Month: July 2019

Swish Toyotas basketball bot earns a Guinness record with 2020 perfect throws

first_img Editors’ Recommendations First the robots came for our jobs. Now they’re after our sporting achievements, too!At least, that’s our takeaway from the news that a humanoid robot built by Toyota (yes, the car company!) just picked up a Guinness World Record for its impressive basketball shooting abilities. The robot, known as CUE, won its record by sinking 2,020 free throws in a row without ever missing a shot. The number was selected to commemorate the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo.The CUE project dates back to 2017, when Toyota engineers began developing it in their downtime. The first robot was finished in March 2018. The inspiration came from a popular Japanese manga and anime basketball series called Slam Dunk. In the series, the main character practices shooting 20,000 times to up his skill levels. Similarly, the robot’s A.I. algorithms were honed using plenty of trial and error.Today, what started as a fun side project has spawned multiple iterations of basketball-shooting robots (the record-winner is CUE3). It carries out its picture-perfect throws from the center circle by first computing a 3D image of the basket and its relative distance using vision and radar, and then utilizing some smart algorithms to work out how to transform this data into instructions for its arm, knee and torso motors and sensors. This allows it to calculate the perfect angle and propulsion for each throw. Depending on its distance from the basket, CUE3 can dynamically adjust its throw.“It started as a sort of company’s club activity,” said Tomohiro Nomi, project leader for the robot project, in a video appearing on the official Guinness World Record YouTube channel. “Times are changing, the automobile industry is changing. So, CUE’s name came from the idea of prompting change — the cue for something new.”As impressive as CUE undoubtedly is, however, it won’t be able to challenge human players in a full game of basketball just yet. That’s because it is only capable of carrying out free throws and is unable to move autonomously (or, really, at all) or carry out the other necessary skills to ball. But don’t count that out. While focused on a different sport, the Japanese developers behind the RoboCup soccer challenge have stated their ambition to build a team of autonomous robot players good enough to beat a team of professional human players by 2050.Such a goal may seem impossible with today’s technology — but, then again, so did the idea of a perfect basketball-shooting bot just a few short years ago! The best N64 games of all time The best indie games Chicago’s trash-eating river robot is a glimpse into the future of crowdsourcing The best PS1 games of all time: From Symphony of the Night to Final Fantasy 7 The best PS4 gameslast_img read more

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Viewpoints Obama Needs To Offer Plan On Entitlements And Spending Assessing The

