first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Ever in a seriously foul mood? Ever find yourself in a bad mood for no reason at all (or no good reason anyway)?I was at the eye doctors’s office for a 4:30 appointment. At 4:45, one of the doctor’s assistants did the pre-examination. And then I sat for 45 minutes, the first 30 minutes unhappily stewing that “these people” would have the “audacity” to “steal my time” (something I can’t recover).Here’s my recipe to be miserable.What are you telling yourself about the situation?What you tell yourself about an experience determines what impact it has on your attitude and your emotional state.I told myself that the people at the eye doctor’s office were rude. I told myself they were stealing my time. I told myself that they were being disrespectful. And guess how that made me feel about the experience and the people?It doesn’t matter that none of these things were true. I experienced them anyway.What are you telling yourself about what it means?One great way to work yourself into a crooked mood is to tell yourself something means more than it does.I told myself that I could never reclaim the time I lost. I told myself that this time could been invested in some better experience than sitting in an eye doctor’s crowded waiting room. My life is too short to waste time!How much did the 45 minutes cost me in the big scheme of things? Not all that much. But what I told myself it meant was almost enough to make me complain (something that would have made a lot of other people share in my poor state).What words are you using to describe the experience to yourself?The words you use to describe an experience make up that experience.I told myself that this was “miserable.” I told myself that “if there is a Hell,” it looks a lot like a doctor’s office or a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office (although the BMV in my neighborhood would shame any doctor’s office).Having told myself that I was miserable, it was true.What’s Really True?What I told myself about the situation wasn’t likely true. It’s more likely that a lot of people are trying to visit the eye doctors, some to use their insurance before it expires. It’s more likely that the doctors were working hard to accommodate as many people as possible. Even if this isn’t true, this is what I decided to tell myself. I assumed good intentions.I didn’t really “lose 45 minutes of my life” either. I had my phone and my tablet with me. I set up an appointment, sent two emails, and drafted a blog post. Because I had the tools with me, I used most of that time to do something productive (I toyed with the idea of using their waiting room as my office and making calls, but thought better of it).Instead of deciding to be miserable, I decided I would choose to be productive and happy to have the time to work uninterrupted.The same tools you use to put yourself and foul and unproductive state can be used to create a positive, productive attitude. It’s a choice.QuestionsWhat’s your recipe for a foul, nasty, unproductive mood?What meaning do you give something or someone to create that attitude and emotional state?What words do you incant to create a poor attitude?How do you reverse this recipe?last_img read more

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first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now I’m on record here and here and here saying that when too little activity is your problem, then more activity is what is needed. When you look at metrics and KPIs, you have to balance inputs and outputs.Telephone calls to prospective clients are inputs. The output of those telephone calls might be meetings in a B2B sale, or it might be a sale in one that is more transactional. Treating the telephone call as an output itself is to confuse the activity with the desired outcome.Meetings are also an input. The goal of a client meeting isn’t to have a meeting, it is to accomplish something, some goal, some outcome. Even though the sales process is more non-linear than ever, your sales process is still a valuable map, and it outlines the things that you need to do to create and win an opportunity. These things are the output of the meetings, and they tell you whether or not you have made any progress.The progress that you make on an individual sales call is an input, the output of which is the moving of a prospective deal from one stage of the sales process into a later stage, moving you closer to a decision. That movement is the output, and it is measured by noting the change in the stage of the process.It’s important not to confuse inputs with outputs.Let’s say the new client acquisition is what you want most of all. By placing too much of a focus on making calls (a mistake that is still made), you are looking at an input that says very little about how you are doing pursuing your goal. High activity might be better than low activity, but it isn’t better than effective activity.Meetings are important, too. You will not create an opportunity to win a prospective client without speaking to them. But the meeting itself is simply an input, something worth measuring, but not a metric that tells you much without looking at the output.And here we get to the reason why a lot of people like inputs better than outputs. To measure the effectiveness of a sales meeting, we enter the area where what we are measuring has a subjective component. We have to decide whether we obtained a certain goal that can be measured objectively. Was the call really a success? Is the prospective client really interested? Did we really gain the consensus of the two stakeholders that have previously been obstacles to change?Outputs are more important than inputs, without which they cannot be generated. Measuring success requires that you look at the inputs and outputs together, and that you inspect the subjective outputs in a way that allows you to determine their validity. Even though outputs may not provide the same objective certainty as the easier to capture inputs, they’ll tell you much more about how you are doing.last_img read more

