first_imgAdvances in synthetic biology have prompted fears that terrorists might develop biological weapons by purchasing made-to-order DNA sequences from gene synthesis companies and using them to engineer deadly pathogens. Five of the world’s leading gene synthesis companies today announced steps they are already implementing—or plan to implement—a plan to prevent misuse of the technology. The announcement comes amid calls for tougher government controls on the field of synthetic genomics. The companies, which make up what they call the International Gene Synthesis Consortium, already examine purchase orders to ensure that they are not supplying customers with genomes of pathogens that many governments consider as potential threats to biosecurity. The consortium’s members now plan to strengthen this procedure by screening orders against a database they say will be more comprehensive. In addition, the companies have committed to screening clients to confirm their identities and ensure that the clients are permitted by their governments to possess the sequences they’ve requested. And the companies will keep all records of orders, screenings, and deliveries for at least 8 years to assist law enforcement if necessary. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)”Gene synthesis itself provides us with powerful new opportunities to combat the threat of bioterrorism,” Jeremy Minshull, president of DNA2.0—a consortium member, said in a press release. “We won’t tolerate attempts to misuse gene synthesis technology to threaten the safety of any community.”last_img read more

first_imgTOKYO—The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will once again be harassing Japan’s research whaling efforts in Antarctic waters over the next few months, Scott West, an organization official said here today. Last January, the organization’s Ady Gil vessel collided with the whaling ship Shonan Maru 2. (New Zealand officials recently concluded that both crews were at fault.) The Ady Gil was scuttled and on Monday, Sea Shepherd christened a replacement ship Gojira (a variant of Godzilla) that will soon head for Antarctic waters to await the Japanese fleet. There has been an international moratorium on commercial whaling since 1985. But under a clause that allows taking whales for research, Japan has been catching hundreds of minke and smaller numbers of other species each year. Critics contend that this research is commercial whaling in disguise as the meat ends up in Japanese restaurants and supermarkets. Much if not all of the data could be collected non-lethally, West claims. “And we’ve never seen a peer-reviewed paper,” he said. West said their direct-action campaign is having a significant impact in both reducing the number of whales caught—he says the whalers took about half their target of 935 minke and fin whales last year—and increasing costs by reducing efficiency and cutting the amount of whale meat the fleet can sell. “We’re going to sink that fleet economically,” West said. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)He predicted another poor year for the whalers. For unknown reasons, the Japanese research fleet is still in port much later than usual.last_img read more

first_imgThe European Parliament yesterday approved a plan to allow individual E.U. member countries to opt out of the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The European Commission proposed the idea a year ago as a way to break the current deadlock between opponents and supporters of GM crops that has prevented the approval of all but two varieties in the European Union. The new scheme is a long way from taking effect, however. First, it has to be approved by a qualified majority of the member states, and several key members have already expressed their opposition. Under current rules, the European Food Safety Authority in Parma, Italy, is responsible for assessing the health and environmental safety of new GM varieties for cultivation. Once approved, a variety is, in theory, allowed in all member states. But so far only one GM variety of maize and one potato used for starch production have been approved. At the same time, six member countries have taken advantage of a “safeguard clause” in the current law to prohibit cultivation of even the approved crops. The opt-out plan would allow countries opposed to GM crops to prohibit their planting without affecting other member states. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Several member country governments have said they oppose the plan because it would be unworkable in light of E.U. and World Trade Organization rules about open markets.last_img read more

