Thursday, February 28, 2013

Boeing touts a 'permanent' fix for 787 Dreamliner batteries, Japan stays cautious

Boeing says it has a 'permanent' fix for 787 Dreamliner batteries, Japan remains cautious

There's been talk for weeks of Boeing developing a fix for the 787 Dreamliner's battery fire troubles. If the aircraft maker has its way, that should soon translate to action. The company's commercial airplane chief, Raymond Conner, tells reporters that the company has a "permanent" fix that would place three layers of protection around the batteries and, theoretically, head off fires and their causes. It sounds like just the ticket -- the challenge will be getting everyone else to feel the same way. American investigators believe the batteries are at fault, but their Japanese counterparts haven't yet ruled out external factors. With this kind of ongoing debate, we're not about to book a 787 to Tokyo for spring break.

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Source: New York Times


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House committee takes up school safety issues

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The top Democrat on the House education committee says any discussion about school safety needs to be coupled with "common sense strategies to keep guns out of the hands of those who intend harm."

Rep. George Miller of California says the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is a wake-up call for policymakers to do something. He says turning schools into armed fortresses is not the answer.

Republican Rep. John Kline, the chairman of the committee, says he wants lawmakers to focus on how to prevent future mass shootings such as the one in Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead.

The House discussion comes as Senate is having hearings on a ban on certain types of high-power weapons.


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ScienceDaily: Top Science News

