HighVolume Compact Electric Audi SUV To Launch In 2020

first_imgThe all-electric SUV will sit between the Q2 and Q3Audi hints at another all-electric model, which should enter the market around two years from now. It will be a compact SUV (sized between the Q2 and Q3), based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform.Using the MEB should enable Audi to significantly lower the costs and make the SUV the highest volume electric vehicle for the brand.The concept version is expected in 2019, while market launch is scheduled for late 2020 with volume deliveries in 2021.More from Audi Compact Audi Electric Car To Use VW MEB Platform Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 18, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Audi e-tron GT Concept Test Drives In LA: Videos Audi Q5 To Introduce Automaker’s Next-Gen PHEV Setup In 2019 Source: Electric Vehicle News Pricing of the small electric SUV for Audi could be at around £30,000 ($38,000) in the UK, according to Autocar.The design will include some cues from the Audi e-tron GT concept:“Some of the design cues of the E-tron GT, such as the shoulder line, inverted grille and air intakes, are the same for the as-yet-unnamed model, Audi design boss Marc Lichte confirmed to Autocar.”Audi BEV models:Audi e-tron (already in production, deliveries in early 2019)Audi e-tron Sportback (to debut in 2019)Audi e-tron GT concept (from late 2020)Audi A3-sized EV concept (to be unveiled soon)Audi SUV BEV based on MEB platform (from late 2020)5 more SUVsGeneral plans: By 2025: 12 BEV models and roughly one-third of its sales with electrified modelsThe range will cover every relevant market segment from the compact to the full-size class. A series of models with classic body layouts such as Avant and Sportback will also be availablerange of plug-in hybrid automobiles to greatly expanded to virtually every market segmentPlatforms:Audi’s modified platform for first BEVs: for Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback“The Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback use components from Audi’s modular longitudinal platform. This and numerous innovative technologies primarily in the area of drive systems are giving rise to a separate product family of e-SUVs with electric quattro all-wheel drive. Fast charging with up to 150 kW and ample range suitable for long-distance journeys are benchmarks in this class.”Second e-platform: for Audi e-tron GT concept“Audi will present the first member of another e-platform by the end of 2018: The Audi e-tron GT concept showcar, a highly dynamic coupe with a flat floor assembly, is debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The technology in this automobile was developed in collaboration with Porsche; the design and character of the e-tron GT concept are packed full of unmistakable Audi DNA.” Premium Platform Electric (PPE) developed by Audi and Porsche: multiple models in high-volume B through D segments“Another joint project of the development departments at Audi and Porsche is the Premium Platform Electric (PPE). It will be the basis for multiple Audi model families with all-electric drive covering the high-volume B through D segments of the market.Both SUVs and classic body concepts are planned here. A major strength of the PPE is that it was developed exclusively for electric drive. This offers advantages with respect to weight, the package and the proportions of the body.”Volkswagen modular electrification platform (MEB): for high-volume A segment“Several Volkswagen Group brands are collaborating on the development of the modular electrification platform (MEB), which serves as the basis for a series of Audi e-models, particularly in the high-volume A segment. One of these is being developed specifically for the requirements of China, the single most important market.”Source: Autocarlast_img read more

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Green Deals Sun Joe 16inch Electric Tiller 98 more

first_imgSource: Charge Forward BuyDig’s official eBay storefront offers the Sun Joe 16-inch 13A Electric Tiller for $98.10 shipped. Also at Walmart. For comparison, this is around 20% off the regular going rate and the first notable deal we’ve seen at Amazon in a year. Use this electric tiller as the perfect tool for getting your garden ready for spring. Rated 4.7/5 stars.Head below for more deals from Snow Blaster, Philips Hue and Rachio… more…The post Green Deals: Sun Joe 16-inch Electric Tiller $98, more appeared first on Electrek.last_img

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Dutch PlugIn EV Market Doubled In January 2019

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News DAF Trucks Delivers First All-Electric CF Truck To Jumbo It’s better than one would expectDespite the collapse of premium electric car sales in January (because higher taxes), the overall plug-in electric car sales in the Netherlands doubled.EV Sales Blog reports 3,271 sales at 6.9% market share, thanks to strong results from moderately priced BEVs. Sucha result is pretty encouraging taking into consideration the upcoming boost from new models, including the Tesla Model 3.News from the Netherlands Plug-in electric car sales in the Netherlands – January 2019The top three models were:Volkswagen e-Golf (653)Hyundai Kona Electric (536)Nissan LEAF (396)536 Kona Electric and 155 Kia e-Niro proves that the South Korean manufacturer is gaining traction with BEVs. Apparently, thousands of customers are waiting for deliveries of their Hyundai/Kia BEVs.It’s also interesting that Volkswagen manages to sell significantly more e-Golfs, than Nissan does LEAFs.Source: EV Sales Blog In January Tesla Registered 40 Model 3 In The Netherlands Fastned Fast Charging In The Lens Of Fully Charged: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

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China New Energy Vehicle Production Soars Upwards Again

first_img BYD Electric Car Sales Skyrocket: Pull Total Sales Up China Re-Thinking Value-Added-Tax: May Lead To Premium EV Price Cuts Source: Electric Vehicle News NIO ES8 Six-Seat Version Of Electric SUV To Launch March 19 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Just keeps on increasing.For the first two months in 2019, China’s new energy passenger vehicle (PV) wholesale volume surged 132% from a year ago to 141,958 units, among which the Feb. sales reached 50,783 units with a sharp year-on-year (YoY) growth of 74%, according to the data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).More China News Last month, the BEV sales in China soared 105% over the previous year to 38,609 units, accounting for 76% of total new energy PV sales. To be specific, the sales of all-electric cars and SUVs significantly shot up 64% and 579% year on year respectively to 28,401 units and 10,207 units. However, there was only one pure electric MPV sold in February with a steep YoY decline of 83%.Plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales in February amounted to 12,174 units, climbing 18% over the year-ago period. Of that, the car and SUV sectors took up 42% and 58% of total PHEV sales.Regarding the Feb. performance of each segment for BEV market, the A00- and B-segment sales slid 35% and 50% respectively from the year-ago period to 11,826 units and 3 units. However, the A0- and A-segment achieved tremendous YoY surge of 480% and 819% with 5,667 units and 20,458 units sold.The B-segment vehicle was quite popular in PHEV market. Last month, there were 5,327 B-segment PHEVs sold with a marvelous YoY growth of 1,750%, accounting for 44% of total PHEV sales. Meanwhile, the A- and C-segment PHEV sales reached 6,508 units and 339 units respectively.The Geely Emgrand EV was crowned the champion new energy PV model by Feb. wholesale volume. The sales of the JMC E200S edged down 3.2% year on year, ranking sixth on the list. Besides, the Dongfeng Fengshen E70 entered the top 10 list in February with a striking YoY leap of 4275.9%.As to the year-to-date (YTD) sales, BYD gained three places of the top 5 models, namely, the BYD Yuan EV, the BYD e5 and the BYD Tang DM. The BAIC EU Series boasted a spectacular YoY growth of 2352.8%, topping other models included the top 10 list.Source: Gasgoolast_img read more

