Nitish Kumar calls Bihar AES deaths unfortunate says expressing grief not enough

first_img 2 Comment(s) By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: July 1, 2019 1:38:24 pm Heavy rain in Nepal leads to flood in several Bihar districts Advertising The Nitish Kumar government has been under fire after over 150 children lost their lives in the state due to AES.Adding that the government is doing everything possible, the CM said, “We have held several meetings and discussed the issue at length. I held a meeting at AIIMS Patna in 2015 and various experts had different views as to what is the reason for it. A report was even sent to the US to get an expert opinion on it and all had different views.”Read | Behind AES toll: Poor nutrition, underutilised rehabilitation centres in Bihar Two labourers die of asphyxiation while cleaning well in Bihar Related News Nitish Kumar calls Bihar AES deaths 'unfortunate,' says expressing grief not enough Admitting that most hospitals in the state did not have adequate facilities to treat patients, Kumar said that the government is undertaking measures to ensure cure as well as prevention of the infection.Breaking his silence on the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday called it an “extremely unfortunate and serious issue.” Addressing the Bihar Assembly, the CM said, “What happened is extremely unfortunate, expressing grief is not enough.” Bihar flood toll rises to 67; over 48 lakh affected Admitting that most hospitals in the state did not have adequate facilities to treat patients, Kumar said that the government is undertaking measures to ensure cure as well as prevention of the infection.Health Minister Mangal Pandey said the death rate due to AES has reduced over the past years. He also added that awareness programs were carried out in order to inform the citizens about the infection. “According to the data we’ve, till June 28, 720 were admitted, 586 were cured, and 154 children died. Death rate reduced to 21 per cent. According to data from 2011-19, the death rate due to AES has reduced over the past few years,” he told the Assembly, reported news agency ANI.Opinion | A doctor writes: Why it is important for Bihar health minister to be sacked and tried for negligenceA fact-finding team of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has blamed administrative failure and state’s apathy for deaths of children. The summary of the report pointed out that all the children aged between 1.5- 12 years who died in this epidemic, belonged exclusively to families of lower socioeconomic strata. Advertisinglast_img read more

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Tamil Nadu question on One Nation One Ration Who will bear extra

first_imgFor portability, Khera said, the government needs to rejig its supply chain management for PDS outlets. “If ration is allocated only for local residents, and migrants or people from neighbouring areas show up, there is a risk that ration supplies run out before local residents can buy,” she said.J Jayaranjan, director of the Institute for Development Alternatives, who specialises in Tamil Nadu’s food sector, noted that PDS coverage of states that follow the National Food Security Act is only 70 per cent of rural population and 50 per cent urban population. “Tamil Nadu’s universal PDS scheme covers 95 per cent rural population and 70 per cent urban population. Tamil Nadu has a large number of migrant workers from north and north-eastern states,” he said. Taking stock of monsoon rain Jayaranjan asked: “When you cannot have two kinds of PDS in a state, what will happen to the free rice scheme under Tamil Nadu’s universal PDS model once portability is implemented? Who will bear the cost of supply for additional (ration) cards? Or will the state’s free rice schemes be changed? There are many such confusions.” Advertising While political leaders in the state have their own fears — like they had with the National Food Security Act (NFSA) five years ago — experts have also raised concern in the national scheme’s implementation, as the Centre has announced that it will be rolled out within a year even as there is lack of information about the exact plan and lack of consultation with the stakeholders.Strongly opposing the scheme by calling it “anti-Constitutional,” DMK president M K Stalin said the attempt to roll it out immediately is “unilateral autocracy”. Indicating that this is an attack on India’s federal structure, Stalin pointed out that PDS is a state subject.READ | DMK opposes Centre’s ‘one nation, one ration card’ scheme Chennai, Tamil Nadu News July 17 Highlights: Suriya thanks Kamal Hassan for his support; Man falls to death at Chennai airport DMK, BJP spar over alleged imposition of Hindi in Tamil Nadu LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Advertising Best Of Express More Explained Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan center_img ExplainedWhat the state gives, how it refills stockWhoever has a ration card in Tamil Nadu is eligible for 20kg free rice every month, unlike a price — Rs 3 — being charged per kg rice in states that have implemented National Food Security Act. While the state is not self-sufficient in grain, it has developed a mechanism to draw more from the Central pool to run an efficient PDS system. Whenever the Central pool is flooded with stock over the usual quota allotted for states, they sell it in open market at a slightly higher price for states that need extra supply. A senior official at the state Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department said, “Our limited knowledge is that a ration card provided to citizens under ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme can be used by the beneficiary in any ration shop in the country.” The official said it remains unclear who will bear the cost for ration supplied to people from other states when PDS is a state subject.“We already face a huge financial burden to run an effective universal (PDS) scheme. If the demand increases further (to cater to workers from other states), will the Centre bear that additional cost? Or will the state eventually be forced to scrap universal system,” the official asked.Tamil Nadu’s PDS scheme serves 1.99 crore ration card-holders. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, Supreme Court hearing likely from August 2 LiveChennai, Tamil Nadu News Live Updates: HC tells PWD to submit report on waterbodies; 2000 new buses to ply in TN this year READ | Govt to launch ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, access to ration shop anywhere in the countryA state government official said the Centre has given the states and Union Territories time until June 30, 2020 to implement the national scheme.Referring to Union Food and Public Distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s statement that no poor person will be deprived of PDS entitlement even if he/she relocates to another place, Reetika Khera, associate professor at IIM-Ahmedabad and an economist with expertise in public distribution system, said the rationale for this system with portability of ration cards is that it will be convenient for migrant workers. “Most migrants do not go with their family to another place and leave their ration card with their families,” she said. “Portability is not so useful for them in such a scenario. For migrants, it would be much better to expand community kitchens such as Amma Canteens (a successful initiative under late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa) and Indira Canteens (a similar food subsidisation programme run by Karnataka government).”Khera also pointed out that the Chhattisgarh government’s experiment with portability a few years ago was not expanded beyond some areas. “When portability did not get scaled up within the state, should we try inter-state portability,” she asked. Related News 0 Comment(s) Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: July 4, 2019 7:07:00 am Advertising Tamil Nadu’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister R Kamaraj was careful in his reply to the Assembly, promising that the state will implement it only after scrutinising all aspects.The Centre’s ambitious plan to bring the entire system under a single network is expected to help a large number of migrant workers, who travel constantly and work in faraway places. One Nation One ration card scheme, Public distribution system, PDS shops in India, Tamil nadu on One Nation One ration, Consumer affairs minister, India news, Indian express The Centre’s ambitious plan to bring the entire system under a single network is expected to help a large number of migrant workers, who travel constantly and work in faraway places.The Centre’s proposed “One Nation, One Ration Card” scheme has kicked up a controversy in Tamil Nadu, with political parties and subject experts raising concern at the possible threat that a single national ration scheme will derail the state’s universal Public Distribution System (PDS), arguably one of the best PDS models in the world.last_img read more

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Physicist leading Trumps adversarial climate review also led group touting carbon emissions

