Google Pixel 3a XL images and specs revealed after Best Buy blunder

first_imgSections Page 4 Screen Review Key Specifications Pros Page 1 Google Pixel 3a Review Page 3 Battery Life Review There’s a headphone jack! Flagship-quality camera Fantastic display Great size Page 2 Camera Review Verdict The Pixel 3a doesn’t quite bring back the pure bargain-basement pricing structure of the brand’s once-fabled Nexus series. However, it does lower the barrier of entry for anyone wanting a fantastic camera on a smartphone. The Google Pixel 3a might yet be the perfect antidote to the £1,000 smartphone – and an answer to Google’s dwindling smartphone sales.center_img No Qi charging or water resistance Can feel slow in certain activities Screen is a little dim Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think – send your emails to the Editor. Page 5 Performance Review Review Price: £399 5.6-inch OLED display 12MP camera Snapdragon 670 4GB RAM 64GB storage USB-C 3000mAh battery The Google Pixel 3a is here, bringing with it the best camera I have ever used for a £399 phone.With flagship devices commanding ever higher prices and people choosing to upgrade their phones far less in general, cheaper handsets are becoming more important. Samsung makes one of the best Android phones on the market in the Galaxy S10 but it’s still betting big on the more affordable Galaxy A80.Google wants a slice of this pie and is attempting to get its share with the Google Pixel 3a, which offers many of the flagship Pixel 3’s features at a wallet-friendly £399 (or £469 for the larger Google Pixel 3a XL model). This is the first time since the much-loved Nexus series that Google has focused on value.The Pixel 3a’s camera is the big deal here, it sets the bar for budget phonesThe flagship Google Pixel 3 is all about the camera and so is the Pixel 3a. The idea that a smartphone costing £399 could boast a camera that’s as capable as the stunning Pixel 3 is an appealing prospect.Google has ported much of the Pixel 3’s feature set to the 3a, including use of exactly the same 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture.The camera experience is near-identical as a result – and that’s important; nothing here feels diluted or sacrificed. You’ll even find headline Pixel camera features such as Night Sight for combining low-light snaps to create a brighter image and Top Shot, too.These are the best cheap phonesMuch of what makes the camera on Pixel phones so good isn’t, in fact, the hardware; it’s the software and the AI that Google builds into the phone. There are other devices out there that feature the same camera hardware as the Pixel 3a but they can’t compete with the photos it captures.Google has brought as much of the Pixel 3 camera DNA to the 3a as it can. And while the lack of the Snapdragon 845 leads to some minor degradation in image quality, it isn’t noteworthy. Note, too, that there’s no Pixel Visual Core here – the physical chip that helps with image processing and enhancing.The Pixel 3a sets the bar for handsets in this price range when it comes to photo quality. If you’re after the best smartphone camera but aren’t prepared to spend more than £399 then this is absolutely the phone to buy.It doesn’t shoot as fast as the Pixel 3, plus there’s significantly more lag when navigating the camera app and jumping between modes, but I’m super-impressed by the quality of the images. Detail is fantastic, that familiar contrasty-style of previous Pixel phones remains and even the Portrait mode offers a clean bokeh effect around challenging elements like hair and glasses.Here are a few sample photos: When shooting in the dark, colours still popThis was in really dark conditionsLow-light photography is where the Pixel 3 shines and it’s the area where the Pixel 3a once again outshines its price. Detail is retained, colours are bright and it’s all just thoroughly impressive. For an in-depth look at the camera, check out our Google Pixel 3a camera review page. Read our Google Pixel 3a XL reviewA host of Pixel 3 features are cut for the Pixel 3a but it hangs on to some vitalsThe Pixel 3a looks very much like its pricier sibling, albeit with a smattering of cost-cutting measures. The glass and metal body has been replaced with a polycarbonate unibody. There’s only a single speaker on the front, and IP68 water-resistance is lacking – plus, the device is marginally thicker.The switch to plastic could have left this device feeling cheap – but, thankfully, this isn’t the case. The Pixel 3a mimics the regular Pixel 3’s two-tone finish and, apart from the cold touch of metal, there’s very little difference.On the rear is a single camera, flash and circular fingerprint sensor. On the front is an 18.5:9 display with rounded corners.Google hasn’t opted to completely ditch the bezel here, and as a result, the Google Pixel 3a doesn’t look particularly modern or inventive. It also lacks the charm of some of the Nexus phones of five or so years ago – the last time Google attempted to corner the budget market.This is a slab of a phone that’s lacking flair or any interesting touches. The review unit is black (or ‘Just Black’, as Google calls it). The device is also available in ‘Clearly White’ (which has a nice pop of orange on the power button) and a new ‘Purple-ish’ colour. The latter is my favourite, even though it’s far more lilac in tone.While some features have been lost, the Pixel 3a gains a headphone jack. Sitting along the top edge, the 3.5mm port makes its first appearance on a Pixel device since the original. This will be welcomed by all those who have yet to embrace the wireless future.There’s a headphone jack!Google reps told me the reason for its reintroduction makes sense at this price since buyers are less likely to have invested heavily in Bluetooth headphones.The display remains an OLED panel, which is great to see and far from a given at this price, while the FHD+ resolution results in a crisp image. Like the camera, the display here is best-in-class, with fantastic colour reproduction and viewing angles.Pixel 3a performance is the one area where there could be cause for concernWhile the tweaks have so far made little difference to me, the decision to sacrifice performance is more worrying.Instead of the Snapdragon 845 of the Pixel 3, the Google Pixel 3a uses a Snapdragon 670 chipset. This is Qualcomm’s mid-range SoC and the silicone that powers the Oppo R17 and a couple of Vivo phones.At £399 I’m not expecting Google to use top-end hardware and, of course, sacrifices are to be expected. I’d assume the company also doesn’t want to completely kill its flagship line by giving away all the goodies here. Nevertheless, this remains disappointing. Go back a few years and Google’s Nexus line rewrote the rulebook by offering those top-drawer components for less than its rivals.The Snapdragon 670 is no slouch in performance terms, and it’s supported here by 4GB of RAM here  – although this, too, now feels like the minimum amount needed to run Android well.Where I fear things might deteriorate is in a few months and years down the line. I haven’t been entirely convinced by how well Pixel phones perform over the course of a two-year contract and switching to a less-powerful chipset has the potential to make such issues more obvious.Pixel 3a battery life is as expected, matching the pricier Pixel 3Tucked inside the Pixel 3a’s plastic body is a 3000mAh battery; that’s slightly larger than the cell inside the Pixel 3.Battery life is neither standout nor disappointing. The Snapdragon 670 is an efficient chipset and the small, 5.5-inch Full HD+ display helps endurance here. Nevertheless, this is still a small battery, one that will require nightly charges and a degree of management if you’re a heavy user.An hour of streaming Netflix over Wi-Fi consumed between 9 and 11 percent of the battery, a similar figure to the Pixel 3 in the same test.More appealing is the included 18W USB-C PD charger you’ll find in the box. Again, this is the same charger included with the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, and it charges the from empty to full in roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes.Some similarly-priced phones, such as those from Honor and Huawei, do boast faster charging. However, by using the USB-C PD standard, you’re not forced to use the bundled charging to get those speeds. Any PD adapter will achieve these fast-charging speeds, including a Nintendo Switch or MacBook Air charger.Google’s own version of Android is the best software but bugs remainPixel 3a ships with the latest version of Android 9 along with the latest iteration of the Pixel Launcher. Visually, it’s identical to the software you’ll find on the flagship Pixels, and for many, that’s a good thing. With these more affordable phones – especially if you want the highest-spec devices available – you’re restricted to convoluted software from the likes of Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei.It doesn’t remove many features, either. You’ll find Pixel stalwarts such as Call Screen (the US-only self-answering phone trick), unlimited storage of your snaps in Google Photos, and the same Digital Wellbeing dashboard.Smaller, but no less welcome, features such as the always-on display (made possible by the OLED panel) and access to the Google Assistant via a squeeze of the phone’s sides also suggest that Google wants your experience with the £400 3a to be similar to using an £800 Pixel 3 phone.While Google’s software is no doubt well designed and free of the bloatware you’d find elsewhere, it can be buggy. On my Pixel 3 XL, I’ve run into countless issues with app crashes. These include an unresponsive camera and random reboots, and during my time with the Pixel 3a, a few of the same issues have arisen. RAM management seems to be the most obvious issue, with apps often dropping out of memory 10 or so minutes after they were last used. That shouldn’t be happening with 4GB of RAM onboard. Should I buy the Google Pixel 3a? By sacrificing “luxurious” features, Google has managed to squeeze the essential Pixel features into an excellent £399 phone.If you want a handset with a great camera and decent screen but aren’t so fussed about sheer speed and performance, then you’ll be very happy with the Pixel 3a.This isn’t a phone for intensive gaming or multi-day use, and you’ll still get better pure value by upping your budget to pick up a device such as the Honor View 20 or Xiaomi Mi 9. But if you value software and user experience then you’ll likely prefer the Pixel 3a.Size matters, too, as finding cheaper phones that are as small as the Pixel 3a is becoming more difficult.The Pixel 3a doesn’t quite bring back the pure bargain-basement pricing structure of the brand’s once-fabled Nexus series. However, it does lower the barrier of entry for anyone wanting a fantastic camera on a smartphone. Best Pixel 3a DealsGoogle Pixel 3a – 5GB of data on Vodafone w/ Free Acer Chromebook LaptopWith 5GB of data and unlimited calls and texts, you have everything you’ll need in one easy phone plant. The best part, though? As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get a free Acer Chromebook for your troubles. Talk about a bargain.Mobiles.co.uk|£9.99 upfront w/code|£26/monthView Deal£26/month|£9.99 upfront w/code|Mobiles.co.ukGoogle Pixel 3a – 9GB of data on EE w/ Free Acer Chromebook worth £199Giving you a moderate amount of data (enough for plenty of social media and the odd bit of streaming), this contract also gets you the free Acer Chromebook. Plus, signing up with EE nabs your six months of Apple Music and three months of BT Sport for free.Carphone Warehouse|£29 upfront|£29.99/monthView Deal£29.99/month|£29 upfront|Carphone WarehouseGoogle Pixel 3a – 10GB of data on EE w/ Free Google Home HubFor anyone who’s looking to buy into Google’s ecosystem of devices and smart products, this is the deal for you. Bagging you a brand new Google Home Hub for free, this is one of the best Pixel 3a bundles out there.EE|£10 upfront|£34/monthView Deal£34/month|£10 upfront|EE Conslast_img read more

