Honda Electric Car Past Present And Future

first_imgAfter 30 years, Honda is still not ready to commit to battery-electric vehicles.Honda started developing electric vehicles more than 30 years ago. In those three decades, the Japanese automaker made strides with battery-powered cars. But with each step, Honda reconsidered the potential of EV technology – and shifted its strategy away from pure EVs and toward hybrids. All the while, the company placed its biggest bets on the ever-receding future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.More Honda EV News EV Comparison: 3 Flavors Of Honda Clarity: PHEV, BEV & Fuel Cell Source: Electric Vehicle News Honda Clarity PHEV Review After One Year Of Ownership Honda continues to take a portfolio approach to EV technology. That’s evident from its Clarity line of vehicles now on sale. It uniquely offers a choice of a plug-in hybrid, pure EV, and hydrogen fuel cell.In late 2018, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid became the top-selling PHEV in the United States. With its success  – and Honda again promising new upcoming electric cars – let’s consider the company’s EV history and what the future might bring.Started Developing EVs: 1988Future Target: Two-thirds of European sales will be “electrified” vehicles by 2030Honda EV with the Longest Electric Range: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell with 366 milesPlug-in Cars (And Date of US Introduction):Honda EV Plus (1999)Honda Fit EV (2011)Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid (2013)Honda Clarity Line of Electric Cars (2017)center_img PASTA team of four Honda engineers gathered at the company’s R&D center in April 1988. The turn of the century was still a dozen years away, but the team was already considering which technology held the most promise for the 21st century. “Electric operation was the most likely candidate in terms of alternative power,” said Junichi Araki, who led Honda’s first EV research team.The team, which had no experience in EV-related technology, had doubts if batteries could provide enough energy for decent range. Using a stripped down Honda CR-X and then a three-door Civic, the team built a series of prototypes that were presented to the company’s management team by October 1990. “At that meeting, I was convinced to continue the full-scale development of electric vehicles,” said Takefumi Hiramatsu, a research director. The team grew to 100 members.1993 Honda EVXThe timing was good. A month earlier, the first zero-emissions vehicle mandates were established by the California Air Resources Board. To sell cars in California, two percent of those purchases had to be zero-emission vehicles by 1998, rising to 10 percent by 2003. The race was on.After a series of rough prototypes emerge, Honda was able to exhibit the EV-X at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show.  It was Honda’s first purpose-built electric car.That was followed by the CUV-4, an electric conversion of a Civic. A total of 10 cars were put on California roads for testing. Concerned about the durability of lead-acid batteries, Honda took the bold step of using nickel-metal hydride batteries, the first car company to make the switch.Honda CUV-4Honda’s First EVBased on 80,000 miles of real-world testing, Honda’s president Nobuhiko Kawamoto gave the go-ahead in January 1996 to create an original body design for Honda’s EV. In April 1997, newspaper reporters and television crews assembled at Takanezawa plant, Honda’s manufacturing facility for specialized small production runs. The cameras captured a single small unit of the EV Plus rolling off the line.The First EV Plus was produced in 1997.“There still are many issues at hand, including the battery,” said Kenji Matsumoto, head of the company’s development project. “But I can definitely sense the coming age of the EV.”The E.P.A. gave the Honda EV Plus a range rating of 81 miles – an achievement for the era. Power was modest at 66 horsepower and a top speed of about 80 miles per hour. The four-passenger compact was about a foot longer than today’s BMW i3 and 1,000 pounds heavier.The EV Plus’s surprising sticker price was $53,900, but Honda would only allow the car to be leased – at $455 a month for three years. Nonetheless, Honda found more than 100 customers in 1997, one year ahead of the California mandate’s deadline. However, 1998 California was already loosening its zero-emissions targets to include hybrids.1997 Honda EV PlusHonda produced and leased a couple hundred more EV Pluses in the following two years in California – and a handful in Japan and Europe. But with California regulators allowing hybrids to get ZEV credits, the pressure was off to sell a pure EV.On April 26, 1999, Automotive News reported that Honda had produced its last EV Plus and the “arrival this fall of Honda’s VV hybrid car hastened the end of EV Plus production in Japan.” The VV was the concept version of the Honda Insight hybrid. The company reclaimed and eventually destroyed its first EV.The Shift to Hybrids“We had limited production goals in mind from the beginning for EV Plus,” said Robert Bienenfeld, manager of alternative fuel vehicles sales and marketing for American Honda Motor Co. “It was not meant to be mass-market material. The real question, if we were to keep selling the EV Plus, would be, ‘Are we moving forward? Are we advancing the technology?’ And the answer would be ‘I think not.’”Compared to the limited production numbers for its first EV, Honda said that it would sell 5,000 Insights worldwide every year. The company’s shift from EVs to hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles became the strategy for the ensuing decades. Honda introduced the FCX Clarity fuel-cell sedan in 2006. By 2008, a couple of dozen California consumers were leasing the hydrogen-powered car.EV development was still simmering in the background. Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda’s president of research and development, in 2010 said: “We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can’t say I can wholeheartedly recommend them. It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.”A Toe in the WaterThe Honda Fit EV was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.Against a background of rising fuel-economy standards, Honda unveiled an all-electric version of the Honda Fit at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Honda committed to making just 1,100 units over a 20-month period. Again, it was only available for lease.The small yet spacious five-passenger Fit was equipped with a 20 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack providing an estimated range of 82 miles. When placed into Sport mode, the Fit EV’s dashboard took on a red hue and upped its output to 123 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the popular EVs at the time – the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Smart ED – the Fit was the most fun to drive.Matt Walton received delivery of the first Honda Fit EV on July 20, 2012, at a dealership in Woodland Hills, Calif.The lease price was set at $389 a month and then dropped to $259, creating waiting lists at dealerships in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. But 20 months after Matt and Becky Walton received the first Fit EV, Honda announced that it had reached its sales quota and production would end earlier than expected.The Fit EV was not the only plug-in car produced by Honda in the early to mid-2010s. For three years, from 2013 to 2015, the company sold about 1,100 units of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The plug-in Accord was a spacious and capable mid-size sedan selling for $40,450. It offered 13 miles of all-electric range via a 6.7 kilowatt-hour battery pack. But unfortunately, the batteries were packed in the trunk where it reduced cargo space down to 8.6 cubic feet.The Honda EV-ster sports concept was displayed at auto shows throughout the world.In this period, Honda also introduced a series of funky concept EVs, including the 2009 EV-N retro-commuter, 2011 Micro Commuter mobility pod, and the bizarre 2016 NeuV that supposedly was capable of reading human emotions. The gem in the bunch was the 2011 Honda EV-Ster. The two-seat sports car, reminiscent of the classic Honda S2000, provided about 100 miles of range. It scooted to 60 miles per hour in about five seconds. (Honda revealed an updated EV sports concept in 2017.)PRESENTWith sales of the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid dwindling to a few units per month, Honda showed up at the 2015 Detroit auto show with yet another concept: the FCV. From 2008 to 2014, Honda had leased a total of 46 FCX fuel-cell vehicles so the FCV looked like it would be the next iteration of a hydrogen car. But then Honda announced there would be battery-electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clarity by 2018.A trio of Honda Clarity electrified vehicles.Deliveries of the Clarity Fuel Cell began in Southern California in December 2016. Those were followed by the launch of the battery-electric Clarity in August 2017, and the plug-in hybrid version four months later.While the fuel-cell and battery-electric variants are available only for lease in California (plus Oregon for the EV), the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is a 50-state vehicle. Sales of the fuel-cell Clarity are limited by lack of availability of hydrogen stations, and the Clarity Electric is hobbled by offering only 89 miles of range on a single charge.2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in HybridHowever, the 2018 Clarity Plug-in offering 48 miles of all-electric range is a real contender. With the discontinuation of the Chevy Volt, the Clarity becomes the plug-in hybrid with the most all-electric range. It also claims a place in the market as a spacious mid-size sedan that provides more than enough electric range for daily commuting – and then it becomes a 42-mpg hybrid without range limitations.It’s currently the largest sedan sold by Honda. Unlike the Accord Plug-in Hybrid that preceded it, there’s no compromise on cargo space.These superlatives help explain why the Clarity Plug-in hybrid became the number one selling PHEV in December 2018. The base-level Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid starts at $33,400, not including a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Touring trim, which starts at $36,600, adds goodies like leather seats and navigation.2018 Honda Clarity ElectricIt’s easy to dismiss the other two Clarity versions. Yes, the fuel-cell offers an impressive 366 miles of range in a five-minute fill-up, but availability is limited to a few dealerships in California. The Clarity Electric, which leases in California and Oregon, has a compelling price of $199 a month. But its 89-mile range is a non-starter for most buyers.That leaves the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, which could be a leader in the space for a few years.FUTUREHonda continues to set meaningful goals for electrification. In 2016, Takahiro Hachigo, Honda’s chief executive, said Honda hybrids and other electrified vehicles would account for two-thirds of sales in Europe by 2025. Battery-EVs and fuel-cell cars are expected to represent 15 percent of Honda’s electrified cars, said Hachigo. (Today, Honda sells two conventional hybrids, the Accord and Insight.)The Honda Everus at the 2018 Beijing Motor ShowIn 2017, Honda created a new division dedicated to making fully electric vehicles. If Honda indeed starts getting serious about electric cars, it’s thinking more about China and Europe rather than the United States. Automakers need pure electric vehicles to compete in China, the world’s largest auto market.That explains why Honda unveiled the Everus all-electric concept at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, followed by the Everus VE-1 production version at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Think of the VE-1 as a curvier all-electric version of the conventional HR-V crossover with an aerodynamic fascia and charge port.Honda Everus VE-1The Everus VE-1 is being produced with Honda’s Chinese partner, GAC. Partnerships are integral to Honda’s future EV strategy. In June 2018, the company agreed with General Motors to develop smaller, more capable lithium-ion batteries. Honda also has a partnership with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), reportedly the world’s biggest battery maker.Nikkei’s Asia Review reported that the Honda-CATL partnership is expected to yield an all-electric version of the Honda Fit offering about 185 miles of range. Notably, Honda intends to sell 100,000 of the new Fit EV a year.Honda continues to roll out exotic EV and energy concepts, including next-generation ultra-fast charging, battery-swapping scooters, and a vehicle-to-grid system. But Honda’s most tangible plan is to put its Urban EV concept into full-scale production. The Urban EV, which was unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, bears a resemblance to the EV-N concept that Honda revealed a decade ago.Honda Urban EV ConceptThe cute and curvy all-electric concept was spotted (in four-door hatchback form) in testing in late 2018. Those sightings give credence to Honda enter production of the Urban EV as soon as 2019 – but probably only for the European market. Few details are known at this time, but there’s speculation that the Honda Urban EV will provide 200 miles of range using an entirely new dedicated electric platform. Honda Clarity PHEV: #1 Selling Plug-In Hybrid In U.S. In December 2018 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with 50 subsidy for

