Month: July 2019

FDA offers funding to create the most advanced living mimicry of a

first_img Source:https://www.cuanschutztoday.org/researchers-creating-the-most-advanced-3d-human-lung-to-test-e-cigs/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 12 2019The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced the funding of $3.4 million by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create the most advanced living mimicry of a human lung to identify toxicity and cancer-causing potential of emerging tobacco products.To study the effects of a human smoker, the research team led by Kambez H. Benam, DPhil, Assistant Professor at the CU School of Medicine, will create the first-in-kind multi-cellular three-dimensional (3D) living structure of a human lung containing cells that naturally line our conducting airways. This includes the physiological scaffold – also known as extracellular matrix, on top of which the airway lining sits, the soldiers of our immune defense – also known as leukocytes, and the matrix-embedded stromal cells that are critical for development and resolution of organ injury.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Bacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerThis microengineered human lung will allow a better understanding of the harm of e-cigarettes and hookah by evaluating the impact on genes, proteins, pathways, and cell/organ function. In the past, laboratory animals have been widely used to assess the effects of conventional cigarette smoke and more recently e-cigarette vapors; however, translation of findings to human has been challenging.”Providing the next generation of a human lung model to compare the toxicity of emerging products, particularly hookah and e-cigarettes, will help identify dangerous and carcinogenic formulations,” said Dr. Benam. “This study has an unprecedented potential to advance the available toolkits for FDA to better protect and promote public health concerns around tobacco products.”Tobacco-related products such as e-cigarettes and hookah are drastically gaining popularity; but, the biological impact of their emissions on human lung is not well characterized.This project adds unique capabilities to Dr. Benam’s work on recently developed technological platforms, namely ‘Small Airway-on-a-Chip’ and ‘Breathing-Smoking Human Lung-on-a-Chip’ published in Nature Methods and Cell Systems.With the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in June 2009, the FDA acquired the authority to regulate manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products in order to protect public health. As of 2016, FDA finalized a rule extending its regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including waterpipe tobacco.last_img read more

Research shows possibility to shift the circadian rhythm of night owls

first_img Wake up 2-3 hours before regular wake up time and maximise outdoor light during the mornings. Go to bed 2-3 hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening. Keep sleep/wake times fixed on both work days and free days. Have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7pm. Establishing simple routines could help ‘night owls’ adjust their body clocks and improve their overall physical and mental health. Insufficient levels of sleep and circadian misalignment can disrupt many bodily processes putting us at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.”Professor Debra Skene from the University of Surrey Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days, which can lead to a range of adverse outcomes – from daytime sleepiness to poorer mental wellbeing.”Co-author Dr Andrew Bagshaw from the University of Birmingham “We wanted to see if there were simple things people could do at home to solve this issue. This was successful, on average allowing people to get to sleep and wake up around two hours earlier than they were before. Most interestingly, this was also associated with improvements in mental wellbeing and perceived sleepiness, meaning that it was a very positive outcome for the participants. We now need to understand how habitual sleep patterns are related to the brain, how this links with mental wellbeing and whether the interventions lead to long-term changes.”Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsTwenty-two healthy individuals participated in the study. For a period of three weeks participants in the experimental group were asked to: The results highlighted an increase in cognitive (reaction time) and physical (grip strength) performance during the morning when tiredness is often very high in ‘night owls’, as well as a shift in peak performance times from evening to afternoon. It also increased the number of days in which breakfast was consumed and led to better mental well-being, with participants reporting a decrease in feelings of stress and depression. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 10 2019A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns of ‘night owls’ – people with extreme late sleeping and waking habits – could lead to significant improvements in sleep/wake timings, improved performance in the mornings, better eating habits and a decrease in depression and stress.New international research by the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey in the UK, and Monash University in Australia, showed that, over a three-week period, it was possible to shift the circadian rhythm of ‘night owls’ using non-pharmacological and practical interventions.The study, published in Sleep Medicine, showed participants were able to bring forward their sleep/wake timings by two hours, while having no negative effect on sleep duration. In addition, participants reported a decrease in feelings of depression and stress, as well as in daytime sleepiness.”Our research findings highlight the ability of a simple non-pharmacological intervention to phase advance ‘night owls’, reduce negative elements of mental health and sleepiness, as well as manipulate peak performance times in the real world,” lead researcher Dr Elise Facer-Childs from Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health said.’Night owls’ are individuals whose internal body clock dictates later-than-usual sleep and wake times – in this study participants had an average bedtime of 2.30am and wake-up time of 10.15am.Disturbances to the sleep/wake system have been linked to a variety of health issues, including mood swings, increased morbidity and mortality rates, and declines in cognitive and physical performance. Dr Facer-Childs said ‘night owls’, compared to ‘morning larks’, tended to be more compromised in our society due to having to fit to work/school schedules that are out of sync with their preferred patterns.”By acknowledging these differences and providing tools to improve outcomes we can go a long way in a society that is under constant pressure to achieve optimal productivity and performance,” she said.This intervention could also be applied within more niche settings, such as industry or within sporting sectors, which have a key focus on developing strategies to maximize productivity and optimize performance at certain times and in different conditions.Source: University of Birminghamlast_img read more

3D breast tumor models may improve drug discovery and testing

first_imgThrough this research, we expect to establish our technology as a transformative advance that will be implemented broadly for drug discovery, studies of breast cancer and other malignancies, and precision medicine through incorporating patient-derived cells.”Dr. Hossein Tavana, University of Akron Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Dr. Hossein Tavana, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at The University of Akron (UA), has received a grant of $1.13 million from the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) to further develop 3D tumor models of triple-negative breast cancer — which may improve drug testing and lead to the discovery of new, more effective anticancer drugs.The 3D models developed in Tavana’s Tissue Engineering Microtechnologies lab, which have already led to several issued U.S. patents, more accurately replicate human tumors than do traditional 2D cultures on a Petri dish, enabling more accurate drug testing and the discovery of new drugs.Related StoriesEngineered stem cells offer new treatment for metastatic bone cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskNow, with the help of the NCI grant, Tavana is developing much needed “high-throughput” models — that is, many identical copies of the same model — of breast tumors for drug testing and understanding drivers of the disease.Solid tumors are not simply a collection of cancerous cells; they are a rich microenvironment of cancer cells, connective tissue cells, and a mesh of matrix proteins.Combined, they regulate all aspects of the disease, from tumor initiation to growth and metastasis, as well as resistance to drugs used in treatment. Therefore, inhibiting various communications among the tissue cells, cancer cells, and matrix of proteins means having to test a large number of variables to identify effective drugs and dosages of drug treatments. This is where the lab’s engineering approach to create complex tumor models in high-throughput can make a difference. Tavana has now received more than $2 million in federal funding within one year, having already garnered significant support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for his innovative research on 3D tumor models.”Competition for the NIH’s NCI grants is fierce, and universities with a medical school or partnership with cancer centers have a major advantage,” he added. “UA has neither, so it is a testament to the strength of our research that we have secured continuous funding from NIH for the past seven years.” Source:University of Akronlast_img read more