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first_imgBig goals are magic. Little goals, when they are not milestones on the way to big goals, are something less than magic. While they may not be completely impotent, they lack the power of big goals. There is a magic power in goals so big they scare you.The Problem with Small GoalsA small goal doesn’t require you to transform. It doesn’t possess the power to cause you to take massive action. While the goal might be helpful to accomplish, the size of the goal itself suggests that it isn’t all that important. Because the goal isn’t big enough to cause you to believe something different and take new actions, it doesn’t compel you to change, to transform, to become.Small goals are easy to reach. One of the reasons people make diminutive goals is because they know they can reach them without any real effort or struggle on their part. In some cases, people make goals that they have already reached, like the business that sets a goal for 5 percent growth, knowing they already all but achieved that goal.The only thing worse than small goals is having no goals at all, allowing “The Drift,” all the external forces in life, to take you in a direction that is not of your choosing.The Value in Big GoalsBig goals are everything that small goals are not.Big goals require much more of you. To reach big goals, you must start by being intentional and planning your approach, something that may not be necessary with small goals. The amount of planning required to reach the big goal you set is going to be proportional to the size of your goal. You are not going to be able to wing it and achieve big goals.You also must become the kind of person who can reach those goals, what is perhaps the best and most important outcome from setting your sights on something more substantial. Only big goals cause you to transform yourself. Big goals require you to change your beliefs, your actions, and your disciplines (I like the word “disciplines” and find it more powerful than the word “habit,” as one described intentionality and power, and the other suggests the opposite).Big Goals Mean Not SettlingWe don’t make big goals because we are afraid we will not achieve them. We hesitate to commit to them because we know that big goals require real change on our part. So rather than setting big goals, failing, and still producing transformational results, we settle.When you set small goals, you are settling. You are settling for being something less than you are capable of becoming. You settle for doing less than you are capable of and producing a smaller result than you might have created. You are settling for having less than you might have and contributing less than you could have.Not Stretch Goals. Goals That Stretch You.Big goals prevent you from settling. Instead, they force you to stretch. Instead of setting the target of 5 percent growth, you set a goal to double the business, an idea that any reasonable person would find outrageous.The first question one hears when sharing their big goal is the incredulous responses of people who are afraid of the big goal. The typical response sounds something like, “That’s impossible?” What you are hearing is another person’s belief about what they are capable of, not what is possible, and a response that says nothing about what is possible for you. The truth of the matter is that if someone else is already producing the result you defined as your big goal, that outcome is undoubtedly possible for you.The second question people ask about big goals is better, and it’s the question that contains a large portion of the power in big goals. The follow-up question is some variation of, “How on Earth do you propose to do that?” Indeed, how on earth do you propose to reach your big goal? Your big goals cause you to struggle with all you are going to have to change to reach your goal.Be AfraidThere is no reason to set goals that don’t frighten you. If the goal has no power to cause you to worry about how you are going to need to be different, as well as all the things you will need to do differently, then it isn’t big enough.When you miss reaching your big goal, the result you produce dwarfs any you would have created would you have set a smaller target. A goal that requires little effort on your part likely results in you giving it no effort at all. Goals that frighten you compel you to take the massive actions necessary to reach your big goals.last_img read more

