Officer held for false report in IMA Group case

first_imgBy Express News Service |Bengaluru | Published: July 9, 2019 3:38:10 am Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Top News IMA scam, IMA jewels, Mansoor Khan, IMA Group Ponzi scheme fraud, Bangalore news, Indian express On November 16, 2018, the revenue department had issued a seizure notice.A Bengaluru Police SIT probing the multi-crore IMA Group Ponzi scheme fraud on Monday arrested Bengaluru Urban district deputy commissioner B M Vijay Shankar for allegedly issuing a false report about the group in 2018, which allowed the company to dodge the seizure of its assets. Shankar has been accused of taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from the IMA Group to provide a favourable report at a time when investor complaints against the company were on the rise and revenue officials had initiated proceedings to seize the company’s assets. On November 16, 2018, the revenue department had issued a seizure notice.Last week, the SIT arrested the Bangalore North region Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) L C Nagaraj and an accountant identified as Manjunath for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore from the IMA Group to drop the asset seizure proceedings.Shankar “hid facts and gave a report favouring IMA and the main accused”, the SIT said. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Investors with 34 trillion demand urgent climate change action

first_imgBy Reuters |London | Published: June 26, 2019 8:55:37 am Related News Advertising How to teach your children about climate change in small, but significant ways A U.N.-backed panel of scientists has said limiting global warming to 1.5C would cost at least $830 billion a year but the cost of inaction is thought to be much higher.DIVESTING DRIVEA number of institutional investors have already started to divest from fossil fuel companies due to the risk their assets will become stranded as the cost of renewable energy falls.Last month, the U.N.’s Guterres urged countries to end approval for new coal-fired power plants beyond 2020, as well as fossil fuel subsidies. Carola van Lamoen, Head of Active Ownership at global asset manager Robeco, said: “As investors, in our view the development of new coal power plants after 2020 puts at risk both the return on investment and the world’s chance of limiting global warming in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”However, some countries argue that they need to keep using fossil fuels to power their economic development. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertising The letter comes ahead of a June 28-29 G20 summit in Japan and as United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urges countries to back more ambitious climate goals.“There is an ambition gap… This ambition gap is of great concern to investors and needs to be addressed, with urgency,” a statement from the investors accompanying the letter said.Governments were urged to strengthen their Paris Agreement targets by 2020; phase out thermal coal power and fossil fuel subsidies by set deadlines; set a robust global carbon price by 2020 and improve climate-related financial reporting. Best Of Express Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach “It is vital for our long-term planning and asset allocation decisions that governments work closely with investors to incorporate Paris-aligned climate scenarios into their policy frameworks and energy transition pathways,” the statement said.The investor letter was signed by the chief executives of the seven founding partners of The Investor Agenda, including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.Large investors signing the statement included Legal & General Investment Management and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), although the world’s two biggest asset managers, BlackRock and Vanguard, did not.A BlackRock spokeswoman declined to give a specific reason for not supporting the call, but pointed to a statement from its annual report that said it typically does not join such initiatives. Reasons can include overlap with the company’s existing efforts or a misalignment of views. A spokeswoman for Vanguard was not able to give a specific reason, but said it was concerned about the long-term impact of climate risk and was actively engaged on a number of climate related initiatives with an emphasis on good disclosure. A report by researchers which tracks countries’ progress towards limiting global warming showed that only five out of 32 nations have targets in line with a 2C limit.A report by the Overseas Development Institute thinktank said on Tuesday that G20 governments boosted backing for coal-fired power plants, particularly in poorer nations, from $17 billion to $47 billion a year from 2014 to 2017. Japan, as host of the G20 summit in Osaka this week, has been criticised for its plans to continue using coal. It backs the use of carbon capture and storage to trap emissions, but the technology is costly and not yet commercial. (Reporting by Simon Jessop and Nina Chestney; Editing by Alexander Smith) More Explained After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Nearly half a million people urge Indian government to declare a ‘climate emergency’ People in Sweden switch to trains to deter global warming Taking stock of monsoon rain Bangladesh, Bangladesh boat hospitals, Bangladesh climate change, climage change Bangladesh, Bangladesh hospitals, boat hospitals in Bangladesh, indian express, latest news Almost 200 nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.Investors managing more than $34 trillion in assets, nearly half the world’s invested capital, are demanding urgent action from governments on climate change, piling pressure on leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meeting this week. In an open letter to the “governments of the world” seen by Reuters, groups representing 477 investors stressed “the urgency of decisive action” on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target. Almost 200 nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Current policies put the world on track for at least a 3C rise by the end of the century. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Parliament Highlights RS passes bill paving way for two new central universities

