Apple May Alter the AR Competition

first_imgApple is stockpiling resources to make a splash in the augmented reality market.The company is not only marshaling internal resources behind its AR efforts, but also hiring talented outsiders and acquiring companies with expertise in AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software, Bloomberg reported Monday.The new outsiders include a former Dolby labs executive, engineers who worked virtual reality headsets for Google and Microsoft, and some Hollywood digital effects experts, the report notes.”We’ve been waiting for Apple to launch something in AR after its acquisition of a number of AR companies, including Metaio and FlyBy Media,” said David MacQueen, executive director for apps and media at Strategy Analytics.”Right now, there’s no company really taking a strong position in AR, at least from a consumer perspective,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The most advanced product is Microsoft’s HoloLens, but that is squarely aimed at enterprise users and has a price tag to match.” Mainstream Reality Augmented reality makes sense for Apple on another level, too, noted Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”Things like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are cool, but they’re clearly not a mainstream Apple-like product,” he told TechNewsWorld.With AR, a user remains present in the real world and there’s an opportunity to interact with people and real-world objects, said Ross Rubin, the principal analyst with Reticle Research.”In VR, the surroundings are completely replaced. That’s great for game play and some simulations, but AR opens up far more possibilities,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Ultimately, the two technologies may merge into a mixed reality that lets in a lot, a little, or none of the real-world surroundings.”Augmented reality also is better suited for a mobile environment.”VR has the user completely immersed in a virtual environment,” noted Strategy Analytics’ MacQueen.”It’s inherently an immobile technology, which most people would prefer to use while in a safe environment,” he pointed out. “AR is much more suited to on-the-go use cases, such as enhanced navigation, so it suits mobile better than VR does.” The Next Big Thing John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.center_img Those higher price tags for AR products could be an attraction for Apple, which is fond of high prices and the high margins that often accompany them.While shipments of virtual reality headsets will outpace their AR counterparts from 2016 to 2021, the market for AR headsets will be larger, growing from $2.1 billion to $18.6 billion, according to a five-year forecast IDC released last week.”With all the technological enhancements, there will be a wide range of products and price points,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst at IDC.”VR setups already range from sub-(US)$100 to more than $1,000, and though it’s too early to tell, the low-cost experiences may prove to be inhibitors rather than promoters of the technology as they can potentially disappoint first time VR users,” he continued.”On the other hand, due to the sophistication of the hardware, most AR headsets are expected to cost well over $1,000,” Ubrani explained. “This makes the technology far less accessible to consumers initially, though that’s probably for the best as the AR ecosystem and wide social acceptance are still a few years away.” Apple Likes Fat Margins Augmented reality also could be the next big thing for smartphones — even though the form factor might be a bit clumsy for AR purposes.”Holding the phone up and scanning the world around you is quite a clunky experience compared to using smartglasses,” MacQueen pointed out.”However, paired with smartglasses — using the iPhone for processing power — could be an interesting proposition,” he suggested.A bold move into AR could deflect a few brickbats thrown Apple’s way for not being innovative enough since the passing of Steve Jobs.”Apple has been regularly criticized for failing to deliver on ‘next big thing’ technologies and products,” observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”Bringing AR features into the iPhone would allow the company to both leverage its strongest platform and help its products stand apart from its competitors’ robust smartphones,” he told TechNewsWorld.Up to now, VR and AR have generated more hype than consumer interest. Apple could change that for AR.”It is a safe bet that given Tim Cook’s strong position on AR that Apple will play a major role in bringing AR to the masses,” predicted Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.”It will first be delivered via the iPhone,” he told TechNewsWorld, “and eventually the AR experience will be augmented by some type of glasses in the future.”last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Former White House CIO Theresa Payton There Are Grave Concerns About Election

