Strategy for Sustaining Optimal Security

first_img‘Optimal Security’ is the right balance of security spending and losses prevented where business acceptable losses are achieved.  It changes often and likely maintains different targets for the dissimilar parts of the entity.Organizations are likely to mandate security expectations which typically manifests in a set of configurations, specifications, and operating standards.  The risk is these security controls may be relatively static and entrenched.Establishing a baseline security is a good practice, but in order to remain effective it must adapt to changes in the environment by remaining dynamic to keep in lock-step with rapidly changing threats, vulnerabilities, and resulting exposures.  It must be a fluid posture, able to rapidly change based upon different internal priorities and external changes.  Sustaining business structure must be designed to continually predict areas needing modification and support design and deployment of those changes.  Rigid security postures lack the ability to remain effective over time and are likely derived by an equally rigid infrastructure which will struggle to adapt to new threats and changes within the organization.  Design security to be flexible and you enable the service to keep up with the continual changes in the information branch of security.I recently spoke with an organization who had established a security posture which relied heavily on a hardened OS and application build for their systems.  At the time, they deployed a platform which took into consideration all the best configurations for hardening.  They were so confident they had satisfied security requirements they considered the problem solved.  They integrated the security design into their normal platform refresh cycle of system replacement every few years.  They never comprehended the fact they would need to continually update the build to compensate for changes in threats, new vulnerabilities and malware, and evolving business usage models.The platform’s security, which initially was strong, began to quickly erode.  With no internal mechanism to identify when changes needed to be made, nor the testing and distribution capability, they soon found themselves in a situation where they were responding to individual incidents and changing systems one at a time based upon particular end-user needs.  This created inconsistencies in the builds which was more difficult to support.  Without proper forethought, the security team turned themselves into a firefighting organization, losing the initiative in the war of security.This is one simple technical example.  The same holds true for the expanse of automated solutions and behavioral security controls as well.  Highly effective and efficient security strategies are forward thinking and understand how intervention and continual maintenance will be needed, then implement those capabilities as part of a complete service deployment.  Overall, the concept of ‘optimal security’ is one of fluid adaptations of controls to meet an ever changing target for risk acceptance. Optimal security must not only be attained, but also sustained over time.  A good security strategy must be forward thinking to understand how intervention and continual maintenance will be needed, then implement those capabilities as part of a complete service deployment.last_img read more

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Better Return on Investment virtually with no RISC?

first_imgNon-x86 RISC architectures, Power or SPARC, have been used in high end business critical virtualization solutions for a long while now. These come with a vertical stack of solution including the hardware, software, manageability tools and services provided by one vendor. This often leads to lock-in to the proprietary virtualization solution and services, and can be expensive from an end user perspective.There are reasons why companies that can afford RISC based solutions have subscribed to it. This has been mainly due to Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) features, scalability and dedicated resources for quality of service (QoS) and isolation. Given the economy and Nehalem-EX features, would it not make sense to take RISC out of your investment? The world of virtualization however has significantly changed in the last 5 years. x86 based hardware and software products today offer well accepted and high performance virtualization solution. With the eminent availability of highly scalable and resilient Nehalem-EX products with 16-threads per socket and extensive RAS capabilities in the near future, the line between an expensive RISC solution and x86 based virtualization solution could blur further. From an end user’s perspective, Nehalem-EX could provide sufficient capabilities that they have come to expect out of a RISC based virtualization infrastructure. Looking at it: Hardware partitioning of Nehalem-EX platform would be possible. Along with this OS virtualization and full commercial hypervisor support for logical partitioning already exists on Xeon processors.Nehalem-EX hardware infrastructure allows software ecosystem to deliver capacity on demand. For example extra CPU capacity can be dynamically added as needed. Moreover VM migration and policy based load balancing capabilities that already exist in commercial hypervisors complement this and provides IT easy methods to manage capacity at the datacenter level.Memory can be dedicated by not oversubscribing the available physical memory.CPUs can be dedicated by creating CPU affinity.Dedicated I/O assignment is possible using VT for Directed I/O. It can also restrict DMA access from devices to certain areas in memory, increasing isolation and system reliability.Single Root IO Virtualization feature would be available as part of Intel VT for connectivity in the networking devices. This allows a single NIC to be shared amongst multiple VMs directly, while isolating the traffic from a NIC queue to a VM for better reliability. Per VM bandwidth allocation can also be supported.Nehalem EX adds virtualization feature that could help increase VM performance in a processor oversubscribed environment with high system utilization.Nehalem-EX will add new reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) such as Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery that allows error detection, error recovery and VM isolation.Inherent power technologies in the CPU, Turbo mode, and Dynamic Power Node Manager for system wide power capping all deliver IT the essential keys to balance power and performance.center_img Based on http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh042808-story03.html, a Power virtualization solution with Power6 based 4 Socket P550 box (~$93,000) and PowerVM Enterprise Edition for large system ($1,969 per core, with $220 per year on the maintenance) will totally cost an enterprise $109,000, just in one server acquisition. While pricing of NHM-EX 4S system is not available, approximating a cost using current 4-Socket Intel server pricing and commercial VMM software would suggest that Intel based solution could cost at-least 50% less in just infrastructure. Other savings like not requiring specialized RISC based hardware, services, solution and staff would add to the lower cost of ownership in the long run. While Nehalem-EX measures up to the infrastructure needs, it also enables horizontal solution that would allow customers to take advantage of best of breed software from the virtualization ecosystem thus reducing lock-in. This could result in faster innovation leading to an array of choices for business critical virtualization.last_img read more