first_img facebook twitter whatsapp Nitin Gadkari: People will have to pay toll if they want good roads. Union minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday said people have to pay the toll if they want good roads. He, hence, made it clear that the toll system would stay as the government does not have enough funds. He said money collected through toll from those areas which have the capacity to pay is utilised for building roads in rural and hilly areas. “Toll system can never end though rates may vary from time to time. Toll is my brainchild. If you want good services, you have to pay for it. The government does not have money,” Gadkari said. Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day following uproar over Karnataka crisis facebook twitter whatsapp Taxmen detect Rs 37,946 crore fraud in financial year 208-19 Tax officials detected Rs 37,946 crore worth of tax fraud in 2018-19 and Rs 6,520 crore in the April-June period of the current financial year after the GST implementation, the Finance Ministry told Parliament on Tuesday.Besides, cases of tax credit availment by issue of fake invoices were of Rs 11,251 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 2,805 crore in April-June of the current fiscal, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. (PTI) parliament, parliament live, parliament live today, lok sabha live, parliament monsoon session live, monsoon session live, monsoon session live today, parliament monsoon session, rajya sabha live, nia bill, nia amendment bill, live news, indian express On Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)Parliament Session : Rajya Sabha Tuesday passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill, 2019,  empowering the Civil Aviation Ministry to bid out private airport projects on the basis of pre-determined tariff. While replying to the discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “As many as 16 airports will be in the purview of AERA. All other airports continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry.” Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 AM tomorrow Lok Sabha adjourned till 11 AM on July 17. Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 PM now! Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 PM over demand for postal department exam in Tamil language. The House got adjourned barely 10 minutes after it Assembled as AIADMK MPs protested seeking to include Tamil as a language to write postal examinations. As the House reconvened at 12 pm, Members were again on their feet and in the Well. Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked the Members to go back to their seats, but loud sloganeering continued.  Related News facebook twitter whatsapp Delhi confidential: House cleaning facebook twitter whatsapp Discussion on Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill underway in Rajya Sabha Discussion on Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill is underway in Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha session was marred by protests by Opposition on decision to extend duration of House Rajya Sabha session was marred by protests by the Opposition on the decision of the deputy chairman to extend the duration of the House. Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien said while making the decision to extend the time of the House, opinion of only the BJP MPs were taken. “The decision was made after taking the opinion of the BJP who has a thumping majority here. The sense of the Opposition was not taken. We are not here to be counted as numbers,” he said. Naidu accepts Neeraj Shekhar’s resignation Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said he has accepted the resignation of Samajwadi Party leader Neeraj Shekhar after being satisfied that the same was voluntary and genuine. When the House met for the day, Naidu mentioned that he had received a letter from Shekhar, son of former Prime Minister and socialist leader Chandra Shekhar, on July 15. “I made inquiries (with Shekhar) of the resignation being voluntary and genuine and having satisfied I have accepted the resignation with effect from July 15,” he said. A two-time Lok Sabha MP, Shekhar, 50, was first elected to the Lower House in a by-election in Ballia in 2007 after his father’s death. He retained the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Following his defeat in the 2014 parliamentary polls, the SP nominated him to the Rajya Sabha. Shekhar’s term in the Upper House was to expire in November 2020. Naidu said he had accepted the resignation under Rule 213 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha. facebook twitter whatsapp Discussion on demand for Grants under Control of Ministries of Rural Development and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare underway in Lok Sabha Discussion on demand for Grants under Control of Ministries of Rural Development and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for 2019-20 is underway in Lok Sabha. facebook twitter whatsapp 15:11 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 12:17 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 16:06 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 16:05 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp Working on a new green expressway from New Delhi to Mumbai: Gadkari Gadkari also informed the House that the ministry is working on a new green expressway from New Delhi to Mumbai, which can be covered in 12 hours. It will pass through most backward and tribal areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and also save Rs 16,000 crore in land acquisition. 17:54 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 PM has said it’s compulsory for everyone to be present in Parliament: Prahlad Joshi Union Minister Pralhad Joshi after BJP Parliamentary Party meeting today, in Delhi: As usual, Prime Minister has urged…he has said that there are no exceptions from being present in Parliament while the session is on. It is compulsory for everyone to be present. 17:12 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 Rajya Sabha passes the Central University (Amendment) Bill, 2019 Rajya Sabha passes the Central University (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill paves the way for the establishment of two central universities in Andhra Pradesh. These will be known as Central University of Andhra Pradesh and the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh. The tribal university will take additional measures to provide higher education and research facilities in tribal art, culture, and customs to the tribal population of India. facebook twitter whatsapp 13:33 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp 11:37 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp Did not demand front-row seat for Rahul Gandhi in Parliament: Congress Meagre amount of fund allocated to education sector: AITC MP in Rajya Sabha Abir Ranjan Biswas, Trinamool Congress MP to Rajya Sabha MP,  tried to draw the attention of the government to the fact that apart from Visva Bharati University, no other central university has been set up in West Bengal and urged that the matter should be looked upon. He also raised concerns regarding vacancies in the central universities and allotment of meagre amount of fund to the education sector. facebook twitter whatsapp Introduction of AERA Bill a sharp U-turn of government from its responsibilities The introduction of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill in the Parliament talks of sharp U-turn of the government from its responsibilities, says Congress’ B K Hariprasad in Rajya Sabha. Opposing the privatisation of aviation industry, he said to not underestimate the strength of public sector. “Pubic sector has social responsibility while the private sector runs with profit-making motive.” India’s renewable energy capacity crosses 80GW-mark, says R K Singh India’s renewable energy capacity has crossed the 80GW-mark, which includes 29.55 GW of solar energy and 36.37 GW wind power, Parliament was informed Tuesday. The government has set an ambitious target of having 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022, including 100 GW solar and 60 GW of wind energy.”The Government is regularly monitoring the progress being made to achieve the target of 175 GW by 2022. “A total of 80.46 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in the country as on June 30, 2019 which includes 29.55 GW from Solar & 36.37 GW from Wind power,” Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. (PTI) Land acquisition process is very slow in West Bengal and Bihar: Nitin Gadkari Underlining that land acquisition is a major problem in road construction projects, Gadkari urged that state governments should come out with solutions and help find a way out. The minister said his ministry was not moving forward with the project without 80 per cent of land acquisition and this principle is being followed very strictly. Gadkari said land acquisition process is very slow in West Bengal and Bihar. Noting that more than 400 projects worth 3.85 lakh crore were closed when he assumed charge of the ministry in 2014, Gadkari said the Modi government saved NPAs worth 3 lakh crore during the past five years by beginning work on these projects. “There were 403 projects pending when the Narendra Modi came to power involving a cost of 3,85,000 crore. It is a great achievement of Indian government that we saved bankers of Rs 3 lakh crore of NPAs and now 90 per cent of projects are moving fast,” he said. 12:52 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 12:21 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp Universities across Inda facing shortage of staff: Congress MP L Hanumanthaia Congress MP L Hanumanthaia alleged that universities across the country are facing shortage of staff.  “A number of universities are being run on contractual basis. Many are run by honorary professors,” he said. Politics has surpassed academics in educational institutions of the country, he alleged. 16:01 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 19:06 (IST) 16 Jul 2019center_img facebook twitter whatsapp Introduce Rohit Act to tackle institutional discrimination: RJD’s Manoj Jha Rajya Sabha member from RJD Manoj Jha, while speaking during a discussion on Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Rajya Sabha, proposed to introduce Rohit Act to tackle institutional discrimination. facebook twitter whatsapp 11:41 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp Citizenship Bill aims to give Indian nationality to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan: Government The basic objective of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was to facilitate granting Indian citizenship to members of six minority communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they do not have valid documents, the government told Lok Sabha Tuesday.  Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the bill was initially introduced in Lok Sabha three years ago as Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, and was then referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee.Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the bill was initially introduced in Lok Sabha three years ago as Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, and was then referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The committee submitted its report to Parliament on January 7 this year, he said. “The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was taken into consideration and passed by Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. It was pending for consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha. Consequent to the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha, this Bill has lapsed,” he said in a written reply to a question by Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi.  (PTI) Over 40,000-kilometre highways built in last 5 years: Nitin Gadkari In Lok Sabha, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “Road Transport and Highways Ministry built over 40,000-kilometre highways in the last 5 years, which is 60 per cent higher than the previous five years.” facebook twitter whatsapp facebook twitter whatsapp Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury gives adjournment notice in Lok Sabha Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has given Adjournment Notice in Lok Sabha on “Chinese incursion into Indian territory.” Parliament LIVE: Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Narendra Modi-led government will never misuse the National Investigation Agency (NIA) law. (PTI)On Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to empower the agency to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests on foreign soil. Besides this, the amendments will also allow the NIA to probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking. During the discussion, Parliament also witnessed a spat between Home Minister Amit Shah and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, with the BJP chief asserting that he is not frightening anyone but cannot help when someone has fear in their minds.Defending the amendments, Union Home Minister Amit Shah countered opposition claims over “misuse” of the NIA law. He asserted that the Narendra Modi-led government will never misuse it on the basis of religion and said instead it will ensure the menace of terrorism is uprooted irrespective of the religion of the guilty.He also targeted the previous Congress-led UPA government for repealing anti-terror act POTA, saying it was not done because of its alleged misuse but to “save its vote bank”. Shah further said terror attacks witnessed an upsurge after the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was repealed resulting in the same UPA government being forced to constitute NIA after the Mumbai attacks.Seeking all-party support for the bill’s passage, Shah said a division in the House on the issue of strengthening the agency will send out a wrong message and boost the morale of terrorists. Parliament should speak in one voice in giving powers to the NIA to send out a message to terrorists and the world, he asserted. facebook twitter whatsapp 18:26 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp facebook twitter whatsapp Welcome to our LIVE blog. Today in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy will make a statement on “Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India” while in Rajya Sabha, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 are likely to be passed after discussion. Follow to get the latest updates here! 12:53 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 12:50 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp facebook twitter whatsapp PM Modi asks BJP MPs to play lead role in development of constituency Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday asked BJP MPs to nurse their constituency by playing a leading role in its development and advised them to take up a cause of human sensitivity like eradication of leprosy or tuberculosis, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters. First impression is often the last impression, Modi told MPs, a large number of them first-timers, at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, sources said, as he asked them to work passionately for the development of their areas. Modi also asked Union ministers to carry out their Parliament roster duty, when they are meant to be present in one of the Houses as a government representative, and said he should be informed if they skip their duty, the sources said. facebook twitter whatsapp facebook twitter whatsapp 13:25 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 17:15 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 17, 2019 12:05:39 am Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned twice earlier — first till 12 pm and the second time till 2 pm —following vociferous protests by Tamil parties led by the AIADMK against holding of recruitment exam for postmen only in English and Hindi language. Soon after listed papers were laid on table of the House, AIADMK members shouted slogans demanding that the government cancel the postal department exam for recruitment of postmen and other posts and hold it afresh by including Tamil as a language of exams. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu first ordered stopping of the transmission of House proceedings on television and then adjourned proceedings.In the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy will make a statement on “Security Situation in the North Eastern States of India” while his Cabinet colleagues, Santosh Ganwar and Harsh Vardhan, will move a motion to include two members from the House to the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation and Indian Nursing Council, respectively. Also, the House will take up for discussion the demand for grants under the control of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Ministries of Rural Development and Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.Live BlogParliament: Highlights from everything which happens in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha facebook twitter whatsapp 00:04 (IST) 17 Jul 2019 Advertising 11:52 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 facebook twitter whatsapp 12:20 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 Zero per cent of bills have been scrutinised in this LOK Sabha session: Derek O Brien TMC leader Derek O Brien said, ” Parliament is supposed to scrutinise bills. Now, in the first two weeks on this Lok Sabha session, zero per cent of bills have been scrutinised. We have to scrutinise the bills, otherwise, what are we doing in Parliament.” Bills to be passed in Rajya Sabha today The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019.—Hardeep Singh Puri to move that the Bill to amend the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008, be taken into consideration.The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019.Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to move that the Bill further to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009, as passed by Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration. Also to move that the Bill be passed.The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019.Ravi Shankar Prasad to move that the Bill further to provide for the establishment and incorporation of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration and for acquisition and transfer of the undertakings of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution and to vest such undertakings in the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre for the better management of arbitration so as to make it a hub for institutional arbitration and to declare the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre to be an institution of national importance and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, as passed by Lok Sabha, be taken into consideration. ALSO to move that the Bill be passed. 22:04 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 13:34 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 Rajya Sabha adjourned till 12 pm! Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned till 1200 hrs after AIADMK protests in House demanding cancellation of postal dept exam. 10:59 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 Rajya Sabha passes AERA (Amendment) Bill Rajya Sabha passes AERA Bill empowering government to bid out private airport projects based on pre-determined tariff. Discussion on the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019, is underway in Rajya Sabha. 18:49 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 16:24 (IST) 16 Jul 2019 Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Russia accused of coverup over lethal submarine fire

