Climate Science on Sidelines as EPA Bill Proceeds

first_imgA panel of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee held an odd hearing today, which was liveblogged by ScienceInsider. The topic was climate science, but the reason for the hearing was a legislative proposal, called House Resolution 910. It would remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to regulate greenhouse gases while systematically rolling back a series of steps that EPA has already taken to do so. The 3-hour hearing was reminiscent of those held repeatedly by Democrats during the previous Congress, when they were in the majority. Top climate scientists (including Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego) laid out the basic tenets of climate science while scientists who disagreed with that consensus challenged them. Few of the points raised or questions asked were surprising or revealed any new information. The hearing barely touched on the underlying issue, namely, is it appropriate for Congress to involve itself so deeply into the working of a regulatory agency? Are there precedents? And what are the legal and governance implications of curtailing an agency’s authority in this way? 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Climate policy watchers thought it odd that the Republicans had agreed to the hearing and gave Democrats a chance to invite a number of witnesses. Whitfield said in his opening statement that “the minority wanted” the hearing and that it didn’t hurt to acquiesce, though “24 such hearings” in the previous Congress had explored the science of warming. The chief proponent, Representative Henry Waxman (D–CA), had also wanted to delay the markup on HR 910, but Whitfield politely said no as the hearing drew to a close. “That was a bridge too far,” said Waxman. Although the majority threw a small bone to Democrats by holding the hearing, the event was also an indication of how strongly Republicans doubt climate science. Apparently, they don’t mind allowing multiple witnesses to lay out the supposed dangers of greenhouse gas emissions even as they try to legislate to stop controls on those emissions. If the skeptics had expected to suffer any political consequences from opposing the science, this strange hearing would never have happened.last_img read more

Once Again, Physicists Debunk Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

first_imgEnough already. Five different teams of physicists have now independently verified that elusive subatomic particles called neutrinos do not travel faster than light. New results, announced today in Japan, contradict those announced last September by a 170-member crew working with the OPERA particle detector in Italy’s subterranean Gran Sasso National Laboratory. The OPERA team made headlines after they suggested neutrinos traveled 0.002% faster than light, thus violating Einstein’s theory of special relativity. The OPERA results were debunked months ago, however. So instead of the nail in the coffin of faster-than-light neutrinos, the new suite of results is more like the sod planted atop their grave. The OPERA team had timed neutrinos fired through Earth from the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, and found that they made the 730-kilometer trip to Gran Sasso 60 nanosecond faster than they would traveling at light speed. But in February, the OPERA team also discovered that a loose fiber optic cable had introduced a delay in their timing system that explained the effect. A month later, researchers working with the ICARUS particle detector, also housed in Gran Sasso, measured the speed of neutrinos fired from CERN and found that they travel at light speed, as predicted. By that point, most physicists deemed faster-than-light neutrinos really most sincerely dead. Some OPERA team members thought the whole episode had besmirched the collaboration’s reputation, and in March, two of the team’s elected leaders lost a vote of no confidence and tendered their resignations. Nevertheless, researchers kept at their efforts to test the result. Gran Sasso houses four particle detectors capable of timing neutrinos fired from CERN: OPERA, ICARUS, BOREXINO, and LVD. All four have now found that the neutrino’s speed is consistent with the speed of light, as Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN, reported at the 25th International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto, Japan. The speed of neutrinos was also measured by researchers working with the MINOS experiment, which shoots neutrinos 735 kilometers from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, to a detector in the Soudan mine in northern Minnesota. The MINOS team has also found that neutrinos travel at light speed, as Fermilab’s Phil Adamson reported at the meeting. 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(*) So the chorus has sung and the final curtain has fallen on the faster-than-light neutrino saga. “The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action—an unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments,” Bertolucci says in a CERN press release. “That’s how science moves forward.” Fair enough. But can we move on now?last_img read more

