Heliox To Build Charging Infrastructure For EV Buses In Oslo

Heliox To Build Charging Infrastructure For EV Buses In Oslo

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News As said by Øystein Svendsen, Managing Director in Unibuss: “For the delivery of the charging infrastructure, we had several companies involved in the process. In the end, we were left with three big companies. We chose Heliox and are very pleased that we will cooperate with us- such a well-recognized supplier of charging infrastructure technology.” Heliox Director Automotive, Bob Bouhuijs, has said: “We are very proud to be the fast charging partner of the largest fast-charging network in Oslo. This is an important milestone on the way towards a sustainable public transport infrastructure. We are excited to contribute to Oslo’s transition towards carbon emissions-free public transportation and deliver our reliable solution that help reduce emissions and even further improve the air quality of city. We are proud to be working together with Unibuss and Ruter to push the limits of e-mobility and create a more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming society for the next generations.” Heliox to supply 9.8 MW infrastructure to charge buses in Oslo.Heliox received another big order for the electric bus charging infrastructure in Europe. This time it’s from Oslo, Norway, which next summer will have 115 electric buses, including 76 articulated.The company will supply the charging system fa or fleet of 40 electric buses and the plan is to make everything ready within 4 months, which is kind of quick.The charging infrastrucutre will consist of various chargers:12 Heliox OC 300kW chargers (that can partially recharge a battery in 2-5 minutes) compatible with the Bus-Up system28 Heliox Fast DC 50 kW chargers compatible with the Bus-Up system10 Heliox Fast DC 50 kW (CCS plug-in standard) VDL To Deliver 40 Electric Buses To Unibuss AS of Norway Electric buses in OsloThe transport operator Unibuss has placed an order for 40 electric Citeas. This includes 30 Citeas SLFA-180 Electric and 10 Citeas SLF- 120 Electric that will serve the Greater Oslo Region. This order marks the breakthrough of Vdl Bus & Coach in the Norwegian public transport market. The big purchase done by Unibuss rely on the intention, announced in April by PTA Ruter, responsible for public transport in and around Oslo, to transition to electric public transport in order to improve quality of life in the city. Unibuss has ordered two different versions of the VDL Citea Electric. First, there are 30 Citeas SLFA-180 Electric, with 169 kWh battery pack. Secondly, the order includes 10 Citeas SLF-120 Electric, with 127 kWh battery pack. Besides, still in Oslo, also 42 electric buses by BYD, equipped with pantograph charging, are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2019 and will mean a fleet of 44 vehicles in total (2 vehicles are already in operation) for the operator Nobina.Oslo European Green Capital 2019As the European Green Capital of 2019, Oslo wishes to accentuate the city’s green urban development with environmentally friendly public transport comprising battery electric buses. From the summer of 2019 there will be a total of 115 electric buses operating major bus lines in Oslo and surrounding areas. 76 of them are electric articulated buses, which generates the largest electrical bus fleet in a capital region within the Nordic countries Heliox’s portfolio in DC fast charging solutions ranges from 25kW mobile chargers to Ultra-Fast Charging 600kW solutions for electric vehicles, Heliox points out. Heliox has also supplied 109 fast chargers to power the fleet of 100 VDL electric buses for Connexxion fleet operating around Schipol airport(Amsterdam).Unibuss chooses Heliox .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }center_img VDL Bus & Coach Sold 500th Electric Bus See Also Heliox Launches Europe’s Largest Opportunity & Depot Charging For Buses Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 8, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla is starting to push software to work with new Autopilot Hardware

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla is starting to push new software having to do with the automaker’s upcoming new Autopilot Hardware 3.0 computer as the rollout becomes imminent. more…The post Tesla is starting to push software to work with new Autopilot Hardware 3 appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Lets See The New Formula E Gen 2 Battery Video

first_img Mercedes-Benz Reveals Formula E Concept Livery Take a look at the battery used by the Gen2 ABB FIA Formula E car in the latest episode of the Mahindra Blueprints series.In this video, Nicki Shields explains the McLaren Applied Technologies-supplied battery that powers the race-winning Mahindra Racing M5 Electro challenger from the team’s headquarters in Banbury.The new battery lasts twice as long as its predecessor, which has eliminated the need for FE races to have mid-event car swaps. It also has increased power over the old battery and the Gen2 car reaches a peak power level of 250kW..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } More Formula E News Formula E RC Cars Battle On The Streets For Our Hearts: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News Double Fanboost Formula E Mexico Penalty Explained Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Toyota And Subaru To Jointly Develop BEV Platform And EV SUV

first_imgToyota and Subaru announced a joint BEV platform and a first all-electric model. It could be the start for entire lineup of BEVs.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

