Proposed definition of patientcenteredness and engagement in healthcare

first_imgMay 22 2018ISPOR, the professional society for health economics and outcomes research, held a session this evening, “Defining Patient-Centeredness and Engagement in Health Economics and Outcomes Research: Proposed Definition and Stakeholder Response [F3],” at ISPOR 2018 in Baltimore, MD, USA.Patient-related initiatives in healthcare are expanding as more and more stakeholders seek to involve patients in drug development, research, and delivery of healthcare. The lack of a common definition for the terms “patient engagement” and “patient-centeredness” has made it difficult to quantify and measure the impact of related initiatives. When these terms are employed, they are often used interchangeably and/or not defined, which can lead to misunderstanding. This lack of a consistent, clear definition for these terms has been highlighted in outcomes research, pharmacoepidemiology, and related fields, as a barrier to implementing and measuring patient engagement in the field.Related StoriesMany healthcare workers often care for patients while sick, study findsSmart phone health monitoring devices will revolutionize healthcareApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchThe session was moderated by Rachel L. Harrington, BA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Speakers included Eleanor M. Perfetto, PhD, MS, National Health Council, Washington, DC, USA and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD, USA; Suzanne Schrandt, JD, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA, USA; and Sarah Donelson, MA, Genentech, San Francisco, CA, USA.In this session, speakers presented the proposed consensus definition of “patient engagement” suitable for use in the context of health economics and outcomes research. The proposed definition was derived from a multistep process that included a systematic review and qualitative analysis of existing definitions in addition to a multistakeholder review. The speakers shared the implications of and the response to a consensus definition for patient engagement from the perspective of key stakeholders, including patients, policy/research, and industry. The ISPOR Patient-Centered Special Interest Group, comprised of researchers and patient representatives, will submit a manuscript entitled, “Defining Patient Engagement in Research: Results of a Systematic Review and Analysis,” to the Society’s journal, Value in Health.Source: https://www.ispor.org/last_img read more

Researchers discover key receptor molecule for flu infection

first_imgMay 30 2018After decades of research, a research team has discovered the key receptor molecule that enhances the infection of the influenza A virus, providing a novel target for anti-flu drug development.Viral infection starts when a virus particle attaches to a receptor molecule on the surface of a host cell. The virus particle then hijacks cellular machinery to enter the cell and replicate itself, establishing the infection. The key receptor molecule for the influenza A virus (IAV) has remained unidentified despite decades of research.A research team led by Professor Yusuke Ohba of Hokkaido University previously demonstrated that changes in Ca2+ concentration in host cells play an important role in IAV infections.Related StoriesReceptor in the uterus can detect sperm molecule, aids in sperm survivalWomen’s greater immune response to flu vaccine declines with ageExperimental antiviral drug cures mice infected with deadly tick-borne virusIn the latest study published in Cell Host & Microbe, the team has discovered that the Ca2+ channel, a transmembrane protein that allows Ca2+ to move across the cell membrane, is the key receptor molecule for IAV infections. Furthermore, treating human cells with calcium channel blockers (CCBs), which are commonly used as anti-hypertension drug, significantly suppressed IAV infections.In experiments using cultured human cells, the team found that IAV binds to the Ca2+ channel on the cell’s surface to trigger an influx of Ca2+, followed by entry of the virus and infection. Knocking down Ca2+ channels inhibited IAV-induced Ca2+ influx and virus entry. They also revealed that sialic acid on the Ca2+ channel is crucial for the virus to bind.Finally, the team tested the effect of CCB on IAV infections using mice. When they treated the animals with CCB intranasally, a significant and dose-dependent reduction in the amount of replicated viruses was observed. When the animals were treated with high amounts of IAV, administration of CCB significantly prolonged survival and allowed weight recovery of the survivors whereas the untreated group died within five days.”There were cases when the suppressive effect of CCB on IAV infections was comparable to that of an existing anti-flu drug. We expect that the interaction between IAV and the Ca2+ channel could be a novel and important target for future drug development,” says Yusuke Ohba. Source:https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/blog/key-molecule-for-flu-infection-identified/last_img read more

The doctors want in Democratic docs talk health care on the campaign

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Shefali Luthra: ShefaliL@kff.org, @Shefalil Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency physician from western Michigan, had never considered running for Congress. Then came February 2017. The 46-year-old Democrat found himself at a local town-hall meeting going toe-to-toe with Rep. Bill Huizenga, his Republican congressman of the previous six years.”I told him about my patients,” Davidson recalled. “I see, every shift, some impact of not having adequate health care, not having dental insurance or a doctor at all.”His comments triggered cheers from the audience but didn’t seem to register with Huizenga, a vocal Obamacare critic. And that got Davidson thinking.”I’ve always been very upset … about patients who can’t get health care,” he said. But it never inspired him to act. Until this June, that is, when the political novice joined what is now at least eight other Democratic physicians running in races across the country as first-time candidates for Congress.Democrats hope to gain control of Congress by harnessing what polls show to be voters’ dissatisfaction with both Capitol Hill and President Donald Trump. The president maintains Republican support but registers low approval ratings among Americans overall, according to news organization FiveThirtyEight. Democrats also see promise in candidates such as Davidson, a left-leaning physician who may have a special advantage: firsthand health system experience.Polls by Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest health care is among voters’ top concerns as midterm elections approach. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.)Of the Democratic doctors running for office, all but one are seeking House seats. In addition to the nine newcomers, there are two incumbents up for re-election. Each candidate is campaigning hard on the need to reform the health care system.And they present a stark contrast to Congress’ current physician makeup.Twelve of the 14 doctors now in Congress are Republicans. Three are senators. Half of the 14 practice in high-paying specialties such as orthopedic surgery, urology and anesthesiology.By contrast, these stumping Democratic physicians hail predominantly from specialties such as emergency medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine, though one is a radiologist. They’re fighting to represent a mix of rural, urban and suburban districts.”Electing Democratic doctors would certainly change the face of medicine in Congress, and perhaps lend more credence in that body to more liberal health care policies,” said Dr. Matthew Goldenberg, a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine who has researched political behavior and advocacy among doctors.Physicians once trended Republican. The infusion of female and minority doctors, experts said, has changed this. Now, more than 50 percent of party-affiliated doctors are Democrats, and the medical establishment has — following Republican efforts to undo Obamacare — emerged as a staunch defender of the law.Indeed, many doctor-candidates point to the GOP’s repeal-and-replace efforts as their motivation.”It’s at a boiling point for many of these physicians,” said Jim Duffett, executive director of the left-leaning Doctors for America, which supports universal health care.While health care consistently emerges as a top issue, Democrats are more likely to rank it No. 1. For independents and Republicans, though, it’s neck and neck with the economy — and some political analysts question how effective it will be in flipping conservative districts.”Democrat voters blame Republicans for the problems with health care right now. Republicans blame Democrats. Independents say, ‘A pox on both your houses,'” argued Jim McLaughlin, a Republican pollster working on several 2018 races who has previously worked with Trump. “They’re making a big mistake thinking they can run on [health care].”Related StoriesHuman contact plays major role in the spread of some hospital-acquired infectionsGovernment policy and infrastructure have substantial impact on hospitalization of seniorsExperts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivorsThat said, doctors can be effective messengers, especially in their communities.Research suggests Americans hold their own physicians in high regard.”Voters listen carefully to what physicians have to say about health policy,” said Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of social medicine and health policy at the University of North Carolina. “In a district that’s not so one-sided red or blue, there’s no question that the white coat confers prestige. It’s something physician candidates can speak to with authority.”Davidson, for instance, supports a “Medicare-for-all”-style overhaul, an approach that involves expanding the federal insurance program for seniors and disabled people to all Americans. If elected, he said, he intends to join Democrats’ burgeoning support for a single-payer system, in which the government runs the sole health insurance program, guaranteeing universal coverage. He did not have a primary challenge and is running against Huizenga, the Republican incumbent, in the general election for Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District.Or there’s Dr. Kyle Horton, an internist running in the North Carolina 7th District. She supports expanding Medicare, by lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 50. She also supports a “public option” health insurance plan sold by the government.Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, an emergency physician in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, asserts all Americans should be able to buy in to Medicare.Physicians can have an advantage on other controversial topics, by casting them as public health issues, said Howard Rosenthal, a political scientist at New York University.Davidson’s campaign, for instance, posts videos on Facebook in which he talks about topics such as health care access and gun violence. One — filmed after an overnight ER shift — has gotten 41,000 views so far.Also spurring physicians: concerns about abortion access.Dr. Cathleen London, a Maine doctor, launched her campaign against four-term incumbent GOP Sen. Susan Collins for the 2020 election. She said she had been considering a run, but the upcoming vote for a justice to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court — which could have sweeping implications for reproductive health law — pushed her to declare.”Doctors are really frustrated with Washington, frustrated with the lack of listening to us,” London said.Many of these Democrats face steep climbs.Of races featuring newcomer physicians, the Cook Political Report, which analyzes elections, rates only Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District as leaning Democratic, and the doctor in that race is just one of seven candidates in the primary. The outcome for Washington’s 8th District, where Dr. Kim Schrier, a pediatrician, is a candidate, is considered a toss-up and a Democratic pickup target.Tipirneni is the only non-incumbent doctor to have a fundraising advantage so far, according to data from Open Secrets, a nonpartisan, nonprofit project tracking campaign-finance records.Regardless of electoral results, many observers say the potential implications are sizable — even if few doctors go to Washington.”They are planting a flag, and they’re going to be raising some important issues — not just health care, but health care is going to be front and center,” said Duffett, from Doctors for America. “That will help change the political debate and political landscape.”last_img read more

