July 22, 2019
  • 2:10 am OnePlus 7 Pro All the features we know about – improved zoom
  • 6:19 am FourDigit Number Of Tesla Model 3s Arrive In Europe
  • 6:09 am Heres Why Tesla Powerwall Deliveries Are Delayed Video
  • 5:35 am Ten Things That Will Likely Happen In 2016
  • 5:33 am FCPA Inc Desparately Needs Some Basic Standards

first_img Cons Underwhelming cameras No wireless charging No water resistance Large and unwieldy Oxygen OS user experience Stunning 90Hz HDR display Top-notch performance Great battery life Page 2 Camera Review Page 6 OnePlus 7 Pro 5G Review Pros Review Price: £649 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 128GB/256GB internal storage 6GB/8GB/12GB RAM 6.67-inch QHD+ 90Hz Fluid AMOLED 48MP main camera w/ OIS 16MP ultra-wide 117-degree sensor 8MP tele w/ OIS + 3x optical zoom 16MP pop-up front camera 30W Warp Charge fast-charging 4000mAh battery Page 4 Screen Review Page 3 Battery Life Review Page 5 Performance Review Sections Verdict The OnePlus 7 Pro manages to innovate in one of the most competitive technology markets out there while still circumventing convention by undercutting the majority of the competition on cost. Even if wireless charging and water resistance aren’t part of the equation, It has one of the nicest displays you’ll find on a phone, is a superb performer, offers great battery life and the camera is always improving. Key Specifications Page 1 OnePlus 7 Pro Review Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think – send your emails to the Editor. Related: Interested in 5G? Check out our OnePlus 7 Pro 5G reviewOnePlus 7 Pro design brings a new level of attention to detailThe OnePlus 7 Pro looks and feels unlike anything the company has produced thus far. While the standard OnePlus 7 bears more than a passing resemblance to last year’s OnePlus 6T, the Pro model is a wholly different beast.The lessons that Oppo learnt creating its Find X 2018 flagship may well have played a part in the engineering used by OnePlus’ new star player (as OnePlus uses Oppo’s production facilities to build its phones), based on not just its looks but the way it feels too.Almost bezel-freeAn expansive and near bezel-free curved display stretches across the phone’s front, granting it an impressive 88.6 percent screen-to-body ratio; one of the highest of any current smartphone. Essentially, when looking at the front of the 7 Pro, all you’ll see is screen, especially thanks to the display’s curved edges.Related: Amazon Prime Day Smartphone DealsWith a curved Gorilla Glass front mirrored by the phone’s curved glass back, the metal frame that sits within this sandwich is decidedly thin, but in spite of this, the phone still feels sturdy and well-built.There’s still room for OnePlus’ signature physical alert slider along its right side – a defining feature on the company’s phones that lets you quickly switch between ringing, vibrating and silent sound profiles without having to look; it’s a small but important bonus that you’d miss, were it taken away.With no notch or hole-punch camera to speak of, OnePlus has instead opted for a motorised pop-up front-facing snapper, akin to the one found on the Vivo Nex (although this one looks and feels a lot more robust).It’s quick enough for face unlocking and, as with every phone that’s integrated such a system, comes with claims of rigorous testing and reliability.Related: Best Android phoneOnePlus states that the phone’s front camera mechanism has withstood some 300,000 actuations during testing, without any sign of lag, slowdown or breakage. There’s fall detection in there too, which will pull the camera back inside the moment the phone detects itself hurtling towards the ground.Collectively, you should feel comforted by these assurances, but as ever, in the real world, I still have my doubts about the longevity of any moving parts on a phone, especially one a delicate and intricate as a motorised camera unit.For all the care and attention OnePlus has poured into the aesthetics of the 7 Pro, such beauty does come at a practical sacrifice that some might not be willing to overlook.For a start, with a 6.67-inch, 19.5:9 display; this is a very big device – OnePlus’ largest ever. It’s almost identical in width to its predecessor but notably taller, plus those narrow metal sides give you less purchase, making one-handed use precarious.Add to that a complete lack of any one-handed mode within the software and elements at the top of the screen within apps (such as the placement of Instagram’s story ‘bubbles’) require two hands or a risky shimmy up and down the phone’s body to be pulled in reach of a thumb.There’s also the matter of the finish of the phone. I appreciate OnePlus’ decision to shy away from a boring all-black body, instead offering up three colours at launch (partially tied to different RAM and storage configurations).For the base 6GB RAM/128GB internal storage SKU your only option is ‘Mirror Gray’ – an understated colourway for those uninterested in flash and flare, or ideal if you’re looking to slap a case on it immediately. This is the closest thing to black on offer from this generation of OnePlus.Fork out for the 8GB/256GB model and you have the full gamut of colours available to you. Mirror Gray is accompanied by ‘Almond’ – a mix of polished gold metal and an iridescent cream tone set behind glass, similar in styling to a gold iPhone XS. Nebula Blue is arguably the biggest head-turner and the finish that my review unit (pictured) came in.While all three looks deserve praise for their ‘understated cool’, if you’re planning on going caseless, ergonomics once again come into play. The gloss finish of the Mirror Gray and Almond models backs attract fingerprints as readily as any of their competitors, while the finely-textured glass given to the Nebula Blue model will remain comparatively smudge-free.The trade-off is that the blue model’s treated rear also lacks grip which, paired with it’s already unwieldy form, pushes the chance of the phone slipping from your fingers way up. While I haven’t asked OnePlus directly, I have no doubt that the 7 Pro’s fancy new screen isn’t cheap to replace. You have been warned.Related: OnePlus 7 ReviewThe OnePlus 7 display is the first truly competitive mobile HDR screenOn a more positive note, that display is nothing short of exceptional. Out the box, it may not be as accurately tuned as some of its rivals’ screens but there are plenty of tools to customise the viewing experience should you wish to tinker around.The company also lauded the screen’s A+ rating from independent body DisplayMate, before the 7 Pro had even officially launched, just in case there was any doubt about its capabilities.HDR visuals on 6.67-inch display are stunningIt’s the first time we’ve seen a OnePlus screen transcend above Full HD+ resolution. This Quad HD+ panel is also HDR10 complaint, with approved support for services like Netflix – a popular service that previously only offered limited support for OnePlus devices.Related: What is HDR?The ‘Fluid AMOLED’ panel, as OnePlus calls it, gets its name not just from the inky blacks and vivid colours it can push out, but the intriguing 90Hz refresh rate that it supports.Although you can manually dial it down to 60Hz, as most phones use (or have it jump down when battery saver mode is activated), the 7 Pro’s screen remains fixed at 90Hz. The result is an effortlessly smooth-looking user experience that lends itself perfectly to the idea that this is a cutting-edge handset.Seeing really is believing, especially as only a handful of other devices offer anything close to what OnePlus has cooked up here.Apple’s ProMotion technology, along with the Asus ROG Phone‘s OLED and the Razer Phone series’ IGZO displays all have the ability to operate at refresh rates notably higher than 60Hz, but in the smartphone space, the OnePlus 7 Pro might be the most approachable and mainstream handset to showcase such technology.There are known concerns around the impact on battery life leaving the smooth 90Hz setting on all the time might have, but based on the longevity I experienced without ever switching it off (or rather, down to 60Hz), I’d just enjoy its inclusion and how it elevates acts as simple as swiping around the interface.The worst thing about the feature? You really notice its absence when using any phone that doesn’t support it.The display smarts don’t stop there. There’s also the integrated optical in-display fingerprint sensor – an evolution on the feature that OnePlus introduced with last year’s 6T.This time around, OnePlus has enlarged the sensor’s read area and reduced latency; all I can say is that it feels much faster and more reliable than its predecessor, even if it can still be tripped up by particularly cold or wet hands.With next-to-no bezel, there’s no notification LED to speak of, so instead light pulses down the curved edges of the display in the corresponding app colour to great effect – a feature that both Samsung and Oppo have used on curved-display laden devices.OnePlus 7 Pro camera has greater versatility, but is that enough?OnePlus has kept up with principle imaging trends in the realm of smartphone photography, and the OnePlus 7 Pro makes the same move that many of its contemporaries already have; implementing a triple-sensor on the back.The 7 Pro’s three-lens arrangement is comprised of a 48-megapixel main snapper with OIS (optical image stabilisation), an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor, again with OIS, that grants the phone 3x lossless optical zoom, while a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor, with an impressive 117-degree field of view, rounds things out.Related: Best camera phonesOnePlus has worked hard to ensure the hardware is put to good use, with the phone boasting enhanced versions of the company’s Nightscape (version 2.0) scene mode and pixel-binning technology (condensing the image data of four pixels into one to reduce shake and noise) as a result of that huge 48-megapixel main sensor.The ultra-wide angle sensor lets you fit more in-frame, only adding to the 7 Pro’s photographic versatility.The quality of the telephoto snapper also left me impressed, with pleasing detail retention. Its narrower aperture means images do, however, suffer in low-light shootingMain sensor (left), telephoto (right) – drag the white slide bar to compare the two imagesAs for low-light photography, I was surprised by the results produced by the phone, but not in a good way. OnePlus worked hard to improve the low light capabilities of last year’s OnePlus 6 and 6T, but this new hardware is clearly trickier to tune. As before, we’ll likely see subsequent software updates that rectify the phone’s current low light capabilities which I’m hoping will improve with time.The newly-updated Nightscape mode certainly helps alleviate general low-light shooting but over-corrects, with hard-hitting sharpening and mismanaged colour correction that give shots an unnatural finish.For a true deep-dive into this phone’s imaging capabilities, jump over to our full OnePlus 7 Pro camera review.The OnePlus 7 Pro performance is stunningThe OnePlus X notwithstanding OnePlus isn’t in the business on skimping on performance. When you buy a OnePlus phone, you know you’re getting a top-notch processor and complementary smarts to match. Never has that been truer than with the OnePlus 7 Pro.I already mentioned the memory and storage options that the 7 Pro is available in, which range from generous to pure excess (with up to an additional £150 in tow) but speed and power are everywhere within the phone’s internals.The latest and greatest 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset takes charge, which is also how OnePlus is able to convert the 7 Pro into the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G – the 5G-capable brother to the standard model that also integrates Qualcomm’s complementary X50 5G modem.Then there’s the inclusion of Universal Flash Storage 3.0. OnePlus has managed to beat Samsung to the punch after the Korean tech giant had to pull its first foldable, the Galaxy Fold, before launch as a result of engineering and reliability issues.Related: Samsung Galaxy Fold – The final chapterWith the Fold out of the way, it looks as though the OnePlus 7 Pro will be the first phone on the market to support UFS 3.0, with Samsung following with the rumoured Galaxy Note 10 later into 2019.The technology is theoretically up to twice as fast when it comes to read and write speeds, which affects everything from app load times to file transfers.There’s so much powerful hardware here that I can’t find fault with the 7 Pro’s performance, and this new addition only serves to help the 7 Pro take the lead in an area that its pricier competitors still haven’t ventured.OnePlus 7 Pro battery life goes beyond expectationThe story of speed on the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t stop with the phone’s fluid user experience and raw performance; it sports suitably solid fast charging technology too.We first encountered the company’s Warp Charge feature on last year’s OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition and it’s now become part of the mainstream offering here.The 30W Warp Charge adapter and complimentary cable are unquestionably sizeable (although the previous generation Dash/Fast Charger wasn’t really any more compact) but the convenience they bring nullifies the hassle of carrying them around.The 7 Pro’s large footprint means it’s also able to carry a hefty 4000mAh battery within its belly and, with the included Warp Charger, that sizeable cell can be refilled from flat to full in under an hour and twenty. What really impresses is the initial charge rate, however.A third of the battery can be filled in just 15 minutes and more than a day’s worth of juice can be replenished within 30. Most of the battery can be charged within an hour too, so you never have to wait long to give the 7 Pro a meaningful top up.While quick in their own right, OnePlus’ fast-charging capabilities are no longer industry-leading; Huawei has instead taken that crown. The OnePlus 7 Pro does also lag slightly behind due to its lack of any form of wireless charging – an absentee feature that the company has explained may never be part of the equation on its devices.As for longevity, the OnePlus 7 Pro, left me thoroughly impressed. While charging the OnePlus 7 Pro is a lot less painless an experience compared to some phones (I’m looking at you Apple), not having to charge it all was an even bigger win.I was consistently reaching two days of use and up to 5 hours of screen-on time on a single charge, which is well above most modern phones’ more approachable promised day-long endurance.If I had flipped the refresh rate down to 60Hz or relied on battery saver mode at all, there’s every chance the phone would have lasted even longer.Little has changed with OnePlus 7 Pro software, and that’s no bad thingAndroid 9.0 underpins the software experience on this generation of OnePlus phones but the company’s OxygenOS overlay (version 9.5.2 as tested) is what you’re actually navigating around. It’s a great tweaked take on base Android that’s slick and clean, easy-to-use and powerful.Integrated gestures make it easier to summon the notifications and quick settings (particularly useful with the 7 Pro’s tall display), as well as activating features like the camera and the flashlight without ever having to wake the phone up.‘The Shelf’ is a dedicated space for iOS-like widget placement which keeps things tidy, and there’s a hidden ‘second space’ where you can place apps that you want to hide from prying eyes should you hand your phone to a friend. These are all pre-existing features, however.Notable new additions for the 7 Pro include an enhanced gaming mode that silences notifications and locks screen brightness down, or by enabling ‘fnatic mode’ the phone directs all CPU, GPU and memory usage to your current gaming session and nowhere else.The new Zen mode was born from the mindfulness practices of OnePlus’ senior staffers and takes a hard stance on pervasive phone checking by locking down everything, save for emergency calls, incoming calls and camera access, for 20 minutes at a time.Not even restarting or powering the phone off and back on can you escape out of this experience, so make sure that you’re ready for the break, before committing.The feature feels like OnePlus’ extension of Android Pie’s native digital wellbeing toolset and as with much of what makes the 7 Pro decidedly OnePlus, it’s an odd inclusion but one that I appreciate nonetheless.Should I buy the OnePlus 7 Pro?When I first took delivery of the OnePlus 7 Pro, I wasn’t told how much it would cost (that information came later), and I was a little worried.This phone is undoubtedly feature-packed, the richest the company has ever made, but its higher price warrants greater scrutiny. Previous OnePlus phones have always been pit against the flagships of the time but the comparative affordability they’ve offered has absolved them of any minor shortcomings that would otherwise have been met with disappointment or beratement.Even so, the OnePlus 7 Pro still undercuts the majority of the 2019 flagship pack (by several hundred pounds in some cases), meaning I can forgive the absence of features like (certified) water resistance and wireless charging – this phone will still leave you impressed (and with more money in your pocket).Related: Is the OnePlus 7 series water resistant?Where Huawei’s P30 Pro takes the cake for smartphone camera and battery ability, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s screen is easily one of the nicest I’ve clapped eyes on, plus OnePlus’ user experience is among the best skinned Android experiences you’ll find out there.The OnePlus 7 Pro shows that the company is able to grow, bring about meaningful changes and greater competition without losing what makes the brand and its devices so uniquely appealing. The OnePlus 7 Pro has the best display currently available on a phone, the latest internals and a design that takes a lot of inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy S10. It’s also the priciest OnePlus phone yet, moving away from the company’s idea of offering high-end specs for a bargain price.Despite starting life as a plucky underdog, however, OnePlus has had to grow up fast and nothing highlights the momentum the company has amassed like its debut entrants into the phone market for 2019: the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro.The OnePlus 7 Pro is for those who want the best the company has to offer and a phone that packs in enough to compete with the latest rival flagships; devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei P30 Pro.last_img read more

