Humans are wiping out chimpanzee cultures

first_imgA huge effort to catalog behaviors in 144 chimpanzee communities now suggests Van Schaik’s hypothesis is right. Kühl and Ammie Kalan, another primatologist at the Max Planck Institute, worked with more than 70 co-authors to collect data on chimpanzee behaviors from 46 populations that hadn’t previously been studied, part of a larger project to study cultural behaviors in chimpanzees. They combined those data with published observations from 106 additional chimpanzee groups. (Their “gargantuan efforts” produced a sample size that was “unimaginable just a few years ago,” says Van Schaik, who was not involved in the new study.) Humans are wiping out chimpanzee cultures All in all, the researchers tallied 31 behaviors that could be called cultural. “In one national park, chimps are known for fishing algae. In another they crack nuts or have certain hunting methods or fish for termites,” Kühl says.But the closer chimps lived to human influence, the less likely they were to exhibit diverse behaviors, the researchers report online today in Science. For groups living in areas with high human impact, the probability of any given behavior occurring dropped by an average of 88%. Groups far from human influence might exhibit 15 or even 20 behaviors, Kalan says, whereas groups strongly affected by humans had only two or three.Humans have myriad ways of extinguishing chimp behavior, Van Schaik notes, from decreasing their numbers—which limits the animals’ social contacts and opportunities to share skills—to isolating populations, which restricts encounters with other groups. However, he cautions that there are no long-term data from chimp populations living far from human influence, “so the conclusion remains tentative.”Kühl, who also works at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig, notes that some chimp traditions wax and wane depending on natural cycles like tree nut production. Those behaviors can be especially vulnerable, he says. In years where nuts are scarce, young chimpanzees don’t learn how to crack and eat them. If a group then loses key older members, the behavior is lost for the entire group.The study adds support, Kalan says, to recent calls that cultural traits and groups should be recognized and included in plans to help conserve endangered animal populations—whether great apes, whales and dolphins, elephants, or migratory birds. “We need to pay attention to the social and cultural knowledge that these species use to survive” when trying to protect them, she says. For many species, culture is not “some kind of nice luxury, but an intrinsic and essential part of their local adaptation,” Van Schaik adds. “In cultural species, the extinction vortex may be swirling faster.” Older group members demonstrate important behaviors for younger chimpanzees. 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Country Anna Preis/Taï Chimpanzee Project Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) When chimpanzees encounter humans, it’s usually bad news for the chimps. Logging, hunting, and epidemics have helped push chimpanzee populations to the brink across their range in West and Central Africa. Now, a new study suggests human activity may also rob chimp populations of their cultures.Chimpanzees perform distinct behaviors, such as using tools to crack nuts or collect termites, that are passed on from one generation to the next, like human culture. These behaviors include adaptations that can be crucial for the animals’ survival—but chimp groups living near people have fewer such behaviors, according to the study. The authors say “chimpanzee cultural heritage sites” may be needed to protect key behaviors. “A lot of conservation effort is focused on species diversity and genetic diversity, but we need to look at cultural diversity as well,” says Hjalmar Kühl, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who helped lead the study.Nearly 2 decades ago, primatologist Carel van Schaik, an emeritus professor at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, proposed that human impacts like habitat destruction and poaching could wipe out key behaviors in great apes. (Van Schaik studied cultural behaviors in orangutans.) For example, a population may lose important traditions when a key resource it involved—like kola nuts—becomes scarce, or when fewer experienced group members are alive to pass on the behavior. But it has been hard to collect enough data to test the hypothesis. By Gretchen VogelMar. 7, 2019 , 2:00 PMlast_img read more

TMobileSprint Merger Teeters Between FCC Approval DoJ Rejection

first_imgUnited States Federal Communications Commission ChairmanAjit Pai this week gave the green light to a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, currently the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriersrespectively. The nation’s top telecom regulator agreed to the US$26billion merger, but with some conditions — the most notable being thatSprint would sell off its Boost Mobile prepaid cellphone brand.In addition, the combined firm would commit to deploying 5G network coverage to 97 percent of the country within three years, and to 99 percent of the country within six years.”The companies have also taken steps to respond to concerns that havebeen raised about this transaction,” Pai said.”Most importantly, in addition to their prior commitment not to raiseprices for three years, T-Mobile and Sprint have decided to divestBoost Mobile,” he added. “This sale is designed to address potentialcompetitive issues that have been identified in the prepaid wirelesssegment.” T-Mobile and Sprint have pledged to roll out 5G service by utilizinga mid-band spectrum that could bring broadband to ruralcustomers who thus far have been unable to get high-speedInternet. 5G thus could address the last-mile issues in ruralcommunities where service over copper or fiber has been cost-prohibitive.5G also could be the main reason this merger might end up getting approval. The DoJ in 2011 rejected AT&T’s bid to purchase T-Mobile, arguing that it would be bad for consumers. This time around, however, the DoJ may see benefits for consumers.”If we were not moving into a new world of 5G, T-Mobile would be fineas they are. However, with 5G coming on strong, both T-Mobile andSprint need to get together so they can be a powerhouse in marketingand spectrum,” said Kagan.Still, there is a case to be made that the DoJ may fall back onits 2011 opinion, and the 5G commitment from a combined Sprint/T-Mobilemay not be enough to sway it.”The merger isn’t necessary for 5G; the rollout would be similarlyfast,” Recon Analytics’ Entner pointed out.”AT&T and Verizon would not sit on their hands, but they both arebuilding out as quickly as technically possible,” he added. “T-Mobile could do everything it offers to do in 5G without Sprint — however, Sprint on the other hand would struggle.”If this merger does go through, it is unlikely the telecommunicationsindustry will see any future consolidation, suggested Entner. “This would probably be the last wireless merger in the U.S.” To Approve or Not Approve? Fewer Carriers but Improved Competition Opponents of the merger have suggested that it could limitcompetition and lead to higher prices for mobile phone services.However, in its FCC filing, Sprint maintained that the merger wasnecessary for the company’s survival.”This deal is needed by both T-Mobile and Sprint,” saidtelecommunications industry analyst Jeff Kagan.The two companies together not only could survive, but also could challenge the industry leaders, AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile will complement each other and could make for a strong third player in the American mobile phone market, he told TechNewsWorld.”T-Mobile is great at marketing, but has precious little spectrum;Sprint has lots of spectrum, but can’t market well,” Kagan pointed out.”Separately, they will be weak competitors as the industry moves to5G, but together they could be a strong third-place competitor afterVerizon and AT&T,” he added. More From Less Despite the FCC approval, the merger is not a done deal. The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly objects to the terms of the merger and may oppose it.The DoJ is far from satisfied with the concessions that were offered, according to a Bloomberg report, and is not convinced that enough has been done to resolveantitrust concerns.T-Mobile had agreed to include the build-out requirements that wouldbring 5G deployment to rural communities, and provide a wireless homebroadband solution that would be available as a wireline alternative.However, control of the wireless spectrum is at issue.Typically the FCC and DoJ need to be in full agreement for suchmergers to be approved, so some compromises likely will need tobe ironed out. It is possible, but unlikely, that the DoJ could suethe companies to stop the mergers.The DoJ sued AT&T to block its $85 billion bid to buyentertainment conglomerate Time Warner, but the department lost the case incourt, and the deal closed last year.”The DoJ and FCC have never disagreed on approving or denying amerger,” said Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics.”I would expect DoJ to approve with stronger conditions as the FCCconditions are extremely light,” he told TechNewsWorld.The divestiture of Boost and Virgin is a non-issue, as they likely would have been sold off anyway, added Entner. “There is no point in having three prepaid brands, with Boost and Virgin floundering.” center_img DoJ May Oppose Merger The fact that the FCC and DoJ aren’t in step isn’t entirelysurprising. Just a month ago it seemed that even the FCC had concerns,and so far the companies have sought to meet the conditions necessaryfor the FCC’s approval.”The word from regulators a few weeks ago said that the merger, as currently positioned, would not be approved,” said Kagan. “What that said to me was if T-Mobile and Sprint could learn what regulators needed and were willing to do that, then the merger could go through.”So far, the terms have included the divesting of Boost Mobile and thecommitment to building out the rural 5G network.”This will satisfy some, but not all. There is the FCC, the DoJ and the states,” Kagan noted. “We are entering the final stretch now, and now is when we will seeT-Mobile and Sprint do whatever they have to do in order to get thisdeal done. It will be done, but there are still a few hoops to jumpthrough first.” Reducing the number of carriers may not increase costs, asopponents fear.”No one can be sure of the ‘right’ number of competitors in a market. There’s no objective answer, but most developed countries have two orthree dominant wireless carriers,” said Jessica Melugin, associatedirector for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Technology and Innovation.”In general, it’s wise to view the marketplace not as a stagnantsnapshot of what exists today, but in terms of a dynamic and fiercelycompetitive environment where if things don’t improve and innovate,they fail,” she told TechNewsWorld.”Specifically, Sprint has struggled in recent years with profits, andit’s fair to say that without the merger, its future as a majorcarrier is not assured,” Melugin added.”The real question is not between four major carriers and three; it’sbetween two internationally competitive 5G contenders or three, ifSprint and T-Mobile are allowed to combine spectrum and infrastructureresources,” she added. “Consumers will benefit from having a morestable and efficient competitor to Verizon and AT&T in the wirelessmarket, as well as a third internationally competitive 5G contender.” Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and Peter. The 5G Playlast_img read more

