CARB announces 200 million in new funding for clean freight transport

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Passenger cars get most of the press, but heavy-duty vehicles are arguably even more in need of reducing emissions. In California, there’s a comprehensive (and complicated) plan to electrify everything.The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced up to $205 million in new grants for projects to advance clean freight technologies. The grants will be matched by $210 million from private and public partners, bringing total investment to over $400 million.The 11 new projects address everything from locomotives to trucks to refrigeration trailers to a hybrid tugboat and electric cranes and forklifts. All will be located within disadvantaged communities that are heavily impacted by air pollution from freight facilities.The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) will receive $22.6 to demonstrate a battery-electric locomotive, zero-emission drayage truck, hybrid cranes and other equipment at intermodal rail yards in Stockton and San Bernardino.The SJVACPD will also receive $15.4 million to help replace all diesel-powered equipment at Frito-Lay in Modesto, deploying 15 Tesla electric tractors, 38 low NOx trucks fueled with natural gas, and 6 Peterbilt e220 battery-electric trucks.The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will receive $44.8 million to deploy 23 Volvo Class 8 electric trucks and 24 zero-emission forklifts, along with 58 heavy-duty fast chargers and other related equipment in Ontario, Chino, Fontana and Placentia.The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) will receive $5.4 million to deploy 4 fuel cell hybrid delivery vans for UPS for a 12-month demo in Chino, as well as $4.3 million to expand a project with UPS in Ontario that will yield 15 new zero-emission vehicles.The Gas Technology Institute will receive $8 million to demonstrate two fuel cell yard trucks at the Port of Los Angeles.The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) will also receive $41.1 million to deploy 10 Kenworth and Toyota fuel cell Class 8 trucks, build 2 new large-capacity hydrogen fueling stations in Wilmington and Ontario, and deploy 2 electric yard tractors at the Port of Hueneme and 2 zero-emission forklifts at Toyota’s POLA warehouse.The Ports of Long Beach, Oakland and Stockton will deploy 38 electric yard tractors, 9 electric gantry cranes, 18 electric heavy lift forklifts, 15 zero-emission Class 8 trucks and a hybrid tugboat.The Center for Transportation and the Environment will receive $5.5 million to deploy 21 battery-electric Class 8 trucks at four Anheuser-Busch distribution facilities, and to commission solar generation at its Carson facility.The City of San Francisco will receive $4.6 million to demonstrate 30 electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles between the Bay Area and the Valley, and to install fast chargers in San Francisco and Sacramento as well as charging infrastructure at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market.Project Clean Air will receive $3.3 million to deploy and demonstrate 5 electric Class 7 trucks with all-electric refrigeration units with Moonlight Companies in Reedley.“California is again leading the world, showing what can be done when government and the private sector combine forces to drive technology and innovation,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols.  “The implications for the future are clear.  Businesses will benefit by lowering their operational costs, and because all these projects are located in disadvantaged communities, residents who have long suffered the impacts of pollution will benefit by having cleaner air to breathe.” Source: CARB read more

News BMW iX3 AllElectric Crossover Spotted

first_imgSource: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles Concept Version Starts To Look More Like ICE BrethrenBMW has a new all-electric vehicle coming, and it’s a small crossover called the iX3. It debuted as a concept car at the April 2018 Beijing Auto Show.Recent spy shots of the apparently near-production BMW iX3 show camouflaged bumpers and front end, but it looks familiar—and less dramatic than the concept. Presumably under the camo lives a smoother, more wind-cheating shape. Aerodynamic wheels will be fitted.Less concept, more ease of productionThe iX3 is the first i-series car to be a version of an existing model, in this case, the X3. As the first of 11 all-electric BMWs coming in the next few years, it will be easy-to-assemble alongside non-electrics rather than being a totally separate model, like the i3. Preliminary SpecsPreliminary specs for the fifth-generation eDrive technology include a motor putting out 270 horsepower (200 kW) and a 70-kWh battery. Thanks to 150 kW fast-charging, you should be able to fill an empty battery in 30 minutes—plenty of time to do it during lunch. The car is expected to have a 249-mile range, based on the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) used in Europe.The new drivetrain boasts a denser, more powerful battery as well as a motor that uses no rare earth materials.The iX3 will be built at BMW’s Shengyang plant in China and is expected to arrive in the U.S. in 2020 (although that was before all of the recent tariff spats). By then, it’ll have plenty of company: The Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-tron Quattro, and Mercedes-Benz EQC.More Electric NewsFlash Drive: 2019 jaguar I-PaceEvent: World Premiere of the Audi E-tronEvent: BMW Vision iNext RevealNews: 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC DebutsThe post News: BMW iX3 All-Electric Crossover Spotted appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.last_img read more

Tesla Model 3 Performance Exclusive Test Drive Video From China

first_imgTesla fan and Twitter user JayinShanghai (@ShanghaiJayin) recently posted a brief video on social media revealing his exclusive Model 3 test drive. The video shows a white Model 3 Performance near a Tesla Service Center in Shanghai. Needless to say, he seems quite impressed with the car:Tesla Model 3 Performance Exclusive Test Drive in Shanghai, China. Closer look at Power Sport Aero Wheels with cap on, 0-100Kmph on open road. Great experience and fantastic car. Thank you @elonmusk and @Tesla. #Tesla #TeslaChina #Model3Performance #TestDrive $TSLA #特斯拉 pic.twitter.com/31as3TcrQm— JayinShanghai (@ShanghaiJayin) February 2, 2019 We have no way of knowing if this is a car that arrived in one of the large shipments to China. However, we’ve yet to hear anything about a cargo ship arriving there. So, we assume it’s just a test drive vehicle that arrived ahead of the pack.It appears people in Europe and China may benefit from having opportunities to check out and drive the vehicle prior to delivery day. This was not the case for most U.S. reservation holders. In fact, the Model 3 didn’t even appear in showrooms until long after deliveries were well underway. Even when the first display cars showed up at Tesla stores, test drives were not an option.TESLA MODEL 3 PERFORMANCE Tesla Model 3 Long Range RWD Now Available In China More Info On Tesla Model 3 Configuration In China Tesla Model 3 Performance On Race Track In China: Video If you had any doubts about the Tesla Model 3’s presence in China, doubt no more.The first shipment of Tesla Model 3 sedans are making their way across the ocean to Europe and China. Sure, there were some early sightings of the car in both locations. However, now we can rest assured that the car is beginning to arrive in large numbers in overseas markets. In fact, multiple cargo ships are on en route to Europe and China as we write, and at least one has already arrived in Belgium.More Tesla Model 3 China News: Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 10 photos Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Formula E Working On Future Of Hong Kong Race

