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Breaking News  - Humans have TWICE as much Neanderthal DNA as first thought
 
08:18
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: 14176 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - A cure for Huntington's disease could be in the pipeline
 
06:31
A cure for Huntington's disease could be in the pipeline following the results of a groundbreaking new drug trial.For the first time, scientists have been able to correct the defect that is responsible for the devastating neurodegenerative disease.The results, hailed as the 'biggest breakthrough in 50 years', saw 46 patients of the incurable disease given an experimental drug.University College London researchers discovered the pill lowered their levels of toxic proteins in the brain.The drug, dubbed a 'tremendous step forward', was also found to be safe - despite fears it could lead to meningitis.Professor Sarah Tabrizi, lead researcher told the BBC: 'I've been seeing patients in clinic for nearly 20 years, I've seen many of my patients over that time die.'For the first time we have the potential, we have the hope, of a therapy that one day may slow or prevent Huntington's disease.'Professor Tabrizi, director of UCL's Huntington's Disease Centre, added: 'This is of groundbreaking importance for patients and families.'Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder that affects the central nervous system and leads to involuntary movements, difficulty talking and memory loss.The condition, which affects 8,500 adults in the UK and around 30,000 in the US, occurs as a result of a fault in the huntingtin gene.On average, patients live for between 10 and 20 years after their diagnosis.The huntingtin protein itself is vital for the development of the brain, but the genetic error leads to it instead killing brain cells.Huntington’s disease is an illness caused by a faulty gene in your DNA (the biological ‘instructions’ you inherit which tell your cells what to do).  If you have Huntington’s, it affects your body’s nervous system – the network of nerve tissues in the brain and spinal cord that co-ordinate your body’s activities. Huntington’s can cause changes with movement, learning, thinking and emotions.  Once symptoms begin, the disease gradually progresses, so living with it means having to adapt to change, taking one day at a time. Living with Huntington’s disease can be very challenging. Getting the right information and support is vital and we’re here to help. Huntington’s is not something you can catch; it is inherited. Every child conceived naturally to a parent who carries the Huntington’s gene has a 50% chance of inheriting it.The new drug works by silencing the faulty huntingtin gene - stopping the creation of damaged proteins in the brain, the BBC reports.Having proved successful on animals, the British researchers looked to investigate the drug's effects on human patients.For the trial, the patients were injected with the drug into their spinal fluid at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.Alongside its benefits at reducing the amount of huntingtin, the volunteers were found to tolerate the drug well.However, the team remain adamant that more research is needed to prove that lowering levels of huntingtin could lead to a possible AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5167335/Could-cure-Huntingtons.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 1662 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Seven-day 'Pioppi diet' plan that extends life by 10 years
 
02:39
From starting each day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to eating eggs for breakfast, this seven-day Pioppi diet plan will extend your life by 10 years.Pioppi, in southern Italy, has been dubbed the 'world's healthiest village', with its residents frequently living 10 years longer than elsewhere to 100 years old.Despite bacon and chocolate being a staple of their diet, its inhabitants' love of vegetables, oily fish and nuts is thought to prevent them from developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes.To adapt the diet of Pioppi, which UNESCO has protected as the home of the Mediterranean diet, into that which suits the average western urban-dweller, cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra and former athlete Donal O’Neill have created the below seven-day meal plan.As well as consuming lots of olive oil for its heart-health benefits, the diet also involves starting each day with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, which is thought to aid acid reflux, lower blood pressure and boost weight loss.The diet also includes eggs most days, which are a good source of protein for keeping hunger pangs at bay. It also recommends intermittent fasting by limiting your 'eating window' to just eight-to-nine hours a day. Red wine is permitted providing it is good quality.In a piece for Get The Gloss, Dr Aseem and Donal feature an extract from their book 'The Pioppi Diet: A 21-day Lifestyle Plan'  that explains how to incorporate the life-extending plan into your everyday life.Afternoon snack: Tinned oysters; full-fat Greek yoghurt with berries; a handful of nuts and cinnamonDinner: Picanha steak (a superb Brazilian cut) served with creamed spinach and avocado side salad; two squares of dark chocolate (95 per cent cocoa solids); a cup of Earl Grey teaBrunch: Halloumi and fried tomato; vegetable soup made using chicken bone broth; a small portion of oily fish (anchovies, sardines, pilchards); coffee with coconut creamDinner: Grilled salmon fillet with vegetables and sauerkraut; two squares of dark chocolate (95 per cent cocoa solids), a cup of Earl Grey teaBrunch: Full-fat Greek yoghurt mixed with coconut cream and berries with a handful of nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of turmeric; coffee with coconut creamAfternoon snack: Bacon nut-butter sliders – crispy, grilled bacon strips, topped generously with almond butter and a sprinkle of raw cacaoDinner: Grilled lamb chops with lots of mixed vegetables and a side salad; two squares of dark chocolate (95 per cent cocoa solids), a cup of Earl Grey teaBreakfast: Two or three eggs any style, with smoked salmon and avocado; coffee with coconut creamBrunch: Smoothie with kefir and/or coconut milk, berries, a handful of nuts, some avocado; a tablespoon of coconut oil, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, turmeric and fresh mintDinner: Chicken bone broth to start, with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste, followed by fresh pan-fried hake and vegetables; cacaonut bombs (raw cacao, cinnamon, coconut oil, cream and nuts heated, blended and frozen into bite-size pieces); a cup of Earl Grey teaBreakfast: Bacon and two or three eggs, any style, with avocado (optional); coffee with coconut creamDinner: Roast chicken with sweet potato and mixed vegetables; cacaonut bombs, a cup of Earl Grey teaBreakfast: Smoked salmon with three scrambled eggs on very high-quality sourdough (the only bread I eat, thanks to the fermentation process and taste), avocado and crème fraiche; coffee with coconut creamThis article was originally published by Get The Gloss and reproduced with their permission. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4962346/Seven-day-Pioppi-diet-plan-helps-people-reach-100.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 1801 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Is 1997 Isle of Man TT 50p coin rare and what's it worth?
 
05:01
Recently, I received an unusual 50p coin in my change, which I had never seen before. It shows two motorcyclists racing with a wreath-style pattern on either side.The coin is dated 1997 on the back, with the usual effigy of the Queen and says Isle of Man on it.I have tried to research it to see if it is rare but cannot find much about it. I'm hoping that I have struck gold.Lee Boyce, consumer affairs editor at This is Money, replies: In the last two years, we have seen a glut of readers get in touch with coins they believe could be rare.Many that land in my inbox tend to be common coins. For example, I receive around a dozen e-mails a week about the Lord Kitchener £2 coin (which gives you the answer to whether it is rare or not).The coin in question that you have sent in is a normal 50p shape seen in Britain – and 1997 was the year in which the coin was downsized to the smaller, lighter coin we are familiar with today.As a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man issues its own banknotes and coins, which feature the Queen.Isle of Man coins and notes are not legal tender in the UK, but UK coins and notes are accepted on the island.This means you could have rejected the 50p you received in your change and shops may not accept it (although it will be easy to spend unless you have an eagle-eyed cashier).Before this year, Isle of Man coins and notes were made by a firm called Pobjoy based in Surrey.The Royal Mint, which makes UK coins, publishes a list of mintage figures. This means we can determine how rare a coin is – for example, with only 210,000 Kew Gardens 50p coins minted, they are reasonably rare and can therefore fetch up to £50 online.The Isle of Man is synonymous with the TT racing which takes place every May or June.The first race was in 1907 – exactly 90 years before your coin.To determine if it is rare or not, we need to know the circulation figures - and a search around online doesn't throw up the answer.I contacted Pobjoy and it said: 'Unfortunately, we do not share mintage figures on our commemorative coins, let alone our circulating coins.'Our circulating coins depend on how many the Government demand, in which case the issue limit is unlimited.'This means we do not know how many were minted. A quick search online on marketplaces such as eBay throw up examples of the coin for around £3-5 – or six to ten times its true value in the Isle of Man.Many listings describe the coins as 'rare' - but they have no real way of knowing.Like any of these coins, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay.Given the popularity of motorsports and the fact marks 90 years of the first race, it makes a good keepsake – but don't expect to be able to buy a motorbike with any profit you may make with it. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-5205387/Is-1997-Isle-Man-TT-50p-coin-rare-whats-worth.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 569 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Fisker patents battery that can charge a car in a minute
 
05:50
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: 14331 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Helium reserve in Tanzania is twice as big as thought
 
