Ithaca, NY, United States
Ithaca, NY, United States

Cornell University is an American private Ivy League and federal land-grant research university located in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge — from the classics to the science, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's motto, a popular 1865 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar. Cornell is one of three private land grant universities. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges, including its agricultural and veterinary colleges. As a land grant college, it operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but in actuality, is much larger due to the Cornell Plantations as well as the numerous university owned lands in New York.Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission is offered irrespective of religion or race. Cornell counts more than 245,000 living alumni, 34 Marshall Scholars, 29 Rhodes Scholars and 44 Nobel laureates as affiliated with the university. The student body consists of nearly 14,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 122 countries. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Cornell University, Purdue Research Foundation and Coferon Inc. | Date: 2016-08-25

Described herein are silyl monomers capable of forming a biologically useful multimer when in contact with one, two, three or more other monomers in an aqueous media. Such multimer forming associations of monomers may be promoted by the proximal binding of the monomers to their target biomolecule(s). In one aspect, such monomers may be capable of binding to another monomer in an aqueous media (e.g. in vivo) to form a multimer, (e.g. a dimer). Contemplated monomers may include a ligand moiety, a linker element, and a connector element that joins the ligand moiety and the linker element. In an aqueous media, such contemplated monomers may join together via each linker element and may thus be capable of modulating one or more biomolecules substantially simultaneously, e.g., modulate two or more binding domains on a protein or on different proteins.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2015-05-01

The present disclosure relates to, inter alia, a green technology for crosslinking protein molecules for various uses, where the protein molecules can be contained in protein fibers such as, but not limited to, human hair, animal fibers, and mixtures thereof. In one aspect, the present disclosure relates to a crosslinking agent comprising an oxidized sugar having at least two aldehyde groups. In another aspect, the present disclosure relates to a method of crosslinking protein fibers. This method involves providing the aforementioned crosslinking agent and infiltrating a plurality of non-crosslinked protein fibers with the crosslinking agent under conditions effective to cause protein molecules contained in the non-crosslinked protein fibers to become crosslinked, thereby yielding a population of crosslinked protein fibers.


Disclosed herein are compositions that have substantially purified Christensenellaceae bacteria, and uses of these compositions to alter the microbiome of an individual. The addition of Christensenellaceae bacteria, such as Christensenella, to the microbiome of an individual can treat or prevent weight gain, reduce body weight, inhibit fat accumulation, reduce excess adiposity, and reduce a high body mass index (BMI), and can also treat or prevent conditions correlating with excess weight and fat and a high BMI, such as insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome, excess adiposity, and diabetes.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2015-03-09

This invention relates to pharmaceutical composition and methods of using RXR agonist and/or RAR agonist for the treatment or prevention of head and neck cancer.


A hybrid additive manufacturing approach that incorporates three-dimensional (3D) printing and placement of modules selected from a library of modules to fabricate an electromechanical assembly. By virtue of fabrication of the electromechanical assembly, mechanical properties and electrical properties of the assembly are created. The invention overcomes the material and process limitations of current printable electronics approaches, enabling complete, complex electromechanical assemblies to be fabricated.


Provided are spatially-annealed nanoparticle films. The films have one or more discrete regions that exhibit size-dependent properties. Also provided are methods of making the spatially-annealed nanoparticle films. The films can be used in, for example, light emitting applications (e.g., in light emitting diodes).


This invention relates to diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer, as well as therapeutic treatment of prostate cancer. More specifically, the invention provides diagnostic and prognostic methods based on detecting nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1) levels in a sample. Further provided are methods for treating prostate cancer based on targeting NEAT1 via interfering RNA.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2015-04-09

Soft actuators are fabricated from materials that enable the actuators to be constructed with an open-celled architecture such as an interconnected network of pore elements. The movement of a soft actuator is controlled by manipulating the open-celled architecture, for example inflating/deflating select portions of the open-celled architecture using a substance such as compressed fluid.


The present disclosure provides aromatic-cationic peptide compositions and methods of using the same. The methods comprise use of the peptides in inhibiting cholesterol-induced cytochrome c peroxidase activity, promoting reduction of cytochrome c, and inhibition of cardiolipin peroxidation to treat, prevent or ameliorate cholesterol-induced mitochondrial dysfunction.


The present invention relates to methods of detecting a neural injury biomarker in a biological sample. The method includes subjecting a biological sample to an assay according to the present invention that produces a measurable signal and detecting the measurable signal. The presence or absence of the measurable signal indicates the presence or absence of the biomarker in the sample. The present invention also relates to methods of determining the state of a subjects neural injury. The present invention also relates to systems and devices useful in carrying out the methods of the present invention.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2015-05-08

A gel composition that forms a three dimensional gel microenvironment that is formed of an adhesive protein, a maleimide-functionalized poly alkylene oxide, a linking agent and a nanoparticle, the components forming an interpenetrating network that exhibits improved mechanical and biochemical properties, as well as creates a favorable microenvironment for cellular growth and proliferation. The gel composition also creates a favorable microenvironment for testing various agents on normal or diseased cells, including chemotherapeutic agents on cancer cells or other diseased cells.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2016-08-26

Provided herein are methods and devices for single object detection. The methods and devices can be used to identify a plurality epigenetic markers on a genetic material, or a chromatin, encompassing fragments thereof. The invention provides for the characterization of the genetic material flowing through a channel in a continuous body of fluid based on detection of one or more properties of the genetic material. The methods and systems provided herein allow genome-wide, high-throughput epigenetic analysis and overcome a variety of limitations common to bulk analysis techniques.


Patent
Saudi Aramco and Cornell University | Date: 2016-11-14

The present invention relates to carbon-based fluorescent nano-agent tracers for analysis of oil reservoirs. The carbon-based fluorescent nano-agents may be used in the analysis of the porosity of a formation. The nanoagents are suitable for injection into a petroleum reservoir and may be recovered from the reservoir for the determination of hydrocarbon flow rates and retention times.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2016-11-15

An optofluidic photoreactor including an optical waveguide having an input, characterized by an evanescent optical field confined along an outer surface of the optical waveguide produced by radiation propagating in the optical waveguide, means for inputting light to the input of the optical waveguide, and a photoactive material disposed substantially only within the evanescent field. A method for optically activating a photoactive material in an optofluidic photoreactor to convert carbon dioxide and water into other molecules that may be useful as a fuel or a chemical feedstock.


Patent
Cornell University | Date: 2016-09-09

A serological assay with an improved linear range of detection is disclosed using a fusion protein system, such as an anti-cytokine/cytokine fusion protein (ACYF) system, for evaluating immune responses. Also disclosed are related compositions, fusion proteins, expression vectors, monoclonal antibodies, and kits for practicing the assay method of the present invention.


3-terminal magnetic circuits and devices based on the spin-transfer torque (STT) effect via a combination of injection of spin-polarized electrons or charged particles by using a charge current in a spin Hall effect metal layer coupled to a free magnetic layer and application of a gate voltage to the free magnetic layer to manipulate the magnetization of the free magnetic layer for various applications, including non-volatile memory functions, logic functions and others. The charge current is applied to the spin Hall effect metal layer via first and second electrical terminals and the gate voltage is applied between a third electrical terminal and either of the first and second electrical terminals. The spin Hall effect metal layer can be adjacent to the free magnetic layer or in direct contact with the free magnetic layer to allow a spin-polarized current generated via a spin Hall effect under the charge current to enter the free magnetic layer. The disclosed 3-terminal magnetic circuits can also be applied to signal oscillator circuits and other applications.


Patent
Cornell University and The United States Of America | Date: 2015-09-30

The present invention relates to a new and distinct variety of apple tree Malus domesticaMalus robusta hybrid named G.213. G.213 is useful in that it can be propagated clonally and used as a rootstock or root system for apple trees as well as for interstems of apple trees. The new variety is a dwarfing rootstock that is resistant to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) and crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum).


Patent
Cornell University and University of Washington | Date: 2017-01-25

The disclosure provides methods of preventing heart failure in a mammalian subject. The methods comprise administering to the subject an effective amount of aromatic-cationic peptide to subjects in need thereof.


Singh A.,Cornell University
Biomaterials | Year: 2017

Primary and secondary lymphoid organs are tissues that facilitate differentiation of B and T cells, leading to the induction of adaptive immune responses. These organs are present in the body from birth and are also recognized as locations where self-reactive B and T cells can be eliminated during the natural selection process. Many insights into the mechanisms that control the process of immune cell development and maturation in response to infection come from the analysis of various gene-deficient mice that lack some or all hallmark features of lymphoid tissues. The complexity of such animal models limits our ability to modulate the parameters that control the process of immune cell development, differentiation, and immunomodulation. Engineering functional, living immune tissues using biomaterials can grant researchers the ability to reproduce immunological events with tunable parameters for more rapid development of immunotherapeutics, cell-based therapy, and enhancing our understanding of fundamental biology as well as improving efforts in regenerative medicine. Here the author provides his review and perspective on the bioengineering of primary and secondary lymphoid tissues, and biomaterials innovation needed for the construction of these immune organs in tissue culture plates and on-chip. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Mundy J.A.,Cornell University
Nature Materials | Year: 2017

Ferroelectric domain walls hold great promise as functional two-dimensional materials because of their unusual electronic properties. Particularly intriguing are the so-called charged walls where a polarity mismatch causes local, diverging electrostatic potentials requiring charge compensation and hence a change in the electronic structure. These walls can exhibit significantly enhanced conductivity and serve as a circuit path. The development of all-domain-wall devices, however, also requires walls with controllable output to emulate electronic nano-components such as diodes and transistors. Here we demonstrate electric-field control of the electronic transport at ferroelectric domain walls. We reversibly switch from resistive to conductive behaviour at charged walls in semiconducting ErMnO3. We relate the transition to the formation—and eventual activation—of an inversion layer that acts as the channel for the charge transport. The findings provide new insight into the domain-wall physics in ferroelectrics and foreshadow the possibility to design elementary digital devices for all-domain-wall circuitry. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group


Wansink B.,Cornell University
Journal of Retailing | Year: 2017

Disruptive layouts, smart carts, suggestive signage, GPS alerts, and touch-screen preordering all foreshadow an evolution in how healthy foods will be sold in grocery stores. Although seemingly unrelated, they will all influence sales by altering either how convenient, attractive, or normal (CAN) it is to purchase a healthy target food. A Retail Intervention Matrix shows how a retailer's actions in these three areas can be redirected to target shoppers based on whether the shoppers are Health Vigilant, Health Predisposed, or Health Disinterested. For researchers, this review offers an organizing framework that integrates marketing, nutrition, psychology, public health, and behavioral economics to identify next generation research. For managers, this framework underscores how dozens of small, low cost, in-store changes are available to each that can surprisingly increase sales of entire categories of healthy food. © 2017 New York University


Long M.J.C.,Cornell University
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2017

Isozyme-specific post-translational regulation fine tunes signaling events. However, redundancy in sequence or activity renders links between isozyme-specific modifications and downstream functions uncertain. Methods to study this phenomenon are underdeveloped. Here we use a redox-targeting screen to reveal that Akt3 is a first-responding isozyme sensing native electrophilic lipids. Electrophile modification of Akt3 modulated downstream pathway responses in cells and Danio rerio (zebrafish) and markedly differed from Akt2-specific oxidative regulation. Digest MS sequencing identified Akt3 C119 as the privileged cysteine that senses 4-hydroxynonenal. A C119S Akt3 mutant was hypomorphic for all downstream phenotypes shown by wild-type Akt3. This study documents isozyme-specific and chemical redox signal–personalized physiological responses. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Romero Navarro J.A.,Cornell University
Nature Genetics | Year: 2017

Landraces (traditional varieties) of domesticated species preserve useful genetic variation, yet they remain untapped due to the genetic linkage between the few useful alleles and hundreds of undesirable alleles. We integrated two approaches to characterize the diversity of 4,471 maize landraces. First, we mapped genomic regions controlling latitudinal and altitudinal adaptation and identified 1,498 genes. Second, we used F-one association mapping (FOAM) to map the genes that control flowering time, across 22 environments, and identified 1,005 genes. In total, we found that 61.4% of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with altitude were also associated with flowering time. More than half of the SNPs associated with altitude were within large structural variants (inversions, centromeres and pericentromeric regions). The combined mapping results indicate that although floral regulatory network genes contribute substantially to field variation, over 90% of the contributing genes probably have indirect effects. Our dual strategy can be used to harness the landrace diversity of plants and animals. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Sanders R.W.,Cornell University | Sanders R.W.,University of Amsterdam | Moore J.P.,Cornell University
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2017

We describe the development and potential use of various designs of recombinant HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimers that mimic the structure of the virion-associated spike, which is the target for neutralizing antibodies. The goal of trimer development programs is to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies with the potential to intervene against multiple circulating HIV-1 strains. Among the topics we address are the designs of various constructs; how native-like trimers can be produced and purified; the properties of such trimers in vitro and their immunogenicity in various animals; and the immunization strategies that may lead to the eventual elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies. In summary, native-like trimers are a now a platform for structure- and immunology-based design improvements that could eventually yield immunogens of practical value for solving the long-standing HIV-1 vaccine problem. © 2017 The Authors. Immunological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


Agren J.A.,Cornell University
Current Zoology | Year: 2016

During the last few decades, we have seen an explosion in the influx of details about the biology of selfish genetic elements. Ever since the early days of the field, the gene's-eye view of Richard Dawkins, George Williams, and others, has been instrumental to make sense of new empirical observations and to the generation of new hypotheses. However, the close association between selfish genetic elements and the gene's-eye view has not been without critics and several other conceptual frameworks have been suggested. In particular, proponents of multilevel selection models have used selfish genetic elements to criticize the gene's-eye view. In this paper, I first trace the intertwined histories of the study of selfish genetic elements and the gene's-eye view and then discuss how their association holds up when compared with other proposed frameworks. Next, using examples from transposable elements and the major transitions, I argue that different models highlight separate aspects of the evolution of selfish genetic elements and that the productive way forward is to maintain a plurality of perspectives. Finally, I discuss how the empirical study of selfish genetic elements has implications for other conceptual issues associated with the gene'seye view, such as agential thinking, adaptationism, and the role of fitness maximizing models in evolution. © The Author (2016).


Steinhardt S.B.,Cornell University
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings | Year: 2016

This paper asks what we can learn from breaking down systems to understand the development of systems. Through ethnographic fieldwork around a large-scale infrastructure development project in the ocean sciences experiencing a scale downward and threat of further defunding, I highlight four often overlooked components of innovation and development that have important implications for the HCI community. The first debunks the mythical liquidation and restart of Western development's "fail fast, fail often" mantra by tracing the complexities of breaking down an infrastructure, highlighting that the end of a technology is entrenched in longer-lived social, political and organizational consequences. The second dives deeper into these social consequences, as formalized structures are broken down and new temporary and contingent working orders surface to fill their place. Third, I signal the critical consequences of the thoughtful practices of assessment and evaluation of both human and material resources that occur during the downturn of systems. Last, I discuss the deeply personal connections that amplify through processes of breaking down systems.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Lingering, wandering pesticides can put honey bees—which pollinate crops in the growing season—in danger, according to a new study of their own food. Researchers placed 120 pristine honey bee colonies near 30 apple orchards around New York state. After allowing the bees to forage for several days during the apple flowering period, they examined each hive’s “beebread”—the bees’ food stores made from gathered pollen—to search for traces of pesticides. In 17 percent of colonies, the beebread showed acutely high levels of pesticide exposure, while 73 percent revealed chronic exposure. “Our data suggest pesticides are migrating through space and time,” says Scott McArt, assistant professor of entomology at Cornell University and lead author of the study in Nature Scientific Reports. Bees may be gathering pollen from non-target wildflowers, field margins, and weeds like dandelions where insecticides seem to linger. “Surprisingly, there is not much known about the magnitude of risk or mechanisms of pesticide exposure when honey bees are brought in to pollinate major agricultural crops,” he says. “Beekeepers are very concerned about pesticides, but there’s very little field data. We’re trying to fill that gap in knowledge, so there’s less mystery and more fact regarding this controversial topic.” More than 60 percent of the pesticides that were found can be attributed to orchards and surrounding farmland that were not sprayed during the apple bloom season. Persistent insecticides aimed at other crops may be surrounding the orchards, McArt says. In addition, pre-bloom sprays in orchards may accumulate in nearby flowering weeds. “We found risk was attributed to many different types of pesticides. Neonicotinoids were not the whole story, but they were part of the story,” he says. “Because neonicotinoids are persistent in the environment and accumulate in pollen and nectar, they are of concern. But one of our major findings is that many other pesticides contribute to risk.” Mass-blooming crops flower in big bursts during the pollination season, so crop producers rent armies of honey bees to supplement the work of wild bees. “There are so many flowers at one given time, often there may not be enough wild bees to perform sufficient pollination services,” McArt says. Crop pollination by insects, particularly bees, can be valued at more than $15 billion annually to the US economy, according to research by Nicholas Calderone, professor emeritus of entomology. Producers and beekeepers are now concerned about the high rates of hive declines—estimated to be about 42 percent in 2014-15 domestically. To understand the economics, beekeepers may charge more than $100 per colony for pollination services for apple producers in New York, almond producers in California, and blueberry growers in North Carolina. For large farms, several hundred to a thousand pollinating colonies are brought in via large trucks. Commercial beekeepers sometimes assume they will lose entire colonies, which is why pollination service rates have tripled or quadrupled over the past 15 years, McArt says. He recently shared his research with growers at a New York State Integrated Pest Management meeting, and several farmers said they are interested in altering crop management practices to reduce honey bee injury. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets assembled a Pollinator Protection Plan in 2016. Scientists are developing best management practices, reviving pollinator populations, researching and monitoring, and developing outreach and educational programs for beekeepers and producers. The New York Farm Viability Institute funded this research.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.latimes.com

When it comes to buying books online, Americans appear to stand united in our wide-ranging passions, including for science. But on closer inspection, our book-buying habits suggest that, when it comes to choosing science titles, we remain a country divided by politics. Sorting through a database of millions of online book purchases, the authors of a new study have found that when purchasers of a political book also ordered a book on a scientific subject, some pretty clear partisan divisions emerged. Customers who bought a political book aligned with a liberal viewpoint tended to prefer basic science, such as physics, astronomy or zoology, when also ordering a science book. Customers who bought a political book aligned with a conservative political viewpoint were more likely to choose a science book in an “applied” science field such as criminology, organic chemistry, medicine or geophysics. The authors, a team of social scientists from University of Chicago, Yale and Cornell University, reported their findings Monday in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. While their research is a first cut at the subject, it suggests that Americans, who long saw science as a force that transcended politics, now often see it through partisan eyes. Just as social media platforms such as Facebook have been charged with helping Americans build their own political “echo chambers,” the authors suggest that booksellers’ online marketing gambits may have drawn scientific books into “the ‘Big Sort’ of American politics — the tendency to cluster in like-minded communities.” To glean these political patterns in science reading, they scoured Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites in the spring of 2013, using the automated algorithms designed to sell more books to discern patterns of “co-purchasing.” They were able to tease out some revealing patterns. To distinguish between “basic” and “applied” sciences and subfields, the researchers largely relied on distinctions made by librarians in categorizing scientific books. That judgment largely turns on the degree to which works in a given scientific field are cited in patents. For instance, organic chemistry research is routinely cited in these commercial documents, making this an applied science. “Basic” sciences, for the current study’s purposes, are those which are “largely driven by curiosity and basic scientific concerns.” Included among the basic sciences label are such disciplines as zoology and anthropology. Disciplines such as medicine and law (which lie at the most “applied” ends of the life sciences and social sciences, respectively) attracted readers at the conservative end of the spectrum. At the liberal end of the spectrum, basic science texts in fields like anthropology and astronomy tended to attract more readers. “A possible interpretation is that scientific puzzles appeal more to the left, while problem- solving appeals more to the right,” wrote the authors. Even after excluding textbooks and books written primarily for academic audiences from their analysis, the authors’ findings held. And when buyers of political books also bought books in the categories of art, sports, literature or religion, the researchers did not discern patterns as clearly partisan as they did with science books. There were, of course, science fields to which partisans from both sides gravitated: books on paleontology, for instance, attracted buyers who also bought political books ranging across the political divide. But even in these scientific neutral zones, buyers of left-leaning political books chose different titles than did buyers of right-leaning books. The researchers found that buyers of politically conservative books tend to purchase the same scientific books that other conservative book-buyers buy, but not a wide range of other books in the scientific discipline that they seem to be interested in. Buyers of liberal books tend to buy a more diverse set of science books. The science books they buy are more likely to include books that are frequently co-purchased with other books in the same scientific discipline. “Within disciplines, ‘red’ books tend to be co-purchased with a narrower subset of science books on the periphery of the discipline,” the authors wrote. “We conclude that the political left and right share an interest in science in general, but not science in particular.” So how did the researchers glean all this? They cleverly exploited the booksellers’ automated algorithms designed to sell customers more books (essentially the line of products advertised under the heading, “Customers who bought this item also bought...”). First, they found 3,714 books that were either by prominent politicians (including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney) or that were pitched under headings such as “Liberalism and Conservatism.” The researchers assigned each title a place on the right or left of the political spectrum, or ideologically indeterminate. Then, they searched for each of those books to see whether the buy-more-books algorithm offered up any books in the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences or humanities. Yale social scientist Dan Kahan, who studies science interest and skepticism, and how American politics and science collide, called the new study “very enlightening.” Kahan, who was not involved with the current research, said the new study can’t explain whether an individual’s personal interests in scientific subjects shape his or her views on current science controversies. But the patterns the study revealed can now motivate research that ties individual interest in different types of science books to opinions on contested science issues. And understanding that relationship “would be a big advance in knowledge,” he said.


News Article | March 28, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Graphene - Here's What You Should Know Top Scientific Minds You Probably Never Heard Of CERN's LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is a very powerful particle accelerator where particles move at extremely high speeds and collide with each other, releasing energy with matter and breaking into basic quarks and gluons. The CERN lab has reported the discovery of five new particles. The discovery came under the collaborative LHCb (Large Haron Collider beauty experiment) project. The five particles discovery happened in a single analysis. The specialized capabilities of LHCb led to the accurate detection of different particles ably guided by the datasets collected from the previous runs of the LHC. The newly discovered particles were excited states of standard particle Omega-c-zero (Ωc0), which is a baryon or particle of three quarks. The particle states have been named according to the standard convention — Ωc(3000)0, Ωc(3050)0, Ωc(3066)0, Ωc(3090)0, and Ωc(3119)0, with the numbers in brackets indicating a mass in megaelectronvolts (MeV) carried by each particle. The CERN collaboration of scientists will find out the significance of these particles and their roles in the physical world and relevance in the quantum world. The findings have been published by the Cornell University Library. The discovery of new subatomic particles may unveil the mystery behind atoms sticking together. "This is a striking discovery that will shed light on how quarks bind together," said Greig Cowan of the University of Edinburgh, who also works on the LHCb. "It may have implications not only to better understand protons and neutrons, but also more exotic multiquark states, such as pentaquarks and tetraquarks," Cowan added. Physicists at CERN had been trying to understand how quarks interact with each other. The Omega-c particle is known to science since a quarter century, and quantum chromodynamics has hinted heavier versions waiting to be found. "These particles have been hiding in plain sight for years, but it has taken the exquisite sensitivity of the LHCb to bring them to our attention," said Professor Tara Shears of Liverpool University. Having codified the fundamental interaction that sustains the strong nuclear force known as quantum chromodynamics, the new data obtained by CERN will be crucial in supplementing them. The LHCb experiment was basically probing the differences between matter and antimatter in "beauty quark," or "b quark" experiment, says the CERN website. In the process, it measured a very rare particle decay and gathered evidence of a new manifestation of matter-antimatter asymmetry. As a baryon, the Omega-c-zero contains two "strange" and one "charm" quark. After assigning quantum numbers, the new particles will be identified for their properties. For the scientists, they will also offer new understanding about the role of constituent quarks inside baryons and how they are creating multiquark states such as tetraquarks and pentaquarks. The LHC is the biggest international scientific collaboration of 10,000 scientists and engineers from 85 countries working on fundamental properties of physics. They can take credit for the discovery of a number of new particles, offering proof about asymmetry between matter and antimatter and also evidence that defuses claims of paranormal existence. Their research on elementary particle Higgs boson was also significant. The upcoming plans of LHC include more particle discoveries and demystification of many old secrets in the world, including the origin of universe named as the Big Bang theory and existence of dark matter. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 14, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Why are our eyes so expressive? It started as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli, new research suggests, and evolved to communicate emotion. For example, people in the study consistently associated narrowed eyes—which enhance our visual discrimination by blocking light and sharpening focus—with emotions related to discrimination, such as disgust and suspicion. In contrast, people linked open eyes—which expand our field of vision—with emotions related to sensitivity, like fear and awe. “When looking at the face, the eyes dominate emotional communication,” says Adam Anderson, professor of human development at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. “The eyes are ‘windows to the soul’ likely because they are first conduits for sight. Emotional expressive changes around the eye influence how we see, and in turn, this communicates to others how we think and feel.” This work, published in Psychological Science, builds on Anderson’s research from 2013, which demonstrated that human facial expressions, such as raising your eyebrows, arose from universal, adaptive reactions to one’s environment and did not originally signal social communication. Both studies support Charles Darwin’s 19th-century theories on the evolution of emotion, which hypothesized that our expressions originated for sensory function rather than social communication. “What our work is beginning to unravel,” says Anderson, “are the details of what Darwin theorized: why certain expressions look the way they do, how that helps the person perceive the world, and how others use those expressions to read our innermost emotions and intentions.” Anderson and his coauthor, Daniel H. Lee, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Boulder, created models of six expressions—sadness, disgust, anger, joy, fear, and surprise—using photos of faces in widely used databases. Study participants saw a pair of eyes demonstrating one of the six expressions and one of 50 words describing a specific mental state, such as discriminating, curious, bored, etc. Participants then rated the extent to which the word described the eye expression. Each participant completed 600 trials. Participants consistently matched the eye expressions with the corresponding basic emotion, accurately discerning all six basic emotions from the eyes alone. Anderson then analyzed how these perceptions of mental states related to specific eye features. Those features included the openness of the eye, the distance from the eyebrow to the eye, the slope and curve of the eyebrow, and wrinkles around the nose, the temple, and below the eye. The study found that the openness of the eye was most closely related to our ability to read others’ mental states based on their eye expressions. Narrow-eyed expressions reflected mental states related to enhanced visual discrimination, such as suspicion and disapproval, while open-eyed expressions related to visual sensitivity, such as curiosity. Other features around the eye also communicated whether a mental state is positive or negative. Further, Anderson ran more studies comparing how well study participants could read emotions from the eye region to how well they could read emotions in other areas of the face, such as the nose or mouth. Those studies found the eyes offered more robust indications of emotions. This study, says Anderson, was the next step in Darwin’s theory, asking how expressions for sensory function ended up being used for communication function of complex mental states. “The eyes evolved over 500 million years ago for the purposes of sight but now are essential for interpersonal insight,” Anderson says.