first_img Double Fanboost Formula E Mexico Penalty Explained Motorsport.com understands that there is a possibility the city will not be included on FE’s 2019/20 calendar, although this is not a foregone conclusion at this stage.But should that scenario come to pass, FE intends to return to Hong Kong for the following 2020/21 season in the same location.The circuit’s expansion is a key topic for the discussions and has been requested by the FIA.All outcomes on the future of the Hong Kong race are dependent on FE reaching an agreement with the city authorities, and it has been suggested the two sides are working together to find a suitable outcome – including the proposed track extension.“We would love to stay in Hong Kong,” Agag told Motorsport.com. “We have meetings with the Hong Kong authorities and so on after the [race] weekend.“We are in discussions so it’s not confirmed that we stay in Hong Kong, but our wish is to stay.“[It’s] clearly is one of the highlights [of the FE calendar], but you know there are so many cities around the world now that want a race and we’re negotiating with some of them.“It’s not so easy to stay on the calendar but we hope we can get to a point with the Hong Kong authorities that we can continue.“They are very constructive, we are absolutely on the idea of staying but let’s see if we can reach an agreement.”Just two weeks after Hong Kong, FE will return to mainland China – as opposed to a Special Administrative Region – in Sanya, the capital of Hainan Island.Agag described the race as “an Asian Punta del Este” and said “everything is completely in order” when asked about the build-up to the inaugural event.“Where there is a first time race, you have civil works to do and so on,” Agag added. “Some things go on schedule, some things go later or whatever, but we always play with big buffers.”FE announced last year that it intends to host a race in Seoul during season six, and Agag explained that final plans for the race are now “pretty much done”.“We are defining an exact location now in discussions with the authorities,” he said.“We have a promoter there that is very keen and is taking over all the organisation of the race and thinks it’s going really well. Alberto [Longo, FE deputy CEO] is going over next week to finalise things.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Has Formula E Created The Ultimate Racing Rules Package? Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img The race will be FE’s fourth at the city’s Central Harbourfront location since it joined the calendar for the 2016/17 season.But its FE future beyond this season is currently uncertain due to construction works being planned for near where the race occurs, and the track length needing to be increased to accommodate the 12 teams that will race from season six.More Formula E News ABB FIA Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag says the all-electric championship will establish the future of the Hong Kong E-Prix with the city’s authorities after next weekend’s event. Buemi “Speechless” At Nissan’s Formula E Energy Miscalculationlast_img read more

NIO ES8 Electric SUV Sales In China Increased In March

first_img NIO ES8 Six-Seat Version Of Electric SUV To Launch March 19 Bjørn Nyland Checks Out The NIO ES8 Electric SUV: Video NIO ES8 sales in China – March 2019 NIO Terminates Plan For Shanghai Manufacturing Plant Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img NIO news NIO ES8 sales rebound after a weak FebruarySales of the NIO ES8 7-seat all-electric SUV in China increased in March a little bit to 1,373. In this way, the first quarter closed with 3,989 deliveries (slightly above guidance of 3,500-3,800).The question is whether NIO will be able to consistently improve its result after the first honeymoon period and fulfilling a backlog of orders in 2018? The new NIO ES6 is coming this summer, while ES8 has been recently introduced in a new six-seat version.Anyway, the cumulative deliveries of ES8 reached 15,337.“1,373 ES8s were delivered in March, a 69.3% increase over February deliveries of 811, which were negatively impacted by the slow down surrounding the Chinese New Year holiday and the related closures of automobile license plate registration offices. The Company delivered 1,805 ES8s in January, 811 in February and 1,373 in March, bringing the total deliveries of ES8s to 3,989 in the first quarter 2019. First quarter ES8 deliveries exceeded the Company’s prior guidance range of 3,500 to 3,800, and were above the midpoint of the guidance range, 3,650, by 339 vehicles, or 9.3%.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 7, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

How Much Does It Cost To Charge A Tesla Around The Globe

first_imgWhere in the world is it cheapest to charge a Tesla?Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

DMN Bankruptcy Judge Approves EFHs Plan

first_imgU.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi ruled Thursday that Energy Future Holdings can move ahead on breaking up the company, setting the stage for Texas’ largest power company to emerge from bankruptcy court in the spring. The ruling effectively ends a fight among hedge funds and Wall Street tycoons that just six months ago appeared as if it might drag out for years . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Username Password Remember mecenter_img Lost your password? Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

NIH offers grant to examine potential of stem cellderived cardiac cells for

first_imgJul 3 2018Examining the treatment potential of cardiac cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) may lead to dramatically altering the care of cardiac disease and heart injuries, thanks to a grant from the National Institutes of Health.The focus of a three-year, $567,000 Trailblazer Award grant from NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, this research has the potential to open up new avenues for heart disease treatment.”Because human pluripotent stem cells have unlimited proliferation capacity, we can make unlimited amounts of cardiac cells in the lab for therapy,” said Xiaojun Lance Lian, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and biology, the recipient of the grant and principal investigator. “Current treatments rely on the donation of human hearts which is, as many know, very limited. Many heart attack patients are on the waiting list for a heart for transplantation.”Related StoriesGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”NANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellTransplanting stem cell-derived cardiac cells to treat heart disease patients would cut down on the need for heart donors. However, this is not without complications, and Lian’s research team is working to solve a life-threatening issue that arises during this type of treatment.When transplanting stem cell-derived cardiac cells to treat heart disease patients, often the patient’s own immune cells will attack these transplanted cells.This project will use a genome editing approach to modify the stem cells. By harnessing recent advances in genome editing to program universal immune protective hPSC clones, the stem cells will be more readily accepted by the patient.Using this new technique, the universal donor stem cells can then differentiate into human ventricular progenitors, which are cells that can differentiate to ventricular muscle cells after transplantation. Once modified, the stem cell-derived cardiac cells will not be recognized by T cells and NK immune cells.”Our modified stem cells can then be used in the clinic for treating a variety of patients without immune rejection problems,” Lian said.The Trailblazer Award grant that Lian received is an opportunity for new and early-stage investigators to pursue research programs of high interest to the NIBIB. A Trailblazer project may be exploratory, developmental, proof of concept, or high-risk, high-yield impact and may be technology design-directed, discovery-driven, or hypothesis-driven. Applicants are expected to propose research approaches that have minimal or no preliminary data.Jianxun Song, formerly associate professor of microbiology and immunology with the College of Medicine and now professor of microbial pathogenesis and immunology with Texas A&M, is working with Lian on this project. Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/527042/2018/07/02/research/grant-explore-genome-editing-and-stem-cell-potential-cardiaclast_img read more

