First editing of human embryos carried out in United States

•July 28, 2017 • 2 Comments

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-gene-editing-idUSKBN1AC0CM?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FtechnologyNews+%28Reuters+Technology+News%29

Technology that allows alteration of genes in a human embryo has been used for the first time in the United States, according to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, which carried out the research.

The OHSU research is believed to have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases, according to Technology Review, which first reported the news.

None of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days, according to the report.

Some countries have signed a convention prohibiting the practice on concerns it could be used to create so-called designer babies.

Results of the peer-reviewed study are expected to be published soon in a scientific journal, according to OHSU spokesman Eric Robinson.

The research, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, head of OHSU’s Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, involves a technology known as CRISPR that has opened up new frontiers in genetic medicine because of its ability to modify genes quickly and efficiently.

CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can selectively trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace it with new stretches of DNA.

Scientists in China have published similar studies with mixed results.

In December 2015, scientists and ethicists at an international meeting held at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington said it would be “irresponsible” to use gene editing technology in human embryos for therapeutic purposes, such as to correct genetic diseases, until safety and efficacy issues are resolved.

But earlier this year, NAS and the National Academy of Medicine said scientific advances make gene editing in human reproductive cells “a realistic possibility that deserves serious consideration.”

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“The OHSU research is believed to have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases, according to Technology Review, which first reported the news.”

“safely” and “efficiently”..wow..thats a quick diagnosis and result..

“Some countries have signed a convention prohibiting the practice on concerns it could be used to create so-called designer babies.”

thats exactly what it is..

and embryos are humans, its just that they are only days or weeks old..what a concept eh?..but yeah..

401

Venezuela crisis: US sanctions 13 top officials

•July 28, 2017 • 3 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40731041

The US government has imposed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials as pressure mounts on President Nicolás Maduro ahead of a controversial vote for a new constituent assembly.

The sanctions freeze the US assets of those affected, and stop US entities from doing business with them.

Those targeted include the interior minister and the head of the army.

Last week, President Donald Trump vowed “strong and swift economic actions” if Mr Maduro held the poll, due on Sunday.

“Who do these imperialists in the United States think they are?” Mr Maduro enquired on Wednesday. “The government of the world?”

He also called the sanctions “illegal, insolent and unprecedented”.

The vote, which Venezuela says will proceed as planned, is to choose the 545 members of a new constituent assembly that would rival the opposition-held National Assembly.

Critics say the president is trying to cement a dictatorship. He argues it is the only way to bring peace back to the divided nation.

The US sanctions also target the head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, and former vice president Elias Jaua, who is leading the presidential commissions organising Sunday’s vote.

https://www.rt.com/usa/397628-venezuela-sanctions-democracy-threats/

Speaking to reporters on background, two senior Trump administration officials said the sanctions were a message to the government in Caracas not to proceed with the election for the Constituent Assembly, scheduled for July 30.

“It is our hope that Maduro will change his mind, but if he does go through with it, they can expect strong and swift economic actions,” one official said. Potential future measures include financial sanctions that would ban the use of dollars in buying and selling Venezuelan oil, or a total ban on oil imports into the US, Venezuela’s biggest customer.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was dismissive of the measures, calling Washington’s sanctioning of officials a“recognition” of their loyalty to the country.

He said the sanctions represent a moral “victory” for the Venezuelan state, Correo del Orinoco quotes.

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somebody wants a change of leader..those creating the angst are the most likely culprits..who are we looking at?

“The US government has imposed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials as pressure mounts on President Nicolás Maduro”

mmm..

“It is our hope that Maduro will change his mind, but if he does go through with it, they can expect strong and swift economic actions,” one official said.”

wow..isnt that interfering in another countrys democratically elected government?..hypocrites!

401

Daimler to recall 3 million diesel cars across Europe in a bid to cut emissions

•July 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/daimler-recall-3-million-cars-cut-diesel-emissions-europe-germany-a7847601.html

German carmaker Daimler has said that it is voluntarily recalling 3 million diesel cars across Europe in a bid to cut harmful emissions.

The company, which owns the Mercedes and Smart brands, said that its board of management had approved measures to cut pollution, including €220m (£196m) of investment to update the 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel engine cars on roads across the region.

“The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars.

“We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions,” he added.

