Cheetahs ears are crucial for catching dinner

first_img Cheetahs’ ears are crucial for catching dinner By Matt WarrenFeb. 2, 2018 , 2:30 PM Serisha Nagothu/500px center_img The cheetah is built for running, with long limbs and powerful muscles that propel it along as it chases down its prey. But a new study has found that the world’s fastest land mammal has another, less obvious adaptation hidden away in its inner ear. Scientists suspected that the cheetah might also rely on a specialized vestibular system, the part of the inner ear that detects head movements and helps animals maintain their gaze and posture. Using computerized tomography scans, they created detailed 3D images of the inner ear from the skulls of cheetahs and other cat species, from leopards to domestic cats. They found that the vestibular system took up a much greater part of the inner ear in cheetahs than in any other cat. The cheetahs also had elongated semicircular canals, parts of the system involved in head movement and eye direction. These features help the animal catch dinner by letting it keep its head still and its eyes on the prize, even when the rest of its body is rapidly moving, the researchers write in Scientific Reports. The extinct giant cheetah did not have the same features, suggesting that the distinct vestibular system evolved fairly recently, they say.last_img read more

Surprise Tornadoes form from the ground up

first_imgChris Machian/Omaha World-Herald/AP Photo Email By Katherine KorneiDec. 13, 2018 , 6:00 PM These findings have important implications for how weather forecasters issue tornado warnings, the researchers suggest. That’s because forecasters often rely on measurements of wind speeds high up in clouds. Because wind might already be swirling at dangerous speeds near the ground, weather warnings might be tardy in sounding the alarm for tornado-strength winds. Surprise! Tornadoes form from the ground up Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Call Dorothy—the formation of tornadoes has been knocked on its head. New measurements from tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas suggest these storms’ swirling winds first develop near the ground. That’s contrary to the long-accepted theory that tornado winds are born several kilometers up in clouds and only later touch down on Earth’s surface.Researchers analyzed four tornadoes, including a monster known as El Reno (shown above), which holds the record as the widest tornado ever measured, at 4.2 kilometers. They noticed something odd when they compared radar measurements that tracked wind speed with hundreds of photographs and videos of El Reno taken by storm chasers: The storm’s funnel was already on the ground several minutes before the radar data—taken roughly 250 meters off the ground—recorded any rotation.Out of curiosity, the scientists reanalyzed radar measurements taken near the ground. (A hilltop vantage point during the storm serendipitously allowed the team to scan close to the ground without the interfering effects of trees and telephone poles.) They found rapid rotation near the ground before it appeared higher up, a pattern that was confirmed in three other tornadoes, as they will report tomorrow at the semiannual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Dazzling Poster for 1932s The Mummy Set to Break Records at Auction