06:19
You may think of it as the gas in party balloons, but helium is one of the most valuable gases on Earth, with uses ranging from rocket fuel to MRI scanners.A large underground reserve of the precious gas was discovered in East Africa in 2016.And now new estimates suggest that there is at least twice as much helium in the reserve than previously thought.Researchers hope to start pumping the precious gas from the reserve by 2020.Helium, the second lightest element in the universe, is created by the slow radioactive decay of rock below the Earth's surface. More than half the world's supply is stored in the US National Helium Reserve in Texas. But that supply is dwindling after the US passed a law in 1996 obliging it to sell off a certain volume of helium every year at a fixed price, in order to raise funds for the Government. in 2015, British Medical Association chair, Dr Mars Porter said it was 'a tragedy' to see the gas being sold off for party balloons. 'I'm not a party pooper but this has gone too far, it is such a scant resource.'The reserve was discovered in the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania last year, and initial samples suggested that deposits contained around 2.6 per cent helium, mixed with nitrogen.Based on that estimate, experts from the US Geological Survey predicted that the reserve contained around 54 billion cubic feet (1.5 billion cubic meters) of helium - an amount described as 'life-saving.'But new measurements by experts from Helium One, suggest that the deposits contain up to four times the concentrations of helium than previously predicted.Speaking to Live Science, Thomas Abraham-James, CEO of Helium One, explained that the firm now believes that the Tanzanian reserve contains about 98.6 billion cubic feet (2.8 billion cubic meters) of helium.He said: 'So it's pretty much doubled in size.'The researchers believe that the initial estimates were off because a small amount of air had diluted the samples in the laboratory.To come up with the new estimate, Helium One enlisted the help of researchers from the University of Oxford, who took measurements at the site, rather than collecting samples to study later in the laboratory.Dr Peter Barry, who worked on the project, said: 'We made probably 50 measurements out there in the field, and we saw up to four times as much helium in these samples.'So this was really exciting for us, because we were able to show quite convincingly that there's a lot more helium than we originally assessed.'Dr Abraham-James said: 'We are probably still somewhat understating what is present, but nevertheless, that gives us room to update and improve as we progress.'While helium is extremely valuable in a range of industries, the world faces a shortage of the non-renewable gas.The main source of helium for decades was from an underground reserve in Texas, but commercial supplies will be stopped from there in 2021, after the authority controlling it fell into debt.Another reserve in Qatar was also an important source of helium, but supplies ceased earlier this year after the closure of the country's border with Saudi Arabia.Dr Abraham-James said: 'The supply dynamics at the moment are very challenging, particularly with US output stopping in 2021, and Qatar, it's fair to say, has its share of problems.'The world needs a reliable source of helium, so that we don't see the fluctuations that we have in recent times.'Helium One plans to begin drilling at the Tanzania reserve by July 2018.Dr Abraham-James added: 'Probably by the end of 2020, people will start to be using Tanzanian helium.' AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4965540/Helium-reserve-Tanzania-TWICE-big-thought.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 248 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Two-thirds of baby food on the market contains arsenic
 
05:08
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: 790 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - property development scam
 
06:43
A former public schoolboy has been named as the alleged mastermind behind a multi-million pound property development fraud, according to High Court papers.Charles Cunningham, whose time at Eton overlapped with Prince William’s, has been identified in court papers as controlling a series of companies used to defraud Asian investors of millions of pounds by enticing them with UK developments that were never completed.The son of a City financier, Mr Cunningham, whose brother Rupert is friends with some of Prince Harry’s inner circle, lives in a large country estate in North Wales with his wife. The couple boast a who’s who of society contacts.Mr Cunningham, 38, flatly denies all the allegations and has said that he is confident that a High Court hearing will overturn the freezing order which was brought by the liquidator of Absolute Living Developments.He has been accused of being one of the masterminds behind ALD, which offered five large development projects in northern England that were marketed to investors in the Far East and South-East Asia.But in April 2016 the company, which boasted developments in Runcorn, Manchester and Bradford, went into liquidation.ALD is one of a raft of UK property companies that have become mired in controversy in Asia. Hong Kong investors and politicians have accused the UK authorities and police of turning a blind eye to multi-million pound ‘fraud’.Hong Kong politicians have reported ALD to the Serious Fraud Office and have also asked the Chinese government to protect the interests of Chinese investors in UK property projects. The news comes as Beijing attempts to slow down the outflow of capital from the country.Liquidator Louise Brittain was recently granted a £14.5 million freezing order in the High Court, designed to prevent ‘steps to dissipate or secrete assets’ from ALD by Mr Cunningham and a business partner.In her High Court affidavit in support of the order, the liquidator said she had discovered that ‘a substantial proportion of the monies owed and/or paid to ALD…had been wrongfully diverted’ to three companies, named as DS7, Gozon and EPG Manlet.Brittain states that the ‘three companies form part of a complex structure of entities under the control’ of Mr Cunningham and his alleged business partner, which, she claims, ‘has been used to defraud investors (most of whom are based in Hong Kong and Malaysia)’.Mr Cunningham told The Mail on Sunday: ‘These monies were not wrongfully diverted and a forensic report is currently being prepared which will establish the exact payments and the legitimacy of those payments made by these companies.’ ALD, set up in 2013 to market properties, is linked to a Salford-based company called Fresh Start Living. In 2011, Mr Cunningham was brought in as the face of FSL, but the firm went bankrupt in 2013 with debts of more than £2 million.Mr Cunningham, whose ancestors include baronets and a Founding Father of the American constitution, has a social media profile showing that he is Facebook friends with Ben Vestey, a close friend of Prince William, and Edward Guinness, a scion of the brewing family.In April 2016, Mr Cunningham bought a large Georgian country house in North Wales for more than a million pounds. It has played host to visiting literary giants Lord Byron, William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott. Mr Cunningham told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The freezing order is a cynical abuse of power. DS7 categorically refutes all claims and allegations made by Louise Brittai1
Views: 246 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Outbreak of EYE syphilis is not slowing down, CDC warns
 
03:38
Eye syphilis is on the rise in the United States, health officials warn.More than 200 people across 20 states were diagnosed with the sexually-transmitted disease in their eyes between 2014 and 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Ocular syphilis, which can cause blindness and blurry vision, develops out of a syphilis infection in the spinal cord, which spreads to the eye.While it was once rare but rates have been steadily climbing in America in recent years.According to the CDC, ocular syphilis can involve any part of the eye, but it typically causes inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.It can blur vision and ultimately lead to vision loss, and can even travel up into the brain.A chronic bacterial disease, syphilis can be contracted by other means but is typically a sexually-transmitted disease.In very rare cases, it can be spread through prolonged kissing, as well as the more common routes of transmission: vaginal, anal and oral sex.It comes from the bacteria Treponema pallidum.Syphilis is notoriously difficult to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to other conditions - a runny nose and soar throat. Sufferers develop sores, though these can often go ignored.However, rates are rocketing across the United States.While the rate of all sexually-transmitted diseases has gone up, the biggest increase was seen in cases of congenital syphilis, which went up 27.6 percent between 2015 and 2016.The rate of primary and secondary syphilis infections went up 17.6 percent since 2015.In the early stages, patients can receive an injection of Benzathine penicillin G. This will not undo the internal damage but will eliminate the infection.For those with latent syphilis - and are unsure how long they had it - doctors recommend having three doses of the penicillin injection, seven days apart from each other. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5048425/Outbreak-EYE-syphilis-not-slowing-CDC-warns.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 196 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Sony unveils AI robo-dog 'Aibo' that displays emotions
 
07:06
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: 662 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Royal Navy reveals its second Type 26 warship
 
05:37
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: 2147 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Women should not clean their vaginas with Vicks' VapoRub
 
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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: 724 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Russia unveils SKYF heavy lift drones
 
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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: 7907 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Type 2 diabetes breakthrough
 
