. Using GDPR To Your Advantage To Drive Customer Centricity and Trust. 5 a.m. ET. Webinar by Cognizant. Free with registration. Feb. 4. BSides Huntsville. Solutions Complex building, Dynetics, 1004 Explorer Blvd., Huntsville, Alabama. Tickets: $10. Feb. 4. BSides Seattle. The Commons Mixer Building, 15255 NE 40th St., Redmond, Washington. Tickets: $15, plus $1.37 fee. Feb. 12-13. BSides San Francisco. DNA Lounge/SF BuzzWorks, 375 11th St., San Francisco. General Admission: $35; with electronic pass, $110. Feb. 13-17. RSA USA Conference. Moscone Center, San Francisco. Full Conference Pass: before Nov. 11, $1,695; before Jan. 14, $1,995; before Feb. 11, $2,395; after Feb. 10, $2,695.Feb. 21. Top Trends That Will Shape Your Cybersecurity Strategy in 2017. 11 a.m. ET. Webinar by vArmour, American University, TruSTAR and Cryptzone. Feb. 25. BSides NoVa. CIT Building, 2214 Rock Hill Rd.#600, Herndon, Virginia. Tickets: conference, $25; workshops, $10. Feb. 28. Key Steps to Implement & Maintain PCI DSS Compliance in 2017. 1 p.m. ET. Webinar by HPE Security. March 2. Enabling Trust Throughout the Customer Journey. 10 a.m. PT. Webinar by Iovation. Free with registration. March 28-31. Black Hat Asia. Marinia Bay Sands, Singapore. Registration: before Jan. 28, S$1,375; before March 25, S$1,850; after March 24, S$2,050. John Mello is a freelance technology writer and contributor to Chief Security Officer magazine. You can connect with him on Google+.last_img read more

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The Rise of AI Give Me That New Time Religion

