We never promised Gorkhaland says Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh

first_img Dilip Ghosh slams Mamata Banerjee for not visiting protesting doctors at NRS Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of the state had witnessed a 104-day strike in 2017 seeking creation of separate Gorkhaland state.The agitation saw a split in the GJM, that rules the semi-autonomous Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the hills, with the Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa faction shifting loyalties to the ruling Trinamool Congress.BJP candidate Raju Sing Bista won the Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat.Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency has been returning BJP candidates since 2009, with Jaswant Singh winning the seat that year followed by Surinder Singh Ahluwalia in 2014. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief gorkhaland, dilip ghosh, bengal bjp, bengal bjp chief, gorkhaland agitation, india news, mamata banerjee, BJP Bengal Chief Dilip Ghosh. (File)West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, whose party swept the north Bengal region including Darjeeling seat in the Lok Sabha elections, Sunday said the party has never promised to create a separate Gorkhaland state. Advertising Make TMC leaders return ‘cut money’ with interest: BJP Advertising Related News Cooch Behar DM had issued notification: BJP sees appeasement in ‘midday meal dining room’ center_img Ghosh also said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will soon be implemented in West Bengal on the lines of Assam.“We want development of Gorkha people. We are sympathetic to the Gorkhaland statehood demand, but had never promised a separate state,” he said while speaking to the media after a workers’ meet here in Jalpaiguri district.Reacting to the statement of the BJP chief, Darjeeling MLA and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) spokesperson Neeraj Zimba said, “Dilip Ghosh has his own political compulsions but that does not stop us from continuing our demand for separate Gorkhaland state.” Best Of Express 1 Comment(s) Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home By PTI |Nagrakata | Published: July 14, 2019 8:20:32 pm “We want a permanent political solution to the issue,” he said.Absconding Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, in an interview to PTI in April this year before the Lok Sabha elections, had claimed the BJP has promised to look into the Gorkhaland demand.Wanted in many cases including sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, murder and rioting, Gurung is on the run for over two years.However, for the first time in about three decades, the Gorkhaland statehood demand was not a poll issue in the Darjeeling Hills as parties, including the GJM and GNLF, sought development and restoration of democracy in the region.last_img read more

West Bengal Police intervene after BJP workers chanting Hanuman Chalisa block road

first_imgBy Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2019 10:25:32 pm Advertising Delhi: Ex-BJP MLA acquitted for ‘stopping’ train in 2010 Related News According to sources, the supporters had gathered in front of Howrah’s AC market on Dobson Road to chant Hanuman Chalisa. After some time, cops from Howrah City Police station arrived and tried to disperse the workers from the spot as they were blocking the road and had no permission.Police told iebangla that the event by BJP workers blocking the road was a hindrance to the movement of traffic. Hence, they requested the workers to move aside. However, the BJP supporters refused to give in and police had to intervene.BJP leader Ishrat Jahan, who was present on the spot during the clash, told iebangla, “Chanting Hanuman Chalisa is a religious affair. It wouldn’t have been much of a problem to allow that for ten minutes. It was unfair on the part of police to treat common people and the BJP workers this way. They have forcefully stopped us from chanting.” Read in BanglaThe BJP youth wing workers have been chanting Hanuman Chalisa at the Hanuman Mandir on Dobson Road for past two weeks. The police had barricaded a space for the devotees to pray. Mukul Roy claims 107 West Bengal MLAs from CPM, Congress, and TMC will join BJP Bengal clash, west bengal clash, bjp police clash, bengal bjp police clash, hanuman chalisa, bjp hanuman chalisa chanting, indian express BJP leader Ishrat Jahan at the Hanuman mandir on Dobson Road.Controversy erupted in Bengal’s Howrah area after BJP supporters organised a programme of chanting Hanuman Chalisa on Tuesday and police had to intervene to disperse the crowd. Day after quitting as Rajya Sabha MP, Neeraj Shekhar joins BJP 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

High Price Undercuts Microsofts Xbox One X Mic Drop

first_imgThe Xbox One X should fill Microsoft’s need to regain legitimacy among early adopter, core console gamers who are very sensitive to graphical fidelity and content frame rates, according to an IHS Markit report.The high-end specs will enable Microsoft to gain market share against rival PS4 Pro in the critical U.S. and UK markets, while helping to mitigate the slide in Xbox One S hardware sales down ballot, said report author Piers Harding Rolls, head of games research at IHS Markit.Based on pre-order volume for the Project Scorpio Xbox One X, he therefore has raised his 2017 forecast from sales of 500,000 units to 900,000 units.”Part of what is fun for Christmas is giving something that is somewhat exclusive, and the timing of the Xbox One X lends itself better to that than the other consoles from the other vendors,” suggested Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”It mostly rolls against the Sony PlayStation Pro, as the Nintendo really plays to a very different set of needs,” he told TechNewsWorld.Once the Xbox One X is upgraded with virtual reality capabilities, demand for the console should surge, Enderle said. However, he did lament the quality of 4K HDR gaming content, saying it needs to improve.Forza Horizon 3 is on his short list of must-haves, he said.For Microsoft, the launch of the Xbox One X is not so much about short-term impact as making sure the company is ready for the next wave of home entertainment, observed Lewis Ward, research director for gaming and VR/AR at IDC.”I think they’re really future-proofing the Xbox One brand against the rise of 4K gaming and 4K video,” he told TechNewsWorld.Penetration of 4K television is less than 10 percent of households around the world, Ward noted, and the Xbox One X is Microsoft’s way of preparing itself for a future when more homes will have 4K as a standard for watching television and enjoying other forms of entertainment. Microsoft on Tuesday released its long-anticipated and much-hyped Xbox One X console, promising to push the boundaries of modern gaming and video entertainment.The Xbox One X is the most powerful console in the world, with up to 40 percent more power than existing devices on the market, the company claimed.”We built Xbox One X to give some creators the most powerful platform to bring their visions to life, and to give gamers the best console to play the games of the past, present and future,” said Phil Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft. Back in the Game Xbox One X gamers can choose from 1,300 gaming titles — the largest lineup in company history, he said. That includes more than 220 exclusives, such as Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, which will launch on Dec. 12.Microsoft released 50 enhanced titles on Tuesday, including Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Fifa 18. Additional enhanced titles will become available as launch week progresses.Microsoft pulled out all the stops to hype the console around the world, hosting Xbox Live sessions on Mixer with celebrity gaming enthusiasts ranging from DJ Khaled to James Corden and Chris Evans. Actor and WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson even presented custom consoles to three Make-A-Wish kids prior to the launch.Fans waited in line for up to 24 hours at the Microsoft Store in New York to get their hands on the console. Celebrities ranging from Shaquille O’Neal to MMA superstar Ronda Rousey and Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. greeted fans during surprise drop-ins. Despite is high-end specs, there appears to be one glaring concern that critics have regarding the Xbox One X: At US$499.00, its price point is well above that of the competition. The PS4 Pro sells for $399 at Amazon and other retailers.The Xbox One X is the best on the market to play multiplatform games, according to Polygon, but it withheld its recommendation due to the lack of content and the high sticker price.Buyers might want to stick to the Xbox One S, suggested TechRadar, which noted that the number of buyers who might enjoy the Xbox One X graphics is too limited to justify the high price tag.Microsoft defended the expense by pointing out the high-end technology required for true 4K performance.”We believe the next milestone in console gaming is around true 4K gaming and high-fidelity graphics, which require six teraflops of graphic processing power,” the company said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by spokesperson Dominique Taylor.The Xbox One X benefits from the highest level of craftsmanship ever put into a gaming console, with features like Vapor Chamber cooling, which is used to make sure graphics cards don’t overheat during extended use in laptops.The XBox One X console is a five-year device, said Ted Pollak, senior gaming analyst at Jon Peddie Research.Consumers would shell out much less for a gaming computer or high-end 4K television than they’d have to spend to own an Xbox One X, he told TechNewsWorld.”A 4K-optimized console is totally logical for Microsoft to sell,” Pollak said. “Sales of it can’t be judged just on this holiday season.” David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. Awash in Wealthlast_img read more