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Those are some of the claims promoted by the CO2 Coalition, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit founded in 2015 by the White House official who’s overseeing the administration’s “adversarial” review of climate science. The group’s assertions are disputed by a vast majority of climate researchers. But in the eyes of CO2 Coalition members, it’s the world’s leading scientists who are wrong. The CO2 Coalition, established by William Happer, a senior director with the White House National Security Council, has received more than $1 million from energy executives and conservative foundations that fight regulations since it was founded four years ago. The group is stacked with researchers who cast doubt on climate science. Other members have spent years fighting regulations that would reduce fossil fuel consumption.Happer is forming an ad hoc committee at the White House to highlight uncertainties and areas of low confidence in national science reports on climate change. The panel, called the Presidential Committee on Climate Security in an internal memo, is supposed to question assertions by the U.S. intelligence community that climate change is a risk to national security. Now, rather than issuing public reports, there are signals that the panel might operate behind closed doors. In preliminary talks, Happer pushed for researchers associated with the CO2 Coalition to take a lead role in the effort, according to a source with knowledge of Happer’s activities.The working group at the White House is the culmination of Happer’s efforts to sow uncertainty into climate science, which he has called a “cult.” The emeritus physics professor with Princeton University is not a trained climate scientist.In addition to its claims about the benefit of rising carbon dioxide levels, which are at their highest level in the last 400,000 years, the CO2 Coalition highlights snippets of science to promote the notion that the world needs more carbon dioxide. It has created a Facebook ad campaign with cartoons designed for children.In a series of 30-second illustrated ads, the coalition describes a world in which more carbon dioxide will make for healthier plants and happier bees, bears, and otters. In one, a smiling sunflower takes a selfie and writes, “#TallestYearEver!” In another, a sea otter posing with sea urchins writes, “Urchin Abundance! #gettingMyURCHon!”In yet another, two children lie in a field gazing at clouds.”What if there was something that could make plants grow bigger?” a girl asks.”And something that could make the whole world greener?” a boy responds.”All those plants could feed the world,” the girl says.Critics push backScientists say it’s unequivocal that human activities involving fossil fuels are warming the planet with unprecedented speed. While some short-term outcomes stand to benefit crop yields, the buildup of greenhouse gases exposes nations around the world to financial and physical threats, scientists say. Here’s one example: Although sea urchins are thriving as a result of climate change, they are destroying the kelp forests that provide habitat for sea otters.The benefits that rising levels of carbon dioxide provide to some plants are outweighed by the overall effects of climate change, said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Those include warmer and more acidic oceans, which can devastate some marine animals. Warming can also reduce crop yields for wheat, rice, and corn, he said. It’s also not true that there’s a carbon “drought,” as Happer suggests, because global carbon dioxide levels have risen from 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to 410 ppm today, Trenberth said.”It’s far from clear there is a notable improvement in the types of crops that are desirable for human existence. The quality of grains tends to go down, although you may get a longer growing season out of it,” he said. “Putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doesn’t help because those benefits are overwhelmed by the increase in droughts and wildfire and air quality issues. The evidence from scientists around the world is widespread in saying that we have a problem.”In the face of mounting research, climate skeptics have pushed for a debate on the science.In particular, the emerging White House effort led by Happer is one of their most significant achievements in a “long campaign of denial,” said Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, an advocacy group based in Alexandria, Virginia.”The deniers have been pushing uncertainty and fighting the scientific consensus for 20 or 30 years,” he said. “And this is exactly what they want. They want a debate on the science, and there is no debate.”In Washington, D.C., Democrats seized on the White House effort as the antithesis of scientific integrity. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–NY) threatened this past Tuesday to introduce legislation that would defund the administration’s “fake climate” exercise.”This is beyond willful ignorance,” Schumer said. “This is intentional, deliberate sowing of disinformation about climate science by our own government.”Since the early days of the Trump administration, officials with the CO2 Coalition have been pushing for a climate debate. They were sometimes recruited by top staffers to former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Mark Carr, a consultant who worked with the CO2 Coalition, wrote an email thanking Pruitt and his chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, for requesting a briefing about the role of greenhouse gases.”Many of the initiatives on which you are working now will be easier to manage and communications thereon targets of less viable criticism if senior political and policy leaders at your Agency and across the Executive had a more robust understanding of the true role (or lack of one) CO2 plays in the physical world,” Carr wrote in an email obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York City, through a Freedom of Information Act request.Now the group hopes its founder, Happer, will lead a “re-evaluation” of climate science from inside the White House, said Caleb Rossiter, executive director of the CO2 Coalition.”As much as I think Dr. Happer feels this debate is important because the science has been under assault by people claiming climate catastrophe—refusing to speak to those of us who have questions about climate catastrophe—I feel that economic development in the Third World and U.S. policy of blocking development in the Third World because of our fears of carbon dioxide, this is an important moment,” Rossiter said in an interview. “It may assist.”Happer co-founded the CO2 Coalition in 2015 after spinning it off from the now-defunct George C. Marshall Institute, which raised doubts about climate science and received almost $1 million in grants from Exxon Mobil Corp. The Marshall Institute also focused on defense issues, but Happer told E&E News at the time that the climate work had to be spun off because its contrarian views on warming were driving away donors.”Many foundations that would normally have supported defense would not do it because of the Marshall name being associated with climate,” he said at the time.The CO2 Coalition has received more than $1 million from foundations that support conservative causes and from officials in the energy industry, according to tax records obtained by the Climate Investigations Center.The largest donation — $170,000 — came from the Mercer Family Foundation, a top donor to President Trump. The Mercers have also contributed more than $7 million to the Heartland Institute, which attacks climate science.The Charles Koch Institute provided $33,283 to the CO2 Coalition, while the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation donated $50,000. The Sarah Scaife Foundation contributed $135,000, and the Florida-based Thomas W. Smith Foundation gave $75,000. EOG Resources Inc., an oil and gas company spun off from Enron Corp., gave $5,000. The Randolph Foundation in New York provided $40,000.None of those foundations responded to requests for comment.The Searle Freedom Trust, which has supported the Heartland Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council, gave $75,000 to the CO2 Coalition.”We support various organizations, so what’s in our 990s [tax form] is what you get; thanks anyway, though,” said Searle President Kimberly Dennis.The CO2 Coalition also received small donations from energy executives and others, some of whom have questioned climate change. They include: Stewart Leighton, a former energy executive who has served as an honorary director of the American Petroleum Institute ($5,000); Norman Rogers, a policy adviser to the Heartland Institute who attacks climate models ($15,000); and Bruce Everett, a former Exxon executive ($5,000). All of them have served on the group’s board of directors.Pointing out the funding sources of the CO2 Coalition is an “ad hominem attack,” said Rossiter, the group’s executive director.”Asking about people’s funding is an ad hominem attack when you can’t take on what they’re saying,” he said. “You take your money where you can get it, typically, in my experience, and people in Washington have strong feelings about what they think is right, and if they’re expressing them and they are a member of Congress or a foundation like ours, money is going to chase the beliefs that you are already expressing.”Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Scott Waldman, E&E NewsFeb. 28, 2019 , 10:55 AM William Happer Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Email Gage Skidmore/flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) Read more… Originally published by E&E NewsFill up that gas-guzzling truck—because global bursts of carbon dioxide will benefit society, feed the poor and help future generations thrive.Those photos of bleached coral, the disappearing island nations and images of glaciers tumbling into the ocean are “mostly myths designed to terrify people into accepting harmful policies that allegedly ‘save the planet.'” Physicist leading Trump’s ‘adversarial’ climate review also led group touting carbon emissionslast_img read more

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Apple Watch Goes AllIn With Health and Fitness Focus