first_imgWhite House science adviser John Holdren has replied to questions asked last month by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) about how the Obama Adminstration has handled the controversy surrounding two studies that showed how to make the H5N1 avian influenza virus transmissible between mammals. On 1 March, Sensenbrenner—a former head of the House of Representatives committees on science and the judiciary, and currently vice chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, sent a “fact-finding letter” to Holdren. It asked a number of questions about how the government reviews potential “dual-use research of concern” (DURC) that might be used for good or evil. It also observed that the Obama Administration’s handling of the flu papers controversy “appeared ad hoc, delayed, and inadequate.” In his 9 April response, Holdren wrote that “the circumstances surrounding the recent review of H5N1 manuscripts are unprecedented.” It marked the first time a government advisory body, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), had recommended withholding information from a scientific paper, he added. “Thus, the [U.S. government] until now had not needed to have a system in place specifically for restricting dissemination of the results of DURC.” But NSABB ultimately supported publication of the papers, he noted, after government reviews revealed “serious legal and procedural hurdles to the establishment of such a dissemination system that could not be overcome on a timescale that would be relevant to the publication of these papers.” The government has issued a new policy for reviewing taxpayer-funded research for DURC potential, he noted. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) In a statement, Sensenbrenner said he was only partly satisfied: In his response, Dr. Holdren wrote that, until now, the United States government has “not needed to have a system in place” for restricting dissemination of dual use research or concern because this is the first time the NSABB recommended restricting publication. I believe the Administration needs to be more proactive than that and prepare for possible threats before they occur. The new policy is a good, if belated, first step, and I will be watching its implementation closely.last_img read more

first_imgDiamonds are known for many things: hardness, luster, and their reputation for being a “girl’s best friend.” But the gems have important scientific uses, too. New research suggests that a certain type of artificial diamond can be used as a nanoscale temperature probe with unmatched precision over time and space.“I think this work is a real advance,” says materials scientist Daniel Jaque of the Autonomous University of Madrid, who was not involved in the study. “It’s a good paper on a hot topic.”The tiny diamond probes can measure temperatures ranging from 120 K to 900 K (–153°C to 627°C)—as cold as the poles of Mars and almost 200° hotter than the surface of Venus. They can also detect temperature changes across distances as small as 5 μm (roughly the size of a sperm cell’s head) and on timescales as short as 800 picoseconds (0.0000000008 seconds). Scientists discovered the properties of the probes—reported in the current issue of Applied Physics Letters—when they set out to investigate a unique defect in diamonds grown using nickel precursors. The technique incorporates some nickel atoms into the diamond’s crystal structure, forming what is called an “S3 defect center.” Like many other diamond defects, the S3 center emits a glow when struck by a pulse of laser light. Scientists can then use the lifetime of the resulting luminescence to calculate the temperature of the probe: As the temperature drops, the diamond glows for longer periods of time.  Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Luminescent temperature probes aren’t a totally new idea, but what makes the S3 defect so appealing is that it combines speed and precision across a wide range of temperatures, says materials scientist Estelle Homeyer of the University of Lyon in France and lead author of the paper. Her co-author, spectroscopist Christophe Dujardin of the University of Lyon, adds: “There are many kinds of impurities in diamond, and this particular defect was the most interesting. It’s more universal. You combine all the purposes in one probe.”The superior versatility of the S3 defect comes from its electronic structure, which can be excited at two different energy levels. This produces luminescence at two separate wavelengths that have lifetimes ranging from 277 millionths of a second to about 100 billionths of a second. This difference makes the nickel-doped diamond luminescence extremely sensitive to fluctuations in temperature.Researchers say the diamond probes could be used for a wide range of applications, but Jaque suspects they’ll be most useful for observing the nanoscopic world, in particular the minute temperature fluctuations in living cells. But this might be limited to thin layers of cells in laboratory settings, since the visible light emitted by the diamond probes—a faint green glow—does not penetrate whole human tissue very well. “Only infrared light can penetrate into your body. You cannot do that by using visible light,” Jaque says. Still, a micron-scale look at the thermodynamics of human cells with picosecond time resolution would be a tremendous tool for scientists.The probes could have applications for material sciences, too, says co-author Gilles Ledoux of the University of Lyon, especially in measuring the friction between two materials at very small scales—an area of study currently not very well understood. But the team points out that the probes are still in their infancy. For starters, scientists don’t know precisely how to make the S3 defect centers. Current techniques rely on growing diamonds with a nickel precursor and hoping the defects show up. “We do not know how to prepare it. We just collect it from many diamonds, [and] some of them have this effect. It’s a long path,” Dujardin says. Now, the technique gives a temperature reading accurate to 2, but a more refined approach might allow researchers to standardize the size of diamond particles and the number of defects to increase precision even further.last_img read more