first_imgViewpoints: Obama Needs To Offer Plan On Entitlements And Spending; Assessing The Paycheck Crimp From Health Costs The New York Times: How To Unparalyze Us (President Barack Obama) owes it to himself and to the country to make one more good shot at a Grand Bargain on spending, investment and tax reform before he opts for a strategy of trying to pummel the Republican Party. … He has to lead with his chin and put a concrete, comprehensive package on the table, encompassing three areas. First, new investments that would combine immediate jobs in infrastructure with some long-term growth-enablers like a massive build-out in the nation’s high-speed broadband capabilities. That would have to be married with a long-term fiscal restructuring, written into law, that slows the growth of both Social Security and Medicare entitlements (Thomas L. Friedman, 2/16). The Washington Post: A Permanent Financial Fix Now, not later, is the time to put the debt on a downward trajectory. The sudden, blunt-force spending shrinkage embodied in the “sequester” scheduled to take effect on March 1 might do more harm than good. What’s needed instead is a serious, sustained effort to reform the entitlements that increasingly dominate the federal budget: especially Medicare and Social Security, including the latter’s fast-growing disability program (2/16). The Washington Post: Americans’ Mental Health With the Sandy Hook shootings still in the public mind, it seems as though every legislator, from the NRA-friendly to the anti-gun, is paying attention to mental health care in America. But lawmakers must also keep an eye on the bigger transformation of the country’s mental health system that is already in the works. According to a 2011 study from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 60 percent of Americans and 70 percent of U.S. children suffering from mental illness aren’t getting treatment. One reason, no doubt, is stigma associated with seeking help for mental rather than physical problems. Another is that out-of-pocket costs and a shortage of mental health professionals limit access (2/16).The New York Times: The Health Benefits That Cut Your Pay The Affordable Care Act does require employers, beginning this year, to note on W-2’s how much both the employee and the employer contributed to health care costs. Maybe that will help diminish the ignorance regarding true health care costs. But even with greater awareness, many Americans still might not understand that the largest effect of the cost of our health care system is to reduce the amount of money they actually take home (David Goodhill, 2/16). The New York Times: Finding Out Who Pays Your Doctor The Obama administration issued a new rule this month that requires the makers of prescription drugs and other medical products to disclose what they pay doctors for various purposes, like consulting or speaking on behalf of the manufacturer. This overdue rule adds much-needed weight to previous, more limited disclosure requirements (2/18). USA Today: How ObamaCare Can Improve For States As the key months for implementing the Affordable Care Act begin, 30 governors are resisting key provisions of the law. But these leaders don’t need to act just as a phalanx of opposition; if they work with President Obama and Obama works with them, they can change the law’s future for the better (Peter Nelson and Josh Archambault, 2/17).USA Today: Affordable Care Act Will Work If We Embrace It President Obama mentioned the Affordable Care Act only once during his 2013 State of the Union address, a startling oversight considering the paradigmatic shift his landmark reforms will require of the U.S. health care system in the coming year. At first glance, the future of the U.S. health care system looks bleak, and many in the medical community are complaining about the extra pressures that the ACA will put on the system. The president missed an important opportunity to explain how the reforms will make the system better from the ground up (Peter Anderson, 2/17). Des Moines Register: Expanding Medicaid Is The Right Thing To Do Providing health insurance to poor people isn’t a political issue. It’s the morally right thing to do. It’s the financially smart thing to do — for patients, state and local governments, businesses, hospitals and doctors. Supporters have come out of the woodwork to make their case. The opponents have yet to materialize. It’s time for them to stand up in a public meeting at the state Capitol and explain why providing poor, uninsured Iowans with something as basic as access to health care is a bad idea. They should also outline a viable alternative that costs less than what Washington is offering or tell their own personal stories about how being uninsured works so great for them (2/16). The Seattle Times: Ensure Washington State Medicaid ExpansionThe operative phrase is “newly eligible.” Expansion of the state Medicaid program via the federal Affordable Care Act will extend health insurance to legions of people. Among those who would have access to medical care are single men earning less than $14,850 a year. Another current gap in coverage hits a swath of adults ages 50 to 64 (2/18).The Wall Street Journal: Should Healthy People Have Their Genomes Sequenced At This Time? Decoding a genetic sequence can be very useful for a patient with symptoms doctors can’t interpret, or for couples with troubling family medical histories who are thinking of having children. But what if a person is healthy? Is there a compelling reason to know if your genes make you susceptible to a specific disease or condition? Or are there some things you’re better off not knowing (Atul J. Butte and Robert Green, 2/16). Los Angeles Times: Medicare Says Drug Refills Shouldn’t Be Done Without Patient’s OK Medicare called Friday for administrators of its Part D prescription-drug program to ensure that drugstores refill prescriptions only after receiving patient approval. The move follows a series of columns in the Los Angeles Times revealing how CVS and other drugstore chains were routinely refilling prescriptions and billing insurers, including Medicare, without authorization (David Lazarus, 2/15). Boston Globe: Medicine By MetricsHaving spent decades in search of the next wonder drug, American medicine has started to think about improving the way care is actually delivered, and has begun to dig deeply into the processes of health care. The science of operational improvement is on the rise. There’s been an explosion of interest in measurement, metrics, and analytics, as researchers try to figure out how best to improve the quality of care. The pursuit of quality is powerfully enabled by the emerging “digital health” sector, which develops the tools and technologies that enable improved health data collection and sophisticated analysis, and permits us to contemplate the transition of medicine from an episodic, symptom-driven practice to a more holistic vision focused on presymptomatic care and a more continuous assessment of health (David Shaywitz and Dennis Ausiello, 2/19). Boston Globe: Encouraging Patients To Discuss End-Of-Life WishesWhile many elderly and chronically ill patients designate an official health care proxy, few discuss their specific wishes should they later face life-threatening illness. As a result, when patients become too ill to make decisions for themselves, health care proxies are often overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility suddenly placed in their hands. Ideally, these conversations should take place prior to the onset of severe illness (Kiran Gupta, 2/18). Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Physician-Assisted Suicide A Slippery SlopeNone of us is competent to make the decision when to end life.  We just don’t, and never will, have all the data.  Since we cannot see into the mind or the heart, we cannot weigh all the factors that may be going into a patient’s decision to end  life.  Patients are not obligated to fully disclose everything. We have no idea what is going on in the conscious or unconscious of a person during the last moments. When we artificially bring them to the last moment, we are interfering with that process (Dr. Anthony Vigil, 2/18).St. Paul Pioneer Press: Nurse Ratios Are For Hospitals, Not Legislators, To DecideThey couldn’t make headway on hospital staffing standards at the bargaining table, so Minnesota nurses again are taking their cause to the Legislature. With all due respect to these dedicated health professionals, that’s misguided. What do legislators know about running a hospital and caring for patients? Generally speaking, nothing (2/16).Georgia Health News: Georgia Has A ‘Dental Desert,’ But Hygienists Want It To BloomLooking at the lush greenery of the Georgia mountains or the enticing beaches and barrier islands along the Georgia coast, few people would describe the state as a desert, except for the thousands of Georgians who lack dental insurance or funds for basic preventive dental care. … Georgia ranks among the top 10 states both in current population and rate of population growth. But with just one dental school, Georgia is ranked 46th among states for its number of dentists per capita. This means that too many people in Georgia don’t have access to dental care (Suzanne Newkirk and Lynne Slim, 2/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Minn Home Health Care Workers File For Union Election

first_imgMinn. Home Health Care Workers File For Union Election More than 26,000 are eligible to cast votes on whether to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), in one of the largest organizing drives in the state’s history. Minnesota Public Radio: Home Health Care Workers To Hold Largest Union Vote In State HistoryHome health care workers in Minnesota are moving ahead with a union election, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that similar workers don’t have to pay any union dues. Union organizers presented a petition to state officials Tuesday in St. Paul, and said it will trigger the largest vote of its kind in state history. State legislation in 2013 passed a bill that allows a unionization vote by workers who provide care to elderly and disabled people in their homes. There are more than 26,000 workers who are eligible to vote, and the 9,000 cards delivered to the state Bureau of Mediation Services exceeded the 30 percent required to trigger an election (Pugmire, 7/8).The Star Tribune: SEIU, Minnesota Home Health Care Workers File For Union ElectionHome health care workers took the first step in their push for higher wages and benefits Tuesday, seeking a union election for about 26,000 personal care attendants in Minnesota. Union officials said it could be one of the largest organizing drives in state history. Flanked by clients with disabilities, pro-union workers rallied in the parking lot of the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services in St. Paul to announce their intention to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota (McGuire, 7/8). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Deal Said To Address VAs Short And LongTerm Needs