first_imgAnyone who disturbs the mummified body of an Egyptian pharaoh risks the deadly wrath of an ancient curse — at least that’s what the plotlines of various horror movies say. But what happens to the person who purchases the poster for the original 1932 classic The Mummy?Curse or not, one thing is clear: the new owner will be considerably poorer.Film poster for the 1932 film The Mummy.The auction house Sotheby’s is accepting bids for one of three remaining original posters of The Mummy.The rare lithograph is expected to sell for somewhere between $1 million and $1.5 million, making it the world’s most expensive movie poster, according to The Guardian.This specific print, which will be the first movie poster to be valued in seven figures, was bought at auction in 1997 for $453,500.A screenshot from The Mummy.The Mummy was one of a series of “creature features” produced by a financially beleaguered Universal in the 1930s.In its plot, a resurrected Egyptian mummy stalks a woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his bride. It is a story that has been resurrected many times since in other movies.Boris Karloff and Zita Johann in a climactic scene from the movie.Directed by Karl Freund, the film has achieved high status in the film world, starring as its frightening mummy, Imhotep, an English actor named Boris Karloff who had become famous one year earlier as The Monster in Frankenstein.Freund was the cinematographer for Dracula, directed by Todd Browning, and Freund’s film technique in The Mummy won acclaim.Karl Freund behind the camera, 1925.Unlike Frankenstein or Dracula, The Mummy was not based on a book.Sotheby’s says, “The film’s lack of a direct literary source allowed the studio to create an original screenplay tailored to its audience and its new ghoulish star, Karloff. Inspired by the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb nearly a decade earlier and the public’s lingering fascination with the myth of the Mummy’s curse, the studio commissioned an Egyptian-themed storyline and script.”A screenshot from The Mummy.For The Mummy, Karloff endured eight hours of makeup application each day. His appearance, designed by makeup artist Jack P. Pierce, was based on the appearance of Ramses III.“The Mummy’s success in 1933 solidified Universal Pictures hold on horror,” wrote Classic Horror. “It was the first film post-Frankenstein to bill Karloff as a star and it paid off. A slew of films for better or worse followed in Imhotep’s monstrous footsteps.”Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein (1935).Universal’s advertising director Karoly Grosz designed the poster, which was displayed in movie theaters and never sold to the public.Photograph of Karl Freund directing Boris Karloff on the set of The Mummy. Caption reads as follows: Here is Karl Freund, long time cameraman and now director, following Boris Karloff in his character in Universal’s “Im-ho-tep,” with Charles Stumar at the camera. Photographed by Fred R. Archer.“Only three are believed to remain in existence, with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett owning one of them,” according to Hollywood Reporter. “In 2014, a 1927 poster for London After Midnight broke The Mummy’s record for the most expensive poster, while the current record holder is a 1931 poster for Dracula, which sold for $525,800 last year.”Sotheby’s points out that the poster for The Mummy continues Universal’s sophisticated promotional campaigns that sent people to movie theaters in droves.Film poster with text ‘Karloff the uncanny in The Mummy.’“Notable for their bold colors, complex compositions and minimal use of white space and text, Universal’s horror posters from the period are among the most compelling and desirable examples of advertising art in the history of film,” said Sotheby’s.It is difficult, in the digital age, to comprehend how important a poster could be to a movie campaign. In this case, it was a dazzling color poster for a black-and-white movie.Colored lobby card for the 1932 film The Mummy, featuring Boris Karloff.The poster features Karloff as Imhotep, with actress Zita Johann as the beautiful woman he seeks in belief that she is his reincarnated lover.“The vibrant colors of Karoly Grosz’s Mummy poster stand both in contrast to and in support of the haunting black and white scenes of the film it advertise,” says Sotheby’s.Read another story from us: The 5 Most Famous Historical Accounts of Werewolf Sightings“In a way, it offers a promise that the film cannot deliver – although the audience will be thrilled by Karloff’s suddenly awakened Imhotep and may be seduced by Johann’s Ankhesenamun, they will not see the eerie green of the mummy’s wraps or the scarlet of Johann’s gown. In isolating the iconic images of the film and enhancing them with color, the poster becomes the strongest visual link to it and a historic artifact of its time.”last_img read more

Snowflake bids fond farewell to Eds IGA

first_imgPhoto by Diana HutchisonSnowflake bids a fond farewell to Ed’s IGA Supermarket after serving the community for 42 years. The hometown market closed last week and the building is already up for sale. July 24, 2018 Snowflake bids fond farewell to Ed’s IGAcenter_img By Diana Hutchison After 42 years, Ed’s IGA Supermarket in Snowflake has made its final sale. Ed and Lapriel Gillespie opened the small hometown market in 1976. Gillespie retired about 10 years ago leaving hisSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Centre opposes PIL seeking to make rape law genderneutral

first_img Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan Written by Pritam Pal Singh | New Delhi | Published: July 4, 2019 3:06:04 am 0 Comment(s) rape laws, rape laws in india, section 375, gender-neutral rape law, indian penal code, IPC, gender neutrality in rape laws, Indian express The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its additional affidavit before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, said the sections have been enacted after due deliberation and widescale consultations. (Representative Image)The Centre on Wednesday opposed in the Delhi High Court a PIL for making IPC sections pertaining to rape gender-neutral, saying the perpetrators are mostly men and therefore, the legislation has been enacted to check the rising number of sexual offences against women. Top News The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its additional affidavit before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, said the sections have been enacted after due deliberation and widescale consultations.The ministry was responding to a PIL by Sanjjiiv Kkumaar, who has said that the “IPC 375 and IPC 376, in current form, which is gender specific and not gender neutral, doesn’t secure males and thus doesn’t stand the constitutional test and fails in Right to Privacy”.The Centre filed an additional affidavit after the court asked it in January to further clarify on actions taken to implement recommendations of the Law Commission of India.Kkumaar, an activist, had also pointed that as per the recent apex court ruling on Right to Privacy, both male and female have equal protection of law under the Constitution. The petition said no one can claim special privilege if the perpetrator of the crime is a female and she is immune to criminal action. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? last_img read more

