Volkswagen Group To Produce 22 Million EVs By 2022 Over 50 In

first_imgVolkswagen I.D. ROOMZZTo make the electrification in China possible, the Group announced also launch of a new joint venture for charging infrastructure, as well as deeper R&D cooperation between the brands under new ONE R&D structure. Volkswagen I.D. ROOMZZ (red in the middle)In a separate press release about the model offensive in China, Volkswagen brand announced a big push for SUVs.The company unveiled in Shanghai 5 new SUV models for China and intends to launch a total of 8 new SUVs by the end of 2019. Together with additional SUVs next year, the total lineup will double to 40.Our attention was, of course, focused on the new Volkswagen I.D. ROOMZZ, scheduled for 2021.“Volkswagen plans an extensive model offensive in China. The brand will have doubled its SUV range by 2020. Volkswagen announced during the Auto Shanghai 2019, that the share of SUVs is expected to rise to up to 40 per cent. It is targeting the tradiotional part as well as the growing e-mobility sector. The Volkswagen brand presented five new SUV, four of them as world premieres. SAIC VOLKSWAGEN showed the T-Cross and the soon to be launched Teramont X, FAW-VW the SUV Coupé Concept and SMV Concept. Besides the four models of the joint ventures the latest member of the ID. Family celebrated its world premiere: the ID. ROOMZZ.” Volkswagen Group Secures Lithium Battery Supplies In China Volkswagen I.D. ROOMZZ Volkswagen Plans 22 Million Electric Cars In 10 Years Volkswagen Group Seat To Launch 6 Plug-In Models By 2021 & Develop New BEV Platformcenter_img Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen AG, said:“We are fulfilling our promises, not only to comply with the new regulations in China, but also to reduce the auto industry’s impact on our society through clean mobility and better production processes. For this plan, China is of great importance.”Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said:“Volkswagen Group China is going full-scale electric in 2019. We will be offering 14 NEV models in China this year – providing customers with unprecedented choice. With the first two models based on the MEB platform launching next year and our investment in digitalization, we and our partners have laid the foundation to redefine what mobility means in China, and transform it.”More SUVs Source: Electric Vehicle News “Holistic approach to improving whole e-mobility ecosystemA further e-mobility focus is on provision of the necessary infrastructure, with a new charging joint venture to be set up that will result in greater freedom and recharging convenience for the rapidly growing number Chinese NEV owners during their travels. The partnership with Star Charge, FAW and JAC will offer private charging wall boxes from the end of this year and a wide network of public charging. The experience will be made even easier through in-vehicle connectivity provided through the Group’s Mobility Asia services, which will allow drivers to find the most convenient charging station.New technology for the future, new models for todayUnder its new ONE R&D structure, Volkswagen Group China has strong internal research power with Volkswagen brand, Audi and Group R&D working together. It is another example of the collaboration across the Group to achieve synergy. In addition, this is a significant move to further strengthen its national R&D capabilities and capacities to develop in China for China.Meanwhile, current customer demands for the latest advances in connectivity, efficiency, safety and comfort will be met with a strong portfolio of new models being released in China this year across all the Group’s brands, including a further eight SUV models – five of them locally produced.” In around 10 years, VW Group intends to produce 11.6 million BEVs in ChinaBy the way of the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, Volkswagen Group announced a bold electrification strategy, which envisions production of 22 million all-electric cars (by all the brands and joint ventures globally) by 2028.The biggest part of the pie falls on China, where VW Group intends to produce more than half of all its BEVs – about 11.6 million by 2028. The number includes production through three local joint ventures:FAW-VolkswagenSAIC VOLKSWAGENJAC Volkswagen* two JVs (with FAW and with SAIC) are gearing for total of 600,000 BEVs per year.In 2019, VW Group intends to expand its New Energy Vehicle (plug-ins) lineup in China to 14 models.“With construction progressing on MEB platforms at SAIC VOLKSWAGEN in Anting and FAW-Volkswagen in Foshan, Volkswagen will have the technical capacity to produce an additional 600,000 pure electric vehicles a year in China when the two plants become operational next year.In addition, the JAC Volkswagen joint venture is jointly working on its own e-car platform together with SEAT for the production of smaller NEVs.The Group is backing this up with strong efforts to lower the ecological footprint of its 33 production plants in China. Last year alone, CO2 emissions from its China production activities were slashed by 13%, saving 390,000 tons of CO2.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

How much will the losers get What happens if it rains Will

first_imgStanford Super Series Since you’re here… The Twenty20 extravaganza begs a series of questions, 20 of them. Here are the answers 5 How much do the winning players get from the $20m pot?Each team member gets $1m (£613,000). A further $1m will be shared by the coaching staff and $3.5m goes to each national board. That leaves $1m . . .6 What happens to a player who doesn’t make the final XI?If England win, the four squad players will split the $1m that is left over when the $19m from above is divvied out. The All Stars’ substitutes would have to divide it between six.7 How much do the losers get?Not a bean for the players. As four wise Swedish philosophers once remarked: “The winner takes it all.” Vulgar, say some; “Modern”, says the ECB.8 Is the big match on television? The Twenty20 for $20m takes place in Antigua a week today at 9.30pm live on Sky Sports 1.9 What happens if it rains?The rules allow for either a revised number of overs or the provision of extra-time in the event of play being suspended.10 Why are Trinidad & Tobago and Middlesex involved?Trinidad & Tobago beat Jamaica in the Stanford Twenty20 tournament in February, which featured, unsurprisingly, 20 teams. Middlesex’s last-ball, three-run victory over Kent in the Twenty20 Cup final booked their place as English champions.11 How much money are they playing for in their match?The total purse for Monday’s domestic champions match is $400,000 (£243,910). While dwarfed by the money on offer for the main event, it is huge when compared with the £42,000 Middlesex earned for winning the Twenty20 Cup.12 Where are the matches being played? All the games will take place at the Stanford Cricket Ground in St John’s, Antigua. It was formerly known to everyone as the more modest Airport Cricket Ground but $5m of investment has increased the capacity to 5,000 and floodlights, big screens and pavilions have been installed. The clock adorning the pavilion roof is worth $50,000 and there is $100,000 on offer to the first batsman to hit it.13 Does the ICC recognise the match?No, the Stanford Series does not fall under the auspices of the International Cricket Council, which means that, no matter what the England players achieve, it will not go towards their overall records.14 Why black bats and silver wickets?Central to Stanford’s marketing push is his branding, making the use of his shiny black bats and silver wickets a near deal-breaker with MCC – the black bats can be used in Antigua as the Superstars are not a recognised international side. But they will not be seen at Lord’s any time soon.15 Could not a lot of money be won or lost on a questionable lbw decision?No, say the organisers. The officials will have an unprecented level of technological assistance to call upon, with the third umpire authorised to reverse any decision if the replay shows it to be wrong.16 Will the Barmy Army be there?The majority of the Barmy Army are shunning the Stanford Series and by the majority we mean all but three. A spokesman says attention is already trained on next year’s England tour of the West Indies.17 Who receives the money from broadcasters such as Sky?It all goes to Sir Allen Stanford as the originator, organiser, host, financial backer and chief protagonist of the eponymous Super Series.18 Is this a one-off series?No, this is the first of five annual series that the ECB has committed to, meaning it could feasibly win $82.5m for itself and its players and coaches between now and 2012.19 Is the Stanford Series anything to do with the Champions League?No. The ICC-endorsed Champions League in India in December sees Middlesex take on the top two teams from Australia, India and South Africa, plus the top Pakistan team, in a Twenty20 tournament worth $6m.20 Would a victorious English team be the biggest earners in British sport?Biggest? No. Fastest? Undoubtedly. The most optimistic predictions have David Beckham earning $250m over the course of his five-year LA Galaxy contract, which equates to $5,723 an hour. If England take a leisurely four hours to beat the All Stars, they will earn $250,000 an hour. Take that, Becks.The Stanford timetableToday Stanford Superstars v Trinidad & TobagoSky Sports 1, 10.15pm (BST)Tomorrow England v MiddlesexSS1, 9pm (GMT)Monday Trinidad & Tobago v Middlesex SS1, 9.30pmTuesday England v Trinidad & Tobago SS1, 9pmThursday Stanford Superstars v Middlesex SS1, 9pmFriday Stanford Legends v England Legends beach cricket (ex-series)Saturday Stanford Superstars v England – the $20m matchSS1, 8.30pm Stanford Super Series Share via Email Twenty20 Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Shares00 1 Who is Sir Allen Stanford?Stanford is the billionaire owner and chairman of the Stanford Investment Group. Originally from Texas he now resides on the US Virgin Island of St Croix. Since 2005 he has invested $75m in West Indies cricket with the long-term hope that the Twenty20 format will crack the US TV market.2 Why are England involved in this?Because they were asked by Stanford – who reportedly approached Australia, South Africa and India first – to play against the Stanford Superstars in a $20m winner-takes-all match in Antigua next Saturday evening. Ultimately, though, the England and Wales Cricket Board is hoping the immense financial benefits to its players will see them resist the allure of the Indian Premier League.3 Who are the Stanford Superstars?Effectively a West Indian XI, though not wearing their colours. They are the best players from the regional Stanford 20/20 tournament and are all available to the West Indies Cricket Board, though five of the Superstars have never played for West Indies. However, the logo of Digicel, the WICB’s sponsor, will feature on their shirts after a high court ruling. 4 Why is it called the Stanford Series if there is only one jackpot match? There are five matches in the Stanford Series leading up to the big $20m match: four warm-up matches and Monday’s domestic champions game between Middlesex and Trinidad & Tobago. Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Mikey Stafford Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIncenter_img features Topics First published on Fri 24 Oct 2008 19.01 EDT Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Support The Guardian Reuse this content Read more Share on WhatsApp Cricket Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on Facebook How much will the losers get? What happens if it rains? Will the Barmy Army be there? Fri 24 Oct 2008 19.01 EDTlast_img read more