first_imgFDA clearance of the watch is something consumers may find compelling, observed Tuong Nguyen, senior principal analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory company based in Stamford, Connecticut.”Although the technical FDA terminology — ‘cleared’ vs. ‘approved’ — might be too opaque for typical consumers, the acknowledgment and association with a regulatory body makes a better argument for purchasing this device,” he told TechNewsWorld.Being FDA-cleared opens up the adoption potential among a broader set of users beyond tech enthusiasts, Nguyen continued, whether it be direct purchase — user for user’s use — or indirect purchase — someone buying it for a parent or grandparent.There’s tremendous promise in something that can monitor people for potential health risk events, Rubin told TechNewsWorld.”Over time, it may alert us to a broad range of potential issues, possibly in advance of diagnosis,” he said. Older Target Market Apple aimed to stretch its lead in the smartwatch market when it introduced its Apple Watch Series 4 last week.The redesigned and re-engineered line features a bigger display, thinner and smaller case, an interface with richer detail, and some innovative health applications enabled by new sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope hardware.”Between watchOS 5 and what they revealed to us last week, there’s a lot of cool things to like about this,” said Ramon T. Llamas, senior research analyst at IDC, a market research company in Framingham, Massachusetts.”When you add the new features, it creates a significant improvement over previous versions,” noted Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City. Preordering of Series 4 Apple watches began Friday, with the GPS version priced at US$399 and the GPS+Cellular edition at $499.Those preorders were going “better than expected,” according to well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose research note was published in MacRumors on Sunday.Apple Watch sales will hit 18 million in 2018, with Series 4 units making up 50 to 55 percent of those sales, Kuo predicted.Although Apple has had a measure of success in the smartwatch market, the market as a whole has been sluggish.”It’s been a slow moving market overall, but a fast growing market for Apple, which has a dominant share,” Reticle’s Rubin said.”The market as a whole has not been as large or grown as steadily as many have hoped,” said Gartner’s Tuong. “A lot of that has to do with functionality that has not been that compelling — until Apple Watch got FDA cleared status.” Market Doldrums Series 4 watches also can detect falls through use of new accelerometer and gyroscope technology.After a fall, the watch sends you an alert that can be ignored or used to call for emergency services.If the watch detects that you haven’t moved for more than 60 seconds after sending a notification, it automatically will alert emergency services, as well as your emergency contacts.”The health monitoring features are the headline of the new device,” said James Moar, a research analyst at Juniper Research, a market research, forecasting and consulting company in Basingstoke, UK.”The appeal of heart-rate monitoring for insurers and, to a degree, caregivers will be relatively large,” he told TechNewsWorld.”However, its price point means that it will not be easily available on any but premium insurance plans,” Moar noted.”While there is FDA approval for its use,” he added, “some hesitance to use a consumer device for diagnosis will likely remain in the medical profession.” The speaker on the Series 4 watches is 50 percent louder and optimized for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, which is Apple’s version of push-to-talk.The watch’s microphone has been relocated to reduce echo and improve sound quality.The S4 chip gives the watch more muscle. It contains a dual-core 64-bit processor with twice the speed of previous models, while maintaining the all-day battery life of its slower progenitors. Apple Watch comes in two sizes — 40mm and 44mm. Both have edge-to-edge displays with more real estate than previous models. The screen on the 40mm watch is 35 percent larger than its Series 3 predecessor, while the 44mm is 32 percent larger.”Let’s face it,” Llamas told TechNewsWorld. “When you look at something this small and anything is 30 percent bigger, that’s a pretty noticeable change.”The watch interface has been optimized to accommodate the larger screen, allowing for larger icons and fonts. Apple Watch Series 4center_img FDA Selling Point Detecting Falls Apple has improved the watch’s radio wave reception by building its back out of ceramic and sapphire crystal.The watch’s crown has been modified to provide haptic feedback, which gives the fob a mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks.In addition, new electrodes have been built into the crown. Together with the watch’s new heart rate sensor and ECG app, they can be used to take an electrocardiogram..The ECGs, which take about 30 seconds to complete, can report if a heart is beating normally or a condition exists that should be reviewed by a healthcare professional.Heart rhythms are monitored intermittently by the watch, so it can alert you if an irregular rhythm is determined or your heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.All monitoring information is stored in the watch’s health app in PDF format so it can be shared with a physician. More Screen Space 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. ECG on a Wrist Apart from the health features, most of the improvements in the watch are incremental and performance-related, which will be hard for consumers to relate to, suggested Juniper’s Moar.”It is unlikely that the new processors, additional haptics, and a higher motion data capture rate will drive new purchases,” he said, “although it may encourage a degree of device refresh.”Because the watch’s headline features target better health monitoring, it appears that older consumers and those with chronic conditions are the target market, said Moar.”However, care must be taken with these consumers to present the device’s benefits, rather than the technology,” he added. “The latter has been the focus of late, and so a reposition of the device may be necessary to appeal to those with the kind of health concerns that could be alleviated by the new features.” last_img read more

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The Latest Efforts to Make the iPhone Obsolete Could Have Teeth

first_imgnReal Light AR Glasses Qualcomm on Monday announced a major initiative adding headsets to smartphones and enhancements to the standalone AR/VR product efforts as well. Much like earphones are a major component of smartphone use for many, these initially hard-wired glasses will allow you to better interact with your phone while leaving both hands free and your eyes much more focused on where you are going.These headsets will do a lot. They’ll give you a better entertainment viewing experience when you have down time. They’ll also improve navigation and voice-to-text instant messaging (you can see the text or IM and respond to it verbally).When using a headset with a camera, you’ll be able to blend what is real with what is virtual (like being able to see competitive online prices for items you are looking at while out shopping or even viewing on your computer screen. These headsets should better integrate the meta information in the cloud to the real world around you.They could even notify you if you were walking into a dangerous area and automatically guide you out even if it was too dark to see.The low latency high-bandwidth performance of 5G will make it far easier to pull even rich information from the cloud. It is these headsets that are the most likely to drive incremental high bandwidth use. Given Qualcomm’s war with Apple, these headsets likely won’t work with iPhones. With any major rollout of a technology, there are issues. With 5G, you must swap out both the cell tower technology and the phones. You have to find compelling reasons to fund this change at both ends, and you must understand the network loading so you can avoid bottlenecks.The upgrade process on the cell towers has started, and there isn’t a single carrier that doesn’t understand that failure to move aggressively with 5G will mean losing customers. This is because 5G provides data rates in line with wired networks and is particularly powerful at the network’s edge, making massive difference for folks using data there.In addition, and discussed far less, is the massive reduction in latency, making coming initiatives like the Microsoft Virtual Desktop possible, and giving users the opportunity to run full Windows apps on their phones and connected tablets, regardless of OS.So that gives us the towers and the compelling reasons for people to upgrade — but what about the data ecosystem? This issue came up at IBM Think earlier this month, when AT&T and IBM both pointed out that the data demands from 5G will force a change from centralized data centers to distributed data centers placed nearer the users because of network loading.You see, low latency and high bandwidth at the end points does you no good if there are bottlenecks in the networks connected to the massive centralized data centers that have been built all over the world.For small nations, this likely won’t be huge problem, but for large countries like the U.S. and China, it will mean a huge change in the network topology at a national level. This also means that if you are already near one of these existing mega data centers and an early 5G deployment, you are likely to see the biggest initial benefit from 5G. At Mobile World Congress, most of what you see will be tied to the 5G rollout, and the new hardware and services related to the rollout. This is an increasing issue for Apple, which isn’t expected to launch new 5G phones until late in 2020. The new 5G phones will effectively obsolesce any pre-existing iPhone, so why would anyone buy a new 4G LTE phone during the 5G ramp at the high end?Granted, we did have the 5G E effort from AT&T, but a lot of folks have beenmaking fun of it. Doesn’t an attempt to trick people into buying a 4G phone that has been branded improperly amount to fraud?)Perhaps of greater consequence, Apple’s war with Qualcomm will have significant repercussions on its already declining sales, and Apple won’t be alone. I expect any company that launches a high-end phone without 5G support will find sales volume tepid at best, because people willing to buy at high price points likely will want to avoid looking stupid when their expensive new device prematurely becomes obsolete.It isn’t just phones, either. You’ll see service enhancements from companies like Microsoft tied to Azure (announced Sunday) that will make use of this capability, unique never-before-seen hardware, and even new entertainment offerings. Watch for gaming and commercial apps (like remote medical) that will make use of this significantly increased performance and impressively low latency. Qualcomm’s Move to AR/VR as a Smartphone Feature The Biggest 5G Problem Mobile World Congress almost always has been a predominantly anti-Apple event, but up to now, it really hasn’t done much damage to Apple. This time is different, however. Apple is out of position for the 5G rollout that founds the event, and it is at war with the leading U.S. 5G technology vendor, Qualcomm.Further, Apple technology vendor Intel has been having severe execution issues (particularly following allegations that it stole Qualcomm’s intellectual property. If true, this won’t end well for either Apple or Intel).Still, it’s likely we will see the beginning of a reversal of centralized data center placement, a significant increase in extended reality headsets that can be used with smartphones, some impressive new 5G smartphones, and some wild devices with foldable screens that only the most tech forward of us will buy. It should be an interesting week. You are going to see a number of foldable screen devices at Mobile World Congress, but this technology is still pretty raw, and I doubt it will do any real damage to iPhone sales directly. Still, it is yet another technology coming to market that Apple is unlikely to have.Ironically, given that the OS needs to be changed to use it, Apple is likely the firm that could have done foldable screens best, since it owns its OS. So, this is a missed opportunity, but not a critical one, and it probably qill take a year to get the price of this technology down below nosebleed territory anyway. I think this is one of those cases when it is better to do it right than to go early, and the first set of products don’t yet look “right” to me. The glasses operate at HD resolution, which is less than I’d like, but certainly adequate for most AR types of tasks, including viewing videos and playing games. The range of view looks pretty good at 52-degrees, and it has two cameras so that the device can see what you are seeing and better integrate the virtual images it is rendering with the real objects you have in view. (You can get a sense of what is possible with the glasses with this video).These are the first high-quality extended reality glasses that appear to be attractive enough for people to wear, though they are tethered. Coming up with a way to carry your phone comfortably while connected to the glasses likely will be somewhat problematic.Because the nReal Light AR Glasses are a big step into our coming extended reality future, they are my product of the week. (They are due to hit the market in the third quarter of this year.)The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. 5G Update Foldable Screens Wrapping Up The issues with AR and VR come down to expensive hardware, a lack of compelling content, uneven setup experiences, and way too much crap in the market. Among the products that will be showcased this week, coupled with Qualcomm’s announcement on Monday, are the nReal Light AR Glasses.Launched at CES this year, these glasses have a dedicated Qualcomm processor. At a US$1,000 price point, they aren’t a cheap date, but they provide adequate performance and a relatively attractive glasses-like form factor. My expectation is that the price for these will come down sharply if you connect them to a new smartphone that supports Qualcomm’s new extended reality specification. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. TheMobile World Congress, which kicked off on Monday, is the annual event where everyone who hates Apple goes to grouse about their profits and point out Apple’s lack of real progress. That’s pretty much everyone who is anyone, aside from Apple itself, which also is at the event.Much like CES often does, MWC tends to spin pretty hard toward the “I hate Apple, I’d like to be Apple” crowd of competitors. What makes this year different is the level of technology advancements that will be shown, with an emphasis on those tied to the rollout of 5G, which initially will not be accessible to Apple.I’ll give you an idea of what’s likely to appear at the show and point out one of the big 5G problems that people mostly aren’t aware of yet (but AT&T and IBM are). It actually could lead to the strongest argument yet to abandon the iPhone.I’ll close with my product of the week: the nReal Light mixed reality glasses — one of the headsets that will be announced as connecting to Qualcomm’s big extended reality initiative at MWC. last_img read more