first_imgIs It a Real Religion? A religion based on technology may not be so farfetched either –authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur C. Clarke suggested that toprimitive societies, technology would resemble magic, and thus could beconfused with religion.One interesting issue is whether the machine intelligence would regard itself as a god.”If we create a super intelligent computer, they would still have toemulate properties that give way to transcendence,” said Brian C.Wilson, professor of American religious history at West Michigan University.”With AI, part of it would be that it has something transcendental, asthat is the key to the new religion movement,” he told TechNewsWorld. “But also, what kind ofwisdom does it offer?”At present, the Way of the Future has just its Dean, but “newreligions have started with less,” noted Wilson.One needs only to look to the carpenter turned preacher, the Bedouinmerchant turned prophet, the Upstate New York farmer or sciencefiction fantasy writer — all of whom were ridiculed for theirrespective faiths.”The leader typically needs to have a certain ‘X’ factor and charisma,but the real test is what happens when that charismatic leader dies,”said Wilson. The Way of the Future, founded in 2015, does not worship any spiritual god(s) that can cast lightning or smite evildoers. Levandowski’s premise appears to be that AI sooner or later will be billions of times smarter than the smartest human and thus could have “god-like” powers.The new religion doesn’t prophesy a coming messiah, the end of days, or any other divine future happening. Instead, Levandowski’s focus is on “the singularity” or “transition” that lies ahead — that is, the moment when AI surpasses human intelligence.Current prominent tech thinkers — from Bill Gates to Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk — have warned that AI superiority could unleash machines on humanity in a manner similar to the dark fantasies depicted in science fiction movies such as The Terminator or The Matrix — and that humans should prepare to deal with the possibility.However, instead of fearing the rise of the machines, the Way of the Future embraces it as inevitable. Humans may have to serve a new AI master and as people have submitted to god(s) for eons, the argument seems to go. Embracing the Singularity Great AI Schisms Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.Email Peter. Of course, any new religion is likely to have its “Doubting Thomas” types as well.”I’m anticipating that a partnership with The Church of the FlyingSpaghetti Monster will soon emerge,” said Josh Crandall, principalanalyst at Netpop Research.”This is the beginning of something bigger — not just a singlereligion, but an incubator for worshipping our emerging AI overlords,”Crandall quipped.”We better become comfortable with it, people, because devotedengineers and scientists will convert in growing hordes as the logicof AI-focused religions are more convincing than our spiritualbeliefs,” he told TechNewsWorld.”We could see schisms and denominational rifts as different AIs areworshipped, too,” warned WMU’s Wilson. “It will also be hard to predict whatthis new religion — or other recently founded religions — could resemblein a thousand years.”Or maybe Levandowski isn’t really serious at all.”Maybe it’s just a diversionary tactic to complicate the Waymo/Uberintellectual property lawsuit that Mr. Levandowski is at the center ofright now,” suggested Netpop’s Crandall. “Whatever — this new development is a strokeof genius.”center_img The New New Age History is full of prophets and false prophets, and new religions actually arenothing all that new. The New Religious Movement (NRM), oralternative spirituality, has faced a hostile reception with establishedreligious groups and groups associated with it oftentimes have been labeled “cults.”It’s questionable whether the Way of the Future, which may or may not have any followers, can be considered an actual religion or if it better fits the definition of a cult.”‘Religion’ is the engagement of ultimate realities in cognitive,existential, and social practice ways,” said Robert CummingsNeville, a professor of philosophy, religion and theology at BostonUniversity.”There is nothing in principle that would prevent the involvement ofartificial intelligence in this,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The invention of writing and ofprinting revolutionized religions in the past, and surely computersare in wide use among religious people of many sorts,” Neville said, “but I don’t know whether this Way of the Future means to worship progressive AI, use AIs to model ultimate realities such as God, theDao, etc., or to use AI to set up religious practices.” The Tech Godhead Anthony Levandowski, known for his work developing self-driving auto technology, has started the world’sfirst artificial intelligence-based religion, according to Wired, which on Wednesday published an article based on a lengthy interview with the would-be prophet.Levandowski, who has been at the center of a legal dispute between Google’s Waymoself-driving unit and Uber, has cast himself as the frontman for the Way of the Future church.The mission of this “technotheistic” movement is spelled out as “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence developed through computer and hardware and software,” in documents filed with the IRS, Wired reported. The church is listed as a nonprofit with Levandowski as “Dean.” New Age religions have gained traction with those who seek thespirituality aspects but are skeptical of the higher being elements intraditional Eastern and Western religious movements.Thus it could bethat the Way of the Future would appeal to those “people of science” whocast doubt on the existence of God but yet seek a higher power.What could be higher than an AI-powered supercomputer?Levandowski’s view could place AI in the same category as a messiah.”I could see people pinning their hopes on a super-intelligent AI, just as in the 1950s people thought UFOs might bring superior enlightenment,” added Wilson. “The millennium movement isoften associated with the arrival of such a messiah who ushers in thenew age — so why not from a machine?”last_img read more

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Kings researchers launch charter to guide organizations to engage abuse survivors in

first_img‘Survivors of abuse face unique health and social care challenges. These are impossible to address without proper consultation and genuine engagement. Too often their voices are ignored so changes in policy and support services do not effectively meet their needs. This Charter marks a shift toward co-produced research and collaborative service development. I encourage all my colleagues to use it.’ Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchThe Charter has been designed and implemented entirely by survivors of abuse. It guides researchers and organizations through the principles and practicalities of good survivor engagement. The authors aim to enable active, safe and meaningful involvement of abuse survivors in: research, service development, projects, policy and practice standards, events, training and conferences.Susan Bewley, Professor (emeritus) of Obstetrics & Women’s Health at King’s, said: The Charter is being adopted by King’s College Hospital to inform how survivors’ views are incorporated into service development and research carried out at the Havens’ Sexual Assault Referral Centres. The Charter is aimed at any individual or organization interacting with survivors of abuse, including those who may not have disclosed their experiences or do not feel safe enough yet to do so.People are being invited to download the Charter for free and consider how they can use it to increase meaningful engagement and involvement of abuse survivors in their work. ‘Genuine patient and public involvement in research that engages people who have experienced abuse is in its infancy. It is rarely survivor-led or co-produced. What little research there is that directly consults survivors can be ineffective at engaging and eliciting data due to the way it is conducted and it can even cause harm, despite good intentions. We aim to address this through our partnership with King’s and support from the Wellcome Trust.’center_img Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018In collaboration with the peer-led organization Survivors’ Voices, researchers from King’s School of Life Course Sciences have launched a charter to guide organizations and individuals to safely and meaningfully engage abuse survivors in health and social care research.The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) estimates that one in twenty children experience sexual abuse and one in fourteen experience physical abuse. Almost one in ten adults report experiencing or witnessing psychological, physical or sexual abuse during childhood but a third tell nobody at the time.Childhood abuse is a recognized risk factor in the causes of many common mental health conditions. Studies have shown that cumulative adverse childhood experiences also significantly increase the risks of physical ill health in later life.Launching the Charter at King’s and the Haven’s Sexual Violence Research Day, Concetta Perôt, Co-founder & Director of Survivors’ Voices and Associate Researcher at King’s (Section of Women’s Mental Health) said: Source:https://www.kch.nhs.uk/last_img read more

