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first_imgThe big question is whether there is a causal link between cholesterol levels in the blood and Alzheimer’s disease risk. The existing data have been murky on this point. One interpretation of our current data is that LDL cholesterol does play a causal role. If that is the case, we might need to revise targets for LDC cholesterol to help reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Our work now is focused on testing whether there is a causal link.”Dr. Thomas Wingo, lead author of the study Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 29 2019Researchers with the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Emory University have found a link between high LDL cholesterol levels and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The results could help doctors understand how the disease develops and what the possible causes are, including genetic variation.According to Dr. Thomas Wingo, lead author of the study, the results show that LDL cholesterol levels may play a causal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.The results appear in the May 28, 2019, issue of JAMA Neurology. Wingo is a neurologist and researcher with the Atlanta VA and Emory University.Elevated cholesterol levels have been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s later in life. This risk may be due to genetic factors tied to cholesterol. Past research has shown that a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is a specific mutation in a gene referred to as APOE. It is the largest known single genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This APOE variant, called APOE E4, is known to raise levels of circulating cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This type of cholesterol is sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol” because high LDL levels can lead to a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.While late-onset Alzheimer’s–the common form of the disease–appears to be linked to cholesterol, little research has been done on a possible connection between cholesterol levels and early-onset Alzheimer’s risk.Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a relatively rare form of the condition. The disease is considered “early-onset” when it appears before age 65. About 10% of all Alzheimer’s cases are early-onset. Past research has shown that the condition is largely genetics-based, meaning it is likely to be inherited if a parent has it.Three specific gene variants (dubbed APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2) are known to be related to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. APOE E4 is also a risk factor in this form of the disease, as well. These gene variants explain about 10% of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease cases, meaning that 90% of cases are unexplained.To test whether early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is linked to cholesterol and identify the genetic variants that might underlie this possible association, the researchers sequenced specific genomic regions of 2,125 people, 654 of whom had early-onset Alzheimer’s and 1,471 of whom were controls. They also tested blood samples of 267 participants to measure the amount of LDL cholesterol.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaThey found that APOE E4 explained about 10% of early-onset Alzheimer’s, which is similar to estimates in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers also tested for APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2. About 3% of early-onset Alzheimer’s cases had at least one of these known early-onset Alzheimer’s risk factors.After testing blood samples, the researchers found that participants with elevated LDL levels were more likely to have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, compared with patients with lower cholesterol levels. This was true even after the researchers controlled for cases with the APOE mutation, meaning cholesterol could be an independent risk factor for the disease, regardless of whether the problematic APOE gene variant is present.The researchers did not find a link between HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and early-onset Alzheimer’s, and only a very slight association between the disease and triglyceride levels.The researchers also found a new possible genetic risk factor for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Early-onset Alzheimer’s cases were higher in participants with a rare variant of a gene called APOB. This gene encodes a protein that is involved in the metabolism of lipids, or fats, including cholesterol. The finding suggests a direct link between the rare APOB mutation and Alzheimer’s disease risk, according to the researchers. However, the link between LDL-C level and early-onset Alzheimer’s was not fully explained by APOE or APOB, suggestion that other genes and mechanisms also increase disease risk.While the study shines light on possible risk factors for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers say that more research is needed to fully explain the connection between the disease and cholesterol. The relative rarity of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease presents a challenge in finding enough samples to perform large genetic studies on the condition, they say.Source:Veterans Affairs Research CommunicationsJournal reference:Wingo, T.S. et al. (2019) Association of Early-Onset Alzheimer Disease With Elevated Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels and Rare Genetic Coding Variants of APOB. JAMA Neurology. read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 14 2019A new University of Michigan study challenges a popularized view about what’s causing the growing gap between the lifespans of more- and less-educated Americans- finding shortcomings in the widespread narrative that the United States is facing an epidemic of “despair.”Some influential studies have argued that growing life expectancy inequality is driven by so-called “deaths of despair,” suggesting that economic stagnation has induced less-educated Americans to turn to drugs, alcohol and suicide.Yet, that explanation is inconsistent with a large body of research on the way many disadvantaged Americans respond to stress, says Arline Geronimus, a professor at U-M’s School of Public Health and lead author of the study published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.”The assumption that people are giving up neglects the existing research that shows the engaged and tenacious ways people often deal with life challenges,” Geronimus said.Geronimus and her team set out to look at whether the empirical data backed this concept. They used Census and Vital Statistics data to evaluate historically relevant causes of deaths- including opioids, cardiovascular disease, HIV, and lung or other cancers- for non-Hispanic blacks and whites between 1990 and 2015, ranking them by gender and education (less or more educated).When looking at the deaths of despair (drug overdose, suicide and alcohol-related liver diseases), the researchers found that drug overdoses do contribute to the widening inequality for whites, especially men, but that’s not the case for blacks. Also, they found that overdose deaths are less important for growing inequality in women’s life expectancy.For older adults, where the growth in inequality is largest, premature death due to cardiovascular disease and cancers are the main reason for the widening gap- not overdose deaths. The early onset and progression of such chronic diseases can reflect the physiological impact of prolonged and resolute coping with life stressors, Geronimus says.Related StoriesPDFNJ campaign emphasizes the hazards of prescription opioidsResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesReplacing a small amount of red meat with healthier foods may improve life expectancyShe points out that suicide rates have contributed little to the growing inequality gap, contrary to the “deaths of despair” theory. Instead, deaths due to cardiovascular disease, non-lung cancers and other internal diseases might help explain important shares of the growing life expectancy gap between those less educated and their highly educated counterparts, Geronimus says.”These findings suggest that, rather than giving up in the face of hopelessness, less-educated Americans may be losing ground for exactly the opposite reason- because they work so hard, they bear the health consequences of years of stress,” she said.As for the opioid epidemic, Geronimus says researchers should also consider how targeted marketing to white populations, overprescription of legal opioids by physicians, the increasing use of fentanyl in street drugs, and restricted access to life-saving resources have all contributed to the increase in inequality in life expectancy accounted for by opioid deaths in whites. “While addressing the opioid epidemic is urgent, we should not lose sight of the widening educational mortality gap attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancers and other internal causes.” Source:University of Michigancenter_img The deaths of despair narrative is speculative, overlooks black lives and implies that lack of resilience explains the life expectancy inequities among whites, especially of those who have been socioeconomically disenfranchised.”Arline Geronimuslast_img read more