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first_imgAmid acute water shortage, the Gujarat government is to launch a month-long campaign from May 1, the State’s Foundation Day, to revive waterbodies in the State. Tasks such as deepening ponds, desilting reservoirs and check dams, cleaning and repairing Narmada canal networks, and implementing rainwater harvesting projects in urban areas will be undertaken under the Sujalam Sufalam Water Conservation Initiative, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Sunday. “Development gets hampered due to water scarcity,” he told reporters in Gandhinagar. The government has invited NGOs, public at large and corporates to join the efforts to revive and rejuvenate waterbodies and water sources ahead of the monsoon. “We call for public participation through manpower, machinery and money. District Collectors will coordinate the projects and reimburse funds to participants,” Mr. Rupani said.last_img read more

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first_imgA married woman has accused Assam MLA Nizamuddin Choudhury of raping her thrice in southern Assam’s Hailakandi in May.The legislator, who represents the All India United Democratic Front from the Algapur Assembly seat, said it was a “cooked-up story.” The police have lodged an FIR against Mr. Choudhury and the woman’s husband Sajan Laskar.last_img

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first_imgFormer Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday asked the Modi government to come out with a white paper on the number of foreigners it had detected and deported during its four-year rule, and reiterated that the decision to update National Register of Citizens (NRC) was taken by a Congress government. Mr. Gogoi accused the BJP of trying to hijack the discourse for political gains, but work on the NRC had started in 2005, during the first term of his government. “Now everybody wants to take credit. The BJP is good in hijacking everything. They hijacked [legacy of Mahatma] Gandhi, [Sardar Vallabhbhai] Patel, Swami Vivekananda and even [B.R.] Ambedkar. They are expert in hijacking,” he said.“I demand that the government publish a white paper on how many Indians were detected and deported in last four years and what action have been taken to seal the border [with Bangladesh]. We want a clear picture,” he told presspersons. Mr. Gogoi said that in 2005, a committee chaired by Bhumidhar Barnman, former Minister in the Congress government in Assam, was formed. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now a Minister in the BJP government, too was a member.Another sub-committee under Mr. Sarma was formed two years later to expedite the NRC update process. “The NRC is my baby, the Congress’s baby. We are the natural father. [Narendra] Modi is the foster father. We want the NRC to be implemented in a just and fair manner. All genuine Indians must be included in the NRC,” he said.The former Chief Minister said the draft NRC, which was published on July 30 and excluded names of over 40 lakh residents of the State, did indicate how many foreigners were found in the exercise. “Till now, there is no idea about foreigners,” Mr. Gogoi added.The veteran Congress leader said that while many Indian nationals had been excluded from the draft NRC, foreigners had been included.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Ahmednagar district police have arrested three persons for trespass after they attempted an unlawful entry at the Armoured Corps Centre and School (ACCS).A case has been lodged by the Bhingar Camp police against the trio for trying to enter the restricted armed forces area.One of the accused, identified as Pradeep Sitaram Shinde of Goregaon, Ahmednagar, was apprehended by the security staff on Thursday at the ACCS for impersonating a soldier.His accomplices, identified as Rizwan Eijaz Ali and Sonu Chaudhari, hail from Uttar Pradesh, said the police.According to a release, the security staff found Shinde, dressed in combat dress, and his accomplices moving suspiciously near the establishment premises. The ACCS is out of bounds for the general public. On being questioned, Shinde produced a soldier’s identity card which was found to be forged.last_img read more

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first_imgAn IPS officer in Uttar Pradesh has been suspended weeks after he gave an interview to an English website on how he had been sidelined after he had booked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, then the Gorakhpur MP, under the National Security Act in 2002.UP Police spokesperson R.K. Gautam confirmed that 1992-cadre IPS officer Jasvir Singh, who was last posted as ADG Rules and Manual, was placed under suspension. However, Mr. Gautam did not reveal the reason for suspension. As per the UP Police website, Mr. Singh was suspended on February 14. “ADG under suspension,” it read under his current post section. Mr. Singh was the SP of Maharajganj district in Purvanchal in 2002, when he booked Mr. Adityanath under the stringent NSA. In a story published in Huffington Post on January 30, Mr. Singh is quoted as saying that he had refused to withdraw his case for preventive detention against the then sitting MP despite pressure from politicians of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who were in power at the Centre at the time, and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which formed the State government. Two days later, he was transferred to the Food Cell of the UP Police, said the article.While narrating his ordeal over the years, the article says that under the Yogi Adityanath government which came to power in 2017, Mr. Singh had become “a pariah of the IPS.” Mr. Singh says he paid a price for trying to hold politicians and ministers to account, as per the article, in which he also questions the encounter killings under the Yogi government.Mr. Singh is quoted as saying: “They want loyalty to political persons. This is totally unconstitutional. If we don’t resist, things won’t change. Resisting is the most rewarding thing especially when there is a big allurement.”The story also says that for the 26 years of his service, Mr. Singh held posts entailing actual police work only for six years. “Detested by his superiors, shunned by his colleagues, he has been written off as a troublemaker,” said the article.last_img read more

