Jaguar IPace eTrophy Season One Calendar Revealed

The first eTrophy campaign will begin at the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on 15 December 2018, before skipping the next two FE rounds.The eTrophy will resume in Mexico City in February 2019 and will support FE for all of its remaining season five events, except the Swiss round, which is getting a new location after the Zurich event was canceled.Exclusive: Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Test Drive Review“Seeing Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy racecars line up on the grid in December will be a proud and historic moment for Jaguar, and spectators can expect plenty of action from the races,” said eTrophy championship manager Marion Barnaby.“As we travel to some of the world’s most exciting cities we’ll be bringing a new kind of electric street racing to the public and inspiring the next generation of electric vehicle owners.”The eTrophy calendar is still subject to the approval from the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council and the necessary track homologation processes.The championship’s event format will consist of one race of 25 minutes plus one lap at each location, which will follow the dedicated practice and qualifying sessions.It is not yet known how these sessions will be arranged around FE’s single-day event format.The prize fund for the eTrophy series exceeds £500,000 per season and Jaguar is planning to field a VIP entrant at every round.The first official pre-season test for the opening eTrophy championship will take place at Silverstone later in September.A Jaguar statement announced that “teams will travel to the iconic Silverstone circuit to take delivery of their Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy racecars”.The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team that will field Katherine Legge and Bryan Sellers remains the only squad to commit to entering the first eTrophy season at this stage.Check out the calendar below:Full press release:DEBUT JAGUAR I-PACE eTROPHY CALENDAR ANNOUNCED· First race confirmed to take place on 15 December 2018 in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia· Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will take place at 10 ABB FIA Formula E rounds from the 2018-19 season onwards· First official introduction test set to take place 24 – 27 September at Silverstone, UK· Sabelt confirmed as technical partnerCoventry, UK, 12 September 2018: Jaguar Racing has unveiled the full race calendar for the inaugural Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship. Up to twenty identical Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecars will line up on the grid on Saturday 15 December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, for the first round of the new global electric production car racing series.The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race will take place before the main ABB FIA Formula E race on the same city circuits, throughout the 2018-19 season and beyond. The series, a world first, offers teams the chance to showcase driving talent and electric performance in some of the world’s most exciting cities.Marion Barnaby, Championship Manager, Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, said: “Seeing Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecars line up on the grid in December will be a proud and historic moment for Jaguar, and spectators can expect plenty of action from the races. As we travel to some of the world’s most exciting cities we’ll be bringing a new kind of electric street racing to the public and inspiring the next generation of electric vehicle owners.”Later this month, teams will travel to the iconic Silverstone circuit to take delivery of their Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecars and take part in the first of the official pre-season tests.The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY race will be 25 minutes plus one lap. This will follow practice and qualifying sessions in the build up to each race. Jaguar plan for each race to feature a VIP entrant, with famous faces from the world of motorsport and beyond set to take part. Jaguar recently announced that the prize fund for the series is in excess of £500,000 per season.Sabelt have also been confirmed as technical partner providing seats, seatbelts, steering wheels and head protection nets.Massimiliano Marsiaj, Sabelt Deputy Chairman & Business Development said: “We are really proud to work with Jaguar. I think we have laid the foundation for a new and lasting collaboration. Thanks to the work of our two technical departments, we have already developed together a new racing seat. Electric cars are the future and we always want to progress with the times.”For more information please visit: www.jaguar.com/electrification/i-pace-e-trophy Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Jaguar has revealed the full calendar for the inaugural season of the Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy series that will support Formula E events from the start of the 2018/19 championship. read more

Car Collector Calls Tesla Model S Faster Better Cheaper Than The Rest

first_img New Tesla Model 3 Or Used Tesla Model S – Updated Video SWISS CAR LOVER: MY TESLA MODEL S IS FASTER, BETTER AND CHEAPER THAN ANY CAR I’VE OWNEDMarco “Speedy” Jeanrenaud, a resident of the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland, is a connoisseur of the automobile. A lover of classic American cars, he has owned a 1976 Cadillac, a Dodge Charger, several Ford Mustangs, a Range Rover SUV, and Harley and BMW motorcycles (as well as more prosaic vehicles, including a Hyundai minivan and a Honda Civic).Check Out These Stories: Source: Electric Vehicle News *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Source: Charged (via Marco “Speedy” Jeanrenaud)Speedy soon became an ordained Tesla EVangelist, and since then he eagerly explains to anyone who will listen why they ought to go electric too. The performance and amenities of his Model S are far superior to any car Mr. Jeanrenaud has owned. Since becoming accustomed to the Tesla, he’s driven several high-end gas burners, which he now describes as “pieces of junk” (and other, more colorful epithets).Speedy is convinced that, in the long run, the Tesla is cheaper as well. To prove it, the analytically-minded Swiss prepared a spreadsheet with data on his favorite cars that he’s owned. Source: Charged (via Marco “Speedy” Jeanrenaud)For years, he was highly skeptical of hybrids and EVs, but like most of his performance-loving ilk, was intrigued by Tesla. He took a couple of test drives, but wasn’t ready to step on the pedal until one day in 2016 when he went to a launch event for a new Jaguar. There was a Model S next to the new Jag in the parking lot, and that was all anyone at the party seemed to be talking about.After another test drive and a few long talks with his wife, Mr. Jeanrenaud bought a dealer demonstrator Model S 70D for a bargain price of 74,000 Swiss francs ($75,480).center_img Watch This Love / Hate Review Of Cheapest Used Tesla Model S Source: Charles Morris (via Marco “Speedy” Jeanrenaud)He assumed usage of 40,000 km/year, and a gas price of 1.50 francs per liter. His local electric utility offers a time-of-use rate that reduces his electricity cost by 50% when he charges after 9:00 pm. Based on this, along with usage data from the past two years, Mr. J calculates that it costs about 1,200 Swiss francs to drive 40,000 km. “It is cheaper to drive a Tesla than anything else,” he says.===Written by: Charles Morris. An earlier version of this article appeared in Charged.*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Check Out This Used Tesla Model S With A Brand New Battery Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 19, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla Model X Hits Tree Splits In Two Catches Fire

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 27, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Number of Tesla Fire-Related Deaths Per Year Equals What? Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model X On Fire In California: Video High rate of speed suspected.Fire erupted after a Tesla Model X collided with a tree and split in two.Three teenagers were seriously injured in the wreck. One sustained life-threatening injuries. No fatalities reported.More Tesla News A 2017 Tesla Model X was driven off the road where it struck a tree. The violent collision split the car in two. Fire began shortly after impact, as the battery pack had been compromised.Clean up of the wreckage is reportedly still underway, as battery cells were spread throughout the brush.News Times reports:Three teenagers were injured after one drove a 2017 Tesla Model X off the road and into a tree in southern New Hampshire on Wednesday, according to state police.Speed was likely a factor in the accident, according to the accident report, and the car split in two and caught fire after the impact. The driver and one passenger were taken to a community hospital with “serious but non-life threatening injuries,” while the third passenger was taken to the UMass hospital in Worcester with life-threatening injuries. 3 Teens Injured After Tesla Split In Two During Fiery NH Crash https://t.co/Lp7sh0GW59 pic.twitter.com/Rk7LzGp476— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) December 27, 2018 Update on the Rindge crash:No fatalities. One car hit a tree off of Perry Rd.3 victims — a 19 y/o woman and a boy and a girl, both 17. The 17 y/os were taken to Monadnock hospital, the 19 y/o was taken to UMASS (no specifics beyond that). pic.twitter.com/dlepFNzIVz— Jake Lahut (@JakeLahut) December 27, 2018 Developing story…Source: News Times A day after this horrific crash in Rindge, NH, firefighters still trying to clean up thousands of #Tesla batteries left behind. Hear from a family member of one of the teenage victims coming up at 4 pm on @NBC10Boston and @NECN pic.twitter.com/FPt0JGze3B— Katherine Underwood NBC10 Boston (@KathNBCBoston) December 27, 2018 Tesla Model S Fire From Flat Tire & A Tow Truck? Videoslast_img read more