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Study finds undiagnosed prediabetes in many infertile men

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 17 2018In a study of 744 infertile men, prediabetes was found in 114 (15.4 percent) of participants. Certain factors were linked with prediabetes in the BJU International study, and they might be useful markers for identifying men who could benefit from early preventive interventions to safeguard against the development of diabetes.The study found that older age, higher follicle stimulating hormone levels, and idiopathic nonobstructive azoospermia (absence of sperm in semen) were associated with prediabetes.Recent research suggests that infertility in men may contribute to various health problems, including impaired glucose metabolism.Source: https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/bju-international/many-infertile-men-have-undiagnosed-prediabeteslast_img read more

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Atrisk healthcare workers being vaccinated against Ebola in Uganda

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 7 2018Healthcare workers in Uganda have begun vaccinating high risk health workers against the deadly viral infection Ebola this week. This is the first time that a vaccination drive has begun before the actual outbreak.This precaution is being taken because the health care officials are worried that the infection would spread into the country from the borders shared with Democratic Republic of Congo. At present the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is at its worst. The fear of transmission of the infection via the borders is heightened by the armed conflicts in the region, say officials. Ebola virus attacks the immune system illustration: Image Credit: Crevis / Shutterstock In DRC till date, this season, around 300 cases of Ebola have been suspected with 265 confirmed cases of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) report says that till date the infection has killed 151 individuals in the country. In a statement the WHO states, “In vaccinating frontline health workers against Ebola virus disease even before Uganda detects a single case, health authorities are being cautious having learnt bitter lessons from previous outbreaks.”The vaccine that is being administered is still experimental but has been shown to be protective in the clinical trials. It will be administered only to around 2000 first contact health care workers who are working near the borders of DRC in the north Kivu province says the WHO and would not be available for the general public. What is Ebola? Ebola Virus History Ebola Virus Epidemiology Ebola Virus Symptoms Ebola Virus Diagnosis and Treatment Ebola Researchcenter_img Further Reading “It is highly likely that Uganda may import Ebola virus disease from DRC given the closeness of the current epicenter, the high population movements due to trade, social-cultural connections and easy accessibility of health services in Uganda,” the WHO said. The individuals in DRC who have been in contact with an Ebola patient have been vaccinated and those in contact with these contacts have also been vaccinated. This is called the “ring vaccination strategy” and is an effective method of eradicating highly contagious infectious diseases, say the officials.Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO’s Uganda representative said, “In previous [Ebola] outbreaks, Uganda lost health workers, including the renowned Dr Matthew Lukwiya, as they cared for patients. Scientists believe such invaluable lives would have been saved had a vaccine been in existence then.”Jane Aceng, Uganda’s health minister in a statement added, “The public health risk of cross border transmission of Ebola to Uganda [from DRC] was assessed to be very high at the national level. The affected areas in the DRC [North Kivu and Ituri provinces] are about 100km from Uganda’s border districts. An undiagnosed Ebola patient could present to a health facility in Uganda for medical attention. This context puts the healthcare and frontline workers in Uganda at risk of being in contact with an [Ebola] case.”Ebola is a deadly viral infection that was first detected and identified in 1976. Since then there have been regular outbreaks across Central and West African countries. Uganda was affected before in 2000 and 2001 where the infection killed 261 and infected 574 individuals. The infection killed 11,000 died in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and infected 28,000 in the period between 2014 and 2016.The infection is capable of killing 20 to 70 percent of those who are infected depending on the strain of virus. Once infected only management available is supportive therapy. There are some experimental antibody based therapies that are being tried in treating the disease. Some of these combinations include ZMapp, REGN-EB3, the antiviral drug remdesivir and single-antibody drug called mAb114.This latest vaccine to be administered has been developed by Merck and is not yet licensed.last_img read more

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Study reveals increase in potency and price of cannabis across Europe

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 2 2019Cannabis resin and herbal cannabis have significantly increased in potency and in price, according to the first study to investigate changes in cannabis across Europe.The study, published today (Sunday 30 December) in the journal Addiction by researchers from the University of Bath and King’s College London, draws on data collected from across 28 EU Member states, as well as Norway and Turkey by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.The findings show that for herbal cannabis, concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (‘THC’ – the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis) increased by a similar amount each year, from 5% in 2006 to 10% in 2016.For cannabis resin (or hash), THC concentrations were relatively stable from 2006 to 2011 (from 8% to 10%) but then increased rapidly from 2011 to 2016 (from 10% to 17%). The price of cannabis resin also increased, but to a lesser extent than for herbal cannabis.Related StoriesCMC expresses dismay at the findings of new report “Drugs policy: medicinal cannabis”Cannabis ingredient shows promise as potential antibiotic for superbugsCreating a physical and genetic map of Cannabis sativaLead author Dr Tom Freeman from the Addiction and Mental Health Group within the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, said: “These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product.”Unlike herbal cannabis, cannabis resin typically contains cannabidiol (CBD) in addition to THC. CBD has recently attracted considerable interest due to its potential to treat several medical conditions including childhood epilepsy syndromes, psychosis and anxiety. When present in cannabis, CBD may offset some of the harmful effects of THC such as paranoia and memory impairment.Cannabis-containing higher levels of THC and/or lower levels of CBD has been linked to greater long-term harms such as the development of cannabis dependence, and an increased risk of psychotic illness. New resin production techniques in Morocco and Europe have increased levels of THC, but not CBD.Dr Freeman added: “CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek. What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful. These changes in the illicit market are largely hidden from scientific investigation and are difficult to target by policy-makers. An alternative option could be to attempt to control THC and CBD content through regulation.”It is estimated that 24 million people (or 7.2%) of European adults used cannabis in the last year. Across the globe 192 million people use the drug in a variety of markets, ranging from heavily sanctioned prohibition to commercialized legal sale. Cannabis policies are rapidly changing across the globe.Recreational use is now legalized in Canada and several US states, and medical use is permitted in many more countries, including very recently in the UK.Source: https://www.bath.ac.uk/last_img read more

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New study finds link between childhood abuse and suicide in later life

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 9 2019Children who experience physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect are at least two to three times more likely to attempt suicide in later life, according to the largest research review carried out of the topic.The analysis of 68 studies by psychologists at the University of Manchester and University of South Wales revealed that suicide attempts were: Source:https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/child-abuse-linked-to-risk-of-suicide-in-later-life/ Three times more likely for people who experienced sexual abuse as a child Two and a half times more likely for people who experienced physical abuse as a child Two and a half times more likely for people who experienced emotional abuse or neglect as a childcenter_img Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenAlso from the research published in Psychological Medicine today, children who experienced multiple abuse are as much as five times higher to attempt suicide.And as those people who experienced abuse as children get older, the risk of suicide attempts increases.People not in contact with mental health clinicians were found to be at the highest level of risk.The sixty-eight studies were carried out across the world, producing about 262 thousand adults aged 18 years or older, who were exposed to childhood abuse and neglect.Dr Maria Panagioti, from The University of Manchester, also based at the NIHR Greater Manchester patient safety translational research, led the research team.She said: “Around one adult in every three has experienced abuse as a child”.”This study conclusively gives us solid evidence that childhood abuse and neglect is associated with increased likelihood that they will be at risk of suicide as adults.”And that has important implications on healthcare. Other studies have shown that in the US, for example, the economic burden of childhood maltreatment is estimated to be around $124 billion.””Current treatment for people with suicidal behavior usually centers around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.”But that assumes people will seek help themselves. This research identifies that people who are not under the care of clinicians are at risk.”So, we need a new approach to identify these people and to focus our efforts on effective community intervention.Dr Ioannis Angelakis from the University of South Wales said: “These findings not only provided a clear picture of the connection between abuse or neglect in childhood and suicide attempts later on in life, but also recognized that efficient interventions should take a broader community-based approach.”last_img read more