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Issues To Consider From The Nu Skin Enforcement Action

first_imgThis previous post highlighted the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Nu Skin Enterprises.This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider from last week’s enforcement action.Similar, Yet DifferentBefore the Nu Skin action, there have been several FCPA enforcement actions that have included, in whole or in part, charitable donations as highlighted in this recent post.All of the prior enforcement actions though appear to have been involved pre-existing, presumably bona fide charitable organizations that a “foreign official” nevertheless was involved in or was valued by the “foreign official.”The SEC’s order in Nu Skin is a bit ambiguous regarding the charitable donation. On one hand, the SEC states that at the relevant time a “branch of the charity had not yet been established in the province and it had no operations there” suggesting that the underlying charity, but not the local branch, was a pre-existing charity. On the other hand, the SEC’s order paints a picture of the donation announcement and associated public donation signing ceremony being rushed to influence the “foreign official” at a particular moment in time.In this regard, the Nu Skin charitable donation appears to be a bit more “pretextual” than the donations previously at issue in prior FCPA enforcement actions.TimelineAccording to Nu Skin’s previous disclosure:“Since 2014, we have been in discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) regarding our Audit Committee’s internal review of our business in China and related matters.  In particular, these discussions with the SEC have been focused on a charitable donation we made in China in 2013 and issues related thereto.  In April 2015, the SEC informed us that it was initiating a non-public, formal investigation into these issues.  We have provided a number of documents in connection with this investigation, some of which were given to the SEC pursuant to subpoena, and we continue to work with the SEC to provide it with all requested information.  We have also made available certain of our employees in the U.S. and China to provide testimony and respond to the SEC’s questions.  The SEC has advised us that the existence of the investigation should not be construed as an indication by the SEC or its staff that we or any of our officers or directors had violated any of the federal securities laws.  We intend to continue to cooperate fully with the SEC’s investigation and provide the SEC with the requested information.  This investigation could expand beyond its current scope and, regardless of its outcome, could adversely affect our business.”The above disclosure is a bit ambiguous as to the precise start of the company’s FCPA scrutiny (i.e. there is a  big difference between January 2014 and December 2014). Notwithstanding, Nu Skin’s FCPA scrutiny lasted approximately 2 – 2.5 years. Considering that the enforcement action involved a single issue / transaction, this relatively short timeline(compared to other FCPA enforcement actions) is perhaps not surprising, yet still a long time for a company to be under FCPA scrutiny.Root CauseIt has been highlighted numerous times on these pages including in connection with the Avon enforcement action that also involved, like Nu Skin, a direct selling license in China.The root cause of many FCPA enforcement actions are foreign trade barriers and distortions.  The narrative is rather simple.Trade barriers and distortions create bureaucracy.Bureaucracy creates points of contact with foreign officials.Points of contact with foreign officials create discretion.Discretion creates the opportunity for a foreign official to misuse their position by making bribe demands.The following is not meant to excuse the conduct at issue in the Nu Skin matter, only to put it in the proper perspective.The root cause of Nu Skin’s (and Avon’s) FCPA scrutiny was that China had significant trade barriers and distortions applicable to direct selling of certain products.As highlighted in the SEC’s order:“The laws and regulations applicable to direct selling in China (the “Direct Selling Laws”) prohibit the multi-level commission structure employed by Nu Skin US domestically. Instead, Nu Skin China has to consummate its sales primarily through retail stores, where its sales transactions are processed even if the products in question were promoted through offsite meetings. […]Moreover, the Direct Selling Laws provide that before a direct selling business such as Nu Skin China can operate within a particular geographic area in China, the company must receive direct selling licenses at the national, provincial, and city levels. These direct selling licenses are conditioned on a number of factors, which typically include the business reputation of the applicant.”As I have long argued, the way to reduce bribery is not just to bring more corporate enforcement actions.  It is to address the root causes of bribery by seeking a reduction in trade barriers and distortions.Simply put, if China did not have direct selling prohibitions on certain products, neither the Avon or Nu Skin enforcement action would have likely happened.Set forth below is what Nu Skin previously disclosed about direct selling in China.“Our operations in Mainland China are subject to significant regulatory scrutiny. The legal system in Mainland China provides government authorities broad latitude to conduct investigations and many Chinese regulations, including those governing our business, are subject to significant interpretation, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Because of significant government concerns in Mainland China regarding improper direct selling activities, government regulators closely scrutinize activities of direct selling companies and activities that resemble direct selling. The government in Mainland China continues to inspect and interview the direct selling industry on a regular basis, which has and may continue to increase regulatory scrutiny of the industry and our business. Government regulators frequently make inquiries into our business activities and investigate complaints from consumers and others regarding our business. Some of these inquiries and investigations in the past have resulted in the payment of fines by us or members of our sales force, interruption of sales activities at stores and warnings. We continuously face the risk of new regulatory inquiries and investigations, and any determination that our operations or activities, or the activities of our sales employees, independent direct sellers or independent marketers, are not in compliance with applicable regulations could result in substantial fines, extended interruptions of business, and termination of necessary licenses and permits, including our direct selling and other licenses, all of which could harm our business.We work diligently to train our sales force in Mainland China on how our Mainland China business model differs from our global business model. However, Sales Leaders in Mainland China may attend regional and global events and foreign Sales Leaders may participate in business meetings in Mainland China. Because our global model varies significantly from our Mainland China business model, mistakes may be made as to how those working in Mainland China should promote the business in Mainland China. These mistakes by our sales force may lead to government reviews and investigations of our operations in Mainland China. For example, as a result of allegations that, among other things, certain of our sales force in Mainland China failed to adequately follow and enforce our policies and regulations, in 2014 Chinese regulators commenced a review of our business model and operations in Mainland China. For a further description of these matters, see “– Negative news reports in Mainland China led to a review by Chinese regulators into our business in Mainland China and caused us to temporarily modify some of our business practices in that market and resulted in fines and other monetary penalties. These temporary modifications, any similar sanctions imposed on us by the Chinese authorities and any associated adverse publicity may continue to harm our business and financial condition.”In January 2014, a series of articles were published by prominent media outlets in Mainland China. These articles contained a number of allegations including that our compensation practices violated Chinese regulations against pyramid and multi-level sales organizations, that our recruiting and training techniques were unlawful or inappropriate, that some of our products were not licensed for sale in Mainland China, that certain of our products were causing adverse reactions in some users and that our employees had taken actions to “hush up” these problems, that certain of our sales force had misrepresented the scientific efficacy of our products and the nature and extent of our connections with the scientific advisors who have helped in developing or testing our products and that certain of our sales people have falsely claimed endorsement of our products by public figures, media outlets and organizations.Under the direction of Mainland China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce, where our Mainland China business is headquartered, and the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce, where we maintain a branch office, investigated the allegations. Administrations for Industry and Commerce in other provinces also made inquiries regarding these allegations. As a result of this regulatory review, Nu Skin China was fined in March 2014 in the amount of $524,000 (RMB 3.3 million) for the sale of certain products by independent direct sellers that, while permitted for sale in Nu Skin China’s retail stores, were not registered for the direct selling channel. Nu Skin China was also fined $16,000 (RMB 0.1 million) for product claims that were deemed to lack sufficient documentary support. Fines in an aggregate amount of $241,000 (RMB 1.5 million) were also imposed for unauthorized promotional activities by six of our sales employees. In addition, Nu Skin China was asked to enhance the education and supervision of its sales representatives.In January 2014, in response to this media and regulatory scrutiny, we voluntarily took a number of actions in Mainland China, including temporarily suspending our business promotional meetings, temporarily suspending acceptance of applications for new sales representatives, and extending our product refund and return policies. Following completion of this government review, in May 2014 we resumed business meetings and acceptance of applications for new sales representatives in Mainland China. Adverse publicity and the suspension of business promotional meetings and acceptance of applications have had a significant negative impact on our revenue and number of Sales Leaders and Actives. We continue to act cautiously to properly educate and train our sales force. We may encounter unanticipated complications or other difficulties in rebuilding our business in Mainland China, which could further impact our business negatively. Continuing media and regulatory scrutiny and investigations in Mainland China, and any further actions taken by us or by regulators, could negatively impact our revenue, sales force and business in this market, including the interruption of sales activities, loss of licenses, and the imposition of fines, and any other adverse actions or events.”Ipse DixitThe FCPA’s internal controls provisions require issuers to have “internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances” that (generally speaking) corporate money is properly spent. The FCPA then provides the following definition of “reasonably assurances” and “reasonable detail” – “such level of detail and degree of assurance as would satisfy prudent officials in the conduct of their own affairs.”Beyond these general definitions, there is no binding authority on what constitutes, in any particular context, “sufficient” internal controls to provide “reasonable” assurances.Rather, the SEC often advances an enforcement theory that represents little more than ipse dixit (an unsupported statement that rests solely on the authority of the individual who makes it).Consider the charitable donation at issue in Nu Skin.According to the SEC “Nu Skin China personnel had alerted Nu Skin US of the proposed donation.” Thereafter, according to the SEC:“Nu Skin identified that a large donation in China could pose FCPA risks, so it advised Nu Skin China to consult with outside U.S. legal counsel based in China to ensure that the donation complied with the FCPA. Outside counsel, in turn, recommended that Nu Skin China include anti-corruption language, which included language regarding the illegality of influencing government officials, in the written donation agreement with the charity. That language was inserted into a draft of the donation agreement between Nu Skin China and the charity.”The above would certainly seem to be a “sufficient” internal control designed to provide the company “reasonable assurances” that corporate money was properly being spent. Presumably, if Nu Skin did not take these steps, the SEC would have found the company’s internal controls deficient.According to the SEC, however Nu Skin China “failed to disclose the relationship between the donation and the AIC investigation, or the relationship between the request for recommendation letters and the AIC investigation” and “the anticorruption language … was removed from the final version of the donation agreement that Nu Skin China executed. Nu Skin US was not aware that the language had been removed.”The end result according to the SEC? An internal control violation because:“Nu Skin did not ensure that adequate due diligence was conducted by Nu Skin China with respect to charitable donations to identify links to government or political party officials and to prevent payments intended to improperly influence such persons in violation of the company’s anticorruption policy and the FCPA.”In other words, this represents ipse dixit enforcement and the SEC saying, with the perfect benefit of hindsight, because I said so.Recording of the DonationThe FCPA’s books and records provisions require issuers to “make and keep books, records, and accounts, which in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and disposition of the assets of the issuer.”The charitable donation at issue in Nu Skin was recorded as a charitable donation. However, the SEC’s enforcement theory seems to disagree with the bona fides of that recording. In the words of the SEC.“Nu Skin China inaccurately and/or unfairly described the purpose of the payment to the charity in its books and records as a donation rather than an improper payment to obtain the Party Official’s influence.”In short, the charitable donation in Nu Skin was accurately recorded, it’s just that the SEC disagreed with the bona fides of the donation.Another instance in which this similar enforcement theory was advanced was in the Noble Corp. enforcement action as well as the related SEC enforcement against against Mark Jackson and James Ruehlen. There the payments in connection with the Nigerian permit were recorded on the company’s books and records as a facilitating payment. However, the SEC disagreed with the company’s legal conclusion that the payments were facilitating payments and on that basis charged both the company and the individuals with, among other things, violating the FCPA’s books and records provisions.Not the FirstWhen putting together a list of companies that are likely to become the subject of FCPA scrutiny, small Utah-based companies that sell healthcare products is surely to be at the bottom of the list.Yet, the Nu Skin enforcement action was not the first FCPA enforcement action against a small Utah-based company that sells healthcare products.See here for the SEC’s 2009 FCPA enforcement action against Nature’s Sunshine Products.The take-away point is this. Sure certain companies in certain industries have a higher FCPA risk profile than others, but any company doing business in the global marketplace has FCPA risk that needs to be on the radar screen of company managers.No-Charged Bribery DisgorgementNu Skin was not charged or found to be in violation of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. Yet the bulk of the $765,688 settlement amount comprised disgorgement and pre-judgment interest.As highlighted in this previous post, so-called no-charged bribery disgorgement is troubling.Among others, Paul Berger (here) (a former Associate Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement) has stated that “settlements invoking disgorgement but charging no primary anti-bribery violations push the law’s boundaries, as disgorgement is predicated on the common-sense notion that an actual, jurisdictionally-cognizable bribe was paid to procure the revenue identified by the SEC in its complaint.” Berger noted that such “no-charged bribery disgorgement settlements appear designed to inflict punishment rather than achieve the goals of equity.”last_img read more

