December 3

Goa fisherfolk hail SC order against dredging

first_imgThe Supreme Court has dismissed Mormugao Port Trust’s (MPT) appeal against a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order preventing it from dredging in Vasco bay.The order was welcomed on Thursday by the Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE), which is spearheading the cause of traditional fisherfolk and coastal communities. GRE general secretary Olencio Simoes said MPT began dredging in Vasco bay to allow larger vessels to enter the navigation approach channel. The MPT proposed to deepen the approach channel from 14.1-14.4 metres to 19.5-19.8 metres.Mr. Simoes said the MPT in collusion with officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forest secured an Environmental Clearance, which exempted it from consultating the public before they began dredging. Mr. Simoes said the move was in complete violation of the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006. The NGT quashed and set aside this clearance on September 2, 2016. The MPT then challenged the NGT order before the Supreme Court.“The Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar should direct MPT to restore Khariwado beach,” Mr. Olencio said.last_img read more

December 3

BSF unearths 14 feet-long tunnel dug from Pakistan’s side in Jammu

first_imgA day after India and Pakistan border forces held a Sector Commander-level meeting in Jammu, the Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday discovered a 14-feet-long tunnel hidden with arms in Jammu’s Arnia Sector and spotted suspicious movement of 10-12 armed Pakistani nationals.“The digging tools, fresh dug earth and length of tunnel indicate that process of tunneling has started two to three days back with the intent to infiltrate strong group of terrorists,” said a Jammu-based spokesman.The BSF said the troops of BSF’s 62 Battalion, during its search operation ahead of the fence, observed suspicious movement of around 10-12 armed Pakistani nationals on the Pakistan-side bank of Dhamala nulla (stream) on Saturday.“The BSF personnel, taking all risks in thick jungle area with a number of blind mortar bombs fired from Pakistan, reached close to the area to know the nefarious design. On observing the BSF party, the Pakistani nationals ran away from the spot, leaving their huge stores,” said the Jammu-based BSF spokesman.He said the BSF found an “unfinished tunnel of around 12-14 feet in length, approximately three feet in height and 2½ feet in width on the slope of bank of Indian side of Dhamalla nulla ahead of B.S. fence on the International Border (IB)”.Two AK-47 Magazine, one hand-grenade, 7.62 bore ammunition, magazine pouch, batteries, lamps, US-made compass, ropes, sleeping bags, gas stove, digging tools and haversacks were found near the tunnel. Eatables, including apples, chicken, were also found, said the BSF.The BSF said it was receiving “regular inputs about the movement of anti-national elements across the border”. “The BSF was suspecting militant activities in festive season to inflict a blow to peace and tranquility in Jammu region,” said the BSF spokesman.Arnia Sector witnessed heavy cross-border firing and shelling from Pakistan from September 13 to 17. On September 30, Pakistani Rangers held a Sector Commander-level meeting with the BSF in their area opposite Border Outpost Octroi on the International Border “to resolve issues of cross-border firing and border management amicably”.“Once again the nefarious design of Pakistan Rangers who held friendly hand-shake and call for ceasefire was foiled in Arnia Sector,” said the BSF.It’s the second tunnel from Pakistan into India that BSF has unearthed this year. On February 12, a similar tunnel was spotted in Ramgarh Sector. Four such attempts have been foiled so far this year by the BSF.last_img read more

December 3

Rape victim writes in her blood to Modi, UP CM for justice

first_imgDesperate to get justice, a rape victim has reportedly written a letter in her blood to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, demanding action against those responsible for her state.“The police is not taking action against the accused due to their powerful links. They (accused) are putting pressure on me to withdraw the case. I should be given justice otherwise I will commit suicide,” the girl said in the letter written on January 20. When contacted, ASP Shashi Shekhar Singh, said an FIR was registered on March 24, 2017 against Divya Pandey and Ankit Verma on rape charges in Barabanki, following a complaint by the victim’s father. The father alleged that the accused raped his daughter, an engineering student, and were blackmailing her since.In October, 2017, another FIR against unidentified persons was registered in Raebareli in which it was alleged that a fake Facebook profile of the girl was made and obscene pictures were posted on it. A probe is on in the matter, Mr. Singh said. On being asked about the victim’s letter, the ASP said he did not have any information about it.last_img read more

