Watch This Tiny Tesla Princess Car Catch Fire On Camera

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Rich Rebuilds Takes Us Inside A First-Gen Tesla Model S Motor The footage underlines the danger of repurposing lithium batteries. In this case, they hadn’t been connected to a management system and something triggered a thermal runaway. Though we’ve yet to get a complete post-mortem, typically this sort of “impressive” firework display is triggered by overcharging cells or a physically damaging them, causing them to short out.Reportedly, a total of six fire extinguishers were used to help contain the blaze before the fire department arrived to take over. As you can see, cells popped out of the modules and launched skyward creating a danger zone that extended far beyond the princess-mobile. We can only hope the dramatic footage serves as a warning to those who would attempt similar projects without a strong knowledge of how to properly manage lithium batteries.To see how this whole unfortunate episode began, we’ve included (below) an earlier episode involving the unique vehicle. Though obviously concerning, the situation hasn’t dampened Benoit’s enthusiasm for future projects. He’s currently trying to open his own garage to continue his scrapped Tesla resuscitation work..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Source: YouTube Man Rebuilds Flooded Tesla Model S For Just $6,500 – Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 23, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Lithium batteries are not toys.Rich Benoit of Rich Rebuilds fame had started an awesome new project with his friend, Lee. They had found a sort of princess parade car and decided to convert it to run on battery power. Specifically, Tesla battery power. Nicknamed Daisy, that project has now been put on permanent hold. The reason, as you may have guessed by the video above, is because the cells that were supposed to give it life instead brought a flaming death. Luckily, no one was hurt and the whole episode was caught by multiple cameras.More Rich Rebuilds adventures. Check Out This Tesla Battery Converted To A Trailerlast_img read more


WORX debuts Landroid M its new smart electric lawn mower w Power

first_imgWhen it comes to cleaning interior floors, there is no shortage of smart options out there. It’s a market filled with an overwhelming number of choices. Here at 9to5Toys we’ve used and reviewed several, but have yet to try out smart lawn mowers like the new WORX Landroid M.Once programmed, WORX Landroid M is capable of mowing up to a quarter of an acre with no human interaction required. Lawn cutting can be scheduled and triggered remotely using the iOS or Android app. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8COKnXNH-EThe post WORX debuts Landroid M, its new smart electric lawn mower w/ Power Share, optional accessories, more appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img


Hyundai Motor Group will invest 856 million in Rimac

first_imgMate Rimac, Rimac founder and CEO, said, “We believe this technology partnership will create maximum value for our companies and their customers. We see a strong investor and technology partner in Hyundai Motor Group and believe this collaboration will charge our position as a Tier-1 electrification components supplier to the industry.” Source: Hyundai Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Hyundai Motor Group announced it will partner with Croatian car manufacturer Rimac to develop a prototype of an electrified Hyundai N-brand concept car and high-performance EV. The partnership will entail a combined $85.6 million investment from Hyundai and Kia. Euisun Chung, Hyundai Executive Vice Chairman, said, “Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us.”last_img read more


