Super SOCO unveils new 5100 and 62 mph electric motorcycle the TC

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Super SOCO just unveiled their newest electric motorcycle at the 2018 EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show. The TC Max fills the space between their existing lower powered electric motorcycles and higher powered Zero electric motorcycles. more…The post Super SOCO unveils new $5,100 and 62 mph electric motorcycle, the TC MAX appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Jackerys Portable Power Station 240 can be charged via solar now 200

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Jackery Inc via Amazon offers its Portable Power Station 240 for $199.99 shipped when promo code JACKERY240 is applied during checkout. That’s a $50 savings and one of the best prices we’ve tracked. This Jackery power station offers a 240Wh battery with an AC outlet, dual USB ports, and DC support as well. Great for charging with your solar panel as well. We just went hands-on with this model and loved it. Amazon customers largely agree as well. Head below for more deals. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Jackery’s Portable Power Station 240 can be charged via solar, now $200 (Reg. $250), more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Moyes refuses to admit defeat after setback in chase for fourth place

first_imgTopics Everton Share on Twitter Share via Email First published on Mon 31 Mar 2008 07.43 EDT Share on LinkedIn Everton mounted a show of defiance in the race for the final Champions League qualifying berth yesterday. Their problem was that it came mainly from David Moyes and his argument that fourth is not lost mirrored Everton’s recovery in the 207th Merseyside derby: admirable, yet hugely unconvincing.A must-win fixture for Everton produced a meagre reaction from those from Goodison Park. Now five points behind their rivals with six games to go, and with Chelsea and Arsenal included in that run-in, ambitions have been realigned once more. A season that carried genuine hopes of a first piece of silverware for 13 years now rests on securing the one Uefa Cup spot still available through the league. Moyes, however, begged to differ.”A five-point advantage at this stage of the season is a great advantage but I’m looking over my shoulder at teams who are five points behind us and hoping we’ve got enough to stay clear,” the Everton manager said. “I’m sure those just above us are doing the same.”At one stage of the campaign that was the case, when Mikel Arteta, Yakubu Ayegbeni, Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar prospered. But since their Uefa Cup journey ended against Fiorentina, Everton have not produced such compelling form.Moyes said: “We will fight on. I told the players afterwards that it is great Everton are coming here involved in games [which affect] thinking about the Champions League. I’ve no doubt we will pull it together. We could have gone under here but we didn’t. These players don’t lose often, don’t concede many goals, but the disappointment today was that we didn’t create any chances.”That final assessment was beyond dispute. Everton were hamstrung by their lack of options in attack, although that did not explain a first-half performance that bordered on pedestrian in terms of a Merseyside derby. On the eve of the game Andrew Johnson and Victor Anichebe joined the injured James Vaughan and Cahill on the absentee list, the Nigerian Under-21 international with a stomach complaint that afflicted Yakubu for two days last week. The latter’s nausea returned within seven minutes, Everton’s record signing gifting Liverpool a thoroughly deserved lead.”We made it hard for ourselves with the mistake but we were also a wee bit naive in running out quickly to counter-attack when we hadn’t secured possession,” said Moyes, anxious to widen responsibility for Torres’ match-winning goal. “That gave them the impetus but we hung on and gave ourselves a chance to build. We tried to get support to Yak but we lacked penetration and we needed better movement up front. We were too static.”The endeavour of Fernando Torres, the support the Spaniard received as a lone spearhead and his dominance of an opponent, Phil Jagielka, undergoing a gruelling examination, were all in stark contrast to everything offered and received by Yakubu. Anonymous with the exception of his early mistake, his improvement in the second period prompted a commanding response from Sami Hyypia and Martin Skrtel and the £11.25m striker’s day was encapsulated by a ludicrous dive over a Hyypia challenge that should have earned a booking on the hour. That would have been Everton’s fourth yellow card – they finished with four anyway – compared to just a Torres’ caution for time-wasting for Liverpool. Not for the first time in a Merseyside derby it was those in blue whose discipline wavered, although it was not the occasion that unhinged Everton here but the intensity of Liverpool’s opening.Lee Carsley was often the sole barrier in midfield as the greater urgency shown by Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel helped them prosper. Not until Moyes matched Rafael Benítez’s formation in the second half did Arteta or Leon Osman display any degree of authority and even then they did not trouble Liverpool.Osman’s diving header wide was the first time the visitors unnerved the crowd, and that in the 59th minute. Not until Jose Reina fumbled a cross five minutes from time and a surprised Tony Hibbert volleyed across goal did Everton seriously threaten to equalise. The success of a vastly-improved second-half display was in quelling Liverpool and leaving Benítez fearing another squandered opportunity, not in confirming Champions League credentials when it mattered. Shares00 This article is more than 11 years old Mon 31 Mar 2008 07.43 EDT Share on Facebook Andy Hunter at Anfield Share on Twitter Share on WhatsAppcenter_img Moyes refuses to admit defeat after setback in chase for fourth place Soccer Liverpool news Share on Facebook Soccer Share via Email Share on Pinterest Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hits the post with a volley during the Merseyside derby. Photograph: Keith Williams/Action This article is more than 11 years old Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Threat of boycott prompts FA to come out fighting over Respect campaign