Drop in estrogen could lead to development of anxiety and memory problems

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 1 2018Lack of estrogen may play a role in the development of anxiety and memory problems, according to a new rodent study. The findings will be presented today at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Sex-Specific Implications for Physiology conference in Knoxville, Tenn.Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, regulates the female reproductive system. As a woman approaches menopause, dwindling ovarian function–which results in low levels of ovarian hormones– causes the estrogen supply in the brain to drop. Areas of the brain that are involved in mood, behavior and cognition have a high concentration of proteins that bind to estrogen (estrogen receptors). Researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil theorized that for this reason, “estrogen deficiency could lead to anxiety development and memory impairments.”The research team studied female rats without ovaries to mimic human menopause. They administered standardized tests that measured anxiety and assessed short-term recognition of objects and spatial memory (memory of temporary locations and the relationships between objects in space). The menopausal rats showed higher levels of anxiety and a decrease in recognition memory compared to an age-matched control group. There was no difference in spatial memory between the two groups. These results suggest that normal hormone imbalances contribute to some of the emotional symptoms associated with menopause, such as anxiety, as well as minor memory problems.last_img read more

The United States of Amazon

first_imgAmazon Cars Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Once Amazon is delivering products, the step up to delivering people is pretty small. Whether we are talking about autonomous cars or people-carrying drones dropping off and picking up people, Amazon’s move from packages to people likely will be measured in months.In fact, the same vehicles likely could perform both roles in many cases, allowing Amazon not only to underprice Lyft and Uber, but also to provide entertainment and shopping experiences in the autonomous vehicle more cost-effectively.If you don’t mind shopping while in transit, I imagine that you likely could get a reduced rate — and, as always, Prime customers will get a standard discount. The Delivery Business That brings us to hotels. Granted, I expect that Amazon initially will partner with other companies, but once it is taking hundreds of thousands of people to vacation destinations, it wouldn’t be hard to justify buying a resort or cruise line.Amazon then would have control over your entire vacation. It could upsell you on rooms and amenities — and, as before, justify lower prices by providing a shopping experience while you’re on vacation, and how many of us do a lot of shopping when we are on vacation anyway? This actually gets kind of scary, because how many of the shopping experiences in that future world could be at real or virtual Amazon stores? One of the things Amazon failed at was smartphones. The market took a look at Amazon’s Fire Phone and laughed. The problem was that Amazon didn’t own enough of the ecosystem at that time.However, Amazon Web Services clearly could expand into network delivery, and were Amazon to merge or even partner with a major carrier, that would give it the leverage it would need to drive an Amazon phone once again.The second time around, it could deliver something not only more attractively priced, but also tied back to a wealth of Amazon services that would encompass either Apple’s or Google’s offerings — or, using its own developer relationships, eventually match them. Short-distance travel is just for starters. Amazon already has a fleet of planes delivering packages — and at scale, it likely will be able to dictate what companies like Boeing build. This means Amazon not only could specify roomier planes, but also could shift from package-carrying to people-carrying, like the 747s were designed to do.It could tie its vehicles to the airports and decouple baggage, so you could have your baggage flow directly to your hotel. Amazon could route you directly to the plane with its cars largely bypassing airport security, by implementing a passenger-vetting process like Clear, TCA Pre or Global Entry.Once again, while in transit, Amazon can use the opportunity to sell you things, reducing your fare further than a current carrier could match — and, once again, Prime members would get a discount. At some future point, you’ll not only be taken to the plane by an Amazon car, but also be picked up as well. Meeting Owl Amazon’s significant expansion into yet another market — this time, grocery stores — dominated many of my conversations last week. Clearly, Amazon warned us. I’ve been here before — you see, back in the 1990s, when Amazon was just books, I was running the company’s e-commerce unit. I got into an argument with one of the analysts focused on Amazon, who believed the company wouldn’t go beyond books. I argued that the model it was using could — and would — expand to other things, but even I wasn’t thinking broadly enough.Since then, Amazon has entered not only most areas of retail, from appliances to groceries, but also the enterprise technology arena, with Amazon Web Services. It clearly is going to move into delivery, and likely will displace UPS and FedEx in a few years — but what about an Amazon car or an Amazon hotel? We could be headed toward the United States of Amazon.I’ll close with my product of the week: an interesting new video conferencing system that could redefine how we interact remotely. I don’t think either UPS or FedEx gets the full risk Amazon poses. At some point, Amazon’s delivery capability, due to its own expansions, will drop in line with what those companies can do. When that happens — at least for Amazon — UPS and FedEx largely will become redundant.Once Amazon effectively reduces costs through economies of scale, it is likely to move from using delivery services to supplying them. This suggests not only that you will be getting products you buy on Amazon from Amazon’s own delivery service — and, increasingly, by drone — but also that when you want to send something, you’ll likely place it in your yard and have an Amazon drone pick it up.While Amazon still may have to roll a truck to deliver an appliance (because you’re going to want someone to install it for you), even groceries should be coming in on a drone-delivered package. Autonomous delivery vehicles — coupled with robots that can drive into Amazon depots, load up, and then deliver to homes — are a natural for the company, which has been deploying robots aggressively in its warehouses and depots for some time. Wrapping Up: United States of Amazon As different people speak, the camera in the device automatically scans to the person speaking, giving the remote worker the feeling of good facetime. You can tie this into presentation tools and use it for more typical conference room streaming, but the Meeting Owl clearly is best for meetings where the need to interact and collaborate verbally is very high.The Meeting Owl is a unique — and I think very innovative — approach to collaboration-focused video conferencing, and that makes it an ideal product of the week. Oh, and it is kind of cute too! I’ve been covering video conferencing since the 1980s. We’ve had hills and valleys — going from wild excitement and the belief we no longer will have to travel to meetings, to market collapse and dropping back to a handful of vendors that bravely continue to provide products.One of the big constant problems is that the critical need for these things is to make remote employees feel they aren’t forgotten and can participate on a near equal footing with the folks who are in the room. Most conferencing systems are placed so that the remote attendee feels isolated and unable to engage.What the Meeting Owl does is address that one critical problem. You place it in the middle of the table, which allows the remote worker to face people during interactions. Even though it’s still necessary to look at a monitor, the remote employee — if the system is set up right — has more of an eye-to-eye interaction, leading to what should be a deeper collaboration. Amazon’s recurring model — what makes it uniquely different — is that it focuses on connecting buyers to products with minimum friction, at huge scale and minimal margins. It has been virtually impossible to compete with this combination over time, because it seems to result not only in a competitive price, but also in an unmatched customer experience, in terms of convenience. Some things arrive on the same day — and in some places, you can measure the time between order and delivery in hours.Once you understand Amazon’s model, you suddenly realize it could be applied not only to selling products, but also to providing services. Amazon Web Services, for example, isn’t a physical product — it is a set of technologies you largely rent off the Web. Smartphones, TVs, Personal Computers… Air Travel Amazon Hotels I’m clearly leaving off a number of industries, like food services, but it’s possible to see Amazon moving into those markets as well — particularly as fast food restaurants move to full automation. So, my limitations are based more on space than any belief that there is a business that Amazon might not eventually take over.Take farming, for instance. Now that they Amazon is into groceries, locking up supply — if only by taking over logistics — would seem to be a natural progression for the firm. It may not buy up the firms, but it could disrupt that industry dramatically anyway.In the end, I think we are looking at a level of control and coverage that eventually would make Amazon’s power hard to differentiate from the government’s power. When that happens, we will effectively become the United States of Amazon. That is a scary idea — but given what has been happening in our own government, somewhat less scary than what we now have. That’s something to noodle about this week. The Power of Amazonlast_img read more