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first_imgFull gallery of thousands of model 3 for Europe in port of Zeebrugge https://t.co/o843uOxMkY #tesla #model3— Kristof Lambrecht (@Kristof_1978) February 6, 2019 In January Tesla Registered 40 Model 3 In The Netherlands #GlovisCaptain carrying a few thousand model 3 for some very anxious European customers, me included pic.twitter.com/Ekq4LcUE5N— Kristof Lambrecht (@Kristof_1978) February 5, 2019 View this post on Instagram Source: whitfletcher/Twitter, Kristof Lambrecht, Teslarati It started. Thousands of Model 3 are in EuropeThe first volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 in Europe is happening right now. Tesla enthusiasts tracked the Glovis Captain cargo ship, which arrived at the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.The ship was full of Teslas and according to reports, some 1,400 Model 3 and 350 Model S were unloaded.Tesla Model 3 The beatst arrived at #zeebruggeport #teslamodel3 #gloviscaptain #teslaA post shared by Kurt Hellyn (@kurt_hellyn) on Feb 6, 2019 at 2:30am PST Precious #Tesla Model 3 cargo on the #GlovisCaptain now about to navigate the world’s busiest and most congested shipping lanes – the Dover Straits between England and France. Everyone breath in! $TSLA(about 150km from Zeebrugge) pic.twitter.com/HZDRBdjMiY— EV News Daily (@EVNewsDaily) February 4, 2019 Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model 3 U.S. Deliveries Dip As It Ships To Global Markets Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla intends to start customer deliveries in Europe this month. Thousands of customers wait for their cars (Long Range, AWD and Performance versions), while thousands more wait to be able to place orders for Medium or Standard battery versions.It’s anticipated that Tesla will be shipping to Europe some 3,000 Model 3 per week. Number Of Identified Tesla Model 3 Orders In Europe Close To 20,000last_img read more

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first_imgTesla CEO Elon Musk explains why its Powerwall deliveries have been on the back burner.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

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first_imgOn more than one occasion in 2016, the media contingent of FCPA Inc. is likely to publish an article or post that is false, misleading, embellished, breathless, or taken completely out of context.  Why? Because it happens all the time (see here for a collection of examples) and is the end result of non-lawyer journalist and/or FCPA Inc. participants with financial motives serving as the gatekeepers of much information. Back to SEC FCPA enforcement. The SEC will likely not have to prove any of its FCPA enforcement theories to anyone other than itself.  Why? Because in the FCPA’s 38 year history, the SEC has never gone to trial in an FCPA matter (corporate or individual) and in the rare instances when it has been put to its ultimate burden of proof, the SEC has never prevailed. (See here). In months leading up to November a certain for-profit conference firm will, in a truly disgraceful practice, likely market DOJ / SEC FCPA enforcement attorneys who will speak at their event as if the enforcement attorneys are a commodity they own and can profit from. Why? Because it happens every year. The speech delivered by the public officials at the private event will generate much FCPA Inc. media coverage, but sophisticated observers will have already heard the speech. Why? Because it will likely be basically the speech delivered last year at the event (See here and here). Like September, December will also likely be an active month for FCPA enforcement. Why? Because even though December 2015 was a clear outlier, December is the end of the calendar year and historical statistics demonstrate that December tends to be a very active month for FCPA enforcement. Marketing the holidays seems to occur sooner and sooner each year, thus this next development will likely take place in November, but perhaps even as early as October or September. FCPA Inc. participants will churn out client alerts and publications warning of the FCPA risks of the holidays and gift giving.  Why? Because it happens every year and is convenient hook to try to sell compliance services. A high-ranking FCPA enforcement attorney will likely leave either the DOJ or SEC for a lucrative, guaranteed multi-million dollar position at a law firm and then almost immediately begin writing client alerts and other publications criticizing recent FCPA enforcement theories.  Why? Because it happens all the time and in 2016 or early 2017 there is likely to be substantial turnover at the DOJ and SEC given the change in executive administration.center_img I’ve never been much for predictions when it comes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics.After all, FCPA enforcement is often unpredictable largely on account of the enforcement agencies having a tremendous amount discretion (some would say too much), coupled with the fact that much FCPA enforcement takes place around conference room tables in Washington D.C. in the absence or practical absence of outside scrutiny.Nevertheless, set forth below are ten things that will likely happen in 2016 (presented in a slightly jocular, yet equally serious manner) based on my experience in following FCPA enforcement (and the flow of FCPA information) as close as anyone for the past six years.*****Sometime during the year there will be a lull in FCPA enforcement, yet one minor, inconsequential enforcement action will be announced (probably in the early spring) and everyone will write about it as well as the purported new trends and compliance messages from the enforcement action.  Why? Because it happens all the time as FCPA Inc. is an active group of writers that frequently make mountains out of mole hills by using recent enforcement action as a “hook” to market their practices and compliance services. In 2015, it was the late February enforcement action against Goodyear that generated a substantial amount of commentary. I fielded more media calls about this inconsequential action than any other FCPA enforcement action in recent memory. During one call, the reporter asked for my reaction, I looked outside my window and it was raining, and I said “well it’s raining out, it’s really no big deal.” The reporter said, “that may be true, but to others this is a thunderstorm.” Precisely my point. Speaking of September, there will likely be some “major” DOJ/SEC policy speech.  Why? Because it happens almost every September as the enforcement agencies seemingly seek to reassert their authority and re-articulate their message after the summer hiatus.  In connection with this “major” policy speech (which in reality will likely not be “major” at all) the aforementioned media contingent of FCPA Inc. will likely churn out articles and client alerts (most of which will simply regurgitate the policy position as if the policy announcement – much of it old news to those informed – of a political actor represented a big deal). The most active month for SEC enforcement will likely be September.  Why? Because September is the end of the SEC’s fiscal year and historical statistics demonstrate that September tends to be a very active month for FCPA enforcement. In November, the SEC will release its annual whistleblower statistics and alleged FCPA violations will likely be a very minor component of the overall tips the SEC receives. Why? Because, despite numerous early predictions that the whistleblower provisions would transform FCPA enforcement, alleged FCPA violations have consistently comprised less than 5% of the SEC’s overall tips.last_img read more

