Renault Master ZE Electric Truck Now On Sale

More about the Renault Master Z.E.:“The Renault Master Z.E. is now available for sale in Renault Trucks’ dealerships. By providing access to inner-city areas – even those with strict traffic restrictions – this all-electric truck is the perfect solution for professionals working in urban environments.Electromobility is the cornerstone of Renault Trucks’ strategy for sustainable urban transport. In line with this strategy, the French manufacturer is now launching the first vehicle in a new all-electric line-up: the Renault Master Z.E.The Renault Master Z.E. is ideally suited to last- mile deliveries. This all-electric utility vehicle comes in six variants – four panel vans and two platform cabs – to meet the varied requirements of professionals working in urban environments. It provides access to inner-city areas, even those with strict traffic restrictions.The Renault Master Z.E. boasts a real-world operating range of 120 km and can be fully charged in only six hours. Its loading volume is the same as a conventional diesel Renault Master as the batteries are mounted under the front seats.To protect both the driver and the load and guarantee the safety of city-dwellers, the Master Z.E. is fitted as standard with a reversing camera, a reversing radar and a wide-view mirror. The truck also features the Z.E. voice alert system designed to warn pedestrians that the vehicle is approaching when it is travelling at speeds of between 1 and 30 km/h.The Renault Master Z.E. belongs to Renault Trucks’ all-electric range. This new line-up features the Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E., the Renault Trucks D Z.E. and the Renault Master Z.E. It offers capacities between 3.1 to 26 tonnes to cover the full gamut of urban uses.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Non-polluting. Quiet. 120km range per single charge.100% electric.#SwitchToElectric with the new Renault Master Z.E.https://t.co/BLdCjugpVk pic.twitter.com/pbtWktAMoV— Renault Trucks (@RenaultTrucksCo) September 20, 2018 Ford Reveals Transit Custom Range-Extended PHEV Renault Master Z.E. now on sale by Renault Trucks.Renault Trucks (a part of Volvo Trucks), as promised earlier this year, included the all-electric Renault Master Z.E. van into its lineup and made it available through dealerships. The Master Z.E. is also sold separately by Renault.For Renault Trucks, the Master Z.E. is an entry-level EV, as the company also offers two full-size electric trucks Renault Trucks D Z.E. and Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E.See Also We applaud truck manufacturers like Renault, MAN and Daimler who work on electric trucks. However, to our taste, the Renault Master Z.E. is just underpowered at 57 kW electric motor and 33 kWh battery for 120 km (74.5 miles) of range.Renault Master Z.E. Technical Specifications:Total GVW: 3.1t- 57 kW electric motorMaximum torque: 225 NmMaximum speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)Energy storage: 33 kWh lithium-ion batteriesOperating range on NDEC cycle: 200 km (124 miles)Real-world operating range: up to 120 km (74.5 miles) Bonus: Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E. at the IAARenault Trucks D Wide Z.E. Electric MAN eTGE 4.140 Van Debuts At IAA Nissan e-NV200 Orders In Europe Up 128% To 7,000 read more

Read more

Tesla Model 3 Production Hits 1000 Per Day According To Musk

first_img Tesla Model 3 Production Hits Estimated 125,000 That’s high.In an email sent to Tesla employees, CEO Elon Musk offered up congrats on this amazing achievement of 1,000 Model 3s produced per day.More Model 3 Production News Earlier this month, Tesla’s CEO suggested that 1,000 per day was likely achievable by November 27 or 28. Sure enough, it now appears as though the automaker has hit that goal.In an email sent to Tesla employees, Musk is now reportedly encouraging employees to continue to push to keep production at this new, high rate. Musk wrote:“If you are able to help in any way with getting Model 3 production to a steady 1000 per day at excellent quality, everyone at the company should please consider this their top priority. Body production currently appears to be our limiting factor, so it needs the most support right now. Please focus on simplification and reducing cycle time first and then uptime.”Musk apparently commented on the situation regarding the base $35,000 Model 3 as well. As he states, cost-wise, Tesla is not quite there yet:“It’s important to bear in mind that the cost of the car is made up of about 10,000 unique parts and processes. depending on how you count it, the current cost of a standard range Model 3 would be around $38,000, so each part or process step only costs around $3.80. That means finding cost efficiencies is a game of pennies, even though it might not seem so.”Musk had previously stated that the base Model 3 would likely enter volume produciton in Q1 2019, so there’s still some time to drive down costs. Quoting Musk’s September comment:“We will definitely offer a $35,000 version of the Model 3. And probably at the end of this year is when we will be able to make a smaller version of the battery pack, and get into volume production of $35,000 version in Q1 next year. We would definitely honor that obligation, and we would do so right now if it were possible.” Base $35,000 Tesla Model 3 Production To Start In 8 Months 33 photoscenter_img Tesla Aims For Model 3 Production At 7,000 Per Week By November 28 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 30, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: ElectrekSource: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Read more

Alliance Ventures invests in Chinese charging platform startup PowerShare

first_imgSource: Groupe Renault Alliance Ventures, the venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has invested an undisclosed amount in PowerShare, an EV charging platform startup based in China.PowerShare, which received investment from BP Ventures just weeks before this latest investment, offers an online platform that connects EV drivers, charge point operators, and power suppliers. The startup’s cloud-based system enables electricity suppliers to monitor and balance energy demand from EVs with the supply capacity of the grid.Alliance Vice President François Dossa said, “A solid infrastructure network must be established to accelerate the deployment of EV and new mobility services, and we expect Powershare’s technology to help make that happen. Additionally, PowerShare’s base in China aligns with our strong focus on the market as a strategic hub.” Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