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Prenatal famine exposure may lead to early menopause and premature ovarian failure

first_img Source:https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/famine-exposure-impacts-early-menopause-12-5-18.pdf Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 5 2018New study demonstrates association between prenatal exposure to famine and early reproductive agingPrevious studies have demonstrated that fetal malnutrition can lead to adult chronic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. A new study out of China now suggests that it also can lead to early menopause and premature ovarian failure. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).Infants are especially sensitive to changes in their environment while still in the womb, during their earliest stages of development. It has already been documented that the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis during the fetal stage plays a critical role in adulthood reproductive health. Natural menopause is a milestone of ovarian aging that results in the end of a woman’s reproductive years.Related StoriesJAMA commentary: Nutrition knowledge essential for today’s physiciansEarly menopause raises bladder cancer risk for smokersEarly nutritional intervention can help fight dementiaAlthough several studies have investigated the association between famine exposure in early life and risk of various metabolic diseases in adulthood, the association with reproductive aging was not evaluated. This new study involving nearly 2,900 Chinese women specifically sought to address the effect of early life exposure to famine on age at menopause.The study concluded that prenatal famine was associated with a higher risk of early menopause (age younger than 45 years), as well as a higher risk of premature ovarian failure. Although study participants were born during China’s infamous famine occurring between 1956 and 1964, the study provides valuable insights into the benefits of proper nutrition during early life stages for women of any culture.Study results appear in the article “Early life exposure to famine and reproductive aging among Chinese women.””The findings that natural menopause occurs earlier after prenatal famine exposure suggests that food deprivation during early fetal life affects how long the future ovaries function,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “For those women, if they are not taking estrogen therapy until the average age of menopause, their early menopause could be associated with increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and memory changes and changes in vaginal and sexual health.”last_img read more

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HALS study may provide new insight into the longterm brain health of

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 25 2019More people today are poised to explore space than ever before; those who do will experience the effects of microgravity on the human body. Recognizing the need for more data related to those effects, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) neuroradiologist Donna Roberts, M.D., and co-author Lonnie G. Petersen, M.D.,Ph.D., University of California San Diego, have published “The Study of Hydrocephalus Associated With Long-term Spaceflight (HALS) Provides New Insights into Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow,” in JAMA Neurology’s Jan. 23 online publication.Roberts, who previously published a groundbreaking research study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017 on this topic, and Petersen remain concerned about the lack of data describing the adaptation of the human brain to microgravity and advocates for more research into hydrocephalus associated with long-term spaceflight (HALS).Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery results”Exposure to the space environment has permanent effects on humans that we simply do not understand. What astronauts experience in space must be mitigated to produce safer space travel for the public,” Roberts said. “Just like in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, HALS may be a normal response of the brain to spaceflight. Alternatively, HALS may prove harmful, and countermeasures will need to be developed to protect the long-term brain health of astronauts and space explorers.”Roberts and her team’s previous findings demonstrated significant changes in brain structure during long-duration spaceflight, with the frontal and parietal lobes (responsible for movement of the body and higher executive function) most affected. The longer an astronaut stayed in space, the worse the symptoms were. Her recent JAMA publication serves as a reminder of the urgency related to the study of HALS, with private space exploration companies planning trips to Mars and the NASA Mars expedition planned for 2033. In the article, Roberts and Petersen explain that HALS doesn’t fit into any of the related but different clinical conditions involving cerebral spinal fluid seen on Earth. The cause of HALS remains unknown, and for Roberts and Petersen, understanding this condition is of paramount importance to safer space travel for humans.”We know these long-duration flights take a big toll on the astronauts and cosmonauts; however, we don’t know if the adverse effects on the body continue to progress or if they stabilize after some time in space,” Roberts said. “We need to know if HALS represents an adaptive response or a pathologic process that must be mitigated, perhaps by simulated gravity. All of our astronauts should undergo testing and studies to monitor what’s happening in their brains before and immediately after space flight, with long term follow-up care and monitoring. The study of HALS will provide new insight into the effect of gravitational stress on the brain and will improve our understanding not only of that phenomenon, but also for similar cerebral fluid disorders here on Earth.” Source:https://web.musc.edu/about/leadership/institutional-offices/communications/pamr/news-releases/2019/brain-condition-related-to-long-term-spaceflights-needs-more-attention-and-datalast_img read more

