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06-25-2016 Cars
This tiny electric car just set a world record: 0–60 in 1.5 seconds

A team of 30 students have built the fastest-accelerating electric car in the world. Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) published a video today that shows "grimsel," its electric race car, accelerating from 0–60 miles per hour in just 1.513 seconds on a runway at Dübendorf Air Base in Switzerland.

That's fast. It's more than half a second faster than the world's fastest production cars (including Tesla and its "Ludicrous Speed" mode), and two-tenths of a second faster the previous record. It's even faster than the Zombie 222 electric Mustang we covered last year. To achieve this kind of feat, the car is made mostly of carbon fiber, uses four-wheel drive, and has an onboard computer that applies traction control to each individual wheel.

The team is made up from students from two universities: ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The car was made for the Formula Student competition, where the AMZ club has been ranked number one in the world for three years. Teams with the best cars in these competitions often also take aim at this world record since the cars are so good at accelerating, but AMZ had a bit of an axe to grind, too: the club broke the record in 2014 but lost it last year to a team from the University of Stuttgart.

If you're not familiar, Formula Student — also known as Formula SAE — is a global competition that was started in 1981. Teams of students build new cars every year and compete in a variety of ways on and off the track. They have to prove out and defend their design and engineering choices, and even pitch these cars to fake investors (in order to learn about marketability) — and that's all before they race the cars on the track.

Part of the reason that Formula SAE isn't too well-known is that the cars never race wheel-to-wheel. There are two main reasons for this. First, the teams typically build one prototype car per year, so the demolition risk is just too high. And second, the students are also the drivers, which means most of them don't have formal racing experience.

That said, the autocross courses they run are incredibly tight, so these kids know their stuff. And if you look at the rest of the footage from this and AMZ's other videos, these cars also look like a total blast to drive (aka please someone let me drive one).

Source: The Verge

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06-25-2016 Politics
Colombia Farc: Celebrations after ceasefire ends five decades of war

Colombians are celebrating the signing of a ceasefire by the government and the Farc rebel movement, which ended 50 years of civil war.

In the capital, Bogota, people took to the streets, hugging each other and singing the national anthem. The announcement is seen as one of the last steps before a full peace deal is signed, which is expected within weeks. The longest-running insurgency in the Western hemisphere left some 220,000 people dead and millions displaced. Thursday's announcement in Havana caps formal peace talks that started three years ago in the Cuban capital. But it does not mark the start of the ceasefire, which will only begin with the signing of a final accord. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has previously said he hopes to sign that by the end of July.

Still primed for war: Will Grant, BBC News, western Colombia

The Farc in the 21st Century is a strange beast. Gone is the bipolar vision of the Cold War, and gone too are most of the group's original intellectual architects, many killed in combat. Today, somewhat anchorless, the rebels continue to go through motions of an armed insurgency but they know a new future is beckoning. They remain primed for war - machine guns by their beds, handguns under their pillows, all night lookouts keeping watch for an enemy that no longer seems to be searching for them.

Thursday's announcement included: A commitment that rebels will lay down arms within 180 days of a final peace deal The creation of temporary transition zones and camps for the estimated 7,000 rebels A provision that no civilians will be allowed to enter Farc camps, to guarantee rebel security A provision that UN monitors will receive all the group's weapons

"Let this be the last day of the war," Farc leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, said at the announcement. Both sides agreed to let the courts rule whether a popular vote can be held in Colombia to endorse the deal, which was a promise made by Mr Santos. The president said at the ceremony that this was a "historic day". "We have reached the end of 50 years of death, attacks and pain," he said. "This is the end of the armed conflict with the Farc."

The ceasefire and the Colombian media, by BBC Monitoring

The announcement of the Farc ceasefire dominated the headlines of the online editions of the main Colombian newspapers and other media outlets. Centre-left newspaper El Espectador featured extensive coverage of the news of the agreement and a banner headline, which reads: "The guns went silent" along a striking image of two guerrilla fighters in action. It also covered the key points of the deal as well as the history of the conflict.

