WatchHow Choice REIT transformed into Canadas biggest real estate player

Facebook Yadullah Hussain How Choice REIT transformed into Canada's biggest real estate player TD Securities executives Steve Dumanski and David Montanera explain why Loblaw spun out Choice REIT Share this

Why the fight over Mexicos labour reforms is the latest threat to

advertisement Email ← Previous Next → April 11, 20196:00 AM EDTLast UpdatedApril 11, 20196:01 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Naomi Powell Facebook Reddit Featured Stories Mexican President Andres Manuel

Hundreds Fight Rollback Of Clean Car Standards At DOTEPA Hearings

HUNDREDS SPEAK AGAINST ROLLBACK OF CLEAN CAR STANDARDS AT PUBLIC HEARINGSThe US DOT and EPA recently held three days of hearings in Fresno, Dearborn, and Pittsburgh on the Trump administration’s proposal to

WatchHow Choice REIT transformed into Canadas biggest real estate player

first_img Facebook Yadullah Hussain How Choice REIT transformed into Canada’s biggest real estate player TD Securities executives Steve Dumanski and David Montanera explain why Loblaw spun out Choice REIT Share this storyHow Choice REIT transformed into Canada’s biggest real estate player Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Comment Email Twitter January 30, 201912:49 PM EST Filed under News FP Street 0 Comments Reddit More TD Securities executives Steve Dumanski and David Montanera explain why Loblaw spun out Choice REIT. Read our entire Dealmakers 2019 series Join the conversation →last_img

Why the fight over Mexicos labour reforms is the latest threat to

first_img advertisement Email ← Previous Next → April 11, 20196:00 AM EDTLast UpdatedApril 11, 20196:01 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Naomi Powell Facebook Reddit Featured Stories Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.AP Photo/Marco Ugarte Recommended For YouPrivate Family Photo and Video Sharing App FamilyAlbum Surpasses 5 Million UsersHuawei Canada officials say 5G ban wouldn’t end its commitment to Canada’Very important strategically’: Bombardier named preferred bidder for $4.5B monorail in EgyptWBM Technologies Announces the Acquisition of Ricoh Canada Operations in ManitobaDeluge starts to seep into fragile U.S. farm-belt economy Join the conversation → The pro-labour stance and power of Lopez Obrador’s administration suggests “a lot of goodwill on the part of the new government to see this through and make sure it’s effective,” said Santos of Georgetown University. “I think the questions that are coming up in the new house regarding enforcement and implementation are important. The question is how can they be addressed.”But in the meantime, Pelosi has said that while the Mexican legislation is necessary for the pact to be considered, they don’t guarantee it will be ratified. Democrats are also pushing for changes to provisions in the deal that provide 10 years of patent protection for a class of drugs known as biologics. Those protections could raise costs by protect the drugs from competition from cheaper alternatives, they warn.“’Unless’ doesn’t mean ‘if you do this, then we will support it,’” she told Politico. “Unless you do this we can’t even consider it.”• Email: npowell@nationalpost.com | Twitter: Mexican lawmakers are expected to soon clear a key hurdle to the ratification of the new North American Free Trade Agreement by passing legislation enabling a major overhaul of the country’s labour laws.But that might not be enough to win the support of skeptical Congressional Democrats.Driven by a belief that the original NAFTA failed in its promise to narrow wide gaps in worker rights and wages between Mexico and the U.S., some are demanding to reopen talks in order to negotiate stronger enforcement provisions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they’ll also seek proof that the reforms are being implemented. The new NAFTA deal is ‘in trouble’ amid looming elections, fights over tariffs ‘I’m not optimistic’: Political will for passage of new NAFTA rapidly evaporating in America Canada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator Depending how hard the Democrats dig in, the demands could throw an already troubled ratification process completely off course this year — particularly now that Canada and Mexico have both said reopening the deal is a non-starter.“There’s a lot of politics going on, of course,” said Lance Compa, senior lecturer in international labour law at Cornell University and a former research director at the NAFTA commission for labour co-operation.Related Stories:Mexico and U.S. try new trade fix to win over Democrats -officialMexico says trade deal dispute panel fix must be ‘across the board’White House official optimistic on US-Mexico-Canada trade deal“They don’t want to give Trump a victory lap, especially when it runs right into the 2020 elections. But I also think the Democrats and Pelosi are sincere in wanting to see these reforms really happen in Mexico. In the long run that’s what’s going to solve the differential problem.”Facing pressure from Pelosi to speed up the legislation, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said a new bill to protect worker rights required under the trilateral pact should pass. His Morena party — which has a majority in both houses of Mexican Congress — is aiming to pass the laws this month, after missing a January 1 deadline.Though U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has suggested additional enforcement measures could be written into implementing legislation in the U.S., Congressional Democrats say the rules must be built into the treaty itself to ensure they are binding for all three countries.That would mean reopening talks, they say, a step that’s been ruled out by officials in all three countries and could scupper plans to have the deal approved before the U.S. Congress rises for its August recess. That would likely push the deal’s ratification into 2020, where it risks getting lost in the politics of the presidential election.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite 2 Comments Why the fight over Mexico’s labour reforms is the latest threat to new NAFTA deal Depending how hard the U.S. Democrats dig in, the demands could throw an already troubled ratification process completely off course this year Comment “So for many Democrats they want to see the reform prior to signing this time. They want to see on the ground that workers can form independent unions in the export sector and they can bargain collectively.”Pelosi has yet to indicate what sort of enforcement and evidence is required to win the necessary votes from Democrats. Establishing a system of labour courts would take two to four years, Compa says, and determining whether union rights are being enforced on the ground could also take time.A worker, left, welds the chassis of a Honda Fit vehicle on the production line after the opening ceremony for Honda Motor Co.’s new plant in Celaya, Mexico. What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation “My own feeling is it’s not going to go anywhere,” said Compa. “There are too many dissonant opinions in the room.”An annex to the new NAFTA’s labour chapter calls for Mexico to pass laws ending employer interference in unions and establishing “independent and impartial bodies” to register union elections and resolve disputes. A system must be set up to verify that the election of union leaders and the approval of collective agreements occur through free and secret votes. Independent labour courts are to be created to handle disputes.Among other things, the changes are intended to root out the widespread problem of so called “protection agreements” negotiated between union leaders and management without worker approval. They would also replace the current dispute settlement system managed by tripartite boards of government, employees and unions – widely criticized for favouring company-controlled unions over independent ones, said Alvaro Santos, a Georgetown University law professor and former deputy chief negotiator on NAFTA for Lopez Obrador’s government.“It’s a complete overhaul in the labour relationship in Mexico for sure,” he said. “I don’t think people realize the full reach of this reform or how exceptional it was to have it in a trade agreement. It’s a big, big step.”The deal isn’t the first to link trade and labour issues. That distinction belongs to the original NAFTA, which attempted to address worker rights through a side accord calling on all three countries to enforce their own domestic labour laws – including child labour rules and safety standards. But that agreement left out guarantees of free unions that might press for higher wages and the rights of workers to pick their own leaders.And though increased trade enabled by the deal was meant to improve the well-being and wages of Mexican workers — thereby preventing jobs from being lured away from higher wage U.S. jurisdictions — many believe the opposite occurred, analysts say.Indeed, though the extent to which labour intensive jobs left the U.S. due to NAFTA is a subject of heated debate among economists, the issue nevertheless looms large in Democrats’ thinking about the new NAFTA.“The feeling is the promises were glorious on the eve of signing NAFTA but little of that took place,” said Harley Shaiken, a trade specialist and chair of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.What’s more, though the U.S. sharpened enforcement provisions in subsequent trade deals with Columbia, Peru and Central America, “the moment the ratification took place, things went back to normal. Around the edges a little improvement but not much beyond that,” Shaiken said.It’s a complete overhaul in the labour relationship in Mexico for sure… It’s a big, big stepAlvaro Santos Twitter Share this storyWhy the fight over Mexico’s labour reforms is the latest threat to new NAFTA deal Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Sponsored By: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg Morelast_img read more