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Naltrexone implant more effective in reducing relapses in HIV patients with opioid

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019When patients with HIV who are also battling opioid dependence go without addiction treatment, they are more likely to stop taking their HIV medications than drug-free patients. While the daily oral form of naltrexone–a drug that blunts the effects of opioids–is one option to treat opioid dependence, medication adherence among drug users is known to be low. A new study, published this month in Lancet HIV by Penn Medicine researchers, shows that a naltrexone implant placed under the skin, which slowly releases the drug over three months, was more effective at helping HIV-positive patients with an opioid addiction reduce relapse and have better HIV-related outcomes compared to the oral drug.The study was conducted in Russia where oral, extended-release injectable, and implantable naltrexone products are approved, but agonist or partial agonist maintenance using medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, are against the law. Agonists remain controversial in some cultural settings because they activate the same neurological receptors as opioids, and some critics view the approach as exchanging one drug addiction for another. Naltrexone has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the 1970s, however the only commercially available forms are the 50 mg tablet and an extended-release injectable product that blocks opioid effects for a month.”The findings have implications for treatment of opioid dependence among patients that do not want agonist maintenance or who live in places where options are more limited,” said senior author George E. Woody, MD, an emeritus professor in the department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “Further development and formal approval of these implants in a wider range of cultural settings has the potential to provide an effective and meaningful HIV and opioid treatment option for these patients.”In the phase 3, double-blind, double-dummy trial, researchers from Penn, the First Pavlov State Medical University and the VM Bekhterev National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Neurology in Saint Petersburg, Russia, enrolled 200 people seeking treatment for HIV and opioid dependence, and assessed HIV and addiction treatment outcomes over the next 12 months. All participants had the study explained, provided informed consent, were not on HIV treatment or had not been on it for the past year, and had viral loads over 1,000 copies per mL. The researchers randomly assigned participants to receive the naltrexone implant every 12 weeks along with daily placebo oral naltrexone (100 people), or oral naltrexone 50 mg/day along with a placebo implant (100 people). All were offered biweekly drug counseling and treated with antiretroviral therapies.Related StoriesPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionResults of the study showed that the implant was associated with more HIV infected patients maintaining their ART regimen and lowering viral loads compared to the oral drug. At the end of the study, 46 people in the implant group remained on ART compared to 32 in the oral drug group, and 66 people in the implant group had viral loads less than 400 copies per mL compared to 50 in the oral group. The remainder of patients dropped out or relapsed and seven died from various causes including heart disease, trauma, overdose, cancer and AIDS. The implant group also remained in addiction treatment without relapsing for a longer period of time: 32 weeks vs. 20 weeks. The authors said that patients in the implant group likely had better outcomes because they had longer periods of remission, which in turn allowed them to focus more on HIV treatment than purchasing and using opioids.”While we only looked at an opioid addicted HIV population in Russia, these results suggest that naltrexone implants could be helpful to patients in the U.S. and elsewhere that do not want agonist maintenance treatment or who live in settings where these treatments are difficult to access or unavailable,” Woody said. “However, that will largely depend on the results of commercial development and approval of these implants.”Source: https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2019/march/naltrexone-implant-helps-hiv-patients-with-opioid-dependence-adhere-to-medications-prevent-relapselast_img read more

