Goa mulls 50% subsidy on fish sold for household consumption

first_imgThe Goa government is mulling a 50% subsidy on fish sold for household consumption. Goa Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar said on the sidelines of a public function here on Thursday that cheaper fish would be ordered from neighbouring States through a proposed fisheries corporation. The State will also put restrictions on export of fish from Goa to make it easily available in the local market.“We will import cheap fish from other States and give it to people at a cheaper rate. If a Kingfish costs ₹500 per kg, we will offer it at half the rate. A corporation will also be formed to sell the fish,” Mr. Palyekar said.He said increase in exports, rising demand from the hospitality industry and rising pollution and sea temperature had resulted in a decline in fish production in the waters off Goa. He said this drove the prices of locally consumed staple fish through the roof. Making subsidised fish available had been the poll plank of the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Goa Forward, to which Mr. Palyekar belongs to, during the Assembly polls this year. According to the State Fisheries Department, Goa’s fish catch is 1 lakh tonnes and more than one-third of it is exported every year. “We cannot allow excessive exports while locals cannot enjoy fish from their own waters,” Mr. Palyekar said.Mr. Palyekar on Thursday also promised to take up the controversial issue of bull trawling and LED fishing off its territorial waters with the Centre. The Minister ordered a crackdown on indiscriminate fishing using the two banned techniques. At a press conference held in the city, Mr. Palyekar said “clear instructions” had been given to the officials of the Fisheries Department to apprehend those involved in bull trawling and LED fishing within Goa’s territorial waters, up to 12 nautical miles off the coastline. “The measures are being taken to protect the interests of fishermen, who use traditional techniques for catching fish. Indiscriminate fishing techniques like bull trawling and LED fishing are rapidly eliminating fish swarms off Goa.”Locally known as ramponkars, Goa’s traditional fisherfolk have been demanding a ban on fishing with the help of LED lights, which attracts entire swarms of fish with the help of its powerful glow underwater. Environmental experts have time and again warned that the practice leading to indiscriminate fishing would eventually lead to a fish famine in the waters off Goa. State Fisheries have admitted on record in recent years that the fish catch in Goa has been virtually stagnant. Bull trawling is another indiscriminate practice, which is opposed by traditional fishermen, because it involves two trawlers fishing with a common net virtually dregding all fish in its path from the water surface to the bed, including young offspring, taking a toll on fish breeding.A few months back, the city witnessed a major agitation from traditional fisherfolk from across the State who threatened to surrender their fishing boats if the State failed to aggressively monitor these fishing practices and punish the erring vessels.Mr. Palyekar would soon visit New Delhi to meet the Union Minister for Agriculture to impress upon him the need to take strict action against bull-fishing and LED fishing beyond coastal States’ territorial waters. “I am going to request him to evolve a mechanism where fishermen using these techniques are punished. It is not a problem with Goa alone as bull trawling and LED fishing is a problem in other coastal States as well,” said Mr. Palyekar said.last_img read more

Bengal records 100 dengue cases

first_imgAt least 100 cases dengue have been reported from West Bengal’s Birbhum district.“We have received reports of at least 100 cases of dengue since July 23. While about 60 of these cases are from the Dubrajpur town in the district’s Suri Sadar sub-division, the rest are from other areas such as Bolpur and Rampurhat towns. But no one has died so far,” Chief Medical Officer of Birbhum, Himadri Ari, told The Hindu. He also said that no cases of dengue have been reported from the flood-affected Labhpur block in the district. According to district officials, a large-scale awareness campaign has been undertaken.last_img read more