2019 Hyundai Kona Electric A viable EV competitor for the average car

first_imgEvery Hyundai Kona Electric comes with a variety of active safety and equipment features as standard equipment: blind-spot alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control and a driver-attention monitor. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard. There are three trim levels: SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. The Limited version adds a power driver’s seat, premium audio system, leather seats, and LED lights. The top-of-the-line Ultimate adds a built-in navigation system, parking sensors and the addition of stop-and-go capability to the adaptive cruise control. Our top-of-the-line 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Ultimate carried a total sticker price of $45,830. The base price of the Ultimate was $44,650, a whopping $8,200 more than the standard SEL version. Aside from $135 for carpeted floor mats – plus a mandatory $1,045 delivery charge – it had no further options. The Kona Electric is eligible for a $7,500 federal income tax credit and a $2,500 California purchase rebate, among other incentives. This article appeared in Charged Issue 43 – May/June 2019 – Subscribe now. That too is hardly unique to Hyundai, but we hope it will get worked out over time – especially since Hyundai almost certainly loses money on every Kona Electric it sells. The company has lowered its development costs by creating Kona underpinnings designed from the start to accommodate either a larger underfloor battery pack or a gasoline drivetrain. As a company, Hyundai often sets goals that slightly exceed those set by competing automakers. The engineers who designed the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-In hatchbacks were told that the new vehicles had to beat the fuel-efficiency ratings of the Prius hybrid and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid.So it is with the Hyundai Kona Electric. We strongly suspect one of the design criteria was “more EPA range than the Chevrolet Bolt EV.” Lo and behold, that’s what it has. The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is rated at 258 miles, versus the Bolt’s 238 miles. (The two are neck and neck on efficiency, at 120 MPGe for the Korean car versus 119 MPGe for the Chevy.) In other words, the only electric cars with more rated range all come from Tesla. Even the long-awaited 2019 Nissan LEAF Plus comes in at only 215 or 226 miles. The specsFor the record, that pack has a listed energy capacity of 64.0 kWh, and the motor driving the front wheels has a peak output of 150 kW (201 hp). The Kona Electric is also said to be able to fast charge at “up to 100 kW.” Although almost no CCS stations that can deliver that exist today in the US, they’ll arrive steadily over the car’s lifetime. In practice, the rate appears to be about 80 kW, and that only for a portion of the charging curve. Also, each of the three power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) sets a different level of regen (1, 2, and 3, respectively). That means a driver who wants the strongest regen either has to use the least-efficient mode (Sport) plus the left paddle, remember to click the left paddle three times after every stop to boost the regen level to 3, or spend an inordinate amount of time clicking the paddle to slow down at every intersection. It’s a baffling system, and Hyundai engineers and product managers couldn’t provide a simple, coherent answer as to why they hadn’t included an optional one-pedal driving mode, like Nissan’s ePedal on the LEAF. What Hyundai has built may be less unfamiliar to electric-car novices, but that shouldn’t preclude also giving experienced drivers what they want. The lack of seamless one-pedal driving was our biggest gripe with the Kona Electric. How will it do? The company says officially that the electric Kona can be ordered by any dealer, but field reports on earlier plug-in Hyundai models last year contradicted that. If you’re not in California or a few other states, you may have to work to find a Hyundai dealer willing to order you a Kona Electric. Reports in early 2019 indicated that Hyundai dealers, even in California, knew little about the car, couldn’t tell shoppers when it would arrive or how many they would receive, and sometimes tried to steer them from electric to gasoline Konas. Other reports detailed price-gouging, from $5,000 to $8,000 over sticker, at a few dealerships. We spent 10 days and more than 500 miles with a Kona Electric in the San Francisco Bay Area during March. Our residence had no provisions for charging, making this a good test of a long-range electric car. We used the Kona just as we would any other car: we drove it wherever needed, at prevailing speeds, and charged opportunistically at public stations. Overall, we paid for two fast charging sessions and one Level 2 session, and used a free Level 2 station in a suburban office park while there on business. We concluded that the Kona Electric is an entirely viable competitor to the Chevy Bolt EV. The big question, as with any new EV, will be to what extent Hyundai makes the cars available outside California and a small handful of other states.The prosWe’ve never been fans of the gasoline Kona’s design. The busy accents, scoops, vents, plastic wheel-arch outlines and so forth all add up to a small SUV that looks like it’s trying way too hard. The Kona EV has a smoother, calmer front end with a fetching dimple pattern over the blanking plate where the grille would have been. While we still aren’t fond of the grey plastic body add-ons, our test car’s maroon color (Pulse Red) made them somewhat less obvious. The electric Kona has a quieter, more adult range of available colors than the louder, often neon tones used on the gas version. But while the Kona Electric is less upright than the Bolt EV, we’re not convinced either one has striking visual appeal. In that respect, the latest LEAF probably pulls ahead – and Tesla’s Model 3 is in an entirely different race.However, the Kona shines with a well-executed and reassuringly “normal” interior. For several years, Hyundai has provided interiors that require little instruction, and central touchscreens intuitive enough to use without training. The quality of the knobs and switches is a bit better than those of the latest LEAF, and the design is not nearly as futuristic as that of the Bolt EV. Some EV fans find the Bolt’s futurism appealing, but we think your average buyer will be reassured by the electric Kona’s predictability. Most of the controls work just as the ones in the gasoline version do, with adaptations as needed, which seems both practical and a smart way to appeal to mass-market shoppers. One area in which the Kona definitely beats the Bolt is its front seats. The thin, narrow seats of the Bolt EV suit some people fine – us included – but they’re a huge sore point with enough owners and buyers that we urge shoppers to test-drive a Bolt for an hour or so to make sure they’re tolerable. The Kona and LEAF, on the other hand, have conventional seats that should fit conventional people just fine.As we were facing a highway journey of more than 100 miles in our first 24 hours with the car, we started out in Eco mode to preserve range. While the car wasn’t snappy in this mode, it proved fine for the majority of our running around. Normal mode was peppier, at a slight cost in range, and Sport mode was downright fun and speedy – at a rather greater hit to the range estimate. For highway driving, we left the Kona in Eco mode, used the adaptive cruise control wherever possible, and enjoyed a calm ride. On twisty roads, handling was confident and sure-footed, owing something to the more sophisticated trailing-arm rear suspension that the EV uses in place of the gasoline version’s twist beam.We noticed that the electric Kona had a remarkably loud whine at low travel speeds. Finally, we realized it was the car’s low-speed pedestrian alert, issuing a sound unlike any others we’ve heard. It could be described as a sort of spaceship noise – if your local spaceship made a low howling whine – that we found distinctive and amusing. (Your experience may vary.)The consThe Kona Electric had a few distinct disadvantages compared to the Chevy Bolt. One is rear-seat legroom: there was very little. I wasn’t able to sit comfortably behind myself, and fitting four US-size adults in the car proved to be an exercise in minimizing harm. Riders sit more upright in the taller Bolt, but its quarters are less cramped. The Kona’s rear cargo space is generous, however. As is the case with most EVs, when the Kona Electric is driven predominantly on highways, the combined range estimates don’t measure up to the advertised number. The Kona Electric is rated at 108 MPGe on the highway, 10 percent lower than the combined figure, but we’d estimate the reduction at closer to 15 percent when traveling on hilly California highways at prevailing speeds – even in the Eco mode that we used for the majority of our travels. However, that still left the car with 200-plus miles of range, which worked fine for us.The lack of all-wheel drive in what’s billed as a crossover is a drawback that this car sadly has in common with the Bolt. Where we come from, any SUV or “crossover utility” has to have AWD available – but if you want an AWD Kona, you have to get a gasoline engine.Experienced EV drivers may find the electric Kona’s oddest feature to be its regenerative braking control. Unlike the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF and other electrics, it’s impossible to set the Kona Electric to continuous one-pedal driving. The paddles behind the steering wheel increase (left) or decrease (right) the level of regeneration, and holding in the left paddle steadily dials up regen until the car stops. To bring the car to a standstill without touching the brake, a driver must use the paddle at every intersection. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more



If Only The Supreme Court Had Accepted Cert In The Foreign Official

first_imgI was directly involved in the “foreign official” challenges (i.e. are employees of so-called state-owned or state-controlled enterprises “foreign officials” under the FCPA) between 2011 and 2014.Among other things: (i) I was engaged in connection with the original Carson challenge which relied in part on my “foreign official” declaration; (ii) I was engaged in connection with the Lindsey Manufacturing challenge which also relied in part on my declaration; (iii) I assisted the families of Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez secure competent appellant FCPA counsel and assisted the pro bono counsel in that case; and (iv) after the 11th Circuit’s flawed “foreign official” decision in Esquenazi in 2014 (for a full discussion, see this article), I urged the Supreme Court in this amicus brief to accept cert.In short, I am very familiar with the challenges and the statutory interpretation issues presented to the Supreme Court.Because of how the DOJ has enforced the FCPA (the vast majority of corporate enforcement actions are resolved without any meaningful judicial scrutiny and the vast majority of corporate enforcement actions lack individual prosecutions), it was not a huge surprise that the Supreme Court denied cert. After all, the “foreign official” issue was only addressed by one appellate court and ordinarily the Supreme Court prefers to let issues percolate in the lower courts before agreeing to hear a case.Even though the Supreme Court denied cert in Esquenazi, in recent years the Supreme Court has heard several cases concerning aggressive theories of federal criminal prosecution and implicating the same general statutory interpretation issues at issue in Esquenazi.As highlighted in this post, in each of analogous decisions the Supreme Court (often by wide margins) rejected the DOJ’s statutory interpretation and if the Supreme Court had accepted cert in Esquenazi it is probable that the Supreme Court would have overturned the convictions.Even though the current Supreme Court is often ideologically divided, the Court has shown remarkable consistency in decisions in which the Court was called upon to interpret federal criminal statutes using accepted cannons of statutory interpretation. (This post does not go into great detail regarding these cases, but does provide links if the reader is interested in analyzing the entire decision).For instance in U.S. v. Skilling (2010), the Supreme Court rejected the DOJ’s “honest services fraud” theory of criminal prosecution. Instead of the broad construction the DOJ urged, the Court adopted a narrow interpretation of the relevant statute and reiterated  “if Congress desires to go further, it must speak more clearly.”Likewise in Bond v. U.S. (2013), the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the DOJ’s theory of criminal prosecution. Instead of the expansive construction of the term “chemical weapons” the DOJ urged, the Court adopted a narrow interpretation stating that the DOJ’s interpretation “would sweep in everything from the detergent under the kitchen sink to the stain remover in the laundry room.”Similarly, as highlighted in this prior post, in U.S. v. Yates (2015), the Supreme Court again rejected the DOJ’s theory of criminal prosecution in the infamous are fish “tangible objects” case. Calling the DOJ’s enforcement theory an “unrestrained” and “unbounded” reading of relevant statute, the Court reversed the 11th Circuit’s opinion affirming the criminal conviction.Most recently, earlier this week in U.S. v. McDonnell, (see here for the prior post), the Supreme Court again rejected the DOJ’s theory of criminal prosecution. Calling the DOJ’s theory of prosecution “boundless,” the Court adopted a narrow interpretation of the meaning of “official action” (a term that also appears in the FCPA) in the federal bribery statute. As stated by the Court:“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute. A more limited interpretation of the term “official act” leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court.”The McDonnell court further stated (internal citations omitted)“[W]e cannot construe a criminal statute on the assumption that the Government will “use it responsibly.” The Court in Sun-Diamond declined to rely on “the Government’s discretion” to protect against overzealous prosecutions under §201, concluding instead that “a statute in this field that can linguistically be interpreted to be either a meat axe or a scalpel should reasonably be taken to be the latter.” A related concern is that, under the Government’s interpretation, the term “official act” is not defined “with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited,” or “in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” Under the “‘standardless sweep’” of the Government’s reading, public officials could be subject to prosecution, without fair notice, for the most prosaic interactions. “Invoking so shapeless a provision to condemn someone to prison” for up to 15 years raises the serious concern that the provision “does not comport with the Constitution’s guarantee of due process.” Our more constrained interpretation of §201(a)(3) avoids this “vagueness shoal.””The Esquenazi cert petition presented the Supreme Court with many of the same statutory interpretation issues addressed by the Supreme Court in Skilling, Bond, Yates and McDonnell.Indeed, the statutory interpretation issues in Esquenazi were even more compelling because: (i) competing versions of the FCPA Congress considered yet rejected, specifically included state-owned or state-controlled enterprise (SOE) concepts; and (ii) laws passed both before the FCPA and after the FCPA contain the term “instrumentality” as well as SOE concepts.Many people in the FCPA space view the “foreign official” issue as settled because of one appellate court decision, flawed as it was.Yet, as indicated by the above cases, the current Supreme Court has clearly, and consistently, rejected DOJ’s boundless interpretation of other federal criminal statutes and it is probable that if the Court had accepted the Esquenazi case it would have done the same.last_img read more


