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World Health Organization joins fight against lax genetic editing standards

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:04

It's now been several months since Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that he had successfully edited the genes of human embryos, which were then carried to term, resulting in the first genetically modified humans. His work was quickly shunned by all corners of the scientific community, and his fate remains unknown.Last week, a large group of geneticists and researchers called for a moratorium on genetic editing until a robust regulatory framework could be established. Now, the World Health Organization is weighing in, and while it stops short of suggesting a prohibition on current genetics work, the group makes it clear that it supports regulations and oversight in genome editing.In a new bulletin, WHO reveals what it believes are the next steps that need to be taken in order to ensure safe and responsible genetics research. The group says it plans on building a "central registry on human genome editing research" so that scientists around the world can update colleagues on progress of various research efforts, holding everyone accountable.WHO also commits to forming a framework by which scientists can adhere in order to ensure their work is being conducted responsibly:> Over the next two years, through a series of in-person meetings and online consultations, the committee will consult with a wide range of stakeholders and provide recommendations for a comprehensive governance framework that is scalable, sustainable and appropriate for use at the international, regional, national and local levels. The committee will solicit the views of multiple stakeholders including patient groups, civil society, ethicists and social scientists."Gene editing holds incredible promise for health, but it also poses some risks, both ethically and medically," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. "This committee is a perfect example of WHO's leadership, by bringing together some of the world's leading experts to provide guidance on this complex issue. I am grateful to each member of the Expert Advisory Committee for their time and expertise."

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The Towering GREENOX Urban Residence is Turkey’s First Vertical Forest

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 16:00

Unrealistic renderings of fantastical concept architecture can really test our ability to suspend disbelief, with design features like cantilevered platforms somehow supporting the weight of enormous trees above them. Indeed, many concepts for tall buildings featuring vertical greenery are little more than wishful thinking, failing to consider the engineering challenges associated with keeping the plants […]

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Boeing delays flight test to International Space Station: sources

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:42

Reuters reported last month that NASA has warned Boeing and rival contractor SpaceX of design and safety concerns the companies need to address before flying humans to space. Boeing's first test flight was slated for April but it has been pushed to August, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The new schedule means that Boeing's crewed mission, initially scheduled for August, will be delayed until November.

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Jury finding upends Bayer's Roundup defense strategy: experts

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:39

Bayer shares tumbled more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a unanimous jury in San Francisco federal court found Roundup to be a "substantial factor" in causing California resident Edwin Hardeman's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jury decision was a blow to Bayer after the judge in the Hardeman case, at the company's request, had split the trial, severely limiting evidence plaintiffs could present in the first phase. Tuesday's defeat on terms considered advantageous to Bayer sets up the second phase to be even tougher and limits the grounds on which the company could appeal any final verdict, the experts said.

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My Daughter Has Cystic Fibrosis, and in Our Home, Five Feet Apart Is a Harsh Reality

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:31

I had no reason to believe that my infant daughter's struggle to gain weight was anything more than a complication of breastfeeding. But after several trips each week to check her weight and meet with a lactation consultant, everything seemed to be working as it should.

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Senate panel to hold aviation safety hearing after two Boeing 737 Max crashes

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 15:29

Panel plans to call Boeing and other aviation manufacturers to testify following fatal Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes FAA said in a bulletin to foreign regulators and airlines that its ‘ongoing review of this software installation and training is an agency priority, as will be the rollout of any software, training or other measures’. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters A US Senate committee plans a hearing on 27 March on aviation safety after two fatal Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashes since October, and said it will also schedule a hearing with Boeing and other manufacturers, officials said on Wednesday. The hearing on federal oversight on commercial aviation by the Senate commerce subcommittee on aviation and space will include the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) acting administrator, Dan Elwell, National Transportation Safety Board chairman, Robert Sumwalt, and transportation department inspector general, Calvin Scovel. The panel plans to call Boeing and other aviation manufacturers to testify amid a scramble to discover what caused the crashes of an Ethiopian Airlines flight last week and a Lion Air flight in Indonesia last October. The news came as it was announced by the FAA on Wednesday afternoon that Boeing is developing a service bulletin instructing airlines to install new flight control computer operational program software in the now grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The agency said in a bulletin to foreign regulators and airlines that its “ongoing review of this software installation and training is an agency priority, as will be the rollout of any software, training, or other measures”. Boeing previously said it planned a software upgrade. The FAA and other regulators grounded the aircraft type after two fatal crashes since October. The US grounded the planes last Thursday, following on the heels of other countries. The panel, chaired by the Texas senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, said: “In light of the recent tragedy in Ethiopia and the subsequent grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, this hearing will examine challenges to the state of commercial aviation safety, including any specific concerns highlighted by recent accidents.” A second hearing on aviation safety is planned “in the near future to hear from industry stakeholders that would include Boeing, other aviation manufacturers, airline pilots, and other stakeholders”, the committee said. Boeing Company, the world’s biggest planemaker, faces growing obstacles to returning its grounded 737 Max fleet to the skies, while details emerged of potential similarities between the two crashes. Meanwhile, later on Wednesday, Boeing announced that it had delayed, by three months, its first un-crewed flight to the International Space Station under Nasa’s human spaceflight program, and pushed its crewed flight until November, industry sources said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. The news agency reported last month that Nasa has warned Boeing and rival contractor SpaceX of design and safety concerns the companies need to address before flying humans to space.

