The Return of the Gray WhalesInslee Brown Vow Environmental ProtectionThe Northwest Equals

July 20, 2019

first_imgGray whales have returned to the Puget Sound to feed along their 10,000-mile journey from Mexico to Alaska. The dozen or so gray whales familiar with the area have begun to arrive to feed on the sound’s ghost shrimp lying on the bottom. … these whales are relatively new to the area. There’s no record of the whales before the 1990s and it’s thought the few visitors came to find food during a food shortage. The whales will be visiting through April, followed by the sound’s favorite orcas in May.last_img

Its Time To hiv the Talk With Older Adults

July 20, 2019

first_imgby, Christina Pierpaoli, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 Sharesdreamstime_s_3839340The face of contemporary American sexuality reflects the advocacy of millions of boomers who— in between lounging on Yasgur’s farm and fawning over a young, tight-pantsed Roger Daltrey—revolutionized conceptions of sexual stigma, reproductive rights, and contraception.But for older adults, it’s time for a new sexual revolution—and one where a real conversation about HIV/AIDS can start.Earlier this year, the CDC published startling findings from the HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report examining diagnoses of HIV infection among adults 50 years and older between 2007 and 2010 in the United States. Among those states with confidential name-based HIV infection reporting, there was a 14.3% increase in the estimated percentage of persons aged 50 years or older with diagnosed HIV infection—from 28.6% in 2007 to 32.7% in 2009. Of those adults diagnosed with HIV in 2009, 41.5% were classified as stage 3, with a T helper cell count low enough for AIDS—the severest form of HIV.The reasons behind these data are complex and multidimensional. With the rise of penicillin successfully treating STDs like syphilis in an environment of recreational drug use and sex, boomers’ historical perspective could be skewing their identification with risky sexual behavior. The proliferation of pro-erection medication has fostered a renewed sense of sexuality for men and couples far beyond women’s childbearing years, thereby reducing the perceived functional necessity for protection among sexually active older adults. To complicate matters, the earliest symptoms of HIV infection like fatigue, malaise, and loss of energy can be mistaken for the ‘simple realities’ of aging and are often dismissed, if not ignored altogether.Ageism and stigma can help explain why. As a culture, we believe aging precludes sexuality. It is easier and significantly more comfortable for us to imagine aging boomers as asexual, heterosexual, or at best, monogamous. And in the history of America—perhaps the world—few diseases have been as notoriously stereotyped; so even in cases of suspected and potential infection, the historically shameful subtext of HIV/AIDS creates silence among older adults. Only, that silence can be fatal.Unlike their younger counterparts who account for the highest rate of HIV infection, adults 50 and over continue to go unscreened for HIV/AIDS even though its severity is disproportionately concentrated among boomers and safe, valid testing resources exist. Earlier and regular screenings across health domains can predict better, more manageable health outcomes when it comes to cancer, depression, or heart disease—and HIV/AIDS is no different.As America grays, life expectancy increases, drug therapies improve, and functional cures grow in their promise, there is a substantive pragmatism—and responsibility—to screen older adults for HIV/AIDS. Emerging treatments will only be as effective as the populations they reach. For aging boomers, opt-out HIV/AIDS screening could serve as a simple, effective mode of sociocultural and medical enfranchisement in an environment that currently sanctions, minimizes, and dismisses their sexuality and health. It can also save lives.So dearest baby boomers, blast some Power to the people, do what you do best, and fight for your right to love safely and without shame—again.Related PostsLet’s talk about sex—after 60Older adults account for an increasing proportion of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, in the United States. Notwithstanding, sex after sixty continues to remain shrouded in silence. In this post, doctoral student Christina Pierpaoli Parker discusses the reasons for and consequences of the scantiness of late life sexual health conversations,…Wise Up: Study AgingI am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.Sexy-agenariansAs a culture, we have adopted a sort of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy about sexuality, which, of course, stifles dialogues about sexual health for almost everyone at any age. To complicate matters, we also place a high social premium on youthfulness. So naturally, conversations about sex and aging represent…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: baby boomers health Health and Wellness HIV Sexualitylast_img read more

Researchers examine whether current health regulations at mines are sufficient to decrease

July 20, 2019

first_imgMay 8 2018While on-the-job fatalities due to injuries and accidents have steadily decreased in nearly every industry in the U.S., the burden of debilitating lung disease in the coal mining industry has sharply increased within the last decade. A new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal examines whether compliance with health regulations at mines across the country was sufficient to decrease instances of lung disease.Increases in lung diseases associated with coal mining have been documented by numerous independent data sources including The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) administered Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program, mortality data from deceased miners, federal black lung compensation and state compensation disability claims and the national transplant registry.One strategy currently employed to prevent lung disease in mines is compliance with Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) requirements. MSHA outlines numerous rules and regulations for sampling, emission limits, medical surveillance, dust monitoring, tests for gases and air flow, etc. However, there are limited resources available to help mines determine how much to invest in each potential prevention activity. Given recent increases in dust-induced lung diseases in coal mines, research is needed to help inform resource allocation.The study, “Interstitial lung diseases in the U.S. mining industry: Using MSHA data to examine trends and the prevention effects of compliance with health regulations, 1996-2015,” was conducted by Patrick L. Yorio, Ph.D., A. Scott Laney, Ph.D., Cara N. Halldin, Ph.D., David J. Blackley, Dr.P.H., Susan M. Moore, Ph.D., Kerri Wizner, MPH, Lewis J. Radonovich, M.D., and Lee A. Greenawald, Ph.D., from NIOSH. The researchers analyzed data from MSHA’s databases to determine the effectiveness of the MSHA standards and regulations.Current MSHA requirements outline numerous rules for both eliminating or reducing airborne contamination and the risk of exposure through management practices. For example, maintaining a working environment with noted airborne contaminants below a certain level, effectively communicating levels of airborne contaminants and providing NIOSH-approved personal respiratory protection when appropriate. The researchers analyzed the MSHA standards in their entirety, parts 1-104, and found 17 total instances in which a standard mandates that mines continuously maintain airborne contaminants below a specified level and 51 instances in which a standard mandates that mines accurately assess the airborne hazards, communicate the assessment results and provide protection when appropriate.Related StoriesStudy finds identical alcohol relapse rates among liver transplant recipients regardless of sobriety periodIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyWarning issued by FDA after patient dies following fecal transplantThe researchers used data from 8,165 mines across the country that were active during 1996-2015. The data revealed 730 cases of lung disease reported from 2006-2015. Coal mines reported a majority of the cases (662), all of which were cases of pneumoconiosis. Additionally, the majority of lung disease cases (640) originated in the Appalachian region, compared to a total of 22 cases in the Western, Southern, and North Central regions combined.Statistical analysis of the data revealed that for each unit increase in an inspector observed instance of non-compliance with regulations related to reducing the risk of exposure through management practices there was a 12-14 percent increase in the probability of that mine reporting lung disease. For each unit increase in an inspector observed instance of non-compliance with regulations related to reducing airborne contamination, there was a 10-22 percent increase in the probability of that mine reporting a lung disease. Mines located in the Appalachian region were also 2.73-3.40 times more likely to report a case of pneumoconiosis compared to other regions. Underground mines were also 8-9.78 times more likely to report a case than surface coal mines.”Our study found that mines that comply with relevant MSHA health standards experience a substantially lower number of lung diseases over time,” said lead author Yorio, Ph.D., of CDC’s NIOSH. “This suggests a disciplined effort to comply with relevant MSHA requirements can be an effective method to prevent mining-related occupational lung disease.”Cases of lung disease reported to the MSHA occurred mostly in underground coal mines concentrated in the Appalachian region of the U.S. In general, coal mines were 16-17.8 times more likely to report a lung disease diagnosis to MSHA than a non-coal mine. The findings of this study empirically demonstrates the efficacy of actionable organizational strategies designed to prevent occupational lung diseases. Source:http://www.sra.org/last_img read more