Relieved gratified says Harish Salve on ICJ ruling

first_img Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ Verdict: Govt, Oppn hail ruling; PM Modi says truth prevailed Timeline: How Kulbhushan Jadhav case unfolded Advertising Post Comment(s) Read | The lawyer who represented India in Kulbhushan Jadhav case“The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights must inform the interpretation of an effective review,” he said, outlining the next steps for Pakistan. The ICCPR is a multilateral treaty that recognises due process and fair trial among other civil and political rights.He stressed that Indian consular officers must immediately get access to Jadhav, and then ensure legal representation for him. He said Pakistan must ensure an effective review of its legal processes and amend its law if “the military courts cannot ensure due process” and also ensure publication of the review. He also did not rule out the possibility of approaching the ICJ in future if Pakistan does not comply with the decision.READ |  ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Key points“Sanctions in the United Nations Security Council and other remedies could also come into play,” he said. Salve admitted that while India’s “ambitious” request for annulling Jadhav’s conviction and death sentence by a military court were not met, the ICJ had categorically found Pakistan’s actions violative of international law. harish salve, who is harish salve, lawyer harish salve, supreme court, kulbhushan jadhav case, indian express news Harish Salve was India’s lead counsel in the case.Senior advocate Harish Salve, India’s lead counsel in the case, said he was “relieved and gratified” by the ICJ’s ruling on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters in London, he said: “It is a good moment for us to help (Kulbhushan) Jadhav get justice and ensure he gets a fair trial.” By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 18, 2019 2:48:35 am Related News Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict: Sushma to Salve, diplomats to lawyers wrote script last_img read more