first_img Taking stock of monsoon rain Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence The incident took place on Monday, according to the Defence Ministry, but was not officially disclosed until late on Tuesday. Nearly two days on, there was still no word on whether the submarine was nuclear-powered.Some Russian media accused officials of starving the public of details and drew parallels with the dearth of official information during the meltdown of a Soviet nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in 1986.The ministry said on Tuesday the sailors had been killed in a fire on what it described as a deep-water research submarine surveying the seabed near the Arctic. Advertising By Reuters |Moscow | Published: July 3, 2019 5:43:42 pm Post Comment(s) More Explained After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express Authorities then, and in particular President Vladimir Putin, who was at the beginning of now almost two decades as president or prime minister, came under fire for their slow response and shortcomings in the rescue operation. Top News Asked on Wednesday if the vessel had a nuclear reactor on board, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred the question to the defence ministry.He told reporters in a conference call that details of the submarine were classified, but that information had been provided in good time.The media outlet RBC cited an unnamed military source on Tuesday as saying the submarine was an AS-12, which is powered by a nuclear reactor and designed to carry out special operations at extreme depths.That vessel, nicknamed the “Losharik”, was launched in 2003 and is one of the most secret submarines in the Russian fleet. Russia accused of cover-up over lethal submarine fire A view shows Russian navy ships at the port of Severomorsk, Russia July 27, 2016. Picture taken July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer.Russian commentators have challenged officials for not releasing full details about an accident on board a military submarine that killed 14 sailors. Several hours before the official statement, blogger Yevgeny Karpov reported a fire on a vessel belonging to the Northern Fleet, but he then took down the report at the fleet’s request, he told the Meduza news site.The fire is one of the deadliest submarine accidents since August 2000, when the nuclear-powered Kursk sank to the floor of Barents Sea, killing all 118 men aboard. The type of vessel was not specified and there were few details of the circumstances beyond the fact that it had been in Russian territorial waters and the fire had been extinguished.“Absolutely nothing is known at the moment – who, what… I don’t understand one thing: why did a day go by and only then did they make the statement about the deceased?” said Yevgeny Buntman, an anchor for the Ekho Moskvy radio station. “Why don’t we know their names? Is this normal?”The Bell, a news site often critical of the government, wrote: “Nearly a day without information about the accident in a nuclear facility and the need to look out for Norwegian statements about the level of radiation should have given a shudder to those who remember the Chernobyl nuclear power station.”SECRET SUB Norway’s authorities said on Tuesday they had not detected any abnormal radiation. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Advertisinglast_img read more

Sonipat boy fakes abduction demands Rs 5 crore from dad

first_imgBy Express News Service |Chandigarh | Published: July 14, 2019 8:25:40 am sonipat police, haryana police, fake death, boy fakes death, boy fakes death for money, india news, Indian Express The youth, identified as Ujjawal, was arrested with a teenager friend from a Gurgaon hotel. (Representational Image)Haryana Police Saturday arrested a Sonipat youth for faking his own abduction and demanding Rs 5 crore from his father. Haryana: Sacked employee among three held for murder of doctor in Karnal As Gurgaon resident drove traveler, his ‘Aadhaar’ bailed out accused in 16 cases Post Comment(s) The caller also threatened to kill Ujjawal if ransom was not paid. Mukesh informed us that Ujjawal had earlier in day left for Sonipat court in a Mahindra XUV car,” the spokesman added.Acting on the information, Inspector General (Rohtak range) Sandeep Khirwar, and Superintendent of Police, Sonipat, Pratiksha Godara constituted nine teams.Tracking the tower location of the mobile phone used in the act, police teams reached the Gurgaon hotel where Ujjawal and his minor friend were staying. During preliminary interrogation, Ujjawal confessed that he had faked his abduction with the help of his friend. Gurgaon man stabs wife, two children to death, hangs himself, leaves note behind Related News Advertising The youth, identified as Ujjawal, was arrested with a teenager friend from a Gurgaon hotel, hours after former’s father informed the police that his son has been abducted.“Ujjawal, a resident of Akbarpur Barota in Sonipat, had changed the number plate of his car and checked into a hotel in Sector-15, Gurgaon,” a police spokesperson said.“Ujjawal’s father, Mukesh Kumar, lodged a complaint with Sonipat police that he had received a voice message on his mobile from his son’s phone in which a person claimed that Ujjawal was abducted, and demanded a ransom of Rs 5 crore for his safe release. Advertisinglast_img read more

Greeks vote in 1st parliamentary election since bailout end

first_img Post Comment(s) Greece’s experiment with populism holds lessons for Europe NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home By AP |Athens | Published: July 7, 2019 11:41:23 am Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Best Of Express Tsipras, 44, says his Syriza party can overturn the sizeable gap in opinion polls running up to Sunday’s vote, and has increasingly been appealing to the middle class, which has been struggling under a heavy tax burden, much of it imposed by his government.Tsipras led his small Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, party to victory in 2015 elections on promises to repeal the austerity measures of Greece’s first two bailouts. But after months of tumultuous negotiations with the country’s international creditors that saw Greece nearly crash out of the European Union’s joint currency, he was forced to change tack, signing up to a third bailout and imposing the accompanying spending cuts and tax hikes.Greece, Greece elections, Greece polls, Greece parliamentary elections, Greece voting People vote for the general elections at a polling station in Athens, Greece July 7, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisHe also cemented a deal with neighboring North Macedonia under which that country changed its name from plain “Macedonia.” Although praised by Western allies, the deal angered many Greeks, who consider use of the term harbors expansionist aims on the Greek province of the same name.Kyriakos Mitsotakis, son of a former prime minister and brother of a former foreign minister, has pledged to make Greece more business-friendly, attract foreign investment, modernize the country’s notorious bureaucracy and cut taxes. The vote was called three months earlier than originally planned after left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suffered a stinging defeat in European and local elections in May and early June.Opinion polls have suggested Greeks are set to defy the recent European trend of increasing support for populist parties, with conservative opposition party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis a clear favorite to win.Sunday’s vote comes as the country gradually emerges from a brutal financial crisis that saw unemployment and poverty levels skyrocket, and Greece’s economy slashed by a quarter. Greece was dependent for survival until last summer on international bailouts, and had to impose deep reforms, including massive spending cuts and tax hikes, to qualify for the rescue loans. While he is the clear favorite to win Sunday’s vote, the number of smaller parties making it into parliament could determine whether he has enough seats in the 300-member body to form a government. He would need at least 151 to be able to govern without forming a coalition with another party.A number of smaller parties are vying to beat the 3% threshold to enter parliament.Among them is a new Europe-wide anti-austerity party, MeRA25, founded by Tsipras’ first finance minister, the controversial Yanis Varoufakis, who many blame for the dramatic failure of negotiations with Greece’s creditors in the first few months of Tsipras’ government. Varoufakis very narrowly missed making the 3% threshold in May’s European elections.Another is Kyriakos Velopoulos, a far-right populist TV pundit who is a new entry onto Greece’s main political scene with his Greek Solution party. Velopoulos is widely known for his TV appearances, which he has used to sell what he claims are letters by Jesus Christ.Greece’s extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, founded by neo-Nazi supporters more than three decades ago and which rose to be the third largest in parliament during the financial crisis, saw a major drop in support in the last European elections.center_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Related News Greece, Greece elections, Greece polls, Greece parliamentary elections, Greece voting A person votes at a polling station during the general election in Athens, Greece (Reuters)Greeks were voting Sunday in the first parliamentary election since their country emerged from three successive international bailouts but still struggles with a crippling nearly decade-long financial crisis. Advertising Greek police fire tear gas at migrants as border convoy grows Greece recognizes Venezuela’s Juan Guaido as interim president Advertisinglast_img read more

