EGEB Solars exceptional energy return on investment wind power by state and

first_imgIn today’s EGEB:Stanford researchers find solar panels offer far more lifetime energy than they cost to make and install.The American Wind Energy Association released its annual market report for 2018.New Jersey has created an offshore wind supply chain registry. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVp0Cr2Pg4gThe post EGEB: Solar’s exceptional energy return on investment, wind power by state, and more appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

Read More

EGEB Asian renewable investments to pass oil and gas US geothermal potential

first_imgSource: Charge Forward In today’s EGEB:Renewable spending set to pass upstream oil and gas next year in Asia.A look at the potential for geothermal energy in the US.Albuquerque looks to get more from solar power.Massachusetts wants more offshore wind. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post EGEB: Asian renewable investments to pass oil and gas, US geothermal potential, and more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Read More

FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Joseph Spinelli Regarding Risk Assessments and

first_imgThe FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joseph Spinelli (Senior Managing Director at Kroll). During the podcast, Spinelli discusses: risk assessments; the role various business personnel besides legal can play in FCPA compliance; and the use of technology in third party compliance.FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.last_img read more

Read More

Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Christopher Bell Receives Meritorious Service Award from ANSI

first_img Remember me The ANSI Leadership and Service Awards are given to individuals that have made significant contributions to national and international standardization activities, according to the announcement . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Username Passwordcenter_img Lost your password? Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

Read More

Kirkland Advises Blackstone in Two Company Formations

first_img Lost your password? Password Remember me Usernamecenter_img Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Blackstone recently helped form Dallas-based Guidon Energy and Fort Worth-based Jetta Permian. Houston attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis worked for Blackstone on both formations. One deal also involved Houston attorneys from Norton Rose Fulbright . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.last_img

Read More

Report further incriminates social psychologist Jens Förster

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img AMSTERDAM—Statistical experts at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Netherlands have dealt another blow to the reputation of disgraced German social psychologist Jens Förster, who worked at the university between 2007 and 2014. An investigative panel has found “strong evidence for low veracity” of the results in eight of Förster’s articles, according to a UvA press release issued today—a term that appears to suggest that he may have made up his results.UvA hasn’t released the full report yet, so just how the panel came to its conclusions—or why it phrases them as it does—is unclear. But the press release says that data in the eight papers show a linearity that is “too good to be true” and can’t be explained by chance. The committee expresses doubts about “unclear” statistical patterns in three other studies. UvA will send the full report about the 11 studies to the journals involved, says the release, with the request to retract them or consider retraction.Förster did not respond to an e-mailed request from ScienceInsider; he has repeatedly denied manipulating data on his website. Förster’s research has been under fire for more than a year. Only one of the papers scrutinized by the panel, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in 2012, has so far been retracted; that happened in November 2014, after the National Board for Scientific Integrity had concluded that research data had been manipulated. That verdict led UvA’s board to investigate more studies with similarly remarkable statistical patterns.In April, Förster withdrew his candidacy for a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt professorship at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) in Germany, which comes with €5 million in funding. Sources within UvA confirm that he took that step after being confronted with a draft of the new report. Förster currently has a temporary position as a social psychology professor at RUB that expires in September.Update, 3 June, 11:11 a.m.: ScienceInsider has obtained a copy of the full report, which is available here. Förster has posted a reaction on his website saying he says he needs time to process the report and that a previous version was “biased, misleading and lacking any evidence of data manipulation.” Förster adds: “For now, I would like only to express my outrage at the procedure, by which the present report is published without allowing me time to prepare a response.”last_img read more

Read More

Many scientists take a dim view of the court system—until they take

first_img By Kelly ServickFeb. 18, 2017 , 6:00 PM Diamond and her co-chair on the survey, sociologist and law professor Richard Lempert of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, targeted an elite group—scientists and engineers who had been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a policy research center based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 367 online respondents were overwhelmingly older men—with a median age of 71—nearing the end of academic careers in math, physical science, biology, or social science. Roughly half had been asked to participate in a legal case, and 72% had done so.  In Loftus’s decadeold case, the judge ultimately refused to admit her testimony. But the clash of cultures hasn’t dissuaded her from continuing to serve. In the survey, however, 28% of participants said they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to take part in future cases. But they also gave feedback about what would make them more willing to come back: Nearly 60% said they’d like to meet privately with an opposing expert to write a joint report on areas where they agreed and disagreed. The idea that jurors could ask experts questions after their testimony got a similar level of support.  Davidlohr Bueso / flickr Many scientists take a dim view of the court system—until they take part in it That impression of the legal system—as absolutist, adversarial, and unconcerned with scientific nuance—has been around for decades. But how common is the view among scientists, and how does it change after the experience of testifying or consulting on a case? “There’s lots of anecdotes, but nothing really modern and systematic,” said Shari Diamond, a professor of psychology and law at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, on a panel today alongside Loftus here at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. She presented results of a new survey of scientists, which shows that although negative views are common, serving in a legal case generally seems to improve them. Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017.center_img Among those who refused the invitation, age-old doubts about the legal system were common. Whereas more than half cited bad timing or other commitments as reasons for refusing, nearly a quarter also expressed distrust of the legal system, and about a fifth were concerned that lawyers were after their reputation more than their knowledge, Diamond and Lempert report.  BOSTON—Ten years ago, when Elizabeth Loftus agreed to serve as an expert witness in a high-profile trial around the outing of Central Intelligence Agency agent Valerie Plame, she was no rookie. The cognitive psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, had been using her knowledge about human memory to testify in legal cases for three decades. But the opposing side’s prosecutor threw her a surprise. He found places in her academic papers where she pointed out flaws and inconsistencies in other groups’ memory studies—a common way that scientific authors explain why the present work is valuable. Now, she was citing those previous papers to bolster an argument in the case. “Are you trying to fob flawed data on this court?” she remembers him asking. “He was using our [scientific] culture against me.”  To look for evidence that experience in court might change scientists’ attitudes, Diamond and Lempert compared people who had participated in cases to the best available control: those who were willing and had accepted an invitation but hadn’t participated, presumably because cases were settled. That comparison suggests participation can brighten a scientist’s view of the court. For example, 25% of the would-be participants believed that lawyers can understand science, and the number rose to 43% in those with court experience. And belief that scientists in the court were treated with respect also varied—38% in the “would-bes” versus 57% in “had-beens.” Those responses offer clues for bumping up participation, Diamond says. “We would like to see scientists be more willing to engage, because they have something to offer,” she says. “It’s important that the legal system get the best quality science it can get.” A courtroomlast_img read more

