UK police warn publishers not to use leaked documents

first_img UK police watchdog probes ‘serious corruption and malpractice’ in Scotland Yard Related News Advertising At least 13 hurt after car rams into nightclub in Britain By AP |London | Published: July 13, 2019 8:57:48 pm UK Police, UK Media, UK News, UK Leaked Documents, UK Police Warning, Free Press UK, World News, Indian Express Neil Basu has warned against any further publication of leaked documents. He said that could be a criminal matter.A British investigation into the leaking of confidential diplomatic memos is raising press freedom issues with a police warning, that UK media might face a criminal inquiry if leaked documents are published. The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command is investigating the leak of private memos written by Britain’s ambassador to the United States as a possible breach of the Official Secrets Act.Counterterrorism police unit leader Neil Basu warned against any further publication of leaked documents. He said that could be a criminal matter.The Official Secrets Act prohibits public servants from making “damaging” disclosures of classified material.The chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, said Sunday he does not believe publishing leaked material constitutes a crime.He says a free press is “essential.” Post Comment(s) UK police arrest 6 men for murder of Indian-origin jeweller last_img read more

Galaxy S9 and S9 May Shine Brightest as S6 S7 Replacement

first_imgHot Off the Presses The first wave of reviews highlighted the key selling points of the device. Many reviewers noted that visually the Galaxy S9 and S9+ offered a lot more of the same.”The new model, building off of the triumphs of its prior version, maintains the same look and feel while introducing more subtle enhancements,” wrote Dan Seifert for The Verge.”Let’s not beat around the bush, the exterior of the Samsung Galaxy S9 is essentially a carbon copy of the S8… yet, even with all that sameness, Samsung’s balanced no-notch design seems more considered than before,” suggested Sam Rutherford for Gizmodo.”The fact of the matter is that the S9 finds the electronics giant mostly refining things on its flagship,” Brian Heater wrote for TechCrunch.Reviewers also highlighted the speed and increased memory of the devices, and noted the fact that the Galaxy S9 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.”As of this writing, the S9 is the only phone to feature the 845, though the chip is slated to power Sony’s latest Xperia XZ2 phones arriving later this spring,” wrote Philip Michaels for Tom’s Guide.”While the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 ships with 4 GB of RAM — the same amount found in last year’s S8 models — the 6.2-inch S9+ squeezes in an extra 2 GB of memory,” he added. Those who upgraded to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ last year may not find impressive-enough changes to upgrade to the S9 and S9+, many reviewers suggested.However, “this could really be aimed at those consumers who have an S6 or an S7 and want something that is visually different,” said Ian Fogg, senior director of mobile and telecoms at IHS Markit.”What Samsung has done is to take the successful S8 design and built on that design trend that it has established over the last few years,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The S9 and S9+ have a bigger display, smaller bezel, and a faster network and much improved camera, so it is for those consumers that are using an older Samsung device,” Fogg added.The challenge will be ensuring that consumers who do want to upgrade from the S8 won’t be turned off by a too-similar device.”Consumers respond to products that are visually different from what is on the market, and the S9 may look too similar,” acknowledged Fogg. “Many may not understand that the internals — including the network, camera and features — are actually improved.” Samsung’s new Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets claimed the spotlight on Thursday as the first reviews of the smartphones surfaced. The general consensus appears to be that these new models successfully built on past designs, yet fell short in numerous areas. The new phones are good — but anyone expecting revolutionary functionality may be disappointed.The Galaxy S9 and S9+ closely resemble last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ models in size and form factor. The S9 measures 5.8 inches diagonally while the S9+ comes in at 6.2 inches. Both devices offer a Quad HD+ Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2960×1440. The front camera is the same on both models, featuring an 8-MP AF sensor and multiple selfie settings.The Galaxy S9 offers a 12-MP AF sensor, Super Speed Dual Pixel rear camera with OIS (optical image stabilization), 8x digital zoom and selective focus. The Galaxy S9+ features dual rear cameras — a wide-angle camera and a telephoto camera. Each has a 12-MP AF sensor, Dual OIS, 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. The cameras also offer live focus and a dual capture mode.Both devices, which run on Android 8.0 (Oreo), support enhanced 4×4 MIMO/CA, LAA, LTE Cat.18 network connectivity, as well as WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM. These new Samsung smarphones also feature Bixby, Samsung’s virtual voice-powered digital assistant.The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are available for pre-order and will be arriving at retail outlets later this month. The S9 will be available for around US$720 unlocked, while the S9+ will retail for $840 — prices will vary among carriers. Some reviewers took Samsung to task for not improving on the S8 as much as expected.”Samsung focused its efforts on small, mostly unseen changes that result in a better overall experience, but not a dramatically different one,” wrote The Verge’s Seifert.Another con for the new handsets was failure on Samsung’s part to improve the digital assistant, which may lag behind Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.”Certainly Bixby has some grand ambitions… but that kind of things doesn’t amount to a whole lot if your assistant isn’t suited to day-to-day activities,” noted TechCrunch’s Heater.The AR Emojis were heavily criticized.”It’s just a gimmick,” wrote Rutherford for Gizmodo. “They kind of look like Nintendo Miis in a cartoony sort of way, and the clothing choices are super limited and dorky looking.” Challenges Ahead Samsung may have to do more to innovate with the next wave of devices, but for now the subtle changes to the Galaxy line should be enough to draw those who want to upgrade.”There are key features that have improved, yet Samsung has kept what its core customers want, such as a memory card slot and headphone jack,” said IHS Markit’s Fogg.”Apple has made the decision to do something radical, while Samsung has focused on product improvements that are less risky,” he noted. “This may draw media attention, but we have to remember that the press doesn’t look at this the same way as the average consumer and hence doesn’t see the subtle evolution.”center_img New Stars in the Galaxy Line Shortcomings aside, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ could be rising stars for Samsung.”There are only some small improvements, like the camera, but for people who want to have a flagship Android phone this is probably the one they will get,” said Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics.The improvements include better battery life, he told TechNewsWorld.”Bixby is still behind the competition, but Samsung has no choice but to keep going unless they want to drop out of the AI/Assistant race,” added Entner. “It’s too important a race for Samsung to drop out.” Samsung’s Game Plan Small Improvements Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and Peter.last_img read more

Hippocampalavoidance wholebrain radiotherapy better preserves patients cognitive function

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018When it comes to radiation therapy to treat brain cancer, hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy in conjunction with the drug memantine better preserved patients’ cognitive function and demonstrated similar cancer control outcomes, compared to traditional whole-brain radiotherapy with memantine.These findings were presented on Tuesday, Oct. 23, by Mayo Clinic researchers at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Antonio.”The hippocampus is a part of the brain associated with the limbic system and cognitive functions including memory,” says says Paul Brown, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study. “Based on decades of translational studies, we know that even relatively modest doses of radiation to the hippocampi region of the brain contributes to cognitive problems for patients, such as memory loss.” Dr. Brown says hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy was developed to help patients with brain cancer avoid cognitive damage during whole-brain radiation therapy.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingLiving with advanced breast cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerFor their study, Dr. Brown and his colleagues compared hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy to traditional whole-brain radiotherapy with patients in both arms study arms taking memantine.Researchers enrolled 518 patients from July 2016 to March 2018. Patients were randomized to the two study arms. The median age of patients was 61.5 years. Treatment arms did not differ in baseline characteristics.Researchers found that patients receiving hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy had better preservation of cognitive function, and achieved similar cancer control and overall survival than patients who received standard whole-brain radiation therapy. They also found that, while age independently predicts for neurocognitive function, the neurocognitive benefit of hippocampal avoidance did not differ by age.”The results of this trial could have a significant impact on patients,” says Dr. Brown. “The incidence of metastatic brain cancer is estimated to be as high as 200,000 cases per year in the United States. And depending upon a patient’s primary cancer type, between 10 percent and 30 percent of patients with cancer will have cancer that spreads to the brain.””This is one of the few clinical trials in radiation oncology that originated in the laboratory, was then tested in a phase II trial, and finally, building on prior trials, was tested in a phase III trial which demonstrated positive improvements,” says Dr. Brown. “We plan to present our findings with updated data, including patient-reported symptoms next month at the 2018 Society of Neuro-Oncology annual meeting in New Orleans.”​ Source: read more

