Palestinians are determined to continue conflict at any price Israeli PM Netanyahu

first_img Palestinians are determined to continue conflict at any price: Israeli PM Netanyahu The Palestinian Authority accuses the Trump administration of being biased toward Israel and has boycotted it since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017.  (Source: Reuters)Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Palestinians are “determined to continue the conflict at any price.” Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday,  was referring to the Palestinian leadership’s rejection of last week’s Mideast peace conference in Bahrain aimed at providing economic assistance. Related News Yoga fest in Palestine draws huge response from Palestinian youth Netanyahu says while Israel welcomed the US’s $50 billion Palestinian development plan, the Palestinians themselves denounced it and even arrested a Palestinian businessman who participated in it.Netanyahu says: “This is not how those who want to promote peace act.”Palestinian forces have since released businessman Saleh Abu Mayala.The Palestinian Authority accuses the Trump administration of being biased toward Israel and has boycotted it since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017. They accuse the US of trying to replace Palestinian statehood with money. White House unveils USD 50 billion Palestinian economic plan Advertising 2 Comment(s) By AP |Jerusalem | Published: June 30, 2019 6:51:10 pm Violence reduces, Palestinians say Egypt has mediated ceasefire with Israel last_img read more

Top stories The origins of Stonehenge a MeTooSTEM leader and a new

first_img By Alex FoxFeb. 15, 2019 , 4:10 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In the past 9 months, BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, has become the very public face of the #MeToo movement in science. Scores of women have reached out to her for advice, posting harrowing tales of harassment on the MeTooSTEM.com website that McLaughlin launched in June 2018. Now, her own scientific career is on the line. In 2017, a faculty committee that previously approved her tenure unanimously reversed itself. Unless something changes, she will lose her job on 28 February, when her National Institutes of Health grant expires.Radar reveals a second potential impact crater under Greenland’s iceJust months after revealing an impact crater the size of Washington, D.C., buried under the ice of northwestern Greenland, a team of scientists has discovered that it has company: another large depression 180 kilometers away that may also be an asteroid or comet impact crater.Here’s how your city’s climate will change by 2080, if you’re in Canada or the United StatesClimate change is a hard thing to imagine, especially 60 years into the future. With that in mind, environmental scientists have developed a web-based app that can tell people living in one of 540 cities in Canada or the continental United States how their homes will transform by the year 2080—and which modern-day city it is most likely to resemble. For example, residents of Washington, D.C., can expect a climate in the 2080s that resembles the current climate in Paragould, Arkansas, about 132 kilometers northwest of Memphis, Tennessee.New patent win for University of California upends CRISPR legal battleThe University of California has received good news on a patent for the invention of the genome editor known as CRISPR: As STAT reports, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, posted a “notice of allowance” last week for the school’s CRISPR patent, which it originally applied for in March 2013. The patent, which will likely move the fierce legal war over CRISPR closer to a peace treaty, should be officially issued within the next 2 months. Stonehenge, other ancient rock structures may trace their origins to monuments like thisStonehenge may be the most famous example, but tens of thousands of other ancient sites featuring massive, curiously arranged rocks dot Europe. A new study suggests these megaliths weren’t created independently, but instead can be traced back to a single hunter-gatherer culture that started nearly 7000 years ago in what is today the Brittany region of northwestern France.This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science—but her own job is in peril (Left to right): ANDIA/UIG/GETTY IMAGES; ANITA KUNZ; NASA SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION STUDIO 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 Top stories: The origins of Stonehenge, a #MeTooSTEM leader, and a new crater under Greenland’s ice Click to view the privacy policy. 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Waterfallchasing scientists uncover rare selfforming cascades

first_imgDevon Santy/Flickr 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 By Alex FoxMar. 13, 2019 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Waterfall-chasing scientists uncover rare, self-forming cascades Most waterfalls tell a clear story about their origins: Yosemite Falls in California cascades over a sheer granite cliff, the remains of ice age glaciers that once carved out the valley’s steep walls. Others are the result of major earthquakes or sudden changes in rock type. But some, like the Seven Teacups in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains (above), have no obvious external cause. Now, scientists have a new potential explanation for these mysterious waterfalls.What makes the Seven Teacups so inscrutable is the unbroken granite slope they’re etched into. There’s no sudden cliff to suggest that past earthquakes or retreating glaciers created the falls, and the composition of the granite is roughly the same throughout, meaning a change from harder to softer rock wasn’t responsible for the falls’ creation.To test whether such a waterfall could form without external causes, researchers built a 7.3-meter artificial river, or flume, with a 20% downhill slope. For 20 minutes at a time, researchers sent a steady flow of gravel-laden water along a flat riverbed made of soft foam. Then, the team used a laser scanner to measure any changes in the surface of the foam riverbed. Over the course of 11 trials, the gravel and water wore away tiny undulations in the foam. Two of those depressions got deeper and deeper until they became miniature, selfmade waterfalls, the researchers report today in Nature. Feedback from the water, the gravel, and the erosion of the artificial riverbed interacted to make the cascades, suggesting the same mechanism could be responsible for waterfalls like the Seven Teacups.To determine how widespread this phenomenon is, the researchers say they’ll need to chase more waterfalls—and develop some way to identify these selfmade cascades. The findings could clarify the origins of such waterfalls on Earth and even Mars, where astronomers have spotted dried-up riverbeds—and what may be the remains of martian waterfalls. If waterfalls can arise without external causes, scientists will need to be cautious in using them to reverse engineer the Red Planet’s history.last_img read more

Aurora Biomed organizes 2018 Shunde Biomedical Industry Investment Promotion Conference