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Australia is already a huge market for Tesla Powerwall for many reasons. But now you can add one more: the South Australian government has approved Tesla’s home battery pack for an important subsidy worth ~%50 of the battery pack for up to 40,000 homes. more…The post Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with ~50% subsidy for up to 40,000 homes appeared first on Electrek.last_img

The First Hyundai Kona Electric Delivered In US

first_img Hyundai Kona Electric Gets Priced In U.S: SEL, Limited, Ultimate Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News More details are expected to be released soon, but if Hyundai is following the same path as in other markets, the “Ultimate” will be the first trim level available. That variant starts at $44,650, while the “Limited” begins at $41,150. The most affordable trim, the SEL package, has a base price of $36,450 .Hyundai and John Hopkins have a history together. The automaker has donated over $2 million for cancer research there via its Hope On Wheels program. That includes $500,000 for grants toward pediatric cancer research this past September.Whether this means the floodgates will open and sales will begin in the other so-called ZEV states — California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont — remains to be seen, but we expect they will be starting shortly, if not right away. Apparently, this first shipment arrived at port about a week ago. If you’re interested in the car and don’t live in one of those states, it may be possible to arrange for its purchase through your local dealer. Just don’t expect them to carry inventory.While electric vehicles are, of course, more environmentally-friendly than their gas-guzzling cousins, this particular Kona Electric, we understand, will be going to a home that gets most of its energy from renewable sources. The doctor is not new to electric vehicle ownership, having already owned an EV for the past seven years.There should be more details on the way and we’ll update this post as we get them. Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip From Los Angeles To Las Vegas: Video Will be powered at least partly with renewable energy.It’s finally happening. After months of watching the Hyundai Kona Electric being dispatched to other territories, the first U.S. delivery has taken place. In a small ceremony yesterday at The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, the pediatric oncologist who leads his department had his all-electric crossover handed over.More with the Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, Edmunds Editors’ Choice Best EV: Videolast_img read more

Tesla Powerwall to replace meter in new trial program with electric utility

first_imgAn electric utility in Vermont is launching a new trial program with the goal to “make traditional meters obsolete” by using Tesla Powerwalls to track energy usage on top of the other benefits of Tesla’s home energy battery pack. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8COKnXNH-EThe post Tesla Powerwall to replace meter in new trial program with electric utility appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

Disability Law becomes Profit Center for Some

first_img Remember me Lost your password? Password Usernamecenter_img A quarter-century ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act required businesses to provide access to patrons in wheelchairs, including accessible parking spaces, curb cuts and ramps. The law left it to individuals to enforce the law. That provision turned the ADA into a cottage industry for lawyers who recruit clients from independent living facilities or disability rights groups and file lawsuits by the thousands against businesses with bathroom mirrors too high or ramps too steep – ultimately settling for several thousand dollars per case. One Texas man alone, represented by an Austin law firm, has filed more than 300 suits over . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img read more

New studies focus on vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy for infants children

first_imgMay 30 2018Bottom Line: Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy and for infants and children is the focus of two studies, an editorial and a patient page.Why The Research Is Interesting: Vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and research suggests it may have other potential health benefits.What: A randomized clinical trial of 975 healthy infants in Finland reports no difference in bone strength or incidence of infections at age 24 months when infants were given a higher daily dose of supplemental vitamin D (1,200 IU) compared with the standard dose (400 IU).Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorAuthors: Sture Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, and coauthorsWant to embed a link to this study in your story? Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0602(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0602)What: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 24 randomized clinical trials examined vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy on several infant outcomes including small for gestational age, fetal or neonatal death, and congenital abnormality.Authors: Shu Qin Wie, M.D., Ph.D., of University of Montreal, Canada, and coauthorsWant to embed a link to this study in your story? Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0302(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0302) Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/studies-examine-vitamin-d-supplementation-in-pregnancy-for-infants-children/last_img read more

