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Multidisciplinary team successfully performs complex surgery on patient suffering from enlarged skull

Dec 14 2018A 2-year-old girl with an extreme form of hydrocephalus could someday lead a more normal life, thanks to a remarkable surgical intervention aided by state-of-the-art technologies used by a leading pediatric team supervised by two assistants professors of medicine at Université de Montréal.The child, who underwent two operations at CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital in Montreal, including a total cranial vault reconstruction, could not even sit upright because of the size and weight of her head. Her brain was being compressed by an excess of cerebrospinal fluid.Related StoriesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Study: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needUsing virtual modelling and three-dimensional technology supported by a 3D printer, and after a 12-hour operation, surgeons were able to open the child’s abnormally large skull and reconstruct it to closer to normal dimensions. Prior to the procedure, her skull contained three litres of cerebrospinal fluid, while the normal amount is 150 millilitres. To achieve this amazing feat, the team made a detailed model of the girl’s skull, numbering the sections so they could later put them back in place, somewhat like a puzzle.”Our little patient suffered from an enlarged skull, otherwise known as extreme macrocrania,” said Dr. Alexander Weil, a pediatric neurosurgeon (MD, FRCSC, FAANS, FACS) at CHU Sainte-Justine. “If we hadn’t operated, she would have continued to be weighed down and immobilized by the size and weight of her head. This surgery gives us hope that she will now be able to develop and live more normally.” Added Dr. Daniel Borsuk, the hospital centre’s head of plastic surgery (MD, MBA, FRCSC, FACS): “The collaborative efforts of an experienced multidisciplinary team, which made it possible to successfully carry out this complex surgery.”The surgeons expressed their heartfelt thanks to all the health professionals who took part, as well as to the child’s family for placing their trust in the medical team. Source:https://www.umontreal.ca/ read more

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Galectins play a key role in the degeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis

first_img Source:https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/about-us/news/detailsite/2018/news-im-dezember-2018/network-of-proteins-influences-the-advancement-of-osteoarthritis/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 19 2018A network of carbohydrate binding proteins – so-called galectins – plays an important role in the degeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis. A research group at the MedUni Vienna was able to demonstrate this correlation, in cooperation with international study partners. In osteoarthritis, certain galectins are produced by the cartilage cells themselves and accelerate the degeneration process of the cartilage matrix.Whilst galectins do play a role in cartilage development during childhood growth, they essentially do not occur in healthy adult cartilage. The researchers working with Stefan Tögel from the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at the MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital have now discovered that the quantity of galectin-8 found in the cell samples was correspondingly greater with an increasing severity of cartilage degeneration. After its production, this protein is released by the cartilage cells and connects with the cell surfaces, where it causes inflammatory processes and accelerates the matrix degradation of the cartilage tissue. Other galectins, which are otherwise able to perform various functions in the cell, apparently also play an accelerating role here.Research in the field of glycobiologyIn previous studies, Stefan Tögel’s research group has succeeded in demonstrating for the first time the functional significance of glycobiology for the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis, and has identified galectin-1 and galectin-3 as being inflammation accelerators. Glycobiology essentially describes the structure and function of glycans (sugar chains), which are able to influence a broad spectrum of biological processes through interaction with carbohydrate binding proteins (e.g. galectins).Related StoriesGlucosamine supplements could benefit the heartResearchers report new regenerative medicine approach for treating osteoarthritis of the kneeNew type of treatment for osteoarthritis shows promise for use in humans”Our approach in researching the role of glycobiology in osteoarthritis and other degenerative cartilage diseases is very new”, explains Stefan Tögel. “We are essentially treading new ground with our studies.” The aim is new therapy approaches in the treatment of osteoarthritis, which will halt its advancement. Because once cartilage tissue is lost, it can no longer be regenerated. For this purpose, it could be possible to develop antagonists for the respective galectins, which will prevent them from attaching to the cell surfaces. “Galectins may also be suitable as biomarkers, which will enable an early diagnosis through a blood test or with a sample of the synovial fluid”, explains Tögel.Osteoarthritis – a widespread diseaseOsteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, which leads to a change in the structure of cartilage and bone, and can even result in joint deformity. It usually results from many years of over-straining. Joint diseases are among the leading causes of chronic pain and immobility in old age, and constitute a serious socio-economic factor in the health sector due to the increasing life expectancy of the population. No treatment has been available to date, which could halt the progressive loss of cartilage tissue in an osteoarthritic joint, or even reverse this.last_img read more

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Immunotherapeutic antibody therapy to kill cancer has now progressed to patient testing

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 20 2019Developed by researchers at the University of Turku in Finland, an immunotherapeutic antibody therapy re-educates macrophages to activate passivated cytotoxic T cells to kill cancer. The antibody therapy prevented the growth of tumors in several mouse models. The development of the therapy has now progressed to patient testing in a phase I/II clinical trial.One reason behind many unsuccessful cancer treatments is the cancers’ ability to hijack the immune system to support its own growth. This is assisted by the so-called tumor-associated macrophages that can be educated by cancer cells to dampen anti-tumor immune responses. Macrophages are phagocytes that form the first line of defense towards invading pathogens and they have a crucial role in maintaining tissue homeostasis. Macrophages have a large repertoire of functions in immune activation and resolving inflammation.In collaboration with Academician of Science and Professor of Immunology Sirpa Jalkanen, Academy Research Fellow Maija Hollmén’s research group investigated the possibility to utilize tumor-associated macrophages to increase the immunological detection and killing of cancer cells. Professor Jalkanen has studied the function of Clever-1 for a long time. Previously, her group has observed that Clever-1 controls leukocyte trafficking between tissues.Published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the study found that blocking Clever-1 function on macrophages activated the immune system and was highly effective in inhibiting cancer progression.By inhibiting Clever-1 functions, tumor-associated macrophages that normally impair adaptive immune cell activation, such as cancer cell killing by cytotoxic T cells, were managed to be re-educated so that they had increased ability to present antigen and secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to increased activation of killer T cells.Related StoriesTET proteins help regulate gene activity vital for normal antibody productionScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachSynthetic antibody rapidly prevents Zika infection in mice and non-human primates- These results are highly promising and present a completely new way to activate anti-cancer immunity, says Doctoral Candidate Miro Viitala, who is the main author of the article.- Macrophages are an ideal drug development target as they express several molecules that can be activated or impaired to transfer the macrophages into cells that destroy cancer. In itself, this would increase beneficial inflammation in the tumor microenvironment, which would improve the efficiency of immune checkpoint inhibitors in those patients whose response is weak due to lack of tumor-specific T cell activation, continues Viitala.The antibody therapy targeting Clever-1 worked in the studied tumor mouse models as efficiently as the PD-1 antibody therapy that is in clinical use. The PD-1 antibody maintains the functionality of the killer T cells. It is notable that the Clever-1 antibody therapy targeting macrophages also increased the activity of the killer T cells efficiently.In certain mouse models of cancer, a combination of anti-Clever-1 and anti-PD-1 therapies prevented tumor growth and formation of metastases more effectively than either treatment alone.- Every cancer is different. Therefore, it is important to explore the types of cancer where Clever-1 antibody therapy most effectively works on and to find biomarkers that can be used to identify beforehand the patients that will benefit the most from this kind of therapy, concludes Viitala.Source: https://www.utu.fi/en/news/press-release/antibody-therapy-training-phagocytes-to-destroy-tumours-now-tested-on-patientslast_img read more