Hormone link between diabetes and hypertension discovered

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 4 2018Physician researchers with The Ohio State University College of Medicine at the Wexner Medical Center say increased levels of the hormone aldosterone, already associated with hypertension, can play a significant role in the development of diabetes, particularly among certain racial groups.”This research is an important step toward finding new ways to prevent a major chronic disease,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, dean of the College of Medicine. “This shows how our diabetes and metabolism scientists are focused on creating a world without diabetes.”Results of this study were published online today by the Journal of the American Heart Association.”Aldosterone is produced by the adrenal gland. We’ve known for some time that it increases blood pressure. We’ve recently learned it also increases insulin resistance in muscle and impairs insulin secretion from the pancreas. Both actions increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but the question was – how much,” said Dr. Joshua J. Joseph, lead investigator and an endocrinologist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.Joseph and his team followed 1,600 people across diverse populations for 10 years as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. They found, overall, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes more than doubled for people who had higher levels of aldosterone, compared to participants with lower levels of the hormone. In certain ethnicities, the effect was even greater. African Americans with high aldosterone levels have almost a three-fold increased risk. Chinese Americans with high aldosterone are 10 times more likely to develop diabetes.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsAADE’s comprehensive guidance on care of children, young adults with diabetes released”I looked into this as a promise to my father. He had high levels of aldosterone that contributed to his hypertension, and he thought it also might be linked to his diabetes. As my career progressed, I had the opportunity to research it, and we did find a link to diabetes,” Joseph said.One question that remains is why there are wide differences in risk among various ethnic groups. Joseph said it could be genetics or differences in salt sensitivity or something else, and it needs further study.Just over 30 million Americans have diabetes and nearly a fourth of them don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another one in three Americans has prediabetes. Despite current preventive efforts, the numbers continue to climb among various racial/ethnic groups.Next, Joseph will lead a federally funded clinical trial at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center to evaluate the role of aldosterone in glucose metabolism. African American participants who have prediabetes will take medication to lower their aldosterone levels. Researchers will study the impact on blood glucose and insulin in those individuals.”We know there’s a relationship between aldosterone and type 2 diabetes. Now we need to determine thresholds that will guide clinical care and the best medication for treatment,” Joseph said.He expects to start enrolling patients in that trial later this year. Source:https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/mediaroom/pressreleaselisting/hormone-link-between-diabetes-and-hypertensionlast_img read more

Top stories Mating with Neandertals fighting the antivaxxers and killing cancer with

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Exploding nanobubbles can kill cancer cellsClusters of gold atoms can detect and kill cancer cells commonly left behind after tumor-removal surgery, according to a study of a new nanotechnology technique. For now, the approach has only been tried in a handful of mice. If the technique proves successful in people, it could dramatically improve the odds for cancer patients, particularly in cases where surgically removing an entire tumor is impossible.Building James Webb: the biggest, boldest, riskiest space telescope The under-construction James Webb Space Telescope is the biggest, most complex, and most expensive science mission that NASA has ever attempted. Webb will have 100 times the sensitivity of the Hubble Space Telescope. It will be able to look into the universe’s infancy, when the very first galaxies were forming; study the birth of stars and their planetary systems; and analyze the atmospheres of exoplanets, perhaps even detecting signs of life.Why fighting anti-vaxxers and climate change doubters often backfiresIf there’s a war on science, it’s not just one war. And branding people who disagree with you about vaccines, climate change, or genetically modified organisms as the enemy may be unwittingly fueling the conflicts. Those were some of the arguments made at a session last weekend at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science).Humans mated with Neandertals much earlier and more frequently than thoughtMembers of our species had sex with Neandertals much earlier—and more often—than previously believed, according to a new study of ancient DNA. This pushes back the earliest encounter between the two groups by tens of thousands of years and suggests that our ancestors were shaped in significant ways by swapping genes with other types of humans.Six ways your body changes your perceptionCan you jump that gap? Will you even try? Your visual system helps you make such decisions by warping and stretching the things you look at according to your physical traits or abilities. These visual biases may have evolved to help us make quick decisions, letting us know at a glance which tasks to tackle. At the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) in Washington, D.C., Witt described several ways our physical abilities change what we see.last_img read more

Humans best computers in atomsnatching game

first_imgIn the latest effort to entice ordinary people to do scientific scut work, physicists have enlisted online gamers to figure out the fastest way to pick up and move an atom with a beam of light. Surprisingly, people playing an online game came up with better strategies for moving the atom than a computer algorithm alone. Indeed, they found solutions that were faster than what the physicists had assumed was a speed limit set by quantum mechanics itself.”What we thought was the quantum speed limit based on the numerical simulations was not, in fact, the quantum speed limit,” says Sabrina Maniscalco, a theoretical physicist at the University of Turku in Finland who was not involved in the work. Tommaso Calarco, a theorist at the University of Ulm in Germany who also was not involved in the work, notes that the new game differs from most crowdsourced science games, which rely mainly on humans’ ability to recognize images and spatial patterns. “It’s a different kind of visual intuition,” he says. “What I love about it is that they don’t know how the players did it.”Known as Bring Home Water, the game is part of a suite of games called Quantum Moves, the latest in a growing list of crowdsourced scientific games. Since 2007, “citizen scientists” have helped astronomers classify millions of galaxies in the Galaxy Zoo project. For nearly as long, they’ve helped structural biologists figure out how proteins fold in the game Foldit. And since 2012, they have helped neuroscientists trace the spidery neurons of the brain in the game Eyewire. Those games depend primarily on a person’s ability to recognize spatial patterns—for example, you know an elliptical galaxy when you see one. In contrast, Bring Home Water relies on people’s knack for performing tasks that involve dynamic movement. Users must pick up and move an atom with a simulated spot of laser light. To be accurate, the atom and the laser beam must be modeled according to quantum mechanics. So in the game the atom is not a simple ball, but is represented by an extended, rippling quantum wave. The height of the wave at any point gives the probability of finding the atom at that location. To begin, the atom’s quantum wave fills a valleylike “potential,” which serves as a trap that holds the wavelike atom in its initial position. The laser beam is a second valley that user can move sideways and make deeper or shallower. The trick is to get the quantum wave to “slosh” from the fixed potential into the movable one and then to cart it back to a drop-off zone. Such manipulations are routinely done with real atoms trapped in spots of laser light and tugged about with “optical tweezers.”Jacob Sherson, the physicist at Aarhus University in Denmark who led the team that developed the game, says he expected people would fail miserably at the task. “I thought we would do this, and we would find out that it doesn’t work,” he says. “That’s been one of the biggest surprises, that if you give people 1 or 2 seconds they come up with solutions that are better than any that a computer comes up with.”Sherson and colleagues compared the performance of people with those of a computer program known as the Krotov algorithm, which started with random “seed” trajectories and then searched for the fastest way to retrieve the atom. If given enough time, the computer program snatches the atom with complete reliability. Below a certain time, however, the program’s success rate plummets to zero. Physicists had assumed that the falloff resulted from a fundamental quantum speed limit set by parameters such as the maximum depth of the potential representing the laser beam.However, human users were able to find ways to move the laser beam that worked faster than the computer algorithm alone, Sherson and colleagues report online today in Nature. When those human solutions were used as starting points for the computer algorithm, it worked 30% faster than on its own. Moreover, people found two general classes of movements. In the first, they moved the valley for the laser right next to the one for the trap to produce a double valley and waited for the wave to slosh into the other. That “tunneling” solution is what a physicist would try first, Sherson says. In the second, they moved the laser valley past the trap and made it deeper, causing the wave to rebound back toward the drop-off region. That novel shoveling solution shows the potential for gamers to discover new things, Sherson says.Bring Home Water has about 10,000 players and is probably too simple to be wildly popular, Maniscalco says: “It’s still not one of those games that people play like mad like Angry Birds.” Still, she says she expects to see more games involving so-called quantum control. In the meantime, Bring Home Water has left quantum physicists with a puzzle, Calarco says. They had assumed that computer algorithms such as the Krotove algorithm conk because they’ve hit the quantum speed limit. Now, it appears that those analyses were mistaken. Physicists plan to hold a conference this June, Calarco says, to figure out how they can determine what the quantum speed limit really is. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

