Wrong cant be defended Sumitra Mahajan on Akash Vijayavargiyas assault on civic

first_img Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence My heart is with the Lok Sabha: Sumitra Mahajan By PTI |Indore | Published: July 16, 2019 7:15:56 am Indore: With 8-time MP Sumitra bowing out, Congress says this time will be different After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan 3 Comment(s) Akash Vijayvargiya, Akash Vijayvargiya beats civic officia, BJP MLA beats civic official, Indore MLA, Sumitra Mahajan, BJP, Narendra Modi, Kailash Vijayvargiya Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra MahajanFormer Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan Monday appeared to disapprove BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiyas act of assaulting a civic officer with a cricket bat in full public view here last month. Read | Madhya Pradesh: Back home, few back Vijayvargiya Jr openly, debate now on ‘action’Akash Vijayvargiya’s conduct had earned the ire of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.At a meeting of the BJP in New Delhi early this month, Modi had given a stern warning to party leaders, saying, arrogance and misbehaviour cannot be tolerated.According to sources, the PM had said “whoever it may be, whoever’s son he may be…such arrogance, misbehaviour cannot be tolerated” and the action should be taken. Gujarat confidential: Tai Vacuum center_img Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express Advertising “It happens…a mother has two-three children. One does this…other that. But mother gives good teaching to all her children, Mahajan said.“When a son commits a mistake the first thing that strikes his mothers mind is that had she must have committed some mistake in his upbringing,” the veteran BJP leader said.A wrong can’t be defended, said the former Lok Sabha MP from Indore.“A mother mends ways of her son. She rebukes him when needed. But it is not binding on her that she chides him publicly. What is wrong is wrong,” Mahajan said. Related News Akash Vijayvargiya, the son of senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, had assaulted an official of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) on June 26 during an argument over demolition of a dilapidated building.The incident, caught on camera, had led to the arrest of the MLA from the Indore-3 Assembly segment. He was released on bail after spending four days in jail.“Will you all consider this conduct good? When you all dont consider it good, how can I consider it good? Mahajan told reporters when asked about Akash Vijayvargiya’s conduct. Advertisinglast_img read more

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Patients with paralysis manage to walk thanks to new technology

first_imgBy Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Sep 25 2018Two of four participants in a study conducted at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville (UofL) have managed to walk over ground after having suffered traumatic complete spinal cord injury. Source:https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/uol-tat092418.php While more clinical research must be done with larger cohorts, these findings confirm that the spinal cord has the capacity to recover the ability to walk with the right combination of epidural stimulation, daily training and the intent to step independently with each footstep,”Senior researcher Claudia Angeli.center_img Participant Kelly Thomas, trainer Katie Vogt. Credit University of LouisvilleThe two participants, who had been paralyzed for years, regained their ability to stand and walk thanks to the coupling of epidural stimulation and daily locomotor training. The ground-breaking progress is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, all four of the people engaging in the study regained the ability to stand as a result of the therapy.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchOn joining the study, the participants were at least 2.5 years post injury and could not walk, stand or move their legs. Eight to nine weeks before having an epidural stimulator implanted, they received daily locomotor training for two hours per day, five days a week.Epidural stimulation involves the application of an electrical current to the lumbosacral spinal cord, which corresponds to the neural networks involved in movement of the hips, knees, ankles and toes. Locomotor training involves repetitively practicing standing and stepping as an attempt to retrain the spinal cord to “remember” how walking works.Prior to implantation of the epidural stimulator, the participants did not experience any improvement in locomotor ability, but post-implantation, they were able to take steps when trying to walk while the stimulator was on. Two of them were able to walk over ground, as well as on a treadmill, so long as they were assisted by a walker or poles to help them stay balanced.Study author Susan Harkema says the research shows that it is possible to regain some brain-to-spine connectivity years after a person has experienced a spinal cord injury and to walk, stand, regain trunk mobility without physical assistance when using the stimulator and staying focused on taking steps.last_img read more

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Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels linked with autism diagnosis third study confirms

first_imgOct 1 2018Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute and the University of North Carolina have shown for the third time that an increased amount of extra-axial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is associated with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in young children. The ability to identify ASD children early could improve both treatment and quality of life. The study was published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry. “Our first paper showed that, if you conduct MRIs on children as young as six months who have a high risk for ASD, increased fluid volume predicts a subset of autism,” said David Amaral, professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, a MIND Institute researcher and senior author on the paper. “The second study confirmed these results in a larger cohort, and now we have validated them a third time in older children with varying degrees of risk.”The kids in these studies were recruited through the Autism Phenome Project at the MIND Institute, which tracks children from initial diagnosis to identify biological subtypes of ASD.CSF was once thought to be relatively benign, providing shock absorption to protect the brain.However, newer findings have shown that CSF acts as a cleaning agent, removing potentially harmful molecules, particularly during sleep.While the first two studies looked at kids who had an older sibling with ASD, and were therefore at higher familial risk, the current paper studied both high-risk and low-risk children. In addition, the investigators extended the monitoring period to determine if the increased CSF was present at an older age.There were 236 children, with an average age of 3 years, in the study – 159 with ASD and 77 with typical development. Researchers conducted brain MRIs to measure CSF, and sophisticated algorithms assessed the results to develop predictive biomarkers.The study found that increased CSF levels were still present in 3-year-old kids. Moreover, children with ASD had elevated CSF, regardless of familial risk background, compared to typically developing children. These brain measures distinguished kids with autism from those with typical development with 83 percent accuracy.Related StoriesHigh levels of acid in processed foods could affect fetus’ developing brainNeuroscientists find anatomical link between cognitive and perceptual symptoms in autismAtypical eating behaviors may indicate autism“We knew from our previous studies that it was present at six months, and this study in a different group of children showed CSF was abnormally increased at age three,” said Mark Shen, assistant professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry and first author on the paper. “It appears to be present in high-risk kids with autism, as well as kids with autism from the general community.”The study also showed that children with more CSF had greater sleep problems. This is important because proper CSF circulation, particularly during sleep, is essential to brain health.“Sleep is when this brain fluid is supposed to be circulating around the brain and cleaning it,” said Shen. “When someone doesn’t get enough sleep, there is a possibility for buildup of proteins that can affect learning, memory and general brain function.”It’s unclear whether increased fluid may contribute to one of the causes of autism or is simply a side effect of the underlying biology. However, with further research, CSF could eventually become a therapeutic target.These findings provide a replicated indication that the signs of autism begin very early in life and could contribute to early detection of risk for autism. Early detection could increase the therapeutic window, giving kids earlier access to therapy.“Getting younger children into intensive behavioral therapy would be very helpful,” said Amaral. “And, if there is a biological treatment, it would be great to get them on it at six months, rather than three or four years when kids are often diagnosed.” Source:http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/contenthub/13201last_img read more

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Mindbody exercises may improve cognition in older adults

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journal-american-geriatrics-society/mind-body-exercises-may-improve-cognitive-function Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Mind-body exercises–especially tai chi and dance mind-body exercise–are beneficial for improving global cognition, cognitive flexibility, working memory, verbal fluency, and learning in older adults. The findings come from a meta-analysis of all relevant published studies.The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society analysis included 32 randomized controlled trials with 3,624 older adults with or without cognitive impairment.The investigators noted that mind-body exercise, as a therapy that combines mental concentration, breathing control, and body movement, is beneficial for improving flexibility and mental health, but no previous studies have evaluated the effects of all major forms of mind-body exercise in a single work.last_img read more

