2019 Season Countdown 49 Julius Welschof

first_img Tags: 2019 season countdown, Julius Welschof Today is the last day of Amazon Prime Day (LINK): He was listed at 253 lbs. last year, and this year he’s reportedly up to 275 lbs. Bruce Feldman detailed his athletic abilities in the 2019 “freaks” list for 2019 (LINK). Michigan lost a bunch of defensive line pieces in the past year, particularly at defensive end (Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Reuben Jones, Ron Johnson), so that catapults some guys up the list, including Welschof. I don’t think Welschof will go from redshirting to actually being a good Big Ten player, but I think he will almost be forced into action due to the inexperience on the depth chart. Aidan Hutchinson, Kwity Paye, and Mike Danna should be the big pieces of the rotation, but Michigan needs one or two other defensive ends to step up, whether it’s Welschof, Luiji Vilain, or someone else. Vilain’s injury history says to me that Welschof needs to be ranked here in the top 50 when he should ideally be somewhere in the 60s. Julius Welschof (image via Wolverines Wire) Welschof is one of the more intriguing prospects in recent years. It’s not often you land a football prospect from another country – and when you do, it’s normally Canada. But in the 2018 class, Welschof came out of nowhere to end up signing with the Wolverines. I thought he would get a few snaps against the likes of Rutgers just to show that Michigan can pull guys from non-football-playing countries and still be better than them, but he ended up redshirting. Name: Julius WelschofHeight: 6’6″Weight: 275 lbs.High schoool: Miesbach (Germany) FOS AltoettingPosition: Defensive endClass: Redshirt freshmanJersey number: #96Last year: I ranked Welscholf #82 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He redshirted.TTB Rating: 78 Prediction: Backup defensive end 1 0You need to login in order to vote last_img read more

Research Ready program launched for physician practices interested in becoming a study

first_img Source:https://www.elligohealthresearch.com/ May 15 2018Elligo Health Research, which improves clinical trial access by engaging the 97 percent of physicians currently not offering clinical research to their patients, has launched a Research Ready™ program for physician practices interested in becoming a study site. Through the program, health care providers are able to offer clinical research studies as a care option to their patients. As a result, patient participation and retention rates increase, contributing to a more diverse population of patients and subsequently enabling clinical research organizations (CROs) and sponsors to get their studies up and running faster.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch reveals how mirror therapy relieves phantom limb painSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchThe Research Ready™ program is part of Elligo’s Goes Direct™ approach, which provides a larger patient pool, more randomizations and better retention by making clinical research studies accessible to physicians and their patients. Through the program, physician practices are evaluated on a number of study-related components and are provided the technology, the infrastructure and a clinical coordinator to perform trials.”We know patient diversification is important for our trial sponsors and CROs,” said John Potthoff, Ph.D., CEO of Elligo. “We make it easier for more patients to participate in trials through their own trusted physician. And, not only are our sites benefiting from the infrastructure support, but our sponsors and CROs are getting quality study data from community practice researchers.”Every research site conducting research with Elligo has received the Research Ready™ designation. Currently, Elligo has more than 200 physician partners — with specialization in women’s health, gastroenterology, urology and pain management indications.last_img read more

