Canadian business is on fire 6 of households have a SodaStream —

first_img Recommended For YouMexico environmental authority suspends Grupo Mexico facility after sulfuric acid spillNikkei drifts lower on U.S.-China trade uncertaintyTencent-backed live-streaming firm DouYu prices U.S. IPO at low end of rangeCorn, soybeans drop for third session on improved U.S. weatherZinc falls as supply deficit narrows Facebook Email Join the conversation → Comment ‘Canadian business is on fire’: 6% of households have a SodaStream — the company has plans to triple that New plant opens in Mississauga as Canadian sales grow by nearly 50% last year SodaStream, the Israel-based manufacturer of counter-top carbonators, is increasing its presence in Canada amid growing sales and increased demand for sparkling water.“The Canadian business is on fire,” the company’s chief executive Daniel Birnbaum told the Financial Post this week, ahead of a Tuesday ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company’s new production facility in Mississauga, its first in Canada.SodaStream, which is now owned by PepsiCo after a US$3.2 billion acquisition was completed late last year, says that Canada has become its fourth-largest market globally, with six per cent of Canadian households using SodaStream machines. Maple leaf and hockey sticks: Tim Hortons shrugs off the politics to go all-Canadian in China The greatest thing since sliced bread is … old-fashioned bread: Inside one baker’s mission to transform Canada’s loaves How to sell a $1,000 coat without holding a sale The new plant in Mississauga will refill the carbon dioxide canisters that those machines use to turn tap water into carbonated water. Before the new plant began operations last month, when customers purchased new canisters in store their empty ones were sent to a refilling station in New Jersey.The move comes as SodaStream transitions from being a rebellious upstart to a subsidiary of a massive soda empire.From its beginnings, the company has billed itself as a healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative to bottled water and carbonated beverages, often taking jabs at established players, in its advertising.Birnbaum himself once chided his firm’s future suitor for launching a bottled-water brand: “Shame on PepsiCo,” he said in 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.“Yeah, well, you don’t make peace with your friends, do you?” he said in an interview Monday. “They want to be better and we want to grow faster. So it’s all in the right direction.”Asked if the acquisition could been seen another way — a sort of David giving up and joining Goliath scenario — Birnbaum replied quickly: “That’s a great thing — because maybe Goliath wants to be more like David.”“People should continue using it happily and they shouldn’t really care who the shareholders are. Did they know who the shareholders were before Pepsi acquired SodaStream?” he asked.Canada has become a major market, Birnbaum said, with sales growing by nearly 50 per cent in 2018. Since 2010, SodaStream says it has sold 1.5 million machines here. It’s the fourth-largest market for the machines in the world, behind Germany, the U.S. and France.Indeed, demand for sparkling water in Canada has been “exploding,” said Robert Carter, an industry adviser with NPD Group. “More consumers are just moving away from the alcohol category, they’re moving away from the carbonated soft drink category,” he said.The new plant in Mississauga signals the company’s increased interest in the Canadian market, SodaStream said.“Our headquarters looked at us and said, ‘OK, now that you’re big enough, you need your own gas-filling centre,’” Rena Nickerson, SodaStream’s general manager for Canada, said, adding that the company plans to increase its advertising in Canada by more than 30 per cent in 2019.The plan, she said, is to drastically increase SodaStream’s household penetration.“If 18.5 per cent is where Sweden’s at,” Nickerson said, “I at least want to get there.” More Reddit Twitter Jake Edmiston Canada is SodaStream’s fourth-largest market globally, with six per cent of Canadian households using its machines.Courtesy SodaStream Share this story‘Canadian business is on fire’: 6% of households have a SodaStream — the company has plans to triple that Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn 1 Comments March 5, 201911:56 AM ESTLast UpdatedMarch 5, 20192:07 PM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing last_img read more

Burger King trolls Trump over Twitter typo — did it go too

first_img Share this storyBurger King trolls Trump over Twitter typo — did it go too far? Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Dee-Ann Durbin Reddit Email DETROIT — Burger King is needling President Donald Trump for his tweet about ordering more than 1,000 “hamberders” for the Clemson University Tigers’ visit to the White House after winning the college football championship.The man said “hamberders.” pic.twitter.com/WopVMRo3p6— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) January 15, 2019The spelling error was quickly corrected. But Burger King jumped in with a tweet of its own: “Due to a large order placed yesterday, we’re all out of hamberders. Just serving hamburgers today.”due to a large order placed yesterday, we’re all out of hamberders. just serving hamburgers today.— Burger King (@BurgerKing) January 15, 2019Burger King said its tweet was all in good fun, but some marketing experts think the move was unwise.Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing consultant, said she understands companies wanting to be part of the social media conversation. But they should keep the message positive, not mocking.“It’s totally the wrong tone. It’s not funny. It’s mean,” she said. “No matter what you think of the president, it’s still the president.”Burger King responded that it “has a pulse on pop culture,” and wants to be part of trending topics. It also said it was proud that its burgers were served to the football team.“We like to playfully joke around with what the internet and news outlets are saying, but never to be mean spirited,” the company said in a statement.Burger King isn’t the only company to troll Trump on Twitter. Last week, Columbia Sportswear Co. tweeted a message from its CEO: “Make America’s parks open again.” And in 2017, Smirnoff vodka had billboards that read: “Made in America. But we’d be happy to talk about our ties to Russia under oath.”Companies that veer into politics take a risk of alienating customers or even Trump himself. Burger King might not be served at the next White House feast, Ries said.Some Twitter followers criticized Burger King. But others liked the tweet so much they celebrated with lunch at Burger King on Tuesday.Robert Passikoff, a marketing consultant and founder of Brand Keys Inc., suspects the tweet will have no lasting impact. Sometimes, he said, it’s critical for a brand to use Twitter to engage with customers and change attitudes, like when it’s trying to recover from a food poisoning scare. Burger King’s tweet doesn’t have that kind of weight, he said. Burger King trolls Trump over Twitter typo — did it go too far? The fast-food chain is not the only company to take on Trump on social media January 15, 20194:23 PM ESTLast UpdatedJanuary 17, 20192:21 PM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing Twitter 6 Commentscenter_img Recommended For YouS.Korea urges Japan to accept request for talks over export controlsApple Inc. plans to open office in Westbank’s glitzy West Georgia towerJapan to summon S.Korea envoy over World War Two laborer rowIcahn launches proxy fight after stalled talks with Occidental CEOWeWork to host Wall Street analyst day in IPO push-sources More A tray of Burger King Whoppers offered by U.S President Donald Trump to the Clemson Tigers football team to celebrate their Championship at the White House. Trump’s ‘Hamberders’ tweet raised a reaction on Twitter.hris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images Comment Facebook The Associated Press Join the conversation →last_img read more

Vintage Electric introduces offroad version of their 28 mph retro ebikes

first_imgVintage Electric is no stranger to high power and high speed e-bikes. Until now they’ve mainly focused on street-oriented electric bicycles. That changed today though with the introduction of the Vintage Electric Rally, which is an off-road version of their retro-inspired electric bicycles. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Vintage Electric introduces off-road version of their 28 mph retro e-bikes appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Siemens sells electric aircraft propulsion business to RollsRoyce

first_imgSiemens is set to sell its eAircraft unit to Rolls-Royce – the companies expect the move to take place in late 2019.Siemens eAircraft develops electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for the aerospace industry. At locations in Munich and Erlangen in Germany as well as Budapest, Hungary, it cooperates with partners such as Airbus to create prototypes for propulsion systems like Airbus’s CityAirbus, with power ratings ranging from less than 100 kW to several thousand kW. eAircraft entered a development partnership with Airbus in 2016, but Siemens has been researching and developing electric aircraft propulsion systems for about ten years.“Our eAircraft team is a pioneer in electric and hybrid-electric systems for aircraft,” said Siemens CTO and COO Roland Busch. “With Rolls-Royce, we’ve found a perfect home for this business and have placed its expertise in the hands of one of Airbus’s close partners. We will continue to cooperate with Rolls-Royce, in particular by making our digital solutions portfolio available in order to facilitate this major step toward sustainable, lower-emission aviation.” Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Siemenscenter_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on June 25, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Friday Roundup

