VWs affordable electric car to be offered in 3 battery configurations starting

VW is expected to launch an electric vehicle based on the I.D. concept, the VW Neo, next year. It is expected to be the Volkswagen Group’s first mass-market ‘affordable’ electric car.The vehicle is expected to be offered in 3 different battery pack configurations based on the MEB platform and will start at around $30,000, according to a new report. more… Source: Charge Forward

Ciao Bella The Countdown To The Vespa Elettrica Has Begun

Source: Electric Vehicle News Mark October 8 on your calendarsThere’s a charm to riding on a Vespa—make the road you’re on an Italian one and you become part of the mother of all clichés. From the quirky manual transmission—all the clutching and shifting happens with the left hand—to the premixed miscela, a cocktail of oil and gas, the Vespa has always been a bit of a living dinosaur. Vespas aren’t quite like that anymore, though. They now feature a fancy CVT and the oil doesn’t have to be mixed in with the gas. Now the Vespa is taking yet another step into modern days with the introduction of its electric variation for a clash of modern and old school.The Vespa Elettrica is just around the corner. Potential buyers will be able to reserve theirs starting October 8 as indicated on the Piaggio website. In the U.S., the calendars will have to turn over to 2019 before this variation of the Vespa hits the showrooms.Piaggio has worked hard to make its old lady Vespa extra smart and connected. Not only will it receive the company’s first ride-to-rider connectivity technology, but Piaggio expects to be able to eventually make the Vespa able to communicate with other artificial intelligence systems, including the Gita’s, Piaggio’s little sidekick, bag-carrying robot. The future Vespa will provide the rider with a flight of information it will harvest from other connected vehicles and infrastructures.Until then, we get a first peek at what Piaggio has in mind for the future with the 2019 Vespa Elettrica. Performance numbers should compare to those of the 50cc, except for torque: the 2 kW electric motor will produce a healthy 148 lb-ft of torque. The lithium battery is rated for a decent 60 miles range and will take up to 4 hours to charge. The technology will, however, come at a price. Though no official number has been announced yet, Piaggio confirms that the Vespa Elettrica will rub shoulders with the high-end, more expensive models in the family.Source: Rideapart Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 4, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Updated Kia Optima PHEV Sportwagon Priced In UK

first_imgEco-friendly estate now gets clever aerodynamic bumper and new range-topping trim level.Kia has updated its Optima Sportswagon plug-in hybrid estate car for 2019 with a host of equipment upgrades.More Optima News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Quiet EV Newcomer, The Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Taken Out For A Spin – Video Kia Optima Sportwagon PHEV Review Check Out The New Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid – Review Video Source: Electric Vehicle News The eco-friendly family wagon has been given aesthetic tweaks at the front end, as well as a new range-topping trim level.As before, the car uses a 2-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to provide propulsion. Together, the two units produce 202 bhp, resulting in a 0-60 mph sprint of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 119 mph.On electrical power alone, the car can travel up to 33 miles before the battery runs flat – a figure that enables the Optima to return up to 188 mpg on the official fuel economy test.For company car consumers, the vehicle emits a mere 33 g of carbon dioxide per 100 kilometres travelled, which means it qualifies for a benefit-in-kind tax rate of 13 percent.To help with this cause, the Optima has been given a redesigned front end with a flap in the grille opens and closes to manage the airflow. There’s also a new lower bumper with a set of LED daytime running lights, and new alloy wheels. The combination is designed to make the car cleave through the air more cleanly, improving efficiency and emissions.Kia has changed the car’s suspension, too, to compensate for the battery and electrical systems. The set-up has been tuned to make the car ride and handle like its conventionally powered brother, while bigger rear brakes have also been fitted, helping to slow down the car’s extra mass.In the cabin, the South Korean manufacturer has upped the ante with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity systems, which are now standard on all models.From this year, the car will be offered to UK customers in a choice of two trim levels, with the entry-level PHEV model joined by the more generously equipped PHEV Plus variant.The basic PHEV costs £34,995, and for that money you get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and an eight-inch touchscreen satellite navigation and infotainment system. Part-leather seats are also included as standard, along with a Harman/Kardon premium sound system, a reversing camera and two-zone climate control.Upgrading to the Plus model brings the price tag up to £38,995, but buys you full leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof and an electrically operated automatic tailgate, plus a 360-degree maneuvering camera and a wireless phone charger.last_img read more

Deliveroo is now renting electric mopeds to delivery riders by the hour

first_imgWith the increased availability of on-demand food delivery services, food couriers are flooding the streets of cities worldwide.While many of these delivery riders use gas-powered scooters, Deliveroo is working to transition them towards more eco-friendly electric mopeds instead. more…The post Deliveroo is now renting electric mopeds to delivery riders by the hour appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Chinas JAC Motors Reveals Plans For Several New EVs

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News On the same day, the iEVA60 officially hit the market with two variants, priced between RMB179,500 and RMB189,500.At the launching ceremony, JAC Motors announced the prices of six NEV models applicable to transition period for new NEV subsidy policy, including the iEV7S, the iEVA50, the iEVA60, the iEV7L, the iEV6E Upgrade and the iEV6E Sports. The price with green-car subsidy of the iEV6E Upgrade is as low as RMB59,500.The automaker is about to set the iEVS4 all-electric SUV into the market at the impending Auto Shanghai 2019. The presale of the new model has already started on January 28 with prices ranging between RMB130,000 and RMB170,000 (after subsidy). The iEVS4 reportedly boasts a combined driving range of 420km, outnumbering that of the BYD Yuan EV535.JAC Motors reported on April 9 that its sales in March fell 17.51% over a year ago to 44,317 units, among which the all-electric passenger vehicle (PV)’s sales amounted to 6,616 units, showing a year-on-year jump of 31.5%. For the first quarter of the year, the carmaker saw the cumulative all-electric PV sales leaped 28.26% to 15,007 units.Source: Gasgoo GAC NIO To Launch New Battery-Electric Brand XPENG Teases New P7 Electric Coupe Ahead Of Auto Shanghai Debut Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 14, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Ford To Launch 10 New Electrified Vehicles In China In 3 Years More and more EVs from China.JAC Motors released its new product planning on April 9, saying it plans to launched three all-new models—the A432, the S432 and S811, and seven upgraded models from 2019 to 2021.Of that, NEV models are scheduled to be rolled out include the iEVA60, the iEVA432, the iEVS4, the X811 (compact SUV) and a brand-new A00-segment sedan.More China Newslast_img read more