The company said that updates to the new vehicles would involve no cost for customers. The implementation of the measures will be starting in the next weeks. Due to the large number of vehicles involved, the updates will last “over a longer period of time”, Daimler said.

The auto giant on Tuesday also said that it would be rolling out its new four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine – first launched in the new E-Class in 2016 – across its entire model portfolio.

Carmakers across the world have been particularly sensitive to concerns around harmful emissions since Volkswagen in September 2015 admitted that it had installed so-called defeat devices in as many as 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015.

The devices made cars appear to be complying with environmental standards when in fact they were emitting pollutants that researchers said were much higher than the applicable European limit.

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uh oh daimler..you may have committed the highest act of infamy..start praying and tithing hard because the heads of the green religion are after your heads..

“Carmakers across the world have been particularly sensitive to concerns around harmful emissions since Volkswagen in September 2015 admitted that it had installed so-called defeat devices in as many as 11 million diesel cars sold worldwide between 2008 and 2015.”

alarmism out of control..

401

Goldman downgrades beer stocks as millennials prefer wine

•July 28, 2017 • 1 Comment

https://www.rt.com/business/397343-goldman-downgrades-beer-stocks/

Goldman Sachs has cut ratings of America’s Boston Beer and Constellation Brands due to sluggish beer sales and a shift in demographic tastes. It has found the younger generation prefer wine to beer.

“As we explored back in 2014, we expected a cyclical rebound in total alcohol consumption post-recession,” said Goldman’s chief analyst Freda Zhuo in a note seen by CNBC. “The cause [for shifts in beer and wine market penetration] is younger groups shifting away from beer.”

The research suggested young drinkers aren’t consuming as much alcohol as previous generations did. Millennials are trading beer for wine and spirits, according to Goldman which has lowered its 12-month price target for Boston Beer to $110 from $140.

“Despite the Boston Beer Company’s commitment to turn around Sam Adams beer and Angry Orchard cider, we see no improvement in sight and see downside risk to fiscal year 2017 volume guidance.”

The price target for Constellation stock was trimmed to $210 from $212.

Statistics show beer penetration across the United States fell in 2016 while for wine and spirits it stayed the same. Goldman lowered its overall US beer volume forecast to a fall of 0.7 percent in 2017.

Founded in 1972, Constellation Brands is an international beverage alcohol company producing beer, wine and spirits with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy.

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this downgrade proves the male is becoming effeminate! 😛

i lost my taste for beer years ago..far to many other nicer brews on the market these days..

401

A stereoscopic method of verifying Apollo lunar surface images

•July 27, 2017 • 9 Comments

http://www.aulis.com/stereoparallax.htm

Professor of University of California G. Schiller has noted: “To be successful, manipulation should remain invisible. The success of the manipulation is guaranteed when the manipulated believe that everything happens naturally and inevitably. In short, manipulation requires a false reality in which its presence will not be felt”. Very often this false reality is amplified by the media.

In the convergence of these Apollo 15 pictures, more than a million equations (the number of pixels in the images) were calculated obeying the laws of optics. In order to obtain a zero stereoscopic effect for a remote landscape, typical distortion grids were generated around the photographic session sites.

Numerous Apollo 15 photo examples indicate an identical distortion grid – a projection screen at the distance of 100-120 metres from the front of the studio stage. A serious falsification of the true lunarscape, in particular, an artificial trench 30-60 metres in width given for the lunar Rima Hadley which is actually 1,200 metres in width; the image of this remote lunarscape being projected onto the curved background screen; and ‘astronaut’ photographers taking pictures in front of it in a studio set.

The Apollo 15 photographic record contradicts the stereoscopic parallax verification method. The apparent change in the relative positions of objects by moving the camera when the camera angles are separated by several tens of cms show that:

  • the distance to distant objects such as mountains is not tens of kilometres but is no more
    than a few hundred metres;
  • the landscape is not continuous, but with clear lines of separation;
  • there is movement between nearby sections of the panorama relative to other sections. 

Thus, based on the above examples, this study concludes that the Apollo 15 photographic record does NOT depict real lunarscapes with distant backgrounds located more than a kilometre away from the camera.

These pictures were, without doubt, taken in a studio set – up to 300 metres in size. A complex panorama mimicking the lunarscape shows degrees of movement, such as horizontal and vertical changes to give an impression of imaginary distance to the objects and perspective.

