Tesla buys trucking companies to shorten Model 3 delivery times for tax

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla extended the deadline to order Model 3 and get a delivery by the end of the year in order to get the full federal tax credit for electric vehicles.CEO Elon Musk says that they achieved that by “acquiring trucking capacity”. more…The post Tesla buys trucking companies to shorten Model 3 delivery times for tax credit by the end of the year appeared first on Electrek.last_img

StateByState Look At PlugIn Electric Cars Per 1000 Residents

first_img DoE – U.S. Plug-In Electric Cars Consumed 2 TWh Of Electricity In 2017 Washington State Notes Greatest Fuel Cost Savings For An EV Source: Electric Vehicle News Average number of plug-in cars in U.S. is 2.21 per 1,000 residentsAccording to the US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, as of the end of 2017, the highest number of plug-in electric cars per 1,000 people in the U.S. was in California (8.64), Hawaii (5.12) and Washington state (4.06). The first five remain the same as compared to 2016, and most states improved their plug-in share.In total, eight states exceed 2 plug-in cars per 1,000 residents, compared to five a year earlier:California – 0.864%Hawaii – 0.512%Washington – 0.406%Oregon – 0.384%Vermont – 0.373%Colorado – 0.233%Arizona – 0.229%Maryland – 0.203%The bad news is that there are still 25 states with less than 1 plug-in car registered per 1,000 people.“Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia were between one and two PEV registrations per 1,000 people, while 25 states were below one. The average for the United States is 2.21 PEV registrations per 1,000 people.”In the top EV market – Norway – plug-in electric cars account for over 10% of the total fleet already today.More reports for U.S. Most Housing In U.S. Has A Garage Or Carport To Potentially Charge An EV “Note: PEV include both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.Sources: PEV registrations – U.S. Department of Energy analysis of IHS Automotive data. Population – U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population.”Source: energy.gov Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Hyundai Cant Ship You That Promised Kona Electric Due To Crazy Demand

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 21, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Hyundai Kona Electric Edges Out Chevy Bolt In Car & Driver Test Initially, the plan was to begin initial sales in California and expand to the so-called ZEV states. In their words:“2019 Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available in the beginning of 2019, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.”In November, however, hope blossomed for customers nationwide as we heard that the Korean automaker said it will also ship the Kona Electric to dealers in non-ZEV states if they have a “sold order.” The celebrations that followed may have been premature.A would-be customer reported on the InsideEVs Forum that their attempts to secure a car through local dealers were proving unsuccessful. So, we got in touch with the automaker to see what the situation was. The result? A statement that, at least for now, those in non-ZEV states may be out of luck. Said the company:“Given the current demand for Kona Electric in California and other ZEV states, we aren’t able to support volume sales in all non-ZEV states at this time. In the near future, we do plan to offer Kona Electric in non-ZEV states that exhibit higher electric vehicle demand.”With demand crushing the current supply, we have to imagine Hyundai is doing all they can to produce more units. However, supply chains aren’t built or bolstered in a day, and so would-be buyers may have to wait a bit. As their statement suggests, the delay for some in EV-thirsty non-ZEV states may not be too long, so there is hope on the horizon for some. The question now becomes, how many will wait and how many will move on to competitors with available inventory. Hyundai Kona Electric Is U.S’ Cheapest EV Per Mile Of Range Source: Electric Vehicle News The First Hyundai Kona Electric Delivered In U.S. Demand is crushing supply.Although it just sold its first example of the Kona Electric in the U.S., it seems Hyundai has a hit on its hands. And it’s little wonder, seeing as the all-electric crossover tops our list of range-per-purchase-dollar and has been edging out competitors like the Chevy Bolt in road tests. This is, of course, a great thing for the company, but it also creates some problems for some prospective buyers: they aren’t available for purchase from their local dealers in most of the country.More about the Hyundai Kona Electriclast_img read more

24M surpasses 250 Whkg on the road to 400

first_imgBattery company 24Mhas announced that it has developed commercially viable Nickel Manganese Cobalt(NMC) cells with an energy density above 250 Wh/kg. The company has also deliveredsimilar NMC cells with an energy density above 280 Wh/kg to an industrialpartner.24M’s new NMC cells were built with the company’s SemiSolidlithium-ion battery design, which it claims can improve battery performancewhile reducing cost. 24M is hoping to achieve an energy density target of 350Wh/kgby the end of 2019, with the ultimate goal to exceed 400 Wh/kg.“…we were able to leverage our novel electrode, cell andmanufacturing approach to exceed 280 Wh/kg, a significant step towardsdelivering low-cost lithium-ion cells with industry-leading performance to theEV market,” said 24M CTO Naoki Ota.Source: 24M Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

Loffreda under pressure after defeat to Bath

first_imgShares00 Support The Guardian Bath 26-12 Leicester Tue 15 Apr 2008 22.10 EDT Premiership Read more Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Bath moved to within two points of the leaders Gloucester, their opponents on the final day of the regular league season, after one of their less arduous victories over Leicester. The Tigers played for the most part with claws retracted and slumped to sixth in the table, increasing the pressure on their head coach, Marcelo Loffreda, who has come under fire from supporters who are angered at the prospect of a season without a trophy.It was a bizarre game. Bath spent the entire opening half on the attack and virtually all the second defending a healthy lead, not overly exerting themselves in the quest for a bonus point after scoring three tries in the first 40 minutes, conserving energy for future battles. Leicester, who made 14 changes from the side that started last Saturday’s EDF Energy Cup final, looked anything but champion and will probably need to win their final three matches to make the play-offs.Leicester played in white and it was as if Leeds had turned up rather than the champions. They only left their own half in the first period after restarts, and then not for long, and their performance was curiously lopsided. They missed a number of first-up tackles, but their scramble defence was excellent.They only looked comfortable in possession when Aaron Mauger came on at the start of the second period, but even when Bath were down to 13 men at the end, the Tigers never looked convincing and Loffreda acknowledged they would need to win their final three matches to make the play-offs, again cursing the fixture schedulers who made them play last night four days after the EDF final.Bath scored their first try after two minutes when the prop Matt Stevens, who ran like a centre all evening, profited from some poor tackling, but the home side had to wait until stoppage time for their second and third when Ayoola Erinle was spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin for preventing release of the ball from a ruck. The hooker Lee Mears scored the second and the wing Matt Banahan claimed the third, but Bath squandered four other prime opportunities through a mixture of over-exuberance and last-ditch tackling, although there was no excuse for the flanker Jonny Faamatuainu, who dropped the ball over the line. Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, chosen ahead of Olly Barkley, caused havoc in midfield, dancing in and out of tackles and powering through others before hobbling off with an ankle injury, and a 23-0 interval lead was scant reward for Bath’s utter dominance.James’s third penalty immediately after the restart put Leicester further adrift but the Tigers, refreshed by the infusion of backline replacements Aaron Mauger and Johne Murphy reached uncharted territory on 46 minutes when they broke into Bath’s 25.They stayed there for a few minutes and Humphreys caught his own chip to score a try that was greeted by the crowd with a stunned disbelief. They added a second at the end, when Bath had two players in the sin-bin, and they will probably have to win their final game of the season, at home to Harlequins, to make the play-offs, but if Quins and Wasps keep winning, even that may not be enough. Whatever the outcome, Loffreda faces a summer of rebuilding.Bath Maddock; Higgins, Crockett (Barkley, 68), Fuimaono (Stevenson, 80), Banahan; James, Claassens; Flatman (Bell, 35), Mears (Dixon, 68), Stevens, Borthwick (capt), Grewcock (Short, 68), Faamatuainu (Goodman, 79), Lipman, Browne.Tries Stevens, Mears, Banahan. Con James. Pens James 3.Sin-bin Claassens, 71; Banahan, 76.Leicester Vesty; Varndell, Erinle, Cornwell (Mauger, 44), Dodge (J Murphy, h-t; Davies, 80); Humphreys, Laussucq (F Murphy, 64); Ayerza (Moreno, 80), Kayser, White, Blaze, Kay (capt), Croft, Pienaar, B Deacon (Crane, 77).Tries Humphreys, F Murphy. Con Humphreys.Sin-bin Erinle, 31Referee W Barnes (London). Attendance 10,600. Topics Rugby union Share on Twitter Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Rugby union Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Leicester Share on Facebook Premiership 2007-08 Bath Loffreda under pressure after defeat to Bath Share on Messenger First published on Tue 15 Apr 2008 22.10 EDT Share via Email Paul Rees at the Recreation Ground Reuse this contentlast_img read more

