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AUTEC, a Japan-based company designed models that can churn out sushi at the touch of a button. They can produce up to 2400 nigiri rice balls and 200 sushi rolls per hour. These robots are meant to aid sushi chefs, especially in chain restaurants and cafeterias. Read more...More about Robots, Mashable Video, Japan, Sushi, and Robotics
Spring has officially arrived — and it's brought sunnier days, warmer temperatures, flowers, and the opportunity for kids to spend more time playing outside (hallelujah). But there is one downside to this beloved season: Spring allergies, which can potentially be deadly for children if they go untreated. To complicate matters, a lot of children who have […]
The European Parliament faced calls Thursday to strip ExxonMobil lobbyists of their access badges after the US oil giant missed the assembly's first hearing into claims it knowingly misled the public on climate change. Greens deputy Molly Scott Cato told the hearing in Brussels she would formally make the request later Thursday to deny ExxonMobil its six registered parliament access badges. Activists and scientists told the hearing that ExxonMobil has for decades misled the public about the threat climate change poses to the world, comparing it the tobacco lobby's past campaign.
"We need to take Iran to a point that enemy understand that they cannot threaten Iran ... America's sanctions will make Iran self-sufficient," Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States last May from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers, saying it gave too much away to Iran, and reimposed far-reaching U.S. sanctions.
Apple’s conundrum is that its three big gadget markets — smartphones, personal computers and tablets — are stagnating. To keep growing, then, the company has been trying to sell its existing device owners add-on hardware and services including Apple Music subscriptions, apps, the Apple Watch and its AirPods wireless headphones, a new version of which Apple announced on Wednesday. Revenue from Apple’s ancillary hardware plus its internet-related services and apps contributed nearly 22 percent of revenue in the company’s latest holiday quarter. That’s good, but remember that most of those add-ons are bought by people who already own Apple devices, and new device sales are not growing much, if at all.
New US research has found that children exposed to common agricultural pesticides before birth and in their first year of infancy may have a small to moderately increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to unexposed children. Carried out by researchers at the University of California, the new study looked at 2,961 patients with a diagnosis of ASD -- including 445 with ASD with accompanying intellectual disability -- and 35,370 healthy patients matched for birth year and sex, who were all born between 1998 and 2010 in Central Valley, California, a heavily agricultural region. The researchers assessed the participants' prenatal exposure and exposure as infants to 11 pesticides, selected because they are commonly used and thought to have a toxic effect on brain development.
"For we know Him who said, 'And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.'" Ezekiel 25:17.The God depicted in the Old Testament may sometimes seem wrathful. And in that, he's not alone; supernatural forces that punish evil play a central role in many modern religions.But which came first: complex societies or the belief in a punishing god?A new study suggests that the formation of complex societies came first and that the beliefs in such gods helped unite people under a common higher power.Ancient societies often used supernatural forces to explain natural phenomena, such as lightning. But in the past several millennia, religions also used supernatural forces to enforce moral codes. For example, the Egyptian sun god, Ra, judged the fate of people in the afterlife according to how well they followed the code of "maat," or "what is right." [The World's Top Religions (Infographic)]Past work suggested that the rise of this idea of cosmic enforcement of morality was associated with social complexity. The concept of supernatural judgment evolved to help strangers in large societies cooperate, researchers hypothesized. Some work, such as analyses of Austronesian religions or of the Viking age in Scandinavia, suggested that moralizing gods preceded complex societies, while other research, such as a study of Eurasian empires, found that moralizing gods followed the rise of complex societies.But those studies were limited in geographic scope and hampered, at times, because historians lacked detailed information on the complexity of societies at given points in history, said Patrick Savage, an anthropologist at Keio University in Kanagawa, Japan. In the new study, Savage and his colleagues sought to overcome these limitations using the Seshat: Global History Databank, a database of information about global history from the end of the Paleolithic period up to the Industrial Revolution.The scientists analyzed the relationship between social complexity and moralizing gods in 414 societies spanning the past 10,000 years from 30 regions across the globe. Researchers examined 51 measures of social complexity, such as the size of the largest settlement and the presence of a formal legal code, and four measures of supernatural enforcement of morality, such as the concept of a supernatural force that monitors and punishes selfish actions.The researchers found that belief in moralizing gods usually followed increases in social complexity, generally appearing after the emergence of civilizations with populations of more than about 1 million people."It was particularly striking how consistent it was [that] this phenomenon emerged at the