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Researchers confirm the weight loss benefits of the 168 diet

first_imgWhen it comes to weight loss, people need to find what works for them because even small amounts of success can lead to improvements in metabolic health.”Krista Varady, Study Author Source:https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uoia-dfw061818.php By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jun 20 2018Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown that fasting for 16 hours of the day is an effective weight loss measure and can also lower blood pressure.Image Credit: SewCream / ShutterstockThis is the first time researchers have studied the effect of time-restricted eating – where eating is limited to certain times of day – on weight loss among obese people.Related StoriesLow-carb diet may reverse metabolic syndrome independent of weight lossDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesHigh-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may improve brain function and memory in older adultsAs reported in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging, the researchers studied 23 obese individuals (aged an average of 45 years) who had an average body mass index of 35.Between 10am and 6pm (8 hours), participants could eat any type and quantity of food they liked, but for the other 16 hours they only drank water or calorie-free drinks. They undertook the diet for 12 weeks and were continuously monitored.The team compared the findings with a matched control group from a previous weight loss trial that investigated a different type of fasting.The researchers found that people who followed the 16:8 diet consumed fewer calories, lost weight and had improved blood pressure, compared to the controls. All other measures, including fat mass, insulin resistance and cholesterol, were similar to the control group.Study author Krista Varady says the take-home message from this study is that there are weight loss programs that do not involve calorie counting or the elimination of certain foods.She adds that although the research indicates that daily fasting works for weight loss, no studies have yet established whether it is more effective than other diets, although the team did find that the weight loss was slightly less than the weight loss seen in other studies of fasting diets.Varady says these preliminary results show that time-restricted feeding is promising as a weight loss tool in obese adults, but that longer-term, large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed.last_img read more

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Airborne Iron May Have Helped Cause Past Ice Ages

Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Now, Martínez-García and his colleagues have developed a new way to probe past seafloor sediments. In core samples of bottom mud, they looked at the organic material bound to the carbonate skeletons of one particular species of the free-floating microorganisms called foraminifera. (That particular species is relatively large and easy to identify, so its remains are simple to separate from those of other “forams.”) The researchers were particularly interested in nitrogen, which the microorganisms would have consumed as nitrate dissolved in seawater. The heavier the overall ratio of nitrogen isotopes in a sample, the more the surface waters above that site would have been thriving with life, the new technique suggests. Carbon dating provided an age for each sediment sample.Applying the new method, the researchers looked at a more-than-5-meter-long sediment core, representing about 160,000 years of accumulation, drilled from the deep sea floor off the southwestern coast of South Africa. Prevailing winds would have carried dust there from the eastern coast of South America when sea levels were low during ice ages, and from Patagonian deserts during interglacial periods, Martínez-García says. So, he notes, sediment accumulation at this site should provide a good test of the iron fertilization hypothesis.Results show strong links among the amount of dust deposited in the region, biological productivity at the sea surface, and the amount of dissolved nitrate consumed by the forams, the researchers report online today in Science. Those relationships were true during the peaks of the last two ice ages, as well as during centuries-long spates of colder-than-normal climate at other times in the past 160,000 years, Martínez-García says.The biochemical fingerprint that the team has identified explains only about half of the carbon dioxide variation that occurred between past glacial and interglacial periods, says Andrew Watson, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. So, although iron fertilization may be a major factor influencing Earth’s climate, it doesn’t fully explain the coming and going of ice ages. Nevertheless, he notes, “this is the nicest data that I’ve seen yet.”And although past field studies have shown that artificially seeding the seas with iron has boosted biological productivity in the ocean, debate still rages about whether the carbon pulled from the atmosphere ends up locked away in seafloor sediments for the long term—a goal for efforts intended to geoengineer the climate by removing atmospheric CO2. Indeed, some research suggests that creatures higher in the ocean’s food web, taking advantage of the increased food supply, respond with a population boom of their own and quickly return the carbon dioxide to the ecosystem in the normal course of breathing. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 It seems straightforward: Iron-rich dust floating on the wind falls into the sea, where it nourishes organisms that suck carbon dioxide from the air. Over time, so much of this greenhouse gas disappears from the atmosphere that the planet begins to cool. Scientists have proposed that such a process contributed to past ice ages, but they haven’t had strong evidence—until now.“This is a really good paper, a big step forward in the field,” says Edward Boyle, a marine geochemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. The research doesn’t directly measure the amount of dissolved iron in the waters due to dust in previous eras, Boyle says, but “they provide a much better case for what [nitrogen levels] have done in the past”—information that can reveal the ebb and flow of ancient life.The notion that iron-rich dust could boost the growth of microorganisms that pull carbon dioxide from the air took hold in the late 1980s. During ice ages, when sea levels are low and broad areas of now-submerged coastal shallows are exposed, sediments rich in iron and other nutrients would dry out, the thinking went. Then, strong winds would loft that fine-grained, dehydrated dust and carry it far offshore, where it would nourish carbon dioxide–sucking phytoplankton at the base of the ocean’s food chain. Previous analyses of sediments that accumulated on sea floors during past millennia suggest that increases in iron-rich dust falling into surface waters boost biological productivity there, but those studies provide only a correlation in timing, says Alfredo Martínez-García, a paleoclimatologist at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Email read more

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Watch Bones From a Watery Black Hole Confirm First American Origins

Most researchers agree that the earliest Americans came over from Asia via the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska, beginning at least 15,000 years ago. But many have long puzzled over findings that some of the earliest known skeletons—with long skulls and prominent foreheads—do not resemble today’s Native Americans, who tend to have rounder skulls and flatter faces. Some have even suggested that at least two migrations into the Americas were involved, one earlier and one later. But the discovery of a nearly 13,000-year-old teenage girl in an underwater cave (narrated video above) in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula argues against that hypothesis. The find is reported in this week’s issue of Science, and a News article discusses its implications. The girl had the skull features of older skeletons, but the genetic profile of some of today’s Native Americans—suggesting that the anatomical differences were the result of evolutionary changes after the first Americans left Asia, rather than evidence of separate ancestry. read more

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German Science Leaders to Politicians Break Funding Impasse Now

Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe One problem is that the German constitution forbids the federal government from providing long-term funding to universities; that responsibility lies with the 16 states. In their appeal today, the three science managers called for a constitutional change to make long-term federal funding possible. Wilhelm Krull, secretary-general of the Volkswagen Foundation, a large private research funder in Germany, says that big investments are needed to update the infrastructure in German universities. “Many buildings are literally crumbling,” he says, and more money will be needed for educating the rising number of students and for digitalization. “If the states have to pay for all that, some of it just won’t happen,” Krull says.Wanka agrees. In a recent interview, she told ScienceInsider that “changing the constitution is one of my major goals for this legislative period,” but acknowledged it would be difficult to achieve because state politicians resent federal encroachment on their turf.There is also disagreement about how the €6 billion for education and research that the coalition has promised to the states will be used. While the states want the money without any strings attached, federal politicians prefer to earmark some of it for universities. Indeed, a “substantial part” of the money should go to universities, which have fallen behind in basic research, the authors of today’s appeal say. They also want the programs started under Schavan, including the Excellence Initiative, to be continued in some form.The appeal is important because it will increase the pressure on politicians to end the deadlock, Krull says. “All this political maneuvering is leading to a lot of uncertainty in the research community,” he says. Krull is worried that some of the most talented scientists may strike out for other countries where the funding situation is clearer. “There is not as much time as some politicians seem to think.”*Clarification, 20 May, 8:58 a.m.: Angela Merkel is best referred to as a physicist, not a chemist, as previously reported. She has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, but studied physics. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country BERLIN—A political impasse may cause “irreparable harm to the German research system,” if it isn’t solved soon, the heads of three German science organizations warned today. Politicians need to start making some important decisions in the weeks ahead, according to the rare joint statement by Peter Strohschneider of the German Research Foundation, Horst Hippler of the German Rectors’ Conference, and Wolfgang Marquardt of the German Council of Science and Humanities. “Otherwise the research system and the education of more than 2.5 million students in Germany will suffer further and greater harm … that cannot be undone,” the trio wrote in their letter (in German), released at a press conference here.German science has enjoyed a remarkable windfall the past decade. Since Angela Merkel, a physicist, took office as chancellor in 2005, investment in science has increased continuously. In 2012, public and private spending combined, at €79.5 billion, reached 3% of the gross domestic product for the first time. The Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation has provided substantial budget hikes for nonuniversity organizations like the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz Association, and the €4.6 billion Excellence Initiative has introduced a new element of competition into German universities by making them vie for the title “elite university.”But most of these programs are set to run out in the coming years, and German scientists are anxious about the future. Federal research minister Annette Schavan stepped down in February last year after losing her Ph.D. in a plagiarism scandal; her successor, mathematician Johanna Wanka, has given little indication so far of what her plans are. read more

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ITER fusion project to take at least 6 years longer than planned