Microsoft and Intels Project Evo Ups the PC Game

first_imgThe Project Evo collaboration will provide advanced security to the PC, including biometric authentication using Windows Hello, eliminating the requirement to memorize multiple passwords, Shenoy said.A major aspect of the collaboration is to provide mixed reality experiences in PCs that are affordable to the average consumer, and also to use head-mounted displays that blend the physical and virtual world in ways not seen before.Microsoft has submitted its HoloLens to the Chinese government for approval, Myerson announced at WinHEC, and the company expects to make the devices available to developers and commercial customers during the first half of 2017. David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. New Reality Microsoft and Intel on Wednesday announced Project Evo, their highly anticipated collaboration to create the next generation of personal computers. The project aims to expand on new advances in artificial intelligence, mixed reality, advanced security and gaming,Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, unveiled some of Project Evo’s ambitious plans at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) event in Shenzhen, China.Through the collaboration, the companies will push the boundaries of a personal computer’s capabilities in the near future, he said. Technologies under development include far-field speech and wake-on-voice enabled through Cortana, biometrics and voice authentication in Windows Hello, spacial audio, and HDR support for gaming.Project Evo — particularly its expanded use of Cortana — invites comparisons to the digital assistant tools found in Amazon Echo and Google Home, standalone speakers that use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant respectively. Though their capabilities differ, each uses voice communications to interact with the automated home.However, Project Evo seems geared toward making the personal computer into a much more sophisticated device — one that can be accessed and operated in ways never before seen. Essentially, users will be able to wake up a PC, whether it’s open or shut, simply by saying “Hello Cortana.” Through voice commands, users will be able to access the information they need either directly from their personal computing device or from the cloud.”This is going to make the PC way more intuitive than it is today,” Intel SVP Navin Shenoy, general manager of the Client Computing Group, told WinHEC attendees. “You no longer need to be directly in front of your PC to activate Cortana.””There are certainly aspects of Project Evo that are likely to compete directly with Amazon Alexa and Google Home,” noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.However, it’s likely that “Intel and Microsoft are after a fundamentally bigger game,” he told TechNewsWorld.In the case of Project Evo, the companies are working with much more powerful computing capabilities than Amazon and Google are using with their home hubs.”Microsoft has the technology in the cloud, not the home,” noted Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.”The problem is that the PC is not the center of the home or the consumer experience,” he told TechNewsWorld.While there is room for improving the PC experience, this project is not going to push Microsoft into a direct competition with Amazon, McGregor said. center_img Passwords Passe Home Hub Connection? Together with Intel, Microsoft also shared specifications for PCs that can support headsets capable of mixed reality. New head-mounted displays from Acer, Asus, Dell, HMD and Lenovo are expected in 2017. 3Glasses, the leading HMD hardware developer in China, will make its Blubur S1 headset ready for Windows 10 by the first half of 2017, reaching more than 5 million active monthly customers in that market.HMD Developers Kits will be made available next year at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.Microsoft and Intel also are working on ways to make PCs more capable in terms of gaming, as Intel’s 7th Gen Core Processors allow for immersive gaming experiences such as 4K gaming, high dynamic range video, the ability to broadcast real-time competition, and connecting the Xbox controller to the PC.Project Evo will open mixed reality to a wider segment of the PC owner base at an affordable price point, said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming and VR/AR at IDC.However, “you generally get what you pay for” in terms of the speed and processing capability for the competitive gaming audience, he warned.”Intel is moving up the GPU ladder for sure, and Evo is the next logical step for them,” Ward told TechNewsWorld, “but they’re still not ready to compete with AMD and Nvidia at the high end of the GPU market, which is where a lot of hardcore PC gamers in particular tend to cluster.”last_img read more

Fitbits Health Alliance With Google Could Be a Risky Experiment

first_imgFitbit and Google on Monday announced a new partnership on healthcare. Fitbit will develop consumer and enterprise health solutions that will use Google’s new Cloud Healthcare application programming interface.Fitbit also will move to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its products and services.Most Google Cloud products support HIPAA compliance; the move will allow Fitbit to leverage Google Cloud’s infrastructure and security features, as well as Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and its new predictive analytic algorithms.One possible use is connecting user data with electronic medical records, or EMRs, to provide both patients and healthcare professionals with a more comprehensive view of a patient’s profile, which would facilitate more personalized care.Another possible use is helping better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension by using services such as Fitbit’s Twine Health — the health coaching platform developed by Twine, which was acquired by Fitbit in February. Twine will let healthcare professionals and patients more easily collaborate using Google’s Cloud Healthcare API.Fitbit pledged to maintain its commitment to protecting consumer data. “There are two drawbacks to this deal,” suggested Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research.”One, Fitbit customers will have privacy concerns, and partnering with Google increases the anxiety around that,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Two, Google’s history with wearables isn’t exactly positive. For example, Google Glass is now the poster child for creative ideas that never translated into a good, or even viable, product,” Campbell said.”Fitbit’s challenge is to overcome today’s cloud privacy concerns beyond HIPAA, especially after the recent uproar around Facebook,” he pointed out. “A lot of very private information goes into the cloud, and it isn’t always clear how anonymously this data is preserved.”However, Google Cloud does not have access to user data collected by Fitbit or stored in the Cloud Healthcare API, Google’s Corkery said. “Data brought to Google Cloud by its customers and partners is controlled by [them] and is not used for any other purposes. Security, privacy and compliance are of the highest priority to Google Cloud.”Healthcare “is a touchy subject and the opposite of health is, potentially, death,” Frost’s Jude told TechNewsWorld. “Once you realize that, you’ll realize that personal portable telemetry is a really bad idea. That’s why the Apple Watch abandoned its health monitoring apps prior to its release.”What if the telemetry isn’t perfect? Jude asked. “If a sensor fails to register a life threatening condition and someone dies who’s responsible? This is a morass… Fitbit and Google may live to regret this partnership.” Google Cloud and Healthcare The Google Cloud Healthcare API uses standard schema to simplify taking in and storing healthcare data, said Joe Corkery, Google Cloud’s head of product healthcare and life sciences.It then provides connectors to Google Cloud’s analytics, such as BigQuery, and machine learning, such as Cloud ML Engine, he told TechNewsWorld.There are a few components essential to making healthcare a successful offering, according to Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.One of those components is massive capture of consumer data, which “is where Fitbit comes in,” he told TechNewsWorld.Another is massive cloud operations to crunch artificial intelligence, Wang said, noting that “this is where Google’s compute power and AI skills and team come into play.”Integration to EMRs also is an essential component, he said, as it “helps with bringing the devices — IoT data — and patient records into one place and makes it easy to monetize with insurance in the future.”In a nutshell, the current state of EMRs is “sh*tty,” Wang said.The Fitbit-Google Cloud partnership “is mostly upside,” because “players like Epic have destroyed the market with a monopoly on legacy tech,” he continued.”It costs (US)$250,000 for a hospital to add a button on Epic; they’ve destroyed innovation in the market and enslaved the physicians,” Wang observed.Still, EMR adoption has been on the rise, as both health insurance providers and the United States government have been insisting on them, remarked Michael Jude, research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.center_img Partnership Pros and Cons Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.last_img read more