first_imgLike it, quotable, and scrutiny alerts and updates.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.Like ItIf you get your FCPA from FCPA Professor, you can now like FCPA Professor on Facebook.  Click here.You can also follow FCPA Professor on Twitter.  Click here.QuotableWhat did Paul Pellitier (a former Principal Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section) think about Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell’s recent “we do not expect companies to aimlessly boil the ocean” speech (see here for the prior post). Pellitier wrote in a guest post on the FCPA Blog:“Somewhat surprisingly, however, AAG Caldwell seemed to place the blame for the arduousness of government FCPA investigations squarely on companies for “spend[ing] years, and many millions of dollars, investigating potential violations.”Although AAG Caldwell’s candid remarks provide enough reason to be hopeful, they don’t address critical distinctions between corporate internal investigations and the government’s own overarching criminal investigations that may serve to cause investigatory delays.As an initial observation, it remains an unavoidable fact that companies simply are not incentivized to incur substantial costs by acting needlessly in the conduct of those internal inquiries. Moreover, while it may be true that, on occasion, a company has “boiled the ocean” in the conduct of an internal investigation, the notion that federal investigators would routinely permit an “aimless” internal inquiry to negatively affect the course or duration of the government’s investigation is, at base, unconvincing.There is no doubt, however, that, regardless of the level of corporate cooperation, government investigators and prosecutors are not merely museum docents here. As AAG Caldwell pointed out, the government does not (and cannot) sit idly by and rely exclusively on the company’s internal investigation in making its charging decisions, but rather, conducts its own independent inquiry and “pressure tests” the company’s internal investigation. As such, the government plainly is the driver of the investigatory bus.”As to Pellitier’s comments, it is of course true that “companies simply are not incentivized to incur substantial costs by acting needlessly in the conduct of those internal inquiries.”Yet it may be true that: (i) FCPA Inc. may be so incentivized; (ii) FCPA Inc. participants are often the go-between between the DOJ/SEC and a company’s board of directors / audit committee; and (iii) few board of directors / audit committees are going to reject FCPA Inc. advice when the issue is a high-profile, sensitive, potentially criminal FCPA matter.Scrutiny Alerts and UpdatesHere is what Brian Robinson (CFO, General Cable Corporation) said on a recent earnings conference call about the company’s FCPA scrutiny.“I wanted to provide an update regarding the ongoing FCPA-related investigation. The general scope of our internal investigation remains broadly consistent with our past disclosures and we continue to believe, subject to any new developments, that our internal investigation will be concluded or substantially concluded later in this calendar year. As we’ve stated before, once we complete our internal review, we cannot predict how long it will take the SEC or DOJ to conclude their work or what the ultimate outcome may be, including the amount of any fines or penalties we may pay.We also cannot guarantee that the scope of this ongoing investigation will not change or expand in the future as it unfolds. As we’ve said before, any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with existing laws or regulations could result in the imposition of substantial fines, civil and criminal penalties, and equitable remedies including disgorgement and injunctive relief.In February of this year, based on the analysis completed at that time, with the assistance of our external counsel and forensic accountants, we concluded that we are able to reasonably estimate the amount of profit derived from sales made to the Angolan government owned public utilities that we believe are likely to ultimately be disgorged in connection with our ongoing investigation. As a result, we recorded an estimated charge in the amount of $24 million as an accrual as of December 31, 2014. The accrued amount reflects only an estimate of the Angola related profits reasonably likely to be disgorged and does not include provision for any fines, civil or criminal penalties, or other relief. There has been no change in the amount of accrual since it was put in place in February.”*****Bank of New York Mellon Corp. recently disclosed:“In January 2011, the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC Staff”) informed several financial institutions, including BNY Mellon, that it had commenced an inquiry into certain of their business practices and relationships with sovereign wealth fund clients. In the third quarter of 2014, the SEC Staff issued Wells notices to certain current and former employees of BNY Mellon, informing them that the SEC Staff has made a preliminary determination to recommend enforcement action against them for alleged violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the provision of a limited number of internships to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials. BNY Mellon received a similar Wells notice in the fourth quarter of 2014. On Jan. 23, 2015, BNY Mellon received an additional subpoena from the SEC expanding the scope of the SEC’s inquiry into the provision of internships and employment opportunities offered to officials and relatives of officials at government-related entities. BNY Mellon has fully cooperated with the SEC Staff’s investigation.”Speaking of the above disclosure, this World Finance video (7 minutes in length) asks “is bribery part of life on Wall Street?” (Note- challenging enforcement agency interpretations of facts or law (as recently highlighted here) is not lobbying as suggested in the video).*****A good weekend to all.last_img read more

French Science Minister Loses Job in Cabinet Reshuffle—Or Does She

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 Hamon, described as a discreet politician from the left wing of the PS, was an assistant minister within the French Ministry of Economy and Finances until Tuesday. He entered the political arena in 1986 when he led student protests against a bill that threatened to limit access to higher education and create a two-tier university system.The reshuffle comes as a relief to some. Rumor had it that the research portfolio might be split off from higher education and could be placed within the former industry or economy ministry. That would have been “stupid,” says Alain Beretz, president of the University of Strasbourg, because French universities and research organizations work closely together and universities have both teaching and research missions. Beretz welcomes the new setup, in which all levels of education are brought together under one roof, because it may help increase student participation in higher education.*Update, 10 April, 5:09 p.m.: Geneviève Fioraso was nominated secretary of state for higher education and research on 9 April. Prior to  her appointment, a petition criticizing the research and higher education law that Fioraso introduced last summer had gathered more than 9300 signatures. Trade unions of university professors and researchers called on the new government to make the nomination of a new secretary of state an “occasion for real political change, the one that [Fioraso] failed to bring.” Email French Higher Education and Research Minister Geneviève Fioraso was among the political victims of a major defeat for the Socialist Party (PS) in local elections last Sunday. In the wake of the electoral disaster, President François Hollande ditched almost half of his Cabinet, including Fioraso; the new prime minister, Manuel Valls, announced yesterday that career politician Benoît Hamon will succeed her in a new superministry that also encompasses primary and secondary education.But Fioraso’s role may not have ended. There was strong speculation in Paris yesterday that she may be appointed secretary of state under Hamon next week, a position in which she may keep most of the responsibilities she had as minister. Hamon himself hinted at a prolongation at a handover ceremony, according to Le Monde, when he told her: “Thank you very much … see you soon.” Fioraso said that “the adventure hasn’t ended yet.”Fioraso, who became higher education and research minister after Hollande was elected president in May 2012, is best known for pushing through a new law that aimed to simplify the national landscape for research and higher education, give the government a greater role in coordinating science, and make France more competitive. It was drafted after a massive, nationwide, and often tumultuous round of consultations. Wikimedia Commons Thanks, see you soon. Benoît Hamon (left) and Geneviève Fioraso. Click to view the privacy policy. 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Facial expressions—including fear—may not be as universal as we thought

