See Teslas New Navigate On Autopilot Feature In Action

Here are first few videos of the system in action – not the best, but that’s what we’ve found for now (we will be scanning for more) as it is the first such feature of this type in the world, we believe..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%; }.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%; } Summon Comes To Tesla Model 3 Via Latest Update Tesla Autopilot will change lanes on its own.The latest v9 over-the-air software update upgrades Tesla’s Autopilot system, by adding a new feature Navigate on Autopilot (Beta). It enables the car to change lines, as well as enter and exit highways automatically, if needed to reach a destination more quickly without any action from the driver. It should be able to overtake other cars by itself,too.Of course the driver first needs to set navigation, engage Autopilot and allow Autopilot to do so, which requires reading a disclaimer. Settings enables to change lines without confirmation (yes/no) and separately speed based lane changes (disabled, mild, average, mad max).See Also Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 29, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Tesla Calls On Employees To Test Full Self-Driving Tesla Camera As Built-In Dashcam Part Of V9 Update Source: Electric Vehicle News read more

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BMW Invests Big Bucks To Prep Factory For i4 EV

first_img In November BMW Notes Decline Of Plug-In Electric Car Sales In U.S. The idea to produce several models of different types (conventional ICE, plug-in hybrids and all-electric) in the cramped Munich plant maybe saves some cost and adds flexibility (in case of market developments), but it also brings new challenges: BMW To Start Manufacturing Electric Car Batteries In Thailand In 2019 BMW invests €200 million in Munich plant to handle i4 productionBMW decided that the upcoming BMW i4 (based on the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept) will be produced from 2021 in its headquarters – in the Munich plant in Germany.To make that happen, BMW needs to invest around €200 million ($226 million), to adapt the facility for another model (on top of BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and M4). That comes on top of more than €700 million already invested in the past three years (expansion of the body shop and the assembly and building a completely new paint shop).More from BMW Source: BMW via Green Car Congress “The integration of the BMW i4 requires extensive measures, especially in body shop and vehicle assembly. The body concept of the vehicle differs significantly from the architectures of the models previously produced in the Munich plant. For example, the high-voltage battery of the BMW i4 in bodywork requires an almost completely independent floor assembly including rear triangle.The task of the planning specialists is to design the complexly linked production lines so that the more than 1,000 robots can not only produce the bodies of the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and M4 every minute, but also the special body of the BMW i4.The integration of the BMW i4 also poses assembly challenges. And here too, among other things, the battery plays an important role. In order to be able to install the high-voltage accumulator in the vehicle, the planners have to accommodate extensive and space-intensive conveyor and system technology in the already cramped Munich workshop.In addition, the BMW i4 brings a considerable amount of effort to the logistics and material supply of the plant. Many components of the i4 differ from the components of conventional vehicles. This in turn means additional component variants and thus an increasing number of goods flows to be controlled.” Source: Electric Vehicle News 26 photos BMW iNEXT To Get Battery Cells From CATL Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News BMW i4 expected (unofficial) spec:BMW i4 80 sDrive (for rear-wheel drive)BMW i4 80 xDrive (for dual motor all-wheel drive)80 kWh (plus 60 kWh version)5th generation eDrive platform for BEVs will be offering ranges between 550-700 km (340-435 miles)last_img read more

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Tesla releases new Roadster insane acceleration video

first_imgWith all that is happening at Tesla lately, the new Roadster doesn’t seem to be a top priority, but the automaker is still hyping the new all-electric hypercar with a new insane acceleration video. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla releases new Roadster insane acceleration video appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

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North Dakota deploys first electric school bus

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on June 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News North Dakota’s West Fargo Public Schools has taken delivery of the state’s first electric school bus, a Blue Bird Vision with the Cummins PowerDrive system. The electric bus has a range of 120 miles and can operate in temperatures as low as negative 20 degrees.Funding for the bus was provided by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future, and Cass County Electric. The school district has 54 buses in its fleet and intends to add more EVs if it receives more grant money.Brad Redmond, West Fargo Public Schools’ Transportation Director, said, “We’re estimating that we will save approximately 70 percent in energy costs and 70 to 80 percent in maintenance costs. By reducing costs and the impact on air quality, our Blue Bird electric bus benefits our community greatly.”Source: Blue Bird Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

