“Confessions of a Caregiver” with Nikki Stephens“Confessions of a Caregiver” with Nikki Stephens

first_imgCheck out our newest blog series, ‘Confessions of a Caregiver,’ coming out this Friday, March 10, featuring military caregiver, Nikki Stephens. Nikki is a dual caregiver to her husband, Marine Corps Veteran, John, and her son, Kealan, who has special healthcare needs. She will be providing monthly blog posts on her caregiver journey and the everyday challenges that come with life after the military. Watch and listen below as Nikki shares a little of her background and introduces the series. Be on the lookout this Friday for Nikki’s first post by going to: Nikki Stephens, “The Dual Caregiver”‘Confessions of a Caregiver’ blog series spotlights family caregivers who are working to care for their wounded warriors and/or families with special healthcare needs. Their inspiring stories and strength in overcoming adversities is a true testament to the nature of the military caregiving community.If you are a military caregiver and would like to share your story, please contact woundedwarrior@ag.tamu.edulast_img read more

Upcoming Webinar: TRICARE Reforms in 2018Upcoming Webinar: TRICARE Reforms in 2018

first_imgPresenter:Mark A. EllisSenior Health Program Policy AnalystTRICARE Health Plan, TRICARE Policy and Benefits OfficeDefense Health AgencyContinuing Education Credit Available!The MFLN Military Caregiving concentration will apply for 1.0 continuing education (CE) credit from UT School of Social Work for credentialed and licensed professionals. Additionally, Certificates of completion will be available for participants interested in receiving training hours.Interested in Joining the Webinar?To join this event, simply click on TRICARE Reforms in 2018. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense APAN system, but is open to the public.If you cannot connect to the APAN site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on YouTube Live. Mobile options for YouTube Live are available on all Apple and Android devices.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on March 16, 2018. Please join MFLN Military Caregiving Wednesday, March 28 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, for our free webinar entitled ‘TRICARE Reforms in 2018.’This webinar will summarize significant reforms to TRICARE, the Department of Defense health plan for military members and their family members, that have occurred as of January 1, 2018 and will occur during 2018.Learning Objectives:Identify what the Military Health System is and the mission and goals of the Defense Health Agency (DHA).Understand the new TRICARE Select health plan.Understand TRICARE enrollment reforms.Understand upcoming TRICARE benefit and coverage reforms.last_img read more

How to Shoot, Edit, and Upload 360-Degree VideosHow to Shoot, Edit, and Upload 360-Degree Videos

first_imgUploading a 360-Degree VideoUploading your video is not as easy as clicking upload and waiting. In YouTube, you will need to scrub the video through a 360-degree app. The video needs to include certain metadata for 360-degree playback to be enabled. YouTube has provided the following for all users to upload footage. Create a 360-enabled file with an appDownload the 360 Video Metadata app for Mac and WindowsUn-zip the file, then open the 360 Video Metadata app. If you’re on a Mac, you may need to right-click the app and then click “Open”Select the video fileClick “Inject and save”Enter a name for the file that will be createdSave the file. A new file will be created automatically in the same location as the original fileUpload the new file to YouTubeWait for the 360 degree effect to process. This may take up to an hour.Create a 360-enabled file with a scriptRather than using an app, you can use a Python script. Here’s how to do that. Download the ZIP containing the script using the “Download as ZIP” button at the bottom-right of this page. You’ll need to have Python installed on your computer to run it.Un-zip the file. In the 360-Videos-Metadata sub-folder, you’ll see the 360VideosMetadata.py script. From Terminal (Mac) or Command (Windows), run the script with this command:360videosmetadata.py -i [input] [output]Input is the full filename of the file that you’ve already created, for example: 360video.mp4. Output will be the name of the file that will be created by the script, so come up with a new name.The command you’ll run will look something like:360VideosMetadata.py -i 360video.mp4 360videoNEW.mp4If you’ve never run a Python script before, take a look at these resources for Mac and WindowsThe script will create a new file. Next, you’ll upload it to YouTube.Before publishing, you can verify that the file has 360-degree playback enabled by checking the video by watching it on your computer. It may take up to an hour for 360-degree playback to be available.Be sure not to make edits to the video itself using the YouTube Video Editor and Enhancements tools on desktop or mobile apps, as these tools don’t currently support 360-degree videos.Are you excited about 360 degree and VR filmmaking? How do you thing the technology might be best applied? Let us know in the comments below. Get ahead of the curve by learning how to produce 360-degree content for mobile devices and VR headsets. Here are the tools you need to shoot, edit, and upload 360-degree videos. 360-degree videos have now been released to the masses via YouTube and Facebook. Prior to that, you had to have a VR developers kit and share your work with other developers. Now that any user has the ability to upload and share content, let’s take a look at a few ways you can start producing 360-degree videos. 360-Degree Cameras and RigsAs this is a developing technology, there are a ton of options available and in development. If you are planning on purchasing a single camera, you should note that only some sites can host your video. Currently YouTube is only compatible with four camera options; Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, and IC Real Tech Allie. With these cameras, you are looking to invest $300 – $500. (Not all are available to the public yet.)The other option you have is to build your own rig. The most widely used camera rigs use a series of GoPro cameras. The most common rigs feature at least six GoPro cameras in a 3D printed rig. Google Jump uses 16 GoPro cameras.These rigs will cost thousands of dollars, depending on which GoPro camera you decide to use. The benefit of GoPro is that the cameras are reliable. They have been tested for years in extreme conditions, and they have been designed to be the ultimate camera for any condition.Here is a quick interview about a team that mounted a rig on an Indy car.When shooting with one of these cameras or rigs, remember that 360-degrees means everything will be in view — every detail of the room, the camera operator, any equipment, etc. Be sure you take that into account when deciding on a location. You will also need to make sure you have suitable and consistent lighting to make sure all of the footage matches.Editing 360-Degree VideoOne of the most popular 360-degree editing platforms, which is also YouTube compatible, is the Kolor Autopano Video software.  The Kolor Autopano Video platform works on both Windows and Mac. It automatically syncs your footage and stitches a 360-degree video. You also have the ability to render in HD, 4K, or even export individual frames.Here’s how to use the latest version of the software (2.2).To see what skydiving footage looks like in 360 degrees, check out this Land, Air, and Sea video from GoPro. On desktops, you will need the Chrome browser. You can control the video by using your mouse or the keyboard letters W, A, S, D.last_img read more