Construction Of Mercedes Untertürkheim Battery Plant Officially Starts

first_imgAt the site of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in Germany, the construction of the battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant starts in the presence of numerous guests of honour from the world of politics and business.With the factory for traction batteries – the first in the Neckar Valley – the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant gears itself even more to electric mobility.Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “The laying of the foundation for the battery factory at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant is a good sign for the sustainability of mobility and for the economy – and thus also for the people in the region. The battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant stands for our promise to make both our cars as well as their production even greener.“Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, said: “In recent years we have done a great deal to meet our clear goal of zero emissions in traffic. And in laying the foundation stone for this battery plant, we are taking a further step towards this goal. We want the new mobility to be emission-free, connected and autonomous. And Daimler is a decisive proponent of this.”Stuttgart. With the symbolic foundation laying ceremony for the first battery factory, the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant is advancing its transformation into a high-tech location for electric mobility. The new battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant is an important component in the global battery production network within the production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars comprising a total of nine battery factories at seven locations on three continents. By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce high-efficiency traction batteries for future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand on 12,000 m2 in a newly erected and carbon-neutral battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant near Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The foundation laying ceremony was attended by: Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Wolfgang Reimer, District President of the Stuttgart Administrative District, Dr Jürgen Zieger, Lord Mayor of the City of Esslingen, Frank Deiß, Head of Powertrain Production Mercedes-Benz Cars and Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant, and Michael Häberle, Works Council Chairman of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.“The laying of the foundation for the battery factory at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant is a good sign for the sustainability of the mobility and for the economy – and thus also for the people in the region. The battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant stands for our promise to make both our cars as well as their production even greener. In future, we will assemble the heart of the electric car – the battery – here ourselves,” says Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.The battery is a key component of electric mobility and an integral part of the vehicle architecture. The intelligence of the battery lies in a total package of hardware and software. Development, production and integration of complex battery systems are among the core competencies of Mercedes-Benz Cars.“In recent years we have done a great deal to meet our clear goal of zero emissions in traffic. And in laying the foundation stone for this battery plant, we are taking a further step towards this goal. We want the new mobility to be emission-free, connected and autonomous. And Daimler is a decisive proponent of this. With a major electric initiative, as well as with emission-free products and production methods, Daimler is going full speed ahead for sustainable mobility. The battery plants here and in Sindelfingen will strengthen Baden-Württemberg’s role as a leading provider of sustainable mobility, and help to safeguard value creation and employment over the long term,” says Minister President Winfried Kretschmann. “But if we want to progress from automobile region no. 1 to mobility region no. 1 in the world, occasional innovations will not be enough. What we need is a whole firework of innovations. This is why two years ago, I created a new format that brings politics, business, science and society around one table: the strategic dialogue for the automobile industry in Baden-Württemberg. A new type of format for a new order of historic transformation. And Daimler has contributed greatly to this from the very start,” said Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of the German state of Baden-Württemberg.Mercedes-Benz Cars is investing more than one billion euros in a global battery production network within the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Cars production network. The battery production network currently comprises nine factories at seven locations on three continents. Local battery production is a major success factor in the electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and the crucial component when it comes to meeting the worldwide demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently. The global battery production network ensures the competitiveness of Mercedes-Benz Cars and puts the particular locations on a competitive footing. Daimler purchases the battery cells on the world market. The blocks of cells are assembled into an installation-ready overall battery system in the battery factories – including housing, control unit as well as functional testing.“Our powertrain production network is in the midst of the transformation. With the battery production at the Untertürkheim plant, we are further advancing the transition into a high-tech location for components of electric mobility. At the same time, we continue to produce conventional engines, axles, transmissions and components in large numbers. This flexibility of the team makes us strong,” said Frank Deiß, Head of Powertrain Production Mercedes-Benz Cars and Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant. With the factory for traction batteries – the first in the Neckar Valley – the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant gears itself even more to electric mobility.The production of batteries requires maximum precision and expertise. All employees who will work on the assembly line in the Brühl sub-plant will be trained in the area of high-voltage technology. In addition, they earn the necessary qualifications in a pilot factory for batteries at the Untertürkheim location.“With the construction of the new battery factory as part of Daimler’s e-offensive, the next milestone on the migration path from the internal combustion engine to electric mobility will be laid here in Brühl. Being a university city with more than 100 years of tradition in mechanical and electrical engineering, Esslingen supplies precisely those well-trained professionals that drive and implement the current structural change in the automotive industry concerning product planning, supply chains and production processes. The current investment in the new battery factory here in the Neckar-valley is therefore a unique commitment to the city of Esslingen as industrial site of future technologies,” said Dr Jürgen Zieger, Lord Mayor of the City of Esslingen.E-projects at the Untertürkheim locationAs part of the negotiations on the target visions of recent years, a “Project Centre eATS” has been in existence at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant since autumn 2018 in order to build up know-how for the next generation of an electronic powertrain (eATS). There is also an “E-Technical Centre”, where prototypes for the electric powertrain are built, amongst other things. In addition, since the beginning of 2019 the Untertürkheim plant has been responsible for the battery pilot factory. It forms the bridge between development and series production. This is where the energy storage units are tested and optimised for a production-oriented product design in order to ensure an efficient large-scale production in the worldwide battery factories. In addition to building the batteries, the pilot factory qualifies employees for the future series production at the Brühl and Hedelfingen sub-plants. The Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant thus bundles important skills as a pilot factory, especially for the battery production. Furthermore, the company announced in 2018 that the capacity would be doubled again beyond the battery production already agreed with the works council the previous year. In addition, it was agreed that a battery factory will also be added at the Hedelfingen sub-plant of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant.Michael Häberle, Works Council Chairman Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant: “Many colleagues working in gasoline and diesel engine production have to be qualified for the new alternative powertrains and especially for working on the high-voltage systems. We have signed a job security agreement with the company through to the end of 2029. That is why investments in issues with long-term prospects are necessary at the location. This includes today’s ground-breaking for the battery factory.“ As part of the planned “Project Future” reorganisation, company management and the works council have agreed to extend safeguarding the future through to the end of 2029. Business-related lay-offs are precluded until then. The provision goes into effect with the start of the new structure likely from autumn 2019.About the battery production networkMercedes-Benz Cars is investing more than one billion euros in a global battery production network within the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Cars production network comprising nine battery factories at seven locations on three continents. Daimler subsidiary Accumotive has been already producing batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles in Kamenz since 2012 and is currently building a second battery factory there, which will begin large-scale production of traction batteries for the Mercedes-Benz EQC (power consumption combined: 22.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km, provisional figures)[1] in 2019. Daimler is building three battery factories in the Greater Stuttgart region: At the Brühl and Hedelfingen sub-plants of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim Plant as well as at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Plant. In China, Daimler and joint-venture partner BAIC are currently jointly building a battery factory at the existing location in the Yizhuang Industrial Park in Beijing. Construction of a battery factory is also under way near the existing Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, USA. Together with local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP), Mercedes-Benz Cars is setting up a battery production plant in Bangkok, Thailand. Furthermore, a battery factory is currently emerging in the Polish town of Jawor, where Mercedes-Benz Cars is building an engine production plant.About the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plantThe Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant looks back on more than 115 years of tradition and is the largest location in the global powertrain production network and home to Daimler Group headquarters. With more than 19,000 employees, the plant produces engines, axles, transmissions and components. The tradition-rich plant is a hi-tech location and a centre of competence for high-efficiency engines, hybrid powertrains and the production of fuel-cell systems. Research and Development is also located here with a test track for vehicle testing. The plant comprises six sub-plants in all. While Untertürkheim and Bad Cannstatt produce engines and also house the forge, the transmissions are produced in Hedelfingen. The axle production and the foundry are located in Mettingen. The training organisation is based in Brühl, the flexible production facilities are in Esslingen at the Sirnau Bridge.Please note: Photo material of the foundation laying ceremony at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant will be made available on 5 April 2019 from about 1 p.m. CEST on the Daimler Media Site www.media.daimler.com.[1] Figures for power consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the Technical Service. The range figures are also provisional. EC type approval and certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible. Daimler Forms Global Joint Venture With Geely To Develop Smart 9 battery pack plants at 7 sites on three continents:two plants (Deutsche Accumotive) in Kamenz, Germany – first since 2012, second start production in Spring 2019plant in Beijing, China – Currently Daimler and Joint-Venture partner BAIC together are building a local battery production at the existing location in Yizhuang Industrial Parkplant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Near the existing Mercedes-Benz SUV plant in Tuscaloosa (USA) construction works of a battery factory have recently begunplant in Bangkok, Thailand – Together with the local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plan (TAAP) construction is underwaytwo plants planned in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germanyplant planned in Sindelfingen, Germanyplant in Jawor, Poland Daimler news Bosch Takes Over EM-motive: Electric Motor Joint Venture With Daimler Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Mercedes-Benz Announces New Battery Factory In Poland Battery plant investment moves forwardDaimler held the symbolic foundation laying ceremony for the battery factory at the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant (at the Brühl sub-plant) in Germany, which is set to produce battery packs for further Mercedes-Benz EQ models.There are not many details about the project, besides that it’s one of total nine announced battery pack plants that will be built globally in the next few years.“The new battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant is an important component in the global battery production network within the production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars comprising a total of nine battery factories at seven locations on three continents. By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce high-efficiency traction batteries for future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand on 12,000 m2 in a newly erected and carbon-neutral battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant near Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.”“Daimler purchases the battery cells on the world market. The blocks of cells are assembled into an installation-ready overall battery system in the battery factories – including housing, control unit as well as functional testing.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Press blast:Expansion of the global battery production network: Mercedes-Benz Cars lays foundation for a battery factory at the Untertürkheim sitelast_img read more