2017 Ford Mustang GT Chases Tesla Model 3 On The Track

Watch Tesla Model 3 Set New Record At Laguna Seca 10 photos TESLA MODEL 3 PERFORMANCE Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 28, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Additionally, we get a much different perspective in this video, as we’re inside the Mustang GT following the Tesla Model 3, which seems to arrive out of nowhere and stays ahead for the entire time. If the sound of a throaty ICE engine bothers you, you may want to watch this one with the sound turned down. The note of the Mustang starts to get irritating quickly. You won’t miss anything since there’s no dialogue.Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.Video Description via NeonDude2.0 on YouTube:2017 Mustang GT Versus the Future: Tesla Model 3Following a friend in his Tesla Model 3 at a private track day at Shannonville. 2017 Mustang GT performance pack, corsa sport catback 2018 Model 3, extended range, RWDTESLA MODEL 3 Watch Tesla Model 3 Race Ford Mustang GT Watch Tesla Model 3 Performance Race … Model 3 Performance & More Check out how this Tesla Model 3 fares on the track.We’re not talking about the drag strip here. This Tesla Model 3 is out on the track with a Ford Mustang GT. The video is especially interesting since most Model 3 coverage lately has been around the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive performance variant. However, this share features the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Model 3 Long Range.Tesla Model 3 Racing Coverage: 33 photos Source: Electric Vehicle News read more

