State Highlights Mass First To Require Health Care Price Tags Health Disparities

first_imgState Highlights: Mass. First To Require Health Care Price Tags; Health Disparities In Wis. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Texas, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.WBUR: Massachusetts Becomes First State To Require Price Tags For Health CareMassachusetts has launched a new era of shopping. It began last week. Did you notice? Right this minute, if you have private health insurance, you can go to your health insurer’s website and find the price of everything from an office visit to an MRI to a Cesarean Section. For the first time, health care prices are public. … Then two years ago Massachusetts passed a law that pushed health insurers and hospitals to start making this once vigorously guarded information more public. Now as of October 1st, Massachusetts is the first state to require that insurers offer real time prices (Bebinger, 10/8). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin’s High Health Care Rank Hides Unequal Minority Care Wisconsin remains one of the top states in the country for the quality of its health care system and its access to health care. But the state’s strong overall performance masks a long-standing flaw: African-Americans and Latinos are much less likely to receive the same quality of care or have the same access as whites. The disparities can be seen in the annual State Snapshots compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The report is based on more than 100 measures of quality and access to care (Boulton, 10/7). Modern Healthcare: Illinois Tackling Medicaid With Aggressive ACO ModelThe development of Medicare and private accountable care organizations has led many states to adopt similar approaches to managing care and costs for their Medicaid populations. In Illinois, provider groups are starting one of the most aggressive state-sponsored projects in which they will eventually bear all financial risk (Herman, 10/7). CT Mirror: Children’s Mental Health Changes Aimed At Addressing ER Crisis Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to announce a plan Wednesday to expand the services available for children and teens with significant mental health needs, a response to concerns about the growing number of young people going to — and often stuck in — emergency rooms in psychiatric crisis. The plan includes making more crisis stabilization and respite beds available for young people with mental health needs, additional funding to encourage providers to open more psychiatric residential treatment beds, and funds for additional therapeutic support for children with acute needs who live at home or in congregate care (Levin Becker, 10/7). Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court Is Asked Again To Block Texas Law On Abortion ClinicsBecause of the law, critics say more than 900,000 Texas women of reproductive age now live more than 150 miles from a licensed abortion facility. The impact is most severe among low-income women who find it hardest to travel, they said. … More than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court said states may regulate abortion to protect the health of women, but they may not put an “undue burden” on those who seek to end an early pregnancy. Justices have not yet defined what amounts to an “undue burden” on these women (Savage, 10/7).The Associated Press: Clinic Stops Abortions After Confusion Over RulingThe only remaining abortion clinic in Texas west of San Antonio has halted abortions following days of confusion over the interpretation of a federal court ruling, an official with the clinic said Tuesday. Gloria Martinez, administrative nurse at Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Center, said her center thought it was exempted from a rule that requires clinics to upgrade to surgical centers. State officials “called us Friday, saying that we could open, so we opened Saturday. Then they called us Saturday, around 3 in the afternoon, telling us we needed to close immediately,” Martinez said. The ruling last week by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas to enforce tough restrictions that effectively close all but seven abortion facilities in the state. The ruling provided exemptions for a clinic in El Paso (Llorca, 10/7). The Associated Press: South Dakota Measure On Doctor Choice Stirs DebateSouth Dakota patients could have more choice of doctors within their health insurance networks if voters approve a ballot measure that is drawing strong opposition from the health insurance industry. The proposal on the ballot, Initiated Measure 17, seems simple enough: doctors who agree to the conditions set forth by insurers, including payments for services provided to patients, could join the insurer’s preferred providers list. Preferred providers, also known as in-network doctors, usually charge less for services than those outside the network (Cano, 10/7). Stateline: Medicaid ADHD Treatment Under ScrutinyAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, affects one in every seven school-aged children in the U.S., and between 2003 and 2011 the number of children diagnosed with the condition rose by more than 40 percent. Doctors have considerable leeway in deciding the best course of treatment for a child with the condition, no matter who is paying the bill. But children covered by Medicaid, the joint federal-state health care program for the poor, are at least 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder. Georgia alone spends $28 million to $33 million annually on these treatments out of $2.5 billion Medicaid budget, according to the Barton Child Law and Policy Center here at Emory University. That is partly because of the toll poverty takes on kids and a lack of resources in poorer schools (Vestal, 10/8). Sacramento Bee: Steinberg To Launch Mental Health FoundationOutgoing [California] Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said Tuesday that after he leaves the Legislature at the end of next month he will form a foundation to work on mental-health policy issues, an area that has long been a priority for the Sacramento Democrat (Rosenhall, 10/7).Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania Regulators: Highmark Medicare Plan Violates Consent DecreeThe state and UPMC say one of Highmark’s brand new Medicare Advantage products runs afoul of the recent consent decree signed by the two health giants, and both are contemplating legal action in order to have the plan nixed by state courts. The plan in question is a narrow-network “Community Blue” plan, with monthly premiums starting at $0. UPMC’s hospitals are not part of the plan’s doctor network, nor are Excela Health in Westmoreland County, Butler Health System or Washington Health System (Toland, 10/6).San Jose Mercury News/Monterey Herald: Seaside VA Clinic Forced To Cut Back On Mental Health ServicesOn the campus of CSU Monterey Bay, the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic at 3401 Engineer Lane sees about 2,800 veterans a year for mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. But following the departure of two psychiatrists in July, the clinic will now require many mental health patients to use videoconferencing with out-of-county doctors and will no longer allow walk-ins, unless it is an emergency. VA spokesman Michael Hill-Jackson said it is seeking to replace the psychiatrists, who made up half the staff (Molnar, 10/7).California Healthline: New Leaders In Legislature Plan To Include Health Care Issues On AgendaAssembly member Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) assumed the Assembly Speaker role in May, and Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is expected to be named Senate pro Tem later this month. The two legislators covered a range of issues at yesterday’s Public Policy Institute of California event, moderated by PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare. Health care topics included Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates and extending health care coverage to the undocumented population (Gorn, 10/7).Boston Globe: Gubernatorial Rivals Spar Over Child Agency, Health CareDemocrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker were more combative in their second debate, quarreling pointedly Tuesday night over the state’s troubled child protection system and spiraling health care costs (Levenson, 10/8). last_img read more