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Ready for Analysis: Advancing Enterprise Database Connectivity to Hadoop with Intel and Oracle

first_imgWe at Intel believe better business insights start with a fast, reliable and holistic flow of data in data centers. Yet one of the greatest challenges facing organizations working with Apache Hadoop* is integrating data stored in existing infrastructure with data stored in a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). This is why Intel has partnered with Oracle to certify the compatibility between the Intel® Distribution for Apache Hadoop* (IDH) and Oracle Big Data Connectors*. In a business world where connectivity to data is critical, pairing IDH and Oracle Big Data Connectors together helps enterprise IT drive business transformation through big data, ensure security without compromising performance, and leverage future open source analytics innovation. Note: We plan on certifying IDH 3.1 with OBDC 3.x once commercially available. Integration with Intel® Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop* Software v2 simplifies creation of graph data models, enabling organizations to focus on solving business problems instead of formatting data. For organizations leveraging the next-generation power efficiency of Intel® Xeon® processor E5 2600 v2 product family in their data centers, IDH is the only distribution built with the hardware in mind to deliver balanced performance. Pairing Intel Xeon processors, Intel® Solid-State Drives (Intel® SSD) and 10 Gb Intel® Ethernet solutions with IDH offers a robust platform where optimized performance drives faster insights.You can learn more about these complementary data center technologies at intel.com/hadoopOpens in a new window and on the Oracle website hereOpens in a new window.Follow Tim and growing #bigdata #hadoop community @TimIntel.center_img In a business world where connectivity to data is critical, pairing IDH and Oracle Big Data Connectors together helps enterprise IT achieve a complete database strategy. Apache Hadoop offers a powerful tool for storing and processing large and diverse data sets, yet the lack of integrated support for strong data security and graph analytics has been a serious roadblock to implementation for many businesses. Oracle Big Data Connectors software acts as a bridge for data processing in Hadoop along with the rest of an enterprise’s data residing in Oracle Database 11g Release 2* or Oracle Database 12c*. As a result, database administrators can use familiar tools to integrate big data with existing data stored in an Oracle Database.last_img read more

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Intel IT Answers Top Questions about the Intel Unite® Solution for Conference Room Collaboration

first_imgMy job is to oversee the deployment of the Intel Unite® solution throughout Intel’s global facilities—a total of at least 3,500 conference rooms—by mid-2017. I can tell you that those of us in IT, as well as our internal customers, are excited because this wireless solution will make our jobs much easier. Simply put, it enhances collaboration by eliminating the need for presenter cables and dongles.Opens in a new windowImagine a conference room table with a dozen local participants and multiple remote attendees from different locations—all of whom can share content from their client devices (Ultrabook™ devices, laptops, 2-in-1 devices, and even tablets and Macs*) without needing to physically connect to a monitor or projector. No cables cluttering the tabletop, no playing musical chairs as presenters switch control. It sounds too good to be true—but I assure you, it is good, and it is true.If you aren’t yet familiar with this new technology, a good place to start is with our recent IT@Intel white paper, “Best Practices: Deploying the Intel Unite® SolutionOpens in a new window.” The word is getting out about the Intel Unite solution and how it can empower employees to collaborate more effectively. Recently I have had conversations about deploying the Intel Unite solution with representatives from several other companies. To whet your appetite for more details, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions I get:Is this worth doing, and do employees like it?We’ve deployed the Intel Unite solution in about 550 conference rooms so far, and survey data says 87 percent of respondents would recommend it to a friend or colleague. Detailed customer response data is provided in the previously mentioned paper, but here is one quote from the executive whose private conference uses the Intel Unite solution most heavily:“Our user experience with Intel Unite is quite positive. Now it is very common tohave more than 40 people ‘united’ in one room and have no issues. THANK YOU!”We provide a web portal where customers can give specific functional/capability feedback, to which Intel IT and the product development group listen carefully. During our pilot projects the top two functionality requests were auto-disconnect and extended display (enabling presenters to use the conference room monitor as a second display, in addition to their client device’s screen). The Intel Unite® software now includes those capabilities, and we are getting positive comments from users.How do you make your wireless infrastructure ready for the Intel Unite solution?When employees enter a conference room equipped with Intel Unite technology, we want to make sure the solution is always ready. A six-digit PIN is displayed on the room’s screen. Employees use this PIN to connect to the meeting, so if it is not available, the meeting will stall. To help ensure high availability, the Intel Unite solution obtains the PIN from enterprise PIN servers through requests routed through a network load balancer. We use a clustered virtual machine (VM) approach for the enterprise PIN servers, which will enable us to add more VMs, if necessary, as we expand deployment of the Intel Unite solution.We segment these VMs so that the physical servers behind them are located in separate geographical regions, which mitigates risk: if something should happen to one of the physical servers or one of the VMs goes down, the other VMs are still available. The enterprise PIN servers obtain the PINs from a high-performance, high-availability database cluster. With this redundant, high-availability approach, PINs are always available. Smaller enterprises may not need so many VMs or could use a single database server. These VMs and servers could be hosted locally or in the cloud—the exact solution architecture depends on a specific organization’s needs and on how important constant availability is.How secure is the shared content?I’m sure that security is as much top-of-mind with many companies as it is for Intel. The Intel Unite solution—and our deployment of it—has been designed to help ensure security in several ways. First, all data traveling from the client device to the display is encrypted. During display, the buffers are encrypted. And when a presenter is finished sharing, the buffer is flushed so there is no residual data. In addition, the PIN for meeting connection changes every five minutes. Of course, this is a high-level description of the security features of Intel Unite solution. I’d be happy to direct questions to the right person at Intel to get answers to specific, more detailed questions—just leave a comment below!How do you wire up the Intel Unite® standalone clients?The Intel Unite standalone client is a Mini PC. So, of course it’s possible for the Mini PC to connect to the corporate Wi-Fi* network using a wireless adapter. However, that means that the Mini PC itself is competing for Wi-Fi bandwidth the same as all the meeting participants in the room. Therefore, to minimize potential interruption of service, we choose to hardwire the Mini PCs to the network using Ethernet cables.Recently, Carlos DominguezOpens in a new window says in a Cisco Blogs blog postOpens in a new window that among other things, “effective collaboration requires … the deployment and use of technology.” Intel IT agrees, and our deployment of the Intel Unite solutionOpens in a new window is just the latest project in our long history of seeking ways to enhance collaboration at Intel.Opens in a new window2016-2017 Intel IT Annual Performance ReportThe Intel Unite solution is only one way Intel IT is driving the digital transformation at Intel – read our recently published 2016-2017 Intel IT Annual Performance Report, “Accelerating the Pace of Business through IT Innovation”,Opens in a new window for the full story.last_img read more