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 21 2019The saying “God doesn’t play dice” is meant to suggest that nothing happens by chance. On the other hand, cancer seems like the ultimate happenstance: Don’t we all have a 43-year-old, vegan, triathlete friend fighting cancer? Does this mean that cancer plays dice? According to the traditional model of how cancer develops, yes: Every time a cell divides, you roll a die, and the more years you roll, the greater your chance of rolling an unfortunate mutation that causes cancer. Some young people get very unlucky and some older people get very lucky, but overall, the longer you live, the more times you roll the die, the greater your risk of developing cancer. It makes perfect sense.Only, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal eLife points out a simple problem with this model: Many cancers require more than one activating mutation. In other words, not only one but multiple unlikely bad things have to happen to cause cancer. Think of this like rolling multiple dice, or perhaps like rolling an unlucky number on a single die, multiple times. Say you’re rolling a 100-sided die with “42” being a cancer-causing mutation. You would expect it to take longer to roll four 42s than it does to roll one 42, right?But the current study shows that no matter the number of unlucky events needed to cause a specific kind of cancer, cancer risk rises equally with age. On average, it takes only one mutation to cause mesothelioma, eleven mutations to cause colorectal cancer, and four mutations to cause pancreatic cancer. But despite the dramatically different Vegas odds of “rolling” one, four and eleven “42s,” the incidence of these cancers goes up uniformly with age, accelerating from about age 60 to about age 85. In this case, it does not, in fact, take longer to roll eleven 42s than it takes to roll one 42.The evidence against the traditional model of oncogenesis gets curiouser and curiouser.Some cancers arise from giant pools of stem cells, while other cancers arise from very small stem cell pools. These larger stem cell pools are like rolling far more dice – sometimes thousands of times more dice – and when rolling more dice, you would expect to get the needed number of unfortunate 42s much more quickly than if rolling fewer dice. This means that cancers that grow from large stem cell pools should arise much earlier in life. They do not. Like the number of activating mutations, no matter the size of the stem cell pool, the incidence of most cancers rises uniformly with age. (Also, whales have millions of times more cells than do mice, and yet cancer is no more common in whales than it is in mice – this lack of correlation between number of cells and cancer incidence is called Peto’s Paradox.)Again, the point is that according to the traditional model of oncogenesis, it should take you longer to randomly generate four cancer-causing mutations than it takes you to generate one. And if you are rolling dice for a billion stem cells, generating these mutations should take less time than if you are rolling dice for a million stem cells. In reality, neither is true: Neither the number of activating mutations nor the size of the stem cell pool affects the age at which people develop these different kinds of cancer.”What was really striking to us is that if you normalize all the cancer incidences, they all fall on top of each other – for different cancers that require such a different number of drivers and that arise from stem cell pools that range thousands of times in size, incidence is the same across age,” says CU Cancer Center Deputy Director, James DeGregori, PhD. “What this means is that, mathematically, one cannot account for carcinogenesis simply with mutation accumulation over age.”In other words, something other than the traditional model of oncogenesis is in play.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerIt seems somehow fitting that DeGregori’s answer to the questions of God and cancer playing dice comes from the field of evolution. And his methodology comes from, well, playing dice.”Essentially what we show is that a logical way to get these patterns is to assume that selection for these mutations is disadvantageous in youth, but become advantageous later in life,” DeGregori says. Lead author of the current study, Andrii Rozhok, PhD, demonstrated this differential selection by using a mathematical technique called Monte Carlo modeling, which, appropriately named after the gambling mecca, is basically a way to incorporate randomness into prediction models.What DeGregori means is that selection pressure acting on healthy cells and cancer cells competing in the ecosystem of the body – and not necessarily random, cancer-causing mutations – in large part decides who does and does not get cancer. In young people, cancer-causing mutations make a cell less fit for the tissue ecosystem; in older people, cancer-causing mutations make a cell more fit for the new, age-altered tissue ecosystem.”If you think about the classic example of evolution, before the Industrial Revolution, it was advantageous for moths to be fairly light colored to match light-colored lichens on English trees. In pre-Industrial England, some moths were born black, but they were selected against. It was only when soot covered the trees that being dark colored became advantageous, allowing dark moths to out-compete light ones,” DeGregori says.Like black moths, cancer cells may pop up from time to time in a young, healthy body, but they are generally selected against. It is only when old age, smoking (soot!), UV exposure or other carcinogenic factors adjust the tissue ecosystem that the black moths of cancer cells suddenly find themselves most fit.”If these mutations are disadvantageous, they are disadvantageous in both large and small stem cell pools. And in terms of cancer risk, it matters less at what age you pick up the one or two or four needed cancer-causing mutations than at what age these mutations become advantageous,” DeGregori says.DeGregori calls this model of cancer driven by natural selection Adaptive Oncogenesis. And, in fact, cancer is not the only bad actor that takes advantage of tissue alterations that we experience at older ages.”If you graph out heart disease, kidney disease, basically all the bad stuff that starts happening to us late in life, they all display similar patterns as cancer incidence. In this way, we can think of cancer as being cut from the same cloth as other diseases of aging – the same tissue changes that increase the risk of many other diseases make tissues more hospitable to cells with cancer-causing mutations,” DeGregori says.Basically, you get old and then you die. But it’s not all bad news!”The flip side is that youth is powerfully tumor suppressive,” DeGregori says. “We are each composed of 30-40 trillion cells and we maintain this cooperative structure for more than half a century with minimal risk of cancer, even with all the exposures, all the cell divisions. It all comes down to how natural selection has invested in our bodies, simply as a means of maximizing return on investment – of investing in ensuring we reach reproductive age. Cancer reflects the waning of selection to maintain us.”Does God play dice? Ask the theologians and philosophers. As for cancer, it seems that it does play dice – chance and randomness certainly play major roles in deciding which individuals get cancer. But the dice are loaded. On a population level, rather than the fact of rolling a 42, what really affects cancer risk is how well adapted these dangerous number-42 cells are to their environment. In young, healthy tissues, 42 cells lose. In older tissues, they win. Source:University of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusJournal reference:Rozhok, A. et al. (2019) A generalized theory of age-dependent carcinogenesis. eLife. read more

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 10 2019Adults with a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s disease perform more poorly on online paired-learning tasks than adults without such a family history, and this impairment appears to be exacerbated by having diabetes or a genetic variation in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene linked to the disease.The findings, published on Tuesday in eLife, may help identify people who have increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and could uncover new ways to delay or prevent the disease. Identifying factors that reduce or eliminate the effect of a family history of Alzheimer’s disease is particularly crucial since there is currently no cure or effective disease-slowing treatments.”Lead author Joshua Talboom, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona, US. Having a family history of Alzheimer’s disease is a well-known risk factor for developing the condition, but the effects on learning and memory throughout a person’s life are less clear. Some studies have been conducted in this area, but most have been too small to draw significant conclusions.To enable a larger study, Talboom and colleagues created an easy-to-use website,, that participants could log on to and complete a memory test. Participants were asked to learn 12-word pairs and were then tested on their ability to complete the missing half of the pair when presented with one of the words.The 59,571 individuals who participated were also asked to answer questions about their sex, education, age, language, country and health, including a question about whether one of their parents or siblings had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with a family history of Alzheimer’s were able to match about two and one-half fewer word pairs than individuals without a family history. Having diabetes appeared to compound the learning impairments seen in individuals with a family history.Related StoriesObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsA subset of 742 participants who had a close relative with Alzheimer’s submitted a sample of dried blood or saliva that the researchers tested for a genetic variation in the APOE gene linked to the disease. “The APOE genotype is an important genetic factor that influences memory, and we found that those with the variation performed worse on the memory test than those without the variation,” Talboom explains.Some characteristics, however, appeared to protect against memory and learning impairments in people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Participants with higher levels of education experience less of a decline in scores on the learning and memory test than people with lower levels of education, even when they have a family history of the disease. Women also appear to fair better despite having Alzheimer’s disease risk factors.”Our study supports the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, properly treating diseases such as diabetes, and building learning and memory reserve through education to reduce the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk factors,” concludes senior author Matthew Huentelman, Professor of Neurogenomics at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Arizona. Source:eLifeJournal reference:Talboom, J.S. et al. (2019) Family history of Alzheimer’s disease alters cognition and is modified by medical and genetic factors. eLife. read more

