U.K. Backing Away From DNA, Isotope Nationality Tests?

first_imgAfter ScienceInsider revealed last week that scientists were condemning its use of DNA testing and isotopic tissue analysis to decide the fate of asylum seekers, the U.K. Border Agency has apparently changed its plans. In a statement released this afternoon by the Home Office, which oversees the Border Agency, the department’s Chief Scientific Advisor Paul Wiles now says such evidence will be collected for later analysis of its potential but will not currently be used for individual case decisions.According to Wiles’ statement (bold and italics as in the original):UKBA have commenced a small scale proof of concept project that will run until June 2010. Participation in the project will be entirely voluntary, and will test whether there is the potential for these investigations to be supported by wider use of DNA testing and isotope analysis.Whilst this trial is being undertaken, no decisions on individual cases will be made using these techniques, and they will not be used for evidential purposes.After the trial there will be a review of the efficacy of the approach, the underpinning science and a review of the ethical issues involved.Once the trial has been completed, the techniques will be referred to the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator (see www.police.homeoffice.gov.uk/operational-policing/forensic-science-regulator/). Only after review by the Forensic Science Regulator will the techniques be considered for use in asylum investigations.Wiles’ statement represents an apparent policy change as it contradicts the “Nationality-Swapping” document, which describes how Border Agency officials judging asylum cases should access DNA and isotope evidence from the project and use it in interviews with asylum seekers. That document and other statements by the Agency indicated that the DNA and isotope data would indeed be used, along with other evidence, to make asylum decisions.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(*)—Earlier post: Key Questions on Nationality Testinglast_img read more

NIH Expands Definition of Human Embryonic Stem Cell

first_imgThe National Institutes of Health is slightly expanding its definition for what constitutes a human embryonic stem cell. Currently, for purposes of including cells in its stem cell registry, NIH guidelines define the cells as “derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst stage human embryo.” As proposed tomorrow in the Federal Register, the definition will cover “early stage embryos up to and including” the blastocyst stage. The change has come primarily in response to an application by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) of Worcester, Massachusetts. “We came to understand recently that there was interest in deriving cells from earlier-stage embryos,” says NIH’s Lana Skirboll. ACT wants to list on the registry five cell lines derived from the earlier, morula stage. Skirboll says that, in addition, three lines submitted by Harvard Medical School’s George Daley were derived from embryos that hadn’t reached blastocyst stage. Approval for them has been put on hold pending acceptance of the revised definition. So far the registry has approved 40 lines. The change is a small one, Skirboll says; There is no change in ethical guidelines for deriving cells. 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

Climate Science, D.C. Style: ‘Some Say Yes, and Some Say No’

first_imgIn an item ScienceInsider ran yesterday, freshman Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), the newly named chair of the House of Representatives science panel’s basic research and education subcommittee, was asked by Jeffrey Mervis if human activity was causing global warming. His response: That’s a difficult question to answer because I’ve talked to scientists on both sides of the fence, especially at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Some say yes, and some say no…So I’m approaching the issue with a healthy degree of skepticism. If the evidence is there to prove it, then so be it. With influential lawmakers exhibiting that sort of view, one had to wonder how a letter like the one sent on 28 January to Congress by 18 prominent climate scientists might fare. It begins: As you begin your deliberations in the new 112th Congress, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. Climate change is not just an environmental threat but, as we describe below, also poses challenges to the U.S. economy, national security and public health. …We want to assure you that the science is strong and that there is nothing abstract about the risks facing our Nation. It was no surprise when more than 70 skeptics hastily penned a response, sent to lawmakers yesterday and publicized by the industry-supported Heartland Institute. 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 skeptics wrote: On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems. We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story. … It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge. As infuriating as it might be to the scientists who would agree with the first letter, the second one is likely to be an effective tool for those who prefer inaction, based on a view of the science as equally balanced between two sides. (In the mid-2000s, the media had a real problem with ping-pong reporting of climate stories; the phenomenon has subsided somewhat since then but crops up increasingly on right-leaning media outlets.) ScienceInsider has asked Brooks for a response to the two letters.last_img read more

