Renault Brilliance To Launch 3 Electric LCVs in China By 2020

first_imgRenault is expanding in China together with BrillianceLiaoning Province, ChinaRenault found a new way to get some market share in China on the light commercial vehicles (LCV) front.The company established a joint venture – Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd. – with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance) and recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese officials from Liaoning Province.The goal is to accelerate growth of LCVs in China through selling 150,000 LCVs annually under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands. The important part is the introduction of three electric models within two years. The first is expected in early 2019.We can just imagine that Renault will be willing to make use of the Kangoo Z.E. model or maybe even Master Z.E., adopting it to the Chinese market. We already saw that Nissan and Mitsubishi (controlled or related to Renault) were producing/selling its plug-ins in China with local partners.China New Energy Vehicle news Construction Already Underway At Tesla Gigafactory 3 In China: Video Press blast:Renault and Brilliance sign strategic cooperation agreement with Liaoning province, ChinaAnnounce acceleration of LCV business starting with introduction of 3 EVs within two years.Boulogne-Billancourt, France 16 October 2018 – Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance), who formed 1st January Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd., a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV), signed today in Paris a Strategic Cooperation agreement with Chinese officials from Liaoning Province to further accelerate growth of LCVs in China. Renault also confirmed plans for three new electric light commercial vehicles for China within two years.A delegation from the Chinese government, including Mr. TANG Yijun, the governor of Liaoning province, and Mr. Yan Bingzhe, vice-mayor of Shenyang, met with Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, senior vice president of Renault LCV business unit Ashwani Gupta, Brilliance Auto CEO Mr. QI Yumin, Brilliance Chairman Mr. WU Xiao An, and other senior executives from both Brilliance and Renault, at Renault’s corporate headquarters before signing the Strategic Cooperation agreement.“Ten months after our initial launch of our joint venture in China with Brilliance, we have a local management team in place, LCV product plan to deliver further growth with seven LCVs for China including three electric LCV models, starting in early 2019. Our agreement with the local government in Liaoning province will strengthen our foundation for growth,” said Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.“The city of Shenyang and Liaoning province commit support to vehicle projects, new energies and R&D activities, industrial development, promotion of local suppliers and product development,” said Mr Tang Yijun, governor of Liaoning province. “Renault Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Company will play a crucial role in the sustainable industrial development of Shenyang, in the revitalization of the local economy, promoting environment-friendly technical solutions and products and supporting the enterprises in the Liaoning Province.”Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance) signed a contract for the formation of a joint venture beginning in 2018, to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV) under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands with the goal of achieving 150,000 sales annually by 2022, and an acceleration of electrifying powertrains. Year-to-date since forming the joint venture, Jinbei brand sales hit 124,900 in September.Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd. is headquartered and has manufacturing operations in the Dadong District of Shenyang and is producing in three key segments—MPVs, medium vans and heavy vans and will soon add electric LCV models to its range.Liaoning Province is one of China’s new automobile industrial hubs with over 120 auto & auto-parts manufacturers and is the largest provincial economy of Northeast China.The Chinese LCV market forecast is for 3 million units per year, growing and moving rapidly. Increasing urbanization rate as well as an e-commerce explosion make new and optimized logistics as well as inner-city transportation schemes necessary for both people and goods. Urban last-mile delivery is expected to grow by 125% till 2030. China is also the biggest, fastest growing EV-market in the world. GAC Mitsubishi Announces Launch Of New Eupheme Electric SUV Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 22, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News SAIC Volkswagen Building New Plug-In Electric Car Plant In Chinalast_img read more

Tesla is working with Amazon to deploy more energy storage at distribution

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Amazon is turning to Tesla in order to deploy energy storage capacity at their distribution centers.After a deal to add Tesla Powerpacks to a UK facility earlier this year, now Amazon is working with Tesla again at another distribution center. more…The post Tesla is working with Amazon to deploy more energy storage at distribution centers appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Evergande Health Invests Big Into NEVs

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Geely Teases New GE11 EV: Will Be Sold Globally Completion of the acquisition took place on the date of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.The Sales Shares refers to 300 ordinary shares in the share capital of Mini Minor Limited (the Target Company), which is also the entire share capital of the Target Company. According to the announcement, the only asset of the Target Company is its 51% shareholding in NEVS, a Sweden-headquartered electric vehicle maker.The total consideration of $930,000,000 shall be paid in two installments: the first installment of $430,000,000 had been paid on 15 January 2019, and the remaining amount shall be paid on or before 31 January 2019.On the same day, Evergrande Health entered into the Shareholder Loan Agreement with China Evergrande. Pursuant to the Agreement, China Evergrande has agreed to provide a three-year unsecured loan in the amount of $1,100,000,000 to Evergrande Health at an interest rate of 8% per annum.It is noteworthy that pursuant to the NEVS Shareholder Agreement entered into between, among others, the Target Company, NMEHL (National Modern Energy Holdings Limited, a shareholder of NEVS) and NEVS, the directors appointed by the Target Company shall compose of the majority of the NEVS Board.The announcement says that NEVS is a global electric vehicle company focusing on intelligent automobiles and is striving to become a global leader in sustainable and sharing-based smart mobility ecosystems.In 2012, NEVS successfully acquired core assets and intellectual property rights of Saab Automobile AB, a Swedish company with 75 years of history. Carrying on the brand DNA of Saab, which sought to conjoin mobility with driver to achieve seamless driving experiences, and the profound technological heritage originated from Scandinavia, NEVS houses the world’s top smart electric vehicles research and development center in Sweden with a global research and development team consisted of over 500 personnel, and a diversified international management team with more than 1,800 employees.Source: Gasgoo Perhaps this will kick start the EV maker?Evergrande Health Industry Group Limited (Evergrande Health) announced on January 15 that Solution King Investments Limited (the Purchaser), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evergrande Health, has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement with Kerryman Holdings Limited (the Seller), pursuant to which the Purchaser agrees to acquire, and the Seller agrees to sell the Sales Shares for a total consideration of $930 million.More China News China Electric Car Sales Soar To Almost 160,000 In December BYD New Energy Vehicle Sales Exceeded 240,000 In 2018 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 19, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Rivian R1S Electric SUV Rendered As Extreme Off Roader