In the wake of the 2014 JO25 asteroid that will approach Earth next week and is expected to fly past our home planet as close as 1.1 million miles away — or 4.6 times the distance from us to the moon — astronomers are weighing the possibility and outcome of a potential critical collision in the future. The April 19 event marks the asteroid's closest fly-by in at least 400 years, and its calculated trajectory poses no threat of the celestial body colliding with our planet. Although we are not in any immediate danger, researchers are wondering what would happen if a large-sized asteroid not only flew close to Earth but also actually crashed into the planet's surface. The majority of asteroids in our solar system fly in a simple circular orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Occasionally, their path is disturbed either by each other or more frequently by Jupiter's activity, sending them on trajectories that cross that of Mars or even Earth. Thousands of minuscule debris particles rain down on our planet every day, but the Earth's surface is shielded from any minor impact thanks to air friction. In fact, most asteroids up to 10 meters (or around 33 feet) in diameter are destroyed upon contact with the Earth's atmosphere. On rare occasions, some asteroid fragments reach the ground, accounting for damaged property. Such was the case of the 27-pound stony meteorite that fell in New York in 1992, jabbing a hole in a parked car. According to NASA, 33-feet celestial bodies falling from the sky typically have "the kinetic energy of about five nuclear warheads of the size dropped on Hiroshima." This means the created shock wave can do sizeable damage even if only small fragments reach the ground. In the case of same-sized iron meteoroids, even more fragments are likely to survive the atmospheric contact and land on the surface. The effect of larger pieces falling on the ground would be equivalent to "having a car suddenly drop in at supersonic speeds," NASA states. This happens almost once every ten years, but the events are seldom recorded since they usually occur at sea or in remote, unpopulated areas like Antarctica. Things begin to change when one considers a potential collision with a higher-class asteroid. Once or twice in 1,000 years, a celestial with a 100-meter diameters (or about 330 feet) falls on Earth with the potential to create serious damage. NASA cites the famous Tunguska (Russia) event in 1908, as well as the asteroid impact in northern Arizona, which left behind a 4,000 feet wide crater — made by a nickel-iron meteorite with a presumed diameter of slightly less than 200 feet. The chances of an even higher-class asteroid or comet hitting Earth are once in a million years. The most notable example is the 15-miles-wide Ries Crater in Bavaria, which harbors the city of Nordlingen in its center. This crater was created 15 million years ago, when a 5,000-feet celestial body crashed on our planet's surface. By comparison, the asteroid that is expected to fly past us on April 19 is only 2,000 feet in size. The largest crater ever discovered is the one at Chicxulub, Mexico, produce by a massive celestial body which brought forth the dinosaur extinction. This type of collision is likely to happen once every 50 to 100 million years — the Chicxulub crater is 65 million years old. Researchers at NASA Ames Research Center are monitoring the activity of large-sized asteroids and investigating the likelihood of one of them hitting Earth. Their estimates indicate the presence of 2,100 asteroids wider than 3,300 feet and suggest there may be up to 320,000 other asteroids in the solar system with a diameter exceeding 330 feet — like the ones that caused the Tunguska and Arizona craters. "An impact by one of these larger meteors in the wrong place would be a catastrophe, but it would not threaten civilization," reports NASA. In the even an asteroid wider than 1 or 2 kilometers (3,300 to 6,560 feet) collided with Earth, it could potentially create a worldwide calamity. Impact with such a large-scale body could deteriorate the global climate and place the entire population of the planet in jeopardy. Widespread crop failure would ensue, as well as loss of life. The risk of such a catastrophic event comes around a few times every million years. Mass extinction is a possibility only if our planet collides with an even larger object, five to 10 times this size. A 33,000-feet asteroid crashing down on us would vaporize "a large amount of the Earth's crust, creating a crater more than one hundred kilometers across," reports Cornell University. As per the scenario the university's astronomer team imagines, the displaced rocks would be projected into the atmosphere, heating it up, triggering forest fires, and blocking the sunlight. In the absence of light, Earth's vegetation would fade, leading to the demise of many animal species — including humanity, which would succumb "either in the initial catastrophe, or in the ensuing years due to lack of food and the general devastation of the environment." © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

These are just three familiar examples of the hundreds of thousands of small molecules (also called specialized or secondary metabolites) that plants use as chemical ammunition to protect themselves from predation. Unfortunately, identifying the networks of genes that plants use to make these biologically active compounds, which are the source of many of the drugs that people use and abuse daily, has vexed scientists for years, hindering efforts to tap this vast pharmacopeia to produce new and improved therapeutics. Now, Vanderbilt University geneticists think they have come up with an effective and powerful new way for identifying these elusive gene networks, which typically consist of a handful to dozens of different genes, that may overcome this road block. "Plants synthesize massive numbers of bioproducts that are of benefit to society. This team has revolutionized the potential to uncover these natural bioproducts and understand how they are synthesized," said Anne Sylvester, program director in the National Science Foundation's Biological Sciences Directorate, which funded the research. The revolutionary new approach is based on the well-established observation that plants produce these compounds in response to specific environmental conditions. "We hypothesized that the genes within a network that work together to make a specific compound would all respond similarly to the same environmental conditions," explained Jennifer Wisecaver, the post-doctoral fellow who conducted the study. To test this hypothesis, Wisecaver - working with Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences Antonis Rokas and undergraduate researcher Alexander Borowsky - turned to Vanderbilt's in-house supercomputer at the Advanced Computing Center for Research & Education in order to crunch data from more than 22,000 gene expression studies performed on eight different model plant species. "These studies use advanced genomic technologies that can detect all the genes that plants turn on or off under specific conditions, such as high salinity, drought or the presence of a specific predator or pathogen," said Wisecaver. But identifying the networks of genes responsible for producing these small molecules from thousands of experiments measuring the activity of thousands of genes is no trivial matter. That's where the Vanderbilt scientists stepped in; They devised a powerful algorithm capable of identifying the networks of genes that show the same behavior (for example, all turning on) across these expression studies. The result of all this number crunching - described in the paper titled "A global co-expression network approach for connecting genes to specialized metabolic pathways in plants" published online Apr. 13 by The Plant Cell journal - was the identification of dozens, possibly even hundreds of gene pathways that produce small metabolites, including several that previous experiments had identified. Vered Tzin from Ben-Gurion University's Jacoob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Israel and Georg Jander from Cornell University's Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, NY, helped verify the predictions the analysis made in corn, and Daniel Kliebenstein from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis helped verify the predictions in the model plant system Arabidopsis. The results of their analysis go against the prevailing theory that the genes that make up these pathways are clustered together on the plant genome. "This idea comes from the observation in fungi and bacteria that the genes that make up these specialized metabolite pathways are clustered together," said Rokas. "In plants, however, these genes appear to be mostly scattered across the genome. Consequently, the strategies for discovering plant gene pathways will need to be different from those developed in the other organisms." The researchers argue that the results of their study show that this approach "is a novel, rich and largely untapped means for high-throughput discovery of the genetic basis and architecture of plant natural products." If that proves to be true, then it could help open the tap on new plant-based therapeutics for treating a broad range of conditions and diseases. The research was funded by a National Science Foundation National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to Wisecaver (IOS-1401682), as well as by National Science Foundation grants to Rokas (DEB-1442113) and Jander (IOS-1339237).


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« Roland Berger “Automotive Disruption Radar” focused on MADE: mobility, autonomy, digitalization, electrification | Main | Honda to supply power units to Sauber F1 Team from 2018 on » Lithium-air (Li-O ) batteries are among the nost energy-dense electrochemical platforms for mobile energy storage, and are thus considered promising for electrified transportation. A number of severe challenges with the system need to be overcome first, however. These practical shortcomings include poor rechargeability, reduced efficiency due to high overpotentials (more charge energy than discharge energy) and specific energies well below theoretical expectations. Now, researchers in the lab of Lynden Archer, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Robert F. Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at Cornell University, are proposing a design approach that may provide a promising platform for addressing these three major technical barriers to practical Li-O cells. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Science Advances. Several approaches to overcoming each of the challenges with the Li-O cell have been proposed, but a frustrating observation is that promising solutions to one problem often come at the expense of others or create new problems in some cases. … An important conclusion is that because Li deposition is fundamentally unstable, fundamentally based approaches that take advantage of multiple physical processes are likely to be the most successful in guaranteeing long-term stability of rechargeable batteries that use metallic lithium as an anode. Herein, we report on the stability of Li-O cells using liquid electrolytes containing an ionomer salt additive that spontaneously forms a multifunctional SEI at the anode. The additive and the in situ–formed SEI that it forms are deliberately designed to take advantage of three fundamentally based mechanisms for stabilizing electrochemical processes at the anode and cathode of the Li-O cell. The researchers created a functional designer interphase based on bromide-containing ionomers that selectively tether to the lithium anode to form a few-nanometers-thick conductive coating that protects the electrode from degradation and fade. The SEI ionomers display three attributes that allow for increased stability during electrodeposition:


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

The newly discovered planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system could be a playground for rock-riding microbes. Three of the small, dim star’s seven planets orbit firmly within its habitable zone – the region with the right temperature to retain liquid water, thought to be a requisite for life. They keep close to each other, only a few times the distance between Earth and the moon, looming large in one another’s sky. At such short distances, when a meteorite hits the surface of one of the planets, the resulting debris could make its way between them. If bacteria or other forms of life stowed away on a piece of debris, they could hitch-hike between worlds in a process called panspermia. Some scientists believe life on Earth may have started this way, as microbial stowaways from Mars. Now, Manasvi Lingam and Avi Loeb at Harvard University have determined that this sort of transfer is 1000 times more likely to occur between the TRAPPIST-1 planets than between Earth and Mars. Bringing life to another planet is more complicated than just flinging rocks. Any stowaways would have to survive the vacuum and harsh radiation in space, which few known organisms can do. But the quick commute between TRAPPIST-1’s habitable planets – about 100 times quicker than between Earth and Mars – should help. “Because these distances are so close, a lot more different kinds of species, microbial or otherwise, could migrate from one planet to another,” says Lingam. This means that if there is life on one of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, there is probably life on all three in the habitable zone. The team compared the TRAPPIST system to a series of islands, using mathematical methods from island ecology to describe migration and extinction between them. “It would not be surprising to find the same forms of life on all three habitable planets near TRAPPIST-1,” Loeb says. But some biologists reject this metaphor. “This work is interesting, but no, planets are not islands, even if they are close,” says Valeria Souza at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Even on Earth, she says, it is difficult for species to migrate between islands, and evolution would take them all down a different route once they arrived. The idea of panspermia itself is also uncertain. If it doesn’t happen in our solar system, the fact that it is 1000 times more likely at TRAPPIST-1 may not mean much. “To quantify panspermia is an interesting idea – but whether it happens in the first place is something that we haven’t determined yet,” says Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. But panspermia might not have to transfer living organisms to help life grow. If molecular building blocks, like water or simple proteins, can travel between the planets, that could also improve life’s chances on the three neighboring worlds. If there is life on any of TRAPPIST-1’s habitable planets, especially if it is on more than one, it would be an extraordinary laboratory to study how life begins and evolves. “The fascinating story in science really would be that life evolved on all of these planets individually and you could see the diversity of what nature could come up with,” says Kaltenegger. “We can roll the dice three times in the TRAPPIST-1 system and have a higher chance of success,” says Loeb.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

IMAGE:  A soil test is just one step in determining the risk of added phosphorus. Knowing how likely the phosphorus is to enter into waterways is also important. view more All living things - from bacteria and fungi to plants and animals - need phosphorus. But extra phosphorus in the wrong place can harm the environment. For example, when too much phosphorus enters a lake or stream, it can lead to excessive weed growth and algal blooms. Low-oxygen dead zones can form. Runoff from agricultural sites can be an important source of phosphorus pollution. To help evaluate and reduce this risk, the USDA first proposed a phosphorus index concept in the early 1990s. Since then, science progressed and methods improved. In New York State, scientists and agency staff developed and released a phosphorus index in 2003. Now, a new project proposes a restructured index to build on phosphorus management efforts in that state and beyond. "The idea is to account for the characteristics of a field, and help evaluate the risk of phosphorus runoff from that location," says Quirine Ketterings. Ketterings is lead author of the new study. The new index structure improves upon previous approaches. It focuses on the existing risk of phosphorus runoff from a field based on the location and how it is currently managed. Qualities like ground cover, erosion potential, and distance to a stream or waterbody all come into play. The index also highlights best management practices to reduce this risk. "The new index approach will direct farmers toward an increasingly safer series of practices," says Ketterings. "Higher-risk fields require more and safer practices to reduce and manage phosphorus runoff." Ketterings directs the Nutrient Management Spear program at Cornell University. She and her colleagues used a combination of surveys, computer-generated examples, and old-fashioned number crunching. They used characteristics of thousands of farm fields to develop the new index. Involving farmers and farm advisors was also a key step. "As stakeholders, farmers and farm advisors are more likely to make changes if they understand why," says Ketterings. "Plus, they have experience and knowledge that folks in academia and in governmental agencies often do not." This field experience can be vital. "Involving stakeholders in decision-making and getting their feedback makes the final product more workable," says Ketterings. "It may also prevent mistakes that limit implementation and effectiveness." Ketterings stresses that the previous index was not wrong, "Farming is a business of continuous improvement and so is science," she says. "The initial index was based on the best scientific understanding available at that time. Our new index builds and improves upon the experience and scientific knowledge we have accumulated since the first index was implemented. It is likely this new index will be updated in the future as our knowledge evolves." The previous index approach could be somewhat time-consuming for planners, according to Ketterings. Further, it didn't always help identify the most effective practices for farmers. The new approach addresses both of these issues. "We wanted the new index to be practical to use," she says. "The best index has no value if people cannot or will not implement it." In some circumstances of low or medium soil test phosphorus, the original New York state phosphorus index allowed farms to apply manure and fertilizer in what we now consider to be potentially high-risk settings. "The new index approach proposes soil test phosphorus cutoffs and also encourages placing manure below the soil surface," says Ketterings. "These changes will bring improvements in phosphorus utilization and management across the farm." Ketterings also thinks that the new index is more intuitive. "It allows for ranking of fields based on their inherent risk of phosphorus transport if manure was applied," she says. "It really emphasizes implementing best management practices to reduce phosphorus losses from fields." In addition, the proposed index approach could make it easier to develop similar indices across state lines, according to Ketterings. This makes sense, since watersheds don't follow state boundaries. Growers could use different practices, if deemed appropriate, for different regions. Read more about Ketterings' work in Journal of Environmental Quality. Two USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation grants funded this project.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are everywhere these days: laptops, cars, power tools, and cellphones, including Samsung’s infamous smoldering Galaxy Note 7. Now, researchers have come up with a new way to prevent these rechargeables from going haywire—a zinc-nickel battery that provides nearly the same electrical jolt, but not the fire risk of Li-ion cells. The new batteries—still in development—could one day power devices as varied as consumer electronics and hybrid cars. Zinc batteries are surprisingly old-school. Standard nonrechargeable alkaline batteries have one electrode of zinc and another of manganese dioxide. They’re safe because they contain a nonflammable, water-based electrolyte that helps ferry charges through the battery. Lithium cells instead require a flammable organic electrolyte to prevent side reactions that can kill the batteries. Scientists have come up with all sorts of schemes to stop those cells from catching fire, like adding flame retardants. They’ve also searched for ways to make zinc-based batteries rechargeable. In addition to being safer, zinc is far more abundant, and thus cheaper, than lithium. But previous zinc-based rechargeables suffer from a major drawback: Repeated cycles of charging and discharging cause zinc atoms to pile up on one of the electrodes. That causes the growth of “dendrites,” tiny zinc spears that can pierce other parts of the battery, causing it to short-circuit and fail. Getting rid of those battery-killing dendrites isn’t easy. To make a powerful battery, the negative zinc electrode, or anode, needs a large surface area for the chemical reactions that take place during charging and discharging. Scientists get that large area by making the electrode porous, starting with particles in a fine zinc powder that they press together and secure in place with chemical binders. The trouble is that the zinc in those electrodes winds up unevenly distributed. As a result, the electric field in the battery spikes at particular spots during charging, drawing zinc atoms to deposit at those sites. And once a dendrite is born, the problem only snowballs with each additional cycle. To get around that issue, Debra Rolison, a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., led researchers in a project to make a 3D zinc sponge electrode. The scientists started with the same zinc powder, but they mixed it with a blend of water and oillike organic compounds, creating a gray slurry that they could pour into a mold of their choice. They then dried and heated their material, which solidifies into a uniform, porous zinc framework. When wired into a battery, the spongelike anode lacks hot spots thanks to its uniformity and thus prevents dendrites from forming. Rolison and her colleagues are now doing extensive testing on their zinc rechargeables. In the new study, published today in , they find that the batteries can complete more than 100 charge and discharge cycles when designed to provide roughly the same amount of energy as Li-ion cells. In a separate design common in hybrid vehicles—in which a small amount of power is discharged and then instantly recharged—the researchers showed that their batteries could cycle up to 50,000 times with no dendrite formation. “It’s an important development with tremendous potential,” says Héctor Abruña, a chemist at Cornell University who was not involved in the work. Not only would future zinc-based rechargeables be safer than their lithium counterparts, but the cheap cost of zinc could drive its use in many applications. To speed up that process, Rolison and her colleagues have licensed their technology to EnZinc Inc., a startup in San Anselmo, California, that is developing batteries for hybrid cars, electric bikes, and wearable electronics. If the company succeeds, zinc rechargeables may soon set the battery world on fire—just not themselves.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

A new method for identifying the gene networks plants use to create anti-predator chemicals could lead to more effective drugs, a new study suggests. Plants create hundreds of thousands of small molecules (also called specialized or secondary metabolites)—including chemicals like cocaine, nicotine, and capsaicin—to use as “chemical ammunition” to protect themselves from predation. Unfortunately, the difficulty of identifying the networks of genes that plants use to make these biologically active compounds, which are the source of many of the drugs that people use and abuse daily, has hindered efforts to tap this vast pharmacopeia to produce new and improved therapeutics. Now, geneticists think they have come up with an effective and powerful new way for identifying these elusive gene networks, which typically consist of a handful to dozens of different genes. “Plants synthesize massive numbers of bioproducts that are of benefit to society. This team has revolutionized the potential to uncover these natural bioproducts and understand how they are synthesized,” says Anne Sylvester, program director in the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate, which funded the research. The revolutionary new approach is based on the well-established observation that plants produce these compounds in response to specific environmental conditions. “We hypothesized that the genes within a network that work together to make a specific compound would all respond similarly to the same environmental conditions,” explains Jennifer Wisecaver, a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University who conducted the study. To test this hypothesis, Wisecaver—working with professor of biological sciences Antonis Rokas and undergraduate researcher Alexander Borowsky—turned to Vanderbilt’s in-house supercomputer at the Advanced Computing Center for Research & Education in order to crunch data from more than 22,000 gene expression studies performed on eight different model plant species. “These studies use advanced genomic technologies that can detect all the genes that plants turn on or off under specific conditions, such as high salinity, drought, or the presence of a specific predator or pathogen,” says Wisecaver. But identifying the networks of genes responsible for producing these small molecules from thousands of experiments measuring the activity of thousands of genes is no trivial matter. That’s where the scientists stepped in; they devised a powerful algorithm capable of identifying the networks of genes that show the same behavior (for example, all turning on) across these expression studies. The result of all this number crunching—described in a paper in The Plant Cell—was the identification of dozens, possibly even hundreds, of gene pathways that produce small metabolites, including several that previous experiments had identified. Vered Tzin from Ben-Gurion University’s Jacoob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Israel and Georg Jander from Cornell University’s Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, New York, helped verify the predictions the analysis made in corn, and Daniel Kliebenstein from the plant sciences department at the University of California, Davis helped verify the predictions in the model plant system Arabidopsis. The results of their analysis go against the prevailing theory that the genes that make up these pathways are clustered together on the plant genome. “This idea comes from the observation in fungi and bacteria that the genes that make up these specialized metabolite pathways are clustered together,” says Rokas. “In plants, however, these genes appear to be mostly scattered across the genome. Consequently, the strategies for discovering plant gene pathways will need to be different from those developed in the other organisms.” The researchers argue that the results of their study show that this approach “is a novel, rich, and largely untapped means for high-throughput discovery of the genetic basis and architecture of plant natural products.” If that proves to be true, then it could help open the tap on new plant-based therapeutics for treating a broad range of conditions and diseases. Funding came from a National Science Foundation National Plant Genome Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to Wisecaver, as well as by National Science Foundation grants to Rokas and Jander.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Using pressure instead of chemicals, a Sandia National Laboratories team has fabricated nanoparticles into nanowire-array structures similar to those that underlie the surfaces of touch-screens for sensors, computers, phones, and TVs. The pressure-based fabrication process takes nanoseconds. Chemistry-based industrial techniques take hours. The process, called stress-induced fabrication, “is a new technology that mimics imprint processes already used by manufacturers,” says Sandia researcher Hongyou Fan, who led the effort. “Only instead of embossing credit cards, we’re using the same type of process to fabricate nanowires or other nano-sized components at ultrashort time scales.” The method, for which three patents have been issued, is 9 million times faster than any known chemical method when performed on Sandia’s Veloce pulsed-power machine, which generates pressures on the order of 100,000 atmospheres, says Fan’s colleague, Jack Wise. Less exotically, for manufacturing instead of research, embossing machines similar to those already commercially in use could serve. “It’s conceivable that few modifications would be needed to convert the machines from embossing to fabrication,” Fan says. Also, defects common in industrial chemical fabrication of semiconductors are reduced in number by the pressure process, which acts to fill any vacancies occurring in the product’s atomic lattice. “I have never seen or heard of this [process] in our extensive interaction with some of the leading material scientists in the world,” says Tom Brennan of Chicago-based Arch Venture Partners, speaking in a video about an earlier version of the process. “It allows us to think of completely new material solutions to problems industry is facing across the board.” That earlier version of the pressure-based process worked by using a hand-tightened vise with diamond anvils, but that tool was not rapid or malleable enough for commercial production. Industrial embossing machines, on the other hand, produce sufficient pressure and are controllable. “For a touch-screen, the pressure has to be worked out beforehand to stop the compression at just the right distance from the target: not too far, not too close, to produce the underlying nanowiring for a flat screen,” says Fan. “It’s a matter of programming the force applied to precisely determine how much to compress.” That is, for flat screens, the nanowires need to be made flexible enough to contact an electrically charged layer of the device when pressed by a finger, yet far enough apart to remain separate when there’s no signal. The technology, recently reported in Nature Communications, can fabricate a wide variety of nanoscale components including nanorods and nanosheets. The components can either be organized during their formation or dispersed in solvents for later assembly. The method could be used for chemical sensors, strain detectors and electrodes in solar cells. In addition to Fan and Wise, authors of the paper include Kaifu Bian, J. Matthew D. Lane, Gary S. Grest, Tommy Ao and Randy Hickman of Sandia; Zhongwu Wang from Cornell University; and former Sandia post-doctoral fellows Binsong Li and K. Michael Salerno. The work was supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Part of the work was carried out at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a DOE Office of Science User Facility run by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are everywhere these days: laptops, cars, power tools, and cellphones, including Samsung’s infamous smoldering Galaxy Note 7. Now, researchers have come up with a new way to prevent these rechargeables from going haywire—a zinc-nickel battery that provides nearly the same electrical jolt, but not the fire risk of Li-ion cells. The new batteries—still in development—could one day power devices as varied as consumer electronics and hybrid cars. Zinc batteries are surprisingly old-school. Standard nonrechargeable alkaline batteries have one electrode of zinc and another of manganese dioxide. They’re safe because they contain a nonflammable, water-based electrolyte that helps ferry charges through the battery. Lithium cells instead require a flammable organic electrolyte to prevent side reactions that can kill the batteries. Scientists have come up with all sorts of schemes to stop those cells from catching fire, like adding flame retardants. They’ve also searched for ways to make zinc-based batteries rechargeable. In addition to being safer, zinc is far more abundant, and thus cheaper, than lithium. But previous zinc-based rechargeables suffer from a major drawback: Repeated cycles of charging and discharging cause zinc atoms to pile up on one of the electrodes. That causes the growth of “dendrites,” tiny zinc spears that can pierce other parts of the battery, causing it to short-circuit and fail. Getting rid of those battery-killing dendrites isn’t easy. To make a powerful battery, the negative zinc electrode, or anode, needs a large surface area for the chemical reactions that take place during charging and discharging. Scientists get that large area by making the electrode porous, starting with particles in a fine zinc powder that they press together and secure in place with chemical binders. The trouble is that the zinc in those electrodes winds up unevenly distributed. As a result, the electric field in the battery spikes at particular spots during charging, drawing zinc atoms to deposit at those sites. And once a dendrite is born, the problem only snowballs with each additional cycle. To get around that issue, Debra Rolison, a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., led researchers in a project to make a 3D zinc sponge electrode. The scientists started with the same zinc powder, but they mixed it with a blend of water and oillike organic compounds, creating a gray slurry that they could pour into a mold of their choice. They then dried and heated their material, which solidifies into a uniform, porous zinc framework. When wired into a battery, the spongelike anode lacks hot spots thanks to its uniformity and thus prevents dendrites from forming. Rolison and her colleagues are now doing extensive testing on their zinc rechargeables. In the new study, published today in , they find that the batteries can complete more than 100 charge and discharge cycles when designed to provide roughly the same amount of energy as Li-ion cells. In a separate design common in hybrid vehicles—in which a small amount of power is discharged and then instantly recharged—the researchers showed that their batteries could cycle up to 50,000 times with no dendrite formation. “It’s an important development with tremendous potential,” says Héctor Abruña, a chemist at Cornell University who was not involved in the work. Not only would future zinc-based rechargeables be safer than their lithium counterparts, but the cheap cost of zinc could drive its use in many applications. To speed up that process, Rolison and her colleagues have licensed their technology to EnZinc Inc., a startup in San Anselmo, California, that is developing batteries for hybrid cars, electric bikes, and wearable electronics. If the company succeeds, zinc rechargeables may soon set the battery world on fire—just not themselves.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

