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Israels Beresheet moon landing attempt ends with a crash

first_img Israeli moon mission makes orbit ahead of Sea of Serenity landing SpaceX sends Israel’s historic moon mission on its way Originally published April 11, 12:32 p.m. PT.Update, 6:40 p.m. PT: Adds traditional information regarding X Prize and Beresheet’s final image. The failed mission will be remembered as bittersweet.”Well, we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried, and the achievement of getting where we got is really tremendous,” said Morris Khan, an Israeli entrepreneur who provided a large portion of the funding for Beresheet, as he addressed the observers near the control room. “We can be proud.”NASA commended the mission in a tweet: “We congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.” Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 pilot, also had kind words. “Never lose hope. Your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all,” he tweeted. While @NASA regrets the end of the @TeamSpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing, we congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. https://t.co/XwHpN5M8Pu pic.twitter.com/cfMtP4srDr— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 11, 2019 4:13 Beresheet launched on Feb. 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and overcame a brief technical glitch along the way. The lander was designed to take pictures of its surroundings and measure the moon’s magnetic field. It was even able to snap one final, breathtaking image as it approached the lunar surface and beam it back to Earth.SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had placed a time capsule in the lander filled with digital files covering Israel’s history and heritage. That time capsule was likely lost along with the spacecraft. The dream didn’t quite come to fruition, but Beresheet’s journey to lunar orbit was still an important moment in space history that made the moon feel more in reach for the world. Although SpaceIL didn’t quite make the deadline, the X Prize foundation was inspired by its attempt, creating a new prize dubbed the Moonshot Award. Originally, the foundation stated “for their achievement upon landing on the moon”, X Prize would hand SpaceIL the first Moonshot Award — and $1 million.Of course, Beresheet did not make it to the surface in one piece but it did still land — albeit with a little more force than hoped. As a result, the foundation said it would still be providing SpaceIL with the cash. Beresheet snapped this partial selfie during its approach to the moon. SpaceIL/IAI Israel’s Beresheet would have been the most unlikely lunar lander in history, but the spacecraft didn’t survive its reach for the moon’s surface Thursday.SpaceIL’s live broadcast followed the tense maneuvers needed to get the lunar lander down to the Sea of Serenity on the near side of the moon. The Beresheet team members worked in the control room as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watched from a spectator area.The landing process suffered some glitches when the main engine cut out and mission control lost communication. The disappointed team reacted calmly to the failure. Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos 2 They may not have had a successful landing this time, but @TeamSpaceIL has still made history. They will be the recipients of our first ever $1M Moonshot Award, in honor of their achievements and their milestone as the first privately-funded entity to orbit the Moon. 🌒 #moonshot pic.twitter.com/ErUfjqvvxY— XPRIZE (@xprize) April 11, 2019 Beresheet aims for the moon Share your voice This was a mission of firsts. Beresheet was to be Israel’s first moon lander, which would have put the country in an exclusive club that includes the US, Soviet Union and China. In addition, nonprofit SpaceIL would have been the first private, nongovernment group to set a lander on the moon’s surface.SpaceIL was originally conceived to compete in Google’s Lunar X Prize which, in 2007, threw down a challenge to private companies to build a spacecraft that could land on the moon. The original deadline to claim the $30 million in prize money was originally 2014, but it was extended out until 2018 before an announcement that the prize would go unclaimed. Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashes on the moon Comments Now playing: Watch this: Space Tags Sci-Tech 12 Photoslast_img read more

A week for stock specific action while market searches for new direction

first_imgThe Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) logo is seen at the BSE building in Mumbai. The market saw some profit taking after the record highs it hit last week.ReutersThe week ahead may seem listless after three weeks of rollercoaster ride beginning with the exit poll results during which the benchmark indices hit new highs twice. The Bharatiya Janata a Party’s (BJP) dream performance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election and the smooth transition to Modi 2.0 have kept the market buoyant, but global cues have been keeping indices under pressure.The National Stock Exchange (NSE) benchmark Nifty fell back below the key 12,000 points last week and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index Sensex dipped under 39,000 points.The market snapped its rally of three consecutive weeks on June 7 as the bears managed to claw back Dalal Street from the bulls. Traders booked profit after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) monetary policy committee decisions went in line with expectations, but offering nothing more, a media report said. Nifty closed below the psychologically important level of 12,000 points twice. The liquidity crisis plaguing non-banking finance companies (NBFC) exacerbated by the Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited’s (DHFL) default on debt repayment, worsening US-China trade war tensions and a possible delay in monsoon dented market sentiment, the report in MoneyControl website said. Short covering was seen in banking and financials.The 30-share Sensex shed 0.25 percent and the Nifty50 lost 0.44 percent in the week that ended on June 7 against its more than 5 percent rally in the previous three straight weeks. There are no major cues barring the release of the industrial output and inflation data in the coming week and the market is expected to remain rangebound with more openings for a more stock specific action, the report says. The market will be on edge watching the monsoon updates and any triggers in the upcoming Union Budget FY20, experts said. New Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who will present her first budget on July 5, is under pressure to announce tax incentives for individual taxpayers and corporations to boost consumer demand and investments.PTIThe reaction of the global markets in response to developments in the US-China trade tensions will also be closely watched. The global markets have somewhat factored in the tensions and seemed to relax on Friday, ending their losing streak. This could act as a major cue for the Indian markets.”Indications are mixed at present which could result in further consolidation in Nifty. Traders should opt for a stock-specific trading approach and maintain positions on both sides,” the report quoted Jayant Manglik of Religare Broking as saying. His view is that the progress of the monsoon and global cues would largely dictate the market trend in the week ahead.”We remain in a structural uptrend for the markets but expect consolidation for the near term. A range-bound movement at 11,700-12,100 for the next few weeks is expected,” the report said quoting Sahaj Agrawal of Kotak Securities. The market will be keenly listening to what Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has to say about the preparations for the FY20 Union Budget, scheduled to be presented on July 5.last_img read more

Pvt Engg colleges should stress on practical training

first_imgKolkata: State minister for Technical Education, Training and Skill Development Purnendu Basu urged the private engineering colleges to constantly keep pace with the technological advancement and stress on practical training. “There is no harm to think of doing business but your main aim should be to churn out qualitatively developed students who are fit for the job market. You should strive towards becoming centres of excellence to attract students from other states also. A number of private engineering colleges across the country have closed down as they have been deemed ‘substandard’ by the All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE). We have to keep this in mind and constantly strive towards upgrading curriculum as per requirement of the industry,” Basu said at the inaugural programme of the three-day Education Interface at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsEducation Interface is a platform that provides a plethora of opportunities for aspirants and offers pre-counselling sessions for students and guardians seeking guidance and career opportunities in the field of Medical and Engineering. “I will appeal to the organisers to make this interface tripartite from the next edition. We have students and representatives from a number of private engineering colleges. You should also involve the industry to make this education fair more successful. This will enable students to have a better idea of the stream they should take up and the requirement of the industry under one umbrella,” he added. The minister also appealed to the organisers and the private engineering colleges participating in the fair to host more such events so that students have a clear-cut idea about the stream they should take up.State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay who attended the programme said that parents should not force a career option on their wards. “Students should not be compelled to take up higher studies at the behest of their parents. Parents should let their wards pursue a career of their own choice,” he maintained.last_img read more