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Anelka raring to go Shevchenko raring to leave

first_imgShare on Messenger Share on Pinterest Anelka raring to go, Shevchenko raring to leave Share via Email First published on Fri 18 Jan 2008 21.04 EST Nicolas Anelka Share on Facebook Stephen McMillan Share via Email Soccer This article is more than 11 years old Share on Facebook Topics Andriy Shevchenko has often cut a lonely figure at Chelsea and the striker added to the sense of isolation surrounding him yesterday by admitting he had much preferred his life in Italy with Milan.The arrival of Nicolas Anelka for £15m and the Frenchman’s declaration that he is looking forward to forming a strike partnership with Didier Drogba already leave the Ukraine international looking like the odd man out in Chelsea’s attacking plans. Shevchenko’s yearning for la dolce vita will only cast further doubt on his future at the club.”I feel nostalgic for Italy,” he said. “I miss my friends and certain things about the country – the food for example. And then I miss the atmosphere and high tension of Italian games. Things are more relaxed over here. I can understand most things in English but I find it hard to speak. I prefer Italian.”The 31-year-old former European player of the year has scored seven goals this season but has never recaptured the form that persuaded Chelsea to pay Milan £31m – a British transfer record – for his services in the summer of 2006.”Italian football is fantastic. It is all about tactics and intelligence. Italian people appreciate great champions and good football. English football is faster and more physical. The smaller teams try to cut the gap between themselves and the big clubs by playing with great strength. I could sum it up by saying Italian football is about finishing and logic, a bit like chess, and the English game is based on speed and instinct.”I went over to England so my children could grow up in a different situation, not to look for a better club than Milan. I can’t think of any better place in the world than Milan.”Anelka is expected to make his full debut for Chelsea at Birmingham City this afternoon. Shevchenko expects to be out for a month with a back injury. Chelsea Share on Twitter news Share on WhatsApp Shares00 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Soccer Fri 18 Jan 2008 21.04 EST This article is more than 11 years old Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Clinical study shows promising results of Nexodyn AcidOxidizing Solution in healing chronic

first_img Source:http://www.apr.ch/ May 16 2018APR Applied Pharma Research sa (APR), the Swiss independent developer of science driven and patent protected healthcare products, today announces the publication in “Advances in skin & wound care” (April 2018) of the results of a clinical pilot study on the efficacy and tolerability of Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS), a sprayable Active Cleanser with ancillary antimicrobial activity developed for acute and chronic wound management.Results suggest how Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS), thanks to its synergic and distinctive physico-chemical properties, could play a key role in the management of chronic wounds as it promotes effectively wound rebooting by creating the ideal microenvironment to sustain the physiological healing process and favoring an optimized lesion closure.The pilot study was conducted with a prospective, single-arm design by Prof. Robert Strohal in Austria and engaged 30 patients with critically colonized or locally infected chronic leg ulcers of any origin. Along the study, Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) was applied on each leg ulcer at every dress change for 35 days together with a nonadherent gauze and a multi-purpose absorbent dressing.By the end of the study period, treatment with Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) led to the full healing of 37% of the chronic wounds as well as to a significant decrease in wound size (P<.001). Moreover, thanks to Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) active cleansing properties, wound-associated infections were eliminated, together with a reduction in pH values and local bioburden covering the wound, whilst no reinfection of any examined wounds was observed during the study.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapySleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyNew computational model explores daily pain sensitivity rhythmsBased on the pilot study, it can be postulated that the application of Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) contributes to normalize the pH value of chronic wounds and influence positively biochemical reactions pivotal for rebooting physiological healing process.Data also confirm Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) favorable safety and tolerability profile, especially relevant in chronic wounds, with no adverse events reported over the study duration, high levels of pain relief and comfort at application as well as wound-associated pain reduction.Due to demographic changes in developed countries, chronic wound healing represents an emerging healthcare issue both from a clinical and social perspective: health care professionals agree that traditional therapeutic alternatives do not satisfactorily address the complex clinical picture.According to a new market research, the Global Wound Cleanser Product market is anticipated to grow, from $1504.7 million in 2016 to $2171.4 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 5.4%"Nexodyn could fill the gap with the current demand from health care professionals and patients for a treatment option able to address the wound healing complexity" says Giorgio Reiner, Corporate R&D Director at APR - "as it offers the possibility to actively cleanse the wound, thus creating the ideal conditions for wound rebooting".As a science driven developer, APR is committed to provide a growing body of clinical evidence to further delineate Nexodyn® AcidOxidizing Solution (AOS) safety and efficacy profile as a wound rebooter.last_img read more

