<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group VUCA leading to travel disruptions: Virtuoso flash poll Tags: Trend Watch, Virtuoso Posted by NEW YORK — A new Virtuoso flash survey has found travellers are avoiding certain worldwide destinations as a result of the uncertainty tied to specific countries and global regions. VUCA stands for ‘volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous’, as a means of describing the potential travel disruptions caused by geopolitical situations.“The world is going through a transition where uncertainty is the new norm,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “Whether it’s Brexit, the shifting political climate in the U.S., or the threat of terrorism or disease such as Zika, there seems to be only two certainties. First, we have no idea what we might wake up to find tomorrow because change happens fast. Two, and this is of utmost importance, travel is the best way to bring people together when isolation begins. At Virtuoso, we say borders divide, but travel unites. Never has it been more important to keep the ability to travel as a fundamental right.”More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamAmong the questions asked, Virtuoso surveyed its travel advisors globally to discover the impact of the Presidential Executive Order disallowing travellers from seven countries to enter the U.S.Although the order is not currently in effect, Virtuoso advisors report that it is still impacting clients’ travel decisions.Among U.S.-based advisors, 10% say clients are changing travel plans due to a concern over anti-American sentiment. Some 40% say their clients are now avoiding certain destinations due to concerns over terrorism including the Middle East, Europe and Africa. They report that clients are choosing to travel within the U.S. as well as visit those perceived as safer, including Japan, Canada and New Zealand.Among Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisors outside of the U.S., 42% say their clients are avoiding travel to the U.S. due to factors including opposition to the country’s foreign policy and concerns over obtaining visas. As an alternative, they are electing to travel to destinations such as Italy, Australia and the U.K. The majority of advisors anticipate the slowdown in travel to the U.S. will last three to six months. Tuesday, March 28, 2017
April 20, 2001Timothy Balker, a pilot from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescotthad to make an emergency landing on the north side of the Arcosanti dirt road.He was flying a Cessna 178 heading for Phoenix, when a leak in an oil line obscuredvisibility and forced him to land on our property. [Photos by Jeff Manta] View all the images after the landing:
Sky Deutschland is due to launch three new high definition channels – TNT Glitz HD, Spiegel Geschichte HD and Disney Junior HD – on its platform in April.TNT Glitz HD will be available from April 1 as part of the Sky Welt package. Aimed at a young female audience, it will air a mix of international films, documentaries and series – including HBO show Girls – as well as several local original productions.Also launching on April 1 is an HD version of Spiegel Geschichte, which airs documentaries about German and international history and is available to all satellite customers.Kids network Disney Junior HD goes live on April 15 to all satellite customers, and marks Sky’s expanded cooperation with Disney.“With these three new HD channels, we are underscoring our aim to offer Sky customers the best HD offering in Germany and Austria. With compelling documentaries, including many exclusive and local-interest topics, a new series, film and lifestyle channel designed just for our female viewers as well as Sky’s first HD children’s channel, we are expanding our HD portfolio with highlights for the whole family,” said Elke Walthelm, vice president, partner channels at Sky Deutschland.