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first_imgToday, Earth’s crust is made of tectonic plates that jostle across its surface and are sometimes, via collisions, gradually shoved back into the depths. But long before this mode of geological recycling arose, large blobs of dense material solidified on the undersides of Earth’s nascent tectonic plates and then dripped back toward our planet’s core, a new study suggests. Billions of years ago, soon after Earth formed, material in the mantle—the layer that lies between the core and the crust—was much warmer and flowed much more readily than it does today. If the mantle was as warm as 1600°C, as some models suggest, the overlying crust (shades of blue and light green, lower video) may eventually have grown to reach 45 kilometers thick. In such conditions, the material that solidified on the underside of that crust would have been rich in dense minerals (dark red blobs in lower video) such as magnesium oxides. Because those materials weren’t firmly attached to the crust and were, on the whole, heavier than those in the mantle, they dripped back toward the core (triggering the upwelling of deeper material, as depicted in the video, which represents several million years of time) the researchers report this month in Nature Geoscience. (Arrows in the upper video denote the direction and relative speed of mantle flow.) Eventually, as Earth cooled, the mantle firmed up somewhat, and bits of overlying crust became strong enough to hold together when shoved beneath their neighbors—just the conditions needed to usher in modern-style plate tectonics. The drip-style tectonics described in the team’s model probably remained the dominant form of crustal recycling until about 2 billion years ago. This proposed mode of geological recycling helps explain why the oldest remaining bits of Earth’s original crust are relatively light and magnesium-poor, the researchers contend.last_img read more

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first_imgEarlier this year, the Engineering Authority of Egypt’s military announced a hand-held instrument that could detect a variety of viral infections without even touching a person, and another device that clears a patient’s blood of viruses. Widespread treatment of Egyptian patients with both devices was scheduled to begin today, but military officials said on Saturday that they were delaying the rollout for another 6 months.That decision comes after months of controversy. According to government officials, the treatments will not only wipe out AIDS and hepatitis at home—Egypt has the highest prevalence of hepatitis C in the world—but will also make a fortune as foreign patients flock to the country. Whereas the Western scientific community has ridiculed the devices as pseudoscience, Egyptian academics have been largely silent. The country’s military regime has been handing down harsh criminal punishments for its critics, including journalists. But one expat Egyptian scientist, Islam Hussein, has created videos, one of which has garnered more than 100,000 views on YouTube—a large number considering they are 80-minute PowerPoint presentations in Arabic explaining the devices’ scientific problems. Like most of Egypt’s top scientific talent, Hussein, 36, left his country. After a virology Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, he settled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, in the United States, where he researches avian influenza. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.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(*)Q: What do you know about these devices?A: The first is called C-FAST. [The Egyptian Armed Forces] claim that the antenna of this device can detect an infected patient from a distance of up to 500 meters. The device doesn’t even need a battery; it is powered by the body’s static electrical energy. The antenna supposedly detects the electromagnetic waves emitted by the vibrations of the hepatitis C viral genome in a sequence-specific manner. C-FAST is one of a big series of devices that detects several viral infections: HIV, hepatitis C, influenza, MERS coronavirus, and the malaria virus. Yes, malaria [which is a parasitic cell] is now promoted to the rank of a virus.The second is called the Complete Cure Device [CCD], which looks very much like a dialysis machine. It draws blood from the patient using a pump. The infected blood passes through an expensive spiral tube—it is made of a very specialized material that its maker claims took 7 years to develop. The tube emits a mysterious radiation—it is a military secret—that kills the virus and then the blood is returned to the body.Q: What makes them implausible?A: For C-FAST, the research team has not presented any scientific evidence that electromagnetic waves emitted by viral nucleic acids are even detectable, let alone diagnostic. A discovery of this caliber deserves a Science or Nature paper. They