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Breaking News  - Humans have TWICE as much Neanderthal DNA as first thought
Some modern humans have more Neanderthal DNA in their genetic make-up than first thought, a new study has found.Research shows that between 1.8 and 2.6 per cent of the genomes of modern, non-African human populations is made up of Neanderthal DNA.This is far higher than previous estimates of 1.5 to 2.1 per cent.These genes play roles in our cholesterol levels, eating disorders, arthritis and other diseases today, the researchers claim.The study follows separate research, published yesterday, which found that Neanderthal DNA can drive our smoking habits, mood swings, and skin tone.Neanderthals are the closest extinct relatives of humans, migrating to Europe from Africa thousands of years before our Homo Sapien ancestors.Early humans migrating from Africa interbred with Neanderthals in Europe roughly 100,000 years ago, and this DNA mixing still contributes to several modern traits.Researchers believe the genes from our extinct cousins could have helped our ancestors to thrive as they adapted to the European continent.In the new study, experts from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analysed billions of DNA fragments sampled from the remains of a female Neanderthal.It is only the second genome of the species to be fully sequenced with a high level of quality.The ancient female lived 52,000 years ago, and her remains were found in Vindija Cave, Croatia in the 1980s.Previous work has shown that Neanderthals lived in the cave until late in their history, with the species predicted to have gone extinct roughly 45,000 years ago.Compared to other sequenced remains, the researchers found their Croatian Neanderthal - dubbed Vindija 33.19 - was more closely related to the Neanderthals who interbred with the ancestors of modern humans living outside Africa.This closer relation meant the team identified 10 to 20 per cent more Neanderthal DNA in modern humans than previously thought.These newly discovered gene variants contribute to human blood vitamin D levels, LDL cholesterol counts,  as well as body fat levels.The DNA also plays a role in arthritis, schizophrenia and responses to antipsychotic drugs, the study found.'This adds to mounting evidence that Neanderthal ancestry influences disease risk in present-day humans, particularly with respect to neurological, psychiatric, immunological, and dermatological phenotypes,' the authors wrote in their paper.But not all of the Neanderthal DNA is negative, the researchers claims.'Variants from Neanderthals are not necessarily bad for your health,' said study lead author Dr Kay Prüfer told Live Science.'We find one variant that is associated with LDL cholesterol, and the variant we got from Neanderthals is associated with lower LDL cholesterol.'The team compared the genomes of the Vindija Neanderthal with that of a specimen found in Russia's Altai mountains.They found that the two were surprisingly similar, suggesting that the European population of Neanderthals around 52,000 years ago was very small.'The two Neanderthals were separated by thousands of kilometers and probably lived tens of thousands of years separated in time as well,' Dr Prüfer said.'That is why it is so surprising to find them to be so similar.'The new research follows a separate Neanderthal DNA study published yesterday, also from the Max Planck Institute.Scientists studying British DNA found our Neanderthal inheritance affects our skin tone, hair colour, height, sleep patterns, mood, and even a 1
Views: 13988 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - China set for 2018 mission to the far side of the moon
China is set to send a radical probe to the far side of the moon this year, it has been claimed.The mission is the latest in a string of space breakthrough for China.The new Chang'e 4 space mission will launch in June, when a Long March 4C rocket will carry a 425kg relay satellite and place it 60,000km behind the moon.According to the Chongqing Morning Post, a container filled with seeds and insect eggs will be attached to Chang'e 4, China's second lunar lander, and will be sent to the Moon in 2018.  The container, which is made from special aluminium alloy, will demonstrate the growing process of plants and animals on the Moon.  It will also provide valuable data and experience for the future establishment of eco-bases on other planets. 'The container will send potatoes, arabidopsis seeds and silkworm eggs to the surface of the Moon. The eggs will hatch into silkworms, which can produce carbon dioxide, while the potatoes and seeds emit oxygen through photosynthesis. Together, they can establish a simple ecosystem on the Moon,' Zhang Yuanxun, chief designer of the container, told the Chongqing Morning Post.A second launch later in the year will send a lander and rover to the far side of the moon, which will be guided to a safe landing by the satellite.It will be the first ever landing on the lunar far side, an unexplored region of the Moon called South Pole-Aitken Basin, a vast basin in the southern hemisphere of the far side which extends from the South Pole to Aitken crater.The rover will also contain a 'gardening kit' to pave the way for a human outpost by examining how plants grow on the lunar surface.'The Chinese are pushing back the frontier with such a technically challenging mission,' says Brian Harvey, space analyst and author of China in Space: The Great Leap Forward, told The Guardian.China also announced plans to launch a space probe to bring back samples from the moon, in what state media cast as competition to U.S. President Donald Trump's ambitions to revitalise U.S. space exploration.The Chang'e-5 lunar probe is undergoing a final round of tests and is expected to be on standby for launch from August, the official People's Daily said last year, citing the China National Space Administration.The launch will involve new challenges for China in sample collection, taking off from the moon and high-speed reentry to the Earth's atmosphere, making it 'one of China's most complicated and difficult space missions', Hu Hao, an official from China's Lunar Exploration Programme, told the paper.Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China to become a global power in space exploration.'Not long ago, the United States' Trump Administration revealed an ambition to return to the moon.'Our country also announced a series of deep space exploration plans,' said the official Science and Technology Daily.'The moon is the first stop for humanity's march towards deep space,' the paper said.In February, the Trump administration asked the National Aer AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5226529/China-set-2018-mission-far-moon.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2453 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Two-thirds of baby food on the market contains arsenic
Two-thirds of baby food in the United States tested positive for arsenic and other dangerous toxins, a study claims.Also, 80 percent of baby formula analyzed had levels of arsenic in the mixture.The Clean Label Project, a non-profit organization advocating for transparent product labels in Denver, tested more than 500 baby foods sold in United States stores.The researchers found that 65 percent tested positive for arsenic, including products from popular brands such as Gerber, Parent's Choice and Sprout.Arsenic is a metalloid and experts warn it can affect a child's motor skills, cognition and heart as they are growing.The Clean Label Product tested the baby food products on what contained arsenic, lead and other dangerous chemicals.Each product was then ranked from one to five stars based on the toxins and how nutritious the product was for a child.The study showed that not only did more than half the products have arsenic, but also 35 percent tested positive for lead and 58 percent for cadmium.These chemicals can pose potential risks for the infants when consumed such as neurological deficiencies and problems to the immune system.Rice-based products such as puffs are most likely to contain arsenic, according to the study.The US Food and Drug Administration has previously looked into the impact of arsenic on rice in food products such as rice-based baby cereals.In April 2016, the administration proposed a limit of 100 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic in rice cereal for infants.This was proposed to potentially eliminate risk that an infant could consume large amounts of the dangerous metalloid.The European Food and Safety Authority has already enforced limitations of inorganic arsenic in rice, but the US is still in the discussion phase of the possible regulation.The study also found that 60 percent of products that were labeled as 'BPA free' actually tested positive for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used to make some plastics.This chemical can seep into food and cause an increased risk of a child developing high blood pressure and disrupt the hormones.Experts warn that some products that have this 'BPA free' label could still have traces that have seeped into the food.They recommend for people to pay attention to what products they are buying for their infants to prevent these toxins from being consumed.Daily Mail Online reached out to Gerber, and the company said the study is causing unnecessary alarm and all their food meets US government standards.They said in a statement: 'We regularly test our foods and formulas and work closely with our suppliers and farmers to find ways to do even better.'Daily Mail Online has contacted all the other companies for a comment. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5017827/Two-thirds-baby-food-market-contains-arsenic.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 763 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Israeli scholars decipher Dead Sea Scroll
Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery.The 60 or more tiny fragments of parchment bearing encrypted Hebrew writing had previously been thought to come from a variety of different scrolls.But now academics have found the pieces all fit together to make just one scroll.The document makes reference to a unique 364-day calendar and a festival that marks the changing of the seasons celebrated by an ancient, celibate Jewish sect.WHAT DOES IT SAY? The latest deciphered scroll contains references to the 364-day calendar used by the sect, as opposed to the lunar calendar used in Jewish religious practice today. The scroll identifies the name of a festival that celebrates the changing of the seasons.   The festivals included New Wheat, New Wine and New Oil, which are related to the Jewish festival Shavout and no longer observed in Judaism.  Researchers also identified a festival observed four times a year called Tekufah - which means 'period' in modern-day Hebrew and marks the transition between the seasons. Annotations in the margin from a scribe correcting the author's original work helped them decipher its meaning. Many experts believe the manuscripts of the Dead Sea were written by the celibate Essenes, a dissident Jewish sect that had retreated into the Judaean desert around Qumran and its caves.The Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated scholars and historians since the ancient texts were found around 70 years ago scattered within a series of caves in the West Bank.Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov from the University of Haifa's Bible studies department found the pieces all fit together after they started examining them just under a year ago.Some of the fragments they had to decipher were smaller than 1cm² (0.15 inch²).'They put it all together and said it was actually one scroll,' said Ilan Yavelberg a university spokesman.A Haifa University statement said that Ratson and Ben-Dov were now working on deciphering the last remaining scroll.Many experts believe the manuscripts of the Dead Sea were written by the celibate Essenes, a dissident Jewish sect that had retreated into the Judaean desert around Qumran and its caves.The theory says the group either wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls or were caretakers of the legal, philosophical and religious documents.The latest deciphered scroll contains references to the 364-day calendar used by the sect, as opposed to the lunar calendar used in Jewish religious practice today.The scroll also identifies the name of a festival that celebrates the changing of the seasons.The festivals included New Wheat, New Wine and New Oil, which are related to the Jewish festival Shavout and no longer observed in Judaism, writes BBC.Researchers also identified a festival observed four times a year called Tekufah - which means 'period' in modern-day Hebrew and marks the transition between the seasons.The parchment a AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5297167/Israeli-scholars-decipher-Dead-Sea-Scroll.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 4098 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - HEALTH NOTES: MARTIN CLUNES on his 5:2 weight-loss plan
When Martin Clunes, the star of TV’s Doc Martin, dramatically lost weight five years ago, it was assumed he was suffering from an illness. But the actor, left, has revealed that his slimmer frame was the result of adopting the fashionable 5:2 diet.‘I was fat – and while I was getting heavy, I had tired knees and stuff,’ he admits.‘So I thought I’d try that diet and the weight came off. I lost about three stone in as many months. It’s great – and it’s supposed to be good for cholesterol, too.’Clunes, 55, currently starring in the penultimate series as the grumpy Cornwall GP, explains: ‘Now I do 6:1 and that seems to work fine. I eat anything I want on the other days. It’s easy and seems to keep the weight off me.’He adds that his working farm in Dorset helps to keep him in good physical shape.‘I have a couple of big horses and ride them. I’m very healthy. This is a difficult age, obviously, but I’m doing fine – I’m not on any medication.‘The only bad thing about being a farmer is that I stink!’Omega fatty acids are a ‘safe and effective treatment’ for children with ADHD, a major review of clinical trials has concluded.Omegas, found in oily fish and evening primrose plants, are important for brain health and cognition – and low intakes have been linked with poor social behaviour and communication.In the new review, published in the Journal Of Lipids, 16 studies were analysed, including those where omega fatty acids had been a standalone treatment and others where they’d been used alongside prescription drugs.The majority of the studies – 13 – reported significant improvements in ADHD symptoms, including reduced hyperactivity and impulsivity, better attention, and improved working and short-term memory.The research also found that supplements with a specific ratio of certain essential fatty acids were the most beneficial.Researcher Dr Emma Derbyshire said: ‘It is well-known that children with ADHD have lower fatty-acid levels in their blood than those without the condition.‘Now we know supplements which provide a 9:3:1 ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and gamma linolenic acid, such as Equazen, are the most effective at improving blood levels of these acids.’Stress – not food – is the main trigger for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a survey has found. The condition, estimated to affect up to one in five in the UK, causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms that stopped those questioned from socialising (88 per cent) and going to work (50 per cent).While stress (34 per cent) and food (28 per cent) were identifed as the most common triggers, nearly a quarter of people stated that they didn’t know what caused their IBS.The poll was conducted by Enterosgel – a gel drink that claims to help those with the condition by ‘protecting the intestinal wall’.Good news for those who like crooning to the guitar or tinkling the ivory keys – music has an age-protecting effect on the brain, especially for amateurs. Researchers from Harvard University compared the brains of three groups of people: professional and amateur musicians and non-musicians. Based on the results, ‘brain ages’ were calculated – and compared to peoples’ chronological age.Non-musical people had the highest brain-age scores, suggesting that ‘music-making has an age-decelerating effect’, the researchers reported.Amateur musicians had the youngest brains. One theory is that concentrating on one activity might not be as beneficial as having the wider interests of an amateur musicians. Intense music-making activities of a professional could also lead to stress, they say, reducing the positive effect of music-making. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4958592/HEALTH-NOTES-MARTIN-CLUNES-5-2-weight-loss-plan.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2287 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Russia unveils SKYF heavy lift drones
A new drone designed by Russian researchers is the hulk of the quadcopter world - and can carry a 400-pound (181-kg) payload and fly for up to eight hours.The multi-rotor, autonomous drone, called SKYF, was designed with logistics and agribusinesses companies in mind to create a air freight platform to help business carry out tasks.The vertical take-off and landing drone has applications in areas such as the aerial application of pesticides and fertilizers, seed planting for forest restoration and emergency situations for food and medicine delivery.The drone, designed by Russian company ARDN technology, has a maximum flight speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 miles per hour) and is 5.2 meters (17 feet) by 2.2 meters (7.2 feet).It can fly at a maximum height of 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) and has a positional accuracy of 30 centimeters (11.8 inches).According to ARDN, although it's fairly large in size, it can fold down and two can fit into a 20-foot (6-meter) cargo container.In addition, it required 10 minutes of setup before it can fly, ARDN says.Currently, prototypes of the drone are receiving encrypted instructions from a flight dispatch center.SKYF relies on gasoline-powered engines for lift and electric motors for stabilization to transport heavy loads up to 350 kilometers away (when carrying loads of 110 pounds, or 50 kg).Specifically, the drone uses the gasoline-powered engines for its two primary lift props, and uses all four sets of twin props with electric motors to help stabilize and steer it.According to ARDN, this dual-advantage separation of features is what allows the unmanned drone to to carry heavy loads.The patented, heavy-duty drone is also able to hover and move at low speeds, making it ideal for package delivery tasks.According to ARDN, it can operate under a wide range of weather conditions at any time of day.The drone's design is also modular, meaning versions can be modified for added fuel range and other features.SKYF it able to directly use the energy of its internal combustion engine without the need for an electrical hybrid system, enhancing its reliability and also driving down its price, maintenance costs and total weight, according to ARDN.ARDN says that the drone has applications in a wide range of fields, including delivering postal items to hard to reach places, delivering cargo to ships at sea and even weather management, for example extinguishing fires and preventing the accumulation of snow in fields.It's not yet clear how much the drone costs or when it will be released, but it could have a major impact on a wide range of industries. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5115609/Russia-unveils-SKYF-heavy-lift-drones.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 7275 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Isaac Newton 2018 50p set to be a rare collector's coin
Most eager numismatists know that the rarest 50p in circulation is the Kew Gardens one, minted in 2009, with a run of just 210,000.Featuring the pagoda, one can sell for a tidy sum online – up to £50, thanks to its rarity.However, this year could see an even rarer coin than that Kew Gardens one – making it worth a mint in the near future - and some are already selling online for more than £80, or 160 times face value.Last year, the Royal Mint launched a 50p coin featuring Sir Isaac Newton. It has confirmed that it will offer a 2018 version of the coin – but the only place collectors can get their mitts on one is via the Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant, Wales.Importantly, no 2018 Sir Isaac Newton coins will be released into circulation, meaning the likelihood is that these will become rarer than the Kew Gardens coin.This is Money visited the Mint last year and struck our own 12-sided £1 coin ahead of its launch.Early birds appear to have also visited this year, as some 2018 dated 50ps are already selling on websites such as eBay for £80.That's profit of around £60 factoring in the cost to strike one and the Royal Mint Experience entry fee, a better short-term return than even cryptocurrencies which have seen a boom in the last six months.The Royal Mint adds that this only available for a 'limited time only and subject to availability'.According to the Royal Mint Experience website, striking your own coin experience is limited to one coin per person per tour, again, adding to the exclusivity. It costs £5 to do on top of the entry ticket of £13.The coin is of 'brilliant uncirculated' standard. This is described by the Mint as having a higher standard than circulating and bullion coins.An expert at blog Change Checker said: 'We're predicting that due to the short time frame and visitor numbers, there could well be substantially less than 210,000 of these coins struck, meaning the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p coin could well have a lower mintage figure than even the Kew Gardens 50p.'Sir Isaac Newton enjoyed a long association with the Royal Mint – he is perhaps the most famous 'Master of the Mint.'Although the coins are only available in Wales, some may come into ownership and accidentally spend them in the future.So if you do get a coin featuring the astronomer and mathematician, check the date on the reverse.After the Kew Gardens 50p, the next lowest minted 50p coins in circulation are from the Olympic coin range, but even these have mintage figures of 1million or more.The Royal Mint recently revealed its mintage figures for 2017, which showed that the Sir Isaac Newton coin had a mintage of 1.8million, making it the second rarest 50p behind the Kew Gardens coin (excluding 2012 Olympic ones).It even has a lower mintage figure than the 2016 Jemima Puddle-Duck coin, part of the Beatrix Potter collection.This had a mintage of 2.1million and changes hands for tidy sums online as people look to complete the set of characters. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-5247211/Isaac-Newton-2018-50p-set-rare-collectors-coin.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 3795 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - The woman who can ONLY eat rice and vegetables!