NAB 2017: Camera Rumors and New LensesNAB 2017: Camera Rumors and New Lenses

first_imgAs NAB 2017 draws near, we’ve rounded up the juiciest rumors to get you thinking about your next camera upgrade.Whether you are looking for a new camera, lenses, or some nice upgrades from Canon, here are the latest camera rumors heading into NAB.C-Log Is Coming to the 5D Mark IV and More Canon UpdatesThe latest from Canon Rumors suggests that 5D Mark IV users will soon have the ability to capture footage in C-Log, which had previously been reserved for Canon Cinema EOS cameras. While many hope this may be as easy as paying for a firmware upgrade, it looks like users might have to send their cameras in for Canon Service for the ability to shoot C-Log.There is no update yet on whether the same feature will be available for 1D X Mark III, but if this is a success for the 5D line, it’s bound to make its way to Canon’s other top-tier DSLR bodies.In other Canon news for NAB, expect to see a new Cinema EOS lens and maybe — just maybe — an update on the rumored Canon 6D Mark II. As far as a new C100 Mark III  — the rumor mill has been pretty silent. Perhaps we will hear more later in the year.New Sony 8K Pro Camera and New a7 III CameraThe rumor mill has plenty to say about what Sony may have in store for NAB 2017. There has been plenty of discussion about new E-mount lenses, as well as suggestions for some new cameras.The biggest rumor, according to Sony Alpha Rumors, is a new 8K pro camcorder that will have a global shutter and will capture 8K footage. The body is supposedly similar to the F5 and F55, which would make it a CineAlta camera.In our original camera rumor roundup in January, we expected to see news of the Sony a7 III in Q2 — which would be just on time at NAB. The a7 III rumors price the camera body around $2,500 with a shipping date in mid 2017.  If it’s not the a7 III, Sony may end up announcing the a9.Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, DaVinci Panels, and MoreBlackmagic Design has already announced the new URSA Mini Pro and two new portable control panels for Resolve, but rumors suggest there may be even more in store at NAB. Most likely, it will be new production gear designed for DITs and colorists.We will have plenty of NAB 2017 coverage coming soon, so stay tuned!last_img read more

How to Be Increasingly Less DumbHow to Be Increasingly Less Dumb

first_imgThere is a very high penalty to be paid for believing that you are smart. If you believe that you know enough—even in a single domain—then you don’t easily recognize the massive gaps in your knowledge. And there are massive gaps in your knowledge.If there is nothing left for you to learn, then you have cut yourself off from the possibility of growth. Growth necessarily requires “new;” new information, new ideas, new actions, new possibilities, and new results.If there aren’t things that you know and believe that aren’t open to being changed with new information, then there is no way to progress, to improve. One of the best ways to stagnate as a person is to refuse to consider new information. This is especially true when you reject information that conflicts with what you believe you know.If you are the smartest person in the room, if you can learn nothing from others, in addition to being a bore, you will also miss out on ideas that are worth your time and exploration. That doesn’t make you the smartest person in the room.Less DumbWhat you want to be is dumb, and continually getting less dumb. You want to be curious and open to new and challenging ideas.Human knowledge is growing at an incredible pace. In some disciplines, it is doubling every couple years. There is no way one can keep up; the staggering pace is leaving all of us behind. You do, however, have to run the race.Knowing that you know very little, and accepting that what you do know is a very tiny sliver of what is known—even in your domain—creates the possibility of new learning. Recognizing that you know almost nothing about most everything opens up a world of possibilities for acquiring new information, new ideas, and new breakthroughs.Whenever you learn something new, you become less dumb. Whenever you open yourself up to new information that conflicts with what you know, you grow, and by doing so, you grow stronger.When you allow other people to be smart and share what they know, they are transferring their knowledge to you. That’s smart, and therefore, you are less dumb.last_img read more