first_imgDeal Said To Address VA’s Short- And Long-Term Needs Negotiators on Sunday reported reaching an agreement, which is expected to authorize billions of dollars in emergency spending to bring more physicians, nurses and clinic sites to the Veterans Affairs system. Legislation is to be unveiled today. Lawmakers have only about five working days before the August break to finalize the agreement.  Politico: Deal Reached On VA ReformsSen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jeff Miller have reached an agreement to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to an aide briefed on the matter. The legislation, which is to be unveiled Monday, will touch on “both the short-term and long-term needs of the VA,” the aide said (French, 7/27).The Associated Press: After 6 Weeks, Finally A Deal On VA Health CareThe chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to unveil a plan expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, hire more doctors and nurses and make it easier for veterans who can’t get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care (Daly, 7/28).The Washington Post: House, Senator Negotiators Reach Deal On Veterans Bill Aides said that Sanders and Miller had worked out final language on the agreement, which would be circulated among lawmakers on Monday ahead of the formal announcement. One House aide, not authorized to speak publicly about the talks, said that the final agreement more closely mirrors a Senate measure overwhelmingly approved by Democrats and Republicans last month (O’Keefe, 7/27).The Washington Post’s Federal Eye: The New VA-Reform Deal, And How The Costs Shrank Over TimeAfter a weekend of talks, House and Senate negotiators say they have reached a deal to help the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs address extensive wait times at VA medical centers, one of the root causes of the agency’s recent scheduling scandal. Lawmakers now have about five working days to recommend changes and vote on the agreement before Congress begins its August recess. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), who lead the Senate and House veterans affairs committees, respectively, will try to round up support for sending the measure to President Obama before then (Hicks, 7/28).The New York Times: Lawmakers Reach Deal On A Fix for V.A.’s Health Care SystemTalks on the legislation had grown acrimonious last week, particularly over the amount of spending that would be required, but lawmakers were also under enormous pressure to reach a deal before Congress begins a monthlong recess later this week. Officials on Sunday did not outline specific details of the agreement, or the cost, which is expected to be in the tens of billions of dollars (Oppel Jr., 7/27).Los Angeles Times: VA Healthcare: Tentative Deal Reached In CongressCongressional negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on legislation to bolster healthcare funding and reforms at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, salvaging a deal after talks imploded last week. The accord comes none too soon: Lawmakers are poised to leave town at the end of the week for the long August break. A stalemate could politically damage the already unpopular Congress (Mascaro, 7/27).The Wall Street Journal: Congress Reaches Deal To Help Fix VAOne primary disagreement stemmed from the aspect of the bills that would provide an injection of funding to the VA to make other immediate fixes at the department, including expanding allowances for veterans to receive care from non-VA doctors. Mr. Miller said last Thursday he was willing to provide $10 billion, while Mr. Sanders said he wanted the bill to authorize as much as $25 billion. Funding became an even more central topic to the negotiations when Sloan Gibson, the acting VA secretary said last Wednesday at a House hearing the department needs $17.6 billion over the next three years to address issues like hiring more doctors and nurses (Kesling, 7/27).Bloomberg: Veteran Hospital Aid Deal Said To Be Reached By LawmakersSanders on July 24 accused Republicans of being “not serious about negotiations,” while Miller said Sanders had “moved the goal posts.” The VA has a $160 billion budget and runs the nation’s largest integrated health-care system. An internal audit in June showed that more than 120,000 veterans hadn’t received a medical appointment or were waiting more than 90 days for care. That number was cut to about 42,400 by July 1, VA data show (Wallbank and Bender, 7/28). The VA deal is only one of the challenges facing Congress before its five-week recess: The Wall Street Journal: Congress Set To Leave A Full PlateCongress loves a deadline. But this year, even that may not be enough. With just a week left before the start of a five-week August recess, it is increasingly likely that Congress will wrap up for the summer having cobbled together only the bare minimum to keep the government functioning without addressing a list of expiring laws and a pileup of potential national crises. … The two chambers, for example, haven’t figured out how to respond to the surge of Central American families crossing the southern border. Lawmakers also had struggled over a bill aimed at mitigating mismanagement and long wait times at Veterans Affairs hospitals, though spokesmen for the top negotiators said Sunday that a deal had been reached (Peterson, 7/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Groups That Rate Hospitals Often Disagree On Rankings

first_img The quality of hospitals is apparently in the eye of the beholder. A Health Affairs study published Monday examined four popular hospital rating systems and found that their assessments rarely agreed on much — to the likely detriment of the consumers they aim to help. (Norman, 3/2) Four popular national rating systems used by consumers to judge hospitals frequently come to very different conclusions about which hospitals are the best — or worst — potentially adding to the confusion over health care quality, rather than alleviating it, a new study shows. The analysis, published on Monday in the academic journal Health Affairs, looked at hospital ratings from two publications, U.S. News & World Report and Consumer Reports; Healthgrades, a Denver company; and the Leapfrog Group, an employer-financed nonprofit organization. (Abelson, 3/2) What makes a top hospital? Four services that publish hospital ratings for consumers strongly disagree, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. No single hospital received high marks from all four services—U.S. News & World Report, Consumer Reports, the Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades—and only 10% of the 844 hospitals that were rated highly by one service received top marks from another, the study published Monday found. (Beck, 3/2) Politico Pro: Study Finds Little Consensus With Hospital Rating Systems The Wall Street Journal: What Are the Best Hospitals? Rankings Disagree Earlier, related KHN coverage: Hospital Ratings Are In The Eye Of The Beholder (Rau, 3/18/13) The New York Times: Hospital Rating Systems Differ On Best And Worst This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Groups That Rate Hospitals Often Disagree On Rankings A study in Health Affairs examined four hospital rating systems for consumers and found their results often diverged.last_img read more

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Trump Eyes Silicon Valley As Recruiting Ground For FDA Chief

first_img President-elect Donald J. Trump is reaching beyond traditional medical experts in his search for a new Food and Drug Administration commissioner, scheduling meetings for the FDA job with two Silicon Valley investors backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel. The two are James O’Neill, a managing director of the investment firm Mithril Capital Management, and Balaji S. Srinivasan, a venture capital board member who founded the genetic-counseling firm Counsyl Inc. (Burton, 1/13) The Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Looking Beyond Traditional Medical Experts For FDA Commissioner Trump Eyes Silicon Valley As Recruiting Ground For FDA Chief In his search for the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner, the president-elect is reported to be meeting with two tech investors, who are both aligned with billionaire Peter Thiel. Bloomberg: Trump Is Considering Another Thiel Associate To Lead FDA  center_img President-elect Donald Trump is considering former biotechnology industry executive Balaji Srinivasan to lead the Food and Drug Administration, according to people familiar with the matter, putting another candidate in the running who is aligned with venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Srinivasan co-founded Counsyl Inc. and helped develop a pregnancy test to quickly detect Down syndrome and other severe, chromosome-related birth defects. That could put him at odds with Republicans, since such tests are used early in pregnancy to help couples make decisions about abortion. (Cortez and Edney, 1/13) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Leak reveals that John Wick is coming to Fortnite in upcoming update