Train services to Northeast unlikely to be restored before August 28

first_imgWith train services to the Northeast affected by floods unlikely to be restored before August 28, the Northeast Frontier Railway has undertaken steps for passengers travelling to and from the NE region as well as for movement of goods.“NF Railway has borne the brunt of flood fury and many locations in its network still remain breached in Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria districts of Bihar.“However, restoration work is going on on war footing in all locations,” NF Railway CPRO P.J Sharma said in a press release here today.“As per engineering estimate full connectivity cannot be restored before August 28. However, to alleviate the problems of passengers wanting to leave from northeast or come in, and for the movement of goods, the following steps have been taken with immediate effect,” Mr. Sharma said.A direct train service has been started between Dalkhola and Dibrugarh which is in addition to the presently running daily special trains between Dalkhola-Guwahati and Guwahati- Dibrugarh, the CPRO said.Raiganj (on Barsoi-Radhikapur section) which got connected to Katihar and Malda after restoration of bridge No. 3 today, will now have daily service available to Malda Town and Katihar.Direct train service from Katihar to Raiganj will begin by extending running of Seemanchal Express from Katihar with effect from today, the release said.As the track between Dalkhola and Raiganj continues to remain breached (till bridge no 133 is restored) passengers can avail bus service between these two stations which are located at close vicinity of four-lane National Highway.“Thus effectively, passengers from the northeast will be able to travel in or out of NE region and North Bengal by availing bus connectivity between Dalkhola and Raiganj. Train connectivity is available at both these stations for further journey to desired destinations,” Mr Sharma said.Stating that Kishanganj station has been made available for loading of goods/essential commodities, he said merchants can now place indents for placement of rakes at Kishanganj to carry goods to all parts of North Bengal, Assam and rest of Northeast.“In the meanwhile it is expected that if the situation does not deteriorate further, connectivity will be restored by August 28,” he informed.last_img read more

Place of worship gate set afire in Kasganj; 2 policemen suspended

first_imgTension resurfaced in Kasganj on Monday as some miscreants tried to disrupt peace by setting afire the gate of a place of worship but the police swiftly swung into action and the flames were extinguished, an official said. Following the incident, two constables were suspended over alleged laxity while a large contingent of police personnel was deployed on the spot to ensure that there is no more trouble in the western Uttar Pradesh town which recently saw communal clashes.“Early this morning, in Ganjdudwara area of the city, some anti-social element set afire the gate of a place of worship. Police swung into action and extinguished the flames,” Superintendent of Police Piyush Srivastava told PTI. Srivastava along with District Magistrate RP Singh rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation.“A large contingent of the UP police and PAC personnel was deployed and there is peace in the area. The matter is being investigated,” the SP said. He said constables Harisharan and Nagendra were suspended for laxity in discharging their duties.Kasganj witnessed communal clashes after a youth died during violence that followed initial skirmishes during a ’Tiranga Yatra’ taken out by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. A 22-year-old youth, Chandan Gupta, was shot dead which led to a spiral of violence in which at least three shops, two buses and a car were torched. UP Governor Ram Naik had called the Kasganj violence a “blot” on the state.last_img read more

At least 64 killed after storm hits Uttar Pradesh

first_imgAt least 64 people were killed and 47 others injured after hailstorm, lightning and dust-storm hit several pockets of Uttar Pradesh on May 2, officials said on Thursday.Agra reported the highest number of deaths: 43. Three persons died in Bijnore, two in Saharanpur and one each in Bareilly, Chitrakoot, Rae Bareli and Unnao districts.It also reported the highest number of injured: 35. The remaining three were injured in Firozabad.Three deaths reported from Bijnore and Kanpur Dehat and two in Saharanpur. One death each reported in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Chitrakoot, Rae Bareli, Unnao, Mathura, Amroha, Kannauj, Banda, Kanpur, Sitapur, Sambhal and Mirzapur. Eight injured in Mathura. A total number of 160 animals also died due to the storm, 150 of them in Agra alone.UP chief secretary Rajive Kumar has instructed Commissioner of Agra division that relief be distributed by evening and the injured be visited by senior officers at the hospitals, said UP Information Department principal secretary Awanish Awasthi.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed all District Magistrates to provide immediate relief to the affected.“He said that the officials of the concerned districts calculate the losses and provide compensation to the affected urgently. There should not be any laxity in the relief work,” a government spokesperson said.The Meteorological department has issued warnings for further thunderstorm and gusty winds in parts of UP, around 30 districts, upto May 5.Rajasthan was also hit by a high-speed dust storm, which killed at least 22 people.last_img read more