May use India as backdrop of my book

first_imgYann Martel, the Canadian author of the Man Booker Prize-winning ‘Life of Pi’, finds India diverse, dazzling and a place with a great tradition of storytelling and says the country may very well be the backdrop of one of his future novels. Martel, who first travelled to the Indian sub-continent in 1996 with two little-known books against his name, talked about how the country altered his perceptions about faith and deeply inspired him to use the “animal symbolism” in his writings. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”India is so diverse, alive, varied and true to itself. It is so colourful and lively that it was literally quiet shocking for me when I first came here. You go to other countries… they are beautiful in a more sedate way. There is nothing sedate about India,” he said. “Maybe I would use India as a backdrop of my story. That would depend on my coming back here again. I still haven’t seen much of the country yet. May be I will read the Ramayana one day and feel that I have got to write this book on India,” added Martel. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”There is tremendous tradition of story-telling in India, both among the native Indians and the city dwellers. Even foreign writers have come to India and written novels on this country. So definitely there is something extremely stimulating about India,” he noted. The author, whose revered novel ‘Life of Pi’ sold over 13 million copies around the world and was transformed into an Academy Award winning film by Ang Lee in 2012, said his visit to the sub-continent helped him embark upon a new journey as a writer. “For me India was the country of all the Gods and all the animals. I come from a country like Canada which does not have many Gods as it is mostly a secular country. Also there are not a lot of animals in the public places,” Martel said, adding that he was taken aback by the presence of animals in Hindu mythology. “It made me look into two things that I never really considered much in life, religion and animals. “It inspired me to use the animal symbolizing the divine. In my earlier novels animals were just minor characters. But during …Pi, I realised that animals can be really strong characters. We seem to confine animals to the world of children’s literature but to me their symbolic potential to me is infinite. They act as a rich vehicle for a story teller,” he explained. The author, however, said he has no plans to write screenplays despite the massive success of the Life of Pi as a film. “I like writing novels. Writing screenplays are a small part of something bigger, whereas writing novel is a thing in itself,” he said.last_img read more

Long delays on M6 after camper van fire blows smoke across motorway

first_imgPunter found hiding in bushes Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailDrivers are being warned to expect long delays on the M6 as a camper van fire blows smoke across the motorway. Emergency services were called to the scene on the northbound carriageway between junction 14, for Stafford North, and 15, for Stoke-on-Trent, shortly before 2.45pm. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they were attending the incident not far from junction 15. Traffic monitoring company Inrix reports all three lanes are being temporarily held as the fire service arrive at the scene. An Inrix spokesman said: “All traffic is being temporarily held and there is stationary traffic due to vehicle fire and smoke blowing across the road on M6 Northbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent). In the roadworks area. Read MorePolice name man arrested and charged with attempted rape of young girl   “All traffic was held at around 2.45pm. Currently we are unable to tell what type of vehicle is on fire, but the fire service is in attendence.” Highways England is also aware of the incident. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Police search for missing woman Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital windowcenter_img Driver named following fatal collision Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app  – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store , or get the Android version from Google Play .  Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter . Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram .last_img read more

Rep Howell lauds Action Plans focus on skilledtrades education

first_img Categories: Howell News,News ##### State Rep. Gary Howell today joined his House colleagues in rolling out the 2017-18 House Republican Action Plan, which he says will be a blueprint for the future.Howell, of North Branch, said the Action Plan’s focus on skilled-trades training is something he has prioritized for years. As president of the Lapeer County Intermediate Board of  Education, he has long emphasized the need to train young people for vocational careers.“Job creators in Lapeer County are hiring well-trained workers for skilled-trades positions, and we must do all we can do on the state level to prepare people for those well-paying jobs,” Howell said. “At the Intermediate School District I had a role in operating the vocational-technical center, and know how important it is to train people to work in the trades.”Howell also said he is supportive of the tax relief that is emphasized in the Action Plan.“Some families in Lapeer County are still living paycheck-to-paycheck, and we in state government need to tighten our belts as well,” Howell said. “Reducing the income tax will help give those families peace of mind.”The House Action Plan can be seen here: http://gophouse.org/best-way-forward/.center_img 16Feb Rep. Howell lauds Action Plan’s focus on skilled-trades educationlast_img read more

Rep Yaroch votes to safeguard retirement benefit plans for first responders

first_img State Representative Jeff Yaroch of Richmond today voted in favor of a bill package protecting retirement benefits for police, firefighters and other local government employees.“Our first responders work hard protecting their communities and we need to protect the benefits they were promised,” said Yaroch, a former firefighter/paramedic of over 25 years. “We need to be diligent in setting a path that properly funds the benefits that were promised, while being accountable and transparent to the taxpayer. All the stakeholders must come together to understand the scope of the problems and find a way forward for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.”The new proposal will act as an initial detection method, stressing transparency and proper reporting from local governments each year to identify those who are financially troubled. Municipalities failing to meet recommended criteria to alleviate their debts will be flagged as underfunded and tasked with solving the problem. The reporting system follows specific recommendations of a bipartisan task force assembled by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year.Communities will be required to make a minimum level of payments related to retirement systems for new hires.“This is not just about what local government has done,” said Yaroch. “State government needs to be a better partner with local government by fulfilling its broken promises of funding, stopping the unfunded mandates and addressing archaic requirements that make local government inefficient. We need to keep the promises that we have made to police officers, firefighters and other public employees for the work that they do. That’s the right thing to do.”House Bill 5298 and its components advanced to the Senate for further consideration. Categories: News,Yaroch News 07Dec Rep. Yaroch votes to safeguard retirement benefit plans for first responderslast_img read more

Rep Brann votes to lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers

first_img Categories: Brann News 09May Rep. Brann votes to lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers State Rep. Tommy Brann today voted to approve a landmark plan to fix Michigan’s broken car insurance system and reduce rates for drivers all across the state.Brann said the plan offers drivers personal injury coverage options, reins in medical costs and fights fraud – reforms designed to end Michigan’s long-standing tenure as the state with the highest car insurance rates in the nation.Michigan is the only state to mandate unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The plan approved today allows people currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.“This is one of the issues I hear about most from people in our community,” Brann, of Wyoming, said after the vote. “I’m glad we were able to deliver a solution that lowers rates. I fought hard to keep the option to continue purchasing coverage that provides unlimited lifetime health care if they are injured in a car crash. This was not in the Senate bill and is important to me. This is the option my wife and I will be selecting – and I hope others will seriously consider it as well – but people deserve to weigh their options.”The plan:Guarantees lower personal injury protection rates for all Michigan drivers;Gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies;Stops potential price gouging on medical services for car accident victims;Combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

Skys catchup service is now the most comprehens

first_imgSky’s catch-up service is now the “most comprehensive in the UK” according to digital media consultancy Decipher. In its quarterly audit of VOD on the major UK DTV platforms and OTT services, Decipher named Sky as leader in the catch-up space both in the number of channels it has and in its unique assets.However, Netflix was named as the UK video-on-demand frontrunner, with more content than its closest on-demand rivals Virgin Media, Tesco-owned video store Blinkbox and Amazon-owned VOD rival Lovefilm.“One of the key changes in the landscape of UK VOD in the last 6 months has been the introduction, and then the rapid growth, of catch up content on Sky,” said the March Decipher report, claiming this was “historically an area that Sky was weak in.”“It [Sky’s catch-up offering] has grown from a small amount of ITV content, to including catch up from all of the UK’s free-to-air broadcasters, as well as content from Sky’s own channels and others such as History and the Crime & Investigation Network.”In terms of VOD, Netflix was found to have more than 14,000 content assets, having steadily increased its content library each quarter. “Whilst you may not be able to find the latest blockbusters on there, and whilst the content in general may not be as up-to-date as that on Sky, Virgin or Blinkbox, the sheer quantity of movies and especially TV shows puts the US-based service out in front,” said Decipher.last_img read more