Research team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina

first_imgChildren with spina bifida are known to have a decreased level of energy expenditure, although we cannot specify how much less as compared to their typically developing peers. Our hypothesis is that the number of calories we currently recommend parents feed their children may be higher than it should be, inadvertently contributing to excess weight gain.”Michele Polfuss, Joint Research Chair in the Nursing of Children at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 10 2019Children with spina bifida, a congenital condition of the spine and spinal cord, have a higher rate of obesity compared to typically developing peers. One barrier to better prevention of obesity is accurately assessing body fat.Michele Polfuss is leading a research team in a $3.6 million federal grant to investigate methods of accurately measuring patients’ body composition in a clinical setting.Polfuss is the Joint Research Chair in the Nursing of Children at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. With an interdisciplinary team of professionals, she will determine methods of providing information on the amount of energy expended or calories used in children with spina bifida and determine an accurate assessment of their weight category. For people who are not disabled, health providers can get a fairly accurate assessment of a person’s weight status by measuring the person’s height and weight, and then using this information to calculate a body mass index. That doesn’t work well for children with spina bifida who may be unable to stand or have orthopedic complications that challenge their ability to have an accurate measure of height or weight performed, said Polfuss. If the measure of height or weight is not accurate, then the BMI is inaccurate.Related StoriesNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenUCR biomedical professor to investigate how body’s cannabis-like molecules influence obesityDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance valuesThe aim of the project is twofold, said Polfuss. “We want to find a feasible method of measuring body fat that can be conducted cost-effectively and accurately in the clinic – and to provide better guidance to the family on nutritional intake recommendations, with the ultimate goal of preventing and treating obesity.”The project team includes health professionals from four pediatric spina bifida programs at children’s hospitals across the United States – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Alabama-Birmingham and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – who are working with 232 children.”We are happy to help lead the effort on this important and needed research,” said Nancy Korom, chief nursing officer and vice president at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Our mission is to have the healthiest children in the state, and through this multi-site initiative, we can improve the health of children across the nation.”The five-year grant comes from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Spina Bifida Patient Registry and the Spina Bifida Association. Source:University of Wisconsin-Milwaukeelast_img read more

New technology replaces the standard way to repair a hole in the

first_imgThis new method eliminates the need for a patient to be placed on blood thinners as they do when a device is implanted in the heart.Noble Stitch is considered a no footprint procedure, which means that it’s minimally invasive, using a catheter to place a stitch to close the hole and leaving nothing behind. Using the new method also reduces complications that can arise from an implanted metal device, such as the risk for blood clots or irregular heartbeats.”Dr. Clifford Kavinsky, professor of interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease at Rush Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 21 2019Rush University Medical Center is the first hospital in Chicago to use a new technology that enables specially trained physicians to use a single stitch to close an opening between the upper chambers of the heart -; a condition that is found in about one in four people, most of whom are unaware of it. Known as Noble Stitch, the new technology replaces the standard way to close this opening in the heart, which uses an implanted metal device that stays within the heart muscle. This opening in the heart, also known as a patent foramen ovale (PFO), remains when the upper heart chambers do not close naturally after a baby is born. The opening allows for blood to bypass the lungs in an unborn fetus until the lungs are exposed to air. After a newborn takes a first breath, the hole usually closes naturally within a few months.”We have found that this opening remains in over 25% of adults. In the overwhelming majority of people it is a benign condition,” said Kavinsky.Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioMost people are not aware they have this opening. In some people, particularly the young, small blood clots can cross through this opening and go up to the brain and causes a stroke. In young people who have had a stroke because of this opening, there is a procedure where a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the inner thigh (groin) and then advanced up into the heart, where it is used to insert a device that stitches the opening closed,” said Kavinsky.According to the American Heart Association, more than 1.3 million Americans have some form of congenital heart defect (CHD), with about 40,000 children born with a heart defect each year. The causes of congenital heart defects are unknown.In January 2018, the FDA approved Noble Stitch for use in vascular and cardiovascular procedures in the United States.”The NobleStitch EL, which has been used extensively in Europe and Italy, is an excellent option for patient with PFOs,” said Dr. Joshua Murphy, assistant professor of pediatric cardiology at Rush University Medical Center.When done properly, the stitch provides the best short and long-term outcomes for patients, with essentially a natural, native, atrial tissue.””As a center of excellence for PFO treatment procedures, we are glad to be the first to offer this treatment option to our patients,” said Kavinsky.A study for PFO closure using Noble Stitch will begin at Rush in the fall of 2019. Source:Rush University Medical Centerlast_img read more

Raising transparency in the online advertising ecosystem

TYPES also developed Data Broker, a privacy-by-design advertising and marketing solution. Araujo says that it “helps end users to share and benefit from their data in the digital advertising ecosystem.”Products to boost business and protect privacy and personal dataSome solutions are ready to hit the market, while others are well on their way. The corporate web browser plug-in is being commercialised for SMEs. One of the project partners, a digital agency, will offer the open-source version to its customers.The subsidiary of a global security services company is expected to introduce the network proxy tool to its client base. “This is a huge success for the project and the potential it can offer, because the company has a portfolio of several dozen companies who purchase solutions for improving their users’ web experience,” says Araujo.The web survey tool is freely available on the project website. Several partners intend to offer the Web Portal as a public service, aimed at maintaining transparency and creating awareness among citizens of personal data’s value.There are plans to apply for public research funds to maintain the Facebook Data Valuation tool, which informs Facebook users in real time about the money they’re generating for the social networking website. It’s the only product of its kind in the marketplace. A patent has also been issued for the Data Broker algorithms.”Key market players and national organisations from the advertisement sector have expressed concern about the impact the project will have on established business models,” says Araujo. “Despite this, there’s a certain underlying realisation that something needs to be done regarding transparency, and that the EU’s new legislative framework for data privacy that comes into force in 2018 will make tools not only relevant, but needed.””The rise of the digital economy must not need be equated with a loss to our privacy, even more when it is a fact unprecedented in history that minors have become major users of the services provided. The existence of parental controls is not enough to protect them when it comes, for example, to sharing their location in real-time,” says Azcorra. “IMDEA Networks will continue work about the online advertising ecosystem in the context of the recently launched “MyBubble” initiative in collaboration with University Carlos III of Madrid and the MIT. MyBubble focusses on the personalization filter, the so-called “filter bubble” generated by online services on the basis of our preferences and interests, and how it influences the information we access.” Provided by IMDEA Networks Institute The explosion of online advertising is raising serious data privacy concerns. Credit: @IMDEA Networks Institute This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Advertisers track users when they are online by shadowing them as they browse websites, perform web searches or watch movies. Tracking companies build a profile of each user based on such activities.Collecting and processing personal data and then offering it to interested parties often means maintaining a balance between sustaining the many gains the industry brings and concerns over the privacy of internet users. The TYPES project “protects individuals’ privacy while empowering them to control how their data is used by service providers for advertising purposes,” says Rosa Araujo, from Eurecat (Barcelona, Spain), project coordinator. “By raising end user trust and advertiser transparency, all stakeholders of the advertising ecosystem stand to benefit.”Arturo Azcorra, director of IMDEA Networks Institute (Madrid, Spain), one of 10 consortium members that have collaborated in the project, says, “TYPES has created solutions that protect user’s privacy while empowering them to control how their data is used by service providers for advertising purposes. At the same time, TYPES has raised awareness about the need to take decisive action to protect users’ online rights and to ensure that the use of personal data, if and when it happens, is transparent and entails a reasonable value added to users.”TYPES has created tools designed to support the idea of a healthier, more transparent and thriving online advertising sector. This suite of tools enables users to “better understand how their personal data is used online, ultimately building a strong foundation on which both industry and they can thrive,” says Araujo.The web browser plug-in (available in corporate and open-source versions) and network proxy tools detect privacy violations. Araujo explains that they allow users to “know what information is being collected and tracked by websites and advertisers, among others.”Data valuation tools estimate the value that the online advertising market or users associate with data that is mostly unknown and particularly difficult to assess. Software includes the Web Survey tool, Data Valuation Web Portal, YouTube Video Valuation tool and the Facebook Data Valuation tool. “Divulging such information would be beneficial for both end users and the online advertising industry,” notes Araujo. The online advertising business, led by companies like Google or Facebook, generated over $200 billion revenue in 2017, with an interanual growth over 15 percent. This online advertising explosion is raising serious data privacy concerns. Citation: Raising transparency in the online advertising ecosystem (2018, March 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-transparency-online-advertising-ecosystem.html New tool to show advertising revenue generated by each Facebook user read more