first_imgThe Football Association responded to a threatened boycott of its Respect campaign last night by insisting the initiative would improve behaviour at all levels of the game provided it received time and support to take root. English football’s governing body promised to contact managers after a meeting yesterday of the League Managers Association in Coventry, convened by the LMA’s chief executive, Richard Bevan, and another weekend of high-profile coaches deriding the campaign as a “one-way street” in favour of referees.Newcastle United’s interim manager, Joe Kinnear, is facing a possible FA charge after describing Martin Atkinson, the referee who last week provoked an outburst from Sunderland’s Roy Keane, as a “Mickey Mouse ref”, and Dave Jones was also outspoken after having two men sent off at Queens Park Rangers. “There’s no respect. There isn’t any. It’s a load of baloney,” the Cardiff City manager claimed. The FA’s director of governance, Jonathan Hall, said: “It has been disappointing to witness various incidents of managers publicly criticising referees. The FA will seek to meet with the LMA and individual managers regarding the Respect programme as soon as possible.”Nevertheless, Respect is facing a serious test of its influence, with Paul Jewell confirming that a growing number of managers are considering withdrawing their support only three months after it was launched. The Derby manager, who received widespread backing at the LMA meeting over his run-in with Stuart Attwell, the referee who disallowed two of his team’s goals in a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, said: “There’s one or two managers thinking of pulling out of it. The referees deserve respect but we can’t start respecting them if they get major decisions wrong that affect livelihoods.”Every manager says they are hard done-by after games but some of the injustices this season aren’t right. All we want is for people to hold their hands up and say they made a mistake, whether it’s a referee or a fourth official. They don’t help themselves by cocooning themselves away like they’re untouchable. Even if they had a go back, at least it’s being human and not hiding behind a banner of ‘Respect the ref’.”Most managerial gripes, as Jewell indicated, concern the lack of feedback from the Professional Game Match Officials Board, the organisation that manages professional referees, and a perceived lack of cooperation from the FA regarding its appeals process, with the threat of an extended ban hanging over a “frivolous” appeal. “The people who run the Professional Game Match Officials Board need to include representatives from players and managers, as well as referees,” Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, argued. Indeed, last night there were reports that the LMA will call for the resignation of the PGMOB’s chief Keith Hackett and its chairman Peter Heard if it does not get a representative on that board, with names such as Lawrie McMenemy and Graham Taylor already being mentioned.For the FA there is a fear that managerial criticism may detract from a campaign designed to benefit not only the Premier League but grassroots football. Respect was launched in response to a 2007 poll of 37,000 people involved in the game who identified abuse of referees, along with pressure from parents, as a main concern. About 7,000 referees quit every year as a consequence of verbal and/or physical abuse but this season, the FA says, dissent has fallen sharply. “At grassroots level we have conducted some statistical surveys and bookings for dissent are down 12%,” an FA spokesman said. “That is across the game, from professional to county FA levels, and comprises around 360 leagues that signed up to the campaign.”Hall added: “There have been some positive signs at the top end, in particular the drop in instances of players harassing referees. This is a long-term commitment and the FA will continue to work with all other organisations to improve behaviour. There has been real progress at grassroots level. We will not give up on it and will continue to strive for that improvement at all levels of the game.”David Allison, the referees’ manager for the Football League, concurred: “We remain fully committed to it. Referees are continuing to use captains in the management of their teams and we feel that has had a positive affect, although the success of the campaign is for others to judge. You will always get isolated cases that would deny that but, in general, it is working.”The Premier League, Football League, PFA, LMA, PGMOB and all county FAs pledged active support when Respect was launched and it seems the major reservations are confined to managers. Gordon Taylor said: “From the players’ point of view the response from referees has been very good, they have seen the difference using captains to communicate with the officials. The response back from PFA officials who have been assessors has been positive, particularly the response from referees on the respect being shown to them by players. With managers there are livelihoods at stake and there have been errors and there have been frustrations.”Give a little respect: Ranters who rail against officialdom”Quite a few hearts sank when the players heard he [Rob Styles] was refereeing our game … Apparently he has quite a bit of history with Bolton, too. I don’t know what that history is because I haven’t been here long enough, but I do know it went down like the Bismarck” Gary Megson, Sep 27 2008 “In the real world refs do not give decisions like that … This PC stuff about ‘Ooh, he’s tugged his shirt’. If you want 7-7 games, that is what you are going to get”Tony Mowbray, Nov 1 2008 “The tackle for the first offence, there was no malice … The second one the ball’s got the top of his shoulder. Give red cards for dangerous tackles where the studs are up but it’s not a game for women. Benni [McCarthy] was sent off for two nothing incidents. Referees have got to be stronger than that” Paul Ince, Nov 1 2008 “If we’d had a proper referee we’d have come away with something. It was a blatant foul, a blatant push prior to the penalty, and he [Martin Atkinson] ignores it. Johnson completely pushes Cacapa out of the way – straight hands, just a push … But it was just a Mickey Mouse ref doing nothing”Joe Kinnear, Nov 9 2008· This article was amended on Wednesday November 19 2008. A quote attributed to Jim Ashworth in the article above about the Football Association’s campaign to combat poor behaviour toward referees was in fact from David Allison. He took over from Jim Ashworth as the referees’ manager for the Football League last year. This has been corrected. This article is more than 10 years old Soccer Share via Email Reuse this content Threat of boycott prompts FA to come out fighting over Respect campaign Share on Facebook First published on Mon 10 Nov 2008 19.01 EST Share on Pinterest Premier League Mon 10 Nov 2008 19.01 EST Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear described Martin Atkinson as a “Mickey Mouse ref”. Photograph: Keith Williams/Action Images Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter This article is more than 10 years old Andy Hunter Share on LinkedIn news Shares00 Share on Twitter Soccer The FA · Governing body agrees to talks with managers· Derby’s Jewell warns that patience is wearing thin Share on Facebook Topics Share on Messenger Share via Emaillast_img read more

Friday Roundup

first_imgWorld’s most ethical FCPA violators, scrutiny alerts and updates, and shareholder meeting action.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.World’s Most Ethical FCPA ViolatorsThis 2011 post coined the term “World’s Most Ethical FCPA Violators” (that is, companies recognized on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list, yet also companies that have resolved FCPA enforcement actions and/or been the subject of FCPA scrutiny).Highlighting this dynamic is not a dig at Ethisphere’s methodology or the companies themselves.Rather, it is further to the point of how easy it can be for a multi-national company to become the subject of FCPA scrutiny as well as debunking the fallacy of “good companies don’t bribe period” (see here for the prior post).The 2015 version of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list contains several companies that have resolved FCPA enforcement actions and/or been the subject of FCPA scrutiny in recent years.By my estimation, the companies are as follows: 3M Company, ABB Group, CBRE Group, Cisco, Deere & Co., Dun & Bradstreet, Fluor, GE, Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, Schnitzer Steel, and Sempra Energy.Scrutiny Alerts and UpdatesBarry Keller, etc.The Wall Street Journal went in-depth in this article about a pending FCPA investigation.  In pertinent part, the article states:“A widening U.S. bribery probe involving Russian uranium has reached from Moscow to a company in the heart of America’s Rust Belt.U.S. authorities are investigating whether an executive in Bremen, Ohio—a rural community with about 1,500 residents roughly 40 miles southeast of Columbus—bribed Russian energy officials to win his company millions of dollars in contracts to supply shipping containers for uranium, according to people familiar with the matter.People familiar with the investigation identified that company as Westerman Cos., which was acquired by Worthington Industries Inc. in 2012 and now operates as Worthington Cylinders. Court records refer to the company as Cylinder Corporation A and identify its location as Bremen.[…]Authorities suspect that the Westerman executive, who became part of a long-running criminal probe, paid Russian officials tens of thousands of dollars in bribes between 2011 and 2013, court documents say.People familiar with the investigation say the man, identified by the documents as “Executive A” or “Barry,” is Barry Keller, a Bremen native who has spent more than three decades at Westerman, working his way up from the shop floor to senior management.Mr. Keller couldn’t be reached for comment. Neither he nor the company has been charged with any crime.Worthington, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on Mr. Keller.“We first learned of [the investigation] in November, and we are fully cooperating with the Justice Department,” said Worthington Industries general counsel Dale Brinkman.He said the company hasn’t heard from federal investigators since January.Mr. Brinkman stressed that Westerman’s ties with the Russians began before Worthington acquired it. “When we became aware of this [investigation], we quit selling to them,” he added.”Gold FieldsIn September 2013 (see here for the prior post), South African company Gold Fields Limited was the subject of a South African newspaper article which then prompted the company with ADRs listed on a U.S. exchange to disclose:“Gold Fields Limited has been informed that it is the subject of a regulatory investigation in the United States by the US Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the Black Economic Empowerment transaction associated with the granting of the mining license for its South Deep operation. Given the early stage of this investigation, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect, the outcome this investigation, any regulatory findings and any related developments may have on the Company.”Recently Gold Fields disclosed:“[The company] been informed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit of the United States Securities Exchange Commission (the Commission) that it has concluded its investigation in connection with the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction related to South Deep and, based on the information available to them, will not recommend to the Commission that enforcement action be taken against Gold Fields.”According to the “declination” crowd, this is another example of a “declination.”  This Compliance Week article went so far as to suggest that Gold Fields “dodged” FCPA charges.Both assertions are off-target for the same reason it would be off-target to say that a sober driver who passes through a field sobriety test “dodged” drug driving charges or that law enforcement “declined” to prosecute the driver for drunk driving.Compass GroupThe U.K. catering company with ADRs listed on a U.S. exchange was recently the focus of this U.K. Guardian article.  According to the article:“An international subsidiary of Compass Group, the British catering giant … paid bribes to government officials in Kazakhstan, documents seen by the Guardian reveal.The unit’s agents made “facilitation payments” to customs officers in the former Soviet republic for an unspecified period up to 2011, internal Compass papers show, with the transactions originating in the same international division that was separately accused of bribing a UN official to win contracts.The company paid £40m to settle civil litigation in the UN case in 2006, without admitting legal liability.The new allegations are detailed in documents that relate to an employment tribunal claim brought by a former finance director of a Compass subsidiary in Kazakhstan. Karim Pabani says he was sacked after blowing the whistle on corruption, but Compass is fighting the claim.”Shareholder Meeting ActionCorporate shareholder meetings are often boring affairs.  (See here for a recent Wall Street Journal article).This is until a shareholder stands up and goes on an uninformed FCPA rant.As noted in this article:“The annual meeting of Time Warner shareholders in Atlanta on Friday somehow managed not to be soul-drainingly boring for a few minutes, when an unhinged female shareholder launched into a lengthy rant about George Clooney and his wife, attorney Amal Alamuddin.“I have a compensation question … How much have we paid George Clooney for ‘Gravity’ and ‘Argo?’” the shareholder asked Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, before unspooling a scatter-shot jeremiad with xenophobic overtones.“How much money went to Amal Alamuddin, a foreign fiancée and spouse? To her family, to Lebanon, to the mayor of Rome to officiate at the wedding? To Arab contractors to renovate his home in London? Are there violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?””*****A good weekend to all.last_img read more