first_imgDec 3 2018From November 14-17, the “2018 Shunde Biomedical Industry Investment Promotion Conference” which ran in parallel with the Precision Medicine and Ion Channel Retreat was successfully held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shunde, Guang Dong, China. This meeting was organized by Aurora Biomed, co-organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH), the Hong Kong Association of Biomedical Innovation (HKBMIA), Beijing University, Hebei University of Technology was supported by Shunde Economy, the Science and Technology Bureau, and the Management Committee of Foshan Sino-German Industrial Services Zone, and Guangdong LifePlus Investment Management Ltd. Through video and presentations, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and industry associations were introduced to the development and investment environment of Shunde biomedical market.Investment Workshop: On the evening of 14th, the investment showcase for the Shunde biomedical industry investment initiative was put on.A total of 7 biotechnology projects were showcased at this investment workshop, including: Source:http://www.aurorabiomed.com/ A single-cell bioanalyzer introduced by Dr.Paul Li of ZellChip Technologies Inc. Professor An Hailong from Hebei University of Technology introduced the development of a novel dual-target anticancer drug system. On behalf of Yaoming Jichuang Biotec., Dr. Dong Liang introduced the new anti-tumor drug screening platform development project. Presentation Sessions: In support of the Chinese government’s vision for the”Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao greater bay area”, this year’s conference explored topics related to precision medicine and ion channels. This conference focused on important therapeutic applications of ion-transporters, fundamental research helping to resolve the structural and functional characteristics underpinnings ion channels, as well as the in-depth exploration of cutting-edge technologies such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, liquid biopsy techniques, forensic science advances and the clinical application of next generation sequencing.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerResearchers explain how ‘viral’ agents of neurological diseases ended up in our DNAKeynote Presentations: AnaBios (U.S.) CEO Andre Ghetti, The Sick Kids Hospital (Canada) chief researcher Xi Huang, and Yang Wen from Switzerland’s Roche Basel innovation research center talked about the translational research of pain drug discovery, ion channels and brain tumors, and detection method of ion transporters NKCC regulator, respectively.David Smith – professor of laboratory medicine and pharmacology at the Mayo clinic laboratory (USA), Dr. Dong Liang – CEO of Aurora Biomed (Canada), and Myriame Gabay – Biomime Solutions–gaveexcellent presentations on the development of DNA sequencing applications, new methods for detection of ion channels and transporters in cancer, and polypeptide arrays respectively.Forensic Genomics Session: Shunjin Li, ViceDean of The School of Forensic Medicine, Hebei Medical University, shared how to distinguish between monozygotic twins through highly efficient DNA methylation markers. Helena Wong, a senior criminalist at the Oakland Police Department’s crime lab, described the automated process of differentiation digestion as a method for processing large volumes of sexual assault evidence.Ion Channels and Tumors Session: Professor Annarosa Arcangeli from The University of Florence, talked about ion channels as anti-cancer targets.Next Generation Sequencing Session: Dr. Hui Jiang introduced the application of MGI sequencing instrument in tumor detection.The conference attracted both domestic and international experts in the fields of precision medicine and ion channel research to participate and exchange ideas.On 15th the Pearl River night tour enabled guests to network and build collaborations in a relaxed atmosphere. On the afternoon of the 16th, conference attendees visited the Sino German industrial service zone and the Aurora ScientificPark. Attendees learned about the development and investment opportunities in the biopharmaceutical sector in Shunde.last_img read more

Women with persistent vasomotor symptoms more likely to be diagnosed with breast

first_img Source:https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/vasomotor-symptoms-and-breast-cancer-1-2-19.pdf Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 3 2019Studies examining the association between vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and breast cancer are not new, but results have been inconsistent. A new larger-scale study concludes that women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trials who had persistent VMS are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who never experienced VMS. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).Data was gathered from more than 25,000 women who participated in the WHI for this latest study that sought to identify an association between VMS (which includes symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats) and breast cancer. Through 17.9 years’ follow-up of these women, 1,399 incident breast cancers were seen. Women with persistent VMS (defined as symptoms that lasted 10 or more years) had a higher breast cancer incidence than women who never experienced VMS.Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerAlthough breast cancer-specific mortality was higher in women with persistent VMS, the difference was not statistically significant, which meant that persistent VMS did not influence breast cancer survival rates.The possible link between VMS and breast cancer continues to be studied because of a common association with hormones. Specifically, hormone therapy has proven to be the most effective treatment for VMS, whereas sex hormone levels also are related to postmenopause breast cancer risk.Study results appear in the article, “Persistent vasomotor symptoms and breast cancer in the Women’s Health Initiative.””In this large group of women who were not users of hormone therapy, persistent hot flashes and night sweats for 10 or more years were associated with a slight but significant increase in breast cancer incidence,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “Other risk factors included an elevated body mass index of more than 30 and current alcohol use. More studies are needed in women who have persistent hot flashes to understand their cardiovascular and cancer risks.”last_img read more

Mental health problems in young adults on the rise

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 20 2019A new study has revealed that mental health problems among young adults and adolescents are on the rise. Over the last few years there has been a steep rise in episodes of depression and psychological distress among the younger population says the study.The study titled, “Age, Period, and Cohort Trends in Mood Disorder and Suicide-Related Outcomes in a Nationally Representative Dataset, 2005-2017,” appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.According to lead author Professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University, more and more teenagers and young adults are opening up about mental health problems than ever before.In her book titled, “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood”, she explains why teenagers and young adults these days are lonely and disconnected from each other.She blames social media and smartphones and smart devices for this. “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” she said.The team gathered and analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This database looks at lifestyle habits of the participants. Over 600,000 Americans of different ages were part of the database and the survey was conducted between 2005 and 2017.All cases of major depression, severe psychological distress, suicide rates, suicide-related outcomes etc. were measured during the follow-up period using questionnaires. Some of the questions were framed to ask if the participants ever felt “so sad or depressed that nothing could cheer them up.”Related StoriesResearchers set out to define recommended ‘dosage’ of work for optimal wellbeingBiden calling ACA ‘breakthrough’ for mental health parity highlights gapsHospitals’ decision to transfer kids with mental health emergencies is based on insurance typeResults revealed that for all participants over the age of 18 severe distress episodes over the past month were highest between 2008 and 2017. This rise was greatest among young adults. In 2008 around 5 percent of the adults aged between 30 and 34 were experiencing serious distress while in 2017 there was a 33 percent rise and now 6.5 percent were experiencing distress. Among 20 to 21-year-olds, the numbers rose from 8 percent in 2008 to 14.4 percent in 2017. This was a 78 percent increase.It was noted that rates of suicides and attempts to suicide were higher for teenagers and young adults over the study period but were lower in 2017 for those over the age of 30. Twenge believes the difference in the incidence among the younger population and the older ones is significant.The Great Recession could be to blame but more relevant are the social changes at present. She says smartphones became available at around 2012 and it has been affecting sleep among youngsters. Sleep inadequacy has been linked to poor mental health, she explained. Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations,” said Twenge. She and others have urged parents to ensure that phone use among youngsters is limited and monitored. They add that exposure during formative years may do more harm than earlier thought. “These results suggest a need for more research to understand how digital communication versus face-to-face social interaction influences mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes and to develop specialized interventions for younger age groups.”Professor Jean Twenge, Lead Authorlast_img read more