Fizzy Ravens the Craven pick

first_imgShares00 … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Ron Cox Read more First published on Wed 16 Apr 2008 19.00 EDT Share on Facebook Fizzy Raven’s the Craven pick Share on Pinterest Horse racing Four years ago, Haafhd gave the Craven Stakes a much-needed boost as a 2,000 Guineas trial when he won both races. No Guineas winner had previously been successful in the Group 3 contest since Tirol in 1990, and it is more customary nowadays for the colts’ Classic to be won by a seasonal debutant.John Gosden, however, feels a run at Newmarket today will put Raven’s Pass (3.45) right for the Guineas. Like Haafhd, Raven’s Pass finished third in the Dewhurst Stakes on his final juvenile outing. That form, plus the style of his seven-lengths victory in the Solario Stakes, makes him the clear form pick. Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share via Emailcenter_img The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share via Email Topics Raven’s Pass raced like the best horse in the Dewhurst for most of the way, but he was ultimately found wanting on rain-softened ground.It should be more suitable today, but what could get Raven’s Pass beaten is his own freshness. Gosden has said the colt needs a run to take the “fizz” out of him and Kandahar Run, in the Feilden Stakes yesterday, was a good example of what can happen when a horse races too freely on its comeback outing.There is certainly nothing wrong with the form of the Gosden horses, and Pipedreamer (4.20), who went from strength to strength last year, would not be the first Cambridgeshire Handicap winner to go on and prove himself a Group horse.Ron Cox’s tip of the daySadeek 5.05 RiponA useful two-year-old when trained by Kevin Ryan to win the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom, Sadeek was well beaten in three handicaps after joining Bryan Smart late last season but it is too soon to be writing him off. Smart reports Sadeek in excellent shape and this trainer can get the best out of sprinters. Rated 100 on his first run for present connections, Sadeek is now on a handy 82. Wed 16 Apr 2008 19.00 EDT Share on Twitter Horse racing Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Reuse this content Share on Twitterlast_img read more

TC Heartland Anniversary EDTX Patent Filings Plummet NDTX Benefits

first_imgThe U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark patent jurisdiction decision one year ago has dramatically impacted the patent litigation dockets for the Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of Texas. The Texas Lawbook has some exclusive new data that shows the true impact of the ruling, and some of the findings are not what the experts predicted . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Lost your password? Usernamecenter_img Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

Another Look at Successful Aging

first_imgby, Jeanette Leardi, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShare309ShareEmail309 SharesTwo and a half years ago, I wrote a piece for this blog called “Successful” Aging –– On Whose Terms?, mistakenly assuming that I had covered all of the points I wanted to make on the subject. I asserted at the time that “there’s an inherent problem with equating aging with the kind of success that is solely based on conscious individual achievement.” I argued that even if an older person has made the effort to secure adequate health and wealth, as well as to be socially interactive and passionately engaged in living, such success is never solely due to that person’s choices, actions, and abilities. Luck and uncontrollable external factors play equally influential roles in the outcome.But even now, if I do a Google search for “successful aging” or merely sample the feature articles in newspapers and magazines, it appears that the term, with all its attached misconceptions, is slow to die.And I wish it would. Quickly. Here’s why.Every time we assign the sole responsibility of aging well to an individual, we disregard that person’s uniqueness in a very unrealistic and unjust way. Each of us has gone through a combination of biological and socioeconomic experiences that have affected us at every turn.Are you a male or a female? Are you a member of an ethnic or racial majority or minority? Females and minorities in general are economically disadvantaged throughout their lifespan, earning less than their white, male counterparts and subsequently receiving smaller pensions and Social Security benefits. In addition, more women than men leave the job market, becoming unpaid laborers who raise children and/or care for elder parents.Have you spent most of your life on a farm or in the middle of a big city? Did you inherit great wealth or have you had to earn all or most of your income? How much education were you able to afford and receive? What career paths were open to you? Did you ever experience serious health problems that affected your ability to work? How many children, if any, do you have, and are they willing and able to help you in your later years if you need support? Do you have easy access to nearby and affordable housing, transportation, and other vital services for older adults?Somehow questions such as these are still not factored into definitions of successful aging in most media discussions. And because these factors aren’t foremost in the public’s consciousness as issues to address, they are often ignored or considered irrelevant in government and private-sector policy decisions. This situation must change.For “success” implies accomplishment within an established system. But what if that system is outmoded, disjointed, or worse, deliberately fostering social inequality? Then successful agers who have been lucky, wealthy, and in the majority are aging well because of our social policies and cultural norms. But agers in other categories who have managed nevertheless to age well are successful despite those same policies and norms. Their challenge has been far greater.And let’s not forget that there is a huge population of older adults who struggle to stay economically and physically stable as well as purposefully and socially engaged. In many cases their difficulties could be significantly eased if our society would only redefine “successful aging” in less polarizing terms. Let’s stop evaluating aging as either the result of being ambitious and productive or being negligent and irresponsible.In fact, let’s totally ban the term “successful aging.” We need to replace that unproductive and discriminatory paradigm with one that is realistic, compassionate, and fair –– one requiring an equal commitment between the individual and society.Let’s coin a new term: “Empowered Aging.”Why “empowered”? Because it moves the focus away from the static goal of accomplishment and toward an ongoing process of maintaining autonomy, dignity, and self-worth through interdependence.This bilateral commitment should be fostered throughout a person’s life, starting from childhood. We should be raising children to appreciate every age through which they pass, and expecting our cultural values to honor and support them all along the way, in their education, careers, personal relationships, and social contributions.When an individual’s skills, values, aspirations, personal history, and beliefs are continuously supported by a pro-aging society’s common goals, expectations, opportunities, and public policies, empowerment becomes the inevitable human condition.And isn’t that the kind of success we should aim to achieve?Related Posts“Successful” Aging –– on Whose Terms?How we perceive aging and the viability of older adults determines our willingness –– or reluctance –– to tackle social inequity, lack of access to services and opportunities, and other common challenges our elders face.Successful Aging Does Not Equal Aging without DisabilityWhat does successful aging look like? In one of the more influential papers on the subject published in 1987, Rowe and Kahn describe successful aging as involving freedom from disease and disability. This definition has been adapted over time but is still being used today. Take a recent study published…Wise Up: Study AgingI am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.TweetShare309ShareEmail309 SharesTags: culture change perception Successful Aginglast_img read more