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Source: BBC

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06-25-2016 Science&Technology

YouTube took to VidCon today to announce that live-streaming is coming to its mobile apps and will be available to all users. Google’s video platform detailed all the new video formats it was pursuing, including 360-degree videos and VR. During the keynote, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stated that the platform contains the most 360-degree video content on the web. She added that YouTube was also pairing its biggest creators with VR companies to produce new content. The most exciting news for general users, however, was the live-streaming update for the YouTube app. After claiming that YouTube was investing heavily in the format, Wojcicki gave the VidCon stage to Kurt Wilms, product lead of immersive experiences at YouTube, to show off the new feature.

As Wilms opened up the YouTube app, the screen behind him projected the live-streaming function. In terms of its UI, the design matches Periscope, in that it shows you live interactions in the form of speech bubbles that mount up on the left-hand side of the display. Other live-streaming icons include a viewer count, a “like” count, and a button that lets you switch between the front and rear cameras on your smartphone. As Wilms demonstrated, you can also take a photo beforehand as a title banner for your broadcast. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how everybody here uses these creative tools,” Wojcicki said during the keynote. The live-streaming capability is currently exclusively available to a small selection of YouTube’s biggest creators, including The Young Turks, AIB, and Alex Wassabi, among others. It will be rolled out to general users soon, although YouTube did not reveal a specific date. The update sees YouTube play catch-up with the likes of Twitter’s Periscope, and Facebook Live. The latter has been dominating the headlines of late, thanks to its spending spree to attract notable talent (including celebs and media companies) to its burgeoning feature. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has even been doing his own fair share of legwork to promote Live, including a series of broadcasts from Facebook HQ. YouTube, in its own words, boasts that it has a better infrastructure in place than its competitors to take advantage of live-streaming. The Google-owned video platform undeniably has an existing hotbed of popular creators, which it is also promoting through its subscription service YouTube Red, that can help spread the word on the update to its millions of subscribers. It is also already home to the biggest media companies that will likely utilize live-streaming in order to reach YouTube’s audience of 1 billion users, who watch an average of 40 minutes of videos per day on mobile devices. Engagement is evidently not an issue for the platform. The announcement heralds the arrival of a new heavyweight contender in the live-streaming arena. One that could potentially land a knockout blow to its rivals, Twitter and Facebook.

Source: Digital Trends

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06-25-2016 Cars
The New Porsche Panamera Definitely Maybe Set a New Nurburgring Record

It appears images of the redesigned Porsche Panamera have leaked again, almost a week before the official unveiling. And while official press photos can hide a lot of flaws, there's no doubt it's a better-looking car than the first-generation. It's also going to be wickedly fast—if we're reading the hints from Porsche's latest teaser video correctly.

The video above, which Porsche released today, claims the new Panamera has already broken some kind of record. It then goes onto declare this new car "the fastest luxury sedan on earth."

Now, there are a lot of records the Panamera could have broken, but that second part helps clear up that we're talking about speed. And after seeing this shot, from the very first seconds of the video, could there be any doubt that Porsche's talking about the Nurburgring?

Since Porsche's specifically calling this "the fastest luxury sedan in the world," we can maybe hazard a guess at a lap time based on previous performances by four-doors at the 'Ring. The Panamera would have to be faster than the Honda Civic Type R's time of 7:50. Most likely, it's also faster than the pre-production Alfa Romeo Giulia QV's time of 7:39.

Of course, if Porsche's director of the Panamera model line, Gernot Dollner, is to be believed, the new Panamera Turbo will be quicker than the old Carrera GT. That would put its lap time somewhere around 7:28—on par with the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Unfortunately, unless the photo leak prompts Porsche to move up the Panamera's reveal, we'll have to wait until June 28th to find out for sure. Or, we could just be willing ourselves to see clues where none exist. Still, we're inclined to take this one seriously—Porsche isn't usually the type of company that jokes around.

Source: Road And Track

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06-25-2016 Science&Technology
Uber switches out surge for price transparency

No more pop-ups asking you to agree to those murky “2.1x” (or some other “x” amount) surge fares on the Uber app. Soon Uber will just tell you the price of your ride up front.