Hubject partners with MOEV to enable seamless charging

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicles Magazine Charging interoperability pioneer Hubject has partnered with Los Angeles-based startup MOEV, a provider of chargers and cloud-based energy management software. The two companies will integrate their respective platforms in order to offer consumers a full-service charging resource.Hubject’s Intercharge platform enables EV drivers to easily find, access and pay for charging stations from diverse charging networks with one account, one card, one app, and one bill.Among MOEV’s products is a quad charger that uses an AI algorithm to charge 4 EVs simultaneously using a single electrical circuit. EV drivers will now be able to use Intercharge to access MOEV’s quad charging stations at La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown Los Angeles and on the UCLA campus.“Inclusion on a widely adopted platform such as Hubject is a great added value to EV drivers, making charging easy to find and use,” said Dr. Rajit Gadh, Scientific Advisor at MOEV.“[MOEV is] working on innovative, consumer-friendly answers to EV charging challenges, making them a great fit for the Hubject community,” said Paul Glenney, North American CEO of Hubject. Source: MOEVlast_img read more

Bjorn Crowns Tesla Model 3 Efficiency King After HighSpeed Test

first_img Bjørn’s Efficiency Test: Tesla Model X Vs I-Pace Brings Mixed Results Source: Electric Vehicle News Being world-famous — in the EV world, at least — has its privileges. Nyland was graciously given the use of a Solid Black example of the all-electric, sporting 18-inch wheels and the standard aerodynamic wheel covers. To underline the generosity of the loaner, they apparently drove it up from San Diego to L.A. for Nyland’s use over the next couple of weeks.The first test saw the YouTuber take a battery-draining trip at an average speed of 90 kph (56 miles per hour). This was meant to simulate a mix of city and highway driving. The run saw him climbing to a significant altitude. Interestingly, the miles-long descent from those heights saw the car limit use of the brake regeneration. On this trip, he found the car capable of driving 560 km (348 miles) on a charge. Its official EPA range is 310 miles.The high-speed test stayed a bit closer to the L.A. area, and the footage even includes a shot of the test hyperloop tube snaking along the shoulder of the highway near SpaceX in Hawthorne. It was at the end of this test that Nyland is pretty enthusiastic about the efficiency returns he got from the Model 3. At about 120 kph (75 mph) it demonstrated an efficiency of  176 Wh/km (283 Wh/mile), indicating a range at these speeds of 260 miles.The Model 3’s only competitor in the efficiency arena appears to Nyland to be the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and he puts out a call to any L.A. owners to take part in an efficiency challenge. While we wait to see if anyone takes him up on his offer, we’ll just remind you that, while the South Korean car may demonstrate a higher efficiency, it’s also not burdened by a huge battery and enjoys a significant weight advantage to the Tesla.In the video centered on the Model 3 at the Supercharger (bottom), Nyland points out that the car can handle all the power the equipment can dish out until it reaches a state of 50 percent of charge. Then, the charging rate quickly declines. It will be interesting to see how, or if, this changes with the introduction of Supercharger V3..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Also shows its superiority at the SuperchargerOur favorite Norwegian electric vehicle YouTuber has just named the Tesla Model 3 the efficiency king. The coronation was made after Bjorn Nyland completed a couple more range tests in the Long Range Dual Motor version of the mid-size sedan. We have the video of the high-speed test above, and the “typical” speed run below. Nyland also put together a video discussing his findings with Supercharging the Tesla Model 3 (bottom). Last week, he had tested the Performance version.More efficiency testing Tesla Model S P85D Versus P85 – Efficiency Test Video Bjorn Nyland Conducts Efficiency Test On Ioniq Electric, Tesla Model S, X – Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

See Teslas New Model S X High Efficiency Drive Units

first_imgTesla is clearly proud of its new Model S and X drive units and updates to its V3 Supercharging and adaptive suspension.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

Hunton Williams Extends Lease at Fountain Place in Dallas

first_imgThe terms of the 88,000 square foot lease are in effect through June 30, 2027 . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Username Passwordcenter_img Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Lost your password?last_img

Search and Rescue Field Exercises Planned for Appleatchee Trails AreaOur Future Will

first_imgHikers around the Appleatchee Trails area near Saddlerock shouldn’t be concerned if they notice other hikers behaving oddly Saturday.Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue (CCVSAR) will be conducting field exercises from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm April 20th.Training includes mock evidence and subject searches, litter handling, radio communications and wilderness navigation using compass and GPS devices. Officials from Chelan County Emergency Management will be there to help volunteers, as will dog teams and ATV riders.CCVSAR is a nonprofit first-responder organization that works close with local law enforcement to search for missing or injured persons in the wilderness and recreation areas of North Central Washington. They also deliver evacuation notices and help with disaster response.For more information regarding the Saturday filed exercieses or general CCVSAR inquiries, visit their website at ccvsar.org.last_img read more

Research suggests new target for malaria vaccine

first_imgJul 9 2018Researchers have shown that higher levels of Plasmodium falciparum antibodies are protective against severe malaria in children living in Papua New Guinea. Children who have higher levels of antibodies to a specific short amino acid sequence in the malaria parasite, P. falciparum, have much lower rates of clinical and severe malaria. This amino acid sequence, an antigen, is similar among P. falciparum strains elsewhere in the world, suggesting that this antigen would make a good target for a malaria vaccine. The research is published in Infection and Immunity, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.This work shows that people who lack immunity to the malaria parasite are more likely to experience malaria symptoms. These people could be identified by their relative lack of antibodies to this antigen, said corresponding author Alyssa Barry, BSc (Hons), PhD, Associate Professor, and a group leader within the Population Health and Immunity Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsThat amino acid sequence, known among scientists as the ICAM1 binding motif, is critical to the virulence of the malaria parasite because it can bind to the tiniest blood vessels in the brain, known as the microvasculature. There the parasite remains hidden from the host’s immune system, causing a severe case of cerebral malaria by blocking the blood vessels and causing inflammation. The ICAM1-binding motif can vary slightly in sequence and still bind tightly, and it is a strong candidate for a vaccine target. (image: P. falciparum gametocytes)In the study, the investigators measured antibody responses to the ICAM1-binding motif. The subjects of this study were 187 children ages 1-3, from Papua New Guinea. Once the measurements were taken, the investigators followed the children for 16 months to determine the incidence of malaria over time.Antibody responses to the ICAM1-binding motif were associated with 37 percent less risk of high-density clinical malaria during follow-up. (A high density of the parasite in an infection is necessary, but not sufficient to cause a severe case of malaria.) Children who had severe cases of malaria during follow-up showed significantly lower levels of antibody to those sequences.Globally, more than 200 million cases of malaria occur annually, and the disease kills an estimated 400,000 annually, according to the report. Children are hardest hit.Source: https://www.asm.org/index.php/newsroom/item/7361-research-suggests-new-vaccine-candidates-for-malarialast_img read more

