What Tech Companies Are Doing Wrong With Extremists

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first_imgRob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Coverup vs. Correction When people behave badly, we need to focus on correcting the behavior — not making it someone else’s problem, and certainly not driving the behavior underground. Many of the efforts to create diversity and remove racism have focused on removing the visible representations of it, not on changing minds. Forty years after aggressive attempts to end discrimination and racism in the U.S., both seem stronger than ever.You don’t make an illness go away just by dealing with the symptoms — you need to come up with a plan to eliminate the disease. Diversity of opinion and people who question facts are necessary, because better decisions are best founded on real facts and not false beliefs.Take North Korea. We’ve had a long-term policy of non-engagement, and it has gone from being an annoyance to becoming a nuclear power. That is not a mistake we want to keep making.The tech industry, beyond all others, should be focused largely on finding facts — and not on staying aligned with what now is politically correct. In short, we should want to make things better — not run and hide from serious problems that we have the tools to correct. This is our moment, and we seem to be screwing it up.We need to support free speech, because dialogue is a better path to the truth than authority. If you are talking, you can change hearts and minds. When dialogue is shut off, the path to resolution tends to be far more violent. Perhaps we should be more eager to emulate Beatrice Hall than Joseph McCarthy. There are four core elements that make this product interesting. One is support for a new kind of memory, NVDIMM-N, which is high speed non-volatile memory. Basically, it is a blend of high speed system memory and flash, potentially giving a massive performance advantage with large files (I’m thinking it would be wicked with some games as well).Second is a new file system, ReFS, that is particularly resilient with regard to data corruption with large files.Third, there is support for higher-speed file sharing, which is critical for large files.Finally, you can have four CPUs, including server grade CPUs if you need even more processing power. (I now have in my head a four CPU AMD Threadripper system that is water-cooled becoming the new ultimate system build.)Last week I spoke about Hollywood’s increasing ability to emulate movies to ensure success before spending millions making bad ones. This is the kind of workstation we need to do that, but it also will be used to build the cars, buildings and software of tomorrow — not to mention help our financial analysts make sure our stock portfolios support our eventual retirement.Those who use workstations are the people who are designing and building our future. They need and deserve more focused support. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations provides that support, and it is my product of the week. It is starting to worry me how little the responses by tech firms will do to fix the problem of extreme views instead of just driving them underground. A good deal of the reason for this is the excessive focus firms now have on how they are run.Companies tend to be run tactically, with officials more likely to make decisions that will seem to make a problem go away within a quarter but that do not deal with the cause of the problem. For instance, stock buyback programs have become a near constant, and this practice does push up stock price — but it does nothing to increase company value, improve competitiveness, or grow the customer base.With extremists, you either want to change views or you want to move them where they can do no harm to the firm. Shutting down communications, with some exceptions, is a bad idea when it comes to extreme views, if your goal is to reduce adherence to them along with related disruptions and violence.I’ll close with my product of the week: Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, which fixes a mistake Microsoft made in the 1990s. Wrapping Up Killing Discussioncenter_img One of the biggest mistakes Microsoft made last decade was to take a platform designed for workstations and servers and try to blend it for all users. The goal was to cut costs, but the result was far more aggravation for those who didn’t need the more robust platform. The server platform seemed to lose its way, and those who really needed a workstation platform were forgotten. The server problem eventually was corrected — but until recently, those who needed workstation-level performance remained forgotten.Well, given that an engineer now runs Microsoft, workstation users apparently are forgotten no longer. There is now a special version of Windows, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, that is particularly for them. I believe that you can change minds through engagement. If you cut off engagement, you cut off influence. You can’t change someone’s mind if you don’t engage that mind.For instance, when you had an argument with your parents, which worked better — them engaging with you about why you were wrong, or them telling you to shut up? In my own case, when the latter happened, I believed more firmly that I was right and that they were misbehaving. Shutting me up didn’t change my mind — and as I grew older, it didn’t shut me up either.If we watch engagements on the Web, what seems clear is that those who are good at thinking on their feet tend both to win the engagement and — often, though not always — shut down the troll. It is a skill you see with a lot of comedians, but there are other folks who are naturally good at debate, can think quickly, and have a broad set of relevant facts at their fingertips.A better path for Discord might have been to hire some skillful communicators and have them enter the discussion. Ban individuals who cross clear lines, like threatening violence, but leave up the forum with the goal of changing minds. The goal would not be to turn conservatives into liberals, but to bring the discussions back to facts and problem solving, and away from abusive behavior and real fake news.Particularly in the case of Facebook, employees who are way over the line either need to be put into a psychiatric program or terminated, not forced underground. These are the kinds of people who can act out physically, and making them invisible, much like my burned-out warning light, only puts off the problem and may make any eventual outcome worse. Two actions caught my attention last week: Discord shutting down communities tied to the alt right; and Facebook shutting down internal chat groups for crossing HR lines about harassment.These actions followed Google’s foolish firing of an employee who appeared to have fringe views but also seemed to have substantial support within Google, effectively making him a martyr.Discord’s move at least made sense, though it would have no long-term impact on the behavior. Facebook’s and Google’s moves were wrongheaded, effectively making the problem both less visible and worse.Discord provides a forum for people to discuss their political views. It is a service largely used by people who don’t work for Discord. Being known as a service that provided support for extremists undoubtedly created brand risk. It might have been driving larger groups from using the service for fear of being connected to fringe groups or being boycotted by folks who objected to what the extremists said.In Facebook’s case, it was employees who were behaving badly. Certainly, they created potential hostile workplace legal problems. In short, Facebook could be sued by other employees using the posts as evidence. Thus, justifying the shutting down of the discussion group does have a solid foundation in litigation mediation.However, neither response addressed the bad behavior. This is more problematic for Facebook, because the offending employees remained employed, and the firm simply lost one method for identifying them. A Better Path I was on a Web page last week that promised a low-cost way to fix the check engine light on your car. The picture was of a person removing the fuse that powered the light. It reminded me of my second car. I was driving fast in 110-degree weather and the overheat light came on, so I pulled over and it went out.I continued, and after driving about 30 miles, my engine came apart explosively. What had happened was the light bulb had burned out, but I thought the problem had gone away. Instead of realizing the car was low on water — an easy fix — I ruined the engine and ended up losing the car. If you eliminate the visible indicator of a problem, it can get worse — you’ve just hidden it.What Facebook did was simply remove the evidence of the bad behavior and a place to look for it. Now it appears that it doesn’t have a problem, but the harassing employees remain in place. Given that Facebook hired them in the past, it likely will hire more of them in the future. The bad behavior could quietly increase, and Facebook would simply be less aware of it.As for Discord, it had a more difficult choice to make, because the folks behaving badly didn’t work for the company. It can wash their hands of the groups, but by giving up contact it also loses its ability to try to fix the underlying behavior. It goes from being a place where people can discuss political issues broadly to being one that censors, which also hurts its brand image.Discord’s move made the issue someone else’s problem so I can understand it in that sense. However, Facebook still has the problem — it just has one less tool to deal with it.last_img read more

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Cancer cells hijack communication between fallopian tube and ovary to drive tumor

