I Am Trying To Make You Understand Why I Still Cant Talk

first_imgTweet9Share14ShareEmail23 SharesAre you familiar with the phrase emotional labor? If not, check out this comic by Emma before continuing this post.I am struggling with finding the right words to articulate what I’m feeling, yet I feel it is necessary for me to speak. This is not the first time our country has faced a Charlottesville/Ferguson/Baltimore/Anywhere. It will not be the last, and it pains me to say this but it’s true. Not enough of us are willing to understand the emotional work that is needed. To this day the work for building a better community has been completely unbalanced by the oppressed and the oppressor.Make no mistake, I am making a them and us distinction here.  There is no way to sugar coat it: my blackness and someone else’s whiteness are in no way the same experience.And it is not because we are unequal, we are equals and have always been, but our perceptions and responsibilities have never been in complete alignment. The complexities in how people of color have had to engage with the tragedies that occurred this past weekend and the following reactions are the reasons why many of us remain silent. It is the reason why many of us, though greatly troubled, enraged and distraught, choose to focus on other things in our life – we are tired of being sensitive, tired of being asked on how we feel, and tired of trying to teach you why you should care. Many decide to reserve our energies. Here is why: You don’t care the way you should until one of your own dies.That. Kills me. Every time.And the worst part of it, is that we know you are more than capable of sharing our burden of care. We see it when you fight for animals or the earth or whatever. But when it comes to us dying… “It’s sad”, “It’s a shame and terrible”, “Shame on you.” That is not enough, it will never be enough and I shouldn’t have to tell you.Reflect on the headline photo; does it not explain to you the work we do above and beyond? Does it not show you how we don’t even allow ourselves to feel exactly the way we want to? It is because can’t, we choose to be our best to teach you what real love and duty to all looks like. Now, look at it again. Yeah, I know it was from another event. Sorry, we didn’t find the other black officers who were doing the same job he did and still does.What I would like for you all to do is to simply do what I and so many people of color do:Live a life that is in the concern and care for others.Click To TweetReliance on our resilience is no longer an option for you. Reliance on others to do the work you know you can do yourself is inexcusable. If you want this country to become a loving and safer nation for all get up and do something. We are already doing everything we can, and we’re tired of your empty words.Photo credit: twitter.comRelated PostsDoes The Road Make A Difference?I want to offer another frame: What if it is not so much the roads we choose, but the way we walk them, and the fact that we continue to walk them, that makes all the difference?Growing OlderGrowing older is nightmarish, but it also provides glimpses of how heaven is right here within reach. I think these glimpses, which reside in the failing sight of the old, and the disabled, are precious, and should be a regular part of our collective journey into mystery.What Makes A Difference?I’ve been dwelling with this question for a while. Like any good, real, question it is taking me for a ride. What makes a difference? Before I get into my response to this compelling question, I just want to extoll the value of a good question.  A really good question,…Tweet9Share14ShareEmail23 Shareslast_img read more

Some water pitchers are much better at removing toxins shows research

first_img Source:https://news.osu.edu/news/2018/05/17/research-microcystin-pitchers/ May 18 2018Water pitchers designed to rid water of harmful contaminants are not created equal, new research has found.Scientists from The Ohio State University compared three popular pitcher brands’ ability to clear dangerous microcystins from tap water. They found that while one did an excellent job, other pitchers allowed the toxins – which appear during harmful algal blooms (HABs) – to escape the filter and drop into the drinking water.The purifier that filtered water fastest, and which was made entirely of coconut-based activated carbon, removed 50 percent or less of the microcystins from the water. But the purifier that filtered water slowest – and which was made from a blend of active carbon – rendered the microcystins undetectable in drinking water. The study appears in the journal Water Science Technology: Water Supply.”Because drinking-water treatment plants also use activated carbon, I figured that these home filters might also remove some microcystins, but I wasn’t expecting results this good and such big differences among the pitchers,” said Justin Chaffin, the study’s lead author and a senior researcher and research coordinator at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory. Stone Lab is located on Lake Erie and serves as a hub for researchers throughout the Midwest working on issues facing the Great Lakes.Toxin-producing harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become a global threat to drinking water. Microcystins are among the most common toxins that arise from these cyanobacterial blooms, posing a significant risk to animal and human health. Adverse reactions to the toxins can range from a mild skin rash to serious illness or death as a result of damage to the liver or kidneys.In Ohio, microcystins in Toledo’s water supply left more than 400,000 residents without tap water for several days in 2014.”Since then, many residents drink bottled water and others rely on these filtration pitchers as backup, in case the water treatment plants miss a return of the microcystins,” Chaffin said. No such threats to the water have been detected since the 2014 incident, he said.”At public events, residents kept asking me ‘Does my water pitcher remove microcystins?’ and my answer was always, ‘I don’t know,'” Chaffin said.So he designed a study to answer the question.The researchers do not name the brands in the study, but they are commonly found in retail outlets and ranged in price from about $15 to about $50, Chaffin said. Interested consumers can compare the study findings to the features of an individual pitcher to inform their purchasing decisions, he suggested.Related StoriesTwo New Resistance-Proof Antibiotics Have Been CreatedTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapy”In general, the cheaper the pitcher, the worse job it did filtering out the toxins,” Chaffin said.Chaffin and his collaborators used contaminated Lake Erie water, which they diluted to various concentrations of microcystins, and then ran through three common pitchers designed to purify water. Consistently, slow filtration and a combination of different types of activated carbon proved most helpful.The idea behind the pitchers is that the activated carbon in the filter “grabs” bad things from the tap water as they bind to the carbon molecules.When water with a microcystin concentration of 3.3 micrograms per liter was run through the three filters, its concentration dipped in all cases, but was only undetectable in one pitcher – the slowest-filtering model. The researchers chose that concentration to mimic the concentration reported during the 2014 do-not-drink advisory in Toledo.”Contact time really seems to matter. If you run the water through really fast, the microcystins and other organic molecules don’t have time to bind to the carbon molecule and stick to the filter,” Chaffin said.Contact time varied from a little more than two minutes per liter (for the worst-performing pitcher) to more than six minutes per liter (for the best). The middle-of-the-road pitcher filtered water at a rate of almost four minutes per liter.The two most-effective pitchers had filters made of a blend of activated carbon sources. The least-effective pitcher’s filter was made entirely of coconut-based active carbon.The research team also tested whether the microcystins stayed put on expired filters by running ultra-clean deionized water through the purifier.”We didn’t find the microcystins in that filtered water at all, so there’s a pretty good chance that what’s being removed is stuck to the filter for good,” Chaffin said.That said, he suggested that these purifying pitchers be viewed as a safety net for those who are worried about microcystins going undetected at the drinking-water treatment plants – not in cases where there’s been a warning and people have been told to stick to bottled water.”But when there isn’t a warning, these filters are much cheaper and better for the environment in the long run than bottled water. You aren’t creating mountains of empty bottles,” Chaffin said.last_img read more

Bots show positive support toward vaping

first_imgAug 6 2018Social media accounts run by internet robots may be driving much of the discussion around the health threats posed by e-cigarettes, according to a study led by San Diego State University researchers, who also found most of the automated messages were positive toward vaping.More than 70 percent of the tweets analyzed in the study appeared to have been put out by robots, also known as bots, whose use to influence public opinion and sell products while posing as real people is coming under increased scrutiny.The discovery of the apparent bot promotion of vaping was unexpected. The team originally set out to use Twitter data to study the use and perceptions of e-cigarettes in the United States and to understand characteristics of users discussing e-cigarettes.”Robots are the biggest challenges and problems in social media analytics,” said Ming-Hsiang Tsou, founding director of SDSU’s Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age, and co-author on the newly published study. “Since most of them are ‘commercial-oriented’ or ‘political-oriented,’ they will skew the analysis results and provide wrong conclusions for the analysis.”The findings come amid announcements by Twitter recently that it would be removing suspicious and fake accounts by the millions and also introduce new mechanisms to identify and fight spam and abuse on its platform, among other measures.”Some robots can be easily removed based on their content and behaviors,” Tsou said. “But some robots look exactly like human beings and can be more difficult to detect. This is a very hot topic now in social media analytics research.”Led by SDSU researcher Lourdes S. Martinez, findings of the study appear in the article, “‘Okay, We Get It. You Vape’: An Analysis of Geocoded Content, Context, and Sentiment regarding E-Cigarettes on Twitter,” published in the July issue of the Journal of Health Communication.Partially funded by the National Science Foundation, the study’s two other authors are SDSU alumnae Sharon Hughes, who originated the idea for the project while a student, and Eric R. Walsh-Buhi, an associate professor in School of Public Health.The study–one of the first known to rely on geocoded tweets to investigate perceptions of e-cigarettes–raises important questions about misinformation regarding public health issues and potential covert marketing of nicotine-based products.”We are not talking about accounts made to represent organizations, or a business or a cause. These accounts are made to look like regular people,” said Martinez, an assistant professor in SDSU’s School of Communication. “This raises the question: To what extent is the public health discourse online being driven by robot accounts?”Related StoriesE-cigarettes much more effective for traditional cigarettes finds studySmoke-free generation ‘in sight’ as numbers of smokers drop dramaticallyNew study provides increasing evidence base substantiating vaping’s harm reduction potentialFor the study, the team compiled a random sample of nearly 194,000 geocoded tweets from across the United States posted between October 2015 and February 2016. A random sample of 973 tweets were analyzed for their sentiment and source (an individual versus an organization, for example). From these, 887 tweets were identified as posted by individuals, a category that includes potential bots.The team found that more than 66 percent of tweets from individuals carried a supportive tone about the use of e-cigarettes. The team also found that about 59 percent of individuals also shared tweets about how they personally used e-cigarettes.Also, the team was able to identify adolescent Twitter users, finding that more than 55 percent of their tweets were positive in tone related to e-cigarettes.In tweets that gave reference to the harmfulness of e-cigarettes, 54 percent asserted e-cigarettes are not harmful or are significantly less harmful than traditional cigarettes.Martinez said agencies and public health organizations must be far more attuned to conversations happening in the social media domain if they are to be effective in communicating information to the general public.”The lack of awareness and need to voice a public health position on e-cigarettes represents a vital opportunity to continue winning gains for tobacco control and prevention efforts through health communication interventions targeting e-cigarettes,” the team wrote in the paper.Martinez said the team did not set out to identify potential robot accounts. After observing anomalies in the dataset, namely related to confusing and illogical posts about e-cigarettes and vaping, the team reviewed user types and decided to reclassify them–specifically identifying accounts that appeared to be operated by robots.The large presence of robot accounts raises questions of whether other health topics are being driven by these accounts, she said.”We do not know the source, or if they are being paid by commercial interests,” Martinez said. “Are these robot accounts evading regulations? I do not know the answer to that. But that is something consumers deserve to know, and there are some very clear rules about tobacco marketing and the ways in which it is regulated.” Source:http://www.sdsu.edulast_img read more

