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Peugeot unveils allelectric coupe concept with some muscle car DNA and 600

Source: Charge Forward The French automaker Peugeot has unveiled an interesting new all-electric concept vehicle ahead of the 2018 Paris Motor Show: an all-electric coupe concept with some muscle car DNA and an impressive powertrain. more…

Tesla Version 9 update getting closer to release now fixes one of

Tesla’s version 9 software update is expected to be the automaker’s most extensive update in two years and recent leaks showed that it appears to be behind in the development process.We have learned that the update is finally getting closer to release with a look at the latest build with new features and fixes, including Tesla fixing one of the biggest issues with Model 3’s navigation UI. more… Source: Charge Forward

RetroTastic Peugeot eLegend Concept Beautifies Paris

Peugeot Presents Stunning e-LEGEND Concept With 100 kWh Battery Source: Electric Vehicle News 2019 Peugeot 3008 And 508 Plug In For Paris Motor Show Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Peugeot Hopes That France Revives Incentives For PHEVs The Pininfarina-styled 504 Coupe makes the leap into the 21st century through a lovely throwback concept.With 120 years of automotive history behind it, Peugeot is one of the oldest players in the business and the creator of some truly beautiful cars. At the end of the 1960s, the company with the lion badge teamed up with Pininfarina to design the lovely 504 Coupe, and now Peugeot is ready to unveil a modern equivalent in the shape of the e-Legend.More Peugeot News Debuting at next month’s Paris Motor Show, the concept looks to the past to see into the future of Peugeot as the one-off is entirely electric and uses an advanced autonomous driving system. The double headlights are a nod to the coupe’s source of inspiration, as is the square front fascia with a grille added just for décor since it doesn’t serve an actual purpose with the concept lacking a combustion engine.Carved into the coupe’s bodywork, the wheel arches housing the 19-inch alloys not only look cool, but also serve a second purpose as the front ones incorporate an air passage to boost airflow. The piece of black trim at the bottom of the rear pillar is more than just a throwback to the 504 Coupe since it also contains a screen showing a personalized greeting as well as the charge level.Inside, the retro theme continues as the e-Legend adopts a minimalist layout linking to the basic interiors of cars from yesteryear. The conventional controls have been replaced by a 6-inch touchscreen and a rotary knob, while to the left of the steering wheel is a digital toggle bar displaying various available commands configurable based on the driving mode.The concept is a tech-fest, featuring 29-inch screens in the doors and 12-inch displays embedded into the sun visors. There’s also a massive 49-inch curved display, and together with other screens plastered all over the cabin, the e-Legend has a total of 16 displays of different sizes.Peugeot installed a massive 100-kWh battery pack providing enough juice for 373 miles (600 kilometers) in the new WLTP cycle. Should you be in a hurry, it only takes 25 minutes to recharge the battery enough for 311 miles (500 km) of range.The electric setup offers a more than generous 456 horsepower (340 kilowatts) and a massive 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque distributed to both axles to help the e-Legend reach 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in less than four seconds before topping out at 137 mph (220 kph).A production version based on the new 508 would be nice, but it’s only a pipe dream as Peugeot has no plans to create a road-going equivalent of the e-Legend.Additional Images Here read more

Tesla Put California On The Automotive Map In US

first_img MKBHD Releases Tesla Factory Tour With Musk Will Nevada join other states with the Model Y?The US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy released interesting an image of states that actually produce light-duty vehicles in volume.The is currently no competition for Michigan, which exceeds 2 million per year, but it’s worth noting that thanks to Tesla (and Model 3), California stayed in business. Otherwise, the position would be negligible after the closing of the NUMMI plant in Fremont (currently the Tesla Factory) by Toyota.“In 2017 just over two million light-duty vehicles were produced in the state of Michigan. Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio produced between one and two million light-duty vehicles. Ten other states produced light-duty vehicles in 2017 while 36 states had no light-duty vehicle production.” The main question is whether Tesla will build the Model Y at the Gigafactory in Nevada, which ultimately would put the state in the game? A few other states, as well as California, are also possible.Source: energy.gov New Drone Flyover Of Tesla’s Massive Lathrop Facility Plug-In Electric Car Sales To Surpass 500,000 This Month In Californiacenter_img See Also Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla implements innovative way to avoid gas cars Icing Superchargers

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Following several issues at Supercharger stations where gas-powered cars were blocking access, Tesla is now implementing an innovative way to avoid ‘Icing’ Superchargers and make sure the spots are always ready for Tesla vehicles. more…The post Tesla implements innovative way to avoid gas cars ‘Icing’ Superchargers appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Freudenberg develops lightweight plastic housing to seal against electromagnetic radiation

