first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now If the amount of value that you create is more than would reasonably be expected of you, then go ahead and be an unreasonably massive value creator.If the measures you take to block out distractions and do the disciplined, focused, best-work-you-are-capable-of seem unreasonable to your friends, then be unreasonably focused and do unreasonably great work anyway.If you care so deeply about what you do and the impact you can have on others that it seems unreasonable to anyone else, then let your big heart be unreasonably caring and make an unreasonably huge impact.If your dream is unreasonably massive and frightens everyone around you—and sometimes even you—be unreasonably passionate and pursue your dream.If your unreasonably hard work turns into unreasonably great results and unreasonably great rewards, be unreasonably grateful and unreasonably gracious.Go ahead be the unreasonably best version of unreasonable you that anyone could ever imagine.last_img read more

first_imgThe paradox of insight is that in order to be paid for it, you have to give it away.You can’t easily capture your dream client’s attention if you can’t share your ideas about how they can improve their results. That’s the value proposition for spending time with what you send them as part of your nurture campaign, that they’ll gain new ideas. It’s also the value proposition for your first sales call.You also can’t capture your dream client’s trust if you can’t share your ideas and experiences with them during the sales process. It’s critical to listen and understand your dream client’s needs, but they want to hear what you think and why, even on an early discovery visit.You can’t propose your best ideas about how to help your dream client produce better results without sharing your very best insights, the things that you would do differently, why you would make those choices, and how it would benefit them. This is why you are presenting in the first place, to capture your dream client’s imagination.Sharing your best ideas is scary. You worry that your dream client may run off with your ideas, share them with your competitors, and allow them to execute your plan. And from time to time, this happens. Occasionally you will even run into someone whose sole purpose of engaging with you is a treasure hunt; they want to learn everything you know and have no intention of ever buying from you.But you can’t allow the fear of having your ideas and insights taken dissuade you from sharing or cause you to hold back. First, you can’t sell effectively without having chops, and no one will ever know that you are a deep well if your fear prevents you from sharing. Second, most of your competitors have their own ideas, their own business models, and their own ideas about how they create value, ideas that prevent them from executing yours.last_img read more

first_imgAn interfaith couple who allegedly eloped last month from Sohi village, following which a Muslim man was beaten to death by right-wing activists, was detained by the police here. Yusuf and the 19-year-old girl were detained by the police here on Wednesday night. The girl’s father had registered a complaint with the police, accusing Yusuf of kidnapping his daughter. According to SP (Rural) Jagdish Sharma, the two were staying with a relative of Yusuf in Haryana. Their disappearance had led to tension in the area. Ghulam Mohammad (45), a distant relative of Yusuf, was lynched by some right-wing activists, who suspected that he knew the whereabouts of the couple.last_img read more

first_imgThe Odisha government on Thursday rejected the Centre’s offer to relax the quality norm for procuring paddy from districts affected by unseasonal rains, saying it will “adversely affect” the farmers. The Central government has reduced the minimum support price (MSP) for discoloured paddy from ₹1,550 to ₹1,410 per quintal, State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister S.N. Patro said. “This is not acceptable to the State as it will cause serious loss to the farmers. I have requested the Chief Minister to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister for the benefit of the farmers,” he said. The Centre has also relaxed the fair average quality (FAQ) specifications for paddy procurement in 15 districts affected by unseasonal rains, Mr. Patro said.FAQ is used to describe food products that are of good enough quality to be sold. FAQ norms for paddy is laid out by the Centre every year before the start of the procurement season. “There is no meaning to relax the FAQ when the farmers will not get the appropriate MSP,” he said.The State government and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, separately wrote to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to relax FAQ norms for the paddy produced in the 15 unseasonal rain-hit districts. Mr. Patro said the Centre had in 2010 relaxed the FAQ norms for three districts without changing the MSP.Mr. Pradhan said that by rejecting the Centre’s offer, the State has been forcing the farmers to get a price which will be at the whims of rice millers.last_img read more

first_imgThe sequence of events following the custodial death of a 28-year-old teacher, Rizwan Asad Pandit, from south Kashmir’s Awantipora area points to the gaping holes in the police theory. Three days after the death of Pandit on March 19 in police custody at Srinagar’s special counter-insurgency cell, Cargo, an FIR was lodged against the deceased for “an attempt to escape from a police vehicle” on the way to a location in south Kashmir. Of the three main police stations of the Awantipora police district, comprising Awantipora, Pampore and Tral police stations, the “bid to escape case” has been lodged in the Khrew police station, not hooked up to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), which can be accessed online by the citizens. Pandit belonged to Awantipora area. J&K’s 78 police stations, out of around 100, were connected to the CCTNS this year. Meanwhile, the magisterial inquiry was handled by the Pulwama district after the police case was lodged in Khrew and not by the Srinagar district administration where the death occurred. The police also claimed that Pandit was rounded up for “a militancy-related case” that occurred at Pantha Chowk in Awantipora apparently last year. However, the name of “Pandit does not figure in the police’s ‘roznamcha’ (daybook), according to the police records accessed by The Hindu. The preliminary autopsy report compiled by the Government Medical College, Srinagar, suggested that the death took place “at least 12 hours” prior to the autopsy on Tuesday afternoon. It inferred that Pandit died on Monday evening, a day after he was picked up on February 17, and the family was intimated on Tuesday morning about the death. The GMC report confirmed “excessive bleeding caused by deep wounds on his body” and “excessive bleeding can lead to fatal shock.” “External wounds have been suspected to be caused by some sharp object,” the GMC report suggested. It ruled out any ‘internal injury’ but pointed out “some injuries were found to be older than others.” A number of trader bodies on Saturday urged Governor Satya Paul Malik “to set up an independent special commission of inquiry in the custodial death.” “Till the time the commission submits its report, it would serve the ends of justice if all persons associated with it are put behind bars”, they said in a joint statement. The press conference was jointly held by Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, High Court Bar Association, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies, Private School Association, Kashmir Bakers Association, Hoteliers Club, All Traders and Transporters Coordination Committee etc.last_img read more