Traversing the Social Media Minefield

first_imgNowhere Is Safe Quinten Plummer is a longtime technology reporter and an avid PC gamer who explored local news for a few years, covering law enforcement and government beats, before returning to writing about things run by ones and zeros and the people who make them. If it pushes pixels or improves lives, he wants to learn all he can about it. No One Is Safe Mainly because of the amount of money they bring in, many people expect celebrities and other prominent figures to have thicker skins than the average Jane or Joe. However — as evidenced by the numbers of celebrities who’ve forsaken social media, or who have handed the keys to their accounts to their PR teams — fame and fortune are not effective defenses against an all-out assault by faceless trolls.Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones temporarily unplugged her Twitter account after being bombarded by racist and sexist attacks. Girls star Lena Dunham quit Twitter after being body shamed and verbally abused. Filmmaker Joss Whedon fled Twitter last year, after being targeted with verbal abuse for his portrayal of Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron.Count the likes of Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Jennifer Lawrence among the celebs who simply don’t care to join social network, as least not using their given names. And Sia doesn’t even want the public to get a good look at her face.Some of the prominent celebs to speak about social media’s potential for inflicting harm include Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp and Keira Knight, who has said that sharing with the public opens you up to “a lot of criticism and a lot of people telling you they hate you.”center_img While attacks on private individuals can be more personal and more targeted, they’re typically much less numerous. Anyone who is visible to large numbers of people — from business owners to YouTube stars — is vulnerable to a massive onslaught due to the sheer volume of people who flock to their accounts.Cary Peterson, an American federal lobbyist and UN delegate, has experienced decades of online abuse. Bullying, slander and defamation have cost him job promotions, business deals, friendships, millions of dollars in legal fees, and a marriage, he said.”These online mobs are real, and the general public needs to be aware of it, and how serious it is,” Peterson told TechNewsWorld.Almost daily, Peterson finds himself battling faceless accounts, and when people start to believe the allegations posted from such accounts, that’s when things can spiral out of control.”I’ve been rather fortunate in these instances to still be alive and well, but I’ve seen many people and businesses over my past 20 years doing business online, wiped out and terminated,” he said. “Nonetheless, it’s quite fascinating what can be done from a laptop and Internet connection these days — and cost little to nothing to execute.” Despite all the good they do in keeping family and friends connected, social media sites have a dark side. They quickly can become breeding grounds for harassment, noted Scott A Spackey, a career coach and family counselor.”Social media has become a forum for intimidation, abuse and shaming because of its lack of accountability,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Virtual reality is remote and has the illusion of being impersonal, which encourages people to behave in ways they would NEVER do in person or public.”Massive Twitter campaigns can be sparked by people using fake names and profiles, noted Wendy Lewis, president ofWendy Lewis & Co. Recently, much of it stemmed from divisive politics, fueled by the unrestrained comments of certain politicians.”If it’s OK for a presidential candidate to practice name calling — like ‘the devil’ — or making comments about his dissenters’ physique …, then it may seem more acceptable to others who are so inclined,” she told TechNewsWorld.Business and public figures have a bit more recourse at Facebook, compared to Twitter. The page owner can remove posts, report harassment, and possibly prompt the banning of the user, Lewis noted.”If they are aggressive, you may see that they attempt the same posts under a different fake profile name, and keep going by commenting on every post on the page,” Lewis said. “As a last resort, you can reset your Facebook page privacy settings, and even set your page up to have all comments approved before they go live.”Regardless of the forum or format, it doesn’t take much searching to find an online thread littered with the type of language rarely used in public places offline.While the reporting and banning tools help, it’s up to humanity to try harder to be more human online, suggested parent advocate Sue Scheff, author of the upcoming book Shame Nation.”It’s time for all of us to start being an upstander, reaching out to those that are struggling,” she told TechNewsWorld.If you “receive a disturbing text or sext, don’t forward it or chuckle — stop it!” Scheff urged. “Comfort friends — be there. Most importantly, be part of the solution. Don’t be silent. There’s nothing worse than believing you’re alone.”last_img read more

Bacteria play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in pigs

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 21 2019Stomach ulcers are common in pigs, like they are in humans. Until recently, the cause of this disease was unclear. The results from this thesis show that two bacteria play a role. One of these bacteria was previously unknown and was discovered during this thesis. This paves the way for development of new methods to control the disease.Stomach ulcers in pigs: a serious problemStomach ulcers are a common problem in pigs worldwide. They cause pain, a weight loss and sometimes even sudden death. It is clear that these ulcers affect the welfare of the animal. Diet, stress and illness all may contribute to the development of stomach ulcers, but the exact cause of the disease is not yet clear. Moreover, no treatment exists that fully protects pigs against the development of stomach ulcers.Related StoriesStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea decipheredGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaStudy uncovers origin of cell mask that hides stomach cancerThe potential role of bacteriaHelicobacter suis is a bacterium that is frequently found in the stomach of pigs. Humans can also be infected with this microbe. An infection with Helicobacter suis results in several problems, including stomach ulcers. Until recently, it was not clear how this bacterium induces lesion development. The results from this thesis show that Helicobacter suis affects gastric acid secretion. The effect depends on the age of the pigs. For example, in six-month old pigs, acid secretion was inhibited. This decrease in acid secretion paves the way for a new bacterium, that was discovered during this doctoral research, namely Fusobacterium gastrosuis. This bacterium may kill cells of the stomach wall. In adult pigs, the acid secretion again is increased, but at that point, it may make the already existing damage more severe.Conclusion and future goalsThe results of this thesis show that the concerted action of two bacteria, Helicobacter suis and Fusobacterium gastrosuis, play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in pigs. One of these bacteria, Helicobacter suis, can also cause stomach problems in people. Further studies on both bacteria are necessary, in order to develop new control measures for this disease. Source: read more

