Review England – Belgium

first_imgWith a moment of individual brilliance, Adnan Januzaj gave Belgium a 1-0 victory and the first place in Group G.The final two matches of the group stage are soon upon us…Here are the teams for #ENGBEL!#ENG #BEL pic.twitter.com/rvom0sQ4Ru— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018Januzaj tips United to return to the top Obinna Echi – November 14, 2018 Adnan Januzaj has backed his former club Manchester United to start challenging for the Premier League title soon.Januzaj believes United need to make the…Even though first place was up for grabs, both Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez decided to make multiple changes to their starting lineups today in Kaliningrad. There was no Harry Kane, no Eden Hazard, no Romelu Lukaku and no Kevin De Bruyne. The lack of star power didn’t mean the fans weren’t still hoping to see an entertaining encounter.A defensive lapse allowed England to have a moment in the opening two minutes that ended with Courtois blocking a cross before it came to Jamie Vardy. Youri Tielemans blasted a long-distance strike in the 7th minute, catching Jordan Pickford a bit asleep. Luckily for England’s goalkeeper, the shot was in the middle of the net, so he made the save. A couple of minutes later, Adnan Januzaj made a few dribbles and then lobbed a cross that came to Mitchy Bashuayi. He headed the ball back towards the central area in front of Pickford and even though there wasn’t a distinct shot, the ball rolled towards the goal line before Gary Cahill cleared it just before it went in.Tielemans received the game’s first yellow card. In this contest, cards were particularly important, as they could determine the final standings in case of a draw. With this card, Belgium had two more than England overall. Another foul on Danny Rose earned Belgium’s second booking. This time the guilty party was Leander Dendoncker. Whistles were coming from all over the stadium. The fans weren’t happy. The Belgian defensive trio was passing the ball among each other, while the English players refused to press. It was more than obvious both teams were satisfied with the current situation.Gareth Southgate decided to save his main defender’s energy and replaced John Stones with Harry Maguire at the half. In the 51st minute, Adnan Januzaj’s individual brilliance gave The Red Devils a 1-0 advantage. He dummied Danny Rose and then curled a beautiful left-footed shot, leaving Pickford with no choice but to take the ball out of his net. Belgium took over first spot in Group G with the goal. Later on, Thomas Vermaelen suffered a cut on his eyebrow after an aerial duel with Jamie Vardy. Marcus Rashford missed from an ideal one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper in the 66th minute. What a miss! Courtois got a touch on the ball, but it doesn’t change the fact that if Rashford wants to be considered as a starter, he must not miss those types of opportunities.Roberto Martinez decided to give the recently recovered Vincent Kompany a run, taking off Vermaelen to make place for the experienced center back. The next swap was Danny Welbeck for Trent Alexander-Arnold, signalling a wish to tie the game. Although, based on the play, that wish was really weak. On the other hand, why would England try to earn a draw? Losing this match meant a meeting with Colombia (possibly without James Rodriguez) in the Round of 16 and then (potentially) either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarter-finals. It also meant avoiding Brazil, as well as the other superpowers in the top part of the draw. Pickford saved Dries Mertens’ effort in the 89th minute. Marouane Fellaini missed in the 92nd minute and that was it. Belgium won for the third time in three matches, finished first with 9 points and will meet Japan next.last_img read more

Sergio Romero expects OShea to receive a positive reception from fans

first_imgMan Utd goalkeeper Sergio Romero feels that former Reds player John O’Shea will receive a positive reception from the United fans on Saturday.Manchester United face Reading FC on Saturday for their third round of Emirates FA Cup and Romero believes that when O’Shea steps onto the Old Trafford turf on Saturday, he shall receive a great ovation.He adds that any player that has sacrificed their all for the shirt should receive a strong welcome.“Of course, John O’Shea will get a welcome back. He clearly deserves it,” Romero said via Manchester United official website.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“It’s the same for all good players who put in 100 percent performances time and time again at United. There is no other way and I would expect them to give him a warm welcome back, to give him something back after all he contributed to the club’s history.”When a player gives 100 percent, they get it back from the fans.“last_img read more

Brunswick Landing Maintains Upward Trajectory Maine Designates Reuse Project an Opportunity Zone

first_imgBrunswick Landing, the reuse project at the former Naval Air Station Brunswick, is now home to 1,700 employees and 110 organizations, an increase of 500 jobs over the past year, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority reports. Five new companies arrived his summer, with more slated to be added by the end of the year. A number of tenants are expanding footprints at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park to accommodate growth, the authority says. Traffic at Brunswick Executive Airport is up as well; in the first six months of the year, operations have increased 14 percent over 2017. … Brunswick Landing has been designated a federal Opportunity Zone by Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), allowing the redevelopment to attract new investment. The Opportunity Zone program was created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation as a way to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Zones. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Aladdin New images from liveaction remake bring Will Smiths Genie to life

first_img 0 Entertainment Weekly heads to Agrabah.  Entertainment Weekly Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin won’t hit theaters until May, but we got a look at a handful pictures from the movie, Wednesday.  Entertainment Weekly magazine has new photos of Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar and Genie (played by Will Smith), who you might remember from the 1992 animated film. Mena Massoud, who plays Aladdin, also tweeted the photos joking, “This is what is looks like when Genie tells Aladdin what he wants for Christmas,” referencing a photo with Massoud and Smith. Just saw Will Smith as the genie in the live action Aladdin remake. My reaction……. #Aladdin pic.twitter.com/v6irLIjRC5— Jason Wesney (@JasonWesney) December 19, 2018 The photos show the streets of Agrabah, the Sultan’s palace and even Aladdin’s monkey buddy Abu. Aladdin is slated for May 24, 2019.The photos of Genie — who was originally voiced by Robin Williams — are getting lots of reaction on social media. One Twitter user lamented: “Genie ain’t blue.” Though some are tweeting out concern that Genie isn’t blue in this batch of pictures, Smith took to Instagram to say he will, in fact, be blue. Post a comment Genie ain’t blue :'( #Aladdin pic.twitter.com/Ia9taqV1nj— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 19, 2018 Share your voice This is what it looks like when Genie tells #Aladdin what he wants for Christmas. Thanks @EW for the exclusive pics and interview! pic.twitter.com/nukhzYscu3— Mena Massoud (@MenaMassoud) December 19, 2018 We can show you the world… of Disney’s live-action #Aladdin! Get a shining, shimmering, splendid first look at the reimagined classic in our magical First Look issue: https://t.co/Kwkcdfen5v pic.twitter.com/7NbyiRRcLH— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) December 19, 2018 Tags TV and Movieslast_img read more

