Tesla Model 3 Owners Have Driven Over 1 Billion Miles Video

first_imgOver 1 billion miles have been driven with Model 3 – thank you to all the amazing Tesla owners who got us here! tesla.com/3A post shared by Tesla (@teslamotors) on Mar 23, 2019 at 9:52am PDT Source: Electric Vehicle News First billion reached, second one to be achieved probably by the end of this yearAccording to Tesla, the growing number of Model 3s around the world already covered more than 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km).“Over 1 billion miles have been driven with Model 3 – thank you to all the amazing Tesla owners who got us here!”Assuming more than 147,000 Model 3 delivered by the end of 2018 and probably at least more than 50,000 so far this quarter, the average would be 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per car, but we must remember that more than half of those cars don’t even have six months (25% are 3 months old or newer and only 5% are older than 12 months).Tesla news Overall mileage of all Tesla cars is several billions of miles.Over 1 billion miles have been driven with Model 3 – thank you to all the amazing Tesla owners who got us here! https://t.co/aF1QLLciol— Tesla (@Tesla) March 23, 2019 Do The Math: This Tesla Model S Has An Effective Cost Of Just $5,060 View this post on Instagram Cumulative Tesla Model 3 Production Estimate Exceeds 225,000 U.S.’ Most Affordable EVs Per Mile Of Range: Tesla Model 3 Is #1 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 25, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Counties anger grows over Clarkes secret negotiations

first_imgCricket Share on LinkedIn Giles Clarke has angered some county chairmen because of his autocratic style of management. Photograph: Tom Shaw/Getty Images Shares00 David Hopps … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Dismay is growing, however, at talk of what most see as wild and unworkable ideas, far removed from what they see as the priority – the future of Twenty20. The list, growing longer by the day, includes: a reduced championship split into three conferences; a return to three-day championship cricket: a Twenty20 league (the mooted English Premier League beginning in 2010) which would include three invited overseas sides, so reducing the counties’ chance to sign overseas players; and a 40-overs competition which would consist of two innings apiece, each of 20 overs.Stewart Regan, Yorkshire’s chief executive, would prefer a more traditional format that mirrors the international schedule: retention of a four-day championship; retention of the 50-overs competition as long as it is played at international level; and the scrapping of 40-overs cricket to make room for an expanded Twenty20 programme. Regan’s background as a former director of the Football League Championship gives him specialist knowledge, but he said: “All we have heard is what we have read in the papers. Let’s cut out the rumours, consult and move forward. All the counties have a right to be consulted in a major structural review.”The counties have brought some of this on themselves. The proposal to return to three-day cricket, for instance, is not the result of a marketing exercise but has been floated by Jack Simmons, a former Lancashire off-spinner and chairman and now the 67-year-old chairman of the ECB cricket committee – a man they voted for.Simmons’ belief that the championship should revert to three days, and 120 overs a day, which would doubtless result in 8.30pm finishes, several hasty pints and a fish-and-chip supper, has no chance of being adopted by the ECB board – not that the counties have been told this. Regan said: “The whole point of this review should be to decide how to make the best use of Twenty20. Let’s not fiddle at the edges.”David Harker, Durham’s chief executive, added his weight, saying: “What we know is that T20 is increasingly popular and we ought to be putting more and better T20 in the market. I’m not sure we have to make too many other changes.”The chief executives do have an option. The ECB’s market research will be carried out among Twenty20 crowds from June 11-27 and if they are lucky a young spectator will give them a form to fill in. · Talks over restructuring of game provoke dismay Counties’ anger grows over Clarke’s secret negotiations Topics Share on Messenger First published on Thu 29 May 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Twitter Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Share via Email Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Unrest is growing among the first-class counties about the secrecy of negotiations between the England and Wales Cricket Board and broadcasters over the future of the domestic game. The ECB board met at Lord’s yesterday to consider initial feedback from broadcasters concerning the structure of county cricket from 2010 but the counties themselves are increasingly dismayed that they have been left in the dark with no formal opportunity to present their views.Yorkshire and Surrey are just two leading counties who feel it is time for their views to be heard as the first sign of dissatisfaction rears its head over the autocratic style of the ECB chairman, Giles Clarke.Clarke masterminded the latest TV deal, which unapologetically removed live Test cricket from terrestrial TV, and whereas the small counties trust that he will somehow ensure their survival in the shake-up of the domestic game, the most powerful counties are increasingly impatient at the lack of consultation. While Clarke concerns himself with the broadcasters and the ITT document – the Invitation To Tender for TV rights beginning in 2010 – he increasingly needs to be aware of the dangers of the ITR, the Invitation To Rebel among counties who historically provide most of England’s players.Paul Sheldon, Surrey’s chief executive, said with a sigh yesterday: “I am completely in the dark as to what they might propose. All I know about is what I’ve read in the press.” Sheldon wants big-city cricket to spearhead a new Twenty20 competition, an idea which Clarke has already ridiculed at a meeting of the counties.Clarke’s authority is bolstered by two things: first, the counties yearned for leadership, so they can hardly complain now that they have got it; second, the Test-match counties are not in agreement about the way forward. Share on WhatsApp · Clubs feel chairman has left them in the dark Share via Email Thu 29 May 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Facebook Read more Cricket Reuse this contentlast_img read more

