Tesla to release new service scheduling from mobile app next week says

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgWith its rapidly growing fleet, Tesla is going to have to handle a much higher volume of service requests and it’s turning to its mobile app to help. more…The post Tesla to release new service scheduling from mobile app next week, says Elon Musk appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img


Electrify America Will Implement PlugCharge

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgPlug&Charge enables automatic authentication and billingElectrify America and Hubject announced collaboration on charging interoperability and “Plug&Charge” technology, that will allow people to pay for their electric vehicle charging simply by plugging in their vehicles.The solution utilizes global standard ISO 15118, which needs to be first implemented in the cars (according to Hubject, already several automakers are beginning to add this capability) and in charging stations (Electrify America’s stations are hardware ready and will get software update later this year).Once cars and stations will support Plug&Charge, the driver – after simple registrations – will be able to plug-in and the charger will recognize the car automatically, taking care of authentication and billing, without use of any access cards or credit cards.“Following a simple registration, the owners of electric vehicles with ISO 15118 capability will be able to plug into an Electrify America charger and it will automatically start a charge with Plug&Charge handling authentication and billing. A truly customer-focused feature.” Electrify America To Open First California Fast Charger In Torrance See Also Electrify America Receives Ok For Second $200 Million Investment In CA Blink Teams With Hubject To Increase Charger Access In U.S.center_img Source: Electric Vehicle News It seems that use of electric vehicle charging stations will become more convenient, although we must note that Tesla owners were enjoying such easy authentication (and most recently also billing) for years at the Superchargers. However the general solution for all the manufacturers and charging networks requires middleman and it seems that Hubject is going to fill the gap.“Hubject will provide its expertise to Electrify America in a variety of areas surrounding the implementation of the global standard ISO 15118 into the North American market, the most prevalent functionality for what is commonly referred to as “Plug&Charge.” By bringing ISO 15118 to all Electrify America’s DC fast and home AC chargers, this technology is also the first step to enable EV smart charging and vehicle to grid (V2G) communications. It enables the vehicle to automatically authenticate and authorize a charging session using secure digital communication, eliminating the need for membership RFID cards, credit cards or mobile apps.With Plug&Charge-enabled vehicles and infrastructure, an EV driver will simply plug the charger into the vehicle and the charging session will begin automatically. Electrify America will be the first DC fast charging network in the United States to provide this technology at its charging stations. Several automakers are beginning to add this capability in their cars.”Hubject was selected by Electrify America because of its expertise and a European track record of leading in eMobility technology initiatives, especially in the development of Plug&Charge support products and services.“With a focus on both future and present-day electric vehicles, Electrify America’s charging systems have a range in power from 50kW, the most commonly used fast charging for electric vehicles today, up to 150kW and 350kW for its highway stations. All of those stations are prepared for Plug&Charge and will be updated with software later this year. The company will install more than 500 DC fast charging station sites in the United States by the end of 2019.Additionally, Electrify America is also working with Hubject to test the ISO 15118 capability of electric vehicles and charging equipment manufacturers (EVSEs) to validate their cars and equipment on the Electrify America network to ensure a truly seamless Plug&Charge experience for drivers.Hubject will begin work on Electrify America’s Plug&Charge initiative immediately.”Paul Glenney, North American CEO of Hubject said:“We are looking forward to supporting Electrify America with the implementation of ISO 15118 technology and our Plug&Charge ecosystem services. Our highest priority is to enable a premium EV customer experience to our partners and as the industry leader in Plug&Charge technology it is a natural fit that we would work together. This will make it easier to charge an EV than to use a gas pump.”Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO at Electrify America said:“Plug&Charge is a game-changing technology for consumers that will make their electric vehicle a virtual credit card when charging at our stations. Following a simple registration, the owners of electric vehicles with ISO 15118 capability will be able to plug into an Electrify America charger and it will automatically start a charge with Plug&Charge handling authentication and billing. A truly customer-focused feature.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 14, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


Teslas Direct Sales Concept Puts It Ahead Of Traditional Dealerships

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgTESLA’S DIRECT SALES APPROACH PROVIDES AN EDGE OVER BIG AUTO’S DEALERSHIP MODELRecently, Tesla reignited its fight to sell direct-to-consumer in Connecticut and New Jersey. Some states still refuse to allow Tesla to sell its electric vehicles without doing business (first) with a local franchise dealership. Tesla stubbornly sells its vehicles direct — sans middleman — and doesn’t view servicing its own cars as a profit center for the company.Additional Tesla Direct Sales Stories: Source: Electric Vehicle News *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Above: Tesla stores are often located in unconventional locations like high-traffic shopping malls (Image: InsideEVs)As Spencer Tseng points out via his blog, “When you want to buy a Porsche, you go to a Porsche dealership. When you want to buy a Tesla, you go directly to Tesla. This may appear to be a small distinction, but it is what is going to prevent the current automotive giants from making the fast switch over to electric vehicles.”.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: Elon Musk elaborates on Tesla’s approach to direct sales in lieu of the franchise dealership model (Youtube: MrNothingButAir via Tesla)Why? Tseng says, “Around 47% of a car dealership’s gross profit is from the service and parts department. According to the NADA 2017 mid-year report, the average gross profit per dealership in the service and parts department was $1.6 million. The average gross profit per dealership in new and used car sales was $1.8 million.” Above: Outside a Chevrolet dealership (Flickr: Mike Mozart)To demonstrate the difference between servicing a gas-powered car and an EV, Tseng compares the service schedule of a Chevy Malibu against the all-electric Chevy Bolt. For the Chevy Bolt (see below), there’s “nothing but rotating tires and replacing the air filter until a whopping 150,000 miles. How are you ever going to make your money?” It’s no wonder that study after study demonstrates that franchise dealerships struggle to sell electric cars. Above: Chevy Bolt Service Schedule (Source: Spencer Tseng)On the other hand, for the Chevy Malibu (see below), Tseng jokes, “Now this is what a service schedule should look like! All those beautiful rows and checkmarks each symbolizing one more thing you can charge your customers for. All of this boils down to is the reality that electric vehicles have incredibly maintenance free drivetrain systems. There aren’t spark plugs to replace, oils that need changing, etc. Even brakes are expected to last 150,000-300,000 miles with regenerative braking.” The Tesla Direct Sales vs. Franchised Dealership Battle Is Far From Resolution Electric Vehicles Need Dedicated Sales Organizations Consumer Reports Calls Tesla’s Direct Sales Model An Inspiration Above: Chevy Malibu Service Schedule (Source: Spencer Tseng)Tseng concludes, “As many dealerships will soon realize, electric vehicles are going to greatly eat into their profits, and we will definitely soon see a battle between dealerships and auto manufacturers over the direction of the auto industry.” For EV sales, Tesla’s direct to consumer approach enables rapid growth. In turn, Consumer Reports calls it an “inspiration” for the industry. Meanwhile, Big Auto’s dealership model dampens EV interest and discourages sales.===Source: Spencer Tseng*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 23, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