Obama Seeks More Money for Master Science Teachers

first_imgSecretary of Education Arne Duncan The Obama Administration wants to give a $20,000 salary bonus to thousands of the best elementary and secondary school science and math teachers in the country. But the idea of creating a Master Teacher Corps program, unveiled today by the White House, stands little chance of winning the necessary funding this year from Congress. Master teachers—an elite group of teachers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields—would mentor other teachers, serve as role models to draw talented students into the profession, and work with community leaders to improve science and math education. The corps was a key recommendation in a September 2010 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which called it “a sufficient carrot to attract and retain the best [STEM] teachers.” The president’s plan would be to start with 2500 teachers—50 at 50 sites across the country—and add locations over the next 4 years until there were 10,000 teachers in the corps. The teachers, who would serve for 5 years, would be selected by the local districts and deployed as needed. 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(*) The program is intended “to elevate the prestige” of the profession and highlight the importance of science and math in the schools, says Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “There have been pockets of creativity, but until now there has been a lack of resources. I think that school districts are more than ready for this idea.” In a press briefing yesterday, Cecilia Muñoz, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, emphasized the role that STEM teachers play “in equipping our students with the knowledge they will need to get jobs in the high-growth fields that fund innovation.” Gerry Wheeler, interim executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, praised the Administration’s plan. “We have to give greater attention to STEM education, and the teacher corps is one good way to do that.” Wheeler would like to see the majority of the teachers working at the elementary and middle schools, so that “they can catch students when they are young and give them a sense of the careers that are possible in the STEM fields.” Funding for the master teacher program is contingent on the Department of Education receiving its full request for a broader, $5 billion initiative in its 2013 budget called the RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching) project. But that’s not likely to happen. Although the status of the overall federal budget for next year remains in limbo, the House of Representatives spending panel that funds the department coincidentally marked up its 2013 appropriations bill today. The bill contains no money for the RESPECT project, a collection of several initiatives that include attracting and retaining better STEM teachers. The panel also zeroed out a request for $150 million for a new program that the Administration had proposed as a successor to the department’s Math and Science Partnerships, which gave grants to school districts to improve science and math instruction. The chair of a different House committee, one that oversees education and authorizes new programs, is a fierce opponent of the Administration’s attempt to spend more money on targeted new programs. Instead, Representative John Kline (R-MN), has proposed legislation that would give money to local school authorities to use as they see fit. Asked to comment on the idea of a STEM master teacher corps, his spokesperson cited Kline’s reaction to a report earlier this year that tallied the hundreds of existing federal programs aimed at improving STEM education. “Investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a worthwhile endeavor—but pumping billions of dollars into programs that may be duplicative or unproductive is just plain foolish,” Kline said then. U.S. Department of Education last_img read more

When the water gets too hot, this fish heads to shore

first_imgWhen weather makes the shallow waters in mangrove swamps too hot for comfort, a tiny fish known as the mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus, shown) bails out and briefly moves on shore to avoid neurological damage, researchers say. Previously, scientists had suggested that the fish, besides simply escaping hot water, might be taking advantage of evaporative cooling. Now, using temperature-measuring cameras in first-of-their-kind tests, a team has verified that that cooling process—in which body heat drives evaporation of water on the skin, something akin to human sweating but using water from the environment—is at work. In lab tests, the researchers gradually increased the temperature of water until the fish grounded themselves. Thermal images showed that within 30 seconds, the landlubbers had cooled down to air temperature, the researchers report online today in Biology Letters. Evaporative cooling acts more quickly when relative humidity is low, but the team’s tests show that the phenomenon even works when humidity is an oppressive 95%. Fish that can take advantage of evaporative cooling may have an evolutionary advantage over fully aquatic fish in coming years as coastal waters warm because of climate change, the researchers suggest.last_img read more

