Unix migration to Xeon – Performance you need at a price you can’t ignore

first_imgRe-introducing myself, in case you didn’t feel like clicking on me to see what I look like, I am an ETS(Enterprise Technical Specialist) for Intel.  What the rest of the world would call a Sales Engineer.  I cover the fortune 2000, local and state education and government and healthcare in NW North America.  I have a pretty solid technical background but IT is a big place.  I manage to hold my own on topics Intel, but I also find that with every customer meeting I learn something, sometimes I learn a lot.Since I started posting articles, I have been positioning Xeon as the logicalsuccessor to Risc ( IBM Power/AIX & Oracle Sparc/Solaris) based systems.  This seems like a good thing for Intel, and it is, but it is also a good thing for the customer.  I have posted several entries on Risc Migration where I have tried to address challenges customers might consider.The human side of Unix/Mainframe migrationMission Critical Scalability: “But We Need a Bigger Server”Replacing big iron with small iron (cash for clunkers 2?)Recently I find my role has flipped.  I am no longer proselytizing to customers on the benefits of Unix migration, but instead I am being asked for any information on how to get there faster.  Blame it on the economy, the collective IT zeitgeist, or credit my persuasion – whatever the cause, my customers seem to have internalized the message.  I am working with one of my last Power/AIX purchasing holdouts to choreograph their journey to Xeon.I often get the question “what size server for my XYZ application”. This can be tough to answer for a couple of reasons, and I hate responding with “it depends”.  Benchmarks are ok, but at best they give you a rough relative comparison of a specific use of an application or code.  Virtually every published server benchmark has current Xeon results, but for many benchmarks the Risc vendors just don’t publish.  I guess if you can’t say anything nice…For SAP, a common app, there are generally benchmarks available. I usually recommend the SAP SD 2 tier scores for comparison.  As of this writing, the best published four socket Power 7 score is about 25% higher than the best published four socket Xeon E7 processor based system.  The big difference is in the system cost and support cost.  Intel based systems can cost as little as 1/5thof a comparable Power 7 platforms.  I think every company has developed expertise in operating Xeon environments and the operations, support, and licensing costs are well understood.Frequently the target “XYZ” applications are databases.  It would be great if everybody chose to publish TPC-C, TPC-E, TPC-H, but many times the benchmarks just are not available, or if they are they cover different database products.  Customers ask me to clarify how we stack up as a database platform, but without published results on Power 7 there is little I can say.  My strong preference and recommendation to any migration evaluation is to “Run your own benchmarks”.  I have built test harnesses and benchmark tests, and I know it is hard.  To really understand how your application will perform on yournetwork configuration, with your storage architecture, running yourdata – there is no substitute.  Remaining questions on performance, migration/porting, and architecture can be answered, or at least accurately projected.  I have yet to have a customer run their own benchmarks then choose a Risc/Unix platform.  The potential ROI makes Xeon the logical, and most defendable, choice.last_img read more