December 3

Doctor traps girl for 3 days, rapes her

first_imgA 13-year-old girl was allegedly confined by a doctor in his clinic for three days and raped at a village in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, the police said Sunday. The girl managed to escape from her confinement and report the matter to her father on Saturday, circle officer S.K.S. Pertap said. On the basis of a complaint lodged by the girl’s father, the doctor, Sonu Verma, was arrested and his clinic was sealed. Some objectionable material was also seized from the clinic, he said. Further investigation is on.last_img read more

December 3

West Bengal police firing: One more student succumbs to injuries

first_imgWith the death of one more youth on early Friday the death toll in the alleged police firing on agitating school students at Islampur in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district rose to two. The clashes erupted when a section of students along with locals and former students of Daribhit High School were agitating over recruitment of teachers. The protest turned violent with the protesters pelting stones at the police, who opened resorted to open fire on the agitators, locals said. Sumit Kumar, SP of Uttar Dinajpur, denied the allegation.While one former student of the school Rajesh Sarkar, studying at a local Indian Technical Institute, died on Thursday, another former student, Tapas Barman, succumbed to his injuries on Friday.More than a dozen people including police personnel and some teachers were injured in the clash.“There was a violent mob at the school with bombs, illegal arms and sticks. When police entered the school to help an ailing teacher the mob hurled bombs and pelted stones at the police. We used minimum force and non lethal weapons. One of our constables suffered gunshot injury. Police did not open fire.” SP said.He also said that seven persons have been detained and a section of them are Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers.Locals said that the situation turned violent when two newly recruited teachers of Sanskrit and Urdu joined the school on Thursday despite the students’ demand that teachers for Bengali and science subjects should be recruited as those posts were lying vacant for years.When the students came to know that Urdu and Sanskrit teachers had joined the school, they began agitating in front of the headmaster’s office. “A section of the school’s managing committee members backed the agitation and then some over enthusiastic students blocked the school gate and held a demonstration,” locals said.However, local MLA Kanaia Lal Agarwal alleged that the head master and managing committee of the school were at fault for the incident. “What’s the logic behind involving the students in the issue? The managing committee had the option of not making the two teachers join and asked for teacher of other subjects instead,” Mr. Agarwal told The Hindu.He also said that it was the managing committee which sought the two teachers for Urdu and Sanskrit from the State government even though currently there were no students in the Urdu medium section of the school. “There is a lot of politics going on over the issue and the BJP is trying to capitalise on it,” he said. The headmaster of the school Avijit Kundu and secretary of the managing committee Nishikant Ganesh could not be reached for coments.Mamata blames RSSMeanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of indulging in “dirty game” over the Islampur incident. “The RSS is playing a dirty game at Islampur. Action will be taken against those inciting violence. If anyone from police is found to be at fault then also steps will be taken,” she said. Ms. Banerjee also urged people to celebrate Muharram peacefully.However, State BJP president denied the allegation and said that “instead of taking proper action the State government was trying to avoid its responsibility”.last_img read more

December 3

Gujarat HC Bar Association protests Justice Kureshi’s transfer to Bombay HC

first_imgGujarat High Court Bar Association has strongly opposed transfer of Justice Akil Kureshi from Gujarat to Bombay High Court as recommended by the Supreme Court collegium.Justice Kureshi is second senior most judge in the High Court after Chief Justice Subhash Reddy, who has been recommended for elevation as the Supreme Court Judge. In Bombay HC, he will be at no 5 in the seniority list while in Gujarat he is at no 2. In a meeting of the Bar Association held on Thursday, the Association has unanimously opposed the transfer and held that there was no reason to justify the transfer of Justice Kureshi from Gujarat to Bombay “for better administration of justice” as he stated by the SC collegium in its recommendation. The Bar Association has also decided to challenge the transfer of Justice Kureshi by filing a writ petition and the Bar will go on indefinite strike from Friday in protest of transfer. “The transfer of Justice Kureshi has no connection with better administration of justice as has been stated and therefore its not justified,” The HC Bar Association president and senior lawyer Yatin Oza said. “The Bar in its meeting held on November 1, has deliberated upon the possible justification for such a transfer and fails to discern any good reason for the same and believes that such transfer is unjustified and certainly has no connection with better administration of justice,” stated in a resolution passed by the association unanimously condemning the transfer. The Bar Association has also recognised integrity, honesty, legal acumen and excellent court conduct and decorum of Justice Kureshi ever since his appointment in 2005.last_img read more