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Yeast model may pave way for development of novel therapies for metabolic

first_img Source:https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=2434&ncs4704=3 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 17 2019There are hundreds of metabolic disorders — including phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia, maple syrup urine disease and homocystinuria. These disorders lead to congenital diseases that produce a critical enzyme deficiency that interferes with the body’s metabolism. The pathologies and symptoms vary among the diseases, but all of them are usually fatal and have no known cure. Most metabolic disorders affect infants.The majority of these diseases currently lack effective treatments and patients must maintain a strict diet, avoiding certain food items that contain substances their bodies cannot break down. Often the proposed solutions, such as bone marrow transplants, are extremely expensive and only partially effective.A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that the role of yeast, the world’s most basic eukaryotic unicellular organism, may pave the way for the development of novel, more effective therapies. The research was published in Nature Communications on January 8.”The same yeast that serves as a basis for the bread we eat and the beer we drink now also serves as an instrumental model of metabolic disorders,” says Dr. Dana Laor of TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, the lead author of the study conducted in Prof. Ehud Gazit’s TAU laboratory.”Three Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists engaging in research related to yeast in the last decade, and it’s no wonder. Yeast grows quickly; it’s affordable; and it’s easily manipulated as a simple unicellular organism,” Dr. Laor explains. “Now we, too, have harnessed its properties to gain insight into this devastating group of diseases.”The research is based on previous studies conducted by Prof. Gazit and his colleagues that revealed the role of toxic metabolite accumulation in the pathology of metabolic disorders. “We have known for a while now that amyloids are linked to severe diseases of the central nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s,” Prof. Gazit says. “Recent experiments conducted in our lab have shown that they characterize genetic metabolic disorders as well. In such disorders, the gene responsible for producing an enzyme, which modifies a particular metabolite, is impaired.Related StoriesRecombinant insulin could potentially address key concerns about the lifesaving drugBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitCutting-edge electron microscopy reveals first structures of a lipid-flippase”As a result, large quantities of that metabolite accumulate in the body and cause serious damage,” he continues. “While each condition is separately considered as ‘rare,’ these disorders constitute a major proportion of pediatric genetic diseases.”In the new study, Dr. Laor genetically manipulated yeast cells to produce a toxic accumulation of the metabolite adenine, devising the first in vivo yeast model of a congenital metabolic disease as a result. The innovative platform will allow scientists to screen thousands of drug-like small molecules to identify molecules that could lead to novel therapies, which can then be developed by Big Pharma.”Our pioneering research may help identify the molecular mechanisms involved in these diseases and thereby help to develop suitable drugs,” says Dr. Laor.The researchers recently received an investment commitment from the Tel Aviv University Technology Innovation Momentum Fund, which invests in promising breakthrough technologies, to collaborate with the BLAVATNIK CENTER for Drug Discovery to establish an integrated drug discovery platform for metabolic disorders. The fund is run by Ramot, the Business Engagement Center of Tel Aviv University. The researchers also have a patent pending on their yeast model.”If you can successfully connect the pieces of the puzzle, then you can understand the biology behind a disease,” Dr. Laor concludes. “It is critically important to understand the pathways leading to the toxicity caused by metabolite accumulations in order to develop the appropriate therapy. In this case, the lives of thousands of children may be saved and their quality of life significantly improved.”last_img read more

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Motionpowered fireproof sensor for tracking firefighters in burning buildings

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 2 2019McMaster researchers, working with partners at other universities, have created a motion-powered, fireproof sensor that can track the movements of firefighters, steelworkers, miners and others who work in high-risk environments where they cannot always be seen.The low-cost sensor is about the size of a button-cell watch battery and can easily be incorporated into the sole of a boot or under the arm of a jacket – wherever motion creates a pattern of constant contact and release to generate the power the sensor needs to operate.The sensor uses triboelectric, or friction-generated, charging, harvesting electricity from movement in much the same way that a person in socks picks up static electricity walking across a carpet.The sensor can track the movement and location of a person in a burning building, a mineshaft or other hazardous environment, alerting someone outside if the movement ceases.The key material in the sensor, a new carbon aerogel nanocomposite, is fireproof, and the device never needs charging from a power source.”If somebody is unconscious and you are unable to find them, this could be very useful,” says Ravi Selvaganapathy, a professor of mechanical engineering who oversaw the project. “The nice thing is that because it is self-powered, you don’t have to do anything. It scavenges power from the environment.”The research team – from McMaster, UCLA and University of Chemistry and Technology Prague – describes the new sensor in a paper published today in the journal Nano Energy.The researchers explain that previously developed self-powered sensors have allowed similar tracking, but their materials break down at high temperatures, rendering them useless,A self-powered sensor is necessary in extreme heat because most batteries also break down in high temperatures. The researchers have successfully tested the new technology at temperatures up to 300C – the temperature where most types of wood start to burn – without any loss of function.”It’s exciting to develop something that could save someone’s life in the future,” said co-author Islam Hassan, a McMaster PhD student in mechanical engineering. If firefighters use our technology and we can save someone’s life, that would be great.”The researchers hope to work with a commercial partner to get the technology to market.Source: http://www.mcmaster.ca/last_img read more

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Research finds cynicism as cause and consequence of bad health

first_imgMay 29 2019Being cynical increases your risk of becoming ill, new research from the University of Cologne has confirmed, but bad health also causes people to become more cynical.This vicious cycle has been confirmed by two social psychologists who analyzed data from 40,000 people.Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and the US Health and Retirement Study, Dr. Daniel Ehlebracht from the University of Cologne and Dr. Olga Stavrova from Tilburg University, looked at subjective health perceptions and various objective measures of physical health, such as the number of diagnoses from doctors, blood pressure or grip strength.  Results revealed that cynical individuals were much more likely to develop health problems but, vice versa, poor health promoted the development of a cynical worldview over time. Health problems that noticeably constrained subjects’ lives were the most likely to lead to cynicism. If someone’s illness prevented them from climbing up the stairs for example, they had a higher chance of becoming cynical than if they suffered from something less obviously inconvenient like elevated blood pressure.”Dr. Daniel Ehlebracht, University of Cologne These findings, published in the European Journal of Personality, suggest that cynicism and ill health present a chain of circumstances with each worsening the other.Cynicism is thus both a cause and a consequence of bad health. However, stable social networks and well-functioning institutional support might possibly be factors suitable to break this vicious circle.Source: University of Colognelast_img read more

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Native Hawaiians have highest risk for pancreatic cancer study shows

first_img“Our results show that African Americans are not the only minority populations with increased risk of pancreatic cancer,” Setiawan said. She added that Latinos and whites are at similar risk.Approximately 56,770 people — roughly 12.9 per 100,000 people — will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2019, according to the National Cancer Institute. There are no symptoms in the early stages; it is often detected late and has a poor prognosis.Source:University of Southern CaliforniaJournal reference:Setiawan, V.W. et al. (2019) Interethnic differences in pancreatic cancer incidence and risk factors: The Multiethnic Cohort. Cancer Medicine. dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2209. Native Hawaiians have a 60% increased risk for pancreatic cancer, compared to European Americans. Japanese Americans have a 33% increased risk for pancreatic cancer, compared to European Americans. African Americans have a 20% increased risk for pancreatic cancer, compared to European Americans. For the research, scientists turned to the Multiethnic Cohort Study, established in 1993-1996 by USC and the University of Hawaii to investigate patterns in cancer incidence. The study includes more than 215,000 people recruited from Los Angeles County and Hawaii. The main ethnic groups represented are European American, African American, Latino American, Japanese American and Native Hawaiian.Participants completed self-administered questionnaires, which included information on demographics, medical conditions, family history of cancer and lifestyle factors. Individuals were excluded if they had a prior pancreatic cancer diagnosis or were missing information integral to the study.The resulting group numbered 184,559 individuals: 100,969 females and 83,590 males. The largest racial/ethnic group was Japanese Americans (29%), followed by European Americans (25.1%), Latino Americans (22%), African Americans (16.7%) and Native Hawaiians (7.3%).Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerThere were 1,532 cases of pancreatic cancer over an average follow-up period of 16.9 years. The researchers took into account family history of pancreatic cancer, diabetes, smoking, body mass index, alcohol and red meat consumption. They said 20% of the cases could be attributed to smoking, obesity and red meat intake.The study doesn’t answer why certain groups are more at risk but it did make a number of observations about risk factors, including: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 4 2019Native Hawaiians are at highest risk for pancreatic cancer, according to a USC study that provides a surprising look at disparities surrounding the deadly disease.The findings — published May 8 in the journal Cancer Medicine — could help focus efforts to prevent pancreatic cancer, which will kill an estimated 45,750 people in the United States this year.The study shows:center_img Family history of pancreatic cancer was slightly more prevalent in Japanese Americans. Native Hawaiians and African Americans were more likely to be current smokers. Diabetes mellitus was more common in African Americans, Latino Americans and Native Hawaiians. Red meat intake was highest among African Americans, Latino Americans and Native Hawaiians. The greater risks in Native Hawaiians and Japanese Americans, compared to whites — in addition to the already reported increased risk in African Americans — are new, important findings. This study underscores the importance of studying diverse populations in cancer research.”Senior author Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USClast_img read more

