New tests accurately detect heart disease and adverse cardiac events in diabetic

first_imgJun 25 2018Prevencio, Inc. today announces data which indicates its HART CAD and HART CVE tests accurately diagnose Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and risk for Major Adverse Cardiac Events (MACE) in Diabetic Mellitus (DM) patients. Researchers believe the data, presented on June 24 at the American Diabetes Association 2018 Scientific Sessions, can assist patients in getting guideline-recommended serial evaluations proven to enhance health outcomes.Historically, diagnosing CAD and predicting the risk of MACE in diabetic patients has been challenging. The study determines that Prevencio’s HART CAD test is highly effective at detecting heart disease in patients with DM and its HART CVE test accurately predicts the likelihood of adverse heart events within one year of the examination.”Patients with diabetes are at an increased risk for coronary artery disease and major adverse cardiac events such as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke,” said James L. Januzzi, MD, practicing cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “With the well-established correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, these HART tests are well-suited to assist physicians in providing more appropriate care for these patients.”Januzzi served as Principal Investigator on the team of researchers that conducted the study. They found that the HART CAD test was able to detect the presence of CAD with 90 percent accuracy, which is a result comparable to patients without DM. Additionally, the HART CVE test predicted with 90 percent accuracy that a diabetic patient would not suffer from MACE within one year of the examination.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 100 million American adults who are living with diabetes or prediabetes. In 2017, the total estimated cost of U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes (23 million people) reached a staggering $327 billion. Globally, the rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady, and it is estimated that there will be 642 million people with diabetes by 2040.Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behavior”Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation,” said Rhonda Rhyne, Prevencio’s Chief Executive Officer. “This research shows the potential of Prevencio’s HART tests to become critical diagnostic and monitoring solutions to assist in the care of diabetic patients.”Rhyne added, “We appreciate our collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Januzzi and his researchers and Myriad RBM to develop innovative and highly accurate blood tests to improve diagnosis and treatment for millions of cardiovascular patients.”Powered by AI, Prevencio is revolutionizing blood tests for cardiovascular disease. Employing this novel approach, the company has produced five blood tests to-date that significantly improve diagnoses for a variety of heart and blood vessel-related complications.These tests are: HART test results have been presented at leading cardiovascular meetings (European Society of Cardiology Congress Scientific Sessions – 2016, American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions – 2017, American Heart Association Scientific Sessions – 2017, American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions – 2018, American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions – 2018) and published in top-tier cardiology journals (Journal of American College of Cardiology – March 2017 and American Journal of Cardiology – July 2017). HART CADTM – obstructive coronary artery disease diagnosis HART CVETM – 1-year risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiac death HART PADTM – peripheral artery disease diagnosis HART ASTM – aortic valve stenosis diagnosis HART AMPTM – risk of amputationcenter_img Source:https://www.prevenciomed.com/last_img read more

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Podcast A Dragonfly Mystery Deformed Mammoths and Why Dark Pigeons Rule Cities

00:0000:0000:00 A Dragonfly Mystery, Deformed Mammoths, and Why Dark Pigeons Rule Cities How can dragonflies smell, even without smell centers in their brains? Can a mammoth deformity shed light on why these ancient beasts went extinct? And why do darker colored pigeons have a leg up in cities? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi. A Dragonfly Mystery, Deformed Mammoths, and Why Dark Pigeons Rule Cities

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To search for alien life scientists make a library of lifes colors

first_imgHere’s a new way to search for life on alien worlds: Look for the light it reflects into space. To prepare for such a search, scientists have made a library of life’s colors, cataloging the spectra, or wavelengths of light, reflected by 137 types of microorganisms, they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the visible wavelengths of light, the microbes’ spectra depended on their pigments—what we think of as their color—which varied from species to species. In the infrared, however, the microbes all looked similar, absorbing light at particular wavelengths due to the water inside of them. If scientists detected a pattern of wavelengths that matched the types of pigmentation seen in earthly species, and displayed the universal absorption features in the infrared, it would be evidence for life. The database could help scientists design searches for life on watery, habitable exoplanets like the artist’s conception above, using the new, highly sensitive telescopes on the horizon. But such a search would be a technical challenge, because the light reflected by a planet is swamped by that of its star. And, the technique isn’t foolproof—it works only if the planet has a transparent atmosphere with few clouds, so that light reflected from microorganisms can escape, and is probably most useful for life that is likewise carbon-based and therefore has the same chemistry constraining its spectrum. Still, remote-sensing techniques like these may be our only hope for finding our kin in the far-flung corners of universe.last_img read more

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Flawed US response to pig virus outbreaks highlights vulnerabilities report finds

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking heat from Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency over the way it has responded to outbreaks of so-called emerging diseases in livestock. A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report faults USDA for not doing enough to respond to and investigate viral outbreaks in pigs in 2013 and 2014, as well as not doing nearly enough afterward to prevent and reduce the impact of future outbreaks.In particular, GAO concluded that USDA erred by not requiring veterinarians and producers to report diseased animals, and by relying on voluntary reports instead. And it warns that new USDA policies aimed at avoiding similar problems in the future may prove difficult to implement. The report specifically refers to what USDA calls emerging diseases—economically damaging diseases that are either new to the United States or appear to be becoming more deadly or dangerous. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email “Where will USDA go from here? That’s the million-dollar question that must be answered before the next outbreak,” said Representative Fred Upton (R–MI), who requested the report and chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, in a statement. “From the integrity of our food supply to biosecurity, USDA’s actions created unnecessary risks.”The report comes in the wake of outbreaks of two coronaviruses, known as porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus and porcine deltacoronavirus. Both affect pigs but have no known impact on humans. The emergence in the United States of the diseases—collectively known as swine enteric coronavirus diseases (SECDs)—drew national headlines for their impact on the U.S. pork industry, which exported $6 billion worth of products in 2014. (The United States was home to the world’s third-largest national pork industry in 2013.) Prices of pork products rose as the viruses killed millions of pigs.Under the federal Animal Health Protection Act, USDA has the power to respond to disease outbreaks in a number of ways, including by requiring the reporting of disease cases—traditionally speaking, by veterinarians—and ordering the killing, seizure, and quarantine of animals. In 2013, however, USDA didn’t take regulatory measures as the pig viruses spread. Instead, agency officials assisted a voluntary, industry-led response, out of concern that regulation “could have had negative financial impacts on the swine industry,” according to GAO.As a result, USDA had, among other issues, initially had trouble getting solid data on the outbreak. The voluntary testing data that USDA obtained had serious problems, GAO said; for instance, USDA couldn’t discern whether pig specimens were being tested for the first time, so the agency could only discern the general trend in infection numbers. Then, in June 2014, USDA shifted course, requiring infection reports not just from veterinarians, but also from laboratories and producers. That helped USDA improve its understanding of SECDs’ spread and infection rates, GAO says.USDA has been drafting new guidance to help it respond to future emerging-disease outbreaks. Under the guidance, any person with knowledge of an infection would need to report it, “which closes a reporting gap for disease incidents where no accredited veterinarian examined the animal or conducted the testing,” GAO said. GAO, however, suggested that the new guidance is unclear in certain aspects. It doesn’t specify, for instance, the circumstances under which the agency would need to order quarantines or euthanasia. “Without a clearly defined response to such emerging animal diseases, response efforts could be slowed,” GAO said.In a response, USDA said it “generally agreed” with GAO’s findings. “We had not faced anything like this before, and learned a great deal from it about our response strategy,” USDA wrote in a statement emailed to ScienceInsider. The agency is “now using that knowledge to work with our partners and stakeholders to implement our emerging diseases framework objectives in a transparent way.”Tracking emerging diseases will require good collaboration between government, laboratories, and industry, says Jürgen Richt, a veterinary microbiologist at Kansas State University, Manhattan. An outbreak can pop up without warning, and “you cannot prepare specifically for it,” he says. “So only if we talk and work together, then, we can be prepared or understand what we need to do.” It’s especially important, he says, because human health could also be at stake; many animal viruses are capable of spreading to people.USDA is now carrying out additional studies on how the pig viruses found their way into the United States. Preliminary findings released in September 2015 suggest that shipping containers holding items such as pig feed and pet treats might have transported PED to the United States. The findings are important, lawmakers and outside observers say, because they suggest the government is not fully prepared to track and respond to emerging diseases that could harm animal health, push up food prices, and, for some viruses, potentially spread to humans. 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Researchers keep pig hearts alive in baboons for more than 2 years

