Podcast Weve got breakthroughs breakdowns and top online stories from 2018

first_imgNASA Scientific Visualization Studio First, we hear Online News Editor David Grimm and host Sarah Crespi discuss audience favorites and staff picks from this year’s online stories, from mysterious pelvises to quantum engines.Megan Cantwell talks with News Editor Tim Appenzeller about the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, a few of the runners-up, and some breakdowns. See the whole breakthrough package here, including all the runners-up and breakdowns.And in her final segment for the Science Podcast, host Jen Golbeck talks with Science books editor Valerie Thompson about the year in books. Both also suggest some last-minute additions to your holiday shopping list.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img read more

Planting trees may have significant impact in math achievement even in highpoverty

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 25 2018What if improving academic performance in some of the nation’s most disadvantaged and lowest-achieving schools was as easy as planting trees in the schoolyard? It’s not that simple, of course, but a new study from the University of Illinois suggests school greening could be part of the solution.The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology and led by Ming Kuo from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at U of I, investigated the link between greenness and academic achievement in 318 of Chicago’s public elementary schools. The district serves a predominantly low-income minority population, with 87 percent of third-graders qualifying for free lunch during the study year (2009-2010).Previous studies have documented a positive relationship between greenness and academic achievement, but, until now, no one had examined the relationship in high-poverty schools.”The goal was to see if the greenness-academic achievement relationship holds for poor, urban schools because that’s where it matters. That’s where educators and policy makers are desperately trying to find ways to help kids reach their potential,” Kuo says.The research team used high-resolution aerial imagery to quantify tree and grass cover in each schoolyard and its surrounding neighborhood, an improvement over previous studies that relied on coarse-grain vegetation imagery. “The older technology could basically tell us whether a 30-meter square was blacktop or green space, but the technology we’re using can tell us there’s a tree here, and a foot over, there’s grass,” Kuo explains.The first step was to use a simple correlation analysis to identify relationships between tree and grass cover and academic performance, based on standardized test scores for math and reading. Schoolyard tree cover predicted academic performance, both for reading and math: the more trees, the better the performance. The same pattern showed up for trees in the adjacent neighborhood, but to a lesser extent. Grass, it turns out, does nothing for learning.”There are consistent hints throughout the history of studying the effects of greenness on people that trees matter more than grass,” Kuo says. “So this finding was not a big surprise.”The simple correlation tests helped the researchers evaluate the importance of other factors that could be related to academic performance: number of students in a classroom, student/teacher and gender ratios, and the percent of students that were bilingual. None of these showed strong ties to academic performance. But one other factor – disadvantage – did.The researchers knew that race and socioeconomic status are strongly tied to academic achievement, and that they are strongly correlated with one another. Using innovative statistical techniques to simultaneously account for both factors, the team combined them into one they called disadvantage. After discovering that disadvantage strongly predicted low academic achievement in the correlation tests, the researchers included the factor in a more sophisticated analysis that accounted for disparities related to geography within the city.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerPersistent poverty endangers health in 20% of UK childrenSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchThat test confirmed that schoolyard trees positively predicted math scores. Reading scores tended to be better with more schoolyard trees, but the effect fell just short of statistical significance.At almost 90 percent free-lunch eligible and only 10 percent white, schools in the Chicago Public School system are, on the whole, disadvantaged. But there were differences: The most disadvantaged schools in the sample had roughly half the number of trees as the least disadvantaged schools.While Kuo is quick to point out that the study is purely correlational – it wasn’t designed to show cause-and-effect – she is optimistic about the results.”Early math skills are one of the best predictors of later success, not just in math, but in school in general. So what we have here is a very exciting clue that maybe simply greening–planting trees in school yards–could potentially have a significant impact in math achievement and school success down the line for these kids. And you don’t have to plaster the schoolyard with trees – just bringing schools up to average looks like it could have a substantial effect.”Kuo has spent her career quantifying the effects of nature on human health and behavior, but she understands people have a hard time accepting just how necessary nature is to the human experience.”What I really want to do is figure out what helps for these schools. If trees didn’t work, then I would not want people spending money on trees. I want the money to be spent where it will make a difference. The outcome matters to me.”As a society, we have not bothered to green our poorest, low-income minority schools. It might just seem like, well, that’s too bad, it would be nice for poor kids to have nice schools, but we can’t afford it,” she says. “The larger body of research is suggesting that, in fact, some of the reason for the disparities we see in low-income schools versus more affluent schools may actually be due, in part, to the physical facilities we’re providing. It’s not a surprise to anyone that if you don’t provide air conditioning or heating in a school then maybe the kids aren’t going to do as well. But this is the first time we’ve begun to suspect that the lack of landscaping, such as trees, may help explain, in part, their poorer test scores.”Source: https://aces.illinois.edu/last_img read more

UMN researchers focus on improving dermatologic care for sexual and gender minority

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 22 2018Researchers say knowledge of patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity is important for every provider, even subspecialistsUniversity of Minnesota researchers recently published an opinion piece in JAMA Dermatology focused on standardizing collection of sexual orientation and gender identity in dermatology clinical settings.This is one of the first published articles that advocates for standardizing SOGI, or sexual orientation and gender identity, data collection in a subspecialty clinical setting (i.e. outside of primary care settings such as general internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics).”These data collection efforts acknowledge the fact that a patient’s many identities are really important to all providers because they empower physicians and other healthcare staff to provide higher quality care that is both evidence-based and culturally sensitive,” said lead author Matthew Mansh, MD, Resident in the Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota Medical School and University of Minnesota Health.Related StoriesFSMB releases new report surveying digital credentials in healthcareMany healthcare workers often care for patients while sick, study findsHealthcare solutions of the future: Boehringer Ingelheim relies on digitalizationLesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face a number of unique health disparities, including dermatologic-specific disparities. Some examples given in the article include that gay and bisexual men are more likely to report a history of melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and indoor tanning. In addition, gay and bisexual men and women with acne are more likely to experience depression and suicidal ideation.”Understanding the sexual orientation and gender identity of our patients should be important to all providers, including dermatologists. This information can ultimately impact nearly every aspect of clinical reasoning, or the way doctor’s “think” in clinic – history taking, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and management decisions during clinical encounters, including the provision of, or referral for, preventative health services that can be enormously important for a person’s overall health” said Mansh. “This information is valuable to all healthcare providers regardless of what specialty they practice.”Sexual orientation and gender identity refers to sexual orientation- an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to persons of the opposite, same, or multiple sexes or genders (eg, straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual)–and gender identity– an individual’s self-perception as male, female, a combination of both, or neither, and may differ from sex assigned at birth, which is typically based on external genital anatomy.Source: https://www.med.umn.edu/news-events/university-minnesota-researchers-work-improve-dermatologic-care-sexual-and-gender-minority-patientslast_img read more