December 3

12 killed as bus rolls down gorge in Uttarakhand

first_imgAt least 12 people were killed and 13 injured when the bus in which they were travelling fell into a 150-metre-deep gorge in Uttarkashi district on November 18, an official said.The private-run bus was on its way to Vikas Nagar from Jankichatti in the district when it fell into the gorge near Damta, District Magistrate Ashish Chauhan said. Ten people died on the spot and two succumbed to their injuries at a nearby hospital, he said.A search-and-rescue operation by police with help from area residents is under way, the official said, adding that a few bodies are thought to be stuck in bushes. Four persons seriously injured in the accident were choppered into Dehradun for treatment, he said.The bus, after plunging into the gorge, came to a standstill a few metres from the Yamuna river, the official said. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives and asked the district administration to arrange for the treatment of the injured.last_img read more

December 3

Focus on U.P., PDP tells Yogi

first_imgThe Peoples Democratic Party on Monday said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s utterances were “very dangerous and can be very harmful to the integrity of the country”.“The U.P. Chief Minister said in a recent speech that if the BJP comes to power in Telangana, [All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief] Asaduddin Owaisi will have to flee. It is not about Owaisi alone; it is the feeling that is being created across the country due to which a hate campaign against Muslims is being launched,” said PDP leader and former senior Cabinet Minister Naeem Akhtar.Addressing an election rally at Tandur town of Vikarabad district, Mr. Adityanath had said, “If the BJP forms the government in Telangana, I can tell you that Owaisi will have to run away just like the Nizam was compelled to run away from Hyderabad. The BJP will give security to all, but will not allow those who spread anarchy.”Mr. Akhtar said Muslims were not getting places on rent and were not allowed to purchase houses in good colonies across the country. “This has led to a forced ghettoisation of Muslims of all classes, a separate community within the country. The fact is that the fanatic groups are trying to create Pakistan within the country itself,” said Mr. Akhtar.He also cautioned that such a mindset being exhibited by BJP leaders, particularly Yogi Adityanath, is very dangerous and can be very harmful to the integrity of the country. “Muslims are here and no power can coerce them to go anywhere else. They are as much the owners of the country, its resources, its land and air as are the people of other faiths. Does this country belong to the BJP alone? Who is Yogi to tell any person living in India to leave?” he said.Lawlessness in U.P. The PDP leader said the Uttar Pradesh CM should stop behaving like the proverbial ostrich. “Instead of suggesting new names of Muslim cities and towns, dragging names of revered personalities of Islam, he should restore a sense of safety among the people of his own State where women are molested in a broad daylight and lawlessness is prevailing all across,” said Mr. Akhtar.last_img read more

December 3

Bhubaneswar city administration urged to give priority to native species

first_imgPlant lovers have urged Bhubaneswar city administration to undertake plantation of native species which could withstand the strong wind of cyclones in future.A rapid assessment carried out by a group of scholars in Bhubaneswar says 99% of trees had suffered damages when Cyclone Fani crossed the city on May 3.As many as 1,677 trees having 10 cm girth were recorded along different road stretches in localities such as Kalarahanga, Patia Station Road, Jaydev Vihar-Nandan Kanan Road, OMFED Square to Acaharya Vihar, Acharyaa Vihar- AG Square, AG Square to Gapabandhu Chhak, Jayadev Vihar to CRP VIA Regional Plant Resource Centre, Niladri Vihar and Sailashree Vihar.“We had found 99% of recorded trees were either uprooted or snapped and broken. About 6% trees were uprooted and 5% suffered complete damage. As high as 57% of trees were partially damaged,” said Hemanta Kumar Sahu, a botanist who led the team.“Native species such as Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) and Chhatiana (Alstonia Scholaris) were found to have withstood ferocious wind speed of the Fani in Bhubaneswar. These trees with minimal damage will get back to much of its lost cover after monsoon,” said Mr. Sahu.Although the fig plants like Ficus bengalensis and Ficus religiosa survived Fani’s fury, most of their branches were lost. Kadamba (Anthocephalus cadamba) trees suffered heavy loss in the cyclone.“Native species such as Karanja, Chhatiana, Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Bahada (Terminalia bellerica), Jamun (Jambul), Amba (mango) and Arjuna (Terminalia), trees withstood the high wind speed on May 3. These trees lost 50% of their branches. These species should get priority when plantation would be undertaken in future,” he said. Meanwhile, government sources said 3,290 uprooted trees have already been replanted by State Forest and Environment department in Bhubaneswar. According to the department, about 5 lakh trees were lost outside forest and sanctuary areas in the State.last_img read more