A Suggested Read On A Variety Of Topics

first_imgSeveral prior posts (here, here, and here) have focused on basic causation issues in connection with many Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions.The lack of causation between an alleged bribe payment and any alleged business obtained or retained is not a legal defense because the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions prohibit the offer, payment, promise to pay or authorization of the payment of any money or thing of value.  Indeed, several FCPA enforcement actions have alleged unsuccessful bribery attempts in which no business was actually obtained or retained.Nevertheless, causation ought to be relevant when calculating FCPA settlement amounts, specifically disgorgement.  However, the prevailing FCPA enforcement theory often seems to be that because Company A made improper payments to allegedly obtain or retain Contract A, then all of Company A’s net profits associated with Contract A are subject to disgorgement. Call it the “but for” theory. “But for” the alleged improper payments, Company A would not have obtained or retained the business.However, this basic enforcement theory ignores the fact that Company A (as is often the case in FCPA enforcement actions) is generally viewed as selling the best product for the best price and because of this, or a host of other reasons, probably would have obtained or retained the business in the absence of any alleged improper payments.If this general issue is of any interest to you (and it ought to be because it is instructive on many levels) you should read a recent U.K. decision in a civil case arising out of the same core facts alleged in the 2010 FCPA enforcement action against Innospec (see here for the prior post).In addition, if the so-called “victim” issue in FCPA enforcement actions is of interest to you (i.e. because the FCPA involves bribery and corruption, when there is an FCPA enforcement action, there must be a victim) , you also should read the recent U.K. decision because it is instructive on this issue as well.Prior to discussing the recent U.K. decision, a bit of background is necessary.In 2010, Innospec agreed to pay approximately $26 million to resolve DOJ and SEC enforcement actions (see here).  The conduct was wide-ranging in that the enforcement action involved alleged violations of U.S. sanctions regarding doing business in Cuba in addition to alleged conduct in violation of the FCPA.  Even as to the FCPA conduct, the enforcement action was wide-ranging and included “standard” Iraq Oil-for-Food allegations found in a number of previous enforcement actions (i.e. inflated commission payments to an agent which were then used to pay kickbacks to the government of Iraq) as well as alleged conduct in Indonesia.The bulk of the enforcement action though concerned DOJ allegations that Ousama Naaman (Innospec’s agent in Iraq) paid various bribes to officials in Iraq’s Ministry of Oil (“MoO”) to “ensure” that a competitor’s product “failed a field trial test and therefore would not be used by the MoO” as well as other allegations that Naaman paid other bribes to officials of the MoO to obtain and retain contracts with MoO on Innospec’s behalf.The DOJ’s criminal information alleged (or perhaps merely assumed) a casual connection between the alleged bribes and the failed field test, as well as two specific contracts: a 2004 Long Term Purchase Agreement (“LTPA”) and a 2008 Long Term Purchase Agreement.As often happens in this day and age, an Innospec competitor used the core conduct alleged in the DOJ’s enforcement action “offensively” in bringing civil claims against Innospec and various individuals in a U.K. court.As highlighted in the U.K. decision, the claims were brought by a Jordanian company which alleged that Innospec “conspired to injure the claimants by engaging in corrupt practices, in particular the bribery of officials within the [MoO] with the intention of inducing its refineries to buy TEL rather than MMT …”.TEL refers to a lead based fuel additive called tetraethyl lead and MMT refers to methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, a product developed as a manganese based octane boosting and antiknock additive which was less toxic than TEL.The U.K. decision is extremely dense as to the facts and circumstances surrounding the MoO’s decision to use TEL vs. MMT.Relevant to the “but for” causation topic of this post, and as described by the U.K. court, the claimants “claim damages for the losses they allege they have suffered as a consequence of the conspiracy on the basis that, but for the bribery and corruption, the MoO would have started to purchase MMT ….”.  As further described by the U.K. court, “the claimants also allege that between 2002 and 2008 payments were authorized by Innospec for travel and other expenses, including pocket money for Iraqi officials to incur goodwill and ensure continued orders of TEL.”In the words of the U.K. court, in order for the claims to succeed, the claimants had to establish, among other things, that the decision to replace TEL with MMT “was not implemented because the promise of bribes by Mr. Naaaman procured the MoO to enter into the 2004 LTPA and that prevented sales of MMT” and “that, but for the promise of bribes, the decision would have been implemented and the MoO would have replaced TEL with MMT from early 2004 onwards, so that the counterfactual scenario on which the claim is based would have occurred.”  (Confusing verbiage to be sure, but that is what the decision says).As noted in the U.K. decision, Innospec denied that bribes or the promise of bribes induced the 2004 LTPA, lead to the requirement of the field test or its result, or induced the 2008 LTPA.  Innospec argued that despite its admissions in the FCPA enforcement actions, the “court must look carefully and analytically at the evidence there is as to what bribes were paid and promised and when and whether any bribes paid or promised actually led to a decision different from that which would have been made anyway.”In short, instead of merely alleging or assuming causation between alleged bribe payments and business or other benefits like the U.S. did in the FCPA enforcement action, the U.K. court held approximately 15 days of hearings with multiple witnesses to actually determine if there was a casual link between the alleged bribe payments or other benefits that Innospec obtained.The end result of this process is that the U.K. court did not find any casual links and indeed found false certain allegations in the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action.For instance, as to the DOJ’s allegations that “Naaman, on behalf of Innospec, paid approximately $150,000 in bribes to officials of the MoO to ensure that MMT … failed a field trial test and therefore would not be used by the MoO as a replacement for TEL,” the U.K. court concluded that Naaman never made such payments.  Indeed, the U.K. court noted Naaman’s admission (which occurred after resolution of Innospec’s FCPA enforcement action) “that he had never in fact paid the U.S. $150,000 in bribes to MoO officials to fail the field test, but had simply pocketed the money himself.”In the words of the court, “this has an important impact on the issue of causation.”Regarding Innospec’s admission in the FCPA enforcement action that Naaman did indeed make such payments, the U.K. court stated:“Unbeknownst to Innospec at the time they admitted these allegations, Mr. Naaman never in fact paid any of these monies to Iraqi officials, but notwithstanding that, Innospec had committed the relevant offense under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by making payments to him, believing they were reimbursing him for bribes paid, even though in truth they were not.”In the words of the U.K. court, Naaman became upset that Innospec was not reimbursing him for certain expenses he viewed as being owed to him and that Naaman “saw the field test on MMT as an opportunity to recoup those expenses and informed Innospec that he proposed bribing the Iraqi engineers to fail the field test.  Innospec readily agreed and paid him some U.S. $150,000, expecting it would be used for bribes.  He kept the funds himself, believing that MMT would fail the field test […]  On the material before the court, this was the first time it had emerged (some 10 months after Innospec signed the [U.S.] Plea Agreement) that money Innospec had paid to Mr. Naaman believing he had paid or promised to pay bribes was not so paid but simply pocketed by him.”Regarding the 2004 LTPA that the DOJ alleged was a result of alleged improper payments to Iraqi officials, the U.K. court first noted the following about the U.S. invasion of Iraqi:“[T]he U.S. authorities put Kellogg, Brown & Root in charge of procurement for the requirements of the Iraqi refineries, effectively replacing the finance department within the MoO.  All spending had to be approved by KBR which was the only entity which could actually conclude contracts and purchase products.”“It seems to me that claimants’ case overlooks the fact that any switch to MMT would have had to be approved by KBR, and the weight of evidence at this time in August 2003 and thereafter is that KBR was not particularly enamoured of MMT, pointing strongly to the likelihood that, even if the claimants were right that there was a decision to continue with TEL and not to switch to MMT, which was in some way induced by bribery, the MoO may well have been driven to the same decision irrespective of bribery, because of the attitude of KBR.”Elsewhere, the U.K. court termed it “fanciful in the extreme” certain of claimants’ evidence which sought to establish causation between the alleged bribes and business to Innospec.In short, the U.K. court concluded that the 2004 LTPA was not procured by bribery.  Further the U.K. court stated:“[T]he decision to enter the LTPA had to be and was endorsed by the American authorities .  Since there is no basis for saying that they were corrupted by the payment or promise of bribes, that is further demonstration that the LTPA was not procured by bribery.”Indeed, in the words of the U.K. court, “bribery [was] the least likely explanation” for certain MoO decisions regarding the conduct at issue.  Elsewhere, the court stated that any suggestion that considerations made by the MoO “was induced or influenced by bribery by Innospec would be frankly ridiculous” and a “logical non-sequitur and a step too far.”In closing, the U.K. court stated that even if it were wrong – and that the 2004 LTPA was procured by bribery ” that the MOO would always have followed the course they did, of continuing to use TEL given the octane boost they needed …”.In terms of the 2008 LTPA, the U.K. court found that “no orders were ever placed under the LTPA, since the investigations by the U.S. authorities intervened.”In short, what happened in the U.K. action was rather remarkable.Certain facts alleged in a DOJ FCPA enforcement were subjected to an adversarial process and the resulting judicial scrutiny found certain facts false.  Moreover, instead of merely alleging or assuming causation, as if often the case in FCPA enforcement actions as relevant to determining settlement amounts, the U.K. court analyzed causation and found it lacking.The U.K. action is also instructive when it comes to analyzing whether there are so-called “victims” in all FCPA enforcement actions.  In the past several years, there has been calls by some for portions of FCPA settlement amounts to be paid out to “victims” of the conduct alleged in the FCPA enforcement action.  (See here and here for prior posts). The general theory seems to be – for example – that if an FCPA enforcement action alleges bribes paid in Nigeria, Nigerian citizens must therefore be the “victims” of the conduct and thus somehow entitled to compensation.As highlighted in prior posts, while this proposal “feels good,” it is not warranted for many different reasons.  In short, this proposal assumes two things:  (i) that FCPA enforcement actions always represent provable FCPA violations; and (ii) that there is a always a casual connection between the alleged bribes influencing “foreign official” conduct, that then always causes harm to the citizens of the “foreign official’s” country.As to the first issue, such an assumption is not always warranted given that the vast majority of FCPA enforcement actions are resolved via non-prosecution agreements, deferred prosecution agreements, neither admit nor deny SEC settlements, or SEC administrative orders.  These resolution vehicles often represent the end result of a risk adverse business decision, not necessarily provable FCPA violations.  For instance, in the words of the Second Circuit, SEC neither admit nor deny settlements are not about the truth, but pragmatism.  For this reason, a typical FCPA resolution vehicle should not automatically trigger other actions or issues (whether plaintiff litigation, whistleblower bounties, or payments to an ill-defined group of alleged victims).As to the second issue, such an assumption is also not always warranted.  Several FCPA enforcement actions fit into one of the following categories: (i) unsuccessful bribery attempts; (ii) payments to receive what the company was otherwise legitimately owed by a foreign government; or (iii) other situations where – for a variety of reasons – there would seem to be a lack of causation between the alleged bribes influencing “foreign official” conduct, that then causes harm to the citizens of the “foreign official’s” country. Indeed, most corporate FCPA enforcement actions involve companies that are otherwise viewed as selling the best product for the best price.  Moreover, as highlighted in this prior post, in one FCPA enforcement action a court found that an alleged bribery scheme benefited a foreign country.Despite the above observations which I have long held, the failed field test allegations in the Innospec FCPA enforcement action legitimately caused me to ponder victim issues in FCPA enforcement actions.  After all, the DOJ alleged that Iraqi MoO officials were induced to sabotage a field test of a competitor product that resulted in the more harmful product, from a public health standpoint, to stay on the market.It was a relatively convincing casual connection between an FCPA enforcement action and potential victims.However, as highlighted above, the U.K. court found the failed field test allegation false and otherwise found deficient other causal links between other alleged conduct and actual business or benefits obtained or retained.In short, the U.K. action should instruct the proponents of “victim” compensation that hinging a policy proposal on FCPA resolution documents is not always sound or warranted.last_img read more