Journal Retracts Disputed Network Analysis Paper on Climate

first_imgOn 15 May, USA Today reported that a controversial 2008 study in the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis (CSDA) was going to be retracted because parts of the article contain plagiarized material. Now, in an e-mail to ScienceInsider, the journal’s editor in chief, Stan Azen of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, has passed along the official retraction notice. It says the article “contains portions of other authors’ writings … without sufficient attribution” and that excerpts from Wikipedia and two textbooks appeared without citation in the paper’s introduction. An official with Elsevier, which publishes CSDA, says the notice will be posted in a week or two. The study, Social networks of author-co-author relationships, analyzed the different styles of such networks and their implications for peer review. It grew out of work done for a report to Congress by statistician Edward Wegman of George Mason University. The so-called Wegman report said that paleoclimate studies done in 1998 and 1999 used poor statistical analyses. It also asserted that the authors may have benefited from favorable treatment by their peers who presumably reviewed the papers. The e-mail from Azen follows: The following is the Elsevier retraction statement that will appear shortly. Retraction notice This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief and co‑Editors, as it contain portions of other authors’ writings on the same topic in other publications, without sufficient attribution to these earlier works being given. The principal authors of the paper acknowledged that text from background sources was mistakenly used in the Introduction without proper reference to the original source. Specifically, the first page and a half of the article (pp. 2177‑2178) contain together excerpts from Wikipedia (first paragraph), Wasserman and Faust’s “Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications” (pp. 17‑20) ISBN 10: 0521387078 / 0‑521‑38707‑8 ISBN 13: 9780521387071 Publication Date: 1994, and W. de Nooy, A. Mrvar, and V. Bategelj’s “Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek” (pp. 31, 36, 123, and 133) ISBN 10: 0521602629 / 0‑521‑ 60262‑ ISBN 13: 9780521602624 Publication Date: 2005. The scientific community takes a strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. The re‑use of material, without appropriate reference, even if not known to the authors at the time of submission, breaches our publishing policies. The Wegman report is also alleged to contain unattributed material from other sources. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, climate scientist Raymond Bradley filed an official complaint with George Mason University in March 2010 for what he regards as inappropriate use of material that first appeared in his 1999 book, Paleoclimatology. “There were several paragraphs in the Wegman report that were lifted verbatim or almost verbatim from my book,” Bradley tells ScienceInsider. Bradley has complained to Elsevier, which was the publisher of the 1999 book, and company officials have proposed a meeting to discuss the issue, he says. “Elsevier has a financial interest in people not plagiarizing their books,” says Bradley. “Otherwise, why do they have a copyright?” 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(*) Wegman declined to comment on the journal’s action when contacted by ScienceInsider last week. But Wegman wrote an e-mail to Elsevier, obtained by USA Today, that says he would prefer issuing an “errata sheet” instead of having the paper withdrawn. And USA Today spoke to Wegman’s attorney for its May story on the journal retraction: “Neither Dr. Wegman nor [first author Yasmin Said] has ever engaged in plagiarism,” says their attorney, Milton Johns, by e-mail. In a March 16 e-mail to the journal, Wegman blamed a student who “had basically copied and pasted” from others’ work into the 2006 congressional report, and said the text was lifted without acknowledgment and used in the journal study. “We would never knowingly publish plagiarized material” wrote Wegman, a former CSDA journal editor.last_img read more