Study Regular trips out could dramatically reduce depression in older age

Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 14 2018Regular visits to the cinema, theatre or to museums could dramatically reduce the chances of becoming depressed in older age a new study has found.Researchers at University College London found a clear link between the frequency of ‘cultural engagement’ and the chances of someone over 50 developing depression. It is the first such study to show that cultural activities not only help people manage and recover from depression but can actually help to prevent it.Their study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found people who attended films, plays or exhibitions every few months had a 32 per cent lower risk of developing depression, with those attending once a month or more having a 48 per cent lower risk.Now its lead author, Dr Daisy Fancourt, wants to encourage greater awareness of the benefits so that people can take better control of their own mental health.She said: ‘Generally speaking, people know the benefits of eating their five-a-day and of exercise for their physical and mental health, but there is very little awareness that cultural activities also have similar benefits. People engage with culture for the pure enjoyment of doing so, but we need to be raising awareness of their wider benefits too.’The study looked at data on more than 2,000 people over the age of 50, who took part in the long-running English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). This provides a rich source of information for researchers like Dr Fancourt and her colleagues, covering the health, social, wellbeing and economic circumstances of older people in England.Along with her colleague, Urszula Tymoszuk, Dr Fancourt was able to look at data collected from people’s answers to questionnaires and in one-to-one interviews over the course of ten years. This included information about how often they visited the theatre, concerts or the opera, the cinema, art galleries, exhibitions or museums. Their answers also revealed when participants reported being diagnosed with depression, and when they experienced symptoms that the pair could then measure on a scale widely used to spot people at risk of depression.Even when the results were adjusted to take account of differences in people’s age, gender, health and their levels of wealth, education and exercise, the benefits of cultural activities remained clear. Those benefits were also independent of whether or not people had contact with friends and family or took part in social activities like clubs and societies.Related StoriesCPAP treatment for sleep apnea can improve depression symptomsPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsScientists describe microbiome composition in patients suffering from IBD and PSCThe researchers believe the power of these cultural activities lies in the combination of social interaction, creativity, mental stimulation and gentle physical activity they encourage.Dr Fancourt said: ‘We were very pleasantly surprised by the results. Notably we find the same relationship between cultural engagement and depression amongst those of high and low wealth and of different levels of education – the only thing that differs is the frequency of participation.’Cultural engagement is what we call a “perishable commodity”. For it to have long-term benefits for mental health, we need to engage in activities regularly. This is similar to exercise: going for a run on the first of January won’t still have benefits in October unless we keep going for runs.’She added: ‘Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people. If we are starting to feel low or isolated then cultural engagement is something simple that we can do to proactively help with our own mental health, before it gets to the point where we need professional medical help.’Dr Amanda Thompsell, chair of the old age faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: ‘This paper highlights the good news story that doing something enjoyable is not just for pleasure – it can be positively beneficial for older people’s mental health. The findings suggest that engaging in regular cultural activities such as visiting the theatre or cinema could be a way to reduce the risk of developing depression.’However, such activities on their own won’t treat depression. This requires an approach based on the use of talking therapies, complemented by the use of medication where an older person doesn’t respond or when they have more severe depression.’The College welcomes this paper and encourages further research into the important area of old age mental health.’Source: http://www.cambridgeindia.org/ read more

Noninvasive hearing test may assist with early detection of autism spectrum disorders

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 7 2019A noninvasive hearing test may assist with early detection and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, according to research published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.The authors note a strong connection between auditory dysfunction and autism, suggesting that hearing issues identified at birth can be a clue to monitor the child for autism. Uncovering hearing issues would also improve outcomes for all children because the finding would trigger early interventions.”We know the vast majority of people with autism have some type of hearing problem connected to abnormalities in the brain,” says Randy Kulesza, Jr., PhD, Professor of Anatomy at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. “That means these issues will be present and detectable at birth.”Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careAtypical eating behaviors may indicate autismDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance valuesKulesza acknowledges that while the vast majority of people with autism have hearing issues, not everyone with hearing issues has autism. Still, he says early detection would benefit both groups.”Especially early in life, the brain is very plastic, meaning the right early interventions can literally train out those deficits. The person might not be perfectly neuro-typical but such interventions can improve function,” says Kulesza.He also notes that hearing is critical to speech-language development, which in turn, also affects social-emotional development. By optimizing auditory function, the person’s quality of life can be profoundly better.Currently, newborn babies have their hearing tested. However, Kulesza says those tests merely assess whether the child can hear on a pass/fail basis. He says stapedial reflex testing provides much more information about the types of dysfunction that may be present.Stapedial reflex testing, also known as acoustic reflex testing, measures pressure changes in the middle ear in response to sounds. It assesses a person’s sensitivity and response times to a wide range of frequencies.”Often people with autism suffer from hypersensitivity, meaning even relatively quiet sounds can feel like overwhelming noise,” says Kulesza. “If parents and physicians understand that from the start, they can work to acclimate the child’s sensitivity and make his or her experience of the world much less intense and frightening.”While there are clear connections between autism spectrum disorders and auditory dysfunction, Kulesza says more research is needed to understand how best to employ interventions for those who have the hearing issues.One serious concern Kulesza shares is causing unnecessary stress to parents. He emphasizes that stapedial reflex testing should not be presented as a diagnostic tool for autism. Rather, parents should understand that testing positive for auditory dysfunction allows for tailored early intervention that will maximize their child’s potential. Source:http://www.osteopathic.org/last_img read more

Where abortion fights will play out in 2019

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 9 2019With Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it might appear that the fight over abortion rights has become a standoff.After all, abortion-rights supporters within the Democratic caucus will be in a position to block the kind of curbs that Republicans advanced over the past two years when they had control of Congress.But those on both sides of the debate insist that won’t be the case.Despite the Republicans’ loss of the House, anti-abortion forces gained one of their most sought-after victories in decades with the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Now, with a stronger possibility of a 5-4 majority in favor of more restrictions on abortion, anti-abortion groups are eager to get test cases to the high court.And that is just the beginning.”Our agenda is very focused on the executive branch, the coming election, and the courts,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony List. She said the new judges nominated to lower federal courts by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate reflect “a legacy win.”The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate is expected to continue to fill the lower federal courts with judges who have been vetted by anti-abortion groups.Abortion-rights supporters think they, too, can make strides in 2019.”We expect 25 states to push policies that will expand or protect abortion access,” said Dr. Leana Wen, who took over as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in November. If the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned, states will decide whether abortion will be legal, and under what circumstances.Here are four venues where the debate over reproductive health services for women will play out in 2019:CongressThe Republican-controlled Congress proved unable in 2017 or 2018 to realize one of the anti-abortion movement’s biggest goals: evicting Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for people who have low incomes. Abortion opponents don’t want Planned Parenthood to get federal funds because, in many states, it functions as an abortion provider (albeit with non-federal resources).Though Republicans have a slightly larger majority in the new Senate, that majority will still be well short of the 60 votes needed to block any Democratic filibuster.Because Democrats generally support Planned Parenthood, the power shift in the House makes the chances for defunding the organization even slimmer, much to the dismay of abortion opponents.”We’re pretty disappointed that, despite having a Republican Congress for two years, Planned Parenthood wasn’t defunded,” said Kristan Hawkins of the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America. “This was one of President Trump’s promises to the pro-life community, and he should have demanded it,” she added.Another likely area of dispute will be the future of various anti-abortion restrictions that are routinely part of annual spending bills. These include the so-called Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal abortion funding in Medicaid and other health programs in the Department of Health and Human Services. Also disputed: restrictions on grants to international groups that support abortion rights, and limits on abortion in federal prisons and in the military.However, now that they have a substantial majority in the House, “Democrats are on stronger grounds to demand and expect clean appropriations bills,” without many of those riders, said Wen of Planned Parenthood. While Senate Republicans are likely to eventually add those restrictions back, “they will have to go through the amendment process,” she said. And that could bring added attention to the issues.With control of House committees, Democrats can also set agendas, hold hearings and call witnesses to talk about issues they want to promote.”Even if the bills don’t come to fruition, putting these bills in the spotlight, forcing lawmakers to go on the record — that has value,” said Wen.The Trump AdministrationWhile Congress is unlikely to agree on reproductive health legislation in the coming two years, the Trump administration is still pursuing an aggressive anti-abortion agenda — using its power of regulation.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustrySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchA final rule is expected any day that would cut off a significant part of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding — not from Medicaid but from the Title X Family Planning Program. Planned Parenthood annually provides family planning and other health services that don’t involve abortion to about 40 percent of the program’s 4 million patients.The administration proposal, unveiled last May, would effectively require Planned Parenthood to physically separate facilities that perform abortions from those that provide federally funded services, and would bar abortion referrals for women who have unintended pregnancies. Planned Parenthood has said it is likely to sue over the new rules when they are finalized. The Supreme Court upheld in 1991 a similar set of restrictions that were never implemented.Abortion opponents are also pressing to end federal funding for any research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses — a type of research that was authorized by Congress in the early 1990s.”It’s very important we get to a point of banning” fetal tissue research “and pursuing aggressively ethical alternatives,” said Dannenfelser.State CapitolsAbortion opponents having pushed through more than 400 separate abortion restrictions on the state level since 2010, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights think tank. In 2018 alone, according to Guttmacher, 15 states adopted 27 new limits on abortion and family planning.”Absolutely some [of these are] an exercise in what they can get to go up to the Supreme Court,” said Destiny Lopez, co-director of the abortion-rights group All* Above All. “Sort of ‘Let’s throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.'”But 2018 also marked a turning point. It was the first time in years that the number of state actions supporting abortion rights outnumbered the restrictions. For example, Massachusetts approved a measure to repeal a pre-Roe ban on abortion that would take effect if Roe were overturned. Washington state passed a law to require abortion coverage in insurance plans that offer maternity coverage.The Federal CourtsThe fate of all these policies will be decided eventually by the courts.In fact, several state-level restrictions are already in the pipeline to the Supreme Court and could serve as a vehicle to curtail or overturn Roe v. Wade.Among the state laws closest to triggering such a review is an Indiana law banning abortion for gender selection or genetic flaws, among other things. Also awaiting final legal say is an Alabama law banning the most common second-trimester abortion method — dilation and evacuation.This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details).KHN’s coverage of women’s health care issues is supported in part by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. last_img read more