Study Social disparities linked with higher prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/andrologia/study-examines-relationship-between-social-disparities-and-benign-prostatic Aug 22 2018In an Andrologia study of 100,000 men in Korea, social disparities–such as low education level and low household income, current or previous use of medical aid health insurance, blue-collar employment or unemployment, divorce, and low social capital of communities–were all linked with a higher prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that is characterized by an enlarged prostate due to aging, lower urinary tract blockage, and other factors.The authors noted that developing and disseminating health programs based on the community may contribute to positive perceptions of community and social activities, thus facilitating BPH prevention and improving the quality of life of patients with BPH.last_img read more

A noncanonical approach may improve radiation treatment for cancer

first_img Source:http://www.uchospitals.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 28 2018Although the success or failure of radiation therapy for cancer has long been associated with the intrinsic radio-resistance or radio-sensitivity of tumor cells, a new approach is demonstrating that radiation can take credit for an additional benefit -; causing highly effective secondary immune responses that can enhance anti-tumor immunity.In the past decade, researchers Ralph Weichselbaum and Yang Xin Fu have promoted the concept that how the host immune system interacts with therapeutic radiation is just as important as radiation itself. The cellular carnage caused by radiation attracts scavengers, such as dendritic cells. These warriors chew up radiation-damaged cancer cells and present the fragments to T cells that dismantle them.In the September 18, 2018 issue of the journal Immunity -; available online August 28 -; the Weichselbaum-Fu collaboration demonstrates how specific interactions between therapeutic radiation and a potential patient’s innate and adaptive immune responses can improve cancer treatment.The researchers focused on how two versions of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway respond to radiation therapy in opposing ways. NF-κB1, first described in 1986 by Nobel laureate David Baltimore, was proposed as a major regulator of the immune system’s B cells. This canonical pathway -; and the less known ‘non-canonical’ pathway -; have become a major focus for a variety of areas in biology, including inflammation, immunity and cancer.”Inhibiting what is known as the canonical NF-κB family has been shown to increase cancer cell killing in tissue culture and has become an area of investigation to improve cancer radiotherapy,” said Weichselbaum, MD, professor and chairman of radiation oncology at the University of Chicago. “But despite extensive investigation,” he added, “earlier results from these studies failed to improve the response to radiotherapy in animals or humans.”In the current study, teams led by Weichselbaum and Fu, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, worked with mice to show that disrupting this pathway actually makes radiotherapy less effective. It inhibits rather than enhances the immune system.Instead, they found that interfering with the non-canonical NF-κB pathway improved the effects of radiotherapy by enhancing the immune system’s ability to interact with radiation. Their findings, obtained in genetic models in mice, were buttressed by biochemical studies. The results suggest novel ways to improve treatment by combining radiation and immunotherapy.Related StoriesResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer risk”When we irradiate tumor cells, the immune system essentially gobbles up the DNA they release,” Weichselbaum said. The damaged DNA attracts a series of enzymes. These activate a pathway called STING, that recognizes viral and bacterial DNA. “We were surprised to find that it also responded to damaged exogenous DNA,” said Weichselbaum.When they blocked NF-κB, the tumors in the mice got worse instead of better. The immune system in those mice was impaired. When the researchers blocked the non-canonical NF-κB pathway, however, the animals’ tumors were more easily eradicated with radiation.”A lot of drug discovery has been focused on blocking the canonical NF-κB pathway, Weichselbaum said, “but now we think that this impairs the host immune system, whereas blocking the non-canonical NF-κB pathway can improve the host’s immune system.””We have learned that radiation therapy does depend on DNA damage and repair,” Fu added. “The host immune system seems to have a lot to do with whether or not radiation works. So by blocking that alternative pathway, rather than the pathway everyone’s been focusing on, we think we can get better radio-sensitizing agents, and better results.”This whole interaction between radiation and the immune system is “counterintuitive,” Weichselbaum added. “The notion that radiation supplements the immune system is still somewhat controversial,” he said.The damaged DNA “is seen by the immune system as almost like a virus,” he said. “The immune system responds as if it were a viral infection, which boosts the overall response. We think this could lead to a whole new therapeutic strategy. Our mice are often cured.”The authors caution that their work, still in animal models, is preliminary.”We’re looking for ways to develop it for people,” Weichselbaum said. “It works even better when we add checkpoint inhibitors. This could become a novel combination approach to improving cancer treatment.”last_img read more

Investigational nasal influenza vaccine tested in children and teens

first_img Source:https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/experimental-nasal-influenza-vaccine-tested-kids-teens Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 17 2018An early-stage clinical trial testing the safety and immune-stimulating ability of an experimental nasal influenza vaccine in healthy 9- to 17-year-old children and teens has begun enrolling participants at a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) site at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The VTEU is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone over six months of age. However, because the flu virus changes from year to year, vaccines must be reformulated annually to take account of those changes. When mismatches occur, vaccine effectiveness may suffer. “We are hopeful that newer kinds of influenza vaccines, such as the candidate being tested in this trial, will provide protection even if their components do not precisely match the currently circulating influenza virus strains,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.Related StoriesVaccine drama on display in California’s CapitolUM scientists receive $3.3 million NIH contract to develop opioid addiction vaccineResearchers develop improved vaccine for meningitis and bloodstream infectionsPrincipal investigator Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., leads the clinical trial, which will enroll 50 participants. Half will receive the candidate nasal vaccine and the other half will receive a dose of inactive saline solution delivered as nasal spray. Neither the study staff nor volunteers will know whether a participant has received the experimental vaccine or placebo saline solution. All volunteers will receive an intramuscular injection of a licensed, quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine three months after receiving the initial nasal vaccine or placebo. An important objective of the study is to determine whether the combination of the licensed and experimental vaccine leads to broader protection against influenza viruses compared with the licensed vaccine alone. Investigators will perform an array of tests on volunteer blood samples at four time points following the first vaccination as well as three weeks after the second vaccination. They will look for evidence of immune responses from antibody-producing cells as well as from the cellular arm of the immune system.The investigational vaccine, developed by FluGen, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, is made from a strain of seasonal influenza virus (H3N2) that has been genetically designed to replicate only once in the body. Studies in animals showed that the “single replication” virus does not cause disease but nevertheless prompted a robust immune response akin to that of a natural influenza infection. Investigators hypothesize that volunteers who receive the candidate vaccine will have a robust immune response not only against H3N2 strains that match those in the vaccine but also against influenza strains that are mismatched to the vaccine strain. A previous Phase 1 trial of this candidate vaccine in healthy adults showed that it was safe and generated a robust immune response and a Phase 2 trial in healthy adults is currently underway (that trial is not supported by NIAID.)last_img read more

