New findings provide better picture of pubertal growth

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 30 2018In monitoring and prediction of children’s growth, the spurt in puberty is often considered too variable to be predictable. However, new findings and methods enable a better picture of how children and adolescents grow, especially during puberty.”Growth reflects health and can be a diagnostic indicator, capable of revealing both diseases and psychosocial problems. Measuring and monitoring height and weight are therefore among the most important tasks for child health centers and in school health services.”The speaker is Anton Holmgren, PhD of pediatrics at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a pediatrician specializing in pediatric endocrinology and childhood diabetes.In working on his PhD thesis, Holmgren has been involved in developing a new mathematical growth model that can, in more detail than before, describe height-trend variations in children and adolescents, especially during puberty.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance valuesHolmgren has also specifically studied how Body Mass Index (BMI) in childhood can be linked to height gain. The data in his study comprise height and weight figures on 1,901 subjects during their childhood.Strong spurt with lower BMIA high BMI early in life was found to be generally associated with a greater proportion of height gain before puberty. The actual spurt was then smaller and, moreover, puberty occurred earlier.In the category of children with lower BMI and later onset of puberty, the spurt was all the stronger. Those whose puberty was delayed also had several extra years to grow in, and quite simply ended up taller. All these results apply at group level, not to separate individuals.”The smallest pubertal spurt was in the group of children with the highest BMI in childhood — a result no previous study has been able to show, but which confirms many pediatricians’ clinical experience,” Holmgren says.Better forecasts and assessmentsThe findings help to make pubertal growth, as such, more clearly predictable. This improvement in predictability makes it easier to distinguish among the various growth processes that take place during the childhood years — processes that partially overlap.What is happening is, first, “quadratic growth”, a process of relatively even intensity throughout childhood. The other key processes are, second, the infant’s exponential growth (the very steep rise during the first year of life) and, third, the pubertal spurt that normally starts at age 8-13.The ability to predict early or late puberty will, in the long term, make improved height-gain forecasts at individual level possible. This will enhance prospects of detecting hidden diseases and, for example, facilitate assessment of the outcomes of ongoing growth-hormone treatments.”With monitoring and analysis of height gain, we can detect diseases and assess how well treatments are working,” Holmgren says. Source: read more

Nursing home fines drop as Trump administration heeds industry complaints

first_img This article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 15 2019The Trump administration’s decision to alter the way it punishes nursing homes has resulted in lower fines against many facilities found to have endangered or injured residents.The average fine dropped to $28,405 under the current administration, down from $41,260 in 2016, President Barack Obama’s final year in office, federal records show.The decrease in fines is one of the starkest examples of how the Trump administration is rolling back Obama’s aggressive regulation of health care services in response to industry prodding.Encouraged by the nursing home industry, the Trump administration switched from fining nursing homes for each day they were out of compliance — as the Obama administration typically did — to issuing a single fine for two-thirds of infractions, the records show.That reduces the penalties, giving nursing homes less incentive to fix faulty and dangerous practices before someone gets hurt.”It’s not changing behavior [at nursing homes] in the way that we want,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “For a small nursing home it could be real money, but for bigger ones it’s more likely a rounding error.”Since Trump took office, the administration has heeded multiple nursing home complaints about zealous oversight. It granted facilities an 18-month moratorium from being penalized for violating eight new health and safety rules. It also revoked an Obama-era rule barring homes from pre-emptively requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes rather than go to court.The slide in fines occurred even as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued financial penalties 28 percent more frequently than it did under Obama. That’s due to a policy begun near the end of Obama’s term that required regulators to punish a facility every time a resident was harmed, instead of leaving it to their discretion.While that policy increased the number of smaller fines, larger fines became less common. The total amount collected under Trump fell by 10 percent compared with the total in Obama’s final year, from $127 million under Obama to $114 million under Trump. (KHN compared penalties during 2016, Obama’s last year in office, with penalties under Trump from April 2017 through March 2018, the most recent month for which federal officials say data is reliably complete.)CMS said it has revised multiple rules governing fines under both administrations to make its punishments fairer, more consistent and better tailored to prod homes to improve care. “We are continuing to analyze the impact of these combined events to determine if other actions are necessary,” CMS said in a statement.The move is broadly consistent with the Trump administration’s other industry-friendly policies in the health care sector. For instance, the administration has expanded the role of short-term insurance policies that don’t cover all types of services, given states more leeway to change their Medicaid programs and urged Congress to allow physicians to open their own hospitals.Beth Martino, a spokeswoman for the American Health Care Association, a nursing home trade group, said the federal government has “returned to a method of applying fines in a way that incentivizes solving problems” rather than penalizing “facilities that are trying to do the right thing.”Penalty guidelines were toughened in 2014, when the Obama administration instructed officials to favor daily fines. By 2016, those were used in two-thirds of cases. Those fines averaged $61,000.When Trump took over, the nursing home industry complained that fines had spun “out of control” and become disproportionate to the deficiencies. “We have seen a dramatic increase in [fines] being retroactively issued and used as a punishment,” Mark Parkinson, president of the nursing home group, wrote in March 2017.Related StoriesExperts explain what happens after hip fracture in older adultsMost problems with catheter use stem from poor physician-nurse communicationNursing home care prices rise faster than other medical care and consumer pricesCMS agreed that daily fines sometimes resulted in punishments that were determined by the random timing of an inspection rather than the severity of the infraction. If inspectors visited a home in April, for instance, and discovered an improper practice had started in February, the accumulated daily fines would be twice as much as if the inspectors had come in March.But switching to a preference for per-instance fines means much lower penalties, since fines are capped at $21,393 whether they are levied per instance or per day. Homes that pay without contesting the fine receive a 35 percent discount, meaning they currently pay at most $13,905.Those maximums apply even to homes found to have committed the most serious level of violations, which are known as immediate jeopardy because the home’s practices place residents at imminent risk of harm. For instance, a Mississippi nursing home was fined $13,627 after it ran out of medications because it had been relying on a pharmacy 373 miles away, in Atlanta.  CMS also reduced $54,600 in daily fines to a single fine of $20,965 for a New Mexico home where workers hadn’t been properly disinfecting equipment to prevent infectious diseases from spreading.On average, per-instance fines under Trump were below $9,000, records show.”These are multimillion businesses — $9,000 is nothing,” said Toby Edelman, a senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a nonprofit in Washington.Big daily fines, averaging $68,080, are still issued when a home hasn’t corrected a violation after being cited. But even in those cases, CMS officials are allowed to make exceptions and issue a single fine if the home has no history of substantial violations.The agency cautioned that comparisons of average fines is misleading because the overall number of inspections resulting in fines increased under Trump, from 3.5 percent in 2016 to 4.7 percent. The circumstances now warranting fines that weren’t issued before tend to draw penalties on the lower side.However, KHN found that financial penalties for immediate jeopardies were issued in fewer cases under Trump. And when they were issued, the fines averaged 18 percent less than they did in 2016.The frequency of immediate-jeopardy fines may further decrease. CMS told inspectors in June that they were no longer required to fine facilities unless immediate-jeopardy violations resulted in “serious injury, harm, impairment or death.” Regulators still must take some action, but that could be ordering the home to arrange training from an outside group or mandating specific changes to the way the home operates.Barbara Gay, vice president of public policy communications at LeadingAge — an association of nonprofit organizations that provide elder services, including nursing homes — said that, under Trump, nursing homes “don’t feel they’ve been given a reprieve.”But consumer advocates say penalties have reverted to levels too low to be effective. “Fines need to be large enough to change facility behavior,” said Robyn Grant, director of public policy and advocacy at the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, a nonprofit based in Washington. “When that’s not the case and the fine is inconsequential, care generally doesn’t improve.”This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR and Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Researchers find link between chronic pain and alterations in the gut microbiome