A 25-year-old woman has revealed how her life is blighted by an allergy to all food - except rice and vegetables.Sophie Willis has mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) - which causes blood cells to inappropriately react with certain foods and fragrances.The rare condition, which strikes around one in 150,000 people, means she can go into life-threatening anaphylactic shock, break out in a rash or have swollen lips if she has a reaction.The wedding veil designer, from London, cannot consume yeast, meat, fish, diary and preservatives. She is also affected by sunlight and thunder.One doctor refused to believe her bizarre symptoms - and sent her for counselling, while another assumed her seizures were due to Lyme disease.Miss Willis, who now takes 60 pills a day to combat her condition, said: 'I cannot eat anything but vegetables and rice, if I eat any other food I collapse and go into anaphylactic shock.'Before I knew about my condition I would end up suffering an allergic reaction up to seven times a day.'Miss Willis used to lead an active lifestyle, running half marathons and regularly dining out with friends, before falling ill in 2014.She said: 'I started blacking out several times a day. My throat would close up and my face would swell up. It was terrifying.'Her condition baffled doctors and, over the next two years, she visited more than 30 hospitals across the country desperate for a diagnosis.Miss Willis said: 'I endured countless tests. Doctors thought I had Lyme disease because I kept having seizures.'They discovered I had two underlying conditions, a connective tissue disorder called EDS and a heart condition called POTTS, which are common in people who suffer from MCAS.'One doctor told me that it was all in my head and even sent me to counselling. It was frustrating.'Finally, in August 2016, doctors diagnosed her with MCAS.Mast cells, a type of blood cell, react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of chemical mediators, such as histamine, in order to fight infections.In a person with MCAS, the same chemicals are inappropriately triggered causing allergy-like symptoms.Miss Willis said: 'When I eat certain foods, the mast cells in my body react badly- this combined with my other two conditions causes me to pass out.'I am now essentially allergic to every food, other than vegetables and rice.'If I eat any other food my throat, eyes and lips swell up, and I can be in excruciating pain all over my body.'Once, before my diagnosis, I was out shopping on my own when I collapsed on the floor.'She added: 'I couldn't even shout out for help because one of the side affects of MCAS is brain fog, where I am unable to think or speak properly.'After that I avoided going out with friends in fear of having a reaction.'Thankfully, I quickly realised that foods were a trigger for my allergic reactions.'It's boring, but allows me to live my life with some normality, so I have stopped blacking out.'Miss Willis claims that sunlight and loud noi AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5581213/The-woman-eat-rice-vegetables.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 4368 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Fisker patents battery that can charge a car in a minute
Electric car-maker Fisker has filed patents for flexible solid-state battery technology that could slash charging times and improve range.In an announcement this week, the firm claimed the new battery could charge a car in just one minute, and allow for a range of over 500 miles.The battery is expected to be ready for mass production by 2023, and will be displayed at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January.The new technology attempts to overcome the challenges of solid-state batteries using a three-dimensional structure. This allows the electrodes to cover 25 times more surface area than flat thin-film designs. According to Fisker, the structure will allow for more versatile voltage and form factors.  They may be wound in cylindrical cells with higher voltage output, Fisker says. This could allow for usage of current tooling and machinery for battery packs, along with thermal management and safety requirements, to reduce costs.According to Fisker, the radical new battery would deliver 2.5 times the energy density of typical lithium ion batteries.Solid-state batteries are known to have a number of limitations, such as low power and low rate capability as a result of the layered electrode structure, and issues arising from cold temperatures, the firm explains.But, the new technology attempts to overcome the challenges using a three-dimensional solid-state structure.This allows the electrodes to cover 25 times more surface area than flat thin-film designs.'This breakthrough marks the beginning of a new era in solid-state materials and manufacturing technologies,' said Dr. Fabio Albano, VP of battery systems at Fisker Inc.'We are addressing all of the hurdles that solid-state batteries have encountered on the path to commercialization, such as performance in cold temperatures; the use of low cost and scalable manufacturing methods; and the ability to form bulk solid-state electrodes with significant thickness and high active material loadings.'We are excited to build on this foundation and move the needle in energy storage.'According to the firm, the battery could allow electric cars to drive more than 500 miles on a single charge.Fisker plans to show off the solid-state battery and fast-charging technology at CES.They'll also be launching the Fisker EMotion luxury electric vehicle, alongside a battery module equipped with advanced thermal management.And, they'll have on display fast-charging technology that will allow for a 127-mile range in just nine minutes.'Our aggressive vision for the entire EV and automotive industry, not just for Fisker Inc., revolves around making the impossible, possible – and this global solid-state battery breakthrough is reflective of our utmost seriousness in making that vision a reality,' said Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc.'It used to be about the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now, it's all about who breaks the code and smashes the barriers to future battery technologies that will enable mass market electrification.'Our scientists have been working tirelessly to deliver. We've done it, and this is just the beginning.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5083367/Fisker-patent-solid-state-battery-charges-MINUTE.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 13932 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Vitamin D supplements could help women conceive
Experts at Birmingham University found women undergoing fertility treatment were 33 per cent more likely to have a baby if their vitamin D levels were healthy.They said the findings may explain why people tend to find it easier to conceive in the summer, when vitamin D levels are boosted by the sun’s rays.The NHS already recommends women who are pregnant or trying to conceive take daily vitamin D supplements for the sake of the development of their baby.But the new findings, published in the Human Reproduction journal, suggests it also might help them conceive in the first place.Only 26% of women have sufficient vitamin D levelsCrucially, they found three in four women trying for a baby were deficient in vitamin D.The researchers examined the records of 2,700 women undergoing IVF and other forms of fertility treatment.Their data - compiled from 11 previous studies - suggested women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood were 46 per cent more likely to become pregnant and 33 per cent more likely to have a live birth.The scientists said it was likely similar results would be found among those attempting to conceive naturally.Researcher Dr Ioannis Gallos, a reproductive specialist in Birmingham, stressed they had only found a link connected to blood tests - and had not actually tested whether supplements would boost fertility.He called for a full randomised control trial to establish whether vitamin D can indeed improve the chances of conceiving.But he said: ‘Women should follow the national guidance on this and take a low-dose vitamin D supplement. And if they are concerned they are deficient they can get tested.’He added: ‘One startling finding was the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among these women.‘We found that only 26 per cent of women in the studies had sufficient concentrations of vitamin D.’The researchers believe vitamin D may help dampen the immune system’s inflammatory response, improving the chances that an embryo successfully implants in the lining of the womb at the very start of pregnancy.They wrote: ‘Seasonal variations in conception rates have been established with higher conception rates found in the summer and autumn.‘Although many hypotheses have been postulated to explain this phenomenon the exact mechanism behind this has not been explained.‘It is possible that an increase in sun exposure and greater sunlight luminosity increases the body’s store of vitamin D, thereby yielding higher conception rates in summer and autumn.’Vitamin D is produced naturally by the skin when it soaks up the sun’s rays - but experts are worried Britain’s poor weather and modern indoor lifestyles mean we are not getting enough sunlight.Oily fish such as sardines or mackerel, red meat, liver or eggs are all rich in vitamin D.But fewer people are now eating these foods, and one in five people in Britain now have low levels of the vitamin D.The vitamin is particularly important during pregnancy, and is already known to affect the way a baby’s bones grow in the womb.But very few women trying for a baby actually follow NHS advice to take a supplement.Government advisors last year extended the guidelines to suggest that all adults - not just pregnant women - should consider taking vitamin D supplements over the winter, to avoid bone diseases such as rickets.Fellow researcher Dr Justin Chu said women should beware taking very high doses of vitamin D in a bid to conceive - as it is possible to overdose.The NHS recommended d1
Views: 202 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Russian firm reveals plans for five seater flying taxi
The makers of the world's first hoverbike have revealed plans for a self flying air taxi that seats five.Hoversurf, whose hoverbikes are used by police in Dubai, is launching a new product known as 'The Formula Project'.It uses fold-away wings and 52 tiny turbine Venturi propulsion units - and its makers say experience is not necessary to navigate the skies.The company also said that the device will help with traffic jams and it will be a 'solution' for people's daily commutes.'Do you know the problem with all projects of flying cars?,' it said'They are all made for the future, and are impossible to park at the store or put in a garage.'FORMULA - is created for the present day.'Hoversurf announced that the drone taxis, which they call the 'transport of the future', will be available as early as next year, and they said the taxis are safer than ground transportation.The new product is called an ATAAS (Air Transport As A Service), and it features a computer, a security system and a drone signal.It monitors all ground and flying vehicles.ATAASs can take off from and land in a parking space, and they also feature a digital map of the city and GPS.They can be fueled at an electric charging station or a regular gas station with a hybrid power plant FPE.Hoversurf is also responsible for the Scorpion-3, the single-seat aircraft capable of lifting a person in the sky with full passenger control.The Scorpion-3 merges a standard motorbike design with drone quad-copter technology to allow riders to maneuver in the air as if they were riding a bike.Creators say the Scorpion-3 can carry 266 pounds in weight while hitting 30 miles an hour and reaching 33 feet.It can stay airborne for up to 27 minutes.The quad-copter is available for a whopping $150,000.An inbuilt safety mechanism limits the maximum speed and altitude of the aircraft in order to prevent accidents.Hoversurf creators want to provide flight to the hands 'of amateur and professional navigators'.While it is currently seen as an 'extreme sports' incident the company hopes that the mode of transportation will one day realize its full potential and replace cars as the go to mode.The growing trend and developments in the world of drone-technology could lead to a revolution in everyday transportation. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5033113/Russian-firm-reveals-plans-five-seater-flying-taxi.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 1755 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Former GKN boss stands to make £9m from takeover
The former boss of GKN stands to make £9 million from a takeover of the car and plane parts manufacturer.Nigel Stein – who left the FTSE 100 company last month after more than five years in charge – could receive the windfall from his shares after turnaround specialist Melrose Industries made a £7 billion bid for the business.GKN’s shares jumped 26 per cent on Friday following the approach. They had previously been slowly recovering from a shock profit warning in October which Stein said had left him feeling ‘mugged’.GKN, which traces its roots back to 1759, rejected the bid which it described as ‘opportunistic’ because the terms ‘fundamentally undervalue’ the business.But Melrose, a London-listed firm with a reputation for turning around ailing industrial businesses, is expected to push ahead with a hostile bid.In response, GKN laid out plans to split its automotive business, which makes driveshafts for Ford and Volkswagen cars, and its aerospace arm, which makes parts for Boeing.Investors have long been calling for their separation.Melrose’s offer is partly in cash but mainly in shares. It means Stein would cash in £1.7 million from a sale at the amount offered and would be sitting on another £7 million in shares in the merged company.Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said he would ask Business Secretary Greg Clark to intervene, arguing that the takeover would be a ‘massive blow to our industrial strategy’. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-5266231/Former-GKN-boss-stands-make-9m-takeover.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 768 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Sony unveils AI robo-dog 'Aibo' that displays emotions
More than a decade ago, Sony stunned the world with the release of Aibo, an artificially intelligent robot that behaved like a real dog.But the robo-dogs were discontinued in 2006 as part of a massive cost-cutting scheme from the Japanese technology giant.Now, Sony has revived Aibo, a robot that learns how to interact with its owner and is 'capable of building loving relationships', according to Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.The new version of the 30-centimetre (one foot) hound will launch in Japan in January but will not come cheap, priced at around £1,300 ($1,750).Aibo is billed as a pet that behaves like a puppy using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings.Sony's new 'Aibo' is ivory-white and puppy-sized, with flapping black ears, a wagging tail and the ability to roll its eyes.It is now equipped with new sensing and movement technologies as well as far more advanced AI backed by cloud computing to develop the dog's personality.It comes with an array of sensors, cameras and microphones and boasts internet connectivity, allowing owners to play with the pet remotely via smartphone.It was announced yesterday at a Sony news briefing in Tokyo, with the firm saying it is considering sales beyond Japan in future.Sony rolled out the first-generation Aibo in 1999, with the initial batch of 3,000 selling out in just 20 minutes, despite a hefty price tag of nearly £1,650 ($2,200).Over the following years, more than 150,000 units were sold, with numerous models ranging from gleaming metallic-silver versions to round-faced cub-like models.But by 2006, Sony was in trouble, with a broken business model and fierce competition from rivals in all fields.The Aibo, an expensive and somewhat frivolous luxury, had to go.The company kept its 'Aibo clinic' open until March 2014, but then told dedicated owners they were on their own, prompting retired Sony engineers to offer repairs.'It was a difficult decision to stop the project in 2006, but we continued development in AI and robotics,' CEO Kazuo Hirai said.'I asked our engineers a year and a half ago to develop (new) AIBO because I strongly believe robots capable of building loving relationships with people help realise Sony's mission (to inspire).'The reborn Aibo features new actuator technology allowing it move more smoothly and naturally like a real dog.With sensing and AI technologies, Aibo can run toward its owner and detect smiles and words of praise, and can remember what actions please the owner.Its eyes are made of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays making it capable of diverse expressions.Sony said it aims to sell at least as many new Aibo as the original, without giving a time frame. It also said it is considering overseas sales.Competitors of the new product include Toyota's Kirobo Mini, a robot which its makers say has 'emotional value', as well as a £300 ($400) price tag.It comes equipped with a camera, microphone and Bluetooth, and connects to a smartphone, which needs to be installed with a special software application.Kirobo turns its head toward a voice, although sometimes that function fails as its voice recognition is far from perfect.At just 10-centimeters (4-inch) tall, doll-like Kirobo Mini supposedly has the smarts of a 5-year-old.Its name comes from 'kibo', or 'hope', and 'robot'.Meanwhile, Japanese corporation SoftBank Robotics is behind Pepper, the expressive humanoid robot designed to identify and react to human emotions.Equipped with a camera and sensors, Pepper, which is 4ft tall and weighs 62lb, costs 198,000 yen ($1,600).Pepper can react to human emotions by offering comfort, or laughing if told a joke and the robot has the ability to learn. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5037783/Sony-revives-robot-pet-dog.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 659 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Royal Navy reveals its second Type 26 warship
AutoNews- The Royal Navy has revealed the name of the second of eight new Type 26 warship – the HMS Belfast.The enormous warship will be used to protect the UK's nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, and can travel at speeds of up to 26 knots (30mph).Both the HMS Belfast and the HMS Glasgow – which was revealed in July – will enter service in the mid 2020s.HMS Belfast is a Type 26 Global Combat Ship - a 21st Century warship that will replace the Type 23 frigate as the workhorse of the Royal Navy's Fleet. The ship will undertake three core roles - warfighting, maritime security and international engagement - on the world stage. On board the HMS Belfast is the 'Sea Ceptor' – a cutting-edge missile capable of intercepting multiple targets out to a range of 15.5 miles (25 kilometres), travelling at speeds of more than 2,000 miles/hour (3,218 kilometres/hour). The warship is also fitted with a small-calibre SA80 gun, as well as a general purpose machine gun and Mk44 miniguns. Unlike the majority of the ship's weapons systems, these guns are not radar and computer controlled, but aimed and fired by the upper deck weapon crews.Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon made the announcement as he visited Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Navy's last HMS Belfast was built prior to World War Two.The ship will be one of eight new Type 26 frigates joining the Navy's fleet.'I'm hugely proud that the second name announced of our eight cutting-edge new Type 26 frigates will be HMS Belfast,' said Sir Michael.'She and her sister ships will form the backbone of our Navy well into the 2060s, keeping us safe by protecting the country's nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers.HMS Belfast is a Type 26 Global Combat Ship - a 21st Century warship that will replace the Type 23 frigate as the workhorse of the Royal Navy's Fleet.The ship will undertake three core roles - warfighting, maritime security and international engagement - on the world stage.On board the HMS Belfast is the 'Sea Ceptor' – a cutting-edge missile capable of intercepting multiple targets out to a range of 15.5 miles (25 kilometres), travelling at speeds of more than 2,000 miles/hour (3,218 kilometres/hour).The warship is also fitted with a small-calibre SA80 gun, as well as a general purpose machine gun and Mk44 miniguns.Unlike the majority of the ship's weapons systems, these guns are not radar and computer controlled, but aimed and fired by the upper deck weapon crews.The original HMS Belfast, which took part in the Arctic campaign and the Normandy landings, is now a floating museum permanently docked in London.It will now be renamed 'HMS Belfast 1938' to avoid confusion.Diane Lees, director general at Imperial War Museums, said: 'IWM is delighted that the name HMS Belfast will return again to the Royal Navy's front line as a major warship.'We welcome the opportunity this will bring for our internationally significant museum to have a close affiliation with the new Belfast, enabling a powerful link between the Royal Navy's past and present.'