More And More Tesla Model 3 Reach Norway Sales Imminent

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgModel 3 is coming! Sales to start imminently.The first big batch of Tesla Model 3 (of roughly 1,400 cars) delivered to Europe spreads through to Tesla‘s biggest markets.Yesterday, we noticed the first new Model 3 registrations in Norway, since late January when 17 were registered. Now, it seems that about 45 were registered within 1-2 days (64 total) and the number is growing.Norway news With thousands of customers who placed orders in Norway, we expect that sales will reach a four-digit stream per month, although not necessarily right from the start in February, as Tesla first must build up a demo car fleet.It’ll be interesting to see how Tesla spreads out Model 3 deliveries in Europe. In particular, which countries get the biggest batches of cars first. It would be in Tesla’s best interest to deliver closest to the arrival port(s) first, as though deliveries would occur more quickly than to countries far from where the ships roll in.It’ll be an interesting month (and next month too) and we watch how all of this progresses along. Norway Begins 2019 With Strong Growth Of EV Sales Norway Celebrates 200,000 Pure Electric Cars Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 17 Tesla Model 3s Get Approved License Plates In Norway Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more


Cumulative Tesla Model 3 Production Estimate Exceeds 200000

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_img2017’Q3 – 260 produced, and 222 delivered2017’Q4 – 2,425 produced and 1,542 delivered2018’Q1 – 9,766 produced and 8,182 delivered2018’Q2 – 28,578 produced and 18,449 delivered2018’Q3 – 53,239 produced and 56,065 delivered2018’Q4 – 61,394 produced and 63,150 delivered2019’Q1 – already 45,005 produced (estimated)Cumulative through the end of 2018’Q4 – 155,662 produced and 147,610 delivered.Separately, we noted that Tesla registered 292,118 VIN numbers for the Model 3, including more than 54,000 for international markets (outside of North America).Source: Tesla Model 3 Tracker, Model 3 VINs Tesla Model 3 Europe Deliveries Supported By Huge 300 Charger Hub Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 19, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Roughly 200,000 produced in about 20 months.Bloomberg’s Tesla Model 3 Tracker shows that cumulative production of the Tesla Model 3 exceeds the major milestone of 200,000. That is since July 2017 when the 30 first were delivered.The counter indicates 200,667 total Model 3 produced and an average production rate of 5,455 Model 3 per week.The number consists of officially announced production results in previous quarters and estimated production rates in the current quarter.Total production this quarter reportedly already hit 45,000, which, with more than one month to go, should make Q1 the best quarter so far, but of course, a lot depends on how accurate the estimates are.Keep in mind that Bloomberg’s tracker is not intended to successfully track production over the short term. Adjustments are made on a regular basis so that it’s fairly accurate over time. Still, it’s interesting to keep an eye on it and get some idea of which way numbers are headed. You can take the trends and averages found in the tracker, along with other available online data, and come up with your own estimate.Tesla Model 3 deliveriescenter_img More And More Tesla Model 3 Reach Norway: Sales Imminent Tesla Model 3s Arrive In Chinese Port Ready For Deliveries As you can see in the graph, the raw weekly data indicates a level of 8,000 Model 3 per week (which we know is not true). Even Bloomberg openly admits that it doesn’t represent its best estimate of current output. Assuming that the average is close to the real production rate (and increasing), the production rate must also increase, at least to the neighborhood of about 6,000 per week. It’s also difficult to know if a production number like this is sustained or based on bursts, since there are many variables in place here.Production and deliveries of Model 3 in previous quarters thus far:last_img read more


Chevy Bolt Strong In South Korea GM Korea Expands EV Availability

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgGM Korea has announced an increase in the number of Chevy Bolt EV showrooms and service centers as deliveries continue to rise year over year.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img


In 2018 US PlugIn EVs Displaced 323 Million Gallons Of Gasoline

Posted On Jul 21 2019 by

first_imgPlug-in electric cars already displacing a quarter of a percent of the usage of gasoline in the U.S.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img


