Category: tdqvrnou Page 1 of 11

Are Central Banks Supporting Share Markets

first_img « Central Banks Buying Equities Categories: Stock Indicies Tags: bond bubble, Bonds, private wave QUESTION: Hi Marty, Happy 4th July to you & your team. My question is: Have the Central Banks now created an asymmetric trade (free bet!) with respect to the stock market? It appears they cannot let any market fall. Sincerely,AlanANSWER: I understand many people always look for some party to blame for a move. But what is going on is far more serious. There is a rising tide of major capital that is beginning to understand that we are on the brink of a serious collapse in confidence. I have been warning that the stock markets are the alternative to government, and we are facing a bubble in government bonds beyond anything recorded in history to date. There is no place to run other than private assets. Sure, you will get the goldbugs preaching all will come crashing down except gold. There is just no such period in history where that scenario has EVER unfolded.The shift from public to private is unfolding. The bubble in bonds is in part created by regulation where pension funds MUST be invested in government paper for the government claims they are AAA and safe. But historically, governments always go broke as their debt is unsecured. Whereas with corporate debt, you get liquidation and some return on assets when sold. With government, you get nothing. Decreeing pensions must have some portion of government paper, even if they lose money on the transaction, has led to a huge bond bubble. We have many pension funds attending our WECs because of this very crisis.It is not the central banks supporting the stock markets. They lack power. The central banks are trapped thanks to Draghi’s more than 10 years of quantitative easing and there is no way to fix the problem now without monetary reform on a grand scale.last_img read more

Scientists identify novel biomarkers that indicate risk of polyneuropathy

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 23 2018Polyneuropathy is one of the most common complications in people with diabetes. However, it can also occur with certain risk factors or diseases before the onset of diabetes. First symptoms are often pins-and-needles sensations in the feet. Although polyneuropathy is present in about 30% of people with diabetes, it often remains undiagnosed. Scientists from the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) in Düsseldorf, in cooperation with colleagues from Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), both partners in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), have now been able to show for the first time that six biomarkers of inflammation indicate the risk of polyneuropathy. The results were published in the current issue of the journal “Diabetes”.Although many patients suffer from polyneuropathy, relatively little is currently known about its development, which also limits the therapeutic options. It is known that inflammatory processes contribute to other diabetic complications such as heart attack or stroke. The aim of this new study was therefore the extensive analysis of biomarkers that characterize inflammatory processes as a risk factor for distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSPN). Both people with type 2 diabetes and people in the elderly general population were examined.”In our study, we identified novel biomarkers that indicate the risk of polyneuropathy. For the first time, we were also able to find indications that in addition to the innate immune system, the adaptive immune system could be involved in the development of the disease,” said Professor Christian Herder, MD, head of the study at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ). “These findings could open new therapeutic perspectives. The goal could be to influence the immune system accordingly and thus ultimately prevent the development or progression of neuropathy,” added Professor Dan Ziegler, MD, who is a neuro-diabetologist and deputy director of the Institute for Clinical Diabetology at the DDZ.Study – Procedure and Design The study included 513 men and women of the population-based KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg) F4/FF4 cohort aged 62 to 81 years who had no distal sensory polyneuropathy at the beginning of the study. Of these individuals, 127 developed a DSPN during the 6.5 year follow-up period. The serum level of 71 biomarkers of inflammation was measured using the new proximity extension assay technology. The serum level of 26 of these 71 biomarkers was higher in people who developed polyneuropathy during the study than in people without polyneuropathy. After statistical correction for multiple testing, higher concentrations of six biomarkers remained associated with the DSPN risk. Three of these proteins (MCP-3/CCL7, MIG/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10) were chemokines, while the other three (DNER, CD40, TNFRSF9) were soluble forms of transmembrane receptors.Related StoriesChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brainCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentFibrinogen a key player in health and disease, says new studyThe chemokines showed neurotoxic effects in a cell culture model, which indicates their involvement in the development of neuropathy. When the data for these six biomarkers were added to a clinical risk model, the predictive quality of the model improved significantly. Further pathway analyses indicated that different cell types of innate and adaptive immunity are likely to be involved in the development of DSPN. Overall, this study has therefore been able to reveal novel associations between biomarkers of inflammation and the risk of polyneuropathy and to provide evidence suggesting a complex interaction of innate and adaptive immunity in the development of this complication.ConclusionThis study significantly improves understanding of the role of inflammatory processes in the development of distal sensory polyneuropathy in the elderly both with and without type 2 diabetes. The main findings must now be replicated in other cohorts. In addition to biochemical investigations, investigations of immune cells are also important. The long-term aim of this work is to clarify whether and how modulation of inflammatory processes can supplement the options for prevention and therapy of distal sensory polyneuropathy.Source: http://dzd-ev.de/en/latest/news/news/article/numb-burning-and-tingling-sensations-in-the-feet-new-biomarkers-of-inflammation-identified-as-risk/index.htmllast_img read more

US neutrino experiments first result tantalizes

first_imgThe United States’ newest neutrino experiment has collected only one-thirteenth of its expected data, but early results suggest it could achieve its main goal: ranking the mysterious particles by their weights. Neutrinos are nearly massless and barely interact with other matter; they come in three “flavors”—electron, muon, and tau—that can morph into one another. Two of the neutrinos are close in mass and one is different, but physicists don’t know whether there are two light ones and one heavy one (the so-called normal hierarchy) or the other way around (the inverted hierarchy). Physicists with the $278 million NOνA experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, hope to determine the ordering by firing muon neutrinos to a 14,000-tonne detector (above) in northern Minnesota and looking for electron neutrinos emerging in the beam. The first year’s data yield between six and 11 conversions—somewhat more than expected—and hint that the hierarchy is normal, NOνA researchers reported at the lab today. The result suggests that NOνA will eventually deliver a definitive answer—which is not a sure bet. Other experiments to test whether the neutrino is, weirdly, its own antiparticle may be feasible only if the hierarchy is inverted.last_img read more

A simple change of stance could dramatically increase your dating success

first_imgPlenty of communication happens with no words at all, especially in modern dating where the choice of a partner could be based on a single picture (think Tinder). For instance, expansiveness—how far apart you spread your limbs—could signal to a romantic partner that a person is socially dominant, making them appear more desirable. To figure out whether this link holds in modern dating, researchers tested whether bigger postures—like outstretched arms and spread-apart legs—were more attractive in two scenarios where people meet mates today: speed dating and smartphone-based dating applications. Video analysis of 144 speed dates showed that for each one-point increase on a seven-point scale of expansiveness, college students’ chances of getting a “yes” response increased by 76%, according to the paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But that’s just a correlation. Next, to see whether a wider stance actually causes attractiveness and not the other way around, the researchers took to dating applications in San Francisco, California, recording how many people matched with fake profiles that had big or small stances. And indeed, profiles with widely spread limbs got 27% more matches than those with limbs held tight. In both experiments, the effects held for both men and women. These findings may not apply to all groups—but for Illinois college students and San Francisco online daters, at least, a spread-out stance could help net a second date.last_img read more

