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Alien Satellite or Space Debris Theories on the Dark Object Orbiting Earth

first_imgIf you hear of the Black Knight, you might imagine an evil medieval knight, riding a black horse, pillaging entire villages and murdering people. Fear not. But perhaps at the end of this story, you just might wish your horse-backed dark knight were real.The Black Knight is the name of an obscure dark object orbiting Earth which was captured by a NASA astronaut on camera during a space shuttle mission in 1998. According to conspiracy theorists, the origin of this craft is extraterrestrial, and as some have “reasoned out,” it might be as old as 13,000 years.Mysteries about the Black Knight have been with us since the mid-20th century. In fact, there seems to be a rich amalgamation of several different stories, all relating to this strange, eerie object.A 1998 NASA photo of space debris, an object that some conspiracy theorists believe to be an extraterrestrial satellite.The Black Knight lore begins with Nikola Tesla. In 1899, the genius thought he had heard from aliens himself. That year, Tesla was carrying out experiments with a tall, bulky tower he had installed at his property in Colorado Springs. The pursuit of his endeavors was wireless power experiments, and as accounts suggest, he accidentally picked up some signals from outer space.Tesla did consider that the received signals might be coming from an intelligent life form, perhaps from someone on Mars. When he shared this with contemporaries, he was largely dismissed. Years later, in 1968, scientists were able to validate that Tesla could have really received some kind of transmission. However, the explanation was that any signal that arrived had probably been emitted from some object floating in space, such as pulsars.Tesla sitting in front of a spiral coil used in the wireless power experiments at his East Houston St. laboratory.Also, Tesla himself never asserted that he picked up something from a satellite making its way around Earth. But some conspiracy theorists have surmised that the origin of these transmissions was precisely the Black Knight.Further on in the narrative about this obscure artifact, floating somewhere out there near us, the Black Knight could have made its next contact in 1927. Only this time it surprised Jørgen Hals, an engineer from Norway who was carrying out radio signal experiments. Hals couldn’t explain why some of the signals he sent echoed back a few moments after the initial transmissions halted. For years, the mystery prevailed.NASA Apollo moon landings conspiraciesMore than four decades later, sci-fi writer Duncan Lunan penned an article that was published in Spaceflight Magazine, which tried to explain the strange signals picked up by Hals. He considered if perhaps an alien object, as old as 13,000 years and orbiting around the Moon, was the source of Hals mystery signals. Lunan never made any mention of the Black Knight, yet some theorists reportedly began affiliating the object he mentions with the estranged dark structure.A space blanket. Photo by Firetwister CC BY-SA 3.0Another sci-fi writer, Donald Edward Keyhoe, is also associated with the Black Knight phenomenon. Keyhoe was a retired Marine Corps naval aviator, someone who had researched UFOs and took on writing fiction. His work and writing were most popular during the 1950s and 1960s, when the Cold War was at its peak and science-fiction was entering its golden era.According to Keyhoe, aliens had indeed visited our home planet. Supposedly, he further made claims that a pair of satellites orbiting our planet were detected by the U.S. Air Force in 1954 (which is three years before the first human-launched satellite was sent into orbit). Presumably Keyhoe shared such statements to boost the popularity of his fiction.A 1998 NASA photo of space debris, aka the “Black Knight.”Keyhoe’s statements, again, are linked with the Black Knight, just like another story that showed up in Time Magazine in 1960. The story described a satellite in a strange near-polar orbit that was initially correlated with Soviet spying. A clearer explanation was published a few weeks later, saying the odd-looking piece belonged to the U.S. Discoverer satellite.In the end, the entire fuss about the Black Knight can be reduced to the spread of unsubstantiated stories and the unverified interpretation of others. According to NASA, and astronaut Jerry Ross, the object and all the stories connected to it are merely the result of a slip.International Space StationIn 1998, a space shuttle mission was carried out at the International Space Station, the same mission which provided the most compelling evidence to conspiracists about the existence of the Black Knight – photographs!The NASA mission that year, named STS-88, was launched on December 4, shortly after the time when construction of the International Space Station commenced, by joining together the U.S. and Russian modules, writes NASA.STS-88 lands at the Shuttle Landing Facility, December 15, 1998.Part of the mission included spacewalking, in which the team needed to install thermal space blankets for insulation on some of the components.During the proceedings they lost several items (a normal thing that happens with these kinds of missions), including one of the thermal blankets they carried. As the item traversed away from the astronauts, becoming unreachable in the vastness of space, they had it photographed. Following protocol, the piece was cataloged as space debris (the task of the U.S. Space Surveillance Network).Read another story from us: The Grammar Mistake Heard Round the World – Neil Armstrong’s Iconic Moon SpeechSo, while NASA explains the photos of the much-discussed dark object as a lost space blanket, conspiracy theorists keep looking at it and saying… this is the famed, mysterious Black Knight, deployed there by aliens!Stefan  A. is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Vintage News. He is a graduate in Literature. He also runs the blog This City Knowslast_img read more

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Vessel found at sea by Castle Bruce fishermen

first_imgShareTweetSharePinThe vessel brought ashore by two Castle Bruce fishermenDominica News Online (DNO) has been informed that a vessel was brought to shore at Castle Bruce by two fishermen from the village who found it floating out at sea.We were told that the Marine Unit of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force arrived on the scene sometime later and took the vessel away,At this stage, we do not know whether there is any connection between that vessel and the missing boat from the Woodford Hill area which prompted a search and rescue operation by the police.We will bring you information from the police as soon as it becomes available.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”>&#65279;</span>last_img read more

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Senate votes to block Trumps arms sales to Gulf Nations in bipartisan

first_imgNo other foreign policy issue has created as large a rift between President Donald Trump and Congress, and the vote to block the arms sales deepens the divide. It is the second time in just a few months that members of Trump’s party have publicly opposed his foreign policy, with both the House and Senate approving bipartisan legislation this spring to cut off military assistance to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen using the 1973 War Powers Act, only to see it vetoed in April.While the Democratic-controlled House is also expected to block the sales, Trump has pledged to veto the legislation, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster enough support to override the president’s veto. Seven Republicans — not nearly enough to override a veto — broke from their party to disapprove of the sales to Saudi Arabia: Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Todd Young of Indiana.“This vote is a vote for the powers of this institution to be able to continue to have a say on one of the most critical elements of U.S. foreign policy and national security,” said Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and lead sponsor of the resolutions of disapproval. “To not let that be undermined by some false emergency and to preserve that institutional right, regardless of who sits in the White House.”The White House announced the sales late last month and invoked an emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act to allow U.S. companies to sell $8.1 billion worth of munitions in 22 pending transfers to the three Arab nations. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are waging an air war in Yemen that has come under sharp criticism from Congress and human rights organizations. Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Donald trump, gulf arms deal, selling arms to gulf nations, us-iran fallout, us-iran ties, world news Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks to reporters during the Senate luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times)Written by Catie Edmondson Advertising The vote came the same day that Britain announced it would temporarily suspend approval of any new licenses to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, after an unexpected court ruling that ministers had acted unlawfully in allowing the sale of weapons when there was a clear possibility they might be used in violation of international humanitarian law in Yemen. Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express Advertising Post Comment(s) By New York Times |Washington | Updated: June 21, 2019 7:47:43 am Related News Some Senate Republicans endorsed the administration’s position Thursday, arguing that rejecting the arms sales would be overly blunt with unintended consequences as tensions with Iran escalate.The question the Senate will consider, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader said, “is whether we’ll lash out at an imperfect partner and undercut our own efforts to build cooperation, check Iran, and achieve other important goals, or whether we’ll keep our imperfect partners close and use our influence.”But the administration’s argument ultimately fell flat even for some of the president’s closest allies, like Graham, who co-sponsored the legislation with Menendez.“The reason I’m voting with Sen. Paul and others today is to send a signal to Saudi Arabia that if you act the way you’re acting, there is no space for a strategic relationship,” he said. “There is no amount of oil you can produce that will get me and others to give you a pass on chopping somebody up in a consulate.”The original legislation Menendez and Graham introduced would have forced senators to vote on 22 separate resolutions of disapproval, one vote for each arms sale. But a deal struck with McConnell grouped the resolutions into three votes — and also ensured that the Foreign Relations Committee will take up a bill sponsored by Menendez that would curtail the ability of the president to use emergency authority to sell arms. More Explained Members of Congress from both parties have been holding up arms sales from U.S. companies to Persian Gulf nations and trying to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has resulted in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster.By declaring an emergency over Iran, the administration was able to override those holds.“If we let this emergency declaration go without protest, without a vote, I don’t know that we’re ever getting the power to oversee arms sales back as a body,” said Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., and one of the authors of the resolution.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had pushed hard for the emergency designation, over the objections of career Foreign Service officers and legislators, arguing that the sales would support allies like Saudi Arabia to counter Iran and its partner Arab militias — though some of the munitions would take years to produce and deliver. In the weeks after the declaration was announced, lawmakers have scrutinized the role that a former Raytheon lobbyist played in the decision. Taking stock of monsoon rain The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.In three back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing in October of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.A United Nations report released Wednesday made the most authoritative case to date that responsibility for the killing and its cover-up lies at the highest levels of the Saudi royal court. Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach last_img read more