Bad luck and cancer A science reporters reflections on a controversial story

first_imgReporters, if anything, fared worse. “Please, journalists, get a clue before you write about science,” pleaded an irate column in The Guardian, co-authored by an evolutionary biologist who goes by the Twitter handle @GrrlScientist and statistician Bob O’Hara at the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt, Germany.Given the furor, I wondered: Had I gotten it wrong? Had the authors? Answering these apparently straightforward questions proved surprisingly difficult, exposing the challenges that come with communicating science, and the desire by scientist-authors and reporters to streamline the story they’re trying to tell.I began with my own story, working backward to the science that spawned it. I’d written that the theory of random mutations in stem cells “explained two-thirds of all cancers.” Immediately, I knew that I had written part of that sloppily, to put it generously: The study didn’t include all cancers. In fact, it didn’t include two of the most common, prostate and breast, because the authors weren’t able to pin down the size of the stem cell compartment or the frequency of stem cell divisions in those tissues. Although my piece subsequently noted the number of cancer types in the study, I should have stressed the omissions early on.Still, was “two-thirds” referring to the number of cases of cancers the study did include, as I and other journalists had suggested—or to something else? Journalists like numbers that abridge a study down to a bullet point. I’d wondered immediately if this two-thirds finding might be one such nugget. Tomasetti had explained to me in a lengthy interview that “if you go to the American Cancer Society website and you check what are the causes of cancer, you will find a list of either inherited or environmental things. We are saying two-thirds is neither of them.” I’d run the text of my “two-thirds” sentence by him prior to publication and he had had no objections (he had other clarifications).Last week, we spoke again. Tomasetti had received more than 200 e-mails. Parents of children who had died of cancer were grateful that it might have occurred entirely by chance, suggesting that there was nothing they could have done. Biologists and statisticians were disputing his conclusions or simply surprised that so much of cancer might be random.“We did not claim that two-thirds of cancer cases are due to bad luck,” Tomasetti told me gently. What the study argued, he explained, was that two-thirds of the variation in cancer rates in different tissues could be explained by random bad luck (a point made by others). What exactly did that mean, I wondered? Tomasetti, chatting by phone, had me draw some graphs to help me understand. By the end of the hour, I still wasn’t sure I grasped the essence.Tomasetti was sympathetic. “There are lots of scientists that need clarification” on this paper, he said, along with some statisticians. He was busy preparing a technical report with additional details, and Johns Hopkins had just put out a press release explainer. “I honestly feel—and that’s what I told the BBC, and you can definitely quote me on this—overall, the reporters who interacted with us made a very honest and sincere effort to be as accurate as possible.”It was only after more hours spent on interviews that I finally understood the two-thirds figure. Some tissues are overtaken by cancer more readily than others, and mutations accumulating in stem cells explained two-thirds of that variability, Tomasetti and Vogelstein had concluded. It was my “aha” moment, and it came too late—after my original deadline.I contacted some of the critics. “I just reread your article, and I don’t think it falls into the bad category (at worst, it skirts around the lip without dropping in),” wrote O’Hara, an author of the Guardian piece, in an e-mail—confusing me further, for hadn’t I goofed up? By phone, he explained that one of his quibbles was the word “luck”—present in the paper’s abstract, emphasized by the authors, and highlighted in nearly every news story. It sounded sexy, but O’Hara considered it inaccurate, because virtually all cancer is a product of luck in some sense.“It’s too easy to blame the media,” said David Spiegelhalter, a biostatistician at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who had blogged about the story. (“Your article was fine,” he assured me.) In this case, he felt, “the gist of the coverage is very reasonable—most cases of cancer are due to chance.”That said, errors were made along the way, a fact that didn’t surprise him. “This is incredibly difficult stuff,” Spiegelhalter continued. “I do feel for you. It’s one of those things that’s so superficially simple, and yet the superficial simplicity is not correct.”The paper’s authors, many felt, were also guilty of trying too hard to craft a simple message. The paper included a visually arresting diagram splitting cancers into green and blue categories. The green were cancers “mainly due” to random mutations—suggesting, the authors wrote, that they were less likely to be prevented by changes in behavior or diet. However, that category included esophageal cancer and melanoma, both of which are thought to have strong links to environmental drivers such as heavy alcohol consumption and sun exposure, respectively.Melanoma sat just slightly inside the green border—but still, it was green, which left many readers exercised. “They’ve ignored some of the fundamental lifestyle factors,” said Graham Colditz, a cancer prevention specialist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Obviously, they had good intentions,” said Anne McTiernan, a physician and epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. But, she continued, the authors assumed that a correlation between the number of stem cell divisions and cancer risk meant one was causing the other, something their data couldn’t prove. Tomasetti agreed that this is correct—but he notes that “all the biology we have on this topic supports” the idea that a buildup of random mutations in healthy cells can initiate cancer. Some scientists argued that the graph carried a missive for prevention, with huge risk gaps between a cancer driven by the environment or genetics—such as lung cancer in smokers or head and neck cancer linked to human papillomavirus—and cancer at the same site without a clear cause.The nuances were many. Even if they quibble on the details, most would agree that random mutations play a real role in cancer – but so do many other things. Despite the furor, this common ground is shared by both the paper’s authors and its critics. “This is a really fascinating pattern that they’ve observed, but it is a small message,” says Timothy Rebbeck, a cancer prevention specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. “It doesn’t exclude the ability to prevent and treat cancer. It doesn’t exclude our need to better understand the causes of cancer.” The paper’s bottom line wasn’t simple, but the message for me was: Science is complicated, and people care deeply about the biology of diseases that affect their loved ones and themselves. Distilling the story—with space constraints, with a desire for clear writing that will hold readers’ attention and help them understand—carries risks for scientists and for journalists. They are ones I hope never to forget—even if I err now and again.Revised, 2:53pm, 1/14/15: This story has been revised to remove references to unpublished letters to Science. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe We reporters—or this one, at any rate—often fail to anticipate which stories will grip readers and which will quickly fade into oblivion. Given that, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that a story I saw off to the printing press in the lull between Christmas and New Year’s engendered more comments than any other I’ve written.The piece, which appeared online with the headline “The simple math that explains why you may (or may not) get cancer” (and in the magazine’s News section with the headline “The bad luck of cancer”), described a paper published in the 2 January issue of Science. As I and many other journalists explained, the study suggested that simple “bad luck”—random mutations accumulating in healthy stem cells—could explain about two-thirds of cancers, exceeding the risk conferred by environmental and genetic factors combined. One message was that some cancers could not be prevented and that detecting them early was key to combating them.Readers wasted little time in skewering the authors, mathematician Cristian Tomasetti and cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Their statistics were faulty, some argued; they included many rare cancers and left out several common ones. Earlier today, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, put out an unusual press release stating it “strongly disagrees” with the report. The agency said that “nearly half of all cancer cases worldwide can be prevented.” It charged that the authors’ push for early detection “if misinterpreted … could have serious negative consequences from both cancer research and public health perspectives.”center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Monster black hole born shortly after big bang

