35 France Telecom employees end lives bosses may go to jail

first_imgThe trial has become a searing demonstration of those lingering tensions.France Télécom was caught flat-footed by the digital revolution, as fixed-line subscribers dropped away by the thousands. The state ordered the company to go private in 2003, and by 2005, it was more than $50 million in debt.Company executives thought they needed to get rid of 22,000 workers out of 130,000 — a necessity contested by the prosecution — to ensure survival.“They were stuck, cornered,” said Michel Ledoux, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers. “The only possibility was to make them leave, one way or another.” Advertising In their blue blazers and tight haircuts, the aging men look uncomfortable in the courtroom dock. And for good reason: They are accused of harassing employees so relentlessly that workers ended up killing themselves.The men, all former top executives at France’s giant telecom company, wanted to downsize the business by thousands of workers a decade ago. But they couldn’t fire most of them. The workers were state employees — employees for life — and therefore protected.So the executives resolved to make life so unbearable that the workers would leave, prosecutors say. Instead, at least 35 employees — workers’ advocates say nearly double that number — committed suicide, feeling trapped, betrayed and despairing of ever finding new work in France’s immobile labor market. By New York Times |Paris | Published: July 11, 2019 8:32:56 am Explained: Treaty of Versailles 100 years on — A fragile peace and a fraught legacy Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Advertising In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief “These are guys who are used to hanging out with ministers,” Rich added. “There’s been no words of compassion for the little guy.” Best Of Express More Explained France Telecom, France Telecom suicide, France suicide case, France Telecom workers suicide, France company suicide, Indian Express, world news French union members outside the Paris courthouse at the start of the trial of France Telecom in May. (NYT)(Written by Adam Nossiter) European heatwave: France roasts at 44.3 degrees Celsius, two die in Spain Today the former top executives of France Télécom — once the national phone company, and now one of the nation’s biggest private enterprises, Orange — are on trial for “moral harassment.” It is the first time that French bosses, caught in the vise of France’s strict labor protections, have been prosecuted for systemic harassment that led to worker deaths.The trial has riveted a country deeply conflicted about capitalism and corporate culture, and may help answer a question that haunts the French as they fitfully modernize their economy: How far can a company go to streamline, shed debt and make money?If convicted, the ex-executives face a year in jail and a $16,800 fine. But even before the trial wraps up Friday, with a verdict sometime later, it has become a landmark in the country’s often hostile relations between labor and management.As President Emmanuel Macron has sought to make France more business friendly, he has run into a buzz saw of strikes and faced a revolt among yellow vest protesters who accuse him of being the president of the rich. While many workers complain they struggle to make ends meet, employers say a system of generous social benefits and worker protections makes hiring onerous and stifles job creation. Related News France President Emmanuel Macron vows to protect women from abusive partners Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Advertising Weeks of wrenching testimony about despairing employees who hanged themselves, immolated themselves, or threw themselves out of windows, under trains, and off bridges and highway overpasses, have suggested that the former executives went very far in “pushing the company into the new century,” as corporate strategy dictated.The executives include Didier Lombard, the former chief executive officer; Louis-Pierre Wenès, his No. 2; Olivier Barberot, the former head of human resources; and four others.A grim universe of underemployment, marginalization, miscasting and systematic harassment was established at the huge company, according to testimony at the trial.The executives “sought the destabilization of the workers,” prosecutor Francoise Benezech said in her summing up last Friday.“People who had worked outside their whole career were suddenly put in front of a computer,” Frédérique Guillon, a worker advocate who testified at the trial, said in an interview. “There were people whose work was simply taken away from them.”Among those victims, the youngest was Nicolas Grenouville, 28, who was wearing a company T-shirt when he put an internet cable around his neck and hanged himself in a garage, Ledoux told the court this week.“I can’t stand this job anymore, and France Télécom couldn’t care less,” Grenouville wrote shortly before his death in August 2009. “All they care about is money.”An introspective technician used to working alone on the phone lines, praised for his scrupulousness, Grenouville was suddenly pitched into a sales job dealing with customers. He couldn’t stand it. “They threw him out into the arena without a speck of training,” Ledoux told the court.The day before his suicide he had worked a 12-hour day with one 30-minute break. “Little Nicolas took this violence right smack in the face,” Ledoux said.Camille Bodivit, 48, had been a planner at the company when suddenly his job description began to shift. He threw himself off a bridge in Brittany in 2009. “Work was everything for him,” his partner’s lawyer, Juliette Mendès-Ribeiro, told the court Tuesday.“You killed my father — why?” asked Noémie Louvradoux last week, turning to the defendants, in one of the trial’s most widely reported moments. Her father, Rémy, set himself on fire in 2011 in front of a France Télécom office near Bordeaux, in despair over successive marginal reassignments.In their defense, the former executives have cited the intense pressure of a competitive and changing marketplace.“The company was going under and it didn’t even know it,” Lombard, the ex-chief executive, testified. “We could have gone about it much more gently if we hadn’t had the competition banging on our door.”Unfortunately for Lombard, he was recorded saying in 2007 that he would reach the quota of layoffs “one way or another, by the window or by the door.” The window is what a number of the employees chose.“This isn’t going to be lacework here,” Barberot said in 2007. “We’re going to put people in front of life’s realities.”To the mounting signs of distress management turned a deaf ear, testimony at the trial suggested.Noëlle Burgi, a sociologist who worked with the employees during the suicide wave and testified at the trial, said that it was “a process of humiliation.”“You were put in an office, underground,” Burgi said. “There was one guy who was literally kicked out of his office. He didn’t understand.”The suicides and testimony made clear that France’s chronically high unemployment rate had left many of the workers feeling especially vulnerable.“Before, when there was full employment, if you were unhappy at work, you could tell your boss to go to hell,” Guillon said.But those conditions haven’t existed for years in France, where the labor market is stagnant and immobile by American standards, and workers have little culture of moving cross-country for a new job.It is clear that these France Télécom employees had signed on expecting to finish their careers at the company. “Eighty percent were there to stay until the end of their professional life,” said Pascale Abdessamad, a France Télécom worker who also testified.Most of the employees were deeply dedicated to their work, testimony indicated. A company like France Télécom, iconic in French life for years, was an apparent lifelong security blanket.“These companies were considered family,” Ledoux told the court.France’s executive caste, normally mutually supportive, has been notably silent about the executives on trial, while France’s workers have watch the proceedings with special glee.The courtroom is filled with current and former company employees who look on with disapproval at the silent row of jacketed defendants.“Even if the penalties are low, it will be a nice stain on their jackets,” said Noel Rich, a France Télécom employee who had come to observe the trial. NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Proposed Law Would Force Big Tech to Reveal Value of Consumer Data