Natural antioxidant bilirubin may provide cardiovascular benefits

first_imgMay 18 2018Bilirubin, a yellow-orange pigment, is formed after the breakdown of red blood cells and is eliminated by the liver. It’s not only a sign of a bruise, it may provide cardiovascular benefits, according to a large-scale epidemiology study.A recent analysis of health data from almost 100,000 veterans, both with and without HIV infection, found that within normal ranges, higher levels of bilirubin in the blood were associated with lower rates of heart failure, heart attack and stroke.The results are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.Several studies have suggested that bilirubin may have beneficial effects, by acting as an antioxidant or interfering with atherosclerosis. The data from the veterans adds to this evidence, and specifically looks at people living with HIV and at an anti-HIV drug, atazanavir, known to elevate bilirubin. The researchers did not see an independent effect of atazanavir on cardiovascular risk.Even if well-controlled by antiretroviral drugs, HIV infection has negative effects on cardiovascular health, says lead author Vincent Marconi, MD.”We initially wanted to see if bilirubin and cardiovascular disease had a different relationship in people who were HIV positive, compared to HIV negative,” says Marconi, professor of medicine and global health at Emory University School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health. He is also director of infectious disease research at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.Study authors include VACS principal investigator Amy Justice, MD, PhD from Yale, Matt Freiberg, MD and others from Vanderbilt, Jeff Lennox, MD from Emory and additional investigators from Vanderbilt, Boston University, Penn, Pitt, UCLA and Baylor.Related StoriesDoctoral thesis focuses on the role of oxidative stress in Wolfram syndrome and hypothermiaStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskMice cured of HIV in an experiment sparks new hopeMarconi and his colleagues examined data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, a nationwide look at HIV infection, supported by the National Institutes of Health. VACS data included 31,418 HIV-positive and 66,987 HIV-negative veterans, almost all men and 48 percent African American. Their age was an average of 48 years.The researchers divided study participants into four groups according to their bilirubin levels.Higher levels of bilirubin meant lower risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke. The group with the highest level of bilirubin had 76 percent of the risk for combined cardiovascular events as the group with the lowest level, with effects seen even in people without liver disease.”Large increases in bilirubin were not required to see an effect on CVD risk reduction,” Marconi says. “Most of the change happened well within the normal physiologic range and specifically from the first to the second quartile.”Atazanavir is a HIV protease inhibitor, and is designed to stop HIV from processing itself. It has a side effect on an enzyme in human cells that is necessary for the recycling of bilirubin. There are some indications that the drug itself has negative effects, balancing out the benefits of bilirubin, Marconi adds.The authors conclude:This work provides epidemiologic rationale for future studies to investigate how the antioxidant effect of bilirubin could be harnessed to reduce chronic disease morbidity risk. Future studies should explore the use of bilirubin as a biomarker for other inflammation-mediated conditions and all-cause mortality. Source:http://news.emory.edu/stories/2018/05/marconi_bilirubin_jaha/last_img read more

Survey 57 of Americans have been surprised by a medical bill

first_img Source:http://www.norc.org/NewsEventsPublications/PressReleases/Pages/new-survey-reveals-57-percent-of-americans-have-been-surprised-by-a-medical-bill.aspx Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 30 2018Fifty-seven percent of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill that they thought would have been covered by insurance, according to a new AmeriSpeak® survey from NORC at the University of Chicago. Respondents indicated that 20% of their surprise bills were a result of a doctor not being part of the network.Among those surveyed who indicated that they had been surprised by medical bills in the past, the charges were most often for physician services (53%) followed closely by laboratory tests (51%). Other common sources of surprise bills were hospitals or other health care facility charges (43%), imaging (35%), and prescription drugs (29%).Surprise medical bills may occur for several reasons. In some cases, particular services (e.g., certain lab tests) or products (e.g., certain prescription drugs) may not be covered by a health plan. Care received before meeting the deductible or high cost-sharing requirements may also surprise consumers. In other cases, health care providers may be out-of-network for a plan. When that occurs, charges for the services may only be partially covered or not covered at all, depending on the type of insurance and benefit design.”Most Americans have been surprised by medical bills that they expected would be covered by their insurance,” said Caroline Pearson, senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago. “This suggests that consumers may have difficulty understanding their insurance benefits or knowing which providers are included in their plan’s network.”The public holds insurers and hospitals most accountable for surprise medical bills.When asked which groups are most responsible for surprise medical bills, 86% of respondents said insurance companies are “very” or “somewhat” responsible, while 82% said hospitals were “very” or “somewhat” responsible. Respondents were less likely to hold their doctors responsible, with 71% saying doctors are “very” or “somewhat” responsible for surprise bills.Related StoriesRevolutionary cancer drugs that target any tumor to be fast-tracked into hospitals by NHSMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorWhy you should take a peek at your doctor’s notes on your health”While consumers report that physician services are the most common source of their surprise bills, they are most likely to blame insurers for those bills,” said Michelle Strollo, Vice President at NORC.MethodologyThe poll included 1,002 interviews with a nationally representative sample of Americans using the AmeriSpeak® Panel. AmeriSpeak® is NORC’s probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population. During the initial recruitment phase of the panel, randomly selected U.S. households were sampled with a known, non-zero probability of selection from the NORC National Sample Frame and then contacted by U.S. mail, email, telephone, and field interviewers (face-to-face). The panel provides sample coverage of approximately 97 percent of the U.S. household population. Those excluded from the sample include people with P.O. Box only addresses, some addresses not listed in the USPS Delivery Sequence File, and some newly constructed dwellings. Interviews for this survey were conducted between August 16 and August 20, 2018, with adults age 18 and older representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A comprehensive listing of all study questions, complete with tabulations of top-level results for each question, is available here.last_img read more