BNY Mellon Becomes The First – Of What Is Expected To Be

first_imgCongress never intended the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to be an all-purpose corporate ethics statute.  But with increasing frequency, this is what the DOJ and SEC have converted the FCPA into based on enforcement theories that are rarely subject to judicial scrutiny.Previously there have been FCPA enforcement actions that included allegations of improper hiring of spouses or children of alleged “foreign officials” (see here for a prior post), but until yesterday there has not been, it is believed, an enforcement action based exclusively on such a theory.The financial industry has been under intense FCPA scrutiny the past two years (see here for a prior post) concerning its alleged hiring and internship practices. This scrutiny has generated a significant amount of critical commentary.  For instance, in this Wall Street Journal editorial former SEC Commissioner Arthur Levitt called the FCPA scrutiny of the financial industry “scurrilous and hypocritical.”  He wrote:“If you walk the halls of any institution in the U.S.—Congress, federal courthouses, large corporations, the White House, American embassies and even the offices of the SEC—you are likely to run into friends and family members of powerful and wealthy people.”Yesterday this scrutiny yielded the first – of what is expected to be many in coming months – enforcement action.It was against BNY Mellon Corp. (see here for the SEC’s press release) and the action was based on findings the company provided “valuable student internships to family members of foreign government officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.”Internships of course have been provided to relatives of customers so long as their have been internships.  For the U.S. government to now equate this with corrupt intent and bribery is questionable.  But then again, FCPA enforcement is not necessarily about the law, but more a game of the SEC using its leverage against risk averse corporations to extract settlement amounts.Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, and based on an enforcement theory not subjected to any judicial scrutiny, BNY Mellon ponied up $14.8 million dollars rather than engage its principal government regulator in litigation.The SEC’s administrative cease and desist order states in summary fashion:“This matter concerns violations of the anti-bribery and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by BNY Mellon. The violations took place during 2010 and 2011, when employees of BNY Mellon sought to corruptly influence foreign officials in order to retain and win business managing and servicing the assets of a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.These officials sought, and BNY Mellon agreed to provide, valuable internships for their family members. BNY Mellon provided the internships without following its standard hiring procedures for interns, and the interns were not qualified for BNY Mellon’s existing internship programs.BNY Mellon failed to devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls around its hiring practices sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that its employees were not bribing foreign officials in contravention of company policy.”Under the heading “BNY Mellon’s Business with the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund” the order states:“During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon’s business in the EMEA region collected fees for services provided to the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund. [The Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund is described as follows.  “[A] government body responsible for management and administration of assets of a Middle Eastern country, as entrusted to it by that country’s Minister of Finance. The Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund is wholly owned by that country and was created to perform the function of generating revenue for it. The Minister of Finance serves as Chairman of the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund’s Board of Directors and its most senior members are political appointees. The Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund generally hires external managers to make day-to-day investment decisions concerning its assets.”] Those fees arose from government contracts awarded to BNY Mellon through a process requiring approval from certain foreign government officials, and also from additional assets allocated to BNY Mellon under existing contracts at the discretion of certain foreign government officials.The Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund first became a client of BNYM Asset Servicing in 2000, when the European Office [The European Office is described as follows:  “[T]he Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund’s office in Europe. The European Office is responsible for managing a portion of the assets entrusted to the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund. Unlike the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund, its parent, the European Office generally uses its own inhouse investment professionals to actively manage assets for which it is responsible.”] awarded to BNY Mellon custody of certain assets. Since then, BNY Mellon has earned regular fees for the safekeeping and administration of Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund assets. According to the terms of the custody agreement, these fees are subject to increase from time to time as the European Office allocates additional assets to BNY Mellon. While the total amount of Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund assets under custody by BNY Mellon has varied over time, during the relevant time period BNY Mellon held Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund assets totaling approximately $55 billion.BNY Mellon entered an additional agreement with the European Office in 2003 permitting BNYM Asset Servicing to loan out certain of the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund assets under custody within set guidelines, which varied over time.This securities lending arrangement significantly increased BNY Mellon’s revenues from its dealings with the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund. In 2010 and 2011, BNYM Asset Servicing repeatedly sought to modify the lending guidelines, which had been significantly restricted following the 2008 economic crash, in order to bring the guidelines back to pre- 2008 levels and further grow the securities lending business with the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund. During the relevant time period, BNYM Asset Servicing sought to increase the amount of assets under custody from the European Office.In 2009, the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund became a client of BNYM Asset Management when the fund entered into an investment management agreement designating the Boutique [described as a wholly owned asset management firm operating within BNYM Asset Management] to manage assets worth approximately $711 million (the “Boutique mandate”). The bulk of the assets under the investment management agreement were funded in November 2009, with an additional portion transferring to BNY Mellon in June 2010. Official X [described as a senior official with the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund during the relevant time period] was BNYM Asset Management’s principal point of contact in connection with the Boutique mandate. According to the terms of the agreement, the amount of assets under management was subject to change, as the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund could allocate additional assets to the Boutique mandate at any time. In June 2010, the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund transferred an additional $689,000 to BNY Mellon under the Boutique mandate. During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon sought to increase the amount of its Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund assets under management.”Under the heading “The Internships” the order states:“Officials X and Y [described as was a senior official at the European Office during the relevant time period] requested that BNY Mellon provide their family members with valuable internships. Officials X and Y made numerous follow-up requests about the status, timing and other details of the internships for their relatives after the internships had been offered, and delivering the internships as requested was seen by certain relevant BNY Mellon employees as a way to influence the officials’ decisions.In February 2010, at the conclusion of a business meeting, Official X made a personal and discreet request that BNY Mellon provide internships to two of his relatives: his son, Intern A [described as a recent college graduate], and nephew, Intern B [also described as a recent college graduate]. As a Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund department head, Official X had authority over allocations of new assets to existing managers such as the Boutique, and was viewed within BNY Mellon as a “key decision maker” at the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund. Official X later persistently inquired of BNY Mellon employees concerning the status of his internship request, asking whether and when BNY Mellon would deliver the internships. At one point, Official X said to his primary contact at BNY Mellon that the request represented an “opportunity” for BNY Mellon, and that the official could secure internships for his family members from a competitor of BNY Mellon if it did not satisfy his personal request. The same BNY Mellon employee later wrote to a BNY Mellon colleague that Official X had become “angry” because BNY Mellon was experiencing delays in delivering the internships, and had openly questioned the employee’s job performance and professionalism because of the delays.As reflected in contemporaneous e-mails and other documents, BNY Mellon delivered the valuable internship sought by Official X in order to assist BNY Mellon in obtaining or retaining business. For example:A Boutique account manager wrote in a February 2010 e-mail concerning the internship request for Interns A and B that BNY Mellon was “not in a position to reject the request from a commercial point of view” even though it was a “personal request” from Official X. The employee stated: “by not allowing the internships to take place, we potentially jeopardize our mandate with [the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund].”In June 2010, an employee of BNY Mellon with primary responsibility for the Asset Management relationship with the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund wrote of the internships for Interns A and B: “I want more money for this. I expect more for this. . . . We’re doing [Official X] a favor.”In a separate e-mail to a different BNY Mellon colleague, the same employee stated “I am working on an expensive ‘favor’ for [Official X] – an internship for his son and cousin (don’t mention to him as this is not official).”The same employee advised a colleague in human resources: “[W]e have to be careful about this. This is more of a personal request . . . [Official X] doesn’t want [the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund] to know about it.” The same employee later directed his administrative assistant to refrain from sending e-mail correspondence concerning Official X’s internship request “because it was a personal favor.”After granting Official X’s request to hire Interns A and B, BNY Mellon retained the Boutique mandate, and further assets were transferred to BNY Mellon by Official X’s department within a few months.In February 2010, around the same time that Official X made his initial internship request, Official Y asked through a subordinate European Office employee that BNY Mellon provide an internship to the official’s son, Intern C [also described as a recent college graduate]. As a senior official at the European Office, Official Y had authority to make decisions directly impacting BNY Mellon’s business. Internal BNY Mellon documents reflected Official Y’s importance in this regard, stating that Official Y was “crucial to both retaining and gaining new business” for BNY Mellon. One or more European Office employees acting on Official Y’s behalf later inquired repeatedly about the status and details of the internship, including during discussions of the transfer of European Office assets to BNY Mellon. At the time of Official Y’s initial request, a number of recent client service issues had threatened to weaken the relationship between BNY Mellon and the European Office.The BNY Mellon employee with primary responsibility for managing the custody relationship with the European Office viewed Official Y’s request as important to assist BNYM Asset Servicing in obtaining or retaining business. For example:The BNY Mellon custody relationship manager explained to more senior officers within BNY Mellon that granting Official Y’s request was likely to “influence any future decisions taken within [the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund].”The same BNY Mellon relationship manager expressed to colleagues his concern that one of BNY Mellon’s competitors would agree to hire Intern C if BNY Mellon would not, and that BNY Mellon might lose market share to the competitor as a result.The relationship manager wrote: “Its [sic] silly things like this that help influence who ends up with more assets / retaining dominant position.”The relationship manager separately wrote that meeting Official Y’s requests was the “only way” to increase BNY Mellon’s share of business from the European Office, aside from obtaining assets in new countries.After granting Official Y’s request to hire his son, Intern C, BNY Mellon retained its existing custody and securities lending business from the European Office, which continued to grow.During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon had an established summer internship program for undergraduates as well as a separate summer program for postgraduates actively pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or similar degree. Admission to the BNY Mellon postgraduate internship program was highly competitive and characterized by stringent hiring standards. To recruit postgraduates, BNY Mellon had relationships with a small number of the most highly selective schools in the United States and the United Kingdom from which it sourced candidates. Successful applicants had to achieve a minimum grade point average, and had to advance through multiple rounds of interviews in addition to having relevant prior work experience and a demonstrated affinity for and interest in financial services work. BNY Mellon also placed an emphasis on relevant leadership experience.The Interns did not meet these rigorous criteria and BNY Mellon did not evaluate or hire the Interns through its established internship programs. For example, as recent graduates not enrolled in any degree program, the Interns did not meet the basic entrance standard for a BNY Mellon postgraduate internship. Further, contrary to BNY Mellon’s goal of converting student interns to full-time hires, the Interns were to return to the Middle East at the conclusion of their internship and BNY Mellon had no plan to hire them as full-time employees. Nor did the individual Interns have the requisite academic or professional credentials for its existing internship programs.Though they did not meet the criteria of BNY Mellon’s existing internship programs, BNY Mellon hired Interns A, B and C. Contrary to its standard practice, BNY Mellon decided to hire the Interns before even meeting or interviewing them. Indeed, the special “work experiences” sought by Officials X and Y were not regular undergraduate or graduate summer internships at all, but customized one-of-a-kind training programs. The internships were valuable work experience, and the requesting officials derived significant personal value in being able to confer this benefit on their family members. As requested by Officials X and Y, BNY Mellon designed customized work experiences for the Interns. These bespoke internships were rotational in nature, meaning that Interns A, B and C had the opportunity to work in a number of different BNY Mellon business units, enhancing the value of the work experience beyond that normally provided to BNY Mellon interns. Interns A and B were placed in Boston, Massachusetts and were employed by BNY Mellon from August 6, 2010 through February 25, 2011. Intern C was onboarded and placed in London, England and interned with BNY Mellon from July 4, 2010 through December 17, 2010. These approximately six-month internships were significantly longer than the work experiences typically afforded to BNY Mellon interns through the normal summer internship program.The internships were neither inexpensive nor easy for BNY Mellon to structure. BNY Mellon determined, because Interns A and B had already graduated from college, that Interns A and B should be paid above the normal salary scale for BNY Mellon undergraduate interns but below the scale for postgraduate interns. Intern C was unpaid. BNY Mellon also coordinated obtaining visas for all three of the Interns so that they could travel from the Middle East to work in the countries in which they were placed. BNY Mellon paid the legal fees and filing costs related to the visas. As the BNY Mellon Asset Management employee responsible for arranging two of the three internships wrote in a contemporaneous e-mail, the internships constituted an “expensive favor” for the requesting foreign official.BNY Mellon hired all three of the Interns, with the knowledge and approval of senior BNY Mellon employees:According to the BNY Mellon Asset Management employee with primary responsibility for arranging the internships for Interns A and B, he had initially struggled to deliver the internships as requested by Official X until the internships had the “blessing” of a senior BNY Mellon employee, after which “it started to move.” The senior employee facilitated the internships by contacting human resources on behalf of the Interns, forwarding their resumes and stating that he “would like us to support.”The BNY Mellon relationship manager with lead responsibility for arranging the internship for Intern C sent an e-mail to two senior BNYM Asset Servicing officers describing Official Y’s request and seeking their “support” for the internship. The same relationship manager later wrote to BNY Mellon colleagues seeking assistance in arranging the internship and stating “[p]lease know that this request has the backing of both [senior officers].”In October 2010, Official Y made a further request that BNY Mellon modify the custom internship it had created for Intern C so that he could rotate through an additional BNY Mellon business unit. This request was also granted with the knowledge and approval of senior BNY Mellon employees.The Interns were less than exemplary employees. On at least one occasion, Interns A and B were confronted by a BNY Mellon human resources employee concerning their repeated absences from work. A Boutique portfolio manager who worked with Intern C observed that his performance was “okay” and that “he wasn’t actually as hardworking as I would have hoped.” Despite these issues, BNY Mellon accommodated the Interns in order to favorably influence Officials X and Y.Under the heading “BNY Mellon’s FCPA-Related Policies, Training and Internal Controls” the order states:During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon had a code of conduct, as well as a specific FCPA policy, which prohibited BNY Mellon employees from violating the statute. While BNY Mellon’s policies stated that “any money . . . gift . . . or anything of value” provided to a foreign official might constitute a bribe, employees were provided with little additional guidance that was tailored to the types of risks related to hiring faced by BNY Mellon’s international asset servicing unit and asset management business division.During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon provided training on employees’ obligations under the FCPA and BNY Mellon’s policies, but did not ensure that all employees took the training or understood BNY Mellon’s policies.During the relevant time period, BNY Mellon had few specific controls relating to the hiring of customers and relatives of customers, including foreign government officials. Sales staff and client relationship managers were permitted wide discretion in making initial hiring decisions and human resources was not trained to flag hires that were potentially problematic. Senior managers were able to approve hires requested by foreign officials with no mechanism to ensure that potential hiring violations were reviewed by anyone with a legal or compliance background. BNY Mellon’s system of internal accounting controls was insufficiently tailored to the corruption risks inherent in the hiring of client referrals, and therefore inadequate to fully effectuate BNY Mellon’s policy against bribery of foreign officials.”Based on the above, the order finds:“BNY Mellon violated [the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions] by corruptly providing valuable internships to relatives of foreign officials from the Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund in order to assist BNY Mellon in retaining and obtaining business. BNY Mellon also violated [the FCPA’s internal controls provisions], by failing to devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that its employees were not bribing foreign officials.”Under the heading “Commission Consideration of BNY Mellon’s Cooperation and Remedial Efforts” the order states:“In determining to accept the Offer, the Commission considered cooperation BNY Mellon afforded to the Commission staff and the remedial acts undertaken by BNY Mellon. Prior to the investigation by the Commission of the Interns, BNY Mellon had begun a process of enhancing its anti-corruption compliance program including: making changes to the Anti-Corruption Policy to explicitly address the hiring of government officials’ relatives; requiring that every application for a full-time hire or an internship be routed through a centralized HR application process; enhancing its Code of Conduct to require that every year each employee certifies that he or she is not responsible for hiring through a non-centralized channel; and requiring as part of a centralized application process that each applicant indicate whether she or a close personal associate is or has recently been a government official, and, if so, additional review by BNY Mellon’s anti-corruption office is mandated.”In the SEC’s press release, Andrew Ceresney (Director of the SEC Enforcement Division) stated:“The FCPA prohibits companies from improperly influencing foreign officials with ‘anything of value,’ and therefore cash payments, gifts, internships, or anything else used in corrupt attempts to win business can expose companies to an SEC enforcement action. BNY Mellon deserved significant sanction for providing valuable student internships to family members of foreign officials to influence their actions.”Kara Brockmeyer (Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit) stated:“Financial services providers face unique corruption risks when seeking to win business in international markets, and we will continue to scrutinize industries that have not been vigilant about complying with the FCPA.”As noted in the release:“Without admitting or denying the findings, the company agreed to pay $8.3 million in disgorgement, $1.5 million in prejudgment interest, and a $5 million penalty.  The SEC considered the company’s remedial acts and its cooperation with the investigation when determining a settlement.”Yesterday BNY Mellon’s share price closed up .7%.Jay Holtmeier (Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr) represented the company.last_img read more