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New multiyear affiliation announced to establish global center for rare diseases

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 1 2019The University of Oxford and University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, today announced a multi-year affiliation to establish a global center for rare diseases. The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre will bring together the capabilities, resources and expertise of both institutions to deliver new treatments for rare diseases, for which therapeutic options are lacking.More than 350 million people worldwide are living with a rare disease, and approximately 50 percent are children. There are about 7,000 known rare diseases, with new diseases being discovered every day. A rare disease affects one in 10 Americans, or 10 percent of the US population. Similarly, Europe has approximately 30 million people who suffer from a rare disease. The majority of all rare diseases are genetic in origin, which means they are present throughout a person’s life. Only five percent of rare diseases have a treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar estimates have been made for treatments approved by the European Medicine Agency (EMA). Therefore, someone with a rare disease today faces a lifelong, often life-threatening, condition with little hope for a cure, or even an effective treatment option.In this partnership, the University of Oxford and Harrington Discovery Institute commit to addressing unmet need in rare disease. Through their combined resources, the new Centre will set the science and innovation agenda to support cutting-edge breakthroughs across the UK and US with the greatest chance for clinical impact.The University of Oxford is a world-renowned academic institution with more than 250 Principal Investigator scientists working on over 350 rare diseases. The Oxford Rare Disease Initiative, established in 2012, is a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, which provides the opportunity to combine pre-clinical and clinical expertise in areas such as neurology, inflammation and immunology, hematology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and has created an extensive rare disease network.Since its founding in 2012, Harrington Discovery Institute – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – has supported more than 100 drugs-in-the-making across disease areas and academic institutions, with a concentration in diseases where unmet need is greatest. The Harrington Project was established to advance scientific discoveries over the ‘Valley of Death’ – the stage in the drug development process when a new discovery is seen as promising, but is insufficiently validated to attract the funding necessary for clinical trials. Harrington Discovery Institute advances these promising discoveries towards the clinic by aligning, through mission and structure, scientific and drug discovery expertise into a new model for drug development.”Our partnership with Harrington Discovery Institute recognizes the combined experience needed in world-class science and drug development if we are to change the rare disease landscape in a meaningful way – and Oxford is committed to doing so through this unique, open model supporting the most impactful innovation throughout the UK,” said Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancer”Advancing breakthroughs in rare diseases will require bold, new approaches that can overcome scientific challenges and create new medicines. This affiliation represents a commitment to patients first and a tremendous opportunity to improve the health and outcomes of those living with a rare disease,” said Jonathan S. Stamler, MD, President, Harrington Discovery Institute and Reitman Family Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Innovation at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.The Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre has been several years in planning through efforts of Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, and with the help of David U’Prichard, ex-Global Head of Pharma R&D and Advisor to The Harrington Project. The Centre will be headquartered both in Oxford, under the leadership of Professor Georg Holländer and Professor Matthew Wood, and in Cleveland within the Harrington Discovery Institute, and managed by its leadership. The Centre will be leveraged by researchers worldwide, and raise awareness for rare diseases.”Our family is thrilled to see the incredible evolution of the Harrington Project in only 7 years. Our US program has generated interest from disease foundations to biotech and pharma, and we are so pleased to see it extend to the UK. We are honored and privileged to be collaborating with perhaps the most illustrious university in the world, and we welcome them as true partners in our efforts to cure disease,” said Ronald G. Harrington, whose family co-founded the Harrington Project with Dr. Stamler at University Hospitals.”Our Centre promises to advance the best scientific breakthroughs not only at Oxford but also across the UK. This is a unique feature of our commitment to science and patients and one I am most proud of,” said Georg Holländer, Head of the Department of Paediatrics. Matthew Wood, Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Centre remarked, “The enormous challenge of bringing new medicines into the rare disease space requires not only scientific excellence but also mechanisms to share knowledge and ambitious approaches to translate this successfully into new drugs for patients. We are thrilled that the new Centre will partner with Harrington Discovery Institute and benefit directly from their extraordinary track record in new drug development and commitment to patients.””This is a wonderful example of the synergy in science and innovation that is needed to move discovery forward, and it is gratifying to see our institutions in Cleveland and Oxford combine their strengths to this end,” said University Hospitals CEO Thomas F. Zenty III.The Centre is supported in part by a grant from the Cleveland Foundation. “This is a phenomenal opportunity for Cleveland to further distinguish itself as a leader in biomedical innovation,” said Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard. “We are excited by the capabilities of Harrington Discovery Institute, which will support medical breakthroughs across the US and UK through its affiliation with one of the world’s premier medical institutions.”Source: https://www.uhhospitals.org/locations/uh-cleveland-medical-centerlast_img read more

