Scientists identify new drug target to combat chikungunya virus

first_imgMay 21 2018Scientists have identified a molecule found on human cells and some animal cells that could be a useful target for drugs against chikungunya virus infection and related diseases, according to new research published in the journal Nature. A team led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the research, which was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.Related StoriesVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTChikungunya, an alphavirus, is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Currently no specific treatment is available for chikungunya virus infection, which can cause fever and debilitating joint pain and arthritis. Small, sporadic outbreaks of chikungunya occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans after the virus was identified in the 1950s. In 2013, the virus spread to the Americas and has since caused a widespread and ongoing epidemic.In this study, scientists aimed to better understand which traits make humans susceptible to chikungunya virus infection. Using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, they performed a genome-wide screen that identified the molecule Mxra8 as a key to the entry of chikungunya virus and related viruses into host cells. In the laboratory, scientists were able to reduce the ability of chikungunya virus to infect cells by editing the human and mouse genes that encode Mxra8. The researchers also administered anti-Mxra8 antibodies to mice and infected the mice with chikungunya virus or O’nyong-nyong virus, another alphavirus. The antibody-treated mice had significantly lower levels of virus infection and related foot swelling as compared with a control group.These findings, along with future studies to better understand how chikungunya virus interacts with Mxra8, could help inform development of drugs to treat diseases caused by alphaviruses, according to the authors. Source:https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-funded-researchers-identify-target-chikungunya-treatmentlast_img read more

Genetic testing of prostate tumors could identify likely responders to immunotherapy

first_imgJun 14 2018Scientists have identified a pattern of genetic changes that could pick out men with advanced prostate cancer who are likely to benefit from immunotherapy.Developing a genetic test to pick out these men could speed up the path of immunotherapy into use for prostate cancer patients.A major clinical trial earlier this month became the first to show that immunotherapy could work in advanced prostate cancer – but only for about 10 per cent of men.Now the new study, involving scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has discovered that testing the genetics of prostate tumors could identify the likely responders.The research, published today (Thursday) in the prestigious journal Cell, found that men whose tumors had a distinct pattern of genetic changes could be much more likely to benefit from immunotherapy than otherwise.The study was supported by funders including the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up 2 Cancer.Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) worked with colleagues at the University of Michigan in the US to analyze tumor DNA collected internationally from 360 men with advanced prostate cancer that had spread.They found that the tumors of 7 per cent of these men were missing both copies of a gene called CDK12, a trait that was linked with a unique pattern of additional genetic changes.Tumors with this genetic profile contained a higher number of immune cells than other forms of advanced prostate cancer.They also had a higher number of protein fragments on their surface, called neoantigens, which flag tumor cells to the immune system. Tumors that are associated with large numbers of immune cells and neoantigens often respond better to immunotherapy, presumably because the immune system has already begun to recognize elements of the cancer as foreign.In a small pilot clinical study carried out in the US as part of the research, two out of four men with advanced prostate cancer whose tumors had CDK12-linked genetic changes responded remarkably well to the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab.It follows the results of a clinical trial led by the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust which showed pembrolizumab could benefit a subset of patients with advanced prostate cancer who had run out of existing treatment options.In the new study, the pattern of genetic changes linked with the missing copies of the CDK12 gene was distinct from other, previously identified genetic subtypes of prostate cancer, making this an entirely separate form of the disease.Related StoriesResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellIf the research can be replicated in larger numbers of patients, it could lead to introduction of a genetic test as a precursor to offering immunotherapy.In future, CDK12 could also be explored as a genetic weakness that could be targeted by new precision drugs for prostate cancer. Professor Johann de Bono, Regius Professor of Cancer Research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:”Immunotherapy works for a relatively small group of men with advanced prostate cancer – but when it works, it really works. If we can identify in advance who will benefit, then it should accelerate the passage of immunotherapy into routine use for patients.”Our new study has revealed a distinct group of men with advanced prostate cancer whose tumors have biological features that could make them likely to respond to immunotherapy drugs such as pembrolizumab.”We now need larger clinical studies to further study the benefit of immunotherapy in this group of patients. In the future, a genetic test could help pick out men with this particular set of genetic changes, so that they can be considered for immunotherapy.”Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:”Increasing our understanding of the biological and genetic features of cancer is vital in the search for smarter, kinder cancer treatments.”It’s exciting that this study may have cracked the underlying biology of why only some men with prostate cancer appear to respond well to immunotherapy.”I look forward to this work being taken forward as soon as possible with the aim of ensuring that some men with prostate cancer can start having the same kinds of benefit from immunotherapy that we are seeing in other tumor types.”Howard Soule, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief science officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, said:”The identification of CDK12 loss as a possible biomarker for identifying prostate cancer patients who may respond to checkpoint immunotherapy is a hugely significant finding, as researchers have struggled with how to effectively use immunotherapy in prostate cancer for many years.Source: https://www.icr.ac.uk/news-archive/gene-testing-could-identify-men-with-prostate-cancer-who-may-benefit-from-immunotherapylast_img read more

Scientists develop new understanding of how psychiatric diseases manifest and can be

first_img Source:https://www.feinsteininstitute.org/ Jul 3 2018Research scientists from The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, NY, in conjunction with their colleagues at Rockefeller University in New York City, have developed a new understanding of how certain psychiatric diseases – those that involve uncontrollable reactions to stimuli such as the high and low experiences attributed to bi-polar disorder, the impulsivity of an individual suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even suicidality – manifest and potentially can be treated. These findings were published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).The paper, entitled “Molecular Profiling of Reticular Gigantocellularis Neurons Indicates that eNOS Modulates Environmentally Dependent Levels of Arousal,” focuses on the neurons that are specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses of the medullary reticular nucleus gigantocelluraris (NGC), an area deep in the brainstem just above the spinal cord that activates response to stimuli. Researchers used a recently-developed technique called “retro-TRAP” that allows for the identification of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) molecules or pathways within neurons. The study identified the presence within the mRNA of an enzyme known as endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which previously was found primarily in blood vessels – not in neurons.”Discovering that eNOS was in neurons was quite unexpected and led to further studying when and how the eNOS within neurons is activated, and how such activation manifests in the body,” said Joel N.H. Stern, PhD, co-senior author of the paper and associate professor, departments of neurology, surgery, science education, and molecular medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and co-director of the Autoimmune Brain Disorder Center at Lenox Hill Hospital.Hypothesizing that mutated eNOS in NGC brain cells might be responsible for incongruous reactionary behavior that continues well after the stimulating event passes, the researchers conducted two key experiments on mice: First, they tested under which conditions eNOS was active. Because it is a molecule that produces nitric oxide (NO), researchers were able to monitor its level of activity by monitoring the levels of oxidation in the cells. While the mice were in a familiar environment in their home cage, eNOS was not very active. When these mice were then exposed to various new environments and experiences, the activity of the eNOS increased significantly during the period of exposure and immediately after.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryNext, the researchers sought to understand what behavior would manifest if eNOS in NGC brain cells were blocked or inhibited. A chemical that inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO), effectively preventing eNOS from functioning, was precisely microinfused specifically into the NGC of the mice. Then mice with and without active eNOS were exposed to different environments and experiences where they were able to freely explore. When the mice with inactivated eNOS were returned to their cages after exposure to the stimuli, they behaved in a hyperactive way long after the stimuli were removed.”A human analogy might be when a person gets excited by something good that happens and cannot come down from that high, or alternatively, gets stuck in a depressive state after a negative experience,” Dr. Stern said.Since multiple prior studies have found genetic mutations in the eNOS gene (NOS-III) in humans with various aspects of bipolar and major depressive disorder, including suicidality, the implications of this study may be far reaching. It suggests that NOS-III mutations may contribute to the development of these psychiatric problems, and relief may perhaps come in the form of optimizing the production of nitric oxide.”The discovery of the presence of eNOS in NGC brain cells, and the effect of eNOS on the length of reactions to stimuli, may signal a new understanding and the discovery of a new mechanism for how certain psychiatric diseases that involve a mutation of the NOS-III gene can potentially be treated or controlled,” said Dr. Stern.last_img read more