ATTAC has staged protests at Apple outlets in Paris and Aix-en-Provence. Banners held by activists read ‘We will stop when Apple pays up’ and ‘Apple pay your taxes’ Attac had staged a sit-in at Apple’s flagship Paris store on December 2, blocking access for several hours in protest at what they claimed was “massive tax evasion” by the US tech giant.Apple said the demonstration put customers’ and employees’ safety at risk and sought a court order barring the activists from further protests inside its stores.Attac had previously held protests at stores in Paris and Aix-en-Provence in November, demanding Apple pay billions of euros which the EU says it owes in back taxes.But a Paris court dismissed Apple’s claim that there was a risk of “imminent damage” from further protests, so long as these were peaceful and did not block access to the store.It noted Apple had not reported any damage from the peaceful Paris protest in December.Attac, which branded the lawsuit an assault on the right to protest, hailed the ruling in its favour.”The court has recognised the legitimacy of our actions and went as far as to say we behaved in the general interest,” said its spokesman Raphael Pradeau.He added the group has no plans to stop protesting against the company.Apple did not immediately respond to requests to comment.In 2016, the EU said Apple owed $14.5 billion in back taxes after it negotiated highly favourable tax arrangements with the Irish government.The tech giant also came under fire late last year when leaked financial documents known as the Paradise Papers showed it shifted tens of billion of dollars between tax havens to minimise taxes.Last month the company announced it would pay $38 billion (31 billion euros) on profits repatriated from overseas as it boosts investments in the United States.Apple, which claims to be the largest US taxpayer, is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of a tax-lowering bill passed by the US Congress in December. Explore further A French court on Friday threw out a complaint by Apple demanding a ban on protests at its stores by the tax campaign group Attac. © 2018 AFP Activists occupy Paris Apple store over EU tax dispute Citation: Apple loses bid to ban protests by French tax campaign group (2018, February 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

first_imgBack in August 2015 during a World Series of Fighting event that also happened to be in Las Vegas, they brawled inside the crowd and were escorted out of the arena.Nurmagomedov was in town for a press conference on Friday to promote his unification title bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. He last fought at UFC 229 last October, when he submitted Conor McGregor in the fourth round. When the fight concluded, a near riot ensued between both fight camps. Nurmagomedov got suspended nine months for his role in the melee.Meanwhile, Diaz will return to the Octagon for the first time in nearly three years at UFC 241 in August when he takes on Anthony Pettis. The native of Stockton, Calif. upset McGregor at UFC 196 in March 2016, but lost the rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016. UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz got into an apparent scuffle that also looked to have involved friends of the fighters near the end of the UFC 239 preliminary card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Diaz, who was at the event in support of friend and training partner Gilbert Melendez, wound up leaving the arena shorty thereafter.Nate Diaz is outta here. #UFC239 Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) July 7, 2019During the UFC 239 post-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed the altercation with reporters.”Yeah, they got into a fight – Khabib and Diaz,” White said, adding that it was just a “verbal” confrontation. “Talking s- to each other back and forth and everybody broke it up. We moved Diaz and then Diaz left after the Melendez fight.”This isn’t the first time Nurmagomedov and Diaz got into an incident with one another.MORE: UFC 239 – Jon Jones defends light heavyweight title with split decision win over Thiago Santoscenter_img My buddy who is there sent me this. Brian Trumps (@BTrumps) July 7, 2019It’s not much..but security already got in the middle between Khabib and his friends (left side) and Nate Diaz (right side). #UFC239 Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) July 7, 2019Security intervened and Nurmagomedov and Diaz were separated and moved to different parts of the venue.last_img read more

first_imgHere’s the outlook for the NFC West heading into training camp:Team on the riseSan Francisco 49ersMany predicted the Niners to challenge for the playoffs last year. The loss of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to injury in September put that to bed, but with Garoppolo back under center, the Niners appear better poised for a push in 2019.The pass rush should go from a weakness to a strength after the arrivals of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, who join DeForest Buckner on a stacked defensive front, which will hope to force considerably more turnovers than the record low of seven the 49ers produced last year.With Kyle Shanahan calling the plays for Garoppolo, an offense featuring star tight end George Kittle and a talented cast of young skill-position players, San Francisco’s attack should be prolific enough to keep the Niners in every game.Team on the declineSeattle SeahawksIt would be easy to predict a slide for the Rams after their Super Bowl heartache. However, beyond the departures of Lamarcus Joyner, Rodger Saffold and Ndamukong Suh, they have kept largely intact the roster that fell a win short of claiming the Lombardi Trophy and found a quality replacement for Joyner in Eric Weddle.The Seahawks, meanwhile, continue to embrace a youth movement on both sides of the ball having seen receiver Doug Baldwin retire and safety Earl Thomas depart.There will be significant pressure on D.K. Metcalf to perform as a rookie and take the pressure off top receiver Tyler Lockett, but that is a lot to ask of a wideout who displayed limited agility as a route-runner in college.However, the bigger problem is on defense, where the trade of star pass rusher Frank Clark has left Seattle relying on first-round pick L.J. Collier, injury-prone Ziggy Ansah and retread Cassius Marsh to pressure the quarterback. The Seahawks should still compete for the playoffs, but their lack of an adequate replacement for Clark could see them on the outside looking in.Rookies to WatchKyler Murray, QB, Cardinals: The story of the draft could become the story of the season if Murray lives up to the billing and sets the league afire as a rookie. To do so he will likely to have to mitigate the impact of an offensive line that was one of NFL’s worst in 2018 with his running ability. Every practice and preseason snap he takes until Week 1 will be intensely scrutinized as the Cardinals’ gamble is continually evaluated.Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers: Bosa could have been a Cardinal had Arizona opted to stick with Josh Rosen. Instead he will be hunting down Murray twice a season and the pass-rusher, along with trade acquisition Ford, will be crucial to San Francisco’s defense reaching to a new level. If Bosa is to have an impact similar to older brother Joey, he will have to put the injury bug behind him. He missed almost all of his final year at Ohio State with a core muscle injury and a hamstring issue left him sidelined for the 49ers’ minicamp.Player SpotlightJared GoffThough Goff does not have to prove anything in camp, he can expect to be under even greater scrutiny in 2019 after crumbling under the bright lights in Super Bowl 53. NFL training camp 2019: NFC East preview NFL training camp 2019: NFC North preview How do you overcome a Super Bowl hangover in a division likely to be one of the toughest in the NFL in 2019?That is the conundrum the Rams face as they try to put their letdown against the Patriots in February behind them. Aiming to derail their challenge will be a Seahawks team that will remain competitive as long as Russell Wilson is under center, while the 49ers should be in the mix if their quarterback can stay healthy and return to his 2017 form.The combination of Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury could be an explosive one for the Cardinals and should that prove the case that the NFC West may be the most fascinating division in football. Related News NFL training camp 2019: NFC South preview Goff never looked comfortable with the stage or his opposition as the Patriots’ defense strangled the life out of the Rams offense in Atlanta, and his upcoming fourth year will be one in which he will have to rise to the challenge of dissecting opponents that will be out to emulate New England’s success. It’s largely on Goff to ensure that Los Angeles doesn’t suffer a Super Bowl hangover in a difficult division.Key InjuryJimmy Garoppolo, knee: The word is the Niners’ quarterback is “good to go” for training camp after tearing his ACL in Week 3 last season, but how he progresses in his return to padded practices should be closely monitored, as it his performances that are most likely to determine whether the West becomes a three-horse race in 2019.For all the good work Nick Mullens did last year, the Niners will go as far as Garoppolo does in a crucial third year for Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch. For them to have a chance of winning the division or just reaching the postseason, they need Garoppolo firing on all cylinders as soon as possible.last_img read more