UKCloud Health and Corsham Institute announce new findings on adoption of public

first_img“Patients have a limited understanding of how the NHS stores or processes data. Indeed, the public and healthcare professionals rightly focus more on patient experience and outcomes,” commented Louisa Simons, COO of the Corsham Institute. “Cloud computing has the potential to enhance collaboration, increase efficiency and improve security across the NHS. However, progress in migrating workloads to the cloud varies dramatically between different trusts and other bodies within the NHS. Many organizations are still reliant on the kind of fragmented and dated infrastructure that was impacted by the Wannacry attack and are also reliant on out-dated and inefficient technologies such as fax machines – which are surprisingly still in widespread use across the NHS.”Simons continued: High levels of confidence in trust that the NHS is storing patient data securely: 70% of British adults say they are confident that the patient data the NHS holds on them is stored securely, while 25% say they are not confident. Low levels of understanding as to how patient data is currently stored in the NHS, with half of respondents thinking that patient data is stored on a national NHS computer server and only 28% thinking that it is stored on a cloud. People are twice as likely to be comfortable storing their information on clouds managed by British companies (49%) than on clouds managed by global companies (23%). A desire for more information on data storage in the NHS, with 88% of adults saying it’s important to know where and how their patient data is stored and 80% saying it is important to know whether patient data is hosted by companies whose headquarters are outside of the UK. Even before the Wannacry attack, a previous ComRes poll sponsored by UKCloud Health in early 2017 found that the British public were concerned about the protection of their personally identifiable data, and that 65 percent also stated that they were concerned about whether their health records, such as medical history or social care records, are adequately protected by companies and public services.“Capturing the undoubted advantages of cloud does not mean that NHS data needs to ever move outside of the UK or be held on clouds managed by global companies,” added Nicky Stewart, Commercial Director at UKCloud Health and one of the expert witnesses interviewed for the report. “Government-grade, secure facilities with connectivity to NHS networks like N3 and HSCN exist within the Crown Campus. Use of such secure, UK-sovereign facilities would not only help minimize the risk of further incidents, but would also eliminate the risk of public backlash over moving data outside of the UK or holding it on clouds managed by global companies, in the event of any such incident.”Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchMany healthcare workers often care for patients while sick, study findsSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsCrown Campus is a secure government-grade hosting environment specifically for public sector framework service providers. It enables collaboration between public sector organizations and the community of service providers that support them, including UKCloud Health, the main cloud provider within the Crown Campus.UKCloud’s many government and NHS customers benefit not only from the enhanced efficiency and security provided by its secure, UK-sovereign cloud services, but also from being hosted in close proximity to many other key data sets within the Crown Campus. For example, Genomics England, the largest single health data set in the UK, is hosted by UKCloud Health along with a number of key hospital trusts. UKCloud Health also hosts a growing ecosystem of health-oriented service providers. Being in close proximity to each other, allows for secure, low-latency connectivity and increased scope for collaboration not only between Trusts, but also with key health solution providers like Docman, Egton and Mayden, all hosted on UKCloud Health’s multi-cloud infrastructure.UKCloud Health also provides a range of multi-cloud options for optimal workload placement, providing a path for healthcare organizations wanting to the modernizing legacy IT that was vulnerable to the Wannacry attack. There is no one-size-fits-all cloud approach though, and Trusts need a secure, compliant, and cost-appropriate solution that meet the demands of their organization and provides a best fit for each workload. For Trusts with an array of legacy and cloud-native applications, a multi-cloud approach provides the most comprehensive and effective solution and with UKCloud Health it can be provided from totally UK-sovereign facilities that are directly connected to both N3 and HSCN.The Corsham Institute report accompanying the research findings included expert testimony and opinion from a range of professionals and organizations, including UKCloud Health. It looked in detail at recent NHS data handling stories and the current policy and data governance landscape, including the impact of the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal on public trust in data security more widely. The report’s authors drew out a number of important themes from the research and interviews, including: Aug 22 2018Public confidence in the NHS is currently high, but with privacy awareness increasing significantly, there’s a risk that incidents could expose weaknesses in sovereignty, efficiency and data securityUKCloud Health, the easy to adopt, easy to use and easy to leave assured cloud services company, and the Corsham Institute, a charity dedicated to research and learning to help people adapt and thrive in a digital world, today announced the findings from the latest Corsham Institute research report: “The Adoption of Public Cloud Services in the NHS: trust, security and public opinion”. Based on exclusive polling from ComRes, the research tested levels of public understanding of patient data storage options within the NHS and the public’s confidence or otherwise in the security of that data. In addition to the public polling conducted by ComRes, the report also features expert testimony from interviews conducted by Corsham Institute with a range of health and care professionals and experts, including input from UKCloud Health.The survey found: The importance of emphasizing the benefits from the adoption of public cloud in the NHS, including: lower costs (freeing up more money for frontline care); greater safety and security of the data; and the opportunity for better care and innovation. The need to address some significant challenges for the NHS, including: low levels of digital literacy and technical skills; barriers to maximizing the potential of cloud computing, including financial impacts if there are long-term contractual tie-ins to big cloud providers; and the risks from the gulf between the low levels of public understanding of the use of cloud computing, particularly when provided by major global tech companies, and the potential impact should a data security breach occur that is linked to a cloud provider.center_img Taking the polling and the research together, the report’s authors concluded that that there should be better engagement with the public to make them aware of the use and benefits of cloud computing in the NHS, and to build their understanding and trust in a way that pre-empts risk, rather than waiting to respond to a security breach or other data handling controversy. They also flagged the considerations and trade-offs to be made between choosing a UK-based or global public cloud provider, particularly in relation to data protection and procurement. There is a risk that a significant incident, either another attack like Wannacry, or a significant data breach, as recently occurred in Singapore, could shatter confidence in the way that the NHS stores and processes data. Lack of confidence in the NHS to store patient data securely could limit patient’s willingness to share their data for research, which is essential to help improve outcomes. The introduction of GDPR and the publicity resulting from the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal have already increased privacy awareness and shaken public trust in data security more widely. The research shows that there is little public appetite for NHS data to be kept outside of the UK or held on clouds managed by global companies, concerns that will likely be exposed and exacerbated in the aftermath of any further significant incidents.” Source:https://ukcloudhealth.com/last_img read more