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first_imgIn 2010 I coined the term “FCPA Inc.” as shorthand term used to describe a vibrant, niche industry consisting of numerous market participants and not just lawyers. Regardless of what you think of the term, FCPA Inc. has become part of the FCPA lexicon and it is undisputed that FCPA Inc. is a multi-billion dollar industry.Yet this niche industry lacks basic standards and the lack of standards causes untold amounts of confusion. My article “A Common Language to Remedy Distorted FCPA Enforcement Statistics” focuses on the lack of standards regarding the basic issue of “what is an FCPA enforcement.”The establishment and acceptance of a common language (and standards) is a sign of maturity in many professions, yet FCPA Inc. also lacks standards for even the most basic task of assembling a list of the Top Ten FCPA Enforcement Actions.It’s been said that a picture is worth 1,000 words and thus what follows is 3,000 words of visual proof of this troubling dynamic through reference to the recent Telia enforcement action (see here and here for prior posts). The standard for assembling a list of the Top Ten FCPA Enforcement Actions ought to be rather basic.It’s called accurate and consistently applied math. In terms of the later, this means that if you off-set FCPA settlement amounts for related foreign law enforcement actions in certain enforcement action (such as VimpelCom and Odbrecht/Braskem) you do this for all FCPA settlement amounts in which this dynamic is present (such as Telia).This further means (and I can’t believe I actually have to write this) that a Top Ten List of FCPA Enforcement Actions should only include enforcement action in which the corporate defendant was actually charged with FCPA (as opposed to other) offenses.When one performs accurate and consistently applied math, the recent Telia FCPA enforcement action is not the largest, third largest, or fourth largest FCPA enforcement action of all-time, but rather the fifth largest. (See here for the list of Top Ten FCPA Enforcement Actions).*****Related to the above, a big public thank you to the many people who have contacted me in recent months (via e-mail, telephone calls, social media mentions, and in-person discussions) thanking me for my stepped-up fact checking of FCPA information. Not everyone likes facts, but most sophisticated observers.In my experience the only ones offended by facts are those who peddle fallacies or false narratives who melt like precious snowflakes and go into meltdown mode when confronted with factual information.last_img read more

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first_imgby, NamarahTweet5Share33Share6Email44 SharesBelief is a powerful thing – it’s the foundation for how we perceive the world around us, how we communicate and how we behave. Everyday, we have the ability to create and practice new beliefs and discard the old modes that no longer fit. Here is a belief that I have carried with me for most of my life: I am not enough.Now most of us, if not all, have faced this belief at some point in our lives. We have engaged with it and swallowed it whole without question. I can admit this although I don’t know when it first started to show in my life, but its effects have been there. It influenced me to go to events that I didn’t really want to go to or do anything in particular that didn’t resonate with who I knew to be. Living became a game of trying to be what others thought would be the best direction for me. The truth is, I did a lot of things to gain approval from others all so that I could disprove the belief of not being enough.I spent so much time and energy chasing after others’ approval of me that I gave little time to challenge the lie I had rehearsed in the first place. After facing disappointment repeatedly in my life, I decided to do something different – I decided to truly practice the act of self love. I began to set daily reminders on my phone saying things like, “You were born with a purpose,” and other encouraging phrases to reframe how I viewed my own self worth.Changing and transforming the mind is hard work, but over time it became easier and easier. Now, I’ve added a new reminder to my phone, “I am enough.” It’s been reinforcing the steps I’ve already taken in transforming my thoughts and laying a new foundation for new beliefs to enter my life.Thoughts, and controlling them, are essential for developmentI had a chat with a friend about living with this feeling of inadequacy and how it filters into our everyday lives. It was reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one, and definitely calming to know that this is a daily struggle for more than a few people, but I was touched with a twinge of sadness. My thoughts, and how I allowed them to affect me, had a direct relationship with my actions towards others – not only that, my performance and ambitions were affected.It wasn’t a question of my ability to do or achieve, but the morale that I had and the willingness to push beyond my circumstances turned out to be a larger struggle of how to engage with myself and self worth. Maybe it was a mixture of depression and the anxiety associated with being uncomfortable, but there was a cycle here that I needed to break.After spending the time I needed to build up my self worth, I took on a new task: maintaining the baseline of a positive self image and to challenge myself to grow and become greater. It looked like this…Remembering gratitude – Every morning I wake up and before I go to bed, to my best ability, I would think about someone, a moment or experience that brought me joy during the day or week. Last night I forgot to do this, but my fancy iphone 7 gave me a beautiful video to remind me how amazing my past week was. Check it out:Redirecting thoughts – It’s natural for us to focus on the bad that goes on in life and it’s probably safe to say that the reasons I have a lousy day is because I’ve been harping on it in my head after the ‘bad’ moment has passed hours later. Now, when something negative comes to my mind I say something positive out loud to place a new thought inside. If I’m not feeling daring enough to talk to myself in public, I’ll read an uplifting piece of writing, or listen to my favorite music.Releasing forgiveness – Harboring negative thoughts from past hurts used to eat away at my self confidence. Recently, I went through a series of letdown and betrayal. I moved on, or at least told myself that I did, but I found myself going back to depressive funks every other day. This morning, in my morning meditation and prayer I felt led to visualize my pain. As each person came to view as I had to tell them in my mind that I forgave them – it was really hard and I even started to cry for some; but as I let each person go there was a weight that lifted from me. Actively allowing hurt to leave the body and exit the heart is so important. I encourage you all to do this in your own time as well. Sometimes, you have to forgive yourself too – I know I did.Receiving and giving love – Love can come in many forms; one way in particular is in giving compliments. I’ve been pretty awkward at accepting these. I say ‘thank you’ gracefully now and give genuine compliments to those around me. Share the love!Revitalizing the body – Moving the body and eating well has given me new energy and motivation to accomplish my day to day activities. Certain foods make me happier – so I eat those foods! I’m not talking about sugary foods but those that are actually good for my body. You know the ones. Since I’ve been in the little funk I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been working out the way I usually do. Instead, I’ve been dancing; I combined my body work and thought life this way and listened to the songs that made my heart sing. After my little jig, I couldn’t help but smile.All these actions teach me how in-control I can be in my life. I stopped allowing the beliefs that would guide me down dark and unhealthy paths tell me how I should live and feel. I know I am enough and I am not a victim. I am beautiful and intelligent. I am loving and am loved. I am capable and competent. It’s an everyday practice but each day it get’s easier and I know it’ll soon be a way of life.Related PostsYou’re Perfect The Way You AreI am becoming more capable of something I could only dream of before. Instead of seeing everything in terms of either/or, I am much more capable of both/and awareness. I am ripening into a more complex awareness, that lets me see that I (like everyone else) am like Creation.Happiness — A Report From the Slow LaneGrowing older has meant, for some of us, that we have arrived, despite still having further to go, at a time and place in our lives, where there are no roles, rules, or expectations, other than our own.Sourcing The DepthsShe said, “a spring.” I said, ”yes, perhaps that’s it.” We were trying to think of a metaphor, a symbol, for what we could imagine emerging in the elder’s group.Tweet5Share33Share6Email44 SharesTags: Health and Wellness music positive psychology self-care self-discoverylast_img read more

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first_imgMay 25 2018Cancer therapies that cut off blood supply to a tumor could be more effective in combination with existing chemotherapeutic drugs – according to new research from the University of East Anglia.New research published today in the journal EMBO Reports reveals that tumor growth is better-reduced in mice when the expression of a particular protein called Beta3-integrin is targeted in combination with drugs that are already used in cancer patients.It is hoped that the findings could help fine-tune treatment for cancer patients and revitalize an interest in the use of microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) which are commonly used as chemotherapies in cancer patients.Lead researcher Dr Stephen Robinson from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “Tumours must recruit their own blood supply to grow beyond a very small size and this process is called angiogenesis.”Anti-angiogenic drugs stop tumors from growing their own blood vessels, and this in turn can slow the growth of the cancer, or shrink it. Targeting angiogenesis is therefore seen as crucial in many anti-cancer strategies.”However many anti-angiogenetic therapies target proteins that help the functioning of a patient’s normal blood supply – and this can lead to nasty side effects including hemorrhage, strokes, high blood pressure, and fatigue.”The research team has long looked at Beta3-integrin as a better anti-angiogenic target because the protein is not expressed in normal blood vessels, but is expressed in tumor blood vessels. This reduces the potential for unwanted side effects.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryNow the team has shown that targeting Beta3-integrin in combination with microtubule targeting agents, which are widely used in cancer patients, works better than targeting Beta3-integrin alone. Microtubules are protein structures in cells that help them move and divide.Specifically, the Robinson lab looked at how Beta3-integrin and microtubules interact with one another in the cells that line blood vessels (endothelial cells), and showed that microtubules behave differently when Beta3-integrin levels are reduced; the microtubules become more sensitive to the chemotherapies that are used to hit them.Dr Robinson said: “This protein, Beta3-integrin, has been the focus of drug design over the last two decades because its expression is vastly increased in endothelial cells during blood vessel recruitment to tumors.”We found that targeting the protein Beta3-integrin in combination with the use of microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) could be a good way to stop tumors recruiting a blood supply to grow.”This is really important because MTAs are already in clinic and commonly used as chemotherapies such as paclitaxel in cancer patients. Meanwhile Beta3-integrin inhibitors have been at the center of cancer drug design for over 20 years and are well-tolerated in clinical trials.”We hope that this research could revitalize interest in this sort of therapy and lead to a re-purposing of MTAs as anti-angiogenic inhibitors, in combination with targeting Beta3 integrin.” Source:http://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/uea-research-could-help-fine-tune-cancer-treatmentlast_img read more