French AntiCorruption Law Reform A Paper Tiger Or A Paradigm Shift

first_imgToday’s post is from Paris-based Hughes Hubbard & Reed attorneys Bryan Sillaman and Jan Dunin-Wasowicz.***** Castigated for its meager prosecution of corporations for corruption offenses, particularly involving conduct overseas, France is currently in the process of revising its anti-corruption framework.  A new law, announced with great pomp, will be debated in the French National Assembly in the coming weeks, and may be adopted by summer.This guest post for FCPA Professor provides a status update on the latest developments and offers a first look at some of the issues that arise from the draft law, including what it does and does not currently contain.BackgroundDriven by a desire to respond to mounting criticism from various international organizations (particularly the OECD and the EU) and concerned at the sight of major French companies paying significant fines to the United States Treasury, the French Government embarked approximately a year ago on a commendable attempt to upgrade the country’s anti-corruption prevention and enforcement regime.On 22 July 2015, Michel Sapin, France’s acting Finance Minister, who had stewarded the 1993 anti-corruption law when he was serving in that capacity in Pierre Bérégovoy’s government, outlined before the Council of Ministers a new law on “transparency in economic life.”    A first draft of the law, dubbed Sapin II after its primary advocate, envisioned four main changes: (i) the creation of an anti-corruption agency with independent enforcement powers, (ii) the introduction of an obligation to prevent corruption for certain companies, (iii) out-of-court-settlements of corruption offenses, and (iv) a form of corporate monitorships for companies convicted of corruption offenses.On 24 March 2016, the Conseil d’État (which advises the French Government before it submits a bill to the National Assembly) issued a non-binding opinion on the Government’s latest draft.  Having considered this opinion, the Government on 30 March 2016 registered a draft law regarding “Transparency, the Fight Against Corruption and the Modernization of Economic Life” with the National Assembly.  The preamble affirms the law’s intent to “elevate French legislation [in the area of anti-corruption] to the best European and international standards.”Key DevelopmentsRecent discussions over the anti-corruption provisions of Sapin II highlight that France remains reluctant to crack down on corruption with corporate settlement agreements and hesitant to bestow too much autonomy upon a specialized enforcement authority.   These “systemic” considerations aside, the law could profoundly alter individual and corporate conduct by creating a broad obligation to prevent corruption.No Plea Agreements with Companies, Except Perhaps for International Cases?Inspired by the U.S.-born deferred prosecution agreement and more recent experience stemming from the U.K., the Government first proposed to introduce an alternative to prosecution for corruption offenses.  The settlement system, a flagship of the reform effort, would have allowed the prosecuting authority to sanction companies for acts of corruption without a criminal conviction, thus avoiding their otherwise automatic exclusion from public tenders.Under the original draft, such agreements would have been capped at a fine of up to 30% of the company’s average revenue for the past three years paid to the French Treasury, with an obligation to submit to a form of monitorship.  A judge would have had to approve the agreement, and the judge’s order would have been published.  Unlike the U.K. model, the French proposal did not contain a list of factors upon which to predicate judicial review of the corporate settlement.  If the company would not comply with the agreement, prosecution would be possible.But the idea of determining guilt or innocence of corporations without trial was problematic to some from the beginning. One of the reasons is peculiar to the French criminal justice system, where plea agreements are an extremely confined exception and prosecutors do little fact-finding, especially in complex cases (where fact-finding is done by an investigative magistrate). Pointing to the lack of a public, contradictory, hearing before a judge concerning the agreement and other likely legal frictions, the Conseil d’État noted that “it could not overcome the difficulties that this device presented.”Making a principled argument, the Conseil d’État advised that an agreement of this type “should be allowed only if its disadvantages, both for the protection of the persons implicated and the victim, and the protection of the interests of society, do not appear disproportionate in light of the interest underlying its implementation for the good administration of justice.”  Since this mechanism would only apply to corporate entities, the Conseil d’État held the view that it is neither in the interest of good justice nor of the victim to introduce a different criminal procedure for all acts of corruption and influence peddling.  The Conseil d’État added a caveat, however, noting that in light of existing practices in other jurisdictions, it would be possible to introduce this device for the specific, limited case of “transnational corruption,” provided that “adequate guarantees” are in place, which it did not define.  While the current draft makes no mention of it, lawmakers could seek to reintroduce the mechanism with an amendment.A New Anti-Corruption Service (rather than an Agency)The 1993 anti-corruption law had created a unit within the Ministry of Justice, the Central Service for the Prevention of Corruption (abbreviated “SCPC” in French), meant to coordinate the fight against and investigate cases of corruption. A decision of the French Constitutional Council of 20 January 1993, however, limited the SCPC’s powers, resigning it to a more passive role.  Little change occurred until a law dated 6 December 2013 established a prosecutor with special jurisdiction over economic and financial crimes and offenses.  Consistent with international recommendations, and as a continuation of the 2013 legislation, the drafters of Sapin II sought to create a specialized agency to deal with corruption matters.The Government initially proposed to replace the SCPC with a new National Agency for the Prevention and Detection of Corruption.  In its opinion, however, the Conseil d’État advised against assigning that body the power to “detect” corruption, warning against the risk of confusion with the work of other authorities.  The agency would merely “assist with the prevention and detection, by other competent authorities and concerned persons, of facts of corruption.” Departing perhaps from a more autonomous understanding of that governmental body, the latest draft appears to have re-centered the agency’s role on more of a support function.  In a similar vein, the Conseil d’État rejected the Government’s idea to require the anti-corruption agency to issue “guidelines” to companies detailing the measures to take to prevent corruption.   The Conseil d’État appeared concerned by the guidelines’ lack of clear legal status and insufficient precision, and therefore suggested calling them recommendations instead.Article 1 of Sapin II makes it clear that the mandate of the new body – which is not called an “agency” but a “service”, a distinction that entails a lower degree of autonomy, is limited to “preventing” acts of corruption.  Placed under the auspices of both the Ministries of Budget and Justice, thus raising a question about its independence, the new Anti-Corruption Service would be called upon to perform a number of roles, including (i) centralizing and publishing information regarding the prevention and the assistance in detecting corruption, (ii) participating in the administrative coordination of prevention and assistance in detecting corruption, (iii) providing support to the national and local public administration in this respect, (iv) issuing recommendations to the public and private sectors, (v) auditing public administrations to help them put in place efficient prevention and detection systems, (vi) enforcing the general obligation to prevent corruption risks imposed upon certain companies, (vii) monitoring the compliance sanctions ordered by tribunals, and (viii) controlling, in light of France’s blocking statute, compliance obligations imposed by foreign regulators. The Service would thus streamline the communication of information possibly covered by the blocking statute and relevant to foreign regulators.Importantly, the Service would enforce administrative sanctions through a Sanctions Committee comprising three members appointed by decree for five years: a member of the Conseil d’État (France’s Supreme Administrative Court), one member of the Cour de cassation (France’s Supreme Judicial Court), and one member of the Cour des comptes (Court of Auditors). A Director, appointed by the President of the French Republic for six years, would manage the Service, reporting to both the Ministers of Justice and Budget.Either Minister or the Service on its own could request that an audit be conducted on particular companies (Article 8 of Sapin II). Following its review, the Service would issue a report, to which the company could respond.  The Anti-Corruption Service would then decide whether to issue a warning or turn the case over to the Sanctions Committee.  The new obligations discussed below could be enforced against both the company and individuals acting on behalf of the company.  Agents are envisioned as being able to receive documents from audited entities and to conduct on-site interviews, although the precise contours of their powers is still unclear, including whether and to what extent they would have subpoena powers or how information would be collected more generally.Three Noticeable Adjustments to Existing Provisions Sapin II would introduce a number of substantive changes to French law.  From a jurisdictional standpoint, the law would extend the offenses of corruption and influence peddling to acts that were committed outside of France by French citizens, non-citizens residing in France or French companies.  The offense of influence peddling is extended to cover the situation where the acts involved a foreign public official.Sapin II would also seek to strengthen France’s whistleblower regime.  Since 2007, French law has provided for a special protection of whistleblowers that report acts of corruption.  A law dated 6 December 2013 further generalized the protection of whistleblowers.  Beyond implementing a number of European Union directives into French law, Sapin II introduces the possibility for the Service to cover the legal costs of whistleblowers.  While France has improved the protection of whistleblowers, it remains uncomfortable with the idea of reporting misconduct in exchange for pecuniary gain.Under French law companies can be held criminally responsible for acts committed by their “organs or representatives” that were done “for the benefit” of the company.  The test stemming from Article 121-2 of the penal code for corporate criminal liability is more stringent than the U.S. respondeat superior doctrine, but does not appear as demanding as the “controlling mind” principle of the U.K. and Canada.  Some believe that the French theory of corporate criminal liability, particularly applied in the parent-subsidiary context, may be one of the reasons explaining the low number of convictions of corporations for corruption offenses.While Sapin II does not directly address the issue, it provides for a new criminal penalty.  A court, having convicted a company of a corruption offense, could impose compliance measures.  The Anti-Corruption Service would monitor this court-imposed compliance program and report to the prosecutor.  The Government appears to have taken inspiration from the World Bank practice in this respect.  Failure to comply with these sanctions would be punishable by imprisonment of the company’s legal representative for up to two years and a fine of 30,000 euros.Enhanced Compliance Obligations to Come for Many Companies, Enforced with Administrative SanctionsIn 2012, the SCPC recommended introducing into French law a strict liability offense of failure to prevent corruption.  Non-binding guidelines were released in March 2015, which broadly outlined the elements of what could constitute an effective compliance program under French standards.   With Sapin II, the Government has decided to go further; it noted in the preamble to the law that the new compliance obligations draw on similar provisions existing in the United Kingdom (Section 7 of the UK Bribery Act) and Switzerland (Article 102 of the Swiss Criminal Code).According to the Government, Article 8 is a new “general obligation […] intended to ensure that the largest companies systematically put in place a complete and effective framework to prevent and detect acts of corruption that could arise in their national and international operations.”  Under Article 8 of Sapin II, “Presidents, Managing Directors and Managers of any company employing at least 500 employees or belonging to a group of companies whose staff is of at least 500 employees and which consolidated revenue exceeds 100 million euros are required to take measures intended to prevent and detect acts of corruption and influence peddling in France and abroad.”  This requirement is also imposed upon board members of certain companies (societés anonymes established pursuant to Article L-225-57 of the Code of Commerce).  For companies with established consolidated accounts, the obligation contained in Article 8 also applies to subsidiaries or entities controlled.Sapin II would require concerned companies to put in place (i) a code of conduct defining and illustrating behavior that could be characterized as an act of corruption or influence peddling; (ii) an internal whistleblowing system; (iii) a system of conducting periodic risk assessments;  (iv) third party due diligence protocols; (v) accounting controls designed to ensure that books and records are not used to conceal acts of corruption or influence peddling; (vi) a training program for management and most exposed personnel; and (vii) a disciplinary sanctions procedure applicable in case of violation of the code of conduct.  Unlike Section 7 of the UK Bribery Act, Article 8 of Sapin II does not appear to provide for an “adequate procedures” defense.The Sanctions Committee of the Anti-Corruption Service could enjoin the company to adopt internal policies and procedures, and impose fines not to exceed 200,000 euros for individuals and one million euros for legal persons. Under Sapin II, the company and company officers can be held independently liable for failure to comply with this obligation, although they would also have the right to appeal decisions of the Service.  A three-year statute of limitations would begin on the day when the Anti-Corruption Service noted the failure to comply.Conclusion  Even if adopted, additional measures will be needed before the Sapin II framework becomes fully operational, which is unlikely to happen before year’s end or early 2017, an election year in France.   The law calls for the Government to legislate by decree for a number of important undefined provisions, beginning with the procedure applicable before the Sanctions Committee of the new Anti-Corruption Service (which according to the Conseil d’État will have to comport with the requirements of Article 6.1. of the European Convention of Human Rights and therefore provide for a public hearing). A decree will also be needed to detail the functioning of the Service, including the role and powers of its agents.  Another law will have to define the Service’s budget.  The Government anticipates a staff of between 60 or 70 and an annual budget between 10 and 15 million euros.Sapin II certainly represents a notable and significant step forward in terms of France’s anti-corruption reform efforts, although it remains to be seen whether lawmakers will find the necessary resolve to achieve the ambitious goal that the Government has set for the law: elevating France to the highest European and international standards and turning the fight against corruption into a competitive advantage for business. A paradigm shift, but only on paper, at least for the time being.  So, as we say in French, à suivre…last_img read more