New biosensor chip detects single nucleotide polymorphism in real time with high

first_img Source:http://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=2578 Jul 10 2018A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology.The advance, published July 9 in Advanced Materials, could lead to cheaper, faster and portable biosensors for early detection of genetic markers for diseases such as cancer.An SNP is the change in a single nucleotide base (A, C, G or T) in the DNA sequence. It is the most common type of genetic mutation. While most SNPs have no discernible effect on health, some are associated with increased risk of developing pathological conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.Traditional SNP detection methods have several limitations: they have relatively poor sensitivity and specificity; they require amplification to get multiple copies for detection; they require the use of bulky instruments; and they cannot work wirelessly.The new DNA biosensor developed by the UC San Diego-led team is a wireless chip that’s smaller than a fingernail and can detect an SNP that’s present in picomolar concentrations in solution.”Miniaturized chip-based electrical detection of DNA could enable in-field and on-demand detection of specific DNA sequences and polymorphisms for timely diagnosis or prognosis of pending health crises, including viral and bacterial infection-based epidemics,” said Ratnesh Lal, professor of bioengineering, mechanical engineering and materials science at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.The chip essentially captures a strand of DNA containing a specific SNP mutation and then produces an electrical signal that is sent wirelessly to a mobile device. It consists of a graphene field effect transistor with a specially engineered piece of double stranded DNA attached to the surface. This piece of DNA is bent near the middle and shaped like a pair of tweezers. One side of these so-called “DNA-tweezers” codes for a specific SNP. Whenever a DNA strand with that SNP approaches, it binds to that side of the DNA-tweezers, opening them up and creating a change in electrical current that is detected by the graphene field effect transistor.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerThe project is led by Lal and involves teams at the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at UC San Diego, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, University of Pennsylvania, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, and Inner Mongolia Agricultural University in China.DNA strand displacementWhat drives this technology is a molecular process called DNA strand displacement-;when a DNA double helix exchanges one of its strands for a new complementary strand. In this case, the DNA-tweezers swap one their strands for one with a particular SNP.This is possible due to the particular way the DNA-tweezers are engineered. One of the strands is a “normal” strand that is attached to the graphene transistor and contains the complementary sequence for a specific SNP. The other is a “weak” strand in which some of the nucleotides are replaced with a different molecule to weaken its bonds to the normal strand. A strand containing the SNP is able to bind more strongly to the normal strand and displace the weak strand. This leaves the DNA-tweezers with a net electric charge that can be easily detected by the graphene transistor.New and improved SNP detection chipThis work builds upon the first label- and amplification-free electronic SNP detection chip that Lal’s team previously developed in collaboration with Gennadi Glinksy, a research scientist at the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and other UC San Diego researchers. The new chip has added wireless capability and is at least 1,000 times more sensitive than its predecessor.What makes the new chip so sensitive is the design of the DNA-tweezers. When the SNP-containing strand binds, it opens up the DNA-tweezers, changing their geometry so that they become almost parallel to the graphene surface. This brings the net electric charge of the DNA close to the graphene surface, giving a larger signal. In contrast, the DNA probe built into the previous chip has a structure that cannot be brought closer to the graphene surface, so it generates a weaker signal upon binding an SNP-containing strand.Next steps include designing array chips to detect up to hundreds of thousands of SNPs in a single test. Future studies will involve testing the chip on blood and other bodily fluid samples taken from animals or humans.last_img read more

Bile acids from the gut may offer new treatment for cocaine abuse

first_imgResearchers reveal that bile acids from the gut reduce cocaine’s effects in the brain, which may offer drug addiction treatment. Credit: Sammisreachers on Pixabay Jul 27 2018Researchers reveal that bile acids from the gut reduce cocaine’s effects in the brain, which may offer drug addiction treatment.Bile acids that aid fat digestion are also found to reduce the rewarding properties of cocaine use, according to a study publishing on July 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by India Reddy, Nicholas Smith, and Robb Flynn of Vanderbilt University, Aurelio Galli of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues. The results point to potential new strategies for treatment of cocaine abuse. The study builds on evidence that bile acids influence the brain’s reward system. Bile acids are normally released from the gall bladder into the upper part of the small intestine, where they emulsify fats for absorption, before being recycled further down the small intestine. In bile diversion surgery, an experimental treatment for weight loss, bile is released at the end of the small intestine, increasing the amount of bile acids that enter the general circulation. Mice treated with this surgery have less appetite for high-fat foods, which suggests that bile acids affect brain reward pathways.To test this hypothesis, the authors first showed that surgery produced an elevation of bile acids in the brain, resulting in a reduction in dopamine release in response to cocaine. Mice receiving the surgery also showed less preference for the cocaine-associated chamber, indicating that cocaine was probably less rewarding.Related StoriesTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’New therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceThe authors next administered a drug, called OCA, that mimics the effect of bile at its receptor in the brain, called TGR5. They found that OCA mimicked the cocaine-related results of surgery in untreated mice, strengthening the case that the effects of surgery were due to elevated levels of bile acids. Knocking out TGR5 from the brain’s nucleus accumbens, a central reward region, prevented bile acids from reducing cocaine’s effects, confirming that signaling through this receptor was responsible for the cocaine-related results of bile acid elevation.“These findings redefine the physiological significance of bile acid signaling and highlight the importance of determining whether bile acid analogues represent a viable pharmacological treatment for cocaine abuse,” Galli said. OCA, the compound that activated the bile acid receptor in this study, is approved for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis (Intercept Pharmaceuticals) offering fast translational opportunities for pharmacotherapies. This study also contributes to a greater understanding of how gut-based signaling influences higher order central functions such as reward.The gut-to-brain axis regulates diverse behavioral phenotypes. The authors reveal that a new gut-based bariatric surgical approach chronically elevates systemic bile acids and reduces cocaine reward. These findings redefine the physiological significance of bile acid signaling and highlight the importance of determining whether bile acid analogues represent a viable pharmacological treatment for cocaine abuse.Source: https://www.plos.orglast_img read more

