Science RSS Feeds

'Invisible pandemic': WHO offers global plan to fight superbugs

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 08:22

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global campaign Tuesday to curb the spread of antibiotic resistant germs through safer and more effective use of the life-saving drugs. The UN health agency said it had developed a classification system listing which antibiotics to use for the most common infections and which for the most serious ones, which drugs should be available at all times, and which should be used as a last resort only. The aim is to prevent antibiotic resistance, which happens when bugs become immune to existing drugs, rendering minor injuries and common infections potentially deadly.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

This 1963 AMC Rambler Wagon 770 Cross Country LS Is A Goldmine

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 08:13

Let’s get one thing straight, the Rambler Classic is called a classic for a reason. It was the name given to an intermediate-sized automobile that was built and sold by AMC (American Motors Corporation) from 1961 through 1966. Upon its initial introduction, the Rambler featured six-passenger four-door sedan and station wagon versions.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Pfizer to Buy Array BioPharma, Broaden Cancer Portfolio

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:51

Pfizer (PFE) offers $48 per share to buy Array BioPharma and strengthen its cancer portfolio.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

MoneyGram Surges 155% as Crypto Hype Feels a Bit Like 2017

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:43

(Bloomberg) -- MoneyGram International Inc. soared as much as 155% in early trading after a tie-up with blockchain-technology company Ripple. The rally is reminiscent of late 2017, when a wave of small-cap stocks saw valuations multiply as they re-branded as blockchain companies.The difference is that MoneyGram is an established company with about 2,400 staff and $1.4 billion in annual revenue, not a re-branded unprofitable iced tea-maker or a three-man I.T. firm based out of a business park in Essex, England. Not to mention that Ripple’s deal comes with real money: it invested $30 million in shares and warrants and has an option to invest a further $20 million.Ripple’s investment will see it become MoneyGram’s main partner for cross-border transactions using digital assets, reducing operating costs and working capital requirements, the company said in a statement on Monday. MoneyGram shares gained with almost fourteen times the three-month daily average volume of shares traded in the first ten minutes after the market open.“The tie-up with MoneyGram and Ripple underscores two key points -- first, investment into and from the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector is coming off the sidelines,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of independent financial consultancy Devere Group. “Second, the impact of this flow is being welcomed by investors in a broader sense.”Facebook Inc.’s plans for a new currency that it hopes will one day trade on a global scale, much like the U.S. dollar, are further propelling blockchain and cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. Shares of the social-media giant are up 1.4% after it unveiled details of Libra, which will launch as soon as next year.Bitcoin climbed past $9,000 to its highest since May 2018 on Monday, and traded at about $9,200 as of 11:45 a.m. in London on Tuesday. At the same time, prominent Bitcoin bull Thomas Lee said that the digital currency is primed for a “Fear Of Missing Out” rally that could see it hit as high as $40,000 within a few months.(Updates with current trading.)To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Easton in London at jeaston7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at bmellor@bloomberg.net, Felice MaranzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Slashing plane emissions a lofty goal, but progress elusive

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:38

The aircraft industry is facing growing criticism over greenhouse gas emissions that are set to soar as more people take to the skies, but experts say game-changing technology for cleaner planes is still decades away. Dozens of firms at the Paris Air Show this week are touting their green credentials, with the industry pledging to halve its carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. From electric quadcopters to new engines powered by natural gas or hydrogen, the projects on display in Paris promise to revolutionise how people will eventually get across town or across the world.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

