Researchers develop model that predicts changes in BUP exposure during pregnancy

first_imgJun 7 2018Buprenorphine (BUP) is approved for the treatment of opioid addiction. The current dosing regimen of BUP in pregnant women is based on recommendations designed for non-pregnant adults, but physiological changes during pregnancy may alter BUP exposure and efficacy. As described in a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study, researchers have developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model that predicts changes in BUP exposure at different stages of pregnancy. The model predicted a decrease in BUP exposure during pregnancy and demonstrated the need for an increase in dose or dosing frequency to maintain efficacy throughout pregnancy. This must be followed by a reduction in dose of buprenorphine after delivery.”Modeling can help make predictions when it is difficult to get actual data in a patient population such as pregnant women with opiate addiction. Our predictions in fact agree with our clinical observations in a small number of patients published earlier. Lack of recognition of the impact of pregnancy on how the body handles drugs can cause therapeutic failure and may explain the high withdrawal rate of subjects on methadone / buprenorphine maintenance therapy for opioid addiction,”said senior author Dr. Raman Venkataramanan, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Source:http://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/wiley-research-headlines/model-examines-pregnancys-effects-opioid-addiction-treatmentlast_img read more

Sound and object motion can help change perceptions about body size

first_img Source:https://www.uc3m.es/ Jun 29 2018Sound and object motion can be used to change perceptions about body size, according to a new study by an international team led by a researcher from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). The study, published in PLOS ONE, found that when there is a mismatch between the sensory signals (in this experiment, when the sound made by dropping a ball takes more than we expected), a recalibration of the mental representation of our body height occurs.Researchers started by an evidence: when an object is dropped, the brain uses internal models (both gravitational movement and our body size) to predict when it will hit the floor. They have proof that artificially lengthening the time it takes to hear the impact can change our perceived body height.”These results reveal the surprising importance that sound and movement have on body representation. We don’t just feel and see our bodies, we also hear ourselves whenever we interact with solid objects,” explained the main author of the paper, Ana Tajadura-Jiménez, researcher from the UC3M’s Computing Department and UCL Interaction Centre (University College London).The findings could have implications for studies already using sound for rehabilitation for people with poor proprioception – the sense of the position parts of the body in relation to other parts – including those who have Parkinson’s Disease or have suffered a stroke. “This is a really promising avenue for applications for clinical conditions where people suffer from chronic pain or other conditions linked to distorted mental body representations such as anorexia nervosa”, added Ana Tajadura-Jiménez.How humans perceive their body size is highly flexible, even beyond the ages when we stop growing. Most previous studies into this used sensory feedback on or about one’s body but this study shows that even the movement of objects around us is used to compute our body size. Although in adults the size of the body does not often change much, the mental representations of these sizes can change very quickly. This “recalibration of the mental representations of the body” has been investigated in many studies that have shown that our bodies try to maintain a representation of the body consistent with the sensory signals received. “As these mechanisms are understood, they inform the design of sound-based technology to support novel therapies for such conditions,” added co-author Professor Nadia Berthouze (UCL Interaction Centre and UCL Psychology & Language Sciences).Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaSensory experimentFor the study, three groups of people participated in laboratory experiments: the participants, while standing and blindfolded, were invited to drop a ball from head height. The researchers artificially introduced different delays in the time interval that the ball takes to reach the floor and produce sound and vibrations in the floor. “Results show that as the perceived time it took the ball to hit the floor increased, so too did the participants’ perception of their body height and leg length”, explained co-author Prof Ophelia Deroy, professor at Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich (Germany). In other words, participants felt higher and act like their legs were longer.”This is not only valuable for clinical applications but could also inform the development of technologies for motion controlled games where players take on a larger character on screen” said another researcher, Dr Norimichi Kitagawa, from The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) telecommunication company.last_img read more

New study examines scope of state policies targeting drug use by pregnant

first_img The most frequent drug use during pregnancy policies are punitive, and the most frequent alcohol/pregnancy policies are supportive. Yet, when factoring in mandatory signage laws (24 for alcohol; 2 for drugs – recreational cannabis), there is not a great deal of difference between the remaining types policies The policy that could provide the most direct services to pregnant women — priority treatment laws are few whether the policy pertains to drugs or alcohol. For example, priority treatment for pregnant women with children is the least represented alcohol/pregnancy policy. For drug/pregnancy policies, only 5 states have priority treatment for women with children. Related StoriesExcess grey matter in the brain can predict escalating drinking behavior in teensNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by raceUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useComparing Drug/Pregnancy Policy to Alcohol Pregnancy Policy Aug 20 2018Policymakers and public health experts have long recognized the harm that can come to fetuses if women use drugs during pregnancy. As U.S. states legalize marijuana and as governmental attention focuses on the “opioid crisis,” state policies pertaining to drug use during pregnancy are increasingly important. A new study examines the scope of state policies targeting drug use during pregnancy, how they have evolved, and how they compare to policies related to alcohol use during pregnancy.The researchers examined all statutes and regulations in U.S. states pertaining to drug and alcohol use by pregnant women from 1970-2016, the entire period during which states legislated in these areas.Laws included in the analysis were: One implication of the trend toward punitive drug and alcohol/pregnancy policies is that that research to date shows that they deter pregnant women from seeking prenatal care and substance abuse treatment. They also disproportionately negatively affect women of color. The number of states with 1 or more drug/ pregnancy policies has increased substantially since 1970. As of 2016, the number of states with either punitive policy or mixed policy environments is 31; 12 states have supportive policies; 8 states have no policy. The most widely adopted supportive between 1970 and 2016 require reporting for data collection and/or treatment for women. The most widely adopted punitive policies were reporting requirements to CPS and defining drug use during pregnancy as child abuse/child neglect. The smallest increases from 1970 to 2016 were for the supportive policy of priority treatment for pregnant women (or pregnant women and women with children) and the punitive policy of civil commitment. Drug use during pregnancy policy environments have become less supportive over time. As of 2016, few states are supportive-only.center_img mandatory warning signs priority access to substance abuse treatment for pregnant women requirements to report evidence of drug use during pregnancy to law enforcement or child welfare agencies– or to a health authority for the purposes of data gathering and treatment laws that define drug use during pregnancy as child abuse/child neglect laws that limit toxicological tests as evidence in criminal prosecutions of fetal or child harm mandatory involuntary commitment of pregnant women to treatment or to protective custody. Policies were analyzed individually as well as classified as punitive toward or supportive of women. Punitive policies seek to control pregnant women’s behavior through threats of sanctions. Supportive policies seek to provide information, early intervention, and treatment and services to them.Key Findings:Drug/Pregnancy Policy Source:http://www.pire.org/last_img read more

Novel tests to better assess earlier stages of AMD

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 29 2018The European MACUSTAR consortium is conducting a multi-country clinical study on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) coordinated by the University of Bonn. The clinical study focuses on the intermediate stage of the disease, in which a person’s vision under low-light and low-contrast conditions is impaired. Throughout Europe, a total of 20 study centers will recruit and follow-up with 750 patients. The study rationale and protocol has recently been published in the journal Opthalmologica.Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with a progressive loss of photoreceptor cells at the point of sharpest vision. People older than 60 years are most affected, corresponding to around 2.5 million people in the European Union. The number of persons affected by AMD is expected to rise due to increasing life expectancy. Disease progress from an early stage to an intermediate stage is typically associated with low-light and low-contrast vision problems. Late stage AMD usually leads to irreversible central vision loss.Currently, clinical tests available are good at diagnosing the loss of vision in late stage AMD. However, they are not sensitive to changes in vision in earlier stages of the disease, thus, hampering the testing of treatment methods to prevent or delay progression of early AMD stages. Therefore, MACUSTAR is developing novel tests to assess earlier stages of AMD.20 Study Centers Examine 750 Patients in EuropeThe core of the MACUSTAR project is a three-year observational study of 750 patients who have intermediate and other stages of AMD. They will be recruited by 20 participating clinical trial centers in seven European countries. Aim of the investigation is to find variables that provide reliable information on disease progression or stability, which could then be further developed into clinical tests.Related StoriesUsing Light Scattering to Characterize Protein-Nucleic Acid InteractionsProtein found in the eye can protect against diabetic retinopathySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchThe article published in the peer-reviewed journal Ophthalmologica summarizes the methods used to assess AMD and its impact on function and quality of life. For example, high-resolution imaging techniques will provide information on anatomical changes in the retina. Besides conventional visual function tests, vision under low-light conditions and contrast vision will be determined. Researchers will also capture the light sensitivity of the macula, the duration of dark adaptation, and reading speed and visual path navigation under low-light conditions. In addition, questionnaires will provide information on how visual impairment is perceived by the study participants. The MACUSTAR consortium aims to identify the best method or combination of methods that indicate if a novel therapeutic approach can stop AMD progression in the future.The ConsortiumBesides the University of Bonn and GRADE Reading Center Bonn, Moorfields Eye Hospital London (MBRC), University College London (UCL), City University of London (City), Fondation Voir et Entendre (FVE) Paris, Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image (AIBILI) Coimbra, Radbound University Medical Center (RUMC) Nijmegen, University of Sheffield and the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) Paris as well as the companies Bayer AG, Novartis Pharma AG, Carl Zeiss-Meditec and F. Hoffmann La-Roche are involved.The MACUSTAR consortium received a €16 million grant from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI2 JU) supported by the Horizon 2020 European Union Research and Innovation Framework Program and EFPIA. Source:https://www.uni-bonn.de/neues/219-2018last_img read more

