Millions of years of life lie within the Dying Grounds

first_img By Toni Gibbons       PETRIFIED FOREST — Set among the area known as ‘The Teepees,’ the red, blue and gray layered cones of earth, rock and ash rising above the sea of grass, sage andSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photo by Toni GibbonsPetrified Forest National Park (PEFO) Lead Paleontologist Dr. Adam Marsh sits near a pile of what appeared to be rocks and explained the creatures that once roamed the land millions of years before during Triassic period. Millions of years of life lie within the Dying Groundscenter_img September 13, 2018last_img read more

Indore Cow vigilantes thrash two for allegedly transporting beef

first_img Vigilantism 2.0 Madhya Pradesh govt tables cow vigilantism bill in state assembly cow vigilantes, gau rakshaks, cow vigilantism, men beaten for carrying beef, cow protection, prohibition of cow slaughter act, indian express The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on June 26 proposed a jail term of six months to three years and a fine of Rs 25,000-50,000 for those who engage in violence against anyone booked under the anti-cow slaughter Act. (Express Photo/ Representational)While Madhya Pradesh is set to bring a bill to curb violence by gau rakshaks, another case of cow vigilantism was reported from Indore on Sunday. Right-wing activists and bystanders stopped a vehicle near Kesarbaug bridge in the morning and reportedly thrashed two persons for allegedly transporting beef. The third person in the vehicle managed to escape.Inspector of Rajendranagar Police Station Sunil Sharma told The Indian Express that Nadim and Imran, both in their 20s, have been arrested for violating provisions of the state’s prohibition of cow slaughter act. He, however, said that the duo was unhurt. He said a local veterinary doctor has confirmed that the vehicle was carrying beef and other meat.In a bid to crackdown on cow vigilantism, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh on June 26 proposed a jail term of six months to three years and a fine of Rs 25,000-50,000 for those who engage in violence against anyone booked under the anti-cow slaughter Act. 15 Comment(s) Related News Law and beyond The Kamal Nath government cleared an amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Vadh Pratishedh Adhiniyam, 2004 — the anti-cow slaughter law passed by the previous BJP government — to include this provision.Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Manoj Shrivastava had said the punishment will increase to minimum one year and maximum five years if a mob is involved in cow vigilantism. In case of repeat offenders, the jail term will be doubled.The amendment also seeks to punish those who abet cow vigilantism by providing a jail term of one to three years. People who damage property of those charged under the anti-cow slaughter law will also be punished. Advertising Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: July 14, 2019 4:19:54 pm Advertisinglast_img read more

As cameras track Detroits residents a debate ensues over racial bias

first_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief detroit, michigan police, artificial intelligence, mit, world news, indian express A map of surveillance cameras at the Real Time Crime Center, the viewing space for Project Green Light, at the Police Department’s headquarters in downtown Detroit, June 14, 2019. In recent weeks, a public outcry has erupted over the facial recognition program employed in conjunction with the network of cameras. (Brittany Greeson/The New York Times)Written by Amy Harmon The facial recognition program matches the faces picked up across the city against 50 million driver’s license photographs and mug shots contained in a Michigan police database. The practice has attracted public attention recently as the department seeks approval for a formal policy governing its use from a civilian oversight board.“Please, facial recognition software — that’s too far,” pleaded one resident at a recent meeting of the board.The debate in Detroit is one of several unfolding around the country as rapid advances in facial recognition offer potentially disquieting new powers to a surveillance infrastructure that Americans have largely accepted as a fact of urban life. Immigration officials have mined driver’s license databases in at least three states, according to newly released records. The FBI also routinely uses facial recognition technology to scan state driver’s license databases without the approval or knowledge of the license-holders, which a bipartisan group of lawmakers said last month raises privacy concerns.In Detroit, whose share of black residents is larger than in any other sizable U.S. city, it is a racial disparity in the performance of facial recognition technology that is a primary source of consternation. Tawana Petty, an activist with the Detroit Community Technology Project, urged fellow Detroiters to consider the city’s place in the national conversation on facial recognition. “If we allow racially biased technologies to succeed here,” she said, “there really isn’t any hope for black residents anywhere else in the United States.”Not everyone who spoke was against the use of facial recognition.“I’m the pastor getting the call from mothers whose son was shot or their baby got snatched up,” said Maurice Hardwick, a black pastor at a nondenominational ministry who founded a group that works with high school gang members. “People want to know two things: What happened to my child, my loved one? And who did this?”Another Detroit resident, a white woman who walked with a cane, added: “If you’re afraid of the cameras, either you’re paranoid or you’ve got something to hide.”Others were more concerned with a provision that would allow the police to go beyond identifying violent crime suspects with facial recognition and allow officers to try to identify anyone for whom a “reasonable suspicion” exists that they could provide information relevant to an active criminal investigation. There was also concern that the photograph of anyone who gets a Michigan state ID or driver’s license is searchable by state and local law enforcement agencies, and the FBI, likely without their knowledge.When James White, an assistant police chief in charge of the Detroit Police Department’s technology, rose to respond to critics at the public hearing, he provided unexpected backup to the charge that the software comes with baked-in bias. He himself, the assistant chief said, had been misidentified as other African American men by the facial recognition algorithm that Facebook uses to tag photos.“On the question of false positives — that is absolutely factual, and it’s well-documented,” he said. “So that concerns me as an African American male.”The solution, White said, is to exercise extra care. The department’s policy specifies that facial recognition will be used only to investigate violent crimes. Although the department has the ability to implement real-time screening of anyone who passes by a camera — as detailed in a recent report by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology — there is no plan to use it, he said, except in extraordinary circumstances.No one in Detroit, White emphasized, would be arrested solely on the basis of a facial recognition match.“Facial recognition technology isn’t where the work stops,” he said. “It’s where the work starts.”Civil liberties advocates say that protection isn’t enough, especially because defendants are not typically informed that facial recognition has been used in their identification. In one of the few cases to have argued that such information should be disclosed because it is potentially exonerating, a Florida appeals court ruled that a black man, Willie Allen Lynch, had no legal right to see the other matches returned by the facial recognition program that helped lead to his drug-offense conviction. Lynch had argued that he was misidentified. A January 2018 study by two MIT researchers first focused public attention on the higher misidentification rates for dark-skinned women by three leading purveyors of facial recognition algorithms. One of the co-authors, Joy Buolamwini, posted YouTube videos showing the technology misclassifying famous African American women, like Michelle Obama, as men. The phenomenon, Buolamwini wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed, is “a reminder that artificial intelligence, often heralded for its potential to change the world, can actually reinforce bias and exclusion, even when it’s used in the most well-intended ways.” More Explained In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Advertising Best Of Express Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file “Facial recognition software proves to be less accurate at identifying people with darker pigmentation,” George Byers II, a black software engineer, told the police board last month. “We live in a major black city. That’s a problem.”Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in January that facial recognition software marketed by Amazon misidentified darker-skinned women as men 31% of the time. Others have shown that algorithms used in facial recognition return false matches at a higher rate for African Americans than for white people unless explicitly recalibrated for a black population — in which case their failure rate at finding positive matches for white people climbs. That study, posted in May by computer scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Notre Dame, suggests that a single algorithm cannot be applied to both groups with equal accuracy.Byers and other critics spoke at a public hearing called by the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners after what the board called unprecedented public interest in two facial recognition items on its agenda. One item, specific to the new traffic light cameras, was approved last week. The other, a comprehensive “acceptable use” policy for facial recognition, has yet to be put to a vote.Gathered in a packed church in the 2nd Precinct on the city’s west side, those who expressed concerns about what is called “algorithmic bias” included Denzel McCampbell, press secretary to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan Democrat whose district includes Detroit, and Blair Anderson, a former member of the Black Panther Party who invoked the law enforcement surveillance that helped destroy the political group as a cautionary tale. Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Twenty-four hours a day, video from thousands of cameras stationed around Detroit, at gas stations, restaurants, minimarts, apartment buildings, churches and schools, streams into the Police Department’s downtown headquarters.The surveillance program, which began in 2016, is the opposite of covert. A flashing green light marks each participating location, and the point of the popular initiative, known as Project Green Light, has been for the cameras to be noticed and help deter crime. Detroit’s mayor, Mike Duggan, received applause when he promised at his State of the City address earlier this year that expanding the network to include several hundred traffic light cameras would allow the police to “track any shooter or carjacker across the city.”But in recent weeks, a public outcry has erupted over a less-touted tool employed in conjunction with the cameras: software that can, in a matter of seconds, suggest the identities of the anonymous people captured on video. Post Comment(s) By New York Times |Detroit | Published: July 9, 2019 1:39:01 pm NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Top News last_img read more