How to Accept Our Aging Bodies – Part 1 of 2

first_imgby, Ronni Bennett, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesAs, over the past months my weight loss program, reinforced by the daily workout routine, has borne fruit in greatly reduced body size, I have been thinking about the changes age brings to our bodies.That reminded of a blog post from more than six years ago about old bodies and the undeserved poor reputation our culture places on sags and bags and wrinkles and bulges that come with advanced years. In re-reading, I found that I like it a lot.Cultural attitudes greatly influence individual beliefs about ourselves and others and I think we should have a go, particularly in our older years, at changing that – at least about ourselves and in doing so, maybe we can influence others too.So have a read of this 2007 post (slightly updated for timeliness) and tomorrow we’ll discuss all this further.Michaelangelodavid Michaelangelo’s David must be the prototype, don’t you think, of outstanding male beauty. He’s gorgeous. Handsome, muscled just enough and not too much, sensitive hands, firm thighs. In the 500 years since the David was so exquisitely sculpted, no one, in art, has matched his ideal.And he’s young – 20, maybe 25.Youth is exalted as the quintessence of human beauty. No one can resist it and why should we? A flawlessly rounded shoulder, the sensuous curve of a buttock, a young woman’s uptilting breasts, skin as smooth, still, as a baby’s bottom.Renoir_younggirl These days, there isn’t much meat on the bones of young women who are considered beautiful, but that wasn’t always so. Rubens is well-known for his “Rubenesque” bodies and Renoir, in this painting, was portraying the epitome of his era’s idea of comely, young womanliness.Saliarielnude My friend, Israeli artist Sali Ariel, was bucking the modern, skinny trend in female beauty when, in 1999, she made a series of womanly nudes in the Rubens and Renoir tradition.I’ve never seen a painting of anyone as thin as top runway models, but I don’t think they could be as sexy as Sali’s woman. I own a framed set of these charcoals clustered on the wall in my office space and never tire of them.It is right when hormones are raging and fecundity is in bloom that the young should be so beautiful. But that does not make age ugly or unattractive. Only different. And, frequently, more interesting. It is wrong to judge age by the standards of mere youth.Freudhead2 British artist, Lucien Freud, who died in 2011, made almost a career of painting himself in unforgiving detail as he has aged. (And everyone else he painted too; his 2001 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been roundly criticized.) I can’t find an image of one of Freud’s full-body paintings, but this head will give you the general idea.Michaelangelo’s David is sexually breathtaking but Freud’s self-portrait is fascinating. What living could have given him this face? It is said, you know, that he fathered 40 children.Vangogholdwoman2 Many of the old masters painted old people. This one by van Gogh is as honest in its way as Freud’s. Is she sad? I don’t think so. Maybe she is tired and wishing ol’ Vincent would be done with it for the day. Or lost in thought, perhaps. She does not look at us.Whenever I see old, old people, those who have lost the attachment to pretense of youth our culture relentlessly demands, I spin stories to myself of the lives they have lived and wonder what magnificent memories will die with them.There is dignity in this sculpture by Auguste Rodin – “The Old Courtesan” – of a woman who had once been a professional model.RodinoldwomanIt portrays the inevitable decline that comes to all men and women and is, in its truthfulness more penetrating than the David. There is more to wonder about in this, more to know, more to contemplate.Youth’s beauty is easy to look at. It is about uncomplicated potential that may or may not develop. We like it for its clarity, its obviousness and its simplicity. There are no mysteries in youth and that is sometimes refreshing in itself.Oldyoungwoman Ah, but age is intricate and complex, made from decades of accumulated knowledge and experience compounded with the folly and error no one escapes. It is hard for us to confront, with its intimations of death, more difficult to behold. Can you see the difference in this well-known optical illusion? Youth and age, one no better than the other. Only different.[To Marie Grosnay] “No doubt you were extremely beautiful as a young girl, but your youth could never compete with your age now.”– Charlie Chaplin, Monsieur Verdoux, 1947[Part 2 is here] This post was originally published at TimeGoesBy.netRelated PostsDesign For Aging: Non-Existent Elder FashionOne of the ways old people are maligned are with accusations that we lack a sense of style. Don’t blame us. It’s the fashion industry which has not given one second’s thought to how our body shape differs from that of a 17-year-old.The Manifesto Against Ageism is HereAbout eight years ago, Ashton Applewhite began interviewing people over 80 for a project called “So when are you going to retire?” It didn’t take her long to realize that almost everything she thought she knew about aging was wrong. So she wrote a book to set the record straight.Making Things AnewRegardless of how we feel about our lives during the course of a previous year, the arrival of a new one has the potential to inspire us with hope and a desire for change –– in ourselves and in the world around usTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Art TimeGoesBylast_img read more