New findings point to potential therapeutic avenues for leukemia

first_imgMay 9 2018Scientists have known for decades that the Hox family of transcription factors are key regulators in the formation of blood cells and the development of leukemia. Exactly how this large family of genes, which are distributed in four separate chromosomal clusters named A through D, is regulated has been less clear. Now, new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research reveals that a DNA regulatory element within the Hoxb cluster globally mediates signals to the majority of Hoxb genes to control their expression in blood-forming stem cells.”It’s like we found a general control that simultaneously turns the lights on and off in many rooms, rather than having a single switch that controls each individual room,” says Stowers Investigator Linheng Li, PhD, who co-led the study along with Stowers Scientific Director and Investigator Robb Krumlauf, PhD. These findings also help explain why a particular form of leukemia resists treatment and points to potential new therapeutic avenues.In mammals, the blood system contains a number of mature cell types -; white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets -; that arise from blood-forming, or hematopoietic, stem cells (HSCs). HSCs renew themselves and differentiate into other cells to replenish the body’s blood supply in a process called hematopoiesis. Hox genes, which are well known for their roles in establishing the body plan of developing organisms, are also important for HSCs to maintain their critical balancing act in the adult blood system, and have been implicated in the development of leukemia.In an article published online May 3, 2018, in Cell Stem Cell, Li, Krumlauf, and co-authors including first author Pengxu Qian, PhD, second author Bony De Kumar, PhD, and other collaborators provide new details as to how Hox genes are regulated in HSCs. They report that a single cis-regulatory element, DERARE, works over a long range to control the majority of Hoxb genes in HSCs in a coordinated manner. The researchers found that the loss of the DERARE decreased Hoxb expression and altered the types of blood cells arising from HSCs, whereas “turning on” DERARE allowed Hoxb cluster gene expression in progenitor cells and increased the progression of leukemia.Genes can be regulated by non-coding DNA sequences termed cis-regulatory sequences. These sequences get input from multiple types of molecules, such as transcription factors, histone modifiers, or various morphogens. The DERARE, or distal element RARE (retinoic acid response element), is a cis-regulatory element that responds to signals from the vitamin A derivative retinoic acid and determines the fate of HSCs.Related StoriesCancer stem cells elude the body’s immune cells by deactivating danger detectorMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Using human leukemia cell lines and mouse models, the Stowers researchers and collaborators have identified a mechanism for how the retinoid-sensitive DERARE maintains normal hematopoiesis and prevents acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by regulating Hoxb cluster genes in a methylation-dependent manner.Methylation is the process of adding methyl groups to the DNA molecule, which can change the activity of the DNA segment. The researchers demonstrated that DNA methyltransferases mediate DNA methylation on DERARE, leading to reduced Hoxb cluster expression. AML patients with mutations in the DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A exhibit reduced DERARE methylation, elevated Hoxb expression, and adverse outcomes.”In two human AML cell lines carrying a DNMT3A mutation, we used an adaptation of genome editing technology called dCas9-DNMT3A to specifically increase the DNA methylation on DERARE. This targeted methylation technique was able to reduce Hoxb cluster expression and alleviate the progression of leukemia,” says Qian. “It is known that Hoxb cluster genes show a dramatic increase in expression in patients with DNMT3A-mutated AML. Our work provides mechanistic insights into the use of DNA methylation on the DERARE as a potential screening tool for therapeutic drugs that target DNMT3A-mutated AML, thus leading to the development of new drugs for treating AML, in which DNA methylation is abnormal.”Kumar adds, “This paper effectively shows that methylation status of DERARE in the middle of the Hoxb cluster acts as a key determinant to maintain normal hematopoiesis. Further, aberrant methylation patterns in this region are evident in the development of human leukemia. We have shown the importance of generating appropriate methylation patterns in the DERARE control element in normal hematopoiesis and in leukemia.” Source: https://www.stowers.org/media/news/may-7-2018last_img read more

Obesity linked with worse symptoms for lupus patients

first_img Source:http://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/arthritis-care-research/obesity-may-worsen-symptoms-patients-lupus May 10 2018In a recent Arthritis Care & Research study of 148 women with lupus, obesity was linked with worse disease activity, depressive symptoms, and symptoms of pain and fatigue. The association was consistent across different definitions of obesity.The study’s findings highlight the need for lifestyle interventions in lupus patients who are overweight to help reduce health risks and the debilitating symptoms of the disease.”In addition to reducing the risk of comorbid conditions such as cardiovascular disease, lifestyle interventions to improve body composition may reduce the severity of symptoms experienced by persons with lupus,” said senior author Dr. Patricia Katz, of the University of California, San Francisco.Lead author Dr. Sarah Patterson noted that the findings have important clinical implications because the patient-reported outcomes we measured, particularly pain and fatigue, are known to have profound effects on quality of life and remain a major area of unmet need for people with lupus.last_img read more

Tests show Drexels polymer crystal nanocapsules can last longer in bloodstream

first_imgAug 1 2018Selecting the right packaging to get precious cargo from point A to point B can be a daunting task at the post office. For some time, scientists have wrestled with a similar set of questions when packaging medicine for delivery in the bloodstream: How much packing will keep it safe? Is it the right packing material? Is it too big? Is it too heavy? Researchers from Drexel University have developed a new type of container that seems to be the perfect fit for making the delivery.Intravenous medication has taken important leaps in recent years as a way of directly targeting ailments where they are occurring inside the body. But getting the medicine through the bloodstream to the right place and releasing it at the right time is no easy task. The body is designed to detect and eliminate foreign objects, so successfully designing a vessel for targeted drug delivery requires equal parts engineering and cunning.”Delivery vessels have traditionally been designed to avoid recognition by the immune system by mimicking naturally occurring materials in the body, such as cells or liposomes,” said Christopher Li, PhD, a materials science professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering. “But the problem with the previously reported artificial carriers is that they’re not always durable enough to get to the far reaches of the body.”Li and Hao Cheng, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering lead a group of researchers who have been developing a polymer crystal casing for intravenous medicine delivery. Their work, which was recently published in the journal Nature Communicationsshows how these “crystalsomes,” designed to be durable enough for long, intravenous journeys, can outlast current artificial nanoparticle packaging – which means doctors can use it to directly treat maladies in the body, with precisely the right amount of medication.”Crystalsomes structurally mimic the classical liposome and polymersomes used for drug delivery, yet mechanically they are more robust thanks to their single crystal-like shell,” Li said.In blood circulation and biodistribution experiments, Li’s polymer crystalsomes have a 24-hour half-life and can last in the bloodstream for more than 96 hours – figures that far exceed current injectable medication.”Crystalsomes are closely sealed so that medication will not be released until it reaches the target sites. Thus medication can be delivered in higher doses, as desired, to afflictions in the body, without causing severe side-effects associated with the early release of the medicine,” Li said. “And a more direct intravenous delivery means that treatments are likely to be more effective.”Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Li’s group combined its unique work on growing crystal spheres and self-assembled nanobrushes to produce this special capsule that is just thick enough to safely encase the medicine, and also features an array of polymer strands that can ward off the proteins that flag foreign bodies for removal.The method for creating the crystalsomes, which Li’s Soft Materials Lab initially developed in 2016, looks something like combining oil and water to create suspended liquid beads. In this application, the beads encapsulate two types of polymer strands that, when cooled, condense into the solid, egg shell-like spherical crystalsome, protecting the yolk-like cargo inside.While one set of polymers, called poly L-lactide acid or PLLA, are drawing together to form the corrugated casing of the sphere, the other variety, poly ethylene glycol or PEG, coming to attention like whiskers on its surface. PEG polymers are known to prevent proteins from attaching to solid surfaces, so the uniform distribution of these polymers on the outside of the crystalsome prevent it from being flagged by the proteins of the immune system as a bodily invader.”Taken together, these characteristics give the crystalsome its superior staying power in the bloodstream,” said Cheng, whose research group specializes in engineering molecules for intravenous drug delivery.The discovery provides a strategy for producing long-circulating nanomaterials, which could lead to a new class of polymer nanoparticle carriers for drug delivery and gene therapy, according to the researchers.”The ingenious, curved, polymer crystal nanocapsules reported here remain robust while circulating in the blood, a potentially important feature for delivering medications and gene therapies,” said Andrew Lovinger, the materials research program officer who oversaw National Science Foundation funding of the work. “NSF is proud to have supported this important research, which integrates the agency’s missions to promote the progress of science as well as contribute to advancing the nation’s health.” Source:http://drexel.edu/last_img read more