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Russian Weapons Labs Brace for American Invasion

first_imgWASHINGTON–A hundred U.S. scientists will travel next year to Russia’s two main nuclear weapons institutes in an effort to spur collaborative research and bolster sagging morale among weapons researchers there. But while the work should augment efforts to turn Soviet swords into plowshares, it is unlikely to be more than a stopgap measure for scientists who once enjoyed a productive and comfortable way of life but are now facing severe hardships.The $2500 travel grants will be provided by the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), a nonprofit agency that funds collaborations between scientists in the United States and the former Soviet Union (FSU). The money will go to U.S. scientists working on joint projects funded by a second organization for defense conversion: the International Science and Technology Center, which so far has sustained almost 14,000 FSU weapons scientists.The program comes at a time when conditions in the two formerly closed cities, to which access is still rigidly controlled, may be at their worst. In the wake of the severe economic crisis, observers say that a gloom deeper than winter darkness has settled on the Federal Nuclear Center for Experimental Physics in Arzamas-16, now called Sarov, and the Federal Nuclear Center for Technical Physics (VNIITF) in Chelyabinsk-70, now Snezhinsk. In Soviet days, many scientists were lured to these remote facilities with promises of decent pay, housing, and schools, says Evgeny Avrorin, a physicist who will serve 2 years as VNIITF director following the suicide in October of its previous director, Vladimir Nechai. Nowadays, however, obtaining even the necessities of life is a scramble.Although Avrorin welcomes the travel grants, he says they will do little to meet a government mandate that VNIITF, by 2000, earn half its revenues from outside sources. Right now, he says, the institute gets 15% of its budget from nongovernmental sources. To boost their share of outside funding, says CRDF executive director Gerson Sher, the institutes must change how they do their work. The Russians are peddling what they have rather than what Western companies want “because they have jobs they want to save,” Sher says. Getting the institutes to become market savvy, he says, “will take some discussion and some disappointment.”last_img read more

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Genome Spat Erupts Anew

first_imgThe genome duel seemed to have subsided until one side took a vicious stab at the other this week. In a paper published in the online 5 March issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, three leaders of the publicly funded, international Human Genome Project (HGP) assert that what appeared to be a dead-heat race to sequence the genome was actually nothing of the sort. Rockville, Maryland-based Celera Genomics, the authors argue, did little more than gather long tracts of sequence from the HGP and break them down into patterns that were easily reassembled.In the race to sequence a draft of the human genome, Celera used a so-called whole-genome shotgun approach. It chopped the entire genome into tiny pieces and then reassembled them all at once. In contrast, the international consortium adopted a more incremental strategy, piecing together smaller amounts of data. Both sequences were published in February, 2001; Celera’s in Science, and the HGP’s in Nature.The three PNAS authors–Robert Waterston at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Eric Lander at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge; and John Sulston at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre in Cambridge, United Kingdom–sought to mimic Celera’s breakdown and reconstruction of the HGP data–which the company has always admitted combining with its own data.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The trio simulated three shreddings of a chromosome, two of which were random and one of which resembled Celera’s disassembly pattern. The latter, they found, yielded on reassembly a sequence essentially identical to the original; the other two gave a fairly nonsensical jumble of DNA. With Celera’s approach, they conclude, you get out what you put in–in this case the HGP data. Phil Green of the University of Washington in Seattle, concurs. “It is important to correct the historical record,” he says.”They say that we copied their answer, and that’s completely false,” says Mark Adams, vice president of genome programs at Celera. The two teams’ versions of the human genome sequence were different, he notes, and he says that Celera kept far less genomic data intact than the PNAS paper suggests.Others question the need for rehashing old rivalries. “This [paper] shouldn’t be taken to represent the views of the entire public effort,” says Richard Gibbs of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Gibbs took part in the HGP and is now collaborating with Celera on the rat genome. “You get away from the recognized process of science when you start this arbitrary deconstruction of other people’s work,” he says. Consensus, apparently, is a long way off.Related sites Human Genome ProjectCelera GenomicsBackground on genomicslast_img read more

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A Senate Slap at NSF Management

first_imgA Senate spending panel says that the National Science Foundation’s mishandling of an Internet porn scandal is part of “systemic workforce management problems” that have created “a hostile work environment” for its 1300 employees.Most of the senior program managers at the $6.5 billion agency are academic scientists who spend a few years at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Such “rotators” are thought to provide a fresh perspective on the scientific challenges facing their field. But in a senate report accompanying a bill covering NSF’s 2010 budget that was approved last Thursday, legislators have harsh words both for the administrative skills of those senior scientists and, more broadly, how the agency has responded to a 2008 report by its independent inspector general that found that senior officials were downloading and viewing pornography.The appropriations committee’s report notes “a trend in poor management oversight and neglected best-practice measure with regard to personnel management. The lack of action taken by NSF to address these ongoing problems is unacceptable, and raises serious questions about NSF’s Human Resources office. Compounding the issue is the rotational director model, which although it brings fresh scientific insight and perspective to the agency, creates gaps in management oversight. Program directors, designated and authorized as supervisors, shall not neglect their management responsibilities for the employees who work under them.” The panel also criticizes how NSF monitors large awards, especially to first-time grantees, and directs the agency to draw up a plan to look more closely at the entire process, from before an award is made through its completion.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Chu Places His Energy Bet on ARPA-E