New type of dementia is 100 times more common than ALS

first_imgHowever, opinion on this matter is divided: “I’m sure it plays some part, but maybe not as much as one might think at first,” said Silverberg.“We could go back and screen all the people that had failed their Alzheimer’s disease therapies. But what we really need to do is go forward and try to get these people out of the Alzheimer’s clinical trials – and instead get them into their own clinical trials,” said Nelson.The new study could act as a roadmap in research in dementia, but this is not likely to happen soon: “It’s probably going to take years and research participants to help us understand all of that,” said Silverberg.Promoting awarenessAuthors have identified five genes that increase the risk of LATE. These include, “LATE-NC: GRN, TMEM106B, ABCC9, KCNMB2, and APOE.” The pathogenetic mechanisms associated with LATE are similar to that of “frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.”It is now hoped that the study will pave the way for research into late, with the authors encouraging awareness: “It is important to promote awareness in multiple scientific areas and to focus on translational and interdisciplinary approaches.”What is TDP-43?TDP-43, also known as “transactive response DNA binding protein of 43 kDa”, is a protein that usually helps in regulation of gene expression in the brain and other tissues. Recent studies have revealed that misfolded forms of this protein can be found in as many as 25% of adults over 85 years of age. Misfolding of TDP-43 leads to alterations in memory and cognitive abilities, much like Alzheimer’s and dementia.When looking at TDP-43 aggregates (clumps), the team noted that it was present either only at the amygdala region of the brain (Stage 1 LATE), in the amygdala and the hippocampus (Stage 2 of LATE) or in the amygdala, hippocampus and middle frontal gyrus (Stage 3 of LATE).The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Misfolded TDP-43 protein has been seen to cause sclerosis or hardening and cell death in the reason of the hippocampus. This is accompanied by hippocampal shrinking. This pathology is associated with AD.Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) Summit 2019 will soon take place, where it is almost certain that LATE and TDP-43 will feature as an emerging topic of interest. Recent research and clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease have taught us two things: First, not all of the people we thought had Alzheimer’s have it; second, it is very important to understand the other contributors to dementia.”Nina Silverberg from the National Institute on Aging By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMay 1 2019Physicians have defined a new form of dementia that may be more common than Alzheimer’s disease. The findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Brain and involved researchers from around the world, including the United States, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Japan, and the United Kingdom.Semnic | ShutterstockThe researchers have named the new condition “LATE”, which stands for “Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy”. LATE is slower to progress than Alzheimer’s disease, but the two conditions show similar symptoms. There may, however, be further, undiscovered effects of LATE on the brain compared to Alzheimer’s disease.The team explain that in some persons both conditions may coexist. In these individuals, there may be a faster and more marked decline in the cognitive abilities than when either of the conditions are present in isolation.‘Overhauling the concept of dementia’The paper says that the newly defined condition is speculated to have “an expanding but under-recognized impact on public health.” The team hopes that this study would spur research looking into this disease that generally affects people aged 80 and above.Lead author Dr. Peter Nelson, director of neuropathology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center said, “We’re really overhauling the concept of what dementia is.”The researchers explain that the disease and its diagnosis did not appear suddenly. Instead, evidence has been building up for many years. There were always cases and reports that described symptoms which did not fit into any of the known types of dementia, with experts saying that no single form of dementia could explain certain symptoms. While some people lost their language abilities first, others lost their memories and experienced personality changes instead.LATE affects the limbic area of the brain, through a protein TDP-43. Protein misfolding is not uncommon in neurodegenerative diseases, as emphasized by the involvement of the protein’s tau and amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease.In LATE, TDP-43 is misfolded and modified. It is most commonly observed in regions where Alzheimer’s-associated proteins are not found. Experts say that the protein itself, as well as its location, is what defines the condition as different to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.‘The whole elephant’TDP is known to be implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). This association has been established for a decade now.Dr. Peter Nelson says that LATE is a “disease that’s 100 times more common than [ALS or FTLD), and nobody knows about it.” The authors speculate that around 20 to 50 percent of the people aged over 80 years have significant brain changes that are associated with LATE, and the prevalence of this condition rises with age. People have, in their own separate bailiwicks, found different parts of the elephant. But this is the first place where everybody gets together and says, ‘This is the whole elephant.’”Dr. Peter Nelson Up until now, clinical trials for drugs against Alzheimer’s disease have shown little to no success. This could be because a sizable portion of the participants could be suffering from LATE rather than Alzheimer’s disease.last_img read more

Researchers set out to define recommended dosage of work for optimal wellbeing

first_img“We know unemployment is often detrimental to people’s wellbeing, negatively affecting identity, status, time use, and sense of collective purpose. We now have some idea of just how much paid work is needed to get the psychosocial benefits of employment – and it’s not that much at all.”Supporting the unemployed in a future with limited work is the subject of much policy discussion e.g. universal basic income. However, researchers argue that employment should be retained across adult populations, but working weeks dramatically reduced for work to be redistributed.”In the next few decades we could see artificial intelligence, big data and robotics replace much of the paid work currently done by humans,” said Dr Daiga Kamerāde, study first author from Salford University and Employment Dosage researcher.Related StoriesBiden calling ACA ‘breakthrough’ for mental health parity highlights gapsHospitals’ decision to transfer kids with mental health emergencies is based on insurance typeInternational study aims to more accurately describe mental health disorders”If there is not enough for everybody who wants to work full-time, we will have to rethink current norms. This should include the redistribution of working hours, so everyone can get the mental health benefits of a job, even if that means we all work much shorter weeks.””Our findings are an important step in thinking what the minimum amount of paid work people might need in a future with little work to go round,” she said.The study used data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study to track the wellbeing of 71,113 individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 as they changed working hours over the nine-year period. People were asked about issues such as anxiety and sleep problems to gauge mental health.Researchers also found that self-reported life satisfaction in men increased by around 30% with up to eight hours of paid work, although women didn’t see a similar jump until working 20 hours.They note that “the significant difference in mental health and wellbeing is between those with paid work and those with none”, and that the working week could be shortened considerably “without a detrimental effect on the workers’ mental health and wellbeing”.The team offer creative policy options for moving into a future with limited work, including “five-day weekends”, working just a couple of hours a day, or increasing annual holiday from weeks to months – even having two months off for every month at work.They also argue that working hour reduction and redistribution could improve work-life balance, increase productivity, and cut down CO2 emissions from commuting. However, they point out that reduction of hours would need to be for everyone, to avoid increasing socioeconomic inequalities.”The traditional model, in which everyone works around 40 hours a week, was never based on how much work was good for people. Our research suggests that micro-jobs provide the same psychological benefits as full-time jobs,” said co-author and Cambridge sociologist Senhu Wang.”However, the quality of work will always be crucial. Jobs where employees are disrespected or subject to insecure or zero-hours contracts do not provide the same benefits to wellbeing, nor are they likely to in the future.”Dr Burchell added: “If the UK were to plough annual productivity gains into reduced working hours rather than pay rises, the normal working week could be four days within a decade.” Source:University of CambridgeJournal reference:Sui, W. et al. (2019) A shorter working week for everyone: How much paid work is needed for mental health and well-being? Social Sciences and Medicine. doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.06.006 We have effective dosage guides for everything from Vitamin C to hours of sleep in order to help us feel better, but this is the first time the question has been asked of paid work.”  Dr Brendan Burchell, Study Co-Author and Sociologist, Cambridge University who leads the Employment Dosage research project Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 19 2019As automation advances, predictions of a jobless future have some fearing unrest from mass unemployment, while others imagine a more contented work-free society.Aside from economic factors, paid employment brings other benefits – often psychological – such as self-esteem and social inclusion. Now, researchers at the universities of Cambridge and Salford have set out to define a recommended “dosage” of work for optimal wellbeing.They examined how changes in working hours were linked to mental health and life satisfaction in over 70,000 UK residents between 2009 and 2018.The study, published today in the journal Social Science and Medicine, shows that when people moved from unemployment or stay-at-home parenting into paid work of eight hours or less a week, their risk of mental health problems reduced by an average of 30%.Yet researchers found no evidence that working any more than eight hours provided further boosts to wellbeing. The full-time standard of 37 to 40 hours was not significantly different to any other working time category when it came to mental health.As such, they suggest that to get the mental wellbeing benefits of paid work, the most “effective dose” is only around one day a week – as anything more makes little difference.last_img read more