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first_img Source:https://today.uic.edu/crosstalk-between-fallopian-tube-ovary-may-drive-the-spread-of-ovarian-cancer Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018New research from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that cancer cells in the fallopian tube affect normal chemical signaling between reproductive tissues and stimulate the release of norepinephrine, a small molecule hormone, from the ovary.Reported in ACS Central Science, an open-access journal published by the American Chemical Society, the study suggests that cancer cells take over the communication between the fallopian tube and the ovary to create an environment that is more hospitable to its growth, and that the increased norepinephrine levels cause cancer cells to migrate from the fallopian tube to the ovary.UIC’s Joanna Burdette, a co-author on the study, said it is a common misconception that ovarian cancer cells are formed in the ovary.”Over the last several years we have come to learn that ovarian cancer cells, specifically high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells, originate in the fallopian tube and migrate to the ovary where they become established as ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women,” said Burdette, professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the UIC College of Pharmacy.Using imaging mass spectrometry and ovarian tissue from mice, the researchers visualized the spatial distribution of chemical signals around the ovarian tissue in response to eight different cell environments, including cells engineered to represent healthy fallopian tube cells and fallopian tube-derived ovarian cancer cells at various stages of development.They found that the concentration of norepinephrine was significantly increased and centrally located around the ovary only when cancer cells derived from the fallopian tube were present.”This tells us that the communication between the fallopian tube and the ovary changes as normal fallopian tube cells evolve to become aggressive, particularly when they are in proximity to the ovary,” Burdette said.Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerLaura Sanchez, the corresponding author of the study, said the findings demonstrate the important role of chemistry and chemical signaling in the development of ovarian cancer.”When it comes to cancer research, chemistry has often been overlooked in favor of studying the impact of various proteins on cell signaling, but here we show that cancer essentially hijacks the whole chemical signaling process between normal tissues to its benefit,” said Sanchez, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the UIC College of Pharmacy.”Using this novel mass spectrometry platform, we’ve been able to unlock one half of a complex puzzle. We now know that in the presence of cancer, the crosstalk between the fallopian tube and the ovary changes.” Sanchez said. “We don’t know yet what the fallopian tube signals to the ovary, but we know that it causes the ovary to release norepinephrine, which signals cancer cells to migrate.””The findings from this study shed light on new avenues researchers can explore in the search for better treatment protocols and, perhaps, even prevention opportunities,” said Burdette. “Any advance we can make to better understand ovarian cancer has the potential to improve outcomes, which tend to be worse in high-grade serous ovarian cancer than in many others.”The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,240 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018 and that the majority (85 percent) will be diagnosed after the cancer has spread, making it more difficult to treat.Sanchez said that the study results also highlight the utility of imaging mass spectrometry to study chemical communication between many different tissues and cells.”This approach has the potential to be applied to a vast range of cell and tissue types to address many conditions,” she said.last_img read more

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UCLA researchers investigate how a protein factor contributes to cancer cell migration

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first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 1 2018KEY FINDINGSUCLA researchers have discovered a new protein factor that contributes to a fibroblast cell’s ability to migrate to a wound and participate in its healing process. The study’s results could help scientists prevent cancer cells from using the same mechanisms to move throughout the body and spread.BACKGROUNDIn response to a wound, fibroblasts (cells found in connective tissues of the body), are activated to migrate toward the wound and spread, which contributes to the healing process. While non-dividing, quiescent fibroblasts are found in normal unwounded skin, when skin is wounded, molecular changes take place that give fibroblasts the ability to migrate toward the wound and heal it. Previous studies with microarrays have shown that proliferation and quiescence are associated with a major reprogramming of gene expression patterns. These gene expression changes are key for quiescent cells to reenter the cell cycle and molecular changes in response to a wound are important for the role of fibroblasts in healing. When genes are expressed, the mRNAs (or messenger molecules) that connect the genetic material in the DNA to proteins need to be processed from their initial to final form. Little was known about whether the processing of RNA molecules is important for cell migration.Related StoriesNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’New protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyMETHODTo understand how fibroblast cells migrate, the UCLA researchers utilized high throughput RNA Sequencing, imaging, primary human cells isolated from skin, cancer cell lines, and mouse modeling. They found that proliferating cells adjacent to wounds express higher levels of cleavage and polyadenylation factors (proteins that mark the end of mRNA molecules) than quiescent fibroblasts in unwounded skin. When fibroblast cells were deprived of one of these cleavage and polyadenylation factors, they migrated at a slower rate.IMPACTCancer cells rely on cleavage and polyadenylation factors to migrate, similar to normal non-tumorous proliferating fibroblast cells that participate in the healing process. By upregulating genes involved in mRNA processing, including cleavage and polyadenylation factors, cancer cells may be more able to migrate, invade and metastasize. This finding about cancer cells may offer scientists new ways to understand how cancer spreads, which could lead to innovative therapies for patients.”We found that cleavage and polyadenylation factors are functionally important for fibroblast cells to migrate,” said Hilary Coller, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Department of Biological Chemistry at UCLA and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Gene Regulation Program. “These same factors are elevated in proliferating fibroblasts, and affect migration in cancer cells as well. The data from our study, taken as a whole, provide a deeper understanding of the role of mRNA processing in the close association between proliferation and migration.”Source: https://cancer.ucla.edu/Home/Components/News/News/1206/1631last_img read more

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Smoking rates go down in the US lowest since 1965

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first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 8 2018According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), released yesterday (8th November 2018), cigarette smoking is at its lowest in the United States since 1965. Source:https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6744a2.htm?s_cid=mm6744a2_w Related StoriesCollege affirmative action bans may increase smoking rates among minority high school studentsEarly genome catastrophes can lead to development of lung cancer in non-smokersStudy: Less than 50% of U.S. adults exposed to court-ordered anti-smoking advertisementsCDC Director Robert Redfield, said in a statement, “This new all-time low in cigarette smoking among U.S. adults is a tremendous public health accomplishment – and it demonstrates the importance of continued proven strategies to reduce smoking. Despite this progress, work remains to reduce the harmful health effects of tobacco use.”NCI Director Norman E. Sharpless said in a statement, “For more than half a century, cigarette smoking has been the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Eliminating smoking in America would, over time, eliminate about one-third of all cancer deaths. The persistent disparities in adult smoking prevalence described in this report emphasize the need for further research to accelerate reductions in tobacco use among all Americans.”FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said that these trends of decline in smoking rates were “encouraging”. He said, “We’ve taken new steps to ultimately render combustible cigarettes minimally or non-addictive and to advance a framework to encourage innovation of potentially less harmful products such as e-cigarettes for adults who still seek access to nicotine, as well as support the development of novel nicotine replacement drug therapies. At the same time we’re also working to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes.”King warned that the declining rates are encouraging but there is also a rise in use of e-cigarettes that needs to be considered. “It’s critical that we not only modernize our strategies in terms of population but also modernize our interventions to be sure that we are capturing the full diversity of tobacco products that the American public are using,” he said. Image Credit: OtmarW / Shutterstockcenter_img 14 percent are smoking cigarettes 3.8 percent are smoking cigars, cigarillos or filtered little cigars 2.8 percent are using e-cigarettes 1 percent are using pipes and 2.1 percent are using smokeless tobacco products. Around 4 percent are using two or more tobacco products with the commonest combination being cigarettes and e-cigarettes 24.8 percent men are smoking compared to 14.2 percent women. Smoking was highest (22.5 percent of the whole smoking populations) among individuals aged between 25 and 44 years Smoking rates were least (11 percent) among people aged 65 years and above Smoking rates were highest among Southerners and Midwesterners (20.8% and 23.5%, respectively) Smoking rates were lowest among those in the Northeast and the West (15.6 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively) Use of e-cigarettes has also declined slightly between 2016 and 2017. Highest use is seen among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Natives closely followed by multiracial, white, and black adults. Tobacco use was higher (2 in 5 individuals) among people with psychological distress compared to those without (1 in 5) Brian King, senior author of the report and deputy director for research translation at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health in a statement said, “The good news is that cigarette smoking has reached unprecedented lows, which is a tremendous public health win, down to 14 percent from over 40 percent in the mid-1960s.” The report shows that in 2017, 19.3 percent Americans (47.4 million individuals) used tobacco in some form or the other. King and other experts agree that this dramatic decline in the numbers is due to the government policies about keeping areas smoke-free and also due to the government policies of raising taxes and prices of tobacco products.The data for this report comes from the National Health Interview Survey that looked at noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian population of 26,742 adults in 2017. Response rates were 53 percent. The team asked the population about use of five types of tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, snuffs and dips and pipes such as hookahs and water pipes.The report states, “During 2016-2017 declines occurred in current use of any tobacco product; any combustible tobacco product, [two or more] tobacco products; cigarettes; and smokeless tobacco.” King said there are still 47 million Americans are using some form of tobacco products. He said –last_img read more