New theory on Huntingtons disease shows promise to open new avenues of

first_img Source:https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/new-insight-into-huntingtons-disease-may-open-door-to-drug-development/ Jul 10 2018McMaster University researchers have developed a new theory on Huntington’s disease which is being welcomed for showing promise to open new avenues of drug development for the condition.Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation in the gene that makes the protein called huntingtin. A team of researchers led by McMaster has found there is a unique type of signalling coming from damaged DNA, that signals huntingtin activity in DNA repair, and that this signalling is defective in Huntington’s disease.A study developing the new hypothesis was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).”The concept was that if we applied the signalling molecule back in excess, even orally, this signalling can be restored in the Huntington’s disease mouse brain,” said Laura Bowie, a PhD student in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster. “The net result was that we fixed the modification of huntingtin not seen in mutant huntingtin in Huntington’s disease.”Using this hypothesis, the study team discovered a molecule called N6-furfuryladenine, derived from the repair of DNA damage, which corrected the defect seen in mutant huntingtin.”Based on dosing by different ways of this molecule in mouse Huntington’s disease models, Huntington’s disease symptoms were reversed,” said Bowie. “The mutant huntingtin protein levels were also restored to normal, which was a surprise to us.”Ray Truant, senior author on the study, has dedicated his career to Huntington’s disease research and how mutation leads to Huntington’s disease. His lab was the first to show that normal huntingtin was involved in DNA repair.Truant argues that the traditional and controversial amyloid/protein misfolding hypothesis, where a group of proteins stick together forming brain deposits, is likely the result of the disease, rather than its cause.Related StoriesAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHe said he considers this paper the most significant of his career.”This is an important new lead and a new hypothesis, but it is important for people to know this is not a drug or cure,” said Truant, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster.”This is the first new hypothesis for Huntington’s disease in 25 years that does not rely on the version of the amyloid hypothesis which has consistently failed in drug development for other diseases.”Huntington’s disease is a hereditary, neurodegenerative illness with devastating physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. Worldwide, approximately one of every 7,000 people can develop Huntington’s disease. Currently there is no treatment available to alter the course of the disease.The study is an original and important contribution to the field of neurodegeneration, says Yves Joanette, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging.”This research shows how complex and diverse the routes to neurodegenerative processes in the brain can be,” said Joanette. “This study will inspire not only research on Huntington’s disease, but also in some of the contributing processes to the development of many other neurodegenerative diseases.”Bev Heim-Myers, CEO of the Huntington Society of Canada, said: “The Huntington Society of Canada is proud to support such leading edge research.””Innovative research initiatives, such as the work led by the team in Dr. Truant’s lab, including PhD student Laurie Bowie, has the potential to transform HD research. The answers we find for Huntington’s disease will likely lead to better understanding of treatments for other neurological diseases and it is important that we continue this cross-talk amongst neurodegenerative diseases.”last_img read more

Alnylams patisiran receives positive opinion from CHMP for treating hATTR amyloidosis

first_img Source:http://investors.alnylam.com/news-releases/news-release-details/alnylam-receives-positive-chmp-opinion-onpattrotm-patisiran Jul 27 2018Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a Positive Opinion recommending marketing authorization of patisiran for the treatment of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR amyloidosis) in adults with stage 1 or stage 2 polyneuropathy. If approved by the European Commission (EC), the medicine will be commercialized under the brand name ONPATTRO™.”We are delighted with this positive opinion, and today’s recommendation by the CHMP takes us one step closer to bringing RNAi therapeutics, an entirely new class of innovative medicines, to patients around the world,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. “Our hope with patisiran is to transform the treatment of hATTR amyloidosis for the patients living with this devastating disease.”Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cell”hATTR amyloidosis is a progressively debilitating disease that often impacts patients and their families in the prime of their lives,” said Theresa Heggie, Head of Europe, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. “We are ready to launch patisiran following the EC decision, and hope that it will help to meet the pressing need for new treatment options for patients living with hATTR amyloidosis in Europe.”The CHMP positive opinion is based on the evaluation of the effects of patisiran in patients with hATTR amyloidosis and its safety profile as demonstrated in the APOLLO Phase 3 study. The SmPC recommended by the CHMP includes data from APOLLO primary and secondary endpoints, as well as exploratory cardiac endpoints. The results of the APOLLO study were published July 5, 2018 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).The European Medicines Agency reviewed patisiran under the accelerated assessment procedure that is granted to medicines that the CHMP believes are of major interest for public health and therapeutic innovation. A CHMP positive opinion is one of the final steps before marketing authorization is granted by the European Commission. The European Commission will now review the CHMP recommendation to deliver its final decision, applicable to all 28 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Patisiran is currently under priority review as a Breakthrough Therapy with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with an action date of August 11, 2018. Regulatory filings in other markets, including Japan, are planned for mid-2018.last_img read more

Evotec collaborates with CENTOGENE to develop compounds to treat rare genetic diseases

first_img Source:https://www.centogene.com/about-centogene/article/centogene-and-evotec-sign-global-strategic-partnership.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018CENTOGENE today announced that Evotec AG and CENTOGENE AG entered into a global strategic collaboration agreement for joint drug discovery projects, developing compounds to treat rare genetic diseases. CENTOGENE and Evotec initiated the collaboration to develop a strategic high-throughput platform for testing novel small molecules in rare hereditary metabolic diseases.The collaboration brings together Evotec’s leading induced pluripotent stem cell (“iPSC”) platform and broad drug discovery capabilities with CENTOGENE’s unique medical and genetic insights. In particular, detailed genotype-phenotype data enables rapid biomarker development using patient primary cells.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Healthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionDr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The collaboration between Evotec and CENTOGENE is focused on developing iPSC-based patient-derived disease models and suitable biomarkers for rare genetic diseases. A perfect match between highly complementary platforms and companies with the potential to open a new chapter in the translatability of pre-clinical discovery efforts into clinic benefits.””The identification and development of innovative small molecules to treat rare, hereditary conditions is particularly challenging because of the absence of adequate cellular models and the general lack of specific biomarkers to monitor the different diseases. With this innovative collaboration between Evotec and CENTOGENE, we can accelerate the development of new drugs. CENTOGENE is fully committed to explore any given opportunity to discover new ways of helping patients and their families, together with its partners,” said Dr Arndt Rolfs, Chief Executive Officer of CENTOGENE.last_img read more