UK scientists are going to be all right after Brexit science minister

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Q: You voted “Remain” in the referendum over Brexit. But now you are in a position of protecting U.K. science during the separation process. How difficult is that?A: I voted to remain because I thought it was costly and complicated to leave the EU, and that is clearly still the case. But there are opportunities and challenges.Q: Several weeks ago, at the Universities U.K. conference, you told universities that this is not the time to “shrink back and sulk” about Brexit, that universities need to “engage and lead in these debates.” What would you like them to do at this late stage?A: Universities have a big role to play … making it very clear to their counterparts, their networks, that the U.K. is not walking away from the world. We still value multilateral cooperation, we still see the EU as a significant partner.Q: Your government wants to be an associated member of the European Union’s premier research funding programs, Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, like Norway or Switzerland, but with some influence over research priorities for the programs. A: Our ask: We will make a financial contribution and it will be significant. It will be larger than all the other associated members combined. … In return for that, we ask for a number of things: that the focus of the programs is based on scientific excellence. … If the framework programs become about building capacity and capability in other EU countries, then the focus goes away from excellence. … We would [also] want our scientists to be involved in the decisions of some of the programs, the thinking behind some of the programs.Q: Your government established the United Kingdom Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s) Rutherford Fund to help attract young researchers from outside the United Kingdom. But there is evidence—declines in graduate school applications for example—that non-U.K. scientists are seeing the United Kingdom as a less appealing destination. What else can you do to staunch brain drain?A: I understand that mobility of scientists is essential to our success. … We’ve also subsequent to the Rutherford Fund launched a £1 billion “future leaders” program under UKRI, which is open to the brightest, the best, and the talented from all around the world. And we’re looking at our visa regimes. The UKRI visa program, it’s going to make it easier for researchers to come to the U.K. and do their work.Q: You have been upset over the European Union’s stance that the United Kingdom will be shut out of future contracts for Galileo, the European Union’s GPS system, even after pouring in more than £1 billion, and that you might not have access to its secure, military-grade signal elements. What leverage do you have to remain in the program? A: The Galileo thing is incredibly frustrating. … It doesn’t look like the EU is going to change its mind based on where we are in negotiations. So we will do what any sovereign nation would do which has military interests to bear in mind and which needs access to this technology—which is to look to produce our own version of it.Q: That’s a colossal undertaking that takes billions of pounds and a decade of time. How credible could a U.K. effort be?A: After building it we’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. Companies have learned how to do things faster. It’ll probably be less complicated than one that’s built to the spec of 28 different countries. What we want to be post-Brexit is nimble, agile—and this is one area where we can prove that. The government has already committed £92 million to doing feasibility work around our own Galileo.Q: During recent Brexit negotiations in Austria, European leaders made it clear that withdrawal would not be easy. The European Council president said that May’s current plan for a new relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom “will not work.” And French President Emmanuel Macron had a harsh message for Brexiteers. He said, “Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be all right, and that it’s going to bring a lot of money home, are liars.” What do you say in response to that, to the scientists you are supposed to be advocating for? Are they going to be all right?A: They’re going to be all right, and we’re going to do everything to make sure that post-Brexit, the U.K. is a go-to place for science and innovation. We’re proving that by increasing investment in science to record levels. … It’s neither in our interest nor the EU’s for there not to be a deal. I think cool heads will prevail.*Update, 2 October, 5:20 p.m.: This story has been updated to include additional material from the interview. Science minister Sam Gyimah hopes the United Kingdom can still have a say in EU funding programs such as Horizon Europe, which will begin in 2021. In January, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Sam Gyimah as science and universities minister as a part of a broader cabinet reshuffle. Gyimah, a Conservative member of parliament representing East Surrey, replaced Jo Johnson, who had been science minister for almost 3 years. Last month, Gyimah came to the United States on a whistlestop tour. He visited pharmaceutical companies in Boston and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In Washington, D.C., he met with National Space Council head Scott Pace to talk about opportunities for collaboration in commercial space. During his visit, Gyimah spoke with Science about the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, a topic that is causing a great deal of anxiety among U.K. scientists. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.Q: You were a banker for Goldman Sachs after you studied philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. What interest do you have in science?A: Everyone who’s rational should have an interest in science. The future of our planet depends on our understanding of science. … It’s something I value immensely. U.K. scientists ‘are going to be all right,’ after Brexit, science minister promisescenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Eric HandOct. 2, 2018 , 1:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament (CC BY 3.0) last_img read more

Mysterious childhood brain illness in Africa shows surprising similarity to Alzheimers