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Yale researchers predict how peoples eyes move when viewing natural scenes

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first_img Source:https://www.yale.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 4 2018Using precise brain measurements, Yale researchers predicted how people’s eyes move when viewing natural scenes, an advance in understanding the human visual system that can improve a host of artificial intelligence efforts, such as the development of driverless cars, said the researchers.”We are visual beings and knowing how the brain rapidly computes where to look is fundamentally important,” said Yale’s Marvin Chun, Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, professor of neuroscience and co-author of new research published Dec. 4 in the journal Nature Communications.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustEye movements have been extensively studied, and researchers can tell with some certainty where a gaze will be directed at different elements in the environment. What hasn’t been understood is how the brain orchestrates this ability, which is so fundamental to survival.In a previous example of “mind reading,” Chun’s group successfully reconstructed facial images viewed while people were scanned in an MRI machine, based on their brain imaging data alone.In the new paper, Chun and lead author Thomas P. O’Connell took a similar approach and showed that by analyzing the brain responses to complex, natural scenes, they could predict where people would direct their attention and gaze. This was made possible by analyzing the brain data with deep convolutional neural networks — models that are extensively used in artificial intelligence (AI).”The work represents a perfect marriage of neuroscience and data science,” Chun said.The findings have a myriad of potential applications — such as testing competing artificial intelligence systems that categorize images and guide driverless cars.”People can see better than AI systems can,” Chun said. “Understanding how the brain performs its complex calculations is an ultimate goal of neuroscience and benefits AI efforts.”last_img read more

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Micropores in fabricated tissues allow nutrient and oxygen diffusion into core

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first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Micropores in fabricated tissues such as bone and cartilage allow nutrient and oxygen diffusion into the core, and this novel approach may eventually allow lab-grown tissue to contain blood vessels, according to a team of Penn State researchers.”One of the problems with fabrication of tissues is that we can’t make them large in size,” said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. “Cells die if nutrients and oxygen can’t get inside.”Inside cells also do not differentiate if the chemical cocktail that triggers stem cells to differentiate does not reach them. A porous structure allows both nutrients and other fluids to circulate.Related StoriesDangerous brain parasite invades host cell, maintains steady nutrient supplyGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwideUK government to consider fortifying flour with folic acid to combat neural tube defectsThe researchers are trying a novel approach and creating tissue building blocks with micropores. They consider this an alternative to vascularization — growing blood vessels in the tissue — and call the outcome porous tissue strands.The researchers are starting with stem cells derived from human fat and mixing them with sodium alginate porogens. Derived from seaweed, sodium alginate can be printed into tiny particles that, when dissolved, leave behind tiny holes — pores — in the fabric of the tissue. The team uses the mixture to 3D print strands of undifferentiated tissue. They can then combine the strands to form patches of tissue.When the researchers expose the tissue to the chemical cocktail, it turns the stem cells into specific cells, in this case bone or cartilage. Because of the pores, the fluid can flow to all of the stem cells.The researchers report in a recent issue of Biofabrication that the strands maintain 25 percent porosity and have pore connectivity of 85 percent for at least three weeks.By 3D printing strands next to and atop each other as shown in their previous work, the strands self-assemble to form patches of tissue.”These patches can be implanted in bone or cartilage, depending on which cells they are,” said Ozbolat. “They can be used for osteoarthritis, patches for plastic surgery such as the cartilage in the nasal septum, knee restoration and other bone or cartilage defects.”In some ways, cartilage is easier than bone because in the human body, cartilage does not have blood vessels running through it. However, some bone is naturally porous, and so porosity is valuable in replacing or repairing that bone. While currently only tiny patches can be made, these patches are easier to fabricate than growing artificial tissue on scaffolding.The researchers are considering applying the same methods to muscle, fat and various other tissues. Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/552474/2018/12/20/research/micropores-let-oxygen-and-nutrients-inside-biofabricated-tissueslast_img read more

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Whole grain cereals can provide health benefits by altering intestinal serotonin production

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 13 2019Adults consuming whole grain rye have lower plasma serotonin levels than people eating low-fiber wheat bread, according to a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In the study, the consumption of cereal fiber from rye or wheat was also found to reduce serotonin levels in the colon of mice. In light of the results, the health benefits of whole grain cereals may be linked, at least in part, to the alteration of serotonin production in the intestines, where the majority of the body’s serotonin is produced. The results of were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.The consumption of whole grain cereals has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. There may be effects on bioactive compounds contained in whole grains, phytochemicals and fibers from which different metabolites are produced by intestinal bacteria.The new study explored how the consumption of wholegrain rye modulates concentrations of different metabolites in the bloodstream. The study employed untargeted metabolite profiling, also known as metabolomics, which can simultaneously detect numerous metabolites, including those previously unknown.For the first four weeks of the study, the participants ate 6 to 10 slices a day of low-fiber wheat bread, and then another four weeks the same amount of wholegrain rye bread or wheat bread supplemented with rye fibre. Otherwise, they didn’t change their diet. At the end of both periods, they gave blood samples, which were analyzed by a combination of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Their plasma metabolite profiles between the different diet periods were then compared.Related StoriesScientists identify new therapeutic target for depressionDiabetes drug reduces anxiety-like behaviors in miceStudy offers new clues to autism’s underlying biologyThe consumption of wholegrain rye led to, among other things, significantly lower serotonin concentrations when compared to consumption of low-fiber wheat bread. The researchers also tested in mice whether the addition of cereal fiber to the diet changes serotonin production in the intestine. The diet of the mice was supplemented for nine weeks with rye bran, wheat bran or cellulose flour. The mice receiving rye or wheat bran had significantly lower serotonin in their colon.Serotonin is best known as a neurotransmitter in the brain. However, serotonin produced by the intestines remains separated from the brain, serving various peripheral functions including modulation of gut’s motility. Increased blood serotonin has also been associated with high blood glucose levels.”Whole grain, on the other hand, is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, and on the basis of these new results, the effect could at least partly be due to a decrease in serotonin levels,” says Academy Research Fellow Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland.The researchers are also interested in the association of serotonin with colorectal cancer.”Some recent studies have found cancer patients to have higher plasma serotonin levels than healthy controls,” Scientist Pekka Keski-Rahkonen from IARC adds.The consumption of wholegrain rye bread was also associated with lower plasma concentrations of taurine, glycerophosphocholine and two endogenous glycerophospholipids. In addition, the researchers identified 15 rye phytochemicals whose levels in the bloodstream increased with the consumption of rye fiber.Source: http://www.uef.fi/-/taysjyvavilja-voi-edistaa-terveytta-muuttamalla-suoliston-serotoniinituotantoalast_img read more