UCI study finds new cause of cerebral microbleeds

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 25 2018A team of researchers including UCI project scientist Rachita Sumbria, PhD and UCI neurologist Mark J. Fisher, MD have provided, for the first time, evidence that blood deposits in the brain may not require a blood vessel tear. The researchers found that brain endothelial cells, the cells that line blood vessels of the brain, have the capacity for engulfing red blood cells and depositing them outside the blood vessels and into the substance of the brain, without requiring a disruption of the vasculature.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with aging”It has long been believed that a tear or rupture of a brain blood vessel is the cause of cerebral microbleeds,” said Fisher, a professor of neurology at the UCI School of Medicine. “While more confirmatory work needs to be done, our study points to an entirely new direction in efforts to eliminate brain bleeding and its consequences.”The study, titled, “Brain Endothelial Erythrophagocytosis and Hemoglobin Transmigration Across brain Endothelium: Implications for Pathogenesis of Cerebral Microbleeds,” was published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. Much of the new research, which was done in collaboration with the Keck Graduate Institute, was based in large part on previous work done by Fisher related to cerebral bleeds and how they are often an undetected cause of dementia and how they may develop after concussions.Bleeding in the brain, identified as cerebral microbleeds (CMB) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are tiny deposits of blood in the brain that are associated with increasing age, cerebrovascular diseases, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. CMBs are a common cause of cognitive decline and contribute to risk of stroke. Using MRI, cerebral microbleeds are found in nearly 20 percent of people by age 60, and nearly 40 percent of people by age 80. Direct examination of human brain tissue samples shows that brain bleeding is almost universal by age 70. Source: read more

Hackers Blast Emergency Sirens in Dallas

first_imgEndemic Problem It has been recognized for some time that older, outdated emergency warning systems are susceptible to cyberattacks, noted Vijay Basani, CEO of EiQ Networks.”In spite of this known exploitable vulnerability, why have our state and local governments been so complicit in their failure to fix these vulnerabilities?” he asked.That is the important question, Basani told TechNewsWorld.”Besides just making emergency warning systems go off randomly, hackers could have shut them down completely, crippled them temporarily, or redirected emergency personnel to wrong locations,” he said. “Taxpayers should demand that their government fix these systems or upgrade them.”The failure of Dallas’ emergency warning system is endemic to the poor security across these systems, said Dragos’ Caltagirone.Securing systems comes down to identifying critical systems, detecting attacks and implementing real protection, he explained.”Unfortunately, most organizations don’t even successfully complete the first step,” said Caltagirone. “All security starts with knowledge of your own environment. Many systems owners lack sufficient asset inventory. It’s impossible to protect what you don’t understand.” 911 System Disrupted Emergency warning systems in many cities are old, which makes them even more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Ironically, Dallas’ system is about to be overhauled — the city council last fall approved $567,368 for the project.”Many of them were first installed in the ’40s and ’50s,” explained Mike Ahmadi, global director for critical systems security at Synopsys.”They’ve been upgraded over time and most recently connected to the Internet,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Actually, the older systems without any connectivity are pretty safe from a hacker-proof perspective,” Ahmadi added. “It’s modernizing them and giving them IoT connectivity that’s made them vulnerable.”Open information laws also can make these systems vulnerable, maintained Ed Cabrera, chief cybersecurity officer for Trend Micro.”These require detailed government information to be publicly disclosed,” he told TechNewsWorld. “That makes things such as manuals and configuration settings openly available to potential adversaries meaning to do harm.” Although Dallas is still assessing the damage of the cyberattack, its disruption of the 911 system by inciting panic calls about the sirens probably placed some citizens’ lives at risk.Because there were so many calls to the 911 system in a short period of time, the hack of the siren network created a sort of DDoS attack on 911.”Any real emergency happening at the same time will get lost in the noise,” SS8 Chief Security Officer Cemal Dikmen told TechNewsWorld.Call hold times were delayed from their usual 10 seconds to about six minutes, noted James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.”Every citizen was endangered by the inability to request emergency assistance in a reasonable amount of time,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Every caller who legitimately required an emergency response to an actual threat was imperiled by the significantly delayed 911 call center response time,” Scott emphasized. “It is difficult to measure or predict the number of residents who needed emergency assistance and hung up the phone out of frustration, or the number of citizens whose safety and physical well-being were jeopardized by this trivial cyberattack.” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.center_img Screaming sirens serenaded Dallas residents in the early morning hours Saturday after a cyberattack set off the city’s emergency warning system.All of the city’s 156 sirens were set off more than a dozen times, The Dallas Morning News reported.Officials have not yet identified the perpetrator of the attack, the city’s Office of Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz told the newspaper, but he expressed confidence that it was someone outside the Dallas area.The city has figured out how the system was compromised and has begun working to keep it from happening again, he added.The sirens began sounding about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and weren’t silenced until 1:20 a.m., when the entire system was deactivated.Despite the city’s pleas not to make 911 calls about the sirens, emergency operators were swamped with 4,400 calls during the early morning hours Saturday. Inadvertent Threat to Life If the Dallas attack should turn out to be an isolated incident, its impact will be minimal, but if such attacks should multiply, they could undermine public faith in emergency warning systems.”Like crying wolf too often, these attacks erode the faith in these systems critical to safeguarding human life during an emergency,” said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos.”While a single event is unlikely to cause significant damage,” he told TechNewsWorld, “continual attacks will most certainly have a long-term effect.”Both determined and hobbyist hackers are probing and testing the nation’s critical infrastructure, he added.”There are no indications of an imminent wide-scale attack, but these attacks will only become more common — and the biggest fear is that an adversary will do great harm and possibly threaten human life inadvertently,” Caltagirone explained.”Dallas is a well-funded municipality with the proper resources to defend their infrastructure from attack,” he added. “This does not bode well for the majority of municipalities who lack the resources of Dallas.” Antiquated Systemslast_img read more