A New Energy Paradigm Must Confront the Old

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:37

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Nothing blocks a pathway quite like a giant power plant. Or a coal mine. Or a gas field.Two tomes released in the past week, one looking back and the other ahead, show the enduring importance of facts on the ground (or under it) when it comes to the transition toward lower-carbon energy. BP Plc’s latest Statistical Review of World Energy set the tone with its headline, “An unsustainable path”. The report showed carbon emissions rose at their fastest pace last year since 2011, hitting a new record. Worse, this came on the back of unexpectedly strong growth in primary energy demand, much of which BP attributed to weather effects – people turning on air conditioners in unusual heat or heating in bitter cold, hinting at pernicious feedback loops generated by climate change.On Tuesday, BloombergNEF released its latest New Energy Outlook, forecasting the shape of the global electricity sector out to 2050. In certain respects, this sounds a more optimistic note, describing a scenario whereby power generated without fossil fuels rises to about 70% of the global mix from just over a third today. Wind and solar power become the biggest sources, together comprising around half the mix. Last year, BloombergNEF expected power-sector emissions to peak in 2027; now it estimates they peaked last year and should fall 36% by 2050.Yet even this isn’t necessarily compatible with limiting the average global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.8 Fahrenheit), let alone the 1.5 degrees-level that could make a big difference in mitigating potentially catastrophic effects. As BloombergNEF’s analysts write:The outlook for global emissions and keeping temperature increases to 2 degrees or less is mixed, according to this year’s NEO. On the one hand, the build-out of solar, wind and batteries will put the world on a path that is compatible with these objectives at least until 2030. On the other hand, a lot more will need to be done beyond that date to keep the world on that 2 degree path.Part of the problem is sheer incumbency. Reviewing 2018, BP found renewable energy led the growth in global power generation. Yet coal came in at a close second, and fossil fuels overall accounted for almost half the growth.Some of that increase in coal-fired power was cyclical. But it also reflects the simple fact that once a power plant – or any other manufacturing facility – has been built, owners want to keep them running as much as possible, and changing that requires a big shift in economics or policy. Capacity utilization for China’s coal fleet jumped back above 50% last year for the first time since 2014, according to BloombergNEF’s data, and the entire fleet has expanded by 39% in that period. As Gregor MacDonald, author of “Oil Fall”, tweeted after BP’s report was published: “although wind+solar move fast, they need to move even faster to smother marginal growth from [fossil fuels]”.The great advantage of wind and solar power is that they are manufactured types of energy, rather than extracted forms such as coal. Hence, their cost has fallen rapidly and should continue doing so. BloombergNEF calculates the all-in costs of electricity from wind and utility-scale solar power have dropped by 49% and 85%, respectively, since 2010. They’re now cheaper than power from a new coal or gas-fired plant across two-thirds of the world, up from less than 1% only five years ago, and that includes China.However, existing coal or gas-fired plants are a different story; they get switched on provided they can cover just their running costs. For example, BloombergNEF doesn’t expect solar power to undercut existing coal plants in China before 2027.This isn’t just an issue in China. New solar projects in India don’t undercut existing coal-fired generation economics until 2039, under BloombergNEF’s projections – and not until 2049 under its low-price scenario.Nor is this confined merely to Asia’s powerhouses. The White House’s black-lungs-matter campaign may not be making much headway, given coal-fired plants are expected in 2020 to burn roughly half the amount they did in 2010, according to government projections. Natural gas from fracking is a different story. Last year’s surge in U.S. production was the biggest for any country ever, according to BP; producers in the Permian basin flare (burn off) more excess gas every day than is used by the entire residential market in Texas. Hence, despite U.S. gas demand having risen by almost a third over the past decade, prices have crashed. In America, the stubborn incumbent against which renewables must compete is invisible.Little wonder, then, that fossil fuels keep a grip on the power sectors of China, India and the U.S.; while Europe – without either a fleet of new coal plants or access to cheap gas – decarbonizes much more, in BloombergNEF’s view:Shale gas has played a central role in cutting U.S. carbon emissions thus far by helping to displace coal-fired power. Ultimately, however, it will also block progress toward a sub-2 degrees scenario for limiting climate change, unless zero-emission forms of energy can somehow out-compete it. That’s especially so when considering adjacent aspects of decarbonization, such as electrifying transportation and heating.It’s possible the costs of renewable energy, and batteries, fall even faster than BloombergNEF anticipates, or that other technologies such as carbon-capture eventually prove useful and cost-competitive at scale. Then again, maybe not.What BloombergNEF’s report shows is that, under reasonable assumptions built around existing technologies and market design, the global power sector can get us so far along the path to limiting climate change but not the whole way. Unblocking that way requires further redesign of our energy markets, most obviously by pricing the outcome we want – fewer emissions – via carbon taxes or something similar.Here, however, the blockage is less economic and largely political. China’s role in financing new coal-fired power plants across Asia is one big challenge. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the most interesting recent development on this front is moves by some Congressional Republicans to recast themselves as concerned about climate change but oddly in favor of picking winners among technologies – nuclear power and carbon-capture, especially – and spouting buzzwords like “innovation” rather than putting a price on carbon and letting capitalism do its thing.That they feel the need to move at all is telling, however, and points to a risk embedded within BloombergNEF’s analysis and the unsustainability mentioned in the title of BP’s report. Given the scale of the changes required to our energy systems and the incumbent power of fossil fuels, relying on technology to simply solve it all, in the absence of market reforms to encourage that, is magical thinking.And as the clock ticks, and political fortunes swing this way and that, the moment for market-based measures to clear out the old could well give way to something more drastic.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Why Global Population Growth Will Grind to a Halt by 2100