Read more

Ford Explorer PlugIn Hybrid Spotted In The Wild

first_img Watch Ford F-150 Electric Pickup Truck Drive Silently: Video Exclusive: Interview With Ford’s Chief Of Electrification The extra fuel door on the fender is a dead giveaway.It’s been an interesting day for head-scratching spy photos of Ford vehicles rolling around the Motor City. This morning we caught a lightly camouflaged Mustang wearing Bullitt trim and Euro-spec lights. This afternoon we saw a Ranger Raptor sporting dual exhaust belting out a V6 soundtrack. Now, we have just a couple photos of a completely naked Ford Explorer, which already debuted nearly three months ago in standard and hybrid trim at the Detroit Auto Show. So what exactly is all secretive about this white SUV?More From Ford Ford F-150 Electric Pickup Truck Spotted In Swirly Camo Ford’s new Explorer Hybrid is of the conventional variety, meaning its battery pack is charged by the engine or energy gained through regenerative braking. This model, however, appears to be a plug-in hybrid – look at the front fender and you’ll see a second fuel door that hides a charging port. That’s a bigger deal than most people might realize, as Ford has been rather slow to progress into the hybrid and electric realm. Lest we forget – Toyota was pumping out conventional hybrids over a decade ago. The tech in the new 2020 Explorer Hybrid isn’t exactly cutting edge, and it doesn’t offer any electric-only range. It may still be a while before we know something definitive, possibly late this year or sometime in 2020.Source: Automedia A plug-in Explorer hybrid, however, should be able to silently roll around town for a little while at least. Our sources are completely empty on potential performance metrics for this SUV, but if we look to Ford’s upscale Lincoln division and its new Aviator PHEV for guidance, the Explorer could deliver over 400 horsepower while offering a modest electric-only range of around 35 miles. Granted, we don’t have all the details for the standard Explorer hybrid or the Lincoln Aviator PHEV, so these figures are purely speculative. However, if Ford hopes to take a bite out of the expanding EV market, these numbers form a common sense benchmark for a plug-in Explorer to reach. Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 31, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Read more

First look at Ducatis new electric scooter – what do you think

first_imgDucati recently announced a partnership with Vmoto to market a Ducati-branded electric scooter. The new scooter, which is based on a Super SOCO CUx, has now been unveiled. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://youtu.be/ee5nKd7zjWoThe post First look at Ducati’s new electric scooter – what do you think? appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Read more

Elon Musk hints at Tesla vehicles finally getting Spotify

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla is navigating a fairly complex in-car music streaming situation and now Elon Musk is adding to it by hinting that Tesla cars in North America might get Spotify. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Elon Musk hints at Tesla vehicles finally getting Spotify appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Read more

League rejects Huddersfield complaint over contested try

first_imgSuper League Huddersfield Giants Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Gareth Walker Since you’re here… Share via Email Share on Facebook Shares00 Share on Facebook Tue 6 May 2008 19.06 EDT Share on Messenger Topics Stuart Cummings, the Rugby Football League match officials director, has backed the referee Ben Thaler following a complaint made by Huddersfield over an incident in Saturday’s match with Warrington. Giants’ officials called on the RFL to censure Thaler after the awarding of a crucial try to Stuart Reardon in the second half of the Giants’ 36-34 defeat.Huddersfield believe that Thaler called “held”, making the tackle on Reardon complete, before the full-back was released by the Giants defender Paul Jackson and fell over the line from close range. Thaler referred the incident to the video referee Ashley Klein, who awarded the try. Warrington trailed 6-22 at the time before recovering to win, and the Giants’ football manager Stuart Sheard yesterday labelled the decision as “ridiculous”.But Cummings has explained that Thaler called “short” rather than “held”, and that the referee was in radio contact with Klein over whether the tackle had been completed. “The video referee viewed the footage and decided correctly that the ball carrying arm had not touched the ground, and that the tackle had not been affected,” Cummings explained. “The video referee then checked if the referee [Thaler] had called ‘held’ at any time, and when he confirmed that he hadn’t, the try was awarded correctly.”Huddersfield’s centre Jamal Lolesi has been referred to a disciplinary hearing for verbally abusing match officials in the same match. Lolesi is twice alleged to have used foul and abusive language contrary to the true spirit of the game. He will appear before the League’s disciplinary panel in Leeds today on a grade C charge, which carries a suspension of up to four matches. Super League … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Rugby league League rejects Huddersfield complaint over contested try First published on Tue 6 May 2008 19.06 EDT Super League XIII Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Warrington Share via Email Reuse this content Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

Read more

FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Jonathan Rusch Regarding DOJ Policy

first_imgThe FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Jonathan Rusch (former official in the DOJ fraud section, former in-house FCPA counsel at Wells Fargo, and current a principal at DTG Risk & Compliance). During the podcast, Rusch discusses his 2016 published open memo to the DOJ for how it can do its job better and discusses recent events such as the DOJ abandoning its prior formal compliance counsel position, the DOJ’s new monitor policy and the DOJ’s “anti-piling” on policy.FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kreller Group.For the past 30 years, Kreller has distinguished itself as a best-in-class enhanced due diligence provider. It’s investigative network leverages the talent and integrity of some of the best law-enforcement, military specialists, business correspondents, and government contacts worldwide.  With firsthand knowledge of the language, laws, regulations, political and economic climates and data availability in each country, Kreller provides reliable, compliant, and accurate information.  A licensed private investigations firm, Kreller’s competitive advantage is experience, quality, commitment, and customer service.last_img read more

Read more

Gibson Dunn and Simpson Thacher represent EFH in Securities Offering

first_imgThe deal announced Thursday is for $350 million of 11.750% senior secured second lien notes due 2022 . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Password Usernamecenter_img Lost your password? Remember melast_img