first_imgDismissing suggestions that the Congress will cut into votes of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that her party has fielded candidates either with prospects of victory or having potential to damage the BJP’s chances. Asked whether she was afraid of contesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, the Congress general secretary said she was not scared at all and that she joined politics “for good”.‘In politics for good’ “If Priyanka Gandhi gets scared, she will sit at home and not do politics. I am in politics for good and will be there,” she said.The Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh also hit out at the BJP for what she called its “obsession” with the Gandhi family when the focus should be on solving people’s problems. On the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Vadra said, “We have carefully chosen candidates so that either Congress wins or they cut into BJP’s votes. Congress is not at all cutting into votes of the U.P. gathbandhan.” She was talking to the media during her campaign trail in Amethi where her brother Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election. The SP, BSP and RLD forged an alliance months before the Lok Sabha poll, but kept out the Congress as there was no agreement on seat-sharing. According to political observers, the anti-BJP vote could get split between the Congress and the U.P. alliance, benefiting the BJP. “This is not a preparation for (Assembly poll) in U.P. in 2022. This is about defeating BJP in 2019,” she said, adding, “Congress party is weak in U.P., we need to strengthen it here. I am working towards it.” Reacting on her comments, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “The Congress party is not contesting elections to win but to cut into votes of BJP. Today the grand old party has become a vote katua party.” Asked whether Rahul Gandhi will become the Prime Minister, Ms. Vadra said, “My brother will prove to be a good Prime Minister. Whether he will become the Prime Minister or not, the public has to decide.” Training her guns on the BJP, Ms. Vadra alleged that the government at the Centre has not given “nyay” (justice) to people. “People are harassed. This government has lost the trust of the people who voted them on hopes which have been dashed,” she added. “You have to understand their niyat (intention) and neeti (policy). They have done nothing to solve the menace of stray cattle. Gaushalas are yet to be set up,” she said.Ms. Vadra also took a swipe at government over the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, under which a farmer will get ₹6,000 annually, saying it’s “a kisan apman (insult) yojana”. Salon Assembly segment in Rae Bareli district falls under the Amethi parliamentary constituency. Amethi and Rae Bareli will vote on May 6 in the fifth phase.last_img read more

first_imgContending that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not pay heed to its ideas and suggestions, the Naga People’s Front, a partner in the BJP-led alliance in the State, has convened a meeting of its leaders on Saturday to decide if it would continue to stay in the coalition or withdraw support.BJP denies allegations Denying the allegation, the BJP said that it has extended all possible cooperation to its partners to ensure smooth functioning of the government. The NPF has four MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Even if the party pulls out, it wouldn’t impact the coalition, which currently has 29 legislators. Eight of the 28 Congress MLAs, who had won the 2017 polls, defected to the BJP last year, taking its tally from 21 to 29 in the Assembly. The other parties in the ruling coalition are NPP (4), LJP (1), Independent (1) and AITC (1).NPF State unit chief Awangbou Newmai claimed that the BJP “looks down” on its alliance partners. “The BJP has never respected the spirit of alliance since the formation of government in 2017. There have been instances when their leaders have refused to consider our members as alliance partners,” he said without elaborating.‘Did not keep promises’ Mr. Newmai also said that the BJP did not live up to the promises it had made to its coalition partners. “The NPF has always considered the BJP as its big brother, but that did not stop the party from bluffing to us. We haven’t got our due respect,” he claimed. Rebutting Mr. Newmai’s assertions, BJP spokesperson Ch. Bijoy said that the NPF had maintained that it did not want any ministerial berth while joining the alliance, but now it had several demands. Of the four NPF MLAs in the Assembly, Loshii Dikho, who won from the Mao Assembly seat, is a Cabinet Minister. “The allegations made by the NPF are baseless and unfounded. All possible cooperation has been extended to our coalition partners for smooth functioning of the government,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgLONDON—”Close to meat. Not that juicy.” That was Austrian food trend researcher Hanni Rützler’s verdict on the world’s first lab-grown beef patty, presented here today at a tightly orchestrated and widely covered media event. Rützler was one of two people invited to taste the burger assembled from thousands of tiny strips of beef grown by Dutch researcher Mark Post at his lab at Maastricht University in the Netherlands; the other guinea pig was Chicago, Illinois-based author Josh Schonwald.Rützler took a bite out of the patty that had been prepared live on stage by British chef Richard McGeown and carefully chewed on it. “The biggest surprise was the consistency,” she later told ScienceNOW. “It wasn’t as soft as I thought it would be. I was afraid it would fall apart.” Neither Schonwald nor Rützler was particularly excited about the taste of the historic snack, however—in part because it hadn’t been seasoned and contained no fat.The rather slick media show had few new scientific details but focused on taste and ethical issues instead. Still, the event represented “a paradigm shift in the way animal protein can be produced,” says Nicholas Genovese, a visiting scholar at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who is doing in vitro meat research funded through a fellowship by animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “Not since the domestication of livestock has a method been so revolutionary,” Genovese writes in an e-mail.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But the public at large seems divided: While many welcomed the presentation on the Internet today, others called the idea of lab-grown meat “disgusting” and “unnatural.”Perhaps the most concrete news to come out of the event was the unmasking of the mysterious billionaire who financed the project to the tune of $375,000. He is Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who has an interest in environmental issues and who praised Post in a video message for thinking big. “There are basically three things that can happen going forward. One is that we all become vegetarian,” Brin said. “The second is we ignore the issue and that leads to continued environmental harm, and the third option is we do something new.”The first burger was always intended as a proof-of-concept that would bring new funding to the field of in vitro meat research. On a stage reminiscent of a cooking show, journalist and presenter Nina Hossain interviewed Post and invited the tasters to join, while chef McGeown prepared the patty with some oil and butter. “It’s holding its form beautifully,” he assured Hossain at one point.According to the press package, the starting material for the burger was biopsies from two cows raised on organic farms. Post later confirmed to ScienceNOW that the material was actually taken at a slaughterhouse. From this tissue, Post isolated satellite cells, adult stem cells