Students at SHS to learn about reporting and preventing abuse

first_imgStudents at SHS to learn about reporting and preventing abuse By Diana Hutchison Bullying and school safety are hot topics nationwide. The Snowflake Unified School District has provided assemblies and education to students on bullying and school safety for many years and administrators at SnowflakeSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad April 3, 2018last_img

Turkey removes central bank governor appoints deputy Official gazette

first_img Top News turkey bank governor removed, turkey central bank governor removed, Murat Cetinkaya, Murat Cetinkaya removed, Murat Cetinkaya replaced, turkey news Turkey central bank governor Murat Cetinkaya. (Reuters)Turkey removed its central bank governor early on Saturday and replaced him with the bank’s deputy governor, a presidential decree published on the official gazette showed.Murat Cetinkaya was removed from the governor role and was replaced by Murat Uysal, who was serving as his deputy, the order showed. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan By Reuters |Ankara | Published: July 6, 2019 9:36:05 am Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Post Comment(s)last_img read more

EU slaps sanctions on Turkey over gas drilling off Cyprus

first_img NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home More Explained Best Of Express Post Comment(s) Related News Asylum applications in EU rise as more Venezuelans seek refuge The EU ministers repeated the “serious immediate negative impact” that Turkey’s illegal actions are having on EU-Turkey relations and called on Ankara to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights in line with international law. (REUTERS)European Union foreign ministers on Monday turned up the pressure on Turkey after approving an initial batch of sanctions against the country over its drilling for gas in waters where EU member Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. Meanwhile, Cyprus’ Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will chair a meeting of political leaders Tuesday to discuss a renewed proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa AKinci to establish a joint committee with Greek Cypriots on managing offshore gas drilling activities.Akinci has repeatedly called for the creation of such a committee that he says would give his community a say in how newly found gas deposits off Cyprus’ southern coast are managed and future proceeds are divvied up. A similar proposal was made by Akinci’s predecessor Dervis Eroglu in 2011. The ministers said in a statement that in light of Turkey’s “continued and new illegal drilling activities,” they were suspending talks on an air transport agreement and would call on the European Investment Bank to “review” it’s lending to the country.They also backed a proposal by the EU’s executive branch to reduce financial assistance to Turkey for next year. The ministers warned that additional “targeted measures” were being worked on to penalize Turkey, which started negotiations to join the EU in 2005.Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu issued his own warning last week that his country would step up drilling activities off Cyprus if the EU moved ahead with sanctions. Advertising Europe should brace for US tariffs on several fronts, says German official The Cypriot government says energy discussions with Turkish Cypriots should be part of overarching reunification talks, adding that Turkish Cypriot rights to the island’s energy reserves are assured. The government says future gas proceeds that will flow into an established hydrocarbons fund will be shared equitably after a peace deal is signed. Explained: The Hague rules on Kulbhushan Jadhav today EU Parliament to elect its president on July 3 in any case: Spokesman Two Turkish vessels escorted by warships are drilling for gas on either end of ethnically divided Cyprus.The EU ministers repeated the “serious immediate negative impact” that Turkey’s illegal actions are having on EU-Turkey relations and called on Ankara to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights in line with international law.They also welcomed the Cypriot government’s invitation to Turkey to negotiate the borders of their respective exclusive economic zones and continental shelf.Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and claims 44% of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone as its own, according to Cyprus government officials. Turkish Cypriots in the east Mediterranean island nation’s breakaway north claim another 25%. Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece. A Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey, which keeps more than 35,000 troops in the breakaway north. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the internationally recognized south enjoys full membership benefits.Turkey contends that it’s protecting its rights and those of Turkish Cypriots to the area’s hydrocarbon deposits. Cypriot officials, however, accuse Turkey of using the minority Turkish Cypriots in order to pursue its goal of exerting control over the eastern Mediterranean region.The Cypriot government says it will take legal action against any oil and gas companies supporting Turkish vessels in any repeat attempt to drill for gas. Cyprus has already issued around 20 international arrest warrants against three international companies assisting one of the two Turkish vessels now drilling 42 miles (68 kilometers) off the island’s west coast.The Cyprus government has licensed energy companies including ExxonMobil, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni to carry out gas drilling in blocks, or areas, off the island’s southern coastline. At least three significant gas deposits have so far been discovered there. By AP |Brussels | Published: July 16, 2019 7:31:13 am Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Advertising Advertising Former UK PM Major vows legal action to block suspension of parliament Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook last_img read more

More people show interest in getting their DNA tested finds new poll

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 1 2018Only a small percentage of people in their 50s and early 60s have had their DNA tested – either for medical reasons, to learn their ancestry or out of curiosity – but far more have an interest in getting such tests done, according to a new poll.One in 10 have taken genetic tests offered directly to consumers, and one in 20 have taken genetic tests ordered by a doctor, according to new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. More than half expressed interest in getting DNA tests to guide medical care, understand health risks or know their ancestry.Still, the poll finds, that desire to know more about their risk of disease or heritage comes with a grain of salt. Two thirds of those polled said they thought genetic testing could lead them to worry too much about their future health.The poll of 993 adults between the ages of 50 and 64 was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.It comes at a time when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several disease-specific tests to be marketed directly to the public, instead of requiring a physician to order them.The poll also asked respondents their interest in testing to learn their genetic risk for three later-life disorders: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or macular degeneration. Around two-thirds had at least some interest in each test.Scott Roberts, Ph.D., a professor from the U-M School of Public Health who has studied use of genetic testing, including direct-to-consumer testing, worked on the poll’s design and analysis. He notes that even those who get direct-to-consumer genetic tests mainly to learn about their ancestral heritage could end up being “blindsided” by findings showing that they have a high risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”Compared to previous findings in the general adult population, this age group appears to be a little more lukewarm about their views of the benefits versus the risks of genetic testing overall,” he says. “The majority said they might be interested in knowing their risk for specific conditions, but on other hand they were worried about potential psychological distress from the results.”Roberts points out that the accuracy of any genetic test is not 100 percent. He also notes that testing ordered by physicians often comes with a chance to meet with a genetic counselor – a specially trained clinician who can help patients decide whether to get tested, prepare them for handling the results, and help them understand what the results do and don’t mean.By contrast, direct-to-consumer testing often comes with none of these services, and individuals who buy DNA tests directly may encounter difficulty in interpreting them, or getting access to a genetic counselor after they receive their results. Genetic counselors are already in high demand for clinical cases, and their appointment times are prioritized for those who have a clinical reason for DNA testing, including family history of a serious genetic illness.Related StoriesPopulation-scale DNA test could make personalized medicine effective and affordable for allResearchers develop DNA nanorobots that target breast cancer cellsArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequence”Patients may not think about the downstream effects of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. An unexpected positive result may lead to several additional tests that may or may not be covered by insurance,” says Preeti Malani, M.D., director of the poll and a professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School who has special training in geriatric medicine.Experience with testingThe five percent of the poll respondents who had already had a genetic test ordered by their physician said it was done either because the physician suggested it or because they had wanted to find out more about their risk of disease or how best to manage a current condition.Ten percent had had a direct-to-consumer test. More than 70 percent of them said they were interested in learning more about their ancestry, and just under half said they were just curious about their genetic make-up. Just over one in 10 said they got tested to find out more about their health in general, or their risk of a particular disease.Combining the two types of genetic testing, 14 percent had had either kind.”We’re living in an era when advances like DNA testing are providing an amazing amount of useful health information,” says Alison Bryant, Ph.D., senior vice president of research for AARP. “As genetic testing becomes even more sophisticated and common among older adults, the challenge will be to ensure that people understand the benefits and limitations of these tests.”Future of genetic testing Roberts, who specializes in genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease, notes that 70 percent of poll respondents had an interest in learning their Alzheimer’s risk.Newer clinical trials of drugs that aim to prevent, delay or slow progression of memory loss and other cognitive problems are actually looking to enroll people who have a higher-than-usual genetic risk of Alzheimer’s. So those who elect to buy such a test, or whose doctors order one for them because of family history, may now have an action they can take based on their results.”Before, there wasn’t much we could recommend, but now there are more research opportunities to take part in, and we know more about health behaviors earlier in life that can affect the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia later in life,” he says.Poll respondents seemed to understand how genetic testing provides a potential window into the future, both for their own health risks (90 percent agreed with this idea) or for those of their children and grandchildren (86 percent). But 41 percent said that a genetic test wasn’t necessary if they already know what disease risks run in their family.The poll results are based on answers from a nationally representative sample of 993 people ages 50 to 64. The poll respondents answered a wide range of questions online. Questions were written, and data interpreted and compiled, by the IHPI team. Laptops and Internet access were provided to poll respondents who did not already have it.​ Source:http://www.med.umich.edu/last_img read more