first_imgSource: Charge Forward,Tesla Model S shines among luxury models in used car sales stats.Source: Electric Vehicle News,Tesla is going to launch a new insurance program set to launch next month, according to Elon Musk. The program comes as many Tesla buyers are complaining about the price of insurance for Tesla’s vehicles. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla is going to launch a new insurance program next month, says Elon Musk appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward Source: Charge Forward,The Aston Martin Rapide that happens to be electricSource: Electric Vehicle News,Vintage Electric Bikes out of San Jose California is a boutique e-bike firm that specializes in great looking retro e-bikes that go surprisingly fast. This week I got to demo their whole lineup from their Cafe 750W pedal assist commuter to their Tracker which looks and feels like a small 3kW motorcycle and took me up a mountain at over 30 mph.There’s so much to like about these bikes… more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Vintage Electric Bikes: Great looks and incredible power make these ebikes head turners appeared first on Electrek. Two weeks ago, Tesla removed the $35k Model 3 from their website, making it an “off-menu” item.  When asked, they couldn’t answer how long the model would be available – causing many, including Electrek, to assume that this was an attempt to “kill” the car.It looks like that death won’t pan out yet, as today during Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk made the promise that the 35k Model 3 “is there and will remain there” for sale for an indefinite time period. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla promises to keep selling $35k Model 3, though claims few are ordering it appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward,Follow us in real time as we fill you in with the juicy details.Source: Electric Vehicle News,Money-making or money-losing quarter?Source: Electric Vehicle News,After market close today, Tesla released its financial results and shareholders letter for the first quarter of 2019.We are updating this post with all the details from the financial results and shareholders letter. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla (TSLA) releases Q1 results: net loss of $702 million, Model 3 margin at ~20% appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward,For the past decade, Tesla has operated with only one vehicle assembly factory, but it’s currently building a new one in China and is considering another one in Germany, according to Elon Musk. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla is currently considering a factory in Germany appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward,Daimler will convert its existing factory in Portland to manufacture the company’s all-electric Freightliner trucks, Daimler Trucks North America CEO Roger Nielsen said today. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Daimler to make all-electric Freightliner trucks at converted Portland factory appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

China leads global market in nickel for EV batteries

first_imgThe Chinese market for EV battery nickel increased 253 percent in January 2019 compared to January 2018, according to a report from research firm Adamas Intelligence. China is now the largest market for battery nickel in passenger EVs. The growth is being driven by a shift from Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) to Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide (NCM) 523/622 cathodes. In January 2018, Japan and the U.S. were first and second in the EV battery nickel market. The U.S. has since passed Japan and is now second to China.Source: Adamas Intelligence Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

Texas Supreme Court Dismisses Defamation Claim Against Shell And Concludes That Providing

first_imgShell Oil Company v. Writt is a civil defamation case that has been closely followed by the corporate community given its impact on conducting internal investigations and cooperating with government enforcement agencies.This recent opinion by the Texas Supreme Court will be welcome news to the corporate community because the court concluded that providing an internal investigating report to the DOJ is “absolutely privilege” under the defamation laws.In terms of background, as stated by the Texas Supreme Court:“Shell Oil Company and Shell International,E&P,Inc.(collectively, Shell) received an inquiry from the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by one of its contractors. Shell met with the DOJ, agreed to perform an internal investigation and report the results to the DOJ, and then did so. Robert Writt, who was employed by Shell until his employment was terminated following the investigation, sued Shell for wrongful termination and for defamation. Writt’s defamation claim was based on Shell’s furnishing the DOJ its report that contained allegedly defamatory statements about him. [His defamation claim was based on allegations that in the report provided to the DOJ, Shell falsely accused him of approving bribery payments and participating in illegal conduct.] Shell asserted that it was absolutely privileged to provide the report to the DOJ and moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted Shell’s motion; the court of appeals reversed.”In the words of the Texas Supreme Court, the court of appeals:“[H]eld that the summary judgment evidence did not conclusively establish that at the time Shell provided its report to the DOJ a criminal judicial proceeding against either Shell or Writt was ongoing, actually contemplated, or under serious consideration by either the DOJ or Shell. Therefore, the report was only conditionally, not absolutely, privileged. The court reasoned that Shell cooperated with the DOJ during an ongoing investigation and created the report as a part of its own voluntary internal investigation, but that those actions were not enough to conclusively establish that Shell provided the report under a serious threat of prosecution; nor was the fact the DOJ eventually initiated a criminal proceeding against Shell conclusive evidence that such a proceeding was actually contemplated or under serious consideration by the DOJ as of the time Shell provided the report.”The Texas Supreme Court addressed the following question: “whether the providing of a report regarding possible criminal activity to a government agency was an absolutely privileged communication or a conditionally privileged one.”As noted by the court, Texas recognizes two classes of privileges applicable to defamation suits: absolute privilege and conditional or qualified privilege. “An absolute privilege is more properly thought of as an immunity because it is based on the personal position or status of the actor. . . . Such immunity, however, attaches only to a limited and select number of situations which involve the administration of the functions of the branches of government, such as statements made during legislative and judicial proceedings.”Shell argued that an absolute privilege extends to the report and the statements in it because it was furnished to the DOJ preliminary to a proposed judicial proceeding. It argues that the information contained in its report, including information about Writt, was solicited by the DOJ during an ongoing FCPA investigation; Shell compiled and provided the report under serious and good faith contemplation of a judicial proceeding; and those circumstances are sufficient for an absolute privilege to apply.Writt did not assert that Shell’s providing the report to the DOJ was not privileged; he simply urges that the court of appeals was correct in classifying Shell’s communication as being conditionally privileged. He argued that Shell’s report was provided during an ongoing investigation, but not as a communication preliminary to a judicial proceeding or as part of a quasi-judicial proceedingThe Texas Supreme Court concluded “that Shell’s statements were made preliminary to a proposed judicial proceeding and were absolutely privileged.”According to the Texas Supreme Court:“The summary judgment evidence establishes that at all relevant times, Shell was a target of the DOJ’s investigation.”[…]“[W]hen the DOJ’s leverage over Shell vis-à-vis the FCPA and its somewhat draconian potential penalties are considered, it is manifest that Shell was, practically speaking, compelled to undertake its internal investigation and report its findings to the DOJ.”“From the time Shell was first contacted by the DOJ to the time it provided its report to the DOJ, FCPA compliance was of great concern for U.S. businesses operating overseas and potential violations were not taken lightly. Moreover, businesses that chose not to cooperate were subjected to substantially greater punishments if a DOJ prosecution was successful.”“In sum, the summary judgment evidence is conclusive that when Shell provided its internal investigation report to the DOJ, Shell was a target of the DOJ’s investigation and the information in the report related to the DOJ’s inquiry. The evidence is also conclusive that when it provided the report, Shell acted with serious contemplation of the possibility that it might be prosecuted.”As noted in the Texas Supreme Court opinion:“Six former United States Attorneys General, Michael B. Mukasey, Benjamin R. Civiletti, Edwin Meese, III, 1 Richard L. Thornburgh, William P. Barr, and Alberto R. Gonzales, submitted an amicus curiae letter in support of Shell. The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of Shell.”See this prior post concerning the underlying 2010 FCPA enforcement action against Royal Dutch Shell.last_img read more

