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Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Ferfoglia R.I.,University of Geneva | Barras A.-C.H.,University of Geneva | Pollak P.,University of Geneva | Janssens J.-P.,University of Geneva | And 2 more authors.
European Neurology

Objective: Gait and balance are key determinants of disease status in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This study aims at testing the relationship between the imagery of gait and disability in patients with ALS. Methods: Twenty-five consecutive patients (63.8 ± 2.4 years; 52% female) performed the timed up and go (TUG) test and a validated imagined version of the TUG between March 2011 and May 2012. The revised ALS functional rating score (ALSFRS-R) was assessed simultaneously. Results: The mean duration of TUG (16.7 ± 2.2 s) was significantly longer than imagined TUG (iTUG; 10.5 ± 1.4 s, p < 0.001). The TUG (R2 = 0.40, p = 0.001) and the iTUG (R2 = 0.30, p = 0.007) were significantly associated with results of the ALSFRS-R score (37.0 ± 7.3) as well as with muscle strength in arms (TUG R2 = 0.42, p < 0.001, iTUG R2 = 0.38, p = 0.001) and legs (TUG R2 = 0.47, p < 0.001, iTUG R2 = 0.46, p < 0.001). TUG and iTUG increased with age (TUG R2 = 0.18, p = 0.04, iTUG R2 = 0.12, p = 0.05). Conclusion: ALS patients performed the imagined gait faster than the real gait. Both TUG and iTUG correlated with disability measured by the ALSFRS-R score and by muscle strength. These inexpensive and easy clinical tests represent promising tools in clinical practice to study gait in ALS. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Haferburg M.,Paris Center
ATW - Internationale Zeitschrift fur Kernenergie

In the wake of the accident at the Soviet RBMK reactor unit 4 in Chernobyl the nuclear industry founded the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). To this day, the purpose of the organization has been to enhance worldwide cooperation of nuclear industry and, in this way, strengthen the safety and availability of nuclear power plants. Following some first steps after 1986, the charter of the organization was signed at the WANO constituent assembly in Moscow on May 15 and 16, 1989. The member companies thus committed themselves to support WANO's mission. WANO was established for these purposes: "The mission of WANO is to maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information, and emulation of best practices." The WANO programs developed speedily thereafter. The focus was on peer reviews. In 2000, the first interim objective had been reached: Fifty percent of all member nuclear power plants had undergone peer reviews. In addition, plant-related peer reviews were extended throughout all operator organizations, and corporate peer reviews were developed. The other WANO programs as well, i.e. exchanges of experience, technical support, and performance indicators, exerted more and more influence on industry. Peer reviews covered entire operator organizations, and corporate peer reviews were developed. The worldwide paradigm shift in evaluating the use of nuclear power, and the associated construction programs for new nuclear power plants already in their implementation phase, assigned a new quality to the work of WANO. The organization is preparing a longterm strategy in the face of the challenges to be expected. The ultimate objective of these efforts is to support member organizations from the first preparations of a nuclear power plant project to the end of commercial operation. Source