Star Explorer Mae Jemison The Sky Connects Us

first_imgDr. Mae Jemison and I have a few things in common. We both grew up in houses that had scary basements with cobwebs, coal bins and wringer washing machines. We both wore out our Chicago Public Library cards. We both were tormented by siblings but taught by our parents to stick up for each other, which we did. I memorized the soundtrack of West Side Story word-for-word; Jemison danced in a production of the show.The list of similarities doesn’t stretch too long, however. She was a skinny black girl who lived on the South side, and I was a chubby white girl who lived on the North side. Not to knock my own accomplishments, but I didn’t graduate from high school at 15, as Jemison did, or go on to earn an engineering degree from Stanford, or a medical degree from Cornell.I didn’t serve in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and Liberia, or work as a doctor in a Cambodian refugee camp.You won’t find my likeness on a LEGO figurine meant to inspire children because I didn’t become an astronaut. I liked thinking about space, but Jemison went there — and she was the first woman of color who did. To say that there just isn’t another Earthling like Mae Jemison is not an overstatement.Jemison has served on numerous boards and task forces. She founded a consulting company and a science camp. She’s been named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame, the Texas Science Hall of Fame, and the International Space Hall of Fame. She has received the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, and many other awards and honors.I recently had the opportunity to speak with her, and although she shared some illuminating recollections of her mission on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992, her experiences as an astronaut were neither the starting point nor the ending point of our conversation. This extraordinary woman’s career is too packed with present and future endeavors to dwell very long on her stellar past.She currently leads 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit initiative to build a foundation for interstellar travel within the next hundred years.Jemison also leads Look Up, a movement that encourages people to connect with the sky above us on one day each year. Participants collaborate on weaving a global tapestry of Skyfies — sky selfies — accompanied by reflections on their feelings, thoughts, hopes and needs as they look up. This year’s Look Up day was Oct. 18. Alternative Adventures Space Settlements One of Jemison’s current passions, Look Up, began with a conversation she had with LeVar Burton and Jill Tarter following a South by Southwest panel discussion a few years back. Burton and Tarter are both on the 100 Year Starship advisory board.Burton is famous for his portrayals of Geordi La Forge in Star Trek and Kunta Kinte in Roots, among many other acting credits. He’s also well known as the host of the long-running educational program, Reading Rainbow.Astronomer Jill Tarter, cofounder of the SETI Institute, is a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Carl Sagan’s novel Contact and the film based on it feature a protagonist whose character is informed by Tarter’s work.That pivotal conversation involving Jemison, Burton and Tarter centered on how to connect people to space.”We were really working very hard on that,” Jemison recalled, “so we actually thought that in some kind of way we have to get back to folks thinking about the world as connected. And in fact, Jill talked about the fact that if we don’t consider ourselves as ‘Earthlings’ … that’s a major concern. All the work that I’ve ever done, since I’ve come out of NASA, is really about ‘how do we connect with each other on this planet?'”That conversation led to Look Up.”One of the things we have to do is understand that we’re inextricably connected to this planet,” said Jemison. “Our biology, our rhythms, our cycles, our knowledge is connected to this planet. Yet at the same time we’re connected to each other across this planet and the greater universe. So it was really, how do we get this sense of being? The sky is one of those things that’s a transition point. You know, it connects us. What if one day we just stopped looking down, and we looked up?” In the Library Look Up Not Lost in Space Though Jemison’s path has been far different from mine, our conversation started with an important influence in both of our young lives: many hours spent in libraries, making discoveries and imagining possibilities. Jemison shared her concern that the search engines we now rely on eliminate a crucial part of learning that can take place only in the presence of physical books on shelves.”I remember as a little kid — six years old, seven years old — going with my brother and sister and mother to the library, and there’s something that’s very special about being there with other people,” she recalled. “You really get to search through books and things that are adjacent on this side or on that side, and get to walk through rows and see all of these ideas. And it’s a little bit different — in fact, I think it’s quite different — than where the search engines are taking us these days, where search engines take you to places that they want you to see, based on their algorithms, based on their idea of ‘Did I make a profit off of this or not? Did I get paid for it?'”That’s a very, very different experience, and it’s a very truncated experience,” Jemison said.Even now, when she’s engaged in research, some of the most fundamental things happen when she starts looking for material and finds books or research articles adjacent to the volume she was looking for, she pointed out. It’s a fundamentally different process from being directed by a search engine to see what it wants you to see.Jemison is an advocate of reading as a way to explore with your mind and “create the footpath” toward achieving goals. Allowing scope for the imagination is critical to children’s learning, she said.”People always say, ‘well the kid plays with the box instead of the toy,’ right? It’s because sometimes the [toy] is too concrete,” Jemison explained. “And these days we have these experiences that are so concrete that it doesn’t challenge the individual to think about the world and to explore possibilities. I mean, I’m not saying it’s not important to have concrete ideas, and be very disciplined and know there’s factual things and all of that — but there’s also a different part of play, which allows you to expand and try new avenues.” We all can heed Jemison’s call to look up, but very few of us can travel to where she’s been. I asked her how actually being in space changed her thinking.”I’m going to get rid of the overview effect real quick,” she said. “The overview effect where people say, you know, astronauts look down and ‘everything important to me in the entire universe is on this planet.’ And that I realized that there were no borders — there’s this whole mantra about that.”That didn’t happen to me. I never thought that,” Jemison continued. “I never just thought that the Earth was the center of the universe — I don’t think it now. I never thought that those borders that people draw on maps actually existed. I knew that those are constructs they had in their mind. I never believed that people were that fundamentally different from one to the other.”What being in space did do for her, she said, “was it confirmed something that I’ve always believed — that the Earth will be here. We may not. You know, when you see this thin shimmering layer of blue light that’s our atmosphere, you recognize that we don’t have to be here. This planet that offers us so much — it will be here, but humans don’t have to be here. We just have way too much hubris in thinking that we can exist without the Earth. We can not.”Now, the other thing I felt is that I felt very connected with the rest of the universe,” Jemison said. “That was maybe the pivotal moment for me. I was thinking, would I feel lost? But I could imagine myself in a star system 10,000 light years away, and I felt connected. And that was like fundamental — that connection.”Was there ever a moment in her life as an astronaut, I wondered, when she was out there in space, when she felt fear?”I actually tried to make myself afraid while I was up,” Jemison said. “I did… because I was feeling way too jazzy. Way too mellow, right? And I couldn’t, because I really felt that connection. It was as though everything was OK. I was connected.”It was calm, and it was very centered, and you could deal with lots of things,” she recalled. One of those things was that “the world lives on, but I should always be prepared to die. Not to be here. And what would I want to be like at that time?”Jemison was in the first class of astronauts after the Challenger accident, and she noted in what I viewed as a considerable understatement, that she had done things that were not risk-free prior to ever joining the astronauts. She worked as a doctor in a Cambodian refugee camp while in the Peace Corps, to cite just one example.”You know, it was a matter of steadying yourself and feeling very comfortable about things,” she said. I asked Jemison about the future of human space exploration, and though she firmly rejected the use of the word “colony” to describe any settlements that might result, she did say she knew that we could do it, depending on our commitment.”What it would be like depends very much on who’s involved,” she said. “So my big task with space exploration has been to get more people involved. And my big task in science has been ‘how do we get more people involved?’ In fact, the proposal for 100 Year Starship was ‘An Inclusive Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth & Beyond.’ The first word is ‘inclusive’ because I think we come up with the best solutions and the best possibilities when we have more perspectives on board.”I wondered whether a continuing commitment to work on 100 Year Starship and other paths to advance space exploration might help solve some of planet Earth’s most pressing problems.”For 100 Year Starship … the way we look at it is that most of the major problems we have to solve very much mirror the challenges that we face on this starship — that we face on Earth today,” Jemison said. It’s crucial to bring in a variety of people, she pointed out — social scientists, physicists, material scientists, artists, storytellers.”Pursuing the extraordinary gives us something that we can build on today,” she continued, “and the other part of this is that people need an adrenaline rush. We need adrenaline as humans. And right now, all of our adrenaline — so much of our adrenaline — is being generated by fear and war. Those things are not really going to hold you in good stead in the long run, but they’re an easy way to generate adrenaline.”Because in addition to all of her other many roles, Jemison has been a dancer and an actor and a writer, I asked what she thought about the importance of melding the arts and humanities with science.”They’re all part of being human,” she said. “We see colors, we feel, we think. Anyone who tells you that science isn’t emotional is a liar. Science is creative. There’s some objectivity to it. I mean, we can look at the social sciences with some objectivity as well, right? But the reality is that what we choose to research and study is very emotionally connected. You know, the solutions that we look at many times are generated from our cultural background — generated from our experiences, which is part of our culture, right? And so… all of it… if we don’t recognize that, then we fail to come up with the kinds of solutions that make a difference.”The perception that scientists are neither creative nor intuitive is a fallacy, Jemison said.”They certainly are as well, and they use that to a large extent. And that’s the same thing with art and, I always remind people, with social sciences, which are really hard. Because if we think of the sciences as only the best and the purest are things that we can quantify easily… eh… it’s hard to do social sciences,” she pointed out.”Clearly, to be human, to be part of this universe, there’s this wealth and this range of ways we interact and ways we think we know things,” Jemison said, “and to ignore any of those is to ignore a major part of the universe and our capacity to interact with it.” Although most of us won’t get to venture where Jemison has gone, we can get a taste of experiences that otherwise would be inaccessible to us through technology — virtual and augmented reality, for example.Jemison recently took part in Defying Gravity: Women in Space, a mixed-reality experience brought to life through Microsoft’s HoloLens. I asked her about the usefulness of virtual and augmented reality.One thing she worries about, she said, is “people not being freed up to use their imagination enough. So that they exercise their brain cells, right? To come up with new things — or to come up with other perceptions. So I think virtual reality and augmented reality allow you to maybe explore and walk around something that you wouldn’t be able to. And if you feel like you’re physically there, what does that capture for you? That could be really exciting.”She recalled visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, when she was a young girl.”There was this exhibit … I think it was the street of yesteryear or something. It was like a turn-of-the-century street with cobblestones and silent movies and all of that. I was just absolutely fascinated by it, because it was sort of like, now I have to stop and think, what might life have been like then? What could you do? So augmented reality could bring us that as well — as long as we encourage folks to think beyond that, not just to walk through it. So I think there’s some really powerful pieces to it.” Although it’s still a nascent movement, Look Up picked up some steam this year. For the first time, participants could contribute their own sky images and messages using the new mobile Skyfie app. They were able to upload them to a global tapestry and then “spin the globe” to see what others were seeing and thinking.People stayed on the app, which was introduced just in time for Look Up’s designated 24-hour period, for 10-15 minutes, Jemison noted. There were contributions from every continent.Pondering the theme of connections that Jemison emphasized so strongly, I wondered about her use of the word “Earthlings” rather than, say, “humans.””Well, you know Jill came up with it” as a way to counter the human tendency to separate, she said. “So the plants are Earthlings, the microbes are Earthlings, my cat is an Earthling. We’re all tied together.”Jemison recalled a conversation she had with a group of students on Oct. 18 — Look Up day.”We were talking about Earthlings, and if you went to Mars, would you be a Martian? And they said, ‘No, you’re still sort of an Earthling, but you’re a human-ling.’ You know, you don’t change — you’re still connected.”Those connections that can be felt so strongly when we look up at the sky can have a powerful influence on the world beneath our feet. With all of the knowledge and the capabilities we have, how does an organization like the United Nations, for example, push for sustainability goals?”How do we get clean water to everyone, and those kinds of things? We already know how to do this,” Jemison said.”We have the capacity to feed everyone on this planet, right? … We have the capacity to educate all children. All of those things are possible. That doesn’t mean we can’t go to space. We can do all of this without sacrificing quality of life from one society to another. “But part of the issue is really we don’t — we don’t care about other folks.”I suggested that we don’t think of ourselves as planetary citizens. We think about little divisions and disagreements, instead of thinking in terms of how we can solve problems as a unified people.”Nature connects us,” Jemison laughed. “It really doesn’t give a damn about those ideas that we come up with — those divisions and things. It really doesn’t care. … When the distractions that separate us… the noise is louder than ever… look up at what’s common to all of us: the sky, weather, what passes through.”What’s above us unites us,” she continued. “That’s the sky, if we can just start to think that every group of people have looked up at the sky. The African proverb says, ‘No one shows a child the sky.’ It’s something that we do. It’s common. The mystery about the stars. What is the sun? … That people look up with hope. You know, it’s almost universal.” Mick Brady is managing editor of ECT News Network.last_img read more

