Sen Brad Hawkins Hopeful Legislature Will End on TimeIts the Time of

first_imgThe Washington State Legislature is scheduled to end their regular session on Sunday, April 28th but need to pass three budgets before they can adjourn. 12th District Senator Brad Hawkins is hopeful they will have proposed budgets in the next couple of days after Senate and House negotiators complete their work.“Once you back out all the similarities and just focus on the differences which is what the budget negotiators are now doing, they’re making progress.”Hawkins says they will have about a day to review the operating, capital and transportation budgets before they vote on them and try to make changes. He says the primary differences are the capital gains tax, assessments on insurance premiums, real estate taxes and funding DNR.The Republican did say that he voted against a bill that guarantees rest and lunch breaks for nurses, but not because he isn’t supportive nurses or the idea of breaks.“My concerns is, does that set a precedent and are there going to be other employee-employer disputes that are going to come to the Legislature to be resolved. It was pretty messy and I think we would be wise as a legislature to not step our foot into those waters in future years.”The bill did pass the legislature and Hawkins expects it will be signed by Governor Inslee, but noted it did not include a limitation on the number of works worked that had been proposed.Hear our entire conversation with Sen. Brad Hawkins from April 25th’s Morning Report where we discuss Apple Blossom, getting the pen when the Governor signs your bill and more: Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Brad-Hawkins-on-AM-Report-4-25-19.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

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Mass vaccinations are not realistic option to prevent Ebolavirus outbreaks study shows

first_img Source:https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/science/17907/mass-vaccinations-will-not-prevent-ebolavirus-outbreaks-new-research-shows May 9 2018Prophylactic mass vaccination programs are not a realistic option in the battle to prevent new Ebolavirus outbreaks, a University of Kent-led research team has shown.The findings come as the World Health Organization has announced a new Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Kongo.The team analyzed the prospects for various Ebolavirus vaccines and found that, for the foreseable future at least, Ebolavirus outbreak control depends on surveillance and the isolation of cases.The researchers’ analysis revealed that very high proportions of potentially affected populations would need to be protected by vaccination to establish herd immunity, i.e. the level of immunity that prevents virus transmission within a population.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch reveals how mirror therapy relieves phantom limb painScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchThe study, entitled Herd immunity to Ebolaviruses is not a realistic target for current vaccination strategies identified that, in the critical phases of many Ebola virus outbreaks, the average infected individual infects four or more other people, which enables the virus to spread rapidly.At this level, 80% of a population would need to be immunized to prevent outbreaks, even if a highly effective vaccine that protects 90% of individuals after vaccination was available.Such vaccination rates are currently unachievable. In a vaccination trial during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49% of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated. Thirty-four per cent of contacts refused vaccination although they had been exposed to the disease.There are currently no clinical vaccine candidates available that protect against all four human-pathogenic Ebolaviruses. It also remains unclear, say the researchers led by Professor Martin Michaelis, of Kent’s School of Biosciences, whether the available vaccine candidates provide the long-term protection that is required for the sort of prophylactic mass vaccination program that could prevent Ebola, which becomes repeatedly introduced into the human population from animal reservoirs.A large vaccination program would also be costly and impractical, the study points out. Costs for current Ebolavirus vaccine candidates are estimated to be in a range of US$ 15-20 per dose, with some 462 million people living in the areas affected by Ebolavirus outbreaks, many of them in very remote rural areas.In the absence of a realistic prophylactic mass vaccination program, the reasearchers conclude that clinical vaccine candidates will need to be focused on health care workers who are often involved in disease transmission, potentially in combination with the vaccination of patient contacts.last_img read more

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Combining football with dietary guidance helps improve fitness health in older prediabetics

first_imgMay 29 2018Twice-weekly football training combined with dietary guidance improves fitness level and cardiovascular health profile in untrained 55-70-year-old women and men with prediabetes. Also leads to healthier weight loss than through normal dieting.This is the conclusion of the world’s first trial involving football and dietary guidance in older prediabetics, carried out in the Faroe Islands by football researchers and physiologists from the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark.The purpose of the trial was to investigate the health-related potential of combining advice on healthy eating with recreational football training, and the results have just been published in the acclaimed Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.”What we’ve seen is that the combination of recreational football and dietary guidance is highly effective; more effective than we dared hope. The trial participants derived significant positive effects on both their cardiovascular and metabolic health profile,” says Magni Mohr, project leader and associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark.Improved cardiovascular health was determined by an increase in physical fitness and a decrease in blood pressure. The changes correlated well with what the researchers had found in previous trials and are estimated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 50% – assuming that the participants maintain their improvements.Improved metabolic health profile was determined by a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and body fat percentage compared with the group that only received dietary guidance. Both groups showed a decrease in resting blood sugar, with no significant between-group differences.A more effective way to lose weightThe combination of football training and guidance on healthy eating was more effective for metabolic health and a healthier way to lose weight than dietary guidance alone. Part of the explanation for this is that football training produces larger muscles:”Individuals who combine dietary guidance with football training can lose a significant amount of weight while at the same time achieving an increase in muscle mass and functional capacity. This is very different to the results of normal dieting, where the individual loses weight but becomes physically weaker because they both lose fat and muscle mass,” says Peter Krustrup, professor of sport and health sciences at the University of Southern Denmark, who has 15 years’ experience of studying the health-related effects of football.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusThe trial participants were untrained women and men aged 55-70 years. At the age of 60 or 70, individuals generally need to strengthen their physique. So it is far from optimal for them to diet without training at the same time. They do not want to further weaken their physique, which would be the result of an ordinary diet.”An absolute winner for middle-aged and elderly women and men with prediabetes””The study provides evidence that we can prevent type 2 diabetes through an intervention combining exercise and diet. The figures from the study also show that football is an effective and broad-spectrum form of exercise that works for both women and men. You could say it’s an absolute winner,” says Peter Krustrup.The idea of football for 60 and 70-year-old female patients is new. But the study showed that so-called Football Fitness – a form of football with the focus on a thorough warm-up, ball drills in pairs and games on small pitches – is also suitable for 70-year-old women with prediabetes. The participants enjoyed the training and did not sustain any serious damage to muscles, bones or joints.”Normally, you wouldn’t think of football as something for 70-year-old women, but we saw excellent attendance even though the training took place in the winter. The participants formed good relationships, had fun together and enjoyed the social aspect so much that many of them are still participating in Football Fitness,” concludes Magni Mohr, who helped implement the training and testing in the Faroe Islands.About the studyThe study was carried out in the Faroe Islands, with the participants recruited from a national cohort of prediabetics.50 individuals – 25 of each gender – underwent a 16-week intervention comprising dietary guidance and twice-weekly football training sessions lasting 30-60 minutes. The duration of the training increased progressively from 30 minutes per session in the first 2 weeks to 60 minutes per session in the final 10 weeks.The participants were 55-70-year-old untrained men and women who were prediabetic, had poor physical fitness and were predominantly overweight. Half had weak bones (osteoporosis). Source:https://www.sdu.dk/en/om_sdu/institutter_centre/iob_idraet_og_biomekanik/nyt_iob/prediabetes_recreational+footballlast_img read more

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Measles vaccine protects against other deadly diseases