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Sphere Fluidics and PAA collaborate to offer automated microplate handling capabilities for

first_imgDr Malcolm Crook, Technical Director, Peak Analysis and Automation, said: PAA’s S-LAB micro-plate handling capability will be integrated with the Sphere Fluidics’ Cyto-Mine® Single Cell Analysis System Our small, affordable plate handler with the reliability of a robotic arm will offer users of Sphere Fluidics’ award-winning Cyto-Mine® system a simple and flexible solution to further improve workflows and reduce costs associated with a more labor-intensive approach.” Related StoriesNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthSphere Fluidics’ Cyto-Mine is an automated platform which combines single cell screening, sorting, isolation and clone verification, alleviating the need for separate instruments. Its application programming interface (API), introduced as part of the updated Cyto-Mine Studio Software Suite in 2018, enables easy communication with PAA’s innovative S-LAB automated plate handler. The integration of micro-plate handling with the Cyto-Mine will help to reduce hands-on intervention to further streamline biopharmaceutical workflows.Dr Frank Craig, CEO, Sphere Fluidics, commented: Our Cyto-Mine® is compatible with 96- and 384-well microtiter plates, providing a high-throughput platform for single cell analysis. By combining this with the easy-to-use automated plate handler from Peak Analysis and Automation we will be able to offer improved throughput capabilities to help reduce timelines in biotherapeutic discovery and cell-line development.”center_img Cyto-Mine® will be on display in Washington, DC at SLAS 2019 from 2nd to 6th February 2019 (Booth #1655 and #1429). Jan 30 2019Sphere Fluidics, a company commercializing single cell analysis systems underpinned by its patented picodroplet technology, and Peak Analysis and Automation (PAA), a leader in the industry for the design and manufacture of automated laboratory equipment, will collaborate to offer automated micro-plate handling capabilities for single cell analysis. PAA’s S-LAB™ plate handler will be integrated with Sphere Fluidics’ Cyto-Mine® Single Cell Analysis System to help increase throughput in antibody discovery and cell line development. Source:https://www.spherefluidics.com/sphere-fluidics-collaborates-with-peak-analysis-and-automation-to-increase-throughput-in-antibody-discovery-and-cell-line-development/last_img read more

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Homebased telerehab appears to be as effective as clinicbased therapy in restoring

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 11 2019Home-based telerehabilitation is just as effective as clinic-based therapy at restoring arm function among stroke survivors, according to late-breaking science presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2019, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.”Many patients receive suboptimal rehabilitation therapy doses after stroke due to limited access to therapists and difficulty with transportation,” said the study’s lead author Steven C. Cramer, M.D., M.M.Sc., a professor of Neurology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at University of California Irvine. “This can be addressed by telehealth, which enables patients to access high doses of rehabilitation therapy in their home.”Related StoriesNew method improves detection of atrial fibrillation in stroke survivorsIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockResearchers conducted a randomized, assessor-blinded, non-inferiority trial with 124 stroke survivors (average age 61) at 11 U.S. StrokeNet Clinical Trial Network sites. Survivors underwent six weeks of intensive rehabilitation therapy targeting arm weakness. Each was randomized to receive therapy either in the clinic using traditional methods or in their home using a telerehabilitation system.”A computer-based telerehabilitation system delivered to patient’s homes uses “game-ified” therapy activities, exercises and educational sessions (such as “Stroke Jeopardy”). Therapists can assess progress via videoconference. In clinic-based therapy, patients drive to the clinic and perform standard exercises and therapeutic activities with a therapist without a computer and without game-ification of these activities,” Cramer explained.Compliance was high and similar between both groups. Arm function improved substantially and equivalently in both groups.”We demonstrated that home-based telehealth methods provide comparable benefits to traditional in-clinic methods,” Cramer said. “In the future, telehealth approaches to post-stroke rehabilitation might help patients reduce disability by accessing large doses of therapy.”​Source: https://www.heart.org/last_img read more

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Dietary fiber could help prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 5 2019Dietary fiber may be a new tool in the prevention of progressive lung disease, thanks to the production of anti-inflammatory short chain fatty acids (SCFA), according to a new study by Australia’s Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs at University of Newcastle, and the Centre for Inflammation, a partnership between The University of Technology Sydney and Centenary Institute.The research was presented to lung health experts at the Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting for Leaders in Lung Health & Respiratory Science (TSANZRS 2019 ).”For several years now the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs has been leading world research into the link between dietary fiber and healthy lungs. Our previous research has established how fiber supplements can be used to treat asthma. Now, our findings suggest fiber could be used to not just treat but also help prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” said lead researcher Professor Phil Hansbro, Director of the Centre for Inflammation.COPD is an umbrella term for progressive lung conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma, affecting 1 in 7 Australians over the age of 40. COPD is characterized by difficulty breathing and causes include smoking, long-term exposure to air pollutants and a rare genetic disorder.Whilst many people live with a mild form of COPD without even knowing it, for those with severe disease, it can severely impair quality of life. COPD is a leading cause of death in Australia and is the second leading cause of avoidable hospital admissions. It is the world’s third biggest killer disease. Existing treatments are only partially effective and some don’t work at all.The NSW study exposed mice to cigarette smoke – one of the known causes of COPD – to trigger onset of the disease. At the same time, the diet of some mice was supplemented with fermentable fiber.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyIf found that cigarette smoke reduced the production of anti-inflammatory short chain fatty acids but that the resulting inflammation could be offset by a high fiber diet.”We found that dietary fiber is able to reduce lung inflammation and damage, resulting in improved lung function,” explains Professor Hansbro. “For the first time, we have also connected these changes to the gastrointestinal microbiome and its production of protective metabolites.”The findings, say researchers, could have important implications for people with or at risk of COPD and their health providers.”Diet can be an important addition to current treatments to help sustain the quality of life in patients and potentially influence the development of COPD in those at risk. Public health bodies should consider targeting diet and fiber as an additional safe and inexpensive treatment for lung disease,” said Professor Hansbro.The researchers point out that the consumption of dietary fiber by mice didn’t protect against every symptom of COPD and so should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement of, currently approved interventions.The findings also pave the way for the development of new therapeutic treatments.”The greater our understanding of the biochemistry involved in the breakdown of dietary fiber and its impact on lung health, the closer we get to developing new, effective treatments. By understanding the critical role short chain fatty acids pay in preventing lung damage, we can better develop treatments and dietary modifications that can induce them as potential new preventions and treatments for COPD,” said Professor Allan Glanville, President of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ).In the meantime, the message is clear: if you want healthy lungs, eat your fiber. Source:https://www.uts.edu.au/last_img read more

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Molecule metabolite variations in breast milk may hold risk factors for childhood

