More On Teslas Recent Deal With Chinese Lithium Giant

Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 8, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News TESLA SECURES A SUBSTANTIAL SUPPLY OF LITHIUM IN CHINATesla has made a deal with Ganfeng Lithium, one of China’s top producers of “white gold.” The Jiangxi-based firm will supply a fifth of its lithium hydroxide production to Tesla’s battery suppliers under a contract that runs from 2018 to 2020, and could be extended by three years.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Tesla Panasonic Quietly Outmaneuver All Lithium Battery Manufacturers Source: Electric Vehicle News Above: A look at one of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery cells (Instagram: bypantheon)EV-makers have been scrambling to secure supplies of lithium for the past couple of years. However, Bloomberg reports that prices for element #3 have declined in 2018 as some banks forecast that a wave of new mining projects will outpace demand growth.Earlier this week, Ganfeng announced an agreement to supply LG Chem from 2019 to 2025. Ganfeng’s lithium compounds capacity may rise to 75,000 tons of carbonate equivalent by the end of this year, making it the industry’s second-largest producer, according to the CRU Group. Lithium Mine 150 Miles From Tesla Gigafactory May Break Ground Tesla Lands Lithium Supply Deal With Chinese Giant Above: Tesla will be working with Gangfeng to supply lithium (Image: Yicai Global)Ganfeng has now locked in the sector’s two biggest supply pacts, piquing investor interest ahead of a planned IPO on the Hong Kong stock market. “These deals are dwarfing the size of the entire lithium hydroxide market from only a couple of years ago,” said Simon Moores of industry consultant Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.According to Benchmark Mineral’s forecasts, Tesla may need as much as 28,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year, beginning in late 2019, based on battery output at the Gigafactory reaching the equivalent of 35 GWh. Earlier this year, the company sealed a deal to obtain lithium from Australia’s Kidman Resources, starting “early next decade.”===Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged; Source: Bloomberg*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. read more

Best Ways To Buy And Sell A Used Electric Car

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Here Are The Most Electric Car Friendly States In The U.S. 5 Cheapest Electric Cars To Insure IT’S A BRAVE NEW WORLD WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING AND SELLING USED EVS. FORTUNATELY, WE’RE HERE TO HELP.With some of the latest all-electric vehicles able to run for well over 200, even 300 miles on a charge, EVs are fast becoming practical for a growing number of motorists.More Car Buying Info Here Are The Best Used Electric Cars: Slideshow But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should relegate the previous generation of battery-powered rides, many of which with an operating range of around 100 miles on a charge, to the junk yard. Used versions of these earlier EVs make great second or third cars in a family’s fleet, if anything because of their low operating and maintenance costs. But it’s the proverbial brave new world out there when it comes to buying and selling used EVs.Fortunately, we’re here to help. As an online marketplace dedicated to electric vehicles, features EV-specific search tools and detailed model descriptions of models for sale, and 100% free listings for sellers.BUYING A USED EVIf you’re in the market for an electric car, start the process by researching models listed on so you know what you’ll be able to afford and what you’ll be getting in terms of features and performance, and especially a model’s estimated operating range on a charge. Since an EVs range can vary based on factors like a vehicle’s speed, ambient temperature, and use of accessories, make sure it’s well within your’s nationwide listings can be especially helpful if there’s a lack of used EVs on the market where you live. Having accounted for only a slim percentage of new-vehicle sales over the last few years, they’re not as plentiful in the resale market as are conventionally powered cars. And at that, not all battery-powered models were sold in all 50 states when new. Some were limited to California (and perhaps one or more other states) to fulfill regulations regarding zero-emissions vehicles. That’s why the Golden State boasts the most EVs in the nation. Other states in which EVs tend to be the most prevalent include Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.As with any other type of vehicle, never buy a used EV without giving it a proper test drive. Though this may involve a long road trip or even a plane ride if it’s located out of state, it’s a necessity. That’s because used-car transactions are typically conducted on an “as is” basis. This frees the seller of any responsibility regarding a vehicle’s mechanical condition. If it’s a recent-vintage EV there may be some of the manufacturer’s original warranty coverage remaining, However, it will still be sold as-is as far as the dealer or private seller is concerned.It’s also prudent to take any used vehicle you’re considering to a trusted mechanic to have it fully checked out before signing a bill of sale. This, however, may be difficult as most neighborhood auto technicians have little (if any) experience with electric vehicles. You’re better off in this regard taking the car to the service department of a dealership which sells that particular model as a new vehicle.Fortunately, there’s less to worry about here since EVs avoid over two-dozen mechanical components in a conventional auto that will eventually fail and need to be replaced. The most important element to have checked Is the battery to ensure it will deliver at or close to its maximum range. Federal law requires automakers to warranty their EV batteries for at least eight years or 100,000 miles.It’s also a good idea to obtain a history report on a pre-owned EV via a service like CarFax or AutoCheck. This will verify the chain of ownership and the last reported number of miles on the odometer, document a model’s maintenance records, and will indicate if it’s been in a wreck or was flooded, branded a lemon or was salvaged and rebuilt. You’ll need to enter a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to initiate the process, which is noted on the title and on a plate attached to the dashboard at the bottom of the windshield. Make sure the VIN on the car matches the one on the title.SELLING A USED EVIf you’re selling an electric car, be sure to spruce it up before listing it with That means giving it a thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax, vacuum out the interior, and clean the seats and carpeting with a good upholstery cleaner. If it’s a bit banged up, you might want to have minor dents and scratches professionally repaired.You’ll need to take several high-quality photos of your vehicle inside and out to accompany your listing. Shoot images of pertinent details like the wheels, instrument panel, center stack of controls, a wheel, inside the trunk, and so on. But don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the process, showing the best angles from which to snap your shots and how to upload them to your listing. And be sure to take a picture of your vehicle’s state of charge (SOC) gauge when fully charged that shows it at 100%.Again, can help determine what your EV is worth when you list it, but be sure to price it fairly for a quicker sale.When a prospective buyer wants to examine the vehicle, you might feel safer showing it only during the daylight hours. Better yet, arrange to meet at a public location, like a shopping mall or supermarket parking lot or (even better) a police station. Always ride along on a test drive and ask to see a buyer’s driver’s license beforehand.Once the terms of the sale are agreed upon, both parties should sign a sales contract. You can either handwrite or print off a simple bill of sale that simply identifies the car, the price, the parties to the sale, and that it is being purchased on an as-is basis. Never accept a personal check as payment. Taking a cashier’s check can be a bit more secure, but make sure you conclude the transaction during business hours so you can verify its validity with the bank.Still, it’s always best to insist on cash. If you’re worried about dealing with thousands of dollars in currency, close the deal at your bank where both cash and title can change hands securely, and funds can be deposited immediately to your account. And be sure to retrieve any personal property from the vehicle, and any personal papers from the glove box, remove the license plates, and scrape off your city or town’s vehicle sticker if there is one before handing over the keys.Source: Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Chevy Bolt Panel Van Is The Electric Cargo Hatch Of Our Dreams