Australias new government makes an aboutface on climate research

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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img Australia’s new science minister has ordered the nation’s premier science agency to “put the focus back on climate science.” And Australian scientists have their fingers crossed, hoping the directive from Greg Hunt, revealed this morning, really indicates the federal government is reversing a previous decision to scale back climate research efforts.They also hope the U-turn might mean a rethink of a February realignment of priorities by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) that called for eliminating 350 jobs, including 110 climate science positions. The agency later scaled back the job cuts to 295 positions, including more than 60 climate and marine scientists. The new directive came as a surprise, given Hunt—environment minister until a recent reshuffle after the 2 July federal election—did not oppose the cuts when they were first announced. However, he today told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) “both the prime minister [Malcolm Turnbull] and I have clear and strong views” on the importance of climate science. In contrast, under Tony Abbott, the previous prime minister who once dismissed climate change as “absolute crap,” nonmedical science had a rough ride. After its election in September 2013, Abbott’s government slashed more than $2.2 billion from the research budget.Hence, guarded optimism greeted today’s announcement that the government would fund 15 new jobs in analysis and forecasting as part of an injection of $28 million over 10 years in climate research. Hunt said he would work with Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, CSIRO, and the scientific community to develop a new climate science strategy that will cover remaining staff and charge a new climate change center in Hobart, Australia, with coordinating related research efforts across government agencies and academia.The Australian Academy of Science welcomed Hunt’s statement that climate science would be a “bedrock function” of the CSIRO, as did the union representing CSIRO staff. But CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski in Melbourne said the “backflip” on climate science capacity was “merely a Band-Aid” given that the agency is proceeding with the staff cuts.The association wrote to CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall demanding he halt the layoffs. “Clearly, there are many scientists and researchers facing the sack who work in climate science,” Popovski said. “Why is the Turnbull government and CSIRO management intent on throwing away this talent, experience and expertise?”CSIRO oceanographer John Church in Hobart, Australia, agreed that 15 new jobs will not compensate for the “loss of skills” walking out the door.Along with Church, an expert on sea level rise, another 22 climate scientists will leave the organization at the end of the month, regardless of whether management freezes the layoffs. Many will move overseas. Church, for one, is negotiating with unnamed institutions.“It’s been a painful journey,” Church said. “It’s probably time that I move on,” he told ABC radio. “I do, however, hope CSIRO does retain its sea level research.”last_img read more

Exclusive QA Robert F Kennedy Jr on Trumps proposed vaccine commission

first_imgEnvironmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an outspoken vaccine critic, said today that he was asked by President-elect Donald Trump to chair a “vaccine safety and scientific integrity” commission. (A Trump spokesperson, however, later said that “no decisions have been made at this time” about such a commission.) Kennedy espouses discredited links between vaccines and neurological disorders, including autism. He has also been harshly critical of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends the childhood vaccine schedule. Scientists and others have fiercely disputed Kennedy’s claims.ScienceInsider caught up with Kennedy by telephone in an airport flight lounge shortly after he met with Trump in New York City. He made it clear that CDC’s vaccine scientists and practices will be a major focus of the commission’s work. Excerpts from our interview, which have been edited for brevity and clarity, appear below. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Email Q: What happened in the meeting?A: It was an hour meeting and the vice president–elect came in to the last 15 minutes. The meeting was with [Trump] and Kellyanne Conway [recently appointed counselor to the president].Q: Did the president-elect request the meeting or did you?A: He called me a week ago to request it.Q: Why?A: He wants to make sure that we have the best vaccine science and the safest vaccine supply that we can have.Q: Did the president-elect indicate that he doesn’t believe that to be the case at the moment?A: He is troubled by questions of the links between certain vaccines and the epidemic of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. And he has a number—he told me five—friends, he talked about each one of them, who has the same story of a child, a perfectly healthy child who went into a wellness visit around age 2, got a battery of vaccines, spiked a fever, and then developed a suite of deficits in the 3 months following the vaccine.He said that he understood that anecdote was not science, but said that if there’s enough anecdotal evidence … that we’d be arrogant to dismiss it. Those were his words.Q: Was there a particular vaccine he felt was culpable?A: He doesn’t know whether it’s the schedule or the sheer number of vaccines or the age at which they’re given or the ingredients.Q: Did the president-elect mention CDC?A: We talked a lot about CDC and ways to increase the independence from financial conflicts at CDC in the vaccine division.Q: You said that the commission is to delve into “vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” What is that second piece about?A: To make sure that we’re getting good science out of CDC.Q: It’s all about CDC? It’s not about “scientific integrity” in chemistry or physics or basic biology or anywhere else?A: Exactly. [CDC] is the locus of most of the most serious problems with the vaccine program, the two divisions at CDC: the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Immunization Safety Office, which is where the scientists are.Q: How many people will be on the commission?A: A dozen people—a mix between science people and prominent Americans.Q: Who will you ask to serve?A: I couldn’t tell you. I just finished meeting with the president-elect an hour ago.Q: When you say “science people,” do you mean experts from the scientific establishment?A: Prominent scientists.Q: Do you mean prominent vaccinologists who believe in the safety and efficacy of today’s vaccines?A: We are going to look for people who have expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, and in public health.Q: When does the president-elect want you to have the commission in place?A: We didn’t talk about the details but he expressed urgency about it. That he wanted it done—we talked about a 1-year commitment.Q: It’s an unpaid panel?A: Yes.Q: Do you have scientific training?A: No. My background is I’m an environmental lawyer. I’m not a scientist. But I have an expertise, I would say, in reading science and spotting junk science because that’s what I do with most of my time.Q: Rates of childhood infectious diseases have plummeted over the past half-century or so. Are you out to return us to the dark ages?A: I am for vaccines. I have been tracking mercury in fish for 30 years and nobody has called me antifish. I am pro-vaccine. I had all my kids vaccinated. I think vaccines save lives. But we are also seeing an explosion in neurodevelopmental disorders and we ought to be able to do a cost-benefit analysis and see what’s causing them. We ought to have robust, transparent science and an independent regulatory agency. Nobody is trying to get rid of vaccines here. I just want safe vaccines.last_img read more

Make replication studies a normal and essential part of science Dutch science

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Trondheim Havn/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Matt WarrenJan. 16, 2018 , 6:30 AM Make replication studies ‘a normal and essential part of science,’ Dutch science academy sayscenter_img Researchers should more widely share information that allows studies to be replicated, says the new report, and funding agencies should make more money available for replication. Scientists, universities, funding agencies, and journals alike should be doing much more to ensure the reproducibility of scientific research, according to a new report released Monday by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).The report adds to a growing number of voices calling for fundamental changes in the way science is conducted and published. It comes in the wake of recent failures to replicate published scientific work, also known as the “reproducibility crisis.” A panel at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences is currently also studying reproducibility and replication, and the British Psychological Society is holding an event on the topic later this month.The KNAW panel, chaired by Johan Mackenbach, a public health researcher at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, makes several recommendations to both improve the rigor of original scientific papers and support scientists who conduct replications of previous research. Institutions should put a greater emphasis on training in research design and statistical analysis, the report says, and teach scientists how to conduct replication studies. Journals should require authors to register reports in advance so that the study protocol and analysis plan is locked in place before data collection even begins, and scientists should be encouraged to store methods and data in repositories to help other groups reproduce experiments.  Email The report also highlights the need to change the incentive structure in publishing and funding. Journals and grant agencies should take into account the rigor of a study, and not only reward innovative methods or novel findings. (In a newspaper interview yesterday, Mackenbach said that between 5% and 10% of research funding should eventually be spent on replication studies.) Journals should also devote more space to publish both replication studies and null results, the group says.“It’s a nicely balanced report that highlights the challenges for science in general,” says Daniël Lakens, an experimental psychologist at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands who was consulted by the panel. “It’s good that it acknowledges that this is an issue that we should think about.”Although Monday’s report—and the discussion in the wider scientific community—concentrates on reproducibility in the life sciences, medicine, and psychology, the committee recommends that all scientific disciplines assess the extent to which results are reproducible. “When we look at the existing analyses of what causes these reproducibility problems, it’s quite clear that the same causes must occur elsewhere,” Mackenbach says.After a suggestion from Lakens, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research launched a €3 million fund last year specifically for conducting replication studies; the first nine funded research projects were announced last July. That, and the new report, means the Netherlands is “pretty ahead of things,” Lakens says, but reproducibility is a global issue, he emphasizes: “This doesn’t stop at the border. Other countries can easily take over these conclusions because they apply just as much. And I hope they will.”last_img read more