Russian scientists develop model for predicting hand trajectories based on electrocorticograms

first_img Source:https://mipt.ru/english/news/chip_controlling_exoskeleton_keeps_patients_brains_cool Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 10 2018Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have developed a model for predicting hand movement trajectories based on cortical activity: Signals are measured directly from a human brain. The predictions rely on linear models. This offloads the processor, since it requires less memory and fewer computations in comparison with neural networks. As a result, the processor can be combined with a sensor and implanted in the cranium. By simplifying the model without degrading the predictions, it becomes possible to respond to the changing brain signals. This technology could drive exoskeletons that would allow patients with impaired mobility to regain movement. The paper was published in Expert Systems with Applications, the leading journal in the field of artificial intelligence.Damage to the spinal cord prevents signals generated by the brain to control limb motion from reaching the muscles. As a result, the patients can no longer move freely. To restore motion, brain cortex signals are measured, decoded, and transmitted to an exoskeleton. Decoding means interpreting the signals as a prediction of the desired limb motion. To pick up high-quality signals, the sensor needs to be implanted directly in the braincase.A surgical implantation of a sensor with electrodes onto the motor cortex, the area of the brain responsible for voluntary movements, has already been performed. Such a sensor is powered by a compact battery recharged wirelessly. The device comes with a processing unit, which handles the incoming signals, and a radio transmitter relaying the data to an external receiver. The processor heats up during operation, which becomes problematic since it is in contact with the brain. This puts a constraint on consumed power, which is crucial for decoding the signal.Adequately measuring brain signals is only one part of the challenge. To use this data to control artificial limbs, movement trajectories need to be reconstructed from the electrocorticogram — a record of the electrical activity of the brain. This is the point of signal decoding. The research team led by Professor Vadim Strijov from MIPT works on models for predicting hand trajectories based on electrocorticograms. Such predictions are necessary to enable exoskeletons that patients with impaired motor function would control by imagining natural motions of their limbs.”We turned to linear algebra for predicting limb motion trajectories. The advantage of the linear models over neural networks is that the optimization of model parameters requires much fewer operations. This means they are well-suited for a slow processor and a limited memory,” explains Strijov, the senior author of the paper.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research shows”We solved the problem of building a model that would be simple, robust, and precise,” adds Strijov, who is a chief researcher at MIPT’s Machine Intelligence Laboratory. “By simple I mean there are relatively few parameters. Robustness refers to the ability to retain reasonable prediction quality under minor changes of parameters. Precision means that the predictions adequately approximate natural physical limb motions. To achieve this, we predict motion trajectories as a linear combination of the electrocorticogram feature descriptions.”Each electrode outputs its own signal represented by a frequency and an amplitude. The frequencies are subdivided into bands. The feature description is a history of corticogram signal values for each electrode and each frequency band. This signal history is a time series, a vector in linear space. Each feature is therefore a vector. The prediction of hand motion trajectory is calculated as a linear combination of feature vectors, their weighted sum. To find the optimal weights for the linear model — that is, those resulting in an adequate prediction — a system of linear equations has to be solved.However, the solution to the system mentioned above is unstable. This is a consequence of the sensors being located close to each other so that neighboring sensors output similar signals. As a result, the slightest change in the signals that are picked up causes a considerable change in the trajectory prediction. Therefore, the problem of feature space dimensionality reduction needs to be solved.The authors of the paper introduce a feature selection method based on two criteria. First, the pairs of features have to be distinct, and second, their combinations have to approximate the target vector reasonably well. This approach allows the optimal feature set to be obtained even without calculating the model parameters. Taking into account the mutual positions of the sensors, the researchers came up with a simple, robust, and rather precise model, which is comparable to its analogs in terms of prediction quality.In their future work, the team plans to address the problem of limb trajectory description in the case of a variable brain structure.Strijov explains: “By moving around and getting a response from the environment, humans learn. The structure of the brain changes. New connections form, rendering the model obsolete. We need to propose a model that would adapt to the changes in the brain by changing its own structure. This task is far from simple, but we are working on it.”last_img read more

Study aPKC inhibitors may provide new therapeutic option for blinding eye diseases