first_img Tam Hunt, Affiliate Guest in Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndohear.comThese German hearing aids are going viralhear.comUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndo How can you know that any animal, other human beings, or anything that seems conscious, isn’t just faking it? Does it enjoy an internal subjective experience, complete with sensations and emotions like hunger, joy, or sadness? After all, the only consciousness you can know with certainty is your own. Everything else is inference. The nature of consciousness makes it by necessity a wholly private affair. These questions are more than philosophical. As intelligent digital assistants, self-driving cars and other robots start to proliferate, are these AIs actually conscious or just seem like it? Or what about patients in comas — how can doctors know with any certainty what kind of consciousness is or is not present, and prescribe treatment accordingly? In my work, often with with psychologist Jonathan Schooler at the University of California, Santa Barbara, we’re developing a framework for thinking about the many different ways to possibly test for the presence of consciousness.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  There is a small but growing field looking at how to assess the presence and even quantity of consciousness in various entities. I’ve divided possible tests into three broad categories that I call the measurable correlates of consciousness. You can look for brain activity that occurs at the same time as reported subjective states. Or you can look for physical actions that seem to be accompanied by subjective states. Finally, you can look for the products of consciousness, like artwork or music, or this article I’ve written, that can be separated from the entity that created them to infer the presence — or not — of consciousness. Neural correlates of consciousness Over the last two decades, scientists have proposed various ways to probe cognition and consciousness in unresponsive patients. In such cases, there aren’t any behaviors to observe or any creative products to assess. You can check for the neural correlates of consciousness, though. What’s physically going on in the brain? Neuroimaging tools such as EEG, MEG, fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation (each with their own strengths and weaknesses), are able to provide information on activity happening within the brain even in coma and vegetative patients. Cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene has identified what he calls four signatures of consciousness — specific aspects of brain activity he deems necessary for normal consciousness. He focuses on what’s known as the “P3 wave” in the dorsolateral cortex — the part of the brain behind the top of your forehead — because it seems to correlate most reliably with normal conscious states. He also focuses on long-range synchronized electric fields between different parts of the brain as another key signature of consciousness. In tests which look for these signals in vegetative and minimally conscious patients, Dehaene and his colleagues have successfully predicted which patients are most likely to regain more normal states of consciousness. Sid Kouider, another cognitive neuroscientist, has examined infants in order to assess the likelihood that very young babies are conscious. He and his team looked for specific neural signatures that go along with subjective experience in adults. They looked specifically for a certain type of brain waves, similar to the P3 wave Dehaene focuses on, that are reliable indicators of consciousness in adults. They found clear analogs of the P3 wave in the brains of babies as young as five months old. Kouider concludes — unsurprisingly — that even young babies are very likely conscious in various complex ways, such as recognizing faces. Behavioral correlates of consciousness When considering potentially conscious entities that can’t communicate directly, and that won’t allow neuroscientific measurement tools on their head (if they even have heads), it’s possible to consider physical behaviors as clues for the presence and type of consciousness. You know that a massive range of human behaviors are accompanied by conscious experience. So when you see similar behaviors in other animals or even non-animals, can you reasonably infer the presence of consciousness? For example, are cats conscious? Their brain architecture is a little different than humans’. They have very minimal prefrontal cortex, which some scientists think is the center of many higher-order activities of the human brain. But is a prefrontal cortex necessary for consciousness? Cat behavior is complex and pretty easy to map onto human behavior in many ways. Cats purr, flex their toes and snuggle when petted, in similar ways to people demonstrating pleasure when physically stimulated — minus the purrs, of course. They meow loudly for food when hungry and stop meowing when fed. They demonstrate curiosity or fear about other cats or humans with various types of body language. These and many other easily observable behaviors add up to convincing evidence for most people that cats are indeed conscious and have rich emotional lives. You can imagine looking for other familiar behaviors in a rat, or an ant or a plant — if you see things close enough to what you’d expect in conscious humans, you may credit the observed creature with a certain type of consciousness. Creative correlates of consciousness If, for whatever reason, you can’t examine neural or behavioral correlates of consciousness, maybe you can look to creative outputs for clues that would indicate consciousness. For example, when examining ancient megalithic structures such as Stonehenge, or cave paintings created as far back as 65,000 years ago, is it reasonable to assume that their creators were conscious in ways similar to us? Most people would likely say yes. You know from experience that it would take high intelligence and consciousness to produce such items today, so reasonably conclude that our ancient ancestors had similar levels of consciousness. What if explorers find obviously unnatural artifacts on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system? It will depend on the artifacts in question, but if astronauts were to find anything remotely similar to human dwellings or machinery that was clearly not human in origin, it would be reasonable to infer that the creators of these artifacts were also conscious. Closer to home, artificial intelligence has produced some pretty impressive art — impressive enough to fetch over US$400,000 in a recent art auction. At what point do reasonable people conclude that creating art requires consciousness? Researchers could conduct a kind of “artistic Turing Test”: ask study participants to consider various artworks and say which ones they conclude were probably created by a human. If AI artwork consistently fools people into thinking it was made by a person, is that good evidence to conclude that the AI is at least in some ways conscious? So far AI aren’t convincing most observers, but it’s reasonable to expect that they will be able to in the future. Where’s my ‘consciousness-ometer’? Can anyone get a definitive answer about the presence of consciousness, and how much? Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no. There is not yet a “consciousness-ometer,” but various researchers, including Dehaene, have some ideas. Neuroscientist Giulio Tononi and his colleagues like Christof Koch focus on what they call “integrated information” as a measure of consciousness. This theory suggests that anything that integrates at least one bit of information has at least a tiny amount of consciousness. A light diode, for example, contains just one bit of information and thus has a very limited type of consciousness. With just two possible states, on or off, however, it’s a rather uninteresting kind of consciousness. In my work, my collaborators and I share this “panpsychist” foundation. We accept as a working hypothesis that any physical system has some associated consciousness, however small it may be in the vast majority of cases. Rather than integrated information as the key measure of consciousness, however, we focus on resonance and synchronization and the degree to which parts of a whole resonate at the same or similar frequencies. Resonance in the case of the human brain generally means shared electric field oscillation rates, such as gamma band synchrony (40-120 Hertz). Our consciousness-ometer would then look at the degree of shared resonance and resulting information flows as the measure of consciousness. Humans and other mammals enjoy a particularly rich kind of consciousness, because there are many levels of pervasive shared synchronization throughout the brain, nervous system and body. Tests for consciousness are still in their infancy. But this field of study is undergoing a renaissance because the study of consciousness more generally has finally become a respectable scientific pursuit. Before too long it may be possible to measure just how much consciousness is present in various entities — including in you and me. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter. ]last_img read more

