in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Uncategorized Although the new qualified mortgage (QM) rules are expected to bring stability to loan manufacturing, the many nuances of compliance have resulted in doubling the cost of loan origination. This assessment was offered by Tom Showalter, chief analytics officer at “”Digital Risk””:http://www.digitalrisk.com/, the nation’s largest independent provider of risk, compliance, and transaction management solutions. [IMAGE]A major part of the increased cost is attributable to a new kind of risk involved in the process, which Showalter calls “”manufacturing risk.”” During “”an interview””:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/capitalmarketstoday/2014/02/05/bifurcation-of-the-mortgage-origination-business–showalter-cao–digital-risk with Louis Amaya on _Mortgage Markets Today_, Showalter explained that “”manufacturing risk”” consists of a corrupted or misrepresented key data element in the loan process. “”There are several areas that could be corrupted or stated incorrectly,”” he said, “”including the borrower’s income, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and loan-to-value (LTV) comparison, which are all key elements in assessing credit risk.”” Showalter explained that QM has one particular information element that is very crucial: the ability to repay, which is determined by the DTI. A potential borrower with a DTI greater than 43 percent is considered to be unacceptable. To ensure that the loans they purchase are sound loans, the GSEs are now publishing a list of defects standards. “”There is a target defects rate for a lender’s population, and lenders have to be below that defect rate or Fannie will not buy their loans,”” Showalter said. “”Freddie is issuing similar guidelines.””In addition, Showalter said that not only are the GSEs issuing defects standards for their sellers, they are also issuing what they call governance guidelines. “”This is a new twist,”” he explained. “”Not only are the GSEs interested in the defect rate of a population of loans, they are also interested in how well the lender is organized to manage and control a specific defect rate. This means that the GSEs are not only holding the head of the QC team accountable, they are actually going all the way up to the CEO and holding him or her accountable as well,”” he said. As a result, there will be an application of penalties, fines, and other kinds of retribution should the GSEs feel that a particular lender is not following the program. To determine whether information is accurate or not, in the past, GSEs would review maybe 1 to 2 percent of the loans they received each month. “”So, you have this process where 2 percent of the loans were subject to a manual review by experts and 98 percent of the loans were not reviewed at all, and that is the current process,”” Showalter said.[COLUMN_BREAK]In order to achieve a higher rate of accuracy in defect detection, he said, “”That’s going to eventually prompt the industry to go from its current manual methods to something much higher tech that produces more efficient results without having to crack a loan file every time a defect rate needs to be calculated, “” he continued. He said that lender communities, especially the larger ones, are starting to explore such technology that will detect manufacturing defects, enabling them to take a more efficient look at a broader population of loans.Among smaller and mid-sized lenders that do not have the financial ability to purchase such technology, he said there are two trends emerging. “”One is that some are also seeking less expensive tools that will help augment their process in surveying loans electronically and therefore not expend as much labor in the process of analyzing and meeting a defect rate goal,”” he explained. “”Others are thinking about issuing non-QM qualified mortgages and selling them on the private market, therefore avoiding any dealings with the GSEs,”” he continued. However, he noted that at the present time, this segment is waiting and watching to see what may happen to the private label market. Showalter said he thinks a coming trend will be that small lenders may rely on larger ones who have invested millions in the creation of infrastructure capable of managing the new and more stringent loan requirements. “”I honestly think that the loan manufacturing requirements placed on the industry is far more than most lenders will be able to respond to quickly, especially the smaller or mid-sized ones,”” he concluded.Showalter’s forecast for 2014: “”I think you will see bigger lenders buying up smaller ones so that they can increase their market share and spread the expenses for compliance across more loans. Another reason for acquisition and consolidation is that the mortgage loan volume is not particularly high right now, and as long as it’s in the doldrums, there will be a lot of pressure to consolidate.”” He also believes that although housing prices have gone up a little and interest rates are still stable, median income and the labor participation rate continues to go down. “”This means there are fewer well-employed people who are able to qualify and buy a home,”” he explained. “”In addition, most origination now is going to be on a purchase money basis as opposed to a refinance basis, which brought in a lot of borrowers in the past several years. Now mortgage lenders are looking for purchase money candidates, and let’s face it, the number of fish in that pond is just not what it used to be.””_This year’s attendance at the Five Star Government Forum on March 25, 2014, is more critical than ever. Leaders of the Housing and Mortgage Servicing industry will engage government officials and regulators in meaningful discussion on housing and mortgage policy. This show was brought to you by “”Iserve Companies””:http://www.iservecompanies.com/. Please connect to us via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and at 5starradio.com as well as theMReport.com._ February 17, 2014 481 Views Analytics Expert Discusses QM, ‘Manufacturing Risk’ Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Qualified Mortgage Service Providers 2014-02-17 Sandra Lane
Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas tackles Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Running back Andre Ellington, defensive end Frostee Rucker and cornerback Jerraud Powers have all been ruled out for the Arizona Cardinals matchup with the St. Louis Rams Sunday, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Arians: Andre Ellington, Frostee Rucker, and Jerraud Powers are out Sunday. #AZvsSTL— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 4, 2015Ellington, who hasn’t practiced all week with a toe injury from the Cardinals’ win against San Francisco 49ers, has 247 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Top Stories Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “He’s over in California getting worked on, so we’ll wait and see,” Arians said in his Friday press conference when asked about an outlook on his injury. It was reported earlier this week that the Cardinals were trying to connect him with a Los Angeles foot specialist.Powers, with 42 tackles, one sack and one interception this season, has been sidelined with a calf injury this week. Rucker has 24 tackles on the season, adding two sacks and one forced fumble. He has been out with an ankle injury he sustained against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11.Arians added Cory Redding is getting better and will be listed as questionable for the game.