first_imgWrong Assumptions A Democrat and a Republican on Monday filed a U.S. Senate bill to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data they collect and how they leverage it for profit.”When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.Hawley and Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., introduced the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act.”These ‘free’ products track everything we do so tech companies can sell our information to the highest bidder and use it to target us with creepy ads. Even worse, tech companies do their best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom it is sold,” Hawley said. “This bipartisan legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these ‘free’ services actually cost.”Consumers are paying for free products with their data instead of with their wallets, Warner noted.”The overall lack of transparency and disclosure in this market have made it impossible for users to know what they’re giving up, who else their data is being shared with, or what it’s worth to the platform,” he said.”Our bipartisan bill will allow consumers to understand the true value of the data they are providing to the platforms,” Warner continued, “which will encourage competition and allow antitrust enforcers to identify potentially anticompetitive practices.” As things stand now, the tech companies know the value of the data they’re collecting and consumers don’t know that value, said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Oregon.”Typically, when one side knows the value of something and the other side doesn’t, then the side that doesn’t know the value of that thing gets cheated,” he told TechNewsWorld.The problem with this bill is the companies will be doing the valuations, and “there’s nothing to stop the company from undervaluing the asset,” Enderle said. “This bill needs a stronger process for setting the value of information so it does not excessively advantage the vendor.”However, the chances of the bill becoming law are low, he predicted. “Congress doesn’t know enough about these issues, and when people don’t know enough about something, they’re likely to hold to the status quo.”However, the bill could be arriving at a good time, Caldwell said, noting that “concerns about privacy and the power of big tech are higher than ever right now.” Warner also has pledged to introduce a bill in a few weeks to require tech companies to make data collected from users portable so it can be moved easily from one platform to another, according to Axios, which first reported news of the Dashboard Act Sunday.”If you have data portability, it could open things up quite a bit,” said French Caldwell, CFO of The Analyst Syndicate, an IT research and analysis group based in Washington, D.C.”It would allow you to easily move your data from a player like Facebook to a new competitor,” he told TechNewsWorld.How easy — or frictionless — the companies will make it to move data among platforms will be a thorny issue should the bill become law.”I doubt it’s going to be made real easy to do,” Caldwell said.What’s more, portability can only have an impact on the competitive landscape if there are competitors to take the data to.”Many of the large tech companies effectively purchase their competitors,” observed Kendra Albert, clinical instructor at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”Data portability is all well and good and could foster competition, but it doesn’t work if there are no effective competitors in the market because they keep getting purchased by the larger companies,” Albert told TechNewsWorld. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. The Value Hangup Power to Delete Data More information about how companies gather data would provide greater benefit to consumers than how much money they make off it, Albert also noted. “Knowing what your data is worth doesn’t get you much when there’s effectively no competition in particular services.”The idea that consumers are getting a rotten deal when they give up their data for free services is wrong, maintained Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research and public policy organization in Washington, D.C.”While data may have value, ‘paying’ for a service with data is not the same as paying with money,” he explained.”Unlike money, consumers do not have less data after sharing personal information, and they can share that same data with other services as well,” Castro pointed out. “On the contrary, for most commercial services, consumers always come out ahead by sharing data in exchange for a free service.”The legislation would make companies go through an expensive process of trying to assign a value to each user, an activity that almost certainly would irritate consumers — even if required by the government.”In no other sector does the government require businesses to reveal which customers are most valuable to them,” Castro said. “Further, if Congress wants to require this disclosure, it should extend it to businesses of all sizes, as well as political campaigns.”Provisions in the proposed law that direct the SEC to develop a methodology for calculating data value, its sources for data collection, and how the company safeguards the data “are all reasonable and should be the basis for any bill that moves forward,” he added. Among the Dashboard Act’s provisions:Require commercial data operators — defined as services with more than 100 million monthly active users — to disclose the types of data they collect, as well as regularly provide their users with an assessment of the value of that data.Require commercial data operators to file an annual report on the aggregate value of user data they’ve collected, as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all, or individual fields, of data collected, and disclose to users all the ways in which their data is being used, including any uses not directly related to the online service for which the data was originally collected.Empower the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to develop methodologies for calculating data value, while encouraging the agency to facilitate flexibility to enable businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect different uses, sectors and business models.last_img read more

New approach could lead to precise treatments for traumatic brain injury

first_img Source:https://www.ninds.nih.gov/News-Events/News-and-Press-Releases/Press-Releases/Every-cell-has-story-tell-brain-injury Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 5 2018Traumatic head injury can have widespread effects in the brain, but now scientists can look in real time at how head injury affects thousands of individual cells and genes simultaneously in mice. This approach could lead to precise treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study, reported in Nature Communications, was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.”Instead of clustering responses according to categories of cells in TBI, we can now see how individual cells in those groups react to head injury,” said Patrick Bellgowan, Ph.D., program director at NINDS.University of California, Los Angeles professors Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Ph.D. and Xia Yang, Ph.D., along with their colleagues, used a novel method known as Drop-seq to closely look at individual brain cells in the hippocampus, a region involved in learning and memory, after TBI or in uninjured control animals. Drop-seq allows thousands of cells and genes to be analyzed simultaneously. Its creation was in part funded by the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.”These tools provide us with unprecedented precision to pinpoint exactly which cells and genes to target with new therapies,” said Dr. Yang. “Another important aspect to this study was the highly collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of the work. Lots of people, from many different scientific areas, made this study possible.”In one set of experiments the team looked at TBI’s effects on gene expression activity in individual cells. They found that certain genes were upregulated or downregulated across many different cell types, suggesting these genes may play important roles in TBI. Some of these genes are also known to be involved in diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which may help explain how TBI can be a risk factor for other disorders. For example, Drs. Yang and Gomez-Pinilla’s groups observed altered activity in genes that are involved in regulating the amyloid protein, which builds up in Alzheimer’s.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaIn particular, the genomic analysis revealed that the activity of the Ttr gene, which is involved in both thyroid hormone transport and scavenging of amyloid protein in the brain, was increased in many cells following TBI, suggesting the thyroid hormone pathway may be a potential target for therapy. Drs. Gomez-Pinilla and Yang’s teams treated animals with the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) 1 and 6 hours after brain injury and saw that they performed much better on learning and memory tasks compared to animals that received a placebo.The team identified 15 clusters of cells based on gene activity, including two clusters, named Unknown1 and Unknown2, the cells of which had not been described previously in the hippocampus. Further analysis of these clusters revealed that the cells in the Unknown1 group were involved in cell growth and migration and the cells in Unknown2 were involved in cell differentiation during development. The findings in this study also reveal that although two cells may have similar structure and shape, their functions, as suggested by the analysis of gene activity, may differ.”We now know the secret life of single cells, including how they coordinate with other cells and how vulnerable they are to injury,” said Dr. Gomez-Pinilla. “In addition, seeing which types of genes, including genes involved in metabolism, were involved across many cell types helps identify processes that may be critical in TBI.”Future studies will examine how TBI affects cells in areas other than the hippocampus. In addition, more research is needed to learn about long-term effects of TBI. Analyzing individual cells and genes may identify potential therapies for TBI.last_img read more