Scientists build model that predicts how temperature affects spread of Ross River

first_img Source:https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/963a7d2e/temperature-model-predicts-regional-and-seasonal-virus-transmission-by-mosquitoes Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Scientists have built a model that predicts how temperature affects the spread of Ross River virus, a common mosquito-borne virus in Australia, according to a report in the journal eLife.The research demonstrates the importance of using temperature to predict epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases and could help public health bodies prepare for the impact of climate change on the spread of tropical diseases worldwide.”Scientists are realizing that warmer temperatures mean longer mosquito seasons and mosquitoes entering new regions where it was previously too cold for them to survive,” says senior author Erin Mordecai, Assistant Professor in Biology at Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences, US. “Warm temperatures also speed up the biological processes that help mosquitoes spread viruses. But working out the precise effect of temperature on different stages of mosquito growth and spread of viruses is tricky, because so many factors are involved.”Australia and the Ross River virus (RRV) offer an ideal opportunity to study the effects of temperature on disease transmission. RRV infects between 2,000-9,000 people each year in Australia and causes long-term joint pain and disability. Most people live in cities ranging in latitude from the north to the south of the country. Each season, as the temperature rises, RRV epidemics move from the subtropical north to temperate south.The team used two species of mosquito most responsible for RRV outbreaks in Australia to build a model using laboratory data on traits such as mosquito growth, survival, bite rate and infectiousness in response to different temperatures. “Our model correctly predicted that RRV is endemic across tropical Northern Australia year-round, and is seasonally epidemic in the cooler regions of Southern Australia,” explains Sadie Ryan, Associate Professor of Medical Geography at the University of Florida, US, and second author of the study. “When human population data was added into the model, its prediction of seasonal patterns matched recorded human cases of RRV.”Related StoriesAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyThe model determined that the optimal temperature for RRV spread was 26°C (80°F) and transmission would be limited at temperatures below 17°C (63°F) and above 32°C (89°F), which matches current patterns of disease. Mosquito lifespan was the most important temperature-dependent factor limiting transmission, and fertility and survival were prohibiting factors at temperatures that were too low or high for transmission. As transmission is limited by temperatures that are too cold and too hot, it may increase in some locations as a result of climate warming, while decreasing in others.”Our study provides strong evidence that temperature drives infection patterns at the continent-wide and seasonal levels,” says first author Marta Shocket, Postdoctoral Scientist in Stanford’s Biology Department. “In the short term, our work will help researchers build better statistical models for RRV which can be used to make more specific predictions based on climate change. In the long term, it should help mosquito control agencies better plan for the future and may provide further evidence of the need to combat climate change.”last_img read more

New statement provides detailed overview of how to diagnose treat resistant hypertension

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Resistant hypertension affects 12 percent to15 percent of patients treated for high blood pressure according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. The statement, published in the Association’s journal Hypertension, provides a comprehensive overview of how to diagnose and treat the condition based on a review of available scientific information.Patients are diagnosed with resistant hypertension when they need three or more medications to treat high blood pressure but still have blood pressure that exceeds the goal for hypertension established in 2017 in the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guideline for hypertension. In addition, patients whose blood pressure achieves target values on four or more different types of blood pressure lowering medication are also considered to have resistant hypertension.The 2017 guideline specifies blood pressure below 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) for the top number or 80 mmHg for the bottom number as the goal. Resistant hypertension is more often found among African-Americans, men, older adults and, people who are obese, or those who have diabetes, peripheral artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea or other conditions.”Because several conditions can mimic resistant hypertension, a correct diagnosis is essential so as not to over medicate. Asking a patient who has previously been prescribed blood pressure lowering drugs whether they take them correctly is a good place to start, because not taking medications properly will result in poorly controlled blood pressure that could appear to be resistant hypertension,” said Robert M. Carey, M.D., chair of the statement writing group and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center.The statement notes that 50 percent to 80 percent of people who should be taking blood pressure lowering medications don’t take them correctly because the regimen may be expensive and have unwanted side effects, which can result it poorly controlled blood pressure.In addition, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and some prescription medications, such as oral contraceptives may also raise blood pressure, so healthcare providers should ask patients if they are using these medications.Another condition that can mimic resistant hypertension is the “white coat effect,” when blood pressure is higher in the doctor’s office than at home because the patient is anxious. To rule out the “white coat effect,” patients should measure their blood pressure at home using a portable monitor or by wearing a device that can measure blood pressure at specific intervals over the course of a day.Once the physician has confirmed a diagnosis of resistant hypertension, healthcare providers should work with their patients to help them improve their lifestyle. Eating a DASH-style diet, that emphasizes eating fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish while limiting red meat and foods high in added sugars and salt has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure. Patients should also aim for a healthy body weight and get enough physical activity to help lower blood pressure.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancer”Some people with resistant hypertension may be extremely sensitive to salt in their diet,” said Carey. “In one of the studies we reviewed, when salt intake was significantly lowered in people with resistant hypertension, blood pressure promptly went down.”Drinking too much alcohol and tobacco use are also lifestyle factors that affect blood pressure.Once a clear diagnosis of resistant hypertension is made, healthcare providers have a variety of medication regimens to help their patients. By definition, the patient will already be taking three different classes of antihypertensive drugs, including a long-acting calcium channel blocker (CCB), an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) which interacts with the renin-angiotensin system and a diuretic (so called “water pills”). The healthcare provider can then customize a medication regimen based on the individual characteristics of the patient to make sure they are taking the most effective medication for their situation. If blood pressure remains uncontrolled, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRS), which blocks a hormone associated with blood pressure called aldosterone, can be added to help lower blood pressure.Carey said it is also important to screen patients for secondary hypertension, an underlying condition that can cause high blood pressure. Treating patients for secondary hypertension can often cure them. Secondary hypertension frequently arises from a condition called primary aldosteronism, a disorder of increased aldosterone secretion, which is found in about 20 percent of patients with resistant hypertension. Other major causes of secondary hypertension include chronic kidney disease and renal artery stenosis, a narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys.”Patients with high blood pressure are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, heart failure and stroke, and their prognosis deteriorates further if they have resistant hypertension,” said Carey. “It is extremely important to get blood pressure down by whatever means one can, because study after study has shown the negative outcomes from pressures that remain elevated above the target level.”The new statement replaces an earlier statement on the topic published in 2008 and is based on a review of over 400 research studies by the writing committee. The major changes from the 2008 statement are that the criteria for defining resistant hypertension have become more specific, the recognition that sleep deprivation contributes to lack of blood pressure control, the importance of lifestyle change to prevent and treat resistant hypertension.In addition, there are new evidence-based recommendations from recent studies that suggest healthcare providers consider substituting the diuretics chlorthalidone or indapamide (water pills) for the more commonly prescribed diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and to consider adding spironolactone, a medication that reduces the effect of aldosterone, to the antihypertensive drug regimen.Source: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/diagnosing-and-treating-resistant-hypertensionlast_img read more