first_imgFirst, though, the researchers need to convince others who have studied nodding syndrome for years that they are right. Originally reported in Tanzania, the disease spread to what is now South Sudan in the 1990s and to northern Uganda after 1998. Uganda has reported 3000 cases, but no new ones since 2014. The current study was done on the brains of five Ugandan children who fell ill while living in camps for internally displaced persons between 2005 and 2010, when Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army was terrorizing the region, and later died.The brains are among a dozen obtained by U.S. and Ugandan researchers between 2014 and 2017, overcoming challenges such as persuading relatives, harvesting the organs promptly after death, and transporting them from remote areas in a tropical climate. Initial investigations done in the United States were never published—it’s not clear why—and the brains were returned to Uganda, where Pollanen’s group studied all 12. They hope to publish their analyses of the remaining seven soon.The current paper is thin on detail and lacks important controls, cautions neurologist Avindra Nath of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, who has studied nodding syndrome. It does not describe the brain pathology in children from the same population who died of other forms of epilepsy, for example.Robert Colebunders, an infectious disease expert at the University of Antwerp in Belgium who has long worked on nodding syndrome, says he has still-unpublished postmortem findings from seven children who fell ill at the same time, in the same camps, but survived longer because they received better care and experienced fewer seizures. None of them shows tauopathy, he says. “My conclusion is that tau [deposition] is a consequence of seizures, not a cause.”Colebunders favors a long-standing theory that the ultimate cause of nodding syndrome is infection by a parasitic worm called Onchocerca volvulus, which is endemic to the same regions. There is no evidence that the worm itself penetrates the brain, but last year, Nath and others proposed that a protein in the worm triggers the production of antibodies that attack a similar protein on neurons, in a misdirected autoimmune response.It’s dangerous to propose that nodding syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease, Colebunders says, because it could divert resources away from much-needed efforts to eradicate the worm and to improve care for children with the illness. “With good care and nutrition, the epilepsy can be controlled and the children can go back to school without suffering any cognitive deficit,” he says.But Peter Spencer, a neurotoxicologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, suspects the worm is a bystander. He suggests it opportunistically infects people who have another condition that also triggers seizures and tau deposition. How it all fits together is unclear, but tau gives investigators one more piece of the puzzle, Spencer says. “We have an opportunity here to discover the primary cause of this disease, and then to do primary prevention.” Not only will that benefit affected children, Spencer adds, “It will potentially open up our understanding of other tauopathies, too.” Mysterious childhood brain illness in Africa shows surprising similarity to Alzheimer’s A 2012 image from Uganda shows an 11-year-old boy suffering from nodding syndrome. A disease mystery with no shortage of leads now has an intriguing new one. Since the 1960s, thousands of children in poor, war-torn regions of East Africa have developed epilepsy-like seizures in which their heads bob to their chest; over time, the seizures worsen, cognitive problems develop, and the victims ultimately die. Researchers have proposed causes for nodding syndrome that include malnutrition, parasites, and viruses, but have not proved a clear link to any of them. Now, the first published examination of the brains of children who died after developing the condition suggests it has a key similarity to certain brain diseases of old age, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: It leaves victims’ brains riddled with fibrous tangles containing a protein called tau.”Nodding syndrome is a tauopathy,” concludes Michael Pollanen, a pathologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who is lead author of a report published last month in Acta Neuropathologica. Pollanen believes the finding “suggests a totally new line of investigation” into the syndrome. As significant as the discovery of the tangles may be what his group of Canadian and Ugandan researchers didn’t find: any sign of the brain inflammation that might be triggered by a parasite or virus. “Our hypothesis is that nodding syndrome is a neurodegenerative disease, like Alzheimer’s,” Pollanen says.Some who study the condition are skeptical, but the possibility excites researchers working on other tauopathies including Alzheimer’s. Childhood forms of those diseases are exceedingly rare, but the nodding syndrome finding “means [tau deposition] is not an age-dependent problem,” says John Hardy, of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London. Something else must have triggered the tauopathy in these children. And because nodding syndrome struck a small region of East Africa, over a specific time period—in Uganda, the condition appears to be vanishing—its trigger might be relatively easy to identify, and could shed light on the causes of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Hardy and others say. By Laura SpinneyDec. 19, 2018 , 4:30 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. 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Rogue ozonedestroying emissions traced to northeastern China

first_imgThe paper is “very definitive,” providing “firm evidence” that there is a continuing problem with emissions from China, says Ian Rae, a chemist at the University of Melbourne in Australia who was not involved in the study.The authors say further investigation is needed to confirm which processes are responsible for the increasing CFC-11 emissions. But, “if consistent with historical usage, it would be expected that emissions have primarily occurred during, or following, [insulation] foam blowing.” That conclusion is in line with previous on-the-ground investigations by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London- and Washington, D.C.–based environmental group, which singled out the CFC-11 used to create rigid polyurethane insulation in homes and commercial buildings.“The Chinese have been doing the best they can” to identify and shut down the rogue operations, Rae says. “But regulators have real trouble keeping tabs on what is going on” throughout the country.Over the past year, China has been bolstering efforts to crack down on the illegal releases, according to plans filed with the United Nations Environment Programme, which monitors compliance with the Montreal Protocol. “We hope that the information that this new study provided helps the Chinese government take steps to address the issue,” says Sunyoung Park, a study co-author who is a geochemist at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. An international team of researchers has traced the rogue use of a banned, ozone-degrading chemical to a region centered on two provinces in northeastern China. Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), once a common refrigerant also used to produce building insulation, was to be phased out by 2010 under the 1987 Montreal Protocol because of its contribution to a then–rapidly growing hole in Earth’s ozone layer.As use declined ahead of the ban, atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 started to drop. Scientists projected a gradual decrease, because CFC-11 would continue to leak from old refrigerators and escape from foam insulation long after production and use stopped. But in 2012, levels started to increase in the Northern Hemisphere, with evidence pointing to sources in China. Now, Matthew Rigby of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and colleagues have used atmospheric observations and modeling to narrow down both the source and the magnitude of emissions, showing they are coming from Shandong and Hebei provinces and represent new production and use of CFC-11. In addition, amounts have increased since the chemical was banned, the team reports today in Nature. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Dennis NormileMay. 22, 2019 , 1:15 PM Banned trichlorofluoromethane contributed to the rapid growth of Earth’s ozone hole. 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Russians Pose as Americans to Steal Data on Social Media