Collapse of New England’s iconic cod tied to climate change

first_imgThe Atlantic cod, a fish that came to symbolize bounty to America’s colonial settlers, is on the brink of disappearing, despite years of fishing limits aimed at rebuilding stocks. A new study reveals why: Cod spawning and survival has been hampered by rapid, extraordinary ocean warming in the Gulf of Maine, where sea surface temperatures rose faster than anywhere else on the planet between 2003 and 2014.“Over this same 10-year period, fishery managers set quotas that they felt were informed by high-quality science, and the stock just kept going down, down, down,” says study leader Andrew Pershing, the chief scientist for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine. When his team looked closely at factors behind the trends, he says, “We found the fingerprints of temperature throughout the data.”The scientists used satellite data to track the daily sea surface temperature trend in the Gulf of Maine. From 1982 until 2004, they found, temperatures rose by 0.03°C per year, or three times the global mean rate. That warming accelerated sevenfold beginning in 2004, peaking in 2012 with a large “ocean heat wave” that persisted for 18 months, according to the study.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 see what drove the trend, the researchers correlated quarterly Gulf of Maine temperatures over that time with large-scale climate factors. They found that a northward shift of the warm ocean current known as the Gulf Stream hit the New England coast at the same time that two decade-long ocean climate cycles, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, entered a warmer phase, turning the heat up even further. Previous research has linked the Gulf Stream’s gradual northward shift over the 20th century to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Those combined effects packed a punch, the authors say: “The Gulf of Maine experienced decadal warming that few marine ecosystems have encountered,” they write online today in Science. Since 1900, the chance of any similar segment of the ocean warming so fast was less than 0.3%, they found.Using recent Gulf of Maine cod stock assessments, the researchers then tested a number of models for predicting the factors that affected cod reproduction. Warming was the best predictor, they reported: When summer temperatures went up, the number of fish reaching maturity went down. “The number of new cod for each year that appear in the population is strongly related to temperature,” Pershing says. “And that’s ultimately what you need to rebuild a population and sustain a fishery: new fish coming in.”The study did not explore exactly how warming hurts cod reproduction, but it points to previous research showing that heat may diminish the populations of tiny sea creatures that larval cod rely on for food. Warmer temperatures also may be causing the larval cod to move out of their typical shallow habitat into deeper, cooler waters, where they’re at greater risk from predation, the authors say. Higher temperatures also could be increasing the metabolic energy that the young have to spend to stay alive. The average weights of cod have been below the long-term mean since 2002, the authors note, and these poorly conditioned fish will likely have a lower chance of survival.Because they didn’t account for the impact of climate change, New England’s fishery managers set catch quotas too high, particularly during the 2012 ocean heat wave, Pershing says. They were trying to help fishing communities, but it may have hurt the cod—and the fishers who rely on it—in the long run. “We have the advantage at the top of the hill in 2015 of looking back and being able to say, ‘How crazy was that?’” Pershing says. “But in the thick of it, when you’re having to make those decisions, it’s much harder to put those pieces together.”The research should serve as impetus for a long-needed overhaul in how fish are managed in the region, says biologist Jud Crawford of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ northeast oceans program in Boston, who was not involved in the study. “Hopefully, this is enough evidence to finally push New England to really seriously embrace models that include temperature as a variable,” as well as habitat for cod larvae.Still, Gib Brogan, fishery campaign manager for the nonprofit advocacy group Oceana in Boston worries that the findings will have the opposite effect. “It’s my concern that climate change will be seen as an overwhelming factor, and [fishery managers] will move from recovery mode to liquidation mode,” he says. “In other words, ‘the cod are on their way out. Let’s catch all we can now.’ And that’s a terrifying possibility.”On the other hand, Brogan says that the study shows the need for a new caution in fisheries beyond just the Atlantic cod. “Science is telling them to put a buffer in there for the uncertainty that comes with climate change,” he says. “That should be factored into long-term management for every fishery.”last_img read more

The Milky Way grew out as it grew up

first_imgKISSIMMEE, FLORIDA—Astronomers have long predicted that the oldest stars in our Milky Way galaxy are in the center, while its outer environs are full of younger objects. Now, they have mapped out their prediction in exquisite detail, thanks to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a 2.5-meter telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico. A team of astronomers used SDSS to determine the masses of red giant stars, bright stars nearing the end of their lives, scattered throughout the Milky Way. The older a red giant, generally speaking, the lower its mass. But SDSS cannot measure mass directly. As the team described to the American Astronomical Society meeting here today, they combined the spectra of light from the red giants with data from NASA’s Kepler observatory, designed to find exoplanets, to calculate the masses of 70,000 red giants across a large swathe of the Milky Way, out to a distance of 50,000 light years. In the map, shown above, the focus with lines coming out of it is the location of Earth. To its right are older stars (red) around the galactic center and to its left are younger (blue) stars in the outer parts of the disk. As the team says, the Milky Way grew out as it grew up. *Correction, 12 January, 3:47 p.m.: This item was updated to reflected that the stars studied were red giants, not red dwarfs. 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