OECD Report Misses The Mark

first_imgWhether its 240 certifications and inspections to build a manufacturing facility in Russia (see here) or 142 signatures needed to clear cargo in the port of Lagos, Nigeria (see here), foreign government bureaucracy is often the root cause of bribery As highlighted in this post, there is a clear correlation between foreign government bureaucracy and corruption.It is fairly remarkable that the the OECD Report, and its 22 recommendations to combat corruption, does not even directly address this salient topic.Despite this obvious deficiency, other aspects of the OECD Report are worth highlighting including the following from the report.“There is also serious concern that some OECD and non-OECD countries are facing an increasing incidence of abuse of executive authority manipulation of the judiciary and the legislative process, including legal and regulatory capture, as well as constraints to information and transparency, the media and civil society. This is inimical to a robust rule of law and to the fight against corruption.”Several of these concerns are relevant to FCPA enforcement.As highlighted in this article, a commonly accepted rule of law principle is limited government powers. The World Justice Project defines this factor as “systems of checks and balances . . . to limit the reach of excessive government power,” and the distribution of authority “in a manner that ensures that no single organ of government has the practical ability to exercise unchecked power.”As stated in a report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research:“[P]rosecutors’ virtually unchecked powers under DPAs and NPAs threaten our constitutional framework. To be sure, prosecutors are acting upon duly enacted laws, but federal criminal provisions are often vague or ambiguous, and the fact that prosecutors and large corporations alike feel obliged to reach agreement, rather than follow an orderly regulatory process and litigate disagreements in court, denies the judiciary an opportunity to clarify the boundaries of such laws. Instead, the laws come to mean what the prosecutors say they mean — and companies do what the prosecutors say they must. Federal prosecutors are thus assuming the role of judge (interpreting the law) and of legislature (setting broad policy choices about industry conduct), substantially eroding the separation of powers.”The OECD Report also states:“A convincing anti-corruption strategy requires a clear legal framework combined with consistent and impartial enforcement. This can only be done in a system that respects and fosters the rule of law, in which laws are adopted and enforced without fear of – or favour for – vested interests. This aim reflects core values of the OECD and is already incorporated in many of its governance initiatives. For example, rule of law considerations are enshrined into Article 5 of the Anti-Bribery Convention, prohibiting countries from allowing political considerations, economic consequences, or diplomatic ties with other countries from interfering with the investigation and prosecution of foreign bribery.”Again, several of these concerns are relevant to FCPA enforcement (or lack thereof). For instance, was BAE charged with FCPA offenses? Didn’t think so. (See here for the article “The Facade of FCPA Enforcement” for more about the BAE matter). See also here for the recent post titled “The U.K.’s DPA With Rolls-Royce Violates OECD Convention Article 5 and Other Observations.” FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Recently, a High-Level Advisory Group on Anti-Corruption and Integrity, “composed of independent experts from a variety of professional backgrounds in the anti-corruption field” drafted a lengthy report to the OECD to “strengthen its work on combating corruption and promoting integrity.”In the report the Group makes 22 separate recommendations.Problem is, the report completely misses the mark on the most obvious and effective way to reduce corruption.A close read of many Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions reveals that trade barriers and distortions are often the root causes of bribery. Recent examples include a prohibition on direct selling in China (the root cause of the Avon and Nu Skin Enterprises enforcement actions), the government controlling both wholesale and retain beer sales as well as brewery production hours (the root cause of the ABInBev enforcement action), and numerous examples of various third parties having to be engaged pursuant to foreign law or regulation.In short, bribery is often about touch points with foreign government officials and a reduction in bribery will not be achieved without a reduction in touch points that arise because of foreign trade barriers and distortions.Stated differently:Trade barriers, distortions and conditions create bureaucracy;Bureaucracy creates points of contact with foreign officials;Points of contact with foreign officials create discretion; andDiscretion creates the opportunity for a foreign official to misuse their position by making bribe demands.center_img Learn More & Registerlast_img read more

Issues To Consider From The Fresenius Enforcement Action

first_imgThis previous post went in-depth into the approximate $232 million Fresenius FCPA enforcement action and this post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.TimelineAs highlighted in this prior post, Fresenius disclosed its FCPA scrutiny in August 2012. Thus from start to finish, its FCPA scrutiny lasted an unconscionable 6.5 years.I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, and I will continue to say it until the cows come home: if the DOJ/SEC want the public to have trust and confidence in its FCPA enforcement program, it must resolve instances of FCPA scrutiny much quicker.This is particularly true given that Fresenius, in the words of the DOJ:“conduct[ed] a thorough internal investigation; ma[de] regular factual presentations to the Department; provid[ed] facts learned during witness interviews; voluntarily ma[de] foreign-based employees available for interviews in the United States; produc[ed] documents to the Department from foreign countries in ways that did not implicate foreign data privacy laws; collect[ed], analyz[ed], and organiz[ed] voluminous evidence and information from multiple jurisdictions for the Department, including translating key documents; and disclos[ed] conduct to the Department that was outside the scope of its initial voluntary self-disclosure …”.In the words of the SEC, Fresenius:“FMC produced documents, including key document binders and translations as needed, and made current or former employees available to the Commission staff, including those who needed to travel to the United States.”JurisdictionAs a foreign issuer, Fresenius is only subject to the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions to the extent “the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce” are used in connection with a bribery scheme.What was the precise jurisdiction nexus to support the anti-bribery violations in the Fresenius matter?We really don’t know as the DOJ and SEC’s resolution documents merely make generic reference to the Angola and Saudi Arabia conduct involving ‘agents and employees utiliz[ing] the means and instrumentalities of U.S. interstate commerce, including the use of internet-based email accounts hosted by numerous service providers located in the United States.”Healthcare OfficialsSince its invention in the 2002 Syncor enforcement action, the DOJ/SEC have used the enforcement theory that physicians and others associated with foreign healthcare systems are “foreign officials” (and thus occupy a status similar to a President or Prime Minister) approximately 30 times. (Looking for one reason for the general increase in FCPA enforcement in the modern era, well this is one reason).This enforcement theory has never been subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny (including in the Fresenius matter resolved via a DOJ NPA and an SEC administrative order). Moreover, and perhaps a reflection of its validity, this enforcement has never been used to charge an individual.DisgorgementThe bulk of the FCPA anti-bribery violations in the Fresenius matter were based on the Angola and Saudi Arabia conduct. Per the SEC’s findings, the Angola conduct occurred between 2004 and 2013. Per the SEC’s findings, the Saudi Arabia conduct occurred between 2007 and 2012. Based on Angola findings, the SEC appears to have secured $10 million in disgorgement and based on the Saudi Arabia findings, the SEC appears to have secured $40 million in disgorgement.In short, that’s $50 million in disgorgement beyond disgorgement’s five year statue of limitations as the Supreme Court unanimously held in Kokesh (see here for the prior post). Yet once again, statute of limitations matter little when issuers cooperate and agree to resolve SEC enforcement actions in the absence of judicial scrutiny. (See here).No-Charged Bribery DisgorgementThe SEC’s findings relevant to Morocco, Turkey, Spain, China, Serbia, Bosnia, and Mexico did not result in anti-bribery findings, but merely books and records and internal controls findings. The SEC appears to have secured $46 million in disgorgement based on this conduct.This represents yet another example of no-charged bribery disgorgement (in other words the SEC seeking a disgorgement remedy in the absence of FCPA anti-bribery charges or findings).As highlighted in this previous post (and numerous prior posts thereafter), so-called no-charged bribery disgorgement is troubling. Among others, Paul Berger (here) (a former Associate Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement) has stated that “settlements invoking disgorgement but charging no primary anti-bribery violations push the law’s boundaries, as disgorgement is predicated on the common-sense notion that an actual, jurisdictionally-cognizable bribe was paid to procure the revenue identified by the SEC in its complaint.” Berger noted that such “no-charged bribery disgorgement settlements appear designed to inflict punishment rather than achieve the goals of equity.”Hidden RippleThis prior post highlighted the hidden employee costs of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement and how the aggregate costs of this ripple are surely meaningful when one considers certain inevitable wrongful termination or separation costs, lost productivity, and the time and expense of recruiting and hiring replacements. In recent years, the DOJ has quantified employee departures in certain FCPA enforcement actions and did so once again in the Fresenius matter. As stated by the DOJ:“the Company engaged in remedial measures, including: (1) causing at least ten employees who were involved in or failed to detect the misconduct described in the Statement of Facts to be removed from the Company, because their employment was terminated, they resigned after being asked to leave, or they voluntarily left once the Company’s internal investigation began.” Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

Texas Lawbook Exclusive Jim Coleman Tribute A Lion Among Texas Lions

first_img Username Password Remember me Legendary Dallas lawyer Jim Coleman was hailed Wednesday night as a gentleman, an honest, genuine and passionate lawyer, and a leader with integrity. The Texas Lawbook and the Association of Corporate Counsel’s DFW Chapter hosted a tribute to the 94-year-old lawyer. We brought together many lawyers he mentored and impacted – many of whom are now among the most prominent and successful lawyers and judges in Texas.U.S. District Chief Judge Barbara Lynn, Fifth Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham, Bill Dawson, Rod Phelan, Dick Sayles, Bruce Collins, Judge Royal Furgeson and Mike Lynn told stories and . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.center_img Lost your password? Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

Chelan County PUD Alcoa AgreeStein Visits Washington StateLatest Unemployment NumbersCoats For KidsPacific

first_imgChelan County PUD commissioners agreed Thursday to move ahead with signing the agreements with Alcoa. They’re needed to reassign the current power contracts for its Wenatchee smelter, to a new entity before the corporation splits in two Nov. first. The vote came after Chief Financial/Risk Officer Kelly Boyd provided a brief update on work done since Monday. That’s when commissioners received a full briefing on potential assignment terms and other conditions involved in moving the power contracts from Alcoa to the new Alcoa Corporation. The additional credit assurances provided in the new agreements leaves the District neutral to positive, compared against current conditions.last_img