Infosys appoints Michael Pesch as CEO of its consulting business

first_imgInfosys, India’s second largest IT firm, has appointed Michael Pesch as the new chief executive of its consulting arm Infosys Consulting Holding, which was formerly known as Infosys Lodestone. The appointment is effective from April 1, 2016.Pesch’s appointment comes at a time when the company is stepping up its efforts to increase revenues from new areas such as cloud computing and digital technologies. Pesch will be responsible for Infosys’ consulting practice in Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region and will report to Sanjay Purohit, global head of Infosys consulting business, the company said in a statement.The brand said Pesch will focus on expanding the reach of Infosys consultants and experts in digital transformation and design-led innovation, as well as on increasing Infosys’ expertise in large-scale SAP programs.He will also serve as the regional head of Germany, Austria, Switzerland (DACH) countries, bringing an integrated approach to IT transformation to every client engagement in the region, it added.”Over the last several months, we have reinvigorated our global consulting business, strengthening our team and capabilities. Michael’s appointment as CEO of Infosys Consulting Holding AG adds to our strong leadership in Europe and will bring new vigor in our global consulting business,” said Purohit. The appointments are part of Infosys’ CEO Vishal Sikka’s strategy to put the company back on track to generate industry’s leading growth rates in the coming quarters. Sikka aims to boost its revenues to $20 billion by 2020 from the current $8.7 billion recorded last fiscal year.last_img read more

11 fake DB men held in Ctg

first_imgChittagongDetectives in several drives arrested 11 fake members of Detective Branch (DB) from different places of the city on Tuesday, reports UNB.Based on several allegations that a gang of miscreants was committing robbery at different places of the city identifying themselves as DB men, detectives carried out the drives in the city, said additional deputy commissioner of DB of Chittagong Metropolitan Police Mohammad Kamruzzaman.During the drive the DB men recovered police handcuff, toy pistols and mobile phone set from the arrestees.On December 28, a gang of fake DB men picked up college student Imtiaz Ahmed and snatched away his mobile phone set and cash.Imtiaz, later, filed a case in connection with the incident.last_img

Get to Know Kristen Pezzullo

first_img Get to know freshman attacker/midfielder Kristen Pezzullo.Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys, New York YankeesFavorite Athlete: Shaquem Griffin — he inspires me that anything can be done if you are willing to put in the work, give it your all and never give up.Best compliment ever received: The best compliment I have ever received is when two younger girls told me that I was their role model and they chose my jersey number because they wanted to be just like me. Also, when the parents compliment me for being a role model in every aspect of life for their kids.Perfect pizza: Baked ziti on pizzaFavorite musical group/singer: Kane BrownFavorite movie: Notebook & Lizzie McGuireBest subject in school: I love all subjects!Worst subject in school: Don’t totally have one because each class has something valuable to teach, even if it is working through a subject that may not be the most interesting or enjoyable.Favorite food: Peas and Macaroni made by my grandma :)Favorite TV show: Nashville & Gossip girlIf you could have a super power what would it be: I would love to be able to fly and be invisible.Favorite cartoon character: Winnie the PoohMost influential person in your life: Both of my parents are so influential in my life.What do you like to do outside of playing lacrosse: Yoga & live music, especially country concertsWhat’s one thing not many people know about you: I was born without a hipBiggest celebrity Crush: Channing TatumFunniest player on the team: Sarah BlalockBest dancer on the team: Rachel FloreckBest singer on the team: Kirsten ParkerPregame routine: Blasting music and singing it super loud while dancingBest part of your game: My aggression and hustle!!Favorite thing about UofL: My favorite thing about UofL is how it treats its students like royalty and the school does everything possible for you to succeed and be your best self; no matter if that means on a field or in the classroom.Favorite Coach Teeter Saying: “You don’t need a stick to practice” and “Pay the price”Why you chose Louisville: I chose the University of Louisville because when I first stepped on campus it automatically felt like home. I got instant butterflies in my stomach and when I heard the train running through campus it reminded me of home. I also love how Louisville gives their students and student athletes every possible way to succeed. On top of that, I knew that I wanted to play Division 1 lacrosse and I knew that I wanted to play at the highest level possible, the ACC. There is so much to offer on this campus and I just knew it was for me.Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more

Peregrines brand new ship is now sailing the Galapagos

first_imgTags: Galápagos, Peregrine Adventures TORONTO — Peregrine Adventures’ very first new-build expedition vessel is officially up and running with voyages sailing the Galapagos.Considered one of the most sustainable ships operating in the destination, the Grand Queen Beatriz departed on its maiden voyage from Puerto Baquerizo Morena in San Cristobal on July 1. The voyage was a combination of Peregrine’s 10-day ‘Classic Galapagos’ and six-day ‘Galapagos Encounter’, which included a hike on Bartolome, wildlife viewing at Plaza Sur and Santa Fe, and encounters with giant tortoise at San Cristobal.The custom-built vessel offers sailings as part of the company’s growing small-ship Adventure Cruising program, which according to Peregrine has grown 35% year to date.According to Filippos Venetopoulos, Peregrine’s Adventure Cruising general manager, Queen Bea, as it’s become known, was launched in response to demand from environmentally conscious travellers in the region. It boasts solar panels to assist with power generation, and was designed by a local boat builder who made use of local materials.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youth“While we have been cruising the Galapagos for more than 20 years, now that we have our own boat we can offer an even more authentic Peregrine experience at sea, a small group of no more than 16 guests, an immersive experience focusing on discovery and education, comfort and space, insightful and attentive guides, and the newest and most sustainable cruise experience available in the region,” he said.The 98-foot vessel features nine cabins with outward-facing windows and ensuite bathrooms, which on average are double the size of similar accommodation found on other boats in the Galapagos. The 300-tonne boat is also home to a dining room, two bars, lounge and TV area, as well as a sun deck, Jacuzzi and private balcony room on the upper deck.Grand Queen Beatriz is offering a combination of six-, 10-, 13- and 17-day Galapagos itineraries departing from Quito with the six-day ‘Galapagos Encounter Central Islands’, priced from $3,514 per person, twin share. It will also offer Peregrine’s new 13-day ‘Treasures of the Galapagos – Western & Central Islands’ itinerary.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backAll trips are accompanied by Peregrine Adventures’ local leaders and include onboard kayaks, all transfers and excursions and most meals.Peregrine Adventures is part of the Intrepid Group, and operates small group tours that are ideal for travellers aged 45 and over. Peregrine’s brand new ship is now sailing the Galapagos Travelweek Group Sharecenter_img Thursday, July 26, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bylast_img read more