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To halt brain diseases drugs take aim at protein traffic jams that

first_img To halt brain diseases, drugs take aim at protein traffic jams that kill neurons Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country H.OBERLEITHNER, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL OF MUENSTER/Science Source Fixing traffic jamsThe flow of molecules through pores in the nucleus is key to the health of cells, particularly neurons. Traffic problems may contribute to amyotrophic later- al sclerosis (ALS) and other brain diseases.NormalImportin proteins bring TDP-43and other cargo from the cytoplasmthrough the nuclear pore, whereasexportins take molecules out.ALSIn some ALS cases, abnormal RNAmade by a mutant C9orf72 geneprevents RanGAP from mediatingnuclear import, leading to proteinbuildup in stress granules.ALS + drugA possible drug, KPT-350, impairsthe specific exportin XPO1 and maynormalize nuclear traffic of proteinsor bust up stress granules. V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE The flies carry a mutation found in about 40% of ALS patients who have a family history of the disease, and in about 10% of sporadic cases. The mutation, in a gene called C9orf72, consists of hundreds or thousands of extra copies of a short DNA sequence, just six bases long. They lead to unusually large strands of RNA that glom onto hundreds of proteins in the cell nucleus, putting them out of action. Some of those RNA-ensnared proteins, Lloyd and his Hopkins colleague Jeffrey Rothstein hypothesized, might hold the key to ALS.Over many months, the researchers systematically studied the role of each protein by developing fly strains carrying both the ALS mutation and an incapacitated or hyperactive version of each protein’s gene. One set of flies, bred to have elevated levels of a protein called RanGAP, stood out. Fifteen days after the flies emerged from their pupal casings, their eyes remained a pure burnt sienna. RanGAP “was by far the most potent suppressor of neurodegeneration,” Lloyd says. What was known about its function was tantalizing: It serves as a courier, helping shuttle other proteins across the membrane that divides the cell nucleus from the cytoplasm. 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 KIRSTIN MAULDING TDP-43Nuclear pore Cytoplasm By Elie DolginJan. 16, 2019 , 2:15 PM The normal compound fly eye (left) is marred by cell death in a strain (right) with a mutation causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.center_img The team’s result would upend neuroscientists’ understanding of ALS and brain disease in general, and others were on the same trail. In 2015, two more research teams reported that defects in the cell’s nuclear transport system were hallmark features not only of ALS, but also of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), another progressive brain disease caused by C9orf72 mutations. Scientists would soon link dysfunctional trafficking across the nuclear divide to other neurodegenerative diseases—Alzheimer’s, Huntington, spinocerebellar ataxia—and even to normal aging. In all those ailments, the resulting abnormal pileups of proteins somehow become rogue neuronal killers.”I often get queasy when someone makes a discovery and tries to explain the rest of the world with it,” says Rothstein, a neurologist who directs the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute. But here, he says, it seems to be true.The findings are not merely academic. They are inspiring therapeutic efforts to address the cause of general age-related neurodegeneration—a goal that has largely eluded drug developers. If the gradual loss of nucleocytoplasmic transport is a conserved feature of the aging brain, says Sami Barmada, a neurologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, preventing it “might be a really broad and effective therapy.”Several biotech companies have jumped on that idea, exploring it in animal models and planning the first human trials this year. Chief among them: Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which in 2018 bought the rights to develop a drug compound called KPT-350 that directly targets the nuclear transport pathway. The research underpinning that drug’s action is brand new. But, “The biology is there,” says Chris Henderson, head of neuromuscular and movement disorders research at Biogen. “Here’s a drug with a body of rationale,” he adds, “and we’re optimistic about getting this into trials.”Crossing the nuclear borderThe lipid membrane that divides the DNA-packed nucleus from the rest of the cell is like an international border busy with two-way industrial traffic. DNA-binding proteins and other molecules are constantly flowing into the nucleus to help turn genes on and off, for example. The messenger RNAs produced by those genes stream the other way, into the cytoplasm to protein-assembly platforms. The cell must regulate that traffic through entry points known as nuclear pores. Choke off those portals and it stands to reason cells will suffer.The first hints that disrupted nuclear transport might underpin ALS came in 2010, when researchers at King’s College London, working with human nerve cancer cells, experimentally blocked the expression of proteins involved in the import business. The result was something also seen in cells from ALS patients: clumps of a protein called TDP-43 building up in the cytoplasm.Few ALS researchers paid much attention to that early report. What might be gumming up the gears of the transport machinery in ALS patients wasn’t clear, and the researchers couldn’t say whether the buildup of TDP-43—a protein that normally binds both DNA and RNA inside the nucleus to regulate multiple steps in gene expression—was actually killing neurons or was just a consequence of a different toxic process. It would take another 5 years—and Lloyd’s and Rothstein’s study of the flies with telltale eyes—for ALS scientists to take nuclear transport more seriously. Chris Henderson, Biogen C9orf72 RNAKPT-350 For example, treatment with KPT-350 preserved the health of axons, the long, signal-transmitting extensions of nerve cells, and improved the motor functions of mice with a multiple sclerosis–like condition, a team led by neuroscientist Jeffery Haines at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City showed. And in the Hopkins group’s hands, the drug kept alive mouse neurons harboring the mutation associated with Huntington.”There’s still a lot that needs to be explored about why the nuclear pore complex is so susceptible to problems in different types of neurons in different brain regions causing multiple different diseases,” says Gavin Daigle, a former postdoc in Rothstein’s lab who worked on the Huntington project and helped link disrupted pore function to Alzheimer’s disease before joining AbbVie in Cambridge. But he stresses that all the research is showing one thing: “This is a pathway that can be targeted.”The results proved enough to convince Biogen, which bought the rights to test the drug in humans. “The package of preclinical data that Karyopharm was able to amass really justifies the excitement,” says Laura Fanning, R&D project leader for KPT-350 at Biogen (which has renamed the molecule BIIB100). “It’s not just a blip of efficacy in one strain of mice. It’s a broad base of evidence,” she says. A first-in-human dose-escalation study of KPT-350 could begin in ALS patients later this year. If the drug shows promise against that disease, Biogen may expand its clinical testing to other conditions, Henderson says.Moving into the clinicAlthough the drug seems to work in the laboratory, why or how is not at all clear. “The story started to get murkier as more data has come in,” notes Haines, now at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, New York. Initially, most scientists assumed that because it blocks XPO1, the drug prevents proteins such as TDP-43 from piling up in the cytoplasm by trapping them in the nucleus. But last year, Dormann’s team and another led by Philip Thomas, a biochemist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, independently reported that TDP-43 and another protein called FUS seem to exit the nucleus by