The US government wants a better way to get its hands on people’s fingerprints – and it has set up a contest to find it. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has launched a challenge that pits security companies and research groups against each other, in a bid to build a device that accurately captures every part of a fingerprint. This “nail-to-nail” scan covers the whole fingertip, from one side of a fingernail to the other. The larger the area captured, the more useful it is. A bigger print gives police officers more chance to match a partial print found at a crime scene, for example. So nail to nail is the gold standard. But capturing prints like this is time-consuming and labour-intensive, says Chris Boehnen at IARPA, who is managing the contest. At present, a security officer must roll a person’s fingers across a surface, one at a time, to make sure they get a set of full prints. Because of this, the US only uses nail-to-nail fingerprinting when someone is taken into police custody or has a background check for security clearance. At airports, arriving passengers simply have a flat fingerprint taken. This can be done using an automated scanner but only captures the central part of the fingerprint, so is less likely to provide an accurate match with ones stored on the authorities’ databases. Now, IARPA wants to find an automated way of capturing nail to nail prints, to make the process easier, quicker and less prone to human error. “Human beings are the weak link in performance,” says Boehnen. Errors can creep in if an officer doesn’t roll someone’s finger correctly, but it’s nearly impossible for humans to recreate the exact same motion every time. Automating the process would help ensure that prints are of a consistently high standard, says Boehnen. Fourteen teams have already started building nail-to-nail systems, with a top prize of $100,000 on offer for the best overall entry as well as smaller prizes for speed and accuracy. And there could be further rewards down the line. “They’re hoping it will lead to business opportunities,” says Boehnen. Competing teams that get through the first round of evaluation in July will bring their system to a live test in Maryland in September. Over one week, they will use their system on 300 people, and their results will be compared with those from the best human-operated nail-to-nail schemes. The winning system must be capable of automatically capturing fingerprints 90 per cent of the time, and must be no more than 20 per cent slower than human-operated alternatives. Competitors are adopting different approaches to the problem. Amit Lal at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and his team are using pulses of ultrasound emitted from a glove. The user will wear the glove and a scanning chip in the fingertip will then measure minute variations in the reflected waveforms to create an image of the finger. “The real advantage of ultrasound is that it can go deeper in the tissue to get sub-tissue features like blood vessels and sweat pores,” says Lal. Being able to see beneath the skin could help defend against fingerprint “spoofing”, says Lal, in which people alter their prints by burning their fingers or wearing a thin layer of gelatin with a different fingerprint on it. Working in a manual profession, such as bricklaying, can also wear down a fingerprint and make it hard for scanners to read it. An ultrasonic scanner would be much harder to fool, he says. Daniel Raguin at biometrics company Crossmatch is more tight-lipped about his team’s approach, but says it will be based on the company’s existing optical technology, using a light sensor similar to that in a digital camera to take an image of a finger placed against a glass panel. Most current flat fingerprint scanners use this approach. Curving the glass and the sensor might make an optical scanner suitable for nail to nail prints, says Boehnen. Alternatively, a scanner could take multiple images from different angles and use software to stitch them together into one big print. If someone cracks the challenge this year, Boehnen plans to announce the result at a biometrics conference in London in November. But it may take longer to develop a device that meets all of the requirements. “It is highly possible that no one will win the grand prize in the first year,” he says.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

MANHATTAN, KANSAS - Kansas State University researchers will continue to lead efforts to combat a deadly bacterial disease that's affected up to 80 percent of Florida's citrus trees and cost billions in lost revenue. A $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative supports the continuing efforts of researchers from 10 U.S. academic and national research labs, and the University of Grenada in Spain, who have joined forces to combat citrus greening, a disease that has all but decimated the citrus industry in Florida and is evident in Texas and California groves. Caused by the proliferation of a bacterial species Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) in citrus trees, the disease is spread by tiny sap-sucking insects called Asian citrus psyllids as they feed. Once introduced into the host trees via the psyllids, the bacteria move through the veins of trees. The disease starves the tree of nutrients and damages its roots. Fruit from the tree are small and misshapen. "Our goal is to establish a research pipeline to develop and deliver novel therapies designed to kill the insect when it tries to feed on citrus or block its ability to transmit the bacteria," said Susan Brown, university distinguished professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University and principal investigator on the project. "Either way, it can't spread the disease anymore." The new funding will allow researchers to build on work they began two years ago. Their approach requires detailed knowledge of the interactions between the insect and the bacteria and the effects of any treatment on citrus. Since it is difficult to access information on such diverse systems, an early goal of the project - and one that has been accomplished - was to develop a platform that allows researchers to access information about the genes, proteins and metabolites of the insect, bacterium and citrus to better understand how to combat the disease. Another major milestone accomplished was the analysis of the psyllid genome, which involved several undergraduate researchers at Kansas State University, Cornell University and Indian River State College. The students identified genes in the insect genome that can be targeted in new therapies. Jason Ellis, Kansas State University associate professor and interim head of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, is a co-principal investigator on the project and leads efforts to interact with industry, academic and consumer groups. "The continued funding will allow us to move our work from the laboratory to the green house and the grove for efficient deployment to the citrus growers," Ellis said. Sometimes referred to as simply "greening," the disease was first detected in Florida in 2005 and spread rapidly through the state's citrus groves. Fruit from infected trees is safe to eat, but production is reduced so much that citrus fruit may be less available and more expensive. More information can be found at the project website. A survey of citrus growers conducted in 2015 by the University of Florida indicated that as much as 90 percent of their acreage and 80 percent of their trees were infected by the deadly greening disease, which put a huge dent in the state's $10.7 billion citrus industry. The survey indicated Florida lost about $7.8 billion in revenue, 162,200 citrus acres and 7,513 jobs to citrus greening since 2007. Orange production alone dropped from 242 million boxes to 104 million boxes in 2014. More information about the survey is available at http://edis. and https:/ .


The garden of a large ancient villa in Pompeii was home to stunning paintings depicting the Nile river flowing among green, lush landscapes. These artworks could shed light on the way the Romans viewed the ancient Egyptian culture, and how they integrated it into their own. In a study now published online in the American Journal of Archaeology, researcher Caitlin Barrett shows that these "Nilotic scenes" give the Pompeian house a more cosmopolitan feel. They transform it into a microcosm of the Roman civilisation – which at the time had spread all around the Mediterranean, all the way to Egypt. Trending: Wild dolphins' immune systems are failing because of ocean pollution "Nilotic paintings are one manifestation of a broader phenomenon in Roman culture: a strong interest in things Egyptian. There has been a lot of debate in recent years about why exactly that was. The paintings from the Casa dell'Efebo were created after Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire, but several generations after Augustus' initial conquest of Egypt", Barrett, from the Department of Classics at Cornell University, told IBTimes UK. "Some researchers have turned to explanations emphasising religion: maybe paintings of Egyptian landscapes have to do with an interest in Egyptian gods. Others have interpreted these paintings as political statements: maybe this is about celebrating the conquest of Egypt. I suggest that instead of trying to apply a one-size-fits-all explanation, we should look at context and individual choices". Casa dell'Efebo was among the largest houses in Pompeii. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79, burying the city under suffocating clouds of black ash, the house appeared to have been under renovation. Many of its walls were covered with elegant paintings representing popular Roman mythological and religious themes. Outside in the garden, the archaeologists that excavated the house in the 1920s came across a series of Nilotic frescoes. They depict the Egyptian river and its surrounding landscapes. The paper notes that these artworks "provide examples of practically every motif attested in Roman Nilotic scenes" seen elsewhere. Most popular: Is your baby in pain? Brain scan can detect physical suffering in infants An abundance of Egyptian fauna and flora is represented – including crocodiles, hippopotamuses and lotuses – with short-statured men sometime depicted in hostile encounters with the wild beasts. Representations of sexual activity, music and alcohol consumption are often central to these paintings. This study's originality lies in the fact that it attempts to reinterpret the artworks in relation to their surroundings and to the other artefacts found at the Casa dell'Efebo. It finds many examples of how the garden's elaborate architecture, its water installations and the paintings combine to create a kind of idyllic landscape evocative of the larger Roman world at the time - and of its cosmopolitan nature. "In this particular assemblage, rather than solely trying to make some kind of statement about Isiac rituals or Roman politics, the owner of this house seems to be asserting a cosmopolitan identity as a citizen of the Empire. In Pompeian houses at this time, when people are representing faraway lands in domestic art, they are also trying to figure out what it means to them to be participants in the Roman Empire", Barrett said.


Patent
Cornell University, Gudas, Tang, Osei Sarfo and Urvalek | Date: 2017-01-18

This invention relates to pharmaceutical composition and methods of using RXR agonist and/or RAR agonist for the treatment or prevention of head and neck cancer.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ITHACA, N.Y. - When you spill pasta sauce on your favorite shirt but there is no trace of it after being washed, you can thank oleophobicity, a resistance to oil commonly applied to textiles. That resistance, however, comes at a price. The coating that makes textiles oil resistant is fluorine-based and breaks down into chlorofluorocarbon gas, a greenhouse gas harmful to the environment. But that may change, as a result of a Cornell University cross-campus collaboration involving Emmanuel Giannelis, professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering, and Jintu Fan, professor and chair of the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design in the College of Human Ecology. Work from their labs has yielded a promising new material - for which the pair submitted a patent disclosure to the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) - that could help change the way oleophobicity is developed. A provisional patent for the material has been filed by CTL, according to Giannelis. Fan was excited about the partnership, noting that engineers don't always lend their expertise to the fashion industry. "In general, collaboration with the engineering department is very interesting and fruitful," he said. "They are very good and bring a lot of wonderful ideas. But maybe in the past they were not targeting the textile and fashion industry, which is a $3 trillion a year industry." At the time of his seminar, Giannelis and his group were working on super-hydrophilic polymeric membranes that are used in water purification, and Fan asked if they could team up and "basically apply some of the work that we were doing in polymeric membranes to textiles," Giannelis said. They worked with an apparel maker on creating a polymer that could make fabric more breathable while retaining wrinkle resistance - always a challenge - and Giannelis said they made good progress along that line. "The company came back and said, 'That is good and great - but can you do something similar with oleophobic coatings?'" he said. "It's a very different kind of chemistry, and something we had not worked on previously, but one of the great things about being at Cornell is that we have great students and postdocs who can take this kind of challenge and do great things." Postdoctoral researcher Genggeng Qi developed a polymer that combines well-known chemistry with a rough surface texture that creates little air pockets. Fluids with a high enough surface tension will ball up on this fiber and not stick, making for easy cleaning. This roughness uses the same principle as the water-resistant quality of the lotus leaf, which has a rough nanostructure and naturally repels water. Fan is excited by early results of this material, noting that they've just done testing using mineral oil, which has a low surface tension. "We've found that even after 30 washings, it's still durable, which is great," he said. "Even if we can achieve [oleophobicity] even close to fluorine-based [polymers], that would be a huge breakthrough." Giannelis is cautiously optimistic about the work. "I don't want to declare complete victory," he said with a smile, "but we believe we are the first group to show that non-fluorine-based chemistry opens up the possibility to create oleophobic coatings that are probably good enough to resist stains from vegetable oils, olive oil, and other oils. "For industrial applications ... we're not quite there yet,' he added. "But we believe that we've opened up an opportunity, and more work will get us there."


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Inquisitive artificial intelligence that asks questions about things it reads could be used to quiz students in class. The question-asking ability would also help chatbots with the back and forth of human conversation. AI is usually on the receiving end of queries, says Xinya Du at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Du and his colleagues have turned the tables by building a system that has learned to ask questions of its own. This is something that people have been wanting to do for a long time, says Karen Mazidi at the University of Dallas in Texas. Previous attempts by other people using hand-coded rules haven’t been particularly successful. The machine-learning algorithm can read a passage of text and come up with the kind of questions you might ask to check someone’s understanding of a topic. Du’s team used a neural network – software that loosely mimics the structure of the brain – and trained it on more than 500 Wikipedia articles and 100,000 questions about those articles sourced from crowdworkers. For example, a sentence about different types of crop grown in Africa might be paired with the question “What is grown in the fertile highlands?” The software learned to recognise patterns that linked questions back to their source text, such as that dates in sentences tended to correspond with questions that started with “when”, and sentences about places often led to questions that started with “where”. The team then presented the AI with extracts from Wikipedia articles that it hadn’t yet seen. Given a passage from an article on economic inequality, it asked the question “When did income inequality fall in the US?” An article about a Pakistani political organisation prompted “When was the Jamaat-e-Islami party founded?” Four human volunteers rated the naturalness and difficulty of the questions as higher than those generated by existing systems. Mazidi is impressed with the results and thinks similar algorithms could eventually be used in classrooms to help test students. “If you stop a student while they’re reading something, and ask them a few questions, it can greatly improve their comprehension of what they’ve just read,” she says. Du’s software taught itself using a large amount of real-life data, but Mazidi thinks rule-based approaches shouldn’t be thrown away entirely. “A neural network is going to learn whatever it learns and you have very little control over that,” she says. By adding in a few rules, a computer could be made to formulate questions in a way that seems more human. The current version of the system produces a question for every sentence it reads but Du wants it to asks questions only about sentences that contain statements. “Not all sentences are question-worthy,” he says. Read more: Google uses neural networks to translate without transcribing; Kindergarten bots teach language to tots


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"We are so pleased that Karen has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her seminal work in microbial and human microbiome work," said Dr. Venter, Founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO, JCVI. "It is an honor for me to be part of this exceptional group of scientists at the National Academies which include JCVI mentors and colleagues Venter, Smith and Hutchinson. I would not have achieved this success without these individuals and the entire JCVI team," said Nelson. In addition to being an elected member of the NAS, she serves on their Board of Life Sciences. Other honors include being named ARCS Scientist of the Year 2017; a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; an Honorary Professor at the University of the West Indies; and a Helmholtz International Fellow. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology and metagenomics. Dr. Nelson has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts, and led the first human metagenomics study that was published in 2006. Additional ongoing studies in her group include metagenomic approaches to study the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions, reference genome sequencing and analysis primarily for the human body, and other -omics studies. She has authored or co-authored over 170 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of BMC Genomics, GigaScience, and the Central European Journal of Biology. Nelson has been JCVI President since 2012. Prior to being appointed President, she held several other positions at the Institute, including Director of JCVI's Rockville Campus, and Director of Human Microbiology and Metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at JCVI. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. About J. Craig Venter Institute The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and La Jolla, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 200 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The JCVI is a 501 (c)(3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.JCVI.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jcvi-president-karen-nelson-elected-to-national-academy-of-sciences-300451174.html


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Belle Aire Creations’ Total Malodor Management® Technologies Revolutionize the Way the World Manages Malodor To answer the need to more effectively manage malodors, Belle Aire Creations has developed technologies that will change how the world manages malodor. Belle Aire Creations introduces Total Malodor Management® (TMM®). TMM® and, most recently, TMM Natural® are proprietary and patented technologies that effectively modify, neutralize and eliminate malodor on contact. Now body odor, mouth odor, foot odor, cat urine, garbage can odor, household odors, ammonia from hair coloring, smoke, gym and sport clothing odors, laundry odors, food odors, pet odors, feminine odors, industrial and automotive odors and product-based notes can be managed or eliminated with one of the TMM® products. Belle Aire has developed solutions by vertical market with its Total Malodor Management® technologies, creating the only complete and effective malodor management system on the market today, with more than 90 percent malodor counteraction efficacies. “Until now, masking and specifically targeted malodor counteraction strategies have been the best option to combatting and managing malodors,” says Don Conover, President of Belle Aire Creations, Scientist and Master Perfumer behind the development of this technology. “Our multidimensional TMM® and TMM Natural® formulas contain a set of uniquely performing ingredients that work together synergistically to reduce malodors,” he adds. “After 25 years of dedicated work with the best scientific minds and talent in the industry, we know how to modify, neutralize and eliminate malodor and we want to show the world what we know,” Conover says. Dr. Craig Warren, working in the field of olfactory science and developing malodor counteractants and methods for the measurement of behavioral effects of aromas on humans, was brought in as an independent consultant to challenge the TMM® and TMM Natural® claims and proof of performance. “With more than 40 years of experience and broad industry expertise, the Total Malodor Management® technologies produce the most effective malodor counteractants that I have observed to date,” Dr. Warren says. “Their performance is substantiated both by objective testing, using headspace analysis, and by subjective testing, using expert and consumer sensory evaluation panels. I stand behind their efficacy claims and know that this technology is going to change the malodor counteraction world as we know it,” he adds. TMM® solutions were developed by vertical market application, including TMM® Oral Care (patent pending), TMM® Personal Care, TMM® Hair Care, TMM® Animal Care, TMM® Home Care, TMM® Air Care, TMM® Laundry Care, TMM® Confectionery and TMM® Institutional and Commercial. Total Malodor Management®: Functionality with Uniquely Created Fragrances and Flavors TMM® and TMM Natural® blend well with most flavors and fragrances. Belle Aire creates and develops fragrances and flavors that blend with TMM® and TMM Natural® technologies, with no compromise to these beautiful fragrances and flavors. For products that need the added benefits of TMM® and TMM Natural®, Belle Aire works to preserve existing fragrance and flavor formulations while fulfilling its malodor counteraction function. TMM® formulations have very little odor and have not been found to interfere with performance of fragrances or flavors. This is because TMM® formulations are highly targeted toward forming molecular complexes with malodor molecules, not fragrance or flavor ingredients. Belle Aire perfumers and flavorists have created fragrances and flavors that are fine-tuned to work optimally with TMM®. Belle Aire Creations has employed a rigorous product development and performance testing regimen that involves: This provides Belle Aire with the tools to create the TMM® and TMM® Natural formulations. The Future of Total Malodor Management® Technologies Belle Aire Creations is also exploring innovations in advanced oral care technology and advanced laundry care. The company is continuously exploring and testing new, more effective controlled-release systems with increased, longer-lasting malodor reduction. Belle Aire Creations, previously known as Belle-Aire Fragrances, is a full-service fragrance development company with an unwavering commitment to its partners. The company’s breakthrough malodor technologies, dedicated service and fresh approach to fragrance and flavor innovation are changing the future of the fragrance and flavor industry. Committed to developing high-quality fragrances and flavors, Belle Aire Creations has become a leading supplier and malodor management technology developer to the household products, personal care products and air care industries. For more information, visit http://www.BelleAireCreations.com. Dr. Craig Warren received his doctorate in physical organic chemistry from Cornell University, a master’s degree in biochemistry from Villanova University and his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College. He spent 23 years at IFF, where he was Vice President and Director of Fragrance Science. At IFF he developed a technique for mood mapping of fragrance, and was responsible for IFF’s sensory testing center, its fragrance stability assurance program, its neuroscience program and its fragrance application science program, introducing physical chemistry into the creative process. For further press information, please contact: Laura Perillo 908-406-3413 PR(at)fioreinspires.com


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE MKT:XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is focused on tobacco harm reduction and cannabis research, announced today that the Company is building on its newly developed THC-free marijuana. 22nd Century scientists and sponsored researchers are now developing important “enabling tools” that allow for the targeted manipulation of cannabinoid production in the cannabis plant. With this technology, the Company is working to create industrial hemp plants with altered levels of cannabinoids for new medicines and improved agricultural uses. These projects have already added significantly to the Company’s cannabis-based intellectual property portfolio. As leaders in the resurgent industrial hemp industry, Dr. Paul Rushton, the Company’s Vice President of Plant Biotechnology and Thomas James, the Company’s General Counsel, were invited by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to the first-ever “Summit on Growing the Hemp Industry in New York State” that was held this week at Cornell University. 22nd Century’s recent advances, including the creation of zero-THC hemp plants, earned the Company a prominent spot at the meeting where Governor Cuomo’s executive team announced the goal of tripling hemp production in New York. The invitation-only event assembled key players who are leading the state’s fast-emerging industrial hemp industry. Through generous research investment and business-friendly regulations, New York Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, announced the administration’s commitment to making New York State the national leader in the production of industrial hemp. New York has already removed the cap on hemp growing licenses; 22nd Century expects to receive permits to grow hemp in both the Company’s Buffalo-based laboratories and in New York state farms with contract growers. In addition, New York is securing a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) permit to facilitate the import of hemp seeds by the state – a move that will speed the research and development efforts in New York for 22nd Century’s proprietary hemp varieties, high CBD hemp plants, and plants with other unique agronomic traits. 22nd Century’s increasingly prominent role in the hemp industry is underlined by extensive recent news coverage of the Company’s zero-THC hemp on WIVBTV “Local Team Develops Strain of THC-Free Marijuana,” in The Buffalo News “Why a Clarence Company is Taking the High Out of Marijuana,” and in a host of other publications. 22nd Century Group is engaged in talks with research universities and hemp growers in the State of New York and across the country with the aim of bringing the Company’s highly differentiated hemp plants with unique cannabinoid profiles into the fast-growing industrial hemp industry. “22nd Century is spearheading the development of important new varieties of industrial hemp and medical marijuana,” stated Dr. Paul Rushton, the Company’s Vice President of Plant Biotechnology. “Our expertise is in high demand by research universities, state agricultural programs, growers, and hemp processors; 22nd Century’s zero-THC hemp will form the foundation for hemp revitalization in New York and across the entire country.” 22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company focused on technology which allows it to increase or decrease the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants through genetic engineering and plant breeding. The Company’s primary mission in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The Company’s primary mission in cannabis is to develop proprietary cannabis strains for important new medicines and agricultural crops. Visit www.xxiicentury.com and www.botanicalgenetics.com for more information. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release, including but not limited to our future revenue expectations. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed on March 8, 2017, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

As part of the Stago EdVantage Virtual University Virtual Event, which makes educational webinars accessible to novices as well as experienced users, attendees will gain a better understanding of the background and impact of preanalytical variables of commonly performed coagulation screening tests. Hemostasis testing quality is determined by preanalytical variables which encompass patient preparation, sample collection, handling, transportation, processing and storage. If any of the preanalytical variables are not properly adhered to, incorrect or uninterpretable results are reported resulting in possible adverse patient consequences or delays in treatment. Dr. John Mitsios, assistant director at the Special Coagulation Laboratory at BioReference Laboratories, will be the speaker for this event. Dr. Mitsios was recruited to BioReference Laboratories as an Assistant Director of the Special Coagulation Laboratory from a previous faculty position at Cornell University as an Assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as well as an Assistant Attending Clinical Chemist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In his current position, Dr. Mitsios is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the lab and signing out cases. The laboratory receives on average 150 – 200 patient specimens and performs roughly 1,000 tests per day. Dr. Mitsios has co-authored 19 peer-reviewed articles and 2 book chapters. LabRoots will host the webinar April 24, 2017, commencing at 6:00 a.m. PDT. To learn more about the Stago EdVantage Virtual University Virtual Event, the continuing education credits offered, or to register for free, click here. ABOUT DIAGNOSTICA STAGO, INC. Diagnostica Stago, Inc. is the exclusive provider of the Diagnostica Stago Hemostasis product lines in the United States and offers a complete system of coagulation instruments and optimized reagent kits for research as well as for routine analysis. Diagnostica Stago, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Diagnostica Stago, S.A.S. France, a leader in the development and manufacture of Hemostasis products. For more information about any Stago product or service, please call 800-222-COAG or visit our website at http://www.stago-us.com. ABOUT LABROOTS LabRoots is the leading scientific social networking website and producer of educational virtual events and webinars. Contributing to the advancement of science through content sharing capabilities, LabRoots is a powerful advocate in amplifying global networks and communities. Founded in 2008, LabRoots emphasizes digital innovation in scientific collaboration and learning, and is a primary source for current scientific news, webinars, virtual conferences, and more. LabRoots has grown into the world’s largest series of virtual events within the Life Sciences and Clinical Diagnostics community.


MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 16th International Forum on Consciousness, Conscious Evolution: Awakening Through the Senses, in Madison, WI, May 18-19, will bring together a diverse group of presenters including Diane Ackerman (Best-selling Author, The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses), Rebecca Alban Hoffberger (Founder and Director, American Visionary Art Museum), Louie Schwartzberg (Cinematographer, Director and Producer) and Andrea Stevenson Won (Director of the Virtual Embodiment Lab and Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Cornell University), among others. This year’s forum focuses on the five (or more) senses, and explores how altering awareness of sensory inputs might change perceptions of reality and expand consciousness in positive directions for self and others. In addition to presentations, attendees will have opportunities to engage in direct sensory experience through virtual reality, movement, sound and visuals, as well as tastes and aromas. Find more information at www.btci.org/consciousness. Each year, the International Forum on Consciousness explores a different—and often challenging—topic related to the exploration of consciousness. The forum is co-hosted by the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute) and Promega Corporation. The BTC Institute is a not-for-profit organization operated exclusively for educational, scientific and cultural purposes. Learn more about its K–12 programs, scientific course offerings, and annual educational forums and symposia at www.btci.org/.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Weill Cornell Medicine today announced a gift made by WorldQuant, LLC (“WorldQuant”) and Igor Tulchinsky that will further realize the promise of precision medicine. The $5 million gift establishes a new initiative that will use predictive tools to enhance Weill Cornell Medicine’s capability to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses, with the goal of improving outcomes for patients. The WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction brings together financial and medical experts whose collaboration strives to enhance biomedical research. Weill Cornell Medicine’s scientists, working closely with researchers and technologists from WorldQuant, will deploy predictive tools and quantitative methods to deepen the understanding of genetic factors that drive disease in individual patients. Using sophisticated algorithms, the new initiative will enable the research team to analyze genomic data to identify patterns and trends that may predict patients’ future risk of developing disease, as well as potential outcomes. These insights may be used to improve the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of illnesses, including cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases and infections. Weill Cornell Medicine researchers Dr. Christopher Mason, the WorldQuant Research Scholar, and Dr. Olivier Elemento, the Walter B. Wriston Research Scholar, will lead the initiative, which will involve joint work with physician-scientists at the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. “This outstanding gift will accelerate and expand Weill Cornell Medicine’s approach to precision medicine, providing new predictive tools that will lead to even better outcomes for patients,” said Jessica Bibliowicz, chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Board of Overseers. “We are very grateful to Igor Tulchinsky and WorldQuant, LLC for making this initiative possible.” “The use of quantitative prediction for patients represents an important new tool at Weill Cornell Medicine,” said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean at Weill Cornell Medicine. “We appreciate Mr. Tulchinsky’s generosity, which will help us achieve new goals in the rapidly evolving field of precision medicine.” For WorldQuant, an international quantitative investment management firm founded by Mr. Tulchinsky, who is chairman and CEO, applying predictive algorithms to medical research is a natural progression. “There is a great opportunity to leverage the technology and proprietary algorithms we’ve developed for use outside of the financial markets, particularly around predictive medicine and cancer research, where the stakes are so high,” said Mr. Tulchinsky, a member of the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell Medicine. “This initiative has tremendous possibilities, and I am proud to help drive advances in the field.” Drs. Mason and Elemento, as co-directors of the initiative, will leverage new technologies to analyze clinical samples and visualize various diseased tissues at single-cell resolution. These methods will be combined with a supercomputing infrastructure, which includes developing new software to crunch data using advanced pattern-recognition algorithms to model disease progression. One of the initiative’s ultimate goals is to give researchers the ability to examine a blood draw or urine sample from one patient and predict his or her future risk for developing a specific type of cancer. The same technology could also give researchers the ability to rapidly diagnose patients and predict which treatments might work, which treatments may encounter resistance and how the disease is likely to progress. In the future, this framework may enable investigators to analyze single cells and molecules from blood, tumor biopsies, saliva or other clinical samples collected from patients seeking care at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and then use analytical algorithms to create personalized predictive models based on findings from longitudinal healthcare data collected from thousands of patients. To accomplish this, Drs. Mason and Elemento will work closely with WorldQuant’s research team and intend to recruit software engineers and experts in artificial intelligence who can develop innovative quantitative prediction tools and analyze findings. They will continue to provide advanced training in quantitative biology and modeling to Weill Cornell Medicine’s physician-scientists to support this effort. “We are looking forward to using the tools and methods that will result from this philanthropic investment to tease apart disease cells’ secrets and create predictive models of health for patients,” said Dr. Mason, who is also an associate professor of physiology and biophysics, an associate professor of computational genomics at the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine, and an associate professor of neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Not only does this gift enable new science and predictive models in medicine, it also creates an unprecedented collaboration between two big-data groups at Weill Cornell Medicine and WorldQuant.” “This incredibly generous gift will likely spur a whole new generation of biomedical discoveries by helping bring predictive disease analytics to precision medicine,” said Dr. Elemento, who is also associate director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine and an associate professor of physiology and biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine. “We’re profoundly thankful to Igor for his support, and grateful to have WorldQuant as a partner in pioneering new approaches to understanding cancer, infections and neurological diseases.” Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine — faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization — are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side's scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine's powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where an international campus offers a U.S. medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu. WorldQuant, LLC is a global quantitative investment firm that was founded in 2007 by Igor Tulchinsky and now has more than $5 billion in assets under management. The firm has more than 20 offices in 15 countries and over 600 employees and 500 consultants. WorldQuant develops and deploys systematic investment strategies across a variety of asset classes in global markets, utilizing a proprietary research platform and investment process. For more information on WorldQuant’s culture and philosophy, please visit www.WeAreWorldQuant.com.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.materialstoday.com

This is a schematic of an interpocket paired state, one of two topological superconducting states proposed in the latest work from the lab of Eun-Ah Kim, associate professor of physics at Cornell University. The material used is a monolayer transition metal dichalcogenide. Image: Eun-Ah Kim, Cornell University.The experimental realization of ultrathin graphene has ushered in a new age in materials research. What started with graphene has now evolved to encompass numerous related single-atom-thick materials, which have unusual properties due to their ultra-thinness. Among these materials are transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), which offer several key features not available in graphene and are emerging as next-generation semiconductors. Now, new research shows that TMDs could even realize topological superconductivity and thus provide a platform for quantum computing – the ultimate goal of a research group at Cornell University led by Eun-Ah Kim, associate professor of physics. "Our proposal is very realistic – that's why it's exciting," Kim said of her group's research. "We have a theoretical strategy to materialize a topological superconductor ... and that will be a step toward building a quantum computer. The history of superconductivity over the last 100 years has been led by accidental discoveries. We have a proposal that's sitting on firm principles. "Instead of hoping for a new material that has the properties you want, let's go after it with insight and design principle." Yi-Ting Hsu, a doctoral student in Kim’s group, is lead author of a new paper on this research in Nature Communications. Other team members include Kim group alumni Mark Fischer, now at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, and Abolhassan Vaezi, now at Stanford University. The group propose that TMDs' unusual properties favor two topological superconducting states, which if experimentally confirmed will open up possibilities for manipulating topological superconductors at temperatures near absolute zero. Kim identified hole-doped (positive charge-enhanced) single-layer TMDs as a promising candidate for topological superconductivity. She did this based on the known special locking between spin state and the kinetic energy of electrons (spin-valley locking) of single-layer TMDs, as well as the recent observations of superconductivity in electron-doped (negative charge-enhanced) single-layer TMDs. The group's goal is a superconductor that operates at around 1K (approximately -457°F), which could be sufficiently cooled with liquid helium to maintain quantum computing potential in a superconducting state. Theoretically, housing a quantum computer powerful enough to justify the power needed to keep the superconductor at 1K is not out of the question, Kim said. In fact, IBM already has a 7-qubit (quantum bit) computer that operates at less than 1K, which is available to the public through its IBM Quantum Experience. A quantum computer with approximately six times more qubits would fundamentally change computing, Kim said. "If you get to 40 qubits, that computing power will exceed any classical computers out there," she said. "And to house a 40-qubit quantum computer in cryogenic temperature is not that big a deal. It will be a revolution." Kim and her group are working with Debdeep Jena and Grace Xing of electrical and computer engineering, and Katja Nowack of physics, through an interdisciplinary research group seed grant from the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR). Each group brings researchers from different departments together, with support from both the university and the US National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program. "We're combining the engineering expertise of DJ and Grace, and expertise Katja has in mesoscopic systems and superconductors," Kim said. "It requires different expertise to come together to pursue this, and CCMR allows that." This story is adapted from material from Cornell University, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has evaluated the top colleges in New York state for 2017. Of the 50 four-year schools who made the site’s “Best” list, Columbia University in the City of New York, Cornell University, Yeshiva University, University of Rochester and New York University were in the top five. Of the 39 two-year schools that were included, Monroe Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY Westchester Community College and Genesee Community college took the top five spots. A full list of schools is included below. “New York state offers a wide variety of educational options, but the schools on our list are those going the extra mile for students,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Not only do they offer outstanding certificate and degree programs, they also provide students with resources that help them make successful career choices after college.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in New York” list, institutions must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit schools. Each college is ranked on additional statistics including the number of degree programs offered, the availability of career and academic resources, the opportunity for financial aid, graduation rates and annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in New York” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adelphi University Alfred University Barnard College Canisius College Clarkson University Colgate University College of Mount Saint Vincent Columbia University in the City of New York Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Cornell University CUNY Bernard M Baruch College CUNY City College CUNY Hunter College CUNY Queens College Daemen College D'Youville College Fordham University Hamilton College Hartwick College Hobart William Smith Colleges Hofstra University Houghton College Iona College Ithaca College Le Moyne College LIU Post Manhattan College Manhattanville College Marist College Molloy College Nazareth College New York University Niagara University Pace University-New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rochester Institute of Technology Saint John Fisher College Saint Joseph's College-New York Siena College St Bonaventure University St John's University-New York St Lawrence University Stony Brook University SUNY at Binghamton Syracuse University Union College University at Buffalo University of Rochester Vassar College Yeshiva University The Best Two-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adirondack Community College Bramson ORT College Bronx Community College Cayuga County Community College Clinton Community College Columbia-Greene Community College Corning Community College CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY LaGuardia Community College Dutchess Community College Erie Community College Finger Lakes Community College Fulton-Montgomery Community College Genesee Community College Herkimer County Community College Hostos Community College Hudson Valley Community College Jamestown Community College Jefferson Community College Kingsborough Community College Mohawk Valley Community College Monroe Community College Nassau Community College New York Methodist Hospital Center for Allied Health Education Niagara County Community College North Country Community College Onondaga Community College Professional Business College Queensborough Community College Rockland Community College Schenectady County Community College Stella and Charles Guttman Community College Suffolk County Community College SUNY Broome Community College SUNY Orange SUNY Sullivan SUNY Ulster SUNY Westchester Community College Tompkins Cortland Community College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.futurity.org

Giving fabric a resistance to oil, called oleophobicity, makes cleaning spaghetti sauce off your favorite shirt as easy as spilling it in the first place. A new coating offers this quality without fluorines, which break down into chlorofluorocarbon gas, a greenhouse gas that’s harmful to the environment. Emmanuel Giannelis, professor of materials science and engineering in the Cornell University College of Engineering, and his group were working on super-hydrophilic polymeric membranes that are used in water purification. Jintu Fan,professor and chair in the fiber science and apparel design department, asked if they could team up and “basically apply some of the work that we were doing in polymeric membranes to textiles,” Giannelis says. They worked with an apparel maker on creating a polymer that could make fabric more breathable while retaining wrinkle resistance—always a challenge—and Giannelis says they made good progress along that line. “The company came back and said, ‘That is good and great—but can you do something similar with oleophobic coatings?'” he says. Postdoctoral researcher Genggeng Qi developed a polymer that combines well-known chemistry with a rough surface texture that creates little air pockets. Fluids with a high enough surface tension will ball up on this fiber and not stick, making for easy cleaning. This roughness uses the same principle as the water-resistant quality of the lotus leaf, which has a rough nanostructure and naturally repels water. Fan is excited by early results of this material, noting that they’ve just done testing using mineral oil, which has a low surface tension. “We’ve found that even after 30 washings, it’s still durable, which is great,” he says. “Even if we can achieve [oleophobicity] even close to fluorine-based [polymers], that would be a huge breakthrough.” Giannelis is cautiously optimistic about the work. “I don’t want to declare complete victory,” he says with a smile, “but we believe we are the first group to show that non-fluorine-based chemistry opens up the possibility to create oleophobic coatings that are probably good enough to resist stains from vegetable oils, olive oil, and other oils. “For industrial applications…we’re not quite there yet,” he adds. “But we believe that we’ve opened up an opportunity, and more work will get us there.” “In general, collaboration with the engineering department is very interesting and fruitful,” says Fan. “They are very good and bring a lot of wonderful ideas. But maybe in the past they were not targeting the textile and fashion industry, which is a $3 trillion a year industry.” The Center for Licensing Technology has filed a provisional patent on the material.


News Article | April 12, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

For centuries, some observers have claimed that shooting stars or meteors hiss as they arc through the night sky. And for just as long, skeptics have scoffed on the grounds that sound waves coming from meteors should arrive several minutes after the light waves, which travel nearly a million times faster. Now, scientists have proposed a theory to explain how our eyes and ears could perceive a meteor at nearly the same time. The hypothesis might also explain how auroras produce sound, a claim made by many indigenous peoples living at high latitudes. Meteors release huge amounts of energy as they disintegrate in the atmosphere. They also produce low frequency radio waves that travel at the speed of light. Some scientists have suggested that those radio waves produce the sound that accompanies meteors. The waves can cause everyday objects—including fences, hair, and glasses—to vibrate, which our ears pick up as sound between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. This phenomenon, called electrophonics, is a well-known principle: “The conversion from electromagnetic waves to sound waves … is exactly how your radio works,” says Colin Price, an atmospheric scientist at Tel Aviv University in Israel and co-author of the new study. “But in this case nature provides the conversion between electromagnetic waves and acoustic waves.” But nailing down that scenario isn’t easy. Reports of noisy meteors are relatively scarce—there were only 40 last year, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS). And because most of these “hearings” have been made by amateur sky watchers, it’s difficult to find audio recordings to back them up. “[We’ve] never had [a recording] cross our path,” says David Meisel in Geneseo, New York, executive director of AMS. Moreover, a key question remains to be answered: How do the meteors produce low-frequency radio waves in the first place? Now, Price and Michael Kelley, a physicist at Cornell University, have developed a model to answer that question. As a meteor streaks through Earth’s atmosphere, it ionizes the air around it, splitting it into heavy, positively charged ions and lighter, negatively charged electrons. The ions follow the meteor, whereas the electrons are deflected by Earth’s magnetic field. That separation of positive and negative charges in the meteor’s wake produces a large electric field that drives an electrical current. And it’s that current that launches the radio waves, Price and Kelley hypothesize in an upcoming issue of . The size of the meteor and its speed through the atmosphere would control the frequency of the radio waves, they predict. Earlier this year, another research team presented a different hypothesis to explain how meteors make sound. That team proposed that visible light from a meteor heats up materials such as hair and glasses, which then vibrate and produce sound waves. But this theory requires a “huge” light source, Price says. Only meteors as bright as the full moon could emit enough light to produce such sound waves. But according to the new theory, all meteors generate radio waves that can produce sound, some of which our ears are capable of picking up. Price and Kelley suggest that their model might also explain reports of “clapping” sounds accompanying auroras, the colorful light displays created when charged particles from the sun collide with molecules in Earth’s atmosphere at high latitudes. These sounds feature prominently in stories of native peoples of the northern United States, Greenland, and Canada, but they have largely been dismissed by scientists. “Auroras also create radio waves that can easily reach the ground,” Kelley says. The new hypothesis is “reasonable,” says Meers Oppenheim, an astronomer at Boston University not involved in the study. But it’s difficult to simulate what’s truly going on 100 kilometers up in Earth’s atmosphere as tiny particles of dust whiz by at 50 or more kilometers per second. “The devil lies in the details, and no one seems to have truly worked through those,” he says.


BOSTON & LISBON, Portugal--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Proterris, Inc., a clinical-development stage company focused on therapeutic applications of low-dose carbon monoxide, and Alfama, Inc. today announced the completion of a merger of the two companies that effectively creates the world’s dominant player in the field of carbon monoxide (CO) therapies. Proterris, which has a leading position in gaseous applications of CO, has acquired Alfama’s CO releasing molecule (“CORM”) assets, arguably the most extensive in the field. In connection with the asset acquisition, Proterris has acquired all of Alfama’s subsidiaries, including Alfama Lda. located near Lisbon, Portugal, which will be renamed Proterris (Portugal) Lda. In conjunction with the merger, Proterris will also implement a collaboration with Prof. Carlos Romão of the Institute of Chemical and Biological Technology (ITQB) of the New University of Lisbon (NOVA), one of the scientific pioneers and inventors of Aflama’s CORM assets, in order to further optimize CORM candidates for a variety of indications. Proterris looks to continue advancing its own gaseous Phase 2/3 trial in delayed graft function (DGF)prior to moving one of the CORM candidates into clinical trials, which the company aims to start in the next 18-24 months. “Alfama has discovered and developed unique families of CORMs which have demonstrated very potent anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects with very low toxicity potential,” said Jeffrey D. Wager, M.D., Chairman & CEO of Proterris. “Until now, achievement of such drug-like profiles for CORMs has eluded scientists and companies alike. Alfama’s CORM assets represent excellent candidates for drug development for those indications which are less amenable to therapy with CO gas. In addition, by establishing Proterris (Portugal) Lda., we are now well-positioned to pursue a variety of European partnering and fundraising activities in both the private and public sectors. This coincides very well with the Series A fundraising campaign which are launching with the closing of this merger.” Dr. Wager has designed and structured multiple cross-border life science transactions in the past, including a major Japanese spin-out involving both Asian and American investors, a European Union-based corporate venture capital fund investing in both Europe and the U.S., and a specialty pharma roll-up in Brazil involving private equity funds from both Latin America and the U.S. “The merger of Alfama with Proterris represents a very synergistic and strategic fit between two companies with common goals, and substantially enhances corporate value for both sets of shareholders,” commented Nuno Arantes-Oliveira, founding Chief Executive of Alfama. “We are very glad to make Alfama part of Proterris’ exceptional IP portfolio, an important step in our evolution towards bringing low-dose CO therapies to patients.” Celso Guedes de Carvalho, CEO of Portugal Ventures, one of Alfama’s largest shareholders, added, “This transaction demonstrates how supporting investments for the ‘long-haul’ – given the capital and time required in the biotech sector – allows breakthrough technologies to reach patients. With regard to Alfama, their story demonstrates that when the technology is truly ground-breaking and the team strong and resilient, it is worth the wait. We believe this merger, with support from Portugal Ventures, will significantly increase the international visibility of the growing Portuguese Life Science startup ecosystem.” The Proterris-Alfama proposition for CO therapy is validated by almost $23 million in funding for three Phase 2 clinical trials using low dose CO gas. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded these trials over the past five years for indications covered by patents licensed from a group of top U.S. universities or written by Proterris. About Alfama Alfama is the leading company in the development of Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules (CORMs) for therapy. The company has produced hundreds of CORMs and obtained exceptional results in various animal models of chronic and acute human diseases. CORMs have the potential to expand CO-based therapy to a wide range of high-value indications, can be administered orally or intravenously, and offer a very attractive therapeutic window and safety profile. After acquiring hemoCORM Ltd of London, UK, Alfama came to control a diverse set of families of patents and patent applications on CORMs which together position the company as the undisputed leader in CORM technology. Alfama was founded in Portugal and received funding from venture capital agencies such as Portugal Ventures, along with private investors from the U.S., the U.K, Spain and Portugal. The Company assembled an international team of scientific and business leaders. Its founders included Roche scientist Werner Haas, New University of Lisbon Chemistry Professor Carlos Romão, Stan Kugell, its founding Chairman, and Nuno Arantes-Oliveira, its founding CEO. About Proterris Proterris, Inc. is a clinical-development stage company focused on therapeutic applications of low-dose carbon monoxide (CO). Leveraging CO’s demonstrated anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties, Proterris is initially focused on developing CO for delayed graft function (DGF) in renal transplant recipients and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Other indications, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), are also being developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CO has broad potential to significantly impact the lives of millions of patients suffering from a wide variety of both acute and chronic diseases. Proterris was founded on the pioneering science of Proterris co-founder Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D., who is Professor of Medicine and the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean at Weill Cornell Medicine and Provost for Medical Affairs at Cornell University; and David J. Pinsky, M.D., the J. Griswold Ruth M.D. & Margery Hopkins Ruth Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Director, Cardiovascular Center of the University of Michigan. Between them, Dr.’s Choi and Pinsky have generated an extensive body of mechanistic, translational and clinical research data, as well as a broad intellectual property portfolio on the therapeutic opportunities of CO for multiple diseases. For more information, please visit www.proterris.com.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Sueyoshi joined Tokyu Corporation in 1985, and after his involvement with culture school and sports club projects, completed the summer school of a marketing course at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. In 1997, he was involved with the opening of the Pan Pacific Hotel Yokohama, and after working in marketing and personnel, and as director of the general affairs department of the hotel, he was appointed Vice President of Mauna Lani Resort on the island of Hawai'i. On his return to Japan, he was appointed the general manager of Tokyu hotels across Japan, and in 2015, was appointed the executive director and marketing director of the Tokyu Hotels Co., Ltd. Upon his inauguration as general manager of The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Sueyoshi said: "I would like to strive to create hotels that remain in the memories of our customers by taking advantage of my 20 years of experience in hotels." Even in his personal life, he loves traveling, dining out and visiting hotels, and seeks to find "new inspirations and essences of hospitality" through them. In the past several years, he has been giving lectures on the allure of the hospitality business and career development at universities throughout Japan, including the University of Tokyo and Hokkaido University, with a wish to nurture human resources for the hotel industry. Whilst the hotel prides itself on its superb location with direct access from the Kokkai Gijido-mae and Tameike-Sanno subway stations, its calm ambience lets one forget the hustle and bustle of the city as it is surrounded by the lush greenery of Hie Shrine. The hotel contains 13 guest suites, 251 guest rooms, a variety of restaurants and bars, and a pastry boutique. It is the only hotel in the world which delivers "ease" from daily life to guests from across the globe, with a refined Japanese-style discipline. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-capitol-hotel-tokyu-announces-appointment-of-new-general-manager-300445804.html


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

Will Irish War Cry win the fastest two minutes in sports? Or maybe McCracken, or Classic Empire? What if Always Dreaming pulls away from the field? (Hint: it finished strong.) Those were the daunting prospects that 16 others (including 12 horse racing experts) and I faced Wednesday participating in an artificial intelligence "swarm" with Unanimous A.I. to pick the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby. Our task: tapping UNU, a blend of human smarts and artificial intelligence using algorithms to pick the "superfecta" -- the top four racehorses to finish the race Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville. We chose a winner, but spent the next four days having little faith in it due to a competitive field and the wet conditions. (Hint: it started in the back and finished strong, too) There's some precedent. Our colleagues at TechRepublic challenged Unanimous to predict last year's race. A group of 20 correctly chose the top four Derby finishers in order (Nyquist, Exaggerator, Gunrunner and Mohaymen) -- defying 540-to-1 odds. The prediction made UNU creator Louis Rosenberg more than $10,000 off a $20 bet. It also brought national attention to Unanimous. It created swarms predicting other major sporting events including the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series, the Super Bowl and the hotly contested political races -- sometimes with mixed results. Unanimous, however, did predict that the Pittsburgh Penguins would win the 2016 Stanley Cup (I participated in that swarm), and that Donald Trump would be Time Magazine's 2016 Man of the Year. Still, it's that inexact science that's made Unanimous' UNU so popular. This year's Kentucky Derby "swarm" comes about a year after Unanimous' online platform became open for public use. The company's AI algorithm is inspired by Cornell University neurobiology professor Thomas Seeley's theory on how swarms (birds and bees, for example) reach collective decisions to survive. Here's how it works: Participants are simultaneously asked a question with a set of possible answers. Each controls a magnet they can maneuver across the screen to drag a sphere to their choice for the right answer. The group has only a minute to reach a decision and there must be consensus. Otherwise, a "Brain Freeze" sign embarrassingly pops up. "It's amplifying the intelligence of the group," Rosenberg told me Wednesday. And instead approaching a group of fans like myself, Churchill Downs went to Unanimous to ask if it could assemble some of horse racing's best handicappers, including Michael Beychok and award-winning writer Bill Finley, to swarm. These "super-experts" look at everything from the horse's breed to its speed and their jockeys riding them. Introductions were short. These guys came to pick the ponies, especially since there isn't a clear-cut favorite. Initially, McCracken and Classic Empire were each given an 85 percent chance of finishing in the top four, followed by Irish War Cry and Always Dreaming with 75 percent and 65 percent, respectively. We had to choose a winner. As our magnets struggled for supremacy -- I kept tapping my computer mouse trying to gain some measure of control -- a moderator repeatedly reminded our swarm we had to work cohesively. After much tugging, swearing and mouse-dragging (my fingers were turning red), the swarm settled the sphere on the early favorite, Classic Empire. However, it is with "low confidence." McCracken, Irish War Cry and Always Dreaming will round out the superfecta. "I can live with that as a selection. We will see if our confidence will be rewarded," said Ed DeRosa, a swarm member and the top handicapper for Twinspires.com, the derby's official wagering site. The swarm's picks was used for a $10,000 Players' Pool that was already sold out by Wednesday, a day before the swarm's selections were released publicly, he added. DeRosa, ever the gambler, also tweeted out his personal rankings: But Rosenberg cautioned expectations with the swarm hitting the superfecta two years in a row. "It's going to be a wild derby," he said. "Let's see how this all plays out." Well, Always Dreaming, whose owner said she named the horse such because she's always daydreaming, easily won the Derby, beating 9-to-2 odds. Lookin' at Lee came in second, followed by Battle of Midway in third. Oh, Classic Example, the Swarm's pick to win, finished fourth. So no superfecta for the "swarm," this year. After Saturday's race, DeRosa, praised Always Dreaming. But he couldn't help but tweet if the colt would fare well in the next leg of the Triple Crown series: First published May 4, 5:00 a.m. PT. Update, May 6 at 4:30 p.m.: With results from the race and comments. It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

TOKYO, April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As of April 1, 2017, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu appointed Takahiro Sueyoshi as its general manager. Sueyoshi joined Tokyu Corporation in 1985, and after his involvement with culture school and sports club projects, completed the summer school of a marketing course at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. In 1997, he was involved with the opening of the Pan Pacific Hotel Yokohama, and after working in marketing and personnel, and as director of the general affairs department of the hotel, he was appointed Vice President of Mauna Lani Resort on the island of Hawai'i. On his return to Japan, he was appointed the general manager of Tokyu hotels across Japan, and in 2015, was appointed the executive director and marketing director of the Tokyu Hotels Co., Ltd. Upon his inauguration as general manager of The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Sueyoshi said: "I would like to strive to create hotels that remain in the memories of our customers by taking advantage of my 20 years of experience in hotels." Even in his personal life, he loves traveling, dining out and visiting hotels, and seeks to find "new inspirations and essences of hospitality" through them. In the past several years, he has been giving lectures on the allure of the hospitality business and career development at universities throughout Japan, including the University of Tokyo and Hokkaido University, with a wish to nurture human resources for the hotel industry. Whilst the hotel prides itself on its superb location with direct access from the Kokkai Gijido-mae and Tameike-Sanno subway stations, its calm ambience lets one forget the hustle and bustle of the city as it is surrounded by the lush greenery of Hie Shrine. The hotel contains 13 guest suites, 251 guest rooms, a variety of restaurants and bars, and a pastry boutique. It is the only hotel in the world which delivers "ease" from daily life to guests from across the globe, with a refined Japanese-style discipline. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-capitol-hotel-tokyu-announces-appointment-of-new-general-manager-300445804.html