Akin Gump and King Spalding Advise in 20Year LTA

first_imgNot a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. The liquefaction tolling agreement is with SK E&S, South Korea’s first private company to import shale gas from U.S. soil . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Usernamecenter_img Lost your password? Passwordlast_img

Researchers develop rapid costeffective method to create human cortical organoids

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 7 2018UC San Diego researchers develop new protocol for creating human cortical organoids, mini-brains derived directly from primary cells that can be used to better explore and understand the real thingWriting in the current online issue of the journal Stem Cells and Development, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine describe development of a rapid, cost-effective method to create human cortical organoids directly from primary cells.Experimental studies of developing human brain function are limited. Research involving live embryonic subjects is constrained by ethical concerns and the fragile nature of the brain itself. Animal models only partially mimic or recapitulate human biology and cognitive function. Single cell studies do not capture the complexity of neural networks.In recent years, the development of in vitro human organoids — three-dimensional, miniaturized, simplified versions of an organ produced from reprogrammed stem cells — have allowed scientists to study biological functions, diseases and treatments more realistically and in greater detail.”And that includes the brain,” said Alysson R. Muotri, PhD, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program and a member of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. “Cerebral organoids can form a variety of brain regions. They exhibit neurons that are functional and capable of electrical excitation. They resemble human cortical development at the gene expression levels.”Muotri is among the leaders in the field, having used the “brain-in-a-dish” approach to provide the first direct experimental proof that the Zika virus can cause severe birth defects, to repurpose existing HIV drugs on a rare, inherited neurological disorder and to create Neanderthalized “mini-brains.”Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionBut human brain organoids are difficult, time-consuming and expensive to produce, requiring sophisticated tools and know-how to first generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) capable of becoming almost any kind of cell from skin cells, called fibroblasts, then directing those iPSCs to differentiate into the variety of interconnected cell types that comprise an organ like the brain.In the new paper, senior author Muotri and colleagues describe a new, rapid and cost-effective method to reprogram individual somatic cells directly into cortical organoids from hundreds of individuals simultaneously. To do so, they compressed and optimized several steps of the process so that somatic cells are reprogrammed, expanded and stimulated to form cortical cells almost simultaneously. The result is a cortical organoid that fully develops from somatic cells with only minor manipulation, Muotri said.”What we’ve done is establish a proof-of-principle protocol for a systematic, automated process to generate large numbers of brain organoids,” said Muotri. “The potential uses are vast, including creating large brain organoid repositories and the discovery of causal genetic variants to human neurological conditions associated with several mutations of unknown significance, such as autism spectrum disorder. If we want to understand the variability in human cognition, this is the first step.” Source:https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2018-09-06-building-a-better-brain-in-a-dish-faster-cheaper.aspxlast_img read more

EC approves update of INVOKANA and VOKANAMET labeling to include changes to

first_img Source:https://www.janssen.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 7 2018The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson today announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted approval to update the INVOKANA® (canagliflozin) and VOKANAMET® (canagliflozin and metformin) labeling to include changes to the indication statement for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) as an adjunct to diet and exercise. The decision means that the product information now includes data on the reduction in major adverse cardiovascular (CV) events (cardiovascular mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who had either a history of CV disease or at least two CV risk factors, in addition to the existing study results on improving glycemic control.”We hope this approval will not only provide clinicians with a more detailed overview of canagliflozin but also help them when making informed treatment decisions which are most appropriate for their patients. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common forms of diabetes and accounts for the majority of diabetes cases worldwide so it is extremely important that we continue improving outcomes for these patients,” said Dr. Jose Antonio Buron, Vice-President Medical Affairs EMEA, Janssen-Cilag Farmacêutica, Lda.The EC’s decision follows a recommendation from the Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) that was based on data from the CANVAS Program, the largest completed CV outcomes trial to date for an SGLT2 inhibitor. The study, which included over 10,000 patients started in 2009, met its primary endpoint and showed canagliflozin significantly reduced the combined risk of CV death, myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke, versus placebo in adult patients with T2DM who had either a history of CV disease or at least two CV risk factors.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsCanagliflozin also significantly lowered the risk of hospitalization for heart failure and demonstrated improved renal outcomes. Adverse events reported in the CANVAS Program were generally consistent with the known safety profile of canagliflozin. However, the study found that, in patients with T2DM who had established CV disease or at least two risk factors for CV disease, canagliflozin was associated with an approximately 2-fold increased risk of lower limb amputation with the rate of amputation over standard of care being 0.63/100 patient years for canagliflozin versus 0.34/100 patient years for placebo which corresponds to an additional risk of 0.29/100 patient years. The risk of amputations across the class has previously been investigated by the EMA, and this is reflected in a warning in the labeling of SGLT2 inhibitors.Canagliflozin was approved in the European Union by the European Commission in November 2013 and is indicated for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Approval was based on a comprehensive global Phase 3 clinical trial program.Janssen has a partnership with Mundipharma, who is the exclusive distributor for both INVOKANA® and VOKANAMET® in countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland where the products currently have pricing and reimbursement status. Mundipharma has exclusive rights to promote, distribute, and sell both products through its network of independent associated companies. This is with the exception of Spain, where the product is co-promoted by both Janssen and Mundipharma.last_img read more