New method tags breast implants with tomato DNA to prevent counterfeiting

first_imgAug 2 2018For years, a French company sold breast implants made of cheap industrial silicone components. Headline news when it broke in 2010, this scandal is still keeping the courts busy today. Now, a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP has come up with a method to prevent this sort of fraud. It gives manufacturers the opportunity to counterfeit-proof implants – by tagging them with encapsulated tomato DNA.With business going global, product counterfeiting has become a growing problem for manufacturers. Consumers are at risk when counterfeiters set their sights on sensitive products such as medical equipment and drugs. Fakes are usually inferior. They can seriously harm patients’ health and even jeopardize lives, as the scandal surrounding a French breast implant manufacturer goes to show. The company cut corners, blending in unapproved silicones to slash production costs (more on this in the box “How breast implants are made”).This kind of illegal manipulation is almost untraceable. It takes elaborate analyses to detect such tampering. “Counterfeiters generally buy high-quality individual components from reputable suppliers and stretch them with cheap silicone, which costs a fraction of the premium material. Product pirates turn huge profits,” says Dr. Joachim Storsberg, a scientist at the Fraunhofer IAP in Potsdam and an expert witness in court cases centered on breast implants. A method to substantiate both quantitative and qualitative manipulations of one or more components would be ideal.Zero chances of product piracyStorsberg and his team – which includes Marina Volkert from Berlin’s Beuth University of Applied Sciences – developed precisely this type of procedure. It has already been patented. The idea is to use DNA sequences as permanent markers to positively identify implants. This gives manufacturers the opportunity to tag products with a counterfeit-proof marker and thereby enhance patient safety. The source material is sure to raise eyebrows: tomato DNA makes the perfect marker, as various experiments have substantiated. “We isolated genomic DNA (gDNA) from tomato leaves and embedded it in the silicone matrix. We used approved siloxanes, which are building blocks for silicone products, to manufacture breast implants,” explains Storsberg. The researchers managed to demonstrate the extracted DNA’s temperature stability in pilot experiments. They vulcanized the gDNA in the host silicone at 150 degrees for five hours and then tested it with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique to amplify DNA, and with a special analytical method call gel electrophoresis. The DNA remained stable and did not degrade.”Breast implants are made up of components; that is, several silicone polymers that cross-link to form a gel. The components’ manufacturer now has the option of marking silicones with the encapsulated tomato DNA sequence during the production process. He alone knows the type and concentration of the DNA used. The components are marked first, and then sold to the implant manufacturer. The PCR method can detect if the manufacturer stretched components with inferior materials or used a lower concentration. “This works much like a paternity test,” says Storsberg. The advantage of tomato DNA is that it costs next to nothing and is suitable as a counterfeit-proof marker for many polymer-based implants such lens implants.​ Source:https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2018/august/marking-breast-implants-with-tomato-DNA-to-prevent-counterfeiting.htmllast_img read more

TransEnterix files FDA 510k submission for its new Senhance Ultrasonic Instrument System

first_img Source:https://transenterix.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 6 2018TransEnterix, Inc., a medical device company that is digitizing the interface between surgeons and patients to improve minimally invasive surgery, today announced the Company filed a FDA 510(k) submission for its Senhance Ultrasonic Instrument System.Advanced energy devices, including ultrasonic devices, represent some of the most versatile and critical tools for surgeons in minimally invasive surgery. These instruments deliver controlled energy to effectively ligate and divide tissue, and minimize thermal injury to surrounding structures.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid research”Advanced energy devices are an important tool within laparoscopic surgery because of their applicability within a wide range of procedures,” said Todd M. Pope, TransEnterix CEO. “Once approved, we believe the addition of the Senhance Ultrasonic will be a useful tool for surgeons and help drive broader penetration of Senhance and help advance digital laparoscopy in the U.S.””Advanced energy devices, such as the one now developed for Senhance, represent the most common tools that surgeons utilize when performing challenging tissue dissections,” said Dr. Guy Orangio, FACS, FASCRS, Chief Section of Colorectal Surgery at LSU Health New Orleans, and Past President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. “Adding such capability to a digital laparoscopic platform will further enable wide clinical use.”last_img read more

Top stories A monster black hole how to prevent allergies and naming

first_imgThis week’s quiz: How well do you know science’s most famous animals? Test your knowledge!Common ingredient in packaged food may trigger inflammatory diseaseHere’s another reason to avoid packaged foods—the ingredients that make them stable may promote chronic inflammatory diseases. A new study suggests these ingredients mess with the barrier between our immune system and our gut bacteria. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Eating peanuts prevents allergyWant to avoid a peanut allergy? Eat peanuts. A new study finds that eating peanuts slashes the chance of developing a peanut allergy, at least in kids at high risk of developing one. The findings support a long-standing theory that ingesting potential food allergens can actually prevent allergies.Should research animals be named?Scientists once shied away from naming research animals. Now, except for rats and mice, most research animals have proper names. But is this practice good or bad for research? Have your say!Indian grad students take to streets over miserable payIndian postgraduate students have taken to the streets nationwide by the thousands over the past week to protest overdue hikes to government stipends. Unless demands are met soon, protest leaders promise to take more drastic action, such as a attempting a countrywide lab shutdown.Monster black hole born shortly after big bangAstronomers have discovered a monstrous black hole in a barely newborn galaxy, just 875 million years after the big bang. The monster is 3000 times the size of our Milky Way’s black hole, and to have grown so big so quickly, it must have been munching matter at close to the maximum physically possible rate for most of its life.Sound of mom’s voice boosts brain growth in premature babiesBabies born prematurely are more than twice as likely to have difficulty hearing and processing words than those carried to full-term. Now, an unusual study with 40 preemies suggests that recreating a womblike environment with recordings of a mother’s heartbeat and voice could potentially correct these deficits.DNA recovered from underwater British site may rewrite history of farming in EuropeA new study of ancient DNA from a now submerged hunter-gatherer camp off the British coast suggests that wheat made its way to the far edge of Western Europe 2000 years before farming was thought to have taken hold in Britain. In fact, hunter-gatherers may have brought agricultural products to the British Isles by trading wheat and other grains with early farmers from the European mainland.center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Fungal toxins are poisoning Africas children says new report

first_imgChildren in Africa and parts of Asia are falling victim to an “invisible” epidemic—fungal toxins in food that can stunt their growth and delay their development, according to a new report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The two main toxins—aflatoxin and fumonisin—are present in dangerously high levels in groundnuts, cassava, and corn, which make up the bulk of children’s diets from Benin to Kenya.The toxins have long been known to cause liver cancer and, in high enough concentrations, death. But this is the first time that they have been shown by multiple studies to contribute significantly to childhood stunting.“It’s a massive problem” largely unknown in developed nations, says J. David Miller, a fungal toxicologist at Carleton University in Ottawa and one of the report authors. “Enormous amounts of money are spent [in the United States and Western Europe] to keep you from being exposed to these kinds of toxins.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The toxins, byproducts of the Aspergillus and Fusarium fungi, are endemic in cornfields around the world. The difference is that U.S. and European producers do all they can to eliminate the contaminants to meet strict standards for human consumption—20 parts per billion (ppb) in the United States and just 2 ppb in Europe. Fields are heavily treated, and crops are processed so that any remaining toxins are leached out. Food that isn’t up to standard is used as animal feed or burned. Altogether, U.S. food producers spend between $500 million and $1.5 billion each year managing fungal toxins.But in countries where food shortages are chronic, few farmers have the ability to treat their crops and enforcement is lax. The best-quality products are sold for export. “It makes me cry when I’m in Nampula in Mozambique and the women are there on the floor, sorting the grain by hand, trying to get the very best grain together and then send it to Europe,” says Peter J. Cotty, a plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Tucson, Arizona. “And it gets rejected by Europe. But it gets into the European bird feed market, which allows 50 [ppb], which no one in a developed nation would ever allow people to eat.”People back home are stuck with food with even higher levels of toxicity—sometimes in the thousands of ppb. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers aren’t certain about exactly how the toxins affect children, but the new report brings together six recent studies that show that children with high levels of toxin biomarkers in their blood are shorter and weigh less than other children their age. They also grow at a slower pace than their peers. Preliminary studies suggest the effects may have something to do with immune system activation and the way the body absorbs nutrients.The report also lays out recommendations for controlling the problem, including treating fields with natural biocontrols, improving food storage conditions, and diet diversification. It also calls for the development of rapid screening methods that would be able to quickly detect the toxins in blood.Miller says that the problem is as much social as scientific. “It just seems to be intractable for a whole variety of reasons,” he says. “If you look in the scientific literature, 50 years ago, public policy people said more or less exactly what we’re saying now. And here we are.” 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 Rates of stunting among children under 5 are as low as 2.1% in the United States and as high as 59.3% in Afghanistan, according to the latest World Health Organization data. Data from the World Health Organization Emaillast_img read more

