Small eye movements affect contrast sensitivity shows research

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 29 2019It is often difficult for a driver to see a person walking on the side of the road at night–especially if the person is wearing dark colors. One of the factors causing this difficulty is a decrease in contrast, making it hard to segment an object, such as a person, from its background.Researchers previously believed contrast sensitivity function–the minimum level of black and white that a person needs to detect a pattern–was mainly dictated by the optics of the eye and processing in the brain. Now, in a study published in the journal eLife, researchers, including Michele Rucci at the University of Rochester, explain that there is another factor at play: contrast sensitivity also depends on small eye movements that a person is not even aware of making.”Historically these movements have been pretty much ignored,” says Rucci, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at Rochester. “But what seems to be happening is that they are contributing to vision in a number of different ways, including our contrast sensitivity function.”When we fix our eyes on a single point, the world may appear stable, but at the microscopic level, our eyes are constantly jittering. These small eye movements, once thought to be inconsequential, are critical to the visual system in helping us reconstruct a scene, Rucci says. “Some scientists believed that because they are so small, the eye movements might not have much impact, but compared to the size of the photoreceptors on the retina, they are huge, and they are changing the input on the retina.”Think of a scene or object like a computer image made up of different pixels, or points. Each point is a different color, intensity, luminance, and so on. Our eyes take in signals from each of the points and project the signals onto photoreceptors on the retina: the arrangement of these points makes a spatial pattern that we perceive as a scene or object. But, if a spatial pattern is projected as a stationary image, it will fade from view once the retina’s photoreceptors become desensitized to the signal–like a student who becomes bored in class if the teacher repeats the same information over and over again.Researchers have long known that the tiny eye movements–always jittering and taking in different points–continually change the signal to the retina and refresh the image so it does not fade. The new research suggests, however, that these movements do more than prevent fading; they are one of the very mechanisms by which the visual system functions, Rucci says. “The way the visual system encodes information is based on these temporal changes. Eye movements transform a spatial pattern into temporal changes on the retina.”Related StoriesPortable device attached to smartphone can diagnose eye disease remotelyProtein found in the eye can protect against diabetic retinopathyExercises and swimming goggles may reduce adverse effects on eye during long spaceflightsThe system is similar to that involved in the sense of touch: to glean information about the surface of a solid object, we do not simply place our fingertips on the surface, but also move them along the object. We are able to perceive the object based on the interaction between a sensory process (the tactile receptors in our fingers) and a motor process (the way we move our fingertips). “Since our eyes are never at rest even when we fixate a point in the visual scene, a similar mechanism holds for vision,” says Antonino Casile, a researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) and a co-author of the paper. “Contrast sensitivity results from the interaction of two processes: a sensory process–the response properties of neurons in the early visual system–and a motor process.”In order to measure contrast sensitivity and whether or not eye movements play a role, the researchers showed human participants gratings with black and white stripes. The researchers gradually varied the width of the stripes, making them “thinner and thinner, until the participants eventually said they no longer saw separate bars,” Rucci says. The width of the bars is known as the spatial frequency. For each spatial frequency, researchers measured the minimum level of black and white that participants needed to be able to see a contrast, while, at the same time, carefully measuring their eye movements.The researchers then simulated this task in a computer model of the retina to see if the responses of neurons in the retina matched the human subjects’ contrast sensitivity. “We found that they are only compatible when we include the motion of the eye movements,” Rucci says. “When we don’t include this movement factor in the computer model, the simulated neurons don’t give the same responses that the subjects do.”Knowing that eye movements do affect contrast sensitivity, researchers are able to input this factor into models of human vision, providing more accuracy in understanding exactly how the visual system processes information–and what can go wrong when the visual system fails. The research also highlights that movement and motor behavior may be more fundamental to vision than previously thought, Rucci says. “Vision isn’t just taking an image and processing it via neurons. The visual system uses an active scheme to extract and encode information. We see because our eyes are always moving, even if we don’t know it.”last_img read more

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New evidence found for role of human hippocampus in future planning

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 13 2019A team of scientists reports finding the first evidence that the human hippocampus is necessary for future planning. Its findings, published in the journal Neuron, link its long-established role in memory with our ability to use our knowledge to map out the future effects of our actions.The results have implications for the way we think about afflictions that affect the hippocampus, like Alzheimer’s disease, as not only impacting memory but also decision-making.The work centers on the hippocampal “cognitive map,” the brain’s spatial localization system discovered by University College of London’s John O’Keefe, who was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The hippocampal cognitive map has been long thought to allow us to “mentally simulate” the future outcomes of our actions as we plan into the future. However, there had previously been no direct evidence in humans that the hippocampus is actually necessary for planning.”Our results show that both goal-directed planning and remembering locations in space depend on the human hippocampus” says Oliver Vikbladh, a doctoral candidate at New York University’s Center for Neural Science and the paper’s lead author. “By clarifying the scope of hippocampal contributions to behavior, the study may have implications for diseases that affect the hippocampus, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.””To better understand the contribution of the hippocampus to planning, we tested patients with epilepsy, a condition known to damage this brain region, and which is sometimes treated with surgical removal of damaged, hippocampal brain tissue,” explains Orrin Devinsky, director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and a coauthor of the paper.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsStudy highlights the need for larger Alzheimer’s drug trials that intervene much earlierThe study authors compared epilepsy patients to healthy adults, as both groups undertook computer-based tests that assessed their spatial memory and ability to plan into the future. Participants were asked to recall the locations of objects in a virtual-reality arena, and to perform another task that involved learning the relationship between actions and their outcomes and to plan using that knowledge. “These tasks aim to capture functions that let us find our car in a parking lot, or planning moves ahead in a game of chess by imagining how the game will play out,” explains Vikbladh.Their results revealed that, compared to non-epilepsy participants, epilepsy patients displayed inferior spatial memory and also showed a relative tendency to plan less. In fact, those with epilepsy more likely to form habits–repeating actions that had been rewarded in the past without considering their outcomes. The scientists also were able to link the planning deficit to the extent of hippocampal damage in the epilepsy patients.”These findings are consistent with the long-held hypothesis that the hippocampus provides a ‘cognitive map’–not only for spatial localization but also for planning into the future,” observes Vikbladh. “More broadly, when we talk diseases that affect the hippocampus, such as Alzheimer’s, we often focus on the memory deficits–such as forgetting where you are. But there might be additional challenges, specifically, an inability to plan properly. Given that approximately 50 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementias, it is critical that we understand how damage to the hippocampus affects the way we make decisions.” Source: read more

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Powerful ultrahighfield MRIs for early disease detection