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The multibillion-dollar ITER fusion project will take another 6 years to build beyond the—now widely discredited—official schedule, a meeting of the governing council was told this week. ITER management has also asked the seven international partners backing the project for additional funding to finish the job.It remains unclear whether the project will get what it wants: Delegations from the partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States—concluded the council meeting today by announcing the council would conduct its own review of the schedule and funding to look for ways to tighten them up. In the meantime, the council approved the proposed schedule for 2016 and 2017, set out milestones for the project to reach in that time, and agreed to make available extra resources to help achieve it. After consulting their governments, the delegations committed themselves to agreeing on a final schedule at the next council meeting, in June 2016.“It was a very important meeting for us and it went well,” says ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot. “Every member expressed their concerns and in the end they reached an agreement.” Jianlin Cao, vice minister at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, stressed the challenges the meeting faced. The council delegates “have been so careful about this work. But ITER is a new thing, and success does not come easily,” Cao told Science. Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The ITER project aims to show that nuclear fusion—the power source of the sun and stars—is technically feasible as a source of energy. Despite more than 60 years of work, researchers have failed to achieve a fusion reaction that produces more energy than it consumes. ITER, with a doughnut-shaped “tokamak” reaction chamber able to contain 840 cubic meters of superheated hydrogen gas, or plasma, is the biggest attempt so far and is predicted to produce at least 500 megawatts of power from a 50 megawatt input. The project was officially begun in 2006 with an estimated cost of €5 billion and date for the beginning of operations—or first plasma—in 2016. Those figures quickly changed to €15 billion and 2019, but confidence in those numbers has eroded over the years.When Bigot took over as Director-General earlier this year, he ordered a bottom-up review of the whole project, which currently has numerous buildings springing up at the Cadarache site in southern France and components arriving from contractors in the partner states around the globe. That review produced a new description of the entire project, known as the “baseline,” including a revamped schedule and cost estimate. The baseline was presented to the council for approval this week. Although the official communique does not mention the proposed date for first plasma, it is widely acknowledged to be 2025.“The council acknowledged this resource-loaded schedule but they need more time to fully endorse this or another schedule and to reconcile it with the resources they have,” Bigot says. Delegates confirmed such plans. “We must take the schedule home and discuss it with the finance ministry,” says Anatoly Krasilnikov, head of Russia’s ITER domestic agency, the body responsible for awarding industrial contracts.“In the meantime, they have agreed to give us extra resources to meet the milestones in 2016–17. It keeps the momentum,” Bigot says. To make that possible, the council will move around some money already allocated for 2016 and possibly provide new money for 2017. The project will hire 150 new staff to top up the 640 currently employed by the ITER organization. In return, the council wants ITER to meet 17 major milestones from the new schedule in 2016 and another eight in 2017. “If we meet the milestones, it will consolidate the trust,” Bigot says.The true cost of ITER is almost impossible to define. When the project agreement was drawn up in 2006, all the necessary components were divided up among the partners according to their contributions: 45% for the European Union (as host), and 9% for each of the others. How much each partner pays to have those components manufactured is the partner’s individual concern and is not revealed. In addition to the components, which are shipped to Cadarache as in-kind contributions, each partner must make a cash contribution to the central ITER organization to cover its costs.The ITER organization’s role is to draw up the design, ensure everyone sticks to it, and then to supervise assembly of the reactor while also satisfying the local French regulators, especially the nuclear safety authority ASN. That has not been an easy job, as the organization does not deal directly with the industrial companies doing the manufacturing; that is handled by each partner’s domestic agency. Last year, a highly critical management assessment faulted the organization for failing to establish a workable “project culture.” Bigot has gone to great lengths to get contractors, domestic agencies, and ITER staff working better together. “I want that the ITER organization and the domestic agencies are never the limiting step for contractors to deliver,” he says. Previously, work on the tokamak building had been held up because ITER staff hadn’t agreed on a final version of its design.The problem that the next council meeting will have to resolve is that some member states are further ahead than others in their assigned tasks for the assembly of ITER. Those that are ahead, and are closer to meeting the old schedule, don’t see why they have to fund a slower—and hence more expensive—schedule imposed on them by other partners.*Correction, 19 November, 10:45 a.m.: Because of an editor’s error, the original article misstated ITER’s current start date.*Update, 19 November, 12:48 p.m.: This story has been expanded to include material from additional interviews and more detail about ITER and the baseline.last_img read more

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Podcast Electric roses fertilityboosting worms and more

first_imgIs a new genetic approach to combatting malaria too controversial for its own good? Can intestinal worms boost human fertility? And how have scientists turned a rose into a circuit? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi. Plus, Joshua Blumenstock discusses patterns of mobile phone use as a source of “big data” about wealth and poverty in developing countries.last_img

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UK scientists prepare for impending break with European Union

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Partnerships at risk After Brexit, U.K. researchers will likely not have access to EU funds that have promoted collaborations. EUROfusion Email CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—For months after the United Kingdom voted last June to leave the European Union, many British scientists clung to hopes of a “soft Brexit,” which would not cut them off from EU funding and collaborators. But Prime Minister Theresa May, who is expected to trigger the 2-year process of exiting the European Union in coming days, has signaled the break will be sharp. U.K. researchers are now facing up to the prospect that they won’t be able to apply for EU funding or easily recruit students and colleagues from the rest of Europe. “People are bracing themselves for a bumpier and more abrupt landing,” says James Wilsdon, a science policy expert at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.To lessen the blow to research, scientists and bureaucrats are already brainstorming about new funding structures and international collaborations that could make up for the lost EU money and brainpower. They are also taking some comfort in a major boost to government R&D funding, detailed last week, aimed at building up research areas that could bolster domestic industries. Yet much uncertainty hangs on what are expected to be rancorous negotiations with the European Union, covering issues such as the right of foreign citizens to remain in the United Kingdom and a possible exit bill from Brussels. “We live in a kind of limbo,” says Giorgio Gilestro, an Italian neuroscientist at Imperial College London (ICL).  U.K. scientists prepare for impending break with European Union By Erik StokstadMar. 13, 2017 , 5:30 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img The stakes are high for the United Kingdom, which is a scientific powerhouse and a magnet for talent. Between 2007 and 2013, U.K. researchers brought home more than €7 billion in EU research funding, second only to Germany. Cash from Brussels made up nearly 10% of research funding at U.K. universities in 2013, an increase of 68% since 2009. The United Kingdom’s prominence as an international hub was made clear this week when a new analysis of mobility of high-skill professionals, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, found that the country was four times more highly networked than the average for Europe. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) CREDITS: (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) Scopus May has said repeatedly that maintaining the United Kingdom’s scientific prowess is a priority, but a more immediate worry to the government is industrial competitiveness, as a “hard” Brexit is likely to mean a departure from the EU common market. To kick-start or boost industries, particularly in biomedicine and technology, the government launched a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in November 2016. It will spend an extra £4.7 billion on applied research, to be delivered in rising sums over the next 4 years, which amounts to a 23% increase in government R&D spending—the biggest since 1979. “I was flabbergasted,” recalls Kieron Flanagan, a science policy expert at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.Last week, the first details on spending were revealed. This year’s tranche consists of £270 million for research on robotics, electric vehicle batteries, and drug manufacturing technology. Another £300 million will be spent on fellowships for early- and midcareer scientists, grants to attract foreign scientists, and support for an additional 1000 Ph.D. students in fields relevant to the industrial strategy.In 2020—the year after Brexit presumably will occur—the challenge fund will disburse £2 billion, exceeding the £1.6 billion a year the United Kingdom currently gets from Brussels for R&D. But some scientists fear that blue sky research will get left out. “It would be crazy to simultaneously boost applied research and allow fundamental research to wither on the vine,” says Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society in London. The future of the Joint European Torus, the world-leading fusion facility near Oxford, U.K., remains uncertain beyond its current contract which ends in 2018. One bright spot: The research community will have an influential advocate in 2018 after a reorganization of the six research funding councils into UK Research and Innovation. Its director-to-be, Mark Walport, was most recently the chief government science adviser, and will oversee £6.8 billion a year in science and innovation spending. “There is great potential for science to have a greater profile in government and [in] negotiations” with the European Union about the terms of Brexit, says Sarah Main, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, a lobbying group in London.Some urge recreating the most cherished aspects of EU funding within the United Kingdom. Grants from the European Research Council (ERC), in particular, are prized for their size and long duration, and because the work does not need to show societal relevance. The United Kingdom has received about £200 million a year in ERC funding—more than any other country. Another hope is to make up for the expected loss of talent from the European Union by easing entry for scientists from the United States, China, and elsewhere. “We’re going to have to recruit from the entire world,” says Venki Ramakrishnan, who heads the Royal Society, which is pushing for immigration reform. Skeptics say any loosening of visa regimes is unlikely when the government has vowed to reduce immigration overall.A related approach is fostering non-EU international collaborations. Efforts are already underway: In 2013, the research councils signed a 5-year agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation to allow scientists in both countries to submit joint proposals in social sciences. A year later, the United Kingdom launched the Newton Fund, which will spend £735 million over 7 years for research partnerships supporting economic development in China, Brazil, India, and more than a dozen other countries. But details are scarce.Some applied researchers may be celebrating their bonanza, but many other scientists are gloomy. “The next 5 to 10 years are all about damage limitation,” says Stephen Curry, a structural biologist at ICL. “It’s deeply depressing.”last_img read more

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Congos new Ebola outbreak is hitting health care workers hard