QA Why is this researcher putting Fitbits on squirrels

first_imgActivity trackers like Fitbits and Jawbones help fitness enthusiasts log the calories they burn, their heart rates, and even how many flights of stairs they climb in a day. Biologist Cory Williams of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff is using similar technology to track the energy consumption of arctic ground squirrels in Alaska—insight that may reveal how the animals efficiently forage for food while avoiding being picked off by golden eagles.This week, Williams published a study in Royal Society Open Science that compared the activity levels of male and female squirrels. He found that although males spend a lot more time outside of their burrows, they’re pretty lazy, and sometimes just bask in the sun during warmer months. Females, on the other hand, have limited time to spare when caring for their young, and use it to run around and forage for themselves and their babies. In addition to previous work on arctic ground squirrel hibernation and seasonal differences in behavior, the finding is helping his team figure out why males tend to be more susceptible to being eaten.Williams sat down with Science to talk about creating a squirrel Fitbit, catching the animals in the wild, and how technology is improving ecological research. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Q: What technology did you use for the trackers?A: The trackers were epoxied onto a collar that the animals wore. We used light loggers that were first designed to geolocate birds’ migratory patterns, but because they can detect the presence or absence of light, we use them to see if the squirrels are in their burrows or not. And the accelerometers work just like one in an iPhone. They take measurements once every second in three axes of direction, which lets us measure the index of movement. Movement is highly correlated with energy expenditure, so the accelerometers were a perfect way to measure that.Q: Did you run into any roadblocks designing this technology?A: There were some challenges getting the collars to be a perfect fit. When we first started, the collars were too big so the animals would shimmy them off or get limbs stuck in them. But we don’t want them to be too small that they’d grow into their skin. Just figuring how to mount a device on an animal without hurting it is always a challenge.Q: What did you find out from the study? A: We wanted to see just how males and females differ in their energy expenditure. Over 2 years we gathered data and saw that females have less opportunity to leave their burrows because they’re caring for their young, but when they do leave, they’re much more active than males are on the surface. Knowing how the arctic ground squirrels allot their time and energy helps us see how they avoid predators and search for food.Q: What could be done with the technology in the future?A: As things continue to happen at the consumer level to drive prices down, we’ll be able to use technology with more wireless capabilities. I’d like to implant a single device in an animal that can give us many measures of physiology and behavior besides energy expenditure. We could capture an animal and download data on its heart rate, metabolism, and what hormones it’s producing. This would be useful in a number of scenarios. For instance, we have a new project that will see how hormones are involved in arctic ground squirrel hibernation. And now that wireless charging is more common, we could recharge the implanted device inside the animal and send it on its way. I’m very interested to see how we can implement technology more into ecological studies. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Q: What got you interested in studying arctic ground squirrels?A: It’s one of the only arctic animals that keeps a rigid schedule even when there’s no light/dark cycle for 6 weeks—meaning, they emerge from and return to their burrows the same time every day and they eat the same time each day, even though the sun stays in the sky for weeks and weeks. So I started to deploy the energy tracking technologies to better understand how the squirrels use energy through the seasons.Q: What is it like to work with the squirrels?A: We captured them in the wild using traps baited with carrots, and handled them from there. They’re very, very squirmy, especially the juveniles because they’re so small. The males will even bite sometimes. These squirrels are a lot feistier than other species commonly used for research. Cory Williams, a biologist from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, preparing to trap squirrels in Alaska.last_img read more

QA Should artificial intelligence be legally required to explain itself

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The Alan Turing Institute As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more sophisticated, it also becomes more opaque. Machine-learning algorithms can grind through massive amounts of data, generating predictions and making decisions without the ability to explain to humans what it’s doing. In matters of consequence—from hiring decisions to criminal sentencing—should we require justifications? A commentary published today in Science Robotics discusses regulatory efforts to make AI more transparent, explainable, and accountable. Science spoke with the article’s primary author, Sandra Wachter, a researcher in data ethics at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Alan Turing Institute. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: In what areas is transparency needed? A: An algorithm can do very boring work for you, it’s efficient, it doesn’t get tired, and it can often make better decisions than a human can. But transparency is needed where technologies affect us in significant ways. Algorithms decide if individuals are legitimate candidates for mortgages, loans, or insurance; they also determine interest rates and premiums. Algorithms make hiring decisions and decide if applicants can attend universities. St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London developed software for initial screening of applicants back in the 1970s. It was later revealed to show racial and gender discrimination. Judges and the police use algorithms for sentencing, granting parole, and predictive policing. Last year, ProPublica reported that a popular program called COMPAS overestimated the risks of black defendants reoffending. Robotics and autonomous systems can be used for surgery, care, transport, and criminal justice. We should be entitled to assess the accuracy and thinking behind these decisions. Q: How have regulators responded to the need? A: Regulators around the world are discussing and addressing these issues but sometimes they must satisfy competing interests. On the one hand, the public sector must ensure that algorithms, AI, and robotics are deployed in safe ways, and guarantee that these systems do not discriminate or otherwise harm individuals. On the other hand, regulation requiring transparency could hamper innovation and research, and have an adverse effect on business interests, such as trade secrets.Regulation can cause problems if requirements are not well defined from the outset. Regulation can also be problematic if it calls for something that’s technically impossible to implement. Some people in the AI community feel that you can’t always give explanations because not even the developers of the systems actually understand how they work. With AlphaGo, the programmers didn’t know how the algorithm came up with its moves.Q: Are there differences between how U.S. and European regulators have acted?  Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Q&A: Should artificial intelligence be legally required to explain itself? Algorithms that detect the threat level of airline passengers might operate without accountability.  Email Shutterstock/Anucha Maneechote. Adapted by Adham Tamer/Oxford Internet Institute By Matthew HutsonMay. 31, 2017 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sandra Wachter A: The U.S. believes in a more soft-touch, self-regulatory approach. Their current policies focus more on education of researchers and voluntary codes of practices for the private sector. This might be the result of their belief that too much regulation can have a negative effect on research, innovation, and economic growth.The EU is more inclined to create hard laws that are enforceable. The EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which will come into force in May 2018, is an excellent example. This framework creates certain transparency rights and safeguards against automated decision-making. Article 22, for example, grants individuals the right to contest a completely automated decision if it has legal or other significant effects on them. Other articles require data collectors such as advertisers to provide people with access to the collectors’ data on them, and to inform people about the general functionality of the automated system when decisions are made using that data.Q: Has enough been made of the fact that human decision-makers are also “black boxes”? A: Yes, humans often have prejudices that lead to discriminatory decisions, and we often have no way of knowing when and why people are biased. With machine learning we have the potential to make less biased decisions. But algorithms trained with biased data pick up and replicate these biases, and develop new ones.Q: Can you give an example? A: If you’re hiring someone for a management position and you feed your algorithm data from the last 30 years, the data will be skewed, and the projected ideal candidate will be someone male, white, and in his 40s or 50s. I am a woman in my early 30s, so I would be filtered out immediately, even if I’m suitable for that position. And it gets even worse, because sometimes algorithms are used to display job ads, so I wouldn’t even see the position is available.Other times we have more latent biases. There’s a textbook hypothetical example. People with red cars might receive higher insurance premiums, which is not discriminatory against a protected group but could have unintended consequences. Sports cars are often red, and people who buy sports cars are often macho people who drive more dangerously and have more accidents, so if they have higher insurance premiums, that’s fair. But if red cars are more likely to be damaged in accidents and sold second-hand, then people with less disposable income might be more likely to drive them, too, and they will receive higher insurance premiums. So we don’t know just from the data we’re using that it could have discriminatory effects.But we can develop better tools to flag biases and act against them.last_img read more