ScienceDaily: Top Science News Top science news, featured on ScienceDaily's home page.en-usWed, 27 Feb 2013 19:23:17 ESTWed, 27 Feb 2013 19:23:17 EST60ScienceDaily: Top Science News For more science articles, visit ScienceDaily.Ectopic eyes function without natural connection to brain For the first time, scientists have shown that transplanted eyes located far outside the head in a vertebrate animal model can confer vision without a direct neural connection to the brain. Biologists used a frog model to shed new light ? literally ? on one of the major questions in regenerative medicine and sensory augmentation research.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 18:33:33 EST the human genome: First step-by-step look at transcription initiation Researchers have achieved a major advance in understanding how genetic information is transcribed from DNA to RNA by providing the first step-by-step look at the biomolecular machinery that reads the human genome.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:13:13 EST limbs and nervous system of one of Earth's earliest animals discovered Unique fossils literally 'lift the lid' on ancient creature's head to expose one of the earliest examples of food manipulating limbs in evolutionary history, dating from around 530 million years ago.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:44:44 EST walks again after surgery to reverse muscle paralysis After four years of confinement to a wheelchair, Rick Constantine, 58, is now walking again after undergoing an unconventional surgery to restore the use of his leg.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:43:43 EST brains coordinate singing with intricate timing As a bird sings, some neurons in its brain prepare to make the next sounds while others are synchronized with the current notes?a coordination of physical actions and brain activity that is needed to produce complex movements. The finding that may lead to new ways of understanding human speech production.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:43:43 EST can have immune systems: A pirate phage commandeers the immune system of bacteria A new study reports that a viral predator of the cholera bacteria has stolen the functional immune system of bacteria and is using it against its bacterial host. This provides the first evidence that this type of virus, the bacteriophage, can acquire an adaptive immune system. The study has implications for phage therapy, the use of phages to treat bacterial diseases.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:43:43 EST's NuSTAR helps solve riddle of black hole spin Two X-ray space observatories, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton, have teamed up to measure definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our sun.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:25:25 EST diet contributes to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Phthalates and BPA While water bottles may tout BPA-free labels and personal care products declare phthalates not among their ingredients, these assurances may not be enough. According to a new study, we may be exposed to these chemicals in our diet, even if our diet is organic and we prepare, cook, and store foods in non-plastic containers. Children may be most vulnerable.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 12:19:19 EST'Network' analysis of brain may explain features of autism A look at how the brain processes information finds distinct pattern in autistic children. Using EEGs to track the brain's electrical cross-talk, researchers found structural difference in brain connections. Compared with neurotypical children, those with autism have multiple redundant connections between neighboring brain areas at expense of long-distance links. The study, using "network analysis" like with airlines or electrical grids, may help in understanding some classic autistic behaviors.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:20:20 EST A chance for highly endangered mammals Oocytes of lions, tigers and other cat species survive the preservation in liquid nitrogen. Scientists have now succeeded in carrying out cryopreservation of felid ovary cortex.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:19:19 EST about the future may lead to longer, healthier life Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:19:19 EST on animal memory opens doors to research on memory impairment diseases A new study offers the first evidence of source memory in a nonhuman animal. The findings have fascinating implications, both in evolutionary terms and for future research into the biological underpinnings of memory, as well as the treatment of diseases marked by memory failure such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's, or disorders such as schizophrenia, PTSD and depression.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:59:59 EST fabrication technique could provide breakthrough for solar energy systems Scientists are using a novel fabrication process to create ultra-efficient solar energy rectennas capable of harvesting more than 70 percent of the sun's electromagnetic radiation and simultaneously converting it into usable electric power.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:59:59 EST Greek observatory sheds light on old star Continuing a tradition stretching back more than 25 centuries, astronomers have used the new 2.3-meter 'Aristarchos' telescope, sited at Helmos Observatory (2340m high) in the Pelοponnese Mountains in Greece, to determine the distance to and history of an enigmatic stellar system, discovering it to likely be a binary star cocooned within an exotic nebula.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:58:58 EST much vitamin D during pregnancy can cause food allergies, research suggests Pregnant women should avoid taking vitamin D supplements, new research suggests. Substitution appears to raise the risk of children developing a food allergy after birth.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:58:58 EST risk of sleep disorder narcolepsy in children who received swine flu vaccine A study finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 19:40:40 EST sea turtle could be extinct within 20 years at last stronghold in the Pacific Ocean An international team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has documented a 78 percent decline in the number of nests of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at the turtle's last stronghold in the Pacific Ocean.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 14:12:12 EST test holographic technique for restoring vision Researchers are testing the power of holography to artificially stimulate cells in the eye, with hopes of developing a new strategy for bionic vision restoration. Computer-generated holography, they say, could be used in conjunction with a technique called optogenetics, which uses gene therapy to deliver light-sensitive proteins to damaged retinal nerve cells. In conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), these light-sensing cells degenerate and lead to blindness.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 13:42:42 EST well could help spread disease, water flea study suggests Plentiful food can accelerate the spread of infections, scientists have shown in a study of water fleas. Scientists studying bacterial infections in tiny water fleas have discovered that increasing their supply of food can speed up the spread of infection.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 12:05:05 EST glass possible: In probing mysteries of glass, researchers find a key to toughness Glass doesn't have to be brittle. Scientists propose a way of predicting whether a given glass will be brittle or ductile -- a property typically associated with metals like steel or aluminum -- and assert that any glass could have either quality.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:40:40 EST the (quantum) dots: First viable high-speed quantum computer moves closer Scientists have developed a new method that better preserves the units necessary to power lightning-fast electronics, known as qubits. Hole spins, rather than electron spins, can keep quantum bits in the same physical state up to 10 times longer than before, the report finds.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:40:40 EST discovery could hold key to causes of inherited diseases Fresh insights into the protective seal that surrounds the DNA of our cells could help develop treatments for inherited muscle, brain, bone and skin disorders. Researchers have discovered that the proteins within this coating -- known as the nuclear envelope -- vary greatly between cells in different organs of the body.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:38:38 EST battery completes stretchable electronics package: Can stretch, twist and bend -- and return to normal shape Researchers have demonstrated a stretchable lithium-ion battery -- a flexible device capable of powering their innovative stretchable electronics. The battery can stretch up to 300 percent of its original size and still function -- even when stretched, folded, twisted and mounted on a human elbow. The battery enables true integration of electronics and power into a small, stretchable package that is wirelessly rechargeable.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:38:38 EST digital holography allows firefighters to see through flames, image moving people Firefighters now have a new tool that could help save lives. A team of researchers have developed a new technique using digital holography that can "see" people through intense flames -- the first time a holographic recording of a live person has been achieved while the body is moving. The new technique allows imaging through both.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:14:14 EST for an artificial brain: Scientists experiment with memristors that imitate natural nerves Scientists have long been dreaming about building a computer that would work like a brain. This is because a brain is far more energy-saving than a computer, it can learn by itself, and it doesn't need any programming. Scientists are experimenting with memristors -- electronic microcomponents that imitate natural nerves.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:14:14 EST source of human kidney cells created Researchers have successfully generated human kidney cells from human embryonic stem cells in vitro1. Specifically, they produced the renal cells under artificial conditions in the lab without using animals or organs. This has not been possible until now.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:21:21 EST observed properties of vacuums: Light particles illuminate the vacuum Researchers have succeeded in showing experimentally that vacuums have properties not previously observed. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, it is a state with abundant potentials. Vacuums contain momentarily appearing and disappearing virtual pairs, which can be converted into detectable light particles.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:21:21 EST reinforces learning: Children?s brains transform subconsciously learned material into active knowledge During sleep, our brains store what we have learned during the day a process even more effective in children than in adults, new research shows.Tue, 26 Feb 2013 08:11:11 EST diet helps cut risk of heart attack, stroke: Results of PREDIMED study presented Results of a major study aimed at assessing the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases show that such a diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or tree nuts reduces by 30 percent the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 18:15:15 EST levels of several toxic metals found in children with autism Researchers have found significantly higher levels of toxic metals in children with autism, compared to typical children. They hypothesize that reducing early exposure to toxic metals may help lessen symptoms of autism, though they say this hypotheses needs further examination.