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June 13th Toronto Event – What Canadian Companies Need to Know About

first_imgBennett Jones LLP is pleased to present Professor Mike Koehler together with Bennett Jones Partner, Milos Barutciski, for a unique and practical learning experience. This full-day interactive course will: elevate your substantive knowledge of bribery and corruption laws; enhance your skills in identifying and responding to corruption and bribe solicitation; and help you adapt compliance best practices to your business.CPD Credit Information: This program contains 7 hours of Substantive Content and 1 hour of Professionalism Content. To learn more and register, click here.last_img

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Chelan Douglas Counties Show Strong EmploymentPolice Shooting Suspect SoughtCostco Pulls Chicken Salad

first_imgUnemployment’s down in Chelan and Douglas Counties. The newest numbers show a drop of seven-tenth’s percent from a year ago.  The jobless rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest it’s been in October since 2008.But state regional economist Don Meseck notes there are some troubling signs.  He says “The down side is that the labor force growth has been slowing now for the last four months.  So that’s not good news.”  Meseck says the labor force is roughly the same as it was a year ago, even though unemployment’s down significantly.Still, Meseck point out non-farm job growth is especially strong in the two counties.  He says “Our non-farm growth rate has been really better than the state’s non-farm growth rate for at least the last 12 months. Those are some steps in the right direction.”Chelan and Douglas Counties are also in better shape than the state overall, which has a 5.2 percent jobless rate.last_img read more

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Study Older asthma patients are happier when they have a say in

first_imgJun 6 2018It’s clear an increasing number of people want a say in their medical care. A new study shows older people with asthma are among those no longer content to say, “Up to you, Doc” and then wait to be told how to move forward with their care.”Our study showed that a greater desire for involvement – demonstrated by a higher decision-making score – was associated with a better quality of life,” says allergist Keerthi Karamched, MD, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “We also found that female gender, higher education level and lower depression scores were associated with higher decision-making scores. What we know historically is that increasing patient involvement in asthma care – through use of asthma action plans and education – has shown an improvement in asthma overall.”Related StoriesWorld Asthma Day: How climate change is increasing cases of asthmaNovel lung map reveals new cells responsible for asthmaStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsOf the 189 participants in the study 74 percent were women. The average age was 66, and 43 percent of the participants were diagnosed with asthma after the age of 40. The median education level was college graduate.”The findings were significant because people with a higher level of independence are likely to empower and involve themselves in medical care, giving themselves a greater sense of overall control,” says allergist Alan Baptist, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the study. “Physicians tend to underestimate the amount of information people want regarding their medical condition. This study emphasizes that appreciating how much patients want to be involved in their care may improve outcomes and create a stronger relationship between patient and allergist.” Source:https://acaai.org/news/older-adults-asthma-are-happier-when-they-have-more-say-their-carelast_img read more

