Petition for Redetermination Was Timely Filed; Tax Court Dismissal Reversed and Remanded (Tilden, CA-7)

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe Tax Court erred when it dismissed a taxpayer’s petition for redetermination of a deficiency notice because it was untimely. While it is true that litigants cannot stipulate to jurisdiction, they may agree on the facts that determine jurisdiction and the parties agreed that the petition was timely under the timely-mailing-is-timely-filing rules. Although the government initially contended that the taxpayer’s petition was untimely, it later acknowledged that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) received the petition on the last day for filing and the IRS received it within the usual delivery time.Comment: The taxpayer’s attorneys purchased the postage for mailing the petition (first class mail and postage for certified delivery) from Stamps.com. The postage was printed on the last day for filing the petition and a member of the law firm’s staff testified that she delivered the petition in its stamped envelope to the local post office on that date. The staff member did not ask for hand cancellation of the postage on the envelope. The Tax Court held that the “postmark” upon which the taxpayer relied (the postage purchase date) was superseded by USPS tracking data, which in turn served as a “postmark.” Therefore, the taxpayer neither filed nor mailed the petition within the jurisdictional 90-day period.The Tax Court did not have a sound reason to doubt that the petition was indeed handed to the USPS on the date agreed. Further, the government conceded that all of the requirements of the timely-mailing-is-timely-filing rules were satisfied and that eight days for certified mail to reach Washington, D.C. from Utah was not excessive. Therefore, the only basis for dismissing the taxpayer’s petition was a legal conclusion that Reg. §301.7502-1(c)(1)(iii)(B)(3) was controlling. However, that section of the regulation specifies what happens if an envelope has both a private postmark and an official postmark and the envelope containing the taxpayer’s petition had only the “private” postmark generated by Stamps.com. Finally, while the 20-digit tracking number was not entered into the USPS’s tracking system for two days after the envelope was delivered to the USPS, the tracking number was entered at a different post office than the drop-off location and there was no evidence that the USPS treats tracking data as a form of “postmark.”Reversing and remanding the Tax Court 110 TCM 314, Dec. 60,414(M), TC Memo. 2015-188R.H. Tilden, CA-7, 2017-1 ustc ¶50,130Other References:Code Sec. 6213CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶37,549.356CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶37,549.45CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶37,549.504Code Sec. 7502CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶42,625.42CCH Reference – 2017FED ¶42,625.44Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC IRS: 27,158last_img read more

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Internet Tax Law Rejected by South Dakota Supreme Court

first_imgSouth Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., South Dakota Supreme Court, No. 28160, September 13, 2017, ¶201-170Need to know more about Internet sales tax rules in various states? CCH CPELink has an easy to access self-study class on Multistate Taxation of e-Commerce and Internet Transactions.Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative. A South Dakota law that required out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales tax on internet sales was struck down by the South Dakota Supreme Court. The court held that the Internet sales tax law directly conflicted with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. In Quill, the Court held that retailers are not required to collect sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence.The law applied to out-of-state retailers that had:an annual gross revenue of more than $100,000 from sales in South Dakota; orcompleted more than 200 sales annually in South Dakota.NOTE: After the state court’s decision was announced, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley issued a statement confirming the state’s intention to:request the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case; andreconsider the Quill decision.last_img read more

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Jesse Boykins Hits Union Transfer Along With Philly Acts Beano, Jacqueline Constance, Justin Graham & Domi Jo – Saturday, May 24

first_img Jesse Boykins III When: Saturday, May 24, 8 PM Where: Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street Cost: $20 More Info: Click here for tickets. Jesse Boykins III(Dondre Green/Courtesy of the artist) This weekend, super fresh R&B/soul artist Jesse Boykins III lands at Union Transfer, accompanied by an all-star lineup of Philly acts. Some might describe Boykins as a soul singer, just with a serious new school twist that’s all his own. His vocals are powerful, yet soothing, and his clean production brings an exciting new element to the soul music scene herein the US. Music is nothing new to Boykins, who joined the school choir at the age of nine and seemingly never looked back. Studying music through high school and college, Boykins refined his natural ability, recording one of his first projects with the GRAMMY Jazz Ensemble’s annual full-length album during his high school years. Currently, Boykins is touring in support of his latest project Love Apparatus alongside his band, The Beauty Created. In a recent interview, Jessie had this to say about the project, “Love Apparatus is for the heart and everything that inspires by it, our universe.”   The album has received positive reviews from major sites like Pitchfork and NPR. Boykins worked closely with producer Machinedrum to craft out a sound all their own for this one. And, fans are excited to see him falling back into his own after taking a significant amount of time out of the spotlight. On Saturday, May 24, Boykins’ show will featured a great lineup of hometown acts as openers. Setting the vibe for the crowd before our headliner takes the stage will be R&B crooner and West Philly native Beano, soul singer Jacqueline Constance, singer-songwriter Justin Graham, and sultry songstress Domi Jo. Philly will definitely be reppin’ strong for this show — on stage and in the audience, so grab your tickets now. last_img read more