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country When you’re smiling, it may feel like the whole world is smiling with you, but a new study suggests that some facial expressions may not be so universal. In fact, several expressions commonly understood in the West—including one for fear—have very different meanings to one indigenous, isolated society in Papua New Guinea. The new findings call into question some widely held tenets of emotional theory, and they may undercut emerging technologies, like robots and artificial intelligence programs tasked with reading people’s emotions.For more than a century, scientists have wondered whether all humans experience the same basic range of emotions—and if they do, whether they express them in the same way. In the 1870s, it was the central question Charles Darwin explored in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. By the 1960s, emeritus psychologist Paul Ekman, then at the University of California (UC) in San Francisco, had come up with an accepted methodology to explore this question. He showed pictures of Westerners with different facial expressions to people living in isolated cultures, including in Papua New Guinea, and then asked them what emotion was being conveyed. Ekman’s early experiments appeared conclusive. From anger to happiness to sadness to surprise, facial expressions seemed to be universally understood around the world, a biologically innate response to emotion.That conclusion went virtually unchallenged for 50 years, and it still features prominently in many psychology and anthropology textbooks, says James Russell, a psychologist at Boston College and corresponding author of the recent study. But over the last few decades, scientists have begun questioning the methodologies and assumptions of the earlier studies. 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 A young Trobriander from the village of Kaulaka points to a gasping face, indicating that he recognizes it as a threat display. Email Carlos Crivelli and Sergio Jarillo Psychologist Carlos Crivelli was one of them. In 2011, he was working with his colleague, psychologist José-Miguel Fernández-Dols, at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Together, they came up with a plan to investigate Ekman’s initial research in Papua New Guinea. Crivelli and longtime friend and research partner, Sergio Jarillo, an anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, traveled to the Trobriand Islands off Papua New Guinea’s east coast, where about 60,000 indigenous Trobrianders live. These horticulturists and fishermen have been historically isolated from both mainland Papua New Guinea and the outside world. To learn all that they could, Crivelli and Jarillo embedded themselves in the local culture. They were adopted by host families and took clan names; Crivelli became “Kelakasi” and Jarillo, “Tonogwa.” They spent many months learning the local language, Kilivila.When it came time to begin the study, they didn’t need translators or local guides. They simply showed 72 young people between the ages of 9 and 15 from different villages photos from an established set of faces used in psychological research. The researchers asked half the Trobrianders to link each of the faces to an emotion from a list: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, or hunger. The other half was given a different task.Crivelli found that they matched smiling with happiness almost every time. Results for the other combinations were mixed, though. For example, the Trobrianders just couldn’t widely agree on which emotion a scowling face corresponded with. Some said this and some said that. It was the same with the nose-scrunching, pouting, and a neutral expression. There was one facial expression, though, that many of them did agree on: a wide-eyed, lips-parted gasping face (similar to above) that Western cultures almost universally associate with fear and submission. The Trobrianders said it looked “angry.”Surprised, Crivelli showed a different set of Trobrianders the same faces, but he couched his questions in stories—e.g., “Which of these people would like to start a fight?”—to draw out more context. They, too, associated the gasp face with threatening behavior, Crivelli reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The implications here are really big,” he says. “It strongly suggests that at least these facial behaviors are not pancultural, but are instead culturally specific.” That’s not to say that emotions don’t elicit natural physiological reactions, Russell explains, but the study suggests that reactions and interpretations can vary from culture to culture. With the gasp face, for example, Russell speculates that the expression could be a natural response to urgent, distressing situations. Whereas Western culture has tied that expression to feeling fear, it might be that the Trobrianders associate the expression with instilling it. Crivelli agrees, and points to another culture whose ritualized dances feature a similar expression in a threatening fashion: the Māori of New Zealand.Based on his research, Russell champions an idea he calls “minimal universality.” In it, the finite number of ways that facial muscles can move creates a basic template of expressions that are then filtered through culture to gain meaning. If this is indeed the case, such cultural diversity in facial expressions will prove challenging to emerging technologies that aspire to decode and react to human emotion, he says, such as emotion recognition software being designed to recognize when people are lying or plotting violence.“This is novel work and an interesting challenge to a tenet of the so-called universality thesis,” wrote Disa Sauter, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, in an email. She adds that she’d like to see the research replicated with adult participants, as well as with experiments that ask people to produce a threatening or angry face, not just interpret photos of expressions. “It will be crucial to test whether this pattern of ‘fear’ expressions being associated with anger/threat is found in the production of facial expressions, since the universality thesis is primarily focused on production rather than perception.”Social psychologist Alan Fridlund at UC in Santa Barbara, says the researchers’ level of immersion in the Trobrianders’ culture gives them a unique perspective on threat displays, and not relying on translators improves the study’s accuracy. “I think the real strength of this paper is that it knows its participants so well,” he says.But he adds that the snapshot method may not be the best way to analyze how people view different facial expressions—after all, in everyday life, people see facial expressions in the context of what’s going on around them, he says. Another problem has to do with the study design—“happiness” was the only positive emotion that Trobrianders were given as an option, Fridlund says, which may have biased the results. For example, if the researchers had included “amusement” or “contentment” as answers, the apparent agreement over smiling might have disappeared.Despite agreeing broadly with the study’s conclusions, Fridlund doubts it will sway hardliners convinced that emotions bubble forth from a common fount. Ekman’s school of thought, for example, arose in the post–World War II era when people were seeking ideas that reinforced our common humanity, Fridlund says. “I think it will not change people’s minds. People have very deep reasons for adhering to either universality or cultural diversity.”*Correction, 18 October, 12:33 p.m.: This story has been updated to correct the number of Trobrianders and their way of life, and to better describe the questions asked of them. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

The finalists are in—make your pick for Breakthrough of the Year

first_img Thank You for Voting! Thanks for voting! Scroll down to see current voting results. The purge that refreshes 43% 00 Hours Time is running out. Vote Now! 00 Minutes 7% 00 Seconds Read more 5% Voting ends Monday, 12 December What would you nominate as the most momentous scientific discovery, development, or trend of 2016? Less than three weeks from now our news writers and editors will announce their choice for Science’s “Breakthrough of the Year.” At the same time, we’ll unveil your pick–the People’s Choice.We’ve just finished one round of voting with more than 11,000 votes tallied. Now it’s time to make your voice heard again. Choose your winner from among the five finalists, listed below. Cast your vote today, and check back on December 22 to see how your choice stacks up against ours. 2016’s Breakthrough of the Year People’s Choice: And the winner is… LOADING Pocket-sized DNA sequencers Voting has not started. Voting begins Tuesday, 6 December Scroll down to see final results. Read more 13% Ripples in spacetime Sort by ranking Thank You for Voting! Scroll up to see current voting results. Thanks for voting! Read more AI ups its game Read more 00 Days Read more 32% Submit Vote Human embryos in a dishlast_img read more