GraphExeter—the bestknown roomtemperature transp

first_img GraphExeter—the best-known room-temperature transparent conductor—is a material built up of several graphene sheets with a layer of ferric chloride molecules in between each sheet. Exeter’s device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique attributes of this material. Says Exeter physics professor Saverio Russo, “This new flexible and transparent photosensitive device uses graphene and graphExeter to convert light into electrical signals with efficiency comparable to that found in opaque devices based on graphene and metals.” At just a few atoms thick, it is ultra-lightweight and portable. Applications? How about photovoltaic textiles that enable your clothes to act as solar panels and charge your mobile phone while you’re walking down the street? Or an intelligent window that can both harvest electricity and display images, all while remaining transparent to the outside? “Smart clothing”—that can monitor a wide range of our functions as we go about our daily lives—is another recent development. Normally, it’s created by weaving conductive materials into fabrics. But that results in flexibility limitations, and it can only be achieved when the conductors are integrated into the design of the clothing from the start. But now, scientists at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have come up with a way to print silver directly onto fibers. The technique involves chemically bonding a nano‐silver layer onto individual fibers to a thickness of 20 nanometers, so that the conductive layer fully encapsulates fibers and has good adhesion and excellent conductivity. Chris Hunt, NPL’s lead researcher on the project, says: “The technique has many potential applications. One particularly exciting area is wearable sensors and antennas which could be used for monitoring, for example checking on patients and vulnerable people; data capture and feedback for soldiers in the field; and performance monitoring in sports. It offers particular benefits over the ‘weaving in’ approach, as the conductive pattern and flexibility ensures that sensors are always positioned in the same location on the body.” Or, how about having a touchscreen on your shirt sleeve? Further possibilities for printed metal inks are being pursued. Scientists at the American Chemical society have employed copper nanosheets, which are inexpensive and highly conductive, as a flexible circuit ink. They took the copper nanosheets, coated them with silver nanoparticles, and incorporated this material into an ink pen, using it to draw patterns of lines, words, and flowers on regular printer paper. Then, to show that the ink could conduct electricity, they connected a battery and lit up an LED at the drawing’s center. Courtesy Northwestern University The battery will continue to work—illuminating that LED—even when stretched, folded, twisted, or mounted on a human elbow. Power and voltage are similar to a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size. It will stretch up to 300% of its original size with no loss of efficiency and can function for eight to nine hours before it needs recharging, which can be done wirelessly. So far, batteries—which presently power nearly all portable devices—have maintained their edge over supercapacitors for a couple of reasons. One, they’re way cheaper. And two, supercapacitors have low energy density, meaning that the amount of energy they can store per unit weight is relatively small. On the plus side, supercapacitors can be charged quickly and don’t lose their storage capabilities over time. They can literally last for millions of charge/discharge cycles without losing energy-storage capability, whereas the same process in batteries is slow and degrades their internal chemical compounds over time. Should supercapacitors overcome their deficiencies, however, they could be the wave of the future… in which case, we will need flexible ones. A group at the University of Delaware is experimenting with just such a device, using carbon nanotube macrofilms, polyurethane membranes, and organic electrolytes. Research is in the early stages, but the group says that the supercapacitor it’s developed in the lab has achieved excellent stability in preliminary testing. Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden announced last year that they have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometers thick and less than half a centimeter across. And it’s bendable. Tests on the new device showed that the tiny power supply can store more energy and provide more power per unit volume than state-of-the-art supercapacitors. Team members are now working on ways to bring down its cost. Another power source that can be harnessed is the sun, through a flexible, transparent, photosensitive device developed at the University of Exeter in England. The device converts light into electrical signals by exploiting the unique properties of two “miracle” carbon-based materials: graphene and graphExeter (developed at the eponymous university). Carbon is a unique element in that its atoms can arrange themselves in many different ways (tubes, spheres, sheets, cubes, meshes), known as allotropes. Each of them, from graphite to diamonds, has distinctive properties. As depicted below, graphene is a carbon allotrope in which the atoms are arranged in a single layer in one plane. It is the thinnest known conductive material. “C’mon Sis, quit crumpling my computer!” It may seem unlikely that those words might soon issue from a young fellow’s mouth. Yet they could, in the not-too-distant future. And it’s because of the hottest trend in consumer products today: Flexible electronics. Some stunning advances in materials technology have made possible a lot of things we never expected to see (or maybe only dreamed of). They are about to lead to a flood of everyday electronic items that you can bend, stretch, crumple, and fold (but not spindle or mutilate). This is a big, big business. One analysis projects that the global flexible electronics market will reach $13.23 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of around 22%. And that’s probably conservative. There’s so much going on in this sector that it’s hard to decide where to begin. But that crumply computer is as good a jumping-off point as any. Remember the old days, when people read newspapers on the train to work, then rolled them up and stuffed the parts they weren’t finished with into their back pockets? The newspaper of the future is going to be kinda like that. Neatly rollable, adaptable to a back pocket. It’s just not going to be made of paper. A September 2013 article from Science Daily asks us to envision “an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber.” At UCLA, for example, scientists have fabricated “an elastomeric polymer light-emitting device (EPLED)” that can be repeatedly stretched, folded, and twisted at room temperature while still remaining lit and holding its original shape. The material has a single layer of electro-luminescent polymer sandwiched between a pair of transparent elastic composite electrodes that are made of a network of silver nanowires inlaid into a rubbery polymer. (The EPLED is a type of polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell [PLEC] device. Research is also ongoing in the development of flexible versions of organic light-emitting diode [OLED] displays commonly found in today’s smartphones, but the UCLA team chose PLECs instead because they’re easier to fabricate and simpler to work with.) The developers stretched and re-stretched their PLEC display 1,000 times, extending it 30% beyond its original shape and size, and it still continued to work at a high efficiency. In another test to determine the material’s maximum stretch, the researchers found it could be stretched to more than twice its original size while still functioning. It can also be folded 180° and twisted in multiple directions. Qibing Pei, UCLA’s principal investigator on the project says confidently that “[W]e believe that fully stretchable interactive displays that are as thin as wallpaper will be achieved in the near future.” Roll up the news and take it with you? That may not be far off. Samsung is also working on a flexible screen. The company is mounting its display on silicone that can be bent in half 100,000 times (Samsung claims), yet suffer a loss of light intensity in the crease zone of just 6%—all but undetectable by the human eye. Think of a smartphone whose screen size could be doubled by simply unfolding it. And the technology can be adapted to simple lighting, too. Is this your next desk lamp?center_img Of course, as our electronics become flexible, so must their power supplies, especially in the case of mobile devices. How that power is delivered will depend on how the war between batteries and supercapacitors is ultimately resolved. But scientists are currently working on flexible versions of both. In early 2013, collaborating researchers from Northwestern and the University of Illinois unveiled the first stretchable lithium-ion battery. American Chemical Society To test the ink’s flexibility, the researchers folded the paper 1,000 times, even crumpling it up, and demonstrated that the ink maintained 80-90% of its conductivity. But perhaps the most exciting roles flexible electronics will be playing in the years to come are in the realm of medicine. Because the human body is always in motion, the design of wearable health monitors and implants must take that into account. Yong Xu of Wayne State University has pushed the research forward by inventing a method for fabricating high-performance and high-density semiconductor circuits, and bonding them to flexible substrates. “The ultimate goal is to develop flexible and stretchable systems integrated with electronics, sensors, microfluidics, and power sources, which will have a profound impact on personalized medicine, telemedicine, and health care delivery,” Xu says. Surgery could be transformed. Consider what happens today after a doctor operates to remove a tumor from a patient’s liver. Even after following up with radiation and/or chemotherapy, the surgeon can never be positive that the treatment was successful. “But,” says Tom Jackson, an engineering professor at Penn State, “suppose I could apply a flexible circuit to the liver and image the tissue. If we see a new malignancy, it could release a drug directly onto that spot, or heat up a section of the circuit to kill the remaining cancerous cells. And when we were done, the body would resorb the material. “What I want is something that matches the flexibility and thermal conductivity of the body,” and conventional silicon technology is too rigid and thermally conductive for work like that. Jackson is going to get what he wants. Yes, conventional silicon tech is inappropriate for many uses in and on the body. But might there be a new form of silicon that captures its stability, efficiency, and low cost, yet bends and stretches? Indeed there is, says John Rogers, a cutting-edge materials scientist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Rogers’ team has found a way to trick silicon into a more malleable form. Rather than making transistors from conventional wafers, they slice the material into sheets several times thinner than a human hair. “At this scale,” Rogers says, “something that would otherwise be brittle is completely floppy … [in the way that] a 2-by-4 is rigid, but a sheet of paper is not—similar materials, just different thicknesses.” The applications he’s working on are truly mind-blowing. Here are just a few: Imagine a sensor array that can precisely mold to the shape of an organ. Start with the heart. Sensors made of a stretchable, lightweight material and embedded with electronics could wrap around a beating heart like a glove, providing real-time measurements of cardiac activity. The goal, Rogers says, is to detect early signs of arrhythmia and deliver coordinated voltages across the entire organ, rather than administering massive shocks at a few points, as current defibrillators do. Collaborators at Washington University in St. Louis have tested the device, which he calls an “artificial pericardium,” on rabbits and on human hearts removed from transplant recipients. Trials in live patients could be just around the corner. He and his colleagues have also created an electronic “second skin.” It’s a wireless circuit board less than a micron thick that can be stamped directly onto the skin and sealed with a spray-on bandage. The device could enable doctors to monitor a wide range of biological functions, including heart rate, skin temperature, muscle activity, and hydration, for starters—and it conforms so well to the shifting creases and troughs of human skin that it can stay on for up to two weeks before it is sloughed off. It can also send small electric currents to stimulate muscles as part of a physical therapy regimen. And its noninvasiveness makes it especially useful in neonatal care. Finally, Rogers is well on the way to developing Prof. Jackson’s desired resorbable devices. These “transient electronics,” as he calls them, could monitor and prevent infection at surgical sites, then melt away according to a set schedule of days or weeks. And—made up of ingredients found in antacids and vitamin pills—they’re harmless to the human body. During a talk at an electrical engineering conference, a skeptical colleague bet Rogers that he wouldn’t dare swallow one of his transient devices on stage. Rogers won that bet. The shift to flexible electronics is a trend that means a financial windfall for companies poised to cash in on it. One of them—our July recommendation—presently sits in the BIG TECH portfolio. This company makes equipment used to encapsulate organic light-emitting diodes, part of the process that enables electronics to be folded or rolled. As demand for flexible devices takes off, so too will demand for this company’s equipment. For access to this recommendation, simply sign up for a risk-free 90-day trial of BIG TECH.last_img read more