09:39
Scientists have created a new pill that can halt type 2 diabetes in its tracks and help patients shed pounds from their waistlines, a major study has revealed.Results from a human trial of 632 patients found semaglutide allowed 71 per cent of them to shed pounds - it is believed this is the first type 2 diabetes pill to instigate weight loss.Researchers hope semaglutide will offer a better way to control the hidden killer, as some treatments currently available can trigger unexpected weight gain which fuels type 2 diabetes.Results from the phase II trial carried out by the Leicester Diabetes Centre were published in the prestigious JAMA. Semaglutide could be available on the NHS within three years.The pill was handed as an add-on to patients already taking Metformin - the drug is the first line of defence to control the preventable condition.Researchers discovered semaglutide stopped type 2 diabetes in its tracks, slashed blood sugar levels and prevented patients from needing insulin.Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart failure, blindness and leg amputations and is deemed a global time bomb.Spiraling obesity rates have fuelled a 65 per cent rise in diagnoses in a decade, with more than 4 million people now living with the condition, UK data shows. Globally there are 380 million patients.Charities have warned the NHS will become crippled by the burden of the condition without urgent action to make changes to today’s lifestyles.Professor Melanie Davies, lead author, dubbed the results 'hugely promising' and said they show 'semaglutide’s ability to lower HbA1c and support weight loss'.Lead author Professor Melanie Davies said taking semaglutide as a pill may provide relief to some diabetics who 'struggle injecting themselves'.She told MailOnline: 'For some patients injectable therapies are a problem, so having something available orally makes it more accessible to some patients.'We know that it is a bit of a barrier to people and anything that makes treatment more accessible and easier has got to be seen as good.Professor Davies added: 'Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition with potentially devastating complications which is posing a major challenge to health services across the world because of the increasing numbers of people developing it.'These results demonstrating semaglutide’s ability to have a significant impact on lowering HbA1c and support weight loss when taken orally therefore are hugely promising.'Worldwide, there are believed to be around 380 million sufferers. In Britain this has topped 3.8 million, a figure that continues to rise. The World Health Organization issued a warning to say the world is facing 'a growing diabetes epidemic of potentially devastating proportions' in 2004. Since 1996, the number of people living with diabetes has more than doubled. The rapid escalation remains of great concern to health bodies. Type 2 diabetes is caused by having too much glucose in the blood because the body's way of turning it into energy is not working properly. As the condition progresses, sufferers often need to maintain a healthy diet, exercise and a combination of medications to manage it. Controlling blood sugar levels are also considered to be the key to reducing the risk of life-changing complications for those already diagnosed. Someone's life expectancy with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years, it is believed.Oliver Jelley, editor of The Diabetes Times, told MailOnline: 'T1
Views: 391 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - BT ‘to shut’ pension scheme with £14bn black hole
 
05:16
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: 176 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Boy with Prader-Willi syndrome means never feels full
 
10:44
A mother has claimed she often finds her four-year-old son rooting through bins for food - because a rare genetic disorder means he can never feel full.Frankie Udall, from Billericay, Essex, suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, an incurable disease that can make him scream and lash out due to his hunger.His mother Tayla has attempted to deal with his condition by limiting his calorie intake but said it has left her feeling like she is continually 'starving her own child' despite knowing it is best for him in the long term.Many sufferers are left obese as they eat up to six times their recommended amount.Miss Udall has even had to install a stair gate to prevent Frankie from accessing the kitchen alone, and also makes him eat in a separate room to his brother Albie so that he doesn't try to steal his brother's meal.The 21-year-old is now showing heartbreaking footage of Frankie screaming after his meals to raise awareness of the life-changing disease.Miss Udall said: 'It's the worst feeling in the whole entire world. I feel like I'm starving my own child.'He'll go from totally fine to completely upset and hurting himself when he can't have food.'The fact I have to tell him he can't have any more food breaks my heart. He does honestly think he's starving.'As a mum, when your child cries you want to feed them. This goes against your instinct.'Frankie will eat a meal then want to keep on eating. He'll wake up thinking he's starving, eat his breakfast then ask for more and I have to say no.'Since starting school, Miss Udall believes the routine and eating when other children eat has helped Frankie understand meal times and portions.She added: 'He's in a better routine now since he started school in September and he knows when each meal time is, but when he's not at school he will try to eat constantly all day and try to get into the kitchen.'I had to get a stair gate to stop him getting in there - it's really sad. I left it open by accident a few months ago and he was going into the bin looking for food because he felt that hungry.'He will have two snacks along with lunch during the school day but, Miss Udall has his dinner on the table for exactly 4pm to avoid a 'complete meltdown'.One of the main symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome is obsessive pursuit of food, which can lead to stealing and hiding food.Miss Udall said: 'Frankie will have his snack at school, then lunch then he'll want another snack. When he gets home from school I'll need to have his dinner ready for 4pm.'If it isn't on the table by then, he will have a complete meltdown and often afterwards, he'll ask for more. When I say no, he'll get really upset.'I try to give him fruit to make him feel full up while helping him stay healthy.She added: 'After his dinner and pudding, he'll then ask for more food later in the evening. I have the challenge of trying not to make him feel like he's going without.'He constantly forgets he had dinner and will eat a meal then ask for food half an hour later. When we say no, he'll start screaming.'Sometimes I'll know he wants more but I can't do it. He doesn't understand that he's full up.'I have to let the boys eat dinner in separate rooms because Frankie will try to steal Albie's dinner.'He'll scream and cry because he thinks he's still hungry. Along with that, he'll become really aggressive towards me, his brother and often himself. It's horrific and really hard.'When Miss Udall knew something wasn't rightFrom when he was a baby, Miss Udall kn1
Views: 682 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Workhorse to test electric vans in California, Ohio
 
05:08
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: 3514 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Red wine could HELP you get pregnant
 
05:43
If you’re trying to get pregnant the current NHS advice is to abstain completely from alcohol.But a moderate amount of red wine – no more than five glasses a month – could actually boost the chances of conceiving, research suggests.The study found a link between drinking red wine and healthy ovaries that produce more eggs.White wine, beer, spirits or more than five glasses of red a month did not have the same effect.Doctors have said alcohol should be avoided when trying for a baby to prevent harming development on conception.Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US set out to examine the effect of alcohol on fertility because previous findings were ‘conflicting’.They studied 135 women aged 18 to 44 and measured their ovarian reserve.This is the ovaries’ capacity to make healthy egg cells, which is measured by counting the antral follicles that produce them.Antral follicle count (AFC) is the standard way of assessing a woman’s fertility.The typical number for a woman in her 30s is around 12 or 13, but this decreases over time.Women who drank moderate amounts of red wine were found to have the highest ovarian reserve.The researchers, led by Dr Ashley Eskew, wrote: ‘The impact of lifestyle factors including dietary patterns and alcohol intake on ovarian reserve are conflicting.‘The objective of this study was to determine if alcohol intake is associated with ovarian reserve as determined by AFC.Red wine intake is associated with ovarian reserve as measured by AFC.’ They were unsure about how exactly red wine might boost ovary health, but said it could be that it contains the anti-inflammatory compound resveratrol.The findings will be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, next week. However, other experts urged caution, saying that a larger-scale study was needed before any conclusions could be drawn.Head of the British Fertility Society Adam Balen said: ‘This is an interesting study, albeit with a small sample size which means that it doesn’t reach statistical significance.It is an interesting idea that a small amount of red wine might be positively associated with ovarian reserve.‘However we have to remember that the exposure of the developing foetus to alcohol may cause irreversible developmental damage and so alcohol consumption should be less than six units per week for women wishing to conceive.’And Dr Channa Jayasena, a lecturer in reproductive endocrinology at Imperial College London, warned women not to ‘rush out’ and drink red wine.He said: ‘There is a lot of interest in whether anti-oxidants could improve fertility in men and women. It is tempting to tell women to rush out and drink red wine, which contains anti-oxidants, but this study does not support that.’Debate has long raged over whether pregnant women should abstain from alcohol once they are pregnant – as recommended by the NHS.But last month Bristol University researchers found there was ‘surprisingly limited’ evidence that drinking up to four units a week caused birth defects. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5025753/Red-wine-HELP-pregnant.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 388 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - NSW five-year-old is going through the menopause
 
05:29
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: 10108 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Highways England trials using sunflower oil on potholes
 