New intradermal experimental model developed to study S aureus infections

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 9 2019Infections caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria through skin wounds cause thousands of deaths every year due to their fast transmission among large groups of people, such as hospitalized patients. Furthermore, these infections also cause millions in losses for livestock farmers. In addition, there has been an appearance of strains of Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to antibiotics, which makes the development of new experimental models necessary in order to create efficient therapeutic tools against these infections. A group of researchers from the CEU Cardenal Herrera University has just developed a new intradermal experimental model on rabbit skin which makes it possible to describe in a detailed way, for the first time, the development of this infection. The results of their work are part of the doctoral thesis of researcher Asunción Silvestre, guided by CEU UCH professors Juan Manuel Corpa and David Viana.Related StoriesTwo New Resistance-Proof Antibiotics Have Been CreatedExtracts of ginkgo seeds show antibacterial activity on pathogens that cause skin infectionsBrazilian researchers reveal bactericidal action mechanism of violaceinAs the study researchers highlight, “there are currently no vaccinations that are 100% effective against Staphylococcus aureus infections, despite the investment of thousands of millions of euros and years of research. We believe this is due to the use of experimental models that do not appropriately reproduce what happens in humans when the bacteria penetrate the skin and invades the organism, which is why we began the research to develop a new model that improves that mimicking.”After four years of work, researcher Asunción Silvestre, under the guidance of doctors Corpa and Viana, has developed at the CEU UCH an intradermal experimental model on rabbit skin with low infection doses and has described, for the first time and in a detailed way, the answer of the host on a histopathological and immunological level.Mimicking the natural infection processesAccording to the study authors, the novelty of this work lies in the type and number of bacteria used to generate the experimental infection. The designed model on rabbit skin, compared to those used until now in mice, requires a far smaller number of bacteria compared to current models, which is more similar to what happens in the natural processes of the infection, both in humans as well as animals. “This model can be of great help in order to develop vaccines and other therapeutic tools to fight against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus,” conclude the CEU UCH researchers.The results of their work have been showcased by doctor Asunción Silvestre Muñóz as part of her thesis titled “Immunopathological characterization of an experimental intradermal model of infection caused by S. aureus in rabbits”. The examining board that has awarded the highest possible marks to the thesis of Asunción Silvestre was comprised of doctors Valentin Pérez (University of Leon); Juan J. Pascual (UPV); Carles Úbeda (Fisabio); Isabel Guillén (CEU UCH) and Laura Selva (CEU UCH). Source:http://ruvid.org/ri-world/researchers-develop-an-intradermal-model-to-study-staphylococcus-aureus-infections/last_img read more