Its a problem that has come seemingly out of nowh

first_imgIt’s a problem that has come seemingly out of nowhere. Over the last five years a worrisome number of low-income countries have racked up so much debt they are now at high risk of being unable to pay it back — with potentially devastating consequences not just for their economies but for their citizens, many of whom are already living in extreme poverty.That’s the sobering finding of a report by the IMF. And it’s got some prominent experts calling for urgent action. Among them is Masood Ahmed. Twenty years ago, as a top official at the International Monetary Fund, he spearheaded a historic agreement to wipe the slate clean for 36 poor countries that were being crushed by their loan interest and repayment bills. NPR spoke with Ahmed — who is now president of the Washington, D.C., think tank Center for Global Development — to find out how this latest debt debacle was set in motion, why it has him so alarmed, and what can be done to avert it. (This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)Just how far and how fast has this problem spread?To get a sense, says Ahmed, consider that of the 59 countries the IMF classifies as “low-income developing countries,” 24 are now either in a debt crisis or at high risk of tipping into one. “That’s 40 percent of poor countries,” says Ahmed, “and it’s nearly double the number five years ago.”Those in most trouble include two countries that have already defaulted on some of their loans: the Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Ahmed notes that these are not loans taken out by individual citizens. “This is money borrowed by governments,” he says. “So the definition of a debt crisis is that they are not able to meet their obligations. They are already unable to pay the interest on their debt or to keep to the repayment schedule they had agreed to.”Four more countries are also already considered in “debt distress” because even though they haven’t outright defaulted they’ve reached a point where they are making only intermittent loan payments or cutting deep into their operations budget to pay off their debt. These are Chad, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The remaining 16 are considered at high risk of falling into debt distress soon based on the IMF’s analysis of the amount of debt they’ve taken on compared with how much income their economies can actually be expected to generate in the near future. These too are mostly countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as Ghana, Zambia and the Central African Republic. But the list also includes seven nations from other regions, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Tajikistan and Yemen.What happens when a country can’t pay its debt? What are the consequences for ordinary citizens?Ahmed notes that even extremely poor countries offer all sorts of services to their citizens — keeping public order, maintaining health clinics and schools, providing food to people at risk of famine, investing in new infrastructure that can help grow the economy and so on. And even before reaching the point of actual default, governments with unsustainable levels of debt must begin diverting ever more of their budget away from such services so they can meet their debt payments.The most vulnerable citizens are often the first to suffer. “For instance, people who show up to their local [public] health clinic that is already only open once a week may now find that it also doesn’t have medicines,” says Ahmed. “Or that school that was going to open this year to meet the needs of a particular neighborhood, it gets postponed.”So this is very much an on-the-ground crisis. “It’s easy for us to think of these as abstract financial numbers. But it’s very important to recognize that behind these numbers are the lives of people who are already living in very difficult circumstances.”And what if a government does default?It gets far worse because the entire economy can be thrown into paralysis. When a government can’t meet its existing debt obligations, explains Ahmed, “that makes it very hard to access new money.” Lenders that provide this type of financing aren’t going to want to throw good money after bad. And to keep up daily operations, governments need continual access to credit. Ahmed adds that these operations often include not just the provision of services to citizens but business activities that generate much of a government’s income — extracting and exporting natural resources like copper or oil, for instance. These kinds of operations can become impossible without day-to-day credit. “Just like for a small business, you need to be able to borrow on a day-to-day basis for your cash flow,” he says.And as the day-to-day turns into year-to-year?The consequences can be just as debilitating, says Ahmed. Once a country has defaulted it can forget about taking out loans or floating bonds to fund investments in infrastructure or other measures that would help grow its economy long term. Pretty much every type of lender that poor countries rely on is going to balk. This includes even international financial organizations, such as the World Bank, whose mission is to provide poor countries with low-interest loans or outright grants to help them develop. The thinking of officials at the World Bank, says Ahmed, is going to be, “I don’t want the money to just go to another creditor.”And so a kind of deadly feedback loop could be created: The country’s debts would prevent its economy from creating the growth needed to pay off those very debts.What about that massive debt forgiveness for 36 countries that you helped broker back in the 1990s — the “debt relief” campaign made so famous by celebrities like the rock star Bono. Wasn’t that agreement supposed to end debt crises like these once and for all?Yes, says Ahmed. And for about 10 years the agreement was, in fact, remarkably successful. All sides had recognized their sins — the governments of the borrowing countries that had taken on the excessive debt and also the lenders that had pushed what had been in many cases clearly unsustainable loans — including governments of rich countries like the U.S., commercial banks from those countries and even the IMF and World Bank. In exchange for writing off the debt everyone vowed to be more responsible.”But after a decade, memories start to get cloudy,” says Ahmed. “And these commitments are, of course, not binding. If a country wants to go out and borrow money, they’re going to go out and borrow.”And in recent years a whole new class of lenders emerged to offer up easy credit — most notably the government of China and various associated Chinese banks and development agencies. “You had Chinese financial institutions and China as a country really expanding its presence and its financial role in developing countries,” says Ahmed. “I find really striking [that] between 2013 and 2016 China’s share of the debt of poor countries increased by more than the share of all these traditional lenders [who had made the loans back in the 1990s] put together.”Another factor: In the years since the 2008 financial crisis, interest rates in wealthier countries have been stuck at very low levels. “So people who have assets and want to invest their money all wanted to look for opportunities.” These include managers of investments funds, pension funds and the like from wealthy countries. They had not historically been major sources of financing for poor countries. But in recent years they started snapping up bonds issued by African countries — whose economies at the time seemed to be growing at a healthy rate. These bonds offered much higher rates of return than bonds from wealthy nations.Surely the borrowing nations also face some responsibility?”Some countries quite frankly just took advantage of the availability of money,” says Ahmed. He points to cases of outright fraud and corruption in Mozambique, Moldova and Gambia — in which government officials borrowed money on behalf of their nations, then apparently pocketed it for themselves.Then there are cases of countries that derive most of their income from exporting a few commodities — for instance, Zambia, which relies on copper. In recent years, the prices for many commodities fell sharply and stayed flat — depressing their national income.”Suddenly you find that what you thought was a level of debt you could manage is harder to maintain,” Ahmed says. Adding to the problem, instead of cutting their national budgets to account for the lost revenue, these countries turned to borrowing to make up the difference.And then there were the cases of simply less-than-ideal management. “I’m thinking of countries like Ghana and Ethiopia,” says Ahmed, “where they just felt, you know, people are willing to give us the money, let’s do it.” And then they failed to use the money for productive investments. “In many of these countries about half the increase in borrowing was not associated with an increase in investment. It was just used to spend more on current spending, things like salaries.”So is there a fix?Ahmed says it’s clear some kind of debt restructuring and forgiveness is going to be needed. It will require getting all the creditors to the table to agree on the terms. “And that is not an easy thing to do.”Back in the 1990s it took years of grinding negotiations. This time around the process is likely to be even more complicated because so many of the creditors are new to the game. “The IMF is still a very good place from which to have this conversation,” he says. But it is essential to bring in China and let it play a leadership role.Given the challenges, this effort needs to start now, he says. Yet there seems to be a lack of urgency among world leaders. While IMF officials will be discussing the debt issue in Washington this Saturday as part of their annual spring meetings, it’s just one of a host of topics on the agenda.What’s more, while the amount of debt involved may be crippling to poor countries, it’s just a drop in the bucket of the global economy. This debt crisis is not going to cause a worldwide financial meltdown. So unlike the classic debtors in financial crises who benefit from being too big to fail, these nations could find themselves too poor to warrant a bailout. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

