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Tesla changes Full SelfDriving pricing again tries to simplify it

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla is again changing the pricing of its Full Self-Driving package, which is now the same price whether you order it now or later during your ownership of the vehicle.The automaker hopes that the structure is simpler, but it still warns that the price may increase. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://youtu.be/WdPfw3XWyJQThe post Tesla changes Full Self-Driving pricing again, tries to simplify it appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Friday Roundup

first_img Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Scrutiny updates, more press, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.Scrutiny UpdatesGlencoreAs highlighted in this prior post, in March the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an enforcement advisory concerning companies and individuals “that timely and voluntarily disclose to the Division violations of the Commodity Exchange Act involving foreign corrupt practices, where the voluntary disclosure is followed by full cooperation and appropriate remediation.”Conventional wisdom was that this advisory just did not fall out of the sky, but was a reaction to something. In my own mind, that something was Glencore’s FCPA scrutiny which the company disclosed in July 2018 (see here).Yesterday, Glencore announced:“Glencore has been informed by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) that the CFTC is investigating whether Glencore and its subsidiaries may have violated certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and/or CFTC Regulations through corrupt practices in connection with commodities. Glencore understands that the CFTC’s investigations are at an early stage and have a similar scope in terms of subject matter as the current ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”). Glencore will cooperate with the CFTC.  Glencore’s response will be managed by its Investigations Committee, which was set up in July 2018 to oversee Glencore’s response to the investigation by the DOJ.”Goldman SachsAs highlighted in this prior post, in November 2018 the DOJ announced an FCPA and related enforcement action against individuals associated with Goldman Sachs in connection with the 1MDB fund (see here). This prior post asked: what does this mean for Goldman Sachs.According to the Financial Times,“[DOJ] staff have recommended that a settlement with Goldman Sachs over its role in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal should include a guilty plea at the parent company level, according to people familiar with the matter. Any such plea would be the toughest penalty the Department of Justice could bring against Goldman, which has long insisted that any misconduct was due to rogue bankers in its Asian operations. The internal recommendation by career prosecutors investigating the bank is now being considered by senior officials at the justice department, the people said. Any final settlement with Goldman could be less onerous.”More PressAs highlighted here, Frédéric Pierucci (a French national and former Alstom executive who plead guilty to FCPA offenses in connection with a bribery scheme in Indonesia) continues to generate substantial press based on his belief that he was a “pawn” in “larger battles with global economic and political ramifications” and somehow a “hostage in the greatest campaign of economic destabilisation.”For whatever it is worth, I find many of Pierucci’s claims factually inaccurate and/or not convincing. (See here for the FCPA Flash podcast with Pierucci).Reading StackMiller & Chevalier’s FCPA Spring Review 2019 is here.last_img read more

Air Quality Alert through WednesdayTwo petitions differ on Robert E Lee name

first_imgThe Washington State Department of Ecology in Yakima has issued an Air Quality Alert this morning through 6pm Wednesday in Chelan County.  As of 10am this morning, air quality in Wenatchee and Leavenworth was listed as Unhealthy for Sensitive groups.  HERE IS THE LINK TO THE AIR QUALITY MONITORING WEBSITEChildren, the elderly, and individuals with respiratory illnesses are most at risk of serious health effects. If you experience respiratory distress, you should speak with your physician.  Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Entiat, Chelan, Manson and Plain are included in the alert.Smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Washington is expected to affect locations in and near the Cascades until increased wind Wednesday allow improvement. Until that time air quality will vary between good and unhealthy depending on wind direction and time of day.Northwest fires contributing to our smoky skies;Jolly Mtn. Fire north of Cle Elum is 4,682 acresNorse Peak fire west of Ellensburg is 5,712 acresBridge Creek Fire on the Colville Indian Reservation is 3,518 acresDiamond Creek Fire north of Mazama is  32,728In Oregon, a 108,000-acre fire near in Southeast Oregon around Brookings, 16,000 acre fire near Sisters,  14,000 acres burning near Cave Junction,  a 16,000 acre blaze near Crater Lake and a 15,000 acres east of Roseburg Dept. of Ecology Air Quality as of 10:45am on 8/29/17 Arrow shows Cle Elum reading as Unhealthy. Cle Elum is between the Jolly Mtn and Norse Peak fireslast_img read more

New drugbased treatment to promote weight loss in young patients with genetic

first_imgMay 8 2018In a new study researchers from the Institute for Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have successfully treat patients whose obesity is caused by a genetic defect. Aside from its beneficial effects on the patients, the researchers also provided insights into the fundamental signaling pathways regulating satiety of the new drug. The results of this research have been published in Nature Medicine.A mutation in the gene encoding the leptin receptor (LEPR) can cause extreme hunger starting with the first months of life. As a result, affected individuals develop extreme obesity during childhood. Increased exercise and reduced caloric intake are usually insufficient to stabilize body-weight. In many cases, obesity surgery fails to deliver any benefits, meaning that a drug-based treatment approach becomes increasingly important.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTwo years ago, Dr. Peter Kühnen and the working group successfully demonstrated that treatment with a peptide, which activates the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) could play a central role in the body’s energy metabolism and body weight regulation. Leptin, which is also known as the satiety (or starvation) hormone, normally binds to the LEPR, triggering a series of steps that leads to the production of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). The act of MSH by binding to its receptor, the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) which transduce the satiety signal to the body. However, if the LEPR is defective, the signaling cascade is interrupted. The patient’s hunger remains unabated, placing them at greater risk of becoming obese. As part of this current study, researchers used a peptide that binds to the MC4R in the brain, and this activation trigger the normal satiety signal. Working in cooperation with the Clinical Research Unit at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), the researchers were able to record significant weight loss in patients with genetic defects affecting the LEPR.”We also wanted to determine why the used peptide was so effective and why, in contrast to other preparations with a similar mode of action, it did not produce any severe side effects,” explains Dr. Kühnen. “We were able to demonstrate that this treatment leads to the activation of a specific and important signaling pathway, whose significance had previously been underestimated.” Dr. Kühnen’s team is planning to conduct further research to determine whether other patients might benefit from this drug: “It is possible that other groups of patients with dysfunctions affecting the same signaling pathway might be suitable candidates for this treatment.”Source: https://www.charite.de/en/service/press_reports/artikel/detail/den_unstillbaren_hunger_abschalten/last_img read more

PARP inhibitors show promise for treating and preventing brain disorders

first_img Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/august/drugs-in-development-for-cancer-may-also-fight-brain-diseases-including-als Aug 10 2018A class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors could be useful for treating and preventing brain disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and some forms of frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), by halting the misplacement of specific proteins that affect nerve cells, according to a study published in Molecular Cell by researchers in the the School of Arts and Sciences and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerThe protein TDP-43, when mistakenly outside the nucleus, forms clumps in brain cells that are affected in ALS and FTD. When out-of-place TDP-43 binds to another molecule, PAR, it amasses in cellular structures called stress granules. While this initial accumulation does not cause imminent harm to a cell, after a prolonged period, TDP-43 changes into structures that are observed in brain diseases. Now, a team led by Nancy Bonini, PhD, a professor of Biology, and James Shorter, PhD, a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, have found that PARP inhibitors, which stop PAR from being generated, reduced the amount of harmful TDP-43 structures in cells under stress.In test-tube experiments, the team found that TDP-43 can change from a soluble form to a condensed liquid form by interacting with other TDP-43 molecules and macromolecules like PAR. “The liquid form of TDP-43 is representive of a stress granule and is likely beneficial,” Shorter said; however, he noted that if these liquid forms of TDP-43 solidify with time they can be difficult to remove.While this work is still being done in the lab, the team’s findings provide the next step for neurologists looking for new ways to fight neurodegenerative disorders. “Given the lack of treatment options, we are excited by these experiments that help elucidate molecular events that could lead to new therapeutics,” said Bonini.last_img read more