Perceived Risks and Real ThreatsPerceived Risks and Real Threats

first_imgIf you fear losing and avoiding taking the necessary actions to win believing you might put an opportunity at risk, your lack of action is what is most likely to cause you to lose the opportunity.If you are overconfident, believing you have already won the deal and there is no chance of a negative outcome, that overconfidence will blind you to the real dangers and increase the likelihood of a loss.Underestimating your competitor because you believe them to be inferior in salesmanship or solution is to disrespect them and increase your risk of losing to them.Believing that some people are not important enough for your time and attention can create a resentment that mobilizes a force of people who actively work against you and the opportunity you are pursuing.Leaving concerns unaddressed allows those same concerns to take root and spread to others on your client’s team, making something that you might have resolved into something that eliminates your chances.Going forward with a presentation without having done the work to ensure that is the right answer exposes you to the downside risk of proposing something your client can refuse.Letting a small problem grow unabated creates a larger problem later, and if it was too difficult to solve the smaller problem, the larger one will cost you more in time, money, and trust.An inability to justify the delta between your price and your competitor’s price reduces the likelihood and ability of your client to defend your pricing inside their company, while making it easier to choose another.Not asking for a clarification when you are not certain you understand what your client is communicating leads to mistakes that cause the loss of an opportunity (or client) later.Those who do the difficult things that others avoid reap the rewards that others are denied. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Why Your Sales Training Is Doomed To FailWhy Your Sales Training Is Doomed To Fail

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Sales Managers and Sales Leaders often complain about the lack of effectiveness of their effort to train their salespeople. They say, “We tried this training, and it didn’t work.” The very statement elucidates the likely reasons the training was not useful for them while working very well for others. Here is why sales training is doomed to fail and how to get a better result.It Is An Event And Not DevelopmentThe first and most common reason sales training fails is that you treat it as an event, not development. Development may include training, but training rarely includes development.Imagine a trainer provides four major concepts to a sales team over the course of a day. The trainer is expected to deliver the content to a relatively large group of people in a style that ensures each individual has perfect comprehension and retention. In that same time, the trainer will have to describe the strategies and tactics necessary to enable the people they’re training. The trainer will also need to provide an understanding of the nuances and when to make one choice over another.For their part, the participants are required to have perfect retention and the ability to execute what they learned, having seen and practiced precisely once in the course of a single day. Perfection is expecting too much of both the trainer and the people they are training.Development is different. It suggests a process that occurs over time, reinforcement, and continuous learning as people pursue new concepts, strategies, and tactics. Development also means working on the material, before and after training, including coaching to improve execution.Your training event should be only one part of the development process.Not Tied to Behavioral ChangeNo matter what the trainer is training, you will measure the results, and a behavioral change will determine those results. Training is about behavioral change no matter what you train.The best training in the world will not take if there is no follow up, if leadership isn’t engaged in the process, and if there is no accountability for changed behaviors. Some mistakenly believe understanding the concept is enough, that all is necessary is a transfer of knowledge. In no other endeavor would you find understanding the concept to be enough to make one competent in some new skill.Which of these might produce a better result? You can have the person trained to make the behavioral change necessary to generate their results, even though they have no understanding of the concept or why it works. Alternatively, instead, you can have a person leave the training with perfect, PH.d-like knowledge of the concepts, but without the behavioral change.Your training must focus on the necessary behavioral change you need to produce better results.Not Transformational In NatureWhen businesses make real change, they think in terms of transformation, massive, strategic shifts in what or how they do something. These initiative are announced with great fanfare, and they are the only thing leadership talks about for years. Companies involved in a transformation have projects, assignments, training, coaching, and new accountabilities. As one might expect, they have many meetings and reporting on the change.Rarely is sales training ever viewed as transformation. Instead, we assume salespeople know how to sell, and to the rest of the organization it looks like voodoo or black magic, some supernatural ability that some possess from birth. These companies train because they think they are supposed to.Viewing sales training as transformation provides a longer-term view of the acquisition of new skills and new approaches and new behaviors. It suggests that these outcomes are going to take the same kind of time and energy as any other transformation the business might pursue.You must think of your training in terms of transformation. There needs to be a present state that is different from a future state, and there must be a plan to produce that future state over time.The Content Is Not RelevantA lot of what is trained in sales comes from a time long gone. While many of the principles remain true over long periods, the strategies and tactics suffer from diminished effectiveness. Systems decades old are still taught and trained without so much as an update for the 21st Century. A Century now close to entering its third decade.None of these systems recognize the need to compel change, because that wasn’t an issue they were trying to solve. None of them define or suggest value creation as the heart of differentiation and effectiveness, and in fact, even if the words aren’t spoken. The questioning methodologies, mostly open-ended and close-ended questions were designed to tie-down prospects, not help them discover something about themselves. Consensus buying, a factor in the past, wasn’t nearly as tricky as it is now.Salespeople recognize their challenges. When what is taught isn’t relevant to the areas in which they need help, you can not expect either adoption or the necessary behavioral changes.The Competencies Are Not Easily Acquired or DevelopedThe competencies described above require a higher level of skill than what came before them. In the past, I have defined three levels of sales skills. The oldest set of skills includes commitment-gaining, prospecting, and storytelling, all of which have been around since forever. The second level of skills started as markets matured and include diagnosing, differentiating, and negotiation (something different in magnitude from haggling at the bazaar). Now, salespeople need business acumen, change management skills, and leadership.The difficulty acquiring the skills necessary to succeed point to how much more complex and demanding B2B sales has grown. It also explains why much training is not relevant now and is in massive need of an update.You Need Development and TransformationThe very best players in any sport start their career in grade school, as do the best dancers and artists. They are continually trained and coached in the behaviors over a long time. Imagine taking a young person of, say, 22 years of age and teaching them to play some sport and putting them on a field to play against people who have decades of development in that endeavor. Make them the quarterback of a professional team or the first chair violinist in an orchestra. How would they fare?These are some of the main reasons sales training is doomed to fail, and of course, you can eliminate all of these as a risk by ensuring you focus on development and behavior change enabled by a modern B2B approach.last_img read more