ASU joins with Mayo Clinic to move blue clays closer to medical

first_imgAug 21 2018Researchers at Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have found that at least one type of blue clay may help fight disease-causing bacteria in wounds, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The findings appear in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.This work builds on earlier ASU-led research into how two metallic elements — chemically reduced iron and aluminum — in blue clays operate in tandem to kill germs. That research involved the use of ASU’s NanoSIMS, which is part of the National Science Foundation-supported Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Facility.”Our new results go beyond testing the clays against free-floating bacteria,” says Lynda Williams, a clay-mineral geologist at ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. “A more common situation in treating infections is dealing with biofilms — essentially self-supporting colonies of bacteria.”Biofilms occur when bacteria attach to surfaces and develop a film or protective coating, making them relatively antibiotic-resistant. An everyday example, Williams says, is the film on your teeth first thing in the morning.Roughly two-thirds of the infections seen by doctors, nurses, and other health care providers involve biofilms.”We showed that this reduced iron-bearing clay can kill some strains of bacteria under the laboratory conditions used, including bacteria grown as biofilms, which can be particularly challenging to treat,” says Robin Patel, a physician, clinical microbiologist, and infectious diseases specialist at Mayo. She is senior author of the study.”This study is an important advance in understanding how clays, specifically blue clay from Oregon, have shown medicinal properties against pathogenic bacteria,” says Enriqueta Barrera, program director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences, which funded the research.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerIn laboratory tests the researchers found the clay has antibacterial effects against bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, including resistant strains such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).The research is preliminary, and the authors caution that only one concentration of the clay suspension was tested. The lab tests are a first step in simulating the complex environment found in an actual infected wound.They also caution that not all types of clay are beneficial. Some may actually help bacteria grow. More research is needed to identify and reproduce the properties of clays that are antibacterial, with the goal of possibly synthesizing a consistent compound of the key minerals under quality control.The next steps, Williams says, will involve using ASU’s NanoSIMS to investigate how the clays transfer chemical elements into bacteria and kill them. “We will be synthesizing pure clays that mimic the natural clays’ antibacterial mechanism, and we will be evaluating their impact on infectious diseases.”Williams explains that she has been researching the effects of antibacterial clays since 2004.”We were especially glad to interest Mayo in this research,” she says. “Our earlier results pointed the way, yet they have the facilities and resources to test these blue clays against pathogens to a degree that we could not.”Source: https://asunow.asu.edu/20180820-asu-partners-mayo-clinic-move-germ-killing-clays-closer-medical-uselast_img read more

Study finds main reasons why people die after noncardiac surgery

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 27 2018The main reasons why people die after noncardiac surgery are revealed today in a study of more than 40,000 patients from six continents presented in a late breaking science session at ESC Congress 2018. Myocardial injury, major bleeding, and sepsis contributed to nearly three-quarters of all deaths.”There’s a false assumption among patients that once you’ve undergone surgery, you’ve ‘made it’,” said study author Dr Jessica Spence, of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), a joint institute of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. “Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and now we have a much better sense of when and why people die after noncardiac surgery. Most deaths are linked to cardiovascular causes.”The VISION study included 40,004 patients aged 45 years or older undergoing noncardiac surgery and remaining in hospital for at least one night. Patients were recruited from 27 centers in 14 countries in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia, and monitored for complications until 30 days after their surgery.The researchers found that 715 (1.8%) patients died within 30 days after noncardiac surgery. Of those, 505 (71%) died in hospital (including four [0.6%] in the operating room), and 210 (29%) died after discharge from hospital. Dr Spence said: “One in 56 patients died within 30 days of noncardiac surgery and nearly all deaths occurred after leaving the operating room, with more than a quarter occurring after hospital discharge.”Eight perioperative complications – including five cardiovascular – were associated with death within 30 days postoperatively. The top three complications, which contributed to nearly three-quarters of all deaths, were myocardial injury after noncardiac surgery (MINS; 29%), major bleeding (25%), and sepsis (20%).”We’re letting patients down in postoperative management,” said principal investigator Professor Philip J. Devereaux, director of cardiology at McMaster University. “The study suggests that most deaths after noncardiac surgery are due to cardiovascular causes, so cardiologists have a major role to play to improve patient safety. This includes conducting blood and imaging tests to identify patients at risk then giving preventive treatment, including medications that prevent abnormal heart rhythms, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and prevent blood clots.”Related StoriesResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitEarlier findings from the VISION study showed that a simple blood test can identify MINS, enabling clinicians to intervene early and prevent further complications. The blood test measures a protein called high-sensitivity troponin T which is released into the bloodstream when injury to the heart occurs.Regarding cardiovascular complications, MINS occurred in 5,191 (13%) patients and independently increased the risk of 30-day mortality by 2.6-fold; major bleeding occurred in 6,238 (16%) patients and increased risk by 2.4-fold; 372 (0.9%) patients had congestive heart failure, which raised risk by 1.6-fold; 152 (0.4%) patients had deep venous thrombosis which raised risk by 2.1-fold; and 132 (0.3%) patients had a stroke, which increased risk by a factor of 1.6.Regarding noncardiovascular complications associated with 30-day mortality, sepsis occurred in 1,783 (4.5%) patients and independently increased risk by 5.7-fold; infection occurred in 2,171 (5.4%) patients and raised risk by 1.9-fold; and 118 patients (0.3%) had acute kidney injury resulting in new dialysis, which increased risk by 4.7-fold.”Combined, these discoveries tell us that we need to become more involved in care and monitoring after surgery to ensure that patients at risk have the best chance for a good recovery,” said Dr Spence, who is also an anesthesiologist at HHS and a PhD candidate at McMaster University.Source: https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/study-reveals-when-and-why-people-die-after-noncardiac-surgerylast_img read more