How much do graduate students benefit from studying abroad

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The National Science Foundation (NSF) is rethinking how to provide U.S. graduate students with a chance to do science in another country. It also wants to know whether its current foreign travel programs are working.“We want graduate students to go where they need to go for the science,” says Rebecca Keiser, head of NSF’s international office, which is conducting a multipronged review of the agency’s investments in such programs. “But we need to figure out how to provide the right opportunities for them.”The issue is also the subject of a NSF-funded workshop this week. And NSF has resumed accepting applications from students in its flagship Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program to carry out research in one of 18 countries. Last fall, GRF fellows seeking a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) supplement were surprised to find out that NSF wasn’t accepting proposals. How much do graduate students benefit from studying abroad? By Jeffrey MervisJan. 7, 2019 , 2:55 PM Bryan Meltz/Emory photo video Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Keiser says NSF regrets that the unannounced pause of GROW caught the academic community by surprise, creating confusion among students and institutions about whether the program had been canceled. “We never stopped it,” Keiser says. But, “We learned that you can never communicate enough. It was an important lesson for us.”Looking for evidenceMany U.S. graduate students in the sciences see working in another nation as an important part of their training. For example, molecular biologist Crystal Grant says a big reason she applied for one of NSF’s GRFs was that she would also be eligible for a $5000 GROW award.She got both. As a result, after spending 4 years at Emory University in Atlanta studying the epigenetic factors in healthy human aging under human geneticist Karen Conneely, Grant is now halfway through a 1-year stint with scientists at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.Grant assumed that building an international network of research collaborators, and learning about another culture, would be a surefire way to boost her scientific career. But the conventional wisdom that such international experiences result in a better-trained U.S. scientific workforce turns out to be based largely on anecdotal evidence.“There’s not a lot of research on the topic,” says Brian Mitchell, interim associate dean for graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. “As with graduate education as a whole, we believe that it works. But we don’t really know how or why.”To find some answers, NSF gave Mitchell $100,000 to hold this week’s workshop. (The workshop was originally scheduled for NSF headquarters in Alexandria, Virgiinia, but the partial government shutdown forced Mitchell to move it to a hotel across the street.) One goal is to develop a research agenda that could help the agency better understand and improve international work experiences. For example, little is known about how mentors view such programs, or how best to evaluate the value of working abroad.Graduate education is based on an apprenticeship model, Mitchell notes, with the student typically working under a single faculty member. What that mentor thinks about the idea of doing research overseas plays a huge role in shaping the student’s experience. “For a lot of advisers,” says Mitchell, a chemical engineer, “their attitude is, ‘I’m OK with it as long as it doesn’t slow you down [from finishing your degree].’ So the duration and timing of the research experience is an important factor.”Even if a student gets the green light to go abroad, Mitchell says, researchers know very little about the experience itself, including how best to support students in a new setting, what skills they acquire, and how to assess whether they have put their time to good use.The traditional yardsticks for measuring research outputs are publications or presentations at a scientific meeting, he says. But that may not necessarily be true for judging an overseas experience, he speculates. In any case, capturing the full impact of their visit means tracking them for a long time, and Mitchell says few programs have the resources or even the desire to do that.Seeking greater impactLast month, NSF sent a letter to the research community seeking input on its international programs for graduate students. It mentions some of the challenges those programs face. For example, it notes that GROW has been undersubscribed, and Keiser says, “We’re not sure why.”One hurdle, she speculates, is that students must make their own arrangements with the host institution. Another potential obstacle is that students can only go to one of the 18 countries that have inked a bilateral agreement with NSF for such visits.More broadly, she says, there’s also concern that the impact of GROW and other NSF programs funding individual students is limited to those students and is not scalable. In addition, such programs may unconsciously favor students with means and existing connections over students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science. “We would like to make these opportunities available to as many students as possible,” Keiser says.Toward that goal, last year, NSF broadened a long-running program called International Research Experiences for Students (IRES). It has traditionally given grants to about a dozen U.S. universities a year to support a small group of undergraduate and graduate students exploring a particular topic at a foreign institution for a month or so.A new solicitation for IRES contains two new tracks. One will fund a dozen or so intensive, short courses for graduate students at an international revue. A second track invites professional societies and other nonacademic institutions to apply for a grant to run a semester-long course abroad drawing on a diverse pool of U.S.-based students. Grantees would select participants and be responsible for ensuring a high-quality research experience. NSF has set aside $11 million this year for the program.An extension for GROWEven as NSF tries out new approaches, the agency decided to extend GROW, which began as a pilot in 2013, for at least one more year. Last month, it notified all current GRF fellows that they could submit a GROW application, due on 1 February, for a research project to be carried out during the next academic year.For Grant, her stint at Leiden has gone exactly as she had hoped. She gained access to tissue from a much larger cohort of patients and expects to write up a paper that is distinct from her work at Emory. And then there are the intangible benefits.“I think that the scientific method is the same around the world,” she says. “So that wasn’t a big change. But learning to be comfortable engaging people from a different culture, in a new setting and with a different adviser, that’s a really valuable skill I’ve been able to acquire.”“Yeah, it may have delayed my graduation date a bit,” Grant concedes. “But that’s a small price to pay for everything I’ve gotten from it.”Clarification, 8 January 2019, 1:37 p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify the location of the NSF-funded workshop. Crystal Grant is spending a year in the Netherlands as part of her graduate program at Emory University in Atlanta. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more

Cost of Mars 2020 mission may rise by up to 15

first_img THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS—It was largely buried in the detailed budget justification for 2020 that NASA released today, but it didn’t take long for eagle-eyed scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) here to dig it up: NASA’s next flagship mission, the $2.46 billion Mars 2020 rover, is following the pattern of its predecessors and seeing its cost rise because of technical issues.The mission’s cost will increase by no more than 15%, Lori Glaze, NASA’s acting director of planetary science, said at LPSC’s annual “NASA night” today. But that sizable sum—which could run to hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on the agency’s final calculations—will take money away from other projects, including small trims to currently operating Mars missions.  The admission is a blow for NASA, which allowed Mars 2020 to grow in scope and ambition earlier this decade but had been proud of it staying within spending limits the agency set in 2016. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe There are small efficiencies to be gained internally in Mars 2020, Glaze says, which, like its predecessor Curiosity, is being developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Some work can be postponed, some timelines tightened; the end of the Opportunity rover, which expired late last year on Mars, will help. But it is expected the costs will largely be borne by trims to the operations of existing Mars missions and funds the agency sets aside for future missions, including the return of the rock samples that Mars 2020 will collect. “We tried to spread it so no one is feeling all of the pain,” Glaze says.Three primary instruments of Mars 2020 are the source of this cost growth. One is the vital and complex sample caching system it will use to collect and store samples for eventual return to Earth. Two new rover instruments that will be mounted on its robotic arm, the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry and the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals, have also experienced technical setbacks, though the agency has not detailed these. All three instruments have been developed primarily by JPL.Time is pressing for the rover. Mars 2020 is taking shape on the floor of JPL’s famed clean room, and instruments from team members outside JPL were set to begin to arrive for integration earlier this year. The mission is set to launch in July 2020 and the agency has given no indication that this date could slip.The Mars 2020 news comes after the agency’s science chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, announced on 5 March that, because of cost growth, he was cutting—or descoping, in NASA argot—a magnetometer instrument on its next flagship mission, the Europa Clipper, also developed by JPL. The Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG) instrument had seen its projected budget triple, to $45.6 million, he wrote, and remaining technical risks could have caused its price tag to continue to rise. “The level of cost growth on ICEMAG is not acceptable,” Zurbuchen wrote. “As a result, I decided to terminate the ICEMAG investigation.” The instrument will be replaced by a simpler model, with development led by researchers and engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles.At NASA night, some scientists felt it was unfair that ICEMAG ended while the Mars 2020 instruments continue. But it’s not a fair comparison, Glaze says. Mars 2020 is so far along in its development that descoping an instrument would save barely any money. “There’s an enormous amount of hardware built,” she says. In contrast, the Clipper is still in formulation, with its launch now expected in 2023. Future flagship missions, and the powerful NASA centers that develop them, will need to fit within the budgets developed for them, she added. “They’ve got to take that seriously.” Email JPL-Caltech/NASA center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Cost of Mars 2020 mission may rise by up to 15% An artist’s conception of the Mars 2020 rover. Several of its instruments are costing more than expected. By Paul VoosenMar. 18, 2019 , 10:30 PMlast_img read more