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img Measles kills about 140,000 people worldwide every year, but the millions of kids who have survived the disease aren’t in the clear. A new epidemiological study suggests that they remain susceptible to other infections for more than 2 years, much longer than researchers anticipated. The results bolster a hypothesis that the measles virus undermines the immune system’s memory—and indicate that the measles vaccine protects against other deadly diseases as well.Researchers have long known that measles inhibits the immune system, but they generally thought this effect wore off after a few months at the most. However, studies of children in developing countries, where most cases occur, found that measles vaccination reduces the overall death rate from infections for up to 5 years, suggesting that preventing the disease somehow provides protection against other illnesses.One possible explanation for this benefit is that the measles vaccine somehow spurs the immune system to produce defenses against these other diseases. But work on monkeys recovering from measles spawned an alternative hypothesis. In 2012, Rik de Swart of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues revealed that the measles virus kills large numbers of memory cells, white blood cells that prevent subsequent infections by the same pathogen. Thus, the measles virus might cause what the scientists termed immunological amnesia, impairing the immune system’s ability to remember and quickly eliminate other microbes it has already beaten. As a result, “you are vulnerable to diseases you shouldn’t be vulnerable to,” says Michael Mina, lead author of the new paper and a medical student at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. To test this explanation, a team that included De Swart and Mina, then a postdoc at Princeton University, obtained data on the numbers of measles cases and deaths from other infectious diseases in the United States, Denmark, and part of the United Kingdom. Measles vaccination started in the 1960s in the United Kingdom and United States and in the 1980s in Denmark, and the researchers had statistics from before and after its introduction.The team’s mathematical analysis tried to determine whether there was a relationship between the number of measles cases and the number of kids who died from other diseases. If the virus inhibits immunity for only a short time, for example, the number of deaths from other infections in a specific year might correlate to the number of measles cases in that year. But if the virus triggers a prolonged immune amnesia, the number of deaths in a particular year might correlate to the total number of cases in that year and the previous year or two.Using this approach, the researchers calculated that children who survive measles remain vulnerable to other diseases for an average of 2.5 years. The value was almost the same for all three countries, the team reports online today in Science. “Our results suggest that the adverse effects of measles are much more lasting,” Mina says.To check that the immune impairment resulted from measles, the researchers analyzed statistics for whooping cough, which doesn’t suppress the immune system. They found no link between the number of whooping cough cases and mortality from other infectious diseases.Mina and his colleagues also determined that the length of susceptible period didn’t change in any of the three countries after introduction of vaccination. That finding supports the idea that the measles vaccine benefits children not just because it prevents them from getting measles, but also because it provides protection against the other diseases. In the days before vaccination, measles was responsible for about half of childhood deaths from other illnesses, the team says. With that many dead children, why didn’t researchers detect this connection before? Many assumed that measles’ impact on the immune system quickly faded, Mina says. “So when a kid gets pneumonia 6 months later, nobody would link that to measles.” Other studies of children in West Africa didn’t show a lasting “measles shadow.” Mina and colleagues note that half of the kids in these studies died from other diseases within 2 months after they had measles, which would have made it difficult to detect a long-term effect.“That there could be a prolonged immunosuppression is possible,” says vaccine immunologist Katie Flanagan of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. But the study “is a long way from really proving it.” For example, researchers need to show that the kids who had measles are the ones dying from other illnesses, she says.“It is indirect evidence,” says William Moss, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. But he says that the results are “highly suggestive” that measles is contributing to this longer period of immune suppression. And if the researchers are right, he says, “the benefits of measles vaccination are far greater than simply the reduction in measles deaths.”last_img read more

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Feature Cancer reproducibility effort faces backlash

first_imgIn the fall of 2013, emails arrived in the inboxes of dozens of scientists informing that their work had been chosen for scrutiny by a project aiming to replicate 50 high-impact cancer biology papers. The Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, an ambitious, open-science effort to test whether key findings in top journals can be reproduced by independent labs, has stirred concerns in the community. Almost every scientist targeted by the project who spoke with Science agrees that studies in cancer biology, as in many other fields, too often turn out to be irreproducible. But few feel comfortable with this particular effort, which plans to announce its findings in coming months. Leaders of the project say it will ultimately benefit the field by gauging the extent of the reproducibility problem in cancer biology.To read the full story, see the 26 June issue of Science.last_img read more

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Science academys new president cleared many hurdles on way to the top