How AI detectives are cracking open the black box of deep learning

first_img Gupta has a different tactic for coping with black boxes: She avoids them. Several years ago Gupta, who moonlights as a designer of intricate physical puzzles, began a project called GlassBox. Her goal is to tame neural networks by engineering predictability into them. Her guiding principle is monotonicity—a relationship between variables in which, all else being equal, increasing one variable directly increases another, as with the square footage of a house and its price. Gupta embeds those monotonic relationships in sprawling databases called interpolated lookup tables. In essence, they’re like the tables in the back of a high school trigonometry textbook where you’d look up the sine of 0.5. But rather than dozens of entries across one dimension, her tables have millions across multiple dimensions. She wires those tables into neural networks, effectively adding an extra, predictable layer of computation—baked-in knowledge that she says will ultimately make the network more controllable.Caruana, meanwhile, has kept his pneumonia lesson in mind. To develop a model that would match deep learning in accuracy but avoid its opacity, he turned to a community that hasn’t always gotten along with machine learning and its loosey-goosey ways: statisticians.In the 1980s, statisticians pioneered a technique called a generalized additive model (GAM). It built on linear regression, a way to find a linear trend in a set of data. But GAMs can also handle trickier relationships by finding multiple operations that together can massage data to fit on a regression line: squaring a set of numbers while taking the logarithm for another group of variables, for example. Caruana has supercharged the process, using machine learning to discover those operations—which can then be used as a powerful pattern-detecting model. “To our great surprise, on many problems, this is very accurate,” he says. And crucially, each operation’s influence on the underlying data is transparent.Caruana’s GAMs are not as good as AIs at handling certain types of messy data, such as images or sounds, on which some neural nets thrive. But for any data that would fit in the rows and columns of a spreadsheet, such as hospital records, the model can work well. For example, Caruana returned to his original pneumonia records. Reanalyzing them with one of his GAMs, he could see why the AI would have learned the wrong lesson from the admission data. Hospitals routinely put asthmatics with pneumonia in intensive care, improving their outcomes. Seeing only their rapid improvement, the AI would have recommended the patients be sent home. (It would have made the same optimistic error for pneumonia patients who also had chest pain and heart disease.)Caruana has started touting the GAM approach to California hospitals, including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where about a dozen doctors reviewed his model’s results. They spent much of that meeting discussing what it told them about pneumonia admissions, immediately understanding its decisions. “You don’t know much about health care,” one doctor said, “but your model really does.”Sometimes, you have to embrace the darkness. That’s the theory of researchers pursuing a third route toward interpretability. Instead of probing neural nets, or avoiding them, they say, the way to explain deep learning is simply to do more deep learning. Mark Riedl, Georgia Institute of Technology Like many AI coders, Mark Riedl, director of the Entertainment Intelligence Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, turns to 1980s video games to test his creations. One of his favorites is Frogger, in which the player navigates the eponymous amphibian through lanes of car traffic to an awaiting pond. Training a neural network to play expert Frogger is easy enough, but explaining what the AI is doing is even harder than usual.Instead of probing that network, Riedl asked human subjects to play the game and to describe their tactics aloud in real time. Riedl recorded those comments alongside the frog’s context in the game’s code: “Oh, there’s a car coming for me; I need to jump forward.” Armed with those two languages—the players’ and the code—Riedl trained a second neural net to translate between the two, from code to English. He then wired that translation network into his original game-playing network, producing an overall AI that would say, as it waited in a lane, “I’m waiting for a hole to open up before I move.” The AI could even sound frustrated when pinned on the side of the screen, cursing and complaining, “Jeez, this is hard.”Riedl calls his approach “rationalization,” which he designed to help everyday users understand the robots that will soon be helping around the house and driving our cars. “If we can’t ask a question about why they do something and get a reasonable response back, people will just put it back on the shelf,” Riedl says. But those explanations, however soothing, prompt another question, he adds: “How wrong can the rationalizations be before people lose trust?” By Paul VoosenJul. 6, 2017 , 2:00 PM First, Yosinski rejiggered the classifier to produce images instead of labeling them. Then, he and his colleagues fed it colored static and sent a signal back through it to request, for example, “more volcano.” Eventually, they assumed, the network would shape that noise into its idea of a volcano. And to an extent, it did: That volcano, to human eyes, just happened to look like a gray, featureless mass. The AI and people saw differently.Next, the team unleashed a generative adversarial network (GAN) on its images. Such AIs contain two neural networks. From a training set of images, the “generator” learns rules about imagemaking and can create synthetic images. A second “adversary” network tries to detect whether the resulting pictures are real or fake, prompting the generator to try again. That back-and-forth eventually results in crude images that contain features that humans can recognize.Yosinski and Anh Nguyen, his former intern, connected the GAN to layers inside their original classifier network. This time, when told to create “more volcano,” the GAN took the gray mush that the classifier learned and, with its own knowledge of picture structure, decoded it into a vast array of synthetic, realistic-looking volcanoes. Some dormant. Some erupting. Some at night. Some by day. And some, perhaps, with flaws—which would be clues to the classifier’s knowledge gaps.Their GAN can now be lashed to any network that uses images. Yosinski has already used it to identify problems in a network trained to write captions for random images. He reversed the network so that it can create synthetic images for any random caption input. After connecting it to the GAN, he found a startling omission. Prompted to imagine “a bird sitting on a branch,” the network—using instructions translated by the GAN—generated a bucolic facsimile of a tree and branch, but with no bird. Why? After feeding altered images into the original caption model, he realized that the caption writers who trained it never described trees and a branch without involving a bird. The AI had learned the wrong lessons about what makes a bird. “This hints at what will be an important direction in AI neuroscience,” Yosinski says. It was a start, a bit of a blank map shaded in.The day was winding down, but Yosinski’s work seemed to be just beginning. Another knock on the door. Yosinski and his AI were kicked out of another glass box conference room, back into Uber’s maze of cities, computers, and humans. He didn’t get lost this time. He wove his way past the food bar, around the plush couches, and through the exit to the elevators. It was an easy pattern. He’d learn them all soon. Back at Uber, Yosinski has been kicked out of his glass box. Uber’s meeting rooms, named after cities, are in high demand, and there is no surge pricing to thin the crowd. He’s out of Doha and off to find Montreal, Canada, unconscious pattern recognition processes guiding him through the office maze—until he gets lost. His image classifier also remains a maze, and, like Riedl, he has enlisted a second AI to help him understand the first one. Researchers have created neural networks that, in addition to filling gaps left in photos, can identify flaws in an artificial intelligence. Email Each month, it seems, deep neural networks, or deep learning, as the field is also called, spread to another scientific discipline. They can predict the best way to synthesize organic molecules. They can detect genes related to autism risk. They are even changing how science itself is conducted. The AIs often succeed in what they do. But they have left scientists, whose very enterprise is founded on explanation, with a nagging question: Why, model, why?That interpretability problem, as it’s known, is galvanizing a new generation of researchers in both industry and academia. Just as the microscope revealed the cell, these researchers are crafting tools that will allow insight into the how neural networks make decisions. Some tools probe the AI without penetrating it; some are alternative algorithms that can compete with neural nets, but with more transparency; and some use still more deep learning to get inside the black box. Taken together, they add up to a new discipline. Yosinski calls it “AI neuroscience.” If we can’t ask … why they do something and get a reasonable response back, people will just put it back on the shelf. Marco Ribeiro, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, strives to understand the black box by using a class of AI neuroscience tools called counter-factual probes. The idea is to vary the inputs to the AI—be they text, images, or anything else—in clever ways to see which changes affect the output, and how. Take a neural network that, for example, ingests the words of movie reviews and flags those that are positive. Ribeiro’s program, called Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME), would take a review flagged as positive and create subtle variations by deleting or replacing words. Those variants would then be run through the black box to see whether it still considered them to be positive. On the basis of thousands of tests, LIME can identify the words—or parts of an image or molecular structure, or any other kind of data—most important in the AI’s original judgment. The tests might reveal that the word “horrible” was vital to a panning or that “Daniel Day Lewis” led to a positive review. But although LIME can diagnose those singular examples, that result says little about the network’s overall insight.New counterfactual methods like LIME seem to emerge each month. But Mukund Sundararajan, another computer scientist at Google, devised a probe that doesn’t require testing the network a thousand times over: a boon if you’re trying to understand many decisions, not just a few. Instead of varying the input randomly, Sundararajan and his team introduce a blank reference—a black image or a zeroed-out array in place of text—and transition it step-by-step toward the example being tested. Running each step through the network, they watch the jumps it makes in certainty, and from that trajectory they infer features important to a prediction.Sundararajan compares the process to picking out the key features that identify the glass-walled space he is sitting in—outfitted with the standard medley of mugs, tables, chairs, and computers—as a Google conference room. “I can give a zillion reasons.” But say you slowly dim the lights. “When the lights become very dim, only the biggest reasons stand out.” Those transitions from a blank reference allow Sundararajan to capture more of the network’s decisions than Ribeiro’s variations do. But deeper, unanswered questions are always there, Sundararajan says—a state of mind familiar to him as a parent. “I have a 4-year-old who continually reminds me of the infinite regress of ‘Why?’”The urgency comes not just from science. According to a directive from the European Union, companies deploying algorithms that substantially influence the public must by next year create “explanations” for their models’ internal logic. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. military’s blue-sky research arm, is pouring $70 million into a new program, called Explainable AI, for interpreting the deep learning that powers drones and intelligence-mining operations. The drive to open the black box of AI is also coming from Silicon Valley itself, says Maya Gupta, a machine-learning researcher at Google in Mountain View, California. When she joined Google in 2012 and asked AI engineers about their problems, accuracy wasn’t the only thing on their minds, she says. “I’m not sure what it’s doing,” they told her. “I’m not sure I can trust it.”Rich Caruana, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, knows that lack of trust firsthand. As a graduate student in the 1990s at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he joined a team trying to see whether machine learning could guide the treatment of pneumonia patients. In general, sending the hale and hearty home is best, so they can avoid picking up other infections in the hospital. But some patients, especially those with complicating factors such as asthma, should be admitted immediately. Caruana applied a neural network to a data set of symptoms and outcomes provided by 78 hospitals. It seemed to work well. But disturbingly, he saw that a simpler, transparent model trained on the same records suggested sending asthmatic patients home, indicating some flaw in the data. And he had no easy way of knowing whether his neural net had picked up the same bad lesson. “Fear of a neural net is completely justified,” he says. “What really terrifies me is what else did the neural net learn that’s equally wrong?”Today’s neural nets are far more powerful than those Caruana used as a graduate student, but their essence is the same. At one end sits a messy soup of data—say, millions of pictures of dogs. Those data are sucked into a network with a dozen or more computational layers, in which neuron-like connections “fire” in response to features of the input data. Each layer reacts to progressively more abstract features, allowing the final layer to distinguish, say, terrier from dachshund.At first the system will botch the job. But each result is compared with labeled pictures of dogs. In a process called backpropagation, the outcome is sent backward through the network, enabling it to reweight the triggers for each neuron. The process repeats millions of times until the network learns—somehow—to make fine distinctions among breeds. “Using modern horsepower and chutzpah, you can get these things to really sing,” Caruana says. Yet that mysterious and flexible power is precisely what makes them black boxes. Jason Yosinski sits in a small glass box at Uber’s San Francisco, California, headquarters, pondering the mind of an artificial intelligence. An Uber research scientist, Yosinski is performing a kind of brain surgery on the AI running on his laptop. Like many of the AIs that will soon be powering so much of modern life, including self-driving Uber cars, Yosinski’s program is a deep neural network, with an architecture loosely inspired by the brain. And like the brain, the program is hard to understand from the outside: It’s a black box. This particular AI has been trained, using a vast sum of labeled images, to recognize objects as random as zebras, fire trucks, and seat belts. Could it recognize Yosinski and the reporter hovering in front of the webcam? Yosinski zooms in on one of the AI’s individual computational nodes—the neurons, so to speak—to see what is prompting its response. Two ghostly white ovals pop up and float on the screen. This neuron, it seems, has learned to detect the outlines of faces. “This responds to your face and my face,” he says. “It responds to different size faces, different color faces.”No one trained this network to identify faces. Humans weren’t labeled in its training images. Yet learn faces it did, perhaps as a way to recognize the things that tend to accompany them, such as ties and cowboy hats. The network is too complex for humans to comprehend its exact decisions. Yosinski’s probe had illuminated one small part of it, but overall, it remained opaque. “We build amazing models,” he says. “But we don’t quite understand them. And every year, this gap is going to get a bit larger.”center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) PHOTOS: ANH NGUYEN How AI detectives are cracking open the black box of deep learning Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country AI is changing how we do science. Get a glimpse A new breed of scientist, with brains of silicon Opening up the black box Loosely modeled after the brain, deep neural networks are spurring innovation across science. But the mechanics of the models are mysterious: They are black boxes. Scientists are now developing tools to get inside the mind of the machine. GRAPHIC: G. GRULLÓN/SCIENCE Special package: AI in sciencelast_img read more