Crawled News Article
Site: http://motherboard.vice.com/

Few things go together as poorly as science and politicians. Whether it’s Senator Ted Stevens describing the internet as a “series of tubes” during a net neutrality debate or Republican representatives reveling in their own ignorance about climate change, it’s clear that scientific illiteracy is a rampant problem in our nation’s hallowed halls of government. Yet this was precisely why it was so refreshing to see Canada’s recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explain the difference between a “normal” computer and a quantum computer completely off the cuff during a press briefing at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, thereby proving that politics and science need not be mutually exclusive. Although Trudeau was at the Institute to announce $50 million in funding which will allow those working at Perimeter to continue their work on fundamental physics, he took the time to breakdown the essence of quantum computing for a clueless journalist: “Normal computers work either with power going through a wire or not, a one or a zero,” Trudeau said. “They’re binary systems. What quantum states allow for is much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit. A regular computer bit is either a one or a zero, on or off. A quantum state can be much more complex than that because as we know things can be both a particle and a wave at the same time, and the uncertainty around quantum states allows us to encode more information into a much smaller computer. That’s what’s exciting about quantum computing.” While most applauded Trudeau’s remarkably “clear and concise” explanation of quantum computing, others deemed his description as totally off the mark. I decided to ask some experts on quantum computing what they thought of the Prime Minister’s explanation to settle the debate once and for all: Romain Alléaume—Associate Professor at Telecom ParisTech and Paris Center for Quantum Computing “The beginning of Justin Trudeau’s explanation, about the difference between a classical bit and a quantum bit is absolutely correct. To be frank, the argumentation of Justin gets gradually more ‘uncertain’ when he says that the uncertainty principle implies that we can encode more information into ‘smaller computers’. Maybe he wanted to say that quantum computers can process information ‘in superposition,’ which allows to speed up some computations (i.e., solve some problems on smaller computers), but I am not certain about that. It is great to see a high level politician show enthusiasm for one of the biggest challenges in modern science.” Amr Helmy—Director, University of Toronto’s Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Control “His account of the distinction between a classical and quantum state is accurate. This is impressive that Canada’s PM has given this some thought. His comment on how superposition aides in storing information is an argument that can be equally made to explain the power which quantum computing possesses to process information in a fashion that is distinctly different from the classical paradigms. These are insights that are rarely considered by a Prime Minister. The rest of the world should be jealous!” SCORE: Too complex an issue to rank Michele Mosca—University Research Chair and Co-founder, Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo. Founding Member, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics "The task is to explain quantum computing to a lay audience in a 100 words or so. It’s extremely hard, for even the best scientists and communicators, to get something like this both correct and interesting, especially in 100 words. He doesn’t say anything wrong. He conveys the essence of what quantum computing is, and why it might be more powerful. It’s understandable, and succinct. Also, keep in mind that this was something he said live, on the fly, in response to a joke from a reporter. Room for improvement? Hard to find. Can he next explain how encoding that more complex information in quantum bits leads to a more powerful computer? I’d love to hear his explanation." Aephraim Steinberg—Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto and member of Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Control “He zeroed in on the importance of how information is stored in a physical system, what a bit is, and the difference between classical bits and ‘quantum bits’ or ‘qubits’. This hinted he may have appreciated something very deep: the field of quantum computing is not just about trying to figure out how to speed up one task or another, but about understanding the fundamental role information has in the laws that govern the universe, how much information it takes to describe a physical system, and, on the flip side, what it means to store information in a physical system. “He faltered when trying to explain why a qubit is so much richer than a classical bit and threw in a few tangentially related buzzwords like ‘uncertainty’ and ‘particle and wave,’ in a way that made it clear that although he had the (accurate) sense that these concepts had something to do with quantum information he had to admit that he didn’t know what the connection was, but would throw caution to the wind and stir up some buzzword soup. “To put it bluntly, if you think about the level at which any scientist given a few minutes to try to explain quantum computing to him would have tried to pitch it, he probably got the gist and explained it back as well as you could imagine anyone doing. In any case, my joy is not because I believe our Prime Minister has become an expert at quantum physics. It is because he showed that he is ready to listen to scientists and try to understand what they are saying, what they believe is important, and why they demand support for basic research.”

The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) was founded in May 1989. 144 enterprises operating nuclear power plants signed the WANO Charter in Moscow as a response of industry to the Chernobyl disaster. The Association now comprises the operators of more than 430 nuclear power plants in more than 32 countries. WANO performs its activities through regional centers in Atlanta, Moscow, Paris, and Tokyo. The Coordination Center of WANO is located in London. Each regional WANO Center handles the four most important programs: - peer reviews, - exchanges of operating experience, - specialized and technical development, - technical service and exchange. The technical support and exchange program comprises proven processes, such as performance indicators, operator networks, technical support missions. WANO peer reviews are conducted on a voluntary basis and upon request by the licensees. By the end of 2008, WANO had run 388 peer reviews in 31 countries. Peer reviews serve to compare the practical operation of a nuclear power plant with the best international standards. This in-depth examination is carried out by an international, independent team of experts on an optimized objective basis. Peer reviews are conducted not only to examine compliance with all pertinent rules and regulations, but also to strive for excellent performance results. Source

Dommes A.,IFSTTAR | Wu Y.-H.,Paris Center | Wu Y.-H.,University of Paris Descartes | Aquino J.-P.,Clinique Medicale de la Porte Verte | And 6 more authors.
Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders

The overrepresentation of very old people (75 or older) in pedestrian crash statistics raises the issue of the effects of normal and pathologic ageing on gap-selection difficulties during street crossing. The present study focused on Alzheimer disease, a condition commonly associated with cognitive declines detrimental to daily life activities such as crossing the street. Twenty-five participants with mild dementia and 33 controls carried out a streetcrossing task in a simulated environment. They also took a battery of cognitive tests. The mild-dementia group was more likely than the control group to make decisions that led to collisions with approaching cars, especially when the traffic was coming from 2 directions and they were in the far lane. Regression analyses demonstrated that the increased likelihood of collisions in the dementia group was associated with impairments in processingspeed and visual-attention abilities assessed on the Useful Field of View test. This test has already proven useful for predicting driving outcomes, falls, and street-crossing difficulties in healthy old adults, and among drivers with Alzheimer disease. Clinicians are encouraged to use it to help estimate whether a patient can drive, walk, and cross a street safely. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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