first_img Tesla Model S Render Is Aggressively Rad, Raw & Sporty Radically rendered into an extremely hardcore SUV.The soft lines of the near-production Rivian R1S electric SUV seem to mask the capabilities of the vehicle. According to Rivian, the R1s (as well as the R1T electric pickup truck) is a go-anywhere electric vehicle that’s designed for both on- and off-road duty.Admittedly, the R1S looks a bit soft in its standard form, but with just a few slight enhancements it appears ready to tackle any terrain.More Radical Renders Tesla Electric Pickup Truck Ram Look-Alike Render Surfaces On Video New Kia Soul EV Rendered As Monster 6×6 Off-Roader These amazing images come to us via Mo Aoun on LinkedIn. Mo is a 2D and 3D artist who surely has a skill in vehicle rendering too. Note that the image above is the park ranger version of the R1S, while the one below is the more extreme off-roader. We particularly like how Mo knew that the R1S’ frunk had ample room for that extra tire.After seeing these two images from Mo, the standard R1S looks extremely tame by comparison. Luckily, all it takes is a lift kit, some super beefy tires and a few other add-ons to transform the R1S from highway-ready SUV into a true tackle-any-terrain type of vehicle.Over on LinkedIn artist Mo seems open to creating these images in some other colors, so perhaps head on over there and suggest the hue that most perfectly suits you.Here’s a standard image of the R1S for comparative purposes:Images: Mo Aoun on LinkedIn Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla Sales Almost Equal Porsche In Germany In March 2019

first_imgHere are few brands that Tesla beat in Germany past month:Jaguar – 987Jeep – 1,779Honda – 1,858Land Rover – 2,222Source: Bloomberg, KBA Tesla Model 3 Was #1 Selling Car In Netherlands In March 2019 1,000 Tesla Model 3 Pushed Sweden EV Sales To New Record Source: Electric Vehicle News About 0.7% of car sales in Germany were TeslasThanks to volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3, in March new car registrations of Tesla in Germany increased 453% year-over-year to a new all-time record of 2,367.We don’t know the exact numbers yet (full report is coming later this month), but it seems that more than 2,000 Model 3 were delivered.The result of 2,367 cars is not only a significant 0.7% of the overall German market, but also close to the 2,723 registrations noted by Porsche (down 9.5%). It seems that the first serious bridgehead was conquered and now Tesla has a chance to expand.Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 Sales Almost Matched Renault ZOE In France In March Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Teslamino Is A Short Cut To An Electric Pickup Truck

first_img9 photos Elon Musk Shares Tesla Pickup Truck Teaser Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News That’s the issue Michael Bream of EV West fame and a friend have been dealing with recently. The pals have been driving out to the desert on weekends to bash around the battery-powered bikes, leaning on a Ford F-150 to make the trip and burning $80 in gasoline each time. After batting about some ideas, lightbulbs went off and the Teslamino project was born.Part of the business on EV West involves buying Tesla vehicles for their batteries and other components, so the EV conversion and speed shop has a number of the lifeless beasts lying around. So, long story short, Bream and friends descended on a working example of a Model S with a Sawzall reciprocating saw and a grinding wheel and started slicing away chunks of aluminum.When the smoke cleared, they realized they were indeed onto something. The car seemed to keep its structural integrity, and with no roof back of the B-pillar, the bikes fit snugly inside. If you’re a fan of Australian utes — or the old Chevy El Camino or Ford Ranchero, for that matter — this chopped up Tesla may be pulling at your heartstrings right about now, but here’s a warning: you ain’t seen nothing yet.The Teslamino is a work in progress and judging by the conversation InsideEVs had with Bream, the future should find the finished version of this modified Model S significantly more irresistible. Picture this: the bodywork smoothed out and the passenger compartment re-enclosed, a set of beefy Goodyear Wranglers on the 19-inch wheels helped out by a couple of inches of lift, a bush bar and lights on the front, and a roll bar in the back.To aid in its role as an electric motorcycle transporter it will feature a few other touches as well. They plan on fashioning a stay for the front wheels of the bikes, to help keep everything secured in place while driving. The frunk will be home to an additional 16 kWh battery pack that can recharge the 5.8 kWh packs on the bikes, allowing for lots of hours of riding.When the Teslamino is finally ready for action, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, check out the pics in the gallery below and let us know in comments if you think. Atlis XT Electric Pickup Truck Platform Exposed Source: Electric Vehicle News Source: EV West Tesla Model S gets a little taken off the back.Tesla is set to unveil its electric pickup truck later this year. That’s great and all, but what if you have a current need to, say, haul a pair of sweet Alta Redshift electric motocross bikes out to the desert for some serious riding? And, you don’t want to burn gas doing it.Electric pickup truck news: Rivian R1T Truck & R1S SUV Wow NYC Ahead Of Auto Show: Videolast_img read more