Government’s Shifting Role to Protect Citizens in the Digital World

first_imgGovernments are having to catch-up with the digital revolution to satisfy their role in providing protection for the common defense.  The world is changing.  Longstanding definitions of responsibilities, rules, and jurisdictions have not kept up with implementation of technology.  One of the traditional roles of government is to provide defense of its citizens and their property.  Constitutions, laws, and courts define these roles and place boundaries limiting them.  With the rapid onset of digital technology, people are communicating more and in new ways, creating massive amounts of information which is being collected and aggregated.  Digital assets and data is itself becoming valuable.  Traditional policies and controls are not suited or sufficient to protect citizen’s information.  Governments are reacting to address the gaps.  This adaptation is pushing the boundaries of scope and in some cases redefining the limitations and precedents derived from an analog era of time.  Flexing to encompass the digital domain within the scope of protection, is necessary to align with expectations of the people.  Such change however, is slow.  One of the loudest criticisms is the speed in which governments can adapt to sufficiently protect its citizens.  Realistically, it must be as boundaries are tested and redrawn.  In representative rule, there exists a balance between the rights of the citizen and the powers of the government.  Moving too quickly can violate this balance to the detriment of liberty and result in unpleasant outcomes.  Move too slow and masses become victimized, building outcry and dissatisfaction in the state of security.  Bureaucracy is the gatekeeper to keep the pendulum from swinging too fast.The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency – Eugene McCarthy        The writing is on the wall. Citizens expect government to play a more active role in protecting their digital assets and privacy. Governments are responding. Change is coming across the industry and it will be fueled by litigation and eventually regulatory penalties. Every company, regardless of type, will need to pay much more focus to their cybersecurity. There are regulatory standards and oversight roles which are being defined as part of the legal structure.  Government agencies are claiming and asserting more powers to establish and enforce cybersecurity standards.  Recently, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s action against companies who had data breaches and reaffirmed the FTC’s authority to hold companies accountable for failing to safeguard consumer data.  The judicial branch interpreted the law in a way which supports the FTC assertion of their role in the digital age.  Litigation precedents, which act as guiding frameworks, are also being challenged and adapted to influence the responsibility and accountability of customer data.  The long term ramifications of potential misuse of digital assets and personal data are being considered and weighed toward the benefit of consumers.  In a recent case, defendants argued to dismiss a class action but were unsuccessful as the court cited a failure in the “duty to maintain adequate security” which justified the action to continue.  The defendant argued that the plaintiffs suffered no actual injury, but the court rejected those arguments, stating the loss of sensitive personal data was “…sufficient to establish a credible threat of real and immediate harm, or certainly impending injury.”.In a separate case, the Seventh Circuit and the Ninth Circuit concluded that victims have a legal right to file a lawsuit over the long-term consequences of a data breach.  In addition to reimbursement for fraudulent charges, the court said even those in the class-action lawsuit who did not experience near-term damages have a likelihood of fraud in the future.  The court stated “customers should not have to wait until hackers commit identity theft or credit-card fraud in order to give the class standing.”  Experts believe this shift in litigation precedent is likely to lead to an increase in data breach class actions in cases involving hacking.This is the macro trend I see.  Governments are stepping up to fill the void where protective oversight does not exist or citizens are not empowered to hold accountable those who have been negligent in protecting their data.  The digital realm has grown so rapidly and encompasses citizens’ lives so deeply, governments are accepting they need to adapt legal structures to protect their populace, but struggling in how to make it a reality.  We will see more of this re-definition across governmental structures worldwide over the next several years as a legal path is forged and tempered.Twitter: @Matt_RosenquistIntel Network: My Previous PostsLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquistlast_img read more

Disentangling a Hairy Infection

first_imgIt’s not a pleasant thought, but the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections use tough, hairlike fibers tipped with adhesive to latch onto the lining of our kidneys and bladder. In the United States alone, the pesky bugs send 8 million people to the doctor each year. But new treatments for these painful infections and other diseases could be on the horizon, now that researchers have figured out how bacteria create those sticky fibers.Many kinds of bacteria create so-called pili fibers, including the Escherichia coli responsible for urinary tract infections and the Yersinia pestis bacteria that cause bubonic plague. Pili fibers are towers of interlocking blocks of cells, stacked so that a dangling tail on each block fits neatly into a groove in the block below it. Researchers know that two common types of proteins–dubbed chaperones and ushers–somehow control pili assembly. Chaperones help other proteins fold into the right shapes and protect them from interactions that might cause trouble. Ushers, as their name suggests, ensure that chaperones bring proteins to the right location. But how these proteins actually assemble a pilus fiber wasn’t known.Taking up the challenge, microbiologist Scott Hultgren and molecular biophysicist Gabriel Waksman and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, painstakingly took series of x-ray photographs of pilus fibers under construction. Studying the assembly process frame by frame, the team found that once the individual blocks, or subunits, are created inside the bacteria, a chaperone protein loosely fills in the empty groove on the subunit. The chaperone prevents the subunit from interacting with other proteins and carts it off to an usher protein on the bacterium’s outer membrane. There, the chaperone detaches, and the subunit latches onto the dangling tail of another subunit. Thus connected, the subunits push up through the cell membrane to form a strong, stable fiber, the team reports in the 15 November issue of Cell.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 could lead to new strategies to treat urinary tract infections, says structural biologist Katrina Forest of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Now that it’s clear how pili are made, researchers can focus on halting subunit assembly or taking the pilus apart, she adds. The research might also lead to new insight into how chaperone proteins aid in the development of other complex molecular structures, says microbiologist David Thanassi of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, calling the research “remarkable and significant.”Related sitesScott Hultgren’s siteGabriel Waksman’s siteDavid Thanassi’s siteKatrina Forest’s sitelast_img read more