Health Care Costs And Health Law Politics How Issues Are Shaking Out

first_imgHealth Care Costs And Health Law Politics: How Issues Are Shaking Out In Public Opinion And Policy Strategies This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A poll by The Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research explores American’s thoughts about health insurance, peace of mind and whether the health law is keeping costs down. Meanwhile, Politico explores the GOP’s chances for repeal. The Associated Press: Poll: Many Insured Struggle With Medical BillsThey have health insurance, but still no peace of mind. Overall, 1 in 4 privately insured adults say they doubt they could pay for a major unexpected illness or injury. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research may help explain why President Barack Obama faces such strong headwinds in trying to persuade the public that his health care law is holding down costs (10/13).Politico: GOP Can’t Give Up Obamacare Repeal TalkRepublicans may be split on many issues, but they remain fiercely united in their loathing for the Affordable Care Act; they still see it as a terrible law, and they want it to go away. But GOP staffers and health care wonks also know that, even if they win the Senate, they’re not going to accomplish that in the next two years while President Barack Obama is still in office. And after that? Well, think of the last time a major social program was repealed after three enrollment seasons, with millions of people getting benefits. That’s right — it hasn’t happened (Nather, 10/13).last_img read more

Program Allowing Veterans To Seek Care Outside VA Health System Extended

first_img President Donald Trump signed an extension of a Department of Veterans Affairs law on Wednesday to continue a program that helps veterans seek health care outside the VA system. The original legislation, commonly known as the Veterans Choice Act, was slated to expire in August. The measure signed Wednesday by Mr. Trump extends the program until the remaining funds are used, which is expected to happen by the end of the year. (Kesling, 4/19) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In other news on veterans’ health care — Program Allowing Veterans To Seek Care Outside VA Health System Extended President Donald Trump signed the extension of the Veterans Choice Act on Wednesday. There won’t be much noticeable change from the action, but a new bill dubbed “Choice 2.0” is slated to be introduced to Congress in the fall. President Donald Trump on Wednesday moved a step closer to fulfilling his campaign promise to reform the troubled Veterans Affairs department, but some veterans groups are concerned that the administration may be working toward privatizing their healthcare. (Lambert, 4/19) Reuters: Trump Extends Program Allowing Some Veterans To Use Local Doctors, Hospitals center_img Previous KHN Coverage: Trump Extends Flawed ‘Fix’ For VA Health Scandals NPR: Veterans Gain Health Coverage Through The Affordable Care Act Almost half a million veterans gained health care coverage during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act, a report finds. In the years leading up to the implementation of the ACA’s major coverage provisions, from 2010 to 2013, nearly 1 million of the nation’s approximately 22 million veterans didn’t have health insurance. (Boddy, 4/19) The Wall Street Journal: Trump Signs Legislation Extending Private-Care Program For Veterans last_img read more

This OnePlus 7 Pro info trove will cure your case of The

first_img Page 2 Camera 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. Page 1 OnePlus 7 Pro Review Key Specifications Sections Page 4 Screen Review Page 3 Battery Life Review Pros 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 Cons 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. 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 6 OnePlus 7 Pro 5G Review 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. Page 5 Performance Review 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.last_img read more

Xiaomi used Apple Memoji ads to promote Mimoji it definitely didnt copy

first_imgEarlier this week Xiaomi revealed some familiar looking animated emojis that could be created in the likeness of device owners.The company calls them Mimoji and despite the startling likeness, and its previous for copying Apple products, denies it coped the Memoji launched in iOS 12.However, that explanation doesn’t really hold much water now the company has been busted for using Apple’s actual Animoji in one of its advertisements. Spotted by Weibo users in China (via Macrumors), Xiaomi used the Apple Music Memoji commercial that featured DJ Khaled.The company is saying its was a mistake, but when they’re so similar the staff who “uploaded the wrong content” can’t tell the difference, it doesn’t really speak to the independence of the idea.Related: Android Q is coming to these Xiaomi phonesEarlier this week, the company sent out a press release pushing back against claims it copied Apple with its 3D characters that can be accessorised with hats, specs, bunny ears, specs, hairdos and facial expressions.The company said; “We have conducted internal audits and found no evidences that our Mimoji characters have [been] plagiarised from any of our competitors including Apple.”Xiaomi had previously launched the its own interpretation of Apple’s Animoji that arrived alongside the iPhone X. The Mi 8 smartphone was probably the most accomplished iPhone clone we’ve ever seen . They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…The Mimoji launch is part of the company’s China-focused CC9 phone, which goes on sale in the country  today.Apple is preparing to further augment its Memoji in iOS 13, which arrives later this year, with the company adding makeup options. You already had the ability to pick and choose features like eye shape and colour, skin tone and hairstyle, but iOS 13 brings makeup and accessories to the table, plus a whole lot more. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

Tysons answer to fake meat craze halfpea halfbeef burger

first_img Recommended For YouUPDATE 2-Mexican president thanks Trump for tariff comments as peso strengthensVodafone launches 5G in Britain with unlimited data plansRoll out of higher CPP costs expected to affect HR budgets for wages, benefitsEdibles, other pot products, will hit shelves after mid-December: OttawaThe storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through Reddit Bloomberg News June 13, 201912:03 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Tyson’s answer to fake meat craze: half-pea, half-beef burger The offerings expected to be ‘billion-dollar brand’ leading the space: CEO Twitter Aiming to satisfy demands of the so-called flexitarians, Tyson half-plant half-beef burger will have “fewer calories and less saturated fat” than other pure plant-based burgers, the company says. A Beyond Meat burger, above.Getty Images Email Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat processor, wants in on the veggie protein market that’s hot with consumers and investors alike.The meat giant is aiming to satisfy demands of the so-called flexitarians, a rapidly growing segment of people who eat meat but are cutting back and adding more vegetable-based protein to their diets. Tyson’s solution: a half-pea-protein, half-Angus-beef burger.In what could be the biggest foray into the burgeoning alternative protein market this year, Tyson said it will debut the hybrid meat-plant patties and a series of other related products this year in grocery stores as well as restaurants. CEO Noel White said he expects the offerings will become a “billion-dollar brand” and that the company will be a leader in the space. Pulse of the nation: How Beyond Meat could turn this humble pea into Canada’s new gold Why Beyond Meat’s euphoric investors should heed the lessons of Tilray Inside the battle being waged over Beyond Meat’s push to be found in the grocery store meat aisle The company is joining the scrum of companies rushing headlong into meat alternatives after Beyond Meat Inc.’s sizzling initial public offering in May left them playing catch up. Tyson sold its stake in the latter company just before the stunning equity debut. Beyond Meat shares are up more than five-fold since they started trading.Tyson produces a fifth of the U.S.’s chicken, beef and pork. More than 60 per cent of consumers are actively adding protein to their diets, and 75 per cent are open to including both meat and plant-based proteins, according to Noelle O’Mara, chief marketing officer at Tyson. For plant-based proteins specifically, 40 per cent of consumers want more in their diet.“We’ve confirmed that alternative protein is growing and that it makes sense for us to be a part of it,” O’Mara said.Tyson’s beef/plant hybrid burger, sold under the brand Raised & Rooted, is expected to reach consumers in the fall. Other new products the company plans to offer include sausages and meatballs made of a chicken/plant blend under the Aidells Whole Blends brand. The meat producer is also introducing a pure plant-based chicken nugget substitute, which will come to market this summer.We’re bringing forward an entire set of offerings across brands and channels that satisfy how consumers are eating today rather than one approach.Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer and head of alternative protein, Tyson Foods Tyson will be able to bring the products to market from the development stage in under a year, and the company didn’t need to make extra investments to produce them, said Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer and head of alternative protein.Whitmore declined to comment on price points, the size of investments, or provide any details on customers. The new products are coming to several major retailers where consumers regularly shop, he said. The blended burger and sausages are a noticeable shift away from that of the company’s purist vegan rivals, namely the Beyond and Impossible Burgers.“We’re bringing forward an entire set of offerings across brands and channels that satisfy how consumers are eating today rather than one approach,” he said.Tyson is making a health pitch as well with its new products. The hybrid burgers made of Angus beef and pea-protein isolate have fewer calories and less saturated fat than other pure plant-based burgers on the market, Whitmore said.The move also fits into the sustainability goals for the giant producer of beef, a protein that has long weathered attacks from environmentalists that say the industry contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions. Tyson recently pledged to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.“We care deeply about all proteins and what it takes to be as efficient as possible,” Whitmore said. “This fits in with our total story.”Bloomberg.com Lydia Mulvany and Leslie Patton 2 Comments Facebook More Comment Share this storyTyson’s answer to fake meat craze: half-pea, half-beef burger Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Join the conversation →last_img read more