Uber told TechCrunch in May it was not doing away with surge pricing and denied an NPR report mentioning it would be killing surge. However, it seems Uber is doing away with the feature.

Uber pricing will still fluctuate with demand, but now you’ll know the dollar amount you’ll be paying for the ride, instead; “no math and no surprises,” says Uber.

uberPOOL introduced riders to exact fares two years ago and the ride-sharing company started to notice something — people seemed more likely to take Uber again when they were told up front how much the ride would cost.

“Knowing how much a ride will cost in advance is clearly something riders appreciate: today uberPOOL accounts for over 20 percent of all rides globally,” a post in Uber’s newsroom says.

Of course, uberPOOL is less expensive and it is also possible riders returned to Uber because of the cost savings on POOL, not because Uber told them how much the fare would be before they hopped in the car.

But Uber’s product team has been testing the idea of offering the exact cost of the ride in select cities throughout the U.S. and India since April and says it believes riders are more likely to take another Uber in the future if they see the trip price upfront, not just because POOL is cheaper.

The new costs are calculated similarly to the old “x” surge pricing so you might still end up paying a ridiculous sum in certain places or times of day where demand for a ride home is going to be high.

The price is based on expected time, distance, traffic, the number of riders requesting rides at that time and the number of drivers available nearby, but at least now you’ll know exactly how much of a punch the ride will make to your bank account.

Uber will also allow either the driver or rider to update the app if you change your destination in the middle of the ride and says you’ll get a notification in the app with the change in price. The rideshare company also told me you won’t have to worry if your Uber driver goes way off the map and tries to charge you more or if the route is suddenly busy and they need to change course. The price you agreed on will still be the price you pay.

So no more lightning bolts and pop-up screens asking you to agree to “3x” surge or whatever it is after you stumble out of the bar or head all the way across town. Just like with hotels and airfare, the prices change all the time, but you’ll know what the price is before you book.

Source: Tech Crunch

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06-25-2016 Cars
Your Self-Driving Car Will Be Programmed to Kill You—Deal With It

A recent survey shows that people want self-driving cars to be programmed to minimize casualties during a crash, even if it causes the death of the rider. Trouble is, the same survey shows that people don’t actually want to ride in cars that are programmed this way. That’s obviously a problem—and we’re going to have to get over it.

These are the kinds of thought experiments that are taught to Ethics 101 students during the first weeks of class—but now they’re actually being applied to real life. Similar to the vexing trolley problem, manufacturers are struggling to come up with new rules for autonomous vehicles to guide them when a crash is inevitable, and the lives of people, both inside and outside of the car, are at stake.

“Most people want to live in in a world where cars will minimize casualties. But everybody wants their own car to protect them at all costs.” A new study published in Science shows there’s a big disconnect between the kinds of ethical programming we want these vehicles to have, and the kinds of cars we actually want to ride in. Surveys done last year demonstrate that people tend to take a utilitarian approach to safety ethics. That is, they generally agree that a car with one rider should swerve off the road and crash to avoid a crowd of 10 pedestrians. But when the survey’s respondents were asked if they’d actually ride in a vehicle programmed in this way, they said no thanks.

“Most people want to live in in a world where cars will minimize casualties,” said Iyad Rahwan, a professor at MIT who co-authored the study. “But everybody wants their own car to protect them at all costs.”

The researchers call this a “social dilemma” whereby consumer choice—and the urge to act in one’s own self-interest—could make road conditions less safe for everyone. Frustratingly, there’s no known way to design a cake-and-eat-it-too algorithm that reconciles our moral values and the understandable human desire to not die.

Results of the survey showed that people are on board with utilitarian-minded robotic vehicles, and would be content to see others buy them. This is an easy sell; the needs of one or two individuals, we tend to agree, is greatly outweighed by the needs of the many. The more lives saved, the more inclined people are towards this utilitarian attitude. As shown in the survey, as many as 76 percent of respondents were cool with a vehicle being programmed to sacrifice one passenger if it meant saving the lives of 10 pedestrians.