first_imgWe used a range of techniques, including Artificial Intelligence, to confirm that the changes we saw in the microbiomes of fibromyalgia patients were not caused by factors such as diet, medication, physical activity, age, and so on, which are known to affect the microbiome.”Dr. Amir Minerbi, from the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and first author on the paper Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 20 2019Scientists have found a correlation between a disease involving chronic pain and alterations in the gut microbiome.Fibromyalgia affects 2-4 percent of the population and has no known cure. Symptoms include fatigue, impaired sleep and cognitive difficulties, but the disease is most clearly characterized by widespread chronic pain. In a paper published today in the journal Pain, a Montreal-based research team has shown, for the first time, that there are alterations in the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of people with fibromyalgia. Approximately 20 different species of bacteria were found in either greater or are lesser quantities in the microbiomes of participants suffering from the disease than in the healthy control group.Greater presence or absence of certain species of bacteria The team also included researchers from McGill University and Université de Montréal as well as others from the Research Institute of the MUHC.Dr. Minerbi adds: Are bacteria simply the markers of the disease?At this point, it’s not clear whether the changes in gut bacteria seen in patients with fibromyalgia are simply markers of the disease or whether they play a role in causing it. Because the disease involves a cluster of symptoms, and not simply pain, the next step in the research will be to investigate whether there are similar changes in the gut microbiome in other conditions involving chronic pain, such as lower back pain, headaches and neuropathic pain.Related StoriesStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea deciphered’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerThe researchers are also interested in exploring whether bacteria play a causal role in the development of pain and fibromyalgia. And whether their presence could, eventually, help in finding a cure, as well as speed up the process of diagnosis.Confirming a diagnosis and next steps towards finding a cureFibromyalgia is a disease that has proved difficult to diagnose. Patients can wait as long as 4 to 5 years to get a final diagnosis. But this may be about to change.”We sorted through large amounts of data, identifying 19 species that were either increased or decreased in individuals with fibromyalgia,” says Emmanuel Gonzalez, from the Canadian Center for Computational Genomics and the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. “By using machine learning, our computer was able to make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, based only on the composition of the microbiome, with an accuracy of 87 per cent. As we build on this first discovery with more research, we hope to improve upon this accuracy, potentially creating a step-change in diagnosis.””People with fibromyalgia suffer not only from the symptoms of their disease but also from the difficulty of family, friends and medical teams to comprehend their symptoms,” says Yoram Shir, the senior author on the paper who is the Director of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the MUHC and an Associate Investigator from the BRaiN Program of the RI-MUHC. “As pain physicians, we are frustrated by our inability to help, and this frustration is a good fuel for research. This is the first evidence, at least in humans, that the microbiome could have an effect on diffuse pain, and we really need new ways to look at chronic pain.”How the research was doneThe research was based on a cohort of 156 individuals in the Montreal area, 77 of whom suffer from fibromyalgia. Participants in the study were interviewed and gave stool, blood, saliva and urine samples, which were then compared with those of healthy control subjects, some of whom lived in the same house as the fibromyalgia patients or were their parents, offspring or siblings.The researchers’ next steps will be to see whether they get similar results in another cohort, perhaps in a different part of the world, and to do studies in animals to discover whether changes in bacteria play a role in the development of the disease. Source:McGill University Health CentreJournal reference:Minerbi, A. et al. (2019) Altered microbiome composition in individuals with fibromyalgia. Pain. We found that fibromyalgia and the symptoms of fibromyalgia – pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties – contribute more than any of the other factors to the variations we see in the microbiomes of those with the disease. We also saw that the severity of a patient’s symptoms was directly correlated with an increased presence or a more pronounced absence of certain bacteria – something which has never been reported before.”last_img read more

Scientists identify new biomarkers for IBS in urine

first_imgDiagnostic testing for IBS involves a long process of excluding other related gut disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease.We were interested in finding if there is a better way to detect and monitor IBS that avoids invasive colonoscopy procedures while also giving us better insights into its underlying mechanisms.”Philip Britz-McKibbin, lead author of the study and a professor in McMaster’s Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchResearchers performed metabolite profiling studies comparing urine samples from a cohort of IBS patients with a control group of healthy adults. They discovered for the first time distinctive metabolic signatures that were elevated in the IBS patients. Several metabolites were related to collagen degradation, which researchers believe is derived from the gut, suggesting there is an impairment of the elastic lining in the colon impacting its normal function.Researchers believe the findings might also allow for routine treatment monitoring of IBS patients that can also be used to validate the efficacy of dietary and/or pharmacological interventions.Currently, they are expanding their work to discover new biomarkers in urine that can differentiate Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis in children, hoping they can avoid future colonoscopies altogether. This may allow for rapid screening and early detection of various chronic gut disorders more accurately and at a lower cost. Source:McMaster University Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 5 2019Scientists at McMaster University have identified new biomarkers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in urine, which could lead to better treatments and reduce the need for costly and invasive colonoscopy procedures currently used for diagnosis.Little is known about the causes of IBS, a chronic and often debilitating gastrointestinal disorder which affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians in which diagnosis is complicated, patients experience a vast spectrum of symptoms and treatment options are limited.last_img read more