To woo public, Europe opens up on animal experiments, but U.S. less transparent

first_imgA pig at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom is prepared for surgery to insert an artificial blood vessel. Researchers hope to replace veins used in human heart bypass operations with more durable vessels. By Meredith WadmanJul. 14, 2017 , 3:00 PM Slipping support Pollsters have periodically asked U.K. adults whether they “accept animal experimentation” for medical research, and U.S. adults whether “medical testing on animals” is “morally acceptable.” To woo public, Europe opens up on animal experiments, but U.S. less transparent Richard Scrase/Understanding Animal Research Such views contrast starkly with practices at many U.S. research institutions, which have been reluctant to publicly describe and defend their animal experiments. But the emerging European experience suggests that might be the wrong approach, says Tom Holder, UAR’s head of campaigns. He argues that “being more open doesn’t result in greater attacks from animal rights groups, but instead builds resilience in an institution and trust with the public.”Opponents of animal research counter that the new transparency is merely public relations. “A whitewash web page that includes content they choose to show—it’s just propaganda,” says Justin Goodman, vice president for advocacy and public policy at the White Coat Waste Project, a Washington, D.C.–based group that lobbies for transparency in U.S.-funded animal research.A fall in the polls In the United Kingdom, one catalyst for the transparency push was a sudden drop in public acceptance of animal research between 2010 and 2012—a decline of 10 percentage points, to 66%, according to a government-commissioned poll. UAR, the London-based Science Media Centre, research institutions, and funders including the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council began discussing responses. The result was a 2014 Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the United Kingdom, now signed by 116 life science organizations, including 42 universities. The signatories pledge to improve communication about their research by detailing when, how, and why they use animals, and by launching projects—such as the video tour—that pull in the public. Last October, for the first time, the top 10 U.K. research universities joined together to publicize the number of animal experiments they conducted the previous year. The number for the entire United Kingdom in 2016 was released yesterday. The Home Office reported that 3.94 million procedures were done, a decline of 5%, or 206,000 experiments, from 2015.Since the concordat was launched, public support for animal research has stabilized in the United Kingdom, although showing cause and effect is difficult. Meanwhile, similar efforts are underway elsewhere in Europe. In Spain, 90 institutions and societies last year signed an animal research transparency agreement. Institutions in Belgium, France, and Germany are exploring ways to emulate the U.K. model.In the United States, a lower profileIn the United States, few research players have adopted proactive communication strategies, according to Speaking of Research (SoR), a group based in London and Washington, D.C., that advocates for biomedical research. It monitors websites of institutions that conduct or fund animal research in a dozen countries, and grades their transparency efforts. To make SoR’s list, an organization must at a minimum maintain a public web page with a position statement on animal research.Although at least 1000 U.S. research facilities use animals, SoR’s list includes just 65 U.S. universities, as well as 39 other groups, including charities, government labs, and drug companies. Just two universities—the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, along with several federally funded National Primate Research Centers—earn SoR’s top marks. More than half of the universities—including private research powerhouses such as Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins universities—get low grades because they don’t present case studies, videos, or extensive public-facing information about their animal research on a dedicated website.Johns Hopkins says that it works hard to communicate its animal work by highlighting it in press releases, and that it lacks a dedicated animal research web page because its web content is decentralized. Harvard says it is treading a fine line between openness and keeping its scientists safe. Stanford pointed to a three-paragraph online statement on animal research that notes achievements such as the isolation of insulin.In contrast, the University of Wisconsin in Madison offers a website with a long, easy reading list of its animal research highlights. It includes scores of findings with relevance to human or animal health, including the 2012 discovery in a rat model showing that iron deficiency worsens fetal alcohol syndrome, and the use of pigs to learn that Tasers can send the heart into an often-fatal abnormal rhythm. A hot topics tab includes a video responding to a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in Norfolk, Virginia, which used public records law to obtain stark photos of a cat with a steel post implanted in its skull and wires connected to brain electrodes through holes drilled in her skull, used by university researchers to study how the brain processes sound. In the video, now-retired neuroscience chairman Tom Yin explains how the experiments in cats made clear that two cochlear implants would help deaf people more than one. The video opens with a formerly deaf man singing the praises of his implants.Because the University of Wisconsin’s 7-year-old website was up and running when PETA launched its campaign, “we had this place to respond,” says Terry Devitt, the university’s director of research communications. “We could tell our own story.”Some research advocates worry the anemic U.S. outreach is allowing animal research opponents to define the debate, and may be contributing to a slide in public support for animal studies. Approval of animal research hit a new low in a U.S. Gallup poll released in May; 51% said “medical testing on animals” is “morally acceptable,” down from 65% in 2001. Disapproval was highest among adults younger than 35. Such numbers suggest that “in the U.S. there has not been enough proactive communication,” says Kirk Leech, executive director of the London-based European Animal Research Association.One group, Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) in Washington, D.C., wants to change that. Last month it launched a website, Come See Our World. It provides photos and videos of research animals, along with background information on the experiments. Individual U.S. scientists are becoming more willing to publicly discuss their animal work, says Paula Clifford, AMP’s executive director. But “the sticking point is the risk assessment of the higher-ups” at research institutions, she says.Leech, for one, believes U.S. institutions must become more tolerant of the risks of openly describing their animal work. If research advocates keep “sticking our heads in the sand and hoping [animal rights activists] will go away,” he predicts, “we will fail.”To be sure, animal researchers on both sides of the Atlantic can be anxious about going public. Andrew Parker, a University of Oxford physiologist who uses rhesus macaques to study binocular vision, is one of the researchers who speaks about his work at LabAnimalTour.org. “I have had a number of people tell me that ‘It’s quite brave’—which in the U.K. usually is code for ‘risky,’” he says. But “the climate has changed” in United Kingdom, he believes. “There is more [public] willingness to listen to the discussion of and opinions of scientists on animal research—which in itself builds confidence.” Credits: (Graphic) J. You/Science; (Data) Ipsos MORI, Gallup Last month, a London-based group that supports the use of animals in biomedical science began inviting the public to take an unusual digital tour of laboratories at four U.K. research institutions. At LabAnimalTour.org, users can watch a monkey with a bolt in its skull forage in its cage at a University of Oxford neuroscience lab and a technician check on some of the 8000 mice housed in one room at the Medical Research Council’s Harwell Institute. Another video shows researchers preparing a pig for surgery at the University of Bristol.The tour—created by the nonprofit Understanding Animal Research (UAR), which is funded by groups including universities, companies, and charities—is part of a growing push by research institutions and funders in the United Kingdom and some European countries to open up about animal experiments. Faced several years ago with polls showing declining public support for animal research, institutions there began shedding their traditional queasiness about discussing the sometimes controversial work.At the University of Bristol, where just 2 decades ago animal rights activists planted one bomb that damaged a major building and another that targeted a veterinary scientist, there was “complete positivity” about putting their animal research on display, says Maggie Leggett, the university’s director of communications. “We believe in openness. We are using taxpayers’ money. People have a right to know.”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

Want to write a hit song? Here are some tips

first_img Want to write a hit song? Here are some tips For every song that makes it into the pop charts, there are dozens more that flop. Now, scientists say they’ve figured out what separates a hit from a miss.Researchers analyzed half a million songs released in the United Kingdom between 1985 and 2015 from a database called AcousticBrainz. The AcousticBrainz project uses software to extract the basic properties of songs, such as rhythm and frequencies. Higher-level characteristics are then provided by machine learning techniques, which have been trained by experts to infer acoustic features (e.g. danceability, timbre) and mood (e.g. happy, relaxed) of the music from its basic properties. The researchers looked at how these features have changed over time—and whether they are markedly different for songs that made the U.K. top 100 singles chart.Over the past 3 decades, songs have become less happy and have a less bright timbre, the team found, but are also more danceable with a more relaxed mood. But there were also clear differences between charting and noncharting songs. Among other characteristics, songs that made the charts tended to be happier, more partylike, and more danceable, the authors report today in Royal Society Open Science.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(*)Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” for example, had a particularly high danceability rating and made it into the charts in 2014. On the other hand, “Cristina,” by Desperate Journalist, scored low on danceability—and didn’t end up charting.By training models on music from recent years, the team could even predict which new songs were likely to chart with about 74% accuracy. So if you’re a singer looking to write the next big hit, embracing the musical features of top charting songs could maximize your chance of making it into pop stardom. By Matt WarrenMay. 15, 2018 , 7:01 PMcenter_img Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP last_img read more