first_imgMohiuddin and his colleagues have been experimenting with more targeted drugs that might protect a transplant without dramatically tamping down the whole immune system. Among the most promising, he says, is an antibody that blocks communication between certain immune cells by binding to a receptor on their surface called CD40. In the new experiment, the group used the anti-CD40 antibody, along with the blood-thinning drug heparin, to prevent clotting in five baboons transplanted with hearts from genetically engineered pigs. These pigs lacked the gal gene, and also expressed genes for two human proteins: one that helps regulate blood clotting, and another that blocks the signaling molecules that prompt an antibody response leading to damaging clots.Instead of swapping out a baboon’s original heart, the researchers hooked up the pig heart to blood vessels in the baboon’s abdomen. That way, they could study immune rejection without doing a more elaborate heart surgery—and without needlessly killing a baboon if their approach was a flop. The engineered hearts combined with immunosuppression soon smashed the existing record for pig-to-baboon heart transplants—179 days. “Every [scientific] meeting, we’d go and say, ‘Oh, we got the first 236-day survival, the first 1-year survival, the first 2-year survival,’” Mohiuddin says. “It was losing its charm.” His audiences started asking whether the baboons had developed tolerance—whether they could now sustain these hearts without high doses of immunosuppression.So the researchers began to taper the baboons off the anti-CD40 antibody. That turned out to be the end of the experiments—the baboons rejected the hearts once the anti-CD40 antibodies left their systems, the team reports online today in Nature Communications. They found that in two baboons who had been on immunosuppression for a year before tapering off, the hearts could survive with lower doses of the drug. But two baboons tapered off the drugs 100 days postsurgery began to reject their hearts almost immediately. (One baboon died from an antibiotic-resistant infection about 5 months after the transplant.) The tapering experiments suggest that a lower “maintenance dose” might be effective, Mohiuddin says. But it also means this transplant approach would require lifelong immune suppression.In human patients that would confer an increased risk of infection, says Sachs, whose own lab is working on ways to induce long-term tolerance after organ transplants. “Somebody might feel [that] if you can save a person’s life but you have to leave them on long-term immunosuppression … that’s OK,” says Sachs, “but that’s something that has to be decided.”Another major caveat, says transplant immunologist and physician Daniel Salomon of Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, is that the results don’t prove the hearts would function well in the chest. “Having to actually do the pump work to keep the animals alive … is a big deal,” he says. “Just contracting in the abdomen and doing nothing physiological is much easier.” Mohiuddin and his team are gearing up for true heart replacement surgeries in a new group of baboons. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country For the last 10 years, a facility at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, has housed baboons with pig hearts beating in their abdomens. They’re part of an experiment that researchers there hope will help develop pig organs safe for transplant into people, about 22 of whom die each day in the United States alone while waiting for human organs that are in short supply. Today, those NIH researchers and their collaborators report record-setting survival data for five transplanted pig hearts, one of which remained healthy in a baboon for nearly 3 years. The results—in baboons that kept their original hearts and were regularly given hefty doses of immune-suppressing drugs—aren’t enough to justify testing pig organs in humans yet. But they come as an encouraging piece of evidence for the long-struggling field of cross-species organ transplants, known as xenotransplantation.“People used to think that this was just some wild experiment and it has no implications,” says Muhammad Mohiuddin, a cardiac transplant surgeon at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, who led the study. “I think now we’re all learning that [xenotransplantation in humans] can actually happen.”Simply moving an organ from one animal species into another provokes a violent and immediate attack from the host’s immune system. In early cross-species transplants, “we measured the survivals in minutes,” says David Sachs, a transplant immunologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who has worked on xenotransplantation for several decades. In pigs—the most likely candidate for human replacement tissue, in part because their organs are similar in size—a carbohydrate called α 1,3-galactosyltransferase (gal) on the surface of blood vessel cells would prompt the human body to make antibodies that latch onto it and cause blood clots. Once scientists developed a genetically engineered pig lacking the gal gene in 2001, porcine organs began to survive for months in baboons and other nonhuman primates. But these animals still had to be kept on a drug regimen that protected the foreign organ by suppressing their immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to infections.last_img read more

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Popular French physicist accused of plagiarizing colleagues and famous writers

first_imgAccusations of serial plagiarism against one of France’s best-known scientists have shaken the country’s scientific community and the media. Physicist and philosopher Étienne Klein, a gifted popularizer of science, stands accused of appropriating passages from other scientists, philosophers, and famous writers. Some of the authors are long dead, such as novelists Émile Zola and Stefan Zweig. Klein has admitted making mistakes but says he hasn’t knowingly committed plagiarism.Klein is a researcher at the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, where he leads a lab for material sciences in Saclay, France. In September, he was also named president of the Institute of High Studies for Science and Technology (IHEST), which seeks to foster debate about the role of science in society and to buttress public trust in the scientific enterprise. Klein is the author of many popular science books, a columnist, and the host of a radio show every Saturday on France Culture. He has won a long list of awards. “The French adore him,” the weekly journal L’Express wrote in a 30 November story.But many passages from Klein’s recent Einstein biography Le pays qu’habitait Albert Einstein appear to have been lifted almost verbatim, without attribution or quotation marks, from other sources, L’Express reported. “Strangely, it’s the most personal, most literary passages, those where Étienne Klein puts himself on the scene, the ones that bring the reader happiness, that often don’t come from his own pen,” L’Express wrote. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Email The journal cited other examples as well. A column about the “art of the free kick,” published during last summer’s European soccer championship in the newspaper La Croix, seems to have borrowed heavily from a 1986 book by physicists Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji and Michel Spiro. (The monthly magazine Sciences et Avenir put the two passages side by side to show the resemblance.)Klein, who did not respond to a request for comment today from ScienceInsider, defended himself in a response posted on his own website and at Le Monde newspaper on Monday. He didn’t deny the similarities but said physicists don’t always cite each other when they discuss well-established science: “When one writes that Earth revolves around the sun, one doesn’t use quotation marks or cite the names of Copernicus, Galileo, and [Léon] Foucault.”He noted that Cohen-Tannoudji did not consider Klein’s reuse of his ideas in La Croix as plagiarism, and said he had used some short quotes from his favorite writers in the Einstein book without attribution because he had “internalized” them after “reading and rereading them for decades.” As to longer passages from three other authors, however, he acknowledged they were “mistakes that I regret.”“To write this book, I have taken ample notes, gathered in numerous files, so much so that I may have lost certain sources or gotten mixed up,” Klein wrote.The response only made L’Express dig deeper. In a story published today, the magazine produced seven more instances of alleged plagiarism. Perhaps the most ironic example comes from Klein’s 2013 book about Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana. In the very first lines, Klein reflected on the art of writing itself, which he compared to “an illness” or even “madness.” The passage comes almost verbatim from a 1995 book by philosopher Clément Rosset, according to L’Express.Klein has not yet responded to today’s charges; neither did IHEST. In a story published earlier by Sciences et Avenir, Klein said that he has no plans to resign from his prestigious post at the institute.last_img read more