VW introduces electric SUV for Chinese market with wireless charging and Level

first_imgSource: Automotive News Underlining global automakers’ increasing focus on China, Volkswagenunveiled a new electric SUV based on the I.D. Roomzz concept at the Shanghaiauto show. It’s VW’s second electric crossover concept, following the smallerCrozz, which debuted two years ago in Shanghai.The production I.D. Roomzz will be a three-row, seven-seatmodel that will “launch initially” in China starting in 2021, and will be VW’sflagship EV in the Chinese market.VW CEO Herbert Diess said the I.D. Roomzz will eventually berolled out to other markets but offered no details. VW Sales and Marketing DirectorJuergen Stackmann told AutoExpress that the SUV will someday be sold in the US,but is unlikely to be offered in Europe, where buyers have less appetite for “extralarge” vehicles.The production crossover will be based on VW’s scalable MEB electric architecture. It features an 82 kWh battery pack and two electric motors: a 150 kW motor in the rear and a 75 kW unit in the rear. Wireless charging will be available. VW says the new EV will offer a range of 280 miles (on Europe’s new WLTP test cycle), 0-100 kph acceleration of 6.6 seconds, and a software-limited top speed of 112 mph.The concept features flexible seating, making it “a loungeon wheels for a life on the road.” It’s designed to offer Level 4 autonomousdriving, meaning it will be able to drive itself in most situations. In self-drivingmode, the steering wheel will shift to an off position to provide more seating space.The seats can be rotated inward and reclined when the car is in autonomousmode. “We plan to produce more than 22 million electric cars in the next 10 years,” said Herbert Diess, adding that around half of VW’s engineers are now working on products destined for China. VW’s Head of E-mobility, Thomas Ulbrich, said the Volkswagen Group will be producing 33 EVs by mid-2023, using the MEB platform to build EVs under the Skoda, Seat, Audi and VW brands, and that the company is converting 16 factories worldwide for mass production of EVs. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

Research shows link between higher serum vitamin D levels and lower cholesterol

first_img Source:http://www.uef.fi/-/high-vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-lower-cholesterol-in-children?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Fen%2Fetusivu Jun 8 2018There is a link between higher serum vitamin D levels and lower plasma cholesterol levels in primary school children, new research from the University of Eastern Finland shows. Children whose serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels exceeded 80 nmol/l had lower plasma total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels than children whose serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were below 50 nmol/l, which is often regarded as a threshold value for vitamin D sufficiency. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the major circulating form of vitamin D. The findings were reported in one of the leading journals of endocrinology, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Vitamin D is known to be essential for bone metabolism, and low serum 25(OH)D levels increase the risk of rickets, osteomalacia, and osteopenia. Vitamin D may also improve plasma lipid levels and have beneficial impact on other risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. However, evidence on these other health effects of vitamin D is still scarce and partially conflicting, and therefore not a sufficient basis for giving recommendations.Lifestyle factors, such as healthy diet, physical activity, and spending time outdoors leading to the production of vitamin D in the skin, may be linked to both higher serum vitamin D levels and lower plasma lipid levels. The researchers found that the link between higher serum vitamin D levels and lower plasma cholesterol levels was independent of body adiposity, dietary factors, physical activity, parental education, and daylength prior to blood sampling. Moreover, hereditary factors that have previously been linked to serum vitamin D levels did not modify the observed association. More research is needed to uncover the reasons behind the inverse association of serum vitamin D with plasma lipid levels.Related StoriesLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorThe new findings provide support for the importance of following recommendations for vitamin D intake, which vary from country to country. The most important dietary sources of vitamin D are vitamin D fortified products such as dairy products and spreads, and fish. In addition to the dietary intake, vitamin D supplement use is also recommended for the general population in several countries. The recommended use of vitamin D supplements varies a lot among these countries (mostly 5-50 µg/d, corresponding to 200-2000 IU/d) depending on age group and other factors. Vitamin D is synthesized endogenously in the skin in the presence of UV-radiation from the sun. However, in northern latitudes, the exposure to sunlight alone is inadequate to maintain sufficient serum 25(OH)D levels, especially during the winter.The study was part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study, which is a lifestyle intervention study in the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. A total of 512 children aged 6 to 8 years participated in the baseline measurements in 2007–2009, constituting a representative sample of their age group. The PANIC Study produces scientifically valuable information on children’s lifestyles, health, and well-being.last_img read more

New AI algorithm helps predict medication response in patients with complex mood

first_imgAug 9 2018Mood disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder are often complex and hard to diagnose, especially among youth when the illness is just evolving. This can make decisions about medication difficult. In a collaborative study by Lawson Health Research Institute, The Mind Research Network and Brainnetome Center, researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that analyzes brain scans to better classify illness in patients with a complex mood disorder and help predict their response to medication.The full study included 78 emerging adult patients from mental health programs at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), primarily from the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP). The first part of the study involved 66 patients who had already completed treatment for a clear diagnosis of either MDD or bipolar type I (bipolar I), which is a form of bipolar disorder that features full manic episodes, as well as an additional 33 research participants with no history of mental illness. Each individual participated in scanning to examine different brain networks using Lawson’s functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) capabilities at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.The research team analyzed and compared the scans of those with MDD, bipolar I and no history of mental illness, and found the three groups differed in particular brain networks. These included regions in the default mode network, a set of regions thought to be important for self-reflection, as well as in the thalamus, a ‘gateway’ that connects multiple cortical regions and helps control arousal and alertness.The data was used by researchers at The Mind Research Network to develop an AI algorithm that uses machine learning to examine fMRI scans to classify whether a patient has MDD or bipolar I. When tested against the research participants with a known diagnosis, the algorithm correctly classified their illness with 92.4 per cent accuracy.The research team then performed imaging with 12 additional participants with complex mood disorders for whom a diagnosis was not clear. They used the algorithm to study a participant’s brain function to predict his or her diagnosis and, more importantly, examined the participant’s response to medication.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repair”Antidepressants are the gold standard pharmaceutical therapy for MDD while mood stabilizers are the gold standard for bipolar I,” says Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a clinician-scientist at Lawson, medical director at FEMAP and co-lead investigator on the study. “But it becomes difficult to predict which medication will work in patients with complex mood disorders when a diagnosis is not clear. Will they respond better to an antidepressant or to a mood stabilizer?”The research team hypothesized that participants classified by the algorithm as having MDD would respond to antidepressants while those classified as having bipolar I would respond to mood stabilizers. When tested with the complex patients, 11 out of 12 responded to the medication predicted by the algorithm.”This study takes a major step towards finding a biomarker of medication response in emerging adults with complex mood disorders,” says Dr. Osuch. “It also suggests that we may one day have an objective measure of psychiatric illness through brain imaging that would make diagnosis faster, more effective and more consistent across health care providers.”Psychiatrists currently make a diagnosis based on the history and behavior of a patient. Medication decisions are based on that diagnosis. “This can be difficult with complex mood disorders and in the early course of an illness when symptoms may be less well-defined,” says Dr. Osuch. “Patients may also have more than one diagnosis, such as a combination of a mood disorder and a substance abuse disorder, further complicating diagnosis. Having a biological test or procedure to identify what class of medication a patient will respond to would significantly advance the field of psychiatry.”Source: https://www.lawsonresearch.ca/machine-learning-could-predict-medication-response-patients-complex-mood-disorderslast_img read more