It Is Pure Speculation To Say That Nortek Akamai Benefited Or Received

first_imgSeveral law firm client alerts and commentary about last week’s Nortek and Akamai Technologies enforcement actions are carrying forward the conventional wisdom that the companies benefited from their voluntary disclosure and cooperation because the SEC resolved the matters via non-prosecution agreements and the DOJ “declined” to prosecute. Taking it a stop further, this commentator asserts that “these enforcement actions resulted in excellent results for both companies.”However, it is pure speculation to say that Nortek or Akamai benefited or that the enforcement actions resulted in excellent results for the companies.To state the obvious, in the Nortek and Akamai enforcement actions (as well as other enforcement actions which originate from voluntary disclosures) we know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know.What we don’t know is what would have happened if Nortek and Akamai did not disclose its internal findings of possible FCPA issues to the SEC and DOJ.This undisputed truth of FCPA enforcement actions was discussed in depth in the recent article “Grading the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program.”As highlighted in the article, perhaps the biggest reason why the corporate community should take the DOJ’s FCPA pilot program with a grain of salt is that it only addresses a relatively minor component of the overall financial consequences to a business organization subject to FCPA scrutiny and enforcement. For obvious reasons, settlement amounts in an FCPA enforcement action tend to get the most attention. After all, settlement amounts are mentioned in DOJ / SEC press releases, press releases generate media coverage, and the corporate community reads the media. However, knowledgeable observers recognize that FCPA scrutiny and enforcement often result in ‘‘three buckets’’ of financial exposure to a business organization.Bucket #1 is pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses that directly flow from a voluntary disclosure.Based on information in its SEC’s filings, through the 1st quarter of 2016, Nortek has disclosed approximately $4.4 million “in legal and other professional services incurred related to the FCPA investigation.” The Nortek settlement amount (bucket #2) was $322,000.Thus, the ratio of pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses to settlement amount in the Nortek action was (a higher than norm) 13:1.(Note: issuers do not have an obligation to disclose pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses, and like many issuers, Akamai Technologies has not disclosed specific expenses beyond the generic statement in its SEC filings that the company “has incurred costs with respect to our internal investigation.”)In short, one can not seriously analyze whether Nortek or Akamai benefited from its voluntary disclosure or received an excellent result without taking into account the $4.4 million Nortek incurred in connection with its voluntary disclosure.To be sure, Nortek would have spent x$ on its internal investigation regardless of whether it disclosed to the SEC and DOJ. However, it is safe to assume that x$ would have been significantly lower than the $4.4 million the company incurred if voluntary disclosure did not occur.As hinted at in “Grading the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program,” no doubt there are some who are likely to respond along the following lines:If Nortek / Akamai did not voluntarily disclose possible FCPA issues, it is likely that the enforcement agencies would have independently found out about the violations, and when that happened, the company would have incurred the same actual pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses highlighted above plus, because of the lack of voluntary disclosure, a larger settlement amount.Here again, this line of reasoning represents pure speculation.I recognize that the following is anecdotal and is not offered to establish the truth of the matter asserted. However, I have been actively involved in the FCPA space for approximately 15 years both as a lawyer in private practice who conducted FCPA internal investigations around the world and in other professional capacities. To my knowledge, never once did the enforcement agencies independently find out about the underlying conduct in the absence of a voluntary disclosure, and in speaking to other FCPA practitioners about this precise topic, it has never happened to their clients either.In assessing whether Nortek / Akamai benefited from voluntary disclosure or received excellent results, it must be acknowledged that a perfectly acceptable, legitimate, and legal alternative for the companies would have been to thoroughly investigate the issues, promptly implement remedial measures, and effectively revise and enhance compliance policies and procedures – all internally and without disclosing to the enforcement agencies.Yet it is likely that an assessment of this alternative is going to be missing from most FCPA Inc. commentary on the Nortek / Akamai enforcement actions.Thus, you may want to read this recent Law360 article titled “SEC, DOJ Not Fooling Many With Easy FCPA Deals.” Consistent with the observation in this prior post, the article states:“Generally, attorneys agreed the SEC could have brought charges, but some expressed doubt that the DOJ would have prosecuted the case even if the companies hadn’t cooperated, based on the information made public in the NPAs. Although the declination letters said the DOJ had decided not to prosecute “despite the bribery by an employee of the company’s subsidiary in China,” experts said that because of the self-contained nature of the bribes, it was unlikely the DOJ could have pressed charges.”In the article, Bill Steinman (Steinman & Rodgers) stated:“While the enforcement agencies will say, ‘Look, everybody, quick, line up [and disclose],’ the resolution of these cases, I think, would not have been terribly different [in the absence of disclosure.” … Steinman stated that based on the facts in the NPAs, responsible public companies could make a decision not to disclose violations at all in the same circumstances. He noted that the FCPA doesn’t mandate self-disclosure and argued that companies with small, self-contained FCPA problems that they investigate and remediate could reasonably conclude they don’t need to tell the SEC or DOJ about the problem.”Are there certain things we know from the Nortek and Akamai enforcement actions?Most certainly yes.The DOJ got to “market” its FCPA Pilot Program program, the SEC got to add a few notches (albeit minor) to its enforcement action belt, and FCPA Inc. made millions.But what we don’t know is whether Nortek or Akamai benefited from its decision to voluntarily disclose or received excellent results.Suggestions to the contrary are nothing more than pure speculation.last_img read more