Hundreds Fight Rollback Of Clean Car Standards At DOTEPA Hearings

HUNDREDS SPEAK AGAINST ROLLBACK OF CLEAN CAR STANDARDS AT PUBLIC HEARINGSThe US DOT and EPA recently held three days of hearings in Fresno, Dearborn, and Pittsburgh on the Trump administration’s proposal to reverse existing federal fuel efficiency and emissions standards, and members of the public had a chance to comment.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: UPDATE: Pruitt-Led EPA Announces End Of Obama-Era Emissions Regulations U.S. Senator Introduces Bill To End $7,500 EV Tax Credit Source: Electric Vehicle News Above: Rolling back clean car and fuel economy standards means more gasoline fill-ups for ICE vehicle owners (Image: Natural Resources Defense Council)According to the NRDC’s Luke Tonachel, who testified in Dearborn this week, adopting the proposal would mean fewer innovative jobs, more smog, soot and carbon pollution, and higher costs for drivers filling up at the pump. The agencies’ own analysis shows that halting progress on emissions will mean 60,000 fewer jobs, an outcome that would be especially bad for Michigan, which is home to 69,593 jobs in 224 facilities that make materials or components for more fuel-efficient cars.The agencies also admit that the plan will mean more carbon pollution. If the plan is adopted, an additional 73 billion gallons of gasoline will be consumed by the vehicles directly regulated under the proposal – an additional cost of $170 billion dollars for American drivers.The administration’s argument that halting the pollution and mileage standards would save lives by reducing highway deaths was undercut by the EPA’s own analysts, who showed the flaws in its assumptions.A spokesman for an aluminum industry trade group testified that the administration’s claim that automotive lightweighting would lead to more highway fatalities is false. “Numerous flawed assumptions in the draft rule are misleading and overstate potential unfavorable impacts on safety,” said Mario Greco, Chairman of the the Aluminum Transportation Group. “Automakers are not reducing the weight of small cars, but instead are prioritizing weight reductions where it offers the most promise to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions – their larger, heavier cars and trucks.”===Written by: Charles Morris; Sources: Natural Resources Defense Council, Aluminum Transportation Group*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Above: The hazardous effects of tailpipe emissions are concerning (Image: Charged)Hundreds of people, including physicians and health advocates, former EPA officials and technology entrepreneurs, environmental advocates and local officials, testified against the plan, vastly outnumbering the handful that came out in support. Even representatives of automakers and the aluminum industry opposed the effort to water down the standards.A former EPA analyst who spent years working on emissions policy testified that the technical analysis for this proposal was the “most biased and dishonest” he had witnessed in his 40-year career at the agency.The DOT’s own Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) concluded: “The Proposed Action [the Trump administration’s rollback proposal] and alternatives are projected to result in an increase in energy consumption, an increase in most criteria pollutant emissions…Overall US health impacts associated with air quality (mortality, asthma, bronchitis, emergency room visits, and work-loss days) are anticipated to increase across the Proposed Action.”The Natural Resources Defense Council’s David Pettit pointed out several shortcomings of the DOT’s DEIS at the Fresno hearing. “The alternatives analysis looks only at reductions in the CAFE standards, not increases,” he said. “None of these alternatives increases fuel economy with respect to the no action alternative, none conserves energy, and none represents maximum feasible CAFE standards. These are fundamental errors. The DEIS is fundamentally flawed and needs to be withdrawn.” Clean Air Vehicles To Be Charged Toll In Some CA HOT Lanes Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 13, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Watch a Tesla Model X becoming a police vehicle

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla vehicles are becoming increasingly popular with police departments around the world and now a fleet of Tesla Model X electric SUVs is being converted to patrol vehicles in Switzerland.They are showing us how they are doing it with some interesting videos and images. more…The post Watch a Tesla Model X becoming a police vehicle appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Zero SRF electric motorcycle unveiled 150 kW 124 mph 200 miles of

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Electrek is on site in Midtown Manhattan where just minutes ago, Zero’s new SR/F was unveiled. The SR/F electric motorcycle is now Zero’s fastest offering with a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).The SR/F also has a host of new parts and features never before seen on a Zero. Check out this up close look and get all the details below. more…The post Zero SR/F electric motorcycle unveiled: 150 kW, 124 mph, 200 miles of range appeared first on Electrek.last_img

CATL Breaks Into 300 Whkg Energy Density On Battery Cell Level

first_img CATL Denies Possible Tie With Tesla China’s CATL & Honda Sign Massive EV Battery Deal More range or lighter electric vehicles on the horizonChinese EV battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) announced that its new lithium-ion cell sample achieved energy density of 304 Wh/kg.The value was unofficially known from at least mid-2018 when confidential data leaked with a planned result of 300 Wh/kg and 700 Wh/L using a Ni-rich cathode and a Graphite/Si anode.We believe that currently, no battery manufacturer has yet to reach 300 Wh/kg for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars in volume production as the state-of-the-art cells are at around 250 Wh/kg.CATL news Source: Electric Vehicle News Let’s calculate the weight benefit of higher energy dense batteries for example packs:50 kWh at 250 Wh/kg: 200 kg50 kWh at 300 Wh/kg: 166 kg (down 34 kg or 17%)From CATL’s presentation (slide shown by pushevs.com in mid-2018):Source: chinadaily.com.cn, pushevs.com CATL Signs Battery Venture Deal With Volvo Owner Geely Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 31, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

SNCLavalin Continues To Pout

first_imgBut Mom / Dad, when Johnny gets into trouble his parents do things a little bit differently, why can’t I benefit from that?That was my reaction in this February 2015 post when SNC-Lavalin was criminally charged by Canadian authorities for alleged improper payments to Libyan officials. Upon being charged, the company issued this release stating:“It is important to note that companies in other jurisdictions, such as the United States and United Kingdom, benefit from a different approach that has been effectively used in the public interest to resolve similar matters while balancing accountability and securing the employment, economic and other benefits of businesses.”In the meantime, much has happened in Canada. As highlighted in prior posts here, here, and here Canada considered and ultimately adopted deferred prosecution agreements (referred to as remediation agreements). During the  consultation process, the Canadian government learned, unsurprisingly, that businesses prefer less harsh criminal sanctions (see here).Last week SNC-Lavalin’s pouting continued as the company disclosed:“SNC-Lavalin has been advised  by the Director of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (DPPSC) that at this time they will not invite SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a Remediation Agreement. SNC-Lavalin strongly disagrees with the DPPSC’s current position and remains open and committed to negotiating such an agreement in the interest of its employees, partners, clients, investors, pensioners and other stakeholders, all innocent parties that have been affected during the last six years, and now face an unnecessary extended period of uncertainty.The Company will continue to operate as it has since the charges were laid in 2015, focused on bringing value to its shareholders and other stakeholders by continuing to offer industry leading engineering and professional services and by growing its business, all the while vigorously defending itself against the charges. The Company is reviewing its options to appeal this decision.The government of Canada undertook an exhaustive legislative process that led to the adoption of a Remediation Agreement regime permitting companies to defer prosecution in exchange for fines, remediation and cooperation. This regime enables fair, effective and globally competitive resolution of issues for Canadian corporations, if companies admit wrongs, make compensation, pay fines, cooperate and help ensure the individuals responsible are held to account.A key purpose of the legislation is “to reduce the negative consequences of the wrongdoing for persons — employees, customers, pensioners and others — who did not engage in the wrongdoing, while holding responsible those individuals who did engage in that wrongdoing.” The Company believes that the legislation should be utilized to its intent with regards these innocent stakeholders.Since 2012, SNC-Lavalin has developed and built a world-class ethics & compliance framework. This has been embodied to the extent that ‘Integrity’ has become one of the Company’s core values, and the Integrity function within SNC-Lavalin has a remit beyond traditional ethics & compliance.  The Company has co-operated fully with regulatory and government authorities. The Company has tirelessly worked towards a world class ethics and compliance culture through numerous means, which remain unaffected by [this] update, including:Changed leadership at Board and Management levels with an enhanced culture of IntegrityEstablished a world-class ethics & compliance frameworkSigned an administrative agreement concerning ethics and compliance with Public Services and Government Services Canada to continue our eligibility to provide services to the government of CanadaReached an agreement with the Commissioner of Canada ElectionsConcluded in 2016 an agreement between engineers and ex-engineers of SNC-Lavalin and the syndic’s Office of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec following investigations about political contributionsReached a fair and final settlement with Quebec’s voluntary reimbursement programAutorité des marchés financiers (AMF) certification renewedSettled class actions in Quebec and Ontario filed in 2012 on behalf of security holders”Once again, but Mom / Dad, when Johnny gets into trouble his parents do things a little bit differently, why can’t I benefit from that?This is what happens when government so distorts traditional law enforcement functions. In the bribery and corruption space, the U.S. started this and the U.K., France, Canada and other countries have followed.last_img read more