World War III – 20242027

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgQUESTION: Besides the Bible, there are many clairvoyants who predict that there will be World War III. Your models predict the rise in war tensions. What is your “opinion” about the prospects for a third world war?JCANSWER: There is no doubt that we are in the process of a rising war cycle. It really appears to be more of a bitter war between leaders once again, as was the case with the last two World Wars. World War I was really about destroying the former Holy Roman Empire which had its seat of power in Vienna. That city was besieged in 1683 when the Ottoman Empire sought to conquer Europe. If you recall, the financial panics I used to discover the Economic Confidence Model began with the Panic of 1683 caused by the invasion of the Ottoman Empire.The War Cycle is turning up and we are looking at a possible peak as early as 2027. This is why I have been concerned about the economic crisis in 2021-2022. Once the economy turns down, it will be the fuel for the war.We must also respect that this particular cycle is the combination of both civil and international unrest. I do not believe we are in a cycle of conquest. Nobody wants to conquer and occupy each other — neither China, Russia, nor the USA. So, on the international level, it appears we are dealing with old grudges. When I have asked why Russia is our enemy since they abandoned communism, the only response I get is that, “Well, they are Russian!” World War I unfolded when the Archduke of Austria was assassinated by a Serb. He was heir to the throne of the old Holy Roman Empire. The French hated Germany for they were defeated under Napoleon. Additionally, in the first Treaty of Versailles in 1871 Germany became an empire at the expense of France. So it was really very much about settling old debts.World War II was created by the oppression of the German people for the sins of their leaders. That led the German people to turn to Hitler because they were humiliated.We would classify Napoleon and Hitler as warmongers of conquest. The Russian Revolution in 1917 and that in China led by Mao were class warfares instigated domestically that manifested into revolutions arising from civil unrest.In Russia, the revolution really began in October 1905 when czarist troops opened fire on a peaceful group of workers marching to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to petition their grievances to Czar Nicholas II. Some 500 protestors were massacred on “Bloody Sunday,” setting off months of protest and disorder throughout Russia. It was 8.6 years later that World War I erupted in 1914. This signaled that there would be a rise in tensions 112 years later which would be 2017.Vladimir Lenin was born in 1870 into a middle-class family in Ulyanovsk, Russia, but when he was a teenager, he became political after his older brother was executed in 1887 for plotting to assassinate Czar Alexander III. When he reached the age of 17, he was expelled from Kazan Imperial University for taking part in an illegal student protest. Then in December 1895, Lenin and the other leaders of the Union were arrested. Lenin was jailed for a year and then exiled to Siberia for three years. Upon his release in 1900, Lenin went to Western Europe. In 1902, he published a pamphlet entitled “What Is to Be Done?” Lenin argued that only a revolution would bring socialism to Russia by force. In 1903, Lenin met with other Russian Marxists in London and established the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party. From the outset, Lenin’s Bolsheviks (Majoritarians) advocated violence and the Mensheviks (Minoritarians) advocated a democratic movement toward socialism. The split became official in the 1912 conference of the Bolshevik Party. If we use this as the start date, then we arrive at 2024 where we may see the sharp rise in tensions on a class warfare foundation worldwide once again. This may mark the culmination of the Marxist-Socialism movement that could end in blood in the streets once again.Consequently, this World War III is more likely to be a combination of class warfare and settling old scores. The period of concern would be the 2024-2027 time frame from a cyclical perspective (sorry, no visions for I lack the clairvoyant ability). Categories: War Tags: Lenin, War Cycle, World War III « Cycle of War & Religion center_img Iran Shoots Down US Drone Wednesday Night NY Time »last_img read more


Mystery Of 911 Flag SolvedPolice Probe Could Take MonthsSilver Alert Cancelled Dementia

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgA U.S. flag that turned up in Washington state in 2014 is believed to be the flag that was raised by firefighters above the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.  KOMO in Seattle reports the conclusion of a two-year investigation by the Everett Police Department, with assistance from forensic experts.  Detectives’ investigation included DNA analysis, photographic comparisons and eyewitness identification.  Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman said “our detectives concluded that there was enough compelling evidence to determine that this was likely the ground zero flag.”Exactly how the flag wound up in Everett, about 30 miles north of Seattle, remains a mystery. The flag disappeared from ground zero sometime during the site cleanup. The police investigation began in November 2014, when a man dropped off a flag at an Everett fire station.The flag will be donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.last_img read more


ChangingAging wishes Miss Susie a Happy 114th Birthday

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesMiss Susie Miss SusieOn July 12, 2013, New York City celebrated the 114th birthday of its oldest resident — Susannah Mushatte Jones, a.k.a. Miss Susie, of Brooklyn.Not only is she New York’s oldest resident, Miss Susie is the third oldest person on the planet, according to the Gerontology Research Group. Miss Susie credited her longevity to a life of no alcohol, smoking, or partying, but she does enjoy time with friends, staying active through the Vandalia Senior Center of Brooklyn, and relatives, including over 100 nieces and nephews.Born in Alabama in 1899 and among 11 children of her family, Miss Susie pushed through segregation of the south to graduate from high school, according to the New York Department of Aging. Upon graduation she taught for a few months before moving to New Jersey in 1922 to work for a family as a nanny. A year later she moved to New York and began working for another family in Westchester. Her work with the families gave her a chance to go to Hollywood, where she met many stars and was able to support her family with a higher level of wages than she could’ve imagined for the time period. She went on to retire in 1965 amid the height of the civil rights movement.Despite losing her sight 13 years ago and being partially deaf, Miss Susie continues to be a fixture of her local senior center center and a great role model to the many children who visit her from Millennium Development’s OST (Out of School Time) programs. She is also a testament to independence as she still resides in the Vandalia Houses, one of the New York City Housing Authority’s public housing facilities.Happy birthday and many more Miss Susie!Related PostsLive Grow Thrive: Green House Model Promotes GrowthPosted without comment (nuff said): AARP Bulletin | January 10, 2011 By Sally Abrahms Jan Cassidy Wood and her siblings knew that if their older brother Jack Cassidy ever needed long-term nursing care, it would fall to them to find it. He was unmarried and lived alone, and since childhood…People>RobotsAs promised, Bonnie Kantor delivers on her thoughts about the Robot Baby Seal issue… Here is what she would like readers of the New York Times article to think about… To the Editor: You are right on; like everyone else, our nation’s nursing home residents benefit from relationships. (Circuitry with…Gone MissingAmericans often cite Japan as the country with the most respect for elders. In fact, there is considerable prestige given to older people in Japan and even a national holiday in their honor. There are also some embarrassing lapses which expose a gap between rhetoric and practice. The BBC reports……TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: elderlast_img read more