Vote Likely on $172 Million Cut From NOAA Budget

first_imgOcean-research advocates are rallying the troops today to build opposition to a proposed $172 million cut from the 2010 budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of debate on the $65 billion Commerce, Justice, and Science spending bill for next year. Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) and three other Republicans have proposed cutting that money from the NOAA operating account and using it to fund the “State Criminal Alien Assistance Program,” which the Obama Administration wants to slash from the budget next year. The program provides federal funds to state and local jails to help them pay for detention of criminals who are undocumented immigrants, and the Obama Administration said it would save $400 million by cutting it from the federal budget. Obama proposed a $4.5 billion budget for NOAA, and the House passed a budget that would give it $4.6 billion. The bill coming to the floor would fund the agency at $4.8 billion. Hutchinson’s amendment does not specify what operations within the NOAA operating account would get cut. If the amendment passes, it will be up to the Administration to wield the ax. NOAA may decide to keep its core intact and carve into proposed boosts to satellite-research programs and conservation-management programs.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(*)Washington, D.C., advocacy group Ocean Leadership emphasized how the cut might affect climate research, specifically satellite observations, in an alert it sent out today to its supporters:Demands on NOAA far outstrip its current budget and has resulted in weakened core programs and major infrastructure deficits. This situation significantly jeopardizes the agency’s capacity to fulfill growing demands for products, services and information, including those directly contributing to the national effort to address climate change and energy security while ensuring the health and vitality of marine ecosystems.Specifically, the funding recommended by the Committee is essential to support climate-related observation and monitoring infrastructure necessary to maintain critical coverage and data continuity fundamental to weather and climate forecasts that helps save lives, support businesses and guide policymaking on climate change. The level of concern over the state of this infrastructure was clearly communicated in a recent National Research Council report which stated that the nation’s “extraordinary foundation of global observations is a great risk.” Lobbyists worry that the amendment could pass because senators could be hard pressed to be on record voting against a program viewed as tough on illegal immigration.During deliberations on spending bills, many amendments get dismissed by the leadership, but Ocean Leadership’s Peter Hill says that a floor vote on the amendment could occur when the bill comes to the floor for consideration, which is set to begin at 2 p.m. EDT today.last_img read more

Back In Action: Super Collider May Have Smashed First Atoms

first_imgPhysicists the world over are eagerly waiting for the world’s new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, to blast some particles together, and that may have already happened. Over the weekend, physicists succeeded in passing protons all the way around the Large Hadron Collider, officials at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, near Geneva, announced today. In fact, physicists passed protons through both of the LHC’s counter-circulating rings at the same time and may have smashed a few protons inadvertently, says CERN spokesperson, James Gillies. “They had two beams in the machine and they were crossing each other, so they may have had collisions already,” he says.To be sure, physicists will comb through data from the four giant particle detectors space around the ring, in which the beams’ paths cross. CERN accelerator physicists next aim to increase the intensity of the beams, perhaps ramp up their energy just a bit from its current low “injection” level, and steer them into each other to start making collisions in earnest, Gillies says. The goal remains to start producing enough collisions by Christmas to allow physicists working with the particle detectors to calibrate them.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

