Vaping surges among American teenagers says new report

first_imgVaping pen, vape devices. Image Credit: Hazem.m.kamal / Shutterstock Source: The latest survey from the University of Michigan has found that teenagers aged between 17 and 18 years and in their 12 grades were vaping nicotine more than before. The percentage has risen from 11 percent in 2017 to 21 percent this year, they noted. Recently surveys have shown that smoking rates are on the decline among Americans especially teenagers. This report reverse the happy trend say the experts.The team of surveyors asked the teenagers if they had vaped in the preceding 30 days as part of the Monitoring the Future study. They looked at 45,000 students across the nation and this was one of the largest annually rises in smoking rates over the last four and a half decades. Similar increase was seen in marijuana smoking in the 1970s, explain the experts.The report adds that vaping rose from 3.5 percent to 6.1 percent among 8th graders and from 8 percent to 16 percent among 10th graders. Among students between grades 9 and 12, there were 1.3 million additional adolescents who used e-cigarettes, write the authors of the report. Hand in hand, marijuana vaping was also on the rise they warned.Richard Miech, lead author of the review said, “The policies and procedures in place to prevent youth vaping clearly haven’t worked… Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine… These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”Related StoriesNew program focuses on preventing alcohol, e-cigarette use by childrenE-cigarettes contaminated with dangerous microbial toxinsSan Francisco set to ban sales of e-cigarettesThe team of experts noted that alcohol use, marijuana smoking, cocaine and use of other illicit drugs had not changed significantly in this study duration. Binge drinking in fact was significantly low among 12th graders during the period of the survey, they add.The team adds that the reason behind this rise could be availability of several flavours and discrete USB devices. Another reason could be the absence of socializing among teenagers and more time spent with smartphones and other devices. Experts say that smoking, drinking and experimenting with drugs is usually a group activity while vaping is an individual activity. Mr Miech said, “Factors that make vaping so attractive to youth include its novelty and the easy concealability of the latest vaping devices, which better allows youth to vape without adults knowing about it.”Dr Nora D Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse said, “Teens are clearly attracted to the marketable technology and flavorings seen in vaping devices. However, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction.”According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this September the rise in vaping is like an “epidemic” among the teens especially with the flavoured options. E-cigarette makers Juul, last month as a response to the appeals from various authorities and organization, stopped sales of certain flavours attractive to teenagers and children. This is in an effort to stop the use of these e-cigarettes among teenagers. They also stopped their Instagram and Facebook channels to stop teenager involvement with their products. They had doubled their sales to $ 2.31 billion in August 2018 says the CNBC.center_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDDec 19 2018A latest report finds that United States teenagers are increasingly using e-cigarettes. These electronic cigarettes were initially targeted towards adults who were willing to quit smoking.last_img read more

Diets that are more climatefriendly are also healthier finds study

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 24 2019A new Tulane University study examining the carbon footprint of what more than 16,000 Americans eat in a day has good news for environmentally conscious consumers– diets that are more climate-friendly are also healthier.The research, which is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is the first to compare the climate impact and nutritional value of U.S. diets using real-world data about what Americans say they are eating.”People whose diets had a lower carbon footprint were eating less red meat and dairy — which contribute to a larger share of greenhouse gas emissions and are high in saturated fat — and consuming more healthful foods like poultry, whole grains and plant-based proteins,” said lead author Diego Rose, a professor of nutrition and food security at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.As food production is a major contributor to climate change, researchers from Tulane and the University of Michigan sought to learn more about the impacts of Americans’ daily dietary choices. They built an extensive database of the greenhouse gas emissions related to the production of foods and linked it to a large federal survey that asked people what they ate over a 24-hour period.Researchers ranked diets by the amount of greenhouse gas emissions per 1,000 calories consumed and divided them into five equal groups. Then they rated the nutritional value of foods consumed in each diet using the U.S. Healthy Eating Index, a federal measure of diet quality, and compared the lowest to the highest-impact groups on this and other measures.Americans in the lowest carbon footprint group ate a healthier diet, as measured by this index. However, these diets also contained more of some low-emission items that aren’t healthy, namely added sugars and refined grains. They also had lower amounts of important nutrients – such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D – likely because of the lower intakes of meat and dairy.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskOverall, diets in the lowest impact group were healthier, but not on all measures. Rose says this is because diets are complex with many ingredients that each influence nutritional quality and environmental impacts. “This explains the nuanced relationship we observed between these outcomes,” he said.Diets in the highest impact group accounted for five times the emissions of those in the lowest impact group. The highest impact diets had greater quantities of meat (beef, veal, pork and game), dairy and solid fats per 1000 calories than the low-impact diets. Overall, the high-impact diets were more concentrated in total proteins and animal protein foods. A companion study the researchers released earlier this year found that 20 percent of Americans accounted for almost half of U.S. diet-related greenhouse gas emissions.Rose hopes the research will help the public and policymakers recognize that improving diet quality can also help the environment.”We can have both. We can have healthier diets and reduce our food-related emissions,” Rose said. “And it doesn’t require the extreme of eliminating foods entirely. For example, if we reduce the amount of red meat in our diets, and replace it with other protein foods such as chicken, eggs, or beans, we could reduce our carbon footprint and improve our health at the same time.”Source: read more