Psychedelics may one day be used to treat mental health disorders

first_img Source:http://www.apa.org/ Aug 10 2018Psychologists explore potential benefits of hallucinogens for mental health disordersMany people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.”Combined with psychotherapy, some psychedelic drugs like MDMA, psilocybin and ayahuasca may improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Cristina L. Magalhaes, PhD, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of a symposium on psychedelics and psychotherapy. “More research and discussion are needed to understand the possible benefits of these drugs, and psychologists can help navigate the clinical, ethical and cultural issues related to their use.”Hallucinogens have been studied in the U.S. for their potential healing benefits since the discovery of LSD in the 1940s. However, research has mostly stalled since psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s. A shift may be coming soon though, as MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is beginning its third and final phase of clinical trials in an effort to win Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, said Adam Snider, MA, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of the symposium.Findings from one study presented at the symposium suggested that symptoms of social anxiety in autistic adults may be treatable with a combination of psychotherapy and MDMA. Twelve autistic adults with moderate to severe social anxiety were given two treatments of pure MDMA plus ongoing therapy and showed significant and long-lasting reductions in their symptoms, the research found. “Social anxiety is prevalent in autistic adults and few treatment options have been shown to be effective,” said Alicia Danforth, PhD, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the HarborUCLA Medical Center, who conducted the study. “The positive effects of using MDMA and therapy lasted months, or even years, for most of the research volunteers.”Research discussed also explored how LSD, psilocybin (known colloquially as “magic mushrooms”) and ayahuasca (a brew used by indigenous people of the Amazon for spiritual ceremonies) may benefit people with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Related StoriesMice cured of HIV in an experiment sparks new hopeAI-enabled device detects if targeted chemotherapy is workingVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyAdele Lafrance, PhD, of Laurentian University, highlighted a study of 159 participants who reported on their past use of hallucinogens, level of spirituality and relationship with their emotions. Using hallucinogens was related to greater levels of spirituality, which led to improved emotional stability and fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and disordered eating, the study found. “This study reinforces the need for the psychological field to consider a larger role for spirituality in the context of mainstream treatment because spiritual growth and a connection to something greater than the self can be fostered,” said Lafrance. Other research presented suggested that ayahuasca may help alleviate depression and addiction, as well as assist people in coping with trauma. “We found that ayahuasca also fostered an increase in generosity, spiritual connection and altruism,” said Clancy Cavnar, PhD, with Núcleo de Estudos Interdisciplinares sobre Psicoativos.For people suffering from life-threatening cancer, psilocybin may provide significant and lasting decreases in anxiety and distress. When combined with psychotherapy, psilocybin helped a study’s 13 participants grapple with loss and existential distress. It also helped the participants reconcile their feelings about death as nearly all participants reported that they developed a new understanding of dying, according to Gabby Agin-Liebes, BA, of Palo Alto University, who conducted the research.”Participants made spiritual or religious interpretations of their experience and the psilocybin treatment helped facilitate a reconnection to life, greater mindfulness and presence, and gave them more confidence when faced with cancer recurrence,” said Agin-Liebes.Presenters throughout the symposium discussed the need for more research to fully understand the implications of using psychedelics as an adjunct to psychotherapy as well as the ethical and legal issues that need to be considered.last_img read more

ScienceShot Chicken From Hell Unearthed in American Midwest

This newly described dinosaur might look like a chicken, but don’t be fooled: It was nearly 4 meters long, weighed about 250 kilograms, and lived 66 million years ago in what is today the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota. That’s why its discoverers are calling it the “chicken from hell,” and indeed it was related to early birds and to feathered, birdlike dinos that brooded over their nests, such as Oviraptor. Scientifically, however, the team has named it Anzu wyliei—Anzu after a birdlike demon in Mesopotamian mythology, and wyliei after Wylie, the young grandson of a trustee of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, where a cast of the dino is now on display. The creature had a toothless beak, sharp claws, and a tall crest on top of its head. It is the largest Oviraptor-like dinosaur found in North America, the researchers report today in PLOS ONE.See more ScienceShots. read more

Bumblebees prefer pollen on windy days

first_imgFuzzier, bigger, and less aggressive than their honeybee cousins, common eastern bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) are world champion multitaskers who can carry more than half their body mass in food. But how they choose their prey—pollen or nectar—is little understood. Now, researchers propose that wind conditions might play a role in that decision. To test their hypothesis, researchers trained bees to fly toward an artificial flower in a wind tunnel. They strapped small steel bearings to the bees’ legs or abdomens to mimic the weight and location of typical pollen and nectar loads. Pollen is always carried on the bees’ hairy legs, where it dangles further from the insects’ center of mass. But nectar is stored almost directly in the center of the bees’ abdomens. After testing the bees’ flight stability and maneuverability in windy and nonwindy conditions, researchers found that bees carrying a pollen load are more stable, but less able to maneuver in strong winds, whereas bees carrying a nectar load are less stable but better able to maneuver. As a result, the researchers concluded that bumblebees face a tradeoff between stability and maneuverability when choosing which food to carry home. This tradeoff may explain why some bumblebees prefer to forage for pollen during windy days. The study is published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.last_img read more