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 16 2019The widespread adoption of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revolutionized clinical medicine, and the revolution has not stopped. Scientists in an EU-funded project are exploring ways to make MRIs even more effective – aiming to help patients get the best possible treatment through early disease detection.For all its merits, MRI clinical imaging has limits that can hinder the quick and effective diagnosis of health problems in patients. For example, typical low-power (or ‘low-field’) MRIs produce reduced spatial and temporal image resolutions that can make it hard for medical practitioners to spot developing diseases.Related StoriesAn injection of nanoparticles for spinal cord injuriesPorvair Sciences’ ultra-flat Krystal glass bottom microplates for imaging applications3D mammograms increasing in popularity for breast cancer screening in the USA‘Ultra-high-field’ MRIs – or scanners that produce more intense magnetic fields – can create more accurate and useful images. But their everyday use remains limited, in part because using conventional materials to produce stronger fields is a complex, expensive, and potentially hazardous task. For example, using too much power could overheat scanned bodily tissues, causing cellular damage.The M-CUBE project aims to solve this problem through the use of ‘metamaterials’ in MRI scanners. Metamaterials are materials engineered to have artificial properties that natural materials cannot possess. For example, advanced metamaterials could help to create ‘super lenses’ that make images of small or far-away objects that are sharper than ever before possible.The project’s main mission is to develop a metamaterial antenna technology that will allow scientists to manipulate electromagnetic waves at will while scanning a patient’s body. Scanners will be more powerful but also more sensitive, avoiding the risk of overheating faced by conventional high-powered MRIs.In practice, such technology will make it easier for physicians to use high-field MRIs in their clinics with the potential to dramatically improve patient health.M-CUBE has gathered an interdisciplinary consortium of eight universities, academic leaders, and two small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Its members include physicists, medical doctors and industrial actors all working together.Preclinical and clinical tests with volunteers will validate M-CUBE’s results. The project’s successful conclusion will pave the way for more accurate diagnoses and earlier disease detection.last_img read more

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Liver illness strikes Latino children like a silent tsunami

first_img This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 19 2019Saira Diaz uses her fingers to count the establishments selling fast food and sweets near the South Los Angeles home she shares with her parents and 13-year-old son. “There’s one, two, three, four, five fast-food restaurants,” she says. “And a little mom and pop store that sells snacks and sodas and candy.”In that low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood, it’s pretty hard for a kid to avoid sugar. Last year, doctors at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a nonprofit community clinic seven blocks away, became alarmed by the rising weight of Diaz’s son, Adrian Mejia. They persuaded him to join an intervention study run by the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) that weans participants off sugar in an effort to reduce the rate of obesity and diabetes among children.It also targets a third condition fewer people have heard of: fatty liver disease.Linked both to genetics and diets high in sugar and fat, “fatty liver disease is ripping through the Latino community like a silent tsunami and especially affecting children,” said Dr. Rohit Kohli, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at CHLA.Recent research shows about 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have fatty liver disease. But among Latinos, especially of Mexican and Central American descent, the rate is significantly higher. One large study in Dallas found that 45% of Latinos had fatty livers.The illness, diagnosed when more than 5% of the liver’s weight is fat, does not cause serious problems in most people. But it can progress to a more severe condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, which is linked to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. This progressive form of fatty liver disease is the fastest-growing cause of liver transplants in young adults.The USC-CHLA study is led by Michael Goran, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Program at CHLA, who last year made an alarming discovery: Sugar from sweetened beverages can be passed in breast milk from mothers to their babies, potentially predisposing infants to obesity and fatty livers.Called HEROES, for Healthy Eating Through Reduction of Excess Sugar, his program is designed to help children like Adrian, who used to drink four or more sugary drinks a day, shed unhealthy habits that can lead to fatty liver and other diseases.Fatty liver disease is gaining more attention in the medical community as lawmakers ratchet up pressure to discourage the consumption of sugar-laden drinks. Legislators in Sacramento are mulling proposals to impose a statewide soda tax, put warning labels on sugary drinks and bar beverage companies from offering discount coupons on sweetened drinks.“I support sugar taxes and warning labels as a way to discourage consumption, but I don’t think that alone will do the trick,” Goran said. “We also need public health strategies that limit marketing of sugary beverages, snacks and cereals to infants and children.”William Dermody, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association said: “We understand that we have a role to play in helping Americans manage consumption of added sugars, which is why we are creating more drinks with less or no sugar.”Michael Goran is the director of the Diabetes and Obesity Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the principal investigator for the HEROES study. “I support sugar taxes and warning labels as a way to discourage consumption,” Goran says, “but I don’t think that alone will do the trick.” (Rob Waters for KHN)In 2016, 45 deaths in Los Angeles County were attributed to fatty liver disease. But that’s a “gross underestimate,” because by the time people with the illness die, they often have cirrhosis, and that’s what appears on the death certificate, said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer at the L.A. County Department of Public Health.Still, Simon said, it was striking that 53% of the 2016 deaths attributed to fatty liver disease were among Latinos — nearly double their proportion of total deaths in the county.Medical researchers consider fatty liver disease a manifestation of something called metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that include excess belly fat and elevated blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol that can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.Until 2006, few doctors knew that children could get fatty liver disease. That year Dr. Jeffrey Schwimmer, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Diego, reviewed the autopsies of 742 children and teenagers, ages 2 to 19, who had died in car crashes or from other causes, and he found that 13% of them had fatty liver disease. Among obese kids, 38% had fatty livers.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationAfter Schwimmer’s study was released, Goran began using MRIs to diagnose fatty liver in living children.A 2008 study by another group of researchers nudged Goran further. It showed that a variant of a gene called PNPLA3 significantly increased the risk of the disease. About half of Latinos have one copy of that high-risk gene, and a quarter have two copies, according to Goran.He began a new study, which showed that among children as young as 8, those who had two copies of the risky gene and consumed high amounts of sugar had three times as much fat in their livers as kids with no copy of the gene. Now, in the USC-CHLA study, he is testing whether reduced consumption of sugar decreases the fatty liver risk in children who have the PNPLA3 gene variant.At the start of the study, he tests kids to see if they have the PNPLA3 gene, uses an MRI to measure their liver fat and catalogs their sugar intake. A dietitian on his team educates the family about the impact of sugar. Then, after four months, they measure liver fat again to assess the impact of the intervention. Goran expects to have results from the study in about a year.More recently, Goran has been investigating the transmission of sugar from mothers to their babies. He showed last year that in nursing mothers who drank beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup — the primary sweetener in standard formulations of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other sodas — the fructose level in their breast milk rose and stayed elevated for several hours, ensuring that the baby ingested it.This early exposure to sugar could be contributing to obesity, diabetes and fatty livers, based on previous research that showed fructose can enhance the fat storage capacity of cells, Goran said.At Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Karl Fukunaga meets with a patient, Margarita Marrou, a retired medical clerk originally from Peru. She was diagnosed several years ago with a severe form of fatty liver disease and has cut down her sugar consumption and lost weight. (Rob Waters for KHN)In neighborhoods like South Los Angeles, where Saira Diaz and Adrian Mejia live, a lack of full-service markets and fresh produce makes it harder to eat healthily. “Access to unhealthy food options — which are usually cheaper — is very high in this city,” Derek Steele, director of health equity programs at the Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood, Calif., told Kaiser Health News.The institute has started farmers markets, helped convert two corner stores into markets with healthier food options and created 109 community gardens on public and private lands in South L.A. and neighboring Inglewood, which has 125 liquor and convenience stores and 150 fast-food outlets.At Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 10 miles down the road, Dr. Karl Fukunaga, a gastroenterologist with Digestive Care Consultants, said he and his colleagues are seeing so many patients with fatty liver disease that they plan to start a clinic to address it. He urges his patients to avoid sugar and cut down on carbohydrates.Adrian Mejia and his mother received similar advice from a dietitian in the HEROES program. Adrian gave up sugary beverages, and his liver fat dropped 43%. Two months ago, he joined a soccer league.“Before, I weighed a lot and it was hard to run,” he said. “If I kept going at the pace I was going, probably later in my life I would be like my [diabetic] grandma. I don’t want that to happen.”This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.last_img read more