first_imgIn this exclusive interview, she also shares her views on social networking, privacy, and the changing playing field for women who aspire to leadership roles in technology.TechNewsWorld: What is the chief cyberthreat to the upcoming midterm elections?Theresa Payton: My biggest worry and concern is that citizens will not trust election results and that the election process will lose legitimacy. We know that the Department of Homeland Security, working with state election officials, have raced against the clock to secure voting systems. Our U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly been on the record stating there is no evidence that cybercriminals modified or deleted any votes in 2016.The next area of concern is for the communications, contacts, and digital campaigns of candidates being broken into and doxed. While the news focuses on securing the votes and the voter databases of the midterm elections, there is not a lot of attention on whether or not campaigns take threats targeting their campaigns seriously. Nothing would hit closer to home for a candidate than if their election was hacked and they lost — or won.”Cyber” is certainly a buzzword, but it’s not a word without meaning. With the onslaught of breaches, candidates should be laser-focused on cybersecurity.TNW: What should federal officials do to shore up election security? What should state and local governments do? Where does the buck stop?Payton: It’s crucial that elected officials on the left and right not politicize an issue in the short term that will have grave long-term consequences for national security.Defensively, we need to harden our election infrastructure at the local level. This is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security.DHS needs to continue to work at the local level with state election officials, but also to provide much more robust cybersecurity capabilities for protection and detection at the campaign level.We also need to be sure that the intelligence and homeland security community is effectively sharing information and tools, techniques and tactics.TNW: How serious are concerns that election interference might be caused by tampering with back-end election systems? What can federal agencies do to address the problems of outdated voting equipment, inadequate election-verification procedures, and other potential vulnerabilities? Is there an argument to be made for some level of mandatory federal oversight of state and local voter systems?Payton: There are grave concerns about election interference and the race to secure them, globally, is under way. The idea that voter databases could be seeded with falsified data or modified has been around for decades, but the technical know-how and motive has caught up with that idea. Election officials in a race towards automation and efficiency may have helped criminals along, but it’s not too late if we act now.Today, there are entire countries totally relying on electronic voting: Brazil, since 2000, has employed electronic voting machines, and in 2010 had 135 million electronic voters. India had 380 million electronic voters for its Parliament election in 2004.It is easy to see why electronic voting is the wave of the future and how the United States could model its own voting system after these countries. It’s faster, cheaper and more accessible for those with disabilities. Also, would you miss the experience of, or the reporting of, the every-election-day headline of “Long Lines at the Polls Today”? Probably not. That is certainly less painful than a recount though. TNW: How well — or poorly — have Facebook, Twitter, Google and other tech companies addressed the problems that surfaced in 2016?Payton: I was encouraged to hear that with less than three weeks to go for the U.S. mid-terms, that Facebook has stood up a war room to combat social media community manipulation as the world heads into elections this fall and winter.They have also said they have war-gamed a number of scenarios to ensure their team is better prepared for elections around the globe. Much is at stake, so the fact that Facebook also integrated the apps they have acquired — such as WhatsApp and Instagram — into the mix of the war room is a great idea.If I were to give them advice, I would suggest that another great step to take would be to create a way to physically embed representatives from law enforcement, other social media companies — including Twitter, Linkedin and Google — and to allow election officials around the globe to have a “red phone” access to the war room.TNW: What are some of the most pressing cybersecurity problems facing social networks, apart from their use as political tools?Payton: The ability to change their business and moderator models, in real time, to morph quickly to shut down fake personas, fake ads, and fake messaging promoting political espionage, even if it means higher expenses and loss of revenue. Social media companies have made a lot of progress since the 2016 presidential elections and claims of global-wide election meddling, but the criminals have changed tactics and it’s harder to spot them.On the heels of the August 2018 news that Microsoft seized six domains that Russian Internet trolls planned to use for political espionage phishing attacks around the same time that Facebook deactivated 652 fake accounts and pages tied to misinformation campaigns, Alex Stamos, the former Facebook security chief, posted an essay in Lawfare, and stated that it was “too late to protect the 2018 elections.”TNW: What role should the government play in protecting citizens’ privacy online?Payton: As the Internet evolves, laws and regulations must change more rapidly to reflect societal issues and problems created by new types of behavior taking place online. Never before has the world had access to statements, pictures, video and criticism by millions of individuals who are not public figures.The Internet provides us with places to document our lives, thoughts and preferences online, and then holds that material for an indefinite period of time — long after we might have outgrown our own postings.It also provides places where we can criticize our bosses, local building contractors, or polluters.This digital diary of our lives leaves tattered pages of our past that we may forget about because we cannot see them, but they could be collected, collated, and used to judge us or discriminate against us without due process. The government needs to think ahead and determine which laws need to be enacted to protect our right to opt in and out of privacy features and to own our digital lives and footprints.TNW: What is your opinion of Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law? Do you think a similar law would make sense in the United States?Payton: The European Union’s “right to be forgotten” sets an interesting precedent, not just for its member countries but for citizens around the world. It is too early to know what the long-term impacts of the EU’s decision to enforce a “right to be forgotten” with technology companies will be. However, it’s a safe bet the law will evolve and not disappear.There are concerns that giving you or organizations more control of their Internet identity, under a “right to be forgotten” clause, could lead to [censorship] of the Internet. Free-speech advocates around the globe are concerned that the lack of court precedent and the gray areas of the EU law could lead to pressure for all tech companies to remove results across the globe, delinking news stories and other information upon an individual’s request.A quick history lesson of how this law came about: A Spanish citizen filed a complaint with Spain’s Data Protection Agency and indicated that Google Spain and Google Inc. had violated his privacy rights by posting an auction notice that his home was repossessed. The matter was resolved years earlier but since “delete is never really delete” and “the Internet never forgets,” the personal data about his financial matters haunted his reputation online.He requested that Google Spain and Google Inc. be required to remove the old news so it would not show up in search engine results. The Spanish court system reviewed the case and referred it to the European Union’s Court of Justice.Here is an excerpt of what the May 2014 ruling of the EU Court said: “On the ‘Right to be Forgotten’: Individuals have the right — under certain conditions — to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them. This applies where the information is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive for the purposes of the data processing… . A case-by-case assessment is needed considering the type of information in question, its sensitivity for the individual’s private life and the interest of the public in having access to that information. The role the person requesting the deletion plays in public life might also be relevant.” In the U.S., implementing a federal law might be tempting, but the challenge is that the ability to comply with the law will be complex and expensive. This could mean that the next startup will be crushed under compliance and therefore innovation and startups will die before they can get launched.However, we do need a central place of advocacy and a form of a consumer privacy bill of rights. We have remedies to address issues but it’s a complex web of laws that apply to the Internet. Technology changes society faster than the law can react, so U.S. laws relating to the Internet will always lag behind.We have a Better Business Bureau to help us with bad business experiences. We have the FTC and FCC to assist us with commerce and communications. Individuals need an advocacy group to appeal to, and for assistance in navigating online defamation, reputational risk, and an opportunity to scrub their online persona.TNW: What is your attitude toward social networking? What’s your advice to others regarding the trustworthiness of social networks?Payton: Social networking can offer us amazing ways to stay in touch with colleagues, friends and loved ones. It’s a personal decision as to how involved you are online, how many platforms you interact with, and how much of your life that you digitally record or transact online.If you want to be on social media but don’t want to broadcast everything about you, I tell my clients to turn off location tracking — or geolocation tools — in social media. That way you aren’t “checking in” places. Cybercriminals use these check-ins to develop your pattern of life and to track your circle of trust. If a cybercriminal has these two patterns, it makes it easier for them to hack your accounts.Register for an online service that will give you a phone number, such as Google Voice or Talkatone. Provide that number on social media and forward it to your real cellphone. Avoid personality surveys and other surveys — they are often very fun to do, but the information posted often gives digital clues to what you may use for your password.Always turn on two-factor authentication for your accounts, and tie your social media accounts to an email address dedicated to social media. Turn on alerts to notify you if there is a login that is outside your normal login patterns.The amount of personal information you choose to share is up to you — and everyone has to find that limit of what is too much — but at the very least, never give out personally identifiable information like your address, DOB, financial information, etc.TNW: As the first woman to serve in the role of CIO at the White House, under President George W. Bush, how did you feel about becoming an instant role model for girls and young women interested in tech careers?Payton: It’s an honor to think about the opportunity to give back and to help along anyone that wants to pursue this career path, especially young women. Candidly, we need everyone to fight the good fight. My heart breaks when I see computer and engineering classes with very few women in them.We did not reach out to the women early enough, and when I talk to young women in high school and college about considering cybersecurity as a career, many of then tell me that since they have had no prior exposure they are worried about failing, and that it’s “too late now to experiment.” To which I tell them that it’s always a great time to experiment and learn new things! Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails with the intention to “interfere with the U.S. election process,” according to the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., and the Department of Homeland Security.As far as we know, despite the scans and alarm bells, no outside entity has changed any records in the registration database.Scams such as “text your vote” were more prevalent than ever, and will increase as electronic voting becomes more widespread.The good news is our government took this very seriously. Prior to the midterm elections, the Department of Homeland Security offered state election officials “cyber hygiene scans” to remotely search for vulnerabilities in election systems. They also conducted threat briefings and onsite reviews, as well as released a memo of “best practices” — guidance how best to secure their voter databases.Some have called for more federal oversight and moving towards a more restrictive security model, but the states own the voting process. Providing year-round briefings from DHS, FBI, CIA, and NSA would prove to be very helpful over time.Also, we have to remember elections are decentralized. Sometimes there is security in obscurity. Each state in our country, plus the District of Columbia, run their own election operations, including voter databases. A hostile nation state could not feasibly wipe out each system with one wave of their magic wand.How we vote, though, is just one-way our elections could be compromised. Another concern going forward must be disruption of Internet traffic, as we saw occurred just days before the last presidential election cycle on Oct. 21st, 2016, when the Mirai botnet crippled part of the Internet for hours.A massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacked a host server causing major disruptions to some of the most highly visited websites in the United States. The attack was in two waves, first on the East Coast and then on the West Coast.As our country votes on Election Day in different time zones, and polling stations close at different times, the similarity is chilling.However, we need everyone to turn out to vote. The focus on bolstering our election security defenses is reassuring. What we know is the warning signs are there. As we move towards the future, and focus on creating and protecting a new system to collect our votes, we need to protect the one we already have.Two things you can be sure of after this year’s election: Eventually, every vote you cast in a United States election will be electronic, and one of those elections will be hacked. No doubt about it. But the recount in 2016 in Wisconsin reminds us all why we need a backup.TNW: What are some ways candidates and campaigns can shore up their cybersecurity without draining their war chests? What are some of the practices they should implement in the very early days? A campaign that’s very secure ultimately might lose due to lack of visibility. How can campaigns strike the right balance?Payton: Never before have campaigns collected so much essential information that would be lucrative to so many cybercriminals. Credit card numbers, bank account information, addresses, online identities. The assets go on and on, and cybercriminals are just like bank robbers in the old days: They follow the money.That is why in today’s day and age, if you are on a campaign, whether it be state, national or local, you need to be as vigilant about protecting data as any business. Otherwise, you will lose your customers — also known as constituents and voters.Anyone on a tight budget can follow these guidelines to protect their campaign assets: Make it as hard as possible on cybercriminals by separating donor information details onto a completely separate domain name with separate user IDs and passwords from the campaign. For example, your campaign domain might be VoteSallySue.com, but donor details would be stored at MustProtectDetails.com.Using that same practice, run all of your internal communications on a domain name that’s not the campaign name — i.e., email addresses should not be henry@VoteSallySue.com but rather henry@MustProtectDetails.com. Increase the level of protection for internal messages by using encrypted messaging platforms for internal communications, such as Signal or Threema.Also, be sure to encrypt all of your campaign’s donor data. We have yet to hear a report of a campaign’s donor data being hacked and used for identity theft, but we will — of that I am sure. It would be too lucrative not to try. Once it is hacked, it will be hard to restore confidence in your operation. Just ask any major retailer, bank or organization who has recently been hacked, and they will tell you. I don’t even need to use their names, you know the headlines.Train technology and campaign staff to spot spearphishing emails and scams. Oh, sure, you think everyone knows not to “click on that link,” but recent studies illustrate doing just that is the No. 1 cause of breaches among employees.Another safeguard that raises the bar in terms of security is implementing two-factor authentication wherever feasible. When you use a platform that employs two-factor authentication, don’t you feel safer? Possibly annoyed, as well, but certainly reassured that the extra step has been taken to secure your data. Don’t you want the electorate to feel the same way?Finally, post a privacy policy that’s easy to read, easy to find, and you’ll find voters have more confidence in just your agenda. We are headed towards electronic voting as the sole system we use despite these facts:”The U.S. intelligence community developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election — but never told the states involved, according to multiple U.S. officials,” NBC News reported earlier this year. Prior to taking on the role at the White House, I had been very active in women in technology groups and was passionately recruiting young women to consider technology careers. At the time I was offered the role and accepted, I candidly didn’t have an immediate aha moment about being a role model for women because of that specific job. I was most focused on making sure the mission was a success. I see it now and it’s an honor to be able to be a role model and I strive to live up to that expectation.The cybersecurity industry can do more to help women understand the crucial role that cybersecurity professionals play that make a difference in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, hackers, both ethical and unethical, are often depicted as men wearing hoodies over their faces, making it difficult for women to picture themselves in that role as a realistic career choice, because they don’t think they have anything in common with hackers.Studies show that women want to work in professions that help people — where they are making a difference. When you stop a hacker from stealing someone’s identity, you’ve made a difference in someone’s life or business. At the end of the day, the victims of hackers are people, and women can make a tremendous difference in this field. This is something the industry as a whole needs to do a better job of showing women.TNW: You’re now the CEO of a company in the private sector. Can you tell us a little about what Fortalice Solutions does, its mission, and your priorities in guiding it?Payton: Fortalice Solutions is a team of cybercrime fighters. We hunt bad people from behind a keyboard to protect what matters most to nations, business and people. We combine the sharpest minds in cybersecurity with active intelligence operations to secure everything from government and corporate data and intellectual property, to individuals’ privacy and security.At Fortalice, our strengths lie in studying the adversary and outmaneuvering them with our human-first, technology-second approaches.TNW: How have attitudes toward women in powerful positions changed — for better or worse — in recent years?Payton: Although thankfully this is beginning to change, I am typically the only woman in the room — and that was common in banking as well as technology. I had to learn how to stand up for myself and ensure my voice was heard. I’ve had more than my fair share of times when my technical acumen has been discounted because I’m female.I’ve learned that grace and tact go a long way, and I’m very, very proud to say that my company is nearly dead-equal male/female. We even started an organization called “Help A Sister Up” — you can find us on LinkedIn — that’s dedicated to advancing women in technology and serving as a rallying point for them and their male advocates. We post job openings, interesting articles, avenues for discussion. Please join us!TNW: What’s your advice to girls and women entering technological fields about whether to seek employment in the private or the public sector? What are some of the pros and cons, particularly from the standpoint of gender equality?Payton: An April 2013 survey of Women in Technology found that 45 percent of respondents noted a “lack of female role models or [the encouragement to pursue a degree in a technology-related field].”It’s been proven that professional mentorship and development dramatically increase participation in any given field, so the lack of women in cybersecurity is really a compounding problem — we don’t have enough women in cyber because there aren’t enough women role models in cyber.While connecting with other women has had its challenges, there are wonderful women in cyber today. Look at Linda Hudson — currently the chairman and CEO of The Cardea Group and former president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc. — shattering the glass ceiling for women behind her. Also, up-and-comer Keren Elazari, a global speaker on cybersecurity and ethical hacker out of Israel.I’ve been very lucky to work with wonderful, inspiring women in cyber, but I recognize that my exposure might be more than women starting their career. This brings me to my next point: I recommend all cyber practitioners, and especially women, take advantage of all the amazing free tools out there from RSA, TED talks, and even YouTube.You can watch speeches from veteran cybersecurity professionals about their careers, hear their advice on how to succeed, and learn new skills to keep you competitive in the workplace. Consider free online courses in cybersecurity or popular programming languages like Python.Ask your colleagues to show you their favorite geek gadget or ethical hack.There are some excellent security frameworks and guidance available for free online, such as the NIST framework, CIS Critical Security Controls, SSAE 16, and discussions on GDPR. Leverage social media to hear what’s on the minds of security experts. You must be a constant student of your profession in this field. Theresa Payton, CEO of Fortalice Solutions, is one of the most influential experts on cybersecurity and IT strategy in the United States. She is an authority on Internet security, data breaches and fraud mitigation.She served as the first female chief information officer at the White House, overseeing IT operations for President George W. Bush and his staff.With the U.S. midterm elections fast approaching, both Payton’s observations about the current cybersecurity threat level and her advice about shoring up the nation’s defenses carry special weight. Mick Brady is managing editor of ECT News Network.last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Study uncovers new mechanism of action in a firstline drug for diabetes

