Source: Duke Energy Duke Energy plans to install up to 530 public charging stations within its Florida service area. Under the Park and Plug pilot program, the chargers will be deployed at multi-unit dwellings, workplaces and locations with high traffic. Ten percent of the new charging stations will be installed in “income-qualified communities.”Charging solution provider NovaCharge will install the charging stations – selected host sites for the program will work directly with NovaCharge to have the equipment installed.Sites are being selected through an application process. Prospective site hosts can apply through the Park and Plug web site.Duke has also launched a three-year study called Charge Florida to research the impact of residential EV charging on the electric grid. The company will collect information from around 200 customer volunteers who drive EVs. Basic data such as the location, time frame and length of vehicle charging, and battery state of charge will be compiled to produce a dataset that Duke will use to plan for the integration of EV charging demand.FleetCarma will provide an online gateway to vehicle data and statistics, and volunteers will receive compensation for their participation. To register for the study, visit the FleetCarma web site.Meanwhile, Duke has announced a new investment of $6 billion in a multi-year plan to build a smarter, cleaner, more resilient energy grid. This includes installing new smart meters for customers this fall, and building or acquiring 700 MW of new solar power over the next four years.“We are bringing cleaner energy to Florida through 700 megawatts of new universal solar, and we are helping our customers to bring clean transportation to the state as well,” said Duke Energy Florida President Catherine Stempien. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine read more

Source: Charge Forward Elon Musk says that he reviewed Tesla’s service locations in North America and he realized that there are some major gaps, which he admits is a ‘foolish oversight’.In order to remedy the situation, the CEO announced a major expansion of Tesla’s service coverage. more…The post Elon Musk sees ‘foolish oversight’ of Tesla’s service coverage, announces major expansion of service centers appeared first on Electrek.

first_img Tesla Releases New Q4 Safety Report Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Versus The Golden Gate Bridge: Video Autopilot can conquer a difficult tunnel exit, although it’s still a bit jerky.Tesla Autopilot continuously improves. This is reflected in more videos from drivers such as this one showing a tricky tunnel situation.Here is a video with a Tesla Model 3 Performance. The car is going through the Holland Tunnel in New York City, but this part is boring. The action starts after 3:10. That’s when the Model 3 managed to pass all the tricky corners in the exit, staying within its lane.Tesla Autopilot Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Much Improved On Curve Of Death: Video From the video description:“Driving on Autopilot in Holland Tunnel. Interesting to see how the software handles the exit on Manhattan side where the car needs to take quite a sharp right hander and then a long sweeping left turn. Athough autopilot is jerky at that moment it pulls through the whole way. I did not touch the steering wheel until the very last moment where I had to take an exit onto a local street. Watch till the end to see this. Software Version: 2018.44.2” Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 12, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_imgFinnish manufacturer Wärtsilä has signed an agreement with shipping company Hagland Shipping to provide a hybrid retrofit installation onboard the Hagland Captain cargo vessel.Wärtsilä’s hybrid system is built around an integrated module that combines engines, batteries, power electronics, and an energy management system (EMS). The hybrid system for the Hagland Captain will also include a shore power connection to provide power for loading, unloading, and battery charging, as well as a new reduction gear with power take-off and power take-in technology, and a Wärtsilä NOx Reducer.Wärtsilä estimates the retrofit could reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as much as 80 to 90%, and deliver fuel cost savings in the range of 5 to 10%. The battery capacity should be sufficient to sail in and out of harbor on electric power for approximately 30 minutes.The vessel will be used to ship materials to the Norwegian island of Langøya, which requires environmentally sound vessels. Wärtsilä’s hybrid retrofit will help enable the Hagland Captain to meet this requirement.Wärtsilä Director Paul Kohle said, “The need for the latest smart marine technologies has been seen for some time already in deep-sea shipping, and this project is evidence that the need also exists in short-sea transportation.” Source: Wärtsilä Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

first_imgTalk about a head-scratching moment.If you are even an occasional attendee or participant of anti-bribery and corruption conferences you likely know or recognize Jean-Daniel Lainé who, prior to his retirement in April 2013, was Senior Vice President Ethics & Compliance, and a director of Alstom International Limited.  Laine currently runs jdl.ethiconsult.As highlighted in this 2010 article, “since 2006, Laine has overseen the rapid development of Alstom’s compliance and ethics programmes, as the threat of corruption investigations has risen up the agenda for companies around the world.”The article quotes him as follows. “I know a lot of my peers in the compliance community. I participate in a lot of conferences on the anti-corruption subject. I have the opportunity to review all these topics and issues, and I consider that we are among the best in class.”Among other things, Laine co-authored the Risk Assessment Chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Ethics and Compliance Training Handbook (see here for a video interview) and Laine was a frequent writer on compliance topics, see here for instance “How Do You Manage Third Party Relationship Risks?”Against this backdrop, it comes as a shocker to say the least that yesterday the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced:“Mr Lainé, 68, … a French national … attended court to answer two charges of corruption contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, as well as two offences of conspiracy to corrupt contrary to section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1 January 2006 and 18 October 2007 and concern the supply of trains to the Budapest Metro.”As noted in the SFO release, also charged was Michael John Anderson and named as a co-conspirator with Mr Anderson and Mr Lainé is Altan Cledwyn-Davies, director and company secretary of Alstom International Ltd. Mr Cledwyn-Davies died in 2010 before charges were brought.As further noted in the SFO release:“In July 2014 the SFO charged Alstom Network UK Ltd, and British nationals Graham Hill and Robert Hallett with corruption in India, Poland and Tunisia. That matter awaits trial in May 2016. In addition, the SFO charged Alstom Power Ltd, Nicholas Reynolds and Johanes Venskus with corruption in Lithuania. That matter awaits trial in January 2017.”See prior posts here and here for recent Alstom-related enforcement actions in the U.S.last_img read more