No move to form govt in Jammu and Kashmir: Ram Madhav

first_imgBJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday rejected reports that his party was working to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir with rebel Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLAs. He said the party was for continuing with Governor’s rule in the interest of peace, governance and development.His comments on Twitter came after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted a news report that claimed a “big chunk of PDP MLAs are in touch with the BJP high command” and the saffron party was looking to form a government.“Contrary to Ram Madhav’s assertions, the state unit of the BJP confesses to being party to the efforts to break the PDP . Power at any cost would seem to be the guiding philosophy,” Abdullah said, tagging the BJP leader in his tweet.Mr. Madhav, the BJP’s pointsman for the State, replied: “Not true. I will certainly check with the state unit and ensure that BJP keeps itself scrupulously out of whatever is happening in other parties in the Valley.“We are for continuing with the Governor’s rule in the interest of peace, governance and development in the state,” he said.The BJP had last month pulled out of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing the state under Governor’s rule.last_img read more

Trinamool team held at airport in Assam

first_imgThe Assam police allegedly roughed up and detained a delegation of eight Trinamool Congress leaders from West Bengal at Kumbhirgram airport in southern Assam’s Silchar on Thursday.The eight — six MPs and two MLAs — had arrived on a two-day visit to assess the situation arising out of the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30 and meet some people excluded from the list.Reply soughtThe reverberation was felt in New Delhi with Trinamool members trooping into the well of the House at 2 p.m. and demanding a reply from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, leading to the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha.The Trinamool leaders had reached the airport in two batches by 3.30 p.m., hours after the Cachar district administration enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC in Silchar.A police team headed by Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukesh Agarwal prevented them from leaving the airport.Videos, aired by local TV channels, showed some members of the Trinamool delegation grappling with police personnel.MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar alleged that the police had assaulted them.“We went to express solidarity with the oppressed but were beaten up and illegally detained at the airport. This is nothing but unannounced emergency,” she said.Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien said: “The police didn’t allow the MPs and MLAs to leave the airport.”Mr. O’Brien said: “Our chief whip in the Rajya Sabha, who is a cardiac patient and has a pacemaker, was roughed up by the police. What is going on? They did not go there to break the law. They are lawmakers and not law breakers. This is super emergency.”He said Chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected a notice he had given in the Rajya Sabha under Section 267 seeking a reply from the Home Minister, who was not present in the House.Police deny assaultThe police said the Trinamool leaders were neither arrested nor detained. They also claimed that three of their personnel, including two policewomen, were injured when the MPs and MLAs turned violent.“They were prevented from going out as the situation was not conducive and we did not want it to worsen. We had asked them not to visit the place but they came,” Assam’s Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said.He also said two cases had been registered against the Trinamool lawmakers – one for violation of Section 144 and the other for causing injuries to three police personnel.Officials in Cachar said the Trinamool leaders were given an option to either stay at a guest house or hotel under police protection or remain in the VIP lounge of the airport. The MPs and MLAs, including West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim, remained at the airport till the time of reporting. The Trinamool delegation is scheduled to fly to Guwahati on Friday. But Guwahati Commissioner of Police Hiren Chandra Nath said Section 144 had already been enforced to prevent them from exiting the airport.Congress MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev criticised the “over-reaction” of the State government. In a letter to Chief Secretary T.Y. Das, she said the Trinamool leaders “should have been allowed to meet any people of the region without breach of peace and tranquillity in the greater interest of democracy.”Assam leaders quitThursday also saw Trinamool’s Assam unit president and former MLA Dipen Pathak resigning from the party along with several other leaders, protesting against party president and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s “controversial remarks” over the NRC.Two other senior leaders, Diganta Saikia and Pradeep Pachoni, had quit the party on Wednesday after Ms. Banerjee said exclusion of Bengalis from Assam’s NRC would lead to ‘civil war.’“She made the offensive remark to gain political mileage in West Bengal, ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha election. She never raised the burning issues of Assam at the national level. As an Assamese, I was hurt by what she said. So I decided to quit the party,” Mr. Pathak said. Many Bengali organisations in Assam have also criticised Ms. Banerjee.last_img read more