Green Deals Jackery 240Wh Portable Electric Generator 240 Reg 300 more

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Jackery (99% positive feedback from 56,000) via Amazon offers its 240Wh Portable Electric Generator for $239.99 shipped when promo code TBECALES is applied during checkout. That’s good for 20% off the regular going rate, $30 less than our previous mention and the best price available. This model can output 240Wh with dual 2.4A USB ports, AC and DC power and more. Perfect for charging drones, camping sites and more. Rated 4.5/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: Jackery 240Wh Portable Electric Generator $240 (Reg. $300), more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Watch Insane Reactions To Tesla Roadsters Stupidly Quick Acceleration

first_img Tesla Roadster Torque Questioned Engineering Analysis: Tesla Roadster Performance Specs Validated Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 10, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla just released a new video from the reveal night for the new Roadster. Why now? We’re not entirely sure, but we aren’t complaining. What we are doing is enjoying the facial expressions and words of those few who were lucky enough to experience the Roadster’s launch.0 to 60 MPH in under 2 seconds is stupidly quick and the reactions from those onboard are equally insane.Take a look for yourself and let us know if you agree with our stupidly quick assessment.Video description:First test rides in the new Roadster.Tesla Roadster specs:7,376 pound-feet of torque0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, making it the quickest production car in the world.0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds.Quarter mile in 8.8 seconds, which beats every other production car.250+ mph top speed.620 miles of highway range. Source: Electric Vehicle News There’s quick. Then there’s Tesla Roadster quick.The all-new, yet-to-be-released Tesla Roadster is bonkers. It’s so quick that it makes even the Tesla Model S P100D look comparatively slow.More Tesla Roadster Insanity Tesla Roadster To Get Performance-Boosting SpaceX Option Packagelast_img read more

NIO Sold Record 3318 ES8 Electric SUVs In December

first_img NIO Improves Pace To More Than 3,000 ES8 Sales Per Month Source: Electric Vehicle News NIO ES8 sales in China – December 2018William Li, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of NIO said: NIO ES6 Electric Crossover Specs, Images & Video From World Debut Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 10, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img NIO captured its niche and moves forwardChinese manufacturer NIO reports a record of 3,318 ES8 electric car sales in December. It will probably stay a record for a while as the first quarter brings seasonally lower demand in China.Anyway,s NIO delivered a total of 11,348 ES8 in 2018, which is slightly more than the goal.The ES8 7-seater will be joined by the NIO ES6 5-seater in June 2019, which should further highly increase NIO’s results.NIO Watch The NIO ES6 Livestream Here: Plus Specs & Pricing “With 11,348 ES8 deliveries in 2018, we exceeded our delivery goal for our first calendar year as a public company. 2018 has been a milestone year for us, as we produced and delivered over 11,000 ES8s and launched our second production car, the ES6, a 5-seater high-performance premium electric SUV on NIO Day in December 2018. We will continue to focus on market penetration by delivering high-quality products and holistic services to our users and to improve the system efficiency of our development and operations.”Louis T. Hsieh, NIO’s chief financial officer added :“We are pleased with the solid ramp-up in production and delivery in 2018, which demonstrated our execution capabilities. The delivery of 3,318 ES8s in December exceeded our expectation, which was in part due to accelerated deliveries made at the year end in anticipation of expected EV subsidy reductions in China in 2019. Despite an overall challenging automotive market and the seasonal low demand in the first quarter, we remain committed to expanding our sales network and strengthening our brand to support our future growth.”last_img read more

Rosicky injury mystery leaves Wenger speechless

first_imgThe Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, last night expressed fresh concern over Tomas Rosicky’s injury, admitting he could give no guarantees as to when the midfielder will return to action. Rosicky has not played since limping off in Arsenal’s 3-0 FA Cup victory over Newcastle on January 26 with a hamstring tear.Wenger initially insisted the midfielder would return in “days, not weeks” but after it was discovered that the tendons in Rosicky’s leg had come loose from the hamstring – requiring an operation which forced him to miss Euro 2008 – the comeback date was put back to this month.Delays in the recovery process then saw the 27-year-old’s expected return shift to Christmas but he may now not return until next year. “We are a little bit speechless on [Rosicky’s injury] because we feel it is all going well but there is a problem of recoordinating his muscle with the exercises he does,” said Wenger. “Nobody at the club can tell me whether he will be back on November 10, December 10 or December 31. Nobody knows with him.” Share on Facebook Arsenal Topics Sachin Nakrani Fri 26 Sep 2008 19.01 EDT @SachinNakrani This article is more than 10 years old Share via Email Premier Leaguecenter_img Arsène Wenger This article is more than 10 years old Arsenal Rosicky injury mystery leaves Wenger speechless Shares00 Share on Twitter First published on Fri 26 Sep 2008 19.01 EDT newslast_img read more