Tweets Lockdown Eases at Cold Spring Harbor

first_imgScientist-tweeters seem to have found an easy solution to a ban on using social media to discuss talks given at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL’s) meetings. The Long Island lab has long had a policy that, unlike at most scientific meetings, journalists need to get permission from a presenter before writing about his or her talk. Last year when geneticist Daniel MacArthur blogged from the lab’s famous Biology of Genomes meeting, CSHL announced it would apply the same closed-door policy to scientists, too. But logistically, getting permission from each speaker can be difficult, MacArthur notes. So this week, panel organizers at this year’s Genomes meeting are asking speakers before each session if it’s okay for the audience to tweet (if not blog) about their talk. Somebody then posts the results on a board at the front of the room. As of today, all but three of 40 speakers have agreed, MacArthur reports. 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

Podcast: Flying Pterosaurs, Gut Bacteria, and Using Google to Predict the Stock Market

first_imgCan Google predict the stock market? Could pterosaurs really fly? And what do our gut bacteria say about our evolutionary history? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science Podcast host Robert Frederick. Listen to the ScienceNOW podcast.(or listen to the full Science podcast.)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(*)Listen to more podcasts.last_img read more

Japan: Water Remains in Fuel Pool of Reactor #4

first_imgTOKYO—The Japanese government says that there is water covering the fuel rods in the spent-fuel pool of reactor #4 at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. On Wednesday, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) head Gregory Jaczko said at a U.S. congressional hearing that “there is no water in the spent-fuel pool” at reactor #4, Bloomberg reported. There were also reports that the zirconium cladding that makes up the fuel rods was burning, which could result in a massive radiation release. But this evening Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency, told reporters that a review of video shot from a helicopter and an on-the-ground check by a worker had confirmed that there is water in the pool. If true, the announcement is one piece of good news in a week-long struggle to cool the fuel in the reactors and block the emanating radiation. 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 Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner of the stricken plant, has enlisted the help of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, the National Police Agency, and the Tokyo Fire Department to dump and spray water on the reactors using helicopters, water cannons intended for riot control, and fire trucks. “We think the water was duly delivered to the inside of unit 3,” which should lower the temperature of fuel in the reactor, he said. He also said that Tokyo Electric hopes to complete the installation of a transmission line to units 1 and 2 by Saturday and to units 3 and 4 by Sunday. The line would provide power to restart the reactor’s own cooling systems, although workers may need to replace pumps possibly damaged by the fires and explosions. Nishiyama said the situation “is not getting worse, as to whether we can say it is under control we have to wait and see the outcome of the water spraying operations.” The Los Angeles Times had reported that photos taken by a Global Hawk drone suggested a “major breach” in the walls of the spent nuclear fuel pool was causing water to continually leak out. “I would suppose there are no cracks in the spent nuclear fuel pool. But this is a matter we need to verify urgently,” said Nishiyama. Nishiyama also said that the government has increased the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale level from 4, indicating an accident with local consequences, to 5, for an accident with wider consequences. The Three Mile Island accident of 1979 was rated 5; the Chernobyl disaster merited level 7. He said this did not indicate a deteriorating situation but rather a reassessment of what has already occurred.last_img read more