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Source: Gizmodo

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06-25-2016 Health
CDC panel recommends against using FluMist vaccine

(CNN)Flu vaccines are about to get more painful. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee recommended on Wednesday that FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine, should not be used during the upcoming flu season.

"To everyone's surprise and increasing consternation, this vaccine has performed quite poorly compared to the injectable vaccine," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist. An alternative to the standard flu shot, FluMist had been approved for people between the ages of 2 and 49 years old by the Food and Drug Administration. The CDC committee, which includes 15 immunization experts, reviewed data from previous flu seasons, including the most recent season, comparing FluMist with the standard flu shot. The decision must now be approved by the CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden before taking effect.

The FDA first approved the nasal spray in 2003. MedImmune, a subsidiary of London-based AstraZeneca PLC, produces FluMist, a live attenuated influenza vaccine. By contrast, the flu shot is an inactivated influenza vaccine. Though the viruses in FluMist are live, they have been weakened (attenuated, in medical terms) and work by stimulating the immune system. There are two versions of FluMist: one a trivalent vaccine, which protects against three strains of flu virus, and the other a quadrivalent, protecting against four strains. "We agree with [the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices'] decision today to recommend health care providers and parents use only the inactivated vaccine," Dr. Benard Dreyer, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Society also stated its support during the hearing. Yet, prior to its recent poor performance, all evidence showed the spray worked better than the flu shot in children under the age of 8. And, during those sunny days, the CDC committee expressed a preference for the mist over the shot. "That lasted exactly a year," explained Schaffner. Still, the nasal spray had become a favorite among pediatricians.

"Kids in general prefer the FluMist," Atlanta pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu said. "I'm the same way; I'm needle-phobic." She said one drawback of the nasal spray is it may cause a runny nose for a day or two. "Half the time, these kids have a runny nose anyway, especially young children," she said. An estimated one-third of all flu vaccinations administered to children are nasal spray, according to the CDC. Pediatricians are likely to be most impacted by Wednesday's recommendation, especially those who have already placed orders for vaccines in advance of the upcoming flu season. "CDC will be working with manufacturers throughout the summer to ensure there is enough vaccine supply to meet the demand," the agency said in a statement.

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Source: CNN

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06-25-2016 Science&Technology
Flirtey delivers drugs by drone from ship to shore in New Jersey

The Jersey Shore is finally famous for something besides fake tanning.

A Reno, Nevada-based startup called Flirtey Inc. conducted the first domestic “ship to shore” drone delivery this week along the New Jersey coastline. The company’s proprietary drone is a six-rotor system constructed from carbon fiber, aluminum and 3-d printed components.

No, they weren’t delivering Domino’s pizzas or anything for Amazon Prime. The company was demonstrating its ability to deliver medical supplies and samples by drone from a barge on choppy waters, to an onshore medical camp.

Specifically, on the first leg of the trip, Johns Hopkins pathologists who were collaborating with Flirtey, loaded up the delivery drone with stool, blood and urine samples, which were delivered from land to a medical testing facility on the barge.

On the second leg of its trip, researchers on the barge sent water purification tablets, insulin and a first aid kit back to shore.

The hope is that one day, private sector drone delivery services like Flirtey and government agencies will be able to use drones to transport crucial life-saving supplies to places where people are stranded, but damaged roads or lack of roads will not allow ground delivery and it wouldn’t be safe for a ship to dock or for a pilot to land.

Geographically, Flirtey’s drone took off from a barge in New Jersey’s Delaware Bay, and flew across the Cape May Canal to drop off its precious cargo at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal. The flight was FAA-approved.

Witnesses of the historic demonstration by Flirtey included: members of a disaster preparedness nonprofit called the Field Innovation Team, which helped organize the event, and of the United Nations’ humanitarian assistance office (UNOCHA) as well as other researchers and partners from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ryan Media Lab.

According to Flirtey representatives, the Smithsonian Institution accepted the company’s drone for its Air and Space Museum, which is where visitors can also see the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Wright Flyer.