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Doctors Without Borders built and is running an Ebola treatment unit in Mangina, the epicenter of the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Health care workers have been especially hard hit by the current outbreak of Ebola in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To date, nine of the 51 confirmed cases of Ebola have been in people caring for the ill, says Peter Salama, an epidemiologist based in Geneva, Switzerland, who heads the response to the outbreak for the World Health Organization (WHO).“There’s an extremely low level of knowledge and awareness about Ebola in the area,” Salama says. “Early on, the health care workers took no precautions whatsoever, and unfortunately, we’re expecting more confirmed cases from that group.”The outbreak is the 10th in the DRC since the disease first surfaced in 1976, and though it is the first to occur in this region of the country, Salama says he was surprised how little the affected communities knew about the deadly disease. In the past, health care workers have often been heavily affected during the early days of outbreaks, but the massive Ebola outbreak that caused more than 28,000 cases in West Africa in 2014–16 brought more attention to the risks and proper responses than ever before. 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 Karin Huster/Doctors Without Borders Congo’s new Ebola outbreak is hitting health care workers hardcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Jon CohenAug. 17, 2018 , 10:50 AM The virus has spread to seven health districts in North Kivu and Ituri, two northeastern provinces near the border with Uganda that have long been plagued by armed conflict between insurgent groups and government forces. This could vastly complicate efforts to contain its spread, as workers may have to travel with armed escorts. So far, however, security issues have not hampered the attempts to isolate the infected and to treat people, educate communities about personal hygiene precautions and safe burials, and conduct surveillance, Salama says. That’s in part because the majority of cases are in a single village, Mangina, where response teams have been able to work safely.In addition to the confirmed cases, there are 27 probable ones. So far, 44 of the probable and confirmed cases have died. An experimental vaccine that has performed well in other studies now is being used in health care workers and others who may have come in contact with confirmed cases. Salama says more than 500 people have received the vaccine so far. In addition to response teams from the DRC’s Ministry of Public Health and WHO, two nongovernmental organizations, Doctors Without Borders and the Alliance for International Medical Action, have opened Ebola treatment centers to isolate and treat patients.Robert Redfield, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, visited Kinshasa on Wednesday to meet with Minister of Public Health Oly Ilunga Kalenga. The next day, Kalenga led Redfield and a U.S. delegation to North Kivu, where the Americans toured an Ebola treatment center in the city of Beni.Salama, who visited the affected area last week, led the WHO’s response to the DRC’s previous outbreak, which officially ended 1 week before this one surfaced. “It’s taking all the partners a little longer to get moving in this outbreak to be at the scale required to really deal with what is one of the more complex outbreaks of Ebola we’ve had in recent years,” says Salama, noting that they badly need more financial support from international donors. “This is a really tough one.”last_img read more

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After botched launch orbiting atomic clocks confirm Einsteins theory of relativity

first_imgESA By Adrian ChoDec. 7, 2018 , 3:10 PM After botched launch, orbiting atomic clocks confirm Einstein’s theory of relativitycenter_img Making lemonade from lemons, two teams of physicists have used data from misguided satellites to put Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, to an unexpected test. The opportunistic experiment confirms to unprecedented precision a key prediction of the theory—that time ticks slower near a massive body like Earth than it does farther away.As Einstein explained, gravity arises because massive bodies warp space-time. Free-falling objects follow the straightest possible paths in that curved space-time, which to us appear as the parabolic arc of a thrown ball or the circular or elliptical orbit of a satellite. As part of that warping, time should tick more slowly near a massive body than it does farther away. That bizarre effect was first confirmed to low precision in 1959 in an experiment on Earth and in 1976 by Gravity Probe A, a 2-hour rocket-born experiment that compared the ticking of an atomic clock on the rocket with another on the ground.In 2014, scientists got another chance to test the effect when two of the 26 satellites now in Europe’s Galileo global navigation system, like the one pictured above, were accidentally launched into elliptical orbits instead of circular ones. The satellites now rise and fall by 8500 kilometers on every 13-hour orbit, which should cause their ticking to speed up and slow down by about one part in 10 billion over the course of each orbit. Now, two teams of physicists have tracked the variations and have shown, to five times better precision than before, that they match the predictions of general relativity, they report 4 December in Physical Review Letters. That’s not bad, considering the satellites weren’t designed to do the experiment. However, another experiment set to be launched to the space station in 2020 aims to search for similar deviations with five times greater precision still.last_img read more

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NASA spacecraft readies for New Years rendezvous with primordial object far beyond

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker An artist’s depiction of MU69, also known as Ultima Thule, a solar system body about to be visited by the New Horizons spacecraft Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country NASA spacecraft readies for New Year’s rendezvous with primordial object far beyond Pluto Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The first detection of MU69 with the highest resolution of New Horizons telescope, taken on Christmas Eve NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute Email Visiting what astronomers refer to as a “cold classical” was part of New Horizons’s $800 million mission from the start. But finding one to visit proved trickier than expected. After its Pluto encounter, New Horizons is exiting the solar system by flying straight toward the center of the Milky Way, into a kaleidoscope of stars, making the discovery of a dark small object it could visit a challenge. Finally, the Hubble Telescope was able to locate five suitable candidates, with the New Horizons team choosing MU69 because they could reach it quickest and with the least fuel consumption, leaving future exploration options within the belt open—and not, they swear, for the holiday-themed arrival time. Indeed, the timing may turn out to be less than opportune for publicity given that NASA’s vaunted media operations, including its popular video channel, will likely remain dark during the encounter because of the U.S. government shutdown.The flyby will be familiar to anyone who followed the spacecraft’s Pluto campaign. But now the spacecraft is older, its nuclear power source is waning, and it’s much farther away. The team is smaller and had less time to prepare, says Alice Bowman, the mission operation manager for New Horizons. “It’s a much quicker, much harder mission.” It now takes a signal from mission control at APL 6 hours to reach the spacecraft, requiring everything about the flyby to be even more carefully scripted than for Pluto. Earlier this month, New Horizons’s Telescope—essentially a camera with a telephoto lens—spent several weeks scouring the region around MU69, hunting for hazards, such as rings or moons. None seen, its science team opted for the closest approach, passing only 3500 kilometers away from its surface.The flyby technically began on Christmas. Unlike Pluto, whose orbit has been precisely charted for a long time, MU69 was only discovered 4 years ago and its trajectory is not perfectly known. Because of this, the team has to rely on direct observation of the body, which for now still appears as little more than a pixel in its telescope, to understand its location relative to New Horizons. Until this weekend, the team is using the probe’s telescope to get a handle on the uncertainty of MU69’s location. Although it will be too late to tweak the spacecraft’s trajectory, the team will be able to rework the script of its high-resolution camera so that it can be certain of imaging MU69. This final update will then be relayed to New Horizons on 30 December. By Paul VoosenDec. 27, 2018 , 11:10 AM Even if the partial shutdown of the federal government, which includes NASA, continues into the new year, a festive atmosphere will reign at APL, which as a NASA contractor can continue its work, covering expenses from its own reserves. New Horizons will fly past MU69 at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, shooting past at 14 kilometers per second, and it will take some 8 hours for the spacecraft’s first data to reach back to Earth, indicating its survival, along with a clutch of initial observations—The New York Times package, as Stern calls it. The first low-resolution image likely won’t come until late on New Year’s Day, with better imagery the day after. Don’t wait up.Little is known about what New Horizons will see. “We don’t even have a betting pool going,” Stern says. Telescopes trained on MU69, from Hubble to ground-based facilities, have revealed that, like other cold classicals, it has a dark, reddish hue, along with what looks an oblong shape, possibly indicating a small binary object. That wouldn’t be unheard of—scientists believe a third of the objects in the Kuiper belt could be such binaries, a reflection of the calm conditions in which they formed. These observations have also been unable to tease out variations in the sunlight reflected off of MU69, which could normally be used to tease out its rotation. This could be thanks to an unusually fast or slow rotation; microscopic dust; MU69’s axis pointing directly toward Earth; or a small swarm of miniature moons.MU69 will not have the complexity of Pluto’s surface; it lacks the gravity to sculpt its icy exterior. Indeed, it will likely look a bit boring, a dark anonymous lump in the solar system’s attic. But precisely because of its averageness, scientists hope it can inform their broader understanding of the Kuiper belt and beyond. “It’s got a lot to live up to,” says Anne Verbiscer, an astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and assistant project scientist on the mission. “For a 35-kilometer body, that’s a lot to ask.”Something as simple as counting the number of craters on its surface could hold vital clues, says Brett Gladman, an astronomer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. For example, Pluto and its moon had far fewer craters than expected, and there were fewer, smaller ones than expected. If MU69 shows a similar pattern, given the Kuiper belt’s primordial nature, Gladman says, “that means learning something directly about the sizes of the objects that the solar system originally formed out of.” Similarly, the craters could also inform just how much the migrations of the giant planets to their current orbits tossed the solar system around.The composition of MU69 is also a mystery. It has to contain a lot of water ice, which is the primary building block of the outer solar system. But, like its cold classical siblings, it is dark with a reddish tint, not brilliantly white like icy moons such as Europa or Enceladus. “We don’t know what this red stuff is,” says John Spencer, a planetary scientist at SwRI and deputy project scientist on New Horizons. “We don’t know if it is telling us about the deep interior or just a paint job on the surface.” By peering into craters, New Horizons might catch a glimpse of MU69’s interior. And it could be rockier than expected, as a recent astronomical campaign focused on the Kuiper belt object hinted, says Wesley Fraser, an astronomer at Queen’s University Belfast. “I expect rock with ice embedded. That’s my theory.”Scientists also have high hopes for MU69’s surface. There’s a growing theory that planetary building blocks don’t form, or accrete, like a car plowing through a cloud of bugs, Fraser says. Instead, evidence suggests turbulence clumps particles together in a cloud, which then gravitationally collapses into a binary or trinary mass. “If it did evolve from a cloud of particles, we should see those actual particles on the surface of MU69,” Fraser says. “It should be a clump of pebbles stuck together.”Although the MU69 flyby will garner the headlines, it remains an N of 1 representing a large population. So New Horizons, before and after the flyby, has turned itself into a remote observatory, using its telescope to examine two dozen similar Kuiper belt objects. These observations benefit from their angle. Telescopes on Earth, and around it, can only see the Kuiper belt with the sun beaming at it head-on. New Horizons can observe these bodies at a different angle and, much like how the bright green of a field of grass becomes mottled when its blades cast shadows on one another, that can reveal the texture and material of a surface. “It will tell us if Ultima is typical of its neighbors or if it’s some kind of oddball,” Spencer says.In a few days, many mysteries should be resolved—and even more will likely be generated, Fraser says. “Let’s be honest, no one expected Pluto to look like it did. MU69 is going to be exactly the same way.” Like the Pluto visit, too, New Horizons will take a while to beam all of its data back, some 20 months, Stern adds. But there’s time. After all, he says, “nobody else is coming this way anytime soon.” LAUREL, MARYLAND—NASA’s New Horizons probe has racked up a list of accomplishments since its launch in 2006, traveling billions of kilometers and, in 2015, unveiling the atmosphere and surface of the dwarf planet Pluto during a rapid flyby. But in a few days, as Earth moves into a new year, New Horizons will attempt its trickiest feat of all: traveling back in time.Just a tick after the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), which operates the spacecraft for NASA, New Horizons will race past MU69, a 35-kilometer-wide object some 6.6 billion kilometers away, in a far-off region of the solar system called the Kuiper belt. Unlike every other object previously visited by NASA spacecraft, MU69—or “Ultima Thule,” as it’s nicknamed, a classical term used for land beyond the known world—is expected to be unchanged since it formed billions of years ago, granting a window to the solar system’s earliest days. “No one’s ever been to this kind of object,” says Alan Stern, the mission’s principal investigator and a planetary scientist from the Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI’s) Boulder, Colorado, office. “No one’s ever been to anything that has been so pristine and primordial.”Until the early 1990s, scientists did not have evidence that this band of rocky bodies existed; it had only been theorized by researchers, including its namesake Gerard Kuiper. Since then, astronomers have discovered thousands of Kuiper belt objects past Neptune, with many more likely still unseen. Researchers have also discovered that this menagerie has a complicated structure, reflecting the solar system’s turbulent history. “I call it the solar system’s attic,” Stern says. Some of the belt’s objects, including Pluto, likely formed closer to the sun and were flung outward by gyrations of the giant planets. But others, like the relatively tiny MU69, likely formed where they are today, in languid circular orbits some 45 times farther than Earth is from the sun.last_img read more