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:28

Global population growth will nearly grind to a stop by the end of the century, a new analysis by the Pew Research Center suggests.Right now, the world's population is over 7.7 billion people, and it has been growing between 1% and 2% every year since 1950, according to the Pew Research Center. By 2100, the center projects the population will reach around 10.9 billion people and grow by less than 0.1% a year, the center wrote.This is mostly due to a decreasing number of children born worldwide, the analysis said, based on data from the United Nation's report "World Population Prospects 2019."The U.N.'s report found that global fertility rates will be less than the "replacement fertility rate," or the number of births per woman that would keep the population the same size, replacing people as they die. The current replacement fertility rate is 2.1 births per woman, which is less than the current global fertility rate of 2.5 births per woman. By 2100, the global fertility rate is expected to dip to 1.9 births per woman. [5 Ways the World Will Change Radically This Century]What's more, the U.N. report found that the global average age to which people live will increase from 31 to 42 by 2100. Between 2020 and 2100, people 80 and over will increase from the current 146 million to 881 million. Latin America and the Caribbean will have the oldest people in the world by 2100.Only Africa is expected to have a strong population growth by the end of the century, increasing from 1.3 billion people in 2020 to 4.3 billion people in 2100. Meanwhile, Europe's population is expected to peak in 2021, and both Europe and Latin America will be declining in population by 2100. Asia will increase in population by 2055, then decline and North America's population will continue to increase, mostly because of migration to the area, according to the U.N. report. * 10 Species Our Population Explosion Will Likely Kill Off * 7 Population Milestones for 7 Billion People * Countdown to 7 Billion: Should World Adopt 'One-Child' Policy?Originally published on Live Science.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

The Plastic We 'Recycle' Is Actually Horrible for the Environment

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:27

When you drop your plastic waste into the recycling bin, it most likely makes its way around the world, where it can pose a health and security risk to developing countries, according to a new Guardian report.The planet is getting buried under plastic: beaches are littered with it, sea life is choking on it, and a new report finds that we're even drinking a credit-card-size amount of plastic every week from our drinking water. Needless to say, recycling is a good idea.Until it's done wrong. That plastic bottle that you drop into a recycling bin on the streets of New York isn't always broken down and crafted into a brand-new product. Sometimes, it ends up across the world in someone's backyard, taking its place among scores of supermarket bags and snack pouches. [In Photos: The World's 10 Most Polluted Places]The U.S. ships about 1 million tons of plastic waste overseas every year. Much of that plastic used to end up in China, where it was recycled -- that is, until the country abruptly stopped most of the plastic waste imports in 2017. Now, a good part of U.S. plastic waste is shipped to the world's poorest countries for recycling, including Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia and Senegal, the Guardian reported.Last year, about 68,000 shipping containers' worth of plastic recycling waste from the U.S. were shipped to developing countries, which mismanage over 70% of their own plastic waste, they wrote. For example, Malaysia dumps or improperly disposes 55% of its own plastic waste, yet it receives more U.S. recyclables than any other country, they wrote. What's more, an estimated 20% to 70% of plastic waste that goes to recycling facilities worldwide is unusable and discarded as trash, according to the report.Beyond just having to live among the trash that litters their beaches and streets, the increasing number of plastic processing facilities that are popping up in these countries is posing health risks to citizens who live among contaminated water supplies and the smell of plastic fumes, they wrote.This report is part of the Guardian's six-month-long Toxic America series. * 7 Everyday Toxic Things You Shouldn't Toss in the Trash * In Photos: Litter Transforms Into Sea Creatures in Stunning Shots * In Images: The Great Pacific Garbage PatchOriginally published on Live Science.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Hungry polar bear found wandering in Russia industrial city