million-person level," Savage said. "First, you get big societies, and these beliefs then come."All in all, "our research suggests that religion is playing a functional role throughout world history, helping stabilize societies and people cooperate overall," Savage said. "In really small societies, like very small groups of hunter-gatherers, everyone knows everyone else, and everyone's keeping an eye on everyone else to make sure they're behaving well. Bigger societies are more anonymous, so you might not know who to trust."At those sizes, you see the rise of beliefs in an all-powerful, supernatural person watching and keeping things under control, Savage added."We are not saying anything about the value of religion," Savage added. "We are not saying it is good or bad, but we are saying it has a deep and consistent relationship with societies throughout world history. Religion is deeply intertwined with what it means to be human, for better and for worse."The scientists detailed their findings online today (March 20) in the journal Nature. Their work was supported in part by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. * Religion and Science: 6 Visions of Earth's Core * 25 Cultures That Practiced Human Sacrifice * Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of JesusOriginally published on Live Science.
These Two Cosmic 'Chimneys' Could Be Fueling the Galaxy-Sized Bubbles Looming Over the Milky Way
The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is a bit like the hearth at the center of a cozy pub. It's a bright, warm gathering place around which all the quotidian life of the Milky Way swirls -- and, according to a new study published today (Mar. 20) in the journal Nature, it might even have a chimney or two.In a recent study of the X-ray emissions seething out of the Milky Way's galactic center, researchers noticed two unusual structures that have never been described before. Twin columns of superhot, X-ray-emitting plasma appeared to be billowing out of the galactic center, one rising north and the other flowing south, for hundreds of light-years in either direction."We call these the chimneys," lead study author Gabriele Ponti, a researcher at the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Italy, told Live Science. "Looking at them, we see clear evidence for a strong outflow of plasma from the galactic center." [The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe] X-ray marks the spotPonti and his colleagues found this evidence by analyzing more than 750 hours of X-ray observations taken by the XMM-Newton and Chandra telescopes. These observations helped the team create an X-ray map of the center of the Milky Way (shown above), including the near-symmetrical chimney plumes emanating from either side of Sagittarius A*, the bright fount of radio waves believed to shroud our galaxy's supermassive black hole.Both the northern and southern chimneys extend about 522 light-years over the galactic center, and each gets hotter and denser the closer they are to Sagittarius A*. It seems clear that these blasts of heat and matter are the result of some large outflow from the galactic center, Ponti and colleagues wrote, though the exact source is unknown. The available evidence points to two possibilities: Either the outflow is being caused by the supermassive black hole itself (which may be slingshotting some matter into space even as it gobbles up huge amounts of nearby gas and dust) or else by periodic supernova explosions occurring throughout the galaxy's central star cluster."The data supports both these scenarios," Ponti said. Blowing cosmic bubblesThe chimneys' final destination, meanwhile, seems clearer than their origin.In their X-ray map, the researchers saw that both the northern and southern chimneys extend into the bases of two gargantuan structures known as the Fermi bubbles -- essentially, two giant cavities of gas and cosmic rays carved from the galactic center by millions of years of activity.The Fermi bubbles are two enormous orbs of gas and cosmic rays that tower over the Milky Way, covering a region roughly as large as the galaxy itself. These giant space bubbles may be fueled by a strong outflow of matter from the center of the Milky Way. NASA GoddardThese bubbles begin about 326 light-years above either side of the galactic center, intersecting with the tips of the chimneys. Unlike the chimneys, however, the bubbles stretch on for tens of thousands of light-years, towering over the Milky Way like two chambers of a giant hourglass. Together, the two spheres occupy about as much space as the galaxy itself, Ponti said. (Don't look too hard for them though; because they are composed mainly of gamma rays, the bubbles are invisible to the naked eye.)Since 2010, scientists have known our galaxy is blowing space bubbles and think they were likely created by some turbulent event at the galaxy's center several million years ago. However, according to Ponti, the discovery of the galactic chimneys marks the first direct connection between these massive, gassy orbs and the Milky Way's relatively tiny core."The chimneys are the exhaust pipes connecting the activity of the galactic center with the Fermi bubbles," Ponti said.Further study of the chimneys could reveal a more precise origin of the Fermi bubbles. The next step, Ponti said, is imaging an even wider section of the galactic center -- to see, for example, if the chimney flow seems localized over the galaxy's supermassive black hole, or if it is spread out over a wider cluster of stars. Either way, the hearth at the center of the galaxy will keep a fire burning for us -- perhaps a larger one than anyone imagined. * 9 Strange Excuses for Why We Haven't Found Aliens Yet * 15 Amazing Images of Stars * Rainbow Album: The Many Colors of Earth's SunOriginally published on Live Science.