3Dprinted ovaries restore fertility in mice

first_img Email By Katherine KorneiMay. 16, 2017 , 11:00 AM Northwestern University An immature mouse egg within layers of a gelatin scaffold. Fans of 3D printing say it has the potential to revolutionize medicine—think 3D-printed skin, ears, bone scaffolds, and heart valves. Now, prosthetic ovaries made of gelatin have allowed mice to conceive and give birth to healthy offspring. Such engineered ovaries could one day be used to help restore fertility in cancer survivors rendered sterile by radiation or chemotherapy.This “landmark study” is a “significant advance in the application of bioengineering to reproductive tissues,” says Mary Zelinski, a reproductive scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton who was not involved with the work.The researchers used a 3D printer with a nozzle that fired gelatin, derived from the collagen that’s naturally found in animal ovaries. The scientists built the ovaries by printing various patterns of overlapping gelatin filaments on glass slides—like building with Lincoln Logs, but on a miniature scale: Each scaffold measured just 15 by 15 millimeters. The team then carefully inserted mouse follicles—spherical structures containing a growing egg surrounded by hormone-producing cells—into these “scaffolds.” The scaffolds that were more tightly woven hosted a higher fraction of surviving follicles after 8 days, an effect the team attributes to the follicles having better physical support. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe 3D-printed ovaries restore fertility in mice The researchers then tested the more tightly woven scaffolds in live mice. The researchers punched out 2-millimeter circles through the scaffolds and implanted 40–50 follicles into each one, creating a “bioprosthetic” ovary. They then surgically removed the ovaries from seven mice and sutured the prosthetic ovaries in their place. The team showed that blood vessels from each mouse infiltrated the scaffolds. This vascularization is critical because it provides oxygen and nutrients to the follicles and allows hormones produced by the follicles to circulate in the blood stream.  The researchers allowed the mice to mate, and three of the females gave birth to healthy litters, the team reports today in Nature Communications. The mice that gave birth also lactated naturally, which demonstrated that the follicles embedded in the scaffolds produced normal levels of hormones.The team is hopeful that similar bioprosthetic ovaries can be implanted in human patients to restore fertility, using a patient’s own previously extracted follicles or donated samples. But that is a long way off. Ovarian scaffolds for humans will need to be specifically designed to host blood vessels because of their larger size, a challenge any large “printed” body part will have to overcome, says Nicolas Sigaux, a surgeon focused on medical applications of 3D printing at the Lyon-Sud Hospital Center in France. “Vascularization is the main limitation to printing large pieces of functional tissue.” Once this problem is solved, ready-to-implant organs should be possible with 3D bioprinting, he notes.last_img read more