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Predatory publishers gain foothold in Indian academias upper echelon

first_imgDelving deeper, Gopalkrishnan Saroja Seethapathy, a graduate student in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Oslo, and colleagues randomly chose 3300 papers by Indian first authors from 350 journals flagged as predatory by Jeffrey Beall, a library scientist at the University of Colorado in Denver. In an analysis in the 9 December issue of Current Science, they report that more than half the papers were by authors from government-run and private colleges: hotbeds of mediocre research. But about 11% of papers, they found, were from India’s premier government research bodies, including dozens of publications from institutions belonging to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Indian Institutes of Technology.“Funding agencies have to be careful about where papers are published,” says Subhash Chandra Lakhotia, a cytogeneticist at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, which is a source of some papers in predatory journals. “They have to take their jobs seriously and find time to read papers, instead of simply going by the number of papers published.”Some say that the root of the problem is, paradoxically, recent government attempts to improve Indian research output. India’s University Grants Commission (UGC), a body charged with setting educational standards, in 2010 made it mandatory for all faculty in higher educational institutions to publish papers in order to be evaluated favorably. Pushkar, the director of the International Centre Goa who goes by one name, says this move pushed teaching faculty with no expertise in research towards predatory journals. “The research component in the performance metrics for faculty in teaching-focused institutions is the reason why predatory journals attract so many submissions,” he told Science. When concerns were raised about the proliferation of papers published in poor-quality journals, UGC announced that it would change its performance metrics and compile a list of peer-reviewed journals in which researchers would need to publish.That’s not the best solution, Vijayraghavan argues. “The fundamental problem is an ecosystem that values where you publish and how many papers you publish rather than what you publish. That needs to be changed,” he says. To bring about change, DBT launched an open-access policy in 2014, which requires all published papers to be uploaded to a central repository, so that they can be evaluated according to their merit. The department also plans to launch a preprint repository, along the lines of arXiv, to encourage sharing of research prior to publication. The idea is to galvanize a culture of evaluating research by reading publications rather than focusing on numbers of papers published or impact factors. “This will pull the carpet from under the feet of predatory publishers,” Vijayraghavan says.Some scientists feel that the predatory publishing scourge is overblown. ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra argues that many publications classified as predatory could merely be little-known journals that charge publication fees. “There are many flaws with the Current Science paper,” he says. “We will internally analyze this issue, see if a real problem exists at ICAR, and come out with our own study.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img BENGALURU, INDIA—India is home to a flourishing community of predatory journals: outlets that masquerade as legitimate scientific publications but publish papers with little or no peer review while charging authors hefty fees. Many observers assumed that such bottom feeders were mostly attracting papers of dubious scientific value, if not plagiarized or fraudulent reports, from institutions in academia’s outer orbits. But a new analysis has found that many of the weak papers in predatory journals are coming from top-flight Indian research institutions.The finding has turned the spotlight on an academic culture in India that tends to prize quantity of publications over quality when evaluating researchers. This is an especially big problem in the life sciences, and it will take time to fix, says K. Vijayraghavan, the secretary of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in New Delhi, which funded some of the research that ended up in predatory journals. “Biology, in general, has become ghastly, in that people are chasing the metrics,” he says. “If you chase these surrogate markers of success instead of science, we have a problem.”Recent revelations have pointed to a symbiotic relationship in India between questionable publishers and mediocre researchers. In 2013, a Science investigation traced the publishers and editors of scores of predatory journals to India. And last year, a team reported in BMC Medicine that of a selection of 262 authors published in predatory journals, 35% were Indian. 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Gene drive passes first test in mammals speeding up inheritance in mice

first_img Researchers have used CRISPR, the genome editing tool, to speed the inheritance of specific genes in mammals for the first time. Demonstrated in lab-reared insects several years ago, this controversial “gene-drive” strategy promises the ability to quickly spread a gene throughout an entire species. It has sparked dreams of deploying lethal genes to eradicate pests such as malaria-carrying mosquitoes—and now, perhaps, crop-damaging, disease-causing mammals such as rabbits, mice, and rats.The new research aims to create novel strains of lab mice, not wipe out wild populations, and it shows that gene drives work less efficiently in rodents than in insects. Still, Paul Thomas, a molecular geneticist at the University of Adelaide in Australia who is working on similar experiments, calls it an “important first step towards development of gene drive technology in mammals.”The study was posted 4 July on bioRxiv, an online site for preprints, by a team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), led by geneticist Kimberly Cooper. The researchers, among them Ethan Bier and Valentino Gantz, who 3 years ago showed that CRISPR could create an efficient gene drive in flies, have submitted the study to a peer-reviewed journal that asked them not to speak with media. But it has already triggered plenty of scientific discussion. “It’s a very good study and it’s of pretty high significance,” says Gaétan Burgio, a mouse geneticist at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, Australia, who tweeted a series of comments about the report. “Nothing is really known about gene drives in rodents. We all assumed the efficiency would be the same as in flies, but it turns out to be very different.” ‘Gene drive’ passes first test in mammals, speeding up inheritance in mice By Jon CohenJul. 10, 2018 , 1:50 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The genome editor CRISPR can be used to engineer female lab mice that have increased odds of passing down a specific gene to offspring. Emailcenter_img In a variation of the earlier fly work, the UCSD researchers built their gene drive by engineering female mice to carry the gene for the DNA-cutting enzyme Cas9, one of CRISPR’s two components; they engineered males to carry a gene for the other component, the guide RNA (gRNA) that shuttles Cas9 to a specific target on a genome, plus a gene that modifies coat color. Breeding the altered mice created pups that had the genes for both CRISPR components on different chromosomes.After Cas9 makes its cut, a cell repairs the damage—and how it does so is key to the success of a gene drive. The cell can either reconnect the severed strands of DNA or bridge the gap by slotting in chunks of new DNA, a process called homology directed repair (HDR). A gene drive harnesses HDR to insert a new gene—in this case, a copy of the coat-color modifier gene. But cells naturally prefer to simply reconnect the severed DNA, which thwarts a gene drive.The UCSD team exploited a fundamental biological phenomenon to force cells toward HDR. They manipulated Cas9 to turn on during meiosis, the cell division process that helps create sperm or eggs. The chromosomes naturally swap DNA during meiosis, and during those exchanges the cell only allows HDR.The experiment did not work in males, likely because spermatogonia go through normal mitotic cell division before meiosis, stymying HDR. But in females, the gene drive succeeded. It copied the coat color modifying gene to the partner chromosome in many eggs, which would significantly raise the odds of offspring inheriting it. In one mouse, 79% of her eggs ended up with the color modifying gene on both chromosomes. If she mated with a male without the gene, about 90% of her pups would inherit the gene. (Flies have a different process of embryogenesis, one that boosts the efficiency of HDR and allows it to work in both sexes.)Cooper and her colleagues write that this system of “active genetic elements” could speed the creation of mice that have several introduced or crippled genes. Michael Wiles, who heads tech evaluation and development at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine—one of the world’s largest commercial producers of engineered mice—says the method could be “very useful,” as many human diseases are caused by aberrations in several genes, and producing mice that genetically mimic those diseases is slow and laborious. “I’m now getting requests to make mice with six modifications, and the breeding time becomes phenomenal,” Wiles says. With a gene drive like this, what takes 5 years could be done in one, he says.Even though this new work aims only to engineer lab mice, Kevin Esvelt, an evolutionary biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge, says it concerns him. He believes a gene drive that could be released into the wild should include a kill switch to shut it down and restore animals to their natural state. “It’s troubling to see that the study does not explicitly mention safeguards,” Esvelt says.The new UCSD gene drive, however, likely would stop spreading in a mouse population after a few generations. Because the genes for Cas9 and the gRNA ride on different chromosomes, they would gradually become separated and the drive would lose effectiveness. In the preprint, Cooper and her colleagues stress the continuing challenges of creating an efficient gene drive for wild mammals. “[T]he optimism and concern that gene drives may soon be used to reduce invasive rodent populations in the wild is likely premature,” they conclude. istock.com/gorkemdemir 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 (*)last_img read more