first_img FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Numerous prior posts have highlighted various aspects of the DOJ’s “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” announced last week.To be clear, this post does not advocate or even imply that the corporate community should ignore the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.” After all, the DOJ has extreme leverage over business organizations subject to FCPA scrutiny and it is always wise to at least be cognizant of what an adversary possessing a big and sharp stick is saying.Nevertheless, absent limited circumstances not often present in instances of FCPA scrutiny, how to respond to internal breaches of FCPA compliance policies is a business decision entrusted to those charged with managing the business organization. In exercising this business judgment, the corporate community should take the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” with a grain of salt for at least ten reasons.Before highlighting these reasons, it is important for the corporate community to recognize that much of what is being written about “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is being authored by those with a vested interest in facilitating more FCPA voluntarily disclosures.The reason is simple: voluntary disclosures yield more expanded FCPA investigations, more meetings with FCPA enforcement attorneys, more FCPA enforcement actions (regardless of what form of resolution is used), more post-enforcement compliance requirements, and more FCPA ripple effects such as related civil litigation.Even certain – what may appear to be objective media sources – have for-profit risk and compliance divisions with a vested interest in facilitating more FCPA voluntarily disclosures.(1)First, the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is non-binding and commits the DOJ to absolutely nothing. Like prior DOJ FCPA guidance, such as the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program and the 2012 FCPA Guidance, in connection with release of the new policy, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein stated: “The new policy, like the rest of the Department’s internal operating policies, creates no private rights and is not enforceable in court.” Sure, unlike prior FCPA Guidance, the new “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is incorporated into the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, but here again it is important to highlight that the first section of the USAM (1-1.000) states:“The Manual provides only internal Department of Justice guidance. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal. Nor are any limitations hereby placed on otherwise lawful litigative prerogatives of the Department of Justice.”(2)Second, the notion that the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” provides immunity, a pass, or no enforcement action (as has been widely reported) is simply false.Even if a business organization does all that the DOJ wants it to do under the program (more on that below) there is still a requirement that a “company is required to pay all disgorgement, forfeiture, and/or restitution resulting from the misconduct at issue.” This so-called “declination with disgorgement” enforcement action is nothing new, it was developed as part of the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program and thus far the DOJ has resolved four instances of alleged FCPA scrutiny this way with overall settlement amounts being: $335,000; $2.7 million; $4 million; and $11.2 million (See here, here, and here). Even if a company is not required to pay this amount to the DOJ, it will be required to pay this amount to the SEC or another “relevant regulator.”In short, the best a business organization can do under the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is an FCPA enforcement action (albeit using a recently invented and creative form) and all of the potential collateral consequences of an FCPA enforcement (negative media coverage, reputational damage, related civil litigation, etc.) are still likely to result.(3)Third, even gaining the greatest benefit under the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” (a “mere” requirement of a disgorgement / forfeiture enforcement action as highlighted above), is contingent upon a business organization meeting the DOJ’s vague concepts of “voluntary self-disclosure,” “full cooperation,” and “timely and appropriate remediation.” Among other key terms or concepts that the DOJ possesses absolute, unreviewable discretion over are:what is an “imminent threat of disclosure”?what does “reasonably prompt time” mean?what are “all relevant facts”?what does “disclosure on a timely basis of all facts relevant” mean?what does “proactive cooperation” really mean?what does “timely preservation, collection, and disclosure of relevant documents and information,” really mean?what does “de-confliction of witness interviews and other investigative steps” really mean?what does “demonstration of thorough analysis of causes of underlying conduct” really mean?what does “appropriate discipline of employees,” really mean?what does “appropriate retention of business records,” really mean?what does the following phrase really mean: “any additional steps that demonstrate recognition of the seriousness of the company’s misconduct, acceptance of responsibility for it, and the implementation of measures to reduce the risk of repetition of such misconduct, including measures to identify future risks.”In short, even gaining the greatest benefit under the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” (a “mere” requirement of a disgorgement / forfeiture enforcement action as highlighted above), is contingent upon a business organization meeting the DOJ’s vague concepts of “voluntary self-disclosure,” “full cooperation,” and “timely and appropriate remediation. Indeed, as Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein stated in his speech “The new policy does not provide a guarantee.  We cannot eliminate all uncertainty.  Preserving a measure of prosecutorial discretion is central to ensuring the exercise of justice.”(4)Fourth, even gaining the greatest benefit under the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” (a “mere” requirement of a disgorgement / forfeiture enforcement action as highlighted above), is further contingent upon the DOJ not finding the existence of certain “aggravating circumstances.” As stated in the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” these “aggravating circumstances” are not non-exclusive (which in and of itself is a big deal) and may include:“involvement by executive management of the company in the misconduct; a significant profit to the company from the misconduct; pervasiveness of the misconduct within the company; and criminal recidivism.”Here again, the DOJ possesses absolute, unreviewable discretion as to the existence of “aggravating circumstances” and the DOJ has refused to provide greater clarity as to what certain key terms such as “executive management” and “significant profit” actually mean. (See here).Perhaps the most vague and ambiguous is the term “criminal recidivism.” Does “criminal recidivism” refer to under the FCPA or any criminal statute? Regardless of the answer, does “criminal recidivism” refer to any form of DOJ resolution such as (in addition to actual plea agreements) deferred prosecution agreements, non-prosecution agreements, and “declinations with disgorgement.”? Here again, the DOJ has refused to provide greater clarity. (See here).(5)Fifth, even if a business organization gains the greatest benefit under the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” (a “mere” requirement of a disgorgement / forfeiture enforcement action as highlighted above) or failing this:(i) (because of “aggravating circumstances”) a 50% reduction off of the low end of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) fine range; or(ii) (because of the lack of voluntary disclosure) a “up to a 25% reduction off of the low end of the U.S.S.G. fine range”the DOJ possesses extreme leverage and absolute, unreviewable discretion as to what the disgorgement / forfeiture / guidelines range amounts will be. As knowledgeable observers recognize, the reality is that this “final number” is the product of and contingent upon several less than transparent discretionary calls made by the DOJ. Indeed, as FCPA practitioners have rightly observed:“[T]he exercise of calculating tainted profits is subjective and is the focus of considerable negotiation with the DOJ (and the SEC), often involving experts. Unsurprisingly, the government’s calculation of “profits” often exceeds that of the disclosing party, and the government has substantial leverage to impose its conclusion.”(6)Sixth, the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” states that even if “aggravating circumstances” are present and thus a criminal resolution may be warranted, that (for a company that has voluntarily disclosed, fully cooperated, and timely and appropriately remediated) there will “generally” not be a requirement for “appointment of a monitor.”While this sounds significant, in reality it isn’t.In fact, very few FCPA enforcement actions in recent years against U.S. companies (as opposed foreign companies) have required the formal appointment of a compliance monitor. Nevertheless, in nearly all instances, the DOJ has required, as a condition of settlement, that the company, through counsel, report to the DOJ (and SEC) throughout the 1-3 year term of the resolution agreement.While this is no doubt cheaper for the company compared to appointment of a formal monitor, such post-enforcement action reporting requirements can easily aggregate into the millions of dollars and the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is silent on this form of post-enforcement action reporting.(7)Seventh, and implicit in the above reasons as well, for why the corporate community should take the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” with a grain of salt is perhaps obvious but bears repeating: the DOJ is an adversary.Imagine a business organization facing an adversary in other legal actions and the adversary possesses absolute, unreviewable discretion as to how the action will be resolved.It is doubtful that any business organization, and rightly so, would accede to the demands of this adversary. While the DOJ possesses bigger and sharper sticks than most legal adversaries, the fact remains: the DOJ is an adversary to a business organization under FCPA scrutiny and the business organization has no legal or moral obligation to assist the DOJ. As Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein rightly noted in this speech: “Of course, companies are free to choose not to comply with the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.  A company needs to adhere to the policy only if it wants the Department’s prosecutors to follow the policy’s guidelines.”(8)An eighth reason why the corporate community, at least so-called issuers under the FCPA, should take the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” with a grain of salt is that it is an incomplete program because issuers are subject to FCPA enforcement by both the DOJ and SEC. However, the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is a DOJ program only.To be sure, just like the DOJ, the SEC has long encouraged voluntary disclosure of FCPA violations coupled with repeated assurances that voluntary disclosure will result in meaningful credit. However, unless and until the SEC articulates a similar FCPA program (a program that will likely suffer from the same deficiencies as the DOJ’s program), the DOJ’s “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” addresses only half of the enforcement landscape facing issuers.(9)Ninth, and perhaps the biggest reason, why the corporate community should take the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” with a grain of salt is that it only addresses a relatively minor component of the overall financial consequences to a business organization the subject of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement.For obvious reasons, settlement amounts in an FCPA enforcement action tend to get the most attention. After all, settlement amounts are mentioned in DOJ / SEC press releases, press releases generate media coverage, and the corporate community reads the media. However, knowledgeable observers recognize, as depicted in the below representative picture, that FCPA scrutiny and enforcement results in “three buckets” of financial exposure to a business organization. (To read more about this dynamic, read this article “FCPA Ripples.”). In nearly every instance of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement, bucket #1 (pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses) is the largest financial hit to a business organization. The reasons for this are both practical and potentially provocative. In term of the practical, all instances of FCPA scrutiny have a point of entry, for instance problematic conduct in China, that then often results (if there is a voluntary disclosure) in the “where else” question from the enforcement agencies which often prompts the company under scrutiny to conduct a much broader review of its business operatons. In terms of the provocative, FCPA scrutiny arising from voluntary disclosure can easily become a billing boondoggle for FCPA Inc. participants.A couple of specific examples highlight how extensive pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses can become. For instance, Avon resolved an FCPA enforcement action for $135 million in aggregate DOJ and SEC settlement amounts, but disclosed approximately $550 million in pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses (a 2.5:1 ratio compared to the settlement amount). Likewise, Bruker Corp. resolved an FCPA enforcement action for $2.2 million, but disclosed approximately $22 million in pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses (a 10:1 ratio). Perhaps most eye-popping, Hyperdynamics resolved an FCPA enforcement action for $375,000, but disclosed approximately $12.7 million in pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses (a 170:1 ratio).Even if the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” was binding on the DOJ (which it is not), the fact is the policy only addresses bucket #2 (settlement amount) and does not address pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses – the biggest financial hit to a business organization the subject of FCPA scrutiny.On this issue, it is perhaps notable that the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” falls short and is less explicit than the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program. On the issue of internal investigations, the prior “FCPA Pilot Program” stated:“[T]he Fraud Section does not expect a small company to conduct as expansive an investigation in as short a period of time as a Fortune 100 company. Nor do we generally expect a company to investigate matters unrelated in time or subject to the matter under investigation in order to qualify for full cooperation credit. An appropriately tailored investigation is what typically should be required to receive full cooperation credit; the company may, of course, for its own business reasons seek to conduct a broader investigation. For instance, absent facts to suggest a more widespread problem, evidence of criminality in one country, without more, would not lead to an expectation that an investigation would need to extend to other countries. By contrast, evidence that the corporate team engaged in criminal misconduct in overseeing one country also oversaw other countries would normally trigger the need for a broader investigation. In order to provide clarity as to the scope of an appropriately tailored investigation, the business organization (whether through internal or outside counsel, or both) is encouraged to consult with Fraud Section attorneys.”This language followed then Assistant Attorney General Caldwell’s April 2015 speech that the DOJ “does not expect companies to aimlessly boil the ocean” in FCPA investigations.The mention of the scope and breath of FCPA internal investigation in the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program was most welcomed by the corporate community and the absence of this issue in the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” is notable.(10)Yet another reason why the corporate community should take the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” with a grain of salt is that the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy” does not address the many other “ripple” effects of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement. (Again, to read more about this dynamic, read this article “FCPA Ripples.”).A company (particularly an issuer) subject to FCPA scrutiny and enforcement will often also experience several other negative financial consequences above and beyond the “three buckets” of financial exposure depicted above. Such financial consequences often include a drop in market capitalization, an increase in the cost of capital, a negative impact on merger and acquisition activity, lost or delayed business opportunities, and shareholder litigation. In certain cases, these other negative financial consequences can far exceed even the “three buckets” of financial exposure discussed above.Moreover, FCPA scrutiny and enforcement actions are increasingly spawning related foreign law enforcement investigations and enforcement actions. Indeed, as the DOJ is fond of saying:“It is safe to say that we are cooperating with foreign enforcement on foreign bribery cases more closely today that at any time in history”“An international approach is being taken to combat an international criminal problem. We are sharing leads with our international law enforcement counterparts, and they are sharing them with us”In short, corporate leaders need to fully understand and appreciate (in addition to the specific topics discussed above) that a voluntary disclosure of potential FCPA violations is going to set into motion a wide-ranging sequence of events that will be far more costly to the company than any marginal benefit obtained through the “FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.”No doubt there are some who are likely to respond along the following lines: if a business organization does not voluntarily disclose FCPA violations, it is likely that the enforcement agencies will independently find out about the violations and when this happens the company is going to experience the same negative financial consequences highlighted above plus, because of the lack of voluntary disclosure, a potential larger settlement amount.However, this line of reasoning represents pure speculation.Recognize that the following is anecdotal and not offered to establish the truth of the matter asserted. However, I have been actively involved in the FCPA space for approximately 15 years both as a lawyer in private practice who conducted FCPA internal investigations around the world and in other professional capacities. To my knowledge, never once did the DOJ independently find out about the underlying conduct and in speaking to other FCPA practitioners about this precise topic, it has never happened to their clients either.Add it all up and the message to the corporate community is this: thoroughly investigating an FCPA issue, promptly implementing remedial measures, and effectively revising and enhancing compliance policies and procedures – all internally and without disclosing to the DOJ (or SEC) – is a perfectly acceptable, legitimate, and legal response to FCPA issues in but all the rarest of circumstances.center_img Learn More & Registerlast_img read more