News Article | May 7, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CHIGAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Connecticut-based medical device innovator Lumendi, LLC (www.lumendi.com) has announced its new endoscopic accessory, DiLumen™ EIP, is now available for use as indicated to ensure complete positioning of an endoscope in the large intestine and assist with optical visualization, diagnosis and endoscopic treatment. Because such a device may improve endolumenal treatments, DiLumen™ EIP may better enable these less invasive procedures and take the place of open or laparoscopic surgery, thereby preserving anatomy, shortening recovery and reducing healthcare costs. The announcement was made at the annual meeting of Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in Chicago, Illinois, at which Lumendi exhibited and provided in-booth demonstrations of the clinical versatility and value of DiLumen™. Lumendi received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance to market DiLumen™ in December 2016. A post-market outcome study is now underway to demonstrate the capabilities of DiLumen during endoscopy procedures. “DiLumen is an important advance in a field defined until now by laparoscopic and open surgical procedures. We recently hired a team of five dedicated regional sales managers, each of whom has extensive experience in medical devices and new technology as well as gastroenterology and related diseases. This team will help educate and train advanced endoscopists, colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists nationwide,” said Dr. Peter Johann, CEO of Lumendi, Ltd. The device fits over a flexible endoscope and adds additional stabilization and improved visualization during incision-free endolumenal therapeutic procedures. Endolumenal treatment is different because it provides access to the therapeutic area within the colon through the anus. Because the procedure and treatment take place entirely within the intestine and there are no incisions through the skin, recovery time is reduced and the colon is preserved. DiLumen consists of a single-use, soft flexible sheath that fits over standard and small-diameter endoscopes. The device employs two balloons, one behind the bending section of the endoscope and the second in front of the tip of the endoscope. When both balloons are deployed, and inflated, a stable Therapeutic Zone™ (TZ) is created. This TZ facilitates more localized insufflation and manipulation of the colon and provides improved access to lesions to enable endoscopists and surgeons to perform precise endolumenal interventions. Once the procedure is complete, the balloons are deflated and removed along with the endoscope. About Lumendi, LLC http://www.lumendi.com Headquartered in Westport, Connecticut, Lumendi, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lumendi, Ltd., a privately held innovative, medical device company headquartered in London, England. Lumendi is focused on developing, marketing and distributing surgical tools and devices that provide safe, cost-effective solutions for minimally invasive gastrointestinal interventions. Lumendi Ltd. holds a worldwide exclusive license from Cornell University on the DiLumen technology.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--XyloCor Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biotech company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to its lead product candidate XC001 (AdVEGF-All6A+), a cardiovascular angiogenic gene therapy. XC001 is a one-time treatment being investigated for improving exercise tolerance in patients who have chronic angina that is refractory to standard medical therapy and not amenable to conventional revascularization procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention and stents. “Achieving Fast Track status validates the need for XC001, which has the potential to be a unique treatment for this serious condition with high unmet need - chronic, refractory angina,” said Al Gianchetti, President and Chief Executive Officer of XyloCor. “This designation is supported by strong scientific evidence for XC001 and clinical validation of this mechanism of action in refractory angina. This important designation is intended to contribute to an expedited development and regulatory review process, which can get the drug sooner to patients who can benefit from it.” The FDA Fast Track designation is designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of new drugs and vaccines intended to treat or prevent serious conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address an unmet medical need. XC001 is a novel gene therapy that promotes angiogenesis, the formation of new vessels that can provide arterial blood flow to myocardial regions with inadequate blood supply. Enhancing myocardial blood flow with therapeutic angiogenesis is intended to relieve myocardial ischemia, improve regional and global left ventricular performance, alleviate angina symptoms and disability and potentially improve prognosis. “There are many patients in the United States with refractory angina and there are no available treatment options,” said Magnus Ohman, Professor of Medicine, The Kent and Siri Rawson Director, Duke Program for Advanced Coronary Disease, Duke University School of Medicine. “These patients have significant limitations in terms of their daily activities because of the chest pain associated with their ischemic disease and XC001 could be an important new option for them.” An IND for XC001 is open with the FDA and XyloCor intends to commence clinical trials upon funding. XyloCor Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company developing novel gene therapy for people with unmet medical need from advanced coronary artery disease. XyloCor is focused on developing its lead product, XC001, for patients with refractory angina with no treatment options and its secondary product, XC002, for patients with cardiac tissue damage from heart attacks. XyloCor was founded by Dr. Ronald Crystal and Dr. Todd Rosengart, who both sit on XyloCor’s advisory board. Dr. Crystal is the Bruce Webster Professor and Chairman, Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine and Director of the Belfer Gene Therapy Core Facility. Dr. Rosengart is Professor and Chairman, DeBakey Bard Chair of Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine. XyloCor has a licensing agreement with Cornell University granting the company worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize XC001. With a strong scientific foundation, compelling preclinical and clinical evidence and an experienced team, XyloCor is poised for success and to help patients lead better, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.xylocor.com.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni today released an official statement regarding the dismissal of Cayuga’s Waiters a cappella group by Cornell University due to allegations of hazing. The full text is available at http://www.cayugaswaiters.com. “Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni and our Advisory Board stand with Cornell University in condemning hazing in all its forms. Our alumni were shocked and saddened when the allegations against group members came to light. The incidents in question largely represent the actions of a few former members, who have been expelled from Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni. We appreciate the University’s direct response to these actions, however, we remain concerned about the following issues: “Last fall, Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni and the Advisory Board put forward a disciplinary plan that included a lengthy suspension for the on-campus group, development of new governance structures in partnership with Cornell, and reinstatement of the on-campus group under the supervision of the Advisory Board. To date, Cornell has refused this outreach. Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni still hope to implement such a plan in partnership with Cornell.” About the Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni and the Advisory Board: Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni are an association of 321 Cornell alumni around the world who performed with Cayuga’s Waiters, the oldest a cappella singing group at Cornell University. Waiter alumni continue to perform at Cornell events, the annual Cornell Reunions that take place in Ithaca each June, and at social and charity events across the country. The alumni group “Cayuga’s Waiters of the 1950s” were featured in a 2016 documentary short, “Old Men Singing” (View the trailer at http://www.cayugaswaiters.com) The Advisory Board was formed in 2016 at the request of the University Hearing Board (UHB) of Cornell to help overhaul group governance and lead Cayuga’s Waiters re-establishment on campus after a UHB-mandated disciplinary probation. Cayuga’s Waiters Alumni plans to continue its mission of outreach to preserve the spirit of fellowship and music that is the lasting legacy of Cayuga’s Waiters. About Cayuga’s Waiters: Cayuga's Waiters formed as a 12-voice subset of the Cornell University Glee Club in 1949--a so-called "triple quartet"--and debuted at the Glee Club's 1950 Junior Week concert. The name was chosen as a play on the first line of Cornell's alma mater. The Waiters have been international ambassadors for Cornell. They have performed in Bonaire, St. Maarten, Barbados, The Canary Islands, Puerto Rico, Walt Disney World, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster in London, and The White House. The group also appeared on television several times, including the Perry Como Show in 1953, The CBS Early Show in 2008, and singing the US national anthem before a Los Angeles Kings hockey game in 2010. In 1974, the Waiters performed their first "Spring Fever" concert. Now a Cornell institution, the show sold out the 1,300 seats in Bailey Hall for more than 35 years. In the mid-1990s, the Waiters wrote a parody of the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire" titled "We Didn't Go To Harvard." Essentially a list of things, places, and traditions unique to Cornell, the song is updated regularly to reflect changes to the Cornell student experience. Singing along to the song with the Waiters is #4 on The Cornell Daily Sun's list of "161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do," ahead of other hallowed traditions such as sledding down Libe Slope (#5) and attending Dragon Day (#33). Since 1953, the Waiters have recorded 25 albums.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Ray Fougnier, an inspiring 74-year-old powerlifter and member of the Oneida Indian Nation recently set four world records at the 2017 AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) North American Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Feats of Strength, Strongman & Mas Wrestling Championships. Based on his age, weight and overall performance, Fougnier was also named Best Lifter among all competing men at the April 7-9 event in Laughlin, Nevada. Competing in the 181-pound weight class, Fougnier set new world records in the squat (286 lb.), bench press (201 lb.), deadlift (419 lb.), and in the total score for the three categories (906 lb.). The new benchmarks replace the records previously set by Fougnier at the 2016 event. Fougnier’s sponsor, the Oneida Indian Nation congratulates him on this latest in his incredible string of athletic achievements and will continue to proudly support his mission of inspiring and motivating all Native Americans to lead a healthy lifestyle and embrace exercise regardless of age. Even though Ray didn’t join powerlifting until his 70s, the self-trained phenom has achieved great success in the sport, setting numerous state and world records across multiple weight divisions. Last year, Ray set three world records at the 2016 AAU World Powerlifting Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he competed in a higher 198-pound weight class. A retired teacher and former head of the American Indian program at Cornell University, Fougnier grew up on the Oneida Indian Nation’s homelands located in Central New York. He now splits his time living in suburban Detroit, Michigan and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Nation consists of about 1,000 enrolled Members, most of them living in Central New York. The Nation’s enterprises, which employ more than 4,500 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, the SāvOn chain of gas stations and convenience stores, RV Park, three marinas, Indian Country Today Media Network – the premier national multi-media source for American Indian news and information, and Four Directions Productions – a 3D animation HD cinematography studio. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and provide essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, to its Members. For more information, visit the Nation’s website http://www.OneidaIndianNation.com.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The average consumer would be willing to pay $4,900 more for a car that had self-driving technologies, and $3,500 more for crash avoidance, according to a new study published in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies. The researchers, from Cornell University in the US, also found a big difference in what people would be willing to pay: some would stretch to more than $10,000 for automation, while others would pay nothing at all. Car manufacturers should consider this as technologies develop and give people flexible options. Today it's possible to buy a car that can park itself, stay in lane and maintain a constant speed. The technology is developing fast and many companies are already testing self-driving cars; it's likely we will soon see fully automated cars on the market. But will people be willing to pay for this technology and how can manufacturers and policy makers make sure it is rolled out to our roads smoothly? This is what Dr. Ricardo Daziano and his colleagues wanted to find out. "Automation of personal transportation is becoming a reality at a faster pace than anticipated," commented Dr. Daziano, the lead author of the study from Cornell University. "To plan for and analyze the large impacts of automation, policymakers and car manufacturers need to understand the market. Our study is an initial attempt to quantify how households currently perceive and economically value automated vehicle technologies." The team used hypothetical scenarios to predict what people would pay for cars with self-driving features. They asked 1,260 people across the US questions about hypothetical vehicles described in terms of their price and features, such as automated navigation systems. Participants had to choose between cars in a series of 'choice experiments'. The results suggest that, on average, people would be willing to pay an additional $3,500 for partial automation and $4,900 for full automation. However, there was a large range in people's preferences: many people would be willing to pay more than $10,000 for full automation, but many others would not pay anything at all for the technology. The researchers developed economic models that show consumer demand for automation is split roughly equally between high, modest and no demand. This, they say, highlights the importance of considering flexible preferences for emerging vehicle technologies. "Forecasting the transition to an automated transportation reality is a complex task that requires flexible mathematical models of human behavior as well as an understanding of the likely technology developments and possible business models that may emerge," Dr. Daziano commented. "On the one hand, I feel particularly attracted to this interplay of economic modeling with technology innovation. On the other hand, I don't enjoy driving so I look forward to cars that will drive (themselves) for me, and I would like to have an insider's view of when this could happen." The article is "Are consumers willing to pay to let cars drive for them? Analyzing response to autonomous vehicles," by Ricardo A. Daziano, Mauricio Sarrias and Benjamin Leard. It appears in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, volume 78 (May, 2017), published by Elsevier. Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at newsroom@elsevier.com or +31 20 485 2492. The focus of Transportation Research Part C is high-quality, scholarly research that addresses development, applications, and implications, in the field of transportation, of emerging technologies from fields such as operations research, computer science, electronics, control systems, artificial intelligence and telecommunications. The interest is not in the individual technologies or methodologies per se, but in their ultimate implications for the planning, design, operation, control, management, maintenance and rehabilitation of transportation systems, services and components. Elsevier is a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. http://www.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

A new oral Ebola vaccine seems to works in apes – but that doesn’t mean Africa’s great apes are now safe from the virus, which poses a grave threat to endangered gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees. It may, however, never be used, unless researchers, conservationists and officials can agree on vaccination strategies and how to test the vaccines. Researchers had started testing the vaccines and wanted to carry on, but a change to the US Endangered Species Act prohibiting invasive research on chimps kicked in in September 2015, while they were still in the process. Wild animals become more vulnerable to the impacts of disease as their populations get smaller and more fragmented. “As great apes continue to suffer habitat loss and poaching, infectious disease is increasingly likely to tip that last domino toward extinction,” says Steve Osofsky at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ebola is endemic to the animals’ natural range in Africa, and outbreaks have killed possibly a third of gorillas and thousands of chimpanzees since 1990. Apes can also die from purely human diseases. “Risk is increasing with more human contact, and we fear bigger outbreaks,” says Chris Whittier at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Peter Walsh at the University of Cambridge tested an oral vaccine for Ebola in 10 captive chimps at an animal facility in Louisiana. It was made of the live, weakened rabies virus used in oral vaccines for animals, with an added gene for the main surface glycoprotein from the Ebola virus. After this, levels of antibodies effective against the rabies and Ebola viruses rapidly increased in the chimps. By four weeks, they had the same levels that monkeys produced in earlier tests with the same vaccine. The monkeys had developed even higher levels of antibodies after eight weeks, which protected them from deliberate exposure to Ebola. The chimps’ antibody levels were rising just as fast, and Walsh thinks they would have developed similar, protective levels. But he couldn’t take the blood samples at eight weeks to find out because the change to US law prohibiting invasive research on apes kicked in before then. The law does allow research that benefits chimps for those that apply for an exemption. But after widespread campaigns against any chimp research, no US animal colonies applied for this, says Walsh. Although he wants to continue testing, there are now no countries that allow invasive tests such as blood samples in captive chimps. Zoos that have apes want no association with testing or Ebola. Using rescued chimps in sanctuaries might be an option, but in December the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance banned vaccines with live, replicating viruses. “We don’t want to risk even the slightest chance of a replicating vaccine virus mutating and become virulent,” says PASA director Gregg Tully. Matthias Schnell at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who developed Walsh’s vaccine, argues that the virus is so weak that it doesn’t cause rabies even when injected into mouse brains, and the Ebola gene weakens it further. Hundreds of millions of doses of the virus have been scattered in oral baits for foxes and raccoons across Europe and North America. A live-virus Ebola vaccine is needed, says Walsh, because it can be eaten, and the tiny dose absorbed then replicates to elicit immunity. Some wild animals can be darted with injected, killed-virus vaccines, he says, but apes live in dense forests and flee humans. Walsh envisages a dispenser from which apes could get sweet vaccine-laced treats, with a camera recording those that took some. The effectiveness of the vaccine could then be tested by measuring antibodies in the apes’ excretions. Nevertheless, wildlife disease experts warn that no such work should be carried out until virologists, conservationists and governments have discussed the risks and benefits and agreed a plan. “You need stakeholder buy-in,” says Osofsky. “If someone vaccinated apes now without broad consensus and there was some problem, even unrelated to the vaccine, it could doom any future effort.” He cites the emergency rabies vaccination of endangered African wild dogs in Tanzania in the 1980s. Months later, an unknown disease wiped them out and the vaccination was blamed, even though it was unrelated. The controversy delayed and even derailed efforts to vaccinate wildlife in the region for years.


The researchers, from Cornell University in the US, also found a big difference in what people would be willing to pay: some would stretch to more than $10,000 for automation, while others would pay nothing at all. Car manufacturers should consider this as technologies develop and give people flexible options. Today it's possible to buy a car that can park itself, stay in lane and maintain a constant speed. The technology is developing fast and many companies are already testing self-driving cars; it's likely we will soon see fully automated cars on the market. But will people be willing to pay for this technology and how can manufacturers and policy makers make sure it is rolled out to our roads smoothly? This is what Dr. Ricardo Daziano and his colleagues wanted to find out. "Automation of personal transportation is becoming a reality at a faster pace than anticipated," commented Dr. Daziano, the lead author of the study from Cornell University. "To plan for and analyze the large impacts of automation, policymakers and car manufacturers need to understand the market. Our study is an initial attempt to quantify how households currently perceive and economically value automated vehicle technologies." The team used hypothetical scenarios to predict what people would pay for cars with self-driving features. They asked 1,260 people across the US questions about hypothetical vehicles described in terms of their price and features, such as automated navigation systems. Participants had to choose between cars in a series of 'choice experiments'. The results suggest that, on average, people would be willing to pay an additional $3,500 for partial automation and $4,900 for full automation. However, there was a large range in people's preferences: many people would be willing to pay more than $10,000 for full automation, but many others would not pay anything at all for the technology. The researchers developed economic models that show consumer demand for automation is split roughly equally between high, modest and no demand. This, they say, highlights the importance of considering flexible preferences for emerging vehicle technologies. "Forecasting the transition to an automated transportation reality is a complex task that requires flexible mathematical models of human behavior as well as an understanding of the likely technology developments and possible business models that may emerge," Dr. Daziano commented. "On the one hand, I feel particularly attracted to this interplay of economic modeling with technology innovation. On the other hand, I don't enjoy driving so I look forward to cars that will drive (themselves) for me, and I would like to have an insider's view of when this could happen." Explore further: Expectation versus reality in the acceptance of self-driving cars More information: Ricardo A. Daziano et al. Are consumers willing to pay to let cars drive for them? Analyzing response to autonomous vehicles, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.trc.2017.03.003


Unfortunately, identifying the networks of genes that plants use to make these biologically active compounds, which are the source of many of the drugs that people use and abuse daily, has vexed scientists for years, hindering efforts to tap this vast pharmacopeia to produce new and improved therapeutics. Now, Vanderbilt University geneticists think they have come up with an effective and powerful new way for identifying these elusive gene networks, which typically consist of a handful to dozens of different genes, that may overcome this road block. "Plants synthesize massive numbers of bioproducts that are of benefit to society. This team has revolutionized the potential to uncover these natural bioproducts and understand how they are synthesized," said Anne Sylvester, program director in the National Science Foundation's Biological Sciences Directorate, which funded the research. The revolutionary new approach is based on the well-established observation that plants produce these compounds in response to specific environmental conditions. "We hypothesized that the genes within a network that work together to make a specific compound would all respond similarly to the same environmental conditions," explained Jennifer Wisecaver, the post-doctoral fellow who conducted the study. To test this hypothesis, Wisecaver - working with Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences Antonis Rokas and undergraduate researcher Alexander Borowsky - turned to Vanderbilt's in-house supercomputer at the Advanced Computing Center for Research & Education in order to crunch data from more than 22,000 gene expression studies performed on eight different model plant species. "These studies use advanced genomic technologies that can detect all the genes that plants turn on or off under specific conditions, such as high salinity, drought or the presence of a specific predator or pathogen," said Wisecaver. But identifying the networks of genes responsible for producing these small molecules from thousands of experiments measuring the activity of thousands of genes is no trivial matter. That's where the Vanderbilt scientists stepped in; They devised a powerful algorithm capable of identifying the networks of genes that show the same behavior (for example, all turning on) across these expression studies. The result of all this number crunching - described in the paper titled "A global co-expression network approach for connecting genes to specialized metabolic pathways in plants" published online Apr. 13 by The Plant Cell journal - was the identification of dozens, possibly even hundreds of gene pathways that produce small metabolites, including several that previous experiments had identified. Vered Tzin from Ben-Gurion University's Jacoob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Israel and Georg Jander from Cornell University's Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research in Ithaca, NY, helped verify the predictions the analysis made in corn, and Daniel Kliebenstein from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis helped verify the predictions in the model plant system Arabidopsis. The results of their analysis go against the prevailing theory that the genes that make up these pathways are clustered together on the plant genome. "This idea comes from the observation in fungi and bacteria that the genes that make up these specialized metabolite pathways are clustered together," said Rokas. "In plants, however, these genes appear to be mostly scattered across the genome. Consequently, the strategies for discovering plant gene pathways will need to be different from those developed in the other organisms." The researchers argue that the results of their study show that this approach "is a novel, rich and largely untapped means for high-throughput discovery of the genetic basis and architecture of plant natural products." If that proves to be true, then it could help open the tap on new plant-based therapeutics for treating a broad range of conditions and diseases. Explore further: Researchers detail genetic mechanisms that govern growth and drought response in plants More information: Jennifer H. Wisecaver et al, A Global Co-expression Network Approach for Connecting Genes to Specialized Metabolic Pathways in Plants, The Plant Cell (2017). DOI: 10.1105/tpc.17.00009


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial intelligence called neural networks, which have been going in and out of fashion for more than 70 years. Neural networks were first proposed in 1944 by Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts, two University of Chicago researchers who moved to MIT in 1952 as founding members of what's sometimes called the first cognitive science department. Neural nets were a major area of research in both neuroscience and computer science until 1969, when, according to computer science lore, they were killed off by the MIT mathematicians Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert, who a year later would become co-directors of the new MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The technique then enjoyed a resurgence in the 1980s, fell into eclipse again in the first decade of the new century, and has returned like gangbusters in the second, fueled largely by the increased processing power of graphics chips. "There's this idea that ideas in science are a bit like epidemics of viruses," says Tomaso Poggio, the Eugene McDermott Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, an investigator at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and director of MIT's Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines. "There are apparently five or six basic strains of flu viruses, and apparently each one comes back with a period of around 25 years. People get infected, and they develop an immune response, and so they don't get infected for the next 25 years. And then there is a new generation that is ready to be infected by the same strain of virus. In science, people fall in love with an idea, get excited about it, hammer it to death, and then get immunized—they get tired of it. So ideas should have the same kind of periodicity!" Neural nets are a means of doing machine learning, in which a computer learns to perform some task by analyzing training examples. Usually, the examples have been hand-labeled in advance. An object recognition system, for instance, might be fed thousands of labeled images of cars, houses, coffee cups, and so on, and it would find visual patterns in the images that consistently correlate with particular labels. Modeled loosely on the human brain, a neural net consists of thousands or even millions of simple processing nodes that are densely interconnected. Most of today's neural nets are organized into layers of nodes, and they're "feed-forward," meaning that data moves through them in only one direction. An individual node might be connected to several nodes in the layer beneath it, from which it receives data, and several nodes in the layer above it, to which it sends data. To each of its incoming connections, a node will assign a number known as a "weight." When the network is active, the node receives a different data item—a different number—over each of its connections and multiplies it by the associated weight. It then adds the resulting products together, yielding a single number. If that number is below a threshold value, the node passes no data to the next layer. If the number exceeds the threshold value, the node "fires," which in today's neural nets generally means sending the number—the sum of the weighted inputs—along all its outgoing connections. When a neural net is being trained, all of its weights and thresholds are initially set to random values. Training data is fed to the bottom layer—the input layer—and it passes through the succeeding layers, getting multiplied and added together in complex ways, until it finally arrives, radically transformed, at the output layer. During training, the weights and thresholds are continually adjusted until training data with the same labels consistently yield similar outputs. The neural nets described by McCullough and Pitts in 1944 had thresholds and weights, but they weren't arranged into layers, and the researchers didn't specify any training mechanism. What McCullough and Pitts showed was that a neural net could, in principle, compute any function that a digital computer could. The result was more neuroscience than computer science: The point was to suggest that the human brain could be thought of as a computing device. Neural nets continue to be a valuable tool for neuroscientific research. For instance, particular network layouts or rules for adjusting weights and thresholds have reproduced observed features of human neuroanatomy and cognition, an indication that they capture something about how the brain processes information. The first trainable neural network, the Perceptron, was demonstrated by the Cornell University psychologist Frank Rosenblatt in 1957. The Perceptron's design was much like that of the modern neural net, except that it had only one layer with adjustable weights and thresholds, sandwiched between input and output layers. Perceptrons were an active area of research in both psychology and the fledgling discipline of computer science until 1959, when Minsky and Papert published a book titled "Perceptrons," which demonstrated that executing certain fairly common computations on Perceptrons would be impractically time consuming. "Of course, all of these limitations kind of disappear if you take machinery that is a little more complicated—like, two layers," Poggio says. But at the time, the book had a chilling effect on neural-net research. "You have to put these things in historical context," Poggio says. "They were arguing for programming—for languages like Lisp. Not many years before, people were still using analog computers. It was not clear at all at the time that programming was the way to go. I think they went a little bit overboard, but as usual, it's not black and white. If you think of this as this competition between analog computing and digital computing, they fought for what at the time was the right thing." By the 1980s, however, researchers had developed algorithms for modifying neural nets' weights and thresholds that were efficient enough for networks with more than one layer, removing many of the limitations identified by Minsky and Papert. The field enjoyed a renaissance. But intellectually, there's something unsatisfying about neural nets. Enough training may revise a network's settings to the point that it can usefully classify data, but what do those settings mean? What image features is an object recognizer looking at, and how does it piece them together into the distinctive visual signatures of cars, houses, and coffee cups? Looking at the weights of individual connections won't answer that question. In recent years, computer scientists have begun to come up with ingenious methods for deducing the analytic strategies adopted by neural nets. But in the 1980s, the networks' strategies were indecipherable. So around the turn of the century, neural networks were supplanted by support vector machines, an alternative approach to machine learning that's based on some very clean and elegant mathematics. The recent resurgence in neural networks—the deep-learning revolution—comes courtesy of the computer-game industry. The complex imagery and rapid pace of today's video games require hardware that can keep up, and the result has been the graphics processing unit (GPU), which packs thousands of relatively simple processing cores on a single chip. It didn't take long for researchers to realize that the architecture of a GPU is remarkably like that of a neural net. Modern GPUs enabled the one-layer networks of the 1960s and the two- to three-layer networks of the 1980s to blossom into the 10-, 15-, even 50-layer networks of today. That's what the "deep" in "deep learning" refers to—the depth of the network's layers. And currently, deep learning is responsible for the best-performing systems in almost every area of artificial-intelligence research. The networks' opacity is still unsettling to theorists, but there's headway on that front, too. In addition to directing the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM), Poggio leads the center's research program in Theoretical Frameworks for Intelligence. Recently, Poggio and his CBMM colleagues have released a three-part theoretical study of neural networks. The first part, which was published last month in the International Journal of Automation and Computing, addresses the range of computations that deep-learning networks can execute and when deep networks offer advantages over shallower ones. Parts two and three, which have been released as CBMM technical reports, address the problems of global optimization, or guaranteeing that a network has found the settings that best accord with its training data, and overfitting, or cases in which the network becomes so attuned to the specifics of its training data that it fails to generalize to other instances of the same categories. There are still plenty of theoretical questions to be answered, but CBMM researchers' work could help ensure that neural networks finally break the generational cycle that has brought them in and out of favor for seven decades. Explore further: How the brain recognizes faces: Machine-learning system spontaneously reproduces aspects of human neurology More information: Tomaso Poggio et al. Why and when can deep-but not shallow-networks avoid the curse of dimensionality: A review, International Journal of Automation and Computing (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s11633-017-1054-2