Dr Oleg Oleynik

Continue here: http://www.aulis.com/stereoparallax.htm

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thanks to xxx for the link..

take the time to push through this article..its great..their conclusions are very controversial..

i smell stanley kubrick..

401

As Beijing joins climate fight Chinese companies build coal plants

•July 27, 2017 • 4 Comments

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/climate/china-energy-companies-coal-plants-climate-change.html?smid=tw-shar e

When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

But new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade.

These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin. Many of the plants are in China, but by capacity, roughly a fifth of these new coal power stations are in other countries.

Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.

The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord, which aims to keep the increase in global temperatures from preindustrial levels below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Electricity generated from fossil fuels like coal is the biggest single contributor globally to the rise in carbon emissions, which scientists agree is causing the Earth’s temperatures to rise.

“Even today, new countries are being brought into the cycle of coal dependency,” said Heffa Schücking, the director of Urgewald.

The United States may also be back in the game. On Thursday, Mr. Trump said he wanted to lift Obama-era restrictions on American financing for overseas coal projects as part of an energy policy focused on exports.

“We have nearly 100 years’ worth of natural gas and more than 250 years’ worth of clean, beautiful coal,” he said. “We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe.”

The frenzied addition of coal plants underscores how the world is set to remain dependent on coal for decades, despite fast growth in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power.

In China, concerns over smog and climate change have prompted a move toward renewables, as have slowing economic growth and a gradual shift in the Chinese economy away from heavy manufacturing and toward consumer industries. The addition of domestic capacity, though large on paper, does not mean there will be growth in coal consumption. The current coal plants are operating far below capacity because demand for coal-generated power has slowed considerably.

But overseas, the Chinese are playing a different game.

Shanghai Electric Group, one of the country’s largest electrical equipment makers, has announced plans to build coal power plants in Egypt, Pakistan and Iran with a total capacity of 6,285 megawatts — almost 10 times the 660 megawatts of coal power it has planned in China.

The China Energy Engineering Corporation, which has no public plans to develop coal power in China, is building 2,200 megawatts’ worth of coal-fired power capacity in Vietnam and Malawi. Neither company responded to requests for comment.

Of the world’s 20 biggest coal plant developers, 11 are Chinese, according to a database published by Urgewald.

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this is a great article..it flies in the face of anything the green religion tells you..

china is fooling everybody..

“Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal”

oh..

“Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.”

i thought coal was dead??

“Of the world’s 20 biggest coal plant developers, 11 are Chinese”

401

Sperm counts among western men have halved in last 40 years

•July 27, 2017 • 16 Comments

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jul/25/sperm-counts-among-western-men-have-halved-in-last-40-years-study

Sperm counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, research suggests, although the drivers behind the decline remain unclear.

The latest findings reveal that between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate of men in western countries has fallen by an average of 1.4% a year, leading to an overall drop of just over 52%.

“The results are quite shocking,” said Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

While infertility treatments such as IVF can offer solutions to potential ramifications of the decline on one level, little has been done to address the root of the issue, said Levine, pointing out low sperm counts might also be an indicator of poorer health among men more generally.

“This is a classic under the radar huge public health problem that is really neglected,” he said.

It is not the first time researchers have highlighted concerns about sperm counts, but previous studies have been criticised, with some saying the decline could be down to changing laboratory methods, or studies failing to take into account whether participants were selected on the basis of infertility problems.

But the authors of the latest study say they have addressed such concerns, analysing only studies that used the same sperm count method, were of a reasonable size and involved men not known to have infertility problems or disease, among other measures.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update by an international team of researchers, drew on 185 studies conducted between 1973 and 2011, involving almost 43,000 men. The team split the data based on whether the men were from western countries – including Australia and New Zealand as well as countries in North America and Europe – or from elsewhere.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40719743

Dr Levine, an epidemiologist, told the BBC that if the trend continued humans would become extinct.

“If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future,” he said.

“Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.”

Scientists not involved in the study have praised the quality of the research but say that it may be premature to come to such a conclusion.

Dr Levine, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, found a 52.4% decline in sperm concentration, and a 59.3% decline in total sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The study also indicates the rate of decline among men living in these countries is continuing and possibly even increasing.

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this is possibly the biggest story of the year yet it barely ripples in the mainstream..

“The results are quite shocking,” said Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.”

in 40 years western mens sperm counts have dropped over 50%..think about that!

from what?

why is this happening?

how does t stop? does it stop?

401

 
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