Carson Palmer drops back for a pass in the Arizona Cardinals’ 23-20 win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. (Associated Press) TEMPE, Ariz. — Among the many people who have been blamed for the Arizona Cardinals’ struggles this season, quarterback Carson Palmer has received more than his fair share.To some degree, it makes sense.The veteran quarterback who produced an MVP-caliber season last year has not come close to replicating the performance that helped guide the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game and position the team as Super Bowl contenders, and he has given away some crucial turnovers. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Coach continues to talk about the Arizona Cardinals beating the Arizona Cardinals, and we can’t continue to let that happen.”The byproduct of the Cardinals beating the Cardinals has been other teams beating up Palmer.In nine games this season (he missed one due to a concussion) this season he has been sacked 30 times, which is five more than he sustained in 16 games last year.For comparison’s sake, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, who missed this past Thursday’s game with a concussion, has been sacked 35 times in 10 games, while Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton has been sacked 29 times in 10 games.Not surprisingly, Arians is concerned about the pressure his 36-year-old passer has been under.“Your quarterback gets hit 20 times,” he said. “I don’t care if he’s 25 years old, if he gets hit 25 times during a game, he’s going to get hurt, sooner or later.”Palmer will turn 37 late next month and yet, hit after hit, he has continued to get up and keep fighting. His teammates notice.“Me, it just shows his selflessness,” running back David Johnson said. “It keeps me striving to help him out and keep the pocket clean. It motivates me to keep going even through my bruises and stuff. But if he doesn’t know who is coming or holds onto the ball too long, well, you know what can happen.Unfortunately for the Cardinals, however, there have been multiple times this season where even when Palmer has gotten the pass away, it has hit the turf due to a receiver dropping it or not running the proper route. Both of Palmer’s interceptions against the Vikings — one of which was returned for a touchdown — could be pinned on his wideouts not doing their jobs properly.And if the receivers don’t do what they are supposed to, Palmer is likely to turn the ball over and deal with more hits.“I can only speak for the receivers, and coach (Darryl) Drake talks to us about it all the time, we need to work on our routes better and do certain things so we won’t’ have to put Carson in that predicament,” John Brown said.Fellow receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he did not think there was any extra focus this week in practice based off of what happened in Minnesota, but understood something was off last week.“I think attention to detail in the game wasn’t where it needed to be,” he said. “I don’t know what to attribute to that, I just know we can’t make those type of mistakes. Top Stories For what it’s worth, Palmer said he knows he has been sacked a lot, but that it doesn’t necessarily feel like it. He feels good and is still enjoying the process and work that goes into being an NFL player.So while analysts may be thinking he is about done, be it due to perceived body language or whatever, Palmer was adamant that this season, albeit disappointing up to this point, has not dampened his inner fire.Besides, he still thinks the Cardinals can be a playoff team.“Regardless of what our record is, that doesn’t control how I feel or how I prepare or how I enjoy the game,” he said. “I enjoy the game. Like I said, I cannot wait until Sunday to get past this next step and move on. Regardless of what our wins and losses are, I look forward to the Sundays and look forward to the preparation.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “Yeah, you’re the bum or the hero, depending on a win or a loss,” Palmer said. “That’s the way the game is played. I learned that in I think fifth grade when I started playing quarterback. That was one of the first things the coach taught us.”Was he actually being called a bum in the fifth grade?