Languages are being wiped out by economic growth

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The world’s roughly 7000 known languages are disappearing faster than species, with a different tongue dying approximately every 2 weeks. Now, by borrowing methods used in ecology to track endangered species, researchers have identified the primary threat to linguistic diversity: economic development. Though such growth has been shown to wipe out language in the past on a case-by-case basis, this is the first study to demonstrate that it is a global phenomenon, researchers say.Many people know about the threatened polar bear and extinct passenger pigeon, but few have heard of endangered and extinct languages such as Eyak in Alaska, whose last speaker died in 2008, or Ubykh in Turkey, whose last fluent speaker died in 1992, says Tatsuya Amano, a zoologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new study. It’s well known that economic growth or the desire to achieve it can drive language loss, he notes—dominant languages such as Mandarin Chinese and English are often required for upward mobility in education and business, and economic assistance often encourages recipients to speak dominant languages. Whereas specific case studies demonstrate such forces at work, such as the transition from Cornish to English in the United Kingdom and from Horom to English in Nigeria, this is the first study to examine losses worldwide and rank economic growth alongside other possible influences, he says.Data on the number and location of surviving fluent speakers of endangered languages are scant, but Amano and colleagues used the most complete source available—an online repository called Ethnologue—for their analysis, he says. From the database, the group was able to calculate the geographical range, number of speakers, and rate of speaker decline for languages worldwide and map that data within square grid cells roughly 190 km across, spanning the entire globe. Although they were able to obtain information about the range and number of speakers for more than 90% of the world’s estimated 6909 languages, they could only glean details about the rate of decline or growth for 9%, or 649, of those languages, Amano notes. Next, they looked for correlations between language loss and factors such as a country’s gross domestic product and levels of globalization as calculated by an internationally recognized index. In addition, they examined environmental factors such as altitude, which might contribute to language loss by affecting how easily communities can communicate and travel.Of all the variables tested, economic growth was most strongly linked to language loss, Amano says. Two types of language loss hotspots emerged from the study, published online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. One was in economically well developed regions such as northwestern North America and northern Australia; a second was in economically developing regions such as the tropics and the Himalayas. Certain aspects of geography seemed to act as a buffer or threat, Amano says. For example, recent declines appear to occur faster in temperate climates than in the tropics or mountainous regions—perhaps because it is easier to travel in and out of temperate regions, Amano says. More research is necessary to determine precisely what it is about economic development that kills languages, he adds. Figuring out how growth interacts with other factors such as landscape is the next step, he says.”This is the first really solid statistical study I’ve seen which shows principles about language decline that we’ve know about, but hadn’t been able to put together in a sound way,” says Leanne Hinton, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley. Economics is far from the whole story, however, she says. In the United States, for example, current attitudes toward endangered tongues stem in large part from historical policies that forced young American Indians to eschew their native tongues in order to learn English, she says. Generations of disease, murder, and genocide—both historic and present, in some regions—have also played an important role and were not included in the new study’s analysis, she says.Although the study is silent on the subject of interventions to help preserve endangered languages, there is a range of revitalization efforts that can serve as examples, such as the incorporation of the Hawaiian language into school curricula and daily government operations, she says. Emailcenter_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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

US and Cuban biomedical researchers are free to collaborate

first_imgAficionados of cigars and rum are celebrating new U.S. rules that allow visitors to Cuba to carry home as much as these fine commodities as they can cram into their luggage. But the regulations, unveiled today and set to take effect on 17 October, are sure to please another constituency: researchers in biomedicine and public health. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has authorized U.S. scientists to freely collaborate with Cuban counterparts on everything from cancer therapies to combatting the Zika virus.“It is a very important step,” says neuroscientist Pedro Valdés-Sosa, research director at the Cuban Neuroscience Center in Havana. On a trip last month to the United States, he says, “everywhere I went there were concrete ideas for collaborations that would benefit the people of both countries. These new measures pave the way for cooperation.”The rules, which build on the historic rapprochement between the two nations in December 2014, also make it easier for Cuban-made pharmaceuticals to undergo U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review, and they allow FDA-approved Cuban drugs to be imported and sold. In a potential boon for Cuban scientists of all stripes, the U.S. government is also lifting restrictions that have mostly barred Cubans from receiving U.S. grants, scholarships, and awards for research. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) “If it’s truly feasible to use federal grants to support Cuban research, then everybody wins,” says immunologist Thomas Schwaab, chief of strategy, business development and outreach at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. Roswell Park has been working with the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana to shepherd a Cuba-developed lung cancer vaccine into clinical trials in the United States.Under earlier rules, U.S. scientists had to apply to the treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for a license to conduct research with Cuban colleagues—“a very involved and detailed process,” Schwaab says. Most licenses are valid for only 1 or 2 years at most, he says, and renewals are time consuming, making it hard to sustain long-term collaborations.The longstanding OFAC restrictions created “a lot of confusion” over what kinds of collaborations are permissible, adds Marga Gual Soler, a project director at the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, which has brokered contacts in recent years between Cuban and U.S. researchers. (AAAS is the publisher of Science.) It has been unclear, she says, “what activities required special OFAC licenses, especially when it comes to carrying or donating scientific equipment to Cuba.”Roswell Park did obtain an OFAC license to conduct preclinical and clinical research on CimaVax EGF, a therapeutic lung cancer vaccine developed by CIM that has been used in more than 4000 patients worldwide. “Cuban science has taken a completely novel approach to immunotherapy, and they have developed totally different solutions,” Schwaab says. He hopes the new rules will now help Roswell Park gain FDA approval for a clinical trial in U.S. patients with advanced lung cancer.One open question is whether Cuba’s own regulations will pose unanticipated constraints. “It’s one thing for us to say we want to collaborate,” Schwaab says. Another uncertainty is whether many of Cuba’s top scientists, who have forged collaborations with colleagues in Europe and elsewhere, will embrace working with a country that sought to isolate them for so long. Despite the embargo, Schwaab notes, Cuban scientists “are very proud of what they’ve achieved.”last_img read more

