Missouri poised to require expanded insurance for children with disabilities

first_img(Missourinet) In 2010, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover therapies for the state’s autistic children. A measure passed this year expands that policy by mandating insurers to include physical, occupational and speech therapies for Missouri’s physically and developmentally disabled kids up to age 18. The move will make the Show-Me State among three states in the nation to have a therapy requirement for all children with such challenges.The Schelps pictured with Gov. Mike Parson during bill signingThe bipartisan bill, sponsored by State Representative Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, was attached to a healthcare bill with several other components. It was signed into law this month by Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, and takes effect with 2020 insurance plans.Robyn Schelp, of central Missouri’s Columbia, has been a leading advocate of the law because her 11-year-old son, Nathan, is developmentally challenged.“It’s not going to impact him that much anymore like it would have ten years ago, but it needs to be done for all kiddos,” says Schelp. “This is not about Nathan. It’s not about Will. It’s not about the kids that are walking the halls. It’s about all of Missouri’s children.”Schelp’s pursuit for the law included leaving the language broad for all disabilities to get equal treatment.“It is so important that all disabilities be included to do with anything in the disability world,” she says. “This (bill) includes disabilities like Down syndrome, which is pretty common, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, to the really rare genetic disorders. Or like my son, who has a genetic disorder that they can’t even figure out what it is.”In the provision of Senate Bill 514, it says that insurance companies must be limited to a number of visits per calendar year, provided that additional visits shall be covered if approved and deemed medically necessary by the health benefit plan. Schelp is hopeful that more therapy providers will surface in Missouri, especially in schools and in rural areas where healthcare resources are especially limited.“It (the law) impacts their families. It’s impacts their neighbors. It impacts their classrooms – their classmates. It impacts the community. When we start to get beyond ourselves, we can realize when everybody’s needs are met, everybody benefits,” Schelp says.Now that Missouri will soon become the third state to expand coverage, Schelp does not plan to stop advocating for the cause.“Our goal is to see nationwide change. We want this (requirement) to happen everywhere,” says Schelp. “It should have already happened everywhere, but now it’s time to make sure it happens everywhere throughout the country.”last_img read more

Avenue HQ owner waiting on rebuilding decision after tornado

first_imgRebuild, or move on?That’s the decision ahead of many Jefferson Citians after the May tornado destroyed their homes and businesses.Quinten Rice’s Avenue HQ on East Capitol is barely standing.“It’s the fun game of just waiting for insurance and engineers, and waiting for the math to get done to decide what we can and can’t do,” Rice says. “It stinks, you know. It’s part of it.”Rice’s old Dix Apartments building took a direct hit from the storm. It has been a music venue and provided offices for start-up businesses.last_img read more

Trump focuses on mental illness, not gun control

first_img(AP) – President Donald Trump says that in the wake of two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas this month that he wants to focus on mental illness to prevent mass gun violence, not gun control.Trump told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire that he wants to re-open mental institutions across the country, but did not provide details on his proposal.He said: “We will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets so we won’t have to worry so much about them. A big problem.” He added, “There are seriously ill people and they’re on the streets.”Trump said that what he won’t allow after those shootings are any measures to make it harder for “law-abiding” people to “protect themselves.”last_img read more

Rep. Bailey calls isolation rooms in schools “medieval”

first_imgIsolation rooms in schools will get a close look from state lawmakers next year. Rep. Dottie Bailey has filed a bill pushing for limits on seclusion and restraint.“It’s medieval. It looks like a dungeon,” Bailey says. “It’s really insane.”Parents complained about the use of isolation rooms at a recent Columbia Public Schools board meeting. Illinois put an emergency ban on isolation rooms in its schools.last_img

The BriForum Experience: Through the Eyes of “The Intern”

