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Honeywell distances itself from Dubai aircraft crash – NEWPAPER24



Honeywell distances itself from Dubai aircraft crash

2019-05-17 16:39:00

JOHANNESBURG – US tech large Honeywell, says it doesn’t personal or function the plane that crashed near Dubai airport within the United Arab Emirates.

The crash claimed the lives of three British individuals and a South African.

Media studies on Thursday claimed that the crash belonged to Honeywell.

READ: South African, three Britons killed in Dubai aircraft crash

Nevertheless, the tech large says a 3rd occasion is concerned.

“We’re deeply saddened by yesterday’s aircraft crash in Dubai, and our heartfelt condolences are with the victims’ households,” Honeywell stated in a press release.

“The aircraft was not owned or operated by Honeywell however by a 3rd occasion engaged by Honeywell. We’re ready for extra particulars.”


Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei says conflict with the US was “inevitable” – NEWPAPER24




Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei says conflict with the US was “inevitable”

2019-05-21 02:39:12

Huawei Applied sciences founder Ren Zhengfei mentioned he foresaw the conflict with the US authorities, saying it was a matter of time earlier than the Chinese language telecommunications tools maker threatened US pursuits and attracted retaliation.“We sacrificed (the pursuits of) people and households for the sake of a great, to face on the prime of the world,” Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, mentioned in interview with Chinese language state media on Tuesday. “For this best, there might be battle with the United…

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Are barcodes the way in which to guard dementia sufferers? – NEWPAPER24




Are barcodes the way in which to guard dementia sufferers?

2019-05-20 23:22:07

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Media captionHow Japan is retaining folks with dementia protected

Annually in Japan 1000’s of aged folks with dementia go lacking, a whole lot are by no means discovered alive once more.

Japan has the world’s oldest inhabitants but in addition among the most superior expertise and so they’re utilizing it to assist hold folks with dementia protected.

Folks like Mrs Itou who lives within the metropolis of Matsudo.

The primary time she went lacking her son who cares for her went driving round searching for her within the locations she usually goes.

That was no straightforward activity as Mrs Itou likes to stroll and may cowl 100 kilometres a month.

That point his mom got here dwelling, however since then she’s gone lacking 4 extra occasions as her dementia has worsened.

‘Fixed vigil’

The stress of caring for somebody with dementia is well-known to Nobel prize-winning scientist Randy Schekman whose spouse had Parkinson’s illness and dementia earlier than she died.

“You need to hold a continuing vigil,” he tells me at a gathering in Japan of Nobel laureates and different eminent folks to debate the way forward for ageing.

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Media captionThe Nobel prize-winner tackling Parkinson’s illness

“As my spouse’s dementia progressed I could not let her go to the restroom after we went out collectively. She would go in go right into a stall, lock the door after which not be capable to unlock the door – she was trapped inside a girls’s restroom.”

Prof Schekman describes the projections of the rising variety of folks with dementia as a disaster akin to local weather change due to the stress it’ll place on these caring for them and the financial penalties as folks go away work to look after family members.

He’s in the beginning of a 10-year venture to sort out the fundamental science behind Parkinson’s illness which can collect groups of scientists from world wide. The venture’s reported multi-billion greenback finances is being supplied by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Dementia tech

In the meantime in Japan, folks like Mrs Itou are utilizing new sensible options to take care of reminiscence loss and the necessity for a continuing vigil.

Picture caption The QR codes sample are connected to badges and may be prepared by a smartphone

The native authorities gives folks with dementia and their carers, with badges they will put on. They show a QR code – a sq. picture much like a barcode – which may be learn by anybody with a smart-phone.

The badges have helped Mrs Itou get dwelling the final two occasions she went lacking.

One of many inventors of the badges, Haruo Hidaka had the concept after watching the grandmother who raised him undergo with dementia.

He believed within the concept a lot that his staff developed a prototype that he personally went to promote in 630 cities and cities throughout Japan.

The concept was successful and the corporate he labored for has been purchased by the Japanese pharmaceutical firm Toho Holdings.

Picture caption Haruo Hidaka is among the inventors of the QR codes that are getting used to assist hold folks with dementia from getting misplaced

Speaking to me on the firm’s Tokyo headquarters, Mr Hidaka says in addition to his grandmother the concept was additionally sparked by the case of somebody who died of their dwelling and whose demise went unnoticed for weeks.

Tackling lonely deaths

It is a widespread downside in Japan and it is one other downside that the town of Matsudo and plenty of others are tackling.