For the Perfect SocialImpact Investment Look No Further Than Cannabis

first_img For many investors, making a positive social impact is becoming increasingly important. For some, doing good has become as essential as doing well. This goal is at the heart of impact investing, which the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) defines as investing “with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial return.”The pursuit of this so-called double-bottom-line is the Holy Grail for the impact investing industry. However, the challenge still facing many investors is how to make a significant impact without sacrificing returns. This is especially true of institutional investors, who often need to write eight- or nine-figure checks in order to justify an allocation.Cannabis is one of the few industries that satisfies all of the above conditions, making it the perfect impact investment. First, let’s discuss financial return: Analysts at Cowen & Co. estimate that the U.S. market for cannabis will reach more than $50 billion by 2026, up from about $9 billion today. Although cannabis is still a nascent market, global consumer demand is well-established. According to recent polls, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. adults consider themselves regular consumers. Despite the many risks unique to cannabis investment, investors who get in early may be able to enjoy hyper growth returns reminiscent of the dot-com boom.Related: Getting Healthy, Not High: Using Cannabis to Fight CancerSecond, let’s discuss social impact. I asked Emily Paxhia, founding partner of Poseidon Asset Management, a prominent cannabis investment fund, for her take on the matter. “Investing in cannabis is rewarding not only for the returns we see, but also for the social and environmental benefits. While it might not seem like impact investing at first glance, there are additional positive outcomes to capitalizing the cannabis industry. We have seen communities benefit from job creation, reduced opiate addiction and advances in criminal justice reform.”Here are examples of how cannabis can generate significant positive social impact:Public HealthThe medical benefits of cannabis are well-documented, and millions of patients have now embraced cannabis as a cheaper, safer and more effective option to help treat severe illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy and PTSD.With proper R&D and regulation, cannabis will regain its place as a mainstay in the medicine cabinets of every American household –a status the plant enjoyed prior to prohibition. Medical marijuana also represents one of the only viable, scalable solutions to the opiate epidemic, which experts estimate is costing the U.S. more than $500 billion in economic productivity each year (to say nothing of tens of thousands of overdoes deaths).Related: Minnesota Study Adds to Growing Evidence Medical Marijuana Reduces Opioid UseCriminal Justice ReformThe war on drugs has really been mostly a war on young people of color. Even though cannabis consumption rates are nearly uniform across races, black and brown Americans are anywhere from four to 10 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana use or possession, depending on geography. There are today more than half a million Americans serving sentences in federal prison for possession of marijuana. The mass incarceration and criminalization of drug users may be great for the prison industry, but for the rest of society it fuels systemic racial and economic inequality which is destructive to our nation’s values and well-being.As legalization advances and prohibition eventually ends on the federal level, the millions of lives damaged by the war on drugs will be able to receive some healing, support and perhaps participation in the now booming industry. Furthermore, the policy shift around cannabis represents an opportunity to institute a more compassionate, harm-reduction approach toward drug users. Imagine if instead of criminalizing, punishing and dehumanizing people who suffer from substance abuse problems, our institutions provided counseling, mindful care and rehabilitative treatment.Related: What Every Cannabis Entrepreneur Needs to Understand About the Cole MemoAgriculture & SustainabilityHemp was farmed in most parts of the country from earliest colonial time right up until the onset of cannabis prohibition in the early 1900s. Hemp is easier and cheaper to grow than cotton or corn, is far less harmful to the surrounding environment and much more versatile for a wide range of textiles. Hemp is used to make products as varied as footwear, luggage, clothing, rope, paper and plastic.Compared to cotton, hemp requires about two-thirds as much water to grow and one quarter as much water to process. One acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is also stronger than cotton and lasts twice as long. Industrial hemp has the potential to revive entire agricultural communities.Hemp can even be used to remove toxic chemicals from the ground or surrounding streams. A joint effort in 1998 to decontaminate the area around Chernobyl found that hemp plants can absorb large amounts of radiation through its roots, effectively removing many of the contaminants in the water and soil. Hemp has also been proven to absorb heavy metals from soil, making it a potentially cost-effective solution to cleaning up the thousands of contaminated sites scattered around the country. Currently, America is the world’s leading importer of hemp.Related: Hemp Is the Multibillion-Dollar Cannabis Opportunity Few Have Heard AboutFood & NutritionHemp is also a superfood. Hemp seeds are high in fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and magnesium. The plant contains all 20 amino acids, including nine of the essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce. Compared to other popular sources of nutrition such as chia seeds, quinoa and flax seeds, hemp seeds provide as much as 75 percent more protein. It’s no surprise, then, that hemp seeds are often used in protein powers and health foods such as energy bars. Hemp seeds can also be used by farmers as animal feed for horses, cows and chickens — likely a healthier choice than what they’re fed today.Many investment firms have already taken steps toward growing the cannabis industry. By viewing cannabis through the lens of both its financial and social potential, investors have an opportunity to make a positive and long-lasting impact. To view cannabis as anything other than an impact investment is to be missing the bigger picture. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Now Cannabis Perhaps the final unhappy irony of cannabis prohibition is that the plant is a benign substitute for many problematic products and raw materials. May 21, 2018 Michael Zaytsev Image credit: Norman Posselt | Getty Images For the Perfect Social-Impact Investment, Look No Further Than Cannabis 6 min read Green Entrepreneur Podcast Business Coach and Cannabis Author Next Article Guest Writer Each week hear inspiring stories of business owners who have taken the cannabis challenge and are now navigating the exciting but unpredictable Green Rush. –shares Add to Queuelast_img read more