This is the first known sea turtle—and it laid hard eggs

first_imgEdwin Cadena Unlike all modern sea turtles, which lay eggs with soft, pliable shells, the earliest known sea turtle deposited eggs with hard, mineralized shells on the beach, a new study suggests.The 120-million-year-old fossil (image above) was unearthed in central Colombia more than a decade ago. It belongs to Desmatochelys padillai, a species of sea turtle first described from other fossils in 2015. Since then, computerized tomography scans of the new specimen have revealed more than four dozen almost spherical eggs ranging between about 32 and 43 millimeters in diameter (four shown loose at left, above). And other tests, including a microscopic look at the mineral structure of the well-preserved eggs, reveals eggs had rigid shells, researchers report online today in Palaeontology. The membrane that lined the eggshells in life was much thinner than the shells themselves. That’s similar to the proportions seen in hard-shelled turtle eggs of modern-day freshwater or terrestrial species but totally unlike the proportions seen in today’s sea turtles.It’s unclear why D. padillai laid hard-shelled eggs when today’s sea turtles don’t. One possibility is that it’s an evolutionary throwback from softer eggshells from earlier, as-yet-undiscovered species of sea turtles. Or, the rigid shells may have offered increased protection against birds, crabs, or other predators of the era. In either case, D. padillai was an evolutionary oddity. This is the first known sea turtle—and it laid hard eggscenter_img By Sid PerkinsDec. 19, 2018 , 7:00 AMlast_img read more

Scientists help artificial intelligence outsmart hackers

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Scientists help artificial intelligence outsmart hackers By Matthew HutsonMay. 14, 2019 , 12:45 PM Email NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—A hacked message in a streamed song makes Alexa send money to a foreign entity. A self-driving car crashes after a prankster strategically places stickers on a stop sign so the car misinterprets it as a speed limit sign. Fortunately these haven’t happened yet, but hacks like this, sometimes called adversarial attacks, could become commonplace—unless artificial intelligence (AI) finds a way to outsmart them. Now, researchers have found a new way to give AI a defensive edge, they reported here last week at the International Conference on Learning Representations.The work could not only protect the public. It also helps reveal why AI, notoriously difficult to understand, falls victim to such attacks in the first place, says Zico Kolter, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the research. Because some AIs are too smart for their own good, spotting patterns in images that humans can’t, they are vulnerable to those patterns and need to be trained with that in mind, the research suggests.To identify this vulnerability, researchers created a special set of training data: images that look to us like one thing, but look to AI like another—a picture of a dog, for example, that, on close examination by a computer, has catlike fur. Then the team mislabeled the pictures—calling the dog picture an image of a cat, for example—and trained an algorithm to learn the labels. Once the AI had learned to see dogs with subtle cat features as cats, they tested it by asking it to recognize fresh, unmodified images. Even though the AI had been trained in this odd way, it could correctly identify actual dogs, cats, and so on nearly half the time. In essence, it had learned to match the subtle features with labels, whatever the obvious features.center_img Ilyas, Santurkar, Tsipras, Engstrom, Tran, Madry An artificial intelligence (AI) trained on the photos of a dog, crab, and duck (top) would be vulnerable to deception because these photos contain subtle features that could be manipulated. The images on the bottom row don’t contain these subtle features, and are thus better for training secure AI. The training experiment suggests AIs use two types of features: obvious, macro ones like ears and tails that people recognize, and micro ones that we can only guess at. It further suggests adversarial attacks aren’t just confusing an AI with meaningless tweaks to an image. In those tweaks, the AI is smartly seeing traces of something else. An AI might see a stop sign as a speed limit sign, for example, because something about the stickers actually makes it subtly resemble a speed limit sign in a way that humans are too oblivious to comprehend.Some in the AI field suspected this was the case, but it’s good to have a research paper showing it, Kolter says. Bo Li, a computer scientist at the University of Illinois in Champaign who was not involved in the work, says distinguishing apparent from hidden features is a “useful and good research direction,” but that “there is still a long way” to doing so efficiently.So now that researchers have a better idea of why AI makes such mistakes, can that be used to help them outsmart adversarial attacks? Andrew Ilyas, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, and one of the paper’s authors, says engineers could change the way they train AI. Current methods of securing an algorithm against attacks are slow and difficult. But if you modify the training data to have only human-obvious features, any algorithm trained on it won’t recognize—and be fooled by—additional, perhaps subtler, features.And, indeed, when the team trained an algorithm on images without the subtle features, their image recognition software was fooled by adversarial attacks only 50% of the time, the researchers reported at the conference and in a preprint paper posted online last week. That compares with a 95% rate of vulnerability when the AI was trained on images with both obvious and subtle patterns.Overall, the findings suggest an AI’s vulnerabilities lie in its training data, not its programming, says Dimitris Tsipras of MIT, a co-author. According to Kolter, “One of the things this paper does really nicely is it drives that point home with very clear examples”—like the demonstration that apparently mislabeled training data can still make for successful training—“that make this connection very visceral.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Alabama Woman Indicted For Her Unborn Childs Death