Amazons TV deal with Jordan Peele among the highestprofile to date for

first_imgWhen it comes to enticing A-list production talent to the world of streaming television, Amazon Studios is showing that two can play this game. Amazon said Tuesday that it has signed a first-look deal with Jordan Peele and his production company Monkeypaw Productions, giving the writer-director of last year’s horror hit “Get Out” a home to execute his idiosyncratic creative vision for the small screen.The deal is seen as a major win for Amazon as well as a riposte to its chief rival, Netflix, which has been on a creative buying spree that includes recent deals with mega-producers Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes.Amazon has already secured production deals with “The Walking Dead’s” Robert Kirkman as well as “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino. Now with Peele, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is enlarging its stable of brand-name producers in the hopes of creating what its TV lineup has so far lacked: a long-running series with mass appeal, along the line of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”The agreement with Peele is also the first major TV deal announced under Amazon Studio’s new head, Jennifer Salke, who joined the company in February following her tenure as president of NBC Entertainment. Her hiring has been widely viewed as a reset for the studio following the departure last year of Roy Price after he was accused of sexual harassment.The Peele deal will be the first of several production agreements that Salke is expected to secure as part of her strategy to build up Amazon Studios, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Salke was unavailable for comment.Also Tuesday, Amazon Studios announced that Barry Jenkins, director of the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” will direct 11 episodes of the limited series “The Underground Railroad.” The series, adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will debut on Amazon Prime Video.Since joining Amazon, Salke has brought on board Vernon Sanders, another NBC veteran, as co-head of television. Sanders is working alongside co-head Albert Cheng to lead the creative and production units of Amazon’s TV operation.”Amazon is indicating that it intends to compete vigorously with Netflix, HBO, and others for partnerships with the most compelling content creators working today,” said Susan?Bidel, a senior analyst at the market research company Forrester, where she covers the media industry. Citation: Amazon’s TV deal with Jordan Peele among the highest-profile to date for streaming service (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-amazon-tv-jordan-highest-profile-date.html “In Amazon, Jordan Peele gets a partner with deep pockets, a keen understanding of a highly competitive market and, as with every other business they enter, a commitment to winning.”While Netflix is still outspending the competition, with an expected $7 billion to $8 billion in content outlay this year, Amazon Studios is also ramping up its ambitions. The studio is embarking on a multiseason TV adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” which is expected to be its largest undertaking to date.Amazon Studios is also in the process of moving into a new home at the historic Culver Studios in Culver City, where it will lease production and administrative facilities.Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Amazon had already begun working with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions on “The Hunt,” a recently greenlighted drama series about Nazi hunters, as well as an upcoming documentary series about Lorena Bobbitt.”I couldn’t be more excited about this new relationship with Amazon,” Peele said in a statement. “They’ve been a fantastic partner to Monkeypaw over the last year because they’re committed to the same kind of fun and culturally relevant television we are.”A former cast member of Fox’s “MADtv” sketch comedy show, Peele won the Academy Award for original screenplay this year for “Get Out,” which was released by Universal, with which Peele still has a movie deal.Streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix are investing more heavily in original content as well as talent at a time when the legacy Hollywood studios are moving to launch competing services featuring movies and TV shows from their own catalogs.”Top-tier Hollywood talent are incentivized to sign with streaming platforms that offer more creative freedom, larger production budgets and more upfront cash,” said Ashwin Navin, chief executive and co-founder of Samba TV, a television data and analytics company.Streaming services usually pay talent more money upfront since there is a smaller residuals pool from DVD and syndication.Navin estimates that Netflix will outspend Amazon on original content by approximately $2 billion this year. “But it’s clear that Amazon is making moves to bolster their in-house talent.”Since its inception in 2010, Amazon Studios has launched more than 20 original drama and comedy series. Most of them have been quirky, indie-flavored projects that have earned critical plaudits but not mass viewership.Amazon has been successful in persuading major movie talent to work on TV projects, including directors Woody Allen and Nicolas Winding Refn, as well as actress Julia Roberts, who will star in the upcoming drama series “Homecoming.” Explore furthercenter_img Amazon to launch its own TV comedies, kid shows ©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Wave of worries takes shine off Paris Motor Show

first_img‘Frozen’Such marketing costs have also become harder to justify as carmakers invest billions in autonomous driving and electric motors, even as the outlook for sales darkens.Dudenhoffer is expecting global sales to fall 1.4 percent next year, with declines of 4 percent in the US and China.But the more immediate worry for European manufacturers is Brexit and the possibility of new duties between Britain and the continent.”Today we’re in a situation where everybody’s frozen, we’re all waiting to see what’s going to happen,” said Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.”I don’t think that there’s any carmaker who’s not prepared for the worst. We don’t like it but we’re prepared,” he added. © 2018 AFP From Brexit and transatlantic trade tensions to the challenges posed by China and electric vehicles, executives see plenty of reasons to worry.”Making forecasts is becoming more and more difficult,” BMW’s chief Harald Kruger told journalists. “Profitability is obviously under pressure.”It was enough to keep plenty of key players at home: Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, Nissan, VW and Mazda were among the notable absences at this year’s show.Faced with the reluctance of some industry giants to spend millions of euros on marketing, organisers responded by cutting back the show’s length to 11 days from 16.And in a bid to attract crowds who can just as easily compare models on the internet, they set up test tracks where visitors can take electric scooters and bikes for a spin.The show also teamed up with CES Las Vegas, the huge consumer electronics fair, to host dozens of tech start-ups eager to turn cars into the internet-connected “mobility solutions” of tomorrow.But some analysts say such changes aren’t enough, citing a similar absence of major carmakers at the industry’s other top shows in Detroit, Geneva or Frankfurt in recent years.”The concept needs to be redone from scratch—up to now these shows were just for putting cars next to young girls,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoffer of Germany’s Centre for Automotive Research. Renault’s aiming the K-ZE at the Chinese market Cutting-edge concept cars and promises of self-driving “lounges” painted the picture of a bright future as the Paris Motor Show got under way Tuesday, but that’s not the message being sent by industry chiefs. BMW’s Kruger said Brexit’s effects were already being felt. “The market is shrinking, and we’re selling fewer cars,” he said, adding that he too was bracing for a “difficult situation”.Yet executives still hope a last-minute breakthrough will avoid a “hard Brexit”, similar to the deal reached over a revised Nafta following US President Donald Trump’s threat to scrap the trade pact.”Frankly, we’re very happy that we have an agreement. I can tell you that no agreement would have been much more devastating for the development of our operations in North America,” Ghosn said. Carmakers brace for shocks as electrified future looms Brexit is putting the brakes on the car industry’s outlook Explore further 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. The stuff of dreams on display at the Paris show Citation: Wave of worries takes shine off Paris Motor Show (2018, October 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-paris-motor.html ‘Stress tests’The threats haven’t stopped carmakers from investing: BMW “will spend more money than ever, seven billion euros ($8.1 billion) on research and development this year,” mainly on electric and digital technologies, Kruger said.Both BMW and its German rival Daimler have trimmed profit forecasts for this year, not least because of charges associated with the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.Strict EU limits on CO2 emissions from 2020 have contributed to plunging diesel sales, as has the prospect that many cities could start banning their use to combat smog.That has accelerated the shift to electric, along with the prospect of supplying the huge Chinese market, where officials are strongly encouraging the use of zero-emission vehicles.Renault announced this week a low-cost SUV, the K-ZE, specifically for the Chinese market.But in developed markets electric cars are still a loss-making proposition.”The amount of technology onboard is going to get bigger and bigger, and the costs higher and higher,” said PSA Group chief Carlos Tavares.He suggested that developing car-sharing systems could be a way of making them more accessible.For Maxime Lemerle, an auto specialist at the risk insurance group Euler Hermes, the wave of challenges has carmakers facing “stress tests” like those applied to banks after the 2008 financial crisis.”The question is whether they will be able to adapt to the deep changes in the automotive world,” he said.last_img read more