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Tart cherry reduces joint pain and sore muscles in some breast cancer

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first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 10 2019Tart cherry reduces the musculoskeletal effects of aromatase inhibitors in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, according to new findings from a clinical trial by researchers at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are a standard treatment for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. These agents can help prevent recurrence of the disease by inhibiting the action of aromatase, an enzyme responsible for conversion of androgens to estrogens. About half of patients who take AIs also suffer from joint and muscle pain known as aromatase inhibitor induced arthralgia, which, at times, can be debilitating and cause patients to not complete their treatments.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsThis randomized, double-blind trial compared the consumption of 1 ounce of tart cherry concentrate in 8 ounces of water daily for six weeks with a placebo group in women with stage 1, 2 or 3 non-metastatic breast cancer. A total of 60 patients were enrolled throughout the course of the clinical trial, conducted May 2016 to August 2018.Patients documented their pain intensity at the start of the trial, weekly and at study completion. Patients who completed the trial recorded a 34.7% mean decrease in pain compared to 1.4% in the placebo group. Source:Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine The flavonoids and anthocyanins in tart cherry have anti-inflammatory properties and may be playing a role in reducing the side effects of joint pain and muscles aches, although etiology of aromatase-induced arthralgias remain unclear at this time. There was a statistically significant difference in the pain levels experienced by patients in the group that received the tart cherry concentrate compared to the placebo group.”Principal investigator Maria Tria Tirona, M.D., professor of hematology-oncology at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and director of medical oncology at Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Centerlast_img read more

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Multifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibioticprescribing

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first_imgWhile this study did not demonstrate a significant reduction in inappropriate antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections with an enhanced educational campaign supplemented by peer comparison, the good news is that its rates are already remarkably low (~5%) in some emergency departments (EDs), and these campaigns appear feasible for EDs seeking more comprehensive models to improve stewardship and for application to other targets, such as urinary treat infections and shotgun empirical broad-spectrum IV treatments (e.g., vancomycin and piperaciilin/tazobactam).” Source:Society for Academic Emergency MedicineJournal reference:Yadav, K. et al. (2019) A Multifaceted Intervention Improves Prescribing for Acute Respiratory Infection for Adults and Children in Emergency Department and Urgent Care Settings. Academic Emergency Medicine. doi.org/10.1111/acem.13690. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 11 2019Antibiotic stewardship interventions for acute respiratory infection (ARI) is feasible and effective and can significantly reduce overuse in the emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) settings. That is the conclusion of a study to be published in the July 2019 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).The multicenter interventional study — the first to evaluate the effectiveness of the Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship when implemented as a bundle — compared two approaches designed to help physicians make better antibiotic-prescribing decisions for viral acute respiratory infections (ARIs) without limiting the choices available.Related StoriesFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDNew mobile phone application can measure impaired breathingWearable sensors show how antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread through hospital wardsThe lead author of the study is Kabir Yadav, MD, MS, MSHS, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, CA.Yadav, et al. found that while overall performance improvements are still needed in systems with both high and low performers, the study demonstrates that getting to zero inappropriate antibiotic use for ARIs is a potentially achievable goal, and for those institutions with average or high inappropriate prescribing rates, antibiotic overuse can be cut by one-third, with attention to the problem.Commenting on the study is David A. Talan, MD, professor of medicine in residence (emeritus), David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chair emeritus, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, Division of Infectious Diseases, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center:last_img read more

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Scientists identify early signs of Parkinsons disease years before symptoms develop

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first_imgBy Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jun 20 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Scientists at King’s College London have identified the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease in the brain up to 20 years before patients present with any symptoms. The findings challenge what had so far been understood about the disease and could lead to new screening tools for identifying high-risk patients and new treatment approaches, although larger studies and more affordable scans would be needed first.Alpha Tauri 3D Graphics | ShutterstockBrain scans of high-risk patients showed a loss of serotonin function before movement disorders developed. The serotonin system regulates mood, sleep and movement.Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological condition and affects about 145,000 people in the UK. The main symptoms are movement problems such as shaking and tremors, cognitive disorders, depression, and difficulty sleeping, but the disease is known to establish itself in the brain long before symptoms appear and a diagnosis is made.Studying the early stages of the disease to find treatment approaches with the potential to slow progression represents a huge challenge to researchers, who have so far linked the condition to reduced dopamine levels in the brain. Although no cure for the disease exists, current treatments are focused on controlling symptoms by restoring dopamine levels.However, the current study shows that changes in the neurotransmitter serotonin occur very early in Parkinson’s disease. These changes could serve as an important early warning signal that a person is at risk. Serotonin transporter proteins are the first to change in Parkinson’s diseaseFor the study, Politis and colleagues scanned the brains of 14 people in their 20s and 30s who have a rare genetic disorder that means they are almost certain to develop Parkinson’s once they reach their late forties or fifties.Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a build-up of the protein α-synuclein in the brain. While the cause of this protein accumulation is usually unclear, genetic mutations are known to cause the problem in a minority of cases.The subjects, who were all from remote villages in Greece and Italy, have rare autosomal dominant point mutations A53T in the α-synuclein (SNCA) gene. The SNCA mutation originates in villages located in the northern Peloponnese in Greece and is also found in people who moved to nearby areas in Italy.Half the subjects had already been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, while the other half had not yet displayed any symptoms, making the group perfect for analyzing how the disease progresses.“Given the known neurochemical changes in the serotonergic system and their association with symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, we hypothesised that carriers of the A53T SNCA mutation might show abnormalities in the serotonergic neurotransmitter system before the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, and that this pathology might be associated with measures of Parkinson’s burden,” write the team in the journal Lancet Neurology.After flying the 14 participants to London for brain imaging and clinical assessment, Politis and team compared the subjects’ data with 65 patients with Parkinson’s disease of a non-genetic cause and 25 healthy individuals.They found that the people who were destined to develop Parkinson’s had sharply reduced levels of serotonin, which controls many brain functions including mood, cognition, movement, wellbeing and even appetite.The serotonin system started to malfunction in the subjects with Parkinson’s long before symptoms such as movement problems started to appear and before abnormalities in the dopamine system arose.“Our findings provide evidence that molecular imaging of serotonin transporters could be used to visualize premotor pathology of Parkinson’s disease in vivo,” writes the team.Further research ‘could change countless lives’The brain scans took the form of PET scans, which are difficult to perform and expensive and the researchers say that further work to develop the technique is needed to make the imaging method simpler to carry out and more affordable for use as a screening tool.Professor of medical imaging at University College London, Derek Hill, says that although the study provides valuable insights, it also has some limitations.He points out that the results may not scale up to larger studies and that the highly specialised imaging method is limited to a very small number of research centers so could not yet be used to help diagnose patients or evaluate candidate treatments in large studies.However, the research does suggest that trying to treat Parkinson’s at the earliest possible disease stage is likely to be the best approach to preventing the rising number of people whose lives are destroyed by this hideous disease, says Hill.Research manager at the charity Parkinson’s UK, Dr Beckie Port, concludes: “Further research is needed to fully understand the importance of this discovery – but if it is able to unlock a tool to measure and monitor how Parkinson’s develops, it could change countless lives.” Journal reference:Wilson, H., et al. (2019). Serotonergic pathology and disease burden in the premotor and motor phase of A53T α-synuclein parkinsonism: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Neurology. doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30140-1. Our results suggest that early detection of changes in the serotonin system could open doors to the development of new therapies to slow, and ultimately prevent [the] progression of Parkinson’s disease.”Professor Marios Politis, Chief Investigatorlast_img read more