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ACR urges legislative action on access and cost barriers in rheumatologic care

first_img Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act (H.R. 2077), bipartisan legislation which would create a clear and transparent process for patients with employer-sponsored insurance to seek exceptions to step therapy; Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018 (S. 2553) and the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S. 2554), bipartisan legislation which would allow pharmacists to inform patients when the cash price of their medicines is lower than the price they would pay with insurance coverage; Prescription Transparency Act of 2018 (H.R. 5343) bipartisan legislation that would allow pharmacists to inform patients about alternative options to lower out-of-pocket drug costs; Ensuring Children’s Access to Subspecialty Care Act (H.R. 3767; S. 989), bipartisan legislation that would allow pediatric subspecialists to participate in the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program; Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act (H.R. 2141, S.898), bipartisan legislation which would allow international doctors trained in the U.S. to remain in the country if they practice in underserved areas; and Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018 (H.R. 4841), bipartisan legislation which would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop electronic prior authorization standards for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. Source:https://www.rheumatology.org/About-Us/Newsroom/Press-Releases/ID/886/Rheumatology-Leaders-Urge-Lawmakers-to-Address-Rising-Costs-and-Access-Barriers-in-Arthritis-Care Rheumatology leaders also advised members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense to establish a line item in the Congressionally Designated Medical Research Program (CDMRP) for arthritis at the Department of Defense using $20 million in existing funds. Such a program would meet the growing needs of active duty military personnel and veterans, a disproportionate number of whom live with osteoarthritis and other rheumatic diseases.center_img May 21 2018Rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals convened on Capitol Hill this week to urge legislative action on pressing policy issues affecting rheumatology care during the American College of Rheumatology’s Advocacy Leadership Conference, held May 16-17, 2018 in Washington, D.C.Noting the rising costs and increasing access barriers in rheumatologic care, specialists encouraged lawmakers to support legislation that would create reasonable exceptions to the use of step therapy, grow the rheumatology workforce, increase transparency in drug pricing, and hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable for pricing practices that increase out-of-pocket costs for patients.”We are at a critical juncture in rheumatology care,” said David Daikh, MD, PhD, President of the ACR. “According to the latest federal estimates, as many as 54 million Americans have a doctor-diagnosed rheumatic disease, and a recent academic study suggests that number could be as high as 91 million when taking into account symptoms reported by undiagnosed individuals. The rheumatology workforce is not growing fast enough to keep up with demand and too many of our patients struggle to access and afford the breakthrough therapies they need to manage their pain and avoid long-term disability. America’s rheumatologists are urging our lawmakers to act now and support bipartisan, common-sense legislation that would increase access to high-quality rheumatology care for their constituents.”The American College of Rheumatology urged Congressional leaders to support the following legislation to address access and cost barriers in rheumatologic care:last_img read more

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Penn research team identifies novel therapeutic target for heart disease