“Oh no, always,” Palmer said. “Win or loss, there is always finger pointing, and it’s easy to do that. I got broad shoulders. I’m used to it. I need to play better, there is no doubt about that, and I look forward to playing this Sunday and playing better.”There is a reason why quarterbacks get paid the most money, and Palmer is being rewarded handsomely this season, as he is playing under a contract that has a salary cap hit of more than $18 million. Given that in nine games he has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 2,642 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, it may seem like a lot. Maybe even too much.That’s certainly a subject that can be debated, but when it comes to the amount of blame Palmer is receiving — especially from fans — Cardinals coach Bruce Arians believes the angst is misguided.“Well they’re wrong on that one,” he said. “The quarterback and head coach usually, or the offensive coordinator, since I’m both of them, we’ll take all the blame. It goes with the territory. But, Carson, he put a lot trust in some guys that haven’t come through for him.” 0 Comments Share “Him being able to do that shows a lot of grit.”That’s not a bad trait to have in a leader.“That’s the type of person Carson is, he’s tough,” Brown said. “But you know, just seeing him back there getting hit like that, I’m thinking we’ve got to push harder, get to our depth faster so we won’t have to put him in that situation.”A veteran of 14 NFL seasons, Palmer’s career is certainly closer to its end than its beginning. His issues this season, both in his play and with the protection (or lack of) he is receiving, has led some analysts and talking heads to believe that he is “not a championship quarterback,” as NFL.com’s Adam Schein opined, or even looks like “he’s about ready to hang e’m up,” as ESPN’s Mark Dominik said.With the extension Palmer signed during training camp, he is under contract through the 2018 season, and the Cardinals have given little indication they are ready to move on from him. However, like Kurt Warner nearly seven years ago, it would not come as a total shock if Palmer walked away from the game before his contract expired.Given the number of hits he has been taking, could you blame him? During his time with the Cardinals, Palmer has never been one to blame his teammates, and that has not changed this season. When asked about his offensive line, he has admitted it’s challenging with many new and inexperienced players being expected to protect him, yet maintained they can get the job done.And when it comes to his receivers, he has expressed nothing but confidence that they are playing well and will start making big plays.But to Arians’ point, while Palmer may not be playing at the level he did last season, few on the offense are, and it’s tough for a quarterback to look like an MVP when the players surrounding him are struggling.Last week against Minnesota, Palmer was under pressure on 27 of his 42 dropbacks, which amounts to nearly 63 percent. He was sacked just four times, but hit 23 times and dropped to the turf 17.“I felt bad for him,” Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. Goodwin spends much of his time working with the offensive line.“Just from the standpoint of things that we could have done better in my room, we didn’t do a good job.”Goodwin noted there are times where the protection mandates that a rusher will come free, and to that point, there are times where it is up to Palmer to ensure he does not take a hit on a play. If he identifies the right rusher and gets the ball out of his hands quickly, then he should be fine.
Finland’s DNA has launched a TV everywhere service on its cable network Welho.The DNA Welho Viihde service enables the use of entertainment services no matter the time, place or terminal device, the company said.The service includes the Videovuokraamo video-on-demand service, MatkaTV mobile television service, an HD DVB set-top box and a TV card.DNA Welho Viihde will be offered nationwide. The TV channels are delivered to the user via DNA’s cable and terrestrial television networks, and the Viihde service can be supplemented by an ultra-fast DNA Welho fixed broadband connection, up to 350 Mbps.The service will include the MTV Total pay TV service from commercial broadcaster MTV.DNA’s video-on-demand catch-up service Videovuokraamo has also been opened as part of the DNA Welho Viihde package.“We wish to offer our customers the latest entertainment services in terms of both connections and content. Content is no longer tied to time, place or terminal device, and this new service package represents a significant step for us on that path,” says DNA’s Director of Television Business Mikko Saarentaus.The service has been enabled by technology from SeaChange.
MAYOR LAUNCHES SANTA’S BIG FUNDRAISER APPEAL IN AID OF CHILDREN IN CROSSFIRERICHARD MOORE ShareTweet MAYOR of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, today launched the annual ‘Santa’s Big Fundraiser Appeal’ at the Guildhall in aid of local charity Children in Crossfire.From today, Friday, November 24 until December 22, Derry man Martin Gallagher will take part in the month long charity collection vigil at the Guildhall in memory of his son Christopher who died of Malaria in 2006.The public can also donate online at www.justgiving.com/santasbigfundraiserappeal2017 or via text by sending SBFA71 £5 to 70070.Children In Crossfire was founded by Richard Moore.As a 10-year-old boy, he was shot by a British soldier with a rubber bullet and blinded for life in 1972 ago in the Creggan area of the city. MAYOR LAUNCHES SANTA’S BIG FUNDRAISER APPEAL IN AID OF CHILDREN IN CROSSFIRE was last modified: November 24th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags:
The sell-offs extended to platinum and palladium as well, but were far more subdued—and as I mentioned in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, it was probably a sympathy move rather than direct intervention. Platinum finished the Thursday session down 1.28 percent—and palladium finished unchanged. Here are the charts. Today we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, December 17. Both Ted and I are expecting improvements in the Commercial net short positions of both gold and silver. It’s just too bad that the price/volume activity from both Wednesday and Thursday won’t be included. Here are the one-year charts for all four precious metals, so you can see where we stand now that we are at, or almost at, the bottom of the price barrel for the second time this year, the last being in late June. The silver stocks gapped down—and stayed down. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.04%. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 210 gold and 11 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday within the Comex-approved depositories. It was Goldman Sachs as the big short/issuer with 130 contracts, followed in distant second by Canada’s Scotiabank with 52 contracts. JPMorgan Chase as the only long/stopper of note picked up another 204 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The silver contracts were split up between JPM and Scotiabank. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Gold continues to exit GLD. Yesterday an authorized participant withdrew 125,388 troy ounces. And as of 8:25 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday, if you wish to dignify it with that name, as they only sold 3,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—and that was all. It was a very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories in gold on Wednesday, as they reported receiving 128,504 troy ounces—and shipped 125,224 troy ounces out the door. Just eye-balling the numbers, it appears that every one of the 125,224 ounces shipped out [from two different warehouses] ended up in JPMorgan’s vault. This is obviously JPMorgan taking physical delivery of some of the contracts that they’ve stopped so far this month. The link to all that action is here—and it’s worth a peek. It was even more frantic in silver, as 1,011,875 troy ounces were reported received [all in Scotia Mocatta] and 1,005,204 troy ounces were shipped out. Of the amount shipped out, 885,000 troy ounces came out of Scotia Mocatta as well, so the forklift operators had a busy day. The link to that action is here. I have the usual number of stories for you today—and some of the gold-related ones are definitely must reads. But, as always, the final edit is in your hands. The surprise is that JPMorgan has also taken, in its proprietary account, delivery of 1,930 silver contracts or 61% of the 3,157 total contracts issued this month. This is a surprise because JPM is not only net short COMEX silver futures, but the above-the-law crooked bank dramatically increased its manipulative silver short position in the latest COT report. This raises a separate concern that JPMorgan may be shorting COMEX silver futures contracts to artificially depress the price so that it can pick up real metal on the cheap. I’m sure no one reading this would put this illegal motive beyond JPMorgan. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 14 December 2013 It was another textbook case of a JPMorgan Chase et al-engineered price smash. As Ted Butler keeps mentioning to all those who are not willfully blind—first their high-frequency traders set the prices lower in the most thinly-traded markets, tripping sell stops—and then the technical fund/small traders are either forced to sell more long positions, or may decide to put on short positions for technical reasons. Either way, the collusive commercial traders are there to scoop up all the longs sold, or take the long side of the short sale. This scenario has been going on for many years—and should be completely obvious to you by now, dear reader. But what was really impressive about yesterday was all the main stream media press that occurred at the same time that this price smash was taking place. As I’ve said before, I don’t know why JPMorgan didn’t hire a brass band—and/or take out a front-page ad in either The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, because what their doing is becoming blatantly obvious to all—well, almost all. If you read the Bloomberg story in the Critical Reads section that contained Dimitri Speck’s famous charts from this latest book, then you need to look at these same charts as produced by Nick Laird. These are five-year rolling charts for both gold and silver. There are three things to note on the gold chart. On average, over the current 5-year period, the high of the day comes about 40 minutes before the London open. [Note: If you check the Kitco gold chart at the top of today’s column, that’s about the time “da boyz” first hit the gold price on Thursday. – Ed] The gold price gets bombed at the London a.m. and p.m. gold “fixes”—and then the cycle repeats. This is the gold price suppression scheme laid bare. There certainly was no mercy shown in the silver price action either, but it’s interesting to note that all the real damage was done shortly before 9 a.m. GMT in London, which was the low tick of the day. After that, silver recovered about twenty cents from its low and didn’t do much for the remainder of the day—and basically traded flat during the entire Comex trading session, including the electronic session that followed. The high and low ticks were $19.905 and $19.10 in the March contract. That’s an intraday move over 4 percent. On Wednesday, silver had an intraday move of over 3 percent. Silver closed at $19.25 spot, which was down 48 cents from Wednesday. Net volume was very decent at 51,000 contracts, but I wouldn’t call it heavy, at least not compared to gold. The price management scheme in silver has a couple of other features associated with it. The high, before the price gets turned over, comes at the 8 a.m. London open. Then there’s the a.m. gold fix, the noon silver fix in London, the perennial low that comes 10 minutes after the Comex open—and last but not least, the London p.m. gold fix. Then the pattern repeats. With five years of data condensed into one chart, the price management scheme is equally obvious here as well. All you need is open eyes—and and equally open mind—in order to see it. Some choose not to. It was fairly quiet in Far East trading in all four precious metals on their Friday—but not lost on me was the new low tick in silver that came just a few minutes before the London open. All four precious metals are in positive territory at the moment [4:39 a.m. EST] and volumes are about average for this time of day—and virtually all in the front month, which means it’s mostly of the HFT variety. And, not that it matters, the dollar index is up about 11 basis points. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:20 a.m. EST, the quiet rallies in all four precious metals are continuing. Volumes are also getting up there a bit, especially in gold. The dollar index has sagged back close to almost unchanged. With today being Friday, I have no idea what to expect in New York trading, but if we’re not at the lows, we aren’t that far off. And as Ted Butler always says, its what “da boyz” do on the next rally that determines how high we go—and how fast we get there. Enjoy your weekend—or what’s left of it—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. It was another textbook case of a JPMorgan Chase et al-engineered price smash The early rally in the gold price in Far East trading got dealt with in the usual manner—and the high tick of the day came just before 3:30 p.m. Hong Kong time, which was shortly before the London open. Then shortly after London opened, the price got sold down to $1,198 in the February contract. It recovered a bit and then traded more or less sideways until shortly after 1 p.m. in London, which was about 15 minutes before the Comex open. From there it was all down hill into the 5:15 p.m. EST close of electronic trading in New York. The CME recorded the high and low ticks as $1,226.00 and $1,186.00 in the February contract. Gold closed the Thursday trading session at $1,187.80 spot, which was down $30.90 on the day. Net volume was over the moon at 220,000 contracts. The gold price came within a handful of dollars of taking out its 2013 low set back in late June. Just for the record, Kitco recorded gold finishing down 2.54% yesterday, whereas silver was ‘only’ down 2.43%. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.59—and then proceeded to trade flat in an extremely tight range on Thursday, closing at 80.65, which was up a whole 6 basis points. It was obvious that the currency moves had nothing to do with the precious metal price action yesterday, as it was equally as obvious that it was all “da boyz” just doin’ the dirty. The gold stocks gapped down over 2 percent at the open, hitting their low shortly after 10 a.m. in New York. From there they worked their way slowly higher at glacial speed—and the HUI finished down only 1.72%. Sponsor Advertisement Your Road Map to Outsized Gains in an Undervalued Market Doug Casey built his career on a saying attributed to Baron Nathan Rothschild: “The time to buy is when blood is in the streets.” And he’s acted on it to make his own fortune. He wrote the book on crisis investing—a book so popular that in 1979 it was not only a New York Times #1 bestseller, but it also outsold Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Richard Nixon’s The Real War. Since then, he’s put the strategy into practice again and again. Right now there’s one undervalued market that piqued Doug’s interest so much that he jumped on a plane and traveled over 6,000 miles just to check it out. And what he found there seriously whetted his speculating appetite… Click here for details.
Chris Christie, the deeply unpopular outgoing governor, is a vehement marijuana opponent but the political winds are shifting. Guest Writer Add to Queue Cannabis New Jersey Lawmakers Await Next Governor Before Moving to Legalize Marijuana Next Article Image credit: Jeff Zelevansky | Getty Images dispensaries.com Subscribe Now 3 min read Dismissing a recent lengthy and passionate argument by Gov. Chris Christie against legalized marijuana, New Jersey lawmakers plan to push ahead with a bill that would make recreational marijuana legal in the Garden State.Meanwhile, the issue could become the central debate in this year’s race to see who will replace Christie as governor.New Jersey’s decision on legal marijuana is significant. The state could join Massachusetts and Maine as the only eastern states to legalize recreational marijuana sales.Maine joined Massachusetts in approving legalization in the election last November. Up until that vote, recreational marijuana had been a movement only in the West, with Colorado, Oregon and Washington leading the way.Christie’s rant against legalized marijuana received a great deal of press coverage, but as the outgoing governor he will likely have little influence over what eventually happens on the issue, other than speaking publicly against it.Related: New Data Shows Medical Marijuana Consumers Far Outspend Recreational UsersWaiting Christie OutDemocrats in the New Jersey state Legislature are likely to simply wait for Christie to step down in January 2018 before seeking approval for legalized marijuana from his successor. But that didn’t keep Christie from speaking on the issue this month.His most notable comment was calling marijuana legalization “beyond stupidity,” and labeling legalization of marijuana as “nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything is OK.” He also said Democrats who back the measure are trying to “poison our kids.”His statements got a lot of press coverage, but state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who has said he will support the legislation, said afterward that Christie is wrong and he expects the measure will go forward.Senator is a strong advocate.The leader in the legal marijuana cause is state Sen. Nick Scutari, who has introduced legislation in the past to extend the use of medical marijuana to disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. Scutari has not been deterred by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ anti-marijuana legalization stance, saying he hopes the Trump Administration will consider it a state’s rights issue.However, getting legislation signed into law will likely require approval from Christie’s successor, which has made a stance on legalized marijuana an issue in this year’s election.Democrat front-runner for governor favors legalization.Phil Murphy, who Christie demonized in his press conference, is the frontrunner in the governor’s race on the Democratic side. He has said he supports legalizing recreational marijuana.At a debate this month, Murphy repeated his support for legalization and packaged it as part of widespread reforms in the criminal justice system. He wants changes in mandatory minimum sentences and for private companies to get out of the prison business.Related: Researchers Amazed by Cases of Cannabis Helping Children Failed by Conventional MedicineThe stance of the leading Republican is unclear. New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is the frontrunner in the race. Whether she will give New Jersey voters a clear choice on the marijuana issue is unknown. She has remained silent about her position on legal marijuana.In fact, it’s difficult to come up with any comment by Guadagno whatsoever on the issue – it certainly couldn’t be found by Vote Smart. Follow dispensaries.com on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 May 9, 2017 –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community.
Reviewed 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:https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2018/11/vtcri-neurosciencemystery.html
Source:https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2019/02/22/machines-whisper-our-secrets Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019Lab instruments are important tools throughout research and health care. But what if those instruments are leaking valuable information?When it comes to biosecurity, this could be a very real threat, according to a group of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Riverside. By simply recording the sounds of a common lab instrument, the team members could reconstruct what a researcher was doing with that instrument.”Any active machine emits a trace of some form: physical residue, electromagnetic radiation, acoustic noise, etc. The amount of information in these traces is immense, and we have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can learn and reverse engineer about the machine that generated them,” said Philip Brisk, a UC Riverside associate professor of computer science who worked on the project.In a paper presented at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, the group showed they could reconstruct what a researcher was doing by recording the sounds of the lab instrument used. That means academic, industrial, and government labs are potentially wide open to espionage that could destabilize research, jeopardize product development, and even put national security at risk.The researchers wondered if it was possible to determine what a DNA synthesizer was producing from the sounds its components made as it went through its manufacturing routine.DNA synthesizers are machines that allow users to build custom DNA molecules from a few basic ingredients. Researchers commonly construct segments of DNA to insert in the genome of other organisms, especially bacteria, to make new organisms. Sometimes these living systems are used to make valuable new pharmaceuticals or other products.Brisk and UC Irvine electrical and computer engineering professor Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque and his doctoral student Sina Faezi; along with John C. Chaput, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UC Irvine; and William Grover, a bioengineering professor at UC Riverside, set microphones similar to those in a smartphone in several spots near a DNA synthesizer in Chaput’s lab.All DNA is built from just four bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T), arranged in almost infinite combinations. The specific patterns, or sequences, can be read as a clue to what kind of DNA it is.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchDNA synthesizers contain components that open and close to release chemicals as they manufacture each of these bases, along with the tubes and chambers through which they flow. These mechanisms make distinctive sounds as they work.After filtering out background noise and running several adjustments to the recorded sound, the researchers found the differences were too subtle for humans to notice.”But through a careful feature engineering and bespoke machine-learning algorithm written in our lab, we were able to pinpoint those differences,” Faezi said. The researchers could easily distinguish each time the machine produced A, G, C, or T.When the researchers used software to analyze the AGCT patterns they acquired through the recordings, they identified the correct type of DNA with 86 percent accuracy. By running it through additional well-known DNA sequencing software, they boosted the accuracy to almost 100 percent.Using this method, a knowledgeable observer could tell if the machine was making anthrax, smallpox, or Ebola DNA, for example, or a commercially valuable DNA intended to be a trade secret. The method could help law enforcement prevent bioterrorism, but it could also be used by criminals or terrorists to intercept biological secrets.”A few years ago, we published a study on a similar method for stealing plans of objects being fabricated in 3D printers, but this DNA synthesizer attack is potentially much more serious,” Al Faruque said.The researchers recommend that labs using DNA synthesizing machines institute security measures, such as strictly controlling access to the machines and removing innocuous-seeming recording devices left near the machine. They also recommend that machine manufacturers begin designing machine components to reduce the number of sounds they make, either by redesigning or repositioning the components or swaddling them in sound absorbent material.Almost all machines used in biomedical research make some kind of sound, noted Brisk and Grover, and the hack could conceivably be applied to any machine.”The take-home message for bioengineers is that we have to worry about these security issues when we’re designing instruments,” Grover said.
Explore further New generation of batteriesDemand for lithium, a silver-white coloured metal that is already used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries used in phones and laptops, has taken off with the rising popularity of electric vehicles, which need powerful batteries.”I honestly believe that lithium could be the new gold for Portugal,” said European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, who is responsible for energy policy in the European Union’s executive arm.”The reason for that is we expect that by 2025 there will be a market in Europe for batteries worth 250 billion euros ($290 billion) annually.” For almost a year now Sefcovic has been working on a project to build in the EU a new generation of “green” recyclable and reusable batteries.The first step requires reducing the bloc’s dependence on imported battery components. The EU imports 86 percent of the lithium it consumes, mainly from Chile and Australia.Portugal is already Europe’s main lithium producer, with a market share of 11 percent, but its output is entirely used to make ceramics and glassware. Demand for lithium has taken off as demand for electric cars surges He estimates it is 2.5 times more expensive to produce lithium extracted from Portugal’s granite rocks than from the brine fields of Chile.’White gold rush'”There is a white gold rush in various jurisdictions in the world. For continental Europe, home of the German and French car industries, the concept of having a European supply chain from mineral to electric vehicle is attractive,” says Howard Klein, investment adviser at New York-based RK Equity.The rush is already under way in Portugal. The projects at Boticas and Montalegre are expected to get the green light from investors and the authorities in the coming months.The government will launch calls for tenders for lithium prospecting rights at a dozen other sites to respond to “big investor appetite”, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Energy Jorge Seguro Sanches told AFP.Since 2016 Portugal has received over 40 requests for permission to look for lithium, he adds.But the government does not just want to collect royalties for lithium extraction.It also wants to “seize the opportunity to develop industrial sectors linked to the transformation of the mineral, to battery production, to the auto sector and renewable energy,” Sanches said.Savannah Resources wants to produce a mineral concentrate rich in lithium in Portugal for export.Lusorecursos’ project at Montalegre is even more ambitious as it wants to build a factory that can transform lithium before selling it to battery makers. Portugal’s lithium is currently used to make ceramics and glassware New high-capacity sodium-ion could replace lithium in rechargeable batteries Citation: Booming electric car sales drive lithium rush in Portugal (2018, September 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-booming-electric-car-sales-lithium.html “It’s known Portugal has the most important reserves in Europe,” says Bednarski of Lithium Today, adding that the crucial step will be figuring out whether mining is “economically viable in a very competitive global market”. 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. “The more we drill, the more we find,” says David Archer as he stands at the foot of a drilling crane perforating the granite rock of mountains near Boticas in northern Portugal to measure its lithium content.The metal has become a form of precious “white gold” since demand for electric batteries has taken off.Archer’s British mining firm, Savannah Resources, expects to open “Europe’s most important lithium mine” in 2020 here in the remote highlands of Tras-os-Montes, Portugal’s poorest and least-known region.The company announced Monday that lithium resources at its Mina do Barroso project there were 44 percent higher than previously estimated.Just 25 kilometres (15 miles) away in the town of Montalegre, Portuguese firm Lusorecursos also claims to sit on Europe’s “most important lithium deposit” which it expects to begin mining in 2020, according to its financial director Ricardo Pinheiro.”The battery sector exploded and created a real appetite for lithium,” says Lucas Bednarski, managing director of market research site Lithium Today. Mining firms are racing to open new lithium mines in Portugal, already Europe’s biggest producer of the commodity, thanks to the surge in popularity of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. © 2018 AFP Portugal is Europe’s main lithium producer
Provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Citation: Addressing cooling needs and energy poverty targets in the Global South (2019, February 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-cooling-energy-poverty-global-south.html 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. Credit: CC0 Public Domain More information: Alessio Mastrucci et al, Improving the SDG energy poverty targets: residential cooling needs in the Global South, Energy and Buildings (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.01.015 Apart from possible solutions such as the improved efficiency of indoor cooling technologies, the researchers encourage the use of passive building and city design strategies. Passive building design entails using building methods and materials that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce their ecological footprint, thus reducing the amount of energy needed for space heating or cooling.”Affordable and efficient cooling technologies, passive buildings and improved city design, and the frugal use of air-conditioning should be promoted to ensure essential cooling for all with minimized environmental damage,” says Alessio Mastrucci, a researcher with the IIASA Energy Program and lead author of the study.The findings of this study are important in terms of supporting policy and strategies to reduce the number of people exposed to heat-related stress. According to Mastrucci, addressing the space cooling gaps is likely to have major implications for reducing the risk of heat-related deaths and dysfunction and improving the wellbeing of billions of people in the Global South.”Filling the cooling energy poverty gap requires integrated strategies beyond providing access to affordable, efficient and low-emitting air-conditioning under the Kigali amendment. Access to electricity and affordable, energy-efficient homes is of critical importance in this respect,” he explains.In addition to the above, the study also highlights important interconnections and potential synergies between filling the cooling gaps and reaching other SDGs, such as no poverty, good health and wellbeing, and sustainable cities and communities. Timely policies to make more efficient air conditioning technologies affordable and to improve the design of residential areas to reduce heat island effects could be a win-win for both the climate and development. Health risks due to extreme temperatures have been growing worldwide, and a significant number of heat-related deaths are reported annually during the summer months in the northern and southern hemispheres, particularly among the elderly, the poor and in densely populated cities. Due to its high cost, air conditioning is considered a luxury, and only 8 percent of the 2.8 billion people living in the world’s hottest regions have an air conditioning unit. In addition, more than 1 billion people lack access to electricity and at least 1 billion live in slum conditions, both of which make access to space cooling challenging. The lack of access to essential indoor cooling is a major equity issue and is increasingly seen as a dimension of energy poverty and wellbeing that demands attention from policymakers.While a number of previous studies have looked at increases in energy demand due to the increased use of air conditioning, there is a dearth of research into the coincidence of adverse climate conditions and poverty. In this study, IIASA researchers for the first time spatially estimated explicit residential cooling needs in the Global South in combination with access to space cooling technologies to highlight the location of populations potentially exposed to heat stress. The results revealed large gaps in access to essential space cooling, especially in India, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, and provide a first estimation of the energy required to fill this gap.According to the researchers, the energy poverty gap is much larger than indicated by the electricity access indicator of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 when the need for essential space cooling is taken into account. The results indicate that covering this gap would require an energy demand growth of on average 14 percent of current global residential electricity consumption, primarily for air-conditioning, which would likely be accompanied by high costs and significant environmental implications. Achieving universal access to electricity (SDG7) and adequate and affordable housing (SDG 11) are prerequisites to accessing cooling technologies, making the provision of essential space cooling for all a challenge. Global demand for air conditioning to triple by 2050: report While most of the northern hemisphere is currently in the icy grip of one of the coldest winters ever recorded, record-breaking heat is the problem in the south. The results of a new IIASA study show that between 1.8 and 4.1 billion people require access to indoor cooling to avoid heat-related stresses. Explore further
SHARE SHARE EMAIL events LN Revathy Weaves, a trade fair aimed at showcasing the potential of the powerloom and handloom sector in Tamil Nadu, is slated between December 5 and 8 at Texvalley in Erode.The maiden edition of this event is being organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Texvalley, an integrated textiles market. The organisers hope to make this an annual event.“The weaving segment does not have enough exposure to the market. We spoke to members of more than 88 clusters in the State before we conceptualised and embarked on this event. The issues ranged from yarn, pricing, to GST. While each cluster is exclusive in its own way, we realised that they had difficulty in marketing their products,” said C Devarajan, Past Chairman, CII Erode and Vice-Chairman, Texvalley.More than 250 exhibitors have confirmed their participation. The exhibits would range from Premium Greige, processing and finishing, ethnic wear and knitted fabric, handlooms and khadi, home textiles, textile accessories and machinery.ParticipantsParticipants from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and South Africa have confirmed as have members from weaving communities in Surat, Banaras and Dharmavaram, he said.There will be separate pavilions for yarn, fashion designing and Nabard cluster. A coffee-table book featuring stalwarts of the textile industry in Tamil Nadu would be released, he added. DP Kumar, Executive Director, Texvalley, said that 25 powerloom clusters in the State would be signing exclusive joint venture agreements with 25 educational institutions.The event is expected to gain significance as Tamil Nadu is home to 5.7 lakh powerlooms and 210 powerloom weaver cooperative cocieties covering 46,000 looms.The platform will provide an opportunity for the weaving clusters to showcase their potential to both domestic and international buyers during the four-day event, said the ED of Texvalley.The annual turnover of this sector is pegged at ₹35,000 crore.The organisers expect Weaves to generate business of around ₹800 crore. Tamil Nadu SHARE Published on COMMENT November 30, 2018 COMMENTS
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