Many parents still skeptical about safety and effectiveness of flu shot survey

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018When a child gets the flu, they’re not only sick in bed for a week or more, but the illness can also have serious and even life-threatening consequences. In fact, 180 children died after contracting the flu during the 2017-2018 season, one of the most severe on record. Despite the consensus of the medical community, a new national survey by Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children finds that a shocking number of parents are still skeptical about the safety and effectiveness of the flu shot.”We know that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the flu,” said Jean Moorjani, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital. “In this day and age we have so many ways to get information, so if anybody has questions or concerns, we recommend they talk to a doctor they trust to get the right information about what’s best to protect themselves and their families.”The survey found that more than half of parents with children under age 18 believe that their child can get the flu from the flu shot, while a third think that the shot does not protect against the flu.Moorjani says many parents are unaware that it takes about two weeks after getting the vaccine for the body to build up antibodies to adequately protect against the flu, during which someone is still susceptible to contracting the virus. When someone gets sick within that time period, they may incorrectly assume that the flu was caused by the shot.”The parts of the virus that are used in the vaccine are completely dead, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” said Moorjani. “It takes time for your body to get strong and ready for flu season, which is why we recommend everybody get the shot as soon as they can. If you are infected with the flu shortly after getting your flu shot, your body may not be able to fight it off.”In addition to the effectiveness of the flu shot, the survey also found that many parents question the vaccine’s safety, as well. 30 percent think that the flu shot is a conspiracy, while 28 percent believe it can cause autism.Related StoriesAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsWomen’s greater immune response to flu vaccine declines with ageComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the US”After extensive studies, we know that the flu vaccine is safe,” said Moorjani. “You cannot get autism from the flu vaccine. It is not a conspiracy for doctors to recommend the flu vaccine. Doctors recommend it because we know — based on science, research and facts — that it is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu.”Ehren McMichael makes it a point to take her three children to get their flu shots every fall. While she’s aware that the shot is not 100 percent effective in preventing the flu, she knows that it is the best method available to keep her family healthy through flu season.”My youngest child got the flu last year before we were able to get our flu shots, and he was miserable for about four days,” said McMichael. “I know moms who believe a lot of the misinformation that’s out there, but I think that our pediatrician is the best person to get our information from. As a parent, the flu shot is just another level of protection I can give my kids, and with so many places offering flu shots, it’s really simple.”Experts recommend that everyone over the age of six months get the flu shot, and the sooner the better. If you have the choice, doctors say the shot has been found to be more effective than the nasal spray in preventing the flu. If your child is under the age of eight and it is the first time they’ve received the flu shot, they will need two shots, spaced a month apart, to build up their resistance. Getting the shot not only helps protect those who receive it, but also vulnerable populations, such as infants, who can’t be vaccinated and are more likely to experience serious health effects from the flu. Source:http://ohap.multimedia-newsroom.com/index.php/2018/10/15/survey-shows-widespread-skepticism-of-flu-shot-despite-doctor-recommendations/last_img read more

Study shows benefits of new spinal fusion surgical home pathway

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 9 2018A standardized care pathway for children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis undergoing spinal fusion surgery reduces the need for opioid pain medications and shortens hospital stays at Children’s National Health System.The outcomes were reported in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The study measured the impact of a new spinal fusion surgical home pathway that delivers coordinated, comprehensive care for every patient without increasing costs.The study is the first of its kind to show that the benefits of this unique care pathway, which was mapped and designed at Children’s National using the Six Sigma LEAN process, are sustainable and repeatable over a longer period of time, and have been maintained longer than any other pediatric spinal fusion care model to date.Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Revolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degeneration”Our primary goal was to improve the value of care for children with scoliosis and their families,” says Matthew Oetgen, M.D., chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at Children’s National and study lead author. “Even better, we’ve shown that this model can be used consistently over time to maintain the benefits it delivers to this patient population.”The team conducted a retrospective analysis of prospective data from all patients (213) undergoing posterior spinal fusion at Children’s National Health System from 2014 to 2017, a period of time that captures nearly one year before implementation of the new pathway and 2.5 years after implementation.As pressure builds to increase the value of care, many hospital systems are trying standardized care pathways for many complex conditions, in an effort to decrease care variability, improve outcomes and decrease cost. Previous research has shown the effectiveness of a variety of standardized pathways with wide-ranging goals for spinal fusion procedures, however, most published studies have focused only on the initial success of these pathways. This study is the first to look at the implementation over a period of two-and-a-half years to gauge whether the process and its effectiveness could be maintained long term.The authors attribute physician buy-in across disciplines and strict adherence to pathway processes as key to the success of this model. In addition, the team created standardized educational procedures for onboarding new care providers and implemented standardized electronic order sets for both orthopaedic and anesthesia services to make the pathway easy to maintain with little deviation over time. Lean process mapping at the outset included a broad group of care providers who established a collaborative environment that empowered and engaged the entire team to take ownership over the new process.”We used proven business models for culture change that were critical to the success of this program,” Oetgen says. “We’re proud of the model we have created and think it would work well in other pediatric hospitals with similar patient populations.” Source:https://childrensnational.org/news-and-events/childrens-newsroom/2018/surgical-home-program-for-spinal-fusion-achieves-long-term-successlast_img read more