Views: 2085 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Women should not clean their vaginas with Vicks' VapoRub
Experts are urging women not to clean their vaginas with Vicks' Vaporub after a bizarre internet trend has spurred many to experience tingling in their genitalia.Online forums and blogs claim the ointment, intended to soothe an irritating cough, can boost women's sex lives, clean the intimate area, cure thrush and even maintain a pleasant odour on the vagina.VapoRub, which gives users a tingling sensation when applied on the chest, apparently elicits the same gentle tickling feeling when put on intimate areas, leading blogs to suggest women smear it on their clitoris or men's penises.Some forums also claim the ointment could cure vaginal thrush, however, experts argue applying such products could introduce infections or make them worse by disrupting the intimate area's bacteria.The need to apply VapoRub as a fragrance to the vagina, which is self-cleaning, is also concerning, as genitalia should not have a strong odour.WHY YOU SHOULDN'T CLEAN VAGINAS WITH CUCUMBERS: TREND INCREASES RISK OF INFECTIONS  A doctor warned women earlier this month not to use a cucumber as a douche for the vagina in a bizarre and dangerous trend that is sweeping the web. Dubbed the 'vagina facial', the craze involves inserting the peeled salad staple into your intimate parts before twisting it around for approximately 20 minutes. Bloggers claim the fruit's high vitamin content sanitises genitals and gives vagina's a pleasant odour. Certain forums add cucumbers can even reduce a woman's chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Yet an expert has warned the practice could actually leave women at a greater risk of infections, like gonorrhoea and even HIV. Canadian gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter says washing with a cucumber upsets the natural pH balance of intimate areas.The trend to apply VapoRub as a cleanser or fragrance could lead to women developing vaginal thrush or bacterial vaginosis, with experts arguing vaginas are self-cleansing via naturally-occurring discharge.The need to apply a fragrance to combat an odour is a sign something is wrong and should be checked by a doctor.Contrary to what some blogs suggest, VapoRub, which remains on the skin for hours, will also not cure an existing thrush infection and could even make it worse by further disrupting the vagina's bacteria.Dr Vanessa Mackay, a gynaecologist and spokeswomen for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told The Sun: 'It [the vagina] contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it from infections.'Disturbing the natural flora through extensive cleaning can lead to infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, and inflammation.'Use plain, unperfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina [the vulva], not inside it, gently every day.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5008585/Women-not-clean-vaginas-Vicks-VapoRub.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 668 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - BT ‘to shut’ pension scheme with £14bn black hole
Thousands of BT staff face having their retirement nest eggs cut as chief executive Gavin Patterson moves to rein in the firm’s pension scheme deficit.The 50-year-old is looking at options to reduce costs, including closing its final salary scheme and moving members to defined contribution schemes. Formal proposals are expected within weeks.BT yesterday said it could also give the pension scheme a ‘prior claim’ over its assets, including buildings such as BT Tower or its BT Centre headquarters in the City.At the last review the pension scheme deficit was nearly £10bn, but analysts now believe it could be closer to £14bn.Patterson insisted he had not yet ‘made a decision to close anything’, but added: ‘In the next few weeks we will be consulting members on a range of different proposals around benefits, both the defined benefit and the defined contribution schemes. We need to balance a number of things – affordability, fairness, making sure that there is not one group of employees that [is] being treated unfairly.’The shake-up could put him on a collision course with union chiefs.Last night, the Communication Workers Union warned against closure of the final salary scheme.It is in the middle of a bitter dispute with Royal Mail over similar changes. A union spokesman said: ‘We remain resolute in our opposition to closure of the BT pension scheme, and have made it clear to BT on repeated occasions that closure will result in an industrial dispute.’It is one of the issues Patterson is grappling with towards the end of a torrid year for the company.The company yesterday unveiled half-year results showing revenues fell 1 per cent, to £5.95bn, in the three months to September 30, when compared to last year. Profits fell 1 per cent to £666m in the same period. It added only 7,000 customers to its TV services – compared to 63,000 last year – after customers were told they would no longer be free with phone and internet services.It has spent billions on rights to broadcast Champions League and Premier League football matches and is again due to go up against Sky, in the next quarter, at auction.Meanwhile, problems at its Global Services division were cushioned by a strong performance from its mobile division – mainly EE – which added 279,000 customers.It comes after a £530m accounting scandal in BT’s Italian arm, a slowdown in public sector business and several bitter rows with watchdog Ofcom, have weighed on its share price.Patterson and Clive Selley, chief executive of BT’s network arm, Openreach, are also under mounting political pressure to invest more in Britain’s broadband network. Shares fell 2.7 per cent, or 6.9p, to 253.6p – the lowest since February 2013.Amid speculation about Patterson’s position, Jan du Plessis took over as chairman on Wednesday but backed him in meetings with shareholders. BT has shed 1,500 staff this year, with another 2,500 to go. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-5044281/BT-shut-pension-scheme-14bn-black-hole.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 169 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Workhorse to test electric vans in California, Ohio
Electric delivery van maker Workhorse Group Inc said on Tuesday it will test its new lightweight N-Gen electric van in cities in Ohio and California as the race to develop mass-market electric delivery vehicles heats up.Workhorse's customers already include package delivery groups United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp.Chief Executive Officer Steve Burns told Reuters the company has signed up a new customer but said he could not disclose the name.Workhorse will test two versions of the van, including one carrying a drone in the roof for remote deliveries, he added.The company is already testing van-based drone deliveries with UPS.Burns did not disclose the exact locations for the tests, but said they would take place in several cities in Ohio and California.Cincinnati-based Workhorse is also in the running for a contract to replace the delivery vans in the United States Postal Service's fleet, in partnership with a unit of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd.The N-Gen has a similar frame to the vehicle the USPS is evaluating.Workhorse said the tests will begin in the first quarter of 2018.The market for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks is in its infancy and the distance they can travel before recharging is still limited.They tend to cost more than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, but as battery costs come down they should become more competitive.Vehicle manufacturers such as Daimler AG and Navistar International Corp, as well as Tesla Inc and a host of other new entrants, are racing to overcome the challenges of substituting batteries for diesel engines as regulators crack down on carbon dioxide and soot pollution.Some manufacturers argue that with their short, largely predictable daily routes, delivery vehicles are a natural market for electrified versions.Cutting the high cost associated with last-mile delivery as ecommerce has grown has become a major priority for the likes of Amazon Inc, which runs its own delivery service in some cities and has leased cargo planes to reduce expenses.Daimler said in September that UPS will be the first U.S. commercial customer for its new battery-powered eCanter truck.U.S. truck leasing and rental company Ryder System Inc is a strategic service partner with Workhorse and last week also ordered 125 all-electric delivery vans from Chanje, a unit of FDG Electric Vehicles Ltd.Workhorse's Burns said the N-Gen van has a lightweight carbon frame, weighs 5,500 lbs (2,495 kg) when empty - 5,000 lbs lighter than comparable vehicles - and its load space measures 500 cubic feet (14 cubic meters).He said Workhorse vans cost more than conventional vehicles, but gas and fuel savings make up the difference in less than three years.'The premium that we charge is made back very quickly,' he said.'Fleets that look at total cost of ownership understand that and that's how we sell our vehicles.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5058411/Workhorse-test-electric-vans-new-customer-California-Ohio.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 3318 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - How did Stephen Hawking live so long with ALS?
ALS has a life expectancy of about three to 10 years, but Stephen Hawking lived with the disease for more than five decades.Despite being confined to a wheelchair since his early 20s, that didn't hold back the esteemed theoretical physicist, who earned comparisons to Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton for his research on the cosmos.He lost his capacity to speak in 1985, but a voice synthesizer allowed him to continue communicating - from conversations to interviews - until his death in the early hours of Wednesday morning at home in Cambridge.Hawking, who wrote 15 books and starred in the Simpsons and Star Trek, was the second very high profile ALS sufferer after Lou Gehrig, the baseball player who catapulted the rare disease into the public eye.And yet, scientists still cannot explain what causes the disease, nor how to treat it, slow it, prevent it or cure it.It means Hawking was something of a medical marvel, offering hope to ALS sufferers globally who have no idea at diagnosis whether they could hope to live as long as him.Here, we explain what we know about his longevity.ALS is an acronym for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.It is also referred to as motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig's Disease after the US baseball player when he was diagnosed in 1939 at just 36 years old.The disease is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system.It occurs when specialist nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord called motor neurons stop working properly - known as neurodegeneration.WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY?Life expectancy for about half of those with the condition is three years from the start of symptoms. Some people may live for up to 10 years, and in rarer circumstances even longer.Progressing as slowly as Hawking, however, occurs in just one percent of cases.WHAT DID HAWKING TEACH SCIENTISTS ABOUT ALS?Hawking's case offered clear evidence to researchers that ALS is more variable than many realize.There are multiple forms of the disease, generally broken down into four categories:All of those forms have the potential to kill the patient by affecting the respiratory system (diaphragm) and muscles to swallow (which causes malnutrition and dehydration).However, Hawking's diaphragm and swallowing muscles remained intact until the end of his life.It showed scientists that, if that is the case, the patient could live a much longer life than expected, even if they lose their capacity to move and talk.His case also showed that ALS sufferers can escape damage to essential parts of the brain.While scientists remain somewhat baffled by his long life, many posit that it could have something to do with him being diagnosed at such a young age.The condition can affect adults of all ages, including teenagers, although this is extremely rare.It's usually diagnosed in people (mainly men) over 40, but most people with the condition first develop symptoms in their 60s.Juvenile ALS, however, progresses at a much, much slower rate than later-i AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5500815/How-did-Stephen-Hawking-live-long-ALS.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2595 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Morocco TGV begins tests between Casablanca and Tangier
Engineers in Morocco are preparing to test Africa's first high-speed railway this week with trains reaching 320kilometres (200 miles) per hour, the country's rail office said Monday.One train reached 275kph (170 mph) on Monday along a stretch of track between the northern cities of Kenitra and Tangier, the ONCF said.'This is already the fastest train on the African continent,' said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was in Morocco to sign a loan deal between the ONCF and the French Development Agency.He said the railway was 'emblematic of the Franco-Moroccan bilateral relationship'.The link between Casablanca and Tangier via the capital Rabat will slash journey times between the North African country's economic hubs by almost two thirds, from five hours and 45 minutes to just over two hours.Morocco's TGV, which gets its name from the French abbreviation for high-speed trains, is set to enter service in summer 2018.The total cost of the project, 50 per cent financed by France through various loans, is around $2.4billion (two billion euros).It is set to go around 15 per cent over budget, according to figures released on Monday.But ONCF head Rabii Lakhlii said the project had cost 'less than nine million euros per kilometre, compared to a European standard of 20 million euros per kilometre'.The route, made more complex by hilly terrain and strong winds, required the building of several viaducts including one some 3.5 kilometres long.The ONCF is targeting six million travellers a year after three years of operations.Lakhlii said tickets would cost about 30 per cent more than those for the current rail link.Moroccan leaders have heralded the project as a key step in modernising the country's infrastructure.But opponents have criticised it, saying the money could have been better spent in a country where many live in poverty.They also argue that it unfairly favoured French companies. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4963908/Morocco-prepares-test-fastest-train-Africa.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2309 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - The Sex Robots Are Coming shows married man's sex robot
A man enjoying a relationship with his sex doll girlfriend as well as his wife of 36 years has confessed he wouldn't know what to do if he had to choose between them.James, 58, from Atlanta, Georgia, bought 5ft blonde robot April - who he now has sex with four times a week - for £2,000 when his wife Tine began caring for her sick mother.He explains in an upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Sex Robots are Coming, how he shares a bed with April and takes her out on dinner dates, and claims people often don't even notice she isn't a living, breathing woman.And the engineer's sexual relationship with the doll has his wife's blessing, according to the Daily Star.Although Tine has admitted she found it difficult at first to come to terms with her husband's sex doll obsession, she has adapted, and said she was glad he hadn't cheated with another real woman.'I was uneasy about it, but it got better as time went on.'If he really wanted to he could have gone out and found someone else, but he didn't do that, he was true to me,' Tine said.James and April’s relationship features in the new Channel 4 show, which follows a manufacturer's attempt to create one of the world's first fully functioning sex robots - a doll that looks, moves and talks in a more lifelike fashion than any that has gone before.And James already has his eye on an £8,000 robot named Harmony.The robot, which is due to arrive on the market in the next few months, has been developed by engineer Matt McMullen of The Real Doll Company in California.As well as plans to make the doll artificially intelligent Matt wants to add realistic sexual responses to the body like internal heating, self-lubrication and a constricting sensation to simulate an orgasm.'It's like having sex with a real woman'Of his existing companion, James explains in the programme that he 'feels deeply' for April, and insists she is 'more than just a sex toy'.He believes that the pleasure of their relationship lies in taking care of the doll - being able to dress it, put on make up and interact with it - but also bending it into whatever position he desires.'It's amazingly like having sex with a real woman,' he explained.'The biggest difference is whatever position you want them in you have to put them in, as they will not get there on their own.'Doggy style is not a problem, because their backs flex, you put it in whatever position you want. Every guy knows what it is like to slap a woman on the butt and this is not unlike the real thing.'Standing in front of his wife and preening April, James said in the documentary: 'Every guy has in his head the perfect girl and this is what I see when I look in the mirror and see this look.'Female technology expert says sex dolls are not replacing womenThere is only one woman on the robotics team at The Real Doll Company, Susan, who has worked on the Harmony project for the last three years.She wants to add electronics to the vaginal inserts so that if a man went deeper or faster the dol AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5110439/Meet-man-robot-girlfriend-WIFE.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 866 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser plans to buy rivals
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser is set to spend billions on takeovers as it separates its health and hygiene home divisions.The Durex and Cillit Bang owner said it has ‘not ruled out’ acquisitions, fuelling speculation it wants to pile on debt to buy Pfizer’s non-prescription drugs business.The revelation came as it unveiled a major shake-up in its business structure, which will be split into two units, RB Health and RB Hygiene.The health division, which includes brands like Nurofen and Gaviscon, will be headed by chief executive Rakesh Kapoor while the hygiene home division, which includes brands like Cillit Bang and Veet, will run by Rob de Groot, who heads Reckitt’s European and Russian businesses.Kapoor will maintain control of the whole business, with de Groot reporting to him. It came as Reckitt cut forecasts for the second time this year, warning sales would stay flat.Like-for-like sales fell 1 per cent year over year in the third quarter to £3.2bn, a small improvement on its 2 per cent second-quarter decline.Including a boost from currency exchange rates and its June acquisition of baby formula firm Mead Johnson, sales rose 30 per cent.Despite the small improvement Reckitt, which had already cut its growth target from 3 per cent to 2 per cent, said it now expected underlying revenues for the year to come in flat – its worst result since 1999.Reckitt said that the fallout from a cyber-attack, a failed product launch and a boycott over a safety scandal in South Korea had affected its business. The firm was among a number of consumer good companies to be hit by the global cyber-attack in June, which started in Ukraine and crippled software systems.It was further hit by its flop Scholl Wet and Dry foot product and a boycott of its products in South Korea after its steriliser product Oxy Sacsac, which was put inside humidifiers, was linked to a spate of fatal lung problems between 2001 and 2011.Like consumer goods rivals Unilever and Procter & Gamble, Reckitt has been seeking to boost performance across its divisions.It completed the sale of its French’s mustard food business to US group McCormick in August, which had long been viewed as a non-core part of the company’s business.Kapoor added that the firm wanted to be a global leader in consumer health and it had ‘not really realised [its] full opportunity there’. The comments have fuelled speculation in the City that the restructuring is a prelude to a full spin-off of the home hygiene division, which could finance a takeover of Pfizer’s consumer health business.Last week, Pfizer said that it was looking to sell its consumer healthcare business, which includes drugs like painkiller Ibuprofen and Centrum multivitamins, in a move that could fetch up to £11bn.The business has long been seen as a target for Reckitt.The firm, however, is already saddled with debt following its £13.2bn takeover of American formula maker Mead Johnson, which makes Enfamil products.Sales at Mead Johnson rose 1 per cent in the third quarter, boosted by growth in China – but rival Danone reported a 50 per centjump in Chinese baby food sales in the quarter on Tuesday.Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood said he expects Reckitt’s net debt to be roughly 3.1 times its full year’s earnings.He estimated this would increase to almost six times if it bought the Pfizer unit.But Adrian Hennah, chief financial officer, has not ruled out acquisitions and is prepared to see its credit rating fall a notch to triple-B ‘if something spectacular came along’. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-4993938/Consumer-goods-giant-Reckitt-Benckiser-plans-buy-rivals.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 607 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Ichthyosaurus fossil uncovered for the first time in India