first_imgBriForum by Sophia “the intern” Stalliviere All in all the trip was great…and a great start of my internship! Another session that I attended was the “[VDI Product Smackdown and Discussion|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=373|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=373],” which was hosted by Brian Madden. He talked about the different VDI components and his thoughts about each of them. He went into detail about Citrix Xendesktop, Qumranent, Quest, Ericom, and VMware. Other sessions were “[Optimizing and Understanding Citrix over WAN connections|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=358|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=358]”, “[Streaming Smackdown|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=339|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=339]”, “[Provisioning Servers in the Real World|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=357|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=357]”, “[The Future of Client Computing|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=371|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=371]”, and “[Customizing Citrix XenApp Web5.0|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=372|http://www.briforum.com/BriForum-2008-Chicago/session.asp?id=372].” The sessions were really great, and I learned a bunch. I also found the networking with people at the event to be one of my strong points and was able to learn about many end-user experiences and products. Jason and I went to each of the demos and I observed him talking to each of the companies about their roles in this forum. Then, in turn, we talked about our roles with Intel. We put the word out about the Emerging Compute Model Forum. Many of the people are interested in looking around the site. center_img I recently started with Intel as a summer intern, coming from Washington State University (go cougars), and had the privilege of doing something very unique for an Intern – going on a business trip! Last week I went to the BriForum, I didn’t have any idea what I got myself into when I went, however, I found it to be a great experience. I think of myself as technically savvy person, but at a show where they have a multi-part series on the “excruciating details” of the logon process challenged my level of tech savvy! To be immersed in the detailed language of computers at this event was both very scary and very exciting at the same time. At this forum there were many people, representing different parts of the world – connected by one thing: the future of computers. Now when I say future, we aren’t talking about just computers doing the same things faster, smaller, and cheaper; but we are talking about the changes that will come from the virtual execution world. A world where the application you run may be running on the device your using right now to view this blog, or it may be executing in a number of other places, but viewed just like you are doing right now, with manageability, security, and flexibility at the heart of the solution. My Intel manager, Jason Davidson hosted one of the sessions, as well as sponsored the food for the BriForum party (details about the party will be on my personal page J). He decided to have a discussion on . In his session he did something a little bit different than the other sessions. Instead of telling everyone his thoughts about his subject, he had questions up on the projection screen and the panel discussed the questions. The panel consisted of Jason Davidson, Brian Madden, Brian Duckering, and Ron Oglesby. All of them had different views on the topic which made it very energizing and intriguing. The audience got into it by asking questions and also waited till after the sessions to approach the speakers on the topic.last_img read more

Intel Distribution of Hadoop on Virtual Systems

first_imgSo why would one want to run Hadoop on virtual system instances? After all, Hadoop was originally designed for bare metal hardware. Would not map reduce jobs run slower on virtualized instances compared to bare metal hardware? With no concept of local storage, will disk I/O, which is critical for Hadoop performance, be slower on virtual instances? These are all valid questions to ask before considering moving Hadoop to a virtual infrastructure. For answers, one needs to look closely at advancements in server virtualization technology and the storage technology options that are available in the cloud today. And it will be apparent how the rapid evolution of technology in these areas is pushing enterprise computing services as a whole to the cloud.Of the many compelling reasons such as energy cost savings, and optimal resource utilization, that one can list to support Hadoop  in virtualized environments, the primary reason one may argue for, is the opportunity to move big data services to a cloud based infrastructure with the goal of making big data analytics accessible anytime and anywhere. Intel’s distribution of Hadoop is agnostic to the nature of the underlying platform infrastructure and works transparently on top of virtual or physical hardware alike. Intel Manager, the control center for the IDH cluster can be installed and executed on virtual hardware and it can configure a Hadoop cluster with a bunch of virtual system instances. The local access storage offered by some of the virtual infrastructures can easily meet or even in some cases exceed direct attached disk I/O speeds by using superior network fabric interconnect. Intel Manager also supports RESTful web services APIs and an entire Hadoop cluster can be deployed using RESTAPI in scripts with no user interaction, on a need basis. Dynamic Hadoop clusters created this way can be configured to load and run deep analytics on data, on a per use basis. Depending on the application requirement, the data may be generated or loaded on to ephemeral storage or accessed from permanent storage servers in the cloud. Also, in the place of HDFS, IDH could work seamlessly on top of certain other types of external file systems. As a result, Hadoop based big data application services can be provisioned in the cloud with the underlying IDH infrastructure running completely on a shared public or private virtual platform infrastructure.Creating and running a Hadoop cluster on an ad hoc basis on virtualized infrastructures makes auditing and enforcing security policies localized to application domains much easier.  Charging customers for services for only the duration for which the cluster was configured and used becomes simpler.All of the reasons mentioned above should make a compelling case to implement Hadoop clusters on both public and private virtualized infrastructures. In the next blog I will talk more on running IDH over Amazon Web services cloud.last_img read more