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:26

A hungry polar bear has been spotted on the outskirts of the Russian industrial city of Norilsk, hundreds of miles from its natural habitat, authorities said Tuesday. Images of the visibly exhausted animal roaming the roads of the Arctic city in search of food have been widely shared on social media in Russia. "He is still moving around a factory, under observation by police and the emergency services, who are ensuring his safety and those of residents," environmental services official Alexander Korobkin told AFP.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Neolithic People Made Fake Islands More Than 5,600 Years Ago

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:26

Hundreds of tiny islands around Scotland didn't arise naturally. They're fakes that were constructed out of boulders, clay and timbers by Neolithic people about 5,600 years ago, a new study finds.Researchers have known about these artificial islands, known as crannogs, for decades. But many archaeologists thought that the crannogs were made more recently, in the Iron Age about 2,800 years ago.The new finding not only shows that these crannogs are much older than previously thought but also that they were likely "special locations" for Neolithic people, according to nearby pottery fragments found by modern divers, the researchers wrote in the study. [In Photos: Anglo-Saxon Island Settlement Discovered]Initially, many researchers thought that Scotland's crannogs were built around 800 B.C. and reused until post-medieval times in A.D. 1700. But in the 1980s, hints began to emerge that some of these islands were made much earlier. In addition, in 2012, Chris Murray, a former Royal Navy diver, found well-preserved Neolithic pots on the lake floor near some of these islands, and he alerted a local museum about the discovery.To investigate, two U.K archaeologists, Duncan Garrow from the University of Reading and Fraser Sturt from the University of Southampton, teamed up in 2016 and 2017 to take a comprehensive look at several crannogs in the Outer Hebrides, an artificial island hotspot off the coast of northern Scotland. In particular, they looked at islets in three lakes: Loch Arnish, Loch Bhorgastail and Loch Langabhat.Aerial images of six of the Neolithic islet sites, all shown at the same scale. These include 1) Arnish; 2) Bhorgastail; 3) Eilean Domhnuill; 4) Lochan Duna (Ranish); 5) Loch an Dunain; and 6) Langabhat. Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd; Copyright Getmapping PLC; Duncan Garrow and Fraser Sturt, Antiquity 2019.According to radiocarbon dating, four of the crannogs were created between 3640 B.C. and 3360 B.C., the researchers found. Other evidence, including ground and underwater surveys, palaeoenvironmental coring and excavation, supported the idea that these particular islets dated to the Neolithic.Archaeologists have yet to find any Neolithic structures on the islands, and they said more excavations were needed. But divers found dozens of Neolithic pottery fragments, some of them burnt, around the islets at Bhorgastail and Langabhat, the researchers said.These pots were likely dropped into the water intentionally, possibly for a ritual, the researchers said.Divers find a piece of a 'Hebridean Neolithic' vessel from Loch Langabhat, one of the artificial islands made during the Neolithic. Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd; Photograph by D. Garrow; Duncan Garrow and Fraser Sturt, Antiquity 2019.Each of the islets is fairly small, measuring approximately 33 feet (10 meters) across. One islet in Loch Bhorgastail even had a stone causeway connecting it to the mainland. And though it undoubtedly took a lot of work to make these crannogs, these structures were clearly important to ancient people, as there are 570 known in Scotland alone. (There are more in Ireland, the researchers noted.)So far, just 10% of the crannogs in Scotland have been radiocarbon dated, meaning that there may be more ancient crannogs than these newfound Neolithic ones, the researchers said.The study was published online June 12 in the journal Antiquity. * In Photos: The Vanishing Ice of Baffin Island * In Photos: Impossible Rocks on a Remote Island * Photos: Beautiful & Ever-Changing Barrier IslandsOriginally published on Live Science.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Novo Nordisk's Victoza Gets FDA Nod for Pediatric Patients

