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20 Jul
2019

Why dirteating goats never need to visit the dentist

first_imgBecause the sand sinks to the lower stomach, it is expelled in the feces and is never brought back up for chewing, researchers report this month in Mammalian Biology. That means the upper stomach helps “wash” grasses and plants free of grit, just like we wash our greens, saving ruminant teeth from wear. And even though this experiment was done in goats, the scientists say it could explain why the teeth of cud-chewing cows, deer, and giraffes are similarly protected. Why dirt-eating goats never need to visit the dentist Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country For goats, a side dish of sand and dust is the normal accompaniment for a hearty meal of grass and plants. But despite their constant chomping, goat teeth never seem to wear down.To figure out why, researchers fed 28 goats diets with different amounts of grit for 6 months. After 3 months, the team examined the stomach contents of all the goats using computed tomography (CT); 6 months later, they slaughtered the goats and analyzed the contents of their digestive tracts.The CT scans and dissections revealed that the sand was not equally distributed in the goat guts. Instead, it seemed to collect in goats’ lower stomachs. Like cows and other ruminants, goats have a four-compartment stomach: Large pieces of food go into the upper compartment, where they are regurgitated for chewing, and small pieces of food go straight to one of the lower stomachs for digestion. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Lakshmi SupriyaJun. 21, 2019 , 12:50 PM YesPhotographers/Alamy Stock Photo last_img read more

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20 Jul
2019

Bernies Student Loan Plan Would Help Blacks Most

first_imgPresidential hopeful Bernie Sanders‘ plan to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student loan debt could make its biggest impact with Black students and alumni, who have some of the highest rates of debt and default.Announced on Monday, the plan that would offer financial relief to 45 million Americans, was also proposed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, hopes to tax Wall Street at 0.5 percent on all trades, fees on bonds and derivatives. Sanders claimed this tax could raise $2.4 trillion over 10 years. White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversity More By Megan Sims Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored One of the suggestions AAUW made to begin to close the gap is to protect loan forgiveness programs, but those programs along with other regulations have been in jeopardy under Donald Trump. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration has rolled back on Obama-era regulations that protect student borrowers. In 2018, he had even proposed a budget that would have completely eliminated the student loan forgiveness program for public service workers, but Congress did not pass it.SEE ALSO:Body Found In New York River Feared To Be Popular YouTuber EtikaHannah Payne Is ‘Truly Upset’ She’s Back In Jail After She Killed A 62-Year-Old Black Man Bernie Sanders , Student Debt Crisis , student loan debt Epic Quotes From The Legendary Michael Jackson Sanders also said he hoped to make all public colleges and private historically Black colleges and universities tuition-free.“We are entering a proposal which will allow every person in this country to get all of the education that they need to live out their dreams because they are Americans,” Sanders said during a press conference.Prior to Sanders’ announcement, Elizabeth Warren, who is also a 2020 presidential hopeful, has rolled out her own plan to tackle the student debt problem by capping debt forgiveness at $50,000 for those who make less than $100,000 per year. She would also prohibit forgiveness to households that make more than $250,000.Though Sanders and Warren’s plans differ in major ways, they both have the potential to offer relief to borrowers, especially Black ones. According to the New York Times, recent Black graduates of 4-year-universities owe an average of $7,400 more than their white peers and 4 years after graduation they still owe an average of $53,000, which is twice as much as whites. The Wall Street Journal also found that students at HBCUs are more likely to take out loans than other students, partially due to the wealth gap, which can prevent Black parents from being able to afford to pay for their children’s education.In a 2018 study released by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), it was determined that Black women have the highest student loan debt. According to the study, Black women graduate with an average of $30,400 in debt while white students graduate with an average of $22,000. The AAUW blamed the gender pay gap as a factor for the disparity noting that Black women make $0.63 for every dollar earned by white men, compared with $0.79 for white women. Michael Jackson at LA Sports Arena Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmaillast_img read more

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20 Jul
2019

Podcast measuring pollution from pot plants and how our bodies perceive processed

first_img The “dank” smelling terpenes emitted by growing marijuana can combine with chemicals in car emissions to form ozone, a health-damaging compound. This is especially problematic in Denver, where ozone levels are dangerously high and pot farms have sprung up along two highways in the city. Host Sarah Crespi talks with reporter Jason Plautz about researchers’ efforts to measure terpene emissions from pot plants and how federal restrictions have hampered them.Next, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University, about how processed foods are perceived by the body. In a doughnut-rich world, what’s a body to think about calories, nutrition, and satiety?And in the first book segment of the year, books editor Valerie Thompson is joined by Erika Malim, a history professor at Princeton University, to talk about her book Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America, which follows the rise and fall of the “killer ape hypothesis”—the idea that our capacity for killing each other is what makes us human.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Wornden LY/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Wornden LY/Flickr last_img read more