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 11 2019New research suggests the composition of breast milk in normal weight mothers differs from that of overweight mothers, and that variations in small molecule metabolites found in breast milk are possible risk factors for childhood obesity. The new research is published online in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.It’s known that maternal obesity is one of the strongest predictors of childhood obesity. “Childhood obesity increases risk for type 2 diabetes, and a host of other health complications. Our aim is to identify the earliest risk factors that predict obesity in children,” says study lead author Elvira Isganaitis, MD, MPH, a pediatric endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center. “We know that one of those factors is nutritional exposures in the postnatal period.”In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the University of Minnesota, the researchers analyzed breast milk content and infant body measures (fat and muscle) at both one month and six months of age in 35 mother-infant pairs. Mothers were classified by pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) less than 25 (normal) or greater than 25 (overweight/obese).Prior to 2010, there wasn’t much known about the composition of human breast milk beyond basic macronutrients, says study senior author David Fields, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and an expert in pediatric diabetes. “Our research digs deeper into the composition of breast milk, beyond simple carbohydrates, protein and fat.”Using the technological advance of metabolomics analyses (a technique for large-scale studies of small molecules involved in metabolism), Dr. Isganaitis and collaborators analyzed the concentration of 275 individual small molecule metabolites in breast milk. The aim was to identify the molecular features of breast milk according to the mother’s weight status (normal versus overweight/obese) and then to determine if any differences predicted excess weight in the first months of the infant’s life.Related StoriesResearchers propose new avenue in the search for anti-obesity drugsLSU Health researchers to investigate link between breast cancer and obesity in real timeMaternal obesity may negatively affect children’s lung developmentAt one month of age, 10 metabolites were found that differentiated overweight/obese mothers from lean mothers. Of those, four were identified as nucleotide derivatives and three were identified as complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides, which may alter the gut microbiota. At six months of age, the analysis revealed that 20 metabolites differed in overweight versus lean women. Additionally, milk adenine in obese mothers was associated with greater weight gain in infants.While only modest differences in the milk composition between obese and lean mothers were found (10 at one month and 20 at six months, out of 275), this is the first in-depth study where we could see which substances in breast milk were more abundant in women who were overweight and which ones were lower, says Dr. Isganaitis. “Our findings suggest that a specific mix of factors — nucleotide derivatives and complex carbohydrates — could be therapeutic targets to improve the profile of breast milk and possibly protect children from obesity,” she says.This research is a step forward in understanding that a mother’s weight status and health can influence breast milk, and, in turn, impact the health of the baby. Dr. Fields, who started the clinical research project at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, explains that by identifying and profiling molecules that differ between normal and overweight mothers, the researchers are laying the foundation for interventions—diet, pharmacological or exercise—that would improve the quality of breast milk in overweight and obese mothers.Breastfeeding is a very beneficial behavior for both mothers and their children, says Dr. Isganaitis. “Breastfeeding should be promoted and supported. Ultimately, we would like to identify the metabolic pathways that allow breast milk to be beneficial in terms of infant weight gain, and other child health outcomes. The hope is that this data could also inform ways to make baby formula more protective in terms of future childhood obesity risk.”Source: https://www.joslin.org/news/breast-milk-analysis-may-help-reduce-risk-for-childhood-diabetes.htmllast_img read more

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Treatment with antibiotic reduces the size of endometriosisrelated lesions in mice

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 30 2019Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found, in mice, that treatment with an antibiotic reduces the size of lesions caused by endometriosis.The researchers are planning a large, multicenter clinical trial to test the drug metronidazole in women who have the painful condition.The study is published online April 30 in the journal Human Reproduction.Endometriosis is a chronic problem for up to 10 percent of women ages 25 to 40. About 5 million women in the United States and an estimated 176 million women worldwide are believed to be affected. The condition results from uterine cells migrating upward into the stomach area, where those cells clump together to form lesions. In addition to pain, endometriosis often contributes to fertility problems. Current treatment strategies include hormone therapy and surgery, but both approaches involve significant side effects and recurrence after treatment.Studying mice, the researchers found that treating the animals with metronidazole reduced the size of endometriosis-related lesions in the gut. That was true whether treatment was started before the lesions began forming or after endometriosis already was well-established. The findings also suggest that bacteria in the gut microbiome may help drive, or prevent, progression of the disease.”Our initial goal was to understand how these gut bacteria, or microbiota, might be connected to endometriosis, but in the process, we may have found a cost-effective treatment,” said principal investigator Ramakrishna Kommagani, PhD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University’s Center for Reproductive Health Sciences.Scientists already knew that young women and girls with increased susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease were more likely to develop endometriosis.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenThe researchers in the new study found that some of the gut microbes linked to bowel problems also feature prominently in endometriosis. When they treated the mice with the broad-spectrum antibiotic metronidazole, the lesions became smaller. Inflammation also was reduced.Interestingly, other antibiotics tested in the study — ampicillin, neomycin and vancomycin — did not lessen inflammation or shrink lesions. In addition, Kommagani’s team found that levels of a protective type of gut bacteria were very low in the mice with endometriosis, so they believe that in addition to antibiotics, it may be possible to use probiotics to boost levels of protective bacteria.”This study is exciting as it opens new frontiers in identifying bacterial candidates that can promote endometriosis in reproductive-age women, and it enables us to conduct future studies aimed at developing simpler ways to diagnose endometriosis,” said co-author Indira Mysorekar, PhD, the James P. Crane Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a professor of pathology and immunology. She is director of the Center for Reproductive Health Sciences.”How healthy your gut is affects your disease burden,” Kommagani said. “What you eat can affect the bacteria in the gut, and that can promote endometriosis, so it’s important to have healthy habits and to make sure you are harboring good bacteria so you won’t get the disease and the pain associated with it.”This is a silent epidemic in that often women think they are just having cramping during their menstrual cycles,” he added. “It’s only when the pain reaches a point where they can’t handle it — and it’s not contained within the cycle — that many realize something else is going on.” Source:https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/antibiotics-may-treat-endometriosis/last_img read more

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Researchers investigate why many cancer clinical trials fail to enroll enough patients

first_imgDr. Gerber serves as Associate Director for Clinical Research and co-Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program in the Simmons Cancer Center.The researchers will use this study to guide future investigations. Most immediately, they have surveyed more than 1,000 oncology providers, asking in-depth questions about the barriers identified in this study. Findings from that survey will help to identify strategies to ensure that clinical trials enroll the targeted number of patients. Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center Our next goal must be to enhance logistic, infrastructure, and policy support to translate oncology discoveries into high-quality cancer care.”Co-author Dr. David Gerber, a Professor of Internal Medicine and Population and Data Sciences Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019The increasing sophistication of cancer treatments threatens to outpace the ability of health care providers to enroll patients in clinical trials to test those therapies. That’s a key finding by researchers in UT Southwestern’s new Department of Population and Data Sciences.The authors of the study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology investigated why many cancer clinical trials fail to enroll enough patients. The researchers sought to identify potential interventions – i.e., solutions – to improve the situation.Research in the Department of Population and Data Sciences investigates ways to improve health care delivery on a population level. Its studies often involve breaking a problem into its component steps, identifying potential barriers at each step, and developing a list of possible interventions for future study. In this specific project, the researchers approached suboptimal clinical trial enrollment – a significant national concern – as a health care delivery issue.”Cancer clinical trials are meant to result in treatment advances. However, their potential benefits are diminished by suboptimal trial participation, both by patients and by clinicians and their organizations,” said Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner, Chair and Professor of Population and Data Sciences and corresponding author of the study. Dr. Skinner is also a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds the Parkland Community Medicine Professorship.Nearly half – 40 percent – of cancer trials fail to reach targets for accrual, the medical term for the number of patients who have completed or will complete the trial. Fewer than 2 percent of adults with cancer enroll in trials, and last year no trials were offered in 36 percent of physician-owned and 14 percent of hospital-owned oncology practices, she said.In order to help ensure results will reach statistical significance, clinical trials are designed to enroll a calculated number of patients, she explained. “Before we can figure out how to improve accrual in trials, we need to better understand the entire process and challenges along the way.”To gain this understanding, lead author Dr. Simon Craddock Lee, Associate Professor in the Department, conducted in-depth interviews with 10 key oncology physicians, nurses, and research staff in leadership positions across nine states.”Nationally, we know there are large numbers of cancer patients and relatively few of them are in clinical trials,” Dr. Lee said. “Most of the research to date has focused on the idea that the problem must be that patients don’t know about clinical trials.”Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThat mindset led to a research emphasis on improving communication so that patients are aware of trials and understand the risks and benefits as well as reaching out to underrepresented populations and ensuring messages are culturally appropriate – all worthy goals. However, this study identifies another group of problems, he explained.The researchers found that emerging therapies and the changing landscape of oncology have introduced complexity, he continued. Specifically, oncology practices encounter barriers to (1) staying aware of available trials, (2) identifying eligible patients, (3) introducing the idea of trial participation vs. standard treatment to those patients, and (4) enrolling and caring for them throughout clinical trials.These steps have become more complicated due to emerging discoveries in the realm of precision oncology, which seeks to determine the best treatment based on patient genetic, environmental, or lifestyle factors. For example, whereas trials in the past would enroll all patients with stage 2 breast cancer, current trials often are designed to enroll only patients with certain biomarkers.”As eligibility criteria become more numerous and specific, the likelihood of any patient meeting all criteria goes down,” Dr. Lee explained. “Because oncology practices are not reimbursed for determining and documenting enrollment, trial accrual is threatened as these tasks become more costly and time-consuming.”The authors suggest that addressing challenges to trial accrual may involve changes in trial-specific reimbursement, as well as incentives for administrative and infrastructure costs.last_img read more

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Electric textile lights a lamp when stretched