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Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middleage linked to increased risk for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 16 2019Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middle-age were associated with structural heart abnormalities linked to future heart failure, particularly among blacks, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an American Heart Association journal.Coronary artery calcium (CAC) is the buildup of calcified plaque made up of fat, calcium and cholesterol. The calcium found in this type of plaque is not related to dietary calcium. Elevated cholesterol levels in the blood can contribute to plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, which narrows the channel within an artery and reduces blood flow.CAC is a risk marker for heart health problems, and CAC screening was added to the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol management guidelines to further improve early detection of heart health abnormalities, especially among people who might be at a higher risk. A CAC score of zero indicates there is low risk in the absence of other high-risk conditions, while a score above zero indicates increasing risk.In this study, researchers tracked 2,449 people (52% white, 57% women) from young adulthood to middle-age. Non-invasive computed tomography imaging tests were used to gauge the participants’ vascular health, with participants’ imaging tests and CAC scores compared at years 15 and 25 of the study period.By year 25, participants’ average age was about 50. Seventy-two percent of the group had a CAC score of zero compared with 77% a decade earlier. Moreira and team found that increases in CAC scores were independently related to increasing age, male sex, black race, higher systolic blood pressure, higher total cholesterol, diabetes mellitus and current smoking, as well as the use of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, they found: Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioBlacks already face a greater risk and burden of heart disease and stroke: 60% of adult black men and 57% of adult black women have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with 50% of white men and 43% of white women.”Racial differences in our findings may be due to genetic factors or perhaps greater exposure to cardiovascular risk factors that usually appear earlier in blacks,” Moreira said. “We need more research to examine the link between coronary artery calcium and heart health.””Prior studies have shown that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in young to middle aged adults. The results of this study are important as they highlight that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores may also be associated with echocardiographic markers of subclinical LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction,” said Salim Virani, M.D., a member of the writing committee for the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol guidelines and director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Given the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure, these are important findings. Prior studies from this cohort have also shown that a better risk factors profile in young adulthood is associated with much lower CAC and therefore, these results further highlight the importance of primordial prevention and risk factor modification in early adulthood.”Source:American Heart AssociationJournal reference:Moreira, H.T. et al. (2019) Coronary Artery Calcium From Early Adulthood to Middle Age and Left Ventricular Structure and Function. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.009228. Compared with patients who had CAC scores of zero, those who had higher CAC scores at middle-age had a 12% increase in left ventricular mass and a 9% increase in left ventricular volume, independent of other risk factors including demographic information and cardiovascular risks. Abnormalities in the left ventricle means the heart had to work harder to effectively pump blood, and as a result, became enlarged and thickened, a risk factor for heart failure. These findings were even more significant among blacks. For every one-unit change in a CAC score, blacks had four times higher increase in left ventricular mass compared with whites. While progression in CAC over the follow-up was strongly related to higher left ventricular mass in blacks, this relationship was not significant in whites. We looked at early adulthood to middle-age because this is a window in which we can see abnormalities that might not be causing symptoms, but could later increase the risk of heart problems. Prevention and control of these abnormalities are key, so early identification of risks can be crucial.”Henrique Turin Moreira, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and an attending physician at Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo in Brazillast_img read more

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New mobile phone application can measure impaired breathing

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019Signal researchers in Oulu have developed a mobile phone application that can measure impaired breathing. The results can lead you to determine whether you have a respiratory disease. In the future, this invention can also help people suffering from asthma or allergies with remote care and self-care. The mobile measurement tool is an easy, fast and cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital examinations.The mobile respiration measurement tool uses the existing sensors and measurement technology in your smartphone. The actual innovation is the mobile application developed to collect and analyze respiratory signals. In a measurement event, chest movements reveal how heavy your breathing is and whether the problem is in the upper or lower respiratory tract. This information is important for targeting treatment.Related StoriesWorld No Tobacco Day 2019: Respiratory groups urge to strengthen WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco ControlNew drug provides hope for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyScientists develop new, rapid test to diagnose bacterial lower respiratory tract infectionsAccording to Tapio Seppänen, Professor of Medical Technology at the University of Oulu, the respiratory signal analysis is based on signal measurement using artificial intelligence. In other words, the program has been trained using mathematical models to find abnormal signal forms that indicate impaired breathing.Professor Tapio Seppänen, Head of the Physiological Signal Analysis Group, has studied respiratory wave signals with his research team since the 1990s. The development of the Respiratory effort test has also involved Olli-Pekka Alho, Professor of Medicine at the University of Oulu, and researchers Tiina Seppänen and Niina Palmu from the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Oulu.Medication guided by dataThe Respiratory effort test is a convenient method for assessing the effectiveness of treatment and for home monitoring. Measurements can be made several times a day in various situations, indoors and outdoors. Continuous data improves the reliability of measurements and indicates the response to treatments such as asthma medication.The Respiratory effort test has been found reliable during patient testing at the Seinäjoki Hospital. Clinical testing is still ongoing. For further development, the focus is on providing guidance with the test; the device must indicate whether the measurement was carried out correctly.Researchers hope to have the test available on the commercial market in a few years. A global patent application has been submitted for the Respiratory effort test. Source:University of Oululast_img read more

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Daily outdoor activity reduces progression of nearsightedness in children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019New research suggests that adding 30 minutes of daily outdoor activity reduces the progression of nearsightedness, called myopia, in children if the activity is continued. The study, conducted by researchers in Beijing, China, is published in the May 2019 issue of Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST).Myopia is recognized as a major public health issue in East Asia, particularly in China, and is expected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050, according to a 2016 study out of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Evidence shows that severe myopia increases the risk of developing glaucoma or a detached retina, diseases that can lead to vision loss. Myopia is caused by the lengthening of the eye, which impacts how light is bent when entering the eye and, as a result, affects vision.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionScientists, led by Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital at Capital Medical University, studied 382 children ages 6 and 7 at two Beijing-area schools for one year in a prospective interventional study. Students in the study group jogged for 30 minutes outdoors daily. The control group did not add this extra outdoor activity to their schedules.Examinations at the end of one year showed that students in the study group without myopia at the baseline had lower incidence of myopia compared with students in the control group. Students with myopia at baseline also showed slower progression of myopia compared with students in the control group. Annual follow-up exams following the conclusion of the one-year study showed that in year four, incidence of myopia was similar among the study and control groups. Our research provides further evidence and confirmation of an association between increased outdoor activity and decreased prevalence and incidence of myopia. This study also indicates that increasing outdoor activity may delay the progression of myopia for up to two years. We now need to translate these findings into action among children in China and around the world in order to help preserve their vision.”Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center The authors also indicate that their results could have implications for how China and other countries structure childhood outdoor activity levels to combat the increasing incidence of myopia and its progression.This latest study on myopia and activity in children adds to a growing body of scientific research on this topic. Additional studies were presented at the ARVO 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, pointing to increased contact with man-made and indoor environments as potential causes of myopia. Additional information on myopia research is available in a February 2019 special issue of IOVS, International Myopia Institute (IMI) White Papers. Source:Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)Journal reference:Guo, Y. et al. (2019) Outdoor Jogging and Myopia Progression in School Children From Rural Beijing: The Beijing Children Eye Study. Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST). doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.2last_img read more

