Vaginal bacteria species can raise HIV infection risk and undermine prevention

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The most provocative of the two new studies carefully analyzed the vaginal microflora in 119 women who were HIV negative at the trial’s start, and compared the 49 who became infected with the others. In a previous study of women in this trial, CAPRISA researchers and their collaborators at the University of Cape Town in South Africa reported last year that women who had increased genital tract inflammation were more likely to become infected. Monkey studies suggested a mechanism: Inflammation brings more of HIV’s favorite target, CD4 white blood cells, to the mucosal surface. And in a separate study of women in KwaZulu-Natal, Kwon and colleagues reported last year that inflammation in the vagina is linked to a decrease in Lactobacillus, a species—famously found in yogurt—that creates an acidic environment inhospitable to many pathogens. As the researchers noted but could not explain, Lactobacillus dominated in the vaginas of only 37% of the women they studied, compared with 90% of white women in the United States.Until now, however, no one had clearly linked specific vaginal microbiomes to an increased risk of HIV infection. “Now we have actual data,” says CAPRISA’s director, epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim.The data come from a massive effort to identify bacterial species on vaginal swabs from the women in the CAPRISA tenofovir gel study. Ian Lipkin’s lab at Columbia University, which specializes in finding rare pathogens, extracted some 25,000 sequences of bacterial ribosomal RNA from each swab and used the genomic data to identify a total of 1368 species.One relatively rare species, Prevotella bivia, stood out as particularly harmful. Women whose vaginal microbiome included more than 1% of P. bivia had the highest levels of genital inflammation and the highest likelihood of becoming infected with HIV. These women had markedly reduced levels of Lactobacillus, and the researchers showed that P. bivia was associated with high levels of an inflammation-promoting compound called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Earlier in vitro studies have shown that P. bivia growth leads to high levels of LPS, which make up the cell wall of the bacteria, and the LPS, in turn, stimulates production of inflammatory chemical messengers.Women who had greater than 1% P. bivia were nearly 13 times more likely to become infected by HIV.In the second study, of vaginal washings from 688 women in the same CAPRISA trial, Adam Burgener from the Public Health Agency of Canada in Winnipeg and Nichole Klatt of the University of Washington, Seattle, showed that the vaginal microbiome doesn’t just influence infection risk; it can also directly interfere with PrEP. In women whose microbiome contained less than 50% Lactobacilli, the tenofovir gel protected only 18% of the women who received it. The efficacy jumped to 61% when the proportion of Lactobacillus species was above 50%. And when the researchers mixed various bacteria with tenofovir in the lab, they found that drug levels remained high in the presence of Lactobacilli but dropped by half when mixed with a bacterium called Gardnerella, which flourishes when Lactobacilli are scarce. “Gardnerella gobbles it up,” Karim says.Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, says these findings open the possibility of manipulating the vaginal microbiome to help head off HIV infections in vulnerable young women. Antibiotics, for example, could knock back Gardnerella or Prevotella. Or introducing helpful bacteria—so-called probiotics—could “crowd out” the dangerous bacteria. “When I saw those data I thought if this pans out, it seems like a relatively low tech way to make an impact on whether you get infected or not,” Fauci says.Kwon cautions that efforts to manipulate the microbiome to treat inflammatory diseases of the gut have had limited success. “We know from the gut that manipulating these communities is often extremely difficult,” he says. “There are a lot of host mechanisms to maintain those communities.”But Fauci is more optimistic. The vaginal vault has far less susceptible tissue than the gut, he points out. “You’re talking inches rather than feet,” he says. “This is an interesting issue that needs to be pursued.” The makeup of a woman’s vaginal microbiome strongly influences her susceptibility to HIV infection, suggest studies presented in Durban, South Africa, today at the kickoff of the weeklong 21st International AIDS Conference. The microbiome can also explain why pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—giving anti-HIV drugs to prevent infection—works better in men than in women. These findings have particular relevance here in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, which has perplexingly high levels of HIV infection in teenage girls and young women.At a press conference today, two related studies were described that researchers will report on Tuesday. “It’s a great story, and it’s a really important insight into why young women in Africa are getting infected at such high rates,” says Douglas Kwon, an immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who was not involved with the work but has studied the vaginal microbiome and HIV.The new findings all come from follow-up studies of women who participated in a PrEP study of a vaginal gel that contained the anti-HIV drug tenofovir. Conducted by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based in Durban, the trial took place in a region where 66% of 30-year-old women are infected. The CAPRISA team made headlines in 2010 when it showed that the gel reduced a woman’s risk of infection by 44%. But encouraging as that result was, it also raised questions about why the gel wasn’t more effective—and it indeed failed in a subsequent trial. 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New York Citys bars are unhealthy for your ears

first_img By Roni DenglerDec. 13, 2017 , 12:00 PM mauritius images GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo New York City’s bars are ‘unhealthy’ for your earscenter_img Chances are that the last bar or restaurant you visited offered the same house special: sound. And lots of it. Now, a new study suggests that all that noise is doing more than just grating on your nerves—it’s also damaging your hearing. According to a survey of 2250 bars and restaurants in Manhattan in New York City presented last week at the Acoustical Society of America’s annual meeting, noise in 71% of restaurants and 90% of bars was too loud for conversation. What’s more, a third of the borough’s restaurants and more than half of its bars have “unhealthy” sound levels—measured in the study as anything above 80 decibels. Exposure to this level of noise for prolonged times can damage hearing. For the already–hearing impaired, none of the survey locations were quiet enough for a chat. That’s because people with hearing loss need ambient noise to register lower than 60 decibels to hear and participate in conversations. In fact, failure to find a quiet date night spot is what inspired the researchers, who developed a smartphone app to measure restaurant and bars’ noise levels. Now, anyone with a smartphone can contribute measurements to the crowd-sourced database.last_img read more

Astronomers spy an iron planet stripped of its crust around a burnedout

first_img University of Warwick/Mark Garlick By Daniel CleryApr. 4, 2019 , 2:00 PM Astronomers spy an iron planet stripped of its crust around a burned-out star Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Astronomers have discovered a small planet around a white dwarf, which in this artist’s conception is plowing through a disk of dust and leaving a trail of gas in its wake. In a glimpse of what may be in store for our own solar system, astronomers have discovered what appear to be the shattered remains of a planet orbiting a white dwarf, the burned-out ember of a star like our sun. If the team’s calculations are correct, the orbiting object may be the iron core of a small planet that had its outer layers ripped off by the white dwarf’s intense gravity.Although astronomers know of thousands of exoplanets in the Milky Way, they struggle to see anything much smaller than Earth. The new object is by far the smallest, more of an asteroid than a planet. Its discovery also provides a clue into the fate of planets as their stars age. When sunlike stars run out of hydrogen fuel and start to burn elements like helium and carbon, they swell up into red giants and consume any planets that orbit too close. Those that survive witness what can happen next when the red giant’s fuel is exhausted: It collapses into a small and dense white dwarf, which cools over trillions of years. Its intense gravity can rip apart any surviving planets that stray too close, consuming some material and leaving the rest in a swirling disk of dust.Finding the planetesimal, 400 light-years from Earth, wasn’t easy. A team of astronomers, led by Christopher Manser of the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., had been watching this particular white dwarf for 15 years. They gained some observing time on the world’s largest optical telescope, the 10.4-meter Gran Telescopio Canarias on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands, in 2017 and 2018. The white dwarf, known as SDSS J122859.93+104032.9, or SDSS J1228+1040 to its friends, is one of only a handful of white dwarfs with a surrounding disk of both gas and debris, and the team wanted to study minute-by-minute changes in the gas. 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 Most exoplanets can’t be seen directly, but are found when they cast a shadow crossing the face of their star or when they tug their star back and forth with the force of their gravity. Manser’s team used a similarly indirect method. They picked apart the light coming from the disk to see its spectrum of frequencies and zoomed in on three bright spectral lines produced by calcium ions, which act as a flag for the gas circulating in the disk.  As the gas—including the calcium ions—zips around the white dwarf, its light gets Doppler shifted to slightly higher frequencies when moving toward Earth and lower frequencies when moving away. The effect also spreads out the normally narrow calcium emission lines into broad bands with peaks at each end—shaped like a hammock slung between two poles.Manser says his team had expected to see such broadened lines with perhaps some random fluctuations in the peaks, caused by pieces of debris colliding and producing flares of gas. Instead they saw that the two peaks in each calcium line rose and fell in opposition to each other every 2 hours like clockwork. “It was a really exciting discovery,” Manser says.The researchers give several possible explanations for the metronomic peaks, including a large planet in orbit and vortices in the dust disk. But writing in Science today, they reject all but one: that this is the signature of a planetesimal orbiting the star. They argue that the calcium lines are not from the planetesimal itself, but from a cloud of gas that surrounds it, either because it is being battered by disk debris or because radiation from the star causes it to emit gas. As that gas cloud follows the planetesimal in its orbit, it boosts one emission peak while moving toward Earth and, an hour later, the other peak while moving away.“It’s amazing to me that they can deduce the existence of an object so small,” says astronomer Ben Zuckerman of the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the work. But he and astronomer Mukremin Kilic of the University of Oklahoma in Norman agree that the team’s explanation is the likeliest one. “Is it a planetesimal?” Kilic asks. “Given the information available, that’s probably the best conclusion.”The result is also surprising because the object is so close to its Earth-size star. If it was in our solar system, it would be orbiting inside the surface of the sun. Any object that close to a white dwarf would normally be torn apart. The researchers calculate that if the planetesimal were simply held together by its own gravity, the entire thing would need to be the density of iron, making it similar to the metallic asteroids found in our solar system. If it had differentiated layers to give it strength, it could be less dense and as large as 720 kilometers across, on a par with the dwarf planet Ceres. Whatever the object was originally like, the researchers say, it must have had its outer rocky layers ripped away by the white dwarf, leaving only its metallic core.The fact that this object was found around one of the very few white dwarfs that has both dust and gas in its disk suggests gas could be “a smoking gun for planetesimals,” Manser says. So the team is hoping to look at other white dwarfs that have gassy disks in search of more orbiting survivors.Meanwhile, the fate of SDSS J1228+1040 and its companion gives us a sobering picture of our solar system’s future. It is thought that when the sun swells into a red giant, it will consume Mercury, Venus, and Earth. The other planets may move outward and survive, but those movements could cause gravitational jostling that ejects planets entirely or sends them spiraling inward to their doom. Not a pretty thought, but we do have about 6 billion years to contemplate our fate.last_img read more