Hyperspectral imaging helps improve patient outcomes after brain tumor surgery

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 30 2018Advances in real-time hyperspectral imaging gives neurosurgeons new precision when operating on the brain, improving patient outcomesIdentifying healthy from diseased tissue poses a unique problem for cancer surgeons. Even the smallest bits of a tumor left behind during surgery can regrow and spread to other organs, a deadly phenomenon called metastasizing.To guard against this, surgeons remove a buffer zone of healthy tissue surrounding a tumor. For a skin tumor this is not a major concern, but for brain tumors it becomes a serious problem because every piece of brain tissue is important.An innovative tool to face the problem is hyperspectral imaging. The technology allows hundreds of wavelengths of light to be seen from beyond the visible spectrum with a very fine spatial resolution. So fine, that for every image pixel a full spectrum of color can be detected.”It gives you an extra dimension within an image,” explains Ilias Tachtsidis, Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University College London. “With hyperspectral an image becomes a color map.” And that map can lead the way to removing the damage and leaving the precious healthy tissue intact. This technique has proven very valuable in the field of medical imaging, says Lise Randeberg, Professor in Biomedical Optics and Photonics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She’s been at the forefront of adapting this technology to medicine since the early 2000s. A colleague working in satellite imaging introduced her to hyperspectral imaging and the possibility of finding what she calls “the spectral fingerprints of biological compounds and tissue types.”Depending on the physical property of the objects being imaged a unique spectral fingerprint is revealed. This data is what produces the color map but the challenge, Tachtsidis explains, is “identifying what this color map tells you about healthy and unhealthy tissue.”Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedThis is what Gustavo Marrero Callicó, Professor of Applied Microelectronics at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and the HELiCoiD project are attempting to do. “They, being the neurosurgeons, had a problem and we had a technology,” says Callicó.Supported by the EU Future and emerging Technologies (FET) program, the researchers took hyperspectral cameras, adapted them to the demands of the neurosurgery suite and began building a database of images, confirming they could discriminate between tumor and normal brain. But every patient’s tumor and brain produce a unique spectral fingerprint, and so the first algorithms to make usable images took a half hour. To deal with this Callicó turned to techniques found in supercomputing and machine learning. “We made special emphasis on the parallelization of the algorithm,” he says. “Now the total time is around six seconds.”Now they are equipped to provide neurosurgeons with a tool to operate on the slimmest of margins in real-time. The next goal is refining the database to make it general enough to detect cancers in many situations.Callicó also sees a future whereby most diagnostics can be aided by this technique, reducing the need for biopsies, fluorescent dyes or tissue staining.”I think hyperspectral medicine is here to stay,” says Randeberg. “It could speed up medical diagnostics substantially, help decision making and improve the quality of diagnostics.”Tachtsidis also believes that these techniques “have a very positive future.” He is especially interested in the potential biomarkers that may be discovered using hyperspectral imaging. Source: ​last_img read more

Study shows neural effects of cognitive behavioral therapy in patients suffering from

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 27 2019Patients suffering from panic disorder and agoraphobia are significantly impaired in daily life due to anxiety about getting into a situation due to apprehension about experiencing a panic attack, especially if escape may be difficult. Dysfunctional beliefs and behavior can be changed with cognitive behavioral therapy; however, the neurobiological effects of such an intervention on the anticipation and observation of agoraphobia-specific stimuli are unknown.A study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, compared changes in neural activation by measuring the blood oxygen level-dependent signal of 51 patients and 51 healthy controls between scans before and those after treatment (group by time interaction) during anticipation and observation of agoraphobia-specific compared to neutral pictures using 3-T fMRI.Related StoriesEarly life adversity and high levels of FKBP5 protein amplify anxiety-like behaviorNew study explores link between traffic-related air pollution and childhood anxietySleep quality could be indicator for later Alzheimer’s disease finds studyResults showed a significant group by time interaction was observed in the ventral striatum during anticipation and in the right amygdala during observation of agoraphobia-specific pictures; the patients displayed a decrease in ventral striatal activation during anticipation from pre- to posttreatment scans, which correlated with clinical improvement measured with the Mobility Inventory. During observation, the patients displayed decreased activation in the amygdala. In addition, these activational changes were not observed in the matched healthy controls.For the first time, neural effects of cognitive behavioral therapy were shown in patients suffering from panic disorder and agoraphobia using disorder-specific stimuli. The decrease in activation in the ventral striatum indicates that cognitive behavioral therapy modifies anticipatory anxiety and may ameliorate abnormally heightened salience attribution to expected threatening stimuli. The decreased amygdala activation in response to agoraphobia-specific stimuli indicates that cognitive behavioral therapy can alter the basal processing of agoraphobia-specific stimuli in a core region of the fear network.last_img read more

Older adults with type 1 diabetes have hypoglycemia over an hour a

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 25 2019Older adults with type 1 diabetes typically have low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, for more than an hour a day, suggests research to be presented Monday, March 25 at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in New Orleans, La.Those who are not aware their blood sugar is too low can spend more than 100 minutes a day in the hypoglycemic range, raising their risk of seizures, loss of consciousness and death.Until now, there has been limited data on how much time older adults with type 1 diabetes spend in the hypoglycemic range, according to lead researcher Anders L. Carlson, M.D., Medical Director of the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis, Minn.Related StoriesMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesSome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsResearchers highlight need to intensify diabetes screening among older patients with HIV”This study of older individuals shows these patients do indeed spend more than an hour per day in a range of hypoglycemia, which puts them at risk for the dangers of low blood glucose,” Carlson said. “Those who do not sense when a low blood glucose is occurring as strongly as others can are particularly at risk.”Low blood sugar can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness and drowsiness. If blood sugar falls below a healthy range and is not treated, it can be dangerous. Severe hypoglycemia is treated with an injection of the hormone glucagon. Severe untreated hypoglycemia can cause seizures, loss of consciousness and death.Many people with type 1 diabetes have low blood sugar but experience no symptoms, a condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. Because they don’t know when their blood sugar is low, they don’t know they need to treat it. This puts them at risk for severe hypoglycemia events, which requires another person to help them recover. They also are less likely to be awakened from sleep.The study reflects baseline data as part of a randomized clinical trial that included 203 adults age 60 and older with type 1 diabetes who used a continuous glucose monitor for up to 21 days. The monitor automatically tracks blood sugar levels throughout the day and night. A continuous glucose monitor uses alarms to alert patients when blood glucose levels are low or start to fall quickly.”The findings underscore the need for interventions to help reduce the risk of severe hypoglycemia in this age group,” Carlson said.Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.last_img read more