New precision medicine treatment for bone cancer in dogs opens door for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 29 2019MU veterinary oncologists develop a vaccine treatment for osteosarcoma, a common type of bone cancer in dogs, avoiding chemotherapy and opening the door for human clinical trialsIn a first-of-its-kind study, scientists at the University of Missouri have helped advance a patient-specific, precision medicine treatment for bone cancer in dogs. By creating a vaccine from a dog’s own tumor, scientists worked with ELIAS Animal Health to target specific cancer cells and avoid the toxic side effects of chemotherapy, while also opening the door for future human clinical trials.Osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is not common in humans, representing only about 800-900 new cases each year in the U.S. About half of those cases are reported in children and teens. However, for dogs this disease is much more common, with more than 10,000 cases a year occurring in the U.S.”A vaccine is made out of the dog’s own tumor for the dog’s immune system to recognize,” said Jeffrey Bryan, a professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and director of Comparative Oncology Radiobiology and Epigenetics Laboratory. “The dogs received no chemotherapy and received only immunotherapy after their surgery. It’s the first time that dogs with osteosarcoma have experienced prolonged survival without receiving chemotherapy, which is really exciting.”In the study, researchers partnered with ELIAS Animal Health to test a vaccine to treat osteosarcoma by using a dog’s own lymphocytes. Overall, the dogs receiving this therapy had more than 400 days of remission compared to about 270 days for dogs receiving chemotherapy in a separate study by the National Cancer Institute.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessary”Lymphocytes are immune cells that recognize where pathogens are hiding in the body and then kill the cells harboring those pathogens,” Bryan said. “After we remove the tumor, we create a vaccine using the dog’s tumor cells to stimulate anti-tumor lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are then collected by apheresis and expanded outside the body by Elias Animal Health to create a transfusion of the patient’s immune cells. These cells are activated and essentially really angry at whatever they are supposed to attack. When put back into the body, they should identify and destroy tumor cells. Ideally, this immune response would destroy every last tumor cell.”Mizzou researchers hope to continue immunotherapy discovery with dogs in order to optimize the new therapy for future human clinical trials with the hopes of treating osteosarcoma and other cancers, especially metastatic osteosarcoma in children. They are currently continuing this work through another immunotherapy trial in progress with a grant by the Morris Animal Foundation through the National Cancer Institute Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium.Brian Flesner, an assistant professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, presented this research at the 2018 Veterinary Cancer Society Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The same data was shared at the 2018 Paws 4 a Cure Conference in Boston by Jeffrey Bryan.Source: read more

Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients lead to high mortality rate

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 8 2019Inaccurate tests carried out on tuberculosis patients in developing countries often fail to reliably detect resistance to drugs, leading to incorrect treatment and a higher mortality rate. These are the results of study by an international group of researchers led by a team at the University of Bern published today.Around ten million people around the world develop tuberculosis every year and 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. 87% of those affected live in or come from developing countries. According to WHO, resistance to drugs used to treat tuberculosis—as well as the proliferation of multi-resistant tuberculosis strains—is one of the most pressing global health problems. WHO sees an urgent need to improve quality and coverage of diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis.This was the starting point for a comparative study led by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern, Switzerland. The study compared the results of tests to detect drug resistance in patients done in developing countries with the results of testing at the Swiss tuberculosis reference laboratory in Zurich. For the first time, researchers were able to demonstrate that many cases of drug resistance remain undetected due to inaccurate tests, and that this led to patients being treated incorrectly and, thus, to more deaths. The results were published in the prestigious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases today.High mortality Researchers collected and investigated samples and clinical data from 634 patients from heavily affected countries over the course of four years, including Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Peru and Thailand. The samples of the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) were analyzed at the National Center for Mycobacteria at the University of Zurich. This center served as a reference laboratory and compared its results with those of the resistance tests from the various countries. According to the reference laboratory, 7% of the bacterial cultures were shown to be resistant against one drug (monoresistant), 26% against several drugs (multiresistant), and 5% were resistant against most drugs (extensively drug resistant). In 20% of cases, the results from the local laboratories differed from those from the reference laboratory. Almost 60% of patients in whom resistance was not discovered, and who thus received insufficient treatment died. Overall, the mortality rate among patients with discrepant test results was almost twice as high as the mortality in patients for whom the test results coincided.Related StoriesCancer mortality at an all time low finds reportSpecial Collection tracks development of new diagnostic tests for tuberculosisECDC-WHO report: TB remains a major public health challenge in the European regionNew tests are needed”Patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis rely on quick and accurate test results and on treatment which starts immediately and is carried through to completion,” says Kathrin Zürcher from the ISPM, co-lead author of the study. However, treating drug-resistant tuberculosis can last up to two years and is expensive, comes with many side effects, and has a success rate of only around 60%. “This makes correct diagnosis even more important in the most heavily-affected countries,” says Kathrin Zürcher. At present, the resistance tests available in many countries heavily affected by drug resistant tuberculosis are time-consuming and resource-intensive: results are only obtained after 8 weeks, making a quick start to the correct form of treatment impossible. “We need new, comprehensive point-of-care molecular tests which deliver results within hours or days,” says Matthias Egger from the ISPM, co-last author.There is still much work to be doneThe researchers recommend investing more in the development of molecular-based tests: “Sequencing the bacteria’s entire DNA offers the most promising approach when it comes to finding mutations and, with them, any resistance to drugs” says Marie Ballif, co-first author. “However, we still have a lot of work to do to make these tests viable and accessible in the countries which are most heavily affected”. In the meantime, the researchers say that the capacity of tests which have thus far been recommended by the WHO must be improved to make the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis more effective. “If we don’t improve existing tests and invest in new ones that are quicker and more accurate, we will be unable to control the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis,” says Matthias Egger. Source: read more

Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 30 2019A breast cancer test has been found that helps doctors make treatment decisions for some breast cancer patients, following research carried out at Queen Mary University of London and funded by Cancer Research UK.The test was successful in predicting whether chemotherapy would be beneficial for patients with the most common type of breast cancer (estrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative), thereby helping to direct patients with a high-risk of metastasis to chemotherapy, while allowing lower-risk patients to opt out of the treatment and its potential side effects.Approximately 85 per cent of breast cancer patients are now diagnosed as estrogen receptor positive, which means that the cancer grows in response to the hormone estrogen. Doctors treating the majority of these women increasingly use multigene tests to determine each patient’s prognosis and risk of metastasis, and advise on the best suitable treatment.The new study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and carried out in the UK, Austria and Spain, has found that a multigene test called EndoPredict (Myriad Genetics) is able to predict whether chemotherapy will work for an individual patient.Researchers at Queen Mary University of London, the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Group and the Spanish Foundation Research Group in Breast Cancer performed a combined analysis of three large clinical trials, including a total of 3,746 women, who received treatments including hormone therapy and chemotherapy.The study results showed that patients with a high EndoPredict test result – indicating a high risk of metastasis – who received chemotherapy in addition to hormonal therapy had statistically better 10-year outcomes than those who only received hormonal therapy.The study was therefore able to show that EndoPredict is not only a prognostic test, but for the first time was able to demonstrate that EndoPredict also has predictive abilities with regards to chemotherapy.Traditionally clinical features such as tumor size, grade and nodal involvement are used to determine prognosis and treatment. In cases where it is unclear from these clinical features whether a woman is at high enough risk to receive chemotherapy, the EndoPredict test can give additional prognostic and indirectly predictive value in terms of chemotherapy benefit.Multiple guidelines, as well as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) regulations, recommend multigene tests to be used by oncologists around the world to aid in their decision-making process about treatment for women with the most common type of breast cancer – estrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedWith the added predictive benefit of EndoPredict demonstrated by this study, use of this test might become more commonly used to determine whether chemotherapy will effectively treat a patient, bringing enormous benefit to women diagnosed with breast cancer.Lead author Dr Ivana Sestak of Queen Mary University of London commented: “Our new results give clinicians good quality data to inform specific treatment recommendations for women. Our data shows that using the EndoPredict test to assess the risk of metastasis can spare women unnecessary chemotherapy if the test results show that a woman is at low risk of recurrence by the test.”Professor Miguel Martin is the Chairman of GEICAM, the leading academic group in clinical epidemiological and translational breast cancer research in Spain. He commented: “The Spanish group GEICAM is very proud of having contributed to this analysis that can help clinicians select the best adjuvant therapy for their breast cancer patients. In the era of personalized medicine, avoiding chemotherapy when it is of little or no value is a need for the patients”.Dr Sestak added: “It is clinically important to determine which women with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer need chemotherapy in addition to standard 5-years of hormonal treatment. We have shown that EndoPredict has the ability to predict chemotherapy benefit, which will ultimately help clinicians in their decision-making process about adjuvant treatment.”Professor Daniel Rea, Cancer Research UK’s breast cancer expert, said: “This important study is one of the few to provide not just information on the risk of a patient’s breast cancer coming back, but also whether their cancer is likely to be sensitive to chemotherapy. The Endopredict test has the potential to help some women diagnosed with early hormone receptor positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer, avoid needless chemotherapy, and may reassure those where it’s needed.”This research highlights the progress being made in genetic testing and could be a valuable addition to the current tests available to doctors, helping them advise patients on the best treatment. Trials in the UK are ongoing to provide more evidence to help us make the best use of these tests.”last_img read more

Simulation neurons in amygdala allow animals to reconstruct mental state of others