needed to replace dead muscle cells. Antibiotics were used in the cell culture to prevent bacterial infections, Post confirmed, and the cells grew on a medium containing fetal bovine serum, which is made from the blood of slaughtered animals.The idea is to eventually take the animal out of the equation. At the press conference, Post said that he had already tried 10 different mediums without fetal bovine serum. “Nine were not good; one was okay,” he said.One innovation that Post hadn’t described earlier is a circular structure in the middle of the petri dish around which the cells grow. In earlier attempts, Post had used two triangles of Velcro in the dish that muscle cells spontaneously attached to, but sometimes the fibers would pull themselves off the Velcro, he said. The circular structure made the cells attach to each other as they formed little rings, providing a more flexible attachment.Thousands of these beef circles were then turned over to Peter Verstrate, a self-employed food technologist in the Netherlands. Verstrate cut the rings to produce little shreds of meat, about a centimeter long and a millimeter thick, which he ground up in a bowl. Breadcrumbs and some binder were added to improve the texture, he says.The color was a problem: Because of a lack of myoglobin—an oxygen-binding protein in muscle fibers—the cultured meat looked white instead of red. Some colorants turned the meat red but were so stable that the cooked product looked raw, Verstrate says. In the end, the researchers settled on a mix of beetroot juice, saffron, and a little bit of caramel that made the raw burger look like a regular McDonald’s burger but turned it brown during cooking. “We didn’t add any taste,” Verstrate says.Indeed, that was Rützler main’s gripe. “I’ve never eaten a patty without salt and pepper before,” she said. There is room for improvement here.” Schonwald, for his part, noted that the meat had a “familiar mouthfeel,” but said the taste wasn’t quite like a real burger, in part because of the absence of fat. Post said adding fat-producing cells is one of the many challenges that this field is still facing.In the end, about half of the exclusive burger wasn’t actually eaten; Post said that his children might get to try the rest. He didn’t say whether they would be allowed to use seasoning.last_img read more

first_imgA study in which Chinese children were fed a small amount of genetically modified rice violated university and U.S. federal rules on human research, according to a statement issued yesterday by Tufts University in Boston, whose scientists led the study. Tufts has barred the principal investigator, Guangwen Tang, from doing human research for 2 years and will require her to undergo training in research on human subjects.In August 2012, Tang and colleagues published a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that golden rice is a promising source of vitamin A in Chinese children aged 6 to 8 years old. The study ignited a media firestorm in China a few weeks later, after Greenpeace issued a statement claiming that the children were used as “guinea pigs” and labeling the study a “scandal of international proportions.” Three Chinese collaborators who initially denied involvement in the study, according to media reports, were punished for their participation in December, following an official investigation in China, and parents of the children received generous financial compensation from the Chinese government.Golden rice contains β-carotene, a compound that is turned into vitamin A inside the body and that gives the rice its trademark yellow hue. It was developed in the 1990s to help fight vitamin A deficiency, a major global health problem estimated to cause blindness in up to half a million children every year, half of whom die within 12 months after losing their eyesight.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The study that has drawn so much opprobrium, carried out in 2008 among 72 children in a primary school in China’s Hunan province, was designed to find out how well golden rice is converted into vitamin A inside kids’ bodies. The results were good news for supporters of the rice variety: One serving could provide more than half of a child’s daily vitamin A needs, the researchers reported.Tufts launched the investigation in September 2012, shortly after the controversy erupted. A spokesperson says that Tufts won’t publish a report about the investigation, but the university e-mailed a brief statement to reporters yesterday. Tufts also sent ScienceInsider a letter from Diane Souvaine, Tufts’ vice provost for research, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with more details about the investigations. (Tang works at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, a facility operated jointly by Tufts and USDA). ScienceInsider also obtained a letter from Souvaine to Kristina Borror of the U.S. Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) about the investigation.The letters show that Tufts’ own institutional review board (IRB) investigated the ethical procedures, as did an external panel whose membership has not been made public. In addition, there was a third, internal review to look at whether there was any evidence of scientific fraud or data manipulation.The reviews found no evidence of health or safety problems in the children fed golden rice; they also concluded that the study’s data were scientifically accurate and valid. Indeed, Souvaine’s letter to the USDA stresses that the results “have important public health and nutrition implications, for China and other parts of the world.”But the IRB concluded that there were a number of problems in the way Tang conducted the study. For instance, she provided “insufficient evidence” that the study “was reviewed and approved by an Ethics Review Board in China in accordance with prevailing standards.” It also found that some of the consent forms had not been obtained before the trial started, and there was “some evidence that the dates on some consent forms were changed and that other consent forms may have been inappropriately signed.”Tang also made some unauthorized changes to the study protocol after obtaining permission, the IRB concluded; for instance, the participation of research team members from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention was not described in the protocol, and eight subjects were recruited to an unapproved “placebo” arm. Tufts, in its letter to OHRP, characterized Tang’s actions as constituting “serious and continuing non-compliance with federal regulations” and with Tufts IRB policy.Tang, who was born in China and has been at Tufts since 1987, did not respond to requests for comment from ScienceInsider. Tufts has barred her from doing research on humans for 2 years, during which time she will be “retrained on human subjects research regulations and policies,” the university stated; after the training is completed, for a further 2 years she can do human studies only as a supervised co-investigator.Tang, 64, has decided to close her lab next year as a result of the punishment, says Adrian Dubock, executive secretary of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board in Switzerland, which was not directly involved in the study. “She did not choose the political controversy thrust upon her altruistic research,” Dubock, who has kept in contact with Tang, says in a written statement. “Her retirement and the closure of her laboratory will be a loss to humanity.”Tang is not the only one in the crosshairs. The external panel criticized Tufts’ IRB for having failed to verify that there were ethics panels in place in China equipped to review the study, and whether they actually reviewed and approved the trial. The IRB should also have ensured that the informed