Fletcher prepares to reunite with Pietersen in Hampshire role

first_imgShare on Facebook Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Lawrence Booth Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Hampshire Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Hampshire Fletcher prepares to reunite with Pietersen in Hampshire role Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email “It would be similar to what I did at Western Province,” Fletcher said. “I appreciate [Hampshire’s chairman] Rod Bransgrove’s approach and why they’ve gone with Giles White as coach, and their proposition to me was of real interest. They want someone to analyse the team structure and advise on where the side is going right and wrong, but I would also expect to do some hands-on coaching.”The details of the arrangement are still being finalised but, if everything goes to plan, the 60-year-old is expected to begin in April. It is inconceivable that Hampshire’s batsmen – including Pietersen – would not want to exploit one of the finest technical minds in the world game. “I’ve worked well with Kevin Pietersen in the past,” Fletcher added. “And maybe I’ll still do some full-time coaching along the line.”Suggestions that Fletcher will be joined on the south coast by Michael Vaughan, Pietersen’s predecessor as England’s Test captain, remain speculation. But Vaughan, currently at Yorkshire, would be forgiven for being tempted: Fletcher’s impact has been felt at every team he has been involved with. Western Province won South Africa’s first-class domestic tournament, the Castle Cup, under his guidance in 1995-96, and in 1997, his first season at Glamorgan, he helped them lift their first County Championship for 28 years.England appointed him as coach in 1999 and within a few years he had lifted them from bottom of the unofficial world rankings to second behind Australia.Bransgrove, moreover, believes Fletcher still has the capabilities that helped England win the Ashes three years ago.”In Giles White and Tony Middleton [Hampshire’s academy director] we have two excellent young coaches and managers of great potential,” he said… “and both are looking forward to the possibility of working with Duncan next season. Giles did a superb job as caretaker manager during the last couple of months of the season and the team has responded positively to his style and commitment.” Read more Share on WhatsApp Kevin Pietersen England cricket team Duncan Fletcher and Kevin Pietersen may soon be reuniting at Hampshire. Photograph: Mark Nolan/Getty Images Share on Messenger England’s 2005 Ashes-winning coach, Duncan Fletcher, is set to resume his working relationship with Kevin Pietersen by taking on a consultancy role at Hampshire from the start of next season.Fletcher will be given the task of overseeing the cricketing set-up at the county, who are also believed to have tried to lure back their former captain Shane Warne as bowling coach. However, Giles White will be the first-team manager. The former Hampshire leg-spinner presided over the club’s rise from the lower reaches of the First Division to third place following the departure of Paul Terry in August. Cricket Share on LinkedIn Topics Since you’re here… County Championship 2003 Division One Shares00 Mon 6 Oct 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Pinterest First published on Mon 6 Oct 2008 19.01 EDT Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Go Back To School At The FCPA Institute – Seattle Aug 1314