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20 Jul
2019

I will feel actual rage Unusual responses to kind touches could help

first_img To confirm the idea, Olausson and his colleagues turned to brain imaging. In 2002, they scanned G.L. as they touched her skin. Their actions evoked no response in her somatosensory cortex, which ordinarily receives input from type A fibers, but her emotion-processing posterior insula did react. She reported feeling a faint, hard-to-place, pleasant sensation. In recent years, her brain seems to have compensated for her lost sense of discriminative touch by repurposing her affective-touch system. “When we last met about a year ago, she said that she has started to feel touch sensations in daily life — for example, when she puts on her stockings,” Olausson says.His team has collected additional evidence linking type C nerve fibers to emotional communication by studying about 20 members of a community in remote northern Sweden. These individuals all share a congenital loss of these fibers — in a sense, the inverse of G.L.’s condition. In a study of five of the people, they showed no activity in the insula in response to skin stroking and rated the sensation as less pleasant than controls did. In some ways, their experience of touch might resemble that of autistic people, although there is no evidence that autism is particularly prevalent in this community.Even when both touch systems are intact, social context can dampen or amplify our perception of affective touch. In a study published in February, researchers scanned the brains of 27 neurotypical adults. When a lab assistant stroked the participants’ forearms, social areas of their brains, such as the superior temporal gyrus, lit up with activity. When the participants stroked their own arms, those regions showed no change in activity — which is to be expected because the task is not social. What was unexpected was that the participants’ basic sensory-processing areas also stayed silent. In stroking their own arms, they had desensitized that part of their body to touch in general.In a companion study, the team also tested people’s touch sensitivity by poking their forearms with von Frey fibers — plastic hairs that deliver a calibrated force — while a lab assistant stroked their arms or the participants stroked a pillow or themselves. The pillow had no effect on the participants’ sensitivity to touch: They felt the von Frey fibers just as they would if they weren’t being stroked at all. By contrast, when a lab assistant stroked the participant — a social gesture — the researchers had to poke the participant’s arm harder with the von Frey fibers for the touch to be felt. They had to apply an even stronger force when the participants stroked their own arms. “Touching your own arm numbs this area,” says lead investigator Rebecca Boehme, a researcher also at Linköping. Together, these results suggest that the affective touch system is tuned to recognize human contact and to differentiate self from other. ‘I will feel actual rage.’ Unusual responses to kind touches could help explain autism traits Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Several imaging studies also suggest that autistic people have an altered sense of affective touch. In 2012, for example, Cascio led a series of experiments in which a lab assistant stroked autistic and typical adults’ forearms with a soft cosmetics brush, bumpy burlap or scratchy plastic mesh. Both groups described each texture much in the same way, but brain imaging revealed that they processed the sensations differently: The autistic group showed more activity than controls in brain regions associated with discriminative touch and less in those associated with affective touch.Most interesting, Cascio says, was that burlap in particular lit up social brain regions in the controls, even though burlap has no obvious social significance. She interprets this activity as subconscious deliberation — that is, the burlap touch could be considered positive or negative depending on social cues. “We’re seeing processing in those regions that would make us think that they’re trying to figure out how pleasant or unpleasant it feels,” she says. The social brain areas of autistic participants, however, don’t seem to show this internal deliberation. Or if they do, as Cascio’s newer work suggests, they do so after a delay.In another experiment, autistic people and controls both said they liked the sensation of being stroked rhythmically on the arm or hand with a watercolor paintbrush. “A lot of the field would be like, ‘Well, that’s kind of a dead end; maybe touch isn’t affected in autism,’” says Pelphrey, one of the researchers. But brain scans again showed clear distinctions between the groups. Stroking the forearm, rich in type C afferents, lit up social brain areas in the controls, but stroking the palm, which contains predominantly type A nerve fibers, had no such effect. In autistic participants, location didn’t matter; their social brain activity remained at a constant level in between the extremes shown by the typical participants. “Individuals with autism showed the middle response for everything,” Pelphrey says.Autistic people also appear to process pain differently, reflecting possible differences in their type C nerve fibers. In 2017, Cascio’s lab affixed a small heating pad, about 1 inch in diameter, to the calves of autistic and neurotypical volunteers. They then brought the temperature to an agonizing 49 degrees Celsius for 15 seconds. (The pad was not hot enough to burn the skin.) Both groups rated the pain 7 out of 10. But once again brain imaging offered a nuanced picture. In brain areas that respond to pain, such as the anterior cingulate cortex, insula and thalamus, the reaction in the neurotypical people lasted 30 seconds, lingering after the heat was removed. In autistic people, it abated after only 10 seconds, even though heat was still being applied. “It really looks like, when you look at the data, that something’s turning the pain response off,” Cascio says.Connecting the dotsWhat all this experimental evidence means is still unclear, apart from generally confirming that, in autistic people, something unusual goes on in type C nerve fiber activity and touch perception. Whatever differences exist appear to be present from early in life. Parents often recall that their autistic children, as babies, recoiled from contact and avoided being picked up. “Human beings respond to the act of being picked up either by fighting back or by becoming rigid in ways that actually help you to pick them up,” Pelphrey says. But babies who go on to be diagnosed with autism often do neither, which can make them feel curiously heavier than they are, he says.His team is investigating whether unusual touch sensitivity in infants can predict a later autism diagnosis. They are testing ‘baby siblings’ of children with autism, who are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with the condition. The researchers plan to record the babies’ response — at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age — to touch on their palms and forearms, looking for differences in their senses of discriminative and affective touch, respectively. “We can hopefully develop something that will serve as a screener,” Pelphrey says.Other researchers are working on more sophisticated approaches to study touch in older children and adults with autism. They have their work cut out for them. The emotional quality of touch is difficult to measure, in part because it depends on more than just physical stimulus. Type C nerves are not yet fully understood. And simply asking people how they feel can mask important features of touch perception.Researchers will also need to consider how differences in affective touch fit into the broader experience of being autistic. Layered on top of the raw sensations are cultural norms about touch, which vary and can make social situations fraught for people with the condition. A flinch can be read as a rebuff, a declined handshake as disinterest. Many autistic people say they learned as children to suppress their feelings about touch in order to conform to typical expectations — something that leaves them vulnerable to abuse. “‘No’ was trained out of us,” says Ashley Smith-Taylor, an autistic self-advocate and mother of four neurodiverse children.Also hanging over the field is an old theory known as the ‘refrigerator mother’ hypothesis. From the 1940s into the 1960s, psychologists attributed autism to parents who made no effort to connect with their children emotionally, including cuddling them. “There was this tendency to blame parents, and particularly mothers,” Cascio says. She and others stress that if autism does originate in the sense of touch, it arises from deep in the nervous system and is entirely unrelated to nurture. It may also begin in the womb. During the first and second trimester, the fetus is covered by ‘lanugo hair’ that may stimulate the type C nerve fibers in utero; at this stage of development, these fibers provide our first sensory input. “That input, according to my theory, is basically the process which is beginning to let that developing brain know it’s got a body,” says Francis McGlone, professor of neuroscience at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom.McGlone admits that there is no solid evidence that connects autism to a dearth of affective touch early in life, but he isn’t waiting for it, either. He is developing a device that could be placed into incubators to stimulate type C nerve fibers in preterm infants. “The C-tactile afferent is the Higgs boson of the social brain. It’s the missing particle that socializes the developing brain. It brings everything else together,” he says. His invention could be useful for many children — even if it turns out that affective touch has little to do with autism’s origins.This article was reprinted with permission from Spectrum, the home of autism research news and analysis. Originally published on SpectrumEven the slightest touch can consume Kirsten Lindsmith’s attention. When someone shakes her hand or her cat snuggles up against her, for example, it becomes hard for her to think about anything else. “I’m taken out of the moment for however long the sensation lasts,” she says. Some everyday sensations, such as getting her hands wet, can feel like torture: “I usually compare it to the visceral, repulsive feeling you’d get plunging your hand into a pile of rotting garbage,” says the 27-year-old autistic writer.Stephanie Dehennin, an autistic illustrator who lives in Belgium, detests gentle touches but doesn’t mind firm hugs. “I will feel actual rage if someone strokes me or touches me very lightly,” she says. Dehennin seeks out deep pressure to relieve her stress. “I’ll sit between my bed and my nightstand, for example — squeezed between furniture.” Strong reactions to touch are remarkably widespread among people who have autism, despite the condition’s famed heterogeneity. “The touch thing is as close to universal as they come,” says Gavin Bollard, an autistic blogger who lives in Australia and writes about his and his autistic sons’ experiences. These responses are often described as a general hypersensitivity, but they are more complex than that: Sometimes autistic people crave touch; sometimes they cringe from it. For many people on the spectrum, these sensations are so intense that they take measures to shape their ‘touchscape.’ Some pile on heavy blankets at night for the extra weight; others cut off their clothing tags.  The common thread may be an altered perception of ‘affective touch,’ a sense discovered in people only a few decades ago. ‘Discriminative touch’ tells us when something impinges on our skin, with what force and where; affective touch, by contrast, conveys nuanced social and emotional information. The kinds of touch that autistic people may find loathsome, such as a soft caress, are associated with this latter system.Research on affective touch is still nascent, but the idea that it is linked to autism is tantalizing, experts say. A growing number of studies indicate that affective touch is at least partly responsible for our ability to develop a concept of self, something long thought to differ in people with autism. Even newer is the idea that an atypical sense of affective touch may be one of autism’s underlying causes.“Maybe this is actually getting at a biological marker that gets us a better understanding of the causes of autism and, at the very least, a very early detection of autism,” says Kevin Pelphrey, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Read more… Cinyee Chiu and Edwin Tse/Spectrum Cinyee Chiu and Edwin Tse/Spectrum 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 Cinyee Chiu and Edwin Tse/Spectrum Sensing the selfTo many researchers, the affective touch system suggests a compelling mechanism at autism’s roots. Touch is one of the dominant modes of perception and social interaction in the earliest weeks and months of a baby’s life. “A whole lot of your world is coming to you through caregiver touch — there’s a whole lot of cuddling, cradling, rocking,” Cascio says. If babies’ perceptions of these touches are altered in some way, it could transform how they situate themselves in the world and learn to interact with others. Those changes, in turn, could account for autism’s hallmark social challenges.Most researchers interviewed for this article subscribe to some version of this idea but admit it is still tentative. “We really don’t have strong evidence for it yet,” Cascio says. What evidence they do have falls somewhere along a three-link chain of logic.The first link is the observation that affective touch seems crucial for delineating our sense of ‘self.’ To explore that idea, some researchers have turned to the ‘rubber-hand illusion,’ in which an experimenter strokes a participant’s hand and a stuffed rubber glove at the same time until the participant mistakes the fake hand for her own. In typical people, the illusion is strongest when the stroking speed and textures involved elicit the peak response of C-tactile fibers. “You make an almost unconscious-to-the-individual change, and that makes a big change in their perception,” says Aikaterini Fotopoulou, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London.Yet another hint that affective touch is important to self-definition comes from people who have had a stroke and feel one of their arms is not their own. In a study of seven people who lost the ability to recognize their left arm, Fotopoulou and her colleagues stroked that arm to activate the participants’ C-tactile fibers. The participants then reported reconnecting with their ‘lost’ limbs. “They start saying things like, ‘Well, after you touched it, I said to my arm: Come, I welcome you back,’” Fotopoulou says.The second link is more theoretical: If affective touch can redraw a person’s boundaries such that they mistake a fake hand for their own, perhaps it is responsible for drawing those boundaries to begin with. This link in the chain holds that our entire sense of body ownership may be one grand rubber-hand illusion imparted from all that cuddling we got as babies. “I put my leg there, or my fingers there, and then there is a response. I say, ‘Oh, that’s me,’” says Anna Ciaunica, a philosopher of mind at University College London who works with Fotopoulou.The third link connects these two ideas to autism. Cascio and others have found that autistic people are less susceptible to the rubber-hand illusion than neurotypical people are, suggesting their sense of self is somehow less flexible. That rigidity might explain the strong response many of them have to touch. “If you have a very clear border of your own body, then of course everything else that touches you will bother you,” Boehme says. Many autistic people also say they relate their feelings about touch directly to their sense of self. Kirsten Lindsmith has written about this in her blog: “When I shake a person’s hand, I feel as though a tiny part of myself — my awareness, my consciousness, my identity — is commandeered by their touch, and I no longer feel fully autonomous.” Dehennin also says she experiences that sensation: “I often feel like I’m not ‘in’ my body; deep pressure helps that.” Read more from SpectrumMutations between genes, long overlooked, may be key in autismAutistic people with intellectual disability often excluded in studiesWhat the ‘broad spectrum’ can teach us about autismThe predictive coding theory of autism, explained By George Musser, SpectrumMay. 29, 2019 , 12:10 PM Email A sixth senseDespite the many anecdotes about an altered sense of touch in autistic people, quantifying the differences has proved difficult. In some experiments, autistic people notice a light pressure on their skin that their typical peers are oblivious to. But others show less sensitivity than or no real difference from controls. “There’s all this clinical evidence around, but the actual empirical studies are confused,” says Carissa Cascio, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.One reason for this confusion is that not every study or clinical report distinguishes between affective and discriminative touch. Discriminative touch conveys signals about pressure, vibration and stretching of the skin. These signals shoot along thick ‘type A’ nerve fibers, or ‘afferents,’ at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour to the brain’s sensory regions. Affective touch signals, meanwhile, travel slowly via thinner ‘type C’ afferents and communicate pain, itch and temperature; the variety of type C nerve fibers that communicate touch — called C-tactile fibers — register in emotion centers in the brain.C-tactile fibers respond only to specific kinds of touch. Researchers use a specialized technique called ‘microneurography’ to find the fibers and measure their activity. The method involves sticking an acupuncture-like needle deep into the skin, typically near the elbow, and then feeding in electrical pulses. As the needle gets closer to a nerve, less current is needed to evoke a tingling sensation. Once the needle is within the nerve, it can begin measuring the nerve’s electrical activity. The system is set up to have nerves produce clicks or light drumrolls on a loudspeaker whenever they fire. The C-tactile fibers crackle loudest when a participant is stroked lightly, no faster than a few inches per second, and at 32 degrees Celsius — the same temperature as human skin. Because the signals propagate slowly, the sound is delayed by about a half a second.At first glance, these fibers seems pointless. They don’t help you hold a pencil or feel a vibrating phone. They are found only in skin that has hair — the face and the forearm, for instance — and not in fingertips, palms, soles or genitals, body parts we typically associate with touch. Yet studies show that they give physical contact its emotional timbre; they relay the warm feelings that can come with a friend’s caress, for example, or the icy shivers that can follow a brush with a stranger.In this way, the fibers serve as a mode of communication between people, a channel not of physical information but of intimacy. “These fibers are signaling something that isn’t really touch; it’s something we don’t have a name for,” says Håkan Olausson, professor of clinical neuroscience at Linköping University in Sweden, who co-discovered the fibers in people in the 1980s. (For lack of a better word, he still calls it touch.)Olausson and others owe much of what they have learned about affective touch to a woman known in the medical literature as ‘Patient G.L.’ In April 1979, this woman checked into a hospital in Montreal with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that attacks muscle and sensory neurons. In her case, it had destroyed her type A nerve fibers but spared her type C’s. She was left with the tactile equivalent of ‘blindsight’: Although she no longer felt contact, motion or pressure against her skin, she could still have an emotional reaction to being touched. It was an early clue that these nerve fibers carry emotional freight. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Activists in Hong Kong make pitch to extradition protesters Register to vote