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Portable device attached to smartphone can diagnose eye disease remotely

first_imgAn app operating the optical device sends images of the retina over the internet to Eyer Cloud, which stores and manages patient files. Image Credit: Phelcom Technologies Help diagnose retinal eye diseasesThe new device can help diagnose eye diseases, particularly those affecting the retina. The retina is the light-sensing tissue found in the back of the eye. One of its roles is to relay images to the brain.Back-of-the-eye or fundus eye diseases include conditions such as Stargardt’s disease, macular degeneration, retinal tear, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment, among others. Stargardt’s disease refer to a group of inherited diseases that affects the light-sensitive cells in the retina to deteriorate. Macular degeneration is a condition where the center of the retina deteriorates, leading to blurred central vision or a blind spot. Retinal tear happens when the vitreous, or gel-like substance in the center of the eye shrinks, pulling the thin layer of tissue lining in the retina, causing a tissue break. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness in people with diabetes. It happens when the blood sugar shoots up, causing damage to the blood vessels supplying the retina.The Eyer ProjectRelated StoriesRole of choline and docosahexaenoic acid in maternal and infant nutritionStudy shows high incidence of herpes zoster ophthalmicus among older adultsMicrosoft and Birmingham City University are developing new system to assist people with disabilitiesIn March, Phelcom established its São Carlos factory after getting a certification from the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO).The factory manufactures 30 units a month but is projected to reach about 100 units by the end of 2019. The device is priced at $5,000, accompanied by a high-quality smartphone. The device is way cheaper than conventional equipment. The currently-used ophthalmoscope device has to be connected to a computer to capture images and it costs around $30,000.  “We invested significantly in optics and in design. One challenge was producing a portable version of a device that is typically very large. Another was enabling nonmydriatic operation so that high-quality images of the retina can be captured without the need for pupil dilation,” José Augusto Stuchi, Phelcom CEO, said in a statement.The Eyer CloudThe company has also developed the Eyer Cloud, an innovation designed to store and manage all the data, including patient information and retinal images, acquired in the diagnostic test. The software works by organizing data, so doctors can remotely access for diagnosis.In contrast, current equipment used today needs to be attached to a computer. The Eyer is portable, easier to use, and more accessible. To set up the Eyer and its cloud, the user should create an account, where the images can be automatically saved.The researchers assured that all data are kept private and confidential. Also, they worked on making the transmitting of images from the device to the cloud faster, so doctors can access the images regardless of the device’s location.The device uses telemedicine, since a licensed or trained technician uses the device to capture the images and sends the photos to the cloud. Meanwhile, an ophthalmologist can visualize and analyze the photos in another location. The process makes diagnosing faster and more convenient.At present, the company plans to establish a partnership with ophthalmologists to develop a part of the system responsible for reporting. For doctors, the planned payment is by a monthly subscription and each report will roughly cost about $5 to $10.Artificial intelligenceAside from the cloud, the team is working on artificial intelligence to help in finding patterns, detecting diabetic retinopathy. The medical reports will be placed in a database, where the computer uses AI to find patterns linked to retinal diseases.A software, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called IDx-DR, utilizes AI to examine eye images captured by a retinal camera. These images will be analyzed to detect diabetic retinopathy, potentially diagnosing the condition early to prevent blindness.The company has more than 10,000 images of the retina and projects about 50,000 patients next year. They plan to have the largest database across the globe. Source:http://pesquisaparainovacao.fapesp.br/portable_device_can_be_used_to_diagnose_eye_disease_remotely/1074 The device, called Eyer, is designed to light up and visualize the retina. It is connected to a smartphone’s camera. An application sends the captured images over the internet via the Eyer Cloud, which stores the patient files. The ophthalmologist can view the images remotely through the cloud by accessing the patient files.Due to lack of internet connection in some areas across the globe, the images are kept in the smartphone app and sent to the cloud when an internet connection, either Wi-Fi or 4G network is available. Phelcom Eyer By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNJun 26 2019A portable device attached to a smartphone can help capture precise images of the retina to diagnose eye disease. The new method by a startup company, Phelcom Technologies, is a lower cost tool that can help doctors diagnose remotely, through telemedicine.The FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE) granted funding and support for Phelcom in 2016. With the grant, the team needed to develop a prototype, which has recently won funding for manufacture and commercialization of the device. Aside from the grant, the Albert Einstein Jewish-Brazilian Charitable Society (SBIBAE) has invested in Phelcom.last_img read more

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Paralympic snowboarder designs innovative gear—for rivals

Adaptive snowboarder Mike Schultz could very well have the winning formula at the Paralympics—whether or not he even crosses the finish line in first. He is the architect behind some of the most cutting edge prosthetic components out there, which is no surprise considering he’s been tinkering with technology and testing it himself since losing his left leg above the knee a decade ago following a snowmobile accident.There will be around 30 male and female athletes from six different countries at the Paralympic Games in South Korea using Schultz’s “Moto Knee” (constructed to withstand high-impact stress), “Versa Foot” (featuring adjustable shock absorbers) or both.He just might be beaten by his own creations. That’s almost a win-win situation for the world’s top-ranked snowboard-cross and banked slalom boarder.Almost.”Me winning would be better,” cracked the 36-year-old from St. Cloud, Minnesota, who was voted the flag bearer for Team USA during the opening ceremony Friday. “I’ve got some secret stuff. I’ll share it with everybody at the end of March.”I do take a lot of pride in knowing that I’ve helped these athletes step up their performance game a little bit—or a lot. It’s very rewarding to see these athletes really bring their ‘A’ game and do the level of riding that they all do.”His life was altered in December 2008 during a snowmobile race in Michigan. He was making a move in a downhill section when he lost his balance and was thrown from his sled. His left knee hyperextended 180 degrees, with his lower leg ending up near his chest. The main nerve to his leg was severed. In an essay on The Player’s Tribune , Schultz said he went through 42 units of blood, but the “reality was that the best way for me to go forward was to amputate at the mid-thigh.” In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, Mike Schultz, who is preparing to compete in the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea and is owner of BioDapt, works on a performance prosthetic for an athlete in his shop in St. Cloud, Minn. (Jason Wachter/St. Cloud Times via AP, File) In 2010, he started his company BioDapt, where he designs and custom-fits prosthetics out of a workshop behind his house. His company’s mission is simple: “Manufacture the highest quality and highly versatile components that allow amputees to participate in sports and activities.”Dabbling in the world of snowboarding never really crossed his mind. That is, until an adaptive boarder saw him riding snowmobiles at Winter X and asked if the technology might be applied to his sport.”I was like, ‘Well, I better go give that a try,'” Schultz said.So that’s how he became a snowboarder. But the learning curve was steep.”I had my fair share of injuries and hard hits,” said Schultz, who was recently featured on a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes . “But I’m an athlete, so I pick things up fairly quick.” There’s a reason his products are in demand—they’re state-of-the-art.His “Moto Knee” design mimics the action of the quadriceps muscle. His “Versa Foot” offers shock absorbers that control toe pressure and ankle resistance.Two-time Paralympian Amy Purdy uses the “Versa Foot.” Fellow snowboarder Brenna Huckaby happens to be sponsored by Schultz’s company—her prosthetic components made in purple to match her hair. Also sponsored is 20-year-old Noah Elliott , who lost his left leg to osteosarcoma bone cancer and was inspired by Schultz after seeing him on a talk show. They’ve become good friends.Elliott also happens to be the No. 2-ranked rider in the world behind Schultz. He swears by Schultz’s innovations.”Mike’s design is truly unique and the performance is true to its name,” Elliott said in an email. “The ‘Moto Knee’ and ‘Versa Foot’ provide confidence on and off the slope—from bringing a person to or back to a passion they once lost, or even to walk with the head high because you know you can.”Schultz’s path to Pyeongchang, South Korea, hasn’t been exactly smooth in recent months. He crashed at the Winter X Games in 2015 and shattered his right heel into 15 pieces.”I thought honestly, I’m going to have to pull out of snowboarding completely,” said Schultz, whose snowboard-cross final at the Paralympics is Monday, with the banked slalom final set for March 16. “I’m going to feel that one the rest of my days. We’re dealing with it.”Schultz already has eight gold medals and one silver courtesy of the Winter and Summer X Games—all displayed in his trophy case at his gym back home. He wouldn’t mind adding a little more hardware.”If you would’ve told me I’d be a snowboarder back then? No way. No way. But,” Schultz said, “it is pretty amazing when I look back.” In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, U.S. Olympic Winter Games paralympic snowboarding hopeful Mike Schultz poses for a portrait at the 2017 Team USA media summit in Park City, Utah. Schultz is the top-ranked rider heading into the Paralympic Games in South Korea. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. New challenge—he just didn’t know what.”I kind of figured my competitive days were over,” Schultz said. “But you know what? Once I started feeling better and healthier and learned to walk on my first prosthetic leg, I realized I’m not going to be satisfied with just walking around.”Within a few months, he was riding his dirt bike again. And shortly after that, on a prosthetic leg he designed, Schultz captured a silver medal at the 2009 Summer X Games in Moto X racing adaptive. It felt just like gold. Citation: Paralympic snowboarder designs innovative gear—for rivals (2018, March 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-paralympic-snowboarder-gearfor-rivals.html Fox Creek earthquakes linked to completion volume and location of hydraulic fracturing 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. In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, Mike Schultz, who is preparing to compete in the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea, poses for a photo in his shop in St. Cloud, Minn. (Jason Wachter/St. Cloud Times via AP, File) Explore further read more