December 3

Video: Our Black Hole’s Hidden Burps

first_imgVideo credit: NASA/CXC/A. HobartThese days, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be pretty docile. This wasn’t always the case. New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory reveal that Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, for short) once had spurts of high activity. To look at our local gravity trap’s slightly more distant past, Chandra observed the x-ray light coming from gas clouds 30 light-years away from it. Fluorescence from these clouds is called a “light echo.” When a black hole sucks in matter, it produces x-ray waves. Like sound waves in a canyon, the x-ray light bounces off stuff that’s nearby. The waves then make their way to Earth. Because the echoed light takes a detour on its way here, it offers information about Sgr A* that’s older than the picture compiled from x-rays that travel directly from the black hole to us. Researchers compiled 12 years of Chandra’s observations—shown above, with Sgr A* at right and the echoed x-ray emissions in blue—to find two major, distinct flare-ups of light echoes. They report this month in Astronomy & Astrophysics that signals from Sgr A* would have been, at times, 1 million times brighter than usual had we been observing it for the past couple hundred years. Further research will reveal what the increased activity levels say about Sgr A*’s eating habits—whether they are the last-gasps of a planet, a piece of a star, or maybe just some clumps of gas.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

December 3

U.S. Antarctic Scientists Still Reeling From October Shutdown

first_imgThe 16-day shutdown of the U.S. government last fall is a distant memory for most Americans. But its negative impact is still rippling through the current Antarctic research season that ends this month. And polar scientists will continue to feel its effects next year.The shutdown, which began 1 October after Congress failed to pass a 2014 budget, had a domino effect on logistics at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which spends more than $300 million a year to support scientists working on the frozen continent. “We lost a good month of our normal season,” estimates Scott Borg, head of NSF’s Antarctic science program. “It’s an opportunity cost that you can’t put a figure on.”One huge problem was the shutdown’s bad timing. It occurred just as NSF was preparing to reopen its extensive scientific assets in Antarctica—labs, balloon launch sites, field stations, and the like—for the annual onslaught of scientists during the short austral summer. Without the authority to spend money, NSF had to reverse direction and begin winterizing those facilities so they could be shut down for an indefinite period. And that meant they weren’t ready for use when Congress finally passed a temporary budget measure that allowed agencies to reopen on 17 October.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)NSF was already coping with the impact of sequestration, the 5% cut to every agency’s budget that took effect last March. Borg’s budget for Antarctic science had shrunk from $68 million in 2012 to $64 million in 2013, and it remained at that level under the temporary agreement that extended until Congress approved a final 2014 budget last month.Together, those two events created a logjam that forced NSF to scale back work on a dozen scientific projects being carried out during the current season. And scientists with another 17 projects on this year’s lineup were told that they must wait until next year. In turn, the reshuffling of those 29 projects in all has created another logistical headache.The deferred projects will require program managers to tap into some of the money they had planned to spend on the next round of grant proposals. And that will make the competition for remaining funds even stiffer than usual. But there will be new awards: After hearing rumors to the contrary, Borg sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter last week telling scientists that his program was still open for business and encouraging them to submit proposals before the 15 April deadline.“The point of the letter was to say, ‘Hey, things aren’t that bad,’ ” Borg tells ScienceInsider. “Yes, we are facing some tough fiscal realities, but we don’t want people to give up.”He acknowledges, however, that the deferrals likely will mean “that we’ll have fewer new starts next year. But we haven’t gotten to the point of not being able to do anything new.”Fortunately for Borg and NSF, Antarctic scientists are no strangers to adversity. Even so, the past year has been a real challenge for Ralph Harvey’s team of meteorite collectors.A planetary geologist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey had originally planned to send a dozen people for 6 weeks starting in late December to two promising sites in the Miller range of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. Although the team is funded by NASA, it relies on NSF for the extensive logistical support needed to put the team in the field.Sequestration had already trimmed the size of this season’s team by one-third. And after the shutdown, Harvey says that “NSF’s desire to support people exceeds its grasp.” With fewer planes and crews available, the team was transported to the ice sheets in two groups, 3 weeks apart. Although Harvey says the team never lacked for the requisite food, fuel, and clothing to cope with the harsh conditions, the first group didn’t have enough bags, tape, and ID tags to process all of the rock samples they found.As it happened, good weather allowed them to make the most of their 3 weeks together, and the team managed to bring back 330 samples to the McMurdo Station, the hub of U.S. operations. Stored in large freezers that preserve their chemical signatures, the rocks are then shipped to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where they are characterized, cataloged, and then distributed to scientists eager to study them.But Mother Nature had other plans. Last weekend, a storm took out the ice pier at McMurdo, preventing the ship from loading the freezers. (Click here for an account of the ice dock problems and pictures.) “So we won’t be bringing home any specimens this year,” Harvey explains. “I hate to use the term ‘perfect storm,’ but this was the last in a series of extraordinary events this season.”Harvey is now working with NSF to find a way to preserve the samples at McMurdo for an entire year. “Nobody likes to postpone characterization,” he says. “But fortunately, I don’t have any graduate students depending on them for their theses.”That’s not the case for Ross Powell, a geologist at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Powell is chief scientist for the WISSARD project, a multiyear effort to drill into the subglacial Lake Whillans that flows from under the frozen continent into the Ross Sea. The work was to conclude this season with a series of 800-meter-deep holes drilled along its entire route.The project requires heavy logistical support. The team must travel 1000 kilometers from McMurdo Station to a field site, a nearly 2-week traverse by ice tractor. They set up the drilling operation and plunge into what amounts to roughly a week of nonstop science. Then they have to make the return trip.But the shutdown put a big crimp in those plans. Because of the project’s complex logistical needs, NSF decided to push the so-called groundling line project into next season, leaving 30 of the 38 members of the team high and dry. (NSF did provide logistical support for eight scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz, to collect data from and update instruments in boreholes drilled in previous seasons that do not tap into the lake itself.)Last month, NSF gave Powell the green light to plan for what he calls a “cut-down version” of the project next January. It will mean fewer people and allow only one rather than three boreholes into the lake. “We wanted to look at the full transition from grounded to full floating,” Powell says. “But NSF said we can only do one hole, so we’ve selected a point in the middle.”The shutdown also took a psychological toll on a new Ph.D. student Powell had recruited for the project. The student had already published two papers from a coring project in the Arctic as part of his master’s degree from another institution, Powell says, “and he was on a real high. But the shock of having this field season cancelled was so demoralizing that he decided to leave the program and look for a job. He was a great student, and I am very sorry to lose him.”Borg says that NSF took into account the impact on students and early-career investigators in deciding which projects to support this year and which would need to be deferred. “We’re in discussions with all 17 PIs on how to go forward next year,” he adds.Although Borg is still waiting to hear what his budget will be for the 2014 fiscal year, which ends in September, he hopes that it will approach the 2012 level.last_img read more