consent form for parents explicitly stated that the rice is the product of genetic engineering.U.S. guidelines stipulate that such forms use plain language understandable to lay people, and the IRB agreed to let Tang say that “Golden Rice is a new rice which makes beta-carotene,” without using the loaded words “genetically modified.” (The consent form for a very similar study by Tang among adults in Boston, published in 2009, didn’t use that term either.) Given the sensitivities over transgenic food, which existed in China as well, that was the wrong decision, according to the external panel.The IRB has taken a number of measures to shore up its reviews, especially of international studies, Tufts says.The Tufts statement and the letters don’t mention the role of Robert Russell, the last author of the paper and a renowned nutrition researcher. Russell, now retired, was the head of the Tufts-USDA lab at the time the study was conducted. Although he helped design the trial, Russell tells ScienceInsider that he had little to do with how it was carried out, was not present at the study site in China, and does not speak Chinese. The paper lists him as “the study physician,” but he was only available for “long-distance consultation” if problems emerged, he says.Russell says that overall, the Tufts statement is “a fair assessment of the problems,” but says that Tang, with whom he has been in contact, has different views on a number of issues. In retrospect, Russell says, more than one bilingual researcher from Tufts should have been involved in the study to oversee adherence to the protocol. He says part of the problem was that the researchers relied on their Chinese counterparts. “We thought it was going to be run correctly and at the time had no reason to think it wouldn’t be,” he says; that was “naive.”Tufts has ordered Tang to write a letter to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describing the outcome of the investigations; the journal’s editor, Dennis Bier of Baylor College of Medicine, says no decision has been made on what to do with the paper.In July, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission released new draft guidelines for studies involving humans, which the state news agency Xinhua says were triggered by the golden rice incident. Among the changes is that trials must be registered with the sponsoring institution before they begin, to allow proper oversight.Cao Xuetao, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, says the issue is a reminder that Chinese regulatory authorities haven’t kept up with the nation’s burgeoning research enterprise. “Chinese science has expanded so fast in the past few years,” he says, and “now there are so many clinical trials.”German plant scientist Ingo Potrykus, who developed the first golden rice variety in the 1990s, says the controversy should not deflect attention from the study’s outcome. “The study has shown that golden rice is a very effective source of vitamin A,” says Potrykus, who is retired and lives in Switzerland. “That’s what’s most important.”With reporting by Mara Hvistendahl.last_img read more

first_imgRussia’s scientific community is in the throes of upheaval. Last month, the powerful Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) was compelled to merge with two sister academies that serve medical and agricultural research. The reform law setting that change in motion also created a Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations (FASO) that oversees the combined academies and their assets. President Vladimir Putin has said that the reforms will restore luster to an ailing scientific establishment. Others claim to see the machinations of individuals in Putin’s inner circle bent on harming the academy or stripping it of its estimated $10 billion in real estate holdings.In an interview with ScienceInsider, RAS President Vladimir Fortov, 68, an accomplished plasma physicist, criticizes how the reforms were forced upon the scientific community and defends his strategy of cooperating with the academy’s adversaries rather than confronting them. His answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: Why is the government reforming RAS?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)V.F.: Reforms were happening in the Russian Academy of Sciences, but they were not so conspicuous to society and to the leaders of the country. That is why the leadership introduced its own plan of action. It was the plan for more rapid and more radical reforms, without appropriate consultations with scientists. To the government, it seemed more appropriate to integrate the academies into a general framework that would correspond to their notions of what is modern.There were, of course, reasons for introducing changes in the Academy of Sciences; we saw them, and just after [my] election as president of the academy we ourselves started to deal with them. Why was a reform forced on us at that time? To my mind it was a mistake—to rely on opinions of some interested bureaucrats but not on the opinions of scientists.Q: By law, last month RAS merged with two other science academies. Has RAS ceased to exist?V.F.: On 8 February, the Russian Academy of Sciences celebrated its 290th anniversary. Will it be able to celebrate its 300th anniversary 10 years from now? Much depends on the interpretation and implementation of the law on reform.As the research institutes of RAS were transferred to FASO, the task of the academy is to preserve their research potential. But from a realistic point of view, one has to admit that in the future, the total corps of research institutes may be diminished.Q: When all this is settled, what other country will Russia resemble in terms of the organization of scientific research? Are you searching for a model?V.F.: I’m afraid that it is such a model that was long ago described by Nikolai Gogol, well-known Russian writer in his play Zhenitba, which means marriage, when the bride has a dilemma of a choice among bridegrooms. Nowadays in Russia, there is a fashionable trend of borrowing superficial features from overseas and not paying enough attention to substance.Q: How will the merged academies be governed? V.F.: Now, I’m president of a new Russian Academy of Sciences that united the three former academies: the main RAS, the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. We are in preparation for the first general meeting of the academy, which is due to take place at the end of March. This general meeting will adopt the statutes that clarify the management of RAS.Q: How do you feel about the law’s provision to abolish the rank of corresponding academician?V.F.: We managed to avoid the original proposal in the draft law, which was a straightforward scheme of converting corresponding members to academicians [full members]. Corresponding members will have to undergo elections before they become full members. However, academician status has already been devalued by an increasing number of academicians. It looks as if you had turned on a money-printing machine and manufactured three times more money than justified. Naturally, this currency has less value.Q: There is much discussion about how scientists in RAS institutes will be affected by the merger and budgetary considerations. What percentage of RAS’s 55,000 scientists do you anticipate will lose their positions in 2014? V.F.: Issues of staff reduction are today beyond the scope of RAS and at least in the near future are not going to be considered by RAS.Q: Do you envision the reforms will trigger a brain drain from Russia?V.F.: There is no doubt that it will be followed by a brain drain. We have already felt it among the young people especially.Q: You have said that you are ready to cooperate with FASO Director Mikhail Kotyukov. However, some