European Research Council awards grant for research on insulinproducing cells

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 28 2019The ERC Advanced Grant is one of the most prestigious funding programmes for research in Europe. Per-Olof Berggren, professor of experimental endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet, is now awarded this grant for the second time.It is the European Research Council that awards the ERC Advanced Grants, which are aimed at established and world-leading researchers who strive for ground breaking breakthroughs with the highest scientific quality. The researchers are being funded with up to EUR 2.5 million over a five-year period. Of the 2052 applicants in 2018, 222 have now been awarded the grant, of which 6 are from Swedish universities. The most successful country is the UK, with 47 awarded applicants.Per-Olof Berggren’s research is about understanding how the insulin producing beta-cells function under normal conditions and why they cease to work in diabetes. One major challenge when it comes to research on beta-cell physiology and pathology is to translate information obtained from isolated cells in a laboratory test-tube into the conditions that exists in the living human body.Related StoriesResearch on increasing insulin’s shelf life may have significant implications for health careBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryBaking soda affects inflammation and insulin handling in type 2 diabetesTogether with his colleagues, Per-Olof Berggren have established the anterior chamber of the eye (ACE) as a favorable environment for long term survival of islet grafts, and the cornea as a natural body window for non-invasive, longitudinal optical monitoring of islet function. ACE engrafted islets are able to maintain blood glucose homeostasis in diabetic animals, and the researchers are now starting up human clinical trials. Tissue engineering of native islets is technically difficult, and the researchers will therefore apply genetically engineered islet organoids.Regenerative medicine approachThe objective in the current project, funded by the ERC, is to combine tissue engineering of islet cell organoids, transplantation to the ACE, synthetic biology, local pharmacological treatment strategies and the development of novel micro-electronic/micro-optical readout systems for islet cells. This regenerative medicine approach will follow the clinical trial programs and be transferred into the clinic to combat diabetes.”We hypothesize that genetically engineered islet organoids transplanted to the ACE are superior to native pancreatic islets to monitor and treat insulin-dependent diabetes”, comments Professor Berggren. “Our overall aim is to create a platform allowing monitoring and treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes in mice that can be transferred to large animals for validation.”Diabetes is one of the major and severe public health issues, spreading like an epidemic globally. Per-Olof Berggren was awarded the ERC Advanced Grant for the first time in 2013, and he has also received funding through the ERC Proof of Concept, a programme aimed at researchers who want to explore the commercial potential of their findings.last_img read more

Examining the Longterm Effects of Concussion in Sport

first_imgOver the past 5 years, we’ve invested over £2 million into research and resources across various sports and playing levels, but rugby is where it all started, with our first research project investigating potential biomarkers of rugby concussions launching with Saracens Rugby Club in 2015. Since then, the study has been extended to a number of Premiership and Championship teams across London.At present, we are funding six ongoing studies across rugby and football, as well as a scientific journal, literature database, and our annual symposium, which brings together sporting bodies, clinicians and researchers across rugby, football, cricket, motorsport, boxing and more.The hope is that all this research, information sharing, and collaboration will ultimately lead to improved sport safety and valuable insights into the processes underlying neurodegenerative disease. The benefits of taking part in sports are huge, so with more information, we’ll hopefully one day be able to negate any downsides with, for example, robust evidence-based concussion protocols.You recently started the HEADING study. Please can you tell us about this research and what you expect to find?HEADING – HEalth and Ageing Data IN the Game of football – is a study designed to examine the brain health of former professional football (soccer) players. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Queen Mary University of London and the Institute of Occupational Medicine will investigate the possible link between a history of repetitive head impacts and the development of neurodegenerative disease in retired footballers.The research team hope to recruit around 300 former professionals aged 50 plus. These players will take part in face-to-face assessments to gather data on their playing and work history; lifestyle factors; physical and cognitive ability; and a clinical neurological examination. The participants will also have the option to provide blood samples for biomarker analysis.We hope that the HEADING study, which is supported by the FA, PFA, and RFU, will provide evidence on the long-term effects of professional football on cognitive function. The aim is to inform safe sporting practice in the future, as well as wider insights into neurodegeneration and cognitive health in the general population.We’re passionate about taking part in sport, both as players and spectators, but also about investing in robust research to understand more about the short- and long-term impact of head injuries, so that participant safety can be improved and contact sports enjoyed more freely. HEADING will be a key study to grow our knowledge of the long-term impacts of head impacts, so we’re very pleased to kick it off this year.Prokopenko Oleg | ShutterstockWhy did The Foundation feel it important to work with professional athletes? How often do these athletes experience a concussion?Athletes form a population regularly exposed to concussions: their day jobs involve a much higher risk of brain impacts than many other professions, and yet we know so little about the long-term effects of this on their health.The 2016–17 Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) reported concussion to be the most commonly reported rugby match injury in English Premiership Clubs and the England Senior team, contributing to 22% of all match injuries. During the 2016–17 season a total of 169 match concussions were reported.In football, no official statistics on concussion rates are released; however, data from a number of sources demonstrate football to be a source of concussions and head injury hospitalizations, particularly in the youth and school settings.Research involving current and former sports players is crucial to understanding concussions and their long-term effects. The more players take part in research, the more evidence we can gather, allowing sporting bodies and medical teams to make fully informed decisions about sporting guidelines and concussion protocols, right through from grassroots organizations to professional levels.What’s next for The Drake Foundation?As well as our ongoing studies that focus primarily on head injury and long-term brain health in rugby and football, we’ve recently expanded our scope to cover more general player welfare in an effort to advance our knowledge of wider long-term health trends. Excitingly, we announced our first project in this area this month with the commitment of funding to a ground-breaking longitudinal study into the health of professional footballers.The study – the Drake Football Study – is a collaboration with partners across Europe including the World Players’ Union (FIFPro), Amsterdam University Medical Centers and Mehiläinen NEO Hospital, with The Drake Foundation as founding funders.It will be the most comprehensive study to date to measure the physical and mental health of professional footballers over time, with data collection anticipated to run for a minimum of 10 years over the players’ pre- and post-retirement years.Researchers will gather epidemiological data on musculoskeletal, neurocognitive, cardiovascular and mental health trends of the footballers starting as they near retirement. The study will provide new insights into players’ health across their lives, which we hope will ultimately drive the development of preventative and curative measures for future players, as well as wider society.SpeedKingz | ShutterstockHow can everyday people support the work of The Drake Foundation?As well as funding research, The Drake Foundation funds resources and promotes collaboration across sport, science, and society: we work with researchers, doctors, sporting bodies like the FA and RFU, and players themselves.Progression in this field is as much about research as it is communication, education and collaboration, which means that this topic needs to be talked about at home and on the pitch, as well as in the lab.You can learn about research into head injuries in sport by following our work on The Drake Foundation website or on Twitter @DF_concussion. You can also learn more about head injuries and prevention via Headway.About Lauren PullingLauren Pulling received her degree in Neuroscience from University College London (UCL). She then went on to work in editorial roles in STM publishing, and since 2017 has been Publisher at Future Science Group in London, managing their digital publications across a range of medical and scientific subject areas.Lauren is also the Program Manager at The Drake Foundation, bringing together her passions for neuroscience and football, and oversees the Foundation’s research funding, governance, and strategy.About The Drake FoundationThe Drake Foundation is a not-for-profit organization committed to understanding and improving the health and welfare of sports players through scientific research and collaboration. Launched in 2014, the Foundation has already invested over £2 million into research funding and open access resources.Much of the Foundation’s work to date has centered on concussion and head injuries in sport; knowledge that will serve not only to improve sports safety but also provide valuable insight into the processes underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.At present, The Drake Foundation is funding several ongoing studies across football and rugby, working with teams in the football Premier League; Premiership and Championship rugby union leagues; and leading researchers across the UK and beyond.With multiple ground-breaking concussion projects underway, the Foundation is also in the process of growing their portfolio of research funding to investigate the long-term effects of playing and retiring from professional sport on mental and physical health. May 10 2019 Thought LeadersLauren Pulling Program ManagerThe Drake FoundationAn interview with Lauren Pulling from The Drake Foundation, discussing the short and long-term effects of concussions obtained during contact sports such as football and rugby, and the research that is currently being undertaken to understand this further.What do we currently know about the long-term effects of concussions obtained through sport?In short, the answer is ‘very little’. While we may recognize the short-term symptoms of a concussion, not much is known about the long-term impact of both concussions and sub-concussive head impacts (for example, when heading a football).Herbert Kratky | ShutterstockRecent years have seen this topic brought into the public eye, with growing evidence pointing toward a potential increased risk of neurodegenerative disease in athletes exposed to repeated head impacts. You might have seen news stories both in British sports and some high-profile cases in the USA, particularly in American football – one such case was dramatized in the Will Smith film Concussion.Much of this research points towards the neurodegenerative disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which can cause dementia and is associated with repeated blows to the head. Research around this association is gradually building, although much of this work to date has involved small cohorts.For example, a 2017 study observed CTE in the brains of four former football (soccer) players known to have headed the ball frequently and reported a higher incidence of CTE in these footballers than the general population. This study was highly significant as it was the first time that CTE had been linked with association football, but of course, further research is required to validate these findings in larger cohorts.Another difficulty is that, at present, CTE can only be diagnosed after death, so researchers are also working on ways to diagnose CTE in living people, which would likely accelerate this field of research considerably.Overall, we can say that it is likely that there is an association between repeated head impacts and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, though the mechanisms behind this and the additional factors that contribute to disease risk remain in question.There is no evidence that a single concussion increases the risk of neurodegenerative disease, and not everyone with a history of repetitive head impacts will go on to develop CTE or other neurodegenerative diseases. We hope that the next few years will yield crucial information on the long-term effects of head impacts in sports, which we can then use to support future players.  The Drake Foundation is dedicated to concussion research. How did the charity start, and why do you feel that this area of research is important?The Drake Foundation was founded in 2014 by James Drake, a businessman, and philanthropist with a passion for sport. Having been a keen rugby fan all his life, James was shocked to see a number of players in both national and international rugby matches sustain concussions and then return to play soon after, despite showing symptoms of a head injury.Along with Saracens Rugby Club moving to James’ local area of Mill Hill in North London, this kick-started James’ desire to fund research into sports concussion, and so The Drake Foundation was established.last_img read more