first_imgAlthough his request for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) represents only $300 million in a departmental budget of $28.4 billion, Energy Secretary Steven Chu clearly believes that the fledgling agency is his scientific ace in the hole. The proposed funding for ARPA-E was unveiled this week as part of the president’s 2011 budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE). It would be the agency’s first regular appropriation (although it received $400 million last year in the massive federal stimulus package). And the fact that the request is $75 million larger than the increase Chu is seeking for DOE’s $5 billion Office of Science speaks volumes about his confidence in an agency that he championed in an influential 2005 National Academies report on strengthening U.S. science.Speaking with reporters today after testifying on the DOE budget before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate, Chu said he’s convinced that an agency whose director has been on board for only a few months and whose staff could fit around a dining room table will accomplish great things. Here’s what he had to say in response to a question from ScienceInsider:Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Now, the Office of Science is an extremely well run organization, but it’s $5 billion. And there is a level of conservatism there. Not only that, the Office of Science does mission-oriented research.ARPA-E is a very different story. This is a quick hit of 2 or 3 years of money. After that, you need to find money either in the Office of Science or the applied areas, or in the private sector. So it’s a very different philosophy than in the Office of Science, which has ongoing projects and has sustainability and other issues.So, is $300 million the right amount? Absolutely. In fact, I wouldn’t mind having a little more. If you look at the team, from the director on down, they are an extraordinary group of individuals. …… When we did the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report, the committee told me to sell the idea of ARPA-E to Congress. So I did, and during one of the hearings, they tried to get me to say that the idea was controversial, and that some people liked it and other people didn’t. In fact, all the people said, “If it’s well-managed, it’s a good idea.” DARPA was well-managed, and it’s done great things. … And I can say with absolute confidence that we’ve got an extraordinary team of people. So that this will be money well-spent.last_img read more

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Doctor Sentenced in Beijing for Attack on Critics

first_imgAfter a quick trial, a local court in Beijing convicted urologist Xiao Chuang-Guo on 10 October of assaulting two well-known advocates of academic integrity in China. Xiao, head of urology at the Xiehe (or Union) Hospital affiliated with the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, was sentenced to 5.5 months of detention in connection with the crimes, and Xiao’s accomplices received detentions ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 months. Chinese media reported that Xiao’s lawyer pleaded not guilty to the charge of “causing disturbance,” a lesser crime than the original allegation of “intentional harm” under which Xiao was arrested. One victim of the attacks was Fang Shimin, freelance writer and self-appointed watchdog of research misconduct. Fang had questioned Xiao’s academic achievements, but this was not what prompted the attack, Xiao claimed. Xiao told the court that he had a decade-long personal conflict with Fang, mainly because Fang had insulted Xiao’s wife and teacher. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Xiao was accused of asking a relative to arrange the attacks to which, police said, Xiao initially confessed. But he denied the accusation in court, saying he gave only implicit consent after his relative repeatedly offered to beat up Fang. Xiao said the money he gave his relative was payment for supporting the relative’s child to study abroad. Fang Shimin, under the pen name Fang Zhouzi, has been publicizing allegations of academic fraud and questionable medical claims on his Web site New Threads for about a decade. Fang says before he was attacked in August, he had written three articles about Xiao, all on his academic achievements. Xiao and his accomplices were also convicted for the June assault, with steel bars, on another Xiao critic, Fang Xuanchang. In 2009, Fang Xuanchang edited a series of investigative reports questioning the claimed efficacy of Xiao’s surgical procedure which has been applied to thousands of Chinese patients with spinal cord injuries or spina bifida. The aim was to restore their bladder and bowel function. Xiao’s testimony in court offered no explanation for the attack on Fang Xuanchang. Fang Zhouzi says he found the court’s decision to hold the trial on a Sunday “very sudden.” When he met the judge on 5 October, he was told that the trial would not commence until 10 days later, says Fang. However, he received a notice last Friday that the trial was scheduled for 10 October. Xiao received support from outside China by physicians concerned about his treatment by the authorities. Kenneth Peters, chair of department of urology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and several dozen Xiao supporters signed an open letter, praising the urologist for some of his past research accomplishments and urging the Chinese government to “treat Dr. Xiao fairly and to protect his human rights.”last_img read more

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Online Social Network Seeks to Overhaul Peer Review in Scientific Publishing