first_img.@fundMSabortions & @YellowFund are working to bail #MarshaeJones out of jail.If you can, please donate at the link below & write MARSHAE in the note. https://t.co/b9QjoqXC7f https://t.co/LYWwnMMU32— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) June 27, 2019 A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach during a fight. The shooting caused her pregnancy to end. She has been indicted for manslaughter. This is how people– especially women of color– are already being punished & having their pregnancies criminalized. https://t.co/lVll81dOtC— NAF (@NatAbortionFed) June 26, 2019Both the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund and the Yellowhammer Fund were soliciting and accepting donations as of Thursday afternoon to raise enough funds to bail Jones out of jail while she awaits trial. She was being held on $50,000 bond. Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for Black America. News told by us for us. Black America’s #1 News Source: Our News. Our Voice. Thanks for signing up! Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Alabama abortion law , Marshae Jones “Though Jones didn’t fire the shots that killed her unborn baby girl, authorities say she initiated the dispute that led to the gunfire,” AL.com reported. “Police initially charged 23-year-old Ebony Jemison with manslaughter, but the charge against Jemison was dismissed after the grand jury failed to indict her.”The National Abortion Federation tweeted that Jones was the victim of Alabama punishing Black women and their pregnancies, a reference to the state’s recent restrictive laws that would give doctors up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion.  The Blackest Reactions To The First Democratic Debate Marshae Jones was shot when she was 5 mos. pregnant, resulting in a miscarriage. Now SHE is being indicted and charged with manslaughter for the death of the fetus. This is the result of the restrictive abortion laws in AL. #ReproductiveJustice https://t.co/5h6KqOv2Oj pic.twitter.com/1dHJZVjPUw Yellowhammer’s executive director blasted the indictment as the latest example of Alabama’s disregard for the rights of both women and Black people.“The state of Alabama has proven yet again that the moment a person becomes pregnant their sole responsibility is to produce a live, healthy baby and that it considers any action a pregnant person takes that might impede in that live birth to be a criminal act,’’ Amanda Reyes said before continuing. “Today, Marshae Jones is being charged with manslaughter for being pregnant and getting shot while engaging in an altercation with a person who had a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another black woman, maybe for having a drink while pregnant. And after that, another, for not obtaining adequate prenatal care. … “We commit ourselves to making sure that Marshae is released from jail on bond, assisting with her legal representation, and working to ensure that she gets justice for the multiple attacks that she has endured.”Local police blamed Jones for the shooting when it happened in December.“The investigation showed that the only true victim in this was the unborn baby,’’ Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid said at the time. “It was the mother of the child who initiated and continued the fight which resulted in the death of her own unborn baby.”Alabama’s legislation was also seen as a swipe at Black women.“Black women know that whenever you criminalize abortion, then it’s Black women who are going to be locked up,” Georgia state Rep. Renitta Shannon told Rolling Stone. “Whenever you don’t cover abortions through insurance, it’s young Black women who are going to suffer — we’re the majority of the minimum-wage earners. All this stuff is connected.” Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In First Debate Of 2020 Election Over Two Nights At least two pro-abortion rights groups were working to raise funds to bail out a woman who was indicted this week for the death of her unborn child who was killed during a shooting last year in Alabama. Marshae Jones, who was five months’ pregnant when she was shot by another woman, was arrested after a grand jury returned a manslaughter indictment against her on Wednesday. The states trying to ban abortion are the states that have the highest proportions of black women living there. That’s not a coincidence, it’s exactly who these white legislators want to take reproductive rights away from.— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) May 15, 2019SEE ALSO:Why Is The Mystery Dominican Illness Killing So Many Black People?Black Cannabis Entrepreneurs In Illinois Worry New Weed Law Will Leave Them Behind, Too SUBSCRIBE Alabama also happens to have highest the proportion of Black women out of any U.S. state, according to data scientist and policy analyst Samuel Sinyangwe. — RWV4HealthCare (@RWV4HealthCare) June 27, 2019last_img read more

Tiny implantable wireless devices could help people repair nerves and lose weight

first_img Email Rogers and his collaborators wondered whether they could extend the treatment by harnessing the soft, flexible, dissolvable electronic materials they developed a few years ago. They used a mix of metals, semiconductors, and polymers to fashion a simple coil with two electrodes. The coil was designed to act as an antenna, picking up radiofrequency pulses transmitted wirelessly from outside the body, and converting them into mild electrical pulses. Rogers and his team implanted the devices in 25 rats in which they had cut the sciatic nerve to one of the hind legs, and stimulated the nerve ends for 1 hour a day for up to 6 days. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This implantable electronic device can speed nerve healing and dissolves when its work is done. Tiny implantable wireless devices could help people repair nerves and lose weight J. ROGERS/NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY The stimulation sped nerve healing by about 50% compared with animals that received no stimulation or just one or a few days of it, they reported in the 8 October issue of Nature Medicine. And there was no need to reopen the wounds to remove the gadgets. The materials broke down and were excreted. “After 21 days the device is completely gone, and there appeared to be no adverse effect” from degradation, Rogers says.”There is no doubt there is a potential clinical application here,” Homer-Vanniasinkam says. However, she notes that before dissolvable electronics make their way into people, researchers will need to confirm that all the materials from the devices degrade safely.Xudong Wang, a bioelectronics expert at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, is developing miniature, wireless devices that take advantage of a technology pioneered by others to convert the body’s motion into electrical current. In one study reported on 29 November in ACS Nano, a fingertip-size generator that delivered a stream of tiny electrical pulses to wounds on rats’ skin sped healing. And at the meeting, Wang described similar generators that mimic commercially available implanted electrodes meant to help patients with obesity lose weight.These devices stimulate a branch of the vagus nerve, which runs from the colon and stomach to the brain stem, helping relay signals of fullness after eating. Available devices are pacemaker-size and contain batteries that often need replacement, requiring repeated surgeries. Wang and his colleagues wanted to see whether their much smaller device, which requires no batteries, could do the same job.They implanted their device on the outer wall of a rat’s stomach, so the organ’s motions during eating would power the generator. At the meeting, Wang reported that animals with the generator ate at normal times, but less than control animals. The rats lost 38% of their weight over 18 days, at which point their weight stabilized.Jacob Robinson, an applied physicist at Rice University in Houston, Texas, shrank his implantable stimulator even further, to the size of a grain of rice. It is powered not by movement, but by magnetic field pulses delivered from outside the body, and is intended to replace the large, battery-powered brain stimulators used to control tremors in some patients with Parkinson’s disease. In rats with a version of the disease, Robinson implanted his minuscule device in the subthalamic nucleus, the same brain region targeted by larger devices. The animals’ tremors disappeared, and their movements became normal, he said at the meeting.”It’s very encouraging,” Rogers says. Robinson and others are aiming their stimulators at well-established clinical areas with an urgent need for better devices, he notes. “Having immediate use is going to be very powerful,” Rogers says, because it could help speed the approval of such devices by regulators—and smooth their way into patients.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 Robert F. ServiceDec. 12, 2018 , 4:10 PM BOSTON—Implanted electronics can steady hearts, calm tremors, and heal wounds—but at a cost. These machines are often large, obtrusive contraptions with batteries and wires, which require surgery to implant and sometimes need replacement. That’s changing. At a meeting of the Materials Research Society here last month, biomedical engineers unveiled bioelectronics that can do more in less space, require no batteries, and can even dissolve when no longer needed.”Huge leaps in technology [are] being made in this field,” says Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, a biomedical engineer at University College London. By making bioelectronics easier to live with, these advances could expand their use. “If you can tap into this, you can bring a new approach to medicine beyond pharmaceuticals,” says Bernhard Wolfrum, a neuroelectronics expert at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. “There are a lot of people moving in this direction.”One is John Rogers, a materials scientist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who is trying to improve on an existing device that surgeons use to stimulate healing of damaged peripheral nerves in trauma patients. During surgery, doctors suture severed nerves back together and then provide gentle electrical stimulation by placing electrodes on either side of the repair. But because surgeons close wounds as soon as possible to prevent infection, they typically provide this stimulation for an hour or less. J. ROGERS/NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Artifacts Found in North Sea Point to Submerged Stone Age Settlement