Salk Institute scientists receive funding for cancer research

first_imgJun 27 2018Salk Institute scientists Ronald Evans, Diana Hargreaves, Tony Hunter, Graham McVicker and Geoffrey Wahl are among the first wave of researchers to receive funding from Padres Pedal the Cause, one of one of the largest stand-alone cancer fundraising events in San Diego. The nonprofit raised $2.4 million for cancer research in November 2017, thanks to the efforts of more than 3,000 bicycle riders, sponsors, volunteers and donors.Pedal the Cause awards millions of dollars each year via its Discovery Grants program to cross-institutional teams of physicians and scientists from San Diego’s best cancer institutions, including the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rady Children’s Hospital.”The Padres Pedal the Cause Discovery Grants are opening the door to critically needed research,” say Professors Geoffrey Wahl of Salk and Frank Furnari of UC San Diego, who are leading a 2018 Discovery Grant together. “This funding has allowed us to build a highly collaborative research team to tackle glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive brain cancer.”According to Pedal the Cause, the Discovery Grant funding process is highly selective and proposals are screened via a rigorous vetting process. Funding is awarded to best-in-class project submissions to green-light project exploration with the hope that initial findings may lead to additional funding from national sources and, ultimately, a cure.Salk scientists are co-principal investigators on Projects 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the 2018 Discovery Grants listed below:Project 1: “Inducing Cytosolic Chromatin Fragments in Cancer Cells to Turn Cold Tumors Hot”Jack Bui, Moores Cancer CenterPeter Adams, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstituteProject 2: “Understanding and Targeting NRF2 in Pancreatic Cancer”Michael Karin, Moores Cancer CenterAndrew Lowy, Moores Cancer CenterJorge Moscat, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstituteRelated StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyProject 3: “Targeting a Therapeutic Vulnerability in PTEN-Deficient Brain Tumors”Frank Furnari, Moores Cancer CenterGeoffrey Wahl, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesProject 4: “Natural Killer Cells for Treatment of Medulloblastoma”Dan S. Kaufman, Moores Cancer CenterRobert J. Wechsler-Reya, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstituteProject 5: “Transcriptomic and Epigenomic Profiling to Reveal Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte and Microglia Functional Phenotype and Clonality In Pediatric Brain Tumors”Anusha Preethi Ganesan, Rady Children’s Hospital, San DiegoP. Vijayanand, La Jolla InstituteProject 6: “Responses of Melanoma Patients to Checkpoint Immunotherapy”Linda Bradley, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery InstituteGregory Daniels, Moores Cancer CenterProject 7: “Enhanced Breast Cancer Risk Prediction from Imputed Gene Expression”Hannah Carter, Moores Cancer CenterGraham McVicker, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesProject 8: “Epigenetic Profiling of Endometrial Cancer”Diana Hargreaves, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesRamez Eskander, Moores Cancer CenterProject 9: “Targeting Fibroblast Heterogeneity to Improve Surgical Outcomes in Pancreatic Cancer”Ronald M. Evans, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesMichael Bouvet, Moores Cancer CenterProject 10: “A Novel Role for Histidine Kinase Activity in Neuroblastoma Pathogenesis”Peter Zage, Rady Children’s Hospital, San DiegoTony Hunter, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesProject 11: “Development and Implementation of a Peer-Navigation Intervention to Improve Research Literacy in Pediatric Cancer Trials”Paula Aristizabal, Rady Children’s Hospital, San DiegoElena Martinez, UC San Diego Health​​​ Source:https://www.salk.edu/news-release/salk-researchers-win-five-competitive-grants-for-cancer-research/last_img read more

People with skin of color experience a variety of skin conditions

first_imgJul 26 2018Although skin disease can affect anyone, it may not affect everyone in the same way -; and this is especially true for patients with skin of color.”Skin conditions are color blind, occurring in patients of every skin tone, but certain conditions can affect patients with skin of color more frequently and more severely,” says board-certified dermatologist Neelam Vashi, MD, FAAD, director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin and the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center. “Moreover, certain dermatologic treatments may cause problems in this population if those treatments aren’t performed properly by a qualified, experienced physician like a board-certified dermatologist.”According to Dr. Vashi, some of the most common problems reported by patients with skin of color include hypopigmentation, which involves patches of skin becoming lighter than the surrounding skin, and hyperpigmentation, which involves patches of skin becoming darker than the surrounding skin. These conditions are more visible in patients with darker skin tones, she says, and research has shown that pigmentation problems can have a negative effect on patients’ quality of life. “These conditions may not be harmful,” she says, “but patients are often distressed by how their skin looks.”Patients with skin of color can experience a variety of skin conditions throughout their lives, Dr. Vashi says, and their concerns may change as they age. For example, she says, younger patients in this population often have issues with hypopigmentation. Cases of acne and eczema in those with darker skin tones can begin at a young age and persist into adulthood, she says, and these conditions may lead to problems with hyperpigmentation and scarring as patients get older. As people with skin of color continue to age, she says, they may experience skin growths or issues with hyperpigmentation.Related StoriesScientists develop accurate, wearable voice recognition deviceScientists discover how resistance to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil arisesNew e-tattoo beats conventional methods at monitoring heart healthWhile hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure over time is a common sign of aging in patients with all skin tones, it can be especially pronounced with patients with darker skin, Dr. Vashi says. In fact, she says, hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns in patients with skin of color as they get older, because other signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin tend to appear later and be less severe in this population.”Patients with darker skin may think they don’t need to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but that is not the case,” Dr. Vashi says. “Everyone, regardless of skin tone, should seek shade, wear protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to help prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging.”Certain conditions, including skin cancer, may present differently in skin of color, Dr. Vashi says, but a board-certified dermatologist can provide both an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for patients of all skin tones. While some dermatologic procedures may lead to side effects like hyperpigmentation in darker skin when performed improperly, research has shown that treatments like laser therapy, chemical peels and filler injections can be safe and effective for patients with skin of color when performed “in a methodical, careful way,” she says.”Dermatologists are always looking for newer, safer, more effective treatments for all patients, including those with skin of color,” Dr. Vashi says. “A board-certified dermatologist with experience in treating darker skin tones can evaluate these patients’ conditions and provide them with the best possible atment.” Source:https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/skin-of-colorlast_img read more

Conditions of first sexual encounter can be indicators of future HIV risk

first_img Source:http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/ Aug 18 2018Adolescent girls and young women in Mombasa, Kenya are more likely to experience higher risks of HIV and gender-based violence when they are involved with sex work venues or have sexual experiences at a young age, suggests a study co-led by St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Manitoba in Canada.Published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), the research suggests that the conditions of a first sexual encounter, such as a woman’s age, the man’s age, use of condoms, and whether or not the encounter is consensual can be indicators of future risk of HIV infection and gender-based violence.The research team found that adolescent girls and young women in Mombasa, Kenya, who are forced or coerced in their first sexual experience, are four to five times more likely to face ongoing gender-based violence throughout their lifetime. This research also showed that one in four participants experience gender-based violence after their first sexual experience, with 37.5 per cent prevalence amongst those involved in sex work.Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and one of the study’s lead authors, and her team found that women who experienced their first sexual encounter before the age of 15 were two times more likely to be at risk of HIV acquisition. This was especially prevalent for those in the sex work industry and those who frequented sex work venues.”We wanted to understand early risk and vulnerabilities for HIV because many prevention programs for key populations reach young sex workers several years after they have already experienced high-risk encounters,” Dr. Mishra said. “There are vulnerabilities that appear in the first few years of becoming sexually active and entering sex work more formally.”The study’s results were drawn from a cross-sectional biological and behavioural survey conducted among sexually active adolescent girls and young women in Mombasa, Kenya. Community organizations, including past and current female sex workers working with the International Centre for Reproductive Health Kenya, identified participants at local sex work hotspots who then participated in interviews and HIV testing. Participants were referred to HIV prevention and care programs in Mombasa.Related StoriesPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEP”Global health partnerships are strongest when there is a generation of new knowledge that informs programs led on the ground,” said Dr. Mishra, speaking of this work’s partnership between St. Michael’s Hospital, the University of Toronto, the University of Manitoba, and the National AIDS and STI Control Programme in Kenya.This research is part of a multi-component study designed to count how many young women are involved in sex work in Mombasa, Kenya; measure early HIV risks through a representative survey; and conduct mathematical modelling to understand the impact of not accounting for the early risk many young women face.”We’ve identified a need to provide HIV prevention and treatment plans for adolescent girls and young women at an earlier age,” Dr. Marissa Becker, associate professor at the University of Manitoba and co-lead of the study. “We hope the findings of this research can assist HIV prevention programs to adapt their strategies to reach vulnerable young women and teenaged girls at a younger age and intervene on risks early on.”Dr. Becker, Dr. Mishra and their team are continuing to conduct programmatic and mathematical modeling studies in this area, with a hope to implement and evaluate new programs and interventions. They are also looking at how their findings in Kenya are applicable to other countries.last_img read more