Source: http://www.neembiotech.com/ Oct 29 2018Neem Biotech, an Abertillery based R&D pharmaceutical biotech company working to combat antimicrobial resistance using non-traditional antibiotics has recently been granted two separate funding awards by the Welsh Government.The company was successful in its SMARTCymru 2014-2020- West Wales and the Valleys funding bid for assistance to support its work in developing a first-in-class treatment to manage wound infections. In particular, the work to be carried out in this project will form an integral part of Neem Biotech’s preparation for a first-in-human trial with its selected clinical candidate.Related StoriesNeem Biotech present biofilm disruptor at BIO Boston 2018, to minimise antimicrobial resistanceMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsAn alternative approach to augmenting the effect of antibiotics in chronic CF lung infectionsThe company’s drug development programme is targeting better management of acute localised or spreading infections that occur in chronic and/or complex wounds. Data generated to date suggest ground-breaking insights into a novel, quorum sensing based approach for how bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa occurring in wounds might be managed.Neem Biotech were also granted further Capital Funding Support from the Welsh Government’s European Regional Development Fund to assist with procurement of a state-of-the-art 3D confocal imaging microscope to broaden the company’s cell biology capabilities.Together, these two grants are a significant boost to Neem Biotech’s current research and development outputs and capabilities.Graham Dixon, Chief Executive Officer of Neem Biotech, said: We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund for recognising the value of Neem’s work in this way and look forward to continuing to contribute to the Welsh economy and ultimately to the wellbeing of its citizens through the success of our research programmes”.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 30 2019Scientists are making important progress in the battle against a class of devilishly complex human pediatric brain cancers thanks to a new study from a team of Florida State University students and faculty.Among young children, there’s no brain tumor more common than medulloblastoma. But no specific and effective therapy yet exists for this dangerous disease. Instead, doctors are forced to resort to onerous and invasive treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, often at the expense of the child’s quality of life.Medulloblastoma, which is divided into four subgroups, is partially caused when a mutation occurs in the “driver genes” that either promote or suppress cancerous tumor growth. These mutations can be inherited, sporadic or environmentally induced, but once they appear, they increase the risk for the unfettered and abnormal cell division that leads to malignant tumors.A team of FSU researchers, led by Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Qing-Xiang “Amy” Sang, was interested in learning more about these mutations. Using data from the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer, they identified a series of cancer-causing driver gene mutations and discovered that medulloblastoma is perhaps an even more dynamic and variable tumor than expected.Their findings were published in the Journal of Cancer.”Most cancer is quite heterogeneous, but medulloblastoma is specifically very heterogeneous,” Sang said. “If you look at the driver gene mutation, it’s not as if the majority of medulloblastoma cases have the same mutation. In reality, 5 percent may have one mutation, 3 percent may have another mutation and a small percentage may have other mutations. That’s why you cannot treat it as one disease.”Using advanced bioinformatics tools, the team was able to pinpoint which driver gene mutations were occurring in which medulloblastoma subgroups. In some cases, they found that mutations once considered specific to one particular subgroup were causing significant disruption in sister subgroups as well. While these findings were surprising, they were exactly the kind of counterintuitive details the team was searching for.”What we focused on specifically in this paper are the driver genes that we weren’t expecting to see,” said study co-author Mayassa Bou Dargham, a doctoral candidate at FSU. “We wanted to focus on some infrequent events and stress the heterogeneity of medulloblastoma tumors themselves. That’s important whenever we’re using targeted therapy for different subgroups.”Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustMedulloblastoma’s heterogeneity makes it an exceptionally difficult cancer to characterize and treat. But with a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of which mutations happen where and when — and which mutations might defy broadly accepted definitions — researchers will be better equipped to identify opportunities for targeted, individualized treatments.”For medulloblastoma, a more personalized approach will have to happen,” said Jack Robbins, who was an undergraduate when he co-authored the study. “The goal we should be striving for is more MATCH-based trials in which we use molecular targets found from these different panels of driver events. These driver events extend past the genomic code and into epigenetic mechanisms that need to be further studied and assessed in the clinic to identify candidate therapies. We can hopefully give those therapies to patients who aren’t responding to the standard of care treatments.”The next step in developing those therapies is to develop credible laboratory models of human medulloblastoma tumor subgroups. These models, researchers say, will be important evaluative tools in the search for potential therapeutics.The ultimate goal is a regimen of targeted therapies that avoid causing undue burden to vulnerable