BIO supports USMCA appreciates Administrations efforts to prioritize biotechnology innovation

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 5 2018Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President & CEO James C. Greenwood today issued the following statement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):”BIO supports the USMCA and appreciates the Administration’s efforts to prioritize biotechnology innovation, including provisions that update intellectual property protections and agricultural market access to 21st century standards.”Strong and dependable intellectual property standards are critical to fueling innovation, attracting investment, and ensuring that patients, farmers, and consumers around the globe have access to the next generation of biotechnology breakthroughs. The USMCA represents an important step in bringing Mexico and Canada closer to high U.S. standards that have made us the world leader in biotechnology innovation.”The U.S., Mexico and Canada also have a long history of cooperation in the area of agricultural biotechnology, the USMCA builds on this by advancing provisions to facilitate trade and ensure cooperation on future innovation in biotechnology.”Thanks to the Administration’s leadership, the U.S. and our neighboring countries will continue to drive global innovation, ingenuity and ground-breaking science.”The USMCA sets important new standards for U.S. trade policy by ensuring trading partners establish policies that protect, respect, and advance the hard work and investment needed to bring new biotechnology innovations from the lab to the marketplace.”Source: https://www.bio.org/press-release/bio-statement-united-states-mexico-canada-agreementlast_img read more

Vizient ranked as one of the largest health care management consulting firms

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Vizient, Inc. today announced that it is ranked fifth among 25 firms in the annual Modern Healthcare survey of the largest health care management consulting firms.”Vizient is proud to be ranked by Modern Healthcare as one of the largest health care management consulting firms in the country. We believe our inclusion in this list reflects the confidence our members have in our ability to assist them in reducing unnecessary clinical and operational variation to achieve a sustainable cost structure, improving clinical outcomes and executing growth strategies that lead to greater success in their markets,” said Bharat Sundaram, president of analytics and advisory services for Vizient.The Modern Healthcare 2018 Health care Management Consulting Firms Survey includes United States management consulting firms that consult in various sectors of the medical industry. Survey results are compiled to create the annual list of the largest health care management consulting firms, and final rankings are based on 2017 health care provider revenue.Vizient uses its combined capabilities in sourcing, analytic, advisory and collaboration services to connect its members with the knowledge, solutions and expertise that accelerate performance. The organization’s solution framework is designed to ensure its members are positioned to deliver exceptional, cost-effective care. Source:https://newsroom.vizientinc.com/press-release/vizient/vizient-ranked-2018-healthcare-management-consulting-firms-survey-modern-healtlast_img read more

Nutritional quality of breakfast linked to cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 16 2018Researchers at the Institute for Innovation and Sustainable Development in the Food Chain (IS-FOOD) of the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA) have published a piece of research in which they show that the nutritional quality of breakfast is associated with significant cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in overweight children (even in those who are fit and who do exercise every day).The authors of the article published in the journal Nutrients saw that the children who ate breakfasts of lower nutritional quality and greater energy density (understood as more calories per gram of food) had higher levels of cholesterol and uric acid and greater insulin resistance. The researchers concluded that the nutrition education programs to improve cardiovascular health in the pediatric population should include specific recommendations geared towards reducing the consumption of foods that are high in energy density during the first meal of the day.The authors of this article, attached to the Nutrition, Physical Exercise and Health Group (Elikos) of the IS-FOOD Institute, are Lide Arenaza-Etxeberria, Idoia Labayen-Goñi, María Medrano-Echeverría and Maddi Osés-Recalde, together with researchers from the University of Granada.”Breakfast is not just the first meal of the day but also the one that can be regarded as the most important,” said Idoia Labayen, lecturer in the Department of Health Sciences. “Despite that, many children go to school without having had any breakfast, which means that by lunchtime they are hungrier and may eat more than they should. The absence of breakfast has been previously correlated with excess fat and other associated disorders, so promoting breakfast is already being used as part of the strategy in preventing child obesity.”Related StoriesAvoid ultra-processed food!Baking soda affects inflammation and insulin handling in type 2 diabetesKNAUER has whole series of actions for Sustainability WeekBreakfast qualityYet aside from having breakfast or not, the quality of the first meal of the day is also important and that was the subject of this piece of research. “We assessed the eating habits at breakfast of a total of 203 overweight schoolchildren between the ages of 8 and 12,” said Idoia Labayen. “With these data we saw that 13% of the children who did not have breakfast every day and who consumed breakfasts of lower nutritional quality and greater energy density had higher levels of cholesterol and uric acid in the blood and greater insulin resistance. In fact, the higher energy density of breakfast has negative repercussions on glucose metabolism, even in those children that met the daily recommendations on physical activity: 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity.”The researchers stressed that nutrition education programs designed to improve the cardiovascular and metabolic health of the infant population should focus on reducing the consumption of high energy density food, such as “ultra-processed products, commonly present in children’s breakfasts,” said Idoia Labayen.http://www.unavarra.es/actualidad/noticias?contentId=238176&languageId=100000last_img read more

