Snow closes North Cascades Highway until TuesdayMud flow closes South Lakeshore Road

first_imgWashington State Department Of Transportation (WSDOT) has closed SR 20 at milepost 134 due to heavy snow accumulation.The area eight miles west of Mazama is in danger of multiple snow slides and avalanches.  WSDOT  will reevaluate the road conditions Tuesday morning to see if it can be reopened.  There are no detours around that particular spot so if you’re looking to get across the mountains, you will need to find an alternative route.last_img

Study reveals new target to halt tumor growth

first_imgJun 21 2018Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that a protein called Munc13-4 helps cancer cells secrete large numbers of exosomes-;tiny, membrane-bound packages containing proteins and RNAs that stimulate tumor progression. The study, which will be published June 21 in the Journal of Cell Biology, could lead to new therapies that stop tumor growth and metastasis by halting exosome production.Cancer cells produce large numbers of exosomes, which contribute to tumor progression in many different ways. They can transfer cancer-causing oncogenes to neighboring cells to increase their proliferation; they can contain proteins that reorganize the cancer cells’ surroundings and allow them to spread to other tissues; and they can contain signaling factors that disrupt the body’s ability to mount an immune response against the tumor.A team led by Thomas F.J. Martin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Scott W. Messenger as lead author found that calcium-;which is often increased in cancer cells-;stimulated the secretion of exosomes from aggressive breast cancer cells. Exosome release depended on a calcium-binding protein called Munc13-4; removing this protein, or replacing it with a mutant version unable to bind calcium, prevented breast cancer cells from releasing exosomes in response to calcium.Related StoriesResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsMunc13-4 levels are often elevated in human breast, pancreatic, and lung tumors. Martin and colleagues found that lung and pancreatic cancer cells increased their levels of Munc13-4 and released more exosomes as they became more aggressive.Exosomes are formed inside large cellular organelles called multivesicular bodies. These organelles then fuse with the cell’s plasma membrane to release exosomes outside of the cell. Messenger et al. found that Munc13-4 works with another protein called Rab11 to promote the development of multivesicular bodies capable of fusing with the plasma membrane and releasing exosomes.Exosomes released from cancer cells carry an enzyme called MT1-MMP, which degrades the extracellular matrix surrounding cancer cells. This helps the cancer cells disperse around the body to form secondary metastatic tumors.When Martin and colleagues depleted Munc13-4, they reduced the release of MT1-MMP–containing exosomes from breast cancer cells and inhibited the cells’ ability to degrade the extracellular matrix.”Overall, we think that increased expression of Munc13-4, combined with elevated calcium levels, drives enhanced exosome release by highly aggressive cancer cells, and that Munc13-4 is a potential target for therapeutic intervention,” Martin says.Source: http://www.rupress.orglast_img read more

No more foamy beer thanks to magnets

first_imgFew sights at a bar are more deflating than a bottle of beer overflowing with foam. This overfoaming, called gushing, arises when fungi infect the barley grains in beer’s malt base. The microorganisms latch onto barley with surface proteins called hydrophobins. During the brewing process, these hydrophobins can attract carbon dioxide molecules produced by the mashed barley as it ferments, making the beer far too bubbly. Brewers try to tamp down the gushing by adding hops extract, an antifoaming agent that binds to the proteins first. Now, food scientists in Belgium have hit upon a technological solution: magnets. When the team applied a magnetic field to a malt infused with hops extract, the magnets dispersed the antifoaming agent into tinier particles. Those smaller particles were much more effective at binding to more hydrophobins, blocking carbon dioxide and decreasing gushing, the team will report next month in the Journal of Food Engineering. During tests in a real brewery, the magnets decreased excess foaming so effectively that brewers needed much lower amounts of hops extract—a potential cost-saving measure. Future studies could explore whether magnetic fields alone could reduce foaming on an industrial scale, the team says.last_img read more

Podcast The mysterious history of the Fields Medal and using computers to

first_img Freelance science writer Michael Price talks with Sarah Crespi about recently revealed deliberations for a coveted mathematics prize: the Fields Medal. Unearthed letters suggest early award committees favored promise and youth over star power.Sarah also interviews Julia Dressel about her Science Advances paper on predicting recidivism—the likelihood that a criminal defendant will commit another crime. It turns out computers aren’t better than people at these types of predictions, in fact—both are correct only about 65% of the time.  Jen Golbeck interviews Paul Shapiro about his book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, in our monthly books segment.  Listen to previous podcasts.[Image: Greg Chiasson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Greg Chiasson/Flickr last_img read more

Heres what happens when you replace toads and turtles with 3Dprinted replicas

first_img Email By Matt WarrenApr. 17, 2018 , 3:45 PM Here’s what happens when you replace toads and turtles with 3D-printed replicas in the wild Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country When the first rains arrive in the forests of northwest Costa Rica, yellow toads gather in the hundreds for an intense but short-lived breeding season. This year, however, they will be joined by a handful of intruders called “RoboToads.” These motorized amphibians—3D printed in a lab—could help uncover the secrets behind the real toads’ unusual mating ritual. And that’s just one of many mysteries that 3D-printed animals are starting to reveal.“3D printing is really advancing the questions that we’re able to ask as field biologists,” says Daniel Mennill, who has been researching the toads for a decade alongside Stéphanie Doucet, both of whom are behavioral ecologists at the University of Windsor in Canada.Several years ago, the husband-and-wife duo discovered that during the breeding season—which lasts little more than a day—male toads change color from their normal dull brown to a striking lemon-yellow. Using handmade clay models, they figured out why: The brief switch to yellow helps the males identify females, which remain brown. But now the team wants to figure out how the females choose among similarly colored males, a much harder task to do with crude clay models.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Enter the RoboToad. Created by Mennill and Doucet’s graduate student Lincoln Savi, the toads were painstakingly sculpted into exactly the right shape and texture with computer software, after being scanned in from a handful of photos. Savi 3D printed several copies and painted them to look like males, some bright yellow and some a dull chartreuse. Motors make the models move around randomly, giving the illusion of a living creature. With the RoboToad, the team no longer needs to sculpt individual clay models—or struggle to get them painted the precise shades they need for their research.When the rains begin, the team will set up arenas containing two 3D-printed male toads of different shades, and see which one a wild female chooses. The brief breeding window means that time is of the essence, and Mennill says the team is already out in Costa Rica, “sitting there staring up at the sky [and] waiting for the first rains to arrive.”Back in Canada, biologist Grégory Bulté, of Carleton University in Ottawa, is using 3D printing to answer a question that’s been bugging him for more than a decade. Bulté studies northern map turtles, whose females can grow to twice the length of males. He wondered whether males might be attracted to larger females, but the turtles’ skittish nature—and the fact that they mate on the floor of the lake—made observation tricky.Bulté’s team printed two 3D models of female turtles, identical in every aspect except size, and placed them a meter apart on the lakebed, with cameras rigged up to record how wild males reacted. As predicted, the males attempted to mate with the large model more often than the smaller one, the researchers report this month in Animal Behaviour. Using live animals in this sort of study would introduce a host of other variables that would be difficult to control, Bulté says. For example, one of the animals could be related to the male, which could affect his choice. In contrast, 3D printing is “almost an ideal system.” And multiple copies can be printed relatively cheaply. That’s a far cry from past eras, when an artist or taxidermist needed to create each individual model.3D printing is also allowing scientists to create models at a much finer scale, says ornithologist Mark Hauber at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Hauber studies a behavior known as brood parasitism, in which birds lay eggs in the nests of other species, leaving the unwitting foster parents to rear their chicks. Previously, researchers studied host birds’ reactions by placing plaster and wood models of parasitic eggs in their nests. But using 3D printing, Hauber’s team created far more realistic looking cowbird eggs, which allowed his team to examine whether variations of just a few millimeters in size influenced robins’ decisions to throw the parasitic eggs out of their nests.Using these new models also means people can easily replicate experiments, Hauber says. He has made the digital models of his eggs freely available online, so anyone can print off their own copy and reproduce the research.But the number of groups using 3D printing is still small. That may be because beginners are intimidated, says Jocelyn Behm, an ecologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who studies how predators respond to invasive lizards. Rather than bringing a live exotic species into an ecosystem, she is using 3D-printed models. To help other researchers, Behm posted last month about her own experiences in a preprint on bioRxiv that also reviews recent papers using the technique. “I really thought 3D printing was difficult … but then once I got into it, I realized it’s not that hard,” she says. The key to using the technique, says Bulté, is collaboration. “If people don’t talk to each other, then [they] might think it’s less accessible than it really is.”last_img read more