pediatric patients.”Children with cancer often receive very toxic, harsh and invasive treatments,” Sang said. “If we can avoid those harsh treatments and develop safer and more efficacious therapies, then the patients’ outcomes and their quality of life will be much improved.”Cross-disciplinary collaborations may be a key to finding more effective therapies for this intractable disease. But another crucial key, Sang said, will be innovative ideas from a new generation of ambitious researchers.She said this paper demonstrates the instrumental and field-defining contributions of student scientists. In addition to Robbins, former FSU undergraduates Kevin Sanchez and Matthew Rosen co-authored the paper.”I’m very fortunate to be at FSU,” she said. “The success of our undergraduates demonstrates that FSU is a great university for both top graduate and undergraduate students. I want to emphasize the students’ contribution, especially with this paper. It’s special.” Source:http://www.fsu.edu/
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 12 2019Obesity or low physical fitness during adolescence is strongly associated with disability pension later in life. This is shown in a study of more than one million Swedish men, published in Annals of Internal Medicine by researchers at Karolinska Institutet.In many countries, disability pensions are granted to working-aged persons who are likely to never work full-time again because of a chronic disease or injury diagnosed by a physician.In addition to serving as an important indicator of chronic disease, disability pensions are associated with high societal costs.Related StoriesEngineered stem cells offer new treatment for metastatic bone cancerBotulinum toxin may offer relief from chronic pelvic pain in women with endometriosisSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsResearchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University of Granada in Spain led a study assessing cardiorespiratory fitness and weight for more than 1 million men between the ages of 16 and 19. Data from the Swedish military service conscription registry was used. The researchers then reviewed who would later in life go on to receive a medical disability pension.Over a median follow-up of 28.3 years, the data showed that low cardiorespiratory fitness was strongly associated with later receipt of a disability pension due to all causes. Obesity was also associated with a greater risk for disability pension, with the greatest risks observed for severe/morbid obesity.Important marker regardless of body weightHowever, the researchers noted that compared with being unfit, being moderately or highly fit was associated with lower risk for disability, regardless of BMI. According to the researchers, this means that being physically fit is an important indicator of health irrespectively of body weight.”Our findings support the relevance of cardiorespiratory fitness and healthy body weight during adolescence as important markers of future health”, said Pontus Henriksson, researcher at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, and first author of the study. Source:https://ki.se/en/news/low-physical-fitness-in-adolescence-linked-to-higher-risk-of-disability-pension-later-in-life
This photo provided by Nissan shows its brain-to-vehicle device. The driver of the vehicle wears the cap, which reads the driver’s brain waves and uses them to help improve vehicle reaction times.(Courtesy of Nissan North America Inc. via AP) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. These are some of the automotive tech highlights of CES 2018 in Las Vegas.The event has increasingly become a way for automakers to preview their developments in car technology, from production-ready to wildly speculative. Here are three trends that could be coming to a car near you.AI-POWERED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEMSBoth Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are showing how they will use artificial intelligence in a vehicle’s infotainment system to turn it into a personal assistant. It’s technology that, for now, is confined to smartphones or smart speakers.Hyundai’s Intelligent Personal Agent is a voice-control technology that was co-developed by Silicon Valley-based SoundHound Inc., which specializes in voice-enabled AI.The intelligent part of such software is its ability to recognize multiple commands. For example, if you ask it, “Tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and text the kids to remind them about soccer practice,” it would recognize two separate commands in the same sentence and complete each task accordingly.Hyundai’s technology functions much like Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. It’s designed to respond to commands but also to proactively aid drivers by, for example, reminding them of upcoming meetings and recommending a departure time based on traffic conditions.The system activates with the wake-up voice command, “Hi, Hyundai.” Once queried, the AI-powered agent can help make a phone call, send text messages, search destinations, search music, check weather and manage schedules. It also allows drivers to use voice control for frequently used functions such as controlling air conditioning, sunroofs and door locks. Hyundai plans to install the Intelligent Personal Agent in new models as early as 2019.Mercedes-Benz is also debuting a new infotainment interface for its compact vehicles that’s based on artificial intelligence and what it calls an “intuitive” operating system. There are few details on the system’s capabilities so far, but the system is expected to make its way to some vehicles on the lower end of Mercedes’ lineup this year. The display itself looks like the dual widescreen setup that Mercedes used in late-model E- and S-Class sedans. Explore further Artificial intelligence that controls your infotainment screen. A