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  • Nows a good time to lock down your Facebook profile − View

    first_imgToday, we’re making it easier for people to manage their publicly visible information on Facebook with two updates: (1) we’re bringing back the “View As Public” feature and (2) we’re adding an “Edit Public Details” button directly to profiles. pic.twitter.com/zI5bVwodjp— Facebook (@facebook) May 14, 2019“We have completed our security review and are re-enabling the version of the ‘View As’ feature that lets people see what their profile looks like to people they aren’t friends with on Facebook. This version was unaffected by the security incident and was significantly more popular than ‘View as Specific Person’”, Facebook says.If you see something you don’t like, the new ‘Edit Public Details’ option will allow you to make a quick fix.Read more: How to delete your Facebook accountIt isn’t clear when View as Public will roll out to users, but it’s good to know it’s returning. It’s a really convenient tool that shows how many of your personal details you’ve been sharing with the world through your Facebook account − whether you realised it or not.Check out our breakdown of 18 Facebook privacy features you can use to ensure your profile is as locked down as you want it to be. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Facebook’s resurrection of an old privacy feature makes this as good a time as any to lock down your profile.The social media site has announced that it is bringing its ‘View as Public’ feature back, so you can (once again) easily see what your Facebook profile looks like to anyone you’re not Facebook friends with.Read more: Best free VPNThe feature was ditched in September 2018 after cybercriminals exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code.“This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app,” Facebook explained at the time.Nearly 50 million accounts were affected.The company’s investigation is now over, and it has decided to bring the feature back.center_img Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

  • Lotus Announces Future 1000 HP Electric Hypercar

    first_imgFamous British sports car manufacturer and Formula 1 team Lotus is set to break new ground by entering the hypercar market in the next few years under its Chinese owner Geely. As is the norm for hypercars, this will be a limited run car, but according to Autocar looks will scrap the internal combustion engine entirely in favor of an electric motor. It could become the most expensive, fastest and rarest Lotus production car of all time.More on Lotus…Lotus designer’s personal collection donated to museumJay Leno drives a modified 300bhp Lotus EspritClassic Lotuses in our classifiedsA concept car could be ready as soon as next year, and Autocar believes that the rumoured project is already under development in the UK at Lotus’s Hethel base. The electric power will make this the fastest accelerating Lotus ever, and will well eclipse any other Lotus on price, with an earmarked £2,000,000 ($2,549,490, €2,248,640) plus price tag, putting it firmly in line with the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, whose hypercars are future classics.We contacted Lotus on the subject of such a vehicle, of which it replied: “Lotus’s development team is exploring numerous engineering projects, across multiple vehicle sectors, using several propulsion systems. As part of the development process, these projects undergo continual and stringent evaluation and only the best will reach production. However, as is company policy, Lotus does not comment on future product programmes or speculation.”Geely has varying ownership percentages in different automotive brands, including Volvo and its Swedish performance partner Polestar, but only Lotus has the heritage and the high performance nous to bring the Chinese company into the higher echelons of the automotive market. It would mark a sea-change for Lotus Lotus as it has previously focus on lightweight track day-style specials and sports cars, and an integral part of its DNA since the middle of last century.According to Autocar, the all-electric drivetrain will potentially give the car over 1000bhp, eclipsing Lotus’s F1 cars on power, and quite likely speed too. Further technical details are scarce, especially on what type of battery technology the car may use, but it is fair to assume that Geely-owned all-electric brand Polestar will be involved and benefit from such research and development. All of the other classic supercar brands that have expanded into hypercars have chosen to combine electric power with conventional combustion, but Lotus will be following Formula E team NIO, which set a Nordschleife Nürburgring lap record with its all-electric hypercar. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Famed for its lightweight sports cars, Chinese-owned British brand Lotus is now planning a McLaren rivaling EV hypercarcenter_img Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

  • Electric Trucks Total Cost Of Ownership Tool For Fleets

    first_imgDoes going electric save truck fleets money?Global supplier of vehicle powertrains — Dana Incorporated — just launched a new cost of ownership tool for fleet owners to compare diesel trucks to all-electric trucks. The calculator takes user-provided details and translates them into a total-cost-of-ownership equation.Related Electric Truck Content: Source: Electric Vehicle News Travel Retail Norway Places Order For Tesla Semi What Does Daimler Trucks CEO Really Think About Tesla Semi? Mercedes Electric Trucks Show Up At Fastned Station Trucking info explains that total cost of ownership factors in fuel (gas or electricity), related infrastructure/equipment, and various other data to come up with a cost per mile, as well as a yearly cost of operation.Fleet owners and other interested parties must supply a small amount of information, via an interface that is easy to understand and navigate. Once the calculations are complete, the user can switch back and forth between the all-electric costs and diesel costs in order to compare details. The tool also offers a side-by-side comparison for ease of use.If an owner has specific details about their current vehicle(s), the calculator will allow them to enter those. This way, figures like starting cost, taxes, maintenance, etc. can be accounted for. However, in the event that the owner doesn’t have those specifics on hand, the tool will account for an average estimate.Being that the calculator is adaptable and allows much user input, it can prove helpful comparisons for many various situations. It also offers global measurement units and different currencies. In addition, Dana says its tool will be updated periodically. Eventually, it will be able to estimate other powertrain choices.Source: Truckinginfo, Dana Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

  • Watch This Tesla Model 3 Stop Itself To Avoid Horrific Crash Video

    first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Hat tip to @28delayslater for sharing this video with InsideEVs! Tesla Model S With Dashcam Captures Near Crash: Video Well, as the light changed and the Model 3 moved off, into view comes the light-runner. The Model 3 (it’s impossible to think the driver noticed the incoming car) reacted immediately by activating the automatic emergency braking system to bring the car to a quick halt.So, the Model 3 escaped unscathed, but a major crash still occurred when the offending car slammed into the side of the older white truck that didn’t stop on its own (no automatic emergency braking here). It’s safe to assume the driver of the white truck didn’t even see the car prior to it smashing the driver’s side of the truck.Check out this video below and prepare to be wowed by the tech that stopped the Model 3 just in time.Theses cars are from an other planet. Just as @elonmusk. Good job. @Tesla @elonmusk. *I don’t own the rights to this video. pic.twitter.com/GCTUzLqlcF— Daniel Hernandez (@DanielHjr7) February 12, 2019 Watch Autopilot Save This Tesla Model 3 From Highway Crash: Videocenter_img Bet you didn’t see that coming.Out of seemingly nowhere, a car flies into view ready to crush the Tesla Model 3, but Tesla’s automatic emergency braking steps in and saves the day.It appears as though the car that comes into view from the left of the screen ran a red light. Furthermore, the rate of speed is clearly quite high. This perhaps indicates that the car was trying to beat the light change.More Tesla News Porsche, Audi Forced To Change Plans After Tesla Model 3 Teardown Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 12, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

  • Tesla Model S P100D Vs Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Drag Race

    first_img Watch Transit Bus Run Red Light & T-Bone Tesla Model S: Video Yes, battery-electric power is instantaneous and simple. While you have to work to get every detail situated correctly if you want to win a closely-matched race in a gas-powered car, that’s not the case with EVs. Even if it’s not a Tesla and you have no intention to hit the drag strip or the track, essentially any EV is going to provide you more “on tap” power for daily driving than a comparable ICE car.We at InsideEVs believe that cars shouldn’t be able to go so fast that drivers can make bad choices by ignoring speed limits and running into trees. C’mon, this sort of display of power must be reserved for the track. But, we also realize and support the otherworldly “throttle” response that comes with EV ownership.Ok, getting off our soapbox here, we leave you with this video. Check it out and see how the Model S P100D fares. Then, shoot us a note in the comment section with your overall opinions.Video Description via Talking Torque on YouTube:DRAG RAGE: Tesla Model S P100d vs Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS► Bringing you a Talking Torque Exclusive as we take out the Tesla Model S P100D and see how it stacks up against the all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS! The Tesla takes off the line quite well, but the Porsche starts to catch up.. It was a close one! Enjoy! (FYI the Porsche’s performance statistics are seriously downplayed). Watch Tesla Model S P100D Take On BMW M5 F90 Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Tesla Model S P100D Accelerate With Drag Radials On The Street How does Tesla all-electric torque match up to legendary Porsche performance prowess?We’ve shared plenty (if not an exorbitant amount) of drag races featuring the Tesla Model S P100D. While some regular users continue to assert that they’re not fans, these videos are widely popular and work to promote the incredible, and easy-to-initiate torque of any all-electric powertrain. How do you “initiate” it? Well, just stomp on the accelerator pedal and hold on tight. Anything to help open eyes and promote EV adoption.More Tesla Model S P100D Racing Videos: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