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Also better image of the backbling, and the full size john wick skin image pic.twitter.com/vsGoViwUcA— Lucas7yoshi_ // Fortnite Leaks & News (@lucas7yoshi_) May 15, 2019The skin reveal is accompanied by a Golden Token, which is used as currency in the bloodthirsty world of John Wick. We imagine it will be an unlockable for finishing challenges. According to data-mined text, the LTM will have players working to eliminate other bounty hunters spread across the map, collecting tokens as they go. The one with the most at the end will emerge victorious. John Wick’s house has also been added to Fortnite in Paradise Palms, and data-mined text makes reference to The Continental, a hotel chain prominent in the film series.As for the leaked challenges, these will involve completing matches of the LTM and collecting a certain number of Gold Tokens to unlock skins and other cosmetics. Chances are Epic Games will confirm this update and its impending launch later this week, given that John Wick comes to cinemas today and May 17 in other territories. Are you looking forward to John Wick coming to Fortnite? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews. To celebrate the release of John Wick 3, Keanu Reeve’s unstoppable assassin is coming to Fortnite as part of a special crossover. A number of renown leakers such as FortTory and Lucas7yoshi have uncovered a bunch of details on the upcoming limited-time mode including skins, challenges and accessories. You can catch a glimpse of the John Wick skin below, which will be available in two distinct variants accurate to the film – Regular and Damaged. center_img Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

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Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users experiencing random shutdowns

first_img Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have only been on sale a matter of weeks, but some early adopters are already experiencing major power problems.Android Police brings word from multiple Pixel 3a and 3a XL users experiencing random shutdowns, which ‘occur unpredictably during day and night when the device is not in active use.’Read our Google Pixel 3a reviewThe affected users say they must perform a hard reset in order to get the phone back in working order once again. That takes around 30 seconds, and requires them to hold the power button until the phone reboots.Naturally, the reports are coming from Reddit, where the original poster asserts the problem is related to the operating system or the hardware rather than a third-party app. The user Ravoz said he’d used the phone in safe mode, which disables third-party apps, and still experienced the problems.Related: Google Pixel 3a vs Pixel 3The user wrote: “The phones just die, and require a hard reset of holding the power button down for like 30 seconds before they turn back on.“I had 3 shutdowns yesterday, including over night, causing me to miss my wake alarm. And another shutdown tonight. Today I used my phone in “Safe Mode” to eliminate any chance of a third party app causing it. Unfortunately it did, so unless it’s an issue in the OS, it’s hardware related.”The Pixel range hasn’t been immune from teething problems, but this particular issue harkens back to the shutdown problems experienced by Google Nexus 6P owners, devices which were made by Huawei. Owners of that device are entitled to up to $400 in compensation from both firms as part of a class action lawsuit settled last month.It doesn’t appear this issue is related, and the overwhelming impression is that this problem is only affecting a small minority of Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users. However, this is definitely one to keep an eye on. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

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Bungie and AMD working to fix Destiny 2 on Ryzen 3000 CPUs

first_imgPlayers have reported problems with running Destiny 2 on the recently released selection Ryzen 3000 CPUs. But no fear, AMD is working with Bungie on a hotfix.Having launched very recently, many eager players popped the AMD Ryzen 3000 line of processors into their gaming rigs hoping for improved visuals, performance and other bells and whistles. Sadly, if you were logging into Destiny 2 to tackle your daily quests, it might not have launched. This was the case for some according to Reddit and the Bungie forums. “Literally everything else works great on my new 3600 except for Destiny 2 which won’t even try to load” said one user, echoing an issue that many others seem to be having. At the time of writing, this problem seems to be isolated to Destiny 2 when using an processor in the AMD Ryzen 3000 line, which likely means a patch will need to be issued to fix things.Players have said that removing the component and returning to an older setup fixes the problem, otherwise Destiny 2 doesn’t seem to launch at all.  ‘AMD is aware of the recent report between the Destiny 2 game title with the latest 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen desktop processors and we are working closely together with Bungie to address this as soon as possible to enable gamers to fully enjoy their gaming experiences on AMD platforms, the company said in a statement to Trusted Reviews.To be fair, the AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs have only just left the starting line, so some teething pains are to be expected. However, if you’re an avid Destiny 2 player with an eye for new hardware, this situation is a little unfortunate. Have you been having any issues with Destiny 2 lately? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews or email the editor below.  We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

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AllElectric To PlugIn Hybrid Cars In US Now At 31 Ratio

Model 3 Shoots Tesla Sales In September Up By 270% Because sales of the Tesla Model 3 are expected to increase, it seems that all-electric cars will dominate the market.Perhaps plug-in hybrids are a dying breed? Longer ranges and the expanding fast charging infrastructure should encourage more buyers to go fully electric.Well, a plug-in hybrid Ford F-150 probably could make this ratio change in favor of PHEVs, but will it ever become a reality?Data source for graph: Electric Drive Transportation Association Source: Electric Vehicle News BEV to PHEV ratio is expected to increase even more in the coming months.Depending on the market situation and introduction of new models, sales of all-electric and plug-in hybrid in the U.S. has been ever-changing, but overall it was rather similar, with a slight long-term advantage for BEVs.The most recent ramp-up of the Tesla Model 3 changed the situation completely and probably for the long run now. In September, more than 75% (3:1) of sales were BEVs.Pure Electric Car Market Share vs PHEV In September*BEV – 33,811PHEV – 10,778*Based on estimates due to the lack of U.S. monthly sales reporting by Tesla and GM, as well as BMW i3 splits (BEV + REx), and multiple automakers refusing to reach out or reply related to individual EV sales. U.S. sales Deep Dive: InsideEVs Electric Car Sales Estimates And Methodology September 2018 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Soar In U.S. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 9, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