first_imgAn “Atlantis” of Britain has been identified by artifacts deep in the North Sea after scientists discovered underwater Stone Age settlements that could be 10,000 years old. One artifact researchers found in the seabed could even have been part of a prehistoric “personal tool kit.” Scientists have located and explored an inhabited community that existed on the banks of an ancient river, now submerged, making this the first time archaeologists have found prehistoric artifacts this far from land and so deep underwater. A team of archaeologists from the UK and Belgium traveled 25 miles north of a village in Norfolk called Blakeney to find two stone artifacts, which confirm the existence of settlements.Stone artifacts from the area of the Southern River estuary. Photo courtesy of University of BradfordConsidering the finds made by fishermen over the years, it has long been suspected that the southern North Sea hid a landscape that once was home to thousands of people. “For decades, fishers and oil exploration outfitters have reporting finding worked bone, stone, and human remains in Brown Bank, a marine ecosystem located 50 miles west of the Dutch coast,” said IFL Science.Route of the research vessel showing areas of detailed survey around Doggerland. Map data ©2019 Google and VLIZ/Europe’s Lost FrontiersThe Stone Age settlements were likely swallowed by the sea around 6000 BC. They could have flourished for a long time before being submerged, their peak being anywhere between 8200 and 7700 BC.It’s easy to see why people wanted to live there. Sediment samples have provided pollen and other evidence that suggest the now-submerged areas would have been home to landscapes of plants and animals. “This would have been perfect for Mesolithic hunter-gathers in the Stone Age and their settlement location right next to the river would have been great for freshwater and fishing,” according to Fox News.Map showing hypothetical extent of Doggerland from Weichselian glaciation until the current situation. Photo by Francis Lima CC BY-SA 4.0Marshland with rich reed beds would have provided large waterfowl to hunt, as well as reeds for making baskets and fish traps. “Inter-tidal mud flats and gravel beaches each provided access to different species of nutritious shellfish – and plentiful grey and common seals would have provided a seasonally rich source of very high-protein meat and fat,” according to the Independent. “Salt-marsh grassland would have attracted deer, elk and giant wild cattle (aurochs), which in turn would have provided a crucial supply of year-round meat to local humans.”Map showing hypothetical extent of Doggerland (c. 10,000 BC), which provided a land bridge between Great Britain and continental Europe. Photo by Max Naylor CC BY-SA 3.0To figure out the best prospects for exploring, today’s researchers re-created the submarine landscape using data given to them by oil and gas companies, wind farm developers, and coal extractors. This way they were able to determine which areas would have been favored by Stone Age humans. Using acoustic techniques and extracting physical samples of the seabed, researchers found three sites that have the potential for more study.Related Video:The first artifact they found was a large hammerstone, which archaeologists believe was used for making new flint tools. “As well as being evidence for flint tool production the hammer fragment derived from a large battered flint nodule would once have been part of a personal tool kit,” the scientists said. The second artifact found on the other side of the ancient river bed was a two-millimeter thick flake of flint that the archaeologists think was cut off when a stone tool was being made.The researchers who discovered the artifacts said in their statement, “Prospecting this drowned landscape in search of the evidence of people is a challenging activity, as the North Sea is not only one of the busiest seaways in the world but the weather often makes it inhospitable. Further, multiple utilities cross the area and visibility underwater is often limited.”Related Article: The Mysterious Underwater Land Mass Known as the ‘British Atlantis’The next stage of the excavation is expected to require the services of an unmanned mini-submarine, which will take a closer look at the sea bed and use its robotic arms to collect more artifacts from the depths of the North Sea.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

Residents help five local men meet the needs of flood victims in

first_imgSeptember 12, 2017 By Linda Kor The flooding crisis in Texas has left many people wanting to help, whether by donating food, supplies, money or sending prayers, but five local men decided to go a step further andSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photos courtesy of the Snowflake/Taylor Police DepartmentFive Snowflake-Taylor area men went to Texas to lend a hand to those dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, including (top photo, left to right) Derick Ortiz, Brian Carpenter, Cristian Epps, Chase Carlson, homeowner Steven Hilton and Tanner Reidhead. Derick Ortiz (bottom left photo) picks up wood inside the Hilton home, which was damaged from the flooding. Tanner Reidhead (bottom right photo) stands in a hallway covered in dust after removing drywall damaged from waist deep flooding. center_img Residents help five local men meet the needs of flood victims in Texaslast_img read more

IndianAmerican spouses of H1B visa holders could benefit if this US law

first_img US to propose hike in H-1B application fee: Labour Secretary P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies More Explained 0 Comment(s) Advertising The introduction of such a legislation comes days after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that it would publish this month the long-promised regulation that would prevent the work authorisation to spouses on H-4 visas.H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.This week, the Trump administration announced plans to overturn current the DHS regulations that allow certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who are stuck in green card backlogs to obtain employment authorisation, pursue their own professional goals and contribute to the US economy, said the lawmakers Anna G Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. US lawmakers introduce legislation to protect work visa of spouses of H1-B holders H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. (Representational Image)Two influential lawmakers from California have introduced a legislation in the US House of Representatives to protect work authorisation of H-4 visa workers, a significant number of whom are Indian-American women. “While the Trump administration sits on its hands and does nothing, American citizens in-waiting are stuck in line for their number to come up,” Lofgren said.“Nobody benefits from this system, least of all the American economy, when H-1B dependent spouses are prohibited from working. Many of these are accomplished and qualified individuals whose skills we’ll lose to other countries unless the Administration finds a more sensible approach to immigration,” she said.Last November, Eshoo and Lofgren originally introduced the H-4 Employment Protection Act.In March 2018, Eshoo and Lofgren led 13 Members of Congress in writing to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging her to reconsider DHS’s proposal to revoke eligibility for employment authorisation to H-4 dependent spouses. Advertising Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Many H-4 visa holders are highly skilled professionals, and the DHS previously extended eligibility for employment authorisation to them recognising the economic burdens of families of many H-1B workers, particularly those who live in high cost areas like Silicon Valley on a single income as they await green card approvals, they said.Since the rule was implemented, over 100,000 workers, mainly women, have received employment authorisation, and the H-4 Employment Protection Act prohibits the Trump administration from revoking this important rule.“H-4 visa holders deserve a chance to contribute to their local economies and provide for their families,” Eshoo said.“This is a matter of economic fairness and this legislation ensures it will continue,” she added.H-4 visa holders had obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration. Indian-Americans were a major beneficiary of this provision. More than one lakh H-4 visa holders have been beneficiary of this rule. Advertising Related News Taking stock of monsoon rain US tells India it’s mulling caps on H-1B visas to deter data rules: report Conveyed expectation for non-discriminatory H-1B visa programme to US: MEA Best Of Express A 2015 rule issued by the Obama administration allows work permits for spouses who otherwise could not be employed while H-1B visa holders seek permanent resident status, a process that can take a decade or longer.The H-1B programme offers temporary US visas that allow companies to hire highly skilled foreign professionals working in areas with shortages of qualified American workers. Since taking office, the Trump administration has been talking about cracking down on the H- 1B visa scheme. By PTI |Washington | Updated: May 30, 2019 9:06:34 am Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 During his election campaign, President Trump promised to increase oversight of our H-1B and L-1 visa programmes to prevent its abuse.last_img read more

