Alberta finance minister reveals Scotiabanks interest in buying provinces ATB Financial

first_imgAlberta finance minister reveals Scotiabank’s interest in buying province’s ATB Financial The Crown corporation is the only bank in over 100 communities in Alberta Email March 21, 20196:34 PM EDTLast UpdatedMarch 22, 201912:47 PM EDT Filed under News Share this storyAlberta finance minister reveals Scotiabank’s interest in buying province’s ATB Financial Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Sponsored By: Facebook Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci.Shaughn Butts/Postmedia/File CALGARY – Bank of Nova Scotia previously offered to buy, and may still be interested in, Alberta’s provincially owned ATB Financial, finance minister Joe Ceci said Thursday.Ceci, whose NDP government has called an election for next month, said in a news release aimed at United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney that Scotiabank is interested in purchasing ATB Financial from the Alberta government.Neither Scotiabank or ATB Financial have confirmed the existence of such a proposal.In an interview, Ceci said that when he was appointed finance minister in Rachel Notley’s NDP government he turned down a “detailed proposal” submitted by Scotiabank to purchase ATB, which provides small business loans in the province and operates a network of banking branches, offering personal banking and business banking accounts.“The previous government said this (proposal) is something that is there, do you want to follow up with it?” Ceci said. Jobs and pipelines: Notley and Kenney fight over economy as Alberta set for April election ATB Financial’s new CEO to continue technological push Why even Alberta’s NDP should support privatizing the ATB Ceci, as finance minister, “is accountable to the legislature for ATB” according to ATB’s own roles and mandate documents. He is also able to issue ministerial orders requiring ATB to maintain specific capital requirements.Ceci’s release said that Scotiabank is “sitting on a detailed proposal to privatize ATB” but did not indicate whether that was a new proposal, which would indicate the bank is still interested in an acquisition, or the four-year-old proposal.He could not provide the offer price from Scotiabank for ATB Financial. He couldn’t say whether he or the finance department was bound by a confidentiality agreement with Scotiabank over the proposal.He said the offer was made before the NDP took power from the previous Progressive Conservative government. Alberta’s economy has seen multiple years of recession since that offer was allegedly made.“As a Crown corporation, ATB Financial does not comment on the government, its decisions or the platform of any political party,” ATB spokesperson Karin Poldaas said in an email. She did not confirm or deny whether a proposal had been received.“Whether ATB remains a Crown corporation is up to the government of Alberta,” she said, adding ATB is the only financial institution in over 100 communities in the province.UCP leader Jason Kenney said on Thursday that ATB Financial would remain a Crown corporation if the UCP formed government. Comment More Geoffrey Morgan ← Previous Next →center_img Twitter Scotiabank did not respond to a request for comment on the proposal or if it was still interested in buying ATB. Scotiabank already has most exposure to the province’s energy sector of all the big banks.“We’ll be open to consulting with Albertans on how to grow ATB in the future,” Kenney said Thursday adding that he “wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that Canadian chartered banks were interested in ATB” but it would remain a Crown corporation if the UCP formed government.He called Ceci’s assertion that he would privatize ATB an attempt to draw banks into the election campaign.A former Alberta government minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it’s unusual but not unprecedented for a minister like Ceci “to reveal policies that were reviewed but never pursued.”The person said that ministers aren’t normally bound by confidentiality agreements — so Ceci likely didn’t breach one — because they have too many other obligations, including to cabinet.The person said that previous governments at various times had considered privatizing ATB Financial, which was founded in the Depression of the 1930s and has grown into one of the province’s largest Crown corporations, but had decided it was an important asset for maintaining capital availability in the province’s business sector.“Alberta has a long history of not trusting the central Canadian banks,” they said.ATB Financial’s last annual report, released March 2018, shows its net income increased 82 per cent to $275 million in 2018 from $151 million in 2017.The bank’s assets increased 7 per cent over the same period, rising to $51.9 billion in 2019 from $48.5 billion in 2017.• Email: gmorgan@nationalpost.com | Twitter: @ geoffreymorganCorrection: Updated to show ATB’s assets rose rather than declined. Reddit 15 Comments What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Featured Stories advertisement Recommended For YouDavid Rosenberg: How weak economic growth is actually fuelling this bull market’s riseIt’s getting harder to be a long-term investor: Here’s how to keep your focus on what really countsDavid Rosenberg: The hopes that fuelled the market rally are all evaporating — and now reality is setting inThe storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them throughTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permits Gavin Young/Postmedia Join the conversation →last_img read more

Musk SEC Explain Settlement In Joint Letter To Judge

Source: Electric Vehicle News SEC Reportedly Serves Tesla Subpoena After Musk’s “Funding Secured” Tweet Now, we just wait for the judge’s approval.Following the recent disclosure of a proposed settlement between Elon Musk and the SEC, the two sides were instructed to provide a judge with a full explanation of the terms so that the process could be made final. Musk (Tesla) and the SEC submitted a joint letter dated October 10, 2018 to assure that the deal is fair and proper on both sides of the argument — in the judge’s words, “minimal determination of whether the agreement is appropriate.” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan requested the letter and should soon make her decision.Related Stories: UPDATE 2: Board Comments: SEC Lists Tesla CEO Elon Musk As Defendant In Lawsuit This all takes us back to the CEO’s August tweets about considering taking Tesla private. Musk found himself heavily scrutinized and eventually subpoenaed specifically related to his “funding secured” confirmation, among other issues. Being that it was later realized that funding may not have actually been set, this was considered a violation by Musk and one that likely jeopardized certain stockholders’ financial situations.As we previously reported, the settlement calls for Musk to step down from his position as Tesla’s board Chairman, pay a fine of $20 million, and be subject to future communication monitoring. Additionally, Tesla was slapped with a separate $20 million fine and two new independent directors must be appointed to the board. There are more specific details related to the settlement, which you can find in absolute detail by following the link at the bottom of the page.The SEC explained in its portion of the letter that it “considered multiple factors in determining appropriate civil penalties.” These factors include but are not necessarily limited to:the market impact caused by the alleged conductthe Defendants’ financial meansthe Defendants’ willingness to settle these actions promptlythe Defendants’ apparent lack of pecuniary gainthe limited temporal scope of the conductTesla and CEO Musk’s portion of the letter simply says:Tesla and Mr. Musk believe that a prompt resolution of these actions through settlement is in the best interests of investors and should be approved.The official letter can be accessed by clicking here.Source: Teslarati SEC Settles With Musk: Remains Tesla CEO, No Longer Chairman Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 11, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Tesla Semi receives another order electric trucks will move goods in Europe