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sean Solomon, currently director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, was instrumental in recruiting McNutt to MIT in 1982, when he was on the faculty there. He recalls being impressed by the young scientist’s tenacity and drive, and by her ability to speak convincingly to both scientific and lay audiences. “All of us knew who the great graduate students were, and she was clearly among them. She was audacious, quite willing to go where others wouldn’t.”Scientists had long noted that the ocean floor deepens with increasing distance from the ocean ridges, where new crust is created. But an area beneath French Polynesia posed a puzzle: Why was that swath of ocean thousands of miles from a plate boundary so shallow and its floor riddled with volcanoes? McNutt plunged in. Using sonar signals to map the seafloor topography, she discovered what she described as a “superswell,” a broad region of unusually shallow ocean floor buoyed by hot rock welling up from the mantle. In a groundbreaking paper in Science, McNutt concluded that the rock’s excess heat and extremely low viscosity had allowed the volcanism to readily pierce the lithospheric plate, liberating fully 30% of the heat flux from all hot spots on Earth in that patch of Pacific Ocean floor. This and a number of other discoveries brought McNutt many accolades, among them the prestigious Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union. Karen Fischer, now a geophysicist at Brown University, was one of McNutt’s graduate students at the time. She recalls the awards ceremony as a “quintessentially Marcia” experience. “She wore an Oscar[s]-style evening gown and looked incredibly glamorous,” Fischer says. “We were incredibly proud of her … she had succeeded in science on her own terms.”McNutt made a practice of setting her own terms. She rode a red Honda 500 motorcycle to the office, always wearing fashionable footwear. She made more than a dozen ocean expeditions, and spent months at a time in Tibet and Tahiti. And she fought fiercely for her graduate students, once telling off another senior scientist for showing disrespect to a female member of her team.For most of that time she was bringing up three daughters—Meredith, Ashley, and Dana—as a single parent. Their biological father died suddenly when the youngest, identical twins, were only 2 years old, and the oldest not yet in school. (In 1996, McNutt married Ian Young, an MBARI ship captain.) “That Marcia managed to hold everything together under those crushingly difficult circumstances seemed to us amazing,” Fischer says. “At a time when not all that many women were succeeding in science, she made it normal for women to succeed.” Geophysicist Carolyn Ruppel, who was one of McNutt’s MIT advisees at the time, has a more nuanced take: “She’s an amazing person, an amazing scientist, and has made significant contributions in areas that were difficult to navigate. But she was not a role model. None of us thought we could do what Marcia did—she played at a level well beyond [the level to] which the rest of us were headed.”McNutt’s ambitions went beyond academia. “As a scientist, working in a lab, publishing papers that only a few specialists in the field really cared about, it felt to me like being trapped in a box canyon,” she says. She determined that what she calls her “highest and best use” was not doing science, but enabling other scientists to do theirs. So she did what almost no one else in her situation would do: In 1997 she left a tenured position at MIT, packed up her daughters, their nanny, Ann, and Ann’s daughter, and moved to Salinas, California, (“salad bowl of the world”) to run MBARI. “Her leaving was a terrible loss for MIT,” Malanotte-Rizzoli says. “She wanted a new experience, and she deserved that. But geophysics suffered.” McNutt is more than ready to embrace the challenge. She sees her job at NAS as improving reproducibility and ethics in science, promoting women in science, and guiding the public conversation toward an understanding of science not as a bloodless series of facts, but as a structured approach to elucidating the laws of nature. “The academy has the job of providing scientific advice to government, and that’s a role that has never been more vital,” she says. “It’s not the role of the academy to say what the policies should be, but it is the role of science to project the consequences. Advice from the academy could be transformational to help the nation—and the world—do the right thing.”  Once again, and perhaps not for the last time, it seems that McNutt has found her “highest and best” use. Colin Norman, who was Science’s news editor until 2013, edited this article.*Correction, 22 August, 10:27 a.m.: This story has been corrected to clarify that the USGS managers reassigned to Minneapolis by Marcia McNutt were not based in Menlo Park, California. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Presenting at the fall 1992 American Geophysical Union meeting, when McNutt was at MIT McNutt grew up in Minneapolis and spent her childhood summers in a lakeside cabin, where reading was the default rainy day activity. She spent many a morning at a nearby farm, mucking out the stables in exchange for a chance to ride. (She later became an expert barrel racer, a rodeo event that entails galloping around a tight cloverleaf of barrels; speed rather than finesse is paramount.) But perhaps her most vivid memory of those summers involves an old Sunfish that an uncle dropped off for the family’s use. Too impatient to wait for an adult to teach her the fine points of navigation, she jumped into the boat and set sail. “I knew nothing, just pushed off from shore and in no time was out in the middle of the lake,” she recalls. “I could see our cabin, but I had no idea how to get back. Then I remembered reading a Nancy Drew story that mentioned something about ‘tacking into the wind.’ Eureka! I tried one thing after another, and somehow learned the difference between jibing and coming about. Eventually, I made it back to shore. After that, I was an experimentalist.” That experimental bent led her to physics and mathematics as an undergraduate and then to the geosciences, particularly the then-nascent theory of plate tectonics. It was a field wide open to a young scientist eager to make her mark: Major expeditions were often fully staffed and even led by graduate students, as many senior scientists were hesitant to embrace the new paradigm. While in graduate school at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, McNutt relished the opportunity to follow her research wherever it took her, especially when it led upstream from received wisdom. “I wanted to go places, see things personally, collect data, and revise on the fly,” she says. But rather than focus on what other researchers were studying—the boundaries between plates, where most of the action seemed to be taking place (earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, ocean trench creation)—she turned her attention to the plate interiors, and to a mystery that had thwarted other scientists: why so much volcanic activity appeared to be happening so far from the plate boundaries. She needed that support to handle a series of jolting disasters in her first 6 months at USGS: major earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, a water crisis in California, an invasion of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, and a volcano in Iceland that disrupted trans-Atlantic air travel for nearly 10 days. And then, on 20 April 2010, came what McNutt calls her “Omaha Beach”—the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11 workers, injured 17, and over a period of 87 days released 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. McNutt says she and her colleagues were caught totally unawares, thanks in part to deceptive assurances from the oil industry that “you don’t have to worry about” oil escaping from deep-sea wells. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with Marcia McNutt knows this: She will patiently suffer fools but has zero tolerance for deceit. She rushed to Houston, Texas, with an overnight bag, expecting a short trip. She ended up spending 4 months in a windowless 2-by-3-meter office at BP headquarters, huddling late nights and early mornings with scientists and engineers, calling every expert she knew who might offer insight.  Soon after her arrival she was tapped to lead the Flow Rate Technical Group charged with gauging the volume of oil erupting from BP’s well, a highly contentious issue. BP put the number first at 1000 and then at 5000 barrels a day. The group’s estimate, based on bits of high-definition video footage Congress had forced BP to share, was far higher: as much as 60,000 barrels a day. “Others—in government, academia, the press—were shooting from the hip,” McNutt says. “But we had the data.”  Pushing through the bluster of what she called BP’s “cowboy, get it done and go home” attitude, McNutt announced the technical team’s findings to the world. “Marcia was pragmatic, she understood what needed to be done to bring the stakeholders together,” Hayes says. “And she showed a surprising willingness to let it rip—she wrote some emails she shouldn’t have, believe me.” McNutt left USGS in 2013, many assumed to take over as head of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  But she chose to remain in Washington, D.C., to take the helm at Science, where, among other things, she presided over the founding of Science Advances, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that reflects her concern with maintaining scientific integrity in an increasingly cutthroat publishing environment. “At Science, the paradigm is changing,” she says. “We’re talking about asking authors, ‘Is this hypothesis testing or exploratory?’ An exploratory study explores new questions rather than tests an existing hypothesis. But scientists have felt that they had to disguise an exploratory study as hypothesis testing, and that is totally dishonest. I have no problem with true exploratory science. That is what I did most of my career. But it is important that scientists call it as such and not try to pass it off as something else. If the result is important and exciting, we want to publish exploratory studies, but at the same time make clear that they are generally statistically underpowered, and need to be reproduced.” McNutt put her stamp on the editorial page of Science with some 60 editorials in 3 years as editor-in-chief. But she admits that she took a wrong turn on the Keystone Pipeline, a proposed route for oil produced from Canada’s oil sands—a project she regrets having publicly endorsed. “I would do things differently now,” she says. “I should have said that I would support Keystone ‘if this happens,’ ‘if’ being changing the process for extraction to make it cleaner, taxing the pipeline so that there is no decrease in the cost of oil, and imposing environmental scrutiny.” McNutt also regrets the sexism scandal that rocked Science beginning in July 2014, when the journal published a cover photo featuring a pair of transgender women in platform shoes and skin-tight dresses with their heads cropped out of the shot. Though McNutt publicly vowed to “strive to do much better,” that faux pas was followed by another: a Science columnist who advised a female scientist to “put up with” a male superior sneaking glimpses down her shirt. “Had I known, I would not have run that column,” she says, adding that the editor involved no longer works for Science. “Women have to decide for themselves what path to take in a situation like that, find a resolution that allows her to go on with her career and allows her to feel okay.”Now, McNutt will have an even higher profile as head of NAS. “My hope is that she will be an outspoken public face for science, with a focus and emphasis on evidence-based decision-making,” says Diane Griffin, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and vice president of NAS.   Courtesy Marcia McNutt Fearn stock/Alamy McNutt went on to ace all four of Wright’s required classes and graduate summa cum laude with a degree in—of course—physics.  Years later, as a chaired professor of geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, McNutt declined an invitation to pen a testimonial about Wright in honor of his retirement. “He wouldn’t want to read what I had to say,” she says firmly. Wright wasn’t the last person to underestimate Marcia McNutt, or the only one to regret it. “I bow my head to Marcia,” says MIT physical oceanographer Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli. “She has a spine of iron.”  McNutt is an expert barrel racer, an event where speed and control are key. 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 Courtesy Marcia McNutt MBARI, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, was a relatively new venture with a lofty mission: to apply cutting-edge technology to inform and shape the future of the world’s oceans. McNutt took the reins shortly after Founding Director David Packard died, and, according to aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard, she quickly bridged the leadership gap. “One of my father’s most deeply held principles was to invest in people and give them the space to pursue their ideas,” Packard says. “Marcia built and expanded on that vision. She took a big risk leaving MIT where she was at the top of her game to come to what was basically a startup operation. And we were very lucky she did.”  McNutt soon faced an unexpected challenge: The market plunge after 11 September 2001 sharply eroded the foundation’s assets. With fewer resources at her disposal, she directed staff to dig even deeper into matters of public (and funders’) concern, such as protecting the oceans from acidification and algae blooms and understanding the role the oceans play in climate change. Under her leadership, MBARI built a chemical sensor laboratory to detect ocean pollutants in real time, and grew an autonomous underwater vehicle program to make sample collection safer and more efficient. And, somehow, despite the economic downturn, it doubled its staff. While at MBARI, McNutt also served as president of the American Geophysical Union (2000 to 2002). And yet, once again, she wanted greater influence. So when Sean Solomon met with her in 2008, this time as chair of an NAS committee convened to recommend a new USGS head, McNutt listened. Joining the Obama administration’s “dream team” of scientific administrators, she decided, would be her next “highest and best use.”McNutt wasn’t alone in recognizing the need to overhaul the structure of USGS. “USGS was full of ivory tower types each in his or her own silo—the seismic folks, geology folks, public health folks,” says her then-boss David Hayes, who was deputy secretary of the interior under both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama and is now on the faculty of Stanford Law School. “When Marcia arrived the agency was not, to my view, living up to its potential to provide the science needed to help undergird smart decision-making. She reorganized it to align with today’s science challenges—climate change, land use—and she did it in a remarkable way, with a sense of openness and respect.”Her strategy of offering department heads reassignment to the Minneapolis regional office could have taken a toll on morale, but USGS Deputy Director Werkheiser recalls that “Marcia was a great boss, and I can’t think of anyone who had serious issues with her.”  Courtesy Marcia McNutt Ann Barrie When geophysicist Marcia McNutt took over as director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2009 as part of the new Obama administration’s “dream team” of scientist-administrators, her first priority was to reorganize the agency to respond to real-world problems. But USGS scientists, many of whom had been with the agency for decades, were known for their resistance to change, so McNutt devised a remarkable strategy. She could not fire department heads, but she could assign them to a new and unfamiliar regional office, and the post she offered was her home town, Minneapolis, Minnesota. One by one, McNutt recalls, department heads retired or quit, leaving her free to set a new direction.“We were living in geologic time, so Marcia took some getting used to,” says Bill Werkheiser, now deputy director at USGS in Reston, Virginia, who was McNutt’s associate director at the time. “She made decisions very quickly … we knew we had to change, and she made it happen. But she was always clear, you knew where you stood, and she was fiercely loyal to us.”That mix of decisiveness, humanity, and negotiating skill served McNutt well both as a researcher and an administrator: In addition to USGS, she was the first female president and CEO of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California, and, from 2013 until last week, the first female editor-in-chief of Science. This month, she became the first female president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the government’s premier science advisory organization. I bow my head to Marcia. She has a spine of iron.Paola Malanotte-RizzoliNone of this has been easy. Indeed, starting with college, hurdling obstacles has been a constant in her life. In the fall of 1970, William H. Wright, a professor of physics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, ushered freshman Marcia McNutt into his office with what she recalls as this observation: “You are here because you must have said something silly on your application about being a physics major. I’ve seen girls come and go in this department, but I’ve yet to see one graduate.” For perhaps the first time in her young life, McNutt was struck speechless. Class valedictorian at the all-girls Northrop Collegiate School in Minneapolis and with perfect SAT scores, she had chosen Colorado over Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, partly for its promise of closer contact with faculty … but not this sort of contact. “No one had ever told me I couldn’t do something,” she told me. “The one thought in my mind was, ‘I’ll show him!’” McNutt and family. Marcel Hoffman, her first husband, died suddenly in 1988, when their three daughters were not yet school-age. She married Ian Young (right), a research ship captain, in 1996. Heading a task force following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, as U.S. Geological Survey director. On the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s flagship vessel in 1999, when she was the institute’s CEO.last_img read more

