Science RSS Feeds
In a panic after a fire has broken out and can't remember where the fire extinguisher is, let alone how to use it? Now you can simply pick up a vase and throw it to douse the flames. Developed by South Korean ad agency Cheil Worldwide, a subsidiary of Samsung Group, the innovative "firevase" contains liquid potassium carbonate, which can block oxygen, effectively suppressing a fire.
Ahead of a Western wildfire season expected to be again worse than average, officials in Seattle announced Wednesday that five city buildings would be outfitted to serve as havens where residents can go to breathe clean air. The move is in response to several years marked by thick smoke hanging over the city from summer wildfires, which officials and scientists have unequivocally connected to the slow-motion of the effects of climate change. Seattle officials demonstrated the technology at one of the havens — a community center in the city's Rainier Beach neighborhood — pointing out air sensors mounted on the wall, and describing how the building's existing ventilation system had been retrofitted with special filters to keep it positively pressurized with clean air.
Greenland's ice sheet may have completely melted within the next millennium if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, according to a new study with implications for sea-level rise around the world. The Greenland ice sheet holds the equivalent of seven meters (yards) of sea level. "If we continue as usual, Greenland will melt," said lead author Andy Aschwanden, a research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute.
Small hospitals must stop treating stroke emergencies in order to save thousands of lives, England's top doctor will today say. The national medical director will say NHS trusts across the country must centralise services, so that victims get the right help sooner. Professor Stephen Powis will say hospitals should follow a controversial model pioneered in London and Manchester, which is now saving around 170 lives a year. In both cities, local stroke wards were closed, with ambulances instead taking victims not to nearest hospital, but to larger centres with access to brain scans, clot-busting drugs and specialist procedures. As a result, the numbers dying or suffering long-term disability have fallen significantly. Now health chiefs want to introduce the same changes across towns and cities in England, in the hope of saving more than 800 lives a year. Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said rolling out expert stroke teams will ensure thousands more people “survive and thrive”. Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester, he will say: “Introducing quicker access to better treatment for stroke in London and here in Manchester has saved hundreds of lives and we now want to see them rolled out across the whole of the country. “As clinicians and as leaders we have a responsibility to drive this forward and to make the case for change, because we know that the prize is so great: thousands more people surviving and thriving after stroke.” F.A.S.T. | Can you recognise the signs of stroke? Such changes can prove controversial because they mean local hospitals lose major services, which can stoke political rows. But charities said the measures were crucial to save lives, urging NHS leaders not to delay making such changes. Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, warned “time lost is brain lost”. She said: “When stroke strikes, part of your brain shuts down. And so does a part of you. “That’s because a stroke happens in the brain, the control centre for who we are and what we can do. “The evidence shows that reorganising stroke services to create stroke centres of excellence saves more lives and enables survivors to leave hospital sooner to start their recoveries at home. A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or internal bleeding. Every year more than 150,000 Britons have a stroke – and it is the leading cause of complex disability. The units have operated in London since 2010 and Manchester since 2015. Before their introduction, patients were taken to the nearest hospital A&E; department in the capital to receive immediate care, followed by treatment on a general ward. An independent analysis into the change showed that patients are now more likely to receive the right treatment sooner, and are therefore more likely to survive and recover faster. The study from University College London, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, reviewed data from 500,000 hospital admissions for patients between 2008 and 2016 and compared the rate of stroke survival and the time patients spent in hospitals in London and Greater Manchester compared with other urban areas in England. Chief investigator Professor Naomi Fulop said: "Our research provides robust evidence for centralising acute stroke services in urban areas. This may mean that patients are taken by ambulance past their local hospital to a specialist centre in order to save lives.” More than three in five strokes could be prevented if major triggers were treated, such as reducing high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. Professor Powis also wants the NHS to prevent more strokes, by providing lifestyle advice and medication sooner. NHS England has launched a £9m programme to support 20,000 people with heart problems in 23 areas with the highest rates of stroke. The scheme will see specialist nurses and clinical pharmacists identify sufferers from the heart condition atrial fibrillation but aren’t receiving treatment, so that they can be offered lifestyle advice and help to get them on the right treatment. Health chiefs hope it will prevent around 700 strokes, saving an estimated 200 lives. More than three in five strokes could be prevented if major triggers were treated, such as reducing high blood pressure and raised cholesterol.