first_imgAll galaxies are thought to have supermassive black holes at their center. These start out small—with masses equivalent to between 100 and 100,000 suns—and build up over time by consuming the gas, dust, and stars around them or by merging with other black holes to reach sizes measured in millions or billions of solar masses. Such binge eating usually takes billions of years, but a team of astronomers was stunned to discover what is, in galactic terms, a monstrous baby: a gigantic black hole of 12 billion solar masses in a barely newborn galaxy, just 875 million years after the big bang. The researchers report online in Nature today that they were scouring through several astronomical surveys looking for bright objects in the very early universe called quasars, galaxies that burn very bright because their central black holes are consuming material so fast. The monster they found (depicted in this artist’s impression) is roughly 3000 times the size of our Milky Way’s central black hole. To have grown to such a size in so short a time, it must have been munching matter at close to the maximum physically possible rate for most of its existence. Its large size and rate of consumption also makes it the brightest object in that distant era, and astronomers can use its bright light to study the composition of the early universe: how much of the original hydrogen and helium from the big bang had been forged into heavier elements in the furnaces of stars.last_img read more

Breaking bad at NIST

first_imgThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) appears to have been the unwitting victim of a real-life Walter White, the meth-cooking chemistry teacher in the hit television show Breaking Bad. A weekend explosion at the federal laboratory’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus was linked yesterday to the production of methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant often “cooked” in home laboratories. Federal and local law enforcement agencies are now investigating how the explosion happened and whether a NIST security guard injured in the blast might have been involved.“Just as in any investigation … we’re interviewing possible witnesses and letting the evidence take us just where it should,” said Montgomery County Police Department spokesman Captain Paul Starks, who added that no charges have been filed and no suspects publicly identified. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe On Saturday, 18 July, an explosion rocked the NIST campus around 6:45 p.m., injuring the security guard and sending the institute’s fire and police forces flocking to the scene, Starks said. The explosion happened at “special projects” building 236, a smaller facility with laboratories reserved for particularly hazardous research. According to NIST spokeswoman Gail Porter, the lab in question was not in use at the time of the incident, but was transitioning from combustion research to a new project.The guard, who suffered non–life-threatening burns, resigned on 19 July, Porter said.The Associated Press has reported that Epsom salts and other materials associated with meth production were found in the lab, whereas one local television news station quoted federal law enforcement sources saying that pseudoephedrine, drain opener, and a recipe for meth were also found. Citing the ongoing investigation—which is being carried out jointly by Montgomery County and the Drug Enforcement Agency—Starks said only that “some evidence” indicates that drugs such as methamphetamine were being manufactured. He would not confirm whether materials used for the creation of controlled substances were being stored on the property or brought onto the property.Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), chairman at the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, got involved today, expressing grave concern over the incident in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. NIST is part of the Commerce Department.“I am troubled by the allegations that such dangerous and illicit activity went undetected at a federal research facility. It is essential that we determine exactly where the breakdown in protocol occurred and whether similar activities could be ongoing at other federal facilities,” wrote Smith in an accompanying press release. He has requested a briefing with NIST no later than 29 July.last_img read more

First northern lights seen outside the solar system

first_imgAurorae—also known as the northern and southern lights—decorate the sky when energetic electrons hit Earth’s upper atmosphere. Now, as astronomers report online today in Nature, they’ve seen the same phenomenon on a dim sun located 18.5 light years away in the constellation Lyra. LSR J1835+3259 is either a red dwarf (a small star burning hydrogen) or a brown dwarf (a “failed star” that can’t sustain nuclear fusion) spinning every 2.84 hours. As the object turns, the aurorae—shown in this artist’s conception as a bright ring around the top pole—come in and out of view, altering the amount of visible light and radio waves astronomers detect. Although northern lights also exist on giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, the newly discovered aurorae are thousands of times more powerful; furthermore, the same electrons that trigger these aurorae may drive weather patterns on brown dwarfs, some of which have clouds.last_img read more