Anticancer gene may switch side and promote cancer growth shows study

first_imgJul 26 2018It doesn’t often happen that army generals switch sides in the middle of a war, but when cancer’s attack is underway, it may even cause a gene that acts as the body’s master defender to change allegiance. As reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that the betrayal of this gene can occur in more ways than previously appreciated.All cells carry this gene, known as p53. This gene normally plays a central role in protecting the body against malignancy, orchestrating the cell’s defenses against cancer and often killing a potentially cancerous cell if these fail. In about half of cancer patients, the p53 gene within the cancerous cells contains alterations – mutations – that can result in the production of a p53 protein that not only fails to suppress cancer, but can even launch cancer-promoting activities.But besides the cancerous cells, a malignant tumor contains a variety of non-cancerous cells and connective tissue elements, commonly referred to as the tumor microenvironment. In the initial stages of cancer development, the microenvironment is hostile to the tumor. Prof. Moshe Oren of the Molecular Cell Biology Department and other scientists found in earlier studies that the p53 of the microenvironment cells contributes to this hostility, blocking the spread of the cancer. “This protective campaign probably often succeeds, otherwise people would get cancer much more frequently than they actually do,” says Oren.As the cancer progresses and becomes more malignant, the tumor microenvironment gradually changes. Scientists refer to this process as “education”: The microenvironment is being co-opted by the progressing tumor into promoting, rather than restricting, the cancer.Among the co-opted cells are the fibroblasts, which supply the tissue with structural “cement.” Initially these help recruit immune cells against the cancer, but they now start releasing substances that encourage tumor growth, invasion and survival. At this stage, these cells are referred to as cancer-associated fibroblasts.The new study, conducted in Oren’s lab in collaboration with Weizmann Institute colleagues, shows that the microenvironment’s “education” – a more appropriate term would probably be “brainwashing” – is directed in part at the fibroblasts’ p53. As the cancer grows, the p53 in the fibroblasts switches sides. Although the p53 in the cancer-associated fibroblasts doesn’t acquire mutations as it does in the cancer cells, it nevertheless becomes altered in a manner that causes it to switch from restricting to supporting the cancer.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyIn the study, led by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Sharath Chandra Arandkar, in collaboration with departmental colleague Prof. Benjamin Geiger, and with Prof. Yosef Yarden and Dr. Igor Ulitsky of the Biological Regulation Department, the researchers showed that eliminating the p53 protein from cancer-associated fibroblasts by silencing their p53 genes caused these cells to lose many of their tumor-supporting features and behave more like normal fibroblasts. In particular, the silencing of fibroblast p53 reduced the migration of adjacent cancer cells in a laboratory dish – a crucial change, considering that invasive migration facilitates the metastatic spread of cancer. Moreover, the silencing of p53 in cancer-associated fibroblasts greatly reduced the ability of these cells to promote tumor growth in mice.Study authors included Weizmann’s Drs. Noa Furth, Yair Elisha and Nishanth Belugali Nataraj, and, from Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology in Stuttgart, Germany: Prof. Walter Aulitzky and the late Dr. Heiko van der Kuip, to whose memory this publication was dedicated.Finding ways to “re-educate” the renegade p53 in the tumor microenvironment – to reverse its behavior back to suppressing tumors – may pave the way to the development of novel therapies that will target the microenvironment rather than the cancer cells themselves. Indeed, strategies targeting the cancer microenvironment are being increasingly explored in recent years. The hope is that they might provide a new window of opportunity for launching effective therapy, because the microenvironment tends to evolve more slowly than the mutation-ridden tumor cells. Cancer and it’s microenvironment: Time lapse movie of GFP-expressing immortalized NFshLacZ cells from patient 4731 (Yellow) and mCherry-expressing Calu1 cells (magenta). Cells were seeded in 12-well plates containing ibidi culture inserts. The next day, inserts were removed and cells were allowed to migrate. Images were captured every 15 min, for a total of 6 hSource: https://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/life-sciences/switching-sides-betrayal-anti-cancer-genelast_img read more

How reliable is eyewitness testimony Scientists weigh in

first_imgThe victim peers across the courtroom, points at a man sitting next to a defense lawyer, and confidently says, “That’s him!”Such moments have a powerful sway on jurors who decide the fate of thousands of people every day in criminal cases. But how reliable is eyewitness testimony? A new report concludes that the use of eyewitness accounts need tighter control, and among its recommendations is a call for a more scientific approach to how eyewitnesses identify suspects during the classic police lineup.For decades, researchers have been trying to nail down what influences eyewitness testimony and how much confidence to place in it. After a year of sifting through the scientific evidence, a committee of psychologists and criminologists organized by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) has now gingerly weighed in. “This is a serious issue with major implications for our justice system,” says committee member Elizabeth Phelps, a psychologist at New York University in New York City. Their 2 October report, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification, is likely to change the way that criminal cases are prosecuted, says Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, who was an external reviewer of the report. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Email As Loftus puts it, “just because someone says something confidently doesn’t mean it’s true.” Jurors can’t help but find an eyewitness’s confidence compelling, even though experiments have shown that a person’s confidence in their own memory is sometimes undiminished even in the face of evidence that their memory of an event is false.The procedures of a criminal investigation can even distort eyewitness recall. The classic example is the lineup: The witness is asked to pick out the perpetrator from a group of similar-looking people. But the police detectives who organize the lineup are usually the same ones who have identified or caught the prime suspect, making them invested in the eyewitness selecting their choice. “They can’t help but drop little cues,” Loftus says. A detective might smile, grunt, or nod approvingly when a suspect is chosen. “Witnesses pick up on it.” More insidiously, police interrogators can unconsciously coach people into having false memories, a problem revealed in the 1990s in research by Loftus and others.So why is NRC weighing in now? For one thing, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation provided the National Academies a $333,000 grant last year to undertake the study. But it would have happened sooner or later, Loftus says, given the increasing number of people convicted with eyewitness testimony who have been subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence. Some 75% of the wrongful convictions for rape and murder, including a number that led to people being scheduled for execution, were based on eyewitness testimony.For some of the scientific controversies surrounding eyewitness accounts, the new report withholds judgment. For example, the traditional police lineup can be performed in one of two ways: The witness can be shown people sequentially, or all of them at once. The goal is to minimize bias, but scientists disagree on which approach is better—or if it matters at all. The report calls this debate “unresolved.”One thing the report comes out solidly in favor of is treating the lineup as a double-blind scientific experiment—neither the witness nor the presiding officer should know in advance whether the suspect is in the lineup. “Double-blinding is central to the scientific method because it minimizes the risk that experimenters might inadvertently bias the outcome of their research, finding only what they expected to find,” the report concludes. But it leaves the question of exactly how police departments should implement double-blind lineups unanswered.”The best way is with a computer system,” Loftus says, with no police officers present to influence the witness. The computer would run the lineup all on its own, choosing similar-looking people from a large database of photos. Computerizing lineups may be expensive and complicated, but considering “the damage to those innocent people’s lives, and the huge cost of compensations,” Loftus says, “that’s the future.”last_img read more

Hyena society is founded on friendship

first_imgHyenas long ago mastered one of the keys to Facebook success: becoming the friend of a friend. The most common large carnivore in Africa, spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), are known for their socially sophisticated behaviors. They live in large, stable clans (as pictured above), which can include as many as 100 individuals. They can tell clan members apart, discriminating among their maternal and paternal kin. They’re also choosy about their pals and form tight bonds only with specific members—the friends of their friends, researchers report in the current issue of Ecology Letters. And it’s this ability to form lasting friendships—or “cohesive clusters,” as the scientists describe a triad of friends—that is most important in maintaining the animals’ social structure. To reach this conclusion, the scientists analyzed more than 50,000 observations of social interactions among spotted hyenas in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve over 20 years. They found that individual traits, including the hyena’s sex and social rank, as well as environmental factors such as the amount of rainfall and prey abundance, all play a role in the animals’ social dynamics. But the most consistently influential factor was the ability of individual hyenas to form and maintain those tight friendships. The study used a new modeling method, which the researchers say can help other scientists better understand the sociality of other species. And that includes the human animal, who, the scientists note, are also prone to “cohesive clusters,” whether living as hunter-gatherers or as users of social media.last_img read more