observers argue that you should be taking a more aggressive stance to fight for the future of RAS. How you will represent the interests of academy scientists in the coming difficult weeks?V.F.: We as scientists are well aware of mathematical game theory and understand what strategies could lead to a win or at least to a draw, and which of them will undoubtedly lose. Aggressive strategies turn out to be winning only in one case, i.e., if you have the multiple advantage of force. Otherwise, it’s more reasonable to use negotiations, i.e., cooperative strategies. To rush about and change your strategies depending upon success or failure in resolving individual issues is to go from bad to worse. That’s why, having suppressed our emotions, we along with the RAS Presidium have chosen our own line of conduct, and many scientists and members of the academy have supported us. I still stick to it and remain of the opinion that I have taken sound decisions. I am convinced that over the past half a year we have managed to achieve for academic scientists more than what might have been gained from one or two aggressive attacks.Q: To what extent will research directions continue to be decided by the researchers? Scientists at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics, for instance, say that a new directive decrees that their research fields will be limited to finance, molecular biology, and other applied fields. Areas that the Steklov gained fame for—geometry, topology, and algebra, for example—will no longer receive support. What is your understanding of this issue, and what leverage will you have in the new system?V.F.: It’s one of the most complicated and pressing questions. We’ll see how it’ll work in practice. But according to the general health of the economy, the financial support of science is hardly likely to trend upward. So some directions will suffer.Q: In hindsight, is there anything you wish you had done in the past several months that might have led to a more optimistic outlook for RAS?V.F.: We wish we had prepared more seriously and carefully for the legislative connotations of the law, to require formal negotiations and a written account of the results of the negotiations. Verbal agreements work badly in today’s Russia.last_img read more

first_imgWhen male big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) send sonarlike signals known as echolocation into the air, they’re not just looking for food—they’re also telling other bats to back off. The find comes thanks to an analysis of audio recordings of the animals taken while they foraged for food in a lab. Some of the calls were different from the bats’ usual short echolocation pulses; they were lower in frequency, longer in duration, and always occurred in sets of three to four calls. To find out what purpose these strange calls served, the scientists made video and audio recordings of big brown bats as they hunted tethered mealworms. In some setups, the bats flew alone, and in others they hunted in pairs (as in the photo above). When flying alone, the bats did not utter the foraging call; it was only when a male was paired with another bat (male or female) that he emitted the sound—and then, it was only the males that did so. The male bat making the most foraging calls usually got the prey, while the other male moved farther away, the researchers report online today in Current Biology. Female bats never called “dibs,” perhaps because in the wild they are more likely to forage near relatives, the scientists say. Intriguingly, each male bat had his own foraging call—sounds that were so distinctive, the scientists were able to correctly identify the caller 96.4% of the time.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_imgThe virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has been found in camel milk. Scientists don’t know whether infected milk can sicken people, but experts say the results are reason enough to warn against drinking raw camel milk, a widespread tradition in the Middle East. The Qatari government has already issued new guidelines recommending that milk be boiled before consumption.The new findings come from a group of researchers at Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health; the country’s Ministry of Environment; Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. They were announced at a press conference in Doha on Wednesday, and a paper about them was submitted to the journal Eurosurveillance today, says Erasmus MC virologist Chantal Reusken, the first author.The researchers also discovered that almost one in 10 people who come in contact with camels on the job have antibodies against MERS, a sign that they were infected with the virus at some point—although none of them got very sick from it.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Almost 2 years after MERS emerged, it’s still unclear how many of the patients become infected. Direct transmission between people occurs, and many of the more than 500 new MERS cases that Saudi Arabia has reported in the past 3 months appear to have occurred in hospitals as a result of inadequate infection control measures. But there isn’t evidence yet of widespread human-to-human transmission outside hospitals. And researchers have uncovered more and more evidence that contact with dromedary camels may be a risk factor for getting MERS. Camels in nine countries in the Middle East and Africa have been shown to be infected with MERS, and the virus appears to jump from camels to people, researchers have reported. But where and how it crosses the species barrier is still very unclear.The international team working in Qatar has collected thousands of samples from animals, people, and the environment and tested them for evidence of the virus or antibodies against it; their samples included milking camels at two locations in Qatar. Among the animals that were shedding the virus from their nose or in their feces—signaling an active infection—more than half also had virus RNA in their milk.The milk was obtained using traditional methods, in which udders aren’t routinely cleaned before milking, and a calf is allowed to suckle to get the milk flow started. As a result, the researchers can’t tell whether the infected camels secrete the virus directly into the milk; it’s possible that the milk becomes contaminated through the calves’ saliva, traces of feces, or the milkers’ hands. It’s also not clear whether humans can get sick from drinking unpasteurized milk, says Marion Koopmans, who heads the Dutch group.In another recent study, researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases showed that live MERS virus added to unpasteurized camel milk could survive for 3 days.The World Health Organization (WHO) will soon issue revised guidelines that, like the Qatari government, recommend against drinking raw milk, says Peter Ben Embarek, a specialist in foodborne diseases at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; he says that’s never a good idea.Camel meat might be another transmission route; the scientists found that 13% of lymph node samples taken at a slaughterhouse contained the virus. But they can’t say whether this means that meat is actually contaminated, or how much risk that would pose to consumers.The team also discovered that 8.7% of workers at camel farms and a camel slaughterhouse had antibodies to the virus. The fact that none of them reported a serious illness suggests that MERS may be more common than scientists knew so far and cause mild disease or even none at all in more people. “We always suspected that the cases we knew about were the tip of the iceberg,” Ben Embarek says. The study gives scientists a better understanding of how widespread the virus really is, he says.In the guidelines issued this week, the Qatari government also indicated how to protect camel workers. Among other things, they should wash their hands frequently, wear protective facemasks—although temperatures of up to 50°C make this almost impossible in Qatar—and wear protective clothing and gloves that should be washed daily.Given the paucity of data so far on MERS transmission, scientists have praised the Dutch-Qatari team for their work. The collaboration is a “showcase of what should happen in the region,” Ben Embarek says. Ian Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, in Australia who follows MERS closely on his blog, called the study “great stuff” in a tweet today and said Qatar was “really to be congratulated” for embarking on it.last_img read more