first_imgIf you have a child who loves to dig up bugs, build rolling robots, or is just curious about how things work, one of these science kits may be for you. Here’s a look at what Amazon has on sale today (July 16) as Prime Day deals for its Prime members.  Live Science will continue to update this page throughout the day with new deals and updates to current science kit deals.  Spy Science KitHeadbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Embrace your inner 007 and learn about science, with this kit, which offers two exciting mysteries to solve using eight scientific activities. Learn about how crime labs work as you match fingerprints, analyze DNA and test liquids and powders. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Prime Day price: $12.70, a savings of 42% for Prime members Buy Spy Science Kit on Magical Microbes DoughLab We wouldn’t be able to make bread without microbes! This kit will teach curious young bakers about the interactions of different microorganisms in baking, and how they affect the texture and taste of delicious bread. Kit includes: high-protein flour, dry yeast, baking tins, mixing containers, inflatable gloves, wooden mixing sticks, a measuring spoon, sugar and salt. Prime Day price: $19.99, a savings of 25% for Prime members Buy Magical Microbes DoughLab on Clickety Flix Retroscope Take a step back into the early days of moviemaking, with the Smartivity Clickety Flix Retroscope kit. Make “movies” from still images by building a hand-cranked device to rotate images like a flipbook, creating an animated show from sequential photos or drawings. Prime Day price: $26.45, a savings of 24% for Prime members Buy Clickety Flix Retroscope on Fruit Battery Science Experiment Kit Did you know that you can generate electricity with fruits or vegetables? This kit provides everything you’ll need (except the produce) to turn a banana, tomato, lemon or potato into a working battery that can power LED lights or an electronic clock. Prime Day price: $7.19, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Fruit Battery Kit on Optical Illusions Science Kit You won’t believe your eyes when you peer at the optical illusions in this kit. Over a dozen experiments will engage and delight kids ages 8 to 12, teaching them about what makes an optical illusion and how our brains “trick” our eyes by transforming what we see. Prime Day price: $17.59, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Optical Illusions Kit on Weird Slime Goo Lab Immerse yourself up to the elbows in the gooey, gross science of slime. This kit contains everything you need to make squishy handfuls of slime, including slime ingredients; protective goggles, mask and gloves; and resealable containers. “Recipes” for special types of slime will help you create “blood clots,” “leech soup,” and “rat guts noodles.” Prime Day price: $25.20, Prime members save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Slime Goo Lab on Blast-Off Space Rocket Reach for the stars with a kit for building a wooden rocket and launch pad, assembled with rubber bands. Adjusting the elastic bands controls the speed of the rocket. Finished models may be customized with paint (not included). Prime Day price: $19.74, a 21% savings for Prime members Buy Blast-Off Space Rocket on Light-Up Terrarium Inside this container is a tiny world: a miniature garden which can be illuminated at night by a built-in LED light. The kit includes colored sand, rocks and soil; wheatgrass and chia seeds; whimsical miniatures of a mushroom and rabbit; and tools for planting and watering the seeds. Prime Day price: $19.99, a 20% savings for Prime members Buy Light-Up Terrarium on Jumbo Gem Dig Kit Any geologist will tell you that this kit really rocks. Grab a chisel and mallet and start whacking away at the “dig brick” to excavate 15 real and gorgeous gems, including lapis lazuli, red jasper, dragon’s eye, snowflake obsidian, serpentine and rainbow fluorite. An illustrated gem guide provides helpful digging tips and facts about the gems. Prime Day price: $14.74, a 41% savings for Prime members Buy Jumbo Gem Dig Kit on Physics Lab Kids’ faces will light up when they see this kit for experiments in electricity and magnetism. Recommended for grades 7 to 12, the kit includes 56 items for building electrical projects and 21 items for creating magnetic projects. The kit requires 3 AA batteries (not included). Prime Day price: $39.99, a 50% savings for Prime members Buy Physics Lab on Back to the Roots Water Garden Betta Fish Aquaponic Ecosystem Science Kit for Kids Raise a colorful betta fish (Betta splendens) and grow hydroponic plants at the same time using this educational kit. Kids will learn how an ecosystem works: The fish’s waste nourishes the plants, which in turn provide oxygen for the water. This kit contains radish and wheatgrass seeds and a growing medium; water conditioner and dechlorinator; PH strips for testing the water; and fish food (fish not included). Prime Day price: $76.30, a savings of 43% for Prime members Buy Aquaponic Ecosystem Kit on Magnets! Super Science Kit for Kids If your child is attracted to magnets, this kit may be for you. With 20 lab tools and 9 experiments, children age 8 and up will learn how magnetic forces work and how they shape technologies that are used every day. Prime Day price: $29.95, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Magnets! Science Kit on Giggleway Electric Motor Robotic Science Kit Kids as young as 8 will learn about robotics, circuitry and engineering as they assemble these endearing, googly-eyed robots. The kit includes parts for three robot friends: a “reptile robot,” a car robot and a doodling robot. Prime Day price: $18.00, a savings of 17% for Prime members Buy Robotic Science Kit on Amscope Beginner Microscope Kit This durable metal compound microscope is perfect for beginners. It includes a built-in light for direct illumination as well as a mirror for natural lighting, and provides six levels of magnification: 120X, 240X, 300X, 480X, 600X and 1200X. The kit comes in a sturdy carrying case and also contains sample slides, cover slips, tweezers, a scalpel, specimen vials, and adjustable lenses — everything a budding scientist needs to get started! Prime Day price: $36.79, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Beginner Microscope Kit on Climbing Vehicle STEM Kit This build-it-yourself vehicle doesn’t need roads. In this kit, kids will find parts, tools and instructions for constructing a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that navigates over uneven surfaces. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the climbing vehicle kit includes gears and a motor powered by a solar panel or a AA battery (not included). Prime Day price: $18.59, a savings of 38% for Prime members Buy Climbing Vehicle STEM Kit on Bones! Animal Science Kit for Kids Recommended for ages 8 and up, this kit introduces children to the excitement (and grossness) of using lab tools to pry apart owl pellets — regurgitated balls of undigested bones — to identify the animals that the owls have eaten. The kit comes with a 20-page lab guide and 10 learning activities about using owl pellets to gather clues about owls, their prey and their habitats. Prime Day price: $29.92, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Bones! Animal Science Kit on Elecfly Kids’ Microscope Suitable for ages 5 and up, this colorful, easy-to-use microscope will allow young children to observe insects, plants and even creatures that are too small to see with the naked eye. There are three fixed lenses in a rotatable head, providing 6 levels of magnification: 40x, 64x, 100x, 160x, 400x and 640x. The kit includes 25 specimen slides, a petri dish, forceps, a dropper, a test tube, cover slips, and an instruction manual.   Prime Day price: $31.99, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Elecfly Kids’ Microscope on Fizz! Chemistry Lab Kit Pop! Fizz! Kids age 8 (with adult supervision) and up will have a blast learning basic principles of chemistry and testing materials that spark, foam and snap. The kit includes everything you’ll need to enjoy hours of chemistry learning and fun, including protective goggles, food coloring, baking soda, measuring cups, spatulas, brushes, a pipette and a 36-page career and lab guide. Prime Day price: $29.95, save an additional 20% at checkout Buy Fizz! Chemistry Kit on Pica Toys Wooden Solar and Wireless Remote Control Car Kit Spark your child’s imagination with a kit that introduces them to fundamentals of electricity and circuits, as they build a wireless remote control car that runs on solar power. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Prime Day price: $27.99, a savings of 20% for Prime members Buy Wooden Solar Car on Mega Fossil Dig Kit Young paleontologists will really dig this fossil kit, which comes with 15 fossils for them to excavate. The kit includes a chisel, brush and mallet for chipping away at a block that holds fossilized shark teeth, dinosaur bones, ammonites (extinct sea animals) and more. Prime Day price: $19.74, a savings of 21% for Prime members Buy Mega Fossil Dig Kit on Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoDermalMedixDoctor’s New Discovery Makes Foot Calluses “Vanish”DermalMedixUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoAncestryTwo Sisters. Two DNA Tests. Two Different Results.AncestryUndolast_img read more