Obamacares Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment

first_img Obamacare’s Very Small Business Exchange Enrollment Next Article Image credit: txking | Shutterstock.com Obamacare 5 min read November 14, 2014 Add to Queue This story originally appeared on CNBCcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Dan Mangan Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Remember those “other” new Obamacare exchanges—the ones that small businesses were supposed to use to sign up workers for health insurance?Yeah, well, apparently a whole bunch of small businesses forgot about them, too.A new Government Accountability Office report finds that a stunningly low number of workers have enrolled in insurance plans sold on small-business health exchanges run by federal and state governments.The report suggests that the Small Business Health Options Program exchanges will fall well short of the 2 million people that had been projected to sign up by January.As of last summer, only about 76,000 people working for about 12,000 employers had enrolled in insurance plans sold by 18 state-run SHOP exchanges, according to the GAO report released Thursday.While the other 33 SHOP exchanges run by the federal government didn’t have enrollment data available for the GAO, officials in charge of them “do not expect major differences in enrollment trends between” the state-run SHOP exchanges and their federally run counterparts, the report noted. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service was still compiling enrollment data from insurers and did not expect complete numbers until early 2015, the GAO said.Mississippi’s solo enrolleeThe SHOP exchanges are supposed to help small employees provide group health coverage to their workers. But most such employers clearly haven’t bothered to take the exchanges up on that offer, or aren’t aware that it’s available, raising questions about whether these exchanges can get close to the 4 million enrollees that had been projected by 2017. One state-run SHOP—Mississippi’s—had just one person enrolled, the GAO report said. The agency notes that Mississippi’s SHOP had only been open for one month at the time the data were collected for the report. The state’s insurance department pointed out Thursday that there are now 23 people enrolled through Mississippi’s SHOP.Washington state had the second-lowest enrollment with 42 people.Two population-heavy states, California and New York, had just 9,563 and 10,023 people enrolled, respectively, in their SHOP exchanges during their first year of operation.Vermont, the second-least populous state, had by far, the highest enrollments in a state-run SHOP: 33,696 people. That represents 44 percent of all enrollees on the state-run SHOPs. But that eye-popping number likely is due in no small part to the fact that Vermont had required that all small group health insurance plans in the state be offered only through the SHOP.The GAO report said stakeholders in SHOPs blamed the dismal enrollment tallies on “multiple, evolving factors.” Those included the possibility that a small business tax credit designed to spur companies to use the exchanges “may be be too small” and “administratively complex to motivate many employers to enroll.” The tax credit, available to companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees who make an average of $50,000 or less per year, can be worth up to 50 percent of what employers contribute to their employees’ health premiums.”Other factors identified that may have hindered current enrollment include the ability of employers to renew plans that existed before the SHOPs … and employer misconceptions about SHOP availability,” the report said.SHOP wishlistThe GAO also noted that federal SHOP exchanges were not able to enroll people online, and that those exchanges gave enrollees only a single health plan as an option, as opposed to multiple plans. While 15 states launched in October 2013, three significantly delayed their starts until spring 2014.The stakeholders interviewed by the GAO, including CMS officials and state exchange executives, identified several factors that could spark enrollment, GAO said. These ideas included the phase-out of health plans that were in existence before the SHOP exchanges launched last year, more choice among health plans for workers on the exchanges and increased marketing to small businesses.”CMS is currently preparing to implement online enrollment for all [federally run] SHOPs and employee choice for many of [those] SHOPs in 2015,” the report noted. But the two-year limit on the small-business tax credit and the likelihood that SHOP premiums will not be lower than those of non-SHOP plans “may hinder future enrollment growth,” the report noted in its summary. When asked for comment, CMS officials referred to that summary.Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., chairman of the House Small Business Committee that requested the GAO report, said “Obamacare’s SHOPs have been fraught with errors and high costs from the very beginning.”Graves also said, “The lack of specific federal SHOP enrollment data confirms that [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] initially created no mechanism to monitor or measure its performance after enrollment began.””It is apparent that the Obama administration didn’t prioritize the SHOP exchange in the law. Small businesses and taxpayers deserve better,” he said.The SHOP exchanges’ poor performance contrasts sharply with the enrollment seen in individual health plans sold on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange and the 15 other exchanges run by individual states and the District of Columbia. About 7.1 million people are currently enrolled in insurance sold through those markets.Open enrollment in SHOP and individual Obamacare plans starts Saturday. –shareslast_img read more

Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over Light Cigarettes

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Add to Queue A jury in St. Louis, Mo., on Thursday rejected a request for about $1.8 billion in damages against Philip Morris USA in a class-action lawsuit that claimed the company misled smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.The lawsuit was filed in 2000 after plaintiffs alleged the Altria Group Inc. unit violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act in marketing Marlboro Lights.”The jury correctly rejected plaintiffs’ allegations of misrepresentation and damages,” Murray Garnick said on behalf of Philip Morris USA in a statement.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of “lights” and certain other descriptions unless the manufacturer receives permission to use them.In November, the Illinois Supreme Court also threw out a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA in a long-running lawsuit accusing the company of misleading smokers about the health risks of “light” cigarettes.(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay)        This story originally appeared on Reuters Image credit: Shutterstock Philip Morris Wins Missouri Class Action Trial Over ‘Light’ Cigarettes Next Article center_img Tobacco April 8, 2016 1 min read Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

Jebbits Newest Consumer Data Trust Index Indicates Declining Trust in Worlds Leading