Humans mated with Neandertals much earlier and more frequently than thought

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Members of our species had sex with Neandertals much earlier—and more often—than previously believed, according to a new study of ancient DNA. As some of the first bands of modern humans moved out of Africa, they met and mated with Neandertals about 100,000 years ago—perhaps in the fertile Nile Valley, along the coastal hills of the Middle East, or in the once-verdant Arabian Peninsula. This pushes back the earliest encounter between the two groups by tens of thousands of years and suggests that our ancestors were shaped in significant ways by swapping genes with other types of humans.These early modern humans’ own lineages died out, and they are not among the ancestors of living people. But a small bit of their DNA survived in the toe bone of a Neandertal woman who lived more than 50,000 years ago in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, Russia. A new analysis of her ancient genome has found that this so-called “Altai” Neandertal inherited DNA from modern humans from Africa, including a gene that may have been involved in speech.“This is the first genetic evidence that early modern humans met Neandertals and bred with them earlier than we thought,” says lead author Sergi Castellano, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. This scenario shows how after human ancestors split with the ancestors of Neandertals, the two groups interbred at least twice—100,000 years ago, soon after modern humans emerged and first left Africa, and again between 47,000 and 65,000 years ago. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ever since researchers sequenced the first full genome of Neandertals in 2010, they have known that the ancestors of European Neandertals interbred with modern humans. By comparing the Neandertal genome with that of modern humans, they found a curious pattern: Present-day Europeans and Asians have inherited about 1% to 3% of their DNA from Neandertals, but Africans have not. This suggested that encounters between modern humans and Neandertals were rare and happened in the Middle East or the Arabian Peninsula after modern humans swept out of Africa, but before they spread widely. When moderns did expand all over Eurasia, they carried that Neandertal DNA in their cells. Later studies of ancient DNA from a 45,000-year-old modern human in Romania helped pinpoint the timing of that encounter to between 50,000 and 65,000 years ago.More ancient DNA, also from a bone from Siberia’s Denisova Cave, complicated the picture. By sequencing an ancient girl’s finger bone from the cave, researchers discovered a new type of human, the Denisovans, who are closely related to Neandertals but also mated with the ancestors of today’s Melanesians.With every ancient genome, however, came new surprises. The Denisovan girl’s people had also mated with the ancestors of present-day Melanesians and some mainland Asians (who still carry small amounts of Denisovan DNA) sometime after modern humans encountered Neandertals 50,000 to 65,000 years ago.So, modern humans had interbred at least twice with archaic humans—Neandertals and, later, Denisovans—after leaving Africa. What’s more, the Denisova girl seemed to also carry some ancient DNA from an even more archaic hominin, such as the direct human ancestor Homo erectus, which lived 1.8 million to roughly 200,000 years ago. Her ancestors had inherited this “super archaic” DNA within the past 400,000 years, but the Altai Neandertal did not have it. How to explain this pattern?In the new study, published online today in Nature, Castellano and an international team of researchers first zeroed in on the chunks of modern DNA in the genomes of the Altai Neandertal and the Denisovan. By comparing it to key segments of the genomes of 504 Africans, they found that the Altai Neandertal had inherited DNA from modern humans who lived across Africa—and that this “African” DNA was inherited about 100,000 years ago. By contrast, the Denisovan girl and two other Neandertals from Europe (Croatia and Spain) had not inherited that ancient African DNA.By using modeling to explain the patterns of DNA distribution, the researchers came up with the following scenario: After early modern humans emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago, some eventually left the continent and mixed with Neandertals in the Middle East or the Arabian Peninsula, where fossils and stone tools of both groups date back to about 120,000 to 125,000 years. This group of modern humans went extinct, but their DNA persisted in the Neandertals that headed east to eventually settle in Siberia. Meanwhile, another group of modern humans left Africa much later and interbred 50,000 to 60,000 years ago with Neandertals that had headed south from Europe to the Middle East. In this later migration, Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians, who then spread throughout Eurasia. Some of this group of modern humans also encountered Denisovans, picking up the DNA that persists today in Melanesians and some Asians.All of this suggests that modern humans mixed with archaic humans at least three times after they migrated out of Africa. But that’s just a fraction of the intermingling that must have taken place. Neandertals also interbred with Denisovans. And the new study confirms that the Denisovans themselves did indeed interbred with a “superarchaic” hominin, possibly H. erectus, whom they encountered as early as 400,000 years ago. There are also hints that Denisovans interbred with modern humans in Asia more than once, based on different patterns in the distribution of Denisovan DNA in some Chinese and Melanesians. “One would think that mixing has occurred multiple times for a long time,” Castellano says.The low levels of DNA exchanged by these encounters suggests that it came from only a few trysts—not whole-sale mate-swapping. But it was enough to pass on genes that may have spelled the difference between survival and extinction for modern humans, including Europeans who still have genes from Neandertals that are shaping their health today. The inbred Altai Neandertal also got modern human DNA that may have been involved in speech, the immune system, and the production of sperm, Castellano says. And that fits with the theory that interbreeding was an important and rapid source of genetic diversity that could have been crucial for adapting to new terrain as modern humans spread into foreign lands.Now, it seems that modern humans picked up Neandertal genes—and passed some of their own DNA back to our close cousins—more than once, almost as soon as our species emerged from Africa, says computational geneticist Sriram Sankararaman of the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not a member of this study. “Admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals predates the out-of-Africa event to which present day non-Africans trace their ancestry.” Iian Gronau last_img read more

We may now know how a rare lethal microbe infected dozens of

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe M. chimaera is commonly found in soil and water. Although physicians have reported occasional lung infections related to the bacterium, it wasn’t considered a public health menace until it began popping up in people 5 years ago. Once it gets into the heart, it inflames the organ’s inner lining and spreads to other parts of the body. It is resistant to most antibiotics and frequently fatal. “Most of the patients we identified have already died,” says microbiologist Erik Böttger at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who is part of new study. “There’s very little you can do.”Previously, Böttger and colleagues worked with their international counterparts to narrow down the factors the patients had in common. One operating room device kept surfacing: a heating and cooling unit (HCU) made by LivaNova (previously known as Sorin). During heart surgery, a patient’s blood is circulated through the HCU to regulate their body temperature. Other times, the machines are connected to warming and cooling blankets. About 60% of HCUs in European, U.S., and Australian hospitals are made by LivaNova.The units heat and cool reservoirs of water, and researchers suspected that as the device ventilated heat or pumped water to the blankets, tiny droplets became aerosolized and spread through the operating room, carrying microbes with them. They sampled the water inside the HCUs at the hospitals where people had been infected, and indeed found M. chimaera in abundance.In a report published in today’s issue of The Lancet, Böttger and his collaborators investigated whether these far-flung bacteria had a common origin, or whether they were introduced locally at each hospital. They sequenced the whole genomes of the bacteria found in several places: inside 21 patients’ hearts, inside and around their hospitals’ HCU machines, within tap water and drinking water dispensers at the hospitals, and at LivaNova’s production site in Munich, Germany.The researchers report that 20 of the 21 patients’ bacteria were closely related to each other and to the bacteria inside the HCUs, and conclude that this particular strain likely came from LivaNova’s Munich factory. They discovered strains of M. chimaera elsewhere in the hospitals—the origin of those remains a mystery—but they were all much more distantly related to the killer strain, suggesting a single origin for the outbreak in the patients.In the course of the investigation, the researchers also found that HCUs produced by a different manufacturer—Maquet, based in Rastatt, Germany—were contaminated with M. chimaera, as was that company’s production facility. That strain, however, isn’t known to have infected anybody.It’s not clear exactly how M. chimaera could infiltrate the clean rooms inside LivaNova’s and Maquet’s production facilities, but LivaNova has issued cleaning procedures for its device that the company says will eliminate the bacteria. Its statement to Science also notes that the samples from its production facility analyzed in the study were taken before the company overhauled its disinfection procedures in 2014 and therefore don’t reflect the safety of its current product. The company adds that it has updated the device’s vacuum and seal systems to prevent aerosolized particles from escaping, and is loaning these updated units at no charge to hospitals that request them.Böttger says simply cleaning these machines isn’t good enough, and that any HCU design with an open water tank is fundamentally susceptible to infection—if not from contamination at the factory, then from microbes in the hospital. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have both issued warnings to hospitals that use the units, but so far there isn’t a widely available alternative.Patients and their families in the United States have brought lawsuits against LivaNova, which are still being litigated. Böttger hopes that both legal pressure and scientific scrutiny will compel hospitals to remove HCUs that use open water reservoirs from their operating rooms. “We hope that having described this problem, we have finally solved it,” he says. We may now know how a rare, lethal microbe infected dozens of people across the globe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In 2012, a mysterious microbe began surfacing in a small percentage of patients who had recently undergone open-heart surgery. Within 3 years, Mycobacterium chimaera—a distant cousin of the pathogen that causes tuberculosis—had infected at least 49 people around the world, and killed more than half of them. Scientists eventually traced the outbreak to contaminated medical equipment used during heart surgery, but it remained unclear how M. chimaera could have contaminated the equipment in the first place. Now, a new study concludes that the infections likely originated from the device’s production site in Germany.“This seems like a cut and dry case,” says Jack Gilbert, a microbial ecologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois who wasn’t involved with the study. “It is fascinating work, [and the authors possess] a unique forensic ability to track infections to a point source.”The medical device’s manufacturer, LivaNova, based in London, however, has denied that its instrument is the source of the infections and is currently defending itself against lawsuits from patients and families of patients who died. In a statement provided to Science, the company argues that the new study draws too strong a link between the reported infections and its equipment. “LivaNova is concerned that the article expresses a level of certainty about a point source tie to the manufacturing process that is not warranted by the data.”center_img By Michael PriceJul. 12, 2017 , 6:30 PM Email Scientists may have traced the origin of a mysterious microbe that infected open heart surgery patients.  selimaksan/iStockphoto last_img read more