University of Miamis Otolaryngology department receives NIH grant for research training

first_img Source:http://med.miami.edu/news/residents-in-otolaryngology-head-and-neck-surgery-receive-nih-research-trai May 4 2018The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is one of eight otolaryngology training programs in the U.S. to receive the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) for interdisciplinary research training in otolaryngology.Research conducted under this grant is supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health, which conducts and supports research in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.The grant provides funding over five years to individual awardees with research training in the basic sciences, in addition to their clinical training as otolaryngologists, that will help them develop the necessary skills to become successful surgeon-scientists in this rapidly evolving field.Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryThis new and highly competitive program is designed to provide otolaryngology residents one additional year of hands-on training as research fellows focused on the study of different research projects related to hearing and communication disorders, disorders of taste and smell, and other important pathologies affecting the upper aerodigestive tract, including head and neck cancers and disorders of swallowing.”The addition of the fourth resident-research track has elevated the academic standing and reputation of our training program, which will continue to grow with the NIH T32 training grant,” said Fred F. Telischi, M.E.E., M.D., FACS, chairman of otolaryngology and professor of neurological surgery and biomedical engineering at the Miller School.Each resident will train with a group of carefully matched faculty mentors who will design individually tailored programs that encompass a base curriculum and specialized training in one of the focus areas. This approach is designed to enable trainees to mature into independent investigators who can be clinically productive while also making contributions to the practice and science of ear, nose and throat disorders.”With this grant, a new generation of surgeons is being prepared to transfer the latest scientific knowledge to patients’ bedsides and back again to therapeutic research settings.” said Xue Zhong Liu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and vice chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology. “By bringing together an accomplished team of educators and mentors, we can successfully address an unmet need in the preparation of surgeons for a career in research that will ultimately translate to better care and improved outcomes for all who are impacted by disorders of the ear, nose and upper aerodigestive tract.”last_img read more

Researchers take important step toward finding protein biomarkers during cancer surgery

first_imgMay 24 2018Isabelle Fournier and her team are out to change surgical oncology.”Better surgery is associated with better prognosis and higher survival,” said Fournier, a professor at the University of Lille and co-director of a proteomics center of INSERM, the French national institute of health. Her laboratory has worked for several years on a device they call the SpiderMass that will enable surgeons to look for markers of cancer in a living patient’s tissue, during an operation. In an article in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, the team reports on an important step toward finding protein biomarkers during surgery.Surgery to remove a primary tumor involves a wait. After the tumor and some healthy surrounding tissue are removed, the surgical team pauses while a pathologist checks the tissue margins under a microscope. Although this process is important for preventing recurrence of the cancer, it can add up to 45 risky minutes under anesthesia.With the new device, Fournier said, “We think that it is possible to open the way to in vivo real-time proteomics,” which could help surgeons find stray cancer cells faster, perhaps even as they make incisions.Fournier’s device uses mass spectrometry, which measures the mass of molecules from complex mixtures. But turning an in vivo tissue sample into gas phase ions for measurements can be a challenge. Until now, no one knew how to extract ions from living tissues without doing harm.So Fournier’s team got creative. Riffing on MALDI, an ionization strategy that uses a carrier molecule mixed with the analyte of interest, they decided to use the water that makes up a majority of human tissue as a carrier to produce a water-assisted laser desorption/ionization, or WALDI. If they could excite the water in a tiny area, it should vaporize, taking ionized organic molecules with it.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer risk”It was an idea at the beginning, and many people thought that it would not work,” Fourier said. “Finally, we have it working beautifully.”The team built a pulsed laser excitation device tuned to heat water precisely by causing vibration in the oxygen-hydrogen bond. In a 2016 paper, they described using this laser to ionize the outermost layer of tissue, penetrating less than one-twentieth of a millimeter. The human volunteers reported a slight tingling sensation. But the ions that appeared were mostly small molecules and lipids, which are more apt than proteins to adopt a negative charge. The team hoped to measure proteins as well.In this new paper, Fournier and colleagues report that they have cracked the protein puzzle. By using a more sensitive mass spectrometer and looking for positively instead of negatively charged ions, they found peaks representing purified proteins they had introduced into a cow liver sample. Now that they know the proteins are detectable, the next step will be finding ways to amplify the protein signal over more abundant lipids and metabolites.In the meantime, the device is already in use for four-legged patients. Fournier’s lab has worked with the veterinary biotech company Oncovet Clinical Research to run a pilot trial, comparing biopsies from pet dogs with sarcoma to healthy tissues. The team developed a lipidomics- and metabolomics-based classification system to robustly identify healthy, necrotic and cancerous tissues. Soon, they will introduce a prototype into a veterinary operating room. If it is successful there, Fournier said, she hopes to reach human clinics, improving tumor removal surgery to give patients better health outcomes. Source:http://www.asbmb.org/last_img read more