New statement lays down recommendations to combat fall in vaccination rates

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Search engines and social media organizations must do more to prevent the spread of inaccurate information on childhood vaccination, and governments must better support mandatory immunization programs, says an international group of leading public health scientists in a statement published in the Journal of Health Communication.The Salzburg Statement on Vaccination Acceptance lays down several recommendations to combat the global fall in vaccination rates fuelled by a powerful worldwide ‘anti-vax’ movement. The statement, which pledges to “support the development of new, effective and fact-based communications programs” to help parents, community and government leaders make appropriate decisions on childhood immunization, has already been endorsed by more than 60 public health leaders from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.It calls upon major search engines and social media organizations to better monitor the vaccine information they provide so that they can improve the identification of disproven or inaccurate false claims about vaccine safety – just as they do for sexually explicit, violent and threatening messages.At the same time, advocacy groups, educators and health professionals should join forces to correct misleading vaccine information and disseminate reliable, accurate information via mass and social media and through trusted sources at all levels of society, including celebrities, faith-based leaders and parents.Governments and policymakers should support laws that limit exemptions from mandatory vaccinations and treat childhood vaccination like other essential services such as police, firefighters and public sanitation, the statement also says. The resurgence of potentially life-threatening diseases like measles, which the US Centers for Disease Control declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, undermines the integrity of childhood protections that thousands of dedicated scientists, doctors, and public health officials spent the better part of the last century putting in place. Parents do have rights to make informed decisions about vaccinating their children, but they do not have the right to place their children, or other children, at risk of a serious infectious disease. We need to do a far better job of reaching out to vaccine-hesitant parents.” We are alarmed that the WHO this year declared vaccine hesitancy a top-ten international public health problem. This is a man-made, dangerous and wholly unnecessary crisis. We intend to keep up a steady drumbeat of accurate vaccine communications until the traditional public consensus in support of childhood immunization is restored.”Dr. Scott Ratzan, founding editor of the Journal of Health Communication and founder of the International Working Group (IWG) on Vaccination and Public Health Solutions Related StoriesWar against mosquitoes saves lives and money in Sri LankaPlant foods may transmit antibiotic-resistant superbugs to humansIt’s never too late to take up exercise, advise researchersVaccines have prevented hundreds of millions of infectious diseases, including polio, measles, hepatitis B and meningitis, saving up to 3 million lives yearly. Every US dollar spent on childhood immunization returns up to $44 in benefits . However, immunization rates globally are threatened by misinformation spread by the ‘anti-vax’ movement. Vaccine coverage has waned in many populations, and the US and 34 countries in the WHO’s European region no longer have the 95% immunization rate that provides the ‘herd immunity’ necessary to protect against highly contagious diseases such as measles.Prof. Lawrence Gostin, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and co-director of the IWG, said: Source:Taylor & Francis GroupJournal reference:Hodge, J.G. et al. (2019) The Salzburg Statement on Vaccination Acceptance. Journal of Health Communication. doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2019.1622611.last_img read more

Vodafone returns to profit announces CEO departure

British telecoms giant Vodafone on Tuesday announced a return to annual profit, as it revealed that long-serving chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down later this year. Vodafone buys chunk of Liberty’s European assets for 18.4bn euros Citation: Vodafone returns to profit, announces CEO departure (2018, May 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-vodafone-profit-ceo-departure.html Group Chief Financial Officer Nick Read will succeed Colao from October, with the announcement coming less than a week after Vodafone unveiled a deal to turn it into Europe’s largest cable and broadband operator by buying assets from US peer Liberty Global.Vodafone on Tuesday posted net profit of 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in the 12 months to the end of March, which compared with a loss after tax of 6.3 billion euros in 2016/17, the group said in a statement.The turnaround pointed to a “year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance”, Colao said.”Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum,” he added. Vodafone’s long-serving CEO Vittorio Colao will step down later this year © 2018 AFP Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Review Motorola Moto G6 brings the look of a flagship phone at