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Abdominal etching can help patients to get classic sixpack abs physique

first_img Source:http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2019/04/22/with_abdominal_etchi-F92D.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 23 2019Even with a good diet and workout routine, some men and women have trouble getting the toned abdominal appearance they want. For these patients, a technique called abdominal etching can help in creating the classic “six-pack abs” physique in men or three-vertical-line abdomen in women, reports a study in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).The procedure uses precisely targeted liposuction to achieve greater definition of the abdominal muscles, according to the paper by Tarik M. Husain, MD, FACS, of University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and colleagues. “Abdominal etching using power-assisted liposuction is a novel method of sculpting an ideal abdomen,” Dr. Husain comments. “Our study shows that this is a safe and effective method to create a defined anterior abdominal wall in both male and female patients.”Emerging Liposuction Technique Produces Abdominal ‘Six-Pack’The researchers review their experience with liposuction to improve the appearance of the abdomen in 50 patients: 26 men and 24 women, average age 36 years. Patients seeking abdominal etching were in good shape, with a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, but had “certain resistant areas of fat” that made it difficult to achieve the abdominal muscle definition they desired.Dr. Husain and coauthors outline the procedure in detail, starting with patient selection and preoperative markup. Following meticulous liposuction technique, the plastic surgeon sculpts the abdominal fat in both the superficial and deeper layers, accentuating the patient’s natural “six-pack” lines in males and 3 vertical lines in females. Hip lines are usually desired by both sexes. The technique can be altered to provide a softer, shallower or a harder, more-defined degree of abdominal etching, depending on the patient’s preference. The online version of the article on the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery website includes a video illustrating key aspects of the procedure for plastic surgeons.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Healthy high-fiber diet could reduce preeclampsia riskDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesThe authors spell out critical steps for postoperative care. Foam dressings are cut to size to compress the newly etched lines for at least three days. This is followed by full-time compression for two weeks postoperatively and two weeks part-time after that.It is critical to have regular follow up early on to assess for any fluid collections, or seromas. To ensure good results, these seromas – typically regarded as a minor complication – need to be treated aggressively if they occur.Patients can resume light exercise not engaging the core after two weeks, and more rigorous exercise after four weeks. The researchers stress the importance of maintaining good long-term results, with the assistance of a sports nutritionist and/or integrated medicine physician to optimize nutrition, exercise plan, and hormone imbalances. Patients have maintained good results of abdominal etching at follow-up times up to six years.None of the 50 patients undergoing abdominal etching had major complications requiring hospitalization or return to the operating room. Minor complications occurred in 22 percent of patients, such as contour irregularities (usually “over-etching”) that typically soften up and improve over time. Seromas developed in 10 percent of patients, and were promptly managed by a simple office procedure.”The patients exemplify that the procedure can be performed with optimal aesthetic results, and minimal postoperative complications,” Dr. Husain and coauthors conclude. They hope their technique and experience of abdominal etching will serve as a useful guide to other plastic surgeons who are interested in offering this relatively new procedure. The authors add, “We also highlight our extensive post-operative management, with the addition of a multidisciplinary nutrition and personal training team with the goal to maintain [patients’] long-term results and retain their newly etched abdominals.”last_img read more

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Fingerprint associated with a persons sleep habits may serve as warning sign

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 3 2019Chronic short sleep is associated with increased risk of clogged arteries, heart disease, and thus increased morbidity and mortality. New research in Experimental Physiology may have figured out why lack of sleep increases susceptibility to heart disease, and allowing doctors to identify the patients who might need to change their habits before they develop disease.In adults who regularly slept fewer than 7 hours per night, the levels of certain microRNAs, (molecules that influence whether or not a gene is expressed) were lower. These molecules play a key role in regulating vascular health and thus levels are now recognized to be sensitive and specific biomarkers of cardiovascular health, inflammation and disease. In other words, a lowered level of these molecules is associated with heart disease, so they could be used as a biomarker to determine who is more susceptible to disease.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockI’m a CPAP dropout: Why many lose sleep over apnea treatmentResearchers tested sedentary, middle-aged adults without heart disease from the local major metropolitan surrounding Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Subjects were asked to complete a questionnaire designed to accurately estimate average nightly sleep and a small amount of blood was taken from each subject after an overnight fast. MicroRNAs 125a, 126 and 146a were extracted from the blood and measured.Jamie Hijmans, an author on the study said:”The link between insufficient sleep and cardiovascular disease may be due, in part, to changes in microRNAs. These findings suggest there may be a “fingerprint” associated with a person’s sleep habits, and that fluctuations in miRNA levels may serve as a warning or guide to disease stage and progression.”Source: http://www.physoc.org/last_img read more