Cities and counties unlikely to heed FDA warning on importing foreign drugs

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 7 2019Cities and local governments in several states said they will continue to use a Canadian company to offer employees prescription drugs at a highly reduced price, even though federal officials raised safety concerns about the practice last week.The municipalities use CanaRx, which connects their employees with brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Canada, Great Britain and Australia to fill prescriptions.In a letter Thursday to CanaRx, the Food and Drug Administration said the company has sent “unapproved” and “misbranded” drugs to U.S. consumers, jeopardizing their safety.The FDA urged consumers not to use any medicines from CanaRx, which works with about 500 cities, counties, school districts and private employers to arrange drug purchases. Some of these employers have used the service as far back as 2004.Prices of drugs from overseas pharmacies can be as much as 70 percent lower than what people pay in the U.S. because the costs are regulated by the foreign governments.FDA officials would not explain why they waited more than a decade to act. They acknowledged the agency had no reports of anyone harmed by drugs received through CanaRx.The FDA made its warning as Congress and the Trump administration look into ways to lower drug prices. Last month, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he has President Donald Trump’s backing to start a program to begin importing drugs from Canada for state residents.After DeSantis’ comments, White House officials stressed that any such plan must get state and federal approvals.The FDA said that in most cases importing drugs for personal use is illegal, although it very rarely has tried to stop Americans from bringing drugs across the Canadian border. It has not stopped retail stores in Florida that help consumers buy drugs from Canada since 2003. Nine storefronts were raided by FDA officials in 2017, although the FDA has allowed them to continue operating.Schenectady County in New York, which has worked with CanaRx since 2004, defended its relationship and had no immediate plans to end it, according to Chris Gardner, the county attorney. “We will wait to see how this plays out, but right now it’s status quo,” Gardner said.He said CanaRx, which is headquartered in Windsor, Ontario, helped the county save $500,000 on drug costs in 2018. About 25 percent of the county’s 1,200 workers use the program and get their drugs with no out-of-pocket costs. If they use American pharmacies, they generally have a copayment.”This is a good program, and on the merits it looks lawful, and they are not doing the terrible things that the FDA is suggesting,” Gardner said.CanaRx officials denied they were breaking any laws or putting Americans’ health at risk. They say they are not an online pharmacy but a broker between brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Canada, Australia and Great Britain and U.S. employees. People can buy drugs via CanaRx only with a prescription from their doctor.The company said it has no plans to stop distributing drugs.”The FDA’s characterizations of the CanaRx business model and operating protocols are completely wrong,” said Joseph Morris, a Chicago-based lawyer for the company. “It is not possible to place an order via any CanaRx website; the websites are informational only.”Morris said the FDA notice prompted calls from many municipalities but all so far say they plan to stick with the company.Columbia County, N.Y., has been using CanaRx for about a decade and the savings allows it to offer employees drugs with no out-of-pocket costs instead of paying up to a $40 copay in local pharmacies.Related StoriesComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the USInnovative single-chip platform speeds up drug development processComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharp”This is bull,” Stephen Acciani, an insurance broker who works with the county, said of the FDA crackdown. “They are not selling unsafe medications.” His recommendation would be for the county, which has more than 600 employees on its health plan, to continue using CanaRx.He noted that employees receive drugs through the mail in their original packaging from manufacturers.Kate Sharry, a benefits consultant to the city of Fall River, Mass., and more than 100 other municipalities in Massachusetts, said, “It will give some clients pause. How can you not pay attention to this from the FDA?” But she expects the local governments to stay with CanaRx.Federal health officials under both Republican and Democratic administrations have blocked efforts to legalize importing drugs, saying it’s too risky.”Sometimes a bargain is too expensive,” said Peter Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner and president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a New York-based nonprofit that receives some of its funding from drugmakers.Pitts, who applauded the FDA action, said it’s difficult for consumers to know when their pills from foreign pharmacies don’t have the correct potency or ingredients. He said doctors may also not realize a patient’s problem stems from issues with the medicine. Instead, the physicians may just change the medication’s dosages. He said it is not safe for Americans to buy drugs that are imported through foreign pharmacies.Gabriel Levitt, president of PharmacyChecker.com, a website for U.S. consumers that verifies international pharmacies offering drugs online, said CanaRx is one of the safest ways for Americans to get drugs from legitimate pharmacies in Canada and other industrialized counties.He said the FDA is trying to intimidate CanaRx and its local government clients. “My biggest fear is they will scare consumers and they won’t take their very safe and effective medications because they hear about this bogus warning.””The FDA’s action, which appears to try and make those programs look unsafe and sinister, seem to have a political and public relations purpose, one that is perfectly allied with the lobbying agenda of drug companies,” he said.He pointed to testimony by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb last week — just a day before the CanaRx warning. When asked about importing Canadian drugs, Gottlieb did not mention CanaRx, but he said that people going to a “brick and mortar” pharmacy in Canada “are getting a safe and effective drug. I have confidence in the Canadian drug regulatory system.” He added that his concerns are with online pharmacies.The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the industry trade and lobbying group, cheered the FDA action but denied it had any role in it, said spokeswoman Nicole Longo.”PhRMA supports the FDA’s efforts to crack down on organizations that are circumventing its robust safety and efficacy requirements,” she said. “Drug importation schemes expose Americans to potentially unsafe, counterfeit or adulterated medicines.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Certain bacteria and immune factors in vagina may cause or protect against

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Seven types of bacteria and certain immune factors in a woman’s vagina and cervix may be responsible for increasing the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) or protect against it, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Results of the study provide groundbreaking information that the authors suggest could help physicians better predict preterm birth, especially for African-American women early in pregnancy. The study, published today in Nature Communications, will allow for the development of new research targeting “bad” bacteria or increasing “protective” bacteria.”The results of this study give us a break we’ve been working toward for many years. Previous research suggested that the cervical vaginal microbiome is different in women who experience preterm birth but those studies had small numbers of women and were not conclusive. With this large cohort, for the first time, we’re actually able to show the ‘specific microbial signatures’ that are involved in preterm birth,” said lead author Michal Elovitz, MD, a professor Obstetrics & Gynecology at Penn Medicine and principal investigator of this study. Elovitz is also a co-investigator for the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania which helps to support other mechanistic studies on the vaginal microbiome and preterm birth.Spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB), defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation, and its complications, are the largest contributors to infant death in the United States and worldwide. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious, costly and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. The economic burden of preterm birth is staggering, with an estimated cost of $26 billion per year in the United States alone. A failure to predict and understand the causes of preterm birth has limited the development of effective interventions and therapies.Related StoriesStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTIn the new study, researchers examined vaginal swabs from a sample of 2,000 pregnant women, taken at three distinct points in pregnancy, to identify the bacteria that make up the cervicovaginal microbiota. The data comprise the largest sample of cervicovaginal microbiota in pregnant women to date. Using an innovative Bayesian modeling of the cervicovaginal microbiota, seven bacteria were found to significantly increase the risk of sPTB, with a stronger effect seen in African American women. Higher vaginal levels of the antimicrobial peptide β-defensin-2, a part of our innate immune system, lowered the risk of sPTB associated with cervicovaginal microbiota. The protective effect of this immune marker was greater in African American women.The findings hold promise for the development of diagnostics to accurately identify women at risk for sPTB early in pregnancy. Importantly, this study provides new insights into causes for the significant racial disparity observed in preterm births. Therapeutic strategies could include immune modulators and microbiome-based therapeutics to reduce this significant health effect. Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2019/march/battle-of-the-bacteria-penn-led-study-identifies-possible-causes-protectors-against-premature-birthlast_img read more