Study demonstrates cardiovascular safety of weight loss drug

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018A weight loss drug does not increase cardiovascular events, according to late breaking results from the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Lorcaserin is an appetite suppressant, increasing the sense of fullness after a meal and reducing hunger before meals. It is not approved as a weight loss drug in Europe. The European Medicines Agency has expressed concerns about the potential risk of tumors based on animal data, psychiatric disorders including depression, and problems with heart valves.The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2012 approved the medication for weight loss in overweight adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater, or with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater and at least one weight-related health condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. As with all weight loss agents, the FDA’s approval was contingent on postmarketing studies assessing the risk for major adverse cardiovascular events.The CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial was conducted as part of the FDA’s postmarketing requirement. The trial examined the safety and efficacy of the drug with regard to major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and progression to diabetes in overweight or obese individuals with, or at risk for, cardiovascular disease.The trial enrolled 12,000 adults from 473 centers in eight countries between January 2014 and November 2015. Participants had a BMI of at least 27 kg/m2 and either 1) established cardiovascular disease (with or without diabetes) or 2) diabetes and at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. Participants were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to lorcaserin (10 mg twice a day) or matching placebo. All participants were advised to exercise and eat healthily.The primary safety endpoint was noninferiority of the drug compared to placebo for MACE (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) after 460 events had occurred. If the safety endpoint was met, the trial would proceed to completion and assess the primary efficacy endpoint of superiority of the drug for MACE plus hospitalization for unstable angina, heart failure, or any coronary revascularisation. Secondary endpoints included delay or prevention of conversion to type 2 diabetes in those with pre-diabetes at baseline, and the effect on weight, heart rate, blood pressure, lipids, and blood sugar.The average age of participants was 64 years, 64% were male, and the median BMI was 35 kg/m2. Three-quarters (8,958; 75%) had a history of at least one established cardiovascular disease: 8,153 (68%) had coronary artery disease, 1,129 (9.4%) had cerebrovascular disease, and 657 (5.5%) had peripheral artery disease. More than half (57%) had diabetes, 90% had hypertension, 94% had hyperlipidemia, and 20% had renal insufficiency.The interim analysis after 460 events showed that the trial met its primary safety objective. At study completion with a median follow-up of 3.3 years, MACE occurred in 6.1% of those taking lorcaserin and 6.2% of those on placebo, demonstrating noninferiority (p<0.001).Related StoriesIntense weight loss with the soups and shakes could reverse type 2 diabetesCircadian rhythm plays a part in weight lossUNC receives $3.8 million grant to assess impact of Med-South behavioral weight loss programThe trial did not meet its superiority endpoint. The composite of MACE plus hospitalization for unstable angina, heart failure, or any coronary revascularization occurred in 11.8% of participants taking the drug and 12.1% of those on placebo (p=0.55).On top of lifestyle counseling, those taking lorcaserin lost an average of 4.2 kg in the first year compared to 1.4 kg for those taking placebo (p<0.001). At one year, 39% of those taking the drug had lost at least 5% of their body weight compared to 17% of the placebo group (p<0.001) while 15% on the drug lost 10% of their body weight compared to 5% on placebo (p<0.001). The differences between groups remained statistically significant at 3.3-years of follow-up.Regarding secondary endpoints, compared to placebo, the medication reduced the conversion rate to diabetes in participants with pre-diabetes at baseline. The drug also led to small improvements in levels of triglycerides, blood glucose, heart rate and blood pressure.In the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 study, the most common side effects possibly related to the drug and leading to drug discontinuation were dizziness, fatigue, headache and nausea - all of which are listed on the FDA-approved label. There was no difference in the occurrence of malignancy between the drug and placebo groups. In a dedicated echocardiographic substudy, there was a non-significant imbalance in the incidence of valvular disease at one year between the drug and placebo groups (1.8% versus 1.3%; p=0.24). Serious hypoglycemia was more common in patients on lorcaserin, a side effect observed in prior studies.Lorcaserin is not approved for use in women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant. It should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure. If signs or symptoms of valvular heart disease develop, such as dyspnoea or a new cardiac murmur, patients should be evaluated and discontinuation of the drug considered. People taking the drug should be monitored for depression, changes in mood, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors - the drug should be discontinued if the latter are experienced."We have been able to show for the first time that this weight loss drug does what it is intended to do. It helps people lose weight without causing an increase in major adverse cardiovascular events in a population at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes," said Dr Erin Bohula, an investigator with the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial and TIMI Study Group investigator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, US."One of our hypotheses was that losing weight with this medication might also lead to a cardiovascular benefit but we did not see that," she continued. "While there were improvements in multiple cardiovascular risk factors, including weight, lipids and blood glucose, the magnitude of impact on these risk factors was relatively small."Dr Bohula said: "Nevertheless, the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 study is notable as it provides the first demonstration of cardiovascular safety of any weight loss agent in a dedicated cardiovascular outcomes trial." Source:https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/weight-loss-drug-does-not-increase-cardiovascular-eventslast_img read more

Russian rocket blasts wildlife tracker into orbit

Last week, from the Yasny launch base in eastern Russia, a rocket soared into space carrying several dozen satellites, many of them dedicated to scientific endeavors. An instrument designed to track massive dust storms, for example, represents Iraq’s first spacecraft. But another of the modest-sized orbiters, dubbed cube satellites, marks an important step toward an orbiting system dedicated to tracking large-scale movements of animals small enough to hold in an adult hand. “For this satellite, it’s a lot about solving the mysteries of migrations,” says zoologist Kasper Thorup of the University of Copenhagen, who is in charge of the wildlife tracker and attended the Russian launch. Funded by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen, the instrument, called DTUsat, will record data from 4.6-gram tags that researchers plan to place on animals such as the common cuckoo, a parasitic bird that lays its eggs in another species’s nest. Affixed among the cuckoo’s feathers, each tiny tag will relay the bird’s position to the satellite circling thousands of meters above. DTUsat will then collect the tag’s information and pass it on to a base station at DTU. Two of the tags have already been made, and the researchers hope to soon test whether they can connect to the now orbiting DTUsat.Though an independent mission, DTUsat is a forerunner for the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) project, an ambitious plan to equip birds and other small mammals with tags that transmit their location directly to the International Space Station, rather than via a satellite relay.  The ICARUS project reflects growing interest in how small animal migration patterns are influenced by global issues such as climate change. Thorup and Martin Wikelski of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Germany, the lead researcher for ICARUS, hope that the DTUsat’s launch provides incentive to build location-transmitting tags that have the power to send signals to the ISS. The researchers speculate that the tags will be ready by the end of 2015. Now, the tags are still in the developmental stage and are about 5 grams, but Thorup and Wikelski hope that the tags will weigh as little as 1 gram in the future. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The ICARUS team hasn’t finalized a list of animals they want to tag, but cuckoos could near the top of its list. The parents of the parasitic species abandon their eggs in the nest of other species, yet cuckoo chicks somehow know to migrate from Europe to Africa. “It’s a crazy behavior that we don’t really understand,” says Margaret Crofoot, a member of the ICARUS team. “How do they know where to go? This is a bird that is too small to track using existing tags.”For ICARUS, each tag would be solar rechargeable. For the sake of efficiency, the tags would collect data constantly but only send it to the ISS when the space station passes overhead. Both of these tactics can help prolong battery life as the tags become smaller, eliminating the need for heavier batteries with longer lives.But even as the tags shrink, the ICARUS team plans to tag animals large and small in the interest of conservation. One of the project’s long-term goals is to attach tags to reintroduced or relocated Bornean orangutans displaced by deforestation. “We don’t know where these animals go, we don’t know what their fate is,” Crofoot says.However, DTUsat and ICARUS still have a long way to go before they can help researchers pursue any large-scale problems. DTUsat will track only six tags simultaneously, whereas ICARUS may track thousands. For ICARUS, the team will have to attach a large antenna to the ISS to compensate for the transmitters’ small size. With funding from the German, Russian, and European space agencies, they plan to mount such an antenna in 2015.In the meantime, Thorup is hopeful the DTUsat will help answer questions about the cuckoo’s oddball lifestyle. Does the cuckoo have a particular habitat that it must live in? he wonders. Will the cuckoo find a different habitat when global climate change inevitably affects its home? Soon the answers may be streaming into space and back to Earth. 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Americans may know more than you think about science