A koala’s diet would kill most mammals. Their genome reveals how they survive

first_imgRob D/500px By Elizabeth PennisiJul. 2, 2018 , 11:00 AM Imagine being able to sniff or lick a chunk of cheese and immediately know its nutritional value. That’s what koalas do when they forage on their sole foodstuff: eucalyptus leaves toxic enough to kill most mammals. Now, researchers know which genes make these cute Australian icons such foodies.After sequencing the genome of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and determining which genes are active in the heart, liver, and other tissues, the researchers discovered that these marsupials have greatly expanded the number of bitter taste buds, they report today in Nature Genetics. In addition, the animals have an extra copy of a gene that helps them assess a leaf’s water content, and more “sweet” taste bud genes than most animals on specialized diets. These extra genes finely tune the koala’s ability to assess their snack’s nutritional value. Finally, their genomes pack in an unusually large number of genes for detoxifying the leaf’s toxins, the scientists report.All these precautions help koalas get the most bang for the bite of food, which is important because eucalyptus leaves are not very high in calories. Yet even filling their gullets with the best leaves, koalas don’t have a lot of energy to do much more than eat: They can spend up to 22 hours a day resting or sleeping.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 genomic data also reveal how the koala immune system reacts to chlamydia, a sexually transmitted bacterium thought to be acquired from livestock brought in by Europeans just a few centuries ago. That information could help speed the development of a vaccine. Moreover, with the genome in hand, conservationists can better assess the genetic relatedness of koalas and try to protect the animal’s genetic diversity.center_img A koala’s diet would kill most mammals. Their genome reveals how they survivelast_img read more

‘Dragon teeth’ reveal ancient ape’s place in primate family tree

first_img In 1935, anthropologist Gustav von Koenigswald came across several strange teeth in drug stores in Hong Kong and southern China. The specimens, sold as “dragon teeth,” to be ground up for use in Chinese medicine, were special: They were apelike, but huge—much bigger than the molars of any other fossil or living primates. Their size (and that of four fossilized jaw bones) suggested that Gigantopithecus blacki was the largest primate ever discovered, towering nearly 3 meters in height. But without any skulls or skeletons, researchers didn’t know whether the animal, which lived from roughly 2 million to 200,000 years ago, was a relative of today’s orangutans, today’s African apes, or something else entirely.Now, by piecing together clues from proteins in the enamel of a 1.9-million-year-old tooth found in Chuifeng Cave in southern China, researchers have evidence that at last allows them to place G. blacki on the primate family tree. The work solves a long-standing evolutionary puzzle and demonstrates that genetic information can survive in proteins much longer—and under more difficult conditions—than many people had thought.Frido Welker, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, and his colleagues set out to examine G. blacki teeth for intact pieces of proteins called peptides, which may be preserved for up to a few million years—far longer than more fragile DNA. Welker and his colleagues dissolved tiny amounts of enamel from a G. blacki molar and used mass spectrometry to identify more than 500 peptides that matched six proteins. By comparing the amino acids to those in the same six proteins in living apes, including orangutans, gorillas, and other apes and monkeys, they calculated that the giant ape was most closely related to orangutans. The two lineages probably split off between 10 million and 12 million years ago, they report today in Nature.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(*)That’s not completely unexpected, says paleoanthropologist Russell Ciochon of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who wasn’t involved in the study. But having direct molecular evidence—especially of the timing of the split—is exciting. The work also shows for the first time that fossil teeth can retain usable genetic information for millions of years in hot and humid regions where organic matter breaks down faster. Although the tooth itself is just shy of 2 million years old, the warm temperatures of the cave (an average of 20°C) pushes its so-called “thermal age” to 12 million years—about five times the thermal age of any other skeletal proteins sequenced to date. “Now, we know that we can retrieve [genetic information] from something that is almost 2 million years old from a subtropical environment,” says University of Copenhagen paleogeneticist Enrico Cappellini, who helped lead the project with Welker.The key, he says, was to focus on the enamel proteins. Both before and after death, the minerals in tooth enamel keep water out and help the tooth resist decomposition. The success with G. blacki suggests enamel from other fossil teeth might help sort out the relationships between other early apes, Ciochon says, including how G. blacki was related to great apes that lived in India and Pakistan. And because 12 million years is close to the thermal age of many intriguing fossils in the human lineage, Cappellini says, “This brings us closer to thinking it could be feasible to investigate hominins from Africa. It’s at least possible.” Wei Wang ‘Dragon teeth’ reveal ancient ape’s place in primate family tree By Gretchen VogelNov. 13, 2019 , 1:00 PM Proteins from this Gigantopithecus blacki jaw reveal how the mysterious ape relates to modern primates.last_img read more