Read more

Analog Aging in a Digital World Part 2

first_imgby, Jeanette Leardi, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesIn my most recent post, “Analog Aging in a Digital World,” I discussed “the benefits of adhering to a few analog ways of aging in the world, despite all the digital progress that’s been made” using these examples:Considering older adults as individuals rather than as memes or caricatures.Accepting aging as a natural process.Serving elders by using a person-centered rather than institutionalized approach.These values target healthy perceptions of aging and positive behaviors that arise from them. But there’s a bit more to be said about the benefits of taking analog approaches, especially while a person is young, years before entering older adulthood. Because everyone is aging, it’s smart to want to maintain a productive, quality life as long as possible and to accumulate the kind of social wisdom that comes with experience and a perspective that is honed over many years. In other words, everyone should aspire to be an elder in training. Therefore, why not anticipate that time of life by developing these analog habits early on?Appreciating silence. Our world is becoming more and more crowded with aural and visual noise: blaring music, ubiquitous advertisements, interrupting cross- conversations, superficial and/or strident cable and social media chatter. While these modern, digital situations are designed to convey information quickly, we often forget to question the necessity and quality of that information. Moreover, it seems as though we are losing the ability –– and desire –– to be comfortable with silence, to turn off our electronic devices and simply be in our environments, to really listen to someone else before speaking and to evaluate the level of truth of what we hear and say. Besides seeking freedom from distractions when focusing on tasks, elders often take great pleasure in savoring experiences for their intrinsic value, placing them in proper perspective. Not bad skills for elders in training to hone.Setting personal boundaries of information-sharing. One of the potential gifts of elderhood is the ability to be more discriminating, to know what is important and what is not in any given situation. While there have always been people of all ages who lack personal boundaries and have a compulsion to tell all about themselves or others, there is a growing ease bordering on recklessness regarding the desire to focus on self-important details and to constantly share those details with others. Taking selfies, tweeting, video messaging, texting, and sexting words and pictures are new technological ways of instantaneously updating the world about our lives. But often we don’t take into account that the Internet is an indelible medium and that there is a potential danger in posting personal information that can negatively affect our reputation, including the ability to get hired or keep a job. The question is: Do we gain more than we lose when we voluntarily give up our privacy and dignity to cyberspace on a global and permanent basis? It’s an analog question each of us at any age should ask and answer for ourselves.Making relationships mean something. Social isolation is one of the greatest health threats to older adults, not just because it can deny access to physical support but also because the loneliness and lack of opportunity to contribute to society can lead to depression. Fortunately, networking is one of the activities that the Internet has exponentially improved, and it can be an effective and empowering way to increase one’s presence and knowledge and to share one’s talents and services with others. That being said, it’s worth our while to understand that there are levels to intimacy and commitment, that “friending” thousands of people doesn’t make us popular or more cherished, and that by spending time casting our relationship nets too widely we might begin to neglect tending to relationships with those who are closest to us and whom we value the most. Using social media to keep in touch with family and real friends is a smart way to age in a digital world.These are analog issues that are simple and low-tech and reflect values that worked well in the past and can still apply today.Anyone, regardless of age, can embrace them.Related PostsAnalog Aging in a Digital WorldIt seems that as a society we keep throwing out the traditional baby with the bathwater every time a new cultural development occurs, just because it’s new. Here are a few examples of analog values we should retain that relate directly to aging.The Six Assets of AgingThe deterioration-decline meme that defines aging in our culture originates in a narrow perception of the lifespan that is blind to the priceless assets we accrue as we add years to our lives.What Are the Best Books on Aging?This week I received a guestblog submission from a wonderful ChangingAging reader who is writing a book on graceful aging and submitted a post listing her Top 15 Books onTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: analog Elderhood Second Windlast_img read more