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 29 2019Psychologists and philosophers had long suggested that simulation is the mechanism whereby humans understand the minds of others. However, the neural basis of this complex process had not been identified. The amygdala is involved in various functions related to social behavior as well as in autism. However, it was not known whether the amygdala neurons contributed to advanced social knowledge, such as simulating the decisions of other individuals. A recent study identifies a type of neuron that had not previously been described that actively and spontaneously learns from decision-making by other individuals and simulates their mental processes.The dysfunction of these simulation neurons might be involved in the restriction of social knowledge, one of the symptoms of autism and, through hyperactivity, may give an exaggerated version of others and play an important role in social anxiety, the authors speculate.The study, published on 14 April in Cell, one of the journals with the highest impact factor, is the result of research led by Wolfram Schultz, a scientist at the University of Cambridge (UK) involving Gustavo Deco, ICREA research professor with the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) and director of the Center for Brain and Cognition (CBC) at UPF.The work suggests that these so-called “simulation neurons”, found in the amygdala, a collection of nerve cells in the brain’s temporal lobe, allow animals (and potentially also humans) to reconstruct the mental state of their social partners and, therefore, predict their intentions.The simulation of decisions is involved in social learning We started to look for neurons that might be involved in social learning. We were surprised to discover that neurons in the amygdala not only learn the value of the objects of social observation, but they used this information to simulate the decisions of their partner”.Fabian Grabenhorst, First Author of the Study and Researcher, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge The simulation of the decisions of others is a sophisticated cognitive process within social learning. “For example, by observing the foraging choices of another individual, we can learn what food is worth choosing. This knowledge is not only to do with our own decisions, but also help us to predict the future decisions of others”, says Gustavo Deco, co-author of the study.For the study, the researchers recorded the activity of amygdala neurons in monkeys while participating in observational learning tasks. Positioned in pairs, facing each other, with a touch screen between them, the animals had to take a decision if they wanted to receive the reward (fruit juice). To maximize their reward, the animals had to learn and monitor the likelihood of reward associated with the different images displayed to them on the screen. The study allowed the animals to observe the choices taken by their partner and learn the reward values of each image. The researchers saw that once the images were switched, the observing animal could make use of this knowledge when it was the recorded monkey’s turn to choose.Related StoriesCompelling New Evidence Further Suggests Parkinson’s Disease Begins in the GutHow an orchestra of neurons control hunger pangsStudy confirms gut-brain link in autismSurprisingly, it was seen that when an animal observed its partner, the neurons in the amygdala of the observer seemed to make a decision computation. These neurons were able to make a prediction about the reward value of the partner’s choices before taking a decision, which is in line with a simulated decision-making process. It is important to highlight that these patterns of activity occurred spontaneously, long before the partner’s choices and options without the need for a decision by the observer.First computational model of the neural circuits of the amygdalaBased on the results obtained, the scientists created the first computational model of the neural circuits of the amygdala involved in social cognition. As Gustavo Deco points out, “when observing how the specific types of neurons influence each other, this model suggests that the amygdala contains a “decision circuit” that identifies the animal’s own choices and a separate “simulation circuit” that calculates the prediction of the choice of the social partner”.Simulation and decision neurons are closely intermingled in the amygdala. The authors have managed to distinguish them and their different functions thanks to the computational model, which would not have been possible only with human brain imaging techniques that measure the average activity of a large number of neurons.Autism and social anxiety, two sides of the same coinThe scientists suggest that an alteration in the functionality of simulation neurons may impoverish social cognition. Grabenhorst, first author of the paper explains: “If simulation neurons do not work properly, a person may not interact effectively with the mental states of others. We know very little about how specific types of neurons contribute to social cognition and the social challenges faced by individuals with autism. By identifying the neurons and mechanisms of specific circuits for mental simulation, our study may provide new ideas on these conditions”.Source: Universitat Pompeu Fabra – BarcelonaJournal reference:Grabenhorst, F. et al. (2019) Primate Amygdala Neurons Simulate Decision Processes of Social Partners. Cell. read more

Spotify warns of slower sales growth as New York listing nears

Only days ahead of its New York Stock Exchange debut, the Swedish music giant said revenues were projected to rise between 20 and 30 percent in 2018 to between 4.9 and 5.3 billion euros ($6.1 billion to $6.6 billion) compared with growth of 38 percent last year and 53 percent in 2016.Spotify, which has not posted a profit since its creation in 2008, said unfavourable exchange rates were the main reason for the growth slowdown.Its operating loss was expected to come in between 230 and 330 million euros, down from 378 million in 2017.The company also said it aimed to boost its subscriber numbers by 30 to 36 percent this year.Spotify will go public on April 3 on the New York Stock Exchange.In an unusual move, the company is not issuing new shares as in a traditional initial public offering.It instead will directly list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, allowing its founders to maintain control and avoiding the cost of Wall Street underwriters. Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming site, said Monday that its sales growth was likely to slow this year, but that it still expected to post a narrower annual loss. Explore further Spotify’s guidance came days ahead of its New York listing Citation: Spotify warns of slower sales growth as New York listing nears (2018, March 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from © 2018 AFP Spotify to go public on April 3 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Hamburg leads charge with Germanys first diesel ban