BillionDollar Houston Environmental Trial Enters Final Stages

first_img Username Lost your password? Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.center_img Remember me Five decades ago, a Houston paper mill dumped tons of sludge laced with dioxin into pits near the San Jacinto River. Harris County is now asking a jury to force three corporations, including Houston-based Waste Management, to pay $1 billion in penalties for their actions. The trial, now in week three, features some of Houston’s premier courtroom litigators, including Paula Hinton, Barrett Reasoner, Robin Gibbs and Winn Carter. They argue the companies followed all environmental laws and guidelines. The Texas Lawbook has all the details of this potential lardmark trial underway in Houston . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.last_img read more

MaidenMotherCrone

first_imgby, Dr. Bill ThomasTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares[Editor’s Note: ChangingAging will periodically re-publish blog posts from the archive. This post was originally published March 30, 2011. ]This post discusses some nearly forgotten ways of thinking about women’s lives and the way culture shapes the female experience. Some of the concepts presented below have been suppressed and even vilified. Given their rather charged historical context it is important that we separate the concepts from the theology from which they are drawn. I am exploring the maiden/mother/crone nexus mainly because I find it to be an ancient and illuminating station from which to view contemporary culture and expose its rampant ageism and sexism.If you think this might offend you, skip over this post and read something else.No worries!In his book Goddess as Nature. Paul Reid-Bowen writes…“The model of the Triple Goddess is comprised of three idealized or normative stages of female development: the youthful and independent Maiden (or Virgin), the fecund and relational Mother, and the degenerative and wise Crone. […] Deep ConnectionsThe idea that women can experience life-stages each of which contains its own intrinsic claim on dignity and value is especially valuable in today’s world. But, there is more to the story.Some feminists have examined the growing interest in the maiden/mother/crone nexus and found that its use in contemporary society is being colored by an over-emphasis on women’s fertility and sexual desirability to men. Rather than reflecting authentic experience, they argue, these archetypal life stages might actually represent how men perceive women of differing ages. In other words, they ask is the maiden/mother/crone nexus an expression of female experience or is it a representation of the perspective on the female life-cycle?This criticism seems well founded when we look at contemporary cultures nearly single minded focus on the maiden aspect of the female experience. In times past a randy mythologist has lingered lovingly over the smallest details of mythic “Nymph.” Today, it is abundantly clear our society has elevated the “nubile woman” to an archetype against which all women are to measured. Obligatory Painting of a NymphRobert Graves’ 1955 book Greek Myths associates the maiden/mother/crone nexus with the three phases of the moon (new, full, and old) and three of the seasons (spring, summer, and autumn). Graves transforms the static tri-form spatial division of the goddess of antiquity into a living process, which he then relates to the seasons, the phases of the moon, and the human life cycle. More HERE The Lunar Cycle: All Phases Have Their Own VirtuesBecause the burden of ageism falls most heavily on women, it is especially important that we search for, seek to understand and restore, long lost understandings like the maiden/mother/crone nexus. Our culture’s incessant celebration of the “Nymph” traps men and women alike in a dangerous cultural cul de sac. We need new symbology (some drawn from ancient sources), new modes of expression and new systems of understanding that are capable of according the full measure of dignity to each the stages of a woman’s life.We need a set of iconic images that can, you know, fit on a T-shirt. Been There Done That Got the T-ShirtRelated PostsChangingAging Weekly Blog Roundup March 24 to April 1Sign-up here to get ChangingAging’s Weekly Blog Roundup by email Weekly Blog Roundup Maiden/Mother/Crone I’ve been examine some nearly forgotten ways of thinking about women’s lives and the way culture shapes the female experience. Some of the concepts presented below have been suppressed and even vilified. Given their rather charged…Weekly Blog Roundup Nov. 1 to Nov. 6Welcome to the new ChangingAging.org weekly blog roundup for Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, 2010. Announcing the Picker Report on Aging in America with Dr. Bill Thomas! Vist www.PickerReport.org to join the conversation. Do you know anyone interested in ChangingAging? Please forward this email! Picker Report on Aging Refresh and…Here Comes the CroneRegular readers know that I am a fan of crones and croning.   Rick Moody offers an nice roundup of the concept for the uninitiated…   Does a woman merely have to grow older to become a Crone, or does it mean something more? For some answers to that question, see…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: crone womenlast_img read more

Immune system can produce universal antibodies against various microorganisms

first_imgMay 15 2018Bacteria and other microorganisms display structures from sugar molecules on their surfaces. These sugar structures play an important role for immune defense. “They enable the immune system to recognize invaders that do not belong in the body,” explains Hedda Wardemann from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. “Antibodies specifically attach to these structures and neutralize the pathogen.”Based on the sugar structures on their surface, bacteria can be classified in subgroups. As a rule, an antibody eliminates only one subgroup and does not protect against other microbes. However, in studies with the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, researchers led by Wardemann have now been the first to find that the immune system also produces antibodies that recognize and neutralize various microorganisms.More than a third of all humans are colonized by rod-shaped bacteria of a species called Klebsiella, which is found primarily on the nasal mucosa and in the gut. In healthy individuals, Klebsiella pneumoniae is completely harmless. But in people with weakened immune systems, it can replicate excessively and cause life-threatening diseases. In addition, Klebsiella pneumoniae is a frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections and is increasingly resistant to antibiotics.In their study, the investigators obtained antibodies against the bacterium from the blood of healthy individuals. “The antibodies protected against various subgroups of Klebsiella pneumoniae,” Wardemann reports. “But they were not restricted to this particular pathogen and also recognized other bacteria and even certain yeasts and viruses.”A closer look at the sugar-derived structures on the germs’ surfaces revealed how they can do so. All microorganisms to which the Klebsiella antibodies were able to attach displayed a small structure from a sugar called mannose. Forming antibodies that recognize this sugar structure on a variety of microorganisms allows the immune system to efficiently fend off various pathogenic agents – using only a single type of molecule.Related StoriesResearchers succeed in humanization of mouse antibodies targeting human herpesvirus 6BIgG antibodies play unexpected role in atherosclerosisNew research offers hints to origins of systemic lupus erythematosusIt has been unknown so far that the immune system can produce these “universal antibodies” against Klebsiella pneumoniae and other microorganisms. “Potential therapeutic use of antibodies is gaining importance because resistance to antibiotics is becoming ever more frequent,” said Wardemann.In Germany, an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 people each year contract infections while hospitalized; about 10,000 to 15,000 people die from these infections. A proportion of the hospital-acquired infections is caused by germs that are resistant to antibiotics, frequently by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Therapeutic antibodies produced in the lab might help patients combat the infection. In high-risk groups such as patients with weakened immune systems, the antibodies might also be used preventively. Their ability to recognize and eliminate a variety of pathogens is pivotal for their effectiveness. “A patient with acute septicemia – blood poisoning caused by bacteria – must be treated quickly”, said Wardemann.First examinations have already shown the effectiveness of Klebsiella antibodies: “In mice, the antibodies were capable of neutralizing various subgroups of Klebsiella, thus protecting the animals,” Wardemann reports. “In a next step, we will have to do further tests with the antibodies to show their clinical value in humans.”Source: http://www.dkfz.de/last_img read more

Novotek UK and Ireland demonstrates new software at Field Service Management Expo

first_img Source:https://www.novotek.com/en/ Novotek is inviting attendees at the Field Service Management Expo to test GE’s Predix ServiceMax field service software. ServiceMax from GE Digital, the leading provider of field service software, can increase first time fix rates, reducing the time to conduct a repair, while enhancing customer satisfaction. In addition, the increased management visibility in field operations enables enterprises to quickly recognize and address revenue-generating opportunities.Related StoriesNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsResearchers set out to define recommended ‘dosage’ of work for optimal wellbeingNew system for precise navigation through the vascular systemThe software can be utilized across a wide range of industries including manufacturing, energy and utilities. As the software includes an advanced scheduling feature, businesses can manage the schedules of any in-house and partner-employed technician. This makes it easier to assign and set-up jobs for multiple workers simultaneously.“Field service management should be focused on delivering high-quality and timely service, to ensure elevated levels of customer satisfaction,” explains George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland. “With that in mind, it’s reported that 52 per cent of field service companies are still utilizing labor intensive, paper-based systems to schedule work. This is not a good use of time and an easy way for mistakes to occur, and for businesses to rack up additional costs.”“By automating your scheduling and dispatch teams, businesses can better manage work orders, track and order equipment or parts required, and schedule supporting contractors to ensure complete operational transparency. The reduction of resources associated with managing a job, ensures field service managers can also reduce overall service costs, improve productivity and increase total output.”“By integrating ServiceMax from GE Digital, businesses can enhance several aspects of their service capabilities via a mobile solution. ServiceMax Mobile ensures real-time onsite problem solving, with direct access to live work assignments and inventory levels, for example, resulting in increased efficiency and customer satisfaction.”Novotek is the sole distributor of ServiceMax from GE Digital, the leading provider of field service software, in the UK and Ireland. ServiceMax technology works alongside other operational technologies (OT) offered by Novotek, to improve field service operations, such as SCADA and Asset Performance Management. Jun 1 2018An event for field service companies to explore automationIndustrial IT and automation expert Novotek UK and Ireland will be exhibiting at the Field Service Management Expo at the ExCeL, London. The event, which takes place from June 19–21, 2018 brings together professionals working in all aspects of service management, logistics and operations. Representatives from Novotek will be exhibiting on stand N1150.last_img read more