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first_img Source:http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-math-of-malaria-drug-resistance.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018A new mathematical model for malaria shows how competition between parasite strains within a human host reduces the odds of drug resistance developing in a high-transmission setting. But if a drug-resistant strain does become established, that same competition drives the spread of resistance faster, under strong selection from antimalarial drug use.”It’s basically a numbers game,” says Mary Bushman, who developed the model for her PhD thesis in Emory University’s Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program. “When you already have multiple strains of malaria within a population, and a drug-resistant strain comes along, it will usually go extinct simply because it’s a late-comer. Whichever strain is there first has the advantage.”PLOS Biology published the findings, a computational framework that modeled a malaria epidemic across multiple scales: Transmission of parasites from mosquitos to humans, and the dynamics of parasites competing to infect blood cells while they also battle the immune system of a human host.After creating the model, Bushman ran simulations tracking malaria in a population for roughly 14 years. The simulations included 400 theoretical people who were randomly bitten by 12,000 mosquitos that were infected with malaria parasites classified as either drug resistant or drug susceptible. Various levels of treatment with antimalarial drugs were also part of the simulations.”Our model holds strong relevance for infectious diseases beyond malaria,” says Jaap de Roode, an evolutionary biologist at Emory and senior author of the paper. “We hope this research gives others a method to look at disease dynamics across scales of biological organisms to learn how drug resistance develops in a range of pathogens.”The study’s authors also include Emory biologist Rustom Antia (a specialist in infectious disease modeling) and Venkatachalam Udhayakumar, a malaria expert from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria.The researchers are now working to develop their specific model for malaria into a generalized software tool for infectious diseases. “Computer models can sometimes give you insights that would be too difficult to get in a real-world setting,” says Bushman, who is now a post-doctoral fellow in the Antia lab.Malaria occurs in poor, tropical and subtropical areas of the world, although most of the global death toll consists of children from sub-Saharan Africa. People infected in this high-transmission area often have multiple strains of the parasite and, by the time they have reached adulthood, they have usually developed partial immunity.”It’s a baffling disease,” Bushman says. “Malaria has been studied for more than 100 years, much longer than most diseases, but there is still a lot that we don’t understand about it.Related StoriesStudy shows how the mosquito immune system combats malaria parasitesEngineers crack the code to quickly diagnose anti-malarial drug resistanceMalaria drug may help those with hereditary hearing loss finds studyMalaria is caused by several species of Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to humans by mosquitos. Plasmodium falciparum, the most common malaria parasite on the continent of Africa, is the one responsible for the most malaria-related deaths globally.P. falciparum has developed resistance to former first-line therapies chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Resistance has also emerged in Southeast Asia to the third and last available treatment, artemisinin combination therapy, or ACT.One of the mysteries about malaria is why drug-resistant strains tend to emerge first in low-transmission areas, like Southeast Asia, and not appear until much later in Africa, where transmission is high.Previous research led by de Roode and Bushman showed that when people are co-infected with drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains of malaria, both strains are competitively suppressed.For the current paper, the researchers wanted to get a more detailed understanding of these dynamics. Some evidence had shown that within-host competition could suppress resistance, while other studies showed that it could ramp resistance up.”It was a little bit of a puzzle, why the findings were conflicting,” Bushman says.The new model, driven by evidence for how malaria parasites work within the immune system and the blood cells they infect, provided a solution to the puzzle.”Some previous models were based on the assumption that when you put two strains of malaria into a host, they split 50-50,” Bushman says. “But our model showed that the system is asymmetrical. When you put two strains in a host they virtually never split 50-50.”The late-comer will usually go extinct, which explains why in high-transmission areas drug resistant strains are at a big disadvantage. But in low transmission areas, such as Southeast Asia, a drug resistant strain has a better chance of arriving first in a host and getting established.The new model also showed how once a drug-resistant strain becomes established in a high transmission area, it will spread much faster than it would in a low transmission area.”The distinction between establishment and spread just jumped out of the data,” Bushman says. “Our model validated both sides of the argument — that within-host dynamics of competing parasites could both repress and accelerate the spread of resistance. The phenomena are occurring at different stages of the process so they both can happen.”The results offer a new explanation for why chloroquine resistance arrived relatively late in Africa, appearing in Kenya and Tanzania in 1978, but then spread rapidly across the continent.last_img read more

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first_imgRelated StoriesStem cell stimulation shows promise as potential stroke treatmentHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineDysfunctional neurons repaired in dementia mouse modelNearly two billion adults worldwide are overweight, more than 600 million of whom are obese. In addition to increasing risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, obesity is also a known risk factor for cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline in obesity, however, are not well understood.Elise Cope and colleagues replicated previous research by demonstrating diet-induced obesity in mice impairs performance on cognitive tasks dependent on the hippocampus and results in loss of dendritic spines — the neuronal protrusions that receive signals from other cells — and activates microglia.Using genetic and pharmacological approaches to block microglial activity, the researchers established microglia are causally linked to obesity-induced dendritic spine loss and cognitive decline. The results suggest obesity may drive microglia into a synapse-eating frenzy that contributes to the cognitive deficits observed in this condition. Sep 11 2018Obesity leads to cognitive impairment by activating microglial cells, which consume otherwise functional synapses in the hippocampus, according to a study of male mice published in JNeurosci. The research suggests that microglia may be a potential therapeutic target for one of the lesser known effects of this global health epidemic on the brain. Source:http://www.sfn.org/last_img read more

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first_imgWhen did humans settle down? The house mouse may have the answer So Thomas Cucchi, an archaeologist at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, decided to turn to the creatures living alongside humans at the time, specifically house mice (Mus domesticus), which live almost exclusively in or near houses and planted fields. He teamed up with Lior Weissbrod, a fellow archaeologist at the University of Haifa in Israel, who was analyzing wild and domesticated mice living today in Kenya.Cucchi, Weissbrod, and colleagues looked at hundreds of mouse molars from five different cave and open-air sites across the Levant. They found a zig-zagging pattern over time. Some 200,000 years ago, before the Natufians came on the scene, 100% of the molars belonged to wild Macedonian mice (Mus macedonicus). By the Early Natufian, 15,000 years ago, all the molars came from house mice. That likely meant the Natufians were becoming more sedentary, building semipermanent structures and discarding food waste that the domestic mice were better at exploiting. Curiously, about 13,000 years ago, the advantage swung back to the wild mice, coinciding with archaeological evidence that the Natufians were building smaller structures and using them less often. About 1000 years later, the house mouse came back to prominence, making up 80% of the molars. By the Early Neolithic, about 10,000 B.C.E.—the dawn of the agricultural age—this domestic species again accounted for all the mouse molars at the sites.“These settlements were allowing the house mouse to completely exclude its competitors,” Weissbrod says. “The only way to create this effect would be for the Natufians to be staying in one place for quite some time.” The data suggest the Natufian hunter-gatherers alternated between nomadic and sedentary lifestyles for thousands of years before settling into agriculture, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.To be sure their pattern wasn’t a random archaeological accident, Weissbrod and Cucchi turned to two species of modern mice, the relatively domestic fiery spiny mouse (Acomys ignitus) and the comparatively wilder Wilson’s spiny mouse (A. wilsoni) that today live in the same region as the seminomadic Maasai people in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Traditionally most Maasai hunt, gather wild fruits and vegetables, and raise cattle, but do little farming, making their way of life a fair surrogate for that of the preagricultural Natufians, Weissbrod says, although it should be noted that the Maasai are a fully modern people no more closely related to early hunter-gatherers than are any other people on Earth. The researchers found that the longer the Maasai occupied an area, the more the tamer A. ignitus outcompeted the wilder A. wilsoni.This pattern convinced the researchers that their conclusions about the Natufians were likely true. Weissbrod says archaeological evidence of competition between domesticated and wild species could be a powerful new tool to identify when other cultures around the world began settling down.The new study is valuable, says anthropologist Lisa Maher of the University of California, Berkeley, who studies hunter-gatherer societies, but it also highlights how little we know about what drove ancient people toward a sedentary lifestyle. It also supports the idea that sedentism isn’t a necessary precursor to agriculture. “It does seem clear that sedentism and agriculture are separate things, each with their own timeline and trajectory of development,” she wrote to Science in an email.Beyond what the study says about their living habits, it demonstrates just how much early humans influenced life around them, Zeder adds. “Humans are masters at creating niches. Our shaping of our environment is as old as our history.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By Michael PriceMar. 27, 2017 , 3:00 PMcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sometime about 10,000 years ago, the earliest farmers put down their roots—literally and figuratively. Agriculture opened the door to (theoretically) stable food supplies, and it let hunter-gatherers build permanent dwellings that eventually morphed into complex societies in many parts of the world. But how that transition played out is a contentiously debated topic. Now, a new study shows that our path to domesticity zig-zagged between periods of sedentary life and a roaming hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The evidence? The presence—and absence—of the common house mouse.“It’s remarkable, using a lowly house mouse to monitor a major milestone in human history,” says Melinda Zeder, curator of Old World archaeology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who wasn’t involved with the study. “It’s really a masterful way of monitoring sedentism.”To explore the transition to agriculture, scientists have looked to the Natufians, an ancient hunter-gatherer society that flourished from about 12,500 to 9500 B.C.E. in a part of the Middle East called the Levant, which includes pieces of modern-day Cyprus, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. The Natufians were among the first people known to domesticate animals—dogs and hogs—and may have been the first to transition to farming. As they moved from seasonally collecting acorns and hunting gazelle to farming wheat and barley, many researchers think they went through an intermediary phase: a semisedentary period in which they built stone dwellings but still hunted for sustenance and moved on when resources became scarce. But evidence of exactly when and how humans became sedentary has been hard to come by.last_img read more

