News Article | May 12, 2017
The Women for Africa Foundation, with the backing of Banco Santander through Santander Universidades, is organizing the third Leadership, Governance and Globalization Forum at the prestigious university in New Haven, Connecticut Women are Africa's backbone. Their special contribution to development and progress in their own countries is recognized by all international bodies, and in the world of politics, women are also taking significant steps. In order to further encourage women and bolster their leadership in politics, a crucial area for the continent’s future, the third Leadership, Governance and Globalization Forum for Strategic Impact kicks off today at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. It is organized by the Women for Africa Foundation in collaboration with Yale, with backing from Banco Santander via Santander Universidades. Eleven high-profile female politicians from eight African countries are taking part: Hafida Benchehida, a senator, and Fafa Benzerrouki Sid Lakhdar, Chairwoman of the National Human Rights Council, from Algeria; Catherine Samba-Panza, the former President of the Central African Republic; Raymonde Goudou Coffie, the Minister of Health from Ivory Coast; Vitoria Diogo, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security from Mozambique; Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for Namibia; Mariama Gamatié Bayard, Nigerien politician and women's rights activist, from Niger; Isata Kabia, Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Sylvia Blyden, Minister of Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, both from Sierra Leone; and Thulisile Nomkhosi Madonsela, the former Public Protector, and Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Chief Director - Africa Multilateral Economic Relations at Department of Trade and Industry, from South Africa. Directed by Elizabeth H. Bradley, Brady-Johnson Professor in Grand Strategy and Faculty Director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, the forum will involve lectures from Yale University professors who are specialists in matters of leadership, international governance, gender equality, the economics of globalization, political strategy, citizenship, good governance, and more. In addition to Professor Bradley, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of the Women for Africa Foundation, will be taking part in the opening session to set the forum in motion. Following these sessions at the University, the participants in the forum will travel to Washington, D.C., to hold a series of interviews and meetings with international political and economic representatives of the highest level. Including the 2017 edition, there are now 29 political leaders from 18 African countries who have attended the forum, the aim of which is to generate a network of women who are influential in public life and committed to democracy, equality and good governance. This initiative by the Women for Africa Foundation and Yale University has the backing of Santander Bank within the context of the collaboration the bank has maintained with both institutions for several years through Santander Universidades. Banco Santander is the company that invests most in supporting education around the world (Varkey/UNESCO-Fortune 500 Report), via Santander Universidades. It has 1,200 agreements for collaboration with universities and academic institutions throughout the world. For more information: www.santander.com/universidades.
Martins M.F.,Curitiba |
Kiefer K.,Vitoria |
Kanecadan L.A.A.,Federal University of São Paulo |
Garcia P.N.,Federal University of São Paulo |
And 2 more authors.
Arquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia | Year: 2017
Purpose: To compare measurements of lesions clinically diagnosed as choroidal nevi using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and 10- and 20-MHz ultrasound (US). Methods: This prospective study, which was conducted between May 2011 and December 2011, evaluated eyes diagnosed with choroidal nevus via photographic documentation using 10- or 20-MHz A- and B-mode US (experienced examiner using both the transpalpebral technique and direct contact) or SD-OCT in the enhanced depth imaging mode (performed by a different examiner blinded to the US results). Anteroposterior (AP) and transverse (T) US sections corresponded to sections adjusted perpendicularly on SD-OCT. Results: We evaluated 14 eyes from 12 patients (six males, mean patient age= 64.5 years) diagnosed with choroidal nevus. The choroidal nevi of all samples had a melanocytic profile. Moreover, eight nevi were located at the equator, five nevi were located in the posterior pole (peripapillary in one sample), and one nevus shifted from the equator to the periphery. On SD-OCT, the maximum measurable dimension was 9 mm. The lesions in the posterior pole were easier to evaluate, and image acquisition of lesions located more peripherally was possible depending on patient cooperation. The accurate assessment of height was difficult. Baseline dimensions on 10- and 20-MHz US were larger than those determined via OCT. No significant differences in height were observed between US and SD-OCT. All parameters were statistically similar between 10- and 20-MHz US measurements. Conclusions: No significant difference in the AP and T diameters was observed between 10- and 20-MHz US measurements; however, these measurements (AP and T) were significantly higher than those obtained using OCT. No significant differences in height were observed among the techniques adopted.