first_img © 2018 AFP Hamburg on Thursday became the first German city to ban older diesel vehicles from some roads, a measure that is largely symbolic but disputed by carmakers and the government. Hamburg is the first German city to ban older diesel vehicles from certain roads in a bid to reduce air pollution A 1,600-metre (one-mile) stretch of highway and a 580-metre section of another major road are now closed to diesels which do not meet “Euro-6″ emissions standards, with signs to indicate that the restriction is now in force.The first ban came after the Federal Administrative Court found in February that such restrictions were a legitimate way for local authorities to bring air pollution below European Union health thresholds.But Hamburg’s partial ban is being met with skepticism in Germany.”It’s symbolic politics. The authorities are blocking only two roads, so only 1,787 residents out of the 1.8 million inhabitants of Hamburg are affected by these restrictions,” wrote Spiegel in a commentary online.The move was simply aimed at showing the EU that authorities were taking action to bring down pollutant levels, the magazine suggested.Nevertheless, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is watching the trend warily, mindful of the number of jobs at stake in the auto industry, which risks being shaken up if other German cities follow suit. The cities of Stuttgart in the south and Kiel in the north are mulling their own diesel restrictions in the battle against air pollution, while Munich, Cologne and Duesseldorf are closely monitoring the Hamburg experiment.The diesel engine industry has come under intense pressure after Volkswagen admitted to fitting 11 million vehicles with illegal devices to cheat pollution tests.Jens Kerstan, the official in charge of environment in Hamburg, acknowledged that the ban would cause hardship for “innocent car owners, but it is unavoidable because carmakers tricked us and the government has tried for many years to do nothing.”Germany’s federal government has often appeared to take the car industry’s side.It has pushed back against diesel bans and rejects the idea of a “blue badge” drivers could stick on their windscreens that would identify the least polluting vehicles.Instead, Berlin has offered longer-term measures like a cash pot to extend public transport and build up cities’ electric vehicle fleets. Hamburg is first German city to order diesel banscenter_img Citation: Hamburg leads charge with Germany’s first diesel ban (2018, May 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Explore further 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

Navajo robotics team heads to international competition

first_img This March 3, 2018 photo provided by Heather Anderson shows from left, Navajo Mountain High School students Nahida Smith and Cuay Bitsinnie compete in a Utah regional robotics competition in West Valley City, Utah. The team from a remote town in southern Utah is now headed to an international robotics competition Aug. 14 in Mexico City, Mexico. They were invited to compete in the First Global Challenge, which will draw teams from 190 countries to create robots capable of feeding power plants and building environmentally efficient transmission networks. (Heather Anderson via AP) Explore further This March 3, 2018 photo provided by Heather Anderson shows, from left, Navajo Mountain High School students Nahida Smith, Myra King and Breana Bitsinne compete in a Utah regional robotics competition in West Valley City, Utah. The team from a remote town in southern Utah is now headed to an international robotics competition Aug. 14 in Mexico City, Mexico. They were invited to compete in the First Global Challenge, which will draw teams from 190 countries to create robots capable of feeding power plants and building environmentally efficient transmission networks. (Heather Anderson via AP) Citation: Navajo robotics team heads to international competition (2018, August 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from “It was frustrating because of the time it wasted before Mexico,” said team member Breana Bitsinnie, 18. They worked around it by focusing on other tasks while they were waiting.Team member Jason Slender, 16, said he grew up repairing laptops and phones, skills that came in handy when it comes to building robots. “The best part was brainstorming how we should design the robot, and managing to all agree on one,” he said Tuesday. He’s taking his first plane ride for the event.Each of the teams heading to Mexico City is building a robot capable of feeding power plants to scale and an efficient transmission network. The Navajo team will have to work in alliances with other teams to score points in the challenge organized by the robotics nonprofit First Global. Since they speak different languages, they’ll use a system of hand gestures to communicate, Bitsinnie said.The team from the Navajo Nation got a kit of supplies to build their robots in early June, and they’re programming the machines to perform tasks like moving boxes to specific spots on a playing field and turning a windmill, Anderson said.For the students, the experience has sparked an interest in computer and programming careers.”The kids are really patient. They’re used to jumping through a lot of different hoops,” Anderson said. “That’s what’s really special about this team; they’re really proud of their work.” 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.center_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Students develop free robot programming simulator The teenagers have worked all summer on the project, scheduling meetings between long drives to jobs far from the red rock and sage country of Navajo Mountain, where there is little paid work, said teacher Heather Anderson.The team was specially invited to compete in the First Global Challenge that starts Aug. 14 in Mexico City. Teams from more than 190 countries will create robots for energy generation, especially renewable power. Teams hail from countries ranging from Congo to Ukraine, and also include separate teams representing specifically the U.S., Canada and Mexico.Team Naatsis’aan, a Navajo name that translates to Navajo Mountain, has been competing for two years in Utah and ranks among the best in the state at that level, said Chelsey Short, the regional director for FIRST Robotics. They got started after an Australian team reached out online and supportive coaches kept it going, but sustaining the program at a high school with a total of 30 students has been challenging.”It’s not like they had those technical skills, they decided they wanted to start a team and just kind of went for it, and they found mentors along the way,” Short said.Even getting food for team meetings can be a challenge, since the nearest restaurants and grocery stores are 90 minutes away from the Navajo Mountain community, where a number of homes don’t have running water, Anderson said. When they ran out of specialized screws, they had to wait two weeks to receive more in the mail. A team of Navajo high school students from a remote town in southern Utah is building a robot to represent North America in an international robotics competition.last_img read more