This stone spear tip may have belonged to the first Americans

first_img Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University Email By Lizzie WadeOct. 24, 2018 , 2:25 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Clovis points are characterized by grooves called “flutes” along their bases and are firmly dated to about 13,000 years ago. Bill Whittaker/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) This stone spear tip may have belonged to the first Americans For 10 years, a team of archaeologists painstakingly excavated layer after layer of ancient stone tools near a Texas creek, looking for a sign of the first people to arrive in the Americas. Now, they have finally hit the jackpot: 11 spear points ranging from 13,500 to 15,500 years old. That places these stone tools among the oldest artifacts ever found in the Americas. What’s more, the uniquely shaped spear points lay buried beneath tools from the Clovis culture, dramatically demonstrating that the Clovis people were not the first to arrive in the Americas, as archaeologists long believed.“This is the kind of research that’s going to push the peopling of the New World story forward,” says Todd Braje, an archaeologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco who was not involved in the work. The new paper hints at a signature style of tool made by these mysterious first Americans, which archaeologists may be able to use to trace their movement into North and South America.The site where the tools were found—about 20 kilometers northwest of Austin—has year-round freshwater, making it, “an ideal place for people to be,” says Michael Waters, an archaeologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, who excavated there from 2006 to 2016. Apparently, prehistoric Native American communities agreed; stone tools in the area suggest people lived there for more than 10,000 years. Among the leavings are Clovis spear points used to hunt mammoths and other megafauna about 13,000 years ago. Archaeologists found western stemmed points including this one underneath Clovis points, making them a possible sign of the earliest migration into the Americas. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Clovis points are unlike other spear tips because of their “flutes,” or vertical grooves chipped into each side of their bases. For many years, archaeologists thought the big game hunters who used them were the first to enter the Americas, walking from Alaska, through an ice-free corridor between the ice sheets of western Canada, and into the lower 48 about 13,500 years ago. But that idea started to collapse in 1997, when archaeologists confirmed that Monte Verde, a site in Chile, was at least 14,500 years old—meaning humans lived there before the ice-free corridor likely became a viable route. As the tidy Clovis-first hypothesis unraveled, archaeologists were plunged into uncertainty. They didn’t know when or how the first Americans arrived. Worse still, they had no way of consistently identifying pre-Clovis stone tools, which—unlike the easy-to-recognize Clovis points—didn’t seem to have a unified style.Now, Waters may have found such a style. Called “western stemmed points,” the new tools are generally smaller than Clovis points, lack the flutes, and taper toward a chunky stem. Waters’s team uncovered 11 western stemmed points in a layer of sediment about 15 centimeters below the earliest Clovis points at the site, meaning they are almost certainly older. But how much older?The wet environment of the creek made radiocarbon dating impossible, so Waters used a technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, which measures when quartz grains in buried sediment were last exposed to sunlight. Waters’s measurements showed that sediment around the western stemmed points was 13,500 to 15,500 years old, likely making the tools at least that old, the team reports today in Science Advances. If their creators arrived in Texas that early, Waters says, the Pacific coast would have been their most probable route. They could have invented or adopted Clovis technology once they settled in the lower 48, or the two distinct styles could mean multiple migrations into the Americas took place.Loren Davis, an archaeologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, calls the work “really well done. … It’s breaking boundaries.” But because OSL dating has larger error bars than radiocarbon dating, using the latter technique on western stemmed points at another site—ideally also found beneath Clovis tools—“would nail it down.” Braje argues that the dates of more than 100 other tools at the site, and the fact that they were in precise chronological order, with the newest nearest the surface, makes a strong case for the accuracy of the older ages.The findings could send archaeologists scrambling to find more western stemmed points in Texas and elsewhere in the Americas. Similar stemmed points have already turned up around the prehistoric Pacific rim, notes Braje, and some archaeologists were already wondering whether they could be the long-hoped-for signature of a coastal migration into the Americas. Waters’s discovery doesn’t close that case, Davis says, but “it’s very, very compelling.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Mysterious human relatives moved into penthouse Siberian cave 100000 years earlier than

first_imgDenisova Cave offered a good vantage for spotting game—and other humans. Mysterious human relatives moved into ‘penthouse’ Siberian cave 100,000 years earlier than thought By Ann GibbonsJan. 30, 2019 , 1:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) RICHARD ROBERTS center_img With its light-filled main gallery and sweeping views of the Altai Mountains of southern Russia, Denisova Cave was a Stone Age version of a Manhattan penthouse. Overlooking the Anui River, where herds of animals came to drink, it offered an unparalleled vantage for spotting game and other humans, as well as refuge from Siberian storms. Generations of Neanderthals, their Denisovan cousins, and modern humans enjoyed the view.But when did each group reside there? The timing could yield clues to how these diverse humans interacted and shed new light on the most enigmatic of the three, the Denisovans, who are known only from DNA and scrappy fossils from this cave. Denisova’s human fossils and artifacts have been notoriously difficult to date because of the complex layering of sediments in its three chambers. Now, two teams have combined state-of-the-art dating methods to create a timeline of the cave’s occupants.For the Denisovans, the results—reported in Nature this week—paint a portrait of endurance. They first moved in 287,000 years ago, more than 100,000 years earlier than had been thought, and then occupied the cave off and on through shifting climates until 55,000 years ago, a period when Neanderthals also came and went. “The general picture is now clear,” says archaeologist Robin Dennell of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, who was not a member of the teams. Email Ever since DNA extracted from a girl’s tiny pinkie bone found in the cave revealed that she belonged to a formerly unknown type of human, researchers have been trying to nail down when the Denisovans lived. In 2015, several samples of cut-marked animal bones and charcoal found near the pinkie bone yielded radiocarbon dates of at least 50,000 years, at the oldest limit of the method. But that was a minimum age because bone fragments, teeth, and DNA from four other Denisovans and from a young woman whose DNA shows she had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father have also been found in the cave, some in deeper, older layers. One tooth might have been as old as 170,000 years.Those older dates had wide margins of error. So, Russian Academy of Sciences archaeologists who have been excavating at Denisova for 40 years invited geochronologists Zenobia Jacobs and Richard Roberts of the University of Wollongong in Australia to try state-of-the-art optical dating methods. Optical dating reveals when single grains of quartz or potassium feldspar in a sample of sediment were last exposed to sunlight and, thus, when the sediment was deposited. By measuring 280,000 individual grains of these minerals in more than 100 samples collected near stone tools or fossils, the Wollongong team calculated the average age of every layer of the cave’s deposits.The team checked its dates for the most recent layers against radiocarbon dates that geochronologists Tom Higham and Katerina Douka at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom determined from 50 new cut-marked bone and charcoal samples. The Oxford team also developed a new statistical model that merges data from several dating methods, as well as from genetic sequencing, which can reveal the relative ages of fossils. By evaluating all the data and their range of errors, the model determines which dates are most reliable. “There’s a huge value in using multiple techniques,” says Ed Rhodes of the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the work. The resulting dates, he adds, are “fully convincing.”The oldest stone tools in the cave date back to at least 287,000 years, according to the optical methods. These so-called Middle Paleolithic tools look subtly different from those associated with Neanderthals in other caves in Siberia, suggesting they are the first artifacts ever linked to the Denisovans. Direct evidence of Denisovans—so-called environmental DNA found in the sediments—also appears a bit before DNA from Neanderthals, who occupied the cave on and off from 193,000 to 97,000 years ago.The Denisovans were “evidently a hardy bunch,” Jacobs says. They apparently persisted at the site through multiple episodes of cold Siberian climate, based on analysis of fossil pollen. In contrast, when the Neanderthals showed up, the pollen shows that the forest around the cave had hornbeam, oak, and Eurasian linden trees, which thrive in a relatively warm and humid climate.The dates also suggest a new puzzle: Who made so-called Initial Upper Paleolithic artifacts, such as ornaments of bone, animal teeth, mammoth ivory, and ostrich eggshell, that date to between 43,000 to 49,000 years at the site? Higham’s Russian collaborators propose they were made by Denisovans, like the tools from older layers. No modern human fossils have been found in the cave, they note. But others say the artifacts resemble the handiwork of modern humans in Eurasia, suggesting the newcomers arrived just after the Denisovans vanished—or even hastened the disappearance of this lost group.”My money would be on early modern humans, who can be mapped elsewhere at this date, for example at Ust’-Ishim in Siberia,” says paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, not a member of the team. “Only more discoveries and more research can resolve that question.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Treatments for childhood cancer can devastate lives years later Scientists are trying