Lets All Take A Deep Breath When It Comes To FCPA Enforcement

first_imgSure FCPA Professor published this post (as it has at various other points during Donald Trump’s campaign for President) hours after it became clear that Trump was the President-Elect.The post did not offer any predictions of FCPA enforcement in a Trump administration, but rather concluded with the same conclusion the post has had since 2012 when it was first published. That being, Trump likely conflated the issues – as many commentators have – between the FCPA (the law) and how the FCPA is enforced. (For more on this dynamic, see this prior post).In the past few days, there have been certain predictions about FCPA enforcement in a Trump administration.For instance, this post from a self-described “hawk” when it comes to FCPA enforcement articulated a number of “depressing thoughts” about FCPA enforcement and related issues in a Trump administration. (Keep in mind that the author of the post has previously stated on more than one occasion (see here and here) that more judicial scrutiny of FCPA enforcement theories “means a greater risk of an adverse appellate decision (or even a Supreme Court decision) on the FCPA’s meaning, with potentially devastating effects on the DOJ and SEC’s FCPA enforcement efforts.”).In any event, the best treatment for depression or anxiety is not to engage in speculative “what if” thinking. As I told the Wall Street Journal, I think the most prudent answer at this point to the question of FCPA enforcement in a Trump administration is not to speculate but to wait and see who the Attorney General and SEC Commissioners and SEC Chair are going to be during the Trump administration. While we await these developments, we can at least focus on some facts that are relevant to the future of FCPA enforcement.For starters, it is important to put Trump’s 2012 statement that the FCPA is a “horrible law and it should be changed” in the proper context. The mid-May 2012 comment came at the height of public awareness of Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny – scrutiny focused on alleged payments in Mexico to obtain various licenses and permits. Indeed, Trump’s comments (the video is here go the approximate 14 minute mark) were made in the context of a discussion about Wal-Mart’s scrutiny. The Story of the FCPA documents how Congress did not intend to capture such payments in enacting the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and as highlighted in the article “FCPA Enforcement As Seen Through Wal-Mart’s Potential Exposure” the government has an overall losing record when put to its burden of proof concerning payments outside the context of foreign government procurement.Talk about an interesting story within a story. The most high-profile instance of pending FCPA scrutiny involves Wal-Mart (see here for the latest including that government “officials are working to wrap up an agreement with Wal-Mart before a new administration takes over in January”) and Trump is less than 70 days away from becoming the President.Switching gears, even though the FCPA is an important law and a declared high-priority of both the existing DOJ and SEC, it’s highly unlikely that a President Trump is going to take a keen interest in FCPA enforcement given the numerous other issues on his plate and the other significant demands of the office. But even if a President Trump does take a keen interest in the FCPA, it should be an unobjectionable statement that a President Trump, because of his real-world business experience including in multiple foreign countries, knows more about the FCPA than any other person who has ever occupied the Oval Office. I would think all in the anti-corruption space could agree that real-world experience is an important asset for anyone with the potential to impact FCPA enforcement and related issues.Moreover, the apparent fact that businessman Trump has navigated the global marketplace for many years without running afoul of the FCPA should be comforting to anyone who believes that Trump’s 2012 statement showed actual contempt for the FCPA. (On this point, during the campaign I was contacted by media who were digging into Trump’s foreign business dealings for potential FCPA issues).Next, a key fact relevant to the issue of FCPA enforcement in a Trump administration.In any given year, approximately 50% of corporate FCPA enforcement actions (which then sometimes spawn individual enforcement actions, related corporate enforcement actions, or industry sweeps) originate with corporate voluntary disclosures. To say that the U.S. government “enforces” the FCPA in these instances is a bit odd compared to the more accurate statement that the U.S. government “processes” voluntary disclosures in these instances.In certain respects, the multi-billion dollar FCPA Inc. industry controls how much FCPA enforcement there is.To think that FCPA Inc. is going to stop making voluntary disclosures (disclosures that feed the industry) on January 20, 2017 is fanciful. There are too many people making lots of money based on the current FCPA enforcement environment for FCPA enforcement to experience a sudden and dramatic change. In short, voluntary disclosures will still likely fill up a significant portion of the FCPA pipeline after January 20, 2017. If you believe that FCPA enforcement will decline in a Trump administration then you presumably must think that the DOJ and the SEC will start refusing to “process” these corporate voluntary disclosures.An additional fact relevant to analyzing FCPA enforcement in a Trump administration is to analyze historical FCPA enforcement under the Bush and Obama administrations. Indeed, to best analyze where FCPA enforcement may be headed, we first need to understand FCPA enforcement in the past.FCPA enforcement began to increase circa 2004/2005 in the second Bush administration, not because of terrorism and/or national security issues as some commentators continue to push, but because of two basic, practical issues (in addition to the obvious facts that the FCPA was expanded in late 1998 and the general increase in international business over the past 15 years).2004 was the year in which the DOJ brought alternative resolution vehicles (NPAs/DPAs) to the FCPA context and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the more options there are in resolving instances of FCPA scrutiny the more FCPA enforcement there is likely to be. In the words of the OECD “it seems quite clear that the use of these agreements is one of the reasons for the impressive FCPA enforcement record.” (To learn more about how NPAs and NPAs impacted FCPA enforcement including numerous statistics, see the article “Measuring the Impact of NPAs and DPAs on FCPA Enforcement“).Around the same time, Section 404 of Sarbanes Oxley went live which required issuers to asses and report (through executive officer certifications) on the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting. In both the 2010 Senate FCPA hearing and the 2011 House FCPA hearing the same DOJ representative was asked about reasons for the increase in FCPA enforcement and in both hearings the DOJ representative stated that Sarbanes-Oxley has resulted in a “significant” number of FCPA disclosures which then led to FCPA enforcement actions.During the later part of the Bush administration and the entire Obama administration, there were approximately 10-15 corporate enforcement actions per year on average. (See here for the statistics). Indeed, the average number of corporate FCPA enforcement action during the Obama administration has been 14.But even this figure is significantly impacted by 2010 enforcement in which 8 enforcement actions were all announced on the same day and involved the same core allegation: various oil and gas companies utilizing the services of freight-forwarder Panalpina. The record-breaking 2016 FCPA enforcement year (with still 1.5 months left) is also an outlier as several instances of scrutiny long in the FCPA pipeline burst onto the scene. In short, the median number of corporate enforcement actions per year in the Obama administration has been approximately 12.Moreover, yearly FCPA enforcement statistics have been impacted by unique factors. For instance, as highlighted in this post, between 2007 and 2011 FCPA enforcement was significantly impacted by just three specific, unique issues: (i) publication in 2005 of the so-called Volcker Report on the United Nations Iraq Oil for Food Program which served as a ready-made list of enforcement actions; (ii) in 2003 Georges Krammer, a former top official at Technip, shared information with French investigators concerning a $6 billion dollar project at Bonny Island, Nigeria; and (iii) several oil and gas companies utilized the services of Panalpina.As highlighted in the prior post: issue (i) yielded 14 corporate enforcement actions (approximately 20% of the total during the time period); issue (ii) yielded approximately 40% of the corporate settlement amounts during the time period; and issue (iii) yielded 8 enforcement actions all announced on the same day and resulted in 2010 being the high-water mark of FCPA enforcement in the Obama administration except for this year.In short, when contemplating FCPA enforcement during a Trump administration, one needs a proper perspective of FCPA enforcement in prior administrations and what impacted enforcement in prior administrations.In analyzing FCPA enforcement statistics, it is also important to understand how many FCPA Inc. participants have adopted creative and haphazard counting methods that make FCPA enforcement appear more vibrant than it actually is. (See here for the article which exposes these creative and haphazard counting methods).Last, but certainly not least, when contemplating FCPA issues in a Trump administration is the issue of FCPA reform. Here again, some facts are needed.While some civil society groups took issue with the Senate and House even holding FCPA hearings, there appeared to be bipartisan support for certain aspects of FCPA reform.I had the privilege to testify at the November 2010 Senate FCPA hearing (see here for the hearing transcript and here for the video). What surprised me most about the hearing is the extent to which Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE) appeared most enthusiastic about certain aspects of FCPA reform. Likewise, in the more contentious House FCPA hearing, even Representative John Conyers (D-MI) stated he would support certain FCPA reform proposals. (See here for the prior post and here for the hearing transcript).In short, if a Trump presidency has you depressed or anxious about FCPA enforcement, take a deep breath, don’t engage in “what if” thinking, but rather focus on the facts highlighted in this post.last_img read more