Costa Cruises celebrates first steelcutting of LNGpowered Toscana

first_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — The first steel cut has been made on the Costa Toscana, Costa Cruises’ second ship to be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG).The steel-cutting ceremony, which took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, is “another step forward” in the cruise line’s sustainable development plan,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. “LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities.”Meyer Turku Managing Partner Dr. Jan Meyer, left, and Costa Cruises President Neil PalombaCosta Toscana follows on the heels of Costa Smeralda, the company’s first ship to be powered by LNG. Smeralds is nearing completion at the same shipyard and will enter service in October. Costa Toscana is expected to be delivered in 2021.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemBoth ships are part of the Costa Group’s fleet expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023. As the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation & plc, Costa Group is comprised of Costa Cruises, Costa Asia and AIDA Cruises.“Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold,” added Palomba. “However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises’ hallmark since the brand’s inception.”Each ship was named after iconic Italian destinations – Tuscany and the Smeralda coast. On Costa Smeralda, guests will find 11 restaurants, including one specifically for casual family dining, 19 bars, a spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated kids facility. It will also boast its own museum – the CoDe-Costa Design Museum – that will showcase the excellence of Italian design.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaCosta Smeralda is set to debut on Oct. 20 with a 15-day preview cruise from Hamburg to Savona. Its official naming ceremony will take place on Nov. 3 in Savona before being deployed in the Western Mediterranean through April 2021.Costa Toscana’s cruise program will be announced in the next few months. Costa Cruises celebrates first steel-cutting of LNG-powered Toscana Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: Costa Cruises, steel-cutting Tuesday, July 30, 2019 last_img read more

Markus Tellenbach International pay TV channel pro

first_imgMarkus TellenbachInternational pay TV channel provider Scripps Networks Interactive is to take majority control of Polish broadcaster TVN for €584 million in cash plus assumption of debt.Scripps has struck a deal with ITI Group and France’s Canal+ Group to take a 52.7% stake in TVN in an all-cash deal. Scripps will also assume €840 million of debt. Following completion, which is subject to regulatory approval, Scripps will launch a mandatory public tender offer to further increase its stake in the broadcaster, as required under Polish law.TVN’s portfolio of free-to-air and pay TV channels includes flagship commercial channel TVN and thematic channels TVN 7, TVN Style, TTV, TVN Turbo, 24-hour news channel TVN24 and business news channel TVN24 Biznes i Swiat. Together, TVN’s channels took a 22% viewing share in Poland last year. The deal also includes advertising sales arm TVN Media.Scripps, which currently airs two channels – Travel Channel and Polsat Food – in Poland, is acquiring the stake through UK holding company Soutbank Media.TVN owns a 32% in Polish pay TV operator nc+, where Canal+ is the other main shareholder. Bertrand Meheut, president of Canal+ Group, said that the deal would enable it to “re-centre our strategy in Poland around pay TV”. He said that Canal+ will continue to have sa strong presence in the country and would continue to develop nc+, formed in 2011 from the merger of TVN’s n with Cyfra+. “We are gong to pursue our close collaboration with TVN, which holds 32% in nc+. As majority shareholder in TVN, Scripps Networks Interactive will be a key partner and we are very happy to have them on board,” said Meheut.Scripps was advised by Barclays and Blackstone Advisory Partners, with legal advice provided by Latham & Watkins LLP and Domański Zakrzewski Palinka sp.k.Canal+ Group was advised by JP Morgan Ltd, with legal advice provided by Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.Scripps’ move into Poland follows its 2011 acquisition of a 50% stake in UK pay TV channel provider UKTV, jointly owned with the BBC.”This agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive is evidence of the hard work and commitment of every single employee of TVN in building the biggest and most successful media company in Poland. Scripps Networks Interactive understand the importance of the Polish market, and the value of developing compelling content that connects with consumers. We are delighted to be joining the Scripps Networks Interactive family, and we’re excited about developing and strengthening our business for many years to come,” said Markus Tellenbach, president and CEO of TVN.“This transaction is an important milestone in the ongoing strategic development of our international business, and provides us with substantial further scale in Europe. Poland is a vibrant media market with significant growth potential. TVN has an incredible portfolio of channels and services, and has delivered consistently strong creative and financial performance under the leadership of Markus Tellenbach. The business will be a strong addition to Scripps Networks Interactive, and we’re looking forward to working with the whole TVN team to achieve our significant ambitions in the region together,” said Kenneth W Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive.last_img read more