first_imgLearning a new topic or elevating your knowledge and practical skills in a topic is not just for formal students in formal educational settings. Professionals in the workplace can also benefit from a “back to school” experience.For professionals in the FCPA space – or wishing to join the FCPA space – the FCPA Institute serves this objective and the next FCPA Institute will take place in Seattle on August 13-14.At a typical FCPA conference, 40-50 individuals bombard you with information during various panels. Just introducing these countless individuals takes over one hour in the aggregate. Moreover, the 3 p.m. panelists were likely not present for the 10 a.m. panel, thus information is presented in a disjointed and largely repetitive fashion.The FCPA Institute is different than a typical FCPA conference. At the FCPA Institute, information is presented in an integrated and cohesive manner by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience.Moreover, the FCPA Institute promotes active learning by participants through issue-spotting video exercises, skills exercises, small-group discussions, and the sharing of real-world practices and experiences. To best facilitate the unique learning experience that the FCPA Institute represents, attendance at each FCPA Institute is capped at 25 participants.In short, the FCPA Institute elevates the FCPA learning experience for a diverse group of professionals and is offered as a refreshing and cost-effective alternative to a typical FCPA conference. The goal of the FCPA Institute is simple: to develop and enhance fundamental skills relevant to the FCPA, FCPA enforcement, and FCPA compliance best practices in a stimulating and professional environment with a focus on learning.The FCPA Institute presents the FCPA not merely as a legal issue, but also as a business, finance, accounting, and auditing issue. The FCPA Institute is thus ideal for a diverse group of professionals such as in-house and outside counsel; compliance professionals; finance, accounting, and auditing professionals; and others seeking sophisticated knowledge and enhanced skills relevant to the FCPA.Set forth below is what prior FCPA Institute “graduates” have said about their experience.“Unlike other FCPA conferences where one leaves with a spinning head and unanswered questions, I left the FCPA Institute with a firm understanding of the nuts and bolts of the FCPA, the ability to spot issues, and knowledge of where resources can be found that offer guidance in resolving an issue. The limited class size of the FCPA Institute ensured that all questions were answered and the interactive discussion among other compliance professionals was fantastic.”  (Rob Foster, In-House Counsel, Oil and Gas Company)“The FCPA Institute was one of the best professional development investments of time and money that I have made since law school. The combination of black letter law and practical insight was invaluable. I would highly recommend the FCPA Institute to any professional who has compliance, ethics, legal or international business responsibilities.” (Norm Keith, Partner, Fasken Martineau, Toronto).“The FCPA Institute is very different than other FCPA conferences I have attended. It was interactive, engaging, thought-provoking and at the completion of the Institute I left feeling like I had really learned something new and useful for my job. The FCPA Institute is a must-attend for all compliance folks (in-house or external).” (Robert Wieck, CPA, CIA, CFE, Forensic Audit Senior Manager, Oracle Corporation)“The FCPA Institute is a top-flight conference that offers an insightful, comprehensive review of the FCPA enforcement landscape. Professor Koehler’s focus on developing practical skills in an intimate setting really sets it apart from other FCPA conferences. One of the best features of the FCPA Institute is its diversity of participants and the ability to learn alongside in-house counsel, company executives and finance professionals. (Blair Albom, Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton)“The FCPA Institute was a professionally enriching experience and substantially increased my understanding of the FCPA and its enforcement. Professor Koehler’s extensive insight and practical experience lends a unique view to analyzing enforcement actions and learning compliance best practices. I highly recommend the FCPA Institute to practitioners from all career stages.” (Sherbir Panag, MZM Legal, Mumbia, India)“The FCPA Institute provided an in-depth look into the various forces that have shaped, and that are shaping, FCPA enforcement. The diverse group of participants provided unique insight into how, at a practical level, various professionals evaluate risk and deal with FCPA issues on a day-to-day basis. The small group setting, the interactive nature of the event, and the skills assessment test all set the FCPA Institute apart from other FCPA conferences or panel-based events.” (John Turlais, Senior Counsel, Foley & Lardner)FCPA Institute participants not only gain knowledge, practical skills and peer insight, but can also elect to have their knowledge assessed to earn a certificate of completion upon passing a written assessment tool. In this way, successful completion of the FCPA Institute represents a value-added credential for professional development. In addition, attorneys who complete the FCPA Institute are eligible to receive Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) credits, other professionals are eligible to receive Continuing Professional Education (“CPE”) credits and prior FCPA Institute participants have also received continuing education units from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.To learn more about the FCPA Institute and to register for the Seattle event, click here.last_img read more

The Top Ten List Of Corporate FCPA Settlements

first_imgWith the recent Petrobras enforcement action (see here for the prior post), there is lots of false and misleading information in the public domain regarding the actual FCPA settlement amount (that is the amount of money the DOJ and SEC will actually collect from the enforcement action). The Petrobras FCPA enforcement action is a net approximate $170 million action as clearly evidenced in the government’s documents as well as Petrobras’s own press release.This post highlights the top ten corporate FCPA settlements of all-time.It seems odd saying this, but the list (unlike other lists out there) only includes enforcement actions where the corporate defendant was charged with or found to be in violation of the FCPA’s provisions (not other laws). In addition, this list highlights net FCPA settlement amounts after consistently accounting for (unlike other lists out there) certain credits or deductions in several enforcement actions involving foreign companies.1. Siemens$800 million($450 million DOJ)($350 million SEC)20082. Alstom$772 million($772 million DOJ)20143. KBR/Halliburton $579 million($402 million DOJ)($177 million SEC)20094. Teva Phrama$519 million($283 million DOJ)($236 million SEC)20165. Telia$483 million($275 million DOJ)($208 million SEC)20176. Och-Ziff$412 million($213 million DOJ)($199 million SEC)20167. Total$398 million($245 million DOJ)($153 million SEC)20138. VimpelCom$397.5 million($230 million DOJ)($167.5 million SEC)20169. Alcoa$384 million($209 million DOJ)($175 million SEC)201410. Snamprogetti / ENI$365 million($240 million DOJ)($125 million SEC)2010last_img read more