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Researchers uncover why people with Parkinsons disease suffer from sleep disturbances

first_img Source:http://www.vib.be/en/news/Pages/Sleep-problems-in-Parkinson%E2%80%99s-disease-can-we-fix-them.aspx Jun 8 2018A team of researchers at VIB and KU Leuven has uncovered why people with a hereditary form of Parkinson’s disease suffer from sleep disturbances. The molecular mechanisms uncovered in fruit flies and human stem cells also point to candidate targets for the development of new treatments.Sleep and Parkinson’sParkinson’s disease affects 5 million people across the globe. Its typical symptoms are related to movement difficulty: tremor, rigidity, loss of balance… But patients are also faced with several non-motoric symptoms, including disturbed sleep. Nearly all patients experience some form of sleep pattern disturbance, ranging from nocturnal movements or insomnia to daytime sleepiness.Problems with sleeping patterns are one of the earliest symptoms of the disease, sometimes occurring as much as 10 years prior to the onset of motor symptoms and often before the actual diagnosis is made. Needless to say this has a huge impact on people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones.Lipid defects in the brainUsing induced human pluripotent stem cells derived from people with a hereditary form of Parkinson’s disease, as well as genetically modified fruit flies with Parkinson’s symptoms, a team of scientists lead by Patrik Verstreken (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research) uncovered problems with the so-called neuropeptidergic neurons, a specific type of neurons that regulate sleeping patterns.Abnormal lipid trafficking in these neurons disrupts the production and release of neuropeptides, which in turn affects the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms. The result is a disturbed sleep-wake cycle in the genetically modified flies.Restoring the lipid balance?”We uncovered which type of lipid is missing, so we could try to rescue the sleep pattern defects by restoring the lipid balance,” explains Jorge Valadas, who is part of the Verstreken team. “When we model Parkinson’s disease in fruit flies, we find that they have fragmented sleep patterns and difficulties in knowing when to go to sleep or when to wake up. But when we feed them phosphatidylserine–the lipid that is depleted in the neuropeptidergic neurons–we see an improvement in a matter of days.”Related StoriesHigh sleep variability and short sleep duration predict blunted weight lossPink noise enhances deep sleep for people with mild cognitive impairmentSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsThe findings are promising, but the scientists underscore that a lot of work needs to be done before the results can be translated to patients.Patrik Verstreken: “Translating the phosphatidylserine experiments is not straightforward, as similar sleep manifestations are absent in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. The good news is that phosphatidylserine is already marketed as a food supplement, so if we can prove efficacy in humans, this would be very good news. There are still a lot of questions though. For example, we don’t know if phosphatidylserine could be delivered to the brain in humans, or at which dose.”Paradigm shiftNon-motoric symptoms often receive less attention, but nonetheless have a major impact on patients’ lives. Understanding and potentially intervening in what causes sleep problems in Parkinson’s disease is thus an important step forward, but according to Verstreken the findings are also a real conceptual game changer: “The main culprits of the motor symptoms are dopaminergic neurons, but the circadian rhythm and sleep pattern problems are specific to defects in neuropeptidergic neurons. Unlike for dopaminergic neurons, the neuropeptidergic problems are caused by neuronal dysfunction, not degeneration, which implies that they can be corrected. This could be a real paradigm shift in the Parkinson’s disease field.”last_img read more

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Simple cognitive task after brain injury improves memory function study finds

first_imgJun 19 2018Concern is growing about the danger of sports-related concussions and their long-term impact on athletes. But physicians and healthcare providers acknowledge that the science is evolving, leaving questions about rehabilitation and treatment options.Currently, guidelines recommend that traumatic brain injury patients get plenty of rest and avoid physical and cognitive activity until symptoms subside.But a new pilot study looking at athletes with concussions suggests total inactivity may not be the best way to recover after all, say scientists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, where the research was conducted.The study found that a simple cognitive task as early as four days after a brain injury activated the region that improves memory function and can guard against two hallmarks of concussion — depression and anxiety.”Right now, if you have a concussion the directive is to have complete physical and cognitive rest, no activities, no social interaction, to let your brain rest and recover from the energy crisis as a result of the injury,” said SMU physiologist Sushmita Purkayastha, who led the research, which was funded by the Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.”But what we saw, the student athletes came in on approximately the third day of their concussion and the test was not stressful for them. None of the patients complained about any symptom aggravation as a result of the task. Their parasympathetic nervous system — which regulates automatic responses such as heart rate when the body is at rest — was activated, which is a good sign,” said Purkayastha, an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with better memory function and implicated in better cardiovascular function. It also helps to regulates stress, depression and anxiety — and those are very common symptoms after a concussion.”People in the absolute rest phase after concussion often experience depression,” Purkayastha added. “In the case of concussion, cutting people off from their social circle when we say ‘no screen time’ — particularly the young generation with their cell phones and iPads — they will just get more depressed and anxious. So maybe we need to rethink current rehabilitation strategy.”The new study addresses the lack of research upon which to develop science- and data-based treatment for concussion. The findings emerged when the research team measured variations in heart rate variability among athletes with concussions while responding to simple problem-solving and decision-making tasks.While we normally think of our heart rate as a steady phenomenon, in actuality the interval varies and is somewhat irregular — and that is desirable and healthy. High heart rate variability is an indicator of sound cardiovascular health. Higher levels of variability indicate that physiological processes are better controlled and functioning as they should, such as during stressful (both physical and challenging mental tasks) or emotional situations.Concussed athletes normally have lowered heart rate variability.For the new study, Purkayastha and her team administered a fairly simple cognitive task to athletes with concussions. During the task, the athletes recorded a significant increase in heart rate variability.The study is the first of its kind to examine heart rate variability in college athletes with concussions during a cognitive task.The findings suggest that a small measure of brain work could be beneficial, said co-investigator and neuro-rehabilitation specialist Kathleen R. Bell, a physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.”This type of research will change fundamentally the way that patients with sports and other concussions are treated,” said Bell, who works with brain injury patients and is Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern. “Understanding the basic physiology of brain injury and repair is the key to enhancing recovery for our young people after concussion.”Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionChemotherapy drugs delivered using biodegradable paste can prolong survival in brain cancerNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpThe researchers reported their findings in the peer-reviewed Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, in the article “Reduced resting and increased elevation of heart rate variability with cognitive task performance in concussed athletes.”Co-authors from SMU Simmons School include Mu Huang and Justin Frantz; Peter F. Davis and Scott L. Davis, from SMU’s Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness; Gilbert Moralez, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas; and Tonia Sabo, UT Southwestern.Concussion symptom improved with simple brain activityVolunteer subjects for the study were 46 NCAA Division I and recreational athletes who participate in contact-collision sports. Of those, 23 had a physician-diagnosed sports-related concussion in accordance with NCAA diagnostic criteria. Each of them underwent the research testing within approximately three to four days after their injury.Not surprisingly, compared to the athletes in the control group who didn’t have concussions, the athletes with concussions entered answers that were largely incorrect.More importantly, though, the researchers observed a positive physiological response to the task in the form of increased heart rate variability, said Purkayastha.”It’s true that the concussed group gave wrong answers for the most part. More important, however, is the fact that during the task their heart rate variability improved,” she said. “That was most likely due to the enhancement of their brain activity, which led to better regulation. It seems that engaging in a cognitive task is crucial for recovery.”Heart rate variability is a normal physiological process of the heart. It makes possible a testing method as noninvasive as taking a patient’s blood pressure, pulse or temperature. In the clinical field, measuring heart rate variability is an increasingly common screening tool to see if involuntary responses in the body are functioning and being regulated properly by the autonomic nervous system.The parasympathetic is blunted or dampened by concussionAbnormal fluctuations in heart rate variability are associated with certain conditions before symptoms are otherwise noticeable.Monitoring heart rate variability measures the normal synchronized contractions of the heart’s atriums and ventricles in response to natural electrical impulses that rhythmically move across the muscles of the heart.After a concussion, an abnormal and unhealthy decline in heart rate variability is observed in the parasympathetic nervous system, a branch of the autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic is in effect blunted or dampened after a concussion, said Purkayastha.As expected, in the current study, heart rate variability was lower among the athletes with concussions than those without.New findings add evidence suggesting experts rethink rehabBut that changed during the simple cognitive task. For the athletes with concussions, their heart rate variability increased, indicating the parasympathetic nervous system was activated by the task.Heart rate variability between the concussed and the controls was comparable during the cognitive task, the researchers said in their study.”This suggests that maybe we need to rethink rehabilitation after someone has a concussion,” Purkayastha said.Source: http://blog.smu.edu/research/2018/06/18/mild-problem-solving-task-improves-brain-function-after-a-concussion-new-study-suggests/last_img read more