Video Shows Cops Aiming At Unarmed Black Man

first_img Derion Vence, Maleah Davis, Brittany Bowens In Hawthorne, California police had guns drawn on an unarmed black man, William. The pain you hear in the woman’s voice is chilling. I felt it through the screen. Heartbreaking.Here’s the police department info:12501 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 902501 (310) 349-2700 pic.twitter.com/Ioz9zBOTp4— Kenidra4Humanity (@KenidraRWoods_) June 9, 2019The situation bore all the hallmarks of a deadly police encounter. But perhaps Sky’s intervention — and cellphone — prevented William from being shot to death even though he was complying. Such was the case for Edrick Truitt, who nearly lost his life when he was pulled over by a white cop who had a gun to his face in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. Truitt filmed the entire encounter that showed the police giving conflicting orders that could have resulted in his death. Chances are that police didn’t shoot since Truitt announced he was filming live.Whether innocent or not, William and Truitt’s separate situations served as a reminder about the PTSD that police encounters, deadly or not, can inflict upon suspects and their loved ones, especially Black people. Thanks for signing up! Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Get ready for Exclusive content, Interviews,and Breaking news delivered direct to your inbox. Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for Black America. News told by us for us. Black America’s #1 News Source: Our News. Our Voice. The video, filmed by a woman who identified herself in part as Sky, can be heard asking the police why they have so many guns aimed at the man, who claimed that he was actually the victim of violence.The man, who identified himself only as William, can be seen on his knees with his hands raised on the corner of an intersection in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne. All the while, Sky was panning her camera from left to right, showing the extent of the police response to what appeared to be a non-threatening situation. “Prairie and El Segundo, and they have their guns drawn on this young black man right here,” the video opens up with Sky naming the intersection in Hawthorne loud enough for the police to hear. “Why are your guns pulled on this young man?”William said he wasn’t armed.“I ain’t got no weapons,” he yelled out said as Sky confirmed to both police and William that she was filming live.“Are you gonna shoot him?” Sky yelled at the police, whose response seemed to grow exponentially within seconds with squad cars and SUVs arriving nonstop. “Because they will shoot you,” Sky warns William. Hawthorne police videoSource: Twitter video screenshot Sky explained that she was speaking from experience.“They killed my boyfriend, in 2015,” she said to William before her strong demeanor collapsed from the heavy strain of having experienced a police shooting.“I don’t understand why y’all got guns drawn on him right now. Are y’all about to kill this man? Like, look at these big ass guns they got on this man right now,” Sky says in disbelief as her voice breaks down into emotional sobbing.Watch the video below.center_img “Police killings of unarmed black Americans negatively affect the mental health of black adults in the states where the fatal incidents occur,” PBS wrote about a study in 2018 that “focused on the mental well-being of black adults who are not directly involved in acts of police violence, adding to a body of research that suggests the killings are ‘a public health issue.’”SEE ALSO:Sounds About White! Linda Fairstein Didn’t Want Producers Talking To The Exonerated FiveRed Sox Legend David Ortiz Nearly Killed As The Dominican Republic Grapples With Violence Cellphone footage of deadly police encounters may not end in as many convictions as some might like to see, but there is no denying that the presence of someone recording those situations has prevented the killing of unarmed Black people. That last part was especially true after a new video recently made the rounds on social media showing more than a dozen police officers in Southern California aiming their guns at an unarmed Black man who had already seemed to surrender for whatever crime cops suspected him as. A Disturbing Timeline Of 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis Going Missing After Being Left With Her Stepfather SUBSCRIBE cellphone video , Hawthorne police video , Police Shooting Unarmed Black Menlast_img read more

The Cat Who Single Handedly Rendered a Species Extinct

first_imgWhen humans and all they bring move into a new area of the planet, it’s hard to know what the impact will be on the local habitats. Even when we’re trying not to, human habitation can have a major impact on the land around them, influencing the local flora and fauna in unexpected ways. One excellent example of this phenomenon is that of the extinction of the Lyall’s wren. According to New Zealand Birds Online, the entire species was both discovered and made extinct by a cat belonging to a lighthouse keeper.The lighthouse was built in 1892, on Stephens Island in New Zealand. The Lyall’s wren may or may not have been spotted by the men who were building the lighthouse, but the creatures absolutely came to human notice two years later, when assistant lighthouse keeper David Lyall moved in with a few others to take over its operation.Lyall’s wrenLyall was a naturalist and was looking forward to being able to pursue his interests on the largely uninhabited island. Because there were so few people stationed at the new post, Lyall brought his pregnant cat, Tibbles, with him for companionship.Lyall’s wren was described as a small, drab bird with large feet and a solid bill and legs. Its back was olive green, edged in dark brown. Its flight and tail feathers were the same brown, and it had a yellow stripe near its eye and a paler chest.The other thing that set this small wren apart from most other birds was the fact that it couldn’t fly. Its chest lacked a keel to anchor the muscles necessary for flight, and its wings were small and rounded, with soft, loose feathers that weren’t airtight enough to provide any lift. In other words, the wren was a sitting duck.Stephens Island as seen from D’Urville Island Photo by LawrieM CC BY-SA 3.0As Station Gossip recounts, it didn’t take long for the damage to be done. Cats are highly efficient predators who have a strong instinct for the chase and will kill even if they’re not hungry. Sometimes they bring their spoils to their owners as gifts or trophies. Tibbles did, which is how the Stephen Island wren came to David Lyall’s attention.As the cat brought her owner various catches, Lyall found he could identify all of the species he was receiving, except for one. He was excited when he discovered that not only could he not identify the little wren, but neither could any other people he knew. He carefully prepared specimens from the examples Tibbles had provided and sent them out to some of the most well-respected ornithologists of the time.Curious cat looking at cameraOne of those experts quickly determined that the birds, were, in fact, a previously unknown but distinct species. The experts began to write about the bird in specialty journals, and one of them bought several specimens from Lyall at an enormous price.A third of the experts suggested that the species be named Traversia lyalli in honor of Lyall, the man who first saw the birds and made them known, and H.H. Travers, the naturalist who helped Lyall find specimens.While all of this was going on, time passed. Tibbles had her kittens, who in turn got old enough to reproduce — and the population of feral cats on Stephens Island began to grow. Besides hunting for fun, cats need to eat, and the feline population found a ready food source in the small birds who couldn’t fly to safety.Although there’s a reason to believe that the species was once found all over New Zealand, their vulnerability due to their lack of flight meant that their populations were demolished in most of New Zealand. Only the lack of predators on Stephens Island had prevented the same thing from happening there. Tibbles and her offspring put an end to that.A specimen of Stephens Island Wren, Xenicus lyalli, displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.Less than a year after the Lyall wren’s initial discovery, it was pretty well extinct. In February of 1895, the lighthouse keeper wrote a letter to Walter Buller saying that the cats had been decimating the population of the small birds. By the time the letter was written there had only been two sightings of live birds; all the others were brought to him by his cat.A month after that, an editorial in a Christchurch paper noted that the bird seemed to be completely extinct and said that it was possibly the fastest known case of obliterating a species.A specimen of Stephens Island Wren, Xenicus lyalli, displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.It’s possible that there may still have been a few specimens living for another year or two after that, as some sources say that another one or two examples of the wren trickled in, but Tibbles and her descendants still eradicated the species in record time, becoming the poster animals for the dangers of keeping outdoor cats.Read another story from us: A Giant Galapagos Tortoise Once Thought Extinct Reappears After a CenturyBy 1898, a new lighthouse keeper was installed on the island, who shot and killed over 100 feral cats in his first nine months on the island, although it wasn’t until 1925 that the island was completely cat-free.last_img read more