Strange behavior of New Zealand quake suggests higher chances of Big Ones

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Mind the gap The Kaikōura earthquake ruptured in stages across separate faults, leading to more overall shaking. Previously unknown connecting faults may be to blame. Strange behavior of New Zealand quake suggests higher chances of ‘Big Ones’ elsewhere A reassuring rule of thumb about earthquakes is breaking down. For decades seismologists had assumed that individual faults—as well as isolated segments of longer faults—rupture independently of one another. That limits the maximum size of potential quakes that a fault zone can generate. But the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck New Zealand just after midnight on 14 November 2016—among the largest in the islands’ modern history—has reduced that thinking to rubble. According to a new study, the heavy shaking in the so-called Kaikōura quake was amassed by ruptures on at least 12 different faults, in some cases so far apart that they were thought to be immune to each other’s influence.The quake suggests that scientists may be misjudging seismic hazard around the world by underestimating the possibility that slip on seemingly isolated faults can add up to something far bigger. “I think it’s a wake-up call,” says Ned Field, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado, who leads California’s seismic hazard modeling team and recently upgraded the likelihood of a large quake in the state to account for the phenomenon.”There’s this long-held view that gaps between faults of around 5 kilometers will stop a rupture from continuing,” says Ian Hamling, a geodesist at government agency GNS Science in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, and lead author of the report on the Kaikōura quake, which appears online this week in Science. But evidence against that view was already growing. For example, a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck Mexico just north of the Gulf of California in 2010 included a 10-kilometer jump between faults. The following year, the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tōhoku earthquake in Japan was also larger than expected because it ruptured several fault segments previously believed to be independent. The Kaikōura quake is the most dramatic evidence yet that a new approach to assessing earthquake risk is needed, Field says. Andrew Spencer By Betsy MasonMar. 23, 2017 , 2:00 PM 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 The phenomenon doesn’t just increase the maximum size of a potential quake. It also changes the odds: With more faults potentially acting together, there are more ways to assemble big quakes, increasing their likelihood. And that means higher risk for long bridges and skyscrapers, which are more vulnerable to the long-period seismic waves released by very large quakes, Field says.California is leading the way in accounting for these big, complex quakes. For the state’s most recent earthquake forecast in 2015, Field and his colleagues relaxed the model’s strict fault segmentation rules and for the first time included the possibility of multiple individual faults rupturing simultaneously. Though the California model still uses a 5-kilometer cutoff for faults to rupture together, Field says, the new model connects the vast majority of faults in the state.The changes raised the estimated likelihood of a magnitude-8 or larger quake in California over the next 30 years from 4.7% to 7%. But because a fault system can only release as much energy as is built up by grinding tectonic plates, increasing the frequency of large events means there will be less energy to fuel smaller quakes. For California, this means the expected number of quakes around magnitude-6.7 dropped by about 30%, which more closely approximates the number in the historic record than previous models. “It’s a significant step toward being a more realistic representation of the interconnectedness of the faults,” Field says. The new model has already been used to update the state’s seismic hazard maps, which in turn will inform the engineering of buildings and other important infrastructure.Scientists are still working on exactly how seemingly unconnected faults separated by 15 kilometers or more ruptured together in the Kaikōura earthquake. Hamling’s team concluded that previously unmapped faults near the surface helped bridge the gap, which suggests that hidden faults could be a source of unrecognized risk. But unseen deeper connections could be at work as well. Many of the faults involved in the Kaikōura quake may join up lower in the crust, Hamling says—perhaps at the tectonic boundary deep beneath New Zealand where the Pacific plate is being dragged beneath the Australian plate, which could act as a sort of master structure aiding connectivity.But faults may not even need a physical connection in order to rupture together, says Jean-Philippe Avouac, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. It’s possible that seismic waves from a rupture on one fault can propagate through the ground with enough energy to cause a distant fault to slip, a process called dynamic triggering. “I’m not sure that we need these links to exist actually,” Avouac says.The New Zealand quake is not only impacting the modeling of future quakes, but is also changing the way scientists think about past ones, says earthquake geologist Kate Clark of GNS Science, a co-author on the Science paper. Clark looks for signs in the geologic record of coastal uplift caused by past earthquakes, and usually attributes movement to earthquakes rupturing one fault at a time. “We’ve probably misinterpreted some past records of coastal uplift and probably oversimplified past scenarios of earthquakes.” J. You/Science Based on field observations, seismic shaking data, GPS measurements, and radar imagery from satellites, Hamling and his colleagues found that surface ruptures in the New Zealand quake were widely separated—in one case by more than 15 kilometers. Because the magnitude of an earthquake is directly related to the length of the fault it ruptures, the New Zealand quake was much larger than it would have been had it not jumped the gaps. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country At Waipapa Bay, the Kaikōura quake lifted up submerged rock by several meters, trapping seawater. Emaillast_img read more

Is your favorite Formula One driver going to crash Depends whom theyre

first_img “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” So says Formula One racer Mario Andretti. But if the world champion is going to crash, he’s likely to hit someone of a similar skill level—and on a day with good weather.The finding, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on an analysis of 506 race-ending crashes in Formula One—a class of racing featuring single-seater, open wheeled cars and speeds in excess of 350 kilometers per hour—between 1970 and 2014. Drivers close in skill level—i.e. those with a similar number of wins and status—were most likely to collide: The two closest drivers in terms of equivalent status were more than 10 times more likely to crash than the least two. The effect was especially pronounced when the drivers were similar in age—which the researchers suggest would likely intensify a rivalry—and between drivers who had accrued more total points in the season, making the stakes higher. Such crashes were also more likely slightly later in the season—after rivalries and positioning in the standings became more stable. Finally, the team reports that two competitive drivers are more likely to crash in a race with fair weather, possibly because they’re willing to take more risks.The researchers say their model provides support to the long-standing theory of “structural equivalence” as a driver of conflict in social interactions. As such, the work could be used to identify which actors in a competitive environment, such as a company merger, could be most likely to see competition escalate to more serious conflict. Is your favorite Formula One driver going to crash? Depends whom they’re racing By David ShultzMar. 26, 2018 , 3:00 PMcenter_img Karim Sahib/AFP/GettyImages last_img read more