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Pier Entertainment Presents: Up-Close Live Featuring Zeek “The Experience”, Jade Alston, Aaron Camper, Rafiya & More – Thursdays, September 18 – October 23

first_img Zeek “The Experience” – September 18 Originally from Illinois, Zeek made the trek to Philadelphia where he felt his talent could thrive. His voice is soulful with an out of this world range. A vocalist, arranger and songwriter, Zeek’s live show will surely take you on an unforgettable musical journey. Jade Alston – September 25 A Philly native, Alston’s deep and sultry tone sets her apart from the rest. She has been working on new music and finding a new voice and will debut brand new music as a part of her set. Alston has toured with Marsha Ambrosius and spearheads her own creative movement that encourages people to find their own artistry. Ju-Taun & T-Shaw – October 2 Group members, Jake and James grew up worlds apart from Samoeun, but they come together to make a mix of music that is classic soul, folk, classic rock and a little bit of everything that influenced them growing up. The diversity in their group is reflected in their musical approach. The group has made some major movies, and has even done work with Philadelphia legend, Leon Huff. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, T-Shaw has a show full of music he has composed and written. His father was a preacher so his music is influenced by gospel but also some of the soulful greats like Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, and Buddy Ace. Kriss Mincey – October 9 The true definition of a song bird. Kriss Mincey has one of the purest voices but can still bring a bit of the grit. Her alternative R&B style is refreshing and she will even spit a spoken word type rhyme for you too. Her versatility sets her apart and strives to encourage creativity in others through her music and writing. Rafiya – October 16 A Philly-based artist, Rafiya group up traveling the world. Her tenure at Temple University brought her to Philadelphia where she continued to dig in to the local music community. Her music spans between French, her native tongue and English. Her music tells stories of the human experience.   Aaron Camper – October 23 A vocalist that is full of life and commands the stage the moment he steps on it. Camper mixes his highly developed vocal ability with fun and introspective songwriting which brings you into his world. His mix of Soul, folk, hip hop and a little gospel creates a captivating sound. Pier Entertainment presents: Up-Close Live When: Thursdays, September 18 – October 23, 7pm and 9 pm sets Where: Relish, 7152 Ogontz Avenue Cost: $10 More Info: Click here for details. Aaron Camper & Friends(D. McDowell for Philly 360°/ Visit Philly) Pier Entertainment is back, and they’re bringing Philly a dope new live music series featuring some of the city’s hottest emerging talents. Up-Close Live kicks off this week at West Oak Lane soul-food staple Relish and boasts an impressive lineup of soul, R&B and pop acts. This week, the inaugural showcase launches on Thursday, September 18 with two sets by vocalist Zeek ‘The Experience. In addition to two full sets by each artist at 7pm and 9pm, there will also be a live interview with Philly-based blogger and Ebony contributor Sincerely Syreeta. Guests will also be able to enjoy special menu pricing for the show as well. As we’ve already mentioned, the Up-Close Live lineup is serious. So, for the next few weeks, we suggest that you make Relish your go-to spot on Thursday evenings.  You can check out the artists and the schedule of shows below.center_img Check out our exclusive with singer/songwriter Aaron Camper.last_img read more

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New Visitation Record: More Than 43 Million People Visited Philadelphia in 2017

first_imgNew Visitation Record: More Than 43 Million People Visited Philadelphia in 2017When:Tuesday, June 12 – Monday, December 31 Here at VISIT PHILADELPHIA, the organization behind uwishunu.com and visitphilly.com, we work to build Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and build the region’s economy.And today, we’re thrilled to announce record-breaking annual visitation numbers for Philadelphia, which highlight the importance of travel and tourism to the Philadelphia region’s economy.FAST FACTS43.3 million people from the U.S. visited the Philadelphia region in 2017.Record visitation generated $7.1 billion in direct spending and $11.5 billion in economic impact.2017 visitor spending supported 98,300 jobs.The Visitation NumbersIn 2017, the Philadelphia region saw record visitation and economic impact: the area welcomed 43.3 million visitors from the U.S., 88% of which visited for a leisure purpose. And 2017 marks the eigth consecutive year for record visitation to Philadelphia.In 2017, 43.3 million people visited Philadelphia from the U.S. — the eighth consecutive year of record visitation.The Impact NumbersAll of this visitation delivers major economic impact to the region: the $7.1 billion in visitor spending in 2017 generated a record-breaking $11.5 billion in economic impact, which equates to $31.5 million every day.In addition, the $7.1 billion in 2017 visitor spending supported 98,300 jobs (!) and generated $938 million in state and local taxes, which directly benefits priority public services.Visitor spending generated $11.5 billion in economic impact for Greater Philadelphia in 2017 — a new record.The numbers are clear – tourism and hospitality is one of the largest industries in the region and is critically important to the vitality of Greater Philadelphia. The money visitors spend supports local businesses, creates jobs and generates taxes, helping to build quality of life in Philadelphia.And here at VISIT PHILADELPHIA, we’re very happy to be able to promote all of the amazing reasons to visit Philadelphia on a daily basis.Cheers to yet another record-breaking year, Philadelphia!VISIT PHILADELPHIA worked with Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Longwoods International to develop the 2017 visitation numbers and used CBRE Hotels as a source for leisure numbers.For more on our regional impact, mission and work, see full report below and go to visitphilly.com/about.last_img read more