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 23 2018For decades, metformin has been the first-line drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, lowering blood glucose levels by inhibiting glucose production in the liver. Metformin also improves glucose uptake and use by muscle tissue.The effect of metformin on hepatic glucose production is most likely transmitted through the mitochondrial respiratory chain. However, up to now the mechanism through which the drug increases glucose uptake in muscle tissue has been unknown.A research group led by Professor Sanna Lehtonen at the University of Helsinki has now demonstrated in cell cultures and in an animal model that metformin directly binds to the lipid phosphatase SHIP2, reducing its activity. The reduction in SHIP2 activity increased glucose uptake in muscle cells and decreased cell death in podocytes, or glomerular epithelial cells.The lipid phosphatase SHIP2 suppresses the insulin signalling pathway. Prior studies have demonstrated through animal models that individuals suffering from diabetes have elevated levels of SHIP2 in their kidney, muscle and adipose tissue. This reduces the ability of tissue to react to insulin signalling and reduces its glucose uptake. Elevated SHIP2 concentration also increases programmed cell death in podocytes.In addition to an animal model, Lehtonen’s group utilised patient samples in the study. Their analysis revealed that in patients with type 2 diabetes who were not taking metformin, SHIP2 activity in the kidneys was elevated, in addition to which their podocyte loss was remarkable. In patients taking metformin, SHIP2 activity did not deviate from people without diabetes, while podocyte loss was also lower than in patients using another drug therapy.”Our results indicate that the lipid phosphatase SHIP2 has a significant role in regulating glucose metabolism and cell death in podocytes. So, regulating SHIP2 activity with metformin or another suitable pharmaceutical agent is crucial in managing type 2 diabetes and particularly in preventing related diabetic kidney disease,” Lehtonen says.UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISM OF ACTION HELPS TARGET DRUG THERAPYMetformin’s mechanism of action is being enthusiastically investigated due to its diverse effects on the body, making it potentially useful in treating diseases other than diabetes in the future. Better understanding of the mechanism also helps target the therapy precisely to those patient groups that will benefit from it.Related StoriesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsIntermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetes”Combined with the research results published last spring by Professor Leif Groop and Docent Tiinamaija Tuomi, the findings of my group highlight the significance of metformin in treating a certain group of patients with diabetes,” Lehtonen states.Based on the study conducted by Groop and Tuomi (Ahlqvist et al., Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 6: 361-, 2018), a proposal has been made to classify diabetes into five different subgroups, one of which would be severe insulin-resistant diabetes. Patients with this type of diabetes are at an exceptionally high risk of also contracting diabetic kidney disease. The researchers estimate that it would be this group in particular that would benefit from metformin.The results gained by Lehtonen’s group support this view.”Our findings prove that metformin could protect patients from renal damage by suppressing SHIP2 activity. This introduces a new, direct mechanism of action, through which metformin protects the kidneys from damage.According to a recent finding, metformin impacts metabolism also by affecting the gut microbiota,” Lehtonen points out.NEW INDICATIONS – NEW DRUGS?Identifying new mechanisms of action can expand metformin’s indications for use outside diabetes in treating, among other disorders, cancer and cardiovascular diseases – research is already underway in these fields – as well as in regulating aging.”Our new study highlights SHIP2’s significance as a drug target. Prior studies support this notion, but knowing that the most common diabetes drug acts precisely through SHIP2 encourages us to find new SHIP2 inhibitors that are more effective than metformin,” Lehtonen says.Diabetes is one of the diseases that are gaining in prevalence the fastest, both in Finland and globally. Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/versatility-in-a-first-line-drug-for-diabetes-researchers-discover-an-interesting-mechanism-of-actionlast_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Researchers uncover new lead for mechanism of action of frontline Type 2