Former ‘Salwa Judum’ member killed by NaxalsFormer ‘Salwa Judum’ member killed by Naxals

first_imgA former ‘Salwa Judum’ member was allegedly killed by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Monday, police said.Modiam Somlu (50), an ex-member of the erstwhile anti-Naxalite movement Salwa Judum, was fatally attacked by the ultras at Loharpara village in Bijapur early this morning, a district police official told PTI.Somlu, a native of Pundri village, had gone to Loharpara, located around 400 km from Raipur, to fetch ‘sulfi’ (a popular drink among tribals prepared from sulfi plants) when a group of armed rebels stormed there.The Naxals pumped bullets into him and also stabbed him with sharp-edged weapons, he said.Police rushed to the spot on getting information about the incident and sent the body for postmortem, he said.Somlu had earlier served as sarpanch of Pundri.A manhunt has been launched to nab the attackers who escaped into the thick forest after committing the crime, the police official said.Salwa Judum, an anti-Maoist civil militia, was disbanded in 2011 in Chhattisgarh following a Supreme Court order declaring as illegal and unconstitutional the deployment of tribal youth as special police officers in the fight against Maoist insurgency.last_img read more

Bypoll in Dhemaji underway; five candidates in frayBypoll in Dhemaji underway; five candidates in fray

first_imgThe by-election to Dhemaji legislative constituency in Assam began this morning where a straight contest is on between BJP’s Ranoj Pegu and Congress’ Babul Sonowal.The bypoll was necessitated to the constituency following the election of earlier BJP MLA Pradan Baruah as MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal left his parliamentary seat.“The polling has begun at 7 a.m. Everything is going smoothly as of now and we hope that maximum number of people will take part in this exercise,” Roshni Aparanji Korati told PTI who is Dhemaji LAC Returning Officer and the Deputy Commissioner of Dhemaji district.The counting will take place on April 13.A total of five candidates are trying their fortune in this poll with the main contest likely to take place between BJP’s Ranoj Pegu and Congress’ Babul Sonowal.The other three candidates are CPI(M)’s Jadu Hazarika, SUCI(C)’s Hem Kanta Miri and Independent Rajkumar Doley.The constituency has a total of 2,19,751 voters, of which 1,12,510 are male and 1,07,241 are females.The elections are being held at 273 booths and authorities have earmarked 20 as very sensitive polling stations, while 141 are sensitive.last_img read more

BJP’s countdown has begun, says Haryana Congress chiefBJP’s countdown has begun, says Haryana Congress chief

first_imgHaryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar on Sunday said the countdown for the BJP-led government at the Centre and in the State has begun “as all their misdeeds have been exposed before the people”. “People have suffered due to the flawed policies of the BJP governments during the past over four years and now they have realised that it is time to throw out the BJP from power to get rid of its misrule,” said Mr. Tanwar, addressing the “Rafale Pol Khol-Halla Bol” rally in Panipat. He alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre decided to purchase Rafale fighter planes by ignoring all set principles, which has put the country in a huge financial loss. “Their [BJP] decision of demonetisation was a complete failure and their promises about black money have fallen flat. Unbridled rise in petroleum prices, making false promises about employment and presenting a false picture of investment has exposed them. People are waiting for the upcoming elections to oust them from power,” he said.He said if the Congress comes to power in Haryana after the Assembly polls, loans of farmers and the poor would be waived, old age pension would be raised to ₹3,000 per month, a fresh survey of BPL families and those families who have not got any government job so far will be undertaken and the 100-yard plot scheme would be restored without any discrimination. “The Congress government will ensure that students’ union elections are held in colleges and universities,” he added.Mr. Tanwar said the struggle of party workers will continue till Congress chief Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister and a Congress government is formed in Haryana. “People are fed up with the misrule of the BJP government in Haryana and they have come to the rally to show their resentment against the government,” he said.last_img read more