first_imgJun 7 2018Immunization with beneficial bacteria can have long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain, making it more resilient to the physical and behavioral effects of stress, according to new research by University of Colorado Boulder scientists.The findings, if replicated in clinical trials could ultimately lead to new probiotic-based immunizations to protect against posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety or new treatments for depression, the authors say.”We found that in rodents this particular bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, actually shifts the environment in the brain toward an anti-inflammatory state,” said lead author Matthew Frank, a senior research associate in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. “If you could do that in people, it could have broad implications for a number of neuroinflammatory diseases.”Anxiety, PTSD and other stress-related mental disorders impact as many as one in four people in their lifetime. Mounting research suggests that stress-induced brain inflammation can boost risk of such disorders, in part by impacting mood-influencing neurotransmitters like norepinephrine or dopamine.”There is a robust literature that shows if you induce an inflammatory immune response in people, they quickly show signs of depression and anxiety,” said Frank. “Just think about how you feel when you get the flu.”Research also suggests that trauma, illness or surgery can sensitize certain regions of the brain, setting up a hair-trigger inflammatory response to subsequent stressors which can lead to mood disorders and cognitive decline.”We found that Mycobacterium vaccae blocked those sensitizing effects of stress too, creating a lasting stress-resilient phenotype in the brain,” Frank said.A previous CU Boulder study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that mice injected with a heat-killed preparation of M. vaccae and then placed with a larger aggressive male for 19 days exhibited less anxiety-like behavior and were less likely to suffer colitis or inflammation in their peripheral tissues.Related StoriesStress-induced changes in heart rate may impair auditory perceptionOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseEarly adversity could make individuals more vulnerable to stress-related drinking during adulthoodFor the new study, published this week in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Frank and senior author Christopher Lowry, an associate professor in integrative physiology, set out to find out what exactly M. vaccae does in the brain.Male rats injected with the bacterium three times, one week apart, had significantly higher levels of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-4 in the hippocampus — a brain region responsible for modulating cognitive function, anxiety and fear — eight days after the final injection.After exposure to a stressor, the immunized animals also showed lower levels of a stress-induced protein, or alarmin, called HMGB1, believed to play a role in sensitizing the brain to inflammation, and higher expression of CD200R1, a receptor key for keeping glial cells (the brain’s immune cells) in an anti-inflammatory state.The immunized rats, as in the first study, exhibited less anxious behavior after stress.”If you look at the field of probiotics generally, they have been shown to have strong effects in the domains of cognitive function, anxiety and fear,” said Lowry. “This paper helps make sense of that by suggesting that these beneficial microbes, or signals derived from these microbes, somehow make their way to the hippocampus, inducing an anti-inflammatory state.”Lowry envisions a day when M. vaccae (which was first isolated from the mud on the shores of Lake Kyoga in Uganda) could be administered to people at high risk of PTSD – such as soldiers preparing to be deployed or emergency room workers – to buffer the effects of stress on the brain and body. It could also possibly be used to prevent sepsis-induced cognitive impairment.Meanwhile, Lowry is working with researchers at University of Colorado Denver on a study exploring whether veterans with PTSD can benefit from an oral probiotic consisting of a different bacterial strain, Lactobacillus reuteri.”More research is necessary, but it’s possible that other strains of beneficial bacteria or probiotics may have a similar effect on the brain,” he said. Source:https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/06/06/immunization-stress-horizonlast_img read more