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Podcast Children sue over climate and how mice inherit their gut microbes

first_img A group of children is suing the U.S. government—claiming their rights to life, liberty, and property are under threat from climate change thanks to government policies that have encouraged the use and extraction of fossil fuels. Host Meagan Cantwell interviews news writer Julia Rosen on the ins and outs of the suit and what it could mean if the kids win the day.   Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Andrew Moeller of Cornell University about his work tracing the gut microbes inherited through 10 generations of mice. It turns out the fidelity is quite high—you can still tell mice lineages apart by their gut microbes after 10 generations. And horizontally transmitted microbes, those that jump from one mouse line to another through exposure to common spaces or handlers, were more likely than inherited bacteria to be pathogenic and were often linked to illnesses in people.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Bob Dass/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Bob Dass last_img read more

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Dog breeds really do have distinct personalities—and theyre rooted in DNA

first_img Mark Raycroft/Minden Pictures Email By Elizabeth PennisiJan. 7, 2019 , 1:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country American Kennel Club descriptions of dog breeds can read like online dating profiles: The border collie is a workaholic; the German shepherd will put its life on the line for loved ones. Now, in the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, scientists have shown that such distinct breed traits are actually rooted in a dog’s genes. The findings may shed light on human behaviors as well.“It’s a huge advance,” says Elaine Ostrander, a mammalian geneticist at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved with the work. “It’s a finite number of genes, and a lot of them do make sense.”When the dog genome was sequenced in 2005, scientists thought they would quickly be able to pin down the genes that give every breed its hallmark personality. But they found so much variation even within a breed that they could never study enough dogs to get meaningful results. 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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Dog breeds really do have distinct personalities—and they’re rooted in DNA Border collies are known for their strong work ethic, even—it seems—when it comes to carrying tennis balls. So in the new study, Evan MacLean, a comparative psychologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Noah Snyder-Mackler at the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues began by looking at behavioral data for about 14,000 dogs from 101 breeds. The analyses come from the Canine Behavioral Assessment & Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ), a sort of pet personality quiz developed by James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. C-BARQ asks questions like, “What does your dog do when a stranger comes to the door?” to allow owners to objectively characterize 14 aspects of their pet’s personalities, including trainability, attachment, and aggression. Since the survey was developed in 2003, more than 50,000 owners have participated.The team matched up these behavioral data for each breed with genetic data about breeds from different sets of dogs. They didn’t look at genetic and behavioral data for individual dogs, but rather averages across a specific breed. In all, the team identified 131 places in a dog’s DNA that may help shape 14 key personality traits. Together, these DNA regions explain about 15% of a dog breed’s personality, with each exerting only a small effect. Trainability, chasing, and a tendency to be aggressive toward strangers were the most highly heritable traits, the scientists report in a paper posted this month on the preprint server bioRxiv.The locations of these DNA hot spots make sense: Some are within or close to genes tied to aggression in humans, for example, whereas DNA associated with the dog’s level of trainability is found in genes that in humans are associated with intelligence and information processing.The findings suggest behavior is guided by the same genes in many species, MacLean says. And if, for example, genes underlying anxiety in dogs lead to those same genes in people, that discovery may ultimately lead to better treatments for anxiety-related disorders, Serpell says. “These are the kinds of things we can see in the future.”Because the genetic and behavioral data come from different sets of dogs, the work cannot link a breed’s specific behavioral tendencies to any one gene. “This paper doesn’t call out any particular breed for its behavior. It relies on behaviors that are found in many breeds,” says Heidi Parker, a genome scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute who, with Ostrander, pioneered some of the early work on dog genomes.Thus, for example, Serpell’s behavioral work has shown that pit bulls are aggressive toward other dogs but not people, but this new analysis can’t lead to a DNA test of that behavior. However, Serpell and his colleagues are starting more studies looking at the DNA linked to within-breed variation in behavior, a step in that direction. Such work has been done on a small scale to pinpoint the gene for superfriendly behavior.Until more of those connections are made, “I am not sure how widely accepted the results will be,” says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. He and dog genetics expert Elinor Karlsson from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester point out that this study finds a much bigger role for genetics in shaping behavior than previous studies and so think more work needs to be done to verify the findings.*Update, 9 December, 1:35 p.m.: This story has been updated to include the contributions of Noah Snyder-Mackler.last_img read more

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The Wandering Ghost Ship whose Whereabouts Remain a Mystery