New funding matchmaker will cater to NIH rejects

first_imgLast year, U.S. researchers received about 42,500 pieces of bad news from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their grant proposal had been rejected; they wouldn’t be receiving a piece of the agency’s roughly $30 billion federal funding pie. For many, the next step is to cast around for slices of smaller pies—grants from nonprofit disease foundations or investments from private companies that might keep their projects alive.Now, a new program aims to play matchmaker between these researchers and second-chance funders. The Online Partnership to Accelerate Research (OnPAR), a collaboration between NIH and the defense, engineering, and health contractor Leidos, lets researchers upload rejected NIH proposals to an online portal where potential funders can review the scores received from reviewers, and decide whether to put up cash.The program, launched as a small pilot at the beginning of March with the participation of seven nonprofit disease foundations, is likely to meet a warm reception in the research community. “It’s novel and it’s clever,” says Ray Dorsey, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York who studies funding trends in biomedical research. “NIH [applications] are just brutal to put together, and this is a chance to at least derive additional value from these things that otherwise kind of just die on people’s computers.”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(*) Beyond the convenience for researchers, though, Dorsey and other experts say the success of the project will hinge on whether private funders see value in using OnPAR in addition to their existing grant review process. A lack of commitment from foundations derailed a similar project, launched in 2011 by the National Health Council (NHC). The year-long OnPAR pilot, described by its creators at Leidos today in Science Translational Medicine, will be a new test for the matchmaker model.Leidos researchers conceived of OnPAR based on an observation about the research foundations that were among their clients. “They all highly regard the NIH peer review process,” says James Pannucci, director of the life sciences operation in Leidos’s health division. To enable those private funders to see proposals that didn’t make the cut at NIH, the agency will encourage researchers with relevant proposals scoring in the 30th percentile to submit their abstract to the OnPAR website. For now, those uploads will be curated by Leidos; the foundations can request that a researcher send the full NIH application, including scores from reviewers. The first seven participants are foundations that focus on specific diseases, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the type I diabetes foundation JDRF. Pannucci says he hopes to expand the pool of funders to include pharmaceutical companies and venture capital firms.The model had obvious appeal for NIH, says Sherry Mills, director of extramural programs at NIH’s Office of Extramural Research, who helped develop the program. “There are more meritorious applications than we can fund. This would keep the science going and offer the applicants an opportunity to continue doing the research important to us.” NIH funded the setup of the online portal, but won’t fund the project going forward—Pannucci expects the participating sponsors to keep the project afloat after the full-scale launch.This isn’t the first time NIH has collaborated on a matchmaking effort for its unfunded applicants. The agency worked with the NHC on an online portal called HealthResearchFunding.org, which amassed a database of 42 patient organizations and 600 peer-reviewed research proposals, but never led to a funding agreement. “Though there was great interest in the research community, [the pool of] nonprofit organizations that had the extra capital to invest in this research wasn’t as large as we had hoped,” says Nancy Hughes, NHC’s vice president of communications and marketing. In 2012, NHC and NIH abandoned the project.Mills says the new partnership takes that experience to heart by seeking a firmer commitment from participating organizations. The foundations in the pilot haven’t committed to spending a certain amount on projects discovered through OnPAR, but “they have at least assured me that if they find the appropriate science that matches their mission, that they are willing to put money behind it,” she says.It’s not yet clear whether other funders will see value in OnPAR. Many large research foundations tend to have well-established grant review procedures, and they aren’t hurting for worthy proposals, says William Chambers, senior vice president of extramural research and training at the American Cancer Society. “On our end—and this may well be the case for a lot of folks—we have more applications that we view as outstanding that we would like to fund than we have resources for.” He says this matchmaker model would be valuable if it also facilitated partnerships between organizations to co-fund a project. Pannucci says Leidos plans to accommodate such arrangements, but that will likely have to wait until after the pilot, once more investigators and sponsors sign on.In the meantime, even small grants from little-known foundations could prove valuable to needy researchers, says geneticist Donald Bowden of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who received crucial support from the American Diabetes Association before winning a series of lab-sustaining NIH grants. If young investigators don’t have the preliminary data to woo reviewers, “that’s where a foundation with a modest amount of money … would get them over the hump.”That’s also the endgame for NIH, Mills says, and will be one measure of OnPAR’s success: “We’re hoping at the end of the process, when the funds have been expended, those applicants will come back to the NIH pool having advanced the science.”last_img read more