Co-founder and CEO of Flirtey Matt Sweeney said:

“Ship to shore drone delivery fills a humanitarian need, but is also something that commercial shippers want. We think the next major step for the industry is to do commercial drone delivery to a customer’s home.”

Flirtey’s news comes just after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued new operational rules for the commercial use of small, unmanned aircraft systems in U.S. airspace.

Source: Tech Crunch

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06-25-2016 Politics
Supreme Court Deadlocks on Obama Immigration Plan. It Remains Blocked.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, a sharp blow to an ambitious program that Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. As a result, as many as five million undocumented immigrants will not be shielded from deportation or allowed to legally work in the United States.

The 4-4 deadlock, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the already contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

The case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, concerned an executive action by the president to allow as many as five million unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would spare them from deportation and provide them with work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

Mr. Obama has said he took action in 2014 after years of frustration with Republicans in Congress who had repeatedly refused to support bipartisan Senate legislation to update immigration laws. A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, promptly challenged the plan, accusing the president of ignoring administrative procedures for changing rules and of abusing the power of his office by circumventing Congress.

“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, said in a statement after the ruling. “This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

For Mr. Obama, the ruling is a rebuke to his go-it-alone approach to immigration and effectively blocks any hope that his administration could protect millions of immigrants from the threat of deportation before he hands the presidency to his successor.

White House officials had repeatedly argued that presidents in both parties have used similar executive authority in applying the nation’s immigration laws. And they said Congress has granted federal law enforcement wide discretion over how those laws should be carried out.

But the court’s ruling most likely means that the next president will once again need to seek a congressional compromise to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. And it leaves immigration activists deeply disappointed.

“This is personal,” Rocio Saenz, the executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, said in a statement. “We will remain at the front lines, committed to defending the immigration initiatives and paving the path to lasting immigration reform.”

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Source: The New York Times

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06-24-2016 Politics
The Daily 202: House sit-in guarantees gun control will be a top issue in fall election

THE BIG IDEA: Paul Ryan calls it “a publicly stunt.” That may be true. But it is proving to be a darn effective one.

Republicans, unsure about how to deal with a sit-in that started on the House floor yesterday at 11:30 a.m., tried to talk over Democrats and hold routine votes. Then, around 3:30 a.m., they adjourned the chamber until after July Fourth – two days earlier than planned. In so doing, they’ve guaranteed that the debate about gun control will roil the congressional recess and remain a dominant storyline for the next two weeks.

Democrats continue to occupy the House floor this morning. About two dozen stayed through the night.

-- “This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem; this is trying to get attention,” the Speaker complained on TV late last night. That is neither true nor fair. In fact, nearly two weeks after the mass murder of 49 in Orlando, Democrats are merely trying to secure up-or-down votes on a variety of very specific gun control proposals – including a measure that would prevent suspected terrorists from being able to buy firearms and another that would expand background checks.

-- Being in the minority in a majoritarian institution like the House is a demoralizing drag. You get constantly shafted, and your priorities never get floor time. Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats have spent six years in the wilderness now, and for the first time in years it looked last night like they were having fun: The chanting of “shame!” The singing of “We shall overcome.” Taking a stand on principle.

Younger members of Congress loved that they were sitting in solidarity with civil rights icon John Lewis. “Thank you for getting in trouble! Good trouble,” the Georgian told them. “Sometimes by sitting down, by sitting in, you’re standing up.”

President Obama ? @POTUS Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it most. … 2:45 PM - 22 Jun 2016 23,738 23,738 Retweets 48,916 48,916 likes

For lawmakers too young to have marched at Selma, that’s a moment they can imagine telling their grandkids about. And it was definitely more invigorating than sucking up to K Street lobbyists at fundraisers -- which, candidly, is how many members in both parties spend their evenings while in Washington.

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Source: Washington Post

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06-24-2016 Science&Technology
Tripping Down a Virtual Reality Rabbit Hole

This is going to sound like the tech-nerd version of one of those first-person People magazine essays about surviving adversity: You don’t appreciate how much you need to see your hands until you can’t.