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Dont wash your raw chicken warns CDC

first_imgDon’t wash your raw chicken! Washing can spread germs from the chicken to other food or utensils in the kitchen.— CDC (@CDCgov) April 26, 2019 Put the chicken inside a disposable bag before placing it inside shopping carts, baskets, or fridges to stop raw chicken juices from coming into contact with other food. Wash hands for 20 seconds in warm, soapy water before and after handling raw chicken. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached a safe level (usually 165ºF) with a food thermometer before eating it. If frozen raw chicken is part of a microwaveable meal, handle it the same way as fresh, raw chicken, as well as following cooking guidelines accurately. Send chicken back at restaurants or other public dining venues if you feel it has not been cooked properly. Refrigerate or freeze leftover chicken within two hours. If the outside temperature is higher than 90ºF, reduce this time to within one hour. Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat,” explained the CDC. “Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria.” We didn’t mean to get you all hot about not washing your chicken! But it’s true: kill germs by cooking chicken thoroughly, not washing it. You shouldn’t wash any poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking. They can all spread germs around your kitchen. Don’t wing food safety!— CDC (@CDCgov) April 29, 2019 The CDC emphasizes the importance of not washing raw chicken, citing that during the washing process, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate utensils, countertops, and other food.Washing cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing chicken is advised, along with never putting cooked food or fresh produce on surfaces that have also had raw chicken on them.An easy way to ensure cross-contamination doesn’t occur is to use separate cutting boards for raw chicken and other produce.However, the original tweet citing the harms of washing chicken, posted on the 26th April 2019, has attracted a significant amount of debate with users suggesting they will continue to wash raw chicken and soak it in salt, vinegar, and lemon or lime juice before cooking it.This led to the CDC following up on their own tweet by saying:center_img By Lois Zoppi, BAMay 3 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued another warning against washing raw chicken before cooking. They warn of the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to other food or utensils and developing food poisoning at home. ‘Americans eat more chicken every year than any other meat’The CDC estimates that approximately a million people become ill after eating contaminated poultry. According to the CDC, this is because “Chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils and countertops,” and many people are unnecessarily increasing their risk of illness by not following simple preventative hygiene steps. They warn that consuming undercooked chicken or foods contaminated by raw chicken juices can cause food poisoning.What bacteria are present in raw chicken?CampylobacterCampylobacter is one of four key global causes of diarrheal diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and is believed to be the most common bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis worldwide.The bacteria can be found in poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep, and shellfish, as well as in cats and dogs. It has also been found in raw or contaminated milk or contaminated ice or water.Campylobacter bacteria can be killed through heat and by cooking food properly. Symptoms of infection from Campylobacter may not arise until two to five days after infection. These include abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.Tatiana Volgutov | ShutterstockSalmonellaSalmonella is a bacterium that many people are familiar with. Most people infected with the bacteria do recover without treatment, with symptoms passing within four to seven days.The CDC estimates that approximately 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths are caused by Salmonella in the US per annum.The two main types of Salmonella found in the US food industry are Salmonella serotype Thyphimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis.Clostridium perfringensThe third type of bacteria highlighted by the CDC is Clostridium perfringens. The cells that cause food poisoning can be killed by the cooking process, but the spores that grow into new cells are not eradicated this way. These spores grow prolifically at room temperatures.Outbreaks of C. perfringens are often seen in hospitals, cafeterias, prisons, and nursing homes because food is often prepared and kept at warm temperatures for long periods of time before being served. Sources of C. perfringens include beef, poultry, and gravies.What are the symptoms of food poisoning?Symptoms of food poisoning include a temperature over 102ºF, diarrhea that lasts three days or more, blood in the stool, and prolonged bouts of vomiting. This can have serious consequences for children under the age of five, adults over 65, pregnant women and those with a suppressed immune system.How to prevent food poisoning from raw chickenThere are a number of steps that you can take to lower the risk of food poisoning when handling and cooking chicken. The CDC website lists the following points to help people protect themselves and their homes from spreading harmful bacteria around the kitchen and cooking areas:last_img read more

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New case study about cannabis hyperemesis syndrome in palliative care

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 11 2019The medical use of cannabis is growing. Medical marijuana may improve symptoms including pain and anorexia. While it may improve nausea and vomiting, it can rarely cause a hyperemesis syndrome with chronic use. Because this is a rare syndrome, case reports are important. A new case study has surprisingly shown that stopping cannabis use may not be necessary to alleviate cannabis hyperemesis syndrome. The case study and a review of the current literature on cannabis hyperemesis syndrome are published in Journal of Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.Ileana Howard, MD, University of Washington and VA Puget Sound, Seattle, WA, presents the unique example of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) receiving palliative care who was able to overcome the effects of nausea and vomiting linked to chronic cannabis use by markedly decreasing, but not discontinuing the use of cannabis. In the article entitled “Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome in Palliative Care: A Case Study and Narrative Review,” Dr. Howard reported that the patient stopped using inhaled concentrated cannabis extracts, but continued to use oral whole plant-based edible cannabis, which eliminated the cannabis hyperemesis syndrome while sustaining the beneficial effects on other symptoms. This paper and the comprehensive literature review illustrate the challenges in diagnosis, assessment, and management of these patients by clinicians.Related StoriesLegal weed’s a growing danger to dogs, so keep your canine out of your cannabisGene associated with increased risk of cannabis abuseResearchers find lower opioid prescriptions rates in states that implemented medical cannabis lawsCharles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Palliative Medicine and Vice President, Medical Affairs, Hospice and Palliative Medicine for the OhioHealth system, states: “This case study adds to our clinical ability to respond to rare adverse effects of medical cannabis use. Given the meteoric rise in the medical use of marijuana across the U.S. and around the world, it is essential to disseminate these clinical observations.”Source:Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.Journal reference:Howard, I. (2019) Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome in Palliative Care: A Case Study and Narrative Review. Journal of Palliative Medicine. read more

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MGH researchers identify potential markers of lung cancer