Gene variant may be linked to worse psychiatric symptoms in TBI patients

first_imgMay 14 2018A variant of the APOE gene may be linked to worse psychiatric symptoms in people who have had a traumatic brain injury, found a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System study. Study participants with both the gene variant and at least one TBI had more severe symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression than comparison participants.The results appeared online Feb. 20, 2018, in the Journal of Neurotrauma.TBI has long been connected with increased risk of psychiatric disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. A past study of more than 13,000 veterans by the Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research found that more than 80 percent of those who had suffered a TBI also had a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder. The same study found that veterans who had a TBI were three times more likely to have PTSD than those who had not.The new San Diego study also found that patients with TBI had greater PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms than those without. The researchers sought to build on that finding by delving into the biological link between TBI exposure and psychiatric disorders.Apolipoprotein E is a protein that transports and metabolizes lipids such as cholesterol in the central nervous system. It is involved in the maintenance, growth, and repair of neurons. The protein is encoded by a gene referred to as APOE. APOE has three possible variants. One form of the APOE gene (APOE4) is considered a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies have shown in Vietnam veterans and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans that the APOE4 gene may increase the risk of PTSD.The researchers set out to test whether the APOE4 gene puts people at greater risk of psychiatric distress when combined with TBI. They collected DNA from 133 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to test for the APOE4 gene. Of these participants, 79 had a mild or moderate TBI, while 54 had no TBI history.In the participant group with TBI, those with the APOE4 gene had significantly higher symptom scores for PTSD, depression, and anxiety, compared with those with a different variant of APOE. The APOE4 variant was linked to worse symptoms for participants with both mild and moderate TBI.In the group without a TBI, the researchers found no differences in depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms between those with or without APOE4.Dr. Victoria C. Merritt, first author on the paper, concludes, “Genetic risk may help to explain the poorer long-term clinical outcomes often observed in veterans with neurotrauma histories.”Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskThe results are interesting because APOE4 seems to be linked to worse psychiatric symptoms only when TBI is involved, according to the researchers. Beyond suggesting a connection between APOE4 and the three conditions studied, the results “also lend support to the broader theory that genetic risk factors influence psychiatric distress following TBI,” they write.The researchers suggest several possible explanations for why those with APOE4 may be at higher risk for psychiatric distress after TBI. First, the APOE4 variant may primarily affect the frontal subcortical regions of the brain, which are often impacted following TBI. These regions are involved in emotion regulation and psychiatric distress. Second, it is possible that APOE4 increases the risk of vascular disease, which has been shown to increase the risk of depression. Third, the presence of APOE4 may cause neurodegenerative effects, whereas the other forms of the gene do not. While more research will be needed to narrow down the cause, “the findings suggest that there may be a [genetic] basis for the complex presentation of symptoms often observed in this vulnerable population,” says Merritt.The study is the first to explore the link between APOE and psychiatric symptoms specifically connected to TBI. More studies are needed to fully understand how this gene interacts with head trauma to contribute to mental health symptoms, say the researchers.The San Diego VA team is furthering this work by examining the relationship between APOE4 and cognitive outcomes in veterans with and without TBI histories. They are also looking at whether APOE4 affects post-concussion symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. Future research will also examine the how these findings relate to the biology of the brain using advanced neuroimaging methods.Merritt explains that the work will add important insight on TBI, and may eventually point toward new treatments.”Ultimately, we feel that this research is essential to developing a more complete understanding of the multitude of factors that impact recovery following neurotrauma,” she said, “and such work may have relevance to the development of future treatments.” Source:https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0418-Gene-variant-may-ncrease-risk-of-psychiatric-distress-after-TBI.cfmlast_img read more


Coveted BMJ award bestowed on The Clatterbridge Cancer Center

first_img the Barts Health Cancer Care at Home the Nurse Led Immunotherapy Clinic at Leeds Cancer Centre the ORTC Program at Oxford University Hospitals the RAPID Program at Wythenshaw Hospital in Manchester Improving Breast Screening at Medway NHS Foundation Trust May 24 2018A coveted British Medical Journal award was recently bestowed on the Papillon Contact X-ray Brachytherapy team at he Clatterbridge Cancer Center. The Cancer Care Team of the year category was won by the entry—Papillon for Rectal Cancer. This life-changing treatment was pioneered at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre when Lead Papillon Clinician, Professor Arthur Sun Myint, initially introduced the method to the United Kingdom, more than two decades ago. He stated that the honor was the reward for his, and the other 3 UK Papillon sites, the team’s hard work and their philosophy of always putting patients’ interest first. I was very humbled. This is a reward for 25 years of blood sweat and tears and championing the rights of our patients.Patient care is at the Center of everything we do. Since 1993 we have been offering an alternative to surgery and a stoma for our patients.As demand grows for Papillon treatment, we are also helping to educate and train clinicians to provide a wider service in the UK and beyond.”Professor Sun Myint The BMJ Awards are now in their 10th year, promoting excellence in healthcare and recognizing the inspirational work of healthcare workers throughout the country. An alternative in the management of lower rectal cancerAs an alternative to radical surgery, the non-operative local management of rectal tumors, via the application of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or external beam chemoradiotherapy (EBCRT), is slowly gaining acceptance as a curative, organ-saving procedure – also known as ‘Watch and Wait.’Yet, local regrowth can develop in up to one-third of patients which can be cured only through salvage surgery. As a result, the patients’ overall chance of organ preservation is reduced to less than 40%.Organ preservation has been shown to be improved, with local regrowth being reduced to approx. 11%, when a high dose ‘boost’ of X-ray Brachytherapy is applied prior to or after the conventional EBCRT/EBRT; this is known as the Papillon Technique.The Papillon team at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre laid out the goal of the service—to lower stoma and surgical mortality rates by recommending a transition from radical surgery to non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment. Today this has become more pertinent than ever, with the aging population and the increase in earlier stage tumors being detected since the advent of the National Bowel Screening Program.The submission also underscored achievements such as the Papillon treatments’ recommendation and recognition by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2015, the collaborative multi-center approach to the Papillon treatment with 4 UK sites already treating patients, as well as a survey performed by NICE that indicated a high level of patient satisfaction.At the Clatterbridge Cancer Center, the Papillon Suite has recently celebrated its silver anniversary. Since its inception at the Wirral hospital 25 years ago, workers have treated 1450 rectal cancer patients.BMJ awardsThe BMJs are known to be the leading medical awards in the UK and were presented at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel in London on Thursday 10th May 2018.The other finalists in the category are as follows: Source:http://www.arianemedicalsystems.com/last_img read more