With €15 billion for artificial intelligence research Europe pins hopes on ethics

first_imgEuropean computer scientists are calling for an intergovernmental artificial intelligence laboratory that could compete with leading world universities. The commission says it will fund basic research as well as research that could be spun off into the market, and it intends to help member states set up joint research centers across Europe. It also plans to update rules on the reuse of public sector information to include publicly available science and health data, the raw material needed to train many AI technologies. This plan follows a declaration signed on 10 April by 25 European countries, in which governments agreed to work together on AI and to consider AI research funding “as a matter of priority.” But that statement is nonbinding and does not set actual spending goals.These policy announcements are largely based on the idea that Europe must catch up with the United States and China on AI. Jeffrey Ding, who studies AI governance at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and monitors the AI potential of different countries, finds that China trails the United States in every factor except access to data. He says Europe has a strong AI research, but a weak AI industry, in part because venture capital funding of AI startups in the United States and China dwarfs that of Europe.Stéphan Eloïse Gras, a French digital humanities researcher at New York University (NYU) in New York City, says Europe’s ambitions are hindered by outdated industrial policies that provide too much support to big, risk-averse firms and not enough for risky startups. “We also need to come up with binding metrics that measure the human value of technological startups in other ways than user figures,” she says. Building humanities and social sciences—in which Europe has a strong tradition—into AI can help make sure that ethics is an integral part of these developments, rather than a detached musing or an afterthought, Gras adds.There is indeed a “European angle on AI” that values privacy, transparency, and fairness, says Bernhard Schölkopf, a machine learning researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany. “However, it would be short-sighted for Europe to only focus on potential problems and let others push the boundaries of knowledge,” Schölkopf adds. “We do not yet understand well how to make [AI] systems robust, or how to predict the effect of interventions.”Another issue for Europe is attracting researchers in a field where salaries have become astronomical. Europe does have world-class AI researchers, but it struggles to keep them, says Jean Ponce, an artificial vision researcher at France’s Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, who spent 22 years working in the United States and is now working on a French-U.S. AI agreement at NYU. Private firms may poach public researchers, but they need academia to keep producing knowledge and training engineers and researchers, Ponce says. High salaries are not everything: “As an academic, you have freedom to do what you want, and that’s not negligible.”On 24 April, a group of nine prominent AI researchers, including Schölkopf, took matters into their own hands and offered suggestions in an open letter. They urge governments to set up an intergovernmental European Lab for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS), inspired by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. ELLIS would be a “top employer in machine intelligence research,” and on par with leading world universities, the letter says, offering attractive salaries and “outstanding academic freedom and visibility.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Europe’s plan to catch up to the United States and China in an artificial intelligence (AI) arms race is coming into focus. The European Commission today announced that it would devote €1.5 billion to AI research funding until 2020. It also said it would present ethical guidelines on AI development by the end of the year, suggesting that Europe could become a precautionary counterweight to its global rivals in a field that has raised fears about a lack of fairness and transparency even as it has made great advances.Both the United States and China practice “permissionless innovation: Break things as you go and go fast,” says Eleonore Pauwels, a Belgian ethics researcher at the United Nations University in New York City. In contrast, Europeans “are betting on being the good guy,” she says. This could mean, for instance, developing AI systems that require smaller data sets, enhance privacy and trust, and are more transparent than their competitors, Pauwels says. “This is noble, but I don’t know if they have the means of their politics.”The European measures come 1 month after France presented its own AI intentions, and a week after a U.K. Parliament report urged the government to draw up a policy to help the country become one of the world’s AI leaders. By Tania RabesandratanaApr. 25, 2018 , 12:35 PMcenter_img With €1.5 billion for artificial intelligence research, Europe pins hopes on ethics istock.com/imaginima Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emaillast_img read more