Alcohol hangovers more significant and costly than people realize shows research

July 20, 2019

first_imgJun 20 2018Alcohol hangovers are more significant and costly than people realize, new research shows. Although individuals may be “street legal” to drive a car, or go to work and operate machinery, they can be just as impaired with a hangover as if they were over the alcohol limit. These observations and others will be shared at the 41st annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in San Diego June 17-21.”Alcohol hangovers have a significant impact on safety through impairment, and on the economy through absenteeism,” said Chris Alford, associate professor in applied psychology University of the West of England. “The different symptoms of a hangover involve a range of physiological and other responses. Furthermore, people are different and so suffer a range of symptoms. Therefore, what works best for one person may not work well for another.”Related StoriesPeople use executive control processes to ignore cues that signal something rewardingStudy: One in five university students affected by problematic smartphone useRecreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research showsAlford will discuss hangover-treatment options at the RSA meeting on June 19.”Current treatments can provide symptomatic relief,” said Alford. “For example, the caffeine in a strong coffee will not sober you up, but it may help you feel more alert the day after a night of drinking. A headache pill may help a pounding headache, and drinking water will overcome thirst. However, generally feeling ‘unwell’ is likely linked to the alcohol metabolites, or chemical breakdown products, that are still in your brain and body. We need to develop treatments that directly target the alcohol metabolites that produce the hangover symptoms.”Alford added that research shows that, even if you think you are immune, you will get a hangover if you drink enough. “Because hangovers produce impairment that affects safety,” he advised, “give a miss to the types of drink that you know give you a hangover, and drink moderately to avoid a hangover – it’s just common sense.” Source:http://www.rsoa.org/last_img read more

Beat Childhood Cancer consortiums clinical trial offers new hope to children in

July 20, 2019

first_imgAug 8 2018Children in Canada who are battling neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, have been granted new hope toward a better prognosis and long-term survival. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s consortium, known as Beat Childhood Cancer (BCC), announced today that through a partnership with The C17 Council, the organization’s first Canadian clinical trial site, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, has been approved to begin recruiting patients for a pivotal clinical trial investigating the potential of a repurposed drug to prevent relapse in patients diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma who are currently in remission.DFMO (eflornithine HCl) has been commissioned by the World Health Organization for decades in the treatment of patients with African sleeping sickness and has a robust safety profile for use in children. Through translational research, it was discovered that a common pathway in neuroblastoma tumors may be inhibited by DFMO. This discovery led to a Phase I clinical trial in a handful of patients. The results were promising, and led to a subsequent trial that further demonstrated possible patient benefit. Historically, about 40 percent of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma relapse within four years; on the initial study less than 15 percent of children receiving DFMO relapsed.The current trial has enrolled 132 patients from around the world at centers in the United States. Now children in Canada will have easier access to this potentially lifesaving drug, making it more readily available to patients who do not have the means to travel to the United States for treatment.”We are thrilled to be able to offer our study to children across Canada and work with their clinical teams,” said Giselle Sholler, MD, chair of Beat Childhood Cancer and Haworth Director of Innovative Therapeutics at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Collaboration and partnerships are essential in pediatric cancer to make a difference for our children.””Parents and doctors in Canada are very excited to announce that the DFMO trial developed by the Beat Childhood Cancer group is now available in Canada for all children suffering from high risk neuroblastoma,” said physician investigator for the study Pierra Eteira, MD, MSc, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Montreal. “This new treatment appears very promising and very well tolerated. As a pediatric oncologist, I’m convinced that this new collaboration with Dr. Giselle Sholler and her team at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will help to cure children with neuroblastoma in Canada.”Related StoriesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerAndrew Cuttle, a father of a child who battled neuroblastoma who has recently completed this study traveling from Canada to Michigan for the past two years, and a key parent advocate who helped bring DFMO to Canada, shared the following: “What this means to families is monumental. As this clinical trial rolls out to more hospitals across Canada, families can make the choice to enroll without the barrier of financial burden, travel and time away from their families. It gives parents a voice, a choice and to most, a glass full of hope. We need to break down the borders when it comes to children and their rights to access some of the most promising treatments towards life threatening cancers.”The availability of DFMO through this study in Canada is already expanding, with five additional hospitals currently in the process of seeking approval to recruit patients as well. The data collected from patients enrolled in this trial will be presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a compelling argument to make DFMO available to patients without the need to enroll in a clinical trial. Through the support of patient advocates like Andrew Cuttle, funding through Beat NB Foundation and partnerships with organizations like The C17 Council, hope for these patients and their families is reaching further every day.BCC is a growing consortium of more than 40 research centers and children’s hospitals headquartered at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI that offers an international network of childhood cancer clinical trials. The mission is to act as a national and international collaborative effort of researchers, oncologists and family advocates to bring forward new therapies and technologies with the goal of improving the survival and quality of life of children with childhood cancers. Source:https://newsroom.spectrumhealth.org/beat-childhood-cancer-consortium-expands-into-canada/last_img read more

Sunscreen from bathers releases significant quantities of polluting titanium dioxide into the

July 20, 2019

first_imgAug 17 2018Scientists have found that sunscreen from bathers releases significant quantities of polluting TiO2 (titanium dioxide) into the sea. This has the potential to harm marine life. This work, which comes from research on beaches in the South of France, was presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Boston (see below).TiO2 is one of the main ingredients of sunscreen, where it acts as a protective against harmful UV rays: most major regulatory bodies consider it generally safe for human use at the concentrations used in sunscreens*, however, concentrated TiO2 or long term exposure could be toxic to a variety of fish and other aquatic organisms*.In many sunscreens, TiO2 is present as tiny nanoparticles, which are coated with protective chemicals. Because the particle size is so small, nano-titanium dioxide does not reflect visible light, but does absorb UV light, enabling a transparent barrier that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.The researchers have found that in water, the nanoparticles tend to lose their protective coating under the influence of UV light or seawater composition, which exposes the more toxic TiO2 to the aquatic environment.They measured TiO2 concentrations in 3 beaches near Marseille in France, as well as surveying bathers about how much they used sunscreen, and how often they used the water. The team found daily concentrations of 15 to 45 μg/L of TiO2, which corresponds to several kg of nanoparticles per summer season per beach.Lead Researcher, Dr Jérôme Labille (Labex Serenade / Aix-Marseille Université / CNRS, Aix en Provence, France) said:”For example, with one small beach which held around 3000 people daily, we calculate that around 68kg of cream could be deposited per day, or 2.2 tons over the height of summer. If we consider reasonably that half of the creams used contain 5% of titanium dioxide, this gives 1.7 kg of titanium dioxide released per day: That comes to around 54kg in the two months of high summer, which is a significant amount. Of course, the sea is more or less continually in motion, so some of the titanium dioxide pollution will be dispersed. Nevertheless, we anticipate an accumulation of titanium dioxide in the seashore littoral, which could affect the wildlife there. In recreation areas with stagnant water, such as in lakes or seawater swimming pools, then there will be no such dispersion and the accumulation would be expected to be even more pronounced.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchDynamic Light Scattering measurements in concentrated solutionsIt is important to keep this in perspective; titanium dioxide is a pollutant, and we need to take measures to try to reduce the quantities of TiO2 which are concentrated in the aquatic environment, where it can be harmful to fish and other organisms. Nevertheless, it is extremely important that sunbathers continue to use sunscreen for skin protection, the titanium dioxide pollution needs to be dealt with by the manufacturers and possibly legislation, and we’ve had good feedback from the manufacturers we are working with”.The researchers note that in early July of this year, Hawaii banned certain sunscreens which were found to be harming coral reefs (this was not due to titanium dioxide)-Dr Labille continued, “The good news is that we are working on nanoparticle UV filters and sunscreen formulations which will reduce the potential damage from titanium dioxide. We’re looking at developing sunscreens which are “safe by design” in which the release and toxicity of nanoparticles will be minimized, so we anticipate that a solution to this problem isn’t too far away”.Commenting, Dr. Thilo Hofmann from the University of Vienna said:”This work is of special interest, since it shows for the first time how nanoparticles from cosmetics may influence the aquatic environment. Earlier work from our group has shown this for lakes and rivers, but this is the first study for the marine environment”.This is an independent comment; Dr Hofmann was not involved in this work. Dr Hofmann Chaired the session in which this work was presented. Source:https://www.geochemsoc.org/last_img read more