How researchers are teaching AI to learn like a child

first_img N. Desai/Science By Matthew HutsonMay. 24, 2018 , 10:20 AM Yet many computer scientists, riding high on the successes of machine learning, are eagerly exploring the limits of what a naïve AI can do. “Most machine learning people, I think, have a methodological bias against putting in large amounts of background knowledge because in some sense we view that as a failure,” says Thomas Dietterich, a computer scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He adds that computer scientists also appreciate simplicity and have an aversion to debugging complex code. Big companies such as Facebook and Google are another factor pushing AI in that direction, says Josh Tenenbaum, a psychologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Those companies are most interested in narrowly defined, near-term problems, such as web search and facial recognition, in which blank-slate AI systems can be trained on vast data sets and work remarkably well.But in the longer term, computer scientists expect AIs to take on much tougher tasks that require flexibility and common sense. They want to create chatbots that explain the news, autonomous taxis that can handle chaotic city traffic, and robots that nurse the elderly. “If we want to build robots that can actually interact in the full human world like C-3PO,” Tenenbaum says, “we’re going to need to solve all of these problems in much more general settings.”Some computer scientists are already trying. In February, MIT launched Intelligence Quest, a research initiative now raising hundreds of millions of dollars to understand human intelligence in engineering terms. Such efforts, researchers hope, will result in AIs that sit somewhere between pure machine learning and pure instinct. They will boot up following some embedded rules, but will also learn as they go. “In some sense this is like the age-old nature-nurture debate, now translated into engineering terms,” Tenenbaum says.Part of the quest will be to discover what babies know and when—lessons that can then be applied to machines. That will take time, says Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington. AI2 recently announced a $125 million effort to develop and test common sense in AI. “We would love to build on the representational structure innate in the human brain,” Etzioni says, “but we don’t understand how the brain processes language, reasoning, and knowledge.” 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 Rule-based AI IBM’s Deep Blue, which bested chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, relied on rules and logic.Babies learn by trial and error. But developmental cognitive scientists say we also begin life with basic instincts that help us gain a flexible common sense.With few programmedrules, DeepMind’sAlphaZero todaycan beat IBM’s DeepBlue at chess. But itdoesn’t generalize. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) It’s a Saturday morning in February, and Chloe, a curious 3-year-old in a striped shirt and leggings, is exploring the possibilities of a new toy. Her father, Gary Marcus, a developmental cognitive scientist at New York University (NYU) in New York City, has brought home some strips of tape designed to adhere Lego bricks to surfaces. Chloe, well-versed in Lego, is intrigued. But she has always built upward. Could she use the tape to build sideways or upside down? Marcus suggests building out from the side of a table. Ten minutes later, Chloe starts sticking the tape to the wall. “We better do it before Mama comes back,” Marcus says in a singsong voice. “She won’t be happy.” (Spoiler: The wall paint suffers.)Implicit in Marcus’s endeavor is an experiment. Could Chloe apply what she had learned about an activity to a new context? Within minutes, she has a Lego sculpture sticking out from the wall. “Papa, I did it!” she exclaims. In her adaptability, Chloe is demonstrating common sense, a kind of intelligence that, so far, computer scientists have struggled to reproduce. Marcus believes the field of artificial intelligence (AI) would do well to learn lessons from young thinkers like her.Researchers in machine learning argue that computers trained on mountains of data can learn just about anything—including common sense—with few, if any, programmed rules. These experts “have a blind spot, in my opinion,” Marcus says. “It’s a sociological thing, a form of physics envy, where people think that simpler is better.” He says computer scientists are ignoring decades of work in the cognitive sciences and developmental psychology showing that humans have innate abilities—programmed instincts that appear at birth or in early childhood—that help us think abstractly and flexibly, like Chloe. He believes AI researchers ought to include such instincts in their programs. Marcus has composed a minimum list of 10 human instincts that he believes should be baked into AIs, including notions of causality, cost-benefit analysis, and types versus instances (dog versus my dog). Last October at NYU, he argued for his list in a debate on whether AI needs “more innate machinery,” facing Yann LeCun, an NYU computer scientist and Facebook’s chief AI scientist. To demonstrate his case for instinct, Marcus showed a slide of baby ibexes descending a cliff. “They don’t get to do million-trial learning,” he said. “If they make a mistake, it’s a problem.”LeCun, disagreeing with many developmental psychologists, argued that babies might be learning such abilities within days, and if so, machine learning algorithms could, too. His faith comes from experience. He works on image recognition, and in the 1980s he began arguing that hand-coded algorithms to identify features in pictures would become unnecessary. Thirty years later, he was proved right. Critics asked him: “Why learn it when you can build it?” His reply: Building is hard, and if you don’t fully understand how something works, the rules you devise are likely to be wrong.But Marcus pointed out that LeCun himself had embedded one of the 10 key instincts into his image-recognition algorithms: translational invariance, the ability to recognize an object no matter where it appears in the visual field. Translational invariance is the principle behind convolutional neural networks, or convnets, LeCun’s greatest claim to fame. In the past 5 years they’ve become central to image recognition and other AI applications, kicking off the current craze for deep learning.LeCun tells Science that translational invariance, too, could eventually emerge on its own with better general learning mechanisms. “A lot of those items will kind of spontaneously pop up as a consequence of learning how the world works,” he says. Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer of deep learning at the University of Toronto in Canada, agrees. “Most of the people who believe in strong innate knowledge have an unfounded belief that it’s hard to learn billions of parameters from scratch,” he says. “I think recent progress in deep learning has shown that it is actually surprisingly easy.”The debate over where to situate an AI on a spectrum between pure learning and pure instinct will continue. But that issue overlooks a more practical concern: how to design and code such a blended machine. How to combine machine learning—and its billions of neural network parameters—with rules and logic isn’t clear. Neither is how to identify the most important instincts and encode them flexibly. But that hasn’t stopped some researchers and companies from trying.A robotics laboratory at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, is dressed to look like a living room and kitchen—complete with bottles of James Boag’s Premium Lager in the fridge. Computer scientist Michael Thielscher explains that the lab is a testbed for a domestic robot. His team is trying to endow a Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR), which has one arm and a screen for a face, with two humanlike instincts. First, they hope to program the HSR to decompose challenges into smaller, easier problems, just as a person would parse a recipe into several steps. Second, they want to give the robot the ability to reason about beliefs and goals, the way humans instinctively think about the minds of others. How would the HSR respond if a person asked it to fetch a red cup, and it found only a blue cup and a red plate?So far, their software shows some humanlike abilities, including the good sense to fetch the blue cup rather than the red plate. But more rules are programmed into the system than Thielscher would like. His team has had to tell their AI that cup is usually more important than red. Ideally, a robot would have the social instincts to quickly learn people’s preferences on its own.Other researchers are working to inject their AIs with the same intuitive physics that babies seem to be born with. Computer scientists at DeepMind in London have developed what they call interaction networks. They incorporate an assumption about the physical world: that discrete objects exist and have distinctive interactions. Just as infants quickly parse the world into interacting entities, those systems readily learn objects’ properties and relationships. Their results suggest that interaction networks can predict the behavior of falling strings and balls bouncing in a box far more accurately than a generic neural network. Humans Xu Yu/Xinhua/Alamy stock photo How researchers are teaching AI to learn like a childcenter_img NataliaderiabinaI/Istockphoto In a triumph of machine learning, AlphaGo beat Go champion Ke Jie in 2017. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Ultimately, Tenenbaum says, “We’re trying to take one of the oldest dreams of AI seriously: that you could build a machine that grows into intelligence the way a human does—that starts like a baby and learns like a child.”In the past few years, AI has shown that it can translate speech, diagnose cancer, and beat humans at poker. But for every win, there is a blunder. Image recognition algorithms can now distinguish dog breeds better than you can, yet they sometimes mistake a chihuahua for a blueberry muffin. AIs can play classic Atari video games such as Space Invaders with superhuman skill, but when you remove all the aliens but one, the AI falters inexplicably.Machine learning—one type of AI—is responsible for those successes and failures. Broadly, AI has moved from software that relies on many programmed rules (also known as Good Old-Fashioned AI, or GOFAI) to systems that learn through trial and error. Machine learning has taken off thanks to powerful computers, big data, and advances in algorithms called neural networks. Those networks are collections of simple computing elements, loosely modeled on neurons in the brain, that create stronger or weaker links as they ingest training data.With its Alpha programs, Google’s DeepMind has pushed deep learning to its apotheosis. Each time rules were subtracted, the software seemed to improve. In 2016, AlphaGo beat a human champion at Go, a classic Chinese strategy game. The next year, AlphaGo Zero easily beat AlphaGo with far fewer guidelines. Months later, an even simpler system called AlphaZero beat AlphaGo Zero—and also mastered chess. In 1997, a classic, rule-based AI, IBM’s Deep Blue, had defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov. But it turns out that true chess virtuosity lies in knowing the exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions—information best gleaned through experience. AlphaZero, which learns by playing itself over and over, can beat Deep Blue, today’s best chess programs, and every human champion.Yet systems such as Alpha clearly are not extracting the lessons that lead to common sense. To play Go on a 21-by-21 board instead of the standard 19-by-19 board, the AI would have to learn the game anew. In the late 1990s, Marcus trained a network to take an input number and spit it back out—about the simplest task imaginable. But he trained it only on even numbers. When tested with odd numbers, the network floundered. It couldn’t apply learning from one domain to another, the way Chloe had when she began to build her Lego sideways.The answer is not to go back to rule-based GOFAIs. A child does not recognize a dog with explicit rules such as “if number of legs=4, and tail=true, and size>cat.” Recognition is more nuanced—a chihuahua with three legs won’t slip past a 3-year-old. Humans are not blank slates, nor are we hardwired. Instead, the evidence suggests we have predispositions that help us learn and reason about the world. Nature doesn’t give us a library of skills, just the scaffolding to build one.Harvard University psychologist Elizabeth Spelke has argued that we have at least four “core knowledge” systems giving us a head start on understanding objects, actions, numbers, and space. We are intuitive physicists, for example, quick to understand objects and their interactions. According to one study, infants just 3 days old interpret the two ends of a partially hidden rod as parts of one entity—a sign that our brains might be predisposed to perceive cohesive objects. We’re also intuitive psychologists. In a 2017 Science study, Shari Liu, a graduate student in Spelke’s lab, found that 10-month-old infants could infer that when an animated character climbs a bigger hill to reach one shape than to reach another, the character must prefer the former. Marcus has shown that 7-month-old infants can learn rules; they show surprise when three-word sentences (“wo fe fe”) break the grammatical pattern of previously heard sentences (“ga ti ga”). According to later research, day-old newborns showed similar behavior. Babies are born with instincts that help us learn common sense, so far elusive for AI algorithms. Email Machine learning AI Different minds Over time, artificial intelligence (AI) has shifted from algorithms that rely on programmed rules and logic—instincts—to machine learning, where algorithms contain few rules and ingest training data to learn by trial and error. Human minds sit somewhere in the middle. INSTINCTLEARNING Vicarious, a robotics software company in San Francisco, California, is taking the idea further with what it calls schema networks. Those systems, too, assume the existence of objects and interactions, but they also try to infer the causality that connects them. By learning over time, the company’s software can plan backward from desired outcomes, as people do. (I want my nose to stop itching; scratching it will probably help.) The researchers compared their method with a state-of-the-art neural network on the Atari game Breakout, in which the player slides a paddle to deflect a ball and knock out bricks. Because the schema network could learn about causal relationships—such as the fact that the ball knocks out bricks on contact no matter its velocity—it didn’t need extra training when the game was altered. You could move the target bricks or make the player juggle three balls, and the schema network still aced the game. The other network flailed.Besides our innate abilities, humans also benefit from something most AIs don’t have: a body. To help software reason about the world, Vicarious is “embodying” it so it can explore virtual environments, just as a baby might learn something about gravity by toppling a set of blocks. In February, Vicarious presented a system that looked for bounded regions in 2D scenes by essentially having a tiny virtual character traverse the terrain. As it explored, the system learned the concept of containment, which helps it make sense of new scenes faster than a standard image-recognition convnet that passively surveyed each scene in full. Concepts—knowledge that applies to many situations—are crucial for common sense. “In robotics it’s extremely important that the robot be able to reason about new situations,” says Dileep George, a co-founder of Vicarious. Later this year, the company will pilot test its software in warehouses and factories, where it will help robots pick up, assemble, and paint objects before packaging and shipping them.One of the most challenging tasks is to code instincts flexibly, so that AIs can cope with a chaotic world that does not always follow the rules. Autonomous cars, for example, cannot count on other drivers to obey traffic laws. To deal with that unpredictability, Noah Goodman, a psychologist and computer scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, helps develop probabilistic programming languages (PPLs). He describes them as combining the rigid structures of computer code with the mathematics of probability, echoing the way people can follow logic but also allow for uncertainty: If the grass is wet it probably rained—but maybe someone turned on a sprinkler. Crucially, a PPL can be combined with deep learning networks to incorporate extensive learning. While working at Uber, Goodman and others invented such a “deep PPL,” called Pyro. The ride-share company is exploring uses for Pyro such as dispatching drivers and adaptively planning routes amid road construction and game days. Goodman says PPLs can reason not only about physics and logistics, but also about how people communicate, coping with tricky forms of expression such as hyperbole, irony, and sarcasm.Chloe might not master sarcasm until her teen years, but her inborn knack for language is already clear. At one point in Marcus’s apartment, she holds out a pair of stuck Lego bricks. “Papa, can you untach this for me?” Her father obliges without correcting her coinage. Words and ideas are like Lego pieces, their parts readily mixed and matched, and eagerly tested in the world.After Chloe tires of building on the wall, an older, slightly more seasoned intelligent system gets a chance to try it: her brother Alexander, age 5. He quickly constructs a Lego building that protrudes farther. “You can see the roots of what he’s doing in what she did,” Marcus says. When asked, Alexander estimates how far the structure might stick out before it would fall. “He’s pretty well-calibrated,” Marcus observes. “He hasn’t had 10 million trials of glued-on-the-wall Lego things in order to assess the structural integrity. He’s taking what he knows about physics, and so forth, and making some inferences.”Marcus is obviously proud, not only of his offspring’s capabilities, but also that they uphold his theories of how we learn about the world—and how AIs should be learning, too. Done with their Lego buildings, Chloe and Alexander leap into their father’s arms. They squeal with delight as he spins them around and around, offering them another chance to fine-tune their intuitive senses of physics—and fun.last_img read more