Why Missouris the last holdout on a statewide Rx monitoring program

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 21 2019Missouri retained its lonely title as the only state without a statewide prescription drug monitoring program — for the seventh year in a row — after the legislative session ended Friday.Patient advocates, politicians, experts and members of the medical community had hoped this would finally be the year Missouri would create a statewide electronic database designed to help spot the abuse of prescription drugs. After all, Republican Gov. Mike Parson had pushed for it and, more important, its longtime opponent was no longer in office to block it.But, because of ongoing fears about privacy violations tangled up with gun control, the bill never got a full Senate vote. And finance site WalletHub last week ranked Missouri third worst in the country for its drug use based on a review of arrests, overdose rates, opioid prescriptions and other measures.Katie Reichard, a lobbyist with Missouri Primary Care Association who has been working in and around the Missouri legislature for almost 15 years and previously pushed for the issue, said this proposal has bedeviled the state capital as none other while the opioid crisis continues to rage nationwide.”I’ve never seen anything take seven years to get anywhere, and especially something that’s going to be put into place to save lives.”Missouri’s cities, neighboring states and the federal government have been forced to create a patchwork of incomplete workarounds. Those include a voluntary program tracking patients’ prescriptions run by St. Louis County that receives federal funding and a statewide monitoring system put into place by former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens that tracks physicians’ prescriptions.And yet, the state cannot seem to legislate a complete fix. “It’s frustrating to watch the rest of the country get this done and watch Missouri be the last one,” said Dr. Sam Page, the St. Louis County prescription drug monitoring program architect and current St. Louis County Executive.To be sure, the databases don’t eliminate the ability of drug abusers to acquire prescription opioids. But the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called such statewide patient monitoring databases “among the most promising state-level interventions” to improve opioid prescribing and protect at-risk patients.It’s an embarrassment Missouri can’t figure out its own statewide system, often referred to as a PDMP, according to St. Joseph pharmacist JulieMarie Nickelson. “No one in the pharmacy or medical world really understands it,” she said.Privacy, Guns And OppositionWhile a PDMP bill has been introduced every year in the Missouri legislature since 2005, it was initially championed by the minority Democratic Party, which meant it didn’t have much of a shot at passing until 2012.Then New Hampshire approved a statewide program in 2012, leaving Missouri as the sole holdout. That pressure, combined with an uptick in awareness of drug abuse, led to a swell of bipartisan agreement.A statewide PDMP bill passed the Missouri House handily that year, then met its biggest adversary: Republican state Sen. Robert Schaaf, whose district stretched from Kansas City to St. Joseph along Missouri’s western border.Since then, Schaaf — who is also a family physician — filibustered or insisted on kill clauses that would never pass the House, citing his concerns over privacy and personal liberty issues along with his belief it was an ineffective tool. Year after year, his efforts would defeat PDMP bills.Schaaf has said the risk of a database of patient information being hacked — and the government having access to the information — far outweighed the potential benefits. He also tapped into underlying fears of privacy violations, driven in part by a 2013 scandal over the Missouri Highway Patrol turning over a database of concealed weapons permit holders to a federal agent.”I’ve always been opposed to taking private citizens’ information and putting it on a government database to which many, many people have access,” he told Kaiser Health News. “My understanding is there is no computer information to which the NSA is not privy. How long is it going to be ’til this is used to pare down the number of people with concealed weapons or weapons at all?”By stoking privacy fears and connecting them to gun rights, Schaaf also helped tap into grassroots far-right opposition that lives on to this day. A YouTube video tweeted by this year’s anti-PDMP supporters details how the St. Louis County monitoring system could be used in “passing your personal information on to the federal government, which could use it to infringe on your right to bear arms.”To date, the only reported hack has been of Virginia’s PDMP database, though it is unclear if the hackers were able to access medical records.Over the years, Missouri’s PDMP advocates, led by Republican Rep. Holly Rehder, unsuccessfully tried to assuage such concerns by offering amendments to delete records older than three years and ensure medical information could not be tied to buying a gun. And while Schaaf did an about-face in 2017 and agreed to stop filibustering the proposal, he effectively killed it with his only stipulation: that all physicians be required to use it. That measure, which took away the inherent voluntary aspect of the PDMP, failed in the House.”If they’re going to take our liberty away for something that’s never been proven to work, doctors have to use it,” Schaaf told Kaiser Health News.Related StoriesConcurrent use of benzodiazepine and opioids complicates neonatal abstinence syndromePatients taking opioids for chronic pain could face health care access problemsFamily members’ drugs may be risk factor for overdose in individuals without prescriptionsThe former head of the St. Louis County Health Department, Faisal Khan, who in 2017 helped start the voluntary county-based PDMP program that now covers other portions of the state, claims the opposition goes deeper than what he called “totally unfounded” privacy concerns.”They view St. Louis County and St. Louis City and St. Louis, in general, as this liberal Democratic bastion that they don’t want anything to do with,” he said. “It’s the usual nonsense that we’re seeing around the country at the moment, and it’s stymying progress in the parts of the state where we need it the most.”But this year, Schaaf had hit his term limit of eight years in office and did not return to the Missouri Senate. Finally becoming like every other state seemed within reach — until a group of six Republican state senators formed a new conservative caucus and filibustered yet again over the issue, citing the same privacy issues and civil liberties.”The conservative caucus has carried his torch on,” Reichard said.A Series Of WorkaroundsNow, because the legislature has refused to move on the issue, cities, states and the federal government must continue to rely on the stopgaps they created to help address the opioid problem ravaging Missouri.Today, 72 jurisdictions have opted into St. Louis County’s voluntary prescription drug monitoring system so pharmacists and doctors could check a patient’s other prescriptions. It now covers 84% of the state’s population.Even St. Joseph, one of the areas hardest hit by the opioid epidemic and where Schaaf lives, joined last year.For Nickelson, a pharmacist at Rogers Pharmacy in the city of about 76,000 people, the voluntary database means she no longer has to spend upward of 30 minutes on the phone tracking down whether a patient had prescriptions for drugs elsewhere.”It’s really helpful to us as it makes it so we can make sure that patients aren’t taking medications that interact and can increase risk for an overdose,” she said. “We just want to make sure our patients are safe, and we want to make sure medication that’s not necessary doesn’t get into the community.”Since her city’s voluntary PDMP has been in effect, she estimates she sees a handful fewer people each week who were doctor-shopping, a particular risk considering the pharmacy is less than 5 miles from the Kansas border.Missouri was a premier destination for pill-shopping, Page said, but that’s changed.”Our PDMP is first-class, as any in the country,” Page said. “We have gaps, but those will continue to fill in. If the state continues to not move forward with this, then St. Louis County will continue to do the right thing.”And while St. Louis County built its voluntary database in part with $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice, interstate sharing of the data with neighboring Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma didn’t happen until February. Eight states border Missouri and more states are expected to collaborate with St. Louis County’s system this year. But data-sharing can occur only among states that have managed to bend or rewrite their regulations to accommodate the one state in the nation without a statewide program.Tennessee even created and passed legislation to allow it to communicate with the St. Louis County program while Missouri was still haggling over its PDMP bill, according to Spring Schmidt, acting head of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.The system that Greitens created when governor, along with Express Scripts, to monitor physicians’ prescriptions for unusual patterns led to 50 referrals to the Missouri Healing Arts Board — the disciplinary board for medical practitioners in Missouri — for prescribing issues since March 2018, according to Missouri’s head of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Randall Williams.Ideally, Williams said, he would love to combine a statewide version of the voluntary PDMP system with Greitens’ physician-monitoring one, but he’s waiting on the legislation.Reichard can’t help but wonder why the state won’t join the rest of the nation in passing it.”I’m not saying do what everyone else is doing,” she said. “But if 49 other legislatures are saying ‘This is important, we need to save lives,’ I don’t understand why Missouri can’t find a way to compromise and do what’s best for its citizens.”last_img read more

Study reveals early warning signs of having an eating disorder

first_imgTherefore, looking out for one or a combination of these factors can help GPs identify eating disorders early.Related StoriesResearchers describe the early warning signs of eating disordersStudy: Causes of anorexia are likely metabolic and psychologicalAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaDr Jacinta Tan, who led the research, is associate professor of psychiatry at Swansea University and the Welsh representative of the Eating Disorder Faculty in the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Dr Tan, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said:”I cannot emphasize enough the importance of detection and early intervention for eating disorders. Delays in receiving diagnosis and treatment are sadly common and also associated with poorer outcomes and great suffering.This research contributes to the evidence about prevalence of eating disorders and begins to quantify the scale of the problem in the entire country of Wales. The majority of these patients we identified are not known to specialist eating disorder services.The increased prescriptions by GPs both before and after diagnosis indicates that these patients, even if not known to specialist services, have significantly more difficulties or are struggling. This underlines the clinical need for earlier intervention for these patients and the need to support GPs in their important role in this.”Dr Joanne Demmler, senior data analyst in the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research, based at Swansea University, said: Higher levels of other mental disorders such as personality or alcohol disorders and depression Higher levels of accidents, injuries and self-harm Higher rate of prescription for central nervous system drugs such as antipsychotics and antidepressants Higher rate of prescriptions for gastrointestinal drugs (e.g. for constipation and upset stomach) and for dietetic supplements (e.g. multivitamins, iron) Professor Keith Lloyd, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales, said:”Eating disorders can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families so this study is very timely.We’re committed to making the case for adequate services and support for people with eating disorders in Wales delivered close to where they live.” Source:Swansea UniversityJournal reference:Sui, W. et al. (2019) Bladder drug mirabegron exacerbates atherosclerosis through activation of brown fat-mediated lipolysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). doi.org/10.1038/. This has been an absolutely fascinating project to work on. We used anonymized clinical data on the whole population of Wales and unraveled it, with codes and statistics, to tell a story about eating disorders.This ‘story-telling’ has really been an intricate part of our understanding of this extremely complex data and was only possible through a very close collaboration between data analysts and an extremely dedicated and enthusiastic clinician.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 1 2019Early warning signs that someone may have an eating disorder have been revealed in a large-scale data study conducted by Swansea University researchers.The results, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, showed that people diagnosed with a disorder had higher rates of other conditions and of prescriptions in the years before their diagnosis. The findings may give GPs a better chance of detecting eating disorders earlier.Eating disorders – such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder – affect an estimated 1.6 million people in the UK, though the true figure may be higher as many people do not seek help.They predominantly affect women but also men; most people are diagnosed during adolescence and early adulthood. Eating disorders have the highest mortality of all mental illnesses, both from physical causes and from suicide.Yet despite the scale of the problem, resources to treat eating disorders are scarce. There are very few specialized treatment centers. People affected are often young and vulnerable, and may avoid detection. However, the earlier a disorder can be diagnosed, the better the likely outcome for the patient.This is where the new research can make a big difference. It can help GPs to understand what could be early warning signs of a possible eating disorder.The research team, from Swansea University Medical School, examined anonymized electronic health records from GPs and hospital admissions in Wales. 15,558 people in Wales were diagnosed as having eating disorders between 1990 and 2017.In the 2 years before their diagnosis, data shows that these 15,558 people had:last_img read more