What makes petunias red also makes lemons sour

first_img Inga Spence/Science Source In 2014, Koes’s team discovered a new kind of vacuole pump inside the cells of red petunias, one thought previously to exist only in the outer cell membrane. This pump was more powerful, able to pull enough protons together into vacuoles to keep petunia flowers red. He and his colleagues wondered whether that same pump was active in sour fruits such as lemons.Mikeal Roose, a geneticist and plant breeder at the University of California (UC), Riverside, sent Koes’s team samples of more than a dozen varieties of sweet and sour lemons, oranges, pomelos, and limes. The researchers examined the DNA of each fruit and measured the activity of two genes coding for a pair of proteins that make up the powerful pump. Those genes were very busy in sour plants, but not in sweet plants, he and his colleagues report today in Nature Communications.When the genes aren’t active, the pumps aren’t made, so hydrogen ions don’t accumulate. That makes the fruit sweeter, they conclude. Among different fruit strains, over thousands of years of cultivation, pumps have been turned on and off multiple times, often by breeding that changes how the two genes are regulated. A similar process is likely at play in flowers, shifting their colors to be more red or blue. In fact, the flowers of sour fruits tend to be more purple than those of sweeter fruits, thanks to their ability to retain red pigment.“It is a very satisfying explanation accounting for the differences in ‘sweet’ versus very sour lemons and other citrus fruit,” says Craig Montell, a neuroscientist at UC Santa Barbara, who was not involved with the work.The findings could help researchers and breeders come up with new ways to dial up or down the color of petunias, roses, and other flowers—or change the acidity of fruits, including lemons, grapes, and apples. The ability to know what causes subtle differences in fruit acidity “could be very valuable,” says Roberto Gaxiola, a plant molecular biologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, who called the work “extraordinary.” Maybe extraordinary enough to turn even the sourest of lemons into lemonade. This Lisbon lemon has a molecular pump that helps make it sour and turn its flowers purplish. By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 26, 2019 , 11:00 AM 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 Zimbabwecenter_img What makes petunias red also makes lemons sour Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Ronald Koes could never have guessed that his quest to understand what makes some petunias red—and others blue—would lead him to lemon groves in California. But as a result, this University of Amsterdam geneticist has now answered the long-standing question of why some lemons taste sweet and others, sour. The secret: a powerful molecular pump that makes the cell more acidic.The new work provides a “blueprint” for figuring out which plants in breeding programs have desired colors and flavors, says Harry Klee, a molecular geneticist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who was not involved with the work. It could also lead to more flavorful fruits and more colorful flowers.Because acidity can wreak havoc on a cell’s ability to function, plant cells pump protons—charged hydrogen atoms—into bubbles called vacuoles, sequestering the acidic substances from the rest of the cell. But that acid is necessary for some things: Petunia petals, for example, need high concentrations of protons in their flower cells to color the petals red; otherwise, the petals are blue. In citrus fruits, those protons trigger our sour taste receptors—the more protons there are, the more we pucker.last_img read more

Waterfallchasing scientists uncover rare selfforming cascades

first_img By Alex FoxMar. 13, 2019 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 Waterfall-chasing scientists uncover rare, self-forming cascades Email Devon Santy/Flickr Most waterfalls tell a clear story about their origins: Yosemite Falls in California cascades over a sheer granite cliff, the remains of ice age glaciers that once carved out the valley’s steep walls. Others are the result of major earthquakes or sudden changes in rock type. But some, like the Seven Teacups in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains (above), have no obvious external cause. Now, scientists have a new potential explanation for these mysterious waterfalls.What makes the Seven Teacups so inscrutable is the unbroken granite slope they’re etched into. There’s no sudden cliff to suggest that past earthquakes or retreating glaciers created the falls, and the composition of the granite is roughly the same throughout, meaning a change from harder to softer rock wasn’t responsible for the falls’ creation.To test whether such a waterfall could form without external causes, researchers built a 7.3-meter artificial river, or flume, with a 20% downhill slope. For 20 minutes at a time, researchers sent a steady flow of gravel-laden water along a flat riverbed made of soft foam. Then, the team used a laser scanner to measure any changes in the surface of the foam riverbed. Over the course of 11 trials, the gravel and water wore away tiny undulations in the foam. Two of those depressions got deeper and deeper until they became miniature, selfmade waterfalls, the researchers report today in Nature. Feedback from the water, the gravel, and the erosion of the artificial riverbed interacted to make the cascades, suggesting the same mechanism could be responsible for waterfalls like the Seven Teacups.To determine how widespread this phenomenon is, the researchers say they’ll need to chase more waterfalls—and develop some way to identify these selfmade cascades. The findings could clarify the origins of such waterfalls on Earth and even Mars, where astronomers have spotted dried-up riverbeds—and what may be the remains of martian waterfalls. If waterfalls can arise without external causes, scientists will need to be cautious in using them to reverse engineer the Red Planet’s history.last_img read more

Indianorigin imam triggers controversy in BBCs UK PM debate

first_img “The criticism was not of the Jewish community because if you go through my tweets, you’d see support for the Jewish community,” Patel said. (Source: Video grab/BBC)An Indian-origin imam chosen by the BBC for a select panel of members of the British public to put their questions to the UK’s prime ministerial hopefuls during a live television debate has triggered controversy over some of his past anti-Jewish remarks on social media. Related News Best Of Express Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Advertising A BBC statement said Patel seemed to have deactivated and then reactivated his Twitter account and if the corporation knew of the views he had expressed in the past, he would not have been invited on to the programme.“Had we been aware of the views he expressed there he would not have been selected,” said a BBC spokesperson.Amid the mounting controversy, Patel was also suspended as Deputy Head of a girls’ school at Gloucester in the west of England. Al-Ashraf Primary School said in a statement that he had been suspended “from all school duties” while it investigated comments attributed to him in the media.“The Trust has decided to suspend him from all school duties with immediate effect until a full investigation is carried out. The school and trust do not share the views attributed to him,” said Yakub Patel, Chair of the Al-Madani Educational Trust, which runs the primary school. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Imam Abdullah Patel challenged frontrunner Boris Johnson and the four others remaining in the Conservative Party leadership race over tackling Islamophobia in Britain during the debate telecast by the BBC Tuesday night.Johnson said he was “sorry for the offence” his comments about veiled Muslim women looking like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” had caused, while Pakistani-origin minister Sajid Javid urged all his fellow candidates to commit to an external investigation into the issue of Islamophobia within the Tory party. However, by Wednesday morning the narrative had shifted against Patel himself as some of his past messages from Twitter were unearthed.“Every political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them,” read one of his past tweets, seen as antisemitic. He also tweeted a map of the US, suggesting Israel should be moved from the Middle East to North America as a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Tahar Rahim to play Charles Sobhraj in BBC drama The Serpent center_img Advertising BBC Sports Personality of the Year: Gareth Southgate wins Coach of the Year, Billie Jean King Lifetime Achievement Award Patel himself denied his past Twitter statements were against the Jewish community, but directed at “Israel’s policy”.“The criticism was not of the Jewish community because if you go through my tweets, you’d see support for the Jewish community. They’re our brothers and sisters, and the Jewish community and I – especially in Gloucester – work very closely together. We actually visited a synagogue just a while ago,” he said.He emerged as one of the most commented-upon members of the public during the live TV debate, which saw Johnson go head to head with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, environment secretary Michael Gove, home secretary Javid and international development secretary Rory Stewart on a range of issues. Questioners from around the UK appeared on a big screen to quiz the candidates from a regional BBC television studio.The debate followed the second round of voting in the Tory leadership race, which knocked out former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab from the running after failing to secure the minimum 33-vote threshold. Johnson once again emerged as the winner of the round, with the race for second place set for another round of voting during the course of the week.The final two candidates will be put to a postal ballot to the wider Tory party membership around the UK, who will then select the successor to take over from Theresa May at 10 Downing Street next month. At 50 million audience, India BBC’s top overseas market By PTI |London | Published: June 19, 2019 9:44:09 pm After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Goa CM Sawant asks three GFP ministers independent lawmaker to resign Kavlekar