A newly made RNA strand bolsters ideas about how life on Earth

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A fundamental property of life is the ability to replicate itself. Researchers have now created the first molecules of RNA, DNA’s singled-stranded relative, that are capable of copying almost any other RNAs. The discovery bolsters the widely held view among researchers who study the origin of life that RNA likely preceded DNA as the central genetic storehouse of information in the earliest cells some 4 billion years ago. Ironically, the new RNA copiers still can’t duplicate themselves. But if future souped-up versions can pull that off, it could do more than reinforce notions of RNA’s primordial role—it could lead to the creation of the synthetic modern microbes that use RNA as their sole source of genetic information.In order to grow and replicate, all modern cells require DNA, RNA, and proteins, and the synthesis of each inside cells requires the other two. Researchers in the 1960s hypothesized that modern cells evolved from progenitors that didn’t require this interdependence. RNA seemed a likely first biomolecule, because, like DNA, it can store information, and, like proteins, it can act as a catalyst to speed up certain chemical reactions. Researchers also discovered early on that RNA is at the core of several modern enzymes critical to life, such as the ribosome that builds proteins. So some scientists hypothesized life that started as an “RNA world”—a period in which RNA controlled both the genetics and biochemistry inside all cells. If RNA were central to early biochemistry, RNAs must have been able to copy themselves in order for those cells to multiply and evolve. Finding such an RNA copier “is the bull’s-eye of the RNA world hypothesis,” says Gerald Joyce, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. Modern cells instead have a protein-based enzyme called RNA polymerase (RNAP) that copies strands of DNA into their RNA equivalent. In 1993, researchers led by Jack Szostak at Harvard University created an all-RNA version of RNAP, also known as an RNAP ribozyme, which joined two small pieces of RNA on a separate template RNA strand. Since then, Szostak’s team and other have continued to improve their RNA copiers. Two years ago, for example, researchers in the United Kingdom reported isolating an RNAP ribozyme capable of stitching together RNAs up to 200 nucleotides long, again when matching them up to a template strand. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_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 problem with all of these RNAP ribozymes, Joyce notes, is that they are finicky. They can copy only certain sequences of nucleotide bases, the building blocks that make up RNA and DNA, and those sequences don’t carry out any important function inside cells. So Joyce and his postdoctoral assistant David Horning attempted to come up with a more versatile RNAP ribozyme, using a well-known technique known as in vitro evolution.They started by synthesizing a large library of DNA strands intended to encode the starting RNAP ribozyme. But they randomly mutated the DNA sequence, ensuring each of the final RNAPs would be different. They added these RNAPs to a vial containing small RNA snippets they wanted to link together on another template RNA strand. If the RNAP ribozyme successfully created a new RNA, the new strand would signal that by binding to a specific molecular target in its vial. And because each RNAP ribozyme was engineered to remain tethered to its new, synthesized RNA strand, this allowed the team to isolate any successes. Each captured RNAP ribozyme was then used as the starting point for another round of evolution.After 24 rounds of this test tube evolution, in which the scientists successively upped the requirements for what a RNAP ribozyme had to do to be successful, they wound up with one called 24-3 polymerase. That RNA strand, they report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is able to copy almost any other RNA, from small catalysts to long RNA based enzymes. The 24-3 polymerase was also able to make copies of RNAs it had already copied, allowing it to amplify the presence of particular RNAs 10,000-fold. That provided the first RNA version of the polymerase chain reaction, a widely used technique to make copies of DNA.“This paper is an important breakthrough in an ongoing effort to complete the ‘RNA first’ model for the origin of life,” says Steven Benner, an origin-of-life chemist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida. But Benner cautions that a true confirmation of the RNA world remains a ways off. Not only does 24-3 polymerase’s tightly wound structure prevent it from being able to copy itself, but Benner notes that it has taken the chemistry community 25 years to come up with an RNA copier proficient at copying other RNAs, despite all the tools of modern biochemistry. “[That] suggests we are still missing something important,” Benner says.Joyce agrees and notes that even if an RNA world preceded the rise of DNA and proteins, it too may have been preceded by earlier forms of biochemistry. Nevertheless, Joyce adds, he and Horning are pressing on to improve 24-3 polymerase further in hopes of making a version that can copy itself. If they succeed, Joyce says, such a molecule could then become the basis for the first synthetic cells that use RNA as the sole genetic information molecule.last_img read more

Hungarian scientists are on edge as country is poised to force out

first_imgHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, recently re-elected, has overseen budget boosts for science, but many researchers distrust his government’s intentions. 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The list included investigative journalists and human rights advocates—and 30 academics from the Soros-founded, Budapest-based Central European University (CEU). Diána Ürge-Vorsatz was stunned to find herself accused.”I have no idea why I am on this list,” says the CEU environmental physicist, who was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when it won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. “I have had a very good working relationship with the Hungarian government for decades, and I want to maintain this.”Ürge-Vorsatz is one of many Hungarian academics unnerved by their government’s aggressive nationalist agenda, and the intensifying political pressures it is imposing on science. CEU, which attracts top students from Europe and elsewhere for its English-language graduate classes and has 17 research centers focusing on social sciences, business, environment, math, and other topics, has become a prime target, subject to tightening restrictions that some fear could force it out of Hungary. The main grant-funding body for Hungarian science, praised for its independence and transparency in a recent European review, has been replaced by an agency that scientists worry is more susceptible to political influence. And some researchers suggest that the government is increasingly wasting scarce funds on scholarship that promotes a particular agenda or controversial theories of national origin. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Kata KaráthMay. 10, 2018 , 4:00 AM Many scientists fear reprisals if they complain publicly—Ürge-Vorsatz had participated in a large pro-CEU protest before she was accused. But Hungary’s academic community has not been silent. “Search for truth, freedom of research, civic activism and support for those in need are crucial social values,” more 500 Hungarian academics declared in a recent petition. And the Hungarian Academy of Sciences quickly challenged the newspaper’s naming of CEU academics. “We find the issue of such harmful listings unacceptable, especially given their bitter resemblance to similar practices in Hungarian history,” it said in a statement.Government spokespeople declined to answer specific questions about CEU, but did address another flash point: the country’s growing embrace of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). On 16 April, Hungary’s University of Szeged signed an agreement with the Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine in Xianyang, China, to bring TCM researchers, medical experts, and lecturers to teach in the region. The University of Pécs in Hungary has had a similar arrangement since 2015.Last year, the Hungarian government also announced plans to allocate about €4.5 million ($5.3 million) to build a new institute with a whole floor dedicated to TCM at Semmelweis University, one of the most prestigious medical schools in Hungary. The government says it wants to bridge the gap between Western medicine and Eastern alternatives to improve Hungarian health care, and also strengthen the economic, political, and cultural ties between Hungary and China. AP PHOTO/BALAZS MOHAI Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email In May 2017, protesters in downtown Budapest rallied against government actions threatening Central European University. At the end of April, however, Zsolt Boldogkői, head of the Department of Medical Biology at the University of Szeged, lamented TCM’s growing influence in the country in an open letter to the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. “Acupuncture is based on pseudoscience and a technique unsuitable for medical purposes … teaching it on a university level is seriously damaging the reputation of science and fact-based medical treatments,” he wrote.The government has also been channeling significant funds to research institutes seen as backing its nationalist agenda. For example, the Migration Research Institute opened in Budapest in 2015, when an influx of immigrants caused a crisis in Hungary. Since then, it has published many analyses documenting the downside of immigration and the efficacy of the barbed wire fence along the southern borders of Hungary, and questioning the legitimacy of a 2017 European Court of Human Rights decision that said Hungary had wrongfully deported Bangladeshi asylum seekers.Academics are also wary of the recently announced László Gyula Institute, named after a historian who studied Hungarian national origins. The research institute hasn’t opened yet—no site has been chosen nor staff hired—but it reportedly will be managed by the National Institute for Culture, which is run by a private foundation established by Sándor Lezsák, deputy speaker of the Hungarian Parliament. Lezsák is an outspoken nationalist who has supported ideas on the roots of Hungarians opposed by most historians, including the theory that they are related to the Huns, Asiatic nomads who were a feared enemy of the Roman Empire.Hungarian archaeologists complain that the new institute will compete with the efforts of a research unit, run by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, that already focuses on the same period. “Little is revealed about this [new] institute just yet, but naming it after a publicly well-known archaeologist sounds like a publicity stunt,” says one Hungarian university archaeologist, who requested anonymity.For now, the scientific community mostly trusts the independence of its major national funder, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDI) in Budapest, which has a budget of about €260 million ($310 million) for research and innovation this year. In 2015, the previous body, the politically independent Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, merged with the much bigger NRDI, and many researchers at the time feared that the decision would open the way to political influence over funding decisions. The president of NRDI has substantial decision-making power over NRDI’s funds—by law, 3% can be directed to anything they want, for example—and personally appoints the members of peer-review committees that approve grants.The current head of NRDI, physicist József Pálinkás, has proved to be a strong advocate for science. Since he took over in 2015, NRDI has created regular grants to encourage basic science research, reward excellence, and support young scientists. Hungary still heavily relies on EU funds to develop its research infrastructure, but Pálinkás next year plans to request a doubling of the national research and innovation budget to more than €520 million. His term ends in 2020, however, and some scientists express concern, in private, that the government will replace him with someone more political.By then, CEU may have started to pull up stakes. In April 2017, the government amended the nation’s higher education law to require, among other things, that CEU have a second campus in New York, its home state, and obtain a bilateral agreement of support between the Hungarian and U.S. governments. In response, CEU rushed to set up classes at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In the next few weeks, Orbán’s government is due to decide whether CEU has complied with the law and can enroll new students. The university believes it has but is nonetheless making backup plans to move its classes to Vienna, CEU Provost Liviu Matei said last month at the Scholars at Risk Network Global Congress in Berlin. (CEU hopes to retain its research centers in Budapest.) “It will be a very traumatic event,” he added. 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Millionperson US study of genes and health stumbles over including Native American