A US biochemistry professor takes his political shot—and misses by a lot

first_img Sam DeLuca By Jeffrey MervisNov. 16, 2018 , 4:15 PM Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Randy Wadkins on election night Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img “On the Sunday before the election, my campaign staff was angry at me because I wasn’t out canvassing or phone banking. Instead, I was home preparing for my next lecture,” Wadkins says a few days after the 6 November elections. “I was like, ‘This is what I’m paid to do. It has to take priority.’” Carrying out his regular academic duties—teaching, doing research, and attending faculty meetings—“helped keep me sane and grounded,” he says. But it was also stressful. “My attention was always divided,” he admits, “worrying about getting a paper published at the same time I should be out canvassing in Horn Lake.”A big dollar deficitWhy wasn’t able to raise more money? Wadkins thinks it was a combination of geography, party affiliation, and occupation.“First of all, it’s Mississippi, which is the poorest state in the nation,” he says about the place where he grew up and earned his doctoral degree, and then returned a dozen years later after establishing his academic career as an independent investigator. “And right off the bat, there is no money for a Democrat here.”His campaign brought in about $160,000. That’s less than half of the $400,000 he estimates he would have needed to run TV and radio ads and hire enough staff to have a visible presence in the district, which spans 22 counties. In contrast, Kelly raised and spent nearly $900,000.Wadkins confesses that he didn’t devote as much time to fundraising as campaign professionals, including elected officials with scientific backgrounds, told him was necessary to run a viable campaign. “Representative Bill Foster [D–IL] called us early on and said, ‘The part that you’re going to hate is the fundraising,’” Wadkins recalls about a conversation with the only research physicist in Congress. “He told me everybody hates that, but he said that’s part of the job, and you have to do it whether you like it or not.”Wadkins also learned that raising money attracts more money. Groups otherwise sympathetic to a candidate tend to withhold their financial support unless that candidate has already proved to be a successful fundraiser. “So, we weren’t able to attract any [political action committee] or national attention, financially,” he says.His campaign had an arms-length relationship with 314 Action, a group formed to help STEM professionals run for office. “They said, ‘Go get ‘em,’” he says about a conversation with the group before his June primary, “but that they had limited resources and were looking at races that they expected to be more competitive.”(The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–based organization endorsed 16 House candidates—all Democrats—during the primary season, six of whom won their party’s nomination. 314 Action had a better record in the general election, with seven of its 11 endorsed House candidates winning seats.)The national Democratic party took a similarly hard-headed approach, declining to offer any help. Wadkins says he understands its reasons, but thinks it further penalized long shots like him. “Those of us who were running in red seats were left out in the cold, crying in the wilderness.”Some candidates who can’t tap into outside contributions can self-fund their campaign. But that was never an option for Wadkins. “I’m a college professor, and we’re not exactly rolling in the dough,” he says. His economic situation was also the reason he retained his tenured position. “If I had taken a leave, it would have been without pay,” he says. “And I couldn’t afford that.”An indifferent audienceApart from being starved for money, Wadkins says his campaign was hindered by the lack of voter interest in the race. “There were never any debates,” he says with frustration. “Town hall meetings were filled with Democrats who were already going to vote for me. It was preaching to the choir.”“We never had any public forums in which you might be able to sway voters,” he continues. “When people heard the message, they were convinced. But we weren’t able to get enough people to hear the message.”Voters showed Kelly a similar indifference, Wadkins says. But that didn’t pose a problem for the incumbent, who was defending a seat he first won in a special election in 2015, after the death of Republican Alan Nunnelee.“[Kelly] had no yard signs, no rallies, nothing,” Wadkins says. “His assumption was that he would win, and he was right.“I’d bet that if you asked voters, 90% wouldn’t know who their member of Congress is,” he asserts. “But in this part of the world, the default mode is Republican. So, when folks in rural districts show up at the polls, they just vote Republican.”Although young voters were a mainstay for many insurgent Democratic candidates, and Wadkins teaches at a school with 20,000 students, he says he had to tread carefully because he is a state employee. He made sure his academic duties didn’t overlap in any way with his political activities, to the point that he turned down a request from a major newspaper doing a story on his candidacy to send a photographer to his lab. “I didn’t want to violate a policy that, essentially, says the university can’t be a resource for my campaign.”Keeping a barrier between himself and his students turned out to be surprisingly easy. The morning after his election defeat, nobody in his upper-level chemistry class asked him about the results, he says. “To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were all oblivious to the election.”Their disregard could be tied to federal rules on student aid that might penalize them if they registered to vote in Oxford, he says. In addition, he says, roughly half the students hail from outside of Mississippi and thus, have only tenuous ties to local politics.A dream deferredWadkins spent the 2015–16 academic year in Washington. D.C., as a science policy fellow for Representative Steve Cohen (D–TN), and in idle moments during the campaign he saw himself returning to the nation’s capital along with David Baria, a Democratic state senator who was challenging incumbent Senator Roger Wicker (R).“I had this vision of, man, if David would win the Senate seat and I could win the House, we could do so much for the state. But ‘twas not to be.” Baria lost by margin of 59% to 39%. “We both knew that this would be a Don Quixote thing, in which you just shut out that part of your brain that’s saying you’re going to lose and try to win.”Despite his resounding defeat, Wadkins says people have urged him to run again. Although he has not ruled out the possibility, he sees a formidable hurdle in his path.“We need to solve the [campaign financing] problem first,” he says. “And I don’t see it fixing itself. So, for me—and for any readers of Science thinking of running for Congress—the question is: ‘Can you raise at least $1 million, and probably a lot more?’ If the answer is no, it’s going to be very hard to be elected.”In the meantime, Wadkins has already reallocated the time he spent on the campaign trail. It was a smooth transition because he never stopped being an academic scientist.“After lunch, I’m going to review a [Journal of the American Chemical Society] paper that I got at the end of the campaign and that is almost overdue,” he said. “The only reason I agreed to review it is because it’s actually a very interesting paper in my field. It’s pretty good, although there are some things that need to be fixed.” A U.S. biochemistry professor takes his political shot—and misses by a lot Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) His bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress had just gone down in flames. But instead of rehashing his election night defeat, Randy Wadkins says he spent the next morning describing “oxidative phosphorylation electron transport in mitochondria” to a class of chemistry majors at The University of Mississippi in Oxford.Wadkins’s lecture on the molecular cycle creating adenosine triphosphate highlighted his unique status among the 49 candidates with training in a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or medical field who ran this year for the U.S. House of Representatives. Not only was Wadkins the only academic researcher in the bunch, but he also kept working as a tenured professor of biochemistry during his 18-month campaign.Wadkins, a progressive Democrat, lost to the conservative Republican incumbent, Representative Trent Kelly, by more than a two-to-one margin. (Only seven of the STEM candidates won seats.) A heavy underdog from the start, Wadkins couldn’t raise nearly enough money to get his message out to the conservative voters that dominate his rural district in northeastern Mississippi. But having to wear two hats certainly didn’t help.last_img read more

Genetically engineered immune cells wipe out lupus in mice

first_imgSince CAR-T therapy emerged, scientists who study autoimmune diseases have eyed it with interest because B cells are involved in many of these diseases. B cells can release autoantibodies that damage the body’s tissue and provoke T cells into attacks on tissues as well. In 2016, a team at the University of Pennsylvania reported that mice with a rare autoimmune disease called pemphigus vulgaris were helped by CAR-T therapy.But lupus has presented a puzzle. An antibody called rituximab, which depletes B cells and is often prescribed to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, failed to help many people with lupus in two large clinical trials. That “caused a bit of head-scratching,” says Marko Radic, an immunologist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.Did the results mean B cells weren’t important in lupus after all? The answer is no, suggests Mark Shlomchik, an immunologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania who was not involved in the new study. He believes rituximab stumbled in part because of an unfortunate confluence of how the antibody works and how the immune system falters in lupus. Rituximab needs immune cells called macrophages to step in and assist in B cell destruction. That works in some diseases, but in lupus, those cells can be “paralyzed,” says Shlomchik, and struggle to pull this off.Enter CAR-T therapy, where T cells become efficient B cell slayers without needing a helping hand. Radic and his colleagues tested the approach in two mouse models of lupus. After the mice got sick, the team exposed them to whole-body radiation to wipe out existing immune cells. (People getting CAR-T therapy receive chemotherapy for the same purpose.) Then, the scientists infused the genetically altered T cells into 41 animals.In 26 of the mice, the CAR-T cells successfully destroyed the B cells with CD19—nearly all of them—and those cells never reappeared. That’s similar to what’s been observed in cancer patients who undergo CAR-T therapy. The effects on mouse health surprised even Radic, who’d had high hopes: The animals’ spleens, skin, kidneys, and other body parts showed no remaining signs of lupus, the team reports today in Science Translational Medicine. “We were so impressed,” Radic says.Most of the animals that were successfully treated lived for more than a year after treatment, a long stretch in mouse-time. Animals that got placebo therapy all died within 8 to 10 months, and many perished earlier.Anolik says she would like to better understand why CAR-T therapy didn’t work for 15 mice. But she’s hopeful for the treatment’s future for her patients and others.The findings are “very compelling,” Shlomchik says. In some patients, lupus is “as aggressive as cancer,” he says, so even a drastic treatment could make sense. Genetically engineered immune cells wipe out lupus in mice Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelMar. 6, 2019 , 2:00 PM 3D4Medical/Science Source Lupus can be a stubborn disease to treat. Although many struck by the autoimmune condition live relatively normal lives, some suffer from kidney failure, blood clots, and other complications that can be deadly. Now, scientists have found that a novel treatment that wipes out the immune system’s B cells cures mice of the condition. Though the work is preliminary, it has excited researchers because it uses a therapy already approved for people with blood cancer.“This is a critical stepping stone,” says Jennifer Anolik, a rheumatologist who runs the lupus clinic at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York who was not involved with the work.The strategy is known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy. It involves genetically engineering T cells, the sentries of the immune system, so they recognize and destroy certain cells in the body. Although it comes with potentially serious side effects, it can be lifesaving. The approach took the cancer world by storm in 2011, after scientists reported saving patients with an advanced form of leukemia. Since then, it has been approved to treat certain leukemias in children and lymphomas in adults. Although CAR-T therapy can target different cells, the approved treatments hunt down and destroy B cells by spotting a protein marker, CD19, that almost all B cells sport on their surface.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Destroying B cells, like the one shown here, helped mice with lupus revert to good health.last_img read more