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Researchers reveal benefits of a vacation for our heart health

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first_imgWhat we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated.”Bryce Hruska, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Syracuse University’s Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 21 2019We all treasure our vacation time and look forward to that time when we can get away from work. With the arrival of summer comes the prime vacation season and along with it one more reasons to appreciate our vacation time: the value to our heart health. While there has been much anecdotal evidence about the benefits of taking a vacation from work, a new study by Syracuse University professors Bryce Hruska and Brooks Gump and other researchers reveals the benefits of a vacation for our heart health. Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchBottom line: A person can reduce their metabolic symptoms – and therefore their risk of cardiovascular disease – simply by going on vacation.Hruska says that we are still learning what it is about vacations that make them beneficial for heart health, but at this point, what we do know that it is important for people to use the vacation time that is available to them. “One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 percent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize all the time available to them. Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that’s already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit.”Read more from Psychology and Health about how Vacation frequency is associated with metabolic syndrome and symptoms. Source:Syracuse UniversityJournal reference:Hruska, B. et al. (2019) Vacation frequency is associated with metabolic syndrome and symptoms. Psychology and Health. doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2019.1628962last_img read more

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San Francisco set to ban sales of ecigarettes

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first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019 San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is slated to vote Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city. The city is the corporate home of Juul Labs, the biggest producer of e-cigarettes in the country.The ordinances would make the sale of e-cigarettes illegal in brick-and-mortar stores and online when shipping to San Francisco addresses.San Francisco Mayor London Breed has 10 days to sign the legislation, which she has said she will do. The law will be enforced seven months from that date, in early 2020.San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, who co-authored the legislation, sees it as part of a long-term battle against the effects of smoking.”We spent a few decades fighting big tobacco in the form of cigarettes,” Walton said. “Now we have to do it again in the form of e-cigarettes.”Under federal law, the minimum age to buy tobacco products is 18.  California and 15 other states, however, have raised that age to 21 or passed measures that will set it to 21 by 2021. Despite this, use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, has skyrocketed among teenagers nationally.Last year, 1 in 5 high school seniors reported vaping in the past month. That’s almost double the number from the year before. Even eighth graders are vaping in record numbers.These increases come after years of declines in teenagers smoking traditional cigarettes.Public health officials are concerned about the rising number of teenagers using e-cigarettes, as nicotine can harm a young person’s developing brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that young people who vape may be more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.Walton said he’s disgusted with the actions of Juul and similar companies, who he said are “putting profits before the health of young people, and people in general.”Despite the tobacco age limit, Walton noted that vaping devices are commonly confiscated from students in the city’s middle and high schools.The ordinance is accompanied by another that prevents the manufacture, distribution and sale of e-cigarettes on San Francisco property. The ordinance takes direct aim at Juul Labs, which leases space from the city on San Francisco’s Pier 70. The ordinance is not retroactive, so it would not remove Juul from the company’s current space, but it would prevent other e-cigarette makers from renting city property in the future. In a statement, Juul spokesman Ted Kwong wrote that, regardless, the company does not “manufacture, distribute or sell our product from this space.”Juul’s vaping device was introduced in 2015. It’s small, sleek and discreet, looking similar to a flash drive. The company now controls 70% of the vaping market.In a statement, Juul Labs said it shares the city’s goal of keeping e-cigarettes away from young people. The company said it has made it harder for underage buyers to purchase Juul off its website and has shut down Juul accounts on Facebook and Instagram.Related StoriesStudy reveals how habitual smoking may contribute to development of hypertensionTelomere shortening in adulthood is not caused by smoking, say researchersEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditionsBut, the company argues that “the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year.”Walton doesn’t buy that argument, however. He said that’s simply “trading one nicotine addiction for another.” What’s more, he’s concerned that for every adult that might benefit, dozens of young people could become addicted.San Francisco resident Jay Friedman said the complete e-cigarette ban goes too far. The software engineer smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, and smoking e-cigarettes has reduced his regular cigarette habit to two to three a day. He said he feels better physically.Friedman supported a ban on flavored tobacco that city voters passed last year. “I feel like it was good to get rid of the fruit flavors for kids,” he said, “but this feels like maybe a step too far.”If e-cigarettes are banned, he said, he would try to quit nicotine altogether. But, “there would be a point in a moment of weakness where I’d just end up buying a pack of smokes again and then it’s just a slippery slope from there.”Small businesses in San Francisco are concerned the ban will hurt their bottom line.Miriam Zouzounis and her family own Ted’s Market, a convenience store near downtown San Francisco. She said e-cigarettes are an “anchor” product: They draw people into the store.”When people come and want to purchase something at the store and we don’t have that exact item that they want, they’re not going to buy the rest of the items that they might on that trip: a drink or a sandwich,” Zouzounis said.She said sales from e-cigarettes account for at least $200 to $300 a day in sales. As a board member of the Arab American Grocers Association, she said she believes laws like this mostly affect businesses owned by immigrants.Abbey Chaitin is a 15-year-old lifelong San Francisco resident. She isn’t drawn to using e-cigarettes, she said, because she has seen peers become addicted to them.”I’ll see them in class fidgeting,” Chaitin said. “They need it to focus, to function.”And Chaitin predicted that, regardless of a ban, young people will still get their hands on e-cigarettes: “People my age can find a way around that if they really need to,” she said.Meanwhile, Juul is collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative to override the ban.This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

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Social media provides critical information missed by FEMA