first_imgGalápagos research center may shut downA 50-year-old conservation organization dedicated to preserving the biodiversity hotspot that inspired Charles Darwin is about to fall off a financial cliff and could close before the end of the year. The Charles Darwin Foundation, based in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, has helped control goats, blackberries, and other invasive species while working to restore populations of endangered species, notably giant tortoises and mangrove finches. It also helps review applications to the Galápagos National Park from researchers and handles logistics for the approved projects.Arctic faces an ice-pocalypseSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Thick sheets of ice coating roads, homes, and pastures. Dead reindeer, no radio transmissions, and flights canceled for days. When ice came to an Arctic mining outpost called Longyearbyen on the Svalbard archipelago two winters ago, it crippled the community for weeks and devastated wildlife for months. Now, scientists are saying such weather extremes in the Arctic—known as rain-on-snow events—may become more frequent in the future.People with hand transplants can gain near-normal sense of touchRapid changes unfold in the brain after a person’s hand is amputated. Within days—and possibly even hours—neurons that once processed sensations from the palm and fingers start to shift their allegiances, beginning to fire in response to sensations in other body parts, such as the face. But a hand transplant can bring these neurons back into the fold, restoring the sense of touch nearly back to normal, according to a study presented this week at the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C.Body’s bacteria may keep our brains healthyThe microbes that live in your body outnumber your cells 10 to one. Recent studies suggest these tiny organisms help us digest food and maintain our immune system. Now, researchers have discovered yet another way microbes keep us healthy: They are needed for closing the blood-brain barrier, a molecular fence that shuts out pathogens and molecules that could harm the brain.Gecko-inspired adhesives allow people to climb wallsIn the 2011 movie Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise climbs the exterior of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, using nothing more than a pair of gloves. Now, scientists have invented the real deal: hand-sized, gecko-inspired adhesives that can lift a human up glass walls—and that one day may even catch space junk.Study of gay brothers may confirm X chromosome link to homosexualityDean Hamer finally feels vindicated. More than 20 years ago, in a study that triggered both scientific and cultural controversy, the molecular biologist offered the first direct evidence of a “gay gene,” by identifying a stretch on the X chromosome likely associated with homosexuality. But several subsequent studies called his finding into question. Now the largest independent replication effort so far, looking at 409 pairs of gay brothers, fingers the same region on the X. “When you first find something out of the entire genome, you’re always wondering if it was just by chance,” says Hamer, who asserts that new research “clarifies the matter absolutely.”last_img read more

first_imgThe lore of the pomegranate tree gets no short shrift as a preface of sorts to Vijay Lakshmi’s Pomegranate Dreams and other stories. Possessing great meaning to cultures as disparate to one another as Armenians and Indians, and religions such as Christianity (Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection), Islam (the fruit cleanses the spirit of envy) and Parsis (who utilize the twigs to make their sacred broom), the pomegranate is described, thus, as a “cluster of deep red or pink juicy berries tightly packed inside a thick hard shell,” and the fruit is said to “laugh” when ripe and the shell splits open.With this in mind, one expects tightly packed stories exemplifying the insularity of experience. This is a reasonable expectation and one that becomes fully realized with a clarity that gradually builds and cracks open into understanding. While Vijay Lakshmi may have never set out to consciously explicate anyone’s experience in particular, she does just that.Portraying outsider status in general and loneliness and alienation in particular, this collection is existentialist in its outlook but, surprisingly, not devoid of the hope that lies imbedded beneath all difficult experiences. Vijay Laksmi is soft-spoken and smiles easily. An interviewers dream, she is forthright without being obnoxious, and informative about her work without being egotistical and pretentious.She pulls no punches, though, when she explains to me that at the root of all of her fiction, is the theme of loneliness, almost exclusively. She states this with such agency, I quickly realize, and correctly so, that for her, this theme is not simply a handy vehicle for writing dramatic stories, but a firmly held belief that loneliness is the root of all human experience. She began writing upon her arrival to this country quite a few years ago, as a way of making sense of being an immigrant in a new land and navigating the difficult cultural map that stretched out ahead of her.She says that it is important to tell her stories from different viewpoints, showing that the outsider experience transcends social and financial status, and even age. She elaborates: “Pomegranate Dreams is told from the viewpoint of a little girl, whose “voice” is immature and, seems at first, to be the one adjusting to her family’s move from India to the United States with tremendous difficulty.Later on, she comes into a hard fought understanding of her place in society.” While the narrator’s place in society may vary, Lakshmi is consistent with and determined to keep the main focus on the female experience exclusively, explaining, ” I have always thought it much more difficult for women to get used to living in a different culture than it is for men.