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The Training Bundle You Need To Become an Amazon Web Services Cloud Expert

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:59

You could be on your way to a six-figure salary.

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Union Accuses Amazon of Breaking Federal Law by Firing Activist

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:46

The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union submitted a complaint Wednesday to the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the retailer violated federal law when it terminated Staten Island fulfillment center employee Rashad Long. In December, Long joined a rally at City Hall protesting Amazon’s proposed expansion in Queens. During the protest, a participant read out a statement from Long criticizing Amazon for what he deemed disrespectful management, unfair discipline, inadequate security and poor health and safety.

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Oil major Total CEO's compensation drops 17 percent in 2018: company document

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:25

The board of French oil and gas major Total has proposed total 2018 compensation for Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne of 3.1 million euros ($3.55 million), compared with 3.8 million in 2017, company documents showed on Wednesday. The total pay includes 1.4 million euros in fixed compensation, the same as in 2017, and 1.72 million in annual variable compensation, compared with 2.4 million in 2017, and 69,000 in other benefits, the documents showed. The company said in a statement that the decrease in variable compensation resulted from criteria based on the average three-year change in Total's adjusted net income in comparison with those of its peers.

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The U.S. Will Get the World's First Exascale Computer in 2021

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 14:07

The most powerful computer, dozens of times faster than any other computer in the world, will be built just outside Chicago.

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NASA put the electronic brains of the Mars 2020 rover through a torture test

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:52

Building a robotic vehicle that will eventually travel to another planet is a complicated undertaking. With just one NASA rover, Curiosity, currently roaming around on Mars after the death of Opportunity, the much-hyped Mars 2020 mission takes on even more significance.Getting it right means testing, tweaking, testing, tweaking, and then testing some more, and NASA just published a new behind-the-scenes look at the intense trial process the rover's on-board computers have to endure. Tucked away inside a cleanroom at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Spacecraft Assembly Facility, the 2020 mission's hardware was tasked with landing on a simulated Martian surface that exists only in the spacecraft's complex computer brain.The Mars 2020 mission will target the Jezero Crater on Mars as its landing site. It's a new area of Mars that hasn't been explored by a rover, and NASA's flight software has to be tweaked for the unique challenges that landing in a new spot can pose. In its first real trial, called Systems Test 1 (ST1), the rover's guts proved that they were up to the task."We first landed on Jezero Crater on Jan. 23rd," JPL's Heather Bottom said in a statement. "And the rover successfully landed again on Mars two days later."Successful tests are certainly something worth celebrating when you're talking about a piece of hardware as complex as a Mars rover. The vehicle's various systems are typically designed and built separately, and it's not until they're married together that engineers can begin to see if any dire issues arise. In this case, it was a matter of seeing how the electronic components and software systems matched up with the flight hardware."Nothing was visibly moving, but underneath the outer structure, there were flight computers swapping sides, radios sending and receiving transmissions, fuel valves moving in and out, subsystems being energized and later turned off, and electrical signals being sent to nonexistent pyrotechnic devices," Bottom explains. "There was a lot going on in there."The Mars 2020 mission won't actually arrive on the Red Planet until February of 2021. However, when it finally lands it will be the most powerful piece of exploratory hardware to ever land on the planet, an NASA hopes it will reveal some of Mars' many secrets.

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Trump to Finalize $3.7 Billion in Aid for Troubled Nuclear Plant

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:49

The guarantees, expected to be announced Friday when U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry visits Plant Vogtle alongside Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Southern Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning, represents a critical lifeline for the project, which is more than five years behind schedule and has doubled in cost to $28 billion. The additional help also puts taxpayers on the hook for more money if the project were to collapse.

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Bolsonaro gets Trump's praise but few concessions, riling Brazilians

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:31

Diplomats and other officials said Brazil got few immediate concessions in return for granting a unilateral visa waiver for U.S. visitors, a tariff-free quota for wheat imports and easier access for U.S. space launches from Brazil. Bolsonaro, an outspoken Trump admirer who seemed eager to please at their first meeting, failed to win more room for Brazil's sugar exports or overturn a U.S. ban on fresh Brazilian beef - both major objectives of the country's farm sector.

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Lion Air Pilots Were Checking the 737 Max 8's Handbook Right Before the Plane Crashed

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:24

The pilots of Lion Air Flight 610 looked to a handbook for guidance as the plane plummeted.