first_imgIt runs Android 8.0 (Oreo) on a 1.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with three gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of onboard storage with the ability to add up to 128 gb with a microSD card.The G6 has a “water-repellent” coating that can protect it from accidental splashes or light rain, according to Motorola’s website. It is not designed to be submerged in water, and it is not waterproof.The battery capacity is 3,000 milliamp-hours, which was big enough to last all day for me.The small, capsule-shaped fingerprint reader is below the screen on the front bezel. It can also use your face to unlock the phone.The charge/sync connector is USB-C and the included charger can provide Turbo Charge, which means you can get a pretty decent charge rate. In my nonscientific testing, Turbo Charging gave me a charge rate of about 1 percent per minute.Even though the back of the G6 is glass, it cannot be charged wirelessly.It measures 6.06 by 2.85 by 0.33 inches and weighs 5.9 ounces.The G6 has a dual-camera system that’s normally found on higher-end phones.The main camera sensors are 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel and both have an f/1.8 lens. They work together to allow the G6 to take photos in portrait mode, which blurs the background for a nice effect.The main camera can capture 1080p video at 60 frames per second.The front-facing camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with its own LED flash and can capture 1080p video at 30 fps.Amazon-friendlyThe Moto G6 I reviewed was the Amazon Prime Exclusive version, which means the phone is a bit cheaper for Prime subscribers ($234.99 from Amazon) and comes with a handful of Amazon apps preinstalled. During the phone’s initial setup, you’re asked for your Amazon ID and password, which is used to log you in to all the Amazon apps, including Amazon shopping, Prime Video, Kindle, Amazon Music, Prime Photos, Prime Now and a few more.The G6 can also work as an Alexa device. Double pressing the power/sleep button brings up an Alexa prompt for you to give your orders.Pricing and availabilityWell, I suppose it’s obvious that this is a phone aimed at Amazon Prime subscribers, so if that’s you, you can save money by buying it from Amazon with the preloaded Amazon apps. The phone is unlocked to use with any carrier, and you don’t have to be a Prime subscriber to buy it from Amazon. If you’d like to be free of the Amazon apps, you can buy it directly from Motorola for $249.99.There are plenty of reasons to avoid spending a lot for a smartphone. My Honda moves down the road the same as a BMW. I think the G6 is a great phone, but you have to realize that it’s not meant to compete with the iPhone X or Galaxy S9.The G6 is designed to live alongside those flagship phones as a handset that is quite capable and even shares some of the same desirable features as those expensive phones but at a quarter of the price.Pros: Inexpensive, unlocked, edge-to-edge screen, good cameras, Alexa.Cons: Specs are a step or two below flagship phones.Bottom line: Good phone, great price and a nice balance of features vs. value. Review: Moto G5 Plus: An inexpensive Android phone with all the right features Explore further The same concept goes for cellphones.Some people will pay $1,000 or more for the latest Apple iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9, while some wouldn’t dream of spending that much for a phone that will last three or four years before it needs replacing.This week I’m not reviewing a flagship phone. I’ve been using the Amazon Prime Exclusive version of the Motorola Moto G6, which will set you back only $249.99.Yep, it’s the cellphone equivalent of a Honda, but I drive a Honda Fit, so I’ve been pretty impressed with the G6.If you like the full-screen, small-front bezel looks of the Galaxy S9 or the iPhone X, the Moto G6 will look very familiar—in a good way.I’ve come to appreciate the combination of large screen and smaller phone body that my iPhone 8 Plus is lacking.The Moto G6 is a smaller handset with a bigger screen.When I bought my iPhone 8 Plus, I was convinced that I wanted a fingerprint reader that the iPhone X lacked. I do use that fingerprint reader every day, but Motorola has shrunk the fingerprint reader by about two-thirds to make room for the G6’s 5.7-inch display that has an 18:9 aspect ratio.The G6 is a slippery phone. The front and back are make of Corning Gorilla glass, and the back curves up on the sides, which makes it easier to pick up but also very slick in the hand. I’d have to keep it in a case just so it wouldn’t slip off my desk or the arm of my chair at home.I have a standing desk at work and apparently it’s not exactly level, because when I put the G6 down on my desk, it started sliding.The main cameras (dual sensors) are mounted in a quarter-sized round bump on the back of the G6.The only buttons are for volume up and down and for sleep/power. They are all located on the phone’s right edge for easy one-handed operation.The G6 looks as sleek and refined as any flagship phone.What you getAs you might expect, the G6’s specs are a step down from more expensive flagship phones.It has a 5.7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2,160 by 1,080 pixels for a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch. Some people are happy driving a Honda Accord or Kia Soul, while others are willing to pay more to drive a BMW or Mercedes.center_img ©2018 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Review: Motorola Moto G6 brings the look of a flagship phone at a quarter of the price (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-motorola-moto-g6-flagship-quarter.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

BMW to invest a billion euros in first factory in Hungary

first_img Citation: BMW to invest a billion euros in first factory in Hungary (2018, July 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-bmw-invest-billion-euros-factory.html © 2018 AFP BMW is following competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz into Hungary, where wages are considerably lower than in Germany China’s CATL to build first EU electric car battery plant in Germany BMW said Tuesday it will invest a billion euros ($1.2 billion) in a new factory in Hungary, as it follows its fellow German automakers into building cars in lower-wage central Europe.center_img The factory, to be built close to the eastern town of Debrecen, will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units and will make both conventionally and electrically powered vehicles.More than 1,000 new jobs are expected to be created.”The BMW group’s decision to build this new plant reaffirms our perspective for global growth,” said BMW chairman Harald Krueger.”After significant investments in China, Mexico and the US, we are now strengthening our activities in Europe to maintain a worldwide balance of production between Asia, America and our home continent,” he added.BMW said it picked Debrecen because of its “very good infrastructure, suitable logistics connections and proximity to the established supplier network”.Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said talks for the new plant had been ongoing for 14 months, and that the company’s decision was a “huge success for Hungary”.”This investment will contribute to the Hungarian economy’s competitiveness and will further strengthen economic ties between Hungary and Germany,” he said.BMW is following competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz into Hungary, where average labour costs are less than a third of those in Germany, according to EU data.BMW has had until now 12 manufacturing sites across Europe, including eight in Germany, three in Britain and one in Austria. 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.last_img read more

Can radar replace stethoscopes

first_img 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. Along with a white coat, a stethoscope is the hallmark of doctors everywhere. Stethoscopes are used to diagnose the noises produced by the heart and lungs. Used in the conventional way, vibrations from the surface of the body are transmitted to a membrane in the chest-piece and then to the user’s eardrum where they are perceived as sounds. Acoustic stethoscopes are comparatively inexpensive and have been used reliably for several decades, but they have one drawback. The diagnosis of heart murmurs, such as the assessment of heart valve function, is carried out subjectively and is directly dependent on the experience of the doctor conducting the examination. More information: Christoph Will et al, Radar-Based Heart Sound Detection, Scientific Reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29984-5 Journal information: Scientific Reports Researchers at FAU’s Institute of Electronics Engineering have developed a radar system which enables touch-free monitoring of heart sounds. The red beams show where the measurement is being made. Credit: FAU/Kilin Shi In conjunction with researchers at Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) in Cottbus and the Department of Palliative Medicine at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, electronics engineers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have developed a procedure for reliably detecting and diagnosing heart sounds using radar. In the future, mobile radar devices could replace conventional stethoscopes and permanent touch-free monitoring of patients’ vital functions could be possible using stationary radar devices.The researchers developed a procedure that could eventually replace conventional phonocardiology. Using a six-port continuous wave radar system, they measured the vibrations on the skin caused by the heartbeat. “In principle, we’re using a similar method to detecting speed in road traffic,” explains Christoph Will, a doctoral candidate at LTE. “During this process, a radar wave is aimed at the surface of an object and reflected. If the object moves, the phase of the reflecting wave changes. This is used to calculate the strength and frequency of the movement—of the chest, in our case.” In contrast to radar systems for traffic monitoring, the biomedical radar system can detect changes in movement that measure a few micrometres, which is an important prerequisite to diagnosing even the smallest anomalies such as insufficiency, stenoses or heart valves that do not close properly.Initial tests were very successful. The test patients were examined in various states of activity such as while resting and after sports, and their heart sounds were detected. A direct comparison between the radar system and conventional standard instruments with a digital stethoscope and an electrocardiograph (ECG) showed a very high correlation. “While diagnosing S1, which is the first heart sound, for example, we achieved a correlation of 92 percent with the ECG,” says Kilin Shi, who is also a doctoral candidate at LTE. “The correlation was 83 percent in a direct comparison of the signal shapes with the digital stethoscope. That’s absolutely reliable.” The researchers say that the slight deviations are caused by the fact that measurements using the radar system and the reference systems cannot be carried out simultaneously on exactly the same place on the body. In addition, the radar system measures a surface area and not a single spot like the stethoscope, which is also a reason for the varying measurement values.Touch-free and objectiveThe FAU researchers are optimistic that mobile radar systems could replace conventional stethoscopes in diagnosing heart function in the near future. A advantage offered by radar is the fact that the values are recorded digitally and are thus not subjective, significantly ruling out human error during the diagnosis of anomalies or diseases. Using biomedical radar systems for automated prophylactic examinations, for example, in doctors’ waiting rooms, at work, or at home, is also feasible.The researchers are already working on another project for monitoring the vital functions of patients who are seriously ill using stationary radar systems around the clock and without disruptive cables. “Touch-free and therefore stress-free measurement of vital parameters such as heart sounds has the potential to revolutionise clinical care and research, for example, in palliative medicine,” explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Ostgathe, head of palliative medicine at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen at FAU and co-author of the study. “For example, we could inform relatives of terminally ill patients more quickly at the beginning of the dying phase, as the radar system immediately detects any changes in patients’ health. It would also be possible to detect any painful symptoms in patients who cannot communicate.”center_img Explore further AI and radar technologies could help diabetics manage their disease Provided by University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Citation: Can radar replace stethoscopes? (2018, August 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-radar-stethoscopes.htmllast_img read more