Read More

Top stories Panspermia gets a boost a hurricane intensifies and Brazil turns

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 Top stories: Panspermia gets a boost, a hurricane intensifies, and Brazil turns right Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Cometlike objects could be spreading life from star to star throughout the Milky Way‘Oumuamua, the cigar-shaped space rock that entered our solar system last year, has reignited the debate around the plausibility of galactic panspermia: a phenomenon in which cometlike objects spread life by ferrying microbes between distant star systems.Why scientists had trouble predicting Hurricane Michael’s rapid intensification Email (left to right): STSCL/ESA/NASA; JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES; ANDRE COELHO/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Frankie SchembriOct. 19, 2018 , 4:15 PM Hurricane Michael became a monster overnight, undergoing at least three periods of “rapid intensification” on its march toward Florida. Although meteorologists can predict a hurricane’s path with relative certainty, forecasting changes in intensity is more challenging, because of the complicated underlying physics and the difficulty of collecting data. Researchers are concerned that warmer ocean waters due to climate change will further complicate these observations, opening the door to hurricanes of greater intensity and unpredictability.‘We are headed for a very dark period.’ Brazil’s researchers fear election of far-right presidential candidateBrazil appears poised to elect a far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, as its next president. His rapid ascent has unnerved local researchers, who worry about the future of Brazilian science, protection of the country’s biodiversity, and Brazil’s role in the global struggle against climate change. Bolsonaro has vowed to withdraw Brazil from the 2015 Paris agreement and plans to eliminate the country’s Ministry of the Environment.Can you guess the ages of these faces?Humans are awful at estimating a person’s age based on their face alone. New research shows people are usually off by about 8 years, and their estimate might be shaped by the last face they saw.A revolutionary treatment for allergies to peanuts and other foods is going mainstream—but do the benefits outweigh the risks?More than 3000 people worldwide, most of them children, have undergone peanut immunotherapy for a peanut allergy, with the goal of protecting them if they accidentally encounter the food. Two biotechnology companies are racing to introduce a peanut-based capsule or patch, and both plan to apply for approval from the Food and Drug Administration this year. Although the breakthrough is cause for celebration among many families, physicians fret about the therapy’s rigors—treatment must continue indefinitely—and its risks, which sometimes include the same allergic reactions it aims to prevent.last_img read more

Read More

Tourists may be making Antarcticas penguins sick

first_img By Maria BolevichDec. 13, 2018 , 1:25 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Tourists may be making Antarctica’s penguins sick Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email You can give your cat the flu. You can also pass pneumonia to a chimpanzee or tuberculosis to a bird. This kind of human-to-animal disease transmission, known as reverse zoonosis, has been seen on every continent except one: Antarctica. Now, human-linked pathogens in bird poop reveal, for the first time, that even animals on this isolated, ice-bound landmass can pick up a bug from tourists or visiting scientists. This newly identified infection route could have devastating consequences for Antarctic bird colonies, including population collapse and even extinction.“[We’re] obsessed about the potential for novel diseases to jump from wildlife to humans and cause an epidemic,” says ornithologist and ecologist Kyle Elliott at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who was not involved in the new study. “In reality, the transmission of novel diseases from humans to wildlife has been far more disastrous.”The list of diseases that animals pass on to humans is long: anthrax, Ebola, tuberculosis, and Zika, to name just a few. By contrast, diseases known to move exclusively from humans to animals is much shorter, including human strains of influenza and mumps. Some pathogens—like Salmonella and Campylobacter—bounce from animal to human and back again. But some strains are specific to people, and simple blood tests can determine whether a pathogen started out in an animal or a human host.center_img Tourists and scientists are coming into increasing contact with Antarctic birds, which may be picking up pathogens from humans. Mint Images/Aurora Photos 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 Microbiologist Marta Cerdà-Cuéllar at the Research Center for Animal Health in Barcelona, Spain, was skeptical of a mainstream scientific idea—that reverse zoonosis doesn’t exist in Antarctica. So she and colleagues collected fecal samples from 666 adult birds from 24 different species throughout the Southern Ocean, including rockhopper penguins, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses, giant petrels, and skuas. Fearing that already deposited waste might be contaminated, the scientists scooped their poop from the birds themselves, a tricky business that meant catching them and cleaning them out with sterile swabs.“Penguins are very strong … and skuas are extremely clever,” says Jacob González-Solís, an environmental and evolutionary biologist from the University of Barcelona who was on the team. If you fail to catch a skua during your first approach, he says, it will never let you get close again.They collected their samples from 2008 to 2011 at four locations: Livingston Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula; and the Southern Ocean outposts of Marion Island, Gough Island, and the Falkland Islands, which are on many of the seabirds’ migration routes. Birds and humans in the more isolated islands are coming into increasing contact, thanks to research centers there and growing numbers of tourists.From the fecal samples, the scientists isolated and identified bacterial species and compared them to strains in humans and domestic animals. DNA from Campylobacter jejuni, which causes food poisoning, was a close match for such strains, suggesting humans may be passing their bacteria on to local seabirds, the researchers report online in Science of the Total Environment. The presence of certain strains of Salmonella and an antimicrobial-resistant type of another gastrointestinal bug, C. lari, which was found in all four locations, supports that conclusion, Cerdà-Cuéllar says.Elliott says it’s hard to predict which species will be impacted by the spread of these microbes. “We often think of polar environments as being too cold and that disease transmission is not a huge threat, but the authors have clear evidence that … bacteria can spread widely in polar environments.” González-Solís predicts that, even though Salmonella and Campylobacter don’t kill most infected wildlife, the pathogens could have “devastating” consequences to Antarctic bird colonies, because this is the first time most birds there have been exposed to these strains.So, say the paper’s authors, governments and scientific organizations need to do more to limit human impacts in Antarctica. For example, they should enforce existing rules about carrying home human waste—which can spread bacteria—says marine and polar ecologist Thomas Brey of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, who is the German representative to the Scientific Committee of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.Elliott is pessimistic. “One reason that Antarctica remains largely protected is because of lobbying from tourist and scientific groups,” he says. “While we should do as much as possible to reduce transmission, it’s hard to believe that we will stop tourism and science at these sites, and so it is hard to believe that humans won’t continue to transmit pathogens.”last_img read more