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla Semi, the automaker’s electric truck division, has received another order ahead of the start of production, which is planned for later this year.The electric trucks will be used to move goods from Europe to Norway. more…The post Tesla Semi receives another order, electric trucks will move goods in Europe appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Tesla cuts Supercharger prices back down after customer backlash over increase

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Last week, we published a report about Tesla drastically increasing Supercharger prices around the world, but now the automaker is reducing the price hike after a backlash from customers. more…The post Tesla cuts Supercharger prices back down after customer backlash over increase appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Geely Geometry A Electric Car Launches In China

first_img Geely Starts Pre-Sales Of New Jihe A Electric Sedan Source: Electric Vehicle News Geely Launches Geometry EV Brand With New Sedan Regarding the side profile, the vehicle’s smart aerodynamics is characterized by sharp body lines and concealed door handles that make the air resistance fairly reduced—drag coefficient for the car is 0.2375Cd. Charging ports are located at the right front and the left rear wheel trims.The new vehicle measures 4,736mm long, 1,804mm wide and 1,503mm tall with a wheelbase that spans 2,700mm.The new vehicle is able to run at a top speed of 150km/h powered by a 163PS (120kW), 250 N·m electric motor and a lithium-ion power battery pack offered by CATL. It will provide users with two range options—410km and 500km, whose respective battery capacity is 51.9kWh and 61.9kWh. Five charging modes are offered to users for utilization based on different environments.As to the inside, the car gets a 12.3-inch floating touch screen at the center console to replace lots of physical buttons. Besides, the vehicle is fitted with 8-inch windshield head-up display system that can project such information as speed, navigation, indicator light and bluetooth phone on the front windshield, making a driver keep his eyes on the road. Other niceties include the APA automatic parking system, panoramic imaging system, SLIF (speed limit information function) and AQS (air quality system).Source: Gasgoo Daimler Forms Global Joint Venture With Geely To Develop Smart Geometry comes to EVs.On April 11, Geely New Energy launched the all-new premium BEV brand “Geometry” in Singapore. Meanwhile, Geometry A, the first model under the new brand, officially hits the market with two versions based on driving range covering six variants.Pre-subsidy prices of the new car range between RMB210,000 and RMB250,000. After subsidy, the Geometry A will be priced from RMB150,000 to RMB190,000.Named after a mathematical term, the Geometry A is Geely’s first model to be sold globally. It adopts a “closed-off” front face that features a new logo officially named “quantum silver shield”. The lack of a grille suggests that the GE11 is a pure electric vehicle without an internal combustion engine under the hood. A ducktail spoiler coupled with a chrome trim bridging the taillight on each side renders a multi-layered rear posture.More Geely News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Taxes on What You Should Have Done with Your Property But Didnt

first_img Categories: The Hunt for Taxes Tags: Canada, Vancouver, Vancouver Real Estate « The Endless Hunt for Taxes In Vancouver, if you have a property that someone else would love to tear down to build a high rise, the government has created a scheme to make you pay taxes as if you were a high-rise. Small businesses pay some amount of tax on the airspace above their businesses, which they have not developed. Yes, the B.C. government taxes property assessed on their “highest and best use” value. Essentially, a single-story building for a small mom-pop business is taxed as if they had sold out to a land developer and now own a multi-story commercial building.center_img Income or Privilege Tax? »last_img read more

Apple Blossom Candidates for QueenHawkins Proposes Bill to Allow PUDs to Make

first_imgLucy Gomez is among the Top Ten Candidates now preparing to be the Royal Court of the 100th Apple Blossom Festival … she still enjoys a animated film from her childhood … “The Little Mermaid” … Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/l-g-1.wav00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Maria Elena Metzger is also in the Top Ten; she supports the Suicide Prevention walk known as “Be The Light” … Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/m-e-metzger-1.wav00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Enjoy all the candidates interviews on The Agenda Page here on KPQ.comlast_img read more

Cycling provides greatest health benefits study finds

first_img Source:https://www.isglobal.org/en/ Aug 13 2018How do transport modes influence people’s health? A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, has concluded that cycling is the mode of transport associated with the greatest health benefits: better self-perceived general health, better mental health and fewer feelings of loneliness.The study formed part of the EU funded PASTA project and was carried out in seven European cities: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Örebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. A baseline questionnaire was completed by more than 8,800 people, 3,500 of whom also completed a final survey, on transport and health that included questions about what transport modes they used, how often they used the different transport modes, and how they perceived their general health. The mental-health section of the survey focused on the four major dimensions of mental health (anxiety, depression, loss of emotional control, and psychological well-being), vitality (energy level and fatigue) and perceived stress. The survey also asked about participants’ social relations, including questions about loneliness and contact with friends and/or family.The transport modes assessed in the study were car, motorbike, public transport, bicycle, electric bicycle and walking. The effects of these transport modes were analyzed using both single- and multiple-mode models.The findings, published in Environment International, show that cycling yielded the best results in every analysis. Bicycles were associated with better self-perceived general health, better mental health, greater vitality, lower self-perceived stress and fewer feelings of loneliness. The second most beneficial transport mode, walking, was associated with good self-perceived general health, greater vitality, and more contact with friends and/or family.”Previous studies have either analyzed transport modes in isolation or compared various transport modes to each other,” commented Ione Ávila Palencia, ISGlobal researcher and lead author of the study. “Ours is the first study to associate the use of multiple urban transport modes with health effects such as mental health and social contact.” “This approach allowed us to analyze the effects more realistically, since today’s city dwellers tend to use more than one mode of transport,” she added. “It also allowed us to highlight the positive effect of walking, which in previous studies was not very conclusive.”Related StoriesResearchers identify first gene that predisposes to faintingCPAP treatment for sleep apnea can improve depression symptomsTeens who can describe negative emotions are better protected against depressionThe study’s conclusions regarding transport modes other than cycling and walking were not entirely conclusive. “Driving and public-transport use were associated with poor self-perceived general health when the transport modes were analyzed separately, but this effect disappeared in the multiple-mode analyses,” commented Ávila Palencia. Cars were also associated with fewer feelings of loneliness in all of the analyses. “This result is most likely due to the fact that the study population drove very infrequently and most journeys by car were probably for social purposes, such as visiting a family member or a friend,” explained the researcher.”The findings were similar in all of the cities we studied. This suggests that active transport–especially cycling–should be encouraged in order to improve health and increase social interaction,” commented Ávila Palencia. She added that the percentage of people who cycle “remains low in all European cities, except in countries like the Netherlands and Denmark, which means that there is plenty of room to increase bicycle use.”Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, coordinator of the study and director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at ISGlobal, commented: “Transport is not just a matter of mobility; it also has to do with public health and the well-being of the population.” The study’s findings, he noted, show yet again that “an integrated approach to urban planning, transport planning and public health is needed in order to develop policies that promote active transport, such as adding more segregated cycle lanes in Barcelona, which are transforming the city into a better environment for cyclists.”Other studies conducted as part of the PASTA Project have also highlighted the health benefits of cycling. One study found that cyclists have a lower body mass index than non-cyclists and another suggested that as many as 10,000 deaths could be prevented by expanding cycling networks in European cities.last_img read more