Uber to up its background checks for drivers

Citation: Uber to up its background checks for drivers (2018, April 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from The move announced Thursday is one of several actions taken by the ride-hailing company under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who said that the changes aren’t just being done to polish the company’s image, which has been tarnished by driver misbehavior and a long string of other embarrassing failings.”The first thing that we want to do is really change Uber’s substance, and the image may follow,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The announcements that we’re making are just a step along the way of making Uber fundamentally safer for drivers and riders.”Other safety features include buttons in the Uber app that allow riders to call 911 in an emergency, as well as app refinements that make it easier for riders to share their whereabouts with friends or loved ones.Since it began operating in 2009, Uber has been dogged by reports of drivers accosting passengers, including lawsuits alleging sexual assaults. Last year the company was fined $8.9 million by the state of Colorado for allowing people with serious criminal or motor vehicle offenses to work as drivers. The Public Utilities Commission said it found nearly 60 people were allowed to drive in the state despite having previous felony convictions or major traffic violations including drunken driving.Khosrowshahi, formerly CEO of the Expedia travel booking site, replaced hard-charging co-founder Travis Kalanick in August and faced problems almost from the start. Most recently, he has had to grapple with his company’s autonomous vehicle program after one of its SUVs struck and killed a pedestrian last month in Tempe, Arizona.Khosrowshahi said the company’s exponentially fast growth prevented steps like the annual background checks from being done sooner. “I can’t change the past, but I can change the things that we do going forward,” he said.Uber does 15 million trips per day worldwide, and its drivers “reflect the good and the bad and the random events of the world,” Khosrowshahi said.It was bad policy for Uber to do just one background check for drivers and never follow up, said Thomas Mauriello, a senior lecturer of forensic science at the University of Maryland and former defense department agent who was involved in background checks. But he sees the changes as positive, potentially catching bad behavior after a driver is hired on. This June 21, 2017, file photo shows the building that houses the headquarters of Uber, in San Francisco. Uber will start doing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire a company that constantly monitors criminal arrests as it tries to do a better job of keeping riders safe, the company announced Thursday, April 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further Uber will start doing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire a company that constantly monitors criminal arrests as it tries to do a better job of keeping riders safe. 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. “Any check is better than no check,” he said. “Nobody should think that any check they do is going to be 100 percent foolproof and get all information.”Some governments now require background checks after drivers are hired, but the company’s policy makes it uniform nationwide, Uber said.Uber will conduct its annual background checks through a company called Checkr starting in the next few weeks. It still does not intend to do FBI fingerprint background checks, saying its check of court records and other databases is robust, fair and “stacks up well against the alternatives.”A company, which Uber would not identify, has been hired to continually check arrest data, and that also will begin in a few weeks, Uber said.Most governments do not require annual background checks on taxi drivers, but they continually monitor arrest records and check them against drivers’ names, said John Boit, spokesman for the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association.Mauriello says that may be true because the FBI database includes only felonies. Many sex crimes and traffic violations that could disqualify driver candidates are misdemeanors and not in the database, he said.The app changes, which will take several weeks to become active, will roll out first in the U.S., then move to other countries. Riders will see a shield that they can touch, sending the app to another screen with safety tips, instructions on how to easily share ride information with others, and a button to call 911. When the 911 button is pressed, riders will immediately get their location to relay to dispatchers, helping riders traveling in unfamiliar areas.Uber has been testing its new features with Denver’s 911 system, which automatically sends the rider’s location, as well as driver and car information, to the dispatch center. Uber says location information from smartphones is better than what’s used by 911 centers, which rely on triangulation off multiple cellular telephone towers.Evelyn Bailey, executive director of the National Association of State 911 Administrators, said there’s no proof yet that smartphones provide closer location information than wireless carriers, but it’s under study by the Federal Communications Commission. She said Uber’s two-step calling through the app may not be intuitive for people, and she would prefer they call 911 with the keypad.She also said Uber’s system has great potential, although she would like to see test results before passing judgment. “If in fact it does deliver what it promises, then that could be very beneficial to the calling public,” she said. “But if it doesn’t, then I think that’s a problem.”Uber says people can always call 911 from the keypad. Uber limits driver hours in Britain to 10 read more

Japan rare earth haul sparks hopes of cutting China reliance

Explore further Mining rare earths is difficult and expensive But experts warn that extracting the minerals—used in technology ranging from mobile phones to electric vehicles—is both costly and difficult, especially when buried miles deep in the ocean.A Japanese study published last week revealed an estimated 16 million tons of rare earths, enough to feed global demand on a “semi-infinite” basis, with deposits to last hundreds of years.The news made headlines internationally and in Japan, which is the world’s second-largest consumer of these minerals but relies heavily on imports from China, which controls 90 percent of the highly strategic market.China extracted around 150,000 tons of rare earths in 2016, according to experts, but has in the past restricted the supply amid political tensions.For this reason, “Japan is looking for several ways of freeing itself from any dependence on Chinese supply,” said Gaetan Lefebvre, an expert at the French Geological Survey.Japanese firms are working on recycling products containing rare earths to re-use the elements, developing technology without rare earths and investing in foreign mining projects in exchange for the minerals.And Japan is not alone in trying to diversify away from risky China—there are currently 38 projects outside China at various stages of development, according to Adamas Intelligence, a metal and minerals research firm.In addition to wanting to cut reliance on China, the price of rare earths is rising due to a Chinese crackdown on illegal mining and surging demand for electric vehicles.’Resource security’The study’s author, Yutaro Takaya from Tokyo’s Waseda University, says his team hopes to develop ways to extract the prized elements within five years.”We are not talking about some dream technology of the distant future. We are conducting studies to make this possible,” he told AFP. The recent find “should contribute to the ‘resource security’ of Japan”, he said.”It can also serve as a diplomatic card. Japan will be able to say, ‘if prices are made to go above this level, we can look to developing sea-bottom rare earths’,” added the researcher. The discovery of potentially millions of tons of valuable “rare earth” elements in sea sludge off Japan has raised hopes that Asia’s number-two economy can reduce its dependence on Chinese supply. Ryan Castilloux, director of the Adamas Intelligence consultancy, acknowledged the find was “impressive” but recommended keeping the champagne on ice.”It takes up to 10 years or more to advance a rare earth project from discovery into a producing mine on land, so I do not imagine it will be faster in the sea,” he said.”The discovery in Japan is still in its very early stages and it will take several years to determine if mining will be feasible,” added Castilloux.There is currently no profitable way of extracting rare earths from that sort of depth—more than five kilometres (three miles) below the surface.”Pilot mining tests have been performed, but it remains to be seen who will be the first to produce ore at a cost that is less than the value of the commodity,” noted Mark Hannington from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in the northern German city of Kiel.”Although 16 million tons is a large number, there is no evidence that this amount could be recovered economically or sustainably,” added the expert.Analysts also point to the relatively weak concentration—less than one percent—of rare earths actually in the sea mud.”Producing just 1,000 tons of rare earth oxide from this source would require mining over one million tons of mud,” said Castilloux.And the United States Geological Survey estimated last year there were 120 million tons of rare earth deposits worldwide, with 44 million in China, 22 million in Brazil and 18 million in Russia.”There are millions and millions of tons of rare earths in other known land-based deposits around the world that, in my view, would be more attractive options for development,” he said. Rare earths are used in the production of a wide variety of high-tech items including mobile phone displays Japan team maps ‘semi-infinite’ rare earth reserves © 2018 AFP Citation: Japan ‘rare earth’ haul sparks hopes of cutting China reliance (2018, April 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from 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. read more