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- On June 11, for the first time in history, Foxconn Technology Group held an investor relations conference for its flagship company.That’s the good news. The bad news is what the moment portends: The world’s largest electronics manufacturer is about to be left without a CEO.It took founder Terry Gou’s pending departure from Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. to face its stakeholders beyond the legally mandated annual shareholders’ meeting. Gou didn’t even bother to turn up, choosing instead to continue his campaign to become Taiwan’s president.After’s Gou’s departure, which could be as soon as Friday, Foxconn will have a new chairman, and the CEO role will be replaced by a committee of nine. For the past 45 years Gou has been the sole decider and face of the company. So while this major shift in leadership brings sudden and long-overdue transparency, it also leaves his sprawling company – which spans more than a dozen nations, up to one million workers, and an all-star client list – in the hands of a committee and without a chief.I’ve long been skeptical about the company and its future, with or without Gou. As the global tech industry faces both a macroeconomic slowdown and the fallout from U.S.-China trade tensions, Foxconn finds itself caught in the crossfire.The comportment of the company’s new management now allays some of those concerns. At the investor event and a telephone conference that followed, these executives – many of whom had rarely spoken publicly – succinctly fielded questions about the challenges of running Foxconn in the age of President Donald Trump, the possibility of moving iPhone production out of China, and the company’s need to transform. That’s a refreshing change from the waffling, disjointed answers Gou usually gives to the media.Still, this doesn’t mean everything is sorted. The debate over Foxconn’s next chairman, which has been raging for more than a decade, continues. Group CFO Huang Chiu-lian, known as Money Mama, was among the names tipped to take control. Heads of various divisions are also being considered.It’s my belief that Young Liu, currently head of Foxconn’s chip division, will get that job. (Huang isn’t in the running since she won’t be on the new board). Getting the chairmanship, though, doesn’t mean taking Foxconn’s Iron Throne. Rather, this management-by-committee strategy sets the company up for possible infighting among various division chiefs, some of whom are part of that inner circle.Any executive decision inevitably becomes a question of resource allocation. Since Foxconn is notoriously tight-fisted, divisions will likely need to compete with each other or engage in back-room horse trading to get what they want.If the collegiality on display at the new team’s first public outing dissolves, then the executive lineup is likely to become a war of attrition. When Gou floated the idea of retirement a dozen years ago, he talked about winnowing his list down from more than 35 to less than 10 possible successors. But he’s never groomed anyone, unlike compatriot Morris Chang, who spent considerable time training up his successors for the company he founded and chaired, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. More than a few people who follow Foxconn have told me they think that most lieutenants will retire pretty quickly if they don’t get clear control over the company once Gou steps down. As some depart, competition to take the reins may ensue. My fear is that a series of departures and jostling will weaken Foxconn just when it needs stability and a single leader. Once that shakes out, any eventual winner may find that there’s no throne to take, let alone dragons to fight with.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Canada's Conservative leader Andrew Scheer vowed on Wednesday to replace a federal carbon tax with a cap on large emitters if he unseats Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October elections. "Technology, not taxes," Scheer said in a speech. Trudeau's government rolled out a starting carbon tax of Can$20 ($15 US) in April on fuels sold in four provinces that haven't fallen in line with his emissions reduction strategy.
Scented candles can help you unwind and give your home that soft, cozy glow - but if you light them often, you may be putting your health at risk. "Most scented candles are made from paraffin wax," Payel Gupta, MD, a board-certified allergist and immunologist at ENT & Allergy Associates in New York City, told POPSUGAR.
President Donald Trump's pick for ambassador to the United Nations promised Wednesday to allow climate diplomacy to move forward despite her family's fortune in coal. Kelly Craft, at a Senate hearing to confirm her for the high-profile post that has been vacant for nearly half a year, said she would not participate personally in discussions at the United Nations in which coal is discussed. "I will give you my commitment that where coal is part of the conversation within climate change at the UN, I will recuse myself," she told Democratic Senator Ed Markey, a leading environmentalist.
The Trump administration has ordered a sweeping about-face on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler signed a measure Wednesday that scraps one of President Barack Obama's key initiatives to rein in fossil fuel emissions. Wheeler says he expects more coal plants to open as a result.