Why Europe may ban the most popular weed killer in the world

first_imgWho uses glyphosate?Just about everyone who hates weeds. The herbicide is widely sprayed to fight weeds along railroad tracks, in backyards, city streets, parks, and elsewhere. Many kinds of agriculture rely on glyphosate as well—and farmers are by far the biggest users. (Sales skyrocketed in the United States and Latin America after Monsanto and other companies genetically modified soybeans and other crops to withstand the effects of glyphosate. That means farmers can easily kill weeds without harming their crops.) The herbicide has done more than benefit farmers’ profits; glyphosate has also curbed soil erosion by facilitating no-till agriculture, the practice of spraying fields before planting instead of plowing up weeds.Why is it controversial?Environmental advocates have long worried about health effects of pesticides and herbicides, including glyphosate. The U.K. Soil Association, for example, wants a ban on pre-harvest spraying of wheat fields, a practice that kills green heads of wheat and allows an earlier harvest, but also leaves residues of glyphosate in the grain. Trace amounts have been found in bread and beer, causing anxiety among consumers. If you’re a chemical company selling herbicides in Europe, it’s very bad news to mess with the perceived purity of food.What makes glyphosate a big issue in Europe right now?A bombshell report. Like other regulatory agencies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviews the science on pesticides and herbicides every decade or so. If the evidence still suggests that the chemical is safe enough, EFSA allows member nations to decide whether or how they want to make it available. EFSA was in the process of reviewing glyphosate, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—which independently gathers health data for the World Health Organization—declared glyphosate  a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. Nongovernmental organizations began a vigorous campaign to prevent the reregistration of glyphosate. Meanwhile, chemical companies and agricultural trade groups defended its safety record, pointing out that every regulatory agency had given glyphosate a green light. Wait, why didn’t the health reviews of glyphosate come to the same conclusions?One reason is that they ask different questions. IARC evaluates the hazard of a chemical—in this case, whether it could cause cancer. It does not ask how likely that is to happen, or in how many people. Regulatory agencies like EFSA also evaluate the risk of harm, depending on factors such as the toxicity and the way people are exposed to a chemical. Given the trace amounts of glyphosate that people typically ingest, EPA and other regulators have concluded that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer or other harm. IARC noted “limited evidence” of a cancer risk to farm workers, but regulators have not been convinced that glyphosate is a danger there either.Is that the only difference between IARC and the other reviews?There’s also an issue of transparency and trust. IARC only considers peer-reviewed scientific papers and government studies. Regulatory agencies also look at unpublished and confidential studies conducted by and for the herbicide manufacturers. Industry critics are highly skeptical of such data.It’s not just about cancer, is it?No. Many Europeans are worried about the environmental impact as well. And glyphosate has come to symbolize industrial agriculture and corporate control of food and farming. Europeans who value locally-owned agriculture and organic farms (which can’t use glyphosate and other synthetic agro-chemicals) are more likely to support a ban, regardless of whether glyphosate causes cancer or not. But the only “easy” legal mechanism to clamp down on glyphosate is because of its alleged human health risk.What happens next?So far there’s been a deadlock. The decision was in the hands of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF), which is made up of representatives from the European Union’s 28 member states. But PAFF has failed to reach a majority in several past meetings, even as the proposals were scaled back to ever-shorter reapproval periods for glyphosate. On 23 June, an appeals committee will vote. It may decide to renew the approval for a short period, say 1 year, to keep glyphosate available while the debate continues. Without a qualified majority deciding to renew, the approval will expire on 30 June, and the compound will have to be taken off the market in all E.U. countries.And what would happen then?Industry’s Glyphosate Task Force warns of dire consequences, such as rising food prices, falling exports, and crop yields dropping by 5% (for oilseed rape) to 40% (for sugar beets). Environmental advocates point to alternative strategies for weed control, including mowing, plowing, and rotating crops. Other herbicides are available, but they’re not as effective. Without glyphosate, fighting weeds will get more expensive and more complicated. It’s hard to find an herbicide like glyphosate. It’s cheap, highly effective, and is generally regarded as one of the safest and most environmentally benign herbicides ever discovered. But a report last year that glyphosate could cause cancer has thrown its future into jeopardy. Now the European Union faces a 30 June deadline to reapprove its use, or glyphosate will not be allowed for sale. Here’s a quick explanation of the issues.last_img read more

Groundbreaking deal makes large number of German studies free to public

first_img A precise formula for the fee has been agreed on but at Wiley’s request will only be made public, along with other details in the contract, in 30 days, Meijer says. However, the total payment should be roughly what German institutes have been paying Wiley in subscription fees so far, Meijer says.The contract is the first between a publisher and a leading research nation to implement the shift to open access, Wiley Managing Editor Guido Herrmann said at a press conference here this morning. “We are convinced this is an important and special moment in the movement to more open access and open science,” he said. Under the contract, Wiley and Project DEAL will also launch a new interdisciplinary open-access journal together, hold an annual symposium for young researchers on the future of research communications, and start a development group tasked with “innovating and accelerating new approaches.”“It’s quite impressive,” says Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s special envoy on open access in Geneva, Switzerland. “It’s a great day for German science, a great day for European science, and it’s a great day for global science.”The deal will likely turn up the pressure on Elsevier and Springer, the other two publishers Project DEAL has been negotiating with. Although there is a transitional agreement with Springer as negotiations continue, talks with Elsevier appear stalled, and hundreds of scientific institutions lost access to the publisher’s journals, including, at the beginning of this year, the Max Planck Society.Negotiations with Wiley took a long time because the devil was in the details. For instance, the deal applies to all papers whose corresponding author works at one of the German institutions—but what if a paper has two corresponding authors, or a corresponding author changes his affiliation between the time a paper is submitted and accepted? Meijer says agreements were reached on many such details, but that it was impossible to foresee every possible scenario. “The phrase that occurs the most in this contract is probably ‘in good faith,’” he says.For Wiley, founded in 1807, it was a matter of adapting to the rapidly changing world of academic publishing, says Judy Verses, the company’s executive vice president of research. “With the changes in the market going on, you basically have two choices: You can decide that you are going to get in the front seat and drive, or you can be in the back seat and maybe not be comfortable with where it is taking you.” By Kai KupferschmidtJan. 15, 2019 , 4:45 PM Davide Bonazzi/@SalzmanArt Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Groundbreaking deal makes large number of German studies free to public BERLIN—Three years ago, a group of German libraries, universities, and research institutes teamed up to force the three largest scientific publishers to offer an entirely new type of contract. In exchange for an annual lump sum, they wanted a nationwide agreement making papers by German authors free to read around the world, while giving researchers in Germany access to all of the publishers’ online content.Today, after almost 3 years of negotiations, the consortium, named Project DEAL, can finally claim a success: This morning, it signed a deal with Wiley, an academic publisher headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey.Under the 3-year contract, scientists at more than 700 academic institutions will be able to access all of Wiley’s academic journals back to 1997 and to publish open access in all of Wiley’s journals. The annual fee will be based on the number of papers they publish in Wiley journals—about 10,000 in previous years, says one of the negotiators, physicist Gerard Meijer of the Fritz Haber Institute, a Max Planck Society institute here. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Major TV Series set in Middle Earth of Lord of the Rings