Autism estimates for the USA are wildly inaccurate say experts at INSAR

first_imgBy Sally Robertson, B.Sc.May 7 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new statistics on autism. They estimate that there has been a 15% increase in the prevalence of autism across the USA, from 1 in 68 in 2012 to 1 in 59 in 2014. Veja | ShutterstockThe findings were based on an analysis of data from 2014 medical and education records for children aged 8 years across 11 monitoring sites.However, the estimates varied widely between states, depending on the degree of access that researchers had to school records. Numbers were significantly higher in areas where researchers had full access, suggesting that the new estimates reflect an underrepresentation of the true prevalence of autism.In New Jersey, for example, where access to education records was better, the figure was as high as 1 in 34, whereas in Arkansas the estimated prevalence was only 1 in 77.Thomas Frazier, Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, says this suggests that the new estimate of 1 in 59 is likely to be a significant undercount of autism’s true prevalence in the USA. “Without more and better research, we can’t know how much higher it really is,” he adds.‘38 black children with autism are supposed to represent our entire country’The report is supported by research presented at the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) annual meeting, which took place between 1-4th May 2019.Research presented at INSAR suggests that autism estimates are wildly inaccurate as they do not involve sufficient data on families from ethnic minority backgrounds.For this study, the researchers conducted the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, which asked parents about the health of children within their household. From the data the researchers estimated the prevalence of autism to be 2.5% in 2016, almost 1% higher than the estimates made by the CDC during the same year (1.7%).The study also offered a breakdown by race, which found a 2.8% prevalence among black children and a 2.6% prevalence among white children. However, the estimate for black children was only based on surveys of 80 families and in a 2017 survey, the number of black families surveyed was even smaller… just 38 families where a child in the household had autism. Rates of diagnosis are improving but progress is slowOne key finding from the CDC report was that the gender gap in autism diagnosis has narrowed. In 2014, boys were four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls, whereas in 2012, boys were 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed. This suggests improved diagnosis among girls − many of whom do not demonstrate the same symptoms as boys.The ethnicity gap in diagnosis has also narrowed. Although white children were still more likely to be diagnosed than their ethnic minority peers, the gap has narrowed since 2012, especially between black and white children. This suggests that screening for autism has improved among minority communities, although diagnosis among Hispanic children was still significantly lower than among non-Hispanic children.One disappointing finding was that there was no overall decrease in age of diagnosis, with most children still only being diagnosed after the age of 4 in 2014. Considering that autism can be reliably diagnosed from as early as 2 years, ensuring an earlier diagnosis is essential because intervention can provide children with the support they need for healthy development and benefit them for a lifetime. This is very alarming to the authorities. They are working very hard to provide the facilities for intervention for that number [of children with autism].” It’s encouraging to see evidence of improved identification of autism in girls and minority groups. We must continue to narrow this gap while greatly speeding up the time from first concerns about a child’s development to screening, diagnosis and intervention.If most children aren’t being diagnosed until after age 4, we’re losing months if not years of intervention that can deliver benefits throughout their lives.”Thomas Frazier, Autism Speaks Resources for recognizing early signs of autism and for accessing support services are available at AutismSpeaks. The organization is also encouraging people to access the site, volunteer and donate so that people can come together to make a difference for the millions of people living with autism worldwide. When you look at the numbers, 38 black children with autism are supposed to represent our entire country. This is ridiculous.”Meredith Pecukonis, Center for Autism Research Excellence, Boston University President and Chief Executive of Autism Speaks, Angela Geiger, says that whilst progress in autism research has been made on some fronts, there is still a lot more work to do. The findings suggest there needs to be a significant increase in life-enhancing research and access to high-quality services for people with autism across the spectrum and throughout their lifespan.Autism Speaks is now calling on public health organizations, legislators and the National Institutes of Health to ensure research is conducted that improves understanding of the increased prevalence and the medical needs that frequently accompany autism. The organization suggests that policymakers follow the U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s recommendation to double the funding for autism research.Autism rates are ‘alarming’ in QatarOther research presented at INSAR found that autism affects 1.4% of school-aged children in Qatar, which is above the global average, but below than the average reported for the US. The researchers say their findings represent the first reliable epidemiological study of autism prevalence in Qatar.Senior scientist at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Fouad Alshaban, says previous research had suggested that autism prevalence among children in Qatar was around 5 in 10,000, but that those estimates were based on inaccurate and unreliable survey methods. The results from the new survey serve as a wake-up call to government officials, he says.last_img read more

Study reveals what happens within the brain when we name what we

first_img“This methodological advance provides a template by which to assess other complex neural processes, as well as to explain disorders of language production,” Tandon said.Aram Giahi Saravani of Baylor College of Medicine and Kiefer J. Forseth of UTHealth also are authors of this work. Source:Baylor College of MedicineJournal reference:Giahi-Saravani, A. et al. (2019) Dynamic brain interactions during picture naming. eNeuro. Before our findings, the typical view was that separate brain areas would be activated in sequence. But we used more complex statistical methods and fast measurement methods, and found more interesting brain dynamics.”Dr Xaq Pitkow, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019You see an object, you think of its name and then you say it. This apparently simple activity engages a set of brain regions that must interact with each other to produce the behavior quickly and accurately. A report published in eNeuro shows that a reliable sequence of neural interactions occurs in the human brain that corresponds to the visual processing stage, the language state when we think of the name, and finally the articulation state when we say the name. The study reveals that the neural processing does not involve just a sequence of different brain regions, but instead it engages a sequence of changing interactions between those brain regions.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia risk”In this study, we worked with patients with epilepsy whose brain activity was being recorded with electrodes to find where their seizures started. While the electrodes were in place, we showed the patients pictures and asked them to name them while we recorded their brain activity,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Xaq Pitkow, assistant professor of neuroscience and McNair Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University.”We then analyzed the data we recorded and derived a new level of understanding of how the brain network comes up with the right word and enables us to say that word,” said Dr. Nitin Tandon, professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.The researchers’ findings support the view that when a person names a picture, the different behavioral stages – looking at the image, thinking of the name and saying it – consistently correspond to dynamic interactions within neural networks.last_img read more

HarleyDavidson rebels with an electric motorcycle Update

first_imgThis undated photo released by Harley-Davidson on Monday, July 30, 2018, shows a prototype model of Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle, LiveWire, the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers. Harley will roll out the electric motorcycle next year. (Harley-Davidson via AP) Citation: Harley-Davidson rebels with an electric motorcycle (Update) (2018, July 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This April 27, 2017, file photo shows the Harley-Davidson name on the gas tank of a bike in Glenview, Ill. The iconic American motorcycle company, facing dwindling sales in its home market, said Monday, July 30, 2018, that it would be rolling out some new products, and stores, to broaden its audience and hopefully, invigorate sales. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) Samantha Kay, a Milwaukee resident who recently learned to ride motorcycles, said she doesn’t picture electric motorcycles when she thinks of Harley-Davidson, but she welcomed news of the LiveWire.”I would be more inclined to buy it than I would a traditional motorcycle,” said Kay, 25, adding that she rode a moped in high school and college and thinks the smaller, electric models would be easier to navigate in the city.Those models being released in the coming years “will be incredibly approachable to many, many people,” said Robert Pandya, who managed public relations for Indian Motorcycles and Victory Motorcycles. Last year he launched “Give A Shift,” a volunteer group discussing ideas to promote motorcycling.”It can fit into your life a lot easier,” he said of the smaller, electric models. “It might bypass licensing requirements in certain states, which is a real game-changer.” In all, Harley-Davidson said it plans to release 100 new motorcycles over the next 10 years. During that time, the company also wants to gain 2 million new riders to reverse declining sales.U.S. sales slid 6.4 percent in the most recent quarter, and they’re down 8.7 percent at the halfway point of the year. Sales in Canada fell 0.5 percent over the past 3 months, and are down 4.9 percent over the past six months.At the same time, riders are getting older. The Motorcycle Industry Council says the median age of U.S. motorcycle owners increased from 32 to 47 since 1990. About 46 percent of riders are over 50; only about 10 percent are 30-34. Harley-Davidson: no US sales hit from offshoring dustup Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Smaller bikes, electric engines and urban storefronts: Harley-Davidson, we hardly knew you. The Milwaukee-based company, facing dwindling sales in its home market, said Monday it hopes to broaden its appeal and invigorate sales with new products, which next year will include LiveWire, its first electronic motorcycle.Harley-Davidson, known for its car-alarm triggering engine rumble, said LiveWire will have no clutch and no gears with the goal of making motorcycle-riding accessible to more people.The new products and strategic initiatives come as Harley-Davidson finds itself in the spotlight. It’s dealing declining sales and an aging riding population amid criticism from President Donald Trump for the company’s decision to move production of motorcycles sold in Europe overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs the EU is imposing on American exports.”Alongside our existing loyal riders, we will lead the next revolution of two-wheeled freedom to inspire future riders who have yet to even think about the thrill of riding,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said in a statement.Harley-Davidson will also open smaller storefronts in urban areas to broaden its appeal. And with sales rising in Asia and India, it said it’s developing smaller bikes with 250 to 500 cubic-centimeter engines to make them more accessible in those regions.The company said LiveWire will be followed by more “twist and go” electric two-wheelers over the next few years that will be lighter and smaller. But the company has no plans to pull back on manufacturing its big bikes and its new products will include more technology-advanced Touring and Cruiser motorcycle as well.last_img read more