NGT direct U.P. govt. to take remedial action

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take steps in curbing water pollution around industrial areas in the State.Following a report furnished by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board stating that industrial effluents are contaminating the Hindon river, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “When industrial areas are set up, requisite infrastructure for scientific discharge of effluents is not being developed. Let this aspect be considered by the Chief Secretary, U.P., and remedial measures be taken.”The Bench added that the remedial measures to be taken are in respect of areas that are “already set up as well as the areas which may be set up later” as industrial areas.Taking into consideration an action taken report submitted by the State pollution control board, the Bench observed, “…(the report) acknowledges that industrial effluents and sewage are being discharged into the drain connecting Hindon river which is broken at many places. Overflow of the effluents is collected in vacant plots.”“The UPPCB may monitor the compliance of the environmental norms and furnish a further report to the tribunal within three months,” the bench said.last_img read more

LS poll referendum on Amarinder, says Majithia

first_imgSenior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Friday said that Congress candidates will bite the dust in Lok Sabha poll in Punjab.Mr. Majithia added that several Ministers will be axed and many legislators will not get party tickets if Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s “diktat” is implemented in letter and spirit. “The face of the Council of Ministers in Punjab will be completely changed after May 23 as more than 70% of the Ministers are likely to be axed and two-third of party legislators will not be fielded in the next Assembly polls,” he said. The ongoing Lok Sabha poll is a “referendum” on the performance of Amarinder Singh’s government and any adverse results are reflection on his performance and not of Ministers or legislators, who have little say in the government, Mr. Majithia said.last_img read more

House Science Committee Drafts Controversial Bill on U.S. Research Funding

first_imgA key congressional committee is planning a hearing next month on legislation that could give several U.S. science agencies new marching orders. The details are still a secret, but expect fireworks.The legislation has been drafted by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would update the America COMPETES Act, which in 2007 committed the federal government to expanding research at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as science education across several agencies. It also set government-wide science priorities to be managed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.The 2007 law adopted many of the recommendations in a 2005 report from the National Academies on how to keep the country competitive in a global economy. In addition to authorizing large budget increases for those agencies, the bill advocated for a new energy technology effort at DOE, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. It also called for several initiatives to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Endorsed by President George W. Bush, America COMPETES received broad bipartisan support in Congress. That bipartisanship had evaporated by 2010, however, when Democrats narrowly won approval to reauthorize the law despite persistent Republican attacks on the scope of the legislation and its spending targets.In the current divided Congress—Republicans took control of the House in January 2011 while the Democrats retained the Senate—the bickering over federal science policy has intensified. And this year, under its new chairman, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the House science committee has sometimes found itself at odds with the scientific community as well.One major bone of contention has been Smith’s proposal this spring to revamp peer review at NSF. Called the High Quality Research Act, it stressed the importance of economic payoffs from NSF’s research portfolio. The draft bill triggered an avalanche of criticism from the scientific committee, and it was never formally introduced. However, lobbyists for universities and science groups fear that similar language will find its way into the new bill.Simultaneously, NSF officials have been wrestling with a congressional mandate that limits funding for political science research to projects that promote economic development or address national security issues. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) in March inserted the language into a government-wide spending bill, and NSF has suspended making any awards in the field while it tries to find a way to apply the new criteria to its existing peer review process. In addition, the language is part of what many scientists see as a broader attack on NSF support of the social sciences, a topic that is expected to be covered in the draft legislation.Smith has declined repeated requests to discuss his proposed bill, dubbed the Frontiers in Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act. “The committee will be reviewing draft legislation this fall to reauthorize science agencies within the Committee’s jurisdiction,” says an aide to the committee. “No legislation has been introduced at this time.”However, ScienceInsider has learned that the committee expects to hold a hearing on 11 October, with a draft expected to be available a week earlier. The bill excludes DOE’s Office of Science, which may be covered in separate legislation.Science advocates are keeping their powder dry until they see the actual bill. But they are bracing for the worst. As one lobbyist puts it: “We’ve been told that we aren’t going to like it.”last_img read more