Modi to open Gandhi museum in RajkotModi to open Gandhi museum in Rajkot

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi would be visiting Gujarat on Sunday to inaugurate multiple projects, including a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi at the Alfred high School in Rajkot, and a modern chocolate factory set up by Amul in Anand. Mr. Modi would also inaugurate a gas pipeline project in Kutch and an LNG terminal built by the Gujarat government-promoted Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL).In Rajkot, the museum had been set up by the State government at the school from where Gandhiji passed his matriculation in 1887. Renamed Mohandas Gandhi High School after Independence, the school was closed in 2017 after authorities decided to convert it into a museum. The chocolate plant in Anand district has been set up by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets dairy products under the brand name ‘Amul’. The plant has been built with investment of ₹190 crore and has a capacity to produce 1,000 tonnes of chocolates of different flavours. Mr. Modi would address a gathering of farmers after inaugurating the Amul plant.last_img read more

Madhya Pradesh’s Congress government slaps NSA on three men accused of cow slaughterMadhya Pradesh’s Congress government slaps NSA on three men accused of cow slaughter

first_imgThe administration of Khargone district in Madhya Pradesh invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against three people arrested in connection with alleged cow slaughter near Moghat village four days ago, officials said.“We received information four days ago that a few people were involved in cow slaughter near Moghat. When the police arrived, the accused fled from the spot. The police team found the carcasses,” Khandwa Superintendent of Police Siddharth Bahuguna said.The police said they had reached the spot based on a tip-off that they had received.The police passed on the information to the district administration, which asked the police to invoke the NSA against the accused. After an investigation, Raju, Shakil and Azam were arrested, the police said.last_img

Manipur fake encounters: kin allege bribe for settlementManipur fake encounters: kin allege bribe for settlement

first_imgA court in Thoubal district of Manipur has disposed of a case of alleged extrajudicial killing of a man by a police team in 2011, thanks to the delay in sanction of prosecution from the State government.The family of the victim on Monday alleged that it was fighting the case despite coercions, including a lump sum being offered as “bribe” to withdraw the case.Tampha, the wife of Angousana Athokpam of Bishnupur district who was arrested on February 27, 2011, by a Thoubal district police team and allegedly killed in a fake encounter, told reporters in Imphal that some stranger had come to her home last month and offered her “₹7 lakh for an out-of-court settlement”.“I refused to accept the bribe and told the person that we only want befitting punishment to those personnel who killed my husband in a staged encounter,” she said at a press conference.Tanoubi, Athokpam’s daughter, said the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thoubal, had disposed of her father’s case on Saturday saying it cannot proceed further as the Manipur government has not given the prosecution sanction. “Such prosecution sanctions had already been given in the Imphal East and Imphal West districts,” said Ms. Tanoubi.SC-ordered case She said her father’s “killing” was one of the 39 cases registered on the specific orders of the Supreme Court. The accused in nine such cases have already been chargesheeted. The SC is looking into 1,528 alleged fake encounter cases in Manipur filed by Extrajudicial Execution Victims Families Association Manipur, a group seeking speedy trial in these cases. There has been no explanation from the BJP-led State government as to why no prosecution sanction was issued in Athokpam’s case. The EEVFAM activists are not happy with the court order in the case. Renu Takhellambam, president, EEVFAM, said: “The judgment is not acceptable. How can a man be declared not guilty without a proper trial? People should appeal to the CM to issue the prosecution sanction so that the guilty are punished.”last_img read more

ScienceShot: The Physics of Usain BoltScienceShot: The Physics of Usain Bolt

first_imgIn the summer of 2009, during the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt set a world record time of 9.58 seconds for the 100-meter dash—but he did so with a slight wind at his back. Now, a new analysis suggests that Bolt’s time without the tailwind would still have been a record-setter. Researchers used weather conditions during the race to estimate Bolt’s coefficient of drag, which is related to his body’s wind resistance. That parameter, along with data about the sprinter’s position (collected by lasers every 0.1 second during the race), suggests that Bolt’s time sans wind assistance would have been 9.68 seconds, the researchers report today in the European Journal of Physics. That’s 0.1 seconds slower than the official result but still good enough to squeak past Bolt’s previous world record time of 9.69 seconds, which he had set at the Beijing Olympics the year before. Race data also show that Bolt sprang from the starting blocks with an acceleration of 9.5 meters per second squared—that’s almost 0.97 g, the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity—and was churning out a whopping 2.6 kilowatts of power (3.5 horsepower) less than 1 second later.last_img read more

