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first_imgA 45-year-old man attempted self-immolation at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s “Jan Ashirwad Rath Yatra” in Sonipat on Monday, allegedly perturbed over the unemployment of his two sons. He sustained more than 50% burns and has been referred to PGIMS, Rohtak.Five more persons sustained burns in the incident. Chief Medical Officer, Sonipat, Ashwani Kumar, said all the five injured were out of danger, but one of them, Chandram, has also been referred to PGIMS, Rohtak, for better treatment.Rajesh, the victim, told mediapersons that he had met Mr. Khattar at Haryana Bhawan in 2016 seeking jobs for his two sons. He said the Chief Minister asked him to come to him after the vacancies for Group D jobs were advertised and assured help. But both his sons failed to make it in the recent appointments to Group D jobs. Rajesh, a worker at a factory in Rai, said he was worried about his sons’ future and set himself afire in protest.An eye-witness told The Hindu that Rajesh doused himself with an inflammable liquid soon after Mr. Khattar ended his speech at Rathdhana village around noon. He set himself afire and ran amok hugging people in the crowd, causing injuries to them as well. He was overpowered and taken to Civil Hospital in an ambulance along with the other injured.Mr. Khattar had kicked off his State-wide tour, ‘Jan Ashirwad Rath Yatra’, in Panchkula earlier this month ahead of the Assembly elections due in October. He will reach all the 90 Assembly segments of the State till September 8.‘75,000 govt. jobs’Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain claimed that 75,000 government jobs were given during the BJP rule and the appointments were made in a transparent manner.Sonipat SP Pratiksha Godara said a case was registered against Rajesh on charges of attempt to suicide and causing hurt. She said the preliminary investigation suggested that the man was “mentally unstable”.Suicide prevention helpline: Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health, Telephone: 011-4076 9002, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. -7.30 p.m.last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 12 2018Could our blood hold the molecular secrets to a fountain of youth, preventing age-related brain disorders? Are brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease caused by a failure of interconnected systems in our bodies, triggering a domino-like cascade of disease? Can targeting the red blood cells and blood vessels jointly keep our brains healthy and prevent dementia?Three new large-scale, multidisciplinary research teams have just been assembled to answer those questions. Today, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, a division of the Allen Institute, announced awardees of the American Heart Association-Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment, a new collaborative funding initiative launched earlier this year. These teams will merge research of the brain and the blood vessels to develop new understanding of — and ultimately better preventions and treatments for — age-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”The innovative approaches that have come about through this initiative are a clear testament to Allen Institute founder Paul G. Allen’s legacy in science,” said Allan Jones, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute. “Paul inspired all of us every day to tackle hard problems that require systematic, comprehensive approaches to solve, and these new research teams are a perfect example of that way of thinking about mysteries in science and human health.””This is an exciting next step in our ongoing commitment to bridging the science of vascular and brain health through revolutionary, out-of-the-box thinking,” said Ivor J. Benjamin, M.D., FAHA, President of the American Heart Association and Director of the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “The teams selected to lead these projects have exceeded expectations in their commitment to taking on challenging questions that can ultimately drive groundbreaking research outcomes.”The three teams, headquartered at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, CA and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, OH, respectively, will work to develop new solutions to the urgent problem of age-related cognitive decline. As people live longer in many parts of the world, Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias are on the rise, projected to reach more than 75 million people worldwide by 2030. To date, no effective therapy has been developed for these disorders, which are not only deadly, but also exact a high financial and emotional toll on society.”To make a difference in Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, we have to go beyond incremental research steps to innovative ideas and partnerships that will upend how we approach brain health and decline,” said Kathryn Richmond, Ph.D., Director of the Frontiers Group. “We feel the neuroscientists and cardiologists leading these teams have exciting approaches and the expertise needed to have a significant and near-term impact on these devastating diseases.”The Association and the Frontiers Group, along with additional contributors including the Oskar Fischer Project and the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation, have committed $43 million to make significant progress in the understanding of and treatments for age-related cognitive disorders.