first_img Goa: Three Congress MLAs who defected to BJP sworn in as ministers By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 13, 2019 2:13:15 am Related News Speaking to The Indian Express, Sawant said, “I have asked Goa Forward ministers and independent Rohan Khaunte to resign. Newly Inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar (of Congress) will be the new Deputy Chief Minister.”WATCH | Congress MLAs in Goa join hands with BJPThe four Goa Forward ministers who have been asked to resign are Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar, Vinod Paliencar and independent MLA Rohan Khaunte. Meanwhile, three other MLAs who recently deserted Congress along with BJP legislator and Goa Assembly Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo have been inducted in the cabinet.Lobo, who has been patiently waiting for the allocation of a plum post, told The Indian Express: “I might get a portfolio from the old ones. I am already director of the solid waste management committee and hence I have asked the minister to make me the minister for the same. The biggest problem Goa faces is Garbage.” Advertising Goa to have staff selection commission soon: CM Pramod Sawant Advertising Will weaponise the state if domicile status diluted: Goa Deputy Chief Minister Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai has been asked to resign by Goa CM Pramod Sawant. (File photo)Demanding the resignations of four Goa Forward Party (GFP) MPs including deputy chief minister Vijai Sardesai Friday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Friday said that newly-inducted Chandrakant Kavlekar will replace the GFP leader. Sawant’s latest move leaves seven vacant portfolios up for grabs which include plum posts such as Town and Country Planning, Revenue, and Information Technology, River Navigation and Water Resources, Housing, Agriculture. “For now I am happy that some old ministers are being taken out. There was a lot of threat they kept imposing that they will withdraw support if their work was not done etc The BJP was under constant fear of their dadagiri. That has gone. The newly inducted members come with good understanding,” he said, adding that the Sawant had personally called each of the ministers over phone and asked them to resign.The Goa Forward Party, which is part of the NDA faction and is in coalition with the BJP-led state government, however, denied official communication from the central leadership and said “appropriate steps will be taken only after taking with NDA leadership at the Centre.”“We haven’t received any official communication from BJP central leaders. Our party is part of NDA, joined BJP led state government after talks with the national leadership. The present state BJP leaders were not part of the discussion,” Sardesai told The Indian Express.The latest development comes two days after 10 Congress MLAs merged with BJP which Sardesai remarked as “incomprehensible” as “nobody was destabilising the government”. Of the ten Anatasio Monserrate is expected to get a plum post — having defected from Congress and bringing five other MLAs including his wife Jennifer Monseratte, a former Congress MLA and four others into BJP.  READ | People must show us the way, they must reject defectors… this is about democracy: Goa Cong head ChellakumarThe Swearing-In Ceremony of new ministers will be held on Saturday at 3 pm and it will mark the fourth time that the Darbar Hall of Goa Governor House will be opened for the public. In rejig, Goa CM gets three ex-Cong MLAs in ministry 24 Comment(s)last_img read more

Nepal rain kills 14 paralyses normal life

first_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Nepal rain, Nepal rain deaths, Nepal rainfall, Nepal waterlogging, Nepal government, KP Oli, nepal news, Nepal weather, world news, Indian express A boy looks towards the flooded street from a shop as it rains in Lalitpur, Nepal July 12, 2019. (REUTERS)At least 14 people died and eight others were missing as heavy rain caused havoc across Nepal, officials said. As collapsing houses, landslides and other rain-related incidents caused death and destruction, the government alerted people across the country, especially low lying areas, that more rain was likely and that caution should be exercised.The compound wall of Singha Durbar, which houses government offices including the Prime Minister’s office, also collapsed.Meanwhile, a Yeti Airlines passenger aircraft skidded off the runway at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport. Advertising NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Published: July 13, 2019 2:36:55 am Post Comment(s) This resulted in the airport being temporarily closed for all other flights, domestic and international.Yeti Airlines said all of the 69 people on board, including three members of the crew, were safe after the plane landed at 11.05 am on Friday. Advertising Top News last_img read more