Telegram accuses Apple of blocking updates

first_img Citation: Telegram accuses Apple of blocking updates (2018, May 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Explore further © 2018 AFP Telegram refused to provide Russian authorities with a way to read communications over its network as Moscow pushes to increase surveillance of internet activities Secure messaging app Telegram accused Apple on Thursday of blocking its updates for users worldwide after Russian authorities imposed a ban on Telegram for refusing to hand over keys to decrypt messages.center_img “Apple has been preventing Telegram from updating its iOS apps globally ever since the Russian authorities ordered Apple to remove Telegram from the App Store,” said the founder of the app, Pavel Durov, on his Telegram feed.In April, a Moscow court banned the popular free app following a long-running battle between authorities and Telegram, which has a reputation for securely encrypted communications.Telegram refused to provide Russian authorities with a way to read communications over its network as Moscow pushes to increase surveillance of internet activities.”We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country,” said Durov. “Unfortunately, Apple didn’t side with us.”Russian authorities have ordered domestic internet service providers to block the app, causing disruption of other services but failing to shut down Telegram in the country.On Monday, Russia’s communications watchdog said it had requested Apple block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, which would mean users would not receive alerts for new messages and thus render it less useful. It also requested Apple no longer make the app available for download in Russia.Telegram is still available for download both inside Russia and the rest of the world, but it is a version that has not been updated since the Russian court ruling.Durov said Apple’s position means that it has been unable to comply with the new EU data protection and privacy that came into force last week.Telegram lets people exchange messages, stickers, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people. It has attracted more than 200 million users since its launch by Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2013. Russia asks Apple to help block Telegram 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

Using AI to deduce bias in social media and news

first_img Provided by Purdue University The 2018 Dawn or Doom conference features talks by more than three dozen Purdue faculty members and national experts representing four areas — Machines: artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles and drones; Mind: internet and social media effects; Body: bioengineering and human design; and Data: Internet of Things, privacy and cybersecurity. Credit: Purdue University “I’m feeling sick.” “This video game is SICK!” To a computer, the word “sick” may have the same meaning in these two sentences. Forecasting model could predict which bills get passed Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Using AI to deduce bias in social media and news (2018, October 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from But a Purdue professor is combining machine learning with models of social relationships and behavior to read between the lines of text and capture the author’s intent in a deeper way. The technology could help identify biases in social media posts and news articles, the better to judge the information’s validity.Traditional natural language processing involves homing in on keywords – for example, the word “good” would normally indicate a positive opinion. This works well for certain applications, but isn’t helpful when the text is ambiguous, for example if the author intended a word or phrase to be sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek.That’s where Purdue professor Dan Goldwasser’s approach comes in. He focuses particularly on current events and political issues, and analyzes news articles and politicians’ tweets to try to determine how the author frames certain issues and what their ideology is.Goldwasser, an assistant professor of computer science, will talk about this work at Dawn or Doom ’18, Purdue’s annual conference on the risks and rewards of emerging technologies. Dawn or Doom will be held on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 5-6). The conference, now in its fifth year, is free and open to the public.Dawn or Doom is aligned with Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign and is part of the Ideas Festival theme, Giant Leaps in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and Automation: Balancing Humanity and Technology. The Ideas Festival is the centerpiece of the campaign and connects world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems and opportunities facing the world.In one project, Goldwasser is analyzing Twitter posts from political officials. Tweets can be a challenging form of text to interpret, because they’re short and may be ambiguous. As an example, after a mass shooting, the phrase “thoughts and prayers” may be used sincerely to express sympathy for the victims’ families, but it may also be used sarcastically as a criticism of the lack of government action on gun control.Goldwasser and his team are trying to understand how politicians frame issues or events, and how that framework sheds light on their stance on the issue. To do this, he’s combining linguistic analysis with modeling social relationships and behavior. Social networks can give insight into the meaning of text, because if two people are closely connected, they’re likely to share similar ideologies. Behavior, such as when an individual posts on social media, can predict what issues they care about. Combining all three models gives a more complete picture of the author’s intent than relying on any one of them alone.In another project, funded by Google, Goldwasser is using social relationship models to try to identify bias in news sources. Keywords can be a good way of differentiating ideology for a small set of data. For example, an article about a mass shooting that focuses on the mental health of the shooter is more likely to have a conservative viewpoint, whereas an article that discusses how the gun was obtained is more likely to have a liberal outlook.”The problem is that manually identifying the relevant indicators for each event is difficult to scale up,” Goldwasser says.Instead, his team is collecting multiple news articles about the same event and building a network of people who share the articles on social media. Based on the network’s connection to individuals or organizations with a known political slant, the perspective of the article can be inferred without having to manually generate relevant keywords. 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