AI researchers allege that machine learning is alchemy

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Alexander Amini, Daniela Rus. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, adapted by M. Atarod/Science Gradient descent relies on trial and error to optimize an algorithm, aiming for minima in a 3D landscape. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Without deep understanding of the basic tools needed to build and train new algorithms, he says, researchers creating AIs resort to hearsay, like medieval alchemists. “People gravitate around cargo-cult practices,” relying on “folklore and magic spells,” adds François Chollet, a computer scientist at Google in Mountain View, California. For example, he says, they adopt pet methods to tune their AIs’ “learning rates”—how much an algorithm corrects itself after each mistake—without understanding why one is better than others. In other cases, AI researchers training their algorithms are simply stumbling in the dark. For example, they implement what’s called “stochastic gradient descent” in order to optimize an algorithm’s parameters for the lowest possible failure rate. Yet despite thousands of academic papers on the subject, and countless ways of applying the method, the process still relies on trial and error.Rahimi’s paper highlights the wasted effort and suboptimal performance that can result. For example, it notes that when other researchers stripped most of the complexity from a state-of-the-art language translation algorithm, it actually translated from English to German or French better and more efficiently, showing that its creators didn’t fully grasp what those extra parts were good for. Conversely, sometimes the bells and whistles tacked onto an algorithm are the only good parts, says Ferenc Huszár, a machine learning researcher at Twitter in London. In some cases, he says, the core of an algorithm is technically flawed, implying that its good results are “attributable entirely to other tricks applied on top.”Rahimi offers several suggestions for learning which algorithms work best, and when. For starters, he says, researchers should conduct “ablation studies” like those done with the translation algorithm: deleting parts of an algorithm one at a time to see the function of each component. He calls for “sliced analysis,” in which an algorithm’s performance is analyzed in detail to see how improvement in some areas might have a cost elsewhere. And he says researchers should test their algorithms with many different conditions and settings, and should report performances for all of them.Ben Recht, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and coauthor of Rahimi’s alchemy keynote talk, says AI needs to borrow from physics, where researchers often shrink a problem down to a smaller “toy problem.” “Physicists are amazing at devising simple experiments to root out explanations for phenomena,” he says. Some AI researchers are already taking that approach, testing image recognition algorithms on small black-and-white handwritten characters before tackling large color photos, to better understand the algorithms’ inner mechanics.Csaba Szepesvári, a computer scientist at DeepMind in London, says the field also needs to reduce its emphasis on competitive testing. At present, a paper is more likely to be published if the reported algorithm beats some benchmark than if the paper sheds light on the software’s inner workings, he says. That’s how the fancy translation algorithm made it through peer review. “The purpose of science is to generate knowledge,” he says. “You want to produce something that other people can take and build on.”Not everyone agrees with Rahimi and Recht’s critique. Yann LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist in New York City, worries that shifting too much effort away from bleeding-edge techniques toward core understanding could slow innovation and discourage AI’s real-world adoption. “It’s not alchemy, it’s engineering,” he says. “Engineering is messy.”Recht sees a place for methodical and adventurous research alike. “We need both,” he says. “We need to understand where failure points come so that we can build reliable systems, and we have to push the frontiers so that we can have even more impressive systems down the line.” AI researchers allege that machine learning is alchemy Ali Rahimi, a researcher in artificial intelligence (AI) at Google in San Francisco, California, took a swipe at his field last December—and received a 40-second ovation for it. Speaking at an AI conference, Rahimi charged that machine learning algorithms, in which computers learn through trial and error, have become a form of “alchemy.” Researchers, he said, do not know why some algorithms work and others don’t, nor do they have rigorous criteria for choosing one AI architecture over another. Now, in a paper presented on 30 April at the International Conference on Learning Representations in Vancouver, Canada, Rahimi and his collaborators document examples of what they see as the alchemy problem and offer prescriptions for bolstering AI’s rigor.”There’s an anguish in the field,” Rahimi says. “Many of us feel like we’re operating on an alien technology.”The issue is distinct from AI’s reproducibility problem, in which researchers can’t replicate each other’s results because of inconsistent experimental and publication practices. It also differs from the “black box” or “interpretability” problem in machine learning: the difficulty of explaining how a particular AI has come to its conclusions. As Rahimi puts it, “I’m trying to draw a distinction between a machine learning system that’s a black box and an entire field that’s become a black box.” By Matthew HutsonMay. 3, 2018 , 11:15 AMlast_img read more

Alleged Mistress Of Derion Vence Speaks Out

first_img Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony More By NewsOne Staff The woman who chooses to remain anonymous says Vence changed her name in his phone to a man’s name so Brittany wouldn’t suspect him of cheating. She told Fox 26, “Well I know Derion isn’t gay. For a fact he puts females’ numbers under guys’ numbers so Brittany won’t find them… Brittany one time had messaged me on this website and threatened me. She says, ‘Well, I can meet you in public and **** you up real quick.’ I told Derion, ‘You’ve got my number. Put it under a guy’s number so Brittany doesn’t know it’s me.’” SUBSCRIBE Brittany Bowens , Derion Vence , Maleah Davis Thanks for signing up! Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Vence remains jailed on charges of with tampering a corpse, but he has avoided more serious charges.Rest in peace, Maleah Davis. SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothescenter_img A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for Black America. News told by us for us. Black America’s #1 News Source: Our News. Our Voice. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Braford Jr. Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist Alleged mistress of Derion Vence breaks her silence#maleahdavis pic.twitter.com/aDvpmsbBoe— Ivory Hecker FOX 26 (@IvoryHecker) June 7, 2019Vence reportedly told authorities the little girl’s body was in Arkansas, where officials recovered it from last week, however, he is still denying any responsibility.“I would never do anything to hurt her. That’s not me,” Vence, 27, told ABC’s Texas station KTRK in an interview that was published Tuesday afternoon. “Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you I’m not that type of dude and I was good with the kids. I ain’t no killer, bro.” Derion Vence is the prime suspect in the death of a four-year-old Maleah Davis. There have been many reports surrounding Vence, one being that Maleah’s mother Brittany Bowens broke up with him after she reportedly found nude pictures he sent to another man. Now, his alleged mistress is speaking out.See Also: A Timeline Of Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own Home Then continued their affair until April, according to her.She also says she never met Maleah Davis and refuses to talk with police because she has warrants for her arrest. However, she does write him letters, she explained, “If I talk to Derion, and then people would think I know something, or I was involved. I was not involved, and I would rather just stay my distance while all this is going on, and be in the background and figure it out. Ater she went missing, I have not talked to Derion. I write Derion letters in jail all the time.”Watch the clip below:last_img read more