Lets a not go Nintendo wins Japan court battle over Mario street

first_img Visitors to Tokyo and other major Japanese cities are often stunned to see convoys of karts driven by people—usually tourists—dressed up as Mario, Yoshi, Princess Peach and other popular Nintendo characters buzzing around busy streets.Unlike many countries, Japan has no ban on people driving go-karts on public roads.But the court ruling looks set to bring such Nintendo-themed antics screaching to a halt. The video gaming giant said the ruling blocks the “MariCAR” go-kart service from lending Mario and other characters’ costumes to its customers.Nintendo complained its popular racing game “Mario Kart” is known widely as “MariKar”, just like the go-kart service’s name.It also argued that the karting company had not been given permission to allow drivers to dress up as its characters, or use photo and video footage from the racing game in its publicity materials.”We will continue to take necessary steps against damage being done to our brand and intellectual properties, which we have spent years to build,” Nintendo said in a brief statement.Nintendo added that it also won damages but did not discuss the financial amount.The go-kart operator Mari Mobility, which has changed its official name from MariCar, said in a brief statement that it will review the ruling before deciding what to do next.The company website says its service “is in no way a reflection” of Nintendo’s Mario Kart, and tells customers not to race one another, nor throw banana peels or red turtle shells—all things you can famously do in Nintendo’s frenetic racing game.Occasional accidents among go-karters on Japan’s streets have prompted authorities to require operators improve safety measures, like having seat belts and wearing helmets. Citation: Let’s a not go! Nintendo wins Japan court battle over Mario street karting (2018, September 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-nintendo-japan-court-mario-street.html © 2018 AFP 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 furthercenter_img Raving Rabbids, Mario join forces in new Switch game Nintendo said Thursday it has won a court battle against a popular go-kart operator that allows drivers to dress up as Super Mario and other game characters to zip through the streets of Japan. A Japanese court has said a go-kart company cannot dress people up as Nintendo’s Mario game characterslast_img read more

Danish low cost airline Primera folds wings

first_imgPrimera linked European capitals to New York for $99 Citation: Danish low cost airline Primera folds wings (2018, October 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-danish-airline-primera-wings.html © 2018 AFP Transatlantic test for Airbus low-cost airliner Explore furthercenter_img Danish low cost airline Primera, which was offering transatlantic flights for under $100, announced Tuesday it was ceasing operations after difficulties including delays to a new fuel-effecient Airbus aircraft. “Airline Primera Air and IATA codes PF and 6F have been suspended as of today, October 2nd, 2018,” the airline said on its website.Calling it a “sad day” for both the airline’s employees and passengers, the airline said it had worked relentlessly to secure long-term financing.”Not being able to reach an agreement with our bank for a bridge financing, we had no other choice than filing for bankruptcy,” said the airline.Founded in 2003, the airline had focused on charter flights for Scandinavian holidaymakers, but had pushed into the new low cost transatlantic segment by offering one-way flights linking Paris and London with New York for $99 (86 euros).Primera was pioneering the use of Airbus’s new A321neo to make the trip. The updated, more fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle aircraft offers considerably lower operating costs compared to wide-body aircraft and has enough range to cross the Atlantic.However the airline said severe delays in the delivery of aircraft and operational issues had forced it to cancel flights, and eventually lease aircraft at a considerable cost.Facing more possible delays in aircraft and higher fuel prices also squeezing to low cost model, the airline said decided to halt operations now when it would have a smaller impact on clients.Primera’s main competitor in the low cost transatlantic segment, Norwegian, uses wide-body Boeing Dreamliners, which also offer fuel savings compared to similar aircraft. Its ambitious expansion plans have left it with high debt, and it has also been frustrated by costly aircraft delivery delays. 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