Total ankle arthroplasty boosts patients range of motion and improves quality of

July 20, 2019

first_img Source:https://www.jefferson.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 6 2018Surgical reconstruction is a life changer for people with end-stage ankle arthritis, a painful condition that limits patients’ abilities to go up and down stairs, get out of a car and even walk. Now researchers from The Rothman Orthopedic Institute at Jefferson Health demonstrate that surgical reconstruction boosts patients’ range of motion by more than 60 percent and that translates to significantly less pain and better function completing everyday activities with improvement continuing for at least the first two years following surgery. The findings will enable surgeons to not only best inform patients about what improvements to expect as they recover during the first two years after surgery and but also what the surgical repair can do for them-;namely, provide a superior quality of life.”They’re really dramatically better than they were before surgery on average,” said Steven Raikin, MD, Director of Foot and Ankle Service at the Rothman Orthopedic Institute at Jefferson Health and professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Jefferson Medical College, who published the work September 5th in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.Traumatic injury or repeated sprains wear down cartilage that usually cushions the ankle joint. Bone-on-bone grinding and arthritis can occur as the protective buffer erodes away. As a result, patients with ankle arthritis have limited range of motion in their ankle. Together with debilitating pain, the condition prevents patients from doing everyday activities as simple as getting up from a chair. When non-surgical options such as medications, steroid injections or bracing have failed, surgery becomes the only option. Total ankle arthroplasty, or a complete surgical replacement of the ankle joint, has only become a viable choice in the last decade. With new methods and updated devices, results from total ankle arthroplasty appear effective, but patients wanted to know more about the recovery period. “The whole idea was to try to create expectation parameters for patients getting ankle replacements at different time periods in the first two years following surgery,” he said. Related StoriesVitamin D supplementation may not reduce the risk of heart diseaseStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusHow a simple MRI scan can help patients with anginaDr. Raikin and a team of surgeons and researchers from The Rothman Institute and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital assessed more than 100 patients’ range of motion, pain levels and function completing everyday activities before surgery and then again at three months, six months, one year and two years after total ankle arthroplasty surgery.On average, surgery improved patients’ ankle range of motion in the sagittal plane by 66 percent, from a 20.7-degree angle before surgery to a peak of 34.3 degrees six months post-surgery. As patients’ range of motion improved, so did their quality of life. “We are able to give a dramatic improvement in range of motion and pain with these ankle replacements,” said Dr. Raikin. Patients’ pain scores plummeted from 74 on a 100-point scale to 15 and their ability to complete everyday tasks shot up from 50 to 80 out of 100 over the two-year follow-up. What’s more these improvements correlated strongly with enhanced ankle flexibility.When the team analyzed surgical outcomes, they found that the critical recovery window happened much earlier than they thought. The first six months post-surgery were crucial, according to their data. “The vast majority of the improvement patients get, they actually get in the first six months,” said Dr. Raikin. “This is very important because we have to really motivate patients earlier on.”Patients’ range of motion peaked at the 6-month mark with improvement slowing down from there for example. Pain and functionality followed the same trend. Dr. Raikin is now pushing his patients in their recovery earlier and quicker as a result of this study. That said, patients do continue to improve both their range of motion and their pain and functionality until about 2 years. “So, if they’re not where we expect them to be, they can still catch up,” Dr. Raikin said.last_img read more

Food supply was protected after Fukushima study finds

July 20, 2019

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) TOKYO—On the 4th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, there is one bit of reassuring news: A new study concludes that contaminated food was likely kept out of the market.”In my honest opinion, the Japanese government did a terrific job to keep their people safe” from contaminated food, says Georg Steinhauser, an environmental radiochemist at Colorado State University,  Fort Collins, who led the study.The meltdowns at three reactors and subsequent explosions released massive radioactive plumes. To limit exposure, authorities evacuated more than 150,000 residents. (And many more left the area in fear of the radiation.) Mindful that drinking contaminated milk led to most of the cancers that resulted from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, the Japanese government also launched a massive effort to check foods for contamination and ban any items exceeding set limits. The limit for most food was initially set at 500 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg), and then lowered to 100 Bq/kg a year later. For comparison, the European Union’s limit is 1250 Bq/kg. 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 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Email In 4 years, the government has examined roughly a million samples, posting all the data online. Steinhauser and colleagues at the Vienna University of Technology and the University of Tokyo mined the data, looking for trends and lessons. They report that radioactivity in tap water in the Tohoku region, which includes the Fukushima plant, had dropped below the specified limit for liquids within a month of the accident. Contamination in fruits and vegetables peaked immediately after sampling started, which was within 10 days or so of the accident. But by early summer, only some mushroom and dried produce samples exceeded the limit. The team says mushrooms are known accumulators of radionuclides and serve as sentinel products when watching for contamination.Sampling of meat and eggs was slower to ramp up. But the number of contaminated samples and level of contamination peaked by July 2011 and then decreased. The exception was wild boar meat, which peaked somewhat later as the boars were apparently eating contaminated wild mushrooms.  “It seems very unlikely that more than very few members of the public in Japan exceeded the maximum permissible internal exposure of 1 mSv [millisievert]/year,” the team writes in the 3 March issue of Environmental Science & Technology. One millisievert per year is the recommended maximum radiation dose for the general public set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.Nongovernmental watchdog groups have reported finding items on grocery store shelves that exceed the limit. Steinhauser is not surprised, noting that the government’s random sampling program was aimed at ensuring the overall safety of the food supply. “The consumption of one singular above-limit food item does not automatically pose a radiological risk to consumers,” he says.The paper does not address what Keith Baverstock, a radiation health expert formerly at the World Health Organization and now at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu, considers the most important public health question: What were the external and internal doses in the days and months after the release of the radiation? “A significant quantity” of the vegetable foodstuffs initially exceeded the government’s limits, he notes, while acknowledging that those limits are much stricter than those in force in Europe. “How these data can be interpreted in terms of doses is not at all clear,” he says.Steinhauser and others think that the government’s food-screening program effectively limited the amount of contaminated food reaching the public. “I believe the conclusions about exposure are generally solidly based; they are believable and reassuring, as well,” says Steven Simon, a radiation epidemiologist at the U.S. National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.One gap in his study, Steinhauser concedes, is that it doesn’t cover seafood, a major component of the Japanese diet. “The reason for not looking at seafood was simply the huge amount of data,” Steinhauser says. A preliminary assessment suggests there were fewer cases of seafood exceeding allowable limits, he says. But follow-up studies are expected to also cover seafood.last_img read more