Toddler dies after falling from 11th storey of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

first_imgShareTweetSharePinAn 18 month year old girl fell 150 feet to the concrete below from, it is believed, an 11 storey window of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Freedom of the Seas” while docked in Puerto Rico.According to passenger accounts they heard the mother “screaming in pain” as the toddler fell. The toddler was on vacation with her parents and grand parents at the time of the incident. The young girl was said to have slipped from the arms of her grandfather identified as Salvatorre Anello who was holding her up to the window to have her watch as the ship docked.The toddler was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead shortly after. Read Morelast_img

Pakistan Army Lt General gets 14 years in jail exBrigadier gets death

first_img Advertising No one can make Pakistan 'budge through use or threat of use of force': Pak Army chief Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa.(File)Pakistani military courts have sentenced a three-star retired Pakistan Army General to 14 years in jail and a retired Brigadier to death sentence on charges of espionage, the military announced Thursday. A doctor associated with a sensitive organisation has also been handed the capital punishment on similar charges, according to a brief statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa endorsed the punishment to the officers on the charges of espionage/leakage of sensitive information to foreign agencies prejudice to national security, the statement said.The officers – identified by the ISPR as Lieutenant General (retd) Javed Iqbal, Brigadier (retd) Raja Rizwan, and Doctor Wasim Akram – were tried under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and Official Secret Act by separate Field General Court Martial for separate cases, the Express Tribune reported. What next for Pakistan: how ICJ raises bar for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s due process ICJ verdict: Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence suspended, Pakistan told to review, grant access Advertising Related News 1 Comment(s) Harish Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Lt Gen (retd) Iqbal has been sentenced to 14 years rigorous imprisonment, while Brigadier (retd) Rizwan has been handed the death sentence. Dr. Akram, who, according to the ISPR, was employed at a sensitive organisation, has also been given the death penalty.The ISPR, however, did not disclose the exact nature of espionage the officers were involved in, the report said. Updated: May 31, 2019 1:59:24 pmlast_img read more

Anonymous bidder to pay more than 45M to dine with Warren Buffett

first_img Mark Zuckerberg tops Warren Buffett to become third-richest person in the world Anonymous bidder to pay more than .5M to dine with Warren Buffett An online auction that raises money for the Glide Foundation’s work to help the homeless in San Francisco ended Friday night on eBay with a winning bid of ,567,888. (Reuters)An anonymous bidder has agreed to pay a record $4,567,888 at an annual charity auction to have a private lunch with Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Past auction winners have included hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital in 2003, and Ted Weschler, now one of Buffett’s portfolio managers at Berkshire, in 2010 and 2011.Glide’s budget goes toward providing roughly 2,000 free meals a day, shelter, HIV and Hepatitis C tests, job training, and children’s daycare and after-school programs.“What it means to us as an organization: It’s huge,” Hanrahan said, referring to the auction. “It’s going to help many many thousands of people in this city.” By AP |Omaha | Updated: June 2, 2019 3:28:24 pm Related News 1 Comment(s) The winning bid, which was submitted during a five-day online auction on eBay that ended Friday night, was nearly one-third higher than the previous record $3,456,789 bids in both the 2012 and 2016 auctions.Proceeds benefit the Glide Foundation, a charity in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district that serves the poor, homeless or those battling substance abuse.Buffett, 88, has raised about $34.2 million for Glide in 20 annual auctions, which began in 2000 and moved to eBay in 2003. Advertisingcenter_img His first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to Glide after volunteering for the charity.“Mr. Buffett is thrilled. We just spoke with him,” Glide President Karen Hanrahan told Reuters after the auction ended. “Mr. Buffett is committed to continuing the auction as long as he’s able. He has been a thought partner in thinking through Glide’s future, and how to set it up for the next 50 years.”The winning bidder and up to seven friends can dine at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan with Buffett, who says he will discuss anything apart from his next investments.This year’s auction drew 18 bids from five bidders.The top bid would also be enough to buy 15 Class A or 23,137 Class B shares of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, whose more than 90 businesses include auto insurer Geico and BNSF railroad. ‘Canada’s Warren Buffett’ drives his own pickup truck Best Of Express Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Warren Buffett on hand as US Navy commissions newest warship last_img read more

Kiran Bedi expressed regret put issue to rest Rajnath Singh in Parliament

first_img Advertising 0 Comment(s) By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 5, 2019 1:13:06 am Related News Opposition MPs from Tamil Nadu protest Kiran Bedi’s remarks on state Bedi had on Sunday tweeted that “poor governance, corrupt politics, indifferent bureaucracy with highly selfish and cowardly attitude of the people” were responsible for the water crisis in Tamil Nadu. She later deleted the tweet.The Defence Minister’s comments came after DMK leader T R Baalu raised the issue for the second consecutive day in Lok Sabha and said the matter has triggered outrage in Tamil Nadu as it was insulting to Tamil society and the state’s politicians. Singh said Bedi has already deleted the tweet and issued a statement expressing deep regret.Singh said when the matter was raised in Parliament by Baalu, the Ministry of Home Affairs took notice of it and took necessary action in this regard. “Since she has apologised and assured that such incidents will not occur again, let us leave it at that,” Singh said. DMK protests against Kiran Bedi for calling Tamils ‘selfish and cowardly’ Kiran Bedi blames Tamil Nadu’s ‘corrupt politics’ for water scarcity; Stalin demands apology Kiran Bedi, kiran Bedi MK Stalin, Rajnath singh, Tamil nadu water crisis, Kiran bedi on Tamil nadu water crisis, India news, Indian express Rajnath at Parliament complex. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)PUDUCHERRY LG Kiran Bedi’s remarks on social media put the government on the backfoot in the Lok Sabha on Thursday as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the Opposition to put the matter to rest.last_img read more

Trump drops census citizenship question vows to get data from government

first_img“We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete and accurate count of the non-citizen population, including databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. We have great knowledge in many of our agencies,” Trump said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. “We will leave no stone unturned,” he said.Trump said he was not reversing course.“We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population,” he said.But there could be more legal challenges ahead for the administration because the U.S. Constitution states that every person living in the country should be counted to determine state-by-state representation in Congress and that is done every 10 years in the Census, not by other means.“We will vigorously challenge any attempt to leverage census data for unconstitutional redistricting methods,” said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute at the NYU School of Law. Taking stock of monsoon rain The Census is also used to distribute some $800 billion in federal services, including public schools, Medicaid benefits, law enforcement and highway repairs. Advertising US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% donald trump, donald trump on citizenship row, US citizenship row, US census, US news US President Donald Trump.U.S. President Donald Trump retreated on Thursday from adding a contentious question on citizenship to the 2020 census, but insisted he was not giving up his fight to count how many non-citizens are in the country and ordered government agencies to mine their databases. Waldman said his group would also challenge “any administration move to violate the clear and strong rules protecting the privacy of everyone’s responses, including the rules barring the use of personal census data to conduct law or immigration enforcement activities.”IMMIGRATION POLICIESTrump, who has made hard-line policies on immigration a feature of his presidency and his campaign for re-election in 2020, said he was ordering every government agency to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens. The U.S. Census Bureau is part of the Commerce Department.“That information will be useful for countless purposes, as the president explained in his remarks today,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.Barr cited a legal dispute on whether illegal immigrants can be included for determining apportionment of congressional districts. “Depending on the resolution of that dispute, this data may possibly prove relevant. We will be studying the issue.” Advertising By Reuters |Washington | Published: July 12, 2019 7:56:11 am Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence The approach announced by Trump on Thursday was similar to the one proposed by a Census Bureau official to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, according to a memorandum made public by congressional Democrats in 2018. It said the costs of adding a citizenship question to the Census would be high, but using existing administrative records would not.Opponents called Thursday’s decision a defeat for the administration, but promised they would look closely to determine the legality of Trump’s new plan to compile and use citizenship data outside of the census.Rights groups in citizenship-question lawsuits in federal courts in New York and Maryland have no plans to abandon the litigation, Sarah Brannon of the American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project, and John Yang, president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said on a conference call with reporters.They also see potential for future litigation over the Trump administration’s collection of data, as well as how those data are used in state redistricting.“We will sue as necessary,” Brannon said. Trump’s plan to add the question to the census hit a roadblock two weeks ago when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against his administration, which had said new data on citizenship would help to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority rights.The court ruled, in considering the litigation by challengers, that the rationale was “contrived.” Critics of the effort said asking about citizenship in the census would discriminate against racial minorities and was aimed at giving Republicans an unfair advantage in elections by lowering the number of responses from people in areas more likely to vote Democratic.Trump, a Republican, and his supporters say it makes sense to know how many non-citizens are living in the country. Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Best Of Express Related News Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield More Explained After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Twitter Adds Heft to AntiHarassment Toolbox