Life after a ballot loss

first_img Life after a ballot loss 1 Primary winners Meet the scientists running to transform Congress in 2018 By Jeffrey MervisOct. 17, 2018 , 1:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email 12 ScienceInsider’s coverage of the 2018 U.S. elections has featured profiles of several candidates with scientific backgrounds running for the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as stories about the challenges those candidates have faced on the campaign trail. This week, we will be profiling three more candidates appearing on the 6 November ballot. Today’s story looks at what those who lost in the primaries are doing now and what they have learned from their experience.Biochemist Molly Sheehan is finishing her postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Westin has resumed running clinical trials and is seeing a full load of patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.Physicist Elaine DiMasi is looking for a job that taps her 20 years of experience as a project manager at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Epidemiologist Eric Ding is planning to continue his public health advocacy while he’s a visiting scientist at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. And mathematician Mary Wilson continues to be pastor of her nondenominational church in Austin. Greg Bartlett 9 The hard road to Congress Some 47 candidates with scientific training, all Democrats, decided to run for a seat in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. Most were political novices, and 30 didn’t survive primary elections held earlier this year in every state. Based on their highest degree, the group included: with J.D.with Ph.D.with master’swithbachelor’s J.D. Ph.D. Physicist learns hard lessons about money and leadership in U.S. politics 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 14 with M.D. with D.M.D.center_img 9 The science vote It wasn’t long ago that these five scientists were running flat-out for a seat in the House. They were part of a wave of Democrats hoping their scientific training could help the party recapture the House and oppose the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress. But all of them lost in their state’s primary elections earlier this year—and within weeks they had returned to the world they knew before taking their first stab at electoral politics.Not Phil Janowicz. The former chemistry professor at California State University in Fullerton also lost his primary—but he’s still consumed by electoral politics. Rather than stumping for himself, however, Janowicz is working to elect Gil Cisneros, the Democrat standard bearer for California’s 39th congressional district in next month’s general election. He’s also drawing on his experience as a first-time House candidate to educate other novices about running for office.A life-changing experienceUsing a broad definition of a scientist, Science identified 47 candidates seeking a House seat this year who had training or work experience in a scientific, technical, or health field. Of those, 30 didn’t make it past their state’s primary election. They learned the hard way that their resumes and stances on particular issues were often less important than high name recognition, strong ties to party regulars, and access to a large pool of donors and cash. Most science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) candidates lacked all three.For each of these scientists, running for Congress was a life-altering experience. But each House race is unique, and every candidate walked away with a slightly different take-home message.Westin, for instance, was disappointed when he finished third in the March Democratic primary for the seventh congressional district in Houston. He can’t shake the feeling that an attack on one of his opponents by the national Democratic party, just days before the primary, generated a backlash that carried her past him and into a run-off election against the top Democratic vote getter.Although that outside intervention left a bitter taste in Westin’s mouth, within 2 weeks he was back at work, reclaiming duties he had ceded to colleagues when he cut back to 1 day a week to conduct his campaign. His patients took a little longer to adjust to his defeat.“I’d come in to talk about their treatments,” he says, “and they wanted to talk about how they were disappointed I had lost. I had to say, ‘Let’s talk about your cancer first.’”Even so, Westin says his year on the campaign trail made him a public figure and created “this public side to my persona. Now, I’m seen as someone who has worn multiple hats. And the political hat has not disappeared just because I’m no longer a candidate.”That exposure could make it easier to run for office again, he acknowledges. “I was on TV, I was endorsed by the local [Houston] paper, I’m recognized by people at the grocery store, and my connection to political powerbrokers and potential donors has been strengthened,” he says.His defeat taught him a hard but important lesson. “For a scientist wondering how to lower those barriers, the only way to do that is to run,” he says. “Until you put your foot in the water, there’s no way to judge how warm it is.” 2 M.D. Phil Janowicz (back right) joins in on a selfie with former Vice President Joe Biden (center) during Biden’s recent campaign stop in southern California. A house too far: Two scientists abandon their bids for Congress Defeated but unbowed: Two Pennsylvania scientists regroup after primary loss  Follow our rolling coverage of 2018’s science candidates. The science candidates: races to watch in 2018 Master’s D.M.D. Bachelor’s Start sooner next timeWilson pulled off a stunning upset in the March Texas primary over Joseph Kopser, who had outspent her by a 20-to-one margin and who enjoyed the backing of the political establishment. But she received only 31% of the vote in a four-person field to win the Democratic nomination for the 21st congressional district. That result triggered a runoff 2 months later in which Kopser’s enormous advantages in resources, visibility, and volunteers translated into an easy victory in a district that stretches from Austin to San Antonio, Texas, and encompasses a large rural area to the west.In hindsight, Wilson says she should have realized that the first round of voting represented a political high-water mark for a campaign built on her progressive stances and outsider status. If she were ever to do it again, she says, she’d start preparations a lot sooner and cast a much broader net.“You need to anticipate not 2 years in advance, but maybe 4 years in advance,” she says of running for office. “That gives you 2 years to cultivate the support of party officials, both local and national. Those contacts can help you cultivate the support of high-end donors even before you declare.”That those relationships also need to be mutually beneficial, she says. Immediately after her defeat, Wilson criticized the party’s national campaign organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), for trying to push district voters toward Kopser in the runoff.Five months later, on the eve of the general election, she feels the DCCC has failed to capitalize on the enthusiasm that she and other House candidates throughout the state had generated among rank-and-file voters. “I think they were not prepared for the energy shown by the average person who wanted to get involved,” she says. “They need to pay more attention to what is happening at the grassroots level.”Where can I sign up?Janowicz was also the victim of some sharp elbows thrown by national Democratic party leaders trying to winnow the field in advance of the California primary on 5 June. The DCCC’s goal was to prevent Republicans from taking the top two slots and shutting Democrats out of the general election.Janowicz bowed to that pressure, ending his yearlong campaign just 3 weeks before voters went to the polls. Even so, he has been bitten by the political bug in a way that promises to change his life.“The night of the primary, Gil’s campaign called me and invited me to their victory party,” Janowicz says. “We talked for 45 minutes. And the next day I signed up with his campaign.”And that’s not all. Janowicz is also director of the newly created Democratic Unity Center in Brea, California. Its goal is to coordinate the field activities of area candidates at all levels, as well as offer instruction to those thinking of taking the plunge. “This is how the blue wave gets created,” says Janowicz, who is also trying to raise enough money to support the fledgling organization through election day.Janowicz honed his fundraising skills during his campaign, which required him to spend several hours every day calling up potential donors. He got pretty good at it, but his war chest never matched those of his opponents, including Cisneros, a U.S. Navy veteran who became a philanthropist after winning a $266 million lottery jackpot in 2010.After dropping out, Janowicz immediately channeled his energy into a failed effort to prevent a Democratic state senator in the district from being recalled as part of a Republican backlash against a gasoline tax. Since then he has plunged even deeper into local party affairs, becoming a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and, somewhat ironically, serving on its endorsement committee.“I am certainly not done with electoral politics,” Janowicz says about his own political ambitions. “But I don’t what the next step might be.”A Cisneros victory next month could create an opportunity, he admits. “Everybody needs a good science adviser.” Insurmountable obstaclesDiMasi found those waters to be quite chilly. An experimental physicist who studies the structure of materials, DiMasi decided to take on her local Republican congressman, Representative Lee Zeldin, because of his vocal support for Trump and his stance on any number of issues about which she cared deeply, from protecting the environment to health care and immigration.But DiMasi had no ties to local political groups in New York’s first congressional district, no network of potential donors, and no clue how to run a campaign. Those were insurmountable obstacles to getting out her message, and she finished last among five Democrats in the June primary. Equally important, she realized afterward that she didn’t much like retail politics, including the give and take of wooing voters and the bravado needed to convince volunteers and donors they were backing a winner.Having left Brookhaven to run, she’s now looking for a job. She wondered whether to list her campaign on her resume, worrying that her political advocacy might turn off some prospective employers. But she decided to include it because, “That’s part of who I am and what I’ve done.”Her need for a steady income has prevented her from doing more to help the Democratic nominee, Perry Gershon, who faces an uphill battle in the solidly Republican district. Her chosen profession also puts a damper on any type of political activity, she notes.“Being a scientist is not a part-time job,” she says. “Aside from working for the government [which precludes partisan political activity], any job that I take will probably consume all of my time. It’s not like being an attorney, where you can take off a year or work part time so that you can run or get involved in a political campaign.”Clashing worldsSeveral of the defeated candidates expressed a similar regret. They say the reward system in science is antithetical to anyone thinking about entering politics.“The legal world, for example, values service in other areas and understands the importance of having an impact on policy questions,” notes Eric Ding, a public health epidemiologist who lost in the Democrat primary to represent the 10th congressional district in and around Harrisburg. “In academia, the thing that matters most is your next grant. And publishing is seen as the only way to engage with the public.”Ding says that wasn’t the case for him at Harvard, where he says departmental leaders encouraged his forays into public health advocacy. Ding has resumed a position there as a visiting scientist after leaving to run for office. And he’s not sure what lies ahead. “I’m not a traditional academic scientist,” he says, “and I still have political aspirations.”Postelection decompressionSheehan’s decision to run for Congress was a reaction to “getting kicked in the gut” by the 2016 election. And the political novice got a few breaks early on: The Democratic front-runner bowed out after he was accused of sexual harassment as a state legislator, and the incumbent Republican decided not to run and later resigned, after having used congressional funds to settle a harassment complaint. Then a court declared Pennsylvania’s current congressional districts were illegal and came up with a new map that reshuffled the political deck.The realignment turned a yearlong marathon campaign into a 10-week sprint for her and nine other Democrats running in the newly drawn fifth congressional district outside of Philadelphia. Sheehan finished fourth, behind two lawyers with large war chests and a longtime politico.She gave herself 6 weeks to decompress before returning to Brian Chow’s laboratory to churn out some papers before her postdoc ends in December. And that’s as far as she can see at the moment. “It’s not something that I can put my family through again at this point,” she says about another run for office.Her academic career is also on hold. “It made sense for me to finish up and leave because I’m not going to be applying for any faculty positions next year,” she says about what had once been her obvious next career move. And she understands that most academic employers would expect her to be devoted to her career.“I’d be less sure about leaving bench science if there was the possibility of finding a part-time position,” she muses. But given the tight job market, she doesn’t think such an arrangement is realistic.She hasn’t lost her interest in civic engagement, however. Next year, she hopes to work with area high schools setting up STEM incubators for their students. And she sees a silver lining in her race: Both candidates in the general election are women, assuring an end to Pennsylvania’s current all-male, 18-member delegation. (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/SCIENCE; (DATA) CAMPAIGN WEBSITES/314 ACTION/COOK POLITICAL REPORT Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Top stories Ebola outbreak challenges Viking cats and a new kind of

first_img Ebola vaccine is having ‘major impact’ but worries about DRC outbreak growConcerns about an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that surfaced in August are growing. Although communities seem to be responding well after more than 40,000 people received an experimental vaccine for the disease, the outbreak in the northeastern region of the country is in an area that has long suffered from armed conflict, which repeatedly has brought Ebola response teams to a halt.Viking cat skeletons reveal a surprising growth in the size of felines over time Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Frankie SchembriDec. 14, 2018 , 12:20 PM (left to right): JOHN WESSELS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; ASTRID GAST/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; ISTOCK.COM/BRAUNS Many animals shrink when they become domesticated, but a curious thing appears to have happened to cats during the Viking era: They got bigger. By examining Denmark’s feline fossil record, researchers found domesticated cats grew on average by about 16% between the Viking Age and today. The researchers suspect the cats’ growth was related to a plentiful supply of food from growing villages.Just thinking you have poor endurance genes changes your bodyIn a study examining what may be a novel form of the placebo response, psychologists have found that just telling a person they have a high or low genetic risk for certain physical traits can influence how their body functions when exercising or eating—regardless of what genetic variant they actually have.NIH says cancer study also hit by fetal tissue banA team investigating cancer immunotherapy is the third laboratory affected by President Donald Trump’s administration’s order telling scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to stop acquiring new human fetal tissue for experiments. Last week, two experiments investigating HIV and eye diseases, respectively, were put on hold. The order is now being reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees NIH.After botched launch, orbiting atomic clocks confirm Einstein’s theory of relativityTwo teams of physicists have used data from misguided satellites to put Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity, to an unexpected test. The opportunistic experiment confirms to unprecedented precision a key prediction of the theory—that time ticks slower near a massive body like Earth than it does farther away. Top stories: Ebola outbreak challenges, Viking cats, and a new kind of placebo Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Monarch butterflies raised in captivity dont migrate