first_imgJun 12 2018Changes in cellular struts called microtubules (MT) can affect the stiffness of diseased human heart muscle cells, and reversing these modifications can lessen the stiffness and improve the beating strength of these cells isolated from transplant patients with heart failure, found researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. This Nature Medicine new study is a continuation of research conducted two years ago on how MTs are involved in regulating the heartbeat. “These findings provide compelling evidence from human samples for a new therapeutic target for heart disease,” said senior author Ben Prosser, PhD, an assistant professor of Physiology. The Penn investigators aim to develop therapies that seek out the damaged MTs to reverse their harmful influence.By suppressing impaired MTs, the team improved heart muscle cell function in damaged human cells. Normally, MTs of the cell’s inner support system have diverse structural and signaling roles. Alterations in this network have been suggested to contribute to heart disease. Recent studies suggest that chemical changes to the MTs, called detyrosination (the removal of a tyrosine chemical group), control the mechanics of heart beats. Detyrosinated MTs provide resistance that can impede the motion of contracting heart muscle cells.The Penn team used mass spectrometry and mechanical tests of single heart muscle cells to characterize changes to the MT network and its consequences for normal heart function. Analysis of tissue from the left ventricle of heart transplant patients revealed a consistent upregulation of proteins that leads to the stiffening of MTs. Using super-resolution imaging, the team also saw a dense, heavily detyrosinated MT network in the diseased heart muscle cells, which is consistent with increased cell stiffness and decreased ability to contract. Proper cell elasticity and contraction is crucial for normal circulation throughout the body.Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaMaternal proximity to oil and gas areas associated with congenital heart defects in babiesUsing a drug, the team suppressed the detyrosinated MTs, which restored about half of lost contractile function in the diseased cells. Genetically reducing the MT detyrosination also softened the diseased cells and improved their ability to contract.Past clinical data from Penn showed a direct correlation between excess MT detyrosination and a decline in heart function among patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which thickened heart muscle can cause problems in maintaining proper blood pressure levels and flow of blood through the heart.The team found that detyrosination was greater in diseased hearts by comparing human heart tissue donated from heart transplant patients to normal heart tissue from other donors, obtained from work with transplant cardiologist and coauthor Ken Margulies, MD, a professor of Cardiovascular Medicine. Cells from diseased hearts have more MTs, and these MTs have more detyrosination. This process correlated with impaired function within this patient population in that their whole hearts, before the transplant, had a lower ejection fraction that correlated with greater detyrosination. Ejection fraction, an indicator of heart health, measures the amount of blood pumped out of ventricles with each contraction.The team is now working on ways to target only heart muscle cell MTs. They are refining gene therapy approaches with the Penn Gene Vector Core to deliver an enzyme to the heart that reverses detyrosination in heart muscle cells. Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/june/new-target-for-treating-heart-failure-identified-by-penn-medicine-researcherslast_img read more

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In Florida midterm elections hold faint hope for Medicaid expansion

first_imgJul 16 2018Can the deep-red Florida Statehouse follow Virginia and expand Medicaid?Highly unlikely anytime soon, many state political analysts say.It’s been three years since the Florida legislature last debated — and overwhelmingly rejected —Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.Republicans — who have controlled the governor’s office and both legislative chambers for nearly all of the past two decades — have shown no interest since then in pursuing the policy that would make about 660,000 uninsured adults eligible for the government insurance program for the poor.While Democrats are expected to gain Statehouse seats in the midterm election, it’s unlikely they can capture enough to make a difference. That’s especially true in the House, where the GOP holds a 76-41 majority, with three seats vacant. Six GOP House members don’t even face an opponent.”I don’t see Medicaid expansion having much of a chance,” said Carol Weissert, Florida State University’s chair of civic education and political science. “It’s a combination of the political reality on the ground, and I don’t see a huge push for it around the state.”While health care is typically a big issue in retiree-heavy Florida, gun laws and education are likely to play heavy on voters’ minds this fall following the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed.Susan MacManus, a political science professor emeritus at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said one “long shot” for the Democrats’ fall election prospects is a growing percentage of younger voters. They tend to be more supportive of expanding Medicaid, she said.Although Election Day is still more than three months away, expansion proponents are unlikely to pull off a repeat of what happened in the Virginia House of Delegates election last November, Weissert said. Democrats there captured 15 GOP seats and came within one vote of controlling the assembly.That shock helped persuade a few GOP lawmakers to join Democrats to push Medicaid expansion through a legislature that had staunchly rebuffed it for four years. Many freshman Virginia Democratic lawmakers campaigned on this issue and other measures that would make health care more accessible.About 400,000 people in Virginia are expected to gain coverage from expansion.Florida is one of 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid since 2014, and only Texas has more residents who could benefit. An expansion would drop Florida’s uninsured rate from 15.7 percent to nearly 11, according to the nonpartisan Urban Institute.Republican leaders in Florida have cited various reasons for opposing this step. They say the state can’t afford it. They assert that Florida can’t trust the federal government to pay for at least 90 percent of costs for the newly eligible. They also argue that Medicaid coverage should not go to nondisabled adults because the state is straining to cover children, pregnant women and people with disabilities.Related StoriesMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsSupplements claiming to boost brain health are ‘too good to be true’, warn expertsStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsIn looking at the issue in the gubernatorial races, the good news for expansion proponents is that Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who opposed the health law and briefly supported Medicaid expansion then opposed it, is leaving office.Scott is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.While the leading Democratic candidates for governor back expansion, the top Republican candidates, including state agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, are firmly against it. The state’s primary election is Aug. 28.But if a Democrat could gain the governorship, it would at least give Medicaid advocates some negotiating leverage, said MacManus.”A Democratic governor could have some influence on the legislature down the road,” she said.Gregory Koger, professor of political science at the University of Miami, said the party not controlling the White House usually does well in midterm elections and expects Florida Democrats to benefit. President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings, he added, should also help them.Although the odds are long, he said, the GOP’s failure to repeal the health law last year in Congress might sway some Republicans in the state legislature to vote for expansion, particularly if the plan included a work requirement for those gaining coverage.”That could give Republicans political cover,” Koger said.Florida voters seeking expansion will not be able to follow Maine’s lead on a voter referendum on Medicaid until at least 2020.Maine’s successful 2017 voter referendum ignited interest in other states, including Utah, Nebraska and Idaho, where voters are expected to address the measure in the fall.Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of the Fairness Project, which is directing the ballot initiatives, said there wasn’t enough time this year to launch an effort in Florida.”It was premature to do in Florida because we needed a larger runway for the work,” he said. “It would have been impossible to put together that many signatures.”Schleifer said he sees strong public support for expanding Medicaid and hopes that after more states approve the ballot referendum it will make it easier to accomplish in the Sunshine State.Phil Galewitz: pgalewitz@kff.org, @philgalewitz This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