first_imgThree Finnish researchers have created an online service that could eventually replace or supplement the current way journals get scientists to peer review submitted manuscripts. Already partnered with the ecology journal Ecography, published by Wiley, Peerage of Science is an innovative social network of scientists to which researchers submit their manuscripts; other members with relevant expertise, alerted by keywords in the papers, will then provide reviews that scientific journals can use to decide whether to publish the work. University of Jyväskylä and the University of Eastern Finland, where the three creators of the service are based, have sponsored the company founded to further build up the service this year. The current peer review system in which journal editors send potentially publishable manuscripts to experts for review is hotly debated. Many scientists complain that the system is slow, inefficient, of variable quality, and prone to favoritism. Moreover, there’s growing resentment in some quarters about being asked to take valuable time to provide free reviews to journals that are operated by for-profit publishers or that don’t make their papers open-access. Several suggestions have been made to improve the peer review system, such as introducing credits for reviewers, using social media, and making the process more transparent. Peerage of Science aims to combine these ideas, explains co-founder Mikko Mönkkönen, an applied ecologist at the University of Jyväskylä. A researcher would initially upload a manuscript to Peerage of Science. It will then be made anonymous and posted on a Web site that is exclusively accessible to other members, which currently stands at around 500 scientists. Along with the manuscript, the authors can add a short pitch explaining why peers should review this manuscript. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Potential reviewers receive an e-mail if tagged keywords reflecting the manuscript match their expertise—bird migration, for example. After reviewing a paper, peers are allowed to grade the quality of the other reviews, by awarding a grade between one and five.  Editors of journals partnering with Peerage of Science can anonymously track reviews, get automated updates on the paper and make an offer to publish the paper, perhaps after a requested revision. Authors are free to accept or decline their offers. Scientists receive one credit for every review they finish. These credits are required to upload a manuscript, which costs two credits divided by the number of coauthors. The author who uploads a manuscript is also obliged to have a positive balance. “This formalises an unwritten rule: he who wants his manuscripts reviewed, reviews other manuscripts in return,” explains Janne-Tuomas Seppänen, a postdoc at University of Jyväskylä, who came up with the initial idea for Peerage of Science service in February 2010. To prevent favoritism, peers are not allowed to review manuscripts submitted by colleagues of the same university or researchers they cooperated with in the last 3 years. This excludes many potentially suitable reviewers, however, so the service founders will monitor if this rule is needed. “We want to create a system that people can trust. But if this rule turns out to be too strict, we are willing to change it,” says Mönkkönen. Transparency is another way Peerage of Science aims to prevent bias. If reviewers agree, their reviews will be published in an online journal called Proceedings of Peerage of Science. The founders hope this will create a career incentive for scientists to do high-quality reviews: they can boost their reputation. “One cannot just get away with an unrealistically positive or negative review without justification,” says Seppänen: It is this incentive that Carsten Rahbek, editor-in-chief of Ecography, liked most about the concept. “Due to an explosion in the number of submitted papers, we have major problems finding people to review, and the quality has gone down as well,” he says Peerage of Science currently offers free trials to selected journals. In a later stage, publishers will have to pay a fee. This fee will vary, but the founders calculated it will be lower than the costs publishers make arranging and coordinating the current peer review system. Since November, eight manuscripts have been uploaded and four have received reviews.  One paper didn’t receive a review by the website’s deadline. That’s “a sign for the authors to improve their manuscript,” suggests Seppänen. Rahbek has so far encountered one article in his field of interest. He decided not to publish it, “but I liked the procedure and the quality of the reviews.” The founders of Peerage of Science, who include evolutionary ecologist Janne Kotiaho of University of Jyväskylä, initially aimed their service at their own field, ecology. But their goal is to eventually expand it to all scientific areas. They say they are negotiating with publishers and editors of several top journals. Some chief editors are eager to start using the service, says Mönkkönen, but most are hesitant. “I have experienced that the scientific community is rather conservative and reluctant to change. Most editors first want to know if the service works and let others do the pioneering.” he says. It is a bit of catch-22: Until many journals start participating, scientists might hesitate to actively use the service. And journals might hesitate to turn to Peerage of Science if not enough scientists have joined. “It all comes down to the quality of the uploaded manuscripts,” says Rahbek. * Details on how journals deal with uploaded papers and how many manuscripts have been uploaded so far are corrected in this version.last_img read more

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English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language

first_imgIf you’ve ever cringed when your parents said “groovy,” you’ll know that spoken language can have a brief shelf life. But frequently used words can persist for generations, even millennia, and similar sounds and meanings often turn up in very different languages. The existence of these shared words, or cognates, has led some linguists to suggest that seemingly unrelated language families can be traced back to a common ancestor. Now, a new statistical approach suggests that peoples from Alaska to Europe may share a linguistic forebear dating as far back as the end of the Ice Age, about 15,000 years ago. “Historical linguists study language evolution using cognates the way biologists use genes,” explains Mark Pagel, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. For example, although about 50% of French and English words derive from a common ancestor (like “mere” and “mother,” for example), with English and German the rate is closer to 70%—indicating that while all three languages are related, English and German have a more recent common ancestor. In the same vein, while humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas have common genes, the fact that humans share almost 99% of their DNA with chimps suggests that these two primate lineages split apart more recently. Because words don’t have DNA, researchers use cognates found in different languages today to reconstruct the ancestral “protowords.” Historical linguists have observed that over time, the sounds of words tend to change in regular patterns. For example, the p sound frequently changes to f, and the t sound to th—suggesting that the Latin word pater is, well, the father of the English word father. Linguists use these known rules to work backward in time, making a best guess at how the protoword sounded. They also track the rate at which words change. Using these phylogenetic principles, some researchers have dated many common words as far back as 9000 years ago. The ancestral language known as Proto-Indo-European, for example, gave rise to languages including Hindi, Russian, French, English, and Gaelic. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Some researchers, including Pagel, believe that the world’s languages are united by even older superfamilies, but this view is hotly contested. Skeptics feel that even if language families were related, words suffer from too much erosion, both in terms of sound and meaning, to be reliably traced back further than 9000 or 10,000 year, and that the similarities of many cognates may be pure chance. What was missing, Pagel says, was an objective method of analysis. Pagel and his co-workers took a first step by building a statistical model based on Indo-European cognates. Incorporating only the frequency of a word’s use and its part of speech (noun, verb, numeral, etc.)—and ignoring its sound— the model could predict how long the word persisted through time. Reporting in Nature in 2007, they found that most words have about a 50% chance of being replaced by a completely different word every 2000 to 4000 years. Thus the Proto-Indo-European wata, winding its way through wasser in German, water in English, and voda in Russian, became eau in French. But some words, including I, you, here, how, not, and two, are replaced only once every 10,000 or even 20,000 years. The new study, appearing today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes an even bolder statement. The researchers broadened the hunt to cognates from seven major language families, including Indo-European, Eskimo, Altaic (comprising many Oriental languages), and Chukchi-Kamchatkan (a group of non-Russian languages around Siberia), which have been proposed to form an ancient superfamily dubbed Eurasiatic. Again, using only the word’s frequency and part of speech, the model successfully predicted that a core group of about 23 very common words, used about once per 1000 words in everyday speech, not only persists within each language group, but also sounds similar to the corresponding words in other families. The word thou, for example, has similar sound and meaning among all seven language families. Cognates include te or tu in Indo-European languages,t`i in proto-Altaic, and turi in proto-Chukchi-Kamchatkan. The words not, that, we, who, andgive were cognates in five families, and nouns and verbs including mother, hand, fire, ashes, worm, hear, and pull, were shared by four. Going by the rate of change of these cognates, the model suggests that these words have remained in a similar form since about 14,500 years ago, thus supporting the existence of an ancient Eurasiatic language and its now far-flung descendants. “The model hints at a group of people living somewhere in Southern Europe as the glaciers were receding, speaking a language that might resemble those spoken today,” Pagel says. “It’s astonishing that spoken language can be transmitted through millennia with enough fidelity to give us information about our early history.” Whether the findings will sway the skeptics is another question, according to William Croft, a linguist at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. The use of methods from evolutionary biology makes the Eurasiatic superfamily more plausible, says Croft, who is more sympathetic than many to the idea. “It probably won’t convince most historical linguists to accept the Eurasiatic hypothesis, but their resistance may soften somewhat.”last_img
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Key House Republican says 70% of NSF’s research dollars should go to “core” science—not geo or social research