claim that the electromagnetic signal of every virus is like a fingerprint that can be programmed onto a small chip inside the C-FAST device. By replacing a hepatitis C chip with one for influenza, a device becomes capable of detecting the flu-specific electromagnetic signal and so on.As for CCD, we don’t yet have a single scientific publication describing how this device is safe and effective. We have heard three conflicting mechanisms of action. Exposing a patient’s blood to radiation will not rid him or her of hepatitis C replicating in the liver or HIV integrated into the genomes of infected CD4+ cells. They claim to have done experiments with chimps; they even claim that thousands of people were treated during a clinical trial. Again, where is the data?Q: Are Egypt’s scientists speaking out?A: Essam Heggy, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the former adviser of the ex-president of Egypt, issued a statement that this whole thing is a big scandal. He has been attacked by Egyptian media day and night. Apart from Heggy, very few Egyptian doctors have spoken out.Q: What motivated you to make those videos?A: I couldn’t stand by watching this happen in my home country and keep quiet about it. This “cure” will affect millions of Egyptians, from the side effects of an unregulated, potentially toxic therapeutic device to false hopes that lead infected people to not take the necessary precautions.Q: Are you worried about getting noticed by the government?A: No, I am not worried. These videos were all about science and science only. There is no reason for the current regime or anybody at the Egyptian Armed Forces to get upset with what I have said.Q: What impact do you hope to have?A: Many people have made fun of the devices. However, nobody has taken the initiative to take them seriously and explain to the public why these claims are baseless. I was also hoping that my voice will reach the people behind these inventions and persuade them to change their course of action.last_img read more

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first_imgScientists have identified the likely culprit in a disease that has devastated sea stars along the west coast of North America. Genomic detective work and lab experiments show that the wasting disorder is associated with a previously unknown virus. With the discovery comes a deeper mystery, however. The sea star–killing virus is far from new. The authors of the study found it in museum samples up to 72 years old, so scientists are puzzled about why the current outbreak has been so severe.”This is probably the most extensive and devastating disease of marine invertebrates that has happened,” says ecologist Bruce Menge of Oregon State University, Corvallis, who was not involved in the new research. “It’s a major concern.”The enigmatic disease came to broad attention in June 2013, when recreational divers near Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington, began noticing legions of dying sea stars. The sea stars first developed lesions, then began to lose their arms, and finally decayed into piles of skeletal ossicles (bits of calcium carbonate such as a star’s plates and spines). As the year progressed, the disease was seen in more and more locations in the waters off California.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(*)Although there have been minor outbreaks in previous decades, this one is much more widespread, and more than 20 species of sea stars have been afflicted; other kinds of echinoderms, the animal group to which sea stars and sea urchins belong, have not. Researchers have raced to collect samples and conduct laboratory experiments to investigate any pathogens that might be involved. A feature in Science earlier this year, now available for free, examined the mystery. Scientists sent hundreds of tissue samples to Ian Hewson, a microbial oceanographer at Cornell University. When he sequenced the DNA in the samples, he discovered that a densovirus was more common in the sick stars than in ones that looked healthy. (Densoviruses are known to infect insects, crustaceans, and some sea urchins.) Additional evidence came from experiments conducted by marine ecologist Drew Harvell of Cornell and other researchers, who took tissue from sick sea stars, filtered out everything larger than viruses, and injected the tissue into apparently healthy sea stars. They developed symptoms—and, concurrently, the amount of densovirus in their bodies increased. Other sea stars injected with sterilized tissue did not develop symptoms of the wasting disorder.“We have very good evidence that this is a densovirus,” Hewson says. But because the virus cannot be grown in culture, scientists cannot satisfy the classic tests for identifying the culprit of a disease: four criteria collectively referred to as Koch’s postulates. The researchers published their results online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Looking for some historical perspective, Hewson tested museum samples of sea stars collected between 1923 and 2010 along the U.S. west coast. The virus existed in healthy looking specimens from five different years, suggesting it has persisted in the environment. Hewson speculates that the virus may have mutated as it wiped out various species of sea stars, allowing it to infect others. He is also trying to figure out the source of the virus, by analyzing sea stars from around the world, and whether it can infect other kinds of echinoderms. The