NIST Chief to Lead PittNIST Chief to Lead Pitt

first_imgThe University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) announced this week that it has tapped Patrick Gallagher as its next chancellor. Gallagher, 50, now serves as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as well as the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Gallagher’s new appointment is slated to begin 1 August.After earning a Ph.D. in physics from Pitt in 1991, Gallagher joined NIST in 1993 as a research physicist. He was appointed its director on 5 November 2009. As NIST director, Gallagher oversees some 3000 scientists, engineers, and support staff at two main labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Boulder, Colorado. NIST now has a budget of more than $850 million for fiscal year 2014.Eric Lander, president and founder of the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a statement praised Gallagher’s selection as a “superb choice”: “Pat Gallagher has been an extraordinary leader at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). He is wise in the ways of both scientific research and governmental policy. He has unusually broad scientific interests, ranging from problems of manufacturing, to DNA fingerprinting, to energy innovation and innovation policy. Most importantly, he combines enormous integrity and great optimism with an exceptional ability to work with people.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

first_imgHONOLULU—About 1000 meters down in a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean sits an unusual legacy of humanity’s love affair with the automobile. It’s a huge mass of seawater infused with traces of the toxic metal lead, a pollutant once widely emitted by cars burning leaded gasoline. Decades ago, the United States and Europe banned leaded gas and many other uses of the metal, but the pollutant’s fingerprint lingers on—as shown by remarkably detailed new maps released here this week at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting.The 3D maps and animations are the early results of an unprecedented $300 million international collaboration to document the presence of trace metals and other chemicals in the world’s oceans. The substances, which often occur in minute quantities, can provide important clues to understanding the ocean’s past—such as how seawater masses have moved around over centuries—and its future, such as how climate change might shift key biochemical processes. Over about 30 cruises in the past few years, researchers have collected nearly 30,000 water samples at 787 study sites. Then, using painstaking techniques—including wearing “moon suits” and working in clean rooms to prevent contamination—they’ve measured elements like iron, nickel, and zinc. The effort, known as GEOTRACES, “is a huge improvement over what we were able to do in the past,” says ocean chemist Hein de Baar of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in Texel.GEOTRACES is tracking some 200 elements and other substances, but the lead maps released this week tell an especially sobering story of past pollution—and continuing contamination. In the central Atlantic, for example, the maps show a huge slug of subsurface seawater with lead levels higher than those in surface or deeper waters. That tainted water was once at the surface, where it collected airborne lead particles, explains chemical oceanographer Abigail Noble of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. But the surface water slowly sank into the deep ocean, essentially becoming a time capsule recording “the incredible impact that we have had on the oceans in the past, and how it changes over time.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Although the elevated lead levels stand out as red and yellow blotches on the GEOTRACES maps, the concentrations are too low to pose a major threat to humans or wildlife, says MIT ocean scientist Edward Boyle. “You probably aren’t going to see stupid fish or whales swimming around,” he says, alluding to the brain damage that can be caused by lead exposure. The lead concentrations are roughly equivalent to what you’d get if you dissolved a small spoonful of frozen orange juice in 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools, Noble estimates. And lead levels in much of the Atlantic have dropped dramatically over the past few decades, Noble and Boyle note, mostly thanks to the lead phaseout in the United States and Europe.Still, the maps show there are places where lead contamination is a continuing problem. Off the southern tip of Africa, surface waters with relatively high traces of lead are flowing into the South Atlantic from the Indian Ocean. That’s probably due to the continuing use of leaded gasoline in parts of Africa and Asia and perhaps to some heavy industry there, says chemical oceanographer Christian Schlosser of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.Another hot spot, the maps show, is where the Mediterranean Sea empties into the eastern Atlantic. The lead concentrations there “are some of the highest we saw anywhere” in the Atlantic, says chemical oceanographer Rob Middag of the University of Otago, Dunedin, in New Zealand. That may be because the Mediterranean is a relatively enclosed body of water with heavily settled shores and has been collecting pollution for centuries.The maps will be expanded in coming years as new cruises are completed. But other researchers are already beginning to mine them for insights into trace elements such as iron, which can fertilize plankton blooms and could be a major player in how the oceans respond to climate change. Scientists are also tracking atomic isotopes that can help map the worldwide movements of seawater and help pinpoint the original sources of lead and other trace metals. The unusually detailed GEOTRACES data, Noble says, is letting researchers “see things that we couldn’t see before.”last_img read more

Scientists Call on Spain to Ban Vulture-Killing DrugScientists Call on Spain to Ban Vulture-Killing Drug