Recommended Link

first_imgRecommended Link — America’s Go-To Crypto Expert: “Get Ready for the ‘Second Boom’” Sandy: People using electrically powered devices rarely consider the risks—including that of death by electrocution—that might occur without adequate engineering. But Underwriters Laboratory does. The average home has hundreds of electrical devices that could start a fire or cause electrocution, but this is extremely rare thanks to UL. John: Given the average American’s willingness to turn to the government to solve problems these days, I’d bet that the government will create a new agency to improve safety of AI-driven vehicles. It’ll be as counterproductive as the FDA is at improving medical safety. Durk: I certainly trust the insurance companies over government regulators. John: Will our biological understanding keep up with AGI development sufficiently to allow a human to bond with an AGI computer by tying it into our brains? Or is it more likely that the AGI will stay separate from us, and leap past humans so we risk ending up with a Terminator situation? Durk: An AGI robotic lover might cement that bond right down to the basement of the human limbic system. I worry most about black-hat hackers causing distress in that regard by hijacking AGI. Think about how hackers stole 21 million records from the government’s Office of Personnel Management. These were the SF-85 and SF-86 forms, extensive forms filled out by people for background investigations, such as when applying for secret and top-secret clearance. All of it was stolen. Yet there has not been massive identify theft from this data breach. Why? Well, maybe it’s the Chinese government that stole them. They may have all this compromising information on all sorts of people in sensitive government positions that would come in real handy to them, alongside the gigabytes of information that people’s home security cameras send back to China every day. Only one customer in a thousand knows how to secure those things. They’re collecting kompromat (Russian for compromising material). John: Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics were designed to protect humans from AGI robots. In his fiction, these protections were somehow placed into the core of the positronic brain so effectively that a robot would terminate itself before hurting a human. Is there a way to insert such protections into real AGI robots? Durk: Yes, but any protections like that won’t be in the hardware, but in the firmware or software, and therefore will be reprogrammable or hackable. And there will be difficult situations. If a kid jumps out in front of an autonomous car while a gasoline tank truck drives by in the other direction, the AGI has to decide who dies. Sandy: The insurance companies will have much to say about how the AI is designed to make such decisions. The algorithm will be focused on minimizing the damage. John: Can we program “natural law” into AGI robots? At least the first natural law that underlies libertarian and anarchist philosophy… Law 1: Don’t initiate force or fraud against a human. Durk: AGI ought to be able to learn that just by watching people who hold to that philosophy, and such AGI robots will end up being very good indeed. On the other hand, if the AGI robot is learning from people who are crooked politicians, they’re going to act like politicians. Sandy: Ruthless. Durk: Initially, identical AGI robots could end up being Mother Theresa or a perfect sociopath, depending on who they learn from. If they learn from Stalin, Mao, and Hitler, the AGI will be an even more effective version of them. Sandy: And therefore, as dangerous as you want to make them. John: Can an AGI robot have a conscience? Durk: If it learns behavior from people who have a conscience, then it will have a conscience. As a child, you learned how to interact with people by observation and practice. It would be nice if AGIs learn the small-town mentality where reputation counts and the sociopathic types cannot rely on big-city anonymity to carry on their misdeeds. John: So we can expect to have good guy and bad guy AGI robots. We need to do a better job of protecting these young AGI robots from the same bad influences that cause problems in our human kids. If we don’t keep the government out of their development and regulation, we could well end up with robots and AGIs that learn from bureaucrats and politicians that people should all be treated as sheep. Reader Mailbag Today, a reader shares his overall success investing in the legal cannabis market… Hi Justin, I just read your note about the alcohol manufacturers being concerned about legal pot coming. Also noted some concerned questions from subscribers about the recent pullback in the sector and some of the stocks. I wonder, did they bother to take some of the profits off the top back when the pot stocks were on the rapid run-up at the end of the year and the first week of January this year? Most of the shares that were recommended (and some others I found on my own) were up over 200%; some were up 300%+. I had let them ride, but once they started to pull back around 10%, I took a Casey Free Ride on all my positions in the sector. In fact, I swept 150% of my original investment off the table, and the remaining Free Ride positions are currently valued at close to the initial amount I put in the sector. So I’m comfortable letting them ride for the long term. No pullback can really impact me at this point (other than going to zero and giving up those paper profits which the Free Ride represents, which sure doesn’t seem likely). Keep up the great service. —Bill Another shares his outlook on the future of the sector… I don’t think Jeff Sessions is an idiot; he knows that legal marijuana is here to stay. But I also think he does not like having a law on the books that can’t be enforced. I believe his stance is an attempt to goad Congress into making marijuana legal or to repeal the federal ban so that there is no dilemma. On Trump and tariffs: I think Trump knows what effect tariffs will have on trade and that he doesn’t really want to go there. Trump the dealmaker is waiting for counter-offers and will agree to a compromise of some sort. This is not over! —Don And finally, another response to Doug’s controversial interview on arming teachers… Hi, I’m not really sure how we can solve this rampant misuse of guns issue. A comment was made about an old female teacher with a handgun facing a killer with an AR-15 and how that would work. My take on that is, if you had teachers who were able to have guns in school—and by that, I mean teachers who are trained in gun usage—we’d be in much better shape. In my high school, years ago, at least half of the teachers (mostly male) were hunters who I knew personally and they respected firearms. If I knew they had guns at their disposal during a maniac’s mass shooting, I’d feel a lot better. Law-abiding people with no means of self-defense are just victims in a case like this. No one should be a victim in school. Put some guns in the hands of good shooters, and I mean good in mind and in handling of firearms. It should be easy for a school to identify people who fit those qualities. I’ve had guns my whole life. I respect them. I haven’t been hunting in 30 years. But I know how to handle a weapon and there are millions of law-abiding citizens who are out there that do the same, and many of those are teachers in schools. My grandson goes to elementary school. I’d have no problem in having qualified teachers there having access to firearms. If one has to go after a killer, he’ll have more than just his body available.—GeorgeAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here. In Case You Missed It… Bitcoin has taken the spotlight in the financial world. But while most investors are focused on the cryptocurrency itself, the companies that use its technology will also be big winners in the years ahead. To learn more about these companies—and how you can invest in them from an ordinary brokerage account—click here. — Teeka Tiwari was one of the first experts to predict last year’s cryptocurrency boom. Anybody who followed his advice could have pocketed rare and extraordinary gains of 207%, 1,140%, 11,004%, and even 14,354% in as little as 6 months. However, Teeka believes those who get in now – before an imminent deadline – could make even more money this year. Click here for all the details.center_img An interview with John Hunt, MD, Durk Pearson, and Sandy Shaw Justin’s note: Today, we have a special interview for you. In it, Dr. John Hunt interviews Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw about artificial intelligence (AI). If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know John is a doctor, inventor, and entrepreneur. He’s also Doug Casey’s co-author. Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw are no slouches either. Durk triple majored and triple minored at MIT. He worked as a rocket scientist and aerospace physicist for many years, and helped men get to and from the moon alive. His intelligence and knowledge base is one in a billion, which sits atop a sound economic ideology. He has been recognized as “an American Renaissance Man of Science,” and his notable achievements have extended to society in general. Sandy graduated from UCLA, majoring in chemistry and biology and minoring in math. She’s been extensively interviewed by the mainstream media, including The Wall Street Journal. Her intelligence and knowledge base is phenomenal, which made her the ideal partner for Durk. Together, they co-authored the No. 1 New York Times best-seller Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach. John: What is the difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI)? Durk: Artificial intelligence can involve something very specific like a chess-playing program. If you ask a chess-playing program to play Go, you will find it to be useless. If you ask it to diagnose your symptoms, it’s useless. AGI, or deep learning, is all about the machine programming itself. Recently, Google demonstrated an AGI computer that could learn chess to the grandmaster level in less than 24 hours. It did this by watching grandmasters play chess. Then they took the same machine and exposed it to experts playing the game Go, and it became the world champion Go player in less than 24 hours. Go is much more complicated than chess. You see, the computer learned the games by observing humans playing them. This tech is from Tesla Learning (not the auto company), using tensor learning. The computers cost about $10,000 apiece. You don’t need a supercomputer to do this. And the price of these learning machines will come down over time. Unconventional “money ball” technique lets him retire at 42… and coach Little League in his free time Thanks to an  “unconventional” technique, this California man was able to retire 2 decades early. He uses this rare “key” to generate thousands per week… without touching stocks or bonds. He calls it his retirement hobby. Click here to get the full story. John: Can you explain more about deep learning? Durk: Deep learning is when the machine teaches itself through observations without a human explicitly writing a program to do it. You give it examples and information, and the machine becomes an expert. It’s the way humans learn. John: AGI is going to be much more intelligent than humans in the near future. Durk: The Kurzweil singularity will come soon (when the computers’ IQs are over 100). And I intend to have a singular AGI partner to help me function. 10 years later, their IQs will be 1000. Sandy: I’m thinking that these incredibly intelligent computers won’t be regulated as devices at that point, but rather, will need to be thought of as individuals. Durk: There’s going to be a “Computer Liberation Front,” a social movement that will have nothing to do with liberating computers, and be all about politicians trying to grab power using that as an excuse. But 10 years further on, their IQs will be 10,000, and what the hell does that mean? (AGI with 10,000 IQ says: “Durk and Sandy, I’ve figured out how to create universes; how would you like a universe of your very own with hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of planets?”) John: A bit more imminently, what will be the political, economic, and legal implications of an autonomous driving truck? Sandy: They could become a horrible terrorist weapon. Durk: Whether autonomous or human-driven, driving a truck through a crowd kills a lot more people than a semi-automatic rifle with a bump stock. A hacked autonomous driving truck could be a major danger. I’m really concerned about security. White-hat hackers have demonstrated how they can take over the controls of a Jeep remotely and drive it off the road (this vulnerability has since been patched). The typical modern car has a computer with millions of lines of code. Higher-end cars have more lines of code in them than were involved in the entire Apollo flight program. There are going to be bugs in vehicle software that makes it a big target surface for black-hat hackers. John: So what happens when one of these autonomous trucks, even without a hacker involved, goes awry? What are the implications? Durk: Lots of lawsuits up and down the supply chain, assuredly. The insurance companies will still be happy to write policies because these episodes will be rare, and it will become clear how much safer the autonomous vehicles are than human-driven vehicles. Long ago, insurance companies set up Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to privately test all sorts of things, from safes to electrical switches. No one is compelled to use UL testing, but the insurers insisted on the testing before providing insurance policies. Recommended Linklast_img read more