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US Senate votes to restore net neutrality rules

Protesters in Washington on February 27 urged lawmakers to reverse regulators and restore “net neutrality” rules that require all data to be treated equally Citation: US Senate votes to restore ‘net neutrality’ rules (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-senate-votes-net-neutrality.html Explore further © 2018 AFP The 52-47 vote is likely to be symbolic, however, since the measure faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives and would need enough lawmaker support to overturn a probable presidential veto.The vote marked the latest step in a contentious fight over rules governing online access over the past decade including court challenges and various moves by regulators.In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality and which itself had faced court challenges and intense partisan debate.In the Senate, three Republicans joined Democrats in the vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn a regulatory body.FCC chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, has argued that the 2015 rules were “heavy-handed” and failed to take into account the rapidly changing landscape for online services and were discouraging investment in advanced networks.Net neutrality backers have argued that clear rules are needed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling services or websites for competitive reasons.Some activists fear internet service providers will seek to extract higher fees from services that are heavy data users, like Netflix or other streaming services, with these costs passed on to consumers.The battle has been largely along party lines, and has also been split with large tech firms supporting neutrality and telecom operators backing more flexible rules.Although the Senate vote may not succeed in restoring neutrality rules, backers said it would allow voters to know where their lawmakers stand.Democratic Senator Ed Markey said on Twitter the vote would “show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under the @realDonaldTrump administration.”Ferras Vinh of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a digital rights group, welcomed the vote.”Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers will have an explicit license to block, slow, or levy tolls on content, which will limit choices for internet users and suffocate small businesses looking to enter the market,” Vinh said.”These protections are the guiding principles of the open internet, facilitating innovation and enabling the spread of new ideas.”But USTelecom, an industry group representing major broadband carriers, expressed disappointment.”This vote throws into reverse our shared goal of maintaining an open, thriving internet,” said association president Jonathan Spalter.”Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election-year posturing from our representatives in Congress.” The US Senate voted Wednesday to restore so-called “net neutrality” rules aimed at requiring all online data to be treated equally, the latest step in a years-long battle on internet regulation. Top tech lobby joins legal battle to keep ‘net neutrality’ This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Selflearning assistance system for efficient processes

first_imgSAM, a self-learning assistance system, helps machine operators resolve errors in production machines. Credit: Fraunhofer IVV To take a concrete example: On a processing machine, chocolate bars are wrapped in paper. A sensor detects a deviation in the production process and the machine stops. Even with state-of-the-art systems, a brief interruption occurs on average every five minutes. An experienced machine operator knows where the cause of the error lies. He or she sees that the paper is bending and concludes that, in this case, the speed of the machine needs to be regulated. However, this knowledge is person-specific – a colleague with less experience would need more time to find the solution.To make this experience-based knowledge available to all operators at all times, scientists at Fraunhofer IVV in Dresden are developing SAM, a self-learning assistance system for machine operators. The system observes machine states and operator actions and saves successful solution strategies. Using a tablet computer, for example, the machine operator inputs his/her solution and then links it to the current fault situation recorded by SAM. If a given fault has occurred several times, SAM recognizes it and can give the operator tips on the cause and on how to solve the problem. In this way, the machine is quickly repaired and running again.To enable SAM to learn fault situations, the scientists at Fraunhofer IVV are using machine learning algorithms. Equipped with intelligent feature extraction, SAM is able to learn at a similar speed as humans and can recognize patterns after only a few repetitions. “Thanks to our knowledge of packaging machine processes, we’re able to make SAM very fast,” explains Andre Schult, Group Manager for Digitalization and Process Efficiency at Fraunhofer IVV.Working with SAM is a people-centered experienceWhen designing SAM, Fraunhofer IVV in Dresden put people at the center of their considerations. “A human being is a wonderful tool. With their hands and eyes, they are more flexible and better than many robots or cameras,” says Andre Schult. However, processes and systems are growing in complexity all the time. With SAM, Schult also wants to enable operators in the future to recognize errors themselves and suggest their own solutions. People should know that, despite all the state-of-the-art technology, humans play an indispensable role in production. This increases their sense of value in their work and their motivation.Together with partners from industry and science, Fraunhofer IVV plans to further develop the self-learning operator assistance system over the next five years and add new functionalities through a range of new modules. In this way, it will be possible to adapt SAM to specific customer requirements. Possible additional features include things like the use of image processing, external sensors, and speech and gesture recognition. Looking forward, manufacturers will be able to use SAM both for the operation and for the maintenance, setup, assembly and development of machines. Explore further Citation: Self-learning assistance system for efficient processes (2018, June 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-self-learning-efficient.html To prevent long downtimes and high quantities of scrap, manufacturers must design production processes to be stable and efficient. Particularly successful outcomes are achieved when the experience of the people who operate the machines is taken into account. The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Dresden is developing a self-learning assistance system that helps machine operators resolve errors and build up their experience and process knowledge.center_img Provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Better quality control with digital assistance systems This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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At least 57 negative impacts from cyberattacks