A mysterious method of gene control sheds its secrets

first_img April Saul A mysterious method of gene control sheds its secrets Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The children were tiny, often resisting their parents’ entreaties to eat. Their skin stretched over jutting cheekbones; toddlers might weigh what a healthy 6-month-old would. Back in the mid-1970s, when Madeleine Harbison was in medical school, her mentor, a pediatric endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, urged her to consider what was stunting their growth.”There’s something very special about this group of children that we don’t understand,” the mentor, John Crawford, told her. “I want you to figure out what it is, and figure out how to make them grow.”Deepening the mystery for Harbison was that some of the babies afflicted with this syndrome, Silver-Russell, had an unaffected identical twin. Silver-Russell syndrome had a genetic component, but the twins suggested that it wasn’t a conventional hereditary disease, as identical twins carry carbon copies of each other’s DNA. So what was it? Harbison finished her training in pediatric endocrinology. Crawford, then near retirement, began directing his Silver-Russell patients to her office on New York City’s Upper East Side, a leafy walk from Central Park. She worked alone, sometimes corresponding with Crawford, prescribing growth hormones, appetite stimulants, and other medications. “Treating these children is like witch work, and I’m the witch,” she says now. That was especially true in those early days as her therapeutic blueprint took shape.Harbison was unaware that an ocean away, a doctor in Paris had his own medical mystery: children who were the mirror image of those with Silver-Russell. Babies with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome were born unusually large, often with oversized body parts. They were also vulnerable to childhood cancers of the kidney and liver. Like Silver-Russell, this syndrome operated outside the rules of Mendelian disorders like cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Tay-Sachs, and others that result when parents harbor an abnormal genetic sequence and pass it along to their offspring.It would be years before scientists could read the instruction manuals for Silver-Russell and Beckwith-Wiedemann. Driven by advances in DNA analysis, they found that these two syndromes, along with several others, are imprinting disorders. They arise in a unique subset of genes in which, after conception, the DNA in the embryo that came from the mother is expressed differently than the DNA from the father.The last several years have seen imprinting disorders emerge from the shadows, and with them a deeper appreciation for the human genome’s ability to modulate gene expression in the earliest stages of development. After decades of anecdotes and experimentation, Harbison’s treatment for Silver-Russell is finally being tested in a clinical trial. An international registry is enrolling hundreds of patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann and banking their tissue for further study. In the lab, scientists are probing the genetics of their patients and trying to link those findings to a child’s health. Delving into imprinting is also yielding insights into the scaffolding of the genome, and the ways in which parents put a stamp on gene expression, influencing health and disease in their children.Studying these rare diseases “can open a new way to understand the imprinting phenomenon, to see how, in the beginning of the development of the embryo, the embryo answers to stimuli” that regulate how its genes behave, says Giovanni Battista Ferrero, a pediatrician at the University of Turin in Italy. “That is one of the next big challenges in science.”Origins of imprintingThe origins of imprinting probably date back about 150 million years to early mammals. Imprinting, many scientists believe, reflects competition between a mother’s interests and a father’s when it comes to gestating the offspring. A mother wants a fetus that doesn’t grow too big, so she can survive the pregnancy. A father wants the opposite: a fetus that becomes a strapping baby and, later, a strapping adult who hoards resources and spreads his genes to new progeny.Essentially, imprinting means that in some places along the human genome—about 100 genes in all—the way DNA behaves depends on which parent passes it to the offspring. “The DNA you inherit from your mother and your father are not quite the same” in these imprinted genes, explains Andrew Sharp, a geneticist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “Even though they may have identical sequences,” the way the DNA is expressed is different.The jockeying plays out at a molecular level in all of us soon after conception. Some of the genes in sperm and egg cells have chemicals called methyl molecules that attach to them, a process called methylation; these molecules can either activate or silence a gene when the sperm and egg DNA unite in an embryo.In some cases, the mother’s copy of the gene is activated, and the father’s silenced. In others the opposite is true. The function of each of the dozens of human imprinted genes isn’t yet known, but many appear to guide metabolism and growth prior to birth. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe A second study, led by Le Bouc, aims to get at one of the biggest mysteries of imprinting disorders—their link to in vitro fertilization (IVF). About a decade ago, three different groups found that a disproportionate number of affected children, particularly with Beckwith-Wiedemann and Angelman syndromes, had been conceived through IVF. The connection makes sense: In IVF, the embryo is left to divide initially in a culture dish, and “without realizing it,” Temple believes, “you take away some of these essential proteins or don’t provide the environment [the embryo] needs to maintain these very crucial marks” governing gene expression. That said, the risk is thought to be modest; Le Bouc’s team found that about 4% of children with imprinting disorders were conceived by IVF, compared with 1.3% in the general population.The trial includes about 500 babies who were either conceived spontaneously or through IVF. The scientists are comparing various imprinted spots in the children’s genomes and expect to report results later this year. But because there are only a couple hundred families in each group, it may be tough to hit on a clear message.Although they’re rare, both Beckwith-Wiedemann and Silver-Russell raise other broad questions. To Kalish, the patients who are diagnosed with the syndrome after they develop cancer, like the little girl whose adrenal tumor set off alarm bells, have her wondering whether the incidence of Beckwith-Wiedemann is higher than reported. And increasingly, scientists are finding links between cancer in the general population and aberrant imprinting.At the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain, epigeneticist David Monk is looking into an altogether different question inspired by the tiny Silver-Russell children: how imprinting might affect fetal growth in babies without the syndrome. He has collected 352 placenta samples from extremely small or premature newborns from hospitals around the city. Intriguingly, DNA in many of the placenta samples has the same imprinting abnormality seen in Silver-Russell, but a dampened down version of it—perhaps a smaller stretch of the gene is affected, or gene expression is less abnormal. And just as intriguingly, the vast majority of these children are now perfectly healthy, suggesting that once the placenta and its abnormal imprints are removed, the baby can catch up on growth. Monk wonders how variations in imprinting regulate, or dysregulate, fetal growth. It’s probably not a coincidence that variations in imprinted genes are linked to obesity, height, and type 2 diabetes, he says.Temple is reaching even further back, to the first moments of development when imprinting occurs, and looking for clues as to what can make it go awry. She and her colleagues are studying whether the imprinting process is affected by genetic variations carried by a woman, specifically those that govern the protein content of her eggs. It’s a legacy from the mother that may leave a lasting mark—quite literally—on her offspring.”We’ve still got an awful lot to learn,” she says, “about what one generation gives to the next.” Karen Temple, University of Southampton Parental controls Certain genes have different chemical marks, or imprints, depending on whether they came from the mother or the father. Imprinting affects gene expression and probably reflects competition between the mother’s interests and the father’s when it comes to their offspring. We’ve still got an awful lot to learn about what one generation gives to the next. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Finn Miller, a toddler born with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, due to abnormal “imprinting” of genes, plays at home with his mother and older brother. By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelJan. 12, 2017 , 10:45 AM C. Bickel/Science Pediatric geneticist Jennifer Kalish (right) and her lab technician Whitney Frederic are probing why children with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome are more prone to certain cancers. The more scientists like Kalish probe the genomics of imprinting diseases, the more complicated the picture gets. In Beckwith-Wiedemann, it’s the cancer risk—which is highest before age 8—that terrifies families the most. We now know that different imprinting defects on chromosome 11 can lead to the syndrome. Last summer, Italian and Dutch groups separately published papers suggesting that children are at wildly different risks for cancer depending on which defect they carry—with the risk ranging from less than 3% to about 25%—and argued that for lower-risk children, screening might not make sense.But that question is far from settled. If screening drastically improves a child’s outcome, then it becomes easier to justify, Kalish argues. Furthermore, even low-risk kids have a higher chance of certain cancers than those without the syndrome. One on Kalish’s mind is 1.5-year-old Finn Miller, who was suspected of having Beckwith-Wiedemann while in utero and was born 6 weeks early weighing almost 4 kilograms. Genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis, but it also reassured his parents: Along with about half of Beckwith-Wiedemann patients, Finn was considered unlikely to get cancer. Then when he was 8 weeks old, doctors found a tumor on his liver. After surgery and chemotherapy he’s a healthy toddler, but his story highlights one of the central mysteries of this disorder, Kalish says: Why do patients develop cancer, how are specific imprinting defects driving it, and can it be prevented? To tackle these questions, she recently opened an international registry to track Beckwith-Wiedemann patients and gather tissue samples. She has several hundred participants so far spanning 16 countries.Silver-Russell, too, is a focus of study. For years Harbison, who works at Mount Sinai, has prescribed patients a mix of growth hormones and, off-label, a type of breast cancer drug called an aromatase inhibitor that she believes gives a stunted child several more years of growth. The aromatase inhibitor is now being tested in a clinical trial in France, led by Netchine, who has become a close collaborator and friend of Harbison’s. When imprinting goes awry—and researchers don’t understand yet why that happens—the outcome can be health problems in the baby. One leap forward came in 1991, when the first imprinted genes were reported in mice, says Marisa Bartolomei, one of the co-discoverers, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the time and is now at the University of Pennsylvania. Back then, she says, hunting for imprinted genes “was renegade science.”As imprinted rodent genes were uncovered, geneticists wondered whether imprinting could explain the puzzle of two apparently unrelated diseases in people, Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. Each affects at most one in every 15,000 babies, and children with the syndromes are nothing alike: Those with Prader-Willi are short, have delayed puberty, and eat excessively, whereas those with Angelman have severe developmental delays, and often have epilepsy and a small head size.Yet in both syndromes, the genetic flaw—a bit of missing DNA on chromosome 15—looked the same. As geneticists studied these children, they learned something remarkable. “When you had the deletion on the father’s chromosome, you had Prader-Willi, and when on the mother’s, you had Angelman,” says Karen Temple, a medical geneticist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Maybe the deleted region contained imprinted genes, and thus had different effects depending on how the genes were expressed. But genomic tools were rudimentary at the time, and scientists couldn’t confirm the idea.In 1993, three researchers spanning the globe—Anthony Reeve at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, Rolf Ohlsson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and Andrew Feinberg at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland—independently discovered the first imprinted gene in humans. Feinberg was treating a baby boy who had Beckwith-Wiedemann and developed Wilms tumor, a childhood kidney cancer that’s commonly associated with it. Most patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann have no family history of the syndrome, but this child had an aunt and grandmother with features of it, suggesting he might be one of the rare inherited cases. Patterns of inheritance often provide clues for geneticists trying to home in on a gene. If they could find an affected gene in the boy’s family, it might lead researchers to the causes of more common, sporadic cases of Beckwith-Wiedemann, too.Feinberg focused on a region on chromosome 11, because a handful of affected patients had abnormalities there, such as DNA that was repeated or deleted. One gene in that DNA stretch especially piqued his interest: IGF-2, which controls growth and was imprinted in mice. Was it also imprinted in people?Ultimately, Feinberg found that the answer was yes. A healthy person has two copies of the IGF-2 gene, one from each parent; the copy from the father is naturally expressed and the one from the mother is silenced. But in Beckwith-Wiedemann, children may receive two copies that look like their father’s chromosome 11—with IGF-2 and extra “grow” signals along for the ride. Alternately, disrupted imprinting can cause a blunting of “don’t grow” signals. Regardless of the mechanism, the outcome is overgrowth in the baby.A decade later, a pediatric endocrinologist in Paris, Irène Netchine at Pierre and Marie Curie University, working with her mentor, Yves Le Bouc, unraveled the mystery of Silver-Russell. Le Bouc was the Parisian doctor probing Beckwith-Wiedemann in those early days as Harbison’s career was just getting started. While studying Beckwith-Wiedemann, Le Bouc and Netchine wondered what would happen if the gene expression patterns were flipped. If Beckwith-Wiedemann could arise when both copies of IGF-2 were expressed, what would happen if imprinting went wrong in the opposite direction, and both copies were inactivated? With their colleagues, they published the answer in Nature Genetics in 2005: It was Silver-Russell syndrome.The disorders were already known to be “clinical mirrors” of each other, with one causing overgrowth and the other undergrowth, Netchine says. Now, they knew that the molecular mechanism was a “mirror” as well.Advances in genomic technologyAs genomic technology has advanced, so has our understanding of imprinting disorders. In the early 1990s, researchers were often only able to find glaring chromosome deletions and were stuck trying to infer how the deletions affected the workings of cells. Now, they can easily and cheaply measure gene imprinting through the chemical changes responsible for it. That’s because when a methyl molecule is anchored to DNA, that DNA has altered properties, including a different molecular weight and a different sensitivity to certain enzymes.Scientists are also exploring the consequences of an unusual feature of imprinting disorders like Beckwith-Wiedemann: Only some of the body’s cells are abnormal, a phenomenon known as mosaicism. That’s because the imprinting error usually happens after conception, when the blastocyst has already begun dividing. It’s only in the last few years that genomic technology has been able to pluck 1% or 2% of abnormally imprinted cells out of a patient’s sample—a level sufficient for symptoms to take hold.This was on vivid display for Jennifer Kalish, a pediatric geneticist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, in the patient who got her hooked on Beckwith-Wiedemann 6 years ago as a medical resident: a toddler whose left side was a shade bigger than her right.Despite this clue, the little girl had almost none of the classic Beckwith-Wiedemann features, like an oversized tongue that requires surgery to reduce it, low blood sugar, or an enlarged liver and kidneys. Except for the subtle body size discrepancy, she looked perfectly healthy. Kalish ran a blood test: That was normal, too, with chromosome 11—the site of the abnormality in Beckwith-Wiedemann—registering as it should.Then Kalish’s young patient developed a rare adrenal gland tumor associated with the syndrome. After the tumor was surgically removed, Kalish asked her hospital’s genomics lab to run a sophisticated test on chromosome 11 to see whether there was one copy of the chromosome that looked like it came from mom and one that looked like dad’s, or two copies that were methylated like the father’s. Seventy percent of the tumor cells carried that signature. A skin biopsy on the girl’s larger leg found 5% of cells in that sample had the same abnormality, even though her blood sample was clean. The child, now a healthy 8-year-old, had the imprinting disease and had nearly slipped through the cracks. “Just by looking at a child outside,” says Kalish, “you can’t tell what’s going on” under the skin.last_img read more