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Certain cells in hippocampus play key role in risk taking behavior and

first_img Source:http://www.uu.se/en/news-media/news/article/?id=11256&area=2,4,10,16,24,34,40&typ=artikel&lang=en Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 7 2018Why do some people comfortably walk between skyscrapers on a high-wire or raft the Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel whereas others freeze on the mere thought of climbing off escalators in a shopping mall? In a new study, scientists have found that a certain type of cells in the hippocampus play a key role.People are very different when it comes to trying dangerous or exhilarating things. Even siblings can show dramatic differences in risk-taking behavior. The neural mechanisms that drive risk-taking behavior are largely unknown. However, scientists from the Department of Neuroscience of Uppsala University in Sweden and the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil have found that some cells in the hippocampus play a key role in risk taking behavior and anxiety.In an article published in the journal Nature Communications the authors show that neurons known as OLM cells, when stimulated, produce a brain rhythm that is present when animals feel safe in a threatening environment (for example, when they are hiding from a predator but aware of the predator’s proximity). The study, produced by Drs. Sanja Mikulovic, Ernesto Restrepo, Klas Kullander and Richardson Leao among others, showed that anxiety and risk-taking behavior can be controlled by the manipulation of OLM cells. To find a pathway that quickly and robustly modulates risk-taking behavior is very important for treatment of pathological anxiety since reduced risk-taking behavior is a trait in people with high anxiety levels.Adaptive (or normal) anxiety is essential for survival because it protects us from harm. Unfortunately, in a large number of people, anxiety can be dysfunctional and severely interfere with daily life. In these cases, doctors often rely on antidepressants to help patients recover from the dysfunctional state. However, these drugs act in the entire brain and not only in the areas where it is needed and may therefore have severe side-effects. Thus, to act in a single brain region and in a very specific group of cells to control anxiety may be a major breakthrough in treating anxiety and associated disorders like depression. Another interesting finding in the study is that OLM cells can also be controlled by pharmacological agents. In the past, the same group of scientists have found that OLM cells were the ‘gatekeepers’ of memories in the hippocampus and that these cells were very sensitive to nicotine.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to help’This finding may explain why people binge-smoke when they are anxious’, says Dr. Richardson Leao, researcher at the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte.The participation of the hippocampus in emotions is much less studied than its role in memory and cognition. In 2014, for example, the Nobel prize was awarded for the discovery of “place cells” that represent a biological GPS and underlie the memories of where we are located in our surroundings. In the past decade, scientists have started to appreciate the role of the hippocampus also in regulating emotions.’It is fascinating how different regions of the same brain structure control distinct behaviors and how they interact with each other. Identifying specific circuits that underlie either cognitive or emotional processes is crucial for the general understanding of brain function and for more specific drug development to treat disorders’, says Dr. Sanja Mikulovic, Uppsala University.The discovery of these neurons and their role in anxiety and risk-taking may open a path for the development of highly efficient anxiolytics and antidepressants without common side-effects, such as apathy.last_img read more