Do I Need to Tell My Insurance Company If My Dog Bites

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgDo I Need to Tell My Insurance Company If My Dog Bites Someone?April 6, 2018 By Administrator You probably don’t think your dog would ever bite someone, let alone cause a serious injury. But dog bites are more common than you might realize—4.5 million occur every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And most victims are young children.Those injuries also have a bigger impact on homeowners insurance than you might realize: The Insurance Information Institute says dog-related claims accounted for more than $600 million in insurance payments in 2016.(Keep in mind that it’s not just bites that cause injuries. Dogs can knock down pedestrians or cyclists, too, which often leads to severe medical issues as well.)With those numbers in mind, it’s understandable that insurance companies want to know if you’ve got a dog in your household. Some even will refuse to insure you if you have a specific breed with a reputation for aggressive behavior, regardless of whether your dog has ever bitten someone.Despite that, you should never hide the fact that you have a dog from your insurance company. If you do, and your dog then causes an injury, your coverage could be invalidated—leaving you on the hook for potentially tens of thousands of dollars or more.When a bite happensOK, so your insurance company knows about your dog. But do you have to tell them if the dog bites or injures somebody?That depends. If it’s a minor incident, you might consider paying out of pocket for any medical expenses in an attempt to avoid the claims process and a potential increase in your premiums. (In some instances, insurance companies will not renew your policy or will exclude your dog from coverage after paying for a dog-related claim.)However, this might violate your policy, which probably requires you to report changes in your circumstances. If you don’t report a bite, and the dog then bites someone else later, the insurance company might deny you liability coverage for the second incident. Ask us to outline your options.Another risk is the threat of future claims from the victim. Injuries aren’t always immediately apparent, and complications can arise later. The victim might decide down the road to sue you. And if you’ve waited too long to report the incident to your insurance company, it might be too late to make a claim and receive all the protection your policy was meant to provide—which can include help with attorney fees, medical bills and more.A $33,000 mistake?Ask yourself this: How would your budget look if you had an unexpected $33,000 expense? The average claim payment for a dog injury in 2016 was about that amount. And that’s with an insurance company working on behalf of the insured. If you’re on your own, you could wind up paying even more—a lot more.Our advice? Start with your independent agent and discuss your specific situation. Even if you decide not to file a claim—which is always an option—you’ll get guidance from a professional on our team who can help you assess the risk.Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance.Filed Under: Bloglast_img read more


New wearable device could allow pregnant women to detect health complications

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgMay 2 2018Purdue University researchers are developing an app and wearable technology to enable pregnant women to use a smartphone to detect whether they have or are susceptible to a condition that could lead to serious health complications for them or their unborn child.The team, led by Craig Goergen, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, is developing a low-cost automated early detection sensor of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure that can cause organ damage and premature birth.”We hope this will allow us to predict and prevent preeclampsia and reduce the number of children born prematurely each year. This could also reduce the long-term health complications for mothers,” Goergen said.The researchers received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November. The program is part of a family of initiatives by the foundation fostering innovation to solve key global and health development problems.The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10 percent of all maternal deaths in Africa and Asia are associated with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy and 25 percent of all maternal deaths in Latin America. Most of those deaths are avoidable, according to the WHO.”The Gates Foundation is looking for something that’s going to have an impact in the immediate future in low- and middle-income countries,” Goergen said. “They are interested because the treatment and management of preeclampsia in sub-Saharan Africa, India, China and other developing countries is typically very poor.”Dr. David Reuter of Seattle Children’s Hospital, a Purdue alumnus and a member of the research team, said the primary goal of pediatricians is to prevent disease.”Addressing the problem of prematurity and preeclampsia could have profound implications for women and children globally,” Reuter said. “Our scientific insights provide an exciting road map to start revolutionizing the care of pregnant women.”Other team members include George Wodicka, the Dane A. Miller Head of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue, and Kirk Forster, a senior research engineer at the Weldon School. The team is working to combine available existing technologies such as smartphones, a conventional inflatable blood pressure cuff, and a wireless accelerometer (which measures body position) to build an innovative prototype that will detect preeclampsia before it develops.Related StoriesExercise during pregnancy can promote bone health of both mother and childWomen’s pre-pregnancy obesity changes breast milk contents which can affect infant growthData collected by ESHRE show rise in use of IVF in infertility treatmentThe most innovative aspect of the Purdue researchers’ device is that it uses a simple but underused tool called the supine pressor test that can identify the risk for preeclampsia. The test assesses blood flow through the kidney, and 90 percent of women with a positive test eventually develop preeclampsia. The early detection enables more effective prevention strategies.”This is a device that women are going to be able to use at home with a minimal amount of training,” Goergen said.The device will measure whether a woman’s blood pressure increases when she changes position from lying on her left side to lying on her back. If the diastolic pressure increases enough, it is a warning sign that a woman is susceptible to preeclampsia, Goergen said. The researchers have obtained a provisional patent with the help of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.Women will send the results to a doctor’s office, a health-care system or a centralized network for the results to be read and where they could receive counseling so they can start management and treatment options as early as possible.A video about the app and wearable device is available at https://bit.ly/2HkCqIA.While the Gates Foundation’s goal is to help women in developing countries, Goergen said the device the Purdue researchers are working on also could help women in inner cities and rural areas of the United States and other developed countries. They plan on initially testing the device on low- and middle-income women in and around Indianapolis once the researchers receive the necessary institutional approval.”It will be a great way to make sure that these patients are not going down a road that is going to lead to problems for both them and their baby,” Goergen said.The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology issued a report last year estimating the costs to the U.S. health-care system for preeclampsia at $2.18 billion for the first 12 months after birth — $1.03 billion for mothers, and $1.15 billion for babies.The Purdue research team is looking to partner with companies with technological expertise in these areas as the team works to further develop this technology. Source:http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q2/purdue-researchers,-backed-by-gates-foundation,-developing-device-to-enable-pregnant-women-to-detect-serious-health-complications.htmllast_img read more