Religious or not we all misbehave

first_imgBenjamin Franklin tracked his prideful, sloppy, and gluttonous acts in a daily journal, marking each moral failing with a black ink dot. Now, scientists have devised a modern update to Franklin’s little book, using smart phones to track the sins and good deeds of more than 1200 people. The new data—among the first to be gathered on moral behavior outside of the lab—confirm what psychologists have long suspected: Religious and nonreligious people are equally prone to immoral acts.Lab studies have backed that view, by asking participants to interpret moral vignettes or play games that tempt players to cheat, says Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University in New York City. In a 2008 review for Science, for example, researchers found that believers act more morally than nonreligious people only when interacting with other members of their own religious community. Such selectivity makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, Haidt says. If, as some scientists hypothesize, religion evolved to increase social cohesion, it shouldn’t just make you “blindly nice to everybody; it should make you more virtuous when you are interacting with others of the same faith.”Lab studies have limitations, however. The artificial scenarios they rely on can’t tell researchers much about how religious and nonreligious people behave in daily life, or whether moral considerations are “even relevant” to how people actually behave, says Daniel Wisneski, a moral psychologist at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a co-author of the new study, which appears online today in Science. Wisneski and colleagues used Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets to recruit 1252 adults ages 18 to 68 throughout the United States and Canada. Tempted by the possibility of winning an iPod Touch through a lottery, participants downloaded an app to their smart phones which allowed researchers to buzz them via text five times a day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. When they opened the texts, participants were prompted to open a link where they could confidentially report whether they’d witnessed, heard about, or performed any moral or immoral acts within the past hour, and jot down a description. They also entered details about how intensely they felt about the event, rating emotions such as disgust on a 0 to 5 scale.Reading through the 13,240 messages that the team received over the course of the 3-day study “was an interesting process,” Wisneski says. Participants confessed offenses both tawdry and peculiar: “Arranging adulterous encounter” and “[h]ired someone to kill a muskrat that’s ultimately not causing any harm” were two examples. Although Wisneski says that the negative reports periodically got him down, tidings of good deeds soon lifted his spirits. One person said that they “gave a homeless man an extra sandwich,” for instance, and another reported hearing about an organization that “freed Beagles that had never seen daylight or felt grass.”Overall, people who had identified themselves as religious or nonreligious when they registered for the study committed both moral and immoral deeds with “comparable frequency,” the team reports.  Unsurprisingly, being the target of a positive moral act made people feel slightly better than actually performing one, the researchers found. Benefiting from a good deed made participants more likely to do something nice for someone else later on, a phenomenon known as moral contagion, Haidt says.The study also confirmed that people with different political views emphasize different moral values. Many of the reported moral acts centered on avoiding harm to others or protecting people from oppression. But other values were at play, too. Wisneski and lead author Wilhelm Hofmann spent weeks classifying the reported acts according to six moral principles identified by Haidt and his colleagues: care for others, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, and sanctity. They found that conservatives were more likely than liberals to report acts involving sanctity and respect for authority, and liberals were more likely than conservatives to talk about fairness—a result that replicates earlier findings in the lab, Haidt says. In addition to Haidt’s six original values, the team found that participants’ judgments reflected two others, honesty and self-discipline, which they used to classify behaviors such as sneaking fast food “though I promised someone I wouldn’t have it.”An obvious weakness of the study is that people’s view of themselves may color how they report their own behavior, says Fiery Cushman, a moral psychologist at Harvard University. Still, it’s reassuring to see phenomena such as moral contagion, which have been observed in experiments, replicated in everyday life, he says. “It’s kind of a report card on what we’ve learned from the lab.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Trumps 2018 budget will squeeze civilian science agencies

first_img Trump’s 2018 budget will squeeze civilian science agencies Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By David MalakoffFeb. 27, 2017 , 5:45 PM Email The chunk of the federal budget that includes most of the U.S. government’s spending on basic science would shrink by 10.5% in 2018 under a plan outlined today by President Donald Trump and administration officials.It is unlikely that all civilian science budgets would see cuts under the proposal—and some could even get increases. But the spending blueprint, which would have to be approved by Congress, highlights the financial pressures that civilian research agencies will face as Trump and the Republican majority in both houses of Congress attempt to carry out campaign promises to raise defense spending while reining in the rest of federal spending.White House officials said today that they will ask Congress to increase discretionary defense spending by $54 billion, to $603 billion, in the 2018 fiscal year which begins 1 October. They expect to pay for that increase by cutting an equivalent amount from nondefense discretionary spending—the part of the budget that includes major basic research funders.  That means a potential squeeze on the $31 billion National Institutes of Health, the $7 billion National Science Foundation, the $5 billion Office of Science at the Department of Energy, as well as all other civilian science programs. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Donald J. Trump Drew Angerer/Getty Images Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) To reach its defense spending goal, however, the White House will need to persuade Congress to change a 2011 law, known as the Budget Control Act (BCA), that was designed to maintain a balance between military and civilian spending. It places a binding cap on discretionary spending, which accounts for roughly one-third of the $3.5 trillion that the federal government spends annually (the other two-thirds goes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, other kinds spending required by law, and paying interest on the national debt). In 2018, that cap is $549 billion for discretionary defense spending, $54 billion below Trump’s plan. The ceiling for nondefense discretionary spending is $515 billion.The White House has not said exactly how it would reduce nondefense spending by $54 billion to the targeted $461 billion, but has promised to slash foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, and programs that address climate change. Those details will emerge from negotiations between Trump budget officials and the civilian agencies, which have been asked to propose ways to tighten spending. The White House has said it will send an outline of its spending proposal to Congress on 16 March, with greater detail coming in following months.The plan is already drawing complaints from members of Congress. Some Republicans are criticizing the defense increase as too small, and some Democrats have vowed to fight spending cuts and block any change to the 2011 law that does not increase nondefense spending. Changing the BCA could require 60 votes in the Senate, meaning eight of the body’s Democrats or Independents would have to join with the Senate’s 52 Republicans.last_img read more