A near-complete fossilised skeleton uncovered in India is thought to the country's first evidence of the presence of the Jurassic ichthyosaur.The creatures, whose name translates as 'fish lizards' from ancient Greek, were large marine reptiles which lived alongside dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era.Their remains have been discovered as far afield as the Americas, Europe and Australia, but never in this part of the globe.Ichthyosaurs were a highly successful group of sea-going reptiles that became extinct about 90 million years ago. Often misidentified as swimming dinosaurs, these reptiles appeared before the first dinosaurs had evolved. They evolved from an as-yet unidentified land reptile that moved back into the water. The huge animals, which remained at the top of the food chain for millions of years, developed a streamlined, fish-like form built for speed. Scientists calculate that one species had a cruising speed of 22 mph (36 kmh). The largest species of ichthyosaur grew to over 20 metres (65 ft) in length.Researchers from the University of Delhi made the find in the Kachchh area in Gujarat.The near-complete skeleton, nearly 5.5 metres (20 ft) long, is thought to belong to the Ophthalmosauridae family.It likely lived between around 165 and 90 million years ago.It was found among fossils of ammonites and squid-like belemnites, and its tooth wear patterns suggest it lived on these types of hard, abrasive sea creatures.While the authors have not yet been able to pinpoint the ichthyosaur's species, they believe that a full identification could lead to a discovery of possible ophthalmosaurid dispersal between India and South America.They hope that unearthing more Jurassic-era spines in this region could provide further insights into the evolution of marine reptiles on this part of the planet.Lead author Guntupalli Prasad said: 'This is a remarkable discovery.'Not only because it is the first Jurassic ichthyosaur record from India, but also it throws light on the evolution and diversity of ichthyosaurs in the Indo-Madagascan region of the former Gondwanaland (Jurassic supercontinent).'It also shows India's biological connectivity with other continents in the Jurassic.'In recent months, the foetus of an Ichthyosaurus was discovered still inside the womb 200 million years after its mother died during pregnancy.The 3.5 metre (11 ft) pregnant ichthyosaur lived at the time of the earliest dinosaurs during the early Jurassic period.Scientists in August said the incomplete embryo was less than seven centimetres long and consisted of preserved vertebrae, a forefin, ribs and a few other bones.There was evidence the foetus was still developing in the womb when it died.The find adds to evidence that ichthyosaurs, some of which grew to more than 20 metres (65 ft), gave birth to live young unlike egg-laying dinosaurs.The creature, named ichthyosaurus somersetensis, was discovered on the Somerset coast during the 1990s but ended up in the collections of the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover, Germany.The study also showed that a tail from another ichthyosaur had been added to the skeleton to make it appear more complete and visually appealing for display.The specimen was the largest of the ichthyosaurus family of ichthyosaurs on record, said the scientists writing in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.Ichthyosaurs were a highly successful group of sea-going reptiles that became extinct about 90 million years ago.Often misidentified as swimming dinosaurs, these reptiles appeared before the first dinosaurs had evolved.They evolved from an as-yet unidentified land reptile that moved back into the water.The huge animals, which remained at the top of the food chain for millions of years, developed a streamlined, fish-like form built for speed.Scientists calculate that one species had a cruising speed of 22 mph (36 kmh).The largest species of ichthyosaur grew to over 20 metres (65 ft) in length. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5017105/Ichthyosaurus-fossil-uncovered-time-India.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 167 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Couple's burning red rash on bottoms was due to worms
One UK couple discovered they had brought home a nasty holiday souvenir no one wants: parasitic worms.The unnamed husband and wife were left with a nasty burning, red rash on their buttocks after sunbathing on a beach in the Caribbean while on a cruise.The wife, 52, initially noticed an 'initial burning sensation' after their trip to the island of Martinique and the next day woke up to find her backside was covered by an 'eruption' of red pinprick marks.Doctors diagnosed the pair with a parasitic infection known as cutaneous larva migrans.But the source of it was extremely rare: it came from a kind of worm species that normally only infects dogs or cats.Both also developed pneumonitis – inflammation of the lungs – which doctors said could have been caused by the hookworms infiltrating their lungs.When the woman first noticed the rash, a doctor on the cruise ship prescribed her antibiotics, as well as antifungal treatments and steroid creams – but nothing seemed to work.Ten days later, the rash had spread further, when her husband also noticed he wa affected, according BMJ Case Reports.Medics led by Dr Douglas Maslin at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, wrote: 'The patient's husband was noted to be itching and examination revealed a rash with equivalent distribution and morphology.'Both pair were given medication used to treat parasitic infections, including head lice and scabies.Five days later the wife was rushed to A&E with shortness of breath and a chest infection, and later her husband developed the same symptoms.After another dose of treatment for the pneumonitis they both began to recover.Typically, hookworms, which thrive in warm climates, bury themselves into the host's skin and make their way to the large intestine.There, they lay their eggs, then pass out of the body in the stool.But humans are not a natural host for Ancylostoma braziliense or Ancylostoma caninum.However, they can become infected after walking barefoot on beaches, or coming into contact with soil that's contaminated with animal faeces.They stay under the skin, trying to find their way. The rash is a reaction as the immune system tries to attack the parasite.Dr Maslin and his colleagues explained: 'The hookworm larvae are excreted in the faeces of the infected animal host (usually a dog or cat) on to sandy beaches or moist soil, where they can penetrate into the epidermis of human skin on contact.'They said that symptoms to watch out for are the burning red spots at the site of entry.Typically, a itchy rash will follow, which slowly creeps along a patch of skin over the next days or weeks.They tend to infect the soles of a person's feet but can strike anywhere, the medics team warned.WOULD YOU VOLUNTEER TO BE INFECTED WITH PARASITES FOR A MEDICAL TRIAL? In a world-first trial, Australian researchers are looking for young overweight women to test the effectiveness of hook worms on Type 2 diabetes (stock image of hook worm) Infecting yourself with microscopic worms coul AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5278581/Couples-burning-red-rash-bottoms-worms.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 209 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - South West Water paid more to its owner than on upgrading
A water firm has been slammed for handing more money to its owners than it spent on upgrading equipment.South West Water paid a £213.1million dividend to its parent group Pennon last year, while investing £190million in drinking and wastewater operations.Research group Corporate Watch said that over past ten years, it has paid £1.7billion to its owner and banks, and invested £1.4billion on upgrades.Last December the firm was fined £1.7million by the regulator Ofwat for missing pollution targets.Its minor spills increased from 222 to 252 during 2016, according to is latest annual report. The firm says 82m litres of water leak a day, within its target of 84m litres.Corporate Watch said: 'A huge amount of money that could have been spent on plugging leaks and stopping sewage spills has been paid out to shareholders and other corporate investors ... there is no obligation to pay such huge sums in dividends.'South West's parent, the Pennon Group, is a listed company whose major shareholders include Lazard and Pictet.Ofwat is trying to make the water companies deliver better service and lower bills, wanting bills to fall until 2025.South West Water said Corporate Watch's report was 'selective and unbalanced'.It said it managed finances within regulatory guidance and had spent more than £7bn improving water and sewage services since 1989.It added: 'The average household bill now is less than it was ten years ago, and we have pledged to keep average household bill rises below inflation to the end of the decade.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-5086339/South-West-Water-paid-owner-upgrading.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 12 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Shelley the AI horror writer that pens hair-raising tales
You’ve likely heard the horror stories about artificially intelligent beings – but now, you can read the tales penned by one.A team of MIT researchers has unveiled an AI horror writer, Shelley, named for the famed Frankenstein author.After training on scary stories collected from Reddit, Shelley can now generate her own nightmare-inducing creations, and even collaborate with humans in effort to write the world’s first AI-human horror anthology.HOW TO WRITE WITH THE SHELLEY AI To add to one of Shelley's stories, you can reply to the tweet with up to 3 of your tweets for a given story, according to the creators. If your reply contains more than 1 tweet, the team recommends threading the tweets according to Twitter's guidelines.   Your tweet should end with #yourturn, so Shelley or other Twitter users can continue the story. If your contribution is intended to conclude the story, you can write #theend. The rules are explained in full on Shelley's website.The AI-horror writer is the creation of researchers at MIT’s Media Lab, who previously unveiled the ‘Nightmare Machine’ – an AI that can generate gruesome horror imagery.To train Shelley, the researchers fed the AI stories from the horror subreddit, r/nosleep.Then, working on just the ‘seed’ of an idea, the AI can spin her own tales and work with humans to further develop the story.‘Now as an adult, and not unlike Mary Shelley – her Victorian idol – she takes a bit of inspiration in the form of a random seed, or a short snippet of text, and starts creating stories emanating from her creepy creative mind,’ the creators explain.‘But what Shelley truly enjoys is to work collaboratively with humans, learning from their nightmarish ideas, creating the best scary tales ever.’The team revealed the AI this week, and as of Monday, Shelley has been tweeting a new story every hour.Anyone can then join in on the writing process by replying to her tweet with the next bit of the story, and concluding with #yourturn.The AI-human collaboration has already produced a slew of short stories, many of which ring the familiar bells of a classic horror tale.‘What could I do? I was a monster,’ one story begins. ‘I was seeing things. I was the victim. The lives of my thirst.'But I was never actually dead. I was still in my own body.’The AI draws inspiration from the long history of horror, touching on numerous common themes, from monsters and ghosts to violence and the unsettling feeling of being watched.‘I stood there staring down the hill, and I saw the man in the black cloak standing there, holding a knife,’ Shelley wrote in one thread.‘He stood in silence, his head motionless but was staring at me. "I’m sorry. I found you. I want you to enjoy this curse. I love you, I’m so sorry."'In another spine-tingling thread, Shelley wrote: ‘I remember his face in a look of horror, and it was agony and malice.'I was trapped. I was trapped in this hospital bed. ’The AI, however, is not perfect just yet.In the midst of Shelley’s hair-raising stories, there are also several bizarre snippets that don’t seem to make any sense.In one comical example shared by the team, the AI wrote, ‘”You…your wife is your father,” the voice said perfectly.’ AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5014213/Shelley-AI-horror-writer-pens-hair-raising-tales.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 417 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Bill Gates spends $80m on Arizona land to build smart city
Bill Gates has bought $80 million (£61 million) worth of arid desert in Arizona to build a new 'smart city'.The planned community, known as Belmont, will be designed around cutting-edge technology, including self-driving cars and high-speed data networks.The city will be built on a 25,000-acre plot in a remote area in Tonopah, around 50 miles (80 km) west of Phoenix.One of Bill Gates' investment groups has bought 25,000 acres of land in a remote area in Arizona. Belmont Partners, the real estate developer behind the project, said the goal is to turn the area into a 'smart city'.  The firm said the site will embrace cutting-edge technology and will be designed around high-speed digital networks. It will be built to accommodate self-driving cars. Plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space. Few other details have been revealed about the new city, and it has not yet been announced when construction will begin.While few people currently live in the area, the plans call for as many as 80,000 homes and 3,800 acres of industrial, office and retail space.The site will include 3,400 acres of open space and 470 acres for public schools, according to Arizona-based Belmont Partners, the real estate developer behind the project.The firm, which forms part of a group controlled by Cascade Investment LLC – an investment firm run by Gates – said the goal is to turn the area into a 'smart city'.'Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs,' the company said in a press release, as reported by KPNX.'Comparable in square miles and projected population to Tempe, Arizona, Belmont will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model.'The proposed freeway I-11, which would connect Belmont to Las Vegas, makes the land an ideal spot for a new city, according to Ronald Schott, an expert at Arizona Technology Council.'Bill Gates is known for innovation and those kind of things and I think he picked the right place. He's coming to Arizona,' he told KPNX.The highway’s first phase of construction is expected to be completed within the next year.Few details have been revealed about the new city, and it has not yet been announced when construction will begin. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5076579/Bill-Gates-spends-80m-Arizona-land-build-smart-city.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 273 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Giant asteroid 3200 Phaethon will brush past Earth soon
The huge object is named after the Greek demi-god Phaethon, who according to legend almost destroyed Earth.It will brush 'quite close' with Earth on December 17, Russian astronomers have shown.The asteroid is named after the son of the Greek sun god Helios 'Phaethon' because it passes so close to the sun. Legend claims the young demi-god was challenged to prove he was related to Helios, who was said to pull the sun across the sky. To prove his divine provenance, Phaethon rode his father's chariot, but was unable to control the horses, who then ran wild across the sky, dragging the sun with them. Earth was almost destroyed in the ensuing chaos, which scorched the planet, burned vast amounts of vegetation and created the great deserts of Africa.Experts at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Konigsberg, Russia, have published a video that tracks the path of Phaethon.The object, which Nasa has previously described as a 'potentially hazardous asteroid', will pass 6.4 million miles (10.3m km) from Earth - relatively close in space terms.At 3 miles (5 km) wide, the asteroid is roughly half the size of Chicxulub, the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs.Its unusual orbit will see it pass closer to the sun than any other named asteroid.3200 Phaethon has puzzled scientists because it has features of both an asteroid and a comet.In one of its previous close encounters with Earth, scientists spotted dust streaming from the space rock that resembles the melting ice tails seen tailing most comets.But Phaethon’s orbit puts its origins in a region between Mars and Jupiter where asteroids commonly originate.Typically, icy comets come from colder regions of space beyond Neptune.In a statement, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University said: 'Apparently, this asteroid was once a much bigger object.'But its many approaches to the sun have caused it to crumble into smaller pieces which eventually formed this meteor shower.'If so, the asteroid itself could be the residue of a comet nucleus.'The asteroid's extremely elongated orbit, thanks to which it sometimes gets to the Sun closer than Mercury and it sometimes moves away farther than Mars, is another argument in favour of this theory.'The asteroid is named after the son of the Greek sun god Helios 'Phaethon' because it passes so close to the sun.Legend claims the young demi-god was challenged to prove he was related to Helios, who was said to pull the sun across the sky.To prove his divine provenance, Phaethon rode his father's chariot, but was unable to control the horses, who then ran wild across the sky, dragging the sun with them.Earth was almost destroyed in the ensuing chaos, which scorched the planet, burned vast amounts of vegetation and created the great deserts of Africa. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5111941/Giant-asteroid-3200-Phaethon-brush-past-Earth-soon.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2099 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Tesla completes construction of world's biggest battery