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Novel solution to a GPS blind spot for safer and smarter driving

Angle Difference Method for Vehicle Navigation in Multilevel Road Networks. Credit: The University of Hong Kong Vehicle drivers relying on GPS navigation who accidentally drive onto a flyover with the intention only to proceed on the ground level will face this problem: The GPS navigation system does not realise the vehicle has entered the incorrect level and continues to give instructions as if it were on the ground level. It may take several minutes for the system to notice the actual road level and begin to redirect to a new route.Present GPS vehicle navigation systems with a positioning error of 10 to 30 meters have long had this problem in determining which road level a vehicle has entered, especially for flyovers parallel to the ground level. The problem often creates confusion and “motorway anxiety disorder” that makes people more prone to accidents in driving.Professor Anthony Yeh Gar-On’s research team at the Department of Urban Planning and Design of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) offers a novel solution to this problem by instantly identifying whether a vehicle has entered a flyover or is still on the ground level. Play Video to illustrate the innovation and show how vehicle GPS navigation works under the current system and the modified system utilising the innovation. Credit: The University of Hong Kong The Angle Difference Method developed by the team compares the inclination angle of a vehicle and angles of different road levels stored in a Transport GIS to determine whether a vehicle has entered the ramp of a flyover or still on the ground level. It uses an ordinary smartphone that can be put anywhere at any angle in the vehicle with a plugged in or installed onboard diagnostic (OBD) device.The system provides a simple and inexpensive solution to warn drivers instantly when entering the incorrect road level. The accuracy for identification is 100 percent. Such timely information will reduce the stress and uncertainty in driving on a complex multilevel road system. The innovation has generated several academic papers published in international academic journals, including IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Autonomous driving – hands on the wheel or no wheel at all Explore further The team is currently discussing with global GIS and vehicle navigation operators including major operators on the mainland, particularly in large cities with complicated flyover networks. Professor Yeh said, “The invention provides an innovative, simple, and inexpensive method to overcome the long existing vehicle navigation problem that many people have tried to solve since GPS was used over 20 years ago by determining instantly whether a vehicle has entered a flyover or still on the ground level. The research team will further apply this Angle Difference Method to the navigation of automatic cars.” Provided by The University of Hong Kong Multilevel road networks such as flyovers and overpasses are built in large cities to solve traffic congestion. Rapid, accurate identification of the road level in a multilevel road network is important to make driving safer and more comfortable. Angle Difference Method for Vehicle Navigation in Multilevel Road Networks. Credit: The University of Hong Kong PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: Novel solution to a GPS blind spot for safer and smarter driving experience in multilevel road networks (2018, May 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-solution-gps-safer-smarter-multilevel.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Apple sets recall of some defective iPhone 8 devices but there could

first_imgIf you have an iPhone 8, and have been having problems with your phone, you might be able to get it replaced for free by Apple. Citation: Apple sets recall of some defective iPhone 8 devices, but there could be a catch (2018, September 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-apple-recall-defective-iphone-devices.html Explore further Apple is giving $50 refunds if you paid to replace your iPhone battery last year ©2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. But Apple isn’t making it easy to do so.Apple has issued a recall of what it says is a “very small percentage” of iPhone 8 devices due to defects in the phones’ logic boards that could cause the phones to unexpectedly restart, have frozen screens, or not turn on at all. Apple said it will repair the phones for free.Apple didn’t say how many phones were affected by the defective logic boards. The phones in question were sold in the United States, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, Australia and New Zealand. Apple offered a tool on its website for users to put in their iPhone’s serial numbers to check whether their devices are eligible to be repaired under the recall program.However, Apple also said that depending on the state of the iPhone, you might have to fork out some dough before the company will fix the problematic logic board.Apple said if the iPhone 8 has any “damage which impairs the ability to complete the repair, such as a cracked screen,” that problem will need to be fixed before it will service the phone. And Apple said it won’t be paying for those additional repairs. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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