It is a wet Friday afternoon and a gaggle of 10 Matsudo residents are placing on orange vests and getting ready to go out across the metropolis.

The volunteers are simply a few of 1000’s throughout Japan who’ve been by a programme of dementia consciousness.

Picture caption Neighbourhood dementia consciousness groups in Matsudo go door-to-door within the metropolis checking that individuals are protected

As we speak they are going door to door with flyers for a pop-up cafe. Whereas posting the adverts they’re additionally retaining an eye fixed out for homes the place there are telltale indicators of issues, like mail piling up. That could possibly be the signal of somebody inside in bother or even perhaps lifeless.

“One should not be pointing fingers, however I believe you possibly can inform immediately,” says Manami Yoshii.

“By placing flyers into the postbox, we’re in a position to examine whether or not their postboxes are overflowing. And thru that we’d be capable to inform if one thing may need occurred to the resident.”

The pop-up cafes they’re promoting are a spot the place older folks can come and get lunch and a chat.

Cafe connections

Whereas developments like QR codes are helpful, they are not the total resolution, in line with Akiko Saito who runs one among Matsudo’s dementia cafes.

“Lately {our relationships} with our quick neighbours are fading,” she says as about 20 native pensioners dig in to a typical multi-dish Japanese lunch.

Picture caption Akiko Saito runs one among Matsudo’s dementia cafes, she believes that we won’t simply on technological options for serving to an older inhabitants

“We’re related by issues like social networking websites, however in case there’s a catastrophe or if one thing occurs, I believe it may be increasingly more necessary in future to have an area the place you possibly can construct relationships between folks in order that neighbours would be capable to assist one another out.”

With our life expectancy rising in most nations, the variety of folks with dementia is predicted to extend dramatically within the coming a long time.

The options they’ve present in super-ageing Japan are already being copied in different nations and are prone to unfold even additional.

Further reporting by Tamasin Ford and Erica Symonds

This content material was created as a co-production between Nobel Media AB and the Newpaper24

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Bizarre, Mysterious and Threatened: Can Scientists Save the Platypus? – NEWPAPER24




Bizarre, Mysterious and Threatened: Can Scientists Save the Platypus?

2019-05-20 23:30:23

A platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) pauses for a second after being launched by scientists into the Little Yarra River, its house stream in Victoria, Australia. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

With the invoice of a duck, the physique of an otter, and the tail of a beaver, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) has an extended historical past of confounding the people who’ve encountered it. Early European settlers took to calling the unusual, semi-aquatic mammals they discovered dwelling in japanese Australian streams “duckmoles.” When Captain John Hunter, the second governor of the New South Wales colony, despatched a specimen of the creature to British naturalist George Shaw in 1798, Shaw initially thought it was a hoax. Thus ensued “a rivalry that pitted nation towards nation, naturalist towards naturalist, {and professional} towards novice,” wrote evolutionary biologist Brian Okay. Corridor in a 1999 BioScience article on the historical past of scientific debate over the species. “Lengthy after the proof was wrested from Nature half a world away from the place the controversy raged, biologists continued to argue about this paradoxical creature.”

For a lot of the 2 centuries since Western scientists started making an attempt to make sense of this furry egg-laying animal — which shares its reproductive technique with just one different mammal, the echidna — the scientific literature amounted to little greater than descriptions of its odd seems to be, historic accounts of sightings on this river or that, and cursory observations about its anatomy and life historical past. That’s largely as a result of, in contrast to different iconic Australian species just like the slow-moving, tree-hugging koala or the ever-present kangaroo, platypuses are maddeningly tough to check. Energetic at evening and dwelling a lot of their lives underwater, their habits are the alternative of their human observers’. “And past that,” says Geoff Williams of the Australian Platypus Conservancy, “the whole lot you sometimes use in analysis, you possibly can’t use with the platypus. You’ll be able to’t search for tracks, and so they defecate within the water, so you possibly can’t search for scat.”

A researcher releases a captured platypus again into Woori Yallock Creek, in Victoria, Australia. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

Regardless of these formidable challenges, over the previous 20 years, just a few decided scientists — aided by technological advances equivalent to acoustic trackers and environmental DNA (bits of genetic info that an animal sheds into its environment) — have begun to light up the platypus’s world like by no means earlier than. The extra researchers study concerning the species’ life historical past, whereabouts, and habitat, although, the extra they understand simply how a lot of a menace people pose to its long-term survival.