first_imgCheck out this Chevrolet Bolt EV panel van.Leave it to the SEMA show for automakers to reimagine vehicles such as this. The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV as a panel van? Why yes, of course. We should actually be asking, “why the heck not.” Anything to draw eyes to EVs and to show that they can do anything that ICE cars can do, as well as more.More Chevrolet Bolt EV Stories: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 31, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Chevy Bolt EV Owners On Rural Texas Ranch: This Car Has Got Guts EV Comparison: Tesla Model 3 Versus Chevy Bolt Source: Electric Vehicle News 5 photos Photos: GM Authority Cruise Struggles But Progresses Toward Autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs The 2018 SEMA show is currently underway in Las Vegas, and this is not the only development we have to share with you. Stay tuned for a killer Tesla Model S and a 1977 Porsche 911 that is sure to impress.Back to the Bolt EV featured here. As GM Authority points out, it’s outfitted with over $1,000 worth of accessories from the Chevrolet catalog: black Chevy bowties, door sill plates, a black all-weather custom driver’s side floor mat, an illuminated charge port, and a wall-mounted 240V/32A EV charging unit. Pretty sweet, right? However, these GM add-ons don’t tell the whole story.This Chevy Bolt EV has been transitioned to a utility “van” of sorts, complete with window panels and a uniquely lined cargo area. What better to follow the battery-electric eCOPO Camaro and carry its spare electric motor, along with other tools and parts? Yes, this Chevy Bolt EV may be used as a race support van for the upcoming, Tesla-killing Camaro, which is also on display at SEMA 2018.Source: GM Authoritylast_img read more

Albertsons Companies To Purchase 10 Tesla Semis

first_img TCI Transportation Places Order For 50 Tesla Semis 10 Semis for a company with more than 1,400 trucks is just a beginning and, as always, if Tesla will prove the capabilities of Semi at a reasonable total cost of ownership, truck electrification should take off.“Albertsons Companies plans to add 10 Tesla all-electric semi-trucks to its fleet to service Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores in Southern California. The trucks will be able to travel 300 to upwards of 500 miles on a single charge, even with a fully loaded trailer, and use less than 2 kilowatt hours of energy per mile.”“The electric semis expand Albertsons Companies’ commitment to running a safe, sustainable fleet to service its 2,300 stores across the country. As a partner and supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay transportation program, the company actively promotes SmartWay certification to improve freight efficiency and environmental performance. The company’s entire 1,400+ truck fleet nationwide is SmartWay certified, as are 92 percent of trucks operated by third-party carriers.”Tom Nartker, VP of Transportation said:“Advancing supply chain efficiency and sustainability is an important goal for our company. We’re excited to pilot this expansion of our transportation program with trucks that help us limit our overall carbon footprint.” FedEx Places 20-Unit Pre-Order For Tesla Semi Albertsons Companies starts trucks electrification with 10 Semis.Recently, we haven’t heard much about new Tesla Semi reservations, which in some cases were for 50 trucks. We believe that in total Tesla could receive a four-digit number of reservations.One of the most recent buyers is Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers, which announced an intention to purchase 10 Semi for its Southern California fleet.Tesla Semi orders Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 15, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Walmart Canada Orders 30 More Tesla Semis Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

UPDATE GM To Shut Down Chevy Volt Factory Volt Confirmed Dead

first_img Volt Crossover May Debut in 2015 DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) will accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the comprehensive strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, capitalize on the future of personal mobility and drive significant cost efficiencies.Today, GM is continuing to take proactive steps to improve overall business performance including the reorganization of its global product development staffs, the realignment of its manufacturing capacity and a reduction of salaried workforce. These actions are expected to increase annual adjusted automotive free cash flow by $6 billion by year-end 2020 on a run-rate basis.“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”Contributing to the cash savings of approximately $6 billion are cost reductions of $4.5 billion and a lower capital expenditure annual run rate of almost $1.5 billion. The actions include:Transforming product development – GM is evolving its global product development workforce and processes to drive world-class levels of engineering in advanced technologies, and to improve quality and speed to market. Resources allocated to electric and autonomous vehicle programs will double in the next two years. Additional actions include:Increasing high-quality component sharing across the portfolio, especially those not visible and perceptible to customers.Expanding the use of virtual tools to lower development time and costs.Integrating its vehicle and propulsion engineering teams.Compressing its global product development campuses. Chevy Camaro Performance Electric CUV Comes To Life Is the Volt as we know it now dead?It would seem to be the case that with the closure of this site, the Chevy Volt will exist no more. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Voltec crossover in the very near future.***UPDATE: General Motors has responded to our inquiry on the Volt and has confirmed, on the record, that Volt production will officially cease in March of 2019.Just moments ago, General Motors announced the upcoming closure of several factories, most of which focus on producing passenger cars. The closure list includes the birthplace of the Chevy Volt – Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit.More Chevy Electric News The other notable site closure is Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio. That’s where the Chevy Cruze is built, which provides the basic foundation for the current Chevy Volt.These closures all come as part of a bigger restructuring for GM. The move is from cars to trucks and SUVs, as gas prices have been rather stagnant and low in the U.S. of late. Per GM:GM has recently invested in newer, highly efficient vehicle architectures, especially in trucks, crossovers and SUVs.But here’s where it gets interesting:GM now intends to prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures. As the current vehicle portfolio is optimized, it is expected that more than 75 percent of GM’s global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by early next decade.So, the move is over to pure electric it seems and, more importantly, larger vehicles that will satisfy U.S. tastes. To us, this seems to indicate GM will transition over from small plug-ins like the Volt and Bolt to larger plug-ins that slot into the CUV, SUV and pickup truck categories.So, we’ll lose the Volt, but gain potentially so much more.It’s not a win-win. But it’s not the end of battery-electrics at GM either.Full press release from General Motors below:General Motors Accelerates Transformation Propulsion plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include:Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland.Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan. Chevrolet To Launch Performance Electric CUV, According To Leakcenter_img In addition to the previously announced closure of the assembly plant in Gunsan, Korea, GM will cease the operations of two additional plants outside North America by the end of 2019.These manufacturing actions are expected to significantly increase capacity utilization. To further enhance business performance, GM will continue working to improve other manufacturing costs, productivity and the competitiveness of wages and benefits.Staffing transformation – The company is transforming its global workforce to ensure it has the right skill sets for today and the future, while driving efficiencies through the utilization of best-in-class tools. Actions are being taken to reduce salaried and salaried contract staff by 15 percent, which includes 25 percent fewer executives to streamline decision making.Barra added, “These actions will increase the long-term profit and cash generation potential of the company and improve resilience through the cycle.”GM expects to fund the restructuring costs through a new credit facility that will further improve the company’s strong liquidity position and enhance its financial flexibility.GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $3.0 billion to $3.8 billion related to these actions, including up to $1.8 billion of non-cash accelerated asset write-downs and pension charges, and up to $2.0 billion of employee-related and other cash-based expenses. The majority of these charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted, EPS diluted-adjusted and adjusted automotive free cash flow purposes. The majority of these charges will be incurred in the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019, with some additional costs incurred through the remainder of 2019. Optimizing product portfolio – GM has recently invested in newer, highly efficient vehicle architectures, especially in trucks, crossovers and SUVs. GM now intends to prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures. As the current vehicle portfolio is optimized, it is expected that more than 75 percent of GM’s global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by early next decade.Increasing capacity utilization – In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in U.S. plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs. With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year.Assembly plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include:Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit.Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 26, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Transforming the global enterprise to advance the company’s vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero CongestionTaking cost actions and optimizing capital expenditures to drive annual run-rate cash savings of approximately $6 billion by year-end 2020last_img read more