Elderly patients would like technology to help with daytoday medicine taking

first_imgMay 10 2018Over 65s say they would find technology to help them take their medications helpful, but need the technology to be familiar, accessible and easy to use, according to research by Queen Mary University of London and University of Cambridge. People who do not use smartphones said that they’d prefer to have smartwatches than smartphones for reminders to take their pills.Around one tenth of cardiovascular events are associated with poor medication adherence, but some patients could be helped through new technologies to aid them with tablet taking and monitor adherence.Some technologies include apps that allow patients to receive counseling about medications and reminders to improve and monitor tablet taking. There are also interactive text message reminders for tablet taking. And Ingestible sensor systems (ISSs) are a combination of wearable and ingestible sensors working in conjunction with smartphones, PCs and tablets to detect ingested medication.However, not much is known on whether over 65s might find it difficult to adopt these technologies, due to ethnic diversity, and age-related physical and mental impairments.The study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, investigated opinions about available technologies in a focus group of patients aged over 65 taking cardiovascular medications.The over 65s in the study generally valued the opportunity to receive alerts to help with practical aspects of medicine taking, like forgetting and monitoring treatment: “I think it’s good because there’s some people who as time goes by lose certain of their faculties as time goes by, and memory beginning to fade and so on, so on, it could have been a short retention in memory can cause you to miss a [medicine]” “. . .you always need to remember these things, they do slip your mind, even if there’s days of the week printed on your tablets sometimes you think, “did I take it this morning?” “I mean it’s a similar thing with now that hospitals, they text you to remind you about your hospital appointment now.” People familiar with smartphones welcomed an intervention through smartphones. Some participants were not familiar with smartphones, but all used wristwatches and preferred interventions using this technology, such as smartwatches: “. . .watches, if we all had watches. . .If it’s simpler to use elderly would appreciate more, it’s something that they have on their hand, on their arm. . . It’s a continuation of what we’re familiar with instead of something that we’re not familiar.” “Everybody’s been used to wearing at some time or another is a watch. . .So I think that most of us would find this much better.” “The watch is good but the mobile phone, half the time old people don’t know where they’ve put the phone, it’s the same with glasses, they don’t know where they’ve put them so it wouldn’t be of no benefit, but that watch would.” “. . .a smartphone, well, I did have but I put it in the washing machine, I dropped it.” Related StoriesMarijuana isn’t a great choice for glaucoma treatment, says expertGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwideDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersOther concerns included potential reduction in face-to-face communication, data security, becoming dependent on technology and worrying about the consequences of technological failures: “If they’re not going to remember to take their tablets they ain’t going to remember to charge their mobiles.” “If it’s got to be a smart phone rather than an ordinary phone the cost of providing these for all the elderly is going to be astronomical.” “Well I see [technology might cause] lack of communication between professionals and the very elderly. . .., I’m afraid that this is about cost-cutting.” “I remember there was, the National Health Service right, had invested billions into this high tech computer that was going to be doing all singing all dancing, and guess what, it never did work, so all the investment that they put into this main frame that would then take all the information, it had gone done, it had a bug, it had glitches and it never performed as fit for purpose, so I’m one of these guys who’s lost confidence in technology.” “Technology is useful but you can’t depend on it, you never can depend on it.”center_img Lead researcher Dr Anna De Simoni from Queen Mary University of London said: “These findings have highlighted that people over 65 on cardiovascular medications are willing to consider technology to help with practical aspects of their day-to-day medicine taking, such as getting reminder alerts and monitoring doses taken, either themselves or by carers and clinicians.”In clinical consultations about medicine taking, healthcare professionals can explore technologies familiar and easily accessible to patients as a way to ensure good adherence. To this end additionally checking on common concerns, like worries about data security, becoming dependent on technology and consequences of technological failures can be beneficial.” Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/last_img read more

Proposed changes to most widely used diagnostic tool could adversely affect PTSD

first_imgMay 15 2018Fewer individuals across the globe would be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) under proposed changes to the most widely used diagnostic tool – potentially impacting clinical practice, national data reporting and epidemiological research, according to an international analytical study led by NYU School of Medicine and publishing May 14 in the journal Psychological Medicine.This examination of almost 4,000 individuals from six countries around the world showed that changes in the upcoming 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) – the global diagnostic and health management tool under the auspices of the World Health Organization – from ICD’s 10th edition could lead to a reduction in diagnosis of moderate – and more easily treatable — PTSD by as much as 57%.The patient cohort in this research were mostly road traffic accident survivors who underwent the Clinically Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Researchers then compared these CAPS scores against both the existing diagnostic criteria for PTSD in ICD-10 and the revised criteria in ICD-11. The results showed that while cases of severe PTSD increased under ICD-11 by up to 36%, the number of moderate cases decreased by more than half.Changes in ICD-11 for diagnosing PTSD follow similar changes made in 2013 to the classification criteria for PTSD in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), a standard criteria measurement tool published by the American Psychiatric Association. The implementation of changes to DSM-5 discarded about 50% of those previously diagnosed with PTSD under DSM-4.”These results suggest that, if implemented, changes to ICD-11 will significantly identify fewer cases worldwide of PTSD,” says senior author Arieh Shalev, MD, the Barbara Wilson Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. “These changes could adversely impact successful treatment, since research has shown that early intervention leads to the most successful outcome for people with PTSD.”Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchHow the Study Was ConductedIn order to demonstrate the longitudinal impact of the proposed changes in ICD-11, the researchers plotted CAPS scores at different time intervals, from the actual traumatic event that triggered PTSD, up to 15 months post-event. They found that during the 0-60 day time interval, the prevalence of moderate PTSD in the study cohort under ICD-10 guidelines was almost 25%, but under ICD-11 guidelines, it dropped to 13%. Concomitantly, at the 122-456 day interval, PTSD diagnosis under ICD-10 was 14%, while under ICD-11 guidelines it dropped to 7%. Age and gender was comparable in all study groups.The researchers also point out that these results are similar to those seen in other studies that also demonstrated a reduced prevalence of PTSD using new ICD-11 standards, including those that examined populations that experienced childhood institutional abuse, survivors of mass shootings, and those living in conflict-torn villages.”The data from this study, and others comparing changes in ICD standards, strongly suggest that if the new criteria are used to define treatment eligibility, fewer individuals are going to be able to access appropriate care for PTSD because they may not receive a proper PTSD diagnosis,” says lead author Anna C. Barbano, a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. “Therefore, the use of ICD-11 criteria to sanction care should be considered cautiously, and its impact on research could lead to some limitations.”Dr. Shalev also points out that psychiatrists in most countries “treat traumatic stress disorder mainly on the basis of clinically significant distress and dysfunction, and not formal diagnosis criteria, particularly as previous studies have shown that trauma survivors who do not meet the full PTSD criteria –known as ‘partial PTSD’ patients — show high levels of distress. Our results support such an approach for both ICD-11 and DSM-5 patients.” Source:https://nyulangone.org/last_img read more

UD researchers examine connection between DNA replication in HPV and cancer

first_imgMay 23 2018A pair of researchers from the University of Delaware Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences are investigating genetic variations in DNA replication of human papillomaviruses (HPV) and its correlation with HPV-related cancers.”Some strains (low-risk) of the virus infect human cells – proliferating in the cell’s cytoplasm remaining benign,” said Esther Biswas-Fiss, chairperson and professor for the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences. “Alternatively, other [high-risk] strains of HPV can integrate into the genomic DNA of the host. When that happens, it results in cancer because the host’s tumor prevention mechanisms are shut down by the viral proteins.”Biswas-Fiss and her UD colleague Subhasis Biswas – and their former doctoral student, Dr. Gulden Yilmaz – recently published their findings in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – General Subjects. The paper illustrated specific changes in DNA sequences in HPV that correlate with cancer prognosis.The UD researchers have worked on DNA replication in bacteria and human cells for a long time, but a discussion with Joseph Curry, a head and neck surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University, sparked their interest in HPV and cancer.”He brought to our attention that several squamous cell carcinomas are associated from HPV infection, which piqued our interest into HPV related carcinogenesis,” said Professor Subhasis Biswas.Accounting for approximately four percent of all cancers in the United States, head and neck cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat, nose, sinuses, salivary glands and middle ear. Historically, the most common driver of head and neck cancers was tobacco use. With U.S. declines in smoking rate, HPV, which is the most common sexually transmitted infection, climbed to the top position. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on the prevalence of HPV in American adults is alarming and has a broader age range than you might expect.Related StoriesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancer”HPV is not one virus; it is a family of viruses,” said Subhasis Biswas. “Fortunately, most forms of HPV are benign. However, certain HPV strains can cause cancer.”So what makes some of these forms of HPV so deadly? The research concluded that the altered DNA replication mechanism of the high-risk viruses makes them lethal. Specific DNA footprints that point to their oncogenicity were identified in their research.”A person could be infected by a cancer-causing strain of HPV for years and not develop cancer until later on down the road,” explained Esther Biswas-Fiss.Developing cancer screeningsA single strain of HPV is enough to cause worry, but many people are infected with multiple strains. Soon on the horizon, Esther sees a time where medical laboratory professionals can quickly test individuals to see if this carcinogenic molecular signature of HPV is present and develop appropriate strategy of treatment.”If so, medical professionals could closely monitor those people for head and neck cancer,” she said.The study mapped the exact sequence changes that drive the change to carcinogenicity. This finding is directly translatable into future screenings. With cervical cancer, most people make the connection between the cancer and HPV infection – not the case for head and neck as well as other HPV-origin cancers.”We have a rapid screening tool for cervical cancer – a pap smear. But we have work to do when it comes to head, neck and other cancers,” said Esther Biswas-Fiss. “So knowing the molecular signature of the oncogenic strains of HPV paves the way for more accurate diagnostic tests and, hopefully, more rapid screening tests.”In the same vein as a pap smear, medical laboratory professionals could analyze cells from a swab-based, molecular test – picking up DNA sequences of carcinogenic HPVs. Source:http://www.udel.edu/last_img read more