first_imgJun 28 2018Bottom Line: A high level of fitness in midlife was associated with a lower risk of depression after age 65 and a lower risk of cardiovascular death, including after a diagnosis of depression.Why The Research Is Interesting: Fitness, a risk factor that can be changed, has an association with chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease events and death. How fitness in mid-life is associated with later-life depression and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease after a depression diagnosis is not well understood.Who and When: 17,989 generally healthy men and women (average age 50); they visited a clinic for a preventive medicine exam at midlife (data were collected from 1971 through 2009) and they were eligible for Medicare from 1999 to 2010Related StoriesProbiotic containing common gut bacterium could halve cardiovascular disease ratesPesticide exposure may increase risk of depression in adolescentsSubclinical cardiovascular disease linked to higher risk of falling in older adultsWhat (Study Interventions and Outcomes): Midlife fitness estimated from treadmill exercise test results (exposures); depression diagnoses from Medicare claims files and CVD mortality from National Death Index records (outcomes)How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control for all the natural differences that could explain the study results.Authors: Benjamin L. Willis, M.D., M.P.H., of the Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas, and coauthorsStudy Limitations: Diagnoses came from Medicare claims data; the severity of depression could not be determined; and authors cannot eliminate the possibility of depression and CVD leading to lower fitness levelsStudy Conclusions: Health care professionals should consider fitness and physical activity as part of overall preventive care to promote healthy aging.Source: https://jamanetwork.comlast_img read more

first_imgJul 26 2018The use of ciprofloxacin and other antibiotics of the class of fluoroquinolones may be associated with disruption of the normal functions of connective tissue, including tendon rupture, tendonitis and retinal detachment. These observations reported in a number of journals resulted in the drugs currently having a black box warning physicians and patients of the potential deleterious side effects.These studies also suggested that other types of connective tissues might be involved.”A natural tissue to worry about is the aorta, a blood vessel that relies heavily on having a sound connective tissue component – called the extracellular matrix – to maintain its integrity,” said first author Dr. Scott A. LeMaire, director of research in the division of cardiothoracic surgery, vice-chair for research and professor of surgery and of molecular physiology and biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine.Two retrospective clinical studies looked at the possible association between fluoroquinolones and cardiovascular problems.”They found that patients who received fluoroquinolones had a higher risk for aneurysms (formation of balloon-like areas in the aorta that weaken the integrity of the vessel), ruptures or dissections (tears in the wall) than patients who did not receive the antibiotics. This has raised important concerns,” LeMaire said.Although the retrospective clinical studies point at an association between fluoroquinolone antibiotics and increased risk of aortic diseases, they do not prove that the antibiotics cause the problems. To determine whether a cause-effect association exists, LeMaire and his colleagues worked with a mouse model of human aortic aneurysms and dissections (ADD).Ciprofloxacin increases risk of tears and rupture in mouse aortas”In our study, mice with normal or moderately stressed aortas received either ciprofloxacin or placebo and after four weeks we looked at their aortas,” said senior author Dr. Ying H. Shen, director of the Aortic Diseases Research Laboratory and associate professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.The results showed that normal, unstressed mice treated with ciprofloxacin did not show significant negative effects on the aorta. In mice with moderately stressed aortas that had received the placebo, 45 percent developed AAD, 24 percent developed aortic dissection and none had rupture. On the other hand, 79 percent of the mice with moderately stressed aortas that received antibiotic developed AAD, 67 percent had aortic dissection, and 15 percent had fatal rupture. These results were similar in males and females.Related StoriesFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingResearchers investigate how antibiotic produced by the microbiome kills bacteria”Our study suggests that in this model of moderately stressed mouse aortas, ciprofloxacin exposure results in the disease progressing more rapidly and more severely, which is exactly the concern,” Shen said.The researchers then looked deeper into the effects of ciprofloxacin on mouse aortas searching for insights into the antibiotic’s mechanism of action. Compared with the aortas from stressed mice treated with the placebo, the aortic tissue of stressed mice treated with the antibiotic showed more destruction and fragmentation of elastic fibers; decreased activity of LOX, a key enzyme involved in stabilizing the extracellular matrix; increased activity of MMP enzymes involved in extracellular matrix degradation; and enhanced activation of cellular pathways that lead to cell death.Separate laboratory experiments on human aortic smooth muscle cells revealed that sustained ciprofloxacin exposure reduced the expression of LOX while enhancing the expression of MMP and inducing cell death. In these experimental settings, the antibiotic is disrupting the natural processes that maintain the integrity of the extracellular matrix that is essential for normal aortic function.”Our findings support the concerns raised by previous retrospective clinical studies and suggest that ciprofloxacin and other antibiotics of the same class should be used with caution in patients with aortic dilatation,” Shen said.”If we consider the clinical data and our experimental results that prove causation in a reliable model of AAD, I believe we have enough evidence for changing guidelines on the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics for people who have an aneurysm or are at risk for getting an aneurysm,” LeMaire said. “I am hopeful that these guidelines can be changed in short order.” Source:https://blogs.bcm.edu/2018/07/25/antibiotic-ciprofloxacin-increases-risk-of-tears-and-rupture-in-mouse-aortas/last_img read more