How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humane

first_imgThe algae octopus (Abdopus aculeatus) was one of three subjects in a study of anesthesia. 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 (*) “You’re doing your surgery, but you don’t know if the animal still feels it and you’ve just stolen its ability to respond,” says biologist Robyn Crook of San Francisco State University (SFSU) in California. Until recently, researchers working with octopuses, squids, and other cephalopods routinely faced this dilemma, an ethical and, in some cases, legal challenge to studying these intelligent creatures in the laboratory. But Crook has now shown that both ordinary alcohol and magnesium chloride are effective anesthetics—crucial information for scientists pursuing cephalopod research.Cephalopods might not seem to be ideal laboratory animals. They’re exclusively marine, so a complex seawater system is needed to keep them alive, and they’re disinclined to stay put—octopuses can escape through minuscule holes, while squids may jet right out of their tanks. But their unique biology and behavior have made them indispensable to researchers in many fields. Studies of the squid’s giant axon helped spawn modern neuroscience decades ago, and the light organ of the bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) powered a revolution in the study of symbiotic host-microbe interactions. Today, some researchers are studying how the animals accomplish their striking feats of regeneration, while others use them in ecotoxicology studies; cephalopods even guide research into the origins of consciousness.Because of their complex brains, cephalopods became the first invertebrates to be protected by laboratory animal laws. In 1991, the Canadian Council on Animal Care decided to extend the standards for vertebrate care to cephalopods, meaning, among other things, that researchers have to get ethical approval for their studies and must use anesthesia, when possible, for procedures that could cause pain. Since then, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and some Australian states have passed similar regulations. The biggest expansion of cephalopod rights came in 2013, when an EU-wide directive gave them the same protections as vertebrates in scientific studies in 28 countries. ALEX MUSTARD/MINDEN PICTURES How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humanecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email By Danna StaafApr. 4, 2018 , 2:00 PM Although the new regulations create extra hurdles, EU researchers have generally been able to continue their work, says Graziano Fiorito, a cephalopod neuroscientist at the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples, Italy. “We can do whatever research is scientifically, logically justifiable,” he says.But a crucial question remained: Do the anesthetics widely used in cephalopods actually work? Most researchers use either ethanol or magnesium chloride because they immobilize cephalopods quickly and the animals soon recover without lasting effects. But paralysis isn’t the same as anesthesia, and previous studies of cephalopod anesthesia all used behavioral indicators as a measure of efficacy. None addressed the question of whether the animals were unconscious or felt pain, Crook says.At workshops, European researchers raised what Jennifer Mather, a cephalopod ethologist at the University of Lethbridge in Canada, calls “the horrible specter” that the drugs might be mere muscle relaxants, blocking motion but not sensation. In 2017, Crook, who was already studying the response of the cephalopod nervous system to pain and injury, returned home from one of these workshops determined to set the specter to rest.Her team recorded nerve signals from three cephalopod species: a cuttlefish and two species of octopus. The experimental technique relied on the pallial nerve, which lies just inside the cephalopod mantle cavity, transmitting signals from the mantle to the brain and back. Exposed and accessible, the nerve can be hooked up to an electrode noninvasively. Even so, the procedure isn’t always easy: “The octopuses like to pull out the electrode,” says collaborator Samantha Brophy of SFSU, and cuttlefish research “is like working with a cat,” says another SFSU collaborator, Hanna Butler-Struben. “You can’t really force them to do anything.”Once the electrodes were hooked up, the team added anesthetics to the seawater in the animals’ tanks, then pinched their skin lightly at regular intervals—not exactly a painful stimulus, but enough to produce a nerve signal in a conscious animal. As the anesthetized animals lost their physical responsiveness, the scientists wanted to see whether signals that mark the brain’s ability to perceive sensations also disappeared.Magnesium chloride and ethanol both passed the test in all three species—though each with its own caveat. Magnesium chloride cut off an animal’s physical responses to stimuli 15 minutes before it deadened the signals for sensation, leaving the animal temporarily in a vulnerable state of appearing anesthetized when it wasn’t yet. “That was a real eye-opener for us,” Crook says. “That changed our practices in the lab.” Ethanol shut down both movement and sensation simultaneously—although not before causing the animals to tense and rub their tentacles in typical cleaning behavior, a sign of irritation. That’s not a big surprise, Fiorito says: “If I put ethanol in your eye, even in solution, you’re not going to be in a good state.”The team also tested ether, which caused anesthesia but had a much longer recovery period. It’s also hazardous for researchers, so Crook’s team recommends against its use. Another drug candidate, MS-222, failed to cause anesthesia in a lower dose but was fatal in a higher one. A bath in chilled seawater, another proposed method, didn’t cause anesthesia either. (On the other hand, they found that injections with lidocaine and magnesium chloride readily triggered local anesthesia, which might be useful in some experiments.)The data, published 20 February in Frontiers in Physiology, come as a welcome relief to many scientists. “This is what we needed,” Mather says. “I care about my animals and I want to see them properly cared for.” Fiorito notes, however, that nerve signals don’t give the full picture. Additional research “should show the real mechanism of the molecule used, and what receptors are silenced so that the animal can actually be in an anesthetized state.”Cephalopod research is not regulated in the United States, but most researchers, including Crook, already use magnesium chloride or ethanol as anesthetics when needed. Whether to implement official rules is under debate. In January, the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International proposed altering its definition of “laboratory animal” to include cephalopods, but the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology opposed the change.Brophy points out that the new data will make it easier for researchers to follow their consciences, regardless of what regulations require. “You can treat cephalopods humanely when you’re doing research with them,” she says. “And that should always be a standard, I believe.”*Correction 4 April, 6:25 p.m.: An earlier version of this story misspelled Hanna Butler-Struben’s name.last_img read more

Your behavior in Starbucks may reveal more about you than you think

first_imgChinese in northern regions like drinking lattes on their own. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Your behavior in Starbucks may reveal more about you than you think By Dennis NormileApr. 25, 2018 , 2:15 PM How you behave in Starbucks may reveal something about whether your ancestors grew wheat or rice. That’s the conclusion of a new study in China, which finds that people descended from wheat farmers—who largely rely on themselves—typically drink coffee alone, whereas descendants of rice growers—who must work with their community to build complex irrigation fields—tend to sip in groups. These differences persist, even if a person has moved to a city and their family hasn’t farmed or grown rice for generations.”I find the study very persuasive,” says Richard Nisbett, a sociologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who was not involved in the work. “It certainly is plausible that the differences between cultures are carried across generations even though the practices that gave rise to the culture are now rare.”Psychologists generally agree that—by very rough measure—Western cultures allow individuality to thrive, whereas most Asian cultures emphasize group responsibility. One line of thinking traces these traits back to early farming practices. Wheat farmers—such as those living in China’s north—can grow their crop pretty much on their own. But it takes a village to build the irrigation systems that flood China’s southern rice paddies. And because rice farming takes about twice as much work per hectare as wheat, early rice farming communities gave rise to cooperative systems of labor. The argument goes on to say that millennia later, these differences in behavior persist.    Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sorbis/shutterstock.com Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Thomas Talhelm, a sociologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, decided to test those theories in an unlikely place: Starbucks. The team observed nearly 9000 people in 256 coffee shops, including local operations and international chains such as Starbucks. They ran their experiment in six cities: Beijing and Shenyang, in China’s northern wheat belt; and the southern cities of Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, all in the traditional rice-growing region. Sure enough, on weekdays, roughly 10% more people were drinking their lattes alone in the wheat region than in the rice region. On weekends, that difference dropped to about 5%. (The researchers don’t have an explanation, this is their observation.)In a second experiment, Talhelm and his team got creative. Psychological studies have also found that when individualists run into a problem they are likely to try to change the situation, he says, whereas collectivists are more likely to adapt themselves to the circumstances. So in selected Starbucks shops, the team set up a chair trap. They would position two chairs so that their backs were separated by the width of the researcher’s hips. Patrons walking through the store would have to either move the chairs or turn sideways to squeeze through them. Most of the 678 Starbucks patrons just squeezed on through. But whereas only 6% of the southerners moved the chairs, 16% of the northerners did. (Follow-up questions by the researchers found that about 90% of the people in the Starbucks shops were from the respective local rice or wheat cultural region.)The fact that these differences appeared among mostly middle-class city people suggests that rice-wheat differences are still alive and well in modern China, the authors conclude today in Science Advances.Nisbett thinks the study did its job. “The chair technique is clever,” he says, adding that it’s far superior to observational research, survey-based research, and studies in the lab.Zhou Xiaoyu, an economist at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, who is originally from Beijing, agrees. “I believe they have done a good job at demonstrating that rice versus wheat farming has profound effects on cultural norms.”Talhelm says his team is considering trying a similar study in India, where there is also a split between rice- and wheat-growing areas. Unlike the different regions in China, where there are north-south climatic differences, the differing regions in India are all in similar climatic zones. Climate is a variable that could influence culture, so taking that issue out of the equation could answer the question of whether colder climes induce individualism.Talhelm notes that the results also raise questions about expectations that Chinese would become more individualistic as they modernized, grew wealthy, and congregated in cities. He notes the cities in the southern rice areas are wealthier, more crowded, and more developed than the northern cities of Beijing and Shenyang. Yet the northerners still appear to be more individualistic. “People’s farming legacies seem to be more important than [gross domestic product] in explaining their everyday behavior,” he says.last_img read more