first_imgBoth Twitter and Facebook have made efforts to counter nation-state backed exploitation of their platforms, but the consensus is that more can be done.”They must dynamically verify the identities of their users and filter illicit and inflammatory content,” Carbon Black’s Kellermann told TechNewsWorld.”Facebook and Twitter are seemingly just learning how to combat this, and they both appear to be very late to the game,” observed Brian Martin, director of vulnerability intelligence at Risk Based Security.The social networks could deploy a number of measures, he told TechNewsWorld, ranging from monitoring the IP addresses of suspect accounts to refining their analyses of the language in posts, looking for key indicators of actors who don’t speak English as their first language.Users should have the option to flag suspected bots, so the social media companies could investigate and weed out bad actors, said Sherban Naum, senior vice president for corporate strategy and technology at Bromium. Americans were targeted on social media by Russian agents on a mission to harvest personal information, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.The agents pretended to work for organizations promoting African-American businesses as a ruse to obtain personal information from black business owners during the 2016 presidential election campaign, according to the report.Using names like “BlackMattersUS” and “Black4Black,” the agents set up hundreds of accounts on Facebook and Instagram, the WSJ said.As part of its efforts to address the abuse of its platform during the election, Facebook introduced a tool that would enable its members to determine if they had contact with Russian propaganda during that period. The tool doesn’t address the problem of Kremlin agents masquerading as Americans, however.Facebook did not respond to our request to comment for this story. Defeating America Without Bullets Target of Opportunity Better Authentication What’s a Social Network to Do?center_img The Journal story came on the heels of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday announcement that his administration was doing a “very, very deep” study of election meddling and would make “very strong” recommendations about the 2018 elections.However, Adm. Michael Rogers, chief of the U.S. Cyber Command and head of the National Security Agency, last week told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the White House had not directed him to take any actions to counter potential Russian meddling in the 2018 elections.”The impact of social media is very real,” said Ajay K. Gupta, program chair for computer networks and cybersecurity at the University of Maryland.”The lack of real attribution for social media content means that elections are being impacted by people who we don’t know who they are,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Russians have said since the beginning of the Cold War they would be able to defeat America without firing a single bullet,” Gupta added. “They couldn’t do that as the U.S.S.R., but social media has given them another opportunity to try that.” The latest revelation about Russian activity on social media during the elections lends credence to the idea that the Kremlin’s goal is not to swing elections one way or another, but to weaken America’s form of government.One in four voters were considering staying away from the polls due to cybersecurity fears, according to a survey Carbon Black conducted last year, for example. If accurate, that could put the number who would not vote for that reason in the neighborhood of 55 million.”This blended campaign of human intelligence and signals intelligence is dangerous for democracy,” said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at Carbon Black.Russia is into the long game, noted Tellagraff CEO Mark Graff.”Hillary Clinton was a target of opportunity for the Russians in the 2016 election,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Their strategic goal was not to elect Donald Trump. The strategic goal was to disrupt American society, undermine our feelings of unity, undermine our faith in democracy,” Graff maintained. “They’ve been trying to do that for over 50 years — and now what they can do, using social media, is do it from the comfort of government buildings inside Russia.” Credible news outlets should be given some kind of distinctive authentication, Naum also recommended.Social media companies have certain “verified” users, but that appears to be inadequate. “Lots of bad guys are verified,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Twitter and Facebook could also publish trending information about bots and bad information so users can see what’s trending that is legit and what’s trending that is junk,” Naum suggested.What can consumers do to protect themselves?Users should “approach social media with the same skepticism that they should be approaching email and scams,” Risk Based Security’s Martin advised.”Someone offering you 100 million dollars is suspect, of course,” he said.”Someone that seems to have a ‘magic bullet’ showing a political figure is the next devil? Think about it more critically than you might otherwise,” Martin cautioned. “Does the post have any evidence to back it up? Or is it just a compelling picture, that may have been doctored, and a catchy one-liner that invokes emotional responses?” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more