December 3

Director of German-Spanish Observatory Resigns Over Funding, Strategy

first_imgJosé María Quintana, director of the German-Spanish Astronomical Center at Calar Alto (CAHA) near Almería, Spain, has resigned from his post, arguing that a budget plan being imposed by the observatory’s funders is too harsh. His resignation will be effective late next month.The budget dates back to an operating plan signed in May 2013 by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Germany’s Max Planck Society (MPG), which jointly operate the observatory. That agreement guaranteed an operating budget of €1.6 million per year until 2018, when MPG will cede its role in the observatory. Quintana came out of retirement in June 2013 to direct the observatory. He says that at the first executive meeting, he told the vice president of CSIC that operating the observatory on the proposed budget was impossible. An earlier 2010 operating plan envisioned annual budgets of about €4 million.Spanish media reports say that since Quintana’s resignation, the observatory’s interim managers have already fired cooking and cleaning staff and restricted the operation of one telescope by 10 days a month.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)During his tenure as director, Quintana advocated a 2014 budget of €2.7 million followed by €2.6 million per year until 2018, which he says would have enabled the observatory to continue operating all three telescopes and retain the core of its staff. At a 27 January 2014 executive meeting, he learned that the 2014 budget would be €2.2 million, of which about €600,000 would come from leftover funds already in the observatory’s accounts. The observatory’s funders kept the following years at €1.6 million annually. “They hadn’t changed anything,” he says, so 2 days later he resigned.The flat budget may not have been a surprise. CSIC suffered a budget emergency last year requiring the central government to issue emergency injections of €95 million, ScienceInsider reported. Still, the Spanish Astronomy Society issued a statement claiming that the approved budget is insufficient for the observatory’s operation and that the staff cuts will harm the observatory’s ability to carry out its science mission.Calar Alto is not the only medium-sized observatory having problems. As larger telescopes become more common, astronomers are having to find new roles for medium telescopes—for example, studies that require many nights of continuous observation. One drawback to Calar Alto compared with Spain’s other top observing site in the Canary Islands is that it has less reliable weather.Astronomer Janet Drew of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, who chaired an international review of medium-sized telescopes in 2010, writes that despite that limitation, “good/important science is about good instrumentation, unique capabilities—not purely data volume.” She adds: “CAHA certainly has had very-evidently internationally-competitive instruments, and could again.”One of those future instruments is CARMENES, designed to use the observatory’s 3.5-meter telescope to search for extrasolar planets. It should go into service toward the end of this year. It is an example of the kind of observing programs that have emerged over recent decades as astronomers have turned to smaller telescopes for long-term studies of planet-hosting stars. Such studies are an important complement to more expensive space-based extrasolar planet discovery missions, such as the now-defunct Kepler. “I think it’s great to invest in big scientific instruments, but you have to have a balance with smaller telescopes,” Quintana says.Drew and Quintana both expressed hope for CAHA’s long-term future. “A reduced budget doesn’t have to be the end of the road – it does demand careful specialization,” Drew writes. And Quintana says that “maybe we have to pass through an era when we have some unreasonable minimums, but I’m sure that it will have a better future.”last_img read more