Read more

Every Minute Counts A Call To Action

first_imgby, ChangingAgingTweet110Share1KShare97Email1K SharesWhat causes the stigma and fear? It’s the stereotype of dementia: someone who cannot understand, remembers nothing, and is unaware of what is happening around them. This stereotype tugs at the heartstrings and loosens the purse strings, so is used in seeking funds for research, support and services. It’s a Catch 22, because Alzheimer’s associations promote our image as non-persons, and make the stigma worse.— Christine Bryden, Austrailian Advocate Living with DementiaOn January 25 PBS will air Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts, a documentary framed as “an urgent wake-up call about the national public health threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease.” The film starts with phoned in quotes about the tragedy of Alzheimer’s from the perspective of care partners overlaid with dramatic images and music and then goes to experts with catastrophizing predictions such as, “It is going to sink the health care economy and in turn sink the national economy” and “It will take us down, this disease will take us down.” The film details only one side of the story when it comes to Alzheimer’s. The result highlights just how hard care partnering can be without giving voice to people living with dementia or how society causes much of this suffering. The film uses scare tactics in the name of safety without respecting the dignity of taking risks  which those of us without a diagnosis take for granted every day. The film speaks about mounting medical costs with no mention of innovation or social capital. It warns us of the hardships of people living with dementia in isolation without highlighting communities who are banding together and helping each other live well regardless of cognitive ability. The film pathologizes “wandering” without asking how people are getting creative to protect the freedom to go where one chooses. The film interviews only one person living with dementia and the interview takes place immediately following her being given the diagnosis. The single ray of hope and possibility for living well comes at the end of the film when a family care partner is supported by hospice and remarks, “I have always been against any kind of help because I thought I would have to put her in a home or something, and I was totally wrong.” The film concludes with a plug for medical research funding as the only possible thing one can do about this so-called crisis.“How depressing! Where is the hope and encouragement for those who are being diagnosed now?” Larry Klika, a retired pharmacist in Missoula, Mont., diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015, said after watching an advanced screening of the film provided by ChangingAging.org with his wife Linda.There’s nothing new about this film’s focus on the tragedy-only narrative of dementia, designed to catch media attention, social and otherwise, by stoking and feeding on our deepest fears about aging. We are calling on the ChangingAging community to take a stand and show the world that there is more to the story. Let’s enact one of the most important words in our language: ‘and.’Yes, medical research is important AND so are ways to make our communities and ourselves more dementia inclusive. Yes, there is suffering associated with Alzheimer’s AND much of this suffering is socially imposed by the tragedy-only narrative and can be alleviated through perspective shifts. If you watch this film on January 25, please do so with the word ‘and’ at the top of your mind. Where does ‘and’ need to be added? Where is only part of the story being told? Where is suffering being added rather than alleviated? PBS and underwriters for this documentary, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, have mounted major publicity and social media initiatives around this program. Together, we can be sure that the voices of people living with dementia and their allies are also heard!For inspiration we reached out to some of our favorite experts (those living with dementia) and allies, and here is what they have to say:Nowhere in this documentary does it mention the positive effects of exercise, socialization or a healthy diet. These have all been shown to slow down the progression of Alzheimers and in some cases prevent the symptoms from ever occurring (i.e. The Nun Study). We are talking about people here not just dollar signs. We deserve to live the best life we can for as long as we can! We need to encourage Dementia Friendly Attitudes in our Communities to help this become a reality.— Larry and Linda Klika, founders of Living Well With Dementia in Missoula, Mont. (Larry asked we also tell readers he loves running, enjoys being with his grandchildren and, as Forest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”)There are almost 50 million people currently diagnosed wth dementia globally, and this is possibly a gross underestimate if we factored in that in the USA, only 50% pf people get a diagnosis, and in countries such as India, less than 10%. Of course, as a person diagnosed with a dementia, also representing the global organisation Dementia Alliance International, I would like a cure, but let’s get real. We want better health care, better support for ourselves and our families, and a focus to be on our human right  not only to a diagnosis, but to rehabilitation and disability support to enable independence for longer. This film simply highlights the negative and disempowering discourse of tragedy, told from the perspective of family carers, even though people with dementia have been advocating there must always be “Nothing about us, without us.” It continues to support the many myths including we are all end stage in our dementia, people with dementia cannot, and do not live good lives with dementia, and that we are unable to contribute in meaningful ways to our communities. It is wrong to continue to highlight the losses, in order to elicit money, for research or running advocacy organisations, especially when 67 years after the UN Declaration on Human Rights was signed, the OECD concluded in 2015 “Dementia receives the worst care in the developed world.— Kate Swaffer, Australian advocate living with dementiaTragedy sells but there is a market for hope too.— Dr. Jennifer Carson, University of Nevada-RenoIn an ageist society, worse than old is very old, and worst of all is very old and incurably ill. Add to that the tremendous stigma that accompanies mental impairment of any sort. It’s a quadruple whammy if you take into consideration the fact that family members often feel stigmatized by association. Fear-mongering of this type only deepens the stigma—and the burden on everyone involved. People with dementia are not as “lost” to an incurable disease—and therefore lost to us—but still present in various ways, with ongoing human needs for affection, connection, and expression. Let’s tell that story too.— Ashton Applewhite, New YorkAlzheimer’s, like any aspect of illness or wellness, is part of the human experience. It brings many life challenges, but also opportunities. Many advocates living with the diagnosis around the world are showing us how it is possible to live well with dementia. People living with Alzheimer’s are writing books, giving testimony at the UN and WHO, volunteering in their communities, creating art, or engaging with preschoolers in intergenerational programs.There are two serious consequences that spring from the discourse expressed in this documentary: One is that such a stigmatizing portrayal of people with dementia leads us to disempower and marginalize them, causing excess disability and actually increasing the burdens on families and care systems, financial and otherwise. The second is that an inordinate focus on cure suggests that your only path to a life worth living lies in us being able to make you more like the rest of us. This creates an underlying message that difference and disability are not to be valued or tolerated, and that creates a dangerous world, into which we will all grow old.— Al Power, MDI live in a community in Seattle that welcomes people living with dementia and provides an incredible abundance of creative and fun opportunities to engage and contribute to the community. We can pursue both medical research on dementia AND community development in support of living well with dementia. But we can’t pursue one at the expense of the other. The stigma and fear created by the tragedy-only narrative are real and contribute to isolation and make it that much harder to support people living with dementia. We can help alleviate the stigma and fear by taking a “nothing about us without us” approach.— Kavan Peterson, Editor and Director of ChangingAging and President of Harvest Home CareAdd your voice in the comments below and join us on social media using the hashtag #EveryPersonCounts!Related PostsTrust at StakeThe full text of Eilon Caspi’s recent journal article “Trust at stake: Is the “dual mission” of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association out of balance?” is now available for free thanks to an anonymous donor seeking to raise awareness of the gross imbalance of effort and funding between the Association’s dual…Power Up – Speaking Out(I just received this eloquent commentary from Mike Donohue, so in honor of the upcoming Independence Day, I thought I would share it with readers of this blog): I Am Sick and Tired of Being an Oversight in Alzheimer’s World … Continue reading →While Awaiting A CureWe owe it to ourselves and our communities to stand up and demand that, while we await development of a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, resources are to also be spent on figuring out how to live well with dementia.Tweet110Share1KShare97Email1K SharesTags: Ageism alzheimer’s association Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Disrupt Dementia Momentialast_img read more

Read more

Federal grant extends and expands research into acute kidney failure

first_imgAug 22 2018The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has renewed a grant shared by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine that will extend and expand research into acute kidney failure, or acute kidney injury, which affects about 1.2 million hospitalized patients per year and kills 70 to 80 percent of patients in intensive care units who develop the disease.The grant, which is worth $5.67 million, will fund the O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research for another five years. The center is one of eight federally funded centers in the country aimed at making state-of-the-art technologies and resources readily accessible to researchers pursuing studies in relevant areas related to kidney diseases. The center serves as a national core resource to identify and fund promising research and to provide important scientific services to the funded investigators.”Acute kidney injury causes more deaths per year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart failure and diabetes combined,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., director of the Division of Nephrology at UAB. “The center helps with our mission to improve the health of patients by fostering research that is centered on the prevention and treatment of AKI and its complications.”Agarwal has led the O’Brien Center since 2008 when UAB received the first award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The grant will fund the center through 2023.”The O’Brien Center has helped fund research, recruit faculty and increase the number of existing pilot programs,” Agarwal said. “Since the grant was renewed for the second time in 2013, UAB has recruited 19 new faculty members to our nephrology program. A large reason they came here is the resources available through the center.”Related StoriesResearch highlights persistent gaps in quality of care for patients with chronic kidney diseaseOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancer”We focus on understanding the relationship of acute kidney injury to development of chronic kidney disease and developing novel strategies to map the continuum of the disease for targeted interventions,” said Ravindra L. Mehta, M.D., nephrologist and professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The center offers several biomarker assays to evaluate kidney injury and function to improve diagnosis, identify targets for intervention and help in decision-making for physicians managing patients with these diseases.”The center has catalyzed significant growth of kidney-related research at UAB and UC San Diego. As of October 2017, the total kidney-related National Institutes of Health funding increased by 38 percent from 2012 to $32.6 million, and funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has nearly doubled from $8.2 million to $15.5 million.”The center enables our investigators pursuing kidney-related research to have state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technologies that they can utilize without having to set it up in their own laboratories,” Agarwal said.This cycle will offer a new resource that researchers hope will advance their findings. For the first time, investigators will have access to a biorepository of human kidney tissue and human blood and urine samples.”A big problem in kidney research is that a lot of people do research on animal models and they find a drug that is very effective; but when they perform the clinical trial, it doesn’t work,” Agarwal explained. “Having access to biopsied human kidney tissue will enable researchers to use the tissue to verify their data from the animal model before they begin a clinical trial.” Source:http://www.uab.edu/news/health/item/9699-grant-extends-expands-kidney-failure-researchlast_img read more