Study of rare uterine sarcoma reveals clinically relevant molecular subtypes

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 7 2019Undifferentiated uterine sarcoma is a very rare but extremely aggressive cancer type. It can be divided into four groups with different characteristics of clinical importance – a new study at Karolinska Institutet reveals. The results, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, also show that the survival rate of patients with a certain type of tumor is better than predicted.Sarcoma is a collective name for 50 different cancers in the body’s mesenchymal (soft) tissues. Undifferentiated sarcoma of the uterus is a cancer with a very poor prognosis, with a typical survival of less than two years. The only treatment of any importance for the survival of a patient is surgery, whereas radiation therapy and chemotherapy do not have any pronounced effect. Since the tumor is so rare, we have limited knowledge of it.Related StoriesResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerIn the current study the researchers examined tumor material from 50 patients with the help of both advanced molecular analyses and with more traditional clinical laboratory analyses. The aim was to gain new knowledge about the tumor’s biological characteristics and relate these to the patient’s survival and the routine methods which are used in the laboratory.The tumors could be divided into four groupsBy means of molecular mapping and analysis of gene expression the tumors could be divided into four previously unknown groups. The four groups had different biological characteristics which are considered by the researchers to be of importance for patients.Firstly, the patients had different survival rates depending on the group that the tumor belonged to. Secondly, the most aggressive tumors were characterized by a distinctive microscopic appearance and protein expression, which makes them identifiable with the help of common laboratory techniques.New potential treatment targetsWith the help of additional analyses, the researchers were able to identify new potential treatment targets.”It is too early to propose a new treatment that will be useful for the patients today, but the study opens up new avenues for future research, which will create in time new treatment possibilities for women who suffer from these rare tumors,” says Joseph Carlson, Associate Professor at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, who has led the study.The study also shows that some of the patients’ life expectancy is not as gloomy as one thought before the study, since there is a group of patients who survive for a much longer time than two years, and this group can be identified by means of current laboratory techniques. Source: read more

Facetoface workshops increase householders natural disaster preparedness

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 2 2019Face-to-face workshops based on the psychology of behavior change and disaster preparedness can be used to prompt households to take action to protect themselves against disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods, a new UCL-led study has found.The study, published today in Nature Human Behaviour, found that by engaging households in evidence-based, face-to-face workshops, researchers could engineer change in householders’ natural disaster preparedness that would last long term, potentially saving lives.Although vulnerability to natural disasters is increasing globally, even in high-risk regions few households have measures in place to protect and prepare themselves. Ill-preparedness tends to lead to larger post-disaster losses and greater loss of life, injury and displacement.”There is evidence that even small measures can save countless lives,” says Professor Helene Joffe (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences), leader of the study.Related StoriesThe Psychology Behind Sticking to Your New Year’s ResolutionsObsessive-compulsive disorder may protect individuals from obesityPenis enlargement surgery ineffective and potentially dangerous”Being prepared for multiple hazards makes households more resilient, especially given that hazards can occur simultaneously or in rapid sequence, such as the recent cyclones followed by floods in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.”UCL researchers and their local counterparts ran workshops to empower people to make small household adjustments to prepare for disasters, such as securing TVs, computers and cabinets to the walls and ensuring objects are not placed above beds regarding protection from earthquakes. They also showed the importance of keeping exits clear of obstruction and having functioning smoke detectors and in-date fire extinguishers, regarding fire protection.The workshops were comprised of two three-hour training sessions, after which the researchers observed whether households had adopted disaster preparedness behaviors. Half of the households in the sample were given the training, and half were not.”We found that behavioral changes were most likely where there was home ownership and high outcome expectancy – that is, when individuals had a sense of agency and believed their actions would have an effect, they were more likely to make changes,” says Professor Joffe.”An unintended consequence of the study was that even the control group – which did not receive training – improved its preparedness behavior. This suggests that when risk-related behaviors are simply being observed, householders will change their behaviors to become more prepared.”Professor Joffe concludes that face-to-face training, or even simply home observations, by external sources such as a fire department, could be a way to ensure that measures are put in place by householders across a population to prepare for natural disasters. The very idea of a disaster being ‘natural’ obscures how much humans can do to protect themselves from such events.Source: read more

Nurses use local realtime maps of opioid overdoses to inform clinical practice

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 11 2019Nurse practitioners and nursing students can use local, real-time maps of opioid overdoses to inform their clinical work with adolescents in community health settings, finds new research from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.”Analyzing community maps with data from emergency response teams can help us to design interventions that have the potential to change the trajectory of the current opioid crisis,” said Donna Hallas, PhD, PPCNP-BC, CPNP, PMHS, FAANP, clinical professor and director of the pediatric nurse practitioner program at NYU Meyers. Hallas is the lead author of the study, which appears in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.The opioid crisis has devastated communities across the country, but overdoses vary by region and neighborhood. For instance, opioid overdoses in the Bronx are concentrated in the South Bronx, while the northern part of the borough has seen relatively few overdoses.The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and its emergency medical services (EMS) collect data that generate geospatial information system (GIS) maps for New York City’s five boroughs. These maps, which provide real-time awareness of issues including drug overdoses, enable the FDNY and EMS to identify locations of street-level drug use that may lead to lethal outcomes and to plan their daily strategies in the fight against opioid overdoses.For this study, the FDNY shared its GIS maps with NYU Meyers researchers in order to develop an educational program for nurse practitioner (NP) preceptors who provide clinical educational experiences for NP students. This project is part of national efforts to improve interprofessional collaborations among traditional and nontraditional health care providers–for instance, primary care providers, EMS, and firefighters.NP preceptors were educated on a variety of facets of the opioid crisis, including reviewing opioid-prescribing practices in community-based centers and recommendations for changing prescribing practices to control pain using alternative medications. The preceptors were also introduced to New York State Department of Health’s opioid data, which provide a high-level overview of long-term trends, including rates of overdoses at the borough/county level, naloxone administrations, and emergency room visits.Related StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchThe state-level data were compared with the FDNY GIS maps, which contain a finer level of detail, including the number of opioid overdoses as well as other drug and alcohol incidents, with heat maps showing locations and concentrations of incidents. The researchers focused on maps of the Bronx and Brooklyn, where students were working in primary care settings, including school-based health centers, federally qualified health care centers, community-based clinics, and hospital settings.”The importance of local GIS maps is that this information is available in real time so that interventions can be designed, evaluated, and changed quickly to meet the immediate needs of the community,” said Hallas.The researchers found that the use of GIS maps did, in fact, better inform the care NP preceptors provided and the interactions about the opioid crisis they discussed with NP students, as measured by reviewing the students’ weekly clinical notes. The analysis of GIS maps led to consistent screenings for risk-taking behaviors in the adolescent and young adult populations, thanks to students’ timely awareness of community abuse issues.These screenings resulted in an increase in interventions by students, including motivational interviewing and an evidence-based model called SBIRT: screening, brief intervention, and referral to substance use treatment.”Traditional and nontraditional healthcare professionals have a unique opportunity to use visual technologies, such as GIS mapping, to identify hot spots early and then assess, diagnose, and treat those for whom opioid use, overdoses, and deaths are major problems,” said Hallas. “We recommend collaborations between traditional and nontraditional healthcare providers as a strategy that holds promise for combating the opioid epidemic in local communities.”last_img read more