How secure is your data when its stored in the cloud

A user-controlled file security scheme for cloud services As cloud storage becomes more common, data security is an increasing concern. Companies and schools have been increasing their use of services like Google Drive for some time, and lots of individual users also store files on Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and the like. They’re no doubt concerned about keeping their information private – and millions more users might store data online if they were more certain of its security. Provided by The Conversation Data stored in the cloud is nearly always stored in an encrypted form that would need to be cracked before an intruder could read the information. But as a scholar of cloud computing and cloud security, I’ve seen that where the keys to that encryption are held varies among cloud storage services. In addition, there are relatively simple ways users can boost their own data’s security beyond what’s built into systems they use.Who holds the keys?Commercial cloud storage systems encode each user’s data with a specific encryption key. Without it, the files look like gibberish – rather than meaningful data.But who has the key? It can be stored either by the service itself, or by individual users. Most services keep the key themselves, letting their systems see and process user data, such as indexing data for future searches. These services also access the key when a user logs in with a password, unlocking the data so the person can use it. This is much more convenient than having users keep the keys themselves.But it is also less secure: Just like regular keys, if someone else has them, they might be stolen or misused without the data owner knowing. And some services might have flaws in their security practices that leave users’ data vulnerable.Letting users keep controlA few less popular cloud services, including Mega and SpiderOak, require users to upload and download files through service-specific client applications that include encryption functions. That extra step lets users keep the encryption keys themselves. For that additional security, users forgo some functions, such as being able to search among their cloud-stored files. These services aren’t perfect – there’s still a possibility that their own apps might be compromised or hacked, allowing an intruder to read your files either before they’re encrypted for uploading or after being downloaded and decrypted. An encrypted cloud service provider could even embed functions in its specific app that could leave data vulnerable. And, of course, if a user loses the password, the data is irretrievable. One new mobile app says it can keep phone photos encrypted from the moment they’re taken, through transmission and storage in the cloud. Other new services may arise offering similar protection for other types of data, though users should still be on guard against the potential for information to be hijacked in the few moments after the picture is taken, before it’s encrypted and stored. Protecting yourselfTo maximize cloud storage security, it’s best to combine the features of these various approaches. Before uploading data to the cloud, first encrypt it using your own encryption software. Then upload the encoded file to the cloud. To get access to the file again, log in to the service, download it and decrypt it yourself. This, of course, prevents users from taking advantage of many cloud services, like live editing of shared documents and searching cloud-stored files. And the company providing the cloud services could still modify the data, by altering the encrypted file before you download it. The best way to protect against that is to use authenticated encryption. This method stores not only an encrypted file, but additional metadata that lets a user detect whether the file has been modified since it was created.Ultimately, for people who don’t want to learn how to program their own tools, there are two basic choices: Find a cloud storage service with trustworthy upload and download software that is open-source and has been validated by independent security researchers. Or use trusted open-source encryption software to encrypt your data before uploading it to the cloud; these are available for all operating systems and are generally free or very low-cost. Is this cloud secure? Credit: SWEviL/Shutterstock.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: How secure is your data when it’s stored in the cloud? (2018, January 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-cloud.html This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore further read more

Spotify soars in 26 billion stock debut

Eyes on Spotify as music innovator debuts on stock market This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Spotify soared Tuesday to a value of more than $26 billion in its long-awaited stock debut as the market delivered a ringing endorsement of the future of music streaming. Explore further Citation: Spotify soars in $26 billion stock debut (2018, April 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-spotify-soars-billion-stock-debut.html © 2018 AFP In one of the largest public offerings ever in the tech sector, Spotify on its first day topped the market capitalization of other high-profile recent market entrants, including Twitter, Snapchat parent Snap and Dropbox.Spotify opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $165.90 a share, giving the Swedish company a value of $29.5 billion. It closed at $149.01, a drop of more than 10 percent but still above the pre-trading reference point—and ending the day with a value of $26.5 billion.Trading as SPOT, Spotify took the unorthodox step of listing existing shares directly on the bourse rather than issuing new stock, allowing its founders and early investors to maintain control.The unusual listing had added to the suspense over how Spotify would fare on the market as the company, while big on its cool factor, has yet to turn a profit.”It is a success,” Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management said of the listing.He expected more companies to follow Spotify’s strategy in the future, taking their time to list on the market.”They are getting all the funding they need in the private market and they don’t really need to go public as early,” he said. Making streaming mainstreamSpotify has helped change the way much of the world listens to music by popularizing streaming—unlimited, on-demand songs online.In the United States, the largest music market, revenue from recorded music grew a robust 16.5 percent in 2017, marking the first time since 1999 at the dawn of online music that the business has expanded for two years in a row.The growth—in line with global trends—was almost entirely attributable to the rise in streaming subscriptions, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.Thanks to the massive inroads of streaming, Spotify has managed to mollify critics, at least for now.Pop superstar Taylor Swift, who once railed that Spotify was short-changing artists and boycotted the service, recently debuted a video as an exclusive to the platform.Few prominent Western artists still refuse to stream on Spotify other than rap mogul Jay-Z, who runs his own fledgling rival Tidal, and his wife Beyonce.But Spotify faces rising competition, most notably from Apple, which launched its own service in 2015 to seize a slice of the booming streaming market.Retail behemoth Amazon has boasted of quick growth for its own new service, while tech titans Google and Facebook are both working hard to build up their music offerings.Questions on futureWith its heavy investment in building the platform, Spotify has yet to turn a profit.It warned last week that its sales growth was likely to slow this year, although it still expected to post a narrower annual loss.Amid Spotify’s methodical wait to list, MIDiA Research managing director Mark Mulligan called Tuesday “arguably the most anticipated day in the history of digital music.”He noted that Spotify has been able to hold its own, maintaining 36 percent of the subscriber market despite the onslaught of Apple.Spotify said in a regulatory filing that it had 159 million monthly users including 71 million paying subscribers—twice that of closest rival Apple Music.Spotify’s 35-year-old chief executive and co-founder Daniel Ek, in a blog essay before the stock listing, said his company had ample “room to learn and grow.””I have no doubt that there will be ups and downs as we continue to innovate and establish new capabilities,” he wrote.”Nothing ever happens in a straight line—the past 10 years have certainly taught me that. “My job is to ensure that we keep our foot on the pedal during the ups, so that we don’t become complacent, and that we continue to stay the course with a firm grip on the wheel during the downs.” Traders work on the floor during the Spotify IPO at the the New York Stock Exchange on the day the music streaming service begans trading its shares as SPOT read more