Medicaid health coverage expansion due to ACA decreases uninsured cardiacrelated hospitalizations

first_img Source:https://www.rutgers.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 25 2018States that expanded eligibility for their Medicaid program in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, saw fewer uninsured patients among major cardiac-related hospitalizations in the first year compared with states that did not expand the program, according to a study released today in JAMA Network Open.One goal of the Affordable Care Act was to broaden access of health care coverage to low-income individuals and families by expanding Medicaid. However, states were able to choose whether or not they extended Medicaid eligibility, potentially leading to differences in insurance coverage levels across the country for those in lower socioeconomic groups, which have been shown to experience a higher rate of cardiovascular-related and other chronic illnesses. Led by a physician from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the study looked at the differences in the rate of hospitalizations for significant cardiovascular-related events of uninsured individuals before and after the implementation of the ACA.”The expansion of Medicaid health coverage due to the Affordable Care Act appears to have been associated with an immediate reduction in the percentage of individuals hospitalized without insurance,” said Ehimare Akhabue, MD, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who conducted the study while on faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “The data suggest that states that expanded eligibility had a marked decrease in the rates of uninsured hospitalizations compared with states that did not, during the first full year of the ACA implementation.”The researchers analyzed a large sample of data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Databases, which is publicly available, de-identified data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study included hospitalizations not covered by Medicare for three major cardiovascular events: heart attack, stroke and heart failure, from 2009, the year prior to the ACA becoming law, through 2014, the first full year following implementation of the ACA. After removing states from the study with incomplete data, the research team examined information from 30 states in total-17 of which expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2014 and 13 of which did not-constituting nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population and more than 3 million hospitalizations during that time period.Related StoriesApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsThe study is believed to be one of the first to analyze the association between state-level policy regarding Medicaid expansion and changes in uninsured hospitalizations for major cardiovascular events, although prior studies concluded that states which expanded coverage through Medicaid as a result of the ACA had, in general, seen fewer hospitalizations of individuals without insurance. The team also looked at in-hospital deaths of uninsured individuals as a result of cardiovascular events and found no significant change following Medicaid expansion.Although the team did not examine the economic outcomes of a decrease in uninsured hospitalizations in states that expanded Medicaid, it is believed that their findings could potentially have important cost implications for patients, hospitals and policymakers. The study emphasized that many other factors could affect the economic impact of Medicaid expansion, but given that cardiovascular disease is one of the leading public health concerns and a prominent source of medical expenditures it was important to document the potential associations with state and federal policy.last_img read more

Many children with special healthcare needs do not have access to PCMHconcordant

first_img Source:http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2018/09/14/most_kids_with_speci-Wq4m.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 17 2018The “patient-centered medical home” (PCMH) approach is an important tool for providing coordinated care for the millions of American children with special healthcare needs. But most of these special-needs children don’t have access to care consistent with the PCMH approach, reports a study in the October issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.Despite extensive efforts over more than a decade, more than two-thirds of children with special healthcare needs aren’t receiving “PCMH-concordant” care, according to the study by Mónica Pérez-Jolles, PhD, of University of Southern California and Kathleen C. Thomas, PhD, MPH, of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Inequities in PCMH-concordant care are more common in certain subgroups, including children with higher functional impairment.More Progress Needed in Providing PCMH Care for Kids with Special Needs Children with special healthcare needs are those with “a diagnosis of mental illness and/or the presence of a chronic physical or developmental condition that requires a higher use and range of health services compared to the general population.” A national survey estimated that about 15 percent of children have special healthcare needs, and that 23 percent of US families have at least one child with special needs.Because of their complex needs for healthcare and other services, these children are at risk for fragmented care or duplication of services. The PCMH approach – focused on delivering care that is accessible, family-centered, coordinated, comprehensive, culturally competent, compassionate, and high-quality – is an important part of efforts to improve outcomes for children with special healthcare needs.In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement endorsing the PCMH approach for children with special healthcare needs, stating that “every child deserves a medical home.” Drs. Pérez-Jolles and Thomas write, “This study sought to elucidate how much progress have we made on that promise.”Using nationally representative data (the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey) from 2003 to 2013, the researchers analyzed parent/caregiver experience concordant with PCMH care. The survey included data relevant to four PCMH characteristics: accessible, family-centered, comprehensive, and compassionate care. The authors examined the implementation of PCMH-concordant care overall and across the PCMH characteristics measured.Related StoriesHealthcare solutions of the future: Boehringer Ingelheim relies on digitalizationNew solution makes fall recovery safer and easierSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsThe findings suggested that only 31 percent of children with special healthcare needs were receiving PCMH-concordant care, based on a composite score consisting of total average scores across all four characteristics. On analysis of individual characteristics, more than 80 percent of children experienced care that was comprehensive and compassionate, while about 60 percent received accessible and patient-centered care.About 87 percent of children with special healthcare needs had at least moderate functional impairment. These children were less likely to experience PCMH-concordant care – especially those with a high level of functional impairment. Several other characteristics were also linked to lower levels of PCMH-concordant care, including non-white race/ethnicity, lower parental education, low household income, living in a home where English is a second language, and being uninsured or on public health coverage. There were also significant differences by metropolitan area and region.”Overall, our results showed that just under a third of children with special healthcare needs reported experiencing PCMH-concordant care and there was high variation across components,” Drs. Pérez-Jolles and Thomas write. “Thus, despite strong support for this care model, we still have a long way to go to reach ‘every child’…with implementation of [PCMH care].The researchers conclude: “Despite increased parent perception of care that is concordant with medical home care over time, disparities remain among high-need children with special healthcare needs.” The authors believe their findings may be useful in tracking special-needs children at higher risk of healthcare inequities, and in tailoring PCMH care to meet the unique needs of these subgroups.​last_img read more