Scientists make breakthrough discovery about vitamin B12

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgMay 18 2018Scientists at the University of Kent have made a significant discovery about how the vitamin content of some plants can be improved to make vegetarian and vegan diets more complete.Vitamin B12 (known as cobalamin) is an essential dietary component but vegetarians are more prone to B12 deficiency as plants neither make nor require this nutrient.But now a team, led by Professor Martin Warren at the University’s School of Biosciences, has proved that common garden cress can indeed take up cobalamin.The amount of B12 absorbed by garden cress is dependent on the amount present in the growth medium, and the Kent team was able to confirm B12 uptake by showing that the nutrient ends up in the leaf.The observation that certain plants are able to absorb B12 is important as such nutrient-enriched plants could help overcome dietary limitations in countries such as India, which have a high proportion of vegetarians and may be significant as a way to address the global challenge of providing a nutrient-complete vegetarian diet, a valuable development as the world becomes increasingly meat-free due to population expansion.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsThe Kent scientists worked with biology teachers and year 11 and 12 pupils at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich to investigate the detection and measurement of B12 in garden cress.The pupils grew garden cress containing increasing concentrations of vitamin B12. After seven days growth, the leaves from the seedlings were removed, washed and analyzed.The seedlings were found to absorb cobalamin from the growth medium and to store it in their leaves. To confirm this initial observation, the scientists at Kent then made a type of vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser. This fluorescent B12 was fed to the plants and it was found to accumulate within a specialized part of the leaf cell called a vacuole, providing definitive evidence that some plants can absorb and transport cobalamin.Vitamin B12 is unique among the vitamins because it is made only by certain bacteria and therefore has to undergo a journey to make its way into more complex multi-cellular organisms. The research described in the paper highlights how this journey can be followed using the fluorescent B12 molecules, which can also be used to help understand why some people are more prone to B12-deficiency.The discovery also has implications for combating some parasitic infections. Not only did the researchers demonstrate that some plants can absorb vitamin B12, they were also able to use the same technique to follow the movement of fluorescent B12 molecules into worms. These results demonstrate that this is a powerful model to learn about how B12 is absorbed and, as worms must use a different absorption system to mammalian systems, there is the possibility of exploiting this difference to try and treat worm-based parasites such as hook worms.Source: https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/science/17966/university-scientists-make-vitamin-b12-breakthroughlast_img read more


Origami inspires researchers to develop new solution for tissue regeneration

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_img Source:https://www.uml.edu/ May 25 2018Origami – the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes and figures – dates back to the sixth century. At UMass Lowell, it is inspiring researchers as they develop a 21st century solution to the shortage of tissue and organ donors.Gulden Camci-Unal, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and her team of student researchers are designing new biomaterials that could someday be used to repair, replace or regenerate skin, bone, cartilage, heart valves, heart muscle and blood vessels, and in other applications.Using origami as inspiration, Camci-Unal and her team are using plain paper to create centimeter-scale scaffoldings where the cells can grow and then applying microfabrication techniques to generate new biomaterials known as tissue mimetics.”Paper is a low-cost, widely available and extremely flexible material that can be easily fabricated into three-dimensional structures of various shapes, sizes and configurations,” said Camci-Unal.The team uses origami-folded paper to grow bone cells, called osteoblasts, which produce the matrix that gets deposited with minerals to form bone. The paper can then be implanted to treat patients, including those suffering from damage caused by disease, degeneration or trauma, or bone defects such as irregular sizes and shapes.So far, the team’s research indicates the implants are biocompatible – that is, they are not expected to be rejected by the body’s immune system, according to Camci-Unal.The team is also using their paper-based research to learn about the behavior of lung cancer cells.”Tumor biopsies from patients can be grown in our system and then these cells can be exposed to different chemotherapy drugs or radiation doses to find out which specific treatment would work best for the patient,” said Camci-Unal, who joined UMass Lowell’s faculty in 2016.Related StoriesLoose double-stranded RNA molecules spur skin rejuvenationNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorThe Camci-Unal research group is also developing low-cost, paper-based platforms for point-of-care disease diagnostics. Their biosensors can be used to determine if a patient has a specific disease.In addition to paper, Camci-Unal and her team are using hydrogels – flexible, squishy materials that resemble Jell-O and are made mostly from water – in tissue-related research for a range for a variety of uses, including wound care.”Their physical, chemical and biological properties can be tailored to fit in various tissue engineering applications,” she said. “However, hydrogels have relatively weak mechanical properties, so they tend to be not as easy to handle and manipulate when they are in large, very thin sheets.”By combining hydrogels laden with cells with sheets of paper, Camci-Unal is able to create sufficiently strong support structures that can be used for tissue engineering. Other researchers have developed 3-D structures from synthetic materials like polymers, ceramics and metals to culture cells, but most of those traditional materials do not closely resemble the surroundings in native tissues, she explained.”Our team recently started to get involved in wound-healing research, too. Our ultimate goal is to improve human health and the quality of life,” Camci-Unal said.Camci-Unal and three of her students – biology major Kierra Walsh of Billerica and Xinchen Wu and Sanika Suvarnapathaki, both of Lowell and Ph.D. students in biomedical engineering and biotechnology – discussed the use of paper-based, 3-D platforms for cell cultures and other biomedical applications in a Jan. 24 article in MRS Communications, a peer-reviewed academic journal used by researchers worldwide for the rapid dissemination of breakthroughs in materials science.last_img read more