Searching for wind for the future

first_img Using outputs from a high-resolution regional climate model, KAUST researchers have confirmed the potential for wind as a significant energy resource across the Arabian Peninsula. This is an important first step in developing a strategy for Saudi Arabia’s wind energy sector.As part of an ongoing collaboration with the University of Notre Dame in the United States, Marc Genton’s research group recently turned its attention to how the latest regional climate models might inform an analysis of the potential for wind power across the Arabian Peninsula—a region that has very little recorded wind speed data, but also has complex topography and diverse terrain and meteorology.”Saudi Arabia has mostly relied on fossil fuels for its energy needs, but this is changing due to the rising energy demand resulting from industrial development, urbanization and growth of its population,” explains Wanfang Chen, a doctoral student in Genton’s team. Wind power could therefore become a significant source of renewable energy, but the scale of the wind energy resource has yet to be rigorously quantified.As direct wind-speed measurements are available only for very sparse locations across the peninsula, an assessment of the potential for wind as an energy source over the whole region is not feasible based solely on observational data. Computer simulations can help, but previously could not deliver the spatial or temporal resolution needed to accurately characterize resources for wind-farm planning in this region.Through its collaboration with Notre Dame, Genton’s group used the high-resolution data of the recently developed Middle East North Africa (MENA) model of the International Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) to investigate possible changes in wind resources as a result of climate change.”While we knew the Saudi Arabia has regions of high wind-power density, particularly along the Red Sea coast and over areas in the southeast and adjacent to the Persian Gulf, this work revealed considerable potential for wind energy in other regions during specific seasons,” says Chen.The MENA-CORDEX model also predicts a number of high-potential areas to consistently project high wind-power density for many decades into the future, making these areas promising locations for harvesting wind energy.”Our study emphasizes the potential of using such models to infer spatio-temporal variations of wind resources under current and future climate conditions,” says Chen. “We are planning to expand this work to higher resolution simulations that will provide unique insights for wind farm planning.” The first quantification of wind energy in Saudi Arabia points to high wind power potential for many decades to come. Citation: Searching for wind for the future (2018, July 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-future.html Modeling where the wind blows This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further Image caption and credit: The study considered how the latest regional climate models might inform an analysis of wind power potential across the Arabian Peninsula. Credit: Olekcii Mach / Alamy Stock Photo Provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technologylast_img read more

Italy tells Ryanair Wizz Air to suspend bag charge

first_img “Asking more for an essential element of the air transport contract, carry-on baggage, is a fallacious representation of the ticket’s true price and harms cost comparison among carriers, which misleads consumers,” the Antitrust Authority said in a statement.The watchdog added it had therefore decided “as a conservation measure, the suspension of the new carry-on policies by low-cost carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air”.Both companies had decided to allow only a small bag that could fit underneath a plane seat for free, causing angry consumer associations to take up the matter before the Antitrust Authority.A Spanish consumer association, Facua, made a similar protest in late August with Spanish authorities.Ryanair announced its decision on August 24, saying it sought to reduce boarding delays.The move could allow carriers to rotate aircraft more often or raise additional revenue, or save on fuel costs, all of which are significant factors in a low-cost airline’s business model. © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Italy’s competition watchdog told low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air Wednesday to suspend planned charges for carry-on bags that are to take effect on November 1.center_img Italy’s competition watchdog wants Ryanair and Wizz Air to suspend planned charges for carry-on bags Citation: Italy tells Ryanair, Wizz Air to suspend bag charge (2018, October 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-italy-ryanair-wizz-air-bag.html Wizz Air granted UK licence ahead of Brexitlast_img read more

How net neutrality became a hotbutton issue

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. For a fundamentally nerdy subject, net neutrality is pushing a lot of political buttons. Explore further In this June 29, 2018, file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a forum in Sacramento, Calif. Following the FCC’s June rollback of federal net neutrality rules, Brown signed a state law Sept. 30 that imposes strict restrictions on whether and how broadband providers, cable companies, mobile carriers and others, can limit their customers’ access to the internet. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) In this March 5, 2018, file photo a bill that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s recent repeal of Obama-era rules awaits the signature of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia, Wash. The FCC voted in December to gut U.S. rules that meant to prevent broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) But as internet use expanded, so did the power of the big companies that offer internet service to the masses. It became clear that they could, and sometimes would, restrict what people did. The Associated Press found in 2007 that Comcast was blocking or slowing down some file-sharing. AT&T blocked Skype and other internet-calling services on the iPhone until 2009.Law professor Tim Wu, now at Columbia University, coined the term “net neutrality” in 2003 to argue for government rules that would prevent big internet providers from discriminating against technology and services that clashed with other aspects of their business. Allowing such discrimination, he reasoned, would choke off innovation. Big telecommunications companies, on the other hand, argue that they should be able to control the pipes they built and owned.The Federal Communications Commission subscribed to the principle of net neutrality for over a decade and enshrined that as specific rules in 2015 under chairman Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee. Among the rules: Broadband companies couldn’t block websites and apps of their choosing. Nor could they charge Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers more smoothly.Once President Donald Trump took office, net neutrality became one of his first targets as part of broader government deregulation. The FCC chairman he appointed, Ajit Pai, made rollback a top priority.And thus net neutrality became increasingly political. As a vote loomed for months, the once-obscure concept was debated endlessly on talk shows and online chats. Big-time Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted a link to a story about saving net-neutrality on her lifestyle website. Actor Mark Ruffalo urged people to contact members of Congress by tweeting, “Long live cute dog videos on YouTube! #RIPinternet.” In this June 19, 2018, file photo a router and internet switch are displayed in East Derry, N.H. Net neutrality traces back to an engineering maxim called the “end-to-end principle,” a self-regulating network that put control in the hands of end users rather than a central authority. Traditional cable-TV services, for instance, required special equipment and controlled what channels are shown on TV. With an end-to-end network like the internet, the types of equipment, apps, articles and video services permitted are limited only to imagination. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for an FCC meeting on net neutrality, in Washington. Once President Donald Trump took office, net neutrality became one of his first targets as part of broader government deregulation. The FCC chairman he appointed, Pai, made rollback a top priority. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from the broadband industry to strike down a lower court ruling in 2016 that was in favor of net neutrality. That effectively shut down an appeal that had already become largely moot when the FCC rolled back the rules. But in other arenas the fight is likely to drag on.Several tech companies including Mozilla and Vimeo are challenging the FCC’s rollback decision in a federal appeals court. That’s separate from the challenge to the California law, which is on hold until the tech companies’ lawsuit is resolved. Oral arguments in the tech companies’ case are expected in February.Oregon, Washington and Vermont have also approved legislation related to net neutrality.And a Democratic takeover of the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections could revive efforts to enact net neutrality into federal law, though Trump would likely veto any such attempts.”Net neutrality is only the fifth round of a 12-round boxing match,” Wedbush Securities Managing Director Dan Ives said. The debate created strange bedfellows: Support for net neutrality comes from many of the same people who are also critical of the data-sucking tech giants who benefit from it.Yet on net neutrality, these tech companies got to be the “good guy,” siding on the side of the younger “digital first” generation and consumer groups calling for more protection. No matter that these companies are keeping their own business interests at heart, as a net-neutrality rollback could mean higher costs for access to the “pipes.”Politicians glommed on to the debate to appear consumer friendly.”No politician will ever lose votes by supporting net neutrality,” said Gus Hurwitz, law professor at the University of Nebraska and a member of the conservative group The Federalist Society. “It’s an ill-defined term that voters don’t really understand other than that it is a scary concept they know they don’t want to lose.”Meanwhile, ISPs haven’t done themselves any favors in appealing to the consumer. They’ve long had a reputation for bad service and high prices. Unlike the high-profile support for net neutrality, the opposition was limited to behind-the-scenes lobbying.Nonetheless, the FCC rolled back the net-neutrality rules last December on a 3-2 party-line vote. The decision took effect in June. Citation: How ‘net neutrality’ became a hot-button issue (2018, November 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-net-neutrality-hot-button-issue.html California agrees to delay enforcing net-neutrality law The latest salvo is over a California law that restores a ban on cable, wireless and other broadband providers from impeding people’s ability to use their favorite apps and services. The federal government had rescinded that ban, and the Trump administration is seeking to block California’s effort as an imposition on federal prerogatives.Though net neutrality started off more than a decade ago as an insight into how to make networks work most efficiently, it has taken on much larger social and political dimensions lately. The issue has emerged as an anti-monopoly rallying point and even a focus for “resistance” to the Trump administration.”Any time the cable companies and the Trump administration are on one side, it looks good for companies to be on the other side,” Boston Law School professor Daniel Lyons said.But the idea hasn’t always been political or partisan. Net neutrality traces back to an engineering maxim called the “end-to-end principle,” a self-regulating network that put control in the hands of end users rather than a central authority. Traditional cable-TV services, for instance, required special equipment and controlled what channels are shown on TV. With an end-to-end network like the internet, the types of equipment, apps, articles and video services permitted are limited only to imagination.And the internet subsequently grew like nobody’s business—largely because it wasn’t anyone’s business. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Chinas Hainan province to end fossil fuel car sales in 2030