first_imgThe congressional noose around research in the social sciences and the geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) got pulled a little tighter today as an influential legislator unveiled a new and controversial budget metric as part of his blueprint for the agency.“I want to make sure that they are spending about 70% of their money on the core sciences,” says Representative John Culberson (R–TX), chair of the appropriations subcommittee that funds NSF and several other federal science agencies. Culberson spoke to ScienceInsider after his panel marked up a 2016 spending bill that would give NSF only $50 million of the $379 million increase it has requested.Culberson, who this year succeeded the retiring Representative Frank Wolf (R–VA) as chair of the commerce, justice, and science (CJS) subcommittee, has thrown his weight behind a campaign by some Republicans to earmark more of NSF’s budget for what they have labeled the “pure sciences.” Their definition covers only four of NSF’s six research directorates—biology, computing, engineering, and math and physical sciences. It leaves geoscience and the social and behavioral sciences out in the cold.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The House spending bill marked up today would allow NSF to spread the additional $50 million in research across only those four favored directorates. That’s a meager 0.7% over current levels, compared with the 4.3% increase that the Obama administration has requested. The other two directorates would be kept at 2015 levels, as would the agency’s education activities, which were slated for an 11% boost. The bill also erases the $30 million hike that NSF has requested to prepare for its planned headquarters move in 2017 from Ballston to Alexandria in northern Virginia.Right now NSF allocates 65% of its $5.93 billion research account to the four directorates that Culberson prefers. His spending bill would bump that up to 66%.Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), chair of the science committee, has made a similar distinction in the America COMPETES Act, a bill to set NSF policies that is scheduled to be voted on next week by the full House of Representatives. Under Smith’s legislation, which as an authorization bill doesn’t actually appropriate money, the favored quartet would receive 71% of the $6.19 billion that Smith has recommended for NSF’s research allocation.Many scientists believe those disciplinary distinctions are merely a ploy by Republicans to hide their real goal—curbing federally funded research on climate change and political science. They also see it as part of an effort by budget hawks to shrink overall government spending. But Culberson and Smith say they are big supporters of NSF and are simply trying to make sure that everything it funds serves “the national interest.” Some areas of research are just more valuable to the nation than others, they insist.“I’m asking them to prioritize,” Culberson says. “I want to give them as much freedom as possible, but also to encourage them, through the committee report, to make the hard sciences a priority—the math and physics and pure science. The fundamental mission of NSF should be those core sciences.”That approach is wrong-headed and unwise, many scientists say. Society’s complex problems require participation from all areas of science, they say, as evidenced by the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research.Culberson says that the new spending bill “protects” such cross-disciplinary initiatives, including NSF’s proposed $75 million Innovations at the Nexus of Food-Energy-Water Systems, in which the geosciences directorate plays a major role. But he declined to say how that would happen. In contrast, the bill fully funds a requested 35% increase, to $144 million, for the Understanding the Brain initiative, a component of the administration’s cross-agency BRAIN program. The social and behavior sciences play a significant role in that effort, which is a consuming interest of the panel’s top Democrat, Representative Chaka Fattah (D–PA).Today’s markup is the first step in a long process for setting NSF’s 2016 budget. The full committee is slated to meet next Wednesday in what is expected to be a rubber-stamp endorsement of the overall $51 billion CJS bill. The Senate has yet to begin work, however. And the two bodies must reconcile differing versions before anything is sent to the president.Culberson hinted that the end product could be more generous. “I’ve had to scratch and scramble for that $50 million,” Culberson said, blaming the spending limits imposed by a 2011 law intended to reduce the deficit that triggered deep, across-the-board spending cuts in 2013 and led to a 16-day government shutdown later that year. Making reference to the rumblings that the White House and congressional Republicans could strike a deal that would raise those caps, Culberson added, “If I get any additional money, NSF is my top priority. But that’s down the road.”last_img read more

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Budget crunch could dissolve Berkeley’s College of Chemistry

first_imgSupporters of the college have started a petition asking Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks to scrap the idea of disbanding the school. As of this morning, more than 2250 people have signed the petition. Among the signees is Carolyn Bertozzi, a former Berkeley chemistry professor, who recently moved to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and posted a comment on the petition’s webpage quipping that the only beneficiaries of the move would be competing institutions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)“UC [Berkeley] College of Chemistry has impacted the chemical sciences, indeed the world, more than any counterpart at any other institution. Dismantling this paragon of excellence is only a good idea if you are at Stanford!” Bertozzi wrote. The University of California (UC), Berkeley, is considering disbanding the university’s College of Chemistry to help cope with a cash crunch at one of the country’s most prominent public universities. According to an article in today’s Daily Californian, the university’s flagship campus is $150 million in debt, and faced with flat income from tuition and rising costs. Though no decisions have been made, closing the College of Chemistry and absorbing its departments into other university colleges is just one of the many plans being considered to save money.The College of Chemistry dates back to 1872. Today, it’s home to 101 faculty, as well as 1492 students and postdocs.  Its chemistry and chemical & biomolecular engineering departments are regularly listed among the top worldwide. Thirteen of the college’s faculty and alumni have won Nobel Prizes. And since 1940, College of Chemistry scientists either led or participated in the discovery of more than a dozen humanmade elements, including berkelium, californium, and seaborgium.last_img read more