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Worlds biggest whooping crane breeding program winds down

first_img Their numbers now stand at more than 700, and the center’s breeding and caretaking protocol are now standard. “We feel as if our job is done,” says the center’s director, John French. The airlifted birds—and others remaining to be transferred—will now become part of captive breeding flocks. This young whooping crane was raised by white-suited humans at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland. Today, 33 whooping cranes were airlifted from Maryland to Louisiana, marking the beginning of the end of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS’s) 50-year effort to help save these endangered birds. Scientists at USGS’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, spearheaded the recovery of Grus americana, whose numbers had once dropped to fewer than 20 in the wild. To bring back the majestic 1.3-meter-tall birds, biologists developed innovative methods, including using puppets in the shape of crane heads to teach chicks to feed and to follow ultralight aircraft on migratory flights. World’s biggest whooping crane breeding program winds downcenter_img By Elizabeth PennisiOct. 17, 2018 , 1:35 PM JONATHAN L. FIELY/USGS PATUXENT WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTER last_img read more

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Podcast mutant cells in the esophagus and protecting farmers from pesticides

first_imgNavid Folpour/Flickr As you age, your cells divide over and over again, leading to minute changes in their genomes. New research reveals that in the lining of the esophagus, mutant cells run rampant, fighting for dominance over normal cells. But they do this without causing any detectable damage or cancer. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Phil Jones, a professor of cancer development at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, about what these genome changes can tell us about aging and cancer, and how some of the mutations might be good for you.Most Western farmers apply their pesticides using drones and machinery, but in less developed countries, organophosphate pesticides are applied by hand, resulting in myriad health issues from direct exposure to these neurotoxic chemicals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Praveen Vemula, a research investigator at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bengaluru, India, about his latest solution—a cost-effective gel that can be applied to the skin to limit pesticide-related toxicity and mortality.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image:Navid Folpour/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img read more

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US judge rules deceptive publisher should pay 50 million in damages

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country OMICS, which publishes about 700 journals in scientific and other fields, advertised deceptively that it provided authors with rigorous peer review overseen by editorial boards. Instead, its journals approved many articles for publication in a matter of days with no substantive feedback to authors, FTC alleged. The judge relied in part on the findings of an investigation published by Science in 2013; its author, journalist John Bohannon, submitted a deposition to the court. Of 69,000 manuscripts published by OMICS from 2011 to 2017, the publisher provided evidence that only half had been sent out for peer review. Despite this lack of actual peer review, OMICS’s solicitations to authors didn’t make it clear enough that it would charge them to publish articles in its open-access journals. Some authors complained and asked OMICS to withdraw their articles, but OMICS refused, preventing authors from submitting them to other publications. OMICS advertised its 50,000 reviewers as experts, but some never agreed to serve, and OMICS continued to publicly list some scientists as reviewers even after they asked to be removed. The publisher advertised that its journals had high impact factors, a measure of their editorial quality. But it didn’t sufficiently reveal that OMICS itself generated its own “unofficial impact factor” for some of its journals based on citations in Google Scholar. OMICS also incorrectly stated that its journals are indexed in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline and PubMedCentral. OMICS organized scholarly conferences and advertised that prominent academics would attend. But a sampling of 100 conferences indicated that 60% named organizers or participants who had not agreed to serve in that capacity. U.S. judge rules deceptive publisher should pay $50 million in damages In her 29 March ruling, Navarro ruled that FTC had submitted enough evidence to prove that: By Jeffrey BrainardApr. 3, 2019 , 5:00 PM Email A U.S. federal judge has ordered the OMICS International publishing group to pay $50.1 million in damages for deceiving thousands of authors who published in its journals and attended its conferences. It’s one of the first rulings of its kind against one of the largest publishers accused of so-called predatory tactics.But because it’s a U.S. judgment and OMICS is based in Hyderabad, India, it’s not clear that any money will be collected or shared with researchers who claim OMICS deceived them.Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, granted summary judgment without a trial, accepting as uncontroverted a set of allegations made in 2016 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in Washington, D.C., in its capacity as a consumer watchdog. The ruling also bars OMICS from similar future conduct. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe carolo7/iStockphoto Navarro said she based the $50.1 million judgment on the company’s total revenues from 2011 to 2017, less chargebacks and refunds. Under the relevant consumer law, FTC didn’t have to prove how many authors were misled by OMICS, which published its first journal online in 2008.“Defendants did not participate in an isolated, discrete incident of deceptive publishing, but rather sustained and continuous conduct over the course of years,” she wrote.The case was heard in Nevada because OMICS is legally incorporated there, despite its physical headquarters in India. Besides OMICS, other defendants included two subsidiaries incorporated in Delaware; and OMICS’s founder and owner, Srinubabu Gedala, a former biomedical researcher.OMICS plans to appeal, wrote its lawyer, Kishore Vattikoti of Hyderabad, in an email. He called the summary judgment without trial “unjustifiable.”It remains to be seen whether any researcher deceived by OMICS will receive money from the judgment. FTC knows of and will investigate U.S. financial accounts of OMICS, but does not yet know whether they contain any money, said Gregory Ashe, its staff attorney on the case, in an interview Wednesday with ScienceInsider. FTC has an international office that works with other nations to collect judgments from overseas accounts, but that work for this judgment is only now beginning, he said.FTC has a database of authors who submitted manuscripts to journal articles whom it will contact if it recovers funds to share, Ashe said. Scholars who want to ensure that FTC knows of their claims can file a complaint through the agency’s website. Anyone worldwide can submit a claim.“The FTC is closely monitoring this industry,” Ashe said, “and we’re hoping that the decision sends a warning shot across the bow of would-be predatory or deceptive publishers to tread carefully. Re-evaluate the claims that you’re making [so] you’re not making claims that are not true.”Ashe wouldn’t say whether FTC is actively investigating other predatory publishers. But OMICS appears to have plenty of company: A 2015 study in BMC Medicine estimated that questionable publishers issued nearly half a million articles in 2014 and took in about $75 million.last_img read more