Sexual subcultures are collateral damage in Tumblrs ban on adult content

first_imgCredit: Phanatic/Flickr, CC BY 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 The social networking and microblogging site Tumblr announced on Monday that from December 17 it will no longer host adult content on its platform. The Washington Post reported that the policy “removes one of the last major refuges for pornography on social media.” But the move will affect more than just porn. Over time, Tumblr has become a haven for fanfiction writers, artists, sex workers, kinksters and independent porn producers who have built subcultural community networks by sharing and discussing their user-generated content.Tumblr’s definition of what constitutes permissible adult content fails to recognise the value of this kind of work. It separates sex from politics, preserves a class-based distinction between art and pornography, and limits representations of female nudity to reproduction and health. The result is the loss of a dynamic cultural archive and the unnecessary sanitisation of public space.Policing women’s bodiesIn updates to Tumblr’s Community Guidelines: “Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.”Aside from the obvious regulatory dilemma of ascertaining which nipples appear to be “female-presenting,” this kind of targeting of women’s bodies has met with public criticism. For example, the Free the Nipple campaign has protested the criminalisation, censorship and fetishisation of women’s breasts. Tumblr’s new policy still permits: “… exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments. “These policies are presumably a response to campaigns to normalise breastfeeding. Nipples are also permitted in: “… health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery.”These policies restrict representations of women’s bodies to their reproductive functions and repeat the tired framing of women’s bodies through medical lenses, at the expense of pleasure. Distinguishing art and pornography Tumblr will continue to allow written erotica and artistic nudity, which is defined as “nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations.” But this policy reinforces a tenuous conceptual distinction between art and pornography. The demarcation of art as something distinct from pornography was influenced by the increasing availability of photography in the 19th century, which threatened the very existence of art. While traditional paintings sought to imitate the real, photography was considered “too real” and “too close”. It prompted fears about proximity (its corporeal effect on the viewer), danger (its seductive power) and contagion (its potential to harm or infect). Pornographic photography became a scapegoat. It was used to distinguish lowbrow forms of cultural consumption for the masses from highbrow forms of art for the elite. Pornography became a pejorative term that served to preserve and maintain the status of art.Purging sex workersAlthough Tumblr maintains its policy change was unrelated to its failure to effectively filter child pornography, the decision comes against the backdrop of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which was passed in the United States in April. FOSTA prompted platforms such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to amend their terms of service to preclude nudity, sexual content and sexual services in order to avoid charges of promoting or facilitating sex work. Unfortunately this legislation has not improved grievance avenues for those experiencing exploitation. Instead, this blunt law has shut down sites that law enforcement could use to trace criminal activity, platforms where survivors could seek assistance, and forums where sex workers could screen safety information. Sex workers were pioneers of the web. They designed, coded, built and used websites and cryptocurrencies to advertise and transact in the context of criminalisation. They helped sites like Tumbr to flourish by populating the platforms with content, increasing their size and commercial viability. Indeed, adult content was reportedly responsible for 20% of traffic to Tumblr. Now sex workers are now being effectively erased from social media. There is evidence about the human rights impact of anti-trafficking campaigns, which can victimise those they are intended to protect. But the pressure to be seen as proactive partners in response to trafficking and child abuse is so significant that tech companies are willing to erase sex completely from their platforms and accept sex as a necessary casualty.Containing the democratisation of cultureThe sequestering of sex is not an inevitable response. It has not always been the case that adult content has been treated as something external to art, culture or society. Depictions of sexual practices can be traced back to ancient civilisations. The sexually explicit frescoes of ancient Greece and Rome were displayed publicly and integrated into daily life rather than being, as Walter Kendrick describes, “locked away in secret chambers safe from virginal minds.” It was the process of archaeological extraction in the 18th century that commenced a process of identifying and labelling ancient artefacts as “pornographic,” and removing them from public view. Historians have found that the modern regulatory category of “pornography” was invented at the same time, alongside the emergence of technologies (such as the printing press) that allowed for mass-distribution. As Lynn Hunt argues, it was created: “in response to the perceived menace of the democratization of culture.” As the evolution of the internet promises increased access to technologies and rapid circulation of cultural materials, regulatory attempts to restrict them are being met with contest, protest and resistance. Sanitising public spacePrivate corporations have now become the arbiters of community standards, making decisions about what content is permissible to circulate. Corporate monopolies now have a greater impact than national classifiers on what material the public can access. Apple, which dropped Tumblr from its App Store on 20 November, has had a “homogenizing and sanitizing effect on the internet”. It refuses any apps that contain “pornographic” or “offensive” content, including hook up apps with “overtly sexual content”. Steve Jobs himself has stated: “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” Designating representations of sex to the private, personal realm, outside of the public or political sphere, obscures the fact that heterosexual intimacies saturate public culture. Tumblr has been a site for LGBTQ, kinky and geeky individuals to build spaces, networks and cultures, and for sex workers to share skills and referrals for safety. From December 17 (coincidentally, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers), Tumblr will only permit nudity “related to political or newsworthy speech.” This positioning reflects the historical development of obscenity law that has viewed representations of sex as devoid of merit unless they are redeemed by “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”In removing sex and nudity entirely from the platform, Tumblr’s new policy misses the fact that sexual subcultures are a crucial part of public life and contribute to critical social conversations and meaningful political alliances. Discovery of child pornography leads to Tumblr’s removal from Apple’s App Store Provided by The Conversation Citation: Sexual subcultures are collateral damage in Tumblr’s ban on adult content (2018, December 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-sexual-subcultures-collateral-tumblr-adult.html This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.last_img read more

Twitter releases new trove of banned state propaganda

first_imgSocial media giant Twitter on Thursday released a new archive of state-backed propaganda from accounts it has banned based in Iran, Russia, Spain and Venezuela. Twitter releases 10 million tweets from foreign influence efforts Credit: CC0 Public Domain The US platform said it had taken the material off its network, but would make it available to researchers and investigators studying online threats.Tech firms have been accused of allowing political propagandists to use social media to hijack elections, poison online debate and smear their opponents.But Twitter, in a blog post by head of site integrity Yoel Roth, said “transparency is core to our mission” and vowed to fight “misleading, deceptive, and spammy behaviour”.Thursday’s release was the firm’s third such archive, representing more than 30 million tweets and a terabyte of media data from just under 5,000 suspected accounts.Twitter has removed 4,779 accounts it believes “are associated with—or directly backed by—the Iranian government.” Most of these were found to be spreading news stories angled to support Iranian geopolitical interests or to be fake user profiles designed to manipulate online debate.A smaller sub-group, originating in Iran, exclusively “engaged with discussions related to Israel”.Twitter has previously targeted alleged Russian bots, and this archive contains four more accounts that the firm believes are associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA).This St Petersburg-based “troll factory” has been accused of working with Russian intelligence to influence Western votes, notably US President Donald Trump’s election campaign.Investigations into the Russian agency also led Twitter’s security team to 33 more accounts linked to a previously known group of 764 Venezuelan fake users.”Our further analysis suggests that they were operated by a commercial entity originating in Venezuela,” the post said.And in Spain, Twitter has taken down 130 allegedly fake accounts apparently set up to push the views of Catalan separatists.”We believe the public and research community are better informed by transparency,” Roth said.On Friday, EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova and security commissioner Julian King are to brief reporters on European efforts to fight political disinformation. Explore furthercenter_img © 2019 AFP Citation: Twitter releases new trove of banned state propaganda (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-twitter-trove-state-propaganda.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