Growth hormone acts directly on the brain to conserve energy when the

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 12 2019Researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil have discovered that growth hormone (GH), which stimulates skeletal maturation and linear bone growth, as well as helping maintain tissue and organs throughout life, also acts directly on the brain to conserve energy when the body loses weight.A paper on the discovery has just been published in the journal Nature Communications. “Growth hormone has been known for decades, but our discovery shows it does a lot more than was thought,” said José Donato Junior (, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) and one of the authors of the paper.”GH receptors are found in large quantities in muscle and tissue, in the liver, and in organs directly involved in growth metabolism, but we found that the brain is also full of GH receptors. This is entirely new,” Donato said.”We also found that brain GH is not only involved in growth metabolism but above all influences the metabolic responses that conserve energy when we’re hungry or on a diet. This discovery, which is also new to science, has important implications in terms of understanding why it’s so hard to lose weight.”The study was part of the Thematic Project “The role of growth hormone in the brain: relevance for neural functions and in disease”, supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP. In addition to researchers affiliated with ICB-USP, the group also included scientists at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP), Argentina’s La Plata National University (UNLP), and Ohio University in the United States.”For decades, scientists have been trying to understand why it’s so difficult to maintain the weight achieved after the sacrifices of a successful diet and why it’s so easy to regain the lost weight. Leptin has hitherto been considered the main hormone that acts to conserve energy when we’re hungry,” Donato said.Bloodstream leptin levels are known to fall in response to weight loss, he explains, but this knowledge has never resulted in the creation of a successful diet or therapy with leptin that could enable subjects to lose weight and not regain it soon afterwards.”The weight loss process evidently involves several metabolic processes and several hormones besides leptin. This is where GH comes in. We found that in response to weight loss, GH acts on the brain in a similar way to leptin. However, while leptin levels fall, the opposite happens to GH. Weight loss triggers a rise in bloodstream levels of GH,” Donato said.”In the recently published article, we show that central growth hormone signaling also promotes neuroendocrine adaptations during food deprivation.”Related StoriesAre DNA-based diets and personalized ‘medical foods’ the future for weight loss?UNC receives $3.8 million grant to assess impact of Med-South behavioral weight loss programMetals bind to and influence peptide involved in insulin productionGH receptors in the brain are located in the hypothalamus, the highest center of the autonomic nervous system. Impulses from the hypothalamus influence the cells of the neurovegetative system and regulate smooth muscle tissue in the gut and blood vessels, cardiac muscle, all glands, and the kidneys, among other organs.The researchers found that GH receptors in the hypothalamus specifically activate a small population of neurons called AgRP, which is short for agouti-related protein. AgRP neurons in turn increase the production of AgRP, which increases appetite and diminishes energy metabolism and expenditure.”AgRP is one of the most powerful appetite stimulants. It’s curious to see how a small number of AgRP neurons, only a few thousand out of the billions of neurons in the hypothalamus, can play such an important role,” Donato said.Energy conservationTo conduct a detailed study of the influence of GH signaling on AgRP neurons, the scientists at USP and colleagues bred genetically modified mice with AgRP-specific GH receptor ablation (called AgRP GHR knockout mice). Their experiments also used a control group comprising wild-type mice that were not genetically modified.In various experiments, the researchers measured whole-body energy expenditure in the two groups of mice when subjected to a diet with 60% food restriction. Their aim was to determine whether a lack of adaptive response to the resulting energy deficit would have a significant impact on energy balance.They found that the control mice decreased energy expenditure during food restriction, which is consistent with the adaptive responses that conserve energy in this situation.Energy expenditure by the AgRP GHR KO mice during food restriction decreased significantly less, suggesting that they did not save energy as efficiently as the control mice.As a result, the AgRP GHR KO mice displayed a higher rate of weight loss, owing primarily to decreased fat mass (energy reserves) but also to loss of lean mass (vital organs, bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, and body fluids).”In other words, we discovered that weight loss triggers an increase in hypothalamus GH levels, which activates the AgRP neurons, making weight loss harder and intensifying the sense of hunger. That’s precisely the same function leptin performs,” Donato said.Energy conservation is so important to the organism, he added, that evolution has endowed humans with two energy conservation mechanisms, one activated by leptin and the other by GH.”One functions as a backup for the other. This is why weight loss treatments based solely on leptin don’t work. The GH mechanism has to be dealt with at the same time,” Donato said.last_img read more

The homeless are dying in record numbers on the streets of LA

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 24 2019A record number of homeless people — 918 last year alone — are dying across Los Angeles County, on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks.Deaths have jumped 76% in the past five years, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, according to a KHN analysis of the coroner’s data.Health officials and experts have not pinpointed a single cause for the sharp increase in deaths, but they say rising substance abuse may be a major reason. The surge also reflects growth in the number of people who are chronically homeless and those who don’t typically use shelters, which means more people are living longer on the streets with serious physical and behavioral health issues, they say.”It is a combination of people who are living for a long time in unhealthy situations and who have multiple health problems,” said Michael Cousineau, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. “There are more complications, and one of those complications is a high mortality rate. It’s just a tragedy.”Nearly 53,000 people were homeless in L.A. County last year, according to a point-in-time count of homeless residents, an increase of about 39% since 2014. The majority were not living in shelters.The homeless population has also grown nationwide, but there is no national count of homeless deaths.The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner considers someone homeless if that person doesn’t have an established residence, or if the body was found in an encampment, shelter or other location that suggests homelessness.Based on that criteria, the coroner reported 3,612 deaths of homeless people in L.A. County from 2014 to 2018.A detailed look at the numbers reveals a complex picture of where — and how — homeless people are dying.One-third died in hospitals and even more died outside, in places such as sidewalks, alleyways, parking lots, riverbeds and on freeway on-ramps.Male deaths outnumbered female deaths, but the percentage of homeless women who died increased faster than that of men. And although black people make up fewer than one-tenth of the county’s population, they accounted for nearly a quarter of the homeless deaths.”We need to take action now,” said Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter on L.A.’s skid row. “Otherwise next year it’s going to be more than 1,000.”Substance AbuseDrugs and alcohol played a direct role in at least a quarter of the deaths of homeless people over the past five years, according to the analysis of the coroner’s data. It likely contributed to many more, including some whose deaths were related to liver and heart problems.The coroner’s cause of death determination “doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story,” said Brian Elias, the county’s chief of coroner investigations, who called the increase “alarming.”A person who is homeless may get an infection on top of a chronic disease on top of a substance abuse disorder — and all of those together lead to bad outcomes. “It’s a house of cards,” said Dr. Coley King, a physician at the Venice Family Clinic.Raymond Thill was just 46 when he died last year of what his wife, Sherry Thill, called complications related to alcoholism. The couple had been homeless for many years before moving into a small apartment in South Los Angeles shortly before his death.Thill said her husband often drank vodka throughout the day and had been in and out of the hospital because of liver and other health problems. He tried rehab and she tried taking the alcohol away. Nothing worked, she said.Related StoriesLiving-donor liver transplant offers advantages over deceased-donor, research findsPerinatal depression screenings may overlook women having suicidal ideationImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patients”His mind was set,” she said. “So I took care of him.”In the end, Thill said, cirrhosis left her husband jaundiced, swollen and unable to keep food down.King treated Raymond Thill and said he is convinced that Thill would have lived longer if he’d been off the streets earlier.”This shouldn’t be happening,” especially when many deaths could have been prevented with better access to health care and housing, said David Snow, a sociology professor at the University of California-Irvine. “If you are on the streets, you are not getting the attention you need.”‘Ready For Bad Luck To Happen’Homeless residents in Los Angeles also died from the same ailments as the general population — heart disease, cancer, lung disease, diabetes and infections. But they did so at a much younger age, said Dr. Paul Gregerson, who treats homeless residents as chief medical officer for JWCH Institute clinics in the Los Angeles area.A stressful lifestyle, lack of healthy food and exposure to the weather contribute to an early death, he said. “If you are homeless, your body ages faster from living outside,” Gregerson said.In Los Angeles County, the average age of death for homeless people was 48 for women and 51 for men. The life expectancy for women in California in 2016 was 83 and 79 for men — among the best longevity statistics in the nation.Over the five-year period in L.A. County, there also was a sharp increase in deaths of younger adults who were homeless. For instance, the deaths of adults under 45 more than doubled.The data does not include information about mental illnesses, which Elias of the coroner’s office said could be a contributing factor in some of the deaths.Stephen Rosenstein, 59, was walking across the street in Panorama City, an L.A. neighborhood, when a car struck and killed him one night early last year, said his sister, Cindy Garcia. He had spent years bouncing from the streets to shelters to board-and-care homes, she said.Rosenstein had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression, Garcia said, and often resisted help — behavior she attributed to his mental illness. “Most people would want to have a roof over your head,” she said. “He just fought it all the way.”Rosenstein’s cause of death was listed as “traumatic injuries.” Deaths by trauma or violence were common among the homeless in the period analyzed: At least 800 people died from trauma, and of those, about 200 were shot or stabbed.”They are ready for bad luck to happen,” King said.This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation. This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Many patients and the public have low awareness of heart failure