Frances Institut Pasteur Under Fire Over Missing SARS Vials

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Has the Institut Pasteur been shut down? Mais non! Stories in the press today suggesting that the venerable Parisian institution has been “closed” or ordered to halt its research have been greatly exaggerated, Pasteur Director-General Christian Bréchot tells ScienceInsider. “The institute is fully working,” he says.But Pasteur is struggling with a public relations fiasco after the discovery, made earlier this year, that it can’t account for 2349 vials containing samples from the SARS outbreak in 2003. An independent panel has concluded that the risk for public health is zero, and Pasteur has suspended research in only one of its 18 biosafety level 3 facilities, Bréchot says. But the issue has led to three investigations and has raised questions in the media about the institute’s safety procedures.Today, the website Mediapart published fragments from a leaked letter written by two French Cabinet ministers who listed a series of apparent problems at the lab. “High likelihood of [sample] destruction not ordered by managers and without traceability, two-month delay in reporting the information to responsible authorities, lists of authorized persons not initially available, freezers not secured, absence of video surveillance, archives not available during weekend,” wrote research and education minister Benoît Hamon and Marisol Touraine, minister of social affairs, in a letter that Mediapart says was addressed to two government inspectors charged with investigating the issue. Pasteur staff discovered that the vials were missing during a regular inventory of dangerous pathogens in January, Bréchot says. The matter was reported to the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM), which inspected the lab between 8 and 12 April. On 12 April, Pasteur first announced the loss of the vials to the public in a short statement. Bréchot also reported the matter to the police, which is conducting its own investigation, and the two ministers have sent in their own inspection team. (The Institut Pasteur is a private foundation but the French government provides almost 30% of its annual budget.)Bréchot says the vials contained patient material collected during the brief worldwide SARS outbreak, including nasal, trachea, and plasma samples. An extensive investigation among staffers and students to find out what happened to the samples was fruitless. Security measures would make it very difficult for someone to take them outside the lab, says Bréchot, who thinks the most likely explanation is that the samples were accidentally destroyed. “But we don’t know how it happened,” Bréchot says, “and that is clearly unacceptable.”Even if the specimens had left the lab, they would be harmless, Bréchot says. In the past, all attempts to isolate the SARS virus from the samples had failed; what’s more, the vials had previously thawed for several days when the freezer in which they were stored broke down, reducing the chances of any virus surviving, he says. A panel of independent experts that examined the risks concluded that the “infectious potential” was “zero,” according to the institute’s statement.Bréchot says the institute is now working with ANSM to completely review and improve the way it handles dangerous agents. “My job as president is to make sure this never happens again,” he says. read more

WHO panel recommends pilot trials of soso malaria vaccine

first_imgThe world’s first malaria vaccine needs to be tested more before any decision can be made on its wider use, a World Health Organization panel announced today. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), which met this week in Geneva, Switzerland, recommends pilot projects to see whether the vaccine, known as RTS,S or Mosquirix,  can be delivered effectively.RTS,S, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is not a great vaccine.  Studies have shown that it protects about a third of young children against severe malaria; that means it’s far less protective than vaccines for almost any other disease. But it could still save well over a hundred thousand lives every year, SAGE Chair Jon Abramson, a pediatrician at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said at a press conference today. The European Medicines Agency endorsed the use of the vaccine for African children 6 weeks to 17 months old in July. 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 Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The problem is that children need four shots of RTS,S, three of which are given a month apart and the fourth 18 months later.  That doesn’t fit at all with existing vaccination schedules in malaria-affected countries. “The real question is how best to get these four doses in at times when we don’t normally have a health care interaction with the child,” Abramson said today.Three to five large pilot projects that together enroll up to one million children could help answer that question, he said. Plans for the studies could be ready by the time SAGE meets again in April next year, Abramson said. “If we cannot get four doses of this vaccine into the children, we’re not going to be using it,” he added.last_img read more

Updated Obama wants nearly 2 billion in emergency aid to combat Zika

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The funding request includes $250 million to help Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean that has active transmission of Zika virus. The money would be a 1-year increase to bolster health services for at-risk or infected pregnant women and babies born with microcephaly. Another $200 million would go to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support R&D for a vaccine and better diagnostics.Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, says he thinks “the money can be used wisely across the Americas.” Mosquito control will have a spillover effect to other insect-borne diseases, he adds: dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever all are increasing threats that are spread by the arthropods. But Osterholm notes that the request does not address cleaning up solid waste in developing countries, a key to reducing breeding spots for mosquitoes. “What’s fueled A. aegpyti is the overabundance of nondegradable biomaterials,” Osterholm says. “Cleaning it up doesn’t take research. It takes a will to do it.”Congress will have the last word on how much money ultimately is spent on Zika. Lawmakers are not expected to approve a final 2017 spending plan until late this year.*Update, 8 February, 3:26 p.m.: At a White House press conference today to discuss the budget request, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, noted that NIH currently spends about $100 million per year on research into dengue, yellow fever, and other closely related viruses to Zika, which are all flaviviruses. Some of those dollars will go toward Zika studies, but if Congress does not quickly approve the president’s request, Fauci said his institution would have to “move money away from other things” to do the “full gamut of what we need.” Some money now committed to the Ebola response also could be redirected to Zika.In an interview with ScienceInsider, Fauci stressed that the amount of funding needed ultimately will depend on whether the links to serious disease prove real and if this turns into a major outbreak for the country, but they want to stay ahead of the potential problem. “We don’t want to get caught flatfooted,” he said.Fauci and CDC’s Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat tried to allay concerns about other issues, including travel to affected regions during spring break, the 2016 Olympics games in Brazil, the discovery of Zika virus in saliva and urine, and the prospect of quarantining infected people.“With this kind of large-scale spread of a virus that hasn’t been in that many people before we have to keep our eyes open,” Schucat said. “So far what we know is that the people that we’re most concerned about are pregnant women, and in the general public four out of five people seem to have no symptoms and one out of five has very, very mild illness and without us expecting to have lots of deaths.”Given that this is a presidential election year, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest fielded a question about whether the administration expected spending on Zika to become a politicized issue when the weather heats up and local transmission likely begins to occur in the United States. “I’m confident that just about everything will be subjected to some politics over the course of this year,” Earnest said. “But hopefully when it’s something as important as the health of pregnant women in the United States we can keep most of our attention focused where it should be, which is on the science and on the proven steps we know should be taken to keep people safe.”See more of Science’s coverage of the Zika virus here. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img U.S. President Barack Obama today announced that his administration plans to ask Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to beef up preparations for and responses to the Zika virus.More than half the money, which is expected to be part of the fiscal year 2017 budget request to be released Tuesday, would go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to strengthening programs to control mosquitoes—which carry and spread the Zika virus—the new funds would aim to improve domestic and international surveillance of the once exotic pathogen and possible links to disease. Although Zika causes no harm in most people it infects, its possible role in clusters of microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults led the World Health Organization on 1 February to declare that it is a “public health emergency of international concern.”Zika virus has raced around Latin America and the Caribbean over the past year. Although there have been 50 laboratory-confirmed cases in the United States over the past 3 months, all have been in people who have traveled to affected countries. But the Aedes aegpyti mosquito that carries the virus lives in parts of the United States, and health officials expect to see local transmission of Zika occur once warmer weather spurs an increase in mosquito populations. “We must be fully prepared to mitigate and quickly address local transmission within the continental U.S., particularly in the Southern United States,” a White House press release states. Emaillast_img read more