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Tesla Model 3 Has Commanding Sales Lead Among BEVs in Western Europe

first_imgTesla Model 3 captured 20% of the Western Europe BEV market and is expected to extend its lead in June.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

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Pininfarina Battista To Be Shown At Monterey Car Week

first_imgPininfarina Battista “lightly evolved” will be shown in the latest version at the Monterey Car Week in AugustSource: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Jonathan Pickworth Regarding The 5th Anniversary

first_imgThe FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from the written posts on FCPA Professor.This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Jonathan Pickworth, a lawyer in the London office of White & Case. Pickworth and his colleagues at White & Case recently published a series titled “UK Bribery Act – 5 Lessons in 5 Years.”In the episode, Pickworth discusses various aspects of the Bribery Act including the still lack of clarity regarding the so-called “failure to prevent bribery” offense as well as the “adequate procedures” defense. Pickworth also opines that the U.K.’s recently adopted deferred prosecution agreement regime is a step backwards in terms of motivating corporate self-reports.FCPA Flash is sponsored by the Red Flag Group. The Red Flag Group assists companies in developing and maintaining efficient and effective corporate governance and compliance programs, and has a proven track record in providing integrity due diligence investigations in 194 countries.last_img read more

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This Week On FCPA Professor

first_imgFCPA Professor has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.”Set forth below are the topics discussed this week on FCPA Professor.It’s a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act world and to demonstrate this post weaves the over 200 companies that have resolved FCPA enforcement actions into a fictional story.As highlighted here,  DOJ FCPA Unit Chief Daniel Kahn recently penned an article titled “Responding to the Upward Trend of Multijurisdictional Cases: Problems and Solutions.”As highlighted here, in a rare FCPA trial Chi Ping Patrick Ho was convicted of FCPA and related offenses in connection with bribery schemes in Chad and Uganda.As highlighted here,  Lisa Osofsky (Director of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office) recently gave a speech and touched upon the following topics: SFO priorities, international cooperation, corporate cooperation and integrity, and the SFO’s use of technology.This post highlights a potpourri of topics. How much do you know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Let’s find out in this week’s FCPA challenge.Elevate your FCPA knowledge and practical skills at the FCPA Institute – Phoenix on January 17-18, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.last_img read more

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Thompson Knight Elects Management Committee

first_img Username © 2014 The Texas Lawbook.By Brooks IgoStaff Writer for The Texas Lawbook(February 25) — Thompson & Knight elected nine attorneys to serve on its management committee for 2014, the firm announced Friday. Emily Parker was elected to serve her third year as the firm’s managing partner.Joining Parker on the management committee are Roger Aksamit, a Houston tax partner; William Banowsky, a Dallas litigation partner; David Bennett, the bankruptcy and restructuring practice group leader in Dallas; Max Ciccarelli, a . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Passwordcenter_img Lost your password? Remember melast_img read more

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106 Million Restitution Order in Sleepy Hollow FireFoothills Student Arrested For Texting

first_imgThe convicted Sleepy Hollow arsonist Jeremy Kendall, has been ordered to pay $10.6 million in restitution to insurance companies for losses suffered by at least 30 property owners who lost homes in the 2015 fire.The figure was released at a restitution hearing Monday in Chelan County Superior Court.  Prosecutor Doug Shae says a repayment schedule is yet to be determined “Hopefully he can make some payments.   I think it would wrong to think that he could pay back the full amount.  We can collect on it for ten years and then extend it for up to ten more years”Kendall, 40 is now under supervision through the Department of Corrections after he plead guilty last June and spent more than two years in jail and psychiatric care.The $10.6 million does not include insurance claims for several fruit warehouses and a commercial building also destroyed in the fire when embers were carried more than a mile away from the main fire in the Broadview neighborhood in Wenatchee’s foothills.last_img read more

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A Radical Idea Residents Hiring Staff