Your hands – they’re always there. Even in the most immersive of media experiences — an IMAX movie or the hypnotic reverie of a darkened opera house — your sense of where your hands are is an ever-present comfort. Because you can see your hands, you can reach for the popcorn without knocking it over. Because your eyes aren’t locked on the screen, you can check your phone to make sure your babysitter hasn’t texted with an emergency.

But then you don virtual reality goggles, and your hands disappear. So does the rest of the world around you. You are bereft, and it is very, very unsettling.

This sounds obvious: The whole point of virtual reality is to create a fantasy divorced from the physical world. You’re escaping the dreary mortal coil for a completely simulated experience: There you are, climbing the side of a mountain, exploring a faraway museum, flying through space or getting in bed with someone way out of your league.

But in many ways, the simulation is too immersive. After spending a few weeks with two of the most powerful V.R. devices now on the market, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. I suspect that V.R. will be used by the masses one day, but not anytime soon. I’m not sure we’re ready to fit virtual reality into our lives, no matter how excited Silicon Valley is about it.

Getting completely submerged in a simulation is good for things like games, but for most media total immersion feels like a strangely old-fashioned experience. Because it leaves your body helplessly stuck in the physical world while your mind wanders, V.R. doesn’t fit with the way most people work at a computer, watch TV or encounter many other digital experiences.

Virtual reality is the opposite of a smartphone, a device that offers you quick hits of the digital world as you go about in the real world. Instead, V.R. is at this point an experience best left for the privacy of one’s cave — a lonely, sometimes antisocial affair that does not allow for multitasking, for distraction or for the modern world’s easy interplay of the real and the digital.

Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE

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Source: The New York Times

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06-24-2016 Health
A Step Forward in the Hunt For a Zika Vaccine

Before Zika spurred a global health emergency, the mosquito best known for transmitting the virus was most notorious for spreading several other dangerous diseases—including dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

But there’s more to how these viruses are related to one another than just the bug that carries them. New research shows that certain dengue antibodies can either neutralize Zika—or help it replicate. The findings, published in two separate papers on Thursday, may be a crucial step toward developing a vaccine for Zika.

Although Zika can be dangerous to anyone who contracts it, the virus is of particular concern to pregnant women. In recent months, scientists have confirmed that Zika can cross the placenta, stunt fetal growth, and infect a developing baby’s brain. In Brazil, Zika has been linked to thousands of cases of microcephaly, a birth defect in which improper brain development leads to babies born with abnormally small heads. (The risk of this kind of neurological damage among pregnant women infected with Zika isn’t known. One early study suggested that women who get Zika in their first trimester have a 1 percent risk of their fetus developing microcephaly; another study put the risk at 22 percent.)

It makes sense that scientists would focus on dengue as a way to better understand Zika. Both are in the same family of viruses, and understanding cross-reactivity among related viruses is a cornerstone of vaccination. This kind of research “was the immunological basis for the first human vaccine against smallpox introduced more than 200 years ago,” according to a 2012 paper in the Expert Review of Vaccines, “and continues to underpin modern vaccine development.”

Now, researchers have identified two antibodies, generated by people who have been infected with dengue, that can bind to the Zika virus and prevent an infection. In their paper, published in Nature on Thursday, they describe the importance of studying the structures of those antibodies as a way to design a vaccine that protects against Zika. And although researchers knew going-in that Zika and dengue are both flaviviruses, the antibody response was a surprise.

“We did not indeed expect that neutralizing antibodies generated after dengue infection could be even more potent in neutralizing Zika virus,” Giovanna Barba Spaeth, one of the paper’s authors, told me. The finding has major implications for protection against both Zika and dengue, since the antibodies target the same region on both viruses. “It suggests that a vaccine including this region would generate protection against both viruses,” she said.

But the path to developing a vaccine isn’t exactly straightforward.