first_imgThe SS Baychimo launched in 1914 under the name of Ångermanelfven. She was last seen in 1969 floating in the Arctic. For all we know, she still wanders the vast waters around the globe. There is great interest in the fate of probably the most mysterious ghost ship but despite the efforts to solve the puzzle, she hasn’t been found. Even the Alaskan government expressed interest back in 2006 to find the ship and solve the mystery once and for all, but with no luck yet.SS Baychimo, 1931.SS Ångermanelfven was a 230-foot-long, 1,322-ton, steel-hulled cargo steamer, built at the Lindholmens shipyard in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her job was transporting goods between Sweden and Hamburg, but after the end of the World War I, as part of Germany’s war reparations, she was passed over to the British.By 1921, the ship was acquired by the Hudson’s Bay Company in Ardrossan, Scotland where she was renamed as Baychimo. Her new mission was collecting fur pelts and trading them for sugar, tea, tobacco, and weapons along the Canadian coast, during the summer seasons.Ships passing in the Clyde estuary off Ardrossan.For the next ten years, reaching a top speed of 12 miles per hour, SS Baychimo circumnavigated the globe, carrying supplies between Scotland and Canada. And then on October 1, 1931, while SS Baychimo was on her way to Vancouver, she got trapped in early season ice pack near Barrow, Alaska — the 11th northernmost community in the world.The ship was at the end of a trade run and the crew needed to wait a few days for the ice to break, so they hiked for a half mile over the ice to the Alaskan town. Unfortunately, a week later SS Baychimo got trapped in the ice again, but this time more seriously.An arctic gateway of sorts to Barrow, Alaska made of Bowhead whale bones and whaling boat frames through which a view of the Chukchi Sea and passing Oil Tankers can be seen.The Hudson’s Bay Company airlifted 22 of its employees while 14 very hardy sailors and their captain, despite the punishing weather, decided to stay and watch over the ship for the duration of the winter.However, according to Arctic historian Kenn Harper, on November 24th the temperature rose from minus 60 to zero and for three days in a row a blizzard raged, preventing the crew from leaving their wooden shelter.Barrow, Alaska.When they were finally able to get out, Baychimo wasn’t trapped in the ice anymore. She wasn’t even on the shore. The ship was simply gone. The crew presumed that their ship sank, but a few days later an Inuit seal hunter told them that he saw her floating some 45 miles away.The crew excitedly sailed after their ship and tracked her down. But it was in such bad repair that the captain unloaded the cargo and everything valuable and decided that Baychimo was no longer seaworthy.The abandoned ship remained in the Arctic waters, sailing alone, without a crew, for many decades. Her life as a ghost ship began and in the following 40 years, she was sighted 12 times. She was first seen several months later, 250 miles to the east.In 1932 a trading party boarded her near Wainwright, Alaska, and in 1933 Eskimos sheltered in her during a storm that lasted for ten days. In 1939, Captain Hugh Polson made an unsuccessful attempt to salvage her from the ice.Read another story from us: Huge Ghost Ship Appears Out of Nowhere in Southeast AsiaThe last recorded sighting of Baychimo was in 1969 when a sailing party encountered her between Point Barrow and Icy Cape in the Chukchi Sea. Nobody has seen the ship since, and while some presume she sank or was destroyed in storms, no wreckage has been found.last_img read more

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Epic TV Drama based on Disappearance of Richard the Lionheart

first_imgWhat happens when a king goes missing? An epic new TV series will dramatize the power struggle which flared in Europe after Richard the Lionheart mysteriously disappeared in the 12th century. The series is titled Three Lions and has been created by Nicolas Deprost, CEO of Franco-Belgian production company Wild Horses. Nigel Williams (HBO’s Catherine The Great) has been hired to write the 10 parter.As quoted by Deadline, publicity states, “Richard the Lionheart’s absence and suspected death has created a power vacuum, Arthur his designated heir by law, is being denied his rightful place as King of England by his own grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Richard’s mother).”Tomb of Richard the LionheartInter-family conflict is something that characterizes Richard’s bloodline. His father was Henry II, who Richard previously fought against — alongside France’s Philip II — in a battle for dominance.Eleanor “has no intention of relinquishing any of her power and influence. If Richard is dead, Eleanor is determined that her next son, John Lackland, will be crowned King and her status as the Regent Queen will remain unchallenged.” This not only sets her against King Philip but also Constance, Arthur’s mother, who rules the roost over in Brittany.The blurb ends by summarizing what viewers have in store. “Eleanor and Constance are two powerful, independent and driven women who will stop at nothing to place their own son on the throne. Only one can become the King of England.”Richard the Lionheart statueDespite Richard being a presence in the story, it appears the focus of the drama will be the simmering tensions back home. Deprost comments that, “Loyalties, rivalries, lust, conspiracies and the thirst for power are often the focus of history, but Three Lions also shines a light on powerful women in the medieval period and the strength of a mother’s love.”He highlights this by adding, “Constance is not well known in British history, but this passionate, liberal, strong-hearted Duchess played a crucial role in shaping England and France as we know it today.”But will King Richard himself appear in proceedings? The Lionheart, or “Coeur de Lion” was a central figure of the Third Crusade (1189 – 92), taking on Saladin, the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria. Richard spent more time abroad than he did ruling over England, living in the country of his reign for a mere matter of months.Richard the Lionheart statue. It stands on a granite pedestal in Old Palace Yard outside the Palace of Westminster, London.Born in Oxford to French parents in 1157, it seems didn’t have much time for the place. The website Historic UK writes, “it is doubtful that he could actually speak the English language. He once remarked that he would have sold the whole country if he could have found a buyer.”If he does appear onscreen, Richard should cut an impressive figure. “Richard was tall, perhaps 6ft 5in, with red-to-auburn hair and piercing blue eyes,” wrote History Today. “He had a sense of humour and, according to a disapproving clerical chronicler, could keep his companions in fits of laughter. He could be kind, charming and generous, and alternatively ruthlessly cruel, and like all his family he had a fearsome temper.”What of his whereabouts during the course of Three Lions? It turns out the King was shipwrecked off the capital city of Trieste, in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. It sounds scenic, but he didn’t have a great time.Richard the Lionheart marches towards Jerusalem, by James William Glass (1850)He was first imprisoned by the Duke of Austria and then ransomed by Germany’s Henry VI at a major cost to the public purse. A “quarter of every man’s income for a whole year” was needed to meet the cost of an eye-watering 150,000 marks.After returning to England in 1194, he saw out the remainder of his days in typical fashion. Having been “crowned for a second time, fearing that the ransom payment had compromised his independence” according to BBC History, he “went to Normandy… His last five years were spent in intermittent warfare against Philip II. While besieging the castle of Châlus in central France he was fatally wounded and died on 6 April 1199.”King Richard the Lionheart marrying Robin Hood and Maid Marian on a plaque outside Nottingham Castle. Photo by RichardUK2014 CC BY-SA 3.0All this would be enough for a TV show in itself — indeed, ITV in the UK produced a Richard the Lionheart series in 1962-63 starring Dermot Walsh. For this tale however producers are aiming for Game of Thrones-style intrigue. No casting has been announced as yet.Read another story from us: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter Officially Announce Bill & Ted 3“The Middle Ages is painfully close to us, and, at the same time, a completely foreign country of which we know nothing,” Williams remarked. “For a writer, this period is both a gift and a challenge – and one I am happy to embrace.”Three Lions is reportedly going into production next year.last_img read more

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New cemetery fees adopted by Holbrook City Council

first_imgNew cemetery fees adopted by Holbrook City Council March 6, 2018 By Toni Gibbons Holbrook’s City Council passed a resolution setting the fees and regulations for the Holbrook Cemetery at the Feb. 27 meeting. The cost was broken into a three-tiered approach, with the first tier,Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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Navajo County enters into Stage Three fire restrictions

first_imgMay 28, 2018 Navajo County enters into Stage Three fire restrictions By Toni Gibbons Due to the current weather conditions in Navajo County along with the imminent threat of a catastrophic fire and endangerment of the citizens and visitors of Navajo County, Stage Three restrictions haveSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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NATC may receive funding for expansion

first_imgMay 8, 2019 NATC may receive funding for expansion The NATC provides state-of-the-art training for law enforcement and firefighters throughout Arizona.center_img By Toni Gibbons       Northland Pioneer College (NPC) President Mark Vest informed the Taylor and Snowflake councils at the May 2 joint meeting that appropriations promised to the Jake Flake Emergency Services Institute NortheastSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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UK falling behind in race to engage with India warns British Parliament