Mothers with higher emotional and cognitive control less likely to report poor

first_img Source:https://news.byu.edu/news/keep-calm-and-carry-mothers-high-emotional-cognitive-control-help-kids-behave Jun 1 2018A new parenting study finds that the greater emotional control and problem-solving abilities a mother has, the less likely her children will develop behavioral problems, such as throwing tantrums or fighting.The study also found mothers who stay in control emotionally are less likely to be verbally harsh with their children, and mothers who stay in control cognitively are less likely to have controlling parenting attitudes. Both harsh verbal parenting and controlling parenting attitudes are strongly associated with child conduct problems.”When you lose control of your life, that impacts how you parent,” said lead author Ali Crandall, assistant professor of public health at Brigham Young University. “That chaos both directly and indirectly influences your child’s behavior.”For the study, newly published in academic journal Family Relations, Crandall and co-authors at Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Tech collected data from 152 mothers who had children between 3 and 7 years of age. The mothers ranged from 21 to 49 years old; 62 percent were married and nearly one-third had not earned more than a high school diploma.The mother’s emotional control was measured through a 10-item questionnaire asking how often subjects do things such as “have angry outbursts” or “overreact to small problems.” Executive functioning, or cognitive control, was measured through a series of tasks. Executive functioning is what helps people manage chaos and achieve daily goals, and includes planning, problem solving and directing attention to what is most important.Once researchers recorded the emotional control and executive functioning levels of the mothers, they then provided a series of questionnaires to identify parenting attitudes, levels of harsh verbal parenting and the amount of conduct problems their children exhibit.Related StoriesInitiating dialysis at higher level of kidney function linked to lower patient survivalResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careThey not only found that mothers who had higher emotional and cognitive control were less likely to report poor child conduct, such as fighting with other children or throwing tantrums when they don’t get what they want, but they also found relationships between a mother’s control abilities and parenting behaviors. For example, mothers with better emotional control were less likely to see their children’s ambiguous behavior in the worst light.Authors said the findings imply that to effectively reduce harsh verbal parenting and child behavioral problems, interventions should help mothers improve their emotional and cognitive control capacities.”There are some clear ‘signals’ that our supply of self control is being run down — when we are feeling distracted, irritable, and tired,” said study co-author Kirby Deater-Deckard, professor of psychological and brain sciences at UMass-Amherst. “Parents can practice recognizing these signals in themselves when they are occurring, and respond by taking a ‘time out’ if at all possible — just as we might do with our child when we notice these signals in them.”And while it is fairly difficult for an adult with a fully-developed brain to improve their executive functioning — previous research has shown that the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where executive functioning is housed, is generally developed over the first two to three decades of life — the authors said even small improvements in a few basic things can make a significant difference for parents.”Getting enough sleep, exercising enough and eating well are all things that impact our executive functioning,” Crandall said. “We should create healthy environments that help us operate at our best.”last_img read more


Training nursing students with costeffective 3Dprinted task trainers

first_imgJun 21 2018As a regular attendee of conferences on healthcare simulation around the world, Dr. Lori Lioce was already well aware of the growing trend of using 3-D printing to create task trainers – clinical simulators that allow nursing students to repeatedly practice a specific skill in preparation for providing healthcare in the real world. What she needed was access to the technology.So the clinical associate professor in the College of Nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) turned to Norven Goddard, a research scientist at UAH’s Systems Management and Production (SMAP) Center, for help. “Norven mentioned that the SMAP Center has six 3-D printers,” says Dr. Lioce, who also serves as the executive director of the College’s Learning and Technology Resource Center. “So I gave him a long list of what we needed and a bag of samples, and we collaborated on what he and his students could print.”They decided to start with a cricothyrotomy trainer, which is used to teach nurses how to perform an emergency procedure to clear the airway when more traditional methods are ineffective. While the procedure is not typically part of the undergraduate nursing curriculum, the trainer is one the few whose digital design files are available on the open-source platform Thingiverse.”These models cost more than a thousand dollars, but we wanted something that would save money, be cost effective, and use the university’s resources,” says Goddard. “We asked ourselves, how cheaply can we do this?” To help, Goddard recruited a dream team of 3-D printing specialists made up of the Center’s undergraduate student interns: engineering majors James Tovar, Marquis Myler, Nicholas “Gage” Swinford, Martavia Lucious, and Andrew Farris, and computer science major Matthew Daigle.After the students downloaded the necessary digital design files for the cricothyrotomy trainer, Dr. Lioce says she worked with them “to get the right texture and strength.” Three prototypes later, she beams, “we got the right one!” The total price? $15. “Now we are using four of them in our class, with a savings of $6,000,” she says. She’s also integrating the team’s 3-D printed vein finders, portable devices that use LED lights to help nurses locate difficult-to-find veins. Normally hundreds of dollars, Goddard says they were able to build them “for $6 using open-source design files.”Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNext up is an onychectomy trainer. Used to teach nurses how to remove a thumbnail, the team’s 3-D printed version will directly save $33 for each nurse practitioner student in the program. After that, they plan to tackle an injection pad, which is used to simulate injections. “With that we’re going one step further – we’re looking at injection molding,” says Goddard, adding that all of the students are involved in at least some part of the processes used to create these trainers. “We’re trying to cross-pollinate so everyone knows how to 3-D print, injection mold, solder, use the software, and do whatever else is needed.” Another idea they’re “toying with,” he says, is converting MRIs to 3-D models to help surgeons prepare for and practice operations. “We sit down with Lori every once in a while and ask, what’s next?”Dr. Lioce, for her part, is thrilled about what they’ve already accomplished. “We’ve been able to substantiate a significant cost savings,” she says.” Now she’s hoping the collaboration between the College and the SMAP Center can be formalized and expanded, for two reasons. First, it offers a quick, cost-effective alternative to purchasing expensive, brand-name task trainers. And second, it benefits the students involved by exposing them to completely different fields of study, improving communication between fields and creating a synergy that can, in turn, lead to more advances.”Diversity of thought and science stimulates needed growth and solutions,” she says. “It’s precisely because we think differently that we are innovative together.”Source: https://www.uah.edu/news/research/three-d-printing-offers-quick-cost-effective-solution-to-help-train-aspiring-nurseslast_img read more