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Source: The Atlantic

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06-16-2016 General
Disney gator attack: 2-year-old boy found dead

Lake Buena Vista, Florida (CNN)A 2-year-old boy pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel has been found dead, authorities said. An Orange County dive team found Lane Graves' body intact about 1:45 p.m., not far from where he was grabbed Tuesday night, Sheriff Jerry Demings said Wednesday. His body had only a few puncture wounds, according to a source familiar with the investigation. "Of course, the autopsy has to confirm that, but there is likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator," Demings said. He said the body was found in 6 feet of murky water 10 to 15 yards from where the boy was attacked. The fact that the body was found intact makes sense, said Jeff Corwin, host of "Ocean Mysteries" on ABC. "That gator came in, grabbed that boy, pulled him, the dad startled that gator, the gator let him go and then the boy drowned," he said. Alligators don't swim that far -- they sink into the murky water and lurk there -- which explains why the father did not see the boy when he jumped into the water to try and save him, Corwin said. The boy's parents are from Elkhorn, Nebraska, and were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves. "The Graves family appreciates the support they have received and have asked for privacy as they grieve the loss of their son," the sheriff's department tweeted. Matt Graves is the chief data officer at Omaha Infogroup, a company that provides technology solutions, CNN affiliate KETV reported. Demings said the Graves were distraught yet relieved that this was not a protracted search. He said he brought a priest with him when breaking the news to the parents, who are Catholic. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said the alligator may have already been caught, but that has not yet been confirmed. "We're going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved, and that we remove it from the lake," he said. Forensics teams will try to determine whether one of the alligators already taken from the lake is the one that dragged off the boy. If not, the search for alligators in the lake will continue. The boy's family was at a movie night outdoors at the Grand Floridian resort when around 9 p.m. the boy waded into about a foot of water in a lagoon, authorities have said. Witnesses, including the boy's horrified parents, tried to save him. His father jumped in and tried to pry the gator's mouth open. His mother jumped in, too. But it was too late. The child was dragged underwater in the Seven Seas Lagoon, witnesses told authorities. The lagoon is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water, Wiley said earlier. The Reedy Creek emergency services call center first received a report about the attack at 9:16 p.m.

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Source: CNN

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06-15-2016 Cars
Contrary To Musk’s Suggestion, NHTSA Did Not Call Tesla Suspension Complaints ‘Fraudulent’

Despite tweets last Friday by Tesla CEO Elon Musk implying federal regulators have dismissed allegations that Model S suspensions have design defects, this is not the case.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) actually said last week it is looking further into concerns initially raised by writer Edward Niedermeyer in the Daily Kanban, and is contacting consumers and reviewing complaints it has on file.

But the tweets by Musk seemed to put a close to the media firestorm that flared after Niedermeyer’s story likened Tesla’s actions to GM’s cover up of its ignition switch scandal. On that news, TSLA stock dove 4.6 percent, or about $1.5 billion in valuation, sending the company into damage control mode.

Musk’s tweets also followed a simultaneously defensive and counter-accusatory June 9 Tesla blog post outlining its assertion that it makes the safest cars in the world, and Musk’s words could have been interpreted to mean NHTSA was moving on.

“NHTSA confirmed today that they found no safety concern with Model S suspension and have no further need for data from us on this matter,” tweeted Musk on Friday, June 10.

That is technically accurate; so far NHTSA has found no safety concerns, but NHTSA has not declared it is through looking for them.

“To date, NHTSA has not identified any safety issue with Tesla’s suspensions,” said NHTSA Director of Communications, Bryan Thomas on Friday, while saying also that NHTSA is for now satisfied with info provided which it is still examining.

On Monday this was verified by Thomas, who reiterated statements made last Thursday and Friday that NHTSA is in a “screening” phase of its standard protocol of examining safety related concerns in its role as guardian of the public safety.

If it finds more, it may escalate things to a full recall, or it may choose another action, or simply drop it after it has finished going through info supplied by Tesla, consumers, and other sources.

“NHTSA is examining the potential suspension issue on the Tesla Model S, and is seeking additional information from vehicle owners and the company,” Thomas had said June 9 prior to Tesla’s compliance with that initial request.

“NHTSA’s review of the Tesla Model S suspension is a routine data collection. Tesla has fully cooperated with our requests for information, and NHTSA’s examination of the data is underway,” said Thomas on Friday June 10.