“Men usually, but of course not always, have their work, which may be the primary reason for leaving one’s country in the first place. Women are often left to their own devices, suffering homesickness and confusion about customs and social expectations.”Indeed, seen from the eyes of an adolescent like Juhi, in Pomegranate Dreams, confusion and sadness loom large. Eyeing her new home for the first time, Juhi experiences a rush of emotions and a sort of sensory overload, giving the view of her new home a frightening and sinister tinge: I thought we had arrived at the edge of the world, the bounds of beyond. One step more and we would plunge into empty space. Except for a small clearing where my father had parked the car, and except for a huge brown rock with tufts of grass hanging from the crevices, we were surrounded on all sides by nothing but a mass of towering trees that blocked the sky and cast moss shadow on the ground. I still remember the splintered sky above our heads, the dandelions at our feet. And I can still remember the taste of fear in my mouth as I imagined reptiles, dinosaurs and winged beasts lurking in the undergrowth.Juhi laments all that has been left behind with poignant descriptions of an India that will remain frozen in her psyche:We left behind my grandmother with whom I had lived all the years of my life. . . we left behind the stone house where champa, chameli, marigold and bougainvillea jostled to out-bloom each other; the pomegranate trees with slender spiny branches, from which parrots swung, prying the fruit open with their sharp beaks. . . we left behind monkeys that leapt from one branch to another. . .and we left something else, too, a sense of belonging which seemed to have slipped off like a bundle from the top of a bus climbing a mountain road. I couldn’t believe that we had exchanged that bounty for a tiny house with a grizzly cherry tree whose gnarled roots were splayed like fear unleashed in the dark.What becomes vividly clear in these stories is that loneliness is almost always coupled with fear not only of the unknown, but what is different as well. To further my understanding of what makes this experience truly “mind altering,”Vijay Lakshmi leans forward for emphasis when she explains the concept of Sanskar . Lightly touching her curled fist to her heart, I know that I am about to hear a sentiment that is the crux of her writing thus far: “Sanskar,” she cautions, “may lie dormant, but could flair at any time. It is what has been instilled into you from your family for generation upon generation. It is that which is deeply rooted in us through generations of readings, rituals, thoughts and emotions, and not at all easily dismissed or forgotten.”In the title novella, Juhi and her mother struggle along, but her older brother Bansi approaches everything with a Ghandian point of view, seeing their arrival in the United States as a grand opportunity more than anything else.He works steadily towards his goals, very much like the father in the family, with his eyes clearly on the future, and not mired in what he sees as mere petty daily life adjustments.While Juhi turns in on herself and goes through each day kicking and screaming, cousin Priya appears to grab life by the flank. Individualistic and rebellious, Priya is determined to survive any way she can. With a chronically malcontent mother and a father for whom all of life’s best opportunities appear to have passed him by, is singularly determined. Interestingly, this is where the author seems to turn tables on us. Casting off any pat and easy endings, the culmination of this novella will give readers something to think about and brings fulfills the corollary of the Pomegranate which is hard on the outside, but shelters what is valuable on the inside.Seven other stories complete the collection beginning with “In the City of the Storks” and the surprising location of Spain, where an Indian professor and her companion, the terminally ill Ben, go for a conference where, it turns out, he will spend the last days of his life, highlighting the stark realization that if living far from one’s home is a trial, dying away from one’s home is even more so.“Touchline” is poignant in its rendering of a very westernized Indian woman who returns to India in the (futile) attempt to get her mother to relinquish everything and return home to the states with her. Back in Jaipur, her mother exists in a ramshackle home, infested with rodents, but seems not at all bothered by their presense.While the old woman remembers her life many years ago, her daughter feels a shifting of worlds, between the life she led in India, and her very different life in the states:I envy her such moments. I try to think about my life, my family, my short past in America. I don’t find any Kashmir or Mysore silks rippling through my fingers. I look at the walls, the trees, the garden of my mother’s house. Blurred patterns begin to appear again as if the walls were a child’s magic painting book-a few strokes with a wet brush and the scene emerges clear. I am scared of making these strokes. I don’t want the past to be brought back. I don’t want to be tugged back, now that I have settled down in the States.A supportive husband, and a well-developed theme, almost an ideology, will keep Vijay Lakshmi writing many, many more stories, and she hints of a novel in the offing, no doubt on some aspect of being on the outside, looking in as well as displacement in its varied forms. Pomegranate Dreams and other stories offer us a kaleidoscopic view of the inner and out dilemma of “home”. When Vijay explains further that her Hindu way of life and it’s teachings (part of her own Sanskara) advises that we are ultimately alone and prescribes that we not become sucked into this world which is full of desire, no matter where we call home, we see that philosophy directly on the page. But Laksmi’s existentialist bent has a ray of hope.As Camus has written, “There is no sun without shadow and it is essential to know the night.” Manish, in “Distances” responds to his wife’s lament of not being able to smell the night queen flower as she had in India, because it does not bloom in America, responds, “It does bloom somewhere . . . and all the time, too, whether you notice it or not.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

first_imgNarendra Modi is Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was re-elected after he oversaw the 2002 carnage when his party and its family went after the livelihood and lives of Gujarati Muslims. The election campaign was as divisive as the riots, with an appeal to the Hindu majority to abjure the Congress (which in Gujarat is also heavily compromised by communalism). The BJP would protect the Gujarati Hindu from “anti-national elements,” which, in a border state, hreferred not so much to Pakistan, but to what the BJP considers as Pakistan’s fifth column, Indian Muslims. Modi, therefore, ran for re-election of Hindu Gujarat, not of the State of Gujarat whose laws and legal standing is based on that of the Indian Republic. Modi is a violator of the Indian Constitution (according to the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court), taking his orders from Hindutva, not from the values of the Constitution.Modi is not India. He is the poster-boy of Hindutva.We, Indian Americans, are not India either. We are people who hail from India and have all kinds of complicated emotional and personal ties with the Republic. We are regularly in touch with our families, we travel to India every year, and we want the very best for India. But we are not India itself.“India” is an abstraction. When people say that the revocation of Modi’s visa is an insult to India, they mean many different things. The most reasonable definition is that “India” is a sovereign state, a democratic republic, with a seat in the United Nations. The United Nations Charter (Article 1, Sec. 2) asks for the UN to “develop friendly relations among nations,” which is one of the foundations for the modern reciprocal visa regimes. A sovereign state welcomes the citizens of another sovereign state to increase people-to-people contacts and commercial relations.When the US State Department denied Modi’s visa based on political grounds, it violated this convention. In doing so, the it opened the door for the Indian government to do one of the following two things: (1) protest the denial based on the notion that Mr. Modi is an Indian citizen (let alone an elected official), and that since he has not been found guilty based on Indian law the U.S. cannot act on innuendo; (2) in a reciprocal manner deny a visa to a US citizen (preferably a US elected official) on the same grounds (for instance, since the UN’s Secretary General Kofi Annan called the Iraq war “illegal,” the Indian Home Ministry could deny a visa to President