This is the most detailed view ever of a developing mouse

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 K. MCDOLE ET AL., CELL 10.1016 (2018) This is the most detailed view ever of a developing mouse Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Gretchen VogelOct. 11, 2018 , 11:00 AM These color-coded mouse embryos represent a breakthrough for understanding early mammalian development. A powerful new computer-assisted microscope has for the first time let researchers observe how a mouse embryo develops primitive organs, following the fate of individual cells along the way.The microscope, described today in Cell, shines a sheet of laser light through the embryo, allowing researchers to see the cells deep inside. Earlier versions of the microscope were able to analyze zebrafish and fruit fly embryos, but mouse embryos are much more difficult. They are not only harder to keep alive in the lab, they are also much larger—making it much more difficult to see all the way through them. The microscope uses new machine learning techniques—a form of artificial intelligence in which computers learn from data—to track the embryo and keep it in focus as it drifts in its culture medium and grows by an order of magnitude from day 6 to day 8 of development. It also uses advanced algorithms to sort through millions of images to track cells as they move and divide.The researchers combined their analysis of several embryos to create a “digital mouse embryo,” which they have made publicly available along with the software and directions for building the microscope. In the image above, blue cells will become part of the heart and green cells will become the neural tube, which later forms the brain and spinal cord. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The new view will help scientists better understand the genes and other factors that shape organs during development. That, in turn, could help them improve their attempts to coax stem cells in the lab to do the same thing.last_img read more