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 16 2019By examining both blood samples and tumor tissues from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have identified markers that can distinguish between major subtypes of lung cancer and can accurately identify lung cancer stage. Their proof-of-concept test accurately predicted whether the blood samples they examined came from patients with shorter or longer survival following lung cancer surgery, including patients with early-stage disease.Their findings could eventually help physicians decide whether an individual patient with lung cancer can benefit from standard treatment or may need more aggressive therapy. The study is published in the open-access journal Scientific Reports.The US Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends that middle-age and older persons with a history of heavy smoking be screened annually for lung cancer with low-dose CT. Low-dose CT is effective at detecting small lung tumors, but the cost of CT screening and risks of repeated radiation exposure prevent its use for screening of the general population. This points to a need for a low cost, minimally invasive method for identifying people who may require further CT screening to catch the disease at earlier, more readily treatable stages, says co-principal investigator Leo L. Cheng, PhD, an associate biophysicist in the departments of Pathology and Radiology at MGH. Along with co-principal investigator David C. Christiani, MD, MPH, a physician in the Department of Medicine at MGH, Cheng and other colleagues studied paired blood samples and tumor tissues taken at the time of surgery and looked for unique metabolomic markers using high-resolution magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a sensitive technique for characterizing the chemical composition of tissues.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerCheng says that although other research groups have used MRS to identify potential biomarkers of lung cancer in serum, “the uniqueness of our study is that we have paired samples from patients obtained at the same time as surgery.”The paired specimens came from 42 patients with squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the lung, and 51 patients with adenocarcinomas of the lung. The investigators also examined blood samples from 29 healthy volunteers who served as controls. The patients included 58 with early (Stage I) lung cancer, and 35 with more advanced disease (Stage II, III, or IV).The experiments were designed to see whether blood samples and tumor tissue samples from the same patient had common features that would identify the presence or absence of lung cancer, discriminate between cancer subtypes, and confirm the diagnostic accuracy of a simple blood test.The investigators identified specific profiles of metabolites common to both types of samples and showed the differences between the profiles could signal whether a patient had SCC or adenocarcinoma, which require different treatments. They also found that the profiles could distinguish between early-stage disease, which is often highly treatable, and later disease stages which require more aggressive or experimental treatments.Importantly, the tests also identified whether the samples came from patients who lived an average of 41 months after surgery, or from those patients who lived longer than 41 months. This finding, if validated in further studies, could identify early on those patients at especially high risk for early death, who might benefit from clinical trials of new drugs.The ultimate goal of the study is to develop a blood test that could be included as part of a standard physical and could indicate whether a specific patient has suspicious signs pointing to lung cancer. Patients identified by the blood screen would then be referred for CT. Source:Massachusetts General HospitalJournal reference:Berker, Y. et al. (2019) Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy-based Metabolomic Biomarkers for Typing, Staging, and Survival Estimation of Early-Stage Human Lung Cancer. Scientific Reports. You cannot use CT as a screening tool for every patient or even for every at-risk patient every year, so what we’re trying to do is to develop biomarkers from blood samples that could be incorporated into physical exams, and if there is any suspicion of lung cancer, then we would put the patient through CT.”Leo L. Cheng, PhD, associate biophysicist, MGHlast_img read more

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Exploring how schizophrenia and depression are related to drug consumption

first_imgCocaine and depressionCEU UCH Medicine students Iván Echevarria and Carlos Galera-Román, also under the guidance of professor Haro, have conducted a study on the relation between the consumption of cocaine and depression, analyzing the influence of socioeconomic factors, such as having a stable partner or job.Both students have studied these circumstances in 94 people who consume cocaine, and who are receiving treatment at the Provincial Hospital of Castellón. Of these, 84% also suffers a depressive disorder. Professor Gonzalo Haro explains that “in the case of cocaine consumers with depression, the lack of a stable partner and low-skilled work were more common among consumers without depression, which means that socioeconomic factors affect the root of the depressive disorder of these patients, and not only consuming cocaine, which they are associated to by default.” Source:Asociación RUVID Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Students of the Medicine Degree at the CEU UCH University in Castellón, Iván Echeverria and Carlos Galera-Román, and the student of the International Doctorate School of the CEU (CEINDO), Alejandro Fuertes-Saiz, have presented two pieces of research at the third edition of the International Congress of Dual Disorders, which was held in Madrid on June 19-22. Both studies, on schizophrenia and depression and their relation to drug consumption, have been conducted under the direction of the CEU UCH’s Mental Health professor Gonzalo Haro Cortés, head researcher of the TXP group and director of the Severe Dual Disorder program of Castellón’s Provincial Hospital Consortium.Related StoriesResearchers find new physical evidence in the brain for types of schizophreniaCPAP treatment for sleep apnea can improve depression symptomsSocial media use and television viewing linked to rise in adolescent depressive symptomsCEU UCH doctoral candidate and resident Psychiatry physician at the Provincial Hospital Consortium of Castellón, Alejandro Fuertes-Saiz, has given a lecture on the stereotypes on people who suffer from addiction and schizophrenia, because of which they are usually associated with criminal behavior and the use of violence. The study has attempted to confirm whether this stereotype is true, analyzing in total 74 cases of people who consume cocaine, as this is the most consumed addictive substance in Europe. Of these, 38% of patients suffered schizophrenia, and 27.8% antisocial personality disorder as associated dual disorders.As professor Gonzalo Haro highlights: This last group, cocaine consumers with antisocial personality disorder, has turned out to be the one with the largest number of people who had been in prison for criminal behavior. Therefore, our stereotypes towards cocaine consumers with schizophrenia are not verified, which shows that we discriminate and stigmatize these people as delinquents unjustifiedly.”last_img read more

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Aide to Iowa governor touts Apple deal gets job at company