first_img Source:http://www.acs.org/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 12 2018Although some people embrace the saying “bald is beautiful,” for others, alopecia, or excessive hair loss, can cause stress and anxiety. Some studies have shown that stimulating the skin with lasers can help regrow hair, but the equipment is often large, consumes lots of energy and is difficult to use in daily life. Now, researchers have developed a flexible, wearable photostimulator that speeds up hair growth in mice. They report their results in ACS Nano.Related StoriesDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchAffecting millions of men and women worldwide, alopecia has several known causes, including heredity, stress, aging and elevated male hormones. Common treatments include medications, such as minoxidil, corticosteroid injections and hair transplant surgery. In addition, irradiating the bald area with a red laser can stimulate hair follicles, causing cells to proliferate. However, this treatment is often impractical for home use. So, Keon Jae Lee and colleagues wanted to develop a flexible, durable photostimulator that could be worn on human skin.The team fabricated an ultrathin array of flexible vertical micro-light-emitting diodes (μLEDs). The array consisted of 900 red μLEDs on a chip slightly smaller than a postage stamp and only 20 μm thick. The device used almost 1,000 times less power per unit area than a conventional phototherapeutic laser, and it did not heat up enough to cause thermal damage to human skin. The array was sturdy and flexible, enduring up to 10,000 cycles of bending and unbending. The researchers tested the device’s ability to regrow hair on mice with shaved backs. Compared with untreated mice or those receiving minoxidil injections, the mice treated with the μLED patch for 15 minutes a day for 20 days showed significantly faster hair growth, a wider regrowth area and longer hairs.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 18 2018Inspired by the negative results in the recently published largest-scale analysis of the relation between population density and positions in geographic ranges and environmental niches, Drs Jorge Soberon and Andrew Townsend Peterson of the  University of Kansas, USA, teamed up with Luis Osorio-Olvera, National University of Mexico (UNAM), and identified several issues in the methodology used, able to turn the tables in the ongoing debate. Their findings are published in the innovative open access journal Rethinking Ecology.Both empirical work and theoretical arguments published and cited over the last several years suggest that if someone was to take the distributional range of a species – be it animal or plant – and draw lines starting at the edges of the space inwards, they would find the species’ populations densest at the intersection of those lines. However, when the team of Tad Dallas, University of Helsinki, Finland, analysed a large dataset of 118,000 populations, equating to over 1,400 species of birds, mammals, and trees, they found no such relationship.Having analysed the analysis, the American-Mexican team concluded that despite being based on an unprecedented volume of data, the earlier study was missing out some important points.Firstly, the largest dataset used by Tad and his team comprises observational data which had not required a certain sampling protocol or a plan. Without any standard in use, it is easy to imagine that the observations would be predominantly coming from people around and near cities, hence strongly biased.Additionally, the scientists note that the analysis largely disregards parts of species’ geographic distributions for which there were no abundant data. As a result, the range of a species could be narrowed down significantly and its centroid – misplaced. Meanwhile, the population would appear denser on what appears to be the periphery of the area.Similar issue is identified in the localisation of populations in the environmental space, where once again their range turned out to have been represented as significantly smaller, when compared to data available from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).Further, a closer look into the supplementary materials provided revealed that the precision of the population-density data was not scalable with the climate data. As a result, it is likely that multiple abundance data falls within a single climate pixel.In conclusion, the authors note that in order to comprehensively study the abundance of a species’ populations, one needs to take into consideration a number of factors lying beyond the scope of either of the papers, including human impact.”We suggest that this important question remains far from settled,” they say. Source:https://blog.pensoft.net/2018/09/17/new-light-on-the-controversial-question-of-species-abundance-and-population-density/last_img read more