Panel Launches Study of Precollege Role for NIH

first_imgThe deck may be stacked against his panel in terms of its narrow focus and limited resources available. But Clyde Yancy thinks he still has a few cards to play in tackling the politically sensitive question of whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should wade into the swirling waters of precollege science education.Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University’s medical school and a former president of the American Heart Association, is leading a new NIH-sponsored study into how the agency might improve the pool of talent going into biomedical research. The panel’s relatively fuzzy charge from NIH Director Francis Collins is to “optimize NIH’s precollege programs” so that they “both align with the NIH mission and ensure a continued pipeline of biomedical science students and professionals.” So the first job of the panel, a working group of a permanent advisory body made up of NIH institute directors and prominent outsiders, will be to identify the connection between precollege activities and strengthening the pipeline and then define NIH’s role in both spheres.The panel’s work marks something of a departure for NIH. For decades, the agency has argued that its primary mission is to fund research that will enhance the nation’s health, and it has focused its education and training efforts at the graduate and undergraduate level. The daunting challenge of improving a K-12 educational system that fails to deliver basic scientific literacy to millions of students, and lags behind much of the industrial world, has typically fallen to other U.S. science agencies, which have much smaller annual budgets than the $30 billion NIH receives. Last year, NIH even eliminated its tiny Office of Science Education, and it took an act of Congress to preserve the Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA), NIH’s sole program aimed at precollege students. (SEPA will spend about $18 million in 2014.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Meeting Tuesday at NIH for the first time, the new panel’s members heard presentations from outside organizations working to improve precollege science education across the nation. In response, they debated whether the panel should look into some likely causes, from inadequate teacher preparation and scant in-school training to a subpar curriculum and flabby standards.In brief opening comments, Collins warned them away from going in that direction. “We do not have a congressional mandate to do general science communications,” he told the panel. Principal Deputy NIH Director Lawrence Tabak made an even more pointed plea. “It’s important to make the whole world scientifically literate,” he told them. “It feels good, and it’s the right thing to do. But that’s not your charge. We can’t boil the ocean.”At the same time, Collins told the panel that his concerns about the quality of the workforce are rooted in the fact that “we are missing out … on attracting the best minds” into the scientific enterprise. That problem arises, he believes, because “way too much science is taught in a dull way” and fails to hold the attention of students in secondary school, when they are beginning to think about possible careers.Members of the panel, officially called the working group on Pre-College Engagement in Biomedical Science, also weighed how much emphasis to place on the need to diversify the scientific workforce to sustain U.S. global leadership in science. While Collins told the panel that he’s worried about attracting enough smart students into science because “we have a mandate to ensure a strong pipeline,” the charge doesn’t specifically discuss ways to attract minorities and women into the field.One NIH institute director and panel member said the need to focus on diversity was clear to him. “There is no compelling evidence that we don’t have enough people who want to go into biomedical research,” asserted Alan Guttmacher, head of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “I also don’t think that the quality of the pipeline is a problem. It’s really a question of who these people are, and how do we use the K-12 lever to do something to diversify the biomedical workforce.”After the meeting, Tabak said that the omission of diversity was not meant to play down its importance. “We haven’t explicitly mentioned underrepresented minorities in the charge, but the data are unambiguous,” Tabak told ScienceInsider. “There are true gaps in the educational opportunities afforded to them. And if you make the pipeline more diverse, you’re going to strengthen it.”Yancy, the panel’s chair, thinks the two issues are distinct but related. “Diversity is not central to our study, but it’s a necessary component for our deliberations,” he told ScienceInsider after the meeting. “I think the real driver for our initiative is the realization that the most talented U.S. students are inclined to waive careers in traditional science and math, and that we need to do better to attract our most talented K-12 students to consider careers in STEM fields.”In his talk, Collins also added a third constraint to the panel’s activities: NIH hasn’t set aside any new money for any initiative the panel might recommend. NIH officials are hoping that SEPA will become the vehicle for NIH’s precollege activities. Right now the primary goal of its 67 projects, as the program’s website explains, is to “improve student understanding of the health sciences in K-12 education, and increase the public’s understanding of science.”Yancy says he is impressed with some of the data presented by SEPA’s Tony Beck on projects that have helped grease the path into science and engineering for students. He would like the panel to look at the feasibility of scaling up those projects with an eye toward building up the workforce. And while Yancy thinks that cost “is an important filter that should be introduced on day one,” he says it should not limit the panel’s thinking.“I agree that $18 million a year is pretty sparse,” he says about SEPA’s current budget. “But as a clinician, if there are randomized data that would allow us to go from a pilot study to a phase 3 clinical trial, and if the results are good, then we would have to come back to Francis Collins, and say, ‘This needs to be exported to other communities and ramped up.’ Now there will be an additional cost, but that cost will generate the outcome you are looking for. …  But we may also discover that it won’t cost any more money.”The panel is expected to produce its report by the end of the year. And Collins acknowledged the problems they will face when he reminded them that he counts on the advisory board “to tackle challenging topics without easy answers.”last_img read more