first_img The researchers, from Kent’s School of Computing and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, set out to define and codify the different ways in which the various cyber-incidents being witnessed today can have negative outcomes.They also considered how these outcomes, or harms, can spread as time passes. The hope is that this will help to improve the understanding of the multiple harms which cyber-attacks can have, for the public, government, and other academic disciplines.Overall the researchers identified five key themes under which the impact—referred to in the article as a cyber-harm—from a cyber-attack can be classified:Physical/DigitalEconomicPsychologicalReputationalSocial/societalEach category contains specific outcomes that underline the serious impact cyber-attacks can have. For example, under the Physical/Digital category there is the loss of life or damage to infrastructure, while the Economic category lists impacts such as a fall in stock price, regulatory fines or reduced profits as a possibility.In the Psychological theme, impacts such as individuals being left depressed, embarrassed, shamed or confused are listed, while Reputational impacts can include a loss of key staff, damaged relationships with customers and intense media scrutiny.Finally, on a Social/Societal level, there is a risk of disruption to daily life such as an impact on key services, a negative perception of technology or a drop in internal morale in organisations affected by a high-level incident.The full list of cyber harms can be viewed online.The researchers point to high-profile attacks against Sony, JP Morgan and online dating website Ashley Madison, as examples where a wide variety of negative outcomes were experienced, from reputational loss, causing shame and embarrassment for individuals or financial damage.They say these incidents underline why a taxonomy of impacts and harms is so important for businesses. Many successful cyber-attacks have been traced to exploits of well-known vulnerabilities that had not been dealt with appropriately because of a lack of action by firms who did not appreciate the ways in which they could be affected by a cyber-attack.By providing a detailed breakdown of the many different ways a cyber-attack can impact a business and third-parties, it gives board members and other senior staff a better understanding of both direct and indirect harms from cyber-attacks when considering the threats their organisation faces. This also equally applies to other organisations and even governments or those who manage critical national infrastructure.Commenting on the article, Dr. Jason R.C. Nurse from the School of Computing: ‘It’s been well understood that cyber-attacks can have numerous negative impacts. However, this is the first time there has been a detailed investigation into what these impacts are, how varied they can be, and how they can propagate over time. This base figure of 57 underlines how damaging cyber-incidents can be and we hope it can help to better understand how a business, individual or even nation is affected by a cyber-attack. This is going to be even more relevant as everything and everyone becomes connected and the Internet of Things is fully realised.’ More information: Ioannis Agrafiotis et al, A taxonomy of cyber-harms: Defining the impacts of cyber-attacks and understanding how they propagate, Journal of Cybersecurity (2018). DOI: 10.1093/cybsec/tyy006 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: At least 57 negative impacts from cyber-attacks (2018, October 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-negative-impacts-cyber-attacks.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further EU leaders vow tough action on cyber attacks Provided by University of Kent Cyber-security researchers have identified a total of at least 57 different ways in which cyber-attacks can have a negative impact on individuals, businesses and even nations, ranging from threats to life, causing depression, regulatory fines or disrupting daily activitieslast_img read more

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Algorithm art fetches 432500 at NY auction Christies

first_img At first glance, “Edmond de Belamy,” the portrait of a gentleman dressed in black and framed in gold, could be any standard portrait from the 18th or 19th century.Up close, the image is more intriguing. The face is fuzzy and the picture seemingly unfinished. Instead of an artist’s signature, it bears the stamp of a mathematical formula on the bottom right.It’s the brainchild of French collective Obvious, whose aim is to use artificial intelligence to democratize art. To make the painting, artist Pierre Fautrel ran 15,000 classic portraits through a computer software.Once the software “understood the rules of portraiture,” using a new algorithm developed by Google researcher Ian Goodfellow, it then generated a series of new images by itself, Fautrel said.The French collective selected 11, calling them the “Belamy family,” one of which on Thursday fetched $432,500 at Christie’s in New York, the epicenter of the traditional art market.The price smashed its pre-sale estimates of $7,000 to $10,000. Christie’s said the work was snapped up by an anonymous telephone bidder after a five-way battle on the phone, online and one would-be buyer in the room.But is it art? Fautrel, 25, insists that it is.”Even if the algorithm creates the image,” he told AFP “we are the people who decided to do this, who decided to print it on canvas, sign it as a mathematical formula, put it in a gold frame.”‘Tipping point’He compared AI art to early photography of the 1850s, which he says critics rubbished at the time as “not being art and which would destroy artists.”Richard Lloyd, international head of prints and multiples at Christie’s, persuaded the collective to put the print up for sale in order to foster a debate about artificial intelligence in art.”I know it’s a debate that’s going on quite widely, I thought that in a way this marked a watershed—or slightly a tipping point,” he told AFP.Leaving aside the art debate, there are legal questions. Is the collective or the algorithm the artist? What are the copyright issues?For Lloyd, this is just the beginning of AI art.”This is developing incredibly fast. Only in five or 10 years we will look back on this and it will look very different,” he told AFP.”Artists who are great adopters of technology, they will seize AI,” he predicted. “Artists will use it to generate images which they will then modify … It will be quite seamless.”There is also a benefit to the client.”It gives you privilege that only very wealthy people in previous centuries had—to commission works of art painted just for you,” Lloyd said. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 AFP A portrait made by algorithm smashed new boundaries Thursday, selling for $432,500 and becoming the first piece of Artificial Intelligence art sold at a major auction house, Christie’s said. When the line between machine and artist becomes blurred Citation: Algorithm art fetches $432,500 at NY auction: Christie’s (2018, October 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-algorithm-art-ny-auction-christie.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Pennsylvania lets Uber selfdriving cars back on roads

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Authorities in the US state of Pennsylvania have given Uber the green light to resume testing self-driving cars, the ride-sharing giant said Tuesday, after a fatal crash in Arizona prompted a pause. Uber is in a self-driving car race with an array of companies including Alphabet-owned Waymo Explore further Uber said it had received authorization to put autonomous cars back on the road in Pittsburgh, where it has a lab devoted to the technology, but has yet to actually do so.The San Francisco-based company suspended use of self-driving cars in March after one struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when it hit a woman walking in the street.In July, Uber said it was using cars with human drivers to test and improve autonomous capabilities.The company, which is preparing to go public with an offering of shares next year, is in a self-driving car race with an array of companies including Alphabet-owned Waymo.A self-driving car service being tested by Waymo was opened up to more people in the Phoenix, Arizona area, last month, according to chief John Krafcik.About 400 “early riders” were already taking part in the fledgling service Waymo began testing early last year, Krafcik told a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Southern California.He explained they can use a smartphone application to summon autonomous vehicles any time of day to get about in an area of around 100 square miles (250 square kilometers).Over the course of several months, Waymo will open the service up to more people and give riders “more autonomy” in what they can do with it.Waymo earlier this year announced it was adding as many as 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans to its autonomous fleet in an expanded collaboration by the companies.center_img Waymo to expand fledgling self-driving car service © 2018 AFP Citation: Pennsylvania lets Uber self-driving cars back on roads (2018, December 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-pennsylvania-uber-self-driving-cars-roads.htmllast_img read more