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 6 2019Low awareness of heart failure among patients and the public is highlighted in surveys to be presented during Heart Failure 2019 the annual congress of the Heart Failure Association (HFA), a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), taking place in Athens, Greece from 25 to 28 May.Today’s preview, on Heart Failure Awareness Day, reveals other myths about heart failure: one in five members of the public said patients should avoid exercise, while just over half of patients knew that exercise can be a treatment for their disease. Tips for patients on living with heart failure can be found on the Heart Failure Matters website.The HFA is set to launch the Heart Failure Atlas which maps disparities in prevention and treatment across ESC member countries. Congress attendees will get the first look in Athens.Novel research on many heart failure topics will be presented during the event in 1,700 abstracts, including: In vitro fertilization: linked to heart failure? You are what you eat: diet, gut microbes, and heart failure outcomes. How yogic breathing is being used in chronic heart failure. What determines who follows heart failure treatment advice, and who doesn’t? How machine learning could help select patients for cardiac resynchronisation therapy. Predicting recovery of ejection fraction in heart failure patients. Do women and men need different doses of heart failure drugs? An innovative non-invasive biomarker to detect heart transplant rejection. The world’s leading heart failure congress will attract around 6,000 cardiologists, cardiac nurses, surgeons, general physicians, basic scientists, and epidemiologists from over 100 countries. The latest advances in prevention and treatment will be discussed in more than 175 sessions across four days.Technology update: Mobile applications for heart failure management, and the role of social media.2Plus the use of big data, artificial intelligence, and wearable devices for monitoring patients with heart failure.Featured presentations: Are cancer and heart failure enemies in treatment? Leaders in the field take a look at whether heart failure promotes cancer or vice versa, common pathways in tumour growth and heart failure, which cancer therapies are toxic to the heart, and molecular strategies to combat cardiotoxicity.Not to miss: Emerging drugs and devices in heart failure. Of particular interest: What is different about heart failure in women? Also on the agenda: Developments in lifestyle including alcohol, tobacco, diet, weight control, sodium restriction, exercise, and sex life.The congress theme is: “Heart failure: from alpha to omega”. Professor Gerasimos Filippatos, scientific chair, said: “Based on the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, the theme illustrates that the meeting will cover the entire heart failure journey, from prevention through to palliative and end of life care.” Explore the scientific programme for Heart Failure 2019 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. To be held 25 to 28 May at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.Four late breaking trial sessions on acute and chronic heart failure, innovative treatments, device therapies and registries will showcase cutting edge findings, among them:Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adults PHARM-CHF randomised controlled trial on improving adherence to heart failure medications. ReBIC-1 randomised trial on the safety of diuretic withdrawal in chronic heart failure patients. Can activity of the adrenomedullin system be used to personalise acute heart failure treatment? First-in-human research: DSR-FIH study of direct sodium removal and VECTOR-HF study of a novel battery-free and wireless pressure monitor. Source: read more

New algorithm guides catheters to accurately locate atrial fibrillation sources

first_imgProfessor Ghoraani and her collaborators have developed a cutting-edge technique that has the potential to be a game-changer in how electrophysiologists treat atrial fibrillation with ablation. The high performance of this algorithm is evident by the high source detection success rate. ICAN could significantly improve the success of patient-specific atrial fibrillation ablation and facilitate treating patients before the disease progresses to the permanent stage.”Stella Batalama, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science We have developed the first algorithm to localize atrial fibrillation sources by iteratively navigating a 20-electrode circular catheter that is routinely used for ablation procedures. ICAN guides the incremental movements of this catheter from an arbitrary initial placement on the atrial tissue until a source of arrhythmia, rotor or focal, is detected by the algorithm.”Behnaz Ghoraani, Ph.D., senior author, assistant professor in FAU’s Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a fellow of FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems (I-SENSE) and FAU’s Brain Institute (I-BRAIN), two of the university’s four research pillars Related StoriesComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharpResearchers report how a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brainStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sGhoraani and collaborators from the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and SUNY Upstate Medical Center, tested ICAN on realistic simulated data with several test cases of rotor and foci-driven arrhythmias, which covered a broad range of activation patterns in 2D as well as 3D AFib simulations. They placed the catheter on 114,921 initial catheter locations across the simulated region for different rotor and foci mechanisms. In all cases, they modeled globally distributed fibrosis. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 21 2019Patients with atrial fibrillation or AFib experience chaotic electrical signals in the upper chamber of their heart (atria), which cause an irregular or quivering heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots and heart failure. AFib also is a major cause of stroke and affects 33 million people worldwide.When medications and other treatments fail, specially trained cardiologists (electrophysiologists) turn to ablation, which involves a catheter that is gently guided to the heart to destroy malfunctioning tissue and scar the problematic areas. Prior to surgery, electrophysiologists require advanced 3D mapping of the heart to direct them to problematic areas, which is a laborious and time-consuming process.This procedure also poses a number of challenges for physicians including low, long-term success rates, which requires a need for new techniques to successfully guide catheter movements and accurately detect AFib targets.Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and collaborators have developed the first algorithm that can locate patient-specific ablation targets within the atria that does not require specialized catheters or 3D electro-anatomic maps of the heart. The new algorithm – the iterative catheter navigation (ICAN) – is fundamentally different from existing approaches.In the study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, the researchers demonstrate that ICAN stops the catheter when it finds the AFib source and identifies the source type with a success rate of more than 95.25 percent using human AFib simulations. Researchers also tested the effectiveness of ICAN in the presence of fibrosis and patchy myocardial scars, which makes AFib source detection more challenging, with a 99 percent detection rate regardless of the scar size, using human Afib simulations.ICAN iteratively navigates a catheter toward AFib sources, does not involve electrophysiological mapping of the entire surface of the heart, and does not make any assumptions on the AFib source types to navigate the catheter. As a result, this algorithm can be used for locating different types of AFib sources such as rotational circuits and focal beats. In addition, the researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of their study in a few human clinical AFib cases and plan to further validate ICAN in more patients. There are currently two patents pending for certain aspects of the algorithm.Source:Florida Atlantic UniversityJournal reference:Ghoraani, B. et al. (2019) Locating Atrial Fibrillation Rotor and Focal Sources Using Iterative Navigation of Multipole Diagnostic Catheters. Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology. read more