European Commission approves Pfizers first oncology biosimilar

first_img Source:https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer_receives_european_approval_for_oncology_biosimilar_trazimera_trastuzumab Jul 31 2018Pfizer Inc. today announced the European Commission (EC) has approved TRAZIMERA™, a biosimilar to Herceptin®  (trastuzumab), for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor (HER2) overexpressing breast cancer and HER2 overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.  This approval follows the recommendation from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use in May 2018.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerFDA grants accelerated approval to new treatment for refractory multiple myeloma”TRAZIMERA has the potential to help many patients with HER2 overexpressing cancers, such as breast and gastric, which can correlate with poor outcomes and aggressive disease,” said Professor Diana Lüftner, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin and Member of the Presidency of the German Society of Hematology and Medical Oncology. “Today’s approval will help enable greater access for patients and physicians across Europe, without compromising on quality, efficacy and safety.”Richard Blackburn, Global President, Pfizer Essential Health Europe, Africa/Middle East and Biosimilars said “The approval of TRAZIMERA, Pfizer’s first oncology biosimilar, is another significant step in our quest to introduce more treatment options for patients in Europe. Pfizer is investing in developing and launching a range of biosimilars which can help to reduce healthcare costs and increase patient access to important medicines.”last_img read more

Study adds more evidence to underlying autoimmune mechanisms in type 1 diabetes

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Immune reactions are usually a good thing-;the body’s way of eliminating harmful bacteria and other pathogens. But people also rely on molecular “brakes,” or checkpoints, to keep immune systems from attacking their own cells and organs and causing so-called autoimmune disease. Now, working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that in the rodent form of type 1 diabetes, specific immune cells fail to respond to one of these checkpoint molecules, letting the immune system go into overdrive and attack insulin-producing cells.Results of the study, published July 16 in Frontiers in Immunology, add to a growing body of research about the underlying autoimmune mechanisms in type 1 diabetes and potentially open up new immune system treatments for the disorder.”What we’ve shown in mice is one novel way that a strong inflammatory response can hijack the immune system and lead to chronic disease,” says lead author Giorgio Raimondi, M.Sc., Ph.D., assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.An estimated 1.25 million people in the U.S. have type 1 diabetes, which is most often diagnosed in children and young adults and incurs more than $14 billion per year in medical costs and lost income. In those with the autoimmune disorder, the pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin, needed by the body to control blood sugar levels. The disease is treated with lifelong insulin therapy that must be precisely calibrated and delivered many times each day. Researchers believe that type 1 diabetes is caused by an interplay of genetics and environmental triggers; recent evidence suggests that viral infections may set off some cases of the disease.Raimondi and his colleagues were studying how the immune system can cause problems in recipients of organ transplants when they became interested in a group of molecules called type I interferons (TI-INF). These immune activators help initiate an immune response in the presence of viruses, bacteria or other pathogens and, if present, they make controlling the rejection of transplanted organs a lot more difficult. Previous studies have also shown that TI-INF levels spike in many patients before they develop type 1 diabetes.Raimondi says he wondered whether the role of these molecules in diabetes could teach him anything about transplant rejection.Related StoriesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusFor the study, the team used a strain of nonobese diabetic mice as a model for type 1 diabetes, and isolated cells from throughout the animals’ bodies. They found that levels of TI-IFN weren’t higher than normal everywhere but were in specific tissues, the lymph nodes of the gut.More closely examining immune system cells isolated from the mice, they then showed that in T lymphocytes-;one subtype of white blood cell-;the high levels of TI-INF block an immune checkpoint molecule, called interleukin-10 (IL-10), and keep it from applying the brakes to keep the immune system in check.”The result is that these immune cells are much less responsive to normal signaling by IL-10,” says Raimondi.Using cells harvested from the mice, the researchers discovered that levels of the protein P-STAT3 that correlate with levels of IL-10 decrease by about half in the T lymphocytes of nonobese diabetic mice. Moreover, the defective response to IL-10 isn’t just seen early on in disease or before diabetes develops, Raimondi adds, but continued for at least four months-;the length of the study.”It looks like this is something that continues throughout the life of the animals, which is a really important point when we start thinking about how to use this to develop an effective therapy for this disease.”When Raimondi and his colleagues treated the nonobese diabetic mice with a JAK inhibitor-;part of a class of drugs that blocks signaling by TI-INF and is being used to treat forms of psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis-;T lymphocytes regained their normal ability to respond to IL-10.The current study didn’t measure whether restoration of IL-10 signaling influenced levels of insulin in the mice, and Raimondi cautioned that it is far too early to know if a similar drug could work in people, or if blocking or partially blocking the protein would be harmful.But he says future studies will show how blocking TI-INF could be used to treat diabetes.”Our bodies need to be able to respond to type I interferons to some degree,” says Raimondi. “This is a fundamental element of our immune system’s ability to fight infections, so we certainly shouldn’t block all type I interferons in the body.”Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/last_img read more

Tiny sensors can measure dopamine levels in the brain for more than

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 12 2018Dopamine, a signaling molecule used throughout the brain, plays a major role in regulating our mood, as well as controlling movement. Many disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia, are linked to dopamine deficiencies.MIT neuroscientists have now devised a way to measure dopamine in the brain for more than a year, which they believe will help them to learn much more about its role in both healthy and diseased brains.”Despite all that is known about dopamine as a crucial signaling molecule in the brain, implicated in neurologic and neuropsychiatric conditions as well as our abilty to learn, it has been impossible to monitor changes in the online release of dopamine over time periods long enough to relate these to clinical conditions,” says Ann Graybiel, an MIT Institute Professor, a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and one of the senior authors of the study.Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Rober Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor and a member of the Koch Institute, are also senior authors of the study. MIT postdoc Helen Schwerdt is the lead author of the paper, which appears in the Sept. 12 issue of Communications Biology.Long-term sensingDopamine is one of many neurotransmitters that neurons in the brain use to communicate with each other. Traditional systems for measuring dopamine — carbon electrodes with a shaft diameter of about 100 microns — can only be used reliably for about a day because they produce scar tissue that interferes with the electrodes’ ability to interact with dopamine.In 2015, the MIT team demonstrated that tiny microfabricated sensors could be used to measure dopamine levels in a part of the brain called the striatum, which contains dopamine-producing cells that are critical for habit formation and reward-reinforced learning.Because these probes are so small (about 10 microns in diameter), the researchers could implant up to 16 of them to measure dopamine levels in different parts of the striatum. In the new study, the researchers wanted to test whether they could use these sensors for long-term dopamine tracking.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementia”Our fundamental goal from the very beginning was to make the sensors work over a long period of time and produce accurate readings from day to day,” Schwerdt says. “This is necessary if you want to understand how these signals mediate specific diseases or conditions.”To develop a sensor that can be accurate over long periods of time, the researchers had to make sure that it would not provoke an immune reaction, to avoid the scar tissue that interferes with the accuracy of the readings.The MIT team found that their tiny sensors were nearly invisible to the immune system, even over extended periods of time. After the sensors were implanted, populations of microglia (immune cells that respond to short-term damage), and astrocytes, which respond over longer periods, were the same as those in brain tissue that did not have the probes inserted.In this study, the researchers implanted three to five sensors per animal, about 5 millimeters deep, in the striatum. They took readings every few weeks, after stimulating dopamine release from the brainstem, which travels to the striatum. They found that the measurements remained consistent for up to 393 days.”This is the first time that anyone’s shown that these sensors work for more than a few months. That gives us a lot of confidence that these kinds of sensors might be feasible for human use someday,” Schwerdt says.Monitoring Parkinson’sIf developed for use in humans, these sensors could be useful for monitoring Parkinson’s patients who receive deep brain stimulation, the researchers say. This treatment involves implanting an electrode that delivers electrical impulses to a structure deep within the brain. Using a sensor to monitor dopamine levels could help doctors deliver the stimulation more selectively, only when it is needed.The researchers are now looking into adapting the sensors to measure other neurotransmitters in the brain, and to measure electrical signals, which can also be disrupted in Parkinson’s and other diseases.”Understanding those relationships between chemical and electrical activity will be really important to understanding all of the issues that you see in Parkinson’s,” Schwerdt says. Source:http://news.mit.edu/2018/brain-dopamine-tracking-sensors-0912last_img read more