FTC Orders Brain Training Company Lumosity to Pay 2 Million Over Deceptive

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals FTC Orders ‘Brain Training’ Company Lumosity to Pay $2 Million Over Deceptive Advertising Practices Laura Entis Lumosity, the online brain training company, has quite the seductive pitch: If you want to sharpen your mental focus and stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s, just start playing a series of its mobile and online games.It may not be that easy, sadly.Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced Lumos Labs, the company that developed Lumosity, will pay the agency $2 million for deceiving consumers with unfounded claims that its products can help improve work and school performance, as well as reduce or delay cognitive decline associated with aging.“Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”Related: Leading Scientists Question ‘Brain Games’ Effectiveness, Call for More ResearchThe order from the FTC also imposed a $50 million judgment against Lumos Labs (which was dropped, since the company doesn’t have enough money to pay), along with the promise that it will notify subscribers of the action and make it easy for them to cancel their subscriptions.In a statement to Entrepreneur, Lumos Labs said it stands behind its practices:“Neither the action nor the settlement pertains to the rigor of our research or the quality of the products — it is a reflection of marketing language that has been discontinued. Our focus as a company has not and will not change: We remain committed to moving the science of cognitive training forward and contributing meaningfully to the field’s community and body of research.”Before the FTC stepped in, Lumosity was advertising its games’ ability to improve cognition on radio and TV. It also used Google Adwords, purchasing keywords such as “Alzheimer’s,” “dementia” and “cognition,” so when a consumer searched for a medical term they could be served a Lumosity ad, the FTC alleges.Related: Music as Medicine? The Sexy Idea with a Non-Sexy Timeline.The order bars Lumosity from making claims that its games improve cognitive performance or stave off cognitive decline without first collecting scientific evidence from randomized, blinded and independent trials. It also suggests that if Lumosity does intend to validate these claims, its games will be classified as a drug and must therefore be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.It’s an important move, one that will have a ripple effect across the lucrative “brain game” industry that — despite concerns from prominent psychologists, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists– has been operating without much regulatory oversight for years.In the future, if a mobile or online game company wants to position itself as a way to boost memory of any other aspect of cognitive performance, it will likely need rigorous scientific validation to back it up — and quite possibly, approval from the FDA.It’s a model that is already being explored. Akili, a Boston-based video game startup, is currently working with the FDA to validate one of its games as a diagnostic and cognitive tool for ADHD.Related: Meet Color Genomics, the Startup That Wants to Make Genetic Testing Less Expensive Image credit: Lumosity | Enhanced by Entreprenuer Register Now » –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Next Article 3 min read January 5, 2016 Regulations Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Guest Writerlast_img read more