passive diffusion, not through XPO1-mediated transport. (FUS also clumps in the cytoplasm of motor neurons in some patients with ALS or FTD.)So if KPT-350 is not acting directly on the transport system, what is it doing? “It looks like the drug is targeting some more general neurotoxic pathway,” Dormann says, “but it remains to be clarified what the mechanism really is and which nuclear transport defects we’re correcting with this drug.”One possibility, recent research suggests, is that the drug actually targets tiny, dense packets of protein and RNA that form during times of cellular stress. In healthy cells, those membraneless “stress granules” generally break down and their components disperse after a viral infection, thermal shock, or some other environmental insult has passed. Not so in the diseased neurons of people with ALS or FTD. In those cells, the stress granules persist and turn sticky, recruiting proteins such as TDP-43 and FUS and eventually transforming into solid, toxic aggregates.Over the past year, several research teams have shown that components of the nuclear transport machinery—including importers, exporters, and parts of the nuclear pore itself—also can get tangled up in those aggregates. The transportation system falters, and as more TDP-43 and other proteins are added to the stress granules, a feedback loop takes hold that grinds the molecular traffic to a halt. “TDP-43 is not just a victim of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport defects,” says Wilfried Rossoll, a neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. “It’s also a perpetrator.”In August 2018, findings from a study led by neurobiologist Ludo Van Den Bosch of VIB–Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium suggested that the transport protein XPO1 itself may play a role in stress granules. That means a drug such as KPT-350 may serve primarily as a stress granule buster, and any impact on transport may be secondary. “Things are more complicated than initially presented,” says Van Den Bosch, who has collaborated with Karyopharm.The open questions about KPT-350 have not discouraged other groups from pursuing additional strategies to sort out nuclear traffic problems. In 2017, for example, Guillaume Hautbergue and his colleagues at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom implicated another export factor in the neuronal loss experienced by ALS flies with the C9orf72 mutation. Hautbergue is working on ways to target that protein to prevent the export of mutant RNAs produced by the gene.Other researchers are focusing on breaking up stress granules. That approach should free up transport factors and pore proteins held hostage in those granules, allowing them to return to their usual posts in the cell, explains James Shorter, a protein biochemist at the University of Pennsylvania. He is developing a way to equip cells with a gene for making a “disaggregase” protein and has begun to test the therapeutic strategy in a mouse model of ALS.A few drug companies, including Denali Therapeutics of South San Francisco, California, and Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, are looking for small molecules that can do basically the same thing. Those therapies may not directly target the nuclear transport pathway, but they would get the job done, says Aquinnah co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Ben Wolozin, a neuropharmacologist at Boston University’s School of Medicine, because dismantling stress granules helps restore healthy nuclear transport. “This is all part of an integrated biological response,” Wolozin says.Aquinnah hopes to begin to evaluate its lead compound in ALS patients this year, about the same time that Biogen is aiming to get KPT-350 into the clinic. For now, Biogen scientists are still trying to pin down what the drug is doing in various genetic models of the disease, including the flies with marred eyes. But to some extent, Henderson says, knowing the exact mechanism of action doesn’t really matter. “The relevant experiment,” he concludes, “is in the human patient.” The compound eyes of the common fruit fly are normally brick red. But in neurologist Tom Lloyd’s lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, many of the fly eyes are pocked with white and black specks, a sign that neurons in each of their 800-odd eye units are shriveling away and dying.Those flies have the genetic equivalent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the debilitating neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and their eyes offer a window into the soul of the disease process. By measuring the extent of damage to each insect’s eyes, researchers can quickly gauge whether a drug, genetic modification, or some other therapeutic intervention helps stop neuronal loss.Those eyes have also offered an answer to the central mystery of ALS: just what kills neurons—and, ultimately, the patient. Here’s a drug with a body of rationale, and we’re optimistic about getting this into trials. A false-color atomic force micrograph shows the complex pores (green rings) that closely regulate traffic in the cell between the nucleus and cytoplasm. The Hopkins team’s result electrified colleagues in part because it had identified a transport protein, RanGAP, as key to neurodegeneration. The team showed in both the fly model of ALS and in cells from human patients that the lengthy RNA readouts produced by the mutant C9orf72 gene seemed to stick to RanGAP near the nuclear pore and put the protein out of commission. The loss of functioning RanGAP spurred a backup of the nuclear import system, resulting in the cytoplasmic buildup of proteins such as TDP-43—cluttering a cell like bags of rotting trash during a garbage strike.Just as galvanizing was the team’s finding that a potential drug could preserve neuronal health, at least in the flies. “All of a sudden it threw a potential treatment approach into the ring,” says Dorothee Dormann, a biochemist from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.The team had no drug that could boost levels of RanGAP in the cytoplasm and restore enough inflow to rescue the eye neurons. But Lloyd reasoned that blocking outflow of TDP-43 and other nuclear proteins may have the same beneficial effect. An experimental compound called KPT-276 was known to selectively inhibit a key nuclear export protein called exportin 1 (XPO1). The approach was a hack of sorts, marrying two wrongs—defective inflow and outflow—to make a right, but it worked. When Lloyd gave KPT-276 to his ALS flies, their eyes remained pristine.From cancer fighter to brain protectorKPT is the experimental compound code used by Karyopharm Therapeutics, a small drug company in Newton, Massachusetts. Karyopharm formed in 2008 to develop XPO1 inhibitors for treating cancer, the idea being to trigger a buildup of tumor suppressor proteins in the nucleus, where they carry out their anticancer watchdog function. A decade on, the company’s first clinical candidate, a drug for multiple myeloma, is widely expected to win marketing approval in the coming months.Chemists at Karyopharm developed a suite of XPO1 inhibitors, including KPT-276 and a relative called KPT-350, that had an important attribute: They crossed the blood-brain barrier more readily than other candidates. KPT-350 proved more potent and less toxic in preclinical testing, so the firm looked for ways to use it to treat brain disease and injury.Lloyd’s and Rothstein’s results piqued the company’s interest. When Sharon Tamir, its head of neurodegenerative and infectious diseases at the time, learned that the Hopkins researchers were working with KPT-276 and not KPT-350, she called them up to propose a collaboration using the “better” compound. Meanwhile, she began to distribute KPT-350 to other groups in Japan, Belgium, and across the United States. Collectively, those scientists showed the drug’s neuroprotective effects across a range of human cell, fly, and rodent models of ALS, Huntington, and other brain diseases. Stress granule RanGAPImportinExportinRan Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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In US 1st baby is born from dead donors transplanted womb