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Top mosquito suspect found infected with Zika

first_imgTo try to nail down solid evidence against A. aegypti, Ricardo Lourenço-de-Oliveira, an entomologist at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro and his colleagues collected mosquitoes from homes and streets in neighborhoods where people complaining of Zika symptoms lived. Over 10 months they collected more than 1500 mosquitoes, identified them, and tested them for the presence of Zika and other viruses. Nearly half were A. aegypti, and most of the rest were Culex quinquefasciatus, another common mosquito in urban Brazil that some have suspected of transmitting Zika. Roughly 5% of the collected mosquitoes were other species. A species called A. albopictus, which can also transmit Zika in the lab and has been found infected with the virus in Mexico, made up only about 2% of the catch, Lourenço-de-Oliveira says. That means it’s unlikely to be a major vector in urban areas, he says. The researchers pooled mosquitoes of the same species when they tested for viruses. They found Zika virus in three sets of A. aegypti mosquitoes, but none of the other species.The researchers plan to submit their results for publication once they have finished analyzing insects caught earlier this month, Lourenço-de-Oliveira says, but they announced their finding today because they wanted to let health authorities know as soon as possible. He and his colleagues are also examining whether any of the insects they caught were infected with dengue, chikungunya, or other viruses.The new findings do not rule out other mosquito species as possible vectors, but they do provide some reassurance that Zika is likely following the familiar patters seen in dengue and chikungunya outbreaks, says Philip McCall, an entomologist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine un the United Kingdom. That suggests that large outbreaks are less likely outside the range of A. aegypti. If the virus were easily spread by Culex species or A. albopictus, the regions threatened by serious outbreaks would be much larger.How much A. albopictus is helping spread Zika is still an open question. It has been shown to be a Zika vector in Africa, but in Latin America it bites humans less frequently than A. aegypti does. Both A. albopictus and A. aegypti can transmit dengue in the lab, but in areas where A. albopictus lives but A. aegypti is lacking “you don’t have huge dengue outbreaks,” Brady notes.*Correction, 24 May, 11:37 a.m.: The photo originally posted with this story showed Aedes albopictus, not Aedes aegypti. The usual suspect has been caught, not red-handed but red-bellied. Since the beginning of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, health authorities and researchers have strongly suspected that the mosquito Aedes aegypti, known for spreading several deadly viruses, was also guilty of spreading Zika from one person to another. But direct evidence had been hard to find. Now, researchers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, report that they have found the Zika virus in wild-caught A. aegypti. The researchers did not find the virus in other mosquito species they captured in neighborhoods where Zika was spreading, which strengthens the case that A. aegypti is the main vector driving the outbreak.That mosquito species, which is ubiquitous in urban areas across Brazil and much of Latin America, is known to spread several closely related viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Researchers had confirmed that the species could be infected with Zika and that the virus could multiply and infect the mosquito’s saliva—a requirement for it being able to spread the virus. But no one in Latin America had found a wild-living specimen that was carrying the virus.Despite the hundreds of thousands of human cases, it’s not easy to find infected mosquitoes, explains Oliver Brady, an entomologist at the University of Oxford. “Finding the virus in a mosquito is extremely difficult,” he says. “They infect people and die before anyone shows up at the hospital” with disease symptoms.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Global health spending good for U.S. security and economy, National Academies say

first_imgThe United States needs to stay engaged in global health efforts, a new report argues. Here, a U.S. Army contingent participates in a humanitarian aid mission in East Africa. By Ryan CrossMay. 15, 2017 , 4:00 PM Samara Scott/U.S. Army/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) “I have long argued that it is not just being altruistic to address these issues on a global basis, because sooner or later [they] will impact us,” says Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a member of the panel that wrote the report. (Osterholm has also recently written that President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health miss the mark on “the greatest national security threat of all: our fight against infectious disease.”)The report’s authors make 14 recommendations for intervening in global health across four broad areas: prepping for global disease outbreaks; sustaining funds for responding to AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria; improving women’s and children’s health; and reducing incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancers in low- and middle-income countries. It also calls for “the creation of an International Response Framework to guide the U.S. response to an international health emergency.”Osterholm tells ScienceInsider that the structure of such a framework was left intentionally open-ended, to give officials leeway to think about how to avoid duplication of effort and wasted resources. Federal law already enables U.S. agencies to respond to domestic disease outbreaks, Osterholm notes, but “it is more complicated when you get into other countries.”For example, at the height of national concern several years ago about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, former President Barack Obama named a temporary “Ebola czar” to oversee the U.S. response. But report author Michael Merson, director of the Duke Global Health Institute in Durham, North Carolina, says the United States needs to “have a more stable system or framework in place so we would not have to do things on an ad hoc basis in the future.”The report also argues that steady federal spending on disease preparedness—rather than the reactive and often delayed infusions of funds prompted by the recent Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks—would save money and increase effectiveness over the long haul. The report notes that even a “moderate influenza pandemic” that reduces global economic output by 2% could cost the world economy between $570 billion to $2 trillion.Good health can also equal greater political stability, the authors argue. “When one thinks of global health, one often thinks of disease, humanitarian needs, and the moral imperative,” Merson says. “But now there is evidence that countries with good health are more secure and have less terrorism. So we tried to explain the benefits of global health from various perspectives: It is an economic issue, it is good for markets, it is important for diplomacy.”The report comes as the Trump administration has proposed deep cuts in public health and foreign aid programs in the 2018 fiscal year that begins 1 October. Key members of Congress have been cool to those proposals, but final spending levels are not expected to be set until late this year at the earliest.center_img Global health spending good for U.S. security and economy, National Academies say If a serious infectious disease blossomed across the globe today, the U.S. death toll could be double that of all the casualties suffered in wars since the American Revolution. Those 2 million potential American lives lost to a global pandemic is just one sobering statistic cited in a new report released today by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that urges sustained U.S. spending on global health initiatives. It also calls on the federal government to develop a new “International Response Framework” to guide the nation’s preparation and reaction to intercontinental epidemics and global pandemics.“While global crises have largely been avoided to date, the lack of a strategic [U.S.] approach to these threats could have grave consequences,” the report warns. “If the system for responding to such threats remains reactionary, the world will not always be so lucky.”The next epidemic—whether from nature or bioterrorism—is a question of “when,” not “if,” according to the authors of the report, titled Global Health and the Future Role of the United States. They say the 313-page tome is intended to send a strong message that investing in public health beyond U.S. borders is more than a philanthropy project; it’s also a matter of economic stability and national security here at home.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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How to avoid the stigma of a retracted paper? Don’t call it a retraction