Change Your Desktops, Change Your Business. Part 3: Make IT More Effective

first_imgIn the last two posts in this series, we looked at two issues we’ve all got on our radar: productivity and power savings. They’re both huge targets for today’s businesses because they speak directly to the bottom line. The next topic also translates to real dollars, and that’s IT effectiveness.Now, it goes without saying that we rely on our IT departments to keep us up and running. But for them to be effective, we have to give them the tools they need to get the job done. That starts with making sure people have reliable PCs. Doing so can help IT lower costs and reduce employee downtime, while also giving them the ability to support more systems.So what about those PCs? What are we talking about? The PCs included in the study we’ve been exploring in the last few desktop blog articles relied on new All-in-Ones and Mini PCs, each with the latest Intel® vPro™ technology as well as the newest version of Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT).1These new systems let IT access the graphical user interface and control the desktops remotely, no matter the power state of the system. With your older fleets, if they had non-operational desktops that were out of band, it meant sending someone to physically fix the system. If you’ve ever had to do that, you know the lost time, productivity, and cost associated. Not ideal.For the study, Keyboard-Video-Mouse (KVM) Remote Control was included in the new systems, but not in the older release of Intel AMT (5.2) that was installed on the aging systems.2 The difference is response time is striking.Here’s the scenario: Imagine one of your employees at a remote site calls into the help desk; her desktop is down. In the old way of doing things, a tech would be dispatched, but probably not until the next day. That results in somewhere in the neighborhood of eight hours of downtime, a painful reality for any business.But the new systems explored in the study, the ones with KVM? Employees waited only 15 seconds for IT to initiate the KVM Remote Control session. Those kinds of savings are also felt in the bottom line. The study revealed that the All-in-One and Mini Desktop would reduce the cost of employee downtime by $215.08 for the 10-minute software repair. That’s a saving of nearly 98 percent.3Plus, don’t forget the savings in time spent by IT. The newer desktops, combined with avoiding that travel time, cut the repair cost by $39.65, leading to a savings of some 85 percent. And the savings go up from there the older your legacy systems are. You don’t even want to know what it’s likely to cost once you’re beyond the warranty.In the final installment in the series on PC refresh, let’s dive into how to actually leverage the newest technology. And don’t forget, you can review the complete study cited above.Join the conversation using #IntelDesktop.This is the third installment of the “Change Your Desktops, Change Your Business” series in the Desktop World Tech Innovation Series. To view the other posts in the series, click here: Desktop World Series.1. For more information on Intel AMT, visit http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/intel-active-management-technology.html?wapkw=amtOpens in a new window2. https://software.intel.com/sites/manageability/AMT_Implementation_and_Reference_Guide/default.htm?turl=WordDocuments%2Fkvmandintelamt.htmOpens in a new windowlast_img read more

University Team Beats National Lab for $500 Million Atom-Probing Machine

first_imgA new $500 million nuclear physics facility will be built at Michigan State University in East Lansing, the U.S. Department of Energy announced today. Known as the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, the straight-shot linear accelerator will pump out beams of fleeting radioactive nuclei for studies in nuclear physics that could help unravel the origins of scores of elements and give physicists a much deeper understanding of how atoms work.Michigan State’s success ends a David-versus-Goliath competition that pitted a team from the university’s plucky National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory against one from Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Michigan State’s lab is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation with 300 employees and a $20 million annual budget. Argonne is a giant multipurpose facility with a staff of 2800 and a $530 million budget. Some observers thought that Argonne’s greater resources and DOE connections would play into its favor. Stay tuned for analysis.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Infomercials in Medical Journals’ Clothing?

first_imgLast month, the online newspaper The Australian reported allegations that pharmaceutical giant Merck had paid scientific megapublisher Elsevier to publish a bogus medical journal, The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, that puffed Merck’s products. Now The Scientist, which seems to have broken the story, reports online that between 2000 and 2005, Elsevier actually put out six fake journals sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies. The publications looked like peer-reviewed medical journals but, again, ran “papers” favorable to the companies’ products. Subscribers to The Scientist can read the latest twist in the sordid tale, but the rest of us can read the mea culpa from Elsevier, which is investigating the matter.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Tighten Those Purse Strings, Scientists Tell NASA