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Two south Columbia fires during lightning-packed storms

first_imgCrews responded to a couple fires caused by lightning strikes on Tuesday in south Columbia.One at about 10 p.m. Tuesday started in the attic of an apartment on Aspen Heights Parkway. Investigators say it led to about $30,000 in damage.A family dog was rescued after a fire started by a lightning strike at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on Brackenhill Court off Route K (pictured). That fire began on the roof. It led to about $50,000 in damage.No people were hurt in either fire.(This story was last updated at 10:04 a.m. Wednesday.)last_img

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Missouri denies clinic’s abortion license

first_img(AP) Missouri’s health department has declined to renew a license to perform abortions for the state’s lone clinic, but the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate can continue to perform the procedure for now.The state notified the clinic of its decision Friday morning before a court hearing. St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer says a preliminary injunction he previously issued to allow the clinic to continue perform abortions remains in place for now.He says he will issue a written order outlining next steps.Health department officials have cited concerns at the clinic, including that three “failed abortions” required additional surgeries, and another led to life-threatening complications.Clinic leaders say the license fight is part of an effort by an anti-abortion administration to eliminate the procedure.last_img read more

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INFOGRAPHIC: Enterprise Mobility Trends

first_imgMobile computing has changed our world. With mobile devices in hand, we communicate differently, we interact differently, and we work differentlyOpens in a new window.What do employers consider to be the benefits of mobility in the workplace? This infographic points to the increase in worker productivity as the leading factor.For more information on enterprise mobility trends, check out the full infographic attached to this post!Did you know that when it comes to workplace mobility, users value location independence the most? Learn more in Intel’s study on Mobile Computing Trends!Join the conversation on Twitter by clicking on the hashtags below:#ITCenterOpens in a new window #EnterpriseMobilityOpens in a new windowlast_img

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On the Health IT Horizon: The Rise of 2 in 1 Mobile Devices

first_imgI was expecting the arrival of 2 in 1 mobile devices to make more of a splash in the healthcare space.These slick devices, which combine a tablet and a laptop, started popping up in healthcare settings a few months back. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others rolled out their competitive offerings, each promising convenience, lower replacement costs, easier management, and better security—and the research shows they deliver.But healthcare CIOs tell me their selection of these devices is still largely driven by user preference, mostly because they provide both tablet and full keyboard functionality as needed.Others, such as Linda Reed, RN, MBA, FCHIME, vice president and CIO at Morristown, N.J.-based Atlantic Health System, are quick to add that 2 in 1s haven’t been widely adopted yet because—surprise, surprise—today’s clinical applications and EMRs are still not fully developed for a tablet. The apps tend to be cumbersome and lack intuitive navigation.“What we have found to date is that smart phone, tablet, laptop and workstation still have fairly distinct use cases,” Reed says. “Our docs will use all of the above, based on what they are trying to get done.”But while it’s still early, health IT professionals should consider that clinical apps and EMRs will continue to evolve, and the case for device consolidation is a good one—especially when you compare Ultrabook replacement costs with the cost of replacing either an iPad or Android tablet and a laptop.Whether a healthcare organization wants to provide staff with tablets, or simply support BYOD in-house, the upside to a single 2 in 1 device can be significant.Beyond saving on costs (think devices + replacements + hardware support), these lighter, more energy efficient and easier to manage 2 in 1s can streamline workflows while providing greater security. The fact that they’re easier for health IT professionals to manage is gravy.For a detailed breakdown of total cost of ownership—and why 2 in 1s may be the least expensive, most secure option for healthcare organizations going forward—check out this report. You may want to share it with your favorite clinical app or EMR vendor, too.What questions do you have about 2 in 1 devices?As a B2B journalist, John Farrell has covered healthcare IT since 1997 and is Intel’s sponsored correspondent.last_img read more

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Driving Value Based Care via Telehealth Services

first_imgBy enabling hospitalization follow-up visitsBy providing ongoing patient and caregiver touch points to achieve better medication adherenceBy providing 24/7 access to services and real-time e-visitsServices and Technology Enabling Telehealth and Remote Care ManagementAs we watch the dynamics shift for how care is measured, Care Innovations® and Intel Corporation have partnered to deliver new technology and services to help customers map their new business imperative around MACRA.For example, working together, the two organizations have helped providers, payers, home care services, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living communities drive value across:Care CoordinationPatient EngagementRemote Patient ManagementRisk Stratification, andAdvisory ServicesOne such example with proven outcomes is the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Using telehealth capabilities, UMMC realized new methods to manage its patient population, as well as drive new opportunities for reimbursement codes: Mississippi House Bill 578 that focused on- Coordinating Primary, Acute, Behavioral and long-term social services and care.Overall, UMMC realized the following outcomes using Care Innovations’ Health Harmony Solution:7 percent reduction in A1CsZero hospitalizations and ER visits for patients using the solutionA savings to the state of $339,184 for the 100 patients on the pilotProjections of $189 million/year in future savings once the pilot goes into full scaleClinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) under MACRAAs the lines begin to blur between telemedicine and telehealth services, we are seeing that the technology and services are relevant to MACRA, and the intersection of managing a larger group of patients (Population Health), and coordinating their care is critical to the success of the healthcare delivery systems. CPIA specifically defines the need for care coordination to manage a timely exchange of asynchronous information via telehealth and remote patient management services.By leveraging telehealth technology, providers and healthcare systems can drive new engagement models for care to their patients after they’ve been discharged.SummaryAs more and more healthcare delivery systems prepare to focus on new payment models under MACRA, what becomes very clear is that hospitals and eligible providers will need to drive closer alignment to the required quality measures.The big takeaway for healthcare CIOs to understand is that MACRA/MIPS are driving a new way to align accountability, coordination of care and value-based care for remote services, providing the ability to get Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, and allowing telehealth to give clinicians and patients better accessibility to care.What questions about telehealth do you have? What are you seeing in the market? By Mathew Taylor, Distributed Care Segment Lead, Intel, and Enrique Estrada, Director of Strategic Solutions, Care Innovations®Shifting from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s no better industry to validate this than the telehealth industry. As both a service and technology component to remote patient management, telehealth has seen its challenges with reimbursement and payment structures.While telehealth has shown the ability to extend care to rural areas, and to scale clinical resources that enable a higher quality of care across several use-cases, the industry still sees its fair share of challenges when it comes to aligning to specific quality measures and metrics.Most of you have likely heard that Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). This act repealed and replaced the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for determining Medicare provider payments.  Significantly, under the act, most physicians will soon be paid according to the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), in which payments are tied to outcomes, quality measurements, and practice activities offered.Utilizing telehealth solutions can enable Medicare payment in several ways:By improving patient and caregiver experience under CAHPS (the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems), clinical and group surveysKey services rated under CAHPS include: physician communication between visits, care coordination, medication management, and access to specialistslast_img read more