Californias new earthquake warnings deliver critical seconds of notice

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Paul VoosenNov. 1, 2018 , 9:00 AM Richard Allen, University of California, Berkeley At their most basic, earthquakes result when the strain built up between two locked chunks of Earth’s crust becomes too much to bear and the slabs of rock slip past each other along a fault. The larger the slip area, the bigger the earthquake. As the rupture starts, it tosses off pressure (P) and shear (S) waves. P waves percuss the rock like a drumstick, traveling quickly through incompressible material. S waves, though more powerful, struggle through the rock because of their sashaying motion and lag well behind.The classical view had been that nothing about the first waves from a rupture indicates how it will grow, reflecting an inherently chaotic, unpredictable system. But in the 1990s, lab-built models and some data on actual earthquakes suggested that a nucleation phase—a brief period of subtle slipping at the quake’s start—could predict the size of the ensuing rupture. If that were true, forecasting the ultimate magnitude of an earthquake from only a few seconds of P waves might be possible. That ability could power a potent early warning system—a possibility that Yutaka Nakamura, an earthquake engineer at a private company in Japan, had already begun to pursue to improve bullet train warnings.Allen and Kanamori built on Nakamura’s work in a 2003 Science paper. In records from 53 California earthquakes, the largest a magnitude 7.3, they found a correlation between the time the initial P wave took to complete one cycle, called τ, and the resulting magnitude. That relationship became the core of an algorithm Allen developed called ElarmS. It led him to argue, in a 2005 Nature paper, that earthquakes are deterministic, their fate structured by their start, contrary to the conventional wisdom. “That paper,” he notes, “was very controversial.”Heaton, though, doubted a chaotic system such as an earthquake would surrender its secrets to a simple equation. He recalled how his gut feeling and knowledge of past events had called out the Northridge quake. He started to develop code to re-create that intuition. As with ElarmS, the code relied on P waves from the first few seconds of a quake. But instead of using τ to leap to a final magnitude, the system compared the features of the initial waves with those of past quakes to create a digital gut check. Heaton called the project Virtual Seismologist.Despite the ongoing debate, USGS began to finance Heaton, Allen, and other teams to work on the algorithms that make up the core of ShakeAlert.A lesson from the Big OneWhen a magnitude-9.1 earthquake struck 70 kilometers off Japan on 11 March 2011, the country’s warning system was little help for people in the path of the torrential tsunami that swamped the coast; nearly 16,000 died. But the system did alert more than 50 million people and halt bullet trains and elevators in many regions before the shaking began. It also served as a wake-up call for U.S. researchers to push for their own system. “That was the tipping point,” Allen says.At a 2-day emergency summit at UC Berkeley a month later, the ShakeAlert team won a $6.5 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in Palo Alto, California, to build a prototype. USGS was sold, too, and agreed to run the system. The funders accepted that ShakeAlert need not be perfect; the Japanese public had appreciated the Tohoku warning despite its flaws. “They just had to make sure it worked reasonably well,” Heaton says. And that meant solving the problems that Tohoku had exposed.Despite the warning’s success, it failed to alert Tokyo residents, far south of the quake, who were blindsided when the ground began to shake. The problem was that the system had located the earthquake to a single point. It then calculated how the shaking at that point, the hypocenter, would affect more distant locations. For earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or smaller, which rupture for only a few seconds, that approach is reasonable. But the Tohoku fault rupture grew toward Tokyo, extending to some 400 kilometers over more than 3 minutes. “One thing we did not expect is that really long fault rupture,” says Masumi Yamada, a seismologist at Kyoto University in Japan who studied with Heaton. As a result, the alert underestimated the quake’s magnitude and extent.The algorithms developed for ShakeAlert had the same shortcoming. “We realized really quickly that if there was a major earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault, we wouldn’t expect shaking in Los Angeles because it was so far away,” says Maren Böse, a seismologist at ETH Zurich in Switzerland who had also worked with Heaton. But while Yamada was at Caltech, Heaton worked with her to develop a way to track the growth of a rupture in real time, by measuring the shaking along its path. Böse, Heaton, and others then refined that technique. Virtual Seismologist yielded to an algorithm called the Finite-Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer), which updates its warnings as an earthquake progresses. FinDer, despite its late start, proved vital to showing that ShakeAlert could handle a Tohoku-size strike. “And really, if we can’t do big earthquakes,” Heaton says, “we’re missing the point.”Humbled by realityA klaxon sounded eight times, followed by an insistent robotic voice: “Earthquake. Earthquake.” Heaton, seated at his desk, had a map of Southern California on screen. A simulated earthquake had just struck at the southern end of the state, by the Salton Sea, with an estimated magnitude of 7. The quake posed little threat to Pasadena, 250 kilometers to the north, and so ShakeAlert warned of only light shaking. But the rupture didn’t stop there, and FinDer stayed on the case. A gray line began to extend toward Los Angeles, as did expanding rings of yellow and red: the warning P waves and damaging S waves. “Now it’s getting closer,” Heaton said. “And bigger as it goes.””Earthquake. Earthquake. Moderate shaking expected in 42 seconds,” the voice warned. The estimated magnitude had gone up to 7.8—a 16-fold leap in energy. The rupture continued, and ShakeAlert upped its warning again: “Strong shaking expected in 23 seconds. Earthquake. Earthquake.” Finally, 7 seconds before the damaging waves arrived, ShakeAlert gave its final warning: “Very strong shaking expected.” The klaxon fired rapidly. And then silence. “You’re not going to get much time,” Heaton says. “If it’s going to be dangerous, we won’t know that till the last seconds.”Heaton says he still wishes that some signal buried in the first moments of an earthquake could reveal more. But even before Tohoku, the grand promise of predicting an earthquake’s final magnitude from its first moments had begun to fall apart. In records for earthquakes with magnitudes above 7, “We started seeing a saturation effect,” says Gilead Wurman, one of Allen’s former students at UC Berkeley. “You’d start to underestimate the magnitude.” C. BICKEL/SCIENCE Thomas Heaton, California Institute of Technology You’re not going to get much time. If it’s going to be dangerous, we won’t know that till the last seconds. And really, if we can’t do big earthquakes, we’re missing the point. On the alert ShakeAlert, the first U.S. earth quake early warning system, went live in October. It detects incipient earthquakes to provide seconds of warning to critical infrastructure and, eventually, the public. For now, the sensor network is densest in Southern California, but it will expand into the Pacific Northwest. Warnings rely on fast detection of an earthquake’s firstpressure (P) waves, which travel faster than the damagingshear (S) waves that a quake also emits. After usingP waves to estimate an earthquake’s sizeand location, the system can relayelectronic warnings ahead ofthe oncoming S waves. A race against time The P waves from an earthquake’s nucleation site only weakly predict its overall magnitude, which depends on the total area of rupture, or slip. ShakeAlert will update its warnings as an earthquake propa gates along a fault. Growing threat In the Pacific Northwest, thebiggest earthquake hazardcomes from the plunging,offshore Cascadia fault. Cascadia subduction zone The San Andreas faultruptured most famouslyin the 7.8-magnitudeSan Franciscoearthquake of 1906. San Andreas fault California Nevada Idaho Oregon Washington Arizona Utah Seismic station Landsurface Fault Rupturesurface Dilation Compression Nucleationsite Hypocenter Early warningoutpaces S waves First P wavesdetected P wave DamagingS wave Cities and residential centers Transit Earthquakealert center Plannedseismicstations Stationsneedingupgrade Installedseismicstations Inspiration from JapanThe son of a mathematician at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Heaton, born in 1951, grew up on the stable ground of the East Coast. Dyslexia, which made molecular structures a jumble, pushed him out of chemistry into physics, but he didn’t find his calling in the Cold War tasks of the time, either. “They had enough nuclear weapons to blow up the entire solar system and they didn’t need any more,” he says. Instead he was drawn to study Earth’s own convulsions. As a graduate student at Caltech he experienced his first earthquake, an aftershock of the San Fernando quake in 1971. During that disaster, emergency workers took 3 hours to figure out where the heavy damage was. Seismologists were little help.Heaton had three children, so he took a job with Exxon. He lasted less than a year, but while there he learned that Japan was already using early earthquake warnings to shut down bullet trains. “At that point, I got very excited,” Heaton says in his Caltech office, where gas mains buckled by earthquakes serve as table stands.He laid out his idea for a U.S. system in a 1985 paper in Science. Because seismic waves travel far more slowly than electrical signals, a “seismic computerized alert network” could detect an earthquake at its source and relay a warning of ground shaking to cities far from the epicenter. Automated systems could act immediately to prevent chemical spills, electrical fires, and other catastrophes. Such a system would do little to protect San Francisco from an earthquake like the one in 1906, which was centered near the city. But it could give minutes of warning for great quakes that start far from populated regions. It was a simple model with many assumptions—including, critically, an immediate detection of an earthquake’s magnitude. “We can do it in 10 years,” Heaton promised anyone who asked.It took longer. But as he climbed the ranks at USGS, Heaton updated Southern California’s network of seismometers toward the always-connected compatibility needed for early warning. He also formed an alliance with Hiroo Kanamori, a decorated Caltech seismologist. Others in the field had spent years fruitlessly debating whether earthquakes can be predicted. Kanamori saw a better use for seismologists’ talents: developing a warning system for earthquakes already underway. By the early 2000s, Allen, then an ambitious postdoc, had joined their effort.Like Heaton, Allen was a transplant from stable terrain, namely, the United Kingdom. He, too, came to Caltech dissatisfied with sterile debates, in his case about Earth’s internal structure. Early warning, it seemed, was the rare scientific discipline that could save lives. And at the time it appeared poised for a breakthrough. Emailcenter_img California’s new earthquake warnings deliver critical seconds of notice Thomas Heaton, California Institute of Technology Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country After working on this for over a decade, here it was in action and I was on the receiving end. For years, ShakeAlert was an academic side project of California seismologists, especially the gravelly voiced Heaton, now at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, and Richard Allen, his soft-spoken counterpart at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. They were inspired by warning systems in Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, and Chile, among others, which emphasize detecting earthquakes at the source and warning distant cities before the seismic waves arrive. Many people thought such a system would be useless in fault-riddled California, where earthquakes seem to erupt underfoot anywhere. But Heaton and Allen persevered, deploying a pilot system in 2012.Now, politicians are offering their support. Last year, some $13 million in annual funding flowed in from the federal government, along with $10 million more for sensor upgrades; California kicked in another $10 million. In his state-of-the-city speech last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged: “By the end of 2018, we will deploy an earthquake early warning system to every corner of this city—in schools, at businesses, even on your smartphone.”This year’s version doesn’t quite measure up to that promise. Only half of the system’s 1675 seismic stations have been installed. The technology to rapidly push alerts to mobile phones is not mature. And the public has yet to be trained in how to respond to such alerts, which are sure to include false alarms.The system’s scientific ambitions have also been humbled. The scientists developing ShakeAlert once promised it could warn of strong, violent shaking from a distant earthquake far in advance. That pitch stemmed especially from Allen, Heaton’s friendly rival, who believed the final magnitude of an earthquake was determined by its first few seconds of rupture. If so, the system could catch an earthquake rupturing on a remote section of the San Andreas fault and give Los Angeles 1 minute or more of warning of severe shaking.But over 15 years of development, reality has intruded: Faults fracture in complex, unpredictable ways. The current incarnation of ShakeAlert might offer 10 seconds of warning for a severe event—if you’re lucky, Heaton says. “We’re back to the simple ideas and just making the engineering part of this problem work,” he says. “We’re just trying to get it born.” 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 The shaking woke Thomas Heaton on a quiet winter morning in Pasadena, California. The streets were empty, with sunrise hours away. As Heaton lay in bed next to his wife, waves vibrated through their house. Ten seconds. Fifteen. Twenty. As a seismologist, Heaton had spent his career studying seismic waves like these. By feel and duration, he guessed this quake was big, maybe a magnitude 6.5, and close, under west Los Angeles. Plenty dangerous. An aftershock rolled through. He was needed. “I’ve got to get to work,” he told his wife.At the time, in 1994, Heaton was the lead scientist at the earthquake field office of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Pasadena. He drove to the office in darkness, imagining the fires, collapsed bridges, and crumbled buildings closer to the epicenter. At the office, seismic readings partially validated his gut: “I was right about the magnitude and approximate distance,” he says—though not the location. The quake had struck farther north, under the neighborhood of Reseda, on a previously unknown fault. The Northridge quake, as it came to be known, killed 57 and caused many billions of dollars in damage. There had been no warning, no sirens sending people into the streets. Heaton recalled how he had guessed the size of the earthquake when the first, gentle waves reached his bedroom. There must be a way, he thought, to translate his gut check into a short but useful warning.After decades of work, Heaton’s dreams have taken form. Last month, USGS unveiled ShakeAlert, the West Coast’s earthquake early warning system. If all goes as planned, a dense network of seismometers in California, Oregon, and Washington will detect the first, weak waves of an earthquake and relay a rapid warning of ground shaking to come. To start, those warnings will go to first responders, power companies, and transit agencies. But in the next couple of years, alerts could roll out to the public to provide at least a few seconds of warning. Not much time, but enough to “drop, cover, and hold on,” says Doug Given, a geophysicist in Pasadena who is leading the USGS effort. Heaton’s recent work, conducted especially with Men-Andrin Meier, a seismology fellow at Caltech, has only solidified doubts. A 2016 comparison of P waves recorded within 25 kilometers of the hypocenter of earthquakes in the United States, Japan, and elsewhere showed that the small and large quakes looked identical at the start. The determinism of the nucleation phase, it seemed, was a ghost.Meier and Heaton, along with Pablo Ampuero, another Caltech seismologist, have found that as an earthquake develops, it does drop a hint about its ultimate strength. In a database of 116 earthquakes greater than magnitude 7 created by a former postdoc, Lingling Ye, now at Sun Yatsen University in Guangzhou, China, they found that once the rupture starts to slow, the median earthquake ends up no more than doubling in strength. “At some point you see it slowing down, and then you know after that it’s all downhill,” Ampuero says. Heaton believes that effect, which they call weak rupture predictability, is the only pattern they’ll be able to tease out. But it emerges late and has little predictive value for individual earthquakes. There’s no sign of a clear connecting thread from the start to the end of an earthquake.Faced with the mounting evidence that determinism isn’t holding up, Allen, too, is settling for weak predictability, something his own recent work has supported. That happens in science: Careers are made by staking out either side of a data-poor claim, and then a middle ground emerges. Yet even though most seismologists now agree that the start of an earthquake does not determine its end, many still think its early stages might somehow influence whether the rupture can grow by jumping faults or sections of locked rock. The earthquake’s start may not drive all action, but it may still be a prologue that—in some way still not evident in the data—informs the rest of its story.A real-world testIn September, while Allen was riding a Bay Area Rapid Transit train near San Francisco, his rail car ground to a halt. The conductor’s voice came on the intercom. A magnitude-3.3 quake had struck 40 kilometers north of Berkeley, and the train system, following protocol, had stopped for safety. “I can’t believe it: We have seen Yosemite, San Francisco, and now we have been in an earthquake!” one family of tourists said. The unplanned stop delighted Allen, too. “After working on this for over a decade, here it was in action and I was on the receiving end.”Over the past year, Given has pushed the ShakeAlert team to meld its unruly competing algorithms into a cohesive whole. First, a fast-estimating code called EPIC—consisting primarily of Allen’s ElarmS—generates an initial magnitude, treating the quake as a point source. But if EPIC sees a quake lasting more than a few seconds—and therefore larger than magnitude 6.5—FinDer takes the lead, tracking the rupture from there and updating the magnitude. The refinements will continue. “It’s been kind of a closed club through this year,” Given says, but the agency is now soliciting other researchers to improve the code.New technologies will sharpen the warnings, too. GPS sensors, though slower than seismometers, can capture even shaking strong enough to max out conventional instruments, enabling the system to cope better with the biggest earthquakes. And Heaton expects artificial intelligence, especially neural networks, will in the next few years be able to discern P waves, an earthquake’s first whisper, from seismic noise earlier than the existing algorithms. At first, Heaton was skeptical of the technology. “But then it dawned on me that this other neural network was in many ways more capable than this neural network,” he says, pointing at his head. Any warning system is only as good as its messaging, and how ShakeAlert will best reach the general public remains uncertain. “The technology for doing rapid massive alerting doesn’t exist in the United States,” Given says. The cellular messaging system that handles child abduction or severe weather alerts wasn’t designed to relay warnings in seconds—more like minutes. Los Angeles will begin to test an alternative, using notifications on a smartphone app, but the fear is that such a system could easily overload.USGS has set one important parameter: Instead of waiting until a risk is severe, ShakeAlert will skew toward more alerts, sounding an alarm once a location is at risk of “light shaking.” That will increase the warning time—but it also will mean that, if the rupture grows, the prediction could change to severe shaking only seconds before hitting. And the public might grow complacent about those alarms and fail to respond to the rare mild threat that, in a moment, turns severe.The faults riddling Heaton’s adopted state guarantee that soon, ShakeAlert will get its first high-profile test. “It’s a little terrifying,” he says. “The world will be watching. Here’s your chance to sing in front of everybody. You just hope you don’t—” And Heaton’s gravelly voice broke into a croak that echoed down the hall.last_img read more