(Bloomberg) -- Google workers, shareholders and activists used the annual meeting of parent Alphabet Inc. to protest a range of issues, including contractor rights, the tech giant’s business in China and the absenteeism of Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page.Shareholders filed proposals asking Alphabet management to scrap non-compete agreements, claw back compensation from executives who were found to have harassed employees and put an employee representative on its board.Several activist groups, sometimes in conjunction with Google employees, protested outside the meeting and at company offices around the world. Topics include diversity, ethics around product launches, housing affordability and working conditions for temporary and contract staff.About 30 protesters, including Google workers and outside activists, gathered outside the event holding signs that read "Not OK Google" and "Google creates homelessness." Tibetan, Uighur and Chinese rights activists called on Google management to clearly confirm the company will not re-establish business relations with China, citing what they said is the government’s mass surveillance and human-rights abuses.Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company’s huge scale comes with a “deep sense of responsibility to create things that improve people’s lives” and benefit society as a whole. Executive Chairman John Hennessy said Alphabet’s board of directors is making sure the company focuses on diversity, sustainability and societal impact. “We are deeply committed to do the right thing on these issues,” he said.The meeting is the latest flare-up in a roughly two-year effort by some Google employees and outside activists to push the company to be more accountable to workers, stockholders and the communities where it operates.Listen to a Google insider’s account of the protests from Bloomberg’s Decrypted podcast.Google has a famously open work culture, where employees of all levels are encouraged to speak their mind and suggest changes to company policy. That’s created some headaches for the tech giant. Google shelved a plan to build a censored search engine for China after news of the project leaked and employees rebelled against it. The company also stepped back from one military contract and stopped forcing employees to sign away their right to bring claims against it in court.Google’s critics only have so much power though. Shareholder proposals like the ones advanced at the annual meeting are almost always rejected because the company’s founders control the majority of the votes through special shares.“I was wondering where the CEO of Alphabet is. Year after year there’s no CEO here. It’s a glaring omission,” especially for someone with such a large stake in the company, one shareholder said during the meeting. Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin control Alphabet through special voting shares, but they have stopped showing up at annual meetings in recent years.Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker responded, saying Page wasn’t able to attend this year. He has attended every board meeting, Walker said.The shareholder replied that the annual meeting is the only time investors have a chance to ask the CEO questions directly.Marie Collins, a Google employee who has worked there for about six years, said the company lacks accountability, citing Page and Brin’s absence as part of the problem. The executives rarely attend companywide employee meetings anymore, she added. Google used to have a good relationship with employees, but that changed about a year ago, Collins said.Google engineer Irene Knapp spoke in favor of a proposal to tie executive compensation to the company’s progress on diversity and inclusion. Knapp cited research by the group AI Now showing that bias in artificial intelligence technology is related to the lack of diversity in the industry.Other Google employees spoke in favor of proposals on adding a worker representative to the board and a call for a report on the impact of Google’s Dragonfly Chinese search project.While Ruth Porat, Google’s chief financial officer, spoke about autonomous vehicle technology, protesters outside the building chanted and shouted through loud speakers.“Alphabet sits at an inflection point,” facing antitrust investigations and other issues, one employee said, in support of the proposal to add a worker representative to the board. “It cannot afford to ignore the storm brewing.”(Updates with Google employee comments in 13th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Alistair Barr in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gerrit De Vynck in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Pollack, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- As 2019’s bumper crop of initial public offerings either languishes or wildly exceeds expectations, Slack Technologies Inc. is taking a route to the trading floor that it hopes will yield a much more boring outcome.Following in the footsteps of music-streaming service Spotify Technology SA last year, the workplace messaging application is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday via a direct listing. It’s just the second large company to test the unusual method and will be closely watched by other potential candidates to see how successfully the company and its advisers pull it off.Investors got their first hint of how things are going when Slack’s reference price was set at $26 per share on Wednesday. Unlike the offering price paid by investors in a traditional IPO, the reference price doesn’t establish the valuation, though it’s partly based on recent trading in private markets. Its main purpose is to provide a starting point to allow trading to begin under New York Stock Exchange rules.With IPO heavyweight advisers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. helping to steer Slack through its listing alongside market maker Citadel Securities, all eyes will be on how the first day of trading plays out. But the company and its investors aren’t looking for a meaningful stock pop -- and want to avoid the volatility -- that often accompanies high-profile share sales, according to a person familiar with the process.On Wednesday, Slack said that its investors had converted additional Class B stock to Class A shares, increasing the number that could be sold to 194 million from 181 million, out of a total of 504.4 million. Especially because there’s no lock-up period, there’s a risk of too few investors wanting to buy or too many wanting to sell.