biggest question is why the current epidemic has been so bad. A likely situation, Hewson and his colleagues say, is that an overabundance of sea stars increased the transmission of the virus, especially if they were stressed by competition for food, which could make them more vulnerable to infection.That theory makes sense to marine pathologist Marta Gomez-Chiarri of the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, who was not involved in the new paper. She and her students have been studying an earlier densovirus outbreak on the east coast; populations of sea stars in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay abounded before a crash in 2011. It’s not clear whether the same densovirus that caused the west coast die-off is also involved in the eastern declines. Hewson found some densovirus genes in sea stars from Connecticut but did not have enough samples for firm conclusions.Menge doesn’t think overabundance played a role in the current outbreak among 13 sea star populations that he follows on the coast of Oregon. Instead, he wonders whether ocean acidification, which may also be a source of stress that weakens sea stars, is a possible contributing factor. So far, the evidence is mixed for the role of acidification, Menge admits.Whatever the cause of the epidemic, Menge says, the demise of purple stars has already led to greater survival of its prey, including barnacles and mussels. As a result, he predicts, the mussels will eventually take over the rocky shore, crowding out many other species of invertebrates. In a way, he adds, the epidemic is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for ecologists to study these predator-prey relationships. But that doesn’t dull the pain of losing familiar and charismatic species. “From a personal standpoint, it’s really disheartening.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe fierce public relations war over genetically modified (GM) food has a new front. A nonprofit group opposed to GM products filed a flurry of freedom of information requests late last month with at least four U.S. universities, asking administrators to turn over any correspondence between a dozen academic researchers and a handful of agricultural companies, trade groups, and PR firms. The scientists—many of whom have publicly supported agricultural biotechnologies—are debating how best to respond, and at least one university has already rejected the request.“It seems like a fishing expedition to me,” says geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California (UC), Davis, one of six UC researchers targeted by the requests. “I am very worried [the correspondence] is going to be used to sully the reputations of scientists.” The tactic is familiar in another controversial area, climate science, where researchers have faced an avalanche of document requests from climate change skeptics.The group, U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) of Oakland, California, says it has no vendetta. It has targeted only researchers who have written articles posted on GMO Answers, a website backed by food and biotechnology firms, and work in states with laws that require public institutions to share many internal documents on request, says Executive Director Gary Ruskin. USRTK is interested in documenting links between universities and business, he says, and is “especially looking to learn how these faculty members have been appropriated into the PR machine for the chemical-agro industry.”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 this article was published, ScienceInsider learned that a number of the scientists receiving freedom of information requests from USRTK have no involvement with GMO Answers. In an e-mail, Ruskin writes that he was incorrect on this point and apologized for the error. He says he requested documents from the scientists with no connection to GMO Answers as a result of their public statements pertaining to California’s 2012 GM food labeling proposition, which was defeated.)Ruskin is no stranger to the GM food debate. He helped manage an unsuccessful 2012 effort to pass a California ballot initiative requiring the labeling of food products containing GM ingredients. Late last year, he helped found USRTK, which works “to expose what the food industry doesn’t want us to know. … We stand up for the right to know what is in our food and how it affects our health.” The group’s three board members include Juliet Schor, a prominent economist at Boston College. USRTK’s website says its sole major donor (more than $5000) is the Organic Consumers Association, a nonprofit group based in Finland, Minnesota, which has donated $47,500.In the requests, Ruskin seeks any letters and e-mails exchanged after 2012 between the scientists and 14 companies and groups. The list includes Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, major biotech and grocery trade groups, and communications firms including FleishmanHillard and Ogilvy & Mather. “The records disclosed … will be used in preparation of articles for dissemination to the public,” states one request obtained by ScienceInsider.Many researchers are awaiting advice from university lawyers on how to respond. Kevin Folta, a biologist and biotech researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville, would like to comply. But he anticipates trouble. “Unfortunately, when you skim through the 70,000 e-mails I have … [USRTK] will find opportunities to pull out a sentence and