first_imgThe report ‘Building Bridges: Reawakening UK-India ties’, released to coincide with the first-ever India Day in the Houses of Parliament to mark the launch of UK-India Week 2019, called for a reset of ties through better visa and immigration policies for Indian tourists, students and professionals as it accuses the UK government of missing opportunities in the bilateral relationship.“The UK is falling behind in the global race to engage with a rising India…The story of the UK’s recent relationship with India is primarily one of missed opportunities,” the report said.“There are certain practical steps the government must take to reset its relationship with India, in particular making it easier for Indians to visit the UK and to work or study here,” it noted. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Best Of Express UK to facilitate release of Iranian tanker if it gets Syria guarantees: Jeremy Hunt On the issue of visas, it expressed concern that India seems to face tougher norms than a non-democratic country like China. “There is no excuse for the migration policies that have led the UK to lose ground in attracting Indian students and tourists – who not only contribute to our economy but build lasting bilateral ties.“The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) should ensure that the goal of improving the overall relationship with India is woven into the broader government migration policy. Something has gone wrong, if it is more difficult for citizens of a strategically important democracy that shares our values, language and history to visit or study in the UK than those of an autocracy such as China.”While the inquiry acknowledged that in all fundamental respects the UK is well placed to capitalise on a mutually beneficial relationship with India, it warned that the relationship between the two democracies is not fulfilling its potential because the right message is not going out to New Delhi.“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is time to reset this relationship. We cannot afford to be complacent or rely on historical connections to deliver a modern partnership,” it said. Post Comment(s) UK says seized Iranian oil tanker could be released Advertising By Reuters | Published: June 24, 2019 11:24:55 am Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising UK: Iranian vessels tried to block British vessel in Gulf UK falling behind in race to engage with India, warns British Parliament inquiry report Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a bilateral meeting. (Reuters)The UK is falling behind in the global race to engage with India as it has failed to adjust its strategy to fit India’s enhanced influence and power on the world stage, a new British parliamentary inquiry report concluded on Monday. Related News Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising The report follows the year-long “Global Britain and India” inquiry, launched by the House of Commons’ cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) in July last year to explore the India-UK relationship in the context of Britain’s impending exit from the European Union (EU).Through a series of oral and written submissions from a diverse range of organisations and individuals working within the UK-India corridor, the influential parliamentary committee concluded that the UK must prioritise talks with India and do more to lay the groundwork for an eventual free trade agreement.The Indian Ocean is identified as a vital arena for closer defence and security cooperation between the two countries.“The FCO should take care to ensure that stronger economic ties with China are not at the expense of a deeper partnership with India,” it warned.Tom Tugendhat, Conservative Party MP and Chair of the FAC, raised the issue of the UK government’s failure to formally apologise for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre during the British Raj in time for its 100th anniversary in April this year as an “important symbolic opportunity” which was missed. He said: “As new powers challenge the structure of global trade and dispute resolution, we cannot miss the opportunity to partner with India. Trade, security, a shared commitment to the rules-based international system — these are all factors in our growing and evolving partnership.“The government needs to make sure the UK is making its support for India clear, reawakening the ties between us and building bridges that are made to last.” More Explained Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach The report’s findings are expected to feature heavily during the course of UK-India Week, organised by UK-based media house India Inc, which includes a high-profile Leaders’ Summit in Buckinghamshire, south-east England.last_img read more

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British leaks say Donald Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama

first_img Explained: What proposed change in US Green Card legislation means for Indians Best Of Express “Even when you pressed,” Darroch wrote to Johnson, “none had anything much to say about the day after, or a Plan B, beyond reimposition of U.S. sanctions.”With Iran and the United States locked in an escalating standoff, the leaked cables offered a window into Britain’s frantic effort to save the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 — and the Trump administration’s indifference to its entreaties.Published by a British tabloid, The Mail on Sunday, the cables are the second batch of leaked documents that led to Darroch’s resignation last week. The British Foreign Office has previously made it clear that the leaked documents were authentic.Darroch resigned after Trump vowed to stop dealing with the ambassador, and after Johnson, now the front-runner to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, refused to say he would keep Darroch in his post. Britain memo leaks, UK memos, Iran deal, US-Iran Deal, US Iran relations, US-Iran nuclear deals, Barak Obama, Donald Trump, World news, Indian Express news With Iran and the United States locked in an escalating standoff, the leaked cables offered a window into Britain’s frantic effort to save the Iran nuclear deal. (File)Written by: Benjamin Mueller NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising Vice President Mike Pence and John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, showed no such hesitation, although Bolton promised Johnson that the president “wasn’t favoring a military option,” the cables said. By New York Times |London | Published: July 14, 2019 6:19:51 pm Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Related News Advertising Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Advertising Johnson’s position drew fierce criticism from his opponent in the prime minister race, Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary, as well as from some of the Conservative Party members who are voting on the next party leader and prime minister.On Friday night, Johnson acknowledged in a BBC interview that his failure to stand behind Darroch had been part of the reason the ambassador decided to resign. Heckled that same night at a campaign event, Johnson said for the first time that he wished he had publicly supported Darroch.“I probably should have been more emphatic that Kim personally had my full support,” Johnson said.The leak has prompted an aggressive investigation by a counterterrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police, as well as a bitter dispute over the right of The Mail on Sunday to publish the files. Republicans offer little criticism of Trump’s comments on Democratic Congresswomen More Explained Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the leader of the counterterrorism unit, warned before the latest release that publishing any further documents “may also be a criminal matter.” He asked newspapers to turn over any leaked documents to the police.Journalists, lawmakers and both candidates for prime minister leapt to the defense of The Mail on Sunday, saying the warning from the police jeopardized the workings of a free press.“I defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them & judge them to be in the public interest: that is their job,” Hunt said on Twitter.Johnson said he worried that clamping down on the publication of leaked documents would have “a chilling effect on public debate.”British news reports Saturday indicated that the police were focusing on a government insider in the leak investigation. Pro-Brexit politicians have blamed civil servants and diplomats for Britain’s failure to leave the European Union as scheduled, and Darroch, formerly Britain’s top diplomat in Brussels, was one of the senior officials most distrusted by Brexit supporters.Brexiteers like Johnson have held out the prospect of a free trade deal with the United States as one of the rewards of a hard split with the European Union. But the cables published Saturday reinforced how little weight the Trump administration gives the views of its allies, with Darroch writing that the United States was quitting the nuclear deal with “no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region.”Johnson did not meet with Trump on the visit, but Darroch ensured that the foreign secretary had “exceptional access” to senior officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the cables said. That meeting created the impression that parts of the administration were at odds over Trump’s determination to quit the Iran deal.Darroch wrote that Pompeo “did some subtle distancing by talking throughout about ‘the president’s decision,’” and that Pompeo hinted at an attempt to “sell” Trump on a revised version of the nuclear deal or, short of that, milder sanctions than the president was seeking. It was just hours after Boris Johnson, then Britain’s foreign secretary, returned to London from a whirlwind trip last year to try to persuade the White House to abide by the Iran nuclear accord.Kim Darroch, then the British ambassador to the United States, fired off a withering assessment of President Donald Trump’s wish to quit the deal. Trump, he wrote in leaked diplomatic cables that were published Saturday, was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.”The vice president, the national security adviser and the secretary of state had all failed to “articulate why the president was determined to withdraw, beyond his campaign promises,” Darroch wrote. And the U.S. government had no plan for what would follow. Hassan Rouhani says Iran ready to talk to US if sanctions lifted 2 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Update Hawaii governor says construction of controversial giant telescope will begin soon

