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Australian state premier calls for timeframe on Adani coal mine approvals

first_img Best Of Express Advertising Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Australian model avoids US prison sentence after fracas on international flight flip ratio between fossils and renewables in India’s energy basket Adani group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north. (Representational image)The premier of Australia’s Queensland state on Wednesday asked India’s energy giant Adani to sit down with the environment regulator to work out a “definitive timeframe” to obtain approvals for its controversial coal mine project in the state. The massive coal mine in Queensland state has been a controversial topic, with the project expected to produce 2.3 billion tonnes of low-quality coal.In addition to its impact on climate change, environmentalists have argued the mine could do serious damage to Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.Another major concern about the environmental impacts of the proposed mine has been that it would wipe out the most important habitat of the threatened black-throated finch.Speaking at a press conference, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she would appoint her Coordinator-General to oversee approvals of the mine. “I think that the community is fed up with the processes, I know I’m fed up with the processes, I know my local members are fed up with the processes.”“I’m asking for the two parties, Adani and the independent regulator (DES) to sit down with the Coordinator-General and I want them to meet tomorrow actually. I want them to sit down and work out a definitive timeframe on decisions around these reports. We’re up for this challenge, we work every day focusing on jobs,” she added.“We need some certainty and we need some timeframes — enough is enough,” she said.Adani is currently waiting on approval of two of its environmental management plans — one concerning the black-throated finch, the other related to the management of groundwater at the site.Last month, the Federal Government granted its final environmental approvals for the project days before the election was called.Adani mining chief executive Lucas Dow said he was cautiously optimistic about the Queensland Government’s change of tone. By PTI |Melbourne | Published: May 22, 2019 3:44:09 pm Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 “I’m encouraged to hear that the Premier’s finally said enough is enough, but the reality is what we’ve now got is simply another process,” Dow said.“If these approvals are not provided within the next two weeks, this new process that the Premier has described is simply nothing more than a further political delaying tactic.”Dow said the mining company was ready to begin construction as soon as the project was approved.“We think it’s more than reasonable that this gets wrapped up in the next couple of weeks — the process has been exhaustive, and the scrutiny has been appropriate,” he said.“It’s now time to finalise these and allow us to get on with the job.”Dow said that the “ball is entirely in the Queensland Government’s court”.“We’ve written to them, we’ve provided responses to their requests on the black-throated finch, that’s now sitting with the Queensland Government,” Dow said.Voicing support for Adani’s Carmichael coal and mine project in central Queensland, Mayor of Rockhampton council in the region has sought a “fair go” for the company.Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said Adani should “be given the proper treatment and allowed to proceed, for the Galilee Basin to open, for those jobs to flow so that we as a community can start to build a long-term future”.State Greens MP Michael Berkman described Palaszczuk’s decision as a “disappointing backflip” that would only hurt regional Queenslanders long-term.“Queensland Labor intends to fast track Adani’s approvals for the Carmichael Coal project. This says to me that they’ve quite devastatingly really misinterpreted the results of the federal election,” he said.Australians re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison-led conservative coalition government in the federal polls. The coalition benefited from a stronger-than-expected showing in Queensland where Adani Group is developing large Carmichael coal mine.“This is really unwelcome interference with the Environment Department. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off It comes days after Labor suffered a poor voter turnout across the state in the federal election, which has been widely attributed to the party’s position on Adani’s Carmichael mine project.The move also comes after Queensland Government ministers spent weeks saying the Department of Environment and Science (DES) would not be rushed on making decisions.Adani group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Australian govt seeks information about man detained in North Korea More Explained Related News Australian student missing in North Korea is released Advertising “More importantly this fast-tracking of approvals for Adani is not going to help the communities she thinks it will. We need good solid planning for jobs that account for the eventual phase-out of thermal coal,” Berkman said. 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Cut money fallout CM Mamata Banerjee sacks Hooghly district unit chief Tapan