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first_img Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research reports that almost half of Hurricane Harvey damage reports provided by social media users were not captured by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates.”Lessons from Harvey: Crisis Informatics for Urban Resilience” examines the use of social media and crowdsourced data sites during Hurricane Harvey. The study evaluates the efficacy of FEMA property damage estimates by comparing them to Twitter-sourced damage reports and water rescue records from CrowdSource Rescue (CSR), a platform set up during Hurricane Harvey. The study tracked more than a million tweets between Aug. 25 and Sept. 8, 2017.”Social media, in particular Twitter, has been used to evaluate aspects of disaster related to public and private spaces and records,” said Carlos Villegas, a staff researcher at Rice’s Kinder Institute who co-authored the report along with Kinder Institute colleagues Matthew Martinez, a research scientist, and Matthew Krause, a GIS analyst.The study’s lead finding was that initial Harvey damage estimates based on FEMA models missed areas of heavy impact. The researchers said supplementing the models with real-time analysis of social media and crowdsourced information could help identify those overlooked areas. Forty-six percent of Twitter-sourced estimates—reports tweeted during the storm by impacted individuals as property damage occurred—were not captured by FEMA estimates.”Social media accounts have become an essential tool for information and calls for assistance during storms and crisis situations, and we expect this to increase,” Villegas said. “During Hurricane Harvey, CSR was able to collect over 15,000 records and 5,200 rescue requests.”But in order to take advantage of the information provided by social media and crowdsourcing, the report’s authors said public agencies should proactively create structures and plans to include it in recovery analysis.”Social media and emergency crowdsourced sites have the potential to support normal channels of emergency communication, such as the 911 system, which can become overwhelmed during large disaster events,” Villegas said.The report’s authors said that data agreements between cities, businesses and research groups can help save time and create robust and accurate assessments of damage. They hope this report will encourage these types of groups to work together in the future. Social media sites can be a valuable tool for assessing the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but a new report indicates much of the critical information conveyed by those sites is overlooked by federal authorities. Credit: Rice Kinder Institute Citation: Social media provides critical information missed by FEMA (2018, August 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-social-media-critical-fema.html More information: The report is available online at kinder.rice.edu/research/lesso … ics-urban-resilience Explore further Provided by Rice University Natural disasters widen racial wealth gap This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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New traffic light system automatically recognizes pedestrians intent to cross the road

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first_img More convenience—less waiting timeIn a project commissioned by Municipal Department 33 of the City of Vienna—responsible for urban lighting, traffic lights, clocks and public WiFi nodes—researchers at TU Graz’s Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision have developed a new pedestrian traffic light system in the last three years which is more convenient and meant to replace the push-button system. The innovative camera-based system recognizes the intention of pedestrians to cross the road and switches to green automatically. What’s more, it optimizes the traffic flow further, as Horst Possegger from the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision explains by way of two examples: “The green phase can be extended in the case of large groups of persons, who require more time to cross the road. And if persons leave the waiting area before the lights have turned to green, this is also passed on to the lights. The traffic lights subsequently don’t switch to green and there are no unnecessary waiting times for motorized traffic.”Camera tracking as basisThe main feature is a camera mounted on each pedestrian traffic light. Whereas standard industrial solutions only cover a visual field of two by three metres, this system perceives persons within a field of eight by five metres. It recognises whoever wants to cross the street in seconds. “It requires one second to estimate the intention—after two seconds the estimation becomes reliable,” explains Possegger. Subsequently, the system signals the wish to cross the road on behalf of one or more persons to the pedestrian light controller. The latter decides when the lights should change—just like a traditional push-button system. “Using the current configurations, our system signals that wish to cross three to four seconds before the button is pushed,” says Possegger. Citation: New traffic light system automatically recognizes pedestrians’ intent to cross the road (2019, May 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-traffic-automatically-pedestrians-intent-road.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Horst Possegger knows that this all sounds very simple, but “two years of intensive research were necessary due to the complexity of requirements.” The hardware had to be big enough for a powerful local computer, but at the same time small enough to fit into the switch box of the traffic lights. Exactness and efficiency was a primary goal of the software. Moreover, the traffic light was also equipped with a monitoring system which can report faults immediately. “This is a double safeguard. The system was developed in such a way that it can work round-the-clock even in a harsh environment and can also deal with voltage fluctuations,” explains Possegger. Using global movement models and recorded data, the research team developed learning algorithms which recognize pedestrians’ intention to cross the street.Possegger dispels any worries about data protection. Although the image data are absolutely necessary to detect pedestrians—including children and persons with umbrellas or buggies, the images are only analyzed locally and do not leave the camera. The pedestrian traffic light system works exclusively with geometric information from which it derives a possible wish to cross.Implementation by the end of 2020The knowledge transfer is currently being carried out from the researchers to Günther Pichler GmbH. The company is responsible for the installation in the Vienna city area and will replace push-button lights with the new camera system at selected locations by the end of 2020 for evaluation purposes. Provided by Graz University of Technologycenter_img Explore further In Vienna there are some 200 push-button pedestrian lights (signalized pedestrian crossings). They allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. But only after a waiting time, which is annoying for many people. This often results in pedestrians not waiting for the green phase, but instead walking in a different direction or crossing the street when the lights are red. For some people, push-button lights are an invitation to trigger off the green phase as they go past—just for fun. Something that annoys car drivers, who have to stop at the crossing even though nobody is crossing the road. Blinking ground lights developed to ensure pedestrian traffic safety Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

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A wearable vibration sensor for accurate voice recognition

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first_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Professor Kilwon Cho of Chemical Engineering and Professor Yoonyoung Chung of Electronic and Electric Engineering from POSTECH successfully developed a flexible and wearable vibration responsive sensor. When this sensor is attached to a neck, it can precisely recognize voice through vibration of the neck skin and is not affected by ambient noise or the volume of sound.Conventional vibration sensors recognize a voice through air vibration and the sensitivity decreases due to mechanical resonance and the damping effect, therefore they are not capable of measuring voices quantitatively. So, ambient sound or obstacles such as a mouth mask can affect its accuracy of voice recognition and it cannot be used for security authentication.In this study, the research group demonstrated that the voice pressure is proportional to the acceleration of neck skin vibration at various sound pressure levels from 40 to 70 dBSPL, and they developed a vibration sensor utilizing the acceleration of skin vibration. The device, which is consists of an ultrathin polymer film and a diaphragm with tiny holes, can sense voices quantitively by measuring the acceleration of skin vibration. Flexible piezoelectric acoustic sensors for speaker recognition Provided by Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) Citation: A wearable vibration sensor for accurate voice recognition (2019, June 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-wearable-vibration-sensor-accurate-voice.html More information: Siyoung Lee et al, An ultrathin conformable vibration-responsive electronic skin for quantitative vocal recognition, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10465-wcenter_img Explore further Journal information: Nature Communications Schematic image of the comparison between our device and a reference microphone (Bruel & Kjaer, microphone type 4192, sensitivity of 1 V Pa?1) for voice authentication and voice-controlled applications. Credit: POSTECH Play Voice authentication and voice remote control system Credit: POSTECH The researchers also successfully exhibited that the device can accurately recognize a voice without vibrational distortion even in the noisy environment and at a very low voice volume with a mouth mask worn.This research can be further extended to various voice-recognition applications such as an electronic skin, human-machine interface, or wearable vocal healthcare monitoring device.Professor Kilwon Cho explained this study in an interview. “This research is very meaningful in a way that it developed a new voice-recognition system which can quantitively sense and analyze voice and is not affected by the surroundings. It took a step forward from the conventional voice-recognition system that could only recognize voice qualitatively.” A voice-recognition feature can be easily found on mobile phones these days. Oftentimes, we experience an incident where a speech recognition application is activated in the middle of a meeting or a conversation in the office. Sometimes, it is not activated at all regardless of numbers of times we call out the application. It is because a mobile phone uses a microphone which detects sound pressure to recognize voice, and it is easily affected by surrounding noise and other obstacles.last_img read more