Silicon Valley East Google plans 1B expansion in New York

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The news follows Seattle-based Amazon’s announcement a month ago that it would set up new headquarters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood and in Arlington, Virginia, creating upwards of 25,000 jobs in each location. This artist rendering provided by COOKFOX architects shows a building conceived by COOKFOX architects at 550 Washington Street to house an expansion by Google on Manhattan’s west side at the site of the former St. John’s Terminal. It’s part of a new office complex Google said Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, it was spending more than $1 billion to build, allowing the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there. (Oxford Properties/COOKFOX Architects via AP) In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, people walk by Google offices in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion to expand operations in New York City. Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Google and Alphabet, said in a blog post Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, that Google is creating a more than 1.7 million square-foot campus that includes lease agreements along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) “New Yorkers consider themselves to be more in tune with the reality of life in U.S. urban centers and believe this helps them innovate products and services that are more closely aligned with the needs of the average American,” he said. Citation: Silicon Valley East: Google plans $1B expansion in New York (2018, December 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-silicon-valley-east-google-1b.html People walk by a building that has been chosen by Google as part of its expansion plans, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion on a new campus along the Hudson River that will allow it to double the number of people it already employs here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) This artist rendering provided by COOKFOX architects shows a building conceived by COOKFOX architects at 550 Washington Street to house an expansion by Google on Manhattan’s west side at the site of the former St. John’s Terminal. It’s part of a new office complex Google said Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, it was spending more than $1 billion to build, allowing the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there. (Oxford Properties/COOKFOX Architects via AP) Silicon Valley is becoming Silicon Nation. But it’s not just the East Coast that is benefiting from the expansion. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, said last week that it plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that will create at least 5,000 jobs.Even as it looks elsewhere, Google is still buying offices and drawing up plans to construct new campuses near its headquarters, as it tries to build upon its success in internet search, email, web browsers, digital mapping, online video and smartphone software to make money in other markets such as health care and internet-connected homes.The company recently agreed to pay more than $100 million for a swath of land in downtown San Jose, California, for a big new campus that will include employee housing. 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. People walk by a building that has been chosen by Google as part of its expansion plans, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion on a new campus along the Hudson River that will allow it to double the number of people it already employs here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Google joins tech move east, to invest $1 bn in New York campus Explore further Google, based in Mountain View, California, will fashion a complex of more than 1.7 million square feet along the Hudson River in the city’s West Village neighborhood, Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a blog post.Google opened its first office in New York nearly 20 years ago and now employs 7,000 people in the city. Its footprint is expanding rapidly. Google said earlier this year that it would buy the Chelsea Market building for $2.4 billion and planned to lease more space at Pier 57, both along the Hudson about a mile north of the newly announced complex.Porat telegraphed Google’s plans to double down in New York a month ago during a technology conference.”Not everybody—big surprise—wants to live in Silicon Valley, so we want to make sure we have the opportunity to build vibrant centers across the country,” she said. Microsoft likewise is overhauling its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, with an 18-building construction project that will make room for an additional 8,000 workers. It currently employs about 47,000 in the area.But the competition for programmers is driving salaries higher, which in turn is catapulting the average prices of homes in many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area above $1 million. Many high-tech workers are choosing to live elsewhere, forcing major tech companies to look in new places for the employees they need.Google hopes to move into the new campus by 2020. Porat said that the company’s most recent investments give it the ability to more than double the number of Google employees in New York over the next 10 years.Tech companies see New York as a way to gain a new perspective, one that is different from that of Silicon Valley, which can be seen as an “out-of-touch echo chamber,” Bartels said. This artist rendering provided by COOKFOX architects shows a building conceived by COOKFOX architects at 550 Washington Street to house an expansion by Google on Manhattan’s west side at the site of the former St. John’s Terminal. It’s part of a new office complex Google said Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, it was spending more than $1 billion to build, allowing the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there. (Oxford Properties/COOKFOX Architects via AP) A building, right, that has been chosen by Google as part of its expansion plans is near a graffiti-covered wall, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion on a new campus along the Hudson River that will allow it to double the number of people it already employs here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Google announced Monday it will spend more than $1 billion to build a new office complex in New York City that will allow the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there.It is the tech industry’s latest major expansion beyond the Seattle-San Francisco Bay corridor. It follows recent steps by Amazon and Apple to set up large operations well outside their home turf.Tech companies are “coming to the realization that the Bay Area, which has traditionally been the major center of tech activity in the U.S., is getting expensive and crowded,” said Andrew Bartels, principal analyst at Forrester Research.”A lot of vendors are coming to the realization that ‘We can probably find top talent elsewhere at a more affordable costs, and perhaps a better style of life for employees who may be struggling to make ends meet.'”The Northeast is attractive because of its large concentration of highly educated young people. New York in particular also offers proximity to Wall Street and already has the second-biggest concentration of tech startups behind the Bay Area and a large base of tech employees, Bartels said. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has over 2,000 employees in New York. A building, right, that has been chosen by Google as part of its expansion plans is near a graffiti-covered wall, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion on a new campus along the Hudson River that will allow it to double the number of people it already employs here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) A security camera is mounted on a wall near a building, center, that has been chosen by Google as part of its expansion plans, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. Google is spending more than $1 billion on a new campus along the Hudson River that will allow it to double the number of people it already employs here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)last_img read more

Nissan cuts forecast in first earnings since Ghosn arrest

first_img © 2019 AFP Explore further 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. Citation: Nissan cuts forecast in first earnings since Ghosn arrest (2019, February 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nissan-ghosn.html The firm blamed growing costs of raw materials and emerging economy foreign exchange declines for its bottom-line profit dropping by 45.2 percent to 316.7 billion yen ($2.9 billion).The disappointing nine-month performance and a change in accounting methods forced the manufacturer to downgrade its net profit forecast for the fiscal year to March to 410 billion yen, compared with 500 billion yen projected earlier.Annual sales are now seen at 11.6 trillion yen, down from an earlier estimate of 12 trillion yen.The results came as Nissan and its partners Renault and Mitsubishi Motors are seeking to turn the page on Ghosn’s arrest for financial misconduct, which has exposed a rift in the three-way tie-up.CEO Hiroto Saikawa vowed to “refine” the firm’s ties with Renault, whose new boss Jean-Dominique Senard is expected to take Ghosn’s position on the Nissan board.”This alliance is our very big strength and asset,” Saikawa told reporters after the earnings were announced.He said that the firms “respect each other’s independence” but strive for “win-win” results by maximising synergies.But Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm, warned the alliance still has a bumpy road ahead.”Confusion surrounding Nissan’s management is expected to last a long time, as it’s not easy for the two companies to strike a deal on tough issues, including capital relations,” Takada told AFP.”It’s hard to find a manager like Ghosn who can take balanced actions,” he said. “We need to watch if the confusion will have a direct impact on its performance from now on,” he added.Brexit uncertaintyGhosn stands accused—among other things—of under-declaring some nine billion yen in salary between 2010 and 2018 and continues to languish in a Tokyo detention centre after being refused bail.Nissan said it was accounting for this under-reported salary—technically owed to Ghosn—although Saikawa said that “I personally don’t think that we will reach a conclusion to pay this money.”The Nissan results came at a tough time for Japanese carmarkers.Last week, domestic rival Toyota slashed its full-year net profit forecast after saying its nine-month figure had tumbled nearly 30 percent as it was hit by investment losses.Honda logged a net-profit fall of 34.5 percent for the nine months to December but revised up its full-year forecasts thanks to strong motorcycle sales.Toyota and Nissan have also seen their strategy affected by uncertainty over a possible British exit from the EU without a deal.Nissan has announced the cancellation of plans to build its X-Trail SUV at its plant in northeast England despite Brexit assurances from the government.Global vehicle sales for Nissan fell 2.1 percent to 4 million units for the nine-month period because of declines in North America and Europe.However, sales for the nine months came in at 8.6 trillion yen, up 0.6 percent on-year.center_img Nissan taps new Renault boss to replace Ghosn on board Crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan slashed its full-year forecast Tuesday as nine-month net profit dropped 45 percent in the first earnings report since the stunning arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has said he wants to turn over a new leaflast_img read more