first_img Advertising Advertising LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Delhi court summons Mamta Banerjee’s nephew over ‘false affidavit’ Written by SWEETY KUMARI | Kolkata | Updated: July 5, 2019 8:23:29 am 0 Comment(s) Best Of Express Mamata to MLAs: Don’t cede an inch to BJP, apologise to people Related News center_img Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan Kolkata: CM Mamata Banerjee hits streets to raise awareness on water conservation Part I | Grassroot TMC leaders face cut-money blowback in Bengal: ‘Can’t return home’Dasgupta, who represents Saptagram Assembly constituency, has been accused of misappropriating funds meant for public schemes and taking kickbacks from people for adding them as beneficiaries in government schemes. Last week, people, who had allegedly paid “cut money” to the minister to avail government benefits, had demonstrated outside his Phulpukur house in Hooghly, demanding a refund. Several CPM councillors also accused Dasgupta of misappropriating public funds — a charge rejected by the TMC MLA.In the wake of the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee had directed TMC leaders to return the “cut money” if they had taken it from the beneficiaries.  | In West Bengal, TMC men’s cut money rate list: Rs 200 for last rites, Rs 25,000 for houseNotably, the decision to replace Dasgupta as party’s Hooghly district unit chief also comes in the backdrop of TMC losing the Hooghly parliamentary constituency to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.Reacting to the TMC chief’s decision of removing him from the post, Dasgupta, who holds the agriculture marketing portfolio in the cabinet, said it was not true that was being sidelined in the party. “I will look after the ministry. I think new people should also get chance. I will also look after the district. Dilip (Yadav) has been working with me closely. Didi (Banerjee) wanted to make him (Hooghly district unit) president, and there he has been appointed… It is all rumour that I am being sidelined,” Dasgupta told The Indian Express.Part III | TMC cornered, BJP takes lead in tracking cut money agents Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach He also rejected the allegations of taking “cut money” from people. “There are no such allegations against me. I have not taken any ‘cut money’. It’s all a rumour. I have never been involved in such things,” he said.Sources in the ruling TMC said that the party leadership was not happy with the functioning of its Hooghly unit as BJP the gained ground in the district and went on to snatch the seat from it in the Lok Sabha elections. During a recent party meeting, Mamata had even reprimanded Dasgupta for the party’s defeat in Hooghly.After BJP’s Locket Chatterjee won from Hooghly, Mamata had created a new post of chairman for its Hooghly unit to closely monitor the party’s performance in the district.Former MP Ratna Dey was appointed the chairman and four TMC leaders were appointed as convenors. mamata banerjee, tmc cut money, TMC bengal, West bengal, cut money bengal, tmc workers, bengal tmc workers, west bengal, birbhum, west bengal news Mamata Banerjee clarified that the circular was not meant to divide students on the basis of religion. (PTI)In THE first political fallout of the ‘cut-money’ scandal that has hit the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday removed minister Tapan Dasgupta from the post of Hooghly district unit president, days after his name cropped up in the kickback row. Dasgupta has been replaced by local leader Dilip Yadav.last_img read more

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French Parliament approves Notre Dame restoration bill