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New Zealand plans new tax for giants like Google Facebook

first_img Explore further New Zealand’s government plans a new tax targeting online giants like Google and Facebook that earn plenty of money in the country but pay little tax. This July 19, 2016, file photo shows the Google logo at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. New Zealand’s government announced plans on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, for a new tax targeting online giants like Google and Facebook that earn plenty of money in the country but pay little tax. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there’s a gap that needs to be closed. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) New Zealand halts Huawei from 5G upgrade over security fears © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there’s a gap that needs to be closed.”Our current tax system is not fair in the way that it treats individual taxpayers and the way that it treats multinationals,” she said. “It’s not fair.”She said the proposed digital services tax would tax multinational online companies at about 2 or 3 percent on the revenue they generate in New Zealand, a rate that is in line with other countries considering similar taxes.Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said foreign online companies have a competitive advantage over local companies that do pay significant amounts of tax. He said the new tax that was announced on Monday could be implemented next year.Nash said New Zealand would continue working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, to find an international solution to the problems of taxing big online companies, but that New Zealand was not going to wait around.”The OECD can move at a rather slow rate,” he said.New Zealand’s government estimates that online multinationals do about 2.7 billion New Zealand dollars ($1.9 billion) worth of business in the country each year, and that the new tax could generate up to 80 million New Zealand dollars ($55 million) annually.The most recent New Zealand company filings indicate Google paid NZ$392,000 in income taxes in the 2017 calendar year. The company, which declined to comment, claimed a NZ$1 million loss over the year after booking much of its revenue in other countries.The last publicly available figures from Facebook show the company paid NZ$43,000 in taxes in New Zealand in 2014.Facebook said in a statement that it complies with applicable tax laws in New Zealand and every other country in which it operates. It said it’s moving to a “local selling model” to provide more transparency to governments and policy makers.Amy Adams, the finance spokeswoman for the conservative opposition National Party, said the party agrees that multinationals should pay their fair share of taxes but that it supports the OECD work being ramped up. She said New Zealand will find it difficult to go out on its own without people missing out on what the global market has to offer. Citation: New Zealand plans new tax for giants like Google, Facebook (2019, February 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-zealand-tax-giants-google-facebook.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Egypt opens Sneferus Bent Pyramid in Dahshur to public

first_imgDAHSHUR, Egypt (Reuters) – Egypt opened to visitors on Saturday the “Bent” Pyramid built for pharaoh Sneferu, a 101-metre structure just south of Cairo that marks a key step in the evolution of pyramid construction. An archeological worker displays a sarcophagus that was discovered near the King Amenemhat II pyramid, south of Cairo, Egypt, July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyTourists will now be able to clamber down a 79-metre (86 yards) narrow tunnel from a raised entrance on the pyramid’s northern face, to reach two chambers deep inside the 4,600-year-old structure. They will also be able to enter an adjoining 18-metre high “side pyramid”, possibly for Sneferu’s wife Hetepheres, opened for the first time since its excavation in 1956. The “Bent” Pyramid is one of two built for Fourth Dynasty founding pharaoh Sneferu in Dahshur, at the southern end of the Memphis necropolis that starts at Giza. Its appearance is unusual. The first 49 metres, which have largely kept their smooth limestone casing, are built at a steep 54 degree angle, before tapering off in the top section. The angular shape contrasts with the straight sides of Sneferu’s Red Pyramid just to the north, the first of ancient Egypt’s fully formed pyramids and the next step towards the Great Pyramid of Giza. Architects changed the angle when cracks started appearing in the structure, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. “Sneferu lived a very long time…the architects wanted to reach the complete shape, the pyramid shape,” Mohamed Shiha, director of the Dahshur site, said. “Exactly where he was buried — we are not sure of that. Maybe in this (Bent) pyramid, who knows?” Authorities are seeking to promote tourism at Dahshur, about 28km (17 miles) south of central Cairo. The site lies in the open desert, attracts just a trickle of visitors, and is free of the touts and bustle of Giza. As they opened the pyramids, archaeologists presented late-period mummies, masks, tools and coffins discovered during excavations that began near the Dahshur pyramids last year and are due to continue. “When we were taking those objects out, we found…a very rich area of hidden tombs,” Waziri said. The promotion of Dahshur is part of a wider push to boost tourism, an important source of foreign revenue for Egypt that dipped steeply after the country’s 2011 uprising before gradually recovering. Archaeologists also unveiled the nearby tomb of Sa Eset, a supervisor of pyramids in the Middle Kingdom, which has been closed since its excavation in 1894 and contains finely preserved hieroglyphic funerary texts. Foreign ambassadors invited to attend the archaeological announcements were led sweating into the tight spaces of the tomb, which is not expected to be opened to the public for another two years. Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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Man Goes Blind After Wearing Contact Lenses in the Shower

first_img Acanthamoeba is a single-celled amoeba that’s commonly found in water, soil and air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contact lens wearers face a risk of contracting this infection if they engage in certain practices, such as disinfecting lenses with tap water or swimming or showering while wearing lenses, the CDC said. This amoeba has a particular affinity for the surfaces of contact lenses, meaning the lenses can be “a vehicle for the harboring, transmission and delivery of microorganisms to the eye,” according to a 2010 review paper on the topic published in the Journal of Optometry. But when Humphreys started wearing contact lenses in 2013 so he could play sports without glasses, he wasn’t aware of this showering risk. He would often hop in the shower with his contact lenses in after a morning workout. “I thought nothing of it at the time. I was never told not to wear contact lenses in the shower. There’s no warning on the packaging, and my opticians never mentioned a risk,” Humphreys said. After he was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis in early 2018, he was given eyedrops for his infection, but a few months later, he suddenly went blind in his right eye, according to PA Media. Humphreys was then prescribed a stronger medication, which needed to be applied to his eyes every hour, even at night. Humphreys became housebound and experienced severe pain in his right eye. “The pain in my eye was too much, and the only time I would leave was to visit the hospital,” Humphreys told PA Media. He would later undergo two operations in his right eye, the first to strengthen the tissue in his cornea and the second to protect the cornea with a graft of tissue from a fetal placenta. That procedure is known as an amniotic membrane transplant. Although his infection cleared up, Humphreys remains blind in his right eye. He is scheduled to undergo a corneal transplant in August. This operation replaces damaged corneal tissue with healthy corneal tissue from a deceased donor. Humphreys now works with the charity Fight for Sight to raise awareness about the risks of showering or swimming with contact lenses. “It’s crucial that people out there know this is a reality and it can happen because of something as simple as getting in the shower,” Humphreys said. 27 Oddest Medical Case Reports Our fantastic Fight for Sight supporter, Nick Humphreys, is raising awareness of the need for correct contact lens care and clearer information on contact lens packaging, after losing his sight in one eye to Acanthamoeba keratitis: https://t.co/ooUYXWlyYF #ContactLenses #AKby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndo — Fight for Sight (@fightforsightUK) July 9, 2019 Your daily shower isn’t usually a health risk, but for one man in England, it may have led to a serious eye infection that left him blind in one eye, according to news reports. The man, 29-year-old Nick Humphreys of Shropshire, England, typically left his contact lenses in while showering, without knowing that this practice can increase the risk of eye infections, according to PA Media, a U.K.-based media agency. In 2018, he contracted Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare parasitic infection of the cornea, or the eye’s transparent outer covering. “If I’d have known how dangerous it was to wear contacts in the shower, I would never have got them in the first place,” Humphreys told PA Media. [‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 9 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm] AdvertisementDon’t Flush Your Contact Lenses! Here’s WhyHere’s what happens when you flush contact lenses down the toilet or drain. Hint: It’s not good for the environment.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65916-parasitic-eye-infection-showering-with-contact-lenses.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0001:0001:00Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭  8 Awful Parasite Infections That Will Make Your Skin Crawlcenter_img 27 Devastating Infectious Diseases Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more