Children of critical parents show less attention to emotional facial expressions study

first_imgJun 12 2018Children of highly critical parents show less attention to emotional facial expressions, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.”These findings suggest that children with a critical parent might avoid paying attention to faces expressing any type of emotion,” said Kiera James, graduate student of psychology at Binghamton University, and lead author of the paper. “This behavior might affect their relationships with others and could be one reason why children exposed to high levels of criticism are at risk for things like depression and anxiety.”The researchers wanted to examine how exposure to parental criticism impacts the way that children process and pay attention to facial expressions of emotion. One way to look at attention is through a neural marker called the Late Positive Potential (LPP), which provides a measure of how much someone is paying attention to emotional information, such as a face that is happy or sad.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorJames and fellow researchers had parents of 7 to 11-year-old children talk about their child for five minutes. These statements were later coded for levels of criticism. They also measured the brain activity of the children as they viewed a series of pictures of faces showing different emotions. The researchers found that children of highly critical parents displayed less attention to all of the emotional facial expressions than children of parents displaying low levels of criticism.”We know from previous research that people have a tendency to avoid things that make them uncomfortable, anxious, or sad because such feelings are aversive. We also know that children with a critical parent are more likely to use avoidant coping strategies when they are in distress than children without a critical parent,” said James. “Given this research, and our findings that children with a critical parent pay less attention to all emotional facial expressions than children without a critical parent, one possible explanation is that the children with a critical parent avoid looking at any facial expressions of emotion. This may help them avoid exposure to critical expressions, and, by extension, the aversive feelings they might associate with parental criticism. That said, it may also prevent them from seeing positive expressions from others.”The researchers hope to follow up these results with another study examining what happens in the brains of children in real time when they are receiving positive and negative comments from their parents. Source:http://www.binghamton.edu/last_img read more

Novel stem cellbased model mimics mechanisms of Alzheimers disease

first_img Source:https://www.dzne.de/en/news/public-relations/press-releases/press/alzheimers-in-mini-format-a-novel-tool-to-study-disease-mechanisms-and-possible-remedies/ Jul 3 2018Scientists in Dresden, Germany, have been successful in mimicking mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease in a novel, stem cell-based model system that reproduces features of human brain tissue. This experimental tool can be used to study mechanisms of pathology and help to find new therapeutic approaches, the researchers say. Their results, published in the journal Developmental Cell, indicate that modulating the immune system can trigger neuronal repair processes and thus possibly help the brain to better cope with Alzheimer’s. The study involved the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) and further institutions from Germany and abroad.By using the new disease model, the researchers discovered an approach to instruct so-called stem cells to produce neurons. This kick-started repair processes. Experts call this phenomenon ‘neuronal regeneration’.”Neural stem cells are the progenitors of neurons. They occur naturally in the brain and as such they constitute a reservoir for new neurons. However, in Alzheimer’s neural stem cells lose this ability and therefore cannot replace neurons lost due to the disease,” explains Dr. Caghan Kizil, head of the current study and research group leader at the DZNE and the CRTD. “Our results suggest that modulating the immune system can unlock the potential of neural stem cells to build new neurons. These new cells foster regeneration and could possibly help the brain to better cope with the disease. This points to a potential approach to therapy, which we intend to further explore. If it will work out in humans, we cannot say at this stage. At present, this is still fundamental research.”Three-dimensional networksThe new disease model is based on human stem cells that are embedded in a polymer hydrogels. This soft and transparent biomaterial consists of the glycosaminoglycan heparin, the synthetic polymer poly(ethylene glycol) and various functional peptide units. The cell cultures are then grown in small culture wells of less than one milliliter volume. “The tunable polymer system allowed to combine effective molecular and physical signals that direct the cells to generate three-dimensional networks reminiscent of the neuronal webs of the human brain,” emphasizes Carsten Werner, director of the biomaterials program at IPF and professor of Biofunctional Polymer Materials at the CRTD. He points out that the current setup could be further miniaturized: “The size of the culture environment is hardly relevant. In principle, we could work with considerably smaller volumes.”Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predisposition”Other disease models based on human stem cells already exist. However, they are not suitable to address questions of our research on neuronal regeneration,” Kizil explains. “We are confident, that our system is unprecedented in several aspects such as the ability of stem cells to behave in a similar way as they do in the brain.”Thus, Kizil sees various applications: “Because of these properties, our model could be of use not only to study disease processes. I also see use in the pharmaceutical industry. Here, it could be applied in the early phase of drug development for the testing of chemical compounds.”Replication of pathological featuresWhen cells grown according to this culture method were exposed to ‘Amyloid-beta’, which are proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease, typical pathological features developed. This included Amyloid-beta aggregates: the notorious ‘plaques’. Furthermore, the researchers observed deposits of Tau proteins within neurons, which are another hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, they found massive neuronal and synaptic damage. Yet, application of the immune system molecule ‘Interleukin-4’ induced neural stem cells to produce new neurons. This mitigated the detrimental effects triggered by Amyloid-beta.Basis for new therapies?”In the human brain, the immune response has diverse effects – both detrimental and beneficial. However, our results suggest that by modulating these mechanisms, we may combat Alzheimer’s disease,” Kizil says. “Interestingly, besides showing the beneficial effects of Interleukin-4, our data also indicate that this benefit is related to regulation of a metabolic product called Kynurenic acid. This is significant, because levels of Kynurenic acid are known to be elevated in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. Thus, our model offers clues on how different players that are relevant for Alzheimer’s interact. In light of this, our model might help to pave the way for therapies based on neuronal regeneration.”last_img read more

FAU researchers find possible cause of Parkinsons disease in the patients immune

first_img Source:https://www.fau.eu/2018/07/11/news/research/fau-researchers-identify-parkinsons-disease-as-a-possible-autoimmune-disease/ Jul 19 2018Parkinson’s disease, formerly also referred to as shaking palsy, is one of the most frequent disorders affecting movement and the nervous system. Medical researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have come across a possible cause of the disease – in the patients’ immune system.Currently, approximately 4.1 million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease throughout the globe, in Germany alone more than 300,000 people are affected. Typical symptoms of the disease are slowness of movement, rigidity, frequent shaking and an increasingly stooped posture. The cause is the continuous death of nerve cells in the brain, which produce the messenger substance dopamine.Scientists are working to gain insights into the mechanisms which lead to the loss of nerve cells that produce dopamine. Until now, little has been known about whether human immune cells have an important role to play in Parkinson’s disease. The stem cell researchers Dr. Annika Sommer, Dr. Iryna Prots and Prof. Dr. Beate Winner from FAU and their team have made a major leap forward in research into this aspect of the disease. The scientists from Erlangen were able to prove that in Parkinson’s disease immune cells from the immune system, so-called t-cells, attack and kill nerve cells which produce dopamine in the midbrain.The FAU team based its research on a surprising observation: the scientists found an unusually high number of t-cells in the midbrain of Parkinson’s patients. These cells are commonly found in the brains of patients suffering from diseases in which the immune system attacks the brain. During tests carried out in collaboration with the movement disorders clinic (molecular neurology) at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (Prof. Jürgen Winkler), researchers discovered an increased number of certain t-cells, specifically Th17 cells, in Parkinson’s patients, similar to patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.Related StoriesPatients with bipolar disorder are seven times more likely to develop Parkinson’sGut infection can lead to a pathology resembling Parkinson’s diseaseStudy unravels how cancer medication works in brains of Parkinson’s patientsIn view of these results, the researchers decided to develop a very unusual cell culture from human cells. A small skin sample was taken from affected patients and healthy test subjects. These skin cells were converted into stem cells, which can develop into any type of cell. The research team then further differentiated these cells into midbrain nerve cells specific to the patient. These midbrain nerve cells were then brought into contact with fresh t-cells from the same patients. The result: the immune cells of Parkinson’s patients killed a large number of their nerve cells, but this did not appear to be the case with healthy test subjects. Another result gives reason for hope: antibodies which block the effect of Th17 cells, including one antibody which is already being used on a daily basis in the hospital to treat psoriasis, were able to largely prevent the death of the nerve cells.’Thanks to our investigations, we were able to clearly prove not only that t-cells are involved in causing Parkinson’s disease, but also what role they actually play,’ explains Prof. Dr. Beate Winner. ‘The findings from our study offer a significant basis for new methods of treating Parkinson’s disease.’last_img read more