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Sunflower oil is being used to prevent potholes by filling cracks in the road.Highways England is carrying out a trial, after sunflower oil capsules added to asphalt were found to make roads ‘self heal’.It costs more than £88million a year to fill in the potholes in England’s roads, making the cooking oil – at around £1.15 a litre in shops – a relatively cheap solution.It works by making bitumen, the sticky black substance used in road surfacing, less thick so that it pours more easily into cracks before they form the dangerous trenches.Engineers at the University of Nottingham, who sourced their sunflower oil from a local supermarket, found the capsules do not make road surfaces more slippery or less durable as feared.But they do allow asphalt to ‘self heal’, delaying the need to close roads and fill in holes.Highways England, which funded the research, will add 18.5 litres of sunflower oil to five tonnes of asphalt along a five-yard stretch to ensure that it works.Researchers say, if successful, it could be rolled out across the road network within five years.Senior author Dr Alvaro Garcia, from the faculty of engineering at the University of Nottingham, said: ‘You could use any oil and have the same effect, from motor oil to recycled cooking oil, although sunflower oil is very cheap.‘This solution allows roads to repair their own cracks of up to half a millimetre width in a matter of hours, which bitumen alone could not do.‘We are tremendously excited about these self-healing properties and can see a future free of potholes and road maintenance.’Potholes form after sunshine causes roads to swell, before night-time temperatures fall and they contract.The weight of the traffic as this happens causes cracks to form, which become larger when rainwater falls into them, freezes and expands.Bitumen, the viscous material taken from tar or petrol which helps make up asphalt, can fill these cracks, but takes two to three days to do so and only when a road is shut and has no traffic.Sunflower oil speeds this process up to four hours, by making the bitumen less thick and better able to flow. It is expected to do so even with traffic on the road.Dr Garcia was inspired by the Spanish version of the television show Masterchef, where he saw oil ‘spherified’ into small globes like caviar.He used the same technique to create capsules of sunflower oil measuring a tenth of an inch (2.9 millimetres), using an emulsifier and calcium to give them a hard shell.The capsules can remain in a road for many years, but break open only when the build-up of traffic pressure reaches the point which causes cracks.Researchers say the oil, which ‘sticks’ the asphalt back together, could increase a road’s lifespan by at least a third - from 12 to 16 years.When used on asphalt, the material recovered more than half of its initial strength, compared to 14 per cent without the capsules.The study is believed to be the first to successfully use sunflower oil to repair asphalt.Dr Garcia previously worked on using metal fibres to melt bitumen and fill in road cracks, but this requires a large and expensive induction heater.The Asphalt Industry Alliance, which puts the cost of filling England’s potholes at £88.3 million a year (SUBS – PLS KEEP), says more than 1.7million have been filled in Britain over the past year.However, covering the entire road network would require 82,000 tonnes of sunflower oil.Robin Griffiths, senior pavements adviser at Highways England, said: ‘We kno1
Views: 347 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Mysterious molten rock discovered under New Hampshire
 
06:07
An enormous mass of molten rock hundreds of miles across is rising beneath an idyllic area of the US, a new study has found.Using advanced geophysical instruments, experts looked at seismic waves - vibrations that pass through our planet following earthquakes - to make the finding.The bulbous upswelling, compared by researchers to a hot air balloon, could one day lead to a volcanic eruption - although this isn't likely for millions of years.Researchers were interested in what happens at the interface between tectonic plates, the thick, solid layers of minerals that cover our planet, and material in the upper mantle beneath the plates. This will let them see how North America is gliding over the deeper parts of our planet.  It is a very large and relatively stable region, but they found an irregular pattern with rather abrupt changes in it. They think the upwelling pattern detected is largely beneath central Vermont and western New Hampshire, but it's also under western Massachusetts.  It may be present elsewhere, but the study's findings were based on available seismic observations.In the largest geological study of its kind, researchers used a network of thousands of seismic measurement devices to detect the strange blob.The study focused on New England, where scientists had previously documented an area of warmth, hundreds of degrees Celsius hotter than neighbouring regions, in the Earth's upper mantle.The lithosphere, Earth's solid outer shell, consists of the upper mantle and the crust that includes the surface.Seismic waves provide a window into the Earth's interior by revealing the shapes of objects, changes in the state of materials and clues about their texture.Thousands of seismic measurement devices, which were 46.6 miles (75 km) apart, covered the continental United States for two years taking measurements.They uncovered evidence for the blob, thought to have been growing over tens of millions of years, buried among this data.Lead author Vadim Levin, a geophysicist and professor at Rutgers department of Earth and planetary sciences, said: 'The upwelling we detected is like a hot air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England.'It is not Yellowstone-like, but it's a distant relative in the sense that something relatively small – no more than a couple hundred miles across – is happening.'Our study challenges the established notion of how the continents on which we live behave.'It challenges the textbook concepts taught in introductory geology classes.'Researchers were interested in what happens at the interface between tectonic plates, the thick, solid layers of minerals that cover our planet, and material in the upper mantle beneath the plates.This will let them see how North America is gliding over the deeper parts of our planet.It is a very large and relatively stable region, but they found an irregular pattern with rather abrupt changes in it.They think the upwelling patte AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5191047/Mysterious-molten-rock-discovered-New-Hampshire.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 254 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser plans to buy rivals
 
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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: 664 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Shelley the AI horror writer that pens hair-raising tales
 
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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: 418 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - People who are good at video games are more intelligent
 
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Two popular video games act like IQ tests, with the most intelligent players gaining the highest scores, research has shown.Both games, League of Legends and Defence of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) involve chess-like strategic thinking.Scientists discovered that high levels of skill in both games correlated with having a high IQ.A similar association has been seen between IQ and chess performance.Professor Alex Wade, from the University of York, said: 'Games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2 are complex, socially-interactive and intellectually demanding.'Our research would suggest that your performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence.'Research in the past has pointed to the fact that people who are good at strategy games such as chess tend to score highly at IQ tests.'Our research has extended this to games that millions of people across the planet play every day.'While this study claims video games are played by highly intelligent people, a  separate study in August found a certain type of game can 'damage the brain'  The research found playing violent 'shooter' video games can also increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the University of Montreal got around 100 people to play a range of popular 'shooter' games such as Call Of Duty, Killzone and Borderlands 2 for a total of 90 hours. They also gave them copes of non-violent games from the Super Mario series. By the end of the study, they found that people who habitually played action games had fewer neurons in their hippocampus, a key memory center in the brain. However, those who played non-violent games ended the study with more essential gray matter in their brains. The discovery challenges previous findings that all video games have the capacity to enhance some aspects of mental processing and boost short-term memory.League of Legends and DOTA 2 are both Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas or Mobas, action strategy war games typically involving two opposing teams of five individuals.In one study, the York team matched performance in League of Legends with scores from standard pen-and-paper intelligence tests.Another part of the research analysed data from large groups of thousands of people playing the games.The researchers found that First Person Shooter games in which players view the action through the eyes of characters they control did not demonstrate the same link with IQ.York PhD student Athanasios Kokkinakis, the study's lead author, said: 'Unlike First Person Shooter (FPS) games where speed and target accuracy are a priority, Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas rely more on memory and the ability to make strategic decisions taking into account multiple factors.'The findings appear in the journal Public Library of Science ONE. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5086079/People-good-video-games-intelligent.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 5 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Million-pound London homes having asking prices slashed
 
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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: 94 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Morocco TGV begins tests between Casablanca and Tangier
 
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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: 2565 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - What do people say before they die?
 
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Nurses who care for the terminally ill have revealed the heart-wrenching last words of terminally ill patients before they die, including their biggest regrets, fears and witnessing glimpses of heaven.Macmillan palliative care nurses at Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, say patients often wish to see their beloved pet one last time, while others simply request a cup of tea.One nurse described how an unwell couple asked for their beds to be pushed together before dying within 10 days of each other.Many patients' last words include them complaining life is too short and regretting they spent their hard-earned retirement in ill health.Previous research from the University of North Carolina found the terminally ill and those on death row are more positive than might be expected, with many calling on family and religion to ease the anxiety of their passing.In a BBC documentary 'What do people say before they die?', the nurses add it is possible to have a 'good death' and explain why people should not be afraid of passing on.WHEN YOU DIE YOU KNOW YOU'RE DEAD: THE MIND STILL WORKS AFTER THE BODY PASSES, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER A person's consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life – making them aware of their own death, scientists from the New York University Langone School of Medicine discovered last month. There is even evidence to suggest someone who has died may hear their own death being announced by doctors, according to the researchers. Although death is defined as the heart stopping beating, brain cells can continue to function for up to several hours, they add. Performing CPR in a bid to revive the patient can increase their awareness after passing as it boosts the brain's blood supply, allowing cells to survive for longer, the researchers said.'Life is too short, do the things that make you happy'As well as some requesting a cup of tea, nurse Dani Jervis said: 'We do get people that would like their favourite tipple,' the BBC reported.Nurse Angela Beeson described how an unwell couple simply wanted their beds pushed together so they could lay side-by-side, holding hands, singing 'Slow Boat to China' together.In terms of feeling regret, Ms Jervis said: ‘One person said life is too short, do the things that you want, do the things that make you happy.'Ms Beeson added: ‘People will have worked really hard and found their retirement was spent in ill health, not doing the things they’d hoped to.’Past research from the University of North Carolina reveals the blog posts of terminally ill patients are surprisingly uplifting, with the number of positive words increasing as they approach death.Many also mention family and religion, suggesting these ease their anxiety.Lead author Kurt Gray said: 'When we imagine our emotions as we approach death, we think mostly of sadness and terror.'But it turns out, dying is less sad and terrifying - and happier - than you think.'In our imagination, dying is lonely and meaningless, but the final blog posts of terminally ill patients and the last words of death row inmates are filled with love, social connection and meaning.'The Macmillan nurses urge people not to be afraid of death, with some patients reporting they see glimpses of heaven and describe it as 'wonderfulMs Beeson even said her aunt was 'talking' to her deceased grandmother moments before she died.The team add it is possible to have a 'good death', saying communication is key, as well as being pain-free and surrounded by family.People should openly discuss death and prepare in advance for the end of their lives, they add. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5076725/What-people-say-die.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 1900 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - South West Water paid more to its owner than on upgrading
 