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Researcher who created CRISPR twins defends his work but leaves many questions

first_img George Daley, Harvard Medical School For this specific case, I feel proud, actually. I feel proudest because [the father] had lost hope for life. 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 This set a pattern for the rest of the Q&A: He answered some questions but left many partially unanswered—or didn’t give an answer at all. He went off on a tangent when asked directly why he had chosen to conduct a study that international scientific consensus said shouldn’t be done. He was vague about whether the study had been approved by an institutional review board. He said he is personally paying for the medical expenses of the study participants, but didn’t say how much or whether he can continue that support long-term. It’s still unclear where he conducted the lab work and which hospital was involved.Questions from the floor indicated widespread dissatisfaction with his answers on his informed consent procedures. He said four people had reviewed the consent form before it was given to the couples; in the United States, “hundreds of people would review a consent form” before it would be put into use, says Matthew Porteus, a pediatric stem cell researcher at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Although He’s outline of his work overall indicated a “reasonable approach,” in going from mice to nonhuman primates to humans, Porteus adds, “there are still gaps” in the information provided, such as details on how many eggs were used, the success rate in the gene modification step, whether there had been any miscarriages, and the date of the births.In addition, “There are questions about the secrecy,” Porteus says. For instance, He claimed that he had discussed his work at several conferences. “But I was at those conferences and He didn’t indicate he was moving in this direction.” Unless He produces more information and better answers, “he risks becoming a pariah,” Porteus says. The fact that it’s possible that the first instance of human germline editing came forward as a misstep, should in no way lead us to stick our heads in the sand. Email HONG KONG, CHINA—The researcher who set off a global firestorm 2 days ago when he announced the birth of the world’s first gene-edited babies defended his study at a meeting here this morning. He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in nearby Shenzhen, China, said he was “proud” of the work, which he said could lead to disease prevention “for millions of children,” and provided some details about the unpublished research that many scientists and bioethicists—as well as a phalanx of journalists—were clamoring to hear. Thousands around the world watched a webcast of his talk.He dropped another bombshell, acknowledging that a second woman is in the early stages of a pregnancy with a gene-edited embryo.But He, who used the genome-editing technique CRISPR in his attempt to make twin girls resistant to HIV infection, failed to provide many key details about the trial, was evasive about the ethical debate that had preceded the study, and provided sometimes confusing answers about the balance between risks and purported benefits. And his talk immediately triggered fresh criticism. The work should be “considered irresponsible,” biologist David Baltimore of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said after hearing the presentation. “I don’t think it has been a transparent process, we only found out about it after it happened … after the children were born. I personally don’t think it was medically necessary,” Baltimore added, reflecting concerns that were widely voiced even before any details of the study had become available. “I think there has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community because of a lack of transparency.” I think there has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community because of a lack of transparency. He’s talk took place at the International Summit on Human Genome Editing here, a global forum to discuss scientific progress and ethical issues in one of the most fraught areas of biomedical research. Earlier this week, He announced in an Associated Press (AP) interview and a series of YouTube videos that his team had engineered the genomes of twin baby girls to cripple a key receptor, CCR5, that HIV uses to infect white blood cells—a modification they may pass onto their descendants. David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology The girls’ father is infected with HIV, but the purported justification for the study was not to protect the girls from the AIDS virus during pregnancy. The parents used in vitro fertilization and the father’s sperm was washed to remove HIV, which virtually eliminated the risk of the embryos being infected. He’s goal was to protect them later in life, he told AP, even though experts agree there are other safe and effective ways to prevent acquiring HIV.The news completely dominated discussions at the summit even before He appeared; to accommodate the sudden interest, a special 1-hour time slot was carved out for He today. The hall was filled to capacity; hundreds of videographers, photographers, and journalists crammed shoulder-to-shoulder into one area. “I have the right to just cancel the session if there’s too much noise or interruption,” moderator Robin Lovell-Badge of The Francis Crick Institute in London warned at the outset. When He started his talk, clicking shutters nearly drowned him out, prompting Lovell-Badge to repeat his warning.He started by apologizing for the way his claims “leaked unexpectedly” earlier this week; he said a paper has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. (News of the breakthrough was first reported by MIT Technology Review, after which AP released a story about the work, and He made the YouTube videos and several documents related to the experiment public.)He also justified his research target, explaining that HIV/AIDS still imposes a heavy disease burden on much of Africa, and those infected often face severe discrimination. Mutations in the CCR5 gene confer HIV resistance, and He said previous experiments have suggested CCR5 was a promising target for editing. But He didn’t explain how gene editing could help the world prevent the disease; nobody thinks it’s feasible to edit the genomes of entire populations.He outlined how he took his research from work in mice to nonhuman primates to human embryos in vitro—much of which, he pointed out, he had presented at previous talks. Then he added some details about the human studies. A large focus of his research was on optimizing the precision with which CRISPR cuts the genome to minimize the possibility of untargeted genes being altered.He recruited couples that wanted to start a family in which the man was infected with HIV and the woman was not. There was a two-step informed consent process with a team member first visiting the couple at their home, and then a discussion of an hour or more at He’s lab in Shenzhen. In the case of the couple that eventually produced the twins, He collected eggs from the woman, injected them each with a sperm cell from her husband, and soon after used CRISPR in attempts to modify four of the resulting embryos. In one, both copies of the CCR5 gene were disrupted; in another, CRISPR only crippled one of the copies, leaving one copy of the gene intact. The couple agreed to have both of these embryos implanted and both resulted in live births.In the wide-ranging Q&A that followed, Lovell-Badge noted that the CCR5 gene has multiple functions in the immune system, that its absence leaves individuals more at risk for West Nile virus and potentially other diseases. Did He “really know enough about CCR5 and its role in the immune system to choose that for therapy?” Lovell-Badge asked. He responded that his team chose CCR5 because it is a well-understood single gene target appropriate for a first trial before moving to multiple-gene diseases. But he didn’t address the question of potential inadvertent side effects.“I just don’t see an unmet medical need for these girls,” said David Liu, a biochemist at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The technology could benefit millions of children potentially exposed to HIV from their parents, He said, without explaining this further. Speaking about the babies, he added, somewhat cryptically: “For this specific case, I feel proud. I feel proudest, because Mark, [the babies’ HIV-infected father], had lost hope for life. But with this protection, he sent a message saying he will work hard, earn money, and take care of his two daughters and his wife for this life.” He did not address the fact that safe and effective ways to prevent HIV transmission exist, or why gene editing might be preferable. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) He Jiankui, Southern University of Science and Technology Researcher who created CRISPR twins defends his work but leaves many questions unanswered By Dennis NormileNov. 28, 2018 , 9:30 AM Imaginechina via AP Images Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country He Jiankui (center) during a Q&A after his presentation in Hong Kong, China, today; he was joined by meeting co-organizer Robin Lovell-Badge (left) and pediatric stem cell researcher Matthew Porteus (right). Later in the day, the meeting’s organizers said He had withdrawn from a planned breakout session on embryo and germline editing to take place Thursday.With pending investigations by national and local authorities and his university, He’s saga is set to roil the scientific and biomedical community for months or even years to come. What impact his go-it-alone approach may have on the field remains to be seen. Appearing at the summit in the morning session, before He’s presentation, George Daley of Harvard Medical School in Boston expressed concern but urged researchers to have faith in the self-regulation of the research community while acknowledging that this requires transparency and external oversight.“The fact that it’s possible that the first instance of human germline editing came forward as a misstep, should in no way lead us to stick our heads in the sand,” Daley said. Rather than go on the defensive, he proposed “that it’s time for us to at least consider a responsible pathway for clinical translation” of germline editing.With reporting by Jon Cohen.*Update, 28 November, 2 p.m.: This story has been updated with additional information.last_img read more