first_imgThe sudden fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic UNESCO world heritage site covering the banks of the River Seine, captivated the world’s attention.Paris prosecutors are investigating the causes and have said that either a poorly stubbed-out cigarette or an electrical fault could have started the fire. Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed His political opponents, however, favored an exact replica and as a result, the opposition-controlled Senate, the parliament’s upper house, rejected the law.The National Assembly, the country’s lower house, controlled by En Marche, overruled the Senate to ultimately pass the bill. But the final text did not directly address the architectural form of the reconstruction and in turn, the spire design, undetermined.The “aim is to give Notre-Dame a restoration appropriate for the place it has in the hearts of the French people and in the entire world,” Culture Minister Franck Riester said.In an opinion poll published in April, most respondents said they wanted the cathedral rebuilt as it was before the fire.Five-year project French Parliament approves Notre Dame restoration bill Tuesday’s vote was not without controversy, as politicians squabbled for months over the details of the restoration project.France’s Parliament voted on Tuesday in favour of a law to restore the damaged roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, after a fire destroyed its spire in April. Advertising Advertising ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Post Comment(s) More Explained Best Of Express Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed By Deutsche Welle | Published: July 17, 2019 8:49:31 am At issue for lawmakers was the decision of what the new spire would look like. The destroyed spire had been designed 19th-century restorer Eugene Viollet le Duc, after the medieval original was demolished in the 18th century.Tuesday’s vote was not without controversy, as politicians squabbled for months over the details of the restoration project.French President Emmanuel Macron’s and his centrist Party, En Marche, supported the construction of a modern spire, to make a “contemporary architectural statement.” The approved bill will dispense the 850 million euros ($954 million) in donations that individual, corporate and private donors made after the blaze.Macron has insisted that the reconstruction project should be completed within five years. But the deadline has been criticized by experts as too ambitious.The president’s political opponents agreed, accusing Macron of rushing the project to ensure reconstruction was completed for the 2024 Olympic Games that Paris will host.“Imposing a deadline of five years from on high makes no sense,” Brigitte Kuster of the opposition Republicans said. Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Top News last_img read more

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Hunt for Law Secretary 3 from outside ILS also in govt shortlist

first_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Post Comment(s) Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2019 12:50:41 am Allowing non-ILS officers to apply for the post of Law Secretary, the government said that a “person of ability and having special knowledge of law and professional experience of not less than 25 years in the areas of law, legal affairs, or any other field which in the opinion of central government would be useful for the post” is the “essential qualification” for an applicant.It is learnt that a committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary had shortlisted at least eight applicants who were interviewed on June 26. One of them, sources said, was former Delhi Principal Secretary (Law) A K Mendiratta who belongs to the Delhi Higher Judicial Service. He is currently District & Sessions Judge (North-East), Karkardooma Courts.Mendiratta had earlier been repatriated to his parent judicial service cadre by the Delhi government. The transfer had come in the backdrop of Mendiratta informing Delhi Law Minister Kailash Gahlot that only the Lieutenant Governor was the competent authority to undertake an independent assessment of the alleged sedition case to grant prosecution sanction — this was the case in which former JNU students Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid were named in a chargesheet by Delhi Police.Also in the shortlist, sources said, was retired Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) officer Dr Anil Kumar Gulati. Currently in-charge of the Central Agency Section in the Law Ministry, which is responsible for conducting litigation before the Supreme Court on behalf of all ministries of the central government, Gulati had previously served as Joint Secretary in the Department of Justice.Sources said a serving IAS officer, in the rank of Additional Secretary, was also interviewed for the post. The three ILS officers in the shortlist are Sudhi Ranjan Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs; Dr Reeta Vasishta and K Biswal, both Additional Secretary, Legislative Department. Top News Hunt for Law Secretary: 3 from outside ILS also in govt shortlist The Department of Legal Affairs, under the Union Law Ministry, has been functioning without a full-time Law Secretary for more than six months now.Moving to appoint a new Law Secretary, the government, besides shortlisting three senior officers of the Indian Legal Service, has interviewed three others from outside the ILS cadre, including a former Delhi Principal Secretary (Law) who had locked horns with the Delhi government and cleared the sanction to prosecute JNU students in an alleged sedition case. The Department of Legal Affairs, under the Union Law Ministry, which advises ministries on legal matters including interpretation of the Constitution and the laws, has been functioning without a full-time Law Secretary for more than six months now.Currently, Justice Secretary and senior IAS officer Dr Alok Srivastava is holding additional charge of Law Secretary. He was entrusted the charge after Law Secretary Suresh Chandra, an ILS officer, retired last December. Over 60 applicants applied for the post after the government advertised, calling for nominations with April 12 as the deadline for receiving applications.Sources said this the second time that the Centre has invited applications for the post of Law Secretary. In 2016, when Law Secretary P K Malhotra retired, the government had called for applications. But eventually an ILS officer, Suresh Chandra, was appointed Law Secretary. Prior to Malhotra, Law Secretaries D R Meena and Dr T K Viswanathan were also ILS officers. NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising Advertising Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook last_img read more