  • Tesla Captures 45 Of Electric Car Sales In Europe In March

    first_imgThe biggest winner of the month was the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla brand, which in Western Europe noted over 18,000 sales:Model 3 – about 15,700Model S/Model X – about 2,400 (down 65% year-over-year)Tesla total – about 18,100With around 44.8% market share among BEVs, Tesla is a new undisputed market leader, although not as dominant as in the U.S., where 75% share was achieved in March (which is not even a record).#Tesla Model 3 was the main catalyst in W-Europe achieving more than 40,000 total pure electric car registrations during March, with M3 recording 15.7k of that totalHowever S/X suffered as a consequence suffering a fall of -65% during the same period https://t.co/JrJPrLdAAN pic.twitter.com/AVSnHJC29k— Matthias Schmidt (@auto_schmidt) April 18, 2019 1/40 new cars sold in Western Europe were electric in March.Sales of new passenger electric cars in Western Europe reached new record levels in March and in the first quarter, mostly thanks to a full month of volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3.According to industry analyst Matthias Schmidt (schmidtmatthias.de), the total number of registrations amounted to 40,400 in March at 2.5% market share, and 80,900 in Q1 at 2.1% market share.The increase of market share to 2.5% clearly indicates that BEV sales are accelerating. Depending on the supply of cars, we could expect that full-year sales could be 300,000-350,000 in 2019.Tesla sales Every 40th car sold in W-Europe in March was pure ElectricNew pure electric registrations:March: 40.4k new recordMix of total market: 2.5%Q1: 80.9k new recordMix of total market: 2.1%2019 Full Year F-cast remains 339ksource: https://t.co/JrJPrLdAAN pic.twitter.com/2lYm4d3Jyc— Matthias Schmidt (@auto_schmidt) April 17, 2019 Data Suggests Over 15,000 Tesla Model 3 Were Sold In Europe Last Month In March 2019, 75% Of Electric Car Sales In The U.S. Were Teslascenter_img Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla Production And Deliveries Graphed Through Q1 2019last_img read more

  • First look at Teslas new incar video game system with Cuphead and

    first_imgAt E3 today, Elon Musk has unveiled the first images of two games running on Tesla’s new in-car video game system: Cuphead and Beach Buggy Racing 2. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post First look at Tesla’s new in-car video game system with Cuphead and racing game appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

  • Man City make recordbreaking Kaka bid

    first_imgShare on WhatsApp This article is more than 10 years old First published on Tue 13 Jan 2009 19.30 EST After more frustration than success in this transfer window so far, with only Chelsea’s second-choice left-back Wayne Bridge added to Mark Hughes’ struggling side, the City delegation returned to Manchester last night without an answer from Milan but hopeful their offer will eventually prove irresistible to the Italians.The Milan owner and Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, however, later reiterated that the Brazil international is not for sale at any price. “I know nothing about a Manchester City offer for Kaka,” said Berlusconi, who was not directly involved in the talks. “I think he is not transferable and, given that is the case, he will stay in Milan.”An added complication for City will be tempting Kaka to swap the San Siro for a club currently placed 15th in the Premier League. City’s approach has not gone as far as offering personal terms to the Brazilian, though it is accepted he will become the highest-paid player in the world should he join, and Kaka stated recently that, while flattered by Abu Dhabi interest, it would be difficult for him to leave the San Siro where he is under contract until 2013.City are acutely aware of the obstacles that stand in the way of an astonishing coup but made it clear to Milan they would pay the world record transfer fee up front. They hope this will ultimately tempt the Italians to relent on their stance that Kaka cannot be sold as they seek to regain the lustre they have lost since winning the Champions League in 2007. Should Milan hold firm in this transfer window, City will attempt to sign Kaka again in the summer. The Brazilian was the major target Hughes presented to the City board before the transfer window opened. Tue 13 Jan 2009 19.30 EST Share on Twitter Share via Email Kaká Share on Facebook Manchester City Topics • Bid would far exceed £46m paid for Zidane in 2001• Berlusconi claims Brazilian is not available at any price Share on Messenger Read more The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Man City make record-breaking Kaka bid Share via Email Share on Twitter Manchester City have presented Milan with the ultimate test of their resolve to retain Kaka by tabling a record transfer offer to bring the former World Footballer of the Year to Eastlands.City’s long-held interest in the Brazilian superstar gained remarkable substance yesterday when a four-man delegation representing the richest club in the world travelled to Milan for talks with officials of the Italian team. It is understood the delegation, led by the executive chairman, Garry Cook, and including two representatives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi billionaire whose wealth presents no barrier to the signing of Kaka, informed Milan they are prepared to dwarf the £46m Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane in 2001 to bring the 26-year-old to City. Milan Transfer window Share on Pinterest This article is more than 10 years old Share on Facebook news Andy Hunter Share on LinkedIn Transfer window Reuse this content Manchester City’s owners have made Kaka their primary transfer target. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images Shares00last_img read more

  • DHS accelerates development of new methods to detect emerging biothreats

    first_imgJun 8 2018Biothreats -; harmful pathogens that are either naturally or deliberately released -; pose a risk to national security and public health, and identifying new detection methods is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Biothreats are hard to immediately identify, but with new technologies and data sources, such as the wealth of open data generated by “smarter” cities, emergency managers may be able to detect and respond to an emerging problem more quickly.DHS S&T knew it would need to go beyond its four walls to explore this opportunity space. In October, S&T collaborated with the Office of Health Affairs National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) to launch the Hidden Signals Challenge. The $300,000 prize competition called for the design of an early warning system to keep our communities safe by using existing data sources to uncover emerging biothreats.Moving from concepts to system designsThe Challenge attracted concepts from dozens of data science experts across the United States. A 17-person review panel of experts in data, health, and public safety scored the submissions before passing them on to the panel of judges with expertise in bioinformatics, biological defense, epidemiology, and emergency management.In February 2018, DHS announced the five finalist teams, whose concepts employ a variety of data sources, machine learning approaches, and analytical models. Each finalist was awarded $20,000 as seed funding to enter the second stage of the Challenge, an eight-week Virtual Accelerator, where they further developed their concepts into detailed system designs.The finalists each had different strengths and areas of expertise, so the Virtual Accelerator was designed to expose them to new perspectives that would shore up any knowledge gaps and inform their system designs. The program was split into four modules, each consisting of virtual guest speakers, reading lists, and guided field exercises on topics ranging from data science to design thinking and city operations.The series kicked off with a session led by Aaron Firoved, Director at NBIC, and Tom McGinn, Senior Health Advisor at NBIC who provided a briefing on NBIC and its goals, discussing relevant biothreat case studies and goals for future detection technology. After this deep dive into federal biodefense systems, the teams went deep on data science with a module that included a Q&A with Graham Dodge, CEO of Sickweather on social listening, semantic analysis, and modeling for real-time analytics.Deployment and testing was emphasized throughout the series. Kimberly Lucas, Director of Civic Research for the City of Boston said, “There is probably no such thing as too early for testing, but there is definitely such a thing as too late.” Chelsea Mauldin, Executive Director of the Public Policy Lab similarly endorsed testing early and often, reminding teams that “The sooner you get something in the hands of a user, the sooner you’ll figure out how broken it is.”Throughout the Accelerator, the finalists also received one-on-one mentorship from seven experts, who offered insight into areas such as user research, design thinking, and system implementation planning to inform the finalists’ next round of submissions.Related StoriesStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesDanbury Hospital launches ‘Healing Hugs’ for its most vulnerable patientsNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenThe teams noted how the experience provided new perspectives that informed critical design decisions. “These conversations strengthened our understanding of the complexity of how local and national organizations work together to detect and respond to emerging bio-threats. This understanding has helped us anticipate the needs of our various end users and consider how we can best scale our system to a national level,” said Dr. John Brownstein, Director of the Computational Epidemiology Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital from the Pandemic Pulse team.”Through the Hidden Signals Virtual Accelerator, we’ve come to realize we need our platform to be flexible enough to allow for zooming in and panning out at any given moment, as this will increase understanding and therefore trust among our end-users,” said Daniel B. Neill, Director of the Event and Pattern Detection Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University from the Pre Syndromic Surveillance team said. “The end-user buy-in is a critical step in development, as an under-utilized platform would have limited public health impact, particularly in times of emergencies.”The winner and runner-up Following the Virtual Accelerator, teams submitted their final white papers for evaluation by the judges. Last week, DHS announced the grand prize winner and runner-up who received prize money as rewards for their noteworthy progress towards deployable systems. Pandemic Pulse was named the winner of the $150,000 grand prize and Pre-syndromic Surveillance was named runner-up and received a $50,000 prize.Pandemic Pulse was created by the Computational Epidemiology Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. The team is widely known in public health circles for its work on infectious disease monitoring tools, leveraging Flu Near You and HealthMap. Their system provides an intuitive dashboard that overlays these two data sources with Twitter and Google Search data to detect biothreat signals. The tool then uses a tiered evaluation method to filter data based on pathogen category, information source, and transmission mode.The runner-up, Pre-syndromic Surveillance by Daniel B. Neill and Mallory Nobles, uses semantic analysis to integrate emergency department chief complaints with data from health clinics and social media to discover outbreaks that do not correspond with known illnesses. With a pilot already in market, the team has developed a working prototype with New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other city agencies.”By exploring these untapped data sources we aim to improve how city-level operators make important public safety decisions,” said William N. Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “The grand prize winner and runner-up have strong system designs that harness streams of information in a manner that could allow us to identify an emerging problem faster.”Looking aheadLast week’s announcement concludes the second stage of the Challenge. Building off of these successes, DHS S&T, local operators, and the participating teams will continue their quest toward deploying an early warning system to uncover emerging biothreats.Source: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/news/2018/06/07/snapshot-dhs-accelerates-data-solutions-uncover-biothreatslast_img read more