Transcatheter mitralvalve repair in patients with heart failure

first_imgImage Credit: http://mitraclip.com The heart is a relentless worker in the body that pumps out blood to the different parts of the body. As the heart muscles fail due to disease or drugs or other pathologies, the pumping action declines.A walk up the stairs and sometimes even across the room may lead to severe breathlessness among sufferers.There are medications that can help control the symptoms related to heart failure, but this is a progressive condition with no known cure.This week however, researchers have come up with a heart device that can help patients with secondary mitral regurgitation.The team of researchers used the MitraClip in a large clinical trial and found that patients using it had fewer hospitalizations, fewer debilitating symptoms and also a marked improvement in quality of life.The results of the study called COAPT, were published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and were also presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2018 meeting in San Diego by lead author Gregg Stone, MD, from Columbia University, New York City.The mitral valve controls the blood flow between the left atrium and the left ventricle. As the heart fails and the organ becomes weak, the mitral valve gets pulled and fails to function normally.This leads to stagnation of the blood within the heart that back flows into the lungs causing more severe symptoms. The MitraClip made by Abbott, is used to repair the mitral valve by attaching the two flaps together in the centre.Some of the patient recruitments took place at the University of Pennsylvania and its Director of interventional cardiology, Dr. Howard Herrmann, called this study a “huge advance”. “It shows we can treat and improve the outcomes of a disease in a way we never thought we could,” he said.Related StoriesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsThe next step would be seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its use in the treatment of severe secondary mitral regurgitation.The researchers hope that insurers like Medicare would cover it soon. This study was funded by the makers Abbott and was reviewed by external experts. Earlier a smaller study in France (Mitra-FR) had failed to find the MitraClip effective in heart failure patients. There were several problems with this study though, say experts.Once the MitraClip was in place, the valve functions were renewed and blood flow out of the heart normalized. In this new trial 614 patients with secondary mitral regurgitation from United States and Canada were recruited. The participants were divided into two groups – those on standard care alone and those on the MitraClip along with standard care.Results showed; Mount Sinai Medical Center also enrolled some patients for the study. Dr. Gilbert Tang, a heart surgeon there, said that this trial was a “powerful message”. NYU Langone Health also recruited a few patients and Dr. Mathew Williams, director of the heart valve program there called this a “game changer”.Expert cardiologists reviewing the study have called it “impeccably executed”. The device alone is estimated to cost around $30,000. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 23 2018Heart failure affects nearly two million Americans and millions more worldwide. It can range from mild to severe wherein even the ordinary activities of daily life become difficult.A new device called the MitraClip (from Abbott) has been shown to benefit patients with secondary mitral regurgitation and reduce death rates among them significantly.center_img Those on medical treatment alone had 151 (68 percent) hospitalizations for secondary mitral regurgitation in the duration of the study (2 years) 92 (36 percent) of those on medical treatment and MitraClip were hospitalized for secondary mitral regurgitation 70 (23 percent) of those on medical treatment alone died during the first 12 months of the study 57 (19 percent) of those on MitraClip and medical treatment died during the first 12 months of the study Deaths at 24 months during the study were 29 percent among those with the MitraClip and 46 percent among those without the device Only 3.4 percent of those who underwent the MitraClip surgery faced complications The device functioned perfectly as planned in 95 percent participants Source:https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1806640last_img read more

Six cloned horses help rider win prestigious polo match

first_imgLast Saturday, at a prestigious match in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo, polo player Adolfo Cambiaso rode six different horses to help his team win. That in itself is not remarkable: Cambiaso is widely considered the world’s best polo player. What is noteworthy is that all six horses were clones of the same mare—they’re named Cuartetera 01 through 06—and that Cambiaso did it at such a high-profile event.“It’s most important that he won at Palermo,” says Santiago Ballester, a member of the Argentine Association of Polo in Buenos Aires. “It’s the tournament.”Riders frequently change mounts during a polo match, an intense game that’s dubbed “hockey on horseback” and has teams of four competing against each other for goals. Cambiaso leads the team La Dolfina, and was the first high-level player to embrace cloned horses. Polo, unlike horseracing, allows cloned animals, and they have become increasingly popular since 2013 when Cambiaso first helped his team win a match riding a clone. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_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 Katrin Hinrichs, a veterinarian at Texas A&M University in College Station who specializes in reproduction and is known as a theriongenologist, cloned the horse Cambiaso first rode in a polo match. Hinrichs stresses that it’s difficult to separate the importance of a rider’s expertise from the contribution of a great horse. “If it’s Adolfo Cambiaso, he could probably ride plow horses,” jokes Hinrichs, who suggests some of the interest in cloned polo horses is “public relations.” Cambiaso is now part of a company based in Texas and Argentina, Crestview Genetics, that breeds cloned horses for polo matches.Alan Meeker, who founded Crestview and is based in Fort Worth, Texas, says he respects Hinrichs but disagrees with her on this point. “She has it backwards,” says Meeker, a polo rider who was “extremely fortunate” in the oil and gas business, which led him to start cloning horses. “It’s 70% to 80% the horse, and everyone, including Cambiaso, will tell you this.”Crestview has cloned more than 200 horses since 2009. “We’ve thrown a tidal wave of money at an idea we had that just so happened to work out,” says Meeker, whose interest in cloning began when he developed type 1 diabetes as an adult and wanted a new pancreas. “We’ve turned the breeding industry that does equine around by 180°.”Meeker says his company faced abundant skepticism at the start. “Every scientist that deals with epigenetics told me this would never work,” says Meeker, referring to the fact that the environment modifies gene activity and helps explain why identical twins aren’t truly identical. Critics also have asserted that clones cannot perform as well as the original horse. Cambiaso’s use of increasing numbers of clones in the same match has silenced many. In October, he first rode six clones in a match, the Tortugas Open held at a country club by that name near Buenos Aires. (The donor horse was named Lapa, not Cuartetera.) “They thought I was crazy,” he said afterward to La Nacion, a leading newspaper in Argentina. “And today it seems that I was not so crazy, right?” Hinrichs says breeding a great stallion to a great mare is still the best way to make better horses. “Cloning is a sideways move,” she says. “It doesn’t improve the breed.” But polo players don’t necessarily want to breed better horses, she says. “You’re playing polo to win.”Though cloning itself can’t improve a line, it does offer some advantages to the original donor horse, Hinrichs says. “If you start with a genetic mix that can really do this, then with cloning you know you have the ability to make sure a filly gets the best environment and care to go forward and you have the potential for the fillies to be better than the originals.” (Polo players prefer females to males as they have a better temperament and owners also can sell their foals.) She further notes that if you had foals from the same genetic background and trained them in the same ways, “you wouldn’t have to adjust your riding technique with each one.” Meeker says his team has “narrowed as much as humanly possible the [difference] between original and the clone,” even making sure the barn blankets and dogs are the same colors as the ones the original donor knew.Meeker says Crestview Genetics now is coupling cloning with traditional breeding to indeed make a better line. Typically, breeders cannot pull more than four oocytes, or eggs, from a mare in a year, whereas stallions can provide sperm for a few hundred mares. With increasing numbers of female clones, Crestview has many more oocytes from the “same” animal to pair with stallions. “We want to show we can create a genetic improvement for breeding.”Ultimately, Hinrichs says, the Palermo match shows how far the technology has progressed since the early days of animal cloning, which had a lot of failure and early death. “It’s great to know that there are six clones that were born and healthy enough to do that kind of athletic competition,” she says. “That really says something with the robustness of the cloning procedure.”Meeker attended the Argentine Open and embraced Campasino after the win. “He said, ‘It took 7 years, but we did it, 7 years,’” Meeker remembers. “It was a very emotional match. It’s vindication and proof of concept.”last_img read more