What Did You Say

first_imgTweetShare28ShareEmail28 SharesBeing told to turn the volume down on the tv and subsequently told to not sit so close to it.Figuring out the solution to the above dilemma was watching shows with the closed captions on.Having to take five extra minutes before swimming so I could get my custom ear plugs in.Knowing my whole day would be spent listening for beeps I could not hear and watching confused looks on adults faces upon the announcement that there would be hearing tests at school.Painful, occasionally bloody, landings in airplanes (especially when doing more than one flight in a journey).Always getting to class early to get a front row seat (better for hearing and lip reading).“Ohh” reactions from new doctors when they looked inside my ears.11 surgeries starting at the age of two.Always making sure I am positioned to the right of the person I am talking with.If you had asked me several weeks ago how being hard of hearing affected me I would have answered with the above list. Sure, some of those things are bothersome, but in the grand scheme of things I don’t have much to complain about. I have struggled with hearing and ear infections all of my conscious life. I have tried countless Western and Eastern remedies. By my early 20s I was burnt out; I stopped trying to fix it and just decided to “live with it”. Time went on, and for me life was normal.“Hey, do you want to review this product?”A one line email from my editor, Kavan. He knew I was hard of hearing (and had not found traditional hearing aids accessible). The attached email was from LifeEar CORE announcing their new disruption to the hearing aid industry: “The first hearing aid you can adjust yourself with a companion mobile app.” I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t believe this was finally happening. For years, I had wondered when the tech industry, which I live smack in the middle of in San Francisco, would tackle hearing-aids. The current options are prohibitively expensive and inaccessible. I have lived with hearing loss my whole life, severe enough for the past decade to warrant a hearing aid, and yet I did not know the depth of my desire to hear better until getting that email. I was positively giddy waiting for my LifeEar CORE to arrive.Getting hearing aids is not like getting glasses – there is no “Wow, trees have leaves from far away!” moment when you realize the whole world was a blur before you put them on. The change is much more subtle. At first, I heard new things that didn’t really add much to my quality of life – things like the fridge kicking on or paper rustling – but slowly, my brain adjusted (LifeEar’s instructions say this takes about three weeks) and began to tune out these periphery noises. I wore the hearing aid daily as recommended, and over the three week period the real benefits snuck up on me.I became so accustomed to my new hearing ability that one night at dinner when I could not hear what my companion was saying I became frustrated. I went into the app to change the setting to ‘Restaurant Mode’ to help with the background noise only to realize I had forgot to wear my LifeEar CORE. The level of frustration I felt trying to lip read while I was missing big swaths of the conversation showed me how much I had been missing for years. I realized how much frustration I had lived with every day. Was my apathy about parties and large dinners all introversion? Or was it frustration from not being able to hear well?If you asked me to make a new list of how hearing loss has affected me it would have only one item: isolation. I now know how much human connection being hard of hearing has cost me. (I want to name that I have deep reverence and respect for the connected and loving deaf community, my story is one of disconnection from the hearing world because my hearing was just good enough that I could pass largely undetected).  I can’t help but wonder how many times someone told me something important and I smiled and nodded and they moved on rather than connecting, thinking I didn’t care. My hearing loss is largely invisible. I got by reading lips, guessing what people said and seeking out conditions where I could hear best.Thankfully, or maybe even subconsciously (on purpose), I have always done work that didn’t require perfect hearing. How many jobs would have been significantly harder for me? How much better could I have done in school had I been able to hear better? I cannot know what could have been. I can only hope for my future and the future of others. I am so grateful for what LifeEar CORE and others are doing to make hearing aids more accessible. I hope they continue to refine their product to bring even better solutions at even lower investments. How many others are out there living with hearing-loss and not knowing how different the world can be?Do you have a journey with hearing? Or know of another innovation in this space? Please share in the comments.Related PostsTweetShare28ShareEmail28 SharesTags: Hearing Loss Reviewlast_img read more

Scientists deliver nanosize packets of genetic code to treat brain tumors in

first_imgJul 12 2018In a “proof of concept” study, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully delivered nano-size packets of genetic code called microRNAs to treat human brain tumors implanted in mice. The contents of the super-small containers were designed to target cancer stem cells, a kind of cellular “seed” that produces countless progeny and is a relentless barrier to ridding the brain of malignant cells.Results of their experiments were published online June 21 in Nano Letters.”Brain cancer is one of the most widely understood cancers in terms of its genetic makeup, but we have yet to develop a good treatment for it,” says John Laterra, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, oncology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a research scientist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. “The resilience of cancer stem cells and the blood-brain barrier are major hurdles.”Blood that enters the brain is filtered through a series of vessels that act as a protective barrier. But this blood-brain barrier blocks molecular medicines that have the potential to revolutionize brain cancer therapy by targeting cancer stem cells, says Laterra.”To modernize brain tumor treatments, we need tools and methods that bypass the blood-brain barrier,” says Jordan Green, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering, ophthalmology, oncology, neurosurgery, materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We need technology to safely and effectively deliver sensitive genetic medicines directly to tumors without damaging normal tissue.”A case in point, Green says, is glioblastoma, the form of brain cancer that Arizona Sen. John McCain is battling, which often requires repeated surgeries. Doctors remove the brain tumor tissue that they can see, but the malignancy often returns quickly, says Laterra. Most patients with glioblastoma live less than two years after diagnosis.Scientists have long suspected that cancer stem cells are at the root of what drives the return and spread of glioblastoma and other cancers. These stem cells give rise to other cancer cells and, if they evade the surgeon’s knife, can lead to an entirely new tumor.Laterra and Green, who are members of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, designed a way to efficiently deliver super-tiny packets of microRNAs into established brain tumors. The microRNAs target brain cancer stem cells to halt their capacity to propagate and sustain tumor growth.The packets are made of biodegradable plastic similar to material used for surgical sutures and that degrades over time. They are 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and typical of the size and shape of natural components that cells use to communicate. When cancer cells engulf the packets, they break apart and release their microRNA “payload” specifically where the microRNAs need to take action within the cancer cells.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyLiving with advanced breast cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskEncased in the nanopacket are microRNAs that specifically bind to messenger RNAs linked to two genes: HMGA1 and DNMT, which function together to regulate gene expression programs in cells.When microRNAs bind to these messenger RNAs, they block their protein-making abilities and turn off programs that drive the cancer cells’ stemlike characteristics. Without their stemlike properties, the cancer cells are more differentiated, they lose their capacity to propagate tumors, and they may be more susceptible to radiation and drugs.For their experiments, the Johns Hopkins scientists implanted human glioblastoma cells into 18 mice. To mimic the clinical challenge of treating an existing tumor, the scientists waited 45 days before treating the animals to be sure they had well-formed tumors. Half of the animals received infusions of the nanopackets containing active microRNAs directly into their brain tumors, and the other half received nanopackets containing inactive microRNAs. To isolate the effect of the nanoparticles, the scientists used mice that were bred without immune system T-cells that target cancer cells.Five of the nine mice receiving inactive microRNAs (controls) died within two months, and the rest of the control mice died within 90 days. Three of the nine mice receiving active microRNAs lasted up to 80 days, and six lived to 133 days. Those six were humanely euthanized, and isolated mouse brains were examined for the presence of tumors.All of the control mice had large tumors in their brains when they died. Four of the mice that received active microRNAs and lived to 133 days had no tumors, and two had small ones.Green says that many genetic medicines are designed to target one gene. The type of nanoparticles the Johns Hopkins team used in this study can encapsulate multiple types of microRNAs to target multiple gene networks.When the brain cancer stem cells internalize the nanoparticle and transition to a non-stem-cell state, Laterra says, clinicians could exploit that condition, and give radiation or other drugs to kill the now-vulnerable cells.Green says scientific teams elsewhere are developing microRNA packets using lipid-based materials, and some standard chemotherapy is delivered in a fatty nanoparticle called a liposome.Green and Laterra say the nanoparticles in their study are able to permeate the entire tumor because rodent brains are small. Humans, with bigger brains, may need a pump and catheter to funnel nanoparticles throughout the brain.The Johns Hopkins team is working to scale up development of its nanoparticles and standardize their stability and quality before applying for permission to begin clinical trials on people.The research team has filed for a patent for part of the technology used in this research. Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/scientists_create_nano_size_packets_of_genetic_code_aimed_at_brain_cancer_seed_cells?preview=truelast_img read more