Elephant trunks are longdistance food detectors

first_imgRichard Du Toit/Minden Pictures Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Elephant trunks are long-distance food detectors By Victoria DavisAug. 6, 2018 , 10:50 AM An elephant’s trunk is the Swiss army knife of appendages: It’s used to breathe, communicate, and even lift objects. Now, a new study finds another use—sniffing out food across long distances.  Researchers have long known that elephants and other plant-eating mammals seek their supper with their eyes. But scientists at the Adventures with Elephants facility near Bela Bela, South Africa, wanted to know whether they could do the same thing with their trunks. So they collected 11 plants eaten by wild African elephants (Loxodonta africana), six of which the animals loved and five of which were not nearly as appealing.  In one experiment, the elephants had to use their sense of smell to choose between two small samples of plants concealed in black plastic bins. The elephants tended to pick “preferred” plants when the other option was a nonpreferred species, but they had a harder time choosing if both plants were either “preferred” or “nonpreferred.” In a second experiment, the elephants were put into a Y-shaped maze, with a different plant at each end of two 7-meter-long arms. In this formulation, they always chose the preferred plant over the less desired species, the researchers report in Animal Behavior. They were even able to differentiate between plants that fell closely together on the love-hate scale. 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 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The results suggest that African elephants can detect plant aromas from a distance, the researchers write, using their trunks to navigate the landscape and find the best places to dig up dinner.last_img read more

After outcry Battelle reinstates science panel at ecological observatory

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jeffrey MervisJan. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PM 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 The contractor running a major U.S. ecological research facility has reversed its decision to disband a scientific advisory panel. The move had drawn fierce criticism from researchers.Battelle Memorial Institute, the Columbus-based nonprofit that manages the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) for the National Science Foundation (NSF), said today it will reinstate the project’s Science, Technology & Education Advisory Committee (STEAC). Batelle had dissolved the panel last week, hours after NEON’s chief scientist, Sharon Collinge, resigned. Collinge acted after Battelle fired two senior NEON managers without her knowledge and consent.A Battelle official apologized today to STEAC’s 20 members and invited them to meet with the project’s acting chief scientist, Eugene Kelly. “My decision to dissolve the STEAC was based on my erroneous assumption that such advisory bodies were routinely reconstituted at the change of leadership of NSF large facilities,” Michael Kuhlman, Battelle’s chief scientist, explained in an email to the researchers, several of whom had threatened to resign in support of Collinge. “That was incorrect, and I accept full responsibility for my error.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Travis Huxman, chair of STEAC and a plant physiologist at the University of California, Irvine, sees the reinstatement as an important step as the 81-site facility, based in Boulder, Colorado, moves from construction to operations. On 14 January, he and other former STEAC members had written to Battelle and NSF, urging the reinstatement of the panel.“It’s rare that I complain and that something good comes from it,” Huxman says. But he’s pleased. “Our goal is to preserve the community’s voice in this important project. And I think this [email] is what the members were looking for.”Huxman responded immediately to Kuhlman, writing that panel members “are committed to work with you to make NEON a success.” STEAC’s next meeting was scheduled for April, and Huxman says he hopes to stick to that schedule. Trevor Frost After outcry, Battelle reinstates science panel at ecological observatory A collection tower at one of the 81 National Ecological Observatory Network sites that will be gathering environmental data for decades.last_img read more

These flower mites may avoid pesticides by hiding out in a roses

first_imgThe mites embed themselves in the tiny hairs on a flower’s sepals, the leaflike appendages located at its base. This placement may protect the mites from insecticides and sprays, the scientists suggest.For rose producers, breeders, and enthusiasts, these findings could help find ways to stop the mite from spreading. By Helen SantoroApr. 10, 2019 , 2:25 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) These flower mites may avoid pesticides by hiding out in a rose’s internal organs While stopping and smelling the roses, keep an eye out for signs of the tiny mites that may be living inside them. The rose bud mite (Phyllocoptes fructiphilus) is half as big as a grain of salt, and it spreads a virus that has been devastating roses across the United States since the 1940s. So far, this virus has been deemed incurable. Now, scientists may have figured out why these mites are so hard to find and control: They take up residence deep within the flower’s internal organs.Rose bud mites transfer the rose rosette virus while feeding on the flower. This virus then transforms the once-beautiful plant into one with excessive thorns, deformed flowers, and tight clusters of flower buds called rosettes. Since the mite was discovered in California, this disease has spread to 30 states.To gain a clearer picture of how these mites wreak such havoc, scientists studied the stems, leaves, and flowers of both diseased and healthy roses from 10 states and Washington, D.C. The team reports in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture that high-resolution images revealed that the mites hide deep within the flowers. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit last_img read more

Reorganization sparks turmoil at Copenhagens research powerhouse museum

first_img The museum grew out of a 2001 merger of the university’s Botanical Garden, Botanical Museum and Library, Geological Museum, and Zoological Museum. The vision, says Eske Willerslev, who studies ancient DNA and heads the Centre for GeoGenetics at the museum, was to “create a prominent place where citizens could [find] the best researchers and look over their shoulders.” Research collaborations have since led to breakthrough discoveries about human migrations and the effects of climate change on biodiversity. Just last month, a team led by a museum glaciologist announced in Science Advances the discovery of a giant impact crater under Greenland’s ice sheet. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen have made major discoveries about human migrations and the impacts of climate change. 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 Over the past decade, the 40 researchers at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen have published more than 100 papers in Nature and Science, putting it among the world’s top research museums. But budget pressures are forcing a reorganization that will split museum research from curation and outreach. The museum’s scientists are dismayed, and several of the most prominent group leaders say they may leave.Previously, the museum was its own department within the University of Copenhagen. But last month, the university announced that, as of 1 January 2019, the museum will be downsized, becoming a unit within the biology department. Roughly half of the 40 researchers will remain part of that unit; they will give up some of their research to focus on curation and outreach. The other half will become full faculty within the biology department—including the geologists and astrophysicists. These scientists will lose their affiliation with the museum and replace their curatorial roles with increased teaching duties.Divorcing the scientists’ dual roles will curtail the fruitful ways that curation pollinates research, and vice versa, says Carsten Rahbek, who heads the museum’s Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate and who is slated to become a biology professor. (The center will move with him.) “The curation is driven by the research,” he says. “It’s not like a library where you go borrow a book and then go do cutting-edge research. If you don’t have a say in how [the collection] develops, in 2 or 3 years you won’t be able to use it anymore.” Reorganization sparks turmoil at Copenhagen’s research powerhouse museum Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Kit Leong/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM By Gretchen VogelDec. 3, 2018 , 3:00 AM An iron meteorite displayed in the courtyard of the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen helped inspire the discovery of a giant crater in Greenland. ISTOCK.COM/carstenbrandt But the museum is under financial pressure. Although it will begin construction next year on a 950 million Danish kroner ($144 million) building to house state-of-the-art exhibits, the museum has run budget deficits in recent years. Last week, it laid off 17 people, including some research staff. Moving some of the researchers out of the museum unit and into the biology department—and boosting their teaching loads—will help shore up finances, says Museum Director Peter Kjærgaard.Kjærgaard adds that focusing the museum’s resources on curation and outreach will allow it to make the collections more widely available for researchers, the public, even companies and nonprofits. John Renner Hansen, dean of the Faculty of Science at the university, says researchers who want to maintain their museum affiliation will have to do significant curation and outreach work. But he argues that the changes shouldn’t affect current collaborations. Labs and offices won’t move at all. “There are no physical changes, just a change of organization,” he says.But the formal separation of the researchers from the museum is important, even if it is not physical, says Minik Rosing, a geochemist at the museum, who is also slated to become a professor in the biology department. “It’s a redefinition of what a museum is, and what it means,” he says. He, Rahbek, and Willerslev all say they are considering leaving the university if the plans go forward. “We would prefer to stay and support the museum, but if its mission changes so completely, we will have to go elsewhere,” Rosing says.The separation is not only bad for the researchers; public outreach will also suffer, predicts Évelyne Heyer, who heads the department of eco-anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. “It’s not enough to present the collections,” she says. “You have to teach the people what the collection can do.”last_img read more