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Googles autonomous vehicle unit to test semis in Atlanta

Self-driving cars with no in-vehicle backup driver get OK for California public roads Waymo says that starting next week it will run self-driving rigs in the Atlanta area with human backup drivers. They’ll travel freeways and local roads to deliver server racks and other cargo destined for Google’s data centers.The Alphabet Inc. unit says the trucks will have the same technology and sensors as autonomous minivans that are being tested in the Phoenix area. Waymo wouldn’t say how many trucks are being tested, but it released pictures showing two blue semis.Uber announced Tuesday that its freight unit was using self-driving semis with human backup drivers to haul consumer goods on freeways in Arizona. Explore further Just days after ride-hailing service Uber announced it was testing tractor-trailers that drive themselves, Google’s autonomous vehicle operation announced similar testing in Georgia. In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo a skylight is reflected in the rear window of a Waymo driverless car during a Google event in San Francisco. Just days after ride-hailing service Uber announced it was testing tractor-trailers that drive themselves, Google’s autonomous vehicle operation announced similar testing in Georgia on Friday, March 9, 2018. Waymo says that starting next week it will run self-driving rigs in the Atlanta area with human backup drivers. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Google’s autonomous vehicle unit to test semis in Atlanta (2018, March 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-google-autonomous-vehicle-semis-atlanta.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Engineers invent smart microchip that can selfstart and operate when battery runs

BATLESS, a smart microchip developed by a team of researchers led by Associate Professor Massimo Alioto (center) from National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Engineering, can self-start and continue to operate even when the battery runs out of energy. This novel technology could enable smaller and cheaper Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Credit: National University of Singapore Currently, batteries in IoT devices are much larger and up to three times more expensive than the single chip they power. Their size is determined by the sensor node lifetime, which directly affects how often they need to be changed. This has an important bearing on maintenance cost and impact on the environment when batteries are disposed. To extend the overall lifetime, the battery is usually recharged slowly by harvesting some limited power from the environment, such as using a solar cell. However, existing IoT devices cannot operate without battery, and small batteries are fully discharged more frequently. Hence, battery miniaturisation often results in highly discontinuous operation of IoT devices, as they stop functioning every time the battery runs out of energy.To address this technology gap, a team of engineers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an innovative microchip, named BATLESS, that can continue to operate even when the battery runs out of energy. BATLESS is designed with a novel power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance, using a very small on-chip solar cell. This research breakthrough substantially reduces the size of batteries required to power IoT sensor nodes, making them 10 times smaller and cheaper to produce. The breakthrough has been presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2018 conference in San Francisco, the premier global forum for presenting advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip.The leader of the NUS research team, Associate Professor Massimo Alioto at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, said, “We have demonstrated that batteries used for IoT devices can be shrunk substantially, as they do not always need to be available to maintain continuous operation. Tackling this fundamental problem is a major advancement towards the ultimate vision of IoT sensor nodes without the use of batteries, and will pave the way for a world with a trillion IoT devices.” Citation: Engineers invent smart microchip that can self-start and operate when battery runs out (2018, May 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-smart-microchip-self-start-battery.html Battery indifference is the ability for IoT devices to continue operations even when the battery is exhausted. It is achieved by operating in two modes—minimum energy and minimum power. When the battery energy is available, the chip runs in minimum-energy mode to maximise the battery lifetime. However, when the battery is exhausted, the chip switches to the minimum-power mode and operates with very low power consumption of about half a nano-Watt—this is about a billion times lower than the power consumption of a smartphone during a phone call. Power can be provided by a very small on-chip solar cell that is about half a square millimetre in area, or other forms of energy available from the environment, such as vibration or heat.The chip’s ability to switch between minimum energy and minimum power mode translates into aggressive miniaturisation of batteries from centimetres down to a few millimetres. The BATLESS microchip enables the uncommon capability to uninterruptedly sense, process, capture and timestamp events of interest, and for such valuable data to be wirelessly transmitted to the cloud when the battery becomes available again. Despite being in minimum-power mode when battery is not available, the reduced speed of the microchip is still adequate for numerous IoT applications that need to sense parameters that vary slowly in time, including temperature, humidity, light, and pressure. Among many other applications, BATLESS is very well suited for smart buildings, environmental monitoring, energy management, and adaptation of living spaces to occupants’ needs.Assoc Prof Alioto added, “BATLESS is the first example of a new class of chips that are indifferent to battery charge availability. In minimum-power mode, it uses 1,000 to 100,000 times less power, compared to the best existing microcontrollers designed for fixed minimum-energy operation. At the same time, our 16-bit microcontroller can also operate 100,000 times faster than others that have been recently designed for fixed minimum-power operation. In short, the BATLESS microchip covers a very wide range of possible energy, power, and speed trade-offs, as allowed by the flexibility offered through the two different modes.”BATLESS is also equipped with a new power management technique that enables self-starting operations while powered directly by the tiny on-chip solar cell, with no battery assistance. The team demonstrated this at 50-lux indoor light intensity, which is equivalent to the dim light available at twilight, and corresponds to nano-Watts of power. This makes BATLESS indifferent to battery availability, addressing a previously unsolved challenge in battery-less chips.The NUS Engineering team is now exploring new solutions to build complete battery-indifferent systems that cover the entire signal chain from sensor to wireless communications, thus expanding the current work on microcontrollers and power management. The research team aims to demonstrate a solution that shrinks the battery to millimetre scale, with the long-term goal of completely eliminating the need for it. This will be a major step toward the realisation of the IoT vision worldwide, and also make the planet greener and smarter. Engineers invent tiny vision processing chip for ultra-small smart vision systems and IoT applications Explore further More information: Longyang Lin et al, A 595pW 14pJ/Cycle microcontroller with dual-mode standard cells and self-startup for battery-indifferent distributed sensing, 2018 IEEE International Solid – State Circuits Conference – (ISSCC) (2018). DOI: 10.1109/ISSCC.2018.8310175 Provided by National University of Singapore The Internet of Things (IoT), while still in its infancy, is shaping the future of many industries and will also impact daily life in significant ways. One of the key challenges of moving IoT devices from concept to reality is to have long-lasting operation with tightly constrained energy sources, and thus extreme power efficiency. IoT devices such as sensors are often deployed on a massive scale and in places that are usually remote and difficult to service regularly, thus making their self-sufficiency essential. 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