Researcher Behind Stem Cell Controversy Agrees to Retraction

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 Email Obokata has argued that the problems with the papers were the result of inexperience, not deliberate wrongdoing, and that STAP cells really do exist. After the ruling, she issued a statement saying that she intended to appeal the judgment.The Japan Times reports that at least two of Obokata’s 10 co-authors on the letter have also agreed to the retraction, including Teruhiko Wakayama of the University of Yamanashi, the paper’s last author. Wakayama has been consistently critical of the work, telling the Japanese press he had “lost faith” in the paper, and calling for its retraction. However, Charles Vacanti of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, last author on the main article and Obokata’s former adviser, has continued to defend the research. A BWH representative told ScienceInsider that Vacanti had no comment on Obokata’s announcement.Willingness to retract one paper but not the other is a sign of the lingering disagreement among the co-authors, says stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler of the University of California, Davis. He argued in a blog post earlier this week that Nature should editorially retract both. “It would be naive to think that only the letter [the second paper] can be retracted and that the [methods] article will remain with the STAP cell narrative overall having any legitimacy,” he told ScienceInsider in an e-mail. “I believe the ultimate fates [of the two papers] are tightly tied together.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) After steadfastly defending her work against accusations of falsified data and an official misconduct ruling, the lead author on two controversial stem cell papers published this year in Nature has reportedly agreed to retract one of them. Earlier today, Japanese media began reporting that stem cell researcher Haruko Obokata of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, is willing to retract a paper concluding that so-called STAP stem cells can form a wide variety of tissues, but does not intend to retract the paper describing how to make those stem cells.Along with colleagues in the United States and Japan, Obokata described online on 29 January in Nature a new method for reprogramming mature cells into stem cells. The technique, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP), appeared amazingly simple—exposing mature cells to an acid bath or physical pressure could seemingly switch them into stem cells. But it drew almost immediate accusations of image manipulation and plagiarism. In April, an investigating committee at RIKEN ruled that the issues with the papers constituted research misconduct, but did not call for their retraction. Obokata’s lawyer now tells the Japanese press that she will retract a secondary paper describing what STAP cells can develop into, but not the methods article, in which the committee had identified image manipulation and data apparently reused from Obokata’s graduate thesis. read more

White House orders biosafety review at federal labs

first_imgThe White House is asking federally funded labs studying infectious agents to take “immediate action” to inventory samples and review safety and security procedures in the wake of several high-profile accidents earlier this year.The directive, a memo sent to federal agencies on 19 August but only posted online today, allays fears in the academic community that nongovernment microbiologists might be ordered to stop work for 24 hours and conduct an inventory. Although the memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) uses the term “stand-down,” it says explicitly that the review should not disrupt ongoing work. And none of the steps are mandatory for extramural labs with federal funding. The memo is a response to “three recent U.S. biosafety and biosecurity incidents” that have been widely publicized: the mistaken shipment of live anthrax samples by a biodefense lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta; the discovery of 60-year-old vials of smallpox on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in suburban Maryland; and the accidental contamination at CDC of benign poultry flu samples with the deadly H5N1 bird flu. CDC has already announced sweeping changes to improve safety, and the OSTP memo aims to “maximize the positive effect of lessons learned” across the U.S. government. Within 30 days, all federal labs that ship or work with animal or plant infectious agents or toxins are “urged to perform a ‘Safety Stand-Down.’ ” During that time, leaders will review practices and protocols and develop plans for “sustained inventory monitoring.” But “stand-down” apparently does not mean a work stoppage: The review may take several days so that research and clinical work “are not adversely affected.” Labs should also do an “immediate sweep” specifically for select agents—infectious agents and toxins that could potentially be used to cause harm—and make sure samples are registered or destroyed. (A source close to the matter says officials originally discussed a daylong pause to allow lab staff to focus on safety procedures, but decided the activities could be spread over a month so that research would not have to stop.)Extramural labs that work with infectious agents are merely “encouraged to hold similar events.” In a notice yesterday, NIH suggested that its grantee institutions review their procedures and inventory specimens in September as part of a new “National Biosafety Stewardship Month.”The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is “supportive of efforts to ensure” biosafety, the group said in a comment to ScienceInsider. On 25 August, ASM asked its members to check what’s in their freezers. Thomas Inglesby, a biosecurity expert at the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland, calls the OSTP memo “a welcome development … the memo should prompt a lot of activity that can improve safety” at both government and extramural labs.But molecular biologist Richard Ebright of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, calls the memo “very thin gruel.” A longtime critic of biodefense labs, Ebright notes that most select agent work takes place at academic or other nonfederal labs. He says that the OSTP memo is unlikely to affect their activities because the actions are recommendations, not requirements. The memo also outlines longer term plans to tighten oversight of pathogen research. An existing interagency committee will review gaps in biosecurity and biosafety procedures government-wide and “identify an approach to determine the appropriate number of high-containment U.S. laboratories” working with select agents. Another committee will conduct a broad public review of the impact that select agent regulations have had on research and security.The call for a review of the number of high-containment labs “is a positive sign that OSTP has reversed its previous position and now agrees that a needs-assessment is desirable. But much depends on the details,” Ebright says.The recent lab mishaps have heightened concerns about the risks of so-called gain-of-function experiments that modify dangerous influenza strains to spread more easily in mammals. The memo does not mention any plans to review these controversial experiments. But the source familiar with the OSTP memo says the federal government is looking at ways to address any questions they raise. Email 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 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! Countrylast_img read more