first_imgEngineer Jill Hruby was named director of the Sandia National Laboratories on Monday, becoming the first woman to head one of three U.S. government labs charged with developing and maintaining the country’s nuclear arsenal.The 32-year veteran of the Albuquerque, New Mexico–based labs has overseen a wide range of research there, including studies focused on nuclear weapons, solar power, and machines that build miniscule electrical components the width of a human hair.Hruby’s promotion is a significant milestone in a system historically dominated by men, says Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who has spent years examining the culture of the weapons labs: Sandia, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. At the labs, the fields of physics and engineering intersect with the world of weapons development—all traditionally male-dominated realms. “To have a female director is a major development,” Gusterson says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Although Hruby acknowledged this first in a statement released by Sandia, she also emphasized the importance of the mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Department of Energy (DOE) agency that runs the weapons labs. “I’m proud to be the first woman to lead an NNSA laboratory, but mostly I’m proud to represent the people and work of this great lab,” she said.Hruby will replace Paul Hommert, who is retiring from the post he held since 2010. She will be Sandia’s 14th director.Hruby takes over at a time when Sandia enjoys a relatively stable position, observers say. It has avoided public missteps that have dogged its sibling labs. That includes delays and cost overruns at Livermore’s National Ignition Facility, which was built for nuclear fusion research. Los Alamos, meanwhile, has suffered from embarrassing security lapses and a 2014 radiation leak at a nuclear waste storage facility stemming from barrels originating from the lab.Sandia’s workforce and budget have grown, as it takes a lead in the push to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons. Today it has 10,800 workers and a $2.6 billion operating budget, compared with 6300 Livermore employees and 10,200 at Los Alamos. It has also proven adept at diversifying into other realms of research, with a significant slice of its budget (roughly a third in 2011 according to a Union of Concerned Scientists report) coming from work for other government agencies or private industry.“It gets high marks relative to Livermore and Los Alamos in its annual assessment by DOE. It’s widely considered to be the best of the three in terms of management,” says Greg Mello, executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, an Albuquerque-based nonprofit that promotes nuclear disarmament.Still, Sandia has a lower profile than its more prestigious counterparts. Whereas Los Alamos and Livermore are home to physicists wrestling with knotty nuclear puzzles, Sandia is dominated by engineers designing the accompanying hardware, such as missile guidance systems.Hruby comes to her job with decades of work as an engineer and manager. She has also spent little time in the public spotlight. Neither Gusterson nor Mello were familiar with her work, and few news articles mentioned her before Monday’s announcement.But her track record drew praise from officials at Lockheed Martin, the defense industry giant whose subsidiary runs the Sandia labs through a contract with DOE.“The board looked at a number of outstanding candidates,” said Rick Ambrose, chairman of the board of directors for Sandia Corp., the Lockheed subsidiary. “We saw right away that Jill has the right combination of technical expertise and strategic vision to lead Sandia into the future.Before the promotion, which takes effect 17 July, Hruby was a vice president at Sandia overseeing work in “nuclear, biological and chemical security; homeland security; counterterrorism; and energy security,” according to Lockheed.Hruby got her start at the lab’s California branch in 1983, shortly after she earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, her research has covered fields including solar energy, nuclear weapon components, nanoscience, hydrogen storage, and microfluidics, according to Lockheed. She moved from California to the main New Mexico site in 2010. She currently sits on the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.Hruby has mentioned her unusual position as a woman in national lab management. In a 2013 issue of the Profiles in Diversity Journal, she was named to a list of “Company and Executive Women Worth Watching.” In an accompanying essay, Hruby wrote that for most of her career “I willingly expressed my opinions, but not my feelings. My behavior was driven by being different, since I was usually the only woman in my work group at my level, and did not want to accentuate the differences. I did laundry, cooked, worried about daycare, kids and getting homework done—and I kept it to myself.”She noted that in recent years she learned that people wanted to know their leaders and she felt more comfortable talking about her experiences. “What is most important to me now is to create a work environment where all women and men can bring themselves more fully to work everyday,” she wrote.last_img read more