George W. Bush, even as though he has not been indicted in a U.S. court). The denial of Modi’s visa, in this abstract, institutional sense, is an insult to the sovereignty of India, as Modi, as of yet has not been indicted or found guilty of a crime, remains a bonafide citizen.However, Article 1, Sec 2 is broader than cited above. It adds that “friendly relations” are to be “based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples.” Furthermore, the inter-state system should “take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.” Those who do not respect “equal rights” and “self-determination of all peoples” can be turned away. The principle of “equal rights” and of “self-determination of all peoples” trumps that of state sovereignty. In other words, inter-state relations can be based not so much on inter-state relativism, but on states taking an active judicious role in judging the merits of another state.There is considerable ambiguity on this point even within the UN Charter. It asks states to respect the internal affairs of each other, to tolerate each other, and yet it demands that states, individuals and the UN “promote social progress and better standards of living in larger freedom” (Preamble of the UN Charter). States must mutually respect each other’s sovereignty, but this did not mean that states should tolerate injustice across borders. States must strive to respectfully work with other states, not to confront them in a hostile manner. If there is injustice in another state, then should one’s state act decisively to end that injustice?The U.S. government did not, however, act decisively. In fact, it would have not acted at all if it were not pushed to act. Modi had a visa in 1998. The pogrom against Gujarati Muslims took place in 2002. This is 2005. The U.S. State Department did not revoke his visa during the past three years, even though it did criticize Modi in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and in its International Religious Freedom Report. These reports borrowed from the National Human Rights Commission of India, which argued that there was “a comprehensive failure on the part of the state government to control the persistent violation of rights to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the people of the state.” The State Department quoted this statement at its March 21, 2005 press conference in New Delhi announcing the visa revocation. Why did the U.S. government act in 2005, when it allowed its officials within India to hob-nob with a man it has now considered persona non grata?The simple answer is that since the 2002 pogrom this has been Modi’s first attempt to enter the United States. However, Modi had announced his trip long before the State Department made any statement. The first stirring of trouble for Modi came in late February with the formation of the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a 35 organization umbrella group that decided to raise the ante. CAG initially questioned the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (AAHOA) for its invitation to Modi.Is Modi really good for business and could AAHOA not find any other Indian politician to honor as its chief guest. Even here the answer is simple: almost 45 percent of the several thousand AAHOA members hail from Gujarat, and since Modi is Gujarat’s CEO (as he fashioned himself at the Confederation of Indian Industry meeting last year) he is the obvious choice. When asked by by the media about the invitiation, AAHOA’s Vice Chair M. P. Rama noted, “We were looking at the Gujarat government, not at Narendra Modi. We are telling the Gujarat government to address our membership. Modi just happens to be the chief minister.”But has Modi been good for Gujarat? Unemployment is up, so is the depth of poverty and agrarian stagnation. And besides, in October 2002, a few industrialists formed the Group of American Businesses in Gujarat to promote their interests. Industry Minister Suresh Mehta addressed the founding meeting of this group, created to “re-brand” Gujarat after the 2002 pogrom.“Some doubts have been created in foreign countries,” said Mehta, as the group’s Vice Chairman Kaushal Mehta (CEO of Motif) noted, that industrialists would have to “create brand awareness about Gujarat in US.”Modi and his pogrom have not only been a catastrophe for Gujarati Muslims, but they have also affected the global ability of Gujarati industry. For this reason, Modi’s government has turned to NRIs, hoping for NRI dollars to bail out Gujarati industry. Rama of AAHOA noted that Gujarat’s government has been “rolling out the red carpet for NRIs to invest in its infrastructure, development, tourism and manufacturing.”Gujarat is desperate for this source of capital inflow, banking on our good feelings for our homeland, knowing that commercial capital is loath to enter a state governed by a man prone to create social instability for political and ideological gain. Where the banks fear to tread, Modi wants the NRIs to come running.For CAG, this is a travesty. In our love for India, we can’t afford to love everyone who is a public official in India because they are Indian. That kind of blind patriotism not only violates the spirit of the UN Charter, but it also bodes ill for India. Should all Yugoslavians have rooted for Milosevic or all Iraqis defended Saddam? Why should all Indian Americans rally around Modi, who has been all but indicted for the 2002 pogrom?Because the Indian government has not acted against Modi does not mean that India’s own citizens have not rejected him. Wherever Modi speaks within India people protest, not just the Left organizations, but also business leaders (at two CII events in 2003 and 2004, industrialists openly disdained his role in the riots and in the collapse of business that followed).CAG and others have simply taken their lead from those Indians within India who continue to try to hold Modi and his clique accountable for the death of thousands.AAHOA hrefused to act. Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball felt the pressure and withdrew as Modi’s co-keynote. Then the US government acted, feeling the heat from Indian Americans organized by CAG, from the Commission on International Religious Freedom (chaired by Preeti Bansal) and from Congressman John Conyers.We did not fight to deny or suppress Modi’s speech. This is not a question of freedom of speech. The first Amendment of the Bill of Rights says that Congress will make no law to abridge the freedom of speech (Note: Modi is not a U.S. citizen, so he has no first amendment rights). It does not say that the US government should welcome any applicant for a visa based on their (non-existent) first amendment rights. If it did, then the immigration screening process is a violation of the first amendment.Modi’s right to speak has not been abridged. A substantial number of Indian Americans have forced the U.S. government to honor the principles of the UN Charter, to wit to condemn a sovereign state for violations of the Charter. Modi denied Gujarat’s Muslims their human dignity, and in doing so, he violated the rights of all Gujaratis. This goes against the spirit of the tremendous Indian Constitution, of the UN Charter and of many international conventions.Modi can say all he wants, but he has to also be held accountable for his actions in 2002. The revocation of his visa is one small baby step toward the final accountability for Modi’s final solution.  Related Itemslast_img read more

first_imgBarack Obama is hosting the first state dinner of his presidency for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his state visit on Nov. 24. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extended the invitation to Prime Minister Singh during her visit to India in July.  Related Itemslast_img