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Many eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, exhibit increased permeability of blood vessels in the macular (central) portion of the retina leading to abnormal fluid accumulation and vision loss. Therapies targeting a specific cytokine, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), have transformed clinical care; however, not all patients respond well. A new report in The American Journal of Pathology shows that inhibiting a specific signaling molecule, atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), either genetically or pharmacologically, reduces increased vessel permeability and blocks inflammation. Blocking aPKC may help protect vision in patients with potentially blinding eye diseases.”Our data reveal aPKC as an interesting target both for vascular permeability and inflammation and developing aPKC inhibitors may provide a new therapeutic option for blinding eye diseases,” explained lead investigator David A. Antonetti, PhD, professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. “Our research may help patients with diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in the United States, and may also lead to new treatments for uveitis, a spectrum of diseases that leads to inflammation of the eye, as well as for retinal vein and artery occlusions.”Good vision requires retinal neurons to send signals to the brain, and retinal neurons must be protected and kept in a healthy microenvironment within the eye. This microenvironment is maintained, in part, by the selectively permeable blood-retinal-barrier (BRB). The BRB includes the tight junctions between the endothelial cells of the blood vessels that help control entry of water, nutrients, and ions to the retina. However, injury or chronic disease can weaken the BRB and increase vascular permeability by altering these endothelial tight junctions. Studies have shown that a variety of molecular factors can affect permeability, including growth factor VEGF and the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). Although VEGF and TNFα possess distinct signaling mechanisms, both eventually activate a common pathway, aPKC signaling, to change the permeability of the endothelial cells of blood vessels.Related StoriesAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthFurther, aPKC promotes inflammation. In this study, investigators demonstrated the effects of VEGF and TNFα on retinal vascular permeability and the protective effect of an experimental small-molecule aPKC inhibitor using genetic mouse models and novel small molecule inhibitors to aPKC. The investigators also demonstrate the effect of targeting aPKC in a separate model of retinal inflammation. In both models, the genetic as well as therapeutic intervention reduced the vascular permeability and inflammation.”This study evaluates the therapeutic potential of aPKC inhibition in retinal vascular permeability driven by inflammation and demonstrates that small molecule aPKC inhibitors have therapeutic potential for common ocular diseases,” commented Elizabeth A. Pearsall, PhD, Angiogenesis Laboratory of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital of Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. in an accompanyingThe recent advent of drug delivery to the eye provides an exciting opportunity to protect vision. The importance of good vision combined with the ability to deliver a drug in a focused and contained environment in the eye have led to the prospects of increasing therapeutic options to help individuals suffering from vision loss. Source:https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/a-potential-new-way-to-treat-some-of-the-most-common-blinding-diseaseslast_img read more

Argentinas scientists engulfed in budget crisis

first_imgScientists in Argentina are bracing for hard times next year. Later this month, the country’s senate is expected to approve a 2017 budget that would deal a crippling blow to research. Researchers and students have been staging protests in the capital, Buenos Aires, and in other cities since news of the pending cuts broke last month.“The message is clear: Science is not a priority to this government,” says Cecilia Kramar, an Argentinian postdoc studying neuroscience at the University of Western Ontario in London. “There won’t be new science in Argentina because there won’t be new scientists to do it.”When Argentine President Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015, he vowed to double the share of spending on science and technology in the government’s budget from 0.7% to 1.5%. But that promise has collided with an economic downturn that is driving up the nation’s debt. As part of its plan for balancing its books, the government intends to cut the science and technology budget by $198 million, to $2.1 billion in 2017—an 8.5% decrease. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img Belt-tightening will be felt especially severely at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), which will have to devote 96% of its $655 million budget next year to salaries for researchers and scholars. That leaves a mere $26 million for research projects, lab equipment, and scholarships. (In 2014, CONICET spent $77 million—31% of its budget that year—on items other than salaries.) Argentina’s young Ph.D. scientists and postdocs rely on CONICET stipends as a bridge to tenure-track positions in academia or other career paths. Young researchers now on stipends are expected to be OK. But “it is not clear whether [CONICET] will have the sufficient funds to open new positions,” warns Jorge Aliaga, a physicist and former dean of the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. That could cast many young researchers adrift.For that reason, Aliaga and others worry that the expected cuts will spark an exodus of young scientific talent. Argentina has experienced brain drains before—most recently in the early 2000s, when the country’s economy was in a severe recession. “Whole packs of young people just left,” Aliaga says. Echoing that concern is Franco Bonafé, a Ph.D, student who is studying quantum dynamics at the National University of Córdoba. In 2013, he turned down a chance to enroll in a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas in Austin. “I said, ‘I’ll take a chance here in Argentina,’” he recalls. But the cuts have cast a shadow over his future. If the outlook for science here remains bleak, he says, “I will have no chance whatsoever to become the chemist that I want to be.”Kramar, meanwhile, is one of almost 7000 Argentinian scientists now living outside of the country, according to the science ministry. It has always been her plan to return to Argentina. “I’m not changing my mind,” she says. “But even if I shout and kick, [the government] will be shutting the doors on me. I won’t be able to return home.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Scientists turn mammalian cells into complex biocomputers

first_img By Robert F. ServiceMar. 27, 2017 , 11:00 AM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Scientists turn mammalian cells into complex biocomputers To upgrade their DNA “switches,” Wong and his colleagues steered clear of transcription factors and instead switched human kidney cell genes on and off using scissorlike enzymes that selectively cut out snippets of DNA. These enzymes, known as DNA recombinases, recognize two target stretches of DNA, each between 30 to 50 or more base pairs long. When a recombinase finds its target DNA stretches, it cuts out any DNA in between, and stitches the severed ends of the double helix back together. To design genetic circuits, Wong and his colleagues use the conventional cellular machinery that reads out a cell’s DNA, transcribes its genes into RNA, and then translates the RNA into proteins. This normal gene-to-protein operation is initiated by another DNA snippet, a promoter, that sits just upstream of a gene. When a promoter is activated, a molecule called RNA polymerase gets to work, marching down the DNA strand and producing an RNA until it reaches another DNA snippet—a termination sequence—that tells it to stop.To make one of their simplest circuits, Wong’s team inserted four extra snippets of DNA after a promoter. The main one produced green fluorescent protein (GFP), which lights up cells when it is produced. But in front of it was a termination sequence, flanked by two snippets that signaled the DNA recombinase. Wong and his team then inserted another gene in the same cell that made a modified recombinase, activated only when bound to a specific drug; without it, the recombinase wouldn’t cut the DNA.When the promoter upstream of the GFP gene was activated, the RNA polymerase ran headfirst into the termination sequence, stopped reading the DNA, and didn’t produce the fluorescent protein. But when the drug was added, the recombinase switched on and spliced out the termination sequence that was preventing the RNA polymerase from initiating production of GFP. Voila, the cell lit up. As if that Rube Goldbergian feat weren’t enough, Wong and his colleagues also showed that by adding additional recombinases together with different target strands, they could build a wide variety of circuits, each designed to carry out a different logical operation. The approach worked so well that the team built 113 different circuits, with a 96.5% success rate, they report today in Nature Biotechnology. As a further demonstration, they engineered human cells to produce a biological version of something called a Boolean logic lookup table. The circuit in this case has six different inputs, which can combine in different ways to execute one of 16 different logical operations.“It’s exciting in that it represents another scale at which we can design mammalian genetic circuits,” says Timothy Lu, a synthetic biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Although the current circuits are a proof of concept, both Lu and Wong say synthetic biologists want to use them to create new medical therapies. For example, scientists could engineer T cells, sentinels of the immune system, with genetic circuits that initiate a response to wipe out tumors when they detect the presence of two or three “biomarkers” produced by cancer cells, Lu says. Another example being explored by Wong and others is to engineer stem cells so they develop into specific cell types when prompted by different signals. This could let synthetic biologists generate tissues on demand, such as insulin-producing β cells, or cartilage-producing chondrocytes. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Adding genetic circuits to cells lets researchers control their actions, setting the stage for new ways to treat cancer and other diseases. Email ktsimage/iStockphoto Computer hardware is getting a softer side. A research team has come up with a way of genetically engineering the DNA of mammalian cells to carry out complex computations, in effect turning the cells into biocomputers. The group hasn’t put those modified cells to work in useful ways yet, but down the road researchers hope the new programming techniques will help improve everything from cancer therapy to on-demand tissues that can replace worn-out body parts.Engineering cells to function like minicomputers isn’t new. As part of the growing field of synthetic biology, research teams around the globe have been manipulating DNA for years to make cells perform simple actions like lighting up when oxygen levels drop. To date, most such experiments have been done in Escherichia coli and other bacteria, because their genes are relatively easy to manipulate. Researchers have also managed to link multiple genetic circuits together within a single cell to carry out more complex calculations in bacteria.Scientists have tried to extend this to mammalian cells to create genetic circuitry that can help detect and treat human diseases. But efforts to construct large-scale genetic circuits in mammalian cells have largely failed: For complex circuits to work, the individual components—the turning on and off of different genes—must happen consistently. The most common way to turn a gene on or off is by using proteins called transcription factors that bind to and regulate the expression of a specific gene. The problem is these transcription factors “all behave slightly differently,” says Wilson Wong, a synthetic biologist at Boston University.last_img read more