first_img Consumer Data Trust IndexConsumer Privacy Actdata privacyJebbitMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleKsquare’s Google Analytics Connector 2.0 for Mulesoft 4.X Provides an Out-Of-The-Box Solution to Integrate Your Google Analytics Data With Your Other Business ApplicationsNext ArticleBen Abbatiello Departs SpotX, Joins Video Ad Tech Beachfront Jebbit’s Newest Consumer Data Trust Index Indicates Declining Trust in World’s Leading Brands MTS Staff WriterJune 14, 2019, 6:25 pmJune 14, 2019 Recent Survey Shows Broad Support for Data Privacy Legislation as Consumers Remain Leery of Brands Requesting Too Much InformationJebbit, the world’s leading declared data platform, announced the release of their most recent Consumer Data Trust Index, a report surveying consumer trust in 100 of the world’s leading public-facing companies. Adult consumers from the United States were asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, their level of trust in brands to use their personal data in exchange for more relevant offers, goods and services. Consumers were also asked a variety of question to evaluate their motivations and concerns when sharing data with companies and brands. The recurring study, first published in 2018, shows a continued decline in trust by survey respondents in major companies.The three companies most trusted by consumers according to the Consumer Data Trust Index (CDTI) are Amazon, Microsoft, and UPS. For the second time in a row, Amazon was the only company to score higher than 6.0 in average consumer trust, demonstrating a continued lack of improvement in trustworthiness across the board among consumers. However, the comparatively strong results of companies like Amazon, UPS, Walgreens and Google also show the continued importance for companies to deliver value in exchange for consumer data.Marketing Technology News: Volly Launches Point-of-Sale Mobile App and Rebrands CRM Mobile AppIn response to the need to better safeguard consumer data and increase trust, and as new legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe’s GDPR take hold in the marketplace, nearly three-quarters of survey respondents indicated their support for data privacy legislation at a federal level. Only five percent of respondents opposed such legislation.The CDTI continued to show poor results for Facebook following the company’s ongoing struggle with data privacy issues. Facebook fell six spots to 95th in the most recent survey, after having been ranked 89th in the previous survey and dead last in the first CDTI. This lack of trust was recorded in spite of Facebook’s increasing user base, indicating that users are not sufficiently motivated to stop using the platform even while they mistrust Facebook’s data practices.Marketing Technology News: PipelineDeals Launches the Women in Tech Scholarship“Jebbit’s Consumer Data Trust Index continues to offer a comprehensive picture of consumer attitudes with regard to the world’s leading companies and their data collection strategies. As overall trust continues to decline, brands must take the opportunity to demonstrate an equitable value exchange and regain consumer trust,” commented Jonathan Lacoste, President of Jebbit.Marketing Technology News: Idaptive Named a Leader in Identity-as-a-Service for Enterprise by Independent Research Firmlast_img read more

UnitedHealth CEO Made Over 66 Million Last Year Due To Companys Strong

first_img The government thinks sick patients are coming back to the hospital too soon. So a couple of years ago, the department of Health and Human Services decided to give hospitals a financial nudge in the right direction – by penalizing the hospitals’ Medicare reimbursements if the number of patients who came back to the hospital within 30 days exceeded the national average. It’s supposed to encourage hospitals to find ways to keep patients healthier. The result is that hospitals are spending lots of money to find ways to keep patients from coming back – but there’s no consensus about what’s best for patients. (Kuda Croen, 4/7) For the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, UnitedHealth had total revenue of $130 billion and net income of $5.6 billion. Revenue grew 6.5 percent for the year but net income dropped 6 million [though earnings per share grew 3.6 percent to $5.70 thanks to share repurchases]. Analysts expect UnitedHealth’s total revenue to increase to $141.5 billion in 2015 and $151.6 billion in 2016. (Kennedy, 4/7) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press: Aetna Aims For LGBT Community With Targeted Marketing Marketplace: Hospitals Innovate To Keep Patients From Coming Back Ventas Inc. announced Monday that it would spin off 355 skilled nursing facilities and outpatient recovery centers into a new real-estate investment trust, the latest sign of the growing interest in highly specialized medical properties, which carry more risk but have the potential for high returns. The new company, which isn’t yet named, could have a market value of more than $5 billion based on trading multiples for similar companies, said Green Street Advisors, a research firm. Ventas, one of the largest owners of health-care properties, said the spin off would produce annual net income between $315 million and $320 million. (Whelan, 4/7) The Associated Press: UnitedHealth Stock Growth Yields Potential Windfall For CEO Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal also covers Ventas’ plan to spin off 355 skilled nursing facilities and outpatient centers – UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley realized a potential gain of more than $45 million from exercising stock options last year, as the share price of the nation’s largest health insurer topped $100 on the way to setting all-time highs. (Murphy, 4/7) center_img UnitedHealth CEO Made Over $66 Million Last Year Due To Company’s Strong Stock Gains In other news from major insurance providers, Aetna targets a marketing campaign toward the LGBT community and Humana expects its Medicare funding to exceed estimates in 2016, based on the latest CMS benchmark payment rates. Minneapolis Star-Tribune: UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley Made More Than $66 Million In 2014 And, as hospitals spend a lot of money to find ways to keep patients from returning, there’s no consensus about what’s best for their care – The Wall Street Journal: Humana Estimates Medicare Funding Will Increase 0.8% In 2016 Aetna is urging gay customers to “be proud” — and consider buying its coverage — as part of a new, narrow focus to selling health insurance in a business where the individual’s buying decision matters more than it used to. The nation’s third-largest health insurer is using mobile phone apps, print ads and a recently launched website to appeal to the estimated 9 million members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the United States. Its website features a video of a gay woman and man talking about love and relationships. It also helps visitors find LGBT-friendly doctors and promises coverage “with features that fit you, your partner and your family.” (Murphy, 4/7) Humana Inc. said Tuesday it expects its Medicare funding to fare better-than-expected in 2016 after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services completed benchmark payment rates on Monday. Humana said it expects its Medicare Advantage funding to increase by about 0.8%, compared with its previous expectation for a funding decline of 1.25% to 1.75% based on a rate proposal unveiled in February by federal regulators. (Dulaney, 4/7) The Wall Street Journal: Ventas To Spin Off Nursing Facilities Into New REIT last_img read more

Exploring the factors around experience and management of pain in workplaces

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019A special issue of WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation looks at factors around the experience and management of pain in workplaces around the worldWorkers suffering from chronic pain takes an immense toll on both employees and employers. Whether the pain that individuals experience is physical or psychological, constant or intermittent, or caused by work conditions or brought to the job, its effect on their productivity and wellbeing is a huge problem. Not surprisingly, work and pain are the subjects of a growing body of research, as technological advances transform healthcare at the same time as they created new challenges.Understanding the interaction between work and pain is an important focus of WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. WORK’s scope covers the entire occupation of work and presents evidence and best practices to help manage illnesses, injuries, and disabilities through interventions, rehabilitation, and treatment. To that end, WORK has published a special collection of seven new research articles on work and pain. In her editorial introducing this issue, Editor-in-Chief and Founding Editor Karen Jacobs noted that since 2008, WORK has published more than 20,000 research articles and reviews on the subject, which represents “more pain-related articles than any of the ‘recognized’ pain journals.”Each of the articles in the special issue looks at the interplay of work, stress, and pain across diverse job roles, industries, and geographic locations including the United States, Scotland, Iran, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Australia. Findings support the following conclusions: Two of the articles highlight challenges and opportunities that technology brings to the dynamic relationship of work and pain. Using one of today’s most essential business tools, a smartphone, puts users’ necks at risk when they make calls or send texts, according to Rose Boucaut, DEd, MPH, at the School of Health Sciences (Physiotherapy) University of South Australia, iCAHE (International Centre for Allied Health Evidence), Adelaide, Australia. “Smartphone users typically bend their neck slightly forward when reading and writing text messages. They also sometimes bend or twist their neck sideways when speaking and put their upper body and legs in awkward positions. These postures put uneven pressure on the soft tissues around the spine and can lead to persistent discomfort,” she explained.Related StoriesBritish boys to receive HPV jabsSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyHow a simple MRI scan can help patients with anginaThis observation is based on the results of a study on which she collaborated with a team of investigators led by Suwalee Namwongsa, PhD, Research Center in Back, Neck, Other Joint Pain, and Human Performance (BNOJPH), and School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University in Thailand. They conducted a cross-sectional survey study of 779 Thai university students and found that musculoskeletal disorders are more common among the students who used smartphones for five or more hours a day (other significant factors included smoking and an insufficient amount of exercise). Nearly a third of the students reported neck pain, more than a quarter of them reported shoulder pain, and a fifth either upper back pain or wrist/hand pain. Significantly more (71%) of the women in the study group experienced musculoskeletal pain than men (28%).”It is doubtful whether people experiencing back and neck pain, especially young people, are aware that it could be the result of excessive smartphone use. Health practitioners need to educate their patients about safe postures and curtailing time spent using smartphones to help prevent these issues,” said Dr. Namwongsa. She added that many smartphone companies notify customers of the average time they spend daily on their phones, feedback that “may help users connect neck discomfort with smartphone use and encourage them to be mindful of their posture and time on the phone. In addition, healthcare providers can develop preventive initiatives that discourage flexed necks and other problematic positions (as well as smoking).”Another featured article in the collection zeroes in on how a technology can be fine-tuned to better manage lower back pain, a chronic condition that causes presenteeism and impedes workplace performance. This study investigated the effects of pivotal whole body vibration on an individual’s proprioception (awareness of the body’s positions and movements), which has potential application in treating musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back pain.”Our findings demonstrate that five minutes of pivotal whole body vibration (18Hz, 6mm amplitude) can significantly improve spinal proprioception including body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance, and lumbopelvic coordination in healthy individuals,” said lead investigator Daniel H.K. Chow, PhD, Department of Health & Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong. He explained that “the effects do not differ when the participants are seated or standing. Moreover, the choice of frequency and amplitude of whole body vibration protocol is critical as vibration could produce very different responses, either beneficial or dangerous. This a valuable finding as it could potentially lead to a treatment for lower back pain.” Higher levels of presenteeism (being present at work in body but not mind) are associated with lower back pain. Repetitive work, heavy lifting, and limited rest increase discomfort from common musculoskeletal conditions. Workers (especially older individuals) often fail to disclose their chronic knee pain for fear of losing their jobs. Job stress is linked to chronic pain, with psychological symptoms intensifying physical ones. Interestingly, that study noted that employees without chronic pain sometimes begin to think catastrophically about physical pain as their stress level ramps up. Female allied health professionals and those with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are more susceptible to depression and anxiety as a result of job stress.center_img Source:https://www.iospress.nl/last_img read more