Study finds involuntary staying in housing estates to be a potential health

first_img Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/society-economy/every-third-housing-estate-resident-feels-trapped Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 16 2019Involuntary staying, a type of housing trap, is a common experience among people living on housing estates, since around one in three residents feel that they are trapped in their current residential arrangements. More than half of them would like to move away from their current neighborhoods. According to the residents own estimation, the most common cause for involuntary staying is economic but the overall housing market situation also has an effect. This is according to a recent study by the University of Helsinki, which looked at people’s experience of being involuntarily trapped in their current residential setting on Finland’s housing estates.Involuntary staying refers to a situation where a household would like to move away from their current residence but, for one reason or another, are unable to do so. There is very little previous international research done on involuntary staying. With regard to the prevalence of involuntary staying, the results of the current study are fairly in line with a prior British study focusing on the entire population.Related StoriesOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseStudy reveals how genetic message to produce healthy heart tissue is altered during stress, agingStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryThe study found involuntary staying to be a potential health risk. The experience of involuntary staying is typically linked with perceived poor health. According to the researchers, this may be caused by the prolonged stress of involuntary staying, where the current residential arrangements do not correspond to the needs of the household.”On the other hand, it may also be a question of selection, since poor health is often linked with insufficient economic resources that can lead to involuntary staying,” says Teemu Kemppainen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki.The study also found that cramped residential arrangements, living in a multi-storey building and in publicly subsidized rental accommodation all contributed to the experience of poor health.The experience of being trapped explains regional differences in healthDifferences in health between residential areas have been studied extensively but a comprehensive explanation of the phenomenon has not been found. The current study sheds new light on the matter, since the experience of involuntary staying was found to partly explain these differences.Disadvantaged areas are typically considered undesirable residential areas. Due to economic resources, the residents of these areas have little choice over where they live.”The experience of stress related to involuntary staying is fairly common in these areas, which helps to explain differences in health between residential areas,” says Kemppainen.The study is based on comprehensive survey material collected from housing estates in Finland in 2013. In all, 71 housing estates from across the country were chosen as sample material for the study.last_img read more

Universal late pregnancy ultrasound improves health of mothers babies and could be

first_imgUndiagnosed breech presentation—when a baby’s buttocks or feet emerge first at birth—increases the risk of perinatal morbidity and mortality. In current practice, fetal presentation is assessed by palpation of the maternal abdomen, but the sensitivity of this approach varies by practitioner. By routinely using ultrasound screening, undiagnosed breech presentation in labor could be avoided, lowering the risk of morbidity and mortality for both mother and baby.Related StoriesWomen’s pre-pregnancy obesity changes breast milk contents which can affect infant growthOpioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahCannabis use during pregnancy may cause premature birthIn the new study, researchers performed research screening ultrasounds at 36 weeks’ gestation in 3879 women having first pregnancies in England. A total of 179 women (4.6%) were diagnosed with breech presentation by the research scan. However, in over half of these cases (55%) there was no prior suspicion that the baby was presenting in the breech position. Making the diagnosis at 36 weeks allowed women to opt for an attempt at turning the baby, called external cephalic version. For the women who declined this procedure, or where it was unsuccessful, a planned cesarean section was arranged. None of the women opted to attempt a vaginal breech birth, which is known to be associated with an increased risk of complications, particularly in first pregnancies.Across the UK, the analysis estimated that routine scanning could prevent ~15,000 undiagnosed breech presentations, more than 4,000 emergency cesarean sections and 7 to 8 baby deaths per year. If a scan could be done for less than £12.90 then it could be cost-saving to the NHS. This could be possible once midwives are instructed how to perform the simple technique, using inexpensive portable equipment.“Whether the health improvements are enough to justify the increased cost of ultrasound screening is still uncertain, mainly because the cost of ultrasound screening for presentation alone is unknown,” the authors say. “If ultrasound screening could be provided at low cost, for example by making it a part of a standard midwife appointment, routinely offering ultrasound screening could well represent a good use of NHS resources.” Source:https://www.plos.org Apr 17 2019Offering universal late pregnancy ultrasounds at 36 weeks’ gestation eliminates undiagnosed breech presentation of babies, lowers the rate of emergency cesarean sections, and improves the health of mothers and babies. These are some of the conclusions of the Pregnancy Outcome Prediction (POP) study published this week in PLOS Medicine by David Wastlund of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues.center_img Credit: rawpixel.com, Pexelslast_img read more

New blood test offers more precise diagnostics of ovarian cancer

first_imgWe need to develop more accurate pre-surgery diagnostics. To detect one cancer, we operate on up to five women – yet this is currently the best option when abnormalities are detected by ultrasound and cancer is suspected. There is a great need for a simple blood test that could identify women who do not need surgery.”Karin Sundfeldt, Professor and Senior Consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 20 2019The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer. A novel blood test developed by researchers at Uppsala University and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, in Sweden, now offers the possibility of more precise diagnostics without the need for surgery. This could lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery and to earlier detection and treatment for affected women. The study was recently published in Communications Biology.Ovarian cancer is often discovered at a late stage and has a high mortality rate. Out of 10 patients, only 3-4 survive 5 years after treatment, and there has been no test specific enough to justify screening. Women with accidental findings of an ovarian cyst or with symptoms instead undergo ultrasound and if abnormalities are seen, surgery is the only way to make sure all cancers are detected. This means that many women are operated on without having cancer, resulting in unnecessary surgery and increased risks for women. Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyIn the published study, the researchers have developed a biomarker test based on analysis of 11 proteins. The test, which is performed on a blood sample, is used where ultrasound has indicated abnormalities to identify women without cancer. For cases in which physicians chose to operate, the cancer rate could increase from one in five to one in three. This would greatly reduce unnecessary surgery and the risk of complications related to surgery.The biomarker profile can also detect borderline cases and early stages of the disease.”Our results are promising enough to consider screening for early discovery of ovarian cancer. In Sweden, we have long experience of screening for cervical cancer. I see great prospects of developing a strategy for screening for ovarian cancer as well, which could save lives and minimize the need for surgery to rule out cancer,” says Ulf Gyllensten, Professor of Medical Molecular Genetics at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University.The paper, published in the open access journal Communications Biology (Springer Nature Publishing AG), presents a new test that has been developed in collaboration with Uppsala-based biotech company Olink Proteomics AB.”We are now continuing to evaluate the test and are performing a large-scale study of samples collected at all hospitals from the western region and Halland healthcare system,” says Gyllensten. Source:Uppsala UniversityJournal reference:Enroth, S. et al. (2019) High throughput proteomics identifies a high-accuracy 11 plasma protein biomarker signature for ovarian cancer. Communications Biology. doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0464-9last_img read more

Nanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cell

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 15 2019Researchers from Tufts University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a novel method to effectively deliver the CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) associated protein 9) gene editing tools into the liver for genetic studies.The team used novel nanoparticles as carriers to do the courier’s job. Their study titled, “Fast and efficient CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in vivo enabled by bioreducible lipid and messenger RNA nanoparticles”, was published in the latest issue of the journal Advanced Materials. The large complex of gene editing molecules is difficult to deliver into cells from external an external application. Biodegradable lipid nanoparticles deliver mRNA coding for the gene editing molecules into the cell. Image Credit: From animation by Visual Science and Skoltech (https://visual-science.com/crispr ) The gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 has been one of the path breaking revolutions in gene editing and therapy using genetic modulation. There has been however always the challenge of how to get this mechanism into the cells effectively so that they could perform their appointed tasks. The team of researchers now have used biodegradable synthetic lipid nanoparticles that would help carry the editing tools for the genes into the cell. Now this tool would be used to change the genetic code with more than 90 percent effectiveness. The team of researchers add that these nanoparticles have been proven to be the most effective tool to carry the gene editing technology into the cell. This could be greatly beneficial for many patients who benefit from the therapeutic applications of CRISPR/Cas9 they add.ibreakstock | ShutterstockThe team writes that this new gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 has been a great boon for genetic research as well as providing gene therapy. It has been used successfully to understand the functions and molecular mechanisms of thousands of genes and their role in health and disease. Tweaking genes could be used to treat various disease and are being developed. One of the greatest hurdles in development of therapeutic applications for this gene editing tool is that it is a large molecular complex. It has a nuclease enzyme called the Cas9 that is utilized as scissors to cut through the strands of the genomic sequence. In addition the complex has a “single guide” RNA that has been engineered. It is called the sgRNA. This sgRNA scans the whole of the genetic code using the nuclease and finds the exact region that needs to be cleaved and edited. The whole complex thus is large and bulky and it is difficult to transport it into the living cell nucleus where it can function. There have been studies and attempts where researchers have used various delivery techniques including viruses, different types of nanoparticles, polymers etc. However none of these have provided a high efficiency of transfer so that the technique could be used for clinical therapy in patients.Related StoriesEMBL study reveals uncoupling between chromatin topology and gene expressionGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”An injection of nanoparticles for spinal cord injuriesThe researchers for this study used lipid nanoparticles – BAMEA‐O16B. They used these nanoparticles to encapsulate the messenger RNA (mRNA) that could code for the Cas9. The contents of the nanoparticles release the mRNA as well as the sgRNA into the cell. The cell has its own protein making machinery that works to prepare the Cas9 from the mRNA template that is carried into the cell. Thus the Cas9 is ready for use within the cell prepared by the cell itself. Now the gene editing kit is ready, the team explains. The researchers add that these nanoparticles are made of synthetic lipids and contain disulfide bonds in the fatty chain. Once they enter the cell the disulphide bonds break open and now the nanoparticles get disassembled and the contents are released and distributed within the cell.Qiaobing Xu, co-corresponding author of the study and associate professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts University explained, “We are just starting to see human clinical trials for CRISPR therapies. There are many diseases that have long been intractable for which CRISPR therapies could offer new hope – for example sickle cell disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, and even many cancers. Our hope is that this advance will take us another step toward making CRISPR an effective and practical approach to treatment.” The study first author was Ji Liu, graduate student from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Chemistry.For this study the team of researchers used lab mice and utilized these nanoparticle carriers to tweak and reduce the activity of a gene in the mice coding for the PCSK9. When this gene is lowered, it reduces LDL cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Results showed that superior efficacy of the gene editing tool when the lipid nanoparticles were used.Ming Wang, co-corresponding author of the study and professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Science, explained, “The lipid nanoparticles are one of the most efficient CRISPR/Cas9 carriers we have seen. We can actually knock down PCSK9 expression in mice with 80 percent efficiency in the liver, suggesting a real promise for therapeutic applications.”Authors of the study concluded, “The leading lipid nanoparticle, BAMEA‐O16B, represents one of the most efficient CRISPR/Cas9 delivery nanocarriers reported so far, and it can broaden the therapeutic promise of mRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 technique further.”The study was funded by National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Science Foundation of China along with National Institutes of Health. Journal reference:Liu, J., Chang, J., Jiang, Y., Meng, X., Sun, T., Mao, L., Xu, Q., Wang, M., Fast and Efficient CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing In Vivo Enabled by Bioreducible Lipid and Messenger RNA Nanoparticles. Adv. Mater. 2019, 1902575. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201902575, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adma.201902575last_img read more