Turning Urine into Silver – The Accidental Discovery of Phosphorus

first_imgTracing its roots from Hellenistic period Alexandria, the hermetic art of alchemy became a popular obsession among numerous men of science throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, claiming in many cases to have reached its final goal ― the production of gold and silver through the use of basic metals like lead. This manipulation of elements was believed possible only through the use of a mystical device called the “philosopher’s stone.” However, the philosopher’s stone proved to be nothing more than a myth wrapped in early scientific explanations which often dwelled in magic and religious mysticism.The Alchemist by Thomas Wijck.On the other hand, while the alchemists spent sleepless nights experimenting with no success, an interesting side-effect of their work quickly arose. Even though they were unable to produce gold from worthless substances, once in a while they managed to accidentally discover chemicals, or establish processes that were unknown prior to their experiments.Among the most famous of such discoveries was the one made by Hennig Brand, a 17th century soldier-turned-alchemist from Hamburg, Germany, who managed to separate phosphorus from human urine, while searching for an alchemy solution to produce silver.Isaac Newton left behind alchemical notes amounting to an estimated one million words written in his own hand. This page shows two steps (“periods”) in the manufacture of the philosophers’ stone that were drawn from a work by the obscure German alchemist Erasmus Rothmaler.Brand was born in 1630 and grew up as a glass-maker’s apprentice when the Thirty-Year War caught up with him. Recruited as a junior officer as soon as he reached fighting age, the future alchemist was forced to fight for his life as the war raged across Germany.Luckily for him, one of the longest-lasting European conflicts in history was reaching its final stage at the time he was old enough to contribute.After the war, Brand returned to Hamburg and thanks to his first wife’s inheritance managed to pursue a largely non-profitable career ― that of an alchemist.The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and Prays for the Successful Conclusion of his Operation, as was the Custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers, by Joseph Wright of Derby – now in Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, U.K.Like so many others, Brand too was obsessed with finding the philosopher’s stone. But during his search, his wife passed away, and with her went the depleted fund which financed his quest for turning lead into noble metals.To overcome this economic crisis, Brand quickly remarried to one Marghareta, a wealthy widow enchanted by his endeavors ― and the cash flow was restored.Philosopher’s stone, movie prop from the making of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Photo by Karen Roe. CC By 2.0It was around that time that the Hamburg-based alchemist started experimenting with water by studying how it reacts with other materials. This provided numerous combinations and subsequently led him to focus on the use of human urine, as he somehow began to believe that it was going to help him to hit the alchemist’s lottery.Inspired by a recipe he found in an alchemist hand guide, which were popular at the time, Brand combined alum, saltpetre (potassium nitrate) and concentrated urine in hopes of producing silver.Waxy white (yellow cut), red (granules center left, chunk center right), and violet phosphorus. Photo by Weißer_Phosphor. BXXXD CC BY-SA 3.0Following this recipe Brand conducted an experiment in 1669, during which he boiled urine on his furnace, waiting for the laboratory retort to become red-hot. To his great surprise, glowing fumes appeared with liquid jumping out of the glassware and bursting into flames while falling.It must have appeared to him that he was on the brink of discovering something huge. And he was, for a matter of fact, just not as “huge” as turning pee into silver.He gathered as much of the liquid he could and enclosed it in a jar. As the liquid matter cooled down, it assumed a solid aggregate state, accompanied by a strange glow. This result further perplexed the alchemist who decided to name the substance ― Phosphorus, from the Greek word for Light-bearer.White phosphorus exposed to air glows in the dark. Photo by Endimion17 – CC BY-SA 3.0The Latin variant for the word is actually Lucifer ― signifying the Biblical fallen angel ― as it goes to show how alchemists were indeed fascinated with the darker side of Christianity, often using terms which could in those times land them an accusation for heresy. Brand kept his discovery a secret, further experimenting in extracting phosphorus from urine.But what is today’s scientific explanation for this phenomenon?Well, human urine contains sodium phosphate, together with various carbon-based organics. Once heated, the oxygen atoms from the phosphate engage in a reaction with the carbon. The reaction produces carbon-monoxide while releasing elemental phosphorus in the form of gas.Victorian words we should be using todayThe gas then condenses, producing phosphorus in a solid state. Essentially, this is the reaction used when extracting phosphorus from various phosphate ores.As for the glow, it comes from vapors surrounding white phosphorus. During the chemical process, vapors become oxidized, releasing a large amount of energy which excites phosphorus atoms, producing the otherworldly glow.In the 1840s, world phosphate production turned to the mining of tropical island deposits formed from bird and bat guano. These became an important source of phosphates for fertilizer in the latter half of the 19th century. Pictured: Guano mining in the Central Chincha Islands, c. 1860.Allegedly, the alchemist used the glow instead of candles when studying his books late at night.According to Brand’s own recipe, however, one should “discard the salt” from the rest of the mixture while extracting phosphorus.Robert Boyle.What he failed to realize that discarding the salt also meant removing most of the phosphate. His process was thus flawed, as it took much more urine to produce a very small amount of phosphorus.Read another story from us: The Human Remains of Skeleton Lake – Visible Only when the Ice MeltsHennig Brand encountered the reaction accidentally but entered history as the first person ever to do so. Since he refused to share his discovery, English chemist Robert Boyle independently came to the same results in 1680, suppressing the German alchemist into obscurity.Nikola Budanovic is a freelance journalist who has worked for various media outlets such as Vice, War History Online, The Vintage News, and Taste of Cinema. His main areas of interest are history, particularly military history, literature and film.last_img read more