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussion”The questions we are asking in this project are on a frontier that’s really unknown,” said Rusty Gage, Ph.D., neuroscience researcher and President of Salk, who will lead one of the new research teams. “How do we age, and why do some people age differently? I’m hopeful that we will reach a coherent answer to that question. We’re all going to age, and through our work we want to provide a map for healthy aging.”Gage leads an interdisciplinary group of professors at Salk that believe that Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related brain disorders are triggered not by a single event, but by a failure of complex interwoven biological systems in our body that start to break down as we age. Their research team has developed unique new ways to study aging and diseased human neurons using brain “organoids” and marmosets as a new primate model of cognitive aging. They will now use these models to pursue a comprehensive understanding of the biology of aging and age-related diseases in an eight-year project. Gage’s theory is that failure in any one of these systems, which are integral to every cell in our bodies, puts pressure on the other processes, eventually causing a domino-like crash that causes devastating brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. Understanding the multi-part network that keeps our brains healthy could highlight pathways for better treatments for these diseases.Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine, has found in his studies that blood or plasma from young animals or humans can halt or slow brain aging in old mice, and may even improve symptoms for patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Now, he will lead a research team on a four-year project to unlock the biological secrets of youth and rejuvenation in young blood. They will search for the damaging proteins and molecules which accumulate in blood with aging, obesity. and vascular disease, with the goal to neutralize these factors and protect against age-related diseases. The research team hopes to ultimately figure out how to mimic the beneficial effects of young blood to create new therapeutics for vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other aging-related brain disorders.Mukesh K. Jain, M.D., a cardiologist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, will lead a team of investigators from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic, and University of Pennsylvania in a four-year project to explore how red blood cells, the most abundant cells in our body, and the inner lining of small blood vessels called endothelium work together as a unit to drive brain health and age-related cognitive disease. This unit of blood cells and blood vessels controls the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our brain every second we are alive. Jain and his team will examine how connections between the red blood cells, blood vessels and the brain are altered during aging and disease and will test whether new therapeutics can restore the proper connections. Source:https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/frontiers-group/news-press/press-resources/press-releases/research-teams-salk-institute-biological-studies-stanford-university-university-hospitals-cleveland-last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 12 2019Commonly known as HPV, Human papillomavirus is a virus that infects the skin and genital area, in many cases leading to a variety of genital, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers in men and women. Strong evidence exists showing that penetrative genital sex and oral sex can transmit HPV. However, while HPV is also often detected in the hands, the question of whether hand-genital contacts can transmit HPV has long been a source of debate among researchers.A new study, led by researchers at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, aims to solve this debate. Their conclusion: Unlike being genital HPV positive, having HPV in your hand does not increase the risk of transmitting HPV to a sexual partner.HPV types in the hand generally match those in your own and your partner’s genitals explains Dr. Talía Malagón, a postdoctoral researcher at McGill under the supervision of Dr. Eduardo Franco in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, and the paper’s first author. This has led some researchers to hypothesize that hand-genital sexual contacts could be enough to transmit HPV infections. “Just because we detect HPV DNA in the hand doesn’t necessarily mean the viral particles are viable or that there is enough to cause an infection,” notes Dr. Malagón. “The DNA might just have been deposited on the hand because a person recently had sex or touched their own genitals.”While other studies have looked at HPV in sex partners’ hands before, the McGill study is the largest and the first to explicitly disentangle whether hand-to-genital HPV transmission can occur independently of genital-to-genital transmission. The results provide the strongest evidence to date that hand-to-genital HPV transmission is unlikely. “Indeed, we found that most HPV detected in the hand likely came from a person’s own genital HPV infection,” says Dr. Franco, Chair of the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill and senior author on the paper.Leveraging cohort from HITCH