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Definitely Not Retirement, Says Varmus

first_imgHarold Varmus announced this morning that he’ll soon be leaving his job as president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Later in the day, he spoke to Science and said the move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been “reading the tea leaves.” From the start, he was clear that he’d keep the job for 10 years, and the end of that decade has come. “This is definitely not retirement,” he says. Here are some excerpts from the conversation, edited for brevity:Q: What are some of the highlights from your years heading up Sloan-Kettering?  What are you most proud of?H.V.: This is not a time for valedictories—I don’t want people to start summing it up and saying what we’ve done. When I’m actually leaving as president, then that might be a good time to sum it up. Thematically, what I’ve been trying to do is what everyone else is trying to do: bring the clinical and research enterprises together; recruiting great people; raising a lot of money that allows us to build new programs. We’ve [been] slowed down by the economic crunch. [But] we’ve hired a lot of great people—this place has been transformed as an institution that does cancer research across the board.Q: What’s the value of big cancer centers like Sloan-Kettering these days?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(*)H.V.: There’s good reason to have places that have a strong research component and a very big patient-care responsibility, especially now. I’ve been in this business, I hate to say it, about 40 years. In the beginning, when I was working on chicken retroviruses, the connection between the clinic and what I did was zero. Now everything we do feels clinically relevant. I’ve tried to build our research across the board, but especially where basic research meets the patient.Q: Do you think cancer genomics, your research area, is moving slowly?H.V.: The institution was doing no genomics when I got here—now we have a computational biology program, an informatics core, at least three genome cores. These tests are improving the way we take care of cancer patients—I think it’s starting to happen.Q: What are you planning next?H.V.: I’m co-chair of PCAST [President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology], I’m the chair of the Public Library of Science, I chair an advisory committee for the Gates Foundation, and I have an active lab which I try to pay attention to. I’m a busy guy without the presidency. I’m perfectly happy [with what I’m doing]. But life is hard to predict. Nobody thinks I’m sick or old, so that’s good news. I’ve done this job long enough, and now someone else should do it.last_img read more

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Exposed to dangerous radiation? Telltale signs are in your blood

first_imgIf you’re exposed to radiation from a dirty bomb or a nuclear reactor meltdown, it’s not easy for doctors to quickly determine how badly you’ve been hurt. Even serious radiation damage isn’t immediately apparent. Now, researchers say they’ve hit upon a possible rapid diagnostic test, one that looks for changes in small molecules known as microRNAs that circulate in the blood. The advance could help doctors identify and treat victims before telltale symptoms appear.MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, play a key role in processes that turn genes on and off. Researchers hope the molecules will someday prove useful as biological markers of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. MiRNAs might also help track the effectiveness of treatments.Several groups previously reported that an analysis of miRNAs circulating in blood can indicate radiation exposure. A team led by Dipanjan Chowdhury at Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston set out to take that finding a step further and see if miRNA analysis could also indicate the extent of radiation damage and predict survival.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The researchers subjected mice to three levels of whole-body radiation—low and high survivable doses and a deadly blast. They drew blood within 24 hours of irradiation. They also collected blood and bone marrow samples at 7, 15, 30, and 90 days to check white blood cell counts and other indicators of the health of the hematopoietic system—blood and the organs that make it—which is known to fail after heavy irradiation.The team identified 170 miRNAs and zeroed in on five that showed a recognizable pattern. The mice getting the highest dose had a markedly lower concentration of one of those five miRNAs and significantly higher levels of the other four as compared with the animals that got less radiation, the team reports online today in Science Translational Medicine. The miRNA analysis could distinguish between different radiation doses within 24 hours of exposure, even though damage to white blood cells and bone marrow was not seen until 15 days after irradiation.The researchers used the same miRNA analysis to show that a bone marrow transplant rescued mice with what would have been lethal radiation exposure. An early diagnosis could help doctors decide whether to try a bone marrow replacement or other treatments before the damage spreads to other organs.It’s “an interesting paper” and significant that miRNA analysis can predict survival, says David Brenner, a radiation biophysicist at Columbia University Medical Center. In case of an accident or attack, he says, “it would help focus potentially scarce medical resources on those people who needed them most.” MiRNA analysis could be particularly valuable for indicating the degree of damage to the individual’s hematopoietic system, which is more important for assessing treatment options than simply measuring the radiation dose, says Yoshihisa Matsumoto, a radiation biologist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.Both scientists caution there is still a lot of work needed to turn the finding into a diagnostic test. The first hurdle is confirming that the same or similar miRNAs can be found in humans. Another challenge is that miRNA patterns might change with time and vary with individuals, possibly lessening the accuracy of the analysis. Another limitation is that this test applies only to acute radiation sickness, not to the possibility of developing cancer in the long term.Chowdhury is well aware of these issues and emphasizes that his team’s study is a first step. “Our focus right now is to see if these findings are relevant in humans,” he says. The team is hoping to collaborate with institutions that have collected samples from radiation accident victims.last_img read more