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Test your smarts on fairy circles rat snakes and King Tuts tomb

first_img 5-0 An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. Silicon Titanium Sean McMahon/Yale University You Chupacabras Last week, astronomers announced they had found the largest collection of very massive stars found to date in the same cluster that holds the biggest known star in the universe. How big is it? Top Ranker In half the blink of an eye Question Ramses II In half the blink of an eye. Researchers used high-speed cameras to measure the strike speeds of two viper species—cottonmouth vipers and diamondback rattlesnakes—along with Texas rat snakes, a nonviper species that lacks venom. They were evenly matched in speed, and even the slowest strike approached an acceleration of 100 meters per second squared. The attack doesn’t take long, either. Strikes of all three snake species lasted less than a tenth of a second, about half the time it takes for a human to blink. But that’s not quite as fast as the mantis shrimp or the trap-jawed ant, which strike at speeds of 50 and 2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye, respectively! 0 / 10 Tyrannosaurus rex. Scientists have for the first time identified an expecting dinosaur. They thought they had done so in 2005, but the discovery was hotly debated (like Geraldo for paleontologists). Now, using a new kind of chemical analysis, the same team has found evidence that a T. rex femur bone contains medullary tissue—a type of bone present only in egg-carrying female birds. If the finding holds up, it will give researchers a window into the evolution of egg-laying birds, and it may even give them a way to reliably determine a T. rex’s sex—something that until now has been elusive. No word yet on whether they’ll be able to reliably nail down the dino daddy. Paleontologists have found evidence that a 68-million-year old dinosaur may have been a mother-to-be. Which species does she hail from? Cuttlefish Lampreys. The Tully Monster is monstrous only in appearance, with the largest individuals measuring in at about 15 centimeters. Now, a detailed analysis of more than 1200 fossils confirm its relation to the eellike creatures known as lampreys. Even though the 300 million-year-old Tullimonstrum gregarium was shaped like no other lamprey living or extinct, the new study reveals that the creature had gills and a flexible backbonelike rod called a notochord. Tullimonstrum’s eyes sat far from the body at the ends of another flexible rod, which helped it get a 3D view of prey near the end of its tooth-sporting proboscis. But rather than swimming with a snakelike motion like modern-day lampreys do, the Tully Monster likely propelled itself with undulations of a muscular fringe of tissue on its tail, similar to cuttlefish. Hammerhead sharks Silurianus capaldi Killer whales None—it would be an impossible task The Science Quiz Fairy circles, circular patches of bare soil that dot the grasslands of southern Africa, have stumped ecologists for decades. Last week, researchers reported finding them on another continent. Which one? Three 50 times faster than the blink of an eye Score 500 times the mass of the sun Last week, chemists announced that they had created a bacterial enzyme that incorporates what element into simple hydrocarbons? LOADING Amenhotep III Silicon. For life on Earth, carbon is king. All organisms build their cells from carbon-based molecules. Scientists and science fiction authors have long speculated that because silicon atoms bond to other atoms in a manner similar to carbon, silicon could form the basis of an alternative biochemistry of life. Yet even though silicon is widely available on Earth and makes up 28% of the planet’s crust, the element is almost entirely absent from life’s chemistry. That may soon change. Researchers reported last week that they have evolved a bacterial enzyme that efficiently incorporates silicon into simple hydrocarbons—a first for life. Nefertiti. The mother of all mummies could be hiding behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Discovered in 1922, the famously rich tomb was thought to be fully explored by modern researchers. But in 2005, high-resolution laser scans suggested that additional chambers lay behind the walls of the pharaoh’s burial chamber. Last week, radar scans confirmed the existence of two hidden chambers with objects inside. No one knows yet what these objects are, but artifacts in King Tut’s tomb offer the tantalizing prospect that the hidden chambers could contain his revered stepmother’s remains. NASA/ESA/P Crowther (University of Sheffield) Diplodocus hallorum Australia 4-1 Time’s Up! 50 Five Average Nefertiti Brad Moon Five. Using powerful new statistical methods and DNA sequencing, an international team has identified how often and on which continents modern humans, Neandertals, and a second kind of archaic human called Denisovans met and mated. If you’re an East Asian, you have three Neandertals in your family tree; Europeans and South Asians have two; Melanesians have only one. Africans, whose ancestors did not mate with Neandertals, have none. Add in two additional liaisons known only from fossil DNA, and the ancestors of modern humans and Neandertals mixed it up at least five times. 