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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  - PornHub users targeted with advertising malware attack
 
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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: 5999 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Tchenguiz ends £2.2bn lawsuit over botched dawn raid
 
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Vincent Tchenguiz has settled a £2.2billion lawsuit with a collapsed Icelandic bank linked to a botched raid by the Serious Fraud Office.The property magnate sued Kaupthing bank and accountants Grant Thornton claiming they provided misleading information to the SFO.Kaupthing has agreed to make unspecified payments to the Tchenguiz Family Trust, while Tchenguiz has dropped his claim against Grant Thornton and individual defendants.The SFO has already paid him and his brother £4.5million and apologised in 2014 after it dropped the case.But a £1billion claim by Robert is still being fought. Grant Thornton denies the claims.The brothers were arrested in March 2011 following raids by the SFO, which was investigating why funds flooded out of Kaupthing in the days before it failed in 2008.Tchenguiz had borrowed £100million shortly before its collapse.Grant Thornton said it welcomed the withdrawal of 'baseless claims'.Johannes Runar Johannsson, who was on Kaupthing's winding-up panel, welcomed the case against him being withdrawn. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-5037377/Tchenguiz-ends-2-2bn-lawsuit-botched-dawn-raid.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 613 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Video shows a baby's parasitic twin being removed
 
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Shocking video footage reveals the moment a baby boy, born with his twin attached to his stomach, successfully undergoes separation surgery.In 2016, Hemlata Singh, from Jodphur, India, gave birth to a healthy baby named Sonni, but attached to his stomach was his partially formed, parasitic twin, putting the infant's life at risk.At just nine days old, Sonni was separated from his parasitic twin via the liver they shared before disconnecting the artery that carried blood from Sonni's heart to his twin's deformed one.As expected, the twin died shortly after surgery, with Sonni going home 12 days later.Ms Singh said: 'I am happy to see that my child's condition is improving and he will get better.'Parasitic twins occur when a baby is born with the attached tissue of an undeveloped twin who died in the womb. The parasitic twin's tissues are dependent upon the 'host'.  It is unclear why this occurs, but may be due to a restricted blood supply during pregnancy, which leads to the death and partial absorption of one of the twins. The condition occurs in around one in a million live births.'The risk of mortality is 80 per cent'Parasitic twins occur when an embryo develops inside the mother's womb but the pair do not separate, resulting in just one embryo developing fully.Unlike conjoined twins, a parasitic twin is not completely formed and is dependent on the bodily functions of the healthier baby.Sonni's twin's brain was underdeveloped, with the infant having no intestine or stomach, meaning the baby had no way of surviving on its own and was putting his brother's life at risk.Dr Anurag Singh from Saroj Hospital in Delhi, said: 'When we saw this baby one of the children was just like any other normal child, the only abnormality was that from his whole abdomen there was another small baby sitting on it.'The two had a common skin and they were joined together. So it was as if one small child was sitting on another child.'The is the first case I've seen and the literature has reported one in one million live births.'The risk of mortality is 80 per cent, so this is a very high risk surgery.''He will get better'Ms Singh said: 'When I first saw my kids, I felt anxious and awful.'They told me that they will be operated on then we can give you one child but we can't save the other.'I am happy to see that my child's condition is improving and he will get better.Body Bizarre is on Thursdays at 10pm on TLC UK. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5088537/Video-shows-baby-s-parasitic-twin-removed.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 264 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - 'Disfigured' grandmother has bra TATTOO after mastectomy
 
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A grandmother who said she felt 'disfigured' following a double mastectomy, now shows her breasts to everyone – after having a bra tattooed across them.Despite having reconstructive surgery, Judy Lawrence, 53 – who had aggressive stage three breast cancer – was too self-conscious to let anyone see her topless.But now, the accountant says the lacy design, which took eight hours, has covered her scars and she is now constantly showing people her breasts.Judy, from Hoquiam, Washington State, US, said: 'The tattoo has transformed how I feel.'If talking about it and showing it off can help one breast cancer sufferer to feel empowered to take back control, then it will be worth it.''I was determined it wouldn't define me'Judy, mother to twins Peggy and Mathew, 31, was diagnosed with the disease in April 2013, after finding a lump in her right breast in the shower.'It was devastating. I had a grandmother who had breast cancer, so I knew it was in my family,' she said.'I was checked for the BRCA1 gene – the inherited gene mutation – but luckily it came back clear.'But I was told I'd need a lumpectomy, where the tumour and some surrounding tissue is removed, which I had in that May.'But, a month later, Judy was told the surgeon had not managed to remove all the cancer.She continued: 'The doctor said some lymph nodes were affected, too, so the question then became whether I wanted them to take my breasts off as a precautionary measure.'With my family history and everything I'd been through already, I didn't want the possibility of cancer happening to me again. I have kids and grandchildren – Taylor Arriola, seven, and Alex, five - and I really wanted a chance.'I was devastated at the thought of losing both breasts, but I was determined it wouldn't define me. Really, I just wanted the cancer out of me.'So, Judy went under the knife for a four-hour double mastectomy later that month, before spending two days in hospital, recovering. She then had a gruelling three months of chemotherapy.'Luckily, I didn't get really sick, but I lost some of my hair, so my granddaughter Taylor shaved the rest off,' she recalled.Judy then had radiotherapy, for five days a week, over six weeks.Ten months later she had her 36B breasts reconstructed, in a two-hour procedure at St Peter Hospital.Judy, who still hated her scarred breasts, said: 'Even just getting changed to go swimming, I would hide my chest. And the saddest part was I wouldn't even let my granddaughter see them.'I felt disfigured and, If she came in the room while I was getting changed, I'd hide away.'I was left so badly scarred, it really bothered me to have someone see my breasts. I felt like they could see into my soul.'So, in May this year, Judy found a unique way to get her confidence back – by turning her scars into art.'My daughter had been trying to persuade me to get a tattoo for years and I always said, "No way, it's not me," she said.'Then I started talking to my family doctor earlier this year and he mentioned mastectomy tattoos.'I researched them online and saw that they were really beautiful, especially the bra tattoos.'With the backing of her salesman husband, John, 53, Judy visited Eternity Ink Tattoo, in Shelton, Washington, where tattoo artist, Cori Bella, designed a stunning lacy bra, which she inked across her breasts.'I wanted a beautiful design that would cover my scars up and make me feel fantastic,' said Judy.After two sessions, lasting almost eight hours and costing nearly £600 ($1
Views: 169 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Oxford scientists create microchip that mimics human brain
 
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AutoNews- It has been described as the 'holy grail' of computing, and now scientists have made a crucial step towards creating a computer that mimics the human brain.Researchers have developed a microchip that uses light rather than electricity to imitate the way the brain operates.The development could lead to a supercomputer that can store vast amounts of information simultaneously, while using minimal power.To develop the chip, the researchers combined phase-change materials - substances that absorb and release energy during the process of melting and freezing – with specially designed light circuits that deliver a response similar to the neurons in the brain. The resulting chip can operate at speeds 1,000 times faster than those of the human brain. The researchers believe that the microchip could pave the way for a new age of computing, where machines work and think in a similar way to the human brain, while at the same time exploiting the speed and power efficiency of photonic systems.An international team of researchers, led by the University of Oxford have developed the photonic computer chip that uses light rather than electricity.Professor Harish Bhaskaran, who led the study, said: 'The development of computers that work more like the human brain has been a holy grail of scientists for decades.'Via a network of neurons and synapses the brain can process and store vast amounts of information simultaneously, using only a few tens of Watts of power.'Conventional computers can't come close to this sort of performance.'To develop the chip, the researchers combined phase-change materials - substances that absorb and release energy during the process of melting and freezing – with specially designed light circuits that deliver a response similar to the synapses in the brain.The resulting chip can operate at speeds 1,000 times faster than those of the human brain.Professor C David Wright, co-author of the study from the University of Exeter, explained: 'Electronic computers are relatively slow, and the faster we make them the more power they consume.'Conventional computers are also pretty "dumb", with none of the in-built learning and parallel processing capabilities of the human brain.'We tackle both of these issues here - not only by developing new brain-like computer architectures, but also by working in the optical domain to leverage the huge speed and power advantages of the upcoming silicon photonics revolution.'The researchers believe that the microchip could pave the way for a new age of computing, where machines work and think in a similar way to the human brain, while at the same time exploiting the speed and power efficiency of photonic systems.Professor Wolfram Pernice, a co-author of the study, added: 'Since synapses outnumber neurons in the brain by around 10,000 to 1, any brain-like computer needs to be able to replicate some form of synaptic mimic.'That is what we have done here.'
Views: 66 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Why this urine sample is green
 