first_imgBy AP |Cleveland (us) | Published: July 10, 2019 12:22:15 am Uterine transplants have enabled more than a dozen women to give birth, usually with wombs donated from a living donor such as a friend or relative. In December, doctors in Brazil reported the world’s first birth using a deceased donor’s womb.These transplants were pioneered by a Swedish doctor who did the first successful one five years ago.The Cleveland hospital said Tuesday that the girl was born in June. The clinic has done five uterus transplants so far and three have been successful, with two women waiting to attempt pregnancy with new wombs. In all, the clinic aims to enroll 10 women in its study. Related News Chandigarh: Librarian at GMCH-32 honoured for her study on medical research in India Womb transplant, Cleveland Clinic Womb transplant, North American womb transplant, World news, Indian Express news These transplants were pioneered by a Swedish doctor who did the first successful one five years ago. (AP)The Cleveland Clinic says it has delivered the first baby in North America after a womb transplant from a dead donor. A Prescription That Clicks Advertising Medical tests to soon be possible via coin-sized chip 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Diet comprising of soups and shakes may combat obesity

first_imgThe study programme funded in part by Cambridge Weight Plan UK, included 278 obese adults in Oxfordshire and divided them into two groups. The first group was part of the GP weight management programme who were given weight loss advice and assistance from a practice nurse. The second group was liver a complete diet replacement therapy plan for 24 weeks. The diet replacement was using special soups, shakes and diet bars along with supplements to reduce daily calorie intake to just 810. Both groups were studied for a 8 week duration and normal food was gradually reintroduced to the replacement group along with diet counselling. After around 12 weeks on the study the participants on the replacement group were encouraged to replace one meal with a replacement product.Some of the options offered were, chocolate-flavour skimmed milk and soya protein shake mix (145kcal), skimmed milk and multi-wholegrain porridge mix (149kcal), chicken-and-mushroom-flavour skimmed milk and soya protein soup mix (138kcal) and lemon-flavour soya and milk protein bar covered in yoghurt-flavour coating (150kcal).Results revealed that those on the diet replacement group lost an average of 10.7kg (23lbs) after 12 months. This was 7.2 kg more than those on the other group. Weight loss of over 10 percent of the body weight was seen with replacement programme. The participants on the replacement group also had a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Their blood pressure, cholesterol were measured and these parameters also showed improvements. The authors of the study report that the diet replacement programme when supervised was safe and effective.Related StoriesResearchers find link between maternal obesity and childhood cancer in offspringResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesLead researcher Professor Susan Jebb, from the University of Oxford in a statement said, “In the past we have worried that a short period of rapid weight loss may lead to rapid weight regain. But this study shows that nine months after the intensive weight-loss phase, people have lost more than three times as much weight as people following a conventional weight-loss programme.” Dr Nerys Astbury, researcher in diet and obesity at the University of Oxford also said, “This model of care, where patients are referred to a provider in the community for support, offers the potential for rapid roll-out at scale across the NHS and could help reduce the pressure on GPs in treating obesity-related disease.” Prof Paul Aveyard, study author, GP and professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford warned that losing weight and maintaining the achieved weight are hard. He said, “It’s boring being on a normal diet and people struggle to stick to it for a year. But these programmes get you when your mental strength is at its highest. You have to concentrate effort into 12 weeks and because they eat so little, they lose a lot of weight quickly.”A WarningExperts have warned that people should not try this diet replacement programme on their own without medical supervision. Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, who chairs the Royal College of GPs called for more research in this area to be sure. She said, “…what works for one patient might not work for another.” “Ultimately, the best way to stay fit and healthy is to keep active, eat a healthy and balanced diet, get enough sleep, drink moderately in accordance with guidelines, and not smoke,” she said. Source:https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3760 Image Credit: Lecic / Shutterstockcenter_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 27 2018According to a new study a diet comprising of soups and shakes replacing regular food could help people with obesity to lose weight significantly and sustain it over time.A study published in the British Medical Journal shows that, obese individuals (Body Mass Index over 30) in United Kingdom who ate just 810 calories per day managed to lose around 11 kg in a year. This form of diet replacement, explain researchers, could be recommended by nutritionists to ease off the pressure on the General Practitioners who are treating obesity-associated ailments.last_img read more

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New molecular switch may help develop sophisticated photomedications

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018Light-activated switches are too small to be seen by the naked eye, but the molecular systems are hard at work in research related to drug design, adaptive materials and data storage. To unlock the promise of new generations of medical therapies and memory systems, researchers must first overcome the drawbacks of the microscopic devices that can be difficult to produce and lack versatility.Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a new molecular switch based on the hydrazone functional group that combines the most important properties of the current class of light-activated switches and solves many of the problems associated with them. The newly-developed molecule is easy to make, simple to work with, shows “on-off” fluorescence emission toggling, and can be used to write, read and erase information in both the liquid and solid state.Looking into the future, switches like these may potentially be used for the development of sophisticated photomedications that deliver drugs with cellular-level precision. In years to come, hydrazone switches might also lead to the development of high-density memory devices with the volume of a speck of a dust.As detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Dartmouth’s hydrazone system, “packs most, if not all, the desired, targeted and sought-after traits from photochromic compounds.””This is a switch that can do it all,” said Ivan Aprahamian, an associate professor of chemistry and head of the research team at Dartmouth. “What we developed is a new tool that combines all the good properties of known switches without their side effects, and in a simple, straight-forward design.”Similar to flipping a physical switch, photochromic switches rely on lights of different wavelengths to move molecules between the “on” and “off” positions. The fluorescent feedback produced during the switching process can be used to store and read huge amounts of data at microscopic scale and even provide signals about where a medication is being delivered after the drug enters into a patient’s body, an important tool for drug targeting.Related StoriesCharacterizing and Isolating (Bio)macromolecular Structures using MALSExperts discuss 5G health risks as network switches on in the UKComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchTo toggle the switch in the Dartmouth study, researchers used a “blue light” operating at the same 450 nm wavelength of a laser pointer to write the information by activating the switch. A second 365 nm ultraviolet wavelength was used to erase the information by turning the switch off.In the paper, the researchers demonstrated that the switch works in both water and fetal bovine serum buffer–a frequently used bio-medium–confirming that the molecular system can be useful as a drug delivery tool.In addition to performing well in solution, the researchers found that the hydrazone switch also works on solid-state films. Molecules that go through large structural changes usually do not operate in solid state without complex manipulation. This added functionality allows it to be used effectively for data storage.”Such an on-off fluorescence response in both solution and solid state for photochromic compounds is highly unusual,” said Baihao Shao, a PhD student at Dartmouth and the first author of the study.The team was able to use both single-photon and two-photon light sources to operate the new switch. The near infrared, two-photon system allows the light to penetrate tissue deeper and makes it safer for use with humans. Two-photon activation also allows for 3D microscopy techniques that are important for advanced data storage.The research paper notes that the hydrazone switch has a half-life of 75 years in solution at room temperature. In solid state, the switch’s memory could be indefinite. Such stability is another key feature that adds to its overall functionality for long-term data storage.”We are extremely excited by the results as well as the reception it is getting from the scientific community. Based on these and yet unpublished results, we feel that this technology has the promise to be truly transformative,” said Aprahamian.During the experiment, some erasure did occur during reading as the excitation light also results in slow switching, creating a challenge that the researchers are working to minimize. Source:https://news.dartmouth.edu/last_img read more

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Whats the best time of the day to lose weight

first_imgResearchers have found that late afternoons and early evenings are the best time to lose weight as the metabolic rates are the highest around that time. The results of the study titled ‘Human Resting Energy Expenditure Varies with Circadian Phase’, is published in the latest issue of the journal Current Biology. For this study the seven participants (aged 38 to 69 years) were made to stay inside a special laboratory with no clues about time of the day for 37 days. They were not given access to windows, phones, clocks or the internet. Each night the bedtime for the participants was shifted by four hours. It was similar to be travelling across four time zones to the west each day for three continuous weeks. Their sleep wake cycle as well as food and exercise was also tightly regulated by the researchers. This helped the researchers alter the body’s circadian rhythm or clock. Now metabolism and metabolic rates at different times of the day was analyzed. The study results revealed that 10 percent extra calories could be burnt in the late afternoons and early evenings as the metabolic rates are the highest around that time. The body temperatures were lowest around middle of the night and highest in the late afternoons and early evenings.According to the team of researchers, this study shows why shift workers tend to be irregular in their sleep and eating schedules and tend to gain weight. Shift workers are at a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cognitive problems as well as cancers, as has been seen in several previous studies. The researchers explain that the body’s circadian clock could be governing the metabolism and metabolic rates.Related StoriesSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosa’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesKirsi-Marja Zitting, of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, one of the team members said that they were surprised that same exercises and exertions at one time of the day worked at burning calories differently than when performed at a different time of the day. “Because they were doing the equivalent of circling the globe every week, their body’s internal clock could not keep up, and so it oscillated at its own pace,” Zitting said.Jeanne Duffy, co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a neuroscientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, added that this study showed that it was not only what we ate and how much we exercised that determined how many calories we would burn but the “when” was also very important. “Regularity of habits such as eating and sleeping is very important to overall health,” she said. She explained that 10 percent extra calories could be burnt if exercised in the later afternoons and early evenings compared to middle of the night. It means that a person can burn 130 extra calories with no added effort, she said. She went on to explain that if this was happening each day, the resultant accumulative effects can also be estimated. It is thus important to keep the body’s internal clock in synchrony with the external environment for good heath she said. “Regularity is really important,” she said.As the next step the team would connect the effects of sleep time, duration and regularity and its effect on weight gain. Source:https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31334-4center_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 8 2018Image Credit: WindNight / Shutterstocklast_img read more