PubMed | SOEBRAS, Vitoria, UNISA and UNOESC
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of maxillofacial and oral surgery | Year: 2015
Anorganic bovine xenogenous grafts show the best performance as bone substitutes in implantodontics. Bio-Oss is the worlds most widely used and investigated anorganic bone substitute. This article compares two anorganic bovine bone substitutes (Bone-Fill and Gen-Ox anorganic) with Bio-Oss.Eight New Zealand rabbits were implanted with 4 titanium cylinders randomly filled with Bio-Oss, Bone-Fill, Gen-Ox anorganic or a blood clot. Four animals were sacrificed after 8weeks; 12weeks later, the remaining four were sacrificed. The contents of the cylinders were removed, cut and stained with HE before they were evaluated with an optical microscope. The samples were submitted to histomorphometry for analysis.The bone formation with Bio-Oss at 8weeks was 8.43mm(2); at 12weeks, it was 9.32mm(2). The bone formation with Bone-Fill at 8weeks was 7.24mm(2); at 12weeks, it was 9.01mm(2). The bone formation with Gen-Ox anorganic at 8weeks was 2.78mm(2); at 12weeks, it was 3.02mm(2). The bone formation with the blood clot at 8weeks was 0.65mm(2); at 12weeks, it was 0.63mm(2).Following this model, Bone-Fill was comparable to Bio-Oss and superior to Gen-Ox and blood clot.
News Article | December 3, 2015
A 13,800-year-old engraving of seven semi-circular dome-like structures may be the oldest known representation of human dwellings. More The world's oldest depiction of a campsite may have been unearthed outside a cave in Spain. Newfound etchings, discovered near the Molí del Salt rock shelter in northeastern Spain, show primitive huts drawn by hunter-gatherers about 13,800 years ago. The findings suggest that the ancient people may have lived in dwellings similar to those of modern-day hunter-gatherers, and could shed light on the lifestyle of these elusive people. [See Images of Amazing Art Found in El Castillo Cave in Spain] From about 15,000 to 9,000 years ago, ancient nomadic people kept returning to the Molí del Salt rock shelter. "This site was fully incorporated in the annual cycle of these nomadic societies. During this time, the Paleolithic human groups produced instruments for hunting and for work on the skin, dismembered animals to consume meat, cooked food and possibly they slept in that space," said study co-author Manuel Vaquero, an art historian at the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution in Tarragona, Spain. Ample evidence points to human occupation of the site. But scientists haven't known exactly what those Paleo villages looked like, because drawings or other representations of human dwellings have not been found from this time. However, postholes from ancient settlements around Europe suggest hunter-gatherers used huts made with wood for framing and with an oval floorplan. And debris from a 19,400-year-old human settlement in what is now Israel, called Ohalo II, suggests the walls were made of plant material. The new drawings provide the missing piece to the puzzle over how these people lived. Vaquero and his colleagues first uncovered the etchings in 2013, while excavating at Molí del Salt. The slab showed a row of seven semicircular shapes, with parallel lines within each. The ancient etchings wouldn't win any art awards: To the naked (and novice) eye, the etchings look like a 4-year-old's crude line drawing of a tent. But the team decided to take a closer look under a microscope, where they analyzed the depth and shape of the lines. The etchings were made by the same technique in a short period of time, the researchers reported today (Dec. 2) in the journal PLOS ONE. The team also analyzed the dimensions of the etched domes and found they matched those commonly found in domes or semicircular huts used by modern hunter-gatherer societies, such as the wigwams historically used by many Native American tribes. Assuming people lived four or five to a hut, as modern people do, each hunter-gatherer enclave would have included at least 28 to 35 people, said study co-author Marcos García Diez, an archaeologist at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain. The art's subject matter is also unusual for its time, Diez said. "We think that the Molí del Salt engraving supports the hypothesis that there was a secular art in the Paleolithic, devoid of spiritual or religious meaning. Due to its singularity, we think that it was the expression of the individual feeling of someone who departed from the conventions that ruled Paleolithic art," Diez told Live Science. Copyright 2015 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