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 Last week, the state of Hawaii gave astronomers a green light to begin to build the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which would rise on the volcanic peak of Mauna Kea as one of the largest telescopes in the world. Project leaders say they are set to begin construction after a 4-year delay caused by sit-down protests and court challenges from Native Hawaiians opposed to structures on a site they consider sacred. But some astronomers worry the threat of disruptions and even violence will persist.“These are passionate people,” says Richard Ellis, an astronomer at University College London who helped develop the TMT concept. “They know that once it gets going their case is weaker.” Others say the project should do more to engage with the protesters. “We need to talk with people who disagree with us,” says Thayne Currie, an astrophysicist the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, who works on Japan’s Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea.Although legal barriers are now removed, opponents say they can still try to block access to the road that leads up to the 4200-meter-high summit. “What other tools do we have, apart from having people arrested in large numbers?” asks Kealoha Pisciotta, founder of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, one of the main opposition organizations. In 2015, 1000 protesters gathered on the mountain, but “there are way, way more people involved now,” she says. The astronomers “may have won in the courts, but they haven’t won the moral high ground.”The TMT and its rivals, Europe’s 39-meter Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and a second U.S. project, the 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), are the future of ground-based astronomy. Their giant mirrors will gather enough light to probe the atmospheres of nearby exoplanets and detect the first galaxies forming in the early universe.Backed by six universities and nations and costing more than $1 billion, the TMT was once the leader of the pack, but the problems on Mauna Kea mean it now lags the ELT and GMT, which have both begun construction at sites in Chile. Protesters disrupted a groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 and brought construction to a halt in June 2015. Then, opponents successfully argued in court that the state of Hawaii had issued the project a construction permit before they could voice objections. The permit was rescinded while “contested case” hearings took place. Finally, in October 2018, Hawaii’s Supreme Court upheld the permit. Last week, the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources gave the TMT a “notice to proceed,” meaning that it could move ahead with construction.TMT managers are now in discussion with various local agencies, including law enforcement, about the best time to start, says TMT Executive Director Edward Stone, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “We’ll take whatever time it takes to make a decision,” he says.All Mauna Kea observatories are on land leased to the University of Hawaii in 1968 for 65 years. Later plans set a limit of 13 telescopes on the summit and restricted their size. But counting the eight 6-meter dishes of the Submillimeter Array as separate instruments, the TMT will actually be the 22nd scope; at 18 stories high, it will also be the tallest building on the Big Island. Pisciotta says its position, on a pristine site, enlarges the footprint of the observatory and interferes in religious practices. Her group wants no further building outside the existing observatory footprint and says any new telescopes should occupy the sites of old ones.In 2015, Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, proposed a compromise that would remove older telescopes. Four have been identified for closure and a fifth has yet to be chosen. But this needs to happen much faster, Currie says. “That more than anything else will take the air out of the protests,” he says. Currie also says Hawaiian legislators should pass a bill halting further expansion of the observatory. “We need some way to reassure people,” he says. “The level of trust is very low.”TMT leaders say they have gone to great lengths to win over the public, and emphasize the money and jobs astronomy brings to the island. Astronomers talk at schools, classes are invited up to Mauna Kea for observations, and high school graduates can take on internships. “It’s hard to hate someone who is good to your kids,” says Mary Beth Laychak, outreach manager at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea.But others argue that promoting astronomy misses the point. What motivates many protesters are historical grievances over Native Hawaiian rights and cultural practices since the United States annexed the islands in 1898, Pisciotta says. With protesters backed into a corner, Currie says, TMT leaders should reach out. “The protesters need to feel they are getting something out of this.”Stone says there have been talks but declined to give details, although he cites the 44 days of contested case hearings. “That’s a lot of time listening,” he says. Tensions are likely to persist: Last week, state officials removed four structures from the mountain, including two shrines, or ahus, from the TMT site. As Michael Balogh, an astronomer at the University of Waterloo in TMT partner country Canada, puts it, “You can imagine lots of ways in which the situation becomes unacceptable.”*Correction, 28 June, 11 a.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated the numbers of telescopes so far marked for closure and shrines removed from the mountain. It also included comments that misstated how much the TMT blocks views. peace portal photo/Alamy Stock Photo Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Update, 11 July, 9 a.m.: The governor of Hawaii, David Ige (D), and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory announced on 10 July that construction of the TMT would begin next week. In a statement, the governor said that, to ensure the safety and security of the public and personnel, the access road to the summit observatory on Mauna Kea would be closed and there would be other road closures to allow large equipment to be brought in. In addition, several areas of the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve designated for hunting would temporarily be closed for hunting.Meanwhile, in a last ditch attempt to stop the project, opposition groups led by Native Hawaiians and Kanaka Maoli religious and cultural practitioners and protectors on 8 July filed a petition asking the Third Circuit Court of Hawaii to block construction. The opponents argue that the governor, the attorney general of Hawaii, the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawaii, the mayor of Hawaii county, and the TMT International Observatory had failed to comply with the rules of a 1977 management plan for Mauna Kea requiring the project to post a security bond equivalent to the construction contract cost. “By failing to post the bond they have laid all financial liability on the People of Hawai’i, in the event the TMT doesn’t get full funding and this is especially important because they don’t have full funding now,” says opposition activist Kealoha Pisciotta of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou.Here is our previous story from 25 June: center_img The Thirty Meter Telescope would be the 22nd instrument atop Mauna Kea. Japan’s Subaru (left) and the Keck telescopes are shown. Update: Hawaii governor says construction of controversial giant telescope will begin soon Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Daniel CleryJul. 11, 2019 , 9:00 AMlast_img read more

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Microsoft Debuts Smarter Cloud at Build