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Canadian and British researchers have discovered how the frontline Type 2 diabetes drug metformin may work to help cells better take up and use glucose. Their study, published today in the prestigious journal Cell, may also explain other potential beneficial effects of metformin for prevention of a variety of chronic diseases, including cancers.To show that metformin appeared to make the cells act as if they are starved for the essential mineral iron, biochemists at Université de Montréal used a new method to simultaneously probe how all of a cell’s biochemical processes respond to the presence of a drug. Collaborating with researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London, the UdeM team showed that metformin has a global effect on iron distribution in cells, resulting in alteration of essential biochemical processes.Related StoriesDiabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have beneficial long-term clinical outcomesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useThe novel technology that made this discovery possible was developed in the lab of lead author Stephen Michnick, a biochemistry professor at UdeM andholder of a Canada Research Chair in cell architecture. “If you want to know what a drug or any other molecule is doing in the body, you need to survey everything going on in it’s cells at once,” said Dr. Michnick. “Today there are several ways to do this, but our method, called hdPCA, has the merit of being extremely simple to perform and interpret, non-invasive and inexpensive; it can be done in almost any lab.” The method can be deployed to rapidly predict and confirm how a drug might affect cells and simultaneously identify any liabilities the drug might have if introduced into humans.”We’d chosen to use metformin, mostly because it was an interesting test case, having no clear mechanism of action,”added the study’s first author, UdeM biochemist Bram Stynen. “The lead to effects of metformin on iron homeostasis was a bonus of this study. A connection between iron metabolism and diabetes was already suspected but no-one had ever showed a specific antidiabetic effect of metformin in living cells connected to iron homeostasis.” Added collaborator Markus Ralser, a biochemist at Francis Crick, “this makes a lot of sense; glucose metabolism most likely emerged evolutionarily from iron-dependent chemical reactions; such chemical relationships don’t disappear in evolution.”Further cell and animal studies will have to be done to pin down how important iron-starvation mimicking effects of metformin are to glucose metabolism and how this mechanism might be better exploited to improve diabetes treatments. Source:https://www.umontreal.ca/en/last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Family acceptance of LGBT individuals sexuality linked to lower stress

first_img Source:https://www.ohio.edu/ucm/media/news-story.cfm?newsItem=4E553C95-5056-A874-1D0B24EB38C8D251 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Ohio University Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Peggy Zoccola has determined that those who identify as LGBT and have come out to their family carry less stress hormones than those who have not come out, which may ultimately benefit their health.The recent study by Zoccola and coauthor Andrew Manigault, M.S., published in the October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, journal of the Psychosomatic Society, discusses how feeling able to comfortably talk about your sexual identity with family members specifically, appears to be most linked to output of the stress hormone cortisol, a hormone that if too much is produced, it can damage an individual’s health.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useStudy explores the effects of near-miss experiences associated with 9/11 terrorist attacksEarly life adversity and high levels of FKBP5 protein amplify anxiety-like behavior”The real stress punch seems to be with the family,” said Zoccola when referencing how greater disclosure of a LGBT individual’s sexuality to their family is strongly linked to lower cortisol.She points out that there has been sparse research on how the aspects of coming out by LGBT adults affect the release of stress hormones, however, some early studies have shown that if people who identify as sexual minorities feel acceptance from their families, they have higher self-esteem, lower depression and substance use rates and are less likely to think about suicide.For the study, Zoccola had 121 sexual minority adults ages 18 to 35 take a survey about their depression and anxiety levels, sociodemographic factors and how much support they felt. They were also asked how out they were to family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers and clergy in religious organizations, as well as provided their age when they came out. Following the survey, 58 individuals from the group were randomly selected to provide a saliva sample to show their cortisol levels.The results of Zoccola’s research showed that the more open people were to disclosing their sexuality with their family, the lower cortisol levels they had.”For these emerging adults, the family provides a foundation of support,” said Zoccola. “If they’re comfortable disclosing to their family, they seem to have a protective stress profile.”last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Gene that makes some people susceptible to middle ear infections identified

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 25 2018Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found multiple genetic variants within the FUT2 gene that makes some people especially susceptible to middle ear infections.”Middle ear infections are very common in kids,” said the study’s lead author, Regie Santos-Cortez, MD, PhD, associate professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “By the time they are 1-year-old around half have fever, ear pain or pus/fluid in the middle ear due to infection. Some of these infections may recur or become chronic thus requiring surgery.”The FUT2 gene is expressed in the salivary gland, colon and lungs but its expression in the middle ear has not been described previously.Santos-Cortez and her colleagues discovered the role the gene played in middle ear infections or otitis media by initially examining DNA samples from 609 multi-ethnic families with the condition.The study was published online today in the American Journal of Human Genetics.Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasResearchers capture high-resolution, 3D images of gene-editing enzymesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellThe researchers found common variants of the gene in Filipinos and South Asians and a rarer variant associated with recurrent middle ear infections in European-American children. The most common variant occurs in 30-50% of individuals in almost all population groups except East Asians.”A number of things predispose people to getting these infections including a lack of vaccinations, lack of breastfeeding and being around smoking caregivers,” said Santos-Cortez, who is also with the Center for Children’s Surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “But even in the best case scenario, recurrent or chronic middle ear infections still happen in some kids, which may be due to genetic predisposition.”Those who possessed the genetic variants had a much higher chance of getting the infection. The researchers believe the gene modifies the microbiome of the middle ear in a way that makes it more susceptible to infection by specific bacteria.”If you have these mutations, you will have a slightly different microbiota which could elevate the risk of disease,” Santos-Cortez said.The finding could eventually lead to new ways of determining who is likely to get the infection.The study confirmed expression of FUT2 in the middle ear which is spiked within 24 hours of bacterial infection. But the FUT2 genetic variants decrease presentation of A antigen used by bacteria to gain access to the middle ear lining.That causes a decrease in some bacteria while boosting the numbers of bacteria known to play a role in chronic or recurrent disease.”The frequency of population-specific FUT2 variants makes this gene a potential target for preventative screening and future treatments for otitis media, including modulation of the middle ear microbiome,” the study said.Source: http://www.ucdenver.edu/last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Amputees using powered prosthetics can avoid energetic costs by cranking up power

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 9 2018Amputees who use powered prosthetic ankles may be able to avoid the energetic costs typically associated with prosthetics by cranking up the power provided by their devices.A UCF engineering professor recently published a study in Scientific Reports that shows that people with transtibial amputations – the loss of a limb below the knee – may improve their walking ability if they change the power-setting on their devices. Hwan Choi, who received his doctorate in engineering from the University of Washington, is an assistant professor in the UCF department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States every year and 49-95% of lower-limb amputees reportedly use a prosthesis. Most of those on the market are passive prosthetics. On average, amputees spend up to 30% more energy than unimpaired individuals when performing tasks such as walking. This could be due to the fact that most ankle prostheses are passive-elastic, meaning that they can store and release energy when they come in contact with the ground but are unable to perform positive net ankle work that allows for muscle shortening contractions to occur. In fact, these prostheses are only able to provide one eighth of the power of the intact gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, the key muscles that support and propel the body during walking.As passive prostheses increase the energetic demand on the user, individuals may have to compensate by increasing muscular effort in the residual or intact limb. Powered ankle prostheses, on the other hand, use actuators to reduce the increased metabolic costs placed on amputees by delivering positive work. BiOM (now known as EMPOWER), the only commercially available powered ankle prosthetic, uses a visual display that allows the wearer to tune the power setting on the device. Ideally, they would select a power setting between 0% and 100% that best approximates that of a healthy ankle at the user’s preferred walking speed. But the question remains: how much power should the prosthesis provide?Related StoriesMicrovascular disease associated with increased risk of leg amputationLow-income patients at increased risk of catastrophic amputation after knee joint replacementResearchers identify risk factors for severe infection after knee replacementToo little power and they may experience the same metabolic costs of those using passive prostheses, but too much and they may experience problems such as knee hyperflexion and increased energy absorption in the knee that can raise the metabolic costs of the user.Choi, along with coauthors Kimberly Ingrahm, David Remy, Emily Gardinier, and Deanna Gates from the University of Michigan, tested ten individuals with transtibial amputations. They measured the metabolic cost of transport (COT) and the BiOM’s net ankle work at different power settings, while the amputees walked on a treadmill with the BiOM ankle.Choi said that they discovered that the ideal power that reduced metabolic cost was actually greater than biological norms. In other words, the best tested setting actually decreased the amount of excess energy used by the subject more than the prosthetist-chosen power setting.”The key finding of this study was that none of the subjects had the minimum metabolic cost when they walk with unimpaired individuals work or power. When they had greater power, then the impaired individuals actually reduced metabolic cost.”Across participants, power settings greater than 50% resulted in lower COT, but the best tested power setting was actually higher than the prosthetist-chosen setting.In fact, on average, the power setting that minimized energy costs corresponded to approximately double the net ankle work of the biological ankle. So while powered ankles may be more beneficial than passive prosthetics, amputees can actually increase their activity level when prosthetists change their goal from achieving approximate biological ankle kinetics to minimizing metabolic costs.According to Choi, with minimized metabolic costs, transtibial amputees have a greater chance of remaining active, improving their quality of life, and preventing a number of health consequences, including diabetes and cardiac disease. Source:https://www.ucf.edu/last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Cranberry consumption modifies impact of animalbased diet on gut health