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Dont trust the tech giants You likely rely on them anyway Update

first_img Citation: Don’t trust the tech giants? You likely rely on them anyway (Update) (2018, June 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-dont-tech-giants.html A 2016 survey from the Pew Research Center, for instance, found that only 9 percent of users were “very confident” that social media companies could protect their data. More than half had little or no confidence. Yet a January survey from Pew found that 69 percent of U.S. adults use social media, unchanged from 2016.Shaky consumer confidence can still limit the time people spend on Facebook or curb their enthusiasm for new boundary-pushing services. Amazon, for instance, now wants its delivery people to leave packages inside your home or car. That’s not going to fly if you’re worried about Amazon exploiting its access to your private spaces.But tech giants have fewer worries about consumers defecting to their rivals, in part because they each do their best to lock users into their array of complementary apps and services. That doesn’t stop them from sniping at one another, of course. Apple, for instance, has emphasized its privacy protections to highlight its differences with Facebook and Google. But it’s also reportedly seeking ways to expand its ad business, which would bring it into more direct competition with its two rivals.History does offer a cautionary tale for tech companies that grow too complacent. Roughly a decade ago, Microsoft’s dominance in personal computers seemed impregnable, even after a bruising antitrust fight over its Windows monopoly. Then came the iPhone, which Microsoft ridiculed—at least until the mobile computing wave it unleashed swamped the Windows PC.Could a similar shift today tap into underlying consumer discontent and topple today’s tech giants? Perhaps, although it’s not clear exactly how.One possibility could involve blockchain, the technology that underlies bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies. Some enthusiasts have begun to talk about blockchain-based social networks that could operate without central authorities such as Facebook, which in theory could also minimize privacy risks. But that could take years, if it comes to pass at all.In the meantime, developments in artificial intelligence could make things even worse on the trust front. Some researchers are using AI systems to create realistic—but wholly fabricated—videos of famous people. In one, former President Barack Obama is made to “talk” about a shooting ; in another, President Donald Trump gestures in front of a fake photograph .Google recently unveiled a digital voice assistant called Duplex that can sound convincingly human while booking appointments over the phone. Google says that bot will identify itself as nonhuman when making such calls—but it’s not hard to imagine robocallers developing similar, but less scrupulous, technology.Others are pitting AI networks against each other to hone their abilities to deceive and detect deception—for the moment, primarily in digital images. Applied to other uses, however, this technology could fundamentally test our trust in one another and society’s institutions, says Matthew Griffin, a U.K. consultant and futurist. Amazon’s finance ambitions are said to draw attention from Fed In this June 1, 2018, file photo, commuters look at their phones in Los Angeles. Technology giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon ask us to trust them with ever-more sensitive aspects of our lives, from our relationships to our private conversations. But there’s a catch: If they prove unworthy of that trust, the repercussions are scant and alternatives seem hard to find. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further If technology giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon face a common threat to their dominance, it probably lies in a single word: trust. In some respects, these companies are riding high. They have woven themselves into the fabric of our daily lives, making their services indispensable for daily tasks like keeping in touch with family and friends, watching TV and buying cat food. Revenues are up and profits are soaring.But they’ve also drawn the attention of regulators in Europe and the U.S. thanks to carelessness with consumer data and other problems. Facebook’s leaky data controls, for instance, let Cambridge Analytica mine the profiles of up to 87 million people in an attempt to swing elections. The social network has also had to beef up manual oversight to clamp down on the spread of fake news.Google’s YouTube has likewise been implicated in the spread of political conspiracy theories. Not long ago, Amazon’s always-listening Echo speaker inadvertently recorded a family’s conversation at home—and then sent the recording to someone else.Some of these issues are systemic; others may be little more than the growing pains of new technologies. What they all fuel, though, is a sense that technology may not always warrant the implicit faith we place in it.Companies have to realize “that trust isn’t digital,” says Gerd Leonhard, a futurist and author of “Technology vs. Humanity.” ”Trust is not something that you download. Trust is a feeling. It’s a perception.”Trust looms large in modern life. We still get on airplanes even though they sometimes come apart in flight . We go to hospitals even though medical errors sometimes kill patients. These services are too important to live without, despite the occasional disastrous error.But those industries are also heavily regulated because of the risks involved. Technology companies, by comparison, are largely unconstrained.Trust issues could be especially acute for technology companies, since their services are effectively omnipresent yet largely inscrutable. You can’t audit Google’s algorithm to see why it’s giving you certain search results the way you can watch your bank balance. You just have to trust that the company is upholding its promises.Yet so far, such concerns don’t loom large for most consumers. “That trust is eroded, but the uncomfortable thing is no one really cares,” says Scott Galloway, a New York University marketing professor. “As long as they trust that technology will improve their lives, they don’t appear to care about the other stuff.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Law enforcement faces dilemma in assessing online threats

first_img Facebook now deleting 66K posts a week in anti-hate campaign Their anger is all over social media for the whole world to see, with rants about minorities, relationships gone bad or paranoid delusions about perceived slights. Explore further The perpetrators of mass shootings often provide a treasure trove of insight into their violent tendencies, but the information is not always seen by law enforcement until after the violence is carried out. In addition, rants and hate speech rarely factor into whether someone passes a background check to buy guns.The massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the pipe bombing attempts from last week and the Florida high school shooting this year have underscored the dilemma of law enforcement around the country in assessing the risk of people making online rants at a time when social media has become so ubiquitous.”We can go out on Twitter and there are loads of people saying insane stuff, but how do you know which is the one person? It’s always easy after the fact, to go: ‘That was clear.’ But clearly everyone spouting their mouth doesn’t go and shoot up a synagogue,” said David Chipman, a retired agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and now senior policy adviser for the Giffords Center.Robert Bowers, the man accused of opening fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, expressed virulently anti-Semitic views on a social media site called Gab, according to an Associated Press review of an archived version of the posts made under his name. The cover photo for his account featured a neo-Nazi symbol, and his recent posts included a photo of a fiery oven like those used in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Other posts referenced false conspiracy theories suggesting the Holocaust was a hoax.It was only just before the shooting that the poster believed to be Bowers seemed to cross the line, posting: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Authorities say Bower killed 11 people and injured six others, including four officers who responded.Keeping tabs on social media posts has been used for years by law enforcement to try to identify potential threats. The task is enormous and it’s an inexact science. The volume of posts is significant and the question arises: Is something a true threat or free speech? Citation: Law enforcement faces dilemma in assessing online threats (2018, October 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-law-dilemma-online-threats.html A message on the site Gab is displayed on an iPhone in New York on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. The social media site popular with far-right extremists and apparently used by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect, advertises as a haven for free-speech fans. Its founder, Andrew Torba, says the site is being censored and smeared. On Monday Gab was effectively, if momentarily, left internet-homeless, long ago cut off from smartphone app stores but now banned from payment processors such as PayPal and internet infrastructure providers. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo a Pittsburgh Police officer walks past the Tree of Life Synagogue and a memorial of flowers and stars in Pittsburgh in remembrance of those killed and injured when a shooter opened fire during services Saturday at the synagogue. The social media site popular with far-right extremists and apparently used by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect, advertises as a haven for free-speech fans. As more mainstream sites have cracked down on hate speech and threats of violence, critics say Gab has become a breeding ground for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) They are mindful of the fact that the First Amendment protects Americans’ right to express even speech that many in society find abhorrent—and have to make often-subjective decisions about what crosses the line.Among more than 550 police departments across the country surveyed several years ago by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, about three-quarters said they regularly searched social media for potential threats.Lt. Chris Cook, spokesman for the Arlington, Texas, Police Department, said the searches are often done manually, using keywords to try to identify troubling posts.”It’s very time consuming, it’s very staff and resource intensive and you have humans involved in the process so there is the potential that law enforcement can miss something,” Cook said, adding that departments can’t rely on social media alone. The community needs to be involved to report any suspicious behavior. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. “Everyone has to be our extra eyes and ears out there,” he said.In one case where vigilance paid off, authorities say a black woman received troubling racist, harassing messages on Facebook from a man she didn’t know, prompting her to call police. The tip from the New Jersey woman led Kentucky police to a home where they found Dylan Jarrell with a firearm, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a 100-round high-capacity magazine and a “detailed plan of attack.” He was arrested just as he was leaving his driveway.Bowers is not alone among alleged mass shooters in making racist or bigoted comments online.Dylann Roof, convicted of the 2015 slaying of nine black churchgoers in South Carolina, had posted a 2,000-word racist rant and posed in photos with firearms and the Confederate flag. Nikolas Cruz, the teenager charged in the slaying of 17 students and adults at a high school in Parkland, Florida, hurled online slurs against blacks and Muslims, and went so far as to state he wanted to be a “professional school shooter.”The rants did not affect their ability to buy guns. When purchasing a firearm, criminal background checks only look for any records showing a criminal past or mental health problems that led to an involuntary commitment.”I always felt as an ATF agent, the way our laws were structured, ATF stood for ‘After the Fact’,” Chipman said.There have been some changes, however, to make it easier to alert authorities to warning signs. “Red flag” laws have been enacted in 13 states in the past couple of years, allowing relatives or law enforcement with concerns about a person’s mental health to go to court and seek to have firearms removed at least temporarily.But Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, cautioned against using social media content to deny someone the constitutional right to own a firearm.”I abhor hateful comments by the left or the right but I don’t think you lose your rights for simply uttering,” Pratt said.He likened it to the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report,” about law enforcement in the future using psychic technology to nab murderers before they commit a crime.”It’s dangerous to go down this road of Minority Report with pre-crime,” he said. “Nobody should lose their rights without due process.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Why batterypowered vehicles stack up better than hydrogen