first_img By Jocelyn KaiserMay. 29, 2019 , 1:40 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Million-person U.S. study of genes and health stumbles over including Native American groups Joseph Yracheta knows the value of genomics-based medicine. As a master’s student, Yracheta, who is of Mexican Indigenous ancestry, studied genetic variants that influence how Native Americans respond to medications. But when it comes to a massive U.S. effort to identify correlations between DNA and health, called All of Us, Yracheta is a skeptic.”I just don’t think tribes should participate in All of Us” because of the lack of clear benefit and a history of mistreatment by researchers and the U.S. government, says Yracheta, who is now studying health disparities among Native Americans as a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “I don’t think there’s a correct way to do this.” Many tribal leaders and researchers are also hesitant, creating an unexpected obstacle for the ambitious study.Earlier this month, leaders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the effort, which aims to gather DNA and health records for 1 million volunteers by the end of 2024. They pointed with pride to the study’s diversity: More than 50% of the 143,000 volunteers fully enrolled so far belong to minority groups. They did not mention that Native Americans, who make up 1.7% of the U.S. population, are not formally on board. “I’m very excited and supportive of the research,” says Aaron Payment, tribal chairman for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan and chair of NIH’s Tribal Advisory Committee. But, he adds, “There is a level of frustration and anger and skepticism.” Formal meetings with tribal nations began this month, and NIH staff members say the discussions will lead to an action plan before the project’s data are released to researchers next winter. But tribal leaders are unhappy that these discussions did not begin sooner, and that Native Americans are informally enrolling in the study in the meantime.Announced by then-President Barack Obama 4 years ago, the All of Us study will make anonymized data widely available so the scientific community can use them again and again in open-ended studies. A similar project in the United Kingdom has had remarkable success.All of Us has partnered with Latino and African American organizations, but efforts to engage the Native American community have faltered. With some 600 tribes to consult and a limited budget, “obviously, this is very complicated,” says Gwynne Jenkins, chief of staff for the All of Us Research Program. But Payment says NIH officials, including NIH Director Francis Collins, seemed “naïve” about past problems that make tribes cautious about participating in research studies.One prominent case involved the Havasupai tribe in Arizona, which sued researchers in 2004 after their DNA samples, gathered for diabetes research, were allegedly used to study schizophrenia and inbreeding without permission from the tribe. “Indian communities were treated as specimens in the past. The research was not done in a culturally appropriate way,” Payment says. The Navajo Nation banned all genetic studies in 2002.Meanwhile, All of Us launched nationwide in May 2018, including in cities such as Phoenix that have large populations of Native Americans. As of mid-February, the study already had DNA samples and health records for more than 1600 volunteers who self-identified as American Indian or Alaska Native and were able to indicate their tribe. That’s 1.5% of participants, close to proportional representation of Native Americans.That worries tribal leaders. In August 2018, a report from an All of Us working group of tribal leaders, health experts, and NIH officials said that data from individual volunteers could lead to findings with implications for an entire tribe. The report also suggested an individual participant from a small tribe might be identifiable in spite of data safeguards. Yracheta and some other indigenous scientists add that participation should enable tribes, not just companies, to benefit if data from Native Americans lead to a promising test or treatment.Some tribes believe they should be able to decide whether their members take part in research. “Not all tribes agree. But it raises questions about whether or not it is appropriate to recruit tribal members off reservation when the tribe is not aware that type of recruitment is going on,” says Nanibaa’ Garrison, a Navajo and a geneticist and bioethicist at the University of Washington in Seattle.The working group noted that tribes should have the power to approve publications on their group, a clear explanation of the role of companies in the study, and an opportunity to bless biological samples before disposal. Native Americans should also be part of a special committee that approves research projects focused on this group, the report concluded.Acting on recommendations from the working group, All of Us plans to add a Native American to its research advisory panel. After gathering more input, NIH will decide later this year whether to include already-gathered Native American data in the database.Formal consultations with tribes will ramp up in June in Reno, Nevada, at the midyear meeting of the National Congress of American Indians, which represents many tribes. By September, NIH expects to release a report that describes “things we can do and things that we can’t do,” Jenkins says. She hopes some tribes will eventually invite All of Us to recruit on their reservations. “My aspiration would be that we’re able to develop those kinds of rich, trusting partnerships.”center_img The All of Us project hasn’t been able to recruit at events like the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico. 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3000yearold sword discovered in Denmark is still sharp

first_imgIn 2016, an ancient sword was found in Denmark by two amateur archaeologists in the western part of the large Danish island of Zealand, home to Copenhagen. In the small town of Svebølle, Ernst Christiansen and Lis Therkelsen unearthed the find of a lifetime. It is not totally unheard  for people in Scandinavia and northern Europe to find relics from the Viking Age, or even earlier, buried in the soil of their homeland.If you go onto YouTube, you can find many videos of Danes, Norwegians, Germans, or Swedes finding coins and pieces of jewelry with their metal detectors. What is rare is someone finding a sword – though a reindeer hunter in Norway did find one simply sticking out of the ground in the area revealed by a retreating glacier.However, Christiansen and Therkelsen have got this beat. The sword they found pre-dates the Vikings by around 1,000 years. On top of that, the sword was/is well-preserved and most amazingly, is still sharp. The weapon was found just over a foot under the earth and had been there, untouched since the Nordic Bronze Age.Bronze Age Apa type swords, 17th century BC. Photo by Dbachmann CC BY-SA 3.0,During the last Ice Age, glaciers covered most of Europe with the exception of the Iberian peninsula and the Mediterranean Basin. Many of the ancestors of today’s northern European peoples lived in what scientists today call the “Iberian Refuge” — today part of the Spanish peninsula. There they lived until the weather changed and the glaciers that covered northern Europe and the Scandinavian peninsula began to recede. Scientists approximate this at about 15,000 years ago.The last areas to become re-populated were the northern reaches of Europe and Scandinavia, about 12,000 years ago. The cultures that moved into the area, like the others in Europe, were Stone Age people, and it took another ten thousand years for the Bronze Age to begin.Arne Hedegaard Andersen holds Bronze Age sword. Photo by Museum VestsjællandPeople in Scandinavia during this time lived in small settlements or nomadic tribal communities. To date, archaeologists have not found any Bronze Age settlements in Scandinavia that would indicate the existence of large towns or cities. The two areas of settlement were on higher ground or by the sea, like Zealand/Svebølle. From the evidence to date, the people of the time were both farmers and hunters, including fishing and whaling. Oxen were used for farming and dogs for herding and guarding.Viking TreasuresHorses were also kept, likely only by high-status people that could afford to care for them.One of the ways we know of life in Scandinavia during the Bronze Age is through petroglyphs, rock carvings which illustrate everyday life as well as supernatural beliefs and great events. Amazingly, some of the Bronze Age petroglyphs show Nordic people on boats similar in shape to what followed later during the Viking Age.Decoration on hilt of Nordic Bronze Age sword. Photo by Museum VestsjællandWe also know from discoveries both in Scandinavia and in other parts of Europe that large-scale trade took place in Europe at the time. The notion promulgated in popular TV shows such as the History Channel’s “Vikings,” that Norse people did not know of lands to the west, is utterly false. The people of Scandinavia, especially Denmark, would have been familiar with goods from what is today France and England.Finders Ernst Christiansen and Lise Therkildsen with the Bronze Age sword. Photo by Museum VestsjællandWhoever made the Danish sword had great skill. As was mentioned, the blade was still sharp millennia later, but the pommel and hilt of the sword (the leather that made the grip has long since rotted away) show intricate and decorative bronze work.This was an expensive piece of weaponry and may not have been used in battle but as a mark of status. Most warriors of this and later Viking times would have used axes, clubs or spears.Read another story from us: Finally, after 70 years divers located the wreckage U-966Over the last few years, so many finds have been made in Denmark that the Danish National Museum has a back-log of ancient discoveries that they have not been able to even start cataloging. Matthew Gaskill holds an MA in European History and writes on a variety of topics from the Medieval World to WWII to genealogy and more. A former educator, he values curiosity and diligent research. He is the author of many best-selling Kindle works on Amazon.last_img read more