Reality check Is sex crime genetic

July 20, 2019

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A splashy headline appeared on the websites of many U.K. newspapers this morning, claiming that men whose brothers or fathers have been convicted of a sex offense are “five times more likely to commit sex crimes than the average male” and that this increased risk of committing rape or molesting a child “may run in a family’s male genes.” The study, published online today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, analyzed data from 21,566 male sex offenders convicted in Sweden between 1973 and 2009 and concluded that genetics may account for roughly 40% of the likelihood of committing a sex crime. (Women, who commit less than 1% of Sweden’s sexual offenses, were omitted from the analysis.) The scientists have suggested that the new research could be used to help identify potential offenders and target high-risk families for early intervention efforts.But independent experts—and even the researchers who led the work, to a certain degree—warn that the study has some serious limitations. Here are a few reasons to take its conclusions, and the headlines, with a generous dash of salt.Alternate explanations: Most studies point to early life experiences, such as childhood abuse, as the most important risk factor for becoming a perpetrator of abuse in adulthood. The new study, however, did not include any detail about the convicted sex criminals’ early life exposure to abuse. Instead, by comparing fathers with sons, and full brothers and half-brothers reared together or apart, the scientists attempted to tease out the relative contributions of shared environment and shared genes to the risk of sexual offending. Based on their analyses, the researchers concluded that shared environment accounted for just 2% of the risk of sexual offense, while genetics accounted for roughly 40%. Although there is likely some genetic contribution to sexual offending—perhaps related to impulsivity or sex drive—the group “may be overestimating the role of genes” because their assumptions were inaccurate, says Fred Berlin, a psychiatrist and sexologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_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 Data on sexual crimes are tricky to obtain and parse: It’s extremely difficult to collect sufficient data about sexual offenders and their families to detect statistically robust patterns. Sweden is unusual because its nationwide Multi-Generation Register allows researchers to mine not only anonymized criminal records, but also to link them with offenders’ family records as well. Even with access to a nationwide database, Seena Fazel, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues had to include a very diverse range of offenses, from rape to possession of child pornography and indecent exposure, to maintain a large sample size.The team did do some analysis by type of offense, separating rape from child molestation, for example. But some researchers worry that attributing a genetic basis to such a wide swath of behaviors is premature. There are also problems with relying on conviction records: Many more sexual crimes are committed than reported, and the proportion of those that go to trial is even smaller.In addition, families with one member who has been convicted of a sexual offense are likely to be under much higher scrutiny by social services and law enforcement, leading to potential detection bias that artificially enhances the perception that sex crimes run in families, says Cathy Spatz Widom, a psychologist at the City University of New York who studies the intergenerational transmission of physical and sexual abuse. In a recent study, for example, Widom found that parents with a formal record of being abused as children were 2.5 times more likely to be reported to Child Protective Services for abusing their own children than parents in a control group who admitted to abusing their children, or whose kids said they had been mistreated.The absolute risk of becoming a sex offender is very low: One of the study’s more dramatic-sounding findings is that brothers and fathers of sex offenders are four to five times as likely as men in the general population to commit sex crimes themselves. That statistic seems pretty striking until you look at the low prevalence of sex offense convictions in Sweden overall—a number comparable to that in the United Kingdom and many other countries. “If you look at the absolute rates, we’re looking at quite small numbers,” Fazel says. According to Fazel, convicted sex offenders make up about 0.5% of Sweden’s general population while about 2.5% of the brothers and fathers of convicted sex offenders are themselves convicted. Widom thinks even those estimates are likely too high. Because the risk of being a sex offender in both groups is so low, the difference between the two groups is hard to interpret, she says: “Who knows what the [relative difference in risk] even means when the prevalence is that low?”In summary, there’s no doubt that some families are at a higher risk for abuse and criminal behaviors, including sexual offenses. But we’re a long way from pinning down genes that can explain why a person commits rape or any other sex crime.last_img read more