Read more

Video A camera that powers itself

first_imgAs fancy as cameras get, they continue to have one big problem: When their batteries stop working, so do they. Now, engineers have developed a prototype camera that powers itself with the light it gathers. The device’s sensor contains circuitry that doesn’t just collect light to form an image; it converts light into power like a solar cell does. After the sensor collects enough light to charge up its energy-storing components (a process that takes just a few milliseconds), it uses that energy to record and read out an image, the researchers will report on 25 April in Houston, Texas, at the International Conference on Computational Photography. Then, it swings back into recharge mode. The researchers used the 30-by-40-pixel sensor to record videos (above) that capture one frame of video per second. Each pixel in the prototype device is about 4 millimeters across, about 1000 times the size of a pixel found on a typical digital camera’s light-collecting sensor. But if the new prototype’s circuitry were miniaturized and etched onto an energy-efficient chip, it could readily power itself in a moderately sized, lamp-lit room and capture 640-by-480-pixel video (a standard size known as Video Graphics Array, or VGA) at a rate of 30 frames per second, the researchers estimate.(Video credit: Computer Vision Laboratory, Columbia Engineering)last_img read more

Read more

Podcast The smell of death Earths destruction and measuring IQ in animals

first_imgIs there a human-specific smell of death? Could the planet Mercury one day destroy Earth? And can we measure IQ in other animals? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi. Plus, Kimberly Dunham-Snary discusses the long-term health considerations of gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases.last_img

Read more

Experimental anticancer drug may tackle heart disease too

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country What do a cancerous tumor and fatty buildup in an artery have in common? Their harmful cells may have the same way of hiding themselves from the immune system, a study out today suggests. In the new work, researchers studying atherosclerosis—the progressive buildup of fat-laden cells into arterial plaque—found a signaling molecule that may prevent dead cells in the arteries from being eaten and disposed of. Blocking that signal, they found, reduces arterial plaque in mice. And because their signal blocker is an antibody already in phase I clinical trials for cancer treatment, they’re hoping to make a quick jump into human testing for cardiovascular disease.“It’s going to be a new platform of therapy, not just another cholesterol-lowering drug,” says Nicholas Leeper, a vascular biologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and senior author on the new study.Although cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis, the story of the disease’s progression is much more complex. When these fatty deposits damage an artery wall, immune cells flock to the scene—notably macrophages, which gobble up dying and damaged cells all over the body. But when they arrive at the inflamed artery, they fail to perform that cleanup. Soon, dying muscle cells and dying macrophages join a growing plaque on the artery wall. Nestled inside is a “necrotic core,” a graveyard of cells that destabilizes the rest of the plaque and makes it prone to rupture, which can block the artery and cause a heart attack or stroke.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Leeper and his colleagues have been studying the signaling between dying cells and the macrophages that are supposed to put them out of their misery. The team previously found that many of these dying cells are missing a surface molecule that labels them for destruction—called calreticulin—in people at risk for cardiovascular disease. But other common surface molecules in the body send a different signal: “I’m healthy—leave me alone!” And that may give scientists an opening. It might be easier to block that message than to force cells to express more “eat me” signals. In fact, researchers at Stanford are already collaborating on initial clinical trials of an antibody that blocks cancer cells from displaying one such death-evading signal—a molecule called CD47.Atherosclerosis researchers have had their eye on “don’t eat me” signaling molecules like CD47 for some time, says Matthias Nahrendorf, a cell biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston who was not involved in the new study. But no one had measured this common molecule in arterial plaques. “I don’t have a good reason why people haven’t looked at this particular molecule in atherosclerosis before,” he says. “Retrospectively, it’s an obvious choice.”Leeper’s team analyzed samples of arterial plaque from people undergoing surgery for a clogged carotid artery and from organ donors without cardiovascular disease. They found that arterial plaque contained significantly higher levels of CD47 than healthy arterial tissue. To see whether blocking CD47 could reverse plaque buildup, the group tested the experimental anticancer antibody drug in several different mouse models of cardiovascular disease. On a high-fat diet, these animals quickly develop plaques in their arteries because they lack a gene that regulates cholesterol metabolism. But intravenous treatment with the anti-CD47 treatment reduced by roughly half the buildup of plaque in these mice, Leeper and colleagues report online today in Nature.“These findings are groundbreaking for the field of atherosclerosis research,” says MacRae Linton, an endocrinologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, who was not involved in the study. The results make anti-CD47 antibodies a promising drug candidate for cardiovascular disease, he notes, though there may be other “don’t eat me” signaling molecules in plaques that it can’t address. If the drug progresses to human trials, researchers will also have to watch for anemia, a side effect hinted at in the mouse results. CD47 is key to protecting red blood cells from macrophages, and red blood cells are particularly sensitive to the blocking effects of the antibody as they get older, Leeper says. Treated mice in the study did show drops in red blood cell count, though they showed no clinical sign of illness.The researchers have patented their treatment approach and licensed it to Forty Seven Inc., the Stanford spinout already developing anti-CD47 antibodies for cancer. Stanford stem cell biologist and Forty Seven Inc. founder Irving Weissman, whose group pioneered research on CD47 in cancer, is a co-author on the new paper. Although no new therapy faces a smooth or certain path to the clinic, this one may have a head start. The drug has already demonstrated safety in nonhuman primate trials, and the cardiovascular research might even be able to skip ahead to a larger phase II trial based on safety data from the ongoing phase I studies, Leeper suggests. “This may be a very unusual circumstance where we can piggyback.”last_img read more