3-2 Bottlenose dolphins 0 Australia. As seen from the sky, fairy circles cover the ground in a hexagonal pattern like a beehive. Each circle is a bare patch of ground, often surrounded by fringes of extra-high grasses. There are nearly as many proposed explanations for the circles as there are scientists who study the phenomenon. But if the fairy circles of southern Africa are due to a universal mechanism, then shouldn’t they appear elsewhere on Earth? Indeed, they do. Last week, scientists said they found fairy circles in the outback of western Australia, despite the completely different ecosystem. March 21, 2016 March 21, 2016 The Science Quiz The faster you answer, the higher your score! Germanium South America Start Quiz 2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye Asia Harbor seals Cleopatra SeaWorld last week announced that it will end its breeding program for which marine mammal? Fast forward about 55,000 years. When the pharaohs ruled Egypt, few left behind remains as nicely preserved as King Tutankhamun. Just last week, archaeologists said they had found evidence for a second chamber in King Tut’s tomb, and they called it a possible burial site for which Egyptian ruler? This bizarre creature, dubbed the “Tully Monster,” is most closely related to which modern-day animal? Boron Killer whales. Killer whales, or orcas, have long been a mainstay of the iconic park’s identity. But even before the release of the popular 2013 documentary Blackfish, animal rights and welfare advocates have been pressuring the park to stop displaying and breeding the animals. What does this mean for science? It could mean an end to research on breeding and physiology that some scientists consider essential to conservation efforts. Other scientists say it’s about time, given the marine mammals’ capability for advanced cognition. SeaWorld says it will keep its remaining orcas until they die—which for some could be decades from now. Tullimonstrum gregarium Sea lions What was the final score in this month’s man-versus-machine Go match between Google’s AlphaGo and world champion Lee Sedol? 100 times the mass of the sun 3-3 In the blink of an eye Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit Ancient humans also liked a roll in the hay—sometimes with their Neandertal and Denisovan cousins. According to a new study, how many specific instances of Neandertal-human mating can researchers document? 4-1. In the fourth round of the five-game match, professional Go player and Korean hero Lee Sedol won one for humanity. But the rest of the games went to the bot, leaving the world’s top-ranked Go player “speechless.” How did AlphaGo get to be so good? First, human programmers taught their creations to play thousands of random games, a brute force style that enabled them to compete with strong amateurs. Then, programmers started to apply deep neural networks. In essence, this gives computers a way of learning by themselves from master games—and from contests with themselves. It looks like all that training paid off: After winning its final match, AlphaGo earned the title of “ninth dan,” an honorific reserved for players whose skills border on the divine. Lampreys North America 250 times the mass of the sun A new study has shown that vipers—once thought to be the world’s fastest snakes—and rat snakes strike at roughly the same speed. How fast can they strike? 250 times the mass of the sun. The star cluster R136 is home to the largest known star in the universe, a giant more than 250 times the mass of the sun. Now, astronomers observing the cluster using the Hubble Space Telescope have found a total of nine stars with masses of more than 100 suns, the largest collection of very massive stars found to date. This pack of heavyweights—located in the Tarantula Nebula some 170,000 light-years from Earth—burns bright and fast, collectively outshining the sun 30 million times and ejecting material equivalent to the mass of Earth each month. Tyrannosaurus rex 10 times the mass of the sun Share your scorelast_img read more