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 16:22:22 EST stem cells grown in culture, transplanted with demonstrated therapeutic benefit For decades scientists around the world have attempted to regenerate primary liver cells known as hepatocytes because of their numerous biomedical applications, including hepatitis research, drug metabolism and toxicity studies, as well as transplantation for cirrhosis and other chronic liver conditions. But no lab in the world has been successful in identifying and growing liver stem cells in culture -- using any available technique -- until now.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:31:31 EST extremes provoked by trapping of giant waves in the atmosphere The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years, such as the heat wave in the United States in 2011. Behind these devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists in a new study. It suggests that human-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe's Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:31:31 EST to climate cycles dug from South Pole snow pit Particles from the upper atmosphere trapped in a deep pile of Antarctic snow hold clear chemical traces of global meteorological events, climate scientists from France have found. Anomalies in oxygen found in sulfate particles coincide with several episodes of the world-wide disruption of weather known as El Nino and can be distinguished from similar signals left by the eruption of huge volcanoes, the team reports.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:31:31 EST in diets of people in coastal Peru dates to 5,000 years ago Scientists have concluded that during the Late Archaic, maize (corn) was a primary component in the diet of people living in the Norte Chico region of Peru, an area of remarkable cultural florescence in 3rd millennium B.C. Up until now, the prevailing theory was that marine resources, not agriculture and corn, provided the economic engine behind the development of civilization in the Andean region of Peru.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:31:31 EST may affect the developing brain by disrupting gene regulation Environmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a widespread chemical found in plastics and resins, may suppress a gene vital to nerve cell function and to the development of the central nervous system, according to a new study.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:31:31 EST evidence for extraterrestrial life might come from dying stars Even dying stars could host planets with life -- and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a white dwarf's planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:16:16 EST of spirituality can induce liberal attitudes, researchers find People become more politically liberal immediately after practising a spiritual exercise such as meditation, researchers have found.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:15:15 EST maps depict potential worldwide coral bleaching by 2056 New maps by scientists show how rising sea temperatures are likely to affect all coral reefs in the form of annual coral bleaching events under different emission scenarios. If carbon emissions stay on the current path most of the world's coral reefs (74 percent) are projected to experience coral bleaching conditions annually by 2045, results of the study show.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 12:20:20 EST reveals autism risk at birth, study finds Low-birth-weight babies with a particular brain abnormality are at greater risk for autism, according to a new study that could provide doctors a signpost for early detection of the still poorly understood disorder.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:25:25 EST of the pathogens: Parasite metabolism can foretell disease ranges under climate change Researchers developed a model that can help determine the future range of nearly any disease-causing parasite under climate change, even if little is known about the organism. Their method calculates how the projected temperature change for an area would alter the creature's metabolism and life cycle.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:25:25 EST mothers induce parenting behaviors in fathers with ultra-sonic noises Researchers have demonstrated the existence of communicative signalling from female mice that induces male parental behavior.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:21:21 EST'NanoVelcro' device to grab single cancer cells from blood: Improvement enables 'liquid biopsies' for metastatic melanoma Researchers have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients' tumors and circulate in the blood. With the improvements to their device, which uses a Velcro-like nanoscale technology, they can now detect and isolate single cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis.Mon, 25 Feb 2013 09:22:22 EST develop a whole new way of harvesting energy from the sun A new method of harvesting the sun's energy is emerging. Though still in its infancy, the research promises to convert sunlight into energy using a process based on metals that are more robust than many of the semiconductors used in conventional methods.Sun, 24 Feb 2013 14:29:29 EST algorithm breakthrough: Performs a true calculation for the first time Scientists have demonstrated a quantum algorithm that performs a true calculation for the first time. Quantum algorithms could one day enable the design of new materials, pharmaceuticals or clean energy devices.Sun, 24 Feb 2013 14:28:28 EST of continents hidden under lava in Indian Ocean: New micro-continent detected under Reunion and Mauritius The islands Reunion and Mauritius, both well-known tourist destinations, are hiding a micro-continent, which has now been discovered. The continent fragment known as Mauritia detached about 60 million years ago while Madagascar and India drifted apart, and had been hidden under huge masses of lava.Sun, 24 Feb 2013 14:27:27 EST ultimate chimp challenge: Chimps do challenging puzzles for the fun of it Scientists are putting their bananas away, because chimpanzees don't need any persuading when it comes to getting stuck into brain games.Sun, 24 Feb 2013 12:46:46 EST cells to fight diabetes For years researchers have been searching for a way to treat diabetics by reactivating their insulin-producing beta cells, with limited success. The "reprogramming" of related alpha cells into beta cells may one day offer a novel and complementary approach for treating type 2 diabetes. Treating human and mouse cells with compounds that modify cell nuclear material called chromatin induced the expression of beta cell genes in alpha cells, according to a new study.Sat, 23 Feb 2013 11:13:13 EST from cockroaches could inform robotics Running cockroaches start to recover from being shoved sideways before their dawdling nervous system kicks in to tell their legs what to do, researchers have found. These new insights on how biological systems stabilize could one day help engineers design steadier robots and improve doctors' understanding of human gait abnormalities.Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:32:32 EST of stem cells found in a human parasite Researchers have now found stem cells inside the parasite that cause schistosomiasis, one of the most common parasitic infections in the world. These stem cells can regenerate worn-down organs, which may help explain how they can live for years or even decades inside their host.Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:31:31 EST evolution given humans unique brain structures? Humans have at least two functional networks in their cerebral cortex not found in rhesus monkeys. This means that new brain networks were likely added in the course of evolution from primate ancestor to human.Fri, 22 Feb 2013 12:07:07 EST flies force their young to drink alcohol for their own good When fruit flies sense parasitic wasps in their environment, they lay their eggs in an alcohol-soaked environment, essentially forcing their larvae to consume booze as a drug to combat the deadly wasps. The finding adds to the evidence that using toxins in the environment to medicate offspring may be common across the animal kingdom.Fri, 22 Feb 2013 10:29:29 EST premiere of muscle and nerve controlled arm prosthesis Electrodes have been permanently implanted in nerves and muscles of an amputee to directly control an arm prosthesis, for the first time. The result allows natural control of an advanced robotic prosthesis, similarly to the motions of a natural limb.Fri, 22 Feb 2013 07:57:57 EST study: Meet virus' new enemy Virologists have discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus. Working on the premise that too much of a good thing can be a killer, the scientists have advanced previous researchers' methods of manipulating an enzyme that is key to how influenza replicates and spreads. The new compounds will lead to a new generation of anti-influenza drugs that the virus' strains can't adapt to, and resist, as easily as they do Tamiflu.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:42:42 EST physics research sheds new light on possible 'fifth force of nature' In a breakthrough for the field of particle physics, researchers have established new limits on what scientists call "long-range spin-spin interactions" between atomic particles. These interactions have been proposed by theoretical physicists but have not yet been seen. Their observation would constitute the discovery of a "fifth force of nature" (in addition to the four known fundamental forces: gravity, weak, strong and electromagnetic) and would suggest the existence of new particles, beyond those presently described by the Standard Model of particle physics.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:27:27 EST make older adults less forgetful in memory tests Scientists have found compelling evidence that older adults can eliminate forgetfulness and perform as well as younger adults on memory tests. The cognitive boost comes from a surprising source -- a distraction learning strategy.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:39:39 EST bat wing engineered: Researchers uncover flight secrets of real bats Researchers have developed a robotic bat wing that is providing valuable new information about dynamics of flapping flight in real bats. From an engineering perspective, the researchers hope the data may make for better aircraft, especially micro air vehicles. From a biological and evolutionary perspective, building the robot offered the researchers a new perspective on how bat anatomy is adapted to deal with the forces generated by flapping wings.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:39:39 EST point to thawing of Siberia: Thaw in Siberia's permafrost may accelerate global warming Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius could see permanently frozen ground thaw over a large area of Siberia, threatening release of carbon from soils, and damage to natural and human environments.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:39:39 EST signs go electric: Bumblebees find and distinguish electric signals from flowers Flowers' methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study. The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers. However, for any advertisement to be successful, it has to reach, and be perceived by, its target audience.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:39:39 EST 'passport' helps nanoparticles get past immune system The immune system exists to destroy foreign objects, whether they are bacteria, viruses, flecks of dirt or splinters. Unfortunately, drug-delivering nanoparticles and implanted devices like pacemakers are just as foreign and subject to the same response. Now, researchers have figured out a way to provide a "passport" for such therapeutic devices, enabling them to bypass the body's security system.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:38:38 EST human language could have evolved from birdsong: Researchers propose new theory on deep roots of human speech The sounds uttered by birds offer in several respects the nearest analogy to language," Charles Darwin wrote in "The Descent of Man" (1871), while contemplating how humans learned to speak. Language, he speculated, might have had its origins in singing, which "might have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions." Linguistics and biology now researchers propose a new theory on the deep roots of human speech.Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:16:16 EST