Tesla To Hit Annualized Production Rate Of 500000 By End Of 2019

first_imgMeant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019 Tesla production Tesla Production And Deliveries Graphed Through Q4 2018 Tesla Aims For Model 3 Production At 7,000 Per Week By November 28 Cumulative Tesla Model 3 Production Estimate Exceeds 200,000 One-half of a million electric cars would be quite an achievementElon Musk expects that the annualized production rate of Tesla electric cars at the end of 2019 will reach about 500,000. In terms of weekly output, it would be around 10,000 cars per week.The production will be mostly at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, but by that time a small mount production of the Tesla Model 3 could start in China too.In 2018, Tesla produced 254,530 cars, which was 152% more than in 2017.“Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019”“Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 20, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Deliveries in 2018 amounted to 245,506 (up 138%), so an increase to 400,000 would translate to about 63% growth, year-over-year.We guess that Tesla is already able to produce roughly 8,000 cars per week (S, X and 3), which is not too far off from the 10,000 weekly target required to hit 500,000.Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019last_img read more

See The Volkswagen ID Buggy Electric Car In Action Video

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Škoda Vision iV Concept Previews Future Crosover EV (Photos/Videos) Seat el-Born: A Stylin’ Stand Out Hatchback EV In Geneva (Photos/Videos) Electric buggy takes EV grin to  a whole new levelThe Volkswagen I.D. Buggy has a strong chance of entering production – especially if the response after the Geneva Motor Show is strong enough. As you can see in the video, the electric buggy brings with it great enjoyment and it could even be used in tourist resorts for car sharing.The one big question is what new small EVs, based on the open MEB platform, we will see on the market. There are tons of possibilities from sporty EVs to special commercial vehicles.More concepts from Geneva Volkswagen I.D. Buggy specs:62 kWh batteryup to 250 km (155 miles) of WLTP range150 kW/204 PS and 309 Nm (228 lb-ft) of torque rear electric motoroption of all-wheel drive with additional front motor0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 secondstop speed electronically controlled at 160 km/h (99 mph)based on on Volkswagen MEB platform Cupra Formentor PHEV Detailed Walkthrough By Autogefühl (Video) Volkswagen I.D. Buggy Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 20, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Volkswagen I.D. Buggylast_img read more

Geely launches new global allelectric brand Geometry unveils a 31000 highend sedan

first_imgGeely, a Chinese automotive giant with global aim when it comes to electric vehicles, has now launched Geometry, a new global all-electric vehicle brand, and unveiled its first vehicle: Geometry A, an all-electric “high-end sedan”. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and the podcast. post Geely launches new global all-electric brand Geometry, unveils a $31,000 ‘high-end sedan’ appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

Texas AG Paxton Seeks Dismissal of SEC Charges

first_imgTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge to dismiss recent charges of securities fraud filed against their client by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In court documents filed Friday, Paxton’s lawyers argue that the SEC’s newest allegations must be thrown out because they do “not alleged sufficient facts to support its theory that Mr. Paxton had a legal duty to disclose any sales commission arrangement . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Password Lost your password? Usernamecenter_img Remember me Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

New scientific advisory suggests reforms to support more robust nutrition education and

first_imgApr 30 2018A new scientific advisory from the American Heart Association reviews current gaps in medical nutrition education and training in the United States and summarizes reforms in undergraduate and graduate medical education to support more robust nutrition education and training efforts.”Despite evidence that physicians are willing to help educate patients about healthy eating and are viewed as credible sources of diet information, they engage patients in diet counseling at less-than-desirable rates and cite insufficient knowledge and training as barriers, even during their peak learning years,” said Karen E. Aspry, M.D., M.S., the lead statement author and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.Related StoriesLow-carb diet may reverse metabolic syndrome independent of weight lossSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThe National Academy of Sciences recommends undergraduate medical students receive a minimum of 25 classroom hours dedicated to nutrition education, but a 2013 survey found that 71 percent of medical schools provide less than the recommended hours and 36 percent provide less than half that amount.The advisory provides examples of successful approaches currently being used to integrate clinical nutrition throughout undergraduate and graduate medical education courses, instead of a one-time course. In addition, it also provides information about assessing nutrition knowledge and competencies and outlines nutrition resources and continuing medical education activities.”Nutrition is a dynamic science with a rapidly evolving evidence base requiring continual updating and renewed translational efforts. The competencies outlined in this statement provide a foundation with flexible options for advancing nutrition knowledge and skills across the learning continuum, and a toolkit for medical school curriculum directors, program directors, faculty, trainees and students,” said Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., co-chair of the writing group and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. The advisory is published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. Source: read more

Compassion meditation training may increase brains resilience to suffering of other people