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The scientist behind the ‘personhood’ chimps

first_imgIn 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a series of lawsuits asking courts to recognize four New York chimpanzees as legal persons and free them from captivity. The animal rights group, which hopes to set a precedent for research chimps everywhere, has yet to succeed, but in April a judge ordered Stony Brook University to defend its possession of two of these animals, Hercules and Leo. Last month, the group and the university squared off in court, and the judge is expected to issue a decision soon. But the scientist working with the chimps, anatomist Susan Larson, has remained largely silent until now. In an exclusive interview, Larson talks about her work with these animals and the impact the litigation is having on her studies—and research animals in general. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: Where did Hercules and Leo come from?A: They were born 8 years ago at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana. They were among the last juveniles New Iberia had. We’ve had them on loan for 6 years.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(*)Q: What kind of work do you do with them?A: We’re interested in learning about the evolution of bipedalism by actually looking at what real animals do. Over the past 30 years, we’ve looked at 17 different species of primates, including 11 chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are the best model because they are so close to us. When we compare how they walk to how we walk, we can feed those data into computer models that may help us understand how early hominids like Lucy moved around. The work we’re doing with Hercules and Leo is the most important work we’ve done.Q: What do the experiments involve?A: We do three types of experiments: motion analysis, which involves painting nontoxic white markers on the chimpanzees’ limbs so video cameras can accurately track their movements; kinetic analysis, where we look at the forces generated by the animals as they walk over force plates; and electro myography, where fine-wire electrodes inserted into the muscles tell us how they contribute to the motion we’re studying. We don’t do anything with these chimpanzees that we haven’t done on ourselves.Q: Why can’t you do this kind of work in a zoo or sanctuary?A: The work we do requires a lot of time and effort. You need to be able to collect many samples of the same behavior. Animals in zoos and sanctuaries are notoriously unwilling to do what we want them to. Hercules and Leo do everything for a grape or a cherry or a bit of juice.Q: What are their living conditions?A: We have a very large facility. It’s the equivalent of three moderate-sized bedrooms that are adjacent to each other. They have hammocks, ropes for climbing, and magazines to tear up. We have an animal handler whose job is to keep them comfortable and stimulated. She hides treats in cardboard boxes and gives them plastic toys like airplanes to play with. We try to make their day-to-day lives as interesting as possible. We don’t want them to feel threatened or frightened; otherwise we wouldn’t get reliable results.Q: How do you view your relationship with them?A: I interact with them weekly, but the animal handler has the most direct contact with them. I don’t have the bond with them that the animal handler does; she loves them and loves spending time with them. I see them as collaborators, as willing participants in the project. And I respect them. I would never ask them to ride a bicycle or anything goofy like that.Q: How have perceptions of animal research changed in the decades you have been working with primates?A: There has been a sea change in attitudes towards chimpanzee research. Oversight has become much stricter, and getting approval to do this work has been harder. The space we have used to be considered vast for these animals; now it’s considered average.In the past, this research wasn’t considered controversial; my colleagues used to appear on television programs to talk about their work. Now, my university is very reticent to talk about this research at all. I’ve been consistently advised never to respond to reporters, even though I don’t think there’s anything that needs to be concealed. I’m very proud of the work we do, and I feel comfortable with the procedures we use. They worry about us being targeted by animal rights activists, so they think it’s better to say nothing than to say something that could be used against you.Q: What do you make of the movement to turn chimpanzees into legal persons?A: I think giving them personhood status is a sham. If anyone treats them like people, it’s us. We don’t treat them like prisoners; we only work with them when they’re willing. But we have to be cognizant that these are chimpanzees—not people. They can’t provide for themselves; they need human care and protection. They are remarkable animals, and we should respect what they are and what they need. You don’t have to pretend something is a person to treat it justly.Q: How has the litigation affected you?A: Stony Brook is keeping me out of it. It hasn’t changed our protocols, but the university has scrutinized us much more closely. They’re not happy about it. I find a lot of what the other side is saying very untrue and hurtful. It’s upsetting when someone calls you an evil scientist, or when they say we’re causing pain or needless suffering. It’s strange to hear people talking about these animals when they don’t know who they are.Q: What’s next for Hercules and Leo?A: Our project is winding up in the next few weeks. After that, it’s New Iberia’s decision what to do with them. They’ve said they intend to retire them to a sanctuary. After that, our facility will go dormant.Q: What do you see as the future of chimp research?A: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering classifying both captive and wild chimpanzees as endangered. NIH [the National Institutes of Health] is saying they’re not as useful as animal models. Grant money is very hard to come by, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet the regulatory standards. Pretty soon, the kind of work I do will not be possible anymore. We’re going to end up with chimpanzees completely cut off from humans; they’ll become alien beings. And that makes me sad, because I think there are still a lot of things we can learn from them.last_img read more