Deeplearning system generates specific genrebased music

Explore further Izaro Goienetxea, a UPV/EHU researcher, has developed a method for automatically generating new tunes on the basis of a collection or corpus comprising tunes used in bertso—a form of extempore, sung, Basque verse-making. She has also presented a new way of representing pieces of music, and developed a new method for automatically classifying music. PLOS ONE has reported on the research conducted in the UPV/EHU’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems research group. Journal information: PLoS ONE Two new automatic methods of generating and classifying music have emerged in the context of the BertsoBot project. Credit: University of the Basque Country This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Izaro Goienetxea et al. Towards the use of similarity distances to music genre classification: A comparative study, PLOS ONE (2018). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191417 One of the lines of research undertaken by the Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RSAIT) research group at the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Informatics is to develop interaction between humans and machines or robots. Its BertsoBot project is regarded as a major one “in which we get robots to sing verses,” said the group’s leader, Basilio Sierra. The research group is working on voice signal comprehension, computer vision, browsing, and the generation of new musical melodies.Izaro Goienetxea, a researcher in the group and a Ph.D. student, is involved in two areas of research: the automatic generation of music and the automatic classification of music. The researcher says that many methods based on grammars or statistical models have been developed for music generation, but “the coherence of the melodies will need to be taken into consideration to be able to generate melodies that are easy to understand. We would need to be sure that certain segments are repeated within the new melodies, not only on the note level but also on other more abstract melodic levels.” Even though the work had its beginnings in the generation of music, the results have led her to explore ways of classifying music. “We have more and more music available on the internet, and one aspect that is becoming important is the possibility of producing automatic classifications of music so that large music collections can be produced,” said Goienetxea.Classifying similar bertso melodiesIn an article published in the PLOS ONE journal, two new methods developed as a result of that research have been presented. First, a musical classification method according to genre, based on a new way of representing music and works by grouping together similar bertso tunes. Through it, “we analyse a tune, and we say what it is similar to—in other words, which genre we can classify it into,” said Goienetxea.These clusters are also used to generate new melodies in the “style” of the melodies in these clusters. “These new melodies are similar to the original ones,” said Goienetxea. “And by including more than one music model, a new melody, a new version, which will be the blending of them, will be generated,” added Sierra.To develop her work, the researcher used a corpus or collection comprising bertso tunes. “We are proposing a way in which bertso tunes can be represented and then how these tunes can be classified. We have come up with a method which can then be applied to another kind of corpus, to another kind of music,” said Goienetxea. According to the researcher, they have managed to automatically generate new bertso tunes, “but the method also lends itself to music therapy applications, musical composition learning or composing programs, among other things.” From Mozart to Botzart: when machines write our music Citation: Deep-learning system generates specific genre-based music (2018, March 5) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Provided by University of the Basque Country read more

Want to make your factory wireless NIST can guide you

first_img Provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology Knowing that it will take reliable wireless communications to make it all happen, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the first-ever set of science-based guidelines to help users select the best wireless system for any specific industrial environment, custom-design the setup to make it work, successfully deploy it, and then ensure that the network performs as needed.By eliminating physical connections such as wires and cables from a facility’s communication network, wireless technology offers many manufacturing, chemical processing and utility organizations a means to run their entire operation more efficiently, more productively and at less cost. However, concerns about reliability, integrity and security have hampered the adoption and use of industrial wireless, especially when wireless communication can often be disrupted by obstructions and interference in harsh industrial settings.Through its Wireless Systems for Industrial Environments project, NIST is working with private-sector collaborators and standards organizations to overcome these obstacles and make industrial wireless communication the first choice for factories. As part of this effort, in March 2017, NIST and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) organized a technical working group of experts on wireless communications from government, industry and academia to develop “a succinct yet comprehensive, easy-to-use reference guide and best practices manual for anyone, from control engineers to factory managers, to integrate a robust, safe, reliable and secure wireless system into their unique industrial landscape,” said Rick Candell, an electronics engineer in NIST’s Engineering Laboratory.Candell said that the new how-to guide walks a user clearly and thoroughly through every step needed to achieve the best wireless fit for his or her specific operation. The document provides valuable background, strategies and tools that help users:Understand wireless technologies and networking basics, including a glossary of terms, a review of radio frequency (RF) considerations and a list of technical challenges (such as latency, the time it takes for data to go from source to target);Make a business case for wireless;Break down the components of a complete wireless lifecycle, from the first defining of objectives to deployment and monitoring of the final system;Use wireless to enhance factory safety;Protect and secure a wireless network;Learn about best wireless practices such as optimal antenna placement, getting around obstructions and interference problems, and preventing redundant signal paths; andFollow a set of easy-to-use checklists for each element of the wireless deployment lifecycle, including evaluating the factory and its operations for communications needs, comparing available technologies, and methodically designing and deploying a working wireless system.A series of best-practice case studies completes the guide, showing what strategies can be used to improve and optimize wireless in different factory situations. “For example, one scenario looks at a common but often overlooked problem when using wireless communications: dealing with the RF interference that may arise from microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices and other nonoperational items that personnel are using,” Candell said. “The guide tells how to identify the sources of such interference, measure how they impact factory operations, and then use the data to choose the most appropriate solution from those described in the text.”Another case study described by the guide shows how properly deployed wireless could prevent a hazardous work environment.”Wireless gas sensors can monitor the accumulation of poisonous or combustible gases in a work setting but only if all of the signal transmission and propagation challenges in that area are considered,” Candell explained. “We use the example of a welder in a confined space whose torch is producing carbon monoxide gas, and show how successful, continuous monitoring depends on critical factors such as antenna placement and the use of multiple sensors in case one fails.”Candell said that future guides from NIST will address more advanced communications scenarios such as wireless technologies for control of mobile and collaborative robotics in the factory. Using a novel testbed that recreates factory environments in the lab, NIST engineer Rick Candell helps ‘cut the cords’ (and wires) from industrial communications networks by studying how different factory layouts affect wireless radio frequencies, and in turn, how this impacts factory performance. Credit: Earl Zubkoff It’s been called the “smart factory” and even given the lofty moniker of “the fourth industrial revolution.” The manufacturing operation of the just-around-the-corner future will be one in which networked systems monitor and direct processes, machines communicate with each other and with humans at high speeds, and the factory itself makes decisions about how to optimize and facilitate production. NIST partners ‘cutting the cord’ (and wires) from factory communication networkscenter_img Explore further More information: Richard Candell et al, Guide to industrial wireless systems deployments, (2018). DOI: 10.6028/NIST.AMS.300-4 Citation: Want to make your factory wireless? NIST can guide you (2018, May 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Adidas lifts profit outlook after strong quarter