FOTIVDA expected to be included in new ESMO guidelines for advanced renal

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018EUSA Pharma (EUSA) welcomes the news that FOTIVDA® (tivozanib) is expected to be included in the upcoming European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) clinical practice guidelines for advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC), anticipated to be published at the end of this year.The outline of the new proposed guidelines was presented on 19th October at the annual ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany, and indicated that tivozanib will be included as a first-line treatment recommendation for aRCC clear cell histology patients. The update will position tivozanib as a treatment standard for good (or favourable) risk patients with a Class IIa recommendation, and a treatment option for intermediate risk patients with a Class IIb recommendation.The indication of inclusion of tivozanib in the ESMO guidelines follows the grant of a European Commission (EC) licence in August 2017 for this oral, once-daily,a potent selective vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR-TKI) as first-line treatment of adult patients with aRCC.Related StoriesComprehensive cell atlas of the human liverNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesThe authorization within the European Union (EU) was based on evidence from the global, open-label, randomised, multi-centre Phase III trial TiVO-1, which showed that aRCC patients receiving tivozanib experienced superior progression free survival and an improved side effect profile compared to those receiving another VEGFR-TKI, sorafenib.”EUSA Pharma are pleased to receive this indication of the inclusion of tivozanib in such important European guidelines reflecting both its EU authorization and the potential patient benefits as a result of its efficacy and tolerability profile,” said Lee Morley, Chief Executive, EUSA Pharma. “We continue to progress the launch of FOTIVDA across the EU in line with the indication as a monotherapy in the first-line setting treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma.”Kidney cancer is the seventh most common cancer in Europe and the 14th worldwide, with over 400,000 new cases in 2018. RCC is the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for 80% of cases and there are an estimated 49,000 deaths from kidney cancer each year in Europe, 143,000 globally.  Kidney cancer is expected to be one of the fastest increasing cancers over the next ten years as a result of Europe’s ageing population, with smoking and a rise in obesity also playing a part.Source: http://www.eusapharma.com/last_img read more

Releasing Control from Practitioner to Patient Through Technology

first_imgBy Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 29 2018 Tradeshow TalksLumiraDxSarah Fairbairn, Product DiscoveryAn interview with Sarah Fairbairn, Product Discovery Team Manager, LumiraDx, at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo, discussing the need for innovation in the NHS, and how LumiraDx were able to change the model of care for patients on anticoagulants. What are the major challenges currently facing the NHS?Obviously; money, capacity, resources to cope with an ageing population, but also the public’s expectations. People not only want to live longer and receive the best treatments available, but they also want instantaneous access to healthcare and information.Image Credit: Tero Vesalainen / ShutterstockJust today I checked into my hotel using my phone, ordered online shopping and transferred a payment to someone. All from my mobile.But when it comes to healthcare, we’re still lagging behind and people’s expectations are not being met. That’s the greatest challenge for the NHS right now; meeting the public’s expectations – how can managing your health be as easy as online banking?How are cloud-based technologies transforming the medical industry?For years, patient information sat within the hospital or GP’s own databases, not connected to any other care providers systems. This meant that it was extremely difficult for commissioners to assess the success of each service and compare it to other services in the UK.You might have twenty anti-coagulation services in a single area, for example, and no way of comparing the care that each patient is receiving at those centers. With our population analytics you can see up-to-date data across all your anticoagulation services – that wouldn’t be possible without cloud-based technology.Cloud-based technologies are about improving data accessibility. If the data is in the cloud, then it can be accessed by clinicians where and when they need it – for example if someone is on holiday in Cornwall, they can go to a clinic using INRstar and their full anticoagulation history can be pulled up.If the data is in isolated pots all over the place, it can’t be accessed by the people who need it, so I think that cloud technology is transforming healthcare because it’s enabling the data to flow and become connected.How have LumiraDx helped change the model of care for anticoagulation?There are around 1 million people taking anticoagulants in the UK. Twenty years ago, you’d typically have your blood checked at a hospital clinic and then a junior doctor would work out what dose of blood thinner to prescribe you.As you may imagine, this was resource intensive for the NHS and time-consuming for patients. There used to be lots of back and forth with referrals and laboratory results.One of our founders was running one of these clinics and thought, “There must be a better way to do this”. So, he wrote a piece of software called INRstar, with built in algorithms to suggest the correct dosage of medication to give the patient.The INRstar software helped change the model of care for patients on blood thinners. It meant that GPs no longer had to be so involved in the routine process, and nurses or healthcare assistants could take on much of the workload.In the last few years we’ve moved into self-care; patients are able to carry out their own blood test on a portable coagulometer and using our engage app send the result to their care team.  They then receive the correct dose from their anticoagulation service who has processed it remotely. It saves nurse time and means less clinic visits for people.Image Credit: Ocskay Mark / ShutterstockWhat is health coaching, and how does it help patients manage their condition?Health coaching is a great way of helping people understand their condition and motivating them to make key lifestyle changes that help them stay well. It is becoming a lot more accessible through the availability of wellbeing apps, which can be accessed by both the health coach and the patient.Whenever you talk to patients who have long-term conditions, they often say that they have no control over their condition. This makes it really frightening and scary for them.But through initiatives such as health coaching and motivational interviewing, you can help patients feel empowered, and they start to want to change their lifestyle, which can have a massive impact on their physical and mental health.Health coaching is a hugely important piece of the puzzle, because so many of these long-term conditions have to do with lifestyle. However, GPs and nurses often don’t have the time to coach patients and this is where health apps can play a role.Our self-care app includes short, easy to follow education videos which help people understand why anticoagulation is important as well as simple do’s and don’ts.Being able to support patients outside of acute care is becoming increasingly difficult for doctors in today’s NHS. How are LumiraDx working to ease this?The NHS needs to move towards a different model of care – making the most of digital technologies which can automate much of the routine work. It’s about enabling individuals to self-care as well as giving them access to care where and when they need it.We need collaborative, connected care where responsibility and ownership of care is shared with the patient, with support when needed from the clinician.  If individuals are able to access care in an easy and convenient way many hospital admissions could be avoided through providing the right treatment earlier.We are building on our anticoagulation model and taking it into supporting long-term conditions, moving towards connected self-care which saves clinic time, is convenient and easy-to-use as well as improving health outcomes.Where can readers find more information?LumiraDx Care Solutions’ websiteAbout LumiraDxLumiraDx Care Solutions is the home of INRstar (an anticoagulant management tool) and engage (a supported self-care platform for patients). engage gives patients the knowledge, skills and confidence to self-care whilst staying connected with their care teams. Both INRstar and engage belong to the LumiraDx family.last_img read more

Brain activity found to be predictive of painrelated fear

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 25 2018Neuroscientific approach may help reconcile self-reported emotions and their neural underpinningsResearchers applied a machine learning technique that could potentially translate patterns of activity in fear-processing brain regions into scores on questionnaires used to assess a patient’s fear of pain. This neuroscientific approach, reported in eNeuro, may help reconcile self-reported emotions and their neural underpinnings.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpPain-related fear is typically assessed with various questionnaires, often used interchangeably, that ask patients how they feel about their clinical pain. However, it is unclear to what extent these self-reports measure fear and anxiety, which are known to involve different brain regions, and perhaps other psychological constructs.Michael Meier and colleagues from Petra Schweinhardts’ lab at the Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, addressed this ambiguity by imaging the brains of patients with low back pain as they watched video clips evoking harmful (bending) and harmless (walking) activities for the back. Participants’ brain activity was predictive of their scores on the various questionnaires. Importantly, different questionnaires were associated with distinct patterns of neural activity. These results suggest similar questionnaires may measure different emotional states. Source:http://www.sfn.org/last_img read more

Health risks of smokeless tobacco product often misunderstood by American smokers