When it comes to diversity grants NIH hopes bigger is better

first_imgThe awards are an order of magnitude larger than what existing programs to help minorities typically receive. That is welcome news to the community of scientists who have been deeply involved in NIH-funded diversity programs that serve a relative handful of students each year. But mixed in with their applause is some handwringing.For starters, many scientists resent what they regard as Collins’s implicit criticism of existing diversity programs—which they say laid the groundwork for many of the new awards. “The hair on the back of my neck went up when I heard his comments,” says Renato Aguilera, a biology professor at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), and co-principal investigator (PI) on UTEP’s 5-year, $22 million BUILD grant. For the past decade, Aguilera has run a much smaller NIH-funded program, the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE), which supports a few dozen undergraduates doing research and a handful of graduate students pursing Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences.“I don’t agree that the existing programs haven’t worked,” he says. “I’m also nervous that they might decide to throw out all the existing programs and replace them with these humongous BUILD grants.”UTEP cited the success of RISE and other NIH-funded programs on campus in its proposal to NIH—for example, Aguilera notes that “more than 50% of my students go on to graduate school in the life sciences.” But he says there’s a simple reason RISE hasn’t had a bigger impact on the diversity of the NIH applicant pool: Its $800,000-a-year budget doesn’t allow him to address all the factors that can affect the size of the minority pipeline.“RISE doesn’t give you any money for infrastructure, or to serve the rest of the student population,” he notes. “You can’t go into the high schools, or to community colleges. You can’t serve students at other campuses in the region, or partner with research-intensive universities to provide more summer research experiences. You also can’t do much to mentor faculty.”The BUILD grant will allow the university and more than a dozen academic partners—minority-serving institutions, 2-year colleges, and research-intensive universities—to pursue all of those activities and more, he notes. It will give a wider swath of students the chance to learn what it means to be a scientist through training in research practices and actual lab experiences. Some half a million dollars alone will go toward turning empty space in a new campus building into a state-of-the-art biology learning center, with wet labs and areas for tutoring and mentoring.“BUILD merged things that have been successful,” Aguilera says. “After all, you had to prove that they were working in order to get the NIH grant.”A long, hard roadThe dearth of minorities in U.S. science—in particular, African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans—is a chronic problem. Although there are many ways to measure that underrepresentation, from low participation rates in high school science courses to their near-invisibility within science faculty at some elite universities, Collins chose the statistic most relevant to NIH’s goals when he announced the new awards. “Although 12.6% of the U.S. population is African-American, only 1.1% of our NIH PIs are African-American,” he told reporters.Winning an NIH grant is a long and difficult process for any scientist. And many minority students who might aspire to a career as a biomedical researcher also must first overcome poor academic preparation in high school, inadequate financial support to complete a degree, a lack of academic mentoring and haphazard career counseling, and a hostile environment on campus. For those who surmount those roadblocks and earn a science degree, there’s often strong family pressure to find a steady and well-paying job immediately after graduation. Even for those who persevere through graduate school and beyond, the dearth of faculty positions can dash their hopes of an academic research career. And then, as a final insult to those who do manage to snare a tenure-track position, there are the plunging success rates for grant applicants.The new initiative hopes to address the factors that bear on earning an undergraduate and graduate degree. It’s also meant to show that NIH is being responsive to a widely reported 2011 study showing that minorities are 10% less likely to obtain an NIH grant than their white counterparts.“They had to do something that Francis could point to as being new because the [2011] report caused such a ruckus,” says Richard Morimoto, a molecular biologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 2006, Morimoto chaired an NIH advisory panel that proposed an 8-year doubling of the number of minority Ph.D.s in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. He said then that NIH’s existing programs to foster diversity were piecemeal and that “the training of more minority scientists needs to be the responsibility of the entire community.”That doubling hasn’t occurred, although the most recent figures from the National Science Foundation show that the number of African-American and Hispanic Ph.D.s in the biological sciences rose sharply in the late 2000s before leveling off over the past few years. At the same time, the absolute numbers are so small—267 African Americans and 329 Hispanics received Ph.D.s in the biological sciences in 2012, for example—that even a small increase or drop can represent a large percentage change.Morimoto admits he “was not overwhelmed” when he first heard about the new diversity awards. But he sees them as “a significant investment in a time of limited resources.” And he applauds the selection process: “Putting more money into the hands of people who have shown success is a good idea,” he says.Another BUILD winner that certainly fits that definition is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). It’s already earned a national reputation in preparing minorities for scientific careers through its Meyerhoff Scholars Program that began in 1988. UMBC officials hope to extend the principles behind that elite program to reach what biochemist William LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, calls “the murky middle” of students who show an interest in science but aren’t eligible for the mentoring, internships, and additional services that the Meyerhoff Scholars receive.“We want to weave what we’ve learned into the fabric of the university so we can offer the same experience to every student who walks through our doors,” says LaCourse, a co-PI on the school’s 5-year, $18 million grant. “And this award will allow us to move a lot faster.”Building on successMaria Elena Zavala, a biologist at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), which also won a BUILD award, knows about all the academic barriers facing minority scientists. The daughter of former migrant workers in California, she took as much science as was offered at her high school despite being told by her guidance counselor that “your kind of people need [to learn] some kind of skill.”When Zavala joined the biology department at CSUN in 1988, she already knew about the school’s long tradition of producing graduates who went on to earn science-related Ph.D.s. “But nobody could remember any minority Ph.D. students,” she recalls. One big reason for their absence, she realized, is that “they couldn’t afford to take the research courses that you need to get into graduate school. Most students do it on a volunteer basis, but minority students usually don’t have the time because they have to work.” Although the noncredit lab courses don’t satisfy any graduation requirements, she notes, they do draw down a student’s financial aid package.So Zavala applied for and won an NIH Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) grant. Twenty-five years later, she’s still directing the program, and along the way she’s developed several innovative approaches for helping minority students that university officials incorporated into their successful BUILD application.“The spotlight is on us to make a difference,” says Crist Khachikian, CSUN’s associate vice president for research and graduate studies and the lead PI on the BUILD grant, which they hope will total $22 million over 5 years. “We have a rich tradition of success, but we are reevaluating our approach to mentoring and what factors might undermine student success.” He says faculty members will be applying the concept of critical race theory—the interaction of law, race, and power—“to make mentoring more culturally appropriate for a diverse student population.”Zavala is no Pollyanna when it comes to her students’ chances of carving out a career in science. And she knows that any program, however comprehensive, can’t cover all the bases.“You want to be optimistic about student outcomes, but you have to be realistic about what happens to them after they graduate,” she says. “Life happens. Say one of their parents comes down with cancer and tells them that they need to take a job to help pay the bills. They aren’t going to do it?”Zavala isn’t a co-PI on the new grant, but she thinks she and her colleagues are on the same page. “We’re already doing a lot of these things and they are working,” she says. “What NIH has decided to do is to put these programs on steroids.”A fourth BUILD grantee, Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, perennially tops the list of schools that produce the most minority Ph.D.s in the physical and life sciences. But that record isn’t good enough, says Gene D’Amour, special assistant to the president and lead PI on the project. Some 70% of the school’s predominantly low-income and black student body plans to major in either pre-med or pre-pharmacology, he says, but only 25% actually go on to graduate training in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field or to medical or pharmacy school.“We’d like to do a better job of keeping them,” D’Amour says. The scholarships in the grant will help students whose parents were hit hard by the 2008 economic meltdown, he says, and make it possible for them to start thinking about a Ph.D.Interim metricsOf course, students at Xavier and all the other campuses funded by the new initiative won’t actually earn that advanced degree until well after the 5-year grant ends. And it will be more than a decade before any of them are in a position to apply for an NIH investigator grant. That means NIH will need to apply intermediate markers in judging the overall success of the diversity initiative and, more specifically, whether institutions should receive a second, 5-year award.Hannah Valantine, who in January was named NIH’s first chief diversity officer, says the transition rates into graduate programs will be an important metric, although she admits that no baseline currently exists. “The transition rates for MARC and other programs vary from 20% to 60%,” she says. “I’d like to see a rate of at least 50%, if not much higher, for the new round of grants.”For institutions with programs already meeting that standard, the new initiative is a chance for them to spread their wings. “What was really amazing about the solicitation was that it, in effect, asked people to describe what they need, and then to come up with creative ways to achieve it, without regard to the budget,” marvels UTEP’s Aguilera. “They told us to think big, and that’s exactly what we’re planning to do.” Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded scores of programs over the last 4 decades aimed at increasing the number of minorities who apply for its bread-and-butter investigator grants. But NIH Director Francis Collins is not satisfied with the progress to date in correcting the serious underrepresentation of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in the applicant pool.“We are far short of where I believe we ought to be,” he said during a 22 October media briefing on NIH’s latest attempt to achieve that deceptively simple goal. “I can tell you that a number of those programs have produced stunning successes in terms of individuals who have been significant contributors to the biomedical research enterprise. But those are more anecdotes than systematic data.”The new, three-part program, which Collins called “a bold experiment,” hopes to address those problems with significantly more resources and better record keeping. Each of 10 BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity) awards, ranging from $17 million to $24 million over 5 years, will fund partnerships among several institutions to attract and retain more minority students. Another grant, based at Boston College, will create a national mentoring network serving all sites. The final grant, to a consortium led by the University of California, Los Angeles, will be used to evaluate all of the BUILD grants. NIH expects to spend $240 million over the first 5 years of the initiative, which bears the clunky title of Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce. There are plans to hold a second competition in 2019, in which the first-round winners will compete against newcomers.last_img read more