Read More

Elon Musks startup eyes human testing for braincomputer interface

first_img By Kelly ServickJul. 17, 2019 , 3:55 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Neuralink Email Elon Musk’s high-profile foray into connecting brains to computers, a 2-year-old company called Neuralink, detailed its ambitions and unveiled some initial results at a livestreamed event yesterday before an invitation-only crowd at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. With thousands watching online, Musk, the entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX, described the firm’s goal of using tiny electrodes implanted in the brain to “cure important diseases” and “achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”Details about those planned applications remain sparse, but Neuralink briefly presented some of its first rodent data from ultrasmall electrodes at the event. And in a seemingly spontaneous answer to a question, Musk revealed that the company has already used its device to allow a monkey to control a computer with its brain. The company aims to implant electrodes into a person paralyzed by spinal cord injury by the end of 2020, he added—and Neuralink’s head neurosurgeon, Matthew MacDougall of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, made a presentation wearing scrubs. But the firm will need clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to perform such an experiment in the United States.The first generation of Neuralink’s technology consists of a chip containing neuron-size polymer threads that a surgical robot would stitch into the brain to record electrical signals from neurons and convey them to a wireless device worn behind the ear. In a white paper also released yesterday, the company describes using this system to record from thousands of its electrode “threads” in a living rat. Elon Musk’s startup eyes human testing for brain-computer interfacecenter_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 Neuralink is developing a system of ultrathin electrodes that thread into the brain to read from or stimulate neurons. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Several other groups have recently unveiled ultrasmall electrical probes designed to minimize damage to brain tissue and gather clear, long-term recordings from neurons. Neuralink putting thousands of these electrodes into a working brain interface is an exciting feat, says Cynthia Chestek, a neural engineer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “This is by far the largest channel-count system using neural-scale probes,” she says.A looming question for Neuralink and the larger field, she says, is how long the materials in the probes and processing chip resist degradation and make reliable recordings. “You need to make the whole system last for decades,” she says. “That’s what I imagine their next major focus will be.”last_img read more

Read More

Some takeaways for science from yesterdays US elections

first_img For scientists, the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives isn’t the only important result from last night’s midterm election. Although some races are still too close to call, and others are awaiting the counting of early votes and absentee ballots, here are some other highlights:Four House incumbents active on science issues have been defeated, and a fifth is trailing. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jeffrey MervisNov. 7, 2018 , 10:15 AM Seven of the 19 House candidates with science, engineering, and medical credentials (including Underwood) have won seats in the next Congress (see a list of the winners, below). All the winners are Democrats, and four of the seven female scientists on the ballot were victorious. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Joe Cunningham (D)—First district, South Carolina Elaine Luria (D)—Second district, Virginia Chrissy Houlahan (D)—Sixth district, Pennsylvania Jeff van Drew (D)—Second district, New Jersey Lauren Underwood (D)—14th district, Illinois Sean Casten (D)—Sixth district, Illinois Kim Schrier (D)—Eighth district, Washington Bored-now/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country With reporting by David Malakoff. Some takeaways for science from yesterday’s U.S. elections  Representative John Culberson (R–TX), who chairs a spending panel that funds NASA and the National Science Foundation, lost to Democrat Lizzie Fletcher. Culberson has been a major advocate of NASA’s Europa Clipper mission to a jovian moon; his defeat could mean the project will face obstacles. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) is the presumed new chair of the House science committee, succeeding the retiring Representative Lamar Smith (R). In a statement released last night, Johnson said she would have three priorities “If I am fortunate enough to be elected chair.” One is ensuring “that the United States remains the global leader in innovation, which will require attention to a wide range of activities,” including supporting “a robust federally funded R&D enterprise,” and “defending the scientific enterprise from political and ideological attacks.” A second is addressing the “challenge of climate change, starting with acknowledging it is real.” The third is restoring “the credibility of the science committee as a place where science is respected and recognized as a crucial input to good policymaking.” It is not yet clear whether the new Democratic leadership of the House will allow the science panel chair to retain the power to unilaterally issue investigative subpoenas, which outgoing chair Smith used to demand information from climate scientists and others. If so, observers expect the panel to use that power to aggressively investigate a range of actions taken by President Donald Trump’s administration on climate, energy, and environmental policy.The House spending panels that oversee science agencies will also get new leaders. In general, however, research spending has enjoyed bipartisan support, so the changes might be more in style and emphasis than in substance.In the Senate, Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida, a strong supporter of NASA who once orbited Earth on the space shuttle, is trailing in his re-election bid.State ballot initiatives related to climate and energy issues generally fared poorly on election day. In Washington, voters rejected an effort to impose a tax on carbon emissions. In Colorado, a bid to greatly restrict the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) failed. In Arizona, a measure aimed at increasing the state’s use of renewable energy went down in defeat, although Nevada appears to have taken the first step toward adopting a similar policy. (But that measure still must prevail in a second vote, in 2020.) In Florida, voters supported a measure to ban offshore drilling in state waters. (The same measure also prohibits indoor vaping.)Here are the seven science candidates that ScienceInsider has been tracking who won their races: Representative Barbara Comstock (R–VA), who leads the research subcommittee of the House science committee, lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Comstock was considered to be one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into election night.  Representative Randy Hultgren (R–IL), also a member of the science committee, was ousted by Democrat Lauren Underwood, a nurse and health policy analyst. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R–CA), who has served on the science panel for 3 decades, trails Democrat Harley Rouda by 2700 votes. Representative Carlos Curbelo (R–FL), a co-leader of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, lost his race to Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D). His defeat, coupled with losses by other Republicans who are members of the caucus, has put its future in doubt.last_img read more