Podcast Breaking the 2hour marathon barrier storing data in DNA and how

first_imgThis week, we chat about the science behind breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA strands, and a dinosaur’s zigzagging backbones with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. And Carolina Levis joins Alexa Billow to discuss evidence that humans have been domesticating the Amazon’s plants a lot longer than previously thought.   Read Carolina Levis’s research in Science.     Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Carolina Levis; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img

A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Frans Lanting/MINT Images/Science Source Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A sandpiper’s egg is shaped like a teardrop, an owl’s like a golf ball, and a hummingbird’s like a jelly bean. Now, for the first time, scientists have a convincing explanation for this stunning diversity: The shape of a bird’s egg depends on how much its species flies.“It’s nice to see a complete story of egg shape,” says Mark Hauber, a behavioral ecologist at Hunter College in New York City who was not involved in the work. “[It’s] an instant classic article.”Princeton University evolutionary biologist Mary Stoddard has long been fascinated that eggs are so diverse, even though they all basically do one thing—nourish and protect the developing chick. Fortunately, over the past century, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Berkeley, California, has amassed thousands of egg shells from 1400 species and put digital photos of them online. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country New works explains why eggs vary in shape; still to come: why their colors and sizes vary so much as well. Email A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs By Elizabeth PennisiJun. 22, 2017 , 2:00 PM Stoddard and her colleagues wrote a computer program, Eggxtractor, that picks out the egg in any image and measures its length, width, and shape. The team used those measurements to determine how far from perfectly spherical each of nearly 50,000 eggs was—that is, how pointy or elongated it was. Some eggs are both pointy and elongated, some are one but not the other, and some are neither. But no eggs are short and pointy—approximately the shape of a hot air balloon. How different are eggs? See for yourself in this data visualization Knowing that an egg’s shape is determined not by the shell itself but by the membrane inside, Stoddard worked with Harvard University physicist L. Mahadevan and his student Ee Hou Yong to come up with a mathematical representation based on the membrane’s properties and how much pressure it received—from the developing chick on the inside. They then used their model to create scores of egg shapes by altering the membrane’s stiffness and changing the pressure. “Adjusting these [features], allows us to generate the entire diversity of egg shapes that we observe in nature,” Stoddard says. The only one a real bird couldn’t easily generate: an egg shaped like a hot air balloon.This alone impresses experts in the field. “What’s cool is you have the [overall] formula for egg shape,” says Martin Sander, a paleontologist at Bonn University in Germany.When Stoddard and her colleagues made a family tree of 1000 bird species, they realized that each group of birds tended to have a characteristic egg shape. But there seemed to be little correlation between that shape and nest type, nest location, or the number of young in a clutch—all previous proposed explanations for the shape of eggs.As part of the work, the team also evaluated whether a proxy for flying ability—the ratio of a bird’s wing length to its width—had an effect. “There was an obscure hypothesis that egg shape could be related to flight ability that no one had paid any attention to,” Stoddard says. To her team’s surprise, flying ability matters, they report today in Science. Good flyers like sandpipers and murres tend to lay eggs that are more elongated and more asymmetrical—a bit like the shape of a Zeppelin—likely because lots of time in the air requires lightweight, compact bodies. Meanwhile, birds that spend little or no time in the air, like tropical pittas and trogons, have more spherical eggs.The reason, Stoddard speculates, is that round eggs require a wider pelvis than ones that are more elongated. Thus, just as birds that spend most of their time airborne have evolved more streamlined bodies and lighter, small skeletons, they have also evolved streamlined egg shapes to fit through the pelvis, she says.“I’m surprised, but I’m also convinced,” Sander says. “Based on this data set, they are making a very good case.” He and Hauber are pleased that now they can guess how good a flyer a species is just by the shape of its eggs. “You can take this study and look at the egg and vey immediately get some general information,” Sander says.The work is significant on two levels, Stoddard says. For one, understanding egg shape and the role the membrane plays “could be of value to the egg industry,” she says, perhaps by helping it create more durable eggs. But for her, just solving the puzzle of egg diversity is reward in itself. “Eggs aren’t just a favorite breakfast food,” she explains. A specialized egg, like that of modern birds, made it possible for developing young to survive on land, she notes, and thus allowed our land vertebrate ancestors to leave the seas about 360 million years ago. “They kick-started a revolution.” Cracking the mystery of egg shapelast_img read more