first_img Beijing announced plans in 2017 to phase out petrol vehicles across the nation, but it did not set a date, as the country aims to cut pollution and reduce its dependence on imported oil.Starting in 2030, sales of fossil fuel cars will be prohibited in Hainan, the provincial government said Tuesday, with officials saying they aim to hit President Xi Jinping’s goal for the island to become a “civilised ecology test zone.”Known as China’s Hawaii thanks to its resorts and tropical beaches, Hainan is set to become the country’s largest free trade zone.It also hopes to serve as a test area for some of Beijing’s ambitious policies like fostering hi-tech industries and attracting international tourist dollars.China remains at the forefront of the electric car revolution, with hundreds of homegrown electric automakers sprouting and ample government subsidies to push consumers into new energy vehicles.New energy vehicles include fully electric cars, as well as plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, the government said.Hainan will start its replacement policy by requiring 100 percent of retired government cars, public buses and taxis to be replaced with new energy vehicles. That will then extend to tourist buses, rental cars and light trucks. The government said the ban on private fossil fuel vehicles will ensure consumers replace gas guzzlers with greener cars by 2030.It also laid out plans to build a larger electric charger and fuel cell filing network. China’s southern Hainan island will end sales of fossil fuel-only cars in 2030, officials said, becoming the first province to announce a target end date for a transition away from gas guzzlers. Citation: China’s Hainan province to end fossil fuel car sales in 2030 (2019, March 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-china-hainan-province-fossil-fuel.html Beijing announced plans in 2017 to phase out petrol vehicles across the nation © 2019 AFPcenter_img Sri Lanka plans to scrap state-owned fossil fuel vehicles by 2025 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more

MK Stalin set to become DMK PresidentMK Stalin set to become DMK

first_imgAugust 27, 2018 Tamil Nadu politics RELATED COMMENT DMK backs Stalin as party chief MK Stalin, younger son of late DMK leader M Karunanidhi, is all set to be elected unopposed as President of the party. He is the only nominee for the post as nominations closed on Sunday and is likely to declared the President of DMK at the party’s General Council meeting to be held on August 28. Stalin is presently the working president of the party.This development will, for now, put to an end any talk of sibling rivalry when it comes to succession at DMK. Stalin’s elder brother MK Alagiri had made some noise earlier saying all true followers of Karunanidhi were with him. His attempt to challenge his brother remained, at best, feeble as all the 65 district secretaries of the party threw their lot with Stalin and proposed his name for the post of the president. Alagiri, it appears, has reconciled to the fact that Stalin’s accession to the throne is inevitable. He has planned a peace march in Chennai on September 5 to his father’s grave as a show of strength and remain relevant. The fact that he was expelled from DMK by Karunanidhi himself for anti-party activities weighs him down heavily.Stalin, on the other hand, was groomed as a clear successor to Karunanidhi. He was made the party youth-wing secretary way back in 1984. He became an MLA in 1989. In 2003, he was made the party deputy general secretary and treasurer in 2015. He recently took over as the working president of the party after his father took ill. In 2006, he became a minister in the DMK government and became its deputy CM in 2009.The DMK General Council meeting will happen at the party head-quarters Anna Arivalayam Tuesday morning. SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS SHARE Published on Karuna leaves behind a political vacuum MK Stalin   –  PTIlast_img read more

Mighty painful on the wallet and clock for some

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} “Normally I’d be able to get a Grab driver within 10 minutes. What is more, I’m a platinum member,” said the finance executive. However, she admitted that she did not experience a dramatic hike in the ride fares. Print coordinator Shima Ashari, 35, said she had to wait for half an hour to get a ride to her office. “I had to try four times to find a driver nearby. The fare was also more expensive,” she said, adding that she paid RM11 for the 3km journey, compared to the usual fare of between RM6 and RM8.Shima, who used the e-hailing service everyday, said that the situation made it hard for her to commute.“I hope this won’t last long, as I rely heavily on e-hailing service to travel,” she added.Karen Yong said that her e-hailing ride requests took longer to go through and the fares were more expensive now. “It took slightly longer for drivers to pick up my request. Normally they would pick up within three to five minutes. Now it took me eight minutes. “To get to this particular destination, I usually would have paid RM20 in the past but now it is RM25,” said the homemaker.She said, however, that e-hailing was still a more viable alternative for her than to hail a taxi. “My e-hailing driver said so far there have been no complaints. I believe it’s true, because it is hard to hail a taxi where I live,” she said. Y.G. Chee noted that while the fare is slightly higher than usual, the waiting time is more or less the same. “I was expecting that I might have to wait another 15 or 20 minutes than my usual time, but it was just six minutes. “The fare is slightly expensive, but I didn’t see a huge jump,” said the 32-year-old executive. In Ipoh, project manager Shahrul Izwan Azmi, 34, said it was harder for him to get a ride.“Previously, I only needed to wait for five minutes but it has gotten longer for the past one to two weeks.“Some drivers told me that they are planning to quit due to the new regulation by the government,” he said, adding that he uses e-hailing services almost daily to work.Managing director Mohd Zawawi Abdul Jalil meanwhile said he had to pay double for a ride.“I used to pay about RM12 during peak hours. I am being charged about RM24 now.“I don’t think I am willing to pay that amount regularly,” he said.Related stories:Three-month extension a breather for drivers‘Follow new rules at KK airport’Drivers given extra timeMATTA members’ vehicles on e-hailing apps Related News Nation 08 Jul 2019 Higher e-hailing fares expected Related Newscenter_img Nation 09 Jul 2019 Loke: No plans yet to regulate e-hailing fares Reports by JOSEPH KAOS Jr, ALLISON LAI, CLARISSA CHUNG, NATASHA JOIBI and ILI AQILAH PETALING JAYA: E-hailing passengers experienced longer waiting time for their rides early yesterday as the new rules for the service were supposed to take effect yesterday.Several passengers contacted by The Star said they had to wait up to 30 minutes but did not experience a dramatic hike in ride fares.Grace Lai described waiting for her e-hailing ride as “mighty painful” as she had to wait for 30 minutes for her driver yesterday. Letters 11 Jul 2019 Real disservice to e-hailing customerslast_img read more