ScienceShot: Who Says Sharks Haven’t Evolved?

first_imgMany scientists have presumed that sharks and their kin have evolved little since they first appeared millions of years ago. But newly described, well-preserved fossils of a creature near the base of the shark’s family tree contradict that notion. The remains of Ozarcus mapesae—embedded within chunks of rock (one example, photo) laid down as sediments 325 million years ago in what is now north-central Arkansas—are the first of the shark lineage from that era to be preserved largely intact with body parts in lifelike arrangements. (The flexibility of the shark’s cartilaginous skeletons usually means such carcasses become flattened if they survive decomposition.) Although Ozarcus clearly lies within the lineage of sharks, rays, and their close relatives, high-resolution CT scans of the fossils (one example, digital image) reveal that the archlike structures supporting the creature’s gills (yellow in digital image) were arranged like those in bony fishes (osteichthyans), the researchers report online today in Nature. Furthermore, gill arches in the Ozarcus fossils were separated by small bits of cartilage found in some species of bony fish and their relatives but previously unknown in any living or extinct chondrichthyans. Ozarcus’s unexpected blend of traits indicates that sharks and their kin have evolved substantially since they first appeared. The last common ancestor of sharks and bony fishes probably didn’t have gill arches arranged like those in modern sharks—which, in turn, suggests that the oldest known species of bony fishes can likely provide more information about the earliest jawed vertebrates (a group that today includes humans) than early chondrichthyans can, the researchers contend.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Rebooting memory with magnets