first_imgMay 23 2018It can be distressing to witness the pain of family, friends or even strangers going through a hard time. But what if, just like strengthening a muscle or learning a new hobby, we could train ourselves to be more compassionate and calm in the face of others’ suffering?That is the question behind research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a new study suggests that as little as two weeks of compassion meditation training — intentionally cultivating positive wishes to understand and relieve the suffering of others — may reduce the distress a person feels when witnessing another’s suffering. It may also improve their ability and likelihood to respond with compassion.The findings, published May 22 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, may have implications for professions in which people routinely work with others who are suffering, like doctors, law enforcement officers and first responders who experience high levels of distress or empathic burnout.”Compassion meditation may shift habits of becoming overly distressed when we encounter another’s pain,” says Helen Weng, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She led the research while a graduate student at the Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. “People can learn a calmer and more balanced response when they see someone suffering, even when they are attending more to suffering.”For the study, 24 participants were randomly assigned and trained to do either 30 minutes of compassion meditation or reappraisal training (re-interpreting personally stressful events to decrease negative emotions) every day for two weeks.The compassion meditation group was trained to visualize people when they were suffering and practice noticing their own personal reactions in a calm and nonjudgmental way. Focusing on a loved one, on themselves, on a stranger, and on someone with whom they had conflict, they also practiced caring for and wishing to help the other person.In this way, practicing compassion meditation was like exercising a muscle by gradually increasing the “weight” of the relationship with each person considered.Both groups received brain scans before they were trained and after two weeks of practice to see whether compassion meditation made it easier for those trained to actually look at a suffering person. Humans are visually attentive as a species, Weng says, and looking at someone is a critical first step in determining if they’re in need.”Your eyes are a window into what you care about,” she says. “We wanted to know: Does looking more at suffering in the mind’s eye translate into looking more at suffering out in the real world, and can this be done with less distress?”While in the brain scanner, before and after two weeks of practice, the participants viewed neutral images of strangers as well as emotionally evocative images of people suffering — like a burn victim or crying child. They were instructed to react to the images as they normally would and to make use of their new training.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustFor instance, people in the compassion training group practiced compassion toward individuals in the images, having thoughts like: “May this person be happy and free from suffering.” The reappraisal group reframed the situation: “This person is an actor and isn’t really suffering.”The researchers used eye-tracking techniques to record where people spent the most time gazing at each image, whether it was on areas of the image that were more negative — such as the faces of those in suffering — or on less emotionally charged parts of the image. They also compared this to how much time each participant looked at the socially relevant areas of neutral images, like the face of a person walking down the street.The research team found that the people who had practiced compassion meditation tended to look more directly at suffering in the negative images relative to the neutral photos. They also showed less activity in the amygdala, insula and orbitofrontal cortex — areas of the brain that are usually more active when experiencing emotional distress and might lead to a withdrawal response and averted gaze.This finding was not present in the reappraisal group, and the results suggest compassion could be a mechanism through which people may become calmer in the face of suffering.”We communicate a lot with our eyes, and this research suggests that compassion training has an impact on the body and can actually shift where you direct your visual attention when you see others in pain,” says Weng.Compassion meditation slows things down so people can practice being more calm, notice the feelings that arise and learn to be less reactive, she adds. “This gives you more mental space to focus on the other person, to practice wishing kindness and wanting them to be well, and I think both parts are really important for effectively responding to people suffering.”Though the results are exciting, Weng says a larger and more diverse sample of people should be involved in a repeated study. The study was also performed with people who had never meditated before and it’s not yet clear whether scientists would find more pronounced results in people who already had extensive compassion meditation practice.Compassion meditation could also be used as a strategy for working with people with conditions that affect how comfortable they are making eye contact with others, says Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds and senior author of the study.”The pattern of these findings — an increase in looking at suffering while simultaneously down-regulating neural circuits associated with negative emotion — is a winning combination that may be beneficial for a wide range of conditions including autism and social anxiety disorder in which gaze aversion and social discomfort are hallmark signs,” he adds. Source: read more

Researchers examine risk factors for opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for

first_imgJun 19 2018Researchers investigated risk factors for the development of opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS). They found that, overall, patients were more likely to have a dependency on opioid medications before surgery than afterward. This finding and more appear in a new article published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine: “Factors predicting opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis: analysis from the MarketScan databases” by Mayur Sharma, MD, MCh, and colleagues ( cursory glance at headlines from news sources confirms the fact that the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. And it can be deadly. In 2015, opioid overdose was cited as a cause of more than 33,000 deaths. A large proportion of opioid addiction can be traced back to the misuse of physician-prescribed medications initially provided for the management of acute or chronic pain.A common site of pain is in the lower back. Approximately 80% of adults experience low back pain at some time during their lives. In fact, low back pain has been cited as the single leading cause of disability.In this article, the authors set out to identify what effect on opioid dependence surgery may have when used to treat patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS), the forward slippage of a vertebra onto the vertebra beneath it. DS usually occurs in the lumbar spine and is due to a weakness in bones, joints, and ligaments that accompanies the aging process. Symptoms include pain in the lower back and legs, leg fatigue, muscle spasms, and irregular gait. Most of the time DS can be treated without surgery; however, surgery is indicated if there is progressive neurological damage or the patient’s pain is disabling and does not respond adequately to nonsurgical treatment.For their analysis, the authors defined indicators of opioid dependence as follows: continuedopioid use, more than 10 opioid prescriptions, or either a diagnosis of opioid dependence disorder or a prescription for treating opioid dependence disorder during the period of 1 year before or 3 to 15 months after surgery.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Implanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsThe authors extracted de-identified data from the MarketScan databases on 10,708 patients who had undergone surgery for DS. The median age of these patients was 61 years (interquartile range: 54 to 69 years). Sixty-five percent of the patients were women. In most cases (94%), the surgery was decompression with fusion, and in 76% of patients surgery involved multiple vertebrae. Many patients (54%) had one or more comorbidities. The majority of patients had commercial health insurance (61% as opposed to 35% with Medicare).The authors were particularly interested in evaluating opioid dependence after surgery for DS, but they did examine preoperative opioid dependence to identify new cases of dependency. The authors identified a dependency on opioid medications in 15% (1,591) of the patients with DS before surgery. Between 3 and 15 months after surgery, however, the percentage of patients with a dependency on opioids was 10% (1,060).After evaluating the impact of surgery, patient age and sex, comorbidities, and type of medical insurance held by the patients, the authors determined the following applied to patients who underwent surgery to treat DS: When asked to summarize the findings of the study. Dr. Sharma said, “Decompression and fusion for DS is associated with reduced risk of opioid dependency.” There was an association between surgical decompression with fusion and a decreased risk of postoperative opioid dependence. In this study, the opioid dependence was reduced by 5% after surgery for DS. Preoperative opioid dependence was associated with an increased risk of postoperative opioid dependence. Increased patient age was associated with a decreased risk of postoperative opioid dependence. Following surgery for DS, these patients were twice as likely to become opioid independent than they were to become opioid dependent.center_img Source: read more