  • FDA awards grants to enhance development of medical devices for pediatric patients

    first_img Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium, Matthew Maltese, Ph.D. National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation 2.0, Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., M.B.A. Southwest National Pediatric Device Consortium, Chester Koh, M.D. University of California San Francisco-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium, Michael Harrison, M.D. West Coast Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics, Juan Espinoza, M.D. “We recognize the unique health needs of children, and we’re committed to advancing new policies to encourage the development of safe, effective medical devices designed specifically for pediatric patients,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We know that developing products specifically for pediatric patients can present unique challenges to device developers and there are still many unmet needs for children with serious, debilitating or rare diseases. This is why we continue to work to encourage device innovation for medical conditions that impact young populations. Our Pediatric Device Consortia Grant Program is one of a number of initiatives underway to foster the development and approval of safe and effective pediatric-specific medical devices. This year’s awards have been granted to consortia that each bring together teams with expertise that will benefit children and their families.”Specific areas of expertise provided by the consortia to medical device innovators include advising on issues related to: intellectual property, prototyping, engineering, laboratory and animal testing, grant-writing and clinical trial design to help foster and guide the advancement of medical devices specifically for children.Of the estimated $6 million granted this year, approximately $1 million will be used for the Real World Evidence (RWE) Demonstration Project, in which three of the consortia will conduct RWE projects in the pediatric space that develop, verify and operationalize methods of evidence generation, data use and scalability across device types, manufacturers and the health care system. The FDA intends to use the information gathered through this initiative to further efforts to incorporate RWE into the agency’s work.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationLegislation passed by Congress in 2007 established funding to be distributed as grants for nonprofit consortia to help stimulate projects to promote the development and availability of pediatric medical devices. This legislation was re-authorized as part of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 and again in the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 to run through fiscal year 2022.The PDC Grants Program was launched in 2009, and this is the fourth time the FDA has awarded grants. Each group’s grant runs for five consecutive years. Funding for fiscal year 2018 is approximately $1 million to $1.35 million per consortium. Support for the four additional years will be contingent upon annual appropriations, availability of funding and satisfactory awardee performance.The consortia have assisted or advised more than 1,000 medical device projects since the program began. There are now 19 pediatric medical devices available to patients as a result of this grants program, including a needle-free blood collection device that attaches to peripheral IV systems for use as a direct blood draw device; a surgical vessel sealing system for use in open and laparoscopic general surgical procedures to seal blood vessels and vascular bundles and a rapid infusion device that delivers fluids to a patient’s vascular system.”The consortia support a mix of projects at all stages of development and bring together individuals and institutions whose expertise and collaboration is essential to furthering our goal of bringing more pediatric medical devices to patients,” said Debra Lewis, O.D., acting director of the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development. “Each of the consortia will coordinate projects with the FDA, medical device companies and the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to facilitate research and any necessary applications for device approval or clearance.” Source:https://www.fda.govcenter_img Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 12 2018The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it has awarded five grants totaling up to $6 million per year over the next five years to Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) across the country that will provide advice and support services to innovators of children’s medical devices. The program aims to enhance the development, production and distribution of pediatric medical devices and has awarded $37 million to various consortia since 2009.The PDC grant recipients and their principal investigators for 2018 are the following:last_img read more

  • NIH and FDA call for eliminating involvement of RAC in human gene

    first_img Source:https://home.liebertpub.com/news/is-the-end-of-the-recombinant-dna-advisory-committee-rac-a-good-thing/2430 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 20 2018Recently, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for the eliminating involvement of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) in human gene therapy experiments, marking the end of an era of federal government oversight. While the RAC played an essential role in helping human gene therapy research evolve to where it is today, James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor, Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, believes this is the right moment for it to exit the stage, as he explains in his Editorial “The RAC Retires After a Job Well Done,” Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development website through October 19, 2018.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentThe RAC initially set guidelines for DNA research, and its role was later expanded to encompass the review and approval of human gene therapy research. The Committee was composed of stakeholders, including basic scientists, physicians, ethicists, theologians, and patients advocates. “The deliberations often became theatrical and, at times, quite contentious,” says Dr. Wilson. Over the years, as the field of human gene therapy matured and became more integrated into the biopharmaceutical industry the potential redundancies between the roles of the FDA and the RAC became an increasingly important issue.”The 2018 proposal…is to completely eliminate the RAC’s role in reviewing or monitoring human gene therapy studies,” says Dr. Wilson. “The new recommendations retain the role of local Institutional Biosafety Committees in the review process, while limiting their evaluation to an assessment of biosafety risks.”​last_img read more