studyHaving seen data from another research group showing that sex partners tended to have the same HPV types in both their hands and genitals, the researchers realized they could easily examine this question in their own HITCH study, but with a much larger sample size. “We found the same results as this previous study, but decided to take it a step further by controlling for infections in both the hands and the genitals to disentangle which had come first and whether it was the hand or the genital infections that were responsible for HPV transmission between partners,” says Dr. Malagón.Related StoriesHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyResearchers explain how ‘viral’ agents of neurological diseases ended up in our DNAThe team recruited hundreds of heterosexual partners, who agreed to provide hand and genital samples every few months. They genotyped their samples for HPV DNA and analyzed their infection patterns over time to see who got infected where. Individuals were more likely to become HPV positive over time when their partner was HPV positive in the genitals or hands. However, we found that the risk of becoming infected was largely attributable to the partners’ genital HPV infection, and that once we accounted for this the risk of becoming infected was no longer correlated with HPV infections in the hands.Dr. Malagón notes that the results do not necessarily mean that it is impossible to transmit HPV from hand-genital sex. “It just means that if hand-to-genital HPV transmission does happen, we have not observed it, and it is therefore rare and unlikely to explain how most HPV gets transmitted.”Vaccination remains the best means of defense”HPV is very common, and most sexually active adults will become infected with HPV at some point in their lives, without realizing it, before their immune system clears it,” explains Dr. Franco. “Our study suggests you are much more likely to get and transmit HPV through penetrative genital contact than from performing hand-genital sex. Condoms can reduce your risk of infection, but they only provide partial protection. The most effective prevention against infection and the cancers HPV causes is therefore vaccination. Women can also get screened to prevent HPV infections from progressing to cervical cancer.” Source:https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/new-study-shows-hpv-not-likely-transmittable-through-hand-294517last_img read more

18 07 19

This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching. Before coming to MIT, Jeff Orkin SM ’07, Ph.D. ’13 spent a decade building advanced, critically acclaimed artificial intelligence (AI) for video games. Giant Otter Technologies, founded by artificial intelligence video game developer Jeff Orkin, an MIT Media Lab alumnus, has developed a platform that uses AI algorithms and crowdsourced annotators to build a natural-language database that helps chatbots expertly navigate human conversations. Credit: Chelsea Turner/MIT Scientists tally the environmental impact of feeding meat to our cats and dogs. It’s huge Citation: Developing bots that talk more like people (2018, January 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-bots-people.html While working on F.E.A.R., a survival-horror first-person shooter game, he developed AI that gave computer-controlled characters an unprecedented range of actions. Today, more than 10 years later, many video game enthusiasts still consider the game’s AI unmatched, even by modern standards.But for Orkin, the game’s development inspired a new line of interest. “A big focus of that game was getting squads of enemy characters to work together as a team and communicate constantly,” Orkin says. “That got me really into thinking about, ‘How do you get machines to converse like humans?'”Following the game’s release in 2005, Orkin enrolled in the MIT Media Lab, where he spent the next eight years tackling that challenge. Now, through his startup Giant Otter Technologies, he’s using his well-honed AI skills to help chatbots expertly navigate tricky human conversations.Giant Otter’s platform uses AI algorithms and crowdsourced annotators to build a natural-language database, compiled “bottom-up,” from archived sales and customer support transcripts. Chatbots draw on this robust database to better understand and respond, in real time, to fluctuating, nuanced, and sometimes vague language.”[The platform] was inspired by the way episodic memory works in the human mind: We understand each other by drawing from past experiences in context,” says Orkin, now Giant Otter’s CEO. “The platform leverages archived data to understand everything said in real time and uses that to make suggestions about what a bot should say next.”The startup is currently piloting the platform with e-commerce and telecommunication companies, pharmaceutical firms, and other large enterprises. Clients can use the platform as a “brain” to power a Giant Otter chatbot or use the platform’s conversation-authoring tools to power chatbots on third-party platforms, such as Amazon’s Lex or IBM’s Watson. The platform automates both text and voice conversations.Benefits come in the form of cost savings. Major companies can spend billions of dollars on sales and customer support services; automating even a fraction of that work can save millions of dollars, Orkin says. Consumers, of course, will benefit from smarter bots that can more quickly and easily resolve their issues. Human-machine