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A reconstruction of Kostenki 14. Europeans carry a motley mix of genes from at least three ancient sources: indigenous hunter-gatherers within Europe, people from the Middle East, and northwest Asians from near the Great Steppe of eastern Europe and central Asia. One high-profile recent study suggested that each genetic component entered Europe by way of a separate migration and that they only came together in most Europeans in the past 5000 years. Now ancient DNA from the fossilized skeleton of a short, dark-skinned, dark-eyed man who lived at least 36,000 years ago along the Middle Don River in Russia presents a different view: This young man had DNA from all three of those migratory groups and so was already “pure European,” says evolutionary biologist Eske Willerslev of the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen, who led the analysis.In challenging the multiple migration model, the new genome data, published online today in Science, suggest that Europeans today are the descendants of a very old, interconnected population of hunter-gatherers that had already spread throughout Europe and much of central and western Asia by 36,000 years ago. “What is surprising is this guy represents one of the earliest Europeans, but at the same time he basically contains all the genetic components that you find in contemporary Europeans—at 37,000 years ago,” Willerslev says.The origins of Europeans used to seem straightforward: The first modern humans moved into Europe 42,000 to 45,000 years ago, perhaps occasionally meeting the Neandertals whose ancestors had inhabited Europe for at least 400,000 years. Then, starting 10,000 years ago, farmers came from the Middle East and spread rapidly throughout Europe. As researchers recently sequenced the genomes of more than a dozen ancient members of our species, Homo sapiens, in Europe and Asia in rapid succession, they added a third genetic component: a “ghost” lineage of nomads who blew into northeast Europe from the steppes of western Asia 4000 to 5000 years ago.  To explore European ancestry further, Willerslev’s team extracted DNA from the ulna, or lower arm bone, of a skeleton of a young man discovered in 1954 at Kostenki 14, one of more than 20 archaeological sites at Kostenki-Borshchevo. This area in southwest Russia was a crossroads at the boundary of eastern Europe and western Asia and was famous for its carved Venus figures of women. Using radiocarbon dating, the man, also known as the Markina Gora, was recently dated to 36,200 to 38,700 years old, making it the second oldest modern human whose whole genome has been sequenced. 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 Kostenki XIV (Markina Gora), reconstructed by M. M. Gerasimov Willerslev extracted 13 samples of DNA from the arm bone, and his graduate student Andaine Seguin-Orlando and other lab members sequenced the ancient genome to a final coverage of 2.42x, which is relatively low and means that on average each nucleotide site was read 2.4 times. From the sequence data, they found gene variants indicating that the man had dark skin and eyes. He also had about 1% more Neandertal DNA than do Europeans and Asians today, confirming what another, even older human from Siberia had shown—that humans and Neandertals mixed early, before 45,000 years ago, perhaps in the Middle East.The man from Kostenki shared close ancestry with hunter-gatherers in Europe—as well as with the early farmers, suggesting that his ancestors interbred with members of the same Middle Eastern population who later turned into farmers and came to Europe themselves. Finally, he also carried the signature of the shadowy western Asians, including a boy who lived 24,000 years ago at Mal’ta in central Siberia. If that finding holds up, the mysterious DNA from western Eurasia must be very ancient, and not solely from a wave of nomads that entered Europe 5000 years ago or so, as proposed by researchers in September.Willerslev says the data suggest the following scenario: After modern humans spread out of Africa about 60,000 years ago, they encountered Neandertals and interbred with them, perhaps in the Middle East. Then while one branch headed east toward Melanesia and Australia, another branch of this founder population (sometimes called “basal Eurasians”) spread north and west into Europe and central Asia. “There was a really large met-population that probably stretched all the way from the Middle East into Europe and into Eurasia,” Willerslev says. These people interbred at the edges of their separate populations, keeping the entire complex network interconnected—and so giving the ancient Kostenki man genes from three different groups. “In principle, you just have sex with your neighbor and they have it with their next neighbor—you don’t need to have these armies of people moving around to spread the genes.”Later, this large population was pushed back toward Europe as later waves of settlers, such as the ancestors of the Han Chinese, moved into eastern Asia. The Kostenki man does not share DNA with eastern Asians, who gave rise to Paleoindians in the Americas.Other researchers say that this new genome is important because “it is the first paper to document some degree of continuity among the first people to get to Europe and the people living there today,” says population geneticist David Reich of Harvard University, one of the authors on the triple migration model. It also is “a striking finding that the Kostenki 14 genome already has the three major European components present that we detect in modern Europeans,” says Johannes Krause of the University of Tübingen in Germany.But even if the man from Kostenki in Russia had all these elements 36,000 years ago, that doesn’t mean that other Europeans did, Reich says. His team’s DNA data and models suggest that Europeans in the west and north did not pick up DNA from the steppes until much later. He and Krause also think that Willerslev’s study needs to be confirmed with higher resolution sequencing to rule out contamination, and to have more population genetics modeling explain the distribution of these genetic types. The bottom line, researchers agree, is that European origins are “seem to be much more complex than most people thought,” Willerslev says. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

first_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 People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) die on average 18 years before the general population, according to a report released today by Autistica, a philanthropic group based in the United Kingdom. People with both ASD and an intellectual disability die even younger, on average 30 years earlier than those without the conditions.Fatal accidents—often by drowning, when a child or adult with ASD wanders away from caregivers—are one of the classic causes of premature death in people who have both ASD and an intellectual disability, says Sven Bölte, a clinical psychologist at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, whose research is cited in the Autistica report. Epilepsy, along with several other neurological disorders, is another common cause of death among people with both ASD and learning difficulties, suggesting that early disruption of neurodevelopment is to blame. These “classic” causes of premature death in autism, however, do not fully account for a decades-long life span gap between autistic and nonautistic people, or the difference in mortality between autistic people with and without an intellectual disability, Bölte says. To explore these gaps, in 2015 Bölte’s group published a large epidemiological study of more than 27,000 Swedish people with ASD, 6500 of whom had an intellectual disability. They found that risk of premature death was about 2.5 times higher for the entire group, a gap largely due to increased prevalence of common health problems such as diabetes and respiratory disease. Patients may be being diagnosed too late because they do not know how to express health concerns to their doctors, Bölte says, making it “extremely important” for general practitioners to thoroughly explore autistic patients’ symptoms and histories. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Also troubling was the finding that autistic adults without a learning disability were nine times more likely than controls to die by suicide, with women at particular risk of taking their own life. That could be a reflection of the isolation and depression many high-functioning people with an ASD experience, Bölte says.“We cannot accept a situation where many autistic people will never see their 40th birthday,” Autistica President John Spiers said in a press release. The charity called for immediate study and action by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, and announced that it will raise £10 million to fund its own research. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

first_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 Researchers working in Iceland say they have discovered a new way to trap the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground: by changing it into rock. Results published this week in Science show that injecting CO2 into volcanic rocks triggers a reaction that rapidly forms new carbonate minerals—potentially locking up the gas forever. The technique has to clear some high hurdles to become commercially viable. But scientists say the project, dubbed CarbFix, offers a ray of hope for beleaguered efforts to fight climate change by capturing and storing CO2 from power plants. “This is a great step forward,” says Sally Benson of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, a geologist unaffiliated with the project.Dozens of pilot projects around the world have sought to test carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way of curbing CO2 emissions from power plants. Very few have been scaled up, owing to prohibitive costs, estimated at $50 to $100 per ton of 
CO2 sequestered.CCS also faces technical hurdles, and one of the largest is where to store the captured gas. Most researchers favor formations of sedimentary rock, often sandstone harboring briny groundwater or depleted oil wells, because industry has long experience in working with them. But scientists fear that fissures in the rock layers that cap the storage aquifers could let CO2 leak back into 
the atmosphere. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img So in 2006, Icelandic, U.S., and French scientists proposed a different approach: injecting CO2 into underground layers of basalt, the dark igneous rock that underlies Earth’s oceans and crops up in parts of continents as well. They knew that unlike sandstone, the basalt contains metals that react with CO2, forming carbonate minerals such as calcite—a process known as carbonation. But they thought the process might take many years. To find out, they launched the CarbFix experiment 25 kilometers east of Reykjavik, intending to dose Iceland’s abundant underground basalt with CO2 that bubbles from cooling magma underground and is collected at a nearby geothermal power plant.In 2012, the researchers injected 
220 tons of CO2—spiked with heavy carbon for monitoring—into layers of basalt between 
400 and 800 meters below the surface. They also added extra water, which reacted with the gas to form a key driver of mineral reactions, carbonic acid. Then they monitored the pH, geochemistry, and other characteristics of the subsurface by taking samples from nearby wells.What happened next startled the team. After about a year and a half, the pump inside a monitoring well kept breaking down. Frustrated, engineers hauled up the pump and found that it was coated with white and green scale. Tests identified it as calcite, bearing the heavy carbon tracer that marked it as a product of carbonation.Measurements of dissolved carbon in the groundwater suggested that more than 95% of the injected carbon had already been converted into calcite and other minerals. “It was a huge surprise that the carbonation happened so fast,” says Juerg Matter, a geologist with CarbFix at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Laboratory tests by Matter’s team and others, along with computer modeling, had previously suggested that carbonation in basalt would take at least a decade. (Sandstone aquifers are so unreactive that carbonation is thought to take centuries at conventional CCS sites.)The speedy carbonation “means this method could be a viable way to store CO2 underground—permanently, and without risk of leakage,” Matter says. Unpublished data from a similar project in basalt near the Columbia River near Wallula, Washington, point to a similar conclusion. And there is no lack of basalt formations on land or offshore, which could make CCS possible for power plants “not near sedimentary rocks or depleted oil wells,” Matter adds.Bigger field tests are needed, says geo
logist Peter Kelemen of Columbia University, to confirm that such a high fraction of the injected carbon was mineralized. (Columbia is a CarbFix partner, but Kelemen is not on the project.) Scaled-up demonstrations could also make sure that the speed of the reaction won’t turn into a drawback, Stanford’s Benson says. If carbonation generates minerals that quickly plug the pores in the basalt, she worries, they could trap CO2 near the injection site instead of letting it spread through the rock.But even CarbFix’s own scientists acknowledge that the biggest obstacle to CCS in basalt is financial: Power companies have little incentive to pursue it. “Without a price on carbon emissions, there’s no business case,” admits Matter, who hopes policymakers will create such an incentive. Otherwise, projects in basalt could suffer the same fate as the dozens of conventional CCS projects around the world that have failed to be commercialized. In the meantime, says Benson, the success in Iceland is a welcome development. “We could all use some positive news in this field,” she says. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