Tesla has completed construction of the world's largest lithium ion battery in Australia.The completion puts the battery on track to meet a 100-day deadline for switching the battery packs on, according to the South Australian government.Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, believes the 100 megawatt (129MWh) battery - which will be up and running by December 1 - could be the first step to Australia becoming a renewable energy powerhouse.Tesla has completed construction of the 100 megawatt lithium ion battery, which is more than three times larger than any existing power storage facility. The battery was built at a wind farm operated by France's Neoen that is located about 225 km (141 miles) from the South Australian capital of Adelaide and will supply power to the lithium-ion storage cells. Last year's state-wide blackout was blamed by opponents of renewable energy on the state's rush to embrace wind and solar, and fuelled a backlash that has split Australia's conservative federal government and led to renewed calls to support coal-fired power.Tesla won a bid in July to build the battery for South Australia, the country's most wind power-dependent state.Musk vowed to install it within 100 days of signing a grid connection agreement or give it to the state for free.When the grid connection deal was signed on Sept 29, Tesla was already half way through installing the battery packs.Finishing today means that the firm took just 55 days to complete the batteries.The Tesla Powerpacks have now been fully installed at a wind farm run by France's Neoen, and testing is set to begin to provide grid security services in South Australia.Musk tweeted: 'Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!'Jay Weatherill, state Premier, said: 'While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer.'The state has yet to say how much it would pay for the battery, which is part of a £293 million ($390 million) plan that includes diesel-fired generators to help keep the lights on following a string of blackouts over the past 18 months.Australia's energy market operator has warned that power supply will be tight this summer, particularly in South Australia and neighbouring Victoria, where one of the market's biggest coal-fired power plants was shut in March.While South Australia hopes the Tesla battery will forestall further blackouts, not everyone is behind the project.Scott Morrison, Australia's treasurer, said: 'By all means, have the world's biggest battery, have the world's biggest banana, have the world's biggest prawn like we have on the roadside around the country, but that is not solving the problem.'Thirty thousand SA households could not get through watching one episode of Australia's Ninja Warrior with this big battery, so let's not pretend it is a solution.'Despite Mr Morrison's concerns, the batteries are on track to be operational by December 1, according to Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia Energy Minister.Analysts have estimated the battery should cost around $750 (US $585/£439) to $950 (US $741/£556) per kilowatt, or up to $95 million (US $74 million/ £56 million).Musk said in July the cost to Tesla would be '$50 million [US $39 million/ £29 million] or more' if it failed to deliver the project on time. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5109929/Tesla-cranks-big-battery-Australia.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 261 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Experts edit DNA inside a body to cure a genetic disease
Scientists have tried editing a gene inside the body in a world first procedure.The experiment was a bold attempt to permanently change a person's DNA to try to cure a disease.Through an IV drip, 44-year-old patient Brian Madeux received billions of copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to cut his DNA in a precise spot.Signs of whether the procedure, performed in California on Monday, is working may come in a month, while tests will show for sure in three months.The new technique used a gene-editing tool called zinc finger nucleases, which act like molecular scissors that seek and cut a specific piece of DNA.  The therapy has three parts: The new gene and two zinc 'finger proteins'. DNA instructions for each part are placed in a virus that's been altered to not cause infection but to ferry them into cells. Billions of copies of these viruses are given through a vein via an IV drip. They travel to the liver, where cells use the instructions to make the zinc fingers and prepare the corrective gene. The fingers cut the DNA, allowing the new gene to slip in. The inserted DNA then directs the cell to make the enzyme the patient lacked. Only 1 per cent of liver cells would have to be corrected to successfully treat the disease.'It's kind of humbling' to be the first to test this, said Mr Madeux, who has a metabolic disease called Hunter syndrome.'I'm willing to take that risk. Hopefully it will help me and other people.'Hunter syndrome is a rare inherited condition with no cure, and in its severest form can result in death for children as young as 10.The disease, which is carried by the mother and passed to her son, causes a deficiency in the body of an enzyme, which breaks down long sugar molecules.Without it, these molecules build up until they reach toxic levels, causing havoc in the body.The new technique used a gene-editing tool called zinc finger nucleases, which act like molecular scissors that seek and cut a specific piece of DNA.The therapy has three parts: The new gene and two zinc 'finger proteins'.DNA instructions for each part are placed in a virus that's been altered to not cause infection but to ferry them into cells.Billions of copies of these viruses are given through a vein via an IV drip.They travel to the liver, where cells use the instructions to make the zinc fingers and prepare the corrective gene.The fingers cut the DNA, allowing the new gene to slip in. The new gene then directs the cell to make the enzyme the patient lacked.Only 1 per cent of liver cells would have to be corrected to successfully treat the disease, said Mr Madeux's physician and study leader, Dr Paul Harmatz at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, where the gene editing experiment took place.'How bulletproof is the technology? We're just learning,' but safety tests have been very good, said Dr. Carl June, a University of Pennsylvania scientist who has done other gene therapy work but was not involved in this study.Scientists have edited people's genes before, altering cells in the lab that are then returned to patients, and some gene therapies don't involve editing DNA.But these methods can only be used for a few types of diseases.Some give results that may not last, while others supply a new gene but can't control where it inserts in the DNA, possibly causing a new problem like cancer.This time, the gene editing is happening in a precise way inside the body, meaning genes can easily reach the right location.'We cut your DNA, open it up1
Views: 83 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - NSW five-year-old is going through the menopause
A five-year-old girl who grew breasts at just two years old and started her period at four is going through the menopause.Emily Dover, from New South Wales in Australia, was a toddler when she started to develop breasts, body odour and acne.She started menstruating at just four years old and, within the past 12 months, has grown pubic hair due to suffering from Addison's Disease.Now going through the menopause as a result of her aggressive treatment, Emily is experiencing the same debilitating symptoms that normally affect women in their 50s.Emily, who weighs seven stone, also endures bullying at playschool for her size, leaving her parents terrified she will always be seen as the 'different kid' at school.'She hasn't had a chance to be a little girl'Emily's mother Tam, 41, who works in a local hospital, told The Mirror: 'She hasn't even had a chance to be a little girl.'By two years of age, Emily had breast buds and body odour, and a rash on her skin since birth that was now being diagnosed as cystic acne.'Something was very wrong with our little girl.'When Emily first started her period, she thought she had soiled herself.Now older, she is learning how to use sanitary towels but still tells her parents her 'foo foo is bleeding'.The youngster wakes daily with swollen wrists and ankles; sore, itchy breasts and very painful bone growth issues.Emily's parents react calmly to the youngster's symptoms in an attempt to encourage her to do the same.Although Emily is aware her body is different to other girls her age, the youngster is clueless as to why.Size of a one-year-old at four monthsAlthough Emily at seven stone is larger than other children her age and extremely body conscious, she was born a healthy baby and was even the smallest of her siblings weighing 8lbs at birth.Yet at just one week old she started crying out in pain and struggling to sleep.By the time she reached four weeks old, she grew 4cm in just seven days.At four months old, she was the size of a one-year-old.The youngster endured years of doctors visits who dismissed her height as genetic and symptoms of vomiting and infections as being a result of being in daycare.Finally, Emily was diagnosed with Addison's Disease this year after blood tests revealed she had the hormone levels of a pregnant woman.She also has central precocious puberty - where puberty starts too early in children, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, autism, sensory processing disorder and anxiety.To treat her complex health issues, Emily is due to start a course of monthly injections that kick start her body into a very premature menopause, with all its side effects.Her parents will have to pay the equivalent of £1,105 per shot as the working couple are not entitled to healthcare.They have exhausted their paid leave caring for the youngster, who frequently becomes unwell.The couple are hoping to raise money to fund Emily's vital treatment. Donate here. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4963628/Five-year-old-going-menopause.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 10047 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Launch of NASA's planet-hunting TESS satellite pushed back to Wednesday
NASA has scrubbed today's launch of its planet-hunting spacecraft to allow additional time for Guidance and Control Analysis.The washing-machine-sized spacecraft, dubbed TESS, will travel to nearby stars in our galaxy to find hidden planets that have yet to be discovered.Prowling our nearest celestial neighbors, Tess will look for exoplanets - planets that are outside our solar system.It is hoped that by understanding the stars and their planets better, we might one day be able to tease out signs of alien life.TESS is flying on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and was initially scheduled to blast off at 6:32 pm ET (11:32 pm BST) from Cape Canaveral in Florida.But, NASA is now targeting Wednesday, April 18.‘Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis,’ NASA tweeted Monday afternoon.‘The NASA TESS spacecraft is in excellent health and remains ready for launch on the new targeted date of Wednesday, April 18.’Tess - The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite - is set to embark on a two-year quest to find and identify mystery worlds thought to be lurking in our cosmic backyard.The spacecraft aims to add thousands of exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, to the galactic map for future study.Life might be out there, whether microbial or more advanced, and scientists say Tess and later missions will help answer the age-old question of whether we're alone.'It is very exciting. ... By human nature, we look for exploration and adventure, and this is an opportunity to see what's next,' NASA's Sandra Connelly, a science program director, said yesterday.The $337 million (£236 million) spacecraft's primary goal is to study more than 200,000 of the brightest stars for signs of planets circling them.It will do this by looking for a dip in brightness, known as a transit.Nasa predicts that Tess will discover 20,000 exoplanets, including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of Earth.'They are going to be orbiting the nearest, brightest stars,' Elisa Quintana, TESS scientist at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, told reporters yesterday.'We might even find planets that orbit stars that we can even see with the naked eye,' she added.'So in the next few years we might even be able to walk outside and point at a star and know that it has a planet. This is the future.'Just a couple of decades ago, the notion of finding habitable planets was a mere fantasy, said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at NASA.'Humans have wondered forever whether we were alone in the universe, and until 25 years ago the only planets we knew about were the eight in our own solar system,' he told reporters on the eve of the Tess launch.'But since then, we have found thousands of planets orbiting others stars and we think all the stars in our galaxy must have their own family of planets.'Tess is designed as a follow-on to the US space agency's Kepler spacecraft, which was the first of its AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5618627/NASA-spacecraft-aims-mystery-planets-galactic-map.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 5 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - New study solves mystery of world's largest mud eruption
Just over 10 years ago, an explosive natural phenomenon sent many residents of the Indonesian island Java fleeing their homes.Mud first began erupting from several sites on May 29, 2006, spewing from the ground in jets of hot rocks and gas – and, by September of that year, it was spilling enough to fill 72 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day.The ongoing eruption has baffled experts and locals alike since it first emerged, but now, scientists say they may have finally uncovered the source of the mudflows.Lusi is an ongoing mud eruption occurring across several sites on the Indonesian island, Java. The phenomenon first began on May 29, 2006, two days after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the island. The eruption is spewing from the ground in jets of hot rocks and gas. By September 2006, it was spilling enough to fill 72 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day. Since it began, the mud has buried some villages as much as 40 feet deep (130 feet), and forced nearly 60,000 people to leave. Now, it still continues to spew mud periodically, though not as much as before.  It currently leaks roughly 80,000 cubic meters (3 million cubic feet) of mud each day – or, enough to fill 32 Olympic-sized pools.In a new study, researchers have found evidence to suggest the eruption, dubbed Lusi, is connected deep underground to the magma chambers of the nearby Arjuno-Welirang volcanic complex.A team led by researchers at the University of Oslo used geophysics to map the area beneath the eruption, known as Lusi.Since it began, the mud has buried some villages as much as 40 feet deep (130 feet), and forced nearly 60,000 people to leave.It continues to spew mud periodically, and now leaks roughly 80,000 cubic meters (3 million cubic feet) of mud each day – or, enough to fill 32 Olympic-sized pools.‘We clearly show the evidence that the two systems are connected at depth,’ said lead author Adriano Mazzini, a geoscientist at CEED – University of Oslo.‘What our new study shows is that the whole system was already existing there – everything was charged and ready to be triggered.’The study found Lusi is connected to the Arjuno-Welirang complex by a system of faults 6 kilometers (4 miles) underground.And, the magma from the volcano has been ‘baking’ the sediments beneath Lusi, causing pressure to build beneath the surface until it erupts.‘It’s just a matter of reactivating or opening these faults and whatever overpressure you have gathered in the subsurface will inevitably want to escape and come to the surface, and you have a manifestation on the surface, and that is Lusi,’ Mazzini said.After years studying the site, the authors installed a network of 31 seismometers in the region two years ago, to create 3D images of the subsurface network.With 10 months of data, the researchers were able to map out the area below Lusi and the nearby volcanoes.This revealed a tunnel protruding from the northernmost magma chamber into Lusi’s sedimentary basin.The reactions caused by the magma and hydrothermal fluids interacting with the sediments create gas trapped beneath the surface, which builds to extremely high pressures.Then all it takes is a disturbance, such as an earthquake, to cause an eruption.The researchers suspect a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the island just two days before the first mud eruption set off the strange phenomenon.This earthquake likely reactivated the fault system, they say.While it’s not yet clear how long Lusi will continue to erupt, the experts say it doesn’t look like it will cease anytime soon. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4990482/New-study-solves-mystery-world-s-largest-mud-eruption.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 108 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Orangutan orphan discovery a sign of habitat destruction
The discovery last week of two orphaned baby orangutans on Borneo is further evidence that deforestation and illegal hunting are threatening survival of the great apes, an Indonesian conservation group said Monday.Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation spokesman Nico Hermanu said the two orangutans were rescued in separate locations by a joint team from the foundation and the government's nature conservation agency.A male 6-8 months old was rescued after being reported alone on a riverbank near a village in Central Kalimantan on Friday and a 3-year-old female, weighing only 5 kilograms (11 pounds), was rescued the day before from a village in the province where she had been kept by a family for most of her life.ORANGUTAN POPULATIONS DECLINED BY 25% IN LAST DECADE Orangutan population on the island of Borneo has shrunk by a quarter in the last decade, researchers reported in a July 2017 study.  An estimate of individuals per 100 square kilometres (39 square miles) of forest revealed numbers are down from about 15 in the period 1997-2002 to about 10 in 2009-2015. The biggest threat to orangutans are habitat loss due to farming and climate change, and their killing for food or in conflict with humans. Right now, 10,000 orangutans live in areas eyed for oil palm production. Orangutans need a solid network of protected forests that are properly managed, the researchers say. Last year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature declared Borneo orangutan 'critically endangered' -one step from extinction.The foundation said in both cases it's likely that the mothers were deliberately killed.As more forests are cleared, 'hunters are able to reach previously isolated areas and orangutans,' it said in a statement.'We have to take a stand to protect remaining habitat and the critically endangered wildlife which lives within.'Our forests and our orangutan population are shrinking.'The foundation has found 19 baby orangutans so far this year.The reddish-brown great apes, known for their gentle temperament and high intelligence, are only found in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on Borneo, which is split among Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared both the Bornean and Sumatran species of orangutan to be critically endangered.In July, AFP reported that the orangutan population on the island of Borneo has shrunk by a quarter in the last decade.The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, revealed a worrying decline in orangutan numbers.The research relied on using a combination of helicopter and ground surveys, interviews with local communities, and modelling techniques to draw a pictutre of change over the past ten years.Previous counts have largely relied on estimations based on ground and aerial surveys of orangutan nests.Some suggested that Bornean orangutan numbers were in fact increasing.The new findings, the team said in a statement, are 'a wake-up call for the orangutan conservation community and the Indonesian and Malaysian governments who have committed to saving the species.'Every year, some $30-40 million (26-35 million euros) is spent in the region to halt wildlife decline.'The study shows that these funds are not effectively spent,' said the team.The biggest threat to orangutans, one of only two great ape species found in Asia today, are habitat loss due to farming and climate change, and their killing for food or in conflict with humans.Some 2,500 orangutans are killed in Borneo every year, the researchers said. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4984680/Group-Orangutan-orphans-sign-habitat-destruction.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2629 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Tropical forests are slowing the rate of global warming