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Taiwanese scientists fight construction of a new port they say would damage

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Taiwanese scientists fight construction of a new port they say would damage a unique reef By Andrew SilverNov. 21, 2018 , 12:10 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) TAIPEI—Taiwanese scientists and environmental groups are fighting to stop the planned construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal off the coast of Datan borough in the city of Taoyuan on Taiwan’s northwestern coast, which they say will damage a unique algal reef ecosystem. About 100 people gathered on the beach on 17 November to call for the project to be moved to another site.The proposed terminal will span 9 square kilometers and include a U-shaped port with a bridge connecting it to two LNG storage tanks to be built in an existing industrial park nearby.Taiwan’s new energy policy aims to phase out nuclear energy by 2025 and increase the share of natural gas in electricity generation to 50%. (Renewables will make up 20%, and coal the rest.) To meet those goals, a power plant in Datan will be expanded, and the only way to meet its demand schedule, according to the state-owned oil and gas firm CPC, is to build the LNG terminal nearby. A group of demonstrators gathered on the beach near the proposed project on Saturday.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Jusmin Peng But scientists say construction will further damage a 27-kilometer reef along the Taoyuan coastline built up over 7500 years by a group of pink and purple algal species named crustose coralline algae. The reef is home to a wide variety of species, including hammerhead sharks, six species of moray eels, and the largest population of Polycyathus chaishanensis, an endangered coral species endemic to Taiwan that was first described in 2010.Changes in sand movement caused by cement structures elsewhere along Taiwan’s coastline have led to significant coastal erosion, says Allen Chen, a reef biologist at Academia Sinica here who attended Saturday’s protests. Chen is worried that sand dispersal caused by the new port could leave parts of the reef exposed and more vulnerable to strong waves, while other parts could become buried in the sand. The port could also stop marine animals from approaching the reef.CPC says the risk is minimal. In a statement emailed to Science, a spokesperson says the port is designed to reduce sand migration; surveys and computer simulations suggest breakwaters will divert sand-carrying waves and prevent the reef from being buried. To address environmental concerns, the terminal’s layout was redesigned in order to maintain the flow of nutrients, the spokesperson says. CPC will allocate funds annually toward conservation measures and set up a review committee that includes local authorities, residents, and scientists.In July, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) subcommittee at Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency rejected the project based on independent evaluations, according to the Taipei Times. But in October, the agency’s EIA grand assembly overruled that decision and approved the project. It is now awaiting approval from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, and the Taoyuan city government.Chen says by the time the proposed plant would be completed, expansions of existing LNG terminals in Taichung and Tainan will be completed, reducing Taiwan’s LNG requirements. And by 2030, the rising cost of natural gas and attractive prices of renewable energy could make LNG entirely obsolete. “How could our government have such a short-sighted vision to destroy the algal reef just for satisfying the temporary need for LNG for 3 years or 5 years?” Chen asks.“Who wouldn’t be convinced that we should try everything to fight for this habitat?” adds Hui-Chen Lin, a marine biologist at Tunghai University in Taichung who also attended the protest.last_img read more

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A 500millionyear survey of Earths climate reveals dire warning for humanity

first_img 400 32.2˚C 300 By Paul VoosenMay. 22, 2019 , 2:25 PM When it opens next month, the revamped fossil hall of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., will be more than a vault of dinosaur bones. It will show how Earth’s climate has shifted over the eons, driving radical changes in life, and how, in the modern age, one form of life—humans—is, in turn, transforming the climate.To tell that story, Scott Wing and Brian Huber, a paleobotanist and paleontologist, respectively, at the museum, wanted to chart swings in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past 500 million years or so. The two researchers also thought a temperature curve could counter climate contrarians’ claim that global warming is no concern because Earth was much hotter millions of years ago. Wing and Huber wanted to show the reality of ancient temperature extremes—and how rapid shifts between them have led to mass extinctions. Abrupt climate changes, Wing says, “have catastrophic side effects that are really hard to adapt to.”But actually making the chart was unexpectedly challenging—and triggered a major effort to reconstruct the record. Although far from complete, the research is already showing that some ancient climates were even more extreme than was thought. 250 100 200 A 500-million-year survey of Earth’s climate reveals dire warning for humanity Millions of years ago 450 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 80˚ 50 500 21.1˚ 150 2 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 60˚ 90˚F Ancient glaciations are easy enough to trace, as are hothouse periods when palms grew near the poles. But otherwise little is certain, especially early in the Phanerozoic, which spans the past 541 million years. Paleoclimate scientists study their own slices of time and use their own specialized temperature proxies—leaf shape, say, or growth bands in fossilized corals—which often conflict. “We don’t talk to each other all that much,” says Dana Royer, a paleoclimatologist at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. So at a meeting last year, Wing and Huber assembled a loose-knit collaboration, dubbed Phantastic, dedicated to putting together a rigorous record. “Most people came away quite inspired to do something about this,” says Dan Lunt, a paleoclimate modeler at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.The value of a deep-time temperature curve extends beyond the exhibit. Similar curves exist for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Combine the two and you can see how much warming CO2 caused in the past, says Jessica Tierney, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Because the latest climate models seem to forecast more warming than earlier ones, “using paleoclimate to constrain the models is becoming much more important,” she says. “We feel we have to step up.”center_img 4 3 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 50˚ Email Paleobotanist Scott Wing stands in wintry Wyoming badlands, where alligators swam 56 million years ago. 350 15.5˚ Fever line A preliminary global temperature curve shows that marine life diversified in extreme heat (1) before land-based plants absorbed carbon dioxide (CO2) and polar ice caps formed (2). Volcanoes and erosion swung CO2 levels up and down (3), but mammals evolved in a warm period (4). Now, humans are rapidly warming the climate again (5). 70˚ Today World without polar caps 26.7˚ SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, ADAPTED BY N. DESAI/SCIENCE 10˚ 5 World with polar caps 1 But ancient global temperatures are elusive because they varied with location and season, and because the gauges drop away as you move deeper in time: Tree rings go back only thousands of years and ice cores only a million years or so. Still, oxygen isotopes in tiny fossilized shells on the ocean floor give a fairly reliable longer-term record. Because water molecules with lighter oxygen variants evaporate faster and end up locked in ice sheets, the ratio of light to heavy isotopes in the fossils indicates the volume of global ice, a rough guide to temperatures.However, ocean floor older than 100 million years or so is scarce, devoured by the constant churn of plate tectonics. To go deeper in time, Ethan Grossman, a geochemist at Texas A&M University in College Station, looks for marine fossils found on land—mostly teeth and once-common bivalves called brachiopods. They tend to be from the shallow, isolated seas that formed inside ancient supercontinents. To glean temperatures from those fossils, scientists have to assume those seas had a balance of oxygen isotopes similar to the ocean today.This “water problem” is decades old. But scientists in Phantastic are attacking it with a second thermometer, based on a new technique, called clumped isotopes, that measures the abundance of two or more rare isotopes. Using sensitive mass spectrometers, they analyze the fossil shells for carbonate molecules that contain a heavy isotope of oxygen bound to a heavy carbon, which form more frequently at lower temperatures. The results will be misleading if the fossil has been exposed to heat and pressure during its burial, but researchers have learned how to identify altered specimens. “We’ve moved into the place where we can apply it,” says Kristin Bergmann, a geobiologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who is using clumped isotopes to prepare a temperature record of the past billion years.In collaboration with Gregory Henkes, a geochemist at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, and others, Grossman has gone through his samples, tossing out those that show signs of alteration, and analyzed their clumped isotopes. The results match his existing oxygen-isotope measures, and they tell a startling story, he and Henkes reported last year in Earth & Planetary Science Letters. Some 450 million years ago, ocean waters averaged 35°C to 40°C, more than 20°C warmer than today. Yet marine life thrived, even diversified. “It’s unsettling for the biologists, these warm temperatures we’re proposing,” Grossman says. “These are extreme for modern organisms.”To turn such data into a global temperature curve, researchers need to fill gaps in geography and time. One Phantastic collaborator, Christopher Scotese, a geologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has come up with a simple way to spread limited data into a global picture. He uses the presence of polar ice caps to indicate whether the world had a steep temperature differential between the equator and its poles.Other collaborators are using the sparse data to calibrate computer simulations of the ancient climate, the way weather models use satellite data as a reality check. Lunt and Paul Valdes, also at Bristol, are ground-truthing a suite of several hundred paleoclimate simulations. They’ve been able to extrapolate temperatures across the planet for broad stretches of the Phanerozoic.Although Wing and Huber are pleased with the work they’ve seeded, they also ran out of time. The temperature curve they’re presenting at the museum opening is a beta, Wing says. “It’s sort of jamming together different kinds of observations, different kinds of models, different kinds of procedures, and probably different assumptions.” The plan is to replace it once the Phantastic team’s efforts reach maturity. But even the draft version should open eyes, Grossman says. “This kind of work gives people a sense of how easy it is to tip into a warm period. Because the world has been warm.”*Correction, 24 May, 11:40 a.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that brachiopods are extinct. IRA BLOCK last_img read more