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 4 2019’Snus’ may be less harmful for smokers unable or unwilling to quit tobaccoAmerican smokers mistakenly think that using snus, a type of moist snuff smokeless tobacco product, is as dangerous as smoking tobacco, according to a Rutgers study.The study, published in the April 2019 issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors, provides new research on what smokers think about snus, a Swedish style product that is popular in Scandinavia, but newer to the United States. Snus — a Swedish word for “snuff” — is a moist powder tobacco that can be sold in a loose form or in small prepacked pouches that users place under the top lip for about 30 minutes. It is typically spit free. About seven in 100 men use some form of smokeless tobacco in the United States, a figure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report is on the rise.While smokeless tobacco products are addictive, contain cancer-causing chemicals and are linked with cardiovascular and certain cancer risks, products such as snus have comparatively fewer health risks than smoking when used exclusively — not in tandem with smoking — and may serve as harm-reduction alternatives for smokers unable or unwilling to completely quit tobacco. In Sweden, snus use has been linked to a decrease in tobacco smoking and smoking-related diseases.The researchers reviewed how 256 smokers responded to questions about their perceived risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease and oral cancer from using snus versus cigarettes, and whether there were subgroups of smokers with similar patterns of beliefs. More than 75 percent of the participants smoked daily and about 20 percent had tried smokeless tobacco.The researchers found that smokers fell into three subgroups based on their beliefs. About 45 percent perceived snus to be as harmful as smoking overall and for all three risks: lung cancer, heart disease and oral cancer. About 38 percent perceived that snus poses less risk for lung cancer and heart disease than cigarettes but had the same oral cancer risk as cigarettes, and another 17 percent accurately perceived snus to have lower risks for lung cancer but perceived risks for oral cancer and heart disease to be about the same as that from smoking. Almost 40 percent incorrectly perceived the risk of oral cancer to be higher from snus use than smoking.Related StoriesSmoking ban in prisons reduces levels of second-hand smokeLow rates of recommended treatment for tobacco dependence in patients hospitalized with SUDsNicotine delivery devices are harmful and do not help smokers to quit”These findings continue to suggest that the public does not understand that combustion escalates the health risks in tobacco products that are smoked, making them more harmful than non-combusted smokeless tobacco on a continuum of risk,” said lead researcher Olivia Wackowski, assistant professor of Health Behavior, Society and Policy at Rutgers School of Public Health and a member of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “They are also significant given that use of Scandinavian snus has not been clearly associated with oral cancer, unlike smoking, which poses a significant risk for oral cancer.”Quitting all tobacco is the best course of action. However, smokers who have not been successful in quitting or who do not want to quit tobacco entirely may be able to reduce their risks by learning about and switching to a product like snus, Wackowski said. However, this information can be challenging to communicate and is a key area for research work. It’s important for smokers to know that the reduced risks may come from completely switching over from smoking to snus use, and not using both products, she said. It’s also important that such messaging does not unintentionally encourage product initiation among non-users, especially youth. Source:http://www.rutgers.edu/last_img read more

Research uncovers crucial receptor involved in response to fastacting antidepressants

first_img Source:http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/news/2019/UMSOM-Researchers-Discover-a-Critical-Receptor-Involved-in-the-Response-to-Fast-Acting-Antidepressants-Like-Ketamine.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 29 2019Effective treatment of clinical depression remains a major mental health issue, with roughly 30 percent of patients who do not respond to any of the available treatments. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have discovered a crucial receptor called mGlu2 that is critical to the mechanism of fast-acting antidepressants such as ketamine when used to treat depression.This discovery into how this type of receptor in the brain works with fast-acting antidepressants is a critical discovery in treating depression, because existing treatments can take weeks before they are effective. A single dose of ketamine that is lower than the amount required to cause anesthesia within 24 hours can alleviates depression in some treatment-resistant patients.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyHER2-positive breast cancer may be treated with imprinted nanospheresUnhealthy gut microbiome may make breast cancers more aggressive finds studyTodd Gould, MD., Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, together with researchers from the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program, discovered that this special type of glutamate receptor interacts with ketamine’s mechanism.”Understanding the neurological response to antidepressants such as ketamine help us better understand depression and how to best treat this serious disease,” said Dr. Gould.The effects of ketamine can last up to a few weeks. And while it is a fast-acting treatment for depression, it is not an ideal treatment because it can alter sensory perception and has a high potential for abuse. Thus, there is a tremendous need to identify the mechanisms through which ketamine mediates its antidepressant effects to help identify alternative drugs that more specifically enhance the pathway in the brain that is suppressed in depressed patients.Necessary Receptors Dr. Gould’s research, which was conducted in mice, showed that the mGlu2 receptor is necessary of the antidepressant activity of ketamine, and the ketamine metabolite. Researchers were able to uncover the important role this receptor plays in ketamine effectiveness by removing the gene for this receptor in mice, which in turn blocked the antidepressant effects of fast-acting treatment. Additionally, Dr. Gould’s research provided evidence that an increase in a particular form of brain activity, measured by quantitative EEG, can be used as an indicator of on-target activity of fast-acting antidepressants.The researchers used mice to determine that (2R, 6R)-HNK’s mechanism of action involved mGlu2 receptors. Various experimental strategies were applied, including pharmacological manipulation of mGlu2 activity, genetic knockout of the mGlu2-encoding gene, behavioral tests, and cortical EEG measurements.”Having a better understanding of how the brain reacts to Ketamine is a critical pathway toward advancing treatment of Depression,” said UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.last_img read more

Heart and lung transplants from hepatitisC infected donors considered safe

first_imgThe advent of direct-acting antiviral agents to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has raised the possibility of substantially increasing the donor organ pool by enabling the transplantation of hearts and lungs from HCV-infected donors into recipients who do not have HCV infection.” Source:Heart and Lung Transplants from HCV-Infected Donors to Uninfected Recipients. NJEM. April 3 2019. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1812406. By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Apr 5 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A recent trial has shown that heart and lungs from donors infected with hepatitis C can be safely transplanted, without recipients becoming infected with the virus.center_img A four-week course of direct-acting antiviral agents prevented the establishment of infection in all recipients and those who have been followed for six months are still infection-free.The study, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest of its kind to assess the safety of transplanting the organs from donors infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).Solving organ shortagesLead author Ann Woolley, (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts, US) estimates that the ability to safely transplant hearts and lungs from HCV-infected donors could increase supply of the organs by at least one-quarter.In the US, more than 5,000 patients are currently awaiting a lung or heart transplant, but the shortage of donor organ availability means around one thousand patients die each year while they wait for the replacement organs.In the wake of the current opioid crisis, an increasing number of donated organs now come from IV drug users. However, the donation of HCV-infected organs has historically been associated with high transmission rates to recipients and they are not typically used for transplant.Usually, organs are discarded if donors are even suspected of having HCV infection, which is the most common type of chronic blood infection in the US.Antivirals have led to high cure rates for hepatitis CHowever, the advent of a new antiviral regimen in 2014 that has proved well-tolerated and to have high cure rates for chronic HCV has laid the foundations for a new trial that started enrolling patients in March 2017. The usual criteria were used to screen potential donors, with the exception that they were not disqualified for having a current or past HCV infection.Forty-four patients received HCV-positive hearts or lungs, 35 of whom were followed up for at least six months. Antiviral treatment was initiated within a few hours of surgery and the treatment regimen was continued for four weeks.Immediately after transplantation, all recipients had hepatitis C viral loads proportional to those of the donors. The majority cleared the virus within a few days and all patients had undetectable viral loads by around the two-week mark, reports Woolley.Hepatitis C was ‘undetectable’ in transplant recipientsOf the 35 patients who completed 6 months of follow-up, all had excellent graft function and an undetectable viral load, with no treatment-related serious adverse events reported.In an associated editorial, professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Emily Blumberg, says that at least in the short-term, transplants from HCV-positive donors offer a very promising way to get people transplanted faster and expand the donor pool.The authors conclude:last_img read more