  • Hong Kong profs step in to soothe protesters

    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 Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img The escalating protests are in response to what many in Hong Kong feel is a betrayal. Universal suffrage in elections for Hong Kong’s chief executive by 2017 was a key principle underlying agreements to transfer Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. However, on 31 August, a committee of China’s National People’s Congress announced that only two or three people should be eligible to run for Hong Kong’s top political post and that all candidates should be selected by a nominating committee widely seen as favoring Beijing.The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) called for students to boycott classes starting 22 September and launch protests, and many academics promised support. On 28 September, police lobbed rounds of tear gas at student demonstrators who fell back but then regrouped. The confrontation, carried live on TV, earned the police public scorn and the students more support. A separate protest movement called Occupy Central with Love and Peace had planned an act of mass civil disobedience for 1 October—mainland China’s national day and a holiday in Hong Kong. But after tear gas was used on protesters, Benny Tai, an Occupy Central co-organizer and a law professor at HKU, asked supporters to join students in the streets immediately. And many did, leading to protesters blocking certain key thoroughfares 24/7 for the past week. The students issued an ultimatum, demanding that Hong Kong Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung resign by midnight Thursday or face the possibility of protesters occupying government buildings. That set the stage for the appearance of the two vice chancellors yesterday evening. Leung did hold the press conference as promised at about 11:40 p.m. last night. He said he will not resign but he announced that Chief Secretary Carrie Lam would meet representatives of the students’ federation for discussions.Shortly after the government press conference ended, Mathieson and Sung appeared before reporters and protesters in front of a government building in the Admiralty section of the city. Again, Mathieson spoke first in English and then Sung in Cantonese. They both said they welcomed the agreement, which Mathieson called “a very significant step forward.” They also noted they had received assurances of tolerance as long as protests remain peaceful. “Let’s allow the dialog that’s now been arranged to try and achieve further reconciliation,” Mathieson said. Sung was asked by a reporter if he and Mathieson were encouraging students to continue their protests. In an indication that students really are in charge, he said: “We do not want to see conflict. Whether the protesters leave or not is up to the groups’ leaders to decide.”The two men then walked away through a crowd of cheering students and demonstrators. One reporter asked Mathieson how he felt about the applause. “Embarrassed,” he said. “I’m not used to this.”HKFS issued a statement saying it will participate in the talks aiming at political reform. It also says that Leung’s resignation “is only a matter of time.” The student strike continued today. Kenneth Lee, a Chinese-Scottish stem cell researcher at CUHK, who has been splitting his time between his campus and the protest sites, said that about 80% of undergrad students were not on campus today. Demonstrators surrounded key government buildings, leading the administration to close its offices. And in a dark new turn, government supporters today allegedly initiated attacks on protesters, according to HKFS’s and other Twitter feeds. There were subsequent reports of protesters saying they would call off the talks if the violence continued. The heads of two of the city’s universities have found themselves thrust into the middle of the escalating standoff between the Hong Kong government and student activists demanding democratic reforms.Yesterday, with the clock ticking toward a midnight showdown between the two sides, Peter Mathieson, a physician-researcher who became vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in April, stepped onto a makeshift platform along a major road in front of the seat of the Hong Kong legislature. He chose that location, he said, “on the advice of our student leaders,” who recommended it as the protest site most in need of calming words. Mathieson praised the protesters for earning goodwill through their orderly and peaceful demonstrations. “Please, please, put safety first, don’t provoke any conflict,” Mathieson said, his checked shirt soaked with sweat in the sweltering heat. Otherwise, he warned, “everything you’ve achieved so far could be lost.”He urged the crowd to remain calm and wait for a press conference announced by the government for 11:30 p.m. And then Joseph Sung, a physician who is vice chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), got up and made a similar plea in Cantonese.last_img read more

  • US universities and electronics companies spar over patent troll bill

    first_imgNew sparks are flying in a timeworn debate over how to crack down on bogus patent lawsuits. Efforts to deter so-called patent trolls—firms that base their business on amassing patents and then suing other firms for infringement—have often put universities at odds with the technology industry. This week, a group of electronics companies sent a letter to more than 120 universities asking them to rethink their opposition to recently proposed legislation aimed at disarming patent trolls—a move that may polarize the issue further.At the center of the debate is the Innovation Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February as a way to make it harder and more financially risky for a company to file a groundless patent infringement lawsuit. Supporters of the bill say it would protect small- and medium-sized companies that often agree to costly settlements when they can’t afford to fight infringement charges in court.But universities—which since 1980 have been able to license and profit from patents on the inventions of their researchers—fear that measures to deter patent trolls from suing might also make it too difficult to enforce their own patent rights. Compared with high-tech companies, universities are more often on the giving end than the receiving end of the legal threats, says Arti Rai, a patent law expert at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The tension has existed for nearly a decade and flared when a bill similar to the Innovation Act stalled in the Senate last year. “It’s a real standoff,” Rai says. “As far as I can tell, there isn’t necessarily a whole lot of room for compromise.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img In February, the group of universities laid out their concerns about the new bill in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees. They find two provisions especially troubling. One would require the losing party in a patent infringement suit to pay the winning party’s legal fees. That could deter patent trolls from suing, but could also deter universities and their startup companies, who have limited funds to pursue complicated litigation, from going after infringers, the letter claims. They also oppose a related provision that would force co-owners of a patent to step in and pay these fees if the losing party couldn’t. This “involuntary joinder” is intended to hold parent companies responsible for the actions of shell companies set up solely to file lawsuits. But universities fear they might be forced to pay fees if they are joined with a company licensing one of their patents.“We’re puzzled by that,” says Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), an industry group representing more than 2000 technology companies. “If there is something in the bill that is going to negatively impact you, then you may want to reassess how you’re doing business.” CEA released a letter Wednesday—cast as a plea “on behalf of thousands of your alumni” who own companies—arguing that the controversial provisions are unlikely to hurt universities. According to the bill, fee shifting and joinder would be on the table only when a lawsuit is deemed not to be “reasonably justified in law and fact,” and suits filed by a university wouldn’t fall into that category, Petricone says.Two major university groups were quick to respond. A joint letter from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities, some of whose members are among the schools opposing the current bill, says universities stand “united in opposition to the abusive practices of patent trolls,” but will continue to push back on the Innovation Act’s provisions. The bill isn’t clear enough about when fee shifting and joinder would apply, they argue, and it places excessive burden on the parties asserting their patents to prove they are not bad actors.The letter concludes by “inviting” CEA to support a different approach. Many universities and the biotech industry back a competing bill introduced by two democrats in the Senate last month that would focus more narrowly on deterring demand letters—notices that threaten a lawsuit if a company doesn’t pay licensing fees. But Rai points out that the Innovation Act has “strong momentum” behind it in the Republican-controlled House and Senate. 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  • Scientists celebrate comet lander Philaes call after 7month slumber

    first_imgIt was 12:18 a.m. Sunday morning when Stephan Ulamec, home from a night out at the pub, got a text message. “Hi! We got signal from Philae! Call me back!” read the message from Cinzia Fantinati, operations manager for the European Space Agency (ESA) lander that had been hibernating in the shadows on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since its bumpy touchdown on 12 November 2014. Philae’s activity and communication had lasted just 57 hours, as its batteries quickly drained in the dark. But ESA was hopeful the lander would reinitiate contact as the comet neared the sun and its solar panels received more illumination.Saturday night, ESA mission managers received a precious 300 data packets from Philae in a short 85-second-long transmission—bare-bones information about the health of the lander, discovered Ulamec, Philae’s project manager at the German Aerospace Center near Cologne. There was good news: Even in its relatively dark location, Philae’s solar panels were providing the lander with 24 watts of peak power—more than the minimum of 19 watts required for communications—thanks to nearly 3 hours of illumination each day. It was operating at –35ºC—warmer than the –45ºC necessary to boot the computer. And most surprising, there were more than 8000 data packets still sitting in the memory of the lander’s computer, with records of earlier activity. Taken together, the data suggest that Philae had woken from its 7-month-long slumber a day or two earlier, but had been unable to communicate with Rosetta, the spacecraft that is orbiting comet 67P and serves as Philae’s relay to Earth. “Fantastic, right?” Ulamec says. “It’s healthy, temperature is good, power is sufficient. The only thing we have to work on is the duration of the radio link.” Reestablishing radio contact, and improving on it, is the first order of business. Nothing from Philae was heard during a communication pass midday on Sunday in Europe. ESA will listen again Sunday evening. After that, engineers will begin to play with Rosetta’s pointing and orbit to try to make stronger and longer lived radio connections between the antennas of the orbiter and lander, Ulamec says.Once regular contact has been achieved, and engineers better understand the spacecraft’s daily thermal and power cycles, they will consider uploading new science commands that were developed over the past month—commands that can be performed quickly, in 2- or 3-hour-long bursts, and which do not require Philae’s batteries to be charged. “Everything in principle demonstrates that Philae did not suffer from the very low temperatures it faced in the months of hibernation,” says Jean-Pierre Bibring, one of two Philae lead scientists, at the Institute for Space Astrophysics in Orsay, France. “We should be able to resume operations as soon as we get longer communication links.”The new science sequence would activate instruments step by step, starting with ones that make no movements and that have low power demands (about 5 watts). These include instruments that make measurements of temperatures, magnetic fields, and electrical conductivity of the comet surface. A second group of instruments with medium power demands (about 15 watts) could be activated if engineers were willing to perform them without parallel radio contact. These include the lander’s cameras and radio ranging instrument. Fresh pictures in the new illumination conditions, along with information about the exact distance between Philae and Rosetta, could help pinpoint Philae’s location. Last week, the Rosetta mission said it had found a promising location for the lander’s resting place, in a crevice outside a crater on the “head” of the two-lobed comet.Finally, if the power supply improves slightly, or if it can be used to charge Philae’s drained batteries, instruments with high power demands (about 25 watts) could be activated. These include two ovens that analyze the elemental chemistry of comet samples. They could be operated in “ambient” mode with lower power constraints, by sniffing whatever is nearby, or by heating up any residual material that found its way into the ovens. But the scientists are eager to try and feed the ovens fresh samples. “It is, I believe, in reach. But we have to understand what the details of the available power are,” says Hermann Böhnhardt, the other lead Philae scientist, at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany. Scientists may even use Philae’s drill again, after rotating the lander by about 30º, Bibring says. But the team is wary of upsetting the lander, which came to rest in a precarious position on its side in November after bouncing around the comet in its microgravity environment.The overall illumination conditions could improve for another couple months, as comet 67P approaches perihelion on 13 August, the closest point in its orbit around the sun. “Until then, the daily power input should increase,” Böhnhardt says. Bibring is glad to be busy with the lander again. “The dream is not only alive, it’s continuing,” he says. “It’s a great adventure.” 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 Zimbabwecenter_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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  • A groundbreaking study on the dangers of microplastics may be unraveling