Drones dont faze birds

first_imgIf you’re worried about the increasing number of drones that fill the skies, perhaps you should just chill out like birds do. In an effort to establish ethical guidelines for observing our feathered friends, scientists approached mallards, flamingos, and greenshanks with a quadcopter drone more than 200 times and watched for signs of disturbance. The researchers varied the color of the drone from black to blue to white; they approached at speeds of 2, 4, 6, and 8 m/s; and they approached at angles of 20°, 30°, 60°, and 90°. According to the results published online today in Biology Letters, the drone’s speed and color had no effect on whether the birds were bothered by the drone. The only variable that perturbed any of the three species was the angle of approach: When the drone dropped down on the birds from directly overhead (90°), all three species showed signs of disturbance such as moving away from the drone or flying away entirely. No other approach angles appeared to irk the avians at all. Although this is encouraging for the future of drone observation, scientists point out that the birds may be experiencing stresses that aren’t obvious to observers, such as increased heart rate or adrenaline flux. And although flamingos and greenshanks are known for their high sensitivity to disturbance, they’re not representative of all birds. In particular, the researchers point out the wealth of Internet videos depicting birds of prey attacking drones.last_img read more

Controversy awaits as House Republicans roll out longawaited bill to revamp US

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step today in its 2-year effort to reshape federal research policy, introducing a long-awaited and controversial bill that covers the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), research at the Department of Energy (DOE), and federal science education policy.The 189-page legislation, called a reauthorization, includes suggested spending levels, as well as changes to a host of current policies and practices. It would replace a law covering those agencies that expired in 2013. The science committee had initially broken up that law, first passed in 2007 and revised in 2010, into several pieces. But today’s bill folds them all into one and retains the original name—the America COMPETES Act.Authored by the panel’s chair, Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the text was not shared ahead of time with the panel’s minority members and has no Democratic sponsors. Likewise, the scientific community will need time to digest its wealth of details—some of which are certain to infuriate, whereas others are likely to please. But there won’t be much time for cogitation: The committee plans to convene next Wednesday to mark up the legislation.  Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Based on an initial review, here are some provisions that the research community is likely to find interesting. Stay tuned for more analysis and reaction.NSF spending: The bill would authorize $7.6 billion for NSF in 2016, $126 million less than President Barack Obama has requested but $253 million more than NSF’s current budget. More importantly, however, it would reallocate NSF’s research dollars to favor the natural sciences and engineering at the expense of the geosciences and the social and behavioral sciences. In particular, it tacks on roughly $100 million to the president’s request for four NSF directorates—biology, computing, engineering, and math and physical sciences. In contrast, it slices $165 million from the request for the geosciences, $100 million from education, and $140 million—almost half of the current amount—from the social and behavioral sciences.The bill adds a second year of authorized spending at levels identical to 2016. That’s a cruel twist for science advocates, who generally prefer a longer reauthorization but who will be apoplectic that NSF’s budget would remain flat in 2017.DOE R&D: The bill calls for funding most Office of Science programs at 2016 levels that match those proposed by the Obama administration and then keeping budgets flat in 2017. It also calls for slashing spending on more applied renewable energy programs and efforts to push new energy technologies into the marketplace while boosting spending on fossil and nuclear energy.Overall, the Office of Science would get a 5.4% boost to $5.34 billion. Advanced computing programs would jump nearly 15% to $621 million, while Basic Energy Sciences would rise 6.7% to $1.85 billion. High Energy Physics would grow 2.9% to $788 million and Nuclear Physics 4.9% to $625 million.But the bill includes two major funding disagreements with the White House. It would boost the fusion research budget to $488 million, $20 million above current levels and $68 million above the president’s request. And it would cut the Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program to $550 million, 7% below its current level of $592 million and 10% below the White House’s 2016 request for $612 million. In addition to paring BER’s budget, the bill’s sponsors want program managers to put a priority on basic biological and genomics research and downplay climate research. It would bar BER from starting any new climate science research unless it can show it does not duplicate work being funded by other federal agencies. It also asks DOE to cancel any existing climate research found to be duplicative.The bill orders up a host of other studies, including one on how the United States can become a leader in building and operating light sources for materials research, and another on the feasibility of building a national network of pipelines for carrying carbon dioxide (apparently with the idea of pumping it underground to curb climate change). It also calls for studies of exascale computing research, low-dose radiation science, and the effectiveness of DOE’s efforts to commercialize research discoveries. DOE is also asked to examine the possibility of hosting privately owned experimental fusion and nuclear reactors at its national laboratories.Funding for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would drop dramatically, by more than one-third of the current level, to $1.2 billion. And funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy would be cut in half, to $140 million, from the current $280 million.Peer review: One of the biggest sticking points between the science committee and the research community since Smith became chair in 2013 has been his attempt to reshape how NSF reviews the 50,000 or so requests for funding it receives every year from scientists. But the two sides now appear to have come to agreement on the contentious issue, which Smith has framed as ensuring that NSF carries out research in the national interest. Section 106 of the bill adopts a definition that was hammered out over many months of negotiations between Smith and NSF Director France Córdova. The legislation also says that “nothing in this section shall be construed as altering the Foundation’s intellectual merit or broader impacts criteria for evaluating grant applications.”NSF’s portfolio: One provision that wasn’t in earlier versions is likely to come as a big shock to NSF officials. As part of a list of motherhood-and-apple pie goals that include conducting basic research and helping the public understand the value of investing in science, the bill gives NSF the responsibility “to evaluate scientific research programs undertaken by [other] agencies of the federal government.” The language appears to put NSF in the awkward position of judging what the rest of the federal research establishment is doing. That’s an untenable role for a single agency, and the idea is likely a political nonstarter.Large new facilities: Another contentious provision relates to the bill’s attempt to rein in cost overruns and wasteful spending on the construction of big-bucks scientific facilities like telescopes, ships, and networked instrumentation. Specifically, it requires NSF to “correct” any problems identified by an independent audit of the project’s expected cost before starting construction. It also restricts spending from a contingency fund to those “occurrences that are foreseeable with certainty … and supported by verifiable cost data.” That language appears to contradict the normal meaning of a contingency fund, which is to cover expenses that cannot be anticipated.Administrative burden: Academic leaders will be heartened to read the bill’s support for reducing what they see as unnecessary and costly government regulations that hinder the conduct of research on U.S. campuses and at not-for-profit institutions. The 2010 COMPETES Act ordered up a study of the problem by the U.S. National Academies—the committee’s second meeting takes place tomorrow, in fact. But the legislation appears to jump ahead of the committee’s deliberations by reaching its own conclusion: “High and increasing administration burdens and costs in federal research administration … are eroding funds available to carry out basic scientific research.” The bill would require the White House science adviser to convene an interagency panel that would recommend “how to … minimize the regulatory burden on U.S. institutions of higher education performing federally funded research.” Even better for academics, the panel would be required to solicit their views.  NIST: The bill calls for NIST’s overall budget to rise to to $934 million in 2016, about 8% above its current level of $864 million, but below the president’s request for $1.1 billion. NIST’s core science and technical programs would jump to $745 million in 2016, $69 million above current levels, but $10 million below the White House request.The new proposal is “a pro-science, fiscally responsible bill that will keep America competitive,” stated a House science committee press release. “To remain competitive, we need to make sure our priorities are funded and that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely,” Smith said in the statement, adding that the bill “funds innovative science and prioritizes taxpayer investments in basic research, without increasing overall spending.”The committee’s top Democrat, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), was less enthusiastic. “I am unable to provide my opinion on this legislation at the moment due to the fact that Democratic Members were given this 189-page bill at the same time as everyone else,” she said in a statement to ScienceInsider. “It is unfortunate that the Chairman has chosen not to work in a bipartisan effort on such an important part of the Committee’s work. America Competes is far too important for partisan posturing.”*Clarification, 16 April, 3:11 p.m.: The proposed funding cut to DOE’s renewable energy programs has been clarified; it amounts to about one-third of the 2015 level.last_img read more