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Experts tell us the colour of healthy urine is pale straw — so the green hue of the urine in this patient’s catheter bag is certainly different.Indeed, this image provoked much discussion when posted on Figure 1, a website where doctors around the world share medical images and canvass their colleagues’ opinions.But there are a host of reasons why urine might be green; some benign, others more worrying.For instance, asparagus may have this effect in some people who lack the genes to break down the pigments which give the vegetable its colour, says Richard Viney, a consultant urological surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and The Bladder Clinic. ‘Other explanations include consumption of food dyes or the use of drugs containing chemical compounds called phenols.’These medicines include cimetidine, often used to treat reflux; the antidepressant amitriptyline; and an antihistamine called promethazine.Phenols are broken down into a green compound that is excreted into urine.Another explanation could be a urinary tract infection caused by Pseudomonas bacteria.However, the urine in this picture is in a catheter bag, which suggests other, more serious causes. Catheter bags are typically used in intensive care or after surgery to help monitor the output of urine.‘There is a dye called methylene blue, which may be used during surgery to make certain body fluids and tissues easier to see,’ says Mr Viney. This dye can also be used as an intravenous drug in seriously ill cardiac patients — as was the case here.‘In this situation, the patient would be in shock following surgery, which means their blood pressure is too low and their organs start to fail,’ says Mr Viney.‘This is often caused by over-dilation of blood vessels in response to infection.‘Initially, doctors use adrenaline-like substances to constrict the blood vessels and raise blood pressure. But if these don’t work, another option is methylene blue, as this can also cause dilated blood vessels to constrict.’Indeed, the registered nurse who posted this image explained that the patient had been given methylene blue.Due to its blue colour — and urine being yellow — the result was green urine. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5212071/Why-urine-sample-GREEN.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 304 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Singapore billionaire makes third bid for hotel chain
 
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The Singapore billionaire vying to take over Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has made a third bid for the chain.Kwek Leng Beng, the chairman of M&C, which owns about 65 per cent of the group, is trying to buy the remaining share.His first offer, in August, worth 510p per share in cash, was rejected by shareholders outright, while a revised proposal, made in September, was also rebuffed.His third offer, earlier this month, for 545p per share, values the firm at £1.8billion but that has faced criticism by investors, who believe it undervalues the company.International Value Advisers and MSD Partners say the latest offer fails to reflect the underlying value of its assets, which give the firm a book value of 820p per share.They also criticised directors for considering the offer without talking to independent shareholders.Two other City investors, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Fidelity International, also oppose the offer. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/marketdata/article-4998446/Singapore-billionaire-makes-bid-hotel-chain.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 107 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Ocado blames 'driver shortage' for sales slowdown
 
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Online grocer Ocado has blamed a 'shortage of drivers in certain locations' for a slowdown in its retail sales growth during the last quarter.The company, which last month announced a partnership deal with French supermarket chain Groupe Casino, posted an 11.6 per cent rise in retail sales to £373.8million in its fourth quarter to 3 December.That is down from 13.1 per cent in the previous three months. Shares in the FTSE 250 listed group fell by 0.2 per cent, or 0.6p to 341p in morning trading.The driver shortage meant that average orders slowed to 11.1 per cent, with 280,000 deliveries per week, Ocado said.'While we continue to report sector leading double digit sales growth in our retail business, a shortage of capacity, with the lack of drivers in certain locations being the largest factor, restricted our sales growth,' Ocado boss Tim Steiner said.'While this driver shortage has now been largely resolved, there was some short term impact on average orders per week over the period.'But Ocado said it had made good progress at its customer fulfillment centre in Andover, where they processed 50 per cent more orders per week over the last few weeks compared to the beginning of the quarter.It also said it was still working towards the opening of a fourth customer fulfillment centre in South East London next year which will be able to process an additional 200,000 orders per week.It comes as in Ocado, which runs the delivery network for Morrisons and Waitrose, agreed to a partnership deal with Groupe Casino at the end of November.Under the deal, it will supply its technology to the French group, license the use of its online shopping interface and delivery management software, and help build an automated warehouse near Paris.Ocado said it expected the deal to create 'significant long term value to the business', adding that other international tie-ups could well be on the cards. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-5178435/Ocado-blames-drivers-shortage-sales-slowdown.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 350 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Boom Supersonic will be heading to airports by 2025
 
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Flight times from London to New York could be slashed to just 3 hours 15 minutes by 2025, if plans revealed by Boom Supersonic plane go ahead.The firm has previously revealed that initial test flights for its 1,451mph (2,330kph) aircraft, nicknamed 'Baby Boom', will begin by the end of 2018.And now Blake Scholl, founder of Boom Supersonic, has revealed that commercial flights on the full-sized, 55-seater aircraft which is 'better than Concorde', could begin running by 2025.The full-size boom aircraft is expected to reach speeds of more than 1,687mph – 100mph faster than the infamous Concorde.Mr Scholl was speaking at the Dubai Airshow this week, when he revealed the latest details about the Boom Supersonic aircraft.He said: 'Think about for a moment the families that are separated because of the long flights.'Think about the trips not taken because when you add up the lost hours, the trip just doesn't feel worth it.'That's where we come in. We are a team of engineers and technologists, brought together for the sole purpose of making our world dramatically more accessible.'You won't have to be on the Forbes' list to be able to fly, it will cost about the same as flying business class today. The ultimate goal is to make supersonic affordable for anyone who flies.'While you might think that flying on such a high-speed aircraft could be a daunting experience, Mr Scholl reassured that passengers won't even notice the difference.'This aircraft will be as quiet as the ones flying around the airports today,' he said, adding that it will also be 'significantly quieter than Concorde.'The news comes just months after Mr Scholl revealed that a smaller version of the plane, called the XB-1 will be tested next year.He also said that Boom had already received 76 orders for its passenger plane from five unnamed airlines.Backed by Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, the 'Baby Boom' jet could usher in a new era of affordable supersonic travel.It hit headlines earlier this year when Boom Supersonic announced it had received $33million (£26million) in funding and was ready to build its XB-1 jet prototype.'I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,' Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said at the time.'As an innovator in space, Virgin Galactic's decision to work with Boom was an easy one.'The airline tycoon confirmed that Virgin has options to buy 10 of the supersonic Boom jets.'Sixty years after the dawn of the jet age, we're still flying at 1960s speeds,' said Mr Scholl.'Concorde's designers didn't have the technology for affordable supersonic travel, but now we do.'Today, we're proud to unveil our first aircraft as we look forward to its first flight.'The Boom jet was created by top aviation experts with collective experience working at Nasa, SpaceX and Boeing.Learning from the Concorde, they combined advanced aerodynamics, efficient engine technology and new composite materials to produce a 'safe and affordable' supersonic aircraft 2.6 times faster than current jetliners.The prototype has been subjected to more than 1,000 simulated wind tunnel tests and features a tapered carbon fibre fuselage, and efficient turbofan jet engines.In March, Virgin told MailOnline Travel: 'Richard has long expressed interest in developing high speed flight and building high-speed flight R&D through Virgin Galactic and our manufacturing organisation, The Spaceship Company.'We can confirm that The Spaceship C1
Views: 578 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Where the trend for rose gold began
 