Swimming reptile unearthed in Scotland

first_imgForget the Loch Ness monster: Scotland was once home to a swimming reptile the size of a motorboat. Scientists have discovered the country’s first known ichthyosaur, a large marine creature that lived during the Middle Jurassic period about 170 million years ago. The fragmentary specimen—dubbed Dearcmhara shawcrossi by researchers who describe it online today in the Scottish Journal of Geology—is named after amateur collector Brian Shawcross, who found the fossils on the shores of Scotland’s rugged and picturesque Isle of Skye. (Dearcmhara, pronounced “jark vara,” is Scottish Gaelic for “marine lizard.”) The ichthyosaur, pictured here in an artist’s reconstruction, was about 4 meters long and hunted fish and smaller reptiles in the then-warm seas around Skye, which has some of the world’s best preserved Middle Jurassic sediments.last_img read more

Reddit prompts citizen scientists to go dig up dirt

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img Thousands of citizen scientists around the country are getting their hands dirty collecting soil samples after the Internet bestowed a recent burst of attention on a soil sampling project. The crowdsourced project, which aims to find new drugs by cultivating fungi from soil samples, drew only moderate interest since it began in 2010. But it caught a lucky break on social media and has now exploded, surpassing researchers’ wildest dreams in just a few days.Since Friday morning, when a reddit user posted a link to the website of the Citizen Science Soil Collection Program, run by the Natural Products Discovery Group at the University of Oklahoma, the group has received more than 4000 requests for soil collection kits—a huge boost from the 500 samples they collected over the past year. Researchers watched the project go viral, spreading on social media and other websites. One enthusiastic reddit user wrote, “I’d love to see what’s hiding in the dirt under these redwoods!””It’s just incredible; this is exactly what we were hoping for. I wish I could say we were the architects of it, but it just happened, and it’s awesome,” says chemist Robert Cichewicz, lead scientist for the project. The project aims to discover new drugs by sampling a wide variety of fungi found in soil throughout the United States. Of the millions of types of fungi on our planet, only a small fraction have been studied scientifically. The scientists hope that by exploring this uncharted biodiversity they will find new compounds produced by the fungi that are effective for treating cancer and infectious disease. Would-be citizen scientists can request a free soil collection kit online and send in their neighborhood dirt to be studied.The group is now working to maintain its momentum, campaigning online and on social media to attract 10,000 requests for sample kits by the end of the week—a number that would allow the group to amass a “mind-boggling” library of chemicals, Cichewicz says.”The engagement of people and the general public into the scientific process can just redefine an entire lab’s research in a matter of days,” Cichewicz says. “I’m just giddy.”last_img read more