Consortium aims to study link between childhood blood sugar levels and midlife

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 12 2019A consortium of Louisiana scientists from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Tulane University and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center aims to discover how blood sugar levels early in life contribute to a person’s brain health in middle age.These results could lead to new blood sugar management guidelines for children and help prevent late-life cognitive decline – a condition for which there is no effective treatment.”The Bogalusa Heart Study is one of the longest, ongoing studies of a biracial, semi-rural community in the South. It is the only study that collected assessments of the community members’ metabolic status from early childhood through mid-life,” says Dr. Owen Carmichael, co-principal investigator and director of Pennington Biomedical’s Biomedical Imaging Center. “This study will add measurements of brain health as well as cognitive performance in midlife.”Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTCarmichael and colleagues will use Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to assess brain health in study participants.In addition to being a treatment center for cancer, Mary Bird Perkins has unique expertise with imaging technologies that can also permit assessment of brain health. Approximately 200 Bogalusa Heart Study volunteers will receive PET scans at the Mary Bird Perkins facility in Hammond, according to Jonas Fontenot, PhD, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Physics at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and study co-investigator.”We are excited to play a role by offering advanced imaging services for this important research,” says Dr. Fontenot. “This is a collaboration that we hope will inform future healthcare decisions and impact prevention of disease. As an organization, we continue to seek ways to advance medicine and work with likeminded institutions dedicated to enhancing healthcare in Louisiana.””This imaging data will be linked to the same participants’ blood glucose levels from their childhood years in the Bogalusa Heart Study,” adds Tulane University’s co-Principal Investigator Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD.Biostatistical tests will then be used to determine if any relationship exists between the blood sugar levels the volunteers experienced in childhood and brain health markers–including Alzheimer’s disease markers–measured via PET and MRI in midlife.The study is officially titled “Early Life Glycemic Status and Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Markers in Middle Age: The Bogalusa Heart Study.” The short version of the title is The Bogalusa Heart Study – Brain 2 or BHS – Brain 2. The study is expected to begin recruitment on May 15.Source: read more

Britain seeks to cap ripoff energy prices

Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels Britain on Monday launched plans for a cap on domestic energy prices, as it cracks down on poor-value tariffs that hurt the most vulnerable. The government is to present legislation before parliament to limit unit prices charged for electricity and gas, in time for next winter, for customers not yet protected who end up with the highest tariffs.Britain’s privatised domestic energy sector, which is run in large part by eurozone-based companies, has faced criticism over default high tariffs that punish customers who for various reasons do not seek out a better deal by switching provider.”It’s often older people or those on low incomes who are stuck on rip-off energy tariffs, so today we are introducing legislation to force energy companies to change their ways,” said Prime Minister Theresa May, who leads the right-wing Conservative Party.”Our energy price cap will cut bills for millions of families. This is another step we are taking to help people make ends meet as we build a country that works for everyone.”The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill will allow regulator Ofgem to limit tariffs until 2020, with the option to extend the cap annually until 2023.The strategy will guarantee price protection for 11 million households currently on the highest energy tariffs in Britain.In 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority warned that British consumers were paying £1.4 billion ($2.0 billion, 1.6 billion euros) too much per year on companies’ default tariffs. Explore further Citation: Britain seeks to cap ‘rip-off’ energy prices (2018, February 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from © 2018 AFP 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