collaborationIn conversation, people tend to express the same intent with different words, potentially over several sentences, and in various word orders. Unlike other chatbot-building platforms, Giant Otter uses “human-machine collaboration,” Orkin says, “to learn authentic variation in the way people express different thoughts, and to do it bottom-up from real examples.”Giant Otter’s algorithms comb through anywhere from 50 to 100 transcripts from sales and customer support conversations, identifying language variations of the same intent, such as “How can I help you?” and “What’s your concern?” and “How may I assist you?” These are called “utterances.” All utterances are mixed around into chunks of test scripts for people to judge for accuracy online.Consider a script for a sales call, where a salesperson is selling a product while the prospect is pushing for a discount. Giant Otter’s algorithms match and substitute one utterance in one script with a similar one from another script—such as swapping “I may be able to offer a discount” with “I’ll see if I can reach your price point.” That version is uploaded to Mechanical Turk or another crowdsourcing platform, where people will vote a “yes” or “no” if the substituted sentence makes sense.In another human task, people break conversations into “events.” Giant Otter will lay out conversations horizontally and people will label different sections of the conversation. A salesperson saying, “Hello, thanks for contacting us,” for instance, may be labeled as “call opening.” Other section labels include “clarifying order,” “verifying customer information,” “proposing resolution,” and “resolving issue.””Between these two tasks, we learn a lot about the structure over how conversations unfold,” Orkin says. “Conversations break down into events, events break down into utterances, and utterances break down into many different examples of saying the same thing with different words.”This builds a robust language database for chatbots to recognize anywhere from a few to more than 100 different ways to express the same sentiment—including fairly abstract variations. This is important, Orkin says, as today’s chatbots are built top-down, by a human manually plugging in various utterances. But someone seeking an order status update could say, for instance, “My order hasn’t come, and I checked my account, and it said to contact customer support.””Nowhere does the person even say ‘status.’ If I was creating content for a bot by hand, there’s no way I would have thought of that,” Orkin says. The platform continues to learn and evolve after chatbots are deployed.Path to chatbotsGiant Otter’s origin goes back to 2005, when Orkin joined the Cognitive Machines Group led by Deb Roy, an associate professor of media arts and sciences. Roy had just initiated the Human Speechome Project, his effort to gather data on how humans develop language by video and audio recording his newborn for three years.Branching off from the project, Orkin developed The Restaurant Game, an online game that paired people online to have natural, text-based discussions as a customer and a waitress at a restaurant. “We hoped to get maybe 100 people to play. But not too long after [the game launched], we had data from 16,000 people,” Orkin says.Many people would order food, pay bills, and talk about the menu. Others, however, were more unorthodox, asking the waitress on a date, stealing the cash register, or stacking cakes up to climb onto the roof. All of that data was valuable. “Whatever they did, we had all that data of natural conversations between players,” Orkin says. Soon, he hired people around the world through crowd-labor platforms, such as Mechanical Turk and Upwork, to ascribe context to the game’s transcripts.The game turned into a platform to collect and curate dialog to make AI conversations more natural. In 2013, Orkin met Geoff Marietta, a Harvard Graduate School of Education student studying how virtual worlds could facilitate learning and improve relationships. Using Orkin’s platform, they developed a game called SchoolLife, where players assume roles of a bullying victim and a bystander. Players interacted with AI-controlled characters to come up with a solution to student conflict.To commercialize the game, the two co-founded Giant Otter in 2013. For early support, Orkin turned to the MIT Venture Mentoring Service. Introductions through VMS have since led to a valuable partnership and potential pilot customers.SchoolLife earned a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation and was used in numerous schools in the region. But the budgeting cycles of school districts made it difficult for a startup to thrive in the education sector. Moreover, simulating bullying posed an issue, Orkin says. “With our platform, you need to capture data reflecting how people naturally converse. With bullying, we did come up with ways to record conversations from people role-playing in simulated scenarios, but it wasn’t authentic data,” Orkin says.A third co-founder, Dan Tomaschko MBA ’15, soon recognized the potential to impact the corporate world and guided a pivot to a training tool, called Coach Otto, that trained employees to deal with sensitive scenarios in the workplace. But last fall the startup realized the niche market of chatbot development for customer support was more profitable. (Companies, however, can still use the platform to practice phone conversations for sales and support training.)Currently, Giant Otter is working on better integrating its conversation-authoring tools with third-party chatbot platforms. It’s also developing its own automated customer support chatbot, powered by any company’s call transcripts. “It’s taken us years to realize where the most value is, but we’re focused on … [having] the right assembly line to crank enterprise phone call and live chat transcript data through our platform and turn it into something that can automate chatbot conversations,” Orkin says. Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Airbus and Dassault Aviation hope to develop Europe’s next generation combat fighter jet Airbus and Dassault Aviation announced Wednesday they intend to team up on the development of a French-German combat fighter, a project Paris and Berlin unveiled last year. Drones, cruise missilesThe teaming up of Dassault and Airbus all but means that they will lead the development of the FCAS, which in addition to a new combat aircraft also plans to include drones and cruise missiles.Britain had agreed with France in 2014 to develop a new fighter aircraft, but Brexit has in practice put those plans on ice, and thus freezing out BAE Systems, which builds the Eurofighter Typhoon together with Airbus.The only other firm in the EU which produces fighter jets is Sweden’s Saab.Howard Wheeldon, an analyst with Wheeldon Strategic Advisory who follows the defence and aerospace sectors, welcomed the development of a new European combat jet. “But this is going to be a very costly high risk investment for two countries to share and no guarantee of sales to others,” he told AFP.”In or out of the European Union, the UK needs to be part of this development project and it also needs NATO behind it.”In a column published earlier this month in the La Tribune newspaper, French Defence Minister Florence Parly, said defence cooperation would continue with Britain and projects could later be integrated into SCAF.On Thursday, Parly and her German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen are expected to sign at the air show a document outlining what capacities they are seeking and inviting firms to develop proposals.German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who visited the air show on Wednesday, praised Franco-German cooperation in the defence sector.”Franco-German cooperation always spurs European cooperation and in this way are bringing to life more and more the European Defence Union” under which EU nations can collaborate in defence outside of NATO, she said. Citation: Airbus and Dassault to team up on combat fighter (2018, April 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-airbus-dassault-team-combat-fighter.html The two firms “have decided to join forces for the development and production of Europe’s Future Combat Air System,” or FCAS, which is intended to enter service by 2040, they said in a joint statement released at the Berlin air show.The French and German governments are expected to make an announcement during the air show about their intention to move forward with the project.Airbus and Dassault have been rivals in the development of combat aircraft. Dassault builds the Rafale which is France’s main fighter jet, while the defence arm of Airbus based in Germany is a partner in the Eurofighter Typhoon which is used by several European nations, including Germany.Dassault’s chief executive Eric Trappier told journalists that the two firms had reached an agreement in principle to work together.He called it “a first message to tell (policymakers) we are ready in the field of a future air combat system”.The chief executive of Airbus’s defence unit, Dirk Hoke, called the project a “huge step forward” in ensuring the development of technologies needed to ensure European sovereignty.”It can only be done, not only when the governments work together, but when key industrial partners team up,” he said. Airbus to pay 81 mn euros to end German corruption probe (Update) Explore further The Dassault Rafale fighter is in service in the French Air Force © 2018 AFP 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. read more

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first_img Analyst Reports 04 Jun 2019 Trading ideas: Can-One, Sunway Group, Datasonic, Bintai Kinden Property 12 Jul 2019 Malakoff to acquire Khazanah’s stake in Desaru Investments Bintai Kinden’s unit has secured an underground cable contract worth RM2.08mil from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).  The mechanical and electrical engineering works company, gained 4%, or 0.5 sen to 13 sen with over 8.3 million shares done. Bintai-WA jumps 20% to three sen with 1.68 million shares traded.  Related News Corporate News 04 Jun 2019 Bintai Kinden wins DTFZ job Tags / Keywords: The group said its wholly-owned subsidiary Kejuruteraan Bintai Kindenko Sdn Bhd received the letter of award from TNB, appointing it to be the contractor to undertake the proposed 132 kV single circuit underground cable from PMU (Transmission Main Intake) Galloway to PMU KLCC2.  KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd advanced 4% in early trade Friday on the heels of its new RM2.08mil contract from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).  Related News Stock on the Move , Bintai Kinden , TNB The contract is estimated to be completed within 180 days from the commencement date, and is non-renewable.  {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more