US looking to expert panel to predict future GM products

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 Zimbabwecenter_img The U.S. government is hoping an expert panel will be the next best thing to a crystal ball in helping predict what the future of biotechnology holds. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) in Washington, D.C., yesterday held the first public meeting of a new committee of academic and industry researchers, tasked with forecasting what biotechnologies will emerge in the next 5 to 10 years, and what new types of risk they might pose to the environment or human health.The effort comes as U.S. regulatory agencies prepare to update the legal framework for evaluating biotechnology products.The White House announced last July that it would revise the nearly 24-year-old framework for how companies should clear agricultural biotech products, such as genetically modified (GM) crops and animals, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). New gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR have sped the development of new crop varieties and animals, but products based on engineered organisms sometimes face a web of complex and overlapping regulations before they can reach the market. “We certainly are aware … that science is rapidly advancing,” Consumer Safety Officer Carrie McMahon of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland, told the panel yesterday. “It’s happening so fast that the committee here can do a great service to the agencies by looking to see what’s going on.”The panel won’t release its predictions until December, but EPA, USDA, and FDA regulators who presented to the committee at yesterday’s meeting shared some of the emerging technologies they’re most concerned about. For Chris Wozniak of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, D.C., the uncharted territory is RNA interference—a process of exposing weeds or insects to engineered, double-stranded RNA molecules that silence key genes by disrupting a cell’s ability to translate them into proteins. No companies have yet asked the agency to evaluate such a product, he says, but many are interested. “I’ve been to some meetings where it’s just one person after another. They all want to know the same thing: Who’s going to regulate it and how?”When committee member Jennifer Kuzma, a policy analyst at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, asked what exactly represents a “different type of risk” from existing products, several regulators invoked another nascent technology, known as gene drive. That technology could quickly change the genetic makeup of an entire population of animals by introducing a gene that prevents them from spreading disease, or wipes out a pest population altogether. A separate NAS committee is in the process of evaluating gene-drive technology, which still faces both scientific and regulatory roadblocks. But the prospect of such large-scale changes to a population is “something that we have never looked at before, and we may not have an adequate risk assessment paradigm,” said Neil Hoffman, a science adviser to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Washington, D.C.Mark Segal with EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics in Washington, D.C., meanwhile, wants the panel’s thoughts on a more immediate concern—the growing interest in genetic engineering based on totally lab-designed genes, not genes extracted from another organism. “[For] many of the sources of genetic material that people are thinking about … the organism itself has never been seen—never been cultivated,” he says. He wonders whether that approach makes it inherently more risky to release the resulting GM organism—such as a microbe designed to break down pollutants.Ever in the background of the meeting was CRISPR, the highly precise and efficient gene-editing method generating a slew of new products. This week, USDA announced that it will not regulate CRISPR-edited mushrooms designed to resist browning, or a strain of high-yield waxy corn created by DuPont Pioneer using CRISPR. Like an earlier generation of gene-edited crops already in commercial use, those two products don’t fall in USDA’s purview because their genomes contain no foreign DNA from species considered to be plant pests.last_img read more

Can bitcoins cryptographic technology help save the environment

first_img If you’ve heard of bitcoins, it may have been in the context of people using the digital currency to pay off ransom demands for the contents of their hacked computers or buy drugs on the dark web. But the underlying cryptographic technology, a growing chain of time-stamped records or “blocks” that is shared between many computers, forming a “blockchain,” could also be used to help save the environment, according to a commentary published today in Nature by Guillaume Chapron, an ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Riddarhyttan. Science spoke with him about the future of money, the government, and trust. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: What is a blockchain?A: The blockchain—by which I mean the technology underlying all blockchains—is a protocol to build an immutable ledger, a database of transactions. You could say it’s a kind of decentralized supercomputer that creates trust. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Blockchain, the cryptographic technology behind the digital currency bitcoin, could also be adapted for environmental purposes, such as guaranteeing that fish sold to consumers come from labeled sources, such as these salmon farms in Norway. Email By Matthew HutsonMay. 22, 2017 , 2:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Q: How can it help the environment?A: Environmental problems emerge because we lack trust. The environmental crisis grows in a fertile ground, which is the multiplication of intermediaries. To take an example, if you buy a fish at the supermarket, the supply chain is very long. The supermarket might not even know where it came from. And so there are multiple opportunities for environmentally unsustainable goods to enter the supply chain. A blockchain-based supply chain would mean that when you buy a fish, you scan a QR code [like a bar code] with your smartphone, and you see every step. And you know that it cannot be falsified.The blockchain can also change how we treat ownership. In many developing countries, land rights are not properly defined and a government or a company could claim a land that is owned by a local community. So if we were to put a land registry on the blockchain, it would be immutable. We could not falsify that land registry.The blockchain can also influence policymaking. Blockchain voting is a very cheap and secure way of organizing elections. Now, if you want to organize an election on how to manage a natural resource, whether it’s a forest or fishery, you need to plan the infrastructure, you need the ballot boxes, you need to tell people to go out and vote that day. That takes a lot of money, a lot of time. And in the end maybe people may not trust the results. With a blockchain, you could vote with a smartphone and your cryptographic identity and achieve strong security.The fourth way is by changing incentives. A blockchain can ensure that an event will happen. That sounds a bit strange, but if you put a contract on the blockchain, you can include business logic as computer code. When a condition is met, the contract will be automatically executed. For example, we could have satellites remotely monitoring biodiversity, and if we reach a certain amount of biodiversity in an area we could reward the local community with immediate and direct payment. You could say, “How are you going to pay communities if they don’t have bank accounts, which is the case for about 2 billion people on the planet?” Then comes the blockchain again. They can simply create a bitcoin wallet as soon as they have access to the internet.Q: Are there downsides to the blockchain?A: There are several downsides. The first one is that the blockchain is still slow. It handles seven transactions per second, compared to 2000 for the Visa network. And then the big irony is that the blockchain is a giant sucker of energy, consuming almost twice that of the whole company Google. What’s needed is to develop a more energy-efficient algorithm. Another disadvantage is, if you have a bitcoin wallet and you lose your private key, your digital signature, then your bitcoins are lost forever. What we need is to hide the cryptographic complexity in smartphone apps.Q: Are a lot of ecologists interested in the blockchain approach?A: I’m not aware of any other academic papers that link the blockchain to how it can help the environment. We need more development. We have FinTech, which is using new computer technology to help the financial industry, but I am proposing the term SusTech, which is using new technology like the blockchain to help sustainability. And the other that has not been much mentioned before is cryptogovernance. We have cryptocurrency, like bitcoin. What I propose is to explore governance that relies on cryptography, through elections and contracts. When people understand more and more what the blockchain will allow, they will have more and more new ideas that we can’t imagine today. My paper is intended to stimulate thinking. Can bitcoin’s cryptographic technology help save the environment? Andrey Armyagov/Alamy Stock Photo Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Massive star system primed for intense explosion