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 But the bad news is that researchers may have misled policymakers and educators about the connection between literacy and support for science. “Available research does not support the claim that increasing science literacy will lead to appreciably greater support for science in general,” the report concludes. Scientists are partly to blame for that misconception, it adds, because the metrics they typically use to assess literacy “are only weakly correlated” with how people behave.“We need to have a sense of science literacy that is much broader at the individual level and much deeper at the societal level than traditional measures reflect,” says Catherine Snow, a professor at the graduate school of education at Harvard University and chair of the academy panel that wrote Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. “A public survey is a very limited measure, and you have to be very cautious about how much you can extrapolate from the answers.”The idea of community literacy has been around for decades, says panelist Noah Feinstein, a sociologist and science educator at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, citing the role of HIV activists in the 1980s and 1990s in transforming clinical trials to combat AIDS. But literacy researchers have only recently begun to focus on the power of that collective action, he notes.“These communities are capable of accomplishing extraordinary things by engaging with scientists,” Feinstein says. “Not everybody has the same level of scientific knowledge and connections. But when they pool that expertise, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.”The new report was prompted by a congressional directive to NIH to study scientific literacy that was written into a spending bill setting out its 2015 budget. Drawing on that language, NIH asked the National Academies to make “recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States.” The report’s call for a broader definition of scientific literacy and for new research on society’s role in shaping what individuals know about science and health issues is standard fare for academy panels.But Snow’s panel departs from the norm when it chides lawmakers and NIH officials for their superficial understanding of the subject. Those unfounded assumptions, it notes, posed significant problems for the panel.“Throughout this report, the committee aims to challenge traditional understandings of science literacy,” the authors note. “To fully understand whether or not there is a need to improve the understanding of science in the United States, it would first be necessary to solidify an evidence base that investigates science literacy in all its complexity.”NIH also asked the committee to seek evidence for how “enhanced scientific literacy” could lead to such positive outcomes such as greater support for research and more healthy living practices. That’s another no-no, the panel concluded. The agency’s charge “presuppose[es] a relationship between science literacy and those outcomes,” the report points out disapprovingly.The new report won’t be the academies’s last work on scientific literacy. Another academies panel is currently tackling the science of science communications, with a report proposing a research agenda expected later this year. In rushing to meet a tight deadline set by NIH, Snow said her panel also avoided examining how literacy is acquired, both at school and in informal settings, and focused just on adult literacy.Despite those limitations, Snow says she hopes the report will prod scientists to interact with a broader swath of the public. “Science isn’t just what they do, and their job isn’t simply to transmit that information,” she says. “Our message is that science is also what groups of people do who are not trained as scientists but who can also contribute to the search for truth.”*Correction, 11 August, 10:38 a.m.: An earlier version of the story incorrectly described Catherine Snow’s position at Harvard. 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! Countrycenter_img Email Americans know a lot more about science and health issues than traditional surveys of individuals would suggest, according to a new report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Those surveys ignore what the report calls “community literacy”—the phenomenon by which individuals learn about and take collective action on issues they care deeply about, from AIDS to environmental justice.The report assesses the state of science and health literacy in the United States and those who study it. It also offers some unusually blunt advice to Congress, which ordered up the study, and to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded it.The good news, according to the report, is that Americans “perform comparably to adults in other economically developed countries on most current measures of science knowledge.” That finding is meant to contradict the stereotype of Americans learning little science in school and being oblivious to or willfully ignorant of the scientific consensus on everything from climate change to evolution. In addition, the report finds that large groups of people can help advance the frontiers of knowledge through “community action, often in collaboration with scientists.”last_img read more