News Article | October 1, 2016
How long since you passed a sad traffic accident? Consider this: A person is 10 times safer taking public transportation for a commute than driving. You are 90% safer if you take public transportation (for commutes). The finding comes from a new study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The study, The Hidden Traffic Safety Solution: Public Transportation, builds on many other such studies. Communities that use mass transit enjoy less tragedy. They have about 20% the per capita traffic casualty rate (fatalities and injuries) compared to communities primarily using automobiles. People who do not use public transit still benefit, of course. “It is time we employ public transit as a traffic safety tool because it can dramatically reduce the crash risk for individuals as well as a community,” said APTA Acting CEO and President Richard White. “While no mode of travel is risk free, the safety of public transit is striking when observing the number of fatalities that are a result of auto crashes.” Crash risk is cut in half with more public transit, with fewer auto miles traveled and safer speeds in such communities, according to the findings. Todd Litman, director of the Vitoria Transportation Policy Institute and a contributor to the report, notes recent data released by the US Department of Transportation: 35,092 fatalities as a result of auto accidents in 2015, an increase of 7.2% from 2014, which was the largest increase since 1966. “While APTA officials note that even one death is one too many, the small number of fatalities related to public transit travel pale in comparisons to the tens of thousands of lives lost on our roadways every year.” Remember to vote for funding for quality public transportation in November. Get out, walk, travel by train, bicycle, and take the bus. Enjoy the sights from outside of a car. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | February 17, 2017
Listening in quiet conditions is actually quite rare. Most of the time there is some kind of noise present, whether it is traffic, machinery, or simply other conversations. As native speakers with a rich experience of the language and the context in which speech occurs, we have a great capacity to reconstruct the part of the message obscured by noise. However, errors still occur at times. A group involving Dr García Lecumberri, Ikerbasque Research Professor Martin Cooke, along with researchers Dr Jon Barker and Dr Ricard Marxer of the University of Sheffield (UK) have identified 3207 "consistent" confusions. The confusions are said to be consistent because, in every case, a significant number of listeners agree. This type of confusion is extremely valuable in the construction of models of speech perception, since any model capable of making the same error is very likely to be undergoing the same processes as those in human listeners. The research study involved more than 300000 individual stimulus presentations to 212 listeners in a range of different noise conditions. The resulting corpus is the only one of its kind for the English language and is available at http://spandh. . For each confusion, the corpus contains the waveforms of both the speech and the noise, a record of what a cohort of listeners heard, along with phonemic transcriptions. Distinct types of confusion appear with some frequency in the corpus. In the simplest cases what is clear is that the noise masks some parts of the word, forcing listeners to suggest a word that best fits the audible fragments (e.g., "wooden" -> "wood"; "pánico" -> "pan") or to substitute one sound for another ("ten" -> "pen"; "valla ->falla"). In other cases listeners appear to incorporate elements from the noise itself ("purse" -> "permitted"; "ciervo" -> "invierno"). Finally, the researchers find odd cases where there is little or no relation between the word produced and the confusion ("modern" -> "suggest"; "guardan -> pozo"). In these cases the way that the speech and noise signals interact is complex, and therefore interesting. Dr García Lecumberri argues that "these studies help to reveal the mechanisms underlying speech perception, and the better we understand these processes, the more we can help at a technical and clinical level those listeners who suffer hearing and speech comprehension problems". The group has also elicited a similar corpus for the Spanish language that can be accessed from the same web page. "There are similarities and differences between Spanish and English confusions: Spanish is a highly-inflected language, leading to more confusions in word-final position; English has a larger number of