Scientists pinpoint new mechanism to explain progression of Alzheimers disease

first_img Source: Jun 29 2018Scientists have pinpointed minute exosomes as the main vehicle that allow the spread of toxic proteins that trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease across a person’s brain network. This finding could help to develop better diagnostic and treatment options for this debilitating brain disease that is characterized by dementia, memory loss, mood swings and being disorientated and is ultimately fatal. The research is published in Springer’s journal Acta Neuropathologica, with Maitrayee Sardar Sinha and Anna Ansell-Schultz of Linköping University in Sweden as lead researchers.Previous studies have linked the development of Alzheimer’s to the gradual and abnormal build-up in the brain of two toxic types of amino acids, amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau. The Swedish group, led by Martin Hallbeck, involved in this study had also previously shown how oligomer amoloid-beta (an intermediate product of amyloid-beta) accumulates inside cells and subsequently spreads from one cell to another.In this study, the team focused on exosomes to better understand how such proteins build up and spread across the brain and therefore increase the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease over time. Exosomes are vesicles or fluid-filled sacs found outside of cells. They are extremely small and only range from 20 to 120 nanometers in diameter – at best the size of a virus. Exosomes play a role in cellular communication and the transport of different types of molecules in both healthy and diseased bodies.The researchers compared the post mortem brain samples of ten people (five of whom had lived with Alzheimer’s) obtained from the brain bank at Uppsala University in Sweden. Various microscopy and cell-characterizing cytometric techniques were used in the process.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionResearchers identify brain somatic mutations linked to Alzheimer’s diseaseUAB scientists identify new target for drug intervention in Alzheimer’s diseaseThe exosomes isolated from Alzheimer’s patients were found to contain greater concentrations of toxic oligomer amyloid-beta compared to healthy brains. A definite link between intracellular oligomer amyloid-beta and extracellular exosomes was also found, in that these were co-localized and occurred together. The researchers established that exosomes help neuron-to-neuron growth and transfer of oligomer amyloid-beta, which in turn could cause brain cells to die. Exosomes carrying oligomer amyloid-beta were internalized in cultured neurons and were able to spread their toxic content to nearby cells. Some of the exosomes were found to be transferred intact to further cells. This finding is consistent with a recent study showing that a substantial fraction of exosomes internalized in one cell was subsequently passed on to a second cell.”Exosomes could be the main mediator of the pathogenic progression in Alzheimer’s Disease, and might therefore be exploited to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic principles related to the disease,” Sardar Sinha explains.Because of their small size, neuronal exosomes are released into reasonably accessible body fluids such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid, which can be drawn to measure the level of oligomer amoloid-beta build up in a person’s body.”Hence, measurement of increased oligomer amoloid-beta in exosomes from such patient samples could potentially serve as a diagnostic tool,” says Ansell-Schultz, who describes the molecular content of exosomes as a “fingerprint” of the releasing cell type.last_img read more

Researchers identify genes linked to childhood nephrotic syndrome

first_imgJul 27 2018Childhood nephrotic syndrome is the most frequently occurring chronic kidney disease among children. A Japanese research team has identified a group of genes that are strongly related to the development of childhood nephrotic syndrome. The results of this study could shed light on the underlying mechanism for this disease. These findings were published on July 16 in the online edition of Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.Also known as nephrosis, childhood nephrotic syndrome is an incurable disease with an unknown cause, characterized by large amounts of protein leaving the body in the patient’s urine, and protein levels in the bloodstream becoming extremely low. The majority of patients develop steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome that responds to steroids and immune-suppressing drugs, and go into remission, but at least 20% of cases are resistant strains that recur repeatedly during adulthood. It is thought that people who are genetically predisposed develop the syndrome when exposed to an immunological stimulus such as infection. This study aimed to identify the genes that make Japanese infants susceptible to steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome.Researchers collected genetic DNA from 1,300 sufferers of childhood nephrotic syndrome in Japan. The study targeted 224 of the samples with childhood steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome and a control group of 419 healthy Japanese people, to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the Affymetrix Japonica Array. This enabled them to identify SNPs with a significant genome-wide association in theHLA-DR/DQarea of the short arm of human chromosome 6. They then identified theHLAhaplotypes (gene groups) with the lowest and highest risks of developing the syndrome. They confirmed this result with a different cohort of 213 samples of infant steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome and a control group of 710 healthy Japanese individuals.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryIndigestion remedy improves survival in people with late-stage CKDChronic kidney disease patients are excluded from clinical trialsTheHLAhaplotype showing the highest risk of development isHLA-DRB1*08:02-HLA-DQB1*03:02(odds ratio: 3.60) and theHLAhaplotype showing the lowest risk of development isHLA-DRB1*13:02-HLA-DQB1*06:04(odds ratio: 0.10). This is the first time these haplotypes have been identified to such a high degree of precision.This research was carried out by a team led by Professor Kazumoto Iijima, Associate Professor Kandai Nozu and Ms. Tomoko Horinouchi (Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine); in collaboration with Professor Katsushi Nokunaga, Assistant Professor Yuki Hitomi and Xiaoyuan Jia (Tokyo University Graduate School of Medicine); and Professor Masao Nagasaki and Assistant Professor Yosuke Kawai (Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization).The research team is currently carrying out a genome-wide association study using the Japonica Array that targets 1,152 samples from infant nephrotic syndrome sufferers and a control group of 2,807 healthy Japanese individuals.”With this study there is a high possibility that we will be able to identify other susceptible genes,” comments Professor Iijima. “In the future we would like to engage in international collaboration to confirm whether the susceptible genes are the same for people worldwide.” Source: read more

Running the Numbers in the FIRST Bill

Legislators once liked to brag about increasing the budgets of their favorite programs. Today, in an era of fiscal constraints, most members of Congress prefer to remind voters how they have held down federal spending.Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) says he’s accomplished both goals—boosting spending in certain areas while remaining fiscally prudent—in his pending bill setting out policy for the National Science Foundation (NSF). But it takes some unorthodox arithmetic to square the claims by the chair of the House of Representatives science committee with the actual numbers in his Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology Act (FIRST) Act.In a recent online commentary for Scientific American, Smith claims that FIRST would authorize Congress to increase funding next year for four of NSF’s seven research directorates—engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, computer science, and biology “by between 7 and 8 percent.” Yet, in the bill itself, the 2015 budgets of those four directorates would rise by only 2.2%, 2.4%, 2.2%, and 2.2%, respectively, from 2014 levels. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) What accounts for the difference? It turns out that Smith isn’t using the numbers in his own bill in calculating the proposed growth rates. Instead, he is comparing the FIRST Act’s proposed 2015 spending levels to the actual spending that NSF estimates the four directorates will have this year. Those actual 2014 numbers turn out to be lower than the 2014 authorizing levels in the bill. So, by ignoring his own numbers, Smith is able to claim a bigger increase for those disciplines “with the greatest potential to yield transformational new technologies, catalyze new industries and … create millions of new jobs.” That reinforces his argument that he and other Republicans are shifting NSF’s priorities.To maintain fiscal prudence, Smith offsets those increases with big cuts in two programs. His bill would slash the social and behavioral sciences and economics directorate by 28% this year, to $200 million, and hold its funding at that level in 2015. Likewise, the 2014 and 2015 budgets for international and integrative activities, which include funding for less research-intensive states and for graduate research fellowships, would shrink by 17%, to $400 million.Those deep cuts allow Smith to set the overall 2015 budget for NSF at $7.277 billion, an increase of only 1.5%. The total is actually $22 million higher than what President Barack Obama requested for NSF (although Obama also submitted a supplemental budget request that would give the agency an additional $550 million). Still, Smith believes that it’s small enough to placate most of his fiscally conservative colleagues.To be sure, the FIRST Act is largely aspirational when it comes to funding. It is an authorizing bill, meaning it can set only spending targets.Allocating money to each agency is the job of the appropriations panels in Congress. That difference accounts for one more numerical surprise in the FIRST Act: Its 2015 authorization for NSF is some $127 million less than the $7.408 billion that the House Appropriations Committee has already approved. The lower number turns the usual relationship between authorizers and appropriators on its head: Authorizers are usually the “good cop,” urging more spending, while appropriators play the “bad cop,” imposing restraint.At a committee markup of the bill last week, some Democrats said they didn’t understand why the panel’s Republicans, in effect, would ask for less than they knew their colleagues were prepared to spend on NSF. One theory is that Smith plans to propose an amendment to NSF’s spending bill, which is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives this week, that would reduce the amount approved by appropriators to the level in the FIRST Act.The amendment would appeal to members looking for ways to cut spending. However, if it were to happen, it would squeeze NSF at a time when the agency is already struggling to maintain its current portfolio. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email read more