The invisible problem in gun violence research

first_imgCheck out our full coverage of AAAS 2017. The invisible problem in gun violence research St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office via Wikimedia Commons By Rachael LallensackFeb. 20, 2017 , 10:15 AM A: One is funding, and there other is political will. The extremely limited federal funding in the past 2 decades has hampered researchers’ ability to address important policy questions. It creates a circumstance that deters the next generation of researchers from entering the field.  Q: What are some challenges in the field of gun research right now?  Women are less likely to be injured when a gun is involved in intimate partner violence. Gun violence expert Susan Sorenson.center_img BOSTON—What happens when guns are present at the scene of domestic disputes—but not fired? It’s a slice of gun research that’s “largely invisible,” says Susan Sorenson, a public health professor at University of Pennsylvania who specializes in gun violence. In a session here Friday at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science, she argued that—because medicine, public health, and law enforcement usually focus on physical injury—researchers are missing the psychological impacts of so-called nonfatal gun use. Sorenson sat down with Science to discuss her latest study and broader challenges to the field of gun research. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.  Gun use contributes to a circumstance that is called coercive control. Coercive control is at the heart of battering. If coercive control is present in a violent relationship, [methods of coercion] like psychological manipulation, limiting access to others, limiting movement, denigration, insults, and belittling all cause the woman’s worldview to shift to some degree. So if [the offender] were to hit her after all of this psychological, emotional, economic, and other kinds of abuse, she becomes more compliant—and less likely to leave.  Q: What is the relationship between guns and intimate partner violence? Q: What are the psychological impacts of these types of incidents?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(*)A: About 69% of the time, guns were used as a method for intimidation. We found that fear is substantially higher when a gun is used to threaten a victim. When establishing credibility in a police report, fear is important to record in the absence of physical injury. Medicine, public health, and law enforcement usually focus on physical injury, so data on guns as threats have been largely invisible in those fields.  A: In 2013, there were over 137,867 calls to the Philadelphia [Pennsylvania,] police department for domestic violence assistance, which is a remarkable number in a population of 1.5 million. Of that, 35,413 incidents were between intimate partners, but only 576 involved a gun. We found that most of the incidents were verbal-only in nature. When there was a weapon used, it was most often a bodily weapon—hands, fists, or feet. When an external weapon was used, a third of the time it was a gun, and the remainder it was essentially whatever was within reach—a knife, a bat, ashtrays, you name it. The offenders were less likely to punch or kick the victim when a gun was involved. In other words, the victim was less likely to be injured when a gun was involved.  Connor Augustine last_img read more