Data ethics is more than just what we do with data its

first_img 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. But moral questions about what data should be collected and how it should be used are only the beginning. They raise broader questions about who gets to make those decisions in the first place. We currently have a system in which power over the judicious and ethical use of data is overwhelmingly concentrated among white men. Research shows that the unconscious biases that emerge from a person’s upbringing and experiences can be baked into technology, resulting in negative consequences for minority groups. These biases are difficult to shed, which makes workplace diversity a powerful and necessary tool for catching unsuspected bias before it has a chance to cause damage. As the impact of data-driven algorithms and decisions grows more profound, we need to ask: how is this going to change in the future? Unfortunately, the indicators suggest the answer is: not much.What consequences are we talking about?Algorithmic bias is now a widely studied problem that refers to how human biases creep into the decisions made by computers.The problem has led to gendered language translations, biased criminal sentencing recommendations, and racially skewed facial recognition systems.For example, when an automated translation tool such as Google Translate is required to translate a gender-neutral language (such as Turkish) into a gender-specific one (such as English) it makes a guess as to which gender to assign to the translated text. People noticed that Google Translate showed a tendency to assign feminine gender pronouns to certain jobs and masculine pronouns to others – “she is a babysitter” or “he is a doctor” – in a manner that reeked of sexism. Google Translate bases its decision about which gender to assign to a particular job on the training data it learns from. In this case, it’s picking up the gender bias that already exists in the world and feeding it back to us. Citation: Data ethics is more than just what we do with data, it’s also about who’s doing it (2018, June 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore further Provided by The Conversationcenter_img If the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal has taught us anything, it’s that the ethical cultures of our largest tech firms need tougher scrutiny. If we want to ensure that algorithms don’t perpetuate and reinforce existing biases, we need to be careful about the data we use to train algorithms. But if we hold the view that women are more likely to be babysitters and men are more likely to be doctors, then we might not even notice – and correct for – biased data in the tools we build.So it matters who is writing the code because the code defines the algorithm, which makes the judgement on the basis of the data. Who holds the power?Only ten years ago the first smartphones were making their mark. Today some of the most powerful people on the planet are those who control data gathered through mobile technologies.Data is central to the functioning of the modern world. And power over business, democracy and education will likely continue to lie with data and data-dependent tools, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Currently, the people who have the power to make ethical decisions about the use of data are typically white males from high-earning, well-educated families. One research company, Open MIC, which describes itself as “investing in racial diversity in the tech world”, reviewed data from some of the biggest tech firms and found a consistent pattern: disproportionate percentages of white employees compared with the wider working population.Adobe’s workforce is 69% white, Apple’s is 56% white, Google is 59% white and Microsoft is 58% white. The list goes on: “Black people, Latinos, and Native Americans are underrepresented in tech by 16 to 18 percentage points compared with their presence in the US labour force overall.”This is made far worse by a crippling lack of gender diversity. In a 2017 Microsoft report, a survey of UK IT and tech leaders found that on average, the gender mix among their teams was 80% male and 20% female. A staggering 35% of respondents had no plans in place to change this imbalance. The numbers are similar in Australia, according to a study of Australian professional profiles on the social network LinkedIn. It revealed that just 14% of executive roles in the local tech industry were held by women. Of the 435,000 people in IT listed on LinkedIn in Australia, only 31% were women. Even these numbers may be optimistic, according to Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, who noted that women make up less than one-fifth of Australians qualified in science, technology, engineering and maths.Will this change?Those likely to be in charge of developing the algorithms of the future are those who are studying computer science and mathematical sciences right now. Sadly, the groups dominating those subjects at schools and universities largely reflect the current workforce. Australian domestic students enrolled in tertiary level information technology dropped from a peak of 46,945 in 2002 to 27,547 in 2013. While the numbers have improved slightly according to AEN University Rankings, females in engineering and IT still represent less than one in five students.Meanwhile, the number of girls at the senior high school level taking the advanced computing and mathematics subjects needed to enter these roles remains resolutely low. This ship is taking a long time to turn around. What can we do about it?If the coders of the future are today’s middle-class boys, how are we preparing them to make unbiased ethical choices when they become the Zuckerbergs of tomorrow? And how can we steer the ship so that the wealth and power that will continue to flow from mastery of such technical skills is not denied to those who are not white and male? Our education system is unwittingly allowing boys to train as technical people without the skills to put their work in a social context, and allowing girls to do the reverse. Indeed, while many of the smartest young women are choosing to go into medicine or law, these professions are vulnerable to the advance of artificial intelligence – paralegals, radiologists, and those making preliminary diagnoses.We are in a structure in which the same old imbalances are strengthening and look to persist. But this is not the way it should be. Unless we confront the culture through big shifts in educational trends, nothing will change. Accenture to launch new tool to help customers identify and fix unfair bias in AI algorithms Power over business, democracy and education will likely continue to lie with data and data-dependent tools, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Credit: Shutterstocklast_img read more

Ivory Coast looks to solar vehicles to replace bush taxis

first_imgLocal politicians are putting great faith in Chinese-made tricycle taxis with rechargable solar energy panels which have been plying routes in Jacqueville, a coastal town outside Abidjan While overall solar energy use is minuscule to date in Ivory Coast the trikes are just one piece in an ambitious jigsaw which includes construction of an eco-city designed for “all social strata who respect the environment” “It’s cheaper and relaxing!” says local trader Sandrine Tetelo, of the Chinese-made “Saloni” or “Antara” tricycles, which could eventually spell the end for old-school “woro-woro” four-wheelers as Jacqueville looks to make itself Ivory Coast’s premier eco city.The mini-cars, 2.7 metres (8.8 feet) long and two metres high, are covered in solar panels each fitted out with six 12-volt batteries, giving the vehicles a range of 140 kilometres (87 miles).Returning from a visit to China, the solar cars’ promotor Marc Togbe pitched his plan to mayor Joachim Beugre, who was immediately sold.”We are used to seeing (typically old and beaten up) bush taxis pollute the atmosphere and the environment. We said to ourselves, if we could only replace them by solar trikes,” said Beugre.Solar pioneers?”The adventure started in January with two little cars,” added Togbe, who has created a partnership with local businessman Balla Konate.”I went to China with a friend,” says Konate, “and afterwards I sent four youngsters to Lome for training with a friend who had spoken to me about the project.”He wants to extend operations to Odienne and Korhogo, towns in the north, the country’s sunniest region.”Today, a dozen cars are up and running. We are right in the test phase. More and more people are asking for them,” says Beugre, seeing a chance to kill several birds with one solar stone. © 2018 AFP Long isolated, his town, nestled between a laguna and the sea, has flourished in terms of real estate and tourism since the 2015 inauguration of a bridge linking Jacqueville to the mainland and cutting transit time to Abidjan to less than an hour.For the start of the school year in October, Jacqueville plans to bring on stream a 22-seater “solar coach” designed to help deal with “the thorny issue of pupils’ transport”.Many schoolchildren typically have to travel tens of kilometres from their home village to urban schools.So far, the trikes have also provided work for around 20 people including drivers and mechanics. Explore further 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. “We’re on the go from six in the morning and finish around 10 or even midnight, weekends too,” says Philippe Aka Koffi, a 24-year-old who has been working as a driver for five months.Price pull”It’s pleasant for doing your shopping more quickly,” says an impressed passenger, Aholia Guy Landry, after riding in a vehicle which can carry four people, driver included.A big plus is the 100 CFA francs (0.15 euros/$0.18) price of a trip—half a typical downtown “woro-woro” fare—helping to attract between 500 and 1,000 people a day, according to the town hall and promoter.A switch to solar and durables may appear paradoxical in Jacqueville, however, as the area produces the lion’s share of the country’s gas and oil. The wells outside the town produce 235 million cubic feet of gas per day, while several foreign firms run pipelines taking oil and gas across the town to feed the refineries at Abidjan. Citation: Ivory Coast looks to solar vehicles to replace bush taxis (2018, September 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Road paved with solar panels powers French town Passengers are keen to be green—but also are drawn by fares typically of 100 CFA francs—half that usually charged by traditional bush taxis Hi-tech, cheap—and quiet. The Ivorian resort of Jacqueville just outside Abidjan is betting on solar-powered three-wheelers as it looks to replace traditional but noisy and dirty bush taxis. Eco cityBut the municipality—total budget 140 million CFA francs (213,577 euros)—sees none of the profits, an issue which has drawn public ire in the past.The 50-million-CFA trike project is just one piece in a much larger jigsaw which includes the construction of a new eco city on a 240-hectare (600-acre) site among coconut trees.”It will not be a city for the rich,” insists Beugre, showing off a blueprint replete with cycle paths and a university.”All social strata who respect the environment will be able to live there,” he adds.Yet at national level, such plans are conspicuous by their absence.Ivory Coast, west African leader in electricity production—75 percent of which comes from thermal energy and the remainder from hydroelectric dams—is targeting an 11-percent share of national consumption for renewables by 2020.Even though by September the country had burned through barely one single megawatt of solar energy for this year, Beugre is undaunted.”Our ecological project will go all the way” and “stand up to the power of oil and gas,” says the cowboy-hatted local politician.”In years to come, we want to ensure that these solar-power machines become the main means of travel in the area.”last_img read more