Study opens new avenues for treatment of Laing distal myopathy

first_img Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//new-findings-on-the-muscle-disease-laing-early-onset-distal-myopathy.cid1585875 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 21 2018New avenues are now being opened for future treatment of Laing distal myopathy, a rare disorder that causes muscles in the feet, hands and elsewhere to atrophy. In a study published in the journal PNAS, researchers have identified an enzyme with a clear link to how the disease develops.”Now we know that the levels of enzyme activity are an important factor in how quickly the disease progresses. This may mean that the disease could be treated by artificially increasing the activity,” says Martin Dahl Halvarsson, PhD student in pathology at the Institute of Biomedicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, and the study’s first author.The muscle disease Laing early-onset distal myopathy is caused by an inherited mutation in a muscle protein, myosin, that normally contributes to muscle contraction. The disease often appears at a young age, from age 5 up to about age 20.What happens with Laing is that muscle fibers, primarily in the legs, hands, hips, neck and shoulders, atrophy over a period of time. With reduced strength and mobility, patients experience impaired quality of life in the long term. How much and how quickly the disease develops varies greatly, however.Cawling and jumping abilityIn the current study led by Homa Tajsharghi, professor of biomedicine at the University of Skövde, researchers for the first time introduced the mutation for the disease in an entire organism. This was done through mutation of the gene for myosin in fruit flies. The team’s previous research has been based on cell culture experiments and experiments outside living organisms.Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsMarijuana isn’t a great choice for glaucoma treatment, says expertCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentIn this study mutant flies were crossed with fruit flies that had acquired the property of overproducing a particular enzyme. This property is called Abba in fruit flies and MuRF in humans. This sends signals to the cell’s proteasome system to destroy the damaged muscle protein.The researchers then examined several aspects of both the larvae and the adult flies. They studied both how myosin and other proteins organize themselves over a period of time in diseased fruit flies. They also looked at the crawling patterns of the larvae and the adult flies’ ability to jump and climb.Enzyme that may provide reliefThe results show that Laing early-onset distal myopathy manifests itself similarly in fruit flies and humans and that the Abba enzyme constitutes a counterbalance to the mutation. Fruit flies with an overproduction of Abba are immune to the disease, provided they are heterozygotes, with one mutated and one normal gene.The homozygote flies, with double mutations, did not survive to adulthood. In humans, however, homozygotes have never been diagnosed. This might be because people cannot survive with double mutations.”We have treated diseased fruit flies that carry the same genetic change as patients with Laing distal myopathy,” says Homa Tajsharghi, corresponding author behind the study. “The flies were cured and recovered muscle strength and the ability to fly. Naturally there are differences between fruit flies and humans, and additional studies are needed.”last_img read more