To save forests, cut some trees down, scientists say

first_img Nick Fitzhardinge/Getty Images To find out, they measured tree height, diameter, and width of branches to estimate the amount of carbon stored. They also calculated the carbon contained in other plants, dead wood, and forest floor debris.Total carbon was nearly the same in both forests. The un-thinned forest had more trees, but the thinned forest compensated with bigger trees, the team reports this month in Forest Ecology and Management. Larson was surprised by how quickly the thinned trees had caught up.“There are very few experiments that have ever been set up to test [carbon storage] directly,” says Mark Harmon, forest ecologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, who was not involved in the research. Long-term studies like this are useful to validate climate models, he says. “I think we need more examples like this.”The key is early thinning, before trees start to fight over water and light. The remaining trees grow rapidly. Thinning treatments on mature trees haven’t had such success, because the leftover trees were already weakened by competition. “The later you wait, the more impact you’re going to have on carbon storage,” Harmon says.Climate change may bring more severe droughts to the West. Big trees are more drought-resilient, and their thick bark can resist fire better than can young trees. Also, they are healthier and can fight off disease and insects. When the large larches do die, they become homes for woodpeckers and lynx.The results can be applied to forests that have been clear cut, boosting the recovery of trees, says forest ecologist Michael Schaedel, lead author of the study. As a forester for the Nature Conservancy in Missoula, he’s thinned similar young larch forests. But, until now, he hasn’t fully understood how the practice will affect them in the long run. “Having an opportunity to travel through time to the present day—54 years later—and see what the effect of those treatments is is invaluable.”There are still concerns over how thinning impacts other species. In Montana, snowshoe hares—preyed on by the threatened Canada lynx—inhabit young western larch forests. Thinning in these forests could reduce hare habitat and in turn food for lynx. Still, Larson thinks thinning could become a useful tool for addressing climate change. “I think there’s no more pressing issue in natural resource management.” To save forests, cut some trees down, scientists say By Ula ChrobakApr. 21, 2017 , 2:00 PMcenter_img Thinning young western larch forests can boost their climate change resilience without reducing their ability to capture carbon. Forests are feeling the heat. In places like the American West, rising temperatures and drought mean less water for trees, sometimes shriveling swaths of woodland. Now, scientists have found that thinning early in forest growth creates tougher trees that can endure climate change. What’s more, these thinned forests can suck carbon out of the air just as fast as dense forests.“When it comes to carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation, we can have our cake and eat it too,” says Andrew Larson, forest ecologist at the University of Montana in Missoula and author of the new study. “It’s a win-win.”As trees grow, they convert carbon dioxide to food and store it in their leaves, trunks, and roots. U.S. forests capture between 10% to 20% of U.S. emissions each year. But if trees get too crowded, they compete for light and water—and stressed trees are more susceptible to drought and insect attacks. Removing some trees can ease the competition, letting the remaining trees grow big and healthy. But scientists worry that removing trees can reduce forest carbon storage. These worries, however, are based mostly on models and short-term studies.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 see if the climate trade-off truly exists, scientists tapped into a long-term experiment in northwestern Montana. In 1961, U.S. Forest Service officials started the experiment in a young forest of western larch—a conifer common in the Inland Northwest. The forest was broken up into plots. In some plots, the 8-year-old trees were thinned from tens of thousands per hectare down to 494 per hectare (2.5 acres). These trees grew thick trunks and broad canopies. Other plots were left alone, and the teeming trees grew tall and skinny as they competed for sunlight. The original study was rooted in an interest in growing timber rapidly. But the scientists at the University of Montana sprouted a new question: How did tree density affect carbon storage?last_img read more