With Democrats in control of US House science panel gets fresh start

first_img The new STEM Democrats Seven candidates with science backgrounds won seats last week in the U.S. House of Representatives. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) is in line to replace the retiring Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) as chair of the science committee. The two Texans represent a stark contrast. Trained as a psychiatric nurse, Johnson has promised to “restore the credibility” of a committee that for 6 years has challenged the findings of climate scientists and questioned the need for many environmental regulations.“We were not really following our charter [under Smith],” says Johnson, who joined the panel as a new legislator in 1993 and for the past 8 years has been its top Democrat. Instead, she says, “We were trying to uncover any information that would undercut scientific findings and avoid facing what the scientific data were showing us.”Smith, a lawyer who came to Congress in 1989, regularly convened hearings designed to highlight the views of those opposed to federal action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. He also used his unilateral power to issue investigative subpoenas—an authority traditionally given to just a few committee heads—to attack climate science he found suspect. Johnson hopes to shift the debate from “ignoring what’s happening” to discussing “what we should be doing to save our planet and the lives and money it takes to clean up after weather-related disasters.” With Democrats in control of U.S. House, science panel gets fresh start 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 The results of last week’s divisive midterm elections, with Democrats reclaiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Republicans likely strengthening their hold on the Senate, have allowed both parties to claim victory. U.S. scientists are also experiencing mixed emotions.Many are pleased with what they expect to be a more data-driven approach to science policy under the new Democratic chair of the House science committee. But they also face the sobering reality that, by Science’s count, only seven of the 49 House candidates with technical backgrounds were victorious. And environmental activists are chagrined by the defeat of a proposed tax on carbon emissions in Washington and an Arizona initiative to increase that state’s reliance on renewable energy, although Nevada voters took a first step toward adopting a similar policy.In the House, Democrats picked up nearly 40 seats. That outcome gives them control of the 435-seat body for the first time since 2010, meaning they will appoint committee chairs and decide which bills get a vote. 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 That move and other changes in tone could help repair a breach between the panel and the scientific community. “Stakeholders have told me they stopped asking for meetings [with the Republican majority] because they didn’t see the point,” says one Democratic staffer. “That’s going to change, because we will be listening.”All seven winners with technical backgrounds are Democrats, and six were first-time candidates. Two toppled Republican incumbents; the rest won open seats. Four are women—a pediatrician, a nurse, an industrial engineer, and a retired U.S. Navy commander—helping boost overall female representation in the House to nearly 25%.Newly elected lawmakers rarely get appointed to the appropriations committee and other panels with influence over key sectors of the economy, such as tax and fiscal policy. Accordingly, they are often overrepresented on the science committee. But none of the soon-to-be House members with technical backgrounds is lobbying for a spot on the science panel. TrainingNameState TrainingBiochemical engineerNameSean CastenStateIllinois TrainingOcean engineer NameJoe CunninghamStateSouth Carolina TrainingIndustrial engineer NameChrissy HoulahanStatePennsylvania TrainingNuclear engineer NameElaine LuriaStateVirginia TrainingPediatricianNameKim SchrierStateWashington TrainingNurseNameLauren UnderwoodStateIllinois TrainingDentistNameJeff Van DrewStateNew Jersey center_img Related Science restored: Eddie Bernice Johnson prepares to chair key panel in U.S. House of Representatives Kim Schrier, a pediatrician, played up her technical training in a winning congressional campaign. AP PHOTO/Elaine Thompson Email By Jeffrey MervisNov. 13, 2018 , 4:10 PM “I don’t know enough at this point about what the science committee does to have an opinion,” says Representative-elect Sean Casten (D–IL), a biochemical engineer who founded a company that helps firms become more energy efficient and who defeated Representative Peter Roskam (R) in a suburban Chicago district. “While I worked in basic science for half a dozen years in my youth, I feel more confident in my ability to deploy and apply basic science than to create it. So committees that deal with infrastructure and financial services, energy, and environmental policy are closer to areas where I can apply my skills.”Representative-elect Lauren Underwood (D), who ousted Representative Randy Hultgren (R) in a north-central Illinois district, hopes to apply her background as a nurse and health care analyst to win a seat on one of two panels that oversee federal health care policy. That’s also true for Representative-elect Kim Schrier (D–WA), a pediatrician who won an open seat outside of Seattle.“Health care is where people are really hurting now,” Schrier says. “I felt I could really lend my expertise to finding better ways of providing it that bring costs down and improve outcomes. … I’m also really excited to be the only woman doctor in Congress at a time when women’s reproductive rights are being attacked.”Representative-elect Chrissy Houlahan (D–PA), who won an open seat in the Philadelphia suburbs, says her training as an industrial engineer is just one of many facets of her identity. “I’m a veteran, an entrepreneur, a mom, and an educator as well,” says Houlahan, who helped her husband grow a sports apparel company and briefly taught high school chemistry before leading a foundation that promotes early literacy. “I feel that I am part of a wave of people elected who provide diversity on a lot of levels.”Climate change is an existential issue for two new members representing coastal districts. In South Carolina, Representative-elect Joe Cunningham (D), an ocean engineer turned environmental lawyer, hammered his opponent for voicing support of President Donald Trump’s plan to lift a ban on offshore drilling along the Atlantic coast, a pivotal issue for his constituents.Representative-elect Elaine Luria (D–VA) says her 20-year career in the Navy helps her understand both the civilian and military components of sea-level rise. And she thinks the public is already on board. “People see our roads flooding and the sea level rising,” she says about her southeastern Virginia district. “I have yet to talk to anyone who doesn’t think climate change is real.”Before these new members can take their seats in January 2019, the current class of legislators must finish work on a spending bill for the 2019 fiscal year that began on 1 October. An earlier agreement to increase overall spending in 2018 and 2019 allowed Congress to pass budgets for about two-thirds of the government, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy. But budgets for the remaining agencies, including NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and several science agencies within the Department of Commerce, have been frozen under a continuing resolution that expires on 7 December. Disagreement over Trump’s request to build a wall between the United States and Mexico stands in the way of a final deal by the lame-duck Congress.The annual battle over spending could intensify next year. The divided Congress will have to deal with a 2011 law aimed at reducing the federal deficit over a decade. That law imposes spending caps, and could force lawmakers to cut a combined $126 billion from civilian and military budgets unless the Democratic House and Republican-controlled Senate can broker a deal to raise the caps.Some legislators long associated with science issues won’t be around for those debates. Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL), a NASA enthusiast who once flew aboard the space shuttle, appears to have lost his bid for reelection. In the House, the losers included Representative John Culberson (R–TX), who chairs a House appropriations subcommittee that sets spending levels for several science agencies, including NASA and NSF, and has pushed for NASA to develop a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. The science committee will lose Hultgren, a cheerleader for basic energy research, as well as Representative Barbara Comstock (R–VA), who chairs the research subcommittee, and Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R–CA), a persistent doubter of climate science.The frontrunner to take Culberson’s spending gavel is Representative José Serrano (D–NY), an advocate for science with a special interest in the Census Bureau. Representative Nita Lowey (D–NY) is poised to lead the full appropriations committee, and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D–CT) is the favorite to lead the subcommittee that oversees NIH. Both have been supportive of federal investments in research.Meanwhile, some science candidates who didn’t win last week see a silver lining. Randy Wadkins, a professor of biochemistry at The University of Mississippi in Oxford, was the only academic scientist to make it onto the general election ballot. And although he lost by a two-to-one margin to an incumbent Republican, he says his campaign “might have been the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life, science-wise.”Seeking a House seat gave him a platform to connect with people “who were interested in science and wanted to do something,” he says. “A lot of us lost. But some of us won. And that’s my take-home message: This isn’t the end of scientists running for Congress; it’s just the beginning.”last_img read more

Despite scathing harassment report UNAIDS board gives agency head a reprieve for

first_img By Jon CohenDec. 13, 2018 , 4:05 PM DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS Despite scathing harassment report, UNAIDS board gives agency head a reprieve for now A board that oversees the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva, Switzerland, the global command center in the fight against the infectious disease, has resisted calls to immediately recommend the firing of the agency’s executive director in the wake of a report that found UNAIDS rife with harassment, bullying, and abuses of power. The Programme Coordinating Board, which finished a meeting today that included discussions of the report, instead established a working group to further consider the allegations and criticisms. (The board itself cannot fire the UNAIDS head, but it can recommend the action to the United Nations.)UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, who initiated the review that ultimately called for his ouster, spoke at the board’s meeting and asked to stay on through June 2019 to oversee an “agenda for change” that his management team has drafted in response to the report. “We don’t have a moment to lose in moving forward our management response,” Sidibé said in a statement. “I look forward to an inclusive, transparent, and open dialogue and collaboration with staff in shaping a new UNAIDS.” Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country It’s too early to say, however, whether Sidibé’s job is safe until next summer. Sweden, UNAIDS’s second largest donor, announced earlier this week that it would freeze support for the agency until Sidibé leaves. Other donors—including the United States, the largest donor—have yet to take such a public stance. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Michel Sidibé In the long run, the future of UNAIDS itself may be in jeopardy, says Sten Vermund, who heads the Yale School of Public Health. The panel contends that UNAIDS’s problems stem from its unique position within the United Nations system, which has led to it being “governed in a way that has produced a vacuum of accountability.” Vermund suggests this could lead to soul searching about whether UNAIDS should continue to exist as a special agency. “Is UNAIDS serving the purpose for which it was formed, and could those functions be better subsumed in the [World Health Organization]?” he wonders. “Ultimately, you have to ask that question.”last_img read more