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Were there mummies in Bronze Age Britain?

first_imgTightly wrapped mummies conjure up images of ancient Egypt, but very few people would think of ancient England. Now, scientists have presented evidence that the practice of preserving bodies might have been widespread in the Bronze Age Britain, from 2500 B.C.E. to 800 B.C.E. To find out whether the ancient English mummified their dead, archaeologists examined skeletons from burial sites across the island and compared them with well-preserved mummies from Yemen and Ireland (where they were preserved in a peat bog). Mummification—preserving dead tissue by removing internal organs and treating the flesh with chemicals or smoke—prevents bacteria from feasting on the recently deceased. In dry climates, the flesh stays preserved for centuries. But in the damp soil of the United Kingdom, even mummified tissue eventually decays. The bones that remain, however, show no scars from microbial attack, unlike the skeletons of the unpreserved. A microscopic analysis of 34 individuals from Bronze Age burial sites across Great Britain reveals that only some skeletons at each site suffered bacterial degradation. The remaining bones came from mummified bodies, the researchers conclude in a paper recently published in Antiquity (but not yet on the journal’s website). Skeletons buried during other historical periods don’t show the same intact bones, so the phenomenon appears to be unique to the Bronze Age, say the scientists. “The idea that British and potentially European Bronze Age communities invested resources in mummifying and curating a proportion of their dead fundamentally alters our perceptions of funerary ritual and belief in this period,” the researchers say in a statement.last_img read more

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France tightens rules in wake of fatal clinical trial

first_imgThe French government is taking measures to lower the health risks to volunteers in clinical trials in the wake of the final report about a study that killed one person and landed five others in the hospital in January. Furthermore, the contract research company that conducted the study, Rennes, France–based Biotrial, must within a month provide a “plan of action” explaining how it will avoid a repeat of its mistakes during the trial or lose its operating license, French health minister Marisol Touraine said today at a press conference on the report’s release.The 127-page report by France’s General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS) doesn’t pinpoint why or how the potential drug caused brain damage in previously healthy control subjects; it calls on the government to “mobilize the international scientific community” to find out what went wrong and suggests a range of scientific approaches, such as testing whether the drug hits other brain targets than the intended one and a study of the potential toxicity of the compound’s metabolites. In the fatal trial, Biotrial tested a drug, named BIA 10-2474, that acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and other molecules in the nervous system, some of which play a role in the response to cannabis. The drug’s developer, Portuguese pharmaceutical company Bial, believed it might be of use in a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, mood disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. The problems surfaced in a group that received multiple doses of 50 milligrams daily as part of a phase I trial, in which a drug’s safety is studied in healthy people. Ninety subjects who had previously received single doses of up to 100 milligrams or multiple doses of up to 20 milligrams had not suffered from any dangerous side effects.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(*)IGAS’s new report confirms many of the conclusions of an interim report released in February. The inspectors say that Biotrial’s study design complied with French regulation and current standards, and animal tests did not raise any red flags. But the company made major mistakes after the first volunteer—a 49-year-old singer, painter, and composer who would later die—was taken to a hospital with headaches and blurry vision on 10 January. The remaining participants in the trial were given another dose of the drug the next morning, for instance, and were not properly informed of what had happened. Biotrial didn’t alert French authorities until 14 January.Touraine today announced several measures aimed at improving safety and strengthening the response when a trial goes awry. France’s Regional Health Agencies will be asked to carry out inspections at all clinical trial centers in the country, together with the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM). The latter agency will start producing monthly reports of all serious, unexpected side effects in phase I and II studies, and a new expert group at ANSM will review and approve each study, Touraine said.Touraine did not address one key criticism in the report, however. Biotrial started giving 50-milligram doses of the drug to all the subjects at the same time, rather than using a staggered participation schedule. The latter setup would have taken more time, but would have allowed monitoring each volunteer’s health before moving on to the next one.In a press release, Bial stressed that the trial protocol had been approved by ANSM and that it had no reason to expect problems with the 50-milligram dose. “There were no alerts, or signals in any of the safety parameters collected from any of the previous cohorts that could have anticipated the tragic accident,” the company says.Biotrial, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that it is “shocked” to only receive the report this morning after Touraine’s press conference, although copies were leaked to French newspapers Le Monde and Libération over the weekend. The company says it has already filed the plan of action requested by Touraine, and harshly criticized IGAS’s investigation, which it says didn’t respect the “adversarial principle” or the rights of people interviewed. The company didn’t elaborate, however, and did not dispute any of the specific charges in the report.Although it doesn’t call the overall study unethical, the IGAS report questions whether healthy people should have been exposed to a drug whose proposed benefit was never very clear. “In the eyes of some experts, the potential added value of the product in the therapeutic arsenal was questionable,” the report says. And although Bial had promised “a large panoply of potential future therapeutic benefits,” it hadn’t explained why BIA 10-2474 would be better than other molecules. Similar questions arise with other candidate drugs however; the report says the issue merits a “public debate at the international level.”last_img read more