Simple pH imbalance could be a root of Alzheimers disease mouse study shows

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgAug 2 2018Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have found new evidence in lab-grown mouse brain cells, called astrocytes, that one root of Alzheimer’s disease may be a simple imbalance in acid-alkaline-;or pH-;chemistry inside endosomes, the nutrient and chemical cargo shuttles in cells.Astrocytes work to clear so-called amyloid beta proteins from the spaces between neurons, but decades of evidence has shown that if the clearing process goes awry, amyloid proteins pile up around neurons, leading to the characteristic amyloid plaques and nerve cell degeneration that are the hallmarks of memory-destroying Alzheimer’s disease.The new study, described online June 26 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also reports that the scientists gave drugs called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to pH-imbalanced mice cells engineered with a common Alzheimer’s gene variant. The experiment successfully reversed the pH problem and improved the capacity for amyloid beta clearance.HDAC inhibitors are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in people with certain types of blood cancers, but not in people with Alzheimer’s. They cautioned that most HDAC inhibitors cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, a significant challenge to the direct use of the drugs for brain disorders. The scientists say they are planning additional experiments to see if HDAC inhibitors have a similar effect in lab-grown astrocytes from Alzheimer’s patients, and that there is the potential to design HDAC inhibitors that can cross the barrier.However, the scientists caution that even before those experiments can happen, far more research is needed to verify and explain the precise relationship between amyloid proteins and Alzheimer’s disease, which affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide. To date, there is no cure and no drugs that can predictably or demonstrably prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.”By the time Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed, most of the neurological damage is done, and it’s likely too late to reverse the disease’s progression,” says Rajini Rao, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “That’s why we need to focus on the earliest pathological symptoms or markers of Alzheimer’s disease, and we know that the biology and chemistry of endosomes is an important factor long before cognitive decline sets in.”Nearly 20 years ago, scientists at Johns Hopkins and New York University discovered that endosomes, circular compartments that ferry cargo within cells, are larger and far more abundant in brain cells of people destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This hinted at an underlying problem with endosomes that could lead to an accumulation of amyloid protein in spaces around neurons, says Rao.To shuttle their cargo from place to place, endosomes use chaperones -; proteins that bind to specific cargo and bring them back and forth from the cell’s surface. Whether and how well this binding occurs depends on the proper pH level inside the endosome, a delicate balance of acidity and alkalinity, or acid and base, that makes endosomes float to the surface and slip back down into the cell.Related StoriesStudy finds sex-specific differences in risk and progression of Alzheimer’s diseaseAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenEmbedded in the endosome membrane are proteins that shuttle charged hydrogen atoms, known as protons, in and out of endosomes. The amount of protons inside the endosome determines its pH.When fluids in the endosome become too acidic, the cargo is trapped within the endosome deep inside the cell. When the endosome contents are more alkaline, the cargo lingers at the cell’s surface for too long.To help determine whether such pH imbalances occur in Alzheimer’s disease, Johns Hopkins graduate student Hari Prasad scoured scientific studies of Alzheimer’s disease looking for genes that were dialed down in diseased brains compared with normal ones. Comparing a dataset of 15 brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients with 12 normal ones, he found that 10 of the 100 most frequently down-regulated genes were related to the proton flow in the cell.In another set of brain tissue samples from 96 people with Alzheimer’s disease and 82 without it, gene expression of the proton shuttle in endosomes, known as NHE6, was approximately 50 percent lower in people with Alzheimer’s disease compared with those with normal brains. In cells grown from people with Alzheimer’s disease and in mouse astrocytes engineered to carry a human Alzheimer’s disease gene variant, the amount of NHE6 was about half the amount found in normal cells.To measure the pH balance within endosomes without breaking open the astrocyte, Prasad and Rao used pH sensitive probes that are absorbed by endosomes and emit light based on pH levels. They found that mouse cell lines containing the Alzheimer’s disease gene variant had more acidic endosomes (average of 5.37 pH) than cell lines without the gene variant (average of 6.21 pH).”Without properly functioning NHE6, endosomes become too acidic and linger inside astrocytes, avoiding their duties to clear amyloid beta proteins,” says Rao.While it’s likely that changes in NHE6 happen over time in people who develop sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, people who have inherited mutations in NHE6 develop what’s known as Christianson syndrome in infancy and have rapid brain degeneration.Prasad and Rao also found that a protein called LRP1, which picks up amyloid beta proteins outside the astrocyte and delivers them to endosomes, was half as abundant on the surface of lab grown mouse astrocytes engineered with a human gene variant called APOE4, commonly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.Looking for ways to restore the function of NHE6, Prasad searched databases of yeast studies to find that HDAC inhibitors tend to increase expression of the NHE6 gene in yeast. This gene is very similar across species, including flies, mice and humans.Prasad and Rao tested nine types of HDAC inhibitors on cell cultures of mouse astrocytes engineered with the APOE4 gene variant. Broad-spectrum HDAC inhibitors increased NHE6 expression to levels associated with mouse astrocytes that did not have the Alzheimer’s gene variant. They also found that HDAC inhibitors corrected the pH imbalance inside endosomes and restored LRP1 to the astrocyte surface, resulting in efficient clearance of amyloid beta protein.Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/ph_imbalance_in_brain_cells_may_contribute_to_alzheimers_diseaselast_img read more


CHOP experts identify new autoimmune disorder along with personalized treatment for young