Zinc could help develop new nonantibiotic treatment for bacterial diseases

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 9 2019New details about the role of zinc in our immune system could help the development of new non-antibiotic treatment strategies for bacterial diseases, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs).UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections worldwide with about 150 million cases each year, and can lead to serious conditions such as kidney infection and sepsis.A team of cross-institutional University of Queensland researchers led by Professor Matt Sweet, Professor Mark Schembri and Dr Ronan Kapetanovic examined how our immune system uses zinc to fight uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) – the major cause of UTIs.Dr Kapetanovic, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), said researchers already knew that zinc was toxic to bacteria.”We confirmed by direct visualization that cells in our immune system known as macrophages deploy zinc to clear bacterial infections,” Dr Kapetanovic said.Related StoriesStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesNatural antibiotic made by Tübingen researchers interacts with human defense mechanismsCannabis ingredient shows promise as potential antibiotic for superbugsThey also discovered that UPEC has a two-pronged strategy to survive the body’s immune response.”We found that, compared to non-pathogenic bacteria, UPEC can evade the zinc toxicity response of macrophages, but these bacteria also show enhanced resistance to the toxic effects of the zinc.”These findings give us clues to how our immune system battles infections, and also potential avenues to develop treatments, such as blocking UPEC’s escape from zinc to make it more sensitive to this metal.”Treatment strategies that don’t use antibiotics have the advantage of bacteria not developing resistance; if we can reprogram our immune cells to make them stronger, or change the way they respond to bacteria, we would be better equipped to fight superbugs.”UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Dr Minh Duy Phan said the study also identified the full set of UPEC genes that provide protection against zinc toxicity.”This knowledge provides another potential avenue for developing antimicrobial agents for the treatment of UTIs”, Dr Phan said.IMB PhD student Miss Claudia Stocks said the methods the team used could be applied to the study of other bacterial diseases, not just UTIs.”Macrophages deploy zinc toxicity against several types of bacteria, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella and Streptococcus, that aren’t necessarily being cleared from the body by normal mechanisms,” Miss Stocks said.”We developed zinc sensors that can be adapted to study different types of bacteria, bringing us closer to understanding our immune system better and creating therapies for a range of infectious diseases.”Source: http://www.uq.edu.au/last_img read more

Researchers uncover largescale brain patterns and networks which control sleep

first_img Source:http://www.au.dk/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019An international study headed by researchers from Aarhus University has for the first time uncovered the large-scale brain patterns and networks in the brain which control sleep, providing knowledge which in the future may can in the long term help the many Danes large proportion of people who experience problems sleeping.We spend approximately. one-third of our life asleep and our sleep has fascinated researchers for many years. Research from the Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University and the University of Oxford has now revealed, in unprecedented detail, the patterns and networks used by the brain during sleep. The researchers have used a technique called functional MRI together with algorithms that can identify brain activity patterns.”This provides a new and potentially revolutionary understanding of brain activity during sleep which can in turn lead to new forms of treatment of the sleep problems that affect far too many people,” explains postdoc at the Center for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University, Angus Stevner, who is behind the study.The results have just been published in Nature Communications.”Our results can change the way in which we understand sleep and, not least, the way we look at sleep disorders such as insomnia. We hope to be able to utilize this new and detailed categorization of sleep to identify changes in the brain activity of people suffering from certain with unexplained sleep disorders, such as dyssomnia or insomnia, which we currently cannot explain” explains states Angus Stevner.Can help with sleep problemsSleep has traditionally been divided into four stages which all produce different brain waves as a result of the brain’s electrical activity, ranging from light sleep – the first stage – to deep sleep and the special REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and back again.Related StoriesUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repair”This way of dividing sleep into stages is really based on historical conventions, many of which date back from to the 1930s. We’ve come up with a more precise and detailed description of sleep as a higher number of brain networks which change their communication patterns and dynamic characteristics during sleep,” says Angus Stevner.Almost half of the Danish population experience sleep problems. The researchers hope that a more complete and detailed representation of how the brain’s networks changes during sleep can help them develop better models of the role played by sleep.New knowledge about brain activity while we sleep”At the moment we lack a consistent understanding of what’s happening in the brain of someone suffering from insomnia, but also of the role sleep has in mental disorders, where sleep disorders are all-pervadingextremely common,” says the researcher.In recent years, progress made in modern brain scanning techniques has led to a far more nuanced understanding of the brain’s complexity, which the traditional sleep stages do not take into account.”Our results provide a modern description of human sleep as a function of the brain’s complex network activities and we’re trying to move on from the somewhat simplified picture that has thus far characterized our understanding of brain activity during sleep,” he says.last_img read more

Study Nonthermal plasma can inactivate 999 of dangerous airborne viruses

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 9 2019Dangerous airborne viruses are rendered harmless on-the-fly when exposed to energetic, charged fragments of air molecules, University of Michigan researchers have shown.They hope to one day harness this capability to replace a century-old device: the surgical mask.The U-M engineers have measured the virus-killing speed and effectiveness of non-thermal plasmas–the ionized, or charged, particles that form around electrical discharges such as sparks. A non-thermal plasma reactor was able to inactivate or remove from the airstream 99.9% of a test virus, with the vast majority due to inactivation.Achieving these results in a fraction of a second within a stream of air holds promise for many applications where sterile air supplies are needed.”The most difficult disease transmission route to guard against is airborne because we have relatively little to protect us when we breathe,” said Herek Clack, U-M research associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.To gauge non-thermal plasmas’ effectiveness, researchers pumped a model virus–harmless to humans–into flowing air as it entered a reactor. Inside the reactor, borosilicate glass beads are packed into a cylindrical shape, or bed. The viruses in the air flow through the spaces between the beads, and that’s where they are inactivated.Related StoriesCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentVirus employs powerful strategy to inhibit natural killer cell functionScientists discover weakness in common cold virus”In those void spaces, you’re initiating sparks,” Clack said. “By passing through the packed bed, pathogens in the air stream are oxidized by unstable atoms called radicals. What’s left is a virus that has diminished ability to infect cells.”The experiment and its results are published in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.Notably, during these tests researchers also tracked the amount of viral genome that was present in the air. In this way, Clack and his team were able to determine that more than 99% of the air sterilizing effect was due to inactivating the virus that was present, with the remainder of the effect due to filtering the virus from the air stream.”The results tell us that non-thermal plasma treatment is very effective at inactivating airborne viruses,” said Krista Wigginton, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “There are limited technologies for air disinfection, so this is an important finding.”This parallel approach–combining filtration and inactivation of airborne pathogens–could provide a more efficient way of providing sterile air than technologies used today, such as filtration and ultraviolet light. Traditional masks operate using only filtration for protection.Ultraviolet irradiation can’t sterilize as quickly, as throughly or as compactly has non-thermal plasma.Clack and his research team have begun testing their reactor on ventilation air streams at a livestock farm near Ann Arbor. Animal agriculture and its vulnerability to contagious livestock diseases such as avian influenza has a demonstrated near-term need for such technologies.Source: https://news.umich.edu/cold-plasma-can-kill-99-9-of-airborne-viruses-u-m-study-shows/last_img read more