Improving the quality of Americans diet could reduce healthrelated costs suggests study

first_img Source:https://meeting.nutrition.org/ Jun 11 2018What we eat has important implications for our health-;and for what we spend on healthcare. New research suggests improving the quality of the average American’s diet could substantially reduce costs associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other major health problems.The study is the first to comprehensively analyze the potential cost implications of improved adherence to healthy dietary patterns (as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and the Mediterranean-style diet (MED) score) among US adults across major chronic disease types. Previous research has focused on specific populations or specific conditions, such as heart disease.”We found that increasing adherence to healthy dietary patterns by even 20 percent at a population level has the potential to save more than $20 billion in both direct and indirect costs associated with 10 major health outcomes,” said lead study author Dr. Carolyn Scrafford, senior managing scientist at Exponent, a scientific consulting firm. “That’s a significant saving from what we believe is a realistic shift in diet quality.”Scrafford will present the research at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting during Nutrition 2018, held June 9-12, 2018 in Boston. The research project was funded by the National Dairy Council.Scrafford’s team estimated cost savings under two scenarios. The more conservative scenario looks at the savings that could be realized if US adults increased their adherence to a healthy dietary pattern by 20 percent, as measured by two metrics of diet quality: the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and the Mediterranean-style diet (MED) score. The more ambitious scenario projects savings that could result if US adults achieved an 80 percent score on those same metrics.Both the HEI and the MED are markers of what are considered healthy dietary patterns. The HEI is used frequently in the US to evaluate a US-style diet and reflects adherence with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans while the MED was first used to describe the diet of countries in the Mediterranean region and emphasizes components such as fish, nuts, and fruits, along with olive oil as a healthy fat source.The average US adult currently shows about 60 percent adherence to the HEI. If this were increased to 72 percent adherence (a relative increase of 20 percent), the analysis shows the US could save $30-47 billion in health-related costs annually. Under the more ambitious scenario, if the average US adult increased their adherence to 80 percent of the HEI, the researchers project an annual savings of $52-82 billion.Close to half of these savings result from a reduction in costs associated with heart disease alone, with additional savings from reductions in costs associated with cancer and type 2 diabetes. Because heart disease in the US is so prevalent, so costly and so heavily influenced by diet, a small improvement in diet quality can result in meaningful cost savings, researchers say.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusThe average US adult currently scores a 3.5 out of 9 possible points on the MED score used to assess adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet. If this adherence were raised by 20 percent, the researchers project an annual savings of about $21-26 billion. The lower estimate includes only breast, colorectal and prostate cancer along with five other health outcomes (coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hip fractures and Alzheimer’s disease) while the higher estimate includes savings related to all cancer types along with the same five other health outcomes. Annual savings could reach $112-135 billion if Americans increased their MED adherence to 80 percent by incorporating more components of the Mediterranean-style diet.”Our results suggest that it’s worthwhile to educate Americans on these dietary patterns and their components, to encourage them to make little changes to improve their diet quality,” said Scrafford.To estimate how the healthy US- and Mediterranean-style dietary patterns influence rates of disease among adults in the US, the researchers systematically analyzed the published scientific literature to identify recent meta-analyses assessing observed associations between specific chronic health outcomes and adherence as measured by the HEI or MED scores. They then used the data in those studies to model the expected increase or decrease in risk of the health outcomes among healthy US adults under modeled levels of adherence to these healthy dietary patterns.To estimate healthcare costs, the team used data from the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, along with case reports tracking costs associated with hip fractures and Alzheimer’s disease. Cost estimates included both direct costs-;such as medical fees, devices and drugs-;and indirect costs, such as lost wages and caregiver burden, where available.While the research models hypothetical scenarios of increased adherence to healthy dietary patterns and it is unlikely that Americans could change their dietary patterns overnight or that the projected health improvements would immediately reduce health-related costs, the numbers provide a reference point for understanding the potential benefits of adopting a healthier diet, Scrafford said. The research was driven by the increasing understanding of the importance of overall dietary patterns rather than individual nutrients or foods.last_img read more

New hapticforce needleinsertion simulator aims to improve medical training

first_imgJul 6 2018Administering needle-based procedures in anesthesiology, such as epidurals, is a complex and delicate procedure and the current training methods for doctors are costly and fall short in preparing them for every patient and situation they will face.A new provisional patent from the Penn State College of Engineering plans to change that.The haptic-force needle-insertion simulator, created by a team of researchers led by Jason Moore, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is a low-cost, hand-held device that simulates the tactic feeling of the instrument passing through several layers of tissue. It also connects to a computer program that can assess the user’s performance.These factors are crucial because the doctor’s hands need to produce a steady rate of insertion, which can be challenging.”There’s a buildup of force upon tissue deflection and a sudden release of force upon tissue puncture,” Moore said. “This training tool can help surgeons, residents and med students improve their dexterous abilities.”Working in harmony, the tool and program interface will provide real-time feedback on the physician’s performance during training. This response is crucial to the device and represents a new efficiency and effectiveness of surgical training.Currently, the most effective way to train clinicians is to observe other doctors.”Those of us who teach these procedures find it very difficult to teach the needle, eye and image coordination skills,” said Sanjib Adhikary, associate professor of anesthesiology, Penn State Hershey and co-investigator of the project.Using the simulator, doctors will be better prepared for these procedures.”It can raise the ability of residents before they begin performing these procedures on patients,” Moore said. “It also gives them a very nice way to assess their performance and understand where improvements can be made.”Related StoriesComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharpPatients taking opioids for chronic pain could face health care access problemsMany thyroid cancer patients have no choice about radioactive iodine, study revealsOther training methods, like using mannequins, are more expensive and do not account for the range of body types a doctor would encounter in their patients. This device is able to change its simulation based on these different scenarios, like varying skin thickness and excess body weight.”Being unprepared for diverse patient scenarios can increase the probability of complications occurring, and this training will help the doctor’s ability to adapt,” Moore said.Eventually, this tool could be adapted to train doctors in other specialties like emergency medicine, radiology and surgery.”This project has the potential to revolutionize training on surgical procedures,” said Scarlett Miller, associate professor of engineering design and industrial engineering, Penn State.The rest of the team is also confident their device will make an impact, especially as it represents a low-cost method to this common problem.”We’re really excited because the device is slated be relatively low cost, less than $100,” Moore said. “I would love to see this widely applied, all the way down to undergraduate pre-med programs. It could be impactful to easily assess this skill and provide meaningful feedback to allow for continuous improvement.”Moore, Adhikary and Miller recently received an ENGINE grant from the College of Engineering to commercialize the product.”This grant has really accelerated our work,” Moore said.The team hopes to test the device at Penn State Hershey and receive feedback from physicians next fall.”This project is in its infancy, but we hope it could follow the [central venous catheter] robot we worked on that is now a part of the surgical residency training curriculum at Hershey Medical Center,” Moore said.Miller added, “This project not only has the potential for commercial value, but also for helping save human lives.”Source: https://www.psu.edulast_img read more