monosyllabic words and a richer set of word-final consonants, leading to more substitution-type errors in this position" she adds. However, both languages show a similar pattern of confusion types in noise, with some sounds surviving better than others. Dr María Luisa García Lecumberri is Senior Lecturer in English Phonetics in the Faculty of Letters at the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria) and member of the Language and Speech research group, to which Ikerbasque Research Professor Dr Martin Cooke also belongs. Dr Jon Barker is Reader in Computer Science in the Speech and Hearing research group at the University of Sheffield, where Dr Ricard Marxer works as a research fellow. Corpus collection was funded by the EU Framework 7 Marie Curie project PEOPLE-2011-290000 "Inspire: Investigating Speech Processing in Realistic Environments". Ricard Marxer, Jon Barker, Martin Cooke, and Maria Luisa García Lecumberri (December 2016). A corpus of noise-induced word misperceptions for English. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Volume 140, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1121/1.4967185.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Rare monkeys in the forests of Brazil are being decimated by yellow fever. The outbreak started in late 2016 and, as is often the case in South America, it has spread to humans, killing at least 50 since the start of 2017. The authorities have rushed vaccines to hospitals, where long queues await inoculation. But there is no vaccine for monkeys who are dying en masse in Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, the two states so far worst hit. “Some 80 to 90 per cent of the brown howler monkeys are infected or have already died,” says Sergio Mendes at the Federal University of Espírito Santo in Vitoria, Brazil. “This is a true catastrophe. These outbreaks happen periodically, but this is the worst I’ve ever seen.” Mendes knows of 400 howler monkey deaths in the state, and he believes this is likely to be only 10 per cent of the total, with the greatest losses happening largely unseen in remote forested areas. Atlantic titis and geoffroy’s marmosets found dead last week in Espirito Santo are also being tested for yellow fever. Both are unique to the Mata Atlantica, one of the world’s most species-rich and most-endangered tropical forests. Other endemic primate species affected by the outbreak include the endangered buffy-headed marmoset and crested capuchin, and the critically endangered muriqui. There are only about 1000 muriqui individuals left in the wild, and their slow breeding time means numbers would take a long time to recover from yellow-fever deaths. There are also unconfirmed reports of capuchin monkeys dying of suspected yellow fever in neighbouring Minas Gerais and in São Paulo states. The virus is normally found in several forest-dwelling mammals, from marsupials to monkeys, and is transmitted by Haemagogus and Sabethes mosquitoes. Marco Almeida, a veterinary epidemiologist from Rio Grande do Sul state’s health agency, says the current outbreak is unlikely to be caused by a new, more virulent form of yellow fever virus, as it is known to mutate very slowly. Instead, he thinks recent prolonged and torrential rains provided ideal conditions for mosquitoes. Often delivering a week’s rain in a day, the deluges lasted over a month and may have weakened the monkeys by cutting the times when they can feed and challenging their immune systems. “The mosquitos can disperse across forest for up to 6 kilometres from their breeding point,” says Júlio-César Bicca-Marques, a primatolologist at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, “but they’ll also get rides in trucks. Plus, infected hunters, tree-cutters and agricultural workers can spread the virus.” It’s well known from lab tests that howlers are the most vulnerable to yellow fever of all of South America’s monkeys. “But with these current high infection levels, the virus could spread to all of the region’s 14 other primates,” says Almeida. “Part of the problem is forest fragmentation,” says primate conservationist Karen Strier of University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Only 5 per cent of Mata Atlantica remains. So Mata Atlantica primate populations are small and isolated. Wipe one out, and natural recolonization is very difficult.” With monkeys being key seed-dispersers, the prognosis for both forest and primates is not good. Meanwhile, as the epidemic increases, ill-informed individuals have started attacking the region’s monkeys, in the erroneous belief that they can spread yellow fever to humans directly.