first_imgThe Spanish government should rescind approval of a veterinary drug that threatens Europe’s largest population of wild vultures, researchers argue in a letter published online yesterday in Conservation Biology. The drug, diclofenac, is commonly used to treat pain in livestock. It has already caused the decline of nearly 99% of India’s vultures, which ingested the drug while feeding on carcasses. It has also triggered an ecological chain reaction there, resulting in, among other impacts, record numbers of rabies cases.“[I]t is undeniable that European vulture populations could be seriously affected by the ingestion of diclofenac, and its use has become a matter of great concern for ecologists, politicians, and conservationists,” write the five scientists, who represent agriculture, ecology, and biology departments at universities in both Spain and Switzerland. Although European grazing and sanitation practices are substantially different from those used in India, potentially reducing the drug’s threat to scavenging birds, the researchers remain concerned about its potential impact in Spain, which is home to an estimated 95% of Europe’s wild vultures.The drug was approved by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) in March 2013. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug currently approved in many countries for both human and veterinary use. It reduces pain and inflammation caused by a variety of conditions, such as arthritis, kidney stones, and endometriosis. It is the active ingredient in more than 100 trade named medications, some of which are available over the counter. In veterinary application, diclofenac is most often used to treat joint pain and swelling.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2003, researchers fingered diclofenac as the cause of the sudden and widespread disappearance of three of India’s most common vultures: the white-backed, the slender-billed, and the Indian vulture. Diclofenac “cause[s] deposition of uric acid crystals in the visceral organs, and kidneys in particular, and it is kidney failure that actually kills the birds,” says Chris Bowden of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) program in Bedfordshire, U.K. It took less than 20 years for the drug to wipe out most of India’s vultures, and all three species are now listed as either endangered or critically endangered. The missing vultures have left an ecological hole that is being filled by a burgeoning feral dog population, which have helped spread rabies.Since its dangers were revealed, the drug has been banned for veterinary use in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and vulture numbers have shown small signs of rebounding. Efforts to ban its use in Africa are under way, and SAVE is pushing the European Union to ban the drug across the continent.In Spain, the authors of today’s letter are urging the Spanish government to rescind diclofenac’s approval for veterinary use under “the precautionary principle, which was recognized as a fundamental element of environmental policy at the Rio Conference of 1992.” Four species of European vulture are at risk, they note: the griffon, bearded, cinereous, and Egyptian. The cinereous and Egyptian vultures are considered near threatened and endangered, respectively. Although bearded vultures are not considered endangered worldwide, they have been almost completely extirpated from their historic central European range—the 125 breeding pairs in Spain are the result of 30 years of concerted repopulation efforts.Recent changes in Spain’s farm sanitation laws may put the vultures at greater risk of diclofenac poisoning, says one of the letter’s authors, conservation biologist Antoni Margalida, of the University of Bern in Switzerland and the University of Lleida in Spain. In 2011, regulators reopened the “muladares,” or farm carcass dumps, that had been shut down in the wake of concern about the spread of “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). The change was designed to help the vultures, as the muladares are an essential food source for many of the birds, and the closures had threatened vulture numbers. But the introduction of diclofenac could turn the dumps into a threat, Margalida notes.Spain’s move to approve the drug flouts the spirit of E.U. environmental law, Bowden says, and “sets a bad precedent for Africa and Asia where systems are less controlled.” Spanish supplies could also be exported to other countries, he worries.José Tavares of the Vulture Conservation Foundation in Switzerland says that advocates have already sent formal requests to address the issue to the Spanish government, the European Commission, and eight other E.U. governments. Additionally, the Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention) has also requested that the Spanish government ban the drug. So far, there has been no government response, but ecologists and conservation groups are hoping today’s letter adds to the pressure.last_img read more

Japan Ordered to Stop Scientific WhalingJapan Ordered to Stop Scientific Whaling

first_imgJapan has to stop capturing and killing whales under its whaling program in the Antarctic, called JARPA II, the International Court of Justice has said.In a judgment issued in The Hague in the Netherlands today, the U.N. court has ordered Japan to revoke existing permits to catch whales for scientific purposes and to stop granting such permits in the future. The ruling is a victory for Australia, which filed court proceedings against Japan’s whaling in 2010, arguing that it breached international obligations.In 1982, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling, allowing the taking and killing of whales for research purposes only. Scientific catch limits are set by each country on a yearly basis, submitted to a review by IWC’s scientific committee.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Antiwhaling critics say that Japanese whale research is a fig leaf for commercial hunting, as whale meat can be sold to cover research costs. Japan counters that its whale meat sale is not profitable and that it needs to take and kill whales to study the animals and their potential as a food source.The court said that JARPA II activities can “broadly be characterized as scientific research,” but found several “shortcomings” with the program’s details—saying in particular that Japan had not paid enough attention to nonlethal methods. “The evidence does not establish that the programme’s design and implementation are reasonable in relation to achieving its stated objectives,” the court said. Therefore, “the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not ‘for purposes of scientific research,’ ” the judges added.By 12 votes to four, the court ruled that Japan had breached several obligations under the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.Masayuki Komatsu, a former Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official now at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, says that whales are abundant, and therefore the moratorium and whaling restrictions are invalid in the first place. “It would not be appropriate to comply with a judgment based on illegal articles,” Komatsu tells ScienceInsider.The judgment is binding and without appeal, however, and Japan has already issued a statement saying that it will abide by the ruling, even though it is “disappointed.” (The statement was posted on Twitter by Patrick Ramage, director of the Global Whale Program of the International Fund for Animal Welfare; a Japanese foreign affairs official in The Hague confirmed its authenticity.)With reporting by Dennis Normile in Tokyo.last_img read more