first_imgA committee of the National Research Council warned today that steps recently taken by NASA to contain spiraling costs of future space missions won’t be enough. The committee’s report doesn’t offer any solutions to the perennial problem of scientists and engineers initially underestimating the cost of doing their science in space. But it does strongly recommend that NASA develop “a comprehensive, integrated cost-containment strategy” that early on would rein in overly optimistic cost projections before the agency commits to funding unduly risky missions. The committee found that the bulk of the cost overruns has come in a small proportion of NASA science missions, mostly among the largest missions. Fourteen missions together accounted for 92% of the increased costs among a total of 40 missions, for example. The cost overruns of the 14 missions ran from about 10% to about 160% and amounted to a total of about $1.3 billion. The problem involves “a small number of bad actors and NASA’s lack of a comprehensive approach to control costs,” says planetary scientist and committee member Larry W. Esposito of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) The committee’s solution—gleaned from 10 cost-containment studies—includes adding a phase early in the development of proposals for competing mission concepts submitted to NASA “with funding and time to better develop cost estimates and estimates of risk,” says Esposito. The shakedown period as well as other key development milestones should include more “parametric” cost estimates that “rely on observations rather than opinion,” according to the report. NASA could then, presumably, weed out competing missions that had unrealistic initial cost estimates. The committee also chided NASA for increasing “the size and number of external project reviews to the point that some reviews are counterproductive and disruptive.” Buying space missions isn’t like buying pencils, notes Esposito. “Each mission is a complicated and difficult activity; there’s always some risk” of underestimating the challenges and resulting costs, he says, but there’s still room for improvement.last_img read more

Probation for Biologist Who Admitted to Misconduct

first_imgAfter pleading guilty earlier this summer to making false statements in a grant report, former University of Wisconsin biologist Elizabeth Goodwin was sentenced Friday by a Wisconsin district judge. She was ordered to pay a $500 fine, as well as $50,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and $50,000 to the University of Wisconsin. Goodwin had already agreed to be voluntarily excluded for 3 years from federally funded research and to pay the $50,000 to HHS. Goodwin will also serve 2 years of probation. She could have received a fine as high as $100,000 and have been sentenced to a year in prison.  Separately, on 25 August, the Office of Research Integrity reported the results of  its investigation into Goodwin. It determined that she falsified information on two grant applications to the National Institutes of Health. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

NIH Trims Grants in Wake of Budget Cuts

first_imgU.S. biomedical researchers will need to tighten their belts as a result of the 1% drop in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) 2011 budget that became law 2 weeks ago. A notice yesterday from NIH explains that, as a result of the “nearly 1 percent” decrease from what NIH received in 2010, the agency will cut 1% from ongoing grants compared with the 2010 level. Some researchers will face even steeper cuts: The National Cancer Institute plans to trim current grants by 3%. According to previous notices, recent budget increases of 1% to 3% allowed NIH to grow grants by a comparable amount. The last cut (2.9%) was in 2007. And NIH anticipates raising the average size of its grants by 2% if Congress approves the president’s budget request for 2012. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) As for new and competing grants, NIH expects to make 9050 awards, compared with 9386 in 2010 according to NIH’s 2012 budget request. The news is better for postdocs and graduate students supported by NIH’s Kirschstein National Research Service Awards. Their stipends are going up 2% this year.last_img read more