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Violent Criminals Who Avoided Prison Because Theyre White

first_img 9. Darren Wilson, Michael Brown’s Killer 10. Daniel Pantaleo, Eric Garner’s Killer Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island cop accused of using banned, fatal chokehold on Eric Garner, will finally get his day in court https://t.co/Ahse49fpF4 pic.twitter.com/k3EFdj3V56— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 6, 2018 Daniel Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death on camera on July 17, 2014. A jury declined to indict Pantaleo. A disciplinary trial was scheduled to begin in May to determine if he can still be a police officer. 8. Timothy Loehmann, Officer Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice Source:Woodstock Police Department On Sept. 9, 2017, Reardon killed three people with her car, including a three-month-old baby. She was allegedly distracted while texting, which her team denied. She only received probation. 1. Shane M. Piche No jail time for NY school bus driver who admitted to raping 14-year-old girl. The judge says the 26-year-old has no prior arrests and there was one victim, so the sentence was appropriate. https://t.co/LpTIczOZDj #KHOU pic.twitter.com/luCy5iDRwi— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) April 29, 2019 The 26-year-old- bus driver admitted to raping a 14-year-old. No jail time, he only has to pay $375 in court fees and a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee. 5. Isaac Turnbaugh 3. George Zimmerman Source:Getty On Feb. 26, 2012, Zimmerman shot and killed Travon Martin in Sanford, Florida. The killer claimed self-defense and was acquitted of all charges in Florida v. George Zimmerman on July 13, 2013. He has since been in trouble with the law countless times.(Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) 2. Michael Rosfeld A jury has acquitted Michael Rosfeld Friday night in the trial of the white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen fleeing a high-stakes traffic stop outside Pittsburgh. https://t.co/pJbCKBwWig— AJC (@ajc) March 23, 2019 On June 19, just hours after he was sworn in as an officer, Rosfeld fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose. During a traffic stop, officers, including Rosfeld, claimed they were investigating a nearby shooting. The driver, Rose and one other person were in the car. The driver was arrested. The other passenger escaped, but was arrested on June 26. Rose allegedly ran and was shot in the back three times. As for the nearby shooting to which officers were responding, investigators confirmed Rose was not involved in the incident. Rosfeld was found not guilty on all charges. In 1982, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz attacked Vincent Chin at a Detroit McDonald’s because they claimed Japanese manufacturers were “stealing their jobs” — Chin was Chinese. He was beat to death with a baseball bat. Ebens and Nitz only received three years of probation and a $3,000 fine. In 2012, Ebens finally apologized. Disgusting. 12. J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, Emmett Till’s Murders On Aug. 28, Roy Bryant, his half-brother, J.W. Milam and at least one other man showed up at Till’s great uncle’s home and abducted him. Till’s body was found in the Tallahatchie River on Aug. 31. (Photo: AP) pic.twitter.com/g114H338Nx— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 28, 2018 On August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, kidnapped and lynched Emmett Till after Carolyn Byrant, who is still alive in Mississippi, accused the child of winking or whistling at her. The men were soon arrested but maintained their innocence. The two were acquitted of murder on September 28, 1955. On January 24, 1956, “Look” magazine published their confessions and they were reportedly paid $4,000. They never spent a day in jail for killing a child. In November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, Timothy Loehmann killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice within seconds of approaching him. A Cleveland grand jury declined to even bring charges against Loehmann in December 2015. Reportedly, he is now trying to become a police officer again. In 2002, Isaac Turnbaugh, of Randolph, Vermont, shot and killed 24-year-old Declan Lyons while working at the American Flatbread Co., a local pizza restaurant. In 2004, he was acquitted. However, shortly after he got away with murder he confessed to police that he was guilty. Nonetheless, authorities did not charge him because of the Fifth Amendment’s “double jeopardy” clause. We have a feeling if Turnbaugh would have been a different complexion, the court system would have found a way.center_img 13. 15,000 White People In Waco, Texas Right now: Impact statements have ended, slideshows of have just started. First up is 3 month old Riley and her mother Kaitlin. They died along with 61 yo Kathy Deming when 17 yo Zoe Reardon hit the group. Reardon was driving keep, group was walking to Woodstock concert @wsbtv 4 pic.twitter.com/ZrxidtCGTM— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) March 11, 2019Reardon, a first-time offender, is expected to get her license back after fulfilling the terms of her probation.Whites who commit heinous crimes with no consequences is a theme. See some of the shocking cases below. Source:Getty Darren Wilson killed unarmed Michael Brown, 18, on August 9, 2014. The killing contributed to the rise of Black Lives Matter. Brown was shot six times. A St. Louis County grand jury never even indicted Wilson. 6. Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz 7. Betty Shelby, Terence Crutcher’s Killer UPDATE: Betty Shelby, Officer Who Shot-And-Killed Unarmed Terence Crutcher, Will Not Face Civil Rights Charges | National News https://t.co/LVXatQaxdN pic.twitter.com/gmk7eWoI4w— Muhammad Naqiuddin Haziq (@naqiuddin_haziq) March 11, 2019 Tulsa police offer Betty Shelby shot and killed unarmed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16, 2016. Reportedly, his hands were up as he stood near his vehicle on the street. A jury acquitted her of first-degree manslaughter in 2017 and just recently it was reported she will not face civil rights chargers. Last year, she was teaching a class on “surviving the aftermath of critical incidents.” #Breaking: Judge accepts plea for 18Yo Zoe Reardon, who’s charged with hitting, killing 3 pedestrians , including 3 month old girl. She’ll serve 36 months probation instead of what could have been a max of 36months behind bars. We’ll have latest on #Channel2at4 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/TopQV8aEzi— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) March 11, 2019Reardon killed Kathy Deming, Kaitlin Hunt and Hunt’s 3-month-old daughter, Riley. They were walking to a concert at the Woodstock amphitheater.“Riley died the night of the collision. Deming died 10 days later. Kaitlin Hunt was taken off life support a few days after the crash, surgeons having taken measures to follow her wishes as an organ donor,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.Watch the heartbreaking video of the victims below: 11. Zoe Reardon 4. Ethan Couch This isn’t new. Rich people get off all the time. Remember this guy, that killed 4 people: https://t.co/gAIvsWmNny— K. Scott Gant (@ksgant) March 8, 2019 On June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas, Ethan Couch killed four people while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He was indicted on four counts of intoxication manslaughter for recklessly driving under the influence. His attorneys argued that the teen had “affluenza” and needed rehabilitation instead of prison. A judge sentenced him to ten years of probation in Dec. 13. By Dec. 2015, he vanished and when he was found — at a resort in Mexico with his mother — he was finally sent to jail two years, only for violating his probation. He is free to this day. On of the most glaring examples of racism in this country is the corrupt criminal justice system. White people can many times commit violent crimes with little to no punishment, especially compared to their Black counterparts. This year alone, people have been mortified after seeing freedom secured by the likes of former Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose by shooting him in the back, and Zoe Reardon, the 18-year-old who killed three people with her car, including a three-month-old baby. Now, Shane Piche, 26, who admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl, will also not serve a milli-second in prison despite being convicted for the heinous crime.READ MORE: Black People Who Got More Time Than White People For Doing LessAccording to the Waterford Daily Times, “Shane M. Piche, 26, was sentenced by Judge James P. McClusky to 10 years’ probation, as expected, and will be registered as a Level 1 sex offender as a result of his guilty plea Feb. 21 to third-degree rape.” The former school bus driver, admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl who he allegedly met on the school bus.Nonetheless, the judge felt because “he had no prior arrests and there was only one victim in this plea, Level 1 was more appropriate.” He is required to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges and a $1,000 special sex offender registration fee. No jail time for NY school bus driver who admitted to raping 14-year-old girl. The judge says the 26-year-old has no prior arrests and there was one victim, so the sentence was appropriate. https://t.co/LpTIczOZDj #KHOU pic.twitter.com/luCy5iDRwi— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) April 29, 2019Each case reminds us that white people can break the law — even rape and kill — with little to no consequences, especially incarceration.In case you forgot, the Pittsburgh officer who Rose was charged with criminal homicide, which included murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. But he was found not guilty on all charges last month. It was three days of testimony and there were reportedly three African-Americans on the jury.Also in March, Zoe Reardon took a plea deal to avoid any jail time for possibly texting while driving her Jeep in Woodstock, Georgia, before she hit three people and killed them all in 2017. She was only sentenced to 36 months of probation and won’t see the inside of a prison for the deaths she caused. In 1916, 17-year-old Jesse Washington was convicted of murdering his employer’s wife in Waco, Texas. A trial lasted an hour, he was found guilty and released to the crowd. Listverse.com reports he was “beaten, stripped naked, stabbed, and dragged through town to the courthouse” and “locals cut off Washington’s fingers, toes, and genitals and children pulled teeth from his head.” 15,000 people attended, including the sheriff and mayor. Make America great again…last_img read more