“A direct listing can be considered risky for a variety of reasons," Alejandro Ortiz, an analyst at SharesPost, said in a note. “There is an increased chance of substantially more supply than demand for Slack’s shares. All of this could result in heightened volatility in the early hours and days of trading.”Reference PriceFifteen months after its own direct listing, Spotify trades about 12% above its reference price of $132, at about $148 a share on Wednesday. That’s well below where the stock opened on its first day of trading in April 2018, though, at $165.90 apiece.On Thursday, much of the attention at the exchange will be focused on one man. Pete Giacchi, a longtime market maker at the NYSE for Citadel Securities, will be tasked with opening the stock –- just as he was for Uber Technologies Inc.’s listing in May, people with knowledge of the matter said. It could be a long wait: Spotify’s shares took more than three hours to start trading, and it will take a while to make sure that the pricing and trading volumes coming in are at levels that Slack and its advisers are comfortable with.Supply, DemandMorgan Stanley, as the named adviser to the designated market maker, will be constantly trying to get a sense of supply and demand for the shares to advise on that opening price. The bank’s team includes global head of technology capital markets, Colin Stewart, as well as David Chen, who leads software banking. John Paci, the co-head of U.S. equities trading, will help advise the designated market maker on where the stock should open based on buying and selling interest gleaned from investors, according to people familiar with the details.At Goldman Sachs, the work will be led by Nick Giovanni, co-head of the global technology, media and telecommunications group, equity capital markets head David Ludwig and Will Connolly, co-head of the West Coast financing group and head of technology ECM.One thing Slack’s listing will have in common with an IPO: executives including Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield and finance chief Allen Shim are expected to be pacing the floor of the NYSE for the open. They may not stick around all day, though. They will likely spend some time at the offices of their advisers before celebrating with employees and customers, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.Representatives for Slack, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citadel Securities declined to comment.Private FundsSlack’s decision to bypass a traditional IPO -- and the opportunity it brings to raise funds -- is yet another sign of how benevolent private markets have been to tech startups in recent years. Slack’s earliest major investor, venture capital firm Accel, has directed a fire hose of money at the messaging company over the years, investing from several of its funds to accumulate a 23.8% stake.In addition to Accel, Slack captured the imagination of elite investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Social Capital. But it was SoftBank Group Corp.’s behemoth Vision Fund, which also owns stakes in Uber and WeWork Cos., that accelerated Slack’s fundraising when it led a $250 million investment in 2017.One of the main reasons that Slack has remained well capitalized, however, is that it burns through less cash than some of SoftBank’s other investments. Uber, for instance, accumulated more than $10 billion in operating losses in three years. While Slack expects higher-than-usual losses in the second quarter, that still amounts to only about $75 million to $77 million for the three months, even including expenses related to the listing.Growth vs. ProfitabilityThe high demand for IPOs by the likes of money-losing companies including Uber, Lyft Inc. and Beyond Meat Inc. proves that investors remain focused on growth prospects over profitability –- in the short term at least.With Uber leading the pack with its $8.1 billion offering, 79 companies have raised $28.88 billion in U.S. IPOs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes five other listings topping $1 billion, including the $2.34 billion IPO by Uber’s ride-hailing rival Lyft.With no lock-up period for a direct listing, Slack investors could be jittery about any updates from the company, perceived competitive threats or other risks.Tiny SpeckIn its filings, Slack has warned investors that it’s a relatively new business, launching only in 2014 after existing for several years as a gaming company called Tiny Speck. Its rocket-ship ascent has attracted plenty of investors, but gives new potential shareholders only a limited trajectory to study.Another challenge for Slack is one that fellow mega startups like Uber have grappled with, namely whether they can move beyond the core offering that their early years of success were built on. While Slack has improved its product so that it can serve larger companies, many customers still consider it an easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing workplace messaging platform, despite speculation that it could evolve into a catch-all portal for business applications.One thing that could make Slack’s debut more unpredictable than Spotify’s is its investor base. Because the company’s ownership is more concentrated among fewer, larger shareholders, it could be more difficult to gauge the supply of shares that are likely to be traded, one person with knowledge of the process said. Both buyers and sellers may also hang back on day one to see how trading goes before getting involved: Just 30 million of Spotify shares changed hands in its trading debut, less than a third of the total available.\--With assistance from Crystal Tse and William Hobbs.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at email@example.com;Sonali Basak in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ellen Huet in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, Elizabeth Fournier, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The issues around the rocket's development, led by Boeing Co, mean that the first launch of the SLS originally scheduled for late 2017 could be delayed until June 2021. Boeing's space division restructured its leadership team in 2018 and early 2019 to adjust to the program challenges and simplified its manufacturing process, Boeing spokesman Jerry Drelling said.