Poor sleep could clog your arteries A mouse study shows how that

first_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 (*) Email By Kelly ServickFeb. 13, 2019 , 1:40 PM Poor sleep could clog your arteries. A mouse study shows how that might happen Rough sleep is bad for your mind—and your heart. It can increase the risk of clogged arteries, which can lead to stroke or heart attacks. But how these two things are connected has been a mystery. Now, a study in mice reveals a link, based on signals the brain sends to bone marrow. If the story holds true in humans, the mechanism could help explain the connection between sleep and other conditions, from obesity to cancer.  “Not everyone who is sleep-deprived develops cardiovascular disease,” says Namni Goel, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia who was not involved in the work. The new mouse work “opens the door for human studies” that could sort out who is most at risk.In many forms of cardiovascular disease, fatty deposits build up on artery walls (a condition called atherosclerosis) and can rupture to cause a stroke or heart attack. Immune cells—in particular, white blood cells called monocytes—also play a key role. They flock to sites where these deposits have damaged blood vessels and they spawn cells that can contribute to the growing plaque. To follow up on the known connection between sleep and heart disease, immunologist Filip Swirski of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston wanted to explore whether sleep somehow triggered an immune process that spurs this dangerous buildup. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img The aortas of mice with interrupted sleep (right image) showed more plaque buildup (red) than those of mice that slept undisturbed. He and his colleagues studied mice that were genetically prone to arterial plaques. To disrupt sleep, they put a mouse in a cage where a metal bar periodically slid across the floor during the 12 daytime hours when mice normally rest. Every 2 minutes, the mouse would feel the nudge of the moving bar and wake up to step over it. While that sounds pretty miserable, Swirski notes that this is one of the least stressful sleep-interrupting techniques the field has dreamed up. (Others have sent mice plunging into water when they nod off.) He thinks of the setup in the experiments as “akin to constantly waking because there’s a little baby in the house.” C. S. McAlpine, et. al. Nature 10.1038 (2019) desvitlab/shutterstock.com Compared with sound-sleeping counterparts, mice that underwent 12 weeks of this fragmented sleep had both larger plaques in their arteries and higher levels of two kinds of white blood cells—monocytes and neutrophils—in their blood. The researchers found that these excess immune cells were produced by stem cells in the bone marrow, but they didn’t know what was making those stem cells so active.So the scientists looked to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain involved in regulating wakefulness. A signaling molecule the hypothalamus produces called hypocretin was decreased in the brains of mice with chronically poor sleep. Discovered in 1998 as a stimulator of appetite, hypocretin also promotes wakefulness, and the neurons that make it are deficient in the brains of people with narcolepsy. Swirski’s team found that other mice that were genetically unable to make hypocretin also had more immune cells in their blood, which suggested hypocretin might be an important brake on immune cell production.The researchers then searched mouse bone marrow for cells with a receptor for hypocretin on their surface. The hypocretin-sensitive cells, they discovered, were a subset of white blood cells. And hypocretin appeared to restrict their production of a growth-promoting protein that prompts bone marrow stem cells to make more immune cells. Depleting hypocretin took the brakes off the production of immune cells that would end up in the bloodstream and further clog arteries, the team reports online today in Nature.Why would the body have this kind of brain-bone signaling? Making immune cells costs energy, and in waking hours, an animal needs that energy for other activities, Swirski speculates. So hypocretin, in addition to promoting wakefulness, also tells bone marrow cells, “Hold off—we’re busy with other stuff.” When mice are repeatedly roused, it seems, these hypocretinmaking neurons worked overtime until they got overtaxed.This might not be the only mechanism linking sleep and vascular disease. But it could help explain the increased risk observed in humans, says José Ordovás, a geneticist at Tufts University in Boston whose team recently found that people getting poor or shortened sleep were more likely to develop atherosclerosis, even after controlling for risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure.Swirski’s team could prevent the effects of poor sleep on plaque by injecting the mice with extra hypocretin. Few scientists are ready to suggest based on mouse data alone that dosing people with hypocretin—a molecule with many complicated regulatory roles in the body—would be a good treatment for atherosclerosis. But the study does suggest that a drug that blocks hypocretin receptors—such as the insomnia treatment suvorexant, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2014—could raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, two Columbia University physicians, atherosclerosis researcher Alan Tall and sleep specialist Sanja Jelic, write in a commentary to be published alongside the paper.“The connection they’re making is very impressive,” neuroscientist Asya Rolls of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa says of the study. There’s no guarantee that humans have an identical system, and it’s very hard to make comparisons between mouse and human sleep, she notes. But she suspects that the pathway this group uncovered “is affecting much more than atherosclerosis.” For example, previous work has shown that fragmented sleep can boost tumor growth. “Once you start … to affect immunity, you are opening many other conditions that might be explained,” she says.last_img read more