Engineered natural killer cells may be the next great cancer immunotherapy

July 20, 2019

first_imgMaking CAR T cells involves removing patients’ own T cells and genetically altering them to attack cancer cells that carry a specific immune-stimulating molecule, or antigen. (All of the CAR T treatments approved so far target the CD19 protein on cancerous B cells, a type of immune cell.) The cells have produced impressive results in clinical trials—in one study, they triggered remissions in 83% of children with previously untreatable acute lymphoblastic leukemia. But some patients who have already undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatment may not have enough T cells left to donate. And these powerful immune warriors can trigger a potentially fatal flood of the immune system molecules known as cytokines or turn against normal body cells.Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of CAR T cells, though, is they don’t work well against solid tumors, says hematologist and oncologist Saar Gill of the University of Pennsylvania. Tumors rebuff T cells that try to enter, inhibit immune cells that do make it inside, and can curb production of antigens targeted by CAR T cells. Researchers are trying several approaches to improve CAR T cells’ performance against solid tumors. But NK cells are a tempting alternative, scientists say.”Natural killer cells are our first line of defense against cancer cells,” Rezvani says. They scan other cells in the body and destroy any that are infected or otherwise abnormal, including tumor cells. Researchers have been trying to harness the cancer-fighting activity of NK cells that don’t carry CARs for more than 20 years, notes translational immunologist Jeffrey Miller of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. But upgrading them by adding CARs seems to boost their potency.Earlier this year, for instance, stem cell biologist Dan Kaufman of the University of California (UC), San Diego, and colleagues reported that in mice, CAR NK cells perform about as well against ovarian tumors as CAR T cells do—and substantially better than unaltered NK cells. Mouse trials also suggest CAR NK cells may not cause some of the side effects of CAR T cells, such as excess cytokine release and neurological damage. CAR NK cells might also be less vulnerable to some of tumors’ tricks for avoiding attacks. Because NK cells rely on other receptors to recognize tumor cells, not just the CAR, they may be able to detect a tumor even if it alters its antigens. In addition, Kaufman points out, it may be feasible to give patients multiple doses of CAR NK cells and hammer away at tumors, whereas the cost of CAR T cells limits patients to a single dose.The first trials of CAR NK cells started in China in 2016 in patients with several kinds of cancers—early results from one suggest the cells are safe. Rezvani and colleagues’ initial trial is pitting the cells against several varieties of lymphoma and leukemia. A European trial, which is testing CAR NK cells in patients with the brain cancer glioblastoma, launched this year. In the upcoming MD Anderson trial, patients with B cell lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, will receive stem cell transplants and chemotherapy before CAR NK cells, which the researchers hope will mop up any remaining cancer cells.”I think the future is bright for CAR NK cells, but we are at the very beginning,” says hematologist Mitchell Cairo of the New York Medical College in Hawthorne. One unknown is the best source for the cells. T cells from someone other than the patient can trigger a potentially fatal immune complication known as graft-versus-host disease, in which the transplanted cells attack the recipient’s own tissues. But NK cells from a donor do not appear to cause that response, which opens a range of options. Although sieving NK cells from donors’ blood is a possibility, the procedure is expensive and can harm the donors. Both MD Anderson trials instead rely on NK cells isolated from umbilical cord blood and then implanted with CARs. Donated umbilical cord blood is abundant and plenty of NK cells can be grown from it.In contrast, the Chinese and European trials generated enough NK cells by turning to a cell line derived from a person with a type of lymphoma. These cells are staples of clinical trials, and despite their cancerous origin, they appear to be safe, says immunologist Torsten Tonn of the Technical University of Dresden in Germany, one of the researchers participating in the glioblastoma trial. Kaufman and colleagues are also exploring another possible source of NK cells: induced pluripotent stem cells, which are produced by nudging adult body cells to return to an unspecialized state.All these approaches could lead to off-the-shelf CAR NK cells that avoid the need to extract and modify a cancer patient’s own cells. The patient’s immune system will eventually reject any foreign NK cells, Miller notes. But before that happens, Rezvani and other researchers think the donor NK cells will have a window of time during which they can combat cancer cells. The question, she says, is whether they will persist long enough to benefit patients.Like NK cells, macrophages can destroy cancer cells, but the catch is that most macrophages inside a tumor are traitors, which help the tumor by quashing immune attacks against it, for example. “Tumors acquire macrophages to support their own growth and turn them into their minions,” Gill says. But he and graduate student Michael Klichinsky have discovered that the procedure for equipping macrophages with a CAR prevents them from switching sides. The duo helped found a company, Carisma Therapeutics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that expects to begin clinical trials of CAR macrophages next year.At least in the lab, adding a CAR to macrophages boosts their tumor-fighting abilities, just as it does for other immune cells, postdoc Meghan Morrissey of UC San Francisco and colleagues have also reported. But tumor immunologist Kim O’Neill of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, who leads another group trying to improve the cells’ tumor-killing abilities, suggests macrophages could do the most good by recruiting other immune cells. T cells, for example, respond to the cellular debris leftover when a macrophage digests a tumor cell, so he envisions that patients would receive CAR macrophages along with CAR T cells. Like great detectives, even the most powerful cancer-fighting cells might benefit from a talented sidekick. By Mitch LeslieSep. 13, 2018 , 1:05 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Natural killer cells (yellow) attack a cancer cell. EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE SOURCE center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The cancer fighters known as CAR T cells have proved their prowess in recent years. Three therapies using the altered T cells against lymphoma or leukemia have won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, and hundreds of trials are now unleashing them on other malignancies, including solid tumors. But the cells may soon have company. Researchers have equipped other immune guardians—natural killer cells and macrophages—with the same type of cancer-homing receptor, and the natural killer cells have made their debut in clinical trials.CAR T cells—their name comes from the chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, added to help the immune cells target cancer cells—inspired the new work. CAR natural killer (CAR NK) cells could be safer, faster to produce, and cheaper, and they may work in situations where T cells falter. CAR-carrying macrophages also have potential advantages, and one firm plans to launch the first clinical trials of these cells next year.Although they aren’t likely to replace CAR T cells, these alternative cancer fighters “could be an addition to the armamentarium of cell therapies,” says hematologist and oncologist Katy Rezvani of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She is leading the first trial of CAR NK cells in the United States, which began in 2017, and organizing another that is due to start this year. Engineered natural killer cells may be the next great cancer immunotherapy Emaillast_img read more

What makes petunias red also makes lemons sour

July 20, 2019

first_img Inga Spence/Science Source By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 26, 2019 , 11:00 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) What makes petunias red also makes lemons sour This Lisbon lemon has a molecular pump that helps make it sour and turn its flowers purplish. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img In 2014, Koes’s team discovered a new kind of vacuole pump inside the cells of red petunias, one thought previously to exist only in the outer cell membrane. This pump was more powerful, able to pull enough protons together into vacuoles to keep petunia flowers red. He and his colleagues wondered whether that same pump was active in sour fruits such as lemons.Mikeal Roose, a geneticist and plant breeder at the University of California (UC), Riverside, sent Koes’s team samples of more than a dozen varieties of sweet and sour lemons, oranges, pomelos, and limes. The researchers examined the DNA of each fruit and measured the activity of two genes coding for a pair of proteins that make up the powerful pump. Those genes were very busy in sour plants, but not in sweet plants, he and his colleagues report today in Nature Communications.When the genes aren’t active, the pumps aren’t made, so hydrogen ions don’t accumulate. That makes the fruit sweeter, they conclude. Among different fruit strains, over thousands of years of cultivation, pumps have been turned on and off multiple times, often by breeding that changes how the two genes are regulated. A similar process is likely at play in flowers, shifting their colors to be more red or blue. In fact, the flowers of sour fruits tend to be more purple than those of sweeter fruits, thanks to their ability to retain red pigment.“It is a very satisfying explanation accounting for the differences in ‘sweet’ versus very sour lemons and other citrus fruit,” says Craig Montell, a neuroscientist at UC Santa Barbara, who was not involved with the work.The findings could help researchers and breeders come up with new ways to dial up or down the color of petunias, roses, and other flowers—or change the acidity of fruits, including lemons, grapes, and apples. The ability to know what causes subtle differences in fruit acidity “could be very valuable,” says Roberto Gaxiola, a plant molecular biologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, who called the work “extraordinary.” Maybe extraordinary enough to turn even the sourest of lemons into lemonade. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Ronald Koes could never have guessed that his quest to understand what makes some petunias red—and others blue—would lead him to lemon groves in California. But as a result, this University of Amsterdam geneticist has now answered the long-standing question of why some lemons taste sweet and others, sour. The secret: a powerful molecular pump that makes the cell more acidic.The new work provides a “blueprint” for figuring out which plants in breeding programs have desired colors and flavors, says Harry Klee, a molecular geneticist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who was not involved with the work. It could also lead to more flavorful fruits and more colorful flowers.Because acidity can wreak havoc on a cell’s ability to function, plant cells pump protons—charged hydrogen atoms—into bubbles called vacuoles, sequestering the acidic substances from the rest of the cell. But that acid is necessary for some things: Petunia petals, for example, need high concentrations of protons in their flower cells to color the petals red; otherwise, the petals are blue. In citrus fruits, those protons trigger our sour taste receptors—the more protons there are, the more we pucker.last_img read more