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A decade on, smartphone-like software finally heads to space

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:17

US aerospace company Lockheed Martin presented its new "SmartSat" technology to journalists Wednesday near Washington. "Today's satellites that exist currently are durable, they're capable, they're precise, but once we launch them, they generally don't change much," Lockheed Martin's Maria Demaree explained.

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The Marines Are Test-Flying Their Plywood Drone

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:15

The low-cost drone can deliver supplies to ground forces with pinpoint accuracy.

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Artists join business figures in opposing Sizewell C nuclear power station construction plans

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:00

A coalition of actors, broadcasters and entrepreneurs is warning that building work to replace Sizewell nuclear power station will “lay waste” to swathes of Suffolk’s most idyllic landscape. Bill Turnbull, the broadcaster; actors Bill Nighy and Diana Quick; the novelist Esther Freud and renowned sculptor Maggi Hambling are among those voicing their opposition to the movement of tons of construction materials and waste to and from the site. They say the plans could mean 1,500 lorries a day thundering through the quiet Suffolk countryside, with construction work disrupting the lives of residents and carving up farms and communities for years to come. The energy giant EDF Energy, which runs the Sizewell A and B nuclear power stations, is currently completing a public consultation exercise on plans to build a new replacement plant, Sizewell C, before submitting an application for development consent, with building work on the estimated £14 billion project due to start in 2021. Actress Diana Quick pictured on Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk Credit: Rii Schroer/The Telegraph In an open letter published in today’s Daily Telegraph opponents say the plans will not only threaten an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), but also jeopardise the area’s lucrative tourism industry. Campaigners, who also include Matthew Freud, the PR guru, Melvin Benn, who runs the Latitude music festival and Humphrey Burton, the classical music presenter and broadcaster, say the plans also threaten the viability of a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the area, along with the RSPB’s famous Minsmere Reserve. David Wood, chairman of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB said: “The impact will be phenomenal. This is a designated national park that will be virtually cut in two for a minimum of 10 years. “This is a fragile and beautiful landscape worth many millions a year in tourism and the impact will be devastating.” The row comes after EDF announced its construction plans would involve transporting materials for the project by road to and from the A12 rather than by sea. Previous proposals to transport the material along the coast, to and from a jetty at the site, were scrapped in the light of fears over the impact on marine wildlife and protected seabirds. In the letter the campaigners, who also include Andy Wood, the chief executive of Adnams, the Suffolk brewery and hotelier, and actor Helen Atkinson-Wood, state: “We are deeply concerned that EDF Energy’s Sizewell C plans will lay waste to large portions of this rich and diverse part of the country. “Landscapes, wildlife and residents of this unique part of the British Isles will suffer enormously.” It adds: “This is not hyperbole – the level of disruption will jeopardise tourism to the AONB, valued at more than £210m/year, as holidaymakers no longer associate the area with peace and tranquillity, and seek to avoid traffic chaos caused by the construction of Sizewell C.” Key figures against nuclear plant plans Andy Wood told The Telegraph: “It’s not that I’m against new nuclear, it’s that I’m against the scale of this. It puts at serious risk the tourism economy that has grown substantially over the years.” Among those who say their lives will be turned upside down by the building work is Paul Field, a tech entrepreneur who lives eight miles from the Sizewell plant. He says EDF is planning to build a busy construction depot just yards from his family’s farmhouse, where he lives with his wife Michaela and their three daughters, effectively slashing thousands of pounds off the value of his property. Mr Field, a former newspaper executive, says that their lives will be made a misery by the construction work. “The last thing Michaela and I want for our daughters is the upheaval of moving from a home we love, but we accept there is no alternative,” he said. “EDF admits we will suffer ‘significant adverse effects’ from noise. At the peak of construction, 1,500 HGVs and 6,000 other vehicles would thunder past each day.” EDF Energy said that it "takes  its responsibilities to the environment and local communities seriously" and that it had a  "good track record of looking after nature around our operating power station at Sizewell B".  It added: "The environmental sensitivities of the local area have been a key consideration in the development of our proposals for Sizewell C.  Our ecologists have continued to undertake environmental surveys and identify likely impacts to help inform our proposals.  Our planners have worked with local councils to develop a transport strategy for workers and freight that minimises the impact on local roads. "We understand that how our workers travel to site and how we move freight is important to local people during construction.  We will use rail as well as road transport and a beach landing facility to move freight.  Our aim is to maximise the huge benefits in jobs and skills for local people, especially the young, whilst minimising the environmental impact of the project."

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I Suffered from Severe IBS for 18 Years till One Treatment Changed Everything

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Wed, 03/20/2019 - 12:46

Nearly 16 million Americans suffer from IBS-D, or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Dawn Cobb suffered for almost two decades and thought surgery was her only hope—until a new FDA approved treatment changed everything.

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