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_img Source:https://www.chop.edu/ Aug 2 2018Elijah Patino is a happy, healthy seven-year-old now, but it took a while to get there. For much of his life, he had a mysterious disease that made it painful to eat and painful to play. He had an uncomfortably enlarged spleen bulging in his abdomen. Something was damaging his blood cells, and he needed to get frequent intravenous immunoglobulin transfusions for anemia. His family, from Woodbridge, N.J., took him to a series of medical centers and specialists, but the doctors were puzzled.For a while, drugs seemed to control his illness, until he experienced high, spiking fevers during a family vacation and spent two weeks in the hospital, with his prospects for medical treatment looking more and more dire.”Elijah was on a ‘diagnostic odyssey’ a difficult journey that so many patients and families with a rare disease travel, to find the cause of their medical problems,” said Neil Romberg, MD, a pediatric immunologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who first examined Elijah when the boy was four. “We suspected that he had an inherited autoimmune disorder but we quickly realized his disease wasn’t in any textbook.”Romberg and colleagues published their case report of this newly identified autoimmune disease on June 5 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.Romberg used whole-exome sequencing to pinpoint the molecular cause of the problem and discovered a new disorder. The technology identified an extra copy of a gene called CD40LG. Too much CD40LG caused Elijah’s white blood cells to inappropriately attack his own organs, which in turn caused his illness. Romberg named the disorder CD40LG duplication-associated autoimmune disease.Elijah had inherited the disorder from his mother, Noami. She also had a history of autoimmune symptoms, such as joint pain and sluggish blood flow to her fingertips, but medicine made the problems manageable. After she became pregnant with Elijah, her symptoms resolved. “This disease presents differently in females and males,” said Romberg. He explained that the CD40LG gene is X-linked-;located on the X chromosome. In women, who have two X chromosomes, Mother Nature has a way to silence the abnormal, duplicated chromosome and use only the normal one. Romberg speculates that silencing may be compromised during inflammation, resulting in temporary, rather than lifelong, autoimmune symptoms.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaMales have only one X chromosome, so if it is abnormal, there is no backup X chromosome to use. Romberg instead used cyclosporine A, a potent immunosuppressive drug, to control Elijah’s overactive immune system. He first tested the drug on the child’s cells in laboratory studies to determine an appropriate dosage, then treated with a very low dose tailored specifically for Elijah to avoid drug side effects.Elijah now plays soccer and basketball with the help of a spleen guard, but with his vulnerable spleen, has to avoid heavier contact sports. With medicine muting his immune system, he has to be very careful to avoid infections. Still, his life is much smoother and less frightening than it was a few years ago.”We were beginning to lose hope of a medical diagnosis and we were quite distressed not knowing what the outcome of his condition would be,” said Elijah’s mother, Noami Patino. “After meeting Dr. Romberg, we have renewed hope now that we know what our son has and how to treat it.””As with other rare disorders, the discovery of this disease may allow doctors to identify this condition in other children, and then to successfully treat them,” said Romberg. “This is an example of harnessing the power of science to deliver precise, personalized treatments to a single patient.”last_img read more


Garmin introduces sleek activity tracker with pulse Ox and energy monitoring

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_img Source:https://www.garmin.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 30 2018Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the vívosmart 4, a slim, smart activity tracker that introduces a wrist-based pulse ox sensor. This allows customers to gauge their blood oxygen saturation levels at night to better understand their sleep quality. The vívosmart 4 also introduces a Body BatteryTM energy monitor that estimates the body’s energy reserves, letting users know the optimal time for activity and rest. Body Battery at 90? Go crush that cycling class! Clocking in at 20? Better take it easy.”Sleep quality plays a critical role in your overall physical health,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Poor sleep quality may contribute to the development of significant chronic conditions. With its slim design, the vívosmart 4 is comfortable to wear at night and pulse ox provides customers with information they can use to improve their health.”In addition to pulse ox, the vívosmart 4 features Garmin’s new advanced sleep monitoring which estimates light, deep and REM stages of sleep, along with movement throughout the night. Upon awakening, users can review their sleep stats in the Garmin ConnectTM Mobile app.Garmin’s most fashionable activity wristband tracker to date, the ultra-slim vívosmart 4 blends smarts with style, and is available in multiple colors with metal trim accents in silver, gold and rose gold. The vívosmart 4 is safe for the pool and shower and boasts up to 7 days of battery life between charges.The innovative Body Battery energy monitoring feature lets users see their body’s energy levels at any given moment, which can help with scheduling workouts, rest times and sleep. Using a combination of data gathered from stress, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep and activity, a higher Body Battery indicates the time is optimal to be active whereas a lower number suggests rest is in order. Body Battery assists users in making sense of patterns, demonstrating how behaviors and activities of the past few days influence how one feels at a given moment.The vívosmart 4 comes fully-loaded with a newly redesigned ElevateTM wrist-based heart rate sensor, new abnormal heart rate alerts, VO2 max, and activities for walks, runs, strength training, pool swims, yoga and more. The vívosmart 4 includes all-day stress tracking and a new relax reminder feature that suggests users take a moment to do a breathing routine when it detects elevated stress levels. It’s easy to stay connected with the ability to check the weather, control music, receive smart notifications with vibration alerts, “find your phone,” access social media notifications, and even reply to texts with preset messages (Android only).Related StoriesHeart disease is still the number 1 killer in Australia, according to latest figuresOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasThe redesigned Garmin Connect makes it easier than ever to beat yesterday with colorful activity cards that give users an at-a-glance to the most important stats. Simply scroll down to compare today’s totals to past results or tap in for more detailed information. Activities and other stats captured by the device are presented in vivid detail with data customized and filtered so that the user is only seeing what is most relevant to his or her goals. Users can connect with friends and family to motivate one another, join challenges, engage in friendly competitions and score colorful new Garmin Connect badges when goals are crushed.The vívosmart 4 has a suggested retail price of $129.99 and comes in several stylish color and bezel/buckle options including: berry with gold bezel, powder grey with rose gold bezel, azure blue with silver bezel, and black with slate bezel. To see more of what the vívosmart 4 has to offer, check out this feature benefit video or visit Garmin.com/vivo.The vívosmart 4 is the latest innovation from the ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment that develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a Garmin product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.last_img read more