first_imgTwitter on Wednesday announced that over the next few months it will roll out changes designed to increase the safety of users:Its algorithms will help identify accounts as they engage in abusive behavior, so the burden no longer will be on victims to report it;Users will be able to limit certain account functionality, such as letting only followers see their tweets, for a set amount of time;New filtering options will give users more control over what they see from certain types of accounts — such as those without profile pictures, or with unverified email addresses or phone numbers; andNew mute functionality will let users mute tweets from within their home timelines, and decide how long the content will be muted. Twitter also will be more transparent about actions it takes in response to reports of harassment from users.”These updates are part of the ongoing safety work we announced in January, and follow our changes announced on February 7,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by Liz Kelley of the company’s communications department. Making the Internet Safe for Tweeters “We’re giving people the choice to filter notifications in a variety of ways, including accounts who haven’t selected a profile photo or verified their phone number or email address,” the spokesperson noted.The feature is not turned on by default but provided as an option.Still, suggesting special handling for accounts without a profile picture — known as “eggs” because of the ovoid shape of the space left for the picture — and those without an email address or phone number could pose a privacy dilemma.Twitter “is walking a fine line here between censorship and useful communication,” observed Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan. Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard. Twitters’ ongoing efforts to curb abuse show that the company is “aware they have a serious problem, and what they’ve done so far is less than adequate,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.Previous attempts ” were pretty pathetic, really, and Twitter needed to do something more substantive,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This seems to be far more substantive.”Still, the new measures “don’t address the cause of the behavior — and until someone does, they will only be an increasingly ineffective Band-Aid,” Enderle cautioned. A Fine Balance The latest tools may be successful at first, but “people will find ways around them,” Frost’s Jude told TechNewsWorld.Twitter’s approach “is purely defensive,” he said. “It ought to just open up its space with the appropriate disclaimers; that would be easier and cheaper, and people who are easily offended would be put on notice that Twitter isn’t a safe space.”The more controls Twitter attempts to impose, the less useful it will be to an increasing number of people, Jude contended. “Ultimately, Twitter may create a completely politically correct and safe place to socialize, but that will only appeal to a niche population.” No Place for the Timid Twitter’s defensive play is not enough; the hammer should be lowered on abusers, suggested Enderle.”Efforts need to be made to hold those that are clearly over the line to more painful penalties to effectively address the causes of the behavior and not just the symptoms,” he maintained.”Currently, laws and enforcement are well below what they should be for most abhorrent online activity,” said Enderle, “including things like identity theft that would typically be considered criminal acts.” Online Crime and Punishmentlast_img read more

Onetime universal screening recommended to tackle increase in hepatitis C

first_img Source:http://www.healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/30274/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 17 2018Physicians are encountering a growing number of younger patients who are testing positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) fueled largely by the opioid crisis impacting communities around the country. That increase and more effective and tolerable drug regimens for HCV infection, means one-time universal screening of all adults for HCV is now cost effective and recommended, say physician-researchers in the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.The researchers used a computerized Markov state transition model to estimate the impact of one-time universal screening of adults 18 years of age and older compared either with no screening at all or with the current guideline-based strategy of largely screening baby boomers–adults born between 1945 and 1965–for HCV, says Mark Eckman, MD, Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of UC Division of General Internal Medicine.They measured effectiveness with quality-adjusted life years (QALYs)–that’s the gain of in life expectancy adjusted for the quality of life–and costs from the health system perspective in 2017 U.S. dollars, says Eckman, lead author of the study and a UC Health physician. Universal screening followed by guideline-based treatment of all those with chronic HCV infection has an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of $11,378 per quality-adjusted life year compared with birth cohort-based screening alone.”Most health economists consider anything less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year to be highly cost-effective,” says Eckman.The results of the study are available online in the scholarly journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 2.7 million individuals in the U.S. have chronic HCV infection with 81 percent of that group consisting of baby boomer adults. In 2011, in addition to testing individuals at high risk due to intravenous drug use or other possible exposures to HCV, the CDC recommended one-time testing for the baby boomer cohort. That recommendation was later endorsed by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyEmploying new federal rule on health insurance plans could save moneyBut since then the face and treatment of hepatitis C has changed.”So what happened to make it reasonable to screen a wider population for HCV?” asks Eckman. “The incidence of hepatitis C among younger drug-injecting patients is skyrocketing so we have a blip in HCV cases that’s no longer isolated to the baby boomer cohort.”We are also now in an era of HCV treatments that are more effective than even five or six years ago. Furthermore, these new regimens are easier to tolerate, have fewer severe side effects and require a short period of treatment,” says Eckman.”All these factors coming together are what drove the model to show that screening a broader population than just the baby boomer cohort is effective,” says Eckman,The baby boomer generation came of age during a time of experimentation, and many individuals who may have tried injectable drugs, even once, and never thought of themselves as having a problem, may be infected with the hepatitis C virus, says Eckman. “While these silent cases have been hanging out for decades what has changed recently is the new epidemic of hepatitis C in younger patients related to drug use,” he says.Eckman says the cost to treat HCV can range from $9,000 to $30,000 per month depending on the medications being used, and that many health insurance plans, including Medicare Part D and most Medicaid plans cover the costs of treatment. For individuals without health insurance, treatment may remain a challenge, he adds.Eckman says the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is currently reviewing and updating guidelines for hepatitis C and it’s possible a broadening of the current screening recommendations may occur.”Early diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C infection prevents development of progressive liver disease, and reduces long-term risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer and other HCV-associated health problems,” says study co-author and liver expert, Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, Gould Professor of Medicine and Director in the UC Division of Digestive Diseases.last_img read more

Transparency on healthcare prices played key role in Arizona health systems turnaround

first_imgWith increasing enrollment in high-deductible health plans, out-of-pocket spending by patients is expected to increase. This trend toward increased “consumerism” will drive further changes in price transparency. “Moving forward, MIHS is committed…to becoming a more patient-centered, consumer-friendly organization,” Mr. Purves writes. “This commitment includes providing better tools for patients – and their insurers and employers – to understand their out-of-pocket costs for services.”The Spring issue of Frontiers presents feature articles and commentaries that illustrate the challenges of and solutions for responding to the demand for price transparency in healthcare. “True costs – identified with the right data and analytics – must be calculated before price transparency can be achieved,” according to the editorial by Frontiers Editor Trudy Land, FACHE.She adds: “[T]o function effectively in a value-based risk payment environment, hospitals and health systems must be able to provide accurate information to consumers, engage them in their care, negotiate favorable contracts with payers, and clearly identify resource utilization in caring for a defined population.”Source: http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2019/02/21/price_transparencyh-gbhu.html A robust financial counseling program to help patients determine out-of-pocket costs. A sliding-fee discount program for uninsured patients who didn’t qualify for state or federal programs.t A centralized patient assistance center, integrating financial clearance with appointment scheduling and other processes. Comparative modeling to ensure that rates were competitive with those of similar hospitals in the market. Steps to help patients activate their secure online accounts, facilitating communication and online bill payment. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 22 2019Efforts to understand costs and openly share information on healthcare prices played a key role in a major Arizona health system’s successful turnaround from a financial crisis, according to a feature article in the Spring issue of Frontiers of Health Services Management, an official publication of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). This journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.”Price transparency and demonstration of cost-effective, high-quality service to patients have become strategic imperatives at Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS),” writes Stephen A. Purves, FACHE, President & CEO of MIHS. The theme for the Spring issue of Frontiers is “Healthcare Conundrum: Achieving Cost of Care With Price Transparency.”Focus on Price Transparency – Health Systems Challenged to Calculate ‘True Costs of Care’In 2014, MIHS was on an “unsustainable financial trajectory,” with an operating deficit of more than $74 million. Arizona’s largest public healthcare system and a major training center, MIHS is a safety-net system, predominantly serving patients on Medicaid and other public insurance.To meet the crisis, MIHS leadership implemented a financial turnaround process, focused on improving productivity, efficiency, and revenue while reducing costs and waste. A critical starting point was understanding total costs, so as to calculate the contribution margin and total margin for each service provided by the system. “This process, although painful, was necessary to understand resource consumption so that decisions could be made after factoring in community benefit,” Mr. Purves writes.Margin improvement efforts began in earnest at the start of 2015, highlighting leadership development, readiness for change, collaboration, speed to implementation, and idea generation. The approach emphasized value and patient experience, with swift implementation of tools supporting these priorities. By the end of 2018, the system had achieved a financial turnaround of more than $150 million – “without eliminating community services and with a reduction in workforce of less than 1 percent,” the author adds.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchPrice transparency efforts included a highly successful initiative to promote community enrollment in Medicaid or Affordable Care Act plans. Several programs targeted the unique needs of MIHS’s patient population, including:last_img read more