US Post Office to TestDrive Autonomous Trucks

first_imgThe U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday announced a pilot project using self-driving trucks. It will conduct the two-week experiment in collaboration with TuSimple, an autonomous driving technology company based in San Diego.TuSimple’s contract with the postal service calls for one of the company’s self-driving trucks to make five round trips hauling USPS trailers between Dallas and Phoenix.Although the truck’s operation will be automated, humans won’t be left out of the picture entirely. A safety engineer and driver will be aboard to monitor vehicle performance and maintain public safety.Cargo will travel along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridor through Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, a route that accounts for about 60 percent of the total economic activity in the United States.That corridor also has certain advantages for automated vehicles, noted Robert Brown, TuSimple’s director of public affairs.”You’re not going to see us on I-90,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We can handle high winds, darkness and rain, but we have not mastered snow yet.” They Drive by Night At the moment, conditions favor labor in the trucking market. There’s a shortage of drivers and it’s growing. In this climate, self-driving trucks can fill the gaps created by those shortages. However, that won’t always be the case.”As the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of autonomous vehicles begins to show itself, we can absolutely expect layoffs,” Ericho’s Yaverbaum said. They’re likely to occur “first, in response to new companies that use autonomous vehicles at the outset; and second, as companies become unable to compete while still providing their drivers with any benefits at all.”The impact on jobs may not be too severe, though, suggested Navigant’s Abuelsamid .”In local urban applications, the drivers may be displaced, but there will likely still be people on board for many years to handle the last 100-foot problem of actually delivering products to people’s doors,” he explained. “As e-commerce grows, the net job losses may end up being a wash.”Meanwhile, the Partnership for Transportation Innovation & Opportunity, which focuses on the impact of autonomous vehicles on workers, voiced support for projects like the USPS-TuSimple pilot. Its members include the American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, Uber and Waymo.”PTIO fully supports collaboration between government and business, educators, and other stakeholders, in addressing key questions as we work to identify policies and programs that connect workers to expanding and new opportunities,” said Maureen Westphal, director of the organization.Among those key questions: How will the introduction of autonomous vehicles impact the role of the worker? How will their roles stay the same? How will they evolve? What new career opportunities will be available?”Through these focused efforts, we can ensure that workers are supported as our communities transition to an AV future,” Westphal told TechNewsWorld. Job Displacement Bad Actors The pilot is just one of the many ways the postal service is innovating and investing in its future, according to a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by spokesperson Kim Frum.”We are conducting research and testing as part of our efforts to operate a future class of vehicles which will incorporate new technology to accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions, and produce operational savings,” the USPS notes.Long-haul routes with short turnaround times, such as the 22-hour journey in the pilot, are well suited for self-driving trucks, according to TuSimple.”Right now, human drivers are constrained by 11 hours a day,” TuSimple’s Brown said. “We can stretch that out with these trucks.”One of biggest challenges facing TuSimple now is finding teams to accompany its automated trucks. Overnight requirements and close quarters aren’t an attractive combination, especially in the middle of a truck driver shortage. The American Trucking Association estimates that shortage will reach 175,000 by 2024.”Right now we have a truck driver on the left seat and a safety engineer riding right seat,” Brown explained. “Eventually we’ll be able to pull those folks out.”center_img John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Autonomous trucks can reduce costs and improve speed and efficiency for the postal service, maintained Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications, a public relations firm in New York City.”Unlike human drivers hauling freight across a region as large as the American Southwest, where this is being tested, computers don’t need sleep, or food, or bathroom breaks,” he told TechNewsWorld.”There’s also legal limits on how much a commercial driver can drive in one day, which in modern 18-wheelers are enforced by computer and GPS tracking,” Yaverbaum said.”Finding a way to move freight across state lines without those friction points is sort of the Holy Grail of logistics,” he added, “so we’re looking at both faster delivery and a higher-capacity pipeline, which means more freight delivered even more quickly — assuming this pilot program goes well.”Safety is also a big benefit of self-driving vehicles, observed Sam Abuelsamid, a senior research analyst for Navigant Research, a market research and advisory company based in Boulder, Colorado.”Automation doesn’t get fatigued or distracted,” he told TechNewsWorld.In the near term, highway driving will be one of the main areas tackled by automation of heavy-duty vehicles, said Abuelsamid.”However, these systems will likely still require human operators in urban areas,” he noted. “Automation could be triggered for a long highway run, and then a human driver may take over when the truck exits the highway to provide last-mile operation. Humans will likely remain involved loading and unloading and other functions at depots.” As beneficial as autonomous vehicles may prove to be, they’re also very vulnerable.”Vandalism is a real threat. If malicious actors decide to spray paint or smash the sensors, it could easily disable automated vehicles,” Abuelsamid said.”Cybersecurity is also a very real issue. Since automated vehicles will all be connected, there is always the potential that bad actors may find a way to attack either the vehicles or the corresponding data centers to cause issues either for monetary gain or to create havoc,” he pointed out.”Luddites that decide to simply step out in front of AVs could also bring things to a halt,” Abuelsamid added, “although that’s something that can happen now with human-driven vehicles.” No Sleep or Bathroom Breakslast_img read more

Battling against resistant and sensitive types of influenza A

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 25 2018Another flu season is here, which means another chance for viruses to mutate. Already, most influenza A viruses contain a mutation that confers resistance against one class of antiviral medications, and the bugs are steadily gaining resistance against another class. Scientists report in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters a series of experiments designed to develop new medications that could potentially fight off the resistant and sensitive types of influenza A.For most people, the flu is a nuisance, causing aches and pains, as well as coughs and runny noses for a few weeks. But for the elderly and young children, the illness can be deadly. And in the most recent flu season, even some seemingly healthy adults died after being infected. Because the virus can mutate, it has built up resistance against some drugs that had been used to help fight the infection. Influenza A is responsible for most cases of the flu, and about 95 percent of influenza A viruses have a mutation called S31N in the channel protein AM2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antivirals called adamantanes target that protein, but are no longer recommended because the S31N mutation renders these drugs useless. The other FDA-approved class of antiviral medications includes oseltamivir. Although these drugs are still effective, resistance is growing with the rise of a mutation in a different viral protein. That’s why Jun Wang and colleagues sought to develop a new medication that would work in both resistant strains and those that still respond to oseltamivir.The key, Wang’s team realized, was to target the AM2 protein with the S31N mutation, since it is found in almost all influenza A viruses. Using a step-wise process, the researchers identified one sulfur-containing inhibitor of AM2 S31N that was stable under conditions that mimic human metabolism. They then spun that discovery into a series of similar sulfur-bearing molecules, eventually identifying two compounds with even better antiviral properties than oseltamivir, fighting off drug-resistant and drug-sensitive strains. In addition, the researchers note that the two compounds have optimal in vitro pharmacokinetic properties, making them well-suited for the next step of in vivo studies in mice.Source: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-october-24-2018/fighting-mutant-influenza.htmllast_img read more

Resistance training as little as once per week improves the health of

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 27 2019According to a recent research, resistance training improves the health of over 65-year-olds, and the benefits occur even when some people train as little as once per week. The benefits show in improvements in blood values, muscle strength and mental well-being.”We found that individuals who were close to having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, or high levels of inflammation improved the most after our 9-month training program. Training two or three times per week didn’t provide greater benefit in these individuals,” says Dr.Simon Walker of the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairInternational and National agencies advocate performing resistance training at least two times per week for all ages. Also in this study for things such as maximum strength development, muscle growth and fat loss, training more times per week was advantageous.”But for other measures that are important for older people, such as the ability to perform activities of daily living, once per week seemed sufficient. Muscle strength that is needed for carrying shopping bags, walking up and down the stairs and sitting down on a toilet can be improved with strength training,” Walker says.Training also benefits overall well-beingOverall well-being, tested through psychological measures, also improved over the 9-month training period. Similarly, there were no real differences whether individuals trained only once per week or two-three times per week. The researchers found that it was very important that people improved their psychological well-being and motivation for exercise during the study period as it was those people who continued training regularly even after the study had ended. The researchers are keen to point out that their studies show the importance of resistance training for older persons; even as little as once per week can go a long way.”We need to remember that these individuals trained hard, and safely, when they were with us. We supervised every training session closely, making sure that they used correct technique and also ensured that they always tried to improve their training loads compared with previous training sessions.” Walker added. Source:https://www.jyu.fi/en/current/archive/2019/02/resistance-training-even-as-little-as-once-per-week-benefits-older-individualslast_img read more