Anja Lund with a piece of the electric textile in the shoulder strap of a bag (the lighter-coloured part). To the right: a LED that flashes because electricity is generated when the textile is stretched. Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology Explore further Chalmers researchers Anja Lund and Christian Müller have developed a woven fabric that generates electricity when it is stretched or exposed to pressure. The fabric can currently generate enough power to light an LED, send wireless signals or drive small electric units such as a pocket calculator or a digital watch. The technology is based on the piezoelectric effect, which results in the generation of electricity from deformation of a piezoelectric material, such as when it is stretched. In the study, the researchers created a textile by weaving a piezoelectric yarn together with an electrically conducting yarn, which is required to transport the generated electric current.”The textile is flexible and soft and becomes even more efficient when moist or wet,” Lund says. “To demonstrate the results from our research we use a piece of the textile in the shoulder strap of a bag. The heavier the weight packed in the bag, and the more of the bag that consists of our fabric, the more electric power we obtain. When our bag is loaded with three kilos of books, we produce a continuous output of four microwatts. That’s enough to intermittently light an LED. By making an entire bag from our textile, we could get enough energy to transmit wireless signals.” PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: Electric textile lights a lamp when stretched (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-electric-textile-lamp.html Play Anja Lund demonstrates the technology with a piece of the electric textile in the shoulder strap of a bag (the lighter-colored part). When the textile is stretched it builds up voltage in a capacitor until the voltage is high enough to intermittently power a connected LED. If the entire bag were made from the electric textile it could generate sufficient voltage to e.g. power an LED continuously. Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology The piezoelectric yarn is made up of 24 fibres, each as thin as a strand of hair. When the fibres are sufficiently moist, they become enclosed in liquid and the yarn becomes more efficient, since this improves the electrical contact between the fibres. The technology is based on previous studies by the researchers in which they developed the piezoelectric fibres, to which they have now added a further dimension.”The piezoelectric fibres consist of a piezoelectric shell around an electrically conducting core,” Lund says. “The piezoelectric yarn in combination with a commercial conducting yarn constitute an electric circuit connected in series.” Previous work by the researchers on piezoelectric textiles has so far mainly focused on sensors and their ability to generate electric signals through pressure sensitivity. Using the energy to continuously drive electronic components is unique. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a fabric that converts kinetic energy into electric power. The greater the load applied to the textile and the wetter it becomes, the more electricity it generates. The results are now published in Flexible Electronics. 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. Provided by Chalmers University of Technology The researchers consider that the technology is, in principle, ready for larger scale production. It is now mainly up to industrial product developers to find out how to make use of the technology. Despite the advanced technology underlying the material, the cost is relatively low and is comparable with the price of Gore-Tex. Through their collaboration with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås the researchers have been able to demonstrate that the yarn can be woven in industrial looms and is sufficiently wear-resistant to cope with the harsh conditions of mass production. More information: Anja Lund et al, Energy harvesting textiles for a rainy day: woven piezoelectrics based on melt-spun PVDF microfibres with a conducting core, npj Flexible Electronics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41528-018-0022-4 Wearable polymer piezoelectric sensors for fashionable clothing PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play When the textile is stretched or exposed to pressure, the deformation of the piezoelectric fibers (pink) causes a reorganization of the charge distribution, thus generating an electrical voltage. The electrically conducting yarn (blue) is required to form a closed circuit. A piezoelectric yarn is made up of 24 fibers as thin as a hair, and each fiber has an electrically conducting core (black). Credit: Yen Strandqvist and Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology “Woven textiles from piezoelectric yarns makes the technology easily accessible and it could be useful in everyday life. It’s also possible to add more materials to the weave or to use it as a layer in a multi-layer product. It requires some modification, but it’s possible,” Lund says. read more

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Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for hacker sabotage

first_imgA New Mexico man accused of paying hackers to sabotage websites affiliated with his former employers and state agencies has been sentenced in Minnesota to 15 years in prison. John Kelsey Gammell earlier pleaded guilty to federal hacking conspiracy charges. The FBI says the case represents a growing form of cybercrime in which professional hackers are paid to inflict damage on individuals, businesses and others who rely on digital devices.Gammell admitted in federal court in St. Paul to engaging in a campaign of cyberattacks against at least three dozen websites between 2015 and 2017, including those of former employers, banks, Hennepin County in Minnesota and the Minnesota Judicial Branch.Gammell’s sentence Thursday also included charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Trial set for Latvian accused of running malware operation 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. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further Citation: Man sentenced to 15 years in prison for hacker sabotage (2018, May 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-sentenced-years-prison-hacker-sabotage.htmllast_img read more

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Amazon Prime Day The Best Science Kit Deals