Putin tightens control over Russian Academy of Sciences

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Russian Academy of Sciences headquarters in Moscow. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The Russian government has taken further steps to tighten its grip on the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in Moscow. On 23 June, the State Duma—one of the two chambers of the Russian parliament—passed the first draft of a new law that would give President Vladimir Putin the final say in the elections for RAS’s presidency.The bill introduces three main changes. The list of candidates must from now on be approved by the government, and can have not more than three names; a candidate can be elected by winning more than 50% of the vote, instead of the two-thirds needed until now; and the newly elected academy president must be approved by the Russian president.Elections for a new RAS president were supposed to take place last March but were postponed after all three candidates withdrew for reasons that have not been announced. RAS President Vladimir Fortov stepped down in March, and an acting president, Valery Kozlov, took over. Mordolff/iStockphoto center_img Putin tightens control over Russian Academy of Sciences Email By Vladimir PokrovskyJun. 27, 2017 , 5:15 PM The change to the election procedure is another step in a series of reforms at RAS. In 2013, the government established the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations to manage the property of RAS and other research institutions; it also forced a merger of RAS with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The government’s professed motive is to make the academy’s work more efficient.Among the Duma members who introduced the legislation were members of the academy, says Mikhail Gelfand, deputy director of the RAS Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems. One of them was Gennady Onishchenko, who has become widely known for recommending bans on food products from countries that had offended the Russian leadership during his time as chief sanitary inspector. During the parliamentary debate, Onishchenko argued that in the Soviet era, RAS was always told which candidates the government preferred. “No one was annoyed by that,” he said.Before the debate in the Duma, Fortov and other academicians met twice with Putin behind closed doors to discuss the changes. Those meetings did not end in decisions, but were just “an exchange of opinions,” Fortov told the TASS state news agency. Interfax quoted Kozlov as saying that Putin favored the proposal to have Russia’s president approve a new RAS president.The reform proposal has been strongly criticized by the 1st July Club, an informal union of regular and corresponding RAS members named after the day when they first protested in 2013. In a letter to President Putin and members of both chambers of the parliament earlier this month, the group calls the three-candidate limit “absolutely unacceptable.” It notes that elections can go forward even if only one candidate has been approved, effectively making the process a “fiction” and replacing it with a presidential appointment.RAS’s “scientific level and reputation have been irreparably damaged by the merger with the medical and agronomy academies,” Gelfand says. “It has no muscle for resistance.” Russia’s parliament is expected to pass the final version of the bill in the coming weeks. If that happens, RAS will hold presidential elections according to the new procedures in the fall.last_img read more

Top stories A box jellyfish antivenom the quest for the color blue

first_img Email Top stories: A box jellyfish antivenom, the quest for the color blue, and Isle Royale’s new wolves Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Alex FoxMay. 3, 2019 , 1:20 PM (left to right): KELVIN AITKEN/VWPICS VIA AP IMAGES; IAN ALLEN; NATIONAL PARKS OF LAKE SUPERIOR FOUNDATION The quest for blue pigments—whose complex chemistry makes them rare in nature and difficult to synthesize—dates back millennia. Most were discovered by accident or are merely synthetic versions of blues already found in nature. In 2009, a chemist stumbled on the first new inorganic blue pigment in 200 years. Today, other researchers are continuing that quest by methodically using physics, chemistry, and genetics to create new blues to dazzle us with.Imported wolves settle in as Lake Superior island teems with mooseThirteen new radio-collared wolves are now scouting Isle Royale in Michigan and feasting on moose, whose numbers this winter reached 2060—the second highest estimate since ecologists began to study predators and prey on the island in 1958. The new wolves, imported to help restore the U.S. national park from overbrowsing by moose, are largely avoiding the territory of the remaining two wolves of the original Isle Royale population. Twenty female moose are also sporting radio collars, allowing biologists to watch both wolf and moose movements online.This shrimplike creature makes aluminum armor to survive the deep sea’s crushing pressureAmphipods—small, shrimplike crustaceans in most aquatic ecosystems—start to fall apart once they hit depths of 4500 meters. There, a combination of crushing pressures, low temperature, and higher acidity causes the calcium carbonate in their exoskeletons to dissolve, making them vulnerable to pressure and predators. Now, scientists have discovered how one species, Hirondellea gigas, can survive in the deepest part of the ocean: with aluminum suits of armor.Neanderthals may have trapped golden eagles 130,000 years agoThe golden eagle has been hunted and revered by human cultures for thousands of years. Yet this may not have been a uniquely human devotion—Neanderthals, too, may have targeted these impressive birds of prey some 130,000 years ago, according to new research. What’s more, modern humans may have learned their eagle-catching techniques from their hominin cousins. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers may have an antidote for the deadliest jellyfish sting on EarthThe sting of a box jellyfish can kill a person in minutes. Scientists have long sought to figure out the secret of its fast-acting venom, which also causes agony, inflammation, and heart attacks. A new study may have the answer—and a potential antidote.Meet the blue crew, scientists trying to give food, flowers, and more a color rarely found in nature Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Historys First Talking Doll – The Creepy Voice that Terrified Children