Analyzing residenttoresident incidents in dementia may hold the key to reducing future

first_imgRelated StoriesMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesCommon medications can masquerade as dementia in seniorsDementia patients hospitalized and involved in transitional care at higher ratesCaspi points out that his findings are not meant to suggest that residents with dementia are inherently “aggressive,” “abusive,” “violent,” or “dangerous.” He cautions that adopting this view could run the risk of stigmatizing an already stigmatized population.Labeling a person with dementia using these terms assumes that these behavioral expressions are intentionally initiated to harm another person when the majority of individuals in mid-to-late stages of dementia do not initiate these expressions without a distressing situational trigger. Caspi says they often engage in these episodes when their human needs and situational frustrations are not met in a timely manner by dedicated but understaffed, undertrained, and undersupervised direct care staff members. Source:https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/study-deaths-resident-resident-incidents-dementia-offers-insights-inform-policy-and Aug 15 2018Analyzing the incidents between residents in dementia in long-term care homes may hold the key to reducing future fatalities among this vulnerable population, according to new research from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Gathered from media accounts and death review records, the exploratory study by Eilon Caspi, PhD, is the first to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of elders as a result of resident-to-resident incidents in dementia in the United States and Canada.Despite growing concerns about the projected growth in the number of people with dementia and the expected rise in resident-to-resident incidents, the phenomenon is not currently being tracked by the two largest federally mandated clinical and oversight systems in nursing homes in the U.S.”The fact that we are not capturing and tracking this phenomenon represents a major missed opportunity for learning and prevention of these incidents,” says Caspi, the study’s author and a research associate at the School of Nursing. “We need to develop a data-driven national action plan to reduce these incidents and ensure that frail and vulnerable residents will remain safe in the last years of their lives. Delivery of evidence-based staff training programs to improve understanding, prevention, and de-escalation of these episodes is urgently needed.”Among Caspi’s findings:center_img – Nearly half (44 percent) of all fatalities were the results of physical contact classified as push-fall. “Many of the injuries consisted of hip fractures or head or brain injuries and on average it was slightly more than two weeks from the incident to their passing, which speaks volumes to the frailty and vulnerability of this population.” – While men and women equally died as a result of these incidents, three-quarters of exhibitors were men. “The most common exhibitor-target dyad was man to man (approximately 50 percent) followed by man to woman (24 percent) and woman to woman (21 percent). Woman to man accounted for only 4 percent of the dyads. While more research is needed to examine the role of gender in injurious and fatal episodes, the preliminary findings may have implications for more targeted interventions.” – More than half (59 percent) of all incidents took place inside bedrooms and 43 percent involved roommates. “The bedroom is the last frontier of privacy for people in dementia. Policies, procedures, and practices related to roommate assignment and monitoring need to be thoughtful and revisited regularly and we need to explore all avenues for reducing to the minimum possible the use of shared bedrooms or at a minimum increasing roommates’ sense of privacy and security. In addition, stronger measures to prevent residents’ unwanted entries into other residents’ bedrooms (including the use of assistive technology) could reduce these incidents.” – Evenings (44 percent) were the most common time for incidents to occur, with 38 percent of all incidents occurring on weekends. 62 percent were reportedly not witnessed by staff. “While incidents occur at virtually all times, evenings and weekends appear to be especially vulnerable time periods. Taking proactive, anticipatory, preventative measures and increasing staffing levels, the active presence of managers, and meaningful engagement during the evenings and weekends could reduce the incidence.”last_img read more

Photo gallery The oldest known insect parasite

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In what may be the oldest known example of one insect parasitizing another, researchers have unearthed a 52-million-year-old fossil of a beetle that takes advantage of an ant. This unusual specimen has many of the same traits as modern beetle parasites (see photo above) and is shedding new light on when and why ants first started welcoming strangers into their nests.These parasites are quite odd-looking as beetles go. So-called myrmecophilous (ant-loving) insects, they have evolved special brushes on their backs that secrete a substance the ants adore. This love potion makes the ant feed the beetle mouth to mouth and treat it like kin (as in the video below). The ants carry the beetle, dropping it off in the brood chamber, where it eats eggs and larvae. The beetles can’t survive on their own as they are quite specialized, with a head that’s basically a straw for taking liquid from the ants’ mouth and a much reduced, nonsegmented abdomen that toughens their bodies to withstand rough handling by the ants (seen in the picture below). Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Paleoentomologist David Grimaldi of the American Museum of Natural History first found the fossil beetle (see below) while analyzing the insects in 52-million-year-old amber in India. When he showed it to entomologist Joseph Parker of Columbia University, “my jaw hit the floor,” Parker recalls, because he didn’t think the ant-beetle relationship could be so old. The fossil beetle, dubbed Protoclaviger, is a missing link; it looks like its modern relatives, except that the head still has reduced mouthparts reminiscent of a nonparasitic existence when the mouthparts were used to catch prey, and abdomen is still segmented as in most insects, they report online today in Current Biology. Parker and Grimaldi, Specialized Myrmecophily at the Ecological Dawn of Modern Ants, CurrentBiology (2014), //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.068 Parker and Grimaldi, Specialized Myrmecophily at the Ecological Dawn of Modern Ants, CurrentBiology (2014), //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.068 The duo thinks the beetle evolved about 73 million years ago and spent the next 10 million years adapting to life among the ants, which were not very common at the time. In this 52-million-year-old amber from India, ants represent 6% of the insects, but in 20-million-year-old amber, they make up about 36%, having really taken off. Protoclaviger gave rise to rove beetles called Clavigeritae, which include more than 369 ant-loving species. Finding that these parasites predate the ants’ ascent indicates that these beetles diversified in parallel to the diversification of ants and not afterward, as many scientists have thought.last_img read more