Albrecht, 40, spoke by phone with Tooker on Feb. 20 about his prospective employment, according to an email exchange obtained under the open records law. Tooker sent him links to applicable laws and the board’s key prior opinion on the matter. She said she hasn’t heard from him since and that he didn’t request a formal opinion for his situation.The prior opinion she sent him addressed the employment of Jeff Boeyink, who resigned as chief of staff to Gov. Terry Branstad in 2013 and became one of Iowa’s most powerful lobbyists. Boeyink, who worked with Albrecht in Branstad’s office, was paid by Apple to lobby on its behalf during the legislative session that concluded Saturday, records show .Albrecht’s position at Apple might be legal but will look problematic to the public, said attorney Gary Dickey, former general counsel to Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack.”A person who uses his state employment to financially enrich a company—and then goes to work for that company—certainly violates the spirit of the rule,” he said.Apple chose Iowa to build two data centers on 2,000 acres of land that will serve users of Siri, iMessage and other products. Iowa was attractive because of its wind energy production and location typically free from earthquakes and blackouts. Waukee agreed to cut Apple’s property taxes by 71 percent over 20 years—a break worth $188 million. A state board approved $19.6 million in tax credits through its High Quality Jobs program. Apple has pledged to fund millions in public improvements in Waukee in coming decades, beginning with a youth sports complex.The incentives have been criticized for months by some members of both parties as overly generous, including a former Republican primary opponent of Reynolds. Democratic candidate for governor Fred Hubbell has run television ads that display the words, “Apple played Iowa for suckers.” A tax bill approved Saturday by the Republican-controlled Legislature requires the state to review all tax credit programs related to economic development.Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson said the Apple deal comes at the expense of all other taxpayers. “As to Albrecht’s good fortune, why am I not surprised?” he said. Explore further Tim Albrecht left as Reynolds’ deputy chief of staff to begin work at Apple in March as a regional manager of strategic initiatives. Albrecht’s position is “unrelated” to the $1.3 billion complex the company is building outside Des Moines, a deal the administration negotiated, announced and defended when Albrecht was Reynolds’ senior adviser, according to the governor’s office.Supporters of the Apple project have argued that it’s a landmark development for the fast-growing city of Waukee that will strengthen the state’s tech industry. Critics, including some economists and Democrats running for governor, have blasted the $208 million in tax breaks pledged by the city and state, saying they’re far too generous for a project that will only create 50 full-time jobs once construction is complete.Albrecht, a longtime GOP public relations professional, was involved in planning and reviewing information for an Aug. 24 press conference in which Reynolds and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the project to applause outside the Capitol, the governor’s office confirmed.”Welcome to Iowa, Apple!” Albrecht tweeted along with a photo from that event, among more than two dozen tweets he sent from his personal account over a one-month period promoting the deal.Many of those were retweets of news articles and state officials characterizing the deal as a “win-win for Iowa” and great investment.Reynolds’ press secretary Brenna Smith said Albrecht is working in Apple’s education department, which has contracts to sell products to K-12 schools, universities and other government agencies. She said the office didn’t publicize Albrecht’s departure because it hasn’t announced personnel changes since Reynolds took office last year.”Tim is one of the most respected communicators in Iowa, and the governor is grateful for his many years of service to the state,” Smith said.Albrecht, who made $121,000 annually in his state job, referred questions to Apple representatives, who declined to comment on Albrecht’s hiring, job duties and salary.Megan Tooker, director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, said Albrecht is not barred from working for Apple but must comply with laws designed to prevent ex-state officials from cashing in on their influence. For instance, for two years after leaving state employment, officials cannot lobby their former agencies or be paid by companies “in relation to any case, proceeding or application” with which they were involved in government. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Apple gets $208M in tax breaks to build Iowa data center A top aide to Gov. Kim Reynolds took a management job with tech giant Apple months after helping promote a $208 million incentive package for the company’s planned Iowa data center as a good deal for taxpayers. Citation: Aide to Iowa governor touts Apple deal, gets job at company (2018, May 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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UK takes aim at social networks that fail to quash hateful content

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain He noted that those available to European Union authorities implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules on data privacy reached “up to four percent of a company’s turnover”.”We think we should be looking at something comparable here,” Wright told BBC television.Minefield of problemsWright’s office is navigating a minefield of problems regulating an industry that largely functions outside the bounds of existing legislation—and whose harms are open to interpretation and remain undefined.A joint letter sent by media executives to the British government in February stressed that legislation must be “technically possible to implement in practise… (and) be targeted at specific harms”.The government paper lists both “harms with a clear legal definition” and “harms with a less clear legal definition”.The first include terrorist activity and a range of cyber-stalking and hate crimes.The second lists disinformation and “violent content” as a whole.What types of harm fall where would be established by a new regulator whose enforcement powers would be funded by the social media companies themselves.Libertarian ethosThe social media boom was born in the spirit of a libertarian Silicon Valley ethos of innovation and non-interference from government.But the industry is now facing a litany of dangers that range from the spread of state propaganda to promotion of teen suicide and livestreaming or murders and serious crimes.The techUK industry lobby group admitted Monday that platforms’ attempts at self-regulation have fallen short.But it also urged the government to avoid “creating discrepancies in law between the online and offline worlds”.Twitter UK public policy chief Katy Minshall said her platform would work with the government “to strike an appropriate balance between keeping users safe and preserving the open, free nature of the internet.”Britain’s Article 19 free speech group also warned that the proposed legislation “could violate individuals’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy”. © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Britain will make social media bosses personally liable for harmful content and shut down offending platforms under a “world-leading” government plan published Monday in response to the spread of online abuses and crimes. Explore further The long-delayed and eagerly anticipated proposals lay the groundwork for legislation that could be passed in the coming months.They were drawn up after consultations with social media moguls such as Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and have faced little resistance from other platforms that have also been blamed for inciting harmful behaviour online.But some of the proposals have sparked concerns from free speech groups.”What we’re proposing today is that companies that deal with user-generated content should take greater responsibility for keeping those users safe,” culture and media minister Jeremy Wright told BBC radio.”These are world-leading proposals.”Australia also fast-tracked legislation last week that threatened jailed time for social media executives who failed to enact the “expeditious removal” of footage of terrorism and other odious crimes.Punitive sanctionsAustralia’s laws came in direct response to last month’s live broadcast by Facebook and YouTube of the slaying of 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand.Britain’s initiative was born out of public anger over the 2017 suicide of a 14-year-old girl who followed social media accounts about depression and self-harm.The proposed UK regulations would see social media companies accept “duty of care” obligations that require them to identify and remove “online harms”.Those that fail would be first issued warnings and then hit progressively with more punitive sanctions.The government paper suggests that these include “the creation of new liability (civil fines or extended to criminal liability) for individual senior managers”.The most serious would see internet service providers block non-compliant websites and apps.”This would only be considered as an option of last resort and deploying such an option would be a decision for the independent regulator alone,” the plan says.The regulations would only apply in Britain and should have no immediate impact on users elsewhere in the world.But they may prompt other governments to take notice and follow suit.Wright suggested the fines would be substantial. Citation: UK takes aim at social networks that fail to quash ‘hateful’ content (2019, April 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from UK to hold social media bosses liable for harmful content: reportlast_img read more