Vertex gets European CHMP positive opinion for KALYDECO to treat patients with

first_imgOct 22 2018Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Europe) Limited today announces that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion for KALYDECO® (ivacaftor) to include the treatment of people with cystic fibrosis (CF) aged 12 to <24 months who have at least one of the following nine mutations in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene: G551D, G1244E, G1349D, G178R, G551S, S1251N, S1255P, S549N or S549R.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationEMBL study reveals uncoupling between chromatin topology and gene expressionNew gene-editing protocol allows perfect mutation-effect matchingIf the European Commission issues a favorable adoption of the EMA CHMP opinion for the extension of indication, ivacaftor will be the first and only medicine approved in Europe to treat the underlying cause of CF in patients aged 12 to <24 months, who have specific mutations in the CFTR gene."Cystic fibrosis is a chronic, progressive disease that is present at birth, with symptoms often occurring in infancy, so early treatment is crucial to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients," said Reshma Kewalramani, MD, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Vertex. "Today's announcement marks an important step towards allowing young CF patients to benefit from treatment at an early stage of their disease, and brings us one step closer to our goal of treating all people living with CF."The submission was supported by data from the ongoing Phase 3 open-label safety study (ARRIVAL) of children with CF aged 12 to <24 months who have one of 10 mutations in the CFTR gene that demonstrated a safety profile consistent with that observed in previous Phase 3 studies of older children and adults, and improvements in sweat chloride, a key secondary efficacy endpoint.Ivacaftor is already approved in Europe for the treatment of CF in patients aged two years and older who have one of the nine following mutations in the CFTR gene: G551D, G1244E, G1349D, G178R, G551S, S1251N, S1255P, S549N or S549R. It is also approved for the treatment of CF in patients aged 18 years and older who have an R117H mutation in the CFTR gene. Source:https://www.vrtx.com/last_img read more

Fundamental technology to support early differential diagnosis of concurrent ASD in patients

first_img Source:http://www.hitachi.com/ Since analyzing complex signals of optical topography requires expert knowledge and experience, automatic analysis technology that supports general physicians is important for clinical application. Development of the technology using the brain’s response to medicine for diagnostic support can also be expected for other diseases and psychotropic drugs. As research progresses, there is a possibility that it will become a mean for selecting the optimal therapeutic agent and behavioral therapy for each individual patient. In the era of our super-aging society, brain and mental diseases, from neurodevelopmental disorders to depression and dementia, are extremely significant social issues. Since the burden of such technology on patients is minimal, social implementation should be accelerated through the promotion of large-scale research.”Dr. Shigeto Yamawaki, Specially-Appointed Professor of the Center of Brain, Mind and Kansei Sciences Research Center, Hiroshima University, and the former President of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Long term ADHD and ASD in children are thought to lead to refusal to attend school, hikikomori (reclusion from society), depression and other conditions. Differential diagnosis to reveal the presence or absence of symptoms for both illnesses is necessary, as it has been reported that the numbers of patients displaying characteristics of both ADHD and ASD are not small. Further, as determining treatment methods and therapy is a time-consuming process that increases the burden on patients and their families, reducing the time to accurate diagnosis was desired. In March 2018, research led by JMU discovered that it was possible to visualize the presence or not of concurrent ASD by measuring the brain activity patterns of ADHD patients who have no prior history of taking related medication, before and after taking the medication. Based on this finding, an algorithm was developed to automatically analyze whether or not the ADHD patient is concurrently afflicted with ASD.The development process and features of the technology are as follows:Step 1. Measuring brain response after medication1.5 hours after the administration of the sustained release agent methylphenidate hydrochloride, optical topography signals of brain response from 32 ADHD patients with no prior history of taking related medication (11 with concurrent ASD and 21 without concurrent ASD), were measured for 10 minutes while the patients performed a simple cognitive task that involved pressing a button only when specific pictures were displayed on a PC monitor.Step 2. Determining the optimal region for measuring the brain for diagnosisMachine learning was applied to the signals measured in Step 1 and the diagnostic results obtained after several months. The results indicated that using the activation signals from the attention-function-related region (middle frontal gyrus-angular gyrus) and the motor-function-related region (precentral gyrus) were optimal for correctly distinguishing the presence or absence of concurrent ASD. Further, the most accurate classification was obtained by two-dimensionally plotting the quantities of activity signals in the above two related regions and setting appropriate thresholds with ROC curve, respectively.Step 3. Implementing an automatic analysis algorithmThe automatic analysis algorithm was developed by integrating the algorithm for signals from the optimal brain measurement regions found in this development, and the noise reduction algorithm previously published.To evaluate the effectiveness of this technology, cross validation method was used to verify the accuracy in predicting the actual diagnostic result obtained several months later. The evaluation yielded an accuracy of about 82%, indicating that the technology may be a practical candidate as a differential diagnostic support tool for early diagnosis. It is expected that by adding these objective biomarkers, the diagnosis period that begins with doctors issuing questionnaires to families and lasts several months will be dramatically shortened, and consequently, doctors will be able to decide on treatment/therapy at an early stage and provide families with advice on how to care for the patients.Hitachi, JMU, IUHW and Chuo-U will continue to develop this technology through clinical research, with the aim of realizing a society that supports the healthy development of patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. A part of these results will be published on the Frontier in Human Neuroscience(12) on 8 February 2019. Hitachi is cooperating with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) Research Program for “Implementation of Support System for Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Diagnostic Method,” using the automation technology developed to support diagnosis using brain reaction. Process in developing the automatic analysis algorithm Recently, it has been found that the number of children with characteristics of both ADHD and ASD is not few. In other words, it has become necessary to not only distinguish ADHD and ASD from one another, but also determine whether patients are afflicted by both diseases. Determining such has been difficult for doctors who are not well-versed in the clinical practice of neurodevelopmental disorders. This technology is a breakthrough from the viewpoints of assistance in diagnosis through the objective displaying of data that serves as a reference for this difficult judgment, as well as its contribution to helping patients receive appropriate treatment. The significance of the development of technologies for the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorder is significant because the diagnosis is largely dependent on the experience of the doctor and the basic idea of this technology that examines differences in brain responses on medications is ingenious. I think that its application to other psychiatric disorders can also be expected in the future. I hope that the research will progress further and become available in the clinical setting.”Dr. Shinya Miyamoto, Professor at Shirayuri University and Chairman of Japanese Society of Pediatric Psychiatry and Neurology. Feb 13 2019Hitachi, Ltd., Jichi Medical University (JMU), International University of Health and Welfare (IUHW) and Chuo University (Chuo-U) have developed fundamental technology to support the early differential diagnosis of concurrent autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The technology automatically analyzes the presence or absence of concurrent ASD when an ADHD patient takes their medication for the first time, by using optical topography to measure brain response. The condition can be predicted with a confirmed accuracy of about 82%. Conventionally, differential diagnosis requires follow-up observations spanning several months. This technique demonstrates the possibility of achieving a diagnosis in about 2 hours. Hitachi, JMU, IUHW and Chuo-U will continue to develop this technology through clinical research, with the aim of realizing a society that supports the healthy development of patients with neurodevelopmental disorders.last_img read more

RCEM issues position statement on metrics to supplement fourhour standard target

first_img Source:https://www.rcem.ac.uk/RCEM/News/News_2019/_RCEM_release_position_statement_on_metrics_to_supplement_four-hour_target.aspx While we are dismayed by many of the myths being pedaled around the four-hour standard, we are keen to ensure that any changes are not imposed due to political will but are developed responsibly, collaboratively and are based upon clinical expert consensus in the best interests of patients.The measures set out in this document are what we believe are in the best interests of patients and will enhance and refine the four-hour standard as a powerful system measure of flow. These have been developed based on the expert opinion of clinicians working in emergency medicine and are supported by a range of colleagues from other specialties. We also note that the last multidisciplinary evidence-based review in Scotland by Sir Harry Burns in November 2017 clearly stated that the four-hour standard should be retained.We note the Prime Minster made a commitment to involve clinicians in the development of new standards. While we have been disappointed to not have been involved from the outset of this process, and that there has been little clarity around who has been involved, we now look forward to providing our clinical expert advice to NHS England and NHS Improvement to assist them in their review.Only by collaborating and sharing expertise will we be able to develop a suite of additional standards that enhance clinical care and maintain a focus on safety.Robust joint evaluation of any new measures will need to be developed to ensure that any potential change can prove more effective and safer than the existing arrangements before they are adopted.This will allow us then to better understand and find shared solutions to meet the needs of our patients and the staff who have to care for them in an intense healthcare environment. We are pleased to have agreed with NHS England that if we cannot find a better flow metric than the four-hour standard at the end of the evaluation then it should be retained.” Mar 12 2019The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) supports the continued use of the four-hour access standard as a high-level metric to monitor emergency care system performance. However, the problems and care models in Emergency Departments have changed considerably over the last 10 years and it is the College’s role to responsibly decide what standards we think usefully inform assurance, improvement efforts and patient safety.As such the Royal College of Emergency Medicine today issues the position statement ‘Improving Quality Indicators and System Metrics for Emergency Departments in England’.We have reviewed and discussed a variety of time-based metrics. These should be seen as supporting and refocusing the efforts to monitor system flow which we know is ‘mission critical’ to safety in Emergency Departments.The College is still very clear that rather than scrapping the four-hour access standard, it should be supported by a series of complementary metrics that help understanding of the causes of long waits and crowding in Emergency Departments.The position statement sets out what the College believes are the best supplementary measures to the four-hour standard that will ensure safety and facilitate the best care possible for patients.President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan said:last_img read more