Israeli spacecraft crashes during attempted moon landing

first_imgBeresheet snaps a selfie just before its main engine fails, about 20 kilometers above the moon’s surface. Israeli spacecraft crashes during attempted moon landing The vision of the three young engineers who founded SpaceIL was simply to win the XPrize and plant the Israeli flag. With funding from several philanthropists as well as the Israel Space Agency, the team planned to meet the prize’s traveling requirement not with a rover, but by restarting the lander’s rocket engine and hopping the necessary distance. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Space IL and Israel Aerospace Industries *Update, 11 April, 4 p.m.: Beresheet’s end came too quickly. Designed to survive only a few days on the lunar surface, the Israeli private spacecraft instead crashed during its attempted soft landing today on the moon. Things went awry in the control room near the end of its landing sequence as the SpaceIL team saw the spacecraft’s main engine fail and then lost communication with Beresheet. “We have had a failure in the spacecraft. We have unfortunately not managed to land successfully,” said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the lander for SpaceIL. Although Beresheet, which means “in the beginning” in Hebrew (or “genesis” in Greek), was the first privately built spacecraft to attempt a lunar landing, it is unlikely to be the last. Our preview from 28 March:For Israel, the planned 11 April touchdown of the Beresheet moon lander will be a moment of national pride, as it becomes the fourth country to put a spacecraft on the moon, after Russia, the United States, and China. But for many, the feat will mark a different milestone: If successful, Beresheet would be the first privately built spacecraft to reach the lunar surface, at a fraction of the cost of a government mission. By pioneering a cutrate route to the moon, the landing could ensure that “the world’s lunar scientists are going to be busy for many years to come,” says John Thornton, CEO of rival space company Astrobotic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which plans to launch its first lunar mission in early 2021.The $100 million effort by SpaceIL of Tel Aviv, Israel, is more than a display of commercial space prowess. Beresheet, which is now en route to the moon, carries two scientific instruments, including a magnetometer that could shed light on when and how the moon acquired its curious magnetic field. The mission is also a legacy of the Google Lunar XPrize, a competition launched in 2007 for companies to land on the moon, travel 500 meters, and send video of their achievement. The race ended last year without awarding its $20 million main prize. But several of the prize teams are still at work, competing to carry NASA and commercial payloads to the lunar surface (see table, below). “The XPrize has been effective in its goals, and SpaceIL is a shining example,” says Bob Richards, CEO of Moon Express in Cape Canaveral, Florida, another fledgling space company and XPrize finalist. But Oded Aharonson, a planetary scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, saw an unmissable opportunity; he persuaded the team to include scientific instruments and signed on as the mission scientist. In addition to its magnetometer, Beresheet (“genesis” in Hebrew), which was launched on 22 February from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, now carries a retroreflector. The device can reflect a laser beam sent from Earth so scientists can accurately measure the moon’s distance, both to better understand Earth-moon dynamics and to carry out tests of gravity. NASA and Russian landers set up several such reflectors, but more will improve the system’s accuracy.Bigger questions ride on the magnetometer, which will measure the moon’s magnetic field as the probe enters lunar orbit and descends to a landing in Mare Serenitatis, an ancient plain of lava. “It’s a big deal,” says lunar scientist Sonia Tikoo of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “We’ve never had this level of resolution on another body before.” The moon doesn’t have an overall dipole magnetic field like Earth’s, but coarse satellite measurements together with rock samples brought back by the Apollo missions have shown a patchy field is embedded in its crust. Beresheet is taking a slow, thrifty route to the moon. Over several weeks, it has made increasingly elongated Earth orbits, which will allow lunar gravity to capture it in early April. COMPANYLUNAR LANDINGSCIENCE PAYLOADSNASA PAYLOAD BIDDER COMPANYSpaceILLUNAR LANDING2019SCIENCE PAYLOADSMagnetometer and retroreflectorNASA PAYLOAD BIDDERNo COMPANYMoon ExpressLUNAR LANDING2020SCIENCE PAYLOADSOptical telescope and retroreflectorNASA PAYLOAD BIDDERYes COMPANYTeamIndusLUNAR LANDING2020SCIENCE PAYLOADSUltraviolet telescope, worm growth experiment, and retroreflectorNASA PAYLOAD BIDDERAs part of Orbit Beyond COMPANYPTScientistsLUNAR LANDING2020SCIENCE PAYLOADSTBANASA PAYLOAD BIDDERNo COMPANYSynergy MoonLUNAR LANDING2020SCIENCE PAYLOADSTBANASA PAYLOAD BIDDERNo COMPANYAstroboticLUNAR LANDING2021SCIENCE PAYLOADSTBANASA PAYLOAD BIDDERYes COMPANYHakutoLUNAR LANDING2021SCIENCE PAYLOADSTBANASA PAYLOAD BIDDERTeamed with Draper Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe More scientific data will come with the arrival of other XPrize alumni. On Moon Express’s first flight, planned for 2020, it will carry an optical telescope provided by the International Lunar Observatory Association, which will test the practicality of siting larger telescopes on the moon, far from the blurring effects of Earth’s atmosphere. Astrobotic’s inaugural mission will ferry more than 20 payloads, including one for the Mexican Space Agency. Astrobotic’s Thornton expects more business from the roughly 50 national space agencies: “Everyone would love to have a moon program of their own.”NASA looks set to become a major customer. Last year, it announced a list of nine companies, among them many XPrize participants, that could bid for contracts to carry NASA lunar payloads. (Foreign companies like SpaceIL did not make the list, but others qualified by acquiring U.S. partners.) Last month, the agency revealed the dozen payloads it wants delivered, and bidding for the jobs will begin shortly. “It’s exciting because there’s a lot of money involved—$2.6 billion over 10 years,” Richards says. “That’s our main focus right now: Deliver as many as we can as soon as we can.”Private companies, too, might engage these lunar FedEx services to test space technology and prospect the moon’s mineral wealth. And a university with deep pockets could dispatch its own experiments there without involving NASA. “The science community is going to love these regular opportunities to go to the moon,” Thornton says. “We’ve been in this business for 12 years. This is what we’ve been waiting for.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Moon-bound Companies founded to vie for the Google Lunar XPrize are planning a flotilla of lunar landers. Some companies will bid to carry payloads for NASA. SPACEIL AND IAI How the magnetic field got there is a puzzle. The prevailing theory holds that the moon once had a liquid iron core that churned like Earth’s before it solidified and imprinted its vanishing field in the crustal rocks. Others believe swirling clouds of hot, ionized gas created by asteroid impacts early in lunar history generated short-lived, local magnetic fields that became locked in the crust.The lava plain Beresheet will land on was created just at the time researchers believe the moon’s dynamo was fading, about 3 billion years ago. Finding a strong field, no field, or something in between “will help us probe when the lunar dynamo extinguished,” Aharonson says; measuring how the field varies across the plain could reveal the effects of later asteroid impacts.”This will help fill in the scales between Apollo samples and satellite measurements,” says planetary scientist Dave Stevenson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, but “it’s not clear what the result will be.” Tikoo is more enthusiastic: “Just to show there was an active dynamo in that region will be very interesting.” By Daniel CleryApr. 11, 2019 , 4:00 PMlast_img read more