Could computers provide shortterm warnings of the worlds worst floods

first_img MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS Could computers provide short-term warnings of the world’s worst floods? By Jeffrey BrainardMar. 29, 2019 , 1:00 PM Thousands in Mozambique have been displaced by Cyclone Idai, one of the biggest ever to hit the flood-prone country. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Floods have wrought destruction in the United States and Mozambique this month, highlighting the struggle scientists face in predicting where high water will spread. In the United States, above-average rainfall helped swell the Missouri River to record levels, inundating thousands of homes and destroying farms. And forecasters warn that 200 million Americans and 25 states could face further “unprecedented” flooding later this spring.Many U.S. residents could be surprised to find water at their doors because of shortcomings in the floodplain maps that U.S. agencies use to identify at-risk areas, says Oliver Wing, a graduate student in flood risk science at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The maps suggest 13 million Americans could get hit by a once-in-a-century flood—but the real number is likely more than 40 million, if the maps are updated using high-resolution topographic data, Wing and colleagues reported last year in Environmental Research Letters.The threat of high water extends globally. By 2030, it’s estimated that 40% of global urban land will be in high-frequency flood zones. In Mozambique, hundreds died this month after a cyclone’s torrential rain flooded more than 2000 square kilometers. The toll might have been lower, researchers say, if government officials had access to better flood models that could help improve short-term warnings and long-term planning. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Wing and a colleague, Andrew Smith, spoke to ScienceInsider about the technical flaws in floodplain maps and their own efforts to create better global models of flood risk. Smith is chief operations officer at Fathom, a consulting firm started by researchers at the University of Bristol that provides flood data and forecasts to clients that include insurance companies, NASA, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Bank.Q: Why can’t U.S. floodplain maps, made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), predict more accurately where big floods will strike?O.W.: They use techniques that are quite dated. Their hands are tied, because they are congressionally mandated to build maps in this way. They build flood maps from the ground up for each river basin based on a very expensive, engineering-grade flood model. That would be very good if it was made recently and used up-to-date methods. But in many cases, they just don’t have the resources to do that. FEMA maps show the floodplain of a once-a-century flood. That’s sort of an arbitrary probability. But the models that we’ve built allow for a much more detailed picture. You can look at the whole spectrum from small to large floods.Q: What are the prospects for more accurate U.S. and global flood forecasts?A.S.: There’s been something of a revolution in our ability to build flood models in the past 5 years. We’ve gone from building models at really small scales to models of entire continents. It’s useful in the U.S. because it allows us to fill in the gaps where FEMA probably doesn’t have data. From a global perspective, it’s really exciting because it allows us to build models in areas where there’s simply no data available, in places like Mozambique.The revolution was driven by better terrain data, advances in our ability to process and apply existing data, and computational speed-up owing to better hardware and algorithms. The principal and most critical data set in building a flood model is having an accurate map of the Earth’s surface [elevation]. Water flows downhill, so if you don’t have an accurate map, then you’re going to build a pretty cruddy flood model.O.W.: The U.S. Geological Survey collects that information, and that’s pretty good across most of the U.S. Where these FEMA data exist, and where they were built in the last few years, using detailed methods, our U.S. model compares quite favorably to it and produces a similar answer.A.S.: Unfortunately, there’s been a real lack of investment in terrain data sets globally. Currently, the data set that we use for global flood modeling is based on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission [SRTM]. This is a 20-year-old, radar-based data set. It’s full of errors that have quite literally taken 20 years to iron out. There’s been a whole load of research in order to render SRTM usable in flood models. A new scientific field emerged in processing that specific terrain data set. It is still far behind what we have in most of the U.S. and indeed most parts of Western Europe, where we have laser altimeter data available.There are a few different global models being produced by different research centers. And some research done a few years ago, comparing the very first generation of these models, identified the fact that they produce very different realizations of global flood risk. Given that these are first generation models, this is perhaps unsurprising, as each uses different methods. However, we’re hopeful that there will be a convergence over the coming years.We’re also hopeful that, at some point, somebody’s going to build accurate global terrain data sets and make them freely available. Estimates suggest that we can build an advanced global terrain data set for substantially less than most satellite missions.Q: How will these maps improve short-term emergency forecasts?O.W.: An actual projection of where water’s going to go in real time is something that is not done very often. And that’s because it’s quite a computation-intensive thing to do. The new models are fast and accurate enough to really provide information in real time. We can actually give a view of what the flood extent might be in 3 days’ time, 1 day time, and that information is going to be invaluable. It’s in its infancy at the moment, but the model framework now exists to allow that to happen.Q: How will better flood models improve long-term flood planning?O.W.: The tools that we build expand the information that FEMA can provide because we’re not constrained by the 100-year flood, which is just a single view of the present-day risk. We can produce flood maps for any recurrence interval, spanning the range from incredibly frequent flooding that has a 20% chance of occurring in a given year, all the way to low-probability, huge-magnitude flooding that would be a one-in-a-1000-year event.The issue of how on Earth does this get taken up by emergency managers and communities, to manage that risk effectively, is probably an even bigger task than the science.A.S.: One of the nice things about our model is that every year that we have new observations, we can run the model again and have an updated estimate and visualization of what the 100-year flood event looks like. Because the 100-year event today will look very different to what one looked like 10 years ago, simply because we have more data points.last_img read more

Everything To Know About Brandon Webber

first_imgUPDATED: 11:16 a.m. EDT — There was outrage in Memphis overnight after a young man named Brandon Webber was shot and killed by law enforcement Wednesday night. City residents staged a massive protest resulting in several officers being injured.The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said the U.S. Marshal Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force and other law enforcement agencies were executing multiple felony warrants on Webber in Frayser, a neighborhood near downtown Memphis, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the Daily Memphian reported. Clearly, there needs to be more transparency in this case. We hope the family of Brandon Webber gets justice.SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothes “While attempting to stop the individual, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon,” TBI said in a statement. “The officers fired striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured.”Police have not identified Brandon Webber as the victim, but local family members have.Officers shot at Webber as many as 20 times, his cousin Demetrick Skinner said. Webber allegedly died in front of his family’s front yard. Yolanda Holmes, Webber’s aunt, said she was trying to confirm if Webber was actually shooting at the police.A person named Ronni Williams claiming to be Webber’s cousin took to Twitter to defend him as an “honor student” who should not be labeled as a “drug dealer.” You can NOT label this young man as a drug dealer he was a honor student, who attended the University of Memphis, strived for greatness even though the odds were against him even more as he grew up. He was changing becoming a better man everyday by his family #justiceforBrandon pic.twitter.com/D6HP4jyPO4— Ronni Williams (@ronni_2k) June 13, 2019Keli McAlister, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said in a news conference early Thursday that it was “unclear” how many marshals had fired at Webber, according to The Washington Post.The video below is allegedly of Webber’s girlfriend in labor. She claimed Webber was shot while he was in handcuffs and the police broke his neck. Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family @CityOfMemphis police shot some man and left him for dead and didn’t get him in the ambulance just left him in the grass pic.twitter.com/Zt3quRs77v— 「𝚃𝚒」- $ADxVisions (@GxdCxmplex) June 13, 2019There were protests Wednesday night, which allegedly resulted in at least 24 officers and two journalists being injured, the Washington Post reported.“Let me be clear — the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wrote on Facebook before continuing. “I was proud of our first responders. I’m impressed by their professionalism and incredible restraint as they endured concrete rocks being thrown at them and people spitting at them.”City Commissioner Tami Sawyer offered a tweet of caution. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist Don’t judge Frayser without asking a community how it feels to mourn their youth over and over again. What do people do with their pain and trauma when it gets to be too much, when a city has ignored them, when their loss is too great and they can no longer yell at the sky?— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) June 13, 2019 A video of Brandon Webbers baby mother who’s is in labor right now. He was handcuffed when he died, law enforcement apparently broke his neck. This is heartbreaking, keep their family in your prayers. Keeping you all updated NOT MY VIDEO. pic.twitter.com/oqqRkzQtPC— MOTHER OF MUSIC. (@PUTITONlCE) June 13, 2019Another user said Webber was shot, left for dead and police “didn’t get him in the ambulance just left him in the grass.” Black Lives Matter , Brandon Webber , Memphis A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony More By NewsOne Staff Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Braford Jr. last_img read more