Project MOVE offers action grants to increase physical activity among breast cancer

first_img Source:https://news.ok.ubc.ca/2018/05/02/lets-get-physical-breast-cancer-survivors-on-the-move/ May 3 2018Physical activity is an effective way to help improve the many mental and physical side effects of breast cancer treatment. Yet, studies show up to 70 per cent of breast cancer survivors are not getting enough activity.This may be about to change thanks to new research from UBC’s Okanagan campus that demonstrates that financial support and incentives are effective in increasing physical activity among breast cancer survivors.Called Project MOVE, the program offers ‘action grants’–a combination of microgrants up to $2,000 and additional financial incentives–to prompt and sustain physical activity.”Many of the available programs such as dragon boating, yoga and hiking are seen as exclusive and may not be of interest to all women treated for breast cancer,” says principal investigator, Cristina Caperchione, associate professor at UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “Our approach supported community-based initiatives designed and implemented by breast cancer survivors themselves. Groups developed their interventions based on their own needs and preferences, and these reflected any unique circumstances and barriers that limited them from being active.”Caperchione adds that the action grant scheme has long been used to stimulate personal growth and improve access to social and health services. With this in mind, Project MOVE used the microgrant model to make physical activity more accessible and enjoyable for breast cancer survivors.From can’t to can doCaperchione and her colleagues invited breast cancer groups to submit microgrant applications, which outlined their physical activity initiatives. A review panel identified successful applicants and provided funding for their proposed activities.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskEmbrace your natural skin tone to prevent skin cancer, say expertsThe effectiveness, acceptability and satisfaction of the program were evaluated at 6 and 12 months. More than 86 per cent of the participants were satisfied with their program, 70 per cent learned about new physical activities and more than 96 per cent agreed that Project MOVE was appropriate for breast cancer survivors. Many participants were confident that they would continue with physical activity following positive experiences with the project.”One of our key findings is that Project MOVE offered an opportunity for women to be active with others in a similar position,” says co-author Joan Bottorff, professor at UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing. “This fostered social support and helped build autonomy and confidence in their ability to be physically active. The participants changed their outlook from being physically limited to capable.”Caperchione adds that the benefits of exercise cannot be understated.”Physical activity has been associated with numerous health benefits for cancer survivors including weight management, reduced pain and fatigue, reduced depression and anxiety, reduced mortality and breast cancer reoccurrence.””This approach may lead to similar physical activity interventions for diverse cancer survivors, because it has the potential to accommodate a wide range of interests and needs,” she says.last_img read more

Gestational diabetes may increase offsprings heart disease risk

first_img Source:http://www.the-aps.org/mm/hp/Audiences/Public-Press/2018/44.html Jul 19 2018Gestational diabetes may increase the risk of blood vessel dysfunction and heart disease in offspring by altering a smooth muscle protein responsible for blood vessel network formation. Understanding of the protein’s function in fetal cells may improve early detection of disease in children. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-;Cell Physiology.Gestational diabetes, a state of prolonged high blood sugar during pregnancy, affects approximately 7 percent of pregnant women. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes may result in high blood pressure during pregnancy or in premature birth or stillbirth. Previous research has found that levels of a protein called transgelin are higher in offspring of women with gestational diabetes. Transgelin is found in the endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) that line the walls of blood vessels. Transgelin regulates cell migration, a process involved in wound healing and building blood vessel networks. A baby’s umbilical cord blood is rich in ECFCs; dysfunction of these cells that occurs in the womb may play a role in long-term blood vessel health and increase the risk of children developing heart disease later in life.Related StoriesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsResearchers from Indiana University School of Medicine studied the effects of elevated transgelin levels on cord blood ECFCs. Cord blood samples taken at the time of birth from women with gestational diabetes were compared to a control group without pregnancy complications. Cord blood ECFCs do not typically contain high levels of transgelin. However, the samples taken from the umbilical cord blood of the gestational diabetes group showed higher protein levels and increased dysfunction of the blood vessels during formation. Decreasing transgelin in the diabetes-exposed cells “significantly improved initial [blood vessel] network formation, ongoing network stabilization and cell migration,” the research team wrote.Improving the tools that measure an infant’s diabetes exposure-;and relevant protein fluctuations-;at the time of birth “would increase the accuracy of health assessments to enable more informed predictions of long-term health outcomes,” the researchers wrote. “Unfortunately, these [conditions] often go undiagnosed until children present with disease later in life, at which time the opportunity for prevention has ended.”last_img read more

AVITA Medical expands management team to support launch of RECELL device to

first_img Source:http://avitamedical.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AVITA-Medical-Announces-Expansion-of-Management-Team.pdf Jul 20 2018AVITA Medical today announced that it expanded its management team in the commercial, legal and medical affairs functions to support the planned U.S. launch of the RECELL® Autologous Cell Harvesting Device in the treatment of burns. Joining AVITA Medical are Donna Shiroma, General Counsel; Terry Bromley, Vice President, Commercial Operations; and Debbie Garner, Vice President, Global Marketing. The Company also announced that Katie Bush, PhD, has been promoted to Vice President, Medical Affairs.As General Counsel, Ms. Shiroma is responsible for all legal operations of AVITA. With over 20 years of legal and compliance experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, she has played an instrumental role in transitioning companies from clinical to commercial entities. Prior to joining AVITA Medical, Ms. Shiroma served in roles of increasing responsibility as corporate counsel, general counsel, vice president of legal, chief privacy and compliance officer, and chief commercial officer for Ascend Therapeutics, PDL BioPharma, and several Johnson & Johnson companies.Mr. Bromley, Vice President, Commercial Operations, has broad commercial responsibility for the planned U.S. launch of the RECELL device including management of the Commercial Field Team, Sales Training, Sales Operations and Customer Service. Mr. Bromley led sales and marketing operations for a number of medical products, including wound healing and skin care, with Crawford Healthcare, Emergent BioSolutions, Convatech and Bristol-Myers Squibb.As Vice President, Global Marketing, Ms. Garner is responsible for leading the long-term commercial plan for AVITA Medical, focusing initially on the RECELL Device. Ms. Garner joins AVITA Medical from Allergan, where she served as Executive Marketing Director for the Medical Dermatology Franchise. While at Allergan she also led global pipeline and business development for aesthetic and therapeutic dermatology products including BOTOX® Cosmetic and Juvederm®. Previously, Ms. Garner held various marketing roles at Takeda Abbott Pharmaceuticals (TAP).As a result of her promotion to Vice President, Medical Affairs, Dr. Katie Bush has responsibility for the development and implementation of educational programs, medical-scientific communications, and supporting company-sponsored scientific research and clinical studies. Dr. Bush will also oversee AVITA’s Medical Science Liaison and Medical Education teams. Through her career Dr. Bush has contributed to the development and commercialization of products for soft tissue regenerative applications, including multiple product lines focused on skin regeneration. She holds a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering & Medical Physics from The University of Massachusetts & Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, completing a thesis on the development of a novel collagen-based skin substitute to enhance re-epithelialization.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell health”These leaders and their respective teams join AVITA Medical at an exciting time as we take the steps to prepare for a successful launch of the RECELL Device in the U.S.,” said Dr. Michael Perry, Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to have such a strong group of professionals join us and look forward to benefiting from their experience in the commercialization of products in the regenerative medicine and skin care space.”The RECELL Device is an investigational medical device in the U.S. that is designed to enable medical professionals to produce, at the point-of-care, a REGENERATIVE EPIDERMAL SUSPENSION™ (RES™) using a small sample of the patient’s own skin. The autologous suspension contains cells necessary to regenerate epidermis and provides a new way to achieve permanent closure in burns and other wounds while reducing the amount of skin harvested at the time of surgery. Reduction in donor-site skin requirements has important benefits from both clinical and health economic perspectives.A U.S. Premarket Approval (PMA) application for the treatment of burn injuries is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Company expects completion of the FDA review of the PMA during the third quarter of calendar 2018, followed by U.S. approval and market launch. In April 2018 researchers from major burn centers throughout the U.S. made six presentations of data describing the clinical and cost-savings advantages of the RECELL Device in the treatment of severe burns at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Burn Association (ABA), in Chicago.last_img read more