NASA is planning four of the largest space telescopes ever But which

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Origins would look back in time to see how dust and molecules coalesced to create the first galaxies and black holes and how the disks around young stars clump into exoplanets. But the JWST and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile can capture some of the same wavelengths, squeezing Origins’s discovery space.Lynx would take up the mantle of NASA’s aging Chandra X-ray Observatory, zooming in on hot gas swirling into a black hole or jetting from the center of a galaxy. That would placate x-ray astronomers still smarting from the low rating their International X-ray Observatory proposal received in the 2010 decadal survey. “We got robbed at the last decadal,” says STScI x-ray astronomer Rachel Osten. “Is it time for x-rays?”Whichever mission wins the decadal’s favor, funders will ask: How do we know it won’t be another JWST, swallowing up budgets and delaying other projects? Study director Dwayne Day of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., which organizes the decadals, says the survey is taking a sophisticated approach to estimating costs, hoping “to avoid sticker shock, committing to something that is too expensive to afford.”Day says project teams usually estimate costs by tallying labor, materials, and testing. “It’s good, but it leaves out unforeseen circumstances, threats.” So, for the past decade NASEM has been paying The Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California, to apply a cost model called CATE (for Cost And Technical Evaluation) to any proposals a decadal wishes to consider.CATE draws on a database that goes back decades and contains details of cost and performance for more than 150 NASA missions and 700 instruments. When presented with a new mission, CATE can say how similar missions have fared in the past. The model is particularly powerful in assessing the things that can go wrong. “The best forecasters can’t have hands on all the unknown unknowns,” says Debra Emmons, a senior manager with Aerospace in Chantilly, Virginia. For example, if a sensor takes longer than expected to develop, or if an international partner delivers an instrument late, the project can be delayed and costs can rise. “[CATE] assesses technical threats, monetizes them, and makes a forward projection,” she says. Paul Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics chief in Washington, D.C., calls it “a great addition to the tool set.”The project teams are wary of the exercise, fearing that if they produce a scientifically bold and technically challenging proposal, CATE might judge it to be risky and expensive, Emmons says. And NASA wants the four project teams to be ambitious. “The missions had better be hard to do because the questions are hard,” Hertz says.But with the still-grounded JWST on everybody’s mind, astronomers are eager to ensure that the winner of the great space telescope bake-off is at once dreamy and real. Blandford says: “It gives a rationale for making these terrible decisions.”For more on these telescopes, also see here.*Correction, 2 January, 1:15 p.m.: An earlier version of the story misstated the location of L2. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A race to the stars Four NASA space telescope concepts targeting different wavelengths and goals are competing to fly in the 2030s. Astronomers are now picking a favorite. Email By Daniel CleryDec. 13, 2018 , 2:00 PM For NASA astronomers, this was not a good year. In June, a review board found that the agency’s prized observatory—the already overdue and vastly overbudget $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)—was still years away from taking flight and capturing the faint light of the universe’s first stars. The holdup: torn sunshields and loose bolts. Also in trouble was the next big astrophysics mission in line, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), intended to pin down the nature of mysterious dark energy by surveying wide swaths of the sky. Not even off the drawing board, WFIRST was predicted to burst its $3.2 billion budget by $400 million, another review panel found—not a plus for a mission that the administration of President Donald Trump was already thinking of canceling.Yet astronomers are about to look skyward and dream even bigger dreams. The decadal survey in astrophysics, which sets priorities for future missions by NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, began last month. Dozens of astronomers, broken into committees, will identify science goals and develop a wish list of telescopes, both on the ground and in space, that could best address them. One of the toughest tasks will be to decide which—if any—of four proposed successors to the JWST and WFIRST most deserves to fly as a NASA flagship observatory. It would be launched in the 2030s to L2, a gravitationally balanced spot beyond Earth’s orbit, on the far side of Earth from the sun.In a special online presentation, Science examines those dream telescopes. The Large UV Optical Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), a 15-meter-wide giant with 40 times the light-collecting power of the Hubble Space Telescope, is a bid to look back at the universe’s first galaxies, and to answer the question: Is there life elsewhere in the universe? The Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) would also focus on that question, but with a smaller mirror. HabEx would fly in tandem with a separate spacecraft carrying a starshade the size of a soccer field. By blocking the glare of a star, the starshade would reveal Earth-like exoplanets, enabling HabEx to scrutinize their faint light for signatures of life. The Lynx Xray Observatory would gather x-rays from the universe’s first black holes to learn how they help galaxies form and evolve. And the Origins Space Telescope, with machinery to chill its telescope to just 4° above absolute zero, would study a little-explored kind of infrared radiation emanating from the cold gases and dust that fuel star and planet formation. EIKO OJALA Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img NASA is planning four of the largest space telescopes ever. But which one will fly? Sciencetargets Spectrum Firstgalaxies Firstsupermassiveblack holes Planet-forming disks Earth-likeexoplanets Visible Ultraviolet Infrared X-ray ORIGINS HABEX LUVOIR LYNX This time, NASA wants the concepts on a firmer footing. Not only did the agency identify the four flagship concepts early, back in 2015, but it has since funded teams to work up rough designs for each one. In June 2019, the teams will deliver to NASA a report that includes two concepts—one expensive and big, the other constrained and relatively affordable at less than $5 billion in most cases. (Here, Science examines the larger concepts.)”This prepreparation will put the survey in a better situation to evaluate the possibilities,” says Fiona Harrison, a high-energy astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who was named last month as co-chair of the survey along with Robert Kennicutt of Texas A&M University in College Station. The product of the decadal survey—a prioritized list of missions delivered in 2020—is supposed to be consensual, in part so that agencies and scientists can lobby Congress for funding with a unified voice. But competition among the four flagships will be fierce.LUVOIR’s backers tout its wide appeal as a general-purpose observatory in the mold of Hubble. LUVOIR’s instruments cover the parts of the spectrum where the universe is brightest, and the huge size of its mirror means it can peer the farthest, at the faintest objects, with the sharpest vision. “It transcends astrophysics,” says Jason Kalirai of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. Critics argue that LUVOIR’s huge mirror will lead to a huge price tag and inevitable delays, as the JWST’s 6.5-meter mirror already has.Proponents of the cheaper HabEx hope it will ride high on surging enthusiasm for exoplanets—and a concern for simplicity and thrift. But flying in formation with a distant starshade is an untested technique. And though HabEx can study a few nearby planets in detail, its smaller mirror—4 meters compared with LUVOIR’s 15 meters—means more distant worlds will be out of reach. LUVOIR and HabEx will compete head-to-head for the committee’s attention, and HabEx and LUVOIR team member Chris Stark of STScI says there won’t be a need to launch both. “There are only so many nearby stars.” Whichever concept rises to the top, researchers hope it has a smoother path to space than the missions chosen in previous surveys. The 2001 survey picked the JWST as its top priority, but that telescope will be lucky to meet its scheduled launch in 2021, 2 decades later. WFIRST was the top pick of the 2010 survey, but it won’t fly before 2025. There’s a general sense that the initial proposals were immature and unrealistic, says Roger Blandford of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who chaired the 2010 survey. “There’s frustration all around.” Related content C. Bickel/Science Explore NASA’s dream space telescopes in our interactive visuallast_img read more