first_imgJeff Moore at Landscape Arch, in Arches National Park. Monumental rock arches that dot national parks across the Western United States are vibrating. The tremors are minute, but they can add up, eventually causing these formations to collapse, sending hundreds of tons of rocks crashing to the ground. In 2008, an arch collapsed unexpectedly along a popular hiking trail during peak tourist season in Utah’s Arches National Park. Fortunately, the event occurred at night when the park was empty, but the timing of future collapses might not be so lucky.Jeff Moore is trying to predict these collapses before they happen. A geoscientist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, he’s using sensitive instruments to monitor changes in an arch’s vibrations over time.Moore chatted with Science about what draws him to these erosion-sculpted features and the new technology he’s looking forward to using to survey particularly fragile arches. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 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 Ben White By Katherine KorneiJul. 28, 2017 , 10:15 AM Q: Why study rock arches? Are you a hiker? Email South Window, a large natural arch in Arches National Park. A: Yes, I’ve hiked and climbed all over Arches National Park in Utah, home to over 2000 rock arches. When I lived abroad, I was always dreaming about the red rock landscapes back home. I find arches spectacular—they are such rare and elegant landforms. And they’re simply amazing from a mechanical standpoint. Here in Utah we’re fortunate to be located so close to some of the most iconic arches on the planet, like Rainbow Bridge in the southern part of the state, one of the world’s largest at over 80 meters long.Q: You’ve shown that rock arches vibrate. Why do they move?A: Wind, earthquakes, and even faraway ocean waves crashing on shorelines all cause rock arches to vibrate. Human activity like footsteps, car and truck traffic, and sounds from aircraft also cause arches to move. The Earth is constantly humming.Q: How are you measuring these vibrations?A: We use seismometers about the size of a coffee cup that record an arch’s movement in three dimensions. We place one of these instruments on an arch and record data for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours. When we’re finished we simply pick the seismometer up—we don’t disturb the rock in any way. We return to the same arches year after year to obtain follow-up measurements and look for changes in vibration patterns, which might indicate that an arch is cracking and potentially more likely to collapse.Q: How do you study really fragile arches you can’t walk on?A: Certain inaccessible arches simply can’t be measured by physically placing a sensor on the arch, and there are also cases where we wouldn’t dare set foot on an arch for fear of causing additional damage. So we’re currently exploring ways to measure vibrations remotely. One of the most promising methods is laser vibrometry, which involves bouncing a laser beam off the rock to measure very small movements.Q: What arches are you studying right now?A: We’re looking at Landscape Arch and Mesa Arch in Arches and Canyonlands national parks, both in Utah. We’re also studying a thin and flat natural bridge—a weak geometry for an arch—in Bryce Canyon in southwestern Utah, and the incomparable Rainbow Bridge. We additionally study less well-known features, including several large and beautiful arches in the area around Moab, Utah. In total, we’re currently monitoring 11 arches and looking to add several new sites this year.Q: Does your research change where you hike from a safety perspective?A: No, but it has changed how I think about natural arches and how I approach them as a hiker. I am more than ever struck by their fragility and our sheer luck to observe many of them so beautifully intact. Valentin Gischig Are arches like these going to collapse? Meet the scientist who’s trying to find out Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

first_img Do you ever find yourself scouring the web for pizza delivery services to satisfy those late-night cravings? You’re not alone: A new study reveals hungry web surfers around the world all start searching for food-related information at two peak times, 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.Wanting to see whether they could spot trends in human behavior based on a massive database of Google searches, a team of scientists analyzed hourly food-related queries from five countries: the United States, Canada, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For two 1-week periods, they looked for general food-related keywords such as “pizza delivery” or “Chinese delivery” and country-specific delivery companies like India’s “Swiggy” and “Just Eat,” which serves the United Kingdom and Australia. They also analyzed 5 years of data to see whether they could discover seasonal trends.The two spikes in food-related searches occurred across all countries, keywords, days of the week, and seasons, the researchers report today in Royal Society Open Science. They say the peaks likely represent two different groups of people searching for nighttime nourishment, one older (the early birds) and one younger (the night owls). Another hypothesis is that the two groups are simply running on different internal body clocks, which affects when they want their evening calories. By Frankie SchembriJul. 24, 2018 , 7:01 PM Food cravings peak twice nightly, in countries all around the world wonderlandstock/Alamy Stock Photo Further studies are needed to reveal the real answer. In the meantime, you might want to listen to your guts and keep your laptop handy for when it’s time to start searching. 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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more