Sudanese geneticist released from prison after revolution Im very optimistic

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Sudanese geneticist released from prison after revolution: ‘I’m very optimistic’ Muntaser Ibrahim says he was “really moved by the extent of international solidarity from the scientific community” during his imprisonment. Email On 11 April, Sudan’s despotic ruler of 3 decades Omar al-Bashir was deposed by the country’s military. The momentous move was precipitated by months of crippling public protests over deteriorating living conditions in the North African country. Although Sudan’s political future remains in limbo, with the military facing mounting calls to hasten a handover to civil rule, many Sudanese remain hopeful of a brighter future.On the same day that al-Bashir was ousted, the country’s security services released political prisoners arrested during the protests. Among them was geneticist Muntaser Ibrahim, who had by then spent 50 days behind bars after he and his academic colleagues had drawn up a document, signed by many other staff at the University of Khartoum, that contained suggestions for regime change.Science spoke to Ibrahim about his imprisonment, his release, and the future of science in Sudan. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.center_img Gamal Osman Q: Tell us about your arrest.A: There were actually several this year. The first time, I was sitting with colleagues discussing the memorandum for regime change we were preparing to deliver to the government. We were released the same day. The second time was during a protest at a University of Khartoum staff club. They arrested 25 of us and, again, released us at the end of the day. Usually, during those arrests, they are harsh with the young people, but they respect us gray hairs a bit more.The third and last took place in the center of Khartoum. It was during a political rally for the coalition asking for leadership change, which were happening three times a week. I had been asked to represent university staff, so I went. Even before anything started there were hundreds of security forces all around. They asked us to come with them.Q: Were you always politically active? A: I was active as a student, but since starting a research job I didn’t have the time! But in the last year or so I decided to take action. Things were dire, and everything was deteriorating. That’s when we started working on the memorandum for change from university staff. But no, I never thought I’d be a prisoner.Q: During your 6 weeks in prison, were you ever charged with anything?A: No, never. Freedom of gathering is guaranteed by Sudan’s constitution. I was only interrogated once. I believe my detention was directly related to the fact that more than 700 faculty members of the University of Khartoum signed a proposition for a peaceful transfer of power.Q: Did you know what was going on outside the prison? A: We were able to follow what was happening in the streets. We were usually let out of our cells for an hour or so. During the last 2 days they didn’t let us out at all, not even for an hour. But a prisoner would go out for medical treatment and get news, and when he came back he whispered it to us. We heard that people were in the streets in the hundreds of thousands. Our morale was getting higher.Q: How did you find out you were going to be released?A: They just came in the morning with instructions that we were going home. They just let us out. Outside the prison, people were waiting for us. They carried us on their shoulders. It was an amazing experience.Q: What’s happening now? Are the universities back up and running?A: Nothing is running. We still don’t have a civilian government. The military that took over are dragging their feet a bit. There is no lab work, and the country is still in a standstill. Students are still sitting in the yards.Q: And you, what are you doing? A: Since my release, I have been longing for my cell and the relaxation! [Laughs] We, the university staff, are still active in trying to reach a settlement to the political crisis. The university, historically, is a respected institution. I’m also busy finishing a book that I’ve written with Charles Rotimi [of the U.S. National Institutes of Health] about the genetics of African populations. I have had time to download the final manuscript and the proofs, and I hope it will be out soon.Q: How do you feel about the future of science in Sudan? A: I’m very optimistic about this revolution. We are smelling change. It will be good for science. Science needs independent universities, it needs freedom of thought. And scientists, like anybody else, need to take part in these turning points in history. It’s our duty.Q: Do you have a message to the people who called for your release?A: I was really moved by the extent of international solidarity from the scientific community. I didn’t see it as solidarity with myself, but with the peaceful protests. I took it as an indication of appreciation of what the Sudanese people have done. I hope we can get back to a normal life. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Linda NordlingApr. 29, 2019 , 5:05 PMlast_img read more

Volcanic lightning may be partially fed by Earths natural radioactivity

first_imgCorrado Cimarelli By Sid PerkinsMar. 26, 2019 , 10:55 AM Volcanic lightning may be partially fed by Earth’s natural radioactivitycenter_img Much of the lightning that flickers around and within the ash plumes of erupting volcanoes is triggered by static electricity, which builds up when ash particles scrape against each other in flight. Now, a field study suggests Earth’s natural radioactivity may also help volcanic plumes get electrically charged—even when those clouds contain little or no ash.Scientists have long known that radon, a radioactive gas, is a part of the plumes that spew from active volcanoes. When those radioactive atoms decay, they emit charged particles and create “daughter” elements that also decay and emit charged particles of their own. In the fall of 2017, using balloon-borne instruments (pictured above) lofted from the peak of Stromboli—an active volcano on an island near the toe of Italy’s “boot”—researchers measured how much electrical charge builds up in an eruption plume for the first time.In some parts of the eruption cloud, the numbers of charged particles per cubic meter were at least 80 times the numbers found in a typical cloud on an overcast day, the team reports this month in Geophysical Research Letters. Data also reveal that positive and negative charges migrate to different parts of the eruption plume, setting up voltage differences. Those differences aren’t strong enough to trigger lightning by themselves, but in ash-filled plumes they may either slightly add to or diminish the charge differences generated by static electricity, the researchers note. It’s not yet clear, they add, how such changes would influence the strength, frequency, or brightness of volcanic lightning.last_img read more