vehicle that can read your brain. Cars that can see around blind corners. Five questions for autonomous car pioneer Chris Urmson 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. Citation: Top car tech trends from CES 2018 (2018, January 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-car-tech-trends-ces.html BRAIN-TO-VEHICLE TECHNOLOGYNissan is demonstrating that the “brain” in an autonomous vehicle doesn’t always have to be a computer and that a computer can be used to make a person a better driver. The company is one of the first to conduct research on brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology.To engage the technology, the driver puts on a wired cap. Picture a much smaller, sleeker version of Doc Brown’s brain wave analyzer in “Back to the Future.” The device measures brain wave activity, which the vehicle’s autonomous systems analyze and then use to anticipate your intended actions.Nissan says that brain-to-vehicle technology can predict driver behavior to shorten reaction time when a driver is in control, for instance by making steering wheel turns or braking 0.2 to 0.5 second faster. All this will be largely imperceptible to the driver, Nissan says.Brain-to-vehicle technology also is being tested to detect and evaluate discomfort during driving. This could be used to match the car’s driving style to the driver’s own style when the vehicle is in autonomous mode.”There are a lot of situations where a vehicle’s default action when driving autonomously would not be what the driver would actually want to do if they were in control,” said Nicholas Maxfield, a Nissan spokesman. “Reading brainwaves is one way to shrink that gap between vehicle action and driver expectation.”Of course, copying a human’s driving style may not be ideal in all cases, he said. The last thing you’d want is an autonomous car that speeds and makes erratic lane changes. The goal is to maximize driver safety during autonomous operating without departing too much from the driver’s own style.This technology is still many years away from making it into a production vehicle, but Nissan says it shows the potential of combining human and artificial intelligence.CARS THAT TALK TO EVERYTHINGFinally, Ford is using the CES event to announce its recommitment to making all of its vehicles connected by 2019. In the short term, vehicle connectivity means you’ll see more Ford vehicles outfitted with Wi-Fi hotspots, remote unlocking and location services.Ford also is announcing plans to adopt what’s called “cellular vehicle-to-everything” technology (C-V2X for short) in the coming years. This technology will make it possible for its vehicles to communicate with smart traffic signals, other vehicles and even a gas pump—to make wireless payments, for example.Cellular vehicle-to-everything is a more advanced version of vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity (V2V) and uses cellular networks, which are faster than Wi-Fi, to communicate with other vehicles and roadside infrastructure, such as smart traffic signals and construction zone warnings.The cellular vehicle-to-everything technology also has the ability to communicate at short range, even when there is no cellular signal. So a vehicle would have the ability to see around blind corners and understand its environment in inclement weather. For example, it could detect icy conditions on a road and warn the driver and other connected vehicles of the hazard.Ford believes that cellular vehicle-to-everything technology is the key to getting more automakers to commit to connected-car systems and to standardize the technology that will be used. The chips this technology uses are not only faster, but they are also less expensive than the ones employed in current V2V systems.EDMUNDS SAYS: We don’t expect to see many of these features, such as brain-to-vehicle technology, for several years. But smarter infotainment systems and more widespread availability of connected vehicles are just around the corner.
A new research project aims to speed up the delivery of personalised cancer treatments by using smartphones to crunch data while their owners sleep. From thousands of suspects, researchers ferret out cancer-causing genes Researchers at Imperial College London are working with the Vodafone Foundation to recruit people to donate the power of their smartphones and run a simple app, which can help to carry out research overnight.The project will harness the processing power of thousands of smartphones which, when combined, can analyse huge volumes of data in less time than it would take a supercomputer, and at a fraction of the cost of cloud computing platforms.Smartphones contain a huge amounts of computing power needed to run everything from email to music and video streaming apps, but they are mostly dormant while users plug in their phones to charge overnight.Drugs projectAs part of the “DRUGS” (Drug Repositioning Using Grids of Smartphones) project, a team led by Dr. Kirill Veselkov in the Department of Surgery & Cancer at Imperial has designed an algorithm that breaks down enormous datasets into small chunks which can be analysed.Users download the DreamLab app onto their phone and run it for six hours overnight as the phone charges.While they sleep, the app downloads a small bite-sized packet of data – roughly 5 MB in size – and uses the phone’s processors to run millions of calculations, before uploading the results and clearing the data.The app has already been used by researchers in Australia to crunch data for pancreatic cancer, but this project will be the first time it has been used in the Europe.By using the crowd-based approach to work on publicly available data on cancer genes and drug interactions, the Imperial researchers hope to significantly speed up cancer research by identifying new combinations of drugs that may be more effective in fighting cancers in individual