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Largest Neolithic Settlement in Israel Uncovered Up to 3000 People May Have

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first_img Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Road and Coins Discovered in Israel Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel Archaeologists have known about this location, called the Motza site, for decades. However, now that the government plans to build a new highway entrance and new roundabouts there, the Israel Antiquities Authority sent a team to do a full-scale excavation of the Neolithic settlement, Vardi told Live Science. This effort quickly became the largest excavation of a Neolithic site in the country, he said. During the Neolithic, hunter-gatherer groups began farming and making permanent settlements. So, it came as no surprise when they found large buildings with rooms where Neolithic people once lived, public facilities and places for rituals. Alleyways ran between the buildings, showing that the settlement had an advanced layout. Some buildings even had plaster floors. The team also uncovered human burials beneath and around the houses. Some of the burials also held burial goods, likely offerings that may have been given to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of these grave goods came from far away — including obsidian beads from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and seashells from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea — indicating that the people at this site traded with neighboring regions. The excavation also uncovered several stone and mother-of-pearl bracelets, which, given their small size, were likely worn by children or adolescents, Vardi said. He added that one burial showed that these bracelets were worn on the upper arm. The site also has thousands of stone arrowheads for hunting, axes for felling trees, and sickle blades and knives, as well as figurines whose styles date to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the seeds found at the site indicates that people lived there between 9,000 and 8,800 years ago, Vardi said. In addition to farming crops and keeping goats, these people kept cows and pigs; they also hunted game, such as gazelle, deer, wolves and foxes, as shown by animal remains found there. “Based on the data that we have and from the fauna, we have a pretty good notion that the people at the site were farmers and they were specialists in what they did,” Vardi said. After the Neolithic period ended, people continued to live there. It’s clear why this spot was so desirable, Vardi said, as it’s near a large spring and several smaller springs that supply fresh water. The site is now 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sorek Stream. The entire Motza site is about 0.1 square miles (30 to 40 hectares). As the excavation wraps up, the team still has a lot on its plate. The researchers plan to publish several papers and articles for the public on the site, as well as put some of the artifacts in museums for public viewing, Vardi said. Before it gets destroyed by a newly constructed highway, a 9,000-year-old Neolithic site just outside of Jerusalem is getting an exhaustive excavation, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The humans who lived there during the Neolithic (the last period of the Stone Age) were a sophisticated bunch. Many of them were likely farmers who had stored hundreds of thousands of seeds — including lentils, chickpeas and beans — in storage facilities. These ancient people also kept domesticated goats, as shown by animal remains found at the site, and they traded with neighboring regions, such as what is now Turkey, Jordan and the areas around the Red Sea. “This is the first time that such a large-scale settlement from the Neolithic period — 9,000 years ago — [has been] discovered in Israel,” Hamoudi Khalaily and Jacob Vardi, archaeologists and excavation directors at the site, who work with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “At least 2,000 [to] 3,000 residents lived here — an order of magnitude that parallels a present-day city.” [See Photos of the Neolithic Excavation]Advertisement Largest Neolithic Excavation on Record in IsraelArchaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old farming settlement in Israel that dates to the Neolithic. Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities AuthorityVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65956-largest-neolithic-settlement-in-israel.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭 center_img Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndohear.comThese German hearing aids are going viralhear.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndolast_img read more

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Seven bridges in Kolkata identified as most vulnerable

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first_imgOfficials already banned movement of all goods vehicles on Bijon setu, Gouribari Aurobindo Setu, Belgachhia, Tollygunge Circular Road bridges In the wake of the Majerhat bridge collapse on September 4, the West Bengal public works department (PWD) has identified seven bridges in the city as “most vulnerable” requiring urgent repairs, a senior official of the department said.The seven bridges are out of the 20, which, the PWD has classified as “distressed” structures. Labelled as “most vulnerable”, the bridges Bijon setu, Gouribari Aurobindo Setu, Belgachhia bridge, Tollygunge Circular Road bridge, Dhakuria bridge, Tallah bridge and Santragachi bridge, the PWD official told PTI.“Load-bearing capacities of these bridges were carried out and depending on that report, we have suggested to the police to impose restriction on goods-carrying vehicles to prevent further deterioration of the condition of the distressed structures,” he said.The Kolkata Police has already banned movement of all goods vehicles on the first four bridges and is exploring the possibility whether a similar decision can be taken for the remaining ones, a senior officer of Kolkata Traffic Police said. But, overloaded vehicles are still plying on the bridges, especially at night, leading to traffic snarls following which the trucks are stranded on the structures which might lead to another mishap, the PWD official said.The PWD is preparing a detailed budget and a plan for immediately taking up the repair work of the seven bridges, the official said. The department is also carrying out inspection of the remaining 13 bridges, including Dhakuria bridge, Tallah bridge, Sukanta Setu and Santragachchi bridge, following which they will either be labelled as “vulnerable or relatively safe.”“Inspection is being carried to test the load-bearing capacity of Dhakuria bridge and Tallah bridge so that a decision can be taken on the type of vehicles whose movement may be restricted,” the PWD official said. A team of officials from the state PWD department has carried out separate surveys at Sukanta Setu connecting Jadavpur with Santoshpur and at the Karunamoyee bridge linking Tollygunge to Haridevpur. “Sukanta Setu has developed cracks in some places and requires repair work. But there is a need of a survey of the structure to ascertain the extent of damage,” he said.Talking about the Santragachhi bridge, the PWD official said that “poor condition” of the bridge was a cause of worry. “Santragachhi bridge is a vital bridge but a recent survey suggests that it requires immediate repair on urgent basis. We think we must have a separate plan for Santragachhi bridge because it is used by several hundreds of trucks bringing in supply to the city and the suburbs,” he said.Talking about the Sealdah bridge, the PWD official said that the government was working on options for shifting the shopkeepers to some other locations before starting “immediate” restoration work there. “Sealdah bridge is a crucial one in the city which also immediately requires urgent repairs. But markets and shops need to be shifted first before we start carrying out the renovation and restoration works,” the official pointed out.Talking about the budget for carrying out the repair works at these bridges, the official hinted that it could run into several crores because the restoration work woule differ from bridge to bridge. After estimating the cost, the state government would float tender and it would be done in “a very short time,” the official added.On whether the bridges were maintained properly or there were lapses on part of the government, the official said, “People have forgotten that bridges have a shelf life and require regular monitoring apart from auditing and maintenance. But these critical parts were ignored and hence bridges have reached such a structurally distressed state.” Three persons were killed while 24 others injured in the September 4 collapse of a portion of Majerhat bridge, which connects the city centre with the heavily populated Behala, vast areas of the south west suburbs and neighbouring South 24 Parganas district. RELATED Rescue and relief works in progress at the site of Majerhat Bridge collapse. File Photo   –  BusinessLine COMMENTS Many feared trapped in rail overbridge collapse in Kolkata Mamata blames metro rail constructionwork for Kolkata flyover collapse Majerhat bridge collapse: Rescue operations still on, Mamata to visit site SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img Mamata: 20 Flyovers in the city in weak condition Kolkata Published on Kolkata’s Majerhat bridge collapses; nine hurt SHARE COMMENT September 14, 2018last_img read more