Alone on an Arctic ice floe with a hovercraft

first_imgSomewhere in the Arctic Ocean, two Norwegian scientists are adrift on an ice floe, equipped with a year’s worth of food and fuel—and one research hovercraft named SABVABAA (Inuit for “flows swiftly over it”). University of Bergen/Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center professor emeritus Yngve Kristoffersen, 72, and crew member Audun Tholfsen established ice drift station FRAM-2014/15 on the 1.1-meter-thick floe on 30 August, when it was 280 kilometers from the North Pole. Over the next few months, they will drift northward along the submarine Lomonosov Ridge, taking sediment cores to learn about the polar environment more than 60 million years ago. It’s the hovercraft that makes the setup truly unique: Using SABVABAA, the researchers can travel up to 100 kilometers from their floating base, assessing ice properties, currents, and water temperatures. The hovercraft—the brainchild of Kristoffersen and physicist John Hall, 74, of the Geological Survey of Israel—also makes it possible to conduct a year-round study, Hall says. The ridge is covered by thick multiyear ice, forbidding to icebreakers, but SABVABAA (pictured) “allows you to have boots on the ground.” (There’s a video of the hovercraft in action here.)last_img read more

Infant burials could help solve the mystery of who settled the New

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email 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 Five years ago, Ben Potter made a dramatic discovery: the partially burned remains of a cremated 3-year-old child, left to rest in a hearth at Upward Sun River, one of the oldest settlements in Alaska. But the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, archaeologist never expected what waited underneath the hearth. More recent excavations have yielded two well-preserved burials, of an infant who likely lived for about 12 weeks and a fetus who died shortly before birth. The discovery provides a window into daily life and burial practices at the 11,500-year-old site, and an unprecedented opportunity to analyze the DNA of some of the Americas’ earliest inhabitants.Upward Sun River, near the Tanama River in central Alaska, is one of the most important archaeological sites discovered in the Beringia region of the Arctic in the last 25 years, says John Hoffecker, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who wasn’t involved with the research. Most Paleoindian sites found in Alaska are short-term hunting camps, which fit with a long-standing vision of the region’s earliest settlers as nomadic big-game hunters who crossed the Bering land bridge about 14,000 years ago in pursuit of prey like woolly mammoths and elk. Upward Sun River, in contrast, shows signs of longer term occupation, including the remains of the earliest known residential structures in Alaska. The hearth over the two buried bodies contains traces of salmon and ground squirrels, indicating that the occupants did not solely depend on bringing down large mammals, Potter and colleagues report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This evidence of a wider variety of food sources is “causing us to reevaluate what some of the subsistence [behaviors] would have been like in these early sites,” says Greg Hare, an archaeologist with the Government of Yukon in Whitehorse, Canada.The burials, too, make the site unique in Alaska. The two skeletons were carefully arranged in the same pit and are almost entirely complete, a level of preservation that “boggles my mind,” says G. Richard Scott, a physical anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. They were interred with antler rods and stone projectile points, which Potter believes were once lashed together to form a spearlike weapon called a hafted biface. “You can even see the whittling marks left on the edges of [the antlers],” which could help reveal how the weapons were made, Potter says. The grave goods were coated in red ochre—a common practice in Paleolithic burials around the world—and radiocarbon dating of one of the antlers shows that they are the earliest known example of the hafted biface technology in North America.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Because the burial and the later cremation are the only two examples of mortuary practices in Paleolithic Alaska, it’s all but impossible to be sure why two bodies were buried and one was burned, Potter says. The salmon found throughout the hearth is a food source available only in the summer, which indicates that the burials and the cremation likely occurred during the same season or in two subsequent years. One speculation from Potter’s team is that the buried children were twins. According to this hypothesis, one fetus died in the womb shortly before birth, which is known to boost the risk of premature birth, developmental problems, and death of the surviving twin. The other infant survived birth but died a few weeks or months later, and the bodies were interred together. The cremated child likely died later in the season or the following year and was burned in the hearth before the community abandoned the site.The only way to settle the question of how the children are related to each other—as well as to other Paleoindian groups and living people—is to analyze their DNA, Potter says. “The most exciting thing is going to be the genetics,” Hoffecker says. “There’s still a question here as to exactly who these people are at Upward Sun River.”Anthropologists debate how many groups of people were present in Beringia at different times and where each of them may have come from. Potter notes that burials of children within residential structures have also been documented in Ushki, a site in eastern Siberia, so the practice could link communities on either side of the Bering Strait. Hoffecker points out that the biface stone points are very similar to those found at the Anzick site in Montana. “If it’s possible to successfully analyze the DNA [from the burials], it could open the door to all kinds of new insights into the colonization of the New World,” Hare agrees. Potter says ancient DNA analysis is already under way, with cooperation from the tribes living in the Upward Sun River area today.last_img read more