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Why Havent All Primates Evolved into Humans

first_img Lucy belongs to one of the best known early human species, Australopithecus afarensis, which lived about 3.85 million to 2.95 million years ago. Credit: Copyright Field Museum; photographer John Weinstein “Some difference in habitat selection probably would’ve been the the first notable behavioral change,” Isbell said. “To get bipedalism going, our ancestors would have gone into habitats that didn’t have closed canopies. They would have had to travel more on the ground in places where trees were more spread out.” The rest is human evolutionary history. As for the chimps, just because they stayed in the trees doesn’t mean they stopped evolving. A genetic analysis published in 2010 suggests that their ancestors split from ancestral bonobos 930,000 years ago, and that the ancestors of three living subspecies diverged 460,000 years ago. Central and eastern chimps became distinct only 93,000 years ago. “They’re clearly doing a good job at being chimps,” Pobiner said. “They’re still around, and as long as we don’t destroy their habitat, they probably will be” for many years to come. Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoComparisons.orgCalifornia Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read ThisComparisons.orgNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndo While we were migrating around the globe, inventing agriculture and visiting the moon, chimpanzees — our closest living relatives — stayed in the trees, where they ate fruit and hunted monkeys. Modern chimps have been around for longer than modern humans have (less than 1 million years compared to 300,000 for Homo sapiens, according to the most recent estimates), but we’ve been on separate evolutionary paths for 6 million or 7 million years. If we think of chimps as our cousins, our last common ancestor is like a great, great grandmother with only two living descendants. But why did one of her evolutionary offspring go on to accomplish so much more than the other? [Chimps vs. Humans: How Are We Different?]  AdvertisementIs Pumpkin (Everything) Good for You?This time of year, it seems like pumpkin-flavored options are available for pretty much everything. But is all this pumpkin healthy?Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Can Gasoline Go Bad?01:13关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/32503-why-havent-all-primates-evolved-into-humans.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0001:3201:32  Why Do Some Animals Eat Their Own Poop?center_img Why Humans Outlive Apes Could Evolution Ever Bring Back the Dinosaurs? “The reason other primates aren’t evolving into humans is that they’re doing just fine,” Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., told Live Science. All primates alive today, including mountain gorillas in Uganda, howler monkeys in the Americas, and lemurs in Madagascar, have proven that they can thrive in their natural habitats. “Evolution isn’t a progression,” said Lynne Isbell, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis. “It’s about how well organisms fit into their current environments.” In the eyes of scientists who study evolution, humans aren’t “more evolved” than other primates, and we certainly haven’t won the so-called evolutionary game. While extreme adaptability lets humans manipulate very different environments to meet our needs, that ability isn’t enough to put humans at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Take, for instance, ants. “Ants are as or more successful than we are,” Isbell told Live Science. “There are so many more ants in the world than humans, and they’re well-adapted to where they’re living.” While ants haven’t developed writing (though they did invent agriculture long before we existed), they’re enormously successful insects. They just aren’t obviously excellent at all of the things humans tend to care about, which happens to be the things humans excel at. “We have this idea of the fittest being the strongest or the fastest, but all you really have to do to win the evolutionary game is survive and reproduce,” Pobiner said. Our ancestors’ divergence from ancestral chimps is a good example. While we don’t have a complete fossil record for humans or chimps, scientists have combined fossil evidence with genetic and behavioral clues gleaned from living primates to learn about the now-extinct species whose descendants would become humans and chimps. “We don’t have its remains, and I’m not sure if we’d be able to place it with certainty in the human lineage it if we did,” Isbell said. Scientists think this creature looked more like a chimpanzee than a human, and it probably spent most of its time in the canopy of forests dense enough that it could travel from tree to tree without touching the ground, Isbell said. Scientists think ancestral humans began distinguishing themselves from ancestral chimps when they started spending more time on the ground. Perhaps our ancestors were looking for food as they explored new habitats, Isbell said. “Our earliest ancestors that diverged from our common ancestor with chimpanzees would have been adept at both climbing in trees and walking on the ground,” Isbell said. It was more recently — maybe 3 million years ago — that these ancestors’ legs began to grow longer and their big toes turned forward, allowing them to become mostly full-time walkers.last_img read more