Mystery company blazes a trail in fusion energy

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Of the handful of startup companies trying to achieve fusion energy via nontraditional methods, Tri Alpha Energy Inc. has always been the enigma. Publishing little and with no website, but apparently sitting on a cash pile in the hundreds of millions, the Foothill Ranch, California–based company has been the subject of intense curiosity and speculation. But last month Tri Alpha lifted the veil slightly with two papers revealing that its device, dubbed the colliding beam fusion reactor, has shown a 10-fold improvement in its ability to contain the hot particles needed for fusion over earlier devices at U.S. universities and national labs.“They’ve improved things greatly and are moving in a direction that is quite promising,” says plasma physicist John Santarius of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.Fusion energy seeks to replicate the power source of the sun and stars: heating atoms to enormous temperatures so that their nuclei slam together with enough force to overcome their mutual repulsion and fuse, releasing energy. The challenge on Earth is to confine plasma—an ionized gas, with electrons and nuclei separated—at high temperatures (greater than 150 million degrees Celsius) long enough for fusion reactions to occur. Most effort over the past 60 years of fusion research has focused on tokamaks—huge doughnut-shaped vessels that confine plasma with powerful magnets—and laser fusion, which uses high-energy laser pulses to squeeze tiny capsules of fuel. But between these low-density and high-density extremes there is a range of other approaches that have received little government funding. Now, startup companies are moving into that vacuum. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Tri Alpha’s device relies on a plasma phenomenon called a field-reversed configuration (FRC), akin to a smoke ring of plasma. Because plasma is made of charged particles (electrons and nuclei), the swirling particles in the FRC create a magnetic field that acts to hold the ring together, potentially long enough for fusion to get going. Tri Alpha’s 23-meter-long device has at its heart a long tube with numerous ring-shaped magnets and other devices along its length. It creates a plasma smoke ring close to each end and fires them toward the middle at 250 kilometers per second. At the center they merge, converting their kinetic energy into heat to produce a high-temperature FRC.In earlier attempts to create long-lived FRCs, turbulence in the plasma caused heat to leak away as hot particles migrated to the edge and escaped, causing the smoke ring to shrink and fade away. And although FRCs proved more stable than other ways of confining plasma, the ring-shaped plasma did tend to tilt or lose shape, causing it hit the tube wall and disintegrate. As a result, researchers couldn’t push the lifetime of high-temperature FRCs beyond about 0.3 milliseconds. “They had trouble getting parameters to what was needed,” says Santarius, who in the past has worked with Tri Alpha researchers and received funding from the company.Researchers had theorized that an FRC could be made to live longer by firing high-speed ions into the plasma. Michl Binderbauer, Tri Alpha’s chief technology officer, says that once the ions are inside the FRC, its magnetic field curves them into wide orbits that both stiffen the plasma against instability and suppress the turbulence that allows heat to escape. “Adding fast ions does good things for you,” says Glen Wurden of the Plasma Physics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Tri Alpha collaborated with Russia’s Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Akademgorodok, which provided beam sources to test this approach. But they soon learned that “[ion] beams alone don’t do the trick. Conditions in the FRC need to be right,” Binderbauer says, or the beams can pass straight through. So Tri Alpha developed a technique called “edge biasing”: controlling the conditions around the FRC using electrodes at the very ends of the reactor tube.In papers published last month in Physics of Plasmas and Nature Communications, the Tri Alpha team reveals how fast ions, edge biasing, and other improvements have enabled them to produce FRCs lasting 5 milliseconds, a more than 10-fold improvement in lifetime, and reduced heat loss. “They’re employing all known techniques on a big, good-quality plasma,” Wurden says. “It shows what you can do with several hundred million dollars.” Tri Alpha is supported by “a very diverse group of investors,” Binderbauer says, including venture capital companies, billionaire individuals, and the government-owned Russian Nanotechnology Corp.To achieve fusion gain—more energy out than heating pumped in—researchers will have to make FRCs last for at least a second. Although that feat seems a long way off, Santarius says Tri Alpha has shown a way forward. “If they scale up size, energy confinement should go up,” he says. Tri Alpha researchers are already working with an upgraded device, which has differently oriented ion beams and more beam power.last_img read more

Top stories How Dylan made his mark on science the origins of

first_imgBob Dylan, the songwriter scientists love to quote, just won a Nobel PrizeOne of scientists’ favorite singer-songwriters just won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Bob Dylan, whose lyrics have been quoted, paraphrased, or cited in hundreds of papers and letters in the biomedical research literature alone, was awarded the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Even for researchers born decades after the 75-year-old musician, Dylan’s lines seem to stay forever young. For example, a 2015 analysis published in The BMJ found 213 references in a biomedical journals database that could be “classified as unequivocally citing Dylan.”‘Bear dogs’ once lived in southern Texas 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 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Fragmentary fossils found in southwestern Texas 3 decades ago belong to a strange group of extinct animals known as “bear dogs,” according to a new study. Though only about the size of a Chihuahua when they first appeared, some creatures in this group of carnivorous mammals evolved to become top predators in their ecosystems tens of millions of years ago. The study also suggests that bear dogs could have originated in this part of North America, which may have been a hot spot of evolution for the group.Alien life could feed on cosmic raysA bizarre microbe found deep in a gold mine in South Africa could provide a model for how life might survive in seemingly uninhabitable environments through the cosmos. Known as Desulforudis audaxviator, the rod-shaped bacterium thrives 2.8 kilometers underground in a habitat devoid of all that powers the vast majority of life on Earth—light, oxygen, and carbon. Instead, this “gold mine bug” gets energy from radioactive uranium in the depths of the mine. Now, scientists predict that life elsewhere in the universe might also feed off radiation, especially the radiation raining down from space.How naked mole rats conquered pain—and what it could mean for usAlthough it has a face—and a body—that only a mother could love, the naked mole rat has a lot to offer biomedical science. It lives 10 times longer than a mouse, almost never gets cancer, and doesn’t feel pain from injury and inflammation. Now, researchers say they’ve figured out how the rodents keep this pain away, a discovery that could inspire better human treatments.We care when an airplane crashes. And then we don’tOn 19 May, EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 56 passengers and 10 crew members aboard. The Wikipedia entry documenting the disaster went up within hours, and it will likely remain online into perpetuity. Human readers, however, lost interest after about a week. A pair of new studies reveals that’s common whether an aircraft crash kills 50 people or 500—a finding that reveals some surprises about our online attention spans.Now that you’ve got the scoop on this week’s hottest Science news, come back Monday to test your smarts on our weekly quiz!last_img read more

How the slimy hagfish ties itself up in knots—and survives shark attacks

first_imgOne more unusual behavior may be explained by the hagfish lifestyle: The slime “eels” live on the sea floor, burrowing into the mud and even into dead whale carcasses to scavenge for food. Like octopuses, hagfish can squeeze through very tiny spaces—including slits half their body width, Fudge and his students reported yesterday. They do this by bending their heads, angling them through the opening, and wriggling their bodies back and forth, after which they form a loop with the part already past the opening. This gives them the leverage to get the rest of their bodies through.However, key to this success is the fluid-filled cavity, or sinus, under the loose skin, Fudge notes. Blood gets pushed toward the tail as the hagfish squeezes through the slit. This movement can lead to dramatic swelling of the tail, says Fudge, which finally gets pulled through. (When a hagfish goes through a slit tail first, then it winds up with a swollen head, he adds.) He thinks other animals that squeeze through tight spaces, like octopuses and rodents, may use a similar strategy. “The loose skin has a lot of functions,” Clark concludes.These Houdini maneuvers could prove useful for engineers. “As disgusting as all of this is, the biomechanics of squeezing through constricted spaces could have applications in running wires and cables through existing buildings and in search and rescue,” says Frank Fish, a biomechanist at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved with the work. Haney hopes that this new understanding of how small-brained animals perform such complex tasks—including knotting—will one day help engineer flexible robots that can do just that. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—When people say they get all tied up in knots, they don’t mean it literally. Such is not the case for the hagfish, a jawless, eellike creature that ties itself into pretzellike twists to tear apart its dinner. Hagfish are best known for their slime, which gums up the gills of any predator that tries to eat them, causing the attacker to spit them out unharmed. But hagfish have other unusual attributes: They can squeeze through devilishly tight spaces and survive shark bites unscathed, researchers reported here this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.Hagfish aren’t a typical fish—they have cartilage instead of bones and a primitive skeletal rod (called a notochord) instead of a backbone. For years, Douglas Fudge studied their fibrous slime, which they make in enormous quantities when stressed. Then in 2011, the marine biologist at Chapman University in Orange, California, saw a video of a shark chomping down on a hagfish, which escaped without a scratch. Had its slimy coating and tough skin saved it?Watching the video several times, Fudge found that the slime wasn’t released until after the attack. And experiments with machine-driven needles showed that the skin was, in fact, not strong enough to withstand a shark bite. Instead, the shark did no harm because the hagfish’s skin is only loosely connected to the muscles and organs inside, he and his colleagues reported at the meeting. Just under the skin is a blood-filled cavity with plenty of room to spare: Fudge’s team found that it could increase the fluid inside by 35% before it was full. When they simulated a bite with a guillotinelike machine topped with a shark’s tooth, the skin just folded around the tooth, giving the organs ample room to move out of harm’s way. But when they glued the same skin directly to a dead hagfish’s muscles, the tooth readily pierced it. 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 Most fish wear their skin “tight like spandex,” says Andrew Clark, a biomechanist at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. “By being loose, [hagfish skin] is hard to grab.” He, along with fellow biomechanist Theodore Uyeno from Valdosta State University in Georgia and their students, have independently examined and described the loose skin of several of the 80 species of hagfish. Fudge’s work “jives exactly with what we are doing,” Clark notes. Uyeno has also found an important difference between an Atlantic and a Pacific hagfish: The latter have muscle fibers embedded in the skin, he and his colleagues reported in a separate presentation at the meeting.Those muscles may explain a seeming paradox. All hagfish can form knots with their bodies, another feat likely enabled by loose skin, says William Haney, a biomechanist who works with Uyeno at Valdosta. “The knots make up for the lack of traditional jaws,” he explains. By twisting into a knot, the hagfish can tear flesh off dead and rotting carcasses. But even though the Atlantic hagfish is long and slender, whereas the Pacific hagfish is short and thick, the latter can form more complicated and tighter knots than its svelte cousin. Altogether, both species use four simple body movements to come up with all their different knots, Haney reports today at the meeting.center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Video of Hagfish tying itself into a knotlast_img read more