Undiscovered Sphinx Found by Egyptian Road Workers

July 20, 2019

first_imgIf there is one thing that most people can say about the Great Sphinx of Giza, a 240-foot-long carved limestone statue with a lion’s body and a human’s head, is that it’s unique. But what if another one exists?Road work in Luxor came to a halt in early August 2018 after workers accidentally found a similar statue, which they described as having a “lion’s body with a human head.” The roadwork was being done to link the temple complexes of Luxor and Karnak — believed to date to around 1400 BC – and was supposed to be finished this year. The discovery of the statue is changing the project timeline.The Karnak Temple, Egypt.Mohamed Abel Aziz, the Director General of Antiquities, said the structure in question has yet to be removed from the ground, and remains embedded in soil until it can be properly excavated. No photographs have yet been released and it is unclear how large it is.The Great Sphinx partly under the sand, c. 1870s.The famous one, the Great Sphinx, is believed to have been built as long ago as 2500 BC, during the reign of Pharoah Khafra.In ancient Egypt, the sphinx was regarded as a symbol of royalty, with pharaohs having their likenesses carved onto the body of a lion-esque creature to connect to the deity Sekhmet, usually depicted as a lioness.Sekhmet, a lion-headed goddess in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Based on New Kingdom tomb paintings. Photo by Jeff Dahl CC BY-SA 4.0Authorities are saying that the new statue was most likely carved for someone of the highest status. It could be more than 4,000 years old.But this discovery is also triggering speculations about the essential mysteries of the Great Sphinx. Some say the giant statue located in Giza contains an entrance to a secret underground city that is being concealed by Egyptian authorities.Statue of Pharaoh Khafre (Khefren), probably from Memphis, now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Photo by Juan R. Lazaro CC BY 2.0The other mystery relates to a mythical “Second Sphinx.” The ancients wrote that sphinxes usually appear in pairs, next to or opposite each other, and so some say the second one would have been built on the opposite bank of the Nile, in order to represent the dividing line between Northern and Southern Egypt.Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River.The Smithsonian magazine wrote about the Great Sphinx that it “was not assembled piece by piece but was carved from a single mass of limestone exposed when workers dug a horseshoe-shaped quarry in the Giza plateau.”The Great Sphinx was carved from a single mass of limestone.“Approximately 66 feet tall and 240 feet long, it is one of the largest and oldest monolithic statues in the world…Nobody knows its original name. Sphinx is the human-headed lion in ancient Greek mythology; the term likely came into use some 2,000 years after the statue was built. There are hundreds of tombs at Giza with hieroglyphic inscriptions dating back some 4,500 years, but not one mentions the statue.”The Great Sphinx partially excavated, c. 1878.Many experts agree that it was built by Pharaoh Khafra, who ruled Egypt during the Old Kingdom, which began around 2600 B.C. Khafra’s reign was from 2558 to 2532 BC. It is credited to him because the creature’s face resembles his as it appears in statues. There are also clues in the way it was carved.Disturbing occasions when ancient Egyptian curses seemed to come trueOne theory is that while searching for material to build the pharaoh a pyramid, workers uncovered a large mass of rock that had the dimensions for a giant sphinx and so carved the statue from it.Some Egyptologists and researchers, however, believe it is older than during the time of Pharaoh Khafra. The 19th century English Egyptologist E. Wallis Budge declared that the Sphinx was much older than Khafra’s time and could have been created in the Early Dynastic Period or even earlier.King Khafra. In Ägyptisches Museum Georg Steindorff, Leipzig. Photo by Einsamer Schütze CC BY-SA 3.0The nose being missing from the face is the source of another mystery. This was not the ravages of time alone. Examination shows that chisels were hammered into the nose, to pry it off. This could have been prompted by later religions not wanting the Sphinx to be revered any longer and so they disfigured it.Read another story from us: Mummy juice? Thousands Sign Petition to Drink Mysterious Liquid from Discovered Egyptian SarcophagusThere is also a famous story that Napoleon’s army blew off the nose, but there are sketches in existence from before the time of Napoleon showing the face had its nose.That is one mystery that seems solved.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

Oldest Periodic Table in Existence Found While Cleaning a Scottish Lab

July 20, 2019

first_imgA classroom chart displaying what is thought to be the earliest known version of the periodic table of elements has been discovered in a University of St. Andrews chemistry lab. Experts have dated the chart, found in a storage area in the Scottish university’s School of Chemistry, as being printed between 1879 and 1886.A massive clean-up of the lab began in 2014. Dr. Alan Aitken was reportedly clearing out chemicals, equipment, and laboratory paraphernalia that had accumulated since 1968 when he found a fragile periodic table that flaked upon handling, says the University of St Andrews.Periodic Table washing treatment. Photo by University of St. Andrews“Suggestions that the discovery may be the earliest surviving example of a classroom periodic table in the world meant the document required urgent attention to be authenticated, repaired and restored,” said St. Andrews in a press statement.Russian chemist and inventor Dmitri Mendeleev made his famous disclosure on periodicity in 1869. The newly unearthed table was rather similar, but not identical to Mendeleev’s second table of 1871. However, the St. Andrews table was clearly an early specimen.Dmitri MendeleevThe St. Andrews statement said: “The table is annotated in German, and an inscription at the bottom left – ‘Verlag v. Lenoir & Forster, Wien’– identifies a scientific printer who operated in Vienna between 1875 and 1888. Another inscription – ‘Lith. von Ant. Hartinger & Sohn, Wien’ – identifies the chart’s lithographer, who died in 1890.”Working with the University’s Special Collections team, the University sought out advice from international experts following the table’s discovery in 2014. Following in-depth investigations, no earlier lecture chart of the table appears to exist.Mendeleev’s periodic table from his book ‘An Attempt Towards a Chemical Conception of the Ether’.Professor Eric Scerri, an expert on the history of the periodic table based at the University of California, Los Angeles, dated the table to between 1879 and 1886 based on the represented elements. For example, both gallium and scandium, discovered in 1875 and 1879 respectively, are present, while germanium, discovered in 1886, is not.Prof David O’Hagan, former head of chemistry at St. Andrews, told the BBC: “The discovery of the world’s oldest classroom periodic table at the University of St. Andrews is remarkable. The table will be available for research and display at the university and we have a number of events planned in 2019, which has been designated international year of the periodic table by the United Nations, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the table’s creation by Dmitri Mendeleev.”St. Andrews University. Photo by rob bishop / St Andrews University CC BY-SA 2.0Every effort is being made to preserve the chart.St. Andrews said, “In view of the table’s age and emerging uniqueness it was important for the teaching chart to be preserved for future generations. The paper support of the chart was fragile and brittle, its rolled format and heavy linen backing contributed to its poor mechanical condition. To make the chart safe for access and use it received a full conservation treatment.”Dmitri Mendeleev in 1897.Mendeleev was born in a village in Siberia. He made many contributions to science.A fellow scientist said of him: “A chemist of genius, first-class physicist, a fruitful researcher in the fields of hydrodynamics, meteorology, geology, certain branches of chemical technology (explosives, petroleum, and fuels, for example) and other disciplines adjacent to chemistry and physics, a thorough expert of chemical industry and industry in general, and an original thinker in the field of economy.”Mendeleev found that, when all the known chemical elements were arranged in order of increasing atomic weight, the resulting table showed a recurring pattern, or periodicity, of properties within groups of elements.Read another story from us: Mysterious Canines in Texas have DNA of Red Wolves – Thought to be ExtinctIn his 1871 version, he left gaps in places where he believed unknown elements would find their place. Mendeleev predicted the likely properties of three of the potential elements. The subsequent proof of many of his predictions within his lifetime brought fame to Mendeleev as the founder of the periodic law.last_img read more