Spider silk is five times stronger than steel—now scientists know why

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 Spider silk is five times stronger than steel—now, scientists know why The next time you brush aside a spiderweb, you might want to meditate on its delicate strength—if human-size, it would be tough enough to snag a jetliner. Now, scientists know just how these silken strands get their power: through thousands of even smaller strands that stick together to form this critter’s clingy trap.To find out how most spider silk is five times stronger than steel, scientists analyzed the silk that venomous brown recluse spiders use to create their ground webs and hold their eggs, using an atomic force microscope. They found that each strand—which is 1000 times thinner than a human hair—is actually made up of thousands of nanostrands, only 20 millionths of a millimeter in diameter, they reported last month in ACS Macro Letters. Just like a tiny cable, each silk fiber is entirely composed of parallel nanostrands, which they measured to be at least 1 micron long. That may not sound very lengthy, but on a nanoscale, it’s at least 50 times as long as these fibers are wide—and researchers believe they could stretch even further.The idea that nanofibers make up spider silk has been proposed before, but until now, there was no evidence to suggest nanostrands comprised the entire makeup of a silk fiber. The team’s secret weapon was the unique silk of the brown recluse spider, which, unlike most, is a flat ribbon as opposed to a cylindrical fiber, making it easier to examine under the lens of a powerful microscope.center_img By Courtney MiceliNov. 20, 2018 , 8:00 AM Email The new discovery builds on a finding the team made last year, which demonstrated how the brown recluse spider reinforces its main silk strands with a special looping technique (above). Equipped with a tiny sewing machine–like spinneret, the spider weaves about 20 microloops into every millimeter of silk it ejects, which strengthens their sticky spool and prevents it from collapsing.Researchers say even though the flat ribbons and looping technique are not shared by all spiders, their study of brown recluse silk may be a window to exploring the stringy fibers of other species. Such studies could pave the way for creating new materials that could be used in medicine and engineering. But synthetic spider silk has been notoriously difficult to create. In the meantime, researchers hope their work will help us unreel one of the toughest materials of the natural world.last_img read more

Male and female bees have radically different taste in flowers

first_img Male and female bees may look similar, but they have dramatically different dining habits, according to a new study. Despite both needing nectar to survive, they get this nutrient from different flowers—so different, in fact, that males and females might as well belong to separate species.To make the find, researchers spent 11 weeks observing the foraging habits of 152 species of bees in several flower-rich New Jersey fields. Then they brought the insects—nearly 19,000 in all—back to the lab and meticulously identified their species and sex.Males and females rarely drank nectar from the same type of flower, the team reports. Using a statistical test the researchers found that male and female bee diets overlap significantly less than would be expected at random. BIOSPHOTO/Alamy Stock Photo Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 By Tom GarlinghouseDec. 11, 2018 , 3:35 PM Male and female bees have radically different taste in flowers Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The preferences probably stem from the distinct physiological and reproductive demands of the two sexes. Males take nectar only for immediate energy, and they typically avoid flowers that produce no nectar. Females—the worker bees—consume nectar, too, but also carry pollen from the fields to their hive. These tasks require females to visit a greater diversity of flowers.These dinner distinctions could affect strategies for conserving bees, the researchers contend. Planting alluring flowers near stressed colonies can help bees get enough food. But if those blossoms aren’t tasty to males as well as females, hives could still suffer.*Update, 17 December, 1:50 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that this study has not yet been published in a journal.last_img read more

Power from peat—more polluting than coal—is on its way out in Ireland

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 On a cold, gray morning in November, the Corneveagh Bog in central Ireland is a scene of industrial harvest. Like other Irish bogs, it has been drained and stripped of its moss and heather to reveal the rich, black soil beneath: peat. The peat is scored with tread marks left by the machines that shaved off a crumbly layer and turned it over to dry. A long mound of peat, stripped and dried earlier in the season, is covered in plastic, waiting to be piled into rail cars and taken to a nearby power plant. There, the carbon-rich soil will be burned to generate electricity.But not for much longer, says Barry O’Loughlin, an ecologist employed by Bord na Móna, a state-owned peat harvesting and energy company based in Newbridge that owns Corneveagh Bog. Bord na Móna, which means “Peat Board,” will soon retire dozens of bogs like Corneveagh from energy production. Its team of four ecologists will rehabilitate many of them by blocking drains, soaking the ground, and reestablishing plant life, O’Loughlin says as his boots crunch through the frosty soil. “We bring life back into the bog again.”In Ireland, peat has been used for centuries to warm homes and fire whiskey distilleries. For a country with little coal, oil, and gas, peat—deep layers of partially decayed moss and other plant matter—is also a ready fuel for power plants. Peat power peaked in the 1960s, providing 40% of Ireland’s electricity. But peat is particularly polluting. Burning it for electricity emits more carbon dioxide than coal, and nearly twice as much as natural gas. In 2016, peat generated nearly 8% of Ireland’s electricity, but was responsible for 20% of that sector’s carbon emissions. “The ceasing of burning peat is a no-brainer,” says Tony Lowes, a founder of Friends of the Irish Environment in Eyeries. By Emily TonerDec. 12, 2018 , 2:25 PMcenter_img KLAUS-WERNER FRIEDRICH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO Industrial peat extraction has stripped dozens of Irish bogs of their heather and moss. Power from peat—more polluting than coal—is on its way out in Ireland That is now beginning to happen. By the end of 2019, the Irish government will eliminate all of the roughly €100 million in annual industry subsidies it now pays for peat-generated electricity. Bord na Móna, which supplies peat to the three remaining power stations burning it for electricity, announced in October that it would cut its peat supply for electricity by a third by 2020 and end it completely by 2027. Ireland will need to find alternative, lower carbon sources of electricity. And approximately 60 bogs no longer needed for fuel will be converted back to wetlands or put to commercial uses such as land for wind farms.Behind the phaseout is Ireland’s promise to the European Union to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020, compared with 2005 levels. “The country’s decarbonization agenda is driving Bord na Móna’s step down from peat,” says Joe Lane, the company’s chief operating officer. Even so, Ireland will miss its goal. Despite rapid growth in wind power and increasingly energy efficient homes and vehicles, it will struggle to reduce emissions by even 1%, says Phillip O’Brien, scientific officer for the Irish Environmental Protection Agency in Dublin.Like any energy transition, this one comes with a human cost. Up to 430 jobs will be lost, Lane says. “Most of the people who will lose their jobs are people who have worked for Bord na Móna for a long time—people whose fathers, grandfathers, and villages are all tied to the company.”And replacing peat with biomass, as the power companies plan to do, is not a panacea. A decade ago, Bord na Móna began to cofuel a peat-burning station with mixtures of biomass including a grass called miscanthus, olive pits, almond shells, palm kernel shells, and beet pulp, much of it imported from all over the world. Because biomass takes up carbon from the atmosphere as it grows, the European Union counts it as a carbon-neutral, renewable resource—even though transportation, processing, and land-use costs make it less so. “The unregulated or unfettered use of biomass would lead to serious problems,” says Robert Matthews, a scientist at Forest Research in Surrey, U.K. In 2021, European legislation will tighten biomass standards, reducing the advantages of burning it from a carbon accounting standpoint.Rehabilitating the harvested peatlands, however, is a clear plus for climate. When bogs are drained to harvest peat, or for any other use, such as agriculture, grazing, or forestry, exposure to oxygen jump-starts the decomposition of the stored organic matter, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. A 2013 study of Irish peatland carbon emissions, published in Irish Geography, found that each hectare of industrially drained and stripped peatland emits 2.1 tons of carbon per year—the equivalent of driving a car 30,000 kilometers. And that’s before the harvested peat is burned.Those emissions cease as soon as drains are blocked and the water table rises to resaturate the peat, cutting off oxygen. As a result, ecologists say, conserving peatlands has a triple benefit: reducing emissions from both power plants and exposed fields and, with restored plant life, sequestering more carbon in future peat deposits. “Peatlands are our rainforest, our carbon sink,” Lowes says.Moreover, healthy peatlands improve water quality and provide needed habitat for threatened species such as curlews and marsh fritillary butterflies. “Our goal is to make things as wet as we can, where we can,” says Catherine Farrell, an ecologist at Bord na Móna. She says that of the 80,000 hectares of peatland under company management, 18,000 hectares have been rehabilitated.But in a country where peat smoke rises from chimneys every day, that’s just a start. People cut peat to burn in their houses from another 600,000 hectares of peatlands, and there are few plans for rehabilitating these degraded bogs. Catherine O’Connell, director of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council in Lullymore, would like to see more action to heal the bogs. “There’s a lot of bare peat around,” she says. “There’s a lot of hemorrhaging carbon.”*Correction, 13 December, 10 a.m.: The spelling of Corneveagh Bog has been corrected throughout this article.last_img read more