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WVU researchers increase colorectal cancer screening rates in West Virginia

first_img Source:https://wvutoday.wvu.edu/stories/2018/06/21/wvu-researchers-improve-screening-rates-for-state-s-second-deadliest-cancer Jun 21 2018In West Virginia, where colorectal cancer is the second-deadliest type of cancer, half of all colorectal cancers elude diagnosis until they have already grown beyond the colon. With Medicaid expansion, more West Virginians now have health insurance for cancer screening, yet many barriers to screening persist.West Virginia University researchers are working to improve screening rates for the state, which has one of the highest incidences of colorectal cancer and one of the lowest screening rates in the nation.”For patients who decline colonoscopy, the cost of the procedure is not always the issue. It is the non-procedure-related costs,” said Mary Ellen Conn, assistant director of WVU’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.Some patients may not be able to get time off from work to get screened. Others may lack transportation or childcare. And in West Virginia’s most rural counties, months-long waitlists can be a deterrent.Conn and her colleague Stephenie Kennedy-Rea, director of the WVU Cancer Prevention and Control Program, lead a team that works with healthcare providers at 34 primary care clinics across West Virginia to implement research-proven interventions to increase their colorectal cancer screening rates.This effort is part of the West Virginia Program to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening, known as WV PICCS. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the goal of the program is to increase colorectal cancer screening rates and create systems change for long-lasting impact. The program will receive a total of $2.65 million in CDC funding over its five-year run.One of the first steps in working with clinics is to train providers and staff on the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines. Unlike with other cancers that call for just one screening method, several approved tests are available for colorectal.In addition to colonoscopy, there are newer stool-based screening methods, including the fecal immunochemical test, which requires no fasting, no medication or diet restrictions, and no scoping procedures at distant facilities. The patients collect their own samples in privacy and take-;or mail-;the kit to the clinic.Research shows that some patients will forego screening altogether if they are not offered an alternative to colonoscopy. But even if a patient accepts a fecal immunochemical test in a doctor’s exam room, there is no guarantee the patient will complete the test.The WV PICCS team works with participating clinics to intervene when patients do not submit their fecal immunochemical test for analysis. They help clinics implement tailored reminder calls to the patients-;scripting the calls, determining the number and frequency of the calls and taking into account each clinic’s workload and staffing level.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerEmbrace your natural skin tone to prevent skin cancer, say expertsResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesConn says that after reminder calls they are seeing an average 42 percent return rate on the tests.”Keep in mind that these are tests that would not have come back into the clinic on their own,” Conn said. “We basically help the clinic move a zero rate of return to a higher percentage.”As a result of working with WV PICCS, clinics completing the first year of intervention saw their average overall clinic screening rate increase from 27 percent to 50 percent.The Clay-Battelle Community Health Center serving Blacksville and Burton is a participating clinic that currently receives training and technical assistance.”Medicine is an always-changing, always-evolving thing,” said Megan Moore, a physician assistant who practices at the Blacksville clinic. “I think taking the time to re-educate all of us revitalizes our interest in educating our patients. Sometimes you may learn some new little tidbit, and that tidbit can be the thing you can tell a patient to make them go, ‘Hey, this is a good idea. This is going to help my overall health.'”WV PICCS gathers data on participating clinics’ screening rates and reports the data to the clinics every quarter. Screening rates for individual providers are also shared through a process of provider assessment and feedback as studies show provider recommendation is the number one reason patients get screened.”Some clinics invite us to provider meetings to present these data and discuss them,” Conn said. “This spurs a lot of discussion among the providers themselves. They question each other, like, ‘Well, Dr. Smith, you have a 70 percent screening rate. What are you saying to your patients?’ This really increases meaningful dialogue among providers where they can learn from one another.”Colorectal cancer survival rates underscore the importance of screening and early detection. Out of 10 patients whose cancers are treated before they break through the colon wall, nine will be alive in five years. But for every 10 patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body, just one will reach the five-year mark.”This program provides a unique opportunity to enhance physicians’ knowledge of screening options for their patients, create systems change to improve clinic screening rates and work in partnership to address one of the most preventable cancer killers in our state,” Kennedy-Rea said. “By working together, we can move the needle on colorectal cancer.”last_img read more

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Learning disabilities can create enormous stress anxiety for children and families

first_img Source:https://notes.childrenshospital.org/learning-disabilities-stress-anxiety/ Jun 29 2018Most research on learning disabilities focuses on remediating specific academic skills like reading and math. But struggles at school and with homework can create an enormous amount of stress and anxiety for children and families, finds a study published June 4 in the Journal of Learning Disabilities.”At least half the time when I give feedback from an evaluation, a parent becomes teary,” says neuropsychologist and study leader Deborah Waber, PhD, who directs the Learning Disabilities Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. “The effect on families is not trivial, and it’s been under-appreciated. It’s always good to ask families about stress and anxiety if they report concerns about academics.”Waber and her colleagues developed a survey-based screening instrument to gauge the effects of learning problems on the child’s and family’s quality of life. They first sent a 35-question survey to 151 families whose child had been referred to them for evaluation of learning disabilities. They then shortened the survey to 15 questions and sent it to families in a single lower- to middle-income school district in the greater Boston area.Of the 325 parents or guardians who completed the revised survey, 93 had children who had been identified as having learning problems and were receiving special education support on formal Individualized Education Plans. The remaining 232 had children in general education.Survey questions focused on such issues as parents’ anxiety about their children, children’s anxiety and frustration over school work, children taking a long time to complete homework, having to limit family activities because of homework and family stress caused by the child’s learning problems.Related StoriesStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairPsychological falloutThe two groups showed a dramatic difference. Compared with the general education group, parents of children with learning problems reported significantly more quality-of-life problems related to academics, for both the child and the family. Quality-of-life problems fell in the “at risk” or “clinically significant” range in half of the learning problems group, versus only 15 percent of the general education group.The quality-of-life impacts of learning problems were greater for middle-school-age children than younger elementary-age children, and were greater in boys than girls, with the gender difference widening in the older grades. However, families of children with and without learning problems gave relatively similar ratings to teachers and school support systems, suggesting that they did not blame shortcomings of the school for the child/family distress.Waber and her colleagues now routinely give the survey to parents whose children are being evaluated in the Learning Disabilities Program. They plan to follow up a year later to see whether quality of life has improved and, if so, to what extent the improvement is related to how the schools responded to the evaluation. Since the survey is easy to administer through an online link, Waber hopes to see others adopt it.”We hope its use will make schools, other educators and pediatricians more aware of the distress children with learning problems and their families may be experiencing and take steps to address it,” Waber says.last_img read more