Want a grant First review someone elses proposal

After 32 years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF), George Hazelrigg knows the rules governing peer review, especially the one that says researchers can’t be both an applicant and a reviewer in the same funding competition. Last year, however, he got permission to throw the rules out the window. His experiment, aimed at easing the strain on NSF staff and reviewers produced by a burgeoning number of proposals and declining success rates, not only allowed applicants to serve as reviewers, but it also required them to assess seven competing proposals in exchange for having their own application reviewed.Some scientists might be horrified by such a “pay to play” system. But researchers in the engineering systems community responded enthusiastically, submitting 60% more proposals than usual by the 1 October deadline. A preliminary NSF evaluation concluded that the process, which used mail reviews rather than the in-person panels that are the norm at NSF, not only saved time and money but may also have improved the quality of the proposals and the reviews.NSF is now considering whether to expand use of the offbeat approach, which is based in part on NSF-funded research into better voting and decision-making systems. In the meantime, some astronomers have already jumped on the bandwagon: Faced with a similar reviewing crunch, in January the Gemini Observatory will begin using a similar system to allocate observing time on its Hawaii telescope. “Finding good reviewers willing to spend the time is getting harder and harder,” says Rachel Mason, a Gemini astronomer in Hawaii who is coordinating the experiment, called Fast-Turnaround. “People also thought it would be kinda fun to have the chance to read their competitors’ proposals.” The core problem is familiar to every science administrator. A system that relies upon the willingness of the scientific community to volunteer its time is being stretched to its limits as the number of applications goes up and the chances of success go down. NSF received 49,000 proposals last year, up 53% from 2001. Its budget didn’t keep up, meaning that success rates fell from 31% to 22% over the same period. Those trends have created two, related problems: The cost of peer review, in time and money, is rising at the same time more scientists are complaining about having to spend valuable time reviewing good ideas that have little chance of being funded.Rather than wring his hands, however, Hazelrigg went looking for an alternative that avoided one easy answer, namely, limiting the number of submissions. “I didn’t want to put restrictions on the principal investigators,” he says.Instead, Hazelrigg found inspiration in a 2009 paper in Astronomy & Geophysics, titled “Telescope time without tears: a distributed approach to peer review.” The paper was prompted, says co-author Michael Merrifield, an astronomer at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, by a “bulging file of 113 applications” on his desk for observing time on instruments operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO)—far more than he had the time or inclination to evaluate. The review system, he says, was “groaning at the seams.”So Merrifield teamed up with mathematician Donald Saari of the University of California, Irvine, who has written extensively about voting systems, to suggest what Merrifield acknowledges is a “radical alternative.” The idea, rooted in mathematical game theory, is to alter the rules in ways that bring the competition closer to achieving its goals.In NSF’s case, that meant distributing the evaluation workload more equitably and providing reviewers with a positive incentive to do a good job. The agency calls its approach mechanism design, and it begins by having grant applicants agree to review seven proposals submitted by their competitors. In addition to grading each one, using NSF’s five-point system from excellent to poor, they also ranked their set of proposals from best to worst. Hazelrigg says he chose seven “to discourage scientists from being frivolous” in submitting half-baked proposals, because each submission meant a commitment to doing seven reviews. At the same time, he felt that scientists would balk if he set the bar too high.Hazelrigg, who heads NSF’s Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division, says it took more than a year for the agency to approve the pilot. It was announced in May 2013 in a “Dear Colleague” letter to prospective applicants to a program funding research on sensors and sensing systems. Anyone wanting to submit to the October 2013 competition would have to abide by the rules, the letter said, but those who didn’t like the idea could simply wait until the next deadline, in mid-February.The community’s initial reaction was generally positive, Hazelrigg recalls, but he knew the real test would be the tally of submissions. To his surprise and delight, NSF received 131 applications, some 50 more than the norm for a fall deadline.The decision to participate in the experiment was a no-brainer for Rolf Mueller, a bioengineer at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. “I understood that I was agreeing to do a bunch of reviews, but that didn’t affect my decision,” he says. “And it was interesting to see some of the other proposals.” (NSF ultimately agreed to give him $360,000 over 3 years to apply aspects of a bat’s biosonar system to improve humanmade radar and sonar systems. Click here to see a video of a 3D reconstruction of a cave in Jinan, China, where Mueller is studying bats.)Another applicant, electrical engineer Arash Takshi of the University of South Florida, Tampa, says the ability to see what his competitors were doing “filled a blind spot for me. Now I know that if I don’t get funded, it’s because of the quality of the other proposals, not something I did wrong.” (His proposal, to develop a more sensitive optical sensor using photosynthetic proteins rather than silicon-based elements, was also funded—his first NSF grant.) Takshi regards the estimated 30 hours he spent doing his required seven reviews as fulfilling part of his duties as an academic researcher.NSF officials say they have a hunch the pilot led to “more comprehensive reviews.” Each proposal received seven reviews rather than the normal three or four, Hazelrigg notes. “And each review had, on average, 40% more words. I’m not saying that more is better, but we found the overall quality to be at least comparable” to reviews by panels, which review about 60% of all applications (see graphic, below). (Only one entrant, he notes, was disqualified, for failing to meet the 6-week deadline for submitting the reviews.)One novel aspect of the pilot was its scoring system. Reviewers whose ranking of the seven proposals closely matched what the six other reviewers thought received bonus points that were applied to their own application. The idea was to reward reviewers for taking the job seriously and dissuade them from unfairly denigrating a competitor’s proposal in hopes of giving themselves a leg up. Using such a tactic would presumably prevent them from receiving a bonus because it would cause their ranking to be out of step with their colleagues.Using applicants as reviewers also saved NSF time and money, Hazelrigg says. It takes a program manager 2 to 3 weeks to assemble an on-site review panel, he estimates, a process that starts with identifying some 400 potential reviewers before winnowing the group down to the typical 16- to 20-member panel. The use of mail reviews also meant that NSF didn’t need to provide travel and per diem expenses to bring those reviewers to NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to vet a stack of proposals. “Our division runs 200 panels a year,” he says, “so that’s a big cost savings.”As with every merit review system, however, the pilot has some potential downsides. One NSF program manager who asked to remain anonymous worries that the bonus system could discourage innovative ideas that some reviewers might regard as poor bets. “It rewards people for playing it safe,” the program manager says, referring to how applicants might be reluctant to submit a disruptive idea that’s likely to get a mixed reaction from reviewers. “But it’s the outliers who are most likely to come up with the breakthrough.” Hazelrigg plays down that possibility, noting that program managers are not bound by the judgments of reviewers and have the flexibility to recommend a proposal for funding even if it doesn’t receive one of the top scores.The skeptical program manager also worries that mail reviews make it impossible to hold a face-to-face discussion about the quality of both the proposed science and its broader impacts, the two criteria upon which every NSF proposal is judged. “We need that dialogue to explore all aspects of a proposal,” the manager says.Mueller and Takshi, however, believe that personal interaction can also have a downside. “Having an argument is a good thing, but sometimes people who are more assertive can carry the day,” Mueller says.NSF officials are still evaluating whether to expand the CMMI pilot, one of seven experiments the agency ran last year that tinkered with the normal merit review process. One option, to allow virtual reviews, turned out to be a real hit: Some 28% of all NSF panels last year met in cyberspace, a far cry from NSF’s goal of 5%. NSF officials suspect a crackdown on travel costs by the White House contributed to its popularity. Individual NSF programs also tested the impact on the number of applications by switching from two competition cycles per year to one or by accepting proposals at any time rather than setting a deadline. Another pilot offered reviewers the convenience of asynchronous discussions in cyberspace via a moderated message board.The community’s reaction to such ideas will play a major role in whether NSF adopts any of the tweaks. One group of astronomers, however, has already embraced a version of the distributed reviewer concept detailed in the 2009 “tears” paper that also inspired Hazelrigg.ESO did not adopt the scheme suggested by the authors, Merrifield and Saari. But after a senior ESO scientist, Markus Kissler-Patig, become director of the Gemini Observatory, an international consortium that operates twin 8-meter telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, he asked his staff to consider the approach. After much discussion, the observatory decided to use applicants as reviewers to allocate 10% of the viewing time on Hawaii’s Gemini North, starting in January.“We could probably find a group of generous reviewers willing to donate their time,” says Gemini’s Mason. “But the problem is only going to get worse as the workload grows. And if it works, we can expand it to Gemini South.” Without such changes, she predicts, “the existing system is simply going to break down.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe read more