Thrilling Emilia-Romagna Derby

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Dejan Kulusevski scored a great goal and hit the woodwork for Parma, but Bologna grabbed a 2-2 Emilia-Romagna Derby draw with the last kick of the game. Click here for the full match report. OR See how all today’s Serie A games unfolded on the LIVEBLOG.last_img

MEA official’s car hits pedestrians in Delhi, 2 killed

first_imgThe accident was reported near Ansal Plaza at Khel Gaon Marg around 6 a.m. on Monday. A speeding Swift Dzire car knocked down the victims, but its driver fled.The car is believed to belong to a senior external affairs ministry official, but it is being probed whether the vehicle had been stolen, police said.The deceased have been identified as Sultan Singh, 50, whose daughter was get to engaged on Monday, and Raghu Verma Raja, 30, who had come to the city from Bangalore to attend the ceremony.The two were rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) trauma centre where they were declared brought dead.The car, with the registration number DL 2 AL 7285, has been recovered from the spot.The incident comes a day after a speeding Lamborghini sports car crashed on a Delhi road, killing the driver who was a real estate tycoon’s son. It also left a cyclist badly injured.last_img read more

ESPN signs Sunny, Bobby Deol to endorse Premier Hockey League

first_imgSunny with Bobby DeolThe closest Sunny and Bobby Deol have got to playing hockey is using the stick to crack skulls on screen.Still, considering the woeful awareness about the sport in India, that’s a lot.Or so thinks sports channel ESPN which signed the Deol brothers to endorse the Premier Hockey,Sunny with Bobby DeolThe closest Sunny and Bobby Deol have got to playing hockey is using the stick to crack skulls on screen.Still, considering the woeful awareness about the sport in India, that’s a lot.Or so thinks sports channel ESPN which signed the Deol brothers to endorse the Premier Hockey League that kicked off in Hyderabad on January 13. Besides shooting promos, the actors will be seen playing out their sons-of-the-soil role to push the game.”Hockey is India’s sport,” says Bobby when asked why they weren’t pushing cricket.Er, hockey is a colonial legacy too.last_img read more

Invisible man of Indian cricket Anil Kumble becomes 3rd fastest bowler to get 400 Test wickets

first_imgThe competitor: Anil Kumble has mastered the science of spinWhen this generation of cricketers has passed into the shadows of a distant pavilion, what will be made of Anil Kumble? In a country that dotes on the deeds of its starbatsmen what is to be done with him, neither batsman,The competitor: Anil Kumble has mastered the science of spinWhen this generation of cricketers has passed into the shadows of a distant pavilion, what will be made of Anil Kumble? In a country that dotes on the deeds of its starbatsmen what is to be done with him, neither batsman nor star?Dress things up, talk them down, Kumble won’t be fussed. As the invisible man in the manic market of Indian cricket, 400 Test wickets is the only endorsement he will ever want or need. It is his handshake with history, his pact with yesterday and tomorrow.Already, Kumble is the man to chase, India’s most successful spinner ever. He is only the third slow bowler to get to this exhausting milestone, the third fastest to 400 Test wickets after Mutthiah Muralitharan (72 Tests)and Richard Hadlee (80), a full 30 Tests quicker than Kapil Dev. No Indian has taken more bags of five wickets in an innings (24 times) or 10 wickets in a match (five times) – in batsmen’s terms it is like scoring hundreds.Before they even realised it, the legendary Spin Quartet had company. Kumble gave Indian bowling its Fifth Dimension. If the Quartet were magicians who held the ball on a leash, creating optical, oriental illusions, Kumble is a student of science; a physicist who understood and mastered the correlation between accuracy and pressure.He is a man of economy and depth, sparse words and hidden strength. Through the 1990s, Kumble, all jaw-jutting purpose, became the centrifugal force of India’s bowling.advertisementSpin bowlers record of IndiaHis spells were the drip-drip-drip that eventually bores a hole into the rock of resistance and cracks it open. All he asked of the batsmen overseas was runs on the board and he is a man of his word. In his last nine overseas Tests, Kumble has taken 53 wickets and India has won four of those Tests.In a team full of stars, real and imagined, he moves unnoticed, but makes a deep impression. He has returned from shoulder surgery leaner and meaner, his bowling taken apart and put together again, still demanding the highest standards of himself and others.During a TV recording break earlier this year in Sydney, Sachin Tendulkar did his version of the Doosra Kumble: the trademark whip around to an errant fielder, hands on hips, snarl on lips. The Glare being mimed was actually abruptly terminated on the field, as the target had turned out to be the normally reliable Tendulkar himself.Though Kumble tries to keep a lid on it, behind the responsible citizen, committed doer of quiet charity and donor of organs (yes all of them, pledged to the Foundation for Organ Retrieval and Transplant Education) is a bit of a character. At times even a bear with a sore head. When he is mad not even Sourav Ganguly hovers for chit-chat.If there is a message to be conveyed, the messenger nominated is the team’s Kofi Annan-at-large Rahul Dravid. For the rest of us, only when this quiet, urbane stoic turns into a pouting, barking, head-tossing grumbler do we get a glimpse of his tight, competitive coil. The moment passes, the emotion fades and hereturns to the top of his runup.In that instant of splitsecond stillness, shoulders hunched forward, ball about to be tossed up from his palm, partner, under study and rival Harbhajan Singh sees Kumble at his finest: “Anil never wavers, no matter how much a batsman goes after him. He knows that it is only a matter of one ball. He shows that it is only a matter of one ball.”So is Anil Kumble India’s greatest ever bowler ever? No need to rush to judgement. He’s not finished yet.last_img read more