House Science Panel Examines Public-Access Policies

first_imgThe debate over public access got an airing before a House Science Committee panel today. Witnesses weighed in on whether the government should require research papers describing federally funded work be freely available. The most-discussed such mandate is that of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since 2008, NIH has required its grantees to post their peer-reviewed manuscripts in a free online archive after an embargo of up to 12 months following a paper’s publication in a journal. Two years ago, the Science Committee convened a group of stakeholders, called the Scholarly Publishing Roundtable, that looked at whether other agencies should follow NIH’s lead. The group’s compromise conclusion urged agencies to develop public access policies, but said each should work out the details (embargo length and whether to post papers in a central archive or on scientists’ personal web sites, for example). At today’s hearing held by the committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, two representatives of scientific societies—Crispin Taylor of the American Society of Plant Biologists and Frederick Dylla of the American Institute of Physics—were leery of an NIH-style mandate. They warned of cancelled journal subscriptions if articles were freely available, even after a 12-month embargo. 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(*) However, Elliott Maxwell, author of a recent report from a business group that found the NIH policy is increasing access without harming publishers, said NIH’s policy is a good model. He argued that agencies should start with the NIH policy and “dial back” to make it fit their scientific disciplines. Two bills in Congress take dueling positions on the issue: One would throw out the NIH policy, while the other would require other agencies to follow NIH’s example, but with a 6-month embargo. The Science Committee, meanwhile, wants to see how the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) responds to a request in the 2010 COMPETES Act asking for a report on federal policies on public access. OSTP’s report should be out in a few weeks, the committee says. According to a recent New York Times story, OSTP will take the roundtable’s approach and will not dictate what agencies should do.last_img read more

Germany Names New Top Universities

first_imgAt the top. Humboldt University Berlin is one of the universities singled out for extra funding in Germany’s Excellence Initiative. Heike Zappe/Humboldt University Berlin BERLIN—They’re celebrating today in Dresden, Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, and Tübingen. The universities in those cities have been awarded an extra share of the €2.4 billion in Germany’s Excellence Initiative—and have earned the title “elite university” in the German press. The initiative, administered by the DFG German funding agency and the German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat), awards funding in three categories: graduate schools, research clusters, and a university’s overall “institutional strategies to promote top-level research.” Six years ago, the first round of funding singled out the Technical University Munich and the Ludwig Maximillian University, both in Munich, as well as the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology for their institutional strategies. Members of the trio were immediately dubbed “elite” universities by the German press. The next year added RWTH Aachen University, Free University of Berlin, University of Freiburg, University of Göttingen, University of Heidelberg, and University of Konstanz to the ranks of top schools. This year’s awards, which run through 2017, added the Technical University Dresden, Humboldt University Berlin, University of Bremen, University of Cologne, and the University of Tübingen. Left out of this funding round—at least at the university-wide level—were Göttingen, Freiburg, and Karlsruhe. Read the full results of the funding round (in German) and a related story on ScienceInsider. 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

Bird ‘accents’ change with elevation

first_imgImagine having a different accent from someone else simply because your house was farther up the same hill. For at least one species of songbird, that appears to be the case. Researchers have found that the mating songs of male mountain chickadees (Poecile gambeli, shown) differ in their duration, loudness, and the frequency ranges of individual chirps, depending in part on the elevation of their habitat in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the western United States. The songs also differed from those at similar elevations on a nearby peak. Young males of this species learn their breeding songs by listening to adult males during their first year of life, the researchers note. And because these birds don’t migrate as the seasons change, and young birds don’t settle far from where they grew up, it’s likely that the differences persist in each local group—the ornithological equivalent of having Southern drawls and Boston accents. Females may use the differences in dialect to distinguish local males from outsiders that may not be as well adapted to the neighborhood they’re trying to invade, the team reports today in Royal Society Open Science.last_img read more