first_img Provided by The Conversation With this in mind, we set out to understand the energy efficiency of electric and hydrogen vehicles as part of a recent paper published in the Air Quality and Climate Change Journal.Electric vehicles stack up bestBased on a wide scan of studies globally, we found that battery electric vehicles have significantly lower energy losses compared to other vehicle technologies. Interestingly, however, the well-to-wheel losses of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were found to be almost as high as fossil fuel vehicles. At first, this significant efficiency difference may seem surprising, given the recent attention on using hydrogen for transport.While most hydrogen today (and for the foreseeable future) is produced from fossil fuels, a zero-emission pathway is possible if renewable energy is used to:extract and treat water “crack” the water into hydrogenliquefy or compress the hydrogen to an economic volume (1 kg of hydrogen takes up 12 cubic metres @ standard atmospheric pressure; 1 kg of hydrogen = roughly 100 km driving range)transport hydrogen for distributionand finally deliver hydrogen to a fuel cell vehicle. Herein lies one of the significant challenges in harnessing hydrogen for transport: there are many more steps in the energy life cycle process, compared with the simpler, direct use of electricity in battery electric vehicles. Explore further Each step in the process incurs an energy penalty, and therefore an efficiency loss. The sum of these losses ultimately explains why hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, on average, require three to four times more energy than battery electric vehicles, per kilometre travelled.Electricity grid impactsThe future significance of low energy efficiency is made clearer upon examination of the potential electricity grid impacts. If Australia’s existing 14 million light vehicles were electric, they would need about 37 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year—a 15% increase in national electricity generation (roughly equivalent to Australia’s existing annual renewable generation). 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. Low energy efficiency is already a major problem for petrol and diesel vehicles. Typically, only 20% of the overall well-to-wheel energy is actually used to power these vehicles. The other 80% is lost through oil extraction, refinement, transport, evaporation, and engine heat. This low energy efficiency is the primary reason why fossil fuel vehicles are emissions-intensive, and relatively expensive to run. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.center_img Citation: Why battery-powered vehicles stack up better than hydrogen (2018, November 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-battery-powered-vehicles-stack-hydrogen.html Cleaner, cheaper hydrogen from methane But if this same fleet was converted to run on hydrogen, it would need more than four times the electricity: roughly 157 TWh a year. This would entail a 63% increase in national electricity generation. A recent Infrastructure Victoria report reached a similar conclusion. It calculated that a full transition to hydrogen in 2046 – for both light and heavy vehicles – would require 64 TWh of electricity, the equivalent of a 147% increase in Victoria’s annual electricity consumption. Battery electric vehicles, meanwhile, would require roughly one third the amount (22 TWh).Some may argue that energy efficiency will no longer be important in the future given some forecasts suggest Australia could reach 100% renewable energy as soon as the 2030s. While the current political climate suggests this will be challenging, even as the transition occurs, there will be competing demands for renewable energy between sectors, stressing the continuing importance of energy efficiency.It should also be recognised that higher energy requirements translate to higher energy prices. Even if hydrogen reached price parity with petrol or diesel in the future, electric vehicles would remain 70-90% cheaper to run, because of their higher energy efficiency. This would save the average Australian household more than A$2,000 per year.Pragmatic plan for the futureDespite the clear energy efficiency advantages of electric vehicles over hydrogen vehicles, the truth is there is no silver bullet. Both technologies face differing challenges in terms of infrastructure, consumer acceptance, grid impacts, technology maturity and reliability, and driving range (the volume needed for sufficient hydrogen compared with the battery energy density for electric vehicles). Battery electric vehicles are not yet a suitable replacement for every vehicle on our roads. But based on the technology available today, it is clear that a significant proportion of the current fleet could transition to be battery electric, including many cars, buses, and short-haul trucks.Such a transition represents a sensible, robust and cost-efficient approach for delivering the significant transport emission reductions required within the short time frames outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report on restraining global warming to 1.5℃, while also reducing transport costs.Together with other energy-efficient technologies, such as the direct export of renewable electricity overseas, battery electric vehicles will ensure that the renewable energy we generate over the coming decades is used to reduce the greatest amount of emissions, as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, research should continue into energy efficient options for long-distance trucks, shipping and aircraft, as well as the broader role for both hydrogen and electrification in reducing emissions across other sectors of the economy.With the Federal Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles set to deliver its final report on December 4, let’s hope the continuing importance of energy efficiency in transport has not been forgotten. A battery electric vehicle in The University of Queensland’s vehicle fleet. Credit: CC BY-ND Average well-to-wheel energy losses from different vehicle drivetrain technologies, showing typical values and ranges. Note: these figures account for production, transport and propulsion, but do not capture manufacturing energy requirements, which are currently marginally higher for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles compared to fossil fuel vehicles.last_img read more

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Detroit show has SUVs horsepower but electric cars are few