Feature How Alan Sterns tenacity drive and command got a NASA spacecraft

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email STERN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHScientific enthusiasm at age 6.He was gaining other skill sets, too. In 1976, while NASA was landing the Viking probes on Mars, Stern finished his freshman year at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, and took a summer job selling Collier’s Encyclopedias. After a tutorial from his father, a salesman for a chemical company, he spent a couple of months crisscrossing the state, knocking on doors. He netted several thousand dollars, enough to trade in his beat-up Buick Skyhawk for an Oldsmobile Cutlass.Stern has told his father that 80% of what he does now is a sales game. “He learned that selling those encyclopedias, and he’s never forgotten it,” Leonard says. Stern demurs. “I object to putting [the Pluto mission] on par with selling encyclopedias,” he says. “If you equate the two, it does a disservice to all the other people involved.”Articulate in front of a microphone and at ease in front of a camera, Stern is an eager media subject, sometimes to the irritation of his colleagues. “He likes to generate press for himself, and he is sort of making [the mission] about him,” says Levison, one of the few people confident enough in his friendship with Stern to say so. Stern is aware of the criticism, and he declared his qualms about this profile at the outset. “There has to be a recognition that it’s not the Alan Stern mission,” he said.Besides honing his talent for persuasion, the young Stern was becoming a careful planner. After graduating from UT in 1978 as a physics major, Stern re-enrolled as a master’s student, and roomed with his brother. Happy Stern recalls discovering Alan’s day planner. It included not only a 5 a.m. wake up, but also entries, 5 minutes apart, for showering, brushing his teeth, and combing his hair. “You don’t think this is a little strange here, pal?” Happy asked him. To this day, Stern carries a sheet of SWRI stationery with him 7 days a week, a black-inked to-do list on which every entry is to be scratched out in red ink by bedtime.STERN GOT HIS FIRST TASTE of Pluto while a graduate student. Charon had just been discovered in 1978, and astronomers had seen hints that Pluto has an atmosphere—one that would experience strong seasons because of Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit and large tilt to the sun. For his master’s thesis, Stern modeled the range of atmospheric possibilities. The scope for creative work was enticing, he says. “It was like a green field. You could go anywhere with this.”Stern pursued a double master’s, in aerospace engineering and planetary science, in hope of becoming an astronaut candidate. He also became a certified pilot and flight instructor. He met his wife, Carole, while teaching a ground-school flying class, and later proposed to her under the Saturn V rocket on display at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. “You don’t forget that, I’ll tell ya,” she says.Stern never made the cut as an astronaut, in part because of a detached retina. So he did the next best thing: He built instruments for astronauts. By 1983, he was working as an engineer at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. He became the project scientist for Spartan Halley, a small satellite designed to study Halley’s Comet, and the principal investigator for the Comet Halley Active Monitoring Program, an experiment in which a crew member aboard the space shuttle would take pictures of the comet with a specially adapted 35-millimeter camera. Both instruments were loaded on the space shuttle Challenger for launch on 28 January 1986.“Dick Scobee, Ron McNair, Judy Resnik, [Ellison] Onizuka, Mike Smith.” Stern recites the names of five of the seven crew members who died that day when Challenger disintegrated just after launch, people he had trained and knew well. Stern was in Florida for the launch. Then he saw the disaster replayed again and again on the news. “Even if you tried, you couldn’t get away from this,” he says. It was not just a human loss for Stern, but also a professional disaster, his brother says. “Now he doesn’t have a plan, and my brother had a plan for brushing his teeth. I think he was a little lost then.”Stern did not stay down for long. He published his first book, one that seemed to be something of a therapy session. It was called The U.S. Space Program After Challenger: Where Are We Going? Then he went back to school. He finished his Ph.D. in 1989, in just 3 years, writing a dissertation on the evolution of comets and their detectability around other stars. The scientifically minded engineer had become a scientist for life.Not only that, but also a scientific empire builder. Knowing he was not cut out for an academic job—you can imagine his patience tested by faculty senate meetings—Stern found a home at SWRI headquarters in sleepy San Antonio, Texas. SWRI, a soft-money research institute, did most of its business with the Department of Defense. Stern made a pitch to his bosses to stake out a new SWRI outpost in Boulder, devoted to space science. Stern arrived in 1994—just him, a postdoctoral researcher, and a secretary. His first recruit was Levison, an expert on modeling planetary orbits and collisions. “A lot of people [at SWRI] were nervous about taking that sort of risk,” Levison says. “Alan in his mastery of politics made it all work.” The SWRI Boulder operation today employs 55 scientists and takes in $40 million a year in revenue.AS STERN’S STAR ROSE, so did Pluto’s. For the first 4 decades after its discovery, little could be said about Pluto except that it was small, reddish, and frigid. Even its orbit—observed so far only a third of the way through its 248-year circuit of the sun—was poorly understood. After Charon’s discovery, astronomers could watch its dance with Pluto to calculate both bodies’ masses. Then, in 1985, Charon and Pluto began eclipsing each other. Ground-based telescopes could barely resolve the two disks, but by measuring the peaks and dips of reflected light as the two orbs passed in and out of each other’s shadows, astronomers discovered that Pluto was about half as big as previously thought, and brighter than Charon. In 1988, Pluto eclipsed a distant star, and the light shining around Pluto’s edges afforded the first definitive evidence of an atmosphere.Then came a sign that Pluto was not alone: the 1992 discovery of the first Kuiper belt object (KBO). Pluto, it seemed, represented a much larger class of icy bodies. And because KBOs are thought to be unaltered since the birth of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago, Pluto held the potential of unlocking insights into the earliest days of planet formation.By the mid-1990s, astronomers were clamoring for a visit, and soon. In 1989, Pluto reached perihelion—the closest point to the sun in its elliptical orbit. Scientists wanted to get there before Pluto began its slow retreat from the sun and temperatures plummeted, collapsing its atmosphere into frozen nitrogen. What’s more, a spacecraft launched between 2001 and 2006 could take advantage of Jupiter’s gravity for a slingshot effect that would shave years off the trip.The Pluto Kuiper Express, a mission concept led by JPL, got the farthest. But in 2000, NASA science chief Ed Weiler canceled the mission when its projected costs surpassed $1 billion. Later that year, Weiler was persuaded to try something different: a Pluto competition. A competition for low-cost planetary missions led by principal investigators from outside NASA, called Discovery, had already yielded innovative proposals costing just hundreds of millions of dollars, well short of the billion-dollar budget of a flagship NASA mission. With target costs in the half a billion dollar range, a Pluto competition would sit somewhere between a Discovery mission and a flagship. NASA announced the competition on 20 December 2000.Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis, then the space department head at APL, leaped at the chance. At that point, only JPL had been trusted to build and operate NASA’s big planetary missions. But in 1996, APL had launched NASA’s first Discovery mission, an asteroid orbiter. With JPL’s budget-busting tendencies, Krimigis knew that APL would have a chance. And he knew exactly who should lead the proposal: Alan Stern. “He was the personification of the Pluto mission,” Krimigis says. “He was single-minded, and I liked his style.”The duo inked an agreement 2 days after the NASA announcement and began assembling their team. The final proposal was due on 18 September 2001—1 week after the terrorist attacks in New York City. With APL shut down, Stern created a “war room” in a nearby hotel to put the finishing touches on it. In the end, though, it wasn’t much of a competition, Weiler says. “Alan was the clear winner.”That was just the beginning of the fight. The Bush administration had installed a new NASA administrator, Sean O’Keefe, who was no fan of the mission, and was instead pushing the idea of nuclear fission–powered spacecraft. When the federal budget request for 2003 came out, in February 2002, the administration had zeroed out the Pluto mission, effectively canceling it.Weiler challenged Stern to rally planetary scientists’ support for the mission in the decadal survey, a once-a-decade, prioritized wish list that’s meant to reflect science’s unified voice. For months, Stern lobbied tirelessly. When the report appeared in July 2002, the Pluto mission held the top spot in the medium-size mission category, ahead of missions to the moon and to Jupiter. “That’s what really broke the logjam,” Weiler says. “My administration was not going to fight that.”Stern’s team raced to build New Horizons before the gravity assist window closed. The finished spacecraft carried seven instruments, including a student-built interplanetary dust counter and a sensor to measure the energy of particles escaping from Pluto’s atmosphere. Novelties were also stowed aboard: cremated ashes of Pluto’s discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh; an old U.S. stamp of Pluto with the caption “Not yet explored”; a piece of SpaceShipOne, private space company Virgin Galactic’s first suborbital space vehicle; and two quarters: one from Maryland, whose Senator Barbara Mikulski had given the mission crucial support at its lowest ebb, and one from Florida, where then-Governor Jeb Bush had signed off on the launch of the plutonium-laden spacecraft.On 13 January 2006, Stern, wearing a clean-room suit and a radiation counter, went to the top of an Atlas V rocket to take one last look. The probe had just been filled with plutonium. Stern posed for a picture, and New Horizons was shut within the payload bay. The Atlas had been souped up with extra boosters and a never-before-used third stage. Six days later, it launched like a bottle rocket, going supersonic within 30 seconds. “This was not a stately shuttle launch,” Stern says. New Horizons left Earth faster than any spacecraft ever before.WITH 9 YEARS TO GO until Pluto arrival, Stern suddenly had a lot more time on his hands. But not for long. In 2007, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin asked Stern to come to Washington, D.C., to lead the agency’s $5 billion science division. Upon arrival, Stern asserted his vision of fiscal discipline. He came down hard on missions such as the exoplanet-hunting Kepler telescope, denying it extra funds. He tried to discipline NASA’s costly array of Mars missions, too.Curiosity, the $2.5 billion, JPL-built Mars rover, was running hundreds of millions of dollars over budget in an effort to meet a 2009 launch window. Stern wanted to limit the pain to JPL and, more generally, to the Mars program, to ensure that other science wouldn’t suffer. In March 2008, he had a subordinate dispatch a letter to JPL ordering it to hold $4 million of money planned for two operating rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as a reserve for Curiosity. Stern was soon accused of shutting down the beloved older rovers. Griffin, learning about the letter from the media, reversed the decision.Stern says the $4 million was just a footnote; he and Griffin disagreed more generally over how to apportion the pain of Curiosity cost overruns. “I said, ‘You need to find someone else who can deal with that, because I can’t stomach it,’” Stern says. He offered his resignation, and Griffin accepted it.Weiler returned to Washington to resume his old job. Stern had overestimated the power of the position, Weiler says: “He had a hard time realizing you get to make very, very few decisions.”It was the second time in Stern’s life that he had suffered a big loss. Once again, he dusted himself off. He returned to SWRI as a half-time employee. His other time was spent consulting for commercial space companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin and also setting up a few of his own—some of which have raised eyebrows (see “Alan Stern’s worldly ventures”).But for now, Stern’s focus is squarely on Pluto. He will be living out of a hotel near APL for the coming weeks, enduring 4:30 a.m. wake-ups and battling his inbox, which at its peak reaches 500 emails a day. At the science team meeting, Stern is about to leave the podium and retreat to a corner table. There, flanked by his assistant, he will whipsaw between email, Twitter, Facebook, and Space.com, one eye always on the proceedings. But before he sits down, he leaves his troops with one last thought. “I said this when we won the project,” he says. “It’s true again. Our time is finally here.” The video cameras are poised. Alan Stern is loath to miss a cue. Dressed in all black, he strides across the parking lot. Short in stature, Stern has legs that move faster than most people’s, and a mind that is generally several steps ahead, too. The camera crew, from the Japanese network NHK, is one of four following Stern, a planetary scientist from the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in Boulder, Colorado. They draw a bead on him for an early morning establishing shot. Stern executes a quick flyby. “Hi, Mom,” he says, giving a thumbs-up as he enters the space science building at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.Above him in the atrium dangles a half-size replica of New Horizons, a NASA spacecraft. Its life-size twin is now cruising through space nearly 5 billion kilometers from Earth, adding more than a million kilometers to its journey each day. The spacecraft is surprisingly small, not much bigger than Stern. But, like him, it is packed with purpose. It is swaddled in layers of foil to protect its instruments and computers from the searing cold. Solar panels would be pointless so far from the sun, and so an engine of radioactive plutonium pulses inside. The backside is dominated by a large radio dish, necessary to talk with Earth across an expanse that takes 4.5 hours for light to traverse. G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCEThere are 249 contingency plans in place, attempts to identify—and then mitigate—all known risks. They include not just risks to the spacecraft, like clouds of debris lurking among Pluto’s moons, but also those on the ground. Should something happen to the main mission control room, for example, New Horizons can be operated from a backup building at APL. There is even a backup to the backup: The team has prepped a minimalist control room—basically a New Horizons–compatible computer—at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.And, oh, the practicing. Stern boasts of having performed 35 operational readiness tests—dress rehearsals for various aspects of the mission. In the biggest of these tests, 2 years ago, the spacecraft was put through the motions of its 9-day encounter, somewhere in the void between Uranus and Neptune, its instruments successfully returning precisely framed pictures of empty space. It’s not just about smooth operations; the team has also practiced making a splash. There have been three so-called New York Times readiness tests, in which the science team interpreted fake data on the fly, under time constraints, and produced press releases meant to be headline-worthy. To help, Stern hired six journalists, had them sign nondisclosure agreements, and embedded them within the science team. “I’d never heard of it,” Weaver says. “Several of us pushed back and said, ‘You know, we’re literate people. We can write our captions.’” Stern was unpersuaded. Pluto on 18 June at a distance of 31.5 million kilometers.New Horizons is closing in on Pluto, once thought to be the last of the planets and a lonely outpost on the solar system’s edge. Discovered in 1930, Pluto has remained something of a cipher, despite the best efforts of telescopes in space and on the ground. Its changing atmosphere and variegated surface remain mysterious, and even its size is not precisely known. In 2006, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, a move that still annoys Stern. Yet in a karmic reversal, Pluto’s scientific and public popularity—its brand, Stern might say—has soared. Pluto is now not the final stop in the solar system, but a gatekeeper to a new frontier: the Kuiper belt, a region of thousands of small icy bodies beyond Neptune’s orbit that was theorized by astronomer Gerard Kuiper in 1951 but confirmed only in 1992. No longer the smallest of the planets, Pluto is the king of the Kuiper belt.On 14 July, New Horizons will zoom past it—50 years to the day after Mariner 4 flew past Mars and returned the first pictures from another planet. Stern has been working toward this moment for half of that half-century: 10 years to muster political and scientific will for a mission, 5 years to build the spacecraft, and nearly 10 years to make the trip. He is the principal investigator for the $700 million mission—the largest and most expensive one ever controlled by a non-NASA employee. Now he is 99% of the way there.Stern has traveled from Boulder to APL on this day in May to kick off the final science team meeting before the encounter. In a conference room, 50 people hunch over their laptops. On a screen overhead, a video rouses the team: an electronic anthem mashed-up with snippets of control room dialogue from the Apollo 11 moon mission. “Guidance? Go! Control? Go!” shout the ghosts of mission controllers past. Hal Weaver, the project scientist for the mission and a laid-back foil to Stern and his intensity, says, “Alan is going to have this choreographed.” In the 30 days prior to reaching Pluto, Stern wants different pep songs played each morning.Stern takes the podium. Although everything is going great, he says, there are things that could still go wrong. “If it’s bugging you, let’s make sure we bring it up,” he says. His words are cautious, but his tone—commanding, emphatic, confident—is devoid of doubt. “We have the eyes of the world on this mission. It is unlike any other mission in recent history in terms of the expected level of attention. And in addition, we only get one shot at it. It’s not an orbiter. It’s not a lander.” It’s a flyby, at Mach 42, and Stern must wring as much out of the short-lived encounter as possible.Landings on planets (and comets) advertise their complexity with parachutes and airbags, harpoons and retrorockets. Even orbiters, with the tricky, fiery burn of orbital insertion, contain an element of drama. In comparison, a flyby seems a walk in the park—just gravity in motion, and a few clicks of a camera shutter. So you’ll forgive Stern for emphasizing how complicated the flyby actually is. In the 9 days of “core encounter”—7 days before closest approach on 14 July to 2 days after—New Horizons will run through 20,799 commands. It must scan the path ahead for hazardous debris, make minor trajectory corrections, and point instruments for 461 scientific observations as it passes within 12,500 kilometers of Pluto’s surface. In the hours just after closest approach, the spacecraft must pass through two tiny keyholes in space—the shadows of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon—so that it can use the eclipsed sun as a backlight to examine the thin ring of atmosphere around each body. As it leaves the system of five moons (at last count), New Horizons will continue to stare, and image Pluto’s dark side by Charon’s moonlight. “Despite the fact that we’ve done a lot of practicing, we can’t simulate everything,” Stern says. “My biggest concern is what we haven’t thought of.” NASA/JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY/SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe STARFIGHTERS INC.Stern trains for suborbital space flight in an F-104 jet in 2012.One does not get to the edge of the solar system by leaving things to chance. “This mission would not be flying unless he had shoved it down the throat of NASA,” says Stern’s longtime SWRI colleague, Hal Levison. “His force of will and his tenacity played a role in what’s happening right now.”SOL ALAN STERN WAS BORN on 22 November 1957, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of three children for Leonard and Joel Stern. He was a fussy baby, difficult to put down to bed. Taking him outside to see the moon seemed to induce sleep. “After many, many repeated applications of that, the first word out of his mouth was ‘moon,’” says Leonard Stern, his father. “Not ‘mama’ or ‘dada,’ but ‘moon.’”His fascination with celestial objects was galvanized by the space race of the 1960s. He sneaked out of bed to watch late-night TV broadcasts of the Gemini and Mercury flights. He exhausted the local library’s selection of space books. He devoured the science fiction of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. But he wanted more. “During one of the Apollo missions, I saw Walter Cronkite showing off the flight plan,” he says. “It just mesmerized me. All this detail! That’s what I wanted.” He requested the materials from NASA, but was told he had to be a journalist or an author. So in the early 1970s, he wrote a book—about a hypothetical mission to a comet. His grandfather’s secretary typed up the 100-plus pages, and Stern sent it off to NASA. “Next thing you know, a box this big shows up at my house, filled with Apollo manuals.” By then, the family had moved to Dallas, Texas, and Stern was enrolled at St. Mark’s, a prep school with a planetarium, an observatory, and an astronomy club. “That is all my brother ate, drank, slept, and breathed,” recalls his brother, Leonard “Happy” Stern. “Everything in his being was about how to be in space.” PAUL FETTERSStern speaks to the New Horizons science team in May.STERN’S RESTLESSNESS has many people wondering what he will do after the Pluto mission. That won’t be for a while. In August, the team will choose the mission’s next target: a small KBO. There are two candidates, each about 50 kilometers across and reachable in 2019. New Horizons’ next milestone will occur in the late 2040s, when it crosses the edge of the solar system, where the thin wind of particles from the sun peters out—though the spacecraft’s plutonium engine will have faded away a decade earlier. After exiting the solar system, New Horizons will wander the galaxy interminably, a relic that will outlive Earth, when the sun goes red giant and swallows it up.Leonard Stern sees a similar inexhaustibility in his son. “I don’t see Alan cutting back. He’s just not built that way. I think he thinks there’s just so much more that he needs to know. Nobody’s driving him but himself.”Related content:”Alan Stern’s worldly ventures”last_img read more