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Does artificial intelligence deserve the same ethical protections we give to animals

first_img Careful how you treat today’s AI: It might take revenge in the future Citation: Does artificial intelligence deserve the same ethical protections we give to animals? (2019, May 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Viewers might conclude that humans need to afford robots with such sophisticated artificial intelligence—such as those in Westworld—the same ethical protections we afford each other. But Westworld is a fictional TV show. And robots with the cognitive sophistication of humans don’t exist.Yet advances in artificial intelligence by universities and technology companies mean that we’re closer than ever to creating machines that are “approximately as cognitively sophisticated as mice or dogs,” says John Basl, who is an assistant professor of philosophy at Northeastern University. He argues these machines deserve the same ethical protections we give to animals involved in research.”The nightmare scenario is that we create a machine mind, and without knowing, do something to it that’s painful,” Basl says. “We create a conscious being and then cause it to suffer.”Animal care and use committees carefully scrutinize scientific research to ensure that animals are not made to suffer unduly, and the standards are even higher for research that involves human stem cells, Basl says.As scientists and engineers get closer to creating artificially intelligent machines that are conscious, the scientific community needs to build a similar framework by which to protect these intelligent machines from suffering and pain, too, Basl says.”Usually we wait until we have an ethical catastrophe, and then create rules afterward to prevent it from happening again,” Basl says. “We’re saying we need to start thinking about this now, before we have a catastrophe.”Basl and his colleague at the University of California, Riverside, propose the creation of oversight committees—composed of cognitive scientists, artificial intelligence designers, philosophers, and ethicists—to carefully evaluate research involving artificial intelligence. And they say it’s likely that such committees will judge all current artificial intelligence research permissible.But a philosophical question lies at the heart of all this: How will we know when we’ve created a machine capable of experiencing joy and suffering, especially if that machine can’t communicate those feelings to us?There’s no easy answer to this question, Basl says, in part because scientists don’t agree on what consciousness actually is.Some people have a “liberal” view of consciousness, Basl says. They believe all that’s required for consciousness to exist is “well-organized information processing,” and a means by which to pay attention and plan for the long-term. People who have more “conservative” views, he says, require robots to have specific biological features such as a brain similar to that of a mammal.At this point, Basl says, it’s not clear which view might prove to be correct, or whether there’s another way to define consciousness that we haven’t considered yet. But, if we use the more liberal definition of consciousness, scientists might soon be able to create intelligent machines that can feel pain and suffering, and that deserve ethical protections, Basl says.”We could be very far away from creating a conscious AI, or we could be could be close,” Basl says. “We should be prepared in case we’re close.”center_img In the HBO show Westworld, robots designed to display emotion, feel pain, and die like humans populate a sprawling western-style theme park for wealthy guests who pay to act out their fantasies. As the show progresses, and the robots learn more about the world in which they live, they begin to realize that they are the playthings of the person who programmed them. Provided by Northeastern University Explore furtherlast_img read more

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12000 Years Ago a Boy Had His Skull Squashed into a Cone

first_img An excavation at the site during 2010. Credit: Lixin Wang The M72 skull is between 6,300 and 5,500 years old. Credit: Qian Wang 25 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries Originally published on Live Science. Archaeologists have found reshaped human skulls all around the world, from every inhabited continent. But this particular finding, if confirmed, “will [be] the earliest evidence of the intentional head modification, which lasted for 7,000 years at the same site after its first emergence,” Wang told Live Science. The 11 ICM individuals died between ages 3 and 40, indicating that skull shaping began at a young age, when human skulls are still malleable, Wang said. It’s unclear why this particular culture practiced skull modification, but it’s possible that fertility, social status and beauty could be factors, Wang said. The people with ICM buried at Houtaomuga were likely from a privileged class, as these individuals tended to have grave goods and funeral decorations. “Apparently, these youth were treated with a decent funeral, which might suggest a high socioeconomic class,” Wang said. Ancient people in China practiced human head-shaping about 12,000 years ago — meaning they bound some children’s maturing skulls, encouraging the heads to grow into elongated ovals — making them the oldest group on record to purposefully squash their skulls, a new study finds. While excavating a Neolithic site (the last period of the Stone Age) at Houtaomuga, Jilin province, in northeast China, the archaeologists found 11 elongated skulls — belonging to both males and females and ranging from toddlers to adults — that showed signs of deliberate skull reshaping, also known as intentional cranial modification (ICM). “This is the earliest discovery of signs of intentional head modification in Eurasia continent, perhaps in the world,” said study co-researcher Qian Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. “If this practice began in East Asia, it likely spread westward to the Middle East, Russia and Europe through the steppes as well as eastward across the Bering land bridge to the Americas.” [In Images: An Ancient Long-headed Woman Reconstructed]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  The Houtaomuga site is a treasure trove, holding burials and artifacts from 12,000 to 5,000 years ago. During an excavation there between 2011 and 2015, archaeologists found the remains of 25 individuals, 19 of which were preserved enough to be studied for ICM. After putting these skulls in a CT scanner, which produced 3D digital images of each specimen, the researchers confirmed that 11 had indisputable signs of skull shaping, such as flattening and elongation of the frontal bone, or forehead. The oldest ICM skull belonged to an adult male, who lived between 12,027 and 11,747 years ago, according to radiocarbon dating. Even though the Houtaomuga man is the oldest known case of ICM in history, it’s a mystery whether other known instances of ICM spread from this group, or whether they rose independently of one another, Wang said. “It is still too early to claim intentional cranial modification first emerged in East Asia and spread elsewhere; it may have originated independently in different places,” Wang said. More ancient DNA research and skull examinations throughout the world may shed light on this practice’s spread, he said. The study was published online June 25 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earthlast_img read more

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Mumbai bus strike enters 6th dayMumbai bus strike enters 6th day

first_imgBandh Day 2: Violent protests, rail blockades witnessed in many states SHARE The BEST bus strike in Mumbai entered its sixth day on Sunday with no agreement in sight between agitating workers and the management of the civic-run transport undertaking.Over 32,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) are on strike since Tuesday and 3200-odd buses in its fleet are off the roads.  Only four drivers out of the 2,610 on the rolls, and none of the 2,764 conductors, were present on Sunday which meant that not a single bus plied, an official said.A meeting between a State government committee, comprising the Chief Secretary, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner, BEST general manager and transport and urban development secretaries, and union functionaries Saturday had failed to break the impasse. The meeting was held on the directions of the Bombay High Court.Striking workers have been demanding the merger of the BMC and BEST budgets as well as higher salaries among other issues.  Meanwhile, Vidyadhar Date, convener of Amchi Mumbai Amchi BEST, a citizens’ forum for public transport, blamed the BMC and the undertaking for the stir.He alleged that BMC and BEST had failed to invest in the city’s public transport mechanism and had been encouraging an energy-guzzling car-centric system for the metropolis.  He said these moves had led to debilitating traffic congestion, worsening air pollution and life-risking overcrowding on the suburban rail network.The BMC has been focused on the coastal road instead of bus priority lanes, private contractors instead of commuters, BESTs so-called “inefficiencies” instead of the city’s worsening pollution and congestion, and convenience of private motorists instead of safe, affordable and sustainable public transport, he claimed.He alleged the BEST management looked at its bus service as an essential one under the Essential Services Maintenance Act only when it came to strikes, but on other occasions, like when it wanted to reduce fleet size, manpower, routes and increase privatisation, it saw the system as a “non essential” one.   COMMENT Trade unions’ strike hits bus, train services in Kerala SHARE SHARE EMAIL RELATED Published on January 13, 2019 strike COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Quick take Contract win sends Bintai Kinden shares up 4

first_imgThe mechanical and electrical engineering works company, gained 4%, or 0.5 sen to 13 sen with over 8.3 million shares done. Bintai-WA jumps 20% to three sen with 1.68 million shares traded.  Tags / Keywords: Bintai Kinden’s unit has secured an underground cable contract worth RM2.08mil from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).  Property 12 Jul 2019 Malakoff to acquire Khazanah’s stake in Desaru Investments The contract is estimated to be completed within 180 days from the commencement date, and is non-renewable.  Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Corporate News 04 Jun 2019 Bintai Kinden wins DTFZ job Analyst Reports 04 Jun 2019 Trading ideas: Can-One, Sunway Group, Datasonic, Bintai Kinden Stock on the Move , Bintai Kinden , TNB Related News KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd advanced 4% in early trade Friday on the heels of its new RM2.08mil contract from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).  The group said its wholly-owned subsidiary Kejuruteraan Bintai Kindenko Sdn Bhd received the letter of award from TNB, appointing it to be the contractor to undertake the proposed 132 kV single circuit underground cable from PMU (Transmission Main Intake) Galloway to PMU KLCC2. last_img read more