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In biblical city of Armageddon signs of early vanilla and elaborate medical

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe DENVER—Looming over a strategic spot on Israel’s northern coastal plain, the ancient city of Megiddo was often a battleground, befitting its biblical name Armageddon. But in two Bronze Age tombs, archaeologists are finding signs that, nearly 3500 years ago, Megiddo was also a surprisingly cosmopolitan place. It drew immigrants from what is now Armenia, imported exotic spices from tropical climes, and boasted a state-of-the-art health care system—at least for the elite.At last week’s annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research here, Israeli and U.S. researchers laid out the first results from the tombs, which were discovered in 2016 and date from when Megiddo was a major metropolis of the Canaanites, the ancient inhabitants of present-day Israel and Lebanon. The finds add to growing evidence of international trade long before the rise of the Assyrian, Persian, and Roman empires. The people of the Bronze Age Middle East “had much more contact with distant places than we give them credit for,” says Eric Cline, an archaeologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a former member of the project, known as the Megiddo Expedition.One tomb, dated to about 1600 B.C.E. by radiocarbon and ceramic studies, was a cramped but unusually elaborate vaulted chamber containing nine individuals, including a man between 45 and 60 years old wearing a gold headband, as well as a gold bracelet and other jewelry. Nearby lay a woman aged 25 to 40 with a gold brooch and an elegant silver pin shaped like a duck head. A third skeleton was a child under the age of 10 with similar gold jewelry and two silver rings. “This seems to be a family grave, given the matching grave goods,” says Melissa Cradic, an archaeologist at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, who led the examination of the tomb. She speculates that the three may represent an elite, if not royal, family that died at about the same time from disease. Analysis of their genetic makeup, which could confirm their family ties, is underway, along with isotopic and other studies that could reveal their diet and health.The tomb’s biggest surprise emerged when three small jugs were tested for residues. Chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis detected chemical components of vanilla. “This was a shock,” says Vanessa Linares from Tel Aviv University in Israel, who led the team conducting the work. Botanist Pesach Lubinsky of UC Riverside, a vanilla expert who was not involved in the Megiddo research, says the finding is at odds with current thinking on vanilla’s origins. Vanilla is found in tropical orchids on every continent except Antarctica and Australia. Only in Mesoamerica, however, is there evidence of its early domestication, and it was long thought to be unknown in the Old World until the Spanish brought it back from Mexico in the 16th century C.E.All aromatic vanilla orchids contain a mixture of compounds, including vanilla, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, and vanillic acid. The best matches to the residues found in the jugs grow in Mesoamerica, Indonesia, Kenya, and India, Linares says. Ruling out the first two sources because of distance, she speculates that the vanilla may have arrived in Megiddo from Africa, via Egypt, or from India, through trade across the Persian Gulf. In biblical city of Armageddon, signs of early vanilla and elaborate medical care By Andrew LawlerNov. 28, 2018 , 12:00 PM ADAM PRINS/COURTESY OF THE MEGIDDO EXPEDITION Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email ROBERT HOMSHER/COURTESY OF THE MEGIDDO EXPEDITION Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Jugs found in Bronze Age tombs held vanilla residues.  “India is the most likely source,” says Cline, who notes the robust trade linking nearby Mesopotamia with India in the Bronze Age. The vanilla may have been traded from southern India through the vestiges of the earlier Indus civilization in the subcontinent’s northwest. But Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London, says he “would be cautious in attributing origins, given the lack of much ethnobotanical evidence for the use of native vanilla.”The find, if it proves accurate, would support hints of an early and far-flung spice trade in the ancient Middle East. Peppercorns that likely came from Sri Lanka were stuffed into the nose of Egypt’s mummified King Ramses II in 1213 B.C.E., and evidence of cinnamon from Sri Lanka or southern India appears in the Middle East a couple of centuries later.Investigators also found hints of a grimmer import in a burial pit directly on top of the Megiddo tomb, dating to a century or so later. The pit holds the remains of two men who may have been in their twenties at death. “These were children of misfortune,” says Rachel Kalisher, a Brown University archaeologist who examined the remains. Both men’s bones were pitted, and one had broken his nose and pinky toes, conditions Kalisher says might be due to leprosy. That disease is thought to have spread from Africa to India by 4000 years ago; trade may then have carried it to the Middle East. Genetic testing is underway to determine whether Kalisher’s hunch is correct.”Their illness left them debilitated, and they needed help to survive,” she adds. Both appear to have been carefully tended. Their teeth lacked the wear typical for men of their age, a sign that they may have been fed a special nonabrasive diet designed for weakened jaws. “There was a societal mechanism of health care—they were not ostracized and clearly were given considerable respect,” Kalisher adds.At the end of his life, the more debilitated of the two men underwent a drastic treatment: A physician was called in to cut a window into his skull—a practice called trepanation, often used to treat physical, mental, and spiritual disorders in ancient times. “This was done with fine precision and great expertise,” says Kalisher, although the man died within less than a month of the procedure.Preliminary DNA studies by geneticists Liran Carmel of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and David Reich of Harvard University show the men were brothers. Additional genetic studies may reveal more about their origins and whether they were related to the occupants of the older tomb below.DNA studies also revealed the far-flung connections of three occupants of another tomb. At the meeting, Carmel said genetic analysis suggests they were recent immigrants from today’s Armenia in the Caucasus, some 1300 kilometers to the north. Unlike the vaulted tomb, which lay near Megiddo’s palace, this tomb was surrounded by humbler houses and graves. If the results hold up, they hint that long-distance travel was not confined to the elite.Dozens of ancient DNA samples from the region, including many from Megiddo, are now being analyzed, and may soon shed more light on the genetic makeup of the city’s inhabitants, Carmel added.Glenn Schwartz, an archaeologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, who is not involved with the dig, says the burst of data from Megiddo, rich in genetic and chemical detail, doesn’t just provide fresh insight into this important Bronze Age center. The findings also “illustrate the numerous new techniques derived from the natural sciences that archaeologists are now using to identify the source and identity of the humans, animals, plants, and other materials found in the archaeological record.” Two men in the ancient city of Megiddo who may have had leprosy were nurtured, not shunned.last_img read more

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Holy Grail of Paleontology – Mystery of the Earliest Known Animal Finally

first_imgA bizarre-looking oval-shaped sea creature that looks like a cross between a leaf and a thumbprint and grew to be four and a half feet long and almost as wide is being hailed as the “Holy Grail of Paleontology”. Scientists have confirmed it is the earliest known animal on Earth, living 558 million years ago in what is now Russia. Scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) and other universities have discovered molecules of fat in the fossil, called Dickinsonia, to verify its status as an animal.Dickinsonia was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived on Earth 20 million years prior to the “Cambrian explosion” of modern animal life.Cropped and digitally remastered version of another file masquerading as Dickinsonia. Photo by Verisimilus CC BY 2.5“The fossil fat now confirms Dickinsonia as the oldest known animal fossil, solving a mystery that has been the Holy Grail of paleontology,” explained Jochen Brocks, an associate professor from ANU, in an interview with Tech Times.Ilya Bobrovskiy, an ANU Ph.D. scholar, was the one who managed to obtain a Dickinsonia fossil in a remote area near the White Sea in Russia. It contained molecules of cholesterol, a fat considered the signifying fact of animal life.Artist’s reconstruction of Dickinsonia. Photo by Stanton F. Fink CC BY-SA 2.5Brocks said in an interview: “The creature produced cholesterol, which is the hallmark of animals. It tells us it is, in fact, our earliest ancestor.”Scientists have been fighting for 75 years over what Dickinsonia and similar fossils were. Is the best description giant single-celled amoeba, lichen, or the earliest animals on Earth?Now, according to a paper published in September 2018, the conclusion is animal.Dickinsonia. Photo by Masahiro miyasaka – CC BY-SA 4.0Reports Nature, “Fossils that contain these preserved biomarkers are rare, but strewn around the shores of the White Sea in northwestern Russia lie Ediacaran fossils — including Dickinsonia — embedded in a fossilized mat of algae, with their organic matter and fats perfectly preserved.”“They are, in principle, mummified Dickinsonians,” Brocks says. “It’s just incredibly lucky.”Paleontologists usually study fossil structures, but Bobrovskiy extracted molecules from inside the Dickinsonia fossil found in the rocks in Russia to achieve his breakthrough.Ontogeny of Dickinsonia costata. Photo by Aleksey Nagovitsyn (Alnagov) CC BY-SA 3.0“I took a helicopter to reach this very remote part of the world — home to bears and mosquitoes — where I could find Dickinsonia fossils with organic matter still intact,” Bobrovskiy said in an interview.He located the 558 million-year-old specimen in the middle of the cliffs of the White Sea, which are 328 feet high. “I had to hang over the edge of a cliff on ropes and dig out huge blocks of sandstone, throw them down, wash the sandstone and repeat this process until I found the fossils I was after,” he said.Organic matter from Dickinsonia. Photo by The Australian National University (ANU)Such extreme measures were taken because most of the fossils found from such a distant time no longer contain organic matter.Bobrovskiy said, “Most rocks containing these fossils such as those from the Ediacara Hills in Australia have endured a lot of heat, a lot of pressure, and then they were weathered after that – these are the rocks that paleontologists studied for many decades, which explained why they were stuck on the question of Dickinsonia‘s true identity.”Schematic reconstructions of Dickinsonia costata, D. lissa, D. tenuis, D. menneri, D. sp. and Ivovicia rugulosa. Photo by Aleksey Nagovitsyn (Alnagov) -CC BY-SA 3.0The “Cambrian explosion,” which came later, was when complex animals and other macroscopic organisms like mollusks, worms, arthropods, and sponges appeared.The large size of Dickinsonia still puzzles the scientists, since there has been an assumption that only single-celled organisms could have preceded the Cambrian explosion.Conventional wisdom is that a large oxygen spike during the “explosion” was key to the development of all sorts of complex animals with mineralized skeletal remains. It is believed to be the most important evolutionary event in the history of life on Earth.Read another story from us: A tiny Indonesian island becomes a new archaeological gem after researchers find cave paintings of animals and humans, as old as 2,500 years The beginning of the “explosion” is generally placed about 542 million years ago.last_img read more