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Scientists provide clear picture of mysterious component of the inner ear

first_img Source:https://hms.harvard.edu/news/safety-valve Jun 29 2018A few years ago, Ian Swinburne, HMS research fellow in systems biology, noticed something odd while conducting a time-lapse microscopy study of the inner ear of zebrafish. A tiny structure in the inner ear was pulsing like clockwork, inflating and deflating over and over.As Swinburne and his postdoctoral advisor Sean Megason, HMS associate professor of systems biology, probed further, they discovered that the structure was the endolymphatic sac, a fluid-filled pocket connected to the rest of the inner ear by a long, thin duct.But neither could explain why it was pulsing.”Scientists have known about the existence of the endolymphatic sac for maybe 300 years, but it wasn’t understood exactly what it does,” Megason said. “It’s even often missing in models or textbook cartoons of the inner ear. We didn’t set out to study it, but we became interested once we saw its striking behavior.”Over the course of the next several years, Swinburne and Megason worked to better understand the function of this mysterious structure. To do so, they had to visualize it in action. Collaborating with some of the world’s leading microscopy laboratories, they pieced together different views of the endolymphatic sac until a clear picture emerged.In a study published June 19 in eLife, the team reported the results of their investigation: the endolymphatic sac acts as a pressure-relief valve and is formed by a thin barrier of cellular projections that opens and closes to regulate the release of fluid from inside the inner ear.Their findings reveal a unique biological mechanism for maintaining fluid pressure and composition and may inform the study and treatment of disorders involving defects in inner ear pressure such as Meniere’s disease, a condition marked by vertigo, hearing loss and ringing in the ears. The results could also help researchers study pressure control in other organs such as the eyes and kidneys, which also have liquid-filled cavities.”Every once in a while, you hear about a house being destroyed by a water heater because its pressure release valve was defective,” Swinburne said. “It’s important to have these safety control systems in our organs as well.”Something WeirdThe inner ear is the sensory organ responsible for hearing and balance and is composed of several complex structures. In mammals, sound is detected by the snail shell-shaped cochlea, and head movement is detected by three hollow loops of bone called the semicircular canals.All the structures of the inner ear are interconnected and filled with specialized fluid, which moves in response to sound waves or head movement. These subtle fluid movements are detected by sensory cells and converted into neural signals for the brain to process. Both the pressure and chemical composition of inner ear fluid must be carefully maintained, and certain disorders such as Ménière’s disease are thought to stem from abnormal pressure fluctuations.Scientists have long hypothesized that the endolymphatic sac plays a role in regulating the pressure of this fluid, but the mammalian inner ear is small and encased by extremely dense bone, which makes it difficult to access and study.The inner ears of zebrafish embryos, which Swinburne and Megason study, are much more visible. When the team first observed the pulsing behavior of the endolymphatic sac, they suspected a connection with pressure control. Proving it, however, was another matter.”We had all these movies where you could see the whole structure pulsing, and when Ian injected dye into the sac we could see fluid flowing out,” Megason said. “But it wasn’t clear how that fluid was getting out. It seemed like something weird was going on.”Eureka momentAt that time, Swinburne was also engaged in a side project reviewing previously published studies of various zebrafish with mutated genes. One of the mutants he stumbled upon, with an abnormal form of the transcription factor lmx1bb, had endolymphatic sacs that were far larger than normal.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThrough dye injection experiments, they discovered that in lmx1bb mutants, inner ear fluid was not flowing out of the endolymphatic sac as it should, and the buildup of fluid caused the structure to balloon. The team noted that normally, a little bit of fluid also leaks back into the sac when it deflates. No such leakage occurred in lmx1bb mutants, however, suggesting that the structure was somehow closed.They were stumped until they connected with Jeff Lichtman, the Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Santiago Ramón y Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The Lichtman lab specializes in imaging the brain, and among the data they’ve collected happened to be high-resolution electron micrographs of the inner ear.When Swinburne and Megason analyzed these images, they observed flap-like membrane projections called lamella extending from cells that make up the endolymphatic sac. These flaps overlapped with each other, forming a barrier.”Biologists like to say that structure determines function. When we saw the lamella for the first time, it all clicked,” Swinburne said.”It was a eureka moment,” Megason added.Relief at lastThe team’s analyses revealed that normal endolymphatic sacs contain an extremely thin shell of these overlapping lamellae, which they termed “lamellar barriers.” In most tissues, cells are tightly connected and water cannot pass between them. In the endolymphatic sac, however, cells appeared to have small gaps between them, which are covered by lamellar barriers.When fluid pressure builds, the sac inflates and the barriers begin to separate. Once a certain point is reached, the barriers open, allowing fluid to flow out of the sac and relieve pressure.To further investigate, the researchers teamed up with microscopy pioneer and Nobel laureate Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Tomas Kirchhausen, HMS professor of cell biology and a professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.Earlier this year, Betzig, Kirchhausen, Megason and colleagues published a seminal paper describing a new technology called adaptive optics-lattice light sheet microscopy, which allows researchers to capture 3D images and movies of cells inside living organisms in unprecedented detail.The team applied this technology to the endolymphatic sac, and observed that the lamellar barrier actively and dynamically moves as the sac inflates and deflates.”They’re constantly crawling. It looks like a cell that’s migrating, but they are part of the epithelium. It’s really weird cell biology,” Swinburne said.Their results implicate the endolymphatic sac as a pressure-relief valve for the inner ear, but many mysteries remain for future study, such as how the lamellar barriers connect with each other, whether they are opened by physical pressure or some pressure-sensing protein and whether this same mechanism is present in other animals such as mice and humans.The team also suspects that this mechanism may be present in other organs, such as the eye, brain and kidneys, which also contain pressurized fluid-filled cavities. Of particular interest is the role of genes related to lmx1bb, which, when mutated in mice, cause kidney and eye problems.Mutations to lmx1 genes in humans have been linked to glaucoma, a condition where fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. A better understanding of lamellar barriers and pressure- relief mechanisms could help inform the study and treatment of these diseases, the authors suggest.”This study was definitely a case of seeing is believing,” Megason said. “It was very important to have cutting-edge microscopy on many different fronts. Each of these different microscope techniques gave us a different piece of the puzzle and when put together, we get the whole picture.”​last_img read more

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Simple saliva test could lead to better prediction and prevention of diabetes

first_imgJul 23 2018Diabetes assessment currently relies on measurement of blood sugar levels — but a simple saliva sample could replace this, says new research. The study, published in Frontiers in Physiology and the most comprehensive of its kind to date, finds that proteins in saliva reflect high blood sugar and associated disease processes in young patients with type 1 diabetes, long before the appearance of clinical symptoms. This could lead to better prediction and prevention of long-term complications of the disease.People with type 1 diabetes produce too little insulin. This hormone is required for the body to use sugar for energy, so lack of insulin causes unused sugar to accumulate in the blood. This excess sugar in turn leads to complications like cardiovascular, kidney, eye and nerve damage.With no known cure for type 1 diabetes, the key to preventing these complications is careful control of blood sugar levels. This is achieved with insulin injections — balanced with lifestyle factors like diet and exercise — and requires regular blood testing to monitor sugar control.But this invasive monitoring can be problematic, particularly in children and adolescents.”Blood collection through repeated sampling causes discomfort and hinders patients’ compliance,” explains study co-author Professor Heleni Vastardis of NKU Athens School of Dentistry. “Easy, simple, painless, non-invasive saliva collection is the most attractive diagnostic medium when examining children.”Our saliva contains thousands of proteins produced by our salivary glands and gums, with important roles like healing, digestion and fighting disease. Previous research shows that the amounts of each of these proteins — collectively called the “salivary proteome” — differ between healthy people and those with diabetes.Vastardis and colleagues see great potential in this finding. “Saliva is considered a mirror of the body’s health and disease and a possible game changer in healthcare and clinical practice,” she says.Their new study is the most comprehensive characterization of the salivary proteome to date. It analyzed saliva samples from young type 1 diabetics with satisfactory or poor blood sugar control and from matched healthy subjects, using a highly sensitive technique to identify and quantify more than 2,000 different proteins.Related StoriesSome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesThe researchers found that young type 1 diabetics with good blood sugar control had similar saliva protein profiles to non-diabetics.In contrast, young people with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes showed a very different saliva protein profile. The differences were in proteins known to have key roles in inflammation, clotting and blood vessel function — processes that are disrupted by high blood sugar and thereby underly the major long-term complications of diabetes.Crucially, none of these young patients yet had any clinical signs of eye, kidney or nerve damage. “In other words, the signs of diabetic pathology are already in place way before manifestation of clinical complications,” Vastardis points out.This suggests that the diabetic salivary proteome could be used to predict complications — and help prevent them. “Salivary diagnostics enable the assessment of asymptomatic diabetic patients and the identification of high-risk patients likely to face diabetic complications. This knowledge may offer access to novel points of intervention.”To demonstrate this principle, the group used their results to identify a potential new preventive treatment for young patients with poor diabetic control. By searching a gene database, they found a drug candidate capable of reversing the salivary proteome changes associated with high blood sugar.This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the power of salivary protein analysis in diabetes research — and soon in the diabetes clinic, Vastardis believes.”We envision that in the near future we will be able to diagnose and monitor therapeutic strategies in diabetes with only a drop of saliva, through ultra-sensitive and highly specific techniques such as the Multiple Reaction Monitoring used in our study as well as real-time, non-invasive, salivary glucose monitoring devices.””However, larger cohorts are required to completely utilize the information and to account for the potential variance.”Source: https://www.frontiersin.orglast_img read more