A new day for chemistry Molecular CT scan could dramatically speed drug

first_imgThe new technique managed to generate structures from a mixture that contained all four of these organic compounds. Email ‘A new day for chemistry’: Molecular CT scan could dramatically speed drug discovery Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In chemistry, structure rules because it determines how a molecule behaves. But the two standard ways to map the structure of small organic molecules, such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, and vitamins, have drawbacks. This week, two research teams report they’ve adapted a third technique, commonly used to chart much larger proteins, to determine the precise shape of small organic molecules. The new technique works with vanishingly small samples, is blazing fast, and is surprisingly easy.“I am blown away by this,” says Carolyn Bertozzi, a chemist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “The fact that you can get these structures from [a sample] a million times smaller than a speck of dust, that’s beautiful. It’s a new day for chemistry.”The gold standard for determining chemical structures has long been x-ray crystallography. A beam of x-rays is fired at a pure crystal containing millions of copies of a molecule lined up in a single orientation. By tracking how the x-rays bounce off atoms in the crystal, researchers can work out the position of every atom in the molecule. Crystallography can pinpoint atomic positions down to less than 0.1 nanometers, about the size of a sulfur atom. But the technique works best with fairly large crystals, which can be hard to make. “The real lag time is just getting a crystal,” says Brian Stoltz, an organic chemist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. “That can take weeks to months to years.” The second approach, known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, doesn’t require crystals. It infers structures by perturbing the magnetic behavior of atoms in molecules and then tracking their behavior, which changes depending on their atomic neighbors. But NMR also requires a fair amount of starting material. And it’s indirect, which can lead to mapping mistakes with larger druglike molecules.The new approach builds on a technique called electron diffraction, which sends an electron beam through a crystal and, as in x-ray crystallography, determines structure from diffraction patterns. It has been particularly useful in solving the structure of a class of proteins lodged in cell membranes. In this case, researchers first form tiny 2D sheetlike crystals of multiple copies of a protein wedged in a membrane.But in many cases, efforts to grow the protein crystals go awry. Instead of getting single-membrane sheets, researchers end up with numerous sheets stacked atop one another, which can’t be analyzed by conventional electron diffraction. And the crystals can be too small for x-ray diffraction. “We didn’t know what to do with all these crystals,” says Tamir Gonen, an electron crystallography expert at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). So, his team varied the technique: Instead of firing their electron beam from one direction at a static crystal, they rotated the crystal and tracked how the diffraction pattern changed. Instead of a single image, they got what was more like molecular computerized tomography scan. That enabled them to get structures from crystals one-billionth the size of those needed for x-ray crystallography.Gonen says because his interest was in proteins, he never thought much about trying his technique on anything else. But earlier this year, Gonen moved from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, to UCLA. There, he teamed up with colleagues, along with Stoltz at Caltech, who wanted to see whether the same approach would work not just with proteins, but with smaller organic molecules. The short answer is it did. On the chemistry preprint server ChemRxiv, the California team reported on Wednesday that when they tried the approach with numerous samples, it worked nearly every time, delivering a resolution on par with x-ray crystallography. The team could even get structures from mixtures of compounds and from materials that had never formally been crystallized and were just scraped off a chemistry purification column. These results all came after just a few minutes of sample preparation and data collection. What’s more, a collaboration of German and Swiss groups independently published similar results using essentially the same technique this week.“I’ve had dreams in my life where I’m looking through a microscope and I see a molecular model with balls and sticks,” Bertozzi says. “They basically find some microcrystalline schmutz on an EM [sample holder], take some data, and there are the balls and sticks I dreamed about. It’s unbelievable it works so well.”Because it does work so smoothly, the new technique could revolutionize fields both inside and outside of research, Bertozzi and others say. Tim Grüne, an electron diffraction expert at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, who led the European group, notes that pharmaceutical companies build massive collections of crystalline compounds, in which they hunt for potential new drugs. But only about one-quarter to one-third of the compounds form crystals big enough for x-ray crystallography. “This will remove a bottleneck and lead to an explosion of structures,” Grüne says. That could speed the search for promising drug leads in tiny samples of exotic plants and fungi. For crime labs, it could help them quickly identify the latest heroin derivatives hitting the streets. And it could even help Olympics officials clean up sports by making it easier to spot vanishingly small amounts of performance-enhancing drugs. All because structures rule—and are now easier than ever to decipher.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe M. Martynowycz et al., ChemRxiv (2018), adapted by E. Petersen/Science (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) By Robert F. ServiceOct. 19, 2018 , 1:50 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