    first_imgThe study was also, Sundin and Jutfelt claim, “a complete fantasy.” It was purportedly done at the Ar station in the spring of 2015 by Oona Lönnstedt, a research fellow at Sweden’s Uppsala University (UU); her supervisor and only co-author, Peter Eklöv, did not work on the island. Sundin, a postdoc at UU, was working at the station at that time, too, and occasionally lent Lönnstedt a hand. But she saw no sign of a study of the scope and size described in Science.Jutfelt, who like Sundin is Swedish but works as an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, also spent a few days at the station when the study supposedly took place, and didn’t see it either. Lönnstedt wasn’t even on the island long enough to do the study described in Science, the duo claims. Many other details were, well, fishy, they said, such as Lönnstedt’s claim that part of the study’s data was forever lost because her laptop was stolen 10 days after the paper was published. By Martin EnserinkMar. 21, 2017 , 1:00 PM GOTLAND, SWEDEN—It’s a cold, dreary day in early March, and Josefin Sundin is standing in one of the two aquarium rooms at the Ar Research Station on a remote corner of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. “This is where it all happened,” she says, while gazing around as if searching for fresh clues. Her colleague and friend Fredrik Jutfelt takes cellphone pictures.Nine months ago, these two researchers triggered a scandal in Swedish science by accusing another friend and colleague of making up research supposedly done here. Now, they have returned to Gotland to discuss what happened—and how whistleblowing has taken over their lives. The station is deserted; the 2017 research season has yet to start. But the station manager, Anders Nissling, has made a pot of strong coffee and is happy to give a tour of the offices and laboratories where researchers come to study the creatures and ecosystems of the sea and a nearby lake.At the heart of the case is a three-page paper that made headlines after it was published in Science* on 3 June 2016. It showed that, given a choice between a natural diet and tiny plastic fragments, perch larvae will consume the plastic “like teens eat fast food,” as a BBC story put it. This unhealthy appetite reduced their growth and made them more vulnerable to predators. It was a dire warning, suggesting the plastic trash washing into rivers, lakes, and oceans was creating ecological havoc. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Larval pike prey on perch hatching from translucent eggs. The disputed paper reported that eating tiny morsels of plastic makes perch more vulnerable to predation. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country I thought I was losing my mind. There was a description of this big experiment, and I had absolutely no recollection of it. A groundbreaking study on the dangers of ‘microplastics’ may be unraveling Lönnstedt and Eklöv questioned Borg’s independence in a response sent to CEPN by a law firm. Borg has co-authored papers with two scientists with connections to Sundin and Jutfelt, it notes. They also questioned Borg’s expertise and criticized several of his findings as well as the witnesses’ credibility, but they did not provide new evidence that the study described in Science happened.Borg’s ambiguous conclusion left Sundin and Jutfelt anxious. “We might get our reputation back as honest researchers, or the story is that we throw dirt around and we’re just jealous of their nice publication,” Jutfelt says. Borg declined to talk to Science. Clark says Borg may want the expert panel to make the final decision. “Putting myself in his shoes, he doesn’t want to send somebody to the chopping block if he isn’t 100% sure,” he says. But CEPN’s head of office, Jörgen Svidén, says the panel, scheduled to meet on 4 April, will be definitive about whether misconduct has occurred. “It will be yes or no.”Whatever the outcome, the contrasts between the two reports have triggered debate about whether the preliminary university investigation was thorough enough. The panel’s three members—two of whom came from universities other than UU—have declined to discuss their work, pending the CEPN decision. But Roche believes “it was completely botched.” In general, university investigations in Sweden tend “to sweep things under the carpet,” adds Bengt Gerdin, a surgery professor emeritus at UU whose damning investigation of Macchiarini—now substantiated—was dismissed by Karolinska in 2015.One problem is that Swedish universities have a “mishmash” of regulations and definitions of misconduct, Svidén says. In a report to the Swedish government in late February, a group led by UU literature professor Margaretha Fahlgren proposed letting a new government agency, the Research Misconduct Board, handle all investigations. Gerdin says that would be “a step forward.” Josefin Sundin, Uppsala University Oona Lönnstedt, Uppsala University Ground zero At Ar station, scientists study aquatic ecosystems. 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 We might get our reputation back as honest researchers, or the story is that we throw dirt around and we’re just jealous of their nice publication. © Blickwinkel/Alamy Stock Photo © Fredrik Jutfelt “We thought about whether we should let it slide, whether it was too much for us to take on,” recalls Timothy Clark of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia. “Whistleblowing is risky, it can affect your future employability,” he says—a special risk for Sundin, who doesn’t yet have a permanent job. “But I think she couldn’t have lived with herself if she hadn’t done it.” The group also worried that attacking the study might suggest they aren’t concerned about microplastics. They are, very much.On 16 June 2016, the researchers sent the authors 20 questions about the Science paper. Four days later, they also asked the university to launch a preliminary investigation. The timeline was a central issue, they told the UU panel handling the inquiry. Lönnstedt began the microplastics study on 5 May 2015 and left the island on 15 May, they claimed; as part of the evidence, they provided a photo posted on Lönnstedt’s Facebook account on 16 May showing her sipping champagne with a friend in Stockholm. Lönnstedt didn’t return to Ar that month or the next, so they concluded there wasn’t time for the study described in Science, which would have taken at least 3 weeks.Many other things didn’t add up. The study would have required the simultaneous use of 30 aquaria of 1 liter each. Jutfelt had taken a picture of Lönnstedt’s laboratory setup, showing only 18 beakers; some held a different fish species, and only three could hold a liter. Sundin says she collected the juvenile pike used in the study at a bog 65 kilometers away on 30 April 2015 and gave Lönnstedt only a few—not enough for the study. If Lönnstedt got more pike on her own, Sundin says, it’s not clear how she traveled to the bog (Lönnstedt doesn’t drive), or why she didn’t record the catch in a log book, as required. From my perspective, the past six months have been a true psychological terror. Then there were the missing data. Science requires authors to place the data underlying papers on the journal’s website or in a public repository. Lönnstedt and Eklöv had not done that, and after publication it became clear that they would not be able to provide all the data. Lönnstedt claims her laptop and backup drives were stolen from an unlocked car on 12 or 13 June 2016, just before Science asked her to correct the omission. Other backups didn’t exist, Lönnstedt and Eklöv claim, because a university server malfunctioned. Lönnstedt says only 15% of the data is still missing; a table compiled by the whistleblowers suggests it’s 78%.In letters to the UU panel, Lönnstedt and Eklöv addressed the allegations and answered the whistleblowers’ 20 questions. The setup with 18 beakers was a pilot study, they said; the experiments described in Science were housed elsewhere, but three photos documenting that were on the stolen laptop. The Facebook photo from Stockholm didn’t prove anything, because Lönnstedt sometimes waited weeks to post. They did not address other issues, such as the pike collection, in detail.The UU panel was satisfied. Lönnstedt and Eklöv had “thoroughly answered and explained” every issue in a “satisfactory and credible manner,” the group wrote in a three-page report on 31 August. The missing data were partly the result of a misunderstanding, it said, adding, incorrectly, that “all necessary raw data has been freely available … for some time.” The whistleblowers, the panel said, “appear to have a very strong desire” for a misconduct investigation, but most of their issues could have been aired in “normal scholarly discussion.”The panel “saw the truth,” Lönnstedt said this past December. “They saw there is nothing to these claims.” Roche says journals should also serve as a safeguard. The suspect paper might not have been published if Science had first checked whether Lönnstedt and Eklöv had posted their data, he says. And once Science learned of the missing data, Roche adds, it should have started its own investigation. He’s also annoyed that the editorial expression of concern is very hard to find on Science’s website, and does not appear on the PDF version of the paper. “It should be very visible, front and center,” he says.Science