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Source: Hybrid Cars

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06-15-2016 Science&Technology
Scientists just got one step closer to answering one of biology’s greatest mysteries

The spectrum of light emitted by tiny, simple molecules floating in the center of the galaxy could help solve one of life's greatest mysteries.

The molecules that make up our world can be left- or right-handed – and their orientation, otherwise known as their chirality, makes a big difference. The same molecule that interacts with sensory receptors to make the refreshing taste of spearmint gum on the one hand gives rye bread its distinctive flavor on the other. Almost all of the life on Earth relies on left-handed molecules, but scientists aren't sure how, why, or when this bias started.

To find out, they've been looking to space. And on Tuesday, researchers announced at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society that they'd found their first ever interstellar chiral molecule. The results will be published this week in the journal Science.

[You might still be a simple bacterium, if not for magnetism]

Chiral molecules have almost all the same physical properties as their mirror images, but living things pick one version of a molecule to use in all of their biological processes. All living things exclusively use the right-handed form of the sugar ribose (the backbone of DNA), for example, and grapes only synthesize the left-handed form of the molecule tartaric acid. All amino acids – which make up proteins – skew left.

There's a biological advantage to picking sides, because molecules can build into more complex structures if they all match in handedness. The double-helix structure of DNA wouldn't have been able to form if a mishmash of right and left-handed molecules tried to come to the party. But that doesn't explain how Earth got its particular assortment of chiral molecules, and why the biases we see in living things emerged.

"You could just as easily imagine us building things out of right-handed molecules," said Brandon Carroll, a chemistry graduate student at the California Institute of Technology and co-first author of the new study. "So asking how and why we settled on what we did is one of the biggest unanswered questions in biology."

But the answer might be over our heads – literally.

Along with fellow first author Brett McGuire, a chemist and Jansky Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Carroll detected propylene oxide (CH3CHOCH2) in a massive, star-forming cloud of gas and dust called Sagittarius B2, which was observed for years under the Green Bank Telescope Prebiotic Interstellar Molecular Survey (PRIMOS).

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Source: Washington Post

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06-14-2016 General
Police probe ISIS ties to Orlando massacre

(CNN)A day after a gunman shot dead 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, police investigated the attacker's ties to ISIS and Americans grieved over the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed Pulse club about 2 a.m. Sunday and started shooting. In addition to the people killed, he wounded at least 53 others, police said. During the attack, Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to the ISIS terror group and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official. After a standoff of about three hours, while people trapped inside the club desperately called and messaged friends and relatives, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades. They killed Mateen after the rampage -- the deadliest terror attack in the United States since 9/11 "It appears he was organized and well-prepared," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. Authorities said they haven't found any accomplices. 'An act of hate' ISIS sympathizers have reacted by praising the attack on pro-Islamic State forums. "We know enough to say this was an act of terror and act of hate," President Obama said in an address to the nation from the White House. While the violence could have hit any American community, "This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," he said.

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen was born in 1986 in New York. Most recently he lived in Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando. Fearing explosives, police evacuated about 200 people from the apartment complex where he lived while they looked through his residence for evidence. Mateen's parents, who are from Afghanistan, said he'd expressed outrage after seeing two men kiss in Miami, but they didn't consider him particularly religious and didn't know of any connection he had to ISIS.

He was married in 2009 to a woman originally from Uzbekistan, according to the marriage license, but he filed documents to end the marriage in 2011. Sitora Yusufiy, interviewed by CNN in Boulder, Colorado, said she and Mateen were together about four months, though it took a long time to complete the divorce because they lived in different parts of the country after separating. Mateen was a normal husband at the beginning of their marriage but started abusing her after a few months, she said. She said Mateen was bipolar, although he was not formally diagnosed. She also said Mateen had a history with steroids. He was religious but she said she doesn't think his religion played in to the attack.

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Source: CNN

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No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 The Wall Street Journal / United States
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
81 The Baltimore Sun / United States 82 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany 83 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 84 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan
85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

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