New survey indicates need of attention to neglected tropical diseases

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Although neglected diseases account for 11% of the global disease burden, they are targeted by only a small proportion of the new drugs developed every year.Between January 2012 and September 2018, a total of 256 new drugs entered the market, but only eight (3.1%) were designed to treat neglected diseases. This value exceeds the proportion for 1975-99, which was 1.1%, but falls short of the 4.3% mark recorded for 2000-11.The term “neglected diseases” refers to malaria, diarrheic diseases, tuberculosis, and 20 neglected tropical diseases recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), such as dengue, chikungunya, Chagas and leishmaniasis, among others.An up-to-date survey of drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases has been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Signed by two researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil, it shows that much remains to be done, especially with regard to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).NTDs were targeted by none of the new chemical entities approved between 2012 and 2018, although two targeted malaria and tuberculosis. The new drugs for tuberculosis (bedaquiline), with a novel action mechanism, and for Plasmodium vivax malaria (tafenoquine) are the first innovations in treatment for their respective targets in the last 40 and 60 years, respectively.”The other six products registered between 2012 and 2018 for this group of diseases are repurposed drugs, biologicals or new formulations. The repurposed drugs, for example, were used to treat other diseases and have been approved for new clinical uses. None is what we call a new chemical entity, meaning the result of innovation and hence not containing any active molecule previously approved for clinical use,” said Adriano Andricopulo, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP) and one of the authors of the article.Related StoriesArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequenceMosquito surveillance in Madagascar reveals new insight into malaria transmissionAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyThe other author is Leonardo L. G. Ferreira, who has received a doctoral scholarship and a postdoctoral scholarship from FAPESP.Both scientists are also affiliated with the Center for Research and Innovation in Biodiversity and Drug Discovery (CIBFar), one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by FAPESP.The WHO is committed to eliminating epidemics of NTDs by 2030. In addition, the 2012 London Declaration on NTDs established action plans to control, eliminate or eradicate ten NTDs by 2020.”By incorporating cutting-edge science and technology, drug research and development for neglected diseases have progressed considerably. Nonetheless, a profound gap persists between disease burden and the development of therapeutic assets for such diseases,” the authors write.However, they note that the list of approved new chemical entities will expand in 2019 with the development of fexinidazole, the most advanced oral drug for human African trypanosomiasis. “The drug is now being tested for Chagas disease,” Andricopulo said.Andricopulo is the principal investigator for one of five proposals approved in a call issued by FAPESP with the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Newton Fund for NTD Joint Center Partnerships. Over the next three years, groups led by Andricopulo and Kevin David Read of the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) in Scotland will investigate the use of bioactive natural products in the discovery of new drugs to treat leishmaniasis and Chagas. Source:http://agencia.fapesp.br/neglected-diseases-continue-to-require-attention-despite-progress/30049/last_img read more

Baby socks contain traces of bisphenol A and parabens study finds

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 16 2019A team of scientists from the University of Granada (UGR), the Biohealth Research Institute in Granada (ibs.GRANADA), the city’s San Cecilio Clinical Hospital, and the Centre for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) has found that 9 out of 10 pairs of socks for babies and children from 0-4 years old contain traces of bisphenol A and parabens. The hormonal activities of these two endocrine disruptors have been linked to dysfunctions that can trigger illnesses in both children and adults.This scientific study–the first of its kind to be conducted in Europe–reveals that fabrics can be a source of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemical pollutants. This is of particular concern in the case of exposure among very young children.The researchers also discovered major differences in the amount of the toxic product detected, depending on the type of outlet selling the socks. Samples of 32 pairs of children’s socks (from new-borns to aged 48 months) were analyzed, having been purchased in three different types of retail outlet, classified according to the price range of their products. The three types were: local bargain retailer (three pairs for €1.50-€1.80); low-cost, fast-fashion international retailer (three pairs for €3.00-€4.50); and a higher-quality international retail clothing brand (three pairs for €6.95-€7.95).By using sophisticated analytical chemistry techniques and performing complex biological tests to quantify hormonal activity, the Granada-based researchers studied the presence of the plastic component bisphenol A, the preservatives known as parabens, and the hormonal activity (estrogenicity and androgenicity) of the sock extracts.Local bargain retailer The concentrations of the two chemicals found in the socks sold at the local bargain store in the sample reached a maximum of 3,736 ng of bisphenol A per gram of fabric. This average amount of bisphenol A was more than 25 times higher than that found in the socks sold by the low-cost international retailer and the higher-quality international brand. Parabens were found in all the products studied–in particular ethylparaben, followed by methylparaben–but in average concentrations lower than those of bisphenol A and with less pronounced differences between store type.As was to be expected, given their high bisphenol A content and the presence of parabens, two out of every ten pairs of socks bought at the bargain retailer presented oestrogenic hormonal activity; and one out of every three pairs bought at the same outlet presented anti-androgenic activity in the biological tests conducted. That is to say, the extracts taken from these items of clothing behaved like the female hormone and they antagonised male hormones. Due to this hormonal activity, bisphenols and parabens are endocrine disruptors associated with certain dysfunctions that can lead to illnesses in both children and adults. The spectrum of illnesses associated with exposure to endocrine disruptors is far-reaching, ranging from attention deficits and hyperactivity, to genitourinary disorders, premature secondary sexual development, and obesity in children. Among adults, they are linked to hypothyroidism, infertility, diabetes, and hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’In secret, seniors discuss ‘rational suicide’Opioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahUsing complex algorithms, the researchers also estimated the risk to babies and children of exposure, via the skin, to each of the chemical compounds. The interpretation is not straightforward, as little is known about how, and to what extent, they can be absorbed by the skin, or how much may be released during washing (and, in turn, the possible contamination of the water and thus the other baby items being washed). However, the researchers’ main issue of concern is the possible exposure to these chemical compounds contained in clothing via the digestive tract, given how common it is for babies suck their own feet and socks. To address this, the research group has added a further slogan to its public awareness-raising campaign against exposure to endocrine disrupters, in particular alerting parents of small children: “Socks suck!”Information campaignThe UGR research group is aiming to inform parents, train physicians and health workers to give timely recommendations, warn manufacturers and importers about the quality of their products, and make national and European governments aware of the problem, to urge them to take action on the issue. For example, governments need to enforce stricter regulation of endocrine disruptors in textiles–a facet of industrial and commercial activity that is currently overlooked.The study was coordinated by Nicolás Olea, Doctor at the San Cecilio Clinical Hospital, Head of the Basic and Clinical Oncology research group at ibs.GRANADA, and Professor at the Department Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, of the University of Granada.The findings of this research were recently published in the prestigious journal Environmental International, entitled: Concentrations of Bisphenol A and Parabens in Socks for Infants and Young Children and their Hormone-Like Activities.The interdisciplinary group led by Professor Olea, which includes both clinical and basic researchers, continues its quest for new sources of human exposure to chemical compounds that modify the hormonal balance, supplanting or “hacking” the signal that hormones transmit to different organs and systems (the so-called endocrine disruptors).A few weeks ago, this research group also reported its finding that bisphenol A is present in the till receipts printed on thermal paper. This is of particular concern for young women of reproductive age who may handle hundreds of metres of this paper in the course of their jobs. This discovery was covered extensively by international news media, due to the sensitivity surrounding issues concerning mothers and children, their potential exposure to such chemicals, and the need for them to avoid situations of risk.Source:University of GranadaJournal reference:Olea, N. et al. (2019) Concentrations of bisphenol A and parabens in socks for infants and young children in Spain and their hormone-like activities. Environmental International. doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.013.last_img read more

Facebook struck deals over data and burnt rivals say British lawmakers

first_img 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 Facebook accused of giving access to users’ data The documents, which had been sealed by a California court, led lawmakers to conclude that Facebook undertook deals with third party apps that continued to allow access to personal data.Damian Collins, head of the committee, added that Facebook shut off access to data required by competing apps, conducted global surveys of the usage of mobile apps by customers possibly without their knowledge, and that a change to Facebook’s Android app policy that resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made difficult for users to know about.In one email, dated Jan. 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine’s access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, “Yup, go for it.””We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents,” said Collins in a Twitter post accompanying the published emails.The senior lawmaker said last week that he would release the emails and that he was free under U.K. law to do so. He’d obtained the documents after compelling the founder of U.S. software company Six4Three to hand them over during a business trip to London.A spokesman for Facebook was unable to immediately comment.Six4Three’s founder, Ted Kramer, had obtained them as part of a legal discovery process in a U.S. lawsuit against Facebook that his company has brought against the social network in California.Facebook touted itself as championing privacy four years ago when it decided to restrict outsider developers’ access to data about its users’ friends.In one email, dated Feb. 4, 2015, a Facebook engineer said a feature of the Android Facebook app that would “continually upload” a user’s call and SMS history would be a “high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.” A subsequent email suggests users wouldn’t need to be prompted to give permission for this feature to be activated.Kramer was ordered by a judge on Friday to surrender his laptop to a forensic expert after admitting he turned over the documents to the British lawmakers, in violation of a U.S. court order.”What has happened here is unconscionable,” California Superior Court Judge V. Raymond Swope said to Kramer and his attorneys during the hearing.Facebook wants the laptop to be evaluated to determine what happened in the U.K., to what extent the court order was breached, and how much of its confidential information has been divulged to the committee. Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img ©2018 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Facebook struck deals over data and burnt rivals, say British lawmakers (2018, December 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-facebook-struck-burnt-rivals-british.html Internal emails at Facebook Inc., including those involving Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, were published online by a committee of U.K. lawmakers investigating social media’s role in the spread of fake news.last_img read more

Facebooks Workplace claims two million users

first_img Facebook seeing growth in business network Workplace Explore further © 2019 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. “Workplace by Facebook” is an enterprise-oriented version of the social network that, instead of distracting workers, lets them connect and collaborate.The software-as-a-service business began as an internal collaboration platform used at Facebook and was launched as a separate business in 2016.Workplace by Facebook went from no paid subscribers to more than two million in 16 months, according to its chief Karandeep Anand.Facebook late last year hosted its first global summit spotlighting a growing Workplace platform launched as a private social network for businesses.Workplace rivals include collaboration services from Slack, Salesforce and Microsoft.The list of companies using Workplace include Starbucks, Nestle, Vodafone, Telefonica and Delta Airlines, according to Facebook.Workplace is a separate operation from Facebook’s main social network and is intended as a platform to connect everyone in a company, from counter or warehouse workers to chief executives, according to Workplace by Facebook vice president Julien Codorniou.Anand said during a briefing this week that the main Facebook social network, which has been embroiled in controversies over data protection, has “no visibility” into Workplace data.Facebook’s core social networking service, supported by targeted advertising rather than subscriptions, has been battered by criticism and controversy regarding how well it safeguards user data and privacy.Workplace claimed that a differentiator from its competitors is that it connects all employees in businesses regardless of their roles, even if their only computing device is a smartphone.”That really resonates with a new generation,” Codorniou said.”Millennials want to know who they work for and understand the culture of the company.”Workplace is rolled out to everyone in companies, which then pay $3 monthly for each active user.Interaction with the platform plays off how people use Facebook, and Workplace adopts innovations from the leading social network. But, it is billed as a completely separate product.This is the first time Workplace has revealed the number of paid users, and the figure did not include non-paying customers such as non-profit organizations or schools.center_img Workplace by Facebook, a version of the social network designed for business collaboration, now claims some two million paying customers A version of Facebook tailored for businesses collaboration announced Thursday that it has more than two million paying subscribers Citation: Facebook’s ‘Workplace’ claims two million users (2019, February 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-facebook-workplace-million-users.htmllast_img read more