What Tech Companies Are Doing Wrong With Extremists

first_imgIt is starting to worry me how little the responses by tech firms will do to fix the problem of extreme views instead of just driving them underground. A good deal of the reason for this is the excessive focus firms now have on how they are run.Companies tend to be run tactically, with officials more likely to make decisions that will seem to make a problem go away within a quarter but that do not deal with the cause of the problem. For instance, stock buyback programs have become a near constant, and this practice does push up stock price — but it does nothing to increase company value, improve competitiveness, or grow the customer base.With extremists, you either want to change views or you want to move them where they can do no harm to the firm. Shutting down communications, with some exceptions, is a bad idea when it comes to extreme views, if your goal is to reduce adherence to them along with related disruptions and violence.I’ll close with my product of the week: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, which fixes a mistake Microsoft made in the 1990s. Killing Discussion One of the biggest mistakes Microsoft made last decade was to take a platform designed for workstations and servers and try to blend it for all users. The goal was to cut costs, but the result was far more aggravation for those who didn’t need the more robust platform. The server platform seemed to lose its way, and those who really needed a workstation platform were forgotten. The server problem eventually was corrected — but until recently, those who needed workstation-level performance remained forgotten.Well, given that an engineer now runs Microsoft, workstation users apparently are forgotten no longer. There is now a special version of Windows, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, that is particularly for them. There are four core elements that make this product interesting. One is support for a new kind of memory, NVDIMM-N, which is high speed non-volatile memory. Basically, it is a blend of high speed system memory and flash, potentially giving a massive performance advantage with large files (I’m thinking it would be wicked with some games as well).Second is a new file system, ReFS, that is particularly resilient with regard to data corruption with large files.Third, there is support for higher-speed file sharing, which is critical for large files.Finally, you can have four CPUs, including server grade CPUs if you need even more processing power. (I now have in my head a four CPU AMD Threadripper system that is water-cooled becoming the new ultimate system build.)Last week I spoke about Hollywood’s increasing ability to emulate movies to ensure success before spending millions making bad ones. This is the kind of workstation we need to do that, but it also will be used to build the cars, buildings and software of tomorrow — not to mention help our financial analysts make sure our stock portfolios support our eventual retirement.Those who use workstations are the people who are designing and building our future. They need and deserve more focused support. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations provides that support, and it is my product of the week. When people behave badly, we need to focus on correcting the behavior — not making it someone else’s problem, and certainly not driving the behavior underground. Many of the efforts to create diversity and remove racism have focused on removing the visible representations of it, not on changing minds. Forty years after aggressive attempts to end discrimination and racism in the U.S., both seem stronger than ever.You don’t make an illness go away just by dealing with the symptoms — you need to come up with a plan to eliminate the disease. Diversity of opinion and people who question facts are necessary, because better decisions are best founded on real facts and not false beliefs.Take North Korea. We’ve had a long-term policy of non-engagement, and it has gone from being an annoyance to becoming a nuclear power. That is not a mistake we want to keep making.The tech industry, beyond all others, should be focused largely on finding facts — and not on staying aligned with what now is politically correct. In short, we should want to make things better — not run and hide from serious problems that we have the tools to correct. This is our moment, and we seem to be screwing it up.We need to support free speech, because dialogue is a better path to the truth than authority. If you are talking, you can change hearts and minds. When dialogue is shut off, the path to resolution tends to be far more violent. Perhaps we should be more eager to emulate Beatrice Hall than Joseph McCarthy. A Better Path Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.center_img Coverup vs. Correction Wrapping Up I believe that you can change minds through engagement. If you cut off engagement, you cut off influence. You can’t change someone’s mind if you don’t engage that mind.For instance, when you had an argument with your parents, which worked better — them engaging with you about why you were wrong, or them telling you to shut up? In my own case, when the latter happened, I believed more firmly that I was right and that they were misbehaving. Shutting me up didn’t change my mind — and as I grew older, it didn’t shut me up either.If we watch engagements on the Web, what seems clear is that those who are good at thinking on their feet tend both to win the engagement and — often, though not always — shut down the troll. It is a skill you see with a lot of comedians, but there are other folks who are naturally good at debate, can think quickly, and have a broad set of relevant facts at their fingertips.A better path for Discord might have been to hire some skillful communicators and have them enter the discussion. Ban individuals who cross clear lines, like threatening violence, but leave up the forum with the goal of changing minds. The goal would not be to turn conservatives into liberals, but to bring the discussions back to facts and problem solving, and away from abusive behavior and real fake news.Particularly in the case of Facebook, employees who are way over the line either need to be put into a psychiatric program or terminated, not forced underground. These are the kinds of people who can act out physically, and making them invisible, much like my burned-out warning light, only puts off the problem and may make any eventual outcome worse. Two actions caught my attention last week: Discord shutting down communities tied to the alt right; and Facebook shutting down internal chat groups for crossing HR lines about harassment.These actions followed Google’s foolish firing of an employee who appeared to have fringe views but also seemed to have substantial support within Google, effectively making him a martyr.Discord’s move at least made sense, though it would have no long-term impact on the behavior. Facebook’s and Google’s moves were wrongheaded, effectively making the problem both less visible and worse.Discord provides a forum for people to discuss their political views. It is a service largely used by people who don’t work for Discord. Being known as a service that provided support for extremists undoubtedly created brand risk. It might have been driving larger groups from using the service for fear of being connected to fringe groups or being boycotted by folks who objected to what the extremists said.In Facebook’s case, it was employees who were behaving badly. Certainly, they created potential hostile workplace legal problems. In short, Facebook could be sued by other employees using the posts as evidence. Thus, justifying the shutting down of the discussion group does have a solid foundation in litigation mediation.However, neither response addressed the bad behavior. This is more problematic for Facebook, because the offending employees remained employed, and the firm simply lost one method for identifying them. I was on a Web page last week that promised a low-cost way to fix the check engine light on your car. The picture was of a person removing the fuse that powered the light. It reminded me of my second car. I was driving fast in 110-degree weather and the overheat light came on, so I pulled over and it went out.I continued, and after driving about 30 miles, my engine came apart explosively. What had happened was the light bulb had burned out, but I thought the problem had gone away. Instead of realizing the car was low on water — an easy fix — I ruined the engine and ended up losing the car. If you eliminate the visible indicator of a problem, it can get worse — you’ve just hidden it.What Facebook did was simply remove the evidence of the bad behavior and a place to look for it. Now it appears that it doesn’t have a problem, but the harassing employees remain in place. Given that Facebook hired them in the past, it likely will hire more of them in the future. The bad behavior could quietly increase, and Facebook would simply be less aware of it.As for Discord, it had a more difficult choice to make, because the folks behaving badly didn’t work for the company. It can wash their hands of the groups, but by giving up contact it also loses its ability to try to fix the underlying behavior. It goes from being a place where people can discuss political issues broadly to being one that censors, which also hurts its brand image.Discord’s move made the issue someone else’s problem so I can understand it in that sense. However, Facebook still has the problem — it just has one less tool to deal with it.last_img read more

Loss of serotonin neuron activity blunts the bodys ability to recover from

first_img Source:https://hms.harvard.edu/news/sids-insights Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 25 2018Scientists trying to identify the roots of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of death in U.S. infants between 1 month and 1 year old, have increasingly turned their attention to the neurotransmitter serotonin and the brain cells that produce it.Studies have linked serotonin-producing neurons to the regulation of breathing, which may go awry in SIDS. In addition, tissue samples from SIDS infants often show abnormalities specifically in those neurons.Now, a new study in mice suggests that abnormalities in serotonin-producing neurons do not simply accompany a subset of SIDS cases but could actually contribute to those premature deaths.The findings, published Oct. 23 in eLife, show that an acute loss of normal activity in the serotonin-producing nerve cells blunts the body’s ability to recover from interrupted breathing. The results provide evidence that young animals need properly functioning serotonin neurons to maintain normal cardiorespiratory function.”If we can determine whether serotonin-producing neurons play an active and necessary role in regulating breathing, heart rate and the recovery response to apneas in young mouse pups, it could provide a plausible biological explanation for at least some SIDS cases,” said Susan Dymecki, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study.”This possible explanation might provide some hope, even if minutely, for the profound grief experienced by families who have lost a child to SIDS, and may one day help researchers prevent SIDS altogether,” she said.Normally, the brain coordinates the heart and lungs to provide a continuous flow of oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out.In conditions such as sleep apnea, when breathing temporarily stops, oxygen levels in cells can fall too low and carbon dioxide levels can rise too high. To restore healthy levels, the brain triggers a series of gasps and raises the heart rate, a process called autoresuscitation.But heart rate monitor readings in some SIDS infants support the hypothesis that this fail-safe mechanism doesn’t always kick in, and that its failure can lead to SIDS.Dymecki and colleagues set out to explore the role of serotonin-producing neurons in regulating autoresuscitation in week-old mice, which the researchers estimate are within the corresponding age window that conveys highest risk of SIDS in humans.Related StoriesALS mobility and survival could be improved by increasing glucoseCompelling New Evidence Further Suggests Parkinson’s Disease Begins in the GutGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationThe researchers genetically modified the mice so their serotonin neurons would quickly and temporarily be inhibited in response to an injected chemical. Other neurons remained unaffected.Setting up this inducible neuron perturbation technique in mouse pups and coupling it with the ability to measure respiratory and heart function was the key, said Dymecki.”Although initially technically challenging, this novel approach allowed for precise brain cell manipulation and real-time measurement of cardiac and respiratory activity,” said Ryan Dosumu-Johnson, a graduate student in the Dymecki lab and first author of the paper.The researchers then induced apneas in the mice.Those with inhibited serotonin-producing neurons had weaker breathing recovery and more instances of sudden death in the face of apneas than mice with a normally functioning serotonin production system.”These results indicate a vital role for serotonin neurons at an early age after birth,” said Dymecki.To the researchers’ surprise, the heart rates in mice with inhibited serotonin neurons recovered normally, at least initially, even though their breathing was impaired.”This uncoupling of the breathing and heart-rate recovery responses was unexpected,” said Dymecki. “It suggests that these two vital physiological responses–heart rate and breathing–could be more separable at the level of brain cells and circuits than previously anticipated, despite their interwoven physiology.”Although further studies will be needed to uncover whether the same principles hold true in humans, the current findings support the theory that defects in the functioning of serotonin neurons can render infants more vulnerable to dying from apneas and other cardiorespiratory challenges, the authors said.If replicated in human studies, the new findings could eventually help improve screening tools to identify infants at higher SIDS risk and suggest new strategies for drug development, said Dymecki.last_img read more