first_img By Daniel CleryNov. 19, 2018 , 11:00 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A star system in our galaxy could give us a ringside seat for one of the brightest lightshows in the universe. And, with luck, it won’t wipe out all life on our planet.The system—located 8000 light-years away and dubbed Apep after an Egyptian snake deity—contains a binary pair of stars surrounded by a serpentine-shaped dust cloud. One of stars is an unusually massive sun known as a Wolf-Rayet star. When such stars run out of fuel, they collapse, causing a supernova explosion. Theorists believe that if the Wolf-Rayet star is also spinning fast, the explosion will produce intense jets of gamma rays out of either pole—which we can see far across the universe as a gamma ray burst, if we happen to be in the path of the beam.Apep may be just such a case: Both stars are blowing off fast stellar winds; as the winds collide, they billow out in plumes of dust which, as the pair rotate, forms into the pinwheel pattern pictured above. Looking at the spectra of light from the system, the team found that wind is coming off the Wolf-Rayet star at a blistering 3400 kilometers per second, but that the dust plumes are moving at a more leisurely 570 kilometers per second. This is possible, they say in today’s issue of Nature Astronomy, if the Wolf-Rayet star is rotating rapidly and so producing fast wind at the pole and slower gusts at its equator. If the scientists are right, and this is a rapidly rotating Wolf-Rayet star, it could be the best candidate yet for a gamma ray burst in our own galaxy, although it may not blow for many thousands of years. University of Sydney/European Southern Observatory Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Massive star system primed for intense explosion Theorists have suggested that if Earth happened to be lined up with such a nearby gamma ray blast, the intense ray of energy could wipe out our ozone layer or worse. But the team thinks Apep isn’t pointing in our direction. So enjoy the show and stay safe! Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Emperor penguins flee unsteady ice after unprecedented failure to breed

first_imgEmperor penguins have recently abandoned this major breeding site in Antarctica because of unsteady sea ice. Christopher Walton Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emperor penguins flee unsteady ice after ‘unprecedented’ failure to breed Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Erik StokstadApr. 24, 2019 , 7:00 PM Antarctica’s charismatic emperor penguins are thought to be particularly vulnerable to climate change, because warming waters are melting the sea ice where they live and breed. Now, the penguins have abandoned one of their biggest colonies after breeding pairs there failed to raise almost any new chicks in 3 years. Although the move cannot directly be attributed to climate change, researchers say it is an ominous sign of things to come for the largest of penguin species.Emperor penguins need sea ice that remains solid for most of the year while they find mates, breed, and raise their chicks. This requirement has become a critical problem for their second-largest colony, in Halley Bay in the Weddell Sea. Starting in 2015, sea ice there has been disrupted by powerful storms driven a particularly intense El Nino, the periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that alters global weather patterns.To see how the colony was faring, remote sensing expert Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge analyzed high-resolution satellite imagery, which shows individual penguins and groups of the birds, from 2009 to 2018. Over that time, Fretwell estimated, the colony hosted between 14,000 and 25,000 adults and chicks. Since 2016, however, that population has dropped to nearly zero, Fretwell found—and he saw almost no chicks, an “unprecedented” period of reproductive failure for emperor penguins, he and co-author Phil Tranthan, a penguin ecologist with the British Antarctic Survey, report online in Antarctic Science. “Since we know little about the population trends of emperor penguins in most colonies, this is not good news,” says Dee Boersma, a penguin ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in the research.The breeding failure might by itself not have a long-term impact on the species. “Since … some individuals [live] more than 30 years, these penguins should have other breeding opportunities,” Boersma says. Many of that colony’s penguins seem to be moving to the nearest adjacent colony, 55 kilometers away, which increased in population 10-fold as the population fell at Halley Bay.But the change is still worrying, researchers say, because this part of the Weddell Sea was thought to be relatively insulated from the dramatic changes to ice happening elsewhere around the continent. “I thought the Weddell Sea would be one of the last places we would see this,” Tranthan says. “The fact that these penguins are still vulnerable is a surprise.”last_img read more

Indiana Jones of Art Tracks Down Stolen 6th Century Mosaic

first_imgThe man called “the Indiana Jones of the art world” has located a precious 6th century mosaic stolen from Cyprus. Finding the 1,600-year-old piece in a Monaco apartment felt very special, Dutch art detective Arthur Brand said. He handed the work over to the Cypriot embassy in The Hague in mid-November 2018.The recovery of the artwork, which is valued between $6 million and $10 million, brought to a conclusion an almost two-year chase across Europe.Dutch art detective Arthur Brand poses with the missing mosaic of St. Mark, a rare piece of stolen Byzantine art from Cyprus, in a hotel room in The Hague on November 17, 2018. Brand said he handed back the artwork to Cypriot authorities on the same day. Photo by Jan HENNOP / AFP/Getty ImagesThrough a series of intermediaries — including contacts in the underground and black-market — Brand traced the artwork to Monaco.“This is a very special piece that’s more than 1,600 years old. It’s one of the last and most beautiful examples of art from the early Byzantine era,” Mr. Brand told AFP.The mosaic was removed from Panayia Kanakaria church, about 65 miles northeast of Nicosia, when it was looted in the 1970s during the Turkish invasion.Evening light over Panayia Kanakaria church, North Cyprus.“The mosaics of Kanakaria are of immense importance in Christian art and world culture,” said Maria Paphiti, a former department head at British auction house Christie’s in an interview in The Telegraph.“It was in the possession of a British family, who bought the mosaic in good faith more than four decades ago,” Brand said. “They were horrified when they found out that it was, in fact, a priceless art treasure.”The family agreed to return it “to the people of Cyprus” in return for a small fee to cover restoration and storage costs, he added.The newest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, which stars Harrison Ford, is scheduled for release in 2020.Brand earned the Indiana Jones nickname in 2015 after he found two horse statues that once stood outside Adolf Hitler’s office.Harrison Ford in a scene from the film ‘Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom’, 1984. Photo by Paramount/Getty ImagesEight Germans between the age of 64 and 79, in some news reports described as Nazi sympathizers, were investigated in that case, Brand said. Many other works of art were found during the raids and authorities had to determine their provenance.The horses once stood on either side of the stairs into the chancellery that Hitler built in Berlin. The building, like most in the center of the capital, was damaged during World War II. It was ordered demolished by the Soviets, who used its red marble walls to build a memorial to their war dead in East Berlin.The works were last seen in 1989 on display at a sports field in East Germany that was part of a Soviet barracks in Eberswalde, near Berlin, before the fall of the Berlin Wall.Photo credit JAN HENNOP/AFP/Getty ImagesThe objects were all found in a warehouse in the town of Bad Duerkheim in the southwestern state of Rhineland Palatinate, Neuendorf said. Other raids were carried out in Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Schleswig-Holstein. It is not known how the art ended up in Bad Duerkheim.Police started investigating after learning that someone was trying to sell the art on the black market, according to the National Post.Brand has played a role in news-making antiquities discoveries, forgery busts, and stolen art cases. Dealing with customs agents and national police on one hand and art smugglers, forgers, and treasure hunters on the other, Brand investigates what the FBI describes as the third largest black market in the world. Only drugs and guns generate more cash.In his career, Brand has uncovered 1,300-year-old treasure illegally looted from a tomb in Peru and helped deliver the only known copy of the Gospel of Jesus from Egypt to biblical scholars. In 2011, Brand founded a consultancy called Artiaz to assist museums and governments in locating and acquiring illegal art.“I don’t want to be in the newspapers as the next big criminal in the art world,” Brand told Vice. “I want to solve mysteries. In the morning, I want to be able to face myself in the mirror.”Read another story from us: Rare Alexander Hamilton Family Heirlooms Given to MuseumDevotion to pursuing art that “belongs in a museum” is the only way to function in a corrupt art world, Brand believes.last_img read more