Walking downhill after meals can reduce bone resorption in postmenopausal women with

first_img Source:https://www.endocrine.org/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 25 2019Walking downhill after eating can reduce bone resorption, the process in which old bone is broken down and removed from the body, in postmenopausal women with diabetes, according to research to be presented Sunday, March 24 at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in New Orleans, La. Walking uphill does not have the same benefit, the study found.All women are at risk of bone loss after menopause because of a loss of estrogen. Postmenopausal women with diabetes experience more broken bones than postmenopausal women who do not have the condition. “We wanted to see whether eating before or after meals, and walking downhill or uphill, had an effect on markers of bone formation and resorption in these women,” said lead researcher Katarina T. Borer, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.Related StoriesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesLong-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors is essential to maintain bone healthCommon antibacterial agent may be bad news for bone healthThe researchers studied 15 postmenopausal women with diabetes in two of five day-long experiments. One group did not exercise. The remaining groups spent 40 minutes exercising on either an uphill or downhill treadmill. The participants exercised either an hour before or an hour after eating each of two daily meals.The women’s blood was measured hourly to look for markers of bone formation and resorption. Their levels of glucose and insulin were also measured. The women wore special shoe insoles to measure the impact of their walking. The study found the most effective way to reduce the breakdown of the protein collagen, which helps form bone, was to walk downhill after eating.”Exercising after eating may help nutrients from the food get absorbed into the bloodstream,” Borer said. “The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. When you walk downhill, the pull of gravity is greater.”Borer noted that an easy way to walk downhill is to walk down stairs. While most treadmills are only adjustable upwards, not downwards, she said it may be possible to put cement blocks under the back of the treadmill to tilt it downwards.In the future, postmenopausal women with diabetes might be able to combine exercising after meals with walking downhill to reduce their need for osteoporosis medication, Borer said.”Before we recommend this, studies would need to be done to determine exactly how much bone mineral they are losing and how much exercise must be done to compensate for reducing the medication,” she said.last_img read more

Revolutionary treatment uses fat cells to correct vaginal and postmenopausal problems

first_imgApr 3 2019For the first time ever British women are being offered a revolutionary new treatment to correct a broad range of vaginal, gynecological and post-menopausal related problems. The Regenerative Woman Clinic opens its doors this April 2019.More than 50%* of menopausal women in the UK say their life has been impacted negatively with little or no help offered in most communities. 294* million women worldwide suffer with vaginal atrophy as a result of the menopause and 75%* go untreated. For the first time ever British women are now being offered a revolutionary and natural new treatment to correct a broad range of vaginal, gynecological and post-menopausal related problems.The Regenerative Woman Clinic provides pioneering Lipogems® technology treatment for vaginal atrophy and a host of other conditions. Mesenchmyal Stem Cells (MSCs) present in fat tissue are harvested and once prepared the cells are injected into areas of the vagina and vulva where they stimulate healthy cell growth and repair alleviating common symptoms such as dryness, soreness, burning sensations and discomfort during intercourse.The clinic has assembled a team of specialist gynecological Harley Street consultants, each one an expert in their own field of gynecology including; Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsWithout the use of synthetic chemicals or replacements, Lipogems® technology rejuvenates the vagina, and is a natural solution helping to restore vaginal health; lifting the physical and emotional burden women often feel when struggling with their vaginal health.Lipogems® technology can be used for the effective treatment of vaginal atrophy, dryness, soreness and pain during sex. For each woman the experience of the menopause is extremely personal however, it is estimated that over 40% of menopausal women will experience symptoms related to vaginal atrophy. It is particularly helpful for multiple uses for other conditions such as Lichen sclerosis, Lichen Planus, Lichen simplex, stress incontinence, tearing as a result of birth-trauma and problems caused by oestrogen deficiency. The orthopaedic sister clinic under the leadership of Professor Adrian Wilson has successfully conducted thousands of Lipogems® treatments on hips, knees, ankles and shoulders contributing to a global total of more than 30,000 Lipogems® procedures worldwide.Miss Jeannie Yoon, says: We are very excited about the potential of this technique and the positive impact that it can bring to women’s lives. I see women everyday with diverse problems and needs. We believe that this treatment may have superior longevity compared to other alternatives. Lipogems offers a more natural alternative to women who want or need to avoid hormonal treatment, for example, those women who have had cancer or are at risk of getting cancer. This will revolutionize many women’s lives.”center_img Miss Shoreh Beski, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist with 25 years’ experience in the private health sector and NHS with a special interest in sub fertility, regenerative medicine and high risk obstetrics Miss Jeannie Yoon, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist having worked at St Thomas’, Queen Charlotte’s, Chelsea & Westminster and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Miss Yoon has specialist knowledge of abnormal smears and colposcopy, having spent three years at the Royal Marsden Hospital as the Cancer Research Campaign Fellow and is a recognized BMS (British Menopause Society) specialist Dr Richard Smith, Consultant Gynecologist, was a Senior Lecturer at Charing Cross & Westminster School of Medicine and thereafter Consultant and Director of Gynaecology at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. He is the First editor of the book, Gynecologic Oncology and the author Women’s Cancers: Pathways to Healing Dr. Joseph Aquilina, Consultant Obstetrician & Gyneologist, is a Consultant at St.Bartholomew’s and Royal London Hospitals and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. His work has been recognized as a preceptor for training in gynecological scanning by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and has been the Editor for Women’s Health Section of Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology Source:https://www.theregenerativewomanclinic.co.uk/last_img read more