first_imgby, Beth Baker, ChangingAging ContributorTweet86Share2KShare70Email2K Shares Becky Haldorson and members of the hiring committeeWould you allow residents to hire your staff? Most nursing homes would likely find that idea unimaginable, if not outright crazy. But at Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County, in Joliet, Illinois, residents play a critical role in the hiring process. Indeed, no employee is hired without resident approval.On the homepage of its website, Sunny Hill proudly proclaims it is on the culture change journey. The home, licensed for 238 residents, is among the dwindling number of county-owned skilled nursing facilities in the nation.As part of its culture change, Sunny Hill decided in 2007 to include a trained committee of residents in the final stage of its hiring process. “Our residents are the boss and remain in control of their lives,” said Becky Haldorson, assistant administrator, at a workshop at the 2014 Pioneer Network conference. “This shows that management has respect for their opinions.”She acknowledges the process has not been an easy one. She began by speaking with the Director of Nursing and the heads of the social services, dietary, and housekeeping departments. “I said if we’re going to do this, we have to have 110 percent buy-in from all of you,” she said. “And there was.” Sunny Hill employees are also union members, adding an additional layer of complexity to the decision to include residents in the hiring process.   (Because applicants are not yet union members, that became a non-issue after much discussion.)Department heads review the applications and conduct the initial interviews. Once they have made their final choice, the preferred applicant must meet with the resident committee. The committee then votes to accept or reject the applicant.  The residents have interviewed more than 300 potential employees since 2007. Of those, the committee gave a thumbs down to 36. On at least two occasions, the DON was enthusiastic about a proposed CNA, “but the residents couldn’t stand her,” and the applicants did not get the job. Others failed background checks or physicals. That leaves 228 employees who have been hired using the resident-approval process.To serve on the hiring committee, a resident must commit to being available every Monday and Friday at 1:30, in case an interview needs to be scheduled. Haldorson aims for four to six committee members—or a minimum of three– participating in each interview. They all undergo training, to ensure the interviews are conducted professionally—and legally.“We knew they had to understand the legalities of doing an interview,” she explained. “We are accountable. We had a lot of conversations about what they can and cannot ask. They can’t ask how old you are, your sexual preference, or the number of children you have.” Residents tend to not want to hurt people’s feelings, said Haldorson, and she cautions the committee to not be swayed by an applicant’s sad personal story. The average age of the residents on the committee is 87; one committee member was 104 years old.Haldorson looks for residents to serve on the committee who had some hiring and firing experience during their careers. Residents are instructed to introduce themselves based on their identities as retired professionals, whatever that may be, rather than as “a resident of 10 years.” Before the interview, Haldorson briefly explains to the committee the applicant’s work history.Residents helped her develop the questions, and that process alone took nearly three months. Among the questions:Could you tell us what position you are applying for and what experience you have in this capacity?What would your past employers say about your work performance?Describe your work ethic.What path led you to working with elders in long term care?If you are not sure what is expected of you, what would you do?Describe what you know about person-centered care.If you witnessed something inappropriate what would you do?If you are not able to keep a promise to me, how would you explain your actions?If I ask for something special would you get it for me (e.g. a cup of coffee at 10:00 at night)?What will we talk about while you are caring for me?What would you like to share with us about yourself that would influence our decision to approve your being hired here at Sunny Hill?In addition, those working in the nursing department are asked other questions related to resident care.The residents then go around the table and tell potential employees what they would expect of them if they are hired. After the applicant leaves, Haldorson returns and one by one, residents share their comments, which she writes down.Haldorson says the process sends a message to all applicants about Sunny Hill’s commitment to culture change. “Potential employees establish a relationship with residents before they even meet their coworkers,” she says. As a result, “the staff respect residents as decision-making adults.”This article first appeared in the January-April 2015 PADONA Journal of the Pennsylvania Directors of Nursing Association.  Related PostsTweet86Share2KShare70Email2K SharesTags: nursing homeslast_img read more

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Recovery United to launch pilot intervention program for patients who experienced opioid

first_imgJul 20 2018Today, Recovery United, Inc. announced the launch of a pilot intervention program at three Boise-area hospitals that will connect patients who have experienced an opioid overdose to certified peer recovery coaches. The program, which was supported by a $50,000 grant from the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, aims to fill voids in the existing continuum of care by ensuring patients have access to critical recovery resources and support after they leave the emergency room.As part of the program, recovery coaches will work with identified patients who have been admitted to the hospital through the emergency room and connect them with treatment options, such as medication-assisted treatment, which combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies. Recovery coaches will also help direct patients to free peer-based recovery support services, which offer supportive environments that foster patient engagement and empowerment.Through the program, the nonprofit aims to help reduce accidental opioid overdoses statewide and increase access to high-quality recovery support services.”Recovery is not meant to be done alone, but rather, it requires a team of people rallying around the individual and their family to inspire a sense of hope that recovery is possible and that they are not alone on their journey,” said Monica Forbes, Administrator of Recovery United, Inc. and a Peer Recovery Coach. “This pilot program will allow us to immediately forge that connection between the individual and their support system that they can then rely on throughout their entire recovery.”Recovery United is launching the program – “Emergency Department Accidental Opiate Overdose Intervention” – in collaboration with the Idaho Association of Recovery Community Centers, which is comprised of Idaho’s nine recovery community centers.Related StoriesFeeling safe and good sleep at night matter most to sick kids in hospitalStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needThe program is a core component of the nonprofit’s ongoing efforts to prevent opioid overdoses and reduce stigma through education, advocacy and free peer-based recovery support services. The stigma around opioid misuse and even medication-assisted treatment can prohibit individuals from seeking the necessary treatment.”One critical component to addressing the nation’s opioid crisis is ensuring that people have access to resources and support throughout the recovery process – especially as they transition out of a hospital,” said Gina Clark, president of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation. “We actively look to support innovative solutions that eliminate barriers to treatment and help reduce the stigma of opioid misuse. This pilot builds a coordinated model that helps connect patients to the high-quality support services they need.”As part of its commitment to combat opioid misuse, the AmerisourceBergen Foundation partners with nonprofits at the local and national level – including stakeholders across the health care continuum – to bolster efforts that address the issue through safe disposal, education around prevention and innovative solutions. The AmerisourceBergen Foundation recently launched an Opioid Resource Grant Program that enables the organization to support and advance ideas from innovative nonprofits, in an effort to redefine best practices in the fight against the opioid epidemic. AmerisourceBergen’s regional Boise associate base is committed to helping the local community, and is regularly working to support the accomplishments and reach of the AmerisourceBergen Foundation within Idaho and beyond.Source:last_img read more

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Secondhand smoke exposure accounts for thousands of stillbirths in developing countries

first_imgJul 20 2018The study reveals that more than 40% of all pregnant women in Pakistan are exposed to secondhand smoke – causing approximately 17,000 still births in a year.Exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth, congenital malformations, low birth-weight and respiratory illnesses. However, little is known about the extent of secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy.The team from York looked at the number of pregnancies alongside smoking exposure data in 30 developing countries from 2008 to 2013.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingThe analysis revealed that in Armenia, Indonesia, Jordan, Bangladesh and Nepal more than 50% of pregnant women reported exposure to household secondhand smoke. The authors believe this led to over 10,000 still births in Indonesia alone.In Pakistan only 1% of still births are attributed to women actively smoking during pregnancy, but for secondhand smoke the figure is 7%, largely due to the high numbers of pregnant women exposed to tobacco smoke in the home.In five of the 30 countries, household secondhand smoke exposure was twice as common as active smoking.Lead author, Professor Kamran Siddiqi, from the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences, said it was predominately male smokers exposing women to secondhand smoke.He said: “This is the first study which provides national estimates for 30 developing countries on secondhand smoke exposure in pregnancy and it reveals a huge problem, a problem which is not being addressed.”We have shown for the first time that secondhand smoke during pregnancy is far more common than active smoking in developing countries, accounting for more still births than active smoking.”Protecting pregnant women from secondhand smoke exposure should be a key strategy to improve maternal and child health.”The research team say the results are based on self-reported surveys and could be subject to underestimation.They also say further work is needed to develop effective interventions to reduce household exposure to secondhand smoke. Source:https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2018/research/secondhand-smoke-pregnancy/last_img read more