Opponents Assail White House Plan to Close NOAA Lab in North CarolinaOpponents Assail White House Plan to Close NOAA Lab in North Carolina

first_imgA proposal by the Obama administration to close a historic marine research laboratory near Beaufort, North Carolina, is drawing pushback from the scientific community and local members of Congress. Although the administration frames it as a tough choice in a time of fiscal restraint, critics argue that the proposed closure of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab would endanger crucial marine research.Founded more than 100 years ago, the NOAA laboratory on Pivers Island near Beaufort conducts research into a variety of marine science subjects, including fish stocks, ecosystem function, and the health of aquatic creatures. Its work has helped scientists improve how they forecast harmful algal blooms, and it set in place the first study of invasive lionfish in the South Atlantic, those familiar with the lab say. And it is the only NOAA lab between Miami, Florida, and Sandy Hook, New Jersey.The Obama administration quietly proposed closing the lab in the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget request released last month, citing the tough fiscal environment. The lab, which employs 108 workers and contractors, has a roughly $1.6 million operating and maintenance budget (which does not include salaries).Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The closure is far from set in stone. Congress would have to approve the request as part of the spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. But that work isn’t expected to be finished until late this year, after the November elections.In the meantime, some scientists and lawmakers are baffled by the proposal, which they say doesn’t have a clear rationale. And they are making the case for why the lab deserves to stay open.“This lab is a vital part of the local, national, and international marine science community and provides important research and information for sustaining fisheries and coastal ecosystems of the Mid- and South-Atlantic, and to U.S territories in the Caribbean Sea to the people of this nation,” said David Eggleston, a professor and the director of North Carolina State University’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology, in a 28 March letter to lawmakers.Even if the lab is closed, NOAA won’t be letting go of the lab’s 62 permanent staff members, according to a presentation on the proposed budget. “Fisheries employees will continue the research they are currently undertaking at a different location,” the presentation says. It’s uncertain what will happen to the others. But proponents of keeping the lab open say they’re skeptical that the relocated NOAA researchers would be able to continue doing the same work they have long been doing at the Beaufort lab.”It covers a large swath ecologically that other labs can’t cover easily without traveling,” says Amy Freitag, a recent marine science and conservation Ph.D. graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who collaborated with a NOAA scientist at the Beaufort lab. “It would be difficult to continue research in the area from other NOAA facilities.” As an example, she mentions that waters from two regions of the Atlantic converge in an area of the ocean near the lab. “Ecologically speaking, it’s probably the most fascinating part of the East Coast Atlantic to look at,” she says. “You can study fisheries both from that northern region and from the southern region and see how they interact.” Freitag also worries that numerous partnerships with nearby universities would suffer if the researchers move far away.NOAA declined to make Beaufort lab scientists available for interviews. Ciaran Clayton, a NOAA spokeswoman, said in a statement that the laboratory has conducted valuable science over the course of its 100-plus-year history. “However, this aging facility requires infrastructure repairs and improvements exceeding agency budget resources now and for the foreseeable future,” Clayton said.Lab proponents don’t buy that argument. They note that in recent years NOAA has invested millions of dollars to upgrade the facility, including by building a new bridge to the island that houses the lab. To shut the lab after making those upgrades would be all the more baffling, Freitag says.The lab closure won’t see the light of day in Congress if a bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers has their way.”I am seriously troubled by the fact that in his most recent budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed closing a research lab in Eastern North Carolina while continuing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure projects in Afghanistan,” said Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) in a statement. Jones and Representative Mike McIntyre (D-NC), in a 31 March letter, requested House appropriators’ “assistance in rejecting the unjustified and misguided proposal.”Representative David Price (D-NC) said in a statement that he questions the wisdom of shutting down “a hub for collaborative research endeavors among NOAA’s federal researchers and those located in neighboring labs.””The prospect of losing that synergy is alarming, and I am going to be sharply questioning this decision” as appropriators in the House of Representatives make decisions on what the government can spend where next fiscal year, Price said.last_img read more

Physicians Take the Helm at India’s Science and Health MinistriesPhysicians Take the Helm at India’s Science and Health Ministries

first_imgNEW DELHI—India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, today appointed a pair of physicians to the top science jobs in his Cabinet.Science minister Jitendra Singh, 57, a diabetes specialist from the conflict-riven state of Jammu and Kashmir, has studied, among other things, stress as a cause of diabetes in Kashmiri Hindus forced to migrate from the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. Singh has several hot potatoes already on his plate, including crafting regulations governing genetically modified foods and how to make clinical trials more transparent. Singh told ScienceInsider that he feels “tense” about meeting the expectations of India’s scientific community. “A new odyssey has begun,” he says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Indian scientists are giving Singh’s appointment a warm reception. He’s a “genial man with great organizational skills,” says Ambrish Mithal, past president of the Endocrine Society of India. “[I’m] very excited to have a new minister with such high professional qualifications,” adds K. VijayRaghavan, secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, who will report to Singh.The other physician joining the Cabinet is Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, 59, an ear, nose, and throat specialist. A champion of the oral polio vaccine in India in the 1990s who coined the phrase “two drops of life,” Vardhan is credited with having helped India achieve polio-free status earlier this year.Modi struck a pro-science tone during the campaign and reiterated his support on the eve of his party’s resounding victory, remarking on National Technology Day on 11 May that “[o]ur Scientists are our strength and will help shape our future in this Knowledge Era.”last_img read more