Be Kind Please Rewind Oregon Blockbuster is last on Earth

first_img Employee Ryan Larrew alphabetizes returned movies before re-shelving them at the last Blockbuster store on the planet in Bend, Ore., on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) Floppy disks containing the original software that is still used for rebooting the computer system at the last Blockbuster store on the planet sit on a counter in the Bend, Ore., store on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. After posing for a photo, Trovato said he misses a time when choosing a movie meant browsing hundreds of titles and asking a video clerk for insight instead of letting a movie-streaming service recommend one for him based on a computer algorithim.”I miss quite a bit being able to walk into a Blockbuster or CD store and have that social experience and see people looking at stuff and talking to people,” Trovato said. “It’s something you don’t get from the slick presentation of a music service or, you know, from the Internet.”The Bend store doesn’t seem to be in danger of closing anytime soon.Its newfound fame has been a shot in the arm, and customers stream in to buy $40 sweat shirts, $20 T-shirts and even $15 yellow-and-blue beanies hand-knit by Harding herself. The store pays Dish Network for the right to use the Blockbuster logo and has several years left on its lease.People regularly send the store boxes of old VHS tapes and DVDs. They also donate Blockbuster memorabilia: a corporate jean jacket, key chains and old membership cards. Tia Thiel and her son, Micah Knox, 7, browse a selection of movies at the last Blockbuster on the planet in Bend, Ore., on Monday, March 11, 2019. Thiel is a regular at the store and says she goes to the store for the older movies she can’t find on streaming services like Netflix. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) Customers kept coming back, drawn by special touches like staff recommendations, a “wish list” for videos to add to the rental selection and even home delivery for a few special customers who couldn’t drive in. Dozens of local teens have worked there over the years. Debby Saltzman, of Bend, Ore., poses for a photo on Monday, March 11, 2019, in front of the last Blockbuster store on the planet with her twin brother, Michael Trovato. Trovato was visiting from Melbourne, Australia, where he lives. Taking the photo is Saltzman’s husband, Jeremy Saltzman. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) There are challenges that come with running the last Blockbuster Video on the planet. Then, in 2010, Blockbuster declared bankruptcy, and by 2014, all corporate-owned stores had shuttered. That left locally owned franchises to fend for themselves, and one by one, they closed.When stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, shut down last summer—barely outlasting a Redmond, Oregon, store—Bend’s Blockbuster was the only U.S. location left.Tourists started stopping by to snap selfies, and business picked up. Harding ordered up blue-and-yellow sweat shirts, T-shirts, cups, magnets, bumper stickers, hats and stocking caps from local vendors emblazoned with the words “The Last Blockbuster in America,” and they flew off the shelves.Then, this month, she got a phone call: The world’s only other Blockbuster, in Perth, Australia, would soon close its doors. A new T-shirt order went out—this time with the slogan “The Last Blockbuster on the Planet”—and the store is already getting a new wave of selfie-snapping visitors from as far away as Europe and Asia.On a recent weekday, Michael Trovato of Melbourne, Australia, stopped by while visiting his twin sister in Bend. A sign advertising locally made souvenirs from the last Blockbuster store on the planet sits in the store in Bend, Ore., in this Tuesday, March 12, 2019 photo. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)center_img A tight budget meant no money to update the surviving store. That’s paying off now with a nostalgia factor that stops first-time visitors of a certain age in their tracks: the popcorn ceilings, low fluorescent lighting, wire metal video racks and the ubiquitous yellow-and-blue ticket stub logo that was a cultural touchstone for a generation.”Most people, I think, when they think about renting videos—if they’re the right age—they don’t remember the movie that they went to pick, but they remember who they went with and that freedom of walking the aisles,” said Zeke Kamm, a local resident who is making a documentary about the store called “The Last Blockbuster” with a friend.”In a lot of towns, the Blockbuster was the only place that was open past nine o’clock, and a lot of them stayed open until midnight, so kids who weren’t hoodlums would come here and look at movies and fall in love with movies.”The Bend store had eight years under its belt as a local video store before it converted to a Blockbuster in 2000, a time when this high desert city was still a sleepy community with a small-town feel to match. Employees always send a thank-you note, store manager Dan Montgomery said.Recently, Harding has noticed another type of customer that’s giving her hope: a new generation of kids dragged in by their nostalgic parents who later leave happy, holding stacks of rented movies and piles of candy.Jerry Gilless and his wife, Elizabeth, brought their two kids, John, 3, and Ellen, 5, and watched with a smile as the siblings bounced from row to row, grabbing “Peter Pan” and “The Lion King” and surveying dinosaur cartoons.”How could we not stop? It’s the last one,” said Gilless, of their detour to the store while on vacation from Memphis, Tennessee. “They need to see that not everything’s on the iPad.” Local documentary filmmakers Taylor Morden, left, and Zeke Kamm, pose at the last Blockbuster on the planet in Bend, Ore., on Monday, March 11, 2019, with a promotional VHS tape of their upcoming documentary about the store titled The Last Blockbuster. When a Blockbuster in Perth, Australia, shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the store in Bend, Ore., will be the only one left on Earth, and most likely in the universe. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) Explore further The computer system must be rebooted using floppy disks that only the general manager—a solid member of Gen X—knows how to use. The dot-matrix printer broke, so employees write out membership cards by hand. And the store’s business transactions are backed up on a reel-to-reel tape that can’t be replaced because Radio Shack went out of business.Yet none of that has kept this humble franchise in an Oregon strip mall from thriving as the advent of on-demand movie streaming laid waste all around it. When a Blockbuster in Australia shuts its doors for the last time on March 31, the Bend store will be the only one left on Earth.”It’s pure stubbornness, for one. We didn’t want to give in,” said general manager Sandi Harding, who has worked at the franchise for 15 years and receives a lot of the credit for keeping it alive well past its expiration date. “We did everything we could to cut costs and keep ourselves relevant.”The store was once one of five Blockbusters owned by the same couple, Ken and Debbie Tisher, in three central Oregon towns. But by last year, the Bend franchise was the last local Blockbuster standing. Citation: Be Kind, Please Rewind: Oregon Blockbuster is last on Earth (2019, March 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-kind-rewind-oregon-blockbuster-earth.html 300 Blockbuster video stores to close in US 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

Investment firm buys Gizmodo sites and The Onion

first_img Great Hill Partners said it would create a new company named G/O Media Inc. led by former Forbes and Ziff-Davis executive Jim Spanfeller, with a strong following among young internet users.The investment firm said G/O would reach more than a third of all Americans online each month with some 100 million unique visitors to sites including the tech website Gizmodo, car culture site Jalopnik, the women’s interest media property Jezebel and sports website Deadspin.The deal also includes The Onion, founded as a satirical newspaper in 1988 focusing on parody news that is occasionally taken seriously on matters of politics and public affairs.”This opportunity comes at a time when the entire digital media category is beginning to be recognized again for its unique ability to meet the diverse content and delivery needs of consumers and advertisers,” said Spanfeller.”As the largest player in our space, G/O Media is in an ideal position to capitalize on this dynamic, and I am excited to collaborate with a great team that boasts an incredible track record to further expand our reach, add value to our advertisers and enrich our visitors’ lives.”Chris Gaffney, managing partner at Boston-based Great Hill, welcomed the deal for “an attractive suite of digital media assets … with strong brand recognition among consumers and advertisers, and a set of engaged, vertical audiences which together are larger than Vox, BuzzFeed or Vice.”Univision, a Spanish-language broadcaster, acquired The Onion in 2016 and later that year acquired the news sites from the now-defunct Gawker Media at a bankruptcy auction. A private equity firm said Monday it was acquiring Gizmodo Media Group as well as the satirical news site The Onion for an undisclosed amount from New York-based Univision Communications. Citation: Investment firm buys Gizmodo sites and The Onion (2019, April 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-investment-firm-gizmodo-sites-onion.html Not a hoax: Univision buys stake in ‘Onion’ © 2019 AFPcenter_img Explore further 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. A private equity firm acquiring the Gizmodo news websites and the parody site The Onion aims to build a youth-focused media grouplast_img read more

Uber hits fresh headwinds as shares extend losses

first_img Uber to price IPO at $45, valuing company at $82 bn: source Explore further 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: Uber hits fresh headwinds as shares extend losses (2019, May 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-uber-fresh-headwinds-losses.html Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img © 2019 AFP Uber shares went into a fresh skid Monday—more bad news for the global ride-hailing giant, which endured steep declines in its hotly anticipated market debut last week. Shares in Uber tumbled 10.75 percent to close at $37.10 on the second day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange.Valued at some $82 billion in one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) in the technology sector, Uber’s debut Friday was a major disappointment, losing 7.6 percent.The two-day meltdown left the Silicon Valley star with a cumulative loss of more 17.5 percent while ride-hailing rival Lyft has plunged 33 percent since its March debut.Jay Ritter, a University of Florida professor of finance specializing in IPOs, said it was highly unusual for a high-profile company like Uber to fall so quickly.”But it’s a very difficult company to value, and I expect that there will be big upswings and downswings in the future,” Ritter said.Still, Ritter said the rocky opening is not necessarily an indication of the long-term value of Uber.”If a year from now its value goes up to $100 billion people will be no longer talking about the first two days of trading,” he said.’Remember Facebook’Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi urged employees to look past the rough patch on Wall Street and stay focused on better days ahead, according to an internal email obtained by AFP.”Remember that the Facebook and Amazon post-IPO trading was incredibly difficult for those companies,” Khosrowshahi said in the message.”And look at how they have delivered since. Our road will be the same.”He noted that Monday was a tough day for the stock market overall, not just for the San Francisco-based ride-share company with visions of becoming the “Amazon of transportation.”Khosrowshahi acknowledged that there were versions of Uber’s future in which the company does not prosper as hoped, but warned against being distracted by pessimistic voices in the market.”Sentiment does not change overnight, and I expect some tough public market times over the coming months,” he said in the email.”We will be judged long-term on our performance, and I welcome that.”Troubled road aheadRichard Windsor, an analyst who writes the Radio Free Mobile blog on technology, said Uber and Lyft have been pressured by their high valuations and intense competition.Uber and Lyft “are currently engaged in a life or death struggle to become the dominant ridesharing platform in the USA,” Windsor said.”Until this fight is settled, there is very little reason to invest in either company as while they slug it out rock bottom prices and incentives for drivers will continue to plague profitability.”Lyft shares Monday fell nearly six percent to $48.15, extending the steady decline for Uber’s smaller US rival.Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities said he expected the “valuation digestion process” to take some time and that he remained upbeat on Uber despite competition with Lyft and the long path to profitability.”We believe there is a large enough ocean for two boats as the ridesharing market domestically in the US is roughly $1.2 trillion and $5.7 trillion globally,” Ives said.”We expect ridership, drivers, and the monetization opportunities for Uber to increase markedly over the coming years. A core tenet of our bull thesis on Uber is around the company’s ability to morph its unrivaled ridesharing platform into a broader consumer engine.”Uber and Lyft face additional troubles, highlighted by last week’s protests from some drivers in the US, and regulatory roadblocks in many parts of the world.Thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers turned off their apps in a US-wide strike last week over revenue-sharing formulas and working conditions.Rideshare companies maintain that drivers are able to thrive and maintain work flexibility, and that their business model would not work if drivers were treated as wage-based employees.last_img read more