Peugeot plans US return 30 years after exit

first_imgPeugeot faces myriad challenges to be successful in a market that is huge but also already saturated with some 40 brands and looks to be stable at best in overall sales after a series of records earlier in this decade. “I think Peugeot will struggle to get back into the US market,” said longtime industry consultant Maryann Keller. “It will be expensive and take years.””No one under the age of 50 recalls seeing a Peugeot on the road,” Keller said, adding that 1970s reruns of the schlumpy Peugeot-driving detective “Columbo” are not top of mind any more.Saturated marketPeugeot plans initially to sell vehicles in the US that are imported from China and Europe. “Yes we understand there’s tariff discussions going on right now and so forth,” Dominique said. “But the expectation is we will initially import.”Peugeot plans to launch in a single US state and will then ramp up. The company has identified 15 US states and four Canadian provinces that are especially receptive to imports.The company will explore US manufacturing if there are volumes to justify it. PSA Group Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said this week that the Peugeot—a brand known for its lion logo—is the parent company’s pick for the US market. The company plans to sell Peugeot autos in the US by 2026 in line with a multi-step 10-year plan first announced in 2016.The comeback is being devised as PSA, which also sells cars under the Citroen and Opel brands, faces pressure from investors to diversify its revenues beyond Europe at a time when US sanctions have torpedoed ambitions in Iran and the Chinese auto market has slowed considerably.What kind of cars will be sold? What will be the silhouette? Will Peugeot work through existing dealerships, an expensive proposition in some key cities, or sell directly to customers and skip certain markets?For now, the automaker isn’t offering many details.”We believe we’re being frugal,” said Larry Dominique, chief executive of PSA North America.”We believe we’re being very careful and making sure that we do this the right way because new brands entering the US and Canadian market does not happen very often.”Auto experts say the ambitious plan will not be easy to execute. 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. Citation: Peugeot plans US return 30 years after exit (2019, March 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-peugeot-years-exit.html A new Peugeot e-208 presented at the French carmaker PSA Groupe headquarters last month. © 2019 AFP US consumers have tilted heavily towards sport utility vehicles, pickups and other large vehicles, which composed around 69 percent of the 17.3 million vehicles sold last year.Peugeot can compete in these markets with models that have sold well in Europe such as the 3008 and 5008 SUVs. But the brand’s smaller sedan models, which sell well in Europe, are deeply out of favor in America.Peugeot also could face tough competition from new entrants, especially China, whose groups such as GAC, Great Wall and Kandi plan to market in the US in the coming years.Niche proposition?Peugeot exited the United States in 1991, having clearly been surpassed by Japanese rivals. In that year, it sold 3,500 vehicles. Peugeot vehicles triumphed at the Indianapolis 500 three times in the early 20th Century and the brand to this day figures prominently at other races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.The cars are tough to find these days in the United States. The collector’s website Hemmings.com lists one 1987 505 GLS model for $6,495 in Nebraska.Back in the day, Peugeot was known for innovative engineering “but only by really car-savvy people—and mainstream American consumers probably didn’t know anything about them,” said Ivan Drury of Edmunds.com. French carmaker PSA boosts outlook after ‘historic year’ Peugeot vehicles triumphed at the Indianapolis 500 three times in the early 20th Century Explore further At this point, Peugeot has a “clean slate” in the US, Drury said.Italian brands Fiat and Alfa Romeo have had mixed success since being introduced in the US a few years. Sales of Fiats nosedived 43.8 percent in 2018 to 15,521, while Alfa Romeo’s sales dipped 0.6 percent to 23,800.Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book warned that Fiat’s performance in the US could be a template for what happens with Peugeot.Fiat “bailed out at roughly the same time that Peugeot bailed out and then it came back into the market almost a decade ago and it’s never really gotten a strong following,” Brauer said. “I think it’s going to be a big challenge for them.”But Dominique said Jaguar Land Rover and Subaru were two examples of brands that had succeeded in carving out niche offerings in cars. “The idea is to focus on customer satisfaction and profitability, not volumes,” Dominique said. “When the volume justifies the investment then we will consider industrialization.”Peugeot launched a car-sharing application, Free2Move, in October in Washington DC. The cars for now are General Motors vehicles, but Peugeot is working to have its own models used. Some 30 years after exiting the United States due to plunging sales, Peugeot is preparing a return to a market where it previously knew glory at the famed Indianapolis 500. PSA chairman Carlos Tavares, pictured in his a 1966s Lola T70 MKIII in 2018, announced that the plans to sell Peugeot autos in the US by 2026 PSA car sales in 2017 by region and by brandlast_img read more