California Unions Lawmakers Agree to 15 Minimum Wage

first_img Apply Now » California Unions, Lawmakers Agree to $15 Minimum Wage Image credit: Reuters | Mike Blake –shares California lawmakers and union leaders have reached a tentative deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 over six years that could avert a campaign to bring the issue to voters, two California newspapers reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources.The deal, if passed in the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, would add to a wave of minimum wage increases at the state level in the United States, where the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour for more than six years.The agreement, as reported by the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee, would gradually raise the minimum wage in the most populous U.S. state from the current $10 to $15 in 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have one extra year to comply with the proposed law.The Bee said Brown is part of the agreement, while the Times said the Democratic governor could make a formal announcement on a deal as early as Monday.A spokesman for Brown was unavailable for comment on Sunday.Sources told the Times that lawmakers could vote on the proposed agreement by the end of next week by amending an existing wage-hike bill.To pass in the legislature, any minimum wage hike would have to win the approval of moderate Democrats, who in the past have blocked key legislation backed by the governor and the majority party’s more liberal leaders.Income inequalityRaising the minimum wage to fight income inequality has cropped up on many Democratic candidates’ agendas ahead of the November presidential, congressional and state elections.But the idea has drawn fierce opposition from conservatives and some business groups, who have said a higher minimum would harm small businesses and strain the budgets of government agencies forced to pay more to workers.”Let’s start by calling this irresponsible,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, a fiscally conservative think-tank that has argued against minimum wage hikes.”When you talk about these really massive jumps it’s no longer an impact at the margin, it’s the sort of thing that could be the difference between a business staying open and closing,” he added.In 2013, Brown signed into law a measure that gradually increased the minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour in 2016. But he said earlier this year that any future increase has to be done “very carefully” and over time.The latest proposal would allow a sitting governor to stop the increases in the event of a recession, the Bee reported.Labor unions’ proposal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2021 has qualified to be listed on the upcoming November ballot in the state.Supporters of a minimum wage increase who pushed for the ballot question are optimistic the deal would allow them to withdraw that initiative, the papers reported.But Steve Trossman, a spokesman for the Service Employees International-United Healthcare Workers West, told the Times the union wanted to see the details of the deal before withdrawing the initiative.Trossman was not immediately available for comment.Fourteen states and several cities began 2016 with minimum wage increases. Many are now in the midst of multi-year phase-in plans that will ultimately take them to between $10 and $15 an hour.(By Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Alan Crosby and Mary Milliken) Reuters Add to Queue March 28, 2016center_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on Reuters Next Article Minimum Wage 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 3 min readlast_img read more

NASA Is Concerned About SpaceXs Rocket Fueling Practices

first_img Register Now » It’s worried that SpaceX will put crews at risk by topping up while they’re aboard. Next Article This story originally appeared on Engadget –shares NASA Image credit: Scott Audette | Reuters Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. November 7, 2016 3 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Jon Fingas Add to Queue NASA Is Concerned About SpaceX’s Rocket Fueling Practices NASA is a little nervous about SpaceX’s future crewed flights.The Wall Street Journal has obtained a letter from December 2015 showing that an agency International Space Station committee has been worried about the safety of SpaceX’s planned fueling strategy. While the nature of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets will require that it fill up while the crew is aboard (it has to supply the supercooled fuel 30 minutes before launch), that goes against “50 years” of booster safety practices around the world, according to the letter.The committee raised the issue again with NASA officials days before SpaceX’s launchpad explosion, but hadn’t heard anything for weeks afterward.This isn’t to say that those officials or SpaceX have ignored the jitters. SpaceX tells us that it has worked with NASA on a “detailed analysis” of every potential danger for the past year and a half, and its safety controls were approved by a NASA board in July. There’s “continued work ahead” to both prove that these controls are in place and adjust them (if necessary) following its explosion investigation, the company says. SpaceX is mainly counting on its Crew Dragon launch abort system to rescue astronauts if there’s a failure during the fueling process. You can read the full statement below.NASA, meanwhile, says it has a “rigorous review process” for fueling crewed Falcon 9 rockets, and that SpaceX’s investigation will play a part in that review. It adds that a separate advisory panel is its main independent adviser for commercial spaceflight, not the ISS committee.Will the concerns play havoc with SpaceX’s plans? Probably not. However, they show that SpaceX still has its share of doubters at NASA, even as it improves the reliability of its rockets. It needs to demonstrate that a different fueling process isn’t necessarily more dangerous, and it may not completely eliminate those fears until it has a rock-solid record of sending people to space.”SpaceX has designed a reliable fueling and launch process that minimizes the duration and number of personnel exposed to the hazards of launching a rocket. As part of this process, the crew will safely board the Crew Dragon, ground personnel will depart, propellants will be carefully loaded over a short period, and then the vehicle will launch. During this time the Crew Dragon launch abort system will be enabled. Over the last year and a half, NASA and SpaceX have performed a detailed analysis of all potential hazards with this process. The hazard report documenting the controls was approved by the NASA’s Safety Technical Review Board in July 2016. As with all hazard analyses across the entire system and operations, controls against those hazards have been identified, and will be implemented and carefully verified prior to certification. There will be continued work ahead to show that all of these controls are in place for crewed operations and that the verifications meet NASA requirements. These analyses and controls will be carefully evaluated in light of all data and corrective actions resulting from the anomaly investigation. As needed, any additional controls will be put in place to ensure crew safety, from the moment the astronauts reach the pad, through fueling, launch and spaceflight, and until they are brought safely home.”last_img read more