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first_img (GRAPHIC) V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE; (DATA) GAURAO DHOKE AND MEHDI DAVARI DOLATABADI/RWTH AACHEN UNIVERSITY Waterproof protectionAn antimicrobial protein has been designed to stick to leaves in the rain. One part of the protein is anchored in leaf wax. The other ruptures membranes of fungal spores.{font-family:’Roboto Condensed’,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-weight:bold;}{font-family:’Roboto Condensed’,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-weight:bold;font-style:italic;}BOLDREGULARITALICBOLD ITALIC{font-family:’Roboto Condensed’,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;}{font-family:’Roboto Condensed’,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-style:italic;}REPLACE {font-family:’RobotoCondensed-Bold’;} etc WITH: 5 nanometers Sticky proteins could protect crops more safely than chemical pesticides Soy leafFungus Email To make the new pesticide, plant pathologist Uwe Conrath and protein engineer Ulrich Schwaneberg of RWTH Aachen University in Germany teamed up. Schwaneberg specializes in the directed evolution of peptides—adding genes to microbes to produce them, for example, and relying on rounds of mutation and selection to develop strains that produce peptides with improved traits. He has created peptides that attach to slick surfaces such as polypropylene. The team found two that also anchor themselves onto soy leaves. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Many pesticides have an inherent weakness: The active ingredients don’t adhere well to the plants they protect. After the chemicals are sprayed onto crops, rain can wash them off into the soil and groundwater. Farmers must spray again and hope for dry weather.Now, researchers have devised a stickier approach to protecting plants, one that could be applied less frequently than chemical pesticides and might be less toxic. They have designed a molecule with two separate chains of amino acids, called peptides. One peptide embeds itself in the waxy surface of a leaf, holding tight in the rain; the other juts out like a spear to attack microbial pests. In a proof of concept published this month in Green Chemistry, lab tests showed the molecules lessened symptoms of soybean rust, a dreaded fungus that causes one of the world’s worst agricultural diseases.The peptides will face many challenges before they can reach the market. But plant pathologists say they could be a flexible new way to protect crops. “With the current scale of the soybean rust problem, and the rapid evolution of resistance against multiple fungicides, any addition to the toolbox would be welcome,” says Nichola Hawkins at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, U.K. Ralph Hückelhoven at the Technical University of Munich in Germany also considers the technique promising. “It opens a treasure box of solutions,” he says. “It’s a bit surprising that no one has done this before.”center_img Attaching a fluorescent protein to the anchor peptides showed that about 60% to 70% of the leaf remained covered with them, even after the plant was doused in a rain simulation chamber. These two anchor peptides also clung well to the leaves of barley, corn, blueberry, and other crops. Schwaneberg says they can be engineered to adhere more or less tightly, as desired.The next step was to attach an antimicrobial peptide to the anchor. The team chose dermaseptin, a peptide discovered years ago in the skin of tree frogs. Dermaseptin attacks a broad array of microbes, including bacteria and fungi, somehow rupturing their cell membranes. Conrath notes that pathogens are much less likely to evolve resistance—a problem with chemical pesticides—because it is difficult to change the basic structure of cell membranes.When tested on glass slides, the fused peptide was about as effective against soybean rust spores as chemical fungicides. But in lab tests on plants, the peptide reduced symptoms of rust by only about 30%. “It’s not enough,” says Emilio Montesinos, a plant pathologist and agronomist at the University of Girona in Spain. “If you want to extend these results for crop protection, you need to do much more work.” Conrath thinks a tactic already used by industry for other pesticides could yield more potent peptides: adding chemicals to distribute them evenly across leaves.He acknowledges that the peptides are only at the beginning of the pesticide development process, which can last a decade and cost $200 million on average. RWTH Aachen has patented the concept, and Conrath and Schwaneberg plan to start a company to pursue deals with large pesticide manufacturers. They will need help lowering the cost of making the peptides. One way—engineering microbes to produce the peptides themselves in industrial vats—can be tricky when the desired protein tends to kill the microbes that make it.Another question is safety. Dermaseptin would need to be evaluated for its possible toxicity to humans, as well as the accidental harm it could cause to beneficial insects, fungi, or microbes. “It’s broad-spectrum and it’s persistent, and that creates a regulatory concern,” says Roma Gwynn, who runs Rationale, a pesticide consultancy in Duns, U.K.Studies indicate that dermaseptin does not harm mammalian cells, and any residues could be removed by washing the plant product with enzymes. Microbes would likely break down peptides remaining in the fields, Conrath says.As for target pathogens, the team is already thinking beyond soybean rust. They have showed that dermaseptin-based peptides can help protect maize from the common fungus Colletotrichum graminicola. They also want to try attach ing the anchor peptide to Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, a insect-killing microbial toxin widely used by organic farmers and engineered into transgenic crops.Before that, however, Conrath and Schwaneberg plan to outfit their anchors with tiny amounts of copper, commonly used by vineyards and organic farms to fight fungi and other pathogens. This fall, with a €1 million grant from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the team will test the approach in vineyards in southern Germany, which could reduce copper spraying and the runoff that contaminates soil. They’re hoping the idea will stick. By Erik StokstadApr. 25, 2019 , 12:10 PM Spore (not to scale)CellLeaf waxAnchorDermaseptin Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Dan Ross/shutterstock.com Sticky molecules could help soybean plants fight off a fungus even when it rains. 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first_img A $350 million gift from investment banker Stephen Schwarzman will allow the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to “rewire” how it educates students in this foundational subject, school officials announced today.The money will help finance a new building that will house a college of computing named for its major donor. It will also allow MIT to cope with the rising demand for computer science courses from students majoring in any number of disciplines by paying for 50 new faculty members.“Roughly 40% of our current undergraduates are majoring in computer science or computer science and X,” says MIT Provost Martin Schmidt. With only 10% of the university’s 1000 faculty currently teaching computer science courses, Schmidt says, “having them teach 40% of the undergraduates has created a huge load imbalance.” dbimages/Alamy Stock Photo The campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge will soon be home to a new college of computer science, which will get its own building. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country MIT to use $350 million gift to bolster computer sciencescenter_img By Jeffrey MervisOct. 15, 2018 , 4:05 PM Computing is now part of the department of electrical engineering and computer science within MIT’s school of engineering. It is by far the largest of MIT’s five schools, serving 70% of undergraduates and 45% of graduate students.“It no longer makes sense to have computer science within electrical engineering,” says Michael Stonebraker, one of seven MIT computing faculty members who wrote an open letter last year asking MIT to consider creating a separate school of computing. Computing was being taught “in a haphazard fashion” across many departments, he says, an “inefficient and fragmented approach” that undermined the quality of instruction.The new college addresses those problems, says Schmidt, as well as “linking computation to all disciplines on campus.” That meets a growing demand for such skills by students in the social sciences, he notes. The number of students majoring in computer science and economics, for example, has tripled since the major was created 2 years ago, he notes.Half of the new faculty positions will go to the new college, and the other half will be distributed across campus. Those additional linkages will make it easier for MIT to attract and retain top talent, Schmidt says. “Right now, if we want to hire a computational linguist, it’s hard to know in which department to hire them and how to review them for promotion and tenure.”The organizational status of computing varies across other top-ranked U.S. research universities. The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for example, already have separate colleges or schools of computing, whereas computer science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and the University of California, Berkeley, falls within electrical engineering/computer science departments. MIT will also hire a dean of the new college, which will open next fall. Construction has not yet begun on the new building, which is expected to be completed in 2022.Schwarzman’s donation is part of a $1 billion institutional commitment to computer science and artificial intelligence. Another $300 million for computing activities has been pledged as part of a capital campaign launched in May 2016 that has reached $4.3 billion of its $5 billion goal. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emaillast_img read more