Top stories A fragile existence a new suspect for multiple sclerosis and

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Top stories: A fragile existence, a new suspect for multiple sclerosis, and a humongous fungus Why is a remote Colombian town a hot spot of an inherited intellectual disability?The small town of Ricaurte, Colombia, is home to the world’s largest known cluster of people with fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and often autism in one in as many as 2000 men and 4000 women worldwide. Ricaurte has now become a focal point for fragile X studies, which could help develop drugs for autism and explain why individuals who carry “premutations” of the gene usually escape cognitive problems, but sometimes develop physical symptoms.An elusive molecule that sparks multiple sclerosis may have been found Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Frankie SchembriOct. 12, 2018 , 3:10 PM Email (left to right): JUAN CRISTÓBAL COBO; MEHAU KULYK/SCIENCE SOURCE; ZOONAR GMBH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO In multiple sclerosis, immune cells, which normally go after foreign intruders in the body, instead attack the protective coating on the nerves. Now, researchers may have pinpointed a long-sought molecule called a self-antigen that provokes these attacks, pointing a way toward potential new treatments.‘Humongous fungus’ is almost as big as the Mall of AmericaIn the late 1980s, researchers discovered the biggest organism on record, a “humongous fungus” called Armillaria gallica on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that covered 37 hectares, about the same size as the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Now, the same team of scientists has found that this underground network of Armillaria, which gives rise to honey mushrooms, is about four times as big—and twice as old—as they originally thought.Was cancer scientist fired for challenging lab chief over authorship?Veteran cancer scientist Xiaoqi Xie was terminated last month from a research job in the lab of Eileen White, deputy director and chief scientific officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. Xie says her firing was in retaliation for challenging a powerful principal investigator on the authorship of a paper apparently accepted for publication in Nature. She is now deciding whether to appeal her dismissal in arbitration through her union or to sue Rutgers.Italy’s Mount Etna could be collapsing into the seaFor decades, scientists have known that the southeastern slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano on the eastern shore of Sicily in Italy, are shifting toward the sea about 2 or 3 centimeters each year. In an 8-day period in May 2017, however, Mount Etna’s southeastern flank was recorded moving 4 centimeters to the east, suggesting the slope of the volcano is collapsing under its own weight. The researchers aren’t sure when the slow movement will translate into a full-fledge landslide, but the new measurements have them worried.last_img read more

Lawmakers seek delay of radio spectrum auction for nextgen cell service saying

first_img By Paul VoosenMar. 13, 2019 , 4:25 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Update, 15 March: Overriding concerns from NASA, NOAA, and Congress, the FCC went ahead with its 5G spectrum auction on Thursday, 14 March. Bids after the first day totaled more than $300 million.Here is our initial story:A bipartisan group of lawmakers today asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., to delay an auction of a wireless spectrum scheduled for tomorrow to be used for future 5G service. FCC is ignoring scientific evidence that the radio spectrum being put up on the block could interfere with crucial measurements collected by weather satellites, the lawmakers say. Email Lawmakers seek delay of radio spectrum auction for next-gen cell service, saying 5G plans could hurt weather satellite data A recent view of water vapor forming a rare “bomb cyclone” over the United States, captured by one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s geostationary satellites. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) and Representative Frank Lucas (R–OK), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the House of Representatives’s science committee, say communications traffic in one segment of the spectrum that FCC is putting up for auction could compromise the satellites’ ability to track water vapor from space. Such water vapor measures are essential to predicting future rainfall, tracing hurricanes, and monitoring sea ice. Thanks to its intrinsic physical properties, water vapor cannot be tracked at other frequencies.“Any interferences with this channel would therefore seriously impact public safety,” Johnson and Lucas write. Similar concerns were raised separately in recent weeks by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Defense. Johnson and Lucas voice concern “that the FCC appears to be dismissing the views and concerns of” those agencies, “the National Academy of Sciences, and the international community.”In late February, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees NOAA, asked FCC to withdraw proposed operating guidance for the spectrum because, they said, it would allow too much electromagnetic chatter on the radio band in question, between 24.25 and 25.25 gigahertz (GHz), that might interfere with the weather data collection. (Water vapor is measured on the nearby 23.6- to 24-GHz band.) A joint NASA/NOAA study had suggested that any noise should be limited to –50 decibel watts (dBW); the Europeans, for example, recently defined their noise threshold at –56 dBW. The FCC auction, however, would allow –20 dBW of noise, a significantly higher level, especially given its measure on a logarithmic scale.On 8 March, however, Pai rejected NASA and NOAA’s request and stated his intent to proceed with the auction. The Department of State, which served as an arbiter between the agencies, previously sided with FCC in the fight. Whether Congress’s late engagement in the dispute will change FCC’s calculations remains to be seen.last_img read more