December 3

Senior RIKEN scientist involved in stem cell scandal commits suicide

first_imgTOKYO—Yoshiki Sasai, a noted stem cell scientist at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe, Japan, who co-authored two controversial and later retracted papers that reported a simple way of reprogramming mature cells, was confirmed dead this morning, an apparent suicide. Local media reported he was found hanging from a stairway railing in the RIKEN complex in Kobe. Sasai was rushed to a nearby hospital but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. He reportedly left a suicide note, but it has not been made public.RIKEN posted a brief note in Japanese on its website confirming the death along with a statement expressing regret over the loss of an irreplaceable scientist from RIKEN President Ryoji Noyori.Sasai, 52, was a corresponding author on one of the papers and a co-author of the other. Together, they reported the discovery of a new phenomenon the researchers called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP). The papers, whose lead author was Haruko Obokata, also of RIKEN CDB, appeared online in Nature on 29 January. After months of mounting claims of problems and a finding of research misconduct by Obokata by a RIKEN committee, Nature retracted the studies on 2 July. The retraction notices cite duplicated and mixed-up images, mislabeling, faulty descriptions, and “inexplicable discrepancies in genetic background and transgene insertion sites between the donor mice and the reported” STAP cells.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To date, no other groups have succeeded in reproducing the work. RIKEN has a team attempting to determine what went wrong and conclusively determine if the STAP phenomenon is real. A separate committee has been charged with determining disciplinary measures for Obokata and her RIKEN co-authors and supervisors, including Sasai, although decisions have been put off pending the results of the ongoing investigation.A prolific developmental biologist, Sasai had risen to be deputy director of the center and was considered a contender to become its director. He was credited with helping recruit Obokata. Adding his name to her papers gave them credibility because of his reputation and standing in the community. Researchers were shocked and saddened by the news. “So very very sad! My sincere sympathy to Sasai’s family. Community lost a great developmental biologist!” Kenneth Lee, a stem cell researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, tweeted shortly after the news broke. “This is a tragedy and thoughts go out to his family, friends, and lab members,” wrote stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, of the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine in Sacramento, on his blog.last_img read more