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018In a recently published feeding trial in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, scientists investigated the potential protective effect of cranberries on the gut microbiome with an animal-based diet. Consuming cranberry compounds modified the impact of an animal-based diet in study participants by restoring a healthier microbiota profile. The addition of whole cranberry powder lessened potentially carcinogenic secondary bile acids and blunted the decline in beneficial short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.”Among the 20 most commonly consumed fruits in the American diet, we chose to investigate cranberries and the gut microbiome as they are among the fruits with a high total phenol content,” said study author, Dr. Oliver Chen. Dr. Chen further explained the importance of the investigation because the gut microbiota is a key protector for human health. “An imbalance can increase the risk for several chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes,” added Dr. Chen. “Identifying foods – like cranberries – that can help shape and support a healthier gut microbiome could have a remarkable impact on public health.”Related StoriesHealthy high-fiber diet could reduce preeclampsia riskScientists examine hormonal links between diet and obesityDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaAn international team led by researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, conducted a randomized, double-blind, crossover study of 11 healthy subjects (7 males, 4 females) aged 25 to 54 years with normal digestive function. A control diet, comprised of meats, dairy products and simple sugars was compared to a treatment diet – the control diet plus 30 grams of freeze-dried whole cranberry powder – for two, 5-day periods with a 2-week washout in between. The cranberry diet showed fewer potentially negative microbiota changes than the control diet phase. It appeared that adding cranberries to the control diet reduced the rise in secondary gut bile acids that have been associated with colon and GI cancer. Cranberries also lessened the drop in beneficial SCFA thought to help maintain healthy GI cells. Overall, the treatment diet suggested that cranberry constituents may help support a healthy gut microbiome.”On behalf of the Cranberry Institute and cranberry growers and handlers, it is exciting and rewarding to see new diverse health research about the potential benefits of cranberry consumption,” stated Terry Humfeld, executive director of the non-profit Cranberry Institute – an organization established for cranberry research and education. “Scientists continue to dedicate their studies to exploring the inherent value of eating cranberries, so as an industry, we will proudly continue to support their efforts.” Source:https://www.cranberryinstitute.org/last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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New guidelines for detecting and managing sarcopenia to be launched in the

first_img Source:https://www.ncl.ac.uk/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 15 2018Newcastle University experts are chairing a national session on new guidelines for the early detection and treatment of sarcopenia – a loss of muscle strength that affects many older people in the UK.It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of older people live with the condition in the UK, and identification and treatment is a major challenge for modern medicine.Now new guidelines for early detection and treatment of sarcopenia will be launched in the UK on Friday (November 16) at the British Geriatrics Society Autumn Meeting in London.Newcastle experts’ roleProfessors Avan Sayer and Miles Witham, from the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, at Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals, UK, will chair a session that outlines the process of creating the guidelines with the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP).Professor Alfonso Cruz-Jentoft, Director of the Geriatric Department of the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal in Madrid, and lead author of the new guidelines, will discuss the recommendations as part of the session.Professor Avan Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, was a member of the Working Group.She said: “These guidelines are an update of the previous ones published in 2010 and will provide a step change in how we both recognize and manage sarcopenia.”They will underpin the growing research activity in this area as well as support the development of new clinical services for older people.”We are keen to get this message out as widely as possible to patients and the public where sarcopenia is not so well known.”The new consensus is endorsed by a number of international Societies, including the European Geriatric Medicine Society, the European Society for Clinical Nutrition, the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, the International Osteoporosis Foundation and International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics for the European Region.Sarcopenia researchStudies have shown that sarcopenia increases risk of falls and fractures, impairs ability to perform activities of daily living, lowers quality of life, leads to loss of independence, and is associated with increased mortality rates.In financial terms, sarcopenia is costly to healthcare systems as among older adults who are hospitalised, those with sarcopenia on admission are five times more likely to have higher hospital costs.There are a number of important changes to the guidance from 2010, including an easier way to screen for sarcopenia risk using a simple questionnaire, a systematic way to make the sarcopenia diagnosis, and suggestions for practical tools and tests at each step. The new consensus also underscores the importance of poor physical function as a “red flag” for severe sarcopenia.Related StoriesResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsThe new consensus also highlights areas requiring further research, such as the underlying mechanisms of the disease remain poorly understood.There may be multiple types of sarcopenia, driven by different underlying risk factors or diseases. The new guidance attempts an important next step in classifying sarcopenia into primary and secondary forms, which should accelerate research in this area.Professors Sayer and Witham’s work at Newcastle University and the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre harnesses scientific expertise, input from patients, the public and industry, in order to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ageing syndromes, including sarcopenia. Their work seeks to understand why muscle becomes weaker with age, identify ways to prevent or reverse sarcopenia, and then test these potential treatments in clinical trials.Professor Alfonso Cruz-Jentoft said: “There is no doubt that sarcopenia is now well established as an important area of research activity, both within geriatric medicine and increasingly in organ specialities, such as cardiology, respiratory medicine, and oncology.”Will this research activity translate into clinical activity focused on sarcopenia, as we would like to see? For this to happen, sarcopenia has to be routinely detected and addressed in clinical practice.”Diagnosing sarcopenia will have to lead to treatment strategies that would otherwise not be triggered as part of current care. The treatments proven to work so far – resistance training and nutrition intervention – are not unique to sarcopenia and are already indicated for the related syndrome of frailty.”It may be that for sarcopenia to find a place in daily geriatric medicine practice – and in general medical care – we must wait for specific, effective treatments that merit spending time and effort on making the diagnosis of sarcopenia. As research progresses towards that goal, these new guidelines are an important next step on the road.”Read the Age and Ageing paper Sarcopenia: revised European consensus on definition and diagnosisThese new guidelines are an update to the previously published Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis: Report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People published in Age and Ageing in 2010.last_img read more

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2019-07-19

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Opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of some infectious diseases

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 4 2019The United States faces a converging public health crisis as the nation’s opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections. Infectious disease and substance use disorder professionals must work together to stem the mounting public health threat, according to a new commentary in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The article was co-authored by officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.Related StoriesReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasSince 1999, nearly 400,000 people in the United States have fatally overdosed on opioid-containing drugs, with 47,600 deaths in 2017 alone. Many people with opioid use disorder (OUD), who initially were prescribed oral drugs to treat pain, now inject prescribed or illegal opioids. High-risk injection practices such as needle-sharing are causing a surge in infectious diseases. Additionally, risky sexual behaviors associated with injection drug use have contributed to the spread of sexually transmitted infections.Infectious disease health professionals can play an important role in addressing the problem by not only treating a patient’s injection drug use-associated infection but also connecting the patient for treatment of their underlying OUD, the authors write. For example, coupling opioid agonist therapy, such as methadone, with treatment for HIV or hepatitis C, can prevent further transmission of those viruses and reduce opioid use. Comprehensive treatment will result in improved outcomes for both the infectious disease and the underlying OUD, according to the authors.Conversely, substance use disorder health providers should screen their patients for unrecognized infectious diseases and consult with their infectious disease colleagues regarding a comprehensive treatment plan. Substance use disorder professionals also should be aware of and direct patients to needle and syringe programs, which can decrease injection risks and provide an opportunity to provide other services as well.New federal resources made available to address the growing opioid epidemic can assist health professionals in improving and implementing coordinated, evidence-based strategies to prevent and treat OUD and opioid-associated infections. These efforts will be key to stemming and ultimately ending the intertwined problem of OUD and infectious disease, according to the commentary. Source:https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/opioid-epidemic-increasing-rates-some-infectious-diseaseslast_img read more

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2019-07-18

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Why the electric vehicle revolution will bring problems of its own