Early jellyfish-like creatures sported armor

first_imgToday, sea creatures known as comb jellies have soft bodies like jellyfish, but their ancestors projected a tougher image: tooling up with hard body parts, probably as protection from predators. In a new analysis of fossils, researchers looked closely at more than three dozen specimens from 520-million-year-old rocks in southern China. Like their modern-day relatives, the ancient creatures had saclike bodies and propelled themselves through the water using eight rows of hairlike structures called cilia. But the ancient species—three that are new to science and three that were previously known but are now being more fully described based on the new analysis—also included eight stiff struts (depicted in white in the artist’s reconstructions above) and eight rigid plates that surrounded a buoyancy-sensing organ called a statolith. (Side views of four of the species are depicted at second from right and in the top row; oblique views of the same creatures are seen at far right and in the bottom row.) It’s not clear what the struts and plates were made of: Although they likely included chitin (the same substance found in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans such as shrimp) or a similar material, they could also have included minerals such as carbonates, the researchers report today in Science Advances. Regardless of their composition, the hard parts may have provided both support for soft tissues and protection against predators. And these creatures may have desperately needed protection, the researchers say: They lived in a shallow, subtropical ocean at a time when predators and their prey were locked in an evolutionary arms race. Sadly, the armor didn’t save these ancient comb jellies: They were part of a lineage that apparently died out long ago.last_img read more

NIH’s 10% set-aside for AIDS begins to slip in 2016

first_imgAfter more than 20 years of holding HIV/AIDS research funding at a fixed 10% of its overall budget, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will let that level slip this year. Newly public data on grant funding success rates reflect one impetus for abandoning the set-aside: At many institutes, AIDS grants have been much easier to get than non-AIDS funding, suggesting that officials were struggling to find ways to spend the money.In the early 1990s, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was still exploding, Congress and NIH agreed to keep the portion of NIH’s budget devoted to HIV/AIDS steady at roughly 10% year after year. But some institutes have since struggled to find ways to spend their AIDS allocation, sometimes stretching the definition of AIDS research or loosening quality standards. And recently, some members of Congress have questioned whether the special treatment for this disease still makes sense at a time when AIDS deaths in the United States have fallen.Last year, NIH Director Francis Collins announced that the agency would shift its AIDS funding to focus more directly on vaccines and treatments. And in December 2015, with Congress’s agreement, the agency formally stepped away from the 10% formula.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 results can be seen in NIH’s budget request for fiscal year 2017. The agency is holding AIDS funding flat this year at the 2015 level of $3 billion and expects to keep it there in 2017 (p. 3 here). As a result, because NIH’s budget rose nearly 7% last year, and NIH is requesting another bump next year, the portion going to AIDS will fall from 10% in 2015 to 9.3% this year and could drop to 9% in 2017.Also this year, the agency is shifting $154 million from expiring AIDS grants towards the new priorities, says Collins—a major disruption for a set of researchers who must now apply for non-AIDS money to continue their work. NIH expects to move another $60 million to $70 million per year in coming years.Success rate data that ScienceInsider obtained in response to a public records request help explain why the AIDS set-aside has been unpopular at NIH. (Click here to see a graph.) At six institutes that received the lion’s share of AIDS funding, the portion of reviewed grant proposals that were funded was generally 4 to 5 percentage points higher for AIDS grants than for all grants. (The National Institute of Mental Health was an exception.) For example, at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which spent $300 million on AIDS in 2014—totaling 30% of its overall budget—about 23% of AIDS proposals won funding, compared with only 18% of grants overall.NIH notes that a higher success rate for AIDS doesn’t always mean the quality bar was lower; certain institutes may have spent AIDS funds for a specific topic that attracted only a few proposals that were of very high quality. Still, at some institutes, program officers have had to get creative about how to spend AIDS funding. *Update, 24 February, 9:13 a.m.: The article has been revised to clarify that at several institutes, the difference in success rates for AIDS grants compared to all grants is 4 to 5 percentage points.last_img read more