first_img Explore further Adidas singled out Argentina as a weak spot, where revenues were negatively impacted by the country’s currency woes But the group’s Reebok brand continued to struggle, despite the efforts of British fashion designer Victoria Beckham who unveiled her first mini collection for the brand.The Adidas group posted a net profit of 656 million euros ($751 million) between July and September, up 19 percent on the same period a year earlier.Revenues increased by a currency-neutral eight percent to 5.9 billion, Adidas said in a statement, powered by double-digit growth in the key regions of North America, China and “excellent” online sales.Sales in Russia were up seven percent as the group continued to benefit from a World Cup-related boost even after the football extravaganza ended.Chief executive Kasper Rorsted hailed a quarter marked by “high-quality growth”.”We achieved strong profitability improvements despite a significant increase in marketing investments and severe currency headwinds,” he said.The Bavaria-based group singled out Argentina as a weak spot, where revenues were negatively impacted by the country’s currency woes.Sales at struggling US sports brand Reebok meanwhile plunged nearly five percent, despite a robust performance from its Classics shoe range.Reebok has struggled to impress at Adidas since it was snapped up in 2005 in an attempt to narrow the gap with main rival Nike. The US brand is undergoing a vast restructuring that includes store closures and a stronger focus on the women’s market, boosted by the likes of Victoria Beckham.The singer-turned-designer presented her debut capsule collection for Reebok in July, a minimalist line inspired by the 1990s and former basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal.Looking ahead, Adidas said it is now expecting net income for the whole of 2018 to grow 16 to 20 percent to 1.6-1.7 billion euros, up from an earlier predicted increase of 13 to 17 percent.Full-year revenues are expected to climb by eight or nine percent year-on-year, down from a previous estimate of around 10 percent “due to lower-than-initially-expected growth in western Europe”. Citation: Adidas lifts profit outlook after ‘strong’ quarter (2018, November 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img © 2018 AFP BMW profit dips in ‘volatile’ times German sporting goods maker Adidas on Wednesday lifted its profit expectations for 2018 after a “strong” third quarter that saw brisk global demand for its sportswear and sneakers.last_img read more

Amazon Walmart face hit from new India ecommerce rules

first_imgThe new rules could force global giants such as Amazon and Walmart to rethink their Indian operations Traditional traders and local players rejoiced Thursday at new e-commerce rules imposed by the Indian government on global giants such as Amazon and Walmart which analysts said could force them to rethink their Indian operations. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Under the surprise restrictions, e-commerce companies are banned from selling products from firms in which they have a stake. They are also forbidden from entering into exclusive deals with sellers.The rules, which come into force on February 1, will particularly hit Amazon, which has invested billions of dollars in its India operation, and Flipkart, which was taken over this year by another US giant, Walmart.The government acted in response to complaints from brick and mortar retailers that e-commerce giants were unfairly selling products at discount prices.Indian law already prevents foreign-owned companies from selling directly on their internet sites.So the e-commerce companies have been buying in bulk and then selling the products to favoured vendors. These then resell the products at discount on the e-commerce sites who legally remain intermediaries.Amazon and Walmart, which in May bought a 77 percent stake in Indian company Flipkart for $16 billion, will be worst hit by the new rules. Neither has made a public reaction.Snapdeal, one of India’s biggest Internet shopping sites, said the changes would enable a level playing field for all sellers.”Marketplaces are meant for genuine, independent sellers, many of whom are MSMEs (Micro, small and medium enterprises),” Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl said on Twitter.The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the new policy would end discounting wars between e-retailers.It would also check big companies from using “the policy of exclusivity, predatory pricing and deep discounting” to their advantage, CAIT secretary Praveen Khandelwal told AFP.The new rules will start on February 1 when the nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces its interim budget ahead of a general election due by May.Analysts said the rule would have a major impact on the business models built up over the the last five years by the US giants as they make inroads in India’s growing market.”Amazon, Walmart and other players with their India investments will have to rethink their business strategies,” Satish Meena from Forrester Research told AFP. “Consumers will face the brunt and prices will go up while available options will go down.”The Indian government has in the past two years sought to strengthen home-grown enterprises against foreign competition.It has told credit card companies such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard that all information on Indians must be stored on India-based computers.The government has also proposed limits on what internet giants can do with personal data.It recently proposed that the WhatsApp messaging app break its trademark encryption which guarantees private communications between users. The Facebook-owned firm has fiercely resisted the calls. Flipkart board approves $15 bn deal with Walmart: reportcenter_img Citation: Amazon, Walmart face hit from new India e-commerce rules (2018, December 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Explore further © 2018 AFPlast_img read more

Tacko Fall could make Celtics roster team taking his development very seriously

first_img“He’s a great kid, he’s working really hard, we want to take his development very seriously,” Ainge said, via WEEI. “He’s a high priority for us to try to really develop into a player.”💪 @tackofall99 tallies 12 PTS, 8 REB, 4 BLK as the @celtics move to 4-0 in Las Vegas! #NBASummer NBA (@NBA) July 12, 2019The Celtics have an open roster spot, which Fall could fill, after they waived forward Guerschon Yabusele earlier this month. Related News Tacko Fall could start the season in the NBA.The 7-7 center out of Central Florida went undrafted in 2019 but impressed in the summer league after signing a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics. General manager Danny Ainge was asked about Fall during a press conference Wednesday. Celtics’ Brad Stevens addresses losing Kyrie Irving, Al Horford in free agency “I think that Tacko is going to have a chance to make the roster, but we’ll see,” Ainge said. “He’s here working out right now, brought him in for a few days. … We see some upside there, we’re excited about him.”Fall averaged 7.2 points and 1.4 blocks while shooting 77% from the field during his time with the Celtics in the summer league. Enes Kanter trolls Kyrie Irving as he explains why he’ll wear No. 11 with Celtics Here’s how Tacko Fall could find a role in the NBA Just throw it within 100 feet of Tacko Fall 😅 NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 10, 2019″You know, some of the plays he makes are hilarious, because you just don’t see them,” Ainge said. “I mean, guards get in a bind and they just throw the ball up in the air and then Tacko grabs them and tip-toe dunks them into the basket. It just looks like it’s a senior in high school playing against fourth-graders sometimes out there.”The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford in free agency this summer. But, they signed both Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter.last_img read more