Deputy Editor Andrew Sugden agrees about the note’s visibility. “That’s a problem we’re going to fix,” he says. He also acknowledges that the data omission slipped through. But Science, which follows misconduct guidelines set by the Committee on Publication Ethics, has no choice but to rely on institutional investigations, he says; “We’re simply not geared up to do that. We’re not investigators.” After UU dismissed the case, Sugden says it made sense to await CEPN’s report before taking further action.The University of Tasmania’s Clark shared another lesson from the experience in a Nature op-ed last month. Studies of animal behavior and other research that relies primarily on human observations should routinely be videotaped, he wrote, to show that the studies actually took place. “If extreme athletes can use self-mounted cameras to record their wildest adventures during mountaintop blizzards, scientists have little excuse not to record what goes on in lab and field studies,” Clark wrote.The four central characters, meanwhile, agree on one thing: The affair has been extremely stressful. “I am on sick leave for depression until further notice,” Lönnstedt wrote to CEPN in December, adding that she would not be able to meet with Borg. “From my perspective, the past six months have been a true psychological terror.” Sundin says she’s exhausted as well. She never expected whistleblowing to become an all-consuming, 9-month job. “We just want this nightmare to end,” adds Jutfelt, “so that we can go back to doing proper science again.”*Science’s News team is editorially independent of the journal staff. © Fredrik Jutfelt In happier times, Josefin Sundin and Oona Lönnstedt (with cigar) were friends and colleagues at the Ar Research Station. G.Grullón/Science A group of five aquatic ecologists and physiologists elsewhere in the world has helped Sundin and Jutfelt sort through a mounting pile of evidence and make their case that the work was fraudulent. But Lönnstedt and Eklöv have denied any wrongdoing. “Of course I did these experiments,” Lönnstedt told Science this past December. She said the allegations were fueled by “jealousy” on Sundin’s part. “If you compare my CV with her CV … then yeah, there is a big difference,” she said. Lönnstedt is currently on leave from the university and didn’t respond to requests this month for a follow-up interview; Eklöv has declined to answer questions altogether.Last August, a panel charged by UU to conduct a preliminary inquiry dismissed the charges and suggested that Sundin, Jutfelt, and their colleagues had unfairly maligned Lönnstedt and Eklöv. But a second, in-depth investigation by a panel at the Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) in Stockholm is ongoing, and an expert hired by that group recently delivered a more damning report that raised the possibility of fraud. CEPN is expected to issue a final statement in April.The outcome may have an impact well beyond four lives and careers. Sweden is still recovering from the scandal around celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who was fired last year for ethical breaches that his university, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, had initially dismissed. The case shook confidence in Swedish science and raised concerns about Swedish universities’ ability to investigate their own researchers. If UU, too, bungled its investigation, as the whistleblowers in this case claim, it could bolster support for a plan released last month that would take misconduct investigations out of university hands and transfer them to a new government agency.The case has raised a host of other issues as well. Dominique Roche of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, one of five scientists supporting Sundin and Jutfelt, is critical of Science, which didn’t issue a so-called editorial expression of concern about the paper until December 2016. Roche says the journal itself should have investigated the paper, which has racked up 36 citations. Others argue the case shows that the fields of ecology and evolution have been too slow to adopt the kind of transparent practices that build trust and help prevent misconduct.  “Accomplished, driven and outcome-focused, I have an excellent record as a reliable and highly productive employee,” a CV published on Lönnstedt’s personal website says. Lönnstedt earned her Ph.D. in marine biology at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville, Australia, just 3 years ago. But several of her papers—including work showing how lionfish use their fins to send each other invitations for a collective hunt—have already attracted press attention. She has also explored how environmental problems such as ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and invasive species affect fish behavior. “She lives for research and is a very dedicated and ethical researcher,” says Mark McCormick, a former supervisor at JCU and a co-author on more than 15 of Lönnstedt’s papers. She and Eklöv lashed out at the whistleblowers, questioning their motivations and tactics. Lönnstedt alleged to Science that the critics obtained her Facebook photos by “hacking” into her account. (Sundin and Jutfelt respond that they wouldn’t know how to do that, and say that Lönnstedt’s posts were visible to anyone at the time.) Eklöv wrote to the panel that for Sundin to criticize the study, after having helped Lönnstedt in the lab the year before, was “very unethical” and said the use of private photos as evidence was “highly distasteful.”Even before the UU review was complete, Sundin and Jutfelt had made use of their right to request that an expert panel on misconduct at CEPN investigate the matter as well. Lacking expertise in aquatic ecology, that group hired Stockholm University zoomorphologist Bertil Borg to investigate. He drew very different conclusions than the UU panel.Borg’s 19-page report, delivered 23 February, says the accused haven’t provided satisfying answers to many questions, and uses words like “strange,” “serious,” and “quite remarkable” to describe the remaining issues. The timeline remains a crucial problem, Borg wrote. Although Lönnstedt claimed she was in Gotland at least through 20 May 2016, she had not produced tickets, photos, or emails proving that. There were no lab notebooks, and it was “very grave” that Sundin, Jutfelt, and two other witnesses reported that the experiments never took place, Borg said.Borg also stumbled on a new problem. In the paper, Lönnstedt and Eklöv wrote that they had obtained an ethical permit for the study; they told the UU panel that it arrived 2 weeks after the study began. But Borg discovered that the permit was granted more than a month after the experiments ended, and that it was for a different study design and a different field station. (Lönnstedt and Eklöv blamed miscommunication.) “This renders their credibility questionable in other areas as well,” Borg wrote. He stopped short of saying that fraud had occurred, however, saying, “the conclusion is simply that the suspicions of deceit cannot be denied.” Eighteen beakers in Lönnstedt’s lab setup, too few for the research described in her paper. After she returned to Sweden in 2014, Lönnstedt turned to a new threat: microplastics. The term refers to plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters, which include the “microbeads” in skin scrubs and plastic detritus broken down by mechanical forces, sunlight, and weather.In their Science paper, Lönnstedt and Eklöv claimed that European perch larvae—which are more vulnerable to pollution than adult fish—prefer to eat 0.09-millimeter polystyrene beads over a standard food, tiny Artemia brine shrimp. Experiments also showed that plastic-consuming larvae were less able to recognize chemical alarm cues when exposed to pike, a predator fish, and as a result were far more likely to end up in a pike’s stomach. The findings might explain why the number of young perch entering the Baltic has been dropping, they wrote.”I was quite impressed,” says Chelsea Rochman of the University of Toronto in Canada, who penned a commentary praising the work’s policy relevance in the same issue. Most previous research used higher doses of microplastics, says Rochman, which makes it easier to see effects but raises questions about real-world relevance; Lönnstedt and Eklöv used levels actually found in the environment. Rochman adds that past studies usually focused on cells, gene expression, or individuals. “This was one of the first to ask more ecologically relevant questions.” She was not surprised to see it end up in Science. Five months after the study was published, Lönnstedt received a $330,000 grant for “future research leaders” from Formas, a Swedish funding agency, for her work on microplastics.Sundin remembers the moment she began to read the paper. “I thought I was losing my mind,” she says. “There was a description of this big experiment, and I had absolutely no recollection of it.” She discussed it with Jutfelt, and both agreed that neither the logistical nor the scientific details added up. The same day, they began email and Skype discussions with the other five scientists, who they knew from conferences and fieldwork on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. “We’re all pretty anal about good science,” Jutfelt says. Fredrik Jutfelt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology last_img read more