Sudan military arrests Bashir appointees protesters assured of security

first_imgShareTweetSharePinApril 15, 2019: Protesters assured of security, ex-govt members arrestedSome members of the former government in Sudan have been arrested by the transitional military council which is now running the country, according to reports coming out of the country on Monday morning.There has been no mention of the reasons why they were picked up and who exactly had been arrested. Ousted Omar al-Bashir is currently in detention and is likely to face trial in Sudan.Protesters who are holding a sit-in which is entering is second week, have also been assured of security by the military. As of Monday morning, protesters have blocked efforts by soldiers to remove road blocks, according to reports.The sit-in at the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, was the last straw that forced the military to oust President Omar al-Bashir last week.Protesters have refused to leave until the military hands over power to a civilian-led transition team. The military high command has offered the protest leaders the opportunity to name a prime minister, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.NB: Sudan and South Sudan are not the same country. South Sudan gained its political independence from Sudan in 2011. It is now the newest country in the world. Dominican, Dr. Thomson Fontaine is currently on assignment in South Sudan.Read more….last_img read more

Hong Kong pushes bill allowing extraditions to China despite biggest protest since

first_img Best Of Express Carrie Lam, Hong Kong protest, Chinese legislature, Chinese foreign ministry, Chinese laws, Hongkong pushes the bill, World news, Indian Express She said that extradition requests from China could only come from its highest judicial body, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, rather than any provincial authorities. [File]Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vowed on Monday to push ahead with amendments to laws allowing suspects to be extradited to mainland China a day after the city’s biggest protest since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Advertising More Explained All later appeared in detention in China, and some appeared in apparent forced confessions broadcast in Hong Kong.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing that Beijing would continue to support the extradition bill.“We resolutely oppose wrong words and actions by any foreign forces to interfere in the legislative matters of the Hong Kong SAR,” he said, referring to the “special administrative region”.An official newspaper in China, where the Communist Party holds sway over the courts, said: “some Hong Kong residents have been hoodwinked by the opposition camp and their foreign allies into supporting the anti-extradition campaign”. Tens of thousands expected to rally to demand Hong Kong leader steps down By Reuters |Hong Kong | Published: June 10, 2019 4:42:50 pm Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain The protests plunged Hong Kong into a political crisis, just as months of pro-democracy “Occupy” demonstrations did in 2014, heaping pressure on Lam’s administration and her official backers in Beijing. Chants echoed through the high-rise city streets on Sunday calling on her to quit. “Extradite yourself, Carrie!,” one placard read.The rendition bill has generated unusually broad opposition, from normally pro-establishment businesspeople and lawyers to students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups who fear further erosion of Hong Kong’s legal autonomy and the difficulty of ensuring even basic judicial protections in mainland China.Britain handed Hong Kong back to China under a “one country, two systems” formula with guarantees that its autonomy and freedoms, including an independent justice system, would be protected.But many accuse China of extensive meddling in many sectors, denying democratic reforms and squeezing freedoms, interfering with local elections and the disappearances of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialised in works critical of Chinese leaders. VIDEO: Hong Kong protestors let ambulance cross, come in for praise Hong Kong newspaper Mingpao said in an editorial the government should take the protesters seriously and that pushing the legislation forward would exacerbate tensions. (Reporting by Vimvam Tong, Anne Marie Roantree, James Pomfret, Greg Torode, Clare Jim, Sumeet Chatterjee, Jessie Pang, Shellin Li, Forina Fu, Donny Kwok, Aleksander Solum and Twinnie Siu. Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan Riot police ringed Hong Kong’s legislature and fought back a hardcore group of several hundred protesters who stayed behind early on Monday after Sunday’s peaceful march that organisers said drew more than a million people, or one in seven of the city’s people.“I don’t think it is (an) appropriate decision for us now to pull out of this bill because of the very important objectives that this bill is intended to achieve,” a sombre Lam told reporters while flanked by security and justice chiefs.“While we will continue to do the communication and explanation there is very little merit to be gained to delay the bill. It will just cause more anxiety and divisiveness in society.” The proposed changes provide for case-by-case extraditions to jurisdictions, including mainland China, beyond the 20 states with which Hong Kong already has treaties.It gives the chief executive power to approve extradition after it has been cleared by Hong Kong’s courts and appeal system.PEOPLE “TREASURE AUTONOMY”Lam said last month that, after feedback from business and other groups, only suspects facing more serious crimes, or those normally dealt with by Hong Kong’s High Court, with a minimum punishment of at least seven years, rather than the three years, would be extradited.She said that extradition requests from China could only come from its highest judicial body, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, rather than any provincial authorities.A U.S. official said Washington was monitoring the situation closely, noting that it called into question Hong Kong people’s confidence in the future of “one country, two systems”.“It shows how much Hong Kong people treasure their autonomy and how much they want it to continue,” the official said.Tara Joseph, president of the local American Chamber of Commerce, said the credibility of Hong Kong was on the line.“The passage of this bill comes at the expense of the business community and we fear business confidence will suffer,” she said.Hong Kong leader Lam sought to soothe public concerns and said her administration was creating additional amendments to the bill, including safeguarding human rights.“This bill is not about the mainland alone. This bill is not initiated by the central people’s government. I have not received any instruction or mandate from Beijing to do this bill,” she told reporters.She said the bill would be put for debate on Wednesday as planned in the city’s 70-seat Legislative Council which is now controlled by a pro-Beijing majority.Lam and her officials stress the need for haste to prosecute a young Hong Kong man suspected of killing his girlfriend in Taiwan. But Taiwanese officials say they won’t agree to any transfer if the bill goes ahead, citing rights concerns.In Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province, President Tsai Ing-wen said on her FaceBook page: “We support the people of Hong Kong’s search for freedom, democracy and human rights.”Beijing officials have increasingly defended Lam’s plan, couching it as a sovereign issue. A retired senior mainland security official said in March that Beijing had already had a list of 300 mainland criminals it wanted back from Hong Kong.Organisers put the size of Sunday’s crowd at more than a million, outstripping a demonstration in 2003 when 500,000 took to the streets to challenge government plans for tighter national security laws.Police put the figure at 240,000 at the march’s peak.About 1,000 people joined a protest in Sydney and another protest was also reported in London.U.S. and European officials have issued formal warnings, matching international business and human rights lobbies that fear the changes will dent Hong Kong’s rule of law.Guards removed damaged barricades from the front of the Legislative Council building during Monday’s morning rush hour and cleaning staff washed away protest debris. All but one protester were cleared from the area. LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Related News Advertising Hong Kong leader seeks meeting with students after mass protests 0 Comment(s)last_img read more