first_img Best Of Express Taking stock of monsoon rain Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Clashes break out as Hong Kong protesters escalate fight in suburbs Related News After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan By Reuters |Hong Kong | Updated: June 20, 2019 2:21:09 pm Advertising Most of the demonstrators have been relatively young, and youth are under-represented among the electorate, Ho said. They are also potentially sympathetic to the pro-democracy parties, while the pro-Beijing camp’s base includes more older citizens.Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Lam, apologised this week for her government’s poor handling of the extradition controversy and said she would redouble her engagement with youths. But critics say that is not enough and are continuing the fight. “I’m quite sure, given what is happening right now, the pro-democracy camp will definitely have an upper hand,” Yuen said of the upcoming elections.How big a boost the pro-democracy camp will get remains to be seen.“This protest has been against the extradition bill. There is no political ideology or ideas of where this is going. People are not even talking about universal suffrage or resulting political reform. It’s a very defensive movement,” Yuen said. The city’s pro-democracy camp needs a strong showing in city-wide legislative polls next year to recapture a big enough bloc to veto proposals from pro-establishment rivals, who now dominate the 70-seat legislature. A grassroots district council poll will also be held in November. That has traditionally been heavily swayed by pro-Beijing allies mobilising supporters across the city.Electoral rules after Hong Kong’s 1997 return to China from Britain effectively guarantee that the legislature, known as Legco, is stacked in Beijing’s favour, with only half the parliament directly elected. But in the current controversy, public anger has centred on Beijing-backed Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and her allies in trying to ram through the unpopular extradition bill, nudging many previously neutral citizens to take a stand.“I’m not even registered because, honestly, before, I felt like they don’t need one more person,” said 24-year-old Christine Man, who filled out her first voter registration form at a rally against the extradition bill. “If all of us stand up, it is a lot.” Hong Kong tourism, hotel occupancy falls as protests drag on Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Man, the would-be new voter, said the extradition saga has been a catalyst in her political awakening. “I know that Hong Kong is a part of China, and I’m not saying that we should be independent. But at least we can vote for the people that we would like to speak for us,” Man said. “Carrie Lam – is she listening? I don’t think she is listening.” Advertising Advertising Demonstrators durin­g a prote­st against a government proposal that could allow extraditions to mainland China, in Hong Kong on June 16, 2019. (Lam Yik Fei/The New York Times)Campaigners in Hong Kong have registered thousands of new voters during mass protests against controversial extradition law reform, pouncing on an opportunity to bolster the democratic opposition’s prospects in upcoming elections. Demonstrations last week, marred by violence, were followed by a march on Sunday that organisers said drew nearly 2 million people opposed to the bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China. At the Sunday march, singer and activist Denise Ho and volunteers from her NGO, Reimagine Hong Kong, collected and submitted about 3,000 voter registration forms, and handed out another 12,000. Registration drives are uncommon in Hong Kong, she said.“For the people, this moment is very critical,” Ho told Reuters.FIREWALLHong Kong’s 18 district councils don’t formulate policy but control public spending at the local level. They are also training grounds for up-and-coming politicians, said Samson Yuen, an associate professor of political science at Lingnan University. The district councils are dominated by pro-Beijing parties.Winning district councils could help boost representation in the 1,200 member committee that selects Hong Kong’s chief executive. Half of Legco’s 70 seats are popularly elected and the rest are picked by business and professional groups called “functional constituencies,” which are dominated by pro-Beijing figures. In 2016, the pan-democratic camp won 29 seats – more than enough to wield veto power – but then lost six when these candidates were disqualified after China’s national parliament ruled their oaths of office were invalid. About 2.2 million people voted in that election, or 58 percent of total registered voters, government data show. Less than 1.5 million people, or 47 percent of registered voters, cast ballots in district council elections the year before.The legislature “is a very important battleground for us because it’s a firewall between the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Chinese government, which is controlling everything,” Ho said, referring to the territory’s mini-constitution. Ho, who is also an LGBT activist and staunch supporter of the pro-democracy Occupy movement, is continuing the push to enlist new voters ahead of the July 2 deadline for registration for the district council polls.About 30 local shops have said they would offer registration forms to customers, and Reimagine Hong Kong volunteers plan to set up 12 booths around the city to try to sign up more voters.‘IS SHE LISTENING?’Ho says that her star power has helped the campaign, but that drawing other entertainers into the effort has been tough because most in Hong Kong rely on the mainland market, where Ho has been banned since supporting the protests in 2014. More Explained Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Havent applied for patent because want my technique to remain free for

first_img 3 Comment(s) Related News Best Of Express Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield This meeting was followed by another one last month, which was also attended by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Following such extensive deliberations, the Union Budget decided to include natural farming to help boost up farmers’ income.There seems to be some ambiguity about the name Zero Budget Natural Farming. Is it really Zero Budget as multiple farmers have pointed out maintaining a cow would require investment?Back in the 1990s, when I had perfected the technique, the name Zero Budget was coined as our theory was that production cost of the main crop would be sufficient for the intercrop. However, as the technique caught the imagination of farmers, certain questions started cropping up. In case of crops like paddy, which can’t have any intercrop, the theory of production of cost of main crop sufficing for the intercrop can’t stand. Also, some crops are labour-intensive — which farmers would have to bear.This led me to rethink on the name and I started a debate on social media and in the public about a new name for the technique, and so, the name Subhash Palekar Natural Farming was coined. The only reason my name is included was that some NGOs had started propagating this technique, claiming that this was perfected by them. The change of name was intimated to the Niti Aayog, which agreed to use the new name. However, this was not reflected in the Budget.Have you applied for a patent for this technique? How did natural farming come to be included in the Union Budget? Were you invited to make presentations before the Niti Aayog?There is a bit of a history about how natural farming came to be included in the Budget and let me share that with you. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got his mandate on the basis of his promise to double farmers’ income. The prime minister had expected that in five years, agricultural universities would do extensive research on how to reduce the cost of production and ensure increase of incomes. However, this did not happen, which propelled the Niti Aayog and the government to look for solutions elsewhere.During a nationwide search, the Niti Aayog came across natural farming and studied it for at least two years. Finally, in February this year, Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, had called me to make a presentation about this before a distinguished gathering of officers, scientists and vice-chancellors of various agricultural universities. That very day, he declared in a press conference about the government’s decision to popularise my methods across the country. Advertising The great dollar gamble subhash palekar, zero budget farming, zero budget natural farming, union budget 2019, budget 2019, union budget, budget, nirmala sitharaman, finance minister, india news, Indian Express Subhash Palekar receives the Padma Shri in 2016. (File)The Union Budget’s push for Zero Budget Natural Farming to double farmers’ income is as much a testimony to the method as it is to its originator, Subhash Palekar. The 70-year-old farmer from the drought-hit Vidarbha region of Maharashtra has been advocating the chemical-free method of farming for the past 20 years. Palekar’s methods have also found acceptance in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, with more than 50 lakh farmers said to be growing crops in this manner. The Indian Express spoke to Palekar about his method and the questions surrounding it.center_img Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Advertising Testing the waters Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Published: July 14, 2019 7:38:17 am After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan The technique is a result of intensive research done by me. But I have no desire to monetise this as the only thing I want is to help farmers. My sons, who are working professionals, have also joined my movement for the same thing. In a month, I am conducting workshops for 25 days completely free-of-cost. The only reason I have not applied for a patent is that I don’t want my technique to be a money-generating machine for later generations. My technique will remain free for all farmers.Can natural farming be used for hybrid or genetically modified seeds? Also how effective is this for horticulture crops?Our system is seed agnostic and can be used for hybrids, desis and even genetically modified seeds. My system talks about treatment of the soil, increasing microorganisms in it and so, has nothing to do with the crops or seed. Those who oppose Bt cotton should give an alternative before asking farmers to stop growing it. Farmers who have used my techniques have been able to get second generation from BT cotton and have successfully sown the seeds. The cost of production of BT cotton, in fact, increases manifold if grown with chemical fertilisers and pesticides. With my technique, the cost of production is minimal and so, helpful to farmers.As of horticulture and polyhouse crops, we have a large database of farmers who have successfully grown grapes and capsicum using this.Can your technique help fight pests and insects?Natural farming helps increase the immunity of crops and so, crops grown with this method will certainly be able to resist attacks of pests. In fact, the technique has helped crops develop drought-resistant properties also. Nature has endowed all plants and crops genes to fight pests and droughts, but such genes are normally recessive and do not express themselves. Natural farming activates such genes and so, can be an important source to fight drought. No road to the $5 trillion economy last_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Mumbai Bail after 7 years man says said yes to LeT charge