Soon air pollution could be measured on every street corner

first_imgThe prototype consists of a sensor connected to a box which both shows the emissions levels in real time, and saves the results over time. Credit: Mia Halleröd Palmgren/Chalmers University of Technology 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. The technology is already in use in western Sweden, and researchers and other interested parties hope that the sensor could soon be used in many broad contexts. A collaboration with the University of Sheffield is also underway.”Air pollution is a global health problem. To be able to contribute to increased knowledge and a better environment feels great. With the help of these small, portable sensors, it can become both simpler and cheaper to measure dangerous emissions extremely accurately,” says Chalmers researcher Irem Tanyeli, who has helped develop the small sensors, which measure nitrogen dioxide with great precision.For the hi-tech sensors to make the move from the lab out into the real world, Irem Tanyeli worked with the Gothenburg-based company Insplorion, co-founded by Chalmers researcher Christoph Langhammer in 2010. With help from financier Mistra Innovation, he has been involved with the company’s efforts at taking on the great environmental challenge of precisely mapping air pollution.”This is a great example of how a university and a company can collaborate. Both parties contribute with their expertise to create a new product, contributing to a more sustainable society,” says Christoph Langhammer, Professor at the Chalmers Department of Physics.Exhaust gases from road traffic are responsible for the majority of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the air. Breathing in nitrogen dioxide is harmful to our health, even at very low levels, and can damage our respiratory systems and lead to cardiac and vascular diseases. According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is the single biggest environmental health risk worldwide.The new optical nano-sensor can detect low concentrations of nitrogen dioxide very precisely—down to the parts-per-billion level (ppb). The measuring technique is built upon an optical phenomenon which is called a plasmon. It arises when metal nanoparticles are illuminated and absorb light of certain wavelengths. Christoph Langhammer and his research group have been working in this area for over a decade, and now innovations are starting to see the light of day. World’s fastest hydrogen sensor could pave the way for clean hydrogen energy Citation: Soon, air pollution could be measured on every street corner (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-air-pollution-street-corner.html “In the future, we hope that the technology also can be integrated into other urban infrastructure, like traffic lights or speed cameras, or for measuring air quality indoors,” says Irem Tanyeli.A sensor is also installed on the roof of Nordstan in Gothenburg, one of Scandinavia’s biggest shopping malls, and soon more will be placed along the route of Västlänken, a major railway tunnel construction project, also in Gothenburg.The technology has already raised interest from several organizations, including the Urban Flows Observatory, an air quality centre at the University of Sheffield. They will conduct field testing, comparing the nanosensors’ results with data from a number of British reference stations.”There is a lack of small functional nitrogen dioxide sensors on the market. We find this nanoplasmonic solution interesting, and look forward to the test results,” says Professor Martin Mayfield at Urban Flows Observatory, University of Sheffield.Other interested parties include Stenhøj Sverige, a company, which develops gas and smoke analyzers for automotive repair shops and vehicle inspection companies, as well as IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute. IVL works with applied research and development in close collaboration with industry and the public sphere to address environmental issues.The new sensor technology is not limited to measuring nitrogen dioxide but can also be adapted to other types of gases. There is therefore potential for further innovation.”Nitrogen dioxide is just one of the many substances which can be detected with the help of optical nanosensors. There are great opportunities for this type of technology,” says Christoph Langhammer. Air pollution is responsible for 550,000 premature deaths a year in Europe and 7 million worldwide, according to the WHO. Measuring it can be a challenge, however, as the equipment tends to be large and expensive. But soon, this may change, thanks to a small, optical nanosensor developed at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, which can be mounted onto an ordinary streetlight. Provided by Chalmers University of Technology For the last two years, Irem Tanyeli has been working with optimizing the sensor material and conducting tests under differently simulated environmental conditions. The technology is now installed in a streetlight in Gothenburg, as part of a collaboration with lighting company Leading Light, to measure the quantity of nitrogen dioxide molecules in the urban environment. The new optical nano-sensor can detect low concentrations of nitrogen dioxide very precisely – down to the parts-per-billion level (ppb). The measuring technique is built upon an optical phenomenon which is called a plasmon. It arises when metal nanoparticles are illuminated and absorb light of certain wavelengths. Credit: Insplorion/Johan Bodell Explore furtherlast_img read more

New York Is Overrun by Rats Yet We Know Almost Nothing About

first_imgRats! They eat our food, chew through our property and spread all sorts of nasty diseases. And they are gross (right?), with those naked tails and quick, unpredictable movements. Rats invade our homes — our castles! — the one place where we should be safe and in control. Over the millennia that we have lived with them, rats have proven themselves virtually impossible to expunge. They are so adaptable that they can exploit and infest virtually every corner of our cities. They avoid traps and poisons and reproduce at such a staggering rate that extermination attempts usually end up being a game of whack-a-mole… or, rather, whack-a-rat. Is it any wonder that many cities seem to be plagued by rats? Or do the cities themselves bear some responsibility for their rat problems? This is what I have been exploring over the past 10 years as a wildlife and public health researcher with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and the University of British Columbia.These 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/65936-new-york-city-rats-and-humans.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  Challenges of managing urban rodents For the most part, when it comes to dealing with rats, cities have it all wrong. For example, rat-related issues are addressed using a hodgepodge of unrelated policy and programming. At best, municipal leadership is highly fragmented; at worst, it’s absent altogether. Municipal governments may address rat infestations that occur on public properties or in buildings scheduled for demolition. Local health authorities may address infestations in food establishments or where there is a demonstrated health risk. For the most part, people are left to fend for themselves. Another problem is that we know very little about urban rats. There is simply not enough information about them to answer even the most basic questions like: How many rats are there? Where do they live? Why are they there? Is the problem getting worse? Despite this lack of knowledge, cities are often willing to invest tremendous amounts of time and resources into pest control interventions, such as New York City’s $32 million “war on rats.” It means that cities have no metric to determine the return on their investments, because without knowing what the rat problem looked like beforehand, there is no way of knowing whether an intervention made the problem any better. The cohabiting solution The key to solving this problem may lie in simply changing our perspective. Rather than viewing the city as a place entirely under human control that’s being invaded by rats, we need to recognize that the city is an ecosystem and that rats live here too. This does not mean that we should love rats, nor does it mean that we need to leave them alone. Rather, it shifts the focus to managing the ecosystem of which rats are a part, rather than focusing on the rats themselves. Once we recognize that we are managing a system, it becomes clear that leadership and strategic planning are critical. The very concept of a system is that the whole is more than the sum of its parts; this is the antithesis of the reductionist approach that we’re accustomed to that deals with infestations on a case-by-case basis. Instead, we need to understand the urban ecosystem, just like we would if we were trying to manage polar bear populations in the Arctic or elephant populations on the savanna. This means substantive, long-term investments in collecting data on rat populations and the specific conditions that support them, as well as the impact of any implemented interventions. It also means understanding the interface between rats and humans. For the majority of urban centres, rats pose a relatively minor threat to people. The threats are certainly not in proportion to the amount of negative attention rats receive. This means we need to understand why we find rats so disturbing, and what can be done to reduce that fear. Urban ecologies An ecosystem lens also directs us to look at areas of vulnerability and resilience within the system. When it comes to rats, our homes are the most obvious place of vulnerability, where the relationship between rats and people is least acceptable. However, private residences are often the areas most ignored by municipal powers. Also, rats and rat-related issues disproportionately affect impoverished, inner-city neighbourhoods, and residents of these neighbourhoods are particularly vulnerable to the physical and mental health impacts of living with rats. By identifying and focusing on these highly vulnerable scenarios, cities can start to make meaningful changes in how we perceive and deal with rats. This is not to say the rest of the urban landscape should be ignored. Rather, the identification of particular areas of vulnerability needs to take place within a larger framework that uses ecosystem-based principles to address rats specifically. Examples include changing the way that garbage cans are designed and enacting tougher bylaws that enshrine the right to live in a healthy and rat-free environment. These sorts of policies and programs that increase the resilience of the system have the potential to curtail the physical and psychological damage done by rats. The result is that co-existence with rats will come to seem no more unthinkable than our co-existence with, for instance, squirrels. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoMarie Claire | HanacureMeet The Beauty Equivalent To TIME’s Person Of The Year AwardMarie Claire | HanacureUndoPrimeSolarQuotesCalifornia Signs Solar Law Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds A Month.PrimeSolarQuotesUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat Food3 Signs Something’s Wrong Inside Your Cat’s BodyDr. Marty Nature’s Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat FoodUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndo Chelsea Himsworth, Regional Director for the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, University of British Columbialast_img read more