The superblack patches on these spiders make their other colors glow

first_imgJurgen Otto The ‘superblack’ patches on these spiders make their other colors glow By Helen SantoroMay. 14, 2019 , 7:01 PMcenter_img Male peacock spiders attract mates through elaborate dances that show off their brilliant colors. It’s hard to miss the dazzling blues, reds, and oranges on their abdomens. But how are the colors so vibrant?The key appears to be “superblack” patches on the arachnid’s abdomen. Scientists examined these patches on two types of peacock spiders (Maratus speciosus and M. karrie, pictured) using an electron microscope and hyperspectral imaging, which can capture an image’s colors in extreme detail. They found that the patches are made up of an array of small, tightly packed bumps called microlenses. These microlenses reflect less than 0.5% of light, thus eliminating any highlights in the black and making the other nearby colors appear far brighter—even glowing, researchers report today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.This surface of microlenses is remarkably similar to that of humanmade solar panels, scientists note. These superblack patches are also seen in birds-of-paradise and are key in their mating dance, suggesting they may be common in nature.last_img read more

Rogue ozonedestroying emissions traced to northeastern China

first_img An international team of researchers has traced the rogue use of a banned, ozone-degrading chemical to a region centered on two provinces in northeastern China. Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), once a common refrigerant also used to produce building insulation, was to be phased out by 2010 under the 1987 Montreal Protocol because of its contribution to a then–rapidly growing hole in Earth’s ozone layer.As use declined ahead of the ban, atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 started to drop. Scientists projected a gradual decrease, because CFC-11 would continue to leak from old refrigerators and escape from foam insulation long after production and use stopped. But in 2012, levels started to increase in the Northern Hemisphere, with evidence pointing to sources in China. Now, Matthew Rigby of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and colleagues have used atmospheric observations and modeling to narrow down both the source and the magnitude of emissions, showing they are coming from Shandong and Hebei provinces and represent new production and use of CFC-11. In addition, amounts have increased since the chemical was banned, the team reports today in Nature. Rogue ozone-destroying emissions traced to northeastern China TOMS science team & and the Scientific Visualization Studio/NASA/GSFC By Dennis NormileMay. 22, 2019 , 1:15 PM The paper is “very definitive,” providing “firm evidence” that there is a continuing problem with emissions from China, says Ian Rae, a chemist at the University of Melbourne in Australia who was not involved in the study.The authors say further investigation is needed to confirm which processes are responsible for the increasing CFC-11 emissions. But, “if consistent with historical usage, it would be expected that emissions have primarily occurred during, or following, [insulation] foam blowing.” That conclusion is in line with previous on-the-ground investigations by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London- and Washington, D.C.–based environmental group, which singled out the CFC-11 used to create rigid polyurethane insulation in homes and commercial buildings.“The Chinese have been doing the best they can” to identify and shut down the rogue operations, Rae says. “But regulators have real trouble keeping tabs on what is going on” throughout the country.Over the past year, China has been bolstering efforts to crack down on the illegal releases, according to plans filed with the United Nations Environment Programme, which monitors compliance with the Montreal Protocol. “We hope that the information that this new study provided helps the Chinese government take steps to address the issue,” says Sunyoung Park, a study co-author who is a geochemist at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Banned trichlorofluoromethane contributed to the rapid growth of Earth’s ozone hole. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Controversial US bill would lift Supreme Court ban on patenting human genes

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 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The bill aims to address a complaint that has been brewing for years in the biotechnology and software industries: that recent Supreme Court decisions have created confusing and overly stringent patent eligibility rules. In particular, critics point to three recent rulings: Controversial U.S. bill would lift Supreme Court ban on patenting human genes By Kelly ServickJun. 4, 2019 , 10:50 AM A congressional proposal that would overturn a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that barred the patenting of human genes and ease other restrictions on patenting software and biomedical inventions is drawing fierce criticism from some scientific societies and patient advocates. Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Washington, D.C., along with more than 100 other signatories from research institutes and advocacy groups, released a letter to lawmakers arguing the changes would stifle medical research and hinder patients’ access to diagnostic tests.The draft bill “would result in a quagmire of patent claims and legal impediments to the normal scientific exchange,” said Harold Varmus, a cancer biologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and former director of the National Cancer Institute, in a press conference yesterday. “It’s in the interest of virtually everyone to keep ideas and basic discoveries about the laws and products of nature in the public domain.”The ACLU letter comes as the Senate Committee on the Judiciary kicks off the first in a series of three hearings that will examine potential changes to U.S. patent law. Today’s hearing is expected to include discussion of the draft proposal, released last month by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, which would overturn current restrictions on patenting products and processes that occur in nature, including human genes. The 2012 decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories invalidated a patent on adjusting drug dosage based on levels of metabolites in a patient’s blood because it relied on a “law of nature.” The landmark 2013 ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) v. Myriad Genetics Inc. said that human genes can’t be patented because they are a “product of nature.” In 2014, software patents took a blow from the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International decision, which found a financial trading program to be an unpatentable “abstract idea.”center_img The new bill “makes it clear in no uncertain terms that all the Supreme Court [decisions] are just gone,” says Arti Rai, a patent law expert at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It says decisions about patent eligibility should not rely on “judicially created exceptions … including ‘abstract ideas,’ ‘laws of nature,’ or ‘natural phenomena.’”The bill’s sponsors in the Senate, Thom Tillis (R–NC) and Chris Coons (D–DE), have described it as a way to restore incentives for U.S. innovation by making the process for protecting new inventions more predictable. (Competition with China, where no comparable restrictions exist in the patent system, may have motivated the lawmakers, Rai says.)But opponents say the bill would enable monopolies on discoveries that should be widely available for research and medical use. In the 2013 Myriad case, the diagnostic company Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City claimed that its broad patents on two human genes gave it exclusive rights to clinical tests for cancer-associated mutations in those genes. In striking down the patents, the Supreme Court allowed other diagnostic companies to offer such tests without fear of infringement lawsuits. Signatories on the new letter—including plaintiffs who challenged the Myriad patents, and ACLU, which represented them—argue that if the proposed law is enacted, “We will again see high prices for tests with no competition in the market.”But Rai notes that the scientific and business landscapes have changed since Myriad. “I don’t think anyone is really trying to get single gene patents anymore,” she says. Patents that have already been struck down can’t be resurrected, she notes, and thanks to extensive research on the human genome, many claims to individual genes would no longer be considered “novel,” as U.S. patent law requires. “If the information is already out there—and most of the information about the human genome at a single-gene level is already out there—you can’t patent it because it’s no longer new.”Still, the proposed bill would also apply to patenting complex methods of estimating a person’s risk for disease based on a combination of many genes—so-called polygenic risk scores. Some of these approaches have already won patent protection, Rai says, though it’s not clear whether, under the current rules, the existing patents would hold up to a challenge in court.Even if the draft language gets enacted, the current law’s requirement of novelty—and other requirements untouched by the proposed changes—would ensure that “people won’t be able to go totally crazy” in trying to patent discoveries based on nature, predicts Dan Burk, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. But adoption of the change could cause a surge of patent applications for software, and potentially also for biotechnology and medical diagnostics, he says. And even if most human genome sequences remain off limits, previously unexplored genes from many other species—some potentially useful to medicine—would newly become eligible for a patent.Burk, for one, doubts the exact language in the draft will be enacted, but he does expect changes to the law. “I am pretty confident,” he says, “that if we have a conversation in 6 months to a year, the patent statute will look different than it does today.”*Update, 5 June, 11:30 a.m.: In the first of three patent reform hearings, Senators Coons and Tillis said they didn’t intend to upend all restrictions on patenting human genes or other basic research discoveries. “Our proposal would not change the law to allow a company to patent a gene as it exists in the human body,” Coons said in his opening statement. “We do not intend to overrule that holding of the 2013 Myriad decision.”But the witnesses at the hearing had different interpretations of the bill’s text. The intent to preserve Myriad is “inconsistent with the legislative text that’s been put forward,” said patent policy researcher Charles Duan of the R Street Institute in Washington, D.C., in his testimony. The proposed language could make it possible to patent many kinds of “pure scientific research,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the intent, but … that’s what the language does.”“I think your proposal does overturn the Myriad decision, and I hope it does,” Sherry Knowles, an attorney at Knowles Intellectual Property Strategies in Atlanta, told the Senators. The cancer drug adriamycin, which she credited with her own remission from breast cancer, is a compound first discovered in soil microbes, she noted, and it “would never have been developed … without the patent framework we had before Myriad.” Since that decision, she said, “There’s been a dead stop in research in the United States on isolated natural products.”Tillis told Science that another section of the draft bill—which contains new stipulations about what makes an invention sufficiently “useful” to be patent-eligible—should ensure that naturally occurring genes and pure laws of nature remain off limits. Reviving human gene patents “was never the intent” of the bill, he said. “If we get sufficient input from legal scholars and others that we may not be clear on that, then we’ll draft language that makes it very clear.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images A 2013 case on human gene patenting drew demonstrators to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Emaillast_img read more