As home turf advantage fades and victories dry up, blame game begins in Indian cricket

first_imgVanishing dominance: India appears more vulnerable than it has in a decadeNo matter what time of the year, in Indian cricket it is always silly season. The past three months have gone by in a blur of bruises, and pessimism hangs in the air like Kolkata’s grey winter fog.A collapse,Vanishing dominance: India appears more vulnerable than it has in a decadeNo matter what time of the year, in Indian cricket it is always silly season. The past three months have gone by in a blur of bruises, and pessimism hangs in the air like Kolkata’s grey winter fog.A collapse in batting form led to failures in four one-day tournaments. A series defeat to Australia brought the lunatics out of the asylum. The still-suspended elections left the BCCI without the pretence of credibility or care. And as India creaked, an inexperienced South African team dug its heels and nails in.When Team India catches this kind of flu, everyone who whirls around in its force field breaks into a cold sweat. Recently, a prominent agent was heard exclaiming on television, “This is not the box office, the Indian team cannot have mood swings.”Oh, but they can and they do and they have. Whichever way you like your coffee-latte, frappe or decaf-now is a good time to smell it.Never mind what has happened on foreign fields in the short game,the real tsunami is probably still around the corner. In the last 10 Tests played at home (before the Kolkata Test against South Africa) India have won only three. In the last eight home Tests, India has failed to bowl out the opposition twice five times and the visitors have crossed 350 on six occasions.Statistics up to the India vs South Africa, Kanpur TestFortress India-that mighty bastion of slow pitches that turn more viciously than roads winding up the Himalayas, unfathomable passion and roaring crowds-while not on the verge of collapse is certainly looking more vulnerable than it has in more than a decade.Captain Sourav Ganguly believes this home-turf hesitancy is because his team has not played much in India recently-only four Tests in 12 months between October 2002 and November 2003. But 2004-5 will feature no less than nine Tests and by the time the Pakistanis leave in April, we will all have our answer.As victories have dried up, the first round of finger-pointing has begun and revolved around the wickets prepared. The ruckus around a Test match surface has gone from the occasional affliction to full-blown epidemic.Predictions and speculation are followed by much prodding of soil, inspection with keys and muttered disapproval. The tracks used have turned into punching bags either for frustrated bowlers or befuddled batsmen with talk of skill taking second place.advertisementFormer India player L. Sivaramakrishnan says an Indian obsession has now in fact become a weapon for the visitors. “Overseas teams have caught onto the hype and go on about how terrible the wickets are.We then expect our spinners to perform miracles.”In the groove: The South Africans celebrate a dismissal in the Kolkata TestIndia-A coach Sandeep Patil feels the wickets of the past 24 months (after 10 tracks were relaid in 2002) are no different from those that teams played on in the 1980s. “We have always had flat and placid wickets until the ’90s when we doctored them under Ajit Wadekar. The team has had a bad run with the bat but you cannot try and create sympathy by talking about the wickets,” says Patil. The draws of the ’80s turned into a huge spike in performance in the decade that followed (see box), but accused of conspiring to trip visiting teams, he believes there is too much confusion. “We have no idea which way to go,” says Wadekar. “We want faster wickets in domestic cricket so our batsmen can play better overseas, but we want spinning wickets in Tests.” Instead of producing morechal-lenging surfaces the relaid tracks have stolen Indian tracks of their life and bounce. Exhausted by the talk, Sanjay Manjrekar recently wrote that as a policy the Indian team should make only minimal reference to the wickets before matches. “No one made a big deal about how there were cracks in Brisbane recently while the Aussies went on about Bangalore,” says Wadekar.Leg spinner Anil Kumble, whose career straddles two decades, has seen wickets change since the time hemade his debut in 1990-and not just in India. Globally he believes pitches are now weighed in the batsmen’s favour. India’s sluggish performances at home are also part of a worldwide trend of more teams travelling better than before. “What you see now in world cricket is the competitiveness and the drive to succeed outside your own comfort zones,” says former South African player and convener of selectors Omar Henry. India’s success in the ’90s raised expectations to a point where the average fan believes that a home win is a foregone conclusion. But the growing number of one-day tournaments in the past decade has seen frequent visits by overseas teams. That familiarity has bred adaptability and a change in mindset. But a home series continue to be seen through the filter of nostalgia rather than altered reality. No longer do teams come to India as timid travellers.Kolkata centurion Jacques Kallis says, “Coming to India means playing in front of large crowds, being part of the passion that the game thrives on here. We don’t get to play in front of such large crowds at home.” So there go the invisible members of the Indian team: heat, dust and Delhi belly.Great expectations: (From left) Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Anil KumbleWadekar remembers England coach Keith Fletcher spying on the touring Indians in South Africa in 1992 before England’s tour of India and declaring that his team had nothing to fear. England lost 3-0. Rather than such hubris, teams touring India now take special pains. The South Africans have spent a week at their board’s high performance centre in Pretoria where they played on wickets that had been left to dry for a week, spent time in heat rooms, and woke at 4.30 a.m. to get their body clocks accustomed to the time difference in India-measures that would have been deemed to be a bit too much 10 years ago.Apart from local point men, ice vests, Sun Tzu and mental disintegration, the Aussies have the most reliable method-sending out regular developmental and A-teams to India.For teams with less potent bowling, the prevention of defeat is seen as a victory in itself. Sivaramakrishnan says that the clean-out betweenWorld Cups makes rebuilding a priority for many teams. Only the Australians, world champs two times running, who have met India five times in six years, play with menace and intent. As batsmen have learnt, bowling tactics have changed too. “Teams set different fields to our batsmen here, they bowl to contain and frustrate and go out to attack. They see it as their best chance of getting a result or forcing a draw,” says Kumble. England bowled wide of Sachin Tendulkar’s leg stump and South Africa’s batsmen have batted with excruciating slowness, scoring at 2.6 per over in three innings. Nasser Hussain remains unapologetic about his leg theory against Tendulkar and South African coach Ray Jennings took the pragmatic view. “The way you play depends on the players you are surrounded by. It is all very well to say that Kallis should be scoring at 70 per cent strike rate. You can do that when you have Tendulkar batting behind you, but we had a debutant behind Kallis.”Teams are also aware that when India fails to bowl out visiting teams, the pressure on thehomeside begins to crank up. Harbhajan Singh defends his mates, “I don’t think we would be happy playing for draws. Playing this way won’t take the South Africans anywhere. You don’t become great by drawing matches.”advertisementadvertisementIt is a predicament the Indians understand: backs to the wall all season, they know that they too cannot aspire for greatness if they do not find a way to win more often.last_img read more