first_imgStunning fossils of a claimed new human species have stirred up great excitement among paleoanthropologists, but some researchers have ​also flinched at the hype accompanying the unconventional excavation. The dig, which began with a Facebook call for skinny cavers who could reach the fossil chamber in a South African cave, was live-blogged and was the focus of a N​OVA/National Geographic documentary aired ​on public television ​in the United States​ Wednesday night. This isn’t the first time the man behind the discovery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, has combined spectacular fossil finds with a rapid, popularizing style of analysis that has grated on his peers. ​In 2008, he discovered the most complete skeleton yet published of an ancient ​African ​hominin, 2-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba. But some critics said efforts to consider Au. sediba a possible ancestor of our genus Homo were misguided, and that a previous National Geographic video special on tiny skeletons from Southeast Asia exaggerated those bones’ importance. Why is this enthusiastic paleontologist so controversial? Find out in this story: Paleoanthropologist Now Rides High on a New Fossil Tide (Science, 9 September 2011, p.1373).last_img read more

first_imgSiegfried Klaus Listen to how mosquito spit helps make us sick, mother bears protect their young with human shields, and blind cave fish could teach us a thing or two about psychiatric disease, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Marcia McNutt looks back on her time as Science’s editor-in-chief, her many natural disaster–related editorials, and looks forward to her next stint as president of the National Academy of Sciences, with host Sarah Crespi.  [Music: Jeffrey Cook; Image: Siegfried Klaus]last_img read more

first_img CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images French scientist who lied about conflicts of interest to the Senate gets suspended 6-month sentence Michel Aubier feels he has been “stigmatized” by the media, his lawyer said yesterday. PARIS—In what one lawyer called a “historical ruling,” a French court yesterday sentenced prominent pulmonologist Michel Aubier to a suspended 6-month prison sentence and a €50,000 fine for lying under oath to a French Senate committee. Aubier declared he had no conflicts of interest while testifying about the health risks of air pollution 2 years ago, but newspapers later revealed that he had been on the payroll of oil company Total for many years. His case is the first in which lying to the French Senate has led to a criminal conviction. The sentence went well beyond the €30,000 fine requested by the prosecutor.Aubier, 69, was head of the pulmonology department at the renowned Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris until September 2016; he also served as a pulmonology professor at Paris Diderot University and was a research director at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research. In April 2015, Aubier represented a group of public hospitals in Paris named AP-HP at a Senate hearing aimed at establishing the impact of air pollution on public health. Under oath, he declared that he had “no links of interest with the economic actors” relevant to that issue. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) By Yves SciamaJul. 6, 2017 , 11:15 AM Irène Frachon, University Hospital of Brest This case is a shocking illustration of the denial about conflicts of interest that dominates in French medical elites.” But in March 2016, French newspapers Le Canard Enchaîné and Libération revealed that Aubier had received payments from Total since 1997, including more than €100,000 annually between 2012 and 2015, as well as Total shares worth an estimated €150,000. In return, he looked after the health of company executives and advised them on public and occupational health issues, the company told Libération. Aubier also sat on the board of the Total Foundation, an unpaid position. AP-HP, his principal employer, had been left unaware of any of these ties.In media appearances, Aubier has often made statements at odds with the scientific mainstream that appeared to downplay the risks of air pollution. In March 2016, after he declared that “air pollution is not carcinogenic except at very high exposures, and mostly in the case of smokers,” a group of doctors wrote an outraged rebuttal.  