first_img Explore further Meanwhile, there will be plenty of SUVs and high-horsepower sports cars on display as cheap gasoline helps SUV and truck sales continue their dramatic climb.So how credible is the industry’s pledge to move toward fuel-efficient vehicles when it keeps cranking out more lucrative trucks and sport utilities?Some environmental groups contend that companies aren’t really interested in efficiency because they’re making tons of money from the sales of less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks. These groups also say that without government fuel economy requirements, automakers won’t make progress toward electric vehicles that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Auto executives, however, say they’re already moving to more fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs, some now coming with gas-electric hybrid power systems. Soon there will be many electric SUVs, they say.”Every one of our SUVs has hybrids somewhere in the future, hybrids or electrified vehicles of some sort,” says Craig Patterson, Ford’s SUV marketing manager.Patterson will help show off a new version of the Ford Explorer big SUV at the auto show starting Monday, and it will have an optional hybrid power system. It is Ford’s first hybrid SUV in six years, and the company also has plans for a fully electric SUV based on the Mustang sometime next year. Seven battery-powered vehicles are planned for the U.S. by 2022, even a hybrid pickup truck.General Motors plans a Cadillac electric vehicle in 2021, and more than 20 that run on batteries or hydrogen in four years. Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, wants to increase the number of electric models from six to over 50 by 2025. Other brands such as Audi, BMW and Porsche and Jaguar are rolling out electric vehicles.But in December, almost 72 percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were SUVs and trucks, up from 49 percent at the end of 2012. Because of the shift, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are canceling some or all of their sedan lines. At the same time, they are hedging their bets by planning electrics and hybrids to give people fuel-efficient SUV options should gas prices rise from the current national average of around $2.24 per gallon. Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years, but only two will be unveiled at the big Detroit auto show that kicks off this week—and those aren’t even ready for production. VW wants to storm car market with cheaper electric model © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Design work on the Explorer and other vehicles being introduced at the North American International Auto Show began more than three years ago, when automakers thought their new vehicle fleet had to average about 36 miles per gallon by 2025 under U.S. fuel economy standards. That’s about 10 mpg more than the current standards. A future Cadillac electric crossover SUV concept is shown on video during media previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) But the Trump administration has proposed freezing those standards at 2020 levels, a move that will spark a court challenge and a fight with California, which can set its own gas mileage and greenhouse gas standards. A decision on freezing the standards at around 30 mpg is expected later this year.Simon Mui, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council who works on clean vehicles, said if the standards are frozen, years of improved efficiency will come to a halt.”I tend to treat these automaker promises to roll out electric vehicles kind of like New Year’s resolutions,” he said. “There’s often a gap between what they promise and what they actually deliver.”The government requirements are needed to make sure each automaker does their part, Mui said. Stable requirements bring down technology costs, and consumers benefit from using less fuel, he said.But auto executives say they’ve been working to squeeze more efficiency out of the internal combustion engine, to the point where there isn’t much else they can do except add electric power.Ford’s Patterson says even though gas is cheap, the company will sell the higher performance of hybrids, with gas engines boosted by instant electric power for acceleration. Consumers, he says, will be willing to pay for that. Also, due to technology breakthroughs, Patterson says hybrids no longer cost much more than standard engines.Ford plans to keep working as if the government won’t freeze fuel economy standards because it doesn’t know what will happen. “You have to meet it at some point, and you’re going to have to build (for) California,” he said.Still, selling hybrid and electric vehicles is tough in an era of cheap gas. In the U.S., fully electric vehicles amounted to less than 1 percent of new vehicle registrations through August last year. Yet globally, Navigant Research predicts huge growth in the next seven years, from just over 1 million sales this year to 6.5 million by 2025. The surge is expected because of government incentives in China.Even so, automakers could get stuck with slow-selling electrics in the U.S. because of concerns over their limited range, and because it will take three to five years for battery and other costs to fall to about the same as gasoline engines, said Asutosh Padhi, senior partner and co-leader of the automotive unit at the McKinsey management consulting firm. U.S. consumers always want more utility and performance for less or the same price, he said.Another problem is a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles is starting to expire for some automakers, Padhi said.”It’s yet another headwind for electric vehicles in the near-term, until the performance picks up, until we get to cost parity,” he said. In this Jan. 14, 2018, file photo Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett prepares to address the media at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A new version of the Ford Explorer big SUV will be shown off at the auto show starting Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, and it will have an optional hybrid power system. It is Ford’s first hybrid SUV in six years, and the company also has plans for a fully electric SUV based on the Mustang sometime next year. Seven battery-powered vehicles are planned for the U.S. by 2022, even a hybrid pickup truck. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) Citation: Detroit show has SUVs, horsepower, but electric cars are few (2019, January 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-detroit-suvs-horsepower-electric-cars.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Slack Technologies rises in Wall Street debut

first_img Citation: Slack Technologies rises in Wall Street debut (2019, June 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-slack-technologies-wall-street-debut.html Software company Slack Technologies climbed on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after debuting in a direct listing, in the latest sign of Wall Street’s appetite for new technology entrants. Shares of Slack jumped after the company made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange through a direct listing Explore further Tech firm Slack to make market debut, at $26 reference pricecenter_img Shares of the company, whose arrival was marked with a giant purple banner outside the NYSE, initially surged as high as $42 before pulling back somewhat and finishing at $38.62. The exchange had set a reference price of $26.That left the company, which trades under the ticker of “WORK,” with a market capitalization of around $20 billion.”We just see an enormous opportunity,” chief executive and co-founder Stewart Butterfield told CNBC Thursday shortly before ringing the opening bell of the NYSE. Slack—the happy byproduct of a failed video-game initiative by Butterfield and colleagues—is not raising capital with the issuance. But Butterfield said that entering public markets positions the company to raise funds for growth programs down the road.Known for its workplace messaging and information sharing program, Slack joins the growing class of 2019 as far as prominent companies going public, a group that already includes Uber, Levi’s and Beyond Meat.Yet Slack’s decision to forgo an initial public offering distinguishes it from the crowd and could be a precursor of more such issues, according to some experts.Emerging trend?The direct listing approach, which was also employed by Spotify last year, cuts down on fees to investment bankers in IPOs. Although existing shares are sold, a direct listing does not issue new shares, averting share dilution but also forgoing the new funds raised in an IPO.The process can also be riskier in terms of share price volatility compared with an IPO, where underwriters line up investors in advance. In a direct listing, shares are exposed more directly to the open market.The process could be especially fraught for companies less known than Spotify or Slack.”I think you’ll see this as a trend going forward,” Robert Greifeld, the former chair of Nasdaq and now at Virtu Financial, told CNBC.Greifeld said a direct listing leads to a “more democratic” price discovery process made by individual investors, rather than through a traditional roadshow with institutional investors. The effect is to separate the price discovery function inherent in going public from the fundraising aspect that is frequently a driver for companies, Greifeld said.Slack has described its mission as replacing email in a company, allowing work teams to share information through work projects that can be organized in channels that consist of files, photos and employee chats.Butterfield, who cited Latin America and Southeast Asia as strong markets for potential long-term growth, told CNBC that Slack was born from software devised to help him build a video game with colleagues at different locations.While the video game did not succeed, “at one point we realized we will never work without a system like this again, the rest of the world could probably use this,” he said.Another bubble?Several prominent companies that have gone public so far this year have risen since their entry, including jeans company Levi’s, Tradeweb Markets, which builds electronic marketplaces, Zoom Video Communications, and mobile application and software system Pinterest.But the list also includes some disappointments, especially Uber and Lyft, both of which currently trade below their IPO price.Analysts also question whether the valuation of some firms has become excessive, as in the case of food company Beyond Meat, which currently trades at more than six times its entering price.Slack “has some attractive attributes, including high double digit revenue growth and a long runway for further growth due to the enormous addressable market,” said a note from Briefing.com that warned the company could be vulnerable if broader macro conditions decline.”If the market sours and becomes more volatile—which is certainly possible given the headline risks around Iran and China—these high-flying stocks would be especially prone to a sharp profit-taking pull-back,” Briefing said. © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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James OConnor rejoins Reds to revive Wallabies World Cup dream

first_imgHe has now returned to Queensland, where he spent a solitary season in 2015, eager to demonstrate how he has matured after off-field troubles marred his previous time in Australia, which included stints with the Western Force and the Rebels.”I’m a Queenslander. I was born there. I started playing rugby there. It’s where the dream began. I think a big part as well is that I owe Queensland the best version of myself,” said O’Connor, who has 44 Test caps.MORE: Taniela Tupou’s phone stolen in South Africa ahead of Rugby Championship”I came back last time and I wasn’t in the best place mentally, but also physically I was quite broken, so I couldn’t produce and perform the rugby I wanted to for the team. James O’Connor has rejoined the Reds, signing a two-year contract with Queensland and Australian Rugby that makes him eligible for his country’s World Cup campaign. “I’m finally ready to return and make amends. I want to do right by the team and the fans, and I intend to deliver the very best of my energy. If I can help the team get back to the top of the sport and if we can bring success back to Queensland, that would be a dream for me.”O’Connor could now make an immediate return to Australia’s squad for the Rugby Championship.Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO David Hanham said: “In our discussions with James, he’s been very open with us around the opportunity he had in northern England to reassess areas of his life and to re-evaluate his approach to professional rugby.”The feedback from Sale is that he’s been a strong contributor both on and off the field and we believe that he’s a different person to the player that left Ballymore in 2015.” Versatile back O’Connor, 29, was released from his contract with English club Sale Sharks earlier this month, in order to pursue his ambitions of representing the Wallabies at the World Cup in Japan later this year. Rugby Australia’s director of rugby, Scott Johnson, added: “James has immense talent. He started his career in Queensland and this is a chance for him to show his full potential for his home state. “Now is the time for James’ rugby to do the talking. He’s come home for the right reasons to play rugby and to help develop our rugby programs. He’s matured and understands the leadership roles both on and off the field. He’s been honest and transparent throughout this whole process.”We want to back the man to be the player we know he can be.”last_img read more