first_img 1975 SETH DIXON/ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL Treatments for childhood cancer can devastate lives years later. Scientists are trying to change that 21% 57% 12% Male infertility 61% 62% Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country However, he discovered they no longer had cancer, but they weren’t healthy, either. Chemotherapy and, for lymphoma survivors, radiation used to shrink chest tumors had weakened hearts in ways he didn’t fully understand. Anywhere from months to more than a decade after treatment, they trailed into Lipshultz’s waiting room, frail and struggling to breathe.Those young people were among the first to sound the alarm that pediatric cancer treatment could have grave aftereffects. Some, such as those Lipshultz cared for, suffered from abnormal heart rhythm or heart failure. Others ran into a slew of health problems: a second cancer caused by treatment for the first, infertility, trouble learning, thyroid abnormalities, impaired lung function, kidney disease. As more children survived, more doctors learned just how high the price of survival could be. From hopelessness to hope Childhood cancer was once a death sentence, but today more than 80% of children and teenagers survive long term. This graph shows survival rates depending on the year a young person was diagnosed. 25% Brain and spinal cord A single patient could spark the awakening. Years ago, Lisa Diller, a pediatric oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, was horrified when she encountered a man in his 30s dying of stomach cancer, a disease almost certainly caused by radiation treatment he received as a teenager for Hodgkin lymphoma. “What the heck is going on here, and what are we going to do about it?” she recalls thinking.Today, cure rates for two common childhood cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma and standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, are more than 90% in the United States and Canada; overall, 83% of childhood cancer patients become long-term survivors. But in a 2014 study, 80% had at least one serious, disabling, or life-threatening health condition by age 45. Physicians and researchers are increasingly learning how cancer treatment reshapes the growth and development of small bodies into adulthood and beyond. As knowledge builds and the survivor population expands—it’s now approaching 500,000 in the United States—a burgeoning effort is underway to blunt the effects of cancer therapy.To understand the genesis of late effects of cancer treatment and how best to prevent and treat them, scientists are casting a wide net. They are studying drugs in zebrafish, walking mice with cancer on a treadmill, probing the cells of survivors, and testing DNA of newly diagnosed children. And in every lab, in every conversation with a family, scientists and physicians are walking a tightrope: Their greatest fear is jeopardizing a child’s survival from cancer, but they’re also striving to ensure good health in the decades to come.”I remember laying in bed thinking, ‘There’s got to be a better way to do this,’” says Gregory Aune, a pediatric oncologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, who runs a lab studying how chemotherapies harm the heart. Aune was 16 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. He lost 30 kilograms during treatment. In the years that followed, he experienced thyroid problems and underwent triple bypass heart surgery at 35. Despite treatment-induced infertility, he now has two pairs of twins born from sperm he banked before chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer was “presented to me as, ‘Just get through the therapy, and this will be over and [you] go back to normal.’” Instead, Aune says, “Your life trajectory changes. That’s one of the things we have to change about oncology.”How treatment affects growing bodiesKiri Ness first encountered childhood cancer survivors en masse at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, after taking a job there in 2006. A physical therapist and epidemiologist, Ness knew that roughly one-third of survivors developed a second cancer by age 50, likely because of DNA damage to healthy cells during treatment; almost 10% had an underactive thyroid; and about 15% had heart dysfunction. Survivors who received radiation to the brain were less likely to be employed as adults than survivors who hadn’t needed that treatment. Children who endured a bone marrow transplant were at especially high risk of complications, including infertility and kidney failure.Ness wanted to meet survivors to better understand those long-term effects. St. Jude monitors several thousand survivors for life, and one after another streamed into her “human performance lab,” set up to assess their general health. Ness was startled. “They look like old people,” she remembers thinking about the adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. “They have wrinkled skin, they walk slowly, they’re weak, they have characteristic gait patterns that mostly elderly people have.”The inside mirrored the outside. Results from cardiac stress tests and muscle strength assessments were “similar to [those of] people in their 70s and 80s,” Ness says. Her reaction was identical to Diller’s. “I was like, ‘What is going on?’”Ness started to investigate. The youngsters lost muscle mass during cancer therapy, she found; after treatment ends, “it seems like they don’t ever become robust again.” Years later, their nervous systems might slow down: Reactions became more sluggish, and they lost cognitive function. In 2013, Ness and colleagues reported that of 1922 pediatric cancer survivors with an average age of 33, about 10% qualified as frail. Another 30% were “prefrail,” with some loss of endurance and muscle mass. The proportions mirror those in people older than 65. Pulmonary system Kiri Ness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital tests the leg strength of brain cancer survivor Isaac Walsh, now 21. Cardiomyopathy 100% 1995 Hodgkin lymphoma Cardiovascular system 65% Overall Hormonal dysfunction 2005 2014 (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/SCIENCE: (DATA) NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE SURVEILLANCE, EPIDEMIOLOGY, AND END RESULTS PROGRAM 50 Abnormal cholesterol levels Survival 5 years after cancer Memory problems After the cure Adults who survive cancer as children can suffer long-term health effects. One study of 1700 people ages 18 to 60 explored how treatments toxic to an organ system—chemotherapy, radiation, or both—led to problems in the years ahead. The bars show the frequency of certain complications. 66% Leukemia (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/SCIENCE: (DATA) M. HUDSON ET AL., JAMA, 309, 2371 (2013) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 25 Diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma as a teenager, Gregory Aune went on to study the aftereffects of chemotherapy. 1985 For Ness, the roots of that rapid aging start with a truism of cancer treatment: While killing cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation damage many healthy cells, too. Damaged cells often enter senescence—cellular old age—as a protective mechanism that allows them to expend less energy. From the results of cell aging studies, Ness speculates that in childhood cancer survivors, senescent cells “communicate with other cells around them,” telling those cells to senesce as well. Those “aged” cells also emit molecules that cause low-grade inflammation in the body, which is linked to aging in healthy people.Ness and colleagues are studying markers of biological aging; one, a protein called p16, is typically undetectable in healthy young adults. But the researchers are finding it in the blood of some young adult survivors—suggesting their cells may be following a trajectory similar to that of much older people.Kristopher Sarosiek, a cancer biologist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, is exploring a different link between cell damage during treatment and lasting debility. As a postdoc, he studied a form of cellular self-destruction called apoptosis. In healthy adults, cells were resistant to it, even when damaged. But in the developing tissues of healthy young mice, he found, “The apoptosis pathway is blowout high and incredibly active.”The reason? Young mice—and young children—are growing, and their bodies must wipe out any newly generated cells that are dysfunctional. Apoptosis accomplishes that. Anticancer treatments activate apoptosis in cancer cells—but also in healthy developing tissues, putting young cancer patients at high risk of tissue damage. Sarosiek points to a classic example: radiation to the brain. “You can give radiation therapy at very high levels to adults in the brain,” he says, “and they’ll experience slight neurocognitive damage. But if you do the same to a very young child, you can devastate their cognitive ability.” Sarosiek is now trying to understand, in a mouse model of radiation treatment, how pediatric cancer therapy activates apoptosis in healthy tissues.Whatever causes it, losing healthy cells during treatment can have a long-delayed impact, as Lipshultz’s decades of work have shown for the heart. In various studies, he found that children treated with a popular class of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines suffer a loss of heart muscle cells that can initially cause few or no symptoms. But over time, the muscle loss becomes a problem. The heart grows by stretching its existing muscle cells, not by making new ones. Once those children reach adulthood, “the mass of the heart is inadequate for the size of the body,” Lipshultz says. He has also found that some survivors experience a thinning of the walls of their heart or irreversible damage to heart muscle, further stressing the organ.Most striking, however, is the gulf in outcomes. “I have some childhood cancer survivors 30 years out who have totally normal hearts,” Lipshultz says. “I have others who died from therapy or needed a new heart.”Plotting a new course for patientsToday’s goal is to carve a different path for the next generation of cancer survivors—to ensure that they do not end up, years later, in the care of doctors like Lipshultz. “We’re not going to not treat cancer,” says Bruce Carleton, a clinical pharmacologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. But knowing which children treatment is likely to hit hardest could help doctors minimize its effects.At Carleton’s hospital, treatment causes permanent hearing loss in 37% of children with cancer—an outcome that forever alters how a 2-year-old learning to talk understands and communicates with the world. In the mid-2000s, Carleton launched a DNA hunt for gene variants that can raise or lower the risk of hearing loss and heart problems from chemotherapy. For hearing loss, he identified three variants; for heart problems, he found three more. In 2014, as part of a study, he and colleagues began to offer testing to all newly diagnosed cancer patients at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, steps away.One was 13-month-old Aeson Moen, whose cancer created an agonizing choice. He came to the hospital from a town more than 4 hours’ drive east, and he had a large mass next to his spine, behind his heart. The diagnosis: high-risk neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer. Aeson needed radiation—which would surely hit his heart as well—along with many doses of heart-hazardous anthracyclines.But then genetic testing flashed a warning. The toddler carried two gene variants for anthracycline cardiac toxicity, which Carleton’s lab calculated meant an 89% chance of severe heart damage; radiation would only ratchet up that number. Aeson’s risk was alarming, says his pediatric oncologist, Rod Rassekh. “We were especially worried about him.”Rassekh had never treated a neuroblastoma patient like Aeson without anthracyclines, but he began to wonder whether he should jettison them. He and colleagues found an alternative protocol from Europe: a single dose of anthracyclines combined with other chemotherapies and radiation. Even that one dose, though, might be enough to push Aeson’s heart into failure. “It made me feel more comfortable to leave that drug out than give it to him,” says his mother, Ana Moen.The hospital sought counsel from an ethicist. Ultimately, all agreed that Aeson’s parents, with Rassekh’s guidance, were making an informed decision. Aeson received anthracycline-free treatment, though it was hardly easy: He still endured many rounds of other chemotherapies, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. “Was I nervous, as his oncologist?” Rassekh says. “I was extremely nervous, thinking, ‘Are we making the right decision?’”More than 4 years later, Rassekh is beginning to exhale. Aeson started kindergarten last fall and will turn 6 next month. He is now cancer-free with a perfectly healthy heart. His first season of T-ball begins this spring. 75 Female infertility Endocrine system Cataracts Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe 61% More than 30 years ago, a new kind of patient began to appear in the cardiology clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital: young people whose cancer treatment first saved their lives and then threatened to kill them.Steven Lipshultz, a bespectacled pediatric cardiologist, examined them. They ranged from preschoolers to young adults, and all had recovered from leukemia, lymphoma, or other cancers. They were new to Lipshultz for a reason: Until recently, most children with cancer died.But in the 1980s, a medical miracle was in the making. Clinical trials had pointed to combinations of drugs and radiation that could rescue once-doomed children. Survival rates, in the single digits for leukemia in the 1960s, surged past 50% and kept climbing. Oncologists and families celebrated the formerly unimaginable: birthday parties, high school graduations, a life relieved of terrible stress and fear. “Children were told they’re free and clear, they’re cured,” says Lipshultz, now at the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system. Nervous system 6% (LEFT TO RIGHT) DAVID RODRIGUEZ; JANE AUNE Hearing loss Abnormal lung function Neuroblastoma Heart valve abnormalities 0 By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelMar. 14, 2019 , 2:00 PM Email “When I first started, I thought every family would want all the chemo, period,” to maximize the chance of a cure, Rassekh says. But he’s learning that many families are willing to forgo some treatments if doing so means better odds of good health. Rassekh recalls a 4-year-old he treated more than a decade ago for neuroblastoma, before the genetic testing was available. Reviewing her case, he found that she carried the same gene variants as Aeson. One year after treatment, the girl needed a heart transplant—and when the first transplant failed, she needed a second.This year, Carleton is expanding gene testing to nine more children’s hospitals across Canada. Other major gene sequencing efforts are underway. One of the broadest is through the pioneering Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which launched in 1994 and includes more than 25,000 survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed from 1970 to 1999 in the United States and Canada. By the end of the year, the CCSS will have sequenced the exomes—the protein-coding DNA—of more than 8000 of them, says Greg Armstrong, a pediatric neuro-oncologist at St. Jude and lead investigator of the CCSS.Changing a treatment protocol, as doctors did for Aeson, isn’t always possible. More than 4000 kilometers from Vancouver, a collaborator of the British Columbia group is weighing other uses of genetic results. “We’re not going to get rid of the anthracyclines” for everyone, says Jason Berman, a pediatric oncologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, near Canada’s eastern edge, “but maybe we’ll have protective drugs” to give alongside them, particularly for patients genetically prone to the toxic effects.When he’s not caring for children with cancer, Berman runs a zebrafish lab and uses the small tropical fish to screen dozens of potential drugs. So far, he has hit on two that, when given with anthracyclines, protect a fish’s heart from damage without dulling chemotherapy’s effect on cancer cells. As his own hospital prepares to take up Carleton’s gene testing regimen, Berman envisions eventually testing new protective compounds on the children deemed at highest risk of heart damage.One such drug is already available: dexrazoxane, which is approved in the United States to minimize cardiac damage in patients with breast cancer and sometimes offered to children receiving cancer treatment. Lipshultz pioneered testing dexrazoxane with pediatric patients in the 1990s. Now, physicians are studying how well dexrazoxane heads off cardiac problems years after treatment. Lipshultz, pediatric oncologist Eric Chow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and others are tracking down hundreds of adults who received dexrazoxane during those early trials.Some researchers wonder whether ordinary exercise might safeguard the heart. At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, pediatric oncologist Eugenie Kleinerman is considering whether brisk walks during treatment can protect cardiac function in young people with the bone cancer osteosarcoma. Like many in the field, she has a tragic story that set her on this path: Kleinerman cured a young woman of sarcoma only to learn that she’d collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack on a Michigan college basketball court years later. A self-described exercise nut, Kleinerman created a mouse model of osteosarcoma treatment in which the animals sustain heart damage from doxorubicin, an anthracycline drug. While getting twice-weekly chemo infusions, they’re put on a treadmill for a brisk 45-minute walk. Echocardiograms and autopsies revealed that, immediately after chemotherapy and 2 months later, mice that exercised had hearts indistinguishable from those of animals that hadn’t gotten chemotherapy, Kleinerman reported in April 2018 in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.Late last year, she launched a pilot study to determine whether an exercise program is feasible for adolescent and young adult osteosarcoma patients, who often have leg tumors. If it is, Kleinerman says she hopes to launch a larger trial to test whether the strategy can keep hearts healthy.Some pediatric oncologists see a field on the cusp of change. Their toolkit—largely from the 1980s and earlier, because new treatments are almost always designed for adults—is finally expanding. Novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies may have fewer, and certainly different, long-term effects. Meanwhile, clinical trials have helped pinpoint patients at lower risk of relapse or death; such children can sometimes be spared some hazardous therapy. Even for the childhood brain cancer medulloblastoma, among the most aggressive cancers, scientists are testing whether one low-risk group can safely decrease radiation. In 2016, Armstrong and CCSS colleagues reported in The New England Journal of Medicine the tangible effect of gentler treatment: Twelve percent of children who survived any cancer in the early 1970s died within 15 years of diagnosis, compared with 6% treated in the early 1990s.At 45, Aune still lives with the effects of cancer therapy. Recently, he found himself peering through a distorted mirror: In front of him sat a girl the same age he was at diagnosis, 16, with the same burden of Hodgkin lymphoma. And yet her trajectory would be different. She endured 3 months of treatment to his 9. She quickly returned to school full-time, whereas he needed an extra year to graduate. She avoided chest radiation, thanks to clinical trials more than a decade ago suggesting that most Hodgkin patients don’t need that brutal treatment—which left girls like her with a one-in-three chance of breast cancer by their mid-40s. “She’s going to do really well,” Aune predicts. Now, he says, it’s up to him and others to create a future as bright for the survivors still to come.Read more from Science’s special issue on pediatric cancer.last_img read more