Black Leaders Address Lack Of Diversity In Media

first_imgThere is so much power that lies in controlling your own narrative. However due to the lack of diversity within the media industry authentic stories about the Black experience are often excluded, misconstrued or disregarded leaving several individuals feeling unseen and unheard. The Multicultural Media Correspondents Association is on a mission to tackle the lack of racial representation when it comes to ownership and leadership in the media industry.The organization recently hosted a forum on Capitol Hill that gathered influential Black leaders in the media space to share their experiences and develop strategies to evoke change. The summit—dubbed Taking Control of the Media Diversity Crisis—explored how the racial gap in media ownership directly impacts how the Black community is perceived by others and how African Americans see themselves. It also examined how the decline in platforms owned by people of color has changed the landscape of civic engagement and efforts to create political change. Amongst the individuals who participated in the summit were iOne Digital President Detavio Samuels and Lori Hall who serves as the Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at TV One. Samuels and Hall were featured on a panel that explored diversity and inclusion practices in the media industry and how policymakers can play a role in holding major media companies accountable when it comes to taking corrective action. Other panels that took place during the summit examined the obstacles faced by media owners of color, controlling the narratives in the realm of advertising, and the importance of cultural competency in the media. Influential industry leaders who were apart of these discussions included Erika Alexander, Co-Founder of Color Farm Media, Tanya Grieg Perara, EVP, Comcast NBC Universal, L. Londell McMillan, Attorney and Owner of The Source Magazine, Tirrell D. Whittley, CEO, Liquid Soul and others. It was hosted by Congresswoman Val Demings. “The need for greater media diversity is a national priority. MMCA is committed to moving the needle on media diversity and to be a trusted bridge that brings together policy makers and the media advocacy community to make an impact,” said David Morgan, Founder and President of the MMCA, in a statement. “As an advocate for and a resource to journalists, creatives and other media stakeholders of color, we are excited by the growing support for the MMCA.”Forums like the one led by MMCA are needed. There still are wide racial gaps in film, television, print, and digital ownership. Research shows that less than 1 percent of commercial TV stations are Black-owned. These Throwback Black Twitter Memes And Videos Are All The Nostalgia You Need Throwback black twitter Golden Girls remix center_img SEE ALSO:Black Entrepreneurs Raise $8 Million For Barbershop-Focused AppBlack Entrepreneur Receives $1 Million Investment From Jay-Z’s Venture Capital Fund black-owned , Detavio Samuel , Lori Hall , Media Industry , media ownership , MMCA , Multicultural Media Correspondents Association , Orlando , Ownership , TV Onelast_img read more

How Essence Fest Could Affect The 2020 Election

first_imgPresidential candidate @BetoORourke discusses wages, equal rights, small businesses, and more at #EssenceFest. pic.twitter.com/0K9Qx1fcyH— ESSENCE (@Essence) July 8, 2019Mayor Pete stressed how important not just Black-owned businesses are, but also businesses owned and operated by Black women in particular. .@KamalaHarris uses her voice to let #EssenceFest know “we’re not going back” pic.twitter.com/0vNuMp9yip— ESSENCE Festival (@essencefest) July 6, 2019And, of course, there is a Black woman who has continued to prove how formidable her candidacy is in the face of the standard political template of old white men running for president. .@CoryBooker has big plans for Black women!! #EssenceFest pic.twitter.com/RMfDzH2iTr— ESSENCE (@Essence) July 6, 2019Warren also chimed in on the topic that has proven to be a top campaign issue for Democrats as Republicans keep working to repeal Obamacare and dismantle all aspects of the former president’s signature health care law. HBCUs made me who I am today. #EssenceFestpic.twitter.com/vY1oz7ihpj— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 6, 2019That woman, California Sen. Kamala Harris, was joined by three of her 23 fellow presidential candidates — Sen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg , former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — over the weekend in New Orleans to plead their campaigns’ cases to festival-goers eager to hear about policies that will behoove them. 3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren #CatchTheTea Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker speaks on White Supremacy https://t.co/wxI3l54Z0R #corybooker #essencefest #cttessence pic.twitter.com/eWtBTfnimR— #Catchthetea (@catchtheteaTV) July 8, 2019Closing the racial wealth gapTalking about the racial wealth gap was a common refrain among the candidates who appeared at Essence Fest. However, it was the racial wealth gap along gender lines that took center stage as candidates repeatedly reminded people in attendance that Black women earn 61 cents on the dollar compared to white men.Harris proposed a $100 billion plan for Black homeownership, something that has been elusive to Black people in America in part because of predatory loans targeting them. 1. Mayor Pete Buttigieg Incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be at #EssenceFest this evening. Black women are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. We witnessed that in Texas. We’ve seen it across America. And this country is becoming a more perfect union because of it. pic.twitter.com/su1L0C2AoK— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 6, 2019They came with presidential policies, plans and proposals that clearly made Black women and people, in general, a priority, should they be elected, of course. Black women are paid less and are less likely to be able to afford basic human rights like health care, child care, and housing. It’s no accident: It’s the legacy of systemic discrimination. My new plan helps right these wrongs. #EssenceFest https://t.co/COUKtCr5NF— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 6, 2019Stopping the white supremacy movementBooker also unveiled his plan to stem the rising tide of white supremacy, something that has been linked to the election of Donald Trump. 2. Sen. Kamala Harris Today, at #EssenceFest, I released a new plan to start closing the racial wealth gap in our country. pic.twitter.com/CZfuDPiDRl— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 6, 2019O’Rourke talked touted his plan to “end discrimination in the workplace” as a means for Black women, in particular, to make financial gains on their white counterparts. .@CoryBooker on the 2020 Election: “The agenda of African American women has to be at the center of the Democratic Party agenda.” #EssenceFest pic.twitter.com/ZoMwf0KTGu— ESSENCE (@Essence) July 8, 2019But it may have been the presence of former first lady Michelle Obama that brought some of the biggest revelations into the 2020 election, which many people still want her to run for.Keep reading to see all the things we learned at the 2019 Essence Festival about the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 Election.Joe Biden vs. Kamala Harris was still fresh on the mind of peopleMichelle Obama refused to comment on the racially charged confrontation between the California senator and the former vice president during a Democratic debate last month. Freedom comes from economic empowerment. And when women of color account for nearly half of all women-owned businesses—over $386 billion in annual revenue—that means lifting up Black women not just with our words, but with our dollars. #essencefest pic.twitter.com/MVucxftpAD— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 7, 2019But Warren, who seemingly has based most of her career on consumer protection, came with what appeared to be the most comprehensive proposal to close the racial wealth gap. The Massachusetts senator released a plan called “valuing the work of women of color” that she would achieve “on day one of the Warren Administration to boost wages for women of color and open up new pathways to the leadership positions they deserve.” I’m grateful to have been a part of the 25th annual @EssenceFest! We need to use every tool in the toolbox to make our government and our economy work for communities of color, and I’m glad we had the opportunity to talk about that today. #EssenceFest pic.twitter.com/7NSSHb73xa— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 7, 2019While there is a long way to go before Democrats choose their candidate to run against Trump, the fact that Black women and the overall Black vote is being valued so much so early in the process can only bode well for a portion of the population that has been historically underserved and neglected.Scroll down to see each of the candidates’ speeches at this year’s Essence Festival as well as Michelle Obama’s complete interview with Gayle King. At Essence Fest, Gayle King tries to get Michelle Obama to weigh in on the Biden-Harris spat. Asked if she has any thoughts on it, Obama says “I do not — I’ve been doing this rodeo far too long.”— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 7, 2019Joe Biden apologized during a trip to South Carolina over the weekend for recent comments about pro-segregation senators that Harris called “hurtful.” The absence of Biden — the Democratic frontrunner — absence from Essence Fest was noticeable as candidates tried to capitalize on the convergence of the powerful and proven voting bloc. The annual Essence Festival is a time to celebrate all-things Black women. That much is an undisputed fact. But this year’s installment took on an added significance in part because of Democrats’ apparent recent realization that Black women are the backbone of the party, which was in the beginning stages of its nomination process for who would run for president on its ticket next year. In front of a crowd of roughly 7,000 black women at #essencefest, Mayor Pete Buttigieg called Joe Biden’s apology a, “step forward.” He went on to say, “every candidate and frankly, especially white candidates need to find their voices on this issue.”— Priscilla Thompson (@PriscillaWT) July 7, 2019Black maternal health mattersCory Booker spoke about the restrictive reproductive laws such as the one in Alabama that was disproportionately threatening the health of Black women and unveiled his plans to combat them.last_img read more