“The most important factor we’re studying is that platypuses are in bother,” says Joshua Griffiths, a biologist for an environmental consulting agency on the outskirts of Melbourne who has spent many sleepless nights capturing platypuses in space streams to study extra concerning the secretive animals. Whereas some populations are faring effectively, these are typically in distant, wild areas. The place the human imprint has altered the platypus’s native waterways, habitat fragmentation, water air pollution, fishing nets, dams, and concrete growth have pushed many populations into decline, Griffiths says. 

Ecologist Joshua Griffiths holds a platypus whereas a area assistant prepares to measure the animal’s invoice.The platypus was captured as a part of a Melbourne Water examine to watch the native inhabitants. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

But most of the similar insights into the platypus’s standing and the threats it faces have additionally begun to light up a path towards restoration that would spare the species the grim destiny that so a lot of Australia’s different endemic creatures have met. In a rustic with the world’s highest mammal extinction price, platypuses may defy the chances — if there’s sufficient public and political will to guard them. 

(Credit score: Courtesy bioGraphic)


Platypuses — known as mallangong, tambreet, and boonaburra by Aboriginal teams who as soon as hunted them for meals — dwell in waterways throughout a lot of japanese Australia, together with the island state of Tasmania. They are effectively geared up for the life aquatic. Propelling themselves by the water with extensive, webbed ft, the carnivores use their much-discussed payments, full of electrosensors, to find and catch small prey hidden within the mud and turbid water. After stuffing their squirrel-like cheeks with meals, they floor to eat. They usually eat loads: Grownup platypuses spend about 12 hours a day foraging, and devour as much as 30 p.c of their physique weight in bugs, worms, crayfish, and different invertebrates every day.

A lone platypus swims on the floor of Lake Elizabeth in Victoria’s Nice Otway Nationwide Park. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

“There are mammals that may dwell in [fresh]water and might swim effectively, however nothing comes near the platypus’s capability to navigate waterways and use its super-sensitive invoice to search out prey,” says Richard Kingsford, a conservation biologist with the College of New South Wales who has studied the species for years.

What Kingsford, Griffiths, and different researchers have discovered has definitely confirmed the platypus’s repute as one of many world’s strangest animals. For instance, scientists suspect  that the venomous spurs that males are born with on their hind legs could also be used as weapons towards  rivals through the breeding season. After mating, females retreat to the protection of a burrow they’ve excavated into the riverbank. There they lay one or two eggs and incubate them beneath their extensive tails. Whereas it takes solely about 10 days for the eggs to hatch, moms then nurse their younger for as much as 4 months till they’re developed sufficient to enterprise outdoors the burrow and forage for themselves.

The platypus is certainly one of solely two mammals on this planet that lays eggs — often one or two per season that the feminine incubates beneath her tail. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)
Extremely specialised ft are among the many platypus’s many variations to life in japanese Australia’s streams. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

Gathering even essentially the most fundamental details about platypuses has required super dedication. Researchers typically spend hours standing in streams  ready for the nocturnal animals to look, and all-night watches are usually not unusual. To catch them, they  set tunnel-like traps—netting stretched throughout a sequence of metallic hoops, with lengthy “wings” on both facet of the opening to information the platypus inside. The alternative finish is staked up on the financial institution to make sure sufficient of the online stays above water for the animal to floor and breathe. As soon as caught, every animal is measured and weighed and — if it’s a first-time seize — marked earlier than being launched again into its house stream.

“They’re most likely essentially the most tough species I’ve ever labored on,” says Griffiths, who however has devoted the previous 12 years of his life to understanding them. One in every of Australia’s foremost platypus specialists, he works with metropolis water officers to check and monitor  populations in waterways in and round Melbourne. “There’s quite a few challenges with platypuses, and it’s one of many causes we don’t have good information on them,” he says.

Years of devoted analysis is starting to make clear the place platypuses swim and the place they face the best dangers. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

As tough because it has been to check the essential biology of the platypus, it has been even tougher to determine simply the place all of the populations are, and for these which are recognized, how these populations are faring. However a number of latest analysis initiatives are beginning to fill these information gaps.