December 3

Bacteria shrink tumors in humans, dogs

first_imgA syringe full of noxious bacteria sounds like the last thing a cancer patient needs. But a new study of dogs with tumors, and even one human cancer patient, reveals that injecting certain bacteria directly into the growths can shrink or even eliminate them. The results strengthen the case that using bacteria to treat cancer, an approach that performed poorly in some clinical trials, will work.Doctors first noticed that bacterial infections sometimes diminished or even eradicated tumors more than 200 years ago. William Coley, a surgeon in New York City, was the first to run with this idea. In the 1890s, he began injecting cancer patients with live Streptococcus bacteria to combat their tumors. After two recipients died from infections, he switched to administering dead bacteria and ended up treating more than 1000 patients with his so-called Coley toxins. Coley sometimes injected the bacteria into tumors and sometimes into the bloodstream, and many of his patients survived. But treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery soon pushed Coley’s approach into the history books. Still, a 1999 reanalysis of some of his cases suggested his success rate was about the same as for modern cancer therapies.Recent attempts to revive bacterial cancer treatment have run into obstacles. For example, a clinical trial in which patients received intravenous doses of weakened Salmonella bacteria found that the treatment was safe but had little impact on tumors. For more than a decade, cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues have investigated a different bacterium, the soil -dweller Clostridium novyi, a relative of the microbe responsible for botulism. Oxygen is scarce inside tumors, and these bacteria “love areas of low oxygen,” says Saurabh Saha, a cancer researcher at BioMed Valley Discoveries Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, and a co-author on the new study, which appears online today in Science Translational Medicine. “They grow and divide and kill the cancer cells,” Saha says. The researchers hypothesize that the bacteria release enzymes that destroy the tumor cells, and then they feast on the debris.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Injecting spores from the bacterium into the brain tumors of rats extended the animals’ survival, the researchers found. But treatments that work in lab rodents have a bad habit of failing in people, so the researchers wanted to test the bacteria in animals that more closely resemble human cancer patients. They chose dogs. Like humans, dogs are more genetically diverse than lab rodents are. And like human tumors, dog tumors sprout spontaneously, in contrast to the researcher-induced tumors of lab rodents.Saha and colleagues injected C. novyi spores into the tumors of 16 pet dogs whose owners had run out of options for treating them. In six of the dogs, the tumors shrank or disappeared, and the tumors stopped growing in another five animals. Several dogs needed surgery to clear the wounds as the tumors disintegrated.Bolstered by results of the animal studies, the researchers began a safety trial of the treatment in people. The first person who received the bacteria was a woman whose abdominal tumor had metastasized to several parts of her body, including her right shoulder. Although the researchers injected less than 1% of the bacterial dose the dogs had received into the shoulder metastasis, the growth began to dwindle. However, the treatment spurred an unusual side effect. The tumor had barged into the humerus, the bone in the upper arm, and was apparently providing physical support. Destruction of the cancer cells led the bone to break, which required surgery to repair. Eventually, the patient died from her other metastasized tumors.The bacteria not only destroy tumor cells, but they also spur immune cells to attack the cancer, the researchers previously showed. And because the microbes survive only in the oxygen-poor milieu of a tumor, the treatment is specific, Saha says. “It distinguished the tumor from normal cells.” The researchers plan to continue their safety trial and want to determine which types of tumors will respond to bacterial therapy, he says.Saha and colleagues altered their bacteria to be less dangerous to people, and the microbes die when they contact oxygen, which limits their ability to spread. Nonetheless, some of the dogs and the human patient in the trial received antibiotics, and doctors and other caregivers used standard anti-infection measures, such as wearing protective gowns and gloves.The study is significant because it provides “proof of the concept that this particular approach can have antitumor activity in ‘real tumors’ ” rather than just in the induced tumors of lab rodents, says Douglas Thamm, a cancer biologist and veterinary oncology researcher at Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center in Fort Collins. Doctors might need to pair the treatment with other therapies, such as radiation, to mop up any tumor cells that escape the bacteria, he says.“It’s a very good and very important paper,” adds cancer biologist Robert Hoffman of AntiCancer Inc., a San Diego, California–based biotech firm. He and his colleagues have shown that a different strain of Salmonella bacteria than the one used in previous clinical trials could eradicate various types of tumors from mice, but they have not performed any studies on human patients.One concern about the new approach is that most cancer patients aren’t killed by the original tumor, but by metastases. Thamm and Hoffman worry that injecting C. novyi directly into tumors will leave these deadly metastases untouched. “If bacterial therapy is going to be widely available and efficacious,” Hoffman says, “it has to target metastatic disease.”*Correction, 14 August, 2:45 p.m.: The researchers did not genetically alter bacteria to attenuate them; they used heat.last_img read more