Common Pesticides Threaten Bees, E.U. Watchdog Warns

first_imgThree pesticides routinely used by European farmers pose an “acute risk” to honey bees, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In three studies published yesterday, EFSA addresses long-standing concerns of beekeepers and scientists about dwindling populations of pollinator bees, which are essential to farming and natural ecosystems. The review, requested by the European Commission last year and carried out by EFSA’s Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues, assesses the risks posed to bees by three types of neonicotinoid insecticides: clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam. This family of pesticides has been used by European farmers since the early 1990s and is sold by Syngenta in Basel, Switzerland, and Bayer CropScience in Monheim, Germany. EFSA says none of the three should be used on crops that are attractive to bees, such as maize, rapeseed, or sunflower. Although the study does not link the pesticides to the collapse of whole bee colonies, the agency’s advice could open the door to a neonicotinoid ban in the European Union. Several countries, including France and Slovenia, have already restricted the compounds’ use in the past years. “With hindsight, EFSA appears to agree that the [initial approval procedure for neonicotinoids] was not thought through at the time,” says ecologist David Goulson of the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Syngenta has already pledged to defend its product, slamming EFSA’s study as “hurried” and poorly researched. John Atkin, the company’s chief operating officer, said in a statement issued yesterday that “this report is unworthy of EFSA and of its scientists.” In a more gently worded statement, Bayer CropScience pointed out that “poor bee health and colony losses are caused by multiple factors,” incriminating in particular the parasitic Varroa mite. Antonio Gómez Pajuelo, biologist and owner of beekeeping consulting company Consultores Apícolas in Castellón, Spain, agrees that the toxicity of neonicotinoids is just one of many factors that affect bee health—including, for instance, parasites and climate change. But he says that Europe’s approval procedures for insecticides are “too lax”: In particular, they fail to assess the long-term effects of small, nonlethal doses on bee health. The previous generation of widely used farming insecticides, the pyrethroids, were typically applied to the crops by spraying the field using a tractor; neonicotinoids are applied only to the seeds, a procedure called “seed dressing.” At the time, this appeared to be a superior method, Goulson explains: Farmers save time and money by buying pretreated seeds, and the chemicals are applied to only the crop instead of to the whole field. But neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides, meaning that they are present in the whole plant—including the nectar and pollen that bees feed on, or the droplets of sap exuded by maize seedlings. Besides, some toxic dust is created during sowing that can blow into the environment, and the chemicals can build up in the soil. EFSA’s study examines these modes of contamination, which Goulson says were overlooked when neonicotinoids were first approved for sale. Both Syngenta and Bayer seem to have prepared for a counterattack: They funded another study, released one day before EFSA’s, by the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture, a small think tank funded by Bayer CropScience and other businesses. It claims that banning neonicotinoids could cost 50,000 jobs and cause economic losses worth €17 billion over 5 years in the European Union. Goulson dismisses this study as unsound “propaganda,” pointing out that the industry is trying to protect a profitable market. Another study, published in 2009 by researchers at France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany, put a €153 billion price tag on the annual economic value of pollination worldwide. E.U. government officials will discuss neonicotinoids on 31 January, a commission spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday. He added that the commission was ready to “take the necessary measures” against the three chemicals if scientific evidence keeps piling up.last_img read more

Universities See Progress in New Rules for Managing U.S. Research

first_imgWatching grass grow may be more exciting. But this month, U.S. university administrators are poring over hundreds of pages of proposed changes to the rules governing how the federal government manages the money it spends on academic research. The exercise is worth their time because billions of government dollars are at stake. And although the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has embraced very few of the community’s suggested changes, academic financial managers say they are pleased that the Obama administration is at least listening to their concerns and is open to further discussion. On paper, the federal government is committed to reimbursing organizations for what they spend to support federal grant recipients. In 2010, for example, it was roughly $9 billion of the $37.5 billion that flowed from the government to some 700 universities. 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Each institution negotiates its own indirect cost recovery rate, following rules laid down by OMB. The rules have been around for decades but are tweaked periodically, sometimes in reaction to scandals involving the misuse of government funds and other times in the hope of simply saving money. Campus officials have long complained that some of the rules, such as logging the time a scientist spends on a research project, are unnecessary or interfere with research. They say others, such as allowing an agency to set its own reimbursement rate for a particular program, force institutions to bear too much of the cost. And then there are “unfunded mandates”—administrative requirements that cost time and money for which universities are not reimbursed at all. The latest round of changes, which appeared on 1 February in the Federal Register, began almost 2 years ago when the Obama administration announced its plan to achieve “administrative flexibility, lower costs, and better results” and solicited input from the community. One year ago, OMB released a document laying out the issues and asking for more feedback. The community has until 2 May to respond to the proposed policy changes before OMB locks them into place. “We think it’s definitely a positive step in the right direction,” says Tony DeCrappeo, president of the Council on Governmental Relations in Washington, D.C. “They picked up on a number of recommendations” submitted by a coalition of university groups in the summer of 2011, he notes. Under the latest OMB proposal, eight previous circulars would be combined into a new policy document, labeled OMB Circular A-81. The reforms fall into 19 topical areas. Here are brief descriptions of the proposed changes in four categories that have attracted the most attention. Charging administrative support as a direct cost: This category covers what an institution must do to comply with federal regulations both before and after receiving a grant. Those grants generally don’t pay for support staff that can ease the burden on faculty members, who report that such administrative duties eat up 42% of the time they devote to research. Now, those administrative costs are covered by funds in the university’s overall cost recovery pool. But OMB has proposed that “an item or activity may be charged directly to a grant if it is clearly allocable to that award … [t]his principle remains true regardless of whether the work performed is administrative in nature.” Alternatives to time and effort reporting: OMB was not moved by the pleadings of the academic community that such reporting is unnecessary, noting that “time and effort reporting continues to be viewed by the audit community as an important tool for confirming appropriate use of funds.” However, the agency has agreed to broaden the options for satisfying this requirement beyond the three examples of compliance in the existing circular. That’s a big concession, DeCrappeo says, because those examples had become, de facto, the only acceptable approaches. Expanding the pool of institutions eligible for utility cost reimbursements: Some 65 institutions are allowed to add 1.3 percentage points to their indirect cost recovery rate for the utility costs—heating, cooling, electricity, and water—associated with operating lab buildings and research facilities. That surcharge is based on pilot studies of energy usage conducted in the 1990s, DeCrappeo says. “But it’s unfair to all the other schools, which have similar costs.” OMB has proposed two options for these other institutions to calculate their utility costs, either with meters that can identify costs associated with the portion of the building devoted to research or by using a formula based on a building’s overall size. Agency exceptions to negotiated cost rates: This is a chronic sore point for universities, who hunger for federal grants but complain that agencies sometimes try to save money by applying an artificially low recovery rate to specific programs. The Career Development (or K) Awards at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are a notorious offender, DeCrappeo says, with an indirect cost recovery rate of 8% that falls far below an institution’s actual cost to manage the program. In effect, he says, “what NIH is doing is asking universities to write them a check for millions of dollars.” OMB’s proposed solution is to force agencies “to clarify the circumstances under which [they] may make exceptions to the negotiated rate.” That won’t change “longstanding historical exceptions,” OMB acknowledges, but it should “properly limit these exceptions to help ensure they are justified when they occur.” DeCrappeo doesn’t expect cash-strapped agencies to bump up recovery rates for existing programs, but he hopes the OMB language will discourage them from squeezing them on new programs.last_img read more