Flexing for the next silicon wave

Fully screen-printed monoPoly silicon solar cell technology Provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Rigid (left) and flexible (right) crystalline silicon-based solar cells. Credit: KAUST Explore further Citation: Flexing for the next silicon wave (2018, January 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-flexing-silicon.html A strategy that uses a screen-printed aluminium circuit to make silicon solar cells extremely flexible could enable them to become portable power sources. Developed by KAUST, such power sources could help to satisfy the growing demand for wearable and implantable devices, foldable displays and vehicle-integrated solar panels.Crystalline silicon is naturally abundant and highly scalable and has reliable and consistent photovoltaic properties that are appealing for the development of industrial solar cells. However, its rigidity and weight have hindered its application for flexible electronics.Attempts at enhancing material flexibility by generating thin films, while maintaining device performance, have fallen short: the resulting solar cells have shown a drop in performance for films thinner than 250 micrometers. “At this thickness, one cannot achieve flexible silicon solar cells,” says team leader, Muhammad Hussain, from KAUST.Now, Hussain’s team has created a corrugated array comprising thin, rigid silicon segments using so-called interdigitated back contact solar cells. The segments are interconnected by screen-printed aluminum contacts. These contacts are positioned at the rear to optimize light absorption at the front of the solar cell and facilitate any modifications of the active silicon material. The array can bend and adopt various configurations, such as zigzags and bifacial structures, without cracking or losing its power conversion efficiency.Starting from large-area crystalline silicon solar cells, the researchers etched a small portion of the cells into 140-micrometer-thick strips, while keeping the thickness of the remaining portion above 240 micrometers. “This allowed us to lower the bending radius of the cell to 140 micrometers while retaining the efficiency of the bulk (18%), record achievements for both silicon solar cell efficiency and bendability,” says lead author Rabab Bahabry, a graduating doctoral student from Saudi Arabia who received her bachelor’s degree in physics from King Abdulaziz University.The researchers demonstrated that a series of five corrugated solar cells lit up multicolored light-emitting diodes. They also wrapped the cells around a glass mug to power a miniature humidity detection system placed on a plant leaf. When exposed to light from a desk lamp and humid conditions, the system turned on an LED and sent a notification to a smartphone.The team is currently investigating ways to exploit these corrugated solar cells, which, according to Hussain, can be deployed in the most complex topologies. “Our approach is suitable for the Internet of Things and can meet a wide application spectrum,” he says. More information: Rabab R. Bahabry et al. Corrugation Architecture Enabled Ultraflexible Wafer-Scale High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cell, Advanced Energy Materials (2018). DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201702221 Ultrathin, rigid silicon segments that are wired through interdigitated metal contacts produce ultraflexible high-performance solar cells. Journal information: Advanced Energy Materials This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Dutch have done human animal diesel tests for years Update

Dutch researchers have been performing tests “for years” on humans and animals to study the effects of diesel fumes, scientists said Tuesday, amid an outcry in Germany over similar experiments. © 2018 AFP Citation: Dutch have done human, animal diesel tests ‘for years’ (Update) (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-dutch-human-animal-diesel-years.html The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) “is involved in research in which volunteers … are exposed to diluted emissions from a diesel engine” for a maximum of two hours, Flemming Cassee, a toxicologist at the organisation told AFP.The volunteers were made up of people “in good health, as well as those who are sick, such as those who are been treated by cardiologists”. The emissions are similar to those breathed in every day in a busy town or close to motorways, added Cassee, a researcher at the institute which often carries out assignments for the Dutch government as well as other public bodies.”We’ve been doing it for years, and there is nothing extraordinary about it,” he stressed, adding the situation was the same in “many countries”.According to the New York Times, US researchers in 2014 locked 10 monkeys into airtight chambers and made them breathe in diesel exhaust from a VW Beetle while the animals were watching TV cartoons.Separately, it emerged that a research group funded by VW, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and BMW had ordered a study in Germany measuring the effects of inhaling nitrogen dioxide on 25 human volunteers.Casse said the controversial German experiments had been “ordered by industry and private research organisations,” whereas everything done by the RIVM “is public” with a focus on “what we are doing, how we do it and what will come out of it.”Volkswagen on Tuesday suspended its chief lobbyist Thomas Steg as outrage mounted over monkey and human experiments.Dutch researcher Nicole Janssen told the Dutch daily NRC that between 2010 and 2015 a large research project into air pollution was carried out in which a group of volunteers was exposed to the fumes on two busy highways, one in central Rotterdam.”I myself have carried out tests for the RIVM. Sometimes with mice, sometimes with rats, and yes occasionally with people,” another toxicology professor, Paul Borm, told NOS, the Dutch public broadcaster.Such tests are carried out under strict conditions and each experiment must be approved by a medical ethics committee, Cassee said, adding that in the case of animals the project must first be get a green light from an animal welfare charity.In most cases, a combination of methods is used, with tests on animals, stem cells as well as human beings who remain “the most pertinent” for deciding how best to protect people.The new scandal follows VW’s admission in 2015 that it had manipulated 11 million diesel cars worldwide, equipping them with cheating software to make them seem less polluting than they were. VW under fire for diesel tests on monkeys, humans This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further read more

How machine learning helped develop a new algorithm that could add life

Explore further Citation: How machine learning helped develop a new algorithm that could add life to bridges (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-machine-algorithm-life-bridges.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by University of Surrey More information: Helder Sousa et al, Sparse representation approach to data compression for strain-based traffic load monitoring: A comparative study, Measurement (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.measurement.2017.10.042 Picking up bad vibes to gauge bridge health A new algorithm developed by the University of Surrey could help structural engineers better monitor the health of bridges and alert them to when they need repair faster. Many authorities and organisations use structural health monitoring systems to keep track of the health of bridges, along with the weight of the traffic that it withstands on a day-to-day basis. This leads to a very high sampling rate of data, with some reaching at least 10 Hz and databases that have gigabytes worth of information on a singular structure – which is expensive to house.In a paper published by the journal Measurement, scientists detail how they created an algorithm that compresses large data from bridge monitoring systems into more manageable sizes.The Surrey scientists used a dictionary learning method called K-means Singular Value Decomposition (K-SVD) to compress data from the system that monitors the Lezíria bridge in Portugal. The team applied its algorithm to 45,000 data per channel per hour received by the Bridge Weight-in-Motion system – one of the most widely used monitoring applications – and managed to achieve a nearly lossless reconstruction from the information of less than 0.1 per cent. Other methods have shown that they need 50 per cent of the data to achieve similar reconstruction accuracy.Dr Ying Wang, lead author of the paper from the University of Surrey, said: “Many authorities find it difficult to house the data they have for their bridges and other infrastructure – with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of cars using some bridges every day.”We believe that this approach shows that you can dramatically reduce the large data into a much manageable size without losing information – which is critical to structural engineers.” read more