Hundreds of Nazi war criminals fled to Argentina in the aftermath of

first_imgWhen the Allies raised their flags in Berlin, and when the German Instrument of Surrender was signed on the eve of May 8, 1945, one thing was clear to Nazi officers: Europe was no longer a safe refuge for them. Plus, the heart and the brain of the Third Reich was gone: the Führer, cornered, had taken his own life. But that didn’t mean that the entire network they had garnered had collapsed. Nazi admirers in fact still thrived. Spain was under a fascist-friendly rule. Plundered gold and other valuables were still secreted in Switzerland. There was a window of time to escape justice, flee the continent, and adopt new identities.Across the ocean, Argentina, under President Juan Domingo Perón, was more than ready to welcome members of the Nazi hierarchy with open arms. Perón, an avid admirer of the fascist ideology, helped numerous former SS officers to flee with the support of his own diplomats and intelligence agents deployed in Europe. He actively aided their passage from Italy and Spain to Buenos Aires.President Perón in 1946, during his inaugural parade.Perón had his own interests with such a generous offer, though his vision for the future did not come to fruition. He was confident a new world order was to follow, in which the Nazis would help Argentina dominate the globe, hopefully becoming more powerful than the U.S.A. or the Soviet Union.A cover page of “Crítica” sharing the news of a diplomatic break of Argentina with Berlin and Tokyo, 1944.Over the years Argentina grew unenthusiastic about keeping Nazis within its borders, especially after learning of the unimaginable extent of the Holocaust. Perón lost power in 1955. Subsequently, some of the war criminals quietly moved to other South American countries. Others remained in Argentina — including Adolf Eichmann, who had arrived in Buenos Aires in 1950.But without Perón, his bolt hole was no longer safe. The most wanted man was abducted by Israeli agents in Bueno Aires.The Red Cross identity document Adolf Eichmann used to enter Argentina under the fake name Ricardo Klement in 1950, issued by the Italian delegation of the Red Cross of Geneva.After the war, Eichmann first sought shelter in Austria. He was allegedly helped by the Vatican to falsify identity papers for his escape.Under the false name of Ricardo Klement, the former Nazi went unnoticed in Buenos Aires. He was able to get a coded message to his wife who came with their children to live in a middle-class suburb of the city.However, the world never forgot that he was a major orchestrator of the Holocaust. 10 Surviving Buildings Built By The Nazis During Their Time In PowerEichmann was eventually traced and captured by Mossad agents and brought to justice in Israel. His life was ended on May 31, 1962; it was the only death penalty ruled by the court of Israel in its history.Adolf Eichmann photographed during his trial in Jerusalem, Israel, 1961.If Adolf Eichmann was the “most wanted” Nazi, Josef Mengele perhaps scored second on the list. He was remembered for his cold-blooded experiments and torture on children, pregnant women, and disabled people who were detained in Auschwitz, which earned him the title Angel of Death. He also made it to Argentina and was daring enough to use his real name.For a while, his life was peaceful in the Argentine capital. Once the news that his compatriot Eichmann was captured reached him, Mengele sought refuge in Brazil. He died from a stroke in 1970. Authorities took six years to authenticate his identity as Mengele used a bogus identity once he came to Brazil.The three-judge panel trying Eichmann’s case consisted of Justice Moshe Landau, Dr.Benjamin Halevy, and Dr. Yitzhak Raveh.Other figures like Italian Erich Priebke and Croatian Dinko Šakić confessed some of their crimes in television interviews many years later. Priebke was noted for a 1944 massacre of over 300 Italian civilians, close to Rome. Another fugitive living in Argentina, he gave an interview for ABC News in 1994. When the piece aired on television, it resulted in Priebke’s extradition to Italy.Šakić, who was Commander of Jasenovac camp, run by the Ustashe (the Croatian pro-Nazi party), was rather forgotten by 1998. That year, he inadvertently set himself up during a TV interview that grabbed attention after he provided statements of his deeds during World War II. It eventually led to his deportation and trail in Croatia.Josef Mengele in 1956. Photo taken by a police photographer in Buenos Aires for Mengele’s Argentine identification document.More infamous Nazis who were caught included Franz Stangl and Josef Schwammberger. The first of them was convicted for the murder of 900,000 people in concentration camps. He was traced in Brazil. Schwammberger, a mass execution officer, was caught by Argentine officials after West Germany called for his extradition in the 1970s.Read another story from us: The Georgian Legion of the German Army stationed on the German-occupied Dutch island of Texel revolted against Nazi Germany.Justice didn’t prevail for everyone, however. There were many more former Nazis, probably hundreds more who just resumed their quiet cautious lives in the lands of South America.last_img read more

Recipients of government homes to get titles with conditions says Skerrit

first_imgShareTweetSharePinSkerrit addresses DLP supporters at a town hall meeting in New YorkPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that titles will be given to the Dominicans who are receiving houses from the government but indicated that certain conditions will be placed on them.Skerrit spoke at a town hall meeting in New York on June 22nd, 2019.“The majority of the people who are receiving homes will in fact get a title to these homes but there will be certain conditions placed on that and there will be some who will have lifetime access to their homes and if they were to pass on, the homes will revert to government ownership so we can pass it onto somebody else,” he said.He elaborated, “So, in case we have for example, a couple in their 80’s or 70’s who the government has given a home…that couple will have access to that home up until their death and that home will revert to the government so we could pass it to somebody else.” However, according to the prime minister, the majority of people will have actual titles. “Our laws also make provision or it allows for the granting of strata titles, so in a case where we have apartments, you can still have a title so you can use that as security in the bank and own your property and bequeath it to your children etc.,” Skerrit explained.A strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property such as an apartment or townhouse, combined with shared ownership in the remainder such as driveways, gardens etc.He stated homes will be given to persons who are the most vulnerable in society such as people who have stayed in the shelters for a long period of time, the elderly and families with children.Meantime, Skerrit told his audience that a decision on legalizing the ownership of a small portion of marijuana will soon be taken to parliament.“There are a number of Dominicans who were arrested and charged for possession of Marijuana in very small quantities…less than half an ounce and they have this on their record and cannot move on to another phase in their lives. So, we will be taking the discussion to go to parliament…so that people could have a clear record going forward,” the prime minister stated.Responding to a question regarding his government’s position on the exploration of the economic potential of marijuana, Skerrit told his audience that his government is moving in the same direction as a number of countries  but they want to ensure that whatever actions are taken are constructive “which will not necessarily harm the society.”“We’re looking at what has been done in some jurisdictions with regard to legislation and to see how we can model ours to be consistent with our own thinking,” he said. Skerrit added, “I will also be looking at the issue of some persons who are in prison now on marijuana charges again for small amounts and they were not able to pay the fine and they were incarcerated, we’ll be looking to have those persons released from prison and also have that particular matter expunge from their records as well.”He said the government is very strong on the issue of decriminalizing a certain quantity of marijuana so people can have in their possession for medicinal and religious purposes.last_img read more

Snowflake council members

first_imgPhoto by Amy ReifsnyderCouncilman Cory Johnson, Mayor Lynn Johnson and Councilman Terril Kay visit prior to the Snowflake Town Council meeting last Tuesday. One option to voicing compliments and concerns to the council is to visit the Mayor’s Corner portal on the town’s website at ci.snowflake.az.us. Snowflake council members RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adcenter_img October 17, 2017last_img

SnowflakeTaylor is well represented at international police conference

first_img By Linda Kor Snowflake-Taylor Police Chief Larry Scarber and Senior Sgt. Alan DeWitt traveled to the 124th International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Philadelphia last week. This event is the largest gathering ofSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photo courtesy of Police Chief Larry ScarberSnowflake-Taylor Police Chief Larry Scarber (center) shares a conversation with two commanders from the Bahamas during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference held recently in Philadelphia, Pa. November 1, 2017center_img Snowflake-Taylor is well represented at international police conferencelast_img read more