Online sex ads rebound months after shutdown of Backpage

first_imgSpectre said law enforcement must be a driving force behind the adoption of technologies such as Traffic Jam, software created by Marinus Analytics that collects online classifieds from top escort ad websites and allows law enforcement to search for specific information, such as a phone number.A facial recognition tool has also been used to rescue underage sex trafficking victims, according to Kennedy.”So it really, really cuts down on the time it takes to find these victims in a space where finding them quickly is so crucial,” she said.To Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, law enforcement will have to throw out a wider net online to fight sex trafficking, such as putting lots of ads on various websites. He described the market as a “very chaotic mess,” but the goal with the shutdown of Backpage was to disrupt a website that was normalizing an activity that was destroying people’s lives.There are also concerns of where the market might go next.Margie Quin, an assistant professor at Cumberland University in Tennessee, said an escort website could start selling ads for the American market after setting up operations overseas in a country that does not work well with the U.S. Such a move could weaken the ability to extract evidence and prosecute a case, said Quin, a former assistant special agent in charge at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.”As long as demand is still around, the crime will still be committed,” she said. Feds seize, websites in enforcement action Citation: Online sex ads rebound, months after shutdown of Backpage (2018, November 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from As for counting double counting ads, Kennedy said the company has a process to determine if a website has high number of ads that are not legitimate. Those aren’t included in the tally, she said. Kennedy said the sex ads “implicitly or explicitly state the selling of sexual services,” often through coded language.To attract clients, experts say, escort websites want a large presence of sex ads to appear popular and robust.Sex workers and their advocates have criticized the seizure of Backpage, saying the shutdown removed a tool that workers used to screen clients. Smaller escort websites are vying for the lucrative online sex-for-hire market dominated before U.S. authorities shut it down earlier this year, a move that fractured the industry and forced law enforcement to adapt their efforts combating sex trafficking. Online sex ads plunged in April following Backpage’s seizure and President Donald Trump’s signing of legislation aimed at websites that facilitate sex trafficking. But a new analysis finds the drop in the number of ads may have been short-lived.According to Pittsburgh-based software company Marinus Analytics, there were about 146,000 online sex ads posted per day in the U.S. on leading escort websites from mid-September to mid-October—and the company expects the total for this month to be even higher.In contrast, there were about 133,000 such ads posted on Backpage in the month before its shutdown, Marinus Analytics found.Instead of backing away amid the government crackdown on sex trafficking, some escort websites are doubling down on their business model and see the Backpage shutdown as an opportunity to expand, said Emily Kennedy, Marinus Analytics’ president and co-founder.”They’re really competing with each other for that spot now and so we’re seeing frequent activity at this point,” she said, adding that as long as the business remains lucrative, “people are going to figure out a way to advertise it.”It’s unknown if many of the escort websites looking to expand will eventually meet the same fate as Backpage.Despite the increase, some experts caution against correlating a rise in sex ads with an increase in sex trafficking. They say sex ads can be fake or duplicates from other websites and interest from sex buyers remains low compared to the Backpage era 7/8— a conclusion one expert tied to the lower number of responses garnered by fake sex ads posted on escort websites. In Nevada, federal authorities have seen firsthand the impact of online sex ads in the post-Backpage market. When police found a 15-year-old girl at a Las Vegas motel in September, she was hundreds of miles from her Texas home and had been sold for sex in numerous online ads, according to federal court records.Later, talking with investigators, she reported having sex with about 40 clients and said she worked as a prostitute under the direction of a man who promised her safety, money and a place to live if she followed his rules.Law enforcement and victim advocates are quick to praise Backpage’s shutdown, but some say the platform was also a key tool in arresting sexual predators. With a scattered marketplace, law enforcement and others say those fighting sex trafficking must adapt.”Clearly, technology becomes more important than ever,” said Rob Spectre, CEO and founder of a company that uses artificial intelligence to prevent online sex trafficking.In the past, a rural law enforcement agency might take a family photo of a sex trafficking victim and comb through ads posted on Backpage, searching for a match. Now, he said, such an effort is going to be “very difficult.” In this Jan. 10, 2017, file photo CEO Carl Ferrer appears before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent subcommittee on Investigations looking into The Pittsburgh-based software company says online sex ads have rebounded less than a year after government crackdowns fractured the nation’s online sex-for-hire industry by shutting down its most notorious platform. The shutdown of in April contributed to a fall in the number of online sex ads and disrupted the marketplace. But now, software company Marinus Analytics recently announced that the average daily ad volume on the leading escort websites in the U.S. has surpassed ads posted on Backpage preceding its shutdown. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)center_img Explore further This April 6, 2018, file photo shows an FBI notice on the website. The Pittsburgh-based software company says online sex ads have rebounded less than a year after government crackdowns fractured the nation’s online sex-for-hire industry by shutting down its most notorious platform. The shutdown of in April contributed to a fall in the number of online sex ads and disrupted the marketplace. But now, software company Marinus Analytics recently announced that the average daily ad volume on the leading escort websites in the U.S. has surpassed ads posted on Backpage preceding its shutdown. (AP Photo/File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this April 30, 2018, file photo, founders James Larkin, left, and Michael Lacey, right, leave U.S. District Court in downtown Phoenix. The Pittsburgh-based software company says online sex ads have rebounded less than a year after government crackdowns fractured the nation’s online sex-for-hire industry by shutting down its most notorious platform. The shutdown of in April contributed to a fall in the number of online sex ads and disrupted the marketplace. But now, software company Marinus Analytics recently announced that the average daily ad volume on the leading escort websites in the U.S. has surpassed ads posted on Backpage preceding its shutdown. (AP Photo/Jacques Billeaud, File) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Report Facebooks privacy lapses may result in record fine

first_img The FTC is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of $22.5 million , which it dealt to Google in 2012 for bypassing the privacy controls in Apple’s Safari browser, according to The Washington Post. The story published Friday cited three unidentified people familiar with the discussions.In an automated response, the FTC said it was unable to comment, citing its closure due to the U.S. government shutdown. Facebook declined to comment.The potential fine stems from an FTC investigation opened after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had vacuumed up details about as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.The FTC has been exploring whether that massive breakdown violated a settlement that Facebook reached in 2011 after government regulators had concluded the Menlo Park, California, company had repeatedly broken its privacy promises .The FTC decree, which runs through 2031, requires Facebook to get its users’ consent to share their personal information in ways that aren’t allowed by their privacy settings.Since the Cambridge Analytica erupted 10 months ago, Facebook has vowed to do a better job corralling its users’ data. Nevertheless, its controls have remained leaky. Just last month, the company acknowledged a software flaw had exposed the photos of about 7 million users to a wider audience than they had intended.The FTC’s five commissioners have discussed fining Facebook but haven’t settled on the amount yet, according to the Post.Facebook’s privacy problems are also under investigation in other countries and the target of a lawsuit filed last month by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine. Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations involving the personal information of its 2.2 billion users. Explore further Local official sues Facebook over data misuse © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img Citation: Report: Facebook’s privacy lapses may result in record fine (2019, January 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from 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. In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook may be facing the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations that breached a commitment to protect the personal information of its social network’s 2.2 billion users. The Washington Post reported, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, that the FTC is considering hitting Facebook with a penalty that would top its previous record fine of $22.5 million dealt to Google in 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)last_img read more