first_imgCompetitive Landscape Microsoft executives, led by CEO Satya Nadella, introduced a series of enhancements to the company’s critical data and cloud services at the kickoff of its annual Build conference on Wednesday, demonstrating new ways to expand adoption of artificial intelligence, personal digital assistants and other innovations.Nadella told conference attendees that there will be more than 25 billion intelligent devices in the world by 2020, and the role of developers will be to extend new technologies to meet that challenge.”So, whether precision medicine or precision agriculture, whether it’s digital media or the industrial Internet, the opportunity for us as developers to have broad, deep impact on all parts of society and all parts of the economy has never been greater,” he said.More than 500 million Windows 10 users now can be reached through the Windows Store, Nadella noted, as well as 100 million monthly active users of Office 365, 140 million monthly users of Cortana, and 12 million organizational entities in the Azure Active Directory — including small, medium and large businesses, as well as educational institutions.Microsoft offered a preview of Azure IoT Edge, a cross-platform runtime that allows cloud functionality to be run remotely on IoT devices. The technology runs on both Windows and Linux, and it can operate on devices smaller than a Raspberry Pi. Major cloud computing firms like Microsoft, Google and Amazon are pursuing different strategies to capitalize on emerging market opportunities, said Jeffrey Kaplan, managing director of ThinkStrategies.”The most obvious example is the latest smart devices that each of the companies are rolling out, which combine voice recognition, AI, communications and ambient computing capabilities to provide a widening array of consumer and collaboration applications for the home and office,” he told TechNewsWorld.Microsoft’s announcements targeted the core developer audience at the Build conference, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”Not surprisingly, Azure is particularly strong in its support for Microsoft’s individual and group applications, which aren’t high priorities for some other cloud providers,” he told TechNewsWorld.Microsoft is typically ranked second behind AWS in terms of the size of its facilities and business, but there is research showing that Microsoft is gaining share against AWS, King noted.Gupshup, a bot platform provider, announced an agreement to use Microsoft Cognitive Services on Interbot, its bot-to-bot communications platform, which will be used to develop bots for Microsoft Teams, Skype, Skype for Business, Cortana and other platforms.”There are a wide variety of applications for both B2B and B2C customers that will benefit from bots being able to more intelligently communicate with one another, leveraging Microsoft APIs and accessing Bing’s knowledge graph,” said Beerud Sheth, CEO of Gupshup.For example, bots will be able to perform news and sentiment mining in real time, as well as review and recognize images and videos and trigger appropriate actions as a result, he told TechNewsWorld.Customers want Microsoft to make their jobs easier, Sheth said. They want to see advances like support for edge computing, for example, which opens up paths to new projects or business opportunities. They want to see support for emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, that enhance or broaden the appeal of their work. Predictive Maintenancecenter_img David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. The company demonstrated how one of its clients, Swedish cutting tool manufacturer Sandvik Coromant, is using Azure IoT Edge, along with Cortana Intelligence and Dynamics 365, to predict machine breakdowns on a factory floor more than 100 times faster than traditional models.In another demonstration, Microsoft showed how Azure Stack, Azure Functions, Cognitive Services and commodity cameras could help manage worker safety on industrial sites. Because the camera can differentiate among industrial tools and workers, it could be used in a scenario to prevent an unauthorized worker from gaining access to a jackhammer or potentially dangerous tools, for example.In another demonstration, the company showed how Microsoft Graph is used with Office 365 to create Cortana skills that are pushed across devices — for example to send out a meeting reminder, or to push a low fuel warning to your car’s new Harman Kordan-developed Invoke smart speaker, which is powered by Cortana.Microsoft signed new agreements with HP to develop Cortana-based devices, and with Intel to develop Cortana-based reference platforms. Microsoft also has made the Cortana skills kit available for public preview, allowing developers to build skills for Cortana and publish it to the Cortana channel of the Bot framework.Microsoft demonstrated how multiple products, including Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Teams, and others will be integrated into Tact, a new sales experience platform that can turn any AI-connected device into an AI-powered virtual sales assistant.Microsoft introduced Azure Cosmos DB, which it says is the first globally distributed data service that allows you to horizontally scale throughput and storage anywhere, with guaranteed low latency, high availability and consistency. Users can scale hundreds of millions of requests with a single click.Microsoft announced new MySQL and PostgreSQL-managed services joining the AzureSQL database, and provided an early preview of Microsoft’s new database migration services.The company announced general availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac.It also announced general availability of Windows Server Containers support in Azure Service Fabric.Developers now can publish for Microsoft Teams, its new chat-based workspace in Office 365. The company introduced new Microsoft Graph APIs for developers, including APIs for SharePoint and Planner.last_img read more

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Palo Alto Networks Sales VP Amy Slater Be Human

first_imgPalo Alto Networks VP Amy SlaterTechNewsWorld: What did you learn in your many years of being involved with high-tech sales?Amy Slater: One of the life lessons I’ve learned and that I speak about fairly often is that we can’t be afraid to be our own advocate. You must be your own advocate. Women so often fear that they’re bragging or self-promoting, but that’s a bad thing. Men don’t feel that way.I learned that I need to lobby for myself and create my story so people would know what I stood for. I need to create my own personal brand. I’ve also realized the importance of being authentic and trying to figure out what you stand for — having a point of view. You need not try to be like other people, but to be yourself. People have a fear that if they show any type of vulnerability, that’s a bad thing. But I’ve learned over time that people want to work with and learn from humans. I’ve modified the way that I was leading, and in doing so I’ve become more approachable. Instead of being stiff and by-the-book, I started to create my own brand of being human. We all need to be human at work. If you’re human at work, you can drive so much more productivity and loyalty and interest in your company. Finally, making mistakes is a requirement. You don’t have to be perfect.TNW: What does it mean to be human?Slater: Being human means not being afraid to approach people, to ask them how they’re doing, to show that you aren’t a corporate suit. To be OK talking about things. It’s about having empathy, understanding and appreciating that people have different family lives and different interests, and encouraging diversity.Being human is also encouraging people to be individuals. Companies can be so much more innovative when there’s that kind of diversity, and when their employees are human and not robots doing the same thing.TNW: How is your career evolving and changing? What’s in the future?Slater: I think it’s evolved a lot in the last couple of years. What’s been so exciting is to get to a place in my career when it’s not just about having active leadership, but about being a thought leader. My job is to help my company grow its revenue, but my job is also to grow and develop people — not just the people who work directly for me, but people who work across the ecosystem. My role has evolved to inspire people.In addition to doing my day job, I’m continuing to do public speaking. It’s really about putting it all together. My world is not just the office where I sit — it’s about being a part of the industry, a part of the community. I want to be engaged in helping young women, in particular, grow and develop in their careers faster, with their eyes wide open. I have three daughters, so I also have a vested interest in that. I feel like it’s evolved so that my job is not just about a title.TNW: What challenges have you faced as a woman in a tech field?Slater: Being the only woman in a room can be lonely, which leads to a feeling of not being heard, because you’re one person in a room full of men. Being taken seriously can be a challenge. I don’t feel that any of it is malicious on the part of men; it’s more just unconscious bias.People hire people who look like them and act like them, because they feel like they know what they’re going to get. Since the industry is male-dominated, many people don’t know how to handle women. It’s just a byproduct of ignorance.TNW: Are things changing?Slater: Awareness is starting. If we don’t develop an inclusive culture, what good is diversity? The awareness in our industry has been raised, and we’re seeing a slow shift. It’s got to be owned by men and women. That’s why it’s important for young women to get into tech.It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. If the companies don’t create an inclusive culture, no one will want to go into the field. You are seeing things around diversity and inclusion in colleges and universities. They’re being educated not to accept something that’s not inclusive, so they’re going to start demanding that kind of inclusion.TNW: How would you define inclusion?Slater: Inclusion is essentially allowing women to have a seat at the table and to be part of the community. It’s a lot of the very subtle things. There have been things published about the tech bro culture. It’s in the language. It’s using inclusive language — terminology like “the guys” or “one of the guys.” A lot of inclusion has to do with the language we use.TNW: What advice would you give to girls and women who are interested in working in the tech field or starting their own tech business?Slater: I would say to not be afraid, and really that anything is possible. Tech companies want women. They don’t always know how to bring them in, but they want them. It’s a great time for young women who are thinking of tech. There’s a spirit out there that wants diversity in thought. I don’t think it’s lip service anymore. Ask a lot of questions, and don’t be afraid because it is still so male-dominated. Don’t let that hold you back. Amy Slater is vice president of inside sales for Palo Alto Networks.In this exclusive interview, Slater offers her insights on how women can excel as sales professionals.center_img Vivian Wagner has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. Her main areas of focus are technology, business, CRM, e-commerce, privacy, security, arts, culture and diversity. She has extensive experience reporting on business and technology for a varietyof outlets, including The Atlantic, The Establishment and O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds a PhD in English with a specialty in modern American literature and culture. She received a first-place feature reporting award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.Email Vivian.last_img read more

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