Study sheds light on link between higher BMI and serious health outcomes

first_img Source:http://www.easo.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 29 2019A new study has shed light on the link between higher body mass index (BMI) and serious health outcomes and death in over 2.8 million adults representative of the UK population.The new estimates, being presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (28 April-1 May), indicate that adults with severe obesity class III (BMI of 40-45 kg/m2) are 12 times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and are at 22 times greater risk of sleep apnea than their normal weight peers. Those individuals with obesity class I (30-35 kg/m2) are at 70% higher risk of developing heart failure.Importantly, the risk of developing serious health problems was highly dependent on whether or not individuals had comorbidities at the start of the study. For example, a history of any cardiovascular event doubled the risk of unstable angina/heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.The size of this study, as well as the ability to consider 12 different serious health outcomes in a single-population representative cohort in the UK makes this research different from anything that’s been previously done, researchers say.The study analyzed BMI, health, and mortality data on over 2.8 million adults (average age 51 years) between January 2000 and July 2018 from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink–which is representative of the overall population demographic with regard to age, sex, and geographic distribution.Study subjects were divided into five BMI groups: 18.5-25kg/m2 (normal weight; reference group); 25-30 (overweight); 30-35 (Obesity class I); 35-40 (Obesity class II) and 40-45 (Obesity class III), and linked with Hospital Episode Statistics data to estimate the risk for 12 serious health problems. The results were adjusted for age, gender, and smoking.Compared with normal weight individuals, adults with Obesity class I (BMI 30-35) were more than five times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea–these risks were almost 8-fold and 12-fold higher respectively in those with severe Obesity class II (35-40).Related StoriesSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsNew anti-obesity drug trial set to launch at Alberta Diabetes InstituteCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsHaving Obesity class III tripled the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia (abnormal, usually high, levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood), and these individuals also had a 50% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause than their normal weight counterparts.Importantly, the study found that comorbidities present at start of the study increased the risk of developing serious health problems. For instance, having high blood pressure at the start of the study was strongly associated with developing dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. A previous cardiovascular event doubled the risk of unstable angina/heart attack, stroke/transient ischemic attack, and heart failure.”Comparing BMI risk across a large number of outcomes in the same large population sample suggests that risk levels associated with BMI are different for different health outcomes. The health risks linked with having excess body weight are particularly high for type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea”, says author Christiane Haase from Novo Nordisk, Denmark.”With the number of people living with obesity almost tripling worldwide over the past 30 years (105 million people in 1975 to 650 million in 2016), our findings have serious implications for public health. Body mass index represents an important modifiable risk factor for ameliorating the risk of a wide variety of serious health problems in the general population.”The authors acknowledge that their findings show observational differences, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and they point to a number of limitations, including that referral bias (that is, the fact that the subjects must have been to their physician and had their BMI measured for a reason) and unmeasured confounding (meaning differences in unmeasured factors which may have affected the health outcomes of the study) may have influenced results.last_img read more

Iconic American guitar maker Gibson files for bankruptcy

Gibson, maker of iconic guitars like this Elvis Presley’s limited edition Gibson EJ-200E, filed for Chapter 11 protection This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Gibson, maker of iconic guitars for the likes of John Lennon, Elvis Presley and BB King, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after facing mounting debt and other financial challenges. The company, based in the American country music capital Nashville, Tennessee since 1894, filed for Chapter 11 protection—meaning it aims to reorganize its business and restructure its finances.The company said in a statement it had reached a deal with a majority of its creditors that would give them an ownership stake.The historic maker of Gibson- and Epiphone-branded guitars will wind down a consumer audio business which makes headphones, speakers and other products under Philips and other brand names, and focus on its core musical instrument and professional audio equipment operations. The company had been featured last year at the White House’s “Made in America” week as part of President Donald Trump’s promotion of US manufactured goods over allegedly unfair imports. Other American brands manufacture some of their guitars outside the United States.Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said in a statement the company had been working to improve its finances “over the past 12 months.””We have sold non-core brands, increased earnings and reduced working capital demands,” he said. “The decision to re-focus on our core business, musical instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health.” Gibson has struggled to stay afloat after a series of brand acquisitions, and in February hired a new financial director. It had some $375 million in debt due later this year, according to US media reports. The restructuring comes four years after Gibson spent $135 million to expand, purchasing the Dutch entertainment brand Philips. Gibson instruments are part of modern music history—graced by the hands of legends such as Rolling Stone Keith Richards and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.A year earlier, one of Lennon’s favorite Gibson guitars sold for $2.4 million. Citation: Iconic American guitar maker Gibson files for bankruptcy (2018, May 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-iconic-american-guitar-maker-gibson.html © 2018 AFP BuzzFeed hires Guardian’s Gibson for UK expansion Explore further read more

European businesses in firing line of Iran sanctions

For now corporate bosses are completely in the dark as to whether the sanctions regime will be watered down in this, or any other, way.The only certainty seems to be that the US decision “does not target what is already in place”, said Mahasti Razavi, a lawyer with the August Debouzy firm.But what happens to companies who continue to deal with Iran still needs to be clarified, she said.Which is why many take a cautious stance.”We are carefully analysing this announcement and will evaluate the next steps in accordance with our internal policies and with complete observance of the sanctions and the export control rules,” said a spokesman for European aircraft maker Airbus which has announced contracts with Iranian airlines for a total of 100 planes.Clarity, pleaseAerospace companies had been perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the Iran nuclear accord, which recognised the need for Iran to modernise its aircraft fleet.Emma Marcegaglia, head of employers association BusinessEurope, said European companies needed “legal clarity” and were counting on the EU and its member states to assist companies.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he hoped to meet with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin by the end of the week to discuss ways to soften the blow. Explore further European businesses have the most to lose from renewed US sanctions against Iran, analysts said Wednesday, with massive sums at stake for some of the continent’s big names. Giving corporate Europe quite the headache Citation: European businesses in firing line of Iran sanctions (2018, May 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-european-businesses-line-iran-sanctions.html Boeing, Airbus, GE among biggest losers from US Iran shift © 2018 AFP France’s biggest bank was hit with a mega fine for dealing with regimes under US sanctions Airbus and other big European companies need to figure out how to deal with new US sanctions against Iran France’s biggest bank, BNP Paribas, was fined $8.9 billion in 2014 for breaking sanctions against Iran and other countries.The following year, Deutsche Bank paid $258 million in US fines for doing business with Iran and Syria pursuing, according to US regulators, a “lucrative” US dollar business for sanctioned customers.Europeans were eager to renew business ties with Iran after the July 2015 landmark deal which opened up the prospect of winning market share in the country of 80 million desperate for investment and consumer goods.Airbus, Siemens, Total, PSA and Fincantieri were among the multinationals launching investments in Iran, although the Islamic Republic’s problems with financing its wish list kept a lid on enthusiasm. EU’s Iran business tripledThe European Union’s trade with Iran nearly tripled in under three years, growing from 7.7 billion euros ($9.14 billion) in 2015 to 21 billion euros in 2017.Germany alone exported three billion euros worth of goods to Iran in 2017, Italy 1.7 billion and France 1.5 billion.Now that business drive risks stalling.Talking directly to Washington to soften the Trump administration’s stance may be the wisest course of action, some companies say.French energy giant Total, which has agreed to invest $5 billion in Iran together with Chian’s CNPC to develop the South Pars oil field, said last month it would seek an exemption from any new sanctions. A day after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark deal curbing Iran’s nuclear programme and reimposed crippling sanctions, EU governments promised they would shield their companies doing business with Tehran.European officials will “do everything” possible to protect their interests, an official in the French presidency said.America has, however, a long reach when it comes to forcing foreign companies to comply with its sanctions regime, analysts said, as some big European banks have learned the hard way.US sanctions policy is based on the extra-territoriality of American laws, meaning Washington also punishes foreign companies doing deals with Iran if they also have business with the US, or use dollars in their transactions.Can’t hide from policemanEuropean companies with interests in the United States “find it is impossible to hide from the world’s policeman” said Jacques Hogard, who runs an international consulting firm.”You can try to circumvent sanctions, but not if you’re a big company,” he told AFP.Washington has given companies between 90 and 180 days to phase out existing contracts with Iran and banned them from signing any new ones, under threat of sanctions.And that threat is far from empty. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