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: motherboard.vice.com

The Large Bitcoin Collider, a blue-sky community project to link up everyone's computers in an attempt to brute-force break an element of bitcoin's cryptography, is raising alarm bells—but it's not because anybody thinks the LBC will succeed. Instead, while looking through the code that LBC contributors must run on their machines, eagle-eyed folks on Reddit noticed something fishy. Basically, the LBC software sneakily runs code on a user's computer without their knowledge or approval. The software also allows for user-initiated updates to come from anybody, which leaves the door open for hackers to inject your computer with malicious code. This is concerning because, while it's unclear how many people are running the software, interest has exploded over the last week "Software vulnerabilities that allow remote code execution are common, but in this case it's [an] intentional functionality," Ryan Castellucci, a cryptography researcher, wrote me in an email after examining the bits of suspicious code posted to Reddit. Emin Gün Sirer, a prominent cryptography expert and Cornell University professor, agreed. "The code clearly contains a backdoor," he wrote in an email. "It is written in a way where the server operator can instruct the clients to perform any task at all." Read More: The Large Bitcoin Collider Is Generating Trillions of Keys and Breaking Into Wallets It's unclear if this is a purely malicious design choice, which would allow an attacker to hijack your computer for possibly criminal ends, or if it's just shoddy insecure software. "This is a security issue regardless of intent," Castellucci wrote. According to "Rico," the pseudonymous developer behind the LBC, the software can remotely execute code in order to remove itself from a user's computer if they tamper with it. Basically, a self-destruct mechanism. In an interview conducted over email, Rico explained that it's there to prevent people from faking work while contributing to the LBC. "It's actually protection against malicious attacks," Rico wrote me in an email. "Quite the irony, that this functionality is now perceived as malicious per se." Rico's message to LBC contributors is that it's his code, and you're just using it. If you don't like it, too bad. The problem is that this runs up against a user's right to manage what code runs on their machines. While this is similar in some ways to copyright protections in software, in most cases you're trusting Adobe or another company, not an anonymous guy named "Rico" online. And some random guy running code on their computers, without their knowledge, is exactly what folks are pissed off about. On this point, he's unapologetic. "If you do not trust the LBC, don't use the LBC," he wrote. But now that a backdoor has been identified, the element of trust is now missing from the LBC project. Compounding this mistrust is that while the project's stated goal is to prove that one part of bitcoin's encryption can be broken—thought to be impossible right now—along the way it's breaking into encrypted wallets. It's now possible that the software could be helping to break into the wallets of the people using it themselves. "The premise of the entire project was questionable to begin with: the Large Bitcoin Collider was designed to crack encrypted wallets," Gün Sirer wrote. "But these wallets were of unknown origin, and may well have been obtained illegally. And now, we see that the LBC project itself can be used to obtain encrypted wallets, bringing everything full circle." "If you do not trust the LBC, don't use the LBC" Rico, defending himself against the accusation that he's using the backdoor to steal bitcoin information, warned that, yes, it would indeed be unwise to run his software on a computer containing your bitcoin. "As states the documentation, neither does the LBC require, nor do we suggest you have any BTC (or whatever coin) infrastructure on the machine it runs," he stated. "It does not need any wallet, blockchain or private keys for its operation." As for the insecure updates, Rico claimed on the popular Bitcointalk forum that the software is designed for automatic self-updating. Normally this includes some method of authenticating that an official company server is sending you the update, but the LBC has no such feature, allowing a dedicated hacker to push fake updates. To his credit, Rico pledged to implement a fix in the form of HTTPS encryption for updates. "There's a lot of trust in software that people don't really think about," Castellucci concluded in an email. "There are technologies that can limit the [risks], but it's always there. It's amazing that things work as well as they do." As for Gün Sirer, his advice to people interested in the LBC is simple: "Users should stay clear of this project." Motherboard is nominated for three Webby Awards for Best Science YouTube Channel , Best Drama , Best Tech/Science Podcast . Please vote for us! Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the LBC software's unauthenticated update system would allow for an attacker to send a malicious update to the client. For clarity, we've added that the update must be initiated by the user for this to occur.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

On April 22, Earth Day, tens of thousands of people will assemble in Washington, DC, and several dozen satellite cities to march for science. What does that mean, exactly, to march “for science”? I have some thoughts on that — on how to make sense of the controversies around the march (as covered by our own Brian Resnick) and the larger question of science’s relationship to, well, Donald Trump. First, though, a side note on the reality of the march. The fact is, the vast majority of people who attend it won’t care much about the somewhat abstruse issues I dig into in this post. Nor will they be familiar with the controversies among and about the organizers. They will just show up because they’re angry at Trump and science is cool. And that’s pretty amazing, when you think about it — a testament to the incredible depth of civic energy and engagement that Trump has unleashed. People have awakened to a broad-based assault on US institutions and they want to do something, so they’re putting their bodies in the street, for women, for science, for climate, for transparency. It’s all to the good. So this post isn’t really about the march itself. It’s about some of the thornier issues it has raised regarding science’s place in society and its relationship to politics. I want to begin by distinguishing two different ways of thinking about science — or rather, two different things that “science” refers to. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to call them science-theory, or science-t, and science-practice, or science-p. (Hopefully that won’t get too annoying.) They are very different, and keeping them distinct will help us figure out exactly what people are marching for and arguing about. Science-t is the scientific method itself, the idealized essence of science. It claims nothing beyond what the empirical evidence supports. That sounds simple, but in fact it is intensely difficult and profoundly unnatural. We humans were not shaped by evolution to identify truth. Why would we be? Membership in a tribe has far more survival value than objective accuracy. We are built to seek out social connection and identity, a sense of rootedness. We crave an understanding of the world and our place in it. We don’t necessarily want or need truth for that, just good stories. So we instinctively round out our worldviews with stories, myths, inherited assumptions, and speculation. It would take years of meditative, ascetic practice for an individual to fully overcome this — to truly and directly see only what is in front of her. We can’t all be monks, so instead we solve for the problem at the collective level. Science-t is a kind of social technology meant to counterbalance our individual propensity to error, through mutual fact-checking. In order to restrict its practitioners to what can be supported with evidence, it imposes a strict set of rules and procedures. Structured experiments produce observations. Scientists posit hypotheses to explain the observations. If those results can be replicated in other experiments, confidence in the hypotheses increases. Eventually hypotheses become theories, and mutually reinforcing networks of theories. There is no such thing as empirical evidence sufficient to support certainty, so science-t offers none. In contains only probabilities and error bars, degrees of confidence on a continuum. Ultimately, everything is defeasible, subject to revision. Certainty is the domain of other human discourses, ideology and religion. Similarly, there is no such thing as empirical evidence sufficient to adjudicate moral and prudential disputes. Science-t cannot bypass or short-circuit politics. The evidence can only tell us what is, not what should be. Political debates should be informed by our best current understanding. They should not involve falsehoods. But even those are moral and prudential judgments, not derived from science-t. Science-t can help us figure out which policies help the sick and vulnerable, but it cannot tell us whether, or how much, we ought to help them. Similarly, science-t can tell us what effects air pollution and carbon emissions will have on public health, but it cannot tell us whether we ought to prevent that suffering, or how to weigh that suffering against other rights and obligations. Similarly, science-t can tell us that vaccinations don’t cause autism, but it is silent on whether we ought to vaccinate children. That is a moral (and prudential) decision. And finally, science-t might help us determine what effects diversity and representation have on institutions, but it cannot tell us whether subaltern populations should be better represented. That is a moral (and prudential) question. Science-t can help us identify problems. It can help determine which policies will have which effects. It can help establish a common baseline of facts. But it cannot tell us whether the problem is worth solving, or how to weigh the costs and benefits of solving it. Ultimately, the choice of policies, though ideally informed by science-t, is based on moral and prudential considerations. All human decisions are. Now, let me be clear: I personally favor reducing carbon emissions, vaccinating children, and making institutions more diverse and representative. To say that these are moral (and prudential) judgments, not scientific judgments, is not some kind of demotion. It doesn’t demean those judgments or make them purely subjective. Improving society’s moral and prudential decision-making is something everyone is always and already involved in; there’s no sense pretending science-t can do the job for us. The point is, science-t is about empirical evidence and nothing beyond it. In the real world, the ideals of science-t are embodied by science-p, the actual institutions, norms, and people doing science. Science-p is different from science-t in two vitally important ways. First, because it is composed of human beings, science-p never reaches the ideal of science-t. Work — lab research, surveys, field studies — is inevitably colored by personal history, professional and financial pressures, desire for recognition, and fear of failure. Replication is often absent or woefully inadequate; theories are often driven by hype and media attention; peer review is often weak. (Read Resnick on science’s replication crisis.) It is a constant struggle for science-p to approximate the ideals of science-t. Which brings us to the second difference. While science-t involves only first-order concerns about properly structured experiments, evidence, replication, etc., science-p, as a set of social institutions and norms, deals with a whole set of second-order considerations regarding its own institutional health. Science-p must be concerned not merely with doing good science-t, but with the conditions that make doing good science-t possible. (I made the same point about journalism in my post on tribal epistemology.) The overarching issue facing science-p is how to get as close as possible to the ideal of science-t. That inevitably involves questions that are not themselves scientific. What’s the best way to fund science? How transparent should scientists be expected to be about funders, methods, and data? What steps should science-p take to diversify itself? To what extent should science-p engage in political lobbying? What role should science-p play in government rule-making? These are moral and prudential considerations about the health of institutions. A certain sort of person (see: cognitive scientist and popular author Steven Pinker) thinks that the way to keep science-p healthy is for scientists and scientific institutions to remain silent on contested questions of values and policy. In this view, scientists, at least in their capacity as scientists, should confine themselves to that which can be supported by science-t, their only proper interest and authority. The way this is usually phrased is that they don’t want science “politicized.” This seems a bit naive. Science-p has always been political, both outwardly, in the uses to which it is put, and inwardly, in the way it reflects society’s inequitable racial and gender power structures. Scientists Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Sarah Tuttle, and Joseph Osmundson remind us of this in their bracing (if occasionally over-the-top) cri de coeur against the Trump administration. More broadly, science-p is a set of institutions and norms amidst others, in a larger social ecosystem. It is part of the polity, so it is inescapably political. The germ of value in Pinker’s argument is that scientists should not claim to speak on moral and prudential considerations as representatives of science-t. Again, science-t cannot speak on what is good or wise, only what is. But there’s no reason scientists shouldn’t speak out on moral and prudential matters as representatives of science-p — that is, as representatives of the institutions that keep science-t alive and healthy. The government agencies, research institutions, laboratories, and academies that do science-t must concern themselves with how good science-t can continue getting done. That might mean pushing for more funding (which Trump is cutting), more diversity, or more STEM education and outreach. It might mean protesting attempts by House Republicans to politicize the National Science Foundation grantmaking process. It might mean marching. This distinction between science-t and science-p helps illuminate two of the controversies around the march. First, much of the online fighting over the march has been about diversity and inclusion. Several early organizers have quit over the larger organizing committee’s ham-handed handling of these issues. In my experience — particularly my extensive experience as a white male — what motivates some scientists to resist these kinds of considerations is that they truly do have no place in science-t. At heart, science-t is nothing but a set of procedures meant to screen out positionality. The whole point is to determine what is true independent of any culturally specific perspective. In theory, a scientist’s background, race, socioeconomic status, etc. should not matter. But we do not live in theory (science-t). We live in practice (science-p). We are all shaped by our backgrounds and the social infrastructure in which we operate. Any social monocrop (say, all white men) will only mass produce the blind spots and biases of its individual members. By bringing more perspectives to the table, diversity makes the social technology of science-t — mutual checking, correcting, amending, and building — more effective. What’s more, closed systems cannot thrive. An institution that replicates society’s larger inequities also replicates its enormous waste of potential talent. Bringing in traditionally excluded groups brings in new energy and new ideas. (Meanwhile, Trump’s immigration policies are driving foreign science students away.) What’s more, precisely because science-t is a cosmopolitan ideal, operating independently of parochial perspectives, it can welcome anyone. It’s a point well-made in an essay by particle physicist Yangyang Cheng, for whom science was a path from humble beginnings in China to the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, at Cornell University. “Despite the tainted history and current flaws of science,” she writes, “I, as a member of the underrepresented, still place my unwavering faith in its power as the great equalizer.” In short, diversity and inclusion make science-p healthier and thus make for better science-t. They are not external, “political” considerations, they are, or should be, core concerns of anyone who supports science-t. That’s why they deserve a place at the heart of the march. In a New York Times op-ed, geologist Robert Young warned that a march for science, “while well intentioned, will serve only to trivialize and politicize the science we care so much about, turn scientists into another group caught up in the culture wars and further drive the wedge between scientists and a certain segment of the American electorate.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that horse is already out of the barn. To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, you may not be interested in the culture wars, but the culture wars are interested in you. Scientists are already caught up; the wedge is already driven. The primary reason, as I have explained at tedious length, is the decades-long campaign by right-wing media to convince its audience that America’s core institutions are irredeemably corrupted by leftists — government, academia, media, and science are the “four corners of deceit,” in Rush Limbaugh’s phrase. Science, like media, has done a piss-poor job of defending itself against this onslaught. And now, with Trump ascendant, things have reached the level of crisis. Republicans are defunding research, politicizing grantmaking, diminishing science’s role in the agency rulemaking process, and flat out refusing to accept conclusions they don’t like. That Republicans have been denying climate change for so long has made it seem familiar, but it remains incredible, a brazen rejection of scientific institutions and practices. They called society’s bluff and got away with it. And it turns out to have been a harbinger, a waystation on the road to what looks more and more like a wholesale rejection of empirics. The conditions that make good science-t possible — robust, well-funded, independent institutions and a basic respect for accuracy — are under intense and immediate threat. We should not pretend that science-t itself dictates an answer to this debate, or to any political struggle. But we should also not pretend that science-p can remain silent. The institutions and people who do science, as well as all the people who value them, cannot remain neutral toward a threat to the conditions that make science possible. The March for Science is (another) sign that those who believe in cosmopolitan values and democratic institutions are feeling some of the intensity that has, for too long, been the almost sole province of their tribalist opponents. Flaws of planning and communication aside, it cannot help but be a positive thing when thousands of people assemble to reaffirm that science is cool.


Dr. Nyirady is a board certified dermatologist with over 18 years of pharmaceutical experience in all aspects of clinical research and development.  She also has medical affairs expertise within both systemic and topical drugs. Prior to joining LEO, Dr. Nyirady worked at Novartis, most recently as interim Medical Unit Head of Dermatology & Immunology, U.S. Clinical Development & Medical Affairs and concurrently as the Executive Director, Dermatology, U.S. Clinical Development & Medical Affairs.  Before joining Novartis in 2003, Dr. Nyirady worked at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Worldwide (CPWW) as Director of Medical Affairs, Dermatology. Dr. Nyirady holds a M.B.A. from Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management and obtained her medical degree in Hungary from Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University. About LEO Pharma in the United States LEO Pharma Inc. is a subsidiary of LEO Pharma A/S ("LEO Pharma"), serving the United States, helping people suffering from skin diseases with treatments for psoriasis, actinic keratosis and atopic dermatitis. It is based in Madison, NJ. LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. By offering care solutions to patients in more than 100 countries globally, LEO Pharma supports people in managing their skin conditions. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, the healthcare company has devoted decades of research and development to delivering products and solutions to people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark and employs around 4,800 people worldwide. More information can be found at www.leo-pharma.us To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/leo-pharma-us-welcomes-judit-h-nyirady-as-vice-president-of-medical-strategy--scientific-affairs-300451629.html


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: phys.org

Their experiment was the first to use a newly installed x-ray detector, called Maia, mounted at NSLS-II's Submicron Resolution X-Ray Spectroscopy (SRX) beamline. Scientists from around the world come to SRX to create high-definition images of mineral deposits, aerosols, algae—just about anything they need to examine with millionth-of-a-meter resolution. Maia, developed by a collaboration between NSLS-II, Brookhaven's Instrumentation Division and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), can scan centimeter-scale sample areas at micron scale resolution in just a few hours—a process that used to take weeks. "The Maia detector is a game-changer," said Juergen Thieme, lead scientist at the SRX beamline. "Milliseconds per image pixel instead of seconds is a huge difference." SRX beamline users now have time to gather detailed data about larger areas, rather than choosing a few zones to focus on. This greatly enhances the chance to capture rare "needle in a haystack" clues to ore forming processes, for example. "This is important when you are trying to publish a paper," said Thieme. "Editors want to make sure that your claim is based on many examples and not one random event." "We've already gathered enough data for one, if not two papers," said Margaux Le Vaillant, one of the visiting users from CSIRO and principal investigator for this experiment. Collaborator Giada Iacono Marziano of the French National Center for Scientific Research added, "Because we can now look at a larger image in detail, we might see things—like certain elemental associations—that we didn't predict." These kinds of surprises pose unexpected questions to scientists, pushing their research in new directions. Siddons and his collaborators at Brookhaven Lab and CSIRO have provided Maia detectors to synchrotron light sources around the world—CHESS at Cornell University in New York, PETRA-III at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, and the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne. The detector at SRX offers the advantage of using beams from NSLS-II, the brightest light source of its kind in the world. When scientists shine the x-ray beams at samples, they excite the material's atoms. As the atoms relax back to their original state they fluoresce, emitting x-ray light that the detector picks up. Different chemical elements will emit different characteristic wavelengths of light, so this x-ray fluorescence mapping is a kind of chemical fingerprinting, allowing the detector to create images of the sample's chemical makeup. The Maia detector has several features that help it map samples at high speeds and in fine detail. "Maia doesn't 'stop and measure' like other detectors," said physicist Pete Siddons, who led Brookhaven's half of the project. Most detectors work in steps, analyzing each spot on a sample one at a time, he explained, but the Maia detector scans continuously. Siddons' team has programmed Maia with a process called dynamic analysis to pick apart the x-ray spectral data collected and resolve where different elements are present. Maia's analysis systems also make it possible for scientists to watch images of their samples appear on the computer screen in real-time as Maia scans. If samples are very similar, Maia will recycle the dynamic analysis algorithms it used to create multi-element images from the first sample's fluorescence signals to build the subsequent sample's images in real-time, without computational lag. Part of Maia's speed is also attributable to the 384 tiny photon-sensing detector elements that make up the large detector. This large grid of sensors can pick up more re-emitted x-rays than standard detectors, which typically use less than 10 elements. Siddons' instrumentation team designed special readout chips to deal with the large number of sensors and allow for efficient detection. The 20-by-20 grid of detectors has a hole in the middle, but that's intentional, Siddons explained. "The hole lets us put the detector much closer to the sample," Siddons said. Rather than placing the sample in front of the x-ray beam and the detector off to the side, SRX beamline scientists have aligned the beam, sample, and detector so that the x-ray beam shines through the hole to reach the sample. With this arrangement, the detector covers a wide angle and captures a large fraction of fluoresced x-rays. That sensitivity allows researchers to scan faster, which can be used either to save time or to cut back on the intensity of x-rays striking the sample, reducing any damage the rays might cause. Siddons noted that the team is currently developing new readout chips for the detector, and incorporating a new type of sensor, called a silicon drift detector array. Together these will heighten the detector's ability to distinguish between photons of similar energy, unfolding detail in complex spectra and making for even more accurate chemical maps. Explore further: Multilaboratory collaboration brings new X-ray detector to light


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

Saving the Spanish imperial eagle was never going to be easy. This enormous bird, which once dominated the skies above Spain, Portugal, and northern Morocco, saw its numbers drop to just 380 breeding pairs in 2014, thanks to habitat loss, poaching, poisoning from farmers and hunters, and electrocution from power lines. Now, a new study highlights a potential way of restoring eagle populations to their former glory: dropping them into long-abandoned habitat. One common approach for bringing threatened species back from the brink is to reintroduce them to the places they were last known to live. For example, the sea eagle in Scotland—which was hunted to extinction on the Isle of Skye in 1916—was successfully reintroduced in 1975 to Rùm Island near its last known breeding ground. But not all such efforts bear fruit: When scientists tried to release the same bird to its former range in western Ireland in 2007, the newcomers fell victim to the same poisoning that had done them in 107 years earlier. “The tendency is to think that the last place that an animal was present is the best place for the species, but this isn't always the case,” says Virginia Morandini, a biologist with the Spanish National Research Council’s Doñana Biological Station near Seville. So Morandini and her colleagues teamed up with conservation biologist Miguel Ferrer of the Migres Foundation at Doñana to try a different approach. Along with the Andalusian government’s Spanish Imperial Eagle Action Plan, they introduced imperial eagles into a territory they last inhabited some 50 years ago, far from established populations. Their method had some strong theoretical underpinnings because relict populations that have been pushed into small, low-quality habitats—often the “last known address” of threatened species—are thought to have relatively low breeding rates. From 2002 to 2015, the Doñana team monitored 87 eagles that had been released in the south of Cádiz province of Spain, some 85 kilometers from the nearest established eagles. Meanwhile, the researchers monitored a naturally occurring population of eagles in south-central Spain. When scientists analyzed the breeding success of the two groups—a proxy for how well the eagles might survive over the long run—they found that the relocated population produced nearly twice as many chicks, they reported last month in . Morandini attributes their success to the ready availability of prey and breeding partners, as well as efforts to reduce threats from hunters and exposed power lines. The results suggest such reintroductions can be helpful in recovering endangered populations, especially when natural range expansion isn’t a possibility, says Doug Armstrong, a conservation biologist at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. But Armstrong, who was instrumental in rehabilitation efforts in New Zealand of a honeyeater-like bird called the hihi, also warns that this method won’t work for every threatened species. Lots of factors can lead to failure: selecting an inappropriate site, unpredictable environmental factors, and stress after reintroduction. Cornell University ecologist Amanda Rodewald says that—even with its upsides—the approach should be seen as a last resort. “With ongoing climate change and habitat destruction, we are likely to be turning to [reintroduction] methods more and more,” she says. “However, taking proactive conservation steps such as habitat protection before a species becomes critically endangered is always going to be the most cost-effective and successful approach.”


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"Milt is an exceptional trial lawyer as well as a brilliant legal strategist, and we are very excited to have him with us as we continue to grow our white collar and commercial practices," said partner Jim Walden. "We look forward to working with him to build a nationally recognized management-side-employment law practice that leverages our existing experience in federal and state investigations." Williams previously served as deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer for Time Inc., where he oversaw compliance with federal and state statutes relating to Sarbanes Oxley, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), foreign assets control, and codes of ethics for senior financial officers. In addition, at Time Inc. he conducted more than 25 internal investigations, both domestically and internationally, on matters involving FCPA, trade secrets, accounting practices, fraudulent invoicing, circulation practices, and mail and wire fraud. "Milt's collaborative spirit will be an important asset as we continue to grow and expand our firm," said partner Sean Haran. "His deep experience in employment-related matters will serve as the cornerstone of a multi-faceted capability for corporate litigation clients." In 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Williams as co-chair of the Moreland Commission, which was tasked with investigating politicians and political organizations in New York for violations of state laws regulating elections, campaigns, and political fundraising. Before it was disbanded, the Moreland Commission attempted to subpoena a number of state legislators, including the Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate leader Dean Skelos, both of whom were later found guilty of corruption, and also issued a lengthy report containing recommendations and proposals for improving the state political process. "I am delighted to join the Firm," said Milt Williams. "In two short years, this Firm has taken off.  I am very much looking forward to doing exciting work with my new colleagues, especially given the Firm's roster of marquee clients and high-profile matters." Williams serves on the Grievance Committee for the Southern District of New York, the NYC Mayor's Judicial Screening Committee, the Federal Bar Council, the Fund for Modern Courts, the Civil Litigation Committee for the Eastern District of New York, the First Department Assigned Counsel Corporation, and the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. He holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Amherst College. Along with Williams, Walden Macht & Haran adds Daniel J. Chirlin, who joins as senior counsel, and Rachel A. Brook, who joins as senior associate. Chirlin will concentrate his practice on white collar criminal defense and investigations, securities enforcement, and anti-money laundering/sanctions compliance. His matters have covered a broad range of subjects, including antitrust, FCPA, insider trading, and securities enforcement. He has regularly represented major investment banks, broker-dealers, and investment advisors in regulatory matters before the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and a number of options and futures exchanges. Prior to joining Walden Macht & Haran, Chirlin spent more than a decade practicing law at two preeminent international law firms. He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar each year, and a B.A. cum laude with honors from Cornell University. Brook's practice will focus on commercial litigation and internal and government investigations. She has represented individuals and corporations in high stakes international disputes, including litigation in the areas of tort, employment, and contract law, and both civil and criminal investigations. She has worked with multinational clients on all aspects of civil litigation and has extensive experience with e-discovery and data privacy issues. Brook has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Justice and prepared individuals for interviews and testimony before numerous federal agencies investigating allegations of antitrust violations, obstruction of justice, and public corruption. Before joining Walden Macht & Haran, Brook practiced law for more than six years in the award-winning litigation department of a large global law firm. Brook received a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where she served as an editor and competitor on the Fordham Moot Court Board and a staff member on the Fordham Urban Law Journal. She holds a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. "Dan and Rachel are both extremely talented lawyers with keen intellects and exceptional experience dealing with the government," said partner Brian Mogck. "Their deep understanding of the intricacies of government investigations and commercial litigation, and aplomb in high-stakes situations, make them exceptional assets to clients." Walden Macht & Haran LLP (www.wmhlaw.com) is a New York-based law firm specializing in government investigations, white-collar-criminal defense, and complex commercial litigation. The firm combines the extensive experience of former federal and state prosecutors, seasoned commercial litigators, and exceptional lawyers drawn from international firms, to deliver outstanding results for clients. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/walden-macht--haran-llp-names-milton-l-williams-as-partner-300453197.html


News Article | April 22, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

An immigration activist protests against the Trump administration's new ban against travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington, U.S. on March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations faces its second challenge at a U.S. appeals court next month, and this time more Republican states are backing the measure, while one Democratic state attorney general dropped out of the legal fight this week. Some legal experts say the states' realignment could signal that the changes made last month to Trump's original executive order have strengthened the government's case. Sixteen Democratic state attorneys general and the District of Colombia on Thursday filed a "friend of the court" brief backing Hawaii in its bid to block the March 6 executive order, which two federal judges put on hold before it could be implemented. Hawaii and other states argue the ban violates the U.S. Constitution because it discriminates against Muslims. But Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who opposed the original ban that Trump signed on Jan. 27, did not join Thursday's brief, which was filed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Shapiro declined to comment. On the other side, Texas, which had been alone in its support for the original January order, has gained the support of 14 Republican states urging that the ban go forward in a legal brief filed on April 10. Those states back the government's argument that the president has wide authority to implement immigration policy and that the ban is needed to prevent terrorist attacks. Trump's original ban, which the president said was needed for national security to head off attacks by Islamist militants, applied to seven Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely banned the entry of all refugees from Syria. It was revised and narrowed after a flurry of legal challenges. "The second executive order was much more carefully written than the first. Maybe when various states analyzed it they weren't as interested as joining," said Stephen Yale-Loehr an immigration expert at Cornell University Law School. However, he said, "amicus briefs sometimes are filed for political reasons." Some judges pay close attention to amicus briefs, while others disregard them. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment. Trump's January order was hastily implemented just days after his inauguration, leading to chaos and protests at airports and more than two dozen lawsuits. A federal judge in Seattle halted the order and the 9th circuit upheld that ruling. The White House re-crafted the order to exclude legal permanent residents and removed Iraq from the list of targeted countries. Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are still included in the new order. The new ban also dropped language giving preference to refugees who are part of a persecuted religious minority in their country of citizenship. The changes were meant to chip away at the plaintiffs' "standing" to sue, which requires that anyone bringing a lawsuit show they have been directly harmed by the action they are contesting. But as soon as the second order was signed, states and civil rights groups went back to court, saying that it was still discriminatory. Federal district judges in Maryland and Hawaii put the second order on hold before it could take effect on March 16. The judge in Hawaii blocked the two central sections of the ban, on travel and refugees, while the Maryland judge only halted the travel portion. Most of the focus is now on the Hawaii case, which is being heard by the 9th Circuit on May 15. The 4th Circuit appeals court in Virginia is slated to hear arguments in the Maryland case on May 8. Not all states have staked out a side in the fight. Pennsylvania now is among 18 states, including Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey that have not taken sides on the issue, opting not to file any legal briefs.