During the Senate hearing, Aubier stated that the link between lung cancer and air pollution, including diesel fumes, was “extremely weak” and ”very much debated.” But Bruno Housset, a former chair of the French-Language Pulmonology Society and a professor at the Intercommunity Hospital Center Créteil just outside Paris, points out that the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon classified diesel fumes as carcinogenic in 2012, and atmospheric pollution in general in 2013. “There is a broad consensus on this in the scientific community,” Housset says, but “there is always some doubt-mongering by lobbies.” Aubier did not attend yesterday’s sentencing and declined to respond to questions from ScienceInsider. His lawyer, François Saint-Pierre, says Aubier is “very affected” by the trial and feels “stigmatized” by the media. Aubier is considering an appeal, says Saint-Pierre, who called the whole issue “a misunderstanding.” He says Aubier believes his work for Total didn’t affect his views on air pollution.During the sentencing hearing, Judge Evelyne Sire-Marin emphasized the gravity of lying about issues of public interest. She noted that Aubier had also failed to disclose his contracts with Total and several pharmaceutical companies to the French National Authority for Health, a government advisory body to which he was appointed in 2015. (He was suspended in April 2016.) “This case is a shocking illustration of the denial about conflicts of interest that dominates in French medical elites,” says Irène Frachon, a pulmonologist at the University Hospital of Brest who in 2009 blew the whistle on conflicts of interest at France’s drug regulatory agency that helped keep a toxic diabetes drug named Médiator on the market, leading to more than 1000 deaths.Environmental groups were satisfied with the verdict. “We hope this ruling will be a message to all the other Michel Aubiers that exist both in France and in Europe, and who accept to compromise with industry for money,” says a spokesperson for Générations Futures and Ecologie Sans Frontières, two groups that were among the plaintiffs.last_img read more

first_img Boston University concludes geologist sexually harassed student Tab Media Inc. Geologist appeals finding that he sexually harassed grad student in Antarctica By Meredith WadmanNov. 28, 2017 , 3:00 PM Willenbring, now a geologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California, filed her complaint with BU in October 2016, 3 months after earning tenure. She said she waited to do so for fear of reprisal from Marchant.During the 1999-2000 field season, Willenbring was at an isolated Antarctic site with Marchant, his brother, and then–graduate student Adam Lewis. She alleged sexual slurs as well as physical abuse, saying that Marchant pushed her down a slope and blew volcanic ash laden with glass shards into her eyes. Her complaint was supported by at least three women who worked with Marchant in Antarctica in that era and also said that he mocked their abilities and verbally abused them with sex-based insults. One has filed a formal complaint against him that is still under investigation by BU.An additional supporting letter came from Stephanie Thomas, who was in Antarctica as an undergrad with Marchant and three other male professors in 2002. After reading about the investigation in Science, Thomas, now an energy analyst with Public Citizen in Houston, Texas, wrote to BU investigators that Marchant entered her tent and told her: “I am the king, and you are my servant,” and “I am the master, and you are the slave.”This picture contrasts with one painted by other women who worked with, or for, Marchant more recently, and have called him a gifted teacher and non-sexist mentor.The investigators of BU’s Equal Opportunity Office did not find Marchant guilty of physically harassing Willenbring. She calls their written report “only half-right.” According to Willenbring, the investigators wrote that some witnesses were likely “contaminated” because they had read press coverage of her complaint. Related storiescenter_img Protesters rallied against sexual harassment at Boston University in October.  Disturbing allegations of sexual harassment in Antarctica leveled at noted scientist David Marchant, a Boston University (BU) geologist who faces termination after an investigation concluded that he sexually harassed a graduate student during fieldwork in Antarctica nearly two decades ago, appealed that finding this week. The move postpones full resolution of a case that has roiled the campus and focused attention on harassment of women at remote field sites.“Dr. Marchant is extremely disappointed in the findings and continues to maintain that he did not engage in any sexually harassing behavior in 1999 or at any other time,” his lawyer, Jeffrey Sankey, in Braintree, Massachusetts, said. Sankey said that the appeal, filed 27 November, argues primarily that BU’s 13-month probe produced insufficient evidence to support its findings. The appeals process may take weeks, during which time Marchant will remain off campus on paid administrative leave. On 17 November, BU concluded by a preponderance of evidence that Marchant sexually harassed then–graduate student Jane Willenbring by aiming repeated sexist slurs such as “slut” and “whore” at her, creating a hostile learning environment. Provost Jean Morrison announced the investigation’s findings and recommended Marchant’s termination in a published letter. Marchant did not respond to emails seeking comment, nor would BU comment further. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Willenbring says investigators also discounted a written statement from Lewis, now a geologist in Calgary, Canada, because of a later professional dispute with Marchant and because he and Willenbring are friends. Lewis wrote that he witnessed the ash-blowing incident and saw Marchant grab and push Willenbring. She adds that the BU report did not cite an incident alleged by Hillary Tulley, a Skokie, Illinois, teacher, who wrote in a supporting letter that during the 1998–99 field season she “was aggressively grabbed by Marchant.”Still, the investigators concluded that Willenbring’s account of verbal abuse was credible because several women, including Tulley, reported similar sexual slurs from Marchant in the field around this time. “I’m happy that they saw the collective experiences of many women as enough proof,” Willenbring says.Tulley says, “I feel much better that no one else will ever have to go through that with [Marchant]. Jane’s courage is going to … make things a lot safer for everybody.”BU’s actions were welcomed by others.Geophysicist Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences and former editor-in-chief of Science, said, “I really want to congratulate BU for … taking what seems like very appropriate action.”The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has also launched a bipartisan investigation into the Marchant case, noting that he received more than $5.4 million in federal funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA. Brandon VerVelde, the committee’s press secretary, wrote in an email: “The troubling allegations of sexual harassment towards female researchers are now confirmed by the Boston University investigation,” whose report the committee has. “Any behavior that stymies the advancement and support of women in science should not be tolerated and we will continue to seek all surrounding facts,” he added. VerVelde encouraged “anyone with additional information” about Marchant or any other “improper behavior in the scientific community” to contact the committee.Willenbring says her message to female scientists is twofold: “This sort of thing is no longer acceptable in science.” Yet, she cautions: “Complaining about sexual harassment is a long, hard road full of uncertainty.”last_img read more

first_img Giant centipedes can kill prey 15 times bigger than they are, thanks to this critical toxin Francesco Tomasinelli/Science Source By Katie LanginJan. 22, 2018 , 3:01 PMcenter_img Centipede venoms pack a serious punch—causing rapid paralysis in lizards, cockroaches, and other animals unlucky enough to be on the invertebrate’s dinner menu. They’ve even been known to kill people, but until recently, we had no idea why. Now, scientists have identified a nasty toxin in centipede venom that wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems of other animals—allowing centipedes to kill mice 15 times their size in 30 seconds flat. The team first purified multiple toxins from the venom of the 20-centimeter-long golden head centipede (above), which lives in forests, farmlands, and cities across eastern Asia. Then, they experimented with the toxins, one by one. They found that something called Ssm Spooky Toxin shut off the channels that pump potassium in and out of cells—channels that are critical for sending brainwaves, maintaining a regular heartbeat, and controlling a whole host of other bodily functions, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Without this one critical toxin, the venom isn’t nearly as deadly—giving scientists hope that an antivenom treatment could be made using drugs that open potassium channels.(A video of one deadly centipede-mouse encounter has been posted by the scientists here, but it may disturb some viewers.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_img Reprogrammed cells could tackle brain damage Researchers have converted astrocytes (red) into neurons (green) in a living mouse brain. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—If a diseased or injured brain has lost neurons, why not ask other cells to change jobs and pick up the slack? Several research teams have taken a first step by “reprogramming” abundant nonneuronal cells called astrocytes into neurons in the brains of living mice.”Everybody is astonished, at the moment, that it works,” says Nicola Mattugini, a neurobiologist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, who presented the results of one such experiment here at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience last week.Now, labs are turning to the next questions: Do these neurons function like the lost ones, and does creating neurons at the expense of astrocytes do brain-damaged animals any good? Many researchers remain skeptical on both counts. But Mattugini’s team, led by neuroscientist Magdalena Götz, and two other groups presented evidence at the meeting that reprogrammed astrocytes do, at least in some respects, impersonate the neurons they’re meant to replace. The two other groups also shared evidence that reprogrammed astrocytes help mice recover movement lost after a stroke.