Computer simulations can accurately predict transmission of HIV

first_imgAug 1 2018In a recently published study in the journal Nature Microbiology, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory show that computer simulations can accurately predict the transmission of HIV across populations, which could aid in preventing the disease.The simulations were consistent with actual DNA data obtained from a global public HIV database, developed and maintained by Los Alamos. The archive has more than 840,000 published HIV sequences for scientific research.”We looked for special genetic patterns that we had seen in the simulations, and we can confirm that these patterns also hold for real data covering the entire epidemic,” said Thomas Leitner, a computational biologist at Los Alamos and lead author of the study.Related StoriesStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionateAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVTwo new studies develop algorithms to identify patients at risk of acquiring HIVHIV is particularly interesting to study in this manner, Leitner noted, as the virus mutates rapidly and constantly within each infected individual. The changing “genetic signatures” of its code provide a path that researchers can follow in determining the origin and time frame of an infection, and the computer simulations are now proven to be successful in tracking and predicting the virus’s movements through populations.The rapid mutational capability of the virus is useful for the epidemiological sleuthing, but also is one of the features that makes it so difficult to tackle with a vaccine.Leitner and Ethan Romero-Severson, the study’s co-author and a Los Alamos theoretical biologist, used phylogenetic methods, examining evolutionary relationships in the virus’s genetic code to evaluate how HIV is transmitted. They found that certain phylogenetic “family tree” patterns correlated to the DNA data from 955 pairs of people, in which the transmitter and recipient of the virus were known.”These HIV transmissions had known linkage based on epidemiological information such as partner studies, mother-to-child transmission, pairs identified by contact tracing, and criminal cases,” the authors write.The robust results from the study have led to a collaboration with Colorado and Michigan state health agencies. The researchers plan to develop public health computational tools to help the agencies to track the disease and allocate resources for targeted prevention campaigns. “We hope these tools will help to hinder new infections in the future,” said Leitner.Leitner said the cutting-edge modeling tools can also be used to predict the patterns of other rapidly evolving infectious diseases.Los Alamos has a strong history in genetic data analysis, having been the site of the original GenBank project in 1979, known at the time as the Los Alamos Sequence Database and established by Walter Goad of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group. Source:https://www.lanl.gov/discover/news-release-archive/2018/August/0801-hiv-computer-simulations.php?source=newsroomlast_img read more

Obesity in PTSD patients accounts for increased risk of type 2 diabetes

first_imgAug 10 2018Saint Louis University research finds post-traumatic stress disorder does not directly lead to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), instead obesity in PTSD patients accounts for the increased risk.The study, “The Role of Obesity in the Association Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Incident Diabetes” was published Aug. 8 in JAMA Psychiatry.Post-traumatic stress disorder is associated with risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including poor diet, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse and obesity. The risk factors may interact with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal changes to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.Numerous studies over the past two decades have indicated patients with PTSD have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those without PTSD or without a mental health condition, said study author Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetus”While these studies have simultaneously controlled for obesity and other diabetes risk factors, none have teased out the independent effect of obesity on the PTSD to incident diabetes association,” Scherrer said.The current study by Scherrer and his co-authors was designed to determine if obesity, which is more common in patients with PTSD, accounted for the increased risk of diabetes.The retrospective cohort study used medical record data collected between 2008-2015 from 2,204 Veterans Health Affairs patients without PTSD and 3,450 patients with PTSD. Of the patients without PTSD, 84.4 percent were men, 64.7 were white and 43.4 percent were married. The average age of the patients was 47.7 years.Of the cohort of patients with PTSD, 86.5 percent were men, 64.9 percent were white and 44.2 percent were married. The average age of the patients was 42.8 years.The age adjusted association between PTSD and incident T2DM was significant. After adjusting for obesity, the association was reduced and no longer statistically significant. Results of the full model, which included additional covariate adjustment revealed no association between PTSD and incident type 2 diabetes.The incidence of type 2 diabetes was similar in patients with PTSD and obesity compared to patients without PTSD but obese. Likewise, Scherrer said, the incidence of diabetes in non-obese patients with and without PTSD was similar (5.8/1000 person years (PY) and 6.4/1000PY, respectively).”The risk of diabetes in patients with PTSD who are not obese is like that of the general U.S. population without obesity,” Scherrer said.Diabetes prevention should target weight management for both patients with and without PTSD. However, Scherrer says, evidence that patients with PTSD have greater difficulty losing weight may require new interventions to help manage weight and mitigate risk of developing diabetes.The study calls for additional research to determine if PTSD remission can lead to weight loss and reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes. Source:https://www.slu.edu/last_img read more

Initiation of PIMs associated with higher risk of fracturespecific hospitalizations and mortality

first_imgAug 10 2018A recent study published in The European Journal of Health Economics finds that the initiation of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) is associated with a higher risk of fracture-specific hospitalizations and mortality. Initiation of a PIM is also associated with higher hospital costs. The study was conducted on the basis of collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland, Fimea and The Social Insurance Institution of Finland.PIMs are defined as medications whose potential risks are higher than their clinical benefits. In this study, PIMs were defined according to the Meds75+ database maintained by the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea). Medications are divided into four categories: A “Suitable for the older persons”, B “There is little evidence, practical evidence or efficacy in older persons”, C “Suitable for older persons, with specific cautions”, and D “Avoid use in older persons”. The most commonly used international criteria (Beers, STOPP/START and Laroche) were taken into account when creating the database.Related StoriesExperts explain what happens after hip fracture in older adultsReplacing a small amount of red meat with healthier foods may improve life expectancyNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersNationwide registers were used to follow over 20,000 community-dwelling people aged ≥65 years between the years 2002 and 2013. Matching persons were identified from the non-users group for those persons who purchased PIMs during the 12-year follow-up. The study indicates that the risk of fracture-specific hospitalization and mortality is higher when initiating PIMs. Previous studies conducted in Europe have not investigated hospital costs associated with PIM use with as long a follow-up as this study.PIM prescription always requires clinical grounds, which take account of the risks related to medication treatments. The purpose of the Meds75+ database is to support clinical decision-making on the pharmacotherapy of patients over 75 years of age and to improve the safety of medication in primary health care. Meds75+ is available free of charge at Fimea’s website.​Source: https://www.uef.fi/en/-/iakkailla-valtettavien-laakkeiden-aloittaminen-lisaa-murtumien-ja-kuolleisuuden-riskia-seka-sairaalakustannuksialast_img read more