Nano-balls filled with poison wipe out metastatic cancer in mice

first_imgFor most cancer patients, it’s not the original tumor that poses the greatest risk. It’s the metastases that invade the lung, liver, and other tissues. Now, researchers have come up with an approach that tricks these spinoff tumors into swallowing poison. So far the strategy has only been tested in mice, where it proved highly effective. But the results are promising enough that the researchers are planning to launch clinical trials in cancer patients within a year.The new work is “very innovative stuff,” says Steven Libutti, a geneticist and cancer surgeon at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, who was not involved in the study. The treatment, he explains, works in three steps to place a conventional chemotherapeutic agent near the nucleus (or nuclei) of a metastatic cancer cell where the drug molecules are most lethal. “It’s almost like a multistage rocket” that lifts astronauts off Earth, sends them to the moon, and returns them safely, he says.At the heart of the new therapy is a chemotherapeutic agent called doxorubicin (dox). The drug has been a mainstay of cancer treatment for years, as it jams up DNA in the cell nucleus and prevents tumor cells from dividing. But when it’s injected into the bloodstream, the drug can also kill heart muscle cells and cause heart failure, which often forces oncologists to either dial back the dose or discontinue it altogether. Delivering dox only to tumor cells is therefore highly desirable, but it has been a major challenge.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(*)Hoping to provide such cell specificity, researchers led by Mauro Ferrari, a nanomedicine expert, as well as president and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Texas, have spent years developing porous silicon particles as drug carriers. The particles’ micrometer-scale size and disklike shape allows them travel unimpeded through normal blood vessels. But when they hit blood vessels around tumors, which are typically malformed and leaky, the particles fall out of the circulation and pool near the tumor. That was step one in delivering chemotherapeutic drugs to their target. But just filling such particles with dox doesn’t do much good, Ferrari says. Even if a small amount of the drug finds its way inside tumor cells, those cells often have membrane proteins that act as tiny pumps to push the drug back outside the cell before it can do any damage. Nature Biotechnology Silicon particles act as nanoparticle generators (iNPG) that carry stringlike polymers loaded with a chemotherapy compound called doxorubicin (p-Dox). center_img To get large amounts of dox inside the metastatic tumor cells and then past the protein pumps, Ferrari and colleagues linked numerous dox molecules to stringlike molecules called polymers. They then infused the dox-carrying polymers into their silicon microparticles and injected them into mice that had been implanted with human metastatic liver and lung tumors. As with the previous studies, the researchers found that the silicon particles congregated in and around tumor sites, and once there the particles slowly degraded over 2 to 4 weeks.As they did so, the silicon particles released the dox-carrying polymer strands. In the watery environment around tumor cells, the strands coiled up into tiny balls, each just 20–80 nanometers across. That size, Ferrari says, is ideal, because it’s the same size as tiny vesicles that are commonly exchanged between neighboring cells as part of their normal chemical communication. In this case, the dox-polymer balls were readily taken up by tumor cells. Once there, a large fraction was carried internally away from the dox-exporting pumps at cell membrane and toward the nucleus. Ferrari says at this point his team isn’t sure exactly why the dox-laden balls are ferried toward the nucleus, though this is exactly what they wanted.Not only is the region around the nucleus devoid of dox-removing pumps, but it typically has a more acidic environment than near the cell membrane. And Ferrari’s team used this to their advantage as well. They designed the chemical links between dox molecules and the polymer to dissolve under acidic conditions. This releases the dox at the site where its cell killing potency is highest.Up to 50% of cancer-bearing mice given the treatment showed no signs of metastatic tumors 8 months later, the researchers report today in Nature Biotechnology. In humans, Ferrari says, that’s equivalent to being cancer-free for 24 years. “If this research bears out in humans and we see even a fraction of this survival time, we are still talking about dramatically extending life for many years,” Ferrari says. “That’s essentially providing a cure in a patient population that is now being told there is none.”The new treatment isn’t the first nanomedicine to show promise. According to a recent nanotechnology working group study published in The Lancet, more than 50 nanomedicine compounds are now in clinical trials. However, the new work is promising, Libutti says, because the silicon microparticles tend to target tumors in the liver and lung, common destinations of metastatic tumor cells.The new work holds out hope for improving the effectiveness of other chemotherapy drugs as well, Libutti says. “There’s no reason to believe you couldn’t make a version of these particles with any chemotherapeutic agent.”last_img read more