Even cockroaches have personalities

first_imgFilthy, smelly, repulsive. There are a lot of ways to describe cockroaches, but “full of personality” usually isn’t one of them. Yet a team of scientists has not only found evidence that the scuttling insects have personalities, but also discovered that when cockroaches get together, they create a group personality. The group personalities of cockroaches vary, too.“A lot of studies show personality in other invertebrates,” says Isaac Planas-Sitjà, a behavioral ecologist at the Free University of Brussels and the lead author of the study. “But no one had looked at the American cockroach.”Over the last 2 decades, scientists have documented personalities—that is, consistent behaviors, such as boldness, shyness, sociability, or aggressiveness—in a range of invertebrate species, from octopuses to water striders to social spiders. Planas-Sitjà was drawn to cockroaches not out of fondness, but because they don’t live in societies with leaders and followers—social castes that can make it difficult to spot an individual’s personality. “They are all independent, even though they are gregarious,” he says. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email To find out if the cockroaches had personalities, Planas-Sitjà and his colleagues glued tiny radio frequency identification chips to the thoraxes of 304 roaches so that they could track each insect after it was placed in a new environment. The scientists divided the animals into 19 groups of 16 individuals (all males about 4 months of age, because an animal’s age and gender can affect its behavior, making it more difficult to tease out its personality type). Three times a week, the team placed each group in the middle of a brightly lit, plastic circular arena that was surrounded by an electric fence so that the roaches could not escape. Two identical Plexiglas disks covered with red filters hovered just above the arena, creating red circles that the light-phobic insects perceived as shelters. Each shelter was large enough for all 16 cockroaches to gather beneath.Over a 3-hour period, the scientists measured the amount of time individual cockroaches spent inside a shelter and how much time each took to pay its first visit. To see if the insects reached a consensus about where to gather (an indicator of group personality), they tallied how many insects were beneath each disk at the end of the experiment. Their analysis showed that like other species, from spiders to lions, these cockroaches had shy and bold individuals. The shy roaches ran for cover as soon as they entered the arena, whereas bold individuals spent more time exploring, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. And the roaches consistently behaved in these same ways in each test.Despite these individual personality differences, by the end of each experiment the groups always ended up crowded together beneath the same shelter. “There is a collective dynamic—a social influence—that dilutes the individual personality differences,” Planas-Sitjà says. “So in the group, you end up with a similar behavior in everyone.” This conformity happens even though the researchers know, based on previous experiments, that some cockroaches when left alone in the arena never dash to a shelter, whereas others spend only a short amount of time beneath one. Yet they change their behaviors as soon as they’re in a group. “Then they all run to the shelter,” says Planas-Sitjà, who hopes to tease out why and how this happens with further experiments.The team’s discovery that “the collective outcome [the group personality] is different from the sum of the personalities is very cool,” says Noa Pinter-Wollman, an animal behaviorist at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the study. “It implies that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Social spiders, bees, and ants are also known to have group or colony personalities.“To be able to show group personality as they have done is very exciting and intriguing,” adds Odile Petit, an ethologist at the French national research agency CNRS in Strasbourg. “And they’ve shown that individuals and their personalities matter even in simple animals.” Yes, even in cockroaches.center_img 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

Scientists protest Scotlands ban of GM crops

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Research organizations are asking the Scottish government to reconsider its recent decision to ban the commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ban “risks constraining Scotland’s contribution to research and leaving Scotland without access to agricultural innovations which are making farming more sustainable elsewhere in the world,” 28 science organizations maintain in a letter sent on 17 August to the Scottish cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and environment, Richard Lochhead.The European Union recently agreed to allow individual nations—and devolved authorities, such as Scotland—to forbid GM crops on their territory. On 9 August, Lochhead announced he would not consent to planting of insect-resistant corn, the only GM crop approved E.U.-wide for planting. Nor would he approve the use of six other GM crops that are under evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority. The reason is to “protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Lochhead said in a statement. Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Many scientists are upset that Lochhead has made his decision without public consultation, says Chris Peters, a campaigner at Sense About Science, a nonprofit in London that advocates for use of evidence in government policy-making and organized the letter. “There’s quite a bit of anger and disbelief.”In the short term, the government decision won’t affect farmers in Scotland, because not much corn is grown there. But the ban could put Scottish farmers at a disadvantage when new GM crops are commercialized. “Traits currently being investigated that might benefit Scotland’s farmers, consumers and environment include potatoes that can reduce fungicide use and omega-3–enriched oilseeds that could provide a more sustainable source of feed for salmon farming,” the letter states.The research groups and societies, including the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Society of Plant Breeders, have asked to meet with Lochhead to discuss the scientific evidence on GM crops. “By banning their use in Scotland, this country would be prevented from benefiting from future innovations in agriculture, fisheries and healthcare,” they write in the letter. “We are thus extremely concerned about the potential negative effect on science in Scotland.”In a statement emailed to ScienceInsider, Lochhead said: “I will be happy to meet representatives of the science community and reassure them that these changes will not affect research as it is currently carried out in Scotland.”A Scottish government spokesperson added: “We respect the views of those in the scientific community who support the development of GM technology and recognise that GM research is a fast-moving field and the technology is developing rapidly. The Scottish Government will continue to receive expert advice from our scientific advisors and others.”last_img read more