National parks and nature reserves in South America, Africa and Asia are reducing carbon emissions from tropical deforestation by a third, helping to slow the rate of global warming, a new study shows.The study found that tropical forests are preventing the release of three times as much carbon into the atmosphere as the UK emits each year.Protected areas, which account for 20 per cent of the world's tropical forest, also play a crucial role in providing habitats for species including orangutans, forest elephants and Asiatic lions, and they also conserve world heritage sites such as the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was an audit of the role that protected areas of tropical forest play in preventing global warming.The research, by the University of Exeter and University of Queensland in Australia, involved analyzing the likely level of tree loss in protected area - and the resulting carbon emission - had they not been protected from deforestation.It shows that protected forests and preventing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions from being lost through logging and deforestation.According to the researchers, it's the first study to analyze the impact of all protected areas of tropical forest on reducing carbon emissions.Tropical forests account account for about 68 per cent of global forest carbon stock - including trees, canopy and root systems.But rainforests are under logging and clearing pressure to produce cash crops such as pasture land for cattle in South America, and palm oil in South East Asia, while in Africa, tropical forests are being cleared for agriculture and charcoal production for local cooking.However, these activities come at a cost: deforestation releases nearly twice as much carbon than is absorbed by intact forests.For the study, ecologists analyzed the carbon stocks and losses of millions of hectares of protected areas such as national parks, world heritage sites, reserves for indigenous people, tourist sites and areas to protect endangered species.They found that from 2000-2012, these protected area cut predicted carbon emissions by about one third.'Tropical protected areas are often valued for their role in safeguarding biodiversity,' says Dr Dan Bebber, an ecologist at the University of Exeter and the co-author of the research.'Our study highlights the added benefit of maintaining forest cover for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, so helping slow the rate of climate change.'From 2000-2012, tropical protected areas reduced carbon emissions by 407 million tonnes per year, which according to the researchers is equivalent to 1492 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.The UK's annual carbon dioxide emissions are around 404 million tonnes per year, so the saving is more than three times the UK's annual production of carbon dioxide emissions.Total annual carbon emissions from the tropics are thought to be between 1 and 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon per year - equivalent to 3.67 to 5.05 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.While there was a concern that forest clearing would increase outside the boundaries of protected areas, the authors of the study did not find a measurable increase in logging in areas of rainforest just outside the protected areas.TROPICAL FORESTS EMIT MORE CARBON DIOXIDE THAN THEY STORE DUE TO DEFORESTATION   Tropical forests have been so damaged by humans that they now pollute the planet more than they protect it. The 1
Views: 10 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Are some people hard-wired to handle break-ups better?
They say it takes six months to get over a break-up.But some people seem to 'rebound' within weeks, days or even hours.Does that mean they're more resilient than the rest of us?It is one of life's enduring questions, clinical psychologist Dr Meg Jay told Daily Mail Online.In a nutshell, resilience is not a personality trait we are born with or not, she says, and no one feels like they 'bounce back', even if it seems like it from the outside. Working through grief is an internal struggle for everyone.However, research has shown that some people have a natural inclination to coach themselves through adversity.Specifically, one 2000 study on prisoners of war in East Germany found that some developed PTSD afterwards and others didn't.While there are many theories about what triggers PTSD, this research by Anke Ehlers of Oxford University found that all of those who did not develop PTSD said the same thing: they were mentally coaching themselves through it.The study did not, by any means, suggest that the POWs 'bounce back', but it was hailed as a major development in psychological research, suggesting some of us may naturally have a perceived positive mindset.Dr Jay, who cites this research in her soon-to-be-released book Supernormal: The Untold Story Of Adversity And Resilience, says we do not know why some prisoners of war can steel themselves through the torture - or, at the other extreme, some people can motivate themselves to get out of bed an hour earlier for a run in 50-degree cold.However, she says there are some concrete things we can all do to make ourselves feel more resilient and power through sadness.1. DO NOT THINK OF YOURSELF AS 'NOT RESILIENT' - EVEN IF YOU FEEL HELPLESS'I take issue with the "bounce back" description,' Dr Jay says.'That's the way we describe it but that's not how it feels for anyone. We say someone rebounded with the next person. But most people feel more like they "battle back", it's more like a struggle and they have to fight back against the bad feelings that come at them.'It's very common for people to think "well I don't bounce back, there's something wrong with me." And they don't feel like it was a bounce back because it was hard and it took time.'You're not doing it wrong.'Resilience needs time. It could be months or years, but you get through it and you feel better after it. It doesn't mean you're not resilient because you weren't over it the next day.'Maybe some people do feel like resilience is very easy, and that may be because they have had to be resilient other times in their life. But for most people, doing hard things and handling bad situations well is not natural and emotionless.'2. MAKE A LIST OF HOW YOU MADE IT THROUGH TOUGH TIMES IN THE PAST - AND REALIZE YOU ARE NOT 'DOOMED' IF YOU'VE BEEN THROUGH MULTIPLE SPLITSDr Jay, who has been dubbed an expert in 20-somethings, sees countless patients who believe their previous relationship woes are indicators of their 'luck in love'.But she says you have to recognize that 'your past cuts both ways'.'For people who go through a lot of break-ups, you might think, "why does this keep happening to me? What's wrong with me?" Or, if you grow up with an unstable family, you might think you will never have happiness.'That doesn't have to be the case, and it's important to look at how your past is casting a shadow over your present.'Oftentimes when people go through hard times - and I think break-ups are a perfect example of this - people don't remember 1
Views: 7 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Bookies take a hit as they wait to hear the score on FOBTs
The adage that the bookie always wins is being challenged by a crackdown on betting shops’ biggest money-spinners: fixed-odds betting terminals.Reports that the Government favours cutting the maximum stake on the controversial FOBTs from £100 to £2 wiped millions of pounds from the UK’s biggest bookmakers in recent days.William Hill’s shares fell 12 per cent on Monday, knocking £340 million off its value.Ladbrokes shares fell by 8 per cent on the same day, wiping off £280 million.The Government launched a review of FOBTs last October, saying it would reduce the maximum stake to a figure between £50 and £2.The consultation process ended last week, with officials saying a decision will be made ‘in due course’.It is particularly critical to Ladbrokes because it affects the company’s imminent takeover by online betting firm GVC Holdings.The lower the Government sets the maximum stake for FOBTs, the lower the price GVC will have to pay for Ladbrokes.If a £2 limit is enforced, Ladbrokes could lose £449 million a year in revenue, according to analysts at Barclays. William Hill could lose £284 million, and Paddy Power Betfair could lose £55 million.But gambling activist Derek Webb says the bookies have ‘significantly overstated’ the impact of the curb, and that the £2 cap is vital to protect consumers.The casinos mogul, who runs the Campaign for Fairer Gambling lobby group, says FOBTs are ‘a magnet for criminal damage and money laundering’, and two in every five users are either problem gamblers or at risk.Webb said: ‘If the objective is to reduce gambling-related harm, reducing the maximum stake to £2 is the most effective means of achieving that.’ AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-5320255/Bookies-hit-wait-hear-score-FOBTs.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 90 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Lobster found with peculiar Pepsi logo 'tattoo' in Canada
A lobster found with a Pepsi logo 'tattoo' has sparked concerns about the extent of litter in the world's oceans.The lobster was found off the coast of New Brunswick by a woman who drinks around 12 cans of Pepsi a day and quickly recognised the familiar logo.No one knows how the Pepsi tattoo got there - some suggest the lobster grew in a can, while others speculate that a Pepsi box became stuck to it at some point.The find comes amid growing concerns about pollution, with the latest figures suggesting between five and 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year.The lobster was found off the coast of New Brunswick by a woman who drinks around 12 cans of Pepsi a day who said she quickly recognised the familiar logo. No one knows how the Pepsi tattoo got there - some suggest the lobster grew in a can others speculate that a Pepsi box became stuck to it at some point. The lobster was trapped by Karissa Lindstrand off the coast of Gran Manan in New Brunswick.  She said the image was not paper but could be scraped off. The find comes amid widespread concern about the amount of pollution being thrown into the oceans. 'What it really tells us is the prevalence of marine debris in our coastal waters', said Matthew Abbott, marine co-ordinator with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.The lobster was trapped by Karissa Lindstrand off the coast of Gran Manan in New Brunswick.It was being loaded into a crate to have its claws banded when she noticed the strange marking.'It looked like the image was tattooed on the lobster claw,' she said, speaking to the Globe and Mail.'I've just seen deformed claws. I've never seen anything like this before with the image of a Pepsi symbol,' she said.She said the image was not paper but could be scraped off.Ms Lindstrand, who has been banding lobsters for four years, made the strange find on 21 November and posted it on her Facebook.'I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what exactly it was,' she said.'I just happened to notice a blue picture, and got looking at it closer and it was a Pepsi can,' she said.'I'm a Pepsi fan 100 per cent. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and then Pepsi all day. On average it would be about 12 cans.'Ms Lindstrand said she wishes she had kept the lobster after seeing how much attention her Facebook post got.However, she put her catch in a crate and believes it could now be in the US.'What it really tells us is the prevalence of marine debris in our coastal waters', said Matthew Abbott, marine coordinator with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.'This is a case where the lobster not necessarily has been hurt by it, but it shows that even in the relatively deep waters off Grand Manan there's garbage down there'.The find comes amid widespread concern about the amount of pollution being thrown into the oceans.Earlier this month it was reported one of the densest areas of plastic rubbish anywhere in the world's seas was discovered north of Norway and Russia .Mile AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5132043/Lobster-peculiar-Pepsi-logo-tattoo.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 589 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Your parents' lifestyles affect your health even as adults
We don't choose our parents, their jobs or their health. And we don't have a say in whether or not they smoke, nor in what they ate when we were children. However, our recent study found that these things strongly determine our own lifestyles and health, even into adulthood.For our study – involving 21,000 participants aged 50 and above from 13 European countries – we compared the participants' current smoking, obesity and lack of exercise with their parents' job, longevity, smoking status and alcohol problems during the participants' childhoods.We showed that parents' characteristics when participants were ten years old explained between 31 percent and 78 percent of their adult health, with a European average at 50 percent.The countries where health was largely determined by parents' characteristics were Czech Republic (78 percent), Germany (72 percent), Spain (70 percent), France (66 percent) and Austria (64 percent).However, parental factors mattered less in Belgium (31 percent), the Netherlands (34 percent) and Switzerland (41 percent).The importance of parents' characteristics for their children's health is explained by two mechanisms.First, poor living conditions in childhood lead to poverty in adulthood – which affects health.Second, health is transmitted from parents to children.Beyond the obvious common genetic inheritance across generations, parents' health also has an impact on their children's health by imparting habits and lifestyles.Our research found that if a parent smoked when their child was young, the child was much more likely to smoke as an adult, in all countries except Sweden.A person's obesity in later life was more frequent when their parents were smokers and had a problem with alcohol when the child was ten in Germany, Greece and Austria.In Denmark, obesity was only associated with parents having a problem with alcohol; in France it was associated with parents being smokers.We also investigated the odds that a person would smoke – using national survey data from France – based on their parents' smoking and social background.We found that if a person's father smoked when they were 12, they were almost twice as likely to smoke than people whose father did not smoke at all, controlling for education level and parents' job.If mothers smoked, it increased the risk of their daughters smoking – but not their sons.The risk that a person would smoke was also higher among those whose father was a manual worker, and who had experienced periods of poverty during their childhood.Our findings should give pause for thought to those who devised the new NHS plans to stop smokers or obese patients from having surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight.The decision assumes that these patients' poor health is self induced, so they are made to choose between facing the consequences of their lifestyle or demonstrating a commitment to change.These sorts of public health policies don't take into account that lifestyle is strongly associated with circumstances beyond a person's control, especially their childhood circumstances and their parents' health and lifestyles.Restricting their access to treatment appears especially unfair when people do not have equal opportunities to be in good health and to adopt healthy lifestyles.According to the American economist, John Roemer, a way to ensure equality of opportunities is to respect the true responsibility of people for their efforts independently of factors beyond their control.In ot1
Views: 8 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Researchers claim we are NOT living in a simulation
AutoNews- It’s a question that has persisted in science fiction and philosophical discussion alike: are we living in a computer simulation?Scientists have long argued both sides of the theory, with some even suggesting if we did live in a simulated reality, we’d never know the truth.But now, a new study could finally put the debate to rest.Theoretical physicists have discovered that it is impossible, by principle, to simulate a quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals – and, ultimately, something as complex as the entire universe.In a new study published to the journal Science Advances, the team from the University of Oxford and the Hebrew University used a technique known as Monte Carlo simulation to investigate a phenomenon said to be a gravitational anomaly.The effect, called thermal Hall conductance, can be seen in systems with high magnetic fields and low temperatures.But in their work, the researchers found that the simulation is unable to capture a system with gravitational anomalies, such as the quantum Hall effect.As the number of particles required for the simulation increased, the researchers found the simulation itself became far more complex.If the particles increased in a linear way, the number of computational resources to simulate the system would have to as well; for a system twice as large, for example, the number of required resources, including processors and memory, would have to double.But, if the system grew exponentially, this effect would be far more extreme.To store the information of a few hundred electrons on a computer, the simulation would require memory built from more atoms than exist in the entire universe, the researchers note.‘Our work provides an intriguing link between two seemingly unrelated topics: gravitational anomalies and computational complexity,’ said co-author Zohar Ringel, a professor at Hebrew University.Last summer, when asked at the Code Conference in southern California if the answer to the question of whether we are in a simulated computer game was 'yes', Elon Musk said the answer is 'probably'. Musk believes that computer game technology, particularly virtual reality, is already approaching a point that it is indistinguishable from reality. But, according to Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, the simulation scenario ignores the laws of nature. Such a universe that would either have to ‘overthrow quantum mechanics’ or rely on qubits, which have yet to tie in with general relativity. Elon Musk is one of many who have suggested reality may not be as we think. Last summer, when if the answer to the question of whether we are in a simulated computer game was 'yes', Elon Musk said the answer is 'probably' Essentially, the researcher argues, ‘our presently best theories are the standard model and general relativity, and whatever other explanation you have for our observations must first be able to reproduce these theories’ achievements.’ So far, no one has been able to do this.   Hossenfelder considers a scenario in which the universe is composed of bits, like a computer, relying on ordered time-series encoded by an algorithm.  Such a thing could not be done using classical bits, as there would be no quantum effects. But, even if you were to attempt to build the universe from quantum bits (qubits), there ‘are good reasons to believe it’s not possible,' the physicist argues, as no one has yet succeeded in recovering general relativity and the standard model of particle physics from qubits.‘It also shows that the thermal Hall conductance is a genuine quantum effect: one for which no local classical analogue exists.’According to the researchers, the study shows that systems with gravitational anomalies will bring about a ‘sign problem’ within the Monte-Carlo approach.If the problem could be solved, large-scale quantum simulations could be possible, they say – but the work provides proof that it cannot be solved for some systems.While the computer simulation theory continues to gnaw at the minds of many, with people such as Elon Musk backing the idea, the new study suggests it would be impossible to generate the illusion of reality in this way.