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Will implement oddeven scheme when needed KejriwalWill implement oddeven scheme when needed

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first_imgRELATED Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (file photo)   –  PTI COMMENTS SHARE Pollution in Delhi: EPCA shuts industries, construction activities till Wednesday No.of days when pollution level was very poor or severe down to 191 in 2018: Environment Min December 25, 2018 With the national capital battling ‘severe’ air pollution, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday the Delhi government will implement odd-even scheme, to regulate plying of private vehicles in the city, whenever it is required.He said the Delhi government was taking several steps for reducing pollution levels in the national capital.In view of the city’s ‘severe’ air quality, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Monday banned industrial activities in pollution hot spots and construction work across Delhi-NCR till Wednesday.“Whenever the odd-even (scheme) is required, we will definitely implement it,” Kejriwal told reporters here.“We all have to be participants in reducing pollution. The Delhi government is taking several steps. We have carried out large-scale tree plantation drive. The government will procure 3000 buses soon. Also, we sanctioned a large phase of Metro… We are making all efforts on our part,” he said.Asked about the Centre’s role in reducing pollution levels, the chief minister said the Union government should call a meeting of neighbouring states as “air has no boundary”. “In October and November, there are around 20-25 days when pollution level increases in Delhi due to stubble burning (in neighbouring states). Until the centre takes steps, nothing cannot be done,” Kejriwal said.Pollution crisisDelhi’s air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday as meteorological conditions continued to be unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants, authorities said. The city is facing its worst pollution crisis since Diwali.While the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed the overall air quality index (AQI) at ‘severe’ level of 416, the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) recorded an AQI of 423.In view of the city’s severe air quality, authorities have advised people to minimise outdoor activities and avoid use of private vehicles.Industries located in hotspot industrial areas of Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad will remain closed until Wednesday, EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal had said in a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.center_img COMMENT Air pollution: Time for tokenism is over SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on air pollution New Delhilast_img read more

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Modi plays on Tamil sentiments

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first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invoked the legacy of former State chief ministers MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, and played on the Tamil sentiment as he sought their votes for the AIADMK-led alliance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.“I am happy to share two things with you. We have decided to rename the Chennai Central Station after the great MGR. We are also seriously thinking about ensuring that flights to and from Tamil Nadu have in-flight announcements in Tamil language,” he said at an election rally in Kilambakkam in Kanchipuram district.Modi said, he had visited MGR’s birth place in Sri Lanka. “It would make you proud that India has committed to construct 14,000 houses for Indian-origin Tamilians in Sri Lanka. Last year, the first 1,000 houses were handed over to the beneficiaries. The construction of 3,000 houses is in rapid pace and the rest once Sri Lanka identifies the land,” he said.“The Centre is making continuous efforts for the development of Tamil Nadu. We are committed to develop Tamil Nadu that Jayalalithaa dreamt of,” he said.Renaming the Central Station in the name of MG Ramachandran has been a long-pending project of the ruling government. Similarly, there have been requests from many quarters for flight announcements in Tamil even as the low cost airlines bare connecting smaller towns and passengers have complained of being unable to understand announcements made in English and Hindi. On the auspicious day of Amavasya, the AIADMK-led allianceon Wednesday launched the election campaign with Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami saying that Modi is the best person to run the country.This is Modi’s fourth visit to the State in less than 40 days. On February 19, the AIADMK and the BJP formalised their “mega- alliance” that included the PMK for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP will contest from five seats in the State.Taking a dig at the Opposition, Modi said they are guided by politics and selfish interests and do not want a strong India or a strong Armed Force. He also recalled that using Article 356, the former prime minister Indira Gandhi dismissed nearly 50 governments, including the DMK. For the DMK, opportunism has prevailed over values, he said, referring to the alliance with the Congress.Meanwhile, the day saw speculations that the Vijaykanth’s DMDK will join the AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance, and that there would be representation from the DMDK in the election rally. But that did not happen. Tamil Nadu Modi unveils slew of road and railway projects in Tamil Nadu national elections March 06, 2019 national politics Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a political rally held near Chennai on Wednesday. (L to R): K Krishnaswamy, founder, Pudhiya Tamilagam, O Paneerselvam, Deputy Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswamy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and S Ramadoss, PMK founder.   –  THE HINDU RELATED SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Fani impact Parts of Bhubaneswar still groping in the dark

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first_imgCoastal Odisha struggling without power and water COMMENT May 09, 2019 Cyclone Fani impact: Kendrapara plumbers join hands in water supply restoration Cyclone Fani: ICICI Bank contributes Rs 10 crore towards relief in Odisha SHARE SHARE EMAIL Cyclone Fani effect: Heat wave sears AP, Telangana Cyclone Fani: Adani Group commits Rs 25 crore to Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund Settle cyclone Fani claims faster: IRDAI to insurers Cyclone Fani impact: Odisha seeks $14 bn for reconstruction cyclones SHARE relief and aid organisation COMMENTS RELATED A week after cyclone Fani battered Odisha, the capital city, Bhubaneswar, is still groping in the dark, or at least most parts of the city are, as power supply has not been fully restored. According to the authorities, full restoration of power may take three days more. The cyclone hit the Odisha coast near Puri last Friday.According to the Odisha Information and Public Relations Secretary, Sanjay Singh, water supply has been restored in the Fani-hit areas of Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Khurda, Nimapara and Konark.The lack of skilled workers is hampering power restoration work and 5,000 workers have been brought from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to assist in the power restoration work.According to him, of 58,000 power connections under the BCDD-1 division in Bhubaneswar, 37,000 had been reconnected and power restored to them; under BCDD-2, power had been restored to 33,000 of 97,000 connections; and under the Bhubaneswar electrical division, power had been restored to 16,000 out of 78,000 connections. It may be possible to restore power to all connections by May 12 or so.Even though Net connectivity has been restored, bank branches and ATMs were unable to function in many areas for want of power. In Puri, of 239 branches, 60 are functional, and only 20 out of 273 ATMs are operational. In Cuttack, of 422 branches, 260 are functioning, while162 out of 593 ATMs are functioning. In Khurda district, of 707 branches, 372 are functioning, and only 197 ATMs out of a total of 1,164 are operational.The state government has convened a state-level bankers’ meeting to discuss the problem and ensure that all bank branches and ATMs are functional as soon as possible. Most of the branches are being run on diesel generator sets.Some of the units in the Bhubaneswar IT special economic zone have started functioning, but only in day shifts, it is learnt.The official death toll in the cyclone has been put at 41 and more than 1.5 crore people have been affected by it. The poultry sector has taken a huge hit, with more than 20 lakh birds perishing in the cyclone.A central team is to visit the state soon to assess the total damage. The Prime Minister has announced Rs 1,000 crore as immediate central assistance for relief. Earlier, Rs 300 crore was released for relief. According to J.P Mishra, the Chief Public Relations Officer of the East Coast Railway (ECOR), train services have been restored on the affected routes.The state government is supplying rice and other essentials to the affected people in villages and slum areas in towns. Published onlast_img read more

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