Take the weekly quiz on tumorkilling vitamins volcanic chambers and more

first_img How did you score on the quiz? Challenge your friends to a science news duel! Religious kids see themselves as morally correct Vitamin C Religious kids trust God to fulfill the needs of others Enter your email address to enter the sweepstakes: Your email has been submitted. An error occurred submitting the email. Please try again later. This email has already been entered. The email submitted is not a valid email. Submit Terms and Conditions 0 / 10 Score 0 Silverfish The moon illusion A year’s worth What animal broke the record last week—again—for the tiniest such creature discovered? More than a year’s worth. Pity the people of Yemen. In a good year, the country gets an average of about 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) of rain, whereas in a year of drought it can get much less. But last week, NASA imaging showed that the country got between 1 and 4 years’ worth of rain in the 24 hours after the cyclone made landfall. Chapala is the first cyclone in memory to hit the war-torn nation since the 1940s. But it might not be the last: Another tropical storm, Megh, is following in Chapala’s tracks. Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit Vitamin E Less sex. At least, that’s one theory behind a new study. After examining 80 years’ worth of U.S. birth and temperature data, economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that whenever the thermometer rose past 80°F, or about 27°C, birth rates dropped 8 to 10 months later. Each extra “hot” day led to a 0.4% decrease in births, and people didn’t completely make up the difference in cooler times. But less sex is just one possible reason for falling fertility, the researchers say. Others include disrupted menstrual cycles and reduced semen quality. One solution that might help no matter the real reason? Air conditioning. Hispanics with no more than a high school education Religious kids see themselves as morally correct. Whether or not you buy the new study—which is at odds with some religion and altruism research—you may be interested in hearing the theory behind the numbers. In this most recent study, 1170 kids from six countries and two major religions were asked to share stickers with a group of unknown peers. Overall, nonreligious children gave away more of their stickers than religious children. The lead researcher says the pattern of religious children being less generous may be tied to a phenomenon called “moral licensing.” That’s when a person feels permitted—even unconsciously—to do something wrong, because they see themselves as a morally correct person. LOADING Win a FREE Science t-shirt! Each week, we give one winner a free Science t-shirt! Just submit your email to enter. New winners are chosen each week, so if you’re not lucky this week, try again next week! Can you name this volcano, which scientists said last week sits atop connected magma chambers? More sick days The northern lights More car thefts Less sex According to a new study by economists, what might climate change be contributing to? Earwig Leaf raking. Now, you have an excuse to be lazy in the fall: Scientists at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) say raking up leaves harms the environment. Autumn leaves provide habitats for bugs, toads, and other animals, and enrich the soil as they decompose. In contrast, leaves sent to the landfill in plastic bags don’t have enough oxygen to compost normally, and their anaerobic rotting releases methane, a greenhouse gas. If the leaves are too unsightly to leave where they fall, NWF suggests mulching, composting, or piling them up to make shelters for wildlife. Which group of middle-aged Americans has seen skyrocketing death rates in the last 15 years? The green flash Average A week’s worth Mount Rainier Blacks with no more than a high school education Snail. Scientists have dug up the shells of the smallest snail ever found at the base of limestone cliffs in the rainforests of Borneo. At least, that’s where researchers think they live. So far, scientists have only seen the shells, which measure just 0.60 to 0.79 mm high—about the size of a period in 12-point font. When scientists unveiled the minute gastropod, Acmella nana, some people did a double take. Just 5 weeks before, another team declared that they had found the world’s smallest snail in China. But that one proved to be a rather large 0.86 mm. What fall ritual did scientists just recommend nixing to save the environment? Simply enter your email here for the chance to win a free Science t-shirt! I understand that by entering this sweepstakes I am agreeing to receive occasional email or other contact from Science/AAAS about its respective programs and products. Science/AAAS agrees not to rent, sell, exchange, or give your information to any third party without permission. Start Quiz Mount Vesuvius Black Friday Pumpkin carving The faster you answer, the higher your score! The Science Quizcenter_img Official rules for the News from Science weekly quiz sweepstakes An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. What nutrient has been found to kill tumor cells with a hard-to-treat mutation? 1 meter (3.3 feet) You November 9, 2015 3 meters (9.8 feet) Mount St. Helens. Geoscientists have found not one but two magma chambers underneath the volcano, each one bigger—and deeper—than the last. The two chambers were imaged using 23 explosions and 3500 seismometers that measured energy waves as they bounced off the deep rock. Scientists say the chambers may be connected in a way that could shed light on the 1980 eruption that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. Question Matt Damon When tropical Cyclone Chapala hit Yemen early last week, how much rain fell? Vitamin C. Maybe Linus Pauling was on to something after all. Decades ago, the Nobel Prize–winning chemist was relegated to the fringes of medicine after championing the idea that vitamin C could combat a host of illnesses, including cancer. A study published last week in Science reports that vitamin C can kill tumor cells that carry a common cancer-causing mutation and—in mice—can curb the growth of tumors with the mutation. More than a year’s worth Click to enter Thomas Kaspar/Alamy Selenium Leaf raking Whites with no more than a high school education Snail Nonreligious kids are actually more fearful of divine retribution Cockroach A controversial new study says that children raised in a nonreligious household are likely to be more generous than their religiously raised peers. What is the reason given by scientists? Top Ranker 4 meters (13.1 feet) Vitamin D Asians with no more than a high school education November 9, 2015 The Science Quiz Take the quiz to enter for a chance to win a FREE Science t-shirt! Learn More A month’s worth If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapses—as scientists say is already starting—how much would sea levels rise on average? 3 meters. It won’t take much to cause the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse—and once it starts, it won’t stop. In the last year, a slew of papers has highlighted the vulnerability of the ice sheet covering the western half of the continent, suggesting that its downfall is inevitable—and probably already underway. Now, a new model shows just how this juggernaut could unfold. A relatively small amount of melting over a few decades, the authors say, will inexorably lead to the destabilization of the entire ice sheet and the rise of global sea levels by as much as 3 meters. 2 meters (6.6 feet) Time’s Up! The northern lights. Earth might have its northern and southern lights, but Mars has a universal glow. That’s because—unlike Earth—Mars lacks an inherent magnetic field to channel the sun’s electrons and protons to its poles. Instead, these energetic particles spread throughout the sky, getting much closer to the surface than they do on Earth. NASA scientists revealed evidence last week that solar wind is stripping Mars of its atmosphere. They also revealed that Mars has its very own version of what? Nonreligious kids don’t believe in strict tithing rules Mount Fuji Mount St. Helens Whites with no more than a high school education. For years, nearly all Americans have enjoyed falling death rates. But according to a new study, middle-aged white Americans have actually been dying at higher rates since 1999. Why? Scientists don’t know for sure, but they suspect rising rates of suicide, along with growing numbers of deaths attributed to substance abuse, especially heroin and prescription painkillers. For whites aged 45 to 54 with no more than a high school education, the death rate per 100,000 is now 415, compared with just 281 in 1999. That same number is 262 among Hispanics and 581 among blacks in the same age group with similar levels of education. Less ramen consumption Pumpkin smashing Share your scorelast_img read more

Pasteur Institutes acknowledge unauthorized import of MERS samples on a flight from