Views: 639 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Using one embryo in IVF boosts odds of a healthy baby
Transferring just one – rather than multiple – fertilized donor eggs doubles the chances of a healthy birth, according to a new study.Using IVF increases the odds of having twins or multiples, which in turn increases the likelihood that the babies will be born premature and underweight.Many women choose to have multiple embryos transferred in IVF in order to save money and improve their chances of getting pregnant. But in light of the study's findings, the authors urge women to use only one embryo.The University of Colorado and Duke University study is the largest to date to look at outcomes of pregnancies using fresh and frozen donor eggs.IVF - in vitro fertilization - has been around since the late 1970s, but with the advent of reliable cryogenic freezing technology, more and more women have been choosing to use cheaper frozen donor eggs, or even freezing their own.In traditional IVF using fresh eggs, the donor egg is immediately fertilized with a semen sample and then inserted into the uterus of the hopeful mother. For the process to work, not only do donor, doctor, father and recipient have to move quickly, but the egg donor and recipient have to have their hormonal schedules synced up.With more moving parts, IVF with fresh eggs can take more time, patience, work and money.Frozen eggs can be cryogenically stored for up to 15 years, and are ready to be fertilized as soon as they have thawed.Egg-freezing is now a commercially available service, but using them for IVF was still an ‘experimental’ procedure up until 2013, says Dr Jennifer Eaton, study co-author and Duke University medical director of reproductive technologies.Women have even begun flocking to clinics to freeze their own eggs in order to focus on their careers while preserving their chances of having a healthy baby later in life.Cryobanks, unsurprisingly have touted the practice as just as effective, and much affordable and simple than the use of live eggs. But, the practice is so new that there hasn’t been enough data to prove whether or not it works just as well as IVF with fresh eggs.The Colorado and Duke study is the first comprehensive comparison of the two methods, comparing out comes for 30,000 patients who underwent IVF between 2012 and 2014.‘We now know that using [frozen] bank eggs has no negative outcomes,’ as compared to using fresh eggs, Dr Eaton says.According to her study, fresh donor eggs are slightly more likely to successfully implant in the recipient’s uterus and result in a live birth, but the outcome is not ‘clinically significant.’There are elevated risks for multiple births, and babies that are premature and have low birth rates for both forms of IVF, but especially for those who use fresh donor eggs. This ‘deserves more attention,’ the study authors write.Often, women opt to have more than one embryo fertilized and transferred, primarily because the process is so expensive, and doing so increases their odds of at least one successful pregnancy.What’s more disconcerting is that clinic’s ‘success rates are published publicly, so there’s competitions between clinics to have the best pregnancies rates, and I think that drives some clinicians to transfer more embryos than they should,’ Dr Eaton says.She adds that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) guidelines recommend that only one embryo should be transferred at a time. And yet, 22.5 percent of IVF procedures with frozen eggs and 31.9 percent of those with fresh eggs result in multiple births.This, Dr Eaton says, ‘is concerning because multiple births are at risk for premature birth or low birth weights.’Her team's findings suggest that ‘women should strongly considering having one just one embryo transferred, because it’s going to give them the best odds of having a healthy baby.’ AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5039655/Using-one-embryo-IVF-boosts-odds-healthy-baby.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 282 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - 'Mega-carnivore' dinosaur in Africa 200 million years ago
A dinosaur as big as a bus roamed southern Africa 200 million years ago, scientists have revealed thanks to the discovery of several huge three-toed footprints.The new species, Kayentapus ambrokholohali, is a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex and was identified by its footprints, which are nearly two feet (23 inches) long.Dinosaurs are recorded as only first appearing on Earth around 230 million years ago, so the new find shocked researchers as it shows they grew big very quickly.Researchers led by Dr Fabien Knoll from the University of Manchester estimated the carnivorous dinosaur would have been around 30 feet (nine metres) long and ten feet (three metres) tall.It belongs to a new species that has been named Kayentapus ambrokholohali and is part of the group of dinosaurs called 'megatheropods'.They include the giant two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs such as the iconic Tyrannosaurus-rex which fossil evidence shows was around 39 feet (12 metres) long.It's the first evidence a huge carnivorous dinosaur lived in South Africa more than 100 million years before T Rex first appeared on the planet.The discovery dates back to the Early Jurassic epoch and it was previously thought dinosaurs were considerably smaller at this time.The researchers, whose findings are published in the journal PLOS One, say the footprints make up the largest theropod tracks ever found in Africa.They were found on an ancient land surface - known as a palaeosurface - in the Maseru District of Lesotho.It's covered in 200 million years old 'current-ripple marks' and 'desiccation cracks' which are signs of a prehistoric watering hole or river bank.Dr Knoll said: 'The latest discovery is very exciting and sheds new light on the kind of carnivore that roamed what is now southern Africa.'That's because it is the first evidence of an extremely large meat-eating animal roaming a landscape otherwise dominated by a variety of herbivorous, omnivorous and much smaller carnivorous dinosaurs.'It really would have been top of the food chain.'On average therapod dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic epoch were thought to be around 3 to 16 feet (3-5 metres) in body length.Some records showing they may have reached 23 feet (7 metres) at the very most.It's only much later in the Jurassic and during the Cretaceous - which starts 145 million years ago - that truly large forms of theropods like T Rex appear in fossil records.Co-author Dr Lara Sciscio, of Cape Town University, said: 'This discovery marks the first occurrence of very large carnivorous dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic of southern Gondwana - the prehistoric continent which would later break up and become Africa and other landmasses.'This makes it a significant find. Globally, these large tracks are very rare. There is only one other known site similar in age and sized tracks, which is in Poland.'At this time South Africa was inhabited by a diverse variety of flora and fauna.The ancient surface where these footprints were found is also covered with the tracks of much smaller theropod dinosaurs.Dr Knoll added: 'In South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia there is good record of theropod footprints from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic epochs.'In fact, there are numerous palaeosurfaces where footprints and even tail and body impressions of these, and other animals, can be found.'But now we have evidence this region of Africa was also home to a mega-carnivore.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5016995/Mega-carnivore-dinosaur-Africa-200-million-years-ago.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 1290 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Dubai announces plans to build a £100m simulation of Mars
AutoNews- In the hopes of simulating life on the red planet, Dubai has announced that it is building a £100 million (AED 500 million/$135 million) 'Mars Science City.'The city will cover 1.9 million square feet, making it the largest space simulation city ever built.The project will be home to a team of researchers who will live there for a year, carrying out experiments to look at the food, water and energy needs to sustain life on Mars.The project is part of Dubai's Mars 2117 Strategy, which seeks to build the first settlement on Mars in the next 100 years.The Mars Science City project was unveiled at the annual meeting for the UAE government in Abu Dhabi this week.The city will contain advanced laboratories that simulate Mars' terrain and harsh environment.There, scientists will carry out experiments to look at the food, water and energy needs to sustain a human settlement on Mars.It will also have a museum that will display some of the world's greatest space achievements.The walls of the museum will be 3D printed using sand from the Emirati desert.As well as the laboratories and museum, the project will also be home to a team living in the simulated red planet city for a year.The designers hope that this experience will form an important reference model for future innovation around sustaining life in a hostile environment.The city will consist of several domes, built using 'innovative construction techniques.'Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai, said: 'The UAE is a great country with vision and understanding of the challenges we face and the rapid changes our world is experiencing.'We believe in the potential of space exploration, and in collaborating with global partners and leaders in order to harness the findings of this research and movement that seeks to meet people's needs and improve quality of life on Earth.'The project is part of Dubai's Mars 2117 Strategy which seeks to build the first settlement on Mars in the next 100 years.Sheikh Mohammed added: 'The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans.'Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.'It is unclear when Dubai plans to start building work on Mars Science City.
Views: 99 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Businesswoman on how she discovered ethical capitalism
The penny dropped when I saw my pension fund was invested in BP, Shell and British American Tobacco.How could I let my hard-earned cash finance companies which depend on burning fossil fuels and keeping people hooked on cigarettes?It made no sense that I could be donating to Cancer Research one minute – I have lost my grandmother, father and one of my best friends to lung cancer – but the next, sticking £400 a month into an investment fund helping to keep the tobacco industry alive.Similarly, how silly to be recycling and buying 100 per cent renewable energy while handing over my savings to companies with a vested interest in pumping out more carbon dioxide.We should all preserve what we have for future generations, but if I am enjoying 20 per cent annual growth from funds that do the opposite, am I really doing the best for my boys – William six, and Theo, three?For me, putting money into solutions to problems rather than cynically making money from the problems themselves has become a normal part of 'doing my bit'.It is easier now too, thanks to a wide range of sustainability-themed funds.I have not done badly financially out of my conscience either – and my money is invested in projects I am proud to tell my kids about.Part of my pension is in the Nest Ethical option while more of my old occupational pension scheme will be moved to PensionBee's new Future World fund when it launches later this month.My Isa is in the WHEB Sustainability fund, which has returned 17 per cent in the 18 months since I started investing in it.My Lifetime Isa is in a mix of ethical funds. They include Liontrust Sustainable Futures Absolute Growth (17 per cent return in the past year); Pictet Water (10.5 per cent); Royal London Sustainable Leaders (11 per cent); and Colombia Threadneedle Social Bond (the only poor performer with a 0.3 per cent decline).The boys' Junior Isas are in WHEB Sustainability, Jupiter Ecology and Kames Ethical Equity. To complete my ethical finances, I also bank with eco-friendly Triodos.Ethical capitalism. It pays and is rewarding.Rebecca O'Connor is co-founder of Good With Money, the responsible money website. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/investing/article-4958316/Businesswoman-discovered-ethical-capitalism.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 4 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Car insurance is most expensive it has ever been, says ABI
Motorist are having to pay more for car insurance than ever before, the Association of British Insurers confirmed today.The average motor insurance premium has reached £485, an increase of £45 in the last 12 months and the highest it's been since the ABI has been tracking prices.The blame has been put on changes to personal injury payouts and tax and insurers have now called for the Government to bring in reforms to  compensation rules as quickly as possible to relieve 'cash-squeezed' motorists.Today's report is a second blow for drivers in a week after the RAC Foundation confirmed that close to a third of Britain’s 40 million motorists have been hit with some form of fine in the past 12 months, amounting to a staggering £1 billion.With changes to VED car tax in April and the introduction of new toxin taxes on older cars, the nation's motorists are facing other higher charges to get behind the wheel.Record high insurance costs are the latest blow to their wallets, with the average policy now 10 per cent more expensive than it was this time last year.The ABI said its Premium Tracker measured the highest average motor insurance premium for the first time since it has been reporting on costs, which began in 2012.The £485 figure for the third quarter of 2017 - which unlike other insurance price indices is based on the actual cost of policies rather than quoted fees - broke the previous record by just £1 - this was set in the previous quarter.12 per cent rise in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) in the last two years two years, as well as soaring average repair bills, which have jumped by a third since 2013.It has now urged the Government to implement its proposals to reform the Ogden rate, which defines severed personal injury payouts, as soon as possible to lighten the financial load on drivers.Rob Cummings, head of motor and liability at the ABI, said: 'The UK Government’s proposals to deliver a personal injury compensation system that is fair for claimants, customers and taxpayers alike should help ease the pressure on motor insurance premiums.'We urge the Government to publish a framework and timetable for making these reforms a reality so that we have in place a system that provides full compensation to claimants and benefits insurance customers, as well as other compensators like the NHS.'And in the forthcoming Budget, the Chancellor must resist any temptation to further increase the rate of Insurance Premium Tax.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-5021569/Car-insurance-expensive-says-ABI.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 4 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - 60,000-year-old forest found 60ft underwater off Alabama
AutoNews- Hidden 60 feet beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists have discovered an underwater forest of ancient cypress trees, still rooted in the ground in which they grew more than 50,000 years ago.With the unmistakable shape of cypress knees, intact bark, and sap still leaking from the wood, it’s believed the ancient trees spent millennia buried under the thick sediment, protected from decomposition, before they were finally unearthed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.Scientists investigating the graveyard of giant trees just off the coast of Alabama estimate the forest dates back to an ice age roughly 60,000 years ago, when the climate was cold and windy, and neared full glacial conditions – and sea levels were about 400 feet lower than they are today.The remarkable condition of the ancient forest is due to the presence of thick mud, which prevented oxygen from reaching the dead wood. Without oxygen, decomposition cannot take place in the underwater environment, the documentary explains. The underwater forest likely lay undisturbed until 2004, the experts explain, when the powerful category 4 storm Hurricane Ivan swept through the region, bringing 140 mile per hour winds and 98-foot-tall waves. As the storm passed directly over the site, it removed some of the mud that had hidden the ancient trees for so long.The remarkable site, revealed in a new documentary ‘The Underwater Forest’ by AL.com journalist Ben Raines, was discovered after fishermen noticed unusual activity in the area.It sits just 15 miles off the coast, some 60 feet beneath the surface – but, it remained concealed beneath the mud and sand for thousands of years.Now, the ‘strange underwater world’ bustles with marine life just like a coral reef.‘Everything is in place in that ecosystem,’ said LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology Associate Professor Kristine DeLong.‘It’s just been buried and preserved through time.’The remarkable condition of the ancient forest is due to the presence of thick mud, which prevented oxygen from reaching the dead wood.Without oxygen, decomposition cannot take place in the underwater environment, the documentary explains.Raines collected the first samples from the site, working with scientists from Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi for subsequent investigations.And, with advanced sonar machines, the researchers discovered even more trees, buried upwards of 10 feet beneath the sediment.By collecting core samples and radio-carbon dating the wood, the experts estimate the forest lived about 50,000-60,000 years ago.Samples dried and cut in the lab also revealed another astonishing relic – ancient sap, tens of thousands of years old.According to the experts, the trees show signs of ‘stress events,’ indicating that they experienced rapid decrease in growth, followed by rapid increase, and then a final swift growth decline.Then, it appears ‘all the trees died about the same time,’ DeLong notes in the documentary.The underwater forest likely lay undisturbed until 2004, the experts explain, when the powerful category 4 storm Hurricane Ivan swept through the region, bringing 140 mile per hour winds and 98-foot-tall waves.As the storm passed directly over the site, it removed some of the mud that had hidden the ancient trees for so long.Not only does the discovery tell the story of a world that existed eons ago, but the experts say it could provide a glimpse into the future of the Gulf coast, in the face of a changing climate.‘We’re looking at 60 feet of seawater where a forest used to be. I’m looking at a lot of development, of people’s shore homes and condominiums, etc.‘The forest is predicting the future, and maybe a pretty unpleasant one.’