Panel finds misconduct in rat paper by star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini

first_imgScandal-plagued surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, famous for implanting tissue-engineered tracheae into patients, committed misconduct when he and his co-authors published misleading results in a 2014 paper, Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) said today. In a paper in Nature Communications describing implants of a tissue-engineered esophagus into rats, the authors claimed positive results that were inconsistent with their lab records, the panel said in its paper.Today’s report is the first of four assessments that the Karolinska Institute (KI) requested from CEPN involving a half-dozen papers co-authored by Macchiarini. It has been submitted to KI’s interim vice-chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright, who has the final authority to rule whether Macchiarini and his colleagues committed misconduct. Email An earlier investigation into the papers found evidence of misconduct, but it was dismissed by vice-chancellor Anders Hamsten. Following a television documentary that examined Macchiarini’s work in Sweden and Russia, KI reopened the investigation. (In the wake of the growing scandal, Hamsten stepped down as chancellor in February.)Today’s statement by CEPN’s expert group for misconduct in research—which investigates misconduct allegations at the request of Swedish universities—is about a 2014 paper in which Macchiarini and his colleagues gave rats an esophagus implant made from a donor esophagus that had been stripped of its cells and “seeded” with stem cells. (Macchiarini tried the same technique on some of his human trachea patients.)The panel asked the authors to hand over the data to back up their conclusions, but despite “repeated and clearly defined requests,” it received “incomplete and sporadically incorrect data.” Not providing complete data to support a paper—or being unable to provide it—constitutes misconduct in itself, the panel says. But the paper also presents misleading and incorrect data and conclusions. Although the paper concludes that the implants were successful, the data the panel recovered told a different story, the expert group writes. They found that “the rats lost so much weight and deteriorated so much in condition that the experiment should have been stopped.”The panel says that, as corresponding author, Macchiarini is primarily responsible for the article content and is therefore guilty of misconduct. His co-authors also bear responsibility, the panel says, although it “has some degree of understanding” for more junior authors who were dependent on Macchiarini and other leaders of the research group. It notes that at the time the paper was published, Macchiarini had “significant support from the management” of KI. Neither Macchiarini nor co-author Philipp Jungebluth, who is singled out in the statement as playing a “key role in the research process,” responded to Science’s request for comment.Although questions about the paper’s accuracy have circulated for more than a year, Nature Communications has not taken any public steps toward retraction, nor flagged the paper as potentially suspect for its online readers. A spokesperson for Nature Communications said the journal is “following established process to investigate the issues” in the paper.CEPN is expected to issue its second statement, involving Macchiarini’s papers that describe the results of the human implants, next week. The final two statements are expected in late autumn. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Macchiarini implanted his artificial tracheae, seeded with a patient’s own stem cells, into people with damaged or missing tracheae in Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States, and Russia. Three patients received implants at the Karolinska University Hospital while Macchiarini was a visiting professor at KI. Two of them died, and a third has been in intensive care since the implant operation in 2012. Colleagues at the hospital raised questions about Macchiarini’s work in 2014, triggering an ongoing scandal that this week prompted the dismissal of Sweden’s top higher education official and the entire board of KI. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Dominican graduates with Doctor of Medicine degree

first_imgShareTweetSharePinAmie John has graduated as a medical doctor from Albany Medical CollegeAmie Jemimah John originally from Colihaut in Dominica, has graduated with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Albany Medical College in New York.The title was conferred on John at the Commencement Exercises at Albany College which took place on Thursday May 23, 2019 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York.Dr. John started her high school education at the Convent High School, then migrated to the United States when she was in third form.  She completed her high school education at St. Barnabas High School in Bronx, New York.  In 2013, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Lehman College in New York. In the fall of 2015, Amie started another leg of her journey at Albany Medical College. Her final year was a serious challenge when she lost her dad in June 2018, but she persevered.During the awards ceremony at the Commencement Exercises, Dr. John received “The Dr. George C. Carter Memorial Award”. This award is presented to the student who has made the most significant contribution in support of Underrepresented Medical Students at Albany Medical College.Dr. John will do her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, Massachusetts for the next 3 years.Dr. Amie John is the daughter of Jane Adonis who is from Colihaut and the late Augustus John from Salisbury.last_img read more