Japanese court rules against journalist in HPV vaccine defamation case

first_img Riko Muranaka Takuma Suda 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 Riko Muranaka did not provide evidence that research data were fabricated, a court in Tokyo said. By Dennis NormileMar. 27, 2019 , 4:00 PM Japanese court rules against journalist in HPV vaccine defamation case In March 2016, Ikeda, a neurologist at Shinshu University in Matsumoto, Japan, showed one such panel data purportedly showing brain damage in a mouse given the HPV vaccine. He repeated the claim for a news crew later the same day.In the June 2016 issue of the business magazine Wedge, Muranaka claimed Ikeda had not performed the experiments himself; she also said only a single mouse had been given the vaccine, and that a slide purportedly showing brain damage in Ikeda’s presentation didn’t come from that mouse. “The inescapable conclusion is that there was an ‘intention of fabrication,’” wrote Muranaka, who in 2017 was awarded the John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science.The magazine article triggered an investigation by Shinshu University, which concluded in November 2016 that Ikeda had presented preliminary results based on an experiment with one mouse as “scientifically proven.” Japan’s health ministry issued a statement saying Ikeda’s results “have not proven anything about whether the symptoms that occurred after HPV vaccination were caused by the HPV vaccine,” and blasting him for his “very regrettable” responsibility in “causing misunderstanding among citizens.”But the court sidestepped questions about the vaccine itself and ruled that Muranaka had not provided convincing evidence of fabrication. Muranaka and the magazine will have to pay Ikeda 3.3 million yen (about $29,900), plus part of his legal expenses. They also must post an apology and delete portions of the online article.Ikeda welcomed the ruling, saying a charge of fabrication would leave him “unable to address academic society,” according to press reports of a postruling press conference. He seemed to downplay the significance of what he said previously about the mouse experiments, arguing they were just one way to clarify why some vaccine recipients suffer brain disorders.“I am sorry to hear [the] Tokyo district court ignored science and [the] public interest,” Muranaka wrote in a statement posted online. However, “This decision has nothing to do with the safety of the HPV vaccines,” she noted. Women who saw Ikeda’s presentation on TV and decided against vaccination “lost the chance to protect their life and health,” Muranaka wrote. She told Science that she will appeal. “I must win this case for the sake of  freedom of scientific speech and sound science,” she says.  Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “I must win this case for the sake of  freedom of scientific speech and sound science.”  The battle over HPV vaccines in Japan is set to continue. Vaccinees have brought class action lawsuits against two vaccine producers and the health ministry seeking damages for alleged side effects. Those suits are expected to drag on for years.Meanwhile, evidence for the safety and efficacy of the three HPV vaccines on the worldwide market continues to grow. In a July 2017 update, for instance, the World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety noted that at the time 270 million doses of HPV vaccines had been distributed. There is “no evidence to suggest a causal association” between the HPV vaccine and the various syndromes or symptoms reported as side effects, the update states, adding that the committee “considers HPV vaccines to be extremely safe.” As for efficacy, the update noted that countries that have included HPV vaccines in national immunization programs have seen a 50% decrease in the incidence of cervical precancerous lesions among younger women.Whether the verdict will have any impact outside Japan remains to be seen. “I think what is important is that media coverage does not distort the point and imply Dr. Ikeda’s science won: It was Dr. Muranaka’s manners and language that lost,” says Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.*Correction, 28 March, 5:05 a.m.: The headline of this story has been adjusted to show the court did not find the defendant guilty, though it did rule in favor of the plaintiff in a civil defamation suit. A Japanese court ruled yesterday that a medical journalist who has championed vaccination to reduce the risk of cervical cancer defamed a neurologist by writing that he had fabricated data showing a link between the vaccine and brain damage in mice.The case had been closely watched by vaccine proponents, who worried the decision might embolden those in Japan and elsewhere who claim shots against the human papillomavirus (HPV) cause chronic pain and movement disorders in humans. To their relief, the court in Tokyo didn’t address that question; it only said that Riko Muranaka, a doctor, medical writer, and lecturer at Kyoto University in Japan, had not provided evidence that neurologist Shuichi Ikeda had made up the data behind his controversial claim.The case comes against a backdrop of deep mistrust against the HPV vaccine, introduced in Japan in 2009 and added to the national vaccine program in April 2013. That same year, some vaccine recipients complained about severe side effects. In June 2013, the health ministry suspended its recommendation that all girls in their early teens receive the vaccine, causing the vaccination rate to drop from 70% for girls born in the mid-1990s to 1% today. The health ministry has also funded research and set up advisory panels to study the alleged side effects.last_img read more