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‘Atlas of the Underworld’ reveals oceans and mountains lost to Earth’s history

first_img ‘Atlas of the Underworld’ reveals oceans and mountains lost to Earth’s history Models show slabs of ocean crust (yellow) falling to Earth’s core. If this was all nonsense, it is really quite a coincidence. By Paul VoosenNov. 22, 2016 , 9:00 AM Earth has a bad habit of erasing its own history. At intersections of tectonic plates worldwide, slabs of ocean crust dive into the mantle, part of the continuous cycle that not only drives the continents’ drift, but also fuels the volcanism that builds up island chains like Japan and mountains like the Andes. The disappearance of these slabs, called subduction, makes it difficult to reconstruct oceans as they existed hundreds of millions of years ago, as well as the mountains flanking them. “Every day, we’re losing geologic information from the face of the Earth,” says Jonny Wu, a geologist at the University of Houston in Texas. “It’s like losing pieces of broken glass as you’re trying to put it together again.”But geoscientists have begun to pick up these pieces by peering into the mantle itself, using earthquake waves that pass through Earth’s interior to generate images resembling computerized tomography (CT) scans. In the past few years, improvements in these tomographic techniques have revealed many of these cold, thick slabs as they free fall in slow motion to their ultimate graveyard—heaps of rock sitting just above Earth’s molten core, 2900 kilometers below.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(*)Now, the complete x-ray of Earth’s interior is coming into focus. Next month, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California, a team of Dutch scientists will announce a catalog of 100 subducted plates, with information about their age, size, and related surface rock records, based on their own tomographic model and cross-checks with other published studies. “Step by step we went deeper and deeper, older and older,” says Douwe van Hinsbergen, a geologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who led the project along with Utrecht geologists Douwe van der Meer and Wim Spakman. Fabio Crameri Douwe van Hinsbergen, geologist, Utrecht University (Map) J. You/Science; (Data) Van Hinsbergen/Van Der Meer/Spakman/Utrecht University This “atlas of the underworld,” as they call it, holds the ghosts of past geography. By rewinding the clock and bringing these cataloged slabs back to the surface, scientists can figure out the sizes and locations of ancient oceans. Moreover, they can locate where the sinking slabs would have triggered melting, releasing blobs of magma that rose into the crust and drove volcanism. That has helped earth scientists pinpoint where ancient mountains rose and later eroded away, their traces visible only in unexplained rock records. “It’s a pretty exciting time to be able to pull all of these pieces together,” says Mathew Domeier, a tectonic modeler at the University of Oslo. That has only recently become possible, as the underlying technique, mantle tomography, is plagued with uncertainties. It relies on millions of seismic waves received by sensors scattered unevenly around the world. Waves with faster arrival times are assumed to have passed through the colder rock of subducted slabs. But seismometer coverage is patchy; earthquakes—the sources of the seismic waves—don’t occur everywhere; and the waves get fuzzier as they pass near the core or travel long distances. “Very often for regions that have the most interesting structures, you have the most uncertainty,” says Ved Lekic, a tomographer at the University of Maryland in College Park. Academic groups around the world use more than 20 models to interpret tomographic data, and their pictures of the mantle and its structures often conflict, says Grace Shephard, a postdoc at the University of Oslo. In the coming months, she will publish a comparison of 14 different models that will assess which slabs seem most likely to be real. Her results could cast doubt on some of the slabs in the Utrecht atlas. But the image of Earth’s interior is becoming more believable, thanks to improved computing power and such intercomparison projects.By now the picture of lost plates is precise enough for scientists to try rewinding the clock, reconstructing vanished worlds. In earlier tomography, the plunging slabs looked like blobs in a lava lamp. But as the models have improved, the slabs in the upper mantle have been revealed to be stiff, straight curtains, says John Suppe, who heads the Center for Tectonics and Tomography at the University of Houston. The images make it clear that as they plunge, the 500-kilometer-thick slabs flex but don’t crumple—and that has made it easier for Suppe and others to unwind them. “We’re finding these plates unfold fairly easily, and they’re not that deformed,” Suppe says. Atlas of the underworld A catalog of 100 slabs buried in Earth’s mantle shows their size, age, and former positions near the surface. These slab-driven reconstructions are calling into question plate movements inferred from ancient oceanic crust that was scraped off and preserved on the continents, Suppe says. “Almost everywhere we’ve looked at this,” Suppe says, “what we find in the mantle isn’t exactly what would be predicted.”The reconstructions are also resurrecting mountains that had been lost to time. For example, in a study published several months ago, Wu and Suppe reconstructed the travels of 28 slabs to recreate the Philippine Sea as it was more than 50 million years ago. Beyond identifying what appears to be a previously unknown piece of ocean crust, they predicted that as one of their paleoplates plunged into the mantle, it threw up a large chain of volcanoes that eventually collided with Asia. That convulsive process could explain mysterious folded rocks in Japan and beneath the East China Sea.Similarly, slabs beneath North America have helped bring that continent’s history of mountain building into clearer focus. By rewinding the clock for some of them, Karin Sigloch, a geophysicist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, showed that North America’s western mountain chains, including the Rockies, likely formed between 200 million and 50 million years ago when several small plates were subducted beneath the continent, plastering multiple volcanic archipelagos against the landmass. Van Hinsbergen and his Utrecht peers hope their comprehensive atlas of slabs will make it possible to reconstruct a fuller picture of ancient geography. In 2012, they used slab tomography to constrain the longitude of volcanic island arcs that 200 million years ago dotted the ocean surrounding the Pangea supercontinent. Two years later they used their global model to estimate the number of subduction zones that would have been active over the past 250 million years, along with the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that subduction-related volcanoes would have emitted. The estimate closely matched geologic proxy records for atmospheric CO2 over the same period. And earlier this year, Van Hinsbergen published a study in Science Advances with Lydian Boschman, a graduate student, that identified several slabs that may have played a role in the birth of the Pacific Ocean. “We have done it,” Van Hinsbergen says. “If this was all nonsense, it is really quite a coincidence.”Even with these new techniques, which Suppe together calls “slab tectonics,” the mantle’s memory of ocean slabs only stretches back 250 million years—the time it takes for one to fall to the bottom of the mantle and be fully recycled. Beyond that, Earth continues to cover its tracks.last_img read more