Bombardier to cut 5000 jobs in restructuring

first_img Citation: Bombardier to cut 5,000 jobs in restructuring (2018, November 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Airbus says Q3 net profit more than triples to 957 mn euros The reduction of seven percent of its workforce across the organization will occur over the next 12 to 18 months, while key aerospace engineering team members will be redeployed to its business segments.The cuts will be concentrated in the aerospace business and will affect 3,000 workers in Canada, company spokesman Simon Letendre told AFP. Bombardier has had to slash more than 15,000 jobs in its aerospace and rail divisions around the world since 2015.The Montreal-based group also announced the sale of “non-core assets” totaling around $900 million, including the Q Series turboprop aircraft program and the de Havilland trademark, which was sold for some $300 million to a Canadian investment fund. Flight simulator and training firm CAE, meanwhile, has agreed to pick up Bombardier’s business aircraft flight training segment, which is forecast to generate royalties of $800 million.The restructuring announcement came as the company reported net income of $167 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $11 million a year earlier.”We continue to make solid progress executing our turnaround plan,” Bombardier chief Alain Bellemare said of the restructuring effort.”With today’s announcements we have set in motion the next round of actions necessary to unleash the full potential of the Bombardier portfolio,” he said in a statement, adding that the firm “will continue to be proactive in focusing and streamlining the organization.”Speaking to analysts in a conference call, Bellemare was upbeat about the company’s prospects.”We’re going through a major turnaround,” he said. “And by and large, if you look at what we’ve done so far we positioned the company very well for the next phase.”Good news on profitsThe decision to sell the Q Series line was made “because we believe there is a better owner than us to keep this program going.”He said he hoped “to see more movement from suppliers to reduce costs” on its other regional aircraft line, the CRJ.CRJ series and Q400 deliveries for the quarter had totaled only five aircraft, while net orders totaled 11.The company’s new Global 7500 aircraft—the largest and longest-range business jet on the market—has now been certified flight-worthy, paving the way for its entry into service in December.Excluding one-off and one-time items, Bombardier posted a quarterly earnings of four cents a share, above the consensus of analysts who expected a gain of two cents.The strong profit came despite a five percent drop in quarterly sales from the same period a year ago to $3.6 billion. For the full year, Bombardier expects revenues of approximately $16.5 billion, at the low end of its guidance range.To make up the difference, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer had decided to give up control (50.01 percent) of its subsidiary dedicated to the CSeries aircraft, now known as the A220, to European giant Airbus in exchange for using Airbus’s sales and marketing heft to lift CSeries sales. The transaction was completed in July.The partnership also provided a way to dodge hefty duties imposed by the US Commerce Department as a result of a trade complaint from US competitor Boeing, by building CSeries aircraft for the US market at Airbus’s Mobile, Alabama plant.Bellemare was brought on board in 2015 to shore up the company that was in serious financial trouble with the CSeries program. The Quebec government had to come to its rescue in 2015 with a $1 billion bailout in exchange for a 16.44 stake in the CSeries, leaving Bombardier with 33.55 percent ownership.The CSeries, when it officially launched in 2016, was the first new design in the 100- to 150-seat category in more than 25 years. © 2018 AFP Montreal-based Bombardier also announced the sale of “non-core assets” totaling around $900 millioncenter_img Canadian aircraft and transport company Bombardier will cut 5,000 jobs globally and sell off its aging turboprop line in a bid to “streamline” operations, the struggling firm announced Thursday. 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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

S Korea cab drivers protest Uberlike ride share app

first_imgAn estimated 50,000 taxi drivers protested in Seoul to call for a car-pooling app to be banned A 57-year-old taxi driver committed suicide by setting himself on fire in a solo protest outside parliament in Seoul last week Explore further © 2018 AFP Traffic jams were reported on some highways leading to the capital as taxi drivers drove their vehicles at a snail’s pace across the river Han Tens of thousands of taxi drivers in South Korea went on a nationwide strike Thursday, snarling up traffic in Seoul, in the latest protest at a planned Uber-like ride-sharing service. The company now has only a minimal presence in the country, offering only taxi- and licensed-hire vehicle services.KakaoTalk is used by more than 80 percent of South Koreans, and in recent months tens of thousands of taxi drivers have held mass rallies in Seoul to condemn its upcoming car-pooling service. Warsaw taxis hold anti-Uber go slow An estimated 50,000 taxi drivers, wearing headbands, chanting slogans and waving banners, rallied outside the parliament, calling for the car-pooling app to be banned, AFP photographers at the scene said.Drivers say the service being introduced by KakaoTalk—the country’s largest mobile chat app—will threaten their livelihoods. A 57-year-old taxi driver committed suicide by setting himself on fire in a solo protest outside parliament in Seoul last week, forcing KakaoTalk to delay their launch of the service, initially set for this week.Only a limited number of the country’s 252,000 taxis were taking passengers on Thursday, Yonhap news agency said.Traffic jams were reported on some highways leading to the capital as taxi drivers drove their vehicles at a snail’s pace across the river Han, raising concerns of evening traffic chaos on the giant Mapo Bridge. Police have mobilised 9,000 riot police to maintain order, Yonhap said.A backlash from taxi drivers in South Korea forced US giant Uber to close its main ride-sharing service in 2015. Citation: S. Korea cab drivers protest Uber-like ride share app (2018, December 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Rise and fall of the landline 143 years of telephones becoming more