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How Canadian researchers reconstituted an extinct poxvirus for 100000 using mailorder DNA

first_img Peter Jahrling, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Evans’s experiment may also render moot a long-running debate on whether to destroy the two last known caches of variola. After smallpox was eradicated in 1980, labs around the world agreed to destroy their remaining smallpox samples or ship them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta or to the Russian Research Institute of Viral Preparations in Moscow. (The Russian samples were later moved to the State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Novosibirsk.) Since then, the fate of those remaining stocks has been the focus of intense debate. “Destructionists” have argued that wiping out the last strains would make the world a safer place, whereas “retentionists” say keeping the virus—and studying it—could help the world prepare for future outbreaks.Now that variola can be synthesized, the decision hardly matters, Jahrling says. “You think it’s all tucked away nicely in freezers, but it’s not,“ he says. “The genie is out of the lamp.” Evans’s work is “a gamechanger for the discussion,” confirms Andreas Nitsche of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, who attended the WHO meeting where Evans presented his work last fall.Fears of a return of smallpox—which kills up to one-third of its victims—ran high in the United States after 9/11 and the anthrax letters mailed to U.S. politicians and media figures a few weeks later. The events led the U.S. government to amass big new stockpiles of smallpox vaccine and start a vaccination campaign for so-called first responders. But though a smallpox outbreak would almost certainly create panic and pose an unprecedented test for public health systems, scientists familiar with the disease say an outbreak could probably be contained quite easily because smallpox is not highly infectious and spreads slowly—qualities that made it possible to eradicate it in the first place.Mysterious originsMuch less is known about horsepox. Pox viruses are known to infect many animals, and horsepox is frequently mentioned in historic accounts, but it seems to have disappeared from nature, possibly because of modern husbandry practices. Scientists at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York published a genome sequence for horsepox in 2006, based on a virus isolated from sick horses in Mongolia 40 years earlier. That virus is still held at CDC; Evans says one reason he decided to synthesize a new virus was that he could not get permission to use the CDC samples for commercial purposes.Evans says his project has academic value as well: It could help elucidate the early history of smallpox immunization. The vaccine used to eradicate smallpox—the world’s oldest vaccine—is itself a living virus named vaccinia; it was first used in 1796 by Edward Jenner, a U.K. doctor. Popular accounts usually have Jenner using cowpox to inoculate people after he noticed that dairymaids appeared to be immune to smallpox. But there are also stories implicating horsepox, and the published horsepox genome looks very similar to some old vaccinia strains, bolstering the hypothesis that the vaccine was derived from horses. (To add another layer of confusion, both horsepox and cowpox may originally have been rodent poxviruses that only occasionally infected livestock.)Evans hopes to study the function of some horsepox genes by making specific deletions, which could shed light on how the vaccine strain arose. “This is the most successful vaccine in human history, the foundation of modern immunology and microbiology, and yet we don’t know where it came from,” he says. “There is a huge, interesting academic question here.”Updated, 7/7/2017 at 2:30 p.m.: This story has been updated to includes comments from Gregory Koblentz on Canada’s system of regulating and reviewing dual use research. Eye of Science/Science Source By Kai KupferschmidtJul. 6, 2017 , 5:00 PM An unpublished study suggests that making variola, the virus that causes smallpox, is neither expensive nor difficult.  Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) How Canadian researchers reconstituted an extinct poxvirus for $100,000 using mail-order DNA Eradicating smallpox, one of the deadliest diseases in history, took humanity decades and cost billions of dollars. Bringing the scourge back would probably take a small scientific team with little specialized knowledge half a year and cost about $100,000.That’s one conclusion from an unusual and as-yet unpublished experiment performed last year by Canadian researchers. A group led by virologist David Evans of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, says it has synthesized the horsepox virus, a relative of smallpox, from genetic pieces ordered in the mail. Horsepox is not known to harm humans—and like smallpox, researchers believe it no longer exists in nature; nor is it seen as a major agricultural threat. But the technique Evans used could be used to recreate smallpox, a horrific disease that was declared eradicated in 1980. “No question. If it’s possible with horsepox, it’s possible with smallpox,” says virologist Gerd Sutter of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.Evans hopes the research—most of which was done by research associate Ryan Noyce—will help unravel the origins of a centuries-old smallpox vaccine and lead to new, better vaccines or even cancer therapeutics. Scientifically, the achievement isn’t a big surprise. Researchers had assumed it would one day be possible to synthesize poxviruses since virologists assembled the much smaller poliovirus from scratch in 2002. But the new work—like the poliovirus reconstitutions before it—is raising troubling questions about how terrorists or rogue states could use modern biotechnology. Given that backdrop, the study marks “an important milestone, a proof of concept of what can be done with viral synthesis,“ says bioethicist Nicholas Evans—who’s not related to David Evans—of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. Paul Keim, Northern Arizona University Email The world just needs to accept the fact that you can do this and now we have to figure out what is the best strategy for dealing with that Bringing back an extinct virus that is related to smallpox, that’s a pretty inflammatory situation Evans discussed the unpublished work in November 2016 at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. (Variola is the official name of the virus that causes smallpox.) A report from that meeting, posted on WHO’s website in May, noted that Evans’s effort “did not require exceptional biochemical knowledge or skills, significant funds or significant time.” But it did not draw much attention from biosecurity experts or the press.Also little noticed was a press release issued by Tonix, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in New York City with which Evans has collaborated, which also mentioned the feat. Tonix says it hopes to develop the horsepox virus into a human smallpox vaccine that is safer than existing vaccines, which cause severe side effects in a small minority of people. Evans says it could also serve as a platform for the development of vaccines against other diseases, and he says poxvirus synthesis could also aid in the development of viruses that can kill tumors, his other area of research. “I think we need to be aware of the dual-use issues,” Evans says. “But we should be taking advantage of the incredible power of this approach.”The double-stranded variola genome is 30 times bigger than the poliovirus genome, which Eckard Wimmer of State University of New York at Stony Brook assembled from mail-ordered fragments in 2002. Its ends are also linked by structures called terminal hairpins, which are a challenge to recreate. And though simply putting the poliovirus genome into a suitable cell will lead to the production of new virus particles, that trick does not work for poxviruses. That made building variola “far more challenging,” says Geoffrey Smith of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who chairs WHO’s variola advisory panel.  