What is Kejriwals issue with LG whose role is clearly defined Sheila

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Published on Senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit addresses the media in New Delhi on Friday   –  PTI SHARE June 15, 2018 Former Delhi CMasks incumbent to approach PM for full statehood to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should first read the Constitution and then approach the Prime Minister and Parliament for full statehood to Delhi, Congress leader Sheila Dikshit said on Friday, criticising the AAP’s ministers for staging a sit-in at the Lieutenant Governor’s office.Dikshit said the role of the Delhi Lt Governor and the Chief Minister is defined in the Constitution and wondered why AAP leaders were protesting at L-G Anil Baijal’s office since Monday. “What is his (Kejriwal’s) intention behind it?”At a press conference, the three-time Delhi chief minister said she feels “ashamed” that a Chief Minister is releasing photos sitting on a protest at the L-G’s office.Contrasting her governance with that of the Aam Aadmi Party, she said the BJP ruled at the Centre when she became the Delhi chief minister in 1998 and there was no conflict between them.She said the Congress also demanded full statehood for Delhi, but it never politicised the issue.She said Kejriwal must understand that Delhi is a Union Territory and he is wrong if he thinks he can have a governance model like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.“He should first read the Constitution. If he thinks that there is a need to make amendments to the Constitution, he should approach Modiji and Parliament,” she said.Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the AAP and the BJP were doing “dharna politics” as they are “not serious” about public issues such as water shortage. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Mamata govt runs syndicate raj says Modi TMC hits back

first_img COMMENT July 16, 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a no-holds-barred attack against the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, charging it with “throttling democracy” and running a “syndicate raj” without whose approval nothing moves.Addressing a ‘Kisan Kalyan’ rally here, the prime minister also reached out to farmers and said his government was working to double their incomes by 2022.The people of West Bengal will get freedom from the “misrule” of the Trinamool Congress within a few months, Modi said at the farmers’ welfare rally in an apparent reference to the coming general elections.The rally was marred by the collapse of a makeshift tent put up at the venue. Officials said 67 people, including 13 women, were injured. Mounting an all out attack against the TMC government, Modi, who later visited the injured in hospital, said nothing can be achieved without the approval of the “syndicate” in West Bengal.Referring to TMC posters with photographs of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee around the rally venue, Modi said, “Even the TMC cannot deny our achievements. They have put up posters of didi (Mamata) with folded hands welcoming the prime minister.” TMC’s counter attackIn a counter attack, the TMC alleged that the BJP was running a syndicate that “peddles religious terrorism” and accused Modi of spreading “misinformation” against its government in West Bengal.The BJP was running a syndicate of “fanaticism, lynching, torture, notebandi and corruption”, said a statement, jointly issued by TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee and its leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’ Brien.“Try as you may to harass us with your agencies, we will not bow down to any BJP syndicate. Bengal is for all. It is the cultural capital of the world. The BJP leaders speech proved that they have no development agenda at all,” it said.Political syndicate According to Modi, the TMC’s “political syndicate” rules in the land of “Vande Mataram” and “Jana-Gana-Mana” and pursues appeasement and vote bank politics.The TMC government, he said, is operating syndicates to run chit funds, take away the benefits of the farmers and unleash atrocities on the poor.“The people of Bengal had fought hard against the misrule of the Left Front. It took some time. Within a few months, the people of Bengal will get freedom from the misrule of the TMC. People are just waiting for an opportunity,” Modi said at the farmers’ rally.“We all know the condition of West Bengal under the present regime. Those who spoke of Maa, Mati, Manush (the TMC slogan) have been completely exposed. They are running syndicates. Democracy is being throttled and brutalized in the state.” According to him, puja rituals as well as the tradition and heritage of West Bengal are under threat.“If you want to start a new business or do any work you have to pay the syndicate. Investments have stopped coming to Bengal. The people are frustrated and fed up with this government,” he said.Extortion from studentsReferring to the recent allegations of extortion from students for admission in colleges, Modi said the TMC has ruined the state further, after the 34-year Left rule.Discussing panchayat polls and violence in the state, the prime minister said he salutes the people for coming out in support of the BJP in huge numbers “despite the reign of terror let loose by the TMC“.“Our Dalit workers have been killed one by one. But yet the people of the state stood against the violence. This only speaks of the bright future of the state,” he said, referring to the killing of three Dalit men in Purulia district recently.He said the people of Tripura had brought about change in their state with courage and determination. In West Bengal, too, people can defeat the syndicate, he asserted.Questioning the utilisation of central funds by the state government, Modi said not a single paise was spent without the nod of the TMC’s syndicate.“The TMC does not have faith in democracy or in the election process of the country. They don’t have faith in the judiciary either,” he said.Labelling his administration a “government of farmers”, Modi told the rally that his government was their government and the previous regimes did not work for their development.Several commissions were set up to look into the issue of increasing MSP but nothing happened, he said, adding, “Farmers are the soul of India. A country can’t develop fully until and unless there is development of farmers.” “Our government works for farmers… from quality seeds to market. It is important to have warehouses to save the produce,” he said.Speaking about the increase in the MSP for paddy and other kharif crops, he said the central government had hiked the price per quintal of jute, which would help the jute growers of Bengal.Meeting the injuredAfter addressing the rally, the prime minister went to the hospital to meet those injured in the collapse of a makeshift tent at the grounds.According to officials, Modi saw the tent collapsing while he was in the middle of his speech. He immediately instructed special protection group (SPG) personnel standing near him to look after the people and attend to the injured.The local BJP unit as well as Modi’s personal staff, including his doctor and SPG personnel, swung into action to help the injured, officials said. West Bengal SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Published on state politics COMMENTSlast_img read more

Amelio acquires Tom Jerry Creche

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT Amelio Early Education, a corporate daycare provider, and a subsidiary of Babilou Grouphas acquired Tom & Jerry Creche, a Bengaluru-based chain of B2B childcare centres.Amelio, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Chennai, operates across 15 centres, with 220 employees.The acquisition will help Amelio to increase its footprint in Bengaluru through strong corporate partnerships. Amelio has partnered with companies, including Accenture, Mahindra Lifespaces, HCL, Murugappa Group, and Ashok Leyland.Tom & Jerry Creche currently operates 7 centres for corporates such as Himalaya and Volvo.“I am very happy to join the Amelio family and the Babilou network. Our values and culture are aligned and together we believe that the Indian B2B childcare market holds a tremendous potential. I am excited about what we will create in the coming years,” said Seena Edvin, Founder, Tom & Jerry Creche.Speaking about the acquisition, Sridevi Raghavan, CEO, Amelio said, “We at Amelio are thrilled to have Seena and her team join our family of early childhood educators. Together, we will be able to deliver on our mission of providing high quality affordable childcare to children, thereby serving the needs of parents in the Indian market.” October 10, 2018 Children SHARE Published on COMMENTS children and parentinglast_img read more

Cyclone Gaja may spawn more weather systemsCyclone Gaja may spawn more weather

first_imgA ‘red message’ was in effect for the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast as severe cyclone ‘Gaja’ readied to wind down as a conventional cyclone over the Pamban-Cuddalore stretch near Nagapattinam on late Thursday evening.The India Met Department (IMD) had forecast heavy to very heavy rain at a few places on the coast with extremely heavy rain at isolated places likely over the South Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast the same day.Heavy to very heavy rain was also forecast at isolated places over North Tamil Nadu and heavy at isolated places over Kerala, Rayalaseema and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh.OutlookAs for Friday, forecasts favoured heavy rain at a few places with very heavy rain at isolated places over interior Tamil Nadu; heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places over Kerala and heavy at isolated places over South Interior Karnataka.After crossing the coast, a remnant of ‘Gaja’ could dart across the South Peninsula and set up a low-pressure area over the South-East Arabian Sea by Saturday. The IMD expected it to intensify but move away from the Kerala coast.Gale winds with speeds of up to 90 km/hr gusting to 100 km/hr were expected to buffet the central parts of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts associated with the landfall.On Friday, winds reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr gusting to 50 km/hr are likely over interior Tamil Nadu, along and off the Kerala coast, the Comorin, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk straits. A similar warning is valid for the South-East Arabian Sea and along and off the Kerala coast on Saturday.Fresh action likelyIt could be ‘rough’ to ‘very rough’ (waves rising to 8-20 ft) along and off the Tamil Nadu-South Andhra Pradesh coasts while being ‘high’ (20- to 30 ft) along and off the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from Thursday afternoon.Meanwhile, indications are that the South-West Bay off the coast of Sri Lanka and adjoining South Tamil Nadu coast would witness fresh traction between November 19 and 23, bringing a fresh round of rainfall.A weather tracker of the US National Weather Services seemed to suggest a ‘low’ popping up on the trail of erstwhile severe cyclone ‘Gaja’ over the South-Central Bay and making a move west-north-west towards Lanka-South Tamil Nadu.It has also put under watch a cyclonic circulation over the North-West Pacific and adjoining South China Sea, seeking to enter the South-East Bay and adjoining Andaman Sea to generate a likely ‘low’ later next week.  COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE November 15, 2018 RELATED COMMENTS weather Cyclone update: Gaja to intensify by 3 pm Gale winds warned for central TN coasts with gusts of 100 km/h Published onlast_img read more