Stigma falls away as cannabis use for health concerns increase

first_imgJune 18, 2018 Stigma falls away as cannabis use for health concerns increase Photo Courtesy of KompoThe Kompo family of staff emphasizes the importance of compassionate care for each individual patient’s medical condition.center_img By Diana Hutchison In a small building on a dirt road in Taylor, Kompo Medical Marijuana Dispensary is providing treatment options for local patients. No longer are dispensaries the secretive backroom places they may haveSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Highprofile ocean warming paper to get a correction

first_img Originally published by E&E NewsScientists behind a major study on ocean warming this month are acknowledging errors in their calculations and say conclusions are not as certain as first reported.The research, published in the journal Nature, said oceans are warming much faster than previously estimated and are taking up more energy than projected by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [Climatewire, Nov. 1]. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Daniel Ramirez/Flickr Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country After a blog post flagged some discrepancies in the study, the authors, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, and Princeton University in New Jersey, said they would submit a correction to the journal.The overall conclusion that oceans are trapping more and more heat mirrors other studies and is not inaccurate, but the margin of error in the study is larger than originally thought, said Ralph Keeling, a professor of geosciences at Scripps and co-author of the paper.”These problems do not invalidate the methodology or the new insights into ocean biogeochemistry on which it is based, but they do influence the mean rate of warming we infer, and more importantly, the uncertainties of that calculation,” said Keeling in a statement on RealClimate.org.He added that he accepts “responsibility for these oversights, because it was my role to ensure that details of the measurements were correctly understood and taken up by coauthors.”Scripps corrected a news release on its website, with a statement from Keeling.”Obviously this is difficult but I am glad we are setting it right,” said Laure Resplandy, an associate professor of geosciences at Princeton who was the disputed paper’s lead author, in an email.A spokesperson for Nature said “issues relating to this paper have been brought to Nature’s attention and we are looking into them carefully. We take all concerns related to papers we have published very seriously and will issue an update once further information is available.””Science is complex”The errors were pointed out by British researcher Nic Lewis on the blog of Judith Curry, a former professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who has questioned the accuracy of some climate models.”Just a few hours of analysis and calculations, based only on published information, was sufficient to uncover apparently serious (but surely inadvertent) errors in the underlying calculations,” Lewis wrote.The study suggested greenhouse gas emissions may need to be cut much faster than anticipated to meet climate targets, because of more aggressive ocean warming calculated in a new model. The team examined changes in atmospheric ocean and carbon dioxide levels to assess how the ocean’s heat content has changed over time.Keeling said the team incorrectly assessed oxygen measurements. Ocean warming likely is still greater than IPCC estimates, but the range of probability is more in line with previous studies.”The more important message is that our study lacks the accuracy to narrow the range of previous estimates of ocean uptake,” Keeling said in an email. He thanked Lewis for pointing out the anomaly.Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said it’s not unheard of for there to be occasional errors in peer-reviewed studies.”The fact is that science is complex, and when you have a lot of different steps from people in different sub-fields, it is understandable that some things slip through the cracks,” Schmidt said. “While it’s initially embarrassing, post-publication review is helpful and ultimately constructive.”In the past, scientific debates about climate science have prompted skeptics to attack mainstream climate science generally. Some climate scientists said they are concerned that could happen again in this case and the outcome wildly misinterpreted.When asked about the response of skeptics, climate scientist Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in State College said, “We can’t worry about that.””We have to just call it as we see it, do good science, put it out there, defend it and, when necessary, correct it. That’s the legitimate scientific process, and it stands in stark contrast to the tactics employed by the forces of pseudoscience and antiscience,” Mann said.This morning the website Climate Depot, which frequently targets mainstream climate science, sent out an email with the headline, “Skeptic review dismantles study.”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 High-profile ocean warming paper to get a correction The ocean stores much of the warming caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases. By Christa Marshall, E&E NewsNov. 14, 2018 , 2:55 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Read more…last_img read more

Centre Assam move SC seek NRC deadline extension sample reverification

first_imgWritten by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2019 3:53:27 am Among those still missing in NRC, son of freedom fighter and Assam agitation participant Advertising Mentioning the pleas before a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought an urgent hearing. The bench said it will examine the request.The applications requested the court to “pass an order directing 20% sample reverification of names included in the final draft NRC in districts of State of Assam bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample reverification of names included in the final draft NRC in the remaining districts of Assam”.They also wanted the court to pass orders “directing such reverification to be conducted by Class I officers of the state government from other districts who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry/investigation” and “directing the venue of sample reverification be undertaken at the place different from the place where the NRC exercise had taken place”. NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Related News Explained: The Hague rules on Kulbhushan Jadhav today Assam NRC draft exclusion list: How to check if you are on it Advertisingcenter_img The Centre and state urged the court “to suitably modify the timeline fixed for publication of the final from 31st July 2019 to a future date”.The applications pointed out that Assam had filed an affidavit on August 27, 2018 suggesting reverification as a means to address concerns about exclusion of genuine citizens and inclusion of illegal immigrants.Following this, the court, in its order dated August 28, 2018, had said “we are of the view that the court should consider the necessity of carrying out the sample reverification of at least 10% of the names included in the final draft NRC”, the parties pointed out.After this order, Assam filed another application on October 29, 2018 “seeking reverification of samples to be done and completed before proceeding further with claims and objections and also prayed for constitution of a High Level Committee for identification of criteria and prepare guidelines for reverification exercise to be carried out by the State Coordinator and monitor the same closely”, it said, adding “however no order has been passed by this honourable court for reverification”. Best Of Express , assam citizenship row, NRC deadline extension, NRC deadline assam citizenship issue, nrc in assam, assam nrc, assam nrc row, nrc row in assam, assam police, india news, northeast news, Indian ExpressThe Centre and the Assam government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court, seeking 20 per cent sample reverification of names included in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the districts bordering Bangladesh, and extension of the July 31 deadline set by the court for publishing the final NRC. Tejasvi Surya appeals to govt to extend NRC to Karnataka The applications said that hearing on claims and objections had started February 15 and two types of hearing were on — family tree-based hearing and family-based hearing.Stressing the need for reverification, the Centre’s application cited likely law and order problems. It said “the list prepared after this exercise will be final and will have critical impact on the people whose names may not be included in the same. It is therefore pertinent that the exercise of sample verification must necessarily follow before the publication of the final list”.The Centre said “while every step is being taken to ensure that the process of preparation for final NRC is correct and fair”, a reverification would be in order “considering the unprecedented large scale of complexities involved and the issues coming forward by way of various applications and news reports”.Its plea said that the sample reverification being sought was both for inclusions and exclusions. It pointed out that while 2,89,83,677 people were included in the final draft, the number of objections received was only 2 lakh. Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Virus Attack on Chipmaker Could Delay Next iPhone