In 2015, a special group convened by WHO to discuss the implications of synthetic biology for smallpox concluded that the technical hurdles had been overcome. “Henceforth there will always be the potential to recreate variola virus and therefore the risk of smallpox happening again can never be eradicated,” the group’s report said. But Evans felt like the matter was never really put to rest. “The first response was, ‘Well let’s have another committee to review it,’ and then there was another committee, and then there was another committee that reviewed that committee, and they brought people like me back to interview us and see whether we thought it was real,” he says. “It became a little bit ludicrous.”Evans says he did the experiment in part to end the debate about whether recreating a poxvirus was feasible, he says. “The world just needs to accept the fact that you can do this and now we have to figure out what is the best strategy for dealing with that,” he says.Two rejectionsEvans declines to discuss details of his work because, after two rejections, he is about to resubmit a paper about it for publication. But the WHO report says the team purchased overlapping DNA fragments, each about 30,000 base pairs in length, from a company that synthesizes DNA commercially. (The company was Geneart, in Regensburg, Germany, Evans says.) That allowed them to stitch together the 212,000-base-pair horsepox virus genome. Introducing the genome into cells infected with a different type of poxvirus led these cells to start producing infectious horsepox virus particles, a technique first shown to work in a 2002 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The virus was then “grown, sequenced and characterized,” the report notes, and had the predicted genome sequence.Evans says Science and Nature Communications both rejected the paper. Caroline Ash, an editor at Science, says the paper wasn’t formally submitted to the journal, but that Evans inquired about publication and provided the Tonix press release. “While recognizing the technical achievement, ultimately we have decided that your paper would not offer Science readers a sufficient gain of novel biological knowledge to offset the significant administrative burden the manuscript represents in terms of dual-use research of concern,” Ash says she replied to Evans.Evans says he has run his draft papers by Canadian government officials involved in export and trade as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which were “very helpful and provided timely and sensible guidance,” he says. “These things potentially fall under export legislation, because technically it could be viewed as instructions for manufacturing a pathogen,” he says. To avoid running afoul of international conventions, Evans says he “provided sufficient details so that someone knowledgeable could follow what we did, but not a detailed recipe.”Peter Jahrling, a virologist at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, says the paper should definitely be published. “Not only is it novel,“ he says. “It is also extremely important.“Regulatory questionsProducing the variola virus in the same fashion would be prohibited under WHO regulations and rules in place in many nations. Labs are not allowed to make more than 20% of the variola genome, and the companies that make and sell DNA fragments have voluntary checks in place to prevent their customers from ordering ingredients for certain pathogens unless they have a valid reason. But controlling every company in the world that produces nucleic acids is impossible, Keim says. “We’ve recognized for quite a few years that regulating this type of activity is essentially impossible,“ he says.Instead, Keim says, there should be an international permit system for researchers who want to recreate a virus no longer found in nature. Current U.S. rules already require federally-funded researchers who plan to do an experiment that “generates or reconstitutes an eradicated or extinct agent” that is on a 15-agent list of dual-use agents to undertake a special review and risk assessment. That U.S. list of regulated agents includes variola, but not horsepox, because it’s not considered a dangerous virus itself.The system in Canada is different, says Gregory Koblentz, a biodefense expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who has been looking into the experiment since noticing the Tonix press release in March. There, the rules say even research that does not involve certain dangerous pathogens, but that could nonetheless generate knowledge that poses a dual-use risk, should be reviewed. “That should have captured the horsepox synthesis,” he says. Evans talked to federal agencies in Canada, which was not even required of him, and his university did look at the safety aspect of bringing back an animal pathogen. “But as far as I understand, they did not engage in a systematic review of the broader dual-use implications of synthesizing an orthopox virus,” says Koblentz. “I don’t think this experiment should have been done.”Nicholas Evans, the bioethicist, thinks that new rules need to be put in place given the state of the science. “Soon with synthetic biology … we’re going to talk about viruses that never existed in nature in the first place,“ he says. “Someone could create something as lethal as smallpox and as infectious as smallpox without ever creating smallpox.“ WHO should create an information sharing mechanism obliging any member state to inform the organization when researchers plan to synthesize viruses related to smallpox, he argues. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country David Evans, University of Alberta The genie is out of the lamp Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The study seems bound to reignite a long-running debate about how such science should be regulated, says Paul Keim, who has spent most of his career studying another potential bioweapon, anthrax, at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. “Bringing back an extinct virus that is related to smallpox, that’s a pretty inflammatory situation,” Keim says. “There is always an experiment or event that triggers closer scrutiny, and this sounds like it should be one of those events where the authorities start thinking about what should be regulated.”Little-noticed discussionDavid Evans acknowledges that the research falls in the category of dual-use research, which could be used for good or bad. “Have I increased the risk by showing how to do this? I don’t know,” he says. “Maybe yes. But the reality is that the risk was always there.”last_img read more

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