Read More

QA Why Iranian conservationists are facing ludicrous spying charges

first_img By Richard StoneMar. 4, 2019 , 2:55 PM Hardliners are in ascension in Iran, emboldened by an economy in tatters after the United States’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal and subsequent efforts to further isolate Iran. Acknowledging that discreet diplomacy has failed, prominent groups are publicly assailing the conservationists’ detention and what many see as sham trials. Last week, 26 members of the European Parliament wrote to Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, expressing their “strong concerns” over the prolonged detention and “serious violations of their due process and fair trial rights,” and called for their “immediate and unconditional release.” And in a 22 February statement, the Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit in New York City, stated that the Iranian conservationists should not be “put into personal jeopardy for pursuing scientific knowledge and preserving their country’s unique natural heritage.”Adding his voice to the rising chorus is David Laylin, 82, an ecologist in Orange, Virginia, who has long helped broker exchanges between Iranian and Western scientists and environmentalists. Laylin’s family is well known in Iran: His father, an international lawyer, helped Iran negotiate a landmark water-sharing accord with Afghanistan, and later helped forge the 1975 Shatt al-Arab border agreement between Iran and Iraq. His sister, Louise Firouz, lived in Iran most of her life and is known for her efforts to preserve the Caspian horse, a rare breed. (She died in 2008.) For 15 years before the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Laylin himself was a partner and manager of Iran’s only hunting and fishing outfitting company.The PWHF detainees, Laylin says, “are all my close friends.” From 2008 to 2017, as a senior adviser to the Persian Wildlife Foundation, a U.S.-based sister organization, Laylin traveled extensively to PWHF’s field sites in Iran. (Tahbaz set up both foundations.) In 2015, based on an article in Iran Wire that labeled Laylin “suspicious,” the Sepah accused him of being a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative. In July 2017, during Laylin’s last trip to Iran for a conference on sand and dust storms, he was interrogated. “There’s no way I could go back to Iran right now,” he says.Laylin says it’s not surprising that hardliners have targeted him—“I’m an American who speaks Farsi and has traveled to a lot of places in Iran” that are off the beaten track. But he insists he has no connection to CIA. “I want to clear my name and return to Iran. It’s my home.”Like others, Laylin has kept a low profile for months while advocating for the conservationists’ release. Though coming at the 11th hour, a vigorous international outcry may still save the detainees, he asserts in a recent interview with Science. This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: How are the conservationists holding up?A: Pretty well, from what I can tell. They all endured several months of solitary confinement. Niloufar Bayani was intimidated into signing a false confession. But she was very courageous on the trial’s first day. She spoke up and said she was threatened with torture, and she retracted the confession.Q: How could their conservation work be misconstrued as spying?A: The charge is ludicrous. I’ve been to all the areas where the PWHF people were working—there are no military installations there. Also, the camera traps are incapable of transmitting data on their own. David Laylin iStock.com/Rainer Puster The flag of Iran Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The Sepah went after them for a completely different reason. There’s paranoia amongst the hardliners about any contact with the West, both from a cultural standpoint in terms of undermining the tenets of the revolution, and also in the false belief that scientific exchanges or conservation work could lead to Iranians being proselytized or turned into spies. Yet at the same time, there’s a tremendous need for scientific exchanges in many fields.Q: Have you or others sought to contact the Revolutionary Guard directly?A: Iranians are terrified of speaking with them. I know of one family who knows a high-ranking Sepah general. He’s a friend of the family—but they’re afraid to even contact him. I think the Sepah had made up their minds that they wanted to shut this operation down. There was too much contact with the West, especially U.S. institutions and individuals.Q: Why were four charged with “sowing corruption on Earth”?A: They are the leadership. [Tahbaz] managed the foundation and arranged all the financing. [Jokar] was a senior manager and scientific figure, meeting with foreign scientists. [Ghadirian] did a lot of traveling around the country—we traveled to many places together. That could have made him a person of suspicion. I can’t think of any other reason why they would be singled out that way.Q: Is there any hope for a fair trial?A: It’s not a trial in the sense we know here. The outcome won’t have anything to do with fairness or morality or legal issues. It will depend on what the Sepah think they can get away with. They’re under an awful lot of pressure because of the country’s economic and environmental woes. There’s a lot of unhappiness over water scarcity, and sand and dust storms, for instance.Q: A lot of the campaigning has targeted Iran’s government. Does the government have any leverage over the Revolutionary Guard?A: There was a tremendous outpouring of outrage at [Seyed-Emami’s] death. There has been pressure on the Sepah to come up with an explanation. They haven’t done so. To the extent the elected government has influence depends on the times. Influential people in the parliament and in government say categorically that the environmentalists are innocent. But the Sepah are saying we have information you don’t; shut up and mind your own business.Q: With the trials underway, is it too late to make a difference?A: The Sepah don’t operate in a vacuum. To the extent the general public is informed, this puts pressure on them. They have to be rather careful. They’re walking a fine line. They are going to have to defend these verdicts. The more of an international outcry, as well as a domestic outcry, the more pressure there will be on them to do so.In my opinion, the Sepah are now in a bind. They know that I and the others are innocent of all charges, but they would look foolish to admit that. What needs to happen is some face-saving scenario that would permit the Sepah to release all eight, without looking foolish or incompetent. Email 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 Q&A: Why Iranian conservationists are facing ‘ludicrous’ spying charges David Laylin With the fates of eight conservationists jailed in Iran on espionage charges hanging in the balance, a campaign to win their freedom is picking up steam. For more than a year, colleagues and family members have been quietly lobbying Iran’s government and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the detainees’ release. But now, with closed trials proceeding in Tehran, institutions and influential individuals are scrambling to train a spotlight on the trials. They argue that convictions would not only be a tragedy for the detainees, but also an international disgrace.The imprisoned conservationists are all with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF), a Tehran-based organization that had been using camera traps to monitor dwindling species such as the Persian leopard, Asiatic cheetah, Asiatic black bear, and Laristan wild sheep. Iran’s hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, known as the Sepah, accused the group of using the cameras to spy on military installations.In January and February 2018, the Sepah detained PWHF’s Niloufar Bayani, Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jokar, Sepideh Kashani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Sam Rajabi, and Morad Tahbaz. They also arrested Kavous Seyed-Emami, an Iranian-Canadian sociologist and PWHF’s co-founder. Seyed-Emami died in detention on 8 February 2018; Iranian officials insist he committed suicide, an explanation his family rejects. In November 2018, Iran’s judiciary upgraded charges against four remaining detainees—Bayani, Ghadirian, Jokar, and Tahbaz—to “sowing corruption on Earth,” which can bring the death penalty. In response, more than 330 conservationists and scholars from 66 countries wrote to Khamenei, saying they “strongly condemn” the possibility that “the neutral field of conservation could ever be used to pursue political objectives.”last_img read more