The worlds largest bee vanished decades ago Now scientists have spotted it

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Erik StokstadFeb. 21, 2019 , 2:10 PM One threat to the bees is insect collectors, who may be targeting the species, according to a statement from Robin Moore of Global Wildlife Conservation, a nonprofit in Austin that sponsored the search. The larger concern is loss of habitat, as Indonesia’s forests are being cut down for agriculture. The researchers want to create a conservation plan for the species—and Global Wildlife Conservation hopes the publicity of the record-setting bee will help raise awareness for its protection. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In 1981, the world’s biggest bee went missing—again. Wallace’s giant bee (above, right), which lives in the rainforests of Indonesia, is four times larger than a typical honey bee, with giant jaws and a wingspan of 6 centimeters—nearly as long as the short side of a dollar bill. (Those are the females; males are roughly half that size.) Now, the bee, which has been presumed extinct more than once, has been found again in the wild, a conservation group announced today.As part of a project to rediscover lost species around the globe, four entomologists and photographers scoured the North Moluccas in the Indonesian islands for Wallace’s giant bee (Megachile pluto). After 5 days of searching, they located a single female inside a termite’s nest high in the trees—the bees build their own nests inside such structures, defending them with tree sap that they collect with their strong jaws.The bee was first discovered in 1858 by naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, who developed the theory of evolution by natural selection at the same time as Charles Darwin. At the time, Wallace noted the bee’s large jaws, which looked like those of a stag beetle. But Wallace was the last person on record to see one until an entomologist with the University of Georgia in Athens found several in 1981. The status of the species has been unknown ever since. © Clay Bolt Email The world’s largest bee vanished decades ago. Now, scientists have spotted it againlast_img read more

For the first time you can see what a black hole looks

first_img The EHT team, from 13 institutions around the world, made its observations of M87* and the black hole at the center of our Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), over 5 nights in April 2017 using eight radio telescopes that are sensitive to wavelengths of about a millimeter. At that specific radio frequency, radiation can penetrate the haze of dust and gas that surrounds the centers of galaxies.But zooming in on the black holes was still a challenge. Black holes pack an immense amount of mass into a surprisingly small space. The black hole at the center of M87, 55 million light-years away, has swallowed the mass of 6.5 billion suns. Yet its event horizon is only 40 billion kilometers across—about four times the diameter of Neptune’s orbit.No existing telescope has the resolution to see such a distant, tiny object. So, the EHT team coopted most of the millimeter-wave telescopes worldwide and combined their data to produce a virtual telescope the size of Earth through a process called very-long-baseline interferometry. The telescopes they used stretched from Hawaii to Arizona, Mexico to Spain, and Chile to the South Pole. “You can think of them as silvered spots on a global mirror,” says Shep Doeleman, the EHT’s project leader at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Then the Earth turns so we can fill in the image.”The collaboration had made earlier observations with fewer telescopes, but 2017 was the first time they had a globe-spanning array that included the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile with its 64 dishes. Millimeter waves are affected by clouds, so getting good weather was important. In April 2017, the weather gods smiled. “It was one of the smoothest parts of the project,” says team member Feryal Özel of the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Some crews worked 16- or 18-hour shifts, but the whole thing was lucky,” she says, adding: “Analyzing the data was much harder.”That process has taken the whole of the time since. The volume of data was so great that it could not be transmitted to large computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory in Westford and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. Instead, it had to be recorded on disk and shipped, which posed a problem for the South Pole Telescope. It was in lockdown for the austral winter so researchers didn’t get their hands on its data until almost the end of 2017. A total of 4 petabytes were recorded, each reading time-stamped using an atomic clock. If those data were music recorded as MP3s, they would take 8000 years to play. In the team’s images, the bottom of the ring appears bright because the gases there are being Doppler-boosted, whipped toward Earth. The black hole bends light around it, creating a circular shadow. General relativity predicts that the shadow ought to be round to within 10%, says Avery Broderick, an EHT member and astrophysicist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, whereas alternative theories of gravity predict distorted, noncircular shapes. The observed shadow is essentially circular, Broderick says. “It feels like looking at the gates of hell,” says Heino Falcke of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, one of the leaders of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, which announced the result in a global set of coordinated press conferences. “This is the end of space and time.” Falcke says the 2-year process of crunching the data and generating the images “was the most emotionally difficult period of my life.”Although few doubted the existence of black holes, seeing them—or at least their shadow—was an immense challenge. Black holes have gravitational fields so strong that even light cannot escape, so they are defined by the shell of a black, featureless sphere called an event horizon. But the holes can nevertheless be seen. As they consume matter that strays too close, they squeeze it into a superheated disk of glowing gas. At last, we can see it: a black hole in the flesh. Astronomers today revealed a picture of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of the nearby galaxy Messier 87 (M87). The result—a ring of fire surrounding the blackest of shadows—is a powerful confirmation of Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, or general relativity, which was used to predict black holes 80 years ago. It is also a feat for the team of more than 200 scientists who toiled for years to produce the image by combining signals from eight separate radio observatories spanning the globe. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Related content For the first time, you can see what a black hole looks like 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 This image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. The black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun. Approaching jet Junhan Kim/University of Arizona Email The idea got a shot in the arm with Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s 1967 discovery of pulsars—dense, spinning neutron stars—which proved the existence of extremely dense, compact objects. Since then, astronomers have accumulated plenty of indirect evidence for the existence of black holes, from the effects of their gravity. Astronomers have found binary systems, such as Cygnus X-1, where a star orbits an unseen, denser object that appears to be gorging itself on material from its stellar partner.More evidence came from studies of Sgr A*. Over the past couple of decades, observations of a handful of stars in tight, fast orbits leave little room for anything other than a supermassive black hole at the galactic center, one with a mass of about 4 million times that of our sun.The most compelling evidence came in 2015, with the detection by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory of ripples in space-time emitted by the cataclysmic merger of two black holes. With today’s announcement, however, astronomers finally have visual evidence. “I’ve always wanted to see that damned thing,” Falcke says.Future EHT observations could shed additional light on the nature of black holes. The team hopes to measure the spin and magnetic polarization of the black holes. At M87*, a more voracious and active black hole than Sgr A*, the team could learn about the mechanism that accelerates jets of material out from the poles of the black hole, like beams from a light house. Sera Markoff, an EHT team member and theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam, notes that M87* is also an “active galactic nucleus” whose luminosity waxes and wanes as it slurps up matter. “We just got lucky,” she says. “If it had been flaring we might have seen something very different and it may have blocked the shadow.”The team’s campaign in 2018 was mostly a washout because of bad weather. This year, observations were abandoned because several telescopes were not operating. But next year’s observations should include new telescopes, and they will also begin to observe at shorter wavelengths, which should offer sharper images, Doeleman says. “We’ll be able to extend that image of that shadow out to where it connects to that jet.”Astronomers outside the EHT team will be eager for unexpected discoveries that could point to theoretical breakthroughs. When asked about the team’s results, Avi Loeb, director of the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University, says he is most surprised by the lack of surprises. A decade ago, he helped simulate M87*, and he says his images looked much like the EHT’s today. Even so, he says, the team’s result is an important milestone. “An image is worth a thousand words, and seeing is believing,” he says. “Now, we’ve nailed the map of a black hole.”With additional reporting by Adrian Cho and Dennis Normile. By Daniel CleryApr. 10, 2019 , 9:15 AM Material rotating toward Earth is Doppler boosted and brighter. (GRAPHIC) C. BICKEL/SCIENCE; (IMAGES) EVENT HORIZON TELESCOPE COLLABORATION ET AL., ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS, VOL. 875, 3, 2019 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Accretion disk Supermassive black hole Disk rotation Photon ring Shadow edge Event horizon Simulations (bottom) helped connect the EHT’s fuzzy image (middle) to a physical model of M87’s black hole (top), and suggest that the accretion disk spins clockwise. Connecting the dots Strange beast Receding jet Jet rotation Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al. Here’s what scientists think a black hole looks like Data from the South Pole Telescope, one of the radio dishes used in the Event Horizon Telescope, overwintered in Antarctica before being combined with other data. “It was a pretty gruesome process to crunch all the data,” Falcke says. Powerful processors called correlators compare readings between pairs of telescopes at different distances and orientations to the black holes. Özel compares it to building up a 3D image of the body with a computerized tomography scan, but in this case they do not have all the orientations they need. “We had to make sure we were not filling in the data in a way that could influence interpretation,” she says. Monika Mościbrodzka, the EHT working group coordinator at Radboud University, says four independent teams duplicated the data processing to eliminate biases. She says the result was convincing because, over 4 days of observations of M87*, the shape and size of the shadow was consistent, and the contrast between the bright ring and dark shadow was as large as theory predicted.The team did not report results for our galaxy’s giant, Sgr A*. Although it is much closer than M87*, it is about 1000 times less massive, with a smaller event horizon. Moreover, it moves more quickly across the sky, complicating observations. Doeleman says the team will turn to Sgr A* next. “We’re not promising anything,” he says. “But we hope to get to it soon.”Einstein disliked the idea of black holes. Months after he published his theory of general relativity in 1915, German physicist Karl Schwarzschild came up with a solution for Einstein’s equations that suggested that within a certain distance of an infinitesimal point of mass, gravity should be so strong it would stop anything from escaping, even light.However, for decades, most physicists and astronomers thought such an idea was just a mathematical curiosity. It wasn’t until 1939 that U.S. physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and colleagues predicted that a massive star could actually collapse to a point. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team took 2 years to produce an image of the black hole at the center of nearby galaxy Messier 87 (M87), which feeds on a swirling disk of bright matter. Its gravity is so strong that photons orbit it, creating a bright ring. Gravitational lensing magni­fies the black hole’s event horizon into a larger dark shadow, which may be partially ­filled by material in front of the hole. Size of the heliopause, the edge of the solar systemlast_img read more