Why modern humans have round heads

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Neanderthal skulls (left) are elongated from front to back like a football. Modern human neonates (right) and infants (right, inner images) also have somewhat elongated skulls, but by the time they reach adulthood, their heads have rounded out into a basketball-like shape. Ever since researchers first got a good look at a Neanderthal skull in the 1860s, they were struck by its strange shape: stretched from front to back like a football rather than round like a basketball, as in living people. But why our heads and those of our ice age cousins looked different remained a mystery.Now, researchers have found an ingenious way to identify genes that help explain the contrast. By analyzing traces of Neanderthal DNA that linger in Europeans from their ancestors’ trysts, researchers have identified two Neanderthal gene variants linked to slightly less globular head shape in living people, the team reports this week in Current Biology. The genes also influence brain organization, offering a clue to how evolution acting on the brain might have reshaped the skull. This “very important study” pinpoints genes that have a “direct effect on brain shape and, presumably, brain function in humans today,” says paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, who was not a part of the work.Cradle a newborn and you’ll see that infants start life with elongated skulls, somewhat like Neanderthals. It’s only when the modern human brain nearly doubles in size in the first year of life that the skull becomes globular, says paleoanthropologist Philipp Gunz of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He and his colleagues analyzed computerized tomography scans of modern human and Neanderthal skulls to develop a “globularity index” of human brains. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Ann GibbonsDec. 13, 2018 , 11:00 AMcenter_img To explore the underlying differences in brain tissue, they applied that index to MRI scans from 4468 people of European ancestry whose DNA had been genotyped. The team identified two Neanderthal DNA fragments that were correlated with slightly less globular heads. These DNA fragments affect the expression of two genes: UBR4, which regulates the development of neurons, and PHLPP1, which affects the development of myelin sheaths that insulate axons, or projections of neurons.The Neanderthal variants may lower URB4 expression in the basal ganglia and also lead to less myelination of axons in the cerebellum, a structure at the back of the brain. This could contribute to subtle differences in neuronal connectivity and how the cerebellum regulates motor skills and speech, says senior author Simon Fisher of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. But any effects of the Neanderthal genes in living people would be slight because so many genes shape the brain.Tying Neanderthal DNA to brain scans in living people is an “innovative and exciting approach” because “soft tissue in the brain is impossible to access from the fossil record,” says anthropologist Katerina Harvati of the University of Tübingen in Germany. She’d like to see the findings confirmed in more people.Indeed, Gunz and Fisher plan to delve into the UK Biobank, a giant database of British people’s health records and DNA. They hope to use Biobank brain scans to find more genes and to explore how Neanderthal brains would have functioned. “The Neanderthal DNA that remains in us can help us think about what their brains were like,” says geneticist Tony Capra of Vanderbilt University in Nashville.Scans of skulls show modern human infants start out with elongated heads—somewhat like Neanderthals—but they round out in adulthood. PHILIPP GUNZ/CC BY-NC-ND 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 Why modern humans have round headslast_img read more

Surprise These termites are good for trees

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Sid PerkinsJan. 10, 2019 , 2:00 PM When it comes to floorboards and furniture, termites get a bad rap. But there’s one type of wood they may be good for: the trees of rainforests.During an extreme drought that struck the island of Borneo during late 2015 and early 2016, researchers studied eight widely scattered plots on the forest floor. In four of those 2500-square-meter areas, team members dug out or leveled termite mounds and then left poison baits for the insects that remained. In the other four areas, researchers left the insects alone.In the plots with intact termite mounds and nests, soil moisture at a depth of 5 centimeters was 36% higher during the drought than it was in plots where termite activity was disrupted. Termites (above) generally require a moist environment and, when necessary, will dig down dozens of meters or more to bring water up to their living spaces, the scientists note. Surprise: These termites are good for trees Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country That termite-induced boost in near-surface soil moisture was beneficial to plants during the drought, the researchers report today in Science: Seedlings of climbing vines transplanted into areas where termites remained active were 51% more likely to survive than those in areas without the wood-eating insects.Because droughts are expected to occur more frequently in coming years as climate changes, termites may play an increasingly important role in rainforest productivity and biodiversity, the researchers suggest. Chien C. Lee Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Ancient Babylonian Artifact Seized at London Airport Returns to Iraq

first_imgBritish officials intercepted an artifact smuggler at Heathrow airport who was attempting to sneak a valuable ancient stone into the UK. The smuggler claimed the object was for “home decoration.” The 12-inches-high artifact is dated to the second millennia BC. It’s a unique item inscribed with cuneiform text and is believed to have been illegally excavated from an archaeological site in southern Iraq. Albeit the stone has been damaged, its value as a rare historical item secures it a place on museum shelves.Heathrow airport, London, UKAccording to the Guardian, who reported the story on March 10, 2019, the suspicions of a border control officer were raised by a package which was, according to the customs declaration, a “carved stone for home decoration” originating from Turkey. It also declared a cost of “300” but no currency was mentioned.With the help of the British Museum, it was confirmed the object in the package was a Kudurru, or boundary stone, from ancient Babylon. These important stones served as official documentation of a grant of land by a king. Not many of these survive today and they are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.Babylonian kudurru of the late Kassite period found near Baghdad by the French botanist André MichauxBritannica.com writes that, in ancient Babylonian times: “The original kudurrus were kept in temples, while clay copies were given to the landowners. On the stone were engraved the clauses of the contract, the images or symbols of the gods under whose protection the gift was placed, and the curse on those who violated the rights conferred.”The word kudurru translates to “frontier” or “boundary”. The kudurru inscriptions were the equivalent of land registration records, setting out the limits of the estate, as well as privileges granted to the land-owner. They were principally used during the period of Kassite rule in Babylonia, between the 16th and 12th centuries BC.Babylonian KudurruVery few archaeological artifacts are known to have survived from this era, and kudurrus are “in many cases the only documents of their period which have come down to us,” according to the British Museum. In addition to the importance of the text, such as references to Babylonian kings and historical events, they were carved were carved with animals, weapons and other symbols representing “the principal stars and constellations known to the Babylonians.” Such astral symbols were precursors to the zodiac.Babylonian Kudurru – clay tabletThe kudurru recovered at the London airport is broken and not everything on it is clearly legible. However, it is still considered to be a museum-quality piece.The cuneiform stone has been associated with the relatively unknown Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I, who ruled circa 1126-1103 BC.Nebuchadnezzar I notably defeated the Elamites, his kingdom’s enemies, successfully annexing their capital Susa — a city later famed as the administrative capital of Darius the Great of Persia.Babylonian Kudurru – inscribed clay tabletsThe recently retrieved kudurru has two columns of text which are difficult to decipher since a portion is missing some parts are worn out. What’s certain is that the stone artifact refers to some sort of military effort — perhaps the one king Nebuchadnezzar I led against the Elamites.Dr. St John Simpson from the British Museum told the Guardian, “It’s a historical document, a primary document for a little-known episode of Mesopotamian history, showing the relationship – not always friendly – between neighbours.”Text from the Kassite era Land grant to Marduk-zākir-šumi kudurruSimpson also said: “The text mentions the god Enlil and the goddess Gula and refers several times to the city of Nippur, in southern Iraq, where Enlil was the chief god. This makes it quite likely that this kudurru originates from Nippur or its close vicinity.”It is further considered that the stone object was illegally excavated more than 15 years ago when a number of archaeological sites in Iraq were looted as war and conflict prevailed.Illustration of KuduruThe British Museum is due to hand over the kudurru to the Iraqi embassy in London on March 19th, after which the ancient artifact will be flown to Baghdad.Read another story from us: Scientists Reawaken Cells from a 28,000-yr-old Woolly MammothThis is not the first time Britain has returned artifacts belonging to Iraq. Several objects, previously seized by police officers from a London-based dealer, were handed back to the Middle East country in 2018. The situation with looting, which was a huge issue in Iraq at the time, has seen significant improvements over the past decade.last_img read more