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia President Joko Widodo is planning an unprecedented $70 billion splurge on toll roads to help connect the most strung-out country on the planet.It’s almost the equivalent of laying bitumen from New York to San Francisco.By 2024, Indonesia’s fee-charging highways will stretch for 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles), almost triple the length of the current network, Danang Parikesit, head of the country’s toll-road regulator, said in an interview.The government wants to make it easier to haul food and fuel across the world’s largest archipelago. But there’s already concern about how 1,000 trillion rupiah ($70 billion) of highways will be funded. Analysts fret that the funding burden will strain Indonesia’s banking system and the balance sheets of local construction companies.The government can’t foot the whole bill itself and is seeking other sources of capital such as bank loans and private funding, Parikesit said in an interview. “Infrastructure will grow rapidly and faster than before,” he said.The roads rollout is central to the government’s ambitious plans for more than $400 billion of building projects to modernize Indonesia under Jokowi, as Widodo is known, when he begins his second term in October.The extensive sprawl of Indonesia, a nation dispersed across 17,000 islands, is a logistical nightmare and can send the cost of everyday items soaring and hampering development in tough-to-access locations. So the only way to generate faster economic growth is through connectivity, Indonesia Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said last month.Indonesia Has a $412 Billion Plan to Rebuild the CountryMore than half the new toll roads will be rolled out on Sumatra to connect the two ends of the enormous island. Parikesit, who’s also a professor in civil engineering, said advanced construction techniques will be required in some locations -- to hold up a road bridge 100 meters above the ground or to build several kilometers of tunnels.In addition to the highways, the regulator is also studying the possibility of building a bridge from peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, and a bridge connecting Singapore to Bintan island, Parikesit said.The work could boost revenue for state-owned construction companies such as PT Waskita Karya, PT Adhi Karya and PT Wijaya Karya. Lenders such as PT Bank Mandiri, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia and PT Bank Negara Indonesia might also be asked to help funds the projects.“Such ambitious projects could boost businesses for construction companies and related stocks, particularly the state-owned ones,” said Jeffrosenberg Tan, head of investment strategy at PT Sinarmas Sekuritas. “However, that might put more pressure on the liquidity of the banking sector.”To contact the reporters on this story: Rieka Rahadiana in Jakarta at firstname.lastname@example.org;Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Angus Whitley, Thomas Kutty AbrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Flooding, storms and other natural hazards, made more likely by climate change, cost poor nations hundreds of billions every year due to crumbling infrastructure, the World Bank said Wednesday. The global lender said power and water cuts and traffic disruptions caused by inclement weather and worsened by poor management and maintenance of bridges, roads and electricity grids, cost low- and middle-income nations $390 billion (350 billion euros) annually. With much of the plumbing, power, and health infrastructure needed to sustain them yet to be built, investors are increasingly prioritising projects that will prove resilient to future climate shocks.
President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations faced tough questions during her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday on the international body, climate change, her top priorities and limited of diplomatic experience. Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, who along with her husband is a major donor to Trump and other Republicans, is expected to be confirmed to the role -- described as the second most important U.S. diplomat, behind the Secretary of State.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Notice of Correction to Application and Submission Information for PAR-18-543 "CREATE Bio Development Track: Nonclinical and Early-Phase Clinical Development for Biologics (U44 Clinical Trial Optional)"
- National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Bridges to the Doctorate (T32)
- Notice of Clarification to the Award Budget for PAR-18-894, "Mental Health Research Dissertation Grant to Enhance Workforce Diversity (R36 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the NIH Common Fund Acute to Chronic Pain Signatures Program: Multisite Clinical Center Acute Pain from Musculoskeletal Trauma or Acute Peri-operative Pain (UM1 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Notice of Change to the Award Budget for PAR-18-802 "Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Technologies for Low-Resource Settings (R41/R42 - Clinical Trial Optional)".