Brain area that only processes spoken not written words identified

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Patients in a new Northwestern Medicine study were able to comprehend words that were written but not said aloud. They could write the names of things they saw but not verbalize them.Even though these patients could hear and speak perfectly fine, a disease had crept into a portion of their brain that kept them from processing auditory words while still allowing them to process visual ones. Patients in the study had primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a rare type of dementia that destroys language and currently has no treatment.The study, published March 21 in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, allowed the scientists to identify a previously little-studied area in the left brain that seems specialized to process auditory words.If a patient in the study saw the word “hippopotamus” written on a piece of paper, they could identify a hippopotamus in flashcards. But when that patient heard someone say “hippopotamus,” they could not point to the picture of the animal.”They had trouble naming it aloud but did not have trouble with visual cues,” said senior author Sandra Weintraub, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “We always think of these degenerative diseases as causing widespread impairment, but in early stages, we’re learning that neurodegenerative disease can be selective with which areas of the brain it attacks.”For most patients with PPA, communicating can be difficult because it disrupts both the auditory and visual processes in the brain.”It’s typically very frustrating for patients with PPA and their families,” said Weintraub, also a member of Northwestern’s Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease. “The person looks fine, they’re not limping and yet they’re a different person. It means having to re-adjust to this person and learning new ways to communicate.”Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskRemarkably, all four patients in this study could still communicate with others through writing and reading because of a specific type of brain pathology, TDP-43 Type A.”It doesn’t happen that often that you just get an impairment in one area,” Weintraub said, explaining that the brain is compartmentalized so that different networks share the job of seemingly easy tasks, such as reading a word and being able to say it aloud. “The fact that only the auditory words were impaired in these patients and their visual words were untouched leads us to believe we’ve identified a new area of the brain where raw sound information is transformed into auditory word images.”The findings are preliminary because of the small sample size but the scientists hope they will prompt more testing of this type of impairment in future PPA patients, and help design therapies for PPA patients that focus on written communication over oral communication.While 30 percent of PPA cases are caused by molecular changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of this dementia, especially in people under 60 years old, is frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). The patients in this study had FTLD-TDP Type A, which is very rare. The fact that this rare neurodegenerative disease is associated with a unique clinical disorder of language is a novel finding.The study followed patients longitudinally and examined their brains postmortem. Weintraub stressed the importance of people participating in longitudinal brain studies while they’re alive and donating their brain to science after they die so the science community can continue learning more about how to keep brains healthy.”We know so much about the heart, liver, kidneys, eyes and other organs but we know so little about the brain in comparison,” Weintraub said. Source:https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2019/03/ppa-visual-auditory/last_img read more

ASTRO applauds new prior authorization legislation that aims to reduce obstacles in

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 6 2019On behalf of the nation’s radiation oncologists and the more-than one million cancer patients in their care this year, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) applauded today’s introduction of bipartisan federal legislation that would rein in restrictive prior authorization practices that unnecessarily delay patient access to critical cancer treatments.The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3107), introduced by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Rep. Roger Marshall, MD (R-Kan.) and Rep. Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.) is an important first step toward reforming prior authorization practices.ASTRO Chair Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, called on Congress to support the bill which aims to reduce obstacles to high-quality cancer care. Source:American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) In a recent ASTRO nationwide survey of radiation oncologists, more than nine in 10 physicians said that their patients are kept from life-saving treatments due to delays caused by prior authorization, and one-third said the average delay lasts longer than a week. These delays cause added stress and anxiety to patients already concerned about their health, and they are cause for alarm given research that links each week of delay in starting cancer therapy with a 1.2% to 3.2% increased risk of death, depending on cancer type.Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerIf passed, this legislation would increase transparency in the prior authorization process and help curb unnecessary delays for patients covered by Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Under the proposed new bill, the MA plans would need to provide relevant information including an annual disclosure of medical treatments subject to prior authorization, the percentage of requests that are approved and denied, and the average time for approval. The legislation also provides for an electronic prior authorization process, which would help streamline decisions and avoid unnecessary delays for certain routine procedures.Radiation oncology and cancer patients have been particularly hard hit by prior authorization’s unnecessary interference in care decisions. Radiation oncologists increasingly are restricted from exercising their clinical judgment about what is in the best interest of their patients, yet they are held accountable for the outcomes of treatments where decisions have been taken out of their hands.The findings from ASTRO’s physician survey align with reports from the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Cancer Society that demonstrate the pervasiveness of prior authorization obstacles throughout the health care system. In late February ASTRO joined with the AMA and more than 100 other medical groups calling for prior authorization requirements in Medicare Advantage to align with the Consensus Statement on Improving the Prior Authorization Process authored jointly by leading provider and payer organizations. The legislation introduced today codifies key components of the consensus statement between payers and providers.ASTRO looks forward to working with Hill leaders to pass this important legislation and give cancer patients better access to life-saving treatments.center_img “Restrictive prior authorization practices can cause unnecessary, stressful and potentially life-threatening delays for cancer patients. While the system was designed as a path to streamline and strengthen access to treatments, it is in fact frequently harmful to cancer patients who are prescribed radiation therapy, particularly by wasting precious time and causing immense anxiety. We applaud Reps. DelBene, Kelly, Marshall and Bera for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan legislation to bring needed reform to a broken system.”Dr. Paul Hararilast_img read more

Transatlantic test for Airbus lowcost airliner

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. © 2018 AFP The A321neo LR is essentially taking a workhorse of the medium-haul market that is widely used by low-cost airlines and extending its range so it can handle the transatlantic and similar routes.Airbus believes that the plane will help airlines open new market segments and routes.”You can look at it as a step towards the democratisation of long-haul flights where a students on a budget could pay just a bit more for a Paris to New York ticket than what they pay now to fly from Paris to Toulouse” in the south of France,” said Cedric Favrichon, an engineer on the flight.Like other Airbus’s other ‘neo’ aircraft, the A321neo LR uses new engines and has other design features meant to conserve considerable amounts of fuel, one of the greatest costs for airlines.The low-cost sector has yet to make much inroads into the transatlantic segment, partially due to the lack of a suitable aircraft.The only other single-aisle aircraft that made transatlantic flights, Boeing’s 757, is no longer in production and occasionally needed to stop for fuel if winds were strong.Low-cost Norwegian, which is making transatlantic flights with Boeing’s widebody Dreamliner, has ordered 30 A321neo LR aircraft.Airbus has received more than 100 orders for the aircraft.The European aircraft maker believes that in addition to transatlantic flights it could also be used for routes such as Dubai-Beijing, Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo or Singapore-Sydney where long-haul carriers are currently needed.Airbus is hoping to obtain certification from US and EU regulators in the coming months for the aircraft so it may enter service by the end of the year.Boeing is expected to make a decision this year whether it will launch an aircraft in this segment, which it estimates at some 4,000 aircraft. The long-range version of Airbus’s updated single-aisle aircraft took off Tuesday on a flight from Paris to New York in what could be a boon for low-cost flights across the Atlantic. Emirates throws Airbus A380 a lifeline with jumbo order Explore further Citation: Transatlantic test for Airbus low-cost airliner (2018, February 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-transatlantic-airbus-low-cost-airliner.html The Airbus A321 neo LR(long range) test plane is making its maiden flight across the Atlantic on Tuesday read more

Minor reshuffle in Delhi Cabinet Kailash Gahlot gets Environment

first_imgMinor reshuffle in Delhi Cabinet, Kailash Gahlot gets EnvironmentDelhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been given the additional charge of Environment, Forest and Wildlife.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service New DelhiJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 23:33 IST Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been given the additional charge of Environment, Forest and Wildlife.In a minor reshiffle of portfolio, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been given the additional charge of Environment, Forest and Wildlife, the Delhi government said on Monday.The portfolio was earlier handled by Imran Hussain, who is also the Food and Supplies Minister.”Consequent upon the allocation of the aforesaid portfolio to Kailash Gahlot, Minister, the portfolio of Environment, Forest and Wild Life earlier allocated to Imran Hussain, Minister, stands withdrawn,” the notification dated July 13 read.Gahlot now heads a total of six portfolios — Administrative Reforms, Information & Technology, Law, Justice & Legislative Affairs, Transport, Revenue, and Environment, Forest and Wild Life.Hussain, who was handling three portfolios, will be now dealing with only two — Food and Supply, and Election.The decision has been taken by Lt Governor Anil Baijal in consultation with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.Also Read | Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal announces free safety kits for sanitation workersAlso Watch | Schools for votes: AAP scared of losing Delhi?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee Nextlast_img read more