UP BJP MLA says no threat from him to daughter for marrying

first_img BJP will make Maharashtra Congress-mukt, says party state chief Chandrakant Patil By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 11, 2019 8:11:56 pm Was duped into joining BJP-backed film outfit, says actor Madhabi Mukhopadhyay Advertising Advertising UP BJP MLA says 'no threat' from him to daughter for marrying Dalit My daughter is an adult and has the right to take her own decision. Neither me nor my men or any member of my family has given any life threat to anyone,” Misra said. (Source: ANI/Twitter)Dismissing his daughter’s allegations that he posed a threat to her life for marrying a Dalit man, Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA Rajesh Misra Thursday said his daughter is an adult and “has the right” to make her own decision. “Whatever is going on against me in the media is wrong. My daughter is an adult and has the right to take her own decision. Neither me nor my men or any member of my family has given any life threat to anyone,” Misra said.Meanwhile, Sakshi and her husband Ajitesh today filed a petition in Allahabad High Court seeking protection from her family to “live a peaceful life” as a married couple. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 15 as the petitioners were not present in the court, PTI reported.On Wednesday, Bithari Chainpur legislator Misra’s daughter Sakshi Misra uploaded a video on social media announcing her marriage to Ajitesh Kumar which took place last week. In another video, she apprehended threat to her life from her father, brother and an associate, and urged police to extend security to the couple. READ | UP: BJP MLA’s daughter fears for life after marrying a Dalit Related News Claiming that he was engaged in party work, the BJP MLA added: “Me and my family are busy in our work. I am doing people’s work in my constituency and presently running BJP membership campaign. There is no threat to anyone from me.”Sakshi also appealed to the MPs and MLAs of Bareilly to not help Rajesh Misra as he was allegedly after her life. In the video, Misra’s 23-year-old daughter has apparently appealed to her father to let her live her life. She further warned him that if anything happened to her or her husband, she would do something that would put him behind bars.-with PTI inputs Uttarakhand legislator Pranav Singh expelled from BJP for six years over video with guns Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Mississippi politician blocks female reporter from campaign trip

first_img More Explained Top News Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising “I would much rather be called names by the liberal press than to be put in a situation where it could do damage to my marriage or my family.”In an email hours later, Foster struck a more conciliatory tone.“We don’t mind granting Ms. Campbell an interview,” he wrote. “We just want it to be in an appropriate and professional setting that wouldn’t provide opportunities for us to be alone.”Foster is running to the right of his opponents and is considered a long shot to win the primary election on Aug. 6, Mississippi Today has written.In a phone interview, Campbell said she believed that Foster’s comments on the radio program were disingenuous. She pointed to the many interviews she had conducted with him.“I have covered him very closely, and we wouldn’t have that kind of relationship if I were a biased writer,” she said.She said that Mississippi Today strives to do hard-hitting watchdog journalism and refuted the notion that it was a liberal organization.“They’re trying to take something that is inherently sexist — not giving a female reporter the same access they would give a male reporter — and they’re trying to turn it into this liberal versus conservative thing,” she said.“It’s just sexism, and that’s not a liberal or conservative issue.”She added that after posting her article on social media, she had heard from women around the country who were glad she had called attention to how politics is still seen as a largely male space.Here are answers to other questions you may have:What exactly is the ‘Billy Graham rule’?Graham, who died last year at 99, was the country’s best-known Christian evangelist. He sought to avoid any situation involving a woman other than his wife “that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion,” he wrote in his autobiography.Where does Mike Pence come in?More recently, the practice has been referred to as “the Mike Pence rule.”A 2017 Washington Post profile drew attention to a statement he made in 2002 that he would not eat alone with any woman other than his wife, or attend an event where alcohol was served without her.Where does public opinion stand?While many have criticized the practice as sexist, the attitude behind it is common among Americans: A 2017 poll conducted by Morning Consult for The New York Times found that many men and women are wary of a range of one-on-one situations.Around a quarter said that private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate, while nearly two-thirds believed that extra caution should be taken around members of the opposite sex at work, the poll found.And a majority of women — and nearly half of men — said it was unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.What are possible reasons for this?In the #MeToo era, some men have expressed greater reluctance to interact with women at work, wary of being accused of sexual harassment. That could curtail women’s opportunities.“What we’re seeing now is men are backing away from the role that we try to encourage them to play, which is actively mentoring and sponsoring women in the workplace,” Al Harris, who runs workplace equality programs, told The Times in a 2017 interview.What’s next in Mississippi?The Republican primary has drawn high interest from Mississippi readers, and political observers believe Foster could force a runoff vote, said R.L. Nave, the editor of Mississippi Today, a 3-year-old nonprofit site that seeks to provide information on government and politics in the state.Foster’s primary opponents are Bill Waller, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, both of whom agreed to let another reporter for the site, who happens to be male, shadow them.Nave said his organization decided to publish Campbell’s account of her interaction with the campaign in order to be transparent with readers. He still hopes that the Foster campaign will allow greater access. After the article was published, Foster responded on Twitter that he and his wife had committed to following the Billy Graham rule before he announced his candidacy.“I’m sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife,” he wrote.In a radio interview Wednesday, Foster said he had the same policy of not being alone with women at the agri-tourism business he runs. He said the report was slanted, and he criticized other write-ups of what happened.“That’s part of the process that I knew I was getting into, is that the media has their agenda and it doesn’t align very often with the conservative agenda,” he said. Robert Foster, a Republican state representative in Mississippi who is running for governor, blocked a female reporter from shadowing him on a campaign trip “to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise” his marriage.The reporter, Larrison Campbell of the news site Mississippi Today, wrote in an article published Tuesday night that Foster’s campaign manager, Colton Robison, had told her that a male colleague would need to accompany her for a “ride-along” on a 15-hour campaign trip around the state.Robison said that the campaign “believed the optics of the candidate with a woman, even a working reporter, could be used in a smear campaign to insinuate an extramarital affair,” Campbell wrote. Advertising Robert Foster, Robert Foster blocks female journalist, Robert Foster blocks female reporter, Mississippi In blocking the reporter, Foster, 36, invoked the “Billy Graham rule,” which refers to the Christian evangelist’s refusal to spend time alone with any woman who was not his wife. (Representational)Written by Karen Zraick Best Of Express By New York Times | Published: July 11, 2019 8:07:15 am Taking stock of monsoon rain Post Comment(s) Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising “Our women reporters are exposed to a lot of very sexist behavior by the men that they cover,” Nave said. “But this is the first time in the three years we’ve been in existence, and the first time in my 15-year career in journalism, that we’ve had this experience with a political candidate. And so for that reason, we thought it was news.” In blocking the reporter, Foster, 36, invoked the “Billy Graham rule,” which refers to the Christian evangelist’s refusal to spend time alone with any woman who was not his wife.The practice has drawn renewed attention in recent years, especially after the resurfacing of a 2002 comment by Vice President Mike Pence that he would not eat alone with any woman other than his wife.That led to a fierce debate among Americans, with some arguing that such limitations on interactions are necessary in the workplace, and others saying that they are unfair to women in professional settings and reduce them to sex objects.Campbell, 40, wrote in her article Tuesday that she and her editor had decided that the request was sexist and “an unnecessary use of resources” given her experience. She has interviewed Foster numerous times and broke the story of his candidacy. Robison would also have been present during the trip. But the campaign would not budge, she wrote. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence last_img read more