Cancer drug could be used to treat brain aneurysms shows research

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 20 2019An important class of drug used to treat cancer patients could be used to treat brain aneurysms, according to new research published this week.Brain aneurysms are a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. As blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, blood pressure causes a small area to bulge outwards.They can develop anywhere in the body but are most common in the abdominal aorta (the artery that carries blood away from the heart) and the brain.It’s difficult to estimate exactly how many people are affected by brain aneurysms as they usually cause no symptoms until they rupture, but experts believe it could be anywhere from 1 in 100 to as many as 1 in 20 people.Treatment is difficult, involving complex surgery which is currently only attempted in select cases. In a notable example, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke suffered from two aneurysms while filming the series, undergoing surgery as a result.Working in collaboration with colleagues at University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, USA, scientists at the University of Sussex may now have found a safer and more efficient possible treatment involving ‘Receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors’; a class of drug currently used to treat cancer.Using sophisticated ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing technologies, teams in Washington lead by Manuel Ferreira, Associated Professor of Neurological Surgery, identified a new genetic basis of a form of brain aneurysm (mutations PDGFRB). This was unexpected, as mutations in this gene have been previously identified in completely different human developmental disorders.Mark O’Driscoll, Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex, then found that multiple disease-associated mutations in PDGFRB caused a specific abnormality in its encoded protein. This abnormality causes its activity to remain locked in a hyper-active form, referred to as ‘gain-of-function variants’ – in effect, causing the protein to always be ‘turned-on’.Publishing their findings in this months’ edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, the Sussex team also demonstrated that this abnormal form of the protein can, in some cases, be countered by a drug which is currently used in cancer treatments. This is an extremely exciting discovery which shows how basic lab-derived observations on a genetic level can move into a clinical setting and start making big changes to public healthcare and treatments. Our research focused primarily on understanding the genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying a particular type of aneurysm. By finding a new genetic basis in some patients, we were also able to demonstrate that a known cancer drug could counter this genetic basis in most instances. Understanding the genetics behind diseases like this is crucial in identifying possible treatments and next steps – and that is exactly what our part in this new research has shown. The lead authors and our collaborators on this paper based in the US, are now working on the next stages to test this drug further.Professor O’Driscoll Related StoriesStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerDrug repurposing is not unheard of, and there are already some success stories including the use of thalidomide as a treatment for leprosy as well as a blood cancer called multiple myeloma.Dr Manuel Ferreira, lead author of the report from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine, said: “We are now very close to treating these aneurysm patients with PDGFRB variants with specific receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors”.Source: University of SussexJournal reference:Ferreira, M (2019) Somatic PDGFRB activating variants in fusiform cerebral aneurysms. American Journal of Human Genetics. doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.03.014last_img read more

Synthetic CBD alternative effectively treats seizures in rats

first_imgIt’s a much safer drug than CBD, with no abuse potential and doesn’t require the cultivation of hemp.”Mark Mascal, professor in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry. Mascal’s laboratory at UC Davis carried out the work in collaboration with researchers at the University of Reading, U.K.Related StoriesNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTProducts containing CBD have recently become popular for their supposed health effects and because the compound does not cause a high. CBD is also being investigated as a pharmaceutical compound for conditions including anxiety, epilepsy, glaucoma and arthritis. But because it comes from extracts of cannabis or hemp plants, CBD poses legal problems in some states and under federal law. It is also possible to chemically convert CBD to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound in marijuana.8,9-Dihydrocannabidiol (H2CBD) is a synthetic molecule with a similar structure to CBD. Mascal’s laboratory developed a simple method to inexpensively synthesize H2CBD from commercially available chemicals. “Unlike CBD, there is no way to convert H2CBD to intoxicating THC,” he said.One important medical use of cannabis and CBD is in treatment of epilepsy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an extract of herbal CBD for treating some seizure conditions and there is also strong evidence from animal studies.The researchers tested synthetic H2CBD against herbal CBD in rats with induced seizures. H2CBD and CBD were found to be equally effective for the reduction of both the frequency and severity of seizures.Mascal is working with colleagues at the UC Davis School of Medicine to carry out more studies in animals with a goal of moving into clinical trials soon. UC Davis has applied for a provisional patent on antiseizure use of H2CBD and its analogues, and Mascal has founded a company, Syncanica, to continue development.Source:University of California – DavisJournal reference:Mascal, M. et al. (2019) Synthetic, non-intoxicating 8,9-dihydrocannabidiol for the mitigation of seizures. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44056-y. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 28 2019A synthetic, non-intoxicating analogue of cannabidiol (CBD) is effective in treating seizures in rats, according to research by chemists at the University of California, Davis.The synthetic CBD alternative is easier to purify than a plant extract, eliminates the need to use agricultural land for hemp cultivation, and could avoid legal complications with cannabis-related products. The work was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.last_img read more

Spotify to go public on April 3

Spotify will go public on April 3 as the world’s largest streaming company lists on the New York Stock Exchange. © 2018 AFP Spotify’s music service seeks to drum up $1 billion in IPO This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Paul Vogel, the Swedish company’s head of investor relations, made the announcement at the start of a day of briefings to potential funders in New York.Spotify had announced the long-awaited public listing on February 28 without giving a date. In an unusual move, the company is not issuing new shares as in a traditional initial public offering.It instead will directly list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, allowing its founders to maintain control and avoiding the cost of Wall Street underwriters.”For us, going public has never been about the pomp or the circumstance of it all,” Spotify’s 35-year-old co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek told the investors.”So you won’t see us ringing any bell or throwing any parties, and despite the enormous respect I have for the New York Stock Exchange in this process, I also won’t be on the floor doing any interviews,” he said.Spotify, in a filing to US regulators, said that it had a 42 percent share of the global market in streaming in revenue terms in 2016.Spotify has voiced confidence that streaming will keep up its fast-paced growth although the company has acknowledged that it has yet to turn a profit. Explore further Citation: Spotify to go public on April 3 (2018, March 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-spotify-april.html Spotify, the world’s largest streaming company, will go public on April 3 read more