first_imgHis last movie project saw first world war soldiers given a new lease of life in color. Now director Peter Jackson will give musical history the epic treatment in a behind the scenes look at the Fab Four. The documentary will use fly on the wall footage of the Beatles creating Let It Be, which turned out to be their final studio album. Released in 1970, it signified the end of an era.Songs on Let It Be include “Across The Universe”, “The Long and Winding Road”, “Get Back” and of course the title track.Peter Jackson speaking at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International, for “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo byGage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0A previous doc named after the album was released in the same year, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Brideshead Revisited). Despite winning the Oscar for Best Original Song Score it faded from view.The group reportedly disliked seeing their artistic differences captured on film. While the movie ended with the legendary Savile Row rooftop concert – John, Paul, George and Ringo’s swansong – this sensational element attracted some attention.For Jackson, his take on the raw footage is a much more positive one. “It’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969,” he said in a statement, “and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.”The Beatles arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 7 February 1964The self-proclaimed fan added, “Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together… is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate.”Jackson cemented his reputation as a world-class filmmaker via his ambitious adaptations of The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings. While the recent Mortal Engines (co-written and produced by Jackson from the books by Philip Reeve) was a box office flop, the Middle Earth films raked in billions.Ian McKellen In Lord of The Rings (Getty Images)Where the director goes, Gandalf and co follow. So it’s no surprise to learn of a connection between the Beatles and J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga of shires and ancient evil.In the Sixties the group had their sights set on a Lord Of The Rings movie starring themselves. And they weren’t going to do things by half measures, wanting none other than Stanley Kubrick to bring the fantasy to life.Ian McKellen (L) as Gandalf with Elijah Wood as Frodo. (Photo by New Line/WireImage/Getty Images)As reported by People in 2002 in reference to an interview Jackson gave to the Wellington Evening Post, “John Lennon wanted to play the role of the avaricious creature Gollum and Paul McCartney was to play Frodo Baggins…”“George Harrison would have played the role that eventually went to Sir Ian McKellen, that of the wise wizard Gandalf, and Ringo Starr would have been Frodo’s devoted sidekick, Sam.”The Beatles were known as perfectionists, and the thought of them collaborating with one of cinema’s true obsessives could have led to some sizeable sparks.George Harrison’s In 1964 Photo by Nationaal Archief CC BY-SA 3.0However, the job of compressing hundreds of pages into a movie was a big task, even for Kubrick. Sources state he told Lennon the source material was too vast.There was also another fly in the ointment. Unfortunately, Prof. Tolkien wasn’t interested in seeing pop stars inhabit his beloved characters and the project ground to a halt.Jackson commented, “There probably would’ve been some good songs coming off the album.”Harrison, McCartney and Lennon with George Martin at EMI Studios in the mid 1960sBefore Jackson delivered the ultimate big screen Lord Of The Rings, John Boorman (Excalibur) attempted an adaptation. Controversial director Ralph Bakshi (Fritz The Cat) turned the first two novels into an animated movie in 1978. An unrelated cartoon of the third book was made for TV 2 years later.The Beatles’ life stories have been dramatized on film many times, sometimes with the same actors playing the roles. For example, Ian Hart portrayed John Lennon in both The Hours and Times (1991) and Backbeat (1994).The Beatles in 1965, celebrating a Grammy winRon Howard (The Da Vinci Code) made the documentary Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years in 2016. At the premiere, as quoted by the BBC, Jackson explained “I’m not a musical expert – and The Beatles are just about the only music I like.”Read another story from us: An ancient Roman ring found in an English field inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic saga “Lord of the Rings”When Peter Jackson likes something, it tends to lead to major financial returns. There are high hopes his film will make a worthy addition to the Beatles’ legacy.last_img read more

first_img By Toni Gibbons Holbrook’s Bread of Life Mission initially opened in 1996 as a way to provide shelter to those people who were living on the streets and dying due to exposure, but today itSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad A chance for change brings a new direction for former gang member January 12, 2018center_img Photo by Toni GibbonsPhillip de Hoog takes a moment in the sun after working in the office at the Bread of Life Mission in Holbrook. De Hoog is working to complete the one-year Discipleship Program offered by the mission.last_img

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Skeletal stem cells found in humans for first time, promising new treatments for fractures and osteoporosis Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Michael PriceSep. 20, 2018 , 11:15 AM Email Chan and Longaker et al., Cell 175, 1 (2018) center_img In 2015, a team led by Michael Longaker of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California—he describes himself as “a stem cell biologist trapped in a plastic surgeon’s body”—and his colleague, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Charles Chan, looked at the mesenchymal stem cells inside “rainbow mice.” This rodent strain has been genetically engineered so that different stem cell types have distinct colors, allowing researchers to track exactly which ones give rise to skeleton-forming cells. Then, the team identified the genes in those cells, revealing a genetic signature for skeletal stem cells in mice.Repeating the process in our own species proved less straightforward, says Longaker, “because we don’t have ‘rainbow humans.’” Instead, he and colleagues worked with human fetal bones obtained from a company that provides tissues from fetuses that were aborted or otherwise did not survive. In these, they looked for cells sporting a similar genetic signature to the mice stem cells in the growth plate, the region of bone where new growth occurs during development. From those cells, the researchers isolated cells that could reliably form new bone and cartilage in lab dishes.To confirm they really had skeletal stem cells, the team obtained adult human bone fragments, which had been freshly cut out during hip and knee replacement surgery. They located the signature cells and grew them in dishes. Once again the cells formed new bone and cartilage, the researchers report today in Cell. Importantly, the cells didn’t turn into fat, muscle, or anything else. “These are true skeletal stem cells,” Longaker says.To find a way to reliably produce a large number of such cells, the team cultured some genetically modified normal adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, in a bath of bone growth–promoting compounds and vitamins. When isolated and grown in a dish, these cells, too, only developed into bone and cartilage.The study identified one further, and unexpected, potential source skeletal stem cells: liposuctioned fat. Certain cells called stromal cells within fatty blood vessels are actually a type of stem cell. By isolating those cells and growing them in a dish alongside a bone growth factor protein, the scientists created skeletal stem cells.“A half-million times a year, U.S. citizens have their fat sucked out and it’s discarded as medical waste,” Longaker said. “That’s a lot of material we could use to generate skeletal stem cells.” Though practical applications are still years away, he envisions these cells being used to replace damaged bone and joint tissue or treat degenerative skeletal diseases like osteoporosis.“This is a major step forward,” says John Adams, a molecular biologist and physician at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. But he says the researchers still need to prove they can scale up the production of these cells. “Whether they can isolate them in large enough quantities to be clinically useful, that’s going to take a while to find out.” 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 Human skeletal stem cells can form new bone and cartilage. Researchers have finally triumphed in a decadeslong quest to identify human stem cells that reliably develop into the bone, cartilage, and other tissues that make up the body’s skeleton. The discovery, from a team that had previously identified such cells in mice, could pave the way for new treatments for fractures, joint damage, and osteoporosis. What’s more, these cells can apparently be coaxed into existence from fat that is normally discarded after liposuction, hinting at an abundant potential reservoir of stem cells to seed future research and therapies.The finding is a welcome confirmation that the cells exist in people, says Michael Kyba, a pediatric cancer researcher who studies stem cells at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis who wasn’t involved in the research. “Humans are a much more complex system than mice … so it’s important.”Early hunting expeditions for skeletal stem cells in human bone uncovered so-called mesenchymal stem cells. These mixtures of different kinds of stem cells can become skeletal tissue like bone and cartilage, but also fat, muscle, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Researchers struggled to pin down the precise cells that give rise to the new skeletal tissue.last_img read more