Scientists discover new target to treat blood vessel damage in diabetes

first_img Source:https://www.augusta.edu/mcg/ Jul 9 2018In diabetes, both the tightly woven endothelial cells that line our blood vessels and the powerhouses that drive those cells start to come apart as early steps in the destruction of our vasculature.Now scientists have evidence that these breakups occur as another relationship falls apart.Levels of the enzyme PDIA1, which enables a healthy homeostasis of endothelial cells as well as production of new blood vessels, decrease in diabetes, while activity of Drp1, a key regulator of fission regulated by PDIA1, goes way up, Medical College of Georgia scientists report in the journal Cell Reports.The imbalance drives endothelial cells and their powerhouses apart, setting up a vicious cycle where too much reactive oxygen species, or ROS, gets made by the mitochondria, says Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai, vascular biologist in the Vascular Biology Center and Department of Medicine at MCG at Augusta University.Powerhouses further fragment, more Drp1 gets oxidized and activated and even more ROS gets produced, says the study’s corresponding author.”Fission induces fragmentation which induces more ROS which contributes to Drp1 oxidation,” says Ushio-Fukai of the mounting feedback loop.The biological glue that helps hold endothelial cells together begins to come apart and so do the previously tightly connected cells.”It’s very leaky and promotes inflammatory cells, like macrophages, to the endothelial cells which causes even more disruption,” Ushio-Fukai says.The discoveries provide new treatment targets for diseases associated with endothelial cell senescence, or aging, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and age-related disorders, the scientists report.Potential points of intervention include restoring a healthy balance of PDIA1 and Drp1 and/or reducing the high oxidative stress that throws off the balance in diabetes and other disease.”It’s clear that endothelial function is impaired in conditions like diabetes as well as aging,” Ushio-Fukai says. “If we can help restore the function of endothelial cells, we can help keep blood vessels more normal.”We know that some ROS is needed for a variety of body functions, but that high levels are associated with aging throughout the body. Inside our endothelial cells, the mitochondria, known for producing the cell fuel ATP, actually primarily produce ROS – mainly superoxide and hydrogen peroxide – as fuel and ROS in turn helps fuel mitochondria.Much like a high performance versus lower performing car, ROS is sufficient to keep the normally quiescent cells that line our blood vessels functioning, versus our heart muscle cells, for example, which need a lot of the high-test ATP, Ushio-Fukai says.In fact, normal levels of ROS actually activate PDIA1 and are a signaling molecule for angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusDiabetes medications mask euglycemic ketoacidosis at the time of surgeryDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustBut the MCG scientists have shown that the high ROS levels in diabetes instead decrease activity of PDIA1, which impairs angiogenesis. In this high oxidative-stress environ, with its regulator turned down, oxidation and activity of Drp1 go up, Ushio-Fukai says.The imbalance sets in motion other unhealthy events that include the mitochondria literally coming apart – rather than undergoing the normal fission and fusion – which results in even more ROS production and that vicious cycle.When the scientists knocked out PDIA1 in endothelial cells isolated from human blood vessels, they found more evidence that the protein is required to maintain endothelial cell function. The endothelial cells started looking and acting older. There was less cell growth and proliferation as well as impaired angiogenesis and ability to dilate.When they looked at whether PDIA1 regulates ROS levels in endothelial cells, they found that the loss of PDIA1 induces both a slight increase inside the endothelial cells and mitochondrial dysfunction, including significantly increasing the amount of ROS produced by mitochondria. Mitochondria, which are typically in constant state of fission and fusion, only fragment without PDIA1 in their endothelial cells.They showed that PDIA1 appears to have a direct role in regulating the fission action of Drp1 and were able to rescue the cells from excessive mitochondrial fragmentation by delivering more PDIA1 directly to the cells and to their mitochondria. Looking again at the relationship between PDIA1 and Drp1, they saw a significant increase in Drp1 when they silenced PDIA1 in endothelial cells. A Drp1 inhibitor, in turn, silenced the expected mitochondrial fragmentation, related endothelial cell senescence and the impaired ability to form capillaries.Wound healing is a big problem in diabetes, to some extent at least because of impaired angiogenesis, so they also looked in a mouse model of wound healing with type 2 diabetes. PDIA1 expression was markedly downregulated in the skin compared with healthy mice. When they transferred normal PDIA1 to the vascular endothelial cells in the diabetic mice, it rescued normal protein levels and wound healing. Wound healing was also impaired in mice missing PDIA1 and, once again, restoring the normal protein normalized wound healing.”We showed that impaired wound healing in diabetic mice can be restored by treatment of endothelial cell senescence,” Ushio-Fukai says.Next steps include developing a clinical grade Drp1 inhibitor. The MCG scientists also are looking at delivery systems for PDIA1, including use of biological packages called exosomes, which cells use to communicate and swap contents.Healthy endothelial cells also produce nitric oxide, a key vasodilator of blood vessels.last_img read more