Podcast KHNs What the Health ACA under fire Again

first_imgJul 13 2018Democrats in the Senate are gearing up to fight President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They argue he is not only a potential threat to abortion rights, but also to the Affordable Care Act.Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues its efforts to undermine the workings of the Affordable Care Act. This week, officials announced a freeze on payments to insurers who enroll large numbers of sicker patients, and another cut to the budget for “navigators” who help people understand their insurance options and enroll for coverage.This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are:Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health NewsMargot Sanger-Katz of The New York TimesAnna Edney of Bloomberg NewsJulie Appleby of Kaiser Health NewsAmong the takeaways from this week’s podcast: One reason Democrats are rallying around the health issue rather than the abortion issue is that there is more unity in their caucus over health than abortion. Also, the two key Republican senators who support abortion rights — Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — also voted against GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year. The Trump administration’s action on risk-adjustment payments sent yet another signal to insurers that the federal government does not necessarily have their backs and is willing to change the rules along the way. The Trump administration says it wants to cut to payments for navigators because they are not cost-effective. But the navigator money does not come from taxpayers or government sources. It is paid from insurance industry user fees. These funds also go to support ACA advertising — which has also been cut. However, the user fees have not been reduced. In theory, reducing these fees could provide savings that could be passed on to consumers. After being called out on Twitter by Trump, drugmaker Pfizer this week announced it would delay some already-announced price increases on about 100 of its drugs. It is worth noting that the president used his bully pulpit and gained some success. The six-month delay will mean that consumers will not experience an increase in cost at the pharmacy for at least that time period. But it still raises questions. The Trump administration worked to block a World Health Organization resolution to promote breastfeeding. But while this seemed a clear case of promoting the interests of infant formula companies over public health experts, there was pushback from some women who say they are unable to breastfeed and feel stigma when they opt for formula instead. On the other hand, formula can be dangerous in developing countries without easy access to clean water. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:Related StoriesSepsis Alliance launches Maternal Sepsis Day to raise awareness and save livesGender inequality bad for everyone’s health finds researchGreater support needed for women seeking abortionJulie Rovner: Politico Agenda’s “The One Big Winner of the Obamacare Wars,” by Joanne KenenJulie Appleby: The New York Times’ “Doctor, Your Patient Is Waiting. It’s a Red Panda,” by Karen Weintraub.Anna Edney: Politico’s “CMS Quit Test of Pricey Cancer Treatment Amid Concerns Over Industry Role,” by Sarah Karlin-Smith and David PittmanMargot Sanger-Katz: HuffPost’s “Trump Administration May Be Preparing A New Obamacare Sabotage Effort,” by Jonathan CohnTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play.center_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more


Initiation of early treatment in HIVinfected infants has undeniable benefits

first_imgJul 25 2018The initial findings of the ANRS CLEAC study coordinated by Pierre Frange (Hôpital Necker – AP-HP), help define the immunological and virological benefits of early antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children living in France. The results of this study will be presented by Florence Buseyne (Oncogenic Virus Epidemiology & Pathophysiology Team – Institut Pasteur) this Wednesday, 25 July at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) being held in Amsterdam from 23 to 26 July 2018.Without treatment, an HIV-infected child is at greater risk of disease progression to AIDS than an adult. Initiation of early treatment in infants shows an undeniable clinical benefit by reducing the risk of death in early childhood. It may also be accompanied by a significant reduction of the viral reservoir (the amount of total viral DNA present in the immune cells of patients), which could promote the accumulation of conditions required for remission. It is therefore essential to better understand the interactions between the virus and the immune systems of children, and more accurately evaluate the short and long-term virological and immunological benefits of initiation of early therapy in children. These are the objectives of the ANRS CLEAC study.Related StoriesHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationThis physiopathological study included 46 children (from five to 12 years old) and 30 adolescents (from 13 to 18 years old) living with HIV since birth. Among them, 36 started antiretroviral therapy before the age of six months and 40 after the age of two years. All achieved virologic success. Researchers examined participants’ blood samples, defined their immunological and virological status and analyzed the results according to their age at the time of the study and the age at which they started treatment.First of all, the ANRS CLEAC team assessed the viral reservoir and observed that the viral ADN level was significantly lower in children and adolescents who started their treatment before the age of six months compared with those who started treatment after the age of two years. This lower viral reservoir also persists in early-treated adolescents, even though some of them take their medication less regularly.In parallel, the immunological analysis looked at naïve T lymphocytes which have the ability to respond to new pathogens and vaccines. The ANRS CLEAC team found that these immune cells were present in greater numbers in children who started antiretroviral therapy before the age of six months. This difference was not observed in the adolescents. This higher level of naïve T lymphocytes is one of the markers of a healthy immune system.Thus, the initial findings of the ANRS CLEAC study show that, for the 1st time, initiation of antiretroviral therapy before the age of six months in HIV-infected infants has undeniable virological and immunological benefits, which are observed until late childhood, or even into adulthood. Source:https://www.pasteur.fr/en/press-area/press-documents/benefits-early-antiretroviral-therapy-hiv-infected-childrenlast_img read more


Autoimmune response contributes to vision loss in glaucoma patients

first_imgAug 10 2018A research team from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and MIT has shown that immune cells in the eye that developed in response to early exposure to bacteria are a key contributor to progressive vision loss from glaucoma, the second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. The findings, published online in Nature Communications, suggest that high pressure in the eye leads to vision loss by setting into motion an autoimmune response that attacks the neurons in the eye -; similar to immune responses triggered by bacterial infections. The discovery of these immune cells also reveals a promising new target for future therapies to be developed for the blinding condition.”Our work shows that there is hope for finding a cure for glaucoma, or even preventing its development entirely, if we can find a way to target this pathway,” said co-senior author Dong Feng Chen, M.D., Ph.D., a vision scientist at Mass. Eye and Ear and associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “Current glaucoma therapies are designed solely to lower eye pressure; however, we’ve known that, even when patients with glaucoma are treated and their eye pressure returns to normal, they can still go on to have vision loss. Now, we know that stress from high eye pressure can initiate an immune response that triggers T cells to attack neurons in the eye.”These findings shed light on a process that largely has remained a mystery-until now. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that often culminate in irreparable damage to the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the eye to the brain. Elevated eye pressure is known to be the most important risk factor for glaucoma, however, little was understood as to how and why patients with high eye pressure go on to develop permanent vision loss. Furthermore, some patients with glaucoma do not have elevated eye pressure, and some patients still experience optic nerve degeneration and subsequent vision loss even after their eye pressure is under control with treatment.The authors of the Nature Communications study observed a new mechanism to explain the series of events leading to permanent vision loss from glaucoma. When pressure in the eye rises, it induces the expression of heat shock proteins, a family of proteins that develop in response to stressful conditions. This leads to a response from immune cells -; memory T cells -; that are programmed to respond to heat shock proteins. The memory T cells attack the neurons of the retina, leading to degeneration of the optic nerve and often permanent loss of vision. T cell responses are essential in the development of progressive vision loss following elevated eye pressure.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerThe research team observed an immune response to heat shock proteins both in mice and in human patients with glaucoma. The team first detected T cells in the retina of a mouse model of glaucoma, which motivated experiments to determine if the T cells played a role in neuron loss. The team studied three groups of mice with glaucoma -; some without T cells, some without B cells, and some without T or B cells. Overwhelmingly, they observed a loss of neurons in the mice only if the mice contained functional T cells. More strikingly, development of glaucoma-inducing T cells required early exposure to bacteria; mice never exposed to bacteria (being raised in a “germ-free” facility) were free from glaucoma under elevated eye pressure.The researchers also studied blood samples from patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the most common type of glaucoma. In humans, they observed T cells responses similar to the mice that were well over 5-fold higher in patients with POAG compared to samples from patients without POAG.These findings open the door for the possibility of targeting T cells in the eye as a treatment to halt the progression of vision loss in glaucoma. Furthermore, heat shock proteins have been found in other conditions of the eye and the brain, which suggests that these findings could extend to other neurodegenerative conditions as well.​Source: https://www.masseyeandear.org/news/press-releases/2018/08/autoimmune-response-drives-vision-loss-in-glaucomalast_img read more


Podcast Tanning addiction veggieeating Neandertals and more

Is tanning addictive? Did Neandertals eat their veggies? And would a volcanic eruption make you move?Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi.