France to lift investment in electric car battery cells

first_img Advisers to French President Emmanuel Macron said he is set to make the announcement Wednesday night at a dinner of international carmakers representatives in Paris gathering for the centenary of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.They were speaking anonymously ahead of the president’s speech.The German government announced last November that it has set aside around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to support battery cell production.France and Germany want to produce batteries at a large scale in Europe in order to sustain international competition and reduce the dependence of European carmaker on Asian battery suppliers. France is planning to invest 700 million euros ($790 million) over the next five years to boost its production of battery cells for electric cars. Explore further © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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: France to lift investment in electric car battery cells (2019, February 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Germany hopes to kickstart EU battery-making in 2019last_img read more

Germany works to fix air traffic control software glitch

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Germany’s air traffic control agency says a software issue that has caused disruption for several days won’t be resolved until at least midweek. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Germany works to fix air traffic control software glitch (2019, March 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The problem at a control center in Langen, just outside Frankfurt, emerged last Wednesday. It has forced control agency Deutsche Flugsicherung to reduce capacity in the air by 25 percent in recent days over southwestern Germany and led to some flight cancellations at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s busiest.Deutsche Flugsicherung said Monday that technicians “are working intensively to analyze the error.” It said they will try to get alternative software running on Wednesday night.The agency, which stressed that safety is assured, said that its other air traffic control centers in Germany aren’t affected. System outage causes flight cancelations in Frankfurtlast_img read more

Clean energy from local producers

first_imgIs it possible to boost sales of locally produced solar energy by allowing households to trade it through a peer-to-peer platform? The year-long Quartierstrom research project in Walenstadt is investigating how energy markets might operate in the future. 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. More information: This text has been published in the current issue of the Globe magazine: One of the goals of the Quartierstrom project is to discover how this plays out in practice. Twenty-eight of the participants have their own photovoltaic systems, and nine are pure consumers, including a retirement home. The combined systems produce approximately 300,000kWh a year, while the community’s actual electricity demand comes to around 250,000kWh. Several battery systems serve as buffers. Specially built Smart Meters (a variant of the low-budget computer Raspberry Pi) continuously measure the energy generated and consumed by individual households. A specially designed and implemented software
carries out the actual transactions. These are based on blockchain technology, which is designed to ensure trading networks are tamper-proof.Both sides benefitThe local market participants set their price limits using an app. Producers state the price they are willing to accept for their surplus energy, while consumers specify the maximum price they are willing to pay. An algorithm is then used to determine every 15 minutes who can purchase electricity from whom. It does this by matching the cheapest provider with the highest bidder. Households that are unable to find a partner to trade with simply purchase their electricity from the energy supplier at the standard market rate.Prices in the Quartierstrom market fluctuate based on supply and demand. Figures so far show that they range between the feed-in tariff of 4 cents and the energy supplier’s electricity price of 20.75 cents per kWh. “So it’s profitable for both producers and consumers,” says ETH doctoral student Liliane Ableitner, who is studying user behaviour and acceptance in the project. She is delighted with the degree of user involvement in the trading process. “Many of them are logging into the app more often than we expected.” Detailed results won’t be available until the project comes to an end in January 2020, but it’s already clear that the trading scheme is boosting the consumption of local energy within the community. In the first two weeks of February 2019, for example, over 80 percent of the solar power generated was consumed within the local district. By way of comparison, an individual household can only make use of approximately 30 percent of the electricity it produces if it is not connected to a local networked market.Energy supplier as insuranceYet despite producing much of the energy it needs, the district is still reliant on the local energy supplier. As well as purchasing surplus solar, the company also supplies grid power in the event that the sun isn’t shining and demand is high. “In this scenario the energy supplier will act as a kind of insurance policy to cover all eventualities,” says Ableitner. She believes that this transformation of the energy market is set to continue. That view is shared by managers at the Water and Electricity Works Walenstadt, who are convinced by the project’s merits. They hope to gain insights into new business models and help shape their development from an early stage.The researchers’ next step will be to investigate how battery systems and flexible loads such as heat pumps and electric vehicles could serve to balance out fluctuations in energy production. “It’s far easier to do that within a community than within an individual household,” says Schopfer. By storing surplus energy on site and using it at a later time, the community could one day become even more self-sufficient. “Our goal is to see as little energy as possible leaving the community.” Explore further Provided by ETH Zurichcenter_img New research to explore technology needed for peer-to-peer ‘free trade’ in excess energy Citation: Clean energy from local producers (2019, June 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Energy transactions within the district have already increased the proportion of self-generated energy used within the community. Credit: Water and Electricity Works Walenstadt December 2018 marked the start of an experiment that is the first of its kind in Switzerland. In the Schwemmiweg district of Walenstadt, 37 households have joined forces to create a local energy market. Instead of having to go through their retail energy supplier, owners of photovoltaic systems can sell surplus electricity to their neighbours, giving households without solar panels the opportunity to purchase clean, locally produced energy. The participants in this local energy trading market determine the prices themselves based on supply and demand.Generating and distributing electricity within the district means that less energy needs to be brought in from outside the community. Local peer-to-peer energy trading also offers other advantages: “For example, energy generators can sell their electricity at a far higher rate than the feed-in tariff, so they get a faster return on investment on their solar installation,” says Sandro Schopfer from the Bits to Energy Lab at ETH. He heads up a project called Quartierstrom (German for district energy). Other project partners include the University of St. Gallen, several companies from the energy sector and the local grid operator Water and Electricity Works Walenstadt (WEW), which has made its distribution grid available for local trading during the project. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy supports Quartierstrom as part of its pilot, demonstration and flagship projects programme.Incentives for allThe idea of the project is to investigate how energy markets might operate in the future. One key aspect of the energy transition is the increasing decentralisation of energy generation—effectively a shift away from large, centralised power plants and towards smaller, often private producers. “Up till now small generators had very few possibilities to market their energy themselves,” says Schopfer. They are required to feed their surplus energy into the grid, selling it to the electricity retailer at a feed-in tariff. Paradoxically, the electricity actually routes itself to the producer’s neighbours anyway, since electrons always follow the shortest path. “But that fact isn’t reflected in current market arrangements,” says Schopfer. Allowing private producers to participate in energy trading could provide financial incentives and help promote the use of clean, locally generated energy.last_img read more