Winslow adopts next phase of transit plan

first_imgNovember 24, 2017 By L. Parsons Discussions have taken place in Winslow City Council meetings since January on the topic of public transportation in Winslow. Last week, the council voted to officially adopt a transit plan in theSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Winslow adopts next phase of transit planlast_img

Scientists solve 125yearold mystery of the brain uncover potential treatment for epilepsy

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 9 2018Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have solved a 125-year-old mystery of the brain, and, in the process, uncovered a potential treatment for acquired epilepsy.Since 1893, scientists have known about enigmatic structures called perineuronal nets wrapped around neurons, but the function of the nets remained elusive.Now, a research team led by Harald Sontheimer, the director of the VTCRI Center for Glial Biology in Health, Disease, and Cancer and the executive director of the School of Neuroscience, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, has determined the nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain. What’s more, brain seizures can occur if the nets are dissolved.The discovery, published today (Friday, Nov. 9) in Nature Communications, has implications in various forms of acquired epilepsy, a type of seizure disorder that results from brain lesions caused by trauma, infection, or tumors in the brain.”We started by investigating tumor-associated epilepsy, and we accidentally learned something else important about how the brain works in disease and in health,” Sontheimer said.The researchers initially made their finding in a mouse model of epilepsy caused by the deadly brain cancer known as glioblastoma, the first symptom of which is often a seizure.Glioblastoma is the only cancer whose growth is restricted by space. Since the skull blocks the cancer from expanding outward, the tumor produces an excitatory chemical neurotransmitter called glutamate in excessive amounts that kills neighboring healthy cells to make room to grow.The researchers saw that glutamate targeted brain cells producing a different chemical neurotransmitter called “GABA,” that usually calms neurons by inhibiting them from firing electrical impulses once the messages are relayed. Without GABA, the brain becomes too excited and can seize.In addition to glutamate, the tumor also secretes an enzyme aimed at destroying the surrounding extracellular matrix, a gel-like substance that holds brain cells in place. Glioblastomas are highly malignant and notoriously invasive – the enzyme is the knife that cuts the cancer’s tethers and lets it migrate freely.”Unexpectedly, we also saw the enzyme attacking the perineuronal nets,” Sontheimer said, noting that the nets are primarily found wrapped around the GABA-secreting inhibitory neurons, which help prevent seizures. “It was a surprise to see this bystander effect of seizure activity once the neurons were stripped of their nets.”Italian neurobiologist Camillo Golgi was the first to identify perineuronal nets in 1893, but he misunderstood their function. Golgi called the nets “corsets,” and said they most likely impeded messaging between neurons.To the contrary, Sontheimer found the nets enabled messaging. The neurons covered by perineuronal nets have a reduced membrane capacitance or ability to store electrical charge, meaning that they can fire an impulse and reload up to twice as fast as non-netted neurons.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingStimulated seizures help treat epilepsy faster, betterWhen the inhibitory neurons suddenly lose their perineuronal nets, the results can be catastrophic. The researchers applied the enzyme to brains without tumors and saw that on its own, the enzymatic degradation of the perineuronal nets was enough to induce seizures – even when the neurons were left intact.”Without the perineuronal nets, inhibitory neurons would fire too slowly and therefore inhibition becomes too little, too late, and a seizure will occur – even in otherwise healthy brains,” Sontheimer said, noting that the enzyme can devour a perineuronal net in less than 30 minutes. “No one thought that these structures would have such a profound effect on how normal processes operate.”Now, the researchers are studying how perineuronal nets might play a role in other forms of acquired epilepsy, which can result from head injury or brain infection. Such elucidation could lead researchers to discover potential pharmacological solutions.”Importantly, the finding that tumor-induced disruption in perineuronal nets contributes to imbalanced inhibitory neurotransmission suggests a new target for therapeutic intervention to control tumor-associated seizures,” said H. Steve White, a professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy in the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy in Seattle, Washington.White, a renowned expert in epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug development research, was not involved in Sontheimer’s study.”Although additional studies are needed, it is likely that the findings reported by Dr. Sontheimer and his team are applicable to other forms of acquired epilepsy where brain injury is associated with a heightened inflammatory response,” White said, noting that the implications for treatment and prevention of epilepsy are particularly striking since current therapies are aimed at controlling seizures. “While controlling the symptoms of the disease is significant, the results of this study suggest a possible path toward modifying the development and progression of epilepsy, which would lessen the overall burden to the patient.”More than 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, according to the World Health Organization. About a third of those individuals don’t respond to current anti-epileptic treatments.”If we confirm our hypothesis that digested perineuronal nets are responsible for other forms of acquired epilepsy, then a potential treatment could be an enzyme inhibitor,” Sontheimer said.He noted that one such an inhibitor is already approved by the FDA for other uses but he also cautioned that there’s a significant amount of research to conduct before their hypothesis is confirmed.”We need new approaches to treat epilepsy. I think this could be an effective way to control seizures,” Sontheimer said. “And we solved a 125-year-old neuroscience mystery! This is what basic science is all about–keeping an open and observant mind to answer questions old and new.” Source: read more

Study defines biomarker in response to treatment of castrationresistant prostate cancer