Neandertals ate their veggies their feces reveal

Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Scientists excavating an archaeological site in southern Spain have finally gotten the real poop on Neandertals, finding that the Caveman Diet for these quintessential carnivores included substantial helpings of vegetables. Using the oldest published samples of human fecal matter, archaeologists have found the first direct evidence that Neandertals in Europe cooked and ate plants about 50,000 years ago.The extinct Neandertals, who lived from about 230,000 to 30,000 years ago, have long been portrayed as uber-carnivores—humans at the top of the food chain who ate mostly meat to fuel their revved-up metabolisms in order to survive in the frigid climes of northern Europe and Asia. This image was based on evidence from butchered meat bones and hunting tools at archaeological sites, as well as from studies of carbon, nitrogen, and other chemicals in the fossilized teeth of Neandertals, which can reveal their diets. But a recent study of starches in the plaque of Neandertal teeth indicated that Neandertals in modern-day Iraq and Belgium ate grasses, tubers, and other plants, and that they also cooked barley grains in Iraq. This view of Neandertals gathering plants and cooking barley porridge challenged the old view that our burly cousins went extinct because they depended too much on meat, whereas versatile modern humans could survive on a broader range of plant and animal foods. But it was still unclear whether vegetables made up a significant part of the European Neandertal diet.Now, at an open-air archaeological site called El Salt in Alicante, Spain, researchers have gathered fossilized feces in the sediment where Neandertals lived at different times between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, before modern humans arrived in the region. By applying a powerful method that was developed for detecting fecal matter in drinking water, geoarchaeologist Ainara Sistiaga of the University of La Laguna in Tenerife and geobiologist Roger Summons of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge have detected the biological signature, or biomarkers, of meat and plants in the sediments containing fossilized feces from five different places at El Salt. Specifically, the team was able to detect the chemical byproducts created by bacteria in the gut in the digestion of cholesterol from meat, as well as sterols and stanols, which are lipids in plants that are similar to cholesterol. The tests revealed that the poop “clearly” contained high proportions of cholesterol and coprostanol from eating meat, but it also included significant plant sterols that “unambiguously record the ingestion of plants,” the researchers report today in PLOS ONE. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sistiaga says this is the first “direct” evidence that the Neandertals actually ingested plants, because  the biomarkers were in their feces—and not just on their teeth.The team determined that the fecal samples were from humans because other mammals, such as wolves and lions, cannot convert cholesterol to coprostanol, as primates do when they eat meat. No other primate bones have been found at the site, which includes Neandertal tools and artifacts that date to a time before modern humans are known to have inhabited Europe. The fine shape and structure of the coprolites in the soil also resembled those of humans, and parasites in the samples also suggest they came from humans.Other researchers would like to see the link drawn more tightly between the poop and the Neandertals. “It is notoriously difficult to identify the species of coprolites,” says paleoanthropologist Michael Richards of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, who studies isotopes in the Neandertal diet. He adds that many animals would have used the site over the thousands of years that Neandertals were there, and that the samples could contain biomarkers from their feces, which would contaminate the results. “So, while it is a promising new line of research, I don’t think it provides direct evidence of Neandertal diet.”Paleobiologist Amanda Henry of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, would also like to see the researchers use DNA, parasite types unique to humans, or some other means to conclusively prove that the poop came from Neandertals. However, “the study is really exciting,” says Henry, author of the earlier study of Neandertal dental plaque that showed that a Neandertal in Iraq ate plants. “If they are correct, this is one more nail in the coffin for the idea that Neandertals were obligate carnivores.” read more

Top stories A poisonous poop cocktail sexist peer review and 3D printed

first_imgAncient megadrought entombed dodos in poisonous fecal cocktailA new study suggests that about 4000 years ago, a prolonged drought on the island of Mauritius left native species, like dodo birds and giant tortoises, dead in a soup of poisonous algae and their own feces.Sexist peer review elicits furious Twitter response, PLOS apology Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe A peer reviewer’s suggestion that two female researchers find “one or two male biologists” to co-author and help them strengthen a manuscript they had written has unleashed an avalanche of disbelief and disgust on Twitter—and prompted an apology from the publisher of the journal they submitted to, PLOS ONE.Three-dimensional printed throat implants save three infantsThree-dimensional printed throat implants recently saved three newborn babies in the United States from near certain death. Researchers used CT scans to determine the exact shape of each boy’s trachea, and then designed matching implants, which worked so well that each baby was able to return home.Heartland danger zones emerge on new U.S. earthquake hazard mapAcross the U.S. heartland, an oil and gas boom has driven a surge of small to moderate earthquakes. Now, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a map that accounts for these human-caused earthquakes around the country.In symbolic blow, Native Hawaiian panel withdraws support for world’s largest telescopeTrustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs—a state agency established to advocate for Native Hawaiians—voted Thursday to withdraw their support for construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano. The vote follows weeks of protests by Native Hawaiians who say the massive structure would desecrate one of their most holy places. The protests have shut down construction of the telescope, which would be the world’s largest optical telescope if completed.This popular TV game show has a thing for science: What is Jeopardy!?The game show Jeopardy! is a national treasure—or at least a national fixture. But what goes on behind the scenes? Science took a look at the science behind Jeopardy!Think you have the science smarts to win Jeopardy!? Take our quiz and find out!center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Physicists figure out how to retrieve information from a black hole