Black Folks Money Stop Overthinking Wealth

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Closing in on a centuryold mystery scientists are figuring out what the

first_imgTuft enoughTuft cells are odd-looking cells that use tastereceptors and other surface proteins to sensepathogens, then release chemical messengersthat trigger multiple responses.Weep and sweepTuft cells help eliminate gut pathogens by releasing interleukin-25 (IL-25), which stimulates mucus-producinggoblet cells, recruits immune cells, and leads to muscle contractions.TuftlessMice whose tuft cells are missing or impairedproduce less IL-25 than normal mice and havetrouble clearing para- sites from the intestines. Through their interplay with other cell types, tuft cells may confer other benefits as well, such as healing damaged tissues, forestalling cancer, and priming the maturation of certain immune system cells. But tuft cells can also betray us. They foster some cancers; offer a foothold to norovirus, the stomach-churning pathogen that causes more than 600 million cases of food poisoning each year; and help instigate inflammatory conditions such as asthma.The cells haven’t shed all their mysteries. What pathogen molecules tuft cells recognize, which chemical-sensing receptors they deploy, and how much they contribute to certain diseases remain uncertain, for example. Still, their role in defending the body and marshaling other cells suggests that “potentially, they are very important cells,” says UCSF immunologist Richard Locksley.Policing parasitesA clue to their function comes from their resemblance to tufted cells on the skin of fish that detect chemicals in the water, alerting the animals to nearby food or predators. “As mammals went ashore, these cells became internalized,” Locksley says. Besides their signature plume, tuft cells share with their forebears details of their internal structure and an aptitude for detection. They are well equipped to sample their surroundings, carrying receptors for the tastes of bitter, sweet, and umami as well as for other molecules.But researchers knew little about what tuft cells perceive and what benefits they provide until 2016. One study that helped clarify the cells’ function began when Howitt made a disturbing observation. Two years into his postdoc at Harvard University, he was probing potential interactions between tuft cells and intestinal bacteria. If tuft cells were attuned to those microbes, Howitt reasoned, the cells’ numbers might change in germ-free mice. To test that possibility, he counted tuft cells in the intestines of mice born and raised at Harvard’s animal facility in what was intended to be an environment free of infectious microbes and even the natural, helpful bacterial residents of the gut. As he examined intestinal tissue from the mice, however, Howitt noticed single-celled parasitic protozoa called Tritrichomonas muris sculling through the microscope’s field of view. The mice weren’t free of pathogens after all.”My response was not one of glee,” Howitt says. Tuft cells were about 20 times more abundant in the supposedly germ-free mice than in normal rodents. He worried that contamination by the parasite had affected the result and that he would have to start over. But when he and colleagues fed the protozoa-rich intestinal contents of their homegrown mice to parasite-free mice, tuft cell numbers surged. And when the researchers introduced the parasite into germ-free mice whose tuft cells couldn’t sense chemicals, that increase did not occur, implying that tuft cells normally act to detect protozoa, a potential threat, and proliferate. Gut interior By Mitch LeslieMar. 28, 2019 , 1:00 PM Fluorescent markers identify tuft cells (green) amid other cells of the intestinal villi. IL-25 While poring over tissue slides in the 1920s, a Soviet microscopist spotted an oddball cell squeezed into the intestinal lining. With its bulbous shape and bristly top knot, it didn’t look like any of its neighbors. He was baffled—and so were later researchers who spotted the same kind of cells in the following decades. What they did was a mystery. “It was amazing to me that this huge piece of biology was out there undiscovered,” says mucosal immunologist Michael Howitt of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who began to study those tuft cells, as they are called, in 2011.What was known about them only made the mystery more tantalizing. Some tuft cells display the same chemical-sensing surface proteins that act as taste receptors on the tongue. And the cells station themselves in the linings of many body structures and organs—not only the intestines, but also the lungs, pancreas, gallbladder, urethra, and nasal passages. “Almost any hollow tube in the body has something like a tuft cell,” says immunologist Mark Anderson of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). But why would the pancreas or urethra possibly need a sense of taste?Now, a wave of recent research reveals a reason. Tuft cells serve as sentinels along the body’s invasion routes, relying on their sensory capabilities to detect pathogens and allergens that are inhaled or trying to infiltrate in other ways. Although not part of the immune or nervous system—they are a type of epithelial cell—tuft cells interact with those systems to help coordinate protective responses in many parts of the body, scientists have found. 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 IL-25 Goblet cell Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Villus Immune cells Tuft cellcenter_img Mucus Closing in on a century-old mystery, scientists are figuring out what the body’s ‘tuft cells’ do Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Parasite Epithelial cells On the lookout for parasites and likely other pathogens, tuft cells (blue) are stationed among the microvilli-capped cells of the intestinal lining and many other places in the body. V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE (GRAPHIC) V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE; (DATA) S. STEELE ET AL.; TRENDS IN MOLECULAR MEDICINE, VOL. 22, 921, (2016) At about the same time, Locksley and colleagues serendipitously arrived at the same conclusion. He and the other scientists hadn’t even heard of tuft cells when they began their experiments, recalls immunologist Jakob von Moltke, a former UCSF postdoc with Locksley who now runs a lab studying the cells at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. The group was trying to pin down which cells in the intestinal lining pump out interleukin-25 (IL-25), a protein signal that helps the body defend against parasites but also promotes allergy symptoms and asthma.The researchers analyzed intestinal tissues from mice genetically modified so that any cells making IL-25 also produced a red fluorescent protein. A few bright cells stood out, and antibodies specific for different kinds of intestinal cells revealed their identity. “That’s when we went and looked up what a tuft cell is,” von Moltke says. A third group led by researchers from France simultaneously discovered an antiparasite role for tuft cells in the intestine.The teams ultimately demonstrated that tuft cells are crucial for the body’s “weep and sweep” defense against parasites. In that mechanism, mucus-producing goblet cells in the intestinal lining divide rapidly and secrete copiously while muscle cells in the intestinal walls step up their contractions—all to help force the invaders from the body. Tuft cells that sense parasites discharge IL-25 to unleash those responses and stimulate immune cells; genetically altering mice to remove or disable their tuft cells impairs their ability to eliminate parasitic worms, the groups found.The cells strengthen gut defenses against parasites in a second way, as Locksley, von Moltke, and colleagues revealed last year. The responses of tuft cells to one kind of parasite help make it harder for additional parasites to infect the animals.How tuft cells in the intestines detect parasites remained unclear until 2018. It would be fitting if the interlopers tasted bitter to the cells, but intestinal tuft cells don’t rely on bitter taste receptors. Instead, three papers—including two on which von Moltke and Locksley are authors—showed the cells react to succinate, a metabolic molecule that worms and other parasites secrete. Tuft cells have receptors for succinate, but other, unidentified detectors also seem to be involved. Even giving the mice succinate in their water girds their defenses: “When we put the animals on succinate diets, they didn’t get colonized” by parasitic worms, Locksley says.Tuft cells also fend off invaders elsewhere in the body. Studies on rodents have shown that when tuft cells in the urethra recognize bitter or umami molecules or bacterial cells, they activate nerves that spur urination, flushing away potentially harmful microbes. Otolaryngologist Noam Cohen of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues determined that tuft cells in the nasal passages respond to bitter chemicals and spur neighboring cells to pump out bactericidal proteins. In rodents, but not people, nasal tuft cells can even temporarily halt breathing by stimulating a nerve that connects to the part of the brain that controls respiration. That might help stop inhalation of pathogens—a handy adaptation for animals constantly sticking their noses into dirty corners. MONIA MICHAUD Email The cells’ responsibilities appear to go beyond guard duty. In 2014, Timothy Wang, a gastrointestinal and cancer researcher at Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues were probing tuft cells’ function by testing genetically modified mice whose tuft cells die when exposed to the diphtheria toxin. To their surprise, dosing the animals with the toxin to eliminate their intestinal tuft cells produced no obvious ill effects. But when the researchers stimulated colitis or triggered other types of intestinal injury in mice lacking tuft cells, the animals quickly perished. Unlike unaltered rodents, those animals could not refurbish their damaged intestines, indicating the cells help orchestrate tissue repair.Another organ in which the cells may perform unexpected jobs is the thymus, where some kinds of immune cells mature and learn not to attack the body’s own tissues. Anderson and colleagues were tracking the varieties of epithelial cells in the part of the thymus where that education takes place when they found “goofy cells with taste receptors” that they didn’t recognize. Anderson then ran into Locksley in a hallway at UCSF, who had a pretty good idea what they were. The cells had a tuft, and an analysis of gene activity confirmed them as the enigmatic cells.After teaming with Locksley and von Moltke, Anderson’s group showed that the thymus’s tuft cells carry surface proteins that are key to teaching young immune cells not to target the body’s own proteins. The team reported its finding in Nature last year, along with a second group that had independently found similar results. The researchers aren’t sure what tuft cells are sensing in the thymus, however.Cancer concernsMuch about the cells remains fuzzy—including the function of the namesake tuft. The cells are most abundant in the gallbladder, but nobody knows what they are doing there. And researchers are still trying to understand the cells’ roles—protective or harmful—in disease. Cancer biologist Kathleen DelGiorno of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, notes that in mice, tuft cells appear in the pancreas after it is injured and seem to promote healing. They may prevent lesions, which some patients harbor for many years, from becoming aggressive tumors. “Tuft cells inhibiting the immune system might be one reason why these lesions persist but don’t progress,” DelGiorno says.Yet some work suggests tuft cells in the pancreas are themselves the source of tumors there. And stronger evidence reveals the cells can help instigate tumors in other organs. In their 2014 study, Wang and colleagues studied genetically modified mice whose tuft cells lack the tumor-suppressor gene APC, which is faulty in most people with colon cancer. When the researchers gave the rodents a noxious compound that spurred colitis, the tuft cells began to proliferate and formed colon tumors.”I don’t think tuft cells are the primary source of colon cancer” in humans, Wang says, but they may on occasion spark the growths. The cells may also promote stomach cancer. When Wang and his team gave mice a chemical that induces stomach tumors, the number of tuft cells in the organ surged. Those cells poured out acetylcholine, which serves as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system but also stokes the initial growth of the tumors, the scientists reported in 2017.Other work is now hinting that tuft cells in our respiratory system drive conditions such as asthma, sinus inflammation, and nasal polyps, perhaps by releasing the same immune-stimulating molecules that trigger defenses against parasites.Tuft cells aren’t about to become a major target of medical treatments, but researchers are thinking about ways to harness them. In the nasal passages, for example, prodding tuft cells with bitter molecules might help combat sinus infections. Recent work shows that in mice with Crohn disease, tuft cells are less abundant in the most inflamed portions of the intestine, so stimulating the cells to divide might promote healing. In the airways, by contrast, blocking the cells might help ease asthma and allergy symptoms.It’s too early to say whether discoveries about tuft cells will pay off in medicine. But the recent revelations have dispelled the old view that tuft cells are, as Anderson puts it, just oddities that “medical students get quizzed about.”*Correction, 3 April, 2 p.m.: This story has been edited to remove the statement that tuft cells in nasal passages use IL-25 to stimulate other cells to release antimicrobial production (They appear to use calcium instead)last_img read more