Virginia Tech professor uses mathematical modeling simulations to assess vaccine efficacy

first_img Source:https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2019/03/022819-Fralin-Kate-Langwig-vaccine-efficacy.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 11 2019The recent measles outbreaks across the country emphasize the importance of vaccinations.”For many infectious diseases, we rely on herd immunity to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable infections. Herd immunity is the protection of the ‘herd,’ our population, by preventing infections in the vast majority people,” said Kate Langwig, an infectious disease ecologist at Virginia Tech. “We can calculate the percentage of the population that needs to be vaccinated to prevent diseases from spreading and maintain herd immunity. For some pathogens, like measles, the number that needs to vaccinated is very high because the measles virus spreads so easily.”Langwig, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, is researching ways in which vaccine efficacy can be improved.The measles vaccine has been shown to have 97 percent efficacy, but “understanding the circumstances that contribute to vaccine ineffectiveness can help to better protect populations,” Langwig said.Langwig and her lab ran mathematical modeling simulations to determine if vaccine efficacy might be lower when individuals are exposed to high pathogen doses, and when individuals vary in their susceptibility.For example, if you have been vaccinated against the measles, but someone sneezes very close to your face, or you’re caring for a sick kid who is sneezing, coughing, etc., are you more likely to get sick? In addition, if you’re run down (maybe from chasing that kid the week earlier), are you more likely to get infected even if you’ve been vaccinated?Langwig and her lab found in their simulations that vaccines are predicted to be less effective at higher pathogen doses and when individuals in the population have similar susceptibility. These findings were recently published in Scientific Reports.”Susceptibility, meaning how likely an individual is to get infected, is also important. Individuals that are younger or have poor nutrition can be more likely to get infected, even if they have been vaccinated. We found that populations that have more variable susceptibility have higher vaccine efficacy,” said Langwig, an affiliated faculty member of the Global Change Center, an arm of the Fralin Life Science Institute.Related StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTLangwig and her lab were interested in validating their simulations with some real-world data, so they did a systematic literature review with help from Virginia Tech undergraduate researchers to determine whether there were examples of diseases where vaccines efficacy is reduced at high doses.”What we found was a bit of a shock – there are a very small number of studies that test whether vaccines are effective across multiple pathogen doses. We reviewed almost 6,000 articles and identified only about a dozen studies that had tested vaccines across multiple pathogen doses. Within those few studies, the pattern was generally consistent with our simulation – vaccine efficacy tended to be lower at high pathogen doses,” said Langwig.They did find that some vaccines did offer complete protection regardless of pathogen dose in several model organisms, suggesting that not all vaccines are less effective when individuals are exposed to high doses.Extrapolation to human systems should be done with care, but this research helps increase the understanding of host susceptibility, pathogen dose, and vaccine efficacy.”One thing that surprised us is that many scientists are vaguely aware that vaccines might fail at high pathogen doses, but there were a very small number of studies that had ever examined this,” said Langwig.Langwig is currently collaborating with another lab to test vaccine efficacy and different pathogen doses in a species of rainbow trout. They will continue to design mathematical models to test predictions in real-world situations to determine how populations can be further protected.last_img read more

Research aims to use orange peels for improving heart health

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 13 2019You’ve heard an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Now orange peels may improve your heart health.Yu Wang, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, part of the USDA. With the award, Wang plans to lead a research team to ensure extracts from orange peels improve the gut’s ability to stave off fatty linings in your arteries.Recent research has shown that gut bacteria help develop cardiovascular disease. When they feed on certain nutrients during digestion, gut bacteria produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a byproduct. TMAO levels are powerful predictors of future cardiovascular disease, according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.Wang and her colleagues want to work on that gut bacteria. They will study how orange peels promote gut health and, therefore, overall human health.Americans generate about 5 million tons of orange peels a year, Wang said. Right now, the peels are mostly treated as waste, she said. But the Food and Drug Administration considers natural orange peel extracts safe for human consumption. So, Wang wants to put those peels to better use. This research could be critical to enhancing the cardiovascular health of millions of people worldwide. In addition to improving consumers’ health, our research results could provide additional economic returns, benefiting U.S. agriculture and food systems.”Wang, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida Source:University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciencescenter_img Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaFor the new UF/IFAS-led project, researchers hypothesize that orange peels will modify gut microbiota and help prevent atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty deposits on the inner walls of arteries.When gut microbiota break down chemicals called choline and carnitine, the process eventually produces trimethylamine (TMA). Enzymes can then convert TMA into TMAO, Wang said.But orange peels contain components that interfere with TMA enzymes, Wang said. Researchers believe that action will help prevent atherosclerosis.To test these hypotheses, the researchers will combine animal studies with enzyme tests to assess how orange peel extract consumption can prevent cardiovascular diseases.In her own preliminary work, Wang experimented with three groups of mice to see if she was going in the right direction with her research proposal. One group was fed a regular diet, the second was fed a regular diet plus carnitine, which induced TMAO. The third group was fed a regular diet, carnitine and orange peels.They found orange peels altered the composition of bacteria in colons in the mice fed with a regular diet, carnitine and orange peels.”Within three years, we expect to understand more abou the mechanisms associated with orange peel consumptions, TMAO formation and the prevention of atherosclerosis,” Wang said. “We hope this project can not ony positively impact human cardiovascular health via the promotion of gut health, but will also provide a simple and an efficient usage of orange peels.”last_img read more