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first_imgSerkan Golge, seen here speaking to reporters today, was released hours after U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Cem Genco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images A former NASA scientist jailed in Turkey was unexpectedly allowed to walk free on Wednesday evening, after spending almost 3 years behind bars. The release came just hours after a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.Serkan Golge, a dual Turkish-U.S. citizen who studied the effects of radiation on astronauts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, was arrested on terrorism charges while visiting family in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay in the summer of 2016. Swept up in a crackdown that followed a failed military coup, Golge was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in February 2018. The sentence was later reduced to 5 years by an appeals court.“I’m very happy. I do not know what to say,” Kubra Golge, his wife, tells Science from northwest Turkey, where she is recovering from a recent surgery. She says she was able to speak by phone to her husband, who she says is also in shock after he being released in Hatay. “It was a surprise,” she says. But her husband is banned from travel, Kubra Golge adds, and can’t leave Turkey yet. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Kristen McTighe May. 30, 2019 , 1:45 PM NASA scientist unexpectedly released after almost 3 years in Turkish prisoncenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Trump, in remarks this morning before he boarded Marine One, said Golge would “pretty soon” be able to leave the country. “They released this prisoner, hostage—whatever you want to call him,” he said. “And I just want to thank President Erdoğan. We dealt with that, and he was—it was great.”Relations between Turkey and the United States—both members of NATO—have soured in recent years over a number of security issues. Turkish authorities have been angered by Washington, D.C.’s support for Kurdish rebels in Syria and failure to extradite Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt. Recently, Turkey’s plans to acquire an S-400 defense system from Russia have also been a major contention between the two allies.U.S. officials and human rights groups have accused Turkish authorities of using U.S. prisoners such as Golge and jailed consular staff as political bargaining chips. “Nobody ever doubted that he was innocent, not in this country nor in Turkey. He was a hostage in the negotiations for Gülen’s extradition,” says Eugene Chudnovsky, a co-chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists in Silver Spring, Maryland, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting scientists’ human rights.The two presidents spoke by phone on Wednesday. A readout of the conversation sent to journalists by a spokesperson for the Turkish president says the phone call “related to a range of bilateral and regional issues,” but made no mention of Golge. Trump did not go into details of the release this morning either. “One can wonder what was promised that made Erdoğan order Serkan’s release,” Chudnovsky says.Golge’s detention was widely condemned as unjust, and U.S. officials said his conviction on terrorism charges was “without credible evidence.” According to his wife, a disgruntled relative who was angered over an inheritance dispute told police Golge was a spy for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and supporter of Gülen. In court, the relative said he had no evidence to back his accusation. Prosecutors argued that a $1 bill found at Golge’s parents home was proof that he was a member of Gülen’s movement.After his arrest, Golge’s career at NASA came to an abrupt halt. His wife says she was forced to sell their home in Houston and raise her two children in their father’s absence. Back in the United States, members of the scientific community continued to press for Golge’s release.“I was thrilled but afraid to believe [he was released]. Knowing it is real makes me so truly happy,” says Alicia Hofler, a former colleague of Golge’s and friend in Newport News, Virginia, who sought to bring media attention to his case. “Now, I want him and his family to safely return the U.S. as soon as possible.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe family of A$AP Rocky has appealed to the Rev. Al Sharpton to help free the rapper and his associates being held in a Swedish jail over allegations surrounding a street fight in Stockholm earlier this month. While the rapper remained locked up as of Friday morning, it was his previous comments about social justice activism that had some people finding irony in the rapper’s fate possibly being in the hands of Sharpton, a civil rights icon. Rocky reportedly surrendered to local authorities on July 2, when he “and his colleagues were arrested on-site,” the petition said. They were ultimately ordered to be kept in detention during a mandatory two-week investigation. As a result, Rocky has missed multiple tour dates as a result amid allegations that Swedish authorities were preventing him from meeting with American diplomatic officials. “Upon being detained, Rocky was denied his request to counsel which is in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory,” the petition said. Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored It’s above me now #asaprocky pic.twitter.com/HRsKTeACu4— FletcherMartial (@FletcherMartial) July 11, 2019According to a comprehensive timeline provide by Pitchfork, Rocky — real name Rakim Mayer, 30 — had been on a European tour when the fight broke out on June 30, with local media blaming the rapper. The very next day TMZ published the video of the fight, which purportedly showed Rocky and his entourage fighting against one other person. It also showed several men accused of Rocky and his crew of breaking a pair of headphones. The men followed them after making the accusation and a brawl ensued after a woman accused Rocky of sexual harassment. #asapRocky gets into a fight with drunk hecklers while in #sweden pic.twitter.com/srTmaGpu4j— 100MOB Promotions (@100mob_promo) July 5, 2019 Another video appeared to show Rocky trying to make peace before the fight started.That led to Rocky posting videos to his Instagram account claiming he was “INNOCENT.” 62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, as well as the family of the two other men also detained, met on Thursday with Sharpton, whose National Action Network issued a press release saying the reverend was seeking Rocky’s release. The press release also called on members of Congress to demand the State Department not only intervene but also allow Sharpton to visit Rocky as a minister. A petition that was previously started said there were deplorable conditions at the Swedish detention center where Rocky was being held.“Reports of the conditions in ASAP’s jail cell and violation of his consular visitation rights are concerning,” Sharpton said. “We at [National Action Network] are appealing directly to the Swedish authorities for complete transparency and ASAP’s swift return home.”The press release also noted that Sharpton believed that Rocky was acting in self-defense.Sharpton’s words came about three years after Rocky invoked the reverend’s name in connection to social justice activism as a decided example of something he had no interest in being a part of.During a 2016 interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio show, Rocky appeared to distance himself from social justice issues and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole.“So every time something happens because I’m Black I gotta stand up? What the fuck am I, Al Sharpton now? I’m A$AP Rocky. I did not sign up to be no political activist,” Rocky said at the time. “I don’t wanna talk about no fucking Ferguson and shit because I don’t live over there! I live in fucking Soho and Beverly Hills. I can’t relate. I’m in the studio; I’m in these fashion studios; I’m in these bitches’ drawers. I’m not doing anything outside of that. That’s my life.” White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversity Yikes.Black Twitter had a lot to say about Rocky’s past comments and the irony of his current situation like the below user. View this post on Instagramcenter_img Black boys and men killed by police composite photo SO A FEW DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT MY FANS , WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE , THEY FOLLOWED US FOR 4 BLOCKS , AND THEY WERE SLAPPING GIRLS BUTTS WHO PASSED , GIVE ME A BREAKA post shared by PRETTY FLACKO (@asaprocky) on Jul 2, 2019 at 7:56am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail A post shared by PRETTY FLACKO (@asaprocky) on Jul 2, 2019 at 8:06am PDT After the conclusion of an investigation that could take two weeks, it will be determined if Rocky will face charges and have to go to trial.SEE ALSO:HBCU Puts Focus On Mental Health So Students Can Thrive AcademicallyChicago Paramedics Says It Was A ‘Tragic Error’ To Let A 17-Year-Old Gunshot Victim Die In The Street More By Megan Sims View this post on Instagram Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago A$AP Rocky , Rev. 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first_img On any given day, hospitals across the United States burn through some 16,500 liters (35,000 pints) of donated blood for emergency surgeries, scheduled operations, and routine transfusions. But recipients can’t take just any blood: For a transfusion to be successful, the patient and donor blood types must be compatible. Now, researchers analyzing bacteria in the human gut have discovered that microbes there produce two enzymes that can convert the common type A into a more universally accepted type. If the process pans out, blood specialists suggest it could revolutionize blood donation and transfusion.“This is a first, and if these data can be replicated, it is certainly a major advance,” says Harvey Klein, a blood transfusion expert at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved with the work.People typically have one of four blood types—A, B, AB, or O—defined by unusual sugar molecules on the surfaces of their red blood cells. If a person with type A receives type B blood, or vice versa, these molecules, called blood antigens, can cause the immune system to mount a deadly attack on the red blood cells. But type O cells lack these antigens, making it possible to transfuse that blood type into anyone. That makes this “universal” blood especially important in emergency rooms, where nurses and doctors may not have time to determine an accident victim’s blood type. Type A blood converted to universal donor blood with help from bacterial enzymes iStock.com/Arindam Ghosh Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe “Around the United States and the rest of the world, there is a constant shortage,” says Mohandas Narla, a red blood cell physiologist at the New York Blood Center in New York City.To up the supply of universal blood, scientists have tried transforming the second most common blood, type A, by removing its “A-defining” antigens. But they’ve met with limited success, as the known enzymes that can strip the red blood cell of the offending sugars aren’t efficient enough to do the job economically.After 4 years of trying to improve on those enzymes, a team led by Stephen Withers, a chemical biologist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, decided to look for a better one among human gut bacteria. Some of these microbes latch onto the gut wall, where they “eat” the sugar-protein combos called mucins that line it. Mucins’ sugars are similar to the type-defining ones on red blood cells.So UBC postdoc Peter Rahfeld collected a human stool sample and isolated its DNA, which in theory would include genes that encode the bacterial enzymes that digest mucins. Chopping this DNA up and loading different pieces into copies of the commonly used lab bacterium Escherichia coli, the researchers monitored whether any of the microbes subsequently produced proteins with the ability to remove A-defining sugars.At first, they didn’t see anything promising. But when they tested two of the resulting enzymes at once—adding them to substances that would glow if the sugars were removed—the sugars came right off. The enzymes also worked their magic in human blood. The enzymes originally come from a gut bacterium called Flavonifractor plautii, Rahfeld, Withers, and their colleagues report today in Nature Microbiology. Tiny amounts added to a unit of type A blood could get rid of the offending sugars, they found. “The findings are very promising in terms of their practical utility,” Narla says. In the United States, type A blood makes up just under one-third of the supply, meaning the availability of “universal” donor blood could almost double.But Narla says more work is needed to ensure that all the offending A antigens have been removed, a problem in previous efforts. And Withers says researchers need to make sure the microbial enzymes have not inadvertently altered anything else on the red blood cell that could produce problems. For now, the researchers are focusing on only converting type A, as it’s more common than type B blood. Having the ability to transform type A to type O, Withers says, “would broaden our supply of blood and ease these shortages.”center_img By Elizabeth PennisiJun. 10, 2019 , 11:00 AM Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Gut bacteria provide a new way to increase the type O blood supply.last_img read more