The 3230 genes you cant do without

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 Fiddle just a little bit with any one of about 3200 genes in the human body and you could be toast. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that about 15% of our 20,000 genes are so critical to our livelihood that certain changes can kill us before we’re born. The findings should help researchers better track down the genes that cause human disease.Given how useful any insights into gene function are for understanding the genetic basis of disease, the data are “priceless,” says Kári Stephánsson, a geneticist at deCODE in Reykjavík.  The new study, which was recently posted to a preprint repository but has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed publication, was the result of researchers comparing the parts of the genome known as exomes, which code for proteins, from 60,000 people—10 times more than had ever been attempted. Researchers led by Daniel MacArthur, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, achieved this feat by reaching out to teams around the world who had collected their own sets of exomes. Among all those genes, the researchers found 10 million variants—places within genes that varied from person to person. Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) MacArthur’s team calculated how many variants each gene should have if those changes arise by chance. Then they compared that to the number of variants actually found for each gene. The result: 3230 genes that had either no observed variation, or compared to what was expected, much, much less of the kind of changes that could lead to a malfunction of the gene.Such data suggests that, whenever one of these genes mutates, the embryo usually dies or the person is too sick to reproduce—so the variation disappears. ”Genes that displayed no variants should be essential or play crucial biological functions,” says Ping Xu, a molecular microbiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.Ping and others have similarly found such essential genes in bacteria or in mice. And many of the highlighted human genes are associated with the same critical cellular operations, such as the cell’s protein-building factories, as in those species, MacArthur’s group reports. About 20% of the human genes uncovered by the analysis are already associated with diseases, but many are not—yet. They are the first places David Goldstein, a geneticist at Columbia University in New York City who was not involved with the work, says he will look for connections to medical conditions. And because they seem vital “these genes can be specifically monitored during drug development for potential side effects and cytotoxicity,” Xu says.The key to the success of MacArthur’s team, say other researchers, was gathering so much DNA data. (MacArthur declined to comment since the paper isn’t officially published yet.) “They do a really nice job of showing that you get a lot more information by studying an order of magnitude more people,” says Joshua Akey, a population geneticist at the University of Washington in Seattle.Even so, Goldstein is quick to point out that 3230 is not the complete set of essential genes in the human body and that only by studying more exomes will researchers be able to refine that number. Furthermore, exomes don’t cover DNA in between genes, which help regulate gene activity, and variation there can also be important. Finally, what researchers really want to know is what specific part of each gene is essential. Bottom line, Goldstein says: “This is another step on a very long road that we are on to understand what does and doesn’t happen in the human genome.”*Correction, 12 November, 3:54 p.m.: The introduction of this story has been changed to note that changes to the 3230 genes are not necessarily minor.last_img read more


Top stories Honoring Stephen Hawking excavating eruptions and solving an ancient skull

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Stephen Hawking, who shined a light on black holes, dies at age 76Stephen Hawking, the prodigious British theoretical cosmologist who became an international celebrity, died this week at the age of 76. Hawking suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease that confined him to a wheelchair for most of his adult life and eventually rendered him capable of speaking only through a computer-controlled voice synthesizer. Nevertheless, Hawking made seminal contributions to astrophysics, particularly in the study of black holes, veritable holes in the fabric of the universe.How ancient humans survived global ‘volcanic winter’ from massive eruption By Katie LanginMar. 16, 2018 , 2:15 PM Email 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 (Left to right): TOM PILSTON /EYEVINE/REDUX; CURTIS MAREAN/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY; BAVARIAN STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL COLLECTION Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Top stories: Honoring Stephen Hawking, excavating eruptions, and solving an ancient skull mystery About 74,000 years ago, a colossal volcano in Sumatra named Toba blew its top in the largest eruption to occur anywhere on Earth in the past 2 million years. Gas and ashes spewed into the atmosphere and spread around the world within weeks, and some scientists think they triggered a global “volcanic winter” that may have lasted decades, leading to massive die-offs and the near-extinction of the human species. But a new study suggests that the eruption’s effects were less dramatic.Flooding has flushed 43 billion plastic pieces out to seaThe Mersey River Basin near Manchester, U.K., is the most plastic polluted watershed in the world, with more than half a million plastic particles per square meter of riverbed. That’s one of the most dramatic findings of the first global map of aquatic plastic pollution, published this week. When large storms flood rivers, the plastic collected there washes out to sea, making rivers a significant source of such pollution in the world’s oceans.Strange, elongated skulls reveal medieval Bulgarian brides were traded for politicsIn a handful of medieval Bavarian farming hamlets populated mostly by blue-eyed blondes, more than a dozen women with dark hair, dark eyes, and unusual elongated skulls would have stood out. A new DNA study suggests that these women, whose striking skulls have been unearthed from nearby grave sites, were high-ranking “treaty brides” from Romania and Bulgaria, married off to cement political alliances.There’s a new aurora in subpolar skies. Its name is SteveThe northern and southern lights have dazzled sky watchers for millennia with their eerie, greenish glows. Now, a new purplish aurora is joining the show, stretching from east to west at lower latitudes. Discovered by citizen scientists, and substantiated by professional scientists using photographs and satellite data, the new type of aurora is similar to a previously measured—but never seen—atmospheric phenomenon. Its nickname: Steve.last_img read more


Fungi that live in cockroaches oil paintings and other bizarre places come

first_img Those pale button mushrooms in your supermarket hardly do justice to the diversity of fungi. The world hosts an incredible array of these important organisms—and mycologists are discovering more than 2000 new species a year, including ones that live on driftwood, bat guano, and even an oil painting. That’s according to a new report, titled State of the World’s Fungi, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a botanical research institution in Richmond, U.K. The lavishly illustrated overview covers the usefulness of fungi (think beer, bread, and penicillin, for starters) as well as the serious threats that some fungi pose to agriculture and human health.Science spoke to Tuula Niskanen, a mycologist at Kew, who helped write the chapter on new discoveries. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.Q: One of the new discoveries was a fungus that lives inside cockroaches. Tell me more. P. Sandoval-Leiva Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A: It’s a single-celled fungus that lives within the Malpighian tubules, which are equivalent to kidneys, of a tropical cockroach. It lives within the cells and parasitizes them, breaking them up and feeding on them. The fungus doesn’t necessarily kill the host—that’s not a smart strategy for a parasite. It’s not the first such species—the genus was first described in 1937—but it’s the first species described in the Madeira cockroach.Q: The diversity of places where fungi live seems extraordinary.A: One species was discovered in Antarctica, not the first, but in a curious place. It was found in diesel-contaminated soil. How is that possible? Probably my favorite was the fungus that can grow in the salt crusts of the Chilean Andes. It lives with a green alga, as a lichen, in a place where neither could survive alone. They look like mushrooms and are bright orange. It’s like, wow!Q: Were any useful species discovered?A: It usually takes time to figure out the more specific functions of fungi. One that’s inspiring is Aspergillus tubingensis. It was discovered earlier, but last year some researchers found out it can break down a kind of plastic called polyester polyurethane [making it potentially useful in recycling]. And it turns out that another species can live in very acidic soil and tolerate high levels of radiation, so it might be useful for cleaning contaminated soil.Q: Only 7% of fungus species have ever been described. How do you know how many species haven’t been discovered?A: Researchers look at the ratio of known plant and fungal species in places where we know this well, and also DNA studies of environmental samples. The estimates for total fungal diversity are extrapolated from that information. There is a big range, somewhere between 2.2 and 3.8 million species of fungi. There is still a huge amount of species to be discovered. At the current rate, it would take us more than 1000 years to describe them all. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This new species of mushroomlike lichen, a fungus living with a green alga, lives on salt deposits in the Chilean Andes.center_img By Erik StokstadSep. 11, 2018 , 7:01 PM Fungi that live in cockroaches, oil paintings, and other bizarre places come to light in new report 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 Emaillast_img read more