Read More

PM Skerrit wants people mobilized nationally to help eliminate hazards

first_imgShareTweetSharePinPM Skerrit. File photoPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he hopes to have a national mobilization of people in communities by the end of this week to help in the elimination of hazards in times of disaster.Skerrit made this announcement at a meeting of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) last week.“The initiative we were seeking to implement in quick order, and I hope that it can be done before the end of next week, is to have a national mobilization of people at the community level to help eliminate the presence of hazards in those villages and those communities,” the prime minister stated.He continued, “For example, we have the national empowerment programme. I would like for us to use that national empowerment programme allowing village councils, disaster communities, community-based groups to engage ourselves as a nation, in the elimination of hazards in the communities. The clearing of drains, small ravines all of these things. If we don’t pay attention to them, can pose serious threats to lives and properties.”Skerrit reminded that a simple drain can be turned into a major water flow and said it is therefore essential, to take this course of action.The prime minister said that he is hoping to get support from various individuals and organizations in the communities to help implement this effort and reminded the public that if action is not taken against these hazards and threats, families and lives will be impacted.last_img read more

Read More

Podcast A new species of ancient human and realtime evolutionary changes in

first_img The ancient humans also known as the “hobbit” people (Homo floresiensis) might have company in their small stature with the discovery of another species of hominin in the Philippines. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about what researchers have learned about this hominin from a jaw fragment, and its finger and toe bones and how this fits in with past discoveries of other ancient humans.Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Florian Schiestl, a professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, about his work to understand the rapid evolution of the flowering plant Brassica rapa over the course of six generations. He was able to see how the combination of pollination by bees and risk of getting eaten by herbivores influences the plant’s appearance and defense mechanisms.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Ads on this week’s show: Kolabtree.com and Magellan TVListen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Florian Schiestl; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Florian Schiestl last_img read more

Read More

After Trump accuses four Democratic Congresswomen of hating US they fire back

first_img Top News Advertising Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Advertising “Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans,” the freshman Democrat from the Bronx wrote on Twitter.The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four “progressives,” but now they are forced to embrace them. That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019Trump’s new front against Pelosi came after she announced that the House would move to officially reject the president’s tweets about members of Congress. “Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets,” she said in a letter to lawmakers.She reacted just hours after Trump tried to turn the situation around and accused the congresswomen of “foul language & racist hatred” and demanded an apology from them.Pelosi criticized the president Sunday for his remarks and said that his slogan, “‘Make America Great Again,’ has always been about making America white again.” Trump, in turn, accused her of racist remarks. “So Speaker Pelosi said, ‘Make America white again.’ That’s a very racist — that’s a very racist statement. I’m surprised she’d say that,” Trump said at an event celebrating American manufacturing at the White House.Early Monday, few Republican lawmakers had responded to Trump’s comments, widely seen as racist. By midday, however, that had changed. Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, said Trump’s comments Sunday were “racist” and the president should apologize. And Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the House’s only black Republican, condemned the president’s remarks, calling them “racist, and xenophobic.”Hurd also said the president’s narrative was politically damaging because it is uniting Democrats at a time when the party is experiencing a “civil war.”Pelosi’s pledge to formally reject Trump’s comments appeared to make his point. ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Trump says four Democratic Congresswomen hate the US and are free to leave President Donald Trump while signing an executive order during his “Made in America” event at the White House in Washington, July 15, 2019. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)Written by Eileen Sullivan and Julie Hirschfeld Davis Advertising By New York Times |Washington | Updated: July 16, 2019 7:58:40 am Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post More Explained President Donald Trump, under fire for comments that even some Republicans called racist, amplified his attacks on Democrats in Congress on Monday, calling one of the first two Muslim women in the House an al-Qaida sympathizer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a racist.“They’re free to leave if they want. If they want to leave, that’s fine. If they want to stay, that’s fine,” Trump said Monday, referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts.On Sunday, he said they should “go back” to the countries they came from, though all but Omar were born in the United States. On Monday, showing no sign of regret, he said they hated America, a “hallmark language of white supremacists,” Ocasio-Cortez said. Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Best Of Express ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Trump said he disagreed with Graham about aiming higher. “These are congressmen. What am I supposed to do, just wait for senators? No,” Trump said. “Let me be clear, our caucus will continue to forcefully respond to these disgusting attacks,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues. “The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand.”Pelosi said the resolution, which has yet to be drafted, would make reference to a speech by President Ronald Reagan in which he said that “if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”For months there has been a rift between Pelosi and the four lawmakers, and last week tensions grew when Pelosi pointedly said they had no following in Congress. The four lawmakers, who call themselves “the squad,” opposed a $4.6 billion aid package for the border, approved by Congress, because they said it supported Trump’s immigration policies.The tone of the president’s remarks, however, is something they agree on.Trump’s comments Monday also addressed strains from earlier this year when Omar sent jolts through her own party for criticizing Israel and suggesting that supporters of Israel were pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.”“I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.,” Trump wrote in one of his tweets.Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, said Trump’s use of Israel in his comments hurts the Jewish community.“He doesn’t speak for any of us,” Greenblatt wrote in a Twitter post Monday. “We call on ALL leaders across the political spectrum to condemn these racist, xenophobic tweets & using Jews as a shield.”Two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, suggested that the president steer clear of personal attacks and instead focus on policy.“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” Graham said on Fox News. “They hate Israel, they hate our own country.” But he also pushed back against the president’s suggestion that the women are not American.“They are American citizens,” Graham said. “They won an election. Take on their policies. The bottom line here is this is a diverse country.”He added: “Mr. President, you’re right about their policies. You’re right about where they will take the country. Just aim higher.” Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