Trumps EPA scraps air pollution science review panels

first_img Email Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Sean Reilly, E&E NewsOct. 12, 2018 , 2:55 PM Originally published by E&E NewsAndrew Wheeler, the acting chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yesterday fired a panel of scientific experts charged with assisting the agency’s latest review of air quality standards for particulate matter. He also scrapped plans to form a similar advisory panel to aid in a recently launched assessment of the ground-level ozone limits.Those steps, coupled with Wheeler’s previously announced decision to concentrate authority in a seven-member committee made up mostly of his appointees, quickly sparked objections that the agency is intent on skewing the outcome of those reviews in favor of industry. Trump’s EPA scraps air pollution science review panels Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “I think they are trying to rush through a process that will provide a result that is driven by political science, not health science,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for public policy at the American Lung Association in Washington, D.C.Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is supposed to review the adequacy of the standards for particulate matter, ozone and four other common pollutants every 5 years with help from outside experts. While the seven-member committee, officially known as the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), has the lead in the process, the review panels are supposed to provide additional know-how in assessing the relevant scientific literature, which can span a variety of academic disciplines.For the panel’s some two dozen members, most of whom are university researchers, news of their dismissal came late yesterday in an email from an EPA staffer who said Wheeler had tasked the CASAC with serving “as the body to review key science assessments for the ongoing review of the particulate matter” standards.”Therefore the CASAC PM Review Panel will no longer be involved with the agency’s … review and your service on the panel has concluded,” wrote the staffer, Khanna Johnston. In a separate message, Johnston similarly told applicants for membership on the ozone review panel that the agency would not be proceeding with its creation.”I guess I’m disappointed,” said Barbara Turpin, head of the environmental sciences and engineering department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Turpin had been on the particulate matter review panel. Her colleagues there were among the best in their fields, Turpin said in an interview this morning. “In a sense, we serve as a check that the EPA is following the requirements of the Clean Air Act.”Jeremy Sarnat, another former member of the panel, who is an associate professor of environmental health at Emory University, called the move “depressing.””What the new and previous EPA administrators have done is dismantle a process which has, over many years, proven itself to be highly successful and effective,” Sarnat said in an email. The new process, he added, now consolidates input “to a small, and in some cases unqualified, group of individuals, and ultimately opens EPA up to the charge that it is politics, not science, that is driving this new policy.”Review panel members were considered “special government employees.”Asked why EPA scrapped the panel, agency spokesman John Konkus pointed to Wheeler’s decision to concentrate more authority in the seven-member CASAC. He did not reply to an email this morning seeking comment on the criticism from Billings and others.Earlier this week, Wheeler announced five new appointees to CASAC, the bulk of whom come from state and local regulatory agencies, not academia. Tony Cox, the committee’s chairman, is a Colorado consultant who had done work for the oil industry.Earlier this year, Cox told E&E News that he has also served as an expert in risk analysis for EPA and the World Health Organization, and had not made a decision on whether the particulate matter thresholds need revision.But under a timetable imposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency now plans to complete the review of the particulate matter standards by late 2020, or about two years ahead of the original schedule (Greenwire, 10 May). The new review of the ozone standards, which has barely begun, is also set to wrap up around the same time.As a reason for the fast-track approach, Pruitt and EPA air chief Bill Wehrum have pointed to the Clean Air Act’s requirement that the reviews be done every five years, a goal that in the past the agency has rarely met.But the disbanding of the particulate matter review panel comes as EPA’s Office of Research and Development is set to soon release a draft summary of the scientific research to be used in deciding whether the existing standards need to be changed.Andrew Rosenberg, who heads the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said he sees the two events as directly connected. He said that in light of evidence that the current limits on fine particulate exposure are not strong enough to adequately protect public health, “I’m really worried about [what EPA is] going to say.”Both ozone and particulate matter are closely connected to production or consumption of fossil fuels. Wheeler, before joining EPA, was a lobbyist whose clients included Murray Energy Corporation. The Ohio-based coal giant was a strident critic of Obama-era environmental regulations; CEO Bob Murray is a prominent supporter of President Trump.Murray has had no contact with Wheeler since the latter was sworn in as EPA deputy administrator in April, company spokesman Cody Nett said this morning. Asked whether the firm has a position on Wheeler’s decision to disband the particulate matter review panel, Nett declined to comment.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has disbanded panels that were supposed to review the science underpinning efforts to reduce air pollution, such as this blanket of smog in Salt Lake City in 2016. 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 Read more…last_img read more

Express Daily Briefing ICC World Cup final today Darjeeling toy trains heritage

first_imgBy Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: July 14, 2019 8:32:15 am ISRO Chandrayaan 2 moon mission launch HIGHLIGHTS: ISRO calls off launch, technical snag observed Best Of Express Chandrayaan-2 mission called off for today, technical snag observed: ISRO India believes building of pre-fabricated houses in the Rakhine state will create an atmosphere wherein Rohingya families who are willing to return to their country will have the “confidence to go back and settle down.” India will also build schools, small bridges and culverts in Rakhine state to create a social and economic ecosystem, sources said.Cricket World Cup Final 2019: Renaissance menNew Zealand skipper Kane Williamson dragged a team out of his predecessor’s image; England’s Eoin Morgan tore the ethos of a dated cricketing establishment. Both thus charted their own contrasting paths to the cusp of immortality as they head towards the ICC World Cup final, writes Sreeram Veera.Destination Moon: Chandrayaan-2 to launch India into new space age Express Daily Briefing: ICC World Cup dinal today; Darjeeling toy train’s heritage tag under threat; and more Top news on Sunday morning.As India builds houses, Myanmar to reach out to Rohingya in Bangladesh Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Advertisingcenter_img Darjeeling toy train’s heritage tag under threat, UNESCO to send teamNot satisfied with the information the Indian Railways has been furnishing, UNESCO will send its team to ascertain if the 140-year-old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is worth being a World Heritage Site. UNESCO has in the past raised the issue of erosion of heritage value of mountain railways in India, especially the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The latest move is a wake-up call.Work should have begun 20 years ago. We’re late, but not too late, says Jal Shakti MinisterJal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat lays out government plan on revival, reuse of water through traditional water bodies, rainwater harvesting and treatment of sewage water, and calls for more interest from states and behavioural change among the public.And Finally…Rising intolerance, hate crimes and moral policing can “seriously damage” economic growth of the nation, Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group said at a leadership summit in Mumbai. Godrej was the first leading voice in India Inc to speak out during Modi’s first term. In a 2016 interview to P Vaidyanathan Iyer, he had pointed out that beef ban was hurting the economy. The launch of Chandrayaan-2, ISRO’s most ambitious mission till date, at 2:51 am on Monday will signal an equally unambiguous intent — that India is not just ready to compete with the advanced countries in space exploration and human missions, but is even capable of taking the lead. Amitabh Sinha writes.Meanwhile, the Sunday Express Eye magazine is ‘Moonstruck’ today. Do check out.Opinion: Beware of defectorsToppling state governments was the reason why Congress came to be seen as dishonest and duplicitous. If PM Modi is sincere about creating a new India, then he will have to create a new political culture. It should be one in which defectors are not welcomed into the BJP as if they were heroes, writes Tavleen SinghE-drive: High voltage, low chargeBudget subsidies, a mission plan, and a 2030 target show the government’s intention to get India’s sluggish electric vehicle market going. However, from infrastructure and price bar, to policy confusion and a worried market, there is a long way to go. Anil Sasi and Sandeep Singh write about the many speed breakers in going the EV way. NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Explained: Behind Chandrayaan-2’s GSLV Mk-III rocket that developed a glitch Post Comment(s) Related News In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief last_img read more

Mars mission got lucky NASA lander touched down in a sandfilled crater

first_img 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 PASADENA, CALIFORNIA—In a laboratory on Earth, the marsforming had already begun.On 27 November, the day after the successful touchdown of NASA’s InSight lander on Mars, after the television crews had departed, technicians here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) were already at work, simulating Mars for a full-size model of the lander, which they call ForeSight. Scientists don’t yet know exactly where on Mars InSight is. But the first few images sent back to Earth have established its immediate environment—and that the lander is slightly tilted, by 4°. So yesterday, NASA engineers were playing in the sand, moving fake Mars rocks into position. They heaved ForeSight up on their shoulders while shoving small blocks underneath a lander leg to get it listing just right.Looking on from a gallery above ForeSight was Matt Golombek, the JPL geologist who will lead the placement of two of InSight’s instruments, a heat probe and seismometer. From the few photos returned so far, he says, much has been learned about its location, which closely resembles martian terrains previously scouted by the Spirit rover. Email Mars mission got lucky: NASA lander touched down in a sand-filled crater, easing study of planet’s interior By Paul VoosenNov. 28, 2018 , 1:10 PMcenter_img JPL-Caltech/NASA Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Pictures from InSight show the lander sits within a flat, sand-filled crater. For example, InSight landed in what’s called a hollow, a crater that has been filled in with soil and leveled flat. In images taken from the elbow of the lander’s stowed robotic arm, the edge of the crater is visible. Once the team determines the diameter of the crater—it could be meters, maybe tens of meters—researchers can infer its depth and the amount of sand blown into it. Either way, this bodes well for the heat probe instrument, called HP3, which should penetrate the material with ease. “This is about as good news for HP3 as you could possibly hope,” he says.Landing in the hollow was fortunate for another reason. InSight didn’t quite hit the bull’s-eye of its target landing zone, and ended up in terrain that, overall, is rockier than desired. But the hollow is mostly devoid of rocks. One, about 20 centimeters across, sits close to the lander’s feet, whereas three smaller ones lie farther away—but none poses a threat to placing the instruments. The hollow is flat and lacks sand dunes, and small pebbles indicate a surface dense enough to support the weight of the instruments. “We won’t have any trouble whatsoever,” Golombek says.The biggest mystery for the lander team right now is figuring out exactly where it is. A Mars orbiter set to image the center of the landing zone on Thursday will miss the lander, because it missed the center slightly. An instrument on InSight called the inertial measurement unit has pinned the location to within a 5-kilometer-wide circle. InSight’s entry, descent, and landing team will refine that estimate down to a kilometer or less. “But they haven’t done that yet because they were so happy to have landed safely that we don’t know what they did last night,” Golombek says with a smile. “And they have not yet shown up today.”There is one more technique that could help: InSight’s third primary experiment, called the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE). The main purpose of RISE’s two sensitive listening antennas is to detect wobbles in the martian core. But the InSight team can also use them to map the lander’s latitude and longitude by using the radio signals of passing orbiters. That has given the geologists a location to within about 100 meters or so.Now, a friendly competition is on. Golombek and his peers hope to beat the satellites to fixing InSight’s location. They should have until 6 December, when an orbiter will likely capture it. Right now, they’re stretching out the scant imagery, trying to compare their hollow to existing high-resolution maps. Their job will get much easier next week, when the camera on the robotic arm’s elbow will be extended to photograph the lander’s terrain in detail. For now, the arm is stowed—Tuesday was about simple steps, like firing off the small charges that secure the arm to the deck. But later this week, after the camera caps come off and the arm is released, the detailed reconnaissance will begin.last_img read more