US tops WEF competitiveness ranking but obesity weighs on score

first_img Citation: US tops WEF competitiveness ranking but obesity weighs on score (2018, October 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Explore further © 2018 AFP The United States has the world’s most competitive economy, a World Economic Forum ranking showed Wednesday, but inequality and health problems including obesity took a toll on its score. 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.center_img In the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, the United States topped the 2018 rankings, “confirming its status of most competitive economy in the world” US global competitiveness rising once again “The United States tops the 2018 rankings, … confirming its status of most competitive economy in the world,” the WEF said in its annual Global Competitiveness Report.The organisation that hosts the annual Davos pow-wow of business and political elites said it used a new methodology for the 2018 edition of the report to reflect shifts in a world increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies.The methodology shift helped the United States unseat Switzerland, which had spent nearly a decade at the top of the WEF ranking. In Wednesday’s report Switzerland found itself in fourth place, after the US, Singapore and Germany.This year’s report studied how 140 economies fared when measured against 98 indicators organised into 12 pillars, including institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, business dynamism and innovation capability.Overall, the United States scored an average of 85.6 points when the nearly 100 indicators were measured on a scale of 0 to 100.That is still a far cry from what WEF considers the optimal conditions for a competitive economy, but well above the global average of 60 points.WEF hailed the United States for its business dynamism and vibrant entrepreneurial culture, its flexible labour markets, the depth, breadth and relative stability of its financial system and its market size.’Innovation powerhouse'”They’re an innovation power house,” Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF’s managing board, told AFP. When asked if President Donald Trump could take credit for the ranking, Thierry Geiger, head of analytics and quantitive research at WEF, stressed that most of the data used in the report was from before Trump came to power last year.”The things we capture are long-term drivers,” he told reporters.Zahidi meanwhile warned that “there are also a lot of worrying signs” for US competitiveness.WEF cautioned that “there are indications of a weakening social fabric … and worsening security situation,” pointing to a US homicide rate that is five times higher than the average for advanced economies.The country also raked in a relatively low score in terms of checks and balances, judicial independence and transparency.Zahidi also pointed to the country’s low score in terms of participation by women in the labour force, where it ranked 37th, as well as 40th place for press freedom.Obesity and opioidsParticularly worrying is the low US ranking in terms of health, the report said, blaming “the country’s unequal access to healthcare and broader socio-economic disparities.”WEF told AFP in an email that “non-communicable diseases (e.g. obesity and opioid crisis) are taking a huge toll.”In fact, Wednesday’s report found that US healthy life expectancy—the number of years a newborn today can expect to live in good health—ticks in at just 67.7 years in the US.That is lower than in Sri Lanka and China and three years below the average in advanced economies. It is a full six years behind Singapore and Japan, the report found.The WEF report also cautioned that the US rate of adoption of information and communications technologies was fairly low compared to other advanced economies.WEF founder Klaus Schwab said understanding and being open to the technologies driving the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” was vital to a country’s competitiveness.”I foresee a new global divide between countries who understand innovative transformations and those that don’t,” he said in a statement.Zahidi however stressed that “technology is not a silver bullet on its own.””Countries must invest in people and institutions to deliver on the promise of technology.”last_img read more

Floods affected over 1 billion people during 201517Floods affected over 1 billion

first_img4,902 people and 82,146 cattle were killed in floods during the period. Published on natural disasters COMMENT SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL December 13, 2018 flood file photo Floods affected over a billion people in the country and caused damages amounting to Rs 85,673 crore during 2015-17, the government said on Thursday.In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, said that 4,902 people and 82,146 cattle were killed in floods during the period.In 2015, 33.20 million people were affected due to floods, followed by 26.55 million in 2016 and 46.98 million in 2017.In 2015, 1,420 people lost their lives due to floods, with Tamil Nadu topping the list with 421 casualties, he said. The overall losses stood at around Rs 57,291.11 crore. Tamil Nadu topped the list incurring damages worth Rs 25,912.51 crore, followed by West Bengal, which registered a loss of Rs 25,353.27 crore. Losses incurred due to floods in 2016 stood at around Rs 5,675 crore. The year also saw 1,420 casualties, Meghwal said.In 2017, 2,062 people lost their lives and damages incurred amounted to Rs 22,706.98 crore. West Bengal reported a loss of Rs 43,081 crore in the last three years. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Suresh Angadi RSS worker educationist and now a firsttime ministerSuresh Angadi RSS

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT ministers (government) May 30, 2019 Published on Suresh Angadi, a four-time Parliamentarian who hails from Belagavi in North Karnataka, has been associated with the Yeddyurappa camp in the State’s political sphere.He came up the ranks in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and later moved over to the BJP, shooting to fame after securing his first win from the Belagavi Lok Sabha seat, breaching through the Congress’ stronghold. He has been consistently winning, much before the ‘Modi wave’ since 2014.A law graduate from the Raja Lakhamgouda Law College, Angadi ran his own private business and later became an educator before entering politics.In the 14th Lok Sabha, he served as a Member of the Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Finance.In the 15th Lok Sabha, he served as a Member of the Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, Joint Committee on Pension Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, Advisory Committee on Central Direct Taxes.In 16th Lok Sabha, he was the member of House Committee on Petitions, Standing Committee on Defence, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs and Chairperson, Committee on House. COMMENTS Elections 2019 SHARElast_img read more