ECCB polymer bank notes coming soon

first_imgShareTweetSharePinActing resident representative for the agency office of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in Dominica, Ambrose Sylvester said new Eastern Caribbean (EC) polymer bank notes will begin circulation in Dominica and other member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) in June,2019.“This new polymer bank notes will be in circulation as early as June this year commencing with the $50 denomination followed by the $100, the $20 and the $10 in August to September and the $5 in 2020,” Sylvester told DNO in an interview.Sylvester said the polymer bank notes will eventually replace cotton-based, paper bank notes which are currently in circulation and the two sets of bank notes will co-circulate until the current ones are phased out and withdrawn from circulation over a period of approximately 5 years beginning in 2020 after the $5 notes would have been issued.He explained, “And hear when I say these notes will co-circulate, it means that they will be in circulation side by side, so, if one goes to any business entity or even through the ATM, you may very well get a combination of both polymer notes and these paper bank notes together. The concept and size of the new bank notes will be retained as in the case of the current ones to ensure familiarity by the consuming public.”Sylvester said the notes are expected to last about two and a half to three times the duration of the existing notes which will reduce the impact on the environment and make them more cost effective in the long run in terms of production and replacement.The new polymer bank notes will include distinguishable and forward-looking security features, as well as greater durability which Sylvester said, will differentiate them from existing notes.last_img read more

Roseau River wall to be completed by September says PM Skerrit

first_imgShareTweetSharePinRoseau River Defense Project under constructionPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the 15 million dollar Roseau River Defense Project on River Bank is scheduled to be completed by early September, 2019.Skerrit made this statement during a visit by Cabinet to the project site on Tueaday.He said a promenade will also be added to the project which will enhance the aesthetics of the city.“We have embarked on a very expansive river defense project overtime. We have approached  the construction of river walls on a face basis. One can appreciate the importance of these river walls to the safety of lives and property because we have the beauty of our river flowing to the city but that also brings itself at a certain risk and were trying to mitigate against these risks,” he stated.In addition to the river walls, the project also includes the creation of a riverside promenade.“It is a project we have spoken about for some years now to enhance and to improve the aesthetics to the city and also the vending which normally take place along the river street in River bank area,” Skerrit stated. “You recall we had different shacks there over a period of time and clearly, these things are not sanitary; they are not places that we should be vending food and beverage. So the attention there is to build more aesthetically appealing shops and bars so the people could vend from this much improved facilities.”The prime minister said the promenade will be used as a form of relaxation for persons and will help in creating a modern city.He said this is a start in transforming Roseau into a resilient city which will also enhance the value of people’s property and commercial activity.Dominica Labor Party (DLP) candidate for Roseau Central, Melissa Skerrit said this project will perfectly complement Roseau’s enhancement.“I’m very excited about this project here today, it’s something that has been discussed for a while. It perfectly complements Roseau enhancement project which has been ongoing and this is all to increase or to enhance the aesthetics of Roseau central and so I’m really happy that this will create more of a city feel,” she said. “Its an area that is going to be a spectacle, its going to be laminated and its going to be some what of a commercial area and I’m sure the people of Roseau Central will appreciate this.”She said Roseau Central has different cultures and the promenade would be a great opportunity to have a fusion of the various cultures in the city.last_img read more

Snowflakes former mayor opposes tax

first_imgPhoto by Toni GibbonsTom Poscharsky, former councilman and mayor of Snowflake, continues to stand in firm opposition to the Jail District Tax, known as Proposition 421. By Toni Gibbons     The recent move by Navajo County to reintroduce the one-third of a cent jail district tax, now known as Proposition 421, to the voters in August, has caused Tom Poscharsky, formerSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad April 18, 2019center_img Snowflake’s former mayor opposes taxlast_img

Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran US

first_img A museum struggling to help Iraqis connect with 5,000 years of art The rebels have attacked another airport multiple times and a critical Saudi oil pipeline in recent days amid the heightened tensions between the US and Iran. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Related News More Explained Advertising Trump has argued that the deal failed to sufficiently curb Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons or halt its support for militias throughout the Middle East that the US says destabilize the region, as well as address the issue of Tehran’s missiles, which can reach both US regional bases and Israel.Zarif, who was been on a whirlwind diplomatic offensive to preserve the rest of the accord, insisted that Iran “did not violate the nuclear deal” and urged European nations to exert efforts to preserve the deal following the US pullout.Speaking about the rising tensions with the US, Zarif said Iran will be able to “face the war, whether it is economic or military through steadfastness and its forces.” He also urged for a non-aggression agreement between Iran and Arab countries in the Gulf.The Shiite-majority Iraq has been trying to maintain a fine line as allies Tehran and Washington descended into verbal vitriol. The country also lies on the fault line between Shiite Iran and the mostly Sunni Arab world, led by powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and has long been a battlefield in which the Saudi-Iran rivalry for regional supremacy played out. Advertising Rouhani said he had previously suggested a referendum to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2004, when Rouhani was a senior nuclear negotiator for Iran.At the time, Khamenei approved of the idea and though there was no referendum, such a vote “can be a solution at any time,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.A referendum could provide political cover for the Iranian government if it chooses to increase its enrichment of uranium, prohibited under the 2015 nuclear deal.Earlier last week, Iran said it quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity though Iranian officials made a point to stress that the uranium would be enriched only to the 3.67% limit set under the deal, making it usable for a power plant but far below what’s needed for an atomic weapon.Rouhani’s remarks could also be seen as a defense of his stance following the rare public chastising by the supreme leader.Khamenei last week named Rouhani and Zarif _ relative moderates within Iran’s Shiite theocracy who had struck the nuclear deal _ as failing to implement his orders over the accord, saying it had “numerous ambiguities and structural weaknesses” that could damage Iran.Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state in Iran, did not immediately respond to Rouhani’s proposal of a referendum. The Islamic Republic has seen only three referendums since it was established in 1979 _ one on regime change from monarchy to Islamic republic and two on its constitution and its amendments.Also in Tehran, acting commander of the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said any negotiations with the US would be fruitless. Gen. Ali Fadavi said it would be like having “negotiations with Satan.”Meanwhile, Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched a bomb-carrying drone Sunday targeting another airport in Saudi Arabia. Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis, said that the military intercepted and destroyed the drone targeting its Jizan Regional Airport. Saudi state TV published images of debris it said belonged to the drone. Taking stock of monsoon rain “We are trying to help and to be mediators,” said al-Hakim, adding that Baghdad “will work to reach a satisfactory solution” while stressing that Iraq stands against unilateral steps taken by Washington.In recent weeks, tensions between Washington and Tehran soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran. The US also plans to send 900 additional troops to the 600 already in the Mideast and extending their stay.The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that capped Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in return to lifting sanctions. Washington subsequently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between its allies Iran, US Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, shakes hands with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim in Baghdad, Iraq May 26, 2019. (Reuters Photo: Khalid Al-Mousily)Iraq offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels. Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammed al-Hakim, made the offer Sunday during a joint news conference in Baghdad with visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. The mediation offer by al-Hakim, Iraq’s foreign minister, echoed one made Saturday by Mohamad al-Halbousi, the Iraqi parliament speaker. Al-Hakim also expressed concern for Iran’s spiraling economy.Iranians make up the bulk of millions of Shiites from around the world who come to Iraq every year to visit its many Shiite shrines and holy places and their purchasing power has slumped after Trump re-imposed the sanctions.“The sanctions against sisterly Iran are ineffective and we stand by its side,” al-Hakim said.Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested the Islamic Republic could hold a referendum over its nuclear program. The official IRNA news agency said Rouhani, who was last week publicly chastised by the country’s supreme leader, made the suggestion in a meeting with editors of major Iranian news outlets on Saturday evening. By AP |Baghdad | Published: May 27, 2019 8:34:55 am Best Of Express Advertising Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra, two hurt Iraq says it deserves more global support in rebuilding Post Comment(s)last_img read more