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Egypt opens Sneferus Bent Pyramid in Dahshur to public

first_imgDAHSHUR, Egypt (Reuters) – Egypt opened to visitors on Saturday the “Bent” Pyramid built for pharaoh Sneferu, a 101-metre structure just south of Cairo that marks a key step in the evolution of pyramid construction. Tourists will now be able to clamber down a 79-metre (86 yards) narrow tunnel from a raised entrance on the pyramid’s northern face, to reach two chambers deep inside the 4,600-year-old structure.They will also be able to enter an adjoining 18-metre high “side pyramid”, possibly for Sneferu’s wife Hetepheres, opened for the first time since its excavation in 1956. The “Bent” Pyramid is one of two built for Fourth Dynasty founding pharaoh Sneferu in Dahshur, at the southern end of the Memphis necropolis that starts at Giza. Related News World 17 Jun 2019 Cairo’s ‘mother of Egyptian museums’ set for revamp World 19 May 2019 Blast injures South African tourists near Egypt’s Giza pyramids Related Newscenter_img World 11 Jul 2019 Egypt opens new international airport for trial period Its appearance is unusual. The first 49 metres, which have largely kept their smooth limestone casing, are built at a steep 54 degree angle, before tapering off in the top section.The angular shape contrasts with the straight sides of Sneferu’s Red Pyramid just to the north, the first of ancient Egypt’s fully formed pyramids and the next step towards the Great Pyramid of Giza.Architects changed the angle when cracks started appearing in the structure, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.”Sneferu lived a very long time…the architects wanted to reach the complete shape, the pyramid shape,” Mohamed Shiha, director of the Dahshur site, said.”Exactly where he was buried — we are not sure of that. Maybe in this (Bent) pyramid, who knows?” Authorities are seeking to promote tourism at Dahshur, about 28km (17 miles) south of central Cairo. The site lies in the open desert, attracts just a trickle of visitors, and is free of the touts and bustle of Giza.As they opened the pyramids, archaeologists presented late-period mummies, masks, tools and coffins discovered during excavations that began near the Dahshur pyramids last year and are due to continue.”When we were taking those objects out, we found…a very rich area of hidden tombs,” Waziri said.The promotion of Dahshur is part of a wider push to boost tourism, an important source of foreign revenue for Egypt that dipped steeply after the country’s 2011 uprising before gradually recovering.Archaeologists also unveiled the nearby tomb of Sa Eset, a supervisor of pyramids in the Middle Kingdom, which has been closed since its excavation in 1894 and contains finely preserved hieroglyphic funerary texts.Foreign ambassadors invited to attend the archaeological announcements were led sweating into the tight spaces of the tomb, which is not expected to be opened to the public for another two years. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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Banks telco drag KLCI lower

first_img Related News On the regional scene, investors awaited the release of Chinese trade data for June, which would shed light on the the state of the economy.Chinese markets showed optimism with the Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.5% and the CSI300 Index jumping 0.7%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.5% while Japan’s Nikkei was index rose 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi Index added 0.2%.Meanwhile, oil prices extended their advance as US oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico halved their supply in the face of a tropical strom.US crude rose 33 cents to US$60.53 a barrel and Brent crude gained 39 cents to US$66.91 a barrel.In currencies, the ringgit was up 0.1$ agains the US dollar at 4.1110 and the Singapore dollar at 3.0279. It fell 0.1% against the pound sterling at 5.1560. Markets Markets 08 Jul 2019 KLCI sheds weight amid Asian equities plunge Markets 11 Jul 2019 KLCI extends consolidation on technical weakness, oil prices jump Tags / Keywords:center_img Related News Markets 10 Jul 2019 KLCI retraces previous session’s gains ahead of Powell speech KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI saw a steady decline from the opening bell to end the morning session 6.01 points lower at 1,673.25.Leading the fall was CIMB losing 12 sen to RM5.22, on concerns over a potential share overhang from a proposed issuance of exhcangeable bonds by Khazanah Nasional. Also dragging the index lower was Maxis dropping nine sen to RM5.66 and Hong Leong Bank shedding 32 sen to RM18.66.On the wider stock exchange, stocks seeing heavy trading interest were KNM losing one sen to 34 sen, Cuscapi gaining three sen to 21.5 sen and Sapura Energy up one sen to 30.5 sen.  {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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Car bomb and allnight hotel siege kill 26 in Somalias Kismayo