Protesters say this is not enough. The immediate cause was Bouteflika's candidacy. After Bouteflika abandoned plans to stand but stopped short of stepping down -- raising the prospect that he would stay in power for the rest of the year -- the protests swelled.
Mississippi's Republican governor was due to sign one of America's strictest abortion bills on Thursday banning women from obtaining an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can often occur before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. Dubbed the 'heartbeat bill,' this is the second legislative attempt in under a year aimed at restricting abortions in a state with a single abortion clinic. In a tweet earlier this week, Governor Phil Bryant thanked the state's legislature for "protecting the unborn" by passing the bill and sending it to him for his signature.
Analysts were largely positive on the plan, calling it necessary in a difficult environment, and saying it could set the stage for a rebound in the second half of 2019. While a few firms remained cautious about Micron’s prospects -- with Citi downgrading the stock and Morgan Stanley saying it was “cynical” about the prospect of a rebound -- several firms raised their price targets. Raises price target to $64 from $55 and affirms overweight rating.
Biogen Inc. announced Thursday that it was discontinuing late-stage studies of its Alzheimer’s medicine aducanumab. At some point, the conclusion has to be that the approach is fundamentally flawed. Other firms got there earlier and less expensively than Biogen, which has made Alzheimer’s gambles the center of its drug pipeline. This isn’t one black mark on an otherwise healthy company. The massive potential upside aducanumab represented had served to paper over other issues at the biotech giant.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company and partner Eisai Co. said Thursday that they would discontinue two late-stage trials designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the drug, aducanumab. “This disappointing news confirms the complexity of treating Alzheimer’s disease and the need to further advance knowledge in neuroscience,” said Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s chief executive officer. Biogen is still studying other, earlier-stage compounds, and is continuing to work with Eisai on two other drugs, said David Caouette, a Biogen spokesman.
Biogen’s shares plummeted on Thursday after the biotechnology group announced it had ended a highly anticipated trial of Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab. The company, which was working alongside Japan’s pharmaceutical company Eisai on the phase III-trial to study treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s, said the decision was based on an independent group’s analysis. According to the analysis, the trials were not likely to “meet their primary endpoint”.
Nursultan Nazarbayev remains omnipresent in Kazakh politics days after his surprise resignation, hinting he will effectively retain a share of power with the loyalist parliament speaker who automatically stepped into his shoes. In stepping down on Tuesday, Nazarbayev, the only ruler Kazakhstan has known since the Soviet era almost three decades ago, formally elevated Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the presidency -though Nazarbayev kept other senior decision-making posts. The arrangement might be reassuring to investors in the major energy-producing country who hope the 78-year-old Nazarbayev would oversee a smooth transition of power to a permanent successor - who has yet to be identified.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Cystic Fibrosis Research and Translation Centers (P30 Clinical Trial Optional)
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- Behavioral and Social Research to Address Health Disparities in the U.S. (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)
- NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) Releases New Functionality for Biospecimen Requests
- Notice of Change in the Number of Trainee Slots on NHGRI T32 Postdoctoral Training Program in Genomic Medicine Research