first_imgIf you have a child who loves to dig up bugs, build rolling robots, or is just curious about how things work, one of these science kits may be for you. Here’s a look at what Amazon has on sale today (July 16) as Prime Day deals for its Prime members.  Live Science will continue to update this page throughout the day with new deals and updates to current science kit deals.  Spy Science KitThese Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your 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Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/59752-amazon-prime-day-science-kits.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  Embrace your inner 007 and learn about science, with this kit, which offers two exciting mysteries to solve using eight scientific activities. Learn about how crime labs work as you match fingerprints, analyze DNA and test liquids and powders. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Prime Day price: $12.70, a savings of 42% for Prime members Buy Spy Science Kit on Amazon.com Magical Microbes DoughLab We wouldn’t be able to make bread without microbes! This kit will teach curious young bakers about the interactions of different microorganisms in baking, and how they affect the texture and taste of delicious bread. Kit includes: high-protein flour, dry yeast, baking tins, mixing containers, inflatable gloves, wooden mixing sticks, a measuring spoon, sugar and salt. Prime Day price: $19.99, a savings of 25% for Prime members Buy Magical Microbes DoughLab on Amazon.com Clickety Flix Retroscope Take a step back into the early days of moviemaking, with the Smartivity Clickety Flix Retroscope kit. Make “movies” from still images by building a hand-cranked device to rotate images like a flipbook, creating an animated show from sequential photos or drawings. Prime Day price: $26.45, a savings of 24% for Prime members Buy Clickety Flix Retroscope on Amazon.com Fruit Battery Science Experiment Kit Did you know that you can generate electricity with fruits or vegetables? This kit provides everything you’ll need (except the produce) to turn a banana, tomato, lemon or potato into a working battery that can power LED lights or an electronic clock. Prime Day price: $7.19, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Fruit Battery Kit on Amazon.com Optical Illusions Science Kit You won’t believe your eyes when you peer at the optical illusions in this kit. Over a dozen experiments will engage and delight kids ages 8 to 12, teaching them about what makes an optical illusion and how our brains “trick” our eyes by transforming what we see. Prime Day price: $17.59, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Optical Illusions Kit on Amazon.com Weird Slime Goo Lab Immerse yourself up to the elbows in the gooey, gross science of slime. This kit contains everything you need to make squishy handfuls of slime, including slime ingredients; protective goggles, mask and gloves; and resealable containers. “Recipes” for special types of slime will help you create “blood clots,” “leech soup,” and “rat guts noodles.” Prime Day price: $25.20, Prime members save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Slime Goo Lab on Amazon.com Blast-Off Space Rocket Reach for the stars with a kit for building a wooden rocket and launch pad, assembled with rubber bands. Adjusting the elastic bands controls the speed of the rocket. Finished models may be customized with paint (not included). Prime Day price: $19.74, a 21% savings for Prime members Buy Blast-Off Space Rocket on Amazon.com Light-Up Terrarium Inside this container is a tiny world: a miniature garden which can be illuminated at night by a built-in LED light. The kit includes colored sand, rocks and soil; wheatgrass and chia seeds; whimsical miniatures of a mushroom and rabbit; and tools for planting and watering the seeds. Prime Day price: $19.99, a 20% savings for Prime members Buy Light-Up Terrarium on Amazon.com Jumbo Gem Dig Kit Any geologist will tell you that this kit really rocks. Grab a chisel and mallet and start whacking away at the “dig brick” to excavate 15 real and gorgeous gems, including lapis lazuli, red jasper, dragon’s eye, snowflake obsidian, serpentine and rainbow fluorite. An illustrated gem guide provides helpful digging tips and facts about the gems. Prime Day price: $14.74, a 41% savings for Prime members Buy Jumbo Gem Dig Kit on Amazon.com Physics Lab Kids’ faces will light up when they see this kit for experiments in electricity and magnetism. Recommended for grades 7 to 12, the kit includes 56 items for building electrical projects and 21 items for creating magnetic projects. The kit requires 3 AA batteries (not included). Prime Day price: $39.99, a 50% savings for Prime members Buy Physics Lab on Amazon.com Back to the Roots Water Garden Betta Fish Aquaponic Ecosystem Science Kit for Kids Raise a colorful betta fish (Betta splendens) and grow hydroponic plants at the same time using this educational kit. Kids will learn how an ecosystem works: The fish’s waste nourishes the plants, which in turn provide oxygen for the water. This kit contains radish and wheatgrass seeds and a growing medium; water conditioner and dechlorinator; PH strips for testing the water; and fish food (fish not included). Prime Day price: $76.30, a savings of 43% for Prime members Buy Aquaponic Ecosystem Kit on Amazon.com Magnets! Super Science Kit for Kids If your child is attracted to magnets, this kit may be for you. With 20 lab tools and 9 experiments, children age 8 and up will learn how magnetic forces work and how they shape technologies that are used every day. Prime Day price: $29.95, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Magnets! Science Kit on Amazon.com Giggleway Electric Motor Robotic Science Kit Kids as young as 8 will learn about robotics, circuitry and engineering as they assemble these endearing, googly-eyed robots. The kit includes parts for three robot friends: a “reptile robot,” a car robot and a doodling robot. Prime Day price: $18.00, a savings of 17% for Prime members Buy Robotic Science Kit on Amazon.com Amscope Beginner Microscope Kit This durable metal compound microscope is perfect for beginners. It includes a built-in light for direct illumination as well as a mirror for natural lighting, and provides six levels of magnification: 120X, 240X, 300X, 480X, 600X and 1200X. The kit comes in a sturdy carrying case and also contains sample slides, cover slips, tweezers, a scalpel, specimen vials, and adjustable lenses — everything a budding scientist needs to get started! Prime Day price: $36.79, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Beginner Microscope Kit on Amazon.com Climbing Vehicle STEM Kit This build-it-yourself vehicle doesn’t need roads. In this kit, kids will find parts, tools and instructions for constructing a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that navigates over uneven surfaces. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the climbing vehicle kit includes gears and a motor powered by a solar panel or a AA battery (not included). Prime Day price: $18.59, a savings of 38% for Prime members Buy Climbing Vehicle STEM Kit on Amazon.com Bones! Animal Science Kit for Kids Recommended for ages 8 and up, this kit introduces children to the excitement (and grossness) of using lab tools to pry apart owl pellets — regurgitated balls of undigested bones — to identify the animals that the owls have eaten. The kit comes with a 20-page lab guide and 10 learning activities about using owl pellets to gather clues about owls, their prey and their habitats. Prime Day price: $29.92, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Bones! Animal Science Kit on Amazon.com Elecfly Kids’ Microscope Suitable for ages 5 and up, this colorful, easy-to-use microscope will allow young children to observe insects, plants and even creatures that are too small to see with the naked eye. There are three fixed lenses in a rotatable head, providing 6 levels of magnification: 40x, 64x, 100x, 160x, 400x and 640x. The kit includes 25 specimen slides, a petri dish, forceps, a dropper, a test tube, cover slips, and an instruction manual.   Prime Day price: $31.99, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Elecfly Kids’ Microscope on Amazon.com Fizz! Chemistry Lab Kit Pop! Fizz! Kids age 8 (with adult supervision) and up will have a blast learning basic principles of chemistry and testing materials that spark, foam and snap. The kit includes everything you’ll need to enjoy hours of chemistry learning and fun, including protective goggles, food coloring, baking soda, measuring cups, spatulas, brushes, a pipette and a 36-page career and lab guide. Prime Day price: $29.95, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Fizz! Chemistry Kit on Amazon.com Pica Toys Wooden Solar and Wireless Remote Control Car Kit Spark your child’s imagination with a kit that introduces them to fundamentals of electricity and circuits, as they build a wireless remote control car that runs on solar power. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Prime Day price: $27.99, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Wooden Solar Car on Amazon.com Mega Fossil Dig Kit Young paleontologists will really dig this fossil kit, which comes with 15 fossils for them to excavate. The kit includes a chisel, brush and mallet for chipping away at a block that holds fossilized shark teeth, dinosaur bones, ammonites (extinct sea animals) and more. Prime Day price: $19.74, a savings of 21% for Prime members Buy Mega Fossil Dig Kit on Amazon.com Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more

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AmInvest Research retains Neutral on EMS players for H2

first_img Analyst Reports 11 Jun 2019 AmInvest Research neutral on property sector, Sunway, IOI Prop top picks {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News Business News 05 Jul 2019 AmInvest Research neutral on O&G, top picks Serba Dinamik, Dialog KUALA LUMPUR: AmInvestment Research is retaining its Neutral stance on Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) players for 2H19.It said on Friday the manufacturers’ positive prospects tied to the production of household general products such as V.S. Industry (VSI) and ATA IMS (ATA) have been fairly factored in.The research house said ATA’s 4QFY19 results were below expectations at RM21mil due to lower box-build orders as there were less working days attributed to festive seasons, and higher taxation seen for the quarter as some expenses were being disallowed for tax purposes. “ATA’s FY20 earnings are expected to be boosted by higher sales orders from its key customer following the addition of two assembly lines,” it said. VSI’s 3QFY19 results were slightly above expectations at RM22mil, despite a 22% decline in core profit and 10% fall in revenue due to slowdown in orders for its key customer in its Malaysian segment.The decline in box build orders for its key customer’s floorcare products was not as severe as initially anticipated while the customer’s beauty product sales boosted orders. “VSI’s 4Q is anticipated to register similar profits based on its current order visibility, also owing to the 4Q being a seasonally stronger quarter for one of its key Malaysian operations customer, Keurig.“VSI currently has 3.5 lines running for the key customer, producing a mixture of a personal care product and floorcare products while ATA has 14 lines for its key customer with a broad product range of floorcare products and healthy lifestyle products, after adding two assembly lines for FY20F on the back of growing orders,” it said.To recap, AmInvest Research said VSI and ATA are diversifying their customer base through securing new customers.In March 2019, VSI entered into a master supply agreement with Bissell in March 2019, where the group has dedicated a 160,000 sqft plant to the customer that is equipped with injection moulding facilities, assembly lines, a warehouse and test lab. Bissell’s earnings contribution kicks in from FY20F onwards with sales anticipated to reach RM1.2bil by CY2022. VSI is expected to mass produce one model of its carpet cleaner in August 2019. Higher margins are expected for Bissell relative to VSI’s other customers due to the ability to choose and negotiate its own suppliers which could potentially lead to margin savings.As for ATA secured a contract to manufacture a household appliance equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities. The group has allocated 1 line for the customer but the contribution is expected to be negligible at 1–2% of total revenue. Although production volume is low, ATA is keen to explore the potential of IoT capabilities.AmInvest Research said vertical integration positioning translates to more job wins.It pointed out VSI is a known vertically-integrated player with tooling, plastic injection, PCBA and assembling capabilities, which give it an edge compared with peers who lack PCBA or tooling capabilities. However, local peer SKP Resources (SKP) has recently added PCBA capabilities, commencing in 1H19.Meanwhile, ATA has also bumped up its efforts to be vertically-integrated by adding 4 capabilities i.e. PCBA, battery pack, wire harness and brush bar assembly in order to be self-sufficient and reduce reliance on external suppliers.  ATA’s group chairman Datuk Seri Foo Chee Juan said the company has eight surface-mount technology (SMT) lines on the private side and plans to increase this to 18 lines by 2HCY19, with plans to inject the PCBA and battery pack capabilities into ATA by mid-2021. Wire harness production will commence in August 2019 while brush bar assembly will start production at end-CY2019, with contributions expected in 2HFY20 and 4QFY20 respectively.Following the US-China trade war, VSI has received enquiries from MNCs looking to shift or diversify their manufacturing bases from China to Southeast Asia. The group is in the midst of discussion with various prospects and is positive on its potential to  secure new orders and/or customers as it has a 180K sqft factory which will be ready by end-CY2019 to accommodate new prospects.AmInvest Research said it may upgrade the sector to Overweight (i) the companies secure major orders and/or key customers which boosts box-build orders; and (ii) performance of overseas operations (such as VSI’s) improves due to better cost-saving initiatives and comeback in sales orders. “VSI’s 4Q is anticipated to register similar profits based on its current order visibility, also owing to the 4Q being a seasonally stronger quarter for one of its key Malaysian operations customer, Keurig,” AmInvest Research says. Analyst Reports 08 Jul 2019 AmInvest Research keeps forecasts on Sime Darby, maintains Hold call Tags / Keywords: Related News Analyst Reportslast_img read more

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