first_img But the complexity of Fanelli’s plan could create confusion, says Virginia Barbour of the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Barbour is a member of a working group of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) that posted a simpler plan on bioRxiv in March that would simply retire the word “retraction.” Instead, the group introduced neutral-sounding “amendments,” which would come in three categories—insubstantial, substantial, or wholesale—covering anything from a typographical error to made-up data. Amendments could be made even before misconduct investigations finish.”That proposal goes a bit too far, in my view,” says Pulverer, who thinks the word retraction sends a clear signal in cases of misconduct. Leonid Schneider, a former stem cell scientist who now blogs about scientific integrity from Erlensee, Germany, castigated the COPE group for making life easier for editors, who would no longer have to worry whether a paper involved misconduct or not. “Too many journal editors would sure prefer to hang some amendment note [on] a paper and be done with it.” Lowering the bar for authors to “amend” papers could also allow fraudsters to clean up before they get caught, says Ana Marušić of the University of Split School of Medicine in Croatia, one of three editors-in-chief at the Journal of Global Health. “You can imagine a situation where, before I am officially accused of misconduct, I will make a correction,” she says.But a journal’s primary responsibility is keeping the literature accurate—not finding or punishing those who engage in misconduct, says Elizabeth Moylan, a senior editor for scientific integrity at BioMed Central in London and a member of the COPE working group. “That’s for institutions,” Moylan says.Pulverer recommends that journals experiment with the various categories in the two proposals. “Hopefully a consensus will crystallize,” he says. In the meantime, the retraction will stay. For those who do have to retract a paper because of an honest mistake, a few studies offer encouragement: They suggest that such retractions aren’t so bad for one’s career. That was certainly Mann’s experience: His supervisor was supportive, colleagues complimented him on owning his error, and after shelling out another $2500 in article processing fees, he published a new paper with the same title in the same journal. “The community didn’t scorn me,” he says. How to avoid the stigma of a retracted paper? Don’t call it a retraction AMSTERDAM—In 2012 Richard Mann, a mathematician at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, received some very bad news from a friend and colleague. Because of a coding error, the friend explained, Mann had included only 1/100 of his data in a modeling paper on the collective motion of glass prawns, published earlier that year in PLOS Computational Biology. As a result, the paper was deeply flawed.Mann wanted to set the record straight, but as he began researching his options, despair set in. Retractions are strongly associated with research misconduct. “I became worried about public shaming,” Mann said last week at the fifth World Conference on Research Integrity here. He went ahead, but only after many sleepless nights.His story and others like it have inspired two recent attempts to develop new terms for retractions that would make it easier for researchers, universities, and journals to admit errors. One would retire the dreaded r-word altogether. “You have to change the language,” says Nicholas Steneck, who heads the Research Ethics and Integrity Program of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research in Ann Arbor.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Stigma is one reason to rethink the retraction system; another is expedience. Universities and journals are often slow to retract a paper, waiting for the outcome of lengthy investigations. Journals sometimes add an “editorial expression of concern” to a paper in the meantime. But such notes can be stigmatizing, too, and if it’s clear the data are wrong, some argue it’s better to pull a paper and report the causes later.Some journals want more options for a troubled paper than either a correction for minor errors or a wholesale retraction. The EMBO Journal, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, has introduced the “partial retraction” for cases when, say, one figure is erroneous but the conclusions of a paper stand. “With a full retraction, you take a down a whole chunk from the scientific literature,” says Editor-in-Chief Bernd Pulverer. JAMA Psychiatry in 2015 introduced the concept of “retracting and replacing,” for a paper about a clinical trial that had pervasive errors but, once corrected, was still worth publishing. Editors at The Lancet and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine have instituted “retraction and republication.”But with a sharp rise in retractions over the past 15 years—to 664 in fiscal year 2016, according to the database MEDLINE—some feel a more comprehensive approach is in order. At a workshop at Stanford University’s Meta-Research Innovation Center (METRICS) in Palo Alto, California, last December, a group of journal editors and other experts devised a more granular system for both corrections and retractions that has 14 solutions for different situations. Retractions would remain for misconduct, says Pulverer, who attended the workshop. But five other terms would cover papers withdrawn for other reasons, METRICS researcher Daniele Fanelli told the meeting last week (see list, below). For example, honest mistakes like Mann’s would now come under the moniker “self-retraction.” (An article describing the taxonomy is under review, and Fanelli stresses that it’s likely to change.) By Martin EnserinkJun. 7, 2017 , 12:30 PMcenter_img It’s not a retraction, it’s a … A paper currently under review proposes alternatives to the word retraction when no misconduct is involved.WITHDRAWAL Peer-reviewed paper in which authors retract one or more previous publications based on new evidence, data, methodologies, results, or theoretical arguments that invalidate their claims.RETIRED When a guideline or recommendation article is outdated and its authors are unable to update it.CANCELED A full retraction due to an editorial, production, or publishing mistake; not the authors’ fault.SELF-RETRACTION A short retraction notice signed by all co-authors of the original paper, after they have made a joint, unsolicited retraction request to the journal.REMOVAL Rare case where a paper is entirely removed from the public record because its content presents a serious and substantial risk to society, individuals, or the environment. creative commons last_img read more

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