Orbitz says legacy travel site likely hacked affecting 880K

This Feb. 12, 2015 file photo shows signage for travel booking site Orbitz outside the building that houses its headquarters, in Chicago. Orbitz says a legacy travel booking platform may have been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of people that made purchases between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017. The company said Tuesday, March 20, 2018, about 880,000 payment cards were impacted. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Orbitz says legacy travel site likely hacked, affecting 880K (2018, March 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-orbitz-legacy-platform-hacked.html Orbitz says one of its older websites may have been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of people who made purchases online between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 22, 2017. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The current Orbitz.com website was not involved in the incident. Orbitz is now owned by Expedia Inc. of Belleview, Washington.Orbitz said Tuesday about 880,000 payment cards were impacted.Data that was likely exposed includes name, address, payment card information, date of birth, phone number, email address and gender. Social Security information was not hacked, however. The company said evidence suggests that an attacker may have accessed information stored on the platform—which was for both consumers and business partners—between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 22, 2017.It said it discovered the data breach March 1.Orbitz is offering those impacted a year of free credit monitoring and identity protection service in countries where available. Orbitz to Go Public, Again read more

Flexible and dynamic transport solution for future 5G communications developed

first_img“The 5G-Crosshaul project has delivered a novel transport network that provides overall resource optimization and brings capital and operational expenditures to a reasonable return of investment,” said Xavier Costa, Head of 5G Networks R&D and Deputy General Manager of the Security & Networking R&D Division at NEC Laboratories Europe. “The level of innovation achieved has set the stage to deliver the huge increase on the available bandwidth and the ultra-low-latency required by the fifth generation of network technologies.”Following the final project review that was held at the R&D+i 5TONIC laboratory headquartered at IMDEA Networks and performed by independent experts appointed by the European Commission, the 5G-Crosshaul project was reported to “have fully achieved its objectives and milestones and delivered exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact”. The EU experts’ report also highlighted the production of 91 scientific publications in several prestigious journals, 74 presentations in international venues, 28 demonstrations (including several made at flagship events such as the Mobile World Congress) and 35 contributions to international standardization bodies, amongst other results.The report continued to note that “several key innovations have been identified, and some of them have been mapped to products for exploitation. The project has so far registered five patent applications. Future exploitation plans are expected to emerge from the partners, outside the project umbrella and based on these innovations.””Throughout its lifetime, the 5G-Crosshaul project has successfully delivered 60-plus technological and informational contributions to the advancement of 5G standards,” said Paola Iovanna from Ericsson and the project’s Innovation Manager. “The project produced radical technological innovations, several directly mapped to products, setting this project as one of the most groundbreaking and unique projects to date.””The project’s relevance will go well beyond its impressive track record of having brought together a diverse set of parties from all parts of the 5G ecosystem to deliver advanced research complemented with an innovative set of demonstrations,” said Thomas Deiß, from Mobile Networks, Nokia. “In the ongoing and upcoming 5G rollouts—not just in the EU, but globally—the importance of the transport network must not be overlooked; 5G-Crosshaul made significant contributions towards that recognition, while keeping a holistic perspective on all technologies that are shaping the mobile transport networks of the future.” The 5G-Crosshaul consortium was selected in 2015 to develop a 5G transport network that would integrate backhaul and fronthaul, two typical segments of the 4G telecommunications networks. On the fifth generation of communication networks that is expected to replace 4G around 2020, these two segments merge into what is known as crosshaul to enable a flexible and software-defined reconfiguration of all networking elements in a multi-tenant, service-oriented and unified management environment.The transport network now presented flexibly interconnects distributed 5G radio access and core network functions hosted on in-network cloud nodes. This configuration is achieved through the implementation of a control infrastructure coupled with a unified data plane, encompassing innovative high-capacity transmission technologies as well as novel deterministic-latency switch architectures. “The data plane is like a muscle, while the control infrastructure would be like a brain. Thanks to their integration we can move a huge amount of data in a very short time, and we can do it by controlling how long it takes to perform this process,” explains one of the researchers.”It has been truly an honor to oversee one of the most ambitious 5G transport network research and development efforts to date,” said the Coordinator of the 5G-Crosshaul project, Arturo Azcorra, Professor at the Telematics Department of UC3M and Director of IMDEA Networks. “The successful results of the 5G-Crosshaul project have advanced scientific knowledge and the international standardization of 5G systems. They have ultimately contributed to an increase in Europe’s global competitiveness in 5G.”The 5G-Crosshaul solution was demonstrated and validated through 18 experiments integrating multiple technology components from the project partners. Real-world trials took place at sites in Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and Taiwan, and delivered sub-millisecond latency, tens of Gbps throughput, and proven energy and cost savings of up to 70%, depending on the deployment scenario. The trials also demonstrated fast service deployment time in the order of minutes, taking advantage of SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network function virtualization) concepts. 5G. Credit: UC3M Explore further Citation: Flexible and dynamic transport solution for future 5G communications developed (2018, May 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-flexible-dynamic-solution-future-5g.html Viability tests of Ericsson’s pre-commercial 5G technologycenter_img More information: For more information on the project please visit: 5g-crosshaul.eu Provided by Carlos III University of Madrid This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A consortium of 20 industry-leading companies and organizations has announced the successful completion of the European research project 5G-Crosshaul, coordinated by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). The three-year effort has delivered what is now the de-facto concept for an integrated 5G transport network, a crucial step towards the real-world implementation of the future 5G communications system.last_img read more