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 14 2018The most aggressive type of prostate cancer, castration-resistant prostate cancer, can be treated with two different therapies: taxanes or hormone treatment. Until this day there are no comparative studies between the two and the decision on which treatment to use is done empirically and based on the patient’s preferences. Now, a study co-led by the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and researchers from Italy and the United Kingdom, and published in ‘European Urology’, has defined a biomarker that, using liquid biopsy, can determine which of the two treatments can extend the life expectancy in each patient.The study, which once again shows the importance of basic research to generate knowledge that can be translated into better clinical care for the patients, was led by David Olmos, Head of the CNIO Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Unit, Ugo de Giorgi, from the Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST), IRCCS de Meldola (Italy), and Gerhardt Attard, from the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in the United Kingdom.Taxanes or hormone therapy?Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in males and has one of the highest 5-year survival rate when diagnosed in the localized stage. When diagnosed in the advanced stage or when a localized tumor relapses after the initial local treatment, the usual procedure is to fight it using male hormone (androgen) deprivation therapy. It can be done either by surgical removal of the testicles or using medication that eliminates the testosterone production (chemical castration). However, many of the patients, up to 90%, after the initial castration develop more aggressive, castration-resistant forms and their survival rate is around 2 years.Among the treatments used to extend the life expectancy in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, the taxanes – docetaxel and cabazitaxel – work by blocking cell division and cell proliferation. The new generation hormone therapy – abiraterone and enzalutamide -, on the contrary, act on androgen (male hormone) production: abiraterone inhibits its synthesis, while enzalutamide blocks the nuclear testosterone receptor; this therapy interferes with the production of the ‘fuel’ that the tumor needs to grow.”At this moment there are no comparative studies between hormones and taxanes”, explains David Olmos. “There are only studies in similar populations and the selection of the adequate treatment is done empirically. The treatment usually starts off with a hormone therapy, but it also depends on the patient’s preference, after duly informing the patient of his options”.The study results now published in the journal European Urology have determined that castration-resistant prostate cancer patients having a normal number of copies of the gene encoding the androgen receptor (AR) – the one regulating cellular signals mediated by male sex hormones – in the circulating tumor DNA (the DNA that the tumor releases in the blood), seem to have a lower risk of disease progression and a higher life expectancy when they are treated with abiraterone/enzalutamide, with a 50% higher survival rate compared to docetaxel, where the average life expectancy was around 24 months”, continues Olmos. On the other hand, the patients with more copies of the androgen receptor gene respond slightly better to docetaxel, with a higher life expectancy, around 9 months, compared to abiraterone/enzalutamide.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerThis research led by three internationally renowned investigators – Olmos, Attard and de Giorgi – with the participation of researchers from Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, is a perfect example of the successful collaboration that takes place between clinical and translational research within European academia, and where the main objective is the patient’s benefit. The CNIO Prostate Cancer Team has led the study in Spain, and it has coordinated the 13 Spanish centers from which 112 patients of the 239 analyzed come from.The CNIO Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Unit has a broad network of clinical collaborators integrated in the PROCURE platform. It is a platform that is the result of the collaboration and hard work of numerous Spanish researchers, and that has given one of the largest prospective multi centric collections of biological samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer associated with the most important prospective clinical data in the European academic field.Liquid biopsy: harmless, fast and effectiveThe presence of AR in circulating tumor DNA has become the first biomarker that will help define the first-line therapy for these patients and it also has an impact on the synergies between basic research and clinical care to improve their quality of life. The study also indicates the urgency to develop new treatments for the patients with a higher level of AR, as they respond worse to the existing therapies.The liquid biopsy has proven to be a reliable, fast and non-invasive method to determine the alterations of a specific tumor and to be able to decide the best treatment in each case. With a simple blood test we can avoid tissue invasion that is present in the traditional biopsy and it is much more reliable.Olmos explains: “using bioinformatics tools we can calculate the fraction of the tumor DNA present in the total free DNA in the plasma and in that fraction, we calculate the number of AR copies”. For this study, the liquid biopsy has been used to “confirm that a marker that has a prognostic value can also have a predictive use. The next step will be to make a random study that can confirm the results”.last_img read more

CedarsSinai research identifies neurons that play role in how people recognize errors

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 5 2018New research from Cedars-Sinai has identified neurons that play a role in how people recognize errors they make, a discovery that may have implications for the treatment of conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.Catching even small errors, such as making a typo while writing a letter, is a critical executive function that allows us to regulate behavior and make adjustments that can assure we don’t repeat mistakes in the future. When that process is short-circuited, however, serious issues may arise. Patients diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, for instance, may believe every action can contain an error, so they can get caught in a cycle of checking and rechecking their work. Yet patients diagnosed with schizophrenia may not be able to detect errors at all.”One of the brain areas that is known to be important for self-monitoring is the medial frontal cortex, but how exactly this process works and how it fails when it does not work remains poorly understood,” said Ueli Rutishauser, PhD, principal investigator and senior author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai. “In our study, we show for the first time that there are specific neurons in the human medial frontal cortex that signal the detection of errors. We call these neurons ‘error neurons,’ and we identify a single-neuron correlate of self-monitoring for errors in humans.”The first author of the paper, Zhongzheng Fu, is a senior graduate student at the Rutishauser Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai and a student at Caltech. The study, published online today in the journal Neuron, also offers a new level of understanding for what is called error-related negativity (ERN), which can be easily measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG) and could one day become standard clinical care in individuals with psychiatric disorders.”While the ERN is easy to measure, it is unclear what specific aspect of brain activity it is related to. We discovered that the activity of error neurons correlates with the size of the ERN,” Fu said. “This identifies the brain area that causes the ERN and helps explain what it signifies. This new insight might allow doctors to use the ERN as a standard tool to diagnose mental diseases and monitor responses to treatment.”Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsThe research underlying the study was conducted by having subjects take a Stroop Test, in which they are asked to identify the color ink in which a color word is printed. For instance, if the word “green” was printed in red ink, the subject would have to identify it as red to register a correct answer. Subjects, however, sometimes give “green” as the answer, which is an error. In these cases, the error neurons would immediately react and thereby signal to the subject that he or she made a mistake. The error neurons could do so without relying on outside feedback, an ability called self-monitoring.For the study, researchers temporarily implanted electrodes into participants’ brains to detect if and when the participants recognized their errors. The electrodes were a key part of the participants’ surgical treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy.”These electrodes allow us to measure the electrical activity of individual neurons, a type of recording that is only possible because the patient is undergoing a neurosurgical procedure”, said Adam Mamelak, MD, professor of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai and a co-author of the study. “This setup provides extremely valuable new insights into the mechanisms by which humans engage executive control of their behavior, understanding of which is essential to develop new treatments for mental disorders.”The study found that during the Stroop Test, “error neurons” were largely distinct from the neurons, signaling a conflict between the color word and the color of the ink shortly following stimulus onset, suggesting that the representation of conflict detection and error monitoring in the medial frontal cortex are largely distinct.The research paves the way for further testing to see whether manipulation of these neurons, whether by suppressing or activating them, impairs or improves the self-monitoring of errors. This testing could yield new therapies to address cognitive problems such as memory disorders, psychiatric illnesses and autism, the researchers said. Source: read more