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Black holes earn their name because their gravity is so strong not even light can escape from them. Oddly, though, physicists have come up with a bit of theoretical sleight of hand to retrieve a speck of information that’s been dropped into a black hole. The calculation touches on one of the biggest mysteries in physics: how all of the information trapped in a black hole leaks out as the black hole “evaporates.” Many theorists think that must happen, but they don’t know how.Unfortunately for them, the new scheme may do more to underscore the difficulty of the larger “black hole information problem” than to solve it. “Maybe others will be able to go further with this, but it’s not obvious to me that it will help,” says Don Page, a theorist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who was not involved in the work.You can shred your tax returns, but you shouldn’t be able to destroy information by tossing it into a black hole. That’s because, even though quantum mechanics deals in probabilities—such as the likelihood of an electron being in one location or another—the quantum waves that give those probabilities must still evolve predictably, so that if you know a wave’s shape at one moment you can predict it exactly at any future time. Without such “unitarity” quantum theory would produce nonsensical results such as probabilities that don’t add up to 100%. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img But suppose you toss some quantum particles into a black hole. At first blush, the particles and the information they encode is lost. That’s a problem, as now part of the quantum state describing the combined black hole-particles system has been obliterated, making it impossible to predict its exact evolution and violating unitarity.Physicists think they have a way out. In 1974, British theorist Stephen Hawking argued that black holes can radiate particles and energy. Thanks to quantum uncertainty, empty space roils with pairs of particles flitting in and out of existence. Hawking realized that if a pair of particles from the vacuum popped into existence straddling the black hole’s boundary then one particle could fly into space, while the other would fall into the black hole. Carrying away energy from the black hole, the exiting Hawking radiation should cause a black hole to slowly evaporate. Some theorists suspect information reemerges from the black hole encoded in the radiation—although how remains unclear as the radiation is supposedly random.Now, Aidan Chatwin-Davies, Adam Jermyn, and Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have found an explicit way to retrieve information from one quantum particle lost in a black hole, using Hawking radiation and the weird concept of quantum teleportation.Quantum teleportation enables two partners, Alice and Bob, to transfer the delicate quantum state of one particle such as an electron to another. In quantum theory, an electron can spin one way (up), the other way (down), or literally both ways at once. In fact, its state can be described by a point on a globe in which north pole signifies up and the south pole signifies down. Lines of latitude denote different mixtures of up and down, and lines of longitude denote the “phase,” or how the up and down parts mesh. However, if Alice tries to measure that state, it will “collapse” one way or the other, up or down, squashing information such as the phase. So she can’t measure the state and send the information to Bob, but must transfer it intact.To do that Alice and Bob can share an additional pair of electrons connected by a special quantum link called entanglement. The state of either particle in the entangled pair is uncertain—it simultaneously points everywhere on the globe—but the states are correlated so that if Alice measures her particle from the pair and finds it spinning, say, up, she’ll know instantly that Bob’s electron is spinning down. So Alice has two electrons—the one whose state she wants to teleport and her half of the entangled pair. Bob has just the one from the entangled pair.To perform the teleportation, Alice takes advantage of one more strange property of quantum mechanics: that measurement not only reveals something about a system, it also changes its state. So Alice takes her two unentangled electrons and performs a measurement that “projects” them into an entangled state. That measurement breaks the entanglement between the pair of electrons that she and Bob share. But at the same time, it forces Bob’s electron into the state that her to-be-teleported electron was in. It’s as if, with the right measurement, Alice squeezes the quantum information from one side of the system to the other.Chatwin-Davies and colleagues realized that they could teleport the information about the state of an electron out of a black hole, too. Suppose that Alice is floating outside the black hole with her electron. She captures one photon from a pair born from Hawking radiation. Much like an electron, the photon can spin in either of two directions, and it will be entangled with its partner photon that has fallen into the black hole. Next, Alice measures the total angular momentum, or spin, of the black hole—both its magnitude and, roughly speaking, how much it lines up with a particular axis. With those two bits of information in hand, she then tosses in her electron, losing it forever.But Alice can still recover the information about the state of that electron, the team reports in a paper in press at Physical Review Letters. All she has to do is once again measure the spin and orientation of the black hole. Those measurements then entangle the black hole and the in-falling photon. They also teleport the state of the electron to the photon that Alice captured. Thus, the information from the lost electron is dragged back into the observable universe.Chatwin-Davies stresses that the scheme is not a plan for a practical experiment. After all, it would require Alice to almost instantly measure the spin of a black hole as massive as the sun to within a single atom’s spin. “We like to joke around that Alice is the most advanced scientist in the universe,” he says.The scheme also has major limitations. In particular, as the authors note, it works for one quantum particle, but not for two or more. That’s because the recipe exploits the fact that the black hole conserves angular momentum, so that its final spin is equal to its initial spin plus that of the electron. That trick enables Alice to get out exactly two bits of information—the total spin and its projection along one axis—and that’s just enough information to specify the latitude and longitude of quantum state of one particle. But it’s not nearly enough to recapture all the information trapped in a black hole, which typically forms when a star collapses upon itself.To really tackle the black hole information problem, theorists would also have to account for the complex states of the black hole’s interior, says Stefan Leichenauer, a theorist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Unfortunately, all of the big questions we have about black holes are precisely about these internal workings,” he says. “So, this protocol, though interesting in its own right, will probably not teach us much about the black hole information problem in general.”However, delving into the interior of black holes would require a quantum mechanical theory of gravity. Of course, developing such a theory is perhaps the grandest goal in all of theoretical physics, one that has eluded physicists for decades. Emaillast_img read more

How white blood cells rip holes in your blood vessels—and how your

first_imgWhite blood cells are constantly tearing holes in your blood vessel walls. But these guardians of the immune system are doing it to protect you: Once they ride through the bloodstream to infected tissues—where they make antibodies and eat foreign invaders—they need a way to get inside. Now, scientists have discovered just how they do it without permanently damaging blood vessels, which they slip into and out of up to 10 times each day. First, researchers added fluorescent tags to their nuclei and to the structural fibers of blood vessel walls, which keep out foreign particles and seal in blood, plasma, and immune cells. The researchers then tracked the process with video-microscopy. They found that blood vessel cells were not the ones making the openings, as previously thought. Instead, immune cells make their own way across. By softening their bulky nuclei and pushing them to the front edge of their cells, white blood cells probe apart scaffolding in the blood vessel walls and squeeze through, researchers report online today in Cell Reports. This process (seen above) snaps smaller, threadlike fibers that form the flexible scaffolding of blood vessel walls; the cells easily repair that breakage later as part of routine cellular maintenance. The researchers hope to use their discovery to better understand how metastatic cancer cells migrate into the bloodstream and spread cancer throughout the body.last_img read more

This lilys cousin is an ear of corn Now scientists know how

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This lily leek (Allium moly) is one of 85,000 monocots that now have a better-defined family history. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Chelsea Specht “In virtually every one of the [monocot] families, you can point to beautiful and economically and ecologically important members,” says Elizabeth Kellogg, a plant biologist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis who was not involved with the work.Knowing how important an accurate family tree was—especially for crop breeding and basic research—Thomas Givnish, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, pulled together about 19 fellow biologists to draw up the most definitive version to date. They sequenced the DNA in the chloroplasts of 545 monocots and of 22 other plants. Based on similarities in the plants’ DNA, the team worked out family connections and estimated the age of each branch. “We have very strong support for most of the relationships,” Givnish says. Among their discoveries: Bananas branch off closer to gingers and heliconia (flowering plants known as “lobster claws”) than previously thought.“What is really new is the amount of data that they have thrown at the whole problem,” Stevens says. Many of the relationships—including the banana-ginger one—had been suggested before.Most striking is what’s at the base of the tree, Givnish says. The nonmonocots most closely related to that base indicate the first monocots were aquatic plants, Givnish’s team reported last month in the American Journal of Botany. Botanists in the 1800s were the first to suggest this idea, and several researchers also explored this origin in the 1990s, but none had the genetic data that now back it up, he says. Not just seeds, but monocot leaves and roots are different from those of other flowering plants, and the aquatic origin may explain why.For example, monocot leaves tend to have parallel veins running the long way up the leaves, whereas other flowering plant leaves have branching veins. The branching veins keep the paper-thin leaves stiff; otherwise gravity would make them flop over. But leaves in monocots’ aquatic ancestors presumably floated and thus could do with a less extensive—and expensive—support system. Also, leaves in most flowering plants attach to the stem through a base called a petiole. But leaf bases in monocots tend to clasp the stem with an array of “fingers,” which makes sense if swirling water tossed the leaves every which way, Givnish says. Monocot roots also show little branching, like aquatic plant roots. And most monocots are herbaceous, not woody; if their watery ancestors put on wood layers every year like most trees, the new growth would have interfered with air tubes reaching from leaves to the plants’ underwater parts.As comprehensive as this new family tree is, it needs refining, Kellogg says, so that more than just monocots’ larger groups are in their proper places. To do that, Stevens says the team would need to compare DNA, not from the chloroplasts, but from the much larger amount of DNA stored in cells’ nuclei. This work is already under way, says Givnish, whose team has analyzed 500 genes from nuclear DNA from a wide array of species. The team’s new findings “largely support the same patterns of relationships,” and should be published in a few months.center_img By Elizabeth PennisiNov. 5, 2018 , 12:50 PM This lily’s cousin is an ear of corn. Now, scientists know how they—and many other plants—are related As different as they may seem, corn and daylilies have a lot in common. So do towering palm trees and diminutive lady’s slipper orchids. Thanks to a common ancestor 137 million years ago, the roots, seeds, and sometimes leaves of these flowering plants—known as monocots—look alike. Now, a new genetic study reveals why: Even though all of these plants are landlubbers today, their ancestor lived in water.The work is convincing, says Peter Stevens, a systematist at the University of Missouri in St. Louis who was not involved with the study. “It allows you think about the origin of monocot features.”Scientists have long had trouble placing monocots, whose seeds contain just one embryonic leaf, on the plant family tree. (Most flowering plants are eudicots, which have two such leaves in their seeds.) That tree is key to understanding the evolutionary relationships of the world’s 85,000 monocots, which include staple crops like corn and rice, the grasses eaten by cows, palm trees, and some of the world’s prettiest flowers, such as orchids and lilies. Emaillast_img read more