first_img Email A researcher from the Pasteur Institute Korea (IPK) in Seoul brought samples taken during the country’s outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) on an intercontinental flight last year without the appropriate paperwork, hoping to get them studied at the Pasteur Institute (IP) in Paris. Both institutes have acknowledged the incident, which IP says was a breach in French biosafety protocol. But both say the trip never put anyone in danger, because the samples had undergone a treatment that would have killed any living virus.The story was first reported earlier this month by English-speaking newspaper The Korea Times, which wrote that a researcher from IPK had transported samples containing the MERS virus on a Korean Air flight from Seoul to Paris on 11 October 2015—a few months after a MERS epidemic outbreak that sickened 186 people and killed 38 in South Korea. IPK “committed serious biosecurity breaches, which could have resulted in the loss of many lives, and tried to cover it up,” the newspaper alleged.In a statement issued today, IPK sought to downplay the issue. A review conducted with IPK’s safety committee has shown that the samples were treated with glutaraldehyde fixative, a standard virus inactivation protocol, the statement says; as a result, they were noninfectious and did not need any special approval from the airline to be taken onto the flight. (The samples traveled in the aircraft’s baggage hold, the institute also says, not in the researcher’s cabin luggage, as The Korea Times claimed.) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) IP in Paris—which is separate from 33 other Pasteur Institutes around the world—also says the newspaper’s story is inaccurate and says emails quoted in the piece that were attributed to IP President Christian Bréchot were not authentic. In a phone interview with ScienceInsider, Bréchot admitted that the import broke biosecurity rules, however, and that the samples were destroyed after arrival for that reason.We did not even open the box. We do not know if the samples were infected in the first place, and even if they were, the cells were inactivated anyway.Christian Bréchot, Pasteur InstituteAccording to email correspondence with the incriminated IPK scientist, which ScienceInsider has seen, IP only found out about the samples after they landed in the research unit of Félix Rey, the head of IP’s structural virology lab. “I forgot to mention … that I brought 3 Vero cell pellets that has [sic] been inactivated after infection with environmental samples collected from MERS units,” the IPK researcher wrote in an email to Rey on 16 October, after a meeting in Paris. (Vero cells are isolated from monkey’s kidneys and can be used in the lab as host cells to study the growth of viruses.) The scientist asked Rey’s team to “reconfirm the presence of viruses via [electron microscopy] analysis.” The researcher did not respond to an email request, and ScienceInsider was not able to confirm whether she had indeed sent this message.A week later, Rey wrote back that his research unit could not receive and handle the samples because they came without approval from France’s National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety, which regulates the production, use, transport, import, and export of so-called highly pathogenic microorganisms and toxins (MOTs). “I regret to inform you that the microscopy platform cannot treat this sample because, even if the samples are inactivated, MERS coronavirus is classified as MOT and as such, requires a special procedure to import the samples,” Rey wrote on 23 October. “I also have to inform you that specialised personnel of Institut Pasteur has by now destroyed those samples.”“We did not even open the box,” Bréchot says. “We do not know if the samples were infected in the first place, and even if they were, the cells were inactivated anyway.” The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Seoul is currently investigating the case at IPK’s request. “We are verifying whether IPK violated the High-Risk Pathogens safety management regulation in Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act,” Haeng Seop Shin, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Biosafety Evaluation and Control, wrote in an email to ScienceInsider. IPK is making all relevant documents available for the inquiry, such as lab log books and minutes of internal committee meetings, says Roberto Bruzzone, IPK’s interim CEO since March, who was a board member of the institute at the time the transfer happened.IPK is a private, nonprofit health research organization. It was set up in 2004 in collaboration with IP in Paris, the Korean research ministry, and Geongyi province.With reporting by Mark Zastrow in Seoul.last_img read more

When will I have my sidekick robot

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Swarm engineer Sabine Hauert  A: There are examples of machine learning all around us. We see it in our spam filters, recommendations online—whether it’s movies or with things that we’d like to purchase—and we see it in credit card fraud detection. And there are a number of areas where we are going to see more machine learning in the future. Technology continues to pervade our lives. Q: What are the goals of your Royal Society working group?A: They’re creating a report looking at the potential for machine learning in the next 5 to 10 years, and also the barriers to achieving that potential. They’re engaging with a number of stakeholders across the U.K. who’d be interested in this technology whether its industry, policymakers, academia, or the public. And they’re trying to look at it from a number of perspectives: ethical, legal, scientific, and societal. What I love about the project is that actually a big chunk of this working group’s role is to engage with the public. We surveyed people across the U.K. and asked them what they think of machine learning. We’ve also had focus groups where we spend more time with small groups of people to dig in and understand what they want from this technology.  By Lindzi WesselFeb. 20, 2017 , 4:00 PM A: AI is an abstract concept—different people have different definitions. Very often what people think when they say artificial intelligence is humanlike intelligence. Machine learning is a concrete process that is really the science of computers learning from data. We might be looking at one specific task with one specific set of data and be able to come up with a prediction or a solution based on that. And were using that as a starting point so that we don’t get lost in all the discussions about what is AI and what does this technology do.  Swarm engineer Sabine Hauert of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom is part of a Royal Society working group asking just that. Hauert, a swarm engineer who works with nanoparticles, has spent time speaking with members of the public about fears and hopes for advancing artificial intelligence. Here on Saturday at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science, she gave a talk titled, “AI and Policy Engagement: Understanding the Public’s Views of Social Risk”. Hauert sat down with Science to discuss the issue. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.  Q: And what are the responses from members of the public you’ve worked with?A: It’s very much context dependent. People won’t feel the same way if you’re talking about autonomous cars versus something that can help doctors do better diagnostics. When they do see areas that benefit them, there’s genuine excitement about the technology. People are worried about making sure algorithms can work with humans. They want to make sure the algorithms are safe and trustworthy. And there is the discussion about robots replacing human jobs.Q: And how do we move forward in this field without replacing humans?A: Well it’s about tasks, not jobs, in terms of the way that we’re building the future. We now have algorithms that can detect markers of cancer in images. But the goal is to create tools for the doctors rather than replacing them. Q: What’s your favorite example of AI in science fiction?A: The movie Robot and Frank. It’s the story of an elderly person who gets a caregiving robot for the home. He convinces the robot that to be happy he needs the robot as a sidekick to become a robber. It’s just a really nice story of the limitations of the technology, in that the person quickly understands how he can manipulate it, but also of a partnership. And even though the motivation is dubious, in the end these two end up as a genuine team.Q: So when will I have my sidekick robot?A: I think you’ll have different technologies for different tasks, just like you have lots of apps on your phone. I’m guessing in the future we’re going to get more and more of these helpers that are really focusing on a specific area. Having a fully functional system that can do everything is just so far away. Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017. Sabine Hauert center_img BOSTON—From Netflix recommendations to credit card fraud detection, artificial intelligence (AI) is already part of our daily lives. But as AI expands, where do we draw the line on how intimate we become with this new technology?  Michel Royon/Wikimedia Commons When will I have my sidekick robot? Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Q: You’ve found that only 9% of people in the United Kingdom have heard of machine learning. But everyone has heard of AI. How do they relate? Q: Where do we see machine learning in our lives?last_img read more