NYU Langones Perlmutter Cancer Center expands Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

first_img Source:https://nyulangone.org/ Aug 20 2018To further advance the study and treatment of blood cancers, Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health has significantly expanded its Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.The program performs autologous and allogeneic transplants in adults and autologous transplants in children to treat the full spectrum of blood-borne cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. It recently received certification from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) to perform adult allogeneic transplants.Autologous transplants involve using a patient’s own blood and blood by-products, while allogeneic transplants use those of an appropriate donor.The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is led by nationally renowned hematologist–oncologist, Samer Al-Homsi, MD, MBA, who joined Perlmutter Cancer Center-;one of the 70 cancer centers across the country designated by the National Institutes of Health-;in June 2017 to lead the program. Just in the past 12 months, more than 70 patients have received blood and marrow transplants at Perlmutter Cancer Center, which are performed in the specially designed Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplant Center, located in the brand-new Kimmel Pavilion on NYU Langone’s main campus in Manhattan.Based on pioneering work done at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program also offers haploidentical transplantation to patients. Haploidentical transplantation vastly expands the potential donor pool for patients who require a transplant.”Typically, when you do a transplant, you need to have a full tissue match between the donor and recipient. Alternatively, we can now use haploidentical, or ‘half-match,’ transplants,” Dr. Al-Homsi says. “This transplant option will go a long way in overcoming the limitations of finding the right donor. Patients who have difficulty finding perfect matches will have more options, meaning that we can treat their cancer more effectively.”Related Stories’Google Maps’ for cancer: Image-based model accurately represents blood traffic inside tumorsInnovative microfluidic device simplifies study of blood cells, opens new organ-on-chip possibilitiesBlood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndromeTransplantation uses healthy hematopoietic precursor cells, or stem cells, to help fight cancer and replace unhealthy bone marrow.Dr. Al-Homsi also does research that focuses on preventing graft-versus-host disease, or GvHD, a potentially life-threatening complication of blood and marrow transplant. He has led clinical trials examining innovative combinations of medications to prevent GvHD, including cyclophosphamide and proteasome inhibitors. Such combinations can prevent the use of other extended and burdensome prophylactic traditional agents and are applicable to people with limited kidney function, who are often denied blood and marrow transplants.The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program works closely with the Clinical Leukemia Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center, led by Raoul Tibes, MD, PhD. Dr. Al-Homsi evaluates leukemia patients who require transplantation after their initial treatment provided by the hematologist–oncologists in the leukemia program.”The Clinical Leukemia and Blood and Marrow Transplant programs really go hand-in-hand, and care for many of the same patients,” says Dr. Tibes. “We take a collaborative approach, helping patients from their first visit through their entire treatment. In many ways, one program cannot be fully effective without the other, and vice versa.””Our understanding of hematologic malignancies has advanced greatly over the past decade, to the point that many blood-borne cancers are curable,” says Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center. “Bone marrow transplantation plays a critical role in these advances. Dr. Al-Homsi’s research holds tremendous promise to curtail negative interactions between host and transplanted cells and make this form of treatment safer and more effective.”last_img read more

ScienceShot Teen Drivers More Likely to Crash Due to Noisy Friends Than

Forget cellphones; rambunctious friends may be the riskiest driver distraction for teens, according to a new study. Researchers installed video and G-force recorders in the vehicles of 52 newly licensed high school students for 6 months. They found that certain distractions, such as fiddling with the car’s controls and eating, were not strongly related to serious incidents, which included collisions and evasive maneuvers. However, when passengers in the car were engaged in loud conversation, teen drivers were six times more likely to have a serious incident. What’s more, horseplay increased risk by a factor of three whereas cellphone use only doubled it, the team reported online this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Forty-three states restrict newly licensed drivers from having more than one other teen in the car, and the study authors say their data suggest that’s good policy.See more ScienceShots. read more

Decadesold scientific paper may hold clues to dark matter

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Here’s one reason libraries hang on to old science journals: A paper from an experiment conducted 32 years ago may shed light on the nature of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to keep the galaxies from flying apart. The old data put a crimp in the newfangled concept of a “dark photon” and suggest that a simple bargain-basement experiment could put the idea to the test.No one really knows what dark matter is. Since the 1980s, theorists’ best hunch has been that it consists of so-called weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. If they exist, WIMPs would have a mass between one and 1000 times that of a proton. They would interact only through the feeble weak nuclear force—one of two forces of nature that ordinarily flex their muscle only within the atomic nucleus—and could disappear only by colliding and annihilating one another. So if the infant universe cooked up lots of WIMPs, enough of them would naturally survive to produce the right amount of dark matter today. But physicists have yet to spot WIMPs, which every now and then should ping off atomic nuclei in sensitive detectors and send them flying.More recently, theorists have explored other ideas, such as self-interacting dark matter. This would consist of a particle, known as a χ (pronounced chi), with a mass between 1/1000 and one times that of the proton. Those particles would interact with one another through a force like the electromagnetic force, which produces light. That force would be conveyed by a massive particle called a dark photon—a dark matter version of a particle of light—that might “mix” slightly with the ordinary ones. So with some small probability, a dark photon might interact with ordinary charged particles such as electrons and atomic nuclei—just as ordinary photons do.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Self-interacting dark matter has attractive properties. In particular, a dark photon could also explain a particle physics puzzle. A particle called the muon appears to be very slightly more magnetic than theory predicts, and that discrepancy could be resolved if the muon interacts with dark photons lurking in the vacuum. However, χs and dark photons would be hard to detect with WIMP detectors; with their low masses, they couldn’t whack a nucleus hard enough to create a signal.But archival data already rule out dark photons with certain combinations of properties, argues Rouven Essig, a theoretical physicist at Stony Brook University in New York, and his colleagues. The data come from E137, a “beam dump” experiment that ran from 1980 to 1982 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. In the experiment, physicists slammed a beam of high-energy electrons, left over from other experiments, into an aluminum target to see what would come out. Researchers placed a detector 383 meters behind the target, on the other side of a sandstone hill 179 meters thick that blocked any ordinary particles. They then looked for hypothetical particles called axions, which would have pierced the earth and reached the detector—and saw none.But electrons hitting the target should also have produced a beam of high-energy χs. A χ could have traversed the hill and interacted with an electron in the detector through a dark photon, blasting it into motion. The fact that E137 saw no recoiling electrons enabled Essig and his colleagues to nix some possible combinations of the dark photon’s mass and the strength of its mixing with ordinary photons, as they report this week in Physical Review Letters. The results do not prove that the dark photon cannot exist at all, but they do put limits on its possible properties.Other physicists have used archival data to test new dark matter theories. Last year, Philip Schuster, a theorist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, and a colleague used the result from another beam dump experiment at SLAC that ran in 1994 and 1995 to probe self-interacting dark matter. But the millicharge, or mQ, experiment was sensitive to χs sending atomic nuclei flying and set somewhat looser limits. “The electron-recoil limit looks a little better,” Schuster says.With certain assumptions, the analysis disfavors a dark photon with the properties needed to explain the muon’s magnetism. But those assumptions could be loosened and the idea more thoroughly tested with a new experiment, Schuster says. He and roughly 80 other physicists hope to build a new beam dump experiment called BDX, which would look at 100 times as many events as E137 did. They have submitted a letter of intent to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, although the experiment could be staged elsewhere.Compared with some particle physics experiments, BDX would be small and cheap, says Marco Battaglieri of Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Genoa and co-spokesman for the BDX team. “We are not talking about thousands of tons of detector,” he says. “We are talking about a 1-ton detector.” BDX would cost a few million dollars, Battaglieri says.The study also suggests it’s not so easy to dream up models of dark matter that don’t run afoul of data already taken, Schuster says: “All of this has to be done in a very tight straitjacket.”last_img read more