Hong Kong researchers forge ties with mainland China even as protesters fight

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) After a series of massive protests by Hong Kong’s residents, including many academics, the leaders of the semiautonomous Chinese city last week shelved controversial legislation that would have allowed people there to be extradited to mainland China. But even as that battle to preserve independence continues, Hong Kong’s researchers are forging closer ties with the mainland.Those links will be strengthened this year, with several new cross-border funding programs set to make their first awards. And although many researchers welcome the new opportunities for funding and collaboration, some worry they could give Beijing greater influence over Hong Kong’s research agenda.The tension arises from Hong Kong’s special political status. In 1997, China regained control of the former U.K colony under a “one country, two systems” policy that gives Hong Kong’s 7.4 million residents a greater say in their economic and political affairs. Academic efforts have thrived under the arrangement. The city now hosts nearly 30,000 researchers, creating a per capita ratio triple that found on China’s mainland, according to United Nations statistics. Hong Kong’s research spending has risen from just 0.4% of its gross domestic product in 1998 to 0.8% in 2017. Several of the city’s universities are among the top 50 in the world, according to this year’s Times Higher Education rankings. By Dennis NormileJun. 18, 2019 , 3:35 PM The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Hong Kong researchers forge ties with mainland China even as protesters fight for autonomy Two million people, one-quarter of Hong Kong, China’s residents, joined protests against an extradition bill. 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 Research ties with mainland China have grown since the handover. In 1998, 16.5% of all scientific papers produced in Hong Kong involved collaborations with the mainland; by 2017, the share had jumped to 53.2%, information scientists Ma Qian and Li Wenlan of Tianjin University in China reported in September 2018 in Scientometrics.Funding ties are also deepening. Hong Kong researchers have long been able to win grants from the Chinese government, but the money had to be spent within the mainland. Last year, however, the government dropped that requirement at the request of prominent Hong Kong scientists. In the first grants under the new policy, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in May 2018 awarded 22 million Chinese yuan ($3.2 million) to 22 Hong Kong research groups.Two new cross-border programs will announce their first grants later this year. One is backed by MOST and Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Bureau, and the other by Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council and China’s National Natural Science Foundation. The latter will focus on six research areas, including medicine and materials science.Even as Hong Kong has strengthened scientific ties with the mainland, questions about the durability of the city’s special status have grown. The current protests began soon after the extradition bill was unveiled in April. Opponents said it would enable mainland authorities to seize political opponents on flimsy charges. And more than 1700 academics from around the world voiced support for their Hong Kong colleagues by signing an online petition warning that the bill was “jeopardizing the rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong.” On 15 June, Hong Kong officials “indefinitely” postponed action on the bill.The bill was “definitely a concern for academics,” because it could have had “a chilling effect on people working on so-called ‘sensitive’ topics,” says philosopher Timothy O’Leary of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who taught at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for 17 years. Some scientists also worried the law would hamper recruitment efforts.Authorities on both sides argue cross-border collaborations advance science and help Hong Kong become an innovation hub. But such schemes are also “a very useful mechanism” for integrating Hong Kong into China, notes one senior Hong Kong scientist, who asked to remain anonymous because of the issue’s sensitivity. Even so, he says it would be a leap from tighter integration “to Hong Kong institutions losing their autonomy.”Other researchers are even more sanguine. HKU microbiologist Yuen Kwok-Yung doubts “such additional funding will erode academic freedom in [Hong Kong] as long as … the independent judiciary and free press are still being protected.” And O’Leary says the recent protests show that Hongkongers “will not easily acquiesce to an encroachment on their civil liberties.” But he urges the city’s universities to follow the protesters’ lead “and continue to insist on the nonnegotiable importance of academic freedom.”last_img read more

This ancient bird sported a ginormous toe

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This ancient bird sported a ginormous toe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Zhongda Zhang/Current Biology Email By Sabine GalvisJul. 11, 2019 , 11:00 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe It’s unclear what the bird—which the researchers have christened Elektorornis chenguangi (seen in this artist’s conception)—used the toe for. (Elektorornis means “amber bird,” and the second half of the name is a nod to the discoverer of the fossil, Chen Guang.) Lengthy toes are a common feature of tree-dwelling animals like squirrels and monkeys because they improve branch grip. Researchers speculate that the unusual adaptation may have been used to dig food out of tree trunks. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a feature that caught on. Elektorornis vanished with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, leaving no modern descendants. Imagine having a toe as long as your shin. That’s essentially what researchers have found in a bird foot trapped in amber for nearly 100 million years. The appendage features an extremely long third toe never before seen in birds.Amber dealers suspected the fossil foot, originally found in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar in 2014, belonged to a lizard, which are known for their long toes. But lizards have five toes, suggesting the sample belonged to a bird instead.In the new study, researchers used detailed x-ray scans to create a 3D model of the foot. They then compared it with the feet of more than 80 modern and ancient birds. The fossil’s third toe, which measures nearly 10 millimeters, is 20% longer than its lower leg and more than 40% longer than its second toe, the team reports today in Current Biology. No other bird—living or extinct—sports such an appendage.last_img read more

Black Teacher Gives Students Haircuts For Graduation

first_img Carver Elementary School , Education , Graduation , Richmond , Robert Dunham AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Many teachers go above and beyond to cater to the needs of their students and educator Robert Dunham is living proof of that. Dunham—who teaches at a school that serves students who live in underserved communities—treated his fifth-grade class to haircuts before their graduation ceremony, CBS 6 reported. SEE ALSO:Black-Owned Barbershop Pays Off Debt For Students In Charlotte‘You Next’ Project Illustrates The Impact And Influence Of Black Barbershops Robert Dunham just had a feeling before he went to work at Carver Elementary School in Richmond.​ https://t.co/EXeeunXRmg— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 13, 2019center_img The Carver Elementary School teacher wanted to do something special for his class before they moved on to middle school. Aware of the fact that several students may not be able to get haircuts before graduation, he decided to take his clippers to school and transform his classroom into a mock barbershop to provide them with haircuts. Dunham says he wanted them to feel confident and empowered on their special day. “When I go to the barbershop, when I get a haircut, you feel good, you look good, you’ve got that confidence starting to come out of you,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I want every one of my students to be confident today. This is their special day.”School faculty members captured images of Dunham’s act of kindness and his story went viral. “Our jobs require more than teaching at Carver,” Dionyah Randolph, a teacher at the school, told WRIC Richmond. “We service many students who live in disadvantaged communities, so it’s our duty to put their needs first; everything else comes second.”Individuals across the country have been stepping up to support graduates from underserved communities, whether it be paying off their lunch debt so that they can walk across the graduation stage and receive their hard-earned diplomas or providing them with outfits for prom and graduation. Most recently a Black-owned barbershop in North Carolina raised money to help high school seniors pay off their debt. The owners were inspired by billionaire Robert F. Smith’s vow to eliminate the student loan debt of Morehouse College’s entire 2019 graduating class. Obama Family Portrait Sasha Obama And Her Prom Date Broke The Internetlast_img read more

Moments That Happened On June 14 Besides Trumps…

first_img Source:false On this day in 1931, actress Marla Gibbs was born. She is best known for her roles on hit shows like “The Jeffersons” and “227.” At 87 years old, Ms. Gibbs is still thriving in her nearly five decade career. June 14th was a very interesting day in America.Although some people recognize it as Donald Trump’s 73rd birthday, wise people know that there are other monumental things that happened on this very day. This day marks 200 days remaining until the end of the year and usually falls on a Tuesday or Thursday — rarely a Wednesday. SUBSCRIBE Thanks for signing up! Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. SEE ALSO: Some No Name, Pitchy R&B Singer Disrespected Keith Sweat And Gets Demolished On TwitterBut with Trump as the leader of the free world, even calendar dates are feeling unsure about themselves these days. Check out these other moments to remember on June 14, besides Donald Trump’s birthday.Six Moments That Happened On June 14 Besides Donald Trump’s Birthday was originally published on globalgrind.com 4. Flag Day 3. Marla Gibbs’ Birthday Source:false On this day in 2012, a hip hop battle took place when Chris Brown and Drake got into a fight at a club in NYC. Allegedly, the beef was over Rihanna, but no one knows for sure. What we do know is that bottles were thrown, charges were filed and Rihanna never commented on the drama. Source:false On this day in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act, which placed a tax on the sale of cannabis, passed the House of Representatives and weed became decriminalized — for a moment. . 2. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for Black America. News told by us for us. Black America’s #1 News Source: Our News. Our Voice. 1. Drake and Chris Brown’s Infamous Brawl Source:false On this day in 1977, the adoption of the flag of the United States took place. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. 6. Cheryl Adrienne Brown #BlackHistory – Born in New York City, Cheryl Adrienne Brown studied dance & worked as a model before moving to Decorah for college where she was crowned Miss Iowa & later broke down racial barriers in 1970 as the 1st African-American woman to compete in the Miss America Pageant. pic.twitter.com/Msa2ktY59Z— NewJC (@NewJCOfficial) February 23, 2019 On this day in 1970, Cheryl Adrienne Brown became the first Black woman to compete in the Miss America beauty pageant by winning the Miss Iowa pageant. 5. MC Ren’s Birthday Mc Ren pic.twitter.com/ZwuBAtG9dJ— i love the 90’s (@jennife87691406) June 7, 2019 Lorenzo Jerald Patterson, also known as MC Ren, was born on this day in 1969 in Compton, California. Ren is most known for being part of the hip-hop group NWA.last_img read more