first_imgIndia has lost a great son, will miss him: Rahul on Vajpayee SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on RELATED Prez, PM lead the nation in mourning Vajpayee’s death COMMENT COMMENTS celebrity politics In the age of polarised and bitter public discourse, the passing of Atal Behari Vajpayee is an irreparable loss. In him, India still had a hope of restoration of common decency, etiquette and charm that has been lacking in the political conversation in recent times. And in him, the BJP had a moderating influence who stood his own against the tide of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and taught “Raj dharm” to Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots. In the loss of Atal Behari Vajpayee, the metaphor for charisma, charm and moderation has forever been lost.Of course, the flip side, which his political adversaries emphasise, is that with his light touch, humour and elegance, he gave a measure of acceptability to a contentious ideology and to hardline Hindutva. It was he who made the BJP politically palatable in the era of coalitions in the 1990s — when secularism was still not yet considered a “pseudo” ideology, the Congress was still the biggest political party, and the embrace of socialism and communism was not branded anti-national.And yet, for all the question marks about the ideology that he professed, Vajpayee in his prime was the perfect leader for a party that was straining to break free of the fringes and become mainstream in an era dominated by a left-oriented Congress and caste-affiliated socialists. He was considered “the right man in the wrong party”.In May 1996, faced with the prospect of losing the confidence vote after 13 days as Prime Minister, Vajpayee himself gave voice to that characterisation in the Lok Sabha. “Sahi baat hai (It is true),” affirmed several stray voices from the Opposition benches. To this, Vajpayee replied, a twinkle in his eye: “Agar achhi baat hai to kya karne ka irada rakhte hain? (If you approve, what do you intend to do?)” The Treasury and the Opposition benches were in splits, and for a moment, the master orator had doused the tension that had dogged the corridors of power ever since the general elections threw up a hung Parliament.Roots in the SanghIt was true. Vajpayee was a swayamsevak, a member of the RSS, but he wasn’t the unalloyed saffronite in the LK Advani-MM Joshi mould. In 1980, when the BJP was born, with Vajpayee as its first President, he spoke of his commitment to Gandhian socialism and a brand of positive secularism.And while his heroes were Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee and its long-time General Secretary Deen Dayal Upadhyay — both of whom are celebrated by the current Narendra Modi dispensation — Vajpayee greatly admired Jawaharlal Nehru, who is today routinely an object of scorn for the BJP. In 1959, when China walked all over Tibet, Vajpayee, then a debutant MP, delivered a stirring speech accusing the Communist neighbour of “a new kind of imperialism”.It is a measure of how “acceptable” he was across the political aisle that Nehru encouraged the young Atal; Indira Gandhi consulted Vajpayee; and PV Narasimha Rao saw Opposition leader Vajpayeeji as an ally, and honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan.It was his ability to be this, and also that, that made Vajpayee one of the most popular, and acceptable political faces. Some politicians are liked, others are reviled; but Atalji, who refused to be labelled a representative of a ‘cow-belt’ party, was adored. \No wonder then that 13 parties, including the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, backed the first National Democratic Alliance government, which lasted only 13 months. In 1999, when the NDA stormed back to power after the Kargil war, Vajpayee led a 16-party government, and became India’s first non-Congress prime minister to last a full term in office.In tandem with AdvaniBut while Vajpayee swung the moderate votes, it was his long-time friend LK Advani, who energised the BJP’s support base of core voters, and gave it a shot at power. They had been together in the Jan Sangh, and had launched the BJP together. But when in 1984, the Congress wave after Indira Gandhi’s assassination blew the BJP away and left it with all of two seats in the Lok Sabha — Vajpayee lost in Gwalior to 39-year-old Madhavrao Scindia — the baton was handed over to Advani. Whereas Vajpayee was wedded to moderation, Advani took the BJP down the strident Hindutva path, leading a Rath Yatra as part of a campaign for a Ram temple in Ayodhya.For the most part, Vajpayee stayed away from the campaign. He did not visit Ayodhya. Was it because he did not agree with hardline politics? Or was he sulking that Advani, and not he, had a larger role in the BJP? He did, however, address the kar sevaks in Lucknow on December 5, 1992, a day before the Babri Masjid was pulled down. Vajpayee’s edgy speech valourised the Ram temple cause, and sounded to some like an incitement to ‘action’. “There are sharp-edged stones on the ground…no one can sit there. The ground has to be levelled,” he said. And then, part prophetically, part mischievously, he said: “….I don’t know what will happen there tomorrow. I wanted to go to Ayodhya but I was told to go to Delhi…”Perhaps Vajpayee regretted his role, however small, in the demolition of the mosque, and its calamitous social consequences. Or maybe it was politically expedient that he be seen as remorseful. Advani realised that given his own hardline image, he would have to play second fiddle to Vajpayee, the perceived ‘moderate’ face that could appeal to a broader political consituency. With unmatched oratorical skills, Vajpayee led the party in the years to come, and won admirers even in Kerala and Kashmir, where the BJP was never strong.Peacenik Prime MinisterAs Prime Minister, Vajpayee sidelined elements of the RSS, and surrounded himself with leaders such as Jaswant Singh, George Fernandes, Arun Shourie, all of whom had nothing to do with the Sangh. Brajesh Mishra, a career bureaucrat in whom Vajpayee had implicit trust, ran the Prime Minister’s Office and kept it clear of swayamsevaks. Relations soured between Vajpayee and Sarsanghchalak KS Sudarsan.With Pakistan, Vajpayee never towed the hard line of the Sangh, or that of the BJP’s oldest ally, the Shiv Sena. He was something of a peacenik, and never gave up on improving ties with the neighbour. In 1999, the Prime Minister rode a bus to Lahore, signed a nuclear treaty, and shook hands with Nawaz Sharif, barely a year after the nuclear tests in Pokhran. A few months later, India and Pakistan went to war in Kargil. Later in the year, an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked by Pakistan-backed terrorists demanding the release of the dreaded Masood Azhar.And yet, Vajpayee gave peace another shot in 2001, hosting General Pervez Musharraf in Agra. After the fruitless summit, Pakistani terrorists attacked the Indian Parliament in December that year. For several months after that, the armies of the two countries stood eyeball-to-eyeball at the border. But Vajpayee would not give in. At every possible multilateral forum, though he would call out Islamabad for backing terrorism, the Prime Minister still saw hope. A year before his term was to end, in the summer of 2003, Vajpayee visited Kashmir and spoke of peace, and also extended the hand of friendship to Pakistan.On that trip, he also gave a call for ‘Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat’ (humanity, Kashmiri-ness, democracy) as the means to resolving the conflict in the Valley and bringing peace to the strife-torn State.As administrator, Vajpayee was a democratic man, letting many of his ministers blossom. The Prime Minister was the undisputed leader, but Sushma Swaraj, Pramod Mahajan, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley, Shahnawaz Hussain, and others were all leaders in their own right. Groundwork for ‘Shining India’On the economic front, the Vajpayee government guided an India that was beginning to show much promise through the slow-growth years of the early 2000s, when the country was wracked by successive years of drought. But the groundwork was laid for the high-growth years ahead, for the boom in the telecom sector, the extensive network of Golden Quadrilateral highways.Towards the end of his years in public life, which coincided with his final years as Prime Minister, Vajpayee’s health began to fail. He underwent a knee replacement surgery, and had trouble walking. He no longer spoke with the felicity he was known for, and the pauses between his phrases grew longer.Even his voice did not command the clout it once did. In 2002, when he wanted to replace Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was widely criticised for the riots, the demand was shot down by Advani and the Sangh. All he could do was to ask Modi to follow “Raj dharm”, to not see differences among his people on the basis of “birth, caste or community”. The Gujarat CM, visibly embarrassed by the public admonishment, feebly defended himself: “Hum bhi wohi kar rahe hain, saab (That is precisely what we are doing, sir)”.After the shock defeat in the 2004 elections, which the NDA was widely touted to win, Vajpayee’s public appearances were mostly ceremonial. In 2015, when he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, in the only photograph released to the media, his eyes were closed.In an interview to veteran journalist Tavleen Singh some time after his first stint as Prime Minister in 1996, Vajpayee said it was never his intention to enter politics, but now that he was trapped in it, he hoped he would depart unblemished. “I hope people will say [after I am gone] that I was a good man, who tried to better the lot of my country and the world.” No one else could have put it better. Highways to overseas oilfield acquisition: Vajpayee a bellwether policy reformer Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee   –  THE HINDU ARCHIVES August 16, 2018 Death of Vajpayee end of an era; it’s a personal loss for me: PM death SHARE He was a prime vehicle for the BJP’s emergence from the fringes to occupy the centrestagelast_img read more