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Telangana theatres to sell refreshments at MRP from Aug 1Telangana theatres to

first_imgSHARE July 30, 2018 prices, inflation and deflation COMMENT Violations to attract fines, jail term There is good news for cinema-goers in Telangana. Beginning August 1, food items and beverages sold in cinema theatres will be available at MRP (maximum retail price). The Legal Metrology will slap heavy penalties on those selling refeshments over and above the MRP.First-time offenders will be slapped a fine of Rs 25,000. Subsequent violations would attract fines of Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh. The offenders might even face a jail term of six to 12 months.All food items and beverages sold in single-screen cinema halls and in multiplexes should prominently display prices and quantities on the products. The prices should be the same as the prices of the products sold outside the theatres. The department will launch a special drive in theatres in Hyderabad on August 2 and 3 to see whether the rules are adhered to or not.The department has sent notices to the theatre managements, asking them to conform to the new rules from August 1. While the shops in the theatres are allowed to print stickers on the packets (other than the branded goods) till August 30, beginning September 1, they should have the details printed on the product wrappers.The details should include the price, name of the product, weight, manufacturer and customer care contact information. Legal Metrology Controller, Akun Sabharwal, held a meeting on Sunday with department officials from all the districts on the issue. “If there is a change in the price of the product, it should be corrected as and when the change happens,” a department official said.Aggrieved consumers can lodge complaints at 180042500333, or through WhatsApp at 7330774444. The managements have been asked to display these numbers prominently in the theatres.center_img Published on Telangana SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Rahul spent 9 more days campaigning than Modi

first_imgSHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL Cong leader addressed 67 rallies, against PM’s 31 COMMENTS Published oncenter_img December 07, 2018 AJ Vinayak The polling process for five State assemblies — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram — comes to an end on Friday. While regional leaders, primarily the respective Chief Ministers, spearheaded the campaign in most places, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi have been on numerous rallies to woo the voting public.An effort has been made here to see how Modi and Rahul steered the electioneering process through their public rallies and other formats from October 6, when the Election Commission announced the poll schedule for the five States, to December 5, when campaigning came to an end.In the course of the 61-day campaigning process, Modi held rallies and addressed party workers over video-conference on 18 days. Comparatively, Rahul earmarked 27 days for rallies, road shows and other interactions with the public. On October 6, Modi addressed a rally, Vijay Sankalp Sabha, at Ajmer. Subsequently, he addressed 30 rallies across the five States over November-December.It appears that the BJP required Modi’s presence the most in Rajasthan. He addressed public rallies in 13 places there, against 11 in Madhya Pradesh, three each in Chhattisgarh and Telangana, and one in Mizoram.In October, he also addressed the BJP workers of 11 parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — among other States — through video-conferencing.Rahul conducted 67 rallies and road shows during the period. This included interactions with the business community and professionals in Indore, and meetings with the management and teachers of government-recognised institutions at Shamshabad in Telangana.While Modi focussed on Rajasthan, Rahul did on Madhya Pradesh, where he conducted 23 rallies and road shows. In fact, on October 6 itself, he addressed voters at Morena and Jabalpur in the State.Rahul also conducted 14 rallies and road shows each in Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, and two rallies in Mizoram.Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, who was a rare presence during the campaigning, addressed a lone public rally at Medchal, Telangana, along with Rahul.The result day, December 11, will reveal how effective the campaigns have been. COMMENTlast_img read more

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Karnataka Speaker to decide on MLAs resignations today more threaten to quitKarnataka

first_imgKarnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy state politics COMMENTS Congress to seek resignation of all Cabinet ministers to placate rebels COMMENT Karnataka SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img 0 July 08, 2019 As all eyes are on Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who on Tuesday is expected to take the crucial decision whether he will accept the resignation of the 12 MLAs. His decision will decide the fate of the coalition government in the State.In an another setback to the Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition, senior Congress MLA Roshan Baig on Monday threatened to quit the party and join the BJP. “I’m hurt by the way Congress has treated me, I’ll resign from as MLA and join the BJP,” he said. Two independent MLAs were the latest to quit the State Cabinet and have openly showed support to the BJP. Congress’ key trouble shooter DK Shivakumar has left Bengaluru. Amidst all these developments, it is said that on Congress’ direction, rebel MLAs are being moved out of Mumbai. The JD(S), after the legislative party meeting Monday evening, has shifted all its MLAs from Bengaluru to a resort near Nandi Hills near Devanahalli.On Saturday, nine Congress and three JD(S) MLAs had tendered resignations from their Assembly seats by submitting a letter to Speakers’ office, leaving the coalition government in deep crisis. After Independent MLAs — Nagesh and Shankar — withdrew their support, the strength of the JD(S)-Congress coalition has been reduced to 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker.With the support of two independent MLAs, the BJP has 107 seats in the 224-member House. The party needs to cross 113-majority mark in order to form the government. As these developments played out, the BJP has called for State-wide protest demanding Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s resignation.CLP MeetAhead of the CLP meet, Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara, MB Patil and Eshwar Khandre are holding a meeting at an undisclosed location, with legal advisers to discuss about the further action against the MLAs who have resigned.Earlier in the day, senior Congress leaders assembled at Deputy Chief Minister’s house to take stock of the political situation in the State. It was here a decision was taken to seek resignations of all ministers.Former Chief Minister and JD(S)-Congress coordination panel chief Siddaramaiah said, “I had told them (rebel MLAs) earlier also that everyone cannot be included at the same time, so the Cabinet will be reshuffled after 20 months of the government coming into existence. Now, we will advance that period and this government will remain stable.”Siddaramaiah further said he tried to be in contact with dissident MLAs, but could not reach them on over phone. “But I am confident that all of them will return to the party fold. The BJP will fail in its sixth attempt to destabilise this government.”Replying to a question about possibility of postponing the Winter Session — scheduled for July 12 — he said, “The Session will be held as scheduled and things will become clear with in next 24 hours.”AICC Karnataka in-charge K C Venugopal blamed BJP Central leadership for the present crisis in Karnataka. “The BJP after Lok Sabha election is trying to destabilise non-BJP governments right from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and now they have come to Karnataka,” he said. SHARE Published onlast_img read more

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MATTA partners with four ehailing companies

first_img Metro News 1d ago RM10mil worth of sales expected at Johor MATTA fair {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang. Related News Related Newscenter_img Tech News 2d ago Halal Holiday launched to cater to Muslim tourists KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) will be partnering with four e-hailing companies to list its members’ transport services on ride-hailing apps, says association president Datuk Tan Kok Liang. AdChoices广告MATTA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with four e-hailing operators, Dacsee Sdn Bhd (Dacsee), Ideal Technology Advancement Sdn Bhd (Ciaz2u), Mula Car International Sdn Bhd and Neo Urban Consolidated Sdn Bhd (Nuccar) on Friday (July 12).”The tours and travel industry has a significant fleet of vehicles such as car rentals, vans, buses which are all licensed with skilled drivers,” said Tan.”We want to make it easier for travellers to Malaysia. Instead of doing pre-bookings, we can give visitors and tourists more options through e-hailing apps upon arrival,” he added at a press conference after signing the MOU at Sunway Putra Hotel. Metro News 09 Jul 2019 Best Tour Operator honour for travel agencylast_img read more

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