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:18

Novo Nordisk's (NVO) Victoza gets FDA approval for the treatment of pediatric patients aged 10 years or older with type II diabetes.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Astronomers searching for alien life release biggest set of data in history

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:18

Astronomers say they are releasing the biggest set of data ever made public in the search for alien life.Researchers from Breakthrough Listen – a $100 million alien-hunting project launched by luminaries including Stephen Hawking – says it has completed the "most comprehensive and sensitive" search for signatures of alien technology ever performed.And it will release the data from its search for alien life in the hope that others might be able to find information inside of it, its researchers say. The dump comprises one petabyte of radio and optical telescope data.The Breakthrough Listen team working at the University of California, Berkeley’s SETI Research Center say they have been working on a number of techniques that are designed to spot "technosignatures" elsewhere in the universe. Those signals might indicate the use of technology such as transmitters or propulsion devices on other worlds beyond Earth, perhaps built by alien civilisations.Such technosignatures might be powerful signals that are sent over only a limited range of radio frequencies, or bright lasers shooting through the universe. Researchers have also developed new algorithms that will allow them to better understanding unexplained astrophysical phenomena, they said.The astronomers are yet to find anything in that data, despite the intense work. But its release could lead to further breakthroughs, they hope, and will help inform future work as they continue to refine their work.“This data release is a tremendous milestone for the Breakthrough Listen team,” said Danny Price, the Breakthrough Listen Project Scientist for the Parkes observatory in Australia, in a statement.“We scoured thousands of hours of observations of nearby stars, across billions of frequency channels. We found no evidence of artificial signals from beyond Earth, but this doesn't mean there isn't intelligent life out there: we may just not have looked in the right place yet, or peered deep enough to detect faint signals.”The data is being released through a devoted page on the University of California, Berkeley’s website. Papers describing the methods for harvesting it have also been uploaded to that page as well as being submitted to astrophysics journals.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

This One Thing Could Make China An Aircraft Carrier Superpower

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:00

China currently has two aircraft carriers and is widely believed to be building at least one more.Beijing appears to be eyeing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), a state-owned firm and the largest naval manufacturer in the country, recently expressed interest in accelerating its research into nuclear-powered carriers, among other military technologies. In a statement issued at the end of last month, CSIC said that it plans to “speed up the process of making technological breakthroughs in nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet submarines, maritime unmanned intelligent confrontation systems, maritime three-dimensional offensive and defensive systems, and naval warfare comprehensive electronic information systems.”Defense News, which translated a copy of the statement, also quoted CSIC as saying “that these breakthroughs are required for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, to enhance its capability to globally operate in line with the service’s aim to become a networked, blue-water navy by 2025.”Recommended: Why North Korea's Air Force is Total Junk


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Who is this see-through alien?