A desert explosion helps scientists plan earthquakedetecting balloons on Venus

first_img JPL/NASA By Adam MannDec. 21, 2018 , 8:15 AM A desert explosion helps scientists plan earthquake-detecting balloons on Venus 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 Some NASA scientists want to listen for quakes on Venus from a balloon. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img This week, in the still, silent desert near Pahrump, Nevada, researchers set off an artificial earthquake. It shook the ground and, less obviously, the air, allowing NASA scientists to listen for the vibrations with balloons floating overhead. If the technology can be shifted to Venus, it could be the first to detect earthquakes there, which could provide important clues about the interior of our sister planet and why it evolved so differently from our own.“We’ve never made a direct seismic measurement on Venus,” says Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, an experiment team member at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “There is a lot balloons can offer in terms of unlocking some major questions about the planet.”For the 19 December test, U.S. Department of Energy researchers set off a 50-ton chemical explosion roughly 300 meters underground to generate a magnitude-3 or -4 tremor—partly to verify the agency’s ability to detect underground nuclear explosions. But researchers also lofted two helium-filled balloons over the site, one tethered and another free floating, each a few hundred meters above the ground. The balloons carried barometers to measure changes in atmospheric pressure and detect the earthquake’s infrasound waves, low-frequency acoustic vibrations below the threshold of human hearing. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A similar setup could one day float high in the atmosphere of Venus. At the planet’s surface, conditions are infernal: Temperatures are high enough to melt lead, and pressures are so overwhelming that they would crush a submarine. It would be hard for any lander to survive long enough to detect a tremor. But 50 kilometers above the surface, temperatures and pressures are remarkably clement, perfect for a long-lived balloon (aside from a touch of sulfuric acid in the greenhouse atmosphere, which is 96% carbon dioxide). In 1985, the Soviet Union showed it could be done, flying two balloons for 2.5 days in this layer. They only stopped recording data when their batteries ran out.Balloons could detect tremors from such as high perch because Venus’s atmosphere is so much thicker than Earth’s: Waves would transfer better from the ground into the air and travel more readily. Based on preliminary calculations, the team believes it could detect venusian quakes as small as magnitude 2 from that height. That goal was advanced by an initial desert test last year—dropping 13-ton weights onto the desert floor from a height of 1.5 meters—that proved instruments could pick up infrasound waves from the shaking and infer the direction of the quake.Krishnamoorthy says he and colleagues are now trying to detect stronger seismic sources at larger distances, as they did this week, to better tease out the quake’s signature from the environmental noise. The team next plans to loft balloons over Oklahoma, where thousands of earthquakes have occurred in recent years, triggered by oil and gas activity. That could allow the group to detect shaking coming from much deeper underground.Translating the tests to Venus could be somewhat tricky, however, says planetary scientist Ralph Lorenz of the University of Arizona in Tucson. The timing and character of the test quakes were known to the experimenters, and it might be a challenge to separate a signal from the background clatter on blustery Venus, where winds are supersonic.It could be that Venus is seismically quiet, an important negative result that would force researchers to reevaluate their models of the planet’s interior. But many scientists think heat is still trying to escape the planet, potentially in ways that shake the surface. Scuff marks across its surface today point to stretching and strain that could be causing tremors, although many scientists think the planet has not had plate tectonics for a long time, if ever—one reason why the planet has ended up with a runaway greenhouse effect. On Earth, tectonic plate motion is responsible for most earthquakes and it also helps bury carbon deep within the mantle, buffering the planet from global warming.This makes Venus our sister, but not our twin, says geologist Paul Byrne of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He says a gauge of tectonic activity would provide clues to Venus’s interior structure and past history, perhaps explaining why it lacks a magnetic field like Earth’s or at what point its water disappeared. Knowing why Venus went down such a different path than our own could also help in understanding the glut of rocky exoplanets now being found around other stars. Byrne points out that alien astronomers peering at our solar system from far away would be hard pressed to say whether Earth or Venus hold life.last_img read more

Trump baby balloon flies outside British parliament as big protests expected

first_img Advertising By Reuters |London | Published: June 4, 2019 6:24:32 pm “We’re also, in a light-hearted way, trying to articulate the strength of feeling against Donald Trump and his politics of hate,” he said. “We want to put a smile on people’s faces as well as make a serious point.”The blimp, which was first used during Trump’s visit to London last year, rose a few meters off the ground.In central London, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party will join tens of thousands of protesters in a “Carnival of Resistance” to voice their opposition to the president.Jeremy Corbyn, who will speak at the rally after snubbing Monday night’s banquet at Buckingham Palace, said it was an “opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country”. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Top News Best Of Express Among those taking part will be environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women’s rights protesters.Police will close the road directly outside Downing Street to protect the president and his family.In Britain, Trump’s ban on travel to the United States from several primarily Muslim countries, the decision to withdraw the United States from a global deal to combat climate change, and his criticism of British politicians have helped stoke opposition to his presidency.The state dinner held in the president’s honour was boycotted by several lawmakers, including the leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat party as well as Corbyn and other senior Labour figures.The U.S. president’s supporters said it was an insult to snub the leader of Britain’s closest ally. But the demonstrators have received tactical support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has repeatedly clashed with the president and who gave permission to fly the blimp.The president called the mayor a “stone-cold loser” shortly before he arrived in Britain and has in the past accused him of failing to do enough to stop deadly terror attacks in London.center_img Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising The six-meter (20 foot) high blimp was raised in Parliament Square at 0900 GMT. It is due to be airborne when Trump holds talks with the outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May nearby in Downing Street.Trump and his wife Melania arrived on Monday for a three-day state visit – a pomp-laden affair that involved a banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening.Leo Murray, 42, the co-creator of the blimp, said: “We’re trying to remind the president how unwelcome he is in this country. A demonstrator fixes balloons to an area where they will inflate the ‘Trump Baby’ giant balloon in Parliament Square in central London as people start to gather to demonstrate against the state visit of President Donald Trump, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Trump will turn from pageantry to policy Tuesday as he joins British Prime Minister Theresa May for a day of talks likely to highlight fresh uncertainty in the allies’ storied relationship. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)A giant inflatable blimp depicting Donald Trump as a pouting baby in a diaper flew outside the British parliament in London on Tuesday ahead of what is expected to be one of the city’s largest protests against a foreign leader. 0 Comment(s)last_img read more