Heres What It Really Means That Iran Enriched Uranium to 45

first_img Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoMyFinance2 Savings Accounts Your Bank Doesn’t Want You To Know AboutMyFinanceUndo 5 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About Chernobyl The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics What’s That? Your Physics Questions Answered Iran claims it has enriched uranium to 4.5%, breaking the limit of 3.67% set during the 2015 nuclear deal. The move was a response to the U.S. violating the terms of the deal under President Donald Trump’s administration. But what does the enrichment news mean? To a certain extent, this is a question with a simple, chemical answer. As the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission explains on its website, uranium comes in a few different forms (or “isotopes”). All of them have the same number of protons (92) but a different number of neutrons. By far, the most common such isotope in nature is uranium-238, which has 146 neutrons. On Earth, this isotope makes up 99.3% of any sample of naturally occurring uranium. But for nuclear reactors (or bombs), that flavor isn’t very useful. Dense clusters of uranium-238 don’t tend to start nuclear chain reactions. The second most common isotope, however, uranium-235 (making up just about 0.7% of any sample of natural uranium and containing 143 neutrons), does tend to start nuclear chain reactions. In these reactions, the nuclei of the uranium atoms split into smaller nuclei and release neutrons. Those neutrons then cause other nuclei to split, releasing more neutrons for a self-sustaining “chain” reaction that emits enormous amounts of energy. [Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth] Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Enriching uranium is the process of sorting uranium-238 atoms out of a uranium sample such that the sample includes a higher proportion of uranium-235. Uranium enriched to 3.67% is 3.67% uranium-235. Uranium enriched to 4.5% is 4.5% uranium-235. And so on.  So does Iran’s breaking of its enrichment threshold mean that the country is now significantly closer to having a bomb?  Not really. As the Associated Press reported, 4.5% is enriched enough for Iran to power its peaceful, already-active Bushehr nuclear reactor. But that level falls far short of the standard 90% threshold for “weapons-grade” uranium. And enriching uranium to 90% is an enormous technical challenge. It requires building and operating very advanced centrifuges. If you’ve followed news of international attempts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear effort, you know that the most successful effort — a computer virus called Stuxnet — attacked Iranian centrifuges. Centrifuges are common enough pieces of laboratory equipment. They spin samples of material around so as to generate centrifugal force. Under that intense force, heavier and lighter materials tend to separate. However, a common laboratory centrifuge is nowhere near powerful enough to separate uranium-235 from uranium-238. The two isotopes are nearly, but not quite, identical in mass. And a sample of uranium contains very little uranium-235. As Live Science previously reported, a country seeking to enrich uranium must first transform a uranium sample into a gas. Then, that gas must be whipped up to intense speeds in powerful industrial centrifuges to cause the two isotopes to separate, before the uranium atoms get extracted from the gas once again. To extract the 137 lbs. (62 kilograms) of uranium-235 necessary to build the bomb dubbed “Little Boy” that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, the United States in 1945 expended a full 10% of its national energy supply, according to “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” (Simon & Schuster, 1995). The original uranium sample weighed 4 tons (3,600 kilograms). And 20,000 people helped build the refining facility that made the bomb, a facility that required 12,000 people to operate. It’s not infeasible that Iran could enrich a significant stockpile of weapons-grade uranium. But the 4.5% mark doesn’t represent a significant step in that direction, except in symbolic terms. Iran has also threatened to enrich uranium to 20%, which is closer but still not weapons grade. The question now is whether the breakdown of the nuclear deal, precipitated by the U.S., continues to escalate tensions.last_img read more

Menstrual Cups Are Safe But Questions Remain About Toxic Shock Risk Review

first_img Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoBirch Gold GroupThis IRS Tax Law is Sweeping the U.S.Birch Gold GroupUndo 5 Myths About Women’s Bodies Menstrual cups have been heralded as a sustainable alternative to pads and tampons, and have been growing in popularity in recent years. But few studies have compared menstrual cups with these other feminine hygiene products in terms of their safety and effectiveness. Now, a new review study has some good news for menstrual cup fans: The flexible cups that collect menses blood appear to be a safe option for managing periods, and they may be as effective as pads and tampons for preventing leakage. The review authors also found that menstrual cup use didn’t increase the risk of developing certain bacterial infections compared with use of other feminine hygiene products; and menstrual cups weren’t detrimental to women’s natural vaginal flora, another measure of safety. [7 Facts Women (And Men) Should Know About the Vagina]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Still, the review, published today (July 16) in the journal The Lancet Public Health, highlighted some aspects of menstrual cup safety that need more research. For example, the study authors could not determine whether menstrual cups were safer than tampons with regard to the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) — a rare but life-threatening condition that’s been linked with tampon use. Indeed, the authors identified several cases of TSS tied to menstrual cups, although the risk seems low, they said. Overall, the results are reassuring about the safety of menstrual cups, said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who wasn’t involved with the review. But there is a need for more data on the rate of toxic shock syndrome among menstrual cup users, and how it can be prevented, she said. For now, doctors generally recommend that menstrual cup users treat the product in a way that’s similar to how they would use a tampon — removing and cleaning it every 8 hours or so. “They do need to take it out regularly and wash it,” Wu told Live Science. “This is not something you want to leave in for a day and a half.” There is also a question of whether women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control may face an increased risk of IUD displacement when they use menstrual cups. More studies are needed to investigate whether this is a safe combination, the authors said. Alternative product Menstrual cups are typically bell-shaped and collect menses blood rather than absorb it, as tampons and pads do. The cups are often reusable, made from silicone, rubber or latex; and they can last up to 10 years. Although menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, their popularity has spiked during the last decade, according to the BBC. The new study is one of the first rigorous scientific reviews of menstrual cup use, the authors said. The researchers analyzed information from 43 previous studies on menstrual cup use involving more than 3,300 people from low-, middle- and high-income countries. Four of the studies, involving about 300 people, directly compared leakage of menstrual blood during use of a menstrual cup, tampon or pad. In three of these studies, the amount of blood that leaked was similar among users of all three products; and in one study, menstrual cup users had less leakage than the others. Among studies conducted in Europe, North America and Africa, there was no increased risk of infections of the reproductive tract, such as yeast infections, tied to menstrual cup use, compared with use of other menstrual products. However, the researchers did identify five cases of toxic shock syndrome tied to menstrual cup use. The condition can occur when certain bacteria, particularly Staphylococcus aureus, grow rapidly in the vaginal tract and produce harmful toxins. But because it’s unclear how many women use menstrual cups overall, the researchers were not able to compare the rate of TSS among menstrual cup users to that of tampon users. The rate of TSS among menstruating women is about 1 in 100,000 women, Live Science previously reported. The authors also identified 13 cases of women with IUDs that were dislodged when they used menstrual cups. This level of occurrence seems “pretty high,” Wu said, but more studies are needed to examine this risk. Wu said she would advise women with IUDs to be “very careful” when using menstrual cups, and to check with their health care provider before using them. Still, Wu noted, some women who use IUDs don’t get their period, meaning they wouldn’t have a need for menstrual cups or other products for menstruation. Cost effective The review also found that a lot of women aren’t aware of menstrual cups, with just 11% to 33% of women surveyed in high-income countries saying they knew about the products. There also seems to be a “learning curve” of several months for women to become familiar with how to use them. But once women were familiar with the products, 70% said they wanted to continue to use the products to manage their period, according to the review. What’s more, the menstrual cups appeared to offer large cost savings and environmental benefits compared with pads and tampons. Evidence from the review suggested that, over a 10-year period, a single menstrual cup could cost about 5% to 7% of the cost of using pads or tampons. (For example, assuming that pads cost about 31 cents each, a woman who uses 12 pads per cycle would end up spending more than $480 over 10 years, while the average cost of a menstrual cup was about $23.) The authors also estimated that, over a 10-year period, a single menstrual cup would create only 0.4% of the plastic waste generated by pad use and 6% of the plastic waste generated by tampon use. The review “highlights the cost-effectiveness and lack of waste of the menstrual cup,” Wu said. She noted that there are different sizes and types of menstrual cups, and women may want to speak with their doctor about which type is best for their body. Birth Control Quiz: Test Your Contraception Knowledge Best Period-Tracking Appslast_img read more