Trump donated 100000 for a science camp What should it look like

first_img University of Kentucky See Blue STEM Camp Have a clear target demographic“You need to understand the demographic you’re serving and their needs,” says Denese Lombardi, executive director of Girls Inc. in Washington, D.C., which runs a summer STEM and Leadership Academy. That could mean focusing just on girls, for instance, or students from a particular geographic area. Camp organizers should know “the area [campers have] grown up in, their age, their previous experiences with STEM, and the experiences they may want from your camp,” Lombardi says. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that President Donald Trump will donate $100,000 from his salary to the agency to support a summer camp for students focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).“We want to encourage as many children as possible to explore STEM fields, in the hope that many develop a passion for these fields,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said at a 26 July White House press briefing where she accepted the gift.But the White House and the department released no details about the planned camp, leaving many STEM professionals uncertain about what the Trump administration has in mind. But in interviews with ScienceInsider, they offered DeVos and Trump some unsolicited tips for running a successful camp. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Campers practice their skills at the See Blue STEM Camp at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. By Zahra AhmadJul. 31, 2017 , 4:18 PM Trump donated $100,000 for a science camp. What should it look like? At the week-long See Blue STEM Camp held on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, co-directors Craig and Margaret Schroeder focus on students who come from demographic groups that are underrepresented in technical fields. “I wanted to provide STEM learning opportunities to underrepresented students who may not otherwise be able to afford similar experiences during the summer,” Craig Schroeder says. The camp aims to have half or more of its participants come from underrepresented groups, such as students of color and women.Hire staff and recruit mentors who are appropriate role models“If you’re working with young girls, you want to make sure there are plenty of girls represented” among counselors and mentors, Lombardi says. “If you’re working with populations of color or with girls of different ethnicities, then you make sure there is an effort to bring in instructors who look like the girls attending.”At Utah State University’s App Camp in Logan, smart hiring has meant training high school girls how to lead groups of middle school–aged girls in using App Inventor, a program that helps people build their own computer applications. “Here in northern Utah we have a hard time getting girls to attend STEM camps,” says Jody Clarke-Midura, who directs the program. “We train these high school girls on how to be mentors and run the camp so that they’re just as empowered in STEM as the young girls they’re leading.”Connect with industry and educational institutionsGood connections with local businesses, school districts, and universities can help a camp recruit students and secure needed resources, including facilities, funding, and trained educators. “It’s not enough to just put out a brochure type of advertisement,” says Margaret Schroeder. Her camp, for example, works with local school districts and “youth service center coordinators to identify students who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to participate in the summer experience.”Don’t expect $100,000 to go very farJulie Cunningham, a STEM director at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, says it costs about $60,000 to run the overnight STEM camp, for two groups of 50 students, organized by her team. In Kentucky, the See Blue STEM Camp, which serves 300 students a summer, costs between $50,000 and $60,000, most of which is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the organizers report.So Trump’s gift is likely to help STEM educators reach just a limited number of students if organizers start from scratch, they predict. “If you want to make a significant impact, I don’t think $100,000 is going to do it,” Margaret Schroeder says. Another option, she says, might be to use the money to help replicate “successful STEM camps or to study the impact of STEM camps. Then I think you could make the donation work for you.”last_img read more

Skepticism surfaces over CRISPR human embryo editing claims

first_imgNewly fertilized (left) and later-stage (right) human embryos that have had a disease mutation corrected by the CRISPR editing system. OHSU In the 2 August Nature paper, Mitalipov and his collaborators showed they could bump up the efficiency of human embryo editing by inserting the CRISPR machinery earlier in development than previous experiments. When they combined healthy eggs with sperm bearing a disease-causing mutation and immediately added CRISPR, they found that 72% of the resulting embryos were free of the mutation—rather than the expected 50% that would have avoided inheriting the harmful gene anyway.Although the researchers inserted short strands of DNA as templates for repair, the cells didn’t seem to take them up; those specific sequences were absent from the embryos. The cells must have relied instead on the nonmutated sequence in the egg donor’s DNA when making the repairs, the team concluded.The bioRxiv response, led by developmental biologist Maria Jasin of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Columbia University stem cell biologist Dieter Egli, challenges that interpretation. The authors, which also include well-known CRISPR researcher and Harvard University geneticist George Church, say that the Nature paper goes against conventional wisdom about how embryos are organized early in development. Right after an egg is fertilized, the DNA from the sperm and the egg aren’t believed to be in close enough proximity to interact or share genes, they explain.Stem cell researcher Junjiu Huang of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, who led the first published study of CRISPR editing of a human embryo, isn’t on the bioRxiv paper, but shares that concern. It’s not unexpected for a cell to use its own sequences to guide repair, he notes. In his group’s study, which used nonviable embryos, a gene related to the CRISPR-targeted gene seemed to function as a template. But that gene was on the same chromosome as CRISPR’s edits. Here, the sperm and egg nuclei are seemingly too far apart to cooperate in the repairs, he says.The preprint authors lay out two other scenarios for what Mitalipov’s team saw. It’s possible that some of the embryos didn’t take up paternal DNA at all, and thus never inherited the mutation to begin with. In some in vitro fertilization procedures, embryos can occasionally start to develop from maternal DNA alone, and the study didn’t rule out this phenomenon for every embryo, they say.They also suggest that mutated paternal gene could have been snipped out of young embryos but never actually replaced with a healthy version. CRISPR’s cuts can sometimes cause chunks of DNA to be removed from the strand before the two cut ends are rejoined, they note. That would mean no detectable mutation—but it could also mean missing sections of DNA that could have unknown consequences for the embryo.This possibility of “allele dropout” has been the subject of discussion in the field ever since the Nature paper was published, says developmental biologist Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute in London. Many scientists are now waiting for a response from Mitalipov, he says.In his statement, Mitalipov promised to “respond to [the] critiques point by point in the form of a formal peer-reviewed response in a matter of weeks.” He also urged follow-up to resolve the matter. “We encourage other scientists to reproduce our findings by conducting their own experiments on human embryos and publishing their results.”*Update, 1 September, 1:30 p.m.: The new version of this story has additional comments from several researchers and clarifies the authorship of the preprint. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Email Skepticism surfaces over CRISPR human embryo editing claims When the first U.S. team to edit human embryos with CRISPR revealed their success earlier this month, the field reeled with the possibility that the gene-editing technique might soon produce children free of their parents’ genetic defects. But the way CRISPR repaired the paternal mutation targeted in the embryos was also a surprise. Instead of replacing the gene defect with strands of DNA that the researchers inserted, the embryos appeared to use the mother’s healthy gene as a template for repairing the cut made by CRISPR’s enzyme.But such a feat has not been observed in previous CRISPR experiments, and some scientists are now questioning whether the repairs really happened that way. In a paper published online this week on the preprint server bioRxiv, a group of six geneticists, developmental biologists, and stem cell researchers offers alternative explanations for the results. And uncertainty about exactly how the embryos’ DNA changed after editing leaves many questions about the technique’s safety, they argue. (The authors declined to discuss the paper while it’s being reviewed for publication.)Embryologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, who led the now-disputed experiments, released a statement saying that his team stands by its explanation. “We based our finding and conclusions on careful experimental design involving hundreds of human embryos,” it says. By Kelly ServickAug. 31, 2017 , 12:28 PMlast_img read more