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:00

"Who is this alien?" is Mashable's enduring series about the exceptionally peculiar critters that inhabit a relatively small, ocean-dominated world in the outer realms of the Milky Way galaxy, called Earth. Many of these lifeforms, you'll find, are quite alien. * * *California's Monterey Bay teems with whales and vivacious seals. But, over 1,000 feet beneath the surface, swim the little-seen "glass squids." They are transparent, except for their guts, arms, and bulbous eyes. "They're very alien looking," said Stephanie Bush, a marine ecologist who closely studied these creatures while working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). "They have different body structures than what we're used to." Two particularly curious types of see-through squids residing in the crescent-shaped bay are the genuses Taonius and Galiteuthis -- both from the same squid family.A  squid videotaped at 600 meters beneath the surface.Image: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)In the dingy, almost lightless (or even completely dark) ocean depths, the squids' translucence is crucial. "It's one of the common ways to hide yourself from predators in the deep, open ocean," noted Bush, who is now an invertebrate researcher at the Smithsonian Institution.Deep sea predators are extremely sensitive to any light that penetrates through 1,000 or 2,000 feet of water. So, if something (like a squid) swims above a predator and alters the lighting or creates a silhouette -- however faint -- that something will likely soon be gulped up. "The idea is you have a very limited silhouette," said Bush. That's also why the glass squids often hold their pair of tentacles and eight arms up in the water, as if they're reaching for the sky -- to limit their silhouette or shadow."They hold their arms and tentacles together in a bunch -- like a cockatoo," said Bush.  It's not easy to catch a glimpse of these see-through creatures. MBARI spots them using underwater robots, known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), that dive down to the inhospitable ocean depths to observe the alien life therein. SEE ALSO: Who is this alien? Why, it's the psychedelic frogfish.While there's still much to grasp about these elusive deep sea lifeforms, Bush and other marine ecologists have observed a decent amount from these transparent squids. The Taonius, for example, is often found between some 1,300 and 2,620 feet beneath the surface (400 to 800 meters) in Monterey Bay, though they've been spotted in other oceans around the globe, too. They're about as long as the width of a sheet of paper (8.5 or so inches). It's unknown, however, what exactly they eat. But it's probably "whatever they can get their tentacles and arms on," said Bush.An orange Galiteuthis spotted in 2001.Image: MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM RESEARCH INSTITUTE (MBARI) The Taonius' relative, the Galiteuthis, is especially unique in that the organism can inject ink into its transparent body, making it appear even darker -- likely to better disguise itself from nearby predators. "They puff their body up and turn themselves into an opaque animal for a short amount of time," explained Bush.   In the deep, dark, eerie sea, both Taonius and Galiteuthis rely on big eyes to see through their blackened world. It's absolutely vital for finding a meal. And a mate."Their eyes are huge," said Bush. "They have to find a mate, too, or bye-bye to the species." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

AstraZeneca/Merck's Lynparza Wins EU Nod for First-Line Use

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 06:59

AstraZeneca (AZN) and Merck's PARP inhibitor, Lynparza, gets approval in EU as a front-line therapy for BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

More than 100 children die in India in encephalitis outbreak

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 06:56

More than 100 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak in India's eastern state of Bihar, authorities said Tuesday. Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar said 106 children had died and more than 430 others between the ages of 4 and 10 were being treated at hospitals in Muzaffarpur district, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Patna, the state capital. Despite the deaths, Kumar said the mortality rate among children from encephalitis, which can cause swelling of the brain, a burning fever and vomiting, had dropped to 26.5% from 34% a year ago.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Facebook Warns It Can’t Fully Solve Toxic Content Problem

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 06:45

(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is under pressure to rid its site of hate speech and fake news but warned it can’t build a platform impervious to human nature.“This is not a fully solvable problem,” Carolyn Everson, a vice president responsible for marketing at the social media giant, said on a panel Tuesday at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in the south of France. “There are some bad parts of humanity, and the platforms are a reflection of that.”Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google’s YouTube have come under fire for not doing enough to curb the spread of hate speech, terrorist propaganda and disinformation on their platforms.Facebook hasn’t been sitting idle on the issue, though: It said it removed 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first quarter alone. Everson said Facebook has 30,000 people working on the issue of the safety of the platform, up from less than 3,000 people two years ago. Facebook now takes down 99.8% of terrorist content before it’s seen by a human, and 65% of hate speech content, she said.“It’s a cat and mouse game,” Everson said. “This work is never going to be done. It’s ongoing.”To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.net;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