use it against me,” he predicts. “They will show I have 200 e-mails from big ag companies. While it is former students … or chitchat about someone’s kids, it won’t matter. They’ll report, ‘Kevin Folta had 200 emails with Monsanto and Syngenta,’ as a way to smear me.”USRTK has asked food allergy researcher Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who has been at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, since 2004, for any correspondence with his old firm related to a controversial study led by biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen in France. The study, which claimed that GM foods caused health problems in rats, was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2012 but was withdrawn in 2013, the same year Goodman became an associate editor of the journal.Toxicologist Bruce Chassy, who retired in 2012 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, understands why he is a target. “I suspect a disclosure would make me look bad,” he says, noting he regularly interacts with firms that produce GM products and has urged them to do more to answer the technology’s critics. But the school’s lawyers rejected USRTK’s request on 4 February, noting Chassy no longer works at the university.USRTK says its requests are designed to promote transparency in a controversial research arena. But some researchers worry they will also have a chilling effect on academic freedom. “Your first inclination … is to stop talking about the subject,” Van Eenennaam says. “But that’s what they want. And I don’t want to be intimidated.”*Update, 13 February, 3:10 p.m.: This article has been updated to clarify that a number of the researchers receiving freedom of information requests have no connection to the GMO Answers website.last_img read more

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first_imgResearchers are hoping to recruit 100,000 Pakistanis and Bangladeshis living in East London in one of the first large, long-term studies to explore links between genetics and health in a poor ethnic community. The study, launched today, is also one of the biggest efforts yet to search for rare individuals who are healthy despite the absence of a specific gene.East London is home to many poor immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and their community suffers high rates of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. The East London Genes & Health study will focus on two groups that are left out of most genetic studies, which largely tap those of northern European ancestry. “It’s a big opportunity to improve people’s health and health in East London,” said study co-leader David van Heel of Queen Mary University of London, which announced the study today. Funding of £4 million is coming from the Wellcome Trust and the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council.Researchers also hope to gather information on healthy people who have mutations in both copies of a gene that make it nonfunctional. Such rare individuals could shed light on “what happens when parts of the genetic material are not working,” says study co-leader Richard Trembath. If the missing gene somehow protects against disease, then a drug that targets that gene could treat illness without causing side effects. An example is PCSK9, a gene found to be missing in a “perfectly healthy” woman in Texas that has led to a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, van Heel notes.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(*)Such “human knockouts” are extremely rare in the general population. But the chances that a person will inherit two knocked-out copies of the same gene are higher in groups in which close relatives commonly marry, such as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. (This explains why rare single-gene diseases are more common in such groups; although studying such diseases is not the purpose of the East London study, it is the focus of another large U.K. study, the 100,000 Genomes Project.) “It’s an opportunity for us to better understand the occurrence” of knocked-out genes, van Heel says.Researchers plan to spend 4 years recruiting volunteers age 16 and older, healthy or ill, of Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin. Participants will donate a saliva sample and allow the scientists access to their health records. The Wellcome Trust’s Sanger Institute has agreed to sequence exomes (protein-coding DNA) for the first 25,000 participants, hopefully by the end of 2017, van Heel says. The Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will help on the genomic analysis.Some participants may be invited in the next 2 decades to participate in studies of diseases, knockout genes, and how certain genes influence people’s response to drugs. The volunteers will receive no direct benefit from the study, Trembath admits, but they will have the chance “to make a difference to the health of future generations.”last_img read more

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first_imgMehul Choksi is now an Antiguan citizen and is not being sent to India, said a senior Antiguan government official on Sunday. The Antiguan official, was responding to the speculations that India is sending a special long-haul flight to the Caribbean islands to bring back fugitive Mehul Choksi, the prime accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.Read it at India Today Related Itemslast_img

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