Fontaine accuses government of trying to embarrass him

July 19, 2019

first_imgShareTweetSharePinJMEC Senior Economic Advisor, Dr. Thomson Fontaine (middle) makes a point during the meeting of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission in SudanFormer IMF Economist, Dr. Thompson Fontaine, has accused the government of Dominica of trying to embarrass him.Fontaine was speaking during a recent interview with Journalist Matt Peltier as it relates to the arrest warrant which has been issued for him.“The way I view this whole thing, it seems to me that the government is out to embarrass me for whatever reason,” he remarked. “I have done no crime in Dominica, what I have been accused of on the 7th of February, 2017 everybody knows that I was actually at Q-95 in studio broadcasting so I could not have been involved in any of what happened.”Fontaine went on to say that the case has been adjourned ‘sine die’, yet the warrant has been kept open which means that if he returns to Dominica, he will be arrested.“I will be bailed, yes, but they are going to take my passport away from me and say I have to stay until the case is called,” he stated. “I see that as a very delicate ploy, it is a trap,” Fontaine said.Dr. Fontaine was in 2017, appointed Senior Economic and International Policy Adviser on the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, overseeing implementation of Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, the newest country in the world.He explained that he is in a senior leadership position in South Sudan and a lot of progress is being made, “and I cannot afford not to be in South Sudan.”In 2018 , Fontaine was among UWP members including Opposition Leader Lennox Linton and former prime minister Edison James, charged by the police with incitement.The defendants are accused of unlawfully inciting people and jeopardizing the public safety order and public peace,  contrary to law, following a public meeting in Roseau on February 7, 2017 calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.After having been adjourned to March 2019, the matter suddenly moved to November 22, 2018 at the request of lead prosecutor, Trinidadian Senior Counsel, Israel Khan.However,  Fontaine, who was summoned and served to appear in court was absent and his lawyer, Gildeon Richards, told the court that he was not able to account for Fontaine’s absence.At Khan’s request, Magistrate Asquith Riviere issued a warrant for Fontaine’s arrest.Former prime minister and UWP leader Edison James who was also charged and who has been residing in Barbados since after Hurricane Maria, is yet to be served.last_img read more

Pedal the Petrified adds more money to scholarship coffers

July 19, 2019

first_imgSeptember 25, 2017 Pedal the Petrified adds more money to scholarship coffers By L. Parsons Northland Pioneer College (NPC) Friends and Family Director Betsyann Wilson reported success from a recent fundraising event to the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board last week. The 63 or 31-mileSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

No cause of concern about monsoon sowing to pick up Government

July 19, 2019

first_imgBy PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 2, 2019 6:02:03 pm Related News 0 Comment(s) Advertising Easy tips to choose the best footwear for monsoon Monsoon tips and tricks: How to keep your smartphone safe in the rains Advertising Monsoon flooding displaces thousands from their homes in Myanmar Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said the sowing of kharif (summer) crops like paddy will pick up as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) estimates good rains in the coming months.He also said the government will soon take a decision on minimum support price (MSP) for the notified kharif crops for the new crop year, which will also boost the sowing activity. “It (drought) is not new for India. Right now, the current estimate does not indicate reasons for any concern. The ministry is keeping a close watch,” Tomar said when asked about deficit rainfall and drought-like situation in few states in the country.According to the IMD, there was 33 per cent deficit in southwest monsoon during June and over 78 per cent of meteorological subdivision recorded “deficient” rainfall. As a result, farmers were able to sow kharif crops only in 146.61 lakh hectares till last week of the sowing season as against last year’s 162.07 lakh hectre, as per the Agriculture Ministry’s latest data. Stating that there is no cause of worry about monsoon as of now, the Agriculture Secretary said the IMD estimates good rainfall in July and August.“Yes, there was some lag in sowing of kharif crops during June. However, it will pick up in the coming months. We are confident that sowing target will be achieved,” he told PTI separately.Asked about fixing MSP for kharif crops, he said a decision on this will be taken by the cabinet soon.Sowing of kharif crops begin with the onset of soutwest monsoon from June. But this time, the monsoon rains arrived late delaying the sowing operation. The country’s 50 per cent of the farm land is dependent on monsoon rains. Monsoon, Monsoon Delay, rain, rainfall, rain in india, crops, agriculture, kharif crops, paddy, imd, farmers, sowing, Narendra Singh Tomar, Agriculture minister, Agriculture minister on monsoon, indian express news According to the IMD, there was 33 per cent deficit in southwest monsoon during June and over 78 per cent of meteorological subdivision recorded “deficient” rainfall. (Source: File)Amid rainfall deficit of 33 per cent affecting sowing of kharif crops in June, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Tuesday said there was “no cause of concern” about monsoon following the latest IMD estimate, but the government is keeping a close watch on it.last_img read more

Trump again chides Federal Reserve for interest rate increases

July 19, 2019

first_img Best Of Express President Donald Trump continued his assault on the Federal Reserve on Monday, blaming the central bank for reining in a U.S. economy that is on track to reach its longest expansion in history.Trump, in a pair of tweets, said the economy and stock market would have been even stronger had the Fed kept interest rates low rather than raising rates four times in 2018.“Now they stick, like a stubborn child, when we need rates cuts, & easing, to make up for what other countries are doing against us. Blew it!,” Trump tweeted. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising Related News The president’s criticism of the Fed comes at an odd moment: As of July 1, the United States will have experienced the longest economic expansion on record, 10 years and running. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years, and inflation — though quiescent — has at least gotten close to the central bank’s 2% goal. By lifting rates from near zero and shrinking the massive volume of government-backed bonds on its balance sheet, the central bank has bought itself precious space to fight the next economic downturn when it comes.The Fed has already signaled that it is prepared to cut rates at its next meeting, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterating last week that officials will take steps to sustain the economic expansion.Still, Trump continues to blame the Fed for not doing more sooner to goose an economy that, according to most metrics, was not in need of additional goosing.First quarter growth came in at a solid 3.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been climbing steadily this month, buoyed in part by promises of coming Fed rate cuts, and output growth trackers suggest that the economy probably grew around 2% in the second quarter — roughly in line with the rate that most economists think the United States can sustain, given its demographics and investment level. Post Comment(s) “What he’s done is he raised interest rates too fast,” Trump said in an NBC interview over the weekend. “I think the economy’s so strong we’re going to bull through it. But I’m not happy with his actions.” Advertising US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Trump tweeted Monday that the Fed “doesn’t know what it is doing,” and that without rate hikes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be “thousands of points higher” and gross domestic product growth would be in the “4’s or even 5’s.”The Fed lifted interest rates nine times between late 2015 and the end of last year, with four increases coming under Powell, whom Trump selected to lead the central bank. The tightening cycle was historically slow, as central bankers tested whether very-low unemployment would send inflation rocketing higher. It never did, and when the economy showed signs of cooling heading into 2019, the Fed stopped raising rates. It is now poised to cut them as global growth slows and inflation remains tepid.Trump is correct that the Fed’s rate increases were meant to slow the economy. The central bank’s job is to keep growth on a stable glide path, sacrificing booms to fend off high inflation and job-costing busts. And it is also true that the central bank’s moves have been controversial at times. The Fed’s decision to increase rates for a final time last December, amid tight financial conditions and low inflation, drew criticism from economists and others across the political spectrum and spurred stock market turmoil.“I don’t think the Fed can ever sit back on its achievements and feel comfortable,” said Mark Spindel, founder and chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital and co-author of a book on politics and the Fed. “Trump is trying to foam the runway in case there is a slowdown.” More Explained By New York Times | Updated: June 25, 2019 10:08:02 am Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising Trump again chides Fed for interest rate increases Donald Trump continued his assault on the Federal Reserve on Monday, saying in a pair of tweets that the central bank “Blew it!,” even though the US economy is on track to reach its longest expansion in history. (NYT)Written by Jeanna Smialek But most economists say the major risks to the expansion come not from the Fed but from Trump’s trade war with China and slowing global growth. Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and suggested he could tax all Chinese imports if a planned meeting with President Xi Jinping does not go well later this week.The Fed itself is worried that trade woes, along with other factors, could weigh heavily on the economy and said at its meeting last week that it is open to cutting interest rates soon. If it does lower rates, it’s possible that it will also stop shrinking its swollen balance sheet, another policy Trump objects to regularly because he sees that as draining stimulus from the economy.“Uncertainties surrounding the baseline outlook have clearly risen since our last meeting,” Powell said in his post-meeting news conference. “We will use our tools as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”A growing number of officials project rate cuts this year, based on the release last week, and Powell said many of those who have not incorporated coming rate cuts into their baseline projections see them as increasingly likely. After the announcement, investors have entirely priced in a cut in July and see the possibility for even lower rates come the Fed’s September meeting.Even as the Fed leans toward doing precisely what Trump is urging, he has redoubled attacks on the central bank.last_img read more