Were cats domesticated more than once

first_imgThe rise of cats may have been inevitable. That’s one intriguing interpretation of a new study, which finds that early Chinese farmers may have domesticated wild felines known as leopard cats more than 5000 years ago. If true, this would indicate that cats were domesticated more than once—in China, and 5000 years earlier in the Middle East. It would also suggest that the rise of farming was destined to give rise to the house cat.“This is very important work that should have a great impact,” says Fiona Marshall, a zooarchaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri. Cats, she notes, largely domesticated themselves, and if this happened twice it could indicate that a whole host of animals—from donkeys to sheep—may have become domesticated with less human involvement than previously thought. “This is the leading edge in a shift in thinking about domestication processes.”Marshall was not involved in the new study, but a few years ago she helped analyze eight cat bones unearthed from Quanhucun, an early millet farming village in central China. The bones—including a pelvis and mandible—dated to about 5300 years ago, and had been dug from the site in 2001. All contained forms of carbon and nitrogen that indicated that the felines ate small animals, which in turn had eaten grain. This supported a longstanding hypothesis about how cats became domesticated: Wild cats slunk into ancient farming villages to hunt rats and mice, and humans kept them around to combat these crop-destroying rodents. Indeed, one of the Quanhucun cats, based on the wear of its teeth, appeared to be an older individual, perhaps suggesting that people had taken care of it. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe J.-D. Vigne/CNRS/MNHN But a big question remained. Were the Quanhucun cats related to Near Eastern wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica), the ancestors of today’s house cat and the first cats to be domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East? Or were they a different species of feline, perhaps one of the small local wildcats such as the Central Asian wildcat (Felis silvestris ornata) or the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)? If the former, the cats likely came to Chinese farming villages via ancient trade routes and were already domesticated. If the latter, Chinese villagers may have embarked on a completely separate domestication of the cat from a local species. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The skull of a cat unearthed from an ancient Chinese farming village. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email And that’s indeed what the new study suggests. Scientists led by Jean-Denis Vigne, the director of research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris, performed additional analysis on the Quanhucun bones, as well as bones from two other ancient Chinese farming sites. They focused specifically on the mandibles, using a technique called geometric morphometrics, which employs a computer to take thousands of measurements of the size and shape of bones to determine what species they belong to. All of the bones unequivocally belonged to leopard cats, not a Near Eastern species, the team concludes this month in PLOS ONE.Several lines of evidence lead Vigne to believe the cats weren’t just wild neighbors, but rather in the early stages of domestication. For one, the cats are a bit smaller than their wild leopard cat relatives, a hallmark of domestication. Also, at least one cat was buried as a complete body. “That’s evidence of special treatment,” and that it was not butchered (and eaten), he says. “Even if what we’re seeing here is not full domestication, it’s an intensification of the relationship between cats and humans.”“It’s very convincing,” says Guy Bar-Oz, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Haifa in Israel who was not involved with the work. Many other local animals could have become domesticated in these villages, he says, but cats may have been at an advantage because they’re obsessed with killing small animals, a skill useful to people at the time. “My cat still brings me birds even though she’s obese, because she has this strong instinct.” Marshall says cats may have had another leg up because they were nocturnal. “They could hunt at night and not have to worry about competing with dogs, which were more active during the day.”Of all the domesticated animals, only pigs are believed to have been domesticated more than once. The fact that we might be seeing at least two separate domestications of cats—in different parts of the world, at different times, and from different species—suggests that farming may have been bound to give us the house cat, Vigne says. “The domestication of cats is a very special thing in the annals of domestication.”Still, even if the Quanhucun cats were on the road to domestication, they didn’t last. None of today’s house cats share their genes, save for the Bengal breed, which was created by mating house cats with leopard cats in the 1960s to give them a wilder look. Marshall thinks the introduction of domestic cats from elsewhere in the world may have ended local experiments with taming cats. House cats resembling modern cats appear in paintings from the Tang dynasty, which began in the year 618, and they may have been a lot more docile and useful than their leopard cat counterparts, she says. As cats evolved, they changed their vocalizations to better “communicate” with people and they became more adept at reading human cues, Marshall notes. “They may just have been easier to have around.”last_img read more