first_imgWhile rejecting the bail plea of Gaus at the time, the HC observed that “the trial of the case be taken up as expeditiously as possible and in any event, within eight months”. However, Gaus said, only three witnesses were examined in eight months, and the case is still at the stage of the last witness, the investigating officer, being examined.Gaus said he was working at his inverter battery shop before he was arrested in 2012. While he was in jail, his father and brother took care of his wife and his son. Advertising Best Of Express Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Advertising mohammad gaus gets bail, suspected LeT gets bail, Bombay High court, Mohammad Gaus, Bombay High court, grants bail to suspected LeT operative, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Mumbai news, Indian Express news Mohammad Gaus was arrested on August 31, 2012.Two years ago, five men arrested on charges of being Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives pleaded guilty before a special court in Mumbai. After seven years of incarceration, Mohammad Irfan Gaus was the first among them to be granted bail this month. After his release from Taloja prison, he has claimed that he was innocent but pleaded guilty to avoid a prolonged trial and worsening of his family’s situation. US: Lawmaker introduces resolution seeking probe into NGO’s links with Lashkar-e-Taiba 13 Comment(s) After Pulwama center_img The NIA did not respond to calls and text messages from The Indian Express seeking comment. Appearing for the NIA in court, Advocate A M Chimalkar opposed Gaus’s bail plea by contending that there is voluminous documentary evidence against him.According to the prosecution, Gaus and another accused Muzzammil made 214 calls to each other between October 10, 2011, and August 9, 2012. Gaus allegedly also travelled with Muzzammil from Mumbai to Nanded by bus.The prosecution claimed that one of the men had received money from Saudi Arabia, sent by another accused. It was alleged that the accused were found with a revolver and live cartridges, and that they planned to instigate young Muslims to take to violence.In November 2017, the five sought to plead guilty before the trial court. The court, however, rejected their request. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Related News 2 LeT men held while trying to buy rifle in Ramban NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Written by Sailee Dhayalkar | Mumbai | Updated: July 16, 2019 11:32:06 am Last week, while granting bail to Gaus, the Bombay High Court observed: “Prima facie, at this stage, we are of the opinion that perusal of material made available to us does not show that there are reasonable grounds for believing that accusations against the appellant/accused no.4 (Gaus) are true.”The Maharashtra ATS filed a chargesheet against the five, including Gaus, for offences punishable under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC and the Arms Act. In October 2013, the case was transferred to the NIA.READ | Suspected ‘LeT operative’ gets bailGaus (32) told The Indian Express, “The NIA told us that a few accused in a similar case have pleaded guilty before a special court in Bengaluru and sentenced to five years of imprisonment. NIA suggested that we consider pleading guilty. We decided to plead guilty and requested NIA to tell the court to grant us five years of imprisonment as we had already spent that time in jail,” he said. “We were left with no choice but to plead guilty, not because we were guilty, but we had no idea when our case was going to be concluded. We had families to look after. The situation was getting bad.”last_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Update In reversal science publisher IEEE drops ban on using Huawei scientists

first_imgA Huawei Technologies booth at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this year. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) *Update, 30 May, 9:03 a.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from IEEE. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images The New York City–based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) told editors of its roughly 200 journals yesterday that it feared “severe legal implications” from continuing to use Huawei scientists as reviewers in vetting technical papers. They can continue to serve on IEEE editorial boards, according to the memo, but “cannot handle any papers” until the sanctions are lifted.On 15 May, the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its affiliates to a list of companies for which a license is required before U.S. technology can be sold or transferred. The department can refuse to grant such a license, issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), if it deems that any sales or transfers would harm U.S. national security interests. U.S. officials have alleged that the Chinese government could use equipment manufactured by Huawei, which is a global supplier of cell phones and wireless data networks, to spy on users or disrupt critical infrastructure.Huawei scientists can continue to engage in a range of society activities, explains a 22 May IEEE statement to members. They can attend IEEE-sponsored conferences and make presentations, submit articles to IEEE journals, and participate in leadership and governance bodies to which they belong.What they can’t do as an employee of a company on the BIS entity list is be given access to the type of technical information that would be part of a research article. Specifically, IEEE says they “cannot receive or access materials submitted by other persons until after IEE has accepted the material for publication.” At that point, Huawei scientists “may act as editor or peer reviewer for that material.”The IEEE ban has sparked outrage among Chinese scientists on social media. “I joined IEEE as a Ph.D. student because it is recognized as an International academic platform in electronics engineering,” wrote Haixia (Alice) Zhang of Peking University in Beijing in a letter to IEEE leadership. “But this message is challenging my professional integrity. I have decided to quit the editorial boards [of two IEEE journals] until it restores our common professional integrity.”On 29 May IEEE “clarified” its response to the listing of Huawei. Here are excerpts from that statement: IEEE complies with U.S. government regulations which restrict the ability of the listed Huawei companies and their employees to participate in certain activities that are not generally open to the public. This includes certain aspects of the publication peer review and editorial process.However, all IEEE members, including those employed by Huawei, can continue to participate in individual membership, corporate membership and voting rights; subscribe to and access IEEE’s digital library and other publication products; submit technical papers for publication; participate in and present at IEEE-sponsored meetings and conferences, and may sponsor and accept an IEEE award. Members affiliated with Huawei may also participate in business, logistics, and other meetings including those related to conference planning.Huawei and its employees can continue to be a member of the IEEE Standards Association, including earning or exercising the voting rights of membership; attend IEEE standards development meetings, submit new proposals for standards, and participate and comment in public discussions of standards technology proposals.Should the U.S. government clarify the application of the EAR [Export Administration Regulations] with respect to peer review we will further advise the IEEE community.center_img *Update, 3 June, 12:15 p.m.: On 2 June, IEEE lifted its ban on using Huawei scientists as journal reviewers, saying it had received “clarification” from the U.S. Department of Commerce on how the government’s recent actions against the company affect its peer-review process.Here is our original story from 29 May:A major scientific society has banned employees of Huawei, the Chinese communications giant, from reviewing submissions to its journals because of U.S. government sanctions against the company. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By Jeffrey MervisJun. 3, 2019 , 12:15 PM Update: In reversal, science publisher IEEE drops ban on using Huawei scientists as reviewerslast_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Closestknown ancestor of todays Native Americans found in Siberia