New insights into influenza A infection and its spread

first_imgAccording to Professor Schwemmle this study shows that influenza viruses are capable of being “more versatile than previously thought.” More studies are necessary to understand these molecular mechanisms and answer these questions he said. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 5 2019A new route of influenza A infection viruses has been discovered by the researchers at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg and the University of Zurich. At present the knowledge regarding influenza A infection spread is mainly restricted to the binding of the sialic moieties of the virus to the cell surface of the host.This new study shows that the binding of bat-derived subtype of influenza A virus to human as well as animal cells is due to MHC class II proteins. The results of this new study titled, “MHC class II proteins are cross-species entry receptors for bat influenza viruses,” have been published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.The researchers of the study explain that MHC class II molecules are found in several species of animals. This means that their discovery has provided a clear understanding of how these viruses tend to jump from one species to another. It also provides clues regarding the evolutionary development of influenza viruses.Prof. Dr. Martin Schwemm, study leader from Institute of Virology at the University Medical Center Freiburg said in a statement, “In the lab, bat viruses can use the MHC class II complexes of mice, pigs, chickens, or humans to enter the cell. It is thus not unlikely that these bat-derived influenza viruses could be transmitted naturally from bats to other vertebrates and even humans.”For this study the team led by Prof. Dr. Silke Sterz from the Institute of Medical Virology of the University of Zurich compared the proteins that are produced from the cells capable of getting infected by the virus with proteins from cells that are not likely to be infected. They used transcriptomic profiling to determine the amount of cellular proteins via mRNA copies. This revealed the presence of the MHC class II complex as the receptor candidate. Next Prof. Schwemmle’s team from Freiburg conducted an experiment where they snipped off 20,000 genes in single cells using gene editor CRISPR-Cas. Schwemmle explained, “Cells in which we switched off MHC class II were immune to infection. That was the final proof that the virus enters the cell with the help of MHC class II molecules.” Schwemmle went on to say, “It is quite possible that the newly discovered route of infection via MHC class II originates from the already known sialic acid pathway.” However the new pathway seems to be independent of sialic acid he explained. Source:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-0955-3center_img CRISPR Cas 9 Molecules – Illustration Credit: Alpha Tauri 3D Graphics / Shutterstocklast_img read more

Preterm babies born without a protein in blood cells have higher risk

first_img Source:https://today.uic.edu/can-a-protein-in-cord-blood-predict-risk-of-death-cerebral-palsy-in-preterm-infants Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 30 2019Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that some preterm babies born without haptoglobin, a protein in blood cells, have higher odds of brain bleeding, cerebral palsy and death. Their findings suggest that the absence of the protein could serve as a potential biomarker indicating a need for increased monitoring or other preventive interventions.Their study, which is published in the Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine, was a translational analysis of data and newborn cord blood samples stored at the National Institutes of Health from a previous clinical trial.UIC’s Dr. Catalin Buhimschi and Dr. Irina Buhimschi led the research and analyzed cord blood samples from 921 newborns to see if haptoglobin was associated with poor outcomes in babies who had been exposed to in utero inflammation, which causes about 30 percent of preterm births.By calculating odds ratios — a statistic indicating the strength or weakness of an association — they found that preterm babies who had been exposed to inflammation and who lacked haptoglobin were more likely to die before 1 year or develop cerebral palsy by 2 years when compared to preterm babies who had the protein or had not been exposed to inflammation. Odds of intraventricular hemorrhage, known as bleeding in the brain, were also higher in this group.These findings persisted even when potentially confounding factors, like birth weight, gestational age, fetal sex or other treatments, such as magnesium sulfate given for neuroprotection, were evaluated.”Our study provides strong evidence that an absence of haptoglobin in preterm babies who have been exposed to inflammation is an indicator of increased risk for complications like brain bleeding, cerebral palsy and even death,” said Dr. Catalin Buhimschi, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author. “This underscores the potential protective role of haptoglobin against short- and long-term poor neonatal outcomes and suggests that the protein may be a valuable marker of neurologic damage and the need for clinical interventions.”Related StoriesHinge-like protein may unlock new pathways for cystic fibrosis treatmentVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyUsing NMR to Study Protein Structure, Dynamics and MechanismsCatalin Buhimschi and Irina Buhimschi, who are married, have conducted multiple studies on haptoglobin in preterm babies but this is the first to include a large, representative sample of participants.Irina Buhimschi, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and study co-author, says that this individualized approach to understanding risk among a specific group of newborns is needed in the maternal-fetal medicine specialty.”New mothers and babies are particularly complex and we cannot put all preterm deliveries under the same umbrella,” Irina Buhimschi said. “This study is also particularly fascinating because haptoglobin is a known protein. It’s one that researchers have seen time and again but, until now, has not been applied in this way.”For their studies, Catalin Buhimschi and Irina Buhimschi developed a new method of testing haptoglobin at very low levels, as the protein does not reach adult levels until babies are about one year old.”The takeaway message of this study is that a simple test of cord blood after delivery could help doctors develop an individualized care plan for some at-risk newborns,” said Catalin Buhimschi.last_img read more

Zuckerberg faces Grandpa questions from lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Part of the problem was the structure of the hearings. Dozens of lawmakers had just four or five minutes to ask questions. Tough follow-up queries were few.Another was age: The average age of senators is 62, with several in their 80s. On Tuesday, Senators peppered Zuckerberg with questions about Facebook’s lengthy privacy policy and its data but often didn’t seem to know how to follow up on Zuckerberg’s talk of algorithms and AI systems.Many of Zuckerberg’s answers to Congress people served as a crash course in Facebook 101, or basic information about Facebook’s business model. On Tuesday, 84-year old Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who had been a senator for nearly eight years when Zuckerberg was born, asked how Facebook’s business model works given that it is free. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg departs after testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Bobby Rush, D-Ill., appearing frail, reached back in history to liken Facebook’s privacy policy to J. Edgar Hoover’s covert FBI surveillance program, called Counter Intelligence Program, or Cointelpro, in the 1960s. Zuckerberg responded with one of his oft-repeated statements that users control who sees what on their Facebook page.And in the fourth hour of the House hearing on Wednesday, Markwayne Mullin, R.-Okla., asked a question Zuckerberg had been asked multiple times. Once again, it was about the basic way Facebook works.”How can someone control keeping the content within the realm they want it to without being collected?” Mullin asked.”If you don’t want any data to be collected around advertising, you can turn that off and we won’t do it,” Zuckerberg reiterated.The soft questioning “goes directly to the point that the technical expertise among Senators is weak,” said Timothy Carone, Notre Dame business professor.And they allowed Zuckerberg to repeat his talking points—that Facebook doesn’t own or sell users data, that he and other senior executives weren’t proactive enough with Cambridge Analytica but they’ve changed that, and that using artificial intelligence in elections to stop fake accounts is a top priority.The result?”He’s giving the same responses to the same questions from different senators,” said Helio Fred Garcia, a professor of crisis management at NYU and Columbia University in New York. Yet the hearings in Washington managed to showcase the normally press-shy Zuckerberg’s ability to perform as an able and well-rehearsed, if a bit stiff, CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies—and the degree to which much of Congress appears befuddled about technology and the relevant issues.”For the most part, so far, this has been a victory for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg and enormous validation that D.C. is ineffectual,” said Scott Galloway, who teaches marketing at New York University.The hearings were a major test for Zuckerberg. Facebook is confronting its biggest privacy scandal in 14 years after it was revealed that the data firm Cambridge Analytica misused data from up to 87 million users.Some members of Congress hold computer science degrees or other technical knowledge and were well-versed in the issues, drilling Zuckerberg about how Facebook tracks people who are not on the site and what changes the social media will make to protect user data. Others focused on concerns like censorship and perceived bias on the site as well as children’s privacy policies.But many appeared out of touch on the fundamentals of how Facebook works and lobbed mainly softball questions.On Wednesday Gus Bilirakis, a Florida Republican, asked about the removal of inappropriate opioid advertisements from the site. But he also waxed on about how many people his age and older use Facebook.”My friends, my constituents—we all use Facebook,” Bilirakis said. “It’s wonderful for us seniors to connect with our relatives.” Citation: Zuckerberg faces ‘Grandpa’ questions from lawmakers (2018, April 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-zuckerberg-grandpa-lawmakers.html “Senator, we run ads,” Zuckerberg explained, a smile breaking through his solemn demeanor.Another laugh came when Lindsay Graham, R.-S.C., asked whether Facebook was a monopoly.”It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me,” Zuckerberg repliedOn Wednesday, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, had a similar “Grandpa” moment, holding up his phone and observing that he had received a question from a constituent “through Facebook.””I actually use Facebook,” he added. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Facebook CEO defends advertising-supported business model Zuckerberg seemed often to retreat to three “safe havens,” Garcia said:One, diffusing responsibility to his “team.”Two, when pressed on policy issues, agreeing to a principle without committing to details.And three, never failing in answering questions to start by addressing the questioner as “Senator” or “Congressman.””He’s diligent in showing deference and respect,” Garcia said.Still, Richard Levick, CEO of public-relations firm Levick, who has worked with executives to prepare for testimony, said that while Zuckerberg performed well, Facebook’s problems don’t end with the end of the hearing.”The real challenge is going to come now,” Levick said. “Everyone will be looking at what Facebook is doing in court and around the country and take issues with the promises that he made today.” Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of grilling before House and Senate committees Tuesday and Wednesday to address Facebook’s privacy issues and the need for more regulation for the social media site. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more