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Monarch butterflies raised in captivity don’t migrate Email In what may be a cautionary tale for citizen scientists trying to save North America’s iconic monarch butterfly, new research has found that butterflies raised in captivity are sometimes unable to migrate—some as a result of missing genes and others for want of the right environmental cues.A graduate student discovered this genetic shortfall after buying dozens of monarchs and tethering them to a short pole—a common method to test what direction an insect wants to fly. Tethered wild-caught monarchs consistently headed south, the same direction they fly during their annual journeys from the United States and Canada to Mexico. But neither commercially sourced monarchs nor local individuals raised indoors did. They tended to head in random directions.To see why the monarchs weren’t trying to fly south, the researchers sequenced the DNA of some of the butterflies and compared it with the already-sequenced monarch genomes. They found many differences but did not pin down any particular gene. But even with the right genes, the local butterflies raised indoors couldn’t head in the right direction; the researchers think that because outdoor-raised butterflies orient south, but ones raised indoors don’t, the latter are not getting the environmental cues that would signal them to fly south, they report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Aye Tenger-Trolander By Elizabeth PennisiJun. 24, 2019 , 3:20 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Over their long evolutionary history, monarchs that have spread to Africa, Australia, South and Central America, and Hawaii have ceased to migrate; with mild local conditions, they have no need to go anywhere else. But butterflies in colder climates such as North America don’t survive the winter if they don’t migrate.Thus, the researchers say, the recent request for the U.S. government to list the species as threatened may be warranted. The findings also suggest school groups and hobbyists who raise monarchs to bolster the species’s population may want to source them locally and raise them outdoors for their entire life cycle. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Huaweis US research arm builds separate identity

first_img Huawei Mate 30 Pro leaked screen cover shows 90-degree curved display Huawei plans to cut jobs in US-based R&D unit: Report 5G rollout: How far has India progressed, and where does it stand on Huawei? Related News Best Of Express Huawei, futurewei, research team, research hand, huawei's reserach hand, huawei employees, huawei employees banned, indian express Huawei will continue to own Futurewei, the employee said. (Photo: Reuters/File)The US-based research arm of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd – Futurewei Technologies Inc – has moved to separate its operations from its corporate parent since the U.S government in May put Huawei on a trade blacklist, according to two people familiar with the matter. Advertising Advertising More Explained Huawei is among the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers. The Commerce Department in May placed the firm on its “entity list” of organizations that pose security risks. The Justice Department earlier filed charges against the firm alleging theft of trade secrets and other crimes.Futurewei is Huawei’s U.S.-based research and development arm. The firm employs hundreds of people at offices in Silicon Valley and the greater Seattle, Chicago and Dallas areas, according to its workers’ LinkedIn pages. Futurewei has filed more than 2,100 patents in such areas as telecommunications, 5G cellular networks, and video and camera technologies, according to data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.Until now, Futurewei’s operations have been largely indistinguishable from Huawei, the Futurewei employee said. Futurewei had no separate brand or even a website, the employee said, and its staff often identified themselves as Huawei employees.Both companies have conducted a wide range of research partnerships and grant programs with U.S. universities. By Reuters | Updated: June 25, 2019 9:36:07 am “Computing has become so central and so important – and so dangerous,” he said. “We’re beyond the point where you can deny that.” Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising Futurewei has banned Huawei employees from its offices, moved Futurewei employees to a new IT system and forbidden them from using the Huawei name or logo in communications, a Futurewei employee told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Huawei will continue to own Futurewei, the employee said.Milton Frazier, Futurewei’s general counsel, declined to comment on the separation or the strategy behind it, referring questions to Huawei spokesman Chase Skinner. Skinner did not answer questions about the effort.The division of operations, which has not been previously reported, comes as many U.S. universities have halted research partnerships with Huawei in reaction to US government allegations that the company poses a national security threat. Many universities are also rethinking their partnerships with other Chinese firms. Post Comment(s) Berkeley also suspended funding from Futurewei but continues to allow Futurewei employees to participate in research reviews under certain restrictions, Katz wrote to faculty. Berkeley staff and students now can work only with Futurewei employees who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and who agree in writing not to share certain sensitive information with Huawei.Companies on the entity list are banned from buying parts and components from American firms without U.S. government approval. Most universities have also consulted the list when making decisions on grants or partnerships, said Tobin Smith, of the Association of American Universities.Katz said he issued his guidance on Futurewei out of an “abundance of caution” to ensure researchers don’t break laws that prevent sharing sensitive U.S. technology with entity-listed companies. After consulting with the Commerce Department, Berkeley determined that Futurewei was not covered by the same restrictions as Huawei, Katz wrote to faculty.“Nevertheless, the U.S. government may take other actions against Futurewei,” he wrote.The Commerce Department could not legally place Futurewei on the entity list because it is a U.S. company, the agency said in a statement. Commerce spokesman Ari Schaffer did not answer questions on whether and how the agency regulates university research partnerships with entity-list companies or their U.S. subsidiaries.There’s nothing illegal about colleges taking grant money or conducting research with such companies, said Erick Robinson, head of the China practice at law firm Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig. What’s prohibited, he said, is any transfer of “essential confidential technology” to Huawei by any person or organization.‘FUTUREWEI IS HUAWEI’The U.S. Justice Department in January announced charges against Huawei and an executive in connection with an alleged scheme to mislead banks and the United States about its business activities in Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions. Prosecutors also charged the company with stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile US Inc. The company pleaded not guilty in both cases.The crackdown on Huawei comes amid an escalating U.S.-China trade war, in which the transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property to Chinese companies has been a point of contention.In addition to Berkeley, the list of universities that have partnered with Huawei or Futurewei includes Stanford, Princeton and Columbia universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin.Congressman Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who signed the letter warning about Huawei’s university partnerships, said any move to separate the operations of Futurewei and Huawei would not resolve those concerns.“Futurewei is Huawei,” Banks told Reuters.Banks introduced a bill in March called the “Protect Our Universities Act” that would allow government agencies to restrict or cancel federal funding for any sensitive research project carried out with companies that pose a threat of espionage.The bill names Huawei and several other Chinese technology companies as threats, along with any company owned or controlled by the governments of China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.Josh Hawley, a republican senator from Missouri, last week introduced a similar bill with the same name aimed at addressing the “threat of foreign government influence and threats to academic research integrity”.DILEMMA ON CAMPUSUC Berkeley has received nearly $8 million from the two firms in the past two years, said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogoluf. Katz, Berkeley’s research chief, said the school would reconsider its moratorium on taking money from Futurewei if the University of California’s Office of the President, gives its blessing.The office, which oversees 10 public universities including Berkeley, said in a statement that it wants to balance security concerns with maintaining an “open academic environment” for international scholars.At Stanford, Dean of Research Kathryn Moler said the university “paused” new funding agreements from Huawei and Futurewei in December but has continued working with the firms under existing arrangements. Moler did not answer questions about whether Stanford continues to accept money from the firms and declined to comment on whether it would lift its moratorium on new Futurewei funding if it separates its operations from Huawei.Stanford computer science professor John Ousterhout said his lab was getting $500,000 annually from Futurewei and had been in talks to boost that to $2 million when he learned of the moratorium.“I’m not here to defend Huawei. It’s quite possible that Huawei has done some seriously bad things,” Ousterhout said. But universities, he said, “should not be a law enforcement tool or foreign policy enforcement tool.”Andrew Chien, a University of Chicago professor who lost Huawei funding, said the computer science community needs to “grow up” and acknowledge the kind of security risks that have long been managed by colleagues in such disciplines as physics, whose work has military applications. Last year, 26 members of Congress sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, warning that Huawei’s partnerships with at least 50 U.S. universities “may pose a significant threat to national security.”The fear is that Huawei is using university partnerships to scoop up research in areas such as artificial intelligence, telecommunications and robotics, which could be used in hacking or spying operations or to give Chinese companies an edge over U.S. competitors.Some universities are struggling with whether they can continue partnerships with Futurewei – which is not on the government’s entity list – even as they suspend funding and research arrangements with Huawei.The University of California-Berkeley, for instance, is allowing researchers to keep working with Futurewei after suspending all funding and information exchanges with Huawei in May, according to guidance to faculty from Berkeley research chief Randy Katz. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Taking stock of monsoon rain last_img read more