World Chess Championships: Draw takes battle down to the wire

first_imgViswanathan Anand achieved his prime objective of a draw with black pieces in the penultimate game and in the process also made Boris Gelfand sweat under time pressure in the 11th game of the World Chess Championships at the Tretyakov Gallery.The score now stands tied at 5 points each as the match heads into the 12th and final game, where the defending champion has the advantage of white pieces. Anand offered the draw in 24 moves and the match had lasted a little under two and three quarters of an hour, with Gelfand having used up an hour and 47 minutes of that.Anand not only unleashed a very rarely played move on the eighth 8… Bd7 which sent Gelfand into a problem with the clock, but later on the Indian also had a novelty Bc3 on the 11th.As the match headed towards a climax, and this being the weekend, a huge crowd turned up for the match and it spilled over outside the main hall.Two years ago in a match that put Anand under a great deal of pressure off the board, too, the Indian had successfully defended his world title by winning the 12th and final game with black pieces. This time around he has white.Considering Anand’s reputation in shorter formats, he may start as the favourite in the tiebreaker, involving rapids and maybe even Blitz games. Both players refused to be drawn into that discussion though Gelfand with a smile, said, “Vishy is the best player in all formats and that’s why he has been the world champion for so many years.”advertisementAnand admitted that he had played some Blitz games but those were not as a preparation specifically for this, and it was more routine while trying a few games. He also admitted that the thought did cross his mind, but felt that there was time (a rest day) before the tie-breaker, if it came to that.Gelfand with white pieces might have hoped to put Anand under some pressure, as he had with white in the past in this match. But this time Anand surprised him first with an eighth move that has been very rarely played. It left Gelfand thinking for more than 35 minutes, putting him under severe time strain, which may have also thwarted any thoughts he may have had of trying to play for a win.The win was never there, unless Anand made a mistake, which he indicated he was not going to in this crucial game. Despite having almost 50 minutes more on the clock, Anand realised that there really was no way black could play for a win unless Gelfand made a serious error. So, the Indian offered a draw after 24 moves and Gelfand, who then had only 13 minutes left on the clock – as against Anand’s 64 minutes – accepted the truce and sent the match into the 12th and final game.In the past, Anand has lost to Anatoly Karpov in the rapids in the 1998 title match in Lausanne and Vladimir Kramnik beat Topalov in the tie-breaker in 2006.Gelfand played white for one last time in the scheduled 12-game series. For Anand, a quick draw would mean negating Gelfand’s advantage with his last white, and in case he got some good play, it would give him an added psychological boost, however small, before the final game where the defending champion has white on Monday.Scoreboard, Game 11 Boris Gelfand (white) vs Viswanathan Anand (black) 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O- O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O- O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bd7 9. a3 Ba5 10. Qe2 Bc6 11. Rd1 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nbd7 13. Bd3 Qa5 14. c4 cxd4 15. exd4 Qh5 16. Bf4 Rac8 17. Ne5 Qxe2 18. Bxe2 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Rfd8 20. a4 Ne4 21. Rd3 f6 22. Bf4 Be8 23. Rb3 Rxd4 24. Be3 Rd7 -Aronian laughs off on Gelfand linkThere was much speculation that Levon Aronian, the world No. 2 was helping Boris Gelfand with his prematch preparation, but Aronian himself laughed it off, while neither confirming nor denying the news.Making a brief visit to the venue in Moscow on Saturday, Aronian, when asked by some media person if he had helped Gelfand, smiled and said, “Well if I was helping I should be helping both as they are playing my opening.” Then he made a few quick comments on the game and left.Aronian, who is one of the few players against whom Anand has a minus score, was on his way to Berlin for some personal work, so stayed on for a very short time. Aronian is scheduled to play the strong Tal Memorial to be held in Moscow soon after the World Championships, where the field also includes Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Teimour Radjabov, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.advertisementlast_img read more