Indiana Cops Sued Before Mayor Petes Debate Debut

first_img White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversity The Blackest Reactions To The First Democratic Debate SEE ALSO:Groups Raise Funds To Bail Out Woman Indicted For Death Of Unborn Baby Killed In ShootingWhy Is The Mystery Dominican Illness Killing So Many Black People? How did mayor Pete treat the Eric Logan’s family? “(He) ain’t done nothing,” Logan’s mother, Shirley Newbill, later recounted. “He ain’t recognize me as the mother of nothing. He didn’t say nothing to me.” pic.twitter.com/zZ9OnhGT7l— Silly Season (@long_season) June 21, 2019 Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In First Debate Of 2020 Election Over Two Nights 2020 Presidential Candidates , Democratic Debate 2020 , Eric Logal , Pete Buttigieg ‘Get the racists off the streets. It’s disrespectful that I wake up every day scared.’ — South Bend residents confronted Mayor Pete Buttigieg over the death of Eric Logan, a Black man fatally shot by a police officer pic.twitter.com/qJwp0JacWK— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 25, 2019 Now, the family of that Black man — Eric Logan — has filed a lawsuit to demand justice in a topic that is sure to come up as Buttigieg participates in the Democratic debate in Miami on Thursday night.Logan was shot and killed June 16 when Sgt. Ryan O’Neill responded to a call that someone was breaking into cars. O’Neill, who later claimed Logan threatened him with a knife, did not activate his body camera during the encounter, which is against city policy. Following the shooting, officers received a reminder about the policy regarding body cameras, which South bend police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said requires officers to “activate them during all work-related interactions with civilians.”On Wednesday, Logan’s family filed a lawsuit against the City of South Bend and O’Neill. The family claimed O’Neill violated Logan’s civil rights in several ways, including using excessive force with willfulness and reckless indifference and subjecting him to “unlawful treatment on the basis of race.” The lawsuit also blamed the city for not properly training, supervising, controlling and disciplining officers. The family alleged the city also violated the constitutional rights of residents on a “regular basis” by rarely investigating wrongdoing by officers.center_img Black Power Movement member speaks at #Buttigieg townhall as candidate’s efforts to look presidential were correctly sidelined by concerns over police shooting of #EricLogan. pic.twitter.com/D33xIEzMHn— Audrey Shipp (@adri16) June 23, 2019“If anyone who is on patrol is shown to be a racist or to do something racist in a way that is substantiated, that is their last day on the street,” Buttigieg claimed.On Wednesday, he found himself defending the choice to attend the first Democratic debate on Sunday night despite the evident mistrust of his local constituents.“We have to do many things at once,” Buttigieg said. “But this is a moment when my community is in anguish and we’ve been on the ground working with community leaders, working with community members so the facts can emerge, but also recognizing that the anguish over what has happened is not only about a family that has lost a loved one, the family of Eric Logan, but also this ties into a larger set of issues.” With the 2020 presidential race in full swing, many Democratic hopefuls have been faced with the question on where they stand on police brutality. Candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been forced to confront the topic head-on as the nation watches after a Black man was killed by police in his town earlier this month. Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored More By Megan Sims When news broke of the shooting, Buttigieg canceled several campaign stops to return to South Bend. In a now viral exchange with protesters upon his return, Buttigieg was met with hostility and distrust. Logan’s brother, Tyree Bonds, also had some words for the mayor.“I’m mad because my brother died,” Bonds said. “People are getting tired of you letting your officers do whatever they want to do.”During a town hall on Sunday, Buttigieg was also met with skepticism as he tried to assure residents that he would not tolerate racism on the police force.last_img read more

Mini health fair a success despite opposition says Francis

first_imgShareTweetSharePinRoseau South constituents getting checked at the mini health fairJoshua Francis,  the deputy leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) and parliamentary representative for Roseau South, has hailed a mini health fair in his constituency as “a success.”Several doctors along with nurses under tents at the Fatima church grounds in Newtown, screened patients for free.However, despite the success, the group encountered some challenges along the way as attempts were made to prevent them from using the church grounds.“Certain supporters of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) tried to stop us by complaining to the Bishop of Roseau but we stood our ground and we were then allowed to use the church grounds,” Francis stated.He continued, “The church grounds belongs to the people of Newtown and Dominica and this thing that people are fearful of letting members of the opposition use public space should stop. The church should be an example…and while the church should not be in politics, the church must stand for what is right.”He added, “We are not here with microphones and speaking politics. We are looking out for the health of the people and this activity is for the people aimed at bringing the people together, bringing families together and the church has an important role to play,” Francis stated.He went on to say that that obstacle, notwithstanding, things went on as planned.“We had over eight doctors and we have met the objective and I am very impressed as to what I have seen so far. Health is wealth and I urge people despite their political affiliations to check their health…sickness is a respecter of no one. We have brought the doctor right there to you,” said the Roseau South Parl Rep.last_img read more

Nirav Modi approaches UK High Court for bail

first_imgBy PTI |London | Published: May 31, 2019 3:55:36 pm Modi’s defence team doubled the bail security to 2 million pounds and offered he would stay on 24-hour curfew at his London flat. (File photo)Nirav Modi, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to nearly USD 2 billion, on Friday applied for bail in the UK High Court, a day after a British court extended his remand till June 27. The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in the extradition case, said that the hearing of Modi’s bail plea will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on June 11. DRT orders Nirav Modi, his firms and companies to repay debts of Rs 7,300 cr to PNB The 48-year-old, wanted by India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to nearly USD 2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) case, has been denied bail at three previous attempts at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, as the judge ruled there was “substantial risk” that he would fail to surrender and deemed the bail security offered as insufficient. “This is a large fraud and the doubling of security to 2 million pounds is not sufficient to cover a combination of concerns that he would fail to surrender,” Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ruled at the last bail hearing on May 8.The has previously indicated Modi’s intention to appeal against the lower court’s order rejecting his bail plea and after the third application earlier this month, he had the automatic right to file an application in the higher court. “Mr Modi can appeal to the High Court as of right. He does not need leave to appeal,” a spokesperson said. “He can apply at any time. Usually the person wishes to apply quickly so they can be released quickly if successful. There are many reasons they may wish to wait such as availability of counsel or if they think they can obtain new evidence to assist their application,” the spokesperson said.Modi’s legal team has described their client’s experience at Wandsworth prison in south-west London as “damaging” and had offered stringent electronic tag and other conditions akin to house arrest at his posh Centrepoint apartment in the West End of London in an attempt to persuade the judge. “His experience in custody has been vivid and damaging… he is willing to abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court because Wandsworth is unliveable and makes the effective preparation of his case virtually impossible,” his barrister Clare Montgomery had told Judge Arbuthnot. Advertising P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies PNB scam: Singapore HC orders freeze on bank account owned by Nirav Modi’s sister Singapore court freezes over Rs 44 crore in bank accounts of Nirav Modi kin At the most recent case management hearing in the case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this week, the issue of bail was not discussed and Modi was further remanded in judicial custody until June 27, when he is scheduled to appear via videolink. A UK High Court verdict on his bail appeal could now impact that next hearing date.At the hearing on Thursday, Judge Arbuthnot directed the Indian government to confirm which prison Modi is to be held in if he were to be extradited to India, setting a 14-day deadline for a confirmation of the prison plans in India. Arbuthnot, who ordered the extradition of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya in December 2018, had sought a video of the exact cell at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai in which the former Kingfisher Airlines boss is to be held. She therefore indicated that if Modi was to be lodged within the same premises, the court would most likely not have any objections.Modi’s barrister Clare Montgomery agreed that unless it was the same cell, she would be seeking a court-appointed independent prison visit to ensure that any holding cell in India met with human rights guidelines. No further details or timelines were set for the extradition trial at the first case management hearing on Thursday as Montgomery told the court that the defence team was yet to receive the opening position statement on the case to start building on its arguments.The has six weeks’ time to present an opening position statement laying out the prima facie case against Modi, with the next case management hearing set for July 29 – when a timeline for extradition trial is expected to be laid out. Judge Arbuthnot had also welcomed the improvement in the paperwork submitted by the Indian authorities. She has previously been extremely critical of the paperwork submitted for previous extradition cases, including that of Mallya.center_img She directed the to make the index clearer in the opening statement, which is now due to be submitted by the Indian side by July 11. A team from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were present during the hearing in court. Modi was arrested by uniformed Scotland Yard officers on an extradition warrant from a Metro Bank branch in central London as he attempted to open a new bank account on March 19 and has been in prison since.During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime. Advertising Best Of Express Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Related News Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Post Comment(s)last_img read more