How the ‘other malaria’ escaped from Africa

first_img Xinhua/eyevine/Redux/The New York Times How the ‘other malaria’ escaped from Africa By Gretchen VogelAug. 21, 2018 , 1:40 PM Malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax infects people across Asia and the Americas. The parasite Plasmodium vivax isn’t as well known as its deadly cousin P. falciparum, which dominates sub-Saharan Africa. But the “other malaria,” which is rare in Africa, sickens some 75 million people a year in Asia and the Americas. Now, new genetic evidence shows how the parasite might have gotten its start: in African ape and human populations, before hitching a ride off the continent with early human migrants.Until recently, scientists assumed P. vivax had originated in Asian macaques and jumped to humans there, before spreading to Europe and the Americas. But in 2010, scientists started to find evidence of P. vivax in African chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos. That suggested an African origin for the parasite. However, there was only sparse genetic evidence to support the theory; most data from ape parasites came from just a few incomplete sequences recovered from primate feces.Now, researchers have managed to sequence nearly the entire genomes of parasites that infected six chimpanzees and one gorilla. Blood samples for the chimpanzees came from sanctuaries in Cameroon and Gabon and from a wild chimp in the Ivory Coast. The gorilla sample came from a piece of bushmeat collected in Cameroon.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(*)This new, closer look at the parasite’s genes shows that the ape parasites are vastly more diverse than those that infect humans, scientists report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That adds weight to the idea that P. vivax once infected both apes and humans in Africa and tagged along with migrating humans to Eurasia and the Americas, says David Conway, a malaria expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who wasn’t involved in the work.The early spread of modern humans into different parts of the world “was probably accompanied by only a few founding strains of the parasite that have given rise to most of today’s human P. vivax,” Conway says. Richard Culleton, a malaria expert at Nagasaki University in Japan, agrees. The new data strongly suggest modern human P. vivax “escaped” from Africa some time before the human population there became immune, he says. Today, P. vivax infection is rare in Africa because most people there lack the protein that the parasite uses to enter red blood cells.  Further supporting that argument, the parasites in African apes and humans elsewhere appear to be closely related, says Paul Sharp, an infectious disease geneticist at The University of Edinburgh who led the study together with Beatrice Hahn, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. “We were looking for evidence that the ape parasites were in some way clearly different,” he says. “Have they diverged to the point where they are separate species? But we couldn’t find any indications that they are separate.”That is consistent with occasional reports of visitors to Africa coming home infected with P. vivax, probably after being bitten by a mosquito that had bitten an infected ape, Sharp says. That means even if P. vivax were eliminated from Asia and the Americas, it could hitch another ride out of Africa anytime and start a new outbreak elsewhere in the world. “This might mean that we can never eradicate P. vivax malaria—unless we manage to get rid of it in the chimp and gorilla populations too,” Culleton says.last_img read more

Violent campus clashes between protesters and police stir fears for Hong Kong universities