The Advisory Council is led by Swamy Kotagiri, Magna Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and consists of some of the most recognized and respected experts in the global automotive and tech industries. The council brings a wider circle of insight, knowledge and experience from various industries that ultimately helps accelerate the execution of Magna's technology and business objectives. "The pace of innovation in the automotive industry is like nothing we have ever seen before, creating even more challenges and opportunities," said Kotagiri.  "At Magna, we welcome the challenge and aim to seize the opportunities by continuing to leverage our culture of innovation, while embracing a new level of innovation outreach.  We are excited to have such a distinguished group of individuals bringing their vision and insights to our company." Advisory Council members will provide high-level strategic planning insights and experience in the areas of advanced driver assistance systems, environmental and automotive safety, overall industry trends, and next-generation technologies. Chaired by Kotagiri, the Advisory Council is comprised of six members who are recognized leaders in their respective fields, several of whom have significant experience in product innovation and the implementation of new technologies. "Magna's deep vehicle systems knowledge and electronics capabilities, combined with its global engineering and manufacturing expertise, are remarkable," said Tony Fadell. "They are in a great position to help drive change in the auto industry and I am excited to be working with such an innovative company." "Magna is a company committed to helping define the future of mobility and I am delighted to be a part of such a distinguished group of individuals who collectively can bring new opportunities to Magna and the industry," said Dr. Ian Hunter. Swamy Kotagiri is globally responsible for managing Magna's innovation and new product strategy and development.  As CTO, Kotagiri helps Magna's product groups bring innovative ideas to the market, which allows the company to move the automotive industry forward. Mei-Wei Cheng is a member of the Board of Directors of Seagate Technology PLC and recently served as non-executive Chairman of Pactera.  He was the former CEO and President for the Chinese subsidiaries of AT&T, Siemens Ford Motor Company and General Electric. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering/operations research from Cornell University and an MBA from Rutgers University. Tony Fadell is the inventor of the iPod, an inventor of the iPhone, and founder of Nest, the company that pioneered the "Internet of things".  He is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 25-year history of founding companies and designing products that improve people's lives. Fadell has authored more than 300 patents.  In May 2016, TIME named Nest Thermostat, the iPod and iPhone as three of the "50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time." Dr. Ian Hunter is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and runs the BioInstrumentation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Dr. Hunter has filed over 150 patents, produced more than 500 scientific and engineering publications, and has founded and/or co-founded 25 companies. He received his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Auckland and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Biomedical Engineering at McGill University in Canada. John Maddox is the CEO of the American Center for Mobility. He began his career as a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company and has held positions such as Associate Administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Compliance Officer at Volkswagen North America. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Detroit Mercy. Paul Mascarenas is a member of the Board of Directors at ON Semiconductor and the United States Steel Corporation.  He previously held a number of senior leadership positions at Ford Motor Company, most recently serving as Chief Technical Officer.  Paul holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of London, King's College in England and holds an honorary doctorate degree from Chongqing University in China. ABOUT MAGNA We are a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 102 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries. We have over 155,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to our customers through innovative products and processes, and world class manufacturing. We have complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing expertise, as well as product capabilities which include body, chassis, exterior, seating, powertrain, active driver assistance, vision, closure and roof systems. We also have electronic and software capabilities across many of these areas.  Our common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MG) and the New York Stock Exchange (MGA). For further information about Magna, visit our website at www.magna.com. THIS RELEASE MAY CONTAIN STATEMENTS WHICH CONSTITUTE "FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS" UNDER APPLICABLE SECURITIES LEGISLATION AND ARE SUBJECT TO, AND EXPRESSLY QUALIFIED BY, THE CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMERS THAT ARE SET OUT IN MAGNA'S REGULATORY FILINGS. PLEASE REFER TO MAGNA'S MOST CURRENT MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL POSITION, ANNUAL INFORMATION FORM AND ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 40-F, AS REPLACED OR UPDATED BY ANY OF MAGNA'S SUBSEQUENT REGULATORY FILINGS, WHICH SET OUT THE CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMERS, INCLUDING THE RISK FACTORS THAT COULD CAUSE ACTUAL EVENTS TO DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE INDICATED BY SUCH FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS. THESE DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW ON MAGNA'S WEBSITE AT WWW.MAGNA.COM.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Receive press releases from U.S. Veg Corp.: By Email U.S. Veg Corp's Vegan Fest Bringing the Farm to the City New York, NY, May 03, 2017 --( One speaker is Irina Anta. After graduating from Yale Law School, she joined the Compassion Over Killing (COK) organization as legal counsel. Her talk at the festival is titled "Introduction to Factory Farming." COK works to protect farmed animals through litigation and undercover investigation. Most recently Anta assisted with an investigation of Superior Farms, exposing abuses at the largest lamb slaughter facility in the country. A lifetime lover of animals, she became particularly passionate about farm animal issues in law school after watching documentaries about industrial agriculture. Now based in Washington DC, she is able to speak for the animals not only in English but in Russian, Spanish and Italian as well. Another festival presenter is Gene Baur, co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary. For 30 years he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. Time Magazine has called him “the conscience of the food movement.” He is also a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baur grew up in Hollywood, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and obtained a masters degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University. Farm Sanctuary’s first rescued animal was a sick sheep who had been discarded on a pile of dead animals behind the Lancaster, Pennsylvania stockyards in 1986. The sheep, who regained her health and lived for more than 10 years, was named Hilda. Sanctuary team members raised funds for their fledgling organization by selling vegan hot dogs out of a VW van in the parking lot at Grateful Dead concerts, among other exploits. Baur played a role in passing the first U.S. laws to restrict industrial animal farming systems. In 2002, he led a campaign in Florida to pass a ballot initiative banning gestation crates for pigs. He and Farm Sanctuary were also sponsors of California’s Proposition 2 to ban veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, which passed in 2008 with more than 63% of the vote. In 2012, Baur started competing in marathons and triathlons to demonstrate how plant-based foods can fuel top athletic performance. In July 2013, he participated in his first full Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, NY. Baur’s best-selling books include Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, and Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. His festival talk will be based on these topics. Other speakers at the festival will include physicians, professional athletes, vegan chefs, legislators, and dietitians. There will also be special children’s activities, a ballet performance, yoga classes, film screenings, cooking demonstrations, and book signings. Additionally, the festival grounds will be packed with a variety of vegan vendors, offering cruelty-free clothing, beauty products, and food. Many of the food vendors will dish up free samples for attendees as they wind their way through the pavilion. The New York City Vegetarian Food Festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, a production and marketing company which also founded and produces the Arizona and California Vegetarian Food Festivals. Additionally, it produces other plant-based events throughout the year including various vegan food competitions, Vegan Drinks Brooklyn, and other smaller scale events. For more information on the upcoming New York festival or to purchase tickets, please visit http://nycvegfoodfest.com/index.php. New York, NY, May 03, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Farm animals will find a place in the heart of the city, as the seventh annual New York City Vegetarian Food Festival presents two highly respected animal advocates, May 20-21 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.One speaker is Irina Anta. After graduating from Yale Law School, she joined the Compassion Over Killing (COK) organization as legal counsel. Her talk at the festival is titled "Introduction to Factory Farming."COK works to protect farmed animals through litigation and undercover investigation. Most recently Anta assisted with an investigation of Superior Farms, exposing abuses at the largest lamb slaughter facility in the country.A lifetime lover of animals, she became particularly passionate about farm animal issues in law school after watching documentaries about industrial agriculture. Now based in Washington DC, she is able to speak for the animals not only in English but in Russian, Spanish and Italian as well.Another festival presenter is Gene Baur, co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary. For 30 years he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. Time Magazine has called him “the conscience of the food movement.”He is also a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Baur grew up in Hollywood, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and obtained a masters degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University.Farm Sanctuary’s first rescued animal was a sick sheep who had been discarded on a pile of dead animals behind the Lancaster, Pennsylvania stockyards in 1986. The sheep, who regained her health and lived for more than 10 years, was named Hilda. Sanctuary team members raised funds for their fledgling organization by selling vegan hot dogs out of a VW van in the parking lot at Grateful Dead concerts, among other exploits.Baur played a role in passing the first U.S. laws to restrict industrial animal farming systems. In 2002, he led a campaign in Florida to pass a ballot initiative banning gestation crates for pigs. He and Farm Sanctuary were also sponsors of California’s Proposition 2 to ban veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, which passed in 2008 with more than 63% of the vote.In 2012, Baur started competing in marathons and triathlons to demonstrate how plant-based foods can fuel top athletic performance. In July 2013, he participated in his first full Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid, NY.Baur’s best-selling books include Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, and Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. His festival talk will be based on these topics.Other speakers at the festival will include physicians, professional athletes, vegan chefs, legislators, and dietitians. There will also be special children’s activities, a ballet performance, yoga classes, film screenings, cooking demonstrations, and book signings.Additionally, the festival grounds will be packed with a variety of vegan vendors, offering cruelty-free clothing, beauty products, and food. Many of the food vendors will dish up free samples for attendees as they wind their way through the pavilion.The New York City Vegetarian Food Festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, a production and marketing company which also founded and produces the Arizona and California Vegetarian Food Festivals. Additionally, it produces other plant-based events throughout the year including various vegan food competitions, Vegan Drinks Brooklyn, and other smaller scale events.For more information on the upcoming New York festival or to purchase tickets, please visit http://nycvegfoodfest.com/index.php. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from U.S. Veg Corp.


New research shows that limiting how pharmaceutical sales representatives can market their products to physicians changes their drug prescribing behaviors. A team, led by the University of California, Los Angeles' Ian Larkin and Carnegie Mellon University's George Loewenstein, examined restrictions 19 academic medical centers (AMCs) in five U.S. states placed on pharmaceutical representatives' visits to doctors' offices. Published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the results reveal that the restrictions caused physicians to switch from prescribing drugs that were more expensive and patent-protected to generic, significantly cheaper drugs. Pharmaceutical sales representative visits to doctors, known as "detailing," is the most prominent form of pharmaceutical company marketing. Detailing often involves small gifts for physicians and their staff, such as meals. Pharmaceutical companies incur far greater expenditures on detailing visits than they do on direct-to-consumer marketing, or even on research and development of new drugs. Despite the prevalence of detailing and the numerous programs to regulate detailing, little was known about how practice-level detailing restrictions affect physician prescribing, until now. For the study, which is the largest, most comprehensive investigation into the impact of detailing restrictions, the team compared changes in the prescribing behavior of thousands of doctors before and after their AMCs introduced policies restricting detailing with the prescribing behavior of a carefully matched control group of similar physicians practicing in the same geographic regions but not subject to detailing restrictions. In total, the study included 25,000 physicians and 262 drugs in eight major drug classes from statins to sleep aids to antidepressants, representing more than $60 billion in aggregate sales in the U.S. "The study cannot definitively prove a causal link between policies that regulated detailing and changes in physician prescribing, but absent a randomized control, this evidence is as definitive as possible," said Larkin, assistant professor of strategy at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. "We investigated 19 different policy implementations that happened over a six-year period, included a control group of highly similar physicians not subject to detailing restrictions and looked at effects in eight large drug classes. The results were remarkable robust -- after the introduction of policies, about five to 10 percent of physician prescribing behavior changed." Specifically, the researchers found that detailing policies were associated with an 8.7 percent decrease in the market share of the average detailed drug. Before policy implementation, the average drug had a 19.3 percent market share. The findings also suggest that detailing may influence physicians in indirect ways. "No medical center completely barred salesperson visits; salespeople could and did continue to visit physicians at all medical centers in the study," Larkin said. "The most common restriction put in place was a ban on meals and other small gifts. The fact that regulating gifts while still allowing sales calls still led to a switch to cheaper, generic drugs may suggest that gifts such as meals play an important role in influencing physicians. The correlation between meals and prescribing has been well established in the literature, but our study suggests this relationship may be causal in nature." In light of these findings, the study indicates that physician practices and other governing bodies may need to take an active role in regulating conflicts of interest, rather than relying on individual physicians to monitor and regulate. "Social science has long demonstrated that professionals, even well-meaning ones, are powerfully influenced by conflicts of interest," said Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology at CMU. "A large body of research also shows that simply disclosing conflicts of interests is insufficient to reduce their influence, and may even exacerbate it. The results from this study underline the effectiveness of, and need for, centralized rules and regulations. We should not put the onus of dealing with conflicts on patients; the best policies are those that eliminate conflicts." Larkin and Loewenstein also have a Viewpoint article in the same JAMA issue that calls for physicians to be compensated on a salary basis, instead of fee-for-service, to eliminate additional conflicts of interest. In addition to Larkin and Loewenstein, the research team included University of California, San Diego's Desmond Ang; Austrian Institute of Technology's Jonathan Steinhart; Williams College's Matthew Chao; Carnegie Mellon's Mark Patterson; Cornell University's Sunita Sah; New York University's Tina Wu; National Institute of Mental Health's Michael Schoenbaum; David Hutchins and Troyen Brennan from CVS Caremark. The National Institute of Mental Health provided funding, and CVS Caremark provided data, for the study.


News Article | April 6, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

New evidence suggests that prehistoric humans did not have the same rich caloric offerings as wild animals, leading to the belief that cannibals weren’t in it for mere nourishment. The study presented what could be considered the first-ever calorie counting guide for cannibals. UK archeologist Dr. James Cole from University of Brighton investigated “nutritional human cannibalism” in the Paleolithic age, which occurred from 2.5 million years ago to around 10,000 years ago. Cole, the sole author of the new research, devised a caloric breakdown of the human body, from head to toe and all the tasty parts one can find in between. “I was interested in how nutritious are we actually?” Cole said in a New York Times report, pertaining to his interest in how ancient hominins acted as well as the complexities that surrounded their lifestyle. He found that generally, humans have the same nutritional value as equally sized animals when it comes to fat and protein. The former, however, boast of notably fewer calories when compared to bigger prey in the wild. As cannibalism may not have been worth the trouble in the face of so many alternatives, the study concluded that ancient hominins may have practiced it for a range of reasons, such as ritual, cultural, and social factors. There is a wealth of reasons behind cannibalism, but experts primarily believe it was done out of nutritional intent. The calorific template for the human body then offers a better look into why Paleolithic cannibalism was performed, Cole told Gizmodo. Using a chemical composition analysis on four male bodies, he took the average weights and caloric values of each body part. While the resulting data pertains to modern humans, the values are deemed close enough as far as body frame is concerned. Human torso and head boast of about 5,400 calories, while the upper arms have 7,450 calories. Human thighs come in at a significant 13,350 calories, the heart at about 650 calories, and both kidneys at approximately 380 calories. Using the chart, Cole compared the resulting caloric values to animal species whose remains were detected at the sites of Paleolithic cannibals, including the woolly rhino, mammoth, bison, boar, and some deer species. Humans yield substantially fewer calories than their big animal counterparts, where a mammoth’s muscle mass can contain as much as 3.6 million calories. “Therefore, I would question whether the motivation for the cannibalism act was due to nutritional needs or perhaps something more socially driven such as resource defense or something along the lines,” Cole explained, noting that it could be harder to hunt an ancient human than an animal because it’s just as smart and able to fight back. Ancient humans may have become cannibals out of the need to survive during famine or drought, but there may be much more to the practice. Neanderthals, according to Cole, demonstrated intricate behavior and cultural diversity, and therefore could have performed cannibal acts out of equally complex motivations. Cornell University’s David Levitsky said the calculations of the paper were the same technique used by researchers to determine the energy offerings of modern diet staples like beef. Other nutritionists such as Susan Roberts, however, thought that using four cadavers to estimate energy quantities had been a “terrible” method to calculate the human body. Forensic anthropologist Danielle Kurin from UC Santa Barbara echoed Cole’s point, saying that the study shows how cannibal behavior was not merely out of nutritive requirements but of a “process deeply imbued with symbolism" or an important part of bereavement in those early humans. The findings have been detailed in the journal Scientific Reports. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

COLUMBUS, OH, May 08, 2017-- Francille Maloch Firebaugh is a celebrated Marquis Who's Who biographee. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Dr. Firebaugh a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Firebaugh celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field.A prominent and lauded figure in her field, Dr. Firebaugh currently serves as the vice provost for land grant affairs emerita, dean emerita, and professor emerita for the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. In 1988 she was named Vice provost and Professor Emerita by The Ohio State University.In addition to her status as Lifetime Achiever, Dr. Firebaugh has previously received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Distinguished Service Award, from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, the Alice H. Cook & Constance Cook Award from Cornell University and the Distinguished Service Award from Ohio State University. A Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, Dr. Firebaugh has been a featured listee in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in the Midwest and Who's Who of American Women.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Scientists and science supporters will take to the streets in a global March for Science on 22 April . What began as a small Facebook group in the US capital, Washington DC has spiralled into a global phenomenon that will now see marches and other events in more than 500 locations around the world, from Seattle to Seoul. It is great news that so many people are prepared to stand up and defend the need for evidence-based thinking and the scientific method. But it is also a sad comment on our times that a March for Science is needed at all. Post-truth populism has infected democracies around the world, scientific objectivity is under threat from multiple sources and there seems a real danger of falling into a modern dystopian dark age. It is clear that the old days of scientists staying in the lab, publishing papers in scholarly journals, and otherwise letting the facts speak for themselves are over. As the Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes reminds us: “The facts don’t speak for themselves because we live in a world where so many people are trying to silence facts.” In her book, Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes wrote about these efforts from the tobacco industry onwards; science denialist attempts that are paralleled in today’s climate sceptic, anti-vaccine and anti-GMO movements. These campaigners against truth take great pains to deny the existence of scientific consensus on their different issues. The fact that 97% of the peer-reviewed literature on climate change supports the consensus that most of global warming is human-induced is dismissed as mere elitism. But as Dr Sarah Evanega, director of the Alliance for Science at Cornell, writes: “The values we defend are those of the Enlightenment, not the establishment.” Expertise is real, and we reject it at our peril. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of the March for Science, and what may prove to be its most enduring legacy, is its truly global nature. Science is not western; it is everywhere and for everyone. I have worked with Alliance for Science colleagues to help get marches off the ground in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Uganda, Venezuela, Chile and other places. In between long Skype calls about logistics, fundraising, and media outreach I watched the lights flash on as the number of marches on the global map kept on increasing. It was like watching the world light up with knowledge. Bangladesh March for Science’s lead organiser Arif Hossain says: “I am marching to let the world know that we are united for science in Bangladesh. We have 160 million people to feed in the changed climate, and together we will make a better day with science and innovation.” Although the issues of most concern vary in different locations, appreciation of the need for science is global. As Nkechi Isaac, an organiser of the March for Science in Abuja, Nigeria, says: “Science is revolutionary. It holds the key to constant development and improvement for addressing climate change, food shortage and challenges in medicine. Science holds the solution to our food security.” Nigerians can testify to the tragic effects of anti-science activism. Efforts to eradicate polio in the country were held up for years because of conspiracy theories spread by those suspicious of modern medicine and vaccines. People die when science is denied. So here’s what we will be marching for. It’s time to enter the post-post-truth era. And there is no time to lose. • Mark Lynas is a science and environment writer and a visiting fellow at the Alliance for Science at Cornell University.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Raisa Ahmad was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which she conducted research and prepared memos for patent litigation cases involving software and security patents, pharmaceuticals, and biomedical devices.  In addition, she has experience preparing claim construction charts, invalidity contentions, and Lanham Act standing memos.  Prior to law school, she was a student engineer and conducted electric-cell substrate impedance sensing analysis for the Center for the Convergence of Physical and Cancer Biology.  Ahmad received her J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor for the Arizona Law Review and received the Dean's Achievement Award Scholarship.  She received her B.S.E., magna cum laude, in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University in 2011.  She is admitted to practice in Texas. Brian Apel practices patent litigation, including post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  He has worked for clients in the mechanical, electrical, and chemical industries and has experience in pre-suit diligence including opinion work, discovery, damages, summary judgment, and appeals.  Apel also has experience in patent prosecution, employment discrimination, and First Amendment law.  Before law school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.  Apel received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Michigan Law School in 2016 and his B.A., with honors, in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2008.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota, the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Zoya Kovalenko Brooks focuses her practice on patent litigation, including working on teams for one of the largest high-tech cases in the country pertaining to data transmission and memory allocation technologies.  She was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  While in law school, she served as a legal extern at The Coca-Cola Company in the IP group.  Prior to attending law school, she was an investigator intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated over 20 potential discrimination cases.  Brooks received her J.D., high honors, Order of the Coif, from Emory University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor for Emory Law Journal and her B.S., high honors, in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Georgia. Holly Chamberlain focuses on patent prosecution in a variety of areas including the biomedical, mechanical, and electromechanical arts.  She was previously a summer associate with the firm.  She received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2016 where she was an editor of Intellectual Property and Technology Forum and her B.S. in biological engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Thomas Chisena previously was a summer associate with the firm where he worked on patent, trade secret, and trademark litigation.  Prior to attending law school, he instructed in biology, environmental science, and anatomy & physiology.  Chisena received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where he was executive editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 37.  He also received his Wharton Certificate in Business Management in December 2015.  He received his B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Claire Collins was a legal intern for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office during law school.  She has experience researching and drafting motions and legal memorandums.  Collins received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2016 where she was a Dillard Fellow, her M.A. from Texas A&M University in 2012, and her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 2006.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. Ronald Golden, III previously served as a courtroom deputy to U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark and U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge.  He received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2012 where he was on the staff of Widener Law Review and was awarded "Best Overall Competitor" in the American Association for Justice Mock Trial.  He received his B.A. from Stockton University in political science and criminal justice in 2005.  He is admitted to practice in Delaware and New Jersey. Dr. Casey Kraning-Rush was previously a summer associate with the firm, where she focused primarily on patent litigation.  She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where she was managing editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and awarded "Best Advocate" and "Best Appellee Brief" at the Western Regional of the AIPLA Giles Rich Moot Court.  She earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2013 and has extensive experience researching cellular and molecular medicine.  She received her M.S. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2012 and her B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Butler University in 2008.  She is admitted to practice in Delaware. Alana Mannigé was previously a summer associate with the firm and has worked on patent prosecution, patent litigation, trademark, and trade secret matters.  During law school, she served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  She also worked closely with biotech startup companies as part of her work at the UC Hastings Startup Legal Garage.  Prior to attending law school, Mannigé worked as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor of Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal.  She received her M.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2010 and her B.A., cum laude, in chemistry from Clark University in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Will Orlady was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he collaborated to research and brief a matter on appeal to the Federal Circuit.  He also analyzed novel issues related to inter partes review proceedings, drafted memoranda on substantive patent law issues, and crafted infringement contentions.  During law school, Orlady was a research assistant to Professor Kristin Hickman, researching and writing on administrative law.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016 where he was lead articles editor of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology and his B.A. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2012.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota and the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. Jessica Perry previously was a summer associate and law clerk with the firm, where she worked on patent and trademark litigation.  During law school, she was an IP & licensing analyst, in which she assisted with drafting and tracking material transfer agreement and inter-institutional agreements.  She also worked with the Boston University Civil Litigation Clinic representing pro bono clients with unemployment, social security, housing, and family law matters.  Prior to law school, she was a senior mechanical design engineer for an aerospace company.  She received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor of the Journal of Science and Technology Law, her M.Eng. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009, and her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Taufiq Ramji was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he researched legal issues that related to ongoing litigation and drafted responses to discovery requests and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions.  Prior to attending law school, Ramji worked as a software developer.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2016.  He is admitted to practice in California. Charles Reese has worked on matters before various federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  His litigation experience includes drafting dispositive, evidentiary, and procedural motions; arguing in federal district court; and participating in other stages of litigation including discovery, appeal, and settlement negotiation.  Previously, he was a summer associate with the firm.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Harvard Law Review, his A.M. in organic and organometallic chemistry from Harvard University in 2012, and his B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Furman University in 2010.  He is admitted to practice in Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Ethan Rubin was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  During law school, he worked at a corporation's intellectual property department in which he prepared and prosecuted patents relating to data storage systems.  He also worked as a student attorney, advocating for local pro bono clients on various housing and family law matters.  Rubin received his J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Boston College Law Review, his M.S. in computer science from Boston University in 2013, and his B.A., magna cum laude, in criminal justice from George Washington University in 2011.  He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Pooya Shoghi focuses on patent prosecution, including portfolio management, application drafting, client counseling, and standard essential patent development.  Prior to joining the firm, he was a patent practitioner at a multinational technology company, where he was responsible for the filing and prosecution of U.S. patent applications.  During law school, he was a legal intern at a major computer networking technology company, where he focused on issues of intellectual property licensing in the software arena.  He received his J.D., with honors, from Emory University School of Law in 2014 where he was executive managing editor of Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review.  He received his B.S., summa cum laude, in computer science (2015) and his B.A., summa cum laude, in political science (2011) from Georgia State University.  He is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Tucker Terhufen focuses his practice on patent litigation in federal district courts as well as before the International Trade Commission for clients in the medical devices, life sciences, chemical, and electronics industries.  Prior to joining Fish, he served as judicial extern to the Honorable David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and to the Honorable Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in 2016 where he was note and comment editor of Arizona State Law Journal and received a Certificate in Law, Science, and Technology with a specialization in Intellectual Property.  He received his B.S.E., summa cum laude, in chemical engineering from Arizona State University.  He is admitted to practice in California. Laura Whitworth was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  She received her J.D., cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law in 2016 where she was senior federal circuit editor of American University Law Review and senior patent editor of Intellectual Property Brief.  She received her B.S. in chemistry from the College of William & Mary in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Jack Wilson was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Mark Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to attending law school, he served in the United States Army.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from William & Mary Law School in 2016 where he was on the editorial staff of William & Mary Law Review and his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Virginia in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Virginia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Fish & Richardson is a global patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S. and Europe.  Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives.  Fish is the #1 U.S. patent litigation firm, handling nearly three times as many cases than its nearest competitor; a powerhouse patent prosecution firm; a top-tier trademark and copyright firm; and the #1 firm at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with more cases than any other firm.  Since 1878, Fish attorneys have been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the world's most innovative and influential technology leaders.  For more information, visit https://www.fr.com or follow us at @FishRichardson. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fish--richardson-announces-18-recent-associates-300447237.html