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You can drop an attacker to the ground just by hitting them survival equipment in the right pressure spot. It doesn't ballistic vest matter what age, gender, or size you are these special techniques can work for you. There isn't much that you can do if you are attacked and you have no way of protecting yourself, even if you ofelia a weapon you may not be bullet proof pepper spray vest able to utilize it in time. Real fighting is more about your mind than about the body, sec pro body armor and if you know where to place your hands and how to visualize your attacker and what you law enforcement training equipment need to accomplish law enforcement equipment you have the odds in your favor.

You can learn fighting techniques today that could save your life.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Important Steps for Providing Identity Theft Protection for Children ...

Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/26/2013 -- because they assume the discrepancies will not show up for many years later, and in many cases this is exactly what happens?or at least what used to happen before parents became aware of the problem and started becoming proactive in their quest to provide identity theft protection for their children. The first question that comes to the minds of many is why anyone would want to steal the identity of a child, but it is the simple fact that the information can remain hidden for so many years that makes it attractive.

What is really alarming is in 2009 the Identity Theft Resource Center reported just under 4,000 cases of identity theft with nearly ten percent targeted at children! Even more alarming is the fact that the thief involved in child identity theft is usually an adult who is close to the child such as a parent, aunt/uncle, cousin, etc. However, the ITRC has also noticed an increase in the cases of child identity theft committed by people who didn?t know the child or his or her parents.

When a thief has your child?s social security number he can do a number of things including applying for a job or unemployment benefits. There is no need to have the social security card to obtain a person?s social security number. If they have the date and place of birth it?s easy to obtain the information. In many cases the victims of child identity theft don?t even know they have become victims until they become closer to adulthood when they need to apply for financial aid or a credit card.

How can a parent provide child identity protection for their children? There are several things they can do.

1. With so many children having access to the Internet, especially social networking sites, it?s essential for them to understand the importance of only sharing information they would be comfortable sharing with strangers as well as friends. They also need to understand the concept of identity theft so they are more careful about the information they share.
2. Never use your children?s names. Encourage your children to use nicknames rather than their real names when they are online even with an email address.
3. Make sure you use the privacy settings so only trust friends and relatives can see what you are posting.
4. Make sure your security software is up to date.
5. Be sure to shred all documents that contain personal information about your children as well as yourself. Have a locking mailbox if possible.