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UTA bioengineers aim to develop new method to repair vaginal prolapses in

first_img Source:https://www.uta.edu/news/releases/2019/01/Yi-Hong-NIH-vaginal-prolapse.php Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 24 2019A team of bioengineers at The University of Texas at Arlington is working to develop a method that will allow physicians to repair vaginal prolapses while they are in their early stages, potentially avoiding surgery and other complications.Hong, an associate professor in UTA’s Bioengineering Department, is leading an interdisciplinary team that will use a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new method of treating a vaginal prolapse before the vagina completely detaches, which could prevent complications and improve the quality of life of thousands of women.Hong’s UTA colleagues Kytai Nguyen, Liping Tang and Jun Liao, along with UT Southwestern urologist Phillippe Zimmern are co-principal investigators on the project. Vaginal prolapse is a condition affecting almost 3 percent of U.S. women, according to the Office on Women’s Health. In a prolapse, the pelvic floor muscles weaken and tear, allowing the vagina to stretch or expand and protrude on surrounding organs and structures. Treatment usually involves surgical implantation of mesh to repair the muscles, but the mesh often leads to severe complications that require extended recovery time and cause discomfort.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorHong and his team are developing a strong, bioactive bioadhesive that is strong and bioactive to reattach the pelvic floor muscles early, before they detach completely, and stop further tearing while the body repairs the affected muscles.”A lot of women suffer from vaginal prolapse and it really affects their quality of life. Hopefully, our research will help women and ease their discomfort,” Hong said. “It is difficult to repair a full muscle tear, but if a prolapse is detected early, we can glue the two edges together while they are still partially attached and prevent further damage. Because it is bioactive, the adhesive will allow the body to rejuvenate naturally, and there will be far less discomfort for the patient.” Hong’s research is an example of health and the human condition, one of four themes of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020, and of the ways that the University is making an impact on the community, said Michael Cho, chair of the Bioengineering Department.”This is a condition that affects women of all ages, and Dr. Hong and his team have a chance to make its treatment easier and less intrusive for those women. His ability to apply knowledge and techniques from previous research, as well as the strengths from the interdisciplinary team of investigators, will lead to success,” Cho said.last_img read more

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Poll Young Americans say online bullying a serious problem

first_imgTeens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The long-documented problem with online bullying is that it is relentless. It doesn’t let up when kids get home from school, safely in their homes, or even when they move away from their tormentors. Still, like Luby, many young people tend to be more resilient to trolling from strangers online.”If they don’t know who it is, it doesn’t seem to bother them as much,” said Justin Patchin, a criminal justice professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. “What concerns them is when it’s some kid at school.” In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby, standing in front of a ring light, has her hair brushed by her mother Kerrylynn Mahoney in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby holds up her phone in front of a ring light she uses to lip-sync with the smartphone app Musical.ly, in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, which also finds that about half of both young people and their parents view social media as having a mostly negative effect on the younger generation.Fifteen-year-old Matty Nev Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies.”When I see a really mean comment about my appearance or something I did, if someone said that to me online, it means nothing to me, but if I pictured someone I know saying that, I would be really upset,” Luby said.Roughly three-quarters of 15- to 26-year-olds say that online bullying and abuse is a serious problem for their peers. Seven percent of young people say they have already been a victim of cyberbullying, with young women (11 percent) more likely to say they were bullied than young men (3 percent).”People will make fun of their outfits or weight, their choices,” said Luby, who lives in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut, and has been dabbling in social media since age 12. Patchin said that among adults, the people perpetuating harassment tend to be strangers, not people they know.Leslie Hernandez, 39, said she thinks the impact of social media on people her age has been mostly positive.”Adults tend to stay away from the drama that is part of adolescence,” said Hernandez, who lives in Tucson, Arizona. “It allows you to connect with people from your past.”According to the poll, she is in the minority. Among parents of 15- to 26-year-olds, about a quarter, 23 percent, say social media has had a mostly positive effect on people their age, while 31 percent say it’s been negative; 45 percent say it’s neither positive nor negative. Among people aged 15 to 26, 47 percent say it’s had a negative effect on their generation, and 26 percent say it’s been a good thing, while another 26 percent think it’s neither. About half of parents, 53 percent, agree social media has had a mostly negative effect on their child’s generation. Explore further In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby poses for a photograph in front of a ring light she uses for her internet posts in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby, right, and her mother Kerrylynn Mahoney pose together for a photograph in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) “I have to constantly keep her grounded,” Mahoney said. “I’m thankful she’s aware that this is not real. It’s our jobs as parents to reel them back in.”The poll shows majorities of both young people and their parents think parents have a responsibility to help prevent online harassment. Poll: Teens say social media makes them feel bettercenter_img Her popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Now she’s mostly focused on Instagram, where she follows makeup artists and fashion trends.Her mother, Kerrylynn Mahoney, said she’s impressed by her daughter’s ability to keep bullies at bay.”Her responses blow my mind,” Mahoney said. “I’d be fists up at her age. She’s like, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way. You should probably think in a more positive way and then we’d have more peace on earth.'”But she’s also vigilant about monitoring her daughter’s accounts, blocking any followers who seem creepy or fake and trying to steer her away from fixating on pages that degrade women. No matter their age, the overwhelming majority say they see people using discriminatory language or posting such images. Seventy-eight percent of people aged 15 to 26 say they see such posts either sometimes or often, compared with 65 percent of their parents. Only 4 percent of young people and 10 percent of their parents say they never see discriminatory language or images.Companies like Facebook and Twitter have been trying for years to clamp down on abuse and harassment, with varying degrees of success. Both parents (72 percent) and young people (67 percent) think the companies play a major role in addressing these problems.Roughly two-thirds of parents also attribute responsibility to schools (68 percent), law enforcement (66 percent) and other users who witness the behavior (61 percent).Currently, young internet users report using YouTube (48 percent), Facebook (47 percent), Instagram (40 percent) and Snapchat (39 percent) several times a day or more. Fewer use Twitter, Reddit, WhatsApp, Tumblr or LinkedIn as regularly. Parents who use the internet are most likely to report using Facebook (53 percent) several times a day or more, with few being heavy users of other social media sites. Hernandez said she’s “pretty active” on Facebook, in part because of her job as a student housing manager at a college.”Snapchat feels a little less personal to me,” she said. “On Facebook you can kind of follow people and see what’s going on in their lives in a more permanent kind of way. A Snapchat image, people will forget. On Instagram, people can enjoy the pictures but don’t really see a whole (life).” In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby holds up her phone in front of a ring light she uses to lip-sync with the smartphone app Musical.ly, in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) In this Feb. 28, 2018 photo, Matty Nev Luby holds her phone and logs into the lip-sync smartphone app Musical.ly, in Wethersfield, Conn. Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. The high school gymnast’s popularity on the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which merged this summer into the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, helped win her some modeling contracts. Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. More information: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: www.apnorc.org Citation: Poll: Young Americans say online bullying a serious problem (2018, October 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-poll-young-americans-online-bullying.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Holiday chaos as drones shut Londons Gatwick Airport