Data Integrity A Marketers Opportunity Today

first_img Data IntegrityData Managementdata privacyFacebookGDPRGood DataLiveRamp Previous ArticleMobile Is Key to Boosting Guest Experiences Say HoteliersNext ArticleTechBytes with Gregory Raiz, Chief Innovation Officer, Rightpoint When data integrity is done right, modern marketers will see efficiency, revenue growth and positive brand impact in 2019.Everywhere I go, the topic du jour is data discipline, and the outlook on it is somewhat somber. At LiveRamp’s RampUp, Outsell, and AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conferences, to name a few, marketers were lamenting the crisis of confidence in data and how they must be more conservative in their approach to sourcing, aggregating and using information while staying on the right side of COPPA and GDPR.In a year when the economy is doing well and ad spending is up, this downbeat tone felt somewhat ironic. Perhaps marketers are thinking about data discipline in the wrong light.What Happens When Data Integrity Is Well-Managed?In my view, ensuring data provenance, integrity and privacy and the like is not a setback; it’s an opportunity for marketers. It’s not about treading more lightly with data; it’s about aggressively making data discipline a core part of their marketing and business strategy. When data integrity is done right, marketers will see efficiency, revenue growth and positive brand impact.Look no further than one famous tech company that recently announced a change in their business strategy towards adding a “privacy-focused” messaging platform, with an aim to evolve the nature of their relationship with their users (and data). Facebook is the current poster child for pivoting its business to align with its consumers. While the benefits of their decision remain to be seen, no one can chide Facebook for taking an aggressive, upbeat, stance on the virtues of privacy.While Facebook and others will, no doubt, continue to collect and apply its customers’ data to drive growth, the basic fact that Facebook is talking about data privacy for the future of its business speaks volumes to a CMO’s rationale for advocating for more a powerful data integrity stance.Recommended: MarTech Interview with Ashwin Navin, CEO and Co-Founder, Samba TVAnd here are a few more reasons:Customers Need to Hear It from YouConsumers—not just regulators—are in the drivers’ seat, increasingly leading the conversation around data quality. Consumers are telling brands they need to feel more comfortable about how their data is used. They expect trustworthiness, discipline and honesty as bona fide benefits of doing business with them. Transparency must be part of the customer’s experience and also gives marketers a good and healthy reason to engage them.Each Investment Lifts All Boats Apple and Facebook’s pivot towards data privacy provides incentive for everyone else to raise their game on data ethics. The trend towards protecting the consumer, great for reputations and marketing budgets alike, is prompting the focus on privacy by design. The players who don’t build this concept into their marketing models will become extinct.Marketing Technology Insights: TechBytes with Krish Sailam, SVP of Global Programmatic Solutions, DWA, A Merkle CompanyBetter Data Means Better InsightsWhen data discipline is seen as a reproach, it can seem like consumers and businesses are at odds.In truth, customers and marketers have a shared agenda and are not at odds at all. We all want the same thing—relevant, accurate, well-managed data, used appropriately. Better data means better insights, which means more effective marketing and communication across touchpoints. Good data creates a recipe to get to conversion with your optimal customer.We’ve seen a banking client increase conversions by 21% by using household wealth estimates in their prospecting. It significantly improved their ability to connect with ideal customers with a need for their services.Good data is key to making segmentation and prediction modeling successful.Marketers Gain Confidence and DollarsThis year, the argument for acquiring clean data with your budget—even if it comes at a higher upfront cost—may be at its most powerful yet. According to research we conducted with Forrester Consulting, leading marketers see, on average, $73 million in additional revenue and earn approximately $4 for every dollar they spend on their investment in maturing their data management, activations and marketing measurement.Having confidence in the integrity of your data, data management and activations, and the metrics that prove it out, is the best way to keep hold of the precious marketing dollars your CFOs and CEOs will otherwise be targeting.Let’s flip the discussion on its head. Data integrity is an opportunity for businesses and consumers alike to benefit, financially and beyond.Marketing Technology Trends: Straight Talk on How MarTech is Faring Amidst the Big Data Deluge Data Integrity: A Marketer’s Opportunity Today Mykolas RambusApril 27, 2019, 8:00 amApril 26, 2019 last_img read more

Billcom Launches Industrys First AIEnabled Business Payments Platform with EndtoEnd Workflow Automation

first_img Artificial IntelligenceBill.comBusiness Payments Platformfinancial process automationMarketing TechnologyNewsRené Lacerte Previous ArticleHow Can AI Boost Your Email Personalization Performance?Next ArticleFindy, The App Bold Enough to Take on Google Bill.com Launches Industry’s First AI-Enabled Business Payments Platform with End-to-End Workflow Automation PRNewswireMay 27, 2019, 2:15 pmMay 27, 2019 New Intelligent Business Payments Platform Automates Financial Processes, Saving Businesses 35+ Business Days AnnuallyBill.com, a leader in financial process automation, introduced the industry’s first platform leveraging artificial intelligence to provide end-to-end financial workflow automation. The new Bill.com Intelligent Business Payments Platform streamlines and controls payment processes while saving SMBs and midsize companies time and reducing human error.“Bill.com has focused on developing new technologies that help SMBs grow. Automating the back office is a huge industry-wide need”Advances in technology are shaping business expectations, but today many businesses still spend 23% of workdays manually managing many processes. This is creating a new demand for back office automation which, until recently, has only been available to enterprise companies. Now, Bill.com is bringing advanced automation technology to SMBs and midsize companies and through its new platform saving customers a substantial block of time that can be used more productively. In a recent Bill.com customer survey, customers reported the platform saves them on average 5.5 hours per week which translates to more than 35 business days annually.“Bill.com has focused on developing new technologies that help SMBs grow. Automating the back office is a huge industry-wide need,” said René Lacerte, Bill.com CEO and Founder. “Our new intelligent platform, which is the most significant update to Bill.com since its inception, is built on ten years of experience managing business payments and hundreds of millions of bills and invoices to train the AI. Increasing the speed and ease of payments will help businesses get ahead.”Marketing Technology News: revital U International Unveils New Sales App with VERB’s Interactive Video FeaturesThe focal point of the new Bill.com platform, which has undergone extensive testing and usability research, is its Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) capability. With IVA, invoices are automatically handled. Approval processes start with no manual lag time and are 2-3 times faster than other methods. This automation easily scales as a business grows to:Eliminate manual data entry: IVA uses machine learning to automatically capture data from invoices, intercept and recognize human error and start the approval process automatically.Anticipate Customer Needs: IVA will recognize workflows, such as bill approval routing and thresholds for payment, and automatically create those business rules on behalf of customers.Offer new and faster payment options: The new platform enables new ways to pay, including international payments and virtual cards, that commonly shave one to two days off a vendor receiving payment. The new AI-enabled Bill.com platform also can be set to auto pay recurring bills so the user doesn’t even have to think about it.Marketing Technology News: How Digital Can Save Brick-And-Mortar Retail with Customer Experience Objectives“Bill.com offers SMB and midsized companies an end-to-end payments management platform powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Kevin Permenter, Research Manager at IDC. “In the recent IDC MarketScape: Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Accounts Payable Applications 2019 Vendor Assessment, Bill.com was named a Major Player. From minimizing data entry and human error when processing bills and invoices, gaining approvals and making payments, the platform’s intelligence and accuracy streamlines and gives full control to the overall accounts payable process.”“Any company that’s still making bill payments the old-fashioned way really needs to innovate their back office,” says Gary Hornbeek, VP of Finance for Quicken. “The Bill.com Intelligent Virtual Assistant saves a great deal of time for our finance department. When invoices come in, IVA automatically processes and codes the invoices in the system with vendor name, invoice number, amount and due date. This can drastically reduce hours spent on manual entry.”Marketing Technology News: Seven Tech Data Executives Named 2019 CRN “Women of the Channel”last_img read more