NBA Power Rankings Who has taken over the top spot following the

first_imgNBA Free Agency was as hectic as anticipated. With massive signings, blockbuster trades and superstars moving all over the place, the landscape of the NBA has completely changed. The league is more open than it has been in nearly a decade – there’s a large number of teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title and we’re here to try and help organize all the madness with our post-free agency offseason edition of Power Rankings.Take a look and see where your favourite team stands:10. Boston Celtics https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/b9/37/lebron-james-anthony-davis_1hua4zx73z9rq1ix0zb8xiu2ps.jpg?t=-946849445&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 37-45, 10th in WestThe Lakers missed on Kawhi Leonard but they have seriously revamped their roster to compete for a title.Pairing Anthony Davis with LeBron James gives the Lakers one of the best, most versatile duos in NBA history. Immediately after the news broke that Leonard would be signing with the Clippers, the Lakers went out and got one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA in Danny Green.The very next day, they signed DeMarcus Cousins to a minimum deal and also brought back solid role players in Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.One thing that they made sure of this offseason after failing to do so last offseason – they signed shooters. Along with Green, the Lakers signed Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels – all players who can consistently knock down 3-pointers.Add Kyle Kuzma into the mix of all of this and the Lakers have debatably the best roster in the league.It might take time for this team to mesh, but with the level of talent they have, it’s undeniable that they’ll be contending for a championship this upcoming season.1. LA Clippers Getty Images Getty Images Russell Westbrook and James Harden at the 209 NBA All-Star game in Charlotte https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/7e/9c/westbrook-harden_1mkcuiuah6sk81xec4vc1gwkhw.jpg?t=-469381893&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 53-29, 4th in WestPrior to dealing for Russell Westbrook, the Rockets were placed at No. 8 in these Power Rankings. The move bumped them up one spot – ahead of theTrail Blazers, giving the Houston backcourt duo the edge over Portland.Westbrook and Harden are now reunited from their days in Oklahoma City back in 2011-12. Russ gives the Rockets a player who historically doesn’t get injured – the exact opposite of point guard Chris Paul who was sent to OKC along with a pair of first round picks for the former MVP.The fit is interesting as Westbrook and Harden have both found their names near the top of the league’s highest usage percentage over the last couple seasons. These two players haven’t been able to take a play off in years, always orchastrating the offence through their hands.The duo should be able to lighten each other’s load while also giving opposing defences fits over how to defend this dynamic backcourt.With the West loading up again in free agency, Houston has more to worry about than just Golden State this season. Running it back with a nearly identical core but swapping Westbrook for CP3 gives this team an intriguingly different look from the Rockets squads that have fallen just short in the playoffs the last two seasons.6. Utah Jazz (Getty Images) (Getty Images) (NBA Getty Images) Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray went undefeated last week https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/4e/ca/nikola-jokic-and-jamal-murray-went-undefeated-last-week_eo5sdjqq5ysf1jonljhosvlrd.png?t=698970144&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 54-28, 2nd in WestThe Nuggets were one of the best teams in the NBA this past season and they’re running it back with the same squad.They gave rising star guard Jamal Murray a max contract extension, showing they’re committed to him as their No. 2 guy next to All-Star centre Nikola Jokic. They retained restricted free agent Paul Millsap and still have their entire core of young guards and wings like Gary Harris, Will Barton, Monte Morris, Malik Beasley and Torrey Craig.They also have two potential X-factors that could take this team to the next level – Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol.Porter Jr. missed the entire 2018-19 season due to a lingering back injury. He was set to make his debut in Summer League, but a minor knee injury will keep that debut on hold until the preseason. Porter Jr. was widely renowned as the No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft if not for his injury and he could be the exact versatile scorer the Nuggets need to take that next step.As for Bol, he fell to the Nuggets in the second round on draft night due to a similar situation to Porter Jr. Bol was a projected top-five pick before a foot injury ended his first and only season at Oregon, but he’s expected to be ready to rock for the regular season. Bol, like Porter Jr., has the potential to be another quality scorer and defender off the bench for Denver.The Nuggets will be back and better this upcoming season.3. Milwaukee Bucks https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/7f/96/donovan-mitchell-y-rudy-gobert_xih7zfzujbv9zvsl115tt1u8.jpg?t=-1601195495&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 50-32, 5th in WestThe Jazz are without a doubt one of the biggest winners of this offseason.Their first move to acquire veteran guard Mike Conley Jr. makes for a perfect fit next to star guard Donovan Mitchell. Then they went out and signed a savvy scoring forward in Bojan Bogdanovic, who kept the Indiana Pacers afloat this past season once Victor Oladipo went down.To continue to build a championship-calibre roster, they signed a great rebounder in Ed Davis, another veteran forward and proven great locker room guy in Jeff Green and they also took a shot on the 23-year old guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who is coming off of an extremely solid season, showing the promise anticipated when he came into the league back in 2015.They’ll continue to be one of the best defences in the NBA and have added the scoring they need to take that next step in advancing further in the postseason. Utah has loaded up with a roster that on paper, is more than capable of pushing for a title.5. Philadelphia 76ers [NBA Getty Images] 30. Charlotte HornetsThe Hornets have lost Kemba Walker and replaced him with Terry Rozier. It’ll be the Scary Terry show in Charlotte as their young pieces – Miles Bridges, Dwayne Bacon, PJ Washington and Malik Monk – try and identify their roles on this rebuilding team.The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs. Getty Images [NBA Getty Images]center_img (Getty Images) Zion es el nuevo Rey de New Orleans https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/5f/f7/zion-williamson_cjr5wr7lljjt1qxcxximnd0k7.jpg?t=-2071225573&w=500&quality=80The Pelicans had a massive roster overhaul and they’ve come out better on the back end. Jrue Holiday is ready to lead this team while Zion Williamson looks to be the next big thing in the league. Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram give this squad an extremely athletic core that can both defend and score. Add veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick and centre Derrick Favors, along with rookies ready to make an impact like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes and you have a team that could utterly shock people in their first season together.18. Miami HeatAcquiring Jimmy Butler gives the Heat the superstar they need to try and return to the playoffs. They’ve also added Meyers Leonard to give them another athletic big man that fits in nicely as a pick-and-pop shooter. With players like Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow, as well as Summer League standout rookie Tyler Herro, the Heat should be an intriguing team this next season.19. Oklahoma City ThunderThe Thunder have gone through a complete makeover this offseason, trading away their two cornerstones of the franchise.While Paul George and Russell Westbrook are both heading elsewhere, OKC still has an interesting group with the new additions of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari. Whether or not Paul will even play a game in a Thunder uniform still remains in question, but if OKC chooses to move him and go through a compete rebuild, they’ve stacked up eight first-round picks since the draft.It’ll be an interesting season seeing a bunch of new faces playing for OKC nonetheless.20. Atlanta HawksThe Hawks began to put things together toward the back end of last season as their dynamic duo of Trae Young and John Collins really took off. They had a successful draft, landing DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando and adding that to sharpshooter Kevin Huerter, the Hawks will be ready to compete very soon. This upcoming season might still be a learning experience for the young team, but the Hawks have the pieces to be great in the near future.21. Orlando MagicThe Magic decided to run things back with the same roster that fell in the first round of the playoffs this past season. They brought back All-Star centre Nikola Vucevic and scoring guard Terrence Ross, as well as signing Al-Farouq Aminu. Orlando will likely be fighting for a bottom playoff spot in the East again.22. Detroit PistonsThe Pistons needed some offence to help out All-Star Blake Griffin. They went out and signed Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris, which should help with that, but they’re still a few pieces away from truly being able to threaten anyone as a playoff team. They’ll likely be in the mix for the final few playoff spots in the East again, just like Orlando.23. Minnesota TimberwolvesThe Timberwolves didn’t make any major acquisitions this offseason but they did add solid role players like Jordan Bell and Jake Layman. If first-round pick Jarrett Culver can have a successful rookie campaign and help Karl-Anthony Towns offensively, the T’Wolves could be a fun team to watch on League Pass.24. New York Knicks Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/d4/86/damian-lillard-and-cj-mccollum_u53us424v7ak1xd5m4xqpsdhh.jpg?t=-1316423294&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 53-29, 3rd in WestThe Trail Blazers’ moves may have gone under the radar with all the other massive signings and trades going on around them. You’ll be surprised at just how different this Portland roster will be on opening night next season.While their star duo remains intact – Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still at the helm – the role players around them have changed drastically. Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Meyers Leonard, Seth Curry, Enes Kanter, Evan Turner and Jake Layman are all gone.Aside from returning players such as Rodney Hood, Zach Collins and the injured Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers’ roster has a completely different look.They traded for Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. They signed veteran shooter Anthony Tolliver and athletic wing Mario Hezonja. They’ll likely need key minutes from young players like the potential steal of the 2019 NBA Draft Nassir Little or second-year guard Anfernee Simons.After falling in the Western Conference Finals, Portland got a makeover and they’ll still be one of the top teams in the league.7. Houston Rockets https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/3e/5d/stephen-curry-dangelo-russell_krsq49zzqalu11i3k5qidny58.jpg?t=-1377327893&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 57-25, 1st in WestInjuries played a major role in the Warriors’ pursuit for their third NBA title in four seasons and altered their offseason from the jump.They elected to bring back Klay Thomspon on a max contract, who is expected to miss 6-9 months repairing a torn ACL. They failed to re-sign their back-to-back Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who chose to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.Golden State went and got Thompson’s temporary replacement, landing Nets’ All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell will be called upon to handle the bulk of the scoring load that isn’t covered by Stephen Curry, and it’ll be fun to watch those three try and mesh once Thompson returns.They also lost key role players like Andre Iguodala and Quinn Cook, but re-signed Kevon Looney and added another athletic young centre in Willie Cauley-Stein.This will be the most unusual Warriors team we’ve seen in years, but they’ll still be competitive and should still be one of the biggest threats in the West.8. Portland Trail Blazers GettyImages https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/25/a1/al-horford-joel-embiid_rb24180imq7i1moxj16y33iij.jpg?t=-1423165509&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 51-31, 3rd in EastThe 76ers have been extremely active this offseason and in a similar fashion to the Trail Blazers, their core remains intact but they’ve added new pieces around their stars.They got Tobias Harris back on a max contract and signed a conference rival in Al Horford – the player who most successfully defended their superstar centre Joel Embiid. They moved Jimmy Butler to Miami and in return landed Josh Richardson, a young and athletic two-way wing to fill Butler’s shoes. They gave Ben Simmons a max contract extension, essentially handing him the keys to the franchise to try and lead them to their first championship since 1983.Philly lost J.J. Redick but elected to bring back quality role players in Mike Scott and James Ennis and will have a now-healthy Zhaire Smith, their first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, back this season.They also drafted Matisse Thybulle, a player who is widely respected as one of the best defenders in the 2019 NBA Draft and should be able to make an impact on that end of the floor even as a rookie.Perimeter shooting remains a big question mark for the 76ers but this team, though it is different, should continue to compete at the level they have the past two years.4. Denver Nuggets https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/68/0/rj-barrett_1bhix22x11u511jqoe0yrtv1d5.jpg?t=-2087620085&w=500&quality=80The Knicks received some criticism for their moves in free agency but when you take a step back, they added some quality role players around Julius Randle to give rookie phenom RJ Barrett some talent to work with. They’re still a ways away from being competitive but the Knicks will certainly take a step in the right direction this season – something we haven’t been able to say for a while.25. Washington WizardsThe Wizards still have Bradley Beal but their roster needs some help. Re-signing promising young centre Thomas Bryant and drafting forward Rui Hachimura gives them an athletic frontcourt but there are plenty of gaps that need to be filled. If Isaiah Thomas can return to half the player he was with the Celtics, he’ll add a much-needed scorer but aside from that, the Wizards are still in a rebuilding phase.26. Phoenix SunsThe Suns are still very young – Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges all had quality seasons last year but this team seems to be a couple more years away from competing. Ricky Rubio gives them a solid veteran at point guard, bringing back Kelly Oubre Jr. gives them another scorer and first-round pick Cam Johnson should add some perimeter shooting help but with the West as strong as it is, the Suns are still in a tough spot.27. Chicago BullsThe Bulls have continued to move in the right direction. They landed their point guard of the future in Coby White and brought in a great mentor for him in Tomas Satoransky. They’ll add athletic forward Thaddeus Young to a core of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., setting themselves up nicely for the future.28. Memphis GrizzliesThe Grizzlies are still near the bottom of this list but they have made all the right moves to change that in the future. They’ve stockpiled draft picks and with pieces like Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant, the Grizzlies should be able to give teams a hard time this year but are still a few seasons away from returning to playoff-calibre.29. Cleveland CavaliersThe Cavaliers will have to figure out how they’re going to roll out last year’s first-round pick Collin Sexton and this year’s first-round pick Darius Garland at the same time. They still have Kevin Love and Jordan Clarkson but with the team clearly rebuilding, don’t be surprised if teams look to trade for those two veteran pieces that could help in a playoff push. Getty Images Giannis Antetokounmpo https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/a3/fe/antetokounmpo-ftrjpg_yc7pj8o52qs9121yn9pcwxf9z.jpg?t=-616272726&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 60-22, 1st in EastIt might be a bit disrespectful to have the Bucks at No. 3 on this list but they’re without a doubt the favourites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.They re-signed Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and George Hill to bring back a majority of their core. They did lose Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic, but they replaced those two players with a pair of veterans in rim protector Robin Lopez and 3-and-D wing Wesley Matthews. Milwaukee will roll out a rotation of players that is eerily similar to the squad that won 60 games last season and they could easily flirt with that same win total this upcoming season.On top of all of this, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is only going to continue to improve. He was the most dominant player in the NBA this past season and with another offseason of hard work, he’ll be ready to defend that MVP this next season.Should Antetokounmpo come back next year with a respectable perimeter jumper, the rest of the league would be in serious trouble.2. Los Angeles Lakers Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol could be beneficiaries of the injury to Kevon Looney. https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/7d/b2/pascal-siakam-and-marc-gasol-could-be-beneficiaries-of-the-injury-to-kevon-looney_1chbr38kiodqs1qm89aht8m6o9.jpg?t=591738835&w=500&quality=80The defending NBA champions took a big hit with the losses of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but they still have the majority of their title team returning. Pascal Siakam should be ready to take a massive leap as the team’s go-to guy and premier scorer while Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet will continue to keep this team competitive.If they could see growth from players like Norman Powell and OG Anunoby, the Raptors will have no issue to threaten teams in the playoffs.14. San Antonio SpursThe Spurs brought back Rudy Gay and made other key signings like DeMarre Carroll and Marcus Morris. After a successful season from Bryn Forbes and Derrick White, they’ll welcome back another promising young guard in DeJounte Murray who has fully recovered from a torn ACL.Add that to DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs will be a tough out in the playoffs again.15. Dallas MavericksThe duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will be a joy to watch all season. If Porzingis can return to the budding superstar we saw in New York and Doncic continues to improve on his impressive first season which resulted in receiving Rookie of the Year, the Mavericks will be right in the mix for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.16. Sacramento KingsThe Kings were one of the biggest surprises this past season but their inexperience kept them just short of ending their postseason drought. Bringing back their entire young core of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Marvin Bagley to go with Harrison Barnes and veteran signings like Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph, the Kings are shaping out a roster that will definitely compete for a playoff spot again this upcoming year.17. New Orleans Pelicans Kemba Walker https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/9a/af/kemba-free-agency_1lg3q2xr3xo1e156l2fysu4jcx.jpg?t=-1874876461&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 49-33, 4th in EastThe offseason started out as a whirlwind for a team that just had their most frustrating season in recent memory.All-Star guard Kyrie Irving departed for the Brooklyn Nets and veteran centre Al Horford – who many expected to re-sign with the Celtics – surprisingly notified the team he would not be returning.Instead of settling for watching rising stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown grow their game, General Manager Danny Ainge went out and took a home run swing at an Irving replacement.Now with Kemba Walker in the mix and other important signings like Enes Kanter the Celtics are a completely different team, but still most certainly a contender in the wide-open Eastern Conference.9. Golden State Warriors getty https://images.performgroup.com/di/library/NBA_Global_CMS_image_storage/90/fb/kawhi-leonard_1emy9gj0motcv1oye3qkz0f0lv.jpg?t=-1196321445&w=500&quality=802018-19 finish: 48-34, 8th in WestThe Clippers were the perceived underdogs in the Kawhi Leonard saga all along until Leonard shocked the NBA universe. And it wasn’t just the Kawhi signing that sent shockwaves throughout the league – the Clippers traded a historic number of draft picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari for two-way star Paul George and now the ‘little brother’ in LA is built to contend for their first NBA championship in franchise history.The roster is headlined by Leonard and PG13, but their core is similar to the team that gave a full-strength Warriors squad migraines in the first round of the playoffs this past season.They re-signed lockdown defender Patrick Beverley and young, promising centre Ivica Zubac. They still have their two-headed monster off the bench with prolific scorer Lou Williams and workhorse Montrezl Harrell. Landry Shamet should only continue to improve as a spot-up shooter and they acquired Moe Harkless, a defensive-minded athletic wing, via trade.Add in other players like recently signed Rodney McGruder and last year’s first-round pick Jerome Robinson and the Clippers have one of the deepest, most thorough rosters in the NBA.This team should be among the top defences in the league while still packing a scoring punch that other teams will struggle to keep up with. The Clippers will be one of, if not the most fun team to watch next season.11. Indiana PacersAdding Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and TJ Warren should give the Pacers the offence they need while they await the return of star guard Victor Oladipo. With Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and others returning, the Pacers’ additions should make them even more of a threat than they were last season, even before Oladipo’s injury.12. Brooklyn NetsKevin Durant will miss the entire season while he recovers from an Achilles injury but adding Kyrie Irving to this playoff roster still keeps the Nets just outside the top-10 teams in the league next season. This time next year, we could be stating their case alongside the likes of the Lakers and Clippers at the top.13. Toronto Raptors Getty Imageslast_img read more