Read more

This new surgical procedure could lead to lifelike prosthetic limbs

first_img Biomechatronics Lab Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This new surgical procedure could lead to lifelike prosthetic limbs Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Matthew HutsonMay. 31, 2017 , 2:15 PMcenter_img Smart prosthetics such as the one in this rendering could be more responsive after the new surgical technique. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The new technique, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, creates such a pairing for prosthetic joint control. It respects “the fundamental motor unit in biology, two muscles acting in opposition,” says Hugh Herr, a biophysicist at MIT and co-developer of the method.Let’s say you lost your leg above the knee. Surgeons would take two small muscle grafts from somewhere in your body, each a few centimeters long, and suture them together end-to-end to form a linear pair. They would place the pair under the skin near the amputation site. Then they’d suture the two ends to the tissue under the skin, so that when one half of the muscle graft contracts, the other stretches. Finally, they’d connect severed nerve endings to the graft and allow the nerves to grow into it.Once the graft is healthy and connected, the researchers would use electrodes to connect each muscle to a smart prosthetic leg. The severed nerves that would normally tell the ankle to extend, for example, would instead go to one of the grafted muscles, which would contract, sending a signal to the robotic ankle to extend. As the grafted muscle contracts, its mirror opposite would stretch, sending a signal back to the brain. The grafts would receive additional electrical feedback from the smart prosthesis, indicating the ankle joint’s position and force, allowing for finer adjustments. Additional grafts could be added to control other joints in the prosthesis.The new technique, called an agonist­-antagonist myoneural interface, was tested in rodents. The MIT team operated on seven rats, severing muscles and nerves in the back right leg of each. Researchers then grafted on a pair of muscles about 3 centimeters long, connected severed nerves, and let the rats heal for 4 months. When electrodes were attached, the grafted muscles worked in tandem, one contracting and the other stretching. They also emitted electrical signals in proportion to the stimulation. That response suggests that the technique could allow for fine-grained control of a human prosthetic, the researchers report today in Science Robotics. What’s more, inspection under a microscope showed that the grafts healed well and were populated with new nerves and blood vessels and healthy neuromuscular junctions.“This is fairly low-risk. It’s minor surgery,” says Rickard Branemark, an orthopedic surgeon and prosthetics researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. Even without adding a prosthesis, growing severed nerves into muscle grafts could prevent painful neuromas, or abnormal nerve growth. With the new method and a smart prosthesis, “there’s every expectation that the human will feel position, will feel speed, will feel force in the same way that they once felt when they had a limb,” says Herr, who lost his own legs below the knees to frostbite while ice climbing, and is in line to get the procedure. He says they’ll have results from human trials within the next 2 years. Medicine has progressed a lot since the Civil War, but amputations haven’t. Once a limb is sliced off, surgeons wrap muscle around the raw end, bury nerve endings, and often attach a fixed prosthesis that is nowhere near as agile as the flesh-and-blood original. Better robotic limbs are available, but engineers are still figuring out how to attach them to people and give users fine motor control. Now, a team of researchers and clinicians has developed a simple surgical technique that could lead to prosthetics that are almost as responsive as real limbs.“It’s a very clever model,” says Melanie Urbanchek, a muscle physiologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “[It makes] use of what the body naturally has to offer.”The biggest barrier to lifelike limbs is that signals can no longer travel in an unbroken path from the brain to the limb and back. Scientists have developed several ways to bridge the gap. The simplest is to place electrodes on remaining muscle near the amputation site. For finer control, doctors can use severed nerves themselves to relay the signals, through electronic attachments. But when they aren’t rejected by nerve tissue, such attachments tend to receive weak signals. A stronger signal comes from attaching nerve endings to small muscle grafts that amplify the signal and relay it using electrodes. But even this method fails to take advantage of a simple biological solution for joint control: the pairing of agonistic and antagonistic muscles. When you contract your biceps to bend your elbow, for example, your triceps on the other side of the joint stretches, providing resistance and feedback. Together, such opposing muscle pairs let you fluidly adjust a limb’s force, position, and speed.last_img read more

Read more

Computers are starting to reason like humans

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Computers are starting to reason like humans By Matthew HutsonJun. 14, 2017 , 4:00 PM A new type of neural network (not depicted) can reason about complex relationships, including the locations of different objects. How many parks are near the new home you’re thinking of buying? What’s the best dinner-wine pairing at a restaurant? These everyday questions require relational reasoning, an important component of higher thought that has been difficult for artificial intelligence (AI) to master. Now, researchers at Google’s DeepMind have developed a simple algorithm to handle such reasoning—and it has already beaten humans at a complex image comprehension test.Humans are generally pretty good at relational reasoning, a kind of thinking that uses logic to connect and compare places, sequences, and other entities. But the two main types of AI—statistical and symbolic—have been slow to develop similar capacities. Statistical AI, or machine learning, is great at pattern recognition, but not at using logic. And symbolic AI can reason about relationships using predetermined rules, but it’s not great at learning on the fly.The new study proposes a way to bridge the gap: an artificial neural network for relational reasoning. Similar to the way neurons are connected in the brain, neural nets stitch together tiny programs that collaboratively find patterns in data. They can have specialized architectures for processing images, parsing language, or even learning games. In this case, the new “relation network” is wired to compare every pair of objects in a scenario individually. “We’re explicitly forcing the network to discover the relationships that exist between the objects,” says Timothy Lillicrap, a computer scientist at DeepMind in London who co-authored the paper.center_img Email He and his team challenged their relation network with several tasks. The first was to answer questions about relationships between objects in a single image, such as cubes, balls, and cylinders. For example: “There is an object in front of the blue thing; does it have the same shape as the tiny cyan thing that is to the right of the gray metal ball?” For this task, the relation network was combined with two other types of neural nets: one for recognizing objects in the image, and one for interpreting the question. Over many images and questions, other machine-learning algorithms were right 42% to 77% of the time. Humans scored a respectable 92%. The new relation network combo was correct 96% of the time, a superhuman score, the researchers report in a paper posted last week on the preprint server arXiv.The DeepMind team also tried its neural net on a language-based task, in which it received sets of statements such as, “Sandra picked up the football” and “Sandra went to the office.” These were followed by questions like: “Where is the football?” (the office). It performed about as well as its competing AI algorithms on most types of questions, but it really shined on so-called inference questions: “Lily is a Swan. Lily is white. Greg is a swan. What color is Greg?” (white). On those questions, the relation network scored 98%, whereas its competitors each scored about 45%. Finally, the algorithm analyzed animations in which 10 balls bounced around, some connected by invisible springs or rods. Using the patterns of motion alone, it was able to identify more than 90% of the connections. It then used the same training to identify human forms represented by nothing more than moving dots. “One of the strengths of their approach is that it’s conceptually quite simple,” says Kate Saenko, a computer scientist at Boston University who was not involved in the new work but has also just co-developed an algorithm that can answer complex questions about images. That simplicity—Lillicrap says most of the advance is captured in a single equation—allows it to be combined with other networks, as it was in the object comparison task. The paper calls it “a simple plug-and-play module” that allows other parts of the system to focus on what they’re good at.“I was pretty impressed by the results,” says Justin Johnson, a computer scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who co-developed the object comparison task­—and also co-developed an algorithm that does well on it. Saenko adds that a relation network could one day help study social networks, analyze surveillance footage, or guide autonomous cars through traffic.To approach humanlike flexibility, though, it will have to learn to answer more challenging questions, Johnson says. Doing so might require comparing not just pairs of things, but triplets, pairs of pairs, or only some pairs in a larger set (for efficiency). “I’m interested in moving toward models that come up with their own strategy,” he says. “DeepMind is modeling a particular type of reasoning and not really going after more general relational reasoning. But it is still a superimportant step in the right direction.” v_alex/iStockphoto Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Read more