Hunter for Nazi Gold Train Finds Renaissance Wall Portraits Instead

first_imgA Polish man who spent years hunting for the rumored “Nazi gold train” without success did make an important discovery in March 2019 that had nothing to do with the Third Reich: two dozen priceless Renaissance portraits. Piotr Koper had been hard at work renovating the walls of an old palace near from Walbrzych in southwest Poland. He found 24 wall portraits that were 500 years old hidden behind the plaster walls.“The construction entrepreneur and lover of local mysteries was carefully lowering the remains of a dome that once covered the palace ballroom when he noticed fragments of paintings under old plasterwork,” according to The First News (TFN).Alleged hiding place of the Gold Train in Wałbrzych. Photo by RafalSs CC BY-SA 4.0The dome is a Baroque wooden structure; the treasure appeared when Koper and his team of restorers pulled away more plaster.Koper told TFN: “When we pulled away the plaster, we saw a delicate strip of painting underneath. We pulled away some more and we discovered a whole line of well-preserved paintings. We managed to uncover the paintings without damaging them, which is a great success.” The restorers were initially focused on the tricky operation to lower the historic dome.One of unfinished tunnels of Project Riese in the Owl Mountains. Photo by Chmee2 CC BY-SA 3.0“The first well-preserved portrait made on the wall surprised everyone. It was an accidental discovery, we didn’t expect to find such a rarity,” says Koper.Only 24 wall portraits have been completely uncovered and identified. One side of the room has images of medieval rulers from the region of Silesia, and on the other side there are images of four Roman emperors.Krzysztof Wieczorek, the owner of the palace, told the Daily Mirror: “The title Holy Roman Emperor was also used by the medieval rulers of Bohemia and Silesia, hence the presence of the ancient Roman rulers. Each of these huge paintings was made about four metres (13 feet) above the ground.”Photo by historia-swidnica.pl“The oval shows the ruler and around the painting information about his main titles, such as emperor, king, ruler of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia and emperor. In the lower part is information about the time of his reign and death, and at the top his official maxim at that time.” Because the paintings depict Ferdinand I, a Hapsburg and Holy Emperor from 1558 to 1564, it is possible to date the artwork to the 16th century.Related Video:Koper’s earlier obsession with the Nazi Gold Train made headlines from 2015 to 2018. He and his partner, amateur historian Andreas Richter, were convinced that they were on the trail of a legendary gold treasure train hidden by Nazi troops in a tunnel as the Germans fled the area between Wroclaw and Walbrzych in southwest Poland in the last months of World War II.Railway embankment at “Zone 65”, near the crossing of Uczniowska Street, Wałbrzych, where it was claimed the Gold Train was hidden. Photo by RafalSs CC BY-SA 4.0The buried train supposedly contained art, jewelry, the famous Amber Room stolen from a Russian palace, and even advanced Nazi weapons. Historians and excavation experts scoffed and said there was no basis for believing such a train was hidden underground. However, Koper and Richter sank tens of thousands of Euros into their dig.Photo by historia-swidnica.plLast February, Richter gave up, telling one interviewer, “I don’t want to do anything foolish anymore.” Koper, however, told the media he was prepared to push on alone. The wall paintings found in a Baroque dome were not part of his search for the train but a restoration project he undertook for the building’s owner.Photo by Getty ImagesThat owner said, “Our goal was only to save the Baroque dome, which is the only one in the world painted in the Renaissance style. Piotr’s discovery surpasses even this.”Read another story from us: On Display: Stunning Viking Bead Necklace Belonging to a Pagan SorceressHe continued, “There are many more things to discover. Underneath the line of portraits there is an area 150 square meters under which there are also paintings. We don’t know anything about them.”Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more

Iraqi protesters urge Baghdad to stay out of USIran showdown

first_imgAmid rising U.S.-Iran tension, a rocket was fired last week into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and diplomatic missions, but caused no casualties. No group claimed responsibility; U.S. officials say they strongly suspect Iran’s local allies.The attack came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraqi leaders that if they failed to keep in check powerful Iran-backed militias, Washington would respond with force.U.S. intelligence had showed militias positioning rockets near bases housing U.S. forces, according to Iraqi security sources.After pulling out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Trump restored U.S. sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them this month, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil or face sanctions themselves. protests in iraq, iraq protests, us iran relations, US Iran tension, Middle East news, Baghdad Supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gather during a protest calling for neutrality during the ongoing tensions between neighbouring Iran and the USA, in Baghdad, on Friday. (Reuters)Thousands of supporters of a populist Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim cleric urged political and factional leaders on Friday to stay out of any conflict between Baghdad’s two biggest allies, Iran and the United States. Advertising Protesters from the movement of Moqtada al-Sadr, who once led Shi’ite militiamen against U.S. forces and is also vocally critical of Iranian influence in Iraq, chanted “no to war” and “yes to Iraq” in central Baghdad and the southern city of Basra.Iraqis worry that their country will be caught up in any escalation of U.S.-Iranian tensions, which spiked earlier this month when President Donald Trump’s administration said it had sent additional forces to the Middle East to counter alleged threats including from Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.Politicians and Shi’ite paramilitary leaders have called for calm and the Iraqi government has tried to position itself as a mediator between the two sides. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Top News P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Post Comment(s) Iraq has said it will send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help calm tensions.Both Iran and the United States say they do not want war, but security officials and analysts warn that a small incident could spark a new spiral of violence in the volatile region. More Explained Best Of Express Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Taking stock of monsoon rain Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 By Reuters |Baghdad | Published: May 25, 2019 8:06:39 am “We’ve just recovered from Islamic State. Iraq must not be used as a base to try to harm any country. America doesn’t want Iraq to be stable,” said protester Abu Ali Darraji.There was speculation that Sadr would speak to demonstrators in Baghdad but he did not appear. The firebrand leader, whose political bloc came first in Iraq’s parliamentary election last year, is a friend of neither Washington nor Shi’ite Iran.The United States once described Sadr as the most dangerous man in Iraq, and designated his militia at the time, the Mehdi Army, a bigger threat to its forces than al Qaeda during an insurgency against U.S. troops after their 2003 invasion.Sadr campaigned last year on a platform of Iraqi nationalism, opposed to both U.S. and Iranian influence in the country.last_img read more