Views: 159 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Interserve shares crash after another profit warning
Interserve’s woes continued today after it issued another profit warning and said that it may breach its banking covenants, which sent shares plunging more than 30 per cent.The support services group, which worked on huge construction projects such as Wembley stadium, said it now expected operating profit in the second half to be 50 per cent lower than last year.It blamed rising staff costs, squeezed margins and poor performance at its justice and construction businesses.The group also said it had to set aside another £35million in provisions due to contract slippages on a number of energy-from-waste contracts, on top of the £160million put forward last year.In light of all these problems Interserve, which started talks with lenders last month after warning on profits, said that there was a ‘realistic prospect’ that they will not be able to meet its lenders’ debt tests.To shore up its financial position, Interserve said it would roll out a plan to improve margins.‘As previously announced, we are engaged in constructive and ongoing discussions with our lenders,’ the group said in a statement.‘We have engaged a financial advisor to assist us in these discussions, as well as looking at options to maximise the short and medium term cash generation from the business.’Shares in Interserve were down 33.5 per cent, or 30.12p, to 59.88 in morning trading.Chief executive Debbie White said: ‘Despite our challenges, Interserve has a strong client base and many strengths as an organisation and I believe there is considerable potential for business improvement across the company.‘My team will focus on improving our margin performance in UK support services and ensuring good contract selection in UK construction, while reducing our cost base across the company.’Interserve's order book stands at £7.4billion, boosted by contract wins at the Department for Work and Pensions, Durham University and the Department for Transport. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-4996666/Interserve-shares-crash-profit-warning.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 106 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Lab-grown ovaries could replace drugs for menopausal women
Menopausal women could get lab-grown ovaries instead of hormone drugs to treat the debilitating symptoms without raising their risk of deadly diseases.New research in rats found bioengineering artificial ovaries could provide a safer and more natural hormone replacement therapy for women.The hormone replacement therapy that most women take to offset the loss of estrogen in their late 40s and 50s is not advised long-term, since it increases the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.Now, a team from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina has found that the engineered ovaries were more effective than hormone therapy drugs at improving bone and uterine health and body composition.'The treatment is designed to secrete hormones in a natural way based on the body's needs, rather than the patient taking a specific dose of drugs each day,' said senior author Dr Emmanuel C Opara, a professor of regenerative medicine at the institute.The cell-based system of hormone replacement is an attractive alternative to drugs.It can match the dose with the body's needs and it is consistent with current guidelines in the US and Europe recommending the lowest possible doses of hormone replacement therapy.To engineer the bioartificial ovary, the research team isolated the two types of cells found in ovaries (theca and granulosa) from rats.They used a thin membrane as a capsule for the cells, which was then implanted in rats that had their ovaries removed.These rats were compared with animals with normal ovarian function, untreated rats and rats who received either a low- or high-dose of traditional hormone replacement drugs.The study looked at three areas commonly affected by the loss of ovarian function: body composition, bone health and uterine health.It is well known that loss of ovarian function leads to body fat accumulation and weight gain.The study found that the cell-based constructs led to a substantially lower percentage of body fat levels than low-dose drug therapy and had the same results as animals with intact ovaries.Estrogen deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis and related fractures. In the rat study, the cell treatment led to better bone outcomes than the traditional hormone replacement drugs.The loss of ovarian function is also known to have adverse effects on the genital and urinary system, including sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence.The researchers evaluated uterine tissue in study animals and found that uterine health in the cell-treated animals was similar to the animals with intact ovaries.'Safe hormone replacement will likely become increasingly important as the population of aging women grows,' said Dr Opara.'Whether the loss of ovarian function is due to surgical removal, chemotherapy or menopause, the effects can range from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to infertility and increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.'This study highlights the potential utility of cell-based hormone therapy for the AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5148023/Lab-grown-ovaries-replace-drugs-menopausal-women.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 33 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - A Briton back in charge at Bentley
A Briton is to take over the driving seat of luxury car-maker Bentley after years of the Volkswagen-owned firm being led by German bosses.Adrian Hallmark, 55, is named today (Friday) as the new chief executive of the Crewe-based luxury car brand, moving from Jaguar Land Rover where he has been group strategy director for the past four years, and in charge of the Jaguar brand for nearly three years before that.Bentley made the official announcement after the news was broken exclusively by This is Money.Former Wolverhampton University student Mr Hallmark will replace incumbent Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Duerheimer who will retire from the firm.The last British boss of Bentley - which has been owned by under-fire German manufacturer Volkswagen Group since 1998 - was Tony Gott who held the post from 1998 to 2001.Hallmark will be the brand's new chairman and chief executive officer starting on 1 February 2018.The move puts a British ‘Bentley Boy’ back at the helm of the firm that employs around 4,000 people in Crewe and sells heavily on the Britishness of its vehicles, including the latest Bentley Continental GT.Rumours of the switch first emerged last month in Germany’s well-connected Manager Magazin, known to have close connections with the man Volkswagen Group board in Germany.The move is a plum post for engineer and metallurgist Hallmark, who is an acknowledged expert on the luxury and super-luxury car-market and who previously served on the main Bentley board in charge of sales and marketing for six years between 1999 and 2005, playing an integral role in the introduction of the sector-defining Continental GT in 2003.A French and German speaker, he was also executive vice president for Volkswagen of America between 2005 and 2008 and regional director for Volkswagen AG Asia in Asia until October 2009.In his latest role, Hallmark joined Jaguar Land Rover as global brand director on 1 December 2010, and from 1 November 2013 took responsibility for a new position as group strategy director.At JLR he held group responsibility for corporate, product, industrial and business strategy, and was a member of Jaguar Land Rover's Executive Committee.He studied both Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy at the University of Wolverhampton and later went on to complete a Diploma in Management at Henley Management College.Hallmark's career has also encompassed roles at Saab and Porsche.Commenting on the new appointment, Matthias Müller, chief executive officer of the Volkswagen Group, said: 'I am delighted to welcome Adrian Hallmark back to the Volkswagen Group, and back to Bentley Motors.'He brings a wealth of international automotive experience coupled with a deep understanding of the Bentley brand and I am confident he will lead this extraordinary British company to even greater success.'Bentley also announced three new board level appointments – including another Briton - as part of its leadership shake-up with new board members for engineering; sales and marketing; and ‘people, digitalisation and IT'.Briton, Chris Craft, 58, becomes board member for sales and marketing, succeeding Dr. Andreas Offermann, 60.Craft has led Porsche Great Britain as managing director and was formerly director of Volkswagen UK, director of Skoda UK and has also held senior management roles during his 24 year career with the Volkswagen Group.Bentley was founded in 1919. After a bidding war with rival BMW in 1998, Germany’s Volkswagen Group struck a deal to take over Bentley from Vickers, achieving sole control from 2003.Manager Magazin had reported that outgoing Duerheimer – who was is also ceo of Bugatti - had expressed ‘ a desire to quit’.It is believed to be the first time a Briton has led Bentley for around 20 years since soon after the Volkswagen take-over, and certainly well over a decade.The move is understood to be part of a wider shake-up. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-4999994/A-Briton-charge-Bentley.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 25 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - PornHub users targeted with advertising malware attack
PornHub users may be looking over their shoulders for another reason, after news emerged that cybercriminals have been targeting the website.Millions of visitors to the site may have been exposed to the Kotver malware, which generates revenue by clicking on ads in the background, with users left oblivious.Know as a 'malvertising' attack, it could have easily delivered more malicious ransomware or information gathering software instead.Kovter is a Trojan horse that is used to perform click-fraud operations on the computers it infects. This is in order to generate revenue for its creators. The threat is also memory resident, which means the original file it infected can be deleted and it can still reinfect a system, once run. It uses a device's registry, a database that stores low-level settings, as a persistence mechanism to ensure it is loaded into memory each time the infected computer starts up.Computer security experts from Sunnyvale-based Proofpoint first raised the alarm about the hack attack.Countries most heavily hit over the more than year-long campaign include the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.Users install what they believe is an update to popular browser related software like Chrome, Firefox and Adobe's Flash player.Instead, their systems are infected by the virus.Following notification from Proofpoint, PornHub and the Traffic Junky advertising network worked to remove the infected content and keep visitors safe.Kevin Epstein, vice president of threat operations at Proofpoint: 'This campaign uses clever social engineering to trick users into installing fake updates that appear as soon as they visited a page containing a malicious ad.'Once users clicked on what they thought was an update file, they may not have even noticed a change in their systems as the malware opened an invisible web browser process, clicked on ads, and generated potential revenue for cybercriminals.'We encourage consumers to run anti-malware security solutions to ensure systems are clear and organisations to update web gateways to detect related traffic.'This is not the first time that visitors to porn sites have been warned about the potential dangers of their online activities.In September, researchers discovered that watching mobile porn on your smartphone puts you at much higher risk of having your data leaked than watching it on your PC.Experts from Wandera, a London-based mobile phone consultancy, looked at the websites that are most likely to contain malware, and found that the adult apps were also the most likely to have malicious bugs.They examined content viewed on 10,000 mobile devices across the US and UK.They discovered that 34 out of every 10,000 devices are accessing inappropriate content on a daily basis.A further analysis of the results showed that inappropriate mobile activity was highest on Fridays, followed by Thursdays, while Monday was the least popular day for inappropriate mobile activity.In terms of time of day, inappropriate usage was found to increase from 8pm, peaking at around 2-3am, and remaining low throughout the working day.Gambling, cam, adult and ad networks were found to be by far the biggest risks for mobile users.FIVE STEPS TO MORE SECURE ONLINE OPERATIONS  Even using this checklist can't guarantee stopping every attack or preventing every breach. But following these steps will make it significantly harder for hackers to succeed.  1) Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Most major online services, from Amazon to Ap1
Views: 5930 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Million-pound London homes having asking prices slashed
AutoNews- Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being knocked off the asking prices of properties valued around the million pound mark as the top end of the housing market cools, it has been revealed.The trend is particularly pronounced in London, where values tend to be higher and £1million often doesn't extend to much more than a two or three-bedroom flat in some areas. Discounts of up to 50 per cent can be found, according to estate agents.Experts claim the decreases in the capital are having a so-called 'ripple effect' on the traditional commuter belt of the South East, where values are also slowing.The latest house price data from Nationwide Building Society revealed that house prices in London have fallen for the first time in eight years.It said values dropped 0.6 per cent during the past year to £471,761, compared to an average value of £210,116 for the country as a whole.Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner explained how house prices across the UK have converged in recent quarters, saying: 'Annual growth rates in the south of England have moderated towards those prevailing in the rest of the country. London has seen a particularly marked slowdown.'Housing market commentators suggested the falls presented an opportunity for buyers to find a bargain, especially if they're are looking for a discount on a luxury home.Lee James Pendleton, of estate agents James Pendleton, said: 'London has been the torchbearer of quite unbelievable growth in recent years but it has been an overvalued market for at least the last three. This shows sellers and agents are becoming more realistic.He added: 'The most surprising thing of all is how the capital managed to keep up its march skyward for so long. There have been so many headwinds but an era of cheap borrowing has seen buyers refuse to be intimidated.'That period of bravado now seems to have come to an end as the capital's fortunes diverge from those of every other region.'Nicholas Finn, of Garrington Property Finders, agreed, saying: 'The London market's shift from blistering price growth to stagnation and now gentle decline has been gradual, but it's no less remarkable for that.'Of course the capital's gravity-defying, double-digit rates of annual price growth were always going to be unsustainable.'The softening of prices was initially led by the capital's prime market, which was knocked sideways both by Brexit and in the wake of the introduction of higher rates of stamp duty for high-value homes.'The number of homes for sale above £1million that have dropped their asking prices has nearly doubled this year, according to estate agents Savills.It also blamed the shift on concerns from buyers about the effect Brexit negotiations could have on the economy and the impact of the overhaul of stamp duty.The changes to the tax in 2014 means those with homes costing more than £937,000 pay more in stamp duty than under the previous system.Areas in the North, where values tend to be lower, have been less affected.Brian Murphy, of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: 'Regionally, house price growth is levelling, with London prices seeing their first decrease annually in eight years, which has had a 'ripple effect' on prices in the traditional commuter belt of the South East, where we can also see growth becoming muted.'However other areas of the country, such as the South West, East Anglia and particularly the East Midlands are seeing prices and demand continue on a strong market trajectory, signally continued consumer confidence.''With growth in most of the UK still in positive territory, a continued lack of stock in many areas and a lot of motivated buyers still looking for property to purchase, the market is in good shape overall and, all things taken into account, may well continue on its current course over the remaining months of the year,' he said.Henry Pryor, who acts to find and negotiate deals for buyers, said: 'There's no cost when setting a guide price, you can ask whatever you want but unlike the market of 18 months ago this is now very definitely a buyers' market.'I'm seeing deals in London agreed not just 10 or 15 per cent below the original asking price but 25 to 30 per cent - and not just in the centre of town where the prices were highest.'I can't recall a market full of such opportunities and I expect this winter that many buyers will lay down the foundations of their future property fortunes,' he concluded.
Views: 91 US Sciencetech