People can predict your tweets—even if you arent on Twitter

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe What your friends write on Twitter can reveal a surprising amount of information about you. By Matthew HutsonJan. 21, 2019 , 11:00 AM iStock.com/tomass2015 center_img Companies have made billions of dollars by turning everything we say, do, and look at online into an experiment in consumer profiling. Recently, some users have had enough, curtailing their use of social media or deleting their accounts completely. But that’s no guarantee of privacy, according to a new study. If you can be linked to other users, their activity can expose you, too. Now, computer scientists have shown the Twitter streams of your 10 closest contacts can predict your future tweets even better than your own stream.“It’s much easier than it looks,” to figure out a person’s character from such second-hand surveillance, says David Garcia, a computational social scientist at the Medical University of Vienna who was not involved in the study.Instead of predicting anyone’s actual tweets, researchers at the University of Vermont in Burlington estimated how predictable a person’s future words would be, using a measurement known as entropy. More entropy means more randomness and less repetition. They looked at the Twitter streams of 927 users, each of whom had 50 to 500 followers, as well as the 15 users each of them had tweeted at the most. In each individual’s stream, they calculated how much entropy the sequence of words contained. (On average, tweeters had more entropy than Ernest Hemingway, less than James Joyce.) They then plugged that number into a tool from information theory called Fano’s inequality to calculate how well a person’s stream could predict the first word in his or her next tweet. That upper bound on accuracy was, on average, 53%. But predicting each successive word is somewhat less accurate. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) People can predict your tweets—even if you aren’t on Twitter Next, they calculated the upper bound for prediction based on the user’s stream, plus the streams of their 15 closest contacts. Accuracy rose to 60%. When they removed the user’s stream from the equation, that figure dropped to about 57%. That means that looking at the streams of a user’s contacts is nearly as good as including the user—and even better than surveilling the user alone, the researchers report today in Nature Human Behaviour. It took the streams of just 10 contacts to surpass the predictive accuracy of the individual’s own Twitter stream. For comparison, predicting what someone will write based on a random assortment of strangers’ tweets yields a maximum accuracy of 51%. (That’s nearly the 53% predictability using the person’s own tweets because there’s a lot of regularity in the English language and in what people tweet about.)“We used some very interesting mathematics from information theory to say: If you had the perfect machine learning method, how well could you do?” says lead author James Bagrow, a data scientist at the University of Vermont. Joanne Hinds, a psychologist at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, agrees. The new approach is “a unique method that goes beyond much of the existing work in this area,” she says.The results show that, in principle, one could roughly predict what someone who’s not even on Twitter would tweet, Bagrow says. In reality, that would mean finding out who a person’s friends were offline and then finding those friends’ feeds on Twitter. But many apps ask for access to contact lists—and some have been known to share them. Facebook, for example, has plied users’ contact lists to create “shadow profiles” of people not even on the network. Researchers have already used people’s own tweets to predict personality, depression, and political orientation. Hypothetical tweets based on friends’ tweets might allow the same inferences.One practical limitation of this work is that it treats all words as equally informative, but some might say more about you than others, Bagrow says. If your friends tweet a lot about, say, gay rights, or follow only Republican politicians, that could be especially revealing of your sexuality or political orientation. Garcia has found that contacts on Friendster can predict one’s sexuality and relationship status, and contacts on Twitter can predict one’s location. “We have barely scratched the surface of what types of information can be revealed in this way,” Hinds says.“What concerns me in terms of privacy,” Bagrow says, “is that there are so many ways that these big platforms are getting at data that I think people don’t realize.” Another thing people may not consider, he says: “When they give up their own data, they’re also giving up data on their friends. What we think is an individual choice in a social network is not really.”last_img read more


This antinspired robot can navigate better than civilian GPS

first_img Email By Alex FoxFeb. 13, 2019 , 2:00 PM If you happen to be a robot, then you happen to have one very good way of getting home: GPS. But as every human driver knows, GPS isn’t perfect. Now, a dog-size robot—inspired by the uncanny navigation skills of desert ants—may offer a robust new alternative. The new system doesn’t require complex processing, and it is more accurate than consumer GPS alone—getting the bot within centimeters of its destination, as opposed to meters.Ants are well-known for their superior navigation skills, finding their way home via chemical trails left by their compatriots. But in the desert, the scorching sun quickly burns such chemicals away, forcing ants there to evolve some tricks that happen to be much easier for humans to engineer.Without chemical cues used by other ant species, the six-legged desert dwellers use their limited, ultraviolet-detecting eyesight to find rough patterns in the world around them. They also keep track of how far they’ve traveled by counting their footsteps and monitoring how fast the ground streams past. The ants accomplish this seemingly high-minded task with just a few thousand neurons, compared to about 100 billion in humans. 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 This ant-inspired robot can navigate better than civilian GPScenter_img That limited brainpower made it possible for researchers to accomplish the same tasks using relatively simple computer processors. To establish its heading, “AntBot”—which has six insectlike legs and two simple eyes—uses an eye designed to detect the sun’s ultraviolet light and a pair of rotating polarizing filters to determine its relative position. Just like the desert ants, AntBot also counts its steps and monitors the speed of the ground flowing past. In an era where resolution is measured in megapixels, AntBot’s eyes have just 14 pixels between them.In outdoor tests, AntBot successfully returned home from a distance of 5 meters to 14 meters 100% of the time. What’s more, it was far more accurate than civilian GPS, landing within 6.5 centimeters of its goal, the researchers report today in Science Robotics.In situations where a GPS signal is unavailable or unreliable, this ant-style navigation could allow autonomous robots to explore unfamiliar or dangerous environments as far away as other planets. It could also help hapless robots clean up or deliver groceries a little bit closer to home. 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