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New treatment can offer relief to people with chronic runny nose postnasal

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 28 2018A new treatment that delivers a freezing or near-freezing temperature to the back of the nose of patients can offer relief to people suffering from chronic stuffy or runny nose, postnasal drip and cough. These symptoms result from persistently inflamed nose and sinuses, a condition known as chronic rhinitis.Called ClariFix, the treatment is a form of cryotherapy – the use of cold temperatures as a medical treatment – that targets out-of-balance nerves that result in chronic rhinitis. These faulty nerves tell the nose to drip, run and swell more than necessary.The ClariFix device includes a small, chilled pad on a thin stem that is inserted through a nostril and applied to a targeted spot inside the nasal cavity. The freezing temperature interrupts the errant nerve signals, preventing them from triggering runny, stuffy noses. Specifically, ClariFix interrupts the neural pathway, a connection between parts of the nervous system that triggers rhinitis symptoms.Rush University Medical Center ear, nose and throat specialists provide treatment to patients using ClariFix cryotherapy, which provides long-lasting relief and is the first and only FDA-cleared device for treating chronic rhinitis.”Longstanding runny nose and congestion can slowly deprive patients of their quality of life. In the past, medications were the only option that could be offered to our patients. The introduction of Clarifix now offers the possibility of a more definitive solution that has the potential to offer long lasting relief from rhinitis symptoms,” said Dr. Pete Batra, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Rush.Related StoriesAre Chronic Pain Relief Drugs for Children Effective?Sleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyStudy: Temperature-related mortality decreasing in Spain over the past four decadesMore than 24 million Americans suffer from the frustrating symptoms caused by chronic rhinitis.Traditional medical treatments such as nasal sprays, drops and pills can help manage chronic rhinitis symptoms for some people, but often does not address the underlying problem and may have side effects.ClariFix cryotherapy is a proven treatment option that can be performed in the office. After a numbing medication has been inserted into the patient’s nose and left in place for 10 to 15 minutes, the patient receives the 30 second treatment on each side and can return to work after the procedure. The most common side effects associated with ClariFix cryotherapy are temporary increased congestion and transient pain or discomfort, which normally resolved or is mild after 1 to 2 days. Many patients rate pain as minor.Clinical study results published in October showed that the treatment was well-tolerated with no device or procedure-related adverse events. After treatment, there was an improvement in runny nose and congestion symptoms and four out of five patients reported long-lasting symptom improvement. Results were similar in both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis patients.In July, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Rush ear, nose and throat program No. 24 in the nation, making it the highest ranked ENT program in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The department is committed to delivering innovative medical and surgical solutions to advance the specialty and improve the life of patients.Source: https://www.rush.edu/last_img read more

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Blind Fish Still Able to Count

A fish doesn’t need eyes to count. Somalian blind cavefish (Phreatichthys andruzzii) choose the larger of two groups of sticks when they’re taught to associate food with the bigger set, scientists have discovered. Previous studies have shown that fish—as well as mammals and birds—can be trained to discriminate between quantities. To test whether blind fish—which evolved for millions of years in the perpetual darkness of caves under the desert—still have this ability, researchers arranged sets of plastic sticks on opposing sides of their tanks and put food flakes only among the larger assembly of sticks. The sightless fish, they report online this week in The Journal of Experimental Biology, learned to choose four or six sticks over two, even when the food was no longer present, although they couldn’t discriminate between two and three. Even when four sticks were arranged to cover the same overall area as two sticks, or the sticks were arranged to have the same density, the fish correctly chose the larger set. Blind cavefish sense objects in their environment by detecting subtle changes to water flow around them, and the ability to differentiate quantities likely helps them snap up the largest amount of insect larvae or plankton to survive, or join the largest group of other cavefish for protection. read more

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Russian foundation tarred with foreign label

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img MOSCOW—Russian authorities on Monday branded the Dynasty Foundation, one of the country’s most important science foundations, a “foreign agent.” Dmitry Zimin, the telecom tycoon who established Dynasty, has vowed to shut it down.Last year, Dynasty, based here in Moscow, spent about $10 million on 20 projects supporting young researchers (mainly mathematicians and physicists), competitions for school science teachers, science festivals, and public lectures by world-class researchers. Rumors that the Ministry of Justice would label the foundation a foreign entity had been circulating for weeks. Now that it has happened, scientists are devastated. “The main thing that we have lost is hope,” says Valery Rubakov, a physicist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ (RAS’s) Institute for Nuclear Research in Moscow.Dynasty was set up in 2002 by Zimin, a co-founder of VimpelCom, one of three nationwide cellular communications networks. According to Zimin, each year since then he has transferred about $10 million of his fortune to Dynasty. The foundation’s 2013 financial report also lists small donations from other sources such as the Royal Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and private donors. As part of a campaign to crack down on nongovernmental organizations focused on human rights and free elections, the Russian government in July 2012 adopted the foreign agent law, which piles reporting requirements on designated organizations and compels them to label anything they produce, from conferences to reports, as such. Since then, 67 organizations have been caught in the law’s dragnet, including prominent names such as the Liberal Mission Foundation; Memorial, a historical and civil rights society; and the Bellona Foundation in Murmansk. Some shuttered their operations in Russia, and others are fighting the designation.Dynasty is the first nonprofit supporting science to find itself in the Justice Ministry’s cross hairs. Earlier this month, a group of 28 RAS members petitioned Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov to spare the foundation, whose work, they wrote, is open and transparent and “has nothing to do with advocacy of foreign states’ interests.” In designating Dynasty a foreign agent on Sunday, justice officials cited Dynasty’s funding from offshore accounts owned by Zimin. In an official statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, declared that if Dynasty “gets money from abroad, then it is a foreign agent.” The government is not forcing Dynasty to close, Peskov added: That’s Zimin’s decision, he said.  The designation infuriates Zimin. Reached by phone, he told ScienceInsider that he would simply “stop financing the foundation.” Dynasty officials are planning to meet on 8 June to decide whether to close the foundation. Zimin later told the Russian newspaper Vedomosti that if the ministry were to cancel the designation and apologize, he would “think it over.”That apology is unlikely to be forthcoming. At a press conference today in St. Petersburg, Konovalov said that the ministry has no plans to reconsider the designation. “We do not exclude that there were positive motives for the foundation’s activities,” he said, “but that does not exclude the necessity to implement the law.”last_img read more

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NIH hopes to avoid past missteps in launching new childrens study