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Some see the approach as a potential alternative to transplanting stem cells (or stem cell–derived neurons) into the damaged brain or spinal cord. Clinical trials of that strategy are already underway for conditions including Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. But Gong Chen, a neuroscientist at Pennsylvania State University in State College, says he got disillusioned with the idea after finding in his rodent experiments that transplanted cells produced relatively few neurons, and those few weren’t fully functional. The recent discovery that mature cells can be nudged toward new fates pointed to a better approach, he says. His group and others took aim at the brain’s most abundant cell, the star-shaped astrocyte.Astrocytes are glial cells, named for the misconception that they’re merely the brain’s structure-giving “glue.” In fact, they nourish and communicate with neurons and help control blood flow. After an injury, subsets of astrocytes proliferate, promote inflammation, and contribute to the formation of a scar. Many scientists think astrocytes’ effects on recovery are contradictory—some helpful and some harmful.”I cannot imagine another technology to be more efficient than using the neighboring glial cell” to repair the brain, Chen says. His group enlisted a harmless virus that, injected into the brain, infects astrocytes and introduces DNA that codes for NeuroD1, a transcription factor that activates genes typically expressed in neurons. The reprogramming apparently prompts other astrocytes to multiply, which he thinks might prevent the treatment from depleting the brain of astrocytes.The approach, under development in several labs working with various transcription factors, is “super provocative,” says Timothy Murphy, a neuroscientist at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who studies how brain circuits change after stroke. But, he adds: “These cells need to survive, and they need to reconnect.”No group has yet shown that the reprogrammed cells do wire up into circuits to carry out the functions of lost neurons. But several have evidence that the cells take on key neural features. In the weeks after inducing a stroke in a mouse’s brain, Chen’s team saw reprogrammed astrocytes retract some of their starlike tendrils and begin to produce hallmark neural proteins. Reprogrammed astrocytes also appear to fire electrical signals and extend new fibers across the brain and into the spinal cord.Götz’s team, meanwhile, documented that newly reprogrammed neurons around the site of a stab wound resemble pyramidal neurons, which send excitatory signals. (Her group, like others, is now teasing out how different combinations of transcription factors prompt astrocytes to become different types of neurons.) The researchers also found that newly reprogrammed neurons express different markers and send out different projections depending on which layer of the cortex they are in, just as native neurons do.That’s “very surprising,” says Chun-Li Zhang, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is exploring a different reprogramming process, which turns astrocytes into primitive neural progenitor cells that then become neurons more gradually. Both approaches will have to overcome skepticism, he says. Many researchers don’t expect neural newcomers, introduced abruptly into the adult brain, to mature and function normally.”To really convince people,” he says, “we need to be really careful” to document the steps in the transformation of these cells—and to prove that they begin as astrocytes and finish as mature neurons.Researchers have also begun to look for indications that the approach helps animals heal. In a study posted in April on the preprint server bioRxiv, Chen’s group reported that reprogrammed cells improved a mouse’s ability to walk and use its front limbs after a stroke. At the meeting, he hinted that the same approach had restored neural tissue in the brains of stroke-injured monkeys; experiments to gauge their recoveries are ongoing at a collaborator’s facility in China, he says.Chen has founded a company to develop therapies with astrocyte reprogramming, including a cocktail of small molecules that could reprogram cells without brain surgery or the use of a virus. “I believe this is the future,” he told the audience at his conference presentation. “It’s the next frontier in regenerative medicine.”Stem cell biologist Cindi Morshead of the University of Toronto (U of T) in Canada is more circumspect. Scientists don’t fully understand the role of astrocytes in the brain after an injury, she says, but “they’re there for a purpose.” As her group prepared to test the strategy, she expected it to make injured animals worse.She’s more optimistic now. At the conference, her U of T collaborator Maryam Faiz revealed that mice injected with NeuroD1 a week after a stroke recovered motor function more quickly than untreated mice, some of which were permanently disabled. By 2 months after the treatment, mice performed about as well as healthy controls on walking tests. Fully 20% of their neurons were reprogrammed cells.The results in stroke are among the first glimmers of benefit. Last year, Swedish researchers also reported that they had restored some motor function in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease by reprogramming astrocytes into dopamine-producing neurons.Morshead’s results have encouraged her to continue experimenting. She now wants to wait longer after a stroke to inject her mice. Once stroke disability becomes chronic in humans, “we have nothing for them,” she says. If long-disabled mice benefit from their new neurons, she says, “now, that would be the coolest thing.” By Kelly ServickNov. 14, 2018 , 12:40 PM ZHENG WU/GONG CHEN’S LAB last_img read more

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