China’s Supercomputer Regains No. 1 Ranking

first_img China has regained the top spot on a list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. The latest version of a semiannual ranking posted yesterday shows that Tianhe-2, built by China’s National University of Defense Technology, was clocked at 33.86 petaflops (a petaflop is a thousand trillion floating point operations per second). That’s nearly twice as powerful as the 17.59 Pflops performance of Titan, a supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which led the previous Top 500 list put out by a team of supercomputer researchers in the United States and Germany. Tianhe-2 marks the second time a Chinese machine has been a world-beater. Tianhe-1 grabbed the top spot in November 2010 before relinquishing it 6 months later to Japan’s K computer. China’s second ascent demonstrates the country’s sustained commitment to funding high performance computing, says Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who closely follows international supercomputing trends. “It shows no signs of changing, only increasing,” Dongarra says about China’s investment in supercomputing. The United States remains the overall supercomputing leader, with 252 of the top 500 systems. But China is in second place, with 66 machines. Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany fill out the top six, with 30, 29, 23, and 19 systems, respectively. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Dongarra and others are concerned that the U.S. lead may be slipping, however. The Tianhe-2 machine was built using more than 3 million Intel computing “cores,” essentially the brains of the machine. But Dongarra, who toured the site of the machine last month, says that most of the rest of the components were designed and built in China. “The interconnect, operating system, front-end processors, and software are mainly Chinese,” Dongarra says. The country is also hard at work developing its own high-end processor chips. If and when those are used as the brains of a top-of-the-line machine, “that will be a game-changer,” Dongarra says. It would signal that China no longer needs to rely on outside technology suppliers and also that the country is ready to compete with chipmakers Intel and AMD for the commercial chip market. Still, another supercomputer technology watcher who asked not to be identified due to his close ties with many of the companies involved says he believes that China has a ways to go to close the gap in processor chip technology. China’s surge in supercomputing also comes as the path forward for the U.S. supercomputing program has become obscured. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been considering a plan to build an exascale supercomputer, a next-generation machine 30 times more powerful than Tianhe-2. But that plan appears to be stuck in bureaucratic limbo. According to multiple sources on Capitol Hill that asked not to be identified, the plan has been bouncing back and forth between DOE and the Office of Management and Budget because of the Obama administration’s concerns about its projected $3 billion price tag. An exascale program appears to have strong backing among both Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. And House and Senate members have repeatedly asked DOE officials to give them an outline of the program so legislators can begin lining up funding. But DOE has already missed two deadlines. “We’re baffled,” says one Senate staffer about the administration’s apparent lack of interest. Another Hill staffer speculates that the exascale program may be a casualty of the numerous vacancies among top science officials at the DOE, who are in the best position to be its advocate. The program will also require a decade of sustained research funding to tackle the many technological challenges to building an exascale machine. “I don’t see how it is doable with the present technology,” says Horst Simon, a supercomputer expert at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. DOE is gearing up to build Trinity, a 30 Pflops supercomputer expected to go into operation by the end of 2015. By that date, however, China’s 5-year plan says that it will have built up to two 100 Pflops-scale machines. China hasn’t specified whether it will pursue an exascale machine as part of its next 5-year plan that begins in 2016. But as the Magic 8 ball says: “Signs Point to Yes.” *Correction, 11:40 a.m., 19 June: The correct abbreviation for petaflops is Pflops, not pflops. This has been fixed. Jack Dongarra Back on top. China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer at the National University of Defense Technology.last_img read more