EU issues 'green' investment guide to help combat climate change

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 05:51

Europe sought to increase the flow of money into businesses that tackle climate change with the publication of European Commission guidelines on what qualifies an investment as environmentally friendly. The European Union has agreed to substantial reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 and its executive wants the bloc to reduce them to zero by 2050 to help stop global warming, the rise of average worldwide temperatures. In order to cut emissions by 2030, many sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing or energy, need an additional annual investment of 180 billion euros ($201 billion) and even more is needed to achieve zero emissions by 2050.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Banks With $100 Billion in Shipping Loans Get Strict on Climate

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 05:48

(Bloomberg) -- A group of financiers with $100 billion of loans to shipowners are about to get stricter on the kinds of vessels they’ll finance as part of a drive to improve the maritime industry’s environmental performance.Eleven major financiers including Citigroup Inc. and Societe Generale SA are for the first time adopting a set of principles requiring them to maintain their lending books in a way that matches goals in the Paris climate agreement, as well as related targets adopted by global regulator the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization.It means banks will favor financing of cleaner vessels while shying away from those carriers that are more polluting. The shift will potentially help to tighten a well-supplied freight market that’s depressed rates, said Michael Parker, global head of shipping & logistics at Citigroup.“Shipowners will think more carefully about the economic life of the asset,” he said. “Climate is a new consideration they haven’t really had in the past.”A lack of bank finance today is already keeping new ordering low and the impact of the principles will become evident in the next two-to-three years as shipowners consider new IMO targets and limit orders to cleaner vessels, which might reduce supply of new ships, Parker said. There’s already a pick up in scrapping of older ships after the IMO imposed clean-fuel rules for ships starting in 2020, he said.The financial institutions’ so-called Poseidon Principles will establish a baseline to assess and disclose whether the lenders’ portfolios are in line with the climate goals. They’ll also serve as a tool to manage investment risks such as those posed by new fuels standards or carbon pricing. Under the plan, a loan book that’s ready for new climate policies would be more valuable than one that isn’t.Banks and pension funds are increasingly pushing for companies in many industries to cut emissions in an effort to reduce the risk of wild stock-market fluctuations caused by climate change and new policies. The Climate Action 100+ group says its goal is to drive change at companies contributing the most greenhouse gas emissions.“The Poseidon Principles rewrite the role that the financial sector can play in helping achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said James Mitchell, a manager in the climate finance and industry programs at environmental group the Rocky Mountain Institute, which helped develop the measures.The principles for shipping, being adopted by banks that also include DNB ASA, are intended to evolve over time as the IMO tightens its policies. Shipping companies including A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S are also behind the initiative.The rules initially mean lending would dovetail with a goal that greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping will peak as soon as possible and fall by at least 50% of their 2008 levels by 2050.“We know that the portfolio that’s aligned with the target today may not be aligned in 2023, when the targets will probably be tightened,” said Parker, who is the chair of the principles’ drafting committee.The shift should encourage shipbuilders to innovate with designs so vessels can, in future, switch to cleaner fuels such as biofuels, hydrogen or ammonia from the heavy fuel they use today, said Tristan Smith, a reader in energy and shipping at University College London who helped develop the principles. Vessels that don’t have the flexibility to switch fuels may limit their useful life.It’s possible some shipowners will continue ordering dirty ships, betting rules that damage their profitability won’t come anytime soon, Smith said.If a carrier isn’t able to attract good rates, its owner will “either have to accept a much lower second-hand value or have to scrap it prematurely,” he said. “It’s a chain of events that isn’t yet in the regulation, but it’s highly foreseeable.”Bloomberg Philanthropies, which along with Bloomberg LP is owned by Michael Bloomberg, helps fund the Rocky Mountain Institute. The nonprofit helped develop the principles.(Updates with analyst comment in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Mathew Carr in London at m.carr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net, Alaric Nightingale, Rachel GrahamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Categories: Science RSS Feeds

Pages

Subscribe to Ion Channels and Transporters aggregator - Science RSS Feeds