Greg Chappell opens old wounds

first_imgFormer India coach Greg Chappell has opened old wounds, claiming that some players did not give their best when Rahul Dravid was leading the national team. Had Dravid been given “wholehearted support” by all the players, he could have gone on to become India’s most successful captain ever, says the former Australia captain.Chappell also claimed that all the team members did not enjoy the success achieved under Dravid. He made these startling revelations in an article written for the book Rahul Dravid – Timeless Steel, which was launched in Mumbai on Wednesday.”He was an excellent deputy, in that he gave wholehearted support without ever thinking he might be better than the incumbent, and when he got the job he was a much better captain than he will ever be credited with,” Chappell wrote, referring to the period when Dravid was deputy to Sourav Ganguly.”Had he been given the same wholehearted support in the role that he had given others [read Sourav Ganguly], I think the recent history of Indian cricket may have been very different and he could have gone on to become the most successful Indian captain ever,” he said.Dravid was vice-captain to Ganguly for a long time, except for once in mid-2005, when the latter was suspended by the ICC for a few ODIs for the team’s slow over rate in previous matches.Incidentally, Dravid’s assuming captaincy in Ganguly’s absence, on the tour of Sri Lanka, coincided with Chappell’s first assignment as coach.Later, when Ganguly was dropped from the team due to a lack of form, Dravid took over the reins.advertisementChappell and Ganguly shared a frosty relationship and they made no bones about their dislike for each other, leading to one of the most controversial phases in Indian cricket.The Australian quit in the aftermath of India’s early elimination from the 2007 World Cup.Chappell cites a remarkable world record winning streak by the Indian team under Dravid. He led India to 17 consecutive wins while batting second.”To learn how to get better at chasing a target, Rahul kept asking the opposition to bat first, no matter the conditions. Under his leadership, India won nine ODIs in a row against Pakistan and England, and went on to complete a world record of 17 consecutive wins batting second,” wrote Chappell.”A similar approach to Test cricket brought about India’s first overseas victory in the West Indies for 35 years and a first ever Test victory in South Africa, which could have been turned into a series win if the team had batted better in the second innings in the final Test in Cape Town.”Chappell was referring to India’s 1-0 Test series victory in the Caribbean in 2006 followed by their maiden win in the first Test in Johannesburg in 2006-07. India lost the next two matches and the series to South Africa.Chappell unashamedly admits that he liked Dravid.”Men don’t say these things, but I have a genuine affection for Rahul Dravid,” he wrote in the article.last_img read more

JRU punches Final 4 ticket

first_img“We just didn’t want to leave our fate in the hands of other teams,” said coach Vergel Meneses as the Bombers entered the Final Four for the fifth time in seven seasons.Tey Teodoro finished with 19 points, before limping off in the last two minutes due to an ankle injury, while Jed Mendoza added 10 points, including a couple of key baskets in the final period that helped put away the Cardinals.The Chiefs refused to let up in the final period even after losing top playmaker Kent Salado due to a knee injury midway in the last quarter.Salado fired 22 points, before leaving the game.“With what happened today, I need to play for us to have a chance in the Final Four,” said Salado.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges LATEST STORIES NU targets perfect tourney The win improved the Bombers’ record to 11-6, assuring them of third spot at the end of the elimination round.But the Chiefs blew the race for the remaining Final Four spot open after turning back the San Sebastian Stags, 85-79, in the second game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingWhile Letran still has the inside track for the last postseason berth with an 8-8 record, Arellano’s win forged a tie at fifth spot with San Sebastian at 7-9.Emilio Aguinaldo College remains in contention with a 6-10 record, but the Generals have to win their remaining games while hoping that no other contender goes beyond nine wins. View commentscenter_img Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Jose Rizal U punched its ticket to the Final Four, while Arellano lived to fight another day as the NCAA Season 93 playoff race took another twist on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.In cruise control for most of the game, the Heavy Bombers avoided complications with a narrow 62-58 victory over the Mapua Cardinals, leaving Letran, Arellano, San Sebastian and Emilio Aguinaldo College to fight it out for the remaining Final Four berth.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more