first_imgTwo men found at the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site in northern Siberia in Russia date to about 32,000 years ago, providing the earliest direct evidence of humans in the region. Martin Sikora Email The results are exciting, if a bit unsurprising, says Connie Mulligan, an anthropologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “To me, it makes total sense that there were a lot of populations migrating through the region and replacing each other, with some of them moving into the Americas.”In the second study, led by biologist Pavel Flegontov at the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic and also appearing today in Nature, Potter and colleagues attempt to uncover the roots of a genetic family known to scientists as Paleo-Eskimos (although this term is disputed by Indigenous groups themselves). Archaeological records suggest the ancestors of these individuals moved into modern-day Alaska and the Canadian Arctic about 5000 years ago, but how they relate to modern groups remains a mystery.The scientists analyzed the genomes of 48 ancient individuals from sites in the North American Arctic and Siberia dating from between about 7000 to 300 years ago. They then compared their DNA to those of other modern and ancient Indigenous people across northern North America and looked for patterns in shared ancestry and language families.Paleo-Eskimos originating in Siberia crossed Beringia about 5000 years ago, mixing with indigenous Americans from a previous wave of Siberian migrants, as well as a much later lineage called Neo-Eskimos, the team concludes. This tangled family tree underpins the ancestry of modern speakers of indigenous Na-Dene and Eskimo-Aleut languages.Based on the DNA analysis, the group that gave rise to Kolyma1 identified by Willerslev’s team may be the ancestors, or very close relations, of the Paleo-Eskimos. “[They are] in the right spot to be ancestors, or related in some way, to the Paleo-Eskimos that expanded into North America around 5000 years ago,” Potter says. “It fits together really nicely.” Indigenous Americans, who include Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, and Native Americans, descend from humans who crossed an ancient land bridge connecting Siberia in Russia to Alaska tens of thousands of years ago. But scientists are unclear when and where these early migrants moved from place to place. Two new studies shed light on this mystery and uncover the most closely related Native American ancestor outside North America.In the first study, researchers led by Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, sequenced the whole genomes of 34 individuals who lived in Siberia, the land bridge Beringia, and Alaska from 600 to nearly 32,000 years ago. The oldest individuals in the sample—two men who lived in far northern Siberia—represent the earliest known humans from that part of the world. There are no direct genetic traces of these men in any of the other groups the team surveyed, suggesting their culture likely died out about 23,000 years ago when the region became too cold to be inhabitable.Elsewhere on the Eurasian continent, however, a group arose that would eventually move into Siberia, splinter, and cross Beringia into North America, the DNA analysis reveals. A woman known as Kolyma1, who lived in northeastern Siberia about 10,000 years ago, shares about two-thirds of her genome with living Native Americans. “It’s the closest we have ever gotten to a Native American ancestor outside the Americas,” Willerslev says. Still, notes Ben Potter, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks who was not involved with the work, the relation is nevertheless distant. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Based on the time it would have taken for key mutations to pop up, the ancestors of today’s Native Americans splintered off from these ancient Siberians about 24,000 years ago, roughly matching up with previous archaeological and genetic evidence for when the peopling of the Americas occurred, the team reports today in Nature.Additional DNA evidence suggests a third wave of migrants, the Neo-Siberians, moved into northeastern Siberia from the south sometime after 10,000 years ago. These migrants mixed with the ancient Siberians, planting the genetic roots of many of the area’s present-day populations. Closest-known ancestor of today’s Native Americans found in Siberia By Michael PriceJun. 5, 2019 , 1:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Elena Pavlova Different groups have mixed and migrated throughout Siberia in Russia and into North America over the past 40,000 years.last_img read more