Killer gas aids elephant seals deep dives

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This elephant seal pup has a deep diving future partly thanks to high carbon monoxide in its blood.  Killer gas aids elephant seals’ deep dives Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Elizabeth PennisiNov. 1, 2017 , 10:59 AMcenter_img HALIFAX, CANADA—Colorless, odorless, and potentially lethal, carbon monoxide is so feared by people that we have special monitors in our homes to detect it. But its accumulation in the blood helps elephant seals make deep dives in the ocean, researchers reported here last week at the biennial meeting of the Marine Mammal Society. Aside from helping explain how elephant seals can stay so deep for so long, the work could one day help people recover from traumatic events like heart attacks and organ transplants.Elephant seals are remarkable divers, spending up to 1.5 hours underwater and reaching depths of more than 1700 meters in their search for food. To understand how they do this, Michael Tift, a comparative physiologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, has tracked the gases in elephant seal blood, both as they dive in the wild and as they sleep in the lab. In 2014, he and his colleagues discovered sky-high carbon monoxide levels, equivalent to those of heavy human smokers. What’s more, that level appears to be consistently high—whether the animals are diving or at rest.Moreover, the elephant seal’s blood level of carbon monoxide is 10 times higher than that of average humans, pilot whales, and killer whales, and about two to three times higher than in beluga and Weddell seals, Tift reported at the meeting. The elephant seal also has much more red blood cells than these other animals. Because red blood cells release carbon monoxide when they break down and die—which happens on a routine basis—the higher levels make sense, he says. WaterFrame/Alamy Stock Photo Email People worry about carbon monoxide exposure because the gas can bind to red blood cells and slow the delivery of oxygen to the body. But in elephant seals, this slowdown may be what enables the elephant seal to stay underwater so long, Tift told meeting attendees. He discovered that at the end of their dives, seals have 16% more oxygen in their blood than expected, thanks to how the carbon monoxide slowed oxygen use.The work “[turns] what you think you know on your head,” says Ann Pabst, a functional morphologist at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, who was not involved with the study. “We think of carbon monoxide as bad, but it’s decreasing the rate as which oxygen is [used], and that’s good.”To see just how good carbon monoxide might be, Tift is now working with biomedical researchers. Initial studies in mice indicate that a little extra carbon monoxide may have anti-inflammatory effects, protect against programmed cell death, and even slow the rate at which cells divide and spread. As they dive, elephant seals slow their heart rates to as low as three beats per minute, too slow to keep supplying most of their tissues with blood; the protective effects of carbon monoxide may help tissues cope with the sudden restoration of blood flow when the dive ends. “They go through this event with no sign of injury,” Tift says. Hearts and organ transplants require this same restoration of blood flow, and carbon monoxide may reduce the risk of damage.It’s not natural for lab mice or rats to have high carbon monoxide levels in their blood, so Tift is using the elephant seal as a model. “The goal is to see what we can learn from these amazing animals and their extreme behavior to further our knowledge in humans,” he says. “Carbon monoxide is an easy, cheap tool if we can find out how it is protecting tissue.”last_img read more