Russia proposes prisoner swap with United States

first_img Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Vladimir Putin elton john homophobic The US Embassy in Moscow said on Monday it had asked the Russian government to allow an independent assessment of his condition, but that the request had been denied and that Whelan’s condition had worsened. (Photo: Reuters)Russia called on the United States on Monday to free Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko and proposed a prisoner swap with Washington to win the release of any American national held in Russia, Interfax news agency reported. The comments may fuel speculation that Moscow is seeking a prisoner exchange involving Paul Whelan, a former US Marine arrested and held in Russia on spying charges that he denies and that he has likened to a political kidnap. Advertising Explained: Trump pressure? Why OPEC embraced Putin Explained: Western fears about fire accident aboard a Russian submarine Yaroshenko is a pilot serving 20 years in the United States for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the country. He was arrested by US special forces in Liberia in 2010.ALSO READ | Iran says it has breached 2015 nuclear deal’s stockpile limit, IAEA confirms claim“Free Yaroshenko, swap him for an American or Americans who are serving their sentence here,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence After successfully hosting World Cup, nobody has questions about Russia: Smertin center_img Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield By Reuters |Moscow | Updated: July 1, 2019 9:22:26 pm Post Comment(s) Related News The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said on Monday it had asked the Russian government to allow an independent assessment of his condition, but that the request had been denied and that Whelan’s condition had worsened.Ryabkov also urged the United States on Monday to return confiscated Russian diplomatic properties as a first step towards mending battered relations between the countries.Ryabkov spoke a few days after Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of a G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka. Best Of Express He did not mention any specific US national being held in custody.Whelan, who holds US, British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28.Appearing in court last month, he appealed to US President Donald Trump to intervene to help him, saying “we cannot keep America great unless we aggressively protect” U.S. nationals wherever they are.Whelan said in May that he was being threatened in prison and subjected to humiliation.last_img read more

Eavesdropper Vulnerability Exposes Hundreds of Mobile Apps

first_imgAppthority on Thursdaywarned that up to 700 apps in the enterprise mobile environment, includingmore than 170 that were live in official app stores, could be at risk to due to the Eavesdropper vulnerability.Affected Android apps already may have been downloaded up to 180 million times, the firm said, based on its recent research.The vulnerability has resulted in large-scale data exposure, Appthority said.Eavesdropper is the result of developers hard-coding credentials into mobile applications that utilize the Twilio Rest API or SDK, according to Appthority. That goes against the best practices that Twiliorecommends in its own documentation, and Twilio already has reached out to the development community, including those with affected apps, to work on securing the accounts.Appthority’s Mobile Threat Team first discovered the vulnerability back in April and notified Twilio about the exposed accounts in July.The vulnerability reportedly exposes massive amounts ofsensitive and even historic data, including callrecords, minutes of the calls made on mobile devices, and minutes ofcall audio recordings, as well as the content of SMS and MMS text messages. Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.Email Peter. Sloppy Coding The best approach for an enterprise is toidentify the Eavesdropper-vulnerable apps in its environment and determine whether the data exposed by the app is sensitive, Appthority suggested.”Not all conversations involve confidential information, and the natureof the app’s use in the enterprise may not involve data that issensitive or of concern,” noted Seth Hardy, Appthority director ofsecurity research.”If the messages, audio content or call metadata turn out to besensitive or proprietary, there may not be much that can be done aboutexposed conversations resulting from prior use of the app,” he toldTechNewsWorld.”However, a lot can be done to protect future exposures, including either addressing and confirming the fix with the developer, or finding an alternate app that has the same or similar functionality without the Eavesdropper vulnerability,” Hardy said. “In all cases, the enterprise should contact developers to have them delete exposed files.” The Eavesdropper vulnerability is not limited to apps created using the Twilio Rest API or SDK, Appthority pointed out, ashard-coding of credentials is a common developer errorthat can increase security risks in mobile applications.”The core problem is developer laziness, so what Appthority foundisn’t a particular revelation,” said Steve Blum, principalanalyst at Tellus Venture Associates.”It’s just one more example of bad practices leading to bad results,as it’s very tempting for a coder to take shortcuts while developingan app, with the sincere intent of cleaning things up later,” he told TechNewsWorld.”With apps being developed by a single person or a small team, thereare no routine quality control checks,” Blum added. “Right now, it’sup to the stores — Apple and Android, primarily — to do QC work, andI’d bet they’re taking a look at this particular problem and mightscreen more thoroughly for hard-coded credentials in the future.”For security and privacy to come first, it may be essential for coding in general to go through a paradigm shift, suggestedRoger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics.”Unfortunately, too often security is seen as a cost center, andprivacy is seen as the revenue generator for the company that developsthe app,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Therefore, apps are often notsecure — and privacy is nonexistent — to minimize cost and maximizerevenue,” Entner explained. “The only way to combat these breaches is to actually pay full price for the apps consumers are using and to reject advertising-supported apps.”center_img No Easy Fix One of the most worrisome facts about this vulnerability is thatEavesdropper doesn’t rely on a jailbreak or root of the device. Nordoes it take advantage of other known operating system vulnerabilities.Moreover, the vulnerability is not resolved after the affected app has beenremoved from a user’s device. Instead, the app’s data remains opento exposure until the credentials are properly updated.”There isn’t a consumer workaround other than uninstalling allaffected apps and hoping that your data hasn’t already beencompromised,” warned Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.Some users may purchase phones that are preloaded with apps thatcould compromise their personal information.”Twilio could force developers to update their app code byinvalidating or revoking all access credentials to their compromisedservices APIs,” Teich told TechNewsWorld.However, “the sudden impact would be that a lot of valued consumersmartphone apps and services would simply stop working all at the sametime,” he said.It appears that users have few options, and it could be difficult forconsumers even to have visibility into Eavesdropper-affected apps.Those who work at a company “can ask their IT security teamfor a list of apps that are approved, and then delete vulnerable appsand install non-Eavesdropper affected apps instead,” suggestedAppthority’s Hardy.”The big challenge is how to stop the flow of information from thisbreach while still providing access to valued services,” said Tirias’ Teich.This situation occurred in no small part becausedevelopers were sloppy. However, consumer attitudes likely played a role as well. Many people favor ease of use over mobile device security.”Consumers are still too casual about their privacy and opt not to pay,” said Recon Analytics’ Entner, “instead having their privacy monetized and compromised through sloppily coded apps.” Reducing the Risklast_img read more

Carnegie scientist awarded NIH grant to identify novel medicines for cardiovascular disease

first_img Source:https://carnegiescience.edu/news/steven-farber-awarded-33-million-nih-grant-identify-new-pharmaceuticals-fight-cardiovascular Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018Carnegie’s Department of Embryology scientist Steven Farber and team have been awarded a 5-year $3.3-million NIH grant to identify novel pharmaceuticals for combatting a host of diseases associated with altered levels of lipoproteins like LDL (“bad cholesterol”). Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome have all been linked to changes in plasma lipoproteins.Lab efforts, led by graduate student Jay Thierer, started by creating zebrafish that have been genetically engineered to produce glowing lipoproteins, a technique they call “LipoGlo”. This was achieved by attaching DNA encoding NanoLuc (a relative of the protein that makes fireflies glow) to Apolipoprotein-B (ApoB), the protein that carries bad cholesterol. Since all the types of lipoprotein particles that are thought to actually cause cardiovascular disease are made with one copy of the ApoB protein, the team just needs to quantify the amount of light coming from the fish and they know exactly how many disease causing particles there are. Finding compounds that lower ApoB levels could be an enormous boost to fighting cardiovascular disease.To identify such compounds, Farber teamed up with Johns Hopkins Researchers Rexford Ahima, Thomas Lectka, and Jeffery Mumm and proposed a high-throughput screen that tests thousands of small molecules in live zebrafish larvae to identify those that lower ApoB. In addition, they developed a collection of secondary screens to help them figure out how a given compound achieves its ApoB-lowering effect.What sets this research apart is its ability to study cardiovascular disease in the context of a living organism. Previous attempts to develop cardiovascular disease drugs have almost exclusively relied on studying a single cell type, such as finding ways to prevent liver cells from producing cholesterol. However, it is remarkably difficult to predict how changes in one cell type will affect the rest of the organism, as many tissues including muscle, fat, blood vessels, the liver, the intestine, and the brain all interact and communicate to regulate cholesterol.Related StoriesResearch paves way for new treatment to protect people from cardiovascular diseaseEating blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseaseLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseWhat has made this effort possible are the unique attributes of the larval zebrafish system. Zebrafish have almost all of the major components of human metabolism, but in a small, rapidly developing organism that can be moved around and placed in tiny wells with robots. In a single week, the team can raise over 20,000 larvae and test hundreds of compounds, something that might take months or years in other vertebrate animal systems. Additionally, larvae are translucent which enables the team to monitor a host of other aspects of metabolic health such as fat accumulation and inflammation using other genetically engineered fish with “glowing” markers of biological processes. Mumm’s lab pioneered the zebrafish robotic platform for studies of eye biology and brought that expertise to the team. Lectka’s expertise in small molecule chemistry will assist in selecting the most promising compounds that could most easily be transformed into drugs for humans. These carefully selected candidate drugs will be handed off to the Ahima lab to test their efficacy in mouse models of obesity and cardiovascular disease.Farber pointed out that “25% of the world’s population dies of cardiovascular disease. While statin drugs have had a major impact on reducing mortality, folks still die from cardiovascular disease.” He went on to explain that although ApoB has a well-known role in metabolic disease, this protein is “enormous,” making it nearly impossible to study using traditional molecular techniques. By embracing state-of-the-art genome engineering approaches, Farber and his team were able to overcome this issue and generate zebrafish with glowing lipoproteins.Farber remarked: “While most of the field works in humans or mouse, my lab pioneered the use of zebrafish for studies of lipid metabolism. What we proposed is simply not possible in any other vertebrate model system. I will never forget the day Jay walked into my office and showed me images of larval zebrafish revealing the locations of all of the ApoB containing lipoproteins…just so cool.”last_img read more