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AutoNews- Rose gold may be very on-trend now, but ancient Colombians also valued the colour.Researchers have found Colombia's Nahuange people, who lived during the first millennium AD, were capable of making impure gold appear more valuable.And they often intentionally over polished their gold products to reveal pink and orange tones underneath - creating fashionable a rose gold jewellery.Rose gold, also known as pink gold and red gold, gets its colour from mixing gold with copper. Although the names are used interchangeably, they specifically refer to the ratio of copper content. The pink hued metal was particularly popular in Russia in the late 19th century. Jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé used it to create his priceless ornamental Easter eggs for the country's royal family. This association became so strong rose gold became known as Russian gold, although this term has since fallen out of favour. Similarly, trends have seen the metal itself go in and out of fashion. Some may view it as tacky or of a low quality, while others prize it for its unique appearance. In recent years it has regained much of its popularity, being used to build everything from wedding rings to the casing of the recently released iPhone 8.Researchers from the Museum of Gold in Bogotá, Colombia, studied 44 pinkish metal artefacts from the Nahuange culture.Very little is known about the society of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, near Colombia's Caribbean coast, which flourished between 100 and 1,000 AD.But, based on artefacts they have uncovered, experts believe they were skilled metalworkers.The Museum of Gold team examined nose pendants, necklaces, earrings, belts, bracelets and other finds to learn more.There, they found evidence of a process of refinement and then burnishing which resulted in a rose gold appearance.Speaking to Live Science Marcos Martinón-Torres, an archaeologist at University College London and co-author of the study, said: 'What's peculiar about finding it here in Colombia is that the whole Andean region is renowned historically for mastering the technology of gilding.'That is, making metals more golden than they should be based on their composition.'[This finding] defies our expectations that the more golden the better.'For the Nahuange, things are not quite so simple.'Rose gold, also known as pink gold and red gold, gets its colour from mixing gold with copper.This makes it cheaper to produce than the purer forms of gold.Andean goldsmiths created a process called depletion gilding that allowed them, through a combination of oxidation and polishing, to bring the gold to the surface.This would make the object appear more pure than it actually was.Andean goldsmiths created a process called depletion gilding that allowed them, through a combination of oxidation and polishing, to bring the gold to the surface.In the case of the rose gold jewellery, the craftsmen intentionally polished past this golden layer to reveal the copper content beneath.Why this should be the case remains somewhat of a mystery.The authors suggest two potential theories that the objects may have held some ritualistic significance.The first suggests that they may have been involved in funerary rights.The second links them to gifts to girls going through puberty as studies from the region have connected red and orange with femininity.The full results were published in the journal Antiquity.
Views: 14 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Researchers claim we are NOT living in a simulation
 
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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: 698 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Impotence drug Viagra to go on sale over the counter
 
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Men seeking Viagra will no longer need a prescription from their GP after health officials reclassified the drug.For the first time, they will instead be able to buy it over the counter at chemists, as long as a pharmacist approves the little blue pills as safe for them to use.The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that it is reclassifying Viagra Connect tablets following a public consultation.Manufacturer Pfizer plans to get stocks of the medication into UK pharmacies by spring 2018.Experts say making the tablets more widely available will help sufferers of erectile dysfunction (ED) who might not feel able to visit their GP.Pharmacists will be able to determine whether treatment is appropriate for the patient and can give advice on ED, usage of the medicine, potential side effects and assess if further consultation with a GP is required.But some men, including those with severe heart problems, those at high risk of heart problems, liver failure, kidney failure or those taking certain 'interacting medicines', will still need to be prescribed the drug under the supervision of a doctor.Officials hope the move will also help steer people away from buying drugs websites operating illegally.The MHRA said that ED medicines are a 'popular target' for criminals selling unlicensed and counterfeit medicines.Over the past five years the agency has seized more than £50 million of unlicensed and counterfeit impotency medicines.'This decision is good news for men's health,' said Mick Foy, MHRA's group manager in vigilance and risk management of medicines.'The move to make Viagra Connect more widely accessible will encourage men to seek help within the healthcare system and increase awareness of erectile dysfunction.'Erectile dysfunction can be a debilitating condition, so it's important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care, and do not feel they need to turn to counterfeit online supplies which could have potentially serious side effects.'Manufacturer Pfizer said Viagra Connect – which contains the ingredient sildenafil at 50mg – said the move should protect men by limiting the likelihood of them turning to dodgy websites.UK medical director Dr Berkeley Phillips said: 'The availability of Viagra Connect in pharmacies from next year will offer men who are eligible for the product a new and convenient way to access sildenafil, a commonly prescribed treatment for erectile dysfunction.'We understand some men may avoid seeking support and treatment for this condition, so we believe giving them the option to talk to a pharmacist and buy Viagra Connect could be a real step forward in encouraging more men into the healthcare system.'As erectile dysfunction may be a sign of an underlying condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, there could also be a wider benefit to public health in the long term.'We hope that this forthcoming new opportunity to purchase a genuine treatment via pharmacy will also reduce the likelihood of men turning to potentially ineffective and dangerous counterfeits from illicit sources.'GENERIC VERSION OF 'WEEKEND' ED DRUG CIALIS COULD BE AVAILABLE ON NHS The cost of an erectile dysfunction pill that lasts up to eight times longer than Viagra has been slashed by half – and could soon be available on prescription on the NHS. A generic version of Cialis has launched in the UK after the brand's patent ran out, opening up the market for cheaper versions. Tadal1
Views: 747 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Lab-grown ovaries could replace drugs for menopausal women
 
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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: 37 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Dubai announces plans to build a £100m simulation of Mars
 
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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  - Rare intersex shark found off the coast of Taiwan
 
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An intersex shark has been found off the coast of Taiwan in a rare discovery.The Pacific spadenose shark, caught by stunned fisherman in January this year, was just 1.6 feet (0.5 metres) long and weighed 0.4 kg (0.79 lbs).The predator is one of only a handful of intersex sharks ever found, and the first of its species.The intersex shark was caught in a fishing trawl in the southern Taiwan Strait, and landed at Xiamen, China, in January 2017. At first it appeared to be a fully grown male, with a developed pair of penis-like appendages called claspers that extend from the pelvic fin. But a study of the animal's interns found it had a complete pair of ovotestes - gonads that contain both ovarian and testicular tissue. This meant that the animal had both the male as well as the female reproductive organs.While many fish have the ability to switch genders, sharks develop permanent male or female organs before birth, making intersex specimens a rarity.Little is known about shark reproduction, but researchers have suggested that intersexuality could explain why some sharks can give birth 'asexually'.'[Sharks] can give birth without mating - like virgin birth. The question is: Why?' Dr Chris Lowe, a scientist at California State University, Long Beach, told Hakai magazine.Intersexuality may be related to this ability of some sharks to give birth to a clone, he said.'We just don't know enough about shark biology to be able to answer those questions,' Dr Lowe added.The intersex shark was caught in a fishing trawl in the southern Taiwan Strait, and landed at Xiamen, China, in January 2017.At first it appeared to be a fully grown male, with a developed pair of penis-like appendages called claspers that extend from the pelvic fin.But a study of the animal's interns found it had a complete pair of ovotestes - gonads that contain both ovarian and testicular tissue.This meant that the animal had both the male as well as the female reproductive organs.Scientists at China's Xiamen University found that each of the shark's genitals were fully formed, meaning the animal could have functioned as either sex reproductively.This makes the find the rarest type of intersexuality in sharks, as most cases have sex organs that are only partially formed.According to Dr Carl Meyer, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii, these intersex sharks are 'extremely rare'.Dr Meyer told Hakai magazine it is not yet confirmed if intersex sharks can effectively use both the male as well as the female organs for reproduction.He added that an intersex shark carrying a live embryo in its uterus has never been found by the researchers.Some have speculated whether the intersex shark was human-caused.Recent studies have looked at the increasing discovery of intersex characteristics in fish in the US, a phenomenon that could be linked to the presence of estrogen and other hormones in wastewater.'Environmental contamination is certainly not the only reason why this might happen every now AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5217851/Rare-intersex-shark-coast-Taiwan.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 62 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Orangutan orphan discovery a sign of habitat destruction
 
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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: 2751 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Woman with nose bleeds in China finds tooth in nose
 
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When a woman from China suffered constant nosebleeds for decades, few people could have predicted the cause, a tooth growing in her nose.The patient, identified only by her surname Xia, believed for years that she had severe case of rhinitis, an inflammation of the nose membrane.But a scan proved otherwise and the 57-year-old was shocked to discover she had a tooth growing in her nasal cavity.Doctors at Hunan Provincial People's Hospital, in Changsha, in south central part of the country, said when they first saw the strange circular object lodged in the woman's nose they didn't immediately know what it was.Ear, nose and throat specialist Zhou Jianpo said: 'Scans showed a high-density shadow in her right nasal cavity.'We thought it was a foreign object or some sort of stone.'However, after taking Xia into surgery, they 'peeled' back layer after layer of membrane and discovered what turned out to be a fully grown tooth inside the woman's nasal cavity, complete with root and crown.The tooth was pulled from her nose and she has since reported much relief from her symptoms, which as well as decades of nosebleeds include feelings of stuffiness.Dr Zhou said the condition is known as supernumerary teeth, which causes an extra tooth or teeth to grow in often random places on the face.The condition is present at birth and the medic notes that the tooth develops during pregnancy.In August this year an eight-year-old boy from Zhejiang Province in eastern China was also found with a supernumerary tooth in his nasal cavity.The condition is extremely rare, with fewer than 20 documented cases in all of China.THE CAUSE OF EXTRA TEETH  A dentist explained that extra teeth are not that unusual, but they rarely grow inside the nose. Up to 3.9 per cent of people have more teeth that usual and they can erupt in unexpected places, according to previous studies. Around a third of mesiodens (a common type of extra tooth found near the incisors) develop upside down and can travel towards the nose. No-one is exactly sure why some people have this problem, but the report says: ‘causes of intranasal teeth include trauma, infection, anatomical malformations, and genetic factors.’ Extra teeth can appear in the palette as a normal looking extra tooth, or can grow into the nasal cavity in rare cases. Symptoms of such a problem include a blocked nose, headaches, nose bleeds, foul-smelling mucus and even external deformities of the nose. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5030821/Woman-suffering-nose-bleeds-shocked-TOOTH-nose.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 301 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Using one embryo in IVF boosts odds of a healthy baby
 