CBI arrests NPCC senior officers for asking bribe in clearing BSF posts

first_img Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan By PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 15, 2019 5:06:40 pm The agency has arrested Rakesh Mohan Kotwal, NPCC Zonal Manager and Manager Latiful Pasha, and five private persons in the case, they said.It is alleged that Kotwal and Pasha had demanded a bribe of Rs 33 lakh from Anish Baid, owner of the Shree Gautam Construction Company Ltd, for passing the bills for construction of Border Security Force (BSF) border outposts done by his firm, the officials said.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches at 18 locations in Delhi, Silchar, Jalpaiguri, Guwahati and Gwalior, they said. Top News Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield cbi, central bureau of investigation, npcc, national projects construction corporation, bsf pposts, bsf, border security force, india news, Indian Express CBI carried out searches at 18 locations in Delhi, Silchar, Jalpaiguri, Guwahati and Gwalior. (File)The CBI has arrested seven persons, including two senior officers of the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) Limited, for alleged bribery in clearing bills pertaining to the construction of BSF border outposts, officials said on Monday. Advertising 4 Comment(s)last_img read more

Japan government to pay damages to kin over leprosy isolation

first_imgThe 561 plaintiffs demanded 5.5 million yen ($52,000) each for their suffering. The court ordered the government to pay 370 million yen ($3.4 million) in damages to 541 of the families. The court said the government failed to end segregation until 1996, decades after leprosy, or Hansen’s disease became curable.More than 12,000 leprosy patients were kept in 14 isolated sanatoriums across the country, and many were also forcibly sterilized. Many remained at the sanatoriums even after the termination of the segregation policy in 1996, fearing discrimination and with ties to their families severed. About 1,500 of the former patients remain at the facilities today.The court ruling blamed legislative negligence by Japan’s parliament for destroying the families and causing tremendous damage to their lives.A 2001 court decision declared the segregation policy unconstitutional and prompted the government reparations, but only to former patients, leaving out their families. Advertising Japan Prime minister Shinzo Abe, Japan Court, Japan Court ruling, Kumamoto District Court Japan , Japanese government compensation, Leprocy, World News, Indian Express news The court ruling blamed legislative negligence by Japan’s parliament for destroying the families and causing tremendous damage to their lives. (Representational Image)Japan’s prime minister said Tuesday that the government will abide by a court ruling ordering it to compensate former leprosy patients’ families over a lengthy segregation policy that severed family ties and caused long-lasting prejudice. South Korea seeks US help in bitter trade spat with Japan S.Korea minister warns of possible countermeasures to Japan’s export curbs By AP |Tokyo | Published: July 9, 2019 5:18:58 pm Advertising More acrimony in Japan-South Korea row as Tokyo lodges protest Related News Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will not appeal the Kumamoto District Court’s decision in June awarding compensation to more than 500 plaintiffs for financial and psychological suffering due to discrimination in education, jobs and marriage.“The families have already gone through indescribable hardships, and we can’t prolong that any further,” Abe told reporters, adding that part of the ruling is unacceptable to the government. “It is an exceptional case, but we decided not to appeal.”The plaintiffs welcomed the move, but opposition lawmakers raised scepticism about Abe’s announcement, which came just ahead of July 21 upper house elections. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Study finds how pyruvate helps improve cardiac output in pediatric patients with

first_img Source:https://childrensnational.org/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Can pyruvate, the end product of glycolysis, help improve cardiovascular function in children who have cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and suffer from low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS)? This question is one that Rafael Jaimes, Ph.D., a staff scientist at Children’s National Heart Institute, a division of Children’s National Health System, is studying, thanks to a two-year grant from the American Heart Association.The competitive grant awards Dr. Jaimes with $110,000 to study how pyruvate may help improve cardiac output among pediatric patients with LCOS. The compound aims to stimulate metabolic function, now treated by inotropic agents, such as dobutamine and milrinone. These agents ensure optimal delivery of oxygen from the heart to the brain, as well as to other organs in the body, following heart surgery. While these agents help patients with cardiac dysfunction, there is still a critical need for safe and effective therapies.”If there’s any detriment in cardiac output, the heart’s function begins to degrade,” explains Dr. Jaimes. “You see a downward spiral effect with reduced cardiac output because the heart is dependent on its own perfusion. It needs to pump blood throughout the body to survive.”This is where the pyruvate study, and the grant, will be applied: Can pyruvate target the essential muscle of the heart and reverse this cardiac destabilization–and as soon as possible?”By increasing the metabolic output of the heart’s local muscle, cardiac output increases,” Dr. Jaimes explains. “That’s going to lead to better recovery.”Better recovery could be measured by how fast a child recovers from heart surgery as well as how much time they spend in the hospital, clinically referred to as throughput. A faster recovery could also influence a child’s quality of life and reduce overall health care costs.Based on preliminary data that shows pyruvate improves cardiac function in experimental models after ischemic insult, which is what happens when pediatric patients undergo cardiac surgery, Dr. Jaimes believes the results will likely replicate themselves in his preclinical models.To start, he’ll test pyruvate using 100 blood samples and discarded tissue from patients. The blood samples will be tested for metabolic markers, including measured pyruvate levels.Part of what encouraged Dr. Jaimes to study how this compound could complement or replace standard therapies was the encouragement he received from his mentors in the field.”Nobody has looked into using pyruvate for almost 30 years,” says Dr. Jaimes. “It’s not commercially favorable, there’s no patent on it, it doesn’t have a lot of marketability and there are no financial incentives, so it’s been put aside.”Related StoriesBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitPorvair Sciences develops new fluid collection vent for surgical suction cannistersImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsAs part of a discussion with cardiologists at a medical conference in Washington, Dr. Jaimes brought up the idea of using pyruvate for pediatric heart surgeries and received positive feedback.”Once everyone’s eyes lit up, I knew I was on to something,” says Dr. Jaimes about the encouragement he received to pursue this study.”You put lactate and glucose in your IV solutions,” adds Dr. Jaimes. “Pyruvate is an essential nutrient. It’s almost an essential sugar so there’s no reason not to put it in. If these cardiologists are intrigued by the project, maybe the American Heart Association will be, too.”In addition to funding the study, which could support future research about how metabolic makers in the blood can be stimulated to fast-track recovery following heart surgery, the American Heart Association grant is specific to pediatric health outcomes.”The current state of pharmaceutical treatment for patients recovering from cardiac surgery is designed and created for adults,” says Dr. Jaimes. “From our research in pediatrics, we know that children aren’t small adults.”Dr. Jaimes explains that children are different on an anatomical and physiological level. Their cells even look and function different, compared to adult cells, because they haven’t matured yet.While congenital heart defects are rare, they affect 1 percent, or 40,000 births worldwide, they often require multiple surgeries throughout a child’s lifespan. LCOS impacts 25 percent of patients following cardiopulmonary bypass and the timing of treatment is important. In severe cases, insufficient cardiac output following surgery could impact a child’s long-term development, ranging from reasoning, learning, attention and executive function, to developing age-appropriate language and social skills.”The metabolic insufficiencies I’m looking at, which may help improve the muscle function of the heart, are just one piece of a bigger puzzle in pediatric cardiology,” notes Dr. Jaimes about ongoing research at Children’s National Heart Institute. “We already know pyruvate is safe. We just have to see if it’s effective in supporting a patient’s recovery in the intensive care unit.”Dr. Jaimes will work with his research mentor Nikki Posnack, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Children’s National Heart Institute, on this preclinical study throughout the grant’s lifecycle, which starts in early January 2019 and ends in late December 2020.last_img read more