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, said on Saturday the militants had killed 30 people and four al Shabaab fighters had also been killed. The jihadist group and government officials tend to give differing casualty figures for attacks.Regional president Madobe said three Kenyans, one Briton, two Americans and three Tanzanians were among those killed.”Among the dead was also a Jubbaland presidential candidate named Shuuriye. Four militants attacked the hotel. One of them was the suicide car bomber, two were shot dead and one was captured alive by Jubbaland security forces,” he said.He said 56 people were wounded in the attack, including two Chinese citizens.Police had said earlier all the attackers had been killed.The UK Foreign Office said in a statement it was in touch with local authorities seeking more information. U.S. authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Kismayo resident Osman Nur told Reuters the explosion had destroyed huge parts of the hotel and nearby businesses and security forces were deployed all over the city. TV footage showed walls peppered with bullet holes and furniture strewn across the hotel courtyard.Another anguished resident said she lost relatives in the attack.”I have been looking for the whereabouts of my nephew who worked at the hotel. I got his dead body this morning and have just buried him,” Halima Nur, a mother of four, told Reuters by phone. “And this afternoon I will attend the burial of other relatives.” NAMING THE DEADThe Somalia office of the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration said one of its local staff members, Abdifatah Mohamed, was among those killed. SADO Somalia, a local non-governmental organisation, said its executive director Abdullahi Isse Abdulle had died in the attack.Two journalists were among the dead; Somali-Canadian Hodan Naleyah, the founder of Integration TV, and Mohamed Sahal Omar, a reporter for SBC TV in Kismayo.Jubbaland president Madobe said Jama Fariid, Naleyah’s husband, had also been killed.”Through her work as a journalist, Hodan highlighted the community’s positive stories and contributions in Canada. She became a voice for many. We mourn her loss deeply, and all others killed in the #KismayoAttack,” Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s immigration minister, said on Twitter.Also among those killed was Mahad Nur, a Tanzanian hotelier, property developer and supermarket owner.”Saddened by the death of Mahad Nur following a bomb blast in Kismayu yesterday… My thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Tanzanian deputy health minister Faustine Ndugulile said on Twitter. Jubbaland’s minister of planning, Just Aw Hersi, confirmed the deaths of several prominent Somalis on Twitter. He said some of the foreigners held dual Somali citizenship.Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and has since lost most of its other strongholds.It was driven out of Kismayo in 2012 by Kenyan forces supporting a regional militia headed by Madobe. The city’s port had been a major source of revenue for the group from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other illegal imports.Kismayo is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still partly controlled by al Shabaab.The group remains a major security threat, with fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force that helps defend the Somali government.Somalia is scheduled to have parliamentary elections this month and presidential elections next month. But relations between the central government and its federal states have sometimes been rocky amid arguments over power and resources. (Additional reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar in Mogadishu, George Obulutsa in Nairobi and Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala in Dar es Salaam; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Ros Russell) MOGADISHU/GAROWE, Somalia (Reuters) – Islamist gunmen killed 26 people, including Kenyans, Americans, a Briton and Tanzanians, when they stormed a hotel in Somalia’s southern port city of Kismayo, a regional state president said on Saturday, the deadliest day in the city since insurgents were driven out in 2012.A car bomb exploded at the hotel where local elders and lawmakers were having a meeting on Friday night, and then three gunmen stormed in, police said. It took 11 hours before security forces ended the all-night siege, police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters.The dead included a presidential candidate for August’s regional elections, Jubbaland state president Ahmed Mohamed Madobe said in a statement. At least two journalists and a U.N. agency staff member were also reported to have been killed.Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government, immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. World 10 May 2019 U.S. air strike kills 13 Islamic State fighters in Somalia – U.S. military World 29 Apr 2019 Air strike kills four people in Somalia -relativescenter_img Related News World 23 Jun 2019 Three al Shabaab fighters killed in Kenya after attack on police Related Newslast_img read more

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3 Congress rebels one BJP MLA sworn in as Goa Ministers

first_img Next Asian News International Panaji (Goa)July 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 16:18 IST Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs in Goa, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar (in pic), switched to the BJP on Wednesday. (Photo: ANI)Four legislators, including three Congress defectors, on Saturday took oath as ministers in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led BJP government here.The three Congress legislators who were made ministers are Chandrakant Kavelkar, Jennifer Monserrate, and Filipe Nery Rodrigues.This comes soon after four ministers — Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte, Vinod Paliencar, and Jayesh Salongakar were sacked from the ministry to accommodate the Congress MLAs who defected to the BJP.BJP MLA Michael Lobo, who resigned from the post of Deputy Speaker, also joined the government as a minister.Earlier, Sawant had sought the resignation of four of his ministers — three of Goa Forward Party and an independent, but they refused.Speaker Rajesh Patnekar has said that the Assembly will function as the per schedule.”Though new ministers have been inducted, the Assembly will go on as per the schedule. The new ministers will have to study their portfolios while answering questions on the floor of the House.””As far as I am concerned, there is no rescheduling of the Assembly and the Congress party will have to give the name of Leader of Opposition by Monday,” Patnekar told ANI.On the night of July 10, Chief Minister Sawant had gone to Delhi along with 10 MLAs to meet senior BJP leaders including working president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the development.Following this, the rebel MLAs joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.With 10 MLAs changing the sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House has been reduced to five.The MLAs who defected include Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa.ALSO READ | Hours before Goa Cabinet reshuffle, CM Pramod Sawant drops four ministersALSO WATCH | JP Nadda welcomes 10 rebel Goa Congress MLAs into BJPFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Tags :Follow Goa 3 Congress rebels, one BJP MLA sworn in as Goa MinistersThe three Congress legislators who were made ministers are Chandrakant Kavelkar, Jennifer Monserrate, and Filipe Nery Rodrigues.advertisementlast_img read more

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Rahul Gandhi is like captain who jumps out when ship is sinking

first_imgRahul Gandhi is like captain who jumps out when ship is sinking: Shivraj Singh ChouhanShivraj Singh Chouhan said that Rahul Gandhi resigning as Congress president was akin to captain of the ship jumping out when it is sinkingadvertisement Next Press Trust of India NagpurJuly 11, 2019UPDATED: July 11, 2019 19:35 IST Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressing a press conferenceHIGHLIGHTSShivraj Singh Chouhan said that Rahul Gandhi resigning as Congress president was akin to captain of the ship jumping out when it is sinkingThe BJP did not waste time in rejoicing after the Lok Sabha victory but started working on expanding the organisation with a membership driveThere is no one in Congress who will do crisis managementSenior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Thursday that Rahul Gandhi resigning as Congress president was akin to captain of the ship jumping out when it is sinking.The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister was addressing a press conference.”The Congress president has tendered his resignation”.I had heard that when a ship sinks, its captain tries to save it till the end. But here the captain himself has jumped out,” Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.”Mahatma Gandhi had said immediately after independence that the Congress’ objective was to gain freedom and now it should be dissolved.”I think after Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also said so. Now, the fake Gandhi will certainly fulfil the dream of the real Gandhi and will finish off Congress,” he said.The Bharatiya Janata Party did not waste time in rejoicing after the Lok Sabha victory but started working on expanding the organisation with a membership drive, he said.”This is not for electoral gains. The Bharatiya Janata Party is not an election-oriented party. The Bharatiya Janata Party is a campaign for national rejuvenation. While we are working on the expansion of the organisation, parties like Congress are on a ventilator,” Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.”When one should dig in and work hard, the president of that party (Congress) is missing from action,” he added.Asked if his party will have the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh dissolved, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the Bharatiya Janata Party was not toppling governments anywhere.”There is no one in Congress who will do crisis management. Who would Congress MLAs go to as there is no one to listen to them? If it falls under its own weight, what can we do?” the Bharatiya Janata Party vice president said.Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is in charge of the saffron party’s membership drive, said it planned to recruit 200 new members in the area covered by each polling booth in Maharashtra.ALSO READ | Karnataka crisis LIVE updates: Rebel MLAs run to Speaker’s office soon after reaching assemblyALSO READ | Senior Congress leader, several party activists join BJP in J&KALSO WATCH | JP Nadda welcomes 10 rebel Goa Congress MLAs into BJPFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow congressFollow Rahul GandhiFollow Shivraj Sing ChouhanFollow Bharatiya Janata PartyFollow MaharashtraFollow saffron party membership drivelast_img read more

Read more on Rahul Gandhi is like captain who jumps out when ship is sinking

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