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The Pope who Exhumed the Body of his Predecessor Dressed it and

first_imgThe Deceased Pope who was Exhumed, Dressed in Papal Vestments and Put on Trial. By the 9th Century AD, the Western Roman Empire had been destroyed and Italy, under the rule of Charlemagne, had been carved up into Papal States. The Kingdom of Italy as it was known was plunged into centuries of war and disharmony with each of these states vying for power and superiority.Arguably the most powerful and the most dangerous office one could seek during this epoch was the Papacy. It was in this period that the Pope alone had the power to crown rulers and so those seeking to rule became very interested in who was wearing the Mitre.Charlemagne (left) and his eldest son, Pepin the Hunchback. 10th century copy of a lost original from about 830.Known to religious scholars as the ‘Nadir of the Papacy’ this period is infamous for its stories of corruption and murder as the rich and powerful of the Papal States fought to place their chosen clergymen on the top throne.Formosus was a 9th century bishop and missionary who vaunted as the bishop who brought Catholicism to Bulgaria. He was accused of aspiring to the bishop-hood of two places and of wanting the papacy for himself.Pope Formosus.The charges were laid against him by then Pope John VIII who promptly had him excommunicated. Pope John VIII was not to last long himself – he was the first Pope to be executed by his own people.Once Pope John VIII was out of the picture, the Papacy became somewhat of a carousel with three Popes and three deaths happening in quick succession. Somewhere amid all this murder Formosus got his old job back and was elected Pope in 891.Pope John VIII.By most accounts, Formosus was just as power-hungry as the rest. The Medievalists report that Formosus was enemies with Guy III of Spoleto, the Holy Roman Emperor at that time, and conspired to overthrow his lineage and put Arnulf of Carinthia in his place, which he did on February 22, 896.Historic Noblemen and their ridiculous nicknamesFormosus’ victory was very short lived as he passed away in the April of 896 and his replacement, Boniface VI, died 15 days after receiving the Papacy. Unfortunately for Formosus, the next in line was Stephen VI — his long time enemy and supporter of the Spoleto’s.The list of popes buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica includes the recovered body of Pope Formosus. Photo by Maksim CC BY-SA 3.0Stephen VI’s reasons for what happened next are clearly political when viewed through the lens of history. At the time Stephen VI accused Formosus of perjury, breaking canon law, coveting the papacy and illegally serving as bishop. His hatred for Formosus was so strong that he ordered his body exhumed and put on trial.The farce that followed is known as the Cadaver Synod and is one of the more bizarre episodes in papal history. The corpse of Formosus was dressed in papal vestments and taken to court where he was interrogated by Stephen VI. Speaking in defense of Formosus was a deacon who, understanding his place in the proceedings, said very little.Vatican City – August 21, 2008: St. Peter’s Basilica at sunset from Via della Conciliazione. Vatican City State, Rome, Italy.It may come as no surprise that Formosus was found guilty on all counts; he was deemed unworthy to have been pope and his corpse was stripped of the papal vestments, his consecration fingers were chopped off and his body dropped in the Tiber where it was rescued by his supporters and secretly buried. By the end of the ordeal, Stephen had fallen out of good graces and was imprisoned then strangled in his cell.Read another story from us: The Severed Head of a Martyr now Displayed in an Irish ChurchOver the next two years, with the blessing of a new Holy Roman Emperor and three successions of popes, Formosus was cleared of all charges and his body was eventually given a pope’s burial and interred in St. Peter’s Cathedral.last_img read more

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HUSD is ready for the new school year

first_imgHUSD is ready for the new school year August 21, 2018 By Linda Kor During a meeting of the Holbrook Unified School District Governing Board on Aug. 14, each of the principals provided demographic information pertaining to their schools so far for the coming year. AtSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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Indian boy 6 found dead on Dubai school bus Report

first_img Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Farhan was the youngest of three children and had joined the centre earlier this year.His parents are long-time residents of Dubai and the family resides in Karama. His father Faisal runs multiple businesses in Dubai and Kerala, the paper reported.“I had met the family during a get-together just last week. He was such a bright boy. His parents are in a state of shock,” said a close family member, who requested not to be named.After the initial investigation, the body was shifted to the forensic department at 6 pm for an autopsy. “The mortal remains will be handed over to the family after all legal and administrative procedures have been completed,” the official said. LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Best Of Express Advertising IRCTC Tourism offers 7-day trip to Dubai, Abu Dhabi; check details here 6-year-old Indian boy falls asleep, dies after being left alone on Duabi school bus: Report The Dubai Police said that they were notified of the tragedy at 3 pm. (Representational)A six-year-old Indian boy was found dead after he dozed off in his school bus and left behind alone for several hours in the UAE on Saturday, according to a media report. Mohamed Farhan Faisal, who hailed from Kerala, was a student of Islamic Centre in Al Quoz and had dozed off after boarding the bus. He was left behind after all other students disembarked outside the centre at 8 am, the Khaleej Times reported.The Dubai Police said that they were notified of the tragedy at 3 pm.“The child was found as the driver took the bus out to drop the students back home,” a senior police official was quoted as saying by the paper. Related News center_img Advertising The UAE has witnessed similar cases earlier as well.  In 2014, a KG1 student at Abu Dhabi’s Al Worood Academy Private School, Nizaha Ala’a, suffocated to death after being forgotten inside a bus.The news had shocked the nation and sparked a major discussion on child safety in buses.Last year, another KG1 student was forgotten inside a school for over four hours. Fortunately, the child survived, the paper reported Indian man, wife torture, starve mother to death in Dubai By PTI |Dubai | Published: June 16, 2019 11:57:41 am After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Indian man detained in Dubai for molesting minor Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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NC leaders PSO killed in attack by militants