Britain calls on Hong Kong to pause extradition bill maintain rights

first_img Hong Kong residents with UK passports seek right to live in Britain Hong Kong, Hong Kong protests, Extradition bill with China,Hong Kong protests against extradition bill, Scrap China, Hong Kong bill,Hong Kong Government,China Extradition Bill, China Government,Hong Kong police, World News, Indian Express “It is essential that the authorities engage in meaningful dialogue and take steps to preserve Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms and high degree of autonomy, which underpin its international reputation.” (File)Britain urged the Hong Kong government to “pause and reflect” on an extradition bill that has sparked widespread protests, and said the former British colony must take steps to protect its rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy. Advertising Related News Hong Kong police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who threw plastic bottles on Wednesday over an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.“I urge the Hong Kong government to listen to the concerns of its people and its friends in the international community and to pause and reflect on these controversial measures,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.“It is essential that the authorities engage in meaningful dialogue and take steps to preserve Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms and high degree of autonomy, which underpin its international reputation.” By Reuters |London | Published: June 12, 2019 5:51:09 pm Fate of 24 arrested Hong Kong protesters hangs in balance as anger turns on police Fresh wave of protests as Hong Kong ignores deadline to scrap extradition bill 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

Conveyed expectation for nondiscriminatory H1B visa programme to US MEA

first_img Advertising H1B Visa, USA, USA administration, Ministry of External Affairs, V Murleedharan, State External Affairs minister, India-US relations, World news, Indian Express news Indian IT Professionals are worst sufferers of current immigration system which imposes a 7% per country quota on allotment of permanent legal residency. India has conveyed its expectation to the US administration for a non-discriminatory and predictable H-1B visa programme, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. Lack of predictability, coherence in India-US strategic relationship: Congressman to Pompeo Advertising By PTI |New Delhi | Published: July 10, 2019 6:21:00 pm Donald Trump likes Modi: White House official on US-India ties “They are a big stakeholder in India-US relations and their backward linkages to India have helped US businesses. Most recently, issues of H-1B visa were raised during the visit of the US Secretary of State, Michael R Pompeo, to India on June 26, 2019,” he added.The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Most of the Indian IT professionals go to the US on the H-1B work visas. They are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Cards or permanent legal residency.Lifting the per-country cap would mainly benefit professionals from countries like India, for whom the wait for a Green Card is more than a decade. Some of the recent studies have said the waiting period for Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas is more than 70 years. Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha on action taken by the government to safeguard the interests of Indian citizens working in the US, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said India has closely consulted all stakeholders and engaged with the US administration and Congress on issues related to the movement of Indian professionals, including those pertaining to the H-1B programme.“In our engagements, we have emphasised that this has been a mutually-beneficial partnership which should be nurtured. We have conveyed our expectation to the US Administration for a non-discriminatory and predictable H-1B visa regime,” he said.He said Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth and development of the US economy and have helped the country retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage. Related News Top Donald Trump quotes from his presser with PM Modi: ‘Our ties have never been stronger and better’ 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

With Iran nuclear deal on the brink US vows to choke off

first_img More Explained Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising Post Comment(s) Related News Trump slaps fresh sanctions on Iran, says ‘Let’s make Iran great again’ Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising India should use diplomatic tools at its disposal to help de-escalate US-Iran tensions Best Of Express By Reuters |Vienna | Published: June 28, 2019 6:03:00 pm Also read | US envoy says Iran sanction working, warns against nuclear breachesTehran is threatening to pull out of the accord unless it secures a reprieve from US measures that have led to a collapse in sales of crude, its main export.Hook’s statement further lowered expectations of a breakthrough at the Vienna talks, where senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia met with Iranian officials around midday (1000 GMT).LOW EXPECTATIONSTehran is threatening to exceed the maximum amount of enriched uranium it is allowed under the deal unless fellow signatories of the deal rein in the United States, adding to fears of a military escalation in the region. Iran US nuclear deal, Iran US sanctions, Iran nuclear programme, Iran nuclear deal, US Iran relations, Donald Trump, US trump, Iran President, Iranian crude oil, oil prices, US Iran deals, us iran dispute, us iran conflict, world news, Indian Express  The Trump administration aims to cut Iran’s oil sales to zero to force Tehran to negotiate a broader deal that includes its missile capabilities and regional influence. (File/Reuters)World powers warned Iran to respect the terms of their nuclear deal in talks on Friday that Tehran said were the “last chance” to save the pact, as Washington vowed to choke off all sales of Iranian oil. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan The Trump administration aims to cut Iran’s oil sales to zero to force Tehran to negotiate a broader deal that includes its missile capabilities and regional influence.Read | Iran’s foreign minister says “short war” with our country is an illusionHook said the United States was on track to deprive Iran of $50 billion in oil revenues and told European companies to choose between doing business with the United States or Iran.His comments ratcheted up pressure on European allies who are struggling to save the nuclear deal, also signed by Russia and China, in the face of US sanctions. Bolton says way is open for Iran to enter talks with US Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Explained | Iran says it will pass a Uranium cap. Is it a threat? What happens next?“We will repeat to the Iranians that nuclear issues are not negotiable. We want them to stay in the accord, but we won’t accept them messing us around,” a senior European diplomat said before the meeting.Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday described the talks as a “last chance for the remaining parties … to gather and see how they can meet their commitments towards Iran.”An Iranian official told reporters ahead of the meeting that his country’s main demand was to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord.However, he cautioned that Tehran had lost patience with the European signatories. Until its demand is met, Iran will continue on its current path and go over limits of the deal one by one, starting with the uranium enrichment level, the official said, although none of the actions are irreversible. Advertising “For one year we exercised patience. Now it is the Europeans’ turn to exercise patience,” he said. “They should try to find solutions, practical solutions and there’s always enough time for diplomacy and there’s always the possibility to go back, to reverse.” “We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil… There are right now no oil waivers in place,” Brian Hook, the US Special Representative On Iran, told reporters in London.The United States would study reports of Iranian crude going to China, Hook said when asked about the sale of Iranian crude to Asia, adding: “We will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil.”Washington has re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear accord, which lifted sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme, verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).last_img read more