first_img Young protesters shield themselves behind a barricade and umbrellas during the conflict with police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in China. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images May James/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP Images Violent campus clashes between protesters and police stir fears for Hong Kong universities The once-peaceful protests in Hong Kong over the erosion of the territory’s autonomous status within China and delays in expected democratic reforms escalated last week into pitched battles between protesters and police on multiple university campuses. At one site, several senior school officials who are scientists sought to negotiate a truce amid rubber bullets and the haze of tear gas.The confrontations wound down early this week, but academics worry about the future of the city’s universities. “The current situation will make it difficult for us to recruit top-quality staff in the future,” says Sun Kwok, a Hong Kong–born astronomer who was dean of science at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for 10 years. He fears it may also be tough to fill HKU’s graduate schools, where most students come from mainland China or other countries. The science faculty recruits about 120 grad students each year, and filling those slots “might be quite difficult,” says MatthewEvans, HKU’s dean of science.Kwok adds that authorities appear to blame university students for instigating the demonstrations. “If this results in increased control by the government on the universities, it could lead to an erosion of academic freedom,” says Kwok, who is now at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.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(*)As Science went to press, an estimated 100 hard-core activists remained holed up on the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). Calm had returned elsewhere. Scientists and officials at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), HKU, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology say that on their campuses, electrical power and internet service continued, and there were no fires within buildings and no losses of culture collections or lab animals. “We had zero damage to our buildings,” Evans says.Hong Kong universities had escaped disruption during the massive demonstrations in the city that started in early June, touched off by a proposed bill to ease extradition of suspected criminals to mainland China for trial. The extradition bill was withdrawn on 23 October. But by then, protesters were demanding broader democratic reforms and independent investigations of police brutality. Protesters flee the campus by climbing down ropes on bridges and crawling through sewer tunnels to avoid the police. In the second week of November, protesters escalated tactics, using perches on hilly university campuses to hurl debris onto adjacent highways. They may have thought they could take advantage of a long-standing policy that police “do not come onto [a] campus unless they have reason to suspect some criminal act has come about or have an appropriate warrant,” Evans says.Radical activists commandeered CUHK, even demanding that visitors to the campus show identification to pass blockades, according to an open letter from the vice chancellor, Rocky Tuan, a biomedical scientist who was pictured trying to negotiate a truce on a pedestrian bridge leading to the campus last week. After masked protesters left CUHK and other schools to gather at PolyU at the end of last week, a police officer on the edge its campus was wounded by an arrow and the situation devolved into a fiery showdown. Many graduate students have fled the city.Despite the chaos, researchers were generally able to keep their studies on track, says Chan King Ming, a CUHK aquatic toxicologist. He reached his lab to feed zebrafish. Barring further upheaval, several Hong Kong scientists told Science they believe research activities will resume smoothly, if not immediately. Although classes are now suspended or being taught online, most schools plan to return to a normal schedule when the next semester begins in January 2020.Ensuring Hong Kong’s long-term tranquility requires a political solution that is beyond the scope of what universities can do, school officials say. “The government must take the lead with swift and concrete action to resolve this political deadlock and to restore safety and public order now,” the heads of Hong Kong’s nine publicly funded universities wrote in a joint statement last week—before some of the most violent protests.*Correction, 22 November, 9:35 a.m.: The caption of a photo in the slideshow has been updated to correctly identify Dennis Ng. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images Fires burn in the main entrance of PolyU, blocking the police out of the campus. By Dennis NormileNov. 19, 2019 , 4:05 PM Kyodo via AP Images AP Photo/Kin Cheung Protesters flee the campus by climbing down ropes on bridges and crawling through sewer tunnels to avoid the police. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images Police detain one protester at PolyU and warn others they will use live ammunition if confronted with lethal weapons. Kyodo via AP Images ‹› A protester hurls a lit Molotov cocktail at the police outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China, where demonstrations escalated in recent days. Chemist Dennis Ng, pro-vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wears a gas mask while speaking to his students during active demonstrations. Wearing a gas mask, a young demonstrator prepares to shoot an arrow at the police at PolyU. A crowd of protesters is hit with tear gas as the police lay siege to the university. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images Chemist Dennis Ng, pro-vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wears a gas mask while speaking to his students during active demonstrations. May James/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP Images DALE DE LA REY/AFP via Getty Images last_img read more

Ribery banned for three games

first_imgFranck Ribery has been suspended for three games following his conduct in the aftermath of Fiorentina’s controversial 2-1 loss against Lazio. In the build-up to Lazio’s second goal, Jordan Lukaku appeared to foul Fiorentina winger Riccardo Sottil. That led to remonstrations and calls for referee Marco Guida to look at VAR, but he failed to do so. Ribery contested the decision after the game and went on to push match official Matteo Passeri. Today, the Giudice Sportivo announced its latest batch of suspensions, with the Frenchman’s name included. The FIGC judge found him to have “come forward with a threatening attitude and disrespectful behaviour towards an assistant, in addition to disrespectful words, by pushing him with one arm to the chest, as well as a further push by grasping an arm.” The 36-year-old has also been fined €20,000 and will miss games against Sassuolo, Parma and Cagliari. Elsewhere, Sassuolo midfielder Francesco Magnanelli and Parma’s Matteo Scozzarella have been charged with blasphemy and will sit out the midweek round. One-match bans have also been given to Fiorentina defender Luca Ranieri , Lazio’s Denis Vavro and Udinese’s Nicholas Opoku. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Liveblog: Lokomotiv-Juve, Atalanta-City

first_imgJoin us for all the build-up and action from the Champions League, as Juventus visit Lokomotiv Moscow and Atalanta host Manchester City. If you are on a mobile device or tablet, then follow the Liveblog HERE. We begin at 17.55 GMT in Moscow, where Juventus can mathematically qualify for the Round of 16 with a victory. They had been trailing 1-0 to Lokomotiv in Turin until a late Paulo Dybala brace turned it all around, so this is not to be taken for granted. At 20.00 GMT, Atalanta seek their first ever Champions League point, but are up against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at San Siro. La Dea had been leading at the Etihad, but eventually lost 5-1. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more