Influential senator asks NSF for data on threat from foreign influences

first_imgSenator Chuck Grassley (R–IA) has been concerned about foreign powers poaching U.S.-funded research. BILL CLARK/CQ ROLL CALL/AP IMAGE Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Influential senator asks NSF for data on threat from foreign influences The National Science Foundation (NSF) has joined the list of federal agencies that Senator Chuck Grassley (R–IA) has asked for explanations of how they are preventing foreign scientists from ripping off U.S. taxpayers.Today’s letter to NSF follows the format of previous letters Grassley has sent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Each asks whether the agency has vetted every funded researcher and whether any of those background checks have triggered an investigation into possible misuse or theft of federal funds. He also wants to know what the agency is doing to prevent such illegal practices, the cost of such preventive steps and whether it needs additional resources, and whether it is coordinating its efforts with federal law enforcement officials. Grassley also suggests the results of any investigations should be made public.Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, praises NSF for recent actions that include a proposed outside study of “how foreign entities may influence taxpayer-funded research” and a new rule preventing noncitizens from being program managers. “These are positive initial steps,” he writes to NSF Director France Córdova. “However, more must be done.” Although other committees have direct jurisdiction over NSF, NIH, and DOD, every senator has broad powers to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse of government funds.center_img By Jeffrey MervisApr. 15, 2019 , 5:15 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Grassley gave NSF 2 weeks to respond to his questions, some of which the agency could have difficulty answering. For instance, he asks NSF to describe every instance in the past 5 years in which “foreign actors used systemic and long-term efforts to influence NSF researchers” or “contributed resources to NSF-funded researchers in ways that could impact the integrity of the research.”Grassley’s 24 October 2018 letter to NIH has led to investigations by its parent body of several researchers for their alleged failure to disclose foreign sources of support. DOD officials have not yet replied to a similar letter he sent them on 1 April with a 15 April deadline.last_img read more

WW2Era Bomb Unexpectedly Explodes Underground in German Field

first_imgA bomb dropped during WW2 and buried underground has exploded underneath a German field. A massive pre-dawn blast in a barley field on June 23, 2019, had people fearing it was an earthquake or even a meteor crash. But it turned out that a 500-pound second world war bomb from the 1940s was the culprit, say bomb specialists from the state of Hesse who spent a day studying the site. The 33-foot-wide, 13-foot gouge in the earth was caused by an Allied sortie. No one in the community of Ahlbach, part of the greater area of Limburg which is just north of Frankfurt, was hurt by the blast, but the sound of it woke most people up. “With the former railway depot, we were quite a bomb target at the end of the Second World War,” city spokesman Johannes Laubach told Hessenchau, a German news website. “We can be glad that the farmer was not in the field.”Undiscovered bombs can often explode without outside forces acting on them, experts say. The detonators decompose over time. Old bombs are not uncommon finds in Germany and elsewhere, with hundreds found each year, according to CNN.Location in Germany of the blast. Photo by TUBS CC BY-SA 3.0At first, residents were convinced this was the work of a meteorite. But Rüdiger Jehn, of the European Space Agency, told German newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse that this was not the case. “A great deal of heat is released during an asteroid impact,” the ESA expert said, pointing out that no evidence of heat or melting could be seen from the crater footage.The ruins of Frankfurt after allied bombing.Between 1940 and 1945, Allied bombers dropped nearly 3 million tons of bombs on Europe. “About half of that ordnance fell on German targets, eradicating Nazi war infrastructure…” said The Washington Post.Related Video:It’s believed that about 10 percent of bombs dropped over Germany failed to explode, said Smithsonian Magazine. In the case of the bomb in the barley field, this aerial bomb was buried at a depth of at least 4 meters and had a chemical detonator, investigators said. Authorities confirmed that the bomb had exploded without any external trigger.A U.S. Army Air Force Boeing B-17G-50-VE Flying Fortress dropping bombs in WW2.Not all bombs explode on impact. Sometimes chemical components were used to delay explosions until a bomb could burrow into the ground to create a bigger crater and cause more damage. Gravity was a factor with many bombs of the era. The components relied on a north-south orientation after a bomb fell — with an air-powered fin that spun as the bomb descended. That fin drove a metal rod into a glass plate, releasing corrosive acetone that dissolves celluloid discs, according to Smithsonian Magazine.German WW2 bombs. Photo by Flightsoffancy CC BY-SA 3.0“Different thicknesses of discs were used — the thicker the disc, the longer the process took,” said The Washington Post. “The acetone eventually dissolved them, triggering a spring that would thrust a firing pin into a detonator.” But often bombs did not land correctly, coming to a rest either sideways or upside down. In those cases, the reaction stalls and the acetone falls away from the discs, delaying the explosion for years or decades as the components decay into dangerous instability.500-lb Allied WW2 bomb. Photo by GorissM CC by 2.0Wolfgang Spyra, a professor and engineer at the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, told DW that a self-detonation of a bomb from that era is very rare in Germany and only occurs once or twice per year. “In the case of bombs with chemical detonators, the materials of the detonator decompose over a long period of time,” Spyra said.A spokesman for the arms and munitions disposal service for the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf agreed with Spyra, telling DW that unexploded bombs in the ground “will not become less dangerous over time.”Related Article: Tsar Bomba was the most powerful atomic bomb ever createdIn September 2018, a 3,000-pound bomb discovered in Frankfurt led to nearly 60,000 people being evacuated while experts defused it. In May of last year, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from Hanover after bombs were discovered during pre-construction work.last_img read more