first_img 3 Comment(s) Abdullah said three militants attacked the party convention. “My colleague from Kokernag in South Kashmir Judge (Retd) Tauqeer Sb was just attacked by militants. While he escaped unhurt his security officer was hit & killed in the line of duty. I unreservedly condemn this dastardly attack & convey my condolences to the family of the deceased,” he tweeted.J&K Police in an official release said the policeman was killed in a “terror incident”. Police officials said they registered a case and are investigating the incident. Disappointed at proposed extension of President’s rule: J&K parties Kishtwar bus accident: J-K Guv announces ex-gratia Rs 5 lakh to kin of deceased Written by Adil Akhzer | Srinagar | Updated: July 15, 2019 3:50:50 am ‘Practice wielding broom in private before next photo-op’: Omar Abdullah mocks Hema Malini Advertising Advertising Related News NC leader Syed Tauqeer Ahmad escaped unhurt, while his PSO, Reyaz Ahmed, was killed in the attack. Party vice president Omar Abdullah termed the killing as an attack on the “party convention”. Police officials said Reyaz, was shot at in Hiller area of Kokernag. He succumbed to injuries on way to hospital.“He was brought here with bullet wounds on the chest. On arrival, doctors declared him brought dead,” said Dr Abdul Majid Merab, Medical Superintendent, District Hospital, Anantnag.Police sources said Reyaz was in his civvies and without a weapon at the time of the attack. “He was at the main entrance and inside, there was a meeting going on. After hearing the gunshots, the security personnel deployed with the NC leader also fired in air,” said a senior police officer. On Thursday, a teenager from the Valley had hurled a hand grenade at a Jammu bus stand, killing two people and injuring 32 others. J&K police spokesperson in an official release said that “terrorists fired upon a policeman on duty identified as Riyaz Ahmad.”A POLICEMAN posted as the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of a National Conference leader was killed after militants opened fire at him in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district during a party convention on Sunday.last_img read more

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Not in favour of continuing with MGNREGA forever Narendra Singh Tomar

first_img Best Of Express By PTI |New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2019 5:27:27 pm ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict “We are working on how can we make the PM Fasal Bima Yojana easier, more useful, more beneficial, the minister said.During the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said more funds were allocated under the PM Fasal Bima Yojana than it was prior to 2014 during the UPA regime.Stating that now more educated people were taking to farming, he said technology was also being used in it.With regard to doubling of farmers’ income, Tomar said a big target and a roadmap has to be made and the result cannot be visible in a day. Advertising More Explained Over 10 crore Soil Health Cards have already been allotted, he said, adding work on allotting 9.82 crore cards in the second phase is underway.The government, he said, is working on zero budget farming.The Centre also took a decision on Neam coated urea, he said, stressing the farmers were getting sufficient urea and the big queues for getting it can no more be seen.The black marketing in Urea, he said, has also come to an end. Advertising Advertising Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post The Centre is working on providing Kisan Credit Cards to all farmers, the minister said.Stating the country welcomed the PM-KISAN scheme, Tomar said the scheme was not merely a slogan.”We should rise above politics and welcome it”.The work on agricultural mechanisation was underway, he said, adding that “the agricultural land and farmers would be made smart.”The Lok Sabha later approved the Demand for Grants under Control of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.N K Premachandran (RSP) withdrew the cut motion has had moved on the issue.After Tomar’s reply, Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) said farmers were the poorest even though “they worked the most.” After Akali leader raises MGNREGA ‘irregularities’, central team to visit Faridkot today Related News Post Comment(s) The right convergence Union Budget must focus on reviving investment, address rural distress MGNREGA, Narendra Singh Tomar, Rural Development Minister, union minister in parliament, india news Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. (File Photo)Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that the govenrnment is working on making Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna more useful and beneficial and invited suggestions from members on the same. Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed “Earlier also there was PM Fasal Bima…Today there is focus on PM Fasal Bima. But my Prime Minister and myself do not consider this PM Fasal Bima Yojna complete scheme….“Through you, I want to tell the members that with regard to PM Fasal Bima Yojna, if they have some valuable suggestions they can give them to me in three-five days,” the minister said.He was replying to queries raised by members during the discussion on Demand for Grants under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Stating that all the businesses were in profit, he said the farmers were incurring a loss. Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file last_img read more

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Higher physical activity associated with improved mood

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018Increasing one’s level of physical activity may be an effective way to boost one’s mood, according to a new study from a team including scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program.The findings were published online December 12 in JAMA Psychiatry.The researchers found that increases in physical activity tended to be followed by increases in mood and perceived energy level. This beneficial effect was even more pronounced for a subset of the study subjects who had bipolar disorder. For the study, activity trackers and electronic diaries were used for two weeks in a community sample of 242 (150 women and 92 men) adults, ages 15 to 84, with an average age of 48 years. The sample included 54 people with bipolar disorder.Mobile assessments in the study included wrist-worn devices that automatically recorded levels of physical movement in real time and electronic diaries that assessed mood and perceived energy levels four times per day for two weeks. These real-time mood and energy levels were rated by study participants on a seven-point analog scale from “very happy” to “very sad” for mood and from “very tired” to “very energetic” for energy.”Systems regulating sleep, motor activity and mood have typically been studied independently. This work demonstrates the importance of examining these systems jointly rather than in isolation,” says Vadim Zipunnikov, PhD, an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biostatistics, who led the data analyses.The findings showed that on average a higher activity level at one time-point was associated with improved mood and increased perceived energy at the next time-point during the day. (The daily time-points were personalized according to the person’s daily schedule, with one in the morning, at lunchtime, at dinnertime and before bed.) Likewise, increased energy at one time-point was associated with increased activity at the next time-point. Importantly, these associations controlled for the current levels of mood, energy and activity, respectively.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyI’m a CPAP dropout: Why many lose sleep over apnea treatmentSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyActivity was inversely associated with sleep duration–more activity tended to be followed by less sleep that night, and more sleep tended to be followed by less activity the next day.Tracking sleep, activity, mood and energy concurrently was particularly important in people with bipolar disorder because the changes in internal psychological states were strongly influenced by both sleep and physical activity. Many of the current interventions for mood, sleep, and physical activity focus on only one of these systems rather than considering the collective impact across multiple systems.Bipolar disorder affects nearly three percent of the U.S. adult population; depression is even more common, affecting about eight percent of U.S. adults in a given year. The research team is interested in applying this work to interventions that could offset depressive episodes in people with bipolar disorder.”This study exemplifies the potential for combining the use of physical-activity trackers and electronic diaries to better understand the complex dynamic interrelationships among multiple systems in a real-time and real-life context,” says Dr. Zipunnikov.The team is now exploring how physical activity and sleep interplay with pain, stress and alcohol use through an international consortium, Motor Activity Research Consortium for Health, to increase the generalizability and power of this work. Source:https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2018/increased-motor-activity-linked-to-improved-mood.htmllast_img read more

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Study investigates role of miRNAs in anestheticinduced myocardial conditioning

first_img Source:https://benthamscience.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 26 2018Many studies have shown that the mechanism of drug-induced myocardial conditioning is enzyme-mediated through messenger RNA and miRNA regulation. In this study Orriach et al. investigated the role that miRNAs play in the cardio-protective effect of halogenated anesthetics, which are widely used in cardiac surgery. The study includes a literature review of the expression profile of miRNAs in ischemic conditions and in the complications which were prevented by these phenomena.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Metabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchTo identify miRNAs involved in anesthetic-induced myocardial conditioning, a review was conducted of more than 100 studies. The expression is modulated by the perioperative administration of halogenated anesthetics. This is the first study of its kind.For future research in the field of cardiology, the potential of miRNAs as biomarkers and miRNAs-based therapies involving the synthesis, inhibition or stimulation of miRNAs stand out as a promising avenue. The cardio-protective effects of myocardial conditioning are related to the expression of several miRNAs. New therapeutic and diagnostic opportunities come across as cumulative evidence of miRNAs playing a role in heart disease and myocardial conditioning is revealed. While further research is needed in this direction, these studies provide new grounds for the development of new hypnotic/anesthetic agents for cardiac surgery patients.last_img read more