first_imgJanuary 18, 2019 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS SC quashes certain provisions of 2016 Maharashtra law on dance bars Published on SHAREcenter_img RELATED COMMENT Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna were sworn-in as Supreme Court judges on Friday.Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi administered the oath of office to justices Maheshwari and Khanna during the swearing-in ceremony held court number 1 of the apex court.The sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court is 31. With the swearing-in of justices Maheshwari and Khanna, the strength has now gone up to 28.While Justice Maheshwari was the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Khanna was a judge in the Delhi High Court.The Centre had on Wednesday notified the appointment of justices Maheshwari and Khanna as judges of the apex court.The five-member Supreme Court Collegium, comprising CJI Gogoi and justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana and Arun Mishra, had on January 10 recommended the names of justices Maheshwari and Khanna for elevation as apex court judges.The names of the chief justices of the Rajasthan and Delhi high courts, justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Rajendra Menon respectively, were considered by the collegium on December 12, 2018 for elevation, but the deliberation remained inconclusive and one of the members of the collegium, Justice M B Lokur, retired on December 30, 2018.His place in the collegium was taken by Justice Arun Mishra.The new collegium had, on January 10, ignored the prospect of elevation of justices Nandrajog and Menon as apex court judges.The Bar Council of India (BCI) had, on Wednesday, protested the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Khanna by superseding several other judges and termed the decision as “whimsical and arbitrary”.Before the BCI made a statement protesting the collegium’s decision, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court also wrote a note to the CJI and other members of the collegium for ignoring the seniority of justices Nandrajog and Menon.Sources said Justice Kaul was of the view that a wrong signal would go out if the two chief justices, who were above Justice Khanna in the seniority list, were not elevated as apex court judges. The sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court is 31last_img read more

first_imgDoctors wear bandages on their heads as they participate in a rally to show solidarity to protest against an attack on intern junior doctor in West Bengal, at AIIMS in New Delhi.   –  PTI Doctors at hospitals in Delhi protest over WB violence RELATED SHARE strike SHARE SHARE EMAIL Doctors’ protest gets pan-India support The agitation in West Bengal enters sixth day Protesting doctors turn down Mamata’s invite for talks, say CM has to apologise first Published on West Bengal The impasse at the state-run medical colleges and hospitals in West Bengal entered the sixth day on Sunday, even as the agitating doctors asserted that they were open to talks with the government, the venue for which would be decided by a governing body of medical practitioners.Earlier, the agitators had insisted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visit the city’s NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the agitation. After an internal meeting late on Saturday, the doctors, who had turned down an invite for a closed-door meeting with Banerjee at the state secretariat, mellowed down and stated that they were ready to hold a dialogue in any form, but the venue of the meeting would be decided later.“We will be deciding on our next step during a governing body meeting today. We are open to any dialogue as always. The venue for the meeting will be decided soon,” a spokesperson of a joint forum of junior doctors told reporters here.During a press conference at the state secretariat on Saturday, Banerjee urged the agitators to resume work and said her government had accepted all of their demands. She also stressed that a group of doctors had met her and expressed their willingness to join duty, a claim vehemently refuted by the striking doctors.During the meet, the chief minister emphasised that her government had not invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to get the doctors to resume work. “We have laws, but we do not want to use them…. We are not going to take any stringent action against any of the agitating junior doctors and hamper their career,” she said after the agitators did not turn up for a meeting at 5 pm.The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory, seeking a report on the ongoing stir and stating that it had received a number of representations from the medical fraternity from different parts of the country for their safety and security in view of the strike in West Bengal.Bengal Governor K N Tripathi has written to Banerjee, advising her to take immediate steps to provide security to the medicos and find out a solution to the impasse. The chief minister said she had spoken to the governor and apprised him of the steps taken by her government to resolve the matter.Doctors across the state called for a strike after two of their colleagues were brutally assaulted at the NRS Medical College and Hospital by the family members of a patient, who died on Monday night. The services continue to remain affected in the emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals and private medical facilities in the state, leaving several patients in the lurch.The Calcutta High Court had, on Friday, refused to pass any interim order on the strike by the junior doctors. It had also asked the state government to persuade the doctors to resume work.Also read: Calcutta High Court refuses to pass interim order on doctors’ strike June 16, 2019 COMMENT COMMENTSlast_img read more

first_imgpeople Navjot Singh Sidhu   –  THE HINDU COMMENT  Under fire from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for Congress’ “poor performance” in urban areas in the Lok Sabha election, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, on Thursday, skipped the first Cabinet meeting after elections and asserted he could not be “taken for granted”.Amarinder had recently said he intended to change the cricketer-turned-politician’s portfolio — Local Government Department — over the party’s performance.“I cannot be taken for granted. I have been a performer throughout the 40 years of my life. Be it international cricket, or world class commentary with Geoffrey Boycott, TV shows or motivational talks,” Sidhu told reporters.He said the urban areas had played pivotal role in the party’s victory in Punjab and his department is being singled out.“My department is being singled out publicly. I always regard him as my elder and listen to him. But it hurts. Where is the collective responsibility now? He (Amarinder) could have called me and said anything he wanted to say,” Sidhu said here.In the recently held general election, Congress won eight out of the 13 seats. The SAD-BJP combine won four while the AAP managed to win just one seat. Published on SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img SHARE politics June 06, 2019 COMMENTSlast_img read more

first_imgMUMBAI: Ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections, the BJP on Tuesday appointed state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and party MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha as presidents of the state and Mumbai city units, respectively. While Patil has replaced Raosaheb Danve, who resigned as the Maharashtra BJP chief after his induction into Union cabinet, Lodha, a builder and the richest MLA, will take place of Ashish Shelar who was recently appointed as a minister in the state government. As per BJP constitution, a party leader cannot continue to hold the same post for more than two terms. Shelar had served as the president of the Mumbai unit for the last six years. “I request the party to appoint a full time state president for strengthening the party organisation. I need to focus on my ministerial portfolio and parliamentary responsibilities,” Danve said while announcing his resignation as the state unit president. Sources said that Patil, believed to be the number two in the state Cabinet, has the task cut out for him to ensure that the BJP retains power with an improved mandate. The elections for the 288-member House are due in September-October this year. Patil hails from Kolhapur district in western Maharashtra, once a stronghold of the Congress and the NCP. With Patil’s appointment, the presidents of the state units of the BJP, the Congress and the NCP now hail from the western Maharashtra region. While newly-appointed state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat comes from Ahmednagar district, his NCP counterpart Jayant Patil belongs to Sangli district. Lodha represents Malabar Hill constituency in south Mumbai. In 2014 assembly polls, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party by winning 122 seats. The saffron party went on to form a coalition government with the support of the Shiv Sena, which had won 63 seats. In the recently-held Lok Sabha elections, the BJP retained its 2014 tally of 23 seats in Maharashtra, which sends 48 MPs to Lok Sabha. Read this story in MarathiDownload The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for youlast_img read more