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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: 317 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - 'Mega-carnivore' dinosaur in Africa 200 million years ago
 
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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: 1300 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - 400 maternity errors a day at NHS hospitals, figures show
 
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Staff on NHS maternity wards make blunders during one in every five births, figures show today.They reveal almost 280,000 errors on NHS maternity units in the last two years amid pressure from a rising birth rate fuelled by migrants, and a shortage of midwives.Although many of the mistakes did not endanger mother or baby, almost 64,000 resulted in some kind of 'harm' – while nearly 800 caused brain damage or death.The figures from regulator NHS Improvement equate to almost 400 errors a day as maternity wards struggle to deal with the rise in older mothers, the high birth rate and staff shortages.Increasing numbers of women are having their babies in their 30s and 40s, increasing the likelihood of complications. Many are also undergoing IVF and so having twins or triplets while, on top of this, half of all women giving birth are either overweight or obese.Meanwhile, the number of births has risen significantly in the last two decades, with rising immigration contributing to the increase.Today's figures show there were 139,857 incidents in 2016/17, up from 136,910 in 2015/16.In total, 63,380 resulted in some form of 'harm', including 479 incidents that caused 'severe harm' and another 288 that had fatal consequences. There were 663,157 births in England in 2016 – meaning an average of one error for every five births.The incidents are reported voluntarily by maternity staff, meaning the true number of blunders is likely to be even higher.Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his 'top priority' was to 'reduce avoidable harm in hospitals and save families from the agony that comes with it'.He has pledged to improve the safety of maternity units and, in April, launched the independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch watchdog to look into the most serious cases.The incidents included mistakes during caesareans, forceps deliveries or other interventions as well as women being given the wrong dose or type of medication.Others covered staff failing to carry out scans or tests, misreading the results or making the wrong diagnosis. The Royal College of Midwives has previously said the high birth rate – up by 7 per cent in 20 years – was putting maternity units at a 'tipping point'.Today's figures also show some hospitals had 30 times the number of reported incidents as others over the two year period.This is partly explained by the fact that larger, busier maternity units will report more errors.But there are concerns that some units have a less honest culture where staff are not encouraged to own up to mistakes.Central Manchester University Hospitals recorded 5,226 incidents over the two years, the highest number, followed by Barts Health in East London with 4,870.In contrast, only 170 incidents were recorded by South Tyneside Hospital, and Northern Devon Healthcare reported 337.Edward Morris, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which represents doctors on maternity units, said: 'While the UK is a safe place for women to give birth, AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5200069/400-maternity-errors-day-NHS-hospitals-figures-show.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 9 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Killers in color: Images of Abraham Lincoln's assassins
 
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These fascinating colorized photos bring to life the men and woman who assassinated Abraham Lincoln.They show the conspirators handcuffed before their trial and a picture of their hanging alongside a colorized image of what is thought to be the last photo of Lincoln before his death.The 16th President of the United States was shot dead at the theater by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.David Herold, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt were executed for their role in the assassination.Each conspirator was assigned a different role in the comprehensive assassination attempt of several high-profile government members.Edmund Spangler helped Booth escape but he was spared death because he didn't know about the assassination in advance. Booth was shot by Union forces after a dramatic 12-day manhunt led by David Herold.Powell had been responsible for the bungled assassination attempt of the Secretary of State, William Seward on the same night.Atzerodt had been planning an attempt of the life of the Vice President, Andrew Johnson, but is said to have lost his nerve.The conspirators met in a Washington boarding house owned by Mary Surratt. Their trial ended on June 30 with Surratt, Powell, Herold, and Atzerodt all sentenced to death.They were given a military trial as opposed to a civilian one, though, with much controversy over the way in which it was handled.'The trial, under military jurisdiction, was controversial in that the defence for the accused was not given time to prepare, the accused were forbidden from testifying in their own defence, a lower level of proof was required to convict than in civilian courts, and only a majority verdict among jurors was required for the death sentence to be imposed,' says author Michael D. Carroll.'The Southern states accused the North of imposing a military trial to avoid the opportunity for civilian jurors to show clemency towards the accused.'The prisoners stood for ten seconds before Roth clapped his hands and four soldiers below the scaffold knocked out the supports for the platform they were standing on.'They dropped and Surratt's rope snapped cleanly, with no movement afterwards.'Atzerodt heaved before falling still, but Herold and Powell, the chief conspirators, were strangled for five minutes. Powell stuggled wildly, pulling his legs up in towards his chest several times, before he was eventually still.'The striking images feature in a new book titled Retrographic: History in Living Colour by Michael Carroll.Killed at the theater: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Confederate spy Booth shot him in the head during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln died the next day at 7.22am in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first American president to be assassinated and his funeral was followed by an extended period of national mourning. The assassination was part of a larger conspiracy intended by Booth to revive the Confederate cause by eliminating the three most important officials of the United States government.  Conspirators Lewis Powell and David Herold were assigned to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward, and George Atzerodt was tasked with killing Vice President Andrew Johnson. The first plot was bungled and Atzerodt lost his nerve. AutoNews- Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5008311/Killers-color-Images-Abraham-Lincoln-s-assassins.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Views: 2416 US Sciencetech
Breaking News  - Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth tipped to sell for £115k
 
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Forget about Aston Martins, Bentleys and Ferraris - the brand that's sending car collectors into a frenzy right now is Ford. And Fast Fords in particular.That might explain why a full-on boy-racer-spec RS500 Cosworth is being tipped to smash the record for the highest figure paid for a Sierra when it features at an auction in Birmingham next month. Predicted to sell for about £115,000, it has risen in value by a monumental 310 per cent in the last 10 years alone.It has done just 6,000 miles in three decades and will go under the hammer at the Silverstone Auctions NEC Classic Motor Show Sale on November 11, along with four other high-performance models, all of which have estimates that will make you wish you'd invested in a Ford ten years ago.We take a look at the Sierra RS500 Cosworth and the other Fast Fords below.Sierra RS Cosworths have sky-rocketed in value in recent years to the point where exemplary versions are now selling for six figure sums - more than four times what they were worth a decade ago.Just two months ago a 1987 car with less than 11,000 miles on the clock sold for a staggering £114,750. But that record is expected to be smashed next month when this pristine 1988 model goes under the hammer.Of the limited run of 500 built - hence the name - this is number 455 and it has covered a paltry 6,037 miles from new - that works out at an average of 208 miles a year.Of course it features all the additions that made the Sierra RS500 Cosworth an '80s icon - the enormous whale tail spoiler, gaping cooling ducts and the upgraded 224bhp 2.0-litre engine.And to make it even more collectible, this is just one of 56 that was finished in the Essex-specification white paint.It was formerly owned by exotic-car dealership mogul Joe Macari, who found it while visiting a Ferrari collection in Germany in 2007 and brought it back to the UK for an undisclosed price.In the same year he sold it to a private Ford collector for £28,000 - considered a significant amount for a Sierra Cosworth back then. Little did he know that in 10 year's time it could be worth £87,000 more than that.When Macari sold the car it had covered just 5,300 miles, so it's barely turned a wheel in the last decade.It was last serviced by a Ford specialist in Southampton in 2014 at the cost of £4,000 and has since been stored in an indoor heated and dehumidified facility to protect it and its now incredible value.What makes it even more collectible is that it remains almost untouched, unlike many Sierra Cosworths that were modified and upgraded by Ford aficionados in its hey day.This particular car is totally original and has been described by highly respected RS500 registrar, Paul Linfoot, as 'one of the most original and best available RS 500s in the world today'.It's highly unlikely that there's a lower mileage example of this poster car of the 1980s in existence, according to the auctioneer, so expect to have to pay a fair whack if you want this stunning Fast Ford.From the same era as the RS500 Cosworth comes another 1980s throwback, this fetching turquoise - the official colour is 'Aquafoam Metallic' - Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet.It's been kept by one owner from new in what is described as meticulous and completely original condition, having covered just 10,600 miles since it came off the production line.You'll struggle to find another one in such incredible nick, especially with a single keeper since it left the factory. With Fast Fords from the 1980s in big demand, th1
Views: 41 US Sciencetech