Looking to protect child identity theft request with legal-yogi for more info

About Legal-yogi is a reputable, reliable consumer resource website. The strength of nearly 300,000 legal and fiscal minds guarantees solid counsel, and the service is free. For a complimentary first consultation, call 800-397-1755.


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Boehner attacks Senate on sequestration

House Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

With across-the-board federal spending cuts set to kick in on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his plea for the Senate to pass an alternative to the sequester, calling on senators to get "off their ass."

"We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something," Boehner said on Tuesday. "It's time for the Senate to act."

Last year, the House passed two bills that would replace the $85 billion in automatic cuts known as the sequester, which are set to begin March 1. But the Republican-led chamber has declined to act since the new Congress convened this year, waiting for the Democrat-led Senate to pass its own replacement bill. The upper chamber is expected to vote on two competing bills before the March 1 deadline: A Democratic measure that achieves the same amount of deficit reduction with tax increases and a Republican version that contains only spending cuts.

Boehner added that he's prepared to keep the House in session this week to work with the Senate on a sequester alternative, but it's unlikely both chambers will be able to finish work on a bill by Friday.


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Boost Mobile getting the HTC One SV on March 7


The HTC One SV is a very capable mid-level Android phone, and today we found out that it will be available on Boost Mobile starting March 7 -- complete with 4G LTE service. With the Snapdagon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM, the extremely thin and well built One SV will certainly be a treat for existing -- and new -- Boost customers.

The One SV will be available on Boost's no-contract shrinking price Android plan. What that means is that the first month's service will be $55, and every six months the payments are on-time will drop $5 off the monthly price until you hit $40. The phone itself will cost $299.99, but remember that is the full, no contract price you're seeing.

A phone this nice (check the review, I thought it was dandy) for just $40 monthly on Boosts "unlimited" plan sounds like a sweet deal. Hit the break for the full press release.

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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2013: Help Someone ...

While it can be hard to love yourself just as you are, the people behind National Eating Disorder Awareness Week are hoping to change that. This year's week-long campaign started Sunday with the theme "everybody knows somebody" to emphasize that eating disorders know no boundaries.

"We're hoping to bring education and awareness on a grand scale to the public so they can better understand this illness and hopefully help us steer people torward the help they need," says Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of National Eating Disorders Association. "Last year we tried to focus on the fact that it could happen to any individual?a mother, a sister, a daughter, a brother. This year we're hoping to focus on the cultural and ethnic diversity."

While eating disorders are often thought of as something that affect only women, the reality is anyone can fall victim to one. In fact, male eating disorders account for almost 10 percent of all cases. Perhaps even more depressing is that a 2012 study found that eating disorders in children are increasing.

The signs of an eating disorder can vary from person to person, Bonnie Brennan, clinical director of Eating Recovery Center's Adult Partial Hospitaliation Program told SHAPE in a previous post. Common symptoms include an intense fear of being fat, weight loss, avoiding situations in which expected to eat food, using the bathroom directly after a meal, excessive exercise, having conversations that are highly centered on food or calories or weight, "having to" prepare separate meals, and fear of not knowing what ingredients are included in foods (such as at a restaurant).

RELATED: Check out Jennifer Lawrence's and other celebrities' refreshingly honest body confessions.

But it's also important to remember that eating disorders are really less about food and more about underlying issues such as a feeling of a loss of control over life or low self-esteem.

"They're much more about how a person's feeling about themselves, and they show dissatisfaction and anxiety through their behavior with food," Grefe says. "We should remember that we come in all different shapes and sizes and that one is not better than the other."

Think of eating disorders as you would any other serious illness, Grefe stresses. "It's important to remember that they're nobody's fault. People don't develop them on purpose."

If you suspect a loved on may have an eating disorder, Brennan recommends finding a neutral setting and time to meet, and then expressing your concerns gently.

"When speaking with your friend, use non-judgmental language and 'I' statements," she says. "It is okay to point out behaviors and emotions you have noticed, but avoid blaming or shaming. Be prepared to listen and don?t try to problem solve. Offer to help your friend find a professional to talk to."

Grefe adds, "It's important to remember that love and support are vital."


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Genetic variation behind acute myeloid leukemia treatment success identified

Feb. 26, 2013 ? Researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Medical School working within the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, have partnered to identify genetic variations that may help signal which acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients will benefit or not benefit from one of the newest antileukemic agents.

Their study is published February 26 in Clinical Cancer Research.

In the latest study, U of M researchers evaluated how inherited genetic polymorphisms in CD33, a protein that naturally occurs in most leukemia cells, could affect clinical outcomes of patients treated with an existing chemotherapy drug, gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO), an immuno-conjugate between anti-CD33 antibody and a cytotoxin known as calicheamicin, which binds to CD33 on leukemic cells. As GO is internalized by leukemia cells, the cytotoxin is released, causing DNA damage and generating leukemic cell death.

In recent clinical trials GO has been shown to induce remission and improve survival in subset of patients with AML, however there is wide inter-patient variation in response.

Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., and colleagues identified and evaluated three genetic variations of CD33 in two groups of patients with pediatric AML -- one group that received the drug GO, and one group that did not. They found that specific genetic variation in CD33 that significantly affected the clinical outcome of AML patients who received GO based chemotherapy.

