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ScienceShot: Oldest Cardiovascular System Found in Ancient Shrimplike Creature

first_imgThey were crushed. Without warning, 520 million years ago an ancient tsunami or storm trapped 50 shrimplike creatures under layer after layer of fine dirt particles and mud in the seabed that formerly covered much of southwest China. But rather than pulverize them, the powdery silt and Cambrian oceanic chemicals preserved the 6-centimeter-long animals, known as Fuxianhuia protensa, with impeccable statuesque detail (top panel). This underwater Pompeii initially revealed the ancestral brains of arthropods—such as spiders, scorpions, and crustaceans—and today, scientists report in Nature Communications the discovery of the oldest known cardiovascular system (lower panel). It was both modern and unsophisticated. A simple, tubelike heart was buried in the creature’s belly—or thorax—and shot single blood vessels into the 20 or so segments of its primitive body. In contrast, x-ray scans of the specimen revealed profoundly intricate channels in the head and neck. The brain was well supplied with looping blood vessels, which extended branches into the arthropod’s alienlike eyestalks and antennae and rivaled the complexity of today’s crustaceans. From this Gordian architecture, the researchers can now speculate about the critter’s lifestyle. Its brain required abundant oxygen, so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking. The ancient arthropod could likely peer around its murky marine environment, taking cues from a relatively advanced visual and sensory system, the researchers say.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

US rules clarify incentive levels for wellness programmes

first_imgThe US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules clarifying how Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to workplace wellness programmes that offer incentives and request personal health information from employees and their spouses.This follows proposed rules in 2015 to address the issue as to whether offering an incentive to employees and dependents for the provision of health information undermines the voluntary status of corporate wellbeing programmes.Under the final ADA rule, wellness programmes that are part of a group health plan and ask questions about employees’ health or include medical examinations, may offer incentives of up to 30% of the total cost of self only coverage.The ADA rule requires all wellness programmes that obtain employee medical information to be voluntary, regardless of whether they are part of a group plan. Employers may not require employees to participate and cannot deny access to health coverage to employees who choose not to participate.Employers must also provide a notice to staff to explain what medical information will be obtained, how it will be used, and who will receive it.The final GINA ruling states that the maximum incentive permitted for a spouse’s participation may not exceed 30% of the cost of self only coverage. No incentives are allowed in exchange for current or past heath information of employees’ children or for specified genetic information of the employee and their family.This rule applies where a portion of the incentive offered is for an employees’ spouse to answer questions about their health or to undertake a medical examination.GINA also applies to all wellness programmes, whether or not they form part of a group health plan.Both final rules include data protection safeguards. Information from wellness programmes can only be disclosed to employers on an aggregate basis and employers cannot require employees or their families to agree to the sale, exchange, transfer or disclosure of health information to participate in a wellness programme or receive an incentive.The final rules will come into effect in 2017. Jenny Yang, chair at EEOC, said: “The EEOC received comments on both rules from a broad array of stakeholders and considered them carefully in developing this final rule. The commission worked to harmonise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) goal of allowing incentives to encourage participation in wellness programmes with ADA and GINA provisions that require that participation in certain types of wellness programmes is voluntary. These rules make clear that the ADA and GINA provide important safeguards to employees to protect against discrimination.”last_img read more