The Vikings were enemy No 1 for Irish hero Brian Boru social

first_img By Michael PriceJan. 25, 2018 , 8:00 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The Vikings were enemy No. 1 for Irish hero Brian Boru, social network study says Hugh Frazer/Wikimedia Commons Every Irish schoolchild knows the story of the great Christian hero-king Brian Boru, who united his countrymen against the heathen Viking horde. Yet many modern scholars view his final battle—Clontarf in 1014—as mostly a civil war between Irish factions, with the Vikings playing only a small role. Now, a mathematical analysis of the war’s primary account suggests the traditional story may be closer to the truth: Although Ireland was indeed riven by a jumble of alliances, the authors say the conflict was primarily the Irish versus Vikings.The research sheds light on the complicated cultural and political legacy of the Vikings in Ireland, says Søren Michael Sindbæk, a Viking archaeologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who wasn’t involved in the study. “The Vikings do not act as a monolithic group,” he says. “They enter into existing Irish power struggles which they catalyze in new ways.”The primary account of the war between ancient Irish and Vikings, appropriately titled the Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, or The War of the Irish with the Foreigners, lists the travels, meetings, and battles of Irish kings and Viking warlords for nearly half a century. But the sprawling epic, collated from three different sources, is problematic. Historians aren’t sure exactly when it was written, its timeline makes no sense, and it’s a brilliant piece of propaganda that demonizes the Vikings. “It basically says Brian was a good guy and the Vikings were bad guys,” says the study’s lead author, Ralph Kenna, an Irish theoretical physicist and mathematician at Coventry University in the United Kingdom. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img A new study suggests the Battle of Clontarf (depicted here in an 1826 painting) was fought primarily between the Irish and Vikings, rather than between rival Irish factions. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Some historians have argued that the tale was a way of strengthening the O’Brien dynasty’s claim on the throne, and that the real war was waged between clans in the province of Munster, led by Boru, and clans in the province of Leinster, supported by the Vikings. But there’s precious little archaeological evidence to support either side.So Kenna turned to social network analysis—the kind Facebook uses to figure out who your friends are—to analyze the relationships between characters in the Cogadh. Sindbæk says that although this method is used increasingly in anthropology, applying it to characters in ancient texts is quite ingenious. Kenna and colleagues mapped out every interaction among the 315 characters mentioned in the Cogadh, and coded their more than 1100 interactions as either friendly or hostile. They then tallied the hostile interactions into a single scorecard: If the nastiness was Irish-on-Irish, the score went up. If it was Irish-on-Viking, the score went down. The final score was negative. That means it’s quite likely that the war really was a struggle primarily against the Vikings, Kenna’s team reportsKenna admits the interpretation isn’t perfect, as it depends on the accuracy of the relationships described in the Cogadh. But even though the text is biased in its character descriptions, he doesn’t think its authors would have altered the actual alliances and conflicts. “There’s an art to propaganda,” Kenna says. “You can’t falsify too much or else people won’t accept it.”Sindbæk agrees, adding that this kind of complex mathematical analysis might cut through the text’s overt spin to get at something real. “It enables us to unveil a different layer of the text, even one which might not have been … consciously constructed by the author.”last_img read more

Watch a wound close with the help of fat cells

first_img By Kimberly HickokFeb. 26, 2018 , 12:00 PM Watch a wound close with the help of fat cells Fat gets a bad rap, but it may be critical to wound healing, a new study suggests. Researchers fluorescently labeled fat cells in fruit fly pupae—the developmental stage between larva and adult—and then cut a small hole in the pupae with a laser. Within an hour, the fat cells had swum toward the wound, the team reports today in Developmental Cell. Actomyosin, a protein complex responsible for cellular contractions, was responsible for the fat cells’ wormlike propulsion, called peristalsis, the scientists found. The researchers also discovered that immune cells known as hemocytes arrive at the wound first, and when the fat cells follow they brush the hemocytes aside. Fat cells continued to show up at the wound even when the researchers deactivated the hemocytes, indicating that hemocytes aren’t signaling the location of the wound. But both cell types worked together to heal the injury, with hemocytes removing cellular debris and the fat cells tightly plugging the wound until new tissue could grow. How the fat cells know where to go remains a mystery. Fat cells likely play a role in wound healing in humans and other vertebrates, too, the researchers say, though whether the process is the same as it is in flies remains to be seen.last_img read more

Updated Chronic fatigue syndrome scientist fired after conduct complaints Stanford says

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) The School of Medicine has made the decision to terminate Dr. Montoya’s employment with the University. Upon receipt of complaints relating to his conduct, we promptly initiated an investigation led by an outside attorney and Stanford faculty member that found multiple violations of the University’s conduct policies. We believe that this is the appropriate course of action for the Stanford University community based on these findings. We note that Dr. Montoya has the right to appeal this decision. We are not commenting further on this matter out of respect for the privacy of all individuals involved. By Meredith WadmanJun. 4, 2019 , 5:20 PM Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country *Updated, 7 June, 2:30 p.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from Jose Montoya and other information regarding the nature of the complaints against him. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Updated: Chronic fatigue syndrome scientist fired after conduct complaints, Stanford says After the first report of Montoya’s firing, The Stanford Daily on 4 June published a second story, reporting on an anonymous statement it said came from a group of women affected by Montoya’s actions. It said that the complaints involved “extensive allegations of sexual misconduct, assault and harassment.” Jose Montoya had been at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, for nearly 30 years. In a 5 June statement released by Montoya’s lawyer, the researcher issued a broad—if vague—apology, saying, in part, “I sincerely apologize to anyone who, in any way, I offended. What has unfolded since March has been a huge surprise and devastating to me and my family. It was even more shattering to learn, through the June 4 Stanford Daily article, that it was members of my Stanford ME/CFS team who experienced some of my behaviors as attempts at unsolicited sexual acts, harassment, and misconduct. It is extremely important that you know I have not been involved in any sexual or romantic relationships with employees, trainees, colleagues, or CFS team members.”On Twitter, some members of the CFS community, who also call the disease myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), voiced dismay. Journalist Hillary Johnson, who wrote a book on the puzzling condition, tweeted that Montoya is “A brilliant MD who singlehandedly turned Stanford around on ME years ago, who believed the FIRST patient he ever saw—at a time when powers at Stanford had decreed ME patients could not even be seen there.”Originally from Colombia, Montoya has directed the Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation since 2008, according to his Stanford faculty profile. He has published dozens of articles on Toxoplasma gondii, the infectious parasite that is passed by contaminated food and water and damages fetuses. He has received multiple awards for teaching excellence.In his statement, Montoya suggests that his background may have led to the complaints, saying “The social norms in the U.S. are evolving and quite different than those from my culture and homeland. I did not sufficiently appreciate that difference. It is my responsibility to change and be both mindful and respectful of the boundaries of personal space – and I pledge to do just that.”Stanford did not specify what conduct led to its action. But the medical school’s statement went on to say:Stanford did not specify what conduct led to its action. But the medical school’s statement went on to say: The University has robust policies providing for the fair and respectful treatment of employees, including the School of Medicine’s Statement on the Respectful Workplace, the University’s Code of Conduct, and related policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination. When conduct in violation of any of these policies occurs, the University will act to stop the conduct. Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, has fired a prominent researcher who studies the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis as well as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).The school fired Jose Montoya on 30 May, citing unspecified behavioral violations, The Stanford Daily first reported.A Stanford spokesperson provided ScienceInsider with this statement:last_img read more