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WHO ends Zika designation as international public health emergency

first_imgZika virus and its complications—including birth defects and temporary paralysis—are not going away any time soon, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, said today. Because the disease requires a long-term approach, it has decided to end its declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The move is not a demotion of the disease, Pete Salama, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, told a press conference. “We are not downgrading the importance of Zika. By placing it as a longer-term program of work, we are saying Zika is here to stay and WHO’s response is here to stay.”WHO Director-General Margaret Chan declared in February that the cluster of babies born with unusually small heads, a condition called microcephaly, associated with an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil should be declared a public health emergency. That PHEIC declaration allowed WHO and its partners to take quick action to better understand the connection between the virus and the observed increase in severe birth defects. Since then, researchers have concluded that the virus can indeed trigger a range of birth defects as well as neurological complications in adult patients. But a long list of questions remain unanswered: Scientists don’t know how often the disease causes severe complications, nor do they know whether certain cofactors, such as other viruses, genetic factors, or environmental factors might be playing a role. Other questions remain about how the disease spreads, both via mosquitoes and directly from one person to another. The disease will continue to spread in regions where its mosquito vector lives, David Heymann, chair of the Zika Emergency Committee, told the press conference. The outstanding questions require long-term, coordinated research, which WHO and its partners can do better by forming a technical advisory group to coordinate the international response, Heymann said. Zika “must now be managed within WHO as are other infectious diseases.”last_img read more

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New algorithm can create movies from just a few snippets of text

first_img NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—Screenwriters denied the big budgets and formidable resources of the major film studios may soon have another option, thanks to a new algorithm that can generate a video simply by consuming a (very short) script. The new movies are far from Oscar-worthy, but a similar technique could one day find uses outside entertainment, by, say, helping a witness reconstruct a car crash or a crime.Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting much better at identifying the content of images and providing labels. So-called “generative” algorithms go the other way, producing images from labels (or brain scans). A few can even take a single movie frame and predict the next series of frames. But putting it all together—creating an image from text and making it move realistically in accordance with the text—has not been done before.“As far as I know, it’s the first text-to-video work that gives such good results. They are not perfect, but at least they start to look like real videos,” says Tinne Tuytelaars, a computer scientist at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, who has done her own video prediction research. “It’s really nice work.” The new algorithm is a form of machine learning, which means it requires training. Specifically, it’s a neural network, or a series of layers of small computing elements that process data in a way reminiscent of the brain’s neurons. During training, software assesses its performance after each attempt, and feedback circulates through the millions of network connections to refine future computations.This network operates in two stages “designed to mimic how humans create art,” the researchers write. The first stage uses the text to create a “gist” of the video, basically a blurry image of the background with a blurry blob where the main action takes place. The second stage takes both the gist and the text and produces a short video. During training, a second network acts as a “discriminator.” It sees the video generated to illustrate, say, “sailing on the sea,” alongside a real video of sailing on the sea, and it is trained to pick the real one. As it gets better, it becomes a harsher critic, and its feedback sets a higher bar for the generator network.The researchers trained the algorithm on 10 types of scenes, including “playing golf on grass,” and “kitesurfing on the sea,” which it then roughly reproduced. Picture grainy VHS footage. Nevertheless, a simple classification algorithm correctly guessed the intended action among six choices about half the time. (Sailing and kitesurfing were often mistaken for each other.) What’s more, the network could also generate videos for nonsensical actions, such as “sailing on snow,” and “playing golf at swimming pool,” the team reported this month at a meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in New Orleans, Louisiana.“Their methods are very interesting, combining the two stages,” says Hamed Pirsiavash, a computer scientist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, who has done video prediction work. “It’s a super difficult problem. So, I’m glad that these guys have made good progress.”Currently, the videos are only 32 frames long—lasting about 1 second—and the size of a U.S. postage stamp, 64 by 64 pixels. Anything larger reduces accuracy, says Yitong Li, a computer scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and the paper’s first author. Because people often appear as distorted figures, a next step, he says, is using human skeletal models to improve movement. Tuytelaars also sees applications beyond Hollywood. Video generation could lead to better compression if a movie can be stored as nothing but a brief description. It could also generate training data for other machine learning algorithms. For example, realistic video clips might help autonomous cars prepare for dangerous situations they would not frequently encounter. And programs that deeply understand the visual world could spin off useful applications in everything from refereeing to surveillance. They could help a self-driving car predict where a motorbike will go, for example, or train a household robot to open a fridge, Pirsiavash says.An AI-generated Hollywood blockbuster may still be beyond the horizon, but in the meantime, we finally know what “kitesurfing on grass” looks like. Click to view the privacy policy. 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