December 3

University of Hong Kong head ponders impact of protests

first_imgThough not generating the headlines it did a week ago, the standoff in Hong Kong between a pro-democracy movement and the government continues. University students are still boycotting classes. Occupy Central movement leaders have threatened to ratchet up acts of civil disobedience. The government has responded by threatening to call off planned talks with student leaders. Regardless of how the impasse is resolved, the events of this fall are likely to reverberate through the university system for years.At 11 p.m. on 3 October, Peter Mathieson and Joseph Sung, the vice chancellors of University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, respectively, urged students at one of the main protest sites to remain calm and eschew violence. Protesters had set a midnight deadline for Hong Kong’s chief executive, Chun-ying Leung, to resign. At 11:30, the government announced an agreement to hold talks with student leaders, who in turn shelved their call for Leung’s resignation. Mathieson and Sung then held a midnight press conference welcoming the breakthrough. In a telephone interview with Science, Mathieson, who took the top job at HKU in April, recalled the experience of addressing the protesters and discussed the impact of the democracy movement on the university community. His remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.  Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: Did you ever think calming protesters would be part of this job? A: No I didn’t. I did know about Occupy Central’s plans before I was appointed. The way things have developed has defied everybody’s predictions. It has been a question of having to adapt quickly. I had an idea I was coming to a job where this would be one of the challenges, and also the political elements of being a university president in Hong Kong are quite different to many other parts of the world.It was a very tense evening [on 3 October]. I don’t remember what I said. It was an intuitive, instinct-based decision to go. I asked my student president if it would help, and she thought it would so I said OK. I called Joseph [Sung] and we agreed to go together. We didn’t have a script. It was really quite an emotional experience.Q: How is this movement affecting University of Hong Kong and other universities?A: Profoundly. There is the practical issue of the class boycotts, now [in] their third week. Certainly last week, the campus was very quiet. The level of uncertainty and the extent of the media coverage of what’s going on, I think that is preoccupying everybody here.The other interesting subject is to think about the medium and longer term. How is it going to make a difference, and what difference is it going to make? I think we just don’t know yet. I’m sure there’ll be books written about the last few days. I’m sure there’ll be lessons to learn both in terms of social policy and in terms of human behavior and how to manage groups of people with different opinions. The students are empowered by what’s been going on. They’ve become very significant figures in the media and in deliberations with the government. And I imagine this is going to have an effect for years to come in terms of student activism.Q: If democratic principals are compromised, would that affect your ability to attract faculty and students from abroad?A: Hong Kong doesn’t currently have a free democracy in the sense [of what] I’ve been used to in the United Kingdom. I think that fact has not impeded Hong Kong U’s ability to attract overseas students and faculty. What is profoundly worrying for my university and the sector in general is the effect that the current episode is having on the perception of Hong Kong internationally. People might be put off in the short term by a feeling that Hong Kong is now a place of great uncertainty, whereas until a couple weeks ago people would have regarded Hong Kong with more optimism.Q: Is it a worry that as the mainland’s influence grows in Hong Kong, academic freedom might be curtailed? A: I consider it a major responsibility of mine to do everything that I can to defend academic freedom and freedom of speech. I think it is complicated, but Hong Kong is still a very free place, and freedom to protest and freedom of speech are exemplified by what is going on. At the moment, there is manifestly freedom of speech and freedom of association being practiced in the streets of Hong Kong. I think people worry about academic freedom wherever they are in the world. When you have a situation where things are changing so fast, people do become very uncertain. But I regard Hong Kong as a place where free speech is alive and well. And my job and the job of people like me is to make sure that we protect that into the future.last_img read more

December 2

Tech Mahindra Hires 100 Americans in Alpharetta Office

first_imgTech Mahindra, one of India’s largest software services companies, has hired 100 local, full-time employees at its office at Alpharetta in the United States, the firm announced on Oct. 6.The hiring initiative was in response to a new contract for a major U.S. company, and demonstrates Tech Mahindra’s commitment to hiring American workers, the statement added. The initiative also makes Atlanta one of the largest offices for the Mumbai-based company in North America, taking the total number of employees in the establishment to over 600 employees.The firm, which is present in 19 countries and employs 2,000 U.S. citizens, recruits from leading North American universities. Tech Mahindra is also looking at deepening its relationship with the thriving start-up ecosystem in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.“Getting access to the right kind of talents is key to the success of this strategy and we are thrilled that we could source so much qualified local talent from the Atlanta area,” Arvind Malhotra, the global head of strategic accounts, said.“Tech Mahindra is part of the reason Alpharetta has become known as the ‘Technology City of the South’,” David Belle-Isle, the Mayor of Alpharetta, was quoted as saying in the Economic Times.Indian IT companies have been increasing their local presence in the United States, a market that accounts for about 60 per cent of the industry’s export revenues.However, the tech firms from India are facing hurdles because of visa-related scrutiny in the United States and other countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Companies are ramping up local hiring to counter the visa-related issues. In the United States, Indian technology firms TCS, Infosys and Wipro hired more Americans after the Trump administration announced overhauling of H-1B visa fee and policies.According to Wipro, over 50 per cent of its workforce in the United States consists of Americans. Since January this year, Wipro has hired more than 1,600 people in the country. Related ItemsAlpharettaDonald Trump H-1B visaH1B visaInfosysLittle IndiaTCSTech MahindraWiprolast_img read more