Read More

Apples iOS 11 Makes Siri a More Natural Woman and Man

first_imgThe Apple Pay mobile payment system gets an expansion in iOS 11. It will be able to make person-to-person payments through the iMessage app.”Apple Pay is the No. 1 contactless payment service on mobile devices, and by the end of the year, it’ll be available in more than 50 percent of retailers in the U.S.,” said Federighi.The new iOS expands its use of NFC technology. Up to now, NFC use has been limited to Apple Pay. With iOS 11, it also will read tags, which can convey information about a product to a device, or provide authentication.Adding that function helps the NFC market in a number of ways. For example, companies and developers working with tags no longer have to cobble together workarounds to accommodate iOS devices.”There are a lot of examples of applications that have been successful in Europe and Asia. where the Android market share is much higher,” explained Paula Hunter, executive director of the NFC Forum.”Here in the U.S., we’ve had a lot of application providers hesitant to go full throttle with NFC, because a significant portion of the market is served by Apple,” she told TechNewsWorld. Messages in the Cloud With the next version of iOS, Apple will add some desired productivity features to the iPad. For example, it has a new customizable dock that can be pulled up at the bottom of the screen with a finger flick to give you quick access to your favorite apps.”To someone trying to get real work done, I think some of the improvements to iPad iOS will be welcomed — in particular, the new dock,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.”The new dock puts a new spin on multitasking, moving iOS closer to macOS,” he told TechNewsWorld.On the other hand, for consumers who use their iPad Pros primarily for content consumption, the new features could make the devices seem a bit more complex than they’re used to, Moorhead pointed out.Other productivity enhancements include an improved app switcher for moving between active apps, and a new feature for managing files — not only locally and in iCloud, but on services like Box, Dropbox and OneDrive. Moving files, text and photos is easier, too, with a new drag-and-drop feature.Apple Pencil is more deeply integrated into the iPad with iOS 11. Inline drawing is supported, and the Notes app can be accessed from the lock screen with a tap of the pencil. Apple’s new OS will make it easier for developers to forge applications that tap into the camera and motion sensors in iOS devices to create augmented reality programs through ARKit.”Tim Cook excited the market a number of times last year by speaking about AR,” Gartner’s Nguyen said. “This announcements feels like more of an official endorsement-acknowledgement of AR as a tech everyone should be paying attention to.”With iOS 11, Apple’s Messages app will be integrated with iCloud. That enables all conversations to be synchronized automatically across a user’s devices. In addition to be being convenient, the feature saves space on a device, because most messages will be stored in the cloud. New voices for Siri and peer-to-peer payments are among the new features in the next version of Apple’s mobile device operating system iOS 11, previewed at the company’s annual Worldwide Development Conference on Monday.”With the new operating system, Apple has doubled down on many of the applications it has developed for iOS,” said Ross Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research.”Much of the enhancement of the OS has come via those core applications versus general new functionality,” he told TechNewsWorld.How Apple has improved Siri for the upcoming OS is an example of that. Paying Your Peers iPad Gets Productive New Voice, New Sexcenter_img With iOS 11, Apple has given Siri a voice that’s more natural and expressive. What’s more, a male voice has been added.”I like how Apple is underscoring the idea of ‘more natural,'” said Tuong Nguyen, an analyst with Gartner.”Conversational interfaces are arguably the most intuitive way to interact with machines,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Apple’s competitors certainly agree, given the efforts and emphasis they’ve put on it.” Apple supports two new media formats in the new iOS: HEVC for video and HEIF for photos. Both formats offer good quality and smaller file sizes.The company also improved its Memories app to identify photos in more ways — by anniversaries, for example, or sporting events or birthdays.When the new iOS arrives next fall, developers need not worry about finding customers for their wares, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the audience at the WWDC keynote presentation on Monday.”Eighty-six percent of our customers are running iOS 10 and taking advantage of its capabilities. This blows away other platforms that suffer from horrible fragmentation,” he said.”With iOS, developers can always target the latest capabilities and features of our latest operating system,” added Cook, “and be confident that there’s customers there for them.” Parlez Vous Francais Never Wanting Customers In addition, there’s a translation function. You can tell Siri to ask, “What are the most popular dishes in your restaurant?” in Chinese, and it will ask the question in that language. Languages initially supported by Siri translate are English, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.Siri’s IQ also got a boost.”Siri not only understands your voice, it understands the context,” Apple Senior Vice President for Software Engineering Craig Federighi said at WWDC. “It understands your interests. It understands how you use your device, and this allows it to ultimately understand what you want next.”In iOS 11, Siri uses on-device learning to understand topics of interest to you so it can flag news items that might interest you, or make a calendar appointment based on reservation made on the Web. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

Read More

Yoyo dieting increases risk of heart attack and stroke finds study

first_img Source:Associations of Variability in Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol Concentrations, and Body Mass Index With Mortality and Cardiovascular Outcomes in the General Population. Healthcare providers should pay attention to the variability in measurements of a patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels as well as body weight. Trying to stabilize these measurements may be an important step in helping them improve their health.”Professor Seung-Hwan Lee, Co-author By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDOct 4 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)According to a new study, frequent fluctuations in body weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure can have a catastrophic effect on heart health and life expectancy. In the study, sudden changes in metabolic health parameters were associated with a raised risk of heart attacks, strokes and even early deaths.Image Credit: karen roach / ShutterstockThe study results were published in the latest issue of the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.The team of researchers analysed data from the Korean National Health Insurance System for over 6.7 million people who started on the study with no history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart attacks.The researchers measured each of the participants’ body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol at three health exams that were conducted every two years between 2005 and 2012.At the end of the study period, there were more than 55,000 deaths, 22,000 strokes and 21,000 heart attacks.The study came to an end in 2015, and the data showed that those whose body weight, blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol changed by more than 5 percent during this period were 2.3 times more likely to die an early death, and 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke, even if the change was for the better.The researchers warn that the results are just a correlation and are not conclusive but can be used to guide further research into yo-yo dieting.The study emphasizes upon the need for maintaining stable, healthy lifestyle.  last_img read more