patients.Ultimately, using this mobile cloud-based computing approach could drastically reduce the time taken to analyse such vast amounts of data. A desktop computer with an eight-core processor running 24-hours a day would take 100 years to process the data. But a network of 100,000 smartphones running six hours per night could do the job in just three months. Professor David Gann CBE, Vice President (Innovation) at Imperial College London, said: “Through harnessing distributed computing power, DreamLab is helping to make personalised medicine a reality.”This project demonstrates how Imperial’s innovative research partnerships with corporate partners and members of the public are working together to tackle some of the biggest problems we face today, generating real societal impact.”Andrew Dunnett, Director at the Vodafone Foundation, said: “We want to encourage people across the UK to become overnight heroes in the fight against cancer.”Vodafone customers and users of other networks can use their smartphones to enable huge volumes of data to be processed.”This means that Imperial College London will be able to speed up much-needed cancer research in the UK.”Genetic mutations and cancerThe hope is that rather than a trial and error approach of testing cancer drug combinations to see which work best for a patient, data-led approaches such as this could help to identify combinations of drugs to use based on the genotype of the cancer itself.Dr. Veselkov said: “We are currently generating huge volumes of health data around the world every day, but just a fraction of this is being put to use. By harnessing the processing power of thousands of smartphones, we can tap into this invaluable resource and look for clues in the datasets.Using publicly available, anonymised research data drawn from several sources, the Imperial team designed an algorithm to explore how these mutations potentially interact with other genes.”Ultimately, this could help us to make better use of existing drugs and find more effective combinations of drugs tailored to patients, and improving treatments.”The algorithm tests all possible combinations of gene-gene interactions based on existing data from almost one million cancer samples around the world, representing between 30,000 and 50,000 unique cancer mutations.This type of analysis helps to ‘stratify’ patients into groups – ie those which have similar mutations, or gene-interactions in common – based on the genetic makeup of their cancer, rather than classification based on what type of cancer they have, or how advanced it is.Exploring the connectionsThe algorithm also crunches data for known interactions for thousands of registered drugs, showing which genes and proteins they interact with – for instance, some drugs may downregulate a protein which is known to be upregulated by a specific cancer mutation.This data includes cancer drugs as well as repurposed drugs initially designed for another indication. One example is sildenafil citrate, a compound which was originally designed as a cardiovascular drug but is now used to treat erectile dysfunction.By overlaying the results, the team hope to build up a clearer picture of which drug combinations are most suited to patients, based on their mutations.In future, the approach could include pharmacological data on the effects of the drugs and drug-drug interactions, to generate even more detailed information on which drug combinations and doses may work best for patients.Dr. Veselkov added: “Every cancer patient in the UK could have DNA tested within the next decade. The challenge is how to use patients own data for more personalized therapy selection.”In this exciting collaborative project with Vodafone, we have implemented and deployed the machine-learning algorithms on mobile phones to simulate the effect of cancer mutations and drugs on intracellular molecular circuits.”The outcomes will shed light on possible multi-drug therapies against disrupted molecular networks rather than specific mutations in individual cancer patients.” Citation: Your smartphone could help to speed up cancer research while you sleep (2018, May 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-smartphone-cancer.html Explore further The DreamLab app, showing the D.R.U.G.S. project, led by Imperial’s Dr Kirill Veselkov. Credit: Imperial College London Provided by Imperial College London More information: mediacentre.vodafone.co.uk/pressrelease/dreamlab/ 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.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas – Kamal Narang SHARE February 11, 2019 petroleum natural gas Moving towards liberalising the natural gas retailing segment, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched the Dealer Owned Dealer Operated (DODO) model for setting up CNG stations.Speaking at launch held at the sidelines of Petrotech – 2019, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The country is moving towards the gas economy, as this fuel is cheaper and less polluting. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has undertaken unprecedented expansion of City Gas Distribution network, and this will lead to laying of more gas pipelines, increased production and availability of the gas, and also last mile connectivity of the infrastructure to provide Compressed Natural Gas and Piped Natural Gas to the consumers.”Under the general guidelines for the scheme, the entire earmarked dealer plot shall be developed exclusively for setting up of CNG station and allied commercial activities at the discretion of City Gas Distribution activities. Under the scheme, 87 Geographical areas serviced by 23 entities authorized will be covered, an official statement said.As more and more CNG stations come up, more than 10% CNG stations may be based on DODO model, the statement added. Published on COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS