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ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: https://news.yahoo.com/rss/science
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • Global health emergency declared over deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:47:55 -0400

    Global health emergency declared over deadly Ebola outbreak in CongoThe World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency over the long-simmering Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


    Global health emergency declared over deadly Ebola outbreak in CongoThe World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency over the long-simmering Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


     

  • 2 Small-Cap Biotech IPOs You Should Know About      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:20:18 -0400

    2 Small-Cap Biotech IPOs You Should Know AboutThe public markets are awash in new biopharmaceutical companies, but these two appear to be overlooked.


    2 Small-Cap Biotech IPOs You Should Know AboutThe public markets are awash in new biopharmaceutical companies, but these two appear to be overlooked.


     

  • NuCana Initiates Dosing in Phase I Study for Solid Tumors      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:18:03 -0400

    NuCana Initiates Dosing in Phase I Study for Solid TumorsNuCana (NCNA) doses the first patient in a phase I study on NUC-7738, which is being evaluated for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.


    NuCana Initiates Dosing in Phase I Study for Solid TumorsNuCana (NCNA) doses the first patient in a phase I study on NUC-7738, which is being evaluated for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.


     

  • Israel unearths remains of rare ancient mosque      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:15:43 -0400

    Israel unearths remains of rare ancient mosqueIsraeli archaeologists said Thursday they had unearthed the remains of a rare ancient rural mosque from the seventh and eighth centuries AD in the country's south. The remains were discovered during preparations to construct a new building in the Bedouin town of Rahat, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. It said the remains were of an open-air rectangular mosque with a mihrab, or prayer niche, facing Mecca.


    Israel unearths remains of rare ancient mosqueIsraeli archaeologists said Thursday they had unearthed the remains of a rare ancient rural mosque from the seventh and eighth centuries AD in the country's south. The remains were discovered during preparations to construct a new building in the Bedouin town of Rahat, the Israel Antiquities Authority said. It said the remains were of an open-air rectangular mosque with a mihrab, or prayer niche, facing Mecca.


     

  • If You See One Of These 12 Bumps On Your Skin, Do Not Pop      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:00:00 -0400

    If You See One Of These 12 Bumps On Your Skin, Do Not PopHere's what to do instead.


    If You See One Of These 12 Bumps On Your Skin, Do Not PopHere's what to do instead.


     

  • Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy land      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:39:28 -0400

    Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy landArchaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world's oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday. The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries. There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Mecca but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.


    Archaeologists find mosque from when Islam arrived in holy landArchaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world's oldest rural mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on Thursday. The Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to the 7th to 8th centuries. There are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Mecca but it is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.


     

  • AC Immune Initiates Phase I Study for Alzheimer's Disease      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:26:02 -0400

    AC Immune Initiates Phase I Study for Alzheimer's DiseaseAC Immune (ACIU) initiates phase I study of ACI-3024, a Tau Morphomer inhibitor, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.


    AC Immune Initiates Phase I Study for Alzheimer's DiseaseAC Immune (ACIU) initiates phase I study of ACI-3024, a Tau Morphomer inhibitor, for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.


     

  • Ebola outbreak in Congo declared an international health emergency by World Health Organization      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:22:03 -0400

    Ebola outbreak in Congo declared an international health emergency by World Health OrganizationMore than 1,600 people have died since August in the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.


    Ebola outbreak in Congo declared an international health emergency by World Health OrganizationMore than 1,600 people have died since August in the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.


     

  • Danish study finds 95 percent of dead petrels ingested plastic      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:17:11 -0400

    Danish study finds 95 percent of dead petrels ingested plasticMore than 90 percent of northern petrels found dead off the Danish coast had plastic in their stomachs, a study by Denmark's environmental protection agency said Thursday. "More than 95 percent of corpses of northern petrels found on Danish beaches contain plastic," according to study author John Pedersen. "They fish ... and if there is a little bit of plastic that comes too," leading to a gradual accumulation of plastics in the stomach, said Pedersen, cited by the Danish news agency Ritzau.


    Danish study finds 95 percent of dead petrels ingested plasticMore than 90 percent of northern petrels found dead off the Danish coast had plastic in their stomachs, a study by Denmark's environmental protection agency said Thursday. "More than 95 percent of corpses of northern petrels found on Danish beaches contain plastic," according to study author John Pedersen. "They fish ... and if there is a little bit of plastic that comes too," leading to a gradual accumulation of plastics in the stomach, said Pedersen, cited by the Danish news agency Ritzau.


     

  • Working women may have slower memory loss later in life than stay-at-home moms, research finds      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:06:37 -0400

    Working women may have slower memory loss later in life than stay-at-home moms, research findsNew research found that working mothers had a slower rate of memory decline and loss later in life compared to non-working mothers. The research from a team at the University of California, Los Angeles, was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Tuesday, and looked at over 6,000 American women born between the years 1935 through 1956. The researchers asked the women to complete standardized memory tests every two years between the ages of around 55 to 80, and found that working mothers who are paid to work in young adulthood and midlife (whether single or married) had a slower rate of memory decline compared to non-working mothers.


    Working women may have slower memory loss later in life than stay-at-home moms, research findsNew research found that working mothers had a slower rate of memory decline and loss later in life compared to non-working mothers. The research from a team at the University of California, Los Angeles, was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Tuesday, and looked at over 6,000 American women born between the years 1935 through 1956. The researchers asked the women to complete standardized memory tests every two years between the ages of around 55 to 80, and found that working mothers who are paid to work in young adulthood and midlife (whether single or married) had a slower rate of memory decline compared to non-working mothers.


     

  • India reschedules launch of its moon mission for Monday      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:58:24 -0400

    India reschedules launch of its moon mission for MondayIndia's space agency said it will launch a spacecraft to the south pole of the moon on Monday after stopping an attempt this week. The Indian Space Research Organization said the Chandrayaan-2 launch is now set at 2:43 p.m. on Monday. The earlier launch attempt on Monday was called off less than an hour before the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher lifted off.


    India reschedules launch of its moon mission for MondayIndia's space agency said it will launch a spacecraft to the south pole of the moon on Monday after stopping an attempt this week. The Indian Space Research Organization said the Chandrayaan-2 launch is now set at 2:43 p.m. on Monday. The earlier launch attempt on Monday was called off less than an hour before the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher lifted off.


     

  • Netflix Plunges Most in a Year After Stumble on Customer Growth      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:53:48 -0400

    Netflix Plunges Most in a Year After Stumble on Customer Growth(Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. shocked investors by reporting a drop in U.S. customers and much slower growth overseas, raising fears that the streaming giant is losing momentum just as competitors prepare to pounce.The shares plunged as much as 11%, the most in a year, to $323 in New York trading Thursday after Netflix on Wednesday reported the loss of 130,000 customers in the U.S. The company blamed higher prices and a weak slate of TV shows. It signed up 2.8 million subscribers internationally in the period, roughly half what the company predicted.“Netflix has a difficult road ahead, with looming competition and the removal of popular content,” said EMarketer Inc. analyst Eric Haggstrom. But a stronger lineup of new shows in the current quarter could help attract former subscribers, he said.The quarter represents the biggest black eye for Netflix since 2011, when the company split its DVD-by-mail business from its streaming business. That move raised prices for its customers, and resulted in the loss of more than 800,000 subscribers in the U.S. The company had planned to call the DVD service Qwikster, but it backpedaled on the plan after investors and customers scoffed at the idea.Netflix said the miss is a one-time blip rather than a long-term problem. The second quarter has typically been its weakest time of year: The company missed its forecast during the period in three of the past four years.Netflix looks to add 7 million subscribers in the current quarter, thanks in part to the return of top shows “Stranger Things” and “Orange Is the New Black.”“Our position is excellent,” Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said during a videoconference call Wednesday. “We’re building amazing capacity for content. Our product has never been in better shape.”Several analysts agreed that the second-quarter disappointment should be only a temporary hiccup for Netflix. Investors should “aggressively buy the stock” on weakness, especially below $325 a share, Loop Capital said.Heavy SpendingFor now, the second-quarter shortfall is renewing investor concern about the company’s heavy program spending and low profitability. Netflix shelled out more than $3 billion on programming in the quarter and another $600 million to market its shows. The company spent $594 million more than it took in and will need to raise money to fund programming.Investors had been forgiving about the spending and the debt -- so long as customers grew at record rates. But the loss of subscribers in the U.S. was the first since the Qwikster debacle, and it suggests Netflix may be running into price resistance or the limits of the addressable domestic market. The company has forecast it can reach as much as 90 million customers in the U.S., compared with 60.1 million currently.Overseas SlowdownInternational results flagged too, with the company missing its own forecast of 4.7 million new subscribers. Europe, Latin America and Asia have been the primary drivers of Netflix’s customer acquisition in recent years, and growth must be sustained if the company is to justify its high valuation.Netflix is introducing a cheaper, mobile-only package in India to attract customers in a big market with price-sensitive customers.Analysts expect the company to have a blockbuster second half because of a heavy release schedule that includes a new season of “The Crown” and movies by directors Martin Scorsese and Michael Bay. Even after the slowdown last quarter, Netflix still thinks it can have its best year of customer growth in 2019.But competition is coming. Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. plan to introduce streaming services this year, while offerings from Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. arrive in 2020. Those services may not steal users from Netflix, but they will make future growth harder, according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.Just a Preview?“We saw a preview of next year with this quarter,” Pachter said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Next year, they’ll have a couple quarters where they’ll lose subscribers.”Another challenge: Competitors are taking back rights to programs that have been popular on Netflix, including “Friends” and “The Office,” to use for their own services. That will force Netflix to rely even more on its original productions.Those efforts have largely been successful. Its shows just earned 117 nominations for the 2019 Emmy awards. But reruns of old shows still constitute the majority of viewing.The slowdown in users overshadowed the company’s quarterly financial results. Earnings for the second quarter fell to 60 cents a share, but beat analysts’ estimates of 56 cents. Sales grew 26% to $4.92 billion, compared with projections of $4.93 billion.The stock had been up 35% for the year at the close of regular trading, nearly double the gain of the S&P 500. The decline spread to related stocks such as Roku Inc., which makes set-top boxes that deliver the streaming service. Its shares fell as much as 3.6% after hours.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Netflix Plunges Most in a Year After Stumble on Customer Growth(Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. shocked investors by reporting a drop in U.S. customers and much slower growth overseas, raising fears that the streaming giant is losing momentum just as competitors prepare to pounce.The shares plunged as much as 11%, the most in a year, to $323 in New York trading Thursday after Netflix on Wednesday reported the loss of 130,000 customers in the U.S. The company blamed higher prices and a weak slate of TV shows. It signed up 2.8 million subscribers internationally in the period, roughly half what the company predicted.“Netflix has a difficult road ahead, with looming competition and the removal of popular content,” said EMarketer Inc. analyst Eric Haggstrom. But a stronger lineup of new shows in the current quarter could help attract former subscribers, he said.The quarter represents the biggest black eye for Netflix since 2011, when the company split its DVD-by-mail business from its streaming business. That move raised prices for its customers, and resulted in the loss of more than 800,000 subscribers in the U.S. The company had planned to call the DVD service Qwikster, but it backpedaled on the plan after investors and customers scoffed at the idea.Netflix said the miss is a one-time blip rather than a long-term problem. The second quarter has typically been its weakest time of year: The company missed its forecast during the period in three of the past four years.Netflix looks to add 7 million subscribers in the current quarter, thanks in part to the return of top shows “Stranger Things” and “Orange Is the New Black.”“Our position is excellent,” Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said during a videoconference call Wednesday. “We’re building amazing capacity for content. Our product has never been in better shape.”Several analysts agreed that the second-quarter disappointment should be only a temporary hiccup for Netflix. Investors should “aggressively buy the stock” on weakness, especially below $325 a share, Loop Capital said.Heavy SpendingFor now, the second-quarter shortfall is renewing investor concern about the company’s heavy program spending and low profitability. Netflix shelled out more than $3 billion on programming in the quarter and another $600 million to market its shows. The company spent $594 million more than it took in and will need to raise money to fund programming.Investors had been forgiving about the spending and the debt -- so long as customers grew at record rates. But the loss of subscribers in the U.S. was the first since the Qwikster debacle, and it suggests Netflix may be running into price resistance or the limits of the addressable domestic market. The company has forecast it can reach as much as 90 million customers in the U.S., compared with 60.1 million currently.Overseas SlowdownInternational results flagged too, with the company missing its own forecast of 4.7 million new subscribers. Europe, Latin America and Asia have been the primary drivers of Netflix’s customer acquisition in recent years, and growth must be sustained if the company is to justify its high valuation.Netflix is introducing a cheaper, mobile-only package in India to attract customers in a big market with price-sensitive customers.Analysts expect the company to have a blockbuster second half because of a heavy release schedule that includes a new season of “The Crown” and movies by directors Martin Scorsese and Michael Bay. Even after the slowdown last quarter, Netflix still thinks it can have its best year of customer growth in 2019.But competition is coming. Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. plan to introduce streaming services this year, while offerings from Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. arrive in 2020. Those services may not steal users from Netflix, but they will make future growth harder, according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.Just a Preview?“We saw a preview of next year with this quarter,” Pachter said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Next year, they’ll have a couple quarters where they’ll lose subscribers.”Another challenge: Competitors are taking back rights to programs that have been popular on Netflix, including “Friends” and “The Office,” to use for their own services. That will force Netflix to rely even more on its original productions.Those efforts have largely been successful. Its shows just earned 117 nominations for the 2019 Emmy awards. But reruns of old shows still constitute the majority of viewing.The slowdown in users overshadowed the company’s quarterly financial results. Earnings for the second quarter fell to 60 cents a share, but beat analysts’ estimates of 56 cents. Sales grew 26% to $4.92 billion, compared with projections of $4.93 billion.The stock had been up 35% for the year at the close of regular trading, nearly double the gain of the S&P 500. The decline spread to related stocks such as Roku Inc., which makes set-top boxes that deliver the streaming service. Its shares fell as much as 3.6% after hours.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Amazing places discovered surprisingly recently      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:45:00 -0400

    Amazing places discovered surprisingly recentlyWe go on the trail of the last undiscovered places on the planet.  Pico da Neblina, Brazil A jagged 2,995-metre behemoth, Pica da Neblina is the highest mountain in the whole of Brazil – not the sort of geographical feature you’re likely to lose down the back of the sofa. Nevertheless, its existence was unknown until the 1950s thanks to two factors. Firstly, it sits in one of South America’s most remote corners: the Guiana Highlands on the Brazil–Venezuela border, a region where uncontacted tribes outnumber tourists. Secondly, it is almost always obscured by thick cloud. Indeed, “neblina” is Spanish for “fog”. The mountain’s millennia of anonymity were ended when (according to popular belief) a pilot spotted it on an extremely rare clear day. The first ascent of it came in 1965. To explore the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, you’ll need to first reach Manaus, a remarkable city of more than two million souls plonked in the middle of the jungle. From here the most popular options for wildlife watching are cruises on small but smart riverboats up the Rio Negro, or trips further upriver to Tefé to stay at the Uakari Floating Lodge. Across the border, Iquitos is the main base for excursions into the Peruvian Amazon. The Verdon Gorge, France Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon, a 15-mile gorge that sinks to depths of 700 metres, was almost completely unknown, beyond Provence at least, until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1905, speleology guru Édouard-Alfred Martel was commissioned to lead the first proper survey of the region with a view to taming the river and using it to irrigate the fields of the Var and provide drinking water for Toulon and Marseille. The following year his findings, in which he declared it the “new jewel in the rich crown of  la belle France” were published in a popular magazine, triggered the first trickle of tourists (a trickle which, thanks to the construction of roads along the north and south rims in 1947 and 1973, eventually become a deluge). The Gorges du Verdon Credit: GETTY “The discovery of the Verdon Gorges was [a] revelation of the nation’s ignorance of itself,” explains Graham Robb, author of The Discovery of France. “Until 1906, the most spectacular geographical feature in France might as well have existed in a different dimension; yet, all around the rim of the canyon [Martel] had found farm animals drinking at pools, ‘ruins whose history is unknown’, and, in the canyon itself, wreckage washed down by the torrent – planks of wood from mills and cabins, and even ‘a footbridge from who knows where’.” The village of Lorgues is a fine base for exploring Verdon. For more tips, see our expert guide. Mount Mabu, Mozambique Mozambique has grown in popularity as a beach destination, and its 1,430 miles of coastline are dotted with an increasing number of modern luxury resorts. Its interior, however, remains remarkably unexplored, and until the launch of Google Earth in 2001 nobody - bar a few local villagers - knew a thing about the region surrounding Mount Mabu in the north of the country. The digital tool brought it to the attention of scientists at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, and the first full-scale expedition to the area found a remarkable pocket of biodiversity; a “lost” yet enormous rainforest surrounded by savannah. Several new species were uncovered, including a tropical mistletoe, a pygmy chameleon, a bush viper and a butterfly. “People say there is nothing left to be discovered,” Julian Bayliss, a conservation biologist for Kew Gardens, told The Guardian in 2013. “But there are new species to be discovered. Lost worlds to be found.” Indeed, soon after the Mount Mabu expedition, Bayliss identified another mountain in Mozambique, also using Google Earth, as a place of significant scientific interest: Mount Lico. An expedition there in 2018 found more new species, although the team were surprised to find evidence of human visitors in the form of ancient pots, ceremonially placed near the source of a stream.  Vinicunca, Peru These candy-coloured peaks, known as the Rainbow Mountains, are just as hard to reach, with four or five days of hiking required for most fit people. And that’s if you don’t get lost. Even experienced guides have reported difficulty locating the site to the east of Cusco, which can be visited on the 43-mile Ausangate trek. Peru's Rainbow Mountain Credit: GETTY It’s a relatively new addition to Peru’s tourist trail. That’s because until recently Vinicunca was unknown; climate change revealed it to the world. Santos Machacca, a mountain guide based in Cusco, told the New York Times last year: “We have asked the elders that live in Pitumarca [a nearby town] and they said that the mountain was under the snow,” Mr. Machacca said in a recent interview. “Global warming has caused the ice to melt, and a colourful mountain appeared from under it.” A subsequent surge in popularity - some 1,000 hikers arrive at the site each day in high season - has now led to fears for the future of Vinicunca. Xianren Bridge, China The world’s longest natural arch, with a span of 138 metres, was also unknown before the arrival of Google Earth. Xianren Bridge was discovered by Jay Wilbur while browsing the tool in 2009. It crosses China’s Buliu River, in northern Guangxi Province, and is surrounded by forests and other limestone rock formations. The nearest town is more than 20 miles away and reaching it necessitates a three-hour rafting trip. Sign up to the new weekly Telegraph Travel newsletter Antarctica Despite its vastness - twice the size of Australia - Antarctica remained unseen until 1820 and untouched until 1895. Belief in a vast “Terra Australis”, a giant continent in the far south of the globe to “balance” Europe, Asia and Africa, had persisted for centuries, and Cook came within 75 miles of it in 1773 before being forced to retreat. Nevertheless, in 1815 the explorer Matthew Flinders was so convinced of its non-existence that he handed the moniker to what was then known as New Holland. Justifying the title of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis, he wrote: “There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will ever be found in a more southern latitude.” He would be proven wrong five years later when the Fimbul ice shelf was sighted by Russian ships. It would be another 75 years before the first confirmed landing, at Cape Adair, by a Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship. Antarctica was undiscovered until 1820 Credit: getty In her guide to visiting Antarctica, Joanna Symons writes: “This frozen continent at the end of the Earth has never been permanently occupied by man. Accessible only from November to March, it has no towns or villages, no habitation bar the odd research station or expedition hut; just grand, icy, unpredictable wilderness. Even if you’re travelling there on a cruise ship, as most people do, the solitude and the emptiness will envelop you and bring you down to scale. “Not that solitude is the first thing that comes to mind when you’re standing in the middle of a penguin colony on an Antarctic shoreline. When I visited, in early February, there were thousands of birds packed tightly on every rock, both shy gentoo penguins and the bolder adélies, which seemed happy for us to wander among them, cameras clicking furiously at the grey fluff-ball chicks tapping their parents’ beaks to be fed.” New Zealand New Zealand can lay claim to being the last major landmass settled by humans. It wasn’t until around 1300 that the first Polynesians set foot on the islands and developed the unique Māori culture. By comparison, the earliest evidence of humans in Australia is at least 65,000 years old. How did it go unnoticed for so long? The exact route of the first migration to Australia is widely debated, but it seems likely that the continent was reached by island-hopping on rafts across a strait that was far shallower than the Timor Sea, for example, is today. The 1,000-mile stretch across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand was another matter. That the seafaring Polynesians discovered Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Easter Island and the Cook Islands, among others, before finding vast New Zealand, may well be down to unfavourable prevailing winds and ocean currents. In a twist of irony, the first European to see New Zealand, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, was unable to locate Australia on his 1642 voyage. Milford Sound Credit: getty Telegraph logo New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud £ 4499 pp 21 nights £215 per night Check availability Provided by Riviera Travel The most recently discovered bit of New Zealand may well be Stewart Island. Europeans knew nothing of it until 1770. Writing for Telegraph Travel, David Whitley explained: “New Zealand’s often forgotten third island is cast adrift of the South Island’s bottom end, at the mercy of the roaring forties and its howling winds. “Attempts at human settlement have broadly failed. Maori have only ever lived on Stewart Island sporadically, while European whalers, sealers, farmers and saw-millers have seen their industries die out pretty quickly. The current population is officially 381, and it has never really crept much higher than that. This has left the vast bulk of the island in almost pristine condition. The National Park covers 85 per cent of the landmass, and aside from a few tremendously squelchy tracks lacing through it, there aren’t many signs of human interference.” Madagascar Like New Zealand, Madagascar was only colonised by human settlers relatively recently - perhaps as late as 500AD - which means it has a wealth of endemic plant and animals species that have survived. Its most unexplored corner is Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a labyrinth of limestone that covers a sizeable chunk of the island’s western half. It is utterly impassable, a maze of crooked canyons, caves, tunnels and spires, so its animal inhabitants - including Madagascar’s famous lemurs - go largely undisturbed. The unique geology also means there are endemic species that have evolved to embrace life among the karst skyscrapers.    G Adventures offers an eight-day Baobab & Tsingy Explorer tour, taking in the national park and more otherworldly attractions. From £599 per person (flights extra). Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park Credit: GETTY Cape Melville, Australia The giant granite boulders and dense rainforest of this peninsula, on Australia’s northeastern tip, make it utterly impenetrable. So much so that in 2013 the only way a team of scientists and filmmakers could reach its uplands was by helicopter. The expense was worth it. They discovered three new species - a gecko, a skink and a frog - and were generally amazed by what they described as a “lost world”. “We think in Australia that we know what’s out there pretty well,” said Conrad Hoskin of James Cook University, who led the expedition, at the time. “But to be able to walk into a new mountain range and find several new animals immediately shows that there must be very many more out there. If anything's likely to harbour something amazing, it would be there.” Reaching the region involves a long drive from Cairns to Cape Melville National Park. A 4x4 vehicle is a must. The park has several campsites; its official website lists walking routes and safety advice. Mesmerising photographs of Australia from space Hang Son Doong, Vietnam Many miles of underground caverns are yet to be explored. Indeed, the subterranean record books are being rewritten on an almost annual basis and some of the biggest caves on the planet were only discovered relatively recently. Krubera Cave, in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia in Georgia, is the deepest known cave and one of only two deeper than 2,000 metres. Of its eight miles of tunnels, the furthest from the surface (2,191 metres down) was discovered in 2007. It is no place for ordinary travellers. But Hang Son Doong in Vietnam, the largest known cave passage in the world by volume, which was found in 1990 and only fully explored in the last few years, can be seen by tourists. Only 1,000 visitors are allowed into the caves each year, with each tour taking four days and three nights, and costing £2,245. Those that sign up are rewarded with the chance to experience a cave so big it has its own weather system. At its tallest point the cave can accommodate a 40-storey skyscraper, while at its widest point there’s room to fly a Boeing 747. Oxalis Adventure Tours is the only company authorised to lead tours into these extraordinary caves. Visit oxalis.com.vn for more information. The last places on Earth with no internet Machu Picchu, Peru This 550-year-old Inca citadel wasn’t discovered by Hiram Bingham. But its rediscovery in 1911, after 350 years of abandonment, is certainly worth including here. Of the site, our Latin America expert Chris Moss writes: “Half a million visitors per year can’t be wrong: Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous, most photogenic, most fabled Inca citadel is a wonder to behold. Even a lifetime of being exposed to pictures of it in school textbooks, holiday brochures, Instagram and newspapers, doesn’t quite prepare you for a proper eyeful of the stepped terraces, stone walls, mysterious temples and mist-shrouded Andean peaks. The lost city of the Incas Credit: GETTY “It is high: 7,973ft above sea level. It is large: the ruins are the size of a village, and combined with adjoining forest and wilderness park, the “historical sanctuary”, as Unesco describes it, covers more than 116 square miles. It is also mysterious: we know its functions were partly residential and partly religious, but we are still guessing about its cosmic positioning and its academic importance to the Incas.”


    Amazing places discovered surprisingly recentlyWe go on the trail of the last undiscovered places on the planet.  Pico da Neblina, Brazil A jagged 2,995-metre behemoth, Pica da Neblina is the highest mountain in the whole of Brazil – not the sort of geographical feature you’re likely to lose down the back of the sofa. Nevertheless, its existence was unknown until the 1950s thanks to two factors. Firstly, it sits in one of South America’s most remote corners: the Guiana Highlands on the Brazil–Venezuela border, a region where uncontacted tribes outnumber tourists. Secondly, it is almost always obscured by thick cloud. Indeed, “neblina” is Spanish for “fog”. The mountain’s millennia of anonymity were ended when (according to popular belief) a pilot spotted it on an extremely rare clear day. The first ascent of it came in 1965. To explore the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, you’ll need to first reach Manaus, a remarkable city of more than two million souls plonked in the middle of the jungle. From here the most popular options for wildlife watching are cruises on small but smart riverboats up the Rio Negro, or trips further upriver to Tefé to stay at the Uakari Floating Lodge. Across the border, Iquitos is the main base for excursions into the Peruvian Amazon. The Verdon Gorge, France Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon, a 15-mile gorge that sinks to depths of 700 metres, was almost completely unknown, beyond Provence at least, until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1905, speleology guru Édouard-Alfred Martel was commissioned to lead the first proper survey of the region with a view to taming the river and using it to irrigate the fields of the Var and provide drinking water for Toulon and Marseille. The following year his findings, in which he declared it the “new jewel in the rich crown of  la belle France” were published in a popular magazine, triggered the first trickle of tourists (a trickle which, thanks to the construction of roads along the north and south rims in 1947 and 1973, eventually become a deluge). The Gorges du Verdon Credit: GETTY “The discovery of the Verdon Gorges was [a] revelation of the nation’s ignorance of itself,” explains Graham Robb, author of The Discovery of France. “Until 1906, the most spectacular geographical feature in France might as well have existed in a different dimension; yet, all around the rim of the canyon [Martel] had found farm animals drinking at pools, ‘ruins whose history is unknown’, and, in the canyon itself, wreckage washed down by the torrent – planks of wood from mills and cabins, and even ‘a footbridge from who knows where’.” The village of Lorgues is a fine base for exploring Verdon. For more tips, see our expert guide. Mount Mabu, Mozambique Mozambique has grown in popularity as a beach destination, and its 1,430 miles of coastline are dotted with an increasing number of modern luxury resorts. Its interior, however, remains remarkably unexplored, and until the launch of Google Earth in 2001 nobody - bar a few local villagers - knew a thing about the region surrounding Mount Mabu in the north of the country. The digital tool brought it to the attention of scientists at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, and the first full-scale expedition to the area found a remarkable pocket of biodiversity; a “lost” yet enormous rainforest surrounded by savannah. Several new species were uncovered, including a tropical mistletoe, a pygmy chameleon, a bush viper and a butterfly. “People say there is nothing left to be discovered,” Julian Bayliss, a conservation biologist for Kew Gardens, told The Guardian in 2013. “But there are new species to be discovered. Lost worlds to be found.” Indeed, soon after the Mount Mabu expedition, Bayliss identified another mountain in Mozambique, also using Google Earth, as a place of significant scientific interest: Mount Lico. An expedition there in 2018 found more new species, although the team were surprised to find evidence of human visitors in the form of ancient pots, ceremonially placed near the source of a stream.  Vinicunca, Peru These candy-coloured peaks, known as the Rainbow Mountains, are just as hard to reach, with four or five days of hiking required for most fit people. And that’s if you don’t get lost. Even experienced guides have reported difficulty locating the site to the east of Cusco, which can be visited on the 43-mile Ausangate trek. Peru's Rainbow Mountain Credit: GETTY It’s a relatively new addition to Peru’s tourist trail. That’s because until recently Vinicunca was unknown; climate change revealed it to the world. Santos Machacca, a mountain guide based in Cusco, told the New York Times last year: “We have asked the elders that live in Pitumarca [a nearby town] and they said that the mountain was under the snow,” Mr. Machacca said in a recent interview. “Global warming has caused the ice to melt, and a colourful mountain appeared from under it.” A subsequent surge in popularity - some 1,000 hikers arrive at the site each day in high season - has now led to fears for the future of Vinicunca. Xianren Bridge, China The world’s longest natural arch, with a span of 138 metres, was also unknown before the arrival of Google Earth. Xianren Bridge was discovered by Jay Wilbur while browsing the tool in 2009. It crosses China’s Buliu River, in northern Guangxi Province, and is surrounded by forests and other limestone rock formations. The nearest town is more than 20 miles away and reaching it necessitates a three-hour rafting trip. Sign up to the new weekly Telegraph Travel newsletter Antarctica Despite its vastness - twice the size of Australia - Antarctica remained unseen until 1820 and untouched until 1895. Belief in a vast “Terra Australis”, a giant continent in the far south of the globe to “balance” Europe, Asia and Africa, had persisted for centuries, and Cook came within 75 miles of it in 1773 before being forced to retreat. Nevertheless, in 1815 the explorer Matthew Flinders was so convinced of its non-existence that he handed the moniker to what was then known as New Holland. Justifying the title of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis, he wrote: “There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will ever be found in a more southern latitude.” He would be proven wrong five years later when the Fimbul ice shelf was sighted by Russian ships. It would be another 75 years before the first confirmed landing, at Cape Adair, by a Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship. Antarctica was undiscovered until 1820 Credit: getty In her guide to visiting Antarctica, Joanna Symons writes: “This frozen continent at the end of the Earth has never been permanently occupied by man. Accessible only from November to March, it has no towns or villages, no habitation bar the odd research station or expedition hut; just grand, icy, unpredictable wilderness. Even if you’re travelling there on a cruise ship, as most people do, the solitude and the emptiness will envelop you and bring you down to scale. “Not that solitude is the first thing that comes to mind when you’re standing in the middle of a penguin colony on an Antarctic shoreline. When I visited, in early February, there were thousands of birds packed tightly on every rock, both shy gentoo penguins and the bolder adélies, which seemed happy for us to wander among them, cameras clicking furiously at the grey fluff-ball chicks tapping their parents’ beaks to be fed.” New Zealand New Zealand can lay claim to being the last major landmass settled by humans. It wasn’t until around 1300 that the first Polynesians set foot on the islands and developed the unique Māori culture. By comparison, the earliest evidence of humans in Australia is at least 65,000 years old. How did it go unnoticed for so long? The exact route of the first migration to Australia is widely debated, but it seems likely that the continent was reached by island-hopping on rafts across a strait that was far shallower than the Timor Sea, for example, is today. The 1,000-mile stretch across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand was another matter. That the seafaring Polynesians discovered Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Easter Island and the Cook Islands, among others, before finding vast New Zealand, may well be down to unfavourable prevailing winds and ocean currents. In a twist of irony, the first European to see New Zealand, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, was unable to locate Australia on his 1642 voyage. Milford Sound Credit: getty Telegraph logo New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud £ 4499 pp 21 nights £215 per night Check availability Provided by Riviera Travel The most recently discovered bit of New Zealand may well be Stewart Island. Europeans knew nothing of it until 1770. Writing for Telegraph Travel, David Whitley explained: “New Zealand’s often forgotten third island is cast adrift of the South Island’s bottom end, at the mercy of the roaring forties and its howling winds. “Attempts at human settlement have broadly failed. Maori have only ever lived on Stewart Island sporadically, while European whalers, sealers, farmers and saw-millers have seen their industries die out pretty quickly. The current population is officially 381, and it has never really crept much higher than that. This has left the vast bulk of the island in almost pristine condition. The National Park covers 85 per cent of the landmass, and aside from a few tremendously squelchy tracks lacing through it, there aren’t many signs of human interference.” Madagascar Like New Zealand, Madagascar was only colonised by human settlers relatively recently - perhaps as late as 500AD - which means it has a wealth of endemic plant and animals species that have survived. Its most unexplored corner is Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a labyrinth of limestone that covers a sizeable chunk of the island’s western half. It is utterly impassable, a maze of crooked canyons, caves, tunnels and spires, so its animal inhabitants - including Madagascar’s famous lemurs - go largely undisturbed. The unique geology also means there are endemic species that have evolved to embrace life among the karst skyscrapers.    G Adventures offers an eight-day Baobab & Tsingy Explorer tour, taking in the national park and more otherworldly attractions. From £599 per person (flights extra). Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park Credit: GETTY Cape Melville, Australia The giant granite boulders and dense rainforest of this peninsula, on Australia’s northeastern tip, make it utterly impenetrable. So much so that in 2013 the only way a team of scientists and filmmakers could reach its uplands was by helicopter. The expense was worth it. They discovered three new species - a gecko, a skink and a frog - and were generally amazed by what they described as a “lost world”. “We think in Australia that we know what’s out there pretty well,” said Conrad Hoskin of James Cook University, who led the expedition, at the time. “But to be able to walk into a new mountain range and find several new animals immediately shows that there must be very many more out there. If anything's likely to harbour something amazing, it would be there.” Reaching the region involves a long drive from Cairns to Cape Melville National Park. A 4x4 vehicle is a must. The park has several campsites; its official website lists walking routes and safety advice. Mesmerising photographs of Australia from space Hang Son Doong, Vietnam Many miles of underground caverns are yet to be explored. Indeed, the subterranean record books are being rewritten on an almost annual basis and some of the biggest caves on the planet were only discovered relatively recently. Krubera Cave, in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia in Georgia, is the deepest known cave and one of only two deeper than 2,000 metres. Of its eight miles of tunnels, the furthest from the surface (2,191 metres down) was discovered in 2007. It is no place for ordinary travellers. But Hang Son Doong in Vietnam, the largest known cave passage in the world by volume, which was found in 1990 and only fully explored in the last few years, can be seen by tourists. Only 1,000 visitors are allowed into the caves each year, with each tour taking four days and three nights, and costing £2,245. Those that sign up are rewarded with the chance to experience a cave so big it has its own weather system. At its tallest point the cave can accommodate a 40-storey skyscraper, while at its widest point there’s room to fly a Boeing 747. Oxalis Adventure Tours is the only company authorised to lead tours into these extraordinary caves. Visit oxalis.com.vn for more information. The last places on Earth with no internet Machu Picchu, Peru This 550-year-old Inca citadel wasn’t discovered by Hiram Bingham. But its rediscovery in 1911, after 350 years of abandonment, is certainly worth including here. Of the site, our Latin America expert Chris Moss writes: “Half a million visitors per year can’t be wrong: Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous, most photogenic, most fabled Inca citadel is a wonder to behold. Even a lifetime of being exposed to pictures of it in school textbooks, holiday brochures, Instagram and newspapers, doesn’t quite prepare you for a proper eyeful of the stepped terraces, stone walls, mysterious temples and mist-shrouded Andean peaks. The lost city of the Incas Credit: GETTY “It is high: 7,973ft above sea level. It is large: the ruins are the size of a village, and combined with adjoining forest and wilderness park, the “historical sanctuary”, as Unesco describes it, covers more than 116 square miles. It is also mysterious: we know its functions were partly residential and partly religious, but we are still guessing about its cosmic positioning and its academic importance to the Incas.”


     

  • Soaring obesity rates fuel doubling in the number of organs which cannot be transplanted      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:53:51 -0400

    Soaring obesity rates fuel doubling in the number of organs which cannot be transplantedNHS transplants are declining because soaring obesity rates have fuelled a doubling in the number of unusable organs in the last decade, a stark report shows.  Official statistics reveal that for every 10 donors, there was one fewer transplantable organ than last year.  In total, 849 organs - more than one in six of those retrieved - were rejected because they were clinically unsuitable in 2018/19, because donors were too overweight, old or suffering from medical problems. The figure is almost double the 460 such cases in 2009/10.   Health officials warned that rates of obesity among deceased donors rose from 24 per cent to 29 per cent in less than a decade.  Experts said the disclosures reflected a tragic worsening of Britain’s lifestyles, with many of those willing to donate organs after their death unaware their weight problem could make this impossible.  Britain has the highest rates of obesity in Western Europe, with rates rising even more quickly than those of the  United States.  Obesity is on the rise in the UK The report from NHS Blood and Transplant also show an increasing reliance on older donors, whose organs are less likely to be suitable, with 15 per cent of donors aged 70 and over - a rise from eight per cent in 2008/9. The total number of transplants fell to 3,951, down from 4,038 in 2017/18 - the first drop for five years. Meanwhile, the number of eligible donors saw the first significant fall in a decade, with 5,815 cases, down from 6,038 the previous year. Despite the fact the number of donors reached a record high, with 1,600 such cases, up from 1,574 in a year, the worsening quality of organs meant the number of transplantable organs slumped.  The number of lung or heart and lung transplants fell by a fifth in a year, with just 344 carried out in 2017/18, while 646 people were on the transplant list.   Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said the figures reflected a spiralling health crisis in Britain.  He said: "There may well be many thousands of people wishing to donate their organs on death who are oblivious to the fact that their obesity renders that impossible.  “Most people think of fat as being visible but it's the invisible viscous fat that envelopes and crushes vital internal organs that does the damage and renders transplant improbable.  “The greater tragedy is that, as morbid obesity increases, so, too will successful donorship reduce.” Organs retrieved but not transplanted, 2009 to 2019 In total there were 5,147 usable organs, down from 5,260 the year before. This equates to around 27 organs for every 10 donors, down from 28 in 2017/18 .  It comes as England and Scotland prepare to follow Wales in introducing a system of presumed consent, requiring those who do not wish to donate to opt out. The changes, to be introduced next spring, aim to boost rates of organ donation, and encourage more public debate about the issue.  The report warns that the rising proportion of older and obese donors, who are more likely to suffer from medical problems which affect their organ quality  is likely to be affecting the numbers of successful transplants.  It warns: “All of these changes may have an adverse impact on the quality and utilisation of the organs, and the subsequent transplant outcome for the recipient.”  Prof John Forsythe, NHSBT medical director of organ donation and transplant, said: “Every potential donor is very precious to us. But what we are seeing reflects the changing demographics of the population”. “It isn’t surprising that someone with obesity is more likely to have heart disease, which would affect heart transplants. But it has an impact on other organs too - so if the liver is affected by obesity fat is laid around it and it becomes more vulnerable to the process of transplantation; bigger and more fragile. Similarly the capacity of the pancreas is affected if fat is laid around it.” “In addition, when you have got older or obese donors, there is a higher risk of other conditions - for example diabetes.”


    Soaring obesity rates fuel doubling in the number of organs which cannot be transplantedNHS transplants are declining because soaring obesity rates have fuelled a doubling in the number of unusable organs in the last decade, a stark report shows.  Official statistics reveal that for every 10 donors, there was one fewer transplantable organ than last year.  In total, 849 organs - more than one in six of those retrieved - were rejected because they were clinically unsuitable in 2018/19, because donors were too overweight, old or suffering from medical problems. The figure is almost double the 460 such cases in 2009/10.   Health officials warned that rates of obesity among deceased donors rose from 24 per cent to 29 per cent in less than a decade.  Experts said the disclosures reflected a tragic worsening of Britain’s lifestyles, with many of those willing to donate organs after their death unaware their weight problem could make this impossible.  Britain has the highest rates of obesity in Western Europe, with rates rising even more quickly than those of the  United States.  Obesity is on the rise in the UK The report from NHS Blood and Transplant also show an increasing reliance on older donors, whose organs are less likely to be suitable, with 15 per cent of donors aged 70 and over - a rise from eight per cent in 2008/9. The total number of transplants fell to 3,951, down from 4,038 in 2017/18 - the first drop for five years. Meanwhile, the number of eligible donors saw the first significant fall in a decade, with 5,815 cases, down from 6,038 the previous year. Despite the fact the number of donors reached a record high, with 1,600 such cases, up from 1,574 in a year, the worsening quality of organs meant the number of transplantable organs slumped.  The number of lung or heart and lung transplants fell by a fifth in a year, with just 344 carried out in 2017/18, while 646 people were on the transplant list.   Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said the figures reflected a spiralling health crisis in Britain.  He said: "There may well be many thousands of people wishing to donate their organs on death who are oblivious to the fact that their obesity renders that impossible.  “Most people think of fat as being visible but it's the invisible viscous fat that envelopes and crushes vital internal organs that does the damage and renders transplant improbable.  “The greater tragedy is that, as morbid obesity increases, so, too will successful donorship reduce.” Organs retrieved but not transplanted, 2009 to 2019 In total there were 5,147 usable organs, down from 5,260 the year before. This equates to around 27 organs for every 10 donors, down from 28 in 2017/18 .  It comes as England and Scotland prepare to follow Wales in introducing a system of presumed consent, requiring those who do not wish to donate to opt out. The changes, to be introduced next spring, aim to boost rates of organ donation, and encourage more public debate about the issue.  The report warns that the rising proportion of older and obese donors, who are more likely to suffer from medical problems which affect their organ quality  is likely to be affecting the numbers of successful transplants.  It warns: “All of these changes may have an adverse impact on the quality and utilisation of the organs, and the subsequent transplant outcome for the recipient.”  Prof John Forsythe, NHSBT medical director of organ donation and transplant, said: “Every potential donor is very precious to us. But what we are seeing reflects the changing demographics of the population”. “It isn’t surprising that someone with obesity is more likely to have heart disease, which would affect heart transplants. But it has an impact on other organs too - so if the liver is affected by obesity fat is laid around it and it becomes more vulnerable to the process of transplantation; bigger and more fragile. Similarly the capacity of the pancreas is affected if fat is laid around it.” “In addition, when you have got older or obese donors, there is a higher risk of other conditions - for example diabetes.”


     

  • NZ's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate action      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:47:33 -0400

    NZ's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate actionClimate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where her government could leave a lasting impact. "We run the risk that climate change can feel like something that is happening to someone else but if you visit Kiribati or you visit Tuvalu, this is real, this is not a hypothetical," she said.


    NZ's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate actionClimate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where her government could leave a lasting impact. "We run the risk that climate change can feel like something that is happening to someone else but if you visit Kiribati or you visit Tuvalu, this is real, this is not a hypothetical," she said.


     

  • What caused mysterious gray spots to appear on Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon landing glove?      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:40:30 -0400

    What caused mysterious gray spots to appear on Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon landing glove?Years ago, people wondered about the gray spots on Neil Armstrong's right hand glove from Apollo 11. Conservators have solved that mystery.


    What caused mysterious gray spots to appear on Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon landing glove?Years ago, people wondered about the gray spots on Neil Armstrong's right hand glove from Apollo 11. Conservators have solved that mystery.


     

  • Celebrate the totally real moon landing with this fresh Google Doodle      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 08:00:00 -0400

    Celebrate the totally real moon landing with this fresh Google DoodleIt's been 50 years since NASA's Apollo 11 moon landing, but July 20, 1969, still looms large in the consciousness of a nation desperate for something -- anything -- to be proud of. So why not celebrate that anniversary with this fresh as hell Google Doodle? Made "in partnership" with Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, the Doodle "will allow users to experience the journey to the Moon and back to Earth," according to a Google statement.Oh yeah. Bring on the experience that officially begins at 9 p.m. PT today! Blast it off.Image: googleSo dope. But wait, there's more! The moon.Image: google Read more...More about Google, Nasa, Moon, Tech, and Big Tech Companies


    Celebrate the totally real moon landing with this fresh Google DoodleIt's been 50 years since NASA's Apollo 11 moon landing, but July 20, 1969, still looms large in the consciousness of a nation desperate for something -- anything -- to be proud of. So why not celebrate that anniversary with this fresh as hell Google Doodle? Made "in partnership" with Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, the Doodle "will allow users to experience the journey to the Moon and back to Earth," according to a Google statement.Oh yeah. Bring on the experience that officially begins at 9 p.m. PT today! Blast it off.Image: googleSo dope. But wait, there's more! The moon.Image: google Read more...More about Google, Nasa, Moon, Tech, and Big Tech Companies


     

  • Qualcomm Fined $272 Million by EU for Predatory Pricing      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 07:05:29 -0400

    Qualcomm Fined $272 Million by EU for Predatory Pricing(Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc. was fined 242 million euros ($272 million) by European Union antitrust regulators for deliberately pricing some chips so low they could eliminate a smaller rival.The penalty comes a year after Qualcomm was ordered to pay 997 million euros for thwarting rival suppliers to Apple Inc. The EU said Thursday’s fine was 1.27% of Qualcomm’s revenue last year and "aimed at deterring market players" from trying the same thing.The Qualcomm investigation targeted 3G chips for internet mobile dongles sold between 2009 and 2011. Regulators said these were sold below cost to Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., "two strategically important customers," in order to push Icera, now owned by Nvidia Corp., out of the market."Icera was becoming a viable supplier of UMTS chipsets providing high data rate performance, thus posing a growing threat to Qualcomm’s chipset business," the EU said.Companies have complained about the slow pace of EU antitrust enforcement in fast-moving technology markets. Icera sought to draw in the EU by filing a complaint in 2010. It was sold to Nvidia a year later in 2011. The EU opened an investigation four years after that.Qualcomm said in a statement it will appeal and “expose the meritless nature of this decision.” It said it plans to provide a financial guarantee instead of paying the fine, until the courts have ruled.“The commission’s decision is based on a novel theory of alleged below-cost pricing over a very short time period and for a very small volume of chips,” Qualcomm’s general counsel Don Rosenberg said in the statement. “Contrary to the commission’s findings, Qualcomm’s alleged conduct did not cause anti-competitive harm to Icera.”Nvidia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Apple ChipsLast year Qualcomm was handed the EU’s fifth-largest antitrust penalty over payments to Apple that the EU said were an illegal ploy to ensure only its chips were used in iPhones and iPads. San Diego-based Qualcomm is challenging the fine at the EU courts.Qualcomm, the largest maker of chips for mobile phones, is unique among semiconductor makers in that it gets most of its profit from licensing patents. Makers of handsets pay the company royalties, whether or not they use its chips. That lucrative profit pool has come under attack as governments around the world scrutinized Qualcomm’s business practices.(Updates with Qualcomm response in sixth, seventh paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Christopher ElserFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Qualcomm Fined $272 Million by EU for Predatory Pricing(Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc. was fined 242 million euros ($272 million) by European Union antitrust regulators for deliberately pricing some chips so low they could eliminate a smaller rival.The penalty comes a year after Qualcomm was ordered to pay 997 million euros for thwarting rival suppliers to Apple Inc. The EU said Thursday’s fine was 1.27% of Qualcomm’s revenue last year and "aimed at deterring market players" from trying the same thing.The Qualcomm investigation targeted 3G chips for internet mobile dongles sold between 2009 and 2011. Regulators said these were sold below cost to Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., "two strategically important customers," in order to push Icera, now owned by Nvidia Corp., out of the market."Icera was becoming a viable supplier of UMTS chipsets providing high data rate performance, thus posing a growing threat to Qualcomm’s chipset business," the EU said.Companies have complained about the slow pace of EU antitrust enforcement in fast-moving technology markets. Icera sought to draw in the EU by filing a complaint in 2010. It was sold to Nvidia a year later in 2011. The EU opened an investigation four years after that.Qualcomm said in a statement it will appeal and “expose the meritless nature of this decision.” It said it plans to provide a financial guarantee instead of paying the fine, until the courts have ruled.“The commission’s decision is based on a novel theory of alleged below-cost pricing over a very short time period and for a very small volume of chips,” Qualcomm’s general counsel Don Rosenberg said in the statement. “Contrary to the commission’s findings, Qualcomm’s alleged conduct did not cause anti-competitive harm to Icera.”Nvidia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Apple ChipsLast year Qualcomm was handed the EU’s fifth-largest antitrust penalty over payments to Apple that the EU said were an illegal ploy to ensure only its chips were used in iPhones and iPads. San Diego-based Qualcomm is challenging the fine at the EU courts.Qualcomm, the largest maker of chips for mobile phones, is unique among semiconductor makers in that it gets most of its profit from licensing patents. Makers of handsets pay the company royalties, whether or not they use its chips. That lucrative profit pool has come under attack as governments around the world scrutinized Qualcomm’s business practices.(Updates with Qualcomm response in sixth, seventh paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Christopher ElserFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • New Zealand's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate action      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 06:54:17 -0400

    New Zealand's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate actionClimate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where her government could leave a lasting impact. "We run the risk that climate change can feel like something that is happening to someone else but if you visit Kiribati or you visit Tuvalu, this is real, this is not a hypothetical," she said.


    New Zealand's Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate actionClimate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where her government could leave a lasting impact. "We run the risk that climate change can feel like something that is happening to someone else but if you visit Kiribati or you visit Tuvalu, this is real, this is not a hypothetical," she said.


     

  • Apollo 11’s Achievement Still Dazzles      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 06:30:12 -0400

    Apollo 11’s Achievement Still DazzlesThirty months after setting the goal of sending a mission 239,000 miles to the moon, and returning safely, President John Kennedy cited a story the Irish author Frank O’Connor told about his boyhood. Facing the challenge of a high wall, O’Connor and his playmates tossed their caps over it. Said Kennedy, “They had no choice but to follow them. This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space.” Kennedy said this on Nov. 21, 1963, in San Antonio. The next day: Dallas.To understand America’s euphoria about the moon landing 50 years ago, remember 51 years ago: 1968 was one of America’s worst years -- the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated, urban riots. President Kennedy’s May 25, 1961, vow to reach the moon before 1970 came 43 days after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to enter outer space and orbit the Earth, and 38 days after the Bay of Pigs debacle. When Kennedy audaciously pointed to the moon, America had only sent a single astronaut on a 15-minute suborbital flight.Kennedy’s goal was reckless, and exhilarating leadership. Given existing knowledge and technologies, it was impossible. But Kennedy said the space program would “serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” It did. The thrilling story of collaborative science and individual daring is told well in HBO’s twelve-part From the Earth to the Moon, and PBS’s three-part Chasing the Moon, and in the companion volume with that title, by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, who write:> The American effort to get to the moon was the largest peacetime government initiative in the nation’s history. At its peak in the mid-1960s, nearly 2% of the American workforce was engaged in the effort to some degree. It employed more than 400,000 individuals, most of them working for 20,000 different private companies and 200 universities. The “space race” began as a Cold War competition, military and political. Even before Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, jolted Americans’ complacency in 1957 (ten days after President Dwight Eisenhower sent paratroopers to Little Rock’s Central High School), national security was at stake in the race for rockets with ever-greater thrusts to deliver thermonuclear warheads with ever-greater accuracy.By 1969, however, the Soviet Union was out of the race to the moon, a capitulation that anticipated the Soviets’ expiring gasp, two decades later, when confronted by the technological challenge of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. By mid-1967, a majority of Americans no longer thought a moon landing was worth the expense.But it triggered a final flaring of post-war confidence and pride. “The Eagle has landed” came as defiant last words of affirmation, at the end of a decade that, Stone and Andres note, had begun with harbingers of a coming culture of dark irony and satire: Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 (1961) and Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove (1964).Photos of Earth taken from the moon were said to herald a global sense of humanity’s common destiny. Osama bin Laden was twelve in 1969.Stone and Andres say Apollo 11 was hurled upward by engines burning “15 tons of liquid oxygen and kerosene per second, producing energy equal to the combined power of 85 Hoover Dams.” People spoke jauntily of “the conquest of space.” Well.VIEW GALLERY: Apollo 11The universe, 99.9 (and about 58 other nines) percent of which is already outside Earth’s atmosphere, is expanding (into we know not what) at 46 miles per second per megaparsec. (One megaparsec is approximately 3.26 million light years.) Astronomers are studying light that has taken perhaps twelve billion years to reach their instruments. This cooling cinder called Earth, spinning in the darkness at the back of beyond, is a minor speck of residue from the Big Bang, which lasted less than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second 13.8 billion years ago. The estimated number of stars -- they come and go -- is 100 followed by 22 zeros. The visible universe (which is hardly all of it) contains more than 150 billion galaxies, each with billions of stars. But if there were only three bees in America, the air would be more crowded with bees than space is with stars. The distances, and the violently unheavenly conditions in “the heavens,” tell us that our devices will roam our immediate cosmic neighborhood, but in spite of Apollo 11’s still-dazzling achievement, we are not really going anywhere.© 2019, Washington Post Writers Group


    Apollo 11’s Achievement Still DazzlesThirty months after setting the goal of sending a mission 239,000 miles to the moon, and returning safely, President John Kennedy cited a story the Irish author Frank O’Connor told about his boyhood. Facing the challenge of a high wall, O’Connor and his playmates tossed their caps over it. Said Kennedy, “They had no choice but to follow them. This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space.” Kennedy said this on Nov. 21, 1963, in San Antonio. The next day: Dallas.To understand America’s euphoria about the moon landing 50 years ago, remember 51 years ago: 1968 was one of America’s worst years -- the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated, urban riots. President Kennedy’s May 25, 1961, vow to reach the moon before 1970 came 43 days after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to enter outer space and orbit the Earth, and 38 days after the Bay of Pigs debacle. When Kennedy audaciously pointed to the moon, America had only sent a single astronaut on a 15-minute suborbital flight.Kennedy’s goal was reckless, and exhilarating leadership. Given existing knowledge and technologies, it was impossible. But Kennedy said the space program would “serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” It did. The thrilling story of collaborative science and individual daring is told well in HBO’s twelve-part From the Earth to the Moon, and PBS’s three-part Chasing the Moon, and in the companion volume with that title, by Robert Stone and Alan Andres, who write:> The American effort to get to the moon was the largest peacetime government initiative in the nation’s history. At its peak in the mid-1960s, nearly 2% of the American workforce was engaged in the effort to some degree. It employed more than 400,000 individuals, most of them working for 20,000 different private companies and 200 universities. The “space race” began as a Cold War competition, military and political. Even before Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, jolted Americans’ complacency in 1957 (ten days after President Dwight Eisenhower sent paratroopers to Little Rock’s Central High School), national security was at stake in the race for rockets with ever-greater thrusts to deliver thermonuclear warheads with ever-greater accuracy.By 1969, however, the Soviet Union was out of the race to the moon, a capitulation that anticipated the Soviets’ expiring gasp, two decades later, when confronted by the technological challenge of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. By mid-1967, a majority of Americans no longer thought a moon landing was worth the expense.But it triggered a final flaring of post-war confidence and pride. “The Eagle has landed” came as defiant last words of affirmation, at the end of a decade that, Stone and Andres note, had begun with harbingers of a coming culture of dark irony and satire: Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 (1961) and Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove (1964).Photos of Earth taken from the moon were said to herald a global sense of humanity’s common destiny. Osama bin Laden was twelve in 1969.Stone and Andres say Apollo 11 was hurled upward by engines burning “15 tons of liquid oxygen and kerosene per second, producing energy equal to the combined power of 85 Hoover Dams.” People spoke jauntily of “the conquest of space.” Well.VIEW GALLERY: Apollo 11The universe, 99.9 (and about 58 other nines) percent of which is already outside Earth’s atmosphere, is expanding (into we know not what) at 46 miles per second per megaparsec. (One megaparsec is approximately 3.26 million light years.) Astronomers are studying light that has taken perhaps twelve billion years to reach their instruments. This cooling cinder called Earth, spinning in the darkness at the back of beyond, is a minor speck of residue from the Big Bang, which lasted less than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second 13.8 billion years ago. The estimated number of stars -- they come and go -- is 100 followed by 22 zeros. The visible universe (which is hardly all of it) contains more than 150 billion galaxies, each with billions of stars. But if there were only three bees in America, the air would be more crowded with bees than space is with stars. The distances, and the violently unheavenly conditions in “the heavens,” tell us that our devices will roam our immediate cosmic neighborhood, but in spite of Apollo 11’s still-dazzling achievement, we are not really going anywhere.© 2019, Washington Post Writers Group


     

  • Two-headed turtle born in Malaysia      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:56:19 -0400

    Two-headed turtle born in MalaysiaA two-headed baby turtle has been born in Malaysia, captivating conversationists, but it only survived a few days after being discovered. It was found Monday on Mabul island, off the Malaysian part of Borneo, in a nest alongside more than 90 other recently hatched green turtles. David McCann, marine biologist and conservation manager for group SJ SEAS -- which oversees the nesting site -- said the creature was "utterly fascinating".


    Two-headed turtle born in MalaysiaA two-headed baby turtle has been born in Malaysia, captivating conversationists, but it only survived a few days after being discovered. It was found Monday on Mabul island, off the Malaysian part of Borneo, in a nest alongside more than 90 other recently hatched green turtles. David McCann, marine biologist and conservation manager for group SJ SEAS -- which oversees the nesting site -- said the creature was "utterly fascinating".


     

  • Can Meat Actually Save The Planet?      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:45:21 -0400

    Can Meat Actually Save The Planet?We've been told our consumption of meat is destroying the environment. But the real issue is meat production, not meat itself. Regenerative farming could be the answer.


    Can Meat Actually Save The Planet?We've been told our consumption of meat is destroying the environment. But the real issue is meat production, not meat itself. Regenerative farming could be the answer.


     

  • Chinese scientists' new technique to wipe out mosquito populations may provide vital new weapon against range of deadly diseases      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:30:00 -0400

    Chinese scientists' new technique to wipe out mosquito populations may provide vital new weapon against range of deadly diseasesScientists have wiped out the entire population of mosquitoes on two islands in southern China using radical techniques to render the males infertile, according to a new study that could transform the fight against a range of deadly diseases.Over nearly two years, scientists released more than 200 million specially bred male Asian tiger mosquitoes on Shazai and Dadaosha islands in the delta to the south of Guangzhou city, the area with the highest number of dengue fever cases in China.The study, published in the latest edition of the journal Nature, said the mosquitoes, also known as Aedes albopictus, had been exposed to short bursts of gamma radiation and received three artificially induced infections from three different species of Wolbachia, a parasitic microorganism, to make them infertile.The males were also fed with sugar in the hope of making them bigger and stronger " and therefore more attractive to female mosquitoes during the mating season.This, combined with the sheer weight of numbers of the infertile mosquitoes, was intended to tip the evolutionary balance by ensuring that the females' eggs " if any were laid at all " would not hatch.By the end of the two-year experiment, the native mosquito populations on the islands had vanished completely.The scientists did find a few individual mosquitoes still living on the islands in Guangdong province, but genetic analysis suggested their origins lay elsewhere and they had probably been carried there by cars or by ships.Although Asian tiger mosquitoes " so named because of their distinctive white stripes " can transmit a range of diseases, including the Zika and West Nile viruses as well as dengue fever, a lot of locals were initially sceptical about the project.The research was led by Professor Xi Zhiyong from the Sun Yat-sen University-Michigan State University Joint Centre of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases, with official support from the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.The study said that in the beginning, only 13 per cent of the people on Shazai island had supported the work.The researchers had released more than 140 million of the insects on the 3 sq km (1.9 square mile) island " which equated to 72,000 mosquitoes for every one of its 2,000 or so residents " and even thought the males do not bite, many locals felt uncomfortable about having so many released into their neighbourhood.But by the end of the experiment, opinion polls showed that almost all the locals supported " or at least did not oppose " the project after the number of bites recorded fell by more than 96 per cent.The mosquitoes were fed sugar but also infected with parasitic viruses. Photo: AFP alt=The mosquitoes were fed sugar but also infected with parasitic viruses. Photo: AFP"In the past there were so many mosquitoes we dared not stay outside in late afternoon. Now mosquitoes can barely be seen and those few remaining rarely bite," a Shazai restaurant owner surnamed Li said in a phone interview on Wednesday."The technology is a miracle. We used to be sceptics. Now we are fans."The government-run mosquito-breeding facility in Guangzhou province can produce 10 million modified males a week, but the ecological impact of this and other similar projects poses a potential dilemma for scientists.Mosquito larvae is an important source of food for fish while the fully grown insects also serve as prey for birds.But a survey conducted by Nature in 2010 suggested that most biologists would prefer to see mosquitoes wiped off the Earth because they carried a lot of deadly diseases.Mosquitoes kill more than 700,000 people around the globe each year, according to some studies, which makes them the most deadly creatures of all for humans.Mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, dengue and yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and the Zika virus, which has spread in recent years and is linked to a range of birth defects.But Professor Ge Feng, director of the state laboratory of integrated management of insect and rodent pests at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said he fully supported the Guangzhou study."Mosquitoes have no place in human-populated areas. The harm they do far exceeds the benefits to the ecological system," Ge said.The artificially bred mosquitoes will only have an impact in limited areas, and the insects will continue to thrive in the wild, he said.He Jinsheng, a professor of ecology at Peking University, said the gap in the food chain caused by breeding-suppression techniques would "quickly, easily be filled by other, non-biting insects" and "the negative impact will be minimal".He argued that compared with other mosquito control methods such as the use of chemical pesticides and insect repellents, the biological approach from the Guangzhou project might be the least harmful to the environment.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Chinese scientists' new technique to wipe out mosquito populations may provide vital new weapon against range of deadly diseasesScientists have wiped out the entire population of mosquitoes on two islands in southern China using radical techniques to render the males infertile, according to a new study that could transform the fight against a range of deadly diseases.Over nearly two years, scientists released more than 200 million specially bred male Asian tiger mosquitoes on Shazai and Dadaosha islands in the delta to the south of Guangzhou city, the area with the highest number of dengue fever cases in China.The study, published in the latest edition of the journal Nature, said the mosquitoes, also known as Aedes albopictus, had been exposed to short bursts of gamma radiation and received three artificially induced infections from three different species of Wolbachia, a parasitic microorganism, to make them infertile.The males were also fed with sugar in the hope of making them bigger and stronger " and therefore more attractive to female mosquitoes during the mating season.This, combined with the sheer weight of numbers of the infertile mosquitoes, was intended to tip the evolutionary balance by ensuring that the females' eggs " if any were laid at all " would not hatch.By the end of the two-year experiment, the native mosquito populations on the islands had vanished completely.The scientists did find a few individual mosquitoes still living on the islands in Guangdong province, but genetic analysis suggested their origins lay elsewhere and they had probably been carried there by cars or by ships.Although Asian tiger mosquitoes " so named because of their distinctive white stripes " can transmit a range of diseases, including the Zika and West Nile viruses as well as dengue fever, a lot of locals were initially sceptical about the project.The research was led by Professor Xi Zhiyong from the Sun Yat-sen University-Michigan State University Joint Centre of Vector Control for Tropical Diseases, with official support from the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.The study said that in the beginning, only 13 per cent of the people on Shazai island had supported the work.The researchers had released more than 140 million of the insects on the 3 sq km (1.9 square mile) island " which equated to 72,000 mosquitoes for every one of its 2,000 or so residents " and even thought the males do not bite, many locals felt uncomfortable about having so many released into their neighbourhood.But by the end of the experiment, opinion polls showed that almost all the locals supported " or at least did not oppose " the project after the number of bites recorded fell by more than 96 per cent.The mosquitoes were fed sugar but also infected with parasitic viruses. Photo: AFP alt=The mosquitoes were fed sugar but also infected with parasitic viruses. Photo: AFP"In the past there were so many mosquitoes we dared not stay outside in late afternoon. Now mosquitoes can barely be seen and those few remaining rarely bite," a Shazai restaurant owner surnamed Li said in a phone interview on Wednesday."The technology is a miracle. We used to be sceptics. Now we are fans."The government-run mosquito-breeding facility in Guangzhou province can produce 10 million modified males a week, but the ecological impact of this and other similar projects poses a potential dilemma for scientists.Mosquito larvae is an important source of food for fish while the fully grown insects also serve as prey for birds.But a survey conducted by Nature in 2010 suggested that most biologists would prefer to see mosquitoes wiped off the Earth because they carried a lot of deadly diseases.Mosquitoes kill more than 700,000 people around the globe each year, according to some studies, which makes them the most deadly creatures of all for humans.Mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, dengue and yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and the Zika virus, which has spread in recent years and is linked to a range of birth defects.But Professor Ge Feng, director of the state laboratory of integrated management of insect and rodent pests at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said he fully supported the Guangzhou study."Mosquitoes have no place in human-populated areas. The harm they do far exceeds the benefits to the ecological system," Ge said.The artificially bred mosquitoes will only have an impact in limited areas, and the insects will continue to thrive in the wild, he said.He Jinsheng, a professor of ecology at Peking University, said the gap in the food chain caused by breeding-suppression techniques would "quickly, easily be filled by other, non-biting insects" and "the negative impact will be minimal".He argued that compared with other mosquito control methods such as the use of chemical pesticides and insect repellents, the biological approach from the Guangzhou project might be the least harmful to the environment.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.


     

  • Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHO      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:05:28 -0400

    Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHOA fishmonger who died of Ebola this week probably carried the virus from Congo into both Rwanda and Uganda, the World Health Organization said, as health workers struggled to track down people she could have infected. The woman is one of almost 1,700 victims of the highly contagious disease during an 11-month epidemic that the WHO, reflecting growing concerns that it might spread, on Wednesday declared an international health emergency. Three victims died in Uganda last month without spreading Ebola further there, while Rwanda has never had a recorded case.


    Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHOA fishmonger who died of Ebola this week probably carried the virus from Congo into both Rwanda and Uganda, the World Health Organization said, as health workers struggled to track down people she could have infected. The woman is one of almost 1,700 victims of the highly contagious disease during an 11-month epidemic that the WHO, reflecting growing concerns that it might spread, on Wednesday declared an international health emergency. Three victims died in Uganda last month without spreading Ebola further there, while Rwanda has never had a recorded case.


     

  • Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHO      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 04:58:15 -0400

    Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHOA fishmonger who died of Ebola this week probably carried the virus from Congo into both Rwanda and Uganda, the World Health Organization said, as health workers struggled to track down people she could have infected. The woman is one of almost 1,700 victims of the highly contagious disease during an 11-month epidemic that the WHO, reflecting growing concerns that it might spread, on Wednesday declared an international health emergency. Three victims died in Uganda last month without spreading Ebola further there, while Rwanda has never had a recorded case.


    Congo Ebola victim may have entered Rwanda and Uganda, says WHOA fishmonger who died of Ebola this week probably carried the virus from Congo into both Rwanda and Uganda, the World Health Organization said, as health workers struggled to track down people she could have infected. The woman is one of almost 1,700 victims of the highly contagious disease during an 11-month epidemic that the WHO, reflecting growing concerns that it might spread, on Wednesday declared an international health emergency. Three victims died in Uganda last month without spreading Ebola further there, while Rwanda has never had a recorded case.


     

  • Trump Expressed Concern About Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 04:51:55 -0400

    Trump Expressed Concern About Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump recently demanded more information about how the Pentagon crafted a massive cloud-computing contract it’s poised to award to Amazon.com Inc. or Microsoft Corp., in order to decide whether he should intervene.The Defense Department is set to give the contract, worth as much as $10 billion over ten years, to one of the two companies next month. Amazon, whose cloud-computing technology leads the market, is seen as the favorite.But Trump recently was made aware of letters Republican members of Congress have written to the White House and military leaders complaining that the contract’s terms froze some companies -- including Oracle Corp. -- out of the competition, according to two people familiar with the matter. Trump expressed frustration he wasn’t aware of the concerns and asked aides to show him the correspondence, the people said.Trump said he’s interested in looking into the circumstances of the bid but didn’t indicate he’ll try to block the contract from being awarded to one of the two finalists, they said.Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who recently wrote to the Pentagon to express concerns about the contract, said in an interview that he discussed it with the president aboard Air Force One last week.“He wanted to understand what the issues were, what our concerns were,” Johnson said in an interview.Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, sent a letter to National Security Adviser John Bolton on Thursday asking him to delay the contract award, saying the bid “suffers from a lack of competition.” Trump and Rubio spoke about the contract by phone the next day, a Rubio spokesman said.A person familiar with the call said that it sounded as if Trump was thinking about canceling the contract.All of the people asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive procurement issue. Spokesmen for the White House and Pentagon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.While Trump has leaned on defense contractors to reduce costs on contracts they already hold -- and even to paint new Air Force One planes in his choice of colors -- it may be unprecedented for a president to intervene in a defense contract competition while it’s underway.The cloud-computing program, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, has been contentious. Legacy tech companies including Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. waged a fierce lobbying and legal campaign against the Pentagon’s plan to award the contract to a single company.“Nothing good can come from President Trump becoming personally involved in an individual procurement, particularly one of this complexity,” said Steven Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at George Washington University. “Historically, the system has operated best with limited -- to no -- high-level political involvement.”Oracle lost a legal challenge last week contesting the terms of the bid and alleging the Pentagon had crafted unfair requirements and that there were conflicts of interest involving Amazon. Republican lawmakers have taken up Oracle’s cause, pressuring the White House to intervene in the Pentagon project.Oracle at one point coordinated with at least seven other companies including Microsoft and SAP America to try to block Amazon from winning the entire contract, Bloomberg News has reported. Amazon has already won a contract with the Central Intelligence Agency.Oracle declined to comment for the story.For More: Inside the Nasty Battle to Stymie Amazon’s Pentagon Cloud BidIn April 2018, Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz dined with Trump at the White House and complained that it seemed designed for Amazon to win, Bloomberg has reported. The final requirements for the contract were released in July of that year.The White House raised concerns about the contract with senior Pentagon leaders while they were still drafting the final requirements for the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.(Updates with expert comment in 12th paragraph. The spelling of Oracle CEO Safra Catz’s name was corrected in a previous version of the story.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.net;Steven T. Dennis in Washington at sdennis17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Trump Expressed Concern About Pentagon Cloud-Computing Contract(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump recently demanded more information about how the Pentagon crafted a massive cloud-computing contract it’s poised to award to Amazon.com Inc. or Microsoft Corp., in order to decide whether he should intervene.The Defense Department is set to give the contract, worth as much as $10 billion over ten years, to one of the two companies next month. Amazon, whose cloud-computing technology leads the market, is seen as the favorite.But Trump recently was made aware of letters Republican members of Congress have written to the White House and military leaders complaining that the contract’s terms froze some companies -- including Oracle Corp. -- out of the competition, according to two people familiar with the matter. Trump expressed frustration he wasn’t aware of the concerns and asked aides to show him the correspondence, the people said.Trump said he’s interested in looking into the circumstances of the bid but didn’t indicate he’ll try to block the contract from being awarded to one of the two finalists, they said.Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who recently wrote to the Pentagon to express concerns about the contract, said in an interview that he discussed it with the president aboard Air Force One last week.“He wanted to understand what the issues were, what our concerns were,” Johnson said in an interview.Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, sent a letter to National Security Adviser John Bolton on Thursday asking him to delay the contract award, saying the bid “suffers from a lack of competition.” Trump and Rubio spoke about the contract by phone the next day, a Rubio spokesman said.A person familiar with the call said that it sounded as if Trump was thinking about canceling the contract.All of the people asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive procurement issue. Spokesmen for the White House and Pentagon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.While Trump has leaned on defense contractors to reduce costs on contracts they already hold -- and even to paint new Air Force One planes in his choice of colors -- it may be unprecedented for a president to intervene in a defense contract competition while it’s underway.The cloud-computing program, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, has been contentious. Legacy tech companies including Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. waged a fierce lobbying and legal campaign against the Pentagon’s plan to award the contract to a single company.“Nothing good can come from President Trump becoming personally involved in an individual procurement, particularly one of this complexity,” said Steven Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at George Washington University. “Historically, the system has operated best with limited -- to no -- high-level political involvement.”Oracle lost a legal challenge last week contesting the terms of the bid and alleging the Pentagon had crafted unfair requirements and that there were conflicts of interest involving Amazon. Republican lawmakers have taken up Oracle’s cause, pressuring the White House to intervene in the Pentagon project.Oracle at one point coordinated with at least seven other companies including Microsoft and SAP America to try to block Amazon from winning the entire contract, Bloomberg News has reported. Amazon has already won a contract with the Central Intelligence Agency.Oracle declined to comment for the story.For More: Inside the Nasty Battle to Stymie Amazon’s Pentagon Cloud BidIn April 2018, Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz dined with Trump at the White House and complained that it seemed designed for Amazon to win, Bloomberg has reported. The final requirements for the contract were released in July of that year.The White House raised concerns about the contract with senior Pentagon leaders while they were still drafting the final requirements for the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.(Updates with expert comment in 12th paragraph. The spelling of Oracle CEO Safra Catz’s name was corrected in a previous version of the story.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.net;Steven T. Dennis in Washington at sdennis17@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Why the Apollo 11 moon landing conspiracy theories have endured despite being debunked numerous times      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 04:03:00 -0400

    Why the Apollo 11 moon landing conspiracy theories have endured despite being debunked numerous timesOr you could believe that the moon landing was all a stunt pulled off by famous director Stanley Kubrick, who created technology that helped it look like man was pioneering space, according to some conspiracy theorists, who said it was really filmed in Area 51 in Nevada. The fact that there were no stars in the background of pictures of the moon landing supports theories, in the minds of some, that it never really happened. Despite all scientific evidence debunking the aforementioned suggestions, various conspiracy theories about the moon landing have lingered for five decades, even before the dark underbelly of the internet became home to so many similarly false ideas.


    Why the Apollo 11 moon landing conspiracy theories have endured despite being debunked numerous timesOr you could believe that the moon landing was all a stunt pulled off by famous director Stanley Kubrick, who created technology that helped it look like man was pioneering space, according to some conspiracy theorists, who said it was really filmed in Area 51 in Nevada. The fact that there were no stars in the background of pictures of the moon landing supports theories, in the minds of some, that it never really happened. Despite all scientific evidence debunking the aforementioned suggestions, various conspiracy theories about the moon landing have lingered for five decades, even before the dark underbelly of the internet became home to so many similarly false ideas.


     

  • Teen with cancer to wed high school sweetheart: 'We wanted to spend as much time together as we could'      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 03:58:32 -0400

    Teen with cancer to wed high school sweetheart: 'We wanted to spend as much time together as we could'A Pennsylvania teen won't let a rare form of bone cancer stop him from saying "I do" to his high school sweetheart. Brady Hunker says he was "instantly drawn" to Mollie Landman the moment he saw her in seventh grade at their school in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. "Even before Brady's diagnosis, we were always seen as a very different couple because we were always seen as very big Christians and put God first," said Landman, whose father is a pastor.


    Teen with cancer to wed high school sweetheart: 'We wanted to spend as much time together as we could'A Pennsylvania teen won't let a rare form of bone cancer stop him from saying "I do" to his high school sweetheart. Brady Hunker says he was "instantly drawn" to Mollie Landman the moment he saw her in seventh grade at their school in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. "Even before Brady's diagnosis, we were always seen as a very different couple because we were always seen as very big Christians and put God first," said Landman, whose father is a pastor.


     

  • One giant leap for womankind: Former NASA engineer reflects on her historic Apollo 11 role      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 03:56:00 -0400

    One giant leap for womankind: Former NASA engineer reflects on her historic Apollo 11 roleThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the NASA space mission that led to the first men walking on the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made the historic journey in 1969, with Armstrong becoming the first to set foot on the moon and speaking the now-famous words, "That's one small step for man. Thanks to Judy Sullivan, the first female engineer in NASA's Spacecraft Operations, it was also a big leap for womankind.


    One giant leap for womankind: Former NASA engineer reflects on her historic Apollo 11 roleThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the NASA space mission that led to the first men walking on the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made the historic journey in 1969, with Armstrong becoming the first to set foot on the moon and speaking the now-famous words, "That's one small step for man. Thanks to Judy Sullivan, the first female engineer in NASA's Spacecraft Operations, it was also a big leap for womankind.


     

  • SoftBank's Son Shines a Spotlight on His Vision Fund Proteges      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 03:46:37 -0400

    SoftBank's Son Shines a Spotlight on His Vision Fund Proteges(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son likes to sketch out a grand vision for the future of artificial intelligence to justify his seemingly scattershot approach to investing. On Thursday, he let his proteges and startups speak for themselves.SoftBank Group Corp.’s $100 billion Vision Fund has 82 companies in its portfolio who delve into areas from satellites and autonomous driving to chips and cancer detection. The founders of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, indoor farming startup Plenty, Indian hotel chain OYO Rooms and payments service Paytm took the stage at an annual SoftBank conference to explain how AI helps them stay on top in their respective fields.Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo’s 25-year-old founder, said the company is using data to evaluate properties in under five days, a process that might take traditional hotels months. That allows the startup to add about 90,000 new rooms every 90 days, for a total of 1.1 million. Oyo also uses algorithms to predict what kind of interior design can boost demand -- pictures of Marilyn Monroe help, apparently -- and to adjust prices more than 43,000 times a minute.Grab’s Anthony Tan said the company captures 40 terabytes of data daily through its “superapp,” which has been downloaded 155 million times by customers who use it to call a ride, order lunch and pay for purchases. Crunching those numbers allows Grab to make sure a car can be hailed within three minutes and offer food recommendations. The data can also help reduce congestion in Southeast Asia’s crowded cities, reduce food wastage and improve access to credit.Each of Paytm’s 700 billion mobile payment transactions runs a gauntlet of more than 1,000 checks in a thousandth of a second, to root out fraud, founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said at the event. The rules can be as simple as comparing the phone’s location to that of a merchant receiving payment, and declining those that don’t match. The data could also be used by sellers to determine in real time whether to extend a particular customer credit.Finally, Plenty says its high-tech approach to growing crops indoors results in plants that yield more without pesticides, use a fraction of water of their counterparts in the field and taste better, to boot. Founder Matt Barnard said the company used AI to developed 6.4 billion produce recipes that allow farmers to adapt production within days to take advantage of a sudden shortage of kale or iceberg lettuce.SoftBank’s Vision Fund poured $3 billion into Grab and took part in a $1 billion round for Oyo last year. In 2017, it led a $200 million investment in Plenty. Last year’s event included presentations from machine learning platform Pettum Inc., Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, ZhongAn Insurance and General Motors Co.’s self-driving unit, Cruise.“The crystal ball that tells the future doesn’t exist, but something close to that is being created now,” Son said at SoftBank World in Tokyo. “The AI revolution can make people happier. That’s the opportunity in front of us.”To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    SoftBank's Son Shines a Spotlight on His Vision Fund Proteges(Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son likes to sketch out a grand vision for the future of artificial intelligence to justify his seemingly scattershot approach to investing. On Thursday, he let his proteges and startups speak for themselves.SoftBank Group Corp.’s $100 billion Vision Fund has 82 companies in its portfolio who delve into areas from satellites and autonomous driving to chips and cancer detection. The founders of Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab, indoor farming startup Plenty, Indian hotel chain OYO Rooms and payments service Paytm took the stage at an annual SoftBank conference to explain how AI helps them stay on top in their respective fields.Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo’s 25-year-old founder, said the company is using data to evaluate properties in under five days, a process that might take traditional hotels months. That allows the startup to add about 90,000 new rooms every 90 days, for a total of 1.1 million. Oyo also uses algorithms to predict what kind of interior design can boost demand -- pictures of Marilyn Monroe help, apparently -- and to adjust prices more than 43,000 times a minute.Grab’s Anthony Tan said the company captures 40 terabytes of data daily through its “superapp,” which has been downloaded 155 million times by customers who use it to call a ride, order lunch and pay for purchases. Crunching those numbers allows Grab to make sure a car can be hailed within three minutes and offer food recommendations. The data can also help reduce congestion in Southeast Asia’s crowded cities, reduce food wastage and improve access to credit.Each of Paytm’s 700 billion mobile payment transactions runs a gauntlet of more than 1,000 checks in a thousandth of a second, to root out fraud, founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said at the event. The rules can be as simple as comparing the phone’s location to that of a merchant receiving payment, and declining those that don’t match. The data could also be used by sellers to determine in real time whether to extend a particular customer credit.Finally, Plenty says its high-tech approach to growing crops indoors results in plants that yield more without pesticides, use a fraction of water of their counterparts in the field and taste better, to boot. Founder Matt Barnard said the company used AI to developed 6.4 billion produce recipes that allow farmers to adapt production within days to take advantage of a sudden shortage of kale or iceberg lettuce.SoftBank’s Vision Fund poured $3 billion into Grab and took part in a $1 billion round for Oyo last year. In 2017, it led a $200 million investment in Plenty. Last year’s event included presentations from machine learning platform Pettum Inc., Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, ZhongAn Insurance and General Motors Co.’s self-driving unit, Cruise.“The crystal ball that tells the future doesn’t exist, but something close to that is being created now,” Son said at SoftBank World in Tokyo. “The AI revolution can make people happier. That’s the opportunity in front of us.”To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • New space station ventures could boost manufacturing, medicine — and marketing      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 02:58:26 -0400

    New space station ventures could boost manufacturing, medicine — and marketingRENTON, Wash. — NASA's plan to expand commercial ventures on the International Space Station is attracting lots of interest — and not just from would-be space tourists, according to the agency official who's keeping track of the proposals. One of the ideas that's most intriguing to Doug Comstock, a NASA deputy chief financial officer who serves as the liaison for commercial activities in low Earth orbit, has to do with growing artificial retinas in zero gravity. "This process just doesn't work in a gravity field," Comstock told GeekWire here today at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace conference. Connecticut-based LambdaVision… Read More


    New space station ventures could boost manufacturing, medicine — and marketingRENTON, Wash. — NASA's plan to expand commercial ventures on the International Space Station is attracting lots of interest — and not just from would-be space tourists, according to the agency official who's keeping track of the proposals. One of the ideas that's most intriguing to Doug Comstock, a NASA deputy chief financial officer who serves as the liaison for commercial activities in low Earth orbit, has to do with growing artificial retinas in zero gravity. "This process just doesn't work in a gravity field," Comstock told GeekWire here today at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace conference. Connecticut-based LambdaVision… Read More


     

  • Buzz Aldrin has landed -- for the Apollo 11 anniversary      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 01:40:51 -0400

    Buzz Aldrin has landed -- for the Apollo 11 anniversaryThe suspense had been building for 24 hours: would Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, show up Wednesday night in Huntsville, Alabama -- nicknamed "Rocket City" for the nearby NASA space flight center? Aldrin declined to join him at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the two were supposed to appear together on NASA TV to mark the 50th anniversary of their mission (Neil Armstrong died in 2012).


    Buzz Aldrin has landed -- for the Apollo 11 anniversaryThe suspense had been building for 24 hours: would Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, show up Wednesday night in Huntsville, Alabama -- nicknamed "Rocket City" for the nearby NASA space flight center? Aldrin declined to join him at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the two were supposed to appear together on NASA TV to mark the 50th anniversary of their mission (Neil Armstrong died in 2012).


     

  • Hawaii expands power to block telescope protesters      Thu, 18 Jul 2019 01:02:40 -0400

    Hawaii expands power to block telescope protestersThousands of protesters have joined a swelling effort to stop construction of a telescope they have long tried to keep off a mountain considered sacred to some Native Hawaiians, but state officials doubled down Wednesday on their commitment to ensure the project will be completed. After a day of growing crowds and arrests of elderly demonstrators, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation giving law enforcement more options to end the blockade. The state hadn't decided whether to remove protesters from the mountain, but the proclamation makes that an option, Ige said.


    Hawaii expands power to block telescope protestersThousands of protesters have joined a swelling effort to stop construction of a telescope they have long tried to keep off a mountain considered sacred to some Native Hawaiians, but state officials doubled down Wednesday on their commitment to ensure the project will be completed. After a day of growing crowds and arrests of elderly demonstrators, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation giving law enforcement more options to end the blockade. The state hadn't decided whether to remove protesters from the mountain, but the proclamation makes that an option, Ige said.


     

  • Memories of watching Apollo 11: 'You could hear a pin drop'      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 23:57:02 -0400

    Memories of watching Apollo 11: 'You could hear a pin drop'When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the moon in 1969, the world was watching. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum , NASA and others have gathered their stories for this week's golden anniversary. Here are five of the Smithsonian's submissions.


    Memories of watching Apollo 11: 'You could hear a pin drop'When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their first steps on the moon in 1969, the world was watching. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum , NASA and others have gathered their stories for this week's golden anniversary. Here are five of the Smithsonian's submissions.


     

  • 'The Dish' still beaming signals from Australia 50 years after moon walk      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:44:02 -0400

    'The Dish' still beaming signals from Australia 50 years after moon walkIt's known as "The Dish" and it soars above a nondescript paddock in rural Australia. Without it, hundreds of millions of people would never have seen all of the generation-defining footage of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon 50 years ago. Back on Earth, it started out as just another day at work for David Cooke, the senior receiver engineer on the radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory in southeast New South Wales state, about 360 km (225 miles) west of Sydney.


    'The Dish' still beaming signals from Australia 50 years after moon walkIt's known as "The Dish" and it soars above a nondescript paddock in rural Australia. Without it, hundreds of millions of people would never have seen all of the generation-defining footage of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon 50 years ago. Back on Earth, it started out as just another day at work for David Cooke, the senior receiver engineer on the radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory in southeast New South Wales state, about 360 km (225 miles) west of Sydney.


     

  • The Latest: Hawaii protests spur order over mountain access      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 22:21:09 -0400

    The Latest: Hawaii protests spur order over mountain accessHawaii Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation he says will allow officials to close more areas of a mountain where thousands have gathered to protest the construction of a giant telescope on land some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Ige says the proclamation signed Wednesday gives law enforcement more authority to control Mauna Kea land and close roads. Officials want to allow trucks to deliver construction materials to the telescope site.


    The Latest: Hawaii protests spur order over mountain accessHawaii Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation he says will allow officials to close more areas of a mountain where thousands have gathered to protest the construction of a giant telescope on land some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Ige says the proclamation signed Wednesday gives law enforcement more authority to control Mauna Kea land and close roads. Officials want to allow trucks to deliver construction materials to the telescope site.


     

  • Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin recalls first moments on the moon on 50th anniversary of mission      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 21:38:21 -0400

    Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin recalls first moments on the moon on 50th anniversary of mission"To me, it was the dream we had all signed up to chase, what we had imagined, worked and trained for, the apex of national service to a country we unabashedly loved," Buzz Aldrin said.


    Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin recalls first moments on the moon on 50th anniversary of mission"To me, it was the dream we had all signed up to chase, what we had imagined, worked and trained for, the apex of national service to a country we unabashedly loved," Buzz Aldrin said.


     

  • TSMC Counts on New iPhones for Revival After Trade War Hit      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 21:29:55 -0400

    TSMC Counts on New iPhones for Revival After Trade War Hit(Bloomberg) -- All eyes will be on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s outlook after the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer suffered its worst sales drop in nearly eight years.Analysts expect the company’s third-quarter estimates -- due today after the close of trading -- to point to a revival after it took a hit from slowing demand amid U.S.-China trade tensions. At stake is the stock’s $35 billion rebound in market value since a January low.Apple Inc.’s ramp up of iPhone manufacturing and a new product cycle from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are seen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts to lift sales, which would also be boosted if President Donald Trump loosens trade restrictions on key customer Huawei Technologies Co.TSMC’s Sales May Swing Back to Growth on Huawei Orders: ReactAnalysts have forecast sales in the period to grow 15% from a quarter earlier, according to the average of 22 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s shares are up 12% this year, despite being whipsawed as the trade war escalated. They edged 0.6% higher Thursday morning.“The company’s second-half outlook looks to be improving, and third-quarter guidance will probably be strong given that some of the lingering uncertainty has started to fade,” said John Tsai, portfolio manager at Eastspring Investments Ltd. in Singapore. The trade spat between Japan and South Korea may also help TSMC, as Samsung Electronics Co. customers such as Qualcomm Inc. may seek to diversify, he added.TSMC saw sales drop 4.5% year-on-year in the first half, its worst performance since 2011. The company was grappling with the impact of a slowing global smartphone market and efforts by its biggest customer Apple to move beyond hardware. Then the trade war escalated into the U.S. blacklisting Huawei, TSMC’s second-largest customer.Yet its leading position in advanced technology, especially in 5G and artificial intelligence, helped it secure revenue. Chip orders for crypto mining are also expected to help TSMC’s third-quarter sales, according to Morgan Stanley, which recently lifted its target price on the stock by 9%.TSMC investors will also receive a NT$207 billion ($6.7 billion) dividend payout Thursday, according to stock exchange and company statements. The company is aiming for a dividend per share of at least NT$10 to lure value investors, something Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Robin Cheng and Mike Yang see as possible in 2020. They argue that rising free cash flow justifies a re-rating of the stock.Here are some highlights of 3Q 2019 estimates:Gross margin: 48.3% (19 estimates)Revenue: NT$276.6b (22 estimates)Net income (GAAP): NT$96.04b (20 estimates)Operating profit: NT$103.5b (15 estimates)Timing: release after market July 18(Updates prices.)To contact the reporters on this story: Cindy Wang in Taipei at hwang61@bloomberg.net;Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Philip GlamannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    TSMC Counts on New iPhones for Revival After Trade War Hit(Bloomberg) -- All eyes will be on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s outlook after the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer suffered its worst sales drop in nearly eight years.Analysts expect the company’s third-quarter estimates -- due today after the close of trading -- to point to a revival after it took a hit from slowing demand amid U.S.-China trade tensions. At stake is the stock’s $35 billion rebound in market value since a January low.Apple Inc.’s ramp up of iPhone manufacturing and a new product cycle from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are seen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts to lift sales, which would also be boosted if President Donald Trump loosens trade restrictions on key customer Huawei Technologies Co.TSMC’s Sales May Swing Back to Growth on Huawei Orders: ReactAnalysts have forecast sales in the period to grow 15% from a quarter earlier, according to the average of 22 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s shares are up 12% this year, despite being whipsawed as the trade war escalated. They edged 0.6% higher Thursday morning.“The company’s second-half outlook looks to be improving, and third-quarter guidance will probably be strong given that some of the lingering uncertainty has started to fade,” said John Tsai, portfolio manager at Eastspring Investments Ltd. in Singapore. The trade spat between Japan and South Korea may also help TSMC, as Samsung Electronics Co. customers such as Qualcomm Inc. may seek to diversify, he added.TSMC saw sales drop 4.5% year-on-year in the first half, its worst performance since 2011. The company was grappling with the impact of a slowing global smartphone market and efforts by its biggest customer Apple to move beyond hardware. Then the trade war escalated into the U.S. blacklisting Huawei, TSMC’s second-largest customer.Yet its leading position in advanced technology, especially in 5G and artificial intelligence, helped it secure revenue. Chip orders for crypto mining are also expected to help TSMC’s third-quarter sales, according to Morgan Stanley, which recently lifted its target price on the stock by 9%.TSMC investors will also receive a NT$207 billion ($6.7 billion) dividend payout Thursday, according to stock exchange and company statements. The company is aiming for a dividend per share of at least NT$10 to lure value investors, something Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts Robin Cheng and Mike Yang see as possible in 2020. They argue that rising free cash flow justifies a re-rating of the stock.Here are some highlights of 3Q 2019 estimates:Gross margin: 48.3% (19 estimates)Revenue: NT$276.6b (22 estimates)Net income (GAAP): NT$96.04b (20 estimates)Operating profit: NT$103.5b (15 estimates)Timing: release after market July 18(Updates prices.)To contact the reporters on this story: Cindy Wang in Taipei at hwang61@bloomberg.net;Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Philip GlamannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • First US murder conviction overturned using DNA, family tree evidence      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 20:46:58 -0400

    First US murder conviction overturned using DNA, family tree evidenceAn American man was exonerated Wednesday for a decades-old murder he did not commit, using evidence based on DNA and a genetic family tree, the first such result using a revolutionary investigative technique. Christopher Tapp, 43, had served 20 of his 30-year sentence for the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge. On Wednesday, a court in the state of Idaho completely overturned his conviction based on evidence found with "genetic genealogy" -- the technique used to identify the suspected "Golden State Killer" by making DNA matches with his distant relatives.


    First US murder conviction overturned using DNA, family tree evidenceAn American man was exonerated Wednesday for a decades-old murder he did not commit, using evidence based on DNA and a genetic family tree, the first such result using a revolutionary investigative technique. Christopher Tapp, 43, had served 20 of his 30-year sentence for the 1996 rape and murder of Angie Dodge. On Wednesday, a court in the state of Idaho completely overturned his conviction based on evidence found with "genetic genealogy" -- the technique used to identify the suspected "Golden State Killer" by making DNA matches with his distant relatives.


     

  • Tennessee governor tours flooded crops, promises support      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:48:42 -0400

    Tennessee governor tours flooded crops, promises supportGov. Bill Lee took an aerial tour of flooded fields in western Tennessee on Wednesday, promising support to distressed farmers who warn they haven't seen such conditions in nearly a century. According to farmers, tough decisions must be made in the next two weeks about whether soybeans, corn and other crops can be planted in order to be viable before the first frost. "I had to see it for myself," Lee told The Associated Press from the helicopter.


    Tennessee governor tours flooded crops, promises supportGov. Bill Lee took an aerial tour of flooded fields in western Tennessee on Wednesday, promising support to distressed farmers who warn they haven't seen such conditions in nearly a century. According to farmers, tough decisions must be made in the next two weeks about whether soybeans, corn and other crops can be planted in order to be viable before the first frost. "I had to see it for myself," Lee told The Associated Press from the helicopter.


     

  • Animal rescue group needs help caring for 89 baby birds      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:26:58 -0400

    Animal rescue group needs help caring for 89 baby birdsAn animal rescue group is asking for help caring for 89 baby snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons left homeless last week after a tree fell in downtown Oakland. International Bird Rescue said Wednesday it needs donations and volunteers to help feed and care for the baby birds rescued after an old ficus tree serving as a rookery split in half and partially fell last week, said JD Bergeron, the group's executive director. The group is caring for 89 young birds and eggs rescued from the tree including, 50 snowy egrets and 22 black-crowned night herons.


    Animal rescue group needs help caring for 89 baby birdsAn animal rescue group is asking for help caring for 89 baby snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons left homeless last week after a tree fell in downtown Oakland. International Bird Rescue said Wednesday it needs donations and volunteers to help feed and care for the baby birds rescued after an old ficus tree serving as a rookery split in half and partially fell last week, said JD Bergeron, the group's executive director. The group is caring for 89 young birds and eggs rescued from the tree including, 50 snowy egrets and 22 black-crowned night herons.


     

  • Microsoft Data Shows Hackers Still Targeting U.S. Elections      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:17:57 -0400

    Microsoft Data Shows Hackers Still Targeting U.S. Elections(Bloomberg) -- State-backed hackers have attempted to infiltrate targets related to U.S. elections more than 700 times in the past year, furthering concerns about potential meddling in upcoming races, according to a blog posted Wednesday by Microsoft Corp.The hackers responsible are mostly from Russia and North Korea, said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security & trust, in an interview.The company has counted nearly 10,000 hacks globally stemming from state-sponsored attacks in the past year. Of those, 781 have been to democracy-focused organizations, particularly non-governmental organizations and think tanks, and nearly all of those attacks, 95 %, are against U.S.-based organizations.“We have uncovered attacks specifically targeting organizations that are fundamental to democracy,” Burt wrote. “Democracy-focused organizations in the United States should be particularly concerned.”The attacks on democratic institutions are a likely precursor to hacking attempts on campaigns and election systems ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, according to the blog. However, the North Korea-based hackers may be conducting espionage on issues of special interest like nuclear disarmament, rather than seeking to hack elections, Burt said in the interview.While many of the attacks on Microsoft customers weren’t related to elections, the company’s data “demonstrates the significant extent to which nation-states continue to rely on cyberattacks as a tool to gain intelligence, influence geopolitics and achieve other objectives," Burt wrote.The post comes as presidential campaigns heat up amid concerns that the 2020 election will face some of the same meddling, or worse, that occurred in the last election, when Russia waged a hacking and social media effort to help Donald Trump’s campaign.Election WarningsThe Trump administration has issued warnings that Russia, Iran and China are seeking to manipulate public opinion ahead of the 2020 election. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned early this year that adversaries probably view 2020 as an “opportunity to advance their interests” and may seek to hack election systems. Last week, seven senior U.S. national security officials delivered classified briefings to members of Congress about their efforts to secure 2020.State election officials, meanwhile, are attempting to bolster security in elections systems to thwart attacks.So far at least, there have been no successful breaches of campaigns or election systems related to the 2020 election disclosed by Microsoft or the Trump administration. Microsoft says it stopped attacks against U.S. think-tanks and leading candidates for the U.S. Senate last year, though it didn’t identify the candidates.The more recent hacking attempts disclosed by Microsoft “reflect a pattern that we also observed in the early stages of some previous elections,” Burt said in the blog post. “In this pattern, a spike in attacks on NGOs and think tanks that work closely with candidates and political parties, or work on issues central to their campaigns, serve as a precursor to direct attacks on campaigns and election systems themselves.”Microsoft is one of many companies offering its services to candidates, election officials and non-governmental organizations in the wake of the Russian attacks on the last presidential election. Last August, Microsoft unveiled AccountGuard, a free threat notification service, as part of a broader program called Defending Democracy, which analyzes vast amounts of emails to protect users from phishing attacks and tampering.The company is on the cusp of a pilot project with Columbia University to test its ElectionGuard system in the 2020 elections, a program that would allow voters to track their ballots from the voting booths to tabulation systems on personal devices.(Updates with interview with Microsoft’s Tom Burt.)To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.net;Kartikay Mehrotra in San Francisco at kmehrotra2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Microsoft Data Shows Hackers Still Targeting U.S. Elections(Bloomberg) -- State-backed hackers have attempted to infiltrate targets related to U.S. elections more than 700 times in the past year, furthering concerns about potential meddling in upcoming races, according to a blog posted Wednesday by Microsoft Corp.The hackers responsible are mostly from Russia and North Korea, said Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security & trust, in an interview.The company has counted nearly 10,000 hacks globally stemming from state-sponsored attacks in the past year. Of those, 781 have been to democracy-focused organizations, particularly non-governmental organizations and think tanks, and nearly all of those attacks, 95 %, are against U.S.-based organizations.“We have uncovered attacks specifically targeting organizations that are fundamental to democracy,” Burt wrote. “Democracy-focused organizations in the United States should be particularly concerned.”The attacks on democratic institutions are a likely precursor to hacking attempts on campaigns and election systems ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, according to the blog. However, the North Korea-based hackers may be conducting espionage on issues of special interest like nuclear disarmament, rather than seeking to hack elections, Burt said in the interview.While many of the attacks on Microsoft customers weren’t related to elections, the company’s data “demonstrates the significant extent to which nation-states continue to rely on cyberattacks as a tool to gain intelligence, influence geopolitics and achieve other objectives," Burt wrote.The post comes as presidential campaigns heat up amid concerns that the 2020 election will face some of the same meddling, or worse, that occurred in the last election, when Russia waged a hacking and social media effort to help Donald Trump’s campaign.Election WarningsThe Trump administration has issued warnings that Russia, Iran and China are seeking to manipulate public opinion ahead of the 2020 election. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned early this year that adversaries probably view 2020 as an “opportunity to advance their interests” and may seek to hack election systems. Last week, seven senior U.S. national security officials delivered classified briefings to members of Congress about their efforts to secure 2020.State election officials, meanwhile, are attempting to bolster security in elections systems to thwart attacks.So far at least, there have been no successful breaches of campaigns or election systems related to the 2020 election disclosed by Microsoft or the Trump administration. Microsoft says it stopped attacks against U.S. think-tanks and leading candidates for the U.S. Senate last year, though it didn’t identify the candidates.The more recent hacking attempts disclosed by Microsoft “reflect a pattern that we also observed in the early stages of some previous elections,” Burt said in the blog post. “In this pattern, a spike in attacks on NGOs and think tanks that work closely with candidates and political parties, or work on issues central to their campaigns, serve as a precursor to direct attacks on campaigns and election systems themselves.”Microsoft is one of many companies offering its services to candidates, election officials and non-governmental organizations in the wake of the Russian attacks on the last presidential election. Last August, Microsoft unveiled AccountGuard, a free threat notification service, as part of a broader program called Defending Democracy, which analyzes vast amounts of emails to protect users from phishing attacks and tampering.The company is on the cusp of a pilot project with Columbia University to test its ElectionGuard system in the 2020 elections, a program that would allow voters to track their ballots from the voting booths to tabulation systems on personal devices.(Updates with interview with Microsoft’s Tom Burt.)To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at asebenius@bloomberg.net;Kartikay Mehrotra in San Francisco at kmehrotra2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


     

  • Are vitamins a waste of money? A new study says yes      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:15:21 -0400

    Are vitamins a waste of money? A new study says yesAre you wasting your money on vitamin and mineral supplements? For most people, the answer is yes, according to a new study.


    Are vitamins a waste of money? A new study says yesAre you wasting your money on vitamin and mineral supplements? For most people, the answer is yes, according to a new study.


     

  • Skin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent in a decade as legacy of package holidays hits      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:01:00 -0400

    Skin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent in a decade as legacy of package holidays hitsSkin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent over the course of a decade, with young people also developing the disease, new figures show. Cancer Research UK found rates of melanoma - the most deadly type of skin cancer - rose dramatically between 2004-2006 and 2014-2016, the most recent figures available. The charity said the rise of package holidays in the 1970s and more recent surges in cheap flights for weekends abroad have meant a sharp rise in risks. Rates of melanoma increased by 35 per cent for women and by 55 per cent for men. Overall, the jump was from 18 cases per 100,000 people to 26. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 16,000 diagnoses is annually and 2,285 deaths.  While the condition is most common in those aged over 65, rates for 25 to 49-year-olds have increased by 70 per cent since the 1990s, and it is the second most common type of cancer in this age group.  The rise has been from nine cases per 100,000 people in 1993-1995 to 16 per 100,000 in 2014-2016. Experts said rising rates were also down to increasing awareness of the disease, which has led to more people seeking a diagnosis. Experts believe almost nine in 10 cases could be prevented if people protect their skin with a high factor sun cream. Getting sunburnt just once every two years triples the risk of melanoma. Burning twice in a year triples the risk of skin cancer  Credit: Press Association  Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "While some might think that a tan is a sign of good health, there is no such thing as a healthy tan, it's actually your body trying to protect itself from harmful rays. "These statistics highlight the importance of our Own Your Tone campaign, which encourages people to embrace their natural skin tone and adopt sun-safe behaviours." Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Sun safety is not just for when you're going abroad, the sun can be strong enough to burn in the UK from the start of April to the end of September. "It's important that people are protecting themselves properly both at home and further afield when the sun is strong. "We want to encourage people to embrace their natural look and protect their skin from UV damage by seeking shade, covering up and regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and four or five stars." Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director said:  “Although cancer survival is at a record high, more people are getting diagnosed with melanoma and nearly half a million people were urgently referred for skin cancer checks in the last year, so it’s vital that people take every precaution possible to protect their skin, particularly in the summer months, by wearing sunscreen and spending time in the shade.” “Getting cancer diagnosed as soon as possible is vital to people’s chances of surviving, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan sets out ways to catch it earlier including through genomic testing and the rollout of rapid diagnostic services.”


    Skin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent in a decade as legacy of package holidays hitsSkin cancer rates have soared by 45 per cent over the course of a decade, with young people also developing the disease, new figures show. Cancer Research UK found rates of melanoma - the most deadly type of skin cancer - rose dramatically between 2004-2006 and 2014-2016, the most recent figures available. The charity said the rise of package holidays in the 1970s and more recent surges in cheap flights for weekends abroad have meant a sharp rise in risks. Rates of melanoma increased by 35 per cent for women and by 55 per cent for men. Overall, the jump was from 18 cases per 100,000 people to 26. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 16,000 diagnoses is annually and 2,285 deaths.  While the condition is most common in those aged over 65, rates for 25 to 49-year-olds have increased by 70 per cent since the 1990s, and it is the second most common type of cancer in this age group.  The rise has been from nine cases per 100,000 people in 1993-1995 to 16 per 100,000 in 2014-2016. Experts said rising rates were also down to increasing awareness of the disease, which has led to more people seeking a diagnosis. Experts believe almost nine in 10 cases could be prevented if people protect their skin with a high factor sun cream. Getting sunburnt just once every two years triples the risk of melanoma. Burning twice in a year triples the risk of skin cancer  Credit: Press Association  Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "While some might think that a tan is a sign of good health, there is no such thing as a healthy tan, it's actually your body trying to protect itself from harmful rays. "These statistics highlight the importance of our Own Your Tone campaign, which encourages people to embrace their natural skin tone and adopt sun-safe behaviours." Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Sun safety is not just for when you're going abroad, the sun can be strong enough to burn in the UK from the start of April to the end of September. "It's important that people are protecting themselves properly both at home and further afield when the sun is strong. "We want to encourage people to embrace their natural look and protect their skin from UV damage by seeking shade, covering up and regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and four or five stars." Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director said:  “Although cancer survival is at a record high, more people are getting diagnosed with melanoma and nearly half a million people were urgently referred for skin cancer checks in the last year, so it’s vital that people take every precaution possible to protect their skin, particularly in the summer months, by wearing sunscreen and spending time in the shade.” “Getting cancer diagnosed as soon as possible is vital to people’s chances of surviving, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan sets out ways to catch it earlier including through genomic testing and the rollout of rapid diagnostic services.”


     

  • Obesity should be classed as a disease to remove the stigma it is 'self-inflicted' medics say      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 18:30:00 -0400

    Obesity should be classed as a disease to remove the stigma it is 'self-inflicted' medics sayObesity should be classed as a disease to remove the stigma that it is "self-inflicted" and encourage those with weight problems to get help, medics have said.  Writing in the BMJ, they said that up to 70 per cent of weight variability was inherited, with 200 genes linked to it. And they said the rise in obesity was due to “an altered environment” which meant cheap food was readily available.  Latest figures show that 29 per cent of adults in England are obese. John Wilding, professor of medicine at the institute of ageing and chronic disease at the University of Liverpool, and Vicki Mooney, executive director of the European Coalition for People living with Obesity, said: “Body weight, fat distribution, and risk of complications are strongly influenced by biology - it is not an individual's fault if they develop obesity." “The recent rapid increase in obesity is not due to genetics but to an altered environment (food availability and cost, physical environment, and social factors).  “Strong links exist with social deprivation; some environments are more obesogenic than others, but again we should not blame individuals. Despite these facts, the prevalent view is that obesity is self inflicted and that it is entirely the individual’s responsibility to do something about it. The pair pointed out that the World Health Organisation has classed obesity as a disease since 1936. Prof Wilding is president elect of the World Obesity Federation, while Ms Mooney runs Ireland’s only plus size modelling agency.  "The Oxford Dictionary defines disease as 'a disorder of structure or function ... especially one that produces specific symptoms ... and is not simply a direct result of physical injury” their comment piece says.  "Obesity, in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be adversely affected, meets that definition. Obesity is on the rise in the UK They argued that recognising obesity as a chronic disease rather than a lifestyle choice "should help reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by many people with obesity" and encourage more people to seek NHS treatment.  In contrast, Dr Richard Pile, a GP from St Albans, said the Oxford Dictionary definition of disease "is so vague that we can classify almost anything as a disease". Also writing in the BMJ, he said such attitudes would encourage “fatalism” and stop people being motivated to lose weight  "It suggests health professionals will slap themselves on the forehead in a eureka moment, shouting: 'This changes everything.' "Labelling obesity as a disease risks reducing autonomy, disempowering and robbing people of the intrinsic motivation that is such an important enabler of change. RISE IN UK OBESITY LEVELS SINCE 1991 "It encourages fatalism, promoting the fallacy that genetics are destiny,” he added.  Dr Pile said making obesity a disease may not benefit patients, "but it will benefit healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry". The debate follows calls from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in January for the Government and the NHS to recognise obesity as a disease. The RCP said it wanted to see obesity recognised as an ongoing chronic disease to allow the creation of formal healthcare policies to improve care both in doctors' surgeries and hospitals.


    Obesity should be classed as a disease to remove the stigma it is 'self-inflicted' medics sayObesity should be classed as a disease to remove the stigma that it is "self-inflicted" and encourage those with weight problems to get help, medics have said.  Writing in the BMJ, they said that up to 70 per cent of weight variability was inherited, with 200 genes linked to it. And they said the rise in obesity was due to “an altered environment” which meant cheap food was readily available.  Latest figures show that 29 per cent of adults in England are obese. John Wilding, professor of medicine at the institute of ageing and chronic disease at the University of Liverpool, and Vicki Mooney, executive director of the European Coalition for People living with Obesity, said: “Body weight, fat distribution, and risk of complications are strongly influenced by biology - it is not an individual's fault if they develop obesity." “The recent rapid increase in obesity is not due to genetics but to an altered environment (food availability and cost, physical environment, and social factors).  “Strong links exist with social deprivation; some environments are more obesogenic than others, but again we should not blame individuals. Despite these facts, the prevalent view is that obesity is self inflicted and that it is entirely the individual’s responsibility to do something about it. The pair pointed out that the World Health Organisation has classed obesity as a disease since 1936. Prof Wilding is president elect of the World Obesity Federation, while Ms Mooney runs Ireland’s only plus size modelling agency.  "The Oxford Dictionary defines disease as 'a disorder of structure or function ... especially one that produces specific symptoms ... and is not simply a direct result of physical injury” their comment piece says.  "Obesity, in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be adversely affected, meets that definition. Obesity is on the rise in the UK They argued that recognising obesity as a chronic disease rather than a lifestyle choice "should help reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by many people with obesity" and encourage more people to seek NHS treatment.  In contrast, Dr Richard Pile, a GP from St Albans, said the Oxford Dictionary definition of disease "is so vague that we can classify almost anything as a disease". Also writing in the BMJ, he said such attitudes would encourage “fatalism” and stop people being motivated to lose weight  "It suggests health professionals will slap themselves on the forehead in a eureka moment, shouting: 'This changes everything.' "Labelling obesity as a disease risks reducing autonomy, disempowering and robbing people of the intrinsic motivation that is such an important enabler of change. RISE IN UK OBESITY LEVELS SINCE 1991 "It encourages fatalism, promoting the fallacy that genetics are destiny,” he added.  Dr Pile said making obesity a disease may not benefit patients, "but it will benefit healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry". The debate follows calls from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in January for the Government and the NHS to recognise obesity as a disease. The RCP said it wanted to see obesity recognised as an ongoing chronic disease to allow the creation of formal healthcare policies to improve care both in doctors' surgeries and hospitals.


     

  • Humanity's climate 'carbon budget' dwindling fast      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 18:12:09 -0400

    Humanity's climate 'carbon budget' dwindling fastThe concept of a carbon budget is dead simple: figure out how much CO2 humanity can pump into the atmosphere without pushing Earth's surface temperature beyond a dangerous threshold. The 2015 Paris climate treaty enjoins the world to set that bar at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) in order to avoid an upsurge in killer heatwaves, droughts and superstorms made more destructive by rising seas. Only a 1.5C cap above pre-industrial levels, for example, could prevent the total loss of coral reefs that anchor a quarter of marine life and coastal communities around the globe, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a landmark report.


    Humanity's climate 'carbon budget' dwindling fastThe concept of a carbon budget is dead simple: figure out how much CO2 humanity can pump into the atmosphere without pushing Earth's surface temperature beyond a dangerous threshold. The 2015 Paris climate treaty enjoins the world to set that bar at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) in order to avoid an upsurge in killer heatwaves, droughts and superstorms made more destructive by rising seas. Only a 1.5C cap above pre-industrial levels, for example, could prevent the total loss of coral reefs that anchor a quarter of marine life and coastal communities around the globe, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a landmark report.


     

  • Elon Musk Wants To Wire Your Brain      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 18:05:11 -0400

    Elon Musk Wants To Wire Your BrainLast year Tesla CEO Elon Musk was given a lucrative new compensation plan, with the catch being that he would only get his bonus if he helped the company reach some pretty high financial goals. The thinking was this package was meant to keep our IRL Tony Stark focused on, like, cars and stuff instead of trying to colonize mars. But Elon gonna Elon, and so of course he now wants to help connect your brain directly to the internet. What? Musk has invested $100 million in Neuralink, a neuroscience company that recently unveiled a “sewing machine-like” robot that can implant ultrathin threads deep into the brain. This would, potentially, allow for ultra-swift communication between humans and machines, and would let the brain process vast amounts of information. Though everyone admits that we’re a long way from everyone living in a William Gibson novel, Neuralink, which likens the process to getting Lasik surgery, hopes to begin testing on humans next year. Mechanical Animals As odd as this sounds, Neuralink might be onto something, as they did a demonstration in which a linked up laboratory rat read information from 1,500 electrodes — 15 times greater than current systems embedded in humans. But scientists cautioned that results from laboratory animals might not translate into human success. In Other News There’s never a dull moment at Tesla, apparently. The company finally achieved its longtime goal of lowering the price of its best-selling Model 3, while also quietly phasing out versions. Speaking of Model 3, news broke today that in the effort to ramp up production of the popular model, some employees say they resorted to using electrical tape to quickly repair cracks and worked through extreme heat, cold and wild-fire smoke. A spokesperson for Tesla denied the charges. -Michael Tedder Photo: Mike Blake / REUTERS


    Elon Musk Wants To Wire Your BrainLast year Tesla CEO Elon Musk was given a lucrative new compensation plan, with the catch being that he would only get his bonus if he helped the company reach some pretty high financial goals. The thinking was this package was meant to keep our IRL Tony Stark focused on, like, cars and stuff instead of trying to colonize mars. But Elon gonna Elon, and so of course he now wants to help connect your brain directly to the internet. What? Musk has invested $100 million in Neuralink, a neuroscience company that recently unveiled a “sewing machine-like” robot that can implant ultrathin threads deep into the brain. This would, potentially, allow for ultra-swift communication between humans and machines, and would let the brain process vast amounts of information. Though everyone admits that we’re a long way from everyone living in a William Gibson novel, Neuralink, which likens the process to getting Lasik surgery, hopes to begin testing on humans next year. Mechanical Animals As odd as this sounds, Neuralink might be onto something, as they did a demonstration in which a linked up laboratory rat read information from 1,500 electrodes — 15 times greater than current systems embedded in humans. But scientists cautioned that results from laboratory animals might not translate into human success. In Other News There’s never a dull moment at Tesla, apparently. The company finally achieved its longtime goal of lowering the price of its best-selling Model 3, while also quietly phasing out versions. Speaking of Model 3, news broke today that in the effort to ramp up production of the popular model, some employees say they resorted to using electrical tape to quickly repair cracks and worked through extreme heat, cold and wild-fire smoke. A spokesperson for Tesla denied the charges. -Michael Tedder Photo: Mike Blake / REUTERS


     

  • When My Toddler With CHD Needed a Compression Sock      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:52:52 -0400

    When My Toddler With CHD Needed a Compression SockThe mother of a child with a congenital heart defect shares how the woman who made her toddler's compression sock went above and beyond to help her child tolerate it.


    When My Toddler With CHD Needed a Compression SockThe mother of a child with a congenital heart defect shares how the woman who made her toddler's compression sock went above and beyond to help her child tolerate it.


     

  • Winners overlook rigged games' lack of fairness, study finds      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:41:39 -0400

    Winners overlook rigged games' lack of fairness, study findsWhen it comes to fairness and privilege, a new study finds it really is not about how you play the game. A new experiment, played out as a card game, shows that even when the deck is literally stacked in people's favor — and they know it — most winners still think it's fair anyway. The study "tells us something about privilege and about society," said Bates College sociologist Emily Kane, who wasn't part of the research.


    Winners overlook rigged games' lack of fairness, study findsWhen it comes to fairness and privilege, a new study finds it really is not about how you play the game. A new experiment, played out as a card game, shows that even when the deck is literally stacked in people's favor — and they know it — most winners still think it's fair anyway. The study "tells us something about privilege and about society," said Bates College sociologist Emily Kane, who wasn't part of the research.


     

  • 10 Mental Health Challenges Cancer Survivors Go Through      Wed, 17 Jul 2019 17:35:50 -0400

    10 Mental Health Challenges Cancer Survivors Go ThroughPeople who have survived cancer share the ways their mental health has been affected even in the post-cancer phase, and a therapist explains how to cope.


    10 Mental Health Challenges Cancer Survivors Go ThroughPeople who have survived cancer share the ways their mental health has been affected even in the post-cancer phase, and a therapist explains how to cope.


     



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