Skin deep Japans washi paper torn by modern life

first_imgChinzei’s washi, a type called tengu-joshi paper also known as “the wings of a mayfly,” is 0.02 millimetres thick and weighs 1.6 grammes per square metre.This compared to a standard sheet of photocopy paper, which is about 0.09 millimetres thick and weighs 70 grammes per square metre. Once an indispensable part of daily life in Japan, ultra-thin washi paper was used for everything from writing and painting to lampshades, umbrellas, and sliding doors, but demand has plunged as lifestyles have become more westernised. Despite its 1,300-year history and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status, washi paper is struggling to attract consumers and the market value has dropped by more than 50 percent in the past two decades The production of the Japanese paper peaked in the Edo period between the 17th and late 19th centuries but declined as papermaking was mechanised.Now, due to the westernisation of Japan, the washi market is shrinking again, Chinzei said.”We have no tatami rooms and almost no space to display a hanging scroll in the current lifestyle,” he said.”Washi used for those things are now gone.”According to the industry ministry, the total value of handmade washi dropped to 1.78 billion yen in 2016 from 4.15 billion yen in 1998, while that of washi for calligraphy and shoji sliding screens fell to 5.86 billion yen from 25.1 billion yen.Chinzei didn’t plan on taking over his family trade and went to business school in Seattle to study finance.”But I came back… because I felt responsible for passing the baton to the next generation,” he said, hoping to find ways to expand the market.The volume of washi used for restoration is still small, but it’s been shipped to more than 40 countries and Chinzei is hopeful interest will grow.He explained: “For restoring cultural assets and as a canvas for art… I think washi has the potential to be used more in the world of art.” ‘Wings of a mayfly’The papermaking process begins with steaming the kozo plants and peeling off the bark, which is then boiled until soft, while impurities are removed by hand in clear water.The fibres are then beaten and mixed with glue and water, before being placed on a wooden screen.This screen is then dipped repeatedly in water with the fibres and shaken to spread the liquid evenly to make a sheet of paper, a technique which requires years to master.Because washi is hard to break, damaged, old documents can be reinforced by attaching a piece of washi or sandwiching them between two sheets of the paper, Chinzei explained.For documents, transparency is key to be able to see the text, meaning the thinner the washi, the better. © 2019 AFP Once an indispensable part of daily life in Japan, ultra-thin washi paper was used for everything from writing and painting to lampshades, umbrellas, and sliding doors, but demand has plunged as lifestyles have become more westernised Explore further Despite its 1,300-year history and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status, washi paper is struggling to attract consumers and the market value has dropped by more than 50 percent in the past two decades.But at a small workshop in western Japan, Hiroyoshi Chinzei, a fourth-generation traditional paper maker, creates washi with a unique purpose that may help revive interest—both at home and abroad.Chinzei’s product, the world’s thinnest paper, has helped save historical documents at major museums and libraries—including the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum and Washington’s Library of Congress—from decay.”Washi paper is more flexible and durable” than what Japanese refer to as “western paper”, which disintegrates into tiny pieces when it becomes very old, the 50-year-old told AFP.The traditional hand-made paper is manufactured from plants called kozo, or mulberry, which has fibres that are much longer than materials used for paper in the west such as wood and cotton.”Old Japanese books from the seventh or eighth century remain in good condition… thanks to the fibres of the kozo plants,” the washi maker told AFP at his small factory in Hidaka, a village 640 kilometres (400 miles) southwest of Tokyo. 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. According to Japan’s industry ministry, the total value of handmade washi dropped to 1.78 billion yen in 2016 from 4.15 billion yen in 1998, while that of washi for calligraphy and shoji sliding screens fell to 5.86 billion yen from 25.1 billion yen NASA’s TRMM satellite measured Washi’s deadly rainfall Because washi is hard to break, damaged, old documents can be reinforced by attaching a piece of washi or sandwiching them between two sheets of the paper, experts say Citation: Skin deep: Japan’s ‘washi’ paper torn by modern life (2019, June 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-skin-deep-japan-washi-paper.html “It’s a mesh-like paper mainly made with fibres… It’s as thin as human skin,” Chinzei said.Using both machines and hand-made techniques passed down for generations, the firm can create ultra-thin paper, which is also used by conservationists to restore and protect cultural objects.’Pure, strong and lasting’One such conservationist, Takao Makino, carefully applies washi with a brush onto golden sticks representing the halo of a Buddhist statue estimated to be around 800 years old.Makino said he used washi for the first time in 2007 to protect the surface of one of the two main statues at Tokyo’s historic Sensoji Temple.”The surface was damaged and peeled off. So we covered all of it (with washi) to contain the damage,” the 68-year-old said.”Washi naturally fits into intricately-shaped sculptures, but papers with chemical fibres or wrapping films don’t,” he said.”The history proves washi is very durable… The material is pure, strong and lasting. It’s reliable.”last_img read more

Doklam dispute resolved through diplomatic maturity says MEA

first_imgThe India-China face-off over Doklam was resolved through “diplomatic maturity without losing any ground” and status quo has been maintained, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.Swaraj told the Lok Sabha that the main objective of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping (rpt Jinping) at Wuhan was to ensure mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust between the two leaders and all the three objectives have been achived.“We have resolved the Doklam issue with diplomatic maturity without losing any ground. There is no change in the status quo (on the ground). There is not an iota of change. The face-off at sight has been resolved on August 28, 2017,” she said during Question Hour.The External Affairs Minister said the Wuhan informal summit was held without any agenda and without having any objective to discuss any specific issue. Before the summit, the foreign ministers of the two countries decided that the leaders should not be restricted to any specific issue, she said.“The decision to host Wuhan was taken not to resolve any issue but to create a conducive environment. Three main objectives were to ensure mutual comfort, mutual understanding and mutual trust. In all the three objectives, we have achived success,” she said.Swaraj said as a follow up to the Wuhan summit, the Chinese Defence Minister is coming to enhance military cooperation while the Foreign Minister will arrive later this year as part of efforts to enhance the people-to-people contact. The first informal summit between Modi and Jinping was held at the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27-28.India and China were locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for over 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area. China claimed it was constructing the road within their territory which India had objected saying the territory does not belong to China.To another query, Swaraj also made it clear that the boundary dispute between Bhutan and China was continuing and it was a matter between those two countries. “Our concern was related only to the tri-junction area (India-Bhutan-China),” she said.Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose said that since the external affairs minister was not present in Wuhan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House, he should make an intervention and disclose what had happened in his informal summit with the Chinese leader.Swaraj dismissed the suggestion, saying she was capable of answering all questions relating to the Wuhan summit as she was fully abreast of it. “I am capable to answer all the questions, irrespective of whether I was present there or not. I am fully aware of what was happening there,” she said.Replying to a question regarding the South-China sea dispute, Swaraj said India believed that the international sea route should be free for navigation. “There should be freedom of navigation. Our stand on South China sea is clear that there should be freedom of navigation and all international laws should be adhered to,” she said.Regarding the Wuhan summit, Swaraj said as an innovative format for leadership-level diplomatic engagement, it enabled the two leaders to hold direct, free and candid exchange of views on issues of over-arching, long-term and strategic significance, without the constrains of protocol and pre-agenda.She said it was not meant to discuss specific topics but to strengthen mutual trust and understanding between the two leaders in order to forge a common understanding on future direction of India-China relations and to create the appropriate conditions for the two sides to deal with their differences constructively.President Jinping has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation for visiting India for the second informal summit at a mutually convenient time in 2019, Swaraj said. RELATED COMMENT China, India agree to maintain border peace as Modi wraps up visit August 01, 2018 SHARE diplomacy COMMENTS ‘China has quietly resumed its activities in Doklam’ Published on Lok Sabha SHARE SHARE EMAIL China Doklam, Wuhan meet and the road ahead India should have ‘learnt lessons’ from Doklam stand-off: China last_img read more