first_imgMany of us do not cease to wonder how it would feel to explore Middle-earth. The idea of walking through Tolkien’s fictional land, situated between Aman and the Land of the Sun, perhaps meeting Elves, Ainurs, Dwarfs and adorable Hobbits, sounds like a dream to many of us. Tolkien had us fall in love with his dream-land and follow his heroes on their journeys. The movies made us feel a bit closer to how it might have looked when Tolkien was imagining his fable. However, some of us were left wanting even more. In that case Amazon has got your back. In November 2017, Amazon beat Netflix and HBO to win a $250 million rights deal to produce at least five seasons of a Lord of the Rings TV series, writes Alex Flood for NME.Ian McKellen In Lord of The Rings (Getty Images)The twitter account for the series came to life on February 13th with Tolkien’s quote in which he described the creation of the fantastical world of Middle-earth that we came to love: “I wisely started with a map.” In this fashion, Amazon decided to tease future viewers of the series.Fans all over the world are already worked up, counting the days until the release — which is slated to happen sometime in 2021, according to NME.Middle Earth Map. Photo by OffensiveArtist CC BY SA 4.0Links to a series of interactive maps of Middle-earth have been posted on LOTRonPrime social media, along with lines from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epigraph to The Lord of the Rings which begins:“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky”.The series itself is shrouded in mystery with not much detail of its release being shared on the internet. The only firm detail so far is that Star Trek film writing team J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been brought onboard as showrunners.Map of Middle Earth. Photo by Cory Denton CC BY 2.0The possible involvement of Peter Jackson on this project is still a matter of speculation; while news outlets including IGN Germany reported in June 2018 that Jackson would be “putting the creative team [behind the series] together,” Digital Spy approached his agent who, they write, “told us [on Thursday, June 7th] that the director is not involved in Amazon’s project at this time.”In a December 2018 interview for Comicbook, Jackson said “I don’t have thoughts on it because I haven’t seen [anything]. I think they’re going to send us some scripts to see if we can help them along. I wish them all the best and if we can help them we certainly will try. It’s a big task.”With so many unknown facts and without precise details, LOTR fans are left to ponder over the meaning of the map. Many started doing so immediately, and soon began hotly debating what the storyline for the first series will be about, based on their interpretation of the map.Matamata, New Zealand – 7 January 2013: A hobbit hole in The Shire at Hobbiton.Rumors that it will focus on a young Aragorn could be dashed, wrote TheOneRing.net on February 21st, because “the region widely known as Rohan is designated as Calenardhon,” but “Aragorn wasn’t born until … over 400 years after the region was renamed.”The downloadable maps are drawn in the beloved Tolkien-like style that served to guide readers through his fictional world. They allow fans to zoom in and scroll around to familiarize themselves with the layout of the land.The first map to be released featured no text, leaving fans to compare it to Tolkien’s own drawings. Two more updated versions were subsequently added to the site, each with a little more detail in terms of place names. We anticipate that more will be added as the release date grows closer.J.R.R. Tolkien. Getty ImagesThe task in front of the creators of the series is huge, as the rendition must be perfect in order to compete with both Tolkien’s and Jackson’s masterpieces. Devoted fans, many of whom are experts on the entire history and lore of Middle-earth are already studying the map and they will sure be very detailed in judging the upcoming series.Read another story from us: A remarkable pair of letters from Tolkien to Mary Fairburn, an artist who sent him several scenes from “Lord of the Rings,” sold at an auctionIt seems that the Amazon crew is aware of this as they have already spent $250 million on a deal with the Tolkien Estate when purchasing the rights. So far, it has been the most ambitious project to come from Amazon Studios.last_img read more

Pune Cop on duty abducted thrashed by three 1 held

first_img Pune man arrested for raping woman after promising to cure her husband: police Related News Pune: City units of political parties gear up for Maharashtra polls Army recruitment scam: Probe reveals involvement of three serving jawans, one posted in Pune Advertising Mumbai: 2 held for ‘killing’ man after spat over spending salary on alcohol The arrested accused has been identified as Jagannath Dinbandhu Roy (32), a resident of Nande in Mulshi taluka. (Representational)Three persons driving in a car, without a number plate, allegedly abducted a policeman on duty from Sinhagad Road, thrashed him, snatched his walkie-talkie, threatened to throw him off a bridge before leaving him in Bavdhan area on Sunday night. According to the police, the victim, identified as Sachin Sarjerao Tanpure, police naik attached to Sinhagad Road police station, lodged a complaint in the case at the police station. By Express News Service |Pune | Published: July 16, 2019 8:41:16 am Advertising Police said that around 8.40 pm, Tanpure, who was working as beat marshal along with one more policeman at Abhiruchi Police Chowky, saw a car with no number plate “moving suspiciously” near Hotel Nikhara on Sinhagad Road.Police said the beat marshals found that three persons inside the car were allegedly consuming liquor. When Tanpure asked them to come to Abhiruchi Police Chowky for inquiry, the trio allegedly attacked him.They allegedly pulled Tanpure inside the car and drove towards Pune-Mumbai Highway via Pryeja city, said police. They then allegedly thrashed Tanpure, snatched his cell phone and walkie-talkie and threatened to kill him by throwing him off a bridge on the way, said police. When they reached Bavdhan, they left Tanpure out of the car and fled the spot, said police. On receiving information, a team from Sinhagad Road police station, comprising Senior Inspector Duryodhan Pawar, Inspector Dada Gaikwad and others started an investigation into the matter.The police have booked the three suspects under sections 353, 363, 323, 504 and 506 (1) of the Indian Penal Code. The police team soon identified the accused and arrested one of them. The arrested accused has been identified as Jagannath Dinbandhu Roy (32), a resident of Nande in Mulshi taluka. “Search has been launched for his accomplices — Sachin Ranavde and Mayur Arun Mate,” said Police Sub-inspector Shivdas Gaikwad, who is investigating the case further. 1 Comment(s)last_img read more