Ultrasound scans for damage to concrete bridges

Provided by CORDIS Citation: Ultrasound scans for damage to concrete bridges (2018, May 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-ultrasound-scans-concrete-bridges.html The world’s first 3-D printed reinforced concrete bridge starts to take shape Credit: Phillipe Olivier 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. Infrastructures such as bridges and roads are usually reinforced concrete, which need continuous monitoring for regular operation and safety. Large concrete structures pose various challenges mainly due to the wide range of aggregates, fragments compacted together, in the material.’On a roll’—non-destructive testing (NDT using ultrasoundNDT is one of the most effective ways for inspecting such concrete structures. The partly EU-funded COBRI project has developed an easy and efficient system that is also low-cost and portable. As Philippe Olivier, CEO of ELOP AS, the company that coordinates COBRI explains “The main technological breakthrough is a new design for capturing real time ultrasound data from concrete structures and presenting this data in a human readable 3-D video format.”The ultrasonic rolling scanner also incorporates a host of other features. It’s high speed and scans at 10 cm/s to 100 cm/s depending on the resolution. Depth of penetration has been increased from 15 cm up to 50 cm. Resolution of around 1 cm can detect rebar, short for reinforcing bar, and separation of the material into layers as well as cracks.Prototype development, testing and validationThere were challenges on the way and development of the prototype was more demanding than expected. Handling of different waveforms and scattering from aggregates required much extra research and time-consuming experiments.A field test had been performed with Ramboll, a highly qualified company in bridge inspection and NDT. ELOP collaborated with partners such as TOPRO, Aurotech Ultrasound AS, COWI and RAMBOL to fulfil this project. Next steps—scaling heights and market expansionCOBRI finished at the end of 2017 and has ambitious plans for extending technological features and introduction to the marketplace. Optimisation of signal processing will result in discrimination between the different materials – steel, air and water – in the visualisation. In parallel to this, the industrialisation of the scanner will be completed and the company will also build up the sales force and start production.For larger horizontal areas, a trolley version using the same basic rollers is under design. The terrain for inspection isn’t always flat and structures such as dams, pillars and silos require time and cost-guzzling scaffolding for access. The answer is the rolling scanner connected to robots or crawlers.Based on the same rolling principle for fast secure capture of ultrasound data, the team are planning to address a new market. Using higher frequencies, new broadband scanners can be used on composite materials and metal. Also, non-destructive target structures could be windmill blades, welding inspection, tanks and ship hulls and this is being explored via the spin-off project Multrawheel.Socioeconomic impact and the environment”Impact doesn’t end with detecting problems in reinforced concrete structures although early proactive detection of corrosion, crack and delamination could lead to savings of billions of euro worldwide,” Olivier emphasises. The user value chain includes constructors, inspection consultants and NDT service providers to the bridge owners. Moreover, the scanner requires less specialist training than systems in current use and data can be transferred to a central site where it can be analysed by experts.Environmental benefits include reductions in energy consumption for cement production and demolition waste. Cuts in traffic delays mean less fuel consumed together with less associated noise and air pollution. Summing up the success of the project, “We provide a low-cost solution for easy and efficient NDT of concrete structures,” Olivier says. Referring to impact on road infrastructure, he adds “This innovative solution will simplify and improve current bridge inspection methods and consequently improve safety, enhance capital investments and road infrastructure capacity.” Explore further The concrete Pantheon in Rome is in excellent condition after 2,000 years. Steel reinforcement can dramatically reduce lifespan of concrete structures however and deterioration can begin after only 10 years. read more

How to protect yourself from spear phishing hacking technique

first_img ©2018 The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Well, that was easy: Two-factor authentication hack feeds on phony e-mail Spear phishing is a scam in which cyber criminals pose as trusted sources and send phony electronic messages to targeted individuals to trick them into revealing sensitive information.In the case of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, it was a misleading email that looked like a security notification from Google, asking Podesta to change his password by clicking an embedded link, according to the indictment filed Friday. Podesta followed the email’s instructions, changing his password and giving hackers access to 50,000 of his emails.But spear fishing could come in the form of an email that appears to come from your boss, asking you to send your W2 form. Or a message with an expected invoice, requesting that you wire the money to an account controlled by bad actors.”The indictment really illustrates the many uses this technology can be put,” said Edward McAndrew, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor and co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s privacy and data security group in Philadelphia. “It’s not just about stealing someone’s personal information. It’s about financial fraud, or in this instance, even election fraud.”How it’s doneIn typical phishing scams, cybercriminals send blanket emails to a large swath of users, hoping someone will take the bait and download an infected attachment or click a link to a phony website.Spear phishing scams, by contrast, are tailored to specific targets. Hackers will research an individual ahead of time, scanning social media accounts and public information to learn a person’s job, friends or interests to craft a trustworthy email.”They’ll figure out where you work and who your colleagues are and try to send a fake email that looks like it’s from one of your colleagues,” said Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and founder of Paoli-based DuckDuckGo, an internet search engine that doesn’t track or store user data.That’s what happened Tuesday at Weinberg’s company. One of his employees received an email from a sender using Weinberg’s name asking, “I need you to help run a task. Let me know if you’re unoccupied,” according to a copy of the message. The sender posing as Weinberg wanted to “gift out some Apple Gift Cards to some clients.” Weinberg and his colleague didn’t bite. Explore further Citation: How to protect yourself from ‘spear phishing’ hacking technique (2018, July 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-spear-phishing-hacking-technique.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. As sophisticated as the scheme was by Russian intelligence agents to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, they used a simple hacking technique, among others, to infiltrate the email accounts of Democratic operatives, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s latest indictment. And that technique—known as “spear phishing—remains a threat not just to campaign officials but to employees and consumers. The person pretending to be Weinberg used an email address that wasn’t even close to resembling the real thing. But Michael Levy, the chief of computer crimes for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, said cyber criminals will typically create email addresses that are nearly identical to those of trusted sources, sneaking in an extra letter or using a zero instead of a capital “O,” for example.In some cases, such as the Russian hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, spear phishing emails will direct users to phony websites, where victims will enter their credentials and unwittingly give hackers their usernames and passwords. In the DCCC case, Russian agents then installed malware on at least 10 of the committee’s computers, according to the indictment, allowing them to monitor individual employees’ computer activity, steal passwords and maintain access to the DCCC network.”There are two ways to get into computers,” Levy said. “There is the sophisticated hacking where you figure out how to break through a security system … [or] you attack the weakest link in the security system, and that’s the user.”Once hackers have access to a company’s email system, “they will sit and watch to learn as much as they can about people,” Levy said, adding that cyber criminals can glean anything from employees’ email habits to the name of the company president’s wife.McAndrew, of Ballard Spahr, said once hackers gain entry to an email account, they can peruse a user’s messages, work calendars and contacts, as if someone is “virtually looking over their shoulders.””You’re able to know about events before they happen by reading about them,” McAndrew said. “You know what’s coming up.”Hackers aware of an upcoming payment can pounce by sending spear phishing emails to trick recipients into wiring money to accounts under the hackers’ control, McAndrew said.Victims of internet crimes suffered more than $1.4 billion in losses in 2017, almost doubling since 2013, according to an FBI report on the issue released in May. Crimes listed as “business email compromise/email account compromise” accounted for more than $676 million of that 2017 total, representing the largest category of loss.How to protect yourselfOne way to reduce the risk from spear phishing is use multi-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring not just a username and password, but knowledge or possession of something that only that user has, such as a code sent to a cell phone.”Even if you get tricked and you go to some bogus site and type in your password, it will be useless without” the other piece of information, said Anthony Vance, director of Temple University’s Center for Cybersecurity.Vance suggested using twofactorauth.org, which tells users whether websites support multi-factor authentication. Major services such as Google or Yahoo allow users to activate the service.Experts said individuals should use some common sense too. Resist the urge to click links or attachments from an unknown source or unexpected message. Check with colleagues before responding to a suspicious email.”The number one thing people can do is scrutinize every single email they receive,” McAndrew said. Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

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