A Soap Opera Holiday – Santa Barbara Reunion Cruise is Happening

first_imgFor many people around the world, a Santa Barbara reunion cruise would be a dream come true. The television soap opera Santa Barbara may have gone off the air in the U.S. in 1993, but it never left the hearts of many of its fans around the world, and now some folks may have the opportunity to mingle with the original cast while aboard a ship. The first-ever Santa Barbara Reunion Cruise sails on November 4th through 8th from Miami to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. The cruise will bring together six original Santa Barbara cast members: Lane Davies, A. Martinez, Judith McConnell, Harley Jane Kozak, Louise Sorel, and Nicolas Coster.The Santa Barbara cruise ship“I’m pleased, but more surprised that 30 years later we’re still as fondly remembered as we are,” Lane Davies told Soap Hub.Lane DaviesThe show’s creators, Bridget and Jerry Dobson, are credited with its success as well as taking advantage of the 1980s timing, which was the perfect setting for its stories. Its popularity soared in 40 overseas markets, particularly in France, Eastern Europe, and, most of all, Russia. “I think we were so refreshing after communism and dark Siberian winter nights,” said Davies. “Something about the show really captured the Soviet imagination.”A. MartinezWhen the series first appeared on NBC network in 1984, the American TV critics were not exactly blown away. One reviewer described it as “The worst program on television …. maybe ever.”  But the fan base grew for the show that followed the tumultuous lives of the rich Capwells. The show garnered 24 Daytime Emmy Awards.Judith McConnell“Among daytime soaps, Santa Barbara was notable for its generous $30 million budget and its unique blend of romance, melodrama and black comedy (one popular character was killed when a giant neon letter ‘C’ fell from the Capwell Hotel sign, crushing her),” said History. “It was also the first soap with prominent Hispanic characters–notably Cruz Castillo (A. Martinez), who with Eden Capwell (Marcy Walker) formed one of the show’s resident ‘power couples’–and even featured a member of the British nobility, Dame Judith Anderson, as the grand dame Minx Lockridge.”Harley Jane KozakDespite the enthusiasm of such fans as Ronald and Nancy Regan, Santa Barbara never finished above 10th place in the ratings. But it remains a cult favorite around the world. Alumni of the series include Robin Wright and soap opera mainstay Jack Wagner.Louise SorelIts longtime popularity in Russia is particularly remarkable. Santa Barbara was the first ever American soap opera to be broadcast on Russian television. It started airing on Jan. 2, 1992, with episode 217, and came to a close on April 17, 2002, with episode 2,040. For the first several years, the new episodes ran three evenings per week.Nicolas CosterForeign Policy wrote, “For 10 long years — all through the crime-ridden, chaotic 1990s, the early post-Soviet years of timelessness and hardship — life in large cities, small towns, industrial settlements, and snowbound villages across Russia’s 11 time zones would come to a standstill as the remarkably cheery sounds of Santa Barbara’s intro issued from millions of TV sets.”Santa Barbara cruise shipDavies told Soap Hub that plenty of photo ops, autograph sessions, and “face time” are planned for the cruise. “There will be some panel stuff,” Davies said. “We’re planning a tribute not only to Jed Allan [who played C.C. Capwell], bless his soul, but everybody who has departed this mortal coil since the show ended.”Related Article: Golden Girls Themed Cruise to set sail in 2020He concluded, “What we’re really looking forward to is a shared experience with the fans. They’re not just going to go into a room with other fans and watch 20 minutes of Santa Barbara highlights. We’ll be there with them.”Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more