Ancient molecules reveal surprising details on origins of bizarre sloths

first_imgIn one of the new studies, paleoprotein expert Samantha Presslee of the University of York in the United Kingdom and her colleagues sampled more than 100 sloth fossils from across North and South America for traces of collagen. This protein is prevalent in bones, and can stick around for more than 1 million years. In 17 samples the researchers analyzed, the collagen was preserved well enough that they were able to piece together the amino acid sequences that form the building blocks of proteins. That allowed them to compare the various collagens—one of which was more than 130,000 years old—and build likely family trees, which they describe today in Nature Ecology & Evolution. Genetic analysis suggests today’s three-toed sloths (top) are related to the giant ground sloths Megatherium (right) and Megalonyx (center), whereas modern two-toed sloths (upper right) are cousins of the South American Mylodon (left). 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 A sloth at rest From elephant-size animals that browsed North American grasslands to moose-size swimmers that plied the Pacific coast of South America, sloths have roamed Earth for more than 50 million years. Yet scientists know little about how the dozens of known species are related to each other. Now, two new analyses of ancient sloth DNA and proteins—some of which are more than 100,000 years old—are rewriting the sloth family tree. The studies even suggest a land bridge connected the West Indies with South America 30 million years ago, allowing the slow-moving animals to reach the islands.“It’s a remarkable achievement,” says Timothy Gaudin, a paleontologist at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, who was not involved in the work.Of the more than 100 sloth species identified, all but six are extinct. So scientists have had to compare the shapes of fossil bones to piece together how the animals evolved. Such comparisons are not clear-cut, however, and new techniques for isolating DNA and proteins from fossils have made it possible to compare the genetics of long-extinct animals. Ancient DNA allows scientists to compare genes directly, but proteins last longer. So although they provide less precise information, paleontologists are increasingly using them to study even older fossils. iStock.com/sdominick Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Ancient molecules reveal surprising details on origins of ‘bizarre’ sloths By Gretchen VogelJun. 6, 2019 , 11:00 AM Jorge Blanco Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Working independently, evolutionary biologist Frédéric Delsuc of the University of Montpellier in France and colleagues analyzed nearly full mitochondrial DNA sequences—the genetic material found in a cell’s energy-producing machinery—from 10 sloth fossils, ranging in age from 10,000 to 45,000 years old. They, too, used the data to draw likely sloth family trees, which the group describes today in Current Biology.The two teams came to strikingly similar conclusions: Today’s three-toed sloths don’t form their own branch on the tree as previously thought, but are related to the giant ground sloth, Megalonyx, which lived in North America until about 15,000 years ago. And today’s two-toed sloths are distant cousins of the giant South American Mylodon, believed to be the last ground sloth to go extinct, less than 10,000 years ago.Perhaps most surprising, the wide variety of now-extinct sloths that lived on the islands of the West Indies until about 5000 years ago all seem to have evolved from a common ancestor that lived about 30 million years ago. “Nobody had ever suggested that,” Gaudin says. That means a single population of sloths likely reached the islands just once. That fits with a theory that, instead of swimming or drifting, many animals reached the islands by walking over a land bridge that appeared about 30 million years ago and later was submerged.“The fact that the [two studies] agree with one another is really interesting,” Gaudin says. But, he cautions, the analysis only includes a fraction of the known species. “There are loads of different extinct sloths that we could add to the tree,” Presslee says. “That’s the next step.”Combining data from fossil shapes with the genetic data could produce even better trees, says Gerardo De Iuliis, a paleontologist at the University of Toronto in Canada. That might reveal how certain sloth traits—like the long, powerful forearms that allow today’s sloths to move while hanging from branches—arose independently multiple times. “They are bizarre animals that are bizarre in similar ways,” Gaudin says.last_img read more

Missions expose surprising differences in the interiors of Saturn and Jupiter

first_imgMaterial thousands of kilometers below the clouds of Jupiter and Saturn tugs subtly on orbiting spacecraft, revealing hidden structure and motions. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Juno skims close to Jupiter’s surface every 53 days, and with each pass hidden influences inside the planet exert a minute pull on the spacecraft, resulting in tiny Doppler shifts in its radio signals. Initially, Iess and his team thought measuring those shifts wouldn’t be feasible at Saturn because of the gravitational influence of its rings. But that obstacle disappeared earlier this decade, after the Cassini team decided to end the mission by sending the craft on a series of orbits, dubbed the Grand Finale, that dipped below the rings and eliminated their effects. As a result, Iess and colleagues could use radio fluctuations to map the shape of gravity fields at both planets, allowing them to infer the density and movements of material deep inside.One goal was to probe the roots of the powerful winds that whip clouds on the gas giants into distinct horizontal bands. Scientists assumed the winds would either be shallow, like winds on Earth, or very deep, penetrating tens of thousands of kilometers into the planets, where extreme pressure is expected to rip the electrons from hydrogen, turning it into a metallike conductor. The results for Jupiter were a puzzle: The 500-kilometer-per-hour winds aren’t shallow, but they reach just 3000 kilometers into the planet, some 4% of its radius. Saturn then delivered a different mystery: Despite its smaller volume, its surface winds, which top out at 1800 kilometers per hour, go three times deeper, to at least 9000 kilometers. “Everybody was caught by surprise,” Iess says.Scientists think the explanation for both findings lies in the planets’ deep magnetic fields. At pressures of about 100,000 times that of Earth’s atmosphere—well short of those that create metallic hydrogen—hydrogen partially ionizes, turning it into a semiconductor. That allows the magnetic field to control the movement of the material, preventing it from crossing the field lines. “The magnetic field freezes the flow,” and the planet becomes rigid, says Yohai Kaspi, a planetary scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, who worked with Iess. Jupiter has three times Saturn’s mass, which causes a far more rapid increase in atmospheric pressure—about three times faster. “It’s basically the same result,” says Kaspi, but the rigidity sets in at a shallower depth.The Juno and Cassini data yield only faint clues about greater depths. Scientists once believed the gas giants formed much like Earth, building up a rocky core before vacuuming gas from the protoplanetary disc. Such a stately process would have likely led to distinct layers, including a discrete core enriched in heavier elements. But Juno’s measurements, interpreted through models, suggested Jupiter’s core has only a fuzzy boundary, its heavy elements tapering off for up to half its radius. This suggests that rather than forming a rocky core and then adding gas, Jupiter might have taken shape from vaporized rock and gas right from the start, says Nadine Nettelmann, a planetary scientist at the University of Rostock in Germany.The picture is still murkier for Saturn. Cassini data hint that its core could have a mass of some 15 to 18 times that of Earth, with a higher concentration of heavy elements than Jupiter’s, which could suggest a clearer boundary. But that interpretation is tentative, says David Stevenson, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and a co-investigator on Juno. What’s more, Cassini was tugged by something deep within Saturn that could not be explained by the winds, Iess says. “We call it the dark side of Saturn’s gravity.” Whatever is causing this tug, Stevenson adds, it’s not found on Jupiter. “It is a major result. I don’t think we understand it yet.”Because Cassini’s mission ended with the Grand Finale, which culminated with the probe’s destruction in Saturn’s atmosphere, “There’s not going to be a better measurement anytime soon,” says Chris Mankovich, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. But although the rings complicated the gravity measurements, they also offer an opportunity. For some unknown reason—perhaps its winds, perhaps the pull of its many moons—Saturn vibrates. The gravitational influence of those oscillations minutely warps the shape of its rings into a pattern like the spiraling arms of a galaxy. The result is a visible record of the vibrations, like the trace on a seismograph, which scientists can decipher to plumb the planet. Mankovich says it’s clear that some of these vibrations reach the deep interior, and he has already used “ring seismology” to estimate how fast Saturn’s interior rotates.Cassini’s last gift may be to show how fortunate scientists are to have the rings as probes. Data from the spacecraft’s final orbits enabled Iess’s team to show the rings are low in mass, which means they must be young, as little as 10 million years old—otherwise, encroaching interplanetary soot would have darkened them. They continue to rain material onto Saturn, the Cassini team has found, which could one day lead to their demise. But for now they stand brilliant against the gas giant, with more stories to tell. 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 A clever use of radio signals from planetary spacecraft is allowing researchers to pierce the swirling clouds that hide the interiors of Jupiter and Saturn, where crushing pressure transforms matter into states unknown on Earth. The effort, led by Luciano Iess of Sapienza University in Rome, turned signals from two NASA probes, Cassini at Saturn and Juno at Jupiter, into probes of gravitational variations that originate deep inside these gas giants.What the researchers have found is fueling a high-stakes game of compare and contrast. The results, published last year in Nature for Jupiter and this week in Science for Saturn, show that “the two planets are more complex than we thought,” says Ravit Helled, a planetary scientist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “Giant planets are not simple balls of hydrogen and helium.”In the 1980s, Iess helped pioneer a radio instrument for Cassini that delivered an exceptionally clear signal because it worked in the Ka band, which is relatively free of noise from interplanetary plasma. By monitoring fluctuations in the signal, the team planned to search for gravitational waves from the cosmos and test general relativity during the spacecraft’s journey to Saturn, which began in 1997. Iess’s group put a similar device on Juno, which launched in 2011, but this time the aim was to study Jupiter’s interior. Emailcenter_img Missions expose surprising differences in the interiors of Saturn and Jupiter By Paul VoosenJan. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PM NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Mamata govt gives nod to 10 per cent EWS quota