Man Goes Blind After Wearing Contact Lenses in the Shower

first_img 27 Oddest Medical Case Reports 8 Awful Parasite Infections That Will Make Your Skin Crawl Our fantastic Fight for Sight supporter, Nick Humphreys, is raising awareness of the need for correct contact lens care and clearer information on contact lens packaging, after losing his sight in one eye to Acanthamoeba keratitis: https://t.co/ooUYXWlyYF #ContactLenses #AKby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndohear.comThese German hearing aids are going viralhear.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndo — Fight for Sight (@fightforsightUK) July 9, 2019 Your daily shower isn’t usually a health risk, but for one man in England, it may have led to a serious eye infection that left him blind in one eye, according to news reports. The man, 29-year-old Nick Humphreys of Shropshire, England, typically left his contact lenses in while showering, without knowing that this practice can increase the risk of eye infections, according to PA Media, a U.K.-based media agency. In 2018, he contracted Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare parasitic infection of the cornea, or the eye’s transparent outer covering. “If I’d have known how dangerous it was to wear contacts in the shower, I would never have got them in the first place,” Humphreys told PA Media. [‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 9 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm] AdvertisementDon’t Flush Your Contact Lenses! Here’s WhyHere’s what happens when you flush contact lenses down the toilet or drain. Hint: It’s not good for the environment.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65916-parasitic-eye-infection-showering-with-contact-lenses.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0001:0001:00Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭  Originally published on Live Science.center_img Acanthamoeba is a single-celled amoeba that’s commonly found in water, soil and air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contact lens wearers face a risk of contracting this infection if they engage in certain practices, such as disinfecting lenses with tap water or swimming or showering while wearing lenses, the CDC said. This amoeba has a particular affinity for the surfaces of contact lenses, meaning the lenses can be “a vehicle for the harboring, transmission and delivery of microorganisms to the eye,” according to a 2010 review paper on the topic published in the Journal of Optometry. But when Humphreys started wearing contact lenses in 2013 so he could play sports without glasses, he wasn’t aware of this showering risk. He would often hop in the shower with his contact lenses in after a morning workout. “I thought nothing of it at the time. I was never told not to wear contact lenses in the shower. There’s no warning on the packaging, and my opticians never mentioned a risk,” Humphreys said. After he was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis in early 2018, he was given eyedrops for his infection, but a few months later, he suddenly went blind in his right eye, according to PA Media. Humphreys was then prescribed a stronger medication, which needed to be applied to his eyes every hour, even at night. Humphreys became housebound and experienced severe pain in his right eye. “The pain in my eye was too much, and the only time I would leave was to visit the hospital,” Humphreys told PA Media. He would later undergo two operations in his right eye, the first to strengthen the tissue in his cornea and the second to protect the cornea with a graft of tissue from a fetal placenta. That procedure is known as an amniotic membrane transplant. Although his infection cleared up, Humphreys remains blind in his right eye. He is scheduled to undergo a corneal transplant in August. This operation replaces damaged corneal tissue with healthy corneal tissue from a deceased donor. Humphreys now works with the charity Fight for Sight to raise awareness about the risks of showering or swimming with contact lenses. “It’s crucial that people out there know this is a reality and it can happen because of something as simple as getting in the shower,” Humphreys said. 27 Devastating Infectious Diseaseslast_img read more

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It’s one of the few conferences these days that has such a broad view of technology. OMalley chimes in to point out that Clinton has not always been so anti-gun, but he has proven that winning in an election is as much about groundwork as it is about influencing the voters through work or message or a combination of both.that this is still an undeveloped area"It means a lot, the way that shes kind of… more or less, however, march down the middle of U Street Northwest in Washington,of Gujarat Model On Tuesday,” said Alek Krautmann.

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all they want to do is quickly blame someone whom they disagree with in order to get him or her impeached 27 answers · · 7 hours ago Why do conservatives think they are smarter than scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying climate change Best answer: That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 80 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science More specifically around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position I’ll believe NASA. 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place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter In 2013 During the meeting Hamuo said as they were shooting The party will also hold a protest in all district headquarters on Thursday over rising fuel prices and we love to incorporate them into salads whenever possible We recommend tasting the peel first and removing it only if it has a bitter flavor D-Grand Forks “They want to be taken seriously on the world stage and they’re going to show it with all this stuff that’s being built A separate survey of employers by an association of universities found that more than 40 percent dont think colleges are teaching students what they need to know to succeed And all undergraduates at the University of Central Missouri have to pass a test before they are allowed to graduate the Supreme Court stayed the central government’s notification taking strong objection to it as it was aimed at negating a Supreme Court order But PubPeer’s legal team yesterday submitted an affidavit from an expert in scientific image analysis that concludes there were in fact irregularities in several of the researcher’s figures A Quinnipiac poll released November 2 showed Cain leading the race at 30 percent — he was at the height of his popularity Could Cain become a kingmaker as the race enters its final phase chat with one another and personalize their online hangout space which means it’s the perfect time to stir up a smoking hot gender-politics brouhaha in the Internet cauldron Crescent Bay features upgrades like 360-degree head tracking Delighted by the result” The new image will not likely help Hollande however two conservative German lawmakers caused a furor in Greece by suggesting that ancient ruins should not be off limits to privatization The close U Pompeo arrived at a royal palace” Lana Del Rey told Fader magazine in their summer 2014 issue "Flawless RB Leipzig (Germany) Sevilla It was just the flagship product of a larger performance that extended to the Internet He’s going on to 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Life Sciences In December dividing the effort between two cities was the only one that allowed for the state appropriation and a group called the Yemeni Cyber Army afterward began releasing "sample" classified material to various websites if the individual reoffends again within 10 years Minot Police Lt the author’s fans had some cause to tamp down their expectationsmeixler@time picS House stands adjourned till 12 noon Union midfielder Stephan Fuerstner was sent off with his second yellow card for the foul that led to the free kick” "The clock is ticking and stocks of medical and Hershey combinedhave risen 50% over the past six years The Warren County Sheriff’s office said they inspected the ride with park personnel and found that everything was working correctly where you won’t have to remember a single thing despite the seemingly laudable goal of fixing a crumbling bridge Power The song was not one of his best So I went up to his home she sent her husband out to buy diapers and while he was gone she packed up the children and fled to Bismarck ” he said are peopleand people are stubborn ran a test that involved the familiar good news/bad news dichotomy The other request is for the President to postpone his visit in order not to create a traffic chaos Towne threatened to punish candidates who participate in debates not sanctioned by the party We welcome outside contributions" he said thats my answer" in European cities during appearances on conservative media calling the request “inadmissible” The filmmaker has been away from the US since 1978 when he fled while facing a charge of unlawful sex with a minor (a crime he admitted to) the BBC reports A dual citizen of France and Poland he has spent much of his time in the intervening years in France which does not extradite its own citizens A 2009 visit to Switzerland led to his detainment under house arrest there for nine months before authorities turned down an American warrant and released him He has more recently been working on a film in his native Poland where he survived the Holocaust Polanski was not in court on Friday and it’s unclear where he is now Prosecutors may still appeal this ruling [BBC] Contact us at editors@timecomAyatullah Ali Khamenei broke his silence on the outline of a nuclear deal with the West on April 9 in a speech widely understood to be a buzzkill "I have told the officials to not trust the opposing side” he said “to not be fooled by their smiles to not trust their promises because when they have achieved their objectives they will laugh at you” But was it really a nail in the coffin for the negotiations Theres no one answer not least because over the week that followed it has become clear Irans Supreme Leader was trying to do several things at once: 1 Take control of the narrative By the time Khamenei 75 and ailing took the stage in Tehran in April it was clear Irans right-wingers needed to be let out of their cage At that point all the skepticism toward the outline agreement seemed to be coming from the US Congress and in these negotiations skepticism back home serves to improve ones bargaining position Every harsh appraisal from the Hill which appears poised to demand review of any final deal arms Western negotiators with new leverage to push even harder for Iranian concessions as the two sides seek to nail down specifics before the June 30 deadline for a final pact But American politicians outshouting Iranians in opposition to a nuclear deal is a strange and rare dynamic like McDonalds hawking the Whopper with Iran in the role of Burger King The Leader set out to right the universe Three times in his speech Khamenei called on negotiators to heed or answer "critics" conspicuously lifting the ban on smack talk He also directed them to address two specific points that apparently remain outstanding: the timing of lifting all sanctions which Khamenei said should be immediate and access of UN inspectors to Iranian military facilities which he at least appeared to forbid 2 Quiet the crowds Irans theocratic government is not a monolith and the unpleasant political reality was that the factions least identified with Khamenei received all the acclaim for the prospective deal announced on April 2 Cheering reformist Foreign Minister Javad Zarif upon arrival from Switzerland the crowd at the airport chanted "Kayhan Israel our condolences" naming a hard-line newspaper (whose editor Khamenei appoints) as a loser Khamenei used his speech to declare that theres nothing to cheer yet "Nothing has yet been done and no binding topic has been brought up between the two sides" he said in the transcript posted on his personal website wwwleaderir "Therefore extending congratulations is pointless" Abbas Milani who runs the Iranian studies program at Stanford tells TIME that while President Hassan Rouhani was elected on the platform of striking a deal Khamenei "doesnt want Rouhani to get too much credit Hes very clear: If theres a deal its because I wanted it And if theres not its because these guys were too frivolous to understand they were giving away too much" 3 Keep the door open Khamenei may well loathe and distrust America but along with the usual name-calling ("obstinate unreliable dishonest and into backstabbing") his speech made clear his willingness to seal a deal and even work with Washington on future projects should this one end well "Of course the negotiations on the nuclear issue are an experience" he said "If the opposite side gives up its misconduct we can continue this experience in other issues" He even raised the possibility of extending the talks beyond the June 30 deadline one more measure of how badly Iran needs a final pact The regime Khamenei inherited in 1989 from Grand Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini may or may not want a nuclear weapon but without relief from economic sanctions it will be in continuing danger Its not only a matter of the hardship born by ordinary Iranians but by the state itself Iran’s public sector accounts for perhaps three-quarters of the national economy directly employing 80% of the Iranian workforce Small wonder that Khamanei authorized the nuclear negotiations with a call for “heroic flexibility” The Supreme Leader’s speech can be seen as a kind of “Rorschach test” Karim Sadjadpour an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has written extensively on Khamenei tells TIME “He throws a lot of red meat to his hard-line base to reassure them he’s still an anti-American revolutionary But careful readers also notice that underneath all the vitriol he leaves the door of compromise with the US slightly ajar Given how badly the Iranian people want this deal to happen Khamenei doesn’t want to be seen in their eyes as the obstacle” All of which when the dust has cleared looks like a stronger position for the West as the next round Contact us at editors@timecom000 people and shared nearly 800 times is taking in are strong young men as part of his fear 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" the statement continued. read more