Read more

Is it time to retire cholesterol tests

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In this illustration of a low-density lipoprotein particle, apolipoprotein B (blue) is surrounded by various forms of cholesterol (orange and yellow) and other lipids. Is it time to retire cholesterol tests? By Mitch LeslieDec. 6, 2017 , 2:45 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY center_img The next time you go in for a medical checkup, your doctor will probably make a mistake that could endanger your life, contends cardiologist Allan Sniderman of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Most physicians order what he considers the wrong test to gauge heart disease risk: a standard cholesterol readout, which may indicate levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or non-high density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol. What they should request instead, Sniderman argues, is an inexpensive assay for a blood protein known as apolipoprotein B (apoB).ApoB indicates the number of cholesterol-laden particles circulating in the blood—a truer indicator of the threat to our arteries than absolute cholesterol levels, some researchers believe. Sniderman asserts that routine apoB tests, which he says cost as little as $20, would identify millions more patients who could benefit from cholesterol-cutting therapies and would spare many others from unnecessary treatment. “If I can diagnose [heart disease] more accurately using apoB, and if I can treat more effectively using apoB, it’s worth 20 bucks,” he says.Sniderman and a cadre of other scientists have been stumping for apoB for years, but recent reanalyses of clinical data, together with genetic studies, have boosted their confidence. At last month’s American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in Anaheim, California, for example, Sniderman presented a new take on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a famous census of the U.S. population’s health. The reexamination, which compared people with different apoB levels but the same non-HDL cholesterol readings, crystallizes the importance of measuring the protein, he says. Across the United States, patients who have the highest apoB readings will suffer nearly 3 million more heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events in the next 15 years than will people with the lowest levels, Sniderman reported. As lipidologist Daniel Rader of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine puts it, the question of whether LDL cholesterol is the best measure of cardiovascular risk now has a clear answer: “No.” But plenty of scientists disagree. “Many lines of evidence say there’s not a lot more predictive power of apoB over LDL cholesterol,” says cholesterol researcher Scott Grundy of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who has helped craft several sets of cardiology care guidelines. And changing clinical practice would be disruptive. Standard heart disease risk guidelines downplay or omit apoB, and the algorithms that help doctors decide which patients to treat don’t incorporate it.ApoB backers have a new opportunity to make their case. A committee of researchers and doctors is reworking the most influential U.S. recommendations for cholesterol treatment, published by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and AHA, and should issue an update next year. The European equivalents are also being revamped, although a new version won’t be ready for 2 to 3 years, says cardiologist and genetic epidemiologist Brian Ference of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who is taking part in the rewrite.Nobody expects these latest revisions to jilt cholesterol for apoB, but its advocates say there’s increasing science on their side. Cholesterol cruises through our blood in several kinds of protein-containing particles, including HDLs, LDLs, and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs). When certain particles, such as LDLs and VLDLs, depart the bloodstream and get stuck in the lining of our arteries, atherosclerosis can result. Total cholesterol level was the first widely used indicator of this risk, but after researchers discovered that one form of cholesterol, HDL, may be protective, LDL cholesterol became the benchmark. Now, some physicians favor non-HDL cholesterol, which encompasses multiple cholesterol types, including LDL and VLDL.All of these measures, however, reveal the amount of lipid in the blood, rather than the number of cholesterol-hauling particles. ApoB, in contrast, provides a direct measure of their abundance because each LDL or VLDL particle contains a single copy of the protein.Still, even apoB advocates admit that LDL cholesterol’s track record is pretty good. About 85% of the time, it provides an accurate indication of a patient’s likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, Ference says. But that means it’s wrong 15% of the time, he adds.A 2009 study found that nearly half of patients admitted to hospitals because of heart attacks had normal or low LDL levels. So by measuring LDL alone, doctors risk overlooking people who need treatment or, if they are already taking drugs to trim their cholesterol levels, a more intensive regimen.At the same time, some people taking drugs for what seem to be dangerously high LDL cholesterol levels may not need treatment, Sniderman says. A more discriminating test for cardiovascular risk could spare these people from potential side effects and save money. Although cholesterol-lowering statins are cheap, Sniderman notes that newer drugs given when statins aren’t enough, such as the PCSK9 inhibitors, can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.Switching to measuring apoB would improve diagnoses because it better reflects the mechanism of cardiovascular disease, according to Sniderman. “The data support that it’s the LDL particles themselves that are the bad actors,” rather than the cholesterol they contain, Rader says. The more of these particles that course through a patient’s blood, the more get stuck in the arterial walls and the higher the probability of cardiovascular disease. Because LDL cholesterol and apoB are intertwined, both measures give the same result for many patients. However, the amount of cholesterol a particle contains can vary. So LDL cholesterol levels can be misleading for patients who have few large particles or many small ones.No current drugs drive down just apoB, making its impact difficult to untangle from the effect of lowering cholesterol overall. But in a 2015 paper, Sniderman and colleagues reanalyzed data from the famous Framingham Heart Study, which has been probing the causes of cardiovascular disease for nearly 70 years. The patients with the best odds of surviving for at least 20 years had low levels of apoB and non-HDL cholesterol, the team found. But the patients with the worst chances had high levels of apoB, even though their non-HDL cholesterol was low. Similarly, the reassessment of the NHANES data that Sniderman presented at the AHA meeting suggests that apoB is a better predictor of risk.Also pointing to apoB’s importance is a type of analysis in which researchers comb through genetic data from large numbers of patients to identify gene variants that influence a particular trait. Scientists then track the variants’ sway on health, a method called Mendelian randomization because it relies on accidents of heredity to create comparison groups. “It’s essentially nature’s randomized trial,” Ference says. In a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association in September, he and his colleagues dissected the impact of variants of two genes involved in cholesterol metabolism: CETP and HMGCR.Using data from more than 100,000 patients, the researchers found that people with sluggish versions of the enzyme encoded by CETP showed equivalent reductions in apoB and LDL cholesterol levels and were less likely than people with vigorous versions of the enzyme to suffer cardiovascular crises such as heart attacks or strokes. But the scientists saw a telling difference when they analyzed patients who also produced underactive versions of HMGCR’s enzyme. Although these people showed further decreases in LDL cholesterol, their apoB levels—and their cardiovascular risk—didn’t decline by as much. That discrepancy suggests that reducing apoB has a bigger protective effect than lowering LDL, Ference says.The picture is clear, says preventive cardiologist Seth Martin of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. “The totality of evidence is in favor of apoB being an important marker that can identify risk even when LDL is controlled.”But would the gains be worth the disruption? “The poor frontline primary care doctor doesn’t want to have to think about apoB and non-HDL cholesterol,” says preventive cardiologist and epidemiologist Jennifer Robinson of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who was vice chair of the committee that drafted the most recent ACC/AHA recommendations in 2013. “It’s too much information—and when you give people too much information they ignore it.”Cardiologist Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, who was also on the ACC/AHA committee, agrees. “I don’t see apoB changing the playing field very much,” he says.Many apoB advocates reluctantly concur. LDL cholesterol is deeply entrenched in medical routines, and “it’s not going to change any time soon,” Rader says. “I go from depression to worse depression,” Sniderman says.But if future guidelines start to emphasize apoB’s diagnostic value and drug companies begin to target it, Ference thinks physicians will eventually pay heed to the protein. “The argument is that LDL cholesterol is good enough,” he says. “But as we move toward more personalized medicine, it’s not.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emaillast_img read more

Read more