Barry Mostly Spares Metro New Orleans Flood Risk Remains

first_imgNEW ORLEANS—Barry, the first hurricane of the 2019 season to hit the U.S. coast, largely spared metro New Orleans. By Sunday afternoon, the slow-moving storm was downgraded to a tropical depression as it headed north. Forecasters warned of heavy rain through Monday across portions of the lower Mississippi Valley with isolated areas getting up to 10 inches in eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, southeast Missouri and northwest Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tornadoes were also possible throughout…last_img

Baseball5 seminar proves a big hit

first_img“Thailand is interested in hosting the Asian championships early next year and we are excited about this,” said Low.“This sport is really in line with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) vision of being young and urban, and we are also working towards preparing Baseball5 as a showcase sport at the Tokyo Olympics.“We are also hoping that we can get Baseball5 into the next Youth Olympics which will be held in Dakar, Senegal in 2022.“With this, we aim to introduce Baseball5 at all levels here, especially in schools, colleges and universities, to popularise the game,” she added. Low said to develop and grow major sports, they must be easy to play, exciting, fast, inexpensive and with access to playgrounds.“Many (sports) have reduced their number of players in the game and taking them to exciting new grounds like the beach, open air, indoor courts, hard courts and the streets. And in a way, Baseball5 is like a street version for us.“I see no problems because it is an exciting game that can be played everywhere with just a ball, bases, a small area and just five players on a team,” she added.The regional supremo explained that Baseball5 was promoted by WBSC through the softball division.“Although many may mistake it for a baseball game because of the name and acronym B5, the name was actually coined by combining “base” (the bases used in the game), “ball” (one ball used) and “5” (five players).”Softball Association of Malaysia president See Kok Wooi said it would “definitely catch on” in schools and that there were plans to include it in the schools’ sports calendar.“First and foremost, on our agenda is to organise a national Baseball5 championship and we urge all our affiliates to familiarise themselves with the game and form their state team. So, for starters, the states can organise their state championship,” added See.SK Pulau Indah headmaster and former Selangor schools softball coach Hazi Kadir, who also played a key role at the seminar by offering the school facilities, said he planned to propose to the Education Ministry and Malaysian Schools Sports Council to include Baseball5 in the schools’ sports curriculum.All the participants at the event underwent a test and were presented with certificates of participation. Community Sports 2d ago No guts, no glory THE Softball Asia Baseball5 coaching seminar held at Botanic Resort Club, Bukit Tinggi and SK Puala Indah in Klang proved a huge success and gave a clear indication that the sport is heading in the right direction.Held under the auspices of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the two-day event drew 63 participants who comprised teachers and coaches from various state associations and clubs, as well as Pakistan, Singapore and Vietnam.There was a general feeling of excitement and enthusiasm during and after the course that was conducted by instructors Ran Liu of China, Japan’s Ayako Rokkaku and Itsarapong Oyaree of Thailand. More importantly, before departing, the participants pledged to spread the sport in their respective regions. AdChoices广告Baseball5 or B5 is an urban version of baseball and softball. It is a fast and energetic sport that follows the same principles of baseball and softball. It can be played almost anywhere and only requires a rubber ball.Played on a much smaller area than the conventional sport, with fewer players (just five), over a shorter period (10 to 15 minutes and five innings) and no equipment required except for a rubber ball, B5 is simple to get started with.It can be played on a hard court or field and is also a mixed gender game.Softball Asia president and WBSC secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo said at the coaching seminar, “The game may be new but it has caught on like wildfire in other parts of the world and there are already plans to stage an Asian Baseball5 championship to be used for qualification for the World Cup Baseball5. Football 11 Jul 2019 Doping: CAS lifts Olympic ban on former Russian Sports Minister Mutko Related News Tags / Keywords: {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}center_img A group shot of the coaching seminar participants in Klang. (Right) In high spirits at the event were (from left) See, Hazi and Low. Community Sports 09 Jul 2019 Ipoh lass in devastating form In high spirits at the event were (from left) See, Hazi and Low. Central Region , Baseball Related Newslast_img read more