Mumbai Man stabs pregnant daughter to death for rejecting marriage proposals eloping

first_imgWritten by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai | Published: July 16, 2019 2:38:48 am Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Post Comment(s) Top News Mumbai: Man ‘stabs’ pregnant daughter to death for rejecting marriage proposals, eloping (Representational Image)A 55-YEAR-OLD man was arrested for allegedly stabbing his pregnant daughter to death after she rejected two marriage proposals, and eloped with a man from their village in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh, said police. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Mumbai Police, which began probing the matter after the body of Meenakshi Chaurasia was found in Ghatkopar (west) Sunday morning, arrested her father, Rajkumar, on Monday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone VII), Akhilesh Kumar Singh, said, “We have arrested Rajkumar Chaurasia, father of the woman who was found stabbed to death…”Singh said Chaurasia, who has a paan shop in Matunga, had called his daughter to an isolated spot in Ghatkopar on the pretext of giving her some money to purchase clothes. When the duo met on Saturday night, the accused stabbed her in the neck several times before fleeing.He later accompanied his son-in-law to the police station, asking police personnel to track down the woman’s killers. An officer linked to the case said Rajkumar had made preparations for his daughter’s wedding last year and distributed cards. However, the woman did not want to get married. The wedding was cancelled and another wedding was arranged with a man from Virar in March. “As she was in a relationship with another man, Brijesh Chaurasia, from their village, she eloped with him. Her father, who did not approve of the wedding, registered a kidnapping case against Brijesh. However, she produced the marriage certificate,” said Singh.The deceased had been residing with Brijesh in Ghatkopar since then. She resumed communication with her father, who had put forth the condition that she never visit their village again, said police. Investigators said marriage among people of the village was frowned upon as most of them were considered distant relatives.“Recently, Rajkumar came to know that Brijesh was going to visit their village for a festival and she (Meenakshi) had plans to accompany him. This appears to have been the trigger,” said an officer. “He called her near the Narayan Nagar auto stand, an isolated spot. He reportedly dropped a few currency notes on the ground. As soon as she bent to pick up the notes, he stabbed her several times in the neck with a chopper he was carrying,” added the officer.When his wife did not return, Brijesh began looking for her. After police found the body, they confirmed it belonged to Meenakshi.“We found that Rajkumar’s location showed in the Narayan Nagar area, where the body was found. He claimed to be in Chembur. During the course of interrogation, he broke down and confessed,” said an officer. Advertising Advertisinglast_img read more

Nationalists surge in EU Parliament vote but proEU parties remain dominant

first_img P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Taking stock of monsoon rain By Reuters |Brussels | Published: May 27, 2019 2:40:25 pm Top News Post Comment(s) Frans Timmermans, Juncker’s Dutch deputy who led the Socialists’ campaign, cautioned against putting the “Game of Thrones” over top jobs ahead of efforts to forge a common programme among parties that will push for a stronger Union. Advertising More Explained P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Best Of Express The result showed Britain even more polarised over its Brexit divorce, nearly three years since a 2016 referendum in which it voted 52% to 48% to leave.In Italy, the far-right League became Italy’s largest party, giving greater authority to its leader Matteo Salvini who is pushing for swingeing tax cuts in defiance of EU budget rules.Poland’s eurosceptic ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) also came out ahead. In France, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, anti-Brussels National Rally edged Macron’s pro-European centrist movement.FIGHT FOR EU POSTSIn Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives lost votes from five years ago as the far-right Alternative for Germany gained. But the Greens grabbed the headlines, nearly doubling their vote to finish second, ahead of the governing Social Democrats.Provisional results for the EU Parliament put the EPP on 179 seats, ahead of the S&D on 150, with the liberals on 107, up 39 seats, and Greens on 70, up 18. On the far-right, two groups in the parliament had well over a 100 seats, a 40% jump from 2014.The European Parliament election will usher in weeks and possibly months of hard bargaining over who will run EU institutions. Officials for the four pro-EU centre parties were quick to talk of plans for a broad coalition.“We are facing a shrinking centre,” said Manfred Weber, the German lead candidate of the EPP. “So what I would ask us to do to is to join our forces to work together from now.”Parliament has insisted that one of its own winning members should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the executive European Commission. But many national leaders, who will meet over dinner in Brussels on Tuesday, have said they will not be bound by that demand.Weber in particular faces resistance, having never held government office – although he insists his long experience in the European Parliament makes him the democratic choice. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Spanish and Portuguese bond yields hovered around record lows as the retention of a strong majority in the EU Parliament by pro-EU parties bolstered investor sentiment.“We are going to build a social Europe, a Europe that protects,” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose revival among Spanish voters offset a fall in centre-left support in Germany, told a news conference late on Sunday night.President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance platform, built on the ruins of French centre-left and centre-right parties, added to gains for liberals at the EU level while support for the Greens surged, giving four groups the pro-EU middle ground and holding on to two-thirds of seats.BREXIT SURGECries of “Europe is back” among voters waving blue and gold EU flags outside European Parliament in Brussels on Sunday night also showed the ebullient mood among Europeans delighted with a sharply higher turnout across the bloc. Turnout in the world’s second-biggest election rose to 51% from 43% in 2014, its highest in 20 years. It was the first reverse in a trend of falling participation since the first direct EU vote in 1979 and may muffle talk of a “democratic deficit” undermining EU legitimacy.A stronger voice for the liberals and Greens could see the next EU executive seek a tougher line on regulating polluting industries, taxing multinational companies or demanding trading partners help contain climate change — as well as press its own members, notably in the east, not to damage civil rights.But disenchantment with the European project, which has struggled through economic and migration crises over the past five years, was palpable across the bloc.Riding a wave of anger at the British government’s failure to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party won a resounding victory. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising european union, european union elections, italy, britain, france, poland, brexit In France, Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration, anti-Brussels National Rally edged Macron’s pro-European centrist movement. (AP)Pro-European parties retained a firm grip on the EU parliament, provisional results from the bloc’s elections showed on Monday, though eurosceptic opponents saw strong gains. The far-right and nationalists in Italy, Britain, France and Poland came out on top in their national votes on Sunday, shaking up politics at home but failing to dramatically alter the balance of pro-European power in EU assembly.At the EU level, provisional results published at 00:00 GMT on Monday showed the Socialists, Greens, liberals and conservatives with 506 of the 751 seats in the parliament that helps pass laws for more than 500 million Europeans.While policy-making is likely to be difficult given the breakdown of a “grand coalition” of the centre right and centre left, the result shields the EU from anti-establishment forces seeking to break up the world’s largest trading bloc. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 last_img read more

British leaks say Donald Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama

first_img Advertising Related News Advertising Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Britain memo leaks, UK memos, Iran deal, US-Iran Deal, US Iran relations, US-Iran nuclear deals, Barak Obama, Donald Trump, World news, Indian Express news With Iran and the United States locked in an escalating standoff, the leaked cables offered a window into Britain’s frantic effort to save the Iran nuclear deal. (File)Written by: Benjamin Mueller It was just hours after Boris Johnson, then Britain’s foreign secretary, returned to London from a whirlwind trip last year to try to persuade the White House to abide by the Iran nuclear accord.Kim Darroch, then the British ambassador to the United States, fired off a withering assessment of President Donald Trump’s wish to quit the deal. Trump, he wrote in leaked diplomatic cables that were published Saturday, was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.”The vice president, the national security adviser and the secretary of state had all failed to “articulate why the president was determined to withdraw, beyond his campaign promises,” Darroch wrote. And the U.S. government had no plan for what would follow. Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Vice President Mike Pence and John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, showed no such hesitation, although Bolton promised Johnson that the president “wasn’t favoring a military option,” the cables said. Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Best Of Express By New York Times |London | Published: July 14, 2019 6:19:51 pm After heated exchanges, US House condemns tweets by Donald Trump as racist Planned Parenthood, seeking more political tack, removes its president Leana Wen More Explained “Even when you pressed,” Darroch wrote to Johnson, “none had anything much to say about the day after, or a Plan B, beyond reimposition of U.S. sanctions.”With Iran and the United States locked in an escalating standoff, the leaked cables offered a window into Britain’s frantic effort to save the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 — and the Trump administration’s indifference to its entreaties.Published by a British tabloid, The Mail on Sunday, the cables are the second batch of leaked documents that led to Darroch’s resignation last week. The British Foreign Office has previously made it clear that the leaked documents were authentic.Darroch resigned after Trump vowed to stop dealing with the ambassador, and after Johnson, now the front-runner to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, refused to say he would keep Darroch in his post. Advertising Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the leader of the counterterrorism unit, warned before the latest release that publishing any further documents “may also be a criminal matter.” He asked newspapers to turn over any leaked documents to the police.Journalists, lawmakers and both candidates for prime minister leapt to the defense of The Mail on Sunday, saying the warning from the police jeopardized the workings of a free press.“I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them & judge them to be in the public interest: that is their job,” Hunt said on Twitter.Johnson said he worried that clamping down on the publication of leaked documents would have “a chilling effect on public debate.”British news reports Saturday indicated that the police were focusing on a government insider in the leak investigation. Pro-Brexit politicians have blamed civil servants and diplomats for Britain’s failure to leave the European Union as scheduled, and Darroch, formerly Britain’s top diplomat in Brussels, was one of the senior officials most distrusted by Brexit supporters.Brexiteers like Johnson have held out the prospect of a free trade deal with the United States as one of the rewards of a hard split with the European Union. But the cables published Saturday reinforced how little weight the Trump administration gives the views of its allies, with Darroch writing that the United States was quitting the nuclear deal with “no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region.”Johnson did not meet with Trump on the visit, but Darroch ensured that the foreign secretary had “exceptional access” to senior officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the cables said. That meeting created the impression that parts of the administration were at odds over Trump’s determination to quit the Iran deal.Darroch wrote that Pompeo “did some subtle distancing by talking throughout about ‘the president’s decision,’” and that Pompeo hinted at an attempt to “sell” Trump on a revised version of the nuclear deal or, short of that, milder sanctions than the president was seeking. Republicans offer little criticism of Trump’s comments on Democratic Congresswomen Johnson’s position drew fierce criticism from his opponent in the prime minister race, Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, as well as from some of the Conservative Party members who are voting on the next party leader and prime minister.On Friday night, Johnson acknowledged in a BBC interview that his failure to stand behind Darroch had been part of the reason the ambassador decided to resign. Heckled that same night at a campaign event, Johnson said for the first time that he wished he had publicly supported Darroch.“I probably should have been more emphatic that Kim personally had my full support,” Johnson said.The leak has prompted an aggressive investigation by a counterterrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police, as well as a bitter dispute over the right of The Mail on Sunday to publish the files. 2 Comment(s)last_img read more