How autonomous ships can lead to safer waterways

first_imgCargo ships waiting in the harbor at the busiest port of Singapore. Credit: iStock Even radar, navigation systems, GPS tracking and radio communications don’t prevent ships from colliding. In 2017, collisions and groundings made up nearly 40% of all marine accidents, and over half of the total casualties. These incidents were primarily caused by human error. The analytics model, developed by aerospace engineering Ph.D. student Edwin Williams, helps fill some of these gaps. His system uses historical boating data going back over 20 years on past ship’s decisions and outcomes to predict what other vessels are going to do.”You can imagine there’s an infinite number of trajectories that the vessel could take. But each one of those infinite trajectories has a certain probability of being taken,” Williams said.”What my system does is looks at the entire probability of what those trajectories are and then determines the minimum likelihood of where the other vessel is going to be at any given time.”This tells them which path has the lowest probability of a collision occurring. But the system relies solely on the quality and amount of data it has. The more specific the data is – say, what captain was driving the ship – the more accurate the prediction will be.In addition to helping to marine vessels, his work is in the beginning stages of being applied to air traffic control and space traffic management.In simulations, his system has had a 100 percent success rate for avoiding marine collisions. But, just like the AI, it is limited by the scenarios provided by the data. By using the two systems together, they have an additional layer of security in case an unexpected situation occurs.”From doing this research we realize that, when you have two kinds of systems, if they’re not consistent, then you need to advise,” said Jin.”If there’s a person there, that’s great. If there is no person there, then you need to devise another approach or algorithm to really understand or resolve this discrepancy. Then, the decision after that resolution is a safer one.They are now wrapping up a three-year grant funded by the Maritime Technology Division of the Monohakobi Technology Institute in Japan. In the summer, they will begin another three-year grant to continue their work and develop the system even further. By the end of that time, they plan on performing a full-scale test using the institute’s ship maneuver simulators. Provided by University of Southern California Liu’s AI (left) and Williams’ analytics model (right) maneuvering their ship (circled in purple) through a crowded waterway. Credit: Video/Monohakobi Technology Institute New, more realistic simulator will improve self-driving vehicle safety before road testing Explore further But the AI system alone is not fully error-proof. It relies on the scenarios Liu inputs, while major variations on them can cause confusion and lead to a dangerous trajectory. And even though Liu is working to extend the AI’s capabilities beyond these programmed scenarios to incorporate any and all possible situations that can occur, there will always be gaps in its knowledge. Citation: How autonomous ships can lead to safer waterways (2019, April 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-autonomous-ships-safer-waterways.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers at USC Viterbi School of Engineering are attempting to remove, or at least minimize, the need for human decision in ship navigation. They are developing an automated system that instead relies on both data analytics and artificial intelligence.”One main intention for autonomous ships is really for the safety purpose,” said Professor Yan Jin, member of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and project lead. “We’re all human and sometimes we make mistakes due to different situations. But if we have an autonomous kind of decision-making computer program, it would constantly make suggestions to humans.”Knowing the locations of other ships and objects, their system can predict those ship’s movements and determine their best possible course of action that minimizes the chance of collision.Mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Xiongqing “Vincent” Liu was responsible for developing the AI portion of their system. Initially, he planned on using data on how ship captains drive and avoid collisions to train his system to replicate this behavior.However, unable to get this data, he turned to another machine learning method called reinforcement learning. This method uses simulations of different boating scenarios to teach the computer how to achieve its goal of not hitting another object.”At first the computer agent doesn’t know anything. It has to explore the simulated environment by itself,” Liu said. “If the agent collides with the obstacles, then it will receive a negative penalty. But if it reaches the goal, then it receives a very positive reward.”After running the simulation thousands of times, the agent learns from its past experiences what trajectory to take to avoid a collision, similar to how a human learns.”From this process, we can demonstrate that, as the agent trains itself, it can generate some intelligence. And this kind of intelligence is what humans use to make decisions – it’s kind of their intuition. And this kind of human intuition can be learned by a computer agent,” Liu said.last_img read more

Elephant attacks killed 369 people in Odisha since 2015

first_imgElephant attacks killed 369 people in Odisha since 2015On an average, 92 people were killed each year in elephant attacks in Odisha, the state government said.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service BhubaneshwarJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 18:36 IST Photo for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)As many as 369 persons were killed and 207 injured in wild elephant attacks in the last four years in Odisha, said a state minister on Tuesday.Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh informed the Odisha assembly that these deaths occurred between January 2015 and June 2019.The minister was replying to a question by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Mukesh Kumar Pal. On an average, 92 people have been killed each year.The Forest department has erected stone walls and solar-powered fences in several sensitive places to deter the jumbos from coming to human habitations, Arukh said.He also said that number of steps, including the development of habitations as well as digging of water bodies and plantation (as fodder) for safe habitation of these mammals in the state.Besides, several squads have been engaged to track the movement of the wild elephants and keep them away from the human habitations.The department has also brought a special vehicle ‘Gaja’, which is used in driving away the elephant herd from village areas thus saving human lives.ALSO READ | Girl killed as elephant enters house, attacks sleeping family in ChhattisgarhALSO READ | 4 elephants hit by speeding train in Odisha, die on spotALSO WATCH | Elephant attacks car in Uttarakhand, topples it overFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMukesh Rawat Tags :Follow OdishaFollow Elephant attack Nextlast_img read more

Dont Be Confused If This Starfish Makes Your Mouth Water

first_imgIf this starfish is making your mouth water, you’re not alone. When a photo of Plinthaster dentatus went viral on Twitter last week, pasta-lovers did a double take — the sea star looked just like a piece of ravioli. Originally published on Live Science. In Photos: The Stunning Sea Life ‘Stars’ of ‘Big Pacific’ starfish out here lookin like a snack https://t.co/H7BPqTWsDwby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndo — XD (@radfag_) July 11, 2019  Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65934-ravioli-sea-star.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The photo of the starfish, captured on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent expedition to the deep Atlantic Ocean, propelled the tasty looking echinoderm to fame. But until now, the “ravioli” star (also called the cookie star) was a bit of a nobody. Even though scientists have known of the ravioli star for some time, only recently did the creature get a common (non-Latin) name, Christopher Mah, an invertebrate biologist at the Smithsonian Museum at Natural History, told Live Science. Instead, the starfish was known only by its formal scientific name, P. dentatus. [Photos: See the World’s Cutest Sea Creatures] That’s because until now, people rarely had the chance to observe the starfish in its natural habitat. Most of what scientists know about the ravioli star comes from specimens that were already dead, Mah said. Now, with the advent of remotely operated vehicles like NOAA’s Deep Discoverer, which captured rare footage of ravioli stars, everyone has virtual access to these creatures. It was sometime in the last year that Mah began hearing the names “cookie star” and “ravioli star” bouncing around the internet. “It’s just kind of amusing to me,” Mah said, “[The name] just took off so quickly.” The starfish isn’t new or unusual — it has existed at the depths of the ocean for much longer than its moniker. But the way Twitter is interacting with the ravioli star and other marine wonders is completely novel, Mah said. Just the fact that the internet has bred a new name for these creatures is evidence of a new kind of citizen science, he added. That’s a good thing. “Any kind of connection that I think the public has with natural history, with nature is important,” Mah said. As for the ravioli star, its moment in the spotlight is only just beginning. This is an exciting moment for deep-sea creatures like the pasta doppelganger, Mah said. For the first time, scientists have the chance to study how they interact with their environment — what they eat, how they reproduce and how they navigate their underwater world. On the Deep Discoverer’s most recent dive, for instance, the ROV captured another image of a group of ravioli stars ganging up on a sea sponge (a sea creature with no skeleton and a soft, porous body). Until now, scientists knew virtually nothing about this sea star’s biology. This is the Deep Discoverers seventh dive on an expedition called Windows to the Deep.center_img In Photos: The Wonders of the Deep Sea Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatureslast_img read more