Fiat sells auto parts unit to Japans Calsonic for 62 bn euros

first_img © 2018 AFP Fiat Chrysler said Monday it was selling its Italian auto parts unit Magneti Marelli to Japan’s Calsonic Kansei (CK) in a deal worth 6.2 billion euros. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Fiat Chrysler nearly doubles profits in 2017center_img It said the merged company will rank in the top 10 auto parts suppliers globally with annual sales of 15.2 billion euros ($17.6 billion).There will be a multi-year supply agreement with Fiat Chrysler.This agreement will underscore “the combined entity’s commitment to maintain Magnetti Marelli’s operations in Italy and sustain its industrial footprint and employment levels,” a joint statement said.The deal should be closed in the first half of 2019, it added.CK is controlled by US investment house KKR.Fiat Chrysler said earlier this year that it planned to hive off its auto parts unit.Mike Manley, the new head of Fiat Chrysler, said the deal will boost growth at Magneti Marelli which will remain one of the group’s most important business partners.Unions welcomed the deal.”It is a great opportunity for growth,” said Fim-Cisl’s Marco Bentivogli.”The guarantee on all current employment in our country is important,” he added.Magneti Marelli, founded in 1919, employs some 43,000 people and operates in 21 countries. Sales last year came to 8.2 billion euros. CEO of Fiat Chrysler Michael Manley, pictured (L) with new Ferrari Chairman John Elkann, said the deal will boost growth at Magneti Marelli Citation: Fiat sells auto parts unit to Japan’s Calsonic for 6.2 bn euros (2018, October 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from read more

Britain approves Huawei role in 5G network

first_imgLast month, Britain identified “significant technological issues” in Huawei’s engineering processes that pose “new risks” for the nation’s telecommunications UK identifies fresh Huawei risks to telecom networks Explore further Citation: Britain ‘approves’ Huawei role in 5G network (2019, April 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from British Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly approved a limited role for China’s Huawei to help build a 5G network in the UK, shrugging off security warnings from senior ministers and Washington surrounding the telecoms giant, media said Wednesday.center_img Britain’s National Security Council, which is chaired by May, agreed Tuesday to allow the Chinese technology giant limited access to build “non-core” infrastructure such as antennas, The Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote.The Financial Times, citing those close to the meeting, added that the Chinese company had been banned from more sensitive “core” parts of the project. The Times newspaper meanwhile was more cautious, stating that May was “considering giving limited approval”.Her reported moves come despite concerns raised by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.May’s Downing Street office declined to comment on the story.However, Digital Minister Margot James dismissed the media speculation.”In spite of cabinet leaks to the contrary, final decision yet to be made on managing threats to telecoms infrastructure,” she tweeted.She later told Sky News that while a final decision had not been made, James indicated that a security review had concluded.”The decision has not been finally made yet and the Prime Minister will take advice form all of the relevant agencies and departments,” James added.Huawei itself welcomed the report.”Huawei welcomes reports that the UK government is moving towards allowing Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G network,” it said in a brief statement.”This green light means that UK businesses and consumers will have access to the fastest and most reliable networks thanks to Huawei’s cutting edge technology.”While we await a formal government announcement, we are pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work and we will continue work cooperatively with the government, and the industry,” the Chinese company added.Britain’s move would be at odds with the United States, which has banned Huawei’s 5G technology from its territory and urged allies in the so-called Five Eyes intelligence sharing collective—comprising also Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand—to follow suit.Huawei is the leading manufacturer of equipment for next-generation 5G mobile networks with almost instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe’s economy, in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.Spying fearsThe technology titan faces pushback in some Western markets over fears Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure.Last month, Britain identified “significant technological issues” in Huawei’s engineering processes that pose “new risks” for the nation’s telecommunications, according to a government report.”Further significant technical issues have been identified in Huawei’s engineering processes, leading to new risks in the UK telecommunications networks,” read annual findings from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre oversight board.The board—which includes officials from Britain’s GCHQ cybersecurity agency as well as a senior Huawei executive and representatives from the UK telecommunications sector—added it could provide only limited assurance that risks posed by the Chinese tech giant to UK national security would be “sufficiently mitigated long-term”.Shrugging off the widespread concerns, Egypt on Sunday said Huawei would roll out a 5G phone network there for the first time during the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFPlast_img read more

Report FTCs political wrangling delays Facebook settlement

first_img In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook may have to wait a little longer before resolving a U.S. government investigation into the company’s mishandling of personal information on its social network. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission is being delayed by political wrangling. The FTC declined comment Friday, May 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Explore further Facebook may have to wait longer before resolving a U.S. government investigation into the company’s mishandling of personal information. Citation: Report: FTC’s political wrangling delays Facebook settlement (2019, May 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that political wrangling is delaying a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook could be fined up to $5 billion for various breaches of privacy.The newspaper says FTC Chairman Joseph Simons has the votes he needs from fellow Republicans, but is trying to persuade at least one Democratic commissioner to back the deal as well. The newspaper says the two Democrats consider the deal too lenient.The FTC and Facebook declined comment Friday. The Journal cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.The FTC opened an investigation after revelations that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica had gathered details on Facebook users without permission. In this April 30, 2019 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, makes the keynote speech at F8, the Facebook’s developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Facebook may have to wait a little longer before resolving a U.S. government investigation into the company’s mishandling of personal information on its social network. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission is being delayed by political wrangling. The FTC declined comment Friday, May 24. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar , File) Report: Facebook’s privacy lapses may result in record fine This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

BJP MLAs create ruckus in Rajasthan Assembly over unemployment allowances

first_img Press Trust of India JaipurJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 17:48 IST BJP MLA Kalicharan Saraf in a supplementary question asked about the number of unemployed youths receiving the allowance. (Photo: Twitter/@KalicharanSaraf)HIGHLIGHTSBJP legislators on Wednesday walked out of the Rajasthan Assembly alleging unemployment allowancesAnxious Opposition stormed into the Well of the House and raised slogans It said the unemployment allowance was mere a deceptionBJP legislators on Wednesday stormed the Well and later walked out of the Rajasthan Assembly alleging the unemployment allowances announced by the Congress government were merely a deception.Replying to a query during the Question Hour, Minister of State for Skill Development and Employment Ashok Chandna informed the House that 10.73 lakh educated unemployed youths are registered at employment exchange in the state and the government has announced to provide up to Rs 3,500 as unemployment allowance to each of them under Chief Minister Yuva Sambal Yojna.He said the state government provided Rs 5,909 lakh to 40,118 beneficiaries of the scheme between December 2018 and May 2019 and 29,019 youths have newly registered.BJP MLA Kalicharan Saraf in a supplementary question asked about the number of unemployed youths receiving the allowance after state government came into power.Leader of Opposition in the Assembly also joined him asking why the number of unemployed youths getting the allowance in Banswara, Udaipur and Dungarpur districts was less.To this, Chandna said the issue needs to be probed as the figures were of the previous BJP government’s tenure.Anxious Opposition stormed into the Well of the House and raised slogans. It said the unemployment allowance was mere a deception and then walked out of the Assembly even as the Question Hour continued.ALSO READ | Rattled by spate of rape cases, Rajasthan govt to include awareness on crime against women in schoolbooksALSO READ | How Facebook in 3,000 Indian villages is helping businesswomen establish their productALSO WATCH | Two gruesome rapes shock the country: Ghastly details emerge from Unnao and KathuaFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharma BJP MLAs create ruckus in Rajasthan Assembly over unemployment allowancesBJP legislators on Wednesday created a ruckus and later walked out of the Rajasthan Assembly alleging the unemployment allowances announced by the Congress government as mere deception.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Explainer Japans Abe faces headache from US plan for Mideast maritime coalition