Disruptive technology to predict faults on train tracks and in stations

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Train delays could be a thing of the past, thanks to a system that predicts when part of a train track, signaling equipment or other devices at a station are likely to fail. It does this by using thousands of sensors and 3-D modeling that taps into big data. The system, currently in development, will also allow engineers to use Augmented Reality (AR) via a smartphone or a Head Mounted Display (HMD) to locate failing components or structure faults and read on-screen instructions in real-time to help them with repairs.The project is a collaboration involving the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), smart engineering solutions company Costain and engineering technology start-up Enable My Team (EMT), which is the project lead.A network of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors will initially be installed in 2019 in London Bridge Station, which is to be used as a test site. The sensors will gather data on tracks and station facilities, such as ventilation systems, barriers or lighting before sending it to a software called i-RAMP (IoT-enabled Platform for Rail Assets Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance).The system will then use Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to analyse the data and to predict when a fault is likely to occur and highlights any stress points or component failures on a 3-D virtual model of the station and tracks.It is set for completion in April 2020, after which it will be trialled with selected customers for up to nine months. Five other train stations in the UK have been approached to serve as testing sites for the technology. The roll-out of the scheme is planned for 2021.Professor Lukumon Oyedele, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Digital Innovation and Enterprise, who is the principal investigator on the project at UWE Bristol, said: “Every day in the UK, production is adversely affected by the hundreds of hours lost through train delays, often caused by faulty signal boxes or broken tracks.The system will enable companies to fix a problem before it even becomes one, and at a time when commuting is not disrupted, all thanks to the IoT sensors in the station and on the track.”IoT sensors can transmit a whole variety of data including vibration, strain or pressure on a structure, humidity or temperature. Using several such components will enable train companies and station managers to monitor many parts of a train network at the same time.Sandeep Jain, who is Founder & CEO at Enable My Team (EMT), said: “i-RAMP could bring reliability to the 1.7 billion annual passenger journeys on the UK railway, increasing productivity across the country. With machine learning and big data processing we can predict problematic vegetation, damaged structures and faulty signals, allowing repairs to be implemented before issues arise.”The system will also allow engineers to use Augmented Reality (AR) technology that offers them information about the location of faulty components and provide guidance on how to fix it. As well as orienting them to the exact place where the problem lies, it will also supply them with real-time instructions and warn of dangers when carrying out the repairsProfessor Oyedele said: “By wearing a headset or using their mobile phones, engineers can view instructions superimposed on the joint or electrical circuit that they are repairing or replacing. For instance it might give information or warnings about the presence of high voltage in a section of a control panel, or how to disassemble an electric circuit in a signal box in a safe way.” Newly launched sensor system could turn every locomotive into a track monitorcenter_img Citation: Disruptive technology to predict faults on train tracks and in stations (2019, January 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-disruptive-technology-faults-tracks-stations.html Provided by University of the West of England This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Engineering students build treadmill that helps athletes in wheelchairs work out

first_img Paralympic fast track? Japan firm develops hi-tech wheelchairs The eight-time national champion UTA Movin’ Mavs might be getting even better soon, thanks to some ingenuity among mechanical engineering students. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Brandon Griffin, team leader on the project and a mechanical engineering student, said the idea of a wheelchair treadmill had circulated among various senior design project teams for a number of years. Credit: UT Arlingtoncenter_img Provided by University of Texas at Arlington Citation: Engineering students build treadmill that helps athletes in wheelchairs work out (2019, April 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-students-treadmill-athletes-wheelchairs.html A University of Texas at Arlington senior design project team built a treadmill that can be used by athletes in wheelchairs.Brandon Griffin, team leader on the project and a mechanical engineering student, said the idea of a wheelchair treadmill had circulated among various senior design project teams for a number of years.”There were about 12 to 14 projects that advisers put up on the board and that’s the one that appealed to us,” said Griffin, who is a former sergeant in a U.S. Army tank unit. “Previous teams tried, but failed for different reasons. We came up with something that worked.”The impetus for the project actually started with Movin’ Mavs Coach Doug Garner, who wanted something that gave his players both a good workout and measured how much effort they were expending. He enlisted the help of Bob Woods, UTA professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.Woods, who has run the student formula racing team for several decades, saw the project as a challenge for his senior design students. Every fall semester, engineering seniors have to participate in a senior design project known as their Capstone Project. In the fall, they design their project; in the spring, they build it.Woods said that years ago, a student team had measured the ergonomics of a wheelchair athlete, but that’s where the project and data ended. Three years ago, another student team built a treadmill prototype that modern wheelchairs—and especially sport wheelchairs—will no longer fit on.”This team has added a pneumatic lift, so it’s not as jarring for wheelchair athletes to get into,” Woods said.Griffin is elated that something his team did has the potential to help others.”It shows us how important even senior design projects are,” Griffin said. “When we can help someone in a practical, real-life way, that’s what it’s all about.”Other mechanical engineering team members are Antonio Araujo, Matthew McCormick, Matthew Niestroy, Jason Gulledge and Chad Goodlow.The wheelchair treadmill isn’t finished yet. A team of electrical engineering students is building an interface for digital readouts of work performed by the machine’s users. Christopher Holland is leading that team. Other team members are Loc Ho and Zachary Kunkel.last_img read more

Bihar floods Have to eat rats to survive claim locals in affected

first_img Asian News International KatiharJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 20:08 IST People of the Dangi Tola village in Katihar district of Bihar are forced to eat rats due to floods. (Representative Image)Locals in Dangi Tola village of Katihar district in Bihar claimed they have no option but to eat rats as floods have wreaked havoc and destroyed houses in the region.Around 300 families have been affected by floods in the area.Speaking to ANI, Talla Murmur, a local, said, “We have to eat rats as our house has been destroyed by the flood. There are no arrangements for us. The government has given no facility to us. We are dependent on rats only to fill our stomachs. All my family members eat rats as they are easy to find in the floods.””I have come here to catch a mouse with my grandfather as we don’t have anything else to eat,” said Murmur’s grandson Vijendra.However, Block Development Officer of Kadwa constituency, Rakesh Kumar Gupta said officials are unaware of the conditions claimed by the locals.”We have no information regarding the condition of the villagers in the flood-affected areas. Even if they are eating rats, maybe it is likely that the tribal people might be eating it,” he said.Meanwhile, Congress MLA Shakeel Ahmad Khan said he has written a letter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, requesting him to provide assistance.Bihar is witnessing floods as the water levels of several rivers have been rising following heavy rainfall in the past few days.Many villages of Bihar’s Araria, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts are flooded due to the heavy downpour.ALSO READ | Red alert in Kerala, extremely heavy rains expected as monsoon strengthensALSO WATCH | Assam flood death toll reaches 11, Barpeta worst affected districtFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow biharFollow floodFollow eat ratsFollow Nitish KumarFollow Block Development OfficerFollow congressFollow MLAFollow Darbhanga Next Bihar floods: Have to eat rats to survive, claim locals in affected villageOfficials are unaware of the conditions claimed by the locals, Block Development Officer of Kadwa constituency, Rakesh Kumar Gupta said.advertisementlast_img read more