  • Science and politics collide over Bears Ears and other national monuments

    first_img Science and politics collide over Bears Ears and other national monuments Bob Wick/BLM Sunset at Bears Ears National Monument. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Carolyn GramlingApr. 27, 2017 , 11:15 AM Emailcenter_img President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday calling on the Department of the Interior (DOI) to review “all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996.”  Why would a new president with so much on his plate care about 24 parcels of land and sea that his three immediate predecessors decided to protect permanently?The answer, not surprisingly, is politics. Opponents of such designations see them as unwanted federal interventions. And that’s why Trump has asked Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review those decisions, starting with an expanse of land in southeastern Utah surrounding a twin pair of mesas known as Bears Ears. Its designation was one of former President Barack Obama’s last acts in office.“In December of last year alone, the federal government asserted this power over 1.35 million acres of land in Utah, known as Bears Ears—I’ve heard a lot about Bears Ears, and I hear it’s beautiful—over the profound objections of the citizens of Utah,” Trump said during a signing ceremony at DOI. “The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice,” he added.  Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Why do scientists think Bears Ears should be a national monument?  And why are some Utahns so angry? Let’s dig in.What sort of antiquities might it hold?Bears Ears preserves one of the best records in the United States of the middle to late Triassic, the era of the rise of the dinosaurs. It contains rocks dating to between 240 million and 200 million years old, according to paleontologist Robert Gay, now at the Colorado Canyons Association in Grand Junction, who had spearheaded the push for the designation and talked to ScienceInsider when the monument was created in December 2016. The Triassic was a strange time, Gay notes, with “little tiny, puny things running around getting eaten by everything else out there, giant toilet-headed reptiles, strange plant-eating crocodiles with giant pig snouts. Dinosaurs were a rare and minor component of this ecosystem.”Right on top of those rocks in Bears Ears, Gay says, are rock layers from the very early Jurassic, with “dinosaurs everywhere. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where we can directly document that huge faunal turnover.” Archaeologists have also long pushed for the Bears Ears designation, noting that it contains more than 100,000 archaeological sites, including cliff dwellings, rock art, and other structures belonging to Ancestral Pueblo people.What’s the value of a national monument designation, aside from protection?Frankly, it’s about money. Utah, like many states, has struggled to fund its own paleontology program. The state’s Bureau of Land Management office currently has just one paleontologist and two law enforcement officers. The national monument designation comes with a mandate for more funding for law enforcement, which means more eyes on the ground to keep fossil thieves at bay and more money for education “so that people know there are fossils out there,” Gay says.Can Trump really reverse the designation?A president designates a national monument under the Antiquities Act, using authority delegated to him by Congress. So in effect, the creation of a monument is an act of Congress. That’s why a subsequent president can’t just undo its creation by an executive order. But it’s not clear whether the president can use the Antiquities Act to rescind or shrink a monument, something that would be unprecedented. Trump’s directive to Zinke may or may not set any such changes in motion: He directs the secretary to “review” whether the monuments are of historic or scientific interest—and whether the amount of land set aside is appropriate to meet this designation. The order also directs Zinke to ponder multiple uses on these lands, and whether the designation affects the use of lands not within the boundaries. For Bears Ears, Trump wants a preliminary report with suggested legislative acts within 45 days.Do scientists think the land set aside in the Bears Ears National Monument is big enough to protect its treasures?Not surprisingly, Obama’s order was a compromise. There’s a large region, called Red Canyon, that was dropped from the final monument boundary—it, too, contains a trove of Triassic fossils, Gay says. But mining companies are interested in its uranium deposits, and pushed successfully to exclude the canyon in the monument. Red Canyon has an existing mine, the Daneros Uranium Mine, which produces a concentrated form of uranium (known as yellow cake) to make fuel rods for power plants. The national monument designation would prohibit new mining operations, and the mine’s owner, Energy Fuels, is seeking to expand the mine from its current 2 hectares to about 19 hectares.Who contested Bears Ears’ designation?Land management is an extremely touchy issue in Utah, where some 65% of the state’s land is owned by the federal government. Two decades earlier, President Bill Clinton had angered many state leaders with the designation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (see below); the battle over Bears Ears has tapped into that long-simmering anger.In July 2016, Representative Rob Bishop (R–UT), who is also the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R–UT) rolled out their Utah Public Lands Initiative, which included plans for what is now Bears Ears National Monument. However, the proposal, which promoted fossil fuel development in parts of the region and allowed motorized recreation, met with stiff opposition from both environmental and tribal groups, as well as from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Bishop and Chaffetz tried unsuccessfully to win House approval for their plan before President Obama made the announcement.Is Bears Ears the primary target?The period Trump chose, extending back to 1996, includes two of the most controversial monuments in recent years: Bears Ears and the nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, also in Utah. That monument spans about 760,000 hectares and has proved, since its designation, to be fertile ground for hunting dinosaur bones, particularly from the Late Cretaceous.In 2002, scientists unearthed the giant, 75-million-year-old duckbilled dinosaur Gryposaurus monumentensis. The region has yielded a diverse array of tens of thousands of fossils, including horned dinos called ceratopsians such as Kosmoceratops richardsoni, duck-billed dinos, and two new species of tyrannosaurs—including the 81-million-year-old Lythronax argestes, the oldest known tyrannosaurid. Grand Staircase-Escalante also contains ruins and rock art from both the pre-Columbian Fremont people and the Ancestral Pueblo peoples.last_img read more

  • Chinese bioethicists call for reboot of biomedical regulation after countrys geneedited baby