first_imgPolice said the drones were of an “industrial specification,” an indication they weren’t small, inexpensive machines. The larger drones are more dangerous to jets in flight and can stay in the air longer than the models sold to amateur enthusiasts.The airport’s two terminals were jammed with thousands of weary travelers.”I haven’t slept since yesterday morning. We are very tired. It’s freezing, we are cold, having to wear all of these coats for extra blankets,” said Andri Kyprianou, of Cyprus, whose flight to Kiev was canceled.”There were pregnant women. One of them was sleeping on the floor. There were people with small babies in here overnight. We saw disabled people on chairs. There were young children sleeping on the floor.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The arrivals board at Gatwick Airport showing cancelled, diverted and delayed flights as the airport remains closed with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP) Citation: Holiday chaos as drones shut London’s Gatwick Airport (2018, December 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-drones-london-gatwick-airport-busy.html The prospect of a deadly collision between what police called “industrial”-grade drones and an airliner led authorities to stop all flights in and out.Police said that they had no doubt the intrusion was a deliberate attempt to disrupt operations at the airport during a peak period but that there were “absolutely no indications to suggest this is terror-related.”About 20 police units from two forces tried in vain to find the drone operator as soon as the first unmanned aircraft was spotted above Gatwick on Wednesday evening. Police told airport officials it was too risky to try to shoot down the drones—stray bullets might kill someone.”Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears. When we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears,” said Sussex Police Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw. He said the newer-generation drones are bigger and have more range, making it harder for police to zero in on the person controlling the device.Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said the military would be deployed to help police. He said the armed forces would bring “unique capabilities” but gave no details. The airport, about 30 miles (45 kilometers) south of London, sees more than 43 million passengers a year. About 110,000 had been scheduled to pass through on Thursday. UK pilots warn of disaster, seek tougher rules for drones Drones could get sucked into a jet engine or crash through a windshield, incapacitating the pilot.The crisis at Gatwick had a ripple effect on air travel in Britain, continental Europe and beyond as incoming flights were sent to other locations and outgoing ones were stopped.Travelers described freezing conditions overnight at Gatwick as hundreds slept on benches and floors, and passengers and their families complained they weren’t being kept informed about re-routed flights.”We understand it’s an emergency situation, but the lack of information is really surprising,” said Vanessa Avila, an American based in Britain who works for the U.S. military. Her mother was on a flight from Florida to Gatwick that ended up landing in the northern English city of Manchester.Gatwick—Britain’s second-busiest airport by passenger numbers—first closed its runway Wednesday evening after two drones were spotted. It reopened briefly at about 3 a.m. Thursday, but shut down 45 minutes later after further sightings. Explore further Passengers complained on Twitter that their Gatwick-bound flights had been diverted to London’s Heathrow Airport, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities.Luke McComiskie, who landed in Manchester, more than 160 miles (260 kilometers) from London, said the situation “was just chaos, and they had only two coaches (buses) and taxis charging people 600 pounds ($760) to get to Gatwick.”Pilots have reported numerous close calls with drones in recent years in Britain, and aviation authorities have warned of the growing risk of a disastrous collision. Britain has toughened its laws on drones, and flying one within 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of an airport is punishable by up to five years in prison.Gatwick briefly closed its runway last year when a drone was spotted in the area. A drone also briefly led to the shutdown of Dubai’s international airport in 2016. In this Dec. 1, 2010, file photo, a terminal link train arrives behind a glass window at the snow covered terminal station at London’s Gatwick Airport in Horley, England. London’s Gatwick Airport shut down late Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, while officials urgently investigated reports that two drones were flying above the airfield. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File) Drones spotted over the runway forced the shutdown of London’s Gatwick Airport on Thursday during one of the busiest times of the year, stranding or delaying tens of thousands of Christmas-season travelers and setting off a hunt for the operator of the intruding aircraft. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Queues of passengers cross a concourse in Gatwick Airport, as the airport remains closed with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP) Queues of passengers wait at the check-in desks at Gatwick Airport, as the airport remains closed and with incoming flights delayed or diverted to other airports, after drones were spotted over the airfield last night and this morning Thursday Dec. 20, 2018. London’s Gatwick Airport remained shut during the busy holiday period Thursday while police and airport officials investigate reports that drones were flying in the area of the airfield. (Thomas Hornall/PA via AP)last_img read more

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Senate passes bill meant to combat robocalls

first_img Explore further Help coming on blocking scam calls for robocall-plagued US Though the measure wouldn’t eliminate all unwanted calls, it would give regulators more tools to go after scammers. It would also push phone companies to adopt new technology to combat fake phone numbers popping up on caller ID.The Senate passed the bill 97-1 on Thursday. It’s not clear what will happen in the House, where Democrats in charge have their own anti-robocall proposals.The bill has support from the telecom industry and consumer groups, a rare combination.As scam call volume rises, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to nudge phone companies. The nation’s communications regulator will vote in June to allow carriers to block scam calls by default for customers. This Aug. 1, 2017, file photo, shows a call log displayed via an AT&T app on a cellphone in Orlando, Fla. The app helps locate and block fraudulent calls, although some robocalls do get through. The Senate has passed a bill that aims to combat the illegal robocalls torturing Americans. The Traced Act on Thursday, May 23, 2019, passed 97-1. It’s not clear what will happen in the House, where the Democrats in charge have made several anti-robocall proposals. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img Citation: Senate passes bill meant to combat robocalls (2019, May 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-senate-bill-meant-combat-robocalls.html The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that aims to combat the illegal robocalls torturing Americans . This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Men Notice Messes As Much As Women Heres Why They Dont Clean

first_imgOn a typical day, men spend a third as much time cleaning as women. Does that make women beacons of cleanliness, while men are genetically unable to see the messiness in their midst? This myth is a common explanation for why men don’t do as much housework as women. Men walk into a room and apparently can’t see the dust bunnies gathering on the floor or the piles of laundry stacked up on the couch.These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65875-why-men-do-less-housework.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  It lets men off the hook for not doing their fair share of the household cleaning. But in a recent study we show that men aren’t dirt-blind — they can see mess just as well as women. They are simply less severely penalized for not keeping their spaces neat and tidy. Chore inequality Despite massive gains in education and employment, women still shoulder a larger share of the housework than men. Women today spend, on average, roughly an hour and 20 minutes per day cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. About a third of that is just spent cleaning. Men, on the other hand, spend about half an hour performing these duties — and only 10 minutes scrubbing and tidying. This household chore inequality is evident over time, across professions and even when women work longer hours and make more money. Even in Sweden, where government policies are strongly geared toward promoting gender equality, women do more housework. Swedish women do two times as much daily housework than men even though women are much more likely to work full-time than in other countries. Naturally, the more time spent on chores, the less a woman has to spend on other activities like sleep, work and leisure. The same mess In our study, which was recently published in Sociological Methods and Research, we asked 327 men and 295 women of various ages and backgrounds to assess a photo of a small living room and kitchen area. By random assignment, some participants rated a photo of the room looking cluttered — dirty dishes on the counter, clothing strewn about — while others examined a much tidier version of the same room. All participants looked at the one photo they were given and then rated how messy they thought it was and how urgently it needed cleaning. The first thing we wanted to know was whether men and women respondents rated the rooms differently. Contrary to popular lore, men and women saw the same mess: They rated the clean room as equally clean and the messy room as equally messy. Differing expectations So if “dirt blindness” isn’t to blame, why do women do more housework? One argument is that social expectations are different for men and women. Women may be judged more harshly for having a less-than-spotless home, and women’s awareness of these expectations may motivate them to do more. We tested this idea by randomly telling participants that the photo they were looking at depicted either “John’s” or “Jennifer’s” living space. Then we asked them to rate Jennifer’s or John’s character — how responsible, hardworking, neglectful, considerate and likable they were — based on the cleanliness of their home. We also asked participants to assess the extent to which she or he might be judged negatively by unexpected visitors — extended family, bosses and friends — and how much responsibility they believed Jennifer or John would bear for housework if they were working full-time and living alone, working full-time and married with children, or a married, stay-at-home parent. This is where things got interesting. Participants rated the photos differently depending on whether they were told that a woman or a man lived there. Notably, respondents held higher standards of cleanliness for Jennifer than they did for John. When they were told the tidy room belonged to Jennifer, participants — regardless of gender — judged it less clean and more likely to inspire disapproving reactions from guests than when the same exact room was John’s. We’ve all heard ‘men are lazy’ Still, we did find that both men and women pay a large penalty for having a cluttered home. Compared to their tidier counterparts, both Jennifer and John received substantially more negative character ratings and were expected to garner much more negative judgments from visitors. Interestingly, John’s character was rated more negatively than Jennifer’s for having a messy home, reflecting the common stereotype that men are lazy. Yet participants did not believe John would be any more likely than Jennifer to suffer negative judgment from visitors, which suggests that the “men are lazy” stereotype does not disadvantage them in a socially meaningful way. Finally, people were more likely to believe that Jennifer would bear primary responsibility for cleaning, and this difference was especially large in the hypothetical scenario in which she or he is a full-time working parent living with a spouse. That people attribute greater responsibility for housework to women than men, even regardless of their employment situation, suggests that women get penalized more often for clutter than men do. Judge not People hold women to higher standards of cleanliness than men, and hold them more responsible for it. Some women may internalize or embrace such standards. But for many, it is unlikely a love of cleaning but rather a fear of how mess will be perceived that is the real problem — and one possible reason why many women frantically clean their home before unexpected visitors arrive. The good news is that, with enough collective willpower, old-fashioned social expectations can be changed. We could start by thinking twice before judging the state of someone’s home, especially our own. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Sarah Thebaud, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; Leah Ruppanner, Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Melbourne, and Sabino Kornrich, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Emory Universitylast_img read more