Collective leadership need of the hour Chandrababu Naidu

first_imgAndhra Pradesh SHARE SHARE EMAIL January 24, 2019 SHARE COMMENT Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has stressed that “collective leadership” is the need of the hour for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) of opposition parties, and said the name of the leader for the prime minister’s post would be declared after elections. Naidu, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president, said that be it West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee or NCP chief Sharad Pawar, nobody is working single-handedly but functioning together. He came down heavily on his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao for skipping the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) mega opposition rally in Kolkata on January 19, and described his absence from the event as “drama“. The absence of the BJD and Left parties at the Brigade Parade Ground national unity rally, which was participated by nearly two dozen opposition leaders, had also set tongues wagging. Naidu also made a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dubbed him as a “publicity-seeking PM, who only raises slogans and never performs”. EVMs“There is a need of a collective leadership. Politics is for serving people. It is through politics we will form the next government. Only post elections, we will announce the name of the leader,” Naidu told PTI in an exclusive interview here on January 19. On the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs), he said they were susceptible to “manipulation” and called for restoring the ballot paper system. Naidu said the coalition of opposition parties would soon visit the Election Commission (EC) to press for their demand to do away with EVMs and return to paper ballot. “The ‘Mahagatbandhan’ allies are planning to begin a nationwide debate on reintroducing ballot paper system for Lok Sabha elections. EVMs are not used in any other democracy,” the TDP president said. The machines pose a big “risk” as the fate of the democracy lies in the hands of a computer programmer. “Using EVMs means you are risking democracy in the hands of one individual, who is a computer operator or a programmer. No developed or technology-driven country, including the US, Japan or Germany, has allowed EVMs. Anybody can manipulate these machines,” he said.Tall promises Naidu, who had pulled out of the NDA last year over denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, said the common people are “annoyed” over the performance of the present dispensation. “Modi’s slogans have to match his performance. That is missing. Common people have realised that he makes tall promises without delivering them. That is why they are annoyed. Because of him, the country is suffering. Today, democracy is under threat. This never happened in the past. “All these sop announcements will be more damaging. He (Modi) might announce more (sops) on January 26. These are all panic reactions which will not help now. You (Modi) should have done all that in the past four-and-half years,” he said. On BJP’s rule at the Centre during the present term, Naidu said, “We have lost five to six years and that agonises people. You cannot bring back time.” COMMENTScenter_img AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu RELATED politics Congress not main player in Opposition’s show of strength: Jaitley Published onlast_img read more

Singareni Collieries sets coal dispatch target of 68 MT during 201819

first_img COMMENT Coal India’s output up 6.6% so far this fiscal Representative image Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL coal March 04, 2019 SHARE The management of Singareni Collieries has set a target to transport 2.2 lakh tonnes of coal every day during March 2019 to meet the production and despatch of coal targets for the year The Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), which has thus far achieved dispatch of 61.3 million tonnes during the year is working towards the annual target of dispatching 68 MT by the month end.During the 11 months period ended February 28, 2019 during the current financial year, the State-owned mining company achieved coal production of 58 MT, thereby registering a growth of 6 % as against 54.6 MT during the same period in the last financial year.N Sridhar, Chairman and Managing Director of SCCL, has said “during February the company achieved a record dispatch of 41 rakes on an average every day against the regular average of dispatching coal through 30 to 32 rakes per day. Dispatch of coal in 1,152 rakes during February was an all-time record till date. Dispatches of at least 68 million tonnes could be achieved during the year if the same tempo was maintained.”The management of Singareni Collieries has set a target to transport 2.2 lakh tonnes of coal every day during March 2019 to meet the production and despatch of coal targets for the year.The company registered coal dispatches of 61.3 MT tonnes till February-end this year, up 5% over 58.2 million tonne achieved during the same period last year. The dispatches, however, crossed the target of 60 MT fixed by the company till February-end.However, the company overburden removal was lower than the expected level in the open cast mines.The CMD expressed the need to meet the overall targets and wanted the management to prepare plans for timely dispatches of coal during the rainy season in the next financial year. PLF Both the coal fired thermal power generation units of 600 MW each at the Singareni power plant in the State have achieved 100.05% plant load factor (PLF) during February. For the second time the two units have achieved 100 per cent PLF during the current financial year, the first instance being in September last. RELATED COMMENTSlast_img read more

Bringing a databased approach approval ratings to politics

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL File photo Published on social media Of late, elections have become more than just traditional campaigns, with political parties relying on new-age tools such as social media and data analytics to pick candidates, highlight issues, and manage their campaigns. And here comes ‘Neta’ app.The app has a 70-member strong team and about half of it works on technology. The rest are divided between administration staff and data analysts. Founder of Neta App, Pratham Mittal said the app has inked a deal worth ₹71 crore with five media companies or their associates.“Some TV channels tried to copy us. But then we caught them in the middle and said, “You invest in us, why bother with your own product?” Mittal said. Neta currently provides data and partners with these news organisations and also does shows with them.According to Mittal, Neta app has helped political parties to decide on candidates based on their popularity in crucial State elections such as in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. “The early adopters already have the app and they open the app every morning,” said Mittal.“Public rating is an important indicator of who are the most popular candidates in the area. This helps us immensely in election planning. It also helps us identify new leaders who are extremely popular but were not on our radar. Public review on the platform informs us about the unattended issues as well as people’s sentiment about our party leaders,” said Yadvinder Mehta, Head of Social Media Cell, Chandigarh, Indian National Congress.Neta has advisors such as former Chief Election Commissioners SY Quraishi and Nasim Zaidi on board. Former President and Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee, who launched the app in August 2018, is also a major advisor, Mittal said.However, Mittal does not wish for Neta to become a political consultancy. Approval ratings and making them relevant on a daily basis is what Mittal is going for. “What if we can create a standardised approval rating system for the entire country? That adds a lot of value to the voters, to the politicians,” Mittal said.Neta uses easily available parameters such as phone make, Trucaller API to estimate a user’s income level, gender and age group. Rural/urban information is gathered from location data. “We also focus on caste now. Let’s say your name is Jitendra Singh. If you are from Punjab, that means you are a Sikh. But if you are from Jaipur, that means you are a Rajput. With your name and location, I can figure out your caste with 70-80 per cent accuracy,” Mittal said.Mittal ensures that data on the platform cannot be fudged by having created a mirror database so the information can be cross-checked. He also sold or licensed the technology behind the platform to private players in four other countries — Indonesia, Ukraine, Canada, and the US.There are four revenue streams that Mittal has identified — data licensing, app operations, international licensing (as mentioned above), and advertisements — which may come to the platform in future. The app currently has over a million downloads on the Google Play Store and Mittal claimed a registration conversion rate (users signing up with their phone number) of over 96 per cent from downloads.Plan after pollsAfter the Lok Sabha election results are declared, Mittal wants to optimise the platform for daily approval ratings of politicians. “I want them to be talked about every day,” he said.Yadvinder Mehta said: “Neta app helps us in checking the popularity, public approval ratings, and reviews of our candidates from their respective constituencies. The public posts on the platform help us to prioritise better.”. SHARE Mobile Appcenter_img COMMENT May 13, 2019 Elections 2019 national elections COMMENTSlast_img read more