first_img New induction only in Kolkata: Mukul Roy after defectors return to TMC Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress, West Bengal EWS quota, economically weaker sections, EWS quota, india quota, reservation system, india news, latest news, indian express West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI/File)The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal on Tuesday approved 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in government jobs and educational institutions. Best Of Express Legal notice to BMC mayor over ‘graft’ claim against TMC councillor, wife By Express News Service |Kolkata | Published: July 3, 2019 3:17:45 am Mamata to MLAs: Don’t cede an inch to BJP, apologise to people At present, West Bengal provides 45 per cent reservation — Scheduled Castes (22%), Scheduled Tribes (6%) and Other Backward Classes (17%).After the Central government announced the 10 per cent EWS quota, BJP-ruled states were the first to adopt it. Last month, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh also gave nod to it.Meanwhile, Opposition parties welcomed the state government’s move, but expressed concerns over its implementation.“We are happy with the decision, but we have concerns over the process of the identification of the beneficiaries. We want a foolproof system to ensure that only deserving people are identified as beneficiaries,” senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Abdul Mannan, said. The state government’s decision comes six months after the BJP government at the Centre brought in a law to provide 10 per cent EWS quota by amending the Constitution.“It’s a historic decision. There are many factors to define someone who belongs to the economically weaker section. These details will be mentioned in the government order that will be issued soon,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.“The existing reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs will stay as they were. This new quota is for those outside these categories,” Backward Classes Welfare Minister Rajib Banerjee said. Related News center_img Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Left Front Legislature Party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “So far, this was not implemented here, while it was adopted across the country. The state government must immediately start identifying people who will fall under this category. There should not be any discrepancies in the identification process.”BJP leader Manoj Tigga said, “While it is good to see that the state is following the Centre’s footsteps, we have concerns whether corruption will take over the process of identifying the beneficiaries.”The state government’s decision comes a day after the Supreme Court agreed to hear petitions challenging the constitutional amendment of providing 10 per cent EWS quota. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies 0 Comment(s) Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO Advertisinglast_img read more

US seeks other ways to stop Iran shy of war

first_imgBy New York Times |Washington | Published: June 24, 2019 7:24:01 am UK says seized Iranian oil tanker could be released Hassan Rouhani says Iran ready to talk to US if sanctions lifted Related News The White House has told military and intelligence officials it wants options in line with the kind of operations conducted by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the officials said.President Donald Trump has made clear he believes that, at this point, a direct strike would be escalatory, although he has repeatedly warned Iran against further aggression.Intelligence and military officials have told White House policymakers, including Trump, that without an additional U.S. response, Iran will continue to destabilize the region.Some divisions of opinion in the administration remain. A number of senior national security officials agree that further action against Iran is needed, but they are divided about how public that action needs to be.Officials did not provide specifics about the secret operations under consideration by the White House. But they could include a wide range of activities such as additional cyberattacks, clandestine operations aimed at disabling boats used by Iranians to conduct shipping attacks and covert operations inside Iran aimed at fomenting more unrest. The United States might also look for ways to divide or undermine the effectiveness of Iranian proxy groups, officials said. US seeks other ways to stop Iran shy of war US President Donald Trump has made clear he believes that, at this point, a direct strike would be escalatory, although he has repeatedly warned Iran against further aggression. (File/Doug Mills/The New York Times)By Julian E. Barnes, Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff Post Comment(s) With Iran deal teetering on brink, Europeans assess next steps Advertising US intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials.The goal is to develop operations similar to the cyberattacks conducted Thursday and that echo the shadow war the United States has accused Tehran of carrying out with attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East, according to U.S. officials briefed on the effort. Iran maintains that it was not responsible for the attacks on the tankers.The cyberattacks were aimed at an Iranian intelligence group that U.S. officials believe was behind a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf region. The U.S. operation was intended to take down the computers and networks used by the intelligence group, at least temporarily. A separate online operation was aimed at taking out computers that control Iranian missile launches. Advertisinglast_img read more