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Neanderthal fell down sinkhole 150000 years ago and fused with its walls

first_imgBetween 128,000 and 187,000 years ago a Neanderthal fell in a hole. It almost sounds like the set up for telling a joke, but instead, it may be an opportunity to take a new look at human evolution. The Neanderthal in question has been dubbed Altamura Man, having been found in a hole in Lamalunga Cave, near Altamura, Italy in 1993, according to science site phys.org.A group of cave explorers found the Neanderthal’s remains embedded in the rock of the cave and covered in calcite deposits. He was in a well or borehole that was mostly limestone and running water.Pulo di Altamura, Italy. Sinkhole. Photo by Travus CC BY-SA 2.5Even after the discovery, the remains stayed untouched for more than 20 years, as it was believed that trying to excavate the remains would cause irreparable damage to the find. As a result, scientists who wanted to study the remains could only do so through casual observation completed in situ.Because there weren’t any viable ways to conduct an in-depth study of the remains, it was difficult, at first, for scientists to make firm determinations about the Neanderthal’s probable age and gender. However, in the last several years a team of researchers were able to extract a small bone sample and retrieve some DNA for analysis. They published their findings in the Journal of Human Evolution.Image of hominid skeleton. Photo by Domenico Capitanio CC BY-SA 3.0The remains, overall, are in an excellent state of preservation, and researchers believe that he must have fallen into the well and gotten stuck, probably dying of thirst or starvation.Because they’re in a place where they were protected from the dangers of weather or predation, the remains stayed in excellent shape, even if they are largely covered by stone and minerals. They represent the oldest remains of this type that have yet been discovered and studied.The researchers began their work in 2009, taking a small piece of the exposed shoulder bone for laboratory analysis. Using uranium-thorium dating, they determined that the calcite was formed between 170,000 and 130,000 years ago, during the next-to-last quaternary glaciation period.They also managed to extract some DNA from the bone and determined that the remains were, in fact, of a Neanderthal male who was about 35 years old at the time of his death.The year after researchers began their study of Altamura Man, they were able to give him a face. According to the Daily Mail, David Caramelli, a professor of anthropology at the University of Florence, worked with a colleague to create a model of what the Neanderthal would have looked like.They used laser scanning and a technique called photogrammetry, a method of using photos to make precise measurements, and combined the results with the DNA analysis previously obtained to get the necessary information to create their model.They passed the data they gathered on to Alfons and Adrie Kennis, brothers from the Netherlands who are also paleo-artists, who created the hyper-realistic model. The completed model showed a specimen who was stocky and short, with a prominent brow, a very large nose, and an elongated skull. The model showed that, while the body shape was typically Neanderthal, there were some unusual features with regard to his skull.Neanderthal reconstruction. Photo by By Tim Evanson CC BY SA 2.0The skull showed a set of traits that were archaic, even given the time period in which Altamura Man lived, indicating that the specimen might be a bridge between Neanderthals and an earlier species of proto-humans, Homo heidelbergensis, who existed from 750,000 to as recently as 100,000 years ago.Read another story from us: Bones Reveal Neanderthal Child was Eaten by a Giant Prehistoric BirdIt’s well-known that the lines of human evolution are more than a little blurry, with there being a number of versions of early humans, whose times on Earth often overlapped and blended, making it difficult to reconstruct the chain of human evolution with any precision.Altamura Man gives scientists the potential opportunity to examine a period of time about which they have relatively little data in the fossil record — and perhaps untangle one more knot in coming to a fuller understanding of how humans came to be.last_img read more

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The Petrifying Well That Turns Objects into Stone

first_imgThe city of Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, England, is home to a strange phenomenon. It hosts a petrifying well, which has the tremendous capacity to turn objects into stone. This rather curious attraction welcomes millions of visitors every year. According to Amusing Planet, the petrifying well was first referenced in 1538 by John Leyland, antiquary to king Henry VIII. Leyland noted that the well was said by locals to have magical properties and healing powers, which he reported in his writings. This marked the beginning of legends that would surround the petrifying well for a long time.The petrifying well is located inside a cave known as Mother Shipton’s Cave. The name of the cave comes from a local woman believed to be a witch, Ursula Southeil, whom the locals referred to as Mother Shipton.Mother Shipton’s Cave. Photo by chris 論 CC BY 3.0Amusing Planet reports that according to the legends, Mother Shipton — the daughter of a prostitute and the devil — was born in the cave. While she was supposed to have been hideous due to who her father was, she gained fame as a prophetess.Mother Shipton is believed to have predicted several events such as the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588, the Great Fire of London of 1666, and even the invention of cellphones!Mother Shipton in Knaresborough. Photo by Immanuel Giel CC BY 3.0While the story of Mother Shipton gave the petrifying well a terrifying reputation, it also enjoyed a more flattering legend. As John Leyland reported, the well was believed to have magic healing powers and would be visited by locals because of these reputed curing abilities.According to Oddity Central, a physician examined the petrifying well in the early 1600s. The results of his findings led him to conclude that the waters running through the well were a miracle cure for any type of sickness. With this kind of reputation, the petrifying well became an ever-growing popular attraction.The Petrifying Well at the Matlock Bath Aquarium with objects that have been coated by minerals from the water.But the most interesting feat of this well is its capacity to transform objects into stone. Contrary to the legends surrounding Mother Shipton or the healing powers of the well, this feat was all natural, even if it was believed to be part of the magic of the well for a long time.According to Force To Know, the petrification of an object in this well happens because of high levels of mineral content in the water. Through a process of evaporation and deposition over time, objects appear to turn into stone, as they are covered by solidified minerals.The Petrifying Well at the Matlock Bath Aquarium with objects that have been coated by minerals from the water.That process was for a time attributed to Mother Shipton as one of her magic tricks. Because of her reputation of being a witch, she was supposed to turn objects into stone herself.The terrifying aspect of the well is reinforced by the fact that when viewed from the side, the cave looks like a giant skull.Knaresborough, England – July 16, 2016: Everyday objects have been hung in the water of the Petrifying Well, slowly being covered by minerals. The Petrifying Well is the oldest tourist site in the UK.Locals and visitors perpetuated these frightening legends, but the stories only increased people’s curiosity.When the Royal Forest was sold by King Charles I to Sir Charles Slingsby in 1630, the cave was well known, with many people wanting to witness this strange petrifying process for themselves. The new owner decided to profit from it by selling guided tours to the visitors coming onto his land.By doing so, Slingsby had just created England’s first ever tourist attraction.Petrifying Well, KnaresboroughToday, the well is known to have no magic powers, but is still visited by millions of tourists yearly because of its capacity to apparently petrify objects.Read another story from us:  Towns Called Boring, Bland, And Dull All Joined Forces To Make A Trinity Of TediumThe magic properties attributed to the petrifying well of Knaresborough may have been proven wrong, but this curious location still holds a strong ability to attract visitors.last_img read more

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Sworkit app takes work out of exercise planning

first_imgSworkit app takes work out of exercise planning By L. Parsons Named one of the 14 applications every modern gentleman should have by Tech Insider, Sworkit fitness organizer is an easy to use customizable fitness app. With more than five million downloads andSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad September 21, 2017last_img