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Obesity in early pregnancy related to higher risks of pregnancy complications

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/obesity/obesity-early-pregnancy-linked-pregnancy-complications Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 9 2019In a prospective study of 18,481 pregnant women in China who had never given birth before, obesity in early pregnancy was linked to higher risks of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, and large birth weight in newborns.In the Obesity study, being underweight during pregnancy was linked to higher risks for early neonatal deaths, as well as low birth weight.The findings point to the importance of an appropriate weight before and during pregnancy.”Women who plan pregnancies and their prenatal care providers may wish to weigh these findings to decrease the related risks,” said senior author Dr. Jianmeng Liu, of the Peking University Health Science Center, in China.last_img read more

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Researchers analyze link between videogame addiction and school inadaptation

first_imgThe results we obtained show the need to have a better understanding of the psychological variables related to the problematic use of videogames, as a possible source of dual disorders or mental disorders derived from the addiction. This will undoubtedly be the best way to be able to develop programs for the prevention of videogame abuse and its associated problems.” Transversal teamThe research team that just revealed these results at the International Congress of Dual Disorders, was comprised of the students of the Education degree, Elisa Fernández, Alicia Guinot, Fabiola López Romero, Elena Machi and María Esteve; doctor Ana Benito, clinical psychiatrist at the Mental Health unit of Torrent; and researcher for the TXP group Francisca Castellano, all under the guidance of CEU UCH professors Gonzalo Haro and Mabel Marí. The study has been co-funded by the CEU UCH and the Research Foundation of the Provincial Hospital of Castellón. Source:Asociación RUVID Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 12 2019A team of researchers from the departments of Medicine and Education Sciences of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Castellón (Spain) has analyzed the relation between the addiction to videogames and school inadaptation in a group of teenagers in the province. The study has been carried out under the guidance of Medicine professor Gonzalo Haro, principle researcher of the TXP and psychiatry group of the Mental Health department of the Provincial Hospital Consortium of Castellón, and Psychology doctor, co-director of the project and Education Sciences professor Mabel Marí. The results have been presented at the III International Congress of Dual Disorders, which has brought international experts on the relation between addiction and mental disorders together in Madrid.As the CEU UCH professors explain, it is believed that between 9 and 23% of Spanish teenagers use videogames every day. A use that becomes problematic when it generates psychological dependence, in other words, when it leads to problem evasion behaviors, mood swings, loss of self-control or attention disorders. Studies have already been conducted on the link between this addiction to videogames and anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, as well as with bad academic results.”Focusing on this last school aspect – highlights professor Gonzalo Haro – we have carried out, with the department of Education Sciences of the CEU UCH, a study on a total 64 teenagers aged 14 to 17 from a high school of Castellón. The objective was to assess the psychopathological and adaptational dimensions of their behavior in relation to their degree of videogame usage, using several internationally-validated tests.”Negative attitude towards school and teachersRelated StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHow to get a cheaper prescription before leaving the doctor’s officeAs many as 11.9% of the Castellón students who took part in this study showed a problematic use of videogames. And this same group had the most negative attitude towards school and teachers. Also, a higher degree of school inadaptation compared to the remaining 88.1%, who did not have issues with the use of videogames. “In our sample, these situations of negative attitudes and bad school adaptation have been more relevant than depression, anxiety or low self-esteem, registered in other studies on teenagers addicted to videogames,” says professor Mabel Marí.As professor Mabel Marí adds:last_img read more

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Las Vegas hotels bet on technology to attract dazzle guests

Four properties now have the service named Ivy, which the company credits for higher scores of two of its hotels on travel review website TripAdvisor.The service uses artificial intelligence to automatically answer common questions and requests, such as gym location and hours of operation. But trained staffers type back responses to more complex inquiries such as where Muslims should face to pray in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.”The window of your room faces to the East. If you pray facing the window, you will be oriented towards Mecca,” Ivy answered within two minutes.The Cosmopolitan casino-hotel also launched a chatbot a year ago, around the same time Wynn Resorts announced that an Amazon Echo would be installed in every room of the Wynn Las Vegas casino-hotel. In this Nov. 15, 2017, photo, a robot named Pepper stands in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Pepper is programmed to interact with guests and answer pre-programmed questions. (AP Photo/John Locher) This April 21, 2017, photo, shows an interactive tablet in a suite at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas. The tablet allows guests to schedule breakfast delivery, access thousands of publications and adjust temperature and lights, among other things. (AP Photo/John Locher) Room upgrade programs can increase hotel profits up to 35 percent Caesars Entertainment launched a texting service at its 3,976-room Caesars Palace casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in August, months after rolling it out at two boutique hotels. Senior vice president and chief experience officer Michael Marino said the service aims to improve guests’ stay after the company noticed a dip in phone calls.”It’s not like they have less needs, it’s just that something has happened over the last couple of years where people just don’t like to call people anymore,” Marino said. It takes just minutes for a room service attendant to respond to a text message asking for a soda, bringing the Diet Coke on a tray with a glass of ice and lime wedges, no need for the modern hassle of placing a phone call. At the Aria and Vdara hotels, each room is equipped with a tablet with applications that allow guests to schedule breakfast delivery, access thousands of publications and adjust temperature and lights. Travelers also can choose special rooms at the MGM Grand and The Mirage with several lighting options, including one that helps the body’s internal clock, and a device that infuses the shower’s water with vitamin C.Meanwhile, a shiny white, wide-eyed standing robot named Pepper in the lobby of the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel can answer a set of preprogrammed questions, including checkout time, how to connect to the Wi-Fi network and the location of the spa.”I’ve seen robots on TV, but never in person. It’s so cute,” said Ana Rosa Santiago, a Miami resident who took a selfie with Pepper. “I already sent it to all my family.” In this Nov. 15, 2017, photo, a robot named Pepper stands in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. Pepper is programmed to interact with guests and answer pre-programmed questions. (AP Photo/John Locher) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Las Vegas hotels bet on technology to attract, dazzle guests (2018, January 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-las-vegas-hotels-technology-dazzle.html Thousands of guests at some of Las Vegas’ casino-hotels also can get towels, food and toiletries delivered with just a few taps on their smartphone. It comes as the staples of hotel room technology—a phone on a nightstand and a flat-screen TV—aren’t cutting it anymore in the hypercompetitive world of Sin City tourism.Guests can use tablets to control room features like lights and temperature. Shower infusers and special lights promise travelers a chance to recharge. And a 4-foot-tall (1-meter-tall) robot can point visitors to the nearest ATM. In the battle for millions of Las Vegas’ tourists, voice-assisted speakers and purification systems also are part of the push to attract ever-more-demanding customers and keep them coming back.”The hotel brands or the casino brands are trying to make themselves evolve to become more relevant to a younger audience that is highly technologically enabled,” said Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality Lab at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.Las Vegas hotels are not the only ones using such technology. The Acme Hotel Co. in Chicago put an Amazon Echo in every room and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, California, has equipped rooms with iPads. But what sets Sin City properties apart is the volume of guests they handle, which can test the technology that must be easy to understand.”Let’s say the tablet is a Microsoft Surface, but the tablet you use is an iPad, so you immediately have a gap,” Rippee said. “You, as the user, now have to learn to use a product an operating system you are unfamiliar with. If you are here for two nights, you are going to discard it.” Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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