Does a new genetic analysis finally reveal the identity of Jack the

first_img Email Chronicle/Alamy Stock Photo Forensic scientists say they have finally fingered the identity of Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who terrorized the streets of London more than a century ago. Genetic tests published this week point to Aaron Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber and a prime police suspect at the time. But critics say the evidence isn’t strong enough to declare this case closed.The results come from a forensic examination of a stained silk shawl that investigators said was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth victim, in 1888. The shawl is speckled with what is claimed to be blood and semen, the latter believed to be from the killer. Four other women in London were also murdered in a 3-month spree and the culprit has never been confirmed.This isn’t the first time Kosminski has been linked to the crimes. But it is the first time the supporting DNA evidence has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. The first genetic tests on shawl samples were conducted several years ago by Jari Louhelainen, a biochemist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, but he said he wanted to wait for the fuss to die down before he submitted the results. Author Russell Edwards, who bought the shawl in 2007 and gave it to Louhelainen, used the unpublished results of the tests to identify Kosminski as the murderer in a 2014 book called Naming Jack the Ripper. But geneticists complained at the time that it was impossible to assess the claims because few technical details about the analysis of genetic samples from the shawl were available. By David AdamMar. 15, 2019 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Does a new genetic analysis finally reveal the identity of Jack the Ripper? A historical image of police discovering a Jack the Ripper murder victim The new paper lays those out, up to a point. In what Louhelainen and his colleague David Miller, a reproduction and sperm expert at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, claim is “the most systematic and most advanced genetic analysis to date regarding the Jack the Ripper murders,” they describe extracting and amplifying the DNA from the shawl. The tests compared fragments of mitochondrial DNA—the portion of DNA inherited only from one’s mother—retrieved from the shawl with samples taken from living descendants of Eddowes and Kosminski. The DNA matches that of a living relative of Kosminki, they conclude in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.The analysis also suggests the killer had brown hair and brown eyes, which agrees with the evidence from an eyewitness. “These characteristics are surely not unique,” the authors admit in their paper. But blue eyes are now more common than brown in England, the researchers note.The results are unlikely to satisfy critics. Key details on the specific genetic variants identified and compared between DNA samples are not included in the paper. Instead, the authors represent them in a graphic with a series of colored boxes. Where the boxes overlap, they say, the shawl and modern DNA sequences matched.The authors say in their paper that the Data Protection Act, a U.K. law designed to protect the privacy of individuals, stops them from publishing the genetic sequences of the living relatives of Eddowes and Kosminski. The graphic in the paper, they say, is easier for nonscientists to understand, especially “those interested in true crime.”Walther Parson, a forensic scientist at the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, says mitochondrial DNA sequences pose no risk to privacy and the authors should have included them in the paper. “Otherwise the reader cannot judge the result. I wonder where science and research are going when we start to avoid showing results but instead present colored boxes.”Hansi Weissensteiner, an expert in mitochondrial DNA also at Innsbruck, also takes issue with the mitochondrial DNA analysis, which he says can only reliably show that people—or two DNA samples—are not related. “Based on mitochondrial DNA one can only exclude a suspect.” In other words, the mitochondrial DNA from the shawl could be from Kosminski, but it could probably also have come from thousands who lived in London at the time.Other critics of the Kosminsky theory have pointed out that there’s no evidence the shawl was ever at the crime scene. It also could have become contaminated over the years, they say.The new tests are not the first attempt to identify Jack the Ripper from DNA. Several years ago, U.S. crime author Patricia Cornwell asked other scientists to analyze any DNA in samples taken from letters supposedly sent by the serial killer to police. Based on that DNA analysis and other clues she said the killer was the painter Walter Sickert, though many experts believe those letters to be fake. Another genetic analysis of the letters claimed the murderer could have been a woman.last_img read more

Ronald Reagans Early Role as an FBI Informant

first_imgFor many, Ronald Reagan was one of the most popular and effective Presidents of the United States. His disarming charm and ability to communicate to a wide range of people earned him the moniker the “Great Communicator” and the more personal nickname “The Gipper”.  He was one of the first leaders to make the transition from Hollywood to the political arena. It’s well known that he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947, naming names in the national paranoia over Communist infiltration.But what’s less known is his deeper connection to anti-Communist activity, and the role the hunt for potential insurgents would play in his personal life.Official Portrait of President Ronald ReaganBefore he entered the White House, Reagan held office as President of the Screen Actors Guild. His tenure began in ‘47, following a decade in the limelight appearing in movies such as Kings Row (1942). Though being a staunch opponent of the “Red Menace,” there was one thing he had to thank it for… meeting the love of his life.As related on his page for Biography.com, “he met actress Nancy Davis, who had sought his help after she was mistakenly listed as a possible communist sympathizer on the Hollywood blacklist.” The allegations proved unfounded, and Nancy became Ronald’s second wife in 1952.Television star Ronald Reagan as the host of General Electric Theater.Two years later and he was working as the host of The General Electric Theater, a CBS TV/radio show paid for by the famous power giant’s public relations arm. The anthology series certainly packed in the stars, from Cary Grant to Judy Garland. Yet the man introducing their exploits was reportedly experiencing a change behind the scenes.While associated with the Democratic movement, Reagan’s views altered when asked to travel the country by General Electric as part of a PR exercise. It’s claimed by Biography that it was “during this time that his political views shifted from liberal to conservative; he led pro-business discussions, speaking out against excessive government regulation and wasteful spending—central themes of his future political career.”Ronald Reagan as a WHO Radio Announcer in Des Moines, Iowa. 1934-37.Tracing the development of Reagan’s conservative leanings is an inexact science. However its roots could possibly be detected in an earlier phase of his career, when he worked for the FBI as an informant, beginning in the early Forties.An article in the Chicago Tribune from 1985 details the 155 page document kept by the Bureau and released after a Freedom of Information request from the San Jose Mercury News. The first interview the FBI conducted with Reagan was in 1943, and recalled a heated incident involving an anti-semite in California.Ronald Reagan in the U.S. Army Air Force, 1940s.The Tribune reports “Reagan, then 32, was assigned to the Army Air Corps’ motion picture unit at Camp Roach in Culver City… Reagan told of nearly ‘coming to blows’ with the German sympathizer who made several anti-Semitic remarks at a cocktail party.”It being a venue where the alcohol was in full flow, no wonder tempers were frayed: “he emphasized that considerable drinking had been done by all persons involved.”Capt. Ronald Reagan at Fort Roach.More intriguing revelations included the involvement of Reagan’s first wife, the actress Jane Wyman, with his endeavors. When Nancy Davis asked for his assistance to tackle accusations of un-American behavior, she was probably unaware both he and Wyman had patriotically scanned the Guild, passing on information about potential Reds to the Feds.First wife Jane Wyman and Reagan, 1942.Reagan and Wyman were married in 1940, two years after the formation of the HUAC. History.com writes that the House “wielded its subpoena power as a weapon and called citizens to testify in high-profile hearings before Congress… HUAC’s controversial tactics contributed to the fear, distrust and repression that existed during the anti communist hysteria of the 1950s.”Newlyweds Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan cutting their wedding cake at the Holden’s house in Toluca Lake, California, 1952.The hysteria was partly fueled by cases such as the Hollywood Ten, a selection of creatives of whom Dalton Trumbo was a member. They were called before the Committee the same time as Reagan in 1947.The scenario was dramatized in the 2015 movie Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, though the future President was not depicted. An interesting coincidence of sorts is that Reagan’s codename in the Bureau document was “T-10.”Reagan still from film Knute Rockne-All American, 1940.Despite Reagan agreeing with the HUAC’s aims, he found their methodology troublesome. He expressed these doubts to the Bureau. Quoted in the Tribune, he asked an agent: “Do they expect us to constitute ourselves as a little FBI of our own and determine just who is a Commie and who isn’t?”For Reagan, this was a job for experts, not the great and good of the show business elite. Nevertheless, Tinseltown was seen as a prime target for Communist invaders and the community was watched like a hawk. His protests continued, a notable example being when he objected to a group of crusading Commie-spotting producers.Colorado screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo at the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, 1947.“He stated he did not feel it was within the authority or ability of any single man or group of men within the motion picture industry to be able to determine accurately and fairly who should be fired and who should not be fired.”His worldview became increasingly right wing, but beforehand he was a dedicated union man. There were various organizations he was involved that were themselves under scrutiny.Engagement photograph of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis, January, 1952.The “American Veterans Committee and the Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions” are named, groups “which the FBI considered Communist-front organizations… Reagan, who was then spending as much time on union activity as acting, quit both groups because of his distrust of Communists.”U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev at the Villa Fleur d’Eau – Geneva Summit, November 19, 1985.Reagan displayed a perhaps surprising attitude toward his fellow performers when speaking to the HUAC. He did inform on possible Communists in the Screen Actors Guild, though believed them to be “a tiny minority.” Reagan felt “the best response lay in democratic trade unionism.”Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo, 1976.He went on to become arguably one of the most consequential and loved Republican Presidents in U.S. history. Taking the role of Commander in Chief in 1981, he “helped redefine the purpose of government and pressured the Soviet Union to end the Cold War. He solidified the conservative agenda for decades after his presidency.” (Biography.com)The “convoluted ‘arms-for-hostages’ deal” dubbed the Iran-Contra affair, which sought to “funnel money toward anti-communist insurgencies in Central America” was widely regarded as an error in judgment.Ronald Reagan visiting Nancy Reagan on the set of her movie Donovan’s Brain, 1953.Following a period of denial, Reagan admitted to knowledge of the affair after some persuading from a source close to home: “Reagan later announced that it was a mistake partially at the behest of the first lady.” Decades after he’d saved Nancy from the perceived stain of Communism, so she stepped in to steer him on the right path.U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev shaking hands at the American-Soviet summit in Washington, D.C., in 1987.It’s easy to view Reagan’s dealings with the FBI as dramatic and worthy even of a motion picture. But sources from inside the Bureau state his role was strictly on the fringes and he certainly didn’t stray into G-Man territory. Still, Ronald Reagan’s early relationship with American crime fighters appears to be an important stepping stone on his path to the White House.He stayed a figure of fun, notoriously lampooned on satirical shows such as Spitting Image. Images of him nursing a chimp in the 1951 comedy Bedtime For Bonzo came back to bite him on more than one occasion. Ascending to Leader of the Free World undeniably took him to more serious heights and to many he was an American hero.Read another story from us: Larry King accidentally rear-ended JFKHis legacy, both spoken into the tape recorders of Special Agents and broadcast to the nation via the Oval Office, ensures his status as a memorable figure in both film and political history.last_img read more