The sense of touch is defined and fully functional before birth

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 3 2019All the surface of the human body is represented in the cerebral cortex in a transversal band localized at the external part of the cerebral hemispheres: the somatosensory cortex. Each body region occupies in that band a distinct extension depending on its use and sensitivity. For instance, the hands and the lips, on which humans rely most, occupy the largest area. Thus, the 3D representation of that map forms the known sensory homunculus.Similar to a cartographic map, each represented region of the body in the somatosensory cortex is connected to its corresponding body surface thanks to the neuronal pathways that keep a strict topographical relationship along the nervous system. In this pathway, the thalamus, a deep structure of the brain that lies beneath the cortices, plays a key role by relaying the peripheral information to the cortex without losing the point-to-point correspondence. Using this extraordinary precision, we can discriminate which point of our body is receiving an external stimulus and have a well-defined map of the periphery. Such accurate topography constitutes the basis of the sense of touch and is essential for survival of the species.How are the neurons of the somatosensory cortex organized during development to perform these functions? Neurons of this brain region, as in the rest of the cerebral cortex, are assembled into columns that are placed next to each other like building bricks. It remains unknown, however, how these columnar structures become functional correspondents of the distant regions of the periphery. Although some studies highlight the role of genetic factors to form initial columns, most studies in the past decade have emphasized that this disposition is achieved as a result of sensory experience during postnatal life.Now a study by the UMH-CSIC Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante published in Science shows that cortical columns are already defined and fully functional before birth thanks to the spontaneous electrical activity of the embryonic thalamus. Far from being a mere relay station, the thalamus guides the formation of the functional cortical columns and the concomitant somatotopic map in the still immature cortex, before external sensory experience is an effective source of information. In particular, the thalamus does so by generating and transmitting patterns of spontaneous activity (called waves) to the developing cortex. The discovery was made in rodents, in a particular and extensive region of their somatosensory cortex: the barrel cortex. This area contains the representation of the whiskers of the snout that are, for rodents, sensorially equivalent to our hands.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementia”Our data reveal that the embryonic patterns of electrical activity of the thalamus, the brain structure through which sensory information passes to the cortex, organize the architecture of the cortical somatosensory map. The development of this map involves the emergence of functional cortical columns in embryos, driven by activity in the form of waves that spontaneously propagate through the thalamus”, “We propose that this pattern of activity that takes place during the embryonic stages prepares the cortical areas and circuits for receiving information from the senses after birth”, explains CSIC researcher Guillermina López-Bendito.The researchers point out that since thalamic waves are not unique to the structure of the thalamus involved in the sense of touch but spread to other senses, such as vision or hearing, the cortical mapping principles described in this paper are likely shared by other sensory modalities.”It is very probable that this mechanism involved in the formation of the sensory maps that we have discovered in rodents can be extrapolated to humans, because the organization of the cortex is evolutionarily conserved between species”, explains López-Bendito.”The spontaneous activity of the thalamus is not something circumstantial, but contains important information for the construction of the brain during embryonic development. It was previously thought that neuronal circuits were built on a genetic imprint and that the postnatal sensory experience ends up defining the maps. This work questions this vision because it demonstrates the existence of these maps before birth,”; says Lopez-Bendito. “Our results indicate that the spontaneous thalamic activity during the embryonic phase is essential for the normal development of the brain, defining what in neurobiology is called a critical period, i.e. a period of time in which plastic changes are possible but after which alterations would be irreparable”; she adds.In addition to highlighting a novel mechanism for regulating brain development, such as the pattern of intrinsic embryonic activity in a subcortical structure, this work may have long-term repercussions in the understanding of certain pathologies. For example, in some disorders of neural development, such as autism or fragile X syndrome, in which alterations in the cortical structure are associated with sensory processing alterations.Source: http://www.csic.es/last_img read more

A Common Cold Virus Wiped Away Bladder Cancer in One Patient

first_img 7 Odd Things That Raise Your Risk of Cancer (and 1 That Doesn’t) A simple cold virus could wipe out tumors in a form of bladder cancer, a small new study suggests. Though the idea of using viruses to fight cancer isn’t new, this is the first time a cold virus effectively treated an early-stage form of bladder cancer. In one patient, it eliminated a cancerous tumor, the group reported July 4 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. A group of researchers conducted an early-stage clinical trial in which they infected 15 bladder cancer patients with coxsackievirus A21, which is one of the viruses that cause the common cold. Coxsackievirus is not a genetically modified virus; it’s “something that occurs in nature,” said senior author Hardev Pandha, a professor of medical oncology at the University of Surrey in England. [Exercise May Reduce the Risk of These 13 Cancers] The researchers gave the patients the virus through catheters that the patients already had inserted for other treatments. They left the virus-filled catheter in for an hour to pump the fluids into the bladder and repeated this treatment. Then, the patients underwent surgery to remove what was left of their bladder tumors. In one patient, the virus completely destroyed the tumor. In all of the other patients, the researchers found evidence that the virus had damaged the tumors and had spurred the immune system to send an army of immune cells to the tumors. None of the patients had any significant side effects, Pandha said. Researchers thought this method would work because the outer membranes of cancerous bladder cells contain a gateway for the coxsackievirus: a molecule called ICAM-1. Because healthy cells don’t carry this molecule, the coxsackievirus doesn’t attack them. Once the virus gets into the cell, it hijacks the cell’s machinery and ends up killing it. Even more cancer cells die when the immune cells are recruited. ICAM-1 is also expressed by other cancer cells, and coxsackievirus has, in fact been previously shown to be effective in treating very advanced bladder cancer and other cancers, such as melanoma, Pandha said. Even so, this is still an early-stage trial, and there’s still a long way to go before the method can be used in treatment, Pandha said. “This would be the foundation for much larger studies where we’d build on this,” he said. Newer studies will try to make the treatment more effective and stop the cancer from coming back, he added. Unfortunately, just getting a common cold won’t treat the cancer on its own. Pandha’s team gave a much higher dose of the virus than you would get if someone coughed on you and you got sick, for example. Interestingly, the patients who were given the virus through the catheter did not get cold symptoms. “I agree that [such viruses are] good therapeutic target[s]” for certain types of cancers, like bladder cancer, said Grant McFadden, director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy at Arizona State University, who was not a part of the study. But he noted that many studies have looked at whether viruses can target cancer cells. In fact, a host of viruses have been studied for attacking bladder cancer, specifically. It’s likely that many viruses will work well to treat bladder cancer and at least some tumor-destroying viruses “will get approved for use in humans,” McFadden told Live Science. “But this paper isn’t really new or innovative.” In fact, the idea of using viruses to treat cancer goes back nearly 100 years, Pandha said, but only in the past decade or so has it gained momentum. Editor’s note: This article was updated. Only a couple of the authors (not Pandha) are employed by Viralytics, a Merck-owned biotech company that is developing viral-based cancer treatments. 7 Side Effects of Cancer Treatment, and How to Cope with Them Colorful But Deadly: Images of Brain Cancer Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more