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.wineindustryadvisor.com

Most people waste most of their online advertising money. Don’t be that clueless chump! Publisher, journalist and former international exec in advertising and PR Lewis Perdue will show you the: 10 ways to get your money’s worth by defining the 2 best things online ads can do, the 3 biggest mistakes that offend viewers, and the 5 specific features that grab, hold and motivate the people you want to do business with. Lewis Perdue is Editor and Publisher of Wine Industry Insight whose daily News Fetch executive email briefing enjoys the largest double-opt-in subscribership (25,000+) in the North American wine industry. Wine Business Monthly, which he founded in 1991, remains the American wine industry’s largest circulation print publication. In the 1980s he broke new ground when he founded Wines West, a Los Angeles-based wine importer which was the first to distribute many of the high-end Italian brands which now fetch hundreds of dollars per bottle on elite restaurant wine lists. Lew is the author of 22 published books including several thriller bestsellers and two bestselling non-fiction books about wine: The French Paradox and Beyond (wine and health) and The Wrath of Grapes, an industry overview that included an accurate prediction of the California glut of 2001. Lew has founded five companies and been involved as a consultant at the start-up stages of a number of successful companies including Kalpana (acquired by Cisco) and Lynx Software Technologies (lynx.com). Perdue has served as a top aide to a U.S. Senator and a state governor, run political races for Congress, worked as a Washington correspondent (Ottaway/Dow-Jones, States News Service), a columnist for Gannett, The Wall Street Journal Online, CBS Marketwatch and TheStreet.Com. He also founded a top Silicon Valley marketing, communications and technology consulting firm (Renaissance Communications), and has served on the faculties at UCLA and Cornell University and formerly taught in the Sonoma State University wine MBA program. Perdue studied math, physics communications and biology in college. He earned an A.S in math and science (valedictorian) from Corning Community College in 1970 and his B.S. with distinction from Cornell University in 1972. Lewis has served as Managing Director of MSL Group which is currently the fifth largest in the world (Top 10 Global PR Agency Ranking 2016) and been an exec with J Walter Thompson. Make your Online Ads Pay Off! This is a must attend session if you are spending any money online. Get your Conference Ticket Now (Includes entry into all sessions for both days). The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS will give wineries, importers, supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, distilleries and other buyers a premiere international platform to source bulk wine and spirits and meet private label suppliers. Where and When: July 26-27, 2017 – South San Francisco Conference Center Learn from some of the most influential professionals in the beverage industry at the IBWSS educational conference. These presentations from industry leaders on today’s principal ideas on marketing, sales and distribution will challenge and inspire you to grow your private label, bulk wine and bulk spirits business. The conference will have 16 speakers delivering 16 TED-Style talks over 2 days where speakers will give you an insight into what strategies and standards the industry’s top thinkers are using to shape the marketplace around you. Confirmed speakers include Tim Hanni MW, a specialist in wine analysis and tasting, Dr Damien Wilson of Sonoma State University Wine Institute Unit, Deborah Parker Wong, a Wine Industry Journalist, Educator, Judge and Consultant and Brandy Rand of IWSR. Whether you are a grower, winery, distillery, importer, distributor, retailer or a negociant that’s just starting out, or work in bulk, private label or contract bottling at an established beverage company, or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective in bulk and private label business, IBWSS Conference is a must attend event.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ITHACA, N.Y. - Lithium-oxygen fuel cells boast energy density levels comparable to fossil fuels and are thus seen as a promising candidate for future transportation-related energy needs. Several roadblocks stand in the way of realizing that vision, however. They include poor rechargeability, reduced efficiency due to high overpotentials (more charge energy than discharge energy) and low specific energy. Two instabilities contribute to these roadblocks. Much of the previous work done in the lab of Lynden Archer, the James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Robert F. Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) at Cornell University, has centered on one: the nucleation and growth of dendrites from one electrode to the other, which causes short-circuiting, a source of premature cell failure that invariably ends in fires. It's the other instability - the loss of battery power, also known as capacity fade - that is the focus of the lab's most recent work. Snehashis Choudhury, a doctoral student in the Archer Research Group, has come up with what Archer terms an "ingenious" answer to the problem of capacity fade. Their work is detailed in "Designer interphases for the lithium-oxygen electrochemical cell," published this month in Science Advances. Choudhury is co-first author along with Charles Wan, a chemical engineering major. Capacity fade occurs when the electrolyte, which transports charged ions from the negative electrode (anode) to the positive (cathode), reacts with the electrodes. "It starts to consume the electrodes," Choudhury said. "It forms many insulating products that impede ion transport. Over time, these build up to produce such prohibitive internal cell resistance that finally the battery fades." The problem: How do you stop one electrolyte-electrode reaction, when it's another necessary reaction between the two - the transfer of ions - that produces power? Choudhury's solution is called an artificial solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI), a material that protects the electrodes while promoting the flow of electrons from one end of the cell to the other. "Such interphases form naturally in all electrochemical cells ... and their chemo-mechanical stability is critical to the success of the graphite anode in lithium-ion batteries," Archer said. " Choudhury's approach for creating a functional designer interphase is based on bromide-containing ionic polymers (ionomers) that selectively tether to the lithium anode to form a few-nanometers-thick conductive coating that protects the electrode from degradation and fade. The SEI ionomers display three attributes that allow for increased stability during electrodeposition: protection of the anode against growth of dendrites; reduction-oxidation (redox) mediation, which reduces charge overpotentials; and the formation of a stable interphase with lithium, protecting the metal while promoting ion transport. One challenge still exists: All research-grade lithium-oxygen electrochemical cells are evaluated using pure oxygen as the active cathode material. For a commercially viable lithium-oxygen (or lithium-air, as it's also known) cell, it would need to pull oxygen out of the air, and that oxygen also contains other reactive components, such as moisture and carbon dioxide. If the inefficiencies that limit performance of lithium-oxygen fuel cells can be resolved, the exceptional energy storage options offered by the cell chemistry would be a giant step forward for electrified transportation and a revolutionary advance for autonomous robotics, Archer said. "It is telling from observations of the most advanced humanoid robots that they are always either tethered to an ultra-long electrical cable or are using something like a loud lawnmower engine to generate energy," Archer said. "Either energy source compares poorly to those found in nature. Energy storage technologies such as Li-air cells, which harness materials from the surroundings, promise to close this gap." Other contributors were Lena Kourkoutis, assistant professor and the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in applied and engineering physics; CBE doctoral student Wajdi Al Sadat; Sampson Lau, Ph.D. '16; Zhengyuan Tu, doctoral student in materials science and engineering; and Michael Zachman, doctoral student in applied and engineering physics. Support for this work came from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. In addition, electron microscopy was done at the Cornell Center for Materials Research, a National Science Foundation-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

IMAGE:  In computer simulations at Pitt, graphane provides a water-free "bucket brigade " to rapidly conduct protons across the membrane and electrons across the circuit. view more PITTSBURGH (May 4, 2017) ... Hydrogen powered fuel cell cars, developed by almost every major car manufacturer, are ideal zero-emissions vehicles because they produce only water as exhaust. However, their reliability is limited because the fuel cell relies upon a membrane that only functions in when enough water is present, limiting the vehicle's operating conditions. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have found that the unusual properties of graphane - a two-dimensional polymer of carbon and hydrogen - could form a type of anhydrous "bucket brigade" that transports protons without the need for water, potentially leading to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles and other energy systems. The principal investigator is Karl Johnson, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in the Swanson School's Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, and graduate research assistant Abhishek Bagusetty is the lead author. Their work, "Facile Anhydrous Proton Transport on Hydroxyl Functionalized Graphane" (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.186101), was published this week in Physical Review Letters. Computational modeling techniques coupled with the high performance computational infrastructure at the University's Center for Research Computing enabled them to design this potentially groundbreaking material. Hydrogen fuels cells are like a battery that can be recharged with hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen enters one side of the fuel cell, where it is broken down into protons (hydrogen ions) and electrons, while oxygen enters the other side and is ultimately chemically combined with the protons and electrons to produce water, releasing a great deal of energy. At the heart of the fuel cell is a proton exchange membrane (PEM). These membranes mostly rely on water to aid in the conduction of protons across the membranes. Everything works well unless the temperature gets too high or the humidity drops, which depletes the membrane of water and stops the protons from migrating across the membrane. Dr. Johnson explains that for this reason, there is keen interest in developing new membrane materials that can operate at very low water levels-or even in the complete absence of water (anhydrously). "PEMs in today's hydrogen fuel cells are made of a polymer called Nafion, which only conducts protons when it has the right amount of water on it," says Dr. Johnson. "Too little water, the membrane dries out and protons stop moving. Too much and the membrane "floods" and stops operating, similar to how you could flood a carbureted engine with too much gasoline," he added. Dr. Johnson and his team focused on graphane because when functionalized with hydroxyl groups it creates a more stable, insulating membrane to conduct protons. "Our computational modeling showed that because of graphane's unique structure, it is well suited to rapidly conduct protons across the membrane and electrons across the circuit under anhydrous conditions," Dr. Johnson said. "This would enable hydrogen fuel cell cars to be a more practical alternative vehicle." The Johnson Research Group at the University of Pittsburgh uses atomistic modeling to tackle fundamental problems over a wide range of subject areas in chemical engineering, including the molecular design of nanoporous sorbents for the capture of carbon dioxide, the development of catalysts for conversion of carbon dioxide into fuels, the transport of gases and liquids through carbon nanotube membranes, the study of chemical reaction mechanisms, the development of CO2-soluble polymers and CO2 thickeners, and the study of hydrogen storage with complex hydrides. Karl Johnson is a member of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute. He received his bachelor and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University, and PhD in chemical engineering with a minor in computer science from Cornell University.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The May 15th issue of Life & Style magazine, on news stands now, features two of the country’s most respected facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Ben Talei and Dr. Ben Stong. These leading plastic surgeons discuss the considerable benefits of cosmetic surgery after cancer treatment. The article highlights the story of Angie Everhart, a popular cover model who turned to Dr. Talei for facial plastic surgery after her thyroid cancer recovery. As a teen, Everhart became a cover model for fashion magazines such as Elle and Glamour. She went on to appear in several Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues as well as Playboy magazine. After battling thyroid cancer in 2013, Everhart sought Dr. Talei’s expertise to counteract the facial aging effects of her cancer and the radiation treatment it demanded. With her cancer gone, Angie Everhart simply wanted to look as good as she felt, a common desire in patients who choose facial plastic surgery. Dr. Ben Talei, Director of the Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery, was able to help Everhart by performing one of his specialties in cosmetic surgery, the AuraLyft. The AuraLyft is a modified facelift pioneered by Dr. Talei, where incisions are made under the muscles of the face, not just the skin. It can be performed painlessly using only local anesthesia, without the need for a general anesthetic. Everhart is thrilled with the results, stating in the Life & Style article “I look refreshed – like I’ve been to a spa!” Dr. Benjamin Stong of Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery in Atlanta also comments on Everhart’s plastic surgery in the Life & Style magazine story, “With Dr. Talei’s facelift surgery the results are absolutely natural and there is no need for ancillary procedures. The face is never made to look pulled or stretched. It’s beyond impressive.” Dr. Stong is a world-class facial plastic surgeon with highly esteemed training, experience and recognition in his field. He performs an extended, mini deep plane facelift in his own practice, using a technique that aligns very closely with the AuraLyft and produces the same unrivaled results. “Plastic surgery after cancer treatment can be the final catalyst to helping patients physically and emotionally overcome such a difficult stage in their lives,” says Dr. Ben Talei. “It’s very fulfilling to be able to positively contribute to that process.” About Dr. Ben Talei and Beverly Hills Center of Plastic and Laser Surgery: A native of California, Dr. Benjamin Talei graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Physiological Sciences. He received his medical degree at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Talei went on to complete his residency training in Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia University and Cornell University Medical Centers, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Following his residency program, Dr. Talei became one of the only surgeons in the country to complete two separate fellowships in Facial & Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery including a fellowship at the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York. In addition, Dr. Talei is a respected author, speaker and humanitarian. About Dr. Benjamin Stong and Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC: Owner and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Stong is dual board certified in Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He completed his fellowship under one of the most nationally renowned plastic surgeons, Dr. Andrew Jacono in New York. He has combined such a reputable level of training with his own proven experience and talent to bring patients of Atlanta outstanding results in all aspects of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic surgery. In his career thus far, Dr. Stong has earned high prestige in his field publishing multiple journal articles and book chapters over his career. He is also a Castle Connolly Top Doctors award for consecutive years. Dr. Stong also specializes in hair transplantation as well as the most innovative treatments in facial rejuvenation at The K Spa in Atlanta. For additional information on Dr. Talei and the Beverly Hills Center for Plastic and Laser Surgery please visit beverlyhillscenter.com or call (310) 288-0641. For additional information on Dr. Stong and Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery please visit http://www.kalos-plasticsurgery.com or call 404-963-6665.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: phys.org

UMCES graduate student Jessica Wingfield is first author on the paper. Credit: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science A new study by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Cornell University and Duke University is the first in a series to understand how marine mammals like porpoises, whales, and dolphins may be impacted by the construction of wind farms off the coast of Maryland. The new research offers insight into previously unknown habits of harbor porpoises in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, a 125-square-mile area off the coast of Ocean City that may be the nation's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Offshore wind farms provide renewable energy, but activities during the construction can affect marine mammals that use sound for communication, finding food, and navigation. "It is critical to understand where marine mammals spend their time in areas of planning developments, like offshore wind farms, in order to inform regulators and developers on how to most effectively avoid and minimize negative impacts during the construction phase when loud sounds may be emitted," said Helen Bailey, the project leader at the UMCES' Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science used underwater microphones called hydrophones to detect and map the habits of harbor porpoises, one of the smallest marine mammals. Bailey describes harbor porpoises as "very shy" ranging 4 to 5 feet long with a small triangular fin that can be hard to spot. They swim primarily in the ocean, spending summers north in the Bay of Fundy and migrating to the Mid-Atlantic, as far south as North Carolina, in the winter. There are about 80,000 of them in the northwestern Atlantic. "There was so little known about them in this area," said Bailey. "It was suspected they used the waters off Maryland, but we had no idea how frequently they occurred here in the winter until we analyzed these data." Porpoises produce echolocation clicks, a type of sonar that hits an object and reflects back to tell them its distance, size and shape. They use it to navigate and feed. The researchers used hydrophones anchored 65-145 feet deep, and about 10 feet off the bottom of the ocean, to pick up these clicks over the course of a year. "We found that harbor porpoises occurred significantly more frequently during January to May, and foraged for food significantly more often in the evenings to early mornings," said study author Jessica Wingfield. Scheduling wind farm construction activities in the Maryland WEA to take place during summer months (June to September) could reduce the likelihood of disturbance to harbor porpoises. "We were certainly surprised by how frequently we detected harbor porpoises because there had not been a lot of reported sightings," said Wingfield. Maryland Department of Natural Resources secured the funding for this study from the Maryland Energy Administration's Offshore Wind Development Fund and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. "Year-round spatiotemporal distribution of harbour porpoises within and around the Maryland wind energy area" was recently published in PLOS ONE. Explore further: Study recommends ongoing assessment of impact of offshore wind farms on marine species More information: Jessica E. Wingfield et al, Year-round spatiotemporal distribution of harbour porpoises within and around the Maryland wind energy area, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176653


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

SOLOMONS, MD (MAY 5, 2017)--A new study by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Cornell University and Duke University is the first in a series to understand how marine mammals like porpoises, whales, and dolphins may be impacted by the construction of wind farms off the coast of Maryland. The new research offers insight into previously unknown habits of harbor porpoises in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, a 125-square-mile area off the coast of Ocean City that may be the nation's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Offshore wind farms provide renewable energy, but activities during the construction can affect marine mammals that use sound for communication, finding food, and navigation. "It is critical to understand where marine mammals spend their time in areas of planning developments, like offshore wind farms, in order to inform regulators and developers on how to most effectively avoid and minimize negative impacts during the construction phase when loud sounds may be emitted," said Helen Bailey, the project leader at the UMCES' Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science used underwater microphones called hydrophones to detect and map the habits of harbor porpoises, one of the smallest marine mammals. Bailey describes harbor porpoises as "very shy" ranging 4 to 5 feet long with a small triangular fin that can be hard to spot. They swim primarily in the ocean, spending summers north in the Bay of Fundy and migrating to the Mid-Atlantic, as far south as North Carolina, in the winter. There are about 80,000 of them in the northwestern Atlantic. "There was so little known about them in this area," said Bailey. "It was suspected they used the waters off Maryland, but we had no idea how frequently they occurred here in the winter until we analyzed these data." Porpoises produce echolocation clicks, a type of sonar that hits an object and reflects back to tell them its distance, size and shape. They use it to navigate and feed. The researchers used hydrophones anchored 65-145 feet deep, and about 10 feet off the bottom of the ocean, to pick up these clicks over the course of a year. "We found that harbor porpoises occurred significantly more frequently during January to May, and foraged for food significantly more often in the evenings to early mornings," said study author Jessica Wingfield. Scheduling wind farm construction activities in the Maryland WEA to take place during summer months (June to September) could reduce the likelihood of disturbance to harbor porpoises. "We were certainly surprised by how frequently we detected harbor porpoises because there had not been a lot of reported sightings," said Wingfield. Maryland Department of Natural Resources secured the funding for this study from the Maryland Energy Administration's Offshore Wind Development Fund and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. "Year-round spatiotemporal distribution of harbour porpoises within and around the Maryland wind energy area" was recently published in PLOS ONE. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland's natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A new study by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Cornell University and Duke University is the first in a series to understand how marine mammals like porpoises, whales, and dolphins may be affected by the construction of wind farms off the coast of Maryland. The new research offers insight into previously unknown habits of harbor porpoises in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, a 125-square-mile area off the coast of Ocean City that may be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Offshore wind farms provide renewable energy, but activities during the construction can affect marine mammals that use sound for communication, finding food, and navigation. “It is critical to understand where marine mammals spend their time in areas of planning developments, like offshore wind farms, in order to inform regulators and developers on how to most effectively avoid and minimize negative impacts during the construction phase when loud sounds may be emitted,” said Helen Bailey, the project leader at the UMCES’ Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science used underwater microphones called hydrophones to detect and map the habits of harbor porpoises, one of the smallest marine mammals. Bailey describes harbor porpoises as “very shy” ranging 4 to 5 feet long with a small triangular fin that can be hard to spot. They swim primarily in the ocean, spending summers north in the Bay of Fundy and migrating to the Mid-Atlantic, as far south as North Carolina, in the winter.  There are about 80,000 of them in the northwestern Atlantic. “There was so little known about them in this area,” said Bailey. “It was suspected they used the waters off Maryland, but we had no idea how frequently they occurred here in the winter until we analyzed these data.” Porpoises produce echolocation clicks, a type of sonar that hits an object and reflects back to tell them its distance, size and shape. They use it to navigate and feed. The researchers used hydrophones anchored 65-145 feet deep, and about 10 feet off the bottom of the ocean, to pick up these clicks over the course of a year. “We found that harbor porpoises occurred significantly more frequently during January to May, and foraged for food significantly more often in the evenings to early mornings,” said study author Jessica Wingfield. Scheduling wind farm construction activities in the Maryland WEA to take place during summer months (June to September) could reduce the likelihood of disturbance to harbor porpoises. “We were certainly surprised by how frequently we detected harbor porpoises because there had not been a lot of reported sightings,” said Wingfield. Maryland Department of Natural Resources secured the funding for this study from the Maryland Energy Administration’s Offshore Wind Development Fund and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. “Year-round spatiotemporal distribution of harbour porpoises within and around the Maryland wind energy area” was recently published in PLOS ONE.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

It doesn’t carry the weight of the world – or even of Saturn’s rings. The best images yet of Saturn’s small moon Atlas show that it is a fluffy oddball with less responsibility than we thought. On 12 April, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dove close to Atlas to bring us the best images of this odd little moon we’ll see. With a resolution of up to 84 metres per pixel, these new photographs improve our view of Atlas by a factor of two. This is the last and closest flyby of the moon before the Cassini mission ends in September. “It’s very interesting to see it close up after decades of knowing it was there,” says Richard Terrile at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who discovered the moon in 1980. “Finally seeing it as a real piece of real estate is very, very interesting.” Some of Saturn’s moons, called shepherd moons, use their gravity to keep the planet’s famous rings in check. But Atlas appears to be a shepherd moon that isn’t responsible for shepherding ring particles. “At the time [we found it], we thought the satellite was holding out the edge of the A ring,” Terrile says. But instead, the ring’s shape is held by two other moons, Janus and Epimetheus. “This is a really interesting kind of dynamical dance that these moons do with the ring particles.” We already knew Atlas has a UFO-like ridge around its equator, but surprisingly, the new images show that ridge is smooth. “It looks more subdued than I expected,” Terrile says. “It looks like it’s covered in some kind of fluffy material.” “What is especially interesting is the extent to which the soft material seems to bury and mute any crisp-looking topographic features even on the central ‘core’ structure,” says Paul Helfenstein at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who helped plan the flyby. Another moon, Pan, also has an equatorial ridge, but another recent flyby showed its ridge is rough with tension cracks and craters. The two moons are approximately the same size, but Pan is embedded within a ring, and Atlas is along the outer edge. The dominant theory for how the ridges form is that because the moons’ diameters are so much larger than the ring’s thickness, they gather material along their equators as they plow through stray ring particles. But it might not be that simple. “It may also be some kind of gravitational tidal effect from being near all this ring material,” says Terrile. Understanding Pan and Atlas may be key to understanding gravity’s role in all of Saturn’s moons. “The same gravity that causes all these weird phenomena that we’re seeing on these little moons causes energy to be pumped into some of the larger ones,” says Terrile. “And that energy can create under-ice oceans, maybe even habitable zones.”


Jonkers I.,University of Groningen | Lis J.T.,Cornell University
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Recent advances in sequencing techniques that measure nascent transcripts and that reveal the positioning of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) have shown that the pausing of Pol II in promoter-proximal regions and its release to initiate a phase of productive elongation are key steps in transcription regulation. Moreover, after the release of Pol II from the promoter-proximal region, elongation rates are highly dynamic throughout the transcription of a gene, and vary on a gene-by-gene basis. Interestingly, Pol II elongation rates affect co-transcriptional processes such as splicing, termination and genome stability. Increasing numbers of factors and regulatory mechanisms have been associated with the steps of transcription elongation by Pol II, revealing that elongation is a highly complex process. Elongation is thus now recognized as a key phase in the regulation of transcription by Pol II. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Krimmel B.A.,University of California at Davis | Pearse I.S.,Cornell University
Ecology Letters | Year: 2013

Plant-provided foods for predatory arthropods such as extrafloral nectar and protein bodies provide indirect plant defence by attracting natural enemies of herbivores, enhancing top-down control. Recently, ecologists have also recognised the importance of carrion as a food source for predators. Sticky plants are widespread and often entrap and kill small insects, which we hypothesised would increase predator densities and potentially affect indirect defence. We manipulated the abundance of this entrapped insect carrion on tarweed (Asteraceae: Madia elegans) plants under natural field conditions, and found that carrion augmentation increased the abundance of a suite of predators, decreased herbivory and increased plant fitness. We suggest that entrapped insect carrion may function broadly as a plant-provided food for predators on sticky plants. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.


Morrell P.L.,University of Minnesota | Buckler E.S.,Cornell University | Ross-Ibarra J.,University of California at Davis
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2012

The completion of reference genome sequences for many important crops and the ability to perform high-throughput resequencing are providing opportunities for improving our understanding of the history of plant domestication and to accelerate crop improvement. Crop plant comparative genomics is being transformed by these data and a new generation of experimental and computational approaches. The future of crop improvement will be centred on comparisons of individual plant genomes, and some of the best opportunities may lie in using combinations of new genetic mapping strategies and evolutionary analyses to direct and optimize the discovery and use of genetic variation. Here we review such strategies and insights that are emerging. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 375.00K | Year: 2013

Methanol crossover of commercial Nafion membranes is a major issue that results in lowering of the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). A biomimetic approach for the membrane design using either proton conducting nanochannels and/or nanothin barrier layer can produce DMFC membranes with highly selective and fast proton transfer. In the Phase I project, Lynntech demonstrated the feasibility of both proton nanochannel and nanothin biomimetic barrier layer approaches for producing DMFC membrane with ~ 14 fold lower methanol crossover compared to Nafion membranes. Performance and mechanical stability of DMFC membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with 15 M methanol were also demonstrated. In the Phase II project, Lynntech in collaboration with Prof. Giannelis from Cornell University proposes to optimize the performance of the biomimetic membranes and fabricate and design prototype DMFC stacks and systems with high energy density. The improved membranes have the potential to provide DMFC systems with energy densities as high as 1500 Wh/kg which is significantly better than state-of-the art systems.


Pearse I.S.,Cornell University | Altermatt F.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Ecology Letters | Year: 2013

Humans are altering the global distributional ranges of plants, while their co-evolved herbivores are frequently left behind. Native herbivores often colonise non-native plants, potentially reducing invasion success or causing economic loss to introduced agricultural crops. We developed a predictive model to forecast novel interactions and verified it with a data set containing hundreds of observed novel plant-insect interactions. Using a food network of 900 native European butterfly and moth species and 1944 native plants, we built an herbivore host-use model. By extrapolating host use from the native herbivore-plant food network, we accurately forecasted the observed novel use of 459 non-native plant species by native herbivores. Patterns that governed herbivore host breadth on co-evolved native plants were equally important in determining non-native hosts. Our results make the forecasting of novel herbivore communities feasible in order to better understand the fate and impact of introduced plants. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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