first_imgTOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces a tough diplomatic challenge from an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader, attends a debate session with other party leaders ahead of July 21 upper house election at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoJapanese officials will attend a briefing in Washington on the proposal, a government spokesman said on Thursday, and it could be on the agenda when U.S. national security adviser John Bolton visits Tokyo next week, domestic media said. A decision to join such a coalition would likely inflame a divide in Japanese public opinion over sending troops abroad. Japan’s military has not fought overseas since World War Two. Abe’s coalition is expected to win a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday but ruling bloc lawmakers have avoided discussing the possible maritime mission during the campaign. “Until the election is over, they can’t touch such a touchy subject”, said a source familiar with the government’s stance. Below is an explanation of why this issue is contentious and what Japan’s options are. JAPAN’S STAKE IN THE REGION Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest oil buyer and 86% of its oil supplies last year passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. Last month, a tanker operated by a Japanese shipping company was attacked in the Gulf of Oman and the United States blamed Iran. Tehran denied the allegation. Abe is also keen to maintain and strengthen the U.S.-Japan security alliance, the pillar of its defence policies. U.S. President Donald Trump has criticised the pact as unfair and rejecting a U.S. request to join a maritime coalition could exacerbate that dissatisfaction. “Japan has to do something to protect our own vessels,” said a former Japanese senior diplomat. “We cannot keep asking others to do it.” Japan, however, also has friendly ties with Iran and might be reluctant to damage those ties by joining a military mission, especially when Trump’s critics blame him for escalating tensions. Abe made an unsuccessful bid to ease tensions in the region when he met Iranian leaders in Tehran last month. WHY IS THIS POLITICALLY CONTENTIOUS? Japan in 2015 enacted legislation that could let its troops fight overseas for the first time since its defeat in World War Two, a milestone in Abe’s push to loosen the limits of the pacifist constitution on the military. The legislation allows Japan to go to the defence of a friendly country under attack if it constitutes an “existential threat” to Japan. If the government decides the situation could lead to an armed attack on Japan, it can offer logistical support to multi-national forces. Enactment of the laws, which Abe said were needed to meet new security challenges, triggered huge protests from opponents who said it violated the constitution and could ensnare Japan in U.S.-led conflicts. A move to send the navy to take part in a U.S.-led operation would almost certainly revive that debate. JAPAN’S OPTIONS Experts have pointed to four legal frameworks that could be used to justify a decision to send Japanese warships and planes to join the maritime mission. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader, speaks at a debate session ahead of July 21 upper house election at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoThe most likely option, they said, would be for Japan to take part based on an existing Anti-Piracy Law for anti-piracy and escort missions, as long as attackers are considered non-state actors. Japan currently takes part in a multilateral mission off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. Or Japan could exercise its right of collective self-defence, or aiding an ally under attack, based on the 2015 laws, but the legal hurdle is higher. The defence minister could dispatch naval vessels or planes as a maritime security operation to protect Japanese ships and goods bound for Japan. In principle, other countries’ vessels would not be protected. Japan could also enact special, one-off legislation, but that would be a time-consuming process. Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Nick MacfieOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

Misophonia Why Do Some Sounds Drive People Crazy

first_img What’s That Noise? 11 Strange and Mysterious Sounds on Earth & Beyond Why Does the Sound of Water Help You Sleep? What Is White Noise? Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndo Could a seemingly innocent sound like someone chewing potato chips shoot up your heart rate and send your brain into a frenzy as if you were caught in a life-and-death situation? For people who suffer from misophonia, it can. Misophonia is a mysterious condition characterized by the experience of strong negative emotions, often anger and anxiety, in response to some everyday sounds other people make, such as humming, chewing, typing and even breathing. Although at first glance it may sound like an unfortunate but trivial annoyance, studies so far paint a more serious picture. “Some people doubt whether it’s really a disorder. They say, ‘Well, I get annoyed as well when I go to the movies and someone is eating crisps,'” said Damiaan Denys, professor of psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam. “There’s one important difference: These patients really suffer. We have seen divorces, we’ve seen people quitting their jobs.” Lack of awareness about the condition has even led to children with misophonia being diagnosed with much more severe disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism, Denys told Live Science. [What is the Taos Hum?]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Misophonia has been scarcely researched and is not yet formally recognized as a psychiatric or neurological condition. But some psychologists who have seen the intense distress it causes in their patients are convinced it should be taken seriously. “I completely believe it exists, based on the research and based on my interactions with patients,” said Ali Mattu, an assistant professor in medical psychology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City. “I’m just not quite sure what it is.” A brain that’s slightly different The underlying mechanism of misophonia is not fully known, but scientists suspect it’s caused by the way some people’s brains process particular sounds and react to them. In a new study published May 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, Denys and his colleagues monitored the brains of 21 people with misophonia and 23 healthy participants as they watched video clips of the following actions: triggering sounds, like lip smacking; neutral events, such as a person meditating; or gross scenes from movies. Only the misophonic clips caused a different response between the two groups. When watching a video of lip smacking or heavy breathing, people with misophonia felt intense anger and disgust, and their heart rates spiked. Their brain scans showed hyperactivation of the salience network, a group of brain areas that direct our attention to noticeable things in our surroundings. The study’s findings matched those from a study last year by another team, published in the journal Current Biology. That study found that in people with misophonia, trigger sounds send the salience network into an overdrive and activate brain areas responsible for regulating fear and emotions, as well as forming long-term memories. Using different brain-imaging techniques, the researchers found the connections between these brain areas are different and sometimes structurally more robust in people with misophonia than they are in the general public. These findings have led scientists to suspect misophonia is caused by a different wiring of the brain, causing the brain to perceive particular sounds as highly salient and respond with intense anxiety and distress. In other words, this brain reacts to a chewing sound in a way that’s more appropriate for responding to a lion’s roar. [Exploding Head Syndrome: A Mind-Blowing Sleep Disorder] Can a misophonic brain be calmed? Research into misophonia is so new, the condition is not well-defined and there are no standard guidelines for detecting and treating it. “The biggest challenge I have in treating it is that we just don’t have good criteria for what misophonia is,” Mattu told Live Science. “There isn’t an agreed upon psychiatric definition for it yet. There’s a lot of similarity between people who experience misophonia, but also a lot of diversity, which complicates our understanding of the condition. “Some of my patients experience anxiety in response to sounds. Some report disgust and others report rage,” Mattu said. To help patients with misophonia, therapists use a variety of techniques, often based on the type of symptoms. “What emotions are experienced and the thoughts that come up with those are key to treating this problem,” Mattu said. Those who experience fear and anxiety may respond to exposure-based treatments, in which therapists help them learn to manage their symptoms while exposing them to trigger sounds. In contrast, patients who experience anger learn to manage their distress through, for example, distraction or relaxation techniques. The most effective therapy so far appears to be cognitive behavioral therapy, in which therapists help people change the way they think about these situations and learn to shift their attention, Denys said.last_img read more

Did We Mishear Neil Armstrongs Famous First Words on the Moon

first_img This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoLivestlyThis List Ranks The Dog Breeds You’ll Want To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameAre You Strong Enough for this Game?Grepolis – Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionType in your name and wait 8 seconds. It’s crazy what this site reveals about people.TruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoAnti-Snoring SolutionA Simple Fix for Snoring And Sleep ApneaAnti-Snoring SolutionUndo On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched in suspense as Neil Armstrong descended a ladder towards the surface of the Moon. As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Or at least that’s how the media reported his words.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  But Armstrong insisted that he actually said, “That’s one small step for a man.” In fact, in the official transcript of the Moon landing mission, NASA transcribes the quote as “that’s one small step for (a) man.” As a linguist, I’m fascinated by mistakes between what people say and what people hear. In fact, I recently conducted a study on ambiguous speech, using Armstrong’s famous quote to try to figure out why and how we successfully understand speech most of the time, but also make the occasional mistake. Our extraordinary speech-processing abilities Despite confusion over Armstrong’s words, speakers and listeners have a remarkable ability to agree on what is said and what is heard. When we talk, we formulate a thought, retrieve words from memory and move our mouths to produce sound. We do this quickly, producing, in English, around five syllables every second. The process for listeners is equally complex and speedy. We hear sounds, which we separate into speech and non-speech information, combine the speech sounds into words, and determine the meanings of these words. Again, this happens nearly instantaneously, and errors rarely occur. These processes are even more extraordinary when you think more closely about the properties of speech. Unlike writing, speech doesn’t have spaces between words. When people speak, there are typically very few pauses within a sentence. Yet listeners have little trouble determining word boundaries in real time. This is because there are little cues — like pitch and rhythm — that indicate when one word stops and the next begins. But problems in speech perception can arise when those kinds of cues are missing, especially when pitch and rhythm are used for non-linguistic purposes, like in music. This is one reason why misheard song lyrics — called “mondegreens” — are common. When singing or rapping, a lot of the speech cues we usually use are shifted to accommodate the song’s beat, which can end up jamming our default perception process. But it’s not just lyrics that are misheard. This can happen in everyday speech, and some have wondered if this is what happened in the case of Neil Armstrong. Studying Armstrong’s mixed signals Over the years, researchers have tried to comb the audio files of Armstrong’s famous words, with mixed results. Some have suggested that Armstrong definitely produced the infamous “a,” while others maintain that it’s unlikely or too difficult to tell. But the original sound file was recorded 50 years ago, and the quality is pretty poor. So can we ever really know whether Neil Armstrong uttered that little “a”? Perhaps not. But in a recent study, my colleagues and I tried to get to the bottom of this. First, we explored how similar the speech signals are when a speaker intends to say “for” or “for a.” That is, could a production of “for” be consistent with the sound waves, or acoustics, of “for a,” and vice-versa? So we examined nearly 200 productions of “for” and 200 productions of “for a.” We found that the acoustics of the productions of each of these tokens were nearly identical. In other words, the sound waves produced by “He bought it for a school” and “He bought one for school” are strikingly similar. But this doesn’t tell us what Armstrong actually said on that July day in 1969. So we wanted to see if listeners sometimes miss little words like “a” in contexts like Armstrong’s phrase. We wondered whether “a” was always perceived by listeners, even when it was clearly produced. And we found that, in several studies, listeners often misheard short words, like “a.” This is especially true when the speaking rate was as slow as Armstrong’s. In addition, we were able to manipulate whether or not people heard these short words just by altering the rate of speech. So perhaps this was a perfect storm of conditions for listeners to misperceive the intended meaning of this famous quote. The case of the missing “a” is one example of the challenges in producing and understanding speech. Nonetheless, we typically perceive and produce speech quickly, easily and without conscious effort. A better understanding of this process can be especially useful when trying to help people with speech or hearing impairments. And it allows researchers to better understand how these skills are learned by adults trying to acquire a new language, which can, in turn, help language learners develop more efficient strategies. Fifty years ago, humanity was changed when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon. But he probably didn’t realize that his famous first words could also help us better understand how humans communicate. [Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter to get insight each day] Melissa Michaud Baese-Berk, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregonlast_img read more