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Scientists Find an Exceptional Specimen of a Cretaceous LizardInside a Dinosaurs Belly

first_img The new Cretaceous lizard species was found in the abdomen of a Microraptor fossil (indicated by the white rectangle). Credit: Jingmai O’Connor Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThese Dog Breeds Do Not Make Good PetsLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo They dubbed the ingested lizard Indrasaurus wangi: The species name honors paleontologist Yuan Wang, director of the Paleozoological Museum of China, and Indrasaurus refers to a legend from ancient Indian texts about the deity Indra, who was swallowed whole by a dragon. Close examination of the lizard’s teeth revealed that they were widely spaced, short-crowned and nearly square. They were unlike the teeth in other Cretaceous lizards, and their unusual shape suggests that the lizard may have had a diet that differed from that of its close relatives, the scientists said in the study. Microraptor and its lizard lunch provide a rare glimpse of direct interactions between predators and prey in ecosystems that vanished millions of years ago. They were found alongside other Microraptor fossils that hold the remains of mammals, fish and birds in their bellies, according to the study. Using these fossils and others from more than two dozen animal groups, the researchers reconstructed a food web showing who ate whom in the Jehol Biota; this site in Liaoning, China — where Microraptor was discovered in 2005 — holds a diverse array of exceptionally preserved fossils dating from 133 million to 120 million years ago. The findings were published online July 11 in the journal Current Biology. About 120 million years ago, a small dinosaur gulped down a lizard, swallowing the reptile whole. The wee lizard’s story might have ended there, but the dinosaur died soon after and was preserved as a fossil. Millions of years later, paleontologists discovered the scaly meal in the dinosaur’s belly. Scientists found the lizard when they examined the fossil of a feathered dinosaur named Microraptor zhaoianus, a small carnivore from the early Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago) in what is now northeastern China. In Microraptor’s abdomen was a near-complete skeleton that the researchers identified as a previously unknown lizard species. This “exceptional specimen” paints a clearer picture of the animal diversity in this region during the Cretaceous, and it hints at what was on the menu for dinosaur predators like Microraptor, the scientists reported in a new study. [In Photos: Amber Preserves Cretaceous Lizards]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65935-cretaceous-lizard-in-dinosaur-belly.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Microraptor belongs to the theropod (meat-eating) dinosaur group known as the dromaeosaurids — small to medium-size bird-like dinosaurs — which also includes Velociraptor and Deinonychus. It had flight feathers on its front and back limbs, and it could likely glide or even fly, according to the study. The fossilized lizard’s skeleton was still whole and nearly complete, and it appeared to belong to a juvenile. Its position inside the dinosaur’s gut showed that it was gulped down head first, “consistent with feeding behavior in extant carnivorous lizards and birds,” the study authors wrote. Images: Dinosaurs That Learned to Fly Tiny Dino: Reconstructing Microraptor’s Black Feathers Image Gallery: 25 Amazing Ancient Beastslast_img read more

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Kumaraswamy expands cabinet by inducting 2 ministers

first_imgpolitics June 14, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENTS Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamycenter_img Karnataka COMMENT Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday expanded his cabinet by inducting two Independent MLAs into the ministry in an apparent move to give stability to his 13-month-old wobbly government. In the much-awaited expansion, R Shankar and H Nagesh were sworn in as cabinet-rank ministers by Governor Vajubhai Vala who administered them the oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. Shankar had served as minister during the initial days of the Kumaraswamy government but was dropped from the cabinet during the rejig in December last year. He and Nagesh had sided with the BJP and written to the governor withdrawing support to the government. As the BJP failed in its alleged attempts to topple the coalition government, the two lawmakers made a u-turn and moved closer to the coalition. The two were inducted from the JD(S) and Congress’ share in the ministry, in an attempt to block chances of their switching over to the BJP whom the ruling coalition has accused of trying to dislodge the Kumaraswamy government. Published onlast_img read more

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National Cancer Institute gives healthcare a booster shot with the latest in

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS June 25, 2019 COMMENT SHARE disease healthcare industry The sprawling 70-acre campus of the government-run National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jhajjar, Haryana, built to provide respite to thousands of patients, is home to novel laboratory techniques implemented in the public sector for the first time. Sixty-five-year-old Satyawan Singh, who was wheeled into the emergency section of NCI recently, is one such beneficiary of the institute’s new approach to diagnostics. Singh’s jaw was ‘locked’ due to a potential cancerous condition, and he was unable to eat food. “If it were not for the NCI, we would have been forced to visit the crowded AIIMS in Delhi for treatment,” Pawan, Satyawan’s son, said. On entering the ‘Phlebotomy’ division, a doctor collected Satyawan’s blood sample, transferred it into a colour- and bar-coded vial and put it in a jar. A technician collected the jar and pushed some buttons to deposit the jar into one of the chutes attached to the wall. Sucked away through vacuum pipes, the jars were transferred to the lab in a jiffy. “The pneumatic chutes are designed in a way that they suck the sample jars via air pressure and deliver them to the lab on the upper floors. The system is run on sensors and a software that manages incoming traffic from different wards,” said a spokesperson for Seimens Healthineers present on-site. A few floors above, a stream of sample jars are received by two technicians in the Robotic Core Clinical lab, which takes care of biochemistry, haematology, coagulation, immunoassays and tumour-marker tests. “Based on their colour and size, they (the samples) are automatically sorted onto specific belts mimicking railway lines, and are carried to their respective testing machines. The lab is expected to receive anywhere between 100 and 150 samples in a day,” said Vivek Kanade, Executive Director, Siemens Healthineers. “While the largest belt, 92 m in size, is housed at Thyrocare and processes close to 50,000 samples annually, the NCI belt is the second-largest at 55 m, and has the capacity to process 1,500 samples per hour,” Kanade added. Automated designThe tube-to-lab automated facility is conceptualised to avoid spillage of samples and avoid contamination. Said Seimens in a statement: “The laboratory automation solution supports an end-to-end sample processing workflow — from loading various sample tubes to the analysers to storage and disposal of the samples with minimal manual intervention needed. This results in reduced error rates.” The entire design of the NCI as envisioned by its head, GK Rath, is futuristic. The labs have been built at an expense of ₹20 crore. “Improved turnaround time, enhanced quality, reduced biohazard risks due to minimal sample extraction, coupled with cost-effective processes and diagnostic accuracy will help us serve the needs of the community better,” said Rath. Published onlast_img read more

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Laidoff expat bankers struggle to find jobs in Hong Kong