NASA spots most Earth-like planet yet

first_imgNASA’s prolific exoplanets-hunting satellite Kepler has found its strongest candidate yet for an Earth-like planet in a life-friendly orbit around a sunlike star. Known as Kepler 452b, the world is estimated to be a bit on the hefty side, at five times the mass of Earth, but it is receiving just 10% more heat and light than we do from its G-type star, just like our sun but 1.5 billion years older. “It would feel a lot like home in terms of the sunshine you would experience,” says Jon Jenkins, who leads Kepler data analysis at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “This is the closest we have … to another place someone might call home.”The discovery of Kepler 452b was announced today along with the latest edition of Kepler’s catalog of exoplanet candidates, adding 500 new possible planets for a total of 4175. Kepler detects exoplanets by staring continually at 150,000 stars and recording their brightness for long periods. If the brightness of a star dips slightly for a while and then recovers, that could be the sign of an orbiting planet passing in front of it.Other things can also cause brightness fluctuations, so all Kepler candidates must be confirmed either by other sorts of observations or more detailed statistical analysis of the Kepler data. “Confirmation is very time consuming,” says Jeff Coughlin, Kepler research scientist at SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. As a result, the Kepler team has automated the confirmation process for this latest catalog. The results are beginning to show that small rocky planets are the most common of all planet types in the catalog, making up as much as 25%. “The numbers are increasing exponentially,” Coughlin says. Kepler operated from 2009 to 2013 when it was hobbled by the failure of stabilizing reaction wheels. It is continuing to make observations at reduced capacity.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Among the new additions to the catalog are several small, probably rocky planets that reside in the habitable zone—at a distance from their star that allows liquid water to exist on their surface. These newcomers bring the total number of small habitable-zone planets discovered by Kepler to 12. What makes Kepler 452b different is the star it is orbiting. Four of the 12 orbit around M-stars, which are considerably smaller and dimmer than our sun. Seven orbit K-stars, which are a bit more like the sun. But Kepler 452b is the first found around a G-star, the same sort as our sun. “We’ve made amazing progress at finding the right-sized planets, in the right-sized orbits, around the right-sized stars,” Jenkins says.Kepler 452b is 1400 light-years from Earth, orbits its star every 385 days, and is 1.6 times the diameter of Earth. Transit measurements don’t give any information about mass, but, judging from similar exoplanets for which masses are known, the Kepler team estimates it is five times as heavy as Earth, so any visitor would feel twice the gravity we are used to at home. The team consulted planetary geologists about what conditions there may be like, and they predicted that it would likely have experienced active volcanos for some time. Its higher mass may give it a thicker atmosphere and more cloud cover than Earth has. The greater age of the star means it will be heating up, so Kepler 452b may be experiencing a runaway greenhouse effect similar to the one that is currently toasting Venus. However, because of its size and distance, it is unlikely that we will find out more about Kepler 452b for a considerable time, if ever.This is “a fascinating new step forward,” says Didier Queloz of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who, along with Michel Mayor, made the first observations of an exoplanet around a normal star. And it comes in the year of the 20th anniversary of that first discovery. “This is a great time we are living in. We now know that there are planets around almost all stars,” he says. “If we keep working as well [as we are now], we can be sure the issue of finding life on another planet will be solved.”last_img read more