41331 Pak 4193 Afghan citizens living in India govt tells Lok Sabha

first_imgNEW DELHI: As many as 41,331 Pakistani nationals and 4,193 Afghan citizens, belonging to religious minorities of the two countries, are living in India on a long-term basis, Union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Rai said keeping in view the difficulties faced by the members belonging to the six identified religious minorities of Pakistan and Afghanistan living in India in acquiring Long Term Visa (LTV), an online LTV application processing portal was launched in 2014. “As per available information, 41,331 Pakistani nationals and 4,193 Afghan nationals belonging to religious minorities have been reported to be living in India on long term basis as on December 31, 2018,” he said in reply to a written question. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more

Yinson continues to draw interest

first_img Tags / Keywords: Credit Suisse points out that in terms of total shareholder returns, Yinson has recorded a staggering 7,948% from 2009 until July 4, 2019.In comparison to its peers and over the same period, the Netherland’s SBM Offshore NV generated total shareholder returns of 127%, Japan’s Modec Inc at 108%, Bumi Armada Bhd at -88% (since July 2011), as well as Canadian-headquartered Teekay Offshore at -77%.“We believe Yinson performed well because of a substantial increase in its share of new FPSO awards in recent years.“The complexity of jobs has also increased, suggesting that its business reputation continues to improve.“Whilst its delivery track record is far smaller, Yinson has not stumbled on the delivery of any project, which has not been the case for some of its larger peers,” says Credit Suisse in its initiation report.The research house also adds that Yinson’s growing track record is not coming at the expense of safety or subsequent operational efficiencies.Unlock exclusive insights, analyses, and curated news on the economy on The Star Online’s Business section with Starbiz Premium.SubscribeLog In The dovish market has not stopped some investors from continuing to buy into Yinson Holdings Bhd , one of the top performers on Bursa Malaysia. Year-to-date, the stock is up by 71.4% at RM7.20 as of mid-Friday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM7.8bil.This week alone, the stock is up 5.6%, increasing the company’s market capitalisation by RM410.51mil.And just three days ago, Credit Suisse jumped on the bandwagon of the string of analysts, putting a “buy” on the stock.While Credit Suisse’s target price of RM8.88 is still lower than the highest set by Maybank Kim Eng at RM9.45, the foreign research house pointed out some interesting views on why they too have fallen in love with the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) provider. Corporate News Corporate News13 Jul 2019IJM contract termination likely due to deadline issueCorporate News13 Jul 2019Alliance Bank to undergo streamlining?Property13 Jul 2019Pioneering the wellness concept for offices in Malaysia More Stories Economy13 Jul 2019Much to benefit from Malaysia-China tiesBanking12 Jul 2019Fed’s Williams joins with other officials leaning toward rate cutsOil & Gas11 Jul 2019OPEC action and trade truce may give oil the lift it needslast_img read more

Lost lessons – N Koreans get reeducation in South

first_img Tags / Keywords: World 11 Jul 2019 North Korea calls South Korea’s F-35 jet purchases ‘extremely dangerous action’ Ri, 31, is among a handful of adult students at Wooridul School in Seoul, an educational haven for North Korean students too old, or lagging academically and so unable to go to appropriate state schools.“Although I studied in the North and graduated, I don’t know much,” said Ri, who went back to school last year, six months after arriving in South Korea.One of the most important subjects in the North Korean education curriculum is revolutionary studies, which focuses on the ruling Kim family.When reporters visited Manbok high school in Sonbong, North Korea, principal Ri Myong-guk said: “Our students grow up in the love and care of the party and the state.“We believe it’s important to educate the students with political and revolutionary history so they appreciate the love and care of the great leaders,” he explained.The South Korean government describes the North’s education system as designed to instil “unconditional loyalty to the party and the leader as the most important aspect of life”.And Lee Mi-yeon, a former kindergarten teacher in the North who fled in 2010, added: “They are taught as mythical, God-like figures who created the country and made grenades out of pine cones.” — AFP Related News World 1d ago China says Xi urged Trump to ease North Korea sanctions ‘in due course’ This picture taken on March 22, 2019 shows adult students studying in a lesson at Wooridul School in Seoul, an educational haven for North Korean defectors too old to go to appropriate state schools. – Some 60 students are enrolled at the school, one of seven special-purpose academies across the country, offering defectors free education that its principal says is “crucial” for life in South Korea. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY SKOREA-NKOREA-EDUCATION-SOCIAL-DIPLOMACY,FOCUS BY SUNGHEE HWANG Seoul: One of the first things North Korean defector Ri Kwang-myong did after reaching the South was to go back to school – 12 years after finishing his education.North Korea claims a 100% literacy rate and boasts that its free compulsory education demonstrates the superiority of its socialist system.But those who escape from the impoverished country often struggle in the South from a lack of basic knowledge.Lessons at North Korean schools are peppered with praise for the leadership, defectors say, and for many, education is also disrupted by grinding poverty or their long journey to freedom. World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. wants North Korea freeze as beginning, not end, of denuclearisation North Korea Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more