"Understanding how genetics play a role in how drugs work is extremely useful, particularly for a drug like GO which has shown a very heterogeneous response in AML patients," said Jatinder Lamba, Ph.D., the study's lead author and a researcher who holds appointments in both the College of Pharmacy and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. "Our latest findings lead us to believe that genetic variation in CD33 influences how AML patients' leukemic cell responds to GO."

AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and is the second most common form of leukemia in children. Though the most common type of treatment for AML is chemotherapy, Lamba says the disease remains hard to treat and newer, more effective therapies are needed.

"The overall goal of our study was to use genetic data to predict beneficial or adverse response to a specific drug, thus opening up opportunities to use this information for drug optimization to achieve maximum therapeutic efficacy and minimum toxicity. Our hope is that our research could serve as a marker of prognostic significance for clinicians to select the therapy that has the greatest odds of being effective for individual patients based on their CD33 genotype."

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Minnesota Academic Health Center. The original article was written by Miranda Taylor.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Leslie Mortland, Todd A. Alonzo, Roland B. Walter, Robert B. Gerbing, Amit K. Mitra, Jessica A. Pollard, Michael R. Loken, Betsy Hirsch, Susana Raimondi, Janet Franklin, Stanley Pounds, Xueyuan Cao, Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, Raul C. Ribeiro, Alan Gamis, Soheil Meshinchi, and Jatinder K. Lamba. Clinical Significance of CD33 Nonsynonymous Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Pediatric Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treated with Gemtuzumab-Ozogamicin?Containing Chemotherapy. Clin Cancer Res, February 26, 2013 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3115

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Senate confirms Hagel for defense secretary

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. A deeply divided Senate is moving toward a vote on President Barack Obama?s contentious choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department, with the former Republican senator on track to win confirmation after a protracted political fight. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. A deeply divided Senate is moving toward a vote on President Barack Obama?s contentious choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department, with the former Republican senator on track to win confirmation after a protracted political fight. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

(AP) ? A deeply divided Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Republican Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary, handing President Barack Obama's pick the top Pentagon job just days before billions of dollars in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the military.

The vote was 58-41, with four Republicans joining the Democrats in backing the contentious choice. Hagel's only GOP support came from former colleagues Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Dick Shelby of Alabama and Mike Johanns of Nebraska ? all three had announced their support earlier ? and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The vote came just hours after Republicans dropped their unprecedented delay of a Pentagon choice and allowed the nomination to move forward on a 71-27 vote.

Hagel, 66, a former two-term Nebraska senator and twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran, succeeds Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Hagel is expected to be sworn in at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

Obama welcomed the bipartisan Senate vote, although 41 Republicans opposed his nominee, and said in a statement that "we will have the defense secretary our nation needs and the leader our troops deserve."

The looked past the divisions and said he was grateful to Hagel "for reminding us that when it comes to our national defense, we are not Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans, and our greatest responsibility is the security of the American people."

Republicans had opposed their onetime colleague, casting him as unqualified for the job, hostile toward Israel and soft on Iran. The objections remained strong well after the vote.

"I continue to have serious questions about whether Chuck Hagel is up to the job of being our secretary of defense," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement. "I hope, for the sake of our own national security, he exceeds expectations."

Hagel joins Obama's retooled second-term, national security team of Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director-designate John Brennan at a time of uncertainty for a military emerging from two wars and fighting worldwide terrorism with smaller, deficit-driven budgets.

Among his daunting challenges are deciding on troop levels in Afghanistan as the United States winds down its combat presence and dealing with $46 billion in budget cuts set to kick in on Friday. He also will have to work with lawmakers who spent weeks vilifying him.

Republicans insisted that Hagel was battered and bloodied after their repeated attacks during the protracted political fight.

"He will take office with the weakest support of any defense secretary in modern history, which will make him less effective on his job," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate GOP's No. 2 Republican.

Not so, said Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, who pointed out that Hagel now has the title and the fight is history.

"All have to work together for the interest of the country," said Reed, D-R.I.

The vote ended one of the most bitter fights over a Cabinet choice and former senator since 1989 when the Democratic-led Senate defeated newly elected President George H.W. Bush's nomination of Republican John Tower to be defense secretary.

In the course of the rancorous, seven-week nomination fight, Republicans, led by freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, insinuated that Hagel has a cozy relationship with Iran and received payments for speeches from extreme or radical groups. Those comments drew a rebuke from Democrats and some Republicans.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, dismissed the "unfair innuendoes" against Hagel and called him an "outstanding American patriot" whose background as an enlisted soldier would send a positive message to the nation's servicemen and women.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., questioned how the confirmation process devolved into a character assassination in which Hagel was accused of "having secret ties with our enemies."

"I sincerely hope that the practice of challenging nominations with innuendo and inference, rather than facts and figures, was an aberration and not a roadmap," she said in a statement after the vote.

Obama got no points with the GOP for tapping the former two-term Republican senator. GOP lawmakers excoriated Hagel and cast him as a radical far out of the mainstream.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., clashed with his onetime friend over his opposition to President George W. Bush's decision to send an extra 30,000 troops to Iraq in 2007 at a point when the war seemed in danger of being lost. Hagel, who voted to authorize military force in Iraq, later opposed the conflict, comparing it to Vietnam and arguing that it shifted the focus from Afghanistan.