first_imgOur memories are annoyingly glitchy. Names, dates, birthdays, and the locations of car keys fall through the cracks, losses that accelerate at an alarming pace with age and in neurodegenerative diseases. Now, by applying electromagnetic pulses through the skull to carefully targeted brain regions, researchers have found a way to boost memory performance in healthy people. The new study sheds light on the neural networks that support memories and may lead to therapies for people with memory deficits, researchers say.Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an increasingly popular therapy for psychiatric disorders that involves placing fist-sized coiled magnets on the scalp to stimulate different brain regions. Although researchers aren’t sure why or how it works, it does appear to benefit some patients. Last year, for example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved several TMS devices for treating migraines and depression. Studies have also shown that the technique can improve performance on different types of memory tests, but few researchers have investigated whether benefits persist after stimulation stops or looked at how stimulation affects the brain’s memory circuits, says Joel Voss, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.To begin answering those questions, Voss and colleagues recruited 16 healthy adults who were between the ages of 21 and 40. Using structural and functional MRI scanners, the researchers made detailed maps of the subjects’ brains, locating the hippocampus, a brain region key to memory, and its connections to another brain region called the parietal cortex. Functional MRI scans of brain activity show greater neuronal traffic between the two areas when people are performing memory-related tasks, and lesions between the areas can result in severe deficits in the ability to remember proper labels for things, such as matching names with faces, Voss says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)After administering a baseline memory test to the participants, the team began the brain stimulation sessions, focusing rapid-fire magnetic pulses on a fingertip-sized area toward the back of the skull for 20 minutes per day. The location of the stimulation differed slightly among individuals, based on brain scans showing their unique connections between the parietal cortex and hippocampus, Voss explains. After 5 days, the participants were given a 24-hour break from stimulation and asked to repeat the memory test. People who had received TMS improved their scores by roughly 20% to 25%, whereas controls who had not received the stimulation showed little to no improvement, Voss and his colleagues report online today in Science. Brain scans also showed increases in the amount of communication between the hippocampus and parietal cortex in subjects who received the stimulation. The more the two regions worked together, the better people performed on the memory test, Voss says.The study is “very cool” because it supports scientists’ growing understanding of the hippocampus as one vital node in a larger memory network spread throughout the brain, says Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a neurologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston who was not involved in the research. It also “elegantly shows” for the first time that stimulation on the surface of the skull can reach deep brain structures (such as the hippocampus) and increase communication and synchrony throughout the network, ultimately improving performance on a memory test, he says.Whether TMS will someday be a cure for memory deficits is “a reasonable question to ask, but it’s not answered yet,” Pascual-Leone says. Scientists will need to conduct many studies in people with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease to determine whether stimulation is effective for them—the disease might do so much damage that stimulation doesn’t work or even has deleterious effects, Pascual-Leone says.The fact that the TMS stimulation used in the study had such a targeted effect on memory networks makes Voss optimistic that the technology could counteract memory loss. In an upcoming trial, Voss and colleagues will study the electromagnetic stimulation’s effect on people with early-stage memory loss, he says.Studies like this one raise the ethical issue of whether it’s a good idea to use such technologies on healthy people to change a normal brain, Pascual-Leone notes. For one thing, it’s unclear how long the improved recall lasts, or if changes to the brain could be permanent. “How long does it take to go back?” he wonders. And although the prospect of memory enhancement may be enticing for those of us who are constantly losing our keys, it’s possible that boosting function in one cognitive skill will take away from another, he says. “The brain may be a zero-sum game in that sense.”last_img read more

Crickets and pillbugs feed on human remains

first_imgInsects love dead bodies. Blow flies, beetles, and other bugs flock to decomposing remains to feed, lay eggs, or prey on others at the scene. But entomologists were recently surprised to find two new creepy-crawlers nibbling on human flesh. While observing how carrion insects naturally assemble on a decaying human body, scientists witnessed the bush cricket Pediodectes haldemani (pictured above) and pillbug Armadillidium cf. vulgare munching on the corpse. The behavior had not been seen in either species before and left small marks that could be misinterpreted as drug abuse, defense wounds, or torture in forensic investigations, the researchers warn. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology, describes in gory detail how the two arthropods fed on the cadaver.last_img read more

McDonald’s And Starbucks Hit by Plastics Ban in India

first_imgMcDonald’s and Starbucks have been caught in a crackdown on plastics in India.The restaurant chains were among dozens of companies hit with fines in Maharashtra state — India’s second-largest with a population of more than 100 million — at the weekend, a government official said. Read it at WTKR Related Itemslast_img

Indian-American Appointed CEO of Democratic Party’s National Committee

first_imgThe Democratic National Committee (DNC), the decision-making body of the Democratic Party in the US, has tapped Indian American Seema Nanda to serve as its new CEO and handle day-to-day operations, making her the first from the community to be named an operational head of a key American political party.Read it at Times of India Related Itemslast_img

Indian Students Win Startup Award in Singapore

first_imgThree Indian students studying in Singapore have jointly won an award for their startup idea about automating the process of medical claims.Akshay Gupta, Vinayak RD, and Sachin Sanjeev, who are from India and studying doing Global Master of Business Administration at SP Jain School of Global Management, won the Flywire Challenge, jointly organised by the school and payment transaction group Flywire, a statement said yesterday.Read it at Daily Excelsior Related Itemslast_img