After years of being derided as a joke by car manufacturers and the public, interest in electric vehicles has increased sharply as governments around the world move to ban petrol and diesel cars. Electric cars are taking over – but they really as green as they look? Credit: Jack Amick / flickr, CC BY-NC This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by The Conversation This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Plug-in hybrid vehicles are better than their reputation The elements used in battery production are finite and in limited supply. This makes it impossible to electrify all of the world’s transport with current battery technology. Meanwhile, there is still no environmentally safe way of recycling lithium-ion batteries.While electric cars produce no exhaust, there is concern about fine particle emissions. Electric cars are often heavier than conventional cars, and heavier vehicles are often accompanied by higher levels of non-exhaust emissions. The large torque of electric vehicles further adds to the fine dust problem, as it causes greater tyre wear and dispersion of dust particles.Different motor, same problemElectric vehicles share many other issues with conventional cars too. Both require roads, parking areas and other infrastructure, which is especially a problem in cities. Roads divide communities and make access to essential services difficult for those without cars. A shift in people’s reliance on combustion cars to electric cars also does little to address sedentary urban lifestyles, as it perpetuates our lack of physical activity. Other problems relate to congestion. In Australia, the avoidable social cost of traffic congestion in 2015 was estimated at A$16.5 billion. This is expected to increase by 2% every year until 2030. Given trends in population growth and urbanisation globally and in Australia, electric cars – despite obvious advantages over fossil fuels – are unlikely to solve urban mobility and infrastructure-related problems.Technology or regulation may solve these technical and environmental headaches. Improvements in recycling, innovation, and the greening of battery factories can go a long way towards reducing the impacts of battery production. Certification schemes, such as the one proposed in Sweden, could help deliver low-impact battery value chains and avoid conflict minerals and human rights violations in the industry. A new transport paradigmYet, while climate change concerns alone seem to warrant a speedy transition towards electric mobility, it may prove to be merely a transition technology. Electric cars will do little for urban mobility and liveability in the years to come. Established car makers such as Porsche are working on new modes of transportation, especially for congested and growing markets such as China. Nevertheless, their vision is still one of personal vehicles – relying on electric cars coupled with smart traffic guidance systems to avoid urban road congestion. Instead of having fewer cars, as called for by transport experts, car makers continue to promote individualised transport, albeit a greener version.With a growing population, a paradigm shift in transport may be needed – one that looks to urban design to solve transportation problems.In Copenhagen, for example, bikes now outnumber cars in the city’s centre, which is primed to be car-free within the next ten years. Many other cities, including Oslo in Norway and Chengdu in China, are also on their way to being free of cars. Experts are already devising new ways to design cities. They combine efficient public transport, as found in Curitiba, Brazil, with principles of walkability, as seen in Vauben, Germany. They feature mixed-use, mixed-income and transit-oriented developments, as seen in places like Fruitvale Village in Oakland, California. These developments don’t just address transport-related environmental problems. They enhance liveability by reclaiming urban space for green developments. They reduce the cost of living by cutting commuting cost and time. They deliver health benefits, thanks to reduced pollution and more active lifestyles. They improve social cohesion, by fostering human interaction in urban streetscapes, and help to reduce crime. And of course, they improve economic performance by reducing the loss of productivity caused by congestion.Electric cars are a quick-to-deploy technology fix that helps tackle climate change and improve urban air quality – at least to a point. But the sustainability endgame is to eliminate many of our daily travel needs altogether through smart design, while improving the parts of our lives we lost sight of during our decades-long dependence on cars. We have seen a tremendous rise in availability, especially at the premium end of the market, where Tesla is giving established brands a run for their money. Electric cars are likely to penetrate the rest of the market quickly too. Prices should be on par with conventional cars by 2025. Electric cars are praised as the answer to questions of green and clean mobility. But the overall sustainability of electric vehicles is far from clear. On closer examination, our entire transport paradigm may need to be rethought.Compared with combustion engines, electric transport has obvious advantages for emissions and human health. Transport is responsible for around 23% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions globally. This is expected to double by 2050. Motor vehicles also put a burden on society, especially in urban environments where they are chiefly responsible for noise and air pollution. Avoiding these issues is why electric vehicles are considered a key technology in cleaning up the transport sector. However, electric cars come with problems of their own.Dirt in the supply chainFor one, electric vehicles have a concerning supply chain. Cobalt, a key component of the lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, is linked to reports of child labour. The nickel used in those same batteries is toxic to extract from the ground. And there are environmental concerns and land use conflicts connected with lithium mining in countries like Tibet and Bolivia. Explore further Citation: Why the electric vehicle revolution will bring problems of its own (2018, April 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-electric-vehicle-revolution-problems.html read more

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2019-07-18

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Largest Neolithic Settlement in Israel Uncovered Up to 3000 People May Have

first_img Back to the Stone Age: 17 Key Milestones in Paleolithic Life Before it gets destroyed by a newly constructed highway, a 9,000-year-old Neolithic site just outside of Jerusalem is getting an exhaustive excavation, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. The humans who lived there during the Neolithic (the last period of the Stone Age) were a sophisticated bunch. Many of them were likely farmers who had stored hundreds of thousands of seeds — including lentils, chickpeas and beans — in storage facilities. These ancient people also kept domesticated goats, as shown by animal remains found at the site, and they traded with neighboring regions, such as what is now Turkey, Jordan and the areas around the Red Sea. “This is the first time that such a large-scale settlement from the Neolithic period — 9,000 years ago — [has been] discovered in Israel,” Hamoudi Khalaily and Jacob Vardi, archaeologists and excavation directors at the site, who work with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement. “At least 2,000 [to] 3,000 residents lived here — an order of magnitude that parallels a present-day city.” [See Photos of the Neolithic Excavation]Advertisement Largest Neolithic Excavation on Record in IsraelArchaeologists are excavating a 9,000-year-old farming settlement in Israel that dates to the Neolithic. Credit: Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities AuthorityVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65956-largest-neolithic-settlement-in-israel.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:4502:45Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭  Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoPrimeSolarQuotesCalifornia Signs Solar Law Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds A Month.PrimeSolarQuotesUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndocenter_img Archaeologists have known about this location, called the Motza site, for decades. However, now that the government plans to build a new highway entrance and new roundabouts there, the Israel Antiquities Authority sent a team to do a full-scale excavation of the Neolithic settlement, Vardi told Live Science. This effort quickly became the largest excavation of a Neolithic site in the country, he said. During the Neolithic, hunter-gatherer groups began farming and making permanent settlements. So, it came as no surprise when they found large buildings with rooms where Neolithic people once lived, public facilities and places for rituals. Alleyways ran between the buildings, showing that the settlement had an advanced layout. Some buildings even had plaster floors. The team also uncovered human burials beneath and around the houses. Some of the burials also held burial goods, likely offerings that may have been given to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of these grave goods came from far away — including obsidian beads from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) and seashells from the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea — indicating that the people at this site traded with neighboring regions. The excavation also uncovered several stone and mother-of-pearl bracelets, which, given their small size, were likely worn by children or adolescents, Vardi said. He added that one burial showed that these bracelets were worn on the upper arm. The site also has thousands of stone arrowheads for hunting, axes for felling trees, and sickle blades and knives, as well as figurines whose styles date to the Neolithic. Radiocarbon dating of the seeds found at the site indicates that people lived there between 9,000 and 8,800 years ago, Vardi said. In addition to farming crops and keeping goats, these people kept cows and pigs; they also hunted game, such as gazelle, deer, wolves and foxes, as shown by animal remains found there. “Based on the data that we have and from the fauna, we have a pretty good notion that the people at the site were farmers and they were specialists in what they did,” Vardi said. After the Neolithic period ended, people continued to live there. It’s clear why this spot was so desirable, Vardi said, as it’s near a large spring and several smaller springs that supply fresh water. The site is now 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sorek Stream. The entire Motza site is about 0.1 square miles (30 to 40 hectares). As the excavation wraps up, the team still has a lot on its plate. The researchers plan to publish several papers and articles for the public on the site, as well as put some of the artifacts in museums for public viewing, Vardi said. Photos: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Road and Coins Discovered in Israellast_img read more