first_img(From left) Isetan of Japan Sdn Bhd sale and merchandising director/general manager Yeow Kah Chong, Commerce Development Research Institute vice-president Chang Hwang-Jen, Hung, Isetan of Japan Sdn Bhd managing director Koji Oyama and Council of Agriculture International Affairs Department senior specialist and international marketing section chief Tracy SH Tarng at the Tasty Taiwan Food Fair. Tags / Keywords: Central Region Metro News 10 Jul 2019 Window into the best of Taiwan technology Related News Related Newscenter_img Metro News 11 Jul 2019 Taiwan making a big splash in halal market {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} AUTHENTIC speciality Taiwanese food and produce landed in Kuala Lumpur, much to the delight of Taiwanese cuisine lovers and gastro-fans, when the fifth edition of the annual Tasty Taiwan Food Fair took up space at Isetan KLCC.Organised in conjunction with the Taiwanese government’s efforts to reach out to trade reps in emerging markets, the Tasty Taiwan food expo in Malaysia gave shoppers the chance to sample a tempting spread of Taiwanese dishes, including street food prepared using high-quality local ingredients and those sourced from Taiwan.Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia representative, Anne Hung, said the city-state was making great strides in agricultural technology and is thus improving its variety and volume of quality produce.Understanding that food is a universal language that connects people across borders and cultures, the organisers of Tasty Taiwan food fair introduced more than 300 food varieties at the event, including premium teas, noodles, confectionery and fresh produce.Visitors to the gastro-event were treated to not only a range of activities such as beverage tastings but also to gifts with purchases. Foodies were treated to samplings of traditional steamed dumplings, authentic oyster rice noodles and salted fried chicken. AdChoices广告Taiwan has recognised the value of agricultural and business ties with Muslim-majority markets as a key aspect of its New Southbound Policy (a trade focus under its national development strategy). Metro News 9h ago New look for same refreshing brewlast_img read more

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:00 IST “This introduction of bill is gross violation of Parliametary proceedings,” Jairam Ramesh said (File photo)Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Friday introduced a Bill in Rajya Sabha that proposes to allow the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure.However, as soon as Hardeep Singh Puri rose to introduce the Bill, Jairam Ramesh (Congress), said it should go to a Parliamentary Standing Committee first.”This introduction of the bill is a gross violation of Parliamentary proceedings,” Jairam Ramesh said, adding it should go to a standing committee.To this, Leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot said the discussion was not possible today.The Chair said it was only allowing Hardeep Singh Puri to introduce the Bill.The Cabinet on June 24 had approved the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority(Amendment), Bill.The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at airports.The amendment is proposed to allow the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure, sources had said.Currently, major airports with an annual capacity to handle one-and-a-half million passengers come under the purview of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).If the amendment is passed by Parliament, the definition of major airports would be changed to any aerodrome which has or is designated to have an annual passenger capacity of three-and-a-half million.The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) (Amendment) Bill was last approved by the Cabinet during the Modi government’s first tenure in December 2017.However, it could not be passed in last year’s Monsoon Session.As a new Lok Sabha has come in place now, the older bill has lapsed. Therefore, the Cabinet approved the bill again so that it can be re-introduced in Parliament for passage.ALSO READ | Union Budget: Infrastructure development for driving economic growthALSO READ | Govt introduces s bill in LS to amend AERA Act, change major airport definitionALSO WATCH | Delhi’s IGI Airport adjudged world’s best by Airports Council InternationalFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShahrukh Tags :Follow AERAFollow Rajya SabhaFollow Jairam RameshFollow Hardeep Singh PuriFollow Airports Next Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Bill introduced in Rajya SabhaUnion Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Friday introduced a Bill in Rajya Sabha that proposes to allow the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgHaryana bans 10-year-old auto-rickshaws in GurugramThe orders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over the district grievance committee meeting in Gurugram.advertisement Next Indo-Asian News Service ChandigarhJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 21:58 IST Manohar Lal Khattar said secretary Regional Transport Authority and Gurugram Traffic Police would jointly prepare policy | File photo from REUTERSHIGHLIGHTSManohar Lal Khattar said if any 10-year-old auto-rickshaw found on road it will be impoundedOrders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over district grievance committee meetingThis policy would be prepared by Gurugram Police Commissioner Muhammad AkilHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday announced that more than 10-year-old auto-rickshaws would not be allowed on roads in Gurugram, Haryana.”If such an auto-rickshaw is found plying on the roads it will be impounded,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said.The orders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over the district grievance committee meeting in Gurugram.Manohar Lal Khattar said the Secretary Regional Transport Authority and the Gurugram Traffic Police would jointly prepare a policy for auto-rickshaws plying illegally without registration and carrying passengers more than the specified limit.This policy would be prepared by Gurugram Police Commissioner Muhammad Akil.Also Read | Man masturbates on woman inside Gurugram metro station, cops apologise for delay in actionAlso Read | Journalist sexually harasses domestic help in Gurugram, bookedAlso Watch | Gurugram man drags traffic cop on car’s bonnetFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMohak Gupta Tags :Follow GurugramFollow GurgaonFollow HaryanaFollow TransportFollow Manohar Lal Khattarlast_img read more

first_img Next Press Trust of India Panaji (Goa)July 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 22:16 IST (Image Credit: ANI)The four former chief ministers in the Congress will never allow the party to come to power in Goa, Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserratte, who joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party two days ago, said on Friday.Atanasio Monserratte and nine other MLAs crossed over to the saffron party Wednesday, reducing the Congress’ strength in 40-member Goa Assembly to five.Of the five remaining legislators, four are former chief ministers, namely, Ravi Naik, Luizinho Faleiro, Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane.”They want to become chief minister again and they will never allow Congress to form government,” Atanasio Monserratte told reporters.The fact that even Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar left the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party indicated how bad the things were in the Congress, he also added.However, he himself was not in the position to comment on the Congress’ affairs as he had joined it recently, he said.”I was like a traveler in Congress for one month,” he said.Atanasio Monserratte won Panaji Assembly by-election on Congress ticket in May.ALSO READ | Goa CM Pramod Sawant seeks resignation of 3 ministers, independent MLA to induct new facesALSO WATCH | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Kashyap Tags :Follow congressFollow Atanasio MonserratteFollow PanajiFollow Bharatiya Janata PartyFollow Goa Four ex-CMs will not allow Congress to form govt: BJP MLA Atanasio MonserratteAtanasio Monserratte and nine other MLAs crossed over to the saffron party, reducing the Congress’s strength in 40-member Goa Assembly to five.advertisementlast_img read more

first_img Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 14:33 IST The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a warning against websites which are masquerading as passport service providers.The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a warning about portals that are masquerading as official passport service websites.The ministry’s passport division has warned that such fraudulent passport websites and mobile applications dupe people by collecting data.The fake passport websites also levy additional hefty charges for filling up the online application form and scheduling appointment for passport related services, the alert, which appears as a pop-up on the official website for passport services, says.Citing examples, the alert says that the fake passport websites are registered in the domain name *.org, *.in, *.com.The alert also lists some of the fake websites:,,,,, alert warns everybody looking out for passport services to be careful while booking appointments for getting passports. Those applying for the Indian passport should not visit the aforementioned websites, the alert says.For wondering what, the only official website where one can apply for passport services is: can also use the official mPassport Seva app that is available on both Android and iOS.Also read | Follow these easy steps to apply for Reissue of Passport Also read | How to apply for passport: Simple stepsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnumika Bahukhandi Tags :Follow Indian passportFollow PassportFollow MEAFollow Ministry of External AffairsFollow Passport alert! Ministry of External Affairs issues warning on fake passport services websitesThe fake passport websites also levy additional hefty charges for filling up the online application form and scheduling appointment for passport related services, the alert, which appears as a pop-up on the official website for passport services, says.advertisementlast_img read more

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