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first_imgHistory books are not always right, but it’s a shock to many familiar with the destruction of the Roman city of Pompeii that the commonly accepted date of Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic eruption is most likely off by two months. An inscription has been uncovered during new excavations that dates it to mid-October in 79 AD, not August 23rd.Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1880 at night. Lithograph, published in 1883.Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli made the announcement on October 15, 2018 in Pompeii, and declared it “an extraordinary discovery.” He said the discovery was important for science, history, and art — and for highlighting Italian expertise.A charcoal inscription made in a house being renovated in ancient times apparently re-dated the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.Statue of Pliny the Elder on the facade of Cathedral of S. Maria Maggiore in Como. Photo by Wolfgang Sauber CC BY-SA 3.0Historians used ancient writings that purported to share first-hand accounts of the volcano to come up with the original date.The writings came from Pliny the Younger, a lawyer and author who wrote about the death of his more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder.Roman painting from Pompeii, early 1st century AD, most likely depicting Cleopatra VII, wearing her royal diadem, consuming poison in an act of suicide, while Caesarion, also wearing a royal diadem, stands behind her.“On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud…” he wrote in a letter to Tacitus, a Roman historian, about the events.According to the BBC, Pliny the Elder “was then a fleet commander at Misenum – modern day Miseno – across the bay from Pompeii. He took a ship to stage a rescue for those in danger from the volcano.” The older man did not return.Detail of Alexander Mosaic, showing Battle of Issus, from the House of the Faun, Pompeii. Photo by Magrippa cc by sa 3.0Pliny the Younger wrote in his letter, “I have faithfully related to you what I was either an eye-witness of myself or received immediately after the accident happened, and before there was time to vary the truth.”But now historians aren’t so sure. Perhaps Pliny the Younger’s correspondence was incorrectly translated from Latin, or in some way misunderstood.The theater, restored by Pliny the Younger. Photo by QuartierLatin1968 CC BY-SA 3.0The archaeologists released a statement about the new findings: “In particular, a charcoal inscription, a tangible trace of everyday life, supports the theory that the date of the eruption was October and not August. The inscription appears in a room of the house which was undergoing refurbishment, while the rest of the rooms had already been completed. Work must therefore have been ongoing at the time of the eruption.”They also pointed out that since the scribbling was made “in fragile and evanescent charcoal, which could not have been able to last long, it is highly probable that it can be dated to the October of AD 79, and more precisely to a week prior to the great catastrophe.”Bases for a roman stone hand mill (mola asinaria) of a bakery at Ruins of Pompeii.Interestingly, there had already been a challenge to the August date, based on climate and crops. A team of scientists led by Giuseppe Rolandi, a professor of Earth sciences at the University of Naples, wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research in January 2008 that the wind patterns dispersing volcanic debris only occurred in the autumn.Also crops that were harvested in the autumn months like grapes and pomegranates were available at the time that Vesuvius exploded.Pompeii, Italy.The explosion of Mount Vesuvius is the subject of other, recently revealed research.A new study suggests that Mount Vesuvius’s explosion inflicted horrible deaths on its human victims: the heat was so extreme that victims’ skulls exploded, their blood boiled, and their flesh and brains were replaced with ash.Scientists now say that Mount Vesuvius erupted in Italy with a thermal energy 100,000 times more powerful than the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Read another story from us: Mt Vesuvius Explosion in 79 AD: Exploding Skulls and Boiling BloodThis conclusion was reached after archaeologists at the Federico II University Hospital in Italy conducted a study of bones recovered from some ash-filled waterfront chambers in Herculaneum, a city close to the volcano, and discovered a strange red and black mineral residue on the bones, including inside skulls, and permeating the ash around and inside the skeletons.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded each year in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to research that “makes people laugh, then think.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Improbable Research Tonight, as has become a yearly tradition, a historic theater at Harvard University was packed to the rafters with Nobel laureates and a rapt audience. They weren’t there to witness a sacrosanct scientific ceremony, but rather the 28th annual Ig Nobel Prizes, an honor bestowed on studies treasured as much for their hilarity as their scientific value. Although the theme of this year’s event, put on by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, was “the heart,” much of the winning research focused on decidedly less glamorous parts of the human anatomy.Take this year’s prize in medicine, which went to a pair of doctors who investigated whether riding a rollercoaster can help pass a kidney stone. The duo took 3D-printed kidney models for 20 rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sitting in the back sections of the car yielded a 64% success rate for passing a stone, compared with 17% when seated at the front, the researchers reported in 2016 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.A trio of urologists took home the prize in reproductive medicine for their now 4-decade-old technique for measuring nighttime erections. They instructed several male volunteers to wrap a ring of postage stamps snugly around their penis at bedtime and check in the morning for tears in the perforation. The method, they reported in 1980 in The Journal of Urology, was nearly 100% accurate. The researchers clarified that they manufactured their own stamps for the experiment, as using official U.S. postage “required permission from the Secret Service.” Ig Nobel prizes honor do-it-yourself colonoscopies, a curious use for postage stamps, and other peculiar researchcenter_img Japanese gastroenterologist Akira Horiuchi won the medical education prize for an experiment in which he reviewed the comfort and efficiency of self-colonoscopy in the sitting position by performing a colonoscopy on himself while seated. He reported only “mild discomfort.”Other winners included a team that demonstrated that most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual (Literature Prize); researchers who surveyed Spanish drivers to determine the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while in a car (Peace Prize); a group that investigated whether using Voodoo dolls to retaliate against abusive bosses makes employees feel better (Economics Prize); and a team that tested the effectiveness of a “spit shine” by cleaning 18th century sculptures with saliva and several alcohol-based cleaners (Chemistry Prize). Spit won.Past Nobel Prize winners handed out the awards, including Eric Maskin (Economics, 2007), Wolfgang Ketterle (Physics, 2001), Oliver Hart (Economics, 2016), and Michael Rosbash (Medicine, 2017). As has been tradition, each award was accompanied by a cash prize in the form of a $10 trillion bill from Zimbabwe, worth only a few U.S. cents. The organizers capped acceptance speeches at exactly 60 seconds, with winners cut short by an 8-year-old girl repeating: “Please stop. I’m bored.”The ceremony also included the world premiere of The Broken Heart Opera, a musical that featured a gaggle of children attempting to build a mechanical heart, then breaking it, and—as the Bee Gees’s 1971 song “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” played—eventually repairing it. The audience was also encouraged to participate in the ceremony by folding pages from the program into paper airplanes and launching them at the stage. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Frankie SchembriSep. 13, 2018 , 7:00 PMlast_img read more

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first_imgSky Not Falling John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Although Apple acted quickly once news of the bug went viral, the flaw is a grave one.”The bug is serious, but thankfully Apple was in a position to mitigate it by forcing the feature to be inoperable on their server-side end,” said Will Strafach, president of the Sudo Security Group, an iOS security company in Greenwich, Connecticut.”I don’t see a long-term impact, since Apple has now disabled the functionality and is quickly pushing an update,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but I am sure this will be joked about for some time, similar to the ‘goto fail’ bug a few years ago.”What makes the bug so serious is that it allows any user to be spied on without their knowledge, said Mike Murray, chief security officer for Lookout, a San Francisco maker of mobile security products.”All software has bugs and every company makes mistakes. What impacts a company’s reputation in the long term is their ability to respond to these issues,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Apple has already published an initial mitigation and rumors have a patch being released in short order,” Murray continued. “This is what should be expected from a company that takes user privacy and security seriously.” Twitter is also where questions about Apple’s responsiveness to bug reports have been raised.”It has been alleged that this bug was reported days ago,” Sudo’s Strafach explained.”My hope is that this will be a teachable moment on how their bug report triage processes can be improved in order to get reports to the right people more quickly,” he said.”I believe this bug serves as a reminder that mobile phones may be powerful tools these days, but they are created by humans who can make mistakes sometimes,” Strafach added. “I think a lot of people already understand that, but incidents such as this bug serve as a visceral reminder which can be easily understood.” Not everyone is wringing their hands over the “fly on the wall” bug.”According to the rest of the world, the sky is falling right now,” observed Tyler Reguly, manager of security R&D at Portland, Oregon-based Tripwire, a cybersecurity threat detection and prevention company.”This FaceTime bug is the most critical defect we’ve ever encountered if social media is to be believed. I’m not sure I buy into that,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Is this bug a really stupid mistake and evidence that maybe Apple doesn’t put as much thought into features as they should? Definitely,” Reguly continued.”As a colleague put it, ‘How do you design a communication protocol such that it allowed communication before the connection is established?” he wondered.”There is no doubt that Apple has some egg on their face over this one,” Reguly said. “The simple fact is that stupid bugs exist everywhere because code is written by people, and people make mistakes and bad choices. It would be nice if we lived in an infallible society, but we don’t.” Delayed Reaction? The FaceTime bug became a source of levity on Twitter.”I am not responsible for #FaceTime’s bug. Although, I do intend to take full advantage of it,” wrote @immortalhuey.Another user imagined what the bug could do for family relations. “I love this #facetime bug,” wrote @Pornhub. “Imma call you and spy on you while you ignore me….MOM.”@Taylorownsme13 added this tongue-in-cheek comment to the bug feed: “So are you telling me that my friends will hear me talk about how much I hate them and how their calls annoy me before I answer and be a fake bitch?”Other denizens of the twittersphere, though, had more serious thoughts about Apple’s snafu.”So everyone freaks out over this #FaceTime bug that basically let’s anyone turn your phone into a listening device, BUT nobody gives a fuck that the Government does this to almost ALL ‘smart’ devices as a matter of course,” declared @Socal_crypto.”Never wanted iPhone. After this never will,” added @theBeganovich.center_img Apple on Monday suspended its Group FaceTime application following reports that a bug in the software allowed callers to eavesdrop on the people they were calling.The flaw let a person making a FaceTime call listen through the phone of the person called before the call was accepted or rejected.It also allowed access to the front-facing camera in an iPhone, both 9 to 5 Mac and BuzzFeed reported.After making a FaceTime call from an iPhone X to an iPhone 8, a user could hear audio from the iPhone 8 before any action was taken on the call, BuzzFeed explained.Then, when the volume down button was pressed, video streaming from the front-facing camera could be seen on the iPhone X, even though the call on the iPhone 8 hadn’t been acted upon.A user could activate video functionality from a called phone by pressing the power button from the lock screen, 9 to 5 Mac reported.The eavesdropping bug didn’t seem to work on phones in “Do Not Disturb” mode, BuzzFeed noted. Serious Issue Twitterverse Speaks While access to Group FaceTime has been suspended, Lookout’s Murray still recommends disabling the application until Apple provides a more permanent fix to the problem.”More important than this single issue is to remember that the phone in our pocket is a powerful computer with access to all of your private life, and it should be protected like it,” he cautioned.”Many mobile malware families have the ability to listen in through the microphone, just like this Apple bug,” Murray added. “A vulnerability like this reminds us how easily phones can be used to steal personal information. The malware authors and nation-state attackers already know that.”The FaceTime bug illustrates that even the most diligent companies can falter from time to time, noted George Gerchow, CSO of Redwood City, California-based Sumo Logic, an analytics company focusing on security, operations and business information.”Even though Apple has gone through great strides to protect their users’ information,” he told TechNewsWorld, “this latest bug is yet another reinforcement that privacy continues to remain a major concern, regardless of your company’s size or security and privacy investments.” Pocket Protectionlast_img read more

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first_img Source:https://ki.se/en/news/eu-project-aims-to-increase-knowledge-on-hormone-disruptors Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 26 2018Hormone-disrupting chemicals in our environment can affect early neurodevelopment in children, but little is known about the exact mechanisms for this interference. A new EU funded research project, coordinated from Karolinska Institutet, now aims to learn more and to develop better screening and testing tools.The project called ENDpoiNTs (Novel Testing Strategies for Endocrine Disruptors in the Context of Developmental NeuroToxicity) includes 16 partners in Europe, United States and Australia. Coordinator for the entire project is Dr Joëlle Rüegg, a molecular biologist and associate professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet and also affiliated to the research organization Swetox. The project is funded through the Horizon2020 framework program with EUR 6.89 million or about SEK 70 million.The ENDpoiNTs researchers hope to clarify the causal link between hormone-disrupting chemicals and neurodevelopmental injuries by integrating expertise from different, but today largely independent, toxicology communities, and by combining novel experimental technologies with advanced biostatistics on human epidemiological and biomonitoring data. Another important aim is to ensure that the tools developed by the project can successfully be used in society.last_img read more