UFC 239 Jon Jones defends light heavyweight title with split decision win

first_imgSantos started well, landing low kicks to Jones’ legs in the first frame. He looked to continue that approach in the second, but his movement was severely compromised when his knee buckled underneath him attempting another kick. MORE: Jorge Masvidal scores fastest ever UFC knockout win over Ben Askren | Amanda Nunes earns stunning first round knockout win over Holly Holm With his movement limited, Santos was unable to throw any powerful kicks, and Jones found his rhythm and range in the third. The GOAT contender began landing his customary long elbows, and even threw some “spinning shit” in a dominant third round. Although injured, Santos was desperate and went head hunting at the start of the fourth. Jones weathered the early storm and started zeroing in on Santos’ other leg. By the final 90 seconds of the round, Santos could barely walk. Just as it looked as though Jones could cruise to a win in the fifth round, Santos exploded, landing a couple of significant strikes to the champ’s head. But, as he always does, Jones was barely phazed and kept walking forward. Despite two fight-altering knee injuries, Santos was game until the end, even throwing a couple of kicks which almost saw him lose balance and hit the deck. In the end, Jones won with scores of 48-47 48-47 47-48. “Oh my goodness, boy was he tough,” Jones said afterwards. “I’m so sorry, I know a lot of you guys are booing me right now. His (Santos’) best chance of winning was by knockout, I played it smart to take this belt back to my family. “He was just technically a lot more sound than I thought.”I’m proud of myself, I fought with a guy who’s been kickboxing way longer than me.”It was a very high level chess match in there. Jones said he was hurt by the early leg kicks Santos threw.”Man they hurt pretty bad,” he said. “He implemeented a gamplan a lot of poeple wante dto for a long time.”He exploited a hole in my game, and that won’t be there next time. Santos later confirmed the knee injury affected his performance, but wasn’t making any excuses. “In the beginning of the first round, something went out, I couldn’t move any more,” he said. “There’s no whining about it. It is what it is.” Although there wasn’t a finish in the main event, UFC 239 will be a contender for best card of the year, with three consecutive main card knockouts leading into Jones-Santos. In the second fight of the pay-per-view portion of the card, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was obliterated by a left hook from Jan Blachowicz in the second round. Coming off fairly straight-forward victories over Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith, Jones didn’t have it all his own way against Santos, despite the Brazilian challenger picking up a serious knee injury in the second round. It was the toughest fight he’s had in a while, but Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title with a split decision win over Thiago Santos at UFC 239 in Las Vegas. center_img The Polish Hammer! 🇵🇱🔨 Jan Blachowicz destroys Luke Rockhold in R2 MyBookie Sportsbook (@betmybookie) July 7, 2019One fight later, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal recorded the fastest knockout win in UFC history when he landed a perfect flying knee on bitter welteriweight rival Ben Askren. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes landed a brutal head kick on former bantamweight champion Holly Holm to take her unbeaten streak to nine.last_img read more

Bank of Japans next move to be more easing say majority of

first_imgTOKYO (Reuters) – Expectations have risen sharply that the Bank of Japan’s next policy move will be to ease further, a Reuters poll of economists found, as the U.S. Federal Reserve looks set to cut interest rates this month for the first time in over a decade. FILE PHOTO: A sign board of Bank of Japan is displayed at the headquarters in Tokyo, Japan January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoThree-quarters of economists said the BOJ’s next move would be to expand stimulus, up from about half last month and 38% just two months ago. Almost two-thirds of those who predicted easing expect it within the year and some as early as this month. Speculation had already been growing for further easing as the U.S.-China trade war and weakening global demand threaten Japan’s export-reliant economy. Fed rate cuts could inflict further damage by boosting the yen against the dollar, making Japanese exports less competitive and eroding profits when repatriated to Japan. A major effect of the BOJ’s massive stimulus since 2013 has been a weaker yen. “The pace of the yen’s appreciation against the dollar when the Fed starts cutting rates will definitely help decide whether the BOJ needs to adopt more easing,” said Yasunari Ueno, chief market economist at Mizuho Securities. “If the gap in interest rates between Japan and the United States shrinks and U.S. shares tumble at the same time, the yen could try 100 yen (0.74 pounds) per dollar. Then the BOJ will have to ease further knowing there would be side effects.” The Japanese currency last strengthened beyond 100 to the dollar in August 2016. It traded around 107.90 JPY=EBS on Thursday. U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, moving toward their first interest rate reduction in a decade later this month, on Tuesday sketched out arguments for whether rates should be cut by a quarter or a half a percentage point. Thirty of 40 economists predicted the BOJ’s next move would be to loosen policy further, while 10 said the bank would tighten, the July 3-16 poll found. Seven of the economists who forecast more easing said the central bank would ease this month, six predicted September, five selected October and two said December. Among possible steps, 25 economists expected the BOJ to tweak its forward guidance. The BOJ pledges to keep very low interest rates “at least through around the spring of 2020” and economists predicted the central bank would extend this period. Eight economists said the BOJ would increase its buying of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japanese real estate investment trusts (J-REITs). Three predicted the bank would deepen its negative interest rates only, while two forecast that it could cut both its negative interest rates and the 10-year bond yield target. This question allowed multiple answers. Under a policy dubbed yield curve control, the BOJ guides short-term rates at -0.1% and the 10-year bond yield around 0%. At last month’s policy review, the BOJ kept policy steady but Governor Haruhiko Kuroda signalled its readiness to ramp up stimulus as global risks cloud the economic outlook, joining U.S. and European central banks in dropping hints of additional easing. JAPAN-SOUTH KOREA FEUD Tokyo and Seoul are in an escalating row after Japan recently announced tighter controls on exports to South Korea of some materials used to make smartphone displays and chips. Asked about the Japanese government’s decision, 15 of 23 economists said they did not support the move, while eight responded they did, the poll found. Asked how the move would affect Japan’s economy, 15 economists saw “little impact” and two said “no impact”, while 12 projected a “moderate impact.” “The direct impact will be limited,” said Kazuma Maeda, economist at Barclays Securities Japan. “But we need to watch for an indirect impact on Japanese production of things like electronic parts and devices, if the export curbs have an unforeseen impact on the global supply chain for the semiconductor industry.” The poll also found Japan’s economy would expand 0.5% in the fiscal year to March 2020, having contracting an annualised 1.8% in the fourth quarter when growth is hit by a scheduled sales tax hike in October. It is projected to grow at the same rate of 0.5% in the next fiscal year. “We expect Japan will avoid falling into recession thanks to solid domestic demand such as public investment and capital expenditure,” said Yosuke Yasui, senior economist at Japan Research Institute. The nation’s core consumer price index, which includes oil products but not fresh foods, will rise 0.7% this fiscal year and 0.6% the following year, the poll showed. Polling and reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Additional polling by Khushboo Mittal in BENGALURU; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Sam HolmesOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

DMK chief seeks probe against officials ministers

first_imgSHARE Cognizant Technology Solutions COMMENT corruption & bribery Published on DMK President M K Stalin on Monday demanded a probe into the charges levelled against the Tamil Nadu government officials and ministers in the Cognizant bribery case.“Tamil Nadu government’s Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) should file a case immediately and all pieces of evidence including video conference details filed in the US court should be obtained with the help of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Interpol,” he said in a statement.“Based on those evidence, action should be taken against the officials and the ministers concerned who took the bribe and granted construction permits in Chennai to Cognizant,” he added.Though officials are being charged of accepting bribes, it could not have happened without the involvement of ministers in charge of the department concerned because it is only the latter who instruct the officials to collect money, Stalin alleged.Stalin’s remarks follow reports that Cognizant had paid ₹26 crore as bribe through another company to secure approvals for the construction of a 2.7 million sq ft facility and for environmental clearance.He also urged the Central government to extend all support to the DVAC in obtaining the evidence from the US court.The corruption case in the US court and the subsequent revelations have brought shame to Tamil Nadu and its people, Stalin said. SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS Tamil Nadu February 18, 2019 DMK Chief M K Stalin (file photo).   –  The Hindulast_img read more