first_imgManufacturing concerns in today’s world are global, so cybersecurity concerns affect companies worldwide, explained Dirk Morris, chief product officer at Untangle, a network security provider for small and mid-sized businesses based in San Jose, California.”This incident highlights the fact that any business that relies on software, especially Internet-connected software, could be vulnerable to cybersecurity threats,” he told TechNewsWorld.Semiconductor manufacturing has been becoming centralized. For example, TSMC builds products for multiple Tier 1 vendors, including Apple, AMD, Nvidia and Qualcomm. That concentration of manufacturing can multiply the impact of incidents like this weekend’s virus attack.”It’s becoming increasingly likely that a single event could ripple through multiple supply chains,” King said.”It’s notable that TSMC stated that it had prepared for this eventuality, and the company appears to have things well in hand,” he added, “but that doesn’t mean that future events or actions against other suppliers won’t be more disruptive.”The TMSC situation reinforces what old supply chain hands already know.”Just like any industry in high tech, you need to diversify your supply chain to ensure you can continue to deliver products to your customers in the event one of your suppliers is impacted by a major service disruption,” Thycotic’s Carson advised. American manufacturers know there are risks to making products overseas. So far, the benefits have outweighed those risks, and a few supply chain hiccups aren’t likely to induce device makers to do something drastic, such as bring manufacturing back to America.”If we look at breaches over the last few years, suppliers in the U.S. are not more or less likely to be hacked than those overseas,” Anupam Sahai, vice president of product management at Cavirin, told TechNewsWorld. Cavirin is a cybersecurity risk and compliance company based in Santa Clara, California.”Moving to the U.S. does not necessarily mean better security, but it would clearly mean the cost of mobile phones would be significantly higher,” maintained Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at Thycotic, a Washington, D.C.-based provider of privileged account management solutions.”Then the question would be, would you pay (US)$2000 for your next iPhone if it was more secure?” he asked.”At the end of the day,” Carson told TechNewsWorld, “most consumers buy ease of use and value versus security, and the industry is focused on what the consumers wants versus what they need.” A computer virus over the weekend disrupted the operations of the Asian manufacturer that makes chips for the iPhone and other devices offered by top shelf high-tech companies.The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. on Sunday said that a virus outbreak Friday evening affected a number of computer systems and fab tools at its facilities in Taiwan.The incident likely will cause shipment delays and create additional costs, the company said, as well as a 3 percent reduction in revenue and a 1 percent decline in gross margins in the third quarter.However, TSMC remained optimistic that it could catch up with lost production in the fourth quarter, and still meet its forecast of high single-digit revenue growth for the year.The degree of infection varied by fab, but 80 percent of the company’s tools affected by the bad software were recovered by Sunday and full recovery was expected by Monday, TMSC explained.The outbreak occurred due to a “misoperation” when a new software tool was being installed. When the tool was connected to the company’s network, the virus began to spread. However, data integrity and confidential information were not compromised by the malware, according to the company. Move Manufacturing Home? Consumer Worry iPhone Delays Possible There no guarantee that products built in the U.S. would be more secure than those built overseas, but there’s no getting away from using parts produced overseas, in any case.Apple may want to manufacture in the U.S., but it still would have to deal with parts from China, noted Jack E. Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, an IT advisory company in Northborough, Massachusetts.”Any additional security would be mitigated by the worldwide supply chain considerations necessary to build modern products,” he told TechNewsWorld.Some companies are producing high-end products in the U.S., Pund-IT’s King pointed out, but that’s because of concerns over theft of intellectual property, not industrial sabotage or malware.”Unless problems like those experienced by TSMC become more common,” he said, “I expect microprocessor and other vendors will continue to engage with offshore manufacturers like TSMC.” center_img What about worries that the TMSC virus could jump from the supply chain into Apple’s products?”Consumers should not be concerned about the security of Apple products any more than usual,” Carson said.”As an organization, Apple is usually very strict on supply chain requirements, and this issue is about supply shipments availability, rather than integrity of parts,” he said.”Consumers should be more concerned about what Internet services they use and register for after they purchase mobile devices,” Carson added.Only the machines making the chips, not the chips themselves, were affected, Tirias’ Krewell explained.”There’s no way to hack an Apple chip design through changing the manufacturing machinery,” he asserted.It appears that no data or confidential information were compromised by the virus, noted Untangle’s Morris.”At this time, there is no reason to believe that any components TSMC manufactures will be affected,” he said. “The only downstream impact to consumers at this time is related to manufacturing delays due to the downtime caused by the incident.” Trapped in Global Economy TSMC makes the A11 processor Apple used in the iPhone X, and it has been making the company’s A12 chip for its next generation of iPhones, which are expected to roll out next month. It remains to be seen if this bump in TSMC’s production schedule will affect the availability of the new iPhones.It’s hard to say if iPhone availability will be delayed, because TSMC hasn’t revealed which production lines the virus infected, said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, a research, analysis and advisory services firm based in Mesa, Arizona.”My belief is that this was a transient issue and will not affect long-term production volumes,” he told TechNewsWorld.It is too soon to predict how the incident may affect Apple’s new products, said Charles King, a Hayward, California-based principal analyst with Pund-IT, an advisory and consulting firm.”While production of iPhone chips may have been impacted, whether those effects were enough to delay delivery of upcoming products is purely speculative,” he told TechNewsWorld.Apple did not respond to our request to comment for this story. Ripple Effect John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

Study reports increased risk of death in children with inflammatory bowel disease

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 19 2018Children who develop inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) have an increased risk of death, both in childhood and later in life, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Gastroenterology reports. It is therefore important that patients who are diagnosed as children are carefully monitored, argue the researchers behind the study.The researchers identified patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease between the years 1964 and 2014 via the Swedish patient register. Using these data, they compared mortality rates in about 9,400 children who developed IBD with those of other children.Related StoriesResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaTheir results show that children who developed IBD before the age of 18 have a three to five-fold higher mortality rate than people without IBD, both during childhood and into adulthood. This translates to a 2.2-year reduction in life expectancy in individuals monitored up to the age of 65.”It should be remembered that we’re talking small differences in number of deaths,” explains lead author Ola Olén, consultant and researcher at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medicine in Solna. “Most young people with IBD do not die earlier than their peers, but a few individuals with a severe case of IBD and serious complications such as cancer greatly elevate the relative risk.”The most common cause of death was cancer, while fatalities due to IBD itself accounted for the largest relative increase in mortality.”Individuals who are diagnosed in childhood need to be monitored carefully,” says Dr Olén. “Those who might especially benefit from being closely monitored to avoid fatal intestinal cancer are children with ulcerative colitis, who also have the chronic liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis.”IBD in adults has previously been linked to shortened life expectancy. IBD is often thought to have a more aggressive disease course in children than in adults and has been associated with several types of cancer. However, it has been unclear how life expectancy is affected by childhood-onset IBD and if the mortality rate has changed since the introduction of modern drugs.”IBD therapy has improved greatly since the 1960s,” says Dr Olén. “For one thing, we often now use new types of immunomodulating drugs. However, we couldn’t see that mortality rates have gone down since their introduction.” Source:https://ki.se/en/news/increased-mortality-in-children-with-inflammatory-bowel-diseaselast_img read more