first_imgPhone demographicsIt gets a bit more interesting when you look at what types of phones households still use. There has been a dramatic shift in the last few years from landlines to cellphones, with a surprising connection to our well-being.In 2018, a government survey found that almost 55 percent of households use cellphones exclusively, up from less than 10 percent in 2005. Another 36 percent have both a mobile phone and a working landline. Just over 5 percent of those surveyed said they relied entirely on a landline, compared with over a third of households in 2005. The remaining 3 percent said they didn’t have a phone. So who are those people who still only use landlines? Since it’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that actually conducts this survey, we know a little more about those 5 percent. As you might expect, they are primarily elderly people – and they tend to own their homes. In contrast, households that have only mobile phones are more likely to be made up of young people who are renting. They’re also more likely to be poor and live in the Northeast. In terms of well-being, the CDC notes that the adults in wireless homes are more likely to be healthier and get plenty of exercise than those with only landlines. Conversely, they are also substantially more likely to have had at least one “heavy drinking day” in the past year and more apt to be a current smoker. Phones have reshaped our lives. The next time you pull out your phone, spend a minute pondering what your life and the world would be like if the phone hadn’t been created. Credit: The Conversation That changed in 1983, when the U.S. government ended AT&T’s monopoly. Consumers in all parts of the country suddenly had the option to buy their own phone. At the time, the price for the most basic black rotary dial phone was $19.95, or a bit over $50 in today’s dollars. The fanciest Trimline phone with push-buttons, instead of a rotary dial was sold for about $55, which is just under $150 today.Plummeting costsOne reason phones have become so indispensable for communicating is that the cost keeps dropping to make calls. Making a coast-to-coast phone call a century ago was very expensive. Back in 1915, a three-minute daytime phone call from New York City to San Francisco cost $20.70. Adjusted for inflation, that means the rather abrupt call cost more than $500 in today’s money. Over the next half-century, prices fell drastically, although it was still rather pricey. In 1968, the same three-minute call cost $1.70 – or about $12 today. That’s why, when I was dating the woman who became my wife, we primarily spoke at night – when phone calls were much cheaper – to save a little money.Today, almost no one thinks about the price of a single cross-country call or tries to keep conversations short to save money. Phone call prices plummeted after the breakup of the U.S. telephone monopoly in the 1980s. And the invention of technologies like “voice over IP” – popularized by Skype – pushed prices down even further. Prices have gotten so low that the Federal Communications Commission stopped tracking the cost of long-distance calls in 2006. After decades of recording phone call costs it reported the average long-distance call in 2006 cost just 6 cents per minute. Since most people don’t pay by the minute anymore an extra minute of talking on the phone today is effectively free. There’s a dark side to cheap calls, however. Robocalls are now constantly spamming Americans. The same reduction in price makes it easy for con artists to ring millions of phone numbers looking for someone gullible enough to believe their pitches. In fact, in 2002, the U.S. Congress acknowledged Meucci’s role in the invention of the telephone – though it didn’t give him sole credit. Alexander Graham Bell opened the first long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892. Credit: Gilbert H. Grosvenor Collection/Library of Congress., CC BY The global economy has changed dramatically over the past century and a half. When I lecture my Boston University business students on this topic, I use one of the world’s most transformative inventions to illustrate my point: the telephone. Before the telephone was invented, it was impossible to communicate by voice across any kind of distance. The landline in 1876, along with the telegraph a few decades earlier, revolutionized communications, leading leap by leap to the powerful computers tucked snugly in our pockets and purses today. And in the process, living standards exploded, with inflation-adjusted GDP surging from US$1,200 per person in 1870 to more than $10,000 today. What follows are a few facts I like to share with my students, as well as several others that you might not be aware of about how the phone has reshaped our lives – and continues to do so. ‘Watson – I want to see you!’One of the reasons I use the telephone in my lectures is because inventor Alexander Graham Bell actually created his phone and made the first call while a professor at Boston University, where I teach economics.The first telephone call happened on March 10, 1876, a few days after the Scottish-born inventor received a patent for the device. After he accidentally spilled battery acid on himself, Bell called for his assistant with the famous phrase “Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you!”But that’s not the end of the story. Controversy continues over who actually invented the phone first. While Bell won the series of court battles over the first patent, some historians still give credit to Elisha Gray or Antonio Meucci, both of whom had been working on similar devices. Households without landlines, and just cellphones, tend to be younger. Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/ Number of connected telephonesPhones started out as novelty items shown just to kings and queens. Today, they are something almost everyone carries with them, even the homeless. In 1914, at the start of World War I, there were 10 people for every working telephone in the U.S. By the end of World War II in 1945, there were five people for every working phone.The technology passed a key milestone in 1998, when there was one phone for every man, woman and child in the U.S.As of 2017, there were 455 million telephone numbers for the United States’ 325 million residents, or 1.4 per person. About three-quarters of those numbers were tied to mobile phones, a little over 10 percent were for old-fashioned landlines, and the rest were for internet-enabled phones. People used to rent their phonesIt may sound odd today, but until the early 1980s many consumers had to rent their phones from AT&T. Until then, the company had a monopoly over most of the U.S. phone system. And in many states, AT&T would only rent phones to customers. In the early 1980s, the rental fee was $1.50 to about $5 per month depending on the type of phone.center_img Explore further Robocalls are unstoppable – 3 questions answered about why your phone won’t quit ringing This Trimline phone came out in December 1986. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 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. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Provided by The Conversation Citation: Rise and fall of the landline: 143 years of telephones becoming more accessible – and smart (2019, March 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from read more

What Is Homeostasis

first_imgHomeostasis is the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state that persists despite changes in the world outside. All living organisms, from plants to puppies to people, must regulate their internal environment to process energy and ultimately survive. If your blood pressure skyrockets or body temperature plummets, for example, your organ systems may struggle to do their jobs and eventually fail. Why homeostasis is important Physiologist Walter Cannon coined the term “homeostasis” in the 1920s, expanding on previous work by late physiologist Claude Bernard. In the 1870s, Bernard described how complex organisms must maintain balance in their internal environment, or “milieu intérieur,” in order to lead a “free and independent life” in the world beyond. Cannon honed the concept, and introduced homeostasis to popular audiences through his book, “The Wisdom of the Body” (The British Medical Journal, 1932). [The 7 Biggest Mysteries of the Human Body] Hailed as a core tenet of physiology, Cannon’s basic definition of homeostasis remains in use today. The term derives from Greek roots meaning “similar” and “a state of stability.” The prefix “homeo” stresses that homeostasis doesn’t work like a thermostat or cruise control in a car, fixed at one precise temperature or speed. Instead, homeostasis holds important physiological factors within an acceptable range of values, according to a review in the journal Appetite.Advertisement The human body, for example, regulates its internal concentrations of hydrogen, calcium, potassium and sodium, charged particles that cells rely on for normal function. Homeostatic processes also maintain water, oxygen, pH and blood sugar levels, as well as core body temperature, according to a 2015 review in Advances in Physiology Education. In healthy organisms, homeostatic processes unfold constantly and automatically, according to Scientific American. Multiple systems often work in tandem to hold steady a single physiological factor, like body temperature. If these measures falter or fail, an organism may succumb to disease, or even death. Toucan’s Bill Doubles as RadiatorHeat-sensing video shows how the toucan’s bill radiates heat to reduce the bird’s body temperature when asleep.Volume 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 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:4800:48  Keeping information flowing Homeostatic systems may have primarily evolved to help organisms maintain optimal function in different environments and situations. But, according to a 2013 essay in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, some scientists theorize that homeostasis primarily provides a “quiet background” for cells, tissues and organs to communicate with each other. The theory posits that homeostasis makes it easier for organisms to extract important information from the environment and shuttle signals between body parts. Regardless of its evolutionary purpose, homeostasis has shaped research in the life sciences for nearly a century. Though mostly discussed in the context of animal physiology, homeostatic processes also enable plants to manage energy stores, nourish cells and respond to environmental challenges. Beyond biology, the social sciences, cybernetics, computer science and engineering all use homeostasis as a framework to understand how people and machines maintain stability despite disruptions. Additional resources: Homeostatic points can be adaptive. For example, in anticipation of a meal, the body secretes extra insulin, ghrelin and other hormones to prepare the body for the incoming flood of calories, rather than wrestling to control blood sugar and energy stores in its wake. Credit: Shutterstock Learn how homeostasis impacts human physiology with Crash Course. Watch this video from the Amoeba Sisters to learn more about negative feedback. How homeostasis is maintained Many homeostatic systems listen for distress signals from the body to know when key variables fall out of their appropriate range. The nervous system detects these deviations and reports back to a control center, often based in the brain. The control center then directs muscles, organs and glands to correct for the disturbance. The continual loop of disturbance and adjustment is known as “negative feedback,” according to the online textbook Anatomy and Physiology. For example, the human body maintains a core temperature of about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). When overheated, thermosensors in the skin and brain sound an alarm, initiating a chain reaction that directs the body to sweat and flush. When chilled, the body responds by shivering, and reducing blood circulation to the skin. Similarly, when sodium levels spike, the body signals the kidneys to conserve water and expel excess salt in concentrated urine, according to two NIH-funded studies. Animals will also adjust their behavior in response to negative feedback. For example, when overheated, we may shed a layer of clothing, move into the shade, or drink a cold glass of water. Modern models of homeostasis The concept of negative feedback dates back to Cannon’s description of homeostasis in the 1920s, and was the first explanation of how homeostasis works. But in recent decades, many scientists argue that organisms are able to anticipate potential disruptions to homeostasis, rather than only reacting to them after the fact. This alternate model of homeostasis, known as allostasis, implies that the ideal set point for a particular variable can shift in response to transient environmental changes, according to a 2015 article in Psychological Review. The point may shift under the influence of circadian rhythms, menstrual cycles or daily fluctuations in body temperature. Set points may also change in response to physiological phenomena, like fever, or to compensate for multiple homeostatic processes taking place at the same time, according to a 2015 review in Advances in Physiology Education. “The set points themselves aren’t fixed but can show adaptive plasticity,” said Art Woods, a biologist at the University of Montana in Missoula. “This model allows for anticipatory responses to upcoming potential disturbances to set points.” For example, in anticipation of a meal, the body secretes extra insulin, ghrelin and other hormones, according to a 2007 review in Appetite. This preemptive measure readies the body for the incoming flood of calories, rather than wrestling to control blood sugar and energy stores in its wake. The ability to shift set points allows animals to adapt to short-term stressors, but they may fail in the face of long-term challenges, such as climate change. “Activating homeostatic response systems can be fine for short periods of time,” Woods said. But they’re not designed to last for long. “Homeostatic systems can fail catastrophically if they are pushed too far; so, although systems may be able to handle near-term novel climates, they may not be able to handle larger changes over longer periods of time.” Check out helpful graphics about homeostasis from the Khan Academy.last_img read more