McCain said several GOP lawmakers also had "a lot of ill will" toward the moderate Republican for his criticism of Bush and his backing for Democratic candidates.

Shortly after a White House meeting with Obama on immigration on Tuesday, McCain voted against his onetime friend and fellow Vietnam veteran.

Republicans also challenged Hagel about a May 2012 study that he co-authored for the advocacy group Global Zero, which called for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons and the eventual elimination of all the world's nuclear arms.

In an echo of the 2012 presidential campaign, Hagel faced an onslaught of criticism by well-funded, Republican-leaning outside groups that labeled the former senator "anti-Israel" and pressured senators to oppose the nomination. The groups ran television and print ads criticizing Hagel.

Opponents were particularly incensed by Hagel's use of the term "Jewish lobby" to refer to pro-Israel groups. He apologized, saying he should have used another term and should not have said those groups have intimidated members of the Senate into favoring actions contrary to U.S. interests.

The nominee spent weeks reaching out to members of the Senate, meeting individually with lawmakers to address their concerns and seeking to reassure them about his policies.

Hagel's inconsistent performance during some eight hours of testimony during his confirmation hearing last month undercut his cause.

On Feb. 12, the Armed Services Committee approved the nomination on a party-line vote of 14-11. Two days later, a Democratic move to vote on the nomination fell a few votes short as Republicans insisted they needed more time to consider the pick.

Hagel's nomination also became entangled in Republican demands for more information about the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in that attack.

Republicans allowed the nomination to move forward, with 18 Republicans joining the Democrats. Many had warned against the precedent of denying a president his Cabinet choices.

Paul's vote for Hagel came as something of a surprise. Moira Bagley, a spokeswoman for the senator, said that while he disagrees with Hagel on a number of issues, Paul believes a president should have some leeway in his political appointments.

Missing the vote was Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.


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In Self DefenseIn Self Defense is inspired by the true-life story of a martial arts legend who died at the hand of his own son. After fighting in the jungles of the South Pacific in World War II, Willy Wetzel and his family migrated from Indonesia to America in 1956. Willy opened one of the first martial arts schools in the United States in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He was a pioneer and became known worldwide for his mastery of many martial arts forms. The finest pupil Willy ever taught, was his second son, Roy Wetzel. The Wetzels all had their battle scars, some more visible than others. When Roy returned from Viet Nam with a Purple Heart, he hoped for a peaceful life at home. Instead Roy found himself in a fight with his father.One fateful night, their strained relationship finally came to a head. As Roy's young daughter lay asleep in the next room, a weapon-filled brutal fight between father and son ensued. The aftermath of Willy's last skirmish would leave Roy bloody and beaten and charged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with Murder. This led to a controversial trial and the original court transcripts contained in the second half of this non-fiction novel give a compelling account of the prolonged legal contest that stirred up many debates. Following the lives of the Wetzels in intricate detail, In Self Defense will keep you turning the page till the very end.

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Syria says ready to talk with armed opposition

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syria is ready for talks with its armed opponents, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday, in the clearest offer yet of negotiations with rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

But Moualem said at the same time Syria would pursue its fight "against terrorism", alluding to the conflict with rebels in which the United Nations says 70,000 people have been killed.

Assad and his foes are locked in a bloody stalemate after nearly two years of combat, destruction and civilian suffering.

"We are ready for dialogue with everyone who wants it...Even with those who have weapons in their hands. Because we believe that reforms will not come through bloodshed but only through dialogue," Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quoted Moualem as saying.

He was speaking in Moscow at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russia is a staunch ally of Assad.

Moaz Alkhatib, head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, said in Cairo he had not had held any contacts about talks with Damascus, but had postponed trips to Russia and the United States "until we see how things develop".

Syria's government and the political opposition have both suggested in recent weeks they are prepared for some contacts - softening their previous outright rejection of talks to resolve a conflict which has driven nearly a million Syrians out of the country and left millions more homeless and hungry.

But the opposition has said any political solution must be based on the removal of Assad, whose family has ruled Syria since 1970. Rebel fighters, who do not answer to Alkhatib, are even more insistent that Assad must go before any talks start.

Brigadier Selim Idris, head of a rebel military command, demanded a complete ceasefire, the president's departure and the trial of his security and military chiefs as preconditions for negotiations. "We will not go (into talks) unless these demands are realized," he told Al Arabiya Television.

Damascus has rejected any preconditions for talks aimed at ending the violence, which started as a peaceful pro-democracy uprising in March 2011 inspired by Arab revolts elsewhere.


The two sides also differ on the location for any talks, with the opposition saying they should be abroad or in rebel-held parts of Syria. Assad's government says any serious dialogue must be held on Syrian territory under its control.

Adding to the difficulty of any negotiated settlement is the lack of influence that Syria's political opposition - mostly operating outside the country - has over rebels inside.

"We are following the development of events ... with alarm," Lavrov said. "In our evaluation the situation is at a kind of crossroads. There are those who have set a course for further bloodshed and an escalation of conflict. This is fraught with the risk of the collapse of the Syrian state and society.

"But there are also reasonable forces that increasingly acutely understand the need for the swiftest possible start of talks ... In these conditions the need for the Syrian leadership to continue to consistently advocate the start of dialogue, and not allow provocations to prevail, is strongly increasing."