News Article | September 6, 2016
Mercedes-Benz Vans launched its new mid-size van—the Vito—at the Chengdu Motor Show in China on Friday. The first batch of the new Vito rolled off the production line at Daimler’s local joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (FBAC) in Fuzhou in August. The new Vito will be ready for delivery to dealers at the end of September. In an event to be held this Wednesday at its “Van Innovation Campus” in Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz Vans will unveil its vision of the van of the future: connected and electrically powered. (In July, Daimler Trucks unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, an all-electric, short-radius distribution heavy-duty truck, based on a three-axle truck from Mercedes-Benz. Earlier post.) With the launch of the new Vito in China, we completed the roll-out of our highly successful mid-size segment in this growing market. This is another milestone of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ growth strategy. We have successfully entered numerous markets with the new Vito since its launch in 2014—over 65 in total—and we have significantly increased unit sales ever since. We are convinced it will be as compelling to customers in China, too. In March, Mercedes-Benz Vans successfully launched its mid-size multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) V-Class in China. With the Vito and V-Class, Mercedes-Benz Vans has turned its mid-size segment offering into a strong second pillar of its product portfolio in addition to the large van Sprinter. In the first half of 2016, Vito and V-Class continued to be the strongest sales drivers. Mercedes-Benz Vans delivered approximately 46,000 Vito models to customers (plus 40%) and 23,300 V-Class models (plus 66%). Total sales of Mercedes-Benz Vans increased by 21% to approximately 176,200 vehicles—a new record. China was the strongest growth market for Mercedes-Benz Vans with an increase in sales of 104% to approximately 5,700 units. In the second quarter of 2016, Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved its best ever quarterly EBIT of €401 million (US$447 million) (previous year: €234 million, plus 71%) and its best ever quarterly RoS of 11.7% (previous year: 8.3%t, plus 41%). It also achieved second quarter record sales of 99,600 units (previous year: 81,600, plus 22%) and revenues of €3,441 million (US$3,835 million) (previous year 2,829 million Euros, plus 22%). The highly versatile new Vito is a practical premium mid-size van that offers both space and value. Its adaptability makes it ideal for China’s rapidly growing small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is the only vehicle in its segment offering AGILITY CONTROL suspension with frequency-selective damping. Alongside the Sprinter, the Vito is now Mercedes-Benz Vans’ second “world van”. Following its introduction in Europe and in other global markets in 2014, the Vito has been available in Latin America, the USA and Canada—in both North American markets it is known as the Metris—since 2015. The introduction in China completes its global launch. With its attractive design and wide choice of variants, the new vehicle sets the standard in its segment. Fujian Benz Automotive invested around €200 million (US$223 million) in China (1.4 billion RMB) for the production of the new mid-size models Vito and V-Class. In addition to increasing the localization of components and features for these new models, the investment improved the preparation and modernization of the body shell and assembly, as well as providing for the qualification of staff in the company’s Fuzhou plant. All global mid-size production sites of Mercedes-Benz Vans—in the USA and Argentina, in addition to China—cooperate closely with the specialists at the plant in Vitoria, Mercedes-Benz Vans’ global competence center for mid-size vehicles in Spain. The plant in Vitoria, with very high capacity utilization, supplies all other global markets with the V-Class and—together with the plants in Argentina and the US—all other global markets with the Vito. Numerous employees from China have undergone intensive training in Vitoria, while the experts from Spain were on hand to assist their Chinese colleagues with the ramp-up of production on-site. Mercedes-Benz Vans expanded its plant in Fuzhou in the south-east of China with its first research and development center outside Germany in 2013. The center focuses on models that are locally produced and marketed. In the development process of the new Vito it was thus possible to take full account of the market and requirements in China.