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is gearing up for a large, long-term study of how environmental factors affect a child’s health. But please don’t call it the National Children’s Study (NCS).The NCS was launched more than a decade ago at the request of Congress; its goal was to follow 100,000 children from the womb to age 21. But last December, after spending $1.3 billion on planning and pilot testing, NIH Director Francis Collins ended the full NCS before the first child was enrolled. An Institute of Medicine report had found problems with its management, design, and cost, and scientific advisers told NIH the study was not feasible.Last month, Congress signaled that it wants NIH to try again. Spending panels in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate included $165 million for it in NIH’s budget for 2016, with a House report referring to the NCS Alternative. NIH prefers to call it the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. The new study will focus on four areas of high public health concern: obesity, birth defects and other early outcomes, neurodevelopmental disorders (such as autism and depression), and airway diseases (such as asthma and allergies). Email One big change is that ECHO will knit together existing children’s studies rather than recruiting a new cohort. That should avoid the recruitment challenges and rising costs that plagued the NCS. It also hopes to move much more quickly than it did with the NCS.On Monday NIH put out a notice giving the community a 1-month deadline for input and this week is holding invitation-only roundtables for stakeholders. The aim is to have a final study plan by 1 October.ScienceInsider spoke yesterday with NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak about the new program. The conversation is edited for brevity.Q: NIH agreed last December that it wasn’t feasible to launch the NCS. Why is it back?A: This is not the NCS. This is a program that will focus on how a variety of parameters influence child health, with particular emphasis on peri-, pre-, and postnatal development. Q: How will this be different from the original NCS? A: We are going to be leveraging existing cohorts. That way, a good deal of the infrastructure will already be in place with regard to identification and enrollment of potential participants. It will allow us to ask very targeted questions where appropriate. Q: Why did you decide to launch a new version of the NCS?A: The science is what drives this. What influences childhood development and what sets up the antecedent of disease and conditions later in life is still very much an open set of questions.Q: Did Congress influence the decision? A: We have many stakeholders, and obviously Congress is one of those groups that we have to listen to.Q: The Request for Information describes a plan for fiscal year 2016. What happens after that? A: We are planning this to be a long-term study that we will fund over successive budget years. Obviously all this is subject to congressional funding, like with anything else that we do.Q: Are there some obvious cohort studies that might be part of the program?A: There’s been no outreach to the people who run this cohort. But by illustration, the nuMoM2b (new mom to be) study is a prospective cohort that’s looking at adverse pregnancy outcomes [in 10,000 women]. You could envision additional resources being applied so that children could be followed longitudinally. Importantly, the nuMoM2b study in common with other cohorts has a wealth of information about the moms. There may be [biological] samples that they have available.This is all hypothetical. We are not going to be reaching out to cohort leaderships. Eventually there will be a funding opportunity announcement that people can respond to.Q: Do you have a target number for total enrollment? A: There is no target number because this is being driven by scientific decisions. For some diseases and conditions, a very focused cohort of hundreds of people may be absolutely appropriate. In other instances you may need larger numbers.Q: Will data be comparable across the different cohort studies? A: The plan will be to create common data elements. The ability to merge seemingly disparate data sets is becoming easier. But we are not going to have uniform everything from the outset because that would be a different kind of study.Q: Existing studies may not have collected the data needed to study environmental influences on early development. Will the program recruit new pregnancies? A: Initially the plan is to take advantage of existing programs.We don’t rule out the possibility that there can be new enrollment. You could envision that, if a particular cohort was studying a woman’s first pregnancy, by providing resources to that group you could then study a second pregnancy. Then you would have a wealth of data from the first pregnancy and be able to compare to the events of the second pregnancy.Q: Will contract organizations or academic researchers run the study? A: People will compete to address the elements that are in the funding opportunity announcements. Then we will be informed by peer review. We have absolutely no preconceived notion on whether it should be academics, contractors, or a mix thereof.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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Top stories A realtime pollution model a weird quantum distortion in space

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, a quadrennial international assessment of how well students perform in mathematics and science, was released this week. Made up of scores from 550,000 fourth and eighth graders from more than 40 countries, the assessment shows a handful of East Asian countries scored among the highest, whereas U.S. students wound up in the middle of the pack. For the first time, the assessment also tracked the progress of the same cohort of students by administering a third test in their last year of school. In the nine countries that agreed to participate in that third test, students taking the most challenging math and science courses in their senior year were found to have performed progressively worse as they moved from elementary to middle to high school.Astronomers spot signs of weird quantum distortion in spaceA simple observation of an extremely dim star may point to, literally, the biggest manifestation of weird quantum phenomena yet. Light from a lonely neutron star 400 light-years away is polarized, just like light reflecting off a pond, a team of astronomers reports. This suggests that, as predicted, the neutron star’s ultraintense magnetic field is distorting empty space through a quantum mechanical effect involving ghostly “virtual” particles lurking in the vacuum—the sort of thing usually seen only on the atomic scale. Such particles could eventually enable astrophysicists to infer properties such as a neutron star’s size and the strength of its gravity at its surface.How to fly a pipeA team of aerodynamicists has stumbled across a way in which the downward force from air flowing past an odd-shaped object can suddenly turn into a hefty upward lift. Combining the classic but usually disparate physics of airplane wings and golf balls, the surprising reversal might serve to make a new type of mechanical switch that would flip off or on depending on how fast fluid flows past it. Such switches might control and stabilize crafts both in air and sea in a completely mechanical way, without the need for electrical sensors and powered control systems.Newly discovered state of memory could help explain learning and brain disordersA research team has shown this week that memories can be resurrected from “limbo”—where they’re neither in immediate consciousness nor in long-term memory. Their observations point to a new form of working memory, “prioritized long-term memory,” which exists without elevated neural activity. Consistent with other recent work, the study suggests that information can somehow be held among the synapses that connect neurons, even after conventional working memory has faded. This new memory state could have a range of practical implications, from helping college students learn more efficiently to assisting people with memory-related neurological conditions such as amnesia, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.Now that you’ve got the scoop on this week’s hottest Science news, come back Monday to test your smarts on our weekly quiz!center_img Watch air pollution flow across the planet in real timeEach year, China’s toxic air contributes to the premature deaths of some 1.6 million people. Concerned about how such pollution was affecting his family, Beijing-based data scientist Yann Boquillod founded AirVisual Earth, an online air pollution map that uses data from satellites and more than 8000 monitoring stations to display global air pollution in real time. Users can zoom in, tilt, and spin the globe for better viewing. The air pollution visualization was crafted “so people really understand how bad it is,” says Boquillod, who hopes an informed citizenry will pressure governments and communities to clear the air.Are the best students really that advanced? Emaillast_img read more

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Is plastic trash making coral reefs sick

first_img Plastic can be bad news for marine life. Seabirds and turtles will starve if they eat too many bags or six pack rings, and whales can get fatally snared in fishing gear. Now, another charismatic inhabitant of the oceans may be in danger. A new survey shows for the first time that plastic trash hikes the risk of diseases for coral reefs. Between 2011 and 2014, a team of researchers surveyed 159 reefs near Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia. They examined the health of more than 124,000 corals on these reefs and also checked to see whether they were hosting any pieces of plastic larger than 0.5 centimeters. Corals without any plastic had a 4% chance of being diseased, but the presence of plastic raised the risk to 89%, they report today in Science. This was true for three of the six most common diseases: skeletal eroding disease, white syndrome, and black band disease, all of which can quickly kill coral. The team has not demonstrated that plastic causes any of these diseases, but they point to possible mechanisms. Plastic trash can carry pathogens and hard debris might wound corals, triggering infection. And if plastic debris blocks sunlight, it could lead to low-oxygen conditions that promote the growth of disease-causing bacteria. By Erik StokstadJan. 25, 2018 , 2:00 PM Is plastic trash making coral reefs sick?center_img RICHARD WHITCOMBE/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM last_img read more

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