How a culture clash at NOAA led to a flap over a

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email By Warren Cornwall, Paul VoosenFeb. 8, 2017 , 1:00 PM How a culture clash at NOAA led to a flap over a high-profile warming pause study Data collected by satellites, land-based sensors, and NOAA ocean buoys like this are at the heart of the dispute. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) A former scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, D.C., made waves this past weekend when he alleged that climate scientist Thomas Karl, the former head of a major NOAA technical center, “failed to disclose critical information” to the agency, journal editors, and Congress about the data used in a controversial study published in Science in June 2015. Karl was the lead author of that paper, which concluded that global surface temperatures continued rising in recent years, contrary to earlier suggestions that there had been a “pause” in global warming.John Bates, who retired from NOAA this past November, made the claims in a post on the prominent blog of Judith Curry, a climate researcher who recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and has walked the line between science and climate contrarians over the past decade. Bates’s complaints were also the centerpiece of a story published Sunday by David Rose of the United Kingdom’s The Mail on Sunday, a tabloid, which claimed that national leaders “were strongly influenced” by the “flawed NOAA study” as they finalized the 2015 Paris climate agreement.Rose’s story ricocheted around right-wing media outlets, and was publicized by the Republican-led House of Representatives science committee, which has spent months investigating earlier complaints about the Karl study that is says were raised by an NOAA whistleblower. But ScienceInsider found no evidence of misconduct or violation of agency research policies after extensive interviews with Bates, Karl, and other former NOAA and independent scientists, as well as consideration of documents that Bates also provided to Rose and the Mail.  NOAA Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research. The center is one the nation’s major repositories for vetted earth observing data collected by satellites, ships, buoys, aircraft, and land-based instruments.In the blog post, Bates says that his complaints provide evidence that Karl had his “thumb on the scale” in an effort to discredit claims of a warming pause, and his team rushed to publish the paper so it could influence national and international climate talks. But Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl’s study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.Tuesday, in an interview with E&E News, Bates himself downplayed any suggestion of misconduct. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he told reporter Scott Waldman. And Bates told ScienceInsider that he is wary of his critique becoming a talking point for those skeptical of human-caused climate change. But it was important for this conversation about data integrity to happen, he says. “That’s where I came down after a lot of soul searching. I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people,” he says.At a House science committee hearing yesterday, Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (publisher of Science and ScienceInsider) stood by the 2015 paper. “This is not the making of a big scandal—this is an internal dispute between two factions within an agency,” Holt said in response to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the panel’s chairman, and a longtime critic of NOAA’s role in the Karl paper. This past weekend, Smith issued a statement hailing Bates for talking about “NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.”Some climate scientists are concerned that the hubbub is obscuring the more important message: that the NOAA research has generally proved accurate. “I’m a little confused as to why this is a big deal,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth, a California nonprofit climate research group that has examined surface temperatures. He’s the lead author of a paper published in January in Science Advances that found Karl’s estimates of sea surface temperature—a key part of the work—matched well with estimates drawn from other methods.Researchers say the Karl paper’s findings are also in line with findings from the Met Office, the U.K. government’s climate agency, which preceded Karl’s work, and findings in a recent paper by scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, an alliance of 34 states based in Reading, U.K. And although other researchers have reported evidence that the rise in global temperature has slowed recently, they have not challenged the ethics of Karl’s team, or the quality of the data they used.When is data ready for prime time?If there’s a dirty secret to the 2015 paper, it’s that “there wasn’t a lot of new science in it,” says Karl, who retired in August 2016. It simply assembled the updated, already published NOAA ocean temperature record that their center had been assembling since 2011, and paired it with a published, nonoperational data set of land surface temperatures that included much more coverage around the world. “We said, let’s just put it together, and that’s what made it newsworthy and important.”At its heart, Bates’s concerns amount to a desire for Karl and his team to have more clearly stated that one data set used for their study was not defined by NOAA to have been in a final, “operational” form.One focus is the handling of a new approach to estimating temperatures on land around the globe. The agency’s monthly temperature estimates—which it uses to track climate trends—are drawn from 7000 stations scattered around the world. But a team of NOAA researchers sought to improve the accuracy of these global estimates by incorporating measurements from more than 15,000 sites with data collected by an international consortium, the International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI). They also incorporated measurements from farther north in the Arctic, where temperatures in recent decades have risen faster.In the blog post, Bates says that when the Karl paper was published, this new merged data set hadn’t been put through a series of quality checks that NOAA required before data used for research are deemed ready for “operational” use such as routine monitoring of climate trends.Bates says he first became concerned when the Karl paper came out, as the team shared their data only on a public NOAA file server, not NCEI’s data archive, as the agency would for its operational data sets. Karl and his team have since uploaded the data to NCEI’s archive, a process that finished last year. Bates claims that happened as a result of his concerns. “I shouldn’t have to be the whistleblower. They should have had a process in place at NOAA to check this off. And they didn’t do it,” he saysThe Science paper would have been fine had it simply had a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures, Bates says.But Mike Tanner, director of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at NCEI, says there’s no NOAA policy that requires such a disclosure. “There’s nothing. That doesn’t exist,” he says.Tension in the NOAA ranksThe new furor underscores a long-running tension within NCEI, one that has generally pitted research scientists trying to publish new advances against engineers seeking to ensure everything follows standard protocols, say several scientists who have worked at the center.Thomas Peterson, a principal scientist at NCEI who was involved in developing the new surface temperature estimates before retiring in 2015, says he spent several years pressing the agency to let its scientists publish parts of the new data analysis. But he says he met resistance from some who argued that even though the older approach was less accurate, it had gone through the quality control checks for operational data. The new study “wasn’t rushed. It was delayed for a long time. It would have been out years ago except for all this processing that John [Bates] pushed.”The decision to move forward with the paper came in 2014 after Karl was presented with new analyses of both the land temperatures and ocean temperatures, Peterson says. When they realized the significance it could have for understanding the “pause,” Peterson says they worked to find a way to abide by the agency’s data rules without delaying further. “My view of the decisions is they met the letter of the law. And I would say—if I was trying to be polite—that John would view it as not meeting the full, strict measure of what should be done in an optimum condition. But it would have delayed getting this paper out for at least 2 years.”This split within the office traces partly to cultural differences between scientists working with satellites and those working with ground-based measurements, says Peter Thorne, a climate scientist at Ireland’s Maynooth University, and chair of the ISTI. He worked on surface temperature research at NCEI from 2010 to 2013. By contrast, for several years Bates was division chief for the part of the center that worked with satellite data.Because the stakes are so high for ensuring the accuracy of a single, costly piece of equipment, and the streams of data are so massive, the people working with the satellites were more inclined to insist on always following detailed protocols. “Fundamentally it was a conflict between science and engineering,” Thorne says. “Do you want a product that is very well documented; where the code is available, transparent, well documented; where there is fundamental, deep archiving of everything; where you’ve dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t,’ even if that product, scientifically, has issues? Or would you rather have the best scientific product you can get your hands on at this time and forgo that process maturity?”Personal grudge?Some suggest Bates’s criticism might also have a personal side to it. Tanner says Bates was administratively admonished and relieved of a supervisory position at NCEI in 2012, at a time when Karl led the center. Karl confirms that Bates was removed from his post as division chief, and placed in a position where he was not supervising other people.Bates confirms the job shift, but denies his complaints are driven by any animus toward Karl. “He’s just sort of an example. The reason I wanted to have a more public discussion was not to focus on him, [but] to have a bigger discussion about how we ensure the quality of the data,” Bates says.Bates also says he was not the “whistleblower” cited in the past by Smith’s committee. Others note the accusations mirror those previously floated by Smith. And Karl says he can now understand why the committee has pursued him. “They’re getting a lot of misleading information… I can understand why they’ve gone in the direction that’s not reflecting reality,” he says.In a strange coincidence, Peterson ran into Bates at the theater in Asheville on Saturday, shortly before the Mail article was published. He says he asked Bates how retirement was treating him. Bates replied that it was “going to get interesting,” then walked off without clarifying what he meant. The play they were attending: Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.“That just strikes me as perfect,” Peterson says.Updated, 2:23 p.m., 02/08/2017: This story has been updated to clarify recent findings regarding the pause, several quotes, and Bates’ concerns about the NOAA data. One paragraph regarding Karl’s paper was moved to improve the organization.last_img read more