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first_imgWrapping Up Arlo Ultra The FTC didn’t seem to come close to meeting its burden of proof that Qualcomm was a monopoly or even had monopoly power to abuse. It also fell short on proving bad behavior, and the damages appeared to have no foundation in fact. The term one of my old law professors used was “throwing crap against the wall,” and I am no more a fan of that strategy than he was.The danger of the FTC getting this wrong is high, because Qualcomm is critical to the U.S. lead in the 5G rollout. If the government cripples Qualcomm, it basically hands the market off to the Chinese and Huawei. If Qualcomm is guilty, that is problematic, but if it was charged wrongfully, given that the U.S. is in a declared trade war with China, that is potentially treasonous.There is also the growing concern that, thanks to budget cutting, our government is an offshoot of big business. The ever-wealthier tail is wagging the ever more poorly funded dog, and even the promise of a lucrative corporate gig has far more potential to corrupt than it ever has before. This little piece, which details how lobbyists legally corrupt government, should give us all a bit more pause.So, and to recap: The FTC didn’t organize its close in a way that would best present the evidence it had; most of the evidence was invalidated; its key expert was impeached; and the closing attorney was the weakest I’ve seen at the podium. It was as if the FTC wanted to make a statement or prove a point that had nothing to do with Qualcomm. I have an idea what that is — but it is too dangerous to share. If this is an elaborate sting, there is only one likely candidate. I’ve been watching antitrust cases actively since the 1980s. I had to study historical antitrust cases going back to Standard Oil and RCA, in order to ensure compliance with a related consent decree When I worked at IBM. Each of the other cases had one thing in common: Both of the companies being charged were massively and obviously monopolies.There were many questions about whether they were behaving badly or really had an adverse impact on competition, but there generally was no doubt they had monopoly power.The current FTC v. Qualcomm case is vastly different, in that the two companies that apparently have been screaming they were damaged are four times and 10 times larger than Qualcomm, and they have a history of anticompetitive behavior.During the closing arguments, I had a ton of wtf moments, as the FTC brought forth incredibly stupid arguments. During the close, it felt as though the FTC attorney hadn’t really prepared, hadn’t organized her evidence into what I would have thought to be an obvious framework, and pretty much just called Qualcomm names with little to back up her claims.This isn’t high school pre-law — this is federal court. The quality of work was more in line with what you might expect to see from an overworked and under-resourced public defender with too many cases.The implication that the FTC effectively was working for Apple was particularly disturbing during a time when I, and others, are increasingly concerned that the U.S. government is being run by big companies through lobbyists.I’ll share my thoughts about the troubling FTC vs. Qualcomm litigation and then close with my product of the week: an impressive update to my go-to home security camera solution, Arlo. I use and recommend Arlo cameras highly (their lights are crap, but there’s a ton of other automatic lights you can buy). These cameras allow me to check on my house and pets when I travel, and to make sure the pet sitters are doing the job we pay them for. (We’ve had two pet sitters who were really bad. One almost destroyed our house, and the other just lied about the work she was doing.) We even caught one accidentally letting one of our indoor cats outside (there are a lot of animals that eat cats where I now live), but she got the cat corralled without issue.Over time, these cameras have received software updates allowing them to send more accurate alerts if they see an escaping pet or a person who isn’t supposed to be there. They record video to the cloud, making it nearly impossible to disable their record after the fact, and they are wireless allowing you to put them where you need them without having to call an electrician.Arlo’s latest camera, the Arlo Ultra, adds an LED light, jumps the resolution to 4K HDR (far better if you want to make out a face, as there apparently are lots of hoodie-wearing kids going around breaking car windows at the moment), has enhanced night vision and a far wider 180-degree view, and has active noise cancellation so you can better hear what people are saying. What I found particularly bizarre was the unique theory offered by the FTC’s lead expert, Carl Shapiro, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Shapiro concluded that Qualcomm’s business model must be illegal, although his view appeared to have no connection to any facts. He offered no research or empirical evidence — just one guy’s ideas about how the world ought to work. More importantly, he made it clear that anyone who disagreed with him — including judges (and I’ll get to this in a moment) — was an idiot.I’ve worked with folks like this in the past and I’m sure you have as well. They are so extremely narcissistic that they don’t accept anything from anyone but themselves. Now this legend in his own mind also was a pivotal expert in the AT&T Time Warner trial, and the judge in that trial went off on how poorly founded Shapiro’s testimony was, and how far from reality his fanciful theory was. Seriously, the judge went on and on with his observations that Shapiro’s comments were so poorly founded as to be less than worthless, before ruling in favor of the merger and against the DoJ.The FTC attorneys’ choice to use this guy must come down to the fact they couldn’t find any other qualified expert who agreed with them, and hoped, which was pretty foolish, that Qualcomm’s attorneys wouldn’t find out about that prior case (Shapiro claimed under oath that he didn’t remember it. There is no way that is true, given how he went after the judge when it was brought up.)Seriously, the guy was a narcissist. Anyone who went after him, like the judge in the AT&T/TM trial did, would be on his immortal mortal enemies list. Even for a normal person, if judge were to tear you or me a new bung hole like that judge did, we’d remember it till the end of days. Shapiro claimed he forgot it in a few months. I doubt any of us are that gullible — but apparently, the FTC was. The FTC’s Murky Case Against Qualcomm The FTC’s position was that Qualcomm, through use of its patent portfolio and licensing, restricted competition by abusing its power as a monopoly. This allegation should have led to a closing argument that clearly delineated three pillars of proof. When I was studying prelaw, I received training from a judge, and I’m still a fan of tight organization regarding how you present your legal arguments and evidence.In this case, the FTC should have established three pillars of proof to show that Qualcomm was acting as a monopoly. If it wasn’t, then it didn’t have the power to commit the crime that was alleged. Second, the FTC should have established that Qualcomm was abusing its monopoly power. Without abuse, there was no crime. Third, the FTC should have shown that Qualcomm damaged the industry, because that is what drives the remedy. Any damage would have to be corrected.There were no obvious pillars of evidence in the FTC’s argument. First, if Qualcomm was acting as a monopoly, then it must have dominated its market. However, the three largest players in the smartphone market — Samsung, Huawei and Apple — generally have not used Qualcomm modems or processors. Samsung and Huawei mostly have made their own, and Apple has bought them from Intel.In fact, if you look at Qualcomm vs. either Intel or Apple, it is comparatively tiny, with just one-fourth the value of Intel and one-tenth the value of Apple. Granted, both companies have been having significant issues, but Qualcomm can’t be blamed for a massive lack of demand for Apple’s products, or for Intel’s inability to solidify a management team.Intel’s issues pretty much start with its having a board that, for the most part, wouldn’t know the difference between a GPU and a CPU. Intel can’t seem to find a new CEO who is both qualified and dumb enough to take the job.Second, the FTC needed to show not only that Qualcomm was a monopoly, but also that it abused its monopoly power. Given that I don’t think it came close to achieving its burden of proof on the question of Qualcomm being a monopoly, the abuse contention immediately became problematic. The FTC argued that Qualcomm illegally tied its patent portfolio to its modem sales, but it presented no evidence that Qualcomm ever cut modem supply to a buyer that didn’t have a patent license.There was a legitimate reason to tie those two things together: Implementing one of Qualcomm’s modems did require the use of Qualcomm’s patents, and a license would have avoided litigation. I found it particularly troubling that the FTC argued that reducing litigation was an example of abuse of power. I’m guessing that was because the commission believed that normal companies — as in non-abusive monopolies — must spend millions on unnecessary litigation in order to operate. Maybe this had something to do with job security, but I sure didn’t get the connection.Virtually all of the witnesses the FTC brought forward who said that Qualcomm forced their companies into signing a contract were countered by witnesses Qualcomm’s attorneys called — employees from the same companies who said those accounts were BS. Each FTC witness was impeached by a coworker, which really made the FTC’s case look fabricated.Third, the issue of damages was telling. During the close, the example the FTC used was that every time Apple requested a concession from Qualcomm, Qualcomm wanted a concession in return. It was as if the FTC existed in some strange parallel universe where only the bigger company can make demands, and the smaller firm can say nothing but “yes sir, can I have another?”It was obviously bullying behavior by Apple, and the FTC seemed to be saying that any company that could resist Apple’s bullying clearly was abusing its power. I seriously thought that the U.S. legal system was starting to look as though it was founded on concepts you’d more likely see in a third-world country, where the laws are whatever the powerful say they are. There is a lot of apparently illegal behavior going on in the government now. Just look at the impressive number of indictments coming out of the Mueller probe. Further, the amount of self-dealing in congress is frightening.This case, in my mind, is like two bullies (Apple and Intel) that went to a smaller kid who is willing to fight back, and complaining that the smaller kid is a bully because he won’t pass over his lunch money.Go back and look at what I said about Qualcomm pushing back on Apple’s demands. Now add the FTC’s argument that because Qualcomm wouldn’t accept Apple’s demand that every patent be arbitrated individually by a panel — we are talking thousands of patents — Qualcomm was at fault. This really was the FTC complaining that Qualcomm wouldn’t give up its lunch money to a bigger and vastly more powerful firm.Now I’m not sure the FTC rank and file are on board with this, because its legal team seemed to be trying to throw this fight. The fact that they used the impeachable expert, gave one of their least-capable attorneys responsibility for the close (really, she performed like a first-year associate), and made no real attempt to organize their evidence in a hierarchy that would allow the judge to decide more easily in their favor, makes me think there is a rebellion in the FTC and that they want to lose this thing.The Qualcomm close was far from the best I’ve seen — likely because the FTC was so disjointed that it forced a less-organized response — but it was massively better executed than what the FTC did. Compared to the FTC using one of its most junior folks, Qualcomm used one of its most senior, because the company thought the case was that important.Now this may come down to the FTC being inept, but I saw some strong litigators on its team last Friday that should have done the close (both men, and I’ll get to that in a moment), but they weren’t used.Two other reasons are concerning. One is that the FTC attorneys knew Judge Koh would rule in their favor regardless of their case, so they really didn’t have to do the work. The other is that they knew Judge Koh would pick a female attorney over a male attorney and subordinate the evidence and arguments to that choice.The judge came across to me as capable and competent, but I haven’t done the research on her that the FTC likely has so I remain concerned. I’ve seen a lot of judges phone it in, but she wasn’t one of them. (I was actually pretty impressed.) Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Does the FTC Now Work for Apple? The combination results in an ability to see things like license plates far more easily, and pick up activity that normally would be outside the camera’s viewing angle, without fisheye distortion. You can use the light to scare off intruders, and the new camera has autozoom and tracking, so you immediately can see what caught the camera’s attention.The last generation of cameras sucked when it came to talking through them; the new camera appears to have addressed that problem well. There was a significant jump in price, with a four-camera system costing nearly a grand, and each new camera costing just short of $300, around 30 percent more than the cost of the last generation.Still, if your home is attacked, saving $300 would seem kind of stupid after the fact. Oh, and this new system will work with the old cameras, so you don’t have to replace everything at once (thank god, as I have 12 of the old cameras).Because this new camera from Arlo significantly improves my home security, it is my product of the week.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. The FTC’s Impeachable Expert last_img read more

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