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19 Jul
2019

Education renaissance in Rajasthan Happy class and more childfocused

first_imgThe mountain of a task done, she tosses back her hair, breaks into a high-wattage smile and sticks out her hand: “How are you? How was your day?” But her teacher Kamlesh Mittal isn’t letting her off soon. “Here, do some maths,” she says, pushing a long notebook in her direction. “9,999 + 825 + 7,000…,” she says in Hindi. “Dhyan se, seedhi banake (carefully, with the place values right, like a ladder)….”Mittal, in charge of the primary school in Karimpur in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district, has been a teacher for 31 years. “See how good they are,” she says as Rakhi gets the sum right. “Maths is not a problem for these children. It’s English that they struggle with. And there, we can’t help them much.”Next, it’s Arman’s turn. He walks up to Mittal’s desk, his brow knit with worry. “Show me how you do this subtraction,” she says, giving him a notebook with two three-digit numbers. As the boy uses his left hand to count, Mittal says, “When Arman got into Class 4, he was terrible at maths. I started by giving him Class 1 maths, sometimes Class 2. Now he comes and asks, ‘Ma’am, what can I solve?’.” Related News Advertising Best Of Express Written by Uma Vishnu | Rajasthan | Updated: July 14, 2019 7:59:15 am Explained: Why Rajasthan HC judges don’t want to be called ‘My Lord’ Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Advertising By now, Arman has done the three-digit subtraction and Mittal triumphantly pushes the notebook our way. “See, ek dum theek.” Arman smiles, his brow still knit.***Mittal is part of the State Initiative for Quality Education (SIQE), a quiet revolution sweeping through Rajasthan’s government schools, where a focus on improving learning levels has seen an entire department recalibrate its working. From tracking every child’s learning levels to identifying the ones who have fallen behind and teaching them in smaller groups; from teachers making 15-day teaching plans for the class and for individual children; from Activity Based Learning kits to workshops through video conferencing to help teachers make maths and science less dreary, SIQE involves everyone from the local panchayat to the education secretary and all in between — principals, teachers and the students themselves.The results have been showing. In the last National Achievement Survey (NAS), conducted in 2017, which tests children in Classes 3, 5 and 8 for language, science, mathematics and social studies, Rajasthan scored the highest in Class 8 among all states — language (a state-wide average score of 67%), mathematics (57%), and science (62%). The Sunday Express listed all districts across India according to their NAS Class 8 maths score and of the top 10 districts, six were from Rajasthan, with Nagaur (70.53%), Dholpur (70.11%) and Dausa (68.49%) the Top 3. Besides, in the Performance Grading Index for school education (2017-18) prepared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and released earlier this year, Rajasthan ranked the highest in ‘learning outcomes and quality’, scoring 168 out of 180 points.Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express Rakhi, a Class 4 student of the Karimpur school, with her family — mother Bhuri, siblings, cousin and her pet goat Ilu. (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)The trigger for much of this churn is classrooms such as Mittal’s. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Gehlot: Will bring law against mob lynching, honour killing Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express In Rajasthan, the progress of every child is tracked through three Summative Assessments and internal tests. The Sunday Express visited schools in Nagaur and Dhlolpur districts between February and May (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)THE nine-year-old gasps twice before she speaks, haltingly, in English, “I… I am Rakhi. I am studying in Class 4.” For those tense seconds, Rakhi stands stiff, staring at the floor, pinching the seams of her coffee brown uniform kurta. Cops booked for alleged gangrape of Dalit woman in Rajasthan Advertising More Explained At the Karimpur school in Dholpur, Mittal is playing a game of ank seedhi with the children in one of the rooms. It’s 12.45 pm, minutes left for dispersal. Rakhi’s mother, a cook at the school, turns up at the door and Rakhi asks Mittal if she can leave. As she heads out, she says, “Bade hoke main teacher banungi… aap ki tarah. Achcha, aap teacher nahin hain? Journalist? Phir mein journalist banoongi (I will grow up to be a teacher like you. You are a journalist? I will be a journalist then).” Rakhi is Rakhi-I on her yellow portfolio. “That’s because there are two Rakhis in Class 4,” says Mittal, thumbing through Rakhi-I’s worksheets — multiplication sums, an essay on trees, fill in the blanks and a lotus that she has drawn, with the teachers’ comments scrawled along the margins.The school is by an open sewage pool. “This is not the sight that should be greeting children every morning. Please do something about this,” Mittal tells a group of officials from the Education Department who are on an impromptu visit to the school.There are other problems too. The school has five classrooms, but only two teachers, so the students from classes 1 to 5 share three classrooms. “We bring small gifts, notebooks, pens, to keep the children motivated. We also get them to do activity-based learning,” she says.Mittal says she and her husband, who works in the Dholpur collectorate, have sat up several nights to make these props —sthaniya man patti to teach place value; ank seedhi, a game modelled on snakes and ladders; and a way to do addition and subtraction with match sticks. But a favourite with children is gale ka number, for which Mittal has fashioned number tags from old playing cards which children wear around their necks. So for instance, if Rakhi gets the 72 tag, she stays 72 for the entire day and understands the number vis-à-vis other numbers — that 72 is 5 more than Armaan’s 67, 2 more than 70 and so on. “This way, numbers come alive and stay less abstract. It’s good to know that 72 has its uses, that it’s more than just a number that has to be placed in units and tens places,” says Mittal.Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express The ABL kaksh at the Rajkiya Adarsh school in Vishnoda village, Dholpur, has lines on the walls for children to write on and activities to make learning fun. (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)Under the SIQE programme, 4,068 schools in Rajasthan — 159 of these in Dholpur — have a designated room for Activity Based Learning (ABL) sessions for the primary grades. The state sanctions Rs 20,000 for these ABL kaksh or rooms — Rs 6,700 for a specially designed ABL kit and Rs 13,300 for the display boards, painting work and desks.Recognising a “severe learning crisis” in India, the recent draft National Education Policy (NEP) too recommended a similar model of activity-based learning in the primary and pre-primary classes. “Classrooms will allow flexible seating arrangements; learning materials will be safe, stimulating, developmentally appropriate, low cost, and preferably created using environmentally-friendly and locally-sourced materials… (such as) picture cards, puzzles, dominoes, simple musical instruments,” the report said.The Rajkiya Adarsh Uch Madhyamik Vidyalaya in Vishnoda village, Dholpur, has just completed work on its ABL kaksh. As children sit around in little groups around colourful tables, playing pretend games with fake currency, principal Rajendra Bagela says, “This is how learning should be. We were probably doing it wrong all this while.”He then joins the children in a song and dance session — about a kagaz ki gudiya (paper doll) without ears, eyes, arms, etc., and how it uses a rabbit’s ears to hear, an owl’s eyes to see and so on.The Karimpur school doesn’t have an ABL room yet, but Mittal isn’t waiting for one to be sanctioned. “I made these activities myself. I learnt some of this during one of the videoconferencing programmes I attended,” she says.Across Rajasthan, for two days every two months, teachers assemble in select schools for a live videoconferencing session, during which experts and educationists talk to teachers in far-flung areas about simple activities to make learning fun. These sessions are usually held in model or ‘Adarsh’ schools. There is usually one such school with classes from 1 to 12 in each gram panchayat that acts as a mentor for other schools in the area.“Each time, over two lakh teachers across 3,000 schools in the state turn up for these videoconferencing sessions,” says Mukesh Garg, Dholpur’s Additional District Programme Coordinator of Samagra Shiksha or SAMSA, an integrated scheme for school education from primary to Class 12.***In 2013-14 then chief minister Vasundhara Raje set up the CM’s Advisory Council, with nine sub-groups, including on health, power and education. Led by educationists such as Urvashi Sahni, founder and CEO of the Lucknow-based Study Hall Education Foundation, Gowri Ishwaran, CEO of the Global Education & Leadership Foundation, and Arun Kapur of Delhi’s Vasant Valley School, the education sub-group held a series of deliberations on reforms, with SIQE topping their agenda.Like several good ideas, this one too would have stayed on paper if not for an army of inspired footsoldiers led by Naresh Pal Gangwar, a 1994-batch IAS officer who came in as Principal Secretary in charge of School Education. Gangwar instantly recognised that the scale was huge and the base dismal — according to the HRD Ministry’s DISE data for 2013-14, Rajasthan had 83,564 government schools with over 64 lakh children and over three lakh teachers, but saw very little by way of learning.Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express At the Karimpur school, Kamlesh Mittal teaches children using props she designed. (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)The 2013 Annual Status of Education Survey, conducted by NGO Pratham and released early 2014, showed that only 41.1% of Class 5 government school students nationwide could read a Class 2 textbook and only 20.8% could do division. The figures for Rajasthan were worse — only 35.8% Class 5 students could read a Class 2 textbook and only 15.2% could do division.Thus began a process of overhaul. To begin with, the complex school organisation system — with multiple buildings and managements for primary, upper primary, and secondary schools — was rationalised. The state carried out one of the biggest school integration exercises, merging more than 17,000 primary and upper primary schools with secondary and higher secondary schools by April 2014, often in the face of resistance by parents, teachers and activists.The recent Economic Survey too had recommended consolidation or merger of elementary schools to make them viable, given a projected 18.4 per cent decline in the population of children in the 5-14 age group between 2021 and 2041.There have been more changes in Rajasthan: Adarsh schools were chosen, teachers and principals were given leadership training, 1.25 lakh teachers were recruited and pending promotions cleared. Through all this, a clear line of communication was established — both through the official Shala Darpan, the one-stop portal for everything from student portfolios to teacher vacancies to daily communication, and about 12,000 WhatsApp groups.“The entire department got synergised. Everybody had a voice and transmission loss was reduced. We got feedback instantly and could start working to rectify or go ahead with what we planned,” says Gangwar, who is now Principal Secretary, Energy.Buildings were spruced and basic facilities such as toilets, drinking water and boundary walls put in place. Many schools got a new look, with a fresh coat of paint and wall paintings. School buildings painted to look like train coaches are currently the most popular design, says Garg, the SAMSA coordinator in Dholpur.There are, however, challenges. In the absence of adequate funding — the Interim Budget presented in February set aside 16.8% for education — much of this change has depended heavily on individual leaders, especially principals and teachers who have been motivated to, besides contributing money themselves, raise funds from the community through crowdfunding.Almost every government school in the state has an Akshay Petika, a box where members of the community make donations, anything from as low as Re 1 to a few thousands. The Petika is opened only during meetings of the school management committee, which has parents and community leaders as members. Schools also prominently display a list of ‘Bhamashas’ or members of the village community who have made significant contributions. The money is used to fund anything from sweaters for children to desks and fans in classrooms.Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express Priyanka, on the right, with her friends at the Kasturba school in Kuchaman, Nagaur. Daughter of a marble worker, her education is funded by the state. (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)In August 2017, the Department of Education set up Gyan Sankalp, an online portal that encourages individuals, companies and non-profits to adopt a school, make donations or support a project. Since its launch, the government has raised Rs 100.2 crore through the portal.N K Gupta, State Project Director, SAMSA, admits to other challenges, among them, the quality of teacher training. “Earlier, once teachers got into the system, there was no training of any kind. Now we have six to 10 categories of training. However, we need to improve the quality of training and strengthen DIETs (District Institutes of Education and Training). Many of these DIETS have 50% vacancies,” he says.Nevertheless, Gupta adds, there’s no going back. “The change that has come in through SIQE is now a regular feature. Governments may come and go but this will continue. We have managed to fill a lot of teacher vacancies, with about 32,000 new teachers since the Congress government took over. Some more are in the pipeline. Once all that is done, there will be less than 5% vacancies,” says Gupta, a 2004-batch IAS officer. ***Over 500 km from Dholpur, on the state’s eastern fringes, is Nagaur, a district in the catchment area of the Sambhar lake, known more for its salt pans and granite and lignite mines, less for the NAS it topped in 2017.Nikita Meel knows what it feels to be on top. The daughter of a marble worker in Makarana block of Nagaur, Nikita scored 92.16% in her Class 10, with a perfect A+ in mathematics, earning her a laptop under the Rajasthan government’s Laptop Yojana. “It’s a Lenovo. I left it behind at home. My father uses it, mostly plays games that I taught him. My brother uses it too,” she says.Under the scheme, the top 6,000 students of the state, besides 100 toppers in each district, get laptops.Nikita is a student of the Government Surji Devi Kabra Girls Senior Secondary School in Kuchaman block of the district and stays in the government-run Sharade hostel for Classes 9-12. The hostel shares a compound with the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Awasiya Vidyalaya, a residential school for girls from Classes 6 to 8, one of 200-odd such schools in the state for children from SC/ST, backward and minority communities, with 25% seats reserved for EWS.Nikita’s younger sister studies in the Kasturba school and brother back home in the village.It’s around 7 pm, dinner time, and the girls are eating soyabean and chapatis, sometimes four to a plate. “We have been together so long, this feels like family,” says Nikita.A group of girls sit on the steps of the Kasturba building, discussing the plot of Kumkum Bhagya and Kundli Bhagya, two soap operas they watch back to back, from 8 pm to 9 pm. “After dinner, we study for an hour and then come to the TV room. But even if we don’t watch the serials for some days, the story is still the same,” chuckles Priyanka, who is in Class 7 and stays here with her sister.Priyanka is a member of the school Bal Sansad or Children’s Parliament, a concept introduced by the state government to inculcate a sense of leadership among children. “Mein school ki bhojan mantri hoon aur safai mantri bhi (I am the school’s food and cleanliness minister). I have to make sure children don’t waste food. Also, if they have complaints about the food, I talk to our warden about it. Then there are others — a pradhan mantri, water minister, health minister….”Warden Sharda Chaudhary, who has been working with the school for 10 years, earning Rs 12,000 a month, says, “This place is like their home. All of them come from extremely deprived families and we do our best to keep them happy. The government sanctions Rs 55 per child, with which we are supposed to provide them milk, toast, breakfast, fruits, tea, lunch and dinner. We end up spending a lot more.”Rajasthan education system, National Achievement Survey, Rajasthan schools, Rajasthan primary education system, India news, Indian express Several school buildings in Dholpur have been painted to look like trains to attract students. (Express photo by Uma Vishnu)The following morning, Block Elementary Education Officer Dinesh Singh, who is carrying out an inspection of the MDM (mid-day meal) scheme across the block, makes a stop at the Burdako Ki Dhani Primary School by the main road. He notices two teachers sitting in the verandah outside and asks them, “Why aren’t you in your classes? And why are the children roaming around?”Bhagwani Mahich, the senior teacher, responds: “Sir, there are only 12 students. Padhane me mazaa tabhi hota hai jab bachche honge (teaching is fun only when there are enough students)….” Singh cuts her short sharply. “If teaching doesn’t interest you, you should find something else to do. There are several people who can take your place,” he says.As he drives out, Singh says, “See, there are problems. The school has already got a notice for closure. To be fair to the teachers, there are very few homes in this area and they too send children to private schools because the buses come right to their doorsteps. But that’s also why these teachers should work doubly hard — visit homes, show them the portfolios of children so that parents realise how much work goes on in government schools.” Behind Mittal’s desk is a pink chart paper with names of all 86 children in the school from Classes 1 to 5. Against each name are two columns — one the child’s class, and the other the “kaksha sthar” or grade level indicating the child’s learning level. Rakhi’s is Class 4, Class 4; Arman’s is Class 4, Class 1.Of the 69 children from classes 2 to 5 in the school, the learning levels of 54 are not up to grade. Mittal says that when the year began, there were only six children among 18 in Class 5 who were grade appropriate; that number has now gone up to nine.“By the time they finish Class 5, we have to make sure all these children can do what a Class 5 child should be doing in terms of reading, writing, maths and science. There is a lot of work left,” says Mittal, adding, “But at least now we know what the problem is, which child to focus on.”In Rajasthan’s government schools, every child in the primary classes has a “portfolio”, usually a paper file which holds his/her worksheets done in class and assessed by the teacher. The file also tracks the child’s progress through three Summative Assessments and internal tests. NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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18 Jul
2019