News Article | February 28, 2017
Brazil’s annual Carnival is in full swing with festivities beginning Friday and continuing well into Ash Wednesday. As locals take to the streets to participate in the massive parades, visitors from across the world came down to the country to engage in the larger-than-life party. Dating back to the 1700s, the festival originated when Portuguese immigrants from nearby islands took to throwing mud and food at each other, leading to large-scale chaos, according to Rio's official website. The Carnival now features large groups of people who come together with samba schools to dress up in elaborate costumes for parades and balls that attract over two million people every day. Cities like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Vitoria see large-scale celebrations with crowds singing and dancing as they walk down the streets. Sao Paulo's carnival usually takes place on the Friday and Saturday night when the country’s business capital sees a massive influx of people making their way down the main city avenue. Rio de Janeiro’s carnival is held on Sunday and Monday night. This year, the ceremony faced a delay of over two hours as the crowds waited for Mayor Marcelo Crivella. The mayor was not able to make it to the Sambodromo stadium, because of his wife’s health, reports said. The Carnival is expected to generate an estimated $1 billion in revenue for the city of Rio. While millions have already taken part in the parades and rallies over the weekend, the numbers are expected to swell further on the last two nights of the country’s largest celebration on Monday and Tuesday night. See pictures and videos from Brazil’s iconic Carnival, which brings together music, dance and color, below:
News Article | December 31, 2015
Nowadays it is the Brazilian navy that patrols the seas off the country's eastern coast to protect its oil platforms and mineral reserves in a region teeming with turtles and whales. And hundreds of miles over the water on the small island of Trindade, naturalists are working to recover a paradise that was ruined by British settlers in the 18th century. The Brazilian navy patrol ship APA sets sail from Rio de Janeiro for Trindade, which lies 1,167 kilometers from Vitoria in southeastern Brazil. Dozens of fixed and floating oil platforms line the horizon. Brazil drills 90 percent of its oil from beneath the sea bed in this ocean region of 3.6 million square kilometers. But the waters also conceal other seabed resources: gold, phosphorous, manganese and lime deposits which have numerous uses in construction and agriculture. Among the organisms in the ocean are "calcareous algae", useful to farmers, says Cesar de Melo, an agronomist at Lavras Federal University. He says that Brazil imports 80 percent of its fertilizer, while one of nature's best fertilizers is teeming in the nearby ocean. De Melo has spent 20 years studying its benefits. Using the algae as fertilizer, he said, "adds minerals to the land and makes it sustainable, increasing crop production and quality and resistance to pests and plant diseases." On the way back from Trindade the ship will patrol the oil-drilling areas, expelling any unauthorized vessels that stray into the security zone. But first it must take supplies and personnel to Trindade, home to a few scientists and about 30 navy personnel. When the British astronomer Edmond Halley stepped off his boat here in 1700 with a herd of sheep and goats, he set Trindade on the path to devastation. The animals bred uncontrollably, eating away the island's vegetation and the eggs of the island's green turtles and disrupting its water courses. Brazil won control of the island in the late 19th century. A strategic spot in the mid-Atlantic, it was the scene of a sea battle between British and German ships at the outbreak of World War I. In the 1990s, Brazil finally decided to cull hundreds of rampant goats, sheep and pigs to save the island's native species. The last goat was shot down in 2005. Now little by little, scientists say, the rocky island is regaining its natural diversity. No tourists come to the island and inhabitants are banned from bathing in the sea on most of the beaches or even walking on them alone because of fierce tidal waves that crash onto the shores. "On my first mission here in 1994, I found the island devastated," said Ruy Valka Alves, a botanist from Brazil's National Museum, who has visited Trindade about 20 times. "Today I believe the vegetation is clearly regenerating. We have tested it through field work and satellite images," he added. "The water has risen in some of the streams. If we let nature run its course, we are having notable results, even without intervening further." The island's shores abound in coral, fish, turtles and an endangered species of crab. Various species of seabird are coming to breed again on Trindade as the trees grow back. "The island is enormously rich. There are more species to be discovered," said Anabele Stefania Gomes, a botanist who is studying plants on the island. "There are species that had been extinct here and are now managing to return." Explore further: New species of labrisomidae fish discovered in Brazil