Lavrov's warning that the Syrian state could founder appeared aimed to show that Russia is pressing Assad's government to seek a negotiated solution while continuing to lay much of the blame for the persistent violence on his opponents.

Russia has distanced itself from Assad and has stepped up its calls for dialogue as his prospects of retaining power have decreased, but insists that his exit must not be a precondition.

Itar-Tass did not report any other comments by Syria's Moualem on the chances for talks or on any conditions attached.

"What's happening in Syria is a war against terrorism," the agency quoted him as saying. "We will strongly adhere to a peaceful course and continue to fight against terrorism."

The Syrian National Coalition said on Friday it was willing to negotiate a peace deal, but insisted Assad could not be party to it - a demand that the president looks sure to reject.

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said Assad had told him he intended to remain president until his term ends in 2014 and would then run for re-election.

The political chasm between the government and rebels and a lack of opposition influence over rebel fighters has allowed fighting to rage on for 23 months in Syria, while international diplomatic deadlock has prevented effective intervention.

Moualem's comments echoed remarks last week by Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar, who said he was ready to meet the armed opposition. But Haidar drew a distinction between what said might be "preparatory talks" and formal negotiations.

Assad, announcing plans last month for a national dialogue to address the crisis, said that there would be no dialogue with people he called traitors or "puppets made by the West".

Moualem made his remarks a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began a nine-nation tour of European and Arab nations in which the Syria conflict will be a main focus.

Kerry plans to meet Lavrov in Berlin on Tuesday and Syrian opposition leaders at a conference in Rome on Thursday, although it is unclear whether all will attend amid internal rows over the value of such international meetings while violence goes on.

(Additional reporting by Yasmine Saleh in Cairo; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Alistair Lyon)


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Exurban residences impact bird communities up to 200 m away

Feb. 25, 2013 ? According to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), impacts to bird communities from a single rural, "exurban" residence can extend up to 200 meters into the surrounding forest. The study also determined that sensitive bird species such as the hermit thrush and scarlet tanager prefer unbroken forests with no houses. Others, like the blue jay and black-capped chickadee, seem to like having, and often thrive with, human neighbors.

As part of the study, scientists sampled the presence of 20 species of birds both near and far from 30 rural residences in the Adirondack Park. Calculating their occurrence at increasing distances from the residences, they determined that "human-adapted" species are 36 percent more likely to occur near the homes than in the surrounding mixed hardwood-conifer forests, and that "human-sensitive" species were 26 percent less likely. Beyond 200 meters, occupancy rates were similar to the surrounding forest.

The report appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning. Authors of the study are Drs. Michale Glennon and Heidi Kretser of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Rural exurban development is residential development existing outside of cities and towns, and is generally characterized by larger lot sizes (5-40 acres or more) and lower density than suburban development. Exurban residences exist within an otherwise unaltered ecosystem.

Exurban homes change the environment by bringing vehicles, noise, lights, pets, people, and food sources into the forest, as well as by physically altering and fragmenting habitat. These changes can have myriad impacts, including altered species behavior and composition, increased human wildlife conflicts, new predator-prey dynamics, and decreased biotic integrity (a measure of how pristine a wildlife community is).

"Adirondackers take great pride in their surroundings and try not to unduly disturb the natural setting in which they live," said WCS Adirondack Program Science Director Michale Glennon. "A key finding of the study is that the ecological footprint of development can be much larger than its physical footprint. We found that even a small home and lawn can change bird communities some 200 meters away, which means more than 30 acres of the surrounding landscape, depending on what types of activities are occurring on the residential property. It is important that we learn how birds and other wildlife react to particular kinds of human activities, and find ways to minimize the negative impacts for wildlife in exurban areas."

The study found that species sensitive to human impacts include the black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, hairy woodpecker, hermit thrush, ovenbird, scarlet tanager and the winter wren. The presence of some species, like the scarlet tanager, are a good indicator of undisturbed forest health.

WCS Livelihoods and Conservation Coordinator Heidi Kretser said, "Some wildlife species are sensitive to exurban development and are less likely to be found near those residences than adapted species. More sensitive and less common species could ultimately be displaced from the area as a result of this kind of development."

The study was modeled after one conducted in a shrub-oak ecosystem in Colorado where scientists calculated a 180-meter ecological effect zone based on their results. Glennon and Kretser believe that the similar results in two different ecosystem types may indicate that human behaviors associated with exurban homes play a larger role in shaping avian community characteristics nearby than do habitat alterations created by construction and clearing.

While breeding bird communities were used to measure the impacts of exurban development in the study, the authors note that birds can serve as valuable indicators of overall biodiversity.

WCS Adirondack Program Director Zoe Smith said, "The Adirondack Park is one of the last large, intact, wild ecosystems in the northeastern United States, and it is becoming increasingly important as we face global threats like climate change. As we strive to find a healthy balance between conservation and the needs of humans within the park, we need to fully understand the impacts of different development patterns. This research is another step toward that understanding and can help inform decisions on development and land-use in this rural landscape."

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society, via Newswise.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Michale J. Glennon, Heidi E. Kretser. Size of the ecological effect zone associated with exurban development in the Adirondack Park, NY. Landscape and Urban Planning, 2013; 112: 10 DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.12.008

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Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


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