CM others welcome world heritage tag for two Mumbai clusters

first_imgJune 30, 2018 SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Published on Mumbai As two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai were today jointly inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, heritage lovers in the city welcomed the development.Historian and heritage expert Rafiq Baghdadi welcomed the decision, but said preservation would be the harder part.“They should take care of these buildings. Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings are like Picasso’s paintings. People will now start taking note of these structures around them,” he said.The Fort area of South Mumbai, where these buildings are located, was once part of the fortified city of Bombay.Though its walls were torn down in the 1860s, the name `Fort’ persisted.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had endorsed the proposal to nominate Mumbai as India’s official entry to UNESCO, saying that like London and some European cities, Mumbai could have the unique distinction of being both a financial capital and a world heritage site.“Great day for Mumbai & Maharashtra! Mumbai has always been a world city and now structures & monuments are being listed in the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage site! Sincere thanks to all who have worked hard for this achievement!,” Fadnavis tweeted today.Archaeologist Kurush Dalal said apart from Mumbai, only Miami in the US has Art Deco buildings in such a great number.“Preservation is important. Mumbai also has a huge variety of Gothic buildings. However, many of these monuments are owned by trusts who don’t have funds. These monuments are in bad condition. The government should prepare a plan to maintain them.“Once a building is listed as heritage, there can not be any changes to the structure. For the owner, the building becomes a white elephant,” he said, adding that such owners should be compensated in some way.This is the third such honour for the metropolis after the Elephanta Caves and the majestic Victoria Terminus (later rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) which earned the coveted tag in 1987 and 2004, respectively.Great recognition Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated the people of Mumbai on the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of the metropolis getting the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site.“Congratulations to the wonderful citizens of Mumbai on the inclusion of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai as a @UNESCO World Heritage Site,” he tweeted.He said this is a great recognition of Mumbai’s history and heritage. award and honour COMMENT COMMENTSlast_img

Display of sanction plan mandatory at housing project site

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL October 11, 2018 Published oncenter_img In yet another good news for home-buyers, the Supreme Court ruled last week that all housing projects, including those which are not registered under the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA), need to display the sanction plan at the site of the project. Due to certain loopholes in the implementation of RERA by the States, if a project was not registered under RERA, the developers were not required to comply with Section 11 (3) (which insists on mandatory display of the sanction plan). However, now every project, be it registered under RERA or not, will have to comply with the Supreme Court order, said Aditya Parolia, a Supreme Court lawyer. RERA makes it mandatory for the promoter to make available the information on sanction plan and layout plans along with specifications at the time of the booking and provide stage-wise time schedule of completion of the project, including the provisions for civic infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity. Earlier, developers used to take booking amount from home-buyers without getting the approval for building, and environmental clearance was often applied for later. There were cases in the past in which the layout plans were changed substantially from what were promised, Parolia added. After the verdict, a developer now needs to display the sanction plan in the office, attach the copy of sanction plan with the builder buyer agreement and enlarged format of the sanction plan at the site of the project. The developer can also give the RERA link where the prospective home-buyer can see the plan.If a developer fails to comply with the apex court’s order, he will have to face monetary punishment and can even be sent to jail, Parolia said. ‘Plus point’“This order of the Supreme Court has added one more plus point in the entire process. In the west, displaying a sanction plan at the project site is normal. Earlier, only the authorities had the locus standi to come and inspect the site but after the SC’s verdict, home-buyers also have the same right,” said Rahul Maroo, Senior Vice-President, Omkara Realtors. On October 5, a Supreme Court bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul gave the ruling in the case of Ferani Hotels Pvt Ltd v/s the State Information Commissioner Greater Mumbai & Others. real estate COMMENTSlast_img read more

Helming food processingMinistry Harsimrat Badal may give FDI a push

first_img 0 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT SHARE Some of the other key initiatives of the Ministry in her previous stint include implementation of Operation Greens scheme May 31, 2019 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. Published on COMMENTS foreign direct investment Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal   –  File photolast_img read more

Factories near residential areas stockpiling ammonia will be relocated

first_img Metro News 09 Jul 2019 Stop placing straws on counter, eateries urged Related News Metro News 27 Jun 2019 Sg Semenyih pollution: Water supply resumes to 13% of affected areas SUBANG JAYA: Factories that have large stockpiles of ammonia and are located near residential areas will be ordered to relocate, says Selangor Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian (pic).He said this was a preventive measure to ensure the public are safe in case of an ammonia leak.This was in reference to an incident on July 5 where a 1.5 tonnes of ammonia was found in factory after a fire broke out at the Pulau Indah industrial area in Klang.”The state government views this incident seriously. We are investigating together with Environment Department (DOE) , Fire and Rescue Department and Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). Metro News 20 Apr 2019 Jenjarom residents want battery factory out of their villagecenter_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News “DOE and DOSH are investigating why the factory has such large quantities of ammonia in its premises,” he said after launching the “Say No to Straws” campaign at Main Place Mall on Saturday (July 13) here.He also cited a case in August 2018 where an ammonia gas leak at an ice factory in Shah Alam killed two workers while 18 others were rushed to hospital.”We are finding ways to prevent such incidents from recurring. We will ask all local councils to check how many such factories are operating in their respective areas.”Illegal factories and those located too close to residential areas will be asked to relocate,” he said.When asked about the Sungai Semenyih pollution in June, Hee said the factory connected to incident has been allowed to resume operations”After two weeks, the factory has been allowed to resume operations after installing filters that are certified by the DOE.”Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) and DOE will monitor the situation and take action against factories that do not follow the guidelines. The court proceedings will take time,” he said, adding that he will be providing more details at the upcoming state assembly meeting at the end of July.Related stories:Sg Semenyih pollution: Water supply resumes to 13% of affected areasFactory gas leak claims two livesShah Alam factory with ammonia leak given three months to move outlast_img read more