Facebook and Apple disagree on how to curb fake news for midterms

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Apple and Facebook have figured out how to keep us glued to their devices and platforms. But they haven’t figured out how to curb the misinformation that plagued them during the 2016 election and have struggled to regain public trust. And now, as the midterm elections approach, they certainly don’t agree on a solution. ©2018 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. But human editors and algorithms can display repetitive patterns of behavior when curating the news, warned Pete Brown, the author of a June study published by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism that examined Apple News’ editorial decisions on Twitter and in newsletters.”Humans, like algorithms, are prone to habit,” Brown wrote. “Apple News may have fallen into a pattern that Facebook and others have been trying to avoid: editorial bias.”The study, which analyzed almost 7,000 news recommendations made by Apple News, found that editors had a strong tendency to favor a select group of legacy media outlets. For example, editors in the U.S. showed a preference for The New York Times over smaller, regionally oriented outlets.The study didn’t analyze any news recommendations featured on the app itself—which is the primary means by which Apple delivers news to users.Apple declined to comment on its plans for the midterms.However, while human curators may display patterned behavior in selecting certain news articles, they can explain their decision processes. Computers can’t.”There is always going to be a greater degree of transparency with human editors than with algorithms,” Brown said. “We can ask, ‘Why are you choosing these publications over another one? What are the criteria in which you’re making these decisions?'”Whatever happens, there’s going to be criticism from both political sides”During the last presidential campaign, Facebook relied on human editors to curate the popular news topics listed in its “Trending” section. But when the company received criticism from conservatives who felt it was prioritizing liberal-leaning content, the company replaced its editors with algorithms. “Making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics,” Facebook said in a statement after it dismantled the team of editors in August 2016.But those algorithms have also brought Facebook a whirlwind of congressional hearings and headaches. In recent months, the company abandoned its automated “Trending” feature and restructured the News Feed algorithm to rank news sources on a trustworthiness scale determined by users.Fox News has benefited from Facebook’s algorithmic changes to highlight “trustworthy” sources. This past April, the outlet generated the most engagement on Facebook, outpacing sources such as CNN, NBC and The New York Times, according to social media analytics company NewsWhip.Among other attempts to curb misinformation, Facebook recently announced the expansion of its fact-checking operation and the creation of new automated “Breaking News” labels for quality content. Media critics and journalists take issue with what they deem Facebook’s lack of transparency.”Algorithmic transparency is basically nonexistent,” Brown said. “We know very little about how these black boxes curate news.”Facebook couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.With the midterms just months away, the tech giants are wary of backlash from both ends of the political spectrum, no matter what decision they make. “Whatever happens, there’s going to be criticism from both political sides,” Brown said. “That’s all the more reason to be transparent about that curation process.” Last week, Apple launched a human-curated political news section to help readers steer clear of falsehoods surrounding the midterms. The company’s announcement reignited a fiery debate with Facebook about whether tech giants should hire people to curate news or rely on algorithms instead.Apple has used human editors to curate news content in “Top News” and other specialized sections since the application first launched in 2015, and said it will continue to do so for the midterm elections news section. The company uses a combination of human editors and machine learning to manage more tailored content in personalized feeds for users.”News was kind of going a little crazy,” said Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook at the recent Fortune CEO Initiative, subtly referring to Facebook’s struggle with the foreign actors such as Russia, profiteers and bots that took advantage of its News Feed algorithms for financial and political gain during the presidential election. “We felt the top stories should be selected by humans,” Cook said.Apple’s midterm election section will feature material from The Washington Post, Politico and Axios, in addition to coverage from other sources the company describes as “trustworthy.” But critics contend this coverage is limited, given that Apple’s curators will only promote articles from a few legacy outlets. The inclusion of the Trump administration-friendly Fox News also struck a chord.Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs once called Fox News a “destructive force in our society,” according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of the tech mogul. The company’s current leadership contends that all content featured in the midterm election news section, including articles from Fox News, will be vetted for high-quality reporting and sourcing. “This election season, our editors will highlight the most important, rigorously reported news to help you understand key races and your fellow voters,” wrote Apple News Editor-in-Chief Lauren Kern in a note on the news app. “We won’t shy away from controversial topics, but our goal is to illuminate, not enrage.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Facebook kills ‘trending’ topics, tests breaking news label Citation: Facebook and Apple disagree on how to curb fake news for midterms (2018, July 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-facebook-apple-curb-fake-news.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Alibaba takes stake in Chinese video platform Bilibili

first_img Alibaba’s e-commerce arm Taobao will reportedly own 24 million shares in Nasdaq-listed Bilibili, which claims tens of millions of regular users, mainly among young anime, comic and computer game fans in China.Chen Rui, Bilibili’s CEO and chairman, said he hoped the collaboration would help Bilibili to attract yet more users by tapping into Taobao’s huge platform, the Xinhua report said late Thursday.The two sides had announced a partnership in December which allows Bilibili users to create videos and other content to promote merchandise sold on Taobao.Bilibili has carved out a following by allowing viewers to add comments on livestreams of anime cosplay performances and video tutorials for popular online games.Bilibili also offers music and TV serials, putting it in direct competition with Tencent video and Alibaba-owned Youku.China’s top gaming company Tencent bought a 12.8 percent stake in Bilibili for $318 million in October. It marks a rare case in which a Chinese startup received investment from the two rival tech giants.Despite its popularity, Bilibili is yet to turn a profit. The company lost 202.7 million yuan (US$ 29.9 million) in the third quarter last year, much higher than the 2.9 million loss recorded in the same period in 2017. Bilibili has carved out a following by allowing viewers to add comments on livestreams of anime cosplay performances and video tutorials for popular online games Explore further Alibaba has bought an eight percent stake in Chinese online video sharing and entertainment service Bilibili for an undisclosed amount, state news agency Xinhua reported. Chinese video site offers virtual escape from ‘boring’ realitycenter_img © 2019 AFP Citation: Alibaba takes stake in Chinese video platform Bilibili (2019, February 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-alibaba-stake-chinese-video-platform.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Bayer faces new marathon after mammoth Monsanto merger