Watch a sonic tractor beam do some midair sewing

July 19, 2019

first_imgWatch a ‘sonic tractor beam’ do some midair sewing By Michael AllenDec. 21, 2018 , 8:00 AM 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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Researchers have made a big leap in their quest to levitate objects using sound. Armed with two grids of loudspeakers, scientists have found a way to hold multiple objects in midair—and even do a bit of gravity-defying sewing.Researchers have levitated single objects with sound before. Earlier this year, scientists built a “sonic tractor beam” that suspended a 16-millimeter-wide Styrofoam ball in the air.Now, the same team has worked out how to hold, rotate, and move numerous objects in midair at the same time. Using two grids of 256 speakers and a novel computer algorithm they managed to independently manipulate up to 25 polystyrene balls 1 millimeter to 3 millimeters in diameter—about the size of small ants—at the same time, and use them to create such shapes as cubes and pyramids. To further demonstrate its precision, the scientists attached a piece of thread to two polystyrene balls and used the acoustic device to thread it through a hole in a piece of fabric, which was also floating in midair. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The technique, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has a variety of potential applications from delicate manipulation of samples in biological experiments to moving surgical tools, drugs, and kidney stones within the human body. Those medical applications could happen relatively soon, as the ultrasound produced by the speakers can safely penetrate biological tissue and is already used routinely in pregnancy scans.last_img read more

Fierce storms hit Greece killing six foreign nationals

July 19, 2019

first_img After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Six foreign nationals killed as severe weather hits Greece An overturned vehicle is seen on a beach at Sozopoli village in Halkidiki region, northern Greece, Thursday. (AP)Six foreign nationals, including two children, were killed and more than 100 other people injured after gale-force winds, rain and hailstorms struck northern Greece late on Wednesday, uprooting trees and collapsing roofs, authorities said. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Television footage showed strong winds sweeping through a restaurant in the Halkidiki peninsula, a region popular with tourists in the summer.Streets in towns in the area were dotted with uprooted pine trees and overturned motorcycles, photographs posted on websites showed. “It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this,” Athanasios Kaltsas, director of the Nea Moudania Medical Centre, where many of the injured were treated for fractures, told Greek television. “It was so abrupt, and so sudden,” he said.Kaltsas said patients taken to the clinic ranged in age from 8 months to over 70. Some suffered head injuries from trees and other falling objects.Two elderly Czech tourists were killed when strong winds and water swept away their travel trailer, police said.Elsewhere in the region, a woman and an 8-year-old boy, both Romanian nationals, were killed after a roof collapsed on a restaurant in Nea Plagia. A man and a young boy, both Russians, died after a tree collapsed near their hotel in the seaside town of Potidea, authorities said. Such severe weather is unusual in Greece, where summers are typically hot and dry. Meteorologist Klearxos Marousakis described conditions as “extremely unusual” for this time of year. Meteorologists forecast it would continue to rain in the area until about 9 a.m. on Thursday.Authorities declared Halkidiki in a state of emergency, and Greece’s newly appointed citizens’ protection minister was due to visit early on Thursday. At least 140 firefighters were operating in the area. Advertising Top News By Reuters |Athens | Published: July 11, 2019 1:55:37 pm Post Comment(s)last_img read more

In undecided Congress first open call for Priyanka She should be party

July 19, 2019

first_img Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Amid speculation over several candidates, he said the post should not be one that “has no value”. “It should have a positive, constructive value from the political point of view. And who possesses that quality… to some extent, Jyotiraditya Scindia. Young people see him as a potential person. And to some extent, Sachin Pilot. There are other hardworking people in the field. But they are yet to be identified,” Das said.“Priyanka ji joined the Congress and took up the responsibility, and there was hope among people. People responded throughout India. In my view, Rahul Gandhi should not have resigned. Because we had no other option than him. What the BJP wanted is to isolate the Gandhi brand. To get rid of the Modi brand, the Gandhi brand is needed,” he said. More Explained Sabka saath Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post “In fact, they are demanding. It is not reaching the appropriate place. But everybody wants it. Along with her, a credible team should be there, and we should deliver. I strongly feel that if Rahul Gandhi does not take back his resignation, Priyanka ji should become (party chief) and the party should propose her name,” Das told The Indian Express.This push for Priyanka, however, comes at a time when senior leaders fear that she may not have the kind of acceptability in the party that her brother still has. Sources said many leaders did not take kindly to her uncharitable remarks at the CWC meeting in May.Party leaders said that during the meeting, while leaders were trying to convince Rahul to not quit in a hurry, Priyanka said that those who “murdered” the party were sitting in the room. This, they said, was the reason why slogans, such as “Priyanka lao, Congress bachao”, had not been raised.Also Read | Congress: 2014 polls should be basis of seat-sharing talks BJP will make Maharashtra Congress-mukt, says party state chief Chandrakant Patil Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2019 12:28:47 pm Asked why Priyanka’s name had not come up publicly so far, Jaiswal said: “It (her name) will come up. In my view, she would be a good option. Rahul ji had said non-Gandhi…maybe, that is why people are hesitating to say it openly.”Party sources, meanwhile, said a meeting of the CWC is unlikely this week. In the event of a consensus still proving elusive, sources said the CWC may consider accepting Rahul’s resignation and opt for internal elections to pick a replacement. At the same, they said, it may empower the party’s general secretaries and state in-charges to take decisions during the interim period.Many leaders, however, are of the view that it is time the party gets its act together. “Enough delay has happened. We should find a leader who is acceptable to everyone. And the leader should have a positive imprint in the minds of every worker and voter. Age should also be a factor. Age and popularity both. The next Congress president should not be very old. And that person should be hardworking just like Rahul Gandhi was,” Das said.Opinion | With Rahul Gandhi’s resignation, there is a big question mark over who is in charge of the Congress Related News Congress renews bid for all-party Opposition alliance for Maharashtra assembly polls Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief This push for Priyanka, however, comes at a time when senior leaders fear that she may not have the kind of acceptability in the party that her brother still has. (File)With its senior leadership unable to arrive at a consensus on Rahul Gandhi’s replacement, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is unlikely to meet this week to appoint a new party president. But amid the chaos and uncertainty, a murmur is now gaining ground in the party for AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to take charge. 80 Comment(s) Congress leaders have, so far, not pushed her name openly because Rahul Gandhi, while conveying his decision to step down at the CWC meeting on May 25, had said that the party should find someone other than a member of the Gandhi family for the post.“But many people are saying now. I, too, believe Priyankaji should become the Congress president. She belongs to the Gandhi family. She is a leader and has the quality to lead the party. She is dynamic,” former Union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told The Indian Express.Three-time former Lok Sabha MP Bhakta Charan Das said “millions of leaders of the Congress party, from grassroots to the top, will demand Priyanka ji in the absence of Rahul Gandhi”. Best Of Express last_img read more