The Hair Raising History Behind The Monks Strange Haircut

first_imgChances are if someone doesn’t know the word “tonsure”, they’ll know it by sight. It’s a rather extreme-looking haircut used around the world by various cultures and is accompanied by a deeply spiritual significance. The website grunge.com wrote that a tonsure is “a reference to any religious or ceremonial clipping of hair. It’s usually done to mark a stage in some kind of religious journey, and it’s practiced in religions including Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, Buddhism, Hinduism, and it was even done in ancient Greece and Rome”.One of the most recognized examples of tonsure are Christian monks sporting a distinctive ring of hair, which encircles a bald pate. Yet despite familiar imagery, the origins of this follicular classic remain pretty much unknown.Celtic stone head from ancient Bohemia (150–50 BC), possibly depicting the form of the later Celtic Christian tonsure. Photo by CeStu CC BY 3.0“Historians do think it started around the same time men started organizing into devout communities of monks,” the site says, “which places the time frame around the second or third century AD.”This only covers the worshipful end of the equation. The appearance of tonsures around the world suggests a definitive starting point would take some finding.Though making ‘head’way on the subject’s beginnings can be complex, there are compelling theories as to how the tonsure came about. A possible connection to slavery was established by linking the appearance to a shaved head. By removing the hair of a servant, their masters dehumanized them. It’s observed that “Early monks styled themselves as ‘slaves of Christ’.”Roman tonsure (Catholicism)A visual reference to Jesus’s crown of thorns is another explanation. However not all tonsures follow the same strict pattern. The ring of hair applies to the Roman and St. Peter’s tonsure, whereas the St. Paul variety (also referred to in some sources as the “Eastern”) sees the head shaved clean.Then there is the Celtic or Simon Magus “style”, where “monks would shave the fronts of their heads from ear-to-ear while leaving the rest long.” Having said this, the exact nature of the Celtic tonsure is unclear. This is due to it being banned, but why did this happen…?Controversy over certain hairstyles persists today, but in religious terms the wrong cut can be exceptionally offensive. The reason the St. Peter’s look is the most recognized is as a result of arguments within the church. These saw a singular appearance chosen for avoidance of doubt over what was the best way to worship the divine.Things came to a head, so to speak, in 664 within the confines of a former Anglo-Saxon monastery in Whitby, northeast England. The question being debated concerned Easter, specifically when it took place on the religious calendar.St Bartholomew by Carlo Crivelli, 1473, in the Ascoli Piceno CathedralThe English Heritage website writes that the community “had been Christianised from the 620s onwards by two different groups of missionaries: those from Rome, who were first on the scene, and those of the Irish or Celtic tradition, from the island of Iona.”Because of the way Christian culture had evolved in that part of the world, there were two opposing viewpoints. They had “different Christian practices, including the way priests cut their hair, and, most important of all, the way they calculated the date of Easter.”Pietro PeruginoEventually King Oswiu (who ruled between 642 – 670 AD) called a meeting to sort the matter out once and for all. The result led to the Italian tradition winning out and the St. Peter’s tonsure being adopted. The Celtic tonsure was trimmed away in 664.Grunge.com goes on to note that “Celts had been sporting the tonsure well before they met anyone who ever called themselves Roman. There was no (discernible) religious belief or basis for the head-shaving.” Even though there is great import attached to the tonsure, it could have its roots outside of religious devotion altogether.Gregory-IV Raban-MaurIn 1972 the rules were relaxed and monks did not have to face the blade in order to show commitment to their faith. This also could have health benefits. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) site says it is “therapeutic in curing many diseases such as pediculosis, plica polonica, and peidra,” while adding it “can also be associated with secondary bacterial infections if clean blades are not used.”Read another story from us: The Fabled Remote Island where Medieval Irish Monks Battled the Forces of EvilThe practice has even been associated with rebellion. History Extra notes the efforts of John Longland, the 16th century Bishop of Lincoln and ecclesiastical equalizer, who “upbraided clergymen for banal indiscretions, such as inappropriate tonsures (the part of the head left bare) and snoozing mid-service.”Tonsures may never have a satisfactory definition but their contribution to the ages is assured, be the motivations behind getting one sacred or profane.last_img read more

NeoTract presents new clinical data from studies of UroLift System for patients

first_img Source:http://www.neotract.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 25 2018NeoTract, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated focused on addressing unmet needs in the field of urology, today announced the presentation of new clinical data at the World Congress of Endourology 2018 Annual Conference from two U.K. studies of the company’s novel UroLift® System for patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).”This analysis of the UroLift System demonstrates its transformative impact on BPH care within a major health system,” said Dave Amerson, president of the NeoTract Interventional Urology business unit. “These real-world results continue to support the safety and efficacy of the UroLift System findings of our pivotal trial, and also suggest that the adoption of the UroLift System can save health systems millions in reduced organizational costs when compared to the traditional invasive surgical TURP procedure for patients with BPH.”U.K. Data Suggests UroLift System Greatly Reduces Costs Associated with TURPThe Transforming BPH Surgical Care study compares patient outcomes, resources consumed, and associated costs of treatment for BPH in men treated with the UroLift System compared to those who received TURP using Patient Level Information Costing System (PLICS) at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in Leeds, England.Data from this real-world study, presented by Oliver Kayes, M.D., urologist of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, shows that treatment of BPH with the UroLift System shortens operation time while also reducing patients’ hospital stay to an average of 0.4 days, compared to 4.6 days for acute TURP and 1.8 days for elective TURP. Results from this study demonstrate that BPH treatment with the UroLift System reduced overall costs by 42% when compared to the TURP surgery. Further analysis from the single-center study calculates that adoption of the UroLift System for 50% of all BPH surgeries at the hospital would generate an additional annual savings of £42,000, while also saving 300 bed days and 106 hours of operating theatre time each year.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesDanbury Hospital launches ‘Healing Hugs’ for its most vulnerable patients”The results of this study demonstrate that the UroLift System moves BPH procedures into day-case settings, achieving positive patient outcomes without financial investment or increased complications in patients with BPH,” said Dr. Kayes. “Data from this study also suggests that adoption of the UroLift System would increase overall capacity, allowing for healthcare centers to focus on critical cancer targets and waiting times, while reducing delays in both urgent and non-urgent surgery.”The Cost Reductions study, also presented by Dr. Kayes, compares outcomes and cost following treatment with the UroLift System or TURP. The study analyzed reports on the UroLift System from 2010 onwards, as well as data from the National Health Service Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database and The Health Improvement Network (THIN) to identify hospitalization and treatment rates for TURP from 2010 to 2016 in England.The results indicate that the average procedure costs are similar with the UroLift System or TURP, but no hospital stay or follow-up visits are required with the UroLift System. The analysis also accounted for the lower rate of complications with the UroLift System based on published data, which includes minimal need for hospital treatment and no instances of new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction. With a conservative estimate of 50% reduction in complications using the UroLift System and 50% adoption in patients who would otherwise undergo a TURP procedure, this analysis indicates that approximately £27 million could be saved by reductions in complications alone. The results from this study are consistent with the Surgical Care study, demonstrating that an increased use of the UroLift System to treat patients with BPH could significantly reduce costs and maintain positive patient outcomes.last_img read more

Highdose influenza vaccine associated fewer hospitalizations in dialysis patients

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Results from a new study suggest that high-dose influenza vaccine is associated with lower risk for hospitalizations in kidney failure patients on dialysis. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).High-dose influenza vaccine, which contains fourfold more antigen than the standard dose, is linked with fewer cases of influenza and less severe influenza symptoms in the elderly general population. Whether the high-dose influenza vaccine benefits dialysis patients, whose immune response to vaccination is less robust than healthy patients, is uncertain. To investigate, Dana Miskulin, MD (Tufts Medical Center) and her colleagues compared hospitalizations and deaths during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 influenza seasons by vaccine type (standard trivalent, standard quadrivalent, and high-dose trivalent influenza vaccine) administered to more than 9000 patients in season within a national dialysis organization.Related StoriesNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedResearchers identify possible role of polyphosphate in dialysis-related amyloidosis$3.1 million NIH funding awarded to develop universal flu vaccineReceiving high-dose vs. standard dose influenza vaccine in 2016-17 was associated with lower rates of hospitalization in dialysis patients, although this association was not seen in 2015-16. There were no differences in rates of death between patients receiving the high-dose vs. standard dose influenza vaccine during either influenza season.”We found that the administration of the high-dose influenza vaccine was associated with 8% fewer first hospitalizations than the standard dose vaccine in 2016-17. In 2015-16 there was no difference by vaccine type although statistical power was limited, with only 8% of patients receiving high dose that year, compared with 61% in 2016-17,” said Dr. Miskulin.Dr. Miskulin noted that the 2016-17 season results are consistent with lower hospitalizations with high-dose as compared with standard dose seen in the elderly general population. Adverse events were not collected in this study, but large clinical trials in the general population suggest that the high-dose vaccine is not associated with more adverse effects. “While these results should not be considered definitive, because vaccine type was not randomized, they suggest that there may be a reduction in influenza related morbidity in dialysis patients with use of the high-dose vs. standard dose vaccine,” said Dr. Miskulin.Studies of other strategies to increase influenza vaccine effectiveness in dialysis patients and other immunocompromised populations, including the use of adjuvants and booster doses, could also be beneficial, according to an accompanying editorial by Megan Lindley, MPH and David Kim, MD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). “Even in the absence of increased vaccine effectiveness, improvements in influenza vaccination coverage among medically vulnerable populations such as dialysis patients could increase protection against influenza,” they wrote. “In groups where the burden of influenza disease and its complications are disproportionately felt, small improvements in vaccine effectiveness and vaccination coverage may have large impacts.” Source:https://www.asn-online.org/last_img read more