Man Goes Blind After Wearing Contact Lenses in the Shower

first_img 27 Oddest Medical Case Reports 27 Devastating Infectious Diseases Acanthamoeba is a single-celled amoeba that’s commonly found in water, soil and air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contact lens wearers face a risk of contracting this infection if they engage in certain practices, such as disinfecting lenses with tap water or swimming or showering while wearing lenses, the CDC said. This amoeba has a particular affinity for the surfaces of contact lenses, meaning the lenses can be “a vehicle for the harboring, transmission and delivery of microorganisms to the eye,” according to a 2010 review paper on the topic published in the Journal of Optometry. But when Humphreys started wearing contact lenses in 2013 so he could play sports without glasses, he wasn’t aware of this showering risk. He would often hop in the shower with his contact lenses in after a morning workout. “I thought nothing of it at the time. I was never told not to wear contact lenses in the shower. There’s no warning on the packaging, and my opticians never mentioned a risk,” Humphreys said. After he was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis in early 2018, he was given eyedrops for his infection, but a few months later, he suddenly went blind in his right eye, according to PA Media. Humphreys was then prescribed a stronger medication, which needed to be applied to his eyes every hour, even at night. Humphreys became housebound and experienced severe pain in his right eye. “The pain in my eye was too much, and the only time I would leave was to visit the hospital,” Humphreys told PA Media. He would later undergo two operations in his right eye, the first to strengthen the tissue in his cornea and the second to protect the cornea with a graft of tissue from a fetal placenta. That procedure is known as an amniotic membrane transplant. Although his infection cleared up, Humphreys remains blind in his right eye. He is scheduled to undergo a corneal transplant in August. This operation replaces damaged corneal tissue with healthy corneal tissue from a deceased donor. Humphreys now works with the charity Fight for Sight to raise awareness about the risks of showering or swimming with contact lenses. “It’s crucial that people out there know this is a reality and it can happen because of something as simple as getting in the shower,” Humphreys said. Our fantastic Fight for Sight supporter, Nick Humphreys, is raising awareness of the need for correct contact lens care and clearer information on contact lens packaging, after losing his sight in one eye to Acanthamoeba keratitis: #ContactLenses #AKby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes – Research Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoEditorChoice.com30 Chilling Locations – Abandoned And Left To DecayEditorChoice.comUndo — Fight for Sight (@fightforsightUK) July 9, 2019 Your daily shower isn’t usually a health risk, but for one man in England, it may have led to a serious eye infection that left him blind in one eye, according to news reports. The man, 29-year-old Nick Humphreys of Shropshire, England, typically left his contact lenses in while showering, without knowing that this practice can increase the risk of eye infections, according to PA Media, a U.K.-based media agency. In 2018, he contracted Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare parasitic infection of the cornea, or the eye’s transparent outer covering. “If I’d have known how dangerous it was to wear contacts in the shower, I would never have got them in the first place,” Humphreys told PA Media. [‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 9 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm] AdvertisementDon’t Flush Your Contact Lenses! Here’s WhyHere’s what happens when you flush contact lenses down the toilet or drain. Hint: It’s not good for the environment.Volume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Better Bug Sprays?01:33关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0001:0001:00Your Recommended Playlist01:33Better Bug Sprays?04:24Sperm Whale Befriends Underwater Robot01:08Why Do French Fries Taste So Bad When They’re Cold?00:29Robot Jumps Like a Grasshopper, Rolls Like a Ball00:29Video – Giggly Robot02:31Surgical Robotics关闭 center_img 8 Awful Parasite Infections That Will Make Your Skin Crawl Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more

Delhi govt to introduce entrepreneurship curriculum in schools from next year

first_imgManish Sisodia, Education Minister in the Delhi government (file pic) education COMMENT Delhi December 18, 2018 SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL entrepreneurship Published on To inculcate entrepreneurial skills in students from an early age, the Delhi government is to introduce an entrepreneurship curriculum in its schools from next year.“The curriculum will start from grade 9 onwards. The aim is to make students employers rather than employees,” said Manish Sisodia, Delhi Education Minister, during an event here on Tuesday.Speaking during Shell India’s NXplorers, he said workshops like these would help students think out of the box.NXplorers is Shell’s STEM education programme for young people, aged between 14 to 19 years. The objective of the programme is to build awareness, develop knowledge, and provide thinking tools to leaders of the future, using a collaborative, innovative, and inter-disciplinary approach to solving real world challenges.Sisodia said there is a need for new-age thinking and students should not fear it. “There is a need to identify the problem and the solutions we have, and how that problem can be solved,” said Sisodia.He also emphasised that there is a need to understand and go beyond what is already given in the books. “We are grateful to the government of Delhi for partnering with us on this programme, and we aim to increase participation from schools in the region in the next three years,” said Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Jobs to 3 lakh people in railways another jumla Chidambaram

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL January 24, 2019 politics Published on employmentcenter_img SHARE P Chidambaram Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday termed the announcement by the Railways that nearly 3 lakh people will be recruited in the next two years as “another jumla (gimmick)”. In a series of tweets, the former Union minister said the story is the same across many departments of the government as on one hand, there are vacant posts and on the other, there are unemployed youths. “Railways leave 2,82,976 posts vacant for nearly 5 years and suddenly wake up to say we will fill them in 3 months! Another jumla!,” Chidambaram said. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had on Wednesday said the national transporter will recruit around 1.31 lakh employees within the next six months and about a lakh more over the next two years. The Indian Railways has a sanctioned strength of 15,06,598 employees. Out of these, 12,23,622 personnel are on roll. The remaining 2,82,976 are vacant posts. The recruitment for 1,51,548 posts in the railways is going on, leaving 1,31,428 posts still vacant, Goyal had said. COMMENTSlast_img read more