One obstacle less but its still a tricky platform for Mun YeePandelela

first_img Diving 28 Apr 2019 Time on divers Pandelela and Dhabitah’s side to arrest dip in form PETALING JAYA: Our divers have one less problem to think about with the absence of North Korea’s Kim Mi-rae-Jo Jin-mi from the women’s 10m platform synchro event at the World Aquatics Championships.But it is still going to be tough for Leong Mun Yee-Pandelela Rinong to rise to the occasion and bag their third bronze medal at the world meet.The North Koreans showed their mettle by winning gold at the Diving World Series leg in Montreal in April. The North Korean aquatics team yesterday turned down a last-minute appeal by the South Korean hosts to make the trip to Gwangju. The meet begins today with our divers looking to claim early Olympic spots for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Mun Yee was roped in to renew her partnership with Pandelela after Kimberly Bong picked up a shoulder injury while training in China.But with only two weeks of training, it will be an achievement if Mun Yee can get the job done with Pandelela, who has not taken part in any competition for almost a year due to a back injury. “We will try our best to get the Olympic slot (the top-three pairs qualify for Tokyo) but it’s not going to be easy,” said Mun Yee. “China, for sure, will be very strong and we have to think of Canada, Australia and Britain too.“We’ll just do our routines well and cut down on the mistakes,” added Mun Yee, who at 35, is the oldest diver in the women’s field. Mun Yee partnered Pandelela to deliver the first medal, a bronze, for Malaysia at the world meet in the 2009 edition in Rome.Four years later, they came in third again in Barcelona.China’s Lu Wei-Zhang Jiaqi will be the pair to beat although they are making their debut. They have been impressive lately with two golds at the Diving World Series. Related News Mun Yee (left) and Pandelela {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Diving 29 May 2019 Junior diver Kimberly Bong likely to partner Pandelela at world meet Related News Diving 29 Apr 2019 Divers Hanis and Mun Yee must get in sync before the world meetlast_img read more

West Bengal government observes Save Water Day

first_imgWest Bengal government observes Save Water DayMamata Banerjee urged the people to take “precautionary measures” to save the natural resource as water scarcity has become a major issue in the world.advertisement Press Trust of India KolkataJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:30 IST Mamata Banerjee stressed on conservation of rain water. (Photo: ANI)Save Water Day’ was observed by the West Bengal government Friday and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee participated in a march in the city to raise awareness on conservation.Mamata Banerjee urged the people to take “precautionary measures” to save the natural resource as water scarcity has become a major issue in the world.Emphasising on conservation of water, she said, “With water scarcity becoming a major issue in many places in the world we believe in taking precautionary measures to save water resources”.She also stressed on conservation of rainwater and said her government would observe July 12 as ‘Save Water Day’ in every year.Accompanied by her cabinet colleagues, government officials, intellectuals including writers, actors and directors of Bengali film and theatre industry and sports personalities, Banerjee walked from Jorasanko Thakurbari, the ancestral home of Rabindra Nath Tagore in north Kolkata, to the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road, a distance of around 4 km.Sporting blue-coloured sashes with the message “Save Water, Save Life”, the participants also waved placards carrying the message of water conservation.Banerjee said that the Trinamool Congress government had dug nearly 1.5 lakh ponds in five years till 2016 in the state as against the 50,000 the party had promised in its poll manifesto in 2011.”People are often assured of many things by the government and also individuals, but many promises are not met. I am used to keeping promises,” Banerjee said.The chief minister said about three lakh water bodies have been dug so far by the state government under the water conservation programme of ‘Jal dharo Jal bharo’ (Collect water, store water).Many check dams have been constructed and irrigation canals have been rejuvenated to prevent floods and provide water during the period of scarcity, she said.The state government would observe a ‘Student Day’ to disseminate the message of conserving water in every sphere of the society, Mamata Banerjee added.Also Read | Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Govt’s water conservation campaign to cover 256 districts across nationAlso Read | Water woes: Parched Chennai cries for reliefAlso Watch | Water crisis: Is it time to press emergency button?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Nextlast_img read more

Ghaziabad Harassed by classmates Dalit student commits suicide

first_imgGhaziabad: Harassed by classmates, Dalit student commits suicidePolice said, Neha Chaudhary and his friends Anu, Ankur and Arun had been harassing Vipin since June 14 over his Dalit identity. Vipin shared his plight with his mother Bhagwati Devi.advertisement Next Indo-Asian News Service GhaziabadJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 13:55 IST Image for representation (Source: PTI)HIGHLIGHTSThe boy committed suicide after being harassed by his upper caste classmatesHe hanged himself at his home in Shastri Nagar area of GhaziabadVipin shared his plight with his mother Bhagwati DeviA 3rd-year Dalit student of Law at Ghaziabad-based Inmantec Institute committed suicide after being harassed by his upper caste classmates — a girl and three boys, police said on Saturday.According to the police, Vipin Verma (20) hanged himself at his home in Shastri Nagar area of Ghaziabad on Thursday, but the FIR was lodged by his father Police Constable Virendra Kumar at the Kavi Nagar police station late on Friday night.Police said, Neha Chaudhary and his friends Anu, Ankur and Arun had been harassing Vipin since June 14 over his Dalit identity. Vipin shared his plight with his mother Bhagwati Devi, who consoled him and asked him to focus on his studies.According to the FIR, Bhagwati Devi then shared the problem with her husband, who contacted the group over phone on Thursday to resolve the issue. The group assured Virendra Kumar not to harass his son again.But that very evening between 5 and 6 p.m., Vipin hanged himself at his home.Virendra Kumar in his complaint said: “I am a Dalit and the accused are influential persons of higher caste, so my complaint was delayed and the accused are still at large.”However, Superintendent of Police – City Shlok Kumar said: “We have registered the complaint, investigation is underway. We will arrest the accused soon.”Also read | Varanasi: BHU guards stop Dalit student from using toiletAlso read | JDU Dalit leader found hanging inside Bihar police station, 3 cops arrestedAlso watch | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow Dalit studentFollow DalitFollow GhaziabadFollow Suicidelast_img read more