Test your smarts on space weather the longest lightning bolt and more

first_imgEvery Monday, The Science Quiz tests your knowledge of the week’s biggest science news stories. No matter how much you know, you’re still likely to learn something–give it a try! Score The blind mole rat Spalax obamicus. Believe it or not, there are not three, but nine species that have so far been named after President Barack Obama. For some scientists, the newsworthy monikers have meant much-appreciated attention for their otherwise obscure fields. For others, the decision to name their discoveries after the 44th president of the United States has not come without regret. One researcher told The Chronicle of Higher Education: “I’m worried that I get the reputation as a scientist who comes up with goofy species names and not doing serious stuff.” September 19, 2016 vichie81/iStockphoto Average Love LOADING 0 The Andromeda galaxy Time’s Up! Enter the information below to enter the sweepstakes:Your information has been submitted.An error occurred submitting the email. Please try again later.This email has already been entered.The email submitted is not a valid email.Incomplete form. Please fill out all fields. 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I would like to receive emails about products and services offered by AAAS advertisers.PRIVACY I have read and accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.Submit The Milky Way. Just last week, the European Space Agency released the first data from its €750 million mission, a new catalog that contains sky positions for 1.1 billion stars. Of them, 400 million have never been seen before. For many stars, the positional accuracy is 300 microarcseconds—that’s the width of a human hair seen from a distance of 30 kilometers. As for Caleb’s shoes—you can see them from about 30 feet away! Gary Johnson Start Quiz Among the Arctic snows As if science and politics weren’t strange enough bedfellows, it turns out that lots of researchers have been naming new species after the outgoing U.S. president. Which of these animals is not on that list? The extinct lizard Obamadon gracilis Win a FREE digital subscription to Science! Just submit the required contact information to enter. Donald Trump Click to enter Large ocean predators. In Earth’s misty past (i.e. over the last 66 million years), there’s been a strong link between smaller body size and extinction—tiny creatures tend to bear the brunt of big events that kill off plant life, while the large predators linger until they’ve hunted their way to their own extinction. But a new study shows that this is no longer the case, at least in the world’s oceans. Now, animals like great white shark, bluefin tuna, and blue whales are at much higher risk of dying off than their smaller brethren. The culprit? Humans who selectively fish out the largest species from Earth’s oceans. Question California The salt industry The Milky Way That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Hillary Clinton Large ocean predators 5 kilometers A new study has found that this U.S. state is most vulnerable to power outages from solar storms: Minnesota. When the lights go out, the cause is often regional: ice storms in the northeastern United States or hurricanes in the southeast. Now, a new study shows that the upper Midwest can have its own special sort of grid-destroying storm—space weather. The study finds that this region is at greatest risk of damage from storms of charged particles from the sun, which crash into Earth and send electrical currents surging along power lines, melting transformers and triggering blackouts. According to the study, those surges could be up to 100 times more powerful in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin than in other parts of the United States. The Microsoft Theater The Science Quiz Washington Results: You answered out of correctly – Click to revisit The great Twinkie cartel September 19, 2016 The Science Quiz Take the quiz to enter for a chance to win a FREE digital subscription to Science! Learn More In the deep ocean The GAIA mission last week revealed that what massive structure is even more star-studded than we thought? New research by linguists shows that the first man on the moon’s most famous quote got flubbed by the press. What does a new analysis of the fuzzy recording say he actually said? The cattle industry Last week, scientists said they had figured out the habitat of a 120 million-year-old “parrot lizard” dinosaur based on fossilized skin pigmentation alone. Where did the beaked dino live? Top Ranker The blind mole rat Spalax obamicus 321 kilometers This place could sure use a taco truck. High in the treetops You Florida Phytoplankton Lichens The sugar industry The sugar industry. In the 1960s, there was very little solid research into what foods made us healthy (not unlike today, some would argue). So executives from the sugar industry decided to fill the breach, paying researchers from Harvard University the equivalent of $50,000 in today’s money to write a paper that diminished the link between eating sugar and heart disease in favor of fat. The paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, set the stage for future research and national nutrition standards. It turns out that—contrary to some headlines that appeared last week—you really do need this to create a baby: On the forest floor In other weather news, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) just officially entered the longest lightning bolt ever measured into the record books. How long was it? Oxytocin Industry documents released early last week showed that members of this industry tried to selectively shape nutrition research in the 1960s: The faster you answer, the higher you score! Challenge your friends and sign up for your chance to win a free digital subscription to Science. An error occurred loading the Quiz. Please try again later. Official rules for the News from Science weekly quiz sweepstakes How did you score on the quiz? Challenge your friends to a science news duel! Enter for a chance to win. We’ll select a new winner each week. Some scientists have said that Earth’s sixth big extinction has already started. Last week, researchers cited the loss of what species as its harbinger? Share your score 321 kilometers. That’s almost 200 miles long, for you Americans! And America is where it struck: just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and stretching all the way to the Texas border. This distance champ traveled from cloud to cloud in June 2007 and sent at least 13 lightning bolts down to the ground on its way. WMO also announced the longest-lasting lightning bolt on record: a single flash of lightning that cracked over southern France in 2012, lasting for a whopping 7.74 seconds. Considering that most lightning bolts last just a few milliseconds and travel fewer than a dozen kilometers, the findings were electrifying, to say the least. The parasitic flatworm Baracktrema obamai Egg cells Egg cells. No, scientists have not figured out how to make “motherless babies,” nor have they gotten any closer to making an embryo without using an egg cell. A Nature Communications paper sparked a flurry of headlines last week about ways to get around the basic formula of “sperm + egg = embryo.” Many claimed researchers had moved closer to using a skin cell, for example, instead of an egg cell, to make a baby, making it possible for a gay couple to have a baby by fusing sperm from one man with the skin cell of another. But those headlines and stories frequently left out a crucial detail: The researchers most definitely needed egg cells—also called oocytes—to make the mouse pups they described. Jill Stein The U.S. presidential candidates have finally answered a list of 20 questions about science. Now, for your question: Who said it? “Space exploration has given so much to America, including tremendous pride in our scientific and engineering prowess.” 0 / 10 That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he said the famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Or did he? Although it sounds otherwise in the muffled recording from the moon landing, Armstrong claims he said “one small step for a man,” and a new study backs him up. By analyzing the duration Armstrong spoke each word, linguists found it would have been easy for listeners to exclude the “a,” especially in a fuzzy recording. And because of the astronaut’s intention to be humble and the context of the speech, they agree that “one small step for a man” is the more probable phrase. Donald Trump. Trump, Clinton, and Stein submitted their answers to the ScienceDebate.org coalition, with only Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party declining to respond. Trump’s answers are probably the most newsworthy, given his silence to date on any issue that directly impacts the scientific community. There are—surprisingly—no zingers. Rather, they seem to echo the sentiments of conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, who have emphasized that science must serve a broader national interest, that federal regulations are stifling economic growth and personal freedoms, and that the Obama administration has twisted research findings to serve its own ideological ends. On the forest floor. To find out where the Psittacosaurus lived, scientists—and one very gifted artist—constructed a 3D model of a 120-million-year-old fossil, down to tiny details of its skin pigmentation. It turned out that the creature was “countershaded,” with a lighter belly and darker back. This camouflage pattern, which takes advantage of light and shadows, is common to modern and prehistoric animals. When the scientists put the dino model under the lights of a professional photographer against different backgrounds, they found that its patterns concealed it best in the muted, dappled light of a forest. Caleb McLaughlin’s shoes That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. 21 kilometers 125 kilometers Skin cells The hairworm Paragordius obamai That’s one small step for me, one giant leap for mankind. Minnesota Amphibianslast_img read more