Swedish adolescents with and without impairments speak up about taking part in

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 29 2018Research has shown that participating in home, school and community activities has a positive influence on a person’s health and wellbeing. For an adolescent with an impairment or disability, how much does this affect their participation? In a new study, Frida Lygnegård from the CHILD research environment at the School of Health and Welfare at Jönköping University decided to let Swedish adolescents answer this for themselves. Giving adolescents a voice to express their opinions on matters that relate to their participation in everyday activities is a driving force in Frida Lygnegård’s thesis.”Many studies start with an assumption on how participants with certain disabilities will think. My opinion is that we should be asking the adolescents how they feel about the things they do in everyday life,” she argues.Frida Lygnegård carried out her research into how Swedish adolescents participate in and outside school in conjunction with the unique LoRDIA research program, following approximately 1500 school students in four municipalities in south and southwest Sweden. This included students with no diagnosed impairments as well as those with diagnosed impairments who were following the curriculum for pupils with intellectual disabilities.In a carefully crafted questionnaire, the students were asked to self-rate (to give answers unprompted by parents, teachers or carers) their participation at home, at school and with peers.”Our questions to the students had two dimensions: firstly, we asked them how often they did certain things; secondly, we asked them how important taking part in this was for them,” explains Frida Lygnegård.Data was collected at two time points – when the students were 12-13 years old and later when they were 15-16 years old – to see how participation changed over time.The results showed that perceptions of participation are relatively stable over time but that the reasons for participating changed.Related StoriesNew study could help optimize SSRI dosing and minimize adverse effects in teensStudy: Underweight boys and overweight girls have increased risk of depressionDiscrimination associated with compromised sleep quality in adolescents”I saw that the type of impairment a person perceives to have is not a predictor for how they feel about participation in activities. We can’t assume that because an adolescent has, for example, autism, it will make them feel in a certain way about doing something with their friends or helping out with domestic activities at home.”Frida Lygnegård saw that it was a combined effect of many other factors, such as support from siblings and what the atmosphere is like in the family, that mattered for how adolescents rated their experiences. She argues that we should be focusing on the biopsychosocial impact (a combination of the impairment, how the individual feels and the effect of their social environment) when it comes to explaining their participation in activities.”We shouldn’t underestimate a diagnosis, but neither should we be overly focused on it,” she explains. “My thesis shows that the effect of the impairment itself is more evident at school, so interventions to increase participation should be focused there.”Many adolescents have sub-threshold symptoms that occur although no official diagnosis is evident, and yet these adolescents still have difficulties with participation. How do we reach them? For Frida Lygnegård, the answer is simple:”Can we ask them if they think they have an impairment or if they experience any difficulties in their everyday activities? Yes! We need to ask adolescents how they feel, and we need to put more trust in them. They have the right to own knowledge about themselves.” Source:https://ju.se/en/about-us/press/news/news-archive/2018-10-29-taking-part-in-everyday-life—adolescents-with-and-without-impairments-speak-up.htmllast_img read more

Artificial intelligence technology improves prediction of Alzheimers disease

first_imgNov 7 2018Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco have developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology that improves the effectiveness of brain imaging for the prediction of Alzheimer’s disease. If we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease when all the symptoms have manifested, the brain volume loss is so significant that it’s too late to intervene. If we can detect it earlier, that’s an opportunity for investigators to potentially find better ways to slow down or even halt the disease process.” People are good at finding specific biomarkers of disease, but metabolic changes represent a more global and subtle process”Jae Ho Sohn, study author Source:https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/rson-aip103018.phpcenter_img Rost9 | ShutterstockEarly diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can make a big difference to disease progression, as treatments and interventions are more effective the earlier they are started in the disease course. However, early diagnosis can be difficult because recognizing changes in metabolism that are related to the disease process can be challenging. Related StoriesArtificial intelligence can be used to efficiently diagnose rare diseasesResearchers use artificial intelligence to predict molecular classification of colorectal cancerUsing artificial intelligence to personalize the dose of radiation therapy for cancer patientsAs reported in the journal Radiology, Sohn and colleagues have now applied to brain imaging a type of AI called deep learning, which learns by example to recognize the changes in brain metabolism that are predictive of Alzheimer’s.The team applied the deep learning algorithm to an imaging technology called 18-F-fluorodeoxyglucoes positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), a scan that measures uptake of the radioactive glucose compound FDG by brain cells when it is injected into the blood. These measurements provide an indicator of metabolic activity.The researchers used data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large-scale study focused on clinical trials to improve Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. They trained the algorithm on 90% of 2,100 FDG-PET brain images from 1,002 patients and then tested it on the remaining 10%. They found that the algorithm had learned to identify the metabolic patterns that corresponded with Alzheimer’s.The team then tested it on 40 imaging exams from 40 patients, which detected Alzheimer’s with 100% sensitivity an average of more than six years before the disease was diagnosed.”We were very pleased with the algorithm’s performance. It was able to predict every single case that advanced to Alzheimer’s disease,” says Sohn, who adds that the algorithm could serve as a useful tool to complement the work of radiologists and provide an opportunity for early intervention and treatment.last_img read more

Innovate UK awards major grant to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare Profiler

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 30 2019A partnership between the healthtech company Living With, the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH), and the University of Bath has been awarded a major grant to develop a Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare Profiler.The award, from Innovate UK, will allow rheumatoid arthritis patients to use new methods capturing key disease activity data from smartphones, which will support clinicians to be able to classify and optimize care pathways.Living With is developing the Flare Profiler in partnership with the RUH Trust’s Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), which is the internationally leading centre of excellence for rheumatic conditions, and University of Bath’s Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA), a leader in developing and evaluating new digital technologies such as the use of video, sound and motion for clinical application.”We’re thrilled to have won an Innovate UK grant,’ says Living With’s CEO Chris Robson. “This will transform the way patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be monitored intelligently between appointments and hopefully help the NHS reduce the cost of treating patients with RA. It also adds a transformational new capability to our existing Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis product.”Related StoriesFirst safe, reliable, noninvasive way to monitor rheumatoid arthritisResearchers develop NO-scavenging hydrogel for treatment of rheumatoid arthritisResearchers identify new molecular mechanism causing rheumatoid arthritisJane Carter, Research & Development Manager at the RNHRD, said: “The Trust has an established international reputation for research and expertise in rheumatology. We are always looking at ways to further improve the care and treatments we can offer patients. Using the latest technology and artificial intelligence is an exciting development. We are very excited to be part of this innovative project.”CAMERA was created to help further and transfer the knowledge developed within computer science, often targeting technology developed for the entertainment industries, to other sectors such as healthcare.CAMERA Director, Professor Darren Cosker, says “This is a great project. Being able to take some of the computer vision techniques we developed for hand tracking for animation and transferring it into a condition monitoring platform that can operate in a person’s home is a very positive use of technology and exactly the kind of work we should all be doing.”The Flare Profiler will test a unique range of patient data sources including video and thermal imaging technology. The project will then analyze patient data using cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technology to group patient disease activity patterns and identify the most effective treatment pathways for them.The aim of the Flare Profiler is to demonstrate how better monitoring can provide earlier detection of issues, allow earlier clinical intervention and over time reduce need for costly acute treatments. It also aims to reduce the stress and need for patients to travel to hospital during treatment for specialist tests.Source: https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/smartphone-technology-will-use-ai-to-help-arthritis-patients-manage-their-flare-ups/last_img read more