Iran announces new breach of nuclear deal limits and threatens further violations

first_imgBy New York Times | Published: July 8, 2019 8:09:26 am NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Israeli PM Netanyahu calls Iran’s enrichment move a “very, very dangerous step” Iran said Sunday that within hours it would breach the limits on uranium enrichment set four years ago in an accord with the United States and other international powers that was designed to keep Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon.The latest move inches Iran closer to where it was before the accord: on the path to being able to produce an atomic bomb.US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the accord last year and in May dealt a crippling blow to Iran’s economy by implementing sanctions intended to cut off its oil sales anywhere in the world. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook iran, iran nuclear deal, iran nuclear weapons, iran nuclear resources, us iran, us iran relations, hassan rouhani, donald trump, world news For Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, the breach of the enrichment limit would be a watershed. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)David D Kirkpatrick and David E Sanger Advertising Advertising Best Of Express center_img In recent weeks, Tehran has retaliated by making deliberate but provocative violations of the accord, as part of a carefully calibrated campaign to pressure the West into eliminating sanctions that have slashed the country’s oil exports and crippled its economy.Last week, Iranian officials broke through similar limits on how much nuclear fuel the country could stockpile.The steps Iran has taken are all easily reversible. Yet the new move Iran said it was taking Sunday — to increase enrichment levels beyond the 3.67% purity that is the ceiling under the deal — is the most threatening.Speaking at a news conference Sunday in Tehran, the deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said Iran would take additional steps over the limits of the accord in 60-day intervals unless international powers provide sanctions relief as detailed in the deal. Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pact In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Related News In violating the limits on uranium enrichment, Tehran still remains far from producing a nuclear weapon. It would take a major production surge, and enrichment to far higher levels, for Iran to develop a bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium, experts say. It would take even longer to manufacture that material into a nuclear weapon.But for Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, the breach of the enrichment limit would be a watershed. He is betting that the United States will back away from crushing sanctions or that he can split European nations from the Trump administration, which the Europeans blame for setting off the crisis.If he is wrong, the prospect of military confrontation lurks over each escalation. Explained: Iran’s nuclear program as 2015 deal unravels Post Comment(s)last_img read more

5 things to know about Trumps new public charge immigration proposal

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 25 2018A proposed rule from the White House would make it harder for legal immigrants to get green cards if they have received certain kinds of public assistance — including Medicaid, food stamps and housing subsidies. Green cards allow them to live and work permanently in the United States.”Those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement.The proposal, announced Saturday night, marks a new frontier in the administration’s long-term effort to curb immigration, both legal and illegal. It already has spurred intense criticism from Democrats, anti-poverty activists, health care organizations and immigrants’ rights advocates, who call its restrictions unprecedented.”We are operating in an overall climate of tremendous fear and anxiety as a result of the administration’s overall approach to immigration enforcement and immigration policy,” said Mark Greenberg, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, which studies migration and refugee policies at local, national and international levels. He is also a former Obama administration official.But what effect would this proposal have?It’s a complicated question, touching upon vast government programs, with billions of dollars at stake. While the implications aren’t all immediately clear, Kaiser Health News breaks down some of the key elements.1. First Thing First: What Is The White House Proposing?The Trump administration wants to redefine a status known as “public charge” — a category used to determine whether someone seeking permanent resident status is “likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.”In the past, people have been at risk of being defined a “public charge” if they took cash welfare — known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Supplemental Security Income — or federal help paying for long-term care. (Immigrants must be in the country legally for five years before being eligible for TANF or SSI.)And that “public charge” designation could undermine their applications for permanent residence.The new rule would expand the list to include some health insurance, food and housing programs. Specifically, it would penalize green-card applicants for using Medicaid, a federal-state health plan for low-income people. (Penalties would not apply for using Medicaid in certain emergencies or for some Medicaid services provided through schools and disability programs.)Using food stamps, Section 8 rental assistance and federal housing vouchers would also count against applicants. Enrollment in a Medicare Part D program subsidy to help low-income people buy prescription drugs would work against them, too.The proposal “is definitely a dramatic change from how public charge works today,” said Kelly Whitener, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families who specializes in pediatric health benefits and managed-care systems.A leaked version of the rule from March suggested officials then were also considering penalizing those who receive subsidies to buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. But that idea was not in the proposal published this weekend. The marketplace subsidies are aimed at people at a generally higher income bracket than the beneficiaries targeted in the Trump plan, Whitener noted.”They’re really homing in on low-income immigrants,” she added.Nielsen said the proposed rule is “intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources.”2. Is This As Unprecedented As Critics Say?Yes.Public charge is an old idea. In the 1990s, lawmakers expanded it to consider explicitly whether people had received cash-based welfare.But including programs like Medicaid and food stamps, which are much wider in scope, is a significant change. It would more likely hit working people — the majority of people on Medicaid are themselves employed, and almost 80 percent live in families with at least one working member, according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)Children who are American citizens but whose parents are immigrants could be more likely to suffer repercussions, said some experts. When parents opt out of public assistance for fear of their own legal status, their kids are less likely to be enrolled in programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for which they would qualify.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeNew federal health insurance rule could help millions of Americans save money on drugs and careRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationTo be clear, receiving public aid wouldn’t necessarily stop people from getting a green card. But it would tilt the odds against them.”Another piece is the enormous discretion the administration will have under its proposal in making judgments about who gets admitted to the country and who gets a green card,” said the Migration Policy Institute’s Greenberg.3. When Will The Policy Shift Take Effect?This is an early step in the complex federal rule-making process. And a lot could still change.Once the proposed rule appears in the Federal Register, a 60-day countdown starts, during which anyone can weigh in with comments.A final rule likely wouldn’t take effect until 2019.And DHS is still seeking input on some details. For instance, it hasn’t decided whether CHIP would be counted as one of the “public charge” eligible programs.In the interim, people who had received public benefits before the rule took effect would not be penalized for doing so.4. Already, Though, The Proposal Is Having Effects.DHS estimates that 2.5 percent of eligible immigrants would drop out of public benefits programs because of this change — which would tally about $1.5 billion worth of federal money per year. But others expect a much larger impact.”The chilling effects will be vastly greater than the individuals directly affected,” Greenberg said. “There’s considerable reason to believe that [the White House estimate] may be a significant understatement.”In the proposed rule, DHS notes that the changes could result in “worse health outcomes,” “increased use of emergency rooms,” “increased prevalence of communicable diseases,” “increased rates of poverty” and other concerns.Given the complexity of these programs and the proposed rule — and the high stakes at play — low-income immigrants would be much more likely to avoid public benefits altogether, immigration experts said. Millions of immigrants are likely to be affected directly or indirectly, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization.That could have stark health implications.Take free vaccines, for which children are often eligible and which would not be subject to the public charge rule. Families afraid of jeopardizing a green card could still be more likely to opt out of that service, Whitener said.Already, she added, there are reports of people declining federal assistance — even though nothing has yet happened.”The fear factor cannot be underestimated,” she said.5. Will People Sue?Legal action is likely.Officials such as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has frequently clashed with the White House, are weighing challenges to the rule.”The Trump Administration’s proposal punishes hard-working immigrant families — even targeting children who are citizens — for utilizing programs that provide basic nutrition and healthcare. This is an assault on our families and our communities,” Becerra said in a statement.But these actions depend on the final shape of the regulation, which could change through the rule-making process.”They are likely to receive a very large number of sharply critical comments, and there is no way to know what changes they might make as a result,” Greenberg said.KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by the Heising-Simons Foundation. Shefali Luthra: ShefaliL@kff.org, @Shefalil This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Magic Leap Catches Flak Over Tricky Video