This is shocking An undersea plague is obliterating a key ocean species

first_img Neil McDaniel A dying sunflower star infected with “sea star wasting disease” in the Salish Sea off the coast of Washington state. To gauge the impact of sea star wasting disease on the sunflower star, Gaydos’s colleague Drew Harvell, a Cornell University marine ecologist based in Friday Harbor, Washington, and other team members analyzed counts of the sunflower stars from nearly 11,000 shallow water scuba dives and close to 9000 bottom trawling surveys in deeper water. Hundreds of citizen scientists trained to identify and record the presence of the sunflower star conducted the shallow water surveys, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the bottom trawls, which consist of systematically dragging a net along the sea floor to sample marine biodiversity.These data sets spanned nearly a decade prior to the collapse of sea stars and covered more than 3000 kilometers of coastline. Shallow and deep-water surveys showed stable populations followed by steep declines of the sunflower star ranging from a 60% population reduction up to 100% in some areas after the onset of the wasting disease in 2013, the researchers report today in Science Advances.“Many people expected the sunflower stars to be taking refuge in the deep water where we couldn’t count them,” says Steve Lonhart, a kelp forest ecologist with the NOAA based in Monterey, California, who was not involved in the study. “We hoped they were hiding down there—this research shows that hope was naïve.”The onset of sea star wasting disease also coincided with the warmest 3-year period on record for California’s coastal waters—2014, 2015, and 2016—according to NOAA climate researcher Nate Mantua in Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the study. To see whether there was a connection between water temperature and the disease, the study authors compared sea surface temperatures from the times and locations of each survey with the decline in sunflower stars. Their analysis found that the times and locations of the biggest death tolls coincided with the presence of abnormally warm water.Mantua is the co-author of a 2018 paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society showing that climate change played a large role in the warming of California’s coastal waters from 2014 to 2016. Climate projections indicate those temperatures will become commonplace by the 2050s, he says.“Many of these outbreaks are heat sensitive. In the lab, sea stars got sick sooner and died faster in warmer water,” Harvell says. “A warming ocean could increase the impact of infectious diseases like this one.”The declining kelp forests of northern California are unlikely to recover unless sea urchins succumb to a pestilence of their own or their natural predators are restored. Harvell thinks the imperiled sunflower star should get strong consideration for being added to the U.S. Endangered Species List, and that a formal recovery plan may be necessary.“I’m more worried now than I was before I read this paper,” Lonhart says. “We could be watching the extinction of what was a common species just 5 years ago.” An “underwater zombie apocalypse.” That’s how wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos of the University of California (UC), Davis, describes “sea star wasting disease,” a blight that has decimated more than 20 species of sea stars from Mexico to Alaska since 2013. Now, a new study by Gaydos and colleagues has more bad news: The disease has hit the sunflower star (Pycnopodia helianthoides)—a key predator within kelp forests—hardest of all. This once-common species has vanished from the majority of its range, sending shock waves through the ecosystems it once called home. The team also found a worrying association between warmer ocean temperatures and the severity of the outbreak, suggesting climate change could exacerbate future marine epidemics.“This is shocking,” says marine ecologist Mark Carr of UC Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the study. “This is not just a population reduction, this is virtually the loss of a key species over thousands of miles. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”Sea star wasting disease progresses from “that looks weird,” to “horror movie,” over a few days. White lesions appear, then expand into fissures of melting tissue. Limbs fall off and crawl away. And finally, the sea star disintegrates into a pale mound of decaying flesh. By Alex FoxJan. 30, 2019 , 2:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country ‘This is shocking.’ An undersea plague is obliterating a key ocean species An abundance of sunflower sea stars before the outbreak of “sea star wasting disease” off the coast of Canada. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Scientists still haven’t identified the pathogen responsible for the disease. Research suggests the culprit is a virus, but which one remains unknown. Similar die-offs have struck the West Coast in previous decades, but none has been so deadly over such a large area. Of the 20 species affected by the outbreak, lab tests showed the sunflower star to be among the most susceptible.The meter-wide, 24-armed sunflower star stalks the kelp forest swallowing prey like kelp-munching sea urchins whole. As one of the top predators of invertebrates these supersize stars help maintain balance in the kelp forest ecosystem. Left unchecked, sea urchins can mow down kelp forests, leaving behind a denuded and depauperate undersea landscape. The sunflower star used to be a common sight underwater, but since its disappearance and the subsequent boom of urchins, northern California has lost more than 90% of its kelp forests, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.The loss of those kelp forests has left the other species that depend on them hungry, homeless, or dead. In December 2018, California moved to extend a ban on recreational fishing for red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) after surveys showed the mollusks, which feed on kelp, were starving to death in huge numbers. Impacts to fish species are more challenging to quantify, but Carr says kelp forests are of vital importance not just as food, but as habitat, especially for young fish hoping to evade predators. Jenn Collins 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 Emaillast_img read more