More work less water Garden city Bengaluru faces dry times

first_imgwater COMMENT Water scarcity in Bengaluru (File photo)   –  The Hindu SHARE SHARE EMAIL June 05, 2019 Published on Bangalore Waiting under the scorching sun for a tanker truck to deliver water to his home, Chandra Shekhar reminisced about how Bengaluru once brimmed with pristine lakes and lush gardens.“They are all gone now. They have been consumed by buildings and more buildings,” said the 59-year-old retired engineer, who has seen the IT hub of Bengaluru — often dubbed India’s Silicon Valley — transform since he was a boy. “Bangalore has gone from being the city of lakes to the city of concrete. Because of this, all the water has disappeared.”Years of rapid urbanisation, a swelling population and poor water management have led to drying taps, falling groundwater levels and filth-frothed lakes that can burst into flames.Bengaluru is paying a heavy price for its success since marketing itself as a tech hub in the late 1990s and attracting top firms including Microsoft, IBM, Dell and Google.While job opportunities have soared in the sprawling city, millions have no piped water and instead rely on an army of privately-run tankers that suck water from wells inside and outside the city and deliver it to homes. Other families dig unauthorised private wells in search of water for drinking, bathing, laundry and other daily needs.Even those living in long-established neighbourhoods with piped water often find water trickling, rather than gushing, from the tap.Shekhar, who paid Rs 1,50,000 to be hooked to the city water supply in 2015, said he has to fill gaps in the supply with tanker water, which can cost up to $50 per month.Even as the city struggles to quench its current thirst, towering residential condominiums and glass-and-steel office blocks sprout to accommodate an inflow of migrants.Pipe dreams Officials admit that city authorities, unprepared for the speed of the city’s tech boom, did not adequately plan for Bengaluru’s growing water needs.The size of the city has more than tripled in just over a decade to 800 square km — nearly half the size of London — by swallowing dozens of settlements and villages. The city’s population has more than doubled to about 12 million since 2001 and is predicted to hit 20 million by 2031.The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is the main agency that manages drinking water – but it can provide it to only about 60 per cent of the city. “We have not got to some places yet, like the outer parts,” said Tushar Giri Nath, chairman of the BWSSB. “With land for water reservoirs and other infrastructure difficult and expensive to acquire, “there is some challenge to (get to) those areas — but we are trying,” he said.Each day, the city pushes 1.4 billion litres of water through its pipes — but still falls 800 million litres short of meeting the city’s ballooning needs, he said. “One of the biggest difficulties,” he said, “is that much of the water comes from the Cauvery river more than 100 km (60 miles) away. To get to Bengaluru, the water must be pumped uphill, at a cost of $6 million a month in electricity.”Then, on the way to homes, more than 20 per cent is lost to leaks from old and corroded pipes and storage units, he said. The board is adding a fifth — and likely final — pipeline from the Cauvery, aiming to give the city an extra 750 million litres a day once the project is finished in 2023, he said.But faced with growing competition for the Cauvery’s water from other equally thirsty Indian cities, including Chennai, Bangalore is also looking for other sources of water.‘Groundwater mining’For now, much of the shortage is met by private traders. In outer parts of the city such as Sarjapur and Whitefield — beyond the reach of the city water system — sprawling apartment blocks and IT parks run solely on trucked-in water.The trucks get their supply from wells, rapidly being dug to ever deeper levels as groundwater levels plunge. But groundwater is falling so fast in the city that the Union government last year predicted there would none left below the city, at levels possible to reach, by the end of 2020.Vishwanath Srikantaiah, a Bengaluru-based water expert, said he thinks that bleak assessment is “an exaggeration”. But as well operators drill deeper and deeper to find water, the price per tank has tripled over the last 15 years, according to Harini Nagendra, author of “Nature in the City”, a book on the city’s relationship with nature.At Springfields, an upmarket residential block in Sarjapur with tennis courts, manicured lawns and sparkling pools, residents buy 50 truckloads of water — about 3,00,000 litres — a day to keep everything running.Every truckload costs up to Rs 700 and prices can touch Rs 2,000 in the summer, said a member of the residents’ association who oversees Springfields’ water management. The development’s complete dependence on private tankers means residents fear the “water mafia”, their term for the tanker bosses, could cut off supplies at any time.Tanker owners say their network of thousands of trucks provides a crucial public service in response to the government’s own service failures — and that drivers face their own problems, from worsening traffic to depleting groundwater.One tanker company owner said this year he had to dig a borehole well nearly 2,000 feet (610 m) deep, about 10 times deeper than a decade ago, to ensure enough water for customers.“What is happening now is groundwater mining, not extraction,” with supplies unlikely to recover, said Avinash Mishra, lead author of a study published last year by the National Institution for Transforming India. The study by the government-run policy think tank found that India, Asia’s third-largest economy, was “suffering from the worst water crisis in its history”. “If you are going this deep, you will be extracting oil soon,” Mishra said.’Scary’ future Mishra, who is working on a follow-up report on water in India, said a “business-as-usual attitude and lack of political will” threaten Bengaluru’s ability to deal with growing water threats.“The South African city of Cape Town’s countdown in 2017 to a ‘Day Zero’, when taps were predicted to run dry, highlights the risks that lie ahead for many Indian cities,” he said.Software engineer Roshan Srivastava, who pays up to Rs 3,000 a month for water from tankers for his flat, predicted that “we may end up like Cape Town in the near future”. “It is quite alarming,” said the 27-year-old, preparing for his night shift at IT services firm Wipro Ltd in Sarjapur. “This isn’t really a sustainable model. How long can we live like this?”But changing Bengaluru’s dysfunctional water system, with its limited infrastructure and vested interests, is likely to prove difficult. Likith R. heads the Sree Balaji Fabrication Works, where his workers make about 15 truck-mounted water tanks each month, charging up to Rs 3,50,000 each.“Business is good, but as a citizen, I’m really petrified about the water situation here,” said the 22-year-old, raising his voice above the din in his welding workshop. As city wells dry up, tanker operators dig deeper, then head out to rural pockets to “suck those areas dry”, he said.“It’s scary to think about, because I don’t really know what the future holds for our children,” said Likith, who earned a master’s degree in business.While Likith’s business booms, that of M Raju — one of 50 laundrymen at Bangalore’s dhobi ghat, an open-air laundromat — is feeling the pinch of water shortages. With less water available, workers can only accept a limited number of clothes, sheets and towels from customers, he said.Nearly a decade ago, one main borehole produced plenty of water for their needs but that dried up in 2011, Raju said.A local legislator installed two more wells, but one ran dry by 2014, leaving them with a single working well. “We have a water problem here,” said the 40-year-old, who has been a washerman for 25 years, following in his father’s footsteps. “My children cannot do this job. This profession will end with me.”For now, he is pinning his hopes on good monsoon rains. Apart from the Cauvery, the monsoon has been a principal source of water for the city. But with climate change bringing more volatile rainfall, the once-reliable showers are increasingly irregular, environmentalists say.Dead lakesOne of Bangalore’s problems is a lack of water storage. Monsoon downpours take just minutes to spurt through Bangalore’s overburdened pipes and onto the streets.The city floods rapidly because only 4 per cent to 9 per cent of its rainfall seeps into natural aquifers that hold water underground, said Srikantaiah, the Bengaluru-based water expert.Bangalore was built around a series of lakes that acted as rainwater reservoirs and recharged the aquifers, providing a renewable source of water. But the lakes have been under attack by urbanisation, encroached by real estate projects and left foaming and frothing as toxic effluents, sewage and trash produced by industries and homes fill them.Bellandur Lake, the city’s largest, often bursts into flames and sends plumes of black smoke into the sky. Other lakes have been covered by tarmac and concrete to make way for more buildings, and some have simply dried up.Bengaluru, which had more than 260 lakes in 1960, now has about 80, and most of those are ecologically dead. But efforts to restore some city lakes are now underway. Once-dead Jakkur Lake, rejuvenated over a decade by charities, government and local people, now attracts fishermen and helps recharge groundwater and wells, Srikantaiah said. About 40 similar restoration projects are now underway.The solutionSrikantaiah is also pushing for the creation of a million small recharge wells dug throughout the city, to capture monsoon run-off and channel it into aquifers. About 1,00,000 such wells, old and new, already exist in the city but expanding the system could provide as much water for Bengaluru as the Cauvery does, he believes.In a water-short city, “every household can contribute to the solution”, he said. Since 2009, Bengaluru’s water board has run campaigns to promote rainwater harvesting, making it mandatory for all residential complexes to have built-in systems to catch rain.But, despite tens of thousands of fines levied, less than 10 per cent of Bangalore’s rainwater is harvested, according to Ammanaghatta Rudrappa Shivakumar, a rainwater harvesting expert at the Indian Institute of Science.He blamed the problem on a lack of incentives for residents to save water. Government subsidies on piped, bottled and tanker water — designed to ensure that the poor can cook and clean — mean buying 1,000 litres usually costs residents less than $1.For a resident Shekhar, the solution to worsening water woes lies in better government efforts to control “rampant, unchecked construction, even in water-stressed areas”. “Make me the Chief Minister for six months and I will change everything,” he said. Rapid urbanisation, growing population and poor water management have led to drying of taps, falling groundwater levels and filthy lakes, say residents SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more