Steve Hyacinth is new chairman of Integrity Commission

first_imgShareTweetSharePinSteve Hyacinth is a retired Chief Education OfficerRetired Chief Education Officer, Steve Hyacinth is the new chairman of the Integrity Commission of the Commonwealth of Dominica.Secretary to the Commission, Helen Ambo told Dominica News Online (DNO) that Hyacinth took his oath of office in April this year.Ambo also revealed that the other members of the Commission are former school principal Thomas Holmes who was nominated by the government and attorney, Cara Shillingford, who was the nominee of the opposition United Workers Party.The United Workers Party has not had a representative on the Integrity Commission since 2015 when parliament approved amendments to the IPO Act, without support from the the UWP parliamentary opposition .The amendments include a reduction in the size of the Commission, which enforces the Act, from seven to three members: one from the government, one from the opposition and a chairperson appointed by the President of Dominica upon recommendation from the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. The new Commission was also given the authority to decide whether it wanted to continue with matters that were before the old Commission.UWP political leader, Lennox Linton, was not opposed to reducing the Commission members from 7 to 5. He also said that his party did not have a problem with one Commissioner from each political party and to have the Prime Minister nominating the chairman in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. However, he was strongly of the view that the professional bodies of law and finance (who were part of the old Commission) should continue to be represented on the Commission, “because that is where the balance is.”Linton also recommended then, that the legislation be structured so as to give protection to whistle blowers.UWP President Isaac Baptiste told DNO that the party took the position, at that time, not to participate in the Commission because they were unhappy with the changes that had been made to the law.“As a sign of protest, we did not nominate someone on the Commission but seeing that it continued, this time we nominated someone,” Baptiste said.We tried but were unable to reach UWP political leader Lennox Linton, for further comment.An amendment to section four of the Act which now makes it possible for some one other than an attorney-at-law, such as a  Chartered Accountant “or a person who has held high administrative, managerial or executive office in the public, private or social sector,” paved the way for a retired public officer like Hyacinth to become Chairman of the Integrity Commission.The mission of The Integrity Commission is to “promote integrity in governance by providing effective oversight of the administration of public functions in order to encourage transparency in transactions, and maintain legal compliance by persons in public life and other public officials so that public institutions will be free of corruption, and so that the highest standards of honesty, equity and fairness will be observed in the use of public resources and in the distribution of benefits for the welfare of the people of our nation.”last_img read more

Without a champion Europa lander falls to NASAs back burner

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Without a champion, Europa lander falls to NASA’s back burner Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Paul VoosenMay. 29, 2019 , 4:05 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) An artist’s concept of the Europa lander, which is meant to probe the icy moon for signs of life.center_img Email After years of being pushed by the U.S. Congress to follow the Europa Clipper, a spacecraft that will survey Jupiter’s frozen moon, with a lander, NASA has begun to push back. The agency disclosed today that the lander mission, if it happens, will now come no earlier than 2030, 5 years later than Congress mandated. And the agency will be challenged to meet the 2023 launch date set for the Clipper.Thanks to the watery ocean beneath its icy crust, Europa has loomed for several decades as a prime target in the search for life outside Earth. But unlike the $3 billion Europa Clipper, a flagship NASA mission under development that will conduct periodic flybys of the moon, the Europa lander has not been rated as a high-priority mission by planetary scientists. Instead, support for the lander was largely marshaled by former Representative John Culberson (R–TX), who, until his election defeat in 2018, led the U.S. House of Representatives spending panel that oversees NASA.The lack of consensus scientific support, and the fact that a 2025 launch would require the lander to be designed before the Clipper observed the moon’s surface, have been driven by the “unattainable” timeline imposed by Congress, NASA’s Office of Inspector General concluded in a report today. Instead of moving ahead with the lander, the report suggests, NASA should delay the project until it can be considered during the next decadal assessment of NASA’s planetary science, led by the National Academy of Sciences and scheduled for 2022. NASA/JPL-Caltech In comments included with the report, NASA’s science office in Washington, D.C., led by Thomas Zurbuchen, noted that a reassessment of the lander, conducted last month for planning its 2021 budget request, “resulted in an estimated launch date of no earlier than 2030.” This launch date, it said, would allow time to reduce technical risks and permit the decadal survey to consider the mission. “Technology development will continue as funding allows,” the science office adds. But in the meantime, many of the personnel who had been developing the lander have transitioned to other priorities, the agency said.For this fiscal year, Congress gave NASA $195 million to spend on developing the lander, with a launch required by 2025. Earlier this year, NASA requested no additional money for the lander in its proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. With Culberson gone, the new head of science spending in the House, Representative José Serrano (D–NY), did not fully reverse course: Although the 2020 spending bill being considered by the House includes no money for the lander, it directs NASA to include “adequate funding” in its 2021 budget request for continued R&D in support of the lander.Postponing the lander could benefit the strained workforce at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which manages both the Clipper and the lander, along with the Mars 2020 rover. JPL has struggled to put enough technical staff on the Clipper project, the inspector general reported: In December 2018, the Clipper workforce was understaffed by 10%, with vacancies in science instruments and avionics. The cost projections for the mission were also overly optimistic, the report says; such cost overruns prompted Zurbuchen to cancel development in March of one instrument, a magnetometer. Instead, the mission will use a cheaper, less capable instrument.Congress has also mandated that the Clipper use NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), its long-delayed heavy launch rocket. Using the SLS would allow the Clipper to shoot directly toward Jupiter, arriving 4 years earlier than if launched on a commercial rocket. The agency will struggle to launch the rocket before 2021, the report notes, and it has ordered two missions to Earth’s moon but not a third flight of the rocket. As a result, the report concludes, “We do not see a possibility for Clipper to launch on the SLS by 2023,” as now planned.In its 2020 budget request to Congress, NASA stated that it would prefer to launch the Clipper on a commercial vehicle, such as the Delta IV Heavy or the Falcon Heavy, which would save $700 million. Now, the Europa Clipper team is keeping options open to fly on the SLS or an alternative rocket. But the mission is coming close to finalizing its designs and starting to build hardware, and it will need certainty by this summer, the report says. “Keeping both the SLS and commercial launch vehicle options beyond [this time] creates added risks and uncertainties for an already challenging project.”last_img read more