FDA grants accelerated approval to new treatment for refractory multiple myeloma

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to Xpovio (selinexor) tablets in combination with the corticosteroid dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have received at least four prior therapies and whose disease is resistant to several other forms of treatment, including at least two proteasome inhibitors, at least two immunomodulatory agents, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, there are FDA-approved treatments to target the cancer and slow down the spread of the disease. Sadly, often over time, patients can exhaust all available treatments and still see their disease progress. Today we approved a treatment under our accelerated approval program that provides a treatment option for patients with multiple myeloma with no available therapy.”Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Multiple myeloma is cancer that begins in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies) and may also be referred to as plasma cell myeloma. Abnormal plasma cells build up in the bone marrow, forming tumors in many bones of the body. As more antibodies are made, it can cause blood to thicken and keep the bone marrow from making enough healthy blood cells. The exact causes of multiple myeloma are unknown, but it is more common in older people and African Americans.Efficacy was evaluated in 83 patients with RRMM who were treated with Xpovio in combination with dexamethasone. At the end of the study, the overall response rate was measured at 25.3%. The median time to first response was four weeks, with a range of one to ten weeks. The median duration of response was 3.8 months. The efficacy evaluation was supported by additional information from an ongoing, randomized trial in patients with multiple myeloma.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCommon side effects of patients taking Xpovio in combination with dexamethasone include a low white blood cell count (leukopenia), a low count of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell (neutropenia), low count of platelets (thrombocytopenia) and low amount of red blood cells (anemia). Patients also reported vomiting, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, decreased appetite and weight, constipation, upper respiratory tract infections and low blood sodium levels (hyponatremia).Health care professionals are advised to monitor patients for low blood counts, platelets and sodium levels. Patients should avoid taking Xpovio with other medications that may cause dizziness or confusion and avoid situations where dizziness may be a problem. Health care professionals are advised to optimize the patient’s hydration status, blood counts and other medications to avoid dizziness or confusion.The FDA advises health care professionals to tell females of reproductive age and males with a female partner of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with Xpovio. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Xpovio because it may cause harm to a developing fetus or newborn baby. Xpovio must be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide that describes important information about the drug’s uses and risks.Xpovio in combination with dexamethasone was granted accelerated approval, which enables the FDA to approve drugs for serious conditions to fill an unmet medical need based on an endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict a clinical benefit to patients. Further clinical trials are required to verify and describe Xpovio’s clinical benefit.The FDA granted this application Fast Track designation. Xpovio also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases. The FDA granted the approval of Xpovio to Karyopharm Therapeutics. Source:U.S. Food and Drug Administrationlast_img read more

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18 Jul
2019

SoftBanks acquisition of 15 percent of Uber closes

Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank says it has closed a deal to acquire 15 percent of Uber. SoftBank group acquires major stake in Uber Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. As part of the deal, investors led by SoftBank Group Corp. and Dragoneer Investment Group will sink about $9 billion into the ride-hailing company, including about $1.25 billion in new shares.Uber is hoping the deal helps it move past recent internal strife and strengthens the position of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. San Francisco-based Uber has been mired in controversy for an assortment of missteps in the past year, including allegations of sexual misconduct and charges that it deployed an espionage team to plunder trade secrets from its rivals.The investment deal clears the way for Uber, among the most valuable tech firms in the world, to sell stock to the public in 2019. Citation: SoftBank’s acquisition of 15 percent of Uber closes (2018, January 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-softbank-acquisition-percent-uber.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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18 Jul
2019

Flights suspended again at London Gatwick after drone report

first_imgAn EasyJet plane on its final approach before landing at Gatwick airport near London, Friday Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (John Stillwell/PA via AP) Gatwick serves more than 43 million passengers a year.The hundreds of travelers stuck overnight at Gatwick by Thursday’s closure described freezing conditions as they slept on benches or the airport floor. Many complained they weren’t being kept informed about re-routed flights.Around 145 of the 837 flights at Gatwick on Friday had already been canceled before the latest reported drone sighting, the airport said. In the afternoon, it strongly warned passengers to “check the status of your flight with your airline before departing for the airport.”The prospect of a deadly collision between what British police described as industrial-grade drones and a passenger plane led authorities to stop all flights in and out of Gatwick on Wednesday evening.The British military joined police and aviation authorities in searching for the culprit or culprits behind the drone intrusion, which police said was designed to cause maximum disruption over the holiday period. Passengers wait to check in at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) In a new nightmare for holiday travel, flights were suspended again at London’s Gatwick Airport after reports that another drone had been spotted over the airport late Friday afternoon, the airport and British police said. A plane comes in to land at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) A plane comes in to land at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Passengers wait at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Grayling said additional “military capabilities” and a range of security measures had been put in place overnight but would not elaborate. He said the airport was considered safe for flights Friday even though the drone operator had not been apprehended.Some British officials said shooting down a drone remains a “tactical option” but there were concerns that could inadvertently hurt people on the ground.”Shooting the drone out of the sky is probably one of the least effective options” available, said Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry of Sussex Police.He said police believe there was more than one drone operating around Gatwick in the last two days and that it was possible the drones were being operated from fairly far away. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A waiting passenger sleeps at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said Friday there had been about 40 sightings of “a small number of drones” while the airport was shut down. He told the BBC that the drone disruption at Gatwick was “unprecedented anywhere in the world.”center_img Passengers wait at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Passengers wait to check in at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) A new drone was reportedly seen around 5:10 p.m. at Britain’s second-busiest airport, which operates 30 miles (45 kilometers) south of London.Incoming planes circled over Gatwick because they could not land and outgoing planes were kept on the tarmac while the drone report was investigated.Airport officials tweeted that takeoffs and landing were stopped “as a precaution.” It was not known how long the airport shutdown would last.The suspected new drone sighting came after British police and transport officials had said that extra measures had been put in place to prevent drones from intruding on the airport.The motive for the drone invasion wasn’t clear but British police said there were no indications it was “terror related.”Gatwick had only just reopened about 11 hours earlier after having been shut down all day Thursday and part of Wednesday night when authorities said drones repeatedly violated the airport perimeter, threatening the safely of incoming and outgoing planes.The Thursday shutdown at Gatwick threw tens of thousands of passengers into massive travel chaos, since about 110,000 people had been scheduled to pass through the airport that day, one of the busiest travel days of the year. The figure for passengers expected for Friday was even higher. Holiday chaos as drones shut London’s Gatwick Airport © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Passengers wait at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) A plane comes in to land at Gatwick Airport in England, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Explore further Citation: Flights suspended again at London Gatwick after drone report (2018, December 21) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-flights-london-gatwick-drone.htmllast_img read more

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18 Jul
2019

Scam ads promoting fake tax breaks prosper on Facebook

first_img Citation: Scam ads promoting fake tax breaks prosper on Facebook (2019, April 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-scam-ads-fake-tax-prosper.html Last year, Facebook launched a searchable database that provides details on political ads it runs, including who bought them and the age and gender of the audience. But it doesn’t make that information available for other ads. Twitter offers its own database of ads and promoted tweets. Google has an archive for political ads only.The partial approaches allow misleading ads to fester. One problem is the fact that ads can be targeted so narrowly that journalists and watchdog groups often won’t see them.”That allows people to do more dirty tricks,” said Ian Vanderwalker, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. Facebook took them down days later, although some continued to re-appear days after that complaint. Facebook also yanked ads featuring images of governors in Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina and other states. But the ads had already been running for some time.After researching solar-panel options for his two-story home in Mount Tabor, New Jersey, 37-year-old Chris Fitzpatrick saw an ad claiming he might qualify for “free” solar panels because Gov. Phil Murphy planned to release “$100 million solar incentives.” He was skeptical because none of the solar companies he worked with mentioned such incentives, but worried others might not be.”It’s very frustrating because it preys upon innocent people,” Fitzpatrick said.The Associated Press found that some of these ads directed people to solar-energy websites that listed the same business address—a mailbox in Carlsbad, California—that had been used by a company once under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, the government’s consumer protection agency. In 2012, the FTC sued Jason Akatiff and his company—then called Coleadium, also known as Ads 4 Dough—for running fake news websites that marketed unfounded health benefits of colon cleanse and acai berry products, according to court records.Akatiff settled the allegations without admitting guilt and agreed to a $1 million fine. Akatiff changed his company’s name to A4D Inc. in 2015, according to California business filings.Akatiff did not respond to messages left with his California business.Though the FTC can investigate fake ads, sue to stop them and seek compensation for victims, thousands of ads targeting select groups run online daily, making it harder to catch suspect advertisers.Scam ads are popular in certain industries, such as insurance or solar power, where companies are looking for people they can target later for products and services, said Peter Marinello, vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc.The scammers sell the personal information they collect to other companies looking for potential customers, Marinello said. “That’s how this whole process plays out.” This screenshot shows a website re-directed from ads promising big state tax incentives placed on Facebook. Hundreds of ads running on Facebook for more than a year promised that governors across the country had signed off on big tax breaks for U.S. homeowners who wanted to install new solar energy panels. But the tax incentives didn’t exist. (Solar Rebate via AP) This screenshot shows a website re-directed from ads on Facebook promising big state tax incentives. Hundreds of ads running on Facebook for more than a year promised that governors across the country had signed off on big tax breaks for U.S. homeowners who wanted to install new solar energy panels. But the tax incentives didn’t exist. (Solar Rebate via AP) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In this screenshot made from a Facebook page, a search result for “solar energy governor” in Facebook’s Ad Archive shows ads that were falsely promising social media users that they could “get paid to go solar.” Hundreds of ads running on Facebook for more than a year promised that governors across the country had signed off on big tax breaks for U.S. homeowners who wanted to install new solar energy panels. But the tax incentives didn’t exist. (Facebook via AP) In mid-March, some websites linked in the fake solar-energy ads disappeared. After complaints from governors’ offices, Facebook inactivated nearly all of the ads and several pages affiliated with them.”These scammy ads have no place on Facebook,” company spokeswoman Devon Kearns said in a statement. “We removed these pages and disabled these ad accounts recently and will continue to take action.”Facebook says it uses an automated process to review the images, text, targeting and position of ads posted to its site. In some cases, employees review the ads. Users can also give feedback if they believe the ads violate company policies.Governors’ offices were alarmed to see photos of top politicians featured alongside claims such as “you can get paid to go solar.”Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, said she notified Facebook last month after staffers saw them. Facebook launches offensive to combat misinformation on vaccines The scam ads used photos of nearly every U.S. governor—and sometimes President Donald Trump—to claim that with new, lucrative tax incentives, people might actually make money by installing solar technology on their homes. Facebook users only needed to enter their addresses, email, utility information and phone number to find out more.Those incentives don’t exist.While the ads didn’t aim to bilk people of money directly—and it wasn’t possible to buy solar panels through these ads— they led to websites that harvested personal information that could be used to expose respondents to future come-ons, both scammy and legitimate. It’s not clear that the data was actually used in such a manner.Facebook apparently didn’t take action until notified by state-government officials who noticed the ads.The fictitious notices reveal how easily scammers can pelt internet users with misinformation for months, undetected. They also raise further questions about whether big tech companies such as Facebook are capable of policing misleading ads, especially as the 2020 elections—and the prospect of another onslaught of online misinformation—loom.”This is definitely concerning—definitely, it’s misinformation,” said Young Mie Kim, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who studied 5 million Facebook ads during the 2016 elections. “I keep telling people: We don’t have any basis to regulate such a thing.”Experts say websites and apps need to be more transparent about the ads that run on their platforms. Hundreds of ads on Facebook promised U.S. homeowners that they were eligible for huge state tax breaks if they installed new solar-energy panels. There was just one catch: None of it was true. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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18 Jul
2019