Heres why the outcomes of this weeks European elections are good news

first_img According to provisional results published yesterday, the biggest winner is the centrist Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, which would add 40 MEPs to its current 69, whereas the greens would grow from 52 to 69 MEPs. The biggest losers are political groups that have long dominated European politics: the conservative European People’s Party and the socio-democrats, which would lose 36 and 39 seats, respectively. Voter turnout was at its highest since 1994, at about 51%.Liberals and greens will now have more clout to push their already articulate research agendas, says Thomas Jørgensen, senior policy coordinator at the European University Association in Brussels. “You have these research veterans in the Parliament; almost all of them are conservative,” Jørgensen says, alluding, for example, to MEPs Jerzy Buzek from Poland and Christian Ehler from Germany, who have focused much of their careers on research and innovation policy. “Now, there could be space for a liberal or green research champion, giving broad support to research and pushing for climate and sustainability issues.” 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 Now there could be space for a liberal or green research champion … Here’s why the outcomes of this week’s European elections are good news for science Although populist and euroskeptic parties grew in last week’s elections for the European Parliament, the tsunami that EU supporters feared didn’t happen. That comes as a relief to many scientists, because several of the populist movements now on the rise in Europe appear to have little interest in science, flirt with antiscientific ideas, or have tried to curtail academic freedom.Observers in Brussels expect the new Parliament to continue its policy of defending generous research budgets. But the rise of pro-European Union green and liberal groups—at the expense of the Parliament’s traditionally two dominant parties—could lead to small shifts in science and technology priorities, some say, such as greener policies.The elections’ direct influence on EU science policy is limited because most of the details of Horizon Europe, its next 7-year research funding program, have already been agreed to by the outgoing Parliament and member states. But the new members of Parliament (MEPs) still have to negotiate two big items: the program’s budget from 2021 to 2027, which could be about €100 billion, and rules for the participation of countries outside of the European Union. Next year, Parliament will also examine rules for big public-private partnerships on research and innovation. By Tania RabesandratanaMay. 28, 2019 , 3:55 AM DAVID ILIFF (CC-BY-SA 3.0) The European Parliament’s debating chamber in Strasbourg, France Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Thomas Jørgensen, European University Association On international cooperation, Jørgensen expects the new Parliament to support the European Commission’s “open to the world” approach, which seeks to develop scientific collaborations with countries outside Europe and allows nonmembers such as Norway, Switzerland, and Israel to compete in research funding programs in exchange for an association fee. “So many progressive MEPs have been elected on that ‘open society’ ticket”—as opposed to the nationalist and “Europe first” discourses of populist parties, he says.Far-right and euroskeptic parties did score high in countries such as Italy and France, but the predicted populist flood didn’t materialize across the continent. (The two main euroskeptic groups combined would go from 78 MEPs in the outgoing Parliament to 112 after the elections, whereas the European Conservatives and Reformists lost 18 seats.) But scientists and their institutions should remain vigilant about their influence, says Maud Evrard, head of policy affairs at the Brussels-based Science Europe, a group of funding agencies and research organizations.“We’re concerned about academic freedom. We shouldn’t take it for granted,” she says. (In Hungary, the government of Viktor Orbán has taken aim at Central European University, a private institution in Budapest, for instance.) “We will push the Parliament to promote and defend freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and thought” at the national level, Evrard says, as well as evidence-based policymaking.Parliament’s exact balance of power will be decided in the coming weeks; 29 MEPs are not allied to any existing political group yet. At its first plenary session in July, Parliament will then vote to elect the next president of the commission, who is put forward by the European Union’s heads of state and government. They will assemble a new commission, the European Union’s executive arm, including a commissioner for research and innovation to succeed Carlos Moedas from Portugal. The new Parliament will have a chance to grill the candidate for that post—and reveal its science policy inclinations—after the summer.last_img read more

White coats as superhero capes Med students swoop in to save health

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 1 2018Each wall of the library reading room at the New York Academy of Medicine is lined with tall wooden bookshelves holding leather-bound medical tomes. Atop the shelves perch busts — seemingly all white, all male — lit by two large brass chandeliers. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook New York City’s Central Park and Fifth Avenue.This setting, which speaks to medicine’s staid past, recently became the backdrop for plotting medicine’s future.On a gray Sunday in September, 150 medical and nursing students dragged themselves in before 9 a.m. to learn how to meld their chosen professional careers with societal and political activism.”As doctors, we will have this tremendous opportunity to talk to people every day,” said Miriam Callahan, a second-year student at Columbia University medical school. “We’ll have the ability to organize with them, to bring people together.”While doctors have traditionally been branded a mostly conservative group, there is growing evidence that young doctors-to-be are leaning leftward. This year, the American Medical Association student caucus persuaded the organization to drop its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care and instead study the concept, for example.The conference at the academy, which was organized by medical students and sponsored by the New York City Department of Health’s Center for Health Equity along with four New York medical schools, sought to help students navigate that path. It featured a panel discussion and speeches by public health workers and doctors, including Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a physician who mounted an unsuccessful progressive campaign this year for governor of Michigan.Dressed in blazers and dress shirts reflecting their professional identity, some also donned Planned Parenthood Buttons or Democratic Socialists of America pins. The agenda had a clear progressive bent, with workshops on LGBTQ+ health, gun violence, abortion access and criminal justice reform.Attendees gave each other advice about how to advocate for single-payer, for example. Don’t talk about socialism, focus on the inefficiency and inequality you see, some said. Forget the “decrepit old physicians only worried about money,” their minds will never change, advised others.Some participants were motivated by a humanitarian streak. Others were galvanized by the conditions they saw at free clinics, where they work as part of their medical education, or by a goal to increase national student engagement on issues like gun violence.All were struggling with what they perceived as the responsibility that comes with a white coat and grappling with their place in a health care system they saw as broken.Related StoriesCannabis could help people with opioid addictionFirst smartphone app to detect childhood ear infectionIncreasing access to mental health services improves outcomes for people with HIVKeven Cabrera, a fourth-year medical student at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University/Northwell, said this notion became real to him when he and some of his classmates participated this year in the March for Our Lives, a rally against gun violence.Accustomed to the student position at the bottom of the medical hierarchy, he was taken aback by how much the white coat, even a short one that marks a student instead of a full-fledged attending doctor, afforded him respect in the community.”We were all surprised by how much our voices counted,” Cabrera said.Everyone came to the table with the general agreement that health care for all was a moral necessity and abortion access was a fundamental right.So they discussed how best to move these ideas forward. How do you get better reproductive education into a conservative medical school syllabus? How can you organize other students to protest, call legislators and show up for marches?In one noisy room after lunch, students crowded around tables where doctors with experience lobbying on behalf of Physicians for a National Health Program led role-playing conversations to demonstrate how best to communicate with congressional staff or state assembly members. They also learned how to use the stories of patients they saw on a daily basis to work within the system to advocate for single-payer health care.The students fretted — at least a bit — about how activism could help or hinder their professional success. A group sat in a semicircle listening to a doctor tell his story of being arrested at a protest.Students asked about how civil disobedience could affect their residency placements, or get them marked as agitators within their departments. Then another chimed in: “Would you even want to be in a residency program where they would disqualify you for a protest arrest?” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more