A not too long ago accomplished three-year nationwide survey by Kingsford, Griffiths and a dozen different researchers mixed info from capture-and-release surveys, research that used acoustic sensors to trace platypus actions, environmental DNA information, and historic accounts to sketch out the species’ abundance and distribution, and decide the place it’s in danger. The Australian Analysis Council-funded examine, to be printed later this month, discovered that the species is worse off than scientists anticipated and warns that if the threats that some platypus populations are up towards are usually not handled swiftly, the species’ standing will solely deteriorate additional. Utilizing a few of the similar info, the IUCN downgraded the species’ standing to Close to Threatened in 2016. Regardless of this, the platypus has but to be protected nationally beneath Australia’s Surroundings Safety and Biodiversity Conservation Act or on the state stage—besides within the state of South Australia, the place the species is barely hanging on and is listed as endangered. 

All the proof thus far implicates people within the platypus’s decline. A panoply of human detritus and constructions, together with dams, crayfish traps, and air pollution have killed the animals, restricted their actions, degraded their habitat and decreased their prey. A number of the most beleaguered populations are people who lie downstream from dams or in areas the place land clearing or livestock grazing has eradicated streamside vegetation, together with the bushes whose roots buttress platypus burrows. Invasive predators, equivalent to feral cats, canine, and pink foxes regularly kill platypuses, notably juvenile males that should enterprise out onto terra firma in quest of new territories. And fishing nets and traps that permit platypuses to enter however not escape drown many animals every year.

Crab traps known as opera home traps pose a major menace to foraging platypuses. A wildlife officer exhibits one such entice that contained the our bodies of 5 drowned animals. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

Fortuitously, analysis and conservation efforts within the state of Victoria provide hope for the way people can higher co-exist with the platypus. Top-of-the-line-studied watersheds is that of the Yarra River, which wends by the guts of Melbourne. Whereas an area newspaper reported platypus sightings within the river within the early-20th century, the animals haven’t been seen downtown since. However there are nonetheless a number of populations upstream and in some Yarra tributaries, and Griffiths has studied a lot of them, in collaboration with an uncommon companion: the native water company, Melbourne Water. Underneath the town’s Wholesome Waters Technique, officers conduct surveys for platypuses and decrease threats to them. 

“Due to that, we’ve been in a position to generate some superb information,” Griffiths says. A mix of seize surveys, environmental DNA analyses, and a citizen science program that calls on residents to report sightings utilizing a cell phone app known as “Platypus Spot” has supplied researchers with a extra full image of the species’ standing within the space. This info helps water and wildlife managers decide the place to focus conservation efforts, and the place it’s notably necessary to forestall additional habitat degradation. The knowledge that Griffiths and others have collected in recent times has additionally helped persuade the state of Victoria to ban a very lethal kind of entice often called an “opera home entice” (named for his or her resemblance to the Sydney Opera Home).

Researchers Gilad Bino and Tahneal Hawke work rapidly to surgically implant a radio transponder into an anaesthetizedplatypus earlier than its launch. Transponders like this are serving to scientists higher perceive platypus actions. (Credit score: Douglas Gimesy)

Tiana Preston, who oversees Melbourne Water’s platypus conservation program, says that the company is utilizing these analysis findings to assist scale back the various threats that platypuses face. For instance, the company  is aware of now that storm runoff from parking tons and different paved surfaces can flood important habitat and inundate platypus burrows. To assist stop this, Melbourne Water is working with builders and communities within the metropolis—certainly one of Australia’s fastest-growing — to coach them concerning the dangers to platypuses and encourage them to put in permeable pavement that permits rainwater soak into the bottom as an alternative, and to place in inexperienced roofs to seize rainfall.

This is only one of many fixes that Griffiths and different researchers say are wanted throughout the platypus’s vary. Replanting bushes alongside streams, conserving livestock away from riverside habitat that’s nonetheless intact, restoring pure streamflows, cleansing up polluted waterways and imposing a nationwide ban on opera home traps are all measures that might assist to guard platypuses, they are saying.

Regardless of the sobering information that latest analysis has introduced, researchers and conservationists dedicated to defending the species all emphasize that there’s nonetheless time to revive its ailing populations and ensure the wholesome ones proceed to thrive. And that might occur a lot sooner, they add, if policymakers took motion now, relatively than ready for extra information. Griffiths, for one, says he’s seen sufficient to persuade him that the platypus already qualifies for defense. “I’d wager my home on it,” he says. 

What’s past dispute is that the platypus, as soon as so frequent that it was regarded as an indelible a part of the Australian panorama, is now in want of assist from its biggest menace: individuals. “I feel we’ve seen past any shadow of a doubt that the platypus isn’t a species we will take as a right,” says Williams.

This story initially appeared in bioGraphic, a web based journal that includes lovely and shocking tales about nature and sustainability.

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