Understanding of metalfree enzymes used by bacteria could lead to new effective

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 19 2018Some bacterial pathogens, including those that cause strep throat and pneumonia, are able to create the components necessary to replicate their DNA without the usually required metal ions. This process may allow infectious bacteria to replicate even when the host’s immune system sequesters iron and manganese ions in an attempt to slow pathogen replication. A new study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, describes a novel subclass of metal-free ribonucleotide reductase enzymes used by these bacteria, an understanding of which could drive the development of new, more effective antibiotics.”Every organism uses ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) enzymes to make the nucleotide building blocks needed for DNA replication and repair,” said Amie Boal, assistant professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State and the lead author of the paper. “Because RNRs are essential, they are validated drug targets for some cancers and viral infections, but they have not yet been exploited as drug targets in pathogenic bacteria. One of the goals of our work is to better understand the cofactors required by RNRs to function, which will hopefully inspire the creation of new, potent antimicrobial drugs that can inhibit the enzyme.”RNRs perform very complex chemistry to convert ribonucleotides–the building blocks of RNA, which are present in the cell–into deoxyribonucleotides–the building blocks of DNA. All known RNRs used during aerobic metabolism require a metal ion cofactor, which acts as a powerful oxidizing agent to drive the conversion. In their new study, the team of researchers have now identified and described a new subclass of RNR that is capable of performing this process without the aid of a metal ion in the bacterial pathogens that cause strep throat, pneumonia, rheumatic fever, and other diseases.Related StoriesUCR scientists decode genome of black-eyed peasResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairPopulation-scale DNA test could make personalized medicine effective and affordable for all”Requiring a trace-metal cofactor is the Achilles heel of an RNR, especially in pathogenic bacteria,” said Gavin Palowitch, Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology at Penn State and coauthor of the study. “When a pathogen invades your body, one of the things that your immune system can do is try to deprive it of iron and manganese ions in an attempt to slow reproduction. If you have a way to make DNA that doesn’t rely as much on a metal cofactor, that’s a novel tactic for evading the immune response.”The researchers showed that this new subclass of RNR is able to use a modified amino acid instead of a metal ion as the oxidizing agent that drives the creation of DNA nucleotides. It remains unknown whether a metal is required for initial synthesis of the modified amino acid and then lost. But the study establishes that the modification does require a separate protein for its installation.”The need for another activating protein is critical for thinking about inhibiting this enzyme with antibiotic drugs,” said Boal. “Protein-protein interactions are really attractive targets for disruption by small molecule therapeutics.” Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/542386/2018/10/18/research/pathogens-may-evade-immune-response-metal-free-enzymelast_img read more

Survey Only few women are informed by doctors that breastfeeding can lower

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 25 2018A new survey shows that although nearly 60 percent of breastfeeding mothers knew about the link between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk reduction, just 16 percent say they learned this from a medical professional.This is concerning, says study principal investigator Bhuvana Ramaswamy, MD, because women should be informed that breastfeeding can reduce breast cancer risk and improve mother’s health. Epidemiological studies show strong correlation between prolonged breastfeeding and reduced risk of developing triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer. This knowledge is especially relevant for African American women considering whether to breastfeed, who are two times more likely to develop triple negative breast cancer when compared with women of other ethnicities.”We have a duty as a medical community to ensure our patients have reliable knowledge,” said Ramaswamy, breast medical oncology division director at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). “When it comes from a professional, medical information is much more likely to affect people’s choices. When it comes to breast cancer specifically, prevention is the best outcome.”For this study, OSUCCC – James researchers conducted a survey of 724 women who had at least one live birth. Survey respondents were recruited through the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center primary care practices and a national clinical research registry.While a majority of respondents – 92 percent – reported that they had chosen to breastfeed, only 56 percent of all respondents noted that they were aware of the link between prolonged breastfeeding and breast cancer risk reduction prior to making the decision. Among those that did not breastfeed, 59 percent say that knowledge of this risk reduction would have impacted their decision to breastfeed.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerThe data was published in the medical journal Breastfeeding Medicine.Ongoing Research: This survey was part of larger research effort at the OSUCCC – James exploring the specific mechanisms of how breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk for breast cancer.Previous studies suggest that giving birth and breastfeeding lowers a woman’s overall risk of developing breast cancer, with the most recent data pointing to breastfeeding being protective specifically against triple-negative breast cancers. African-American/black women have a disproportionately high rate of developing aggressive triple-negative breast cancer while also having higher birth rates and lower rates of breastfeeding. Research has also shown that women native to Africa have higher rates of breastfeeding and lower rates of breast cancer. The reasons how breastfeeding affect breast cancer risk remain unclear but research suggests that it may be related to pro-inflammatory processes coordinated by STAT3 activation.Ramaswamy is leading a basic science study that will test the hypothesis that an overarching biologic mechanism of altered STAT3 activation triggering a proliferative/inflammatory environment in the breast tissue that did not undergo gradual involution following pregnancy and prolonged breastfeeding results in a higher risk for breast cancer. Knowledge gained in this study is expected to enhance knowledge of the biological mechanisms underlying the connection between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk, particularly difficult-to-treat triple-negative breast cancers. This will also help identify prevention strategies for mothers who are unable to breastfeed. The ongoing study is funded by Pelotonia, a grassroots cycling event that has raised more than $156 million for cancer research conducted at the OSUCCC – James. Source:http://james.multimedia-newsroom.com/index.php/2018/10/25/study-few-women-told-of-reduced-cancer-risk-when-making-decision-about-breastfeeding/last_img read more

New bacteriabased drug delivery system could radically expand cancer treatment options