first_img Tags / Keywords: World 09 Jul 2019 Hong Kong singer-activist urges U.N. rights body to defend territory HONG KONG: For years, Hong Kong was a hotspot with plum jobs for overseas bankers as global firms hired aggressively. But many recently laid-off bankers in the city are finding that cost-cutting and a demand for Mandarin speakers have diminished the opportunities for expats in Asia’s financial hub.After Deutsche Bank AG announced plans for wide-ranging cuts this week, many employees worldwide are facing the challenge of job-hunting in a shrinking market. For foreign staff losing positions in Hong Kong, it could be harder than most.Other international firms such as Nomura Holdings Inc. have also cut jobs in Hong Kong. At the same time, the city’s famously expensive living costs, including some of the world’s highest rents, mean that even senior bankers need to find new jobs fast in order to stay.The upshot? Expat bankers who lost their jobs and want to remain in Hong Kong often have to consider lower-paying options or demotions. Some with longer-running ties to the city are looking at switching careers, weighing everything from consulting to cryptocurrency outfits.During the global financial crisis of 2008, Asian banks and local Chinese firms hired those who had been laid off by foreign players, said Will Glover, Hong Kong-based managing director for recruitment firm Macdonald & Co. That’s less likely this year and some of those taking on new jobs may have to take pay cuts, he said.”You get that volume of people anywhere into a market at one time and inevitably a lot of people will leave the market altogether,” Glover said. “There will not be enough opportunities to absorb all that supply.”While global banks are ramping up their focus on China, more of them are looking for people with language skills and networks on the Chinese mainland. That could help Deutsche Bank staff from around the world who are Chinese citizens, and who have been sending resumes seeking jobs back home or at Chinese banks. But for Westerners in Hong Kong, the prospects look tougher.Looking to StayA senior banker in Hong Kong who is in his 50s and was laid off from a European investment bank earlier this year said he would like to continue to live in the city, where his children go to school.But he expects it to be hard to find a top job because banks are moving people internally or hiring more people locally. His monthly rent is about HK$100,000 ($12,800), making it essential to find a job soon if he decides to stay.It’s a dilemma that many others are grappling with. One European banker laid off from a top Asian bank said he took a holiday and is now pondering working in a startup or even moving out of Hong Kong after 20 years.Deutsche Bank’s website until Wednesday said it had more than 1,200 people in Hong Kong, although that statistic has since been removed. The bank has cut about half its equities staff in Asia and plans to reduce the group by another 25% within a month, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month. Deutsche Bank didn’t comment on the size of its layoffs in Hong Kong.A Deutsche Bank employee in Hong Kong, recently laid off, said many of her colleagues plan to stay in Hong Kong and are looking at positions in banking, family offices, or asset management. She’s hoping to use her background in compliance for another job in finance.One former Deutsche Bank employee, Su Zhu, who worked at the firm in Hong Kong until 2012 and now runs a Singapore foreign exchange and cryptocurrency fund called Three Arrows Capital, said that over the past year many bankers have gone into the crypto industry.Foreign banks can now choose from a widening pool of young professionals raised in Hong Kong, who speak multiple languages, know Chinese culture, have trained overseas and don’t require expensive relocation packages. That makes it harder for foreign bankers currently in the city, as well as junior professionals attempting to move from overseas, to find new positions in Hong Kong.A British equities trader who lost his job at an American investment bank this year said he had spent almost four months interviewing at banks and hedge funds with no luck. He lost one position to a local candidate 10 years his junior, and is now considering leaving.Expatriate executives in Hong Kong earn $276,417 a year on average, including benefits, according to a May report by consultancy ECA International, which analyzed salaries from financial and non-financial firms.Pay ScalesAverage pay scales lagged Japan, China and India, although affordable domestic help and a work-friendly visa system for trailing spouses help make Hong Kong attractive. But Hong Kong also topped a recent Deutsche Bank global ranking for the most expensive monthly rents on a two-bedroom apartment, and ranked 39th for disposable income after rent.Senior expats have tended to live in expensive places and send their children to international schools, living off base salaries and saving bonuses, said Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive officer of financial-services consultancy Quinlan & Associates in Hong Kong.”The expat’s side of things is going to be significantly harder,” Quinlan said. “A lot of people are going to have to take down their expectations, even get demoted and really take any opportunity they can really find, as opposed to waiting out in the market for a magic position to come up again because it will not.” – Bloomberg {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} After Deutsche Bank AG announced plans for wide-ranging cuts this week, many employees worldwide are facing the challenge of job-hunting in a shrinking market. Corporate News 08 Jul 2019 Deutsche Bank careers curtailed with an envelope, a hug and a cab ridecenter_img Related News Related News Business News 09 Jul 2019 What Deutsche bank employees are saying about the 18,000 global job cuts Bankinglast_img read more

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The machine that made the Moon missions possible

first_imgA Display-Keyboard (DSKY), one of two installed in the Command Module of the Apollo 7 mission, the first US 3-man space flight, which flew in Earth orbit in October, 1968. — Photos: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum/AFP The astronauts would input two-digit codes for verbs and nouns, to carry out commands like firing thrusters, or locking on to a particular star if the ship, which relied on an inertial guidance system to keep its pitch, roll and yaw stable, had begun to drift off course.O’Brien used the metaphor of a tourist who visits the US and is hungry but doesn’t know much English, and might say “Eat pizza” to convey the basic meaning. Passing the testApollo 11’s most tense moment came during the final minutes of its descent to the lunar surface, when the computer’s alarm bells began ringing and making it seem as though it had crashed.Such an event could well have been catastrophic, forcing the crew to abort their mission or even sending the vessel spiralling out of control to the surface.Back in Houston, an engineer realised that while the machine was temporarily overloaded, its clever programming allowed it to automatically shed less important tasks and focus on landing.“The way that computer handled the overload was a real breakthrough,” said Paul Ceruzzi, a Smithsonian Institution scholar on aerospace electronics.O’Brien noted that while the AGC was puny by modern computing standards, with a clock speed of 1 Mhz and a total of 38Kb of memory, such comparisons belied its true caliber.“With that terribly small capacity, they were able to do all the amazing things that we now think of as completely normal,” he said. – AFP Metro News 09 Jul 2019 Space party to celebrate Apollo 11 moon mission Related News An unflown example of a “Block I” display keyboard (DSKY) developed by Raytheon for the Apollo programme. Corporate News 27 Jun 2019 Apollo Food FY19 net profit up 59% to RM17.60m, div 20c A microscopic view of dual, three-element NOR gate, the inside of a silicon chip, used in Apollo. Instead of a computer operator giving a machine a set of calculations and leaving it for hours or even days to work out the answer – all of this needed to be done in a time-sensitive fashion, with cut-offs, and the ability for users (astronauts) to give it commands in real time.NASA felt it required an onboard computer to handle all these functions in case the Soviets tried to jam radio communications between ground control in Houston and US spaceships, and because Apollo was originally conceived to go deeper into the solar system.All of this required a software “architecture”, much of which was designed by engineer Hal Laning.Real-time inputIt also needed new ways for man to interact with machine that went beyond the punch-card programming of the time.The engineers came up with three key ways: the switches that you still find in modern cockpits, a hand-controller that was connected to the world’s first digital fly-by-wire system, and a “display and keyboard” unit, abbreviated DSKY (pronounced “dis-key”). Related News Microchip revolutionIntegrated circuits, or microchips, were a necessary part of the miniaturisation process that allowed computers to be placed on board spacecraft, in contrast to the giant, power-hungry vacuum tube technology that came before.The credit for their invention goes to Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, and Robert Noyce, who co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor and later Intel in Mountain View, California.But NASA and the Department of Defense – which needed microchips to guide their Minuteman ballistic missiles pointed at the Soviet Union – greatly accelerated their development by producing the demand that facilitated mass production. “They had these incredible, absolutely insane requirements for reliability that nobody could possibly imagine,” Frank O’Brien, a spaceflight historian and author of The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture And Operation, told AFP.In the early 1960s, the two agencies bought almost all the microchips made in the US, roughly a million all told, added O’Brien, forcing the makers to improve their designs and build circuits that lasted longer than their early life cycles of just a few hours.MultitaskingModern computers, such as the smartphone in your pocket, are generally capable of doing a myriad of tasks all at once: handling emails in one window, a GPS map in another, various social network apps, all the while ready for incoming calls and texts.But in the early era of computers, we thought of them in a fundamentally different way.“There wasn’t a lot they were asked to do. They were asked to crunch numbers and replace humans who would do them on mechanical adding machines,” said Seamus Tuohy, the principal director of space systems at Draper, which spun off from the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory that developed the Apollo Guidance Computer.That all changed with Apollo Guidance Computer, a briefcase-sized machine that needed to juggle an array of vital tasks, from navigating the ship to running its oxygen generator, heaters and carbon dioxide scrubbers. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} We’ve all been there: you’re working on something important, your PC crashes, and you lose all your progress.Such a failure was not an option during the Apollo missions, the first time ever that a computer was entrusted with handling flight control and life support systems – and therefore the lives of the astronauts on board.Despite an infamous false alarm during lunar descent that sent Commander Neil Armstrong’s heart rate racing, it was a resounding success that laid the groundwork for everything from modern avionics to multitasking operating systems.Here are some of the ways the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), millions of times less powerful than a 2019 smartphone, shaped the world we live in today: The Display Keyboard (DSKY), designed by the Raytheon Corporation, the method by which Apollo astronauts communicated with the computers on board the Apollo Command and Lunar Modules. World 19 Jun 2019 Apollo astronauts celebrate 50 years since first moon landinglast_img read more

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