Read More

AMD SlamDunks Intel at Computex and Its a Good Thing

first_imgFor me, between the two firms, it comes down to trust. AMD is focused on its target markets, and under Lisa Su it says what it will do, and does what it says. AMD has no insider trading issues, no security problem coverups, no IP theft history, and no waning support for PCs or servers as it chases the latest sparkly thing.AMD’s Computex message was pretty simple: You’ll get more for less money and AMD will have your back. That’s a powerful alternative to Intel. While entrenched vendors like Intel are a bitch to displace, AMD appears to be doing it the old-fashioned way — with hard work and perseverance. In a world increasingly defined by fake news, this approach is a strong and important counterpoint. Microsoft’s Contribution Like a lot of folks, I’m a tad sick of Intel. Last month we learned of its second big security scandal in as many years. Once again, the company not only neglected to disclose the problems in a timely way but also lacked a plan to recall the failed parts.Once again, buyers likely will have to cripple their Intel processors if they want to use them safely. Intel for some time has seemed disinterested in PCs and servers and instead seems more focused on things like its lagging autonomous car effort and drone swarms.Its last CEO resigned in disgrace and its current CEO took the job only because no other qualified candidate wanted it. Oh, and let’s not forget the whole Qualcomm mess — Intel got caught stealing Qualcomm’s technology and had to exit the smartphone market.In the midst of all that drama AMD has kept its head down and executed, thanks to its IBM-trained CEO Lisa Su. At last week’s Computex, AMD stepped out from under Intel’s cloud and showcased winning platforms for both PCs and servers, with praise from some of its OEM partners that was unprecedented.I’ll share some thoughts on this David and Goliath story and then close with my product of the week: a new laptop that I think represents the future of cloud-connected 5G devices from Lenovo: the Project Limitless Laptop. Wrapping Up: Same Performance, Better Price, No Drama One of the interesting parts in Lisa Su’s CES keynote was when she brought up the co-COO from Acer and he pointed out AMD’s huge advantage against Intel. This was after he thanked Lisa for making a friend of his a great deal of money on AMD stock, by the way. (AMD has been a Wall Street darling for some time).The big comment was that when you use an AMD CPU and an AMD GPU in the same product, you get an incredibly powerful and affordable result. I like to think of this as AMD squared. He implied Acer would be using this all-AMD configuration for breakout products that it plans to position to take market share from its competitors. Acer is also a huge supporter of the AMD FreeSync monitor platform, arguably making it the most strategic of the OEMs backing AMD. For virtually all its existence AMD has been defined by its larger competitor. This has been a painful experience for AMD, because pretty much every time it made inroads, Intel either cheated (and got caught) or AMD stumbled. It incurred substantial damage last decade when it effectively had Intel on the ropes but then failed to execute.When I think of AMD, I think of The Ballad Of The Noob – World of Warcraft legend about a Level 1 player taking out a Level 60 player just by staying focused. It is an updated tortoise-and-hare story.The thing is, a smaller company like AMD can’t possibly take out a larger firm like Intel any more than a noob can take out a Level 60 player in PVP unless the more powerful entity takes its eye off the game. Yet that is what Intel seems to do every decade or so. The firm gets comfortable, looks at some other sparkly thing, and then forgets about the business that is keeping the lights on and suddenly wakes up bleeding market share.By my count this will be the third time AMD has had the opportunity to make a run at Intel and it may be that this third time really is a charm. AMD announced massive improvements to its Ryzen and Radeon lines, both well priced and both significantly more powerful than the products they replaced. The benchmarks against Intel were very powerful, indicating that at the top end of the line, with AMD, you could get a processor with equal or better performance that was far more power-efficient for half the price. That’s a cost savings of around US$500 on every related PC on the processor alone.That is the same kind of thing that caused me to buy the Mercedes GLA 45 AMG over the Porsche Macan S — equal or better performance for more than $10K less. That was an impressive value, about a 12.5 percent savings. By comparison, the AMD advantage would be more like a 25 percent savings on a typical system price. That’s truly huge. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Taking On a Much Larger Competitor Acer Points to AMD’s Advantage Another fascinating on-stage event was the arrival of Microsoft’s Roanne Sones, CVP leading OS platforms, who joined Lisa Su on stage. Microsoft and Intel have had long-term disagreements over pretty much everything since a past Intel CEO refused to be on stage at a Microsoft launch if the AMD CEO was going to be there.The two firms weren’t getting along all that well before, but that event pushed Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer over the edge, and things got pretty hostile. Even though both CEOs are long gone, there is a subtle undercurrent that neither company is particularly fond of the other.Despite that, Microsoft has been like Switzerland at events, seeming to love both venders. Not so much this time. Sones presented as a real fan of AMD and implied that the best PCs coming to market had both AMD CPUs and GPUs, reinforcing the “better together” concept that the Acer COO had supported. Project Limitless is as much an initiative as it is a product, but this is really the first major effort to rethink the notebook computer in light of 5G.You see with 5G you have a massive increase in data throughput, particularly at the edge of the network, and a massive decrease in latency. This means that when you have a 5G connection, you can pretty much live off the cloud.Microsoft has positioned Windows Virtual PC against this opportunity, which promises a system that will retain state, always be backed up and updated, and never again require the user to become a systems administrator. Basically, you’ll turn computing on and off like you turn the lights on and off.What makes this notebook (and potential line) very different is that it is designed to live off the cloud. This means it favors high-speed connectivity and battery life over pure processor performance, but it doesn’t compromise on the visual experience. Project Limitless, World’s First 5G PC What AMD Announced It is designed to stream 4K and 8K content, to run AR/VR/MR/XR headsets, do amazing video chats, and have screen refresh rates that rival gaming machines.Sadly, the system is not due until early 2020, so you can’t rush out and buy it today, but it likely sets the initial bar for the majority of systems we’ll see as 5G rolls out next decade, and we move away from desktop computing to cloud computing.The systems will have days of battery life, carry weights that likely will make the MacBook Air seem heavy, and wireless performance that will make your wired network seem slow.I can hardly wait until 2020 and the beginning of the end for my part-time system administrator duties. As a result, Project Limitless from Qualcomm and Lenovo is my product of the week (and likely on the fast track to my 2020 product of the year).The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.last_img read more