Japan acknowledges death due to radiation exposure at Fukushima nuclear power plant

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgNuclear issues in Fukushima have not been resolved yet. Image Credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedMGH researchers identify potential markers of lung cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsThe Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry last week on Friday announced that the fifty-something year old man who died of lung cancer had succumbed primarily due to radiation exposure and ruled that compensation was due to his family. The man in question had been working at the nuclear plants all around Japan. He had worked at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that was operated by the Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). He worked at the place twice after the earthquake in 2011 wearing protective masks and suits. His cancer was diagnosed in February 2016. The Ministry heard opinions of radiologists and other experts in the field before they announced that the family of the person should be compensated.Four other workers at Fukushima too suffered from radiation illness due to exposure to high levels of radiation after the meltdown. This man was the first to die of the radiation exposure says the Ministry. After the meltdown at the power plant, over 160,000 people had to leave their homes near and around the region for fear of radiation exposure. There were hundreds of deaths when these individuals and their families were displaced from the region. These however were not directly caused by the radiation exposure.At present the Tokyo Electric is facing several legal cases regarding compensation of the families of the people affected by the disaster. According to speculation in 2016, there could be a total of $200 billion in compensation from TEPCO to the families affected by the disaster. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 6 2018For the first time, Japan has acknowledged that the death in a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant occurred due to radiation exposure. The power plant was destroyed in a tsunami and an earthquake around seven years back.The earthquake had hit the region in March 2011 and was of a magnitude 9.0. It had triggered a massive tsunami that had killed nearly 18,000 people. The tsunami had also resulted in one of the world’s worst nuclear disaster by destroying the nuclear power plant and causing radiation fall out. The cooling systems of the plant in Japan’s north-east coast failed leading to leakage of the radioactive materials.last_img read more


Global body extends protection to 31 migratory species

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgMarine mammals, sharks and rays, polar bears, and some birds are among the 31 species that will get greater protection under a deal reached earlier this week by more than 100 countries at a meeting of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), a U.N. body. The new initiatives were approved during tense negotiations at CMS’s annual conference, held in Quito from 3 to 9 November.All 31 species have at least one thing in common: They migrate, crossing international borders, skies, and seas. Their need to move often puts them at risk, as they may travel outside of protected areas. By adding the animals to the list of species protected under the CMS, nations agree to devise plans to protect the animals while they are within their borders.Conserving migratory species takes “global cooperation,” explains Achim Steiner, U.N. under-secretary-general and executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme, which oversees CMS. “The CMS sets global policies to ensure animals can move freely … and establishes rules and guidelines to reduce threats” from illegal fishing, hunting, trapping, poisoning, and capture. 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 Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) One issue addressed at the meeting was the capture of marine mammals, such as killer whales and porpoises, for display in zoos and marine parks. The delegates approved an initiative calling on member countries to pass laws banning the live capture of whales and dolphins for commercial purposes—the first time that an international body has demanded that this practice cease.Delegates also approved adding 21 species of sharks and rays to the convention’s list of protected species. All are threatened primarily by overharvesting—sharks for their fins, and devil and manta rays for their gill rakers, which are used in Asian medicine. Because manta and devil rays typically have only one pup every few years, they are “exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and depletion,” says Ian Campbell of the WWF in Suva, who was a member of the Fiji delegation. No other international body has previously provided protection for devil rays.The rarely seen Cuvier’s beaked whale, which is able to dive some 3 kilometers below the surface of the ocean, was tapped for listing on Appendix I, the convention’s top level of protection. And the remaining 20,000 to 25,000 remaining polar bears in the world were added to Appendix II, which affords less protection, despite some objections from Canada. Melting ice, oil exploration, and hunting all threaten the bears. An Appendix I listing would have required stricter conservation measures, including bans on killing.The meeting also approved a resolution calling for phasing out lead shot—commonly used in shotgun shells for bird hunting—over the next 3 years. Another called for eliminating the veterinary drug diclofenac, which kills vultures and other birds, as well as rodenticides, insecticides, and poison bait. Delegates also adopted guidelines on how to better deploy renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar panels, and dams, so that they do not harm wildlife.In a surprising and innovative move, the delegates also agreed that scientific findings from animal behavior research—including the concept that some cetacean species have cultures—should be considered in conservation decisions and strategies for these marine mammals.last_img read more


Threat of divine punishment makes people more generous

Posted On Jul 20 2019 by

first_imgIf you came into some unexpected cash, would you keep the money for yourself or give it away to a faraway stranger? According to a new study, the answer may depend on what kind of god you believe in. Moralizing gods, which care about human behavior and punish transgressions, feature in religions from Christianity and Islam to the polytheism of ancient Egypt (pictured). One idea—popularly known as the Big Gods hypothesis—holds that such gods may make people more cooperative and could have helped societies grow from hunter-gatherer bands to politically complex states. To test the idea that moralizing gods foster group-oriented generosity, even across long distances, researchers asked 591 people, from hunter-gatherers in Tanzania to wage workers in Brazil, to play an economic game. Participants were given some money and asked to roll a die. If a certain color came up, they were supposed to drop some coins in their own pot; another color, and they were supposed to put the money in a pot destined for a stranger in another community who shared their religion. In another round, the recipients were either members of their own community or strangers in a distant one, all of whom shared the player’s religion. No one was watching the game, and the researchers expected a certain amount of cheating. When the scientists tallied up the coins in each pot, they found that in both rounds people who believed in more punishing gods gave more money to distant strangers, they report today in Nature. Intriguingly, belief in a god’s propensity to reward good behavior did not increase generosity in the same way, suggesting supernatural retribution may have been a key element in encouraging cooperation and helping societies expand.Read Science’s feature on the Big Gods hypothesis here.last_img read more