first_imgDuring his 69-year career as an inventor, Thomas Edison acquired a jaw-dropping number of patents (1,093 to be exact). Among them: the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the movie camera. But make no mistake: There were some stinkers too. You might say that the Wizard of Menlo Park met his Waterloo in 1890, with the invention of a 22-inch cherub, known today as the Edison Talking Doll.Thomas. A. EdisonEdison figured the toy would be a great way to demonstrate the at-home entertainment possibilities of his then-spanking-new wax cylinder phonograph.Instead, all he succeeded in doing was creeping people out.The Edison Talking Doll Photo by Kai Schreiber CC BY SA 2.0The press, at first, was intrigued. One 1888 newspaper headline read “The Wonderful Toys Which Mr. Edison Is Making For Nice Little Girls.”Then people started noticing the creepy factor. The doll, standing 22 inches and weighing a cumbersome four pounds, had wooden limbs, a porcelain head, and a decidedly unsettling, glassy-eyed stare.Manufacturing Edison’s Talking DollAs if the doll’s eerie appearance wasn’t off-putting enough, there was the voice. Inside the metal torso was a miniature phonograph whose recording surface was etched with 20-minute renditions of one of a dozen familiar ditties, such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Jack and Jill,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”Anne Crockett (left) and Terry Trowbridge admire the famous Edison talking doll on display at the Fine Arts Center. Credit: Denver Post (Denver Post via Getty Images)By turning a hand crank sticking out of the doll’s back, one could play a rhyme.But instead of the charming, sing-songy voice of a child, the sound that emanated from the doll was more like a terrified female being forced to read ransom demands under the threat of bodily harm. (audio below)Indeed, the recordings were made by young women, who sat in factory cubicles and shouted the words into recording machines.Manufacture of the talking dollsSuddenly the newspapers, which formerly touted the toy, turned sour, mocking Mr. Edison and his creation.A Washington Post headline which read “Dolls That Talk: They Would Be More Entertaining if You Could Understand What They Say,” was surely one of the kinder comments.Example of an Edison Phonograph doll, 1890. The phonograph mechanism housed in the body has been removed and is displayed alongside. Photo by Mabalu CC BY-SA 4.0Also dooming the doll: its hefty price tag—$10 for an undressed doll to $20 for a clothed one. (That would be the equivalent of around $237 and $574 today.)Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed by Levin Corbin Handy in Washington, April 1878The public weighed in with a collective “meh”. Edison would sell fewer than 500 dolls, and just a few weeks after the ballyhooed unveiling, he had them removed from store shelves.Undeterred, the inventor set out to produce a new and improved version of the doll.But in the fall of 1890, the Edison Phonograph Toy Manufacturing Company, deeply in debt and unable to land a loan, was humanely put out of its misery. Edison was probably relieved. After the business went belly-up, he would refer to his creations as ‘little monsters.’”Read another story from us: Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and the Sad Case of ‘Topsy’ the Circus ElephantToday, only a small number of the dolls still exist; most are part of private collections. But thanks to new technology, you can actually hear their original voice. Prepare to be freaked!Barbara Stepko is a New Jersey-based freelance editor and writer who has contributed to AARP magazine and the Wall Street Journal.last_img read more