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 21 2018An interdisciplinary team of three Virginia Tech faculty members affiliated with the Macromolecules Innovation Institute has created a drug delivery system that could radically expand cancer treatment options.The conventional cancer treatment method of injecting nanoparticle drugs into the bloodstream results in low efficacy. Due to the complexities of the human body, very few of those nanoparticles actually reach the cancer site, and once there, there’s limited delivery across the cancer tissue.The new system created at Virginia Tech is known as Nanoscale Bacteria-Enabled Autonomous Drug Delivery System (NanoBEADS). Researchers have developed a process to chemically attach nanoparticles of anti-cancer drugs onto attenuated bacteria cells, which they have shown to be more effective than the passive delivery of injections at reaching cancer sites.NanoBEADS has produced results in both in vitro (in tumor spheroids) and in vivo (in living mice) models showing up to 100-fold improvements in the distribution and retention of nanoparticles in cancerous tissues.This is a product of the five-year National Science Foundation CAREER Award of Bahareh Behkam, associate professor of mechanical engineering. Collaborators on this interdisciplinary team are Rick Davis, professor of chemical engineering, and Coy Allen, assistant professor of biomedical sciences and pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.”You can make the most amazing drugs, but if you cannot deliver it where it needs to go, it cannot be very effective,” Behkam said. “By improving the delivery, you can enhance efficacy.”This work, which combines expertise in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and veterinary medicine, was recently detailed inUsing salmonella for goodHumans have noticed, even as far back as Ancient Egypt, that cancer went into remission if the patient also contracted an infection like salmonella. Neither are ideal, but humans can treat salmonella infections more effectively than cancer.In modern times, Allen said the idea of treating cancer with infections traces back to the late 1800s and has evolved into immunotherapy, in which doctors try to activate the immune system to attack cancerous cells.Of course, salmonella is harmful to humans, but a weakened version could in theory provide the benefits of immunotherapy without the harmful effects of salmonella infection. The concept is similar to humans receiving a weakened flu virus in a vaccine to build immunity.Over six years ago, Behkam came up with the idea of augmenting bacterial immunotherapy to also attack cancer with conventional anti-cancer drugs. The problem was the passive delivery of anti-cancer drugs doesn’t work very well.Given her background in bio-hybrid microrobotics, she wanted to use salmonella bacteria as autonomous vehicles to transport the medicine, in nanoparticle form, directly to the cancer site.The work began with Behkam’s first doctoral student, Mahama Aziz Traore, constructing the first generation of NanoBEADS by assembling tens of polystyrene nanoparticles onto E. coli bacteria. After thoroughly studying the dynamics and control aspects of the NanoBEADS systems for a few years, Behkam brought Davis into the project because he had experience creating polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery.”She mentioned this radically different approach for delivering drugs and nanoparticles,” Davis said. “I walked away from the conversation thinking, ‘Man, if this thing could work, it would be fantastic.'”Behkam chose this particular bacterial strain, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium VNP20009, because it has been thoroughly studied and successfully tested in a phase one clinical trial.”Its (salmonella’s) job as a pathogen is to penetrate through the tissue,” Behkam said. “What we thought is if bacteria are so good at moving through the tissue, how about coupling nanomedicine with the bacterium to carry that medicine much farther than it’d passively diffuse on its own?”Trial and errorRelated StoriesNon-pathogenic bacteria engineered as Trojan Horse to treat tumors from withinGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesAlthough Behkam had a vision for the new drug delivery system, it took several years for it to become reality.”The process of creating nanoparticles and then attaching them to bacteria in a robust and repeatable manner was challenging, but add on top of that ensuring the bacteria stay alive, discovering the mechanism of bacteria transport in cancerous tissue, and devising ways to quantitatively describe the effectiveness of NanoBEADS, and this was a difficult project,” Davis said.SeungBeum Suh, Behkam’s former Ph.D. student, and Amy Jo, Davis’ former Ph.D. student, worked together on attaching nanoparticles while keeping the bacteria alive. It wasn’t until their fourth attempt that they started finding success.”We collaborated to make these particles, and we attached them to the bacteria,” Behkam said. “Then the question was what is the mechanism of their translocation in the tumor? How far do they go into the tumor? How do we present a quantitative measure of their performance?”Behkam along with Suh and current doctoral student Ying Zhan tested their nanoparticle-attached salmonella in lab-grown tumors. They found up to 80-fold improvements in nanoparticle penetration and distribution using the NanoBEADS platform, compared to passively diffusing nanoparticles.Furthermore, Suh and Behkam found out that NanoBEADS largely penetrate the tumor by translocating through the space in between cancer cells.Behkam wanted to strengthen the NanoBEADS results past the in vitro stage. With a top-flight veterinary school down the road, she enlisted Allen, her fellow MII faculty member, to test the NanoBEADS system in vivo. Tests in breast cancer tumors in mice produced results showing significant improvements compared to passive delivery.The tests showed that there was about 1,000 times more salmonella cells in the tumor compared to the liver and 10,000 times more than the spleen.”Most notably, the salmonella itself helped keep the particles in the tumor up to 100-fold better, which would suggest it would be an effective delivery vehicle,” Allen said.The next step in the research is to load cancer therapeutics into the NanoBEADS system to test the potential enhancement in efficacy.From bench to kennel to bedsideThe collaboration highlights the diversity of interdisciplinary research possible through MII and Virginia Tech.”The synergistic integration of diverse expertise has been essential to the high-impact discoveries that resulted from this work,” Behkam said.With the addition of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, Allen said Virginia Tech has the possibility to test scientific research “from bench to kennel to bedside.””The project could not move forward without each of the three parts,” Allen said. “The study would not have gotten into such a high impact journal without having the chemistry, the background of the pathogen, the idea, and having the physiological and clinical relevance of testing it in an actual tumor in an actual animal model.”Davis said all drug delivery mechanisms have to go through animal trials, so having an “absolutely fantastic” college of veterinary medicine on campus took the research to a higher level.”One thing that attracted me to this project was the ability to work with people like Bahareh and Coy who work with cells and animal studies to really translate the work,” Davis said. “It’s hard to find that combination of people in a lot of schools.”Source: https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2018/12/mii-nanobeads-bacteria-based-drug-delivery-system-outperforms-conventional-methods.htmllast_img read more

Keynote speakers announced for CBD Expo MIDWEST

first_img Source:https://cbdexpo.net/ Feb 13 2019CBD Expo Tour 2019, produced by MACE Media Group, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies in the cannabis space and publisher of Terpenes and Testing Magazine, announced Celeste Miranda and Adam Dr. Adam Abodeely, MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS will be the keynote speakers for CBD Expo MIDWEST in Indianapolis, Indiana to take place on March 15-16, 2019.Celeste Miranda is the CEO and Founder of CBD Expo Tour & MACE Media Group. Dr. Abodeely, MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS is the Chief Executive Officer of Reserve MD.Dr. Abodeely will deliver a keynote speech on March 16, 2019, at 9 AM just after the opening comments, regarding “Cannabis Dosing and Pharmacokinetics: Driving the Science and Effectiveness of Cannabis Products”. Dr. Abodeely’s speech signifies the first time that a board-certified surgeon will be the keynote speaker for CBD Expo Tour and symbolizes the medical and cannabis industries coming together.“The CBD Expo has proven to be the leader in the CBD and cannabinoid industry”, said Dr. Abodeely.“The CBD Expo attracts the best minds, scientific research, brands and businesses in the industry. It is an amazing place to network and learn from our peers in a professional and collegial environment.”As a surgeon, Dr. Abodeely has witnessed the positive effects that CBD can have on patients suffering from a variety of illnesses including cancer, neuropathic pain, chronic neck and back pain, and arthritis just to name a few. CBD has also provided a powerful weapon against the opioid epidemic and he frequently recommends it for his postoperative patients who are looking for an alternative to adjunct or narcotic pain medications.Related StoriesCBD Lion announced as Headline Sponsor for CBD Expo MIDWEST“CBD has already transformed the medical industry”, said Dr. Abodeely. “The acceptance of CBD as a plant-based medicine has opened the gates to many individuals who have been searching for a natural alternative to conventional pharmaceuticals. I believe the future of CBD and cannabinoids will focus on how each individual reacts to the cannabinoids as a result of genetic differences. I believe we will eventually apply targeted CBD and cannabinoid therapy based on an individual’s genetic profile.”Celeste Miranda will be speaking on March 15, 2019, at 9 AM on the state of CBD and her personal story of using CBD as a natural method of relief for multiple sclerosis (MS).Miranda is the woman on a mission to change how the world views cannabis products and to educate the public on the power of CBD. Celeste’s experience with CBD and personal struggle with MS is what makes this an extraordinary journey. She believes that CBD should not be a last resort, but the first solution.“We are very excited to announce Celeste Miranda and Dr. Adam Abodeely as our keynote speakers for CBD Expo MIDWEST”, said Adam Headley, President of MACE Media Group. “We believe that their expertise and knowledge surrounding CBD will serve as a great asset to our attendees.”Those who are interested in attending CBD Expo MIDWEST or requesting more information about the 2019 tour can visit www.cbdexpo.net.last_img read more

Cholesterollowering drugs could help prevent onset of motor neurone disease

first_img Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 14 2019High cholesterol has been found to be a possible risk factor for the development of motor neurone disease (MND), according to a large study of genetic data led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the USA.The results suggest that cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, could be used to prevent the onset of MND, if confirmed in clinical trials.Dr Alastair Noyce from Queen Mary University of London said: “This is the largest study to-date looking at causal risk factors for motor neurone disease and we saw that higher levels of LDL cholesterol were causally linked with a greater risk of the disease.”We have well-established drugs that can lower cholesterol and we should look into whether they could protect against this terrible disease, which currently has no cure.”The next steps will include studying whether lowering levels of cholesterol might have a protective effect against MND, and potentially evaluating the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs in people at risk of MND.”MND or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. The condition affects the brain and nerves, with early symptoms including weakness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing food, muscle cramps and twitches. Some people also experience changes to their thinking and behaviour.The condition is more likely to affect people over 50, and most patients succumb to the disease within two to five years of symptom onset. It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time, and the global prevalence is projected to nearly double by 2040, primarily due to ageing of the global population.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMolecular switches may control lifespan and healthspan separately, genetic discovery suggestsLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseasePublished in the journal Annals of Neurology, the team searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people (including more than 337,000 people from the UK Biobank) to find risk factors for developing ALS.While the datasets did not contain data on individuals’ actual cholesterol levels, the team studied genetic markers that are linked to cholesterol levels, and are more likely to suggest a causal link with risk of MND rather than simply associations, which are usually reported from observational studies. A randomized control trial would be the definitive proof to confirm any causal link and the ability of statins to prevent MND.In addition to the causal effect of high cholesterol, they also found genetic associations with smoking behavior and lower levels of educational achievement and an increased risk of ALS. While low levels of exercise were associated with a protective effect, more aggressive exercise was associated with increased risk. However, of these findings, only high cholesterol emerged as a clear modifiable factor that could be targeted to reduce risk of MND.The research was carried out at Queen Mary’s Preventive Neurology Unit, which has been funded by Barts Charity.The study is limited in that the data are focused on European populations, so the findings may not apply beyond those populations.last_img read more