Read More

New book encompasses the vast history of reproduction

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 7 2018A new book is the first to encompass the vast history of how living things procreate, from the banks of the ancient Nile to the fertility clinics of today.The first book to take in 3,000 years of baby-making shows how women functioned as “vessels” in early ideas of creation, until the ancient Greeks established theories of “dual contribution” – whether two seeds or two souls – that dominated beliefs about how everything multiplied for centuries to come.This notion of “generation”, when two individuals combine to produce new life, was understood as an “active making of humans, beasts, plants and even minerals”. Likened to artisanal processes such as baking and brewing, say researchers, it shaped cultural and religious doctrine right up to the 19th century.From the 1740s, new science promoted a fresh concept: reproduction. The book’s authors show how this more abstract view gave us the sperm and egg, “test-tube” conception outside bodies, and all the language and ethical dilemmas we live with today – from population anxieties to surrogate mothers.Published by Cambridge University Press, Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day is the first major synthesis of decades of scholarship comprising millennia of human attempts to make (and not make) more of ourselves, other animals and plants.Led by three University of Cambridge academics, and pooling the expertise of historians from across Cambridge and around the world, the book is the culmination of a five-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust.”When we talk about major issues facing global society today, from climate change and migration to childcare and medical ethics, then to a large extent we are talking about reproduction: how it happens and how it should,” says Professor Nick Hopwood, from Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science.”Reproduction has always been important, but in different ways. To provide a long-term perspective, we wanted to look deep into the history of reproductive practices and beliefs.”Hopwood co-edited the book with Cambridge colleagues Professor Lauren Kassell and Dr Rebecca Flemming. Over its 44 chapters and 40 ‘exhibits’, the lavishly illustrated volume features contributions from nearly 70 leading researchers.Flemming, from Cambridge’s Faculty of Classics, directs the first section, which takes the reader from antiquity to the early middle ages, and tells the story of the “invention of generation”.”The framework of ‘generation’ produced in classical Greece gave important, if unequal, roles to both women and men. This contrasted with the exclusive emphasis on masculine potency creating life and the cosmos that dominated Egypt and the ancient Near East,” says Flemming.Women and procreation became an integral part of the thriving Greek medicine – the “Hippocratic gynaecology” – of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Female “seed” and blood provided vital contributions, and the child “grew like rising bread dough” in the womb. Cures for infertility and instructions for safe birthing were prominent.Philosophers including Aristotle grappled with “coming to be” in all its manifestations, along with the ideal population size for a state and how to achieve it, while farmers applied burgeoning livestock techniques.As different areas of the Mediterranean world converged, so too did ideas of generation. Greece gave way to Rome, and, according to Flemming, “the imperial metropolis of the second century AD was where the physician Galen put seeds, womb and menstrual blood into their most influential arrangement”. This would hold through the religious and political changes of the next centuries.Societies were still highly patriarchal, however. Romans mapped male physiology onto female bodies, says Flemming: ovaries were women’s testicles, the uterus was a deflated scrotum and a weak female ‘sperma’ was designed to lock in male seed. “Women were viewed as inferior versions of men due to their apparent ‘mutilations’ for accommodating babies.”Lauren Kassell of Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science oversees the medieval and early modern periods, when theories of ‘generation’ expanded. Scientific inquiry was applied to distant lands and microscopic structures, and women and artisans joined in debates.Related StoriesAssisted reproductive technology solution from Olympus increases the efficiency of ICSITrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchBlastocyst transfer linked to higher risk of preterm birth, large-for-gestational-age rates”Numerous Greek works were translated into Arabic from the eighth century. Scholars from Asia and Egypt reworked theories about the importance of the female seed and the formation of the fetus – challenging older authorities,” says Kassell.Following the devastation of the Black Death, Christian clergy were instructed to counsel parishioners about sex to encourage “fruitful marriages”. Influenced by sex-positive attitudes from Arabic texts, church law supported spousal obligations to “honour each other’s desire for sexual gratification”.Lineage, paramount to social order, was threatened by women having children outside marriage, although men were free to do so – with theories of family resemblance invoked in cases of disputed paternity. While unwed women feared pregnancy, Kassell says that moral and medical advisors continued to be more interested in promoting rather than limiting fertility.”Questions about pregnancy defined early modern medical encounters. Seventeenth-century medical casebooks reveal diagnostic approaches for female fertility that are superficially familiar to modern readers, such as observing changes to a woman’s body and examining her urine, as well as the more otherworldly interpretations of the positions of the stars.”Within households, fertility was the business of men as well as women. Some husbands charted their wives’ menstruation cycles. The book features diary sections written by the mathematician and occult philosopher John Dee, in which he recorded his wife Jane’s periods alongside notes about meetings with Elizabeth I.Hopwood guides readers into the era of ‘reproduction’: a long revolution not just in society and culture, thought and technology, but also in terminology. The word is older, but its modern use began in earnest in the 1740s, when experiments to regenerate tiny freshwater animals after cutting or sieving provided a model for reproduction in general.It was not until the 1870s, however, that a scientific consensus emerged on the roles of eggs and sperm in fertilization. (In 1827, the same year he discovered the mammalian egg, embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer named ‘spermatozoa’ but dismissed them as parasites.)”As European birth-rates fell, reproduction became linked to worries about the quality as well as the quantity of populations, including nationalist fantasies of racial vigour,” says Hopwood. These would result in some of humanity’s darkest hours.People in industrialized countries increasingly limited the size of their families in the early 20th century, while governments initially fought contraception and abortion. Some worried that state control of reproduction would lead doctors to create humans “as farmers breed their beasts”. Others were more concerned that maternal mortality stayed stubbornly high.As reproduction moved centre stage after World War II, science and medicine took ever more important roles in childbirth (now safer), contraception (now respectable), and attempts to alleviate infertility. Feminist activists campaigned against “battery births” and for “a woman’s right to choose”. Environmentalists promoted population control.Hopwood contributes a chapter on the strange history of artificial fertilization, taking in horse-semen thieves,test-tube sea urchins, experiments to produce human-orangutan hybrids, and fertility magnates promising Nobel Laureate sperm. More routinely, over five million IVF babies have now been born around the world, though assisted conception is provided through the market more than by states.The book closes with contemporary phenomena, from egg freezing and “repro-travel” to food security and infant mortality, and the media debates that shape attitudes towards them. “Today, reproduction happens on screens as well as in bedrooms, clinics and barns,” says Hopwood.The editors hope the book’s extraordinary chronological range will give readers new insights into the past and prompt reflection on current challenges. “Long views reveal continuities we miss by focusing on a mere century or two, but the very similarities direct attention to the specifics of change,” Hopwood adds.​Source: https://www.cam.ac.uk/reproductionlast_img read more

Read More