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Net profit at the Leverkusen-based group tumbled 76.9 percent, to 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion), as costs from the $63 billion mega-merger as well as one-off effects burdened the bottom line.Bayer highlighted a windfall in the previous year from selling shares in former polymers division Covestro that made for an unfavourable comparison with 2018.Operating, or underlying profit before special items grew 2.8 percent to 9.5 billion euros, while revenues rose 4.5 percent to reach 39.6 billion, adjusting for price and currency effects.The group had to sell off part of its existing seeds and pesticides businesses to rival BASF to get the Monsanto deal past competition authorities, bringing in 4.1 billion euros.Costs for special items at the group rose from 1.2 billion euros in 2017 to 2.6 billion last year.And charges linked to the Monsanto takeover weighed in at 2.0 billion euros, while depreciations cost 3.3 billion.The buyout marked the capstone of Bayer’s transformation into a “focused life science company clearly aligned to the megatrends in health and agriculture,” chief executive Werner Baumann said.Marathon challenges aheadBut while bosses eye future revenue opportunities, the company’s feet are tangled in a thicket of 11,200 cases in the US alleging health problems caused by Monsanto herbicide glyphosate.A California jury last year awarded a longtime user of the weedkiller almost $290 million after he argued it caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, although the judge later reduced the award and Bayer has appealed.A first federal case got under way this week, also in California, one of seven trials scheduled for this year.”We’ll need a certain number of cases to move through the courts to have an idea of what direction” the risks for the company are headed, Baumann said.”From our perspective, we are crystal clear that it’s a safe product,” he added, pointing to dozens of scientific studies as well as regulatory findings from major countries that back the company’s position.Elsewhere in the business, Baumann acknowledged that the company’s pipeline of future pharmaceutical products “could be stronger, there’s no question about it”.At the moment blockbuster drugs, including anticoagulant Xarelto or cancer treatments Stivarga and Xofigo, bring in 6.8 billion euros of revenue a year.But many of their patents are set to run out in the mid-2020s, with few candidates to take their place as surefire top sellers.Optimistic for 2019Baumann said that Bayer had spent “several million” euros on preparing for the risk of a no-deal Brexit that could see new trade hurdles between the European mainland and Britain, stashing between 8 weeks and 12 months’ supply of many drugs.But some radioactive treatments like Xofigo can’t be stored long-term, leaving the firm to negotiate “special allowances” to import them, Baumann said.”Hopefully we won’t need any of it” if the EU strikes a deal with Britain, a market worth around one billion in revenue to Bayer annually, he added.Worldwide in 2019, Bayer is confident of reaching 46 billion euros in adjusted sales—around four percent higher than 2018—and lifting operating profit before special items to 12.2 billion.It plans to sell off business areas like animal health, parts of its over-the-counter medicines unit and Currenta, the spin-off German firm that operates its former chemical parks.Meanwhile 12,000 workers are set to depart in a restructuring scheme running until 2021, many of them in Germany.Bayer is working with worker representatives to offer early retirement and other schemes to ease the transition for those leaving, human resources chief Hartmut Klusik said.Shares in Bayer topped the gainers on the blue-chip DAX index in midday trading in Frankfurt, rising 4.2 percent to reach 69.29 euros. © 2019 AFP Bayer confirms forecasts as Monsanto integration grinds oncenter_img Citation: Bayer faces new marathon after mammoth Monsanto merger (2019, February 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-bayer-marathon-mammoth-monsanto-merger.html German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer reported plunging profits for 2018 after taking over US agrichemical firm Monsanto, with years of hard work ahead of the group to fight off legal risks related to the merger and to keep profits flowing in its medicines division. Taking over seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto slump weighed on German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer’s bottom line last yearlast_img read more

Microsoft Seizure of sites Iranian hackers used for attacks

first_img Citation: Microsoft: Seizure of sites Iranian hackers used for attacks (2019, March 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-microsoft-seizure-sites-iranian-hackers.html This July 3, 2014 file photo shows Microsoft Corp. signage outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft says it has seized 99 websites used by Iranian hackers to launch cyberattacks. The company said Wednesday, March 27, 2019, that it took control of the websites after suing the hacking group and obtaining a U.S. judge’s approval. (AP Photo Ted S. Warren, File) The company said Wednesday it took control of the websites after suing the hacking group and obtaining a U.S. judge’s approval.Microsoft says it’s been tracking the group since 2013. The company says the group has tried to steal sensitive information from activists, journalists and others in the Middle East.Microsoft calls the group Phosphorus, while others call it APT35.Wednesday’s announcement ties the hackers to the country of Iran but not specifically to its government.A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Wednesday.Microsoft has taken hackers to court before. It used a similar strategy in 2016 to seize fake domains created by Russia-backed hackers. Microsoft says it has seized 99 websites used by Iranian hackers to launch cyberattacks. Explore furthercenter_img © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Iranian hackers caused losses in hundreds of millions: report This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No Signs of Aliens in the Closest 1300 Stars Hunt Funded by

first_img 10 Interesting Places in the Solar System We’d Like to Visit 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy 15 Amazing Images of Stars Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndo While the truth might be out there, technological aliens don’t seem to be — at least not yet. New results from the most comprehensive Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program ever undertaken — which surveyed 1,327 nearby stars for signals from intelligent beings — have turned up empty. “There’s certainly nothing out there glaringly obvious,” Danny Price, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of a paper about the results, which were published in The Astrophysical Journal, told Live Science. “There’s no amazingly advanced civilizations trying to contact us with incredibly powerful transmitters.” While the team didn’t find anything this time around, Price said that there could be many explanations for the lack of alien signals. Perhaps the search was conducted at the wrong frequencies, or those signals were hidden by radio interference from Earth. Any such undertaking is limited by the methods and discoveries that humans happen to have made in the course of our own history. [9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65745-extraterrestrial-intelligence-has-not-phoned-home.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  “In a lot of ways, SETI is a bit of a mirror back on ourselves and our own technology and our understanding of physics,” Price said. The search was conducted as part of the Breakthrough Listen initiative, a 10-year, $100-million endeavor funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner that aims to scan the skies for technosignatures: transmissions or other evidence created by technological creatures on other worlds. The initiative, which kicked off in 2015, relies on two of the world’s most powerful telescopes — the 328-foot-diameter (100 meters) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and the 210-foot-diameter (64 m) Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia — to try to eavesdrop on alien communications. In their latest data release, researchers analyzed 1 petabyte (or 1 million gigabytes) of data in both radio and optical wavelengths, looking at more than a thousand stars within 160 light-years of Earth. Several thousand interesting signals appeared during the search, though all turned out to originate from mundane sources, like human-made satellites. The entire gargantuan information catalog will be publicly available on Breakthrough’s Open Data Archive, making it the largest publication of SETI data in the history of the field. Jason Wright, an astrophysicist at Pennsylvania State University who was not involved in the work, told Live Science he was impressed with the researchers’ commitment to public release of their data. “Anyone who thinks the team might have missed something can go over their results and see for themselves,” he said.  Wright has previously calculated that all SETI searches conducted to date amount to combing through the equivalent of a little more than a hot tub’s worth of water in all of our planet’s oceans. The latest addition increases that by 50% in radio wavelengths, he said, or roughly another bathtub’s worth. Price was optimistic that in the future his team will be able to put more stringent limits on the prevalence of life in the universe. The researchers intend to use the upcoming MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, an observatory that will consist of 64 separate 44-foot-diameter (13.5 m) arrays, to search more than a million stars in our galactic neighborhood for extraterrestrial transmissions. While any signal that appeared would have to be carefully scrutinized to ensure it was genuine, Price said such a finding would be truly revolutionary. “I think it would be one of the most important discoveries humankind would ever make,” he said.last_img read more