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Iconic Lakshman Jhula in distress to be closed down

first_img Rishikesh: Lakshman Jhula declared unsafe, closed to traffic and pedestrians Written by Lalmani Verma | Dehradun | Updated: July 13, 2019 3:50:06 am The suspension bridge, across the Ganga, is 96 years old and connects the districts of Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal. Virender Singh NegiThe Uttarakhand government has ordered the immediate closure of the Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh after a PWD report stated that the bridge is in a distressed state, which may lead to a mishap. Explained: Why has the Uttarakhand govt shut down Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh Related News Advertising The order also cited a technical study that says, “We observed that most of the bridge parts/components are in FAIL and COLLAPSE condition. This bridge should not be permitted for pedestrian movement…”Citing the study report, the order directed that Lakshman Jhula be closed from July 12 onwards. Tehri Garhwal SSP Yogendra Singh Rawat told The Indian Express, “Pedestrian movement will be completely stopped as soon as barricading is completed.” The closure of the bridge could make it difficult for the administration to manage the crowd during Kanwar Yatra, which begins on July 17.“We are in communication with PWD to develop an alternate bridge. There is another bridge, Ram Jhula. But once Lakshman Jhula is closed, load on Ram Jhula will increase. We need at least two bridges,” the SSP said.Tehri Garhwal District Magistrate V Shanmugam said, “A new bridge cannot be built in a short time. SDM and officials of PWD and the police have been asked to inspect the area to find an alternate arrangement.” Post Comment(s) Alternative to Lakshman Jhula to be built soon: Uttarakhand CM Rawat Advertising The iconic suspension bridge, across the Ganga, is 96 years old and connects the districts of Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal. One of the landmarks and chief attractions of Rishikesh, the 136-metre-long bridge is for pedestrians on paper but is frequently used by motorcycles.Following the fresh order, officials have started barricading both sides of the bridge.According to an order by Additional Chief Secretary, PWD, Om Prakash issued on Friday, the PWD had submitted a report to the government, stating that the Lakshman Jhula has become dilapidated due to an unprecedented rise in traffic.The report further said that the bridge’s towers appear to be leaning to one side. “Due to a further increase in traffic load, there is a possibility of bridge getting damaged in future and possibilities of loss of lives then, cannot be ruled out,” the order read.last_img read more

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Will the world embrace Plan S the radical proposal to mandate open

first_img Email Germany 2.5 3 25.1 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Tania RabesandratanaJan. 3, 2019 , 2:00 PM DAVIDE BONAZZI/SALZMAN ART If Plan S fails to grow, it could remain a divisive mandate that applies to only a small percentage of the world’s scientific papers. (Delta Think, a consulting company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, estimates that the first 15 funders to back Plan S accounted for 3.5% of the global research articles in 2017.) To transform publishing, the plan needs global buy-in. The more funders join, the more articles will be published in OA journals that comply with its requirements, pushing publishers to flip their journals from paywall-protected subscriptions to OA, says librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, the chief digital scholarship officer at the University of California, Berkeley.Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s OA envoy in Brussels, who is one of the architects of Plan S, says publishers have stalled by emphasizing the need for broad participation. “The big publishers told me: ‘Listen, we can only flip our journals [to OA] if this is signed by everyone. So first go on a trip around the world and come back in 20 years. Then we can talk again,’” Smits recalls. “Some people try to do anything to keep the status quo.”OA mandates are nothing new: In Europe, 74 research funders require that papers be made free at some point, up from 12 in 2005, according to the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies. But existing policies typically allow a delay of 6 or 12 months after initial publication, during which papers can remain behind a publisher paywall.Plan S requires immediate OA; it also insists that authors retain copyright and that hybrid journals, which charge subscriptions but also offer a paid OA option, sign “transformative agreements” to switch to fully OA.Some European funders think Plan S goes too far. “We and many German [organizations] think that we should not be as prescriptive as Plan S is,” says Wilhelm Krull, secretary general of the Volkswagen Foundation, a private research funder in Hannover, Germany. The country is Europe’s top producer of scientific papers, ahead of the United Kingdom and France, whose main funding agencies have signed on to Plan S. Germany’s biggest federal funding agency, DFG, said it supports Plan S’s goals but prefers to let researchers drive the change. Other funders, including the Estonian Research Council, say the timeline is too tight, and they will reconsider joining when Plan S’s impact is clearer.Other European funders are weighing pros and cons. Spain’s science ministry says it is analyzing the potential repercussions of Plan S on the country’s science and finances, and on researchers’ careers. FNRS, the fund for scientific research in Belgium’s Wallonia-Brussels region, is waiting for Plan S to announce its cap on article-processing charges (APCs), the fees for publishing in OA journals, which the coalition’s funders have pledged to pay. “We’re not ready to commit if the costs are too high,” says Véronique Halloin, secretary-general of FNRS, whose existing OA mandate caps APC reimbursement at €500—which Halloin admits is on the low side.Many await the European Commission’s policy: Although its grants represent a small percentage of research funding in Europe, its OA rules can influence national mandates. The commission’s research chief, Carlos Moedas, supports Plan S, and its 7-year funding program Horizon Europe, which will begin in 2021, contains general statements of support for OA. Plan S’s rules will go into the program’s model contract for grants, Smits says. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 18.6 France 4.3 Will the world embrace Plan S, the radical proposal to mandate open access to science papers? 2.3center_img Canada Australia Othercountries 2.6 Brazil Smits has found unexpected support from China, which now produces more scientific papers than any other country. Last month, China’s largest government research funder and two national science libraries issued strong statements backing Plan S’s goals. “China needs to contribute to international open access [and] open its research results to its own people,” says Zhang Xiaolin of Shanghai-Tech University in China, who chairs the Strategic Planning Committee of the Chinese National Science and Technology Library. Even if Chinese organizations do not join Plan S formally, similar OA policies in China would have a “huge, perhaps decisive impact on the publishing industry,” MacKie-Mason says.For now, North America is not following suit. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was the first Plan S participant outside Europe, and another private funder may follow. But U.S. federal agencies are sticking to policies developed after a 2013 White House order to make peer-reviewed papers on work they funded freely available within 12 months of publication. “We don’t anticipate making any changes to our model,” said Brian Hitson of the U.S. Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who directs that agency’s public access policy.Nor are the three main federal research funders in Canada ready to change their joint 2015 OA policy. Plan S is “a bold and aggressive approach, which is why we want to make sure we’ve done our homework to ensure it would have the best effect on Canadian science,” says Kevin Fitzgibbons, executive director of corporate planning and policy at Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council in Ottawa.Outside Europe and North America, funders gave Science mixed responses about Plan S. India, the third biggest producer of scientific papers in the world, will “very likely” join Plan S, says Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan in New Delhi, principal scientific adviser to India’s government. But the Russian Science Foundation is not planning to join. South Africa’s National Research Foundation says it “supports Plan S in principle,” but wants to consult stakeholders before signing on. Jun Adachi of the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, an adviser to the Japan Alliance of University Library Consortia for E-Resources, says that despite interest from funders and libraries, OA has yet to gain much traction in his country.South America has a strong tradition of OA repositories and fee-free publishing, often with government subsidies. Bianca Amaro, president of LA Referencia, a Santiago-based Latin American network of repositories, says Plan S takes a more “systemic view” than previous policies, and she values its pledge to monitor APCs and their impact—a worry for lower-income countries. “We’ll see how Europe handles this,” she says.Of course, MacKie-Mason says, not every funding agency will agree that Plan S is the best way to universal OA. “But some will agree it’s good enough and perhaps our best chance to transform the publishing industry soon,” he says. It comes in the wake of often incremental OA initiatives in the past 15 years, and some disagreement about the best route to OA.”In the OA movement, it seems to a lot of people that you have to choose a road: green or gold or diamond,” says Colleen Campbell, director of the OA2020 initiative at the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich, Germany, referring to various styles of OA. “Publishers are sitting back laughing at us while we argue about different shades” instead of focusing on a shared goal of complete, immediate OA. Because of its bold, stringent requirements, she and others think Plan S can galvanize advocates to align their efforts to shake up the publishing system.The Plan S team predicts steady growth in the coming months. Funders will discuss Plan S in São Paulo, Brazil, at the May meeting of the Global Research Council, an informal group of funding agencies. Although Smits will leave the European Commission in March, the Plan S coalition is seeking a replacement who can keep the momentum going.”The combined weight of Europe and China is probably enough to move the system,” says astrophysicist Luke Drury, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and the lead author of a cautiously supportive response to Plan S by All European Academies, a federation of European academies of sciences and humanities.If Plan S does succeed in bringing about a fairer publishing system, he says, a transition to worldwide OA is sure to follow. “Somebody has to take the lead, and I’m pleased that it looks like it’s coming from Europe.”With reporting by Jeffrey Brainard, Sanjay Kumar, Dennis Normile, and Brian Owens. 2.3 Japan 3 Paper players Percentages of the world’s 2016 science articles by country 2.2 2.8 4.5 South Korea Russia Spain UnitedKingdom Italy How far will Plan S spread?Since the September 2018 launch of the Europe-backed program to mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature, 16 funders in 13 countries have signed on. That’s still far shy of Plan S’s ambition: to convince the world’s major research funders to require immediate OA to all published papers stemming from their grants. Whether it will reach that goal depends in part on details that remain to be settled, including a cap on the author charges that funders will pay for OA publication. But the plan has gained momentum: In December 2018, China stunned many by expressing strong support for Plan S. This month, a national funding agency in Africa is expected to join, possibly followed by a second U.S. funder. Others around the world are considering whether to sign on.Plan S, scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2020, has drawn support from many scientists, who welcome a shake-up of a publishing system that can generate large profits while keeping taxpayer-funded research results behind paywalls. But publishers (including AAAS, which publishes Science) are concerned, and some scientists worry that Plan S could restrict their choices. CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/SCIENCE; (DATA) NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD, SCIENCE & ENGINEERING INDICATORS 2018 last_img read more

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