    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 He Jiankui speaks at a 2018 conference in Hong Kong, China, where he gave a public account of creating the first gene-edited human babies. Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images Four prominent Chinese bioethicists have published an unusually frank and critical assessment of their country’s handling of biomedical research in the wake of what they refer to as the “CRISPR babies’ scandal.”Their commentary, published online today in Nature, calls for “an overhaul” in the way the biomedical experiments in China are regulated, monitored, and registered and for “severe” penalties for researchers who violate regulations. “China is at a crossroads,” write Ruipeng Lei of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Xiaomei Zhai of Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, Wei Zhu of Fudan University in Shanghai, and Renzong Qiu of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. “The government must make substantial changes to protect others from the potential effects of reckless human experimentation.”The authors say a “soul searching” is now taking place in China because of the November 2018 revelation that He Jiankui, a biophysicist at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, had created the world’s first babies, twin girls, who had genes edited while they were embryos. He, who was subsequently fired from his job and has not spoken publicly since he described the germline editing experiment at a Hong Kong, China, meeting, used CRISPR—which cuts DNA—to cripple a cell surface protein that HIV uses to infect cells. The intent, he said, was to “genetically vaccinate” the girls so that they would not be susceptible to the virus. 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 (*) In the Nature commentary, the authors criticize He for his secrecy and the country for creating an environment that encouraged him. “In our view, researchers in China are increasingly motivated by the promise of fame and fortune, rather than by a genuine desire for discovery,” they write. “And transferring devices or approaches to the clinic is not always backed by solid basic research. Moreover, researchers who can declare that they are the first to discover something, both in Asia and in the world, are disproportionately rewarded when it comes to peer review, hiring decisions and funding.”Bioethicists outside China are impressed by the editorial. “I think it’s rather remarkable that they published this in such a prominent place,” says Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who is on an expert committee convened by the World Health Organization to assess how to better regulate germline editing. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, said he “admired” the article and thought it was “courageous” for his Chinese colleagues to speak so bluntly. “They’re getting into things that haven’t been said by others in China, so that’s very good.”The four authors contend that scientific research should be governed by the State Council, China’s cabinet, rather than the collection of government ministries that now do oversight, a system they say “is fragmented and hampered by staff incompetence or resistance.” They also urged their country to confront “the eugenic thinking that has persisted among a small proportion of Chinese scholars.”As for He, who was strongly criticized in preliminary findings made public by a Chinese government-controlled news outlet in January from an investigation run by the Guangdong Health Commission (the province where he worked), the bioethicists suggest the government conduct a more extensive inquiry. They recommend that “a committee of internationally renowned experts in gene editing assess the data resulting from He’s work” and also offer a blueprint for monitoring the health of the twin girls for their entire lives.Science corresponded by email with Qiu about the investigations surrounding He’s controversial experiment. This is an edited version of that exchange.Q: Xinhua, China’s official news agency, described the initial He inquiry as a “preliminary investigation,” which suggests it was either not complete or that there was at least another investigation underway. Do you know?A: Nothing suggests another investigation is underway. So, we suggest a further, more extensive inquiry is needed.Q: In the United States, western European countries, Australia, and Japan, a misconduct investigation of a scientist almost always leads to a thorough report that is made public. There has been nothing issued by the Guangdong Health Commission―nothing more than a press release given only to Xinhua—and your commentary did not call for any future report to be made public. Do you think these reports should be made public?A: Of course, I think such reports should be made public. There seem to be no rules on whether and how to report the findings of investigations on cases of violating regulations. My colleagues and I have suggested to build a central registry on genome editing which is open access to the public. The registry could also be a platform where findings of investigations on cases of violating regulations are published.Q: Have any of you been asked to help with any investigations of He?A: Immediately after the news was broke, the National Health Commission asked Xiaomei Zhai to go to Shenzhen to investigate the case―along with some commission officials. Zhai couldn’t go because she had to attend the Hong Kong summit. There were two occasions where I was invited by government think tanks to provide advice on He’s case. I suggested the government should make thorough investigation―especially any involvement of government officials and He’s colleagues and collaborators (both in China and the U.S.), including personnel at the IVF [in vitro fertilization] clinics―because He could not be the only person responsible for the incident. It’s unclear if any government officials were involved in the He incident in any way. But He certainly had ties with some governmental officials as his work on third-generation genome sequencing was prominently featured in a state television channel.Q: Your editorial calls for “rebooting” ethics governance. If any government officials or government-funded institutions supported or indicated approval of He’s germline editing in any way, are you confident that the Guangdong Health Commission’s investigation or any other investigation led by a government agency would transparently report this?A: Sorry, I am afraid I am not in a position to answer this question. There has been no transparency regarding who the members of the investigation team are, which procedures they have followed, or what they have found. In general, I favor that the government puts together investigation teams that consist of independent experts. I don’t know if more investigation results will be disclosed, but I think the world deserves to know the truth. And I don’t think we can properly move on or prevent similar incidents from happening again until we know exactly what has happened.I don’t believe the government per se is involved. I have some contact with deputy ministry of National Health Commission and some officials at its Department of Science and Education, and I think they are not only honest persons, but also hold the view like our bioethicists in compliance with international guidelines. In many cases, they accepted our suggestions on drafting or revising relevant regulations. However, I cannot exclude some governmental officials in some departments at different levels being involved in it.Q: Do you think independence of the investigatory team is important? Is it possible in China?A: For a bioethicist like me and many other scholars in China, that’s a given. Of course, the investigation should be both independent and transparent. I think it’s possible if China realizes the gravity of the matter. How China deals with it will determine the reputation and the future of the country and its scientific and bioethics communities. By Jon CohenMay. 8, 2019 , 2:25 PM Chinese bioethicists call for ‘reboot’ of biomedical regulation after country’s gene-edited baby scandallast_img read more

  • This singing mouses brain could reveal keys to snappy conversation

    first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country That’s why he and other researchers are interested in Alston’s singing mouse. The social functions of its distinctive songs aren’t totally clear yet. (The performance seems to be part of a territorial display, though it may not always be adversarial.) The species, a relative newcomer to neuroscience, is a bit of a diva in the lab, requiring a spacious terrarium, a specialized diet, and exercise equipment to thrive. But Long and his team have discovered an intriguing tendency for turn-taking in the mice. When a male mouse enters a chamber adjacent to another male and can hear its neighbor sing, it precisely times its own songs to avoid overlap with the neighbor; it starts about half a second after the other mouse finishes. (In human conversation, the lag is even shorter—roughly 200 milliseconds, on average.) The mouse with a neighbor also sings four times as much as when it is alone, the researchers found. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Kelly ServickFeb. 28, 2019 , 2:00 PM This singing mouse’s brain could reveal keys to snappy conversation Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The back-and-forth songs of Alston’s singing mouse (Scotinomys teguina) could share mechanisms with human conversation. If there were a rodent opera, Alston’s singing mouse would be the star. This unassuming brown mouse native to Central American cloud forests rears up on its hind legs and belts out long, intricate trills. Each animal’s performance appears to be unique, says Michael Long, a neuroscientist at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. “I can recognize this one particular song and say, ‘Ah, that’s Ralph.’”Long and his colleagues have now found that the species (Scotinomys teguina) does something that many lab animals don’t: It takes turns singing. And these rapid-fire duets are giving researchers a new model to study how the brain controls conversation. The mice might even inform our understanding of what goes wrong in disorders that affect communication, such as autism.A human conversation has a lot of moving parts. While we listen, we plan our words, adjust them on the fly, and direct our vocal muscles to spit them out at socially appropriate moments. Most lab animals lack this verbal complexity, Long says. The most common lab mouse (Mus musculus) has a relatively disorganized and unpredictable song—and it doesn’t tend to take turns crooning. Even marmosets, primates with back-and-forth calls that make them popular in neuroscience research, pause for several seconds between responses, which means they may not rely on the same neural machinery that drives the split-second responses in a human repartee, Long says. “Imagine a conversation between two people where there’s a 5-second pregnant pause between every exchange. I think I would be going crazy.” Christopher Auger-Dominguez The researchers wanted to know how the mouse’s brain controlled these carefully timed exchanges. Many studies have shown that animal vocalizations originate in deep, evolutionarily ancient parts of the brain—so-called subcortical structures. But they wondered whether, in this singing mouse, a separate structure in a higher region called the motor cortex acted like an orchestra conductor, turning the songs on and off based on social cues.They found a variety of evidence supporting this hunch. They first identified a part of the brain called the orofacial motor cortex (OMC) that, when stimulated, caused the mouse to flex its vocal muscles. When they put a cooling device over that region to slow down its neural activity, the mouse took longer to reach the end of its song.What’s more, the mice could still sing when the scientists gave them a drug that completely inactivated the OMC—the vocalizations were evidently produced elsewhere in the brain—but hearing another mouse’s song no longer increased their own singing. And the mice no longer launched a prompt “counter song” in response, the researchers report online today in Science. They conclude that to carry out vocal turn-taking, the mouse brain divides labor between a basic song generator (still to be identified in the subcortical brain) and a higher-level conductor.“I think it’s beautiful, the combination of kind of methods they were applying,” says Julia Fischer, an ethologist who studies animal social behavior and cognition at the University of Göttingen in Germany. “This a breakthrough, in terms of the fine details … they were able to work out.”Alston’s singing mouse is “a new, potentially interesting model for vocal communication,” says Karel Svoboda, a neuroscientist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Still, he says, “We need to know a lot more.” This study doesn’t sort out how the OMC influences activity in the lower brain, he notes, or how circuits there actually make the muscles move to produce song.Human speech is vastly more complex than these mouse duets, but Long’s team now wants to look to the human brain for a comparable timing mechanism in the human motor cortex, known to be involved in controlling speech. He and his colleagues are designing experiments that record brain activity during conversational tasks, such as responding quickly to another voice.Long also sees this mouse as a potential way to study autism, a disorder that can limit a person’s ability to communicate. Researchers could manipulate genes in the mouse OMC that are implicated in autism to observe how they affect brain activity and behavior. The turn-taking divas, Long says, have really “broken open a brand-new slice of biology for us.”last_img read more