5 Strange Cool Things Weve Recently Learned About the Moon

first_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFinance101What Are The Best States To Retire In?Finance101UndoBirch Gold GroupThis IRS Tax Law is Sweeping the U.S.Birch Gold GroupUndoAnti-Snoring SolutionA Simple Fix for Snoring And Sleep ApneaAnti-Snoring SolutionUndoBeach Raider24 Photos Of Shelter Dogs The Moment They Realize They’re Being AdoptedBeach RaiderUndo A beautiful bright moon illuminates Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, UK. Credit: Allyn Wallace/BBC America 2. There’s an enormous, dense blob of metal below the surface of the moon’s south pole. Deep below the moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin (the largest preserved impact crater anywhere in the solar system), researchers have detected a gargantuan “anomaly” of heavy metal lodged in the mantle that is apparently altering the moon’s gravitational field. According to a study of the mysterious blob, published April 5 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the anomaly likely weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.4 quadrillion tons (2.18 quintillion kilograms). The researchers aren’t sure how this giant blob of metal got itself trapped below the lunar surface. Simulations suggest it could be the heavy remnants of the iron-nickel asteroid that crashed into the far side of the moon and created the giant South Pole-Aitken crater some 4 billion years ago. [Read more about the massive blob beneath the moon.] 4. You won’t strike it rich on the moon. Gold, platinum and other metals known as highly siderophile (“iron-loving”) elements are far more abundant in Earth’s crust than they are in its natural satellite. That may seem odd, given the two worlds’ shared history. About 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-size planet dubbed Theia slammed into the proto-Earth, blasting huge amounts of material from both bodies into space. Some of this liberated stuff was incorporated into the bruised and battered Earth, and some coalesced to form the moon. But highly siderophile elements (HSEs) appear to have been left out of the mix. These metals were likely delivered by later asteroid strikes — but why does Earth have so much more than the moon? The researchers suspect that the moon’s weaker gravitational pull means material delivered via impact isn’t as likely to have stayed on the moon as it did on Earth — lots of stuff that hits the moon returns to space. The small concentration of HSEs retained on the moon likely arrived before the moon’s magma ocean cooled and solidified, so the material became incorporated into the moon’s core. [Read more about why Earth has way more gold than the moon.] A stunning shot of the 2017 total solar eclipse as soon from the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Credit: Carla Thomas/NASA/BBC America Gallery: The Fantastic Full Moon 3. The moon is shrinking and quaking. The moon is shrinking. And as the crust of our lone satellite contracts, it tugs on cliff-like cracks on the surface, leading to lots of moonquakes, researchers have discovered. Scientists revisited moonquake data gathered from 1969 to 1977 by seismic equipment on the Apollo lunar missions. They mapped the seismic data to satellite images of thrust faults, or scarps — stairstep cliffs on the lunar surface. These formations stand dozens of feet high and extend for miles, and they are visible in images captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The researchers discovered that around 25% of the moonquakes were likely generated by released energy from these faults, rather than by asteroid impacts or activity deep inside the moon. Scarps are spread across the face of the moon in a vast, global network, and are estimated to be no more than 50 million years old, the researchers wrote. The age and distribution of the scarps hint that they appeared as the moon’s interior cooled down, causing its crust to contract. [Read more about the moonquakes] See Spectacular Lunar Mission Images in 3D (Photos)center_img Photos: Mysterious Objects on the Moon The International Space Station’s incredible view of the moon. Credit: Luca Parmitano/BBC America 5. The moon is two-faced (probably because of a massive asteroid). Ours is a moon with two faces: the nearside boasts a thinner and smoother crust, while the farside crust is thicker and dotted by impact craters left nearly undisturbed by lava flows. The discrepancies have vexed scientists for decades, and in a new paper, researchers use models to explore what may be possible explanations for the stark differences. They argue that those distinctive sides could be the result of a giant impactor slamming into the moon and leaving a massive crater across the entire nearside. [Read more about what created the moon’s two faces.] Discover more fascinating facts about the moon with BBC America’s “Wonders of the Moon,” premiering Friday, July 19 at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m. CDT. It’s been almost 50 years since a human first set foot on the moon. Since then, our knowledge about Earth’s closest neighbor has improved by leaps and bounds, and our obsession with it has never waned. Witness some of the most amazing images of the moon ever recorded and be reminded of the significant influence of our moon in BBC America’s new documentary “Wonders of the Moon,” premiering Friday, July 19 at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m. CDT. As the world begins its commemoration of the awe-inspiring first walk on the lunar surface, let’s review five of the most recent and fascinating scientific findings about the moon. A burnt-orange moon hangs over London. Although scientists have unraveled many of the moon’s mysteries in the 50 years since Apollo 11, mankind’s enchantment with our nearest neighbor has never dimmed. Credit: James Burns/BBC America 1. There is water on the moon, and it jumps around. In 2009, data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) led to the discovery of water on the moon locked up in ice. A recent upgrade to the orbiter, called the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), has allowed scientists to take a closer look at the water on the lunar surface. LAMP has revealed that water molecules move around the moon as the lunar surface warms and cools throughout the day. Water remains stuck on the moon’s surface until the lunar midday, when some of the water melts and heats up enough to lift into the moon’s delicate atmosphere. The water floats around a bit until it reaches an area cool enough to make it settle back down to the surface.Advertisement Water on other planetary bodies could be a valuable resource for human explorers to not only drink but also to serve as fuel for future robotic exploration, since water can be split to form rocket fuel, saving missions from having to carry that fuel from Earth. [Read more about how water hops around the moon.] Find Apollo 11 Landing Site While Skywatching The MoonFor the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the lunar surface, learn 5 facts about our moon and where to find the Apollo 11 landing site while viewing it in the night sky. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65943-strange-facts-about-the-moon.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0003:1903:19Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭 last_img read more

Photo of Sea Stars Butt Goes Viral Spoiler Thats No Butt

first_img Photos: See the World’s Cutest Sea Creatures In Photos: The Stunning Sea Life ‘Stars’ of ‘Big Pacific’ In Photos: Sick Sea Stars Turn to Goo Saw a thicc ass starfish at the aquarium today pic.twitter.com/NwF0xYabHQby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Reveals: “You Can Fill In Wrinkles At Home” (Here’s How)Beverly Hills MDUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoAncestryTwo Sisters. Two DNA Tests. Two Different Results.AncestryUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndo — あかり(AKARI) (@Babyshoujo) June 30, 2019 Vermilion sea stars (Mediaster aequalis) are known for their vivid red-orange color and the symmetry of their five arms. But one individual quickly gained internet fame for a body part that isn’t usually associated with starfish: a shapely rear end. Twitter user @Babyshoujo recently photographed and tweeted an image of the “thicc” starfish as the animal clung to a rock in an exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. The sea star’s prominent derrière has captivated hundreds of thousands since the photo was shared on June 30. Quite a few commenters drew comparisons to the “SpongeBob SquarePants” starfish character Patrick Star, who often proudly displays his prominent, rounded bottom. However, experts were quick to point out that the “butt” isn’t quite what it seems. [In Photos: The Wonders of the Deep Sea]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65864-sea-star-butt-aquarium.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Vermillion sea stars are found near low-tide lines and on the rocky sea bottom in the eastern Pacific Ocean, with their range extending from Baja California north to Alaska, according to the Georgia Aquarium. Though sea stars are often referred to as starfish, they are not fish. They are echinoderms, the group that also includes sea cucumbers, sand dollars and sea urchins. And no, sea stars don’t have “butts”; they have a centrally located anus, but they don’t have human-like buttocks, as the cartoon Patrick Star does. What we’re seeing in the photo are the contracted muscles of the starfish’s arms as they grip the rock, Nate Jaros, curator of fish and invertebrates at the Aquarium of the Pacific, told USA Today. Because the sea star’s body is vertically aligned, gravity causes the creature’s internal structures to “slump,” and that produced the shapes resembling the human buttocks in the picture, Jaros explained. Previously, in March, social media users were intrigued by a similar illusion of thiccness in a white-faced saki monkey (Pithecia pithecia) in Finland’s Korkeasaari Zoo. The monkey, named Bea, appeared to be heavily muscled, her biceps as rounded as the sea star’s butt at the Pacific Aquarium. However, the so-called buff monkey’s bulk was really just fluffy fur, zoo representatives told Live Science. Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more

How KCR led the TRS through highs and lows over 17 years

first_img K Chandrasekhar Rao, the 64-year-old, Founder-President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) belongs to that tribe of politicians known for taking quick, surprising decisions that can be diametrically opposite to earlier trails.Each time he surprised with a decision, KCR, as he is known, could convince his audience with aplomb, using anecdotes and local idiom. Slowly, but surely, the dogged politician, also known to outsmart rivals, managed to become the first Chief Minister of the new State of Telangana in 2014.Having begun his political journey with the Congress, KCR was drawn to the Telugu Desam Party by the towering NT Rama Rao. That proved a launch pad for his career, and he was with the TDP for 18 years, till he floated the TRS in 2001.TRS is bornThe party was born with the backing of a handful of leaders and had as its single-point agenda the creation of a separate Telangana. There were rumours that he had quit the TDP after its President, N Chandrababu Naidu slighted him by not making him a minister. But KCR claims he parted ways after differences cropped up with the TDP over the power and rights of the Telangana people. A good orator, KCR was quick to sense the latent but strong sentiment among the people for a separate State and rallied them along in the 13-year-long struggle. He could muster the support of the late Jayashankar, a strong votary of Telangana, and several other intellectuals. Using the local lingo and building a strong argument against the ‘oppressive Andhraites’, KCR spelt out a three-point agenda: Neellu, Nidhulu and Niyamakaalu (water, financial resources, and jobs).Different alliesIn the tough journey, KCR would be quick to change his alliance partners from one election to another. If it was the Congress in 2004, five years later he backed the TDP in undivided Andhra Pradesh, trying to wrest a good number of seats for the party in the Telangana region. He rallied about 36 parties across the country to support the Telangana cause.In the 2004 elections, TRS entered a poll arrangement with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). His party won 26 seats to the AP Assembly and 5 seats in the Lok Sabha. After becoming an MP, he was made Labour and Employment Minister in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet. The party, however, quit the alliance in 2006 alleging that the promise to carve out Telangana was not honoured.KCR resigned from his Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat, but soon after retained it in the by-polls with a huge majority. However, his party witnessed a huge setback in the 2008 by-polls to the Assembly necessitated by the resignations of its MLAs. In April 2008, TRS MLAs also walked out of YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s government, protesting the delay in Telangana formation.It could retain only seven MLA and two Lok Sabha seats, resulting in a loss of face. In the ensuing general elections in 2009, KCR joined the Grand Alliance led by Telugu Desam Party but fared poorly, ending up with 10 MLA seats and two MP seats.The crucial turnThe Telangana movement gained momentum after 2009 elections and the sudden death of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, then the Andhra Pradesh CM. KCR’s sudden decision to go on a fast-unto-death proved a master-stroke, as it succeeded in extracting a solid promise from the Centre.When the UPA went back on its promise owing to pressure from the majority legislators from Andhra region and a strong Andhra lobby, the political Joint Action Committee (JAC), formed under M Kodandaram, and supported by the TRS, BJP, Left parties and support from civil society and Marxist-Leninist groups intensified the movement. The Congress cracked under the pressure and its UPA government gambled to carve out a separate State. This led to the formation of the State on June 2, 2014. But riding on the Telangana sentiment, the TRS swept the polls, winning 63 of 119 seats. COMMENTS A master of surprises, the Telangana CM knew to strike when the iron was hot politics Published on COMMENT September 06, 2018 SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more