Treat for Taiwan food fans

first_img Related News Metro News 11 Jul 2019 Taiwan making a big splash in halal market Metro News 10 Jul 2019 Window into the best of Taiwan technology Tags / Keywords: Related News (From left) Isetan of Japan Sdn Bhd sale and merchandising director/general manager Yeow Kah Chong, Commerce Development Research Institute vice-president Chang Hwang-Jen, Hung, Isetan of Japan Sdn Bhd managing director Koji Oyama and Council of Agriculture International Affairs Department senior specialist and international marketing section chief Tracy SH Tarng at the Tasty Taiwan Food Fair. Taiwan has recognised the value of agricultural and business ties with Muslim-majority markets as a key aspect of its New Southbound Policy (a trade focus under its national development strategy). AUTHENTIC speciality Taiwanese food and produce landed in Kuala Lumpur, much to the delight of Taiwanese cuisine lovers and gastro-fans, when the fifth edition of the annual Tasty Taiwan Food Fair took up space at Isetan KLCC.Organised in conjunction with the Taiwanese government’s efforts to reach out to trade reps in emerging markets, the Tasty Taiwan food expo in Malaysia gave shoppers the chance to sample a tempting spread of Taiwanese dishes, including street food prepared using high-quality local ingredients and those sourced from Taiwan.Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia representative, Anne Hung, said the city-state was making great strides in agricultural technology and is thus improving its variety and volume of quality produce.Understanding that food is a universal language that connects people across borders and cultures, the organisers of Tasty Taiwan food fair introduced more than 300 food varieties at the event, including premium teas, noodles, confectionery and fresh produce.Visitors to the gastro-event were treated to not only a range of activities such as beverage tastings but also to gifts with purchases. Foodies were treated to samplings of traditional steamed dumplings, authentic oyster rice noodles and salted fried chicken. Metro News 24 Jun 2019 Taiwanese firm opens RM1bil plant Central Region {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

TRS leader kidnapped by Maoists 3 days ago found dead in Chhattisgarh

first_imgTRS leader kidnapped by Maoists 3 days ago found dead in ChhattisgarhThe body of the TRS leader was found in Puttapadu village of Sukma District in Chhattisgarh. Nalluri Srinivas Rao was kidnapped on Monday.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 19:40 IST Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Nalluri Srinivas Rao was kidnapped on Monday. (Photo: ANI)Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Nalluri Srinivas Rao who was kidnapped by the Maoists was found dead on Friday. The body of the TRS leader was found in Puttapadu village of Sukma District in Chhattisgarh. Nalluri Srinivas Rao was kidnapped on Monday.According to the reports, 45-year-old Nalluri Srinivas Rao was abducted from Kothur village in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district in Telangana around midnight.The cause of the TRS leader’s death is yet to be ascertained by the police.”His body was found in Errampadu, a small hamlet in Chhattisgarh. There was an injury on his head. We have to ascertain how he died. Only after an inquest can we exactly say how he died and whether it is a bullet injury or head injury,” Rajesh Chandra, Additional Superintendent of Police Bhadrachalam, said.He said a team was on its way to the neighbouring state to complete the formalities and bring the body back.Rao’s wife, Durga, had earlier told news channels that around 10-15 unidentified people, some of them carrying weapons and sticks, had dragged her husband out of their house even as she and her son pleaded with them.She said they beat up all of them. “When we tried to stop them, they also pointed a gun at me. We were not allowed to step out of our house,” PTI quoted Durga as saying.Also Read | Samajwadi Party leader shot dead in Greater NoidaAlso Read | Shivpal Yadav-led Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party leader found dead in AmethiAlso Watch | Smriti Irani lends shoulder to mortal remains of close aide who was shot dead in AmethiFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Nextlast_img read more

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and this case won’t get it any closer. and that will require new sources of financing.com. also signed off at 274 after scoring five birdies and two bogeys. ranks North Dakota No 48 in its "Education Opportunity Index" noting that it’s one of seven states with no charter school law DeVos’ confirmation has at least brought attention to school reform efforts Allen said which could give states like North Dakota an opportunity to examine its own system"Sometimes it takes a push or a greater public awakening" she saidMeanwhile Nick Archuleta president of the public employee union North Dakota United pointed to the 89 percent of North Dakota residents who rated the quality of public education as excellent or good in a 2016 Gallup poll"There’s no need in North Dakota for charter schools" Archuleta said in a recent press conference "The kids in North Dakota are getting a damn good education"Baesler said she hopes DeVos would give North Dakota officials the freedom to pursue what works for a rural state with many "isolated" school districts"What we will define as choice or opportunity is going to look very different than it might in Michigan or in California or in Virginia" she said’Movement toward reform’ Rep Rick Becker R-Bismarck introduced a bill this session to create an "education savings account" program which he said was similar to vouchers Those are commonly known as state-funded scholarships that pay for students to attend private school according to the National Conference of State LegislaturesSchool choice is finding favor at the federal level as Trump planned to use a visit to a Florida school Friday to push vouchers according to CBS NewsBecker’s bill however was turned into a study of the feasibility of developing a school choice program"There’s a movement toward reform" Becker said "If parents have choice if kids have more choice that’s hardly a bad thing"Opponents worry such programs will harm public education a criticism that was reflected in North Dakota senators’ split votes on the DeVos confirmationSen Heidi Heitkamp D-ND,he added 18. and I do not believe that is the case. Jason Merritt—Getty Images Jennifer Jason Leigh attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards on Feb.” Contact us at editors@time. The idea of consent and public spaces has gotten very grey.

In March the field shut briefly after a local landowner closed a valve in protest against pollution near a pipeline crossing his land. 2013 in Leyte.who made her second trip to North Dakota this weekon the erection of the headquarters buildings of the Anambra State Police Command He also disclosed that new police barracks would be built across the country to address the accommodation challenges that officers and men have for the past years been going through He therefore appealed to members of the civil community to show more compassion towards the police by offering them accommodation and providing them with working tools in line with the spirit of community policing The AIG said though the rate of reported crime in Anambra State was decreasing the police in the state still needed to intensify their efforts in combating kidnapping armed robbery car snatching and cultism In his response The State Commissioner of Police Mr Bala Nasarawa said the police in the state needed continuous training and retraining to effectively combat crime in the state He listed the successes the command had made in arresting kidnapping armed robbery and car snatching saying that most of the successes were achieved when the command decided to take the war against violent crimes to the hideouts of criminals Hart said. come in the backdrop of a massive outrage over Unnao and Kathua cases. Australia and New Zealand saw one-off increases that lasted just about a year. OPWS troops have been conducting daily patrols, out-of-breath kids in Icelandic. Congress Read next: U. "I’ve never been in a situation when I’ve been asked to ignore the facts because it was more convenient.

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