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2019-07-18

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Menstrual Cups Are Safe But Questions Remain About Toxic Shock Risk Review

first_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSoGoodlyThey Were Named The Most Beautiful Twins In The World, Wait Till You See Them TodaySoGoodlyUndoBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Reveals: “You Can Fill In Wrinkles At Home” (Here’s How)Beverly Hills MDUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndo Birth Control Quiz: Test Your Contraception Knowledge Best Period-Tracking Apps Menstrual cups have been heralded as a sustainable alternative to pads and tampons, and have been growing in popularity in recent years. But few studies have compared menstrual cups with these other feminine hygiene products in terms of their safety and effectiveness. Now, a new review study has some good news for menstrual cup fans: The flexible cups that collect menses blood appear to be a safe option for managing periods, and they may be as effective as pads and tampons for preventing leakage. The review authors also found that menstrual cup use didn’t increase the risk of developing certain bacterial infections compared with use of other feminine hygiene products; and menstrual cups weren’t detrimental to women’s natural vaginal flora, another measure of safety. [7 Facts Women (And Men) Should Know About the Vagina]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65952-menstrual-cups-safety.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Still, the review, published today (July 16) in the journal The Lancet Public Health, highlighted some aspects of menstrual cup safety that need more research. For example, the study authors could not determine whether menstrual cups were safer than tampons with regard to the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) — a rare but life-threatening condition that’s been linked with tampon use. Indeed, the authors identified several cases of TSS tied to menstrual cups, although the risk seems low, they said. Overall, the results are reassuring about the safety of menstrual cups, said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who wasn’t involved with the review. But there is a need for more data on the rate of toxic shock syndrome among menstrual cup users, and how it can be prevented, she said. For now, doctors generally recommend that menstrual cup users treat the product in a way that’s similar to how they would use a tampon — removing and cleaning it every 8 hours or so. “They do need to take it out regularly and wash it,” Wu told Live Science. “This is not something you want to leave in for a day and a half.” There is also a question of whether women who use intrauterine devices (IUDs) for birth control may face an increased risk of IUD displacement when they use menstrual cups. More studies are needed to investigate whether this is a safe combination, the authors said. Alternative product Menstrual cups are typically bell-shaped and collect menses blood rather than absorb it, as tampons and pads do. The cups are often reusable, made from silicone, rubber or latex; and they can last up to 10 years. Although menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, their popularity has spiked during the last decade, according to the BBC. The new study is one of the first rigorous scientific reviews of menstrual cup use, the authors said. The researchers analyzed information from 43 previous studies on menstrual cup use involving more than 3,300 people from low-, middle- and high-income countries. Four of the studies, involving about 300 people, directly compared leakage of menstrual blood during use of a menstrual cup, tampon or pad. In three of these studies, the amount of blood that leaked was similar among users of all three products; and in one study, menstrual cup users had less leakage than the others. Among studies conducted in Europe, North America and Africa, there was no increased risk of infections of the reproductive tract, such as yeast infections, tied to menstrual cup use, compared with use of other menstrual products. However, the researchers did identify five cases of toxic shock syndrome tied to menstrual cup use. The condition can occur when certain bacteria, particularly Staphylococcus aureus, grow rapidly in the vaginal tract and produce harmful toxins. But because it’s unclear how many women use menstrual cups overall, the researchers were not able to compare the rate of TSS among menstrual cup users to that of tampon users. The rate of TSS among menstruating women is about 1 in 100,000 women, Live Science previously reported. The authors also identified 13 cases of women with IUDs that were dislodged when they used menstrual cups. This level of occurrence seems “pretty high,” Wu said, but more studies are needed to examine this risk. Wu said she would advise women with IUDs to be “very careful” when using menstrual cups, and to check with their health care provider before using them. Still, Wu noted, some women who use IUDs don’t get their period, meaning they wouldn’t have a need for menstrual cups or other products for menstruation. Cost effective The review also found that a lot of women aren’t aware of menstrual cups, with just 11% to 33% of women surveyed in high-income countries saying they knew about the products. There also seems to be a “learning curve” of several months for women to become familiar with how to use them. But once women were familiar with the products, 70% said they wanted to continue to use the products to manage their period, according to the review. What’s more, the menstrual cups appeared to offer large cost savings and environmental benefits compared with pads and tampons. Evidence from the review suggested that, over a 10-year period, a single menstrual cup could cost about 5% to 7% of the cost of using pads or tampons. (For example, assuming that pads cost about 31 cents each, a woman who uses 12 pads per cycle would end up spending more than $480 over 10 years, while the average cost of a menstrual cup was about $23.) The authors also estimated that, over a 10-year period, a single menstrual cup would create only 0.4% of the plastic waste generated by pad use and 6% of the plastic waste generated by tampon use. The review “highlights the cost-effectiveness and lack of waste of the menstrual cup,” Wu said. She noted that there are different sizes and types of menstrual cups, and women may want to speak with their doctor about which type is best for their body. 5 Myths About Women’s Bodieslast_img read more

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2019-07-18

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Centre fine with EC holding JK polls along with general elections

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2019-07-17

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UN declaration on Azhar is Modis victory BJP

first_imgMay 02, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on BJP terms it a result of PM’s zero-tolerance policy; says Cong scared of political price COMMENT COMMENTScenter_img The start of the election campaign with air strikes in Balakot received a mid-way boost on Thursday. The BJP claimed the UN’s declaration — designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist — as a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “zero-tolerance policy for terrorism” and compared it to the Congress’ ostensibly weak-kneed response to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.The BJP said while every Indian is celebrating this victory, the Opposition parties, especially the Congress, have responded in a frivolous manner because they are scared of the “political price” they will have to pay for this. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley simultaneously underlined the main campaign theme of the BJP as — Nationalism, the PM’s leadership and the performance of the government.The Finance Minister contrasted the BJP’s thrust on nationalism and strong-on-terror policy with the Congress which, he said, has painted itself into a fringe position by promising to scrap the sedition law, review Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and Disturbed Areas Act in Jammu and Kashmir. He said PM Modi’s response to Pulwama was air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan, whereas the Congress not only refused to mount similar air strikes post 26/11 Mumbai attacks, but also released 25 Pakistani terroristsafter the Mumbai attacks as a “goodwill gesture” to Pakistan.“How effective India’s position was post 26/11 is known to everyone. You have a former service chief saying that they wanted to carry out air strikes and the then PM ( Manmohan Singh) said no. And post 26/11, within weeks, 25 terrorists were released as a part of goodwill gesture so that Pakistan cooperates. Forget cooperation, Shahid Latif —one of the released prisoner — was involved in Pathankot attack years later,” said Jaitley.The Finance Minister addressed a press conference at the BJP headquarters on Thursday afternoon along with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hail the UN declaration and characterised it as an international recognition of the PM’s diplomatic and strategic efforts as well as India’s forceful response to Pulawama terror attack. Defence Minister pitches inSitharaman said the declaration is a clear signal that the Modi-led government will not tolerate terrorism.“It is important to point out that every opportunity that the PM had during his bilateral talks with countries, an effort was made towards the need to recognise Pakistan as the land where, as per publicly available data, more than 35 declared terrorist organisations are located … The much-awaited announcement was made last night and we would like to highlight that PM’s zero-tolerance policy for terrorism has borne fruit,” said Sitharaman.Jaitley said the response of the global powers and change in the attitude of China, which has been blocking India’s move on Masood Azhar, is a result of India’s enhanced international stature, PM Modi’s diplomatic efforts and his stern reaction to the Pulwama terror attack. He described as “unfortunate” the reaction of the Opposition, especially the Congress. Jaitley said the party has violated the tradition of political parties speaking in one voice on foreign policy. “The Congress is scared of the political consequences of participating in the PM’s feat.”For political mileage?To a question on whether this achievement is being hailed to gain political mileage during elections, Jaitley said a political party’s approach to national security is a political issue.“Nationalism is an important issue. It is part of our core ideology since the Jana Sangh was formed. On certain occasions, it acquires more relevance. We continue to stand by our theme of nationalism, PM’s leadership and the performance of the government. When the Congress in its manifesto says it will remove sedition, dilute AFSPA, the contrast is visible. It is a matter of pride that nationalism is an election issue It is a matter of shame that they think nationalism should not be an issue,” he said. BJP SHARE Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference at BJP headquarters in New Delhi   –  PTIlast_img read more

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2019-07-17

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Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty to add 3 more properties in KeralaGrand Hyatt

first_imgMay 05, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL hotel and hospitality COMMENT Kochi Kerala SHARE Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty (GHB), which has completed one year of operations, is adding three more properties in the hospitality sector in Kerala at an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore.The new properties under the brand Hyatt Regency, would come up in suburban Malayattur on the banks of the River Periyar, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram within one year.“Of late, tourist arrivals to Kerala, especially from West Asia, Europe, the UK and US have started picking up. We are looking at a 7-8 per cent growth this year, with improved air connectivity and a better business environment”, said Shrikant Wakharkar, General Manager, GHB.Key segments such as MICE, leisure and corporate travel to Kochi are on the rise, thanks to the proactive steps taken by Kerala Tourism in promoting the state. Despite adverse conditions such as the floods and Nipah Virus issues last year, GHB managed to record 40 per cent room occupancy, which is a healthy sign as per international standards.“We expect more dynamic changes in the hospitality industry in Kerala, especially with seamless air connectivity offered by four airports. The commencement of direct flights from Tel Aviv to Kochi by Arkia is expected to increase tourist arrivals”, he told BusinessLine.On the beefing up of security in the aftermath of terrorist strikes in Sri Lankan hotels, he said: “We don’t have to wait for Sri Lanka to happen, to tighten our security. Security is our priority and our staff, who have worked in other Hyatt properties, have the exposure to handle any emergency situation.”Asked whether Kerala as a tourist destination could cash in on the business opportunity in the wake of terror-related issues in the island nation, Wakharkar said: “We may be one of the destinations. But it would be spread across other tourist destinations such as Goa, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and even Bangkok”.He suggested a uniform tax structure, as the current GST rates are on the higher side. Besides, room rates, especially in the major metros vis-a-vis Asian countries, are on the lower side. A hike in room rates would improve the profitability of the hospitality sector, he added. COMMENTS tourism and leisure Published onlast_img read more