Hospitals suspension of evidencebased medicine expert sparks new controversy

first_imgSCANPIX DENMARK/REUTERS/Newscom Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Gretchen Vogel, Martin EnserinkNov. 7, 2018 , 5:00 PM Hospital’s suspension of evidence-based medicine expert sparks new controversy Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The researcher at the center of a controversy roiling Cochrane, an international network of doctors and researchers, headquartered in London, that promotes evidence-based medicine, has been suspended as head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen. Peter Gøtzsche, who was a founding member of Cochrane in 1993, has attracted attention for his outspoken critiques of pharmaceutical companies—and sometimes of Cochrane itself. In September, Cochrane’s governing board voted to remove him for “a consistent pattern of disruptive and inappropriate behaviours.” That decision led four other board members to resign in protest. Two weeks later, Gøtzsche said he would withdraw the Nordic Cochrane Centre from the international organization.That was unacceptable to the board, however. In an interview with Science last month, Cochrane co-chair Marguerite Koster, a senior manager at Kaiser Permanente, said Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson would try to convince the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and the Danish government, which funds the Nordic Cochrane Center, to keep the center within the collaboration. Because he’s been ousted as a member, “Peter Gøtzsche no longer is the director of the Nordic Cochrane Center,” she argued. The board also took control of the website for the center and removed Gøtzsche’s statements about the case from it; he has since posted updates about the fight on his own website.It’s unclear whether Cochrane’s lobbying has had any effect, but yesterday, the Rigshospitalet, which hosts the Nordic Cochrane Centre, announced it had suspended Gøtzsche. “We’re striving to ensure that the Nordic Cochrane Centre continues as part of the international Cochrane Collaboration,” Deputy Chief Executive Per Jørgensen said in a statement. A spokesperson told Science the hospital would not give any further reasons for the suspension. Assistant Director Karsten Juhl Jørgensen has been appointed as acting head of the center, and the hospital has asked the University of Copenhagen to take over supervision of its graduate students. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe In response, more than 3500 health care professionals, scientists, and public health advocates signed a letter protesting the hospital’s move to the Danish minister of health, who oversees the hospital as part of the national health system. Spanish politician David Hammerstein Mintz, one of the Cochrane board members who resigned in September, coordinated the petition, which gathered signatures for 3 days. Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of The BMJ, and Iain Chalmers, another founder of Cochrane, were among the signers. The letter states that Gøtzsche’s work has “played a pivotal role in favor of the transparency of clinical data, the priority of public health needs and the defense of rigorous medical research carried out independently of conflicts of interest.” The signers urge the minister “to reconsider this possible dismissal.”Gerd Antes, an evidence-based medicine expert at the Center for Advanced Studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and former head of the Cochrane Germany in Freiburg says he is “amazed” at the number of signatures. “How do you get 3000 people signing something in 3 days? This shows how wrong the board is,” he says. He says although Gøtzsche “has made mistakes … the actions of the board were devastatingly incompetent.”Gøtzsche says he was informed last week that he was being suspended. “The only reason that they gave was that they no longer had confidence in my leadership,” he told Science. He says he is working with a lawyer to challenge the move.Cochrane, meanwhile, is calling for applications for board members to replace the four who resigned. Applications close next week, and voting is scheduled to begin later this month.last_img read more