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Anesthesia drug ketamine may fight depression by muzzling ‘bursting’ brain cells

first_img By Matt WarrenFeb. 14, 2018 , 1:00 PM Anesthesia drug ketamine may fight depression by muzzling ‘bursting’ brain cells Kevin Link/Science Source Rats given ketamine have fewer rapid-firing neurons in their brain’s “anti–reward center.” The anesthesia medication ketamine has shown promise in treating depression, but its exact effects on the brain are unclear. Now, researchers have discovered that the drug changes the firing patterns of cells in a pea-size structure hidden away in the center of the brain. This could explain why ketamine is able to relieve symptoms of depression so quickly—and may provide a fresh target for scientists developing new antidepressants.“It’s a spectacular study,” says Roberto Malinow, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the work. “It will make a lot of people think.”In clinical trials, ketamine appears to act much faster than existing antidepressants, improving symptoms within hours rather than weeks. “People have tried really hard to figure out why it’s working so fast, because understanding this could perhaps lead us to the core mechanism of depression,” says Hailan Hu, a neuroscientist at Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China, and a senior author on the new study.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(*)Hu suspected the drug might target a tiny region in the middle of the brain called the lateral habenula, the so-called “anti–reward center.” This region inhibits nearby reward areas, which can be useful in learning; for example, if a monkey pulls a lever expecting a treat but never receives it, the lateral habenula will reduce the activity of reward areas, and the monkey will be less likely to pull the lever in the future. But research over the past decade has suggested that the area may be overactive in depression, dampening down those reward centers too much.In a series of experiments using mouse and rat models of depression reported today in Nature, Hu and her colleagues found that ketamine did affect the lateral habenula—but it was the pattern of firing, rather than the overall amount of activity, that proved crucial. A small proportion of the neurons in the lateral habenula fire several times in quick bursts, rather than firing once at regular intervals; the team found that “depressed” rodents had a lot more of these quick burst cells. In brain slices from normal rats, only about 7% of cells were the bursting type, but in rats bred to display depressionlike behavior, the number was 23%.Direct recordings from the neurons of live mice showed the same pattern: Animals that had gone through a stressful procedure had more bursting cells in the lateral habenula. And, importantly, this bursting behavior appeared to cause depressionlike states. When researchers used optogenetics—a technique that allows cells to be switched on and off with light—to increase the amount of bursting in the lateral habenula, mice behaved in a more “depressed” way, remaining motionless when forced to swim in a container of water, for example. This kind of despair is thought to be similar to the feelings of hopelessness experienced in depression.When “depressed” mice and rats were given ketamine, the number of bursting cells was much lower, similar to the number in normal animals, Hu’s team found. And even when the researchers forced the neurons to fire in bursts, animals that had been given ketamine no longer showed depressionlike behaviors.Hu says that neurons firing several times in quick succession produce a more powerful signal. This means that bursting cells may be sending particularly strong messages to dampen down activity in reward areas, which could lead to depression. “Bursting has a special kind of signaling power,” Malinow says. “You get more bang for your buck.”The findings could also explain why ketamine acts so quickly. By immediately blocking bursts in the lateral habenula, the drug releases the reward areas from those strong signals. This suggests that other drugs that reduce burst firing could also alleviate depression, whether they act on the same receptors or different ones. “Anything that can block the bursting … should be a potential target based on our model,” Hu says. In an accompanying paper, her team reports that a protein found on astrocytes, another type of brain cell that interacts closely with neurons, could be one of these targets.Panos Zanos, a neuropharmacologist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, says the immediate effects of the drug in the lateral habenula were interesting. “I’m very excited … to see whether this [also] applies to the long-lasting antidepressant effects of ketamine,” he says. “This is a great study that adds to the literature on how ketamine might work.”last_img read more

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