UK ministers could resign in battle over suspending parliament BBC reporter

first_imgThe Houses of Parliament can be seen during sunrise on the day of the Summer Solstice, seen from atop the London Eye, in London, Britain June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Henry NichollsLONDON (Reuters) – Some British cabinet ministers could resign on Thursday to vote to block Theresa May’s successor as prime minister from suspending parliament, the political editor of BBC’s Newsnight programme said. “I have learnt that some cabinet ministers are giving serious consideration to resigning tomorrow to vote in favour of preventing the next prime minister from suspending parliament. No final decisions made yet on resignations,” Nicholas Watt said in a tweet. Some lawmakers want to prevent the suspension of parliament in case a new PM takes that step to force through a no-deal departure from the European Union on October 31. Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alistair BellOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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18 Jul
2019

A Common Cold Virus Wiped Away Bladder Cancer in One Patient

first_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoHealthCentral.com7 Sneaky Signs of Lung CancerHealthCentral.comUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndoNature's BlendNever Let Your Dog Eat These 3 FoodsNature’s BlendUndo A simple cold virus could wipe out tumors in a form of bladder cancer, a small new study suggests. Though the idea of using viruses to fight cancer isn’t new, this is the first time a cold virus effectively treated an early-stage form of bladder cancer. In one patient, it eliminated a cancerous tumor, the group reported July 4 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. A group of researchers conducted an early-stage clinical trial in which they infected 15 bladder cancer patients with coxsackievirus A21, which is one of the viruses that cause the common cold. Coxsackievirus is not a genetically modified virus; it’s “something that occurs in nature,” said senior author Hardev Pandha, a professor of medical oncology at the University of Surrey in England. [Exercise May Reduce the Risk of These 13 Cancers]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65908-cold-virus-might-treat-bladder-cancer.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The researchers gave the patients the virus through catheters that the patients already had inserted for other treatments. They left the virus-filled catheter in for an hour to pump the fluids into the bladder and repeated this treatment. Then, the patients underwent surgery to remove what was left of their bladder tumors. In one patient, the virus completely destroyed the tumor. In all of the other patients, the researchers found evidence that the virus had damaged the tumors and had spurred the immune system to send an army of immune cells to the tumors. None of the patients had any significant side effects, Pandha said. Researchers thought this method would work because the outer membranes of cancerous bladder cells contain a gateway for the coxsackievirus: a molecule called ICAM-1. Because healthy cells don’t carry this molecule, the coxsackievirus doesn’t attack them. Once the virus gets into the cell, it hijacks the cell’s machinery and ends up killing it. Even more cancer cells die when the immune cells are recruited. ICAM-1 is also expressed by other cancer cells, and coxsackievirus has, in fact been previously shown to be effective in treating very advanced bladder cancer and other cancers, such as melanoma, Pandha said. Even so, this is still an early-stage trial, and there’s still a long way to go before the method can be used in treatment, Pandha said. “This would be the foundation for much larger studies where we’d build on this,” he said. Newer studies will try to make the treatment more effective and stop the cancer from coming back, he added. Unfortunately, just getting a common cold won’t treat the cancer on its own. Pandha’s team gave a much higher dose of the virus than you would get if someone coughed on you and you got sick, for example. Interestingly, the patients who were given the virus through the catheter did not get cold symptoms. “I agree that [such viruses are] good therapeutic target[s]” for certain types of cancers, like bladder cancer, said Grant McFadden, director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy at Arizona State University, who was not a part of the study. But he noted that many studies have looked at whether viruses can target cancer cells. In fact, a host of viruses have been studied for attacking bladder cancer, specifically. It’s likely that many viruses will work well to treat bladder cancer and at least some tumor-destroying viruses “will get approved for use in humans,” McFadden told Live Science. “But this paper isn’t really new or innovative.” In fact, the idea of using viruses to treat cancer goes back nearly 100 years, Pandha said, but only in the past decade or so has it gained momentum. Editor’s note: This article was updated. Only a couple of the authors (not Pandha) are employed by Viralytics, a Merck-owned biotech company that is developing viral-based cancer treatments. 7 Side Effects of Cancer Treatment, and How to Cope with Them Colorful But Deadly: Images of Brain Cancer 7 Odd Things That Raise Your Risk of Cancer (and 1 That Doesn’t)last_img read more

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17 Jul
2019

Indian Oceans rapid warming poses a threat to many speciesIndian Oceans rapid

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE file photo events COMMENT November 08, 2018 Published on fisheries CMFRI launches Winter School on climate change  Marine experts have raised concern over the rapid warming of the Indian Ocean, posing a severe threat to many species of marine life.Speaking at the opening session of a Winter School on climate change organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, they pointed out that climate change is affecting fisheries through changes in stock productivity and its distribution.Inaugurating the 21-day winter school, A Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), said climate change is causing floods and drought across the globe. Increased water temperature and higher carbon dioxide concentration make oceans more acidic.Drop in productivityHe warned that there would be a drop in productivity due to a gradual damage to the ecosystem and biodiversity owing to climate change. Strong commitments are required from stakeholders as also coordinated efforts to stimulate the growth of the country’s blue economy in a more sustainable way, he said.CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan said the Indian ocean is warming (0.11°C per decade) faster than the Atlantic (0.07°C per decade) and the Pacific (0.05°C per decade), and the surface temperature of the Indian Ocean will rise by 0.60oC by 2050. However, the Indian marine fish harvesting is eco-friendlier than the global scenario. The marine fisheries segment is emitting 17.5 per cent less carbon compared with the global average when it comes to fishing materials involved in fishery, he said.According to PU Zacharia, course Director of the Winter School, estimates of climate change impacts are essential to devise climate change policies and suggest adaptation and mitigation measures. environmental issues COMMENTSlast_img read more

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17 Jul
2019

Helming food processingMinistry Harsimrat Badal may give FDI a push

first_imgMay 31, 2019 COMMENT foreign direct investment Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal retained her portfolio as the Minister of Food Processing Industries in the second innings of the Modi government.Badal, who scored a hat-trick by winning the Bathinda Parliamentary constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, has been a strong advocate of the government’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in retail trading (including through e-commerce) of food products produced in India in 2016. Key initiativesSome of the other key initiatives of the Ministry in her previous stint include implementation of Operation Greens scheme to address volatality in prices of tomato, onion and potato, operationalisation of 17 Mega Food Parks and fast-tracking approvals for cold chains. Besides stepping up its focus on the creation of infrastructure to boost the processing of farm produce to increase farmers’ income, the Ministry may also take up the implementation of Gram Samridhi Yojana, an initiative targeted at unorganised and micro-food processing sector in the coming days.Investment proposalsThe Ministry will also be preparing for the second edition of World Food India, an event organised to attract investment proposals from packaged food companies and increase FDI inflows in the food processing sector. COMMENTS Published oncenter_img Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal   –  File photo SHARE SHARE EMAIL Some of the other key initiatives of the Ministry in her previous stint include implementation of Operation Greens scheme SHARElast_img read more

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