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Whoa Enormous Cotton Candy Explosion in Kids Chemistry Lab

first_img Kakak2 Kimia mudah2an mau bantu menjelaskan lebih detail. pic.twitter.com/AN6kjvzyNc — Semesta Sains (@semestasains) June 7, 2019 An instructor and two children pour three cups of powder into a bin of red liquid. Suddenly — poof — a cloud of what looks like cotton candy explodes toward the ceiling. This popular video on Twitter comes courtesy of the Malay-language account w, which shares science content. But what is going on in the video? It’s a rather dangerous version of a classic chemistry demonstration, according to Brian Hostetler, an educator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The reaction is typically known as “elephant’s toothpaste,” due to its foamy appearance, and it’s commonly used in chemistry classrooms to explain catalysts, Hostetler told Live Science. [Elementary, My Dear: 8 Little-Known Elements]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65793-cotton-candy-explosion-explained.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Easy but explosive The reaction uses cheap, easy-to-access ingredients: hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, potassium iodide and food coloring. Hydrogen peroxide is key. It’s made up of two hydrogen and two oxygen molecules. The bonds between these molecules naturally break, so over time, hydrogen peroxide slowly becomes water and oxygen gas. That reaction happens faster when exposed to light, Hostetler said, which is why hydrogen peroxide is sold in brown bottles. Normally, the slow breakup (or decomposition, in chemistry terms) of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen is unnoticeable. But the elephant’s toothpaste experiment speeds the process with a catalyst, a chemical compound that increases the rate of a given reaction. Potassium iodide — a salt of iodine, and the dietary supplement that’s used to add iodine to table salt — provides that catalyst. “In the presence of potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide decomposes almost immediately,” Hostetler said. The setup is simple. Hydrogen peroxide is mixed with dish soap, and food coloring is often added for a dramatic effect (which explains the cotton-candy pink in the Twitter video). The potassium iodide is added, and the iodide ion that’s part of that compound attracts the oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide, breaking the bonds and rapidly transforming the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. The oxygen molecules then get trapped by the soap, forming bubbles, Hostetler said. In a step sometimes added to the elephant’s toothpaste demonstration, a glowing splint — a strip of wood that is hot but not burning — that is inserted into the bubbles will catch alight, sparked by the pure oxygen. Toning it down Usually, Hostetler said, the elephant’s toothpaste experiment creates an oozy concoction. So why did the Twitter version send bubbles flying toward the ceiling? That particular reaction was due to the strength of the ingredients and the shape of the containers, Hostetler said. A fairly safe version of the elephant’s toothpaste demonstration can be done at home with 3% hydrogen peroxide bought from the drugstore, with yeast as the catalyst (yeast contains the enzyme catalase, which also breaks down bonds in hydrogen peroxide). The combination will ooze and get a little warm as the reaction releases heat, but other than the need to take care not to touch the “toothpaste,” as hydrogen peroxide can be irritating to skin and eyes, this DIY version is pretty safe. The Twitter video probably shows the reaction with 30% hydrogen peroxide, or even stronger, Hostetler said. The demonstrator also uses potassium iodide that’s in powder form instead of mixed into water. And he has it poured in three batches at once into a large container with a lot of surface area, so the reaction happens across a large amount of hydrogen peroxide all at one time. That makes the scene in the video “super-duper dangerous,” Hostetler said. Thirty percent or higher hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns on the skin, he said, and the reaction could heat the solution by hundreds of degrees. It’s that heat and steam from the reaction that floats some of the foam skyward in the Twitter video. The bottom line, Hostetler said, is not to try the jumbo version of the demonstration at home – but feel free to press “play” again on Twitter. “It’s a cool video,” he said. Hidrogen Peroksida dicampur katalis Potasium Iodida akan mengalami dekomposisi yg sangat cepat. Originally published on Live Science. Bagaikan mengundang iblis dari neraka tanpa mantra, reaksi ini disebut “The Elephant’s Toothpaste”. Creative Genius: The World’s Greatest Minds Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Naturelast_img read more

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Investor summits have been key to Gujarats growth

first_imgSHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL  Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was recently in Mumbai, leading a roadshow fior investors and corporates ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS). In an interview with BusinessLine, Rupani said VGS has been the key reason for the State’s development. He challenged reports that Gujarat is not an open defecation free (ODF) State. He also said the government is not against Patidar reservation if there was a way. Excerpts:Critics say VGS results in lower on-ground projects than actual MoUs…The summit was first launched in 2003, and since then, on an average, 65 per cent of MoUs have resulted in actual projects. Even if one goes to buy a house, it takes several months to finalise the property; we are talking about massive projects here, which are currently at various stages of implementation. On average, a large project takes five years to reach the production stage.One should study the Kutch region before and after the 2002 earthquake and you will see a marked improvement, which can be attributed to the MoUs signed at VGS.Today, Gujarat is a hub for automobiles, pharma and chemicals, and in some places, industries are finding it difficult to get land to expand. Sanand, Vithalapur, Vapi, Dahej, Ankleshwar and Becharaji are all prime examples of such development. If you believe critics, how has all this happened over the past 10 years? It would be gullible to believe that if MoUs are signed today, production in units will start tomorrow.Gujarat’s ranking has slipped in the Ease-of-Doing-Business Index of the World Bank. Joblessness, too, is on the rise in the State…On a scale of 100, there are a few States with 96, 97 or 98 per cent (Ease-of-Doing-Business score). We could be 96.5 per cent. When you have scored 96 per cent marks in the exam but are criticised for not scoring 98 per cent, it makes no sense.Can you give figures on joblessness? God cannot help those believing Rahul Ghandhi’s statics on it. As per the Centre’s statistics, Gujarat has the lowest unemployment level. Figures are available for you to see. Around five lakh persons are registered as unemployed in Gujarat.In Kerala, a comparatively smaller State, over 30 lakh are unemployed. In West Bengal, the figure is over 45 lakh.The Patidar community agitation has been a blow for the BJP in Gujarat…Caste-based agitation is a conspiracy of the Congress, and Hardik Patel is its agent. Patel’s associate, Alpesh Thakor, fought on a Congress ticket; Jignesh Mewani, too, was supported by them, and all of them now stand exposed.We had asked the Congress how it will give reservation to the Patidars. They have not been able to give any clarification so far. If the Patel community was angry with the BJP, how were we able to win maximum seats in Mahesana, a Patidar constituency? In Surat, another epicentre of the community, we won all the seats.The BJP has averaged 112 seats, but the tally came down by 12 seats mainly as we lost in Saurashtra. There, the Congress promised farm loan waivers if voted to power. This hurt us somewhat, but we believe that loan waiver is not a solution. The conclusion that the Patidar community is angry with the BJP is wrong when the people’s mandate has been for the BJP.Are you open to reservation for Patidars?We have a clear stand that the Constitution and various court judgments precisely say caste-based reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent in total.But we will study the recent move by the Maharashtra government on Maratha reservation and try to follow it, if it fits the legal framework.So far, Maharastra has not brought in an ordinance; it has only made an announcement based on a survey.You declared Gujarat an ODF State, but a recent CAG report says 30 per cent houses in some villages do not have toilets…Don’t believe the CAG report on toilets; show me if people defecate in the open in Gujarat. When a train from Gujarat enters Mumbai in the morning, you can see people defecating on tracks.Show me such a scene in Gujarat. Will have to study the context of the CAG report. Forget 30 per cent, it is impossible to say that even 3 per cent of houses in Gujarat do not have toilets.How is the Statue of Unity boosting tourism?We had expected 15,000 people to visit daily. Around Diwali, the turnout was 30,000.Post-Diwali holidays, too, over 10,000 people have been visiting. Even after hiking the express ticket rates from ₹350 to ₹1,000, the crowd is only growing.Over 20 Gir lions have died due to a virus. How are you handling it?We have taken proactive steps. In Gujarat, there are 700 lions, and we are extremely concerned that 23 of them died.We have managed to stall the virus by injecting each and every wild cat with anti-virus doses. Forest Department staff have been in the jungle for several weeks now doing the job. events Published on November 28, 2018center_img Gujarat COMMENT Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani   –  PTI COMMENTSlast_img read more

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