Turkey begins receiving Russian missiles in challenge to US and NATO

first_img Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post “Minister Akar told his US counterpart that Turkey remains under a serious air and missile threat and that purchase of S-400 defence systems was not an option but rather a necessity,” the Turkish defense ministry said about the phone call, adding that Ankara was still assessing acquiring US Patriot missiles.Erdogan-Trump-talksTurkey says the system is a strategic defence requirement, particularly to secure its southern borders with Syria and Iraq. It says that when it made the deal with Russia for the S-400s, the United States and Europe had not presented a viable alternative.President Tayyip Erdogan said after meeting President Donald Trump at a G20 summit last month that the United States did not plan to impose sanctions on Ankara for buying the S-400s.Trump said Turkey had not been treated fairly but did not rule out sanctions, and US officials said last week administration still plans to act.There has been bipartisan opposition in the US Congress to Turkey’s purchase and the reaction from lawmakers have been more stern, calling the State Department and Pentagon to remove Turkey from the F-35 program. “President Erdogan was given a very clear choice. Unfortunately, he has clearly made the wrong one,” a statement from House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said.Under legislation known as Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which targets purchases of military equipment from Russia, Trump should select five of 12 possible measures.These range from banning visas and denying access to the US-based Export-Import Bank, to the harsher options of blocking transactions with the US financial system and denying export licences.Turkey, Russian Missiles in Turkey, Russian Missiles, Turkey gets Russian missiles, Russian air defense system, NATO, Turkey-Russian relations, Western military alliance, World news, Indian Express news A Russian plane carrying parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system is pictured at Akinci Air Base near Ankara, Turkey. (Reuters)Washington says the S-400s could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.Turkey could also face expulsion from the F-35 program under the sanctions. Erdogan has dismissed that possibility, but Washington has already started the process of removing Turkey from the programme, halting training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.Investors in Turkey have been concerned about the impact of potential US sanctions on an economy which fell into recession after a currency crisis last year. Turkey’s dollar bonds dropped to three-week lows on the news of the delivery, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish sovereign debt also rose.Fitch ratings downgraded Turkey’s sovereign rating to ‘BB-‘ on Friday and said it remained vulnerable to deterioration of ties with the US and added that while any US sanctions on Turkey might have a minimal direct economic effect, warned that their impact on sentiment could be significant.The S-400 acquisition is one of several issues which have frayed ties between the two allies, including a dispute over strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes. Related News More Explained Washington has opposed Turkey’s purchase, saying Russian military hardware is not compatible with NATO systems and that the acquisition may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from an F-35 fighter jet programme.Investors in Turkey have been unsettled by the deal. The Turkish lira weakened as much as 1.6% to 5.7780 against the dollar, before recovering somewhat, after the ministry announced the arrival of the S-400 consignment. The main Istanbul share index fell 2.13%.Turkish broadcasters showed footage of huge Russian Air Force AN-124 cargo planes offloading equipment at the air base.“Today three cargo planes arrived,” Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told state-owned Anadolu news agency, adding that deliveries would continue in coming days. Best Of Express By Reuters |Istanbul, Washington | Updated: July 13, 2019 4:05:44 pm EU slaps sanctions on Turkey over gas drilling off Cyprus Advertising Turkey continues receiving Russian S-400 air defense parts Taking stock of monsoon rain The detention of US consular staff in Turkey has also strained relations, along with disagreements over Iran, Venezuela and Middle East policy. Turkey has long demanded Washington hand over a Muslim cleric who Ankara holds responsible for an attempted coup in 2016. (Additional reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun, Orhan Coskun in Ankara, Maxim Rodionov and Tom Balmforth in Moscow, Phil Stewart in Washington and Roberta Rampton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Writing by Daren Butler and Humeyra Pamuk Editing by Dominic Evans, Gareth Jones, and Alistair Bell. Explained: Why Istanbul Mayor poll result is a blow to President Erdogan After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan A second delivery by air will take place soon, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted an unnamed military-diplomatic source as saying. A third delivery – of 120 guided missiles – will be carried out by ship at the end of the summer, the source said.Twenty Turkish servicemen received training from Russia in May-June and 80 more Turkish servicemen will receive training to use the S-400 system, the source was quoted as saying.Turkey, Russian Missiles in Turkey, Russian Missiles, Turkey gets Russian missiles, Russian air defense system, NATO, Turkey-Russian relations, Western military alliance, World news, Indian Express news First parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system are seen after unloaded from a Russian plane at Murted Airport, known as Akinci Air Base, near Ankara, Turkey. (Reuters)“We are aware of Turkey taking delivery of the S-400, our position regarding the F-35 has not changed,” Esper told reporters earlier in the day and said there will be “more to follow” after he spoke with his Turkish counterpart.But the Pentagon then canceled a planned news briefing on Turkey. ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict The first parts of the S-400 air defence system were flown to the Murted military air base northwest of Ankara, the Turkish Defence Ministry said, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.Reaction from Washington, which has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey, was limited, with acting Defence Secretary Mark Esper saying the US position has not changed.President Donald Trump gave a 30-minute speech on trade on Friday afternoon at a plant in Milwaukee run by a subsidiary of defense contractor Lockheed Martin but made no mention of Turkey. Advertising Advertising Turkey, Russian Missiles in Turkey, Russian Missiles, Turkey gets Russian missiles, Russian air defense system, NATO, Turkey-Russian relations, Western military alliance, World news, Indian Express news Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft, at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey. (Reuters)Turkey began taking delivery of an advanced Russian missile defence system on Friday, a move expected to trigger US sanctions against a NATO ally and drive a wedge into the heart of the Western military alliance. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Cannabis oil shown to significantly improve Crohns disease symptoms

first_imgCannabis has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and studies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms. It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to  investigate this.” Related StoriesCMC expresses dismay at the findings of new report “Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis”New study shows clear link between cannabis use and brain alterationsCannabis-based medication helps tackle dependency on cannabisThe Israeli team recruited 46 people with moderately severe Crohn’s disease, and randomized them to receive 8 weeks of treatment with either cannabis oil containing 15% cannabidiol and 4% tetrahydrocannabinol or placebo. Symptom severity and quality of life were measured before, during, and after treatment using validated research instruments. Inflammation in the gut was assessed endoscopically and by measuring inflammatory markers in blood and stool samples.After 8 weeks of treatment, the group receiving the cannabis oil had a significant reduction in their Crohn’s disease symptoms compared with the placebo group, and 65%met strict criteria for clinical remission (versus 35% of the placebo recipients). The cannabis group also had significant improvements in their quality of life compared with the placebo group.“We have previously demonstrated that cannabis can produce measurable improvements in Crohn’s disease symptoms but, to our surprise, we saw no statistically significant improvements in endoscopic scores or in the inflammatory markers we measured in the cannabis oil group compared with the placebo group,” said Dr Naftali. “We know that cannabinoids can have profound anti-inflammatory effects but this study indicates that the improvement in symptoms may not be related to these anti-inflammatory properties.”Looking ahead, the research group plans to explore further the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. “There are very good grounds to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target in Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal diseases,” said Dr Naftali. “For now, however, we can only consider medicinal cannabis as an alternative or additional intervention that provides temporary symptom relief for some people with Crohn’s disease.’ Source:https://www.ueg.eu/center_img Oct 23 2018In the first study of its kind, cannabis oil has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and the quality of life of sufferers but, contrary to previous medical thinking, has no effect on gut inflammation.In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers from Israel have shown that cannabis can produce clinical remission in up to 65% of individuals after 8 weeks of treatment, but that this improvement does not appear to result from a dampening down of the underlying inflammatory process.Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, lead researcher, Dr Timna Naftali explained:last_img read more

Dyslexia gene linked to concussion susceptibility in athletes

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018A gene associated with dyslexia, a learning disorder, may make some athletes less susceptible to concussions, reports a new study from Penn State University and Northwestern Medicine.This is believed to be the first time that this gene has been implicated in concussion or mild traumatic brain injury in athletes of a high-impact sport.”This suggests that genotype may play a role in your susceptibility for getting a concussion,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Northwestern Medicine Warren Wright Adolescent Center. “If replicated, this information may be important to parents.”The paper was published Oct. 23 in the Journal of Neurotrauma.”This finding raises the question: are their particular factors we can determine that put players at higher risk, and should those players be placed in sports that don’t have the potential for head trauma?” said co-first author Amy Herrold, a research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Feinberg.There are three variants of every gene. Athletes with one variant of the gene that did not confer dyslexia were more likely to have a history of concussion injuries. Athletes with the version of the gene that causes dyslexia were less likely to have concussion injuries.The reason for the lower risk may relate to the more diffuse way the dyslexic brain is wired, said co-corresponding author Sam Semyon Slobounov, professor of kinesiology and of neurosurgery at Hershey Medical School of Penn State University and director of the Virtual Reality/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory. “Dyslexia may be neuroprotective, a hypothesis that could be tested,” he said.Related StoriesResearchers develop a more precise version of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing systemStudy urges genetic testing before abdominal-based free-flap breast reconstructionResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in worms”In dyslexia, you tend to have less defined wiring for processing spoken and written language,” Breiter said. “Dyslexics have a problem with that. Their wiring is more diffuse in this system. Future studies could directly test if diffuse wiring is better able to absorb a shock wave than clearly defined wiring.”The study included 87 varsity Penn State football players from 2015 to 2017. The players reported their concussion history, which the team physician confirmed through each player’s medical evaluation and medical records of observable concussion signs as opposed to player reports of symptoms. Each player had a swab of his inner cheek taken, which was genetically analyzed.The gene, KIAA0319, has not been looked at in concussion research before. Scientists decided to study it, along with a number of other candidate genes, because of its role in cell adhesion and neuron migration, said Alexa Walter, co-first author of the paper and a graduate student in kinesiology at Penn State. The gene KIAA0319 could have an effect on how neurons respond to head impacts or are repaired after an injury.”This is one piece of the puzzle,” Herrold said. The study is part of a larger project in the Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium, which studies the neuroscience of head impacts in athletes.The genotype predicted the number of previously diagnosed concussions in the players. Everyone has the KIAA0319 gene in one of three combinations. In this gene, the genotypes are CC, CT or TT. There was a direct increase in diagnosed concussions as one went from CC to CT to TT individuals. The CC genotype has been associated with dyslexia in other studies. Source:https://www.northwestern.edu/last_img read more