Pakistans Earthquake Island Has Vanished

first_imgA mud island that burst from the waters off the coast of Pakistan during a deadly earthquake in 2013 has disappeared beneath the waves. The 6-year-old island was the product of a “mud volcano,” as Live Science reported at the time. Buried mud, subject to the intense pressures of the Arabian tectonic plate grinding against the Eurasian plate, liquefied and launched toward the surface. It moved so fast that it carried rocks and boulders on top of it. Those rocks ended up on the surface of the newly formed island, which was 65 feet high, 295 feet wide and 130 feet long (20 by 90 by 40 meters). The island was named Zalzala Koh (which means “Earthquake mountain” in Urdu), according to NASA. Now, satellite images show, it’s pretty much gone. “Islands produced by mud volcanoes in this region have a history of coming and going,” NASA officials said in a statement. [5 Colossal Cones: Biggest Volcanoes on Earth]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65910-mud-volcano-island-disappears.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The 7.7-magnitude earthquake that produced the island was cataclysmic, killing more than 320 people and displacing thousands. That same energy produced Zalzala Koh, but the quick-moving sediment didn’t form an island built to last. Mount Etna: Photos of the Largest Active Volcano in Europe Photos: Hawaii’s New Underwater Volcano Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndo NASA satellite images show how the island emerges and then shrank away. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, Robert Simmon, and Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and EO-1 ALI data from the NASA EO-1 team Sunset Crater: Spectacular Photos of a Cinder Cone Volcano NASA images in intervening years have shown trails of eroded material in the water around the island as it’s slowly shrunk over time, until the April 27 shot showed it entirely disappeared. Still, Zalzala Koh isn’t completely gone. Material still swirls in the water where it once stood, suggesting some portion of it still juts up from below the surface. And the same fissures that created it might produce more mud volcano islands in the future, according to NASA.last_img read more

Juno Finds Mysterious Unexpected Currents Crackling Through Jupiters Magnetosphere

first_img Science Fact or Fantasy? 20 Imaginary Worlds Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoFinance DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get Up To $250,000 If They Do This…Finance DailyUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndo There are turbulent, unexpected currents crackling through Jupiter’s atmosphere, producing brilliant auroras. Juno, the NASA probe that has orbited the gas giant since 2016, passes over Jupiter’s polar regions ever 53.5 days, collecting data on the magnetic forces that produce ultrabright auroras above the huge planet. In a new paper, published July 8 in the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers working with Juno’s data discovered that the electric currents passing through Jupiter’s magnetosphere — the region of its atmosphere richest with magnetic field lines — don’t act as expected. The probe found less direct current — current that constantly flows in one direction — than physicists predicted. It was only about 50 million amperes, an incredibly powerful current, but not as high as theoretical models of Jupiter’s magnetosphere suggested would be present. That finding suggests that “alternating current” — current that flickers back and forth — plays a much bigger role in producing Jupiter’s auroras than anyone realized, the researchers wrote. On Jupiter, as on Earth, auroras are a product of whirling currents in magnetic fields interacting with high-energy particles from the sun. [10 Places in the Solar System We’d Most Like to Visit]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65951-jupiter-currents-magnetosphere-tesla.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  “These observations, combined with other Juno spacecraft measurements, show that alternating currents play a much greater role in generating Jupiter’s aurora than the direct current system,” Joachim Saur, an author of the paper, said in a statement. On Earth, we typically think of alternating and direct currents (AC and DC) in terms of electronics. Famously, in the late 19th century, inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla disagreed sharply over which method should be used to deliver power to electrical devices. DC power doesn’t convert as easily between different voltages, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), so Tesla wanted to turn the more-easily convertible AC into the standard. Edison, guarding his DC-dependant patents, resisted the change and spread misinformation that AC was more dangerous, according to the DOE. Tesla won out in the end, and AC became the standard for U.S. power plants. However, according to the DOE, direct current has regained favor as more battery-powered devices have come to market. Your lights are probably running on AC power, but there’s a good chance the device you’re reading this on relies on DC. (That’s why your laptop requires an AC adapter.) In the space around Jupiter, the proportion of AC to DC isn’t determined by feuding pre-modern inventors, but by the behavior of ions in the planet’s atmosphere. Jupiter has powerful currents than Earth for several reasons, including its huge size, its fast rate of spin and the excess of charged particles (ions) pumped out from volcanoes on the moon Io. That such a large proportion of those currents are AC seems to be a result of turbulence in the planet’s magnetic fields, the researchers wrote. Turbulence in this sense refers to the disordered way in which the magnetic fields’ shape and directionality fluctuates. And that turbulence is producing different effects at each of Jupiter’s two poles. In the time Juno has orbited Jupiter, the planet’s north pole has experienced about half the current of the south pole, the researchers wrote. That seems to be a result of the much more complex arrangement of magnetic field lines in the north, which interrupts the flow of currents. In the south, they wrote, the magnetic field lines are “smoother.” The effects of those differences are visible in the two poles’ auroras, they noted. In the north, the auroras tend to be more widely dispersed, with a structure of “filaments and flares.” In the south, the auroras tend to be more structured, with a “bright arc” extending out from the main oval where auroras occur. This research on Jupiter’s powerful magnetic fields, the researchers wrote, could inform their understanding of Earth’s weaker magnetic field — humanity’s main protection against harsh solar particles. Some researchers already suspected turbulence produced a significant proportion of currents around our planet. This work seems to lend credence to that idea. 5 Mars Myths and Misconceptions The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physicslast_img read more

India signs 74 mn loan pact with World Bank for UttarakhandIndia signs

first_imgUttarakhand COMMENT India has signed a financing loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 74 million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP), a finance ministry statement said Tuesday.As per the statement, the project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labour-market-relevant workers through short-term training in Uttrakhand.The project has three components — improving the quality and relevance of ITI training; increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQE); and policy and institutional development and project management. “Twenty-five ITIs have been selected — 13 located in District Centres and 12 ITIs that are well-linked to industries. Two out of four women’s ITIs in the state will be included in the list,” the ministry added.The project has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 17 years.The closing date for the project is June, 2023. September 18, 2018 SHARE world bankcenter_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL labour Published on COMMENTSlast_img read more