Trump would shutter GoreSat—delivering a blow to exoplanet research

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Paul VoosenMar. 16, 2017 , 5:30 PM Trump would shutter GoreSat—delivering a blow to exoplanet research Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email President Barack Obama revived the mission, aiming it primarily at space weather, with two Earth-observing instruments along for the ride. Research based on these data, and its use in tracking vegetation, cloud height, and reflectivity, among other factors, has only begun to come out. This research is intrinsically valuable on its own, Kane says. “DSCOVR is continuously monitoring Earth in a way it’s never been done before.”NASA spends only $1.2 million a year operating the satellite’s Earth-facing instruments, as DSCOVR’s primary costs, for its sun-facing space weather instruments, lie with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “This is a silly thing to cut,” said Casey Dreier, director of space policy at the Planetary Society, based in Pasadena, California, on Twitter.The ultimate fate of DSCOVR and its data rests, of course, not with the Trump administration but appropriators in Congress. And Kane hopes they can look past DSCOVR’s polarized origins and see not just its real-world benefits, but those that are out of this world. When astronomers get their picture of a distant pale blue dot, after all, they will want to know whether they’re staring at another Earth. Several years ago, Kane realized this steady drip of iconic whole-Earth images would be a boon to exoplanet research. His team has taken these shots and degraded them to one pixel—the type of information that a telescope might someday obtain for an Earth-sized exoplanet. From those extremely limited data, they have still been able to tease out Earth’s 24-hour rotational rate and the tilt of its spin axis. But this is preliminary, Kane says. “Our results still need a couple years of DSCOVR to fully encapsulate them.”This is work that couldn’t have happened before the spacecraft went up, he adds. Stitching together Earth images captured from lower orbits makes it hard to degrade the image, and a long time series is necessary to learn anything about how atmospheric dynamics could be captured by a pixel.So why would the administration seek to disable part of a mission in the middle of its prime? Republicans have long held a grudge against DSCOVR, which started out several decades ago as the brainchild of Vice President Al Gore, who hoped to stream back live video of Earth to inspire public support for environmental policies. Republicans derided it as “GoreSat,” and, under former President George W. Bush, the unfinished spacecraft sat mothballed for years. Though astronomers have indirectly detected thousands of exoplanets, they are just starting to get fuzzy pictures of the orbs themselves. But what can they learn from just a few pixels of light? It turns out that the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a space-weather satellite with a controversial past, is answering those questions right now, says Stephen Kane, an exoplanet scientist at San Francisco State University in California. “We can get a significant advance preview of what those data will look like, because we now have a satellite that is staring directly at Earth.”Those observations are in jeopardy, however, with news today that the proposed budget of U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to kill Earth-facing instruments on DSCOVR years before the mission ends. It would be a setback for exoplanet research, Kane says. “We’re enormously disappointed to hear this news.”Perched between the gravitational pull of the sun and Earth, DSCOVR, which was launched in 2015, primarily serves as a space-weather buoy, giving advance notice of inbound solar storms. But it also has two instruments that peer back at Earth and capture the entire planet with the aim of detecting long-term trends in the planet’s balance of incoming and outgoing energy, along with long-term shifts in its clouds, aerosols, and ozone. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Podcast treating the microbiome and a gene that induces sleep

first_imgOrla Smith, editor of Science Translational Medicine joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what has changed in the past 10 years of microbiome research, what’s getting close to being useful in treatment, and how strong, exactly, the research is behind those probiotic yogurts.When you’re sick, sleeping is restorative—it helps your body recover from nasty infections. Meagan Cantwell speaks with Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland, about the process of discovering a gene in fruit flies that links sleep and immune function.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img read more

In advance of Brexit UK scientists are stockpiling supplies

first_img In advance of Brexit, U.K. scientists are stockpiling supplies HARRY HORSLEY In September 2018, when bioengineer Alicia El Haj took her lab to the University of Birmingham from a nearby U.K. university, the move was complicated by a larger shift: the looming departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, known as Brexit. El Haj, a leading researcher in regenerative medicine, has had to reassure potential Ph.D. students and postdocs from elsewhere in Europe that her EU funding will remain intact. Given uncertainty about visas after Brexit, she’s tried to get them into her lab before 29 March, when the breakup is set to happen. Meanwhile, her lab manager is hustling not only to outfit the lab—German microscopes are on backorder—but also to get a 6- to 12-month supply of stem cells, in case trade is disrupted. “We have thought about staffing, grants, and supplies,” El Haj says, “so that we can carry on if it all goes pear-shaped.”It wasn’t supposed to be like this. After the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union negotiated an exit deal with a 2-year transition period, during which EU regulations and access to funding would remain in place. But in January, the U.K. Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the deal. Without any arrangements in place, a “no-deal” Brexit could paralyze trade and damage the economy—and science.”To crash out of the EU with no deal is one of the biggest threats that U.K. universities have ever faced,” says Joanna Burton, a senior policy analyst with the Russell Group in London, which represents two dozen U.K. research universities. Jennifer Rohn has stockpiled lab supplies in advance of Brexit. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Erik StokstadFeb. 27, 2019 , 11:30 AM Research supplies are an immediate worry. Jennifer Rohn, a cell biologist at University College London, has bought up a 6-month supply of cell media and other specialized materials. “I really hope none of this is necessary,” she says. Rohn suspects the stockpiling nationwide is creating shortages: Some cell culture plates are now on backorder for the first time, she says.Brexit also appears to be discouraging EU researchers from coming to the United Kingdom. The government was initially reluctant to grant EU nationals who were already present the right to remain after Brexit, and a proposed new immigration system has also raised concerns among scientists. “I do really worry about the signal Brexit sends, that people won’t necessarily want to come,” says Beth Thompson, head of U.K. and EU policy for the Wellcome Trust, a charity and major science funder based in London. The fraction of EU nationals applying for Wellcome’s early career fellowships fell from 45% to 31% in the 2 years after the Brexit vote.Funding is another concern. After a nodeal Brexit, U.K.-based researchers would not be eligible to apply for grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and fellowships called Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCAs). Over the past 2 years, these have provided €1.46 billion to U.K. researchers. “I don’t think the academic community realized this cutoff would be so severe and sharp,” says Ian Shipsey, who heads the department of physics at the University of Oxford, where 48 positions are wholly dependent on EU funding. His department’s grant applications for EU funding increased nearly 75% over the past 2 years, as researchers accelerated their proposals ahead of Brexit.The main U.K. funding agency, UK Research and Innovation, is discussing programs that could replace ERC grants and MSCAs, but the government has not yet committed to bankrolling them. Any U.K. replacement, says Kieron Flanagan, a science policy researcher at the University of Manchester, would lack some of the key attractions of these grants, such as their portability between EU countries.Some U.K. researchers worry about their existing EU grants as well. After a no-deal Brexit, the European Union will stop payments to U.K. researchers. The U.K. government’s pledge to underwrite these grants hasn’t allayed fears. If the U.K. economy tanks, the government might sacrifice research funding, says Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, a fish ecologist at Swansea University. “It’s not hard to imagine that science will be at the bottom of the priorities.”Researchers elsewhere may be reluctant to collaborate with U.K. teams if researchers there can’t lead EU-funded projects, says Garcia de Leaniz, who heads a multinational EU project to map dams. Burton says major research universities report no slowdown in collaborative proposals, but Garcia de Leaniz says he feels a chill. “Very few people want to team up with leaders in the U.K.” In late January, the Research Council of Norway published a warning about a no-deal Brexit and cautioned Norwegian scientists to “consider the potential risks of cooperation with British partners.”U.K. universities have been trying to preserve ties with European universities by signing agreements that facilitate student exchanges and joint research projects. One, inked in late January, links the University of Birmingham and Trinity College Dublin. El Haj hopes the agreement might allow her lab and those of her Birmingham colleagues to access EU grants, if they spend enough time in Dublin.Despite preparations for a no-deal Brexit, Flanagan says some problems will be impossible to predict. The politics are also uncertain. May hopes to negotiate changes to her exit deal with the European Union in hopes of winning a new vote. Some Parliament members want a delay to Brexit or a second referendum. University of Sheffield astrophysicist Paul Crowther says a delay is the best remaining option, “so that we don’t have this terrible cliff edge.”last_img read more