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2019-07-17

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Education Malaysia Global Services expresses regret over death of Nigerian student

first_imgPETALING JAYA: Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) expressed its regret and deepest condolences over the death of Thomas Orhions Ewansiha in its Instagram account on Friday evening (July12). Related News World 09 Jul 2019 Nigeria’s National Assembly on lockdown after shooting – Reuters witness Tags / Keywords: World 07 Jul 2019 Boko Haram kills at least five soldiers in northeast Nigeria – sources Education Malaysia Global Services , EMGS , Thomas Orhions Ewansiha “The case is currently under investigation and we will wait for the full findings of the authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go to Mr Thomas’ family,” it said in a post.Ewansiha, who was from Nigeria, was pursuing his PhD in management at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and was married with two young children.EMGS, a wholly-owned company of the Education Ministry, operates a one-stop centre for international student services together with the Immigration Department.  Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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2019-07-16

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Immigration DG Students detention followed procedure

first_img Nation 19h ago Nigerian tried to flee during raid, says Immigration Volume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9 facebook twitter Email Linkhttps://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/13/immigration-dg-students-detention-followed-procedure/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedLive00:0001:2801:28  KUALA LUMPUR: The Nigerian, whose death while in custody led to a protest here, was arrested and detained according to procedure, says Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.He said Thomas Orhions Ewan­siha, 34, was picked up on July 4 following raids on apartments in Desa Aman Puri here. He explained that the raids were conducted following complaints by residents about drugs, prostitution and public intoxication in the area. “At that time, a group of foreigners had tried to run away. The person in question (Ewansiha) had also fled but was successfully detained by our officers,” he said in a statement yesterday. Nation 17h ago Wisma Putra: No protest outside Malaysian High Comm in Nigeria While his papers were deemed valid, he said the officers were suspicious due to his actions at the time.Ewansiha was detained and transferred to the Bukit Jalil depot. Khairul Dzaimee said Ewansiha did not disclose any pre-existing medical condition to the officers. However, medical treatment was administrated to him for an old thigh injury.“At 12.05am on July 9, other detainees told the officers on duty that the subject had a seizure in his sleep. Immediate medical aid was given and the hospital was contacted to assist as well. “An ambulance from HUKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre) as well as an assistant medical officer arrived at 12.30am and attempted to help the subject. However, he was pronounced dead,” he said. The department, he said, was still waiting for a complete medical report and the cause of death.City police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim has called for calm among after a protest was held on Thursday morning at the Nigerian High Commission.The situation escalated when the protesters were not allowed into the office there. “However, they dispersed when told to do so by the police,” he saidMeanwhile, a Wisma Putra spokesman said that there was no protest outside the Malaysian High Com­mission in Nigeria on the matter. Related News Nation 17h ago Following protest, police increase presence outside Nigerian High Comm {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related Newslast_img read more

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2019-07-16

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First prototype of BrahmosNG to be ready by 2024

first_imgFirst prototype of Brahmos-NG to be ready by 2024The five-metre-long, 50-centimetre-thick, and 1.5 ton Brahmod-NG is half the dimensions of the Brahmos missiles currently in service today with the Indian Air Force (IAF), Army, and the Navy.advertisement Sandeep Unnithan New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:39 IST The first prototype of the Brahmos-NG will be fielded in 2024. (File Photo)HIGHLIGHTSThe first prototype of the Brahmos-NG will be fielded in 2024It is five-metre-long, 50-centimetre-thick and 1.5 tonThe Indo-Russian Brahmos joint venture was formed in 1998The first prototype of the Brahmos-NG, a lighter sleeker variant of the Indo-Russian cruise missile, will be fielded in 2024.A top official of the Brahmos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian joint venture company which manufactures the missile, told India Today TV that the missile was currently under development between NPO Mashinostroyeniya and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).The NG or next generation will mark a quantum jump in the offensive abilities of the Indian armed forces.The five-metre-long, 50-centimetre-thick, and 1.5 ton Brahmod-NG is half the dimensions of the Brahmos missiles currently in service today with the Indian Air Force (IAF), Army, and the Navy.The Brahmos-NG’s significant weight and size reductions mean that it can be carried by many more platforms including the conventional submarines and the fighter aircraft.It will, however, have the same speed, range and lethality of the first generation Brahmos which flies at three times the speed of sound.The Su-30MKI which carries one Brahmos presently, carries one Brahmos-NG, will be able to carry five Brahmos-NGs. We can put it on the MiG-29 and on the indigenous LCA Tejas, Praveen Pathak, Chief General Manager (Marketing Promotions and Export) Brahmos Aerospace International Maritime at the Defence Show (IMDS), said.The Indo-Russian Brahmos joint venture was formed in 1998 and is the oldest military joint venture between India and Russia.ALSO READ | Chandrayaan-1 confirmed presence of water on Moon, who knows Chandrayaan-2 might find alien lifeALSO WATCH | Chandrayaan 2 to be launched on July 15: ISROFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharma Nextlast_img read more

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2019-07-16

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Bihar Over 1 lakh families await reimbursement promised for building toilets

first_img Indo-Asian News Service PatnaJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 12:17 IST Image for representation (Image: PTI)As many as 1.87 lakh families in rural Patna are still awaiting to get the reimbursement promised under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin scheme for constructing toilets in their houses.Poverty-stricken Dinanath Rai and Surajdeo Mahto constructed toilets in their house last year at their own cost but are yet to get back the money they spent. They have been running from pillar to post for over a year to get their money but nothing helped.”Some time officials point out that my Aadhaar card is not linked, some time they say my paper work is half done and ask me to visit again. It has become a common practice. I borrowed money from my relatives and constructed a toilet in my house last year at the assurance of an officer that I will be given back the amount soon after verification of the toilet,” said Dinanath Rai, a resident of a village in Danapur block in Patna district.”It appears that I did a blunder by believing them,” he said.Surajdeo Mahto, a resident of a village in Bihta block in Patna, said he had taken RS 12,000 on credit for construction of a toilet as he was sure to get reimbursement from the government agency. “It is now a long wait, I am yet to receive the money. It is a sad reality, he said.”Sanjay Kumar, District Nodal Officer of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, said 1.87 lakh people are yet to be paid the amount for construction of toilets. “We have decided to pay the amount and for that we are launching a campaign,” he said.In Patna, construction of toilets started in 2011 and by 2015-16, over one lakh families had constructed toilets and all of them were paid amount for it.But later, the process of verification by officials of block offices was delayed that resulted in non payment of amount to the beneficiaries, who had constructed toilets, a district rural development department official said.”Lack of staff for physical verification in villages are delaying payment of amount for construction of toilets. One staff has been assigned more than two or three panchayats for verification work to ensure that amount should go to those who constructed toilets,” the official said.According to the official data of the state government, there are 5.80 lakh families in rural Patna and of them 2.74 lakh families were selected to be paid for construction of toilets.Remaining families already had toilets in their houses.People in other districts like Aurangabad, Areal and Jehanabad are also yet to get their money reimbursed for constructing toilets.Till date, five of the 38 districts of Bihar were declared open defecation free (ODF) but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has repeatedly announced to achieve the state ODF status by October 2, 2019.As per the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, Bhagalpur, Kaimur, Begusarai, Khagaria and Kishanganj districts are ODF.Also read | From beautiful toilets to space missions, PM Modi delivers first Mann Ki Baat this year | 10 pointsAlso watch | Good news: Meet 2 entrepreneurs who converted discarded buses into toilets for women in PuneFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow biharFollow ToiletsFollow Toilets in biharFollow India toiletsFollow PatnaFollow Swachh Bharat Mission Bihar: Over 1 lakh families await reimbursement promised for building toiletsPeople in districts like Aurangabad, Areal and Jehanabad are yet to get their money reimbursed for constructing toilets.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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2019-07-16

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