first_imgIt turns out the awe-inspiringvideo Magic Leap unveiled last year is not a demo of its still-secretive mixed reality technology, but a bit of sleight of hand from special effects firm Weta Workshop, which is credited at the beginning and end of the clip.Magic Leap’s post — titled “Just another day in the office at Magic Leap” — claims the video shows a game being played around the office.The true nature of the video was exposed last week in a report published by The Information.”Most of us thought that video was a demo of the technology — not a film created by a special effects company,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”I expect some of the folks that invested in the company likely thought so as well, and that could be considered fraud,” he told TechNewsWorld.The ray guns shown in the video apparently are Dr. Grordbort’s Infallible Aether Oscillators, which exist in designer Greg Broadmore’s satirical parallel universe.Weta CEO Richard Taylor, a founding director of Magic Leap, reportedly is collaborating with the firm on a mixed reality game set in the world of “Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders.” Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz launched a tweetstorm in response to the piece in The Information.For our launch: everyone – skeptics and friends alike – will be able to try Magic Leap for themselves— Rony Abovitz (@rabovitz) December 9, 2016To a few of the grumpy mouse tech blogger writers: you too will get to play the real thing when we ship— Rony Abovitz (@rabovitz) December 9, 2016In our factory now: we are making mini-production test runs of our first system: small, sleek, cool— Rony Abovitz (@rabovitz) December 9, 2016Stay tuned – what’s coming next for @magicleap is the best part— Rony Abovitz (@rabovitz) December 9, 2016 Perception Is the Key Big Name Boosters Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it’s all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon’s Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.center_img In the fashion industry, designers show pieces on the runway that “were never intended for real-world production, but that’s made clear,” observed Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.”There’s a difference between fact and being transparent that the [Magic Leap] video was meant to be aspirational,” she told TechNewsWorld.However, there’s a precedent, suggested Enderle. Steve Jobs “fooled a lot of very smart people doing similar things, first with NeXT and then with the iPhone, which was basically a pretty brick when he first showed it.” Magic Leap has raised US$1.4 billion in funding without anyone seeing its technology. Investors include Google and Andreessen Horowitz.Google’s Sundar Pichai and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson sit on its board, and Magic Leap has signed a deal with LucasFilm.Why were companies with strong technical expertise attracted to Magic Leap?”The people at the top who do the deals are often under pressure to do the deal before the required amount of due diligence can occur,” said Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University.”I doubt that the most senior people even personally had the time or the skills to do the due diligence needed,” he told TechNewsWorld.Potential Fallout Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus currently lead the augmented reality market, and it’s not clear whether Magic Leap can catch up.On the other hand, the tech market “is quick to forgive if you can deliver something that’s truly transformational,” noted Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.”If Magic Leap can develop a compelling game that has at least some of the advertised functionality,” he told TechNewsWorld, “they could still be successful.” Magic Leap’s Responselast_img read more

New genetically modified common houseplant purifies air around it

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 20 2018We like to keep the air in our homes as clean as possible, and sometimes we use HEPA air filters to keep offending allergens and dust particles at bay.But some hazardous compounds are too small to be trapped in these filters. Small molecules like chloroform, which is present in small amounts in chlorinated water, or benzene, which is a component of gasoline, build up in our homes when we shower or boil water, or when we store cars or lawn mowers in attached garages. Both benzene and chloroform exposure have been linked to cancer.Now researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant — pothos ivy — to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it. The modified plants express a protein, called 2E1, that transforms these compounds into molecules that the plants can then use to support their own growth. The team will publish its findings Wednesday, Dec. 19 in Environmental Science & Technology.”People haven’t really been talking about these hazardous organic compounds in homes, and I think that’s because we couldn’t do anything about them,” said senior author Stuart Strand, who is a research professor in the UW’s civil and environmental engineering department. “Now we’ve engineered houseplants to remove these pollutants for us.”The team decided to use a protein called cytochrome P450 2E1, or 2E1 for short, which is present in all mammals, including humans. In our bodies, 2E1 turns benzene into a chemical called phenol and chloroform into carbon dioxide and chloride ions. But 2E1 is located in our livers and is turned on when we drink alcohol. So it’s not available to help us process pollutants in our air.”We decided we should have this reaction occur outside of the body in a plant, an example of the ‘green liver’ concept,” Strand said. “And 2E1 can be beneficial for the plant, too. Plants use carbon dioxide and chloride ions to make their food, and they use phenol to help make components of their cell walls.”The researchers made a synthetic version of the gene that serves as instructions for making the rabbit form of 2E1. Then they introduced it into pothos ivy so that each cell in the plant expressed the protein. Pothos ivy doesn’t flower in temperate climates so the genetically modified plants won’t be able to spread via pollen.Related StoriesNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Living with advanced breast cancerNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cell”This whole process took more than two years,” said lead author Long Zhang, who is a research scientist in the civil and environmental engineering department. “That is a long time, compared to other lab plants, which might only take a few months. But we wanted to do this in pothos because it’s a robust houseplant that grows well under all sort of conditions.”The researchers then tested how well their modified plants could remove the pollutants from air compared to normal pothos ivy. They put both types of plants in glass tubes and then added either benzene or chloroform gas into each tube. Over 11 days, the team tracked how the concentration of each pollutant changed in each tube.For the unmodified plants, the concentration of either gas didn’t change over time. But for the modified plants, the concentration of chloroform dropped by 82 percent after three days, and it was almost undetectable by day six. The concentration of benzene also decreased in the modified plant vials, but more slowly: By day eight, the benzene concentration had dropped by about 75 percent.In order to detect these changes in pollutant levels, the researchers used much higher pollutant concentrations than are typically found in homes. But the team expects that the home levels would drop similarly, if not faster, over the same time frame.Plants in the home would also need to be inside an enclosure with something to move air past their leaves, like a fan, Strand said.”If you had a plant growing in the corner of a room, it will have some effect in that room,” he said. “But without air flow, it will take a long time for a molecule on the other end of the house to reach the plant.”The team is currently working to increase the plants’ capabilities by adding a protein that can break down another hazardous molecule found in home air: formaldehyde, which is present in some wood products, such as laminate flooring and cabinets, and tobacco smoke.”These are all stable compounds, so it’s really hard to get rid of them,” Strand said. “Without proteins to break down these molecules, we’d have to use high-energy processes to do it. It’s so much simpler and more sustainable to put these proteins all together in a houseplant.” Source:https://www.washington.edu/news/2018/12/19/new-houseplant-can-clean-air/?utm_source=UW%20News&utm_medium=tile&utm_campaign=UW%20NEWSlast_img read more

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