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Cook Gives Up a Few Crumbs of Apple Auto Info

first_imgAt the very least, automobiles can expand the number of endpoints running Apple apps and requiring the company’s products and services.”It has the potential of being a very big deal to Apple with serious profitability potential,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.At the software level, nobody is blowing anyone away in the automotive market at the moment, he noted.”Apple is known for creating great software and could clearly provide a powerful and important solution in delivering a smart vehicle and OS layer that would allow developers to create apps that make sense for autonomous vehicles,” Bajarin told TechNewsWorld.”Given Apple’s skills and clout,” he continued, “I have no doubt that if they enter this market, whatever software solution they create could be important for those creating autonomous vehicles — as well as Apple.”Autonomous vehicles likely will make autos more than just a means of transportation.”The car will turn quickly into an extended living room and office, and the Apple experience will need to be there,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.”In the end, Apple will be one of the big players in autonomous driving,” he told TechNewsWorld, “first because of their software capability, and second because of their deep pockets.” If Apple becomes a major player in the autonomous vehicle market, it will have to do so in the face of some stiff competition.”You could argue that Apple is more innovative and better funded than some, but several of its rivals in the space, including Google-Waymo and the major auto manufacturers, are formidable,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.While autonomous systems may be important, it’s likely there’s a bit of wishful thinking in Cook’s remarks about them, he suggested.”Apple clearly needs to branch out from its reliance on smartphones, but the actual markets for autonomous cars have yet to be established, and demand is likely to vary wildly according to situation and place,” King told TechNewsWorld.If Apple produces only the software for an autonomous vehicle, it could face another problem.”Unless some very big names are included in Apple’s announcement, an autonomous vehicle OS will look like a solution in search of a problem,” King said.”To maintain its luxury product cachet, Apple would probably want to partner, at least initially, with makers of higher-end mass market vehicles, like BMW and Mercedes,” he added. “Problem is, both of those companies are already developing their own in-house systems.” Potholes in Road Map Apple watchers looking for something concrete about the company’s auto plans probably were disappointed by the CEO’s remarks to Bloomberg.”All Cook said was Apple was focusing on autonomous systems,” said Roger Lanctot, associate director for the global automotive practice at Strategy Analytics.”That’s Trumpian level ambiguity, ” he told TechNewsWorld.Solving the problem of automated driving will create a unique value proposition that Apple wants to participate in, Lanctot said, but “what that participation will be is totally unclear.”One thing that is clear, however, is the importance of the market to Apple.”Transportation is the next frontier,” Lanctot maintained. “It’s a massive software, hardware and service opportunity for Apple.” News about Apple’s plans for the automotive market have been dripping slowly from the company for months, and CEO Tim Cook this week released a few more drops from the faucet.Apple’s auto efforts are zeroing in on autonomous systems, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.Self-driving is a core technology that Apple considers very important to its auto plans, but it’s very challenging from an artificial intelligence perspective, Cook noted, characterizing it as “the mother of all AI projects.”A major disruption is ahead for the transportation industry, he predicted, because three change vectors — self-driving cars, electric vehicles and ride hailing — are converging in the same time frame.Asked if Apple had plans to manufacture its own car, Cook responded: “We’ll see where it takes us. We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.” center_img Expanding App Universe ‘Trumpian Ambiguity’ John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

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SCOTUS Greenlights Apple App Store Antitrust Lawsuit

first_imgWith its decision, the Court has sent a message to the tech sector, maintained Jerry Flanagan, litigation director for Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group based in Los Angeles.”Today’s decision is a major victory for consumers and will open the door to litigation against corporations where the public is the ‘end user’ of products and ultimately pay more or are harmed by market manipulation,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Apple and other tech giants will need to be focused on how their business practices affect consumers, not just app developers who can pass costs on,” added Flanagan.Consumers could benefit from an expansion of the Apple app market, but they could be harmed by it, too.”Consumers would have access to more third-party apps outside of Apple’s controlled ecosystem,” noted Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology advisory firm in Campbell, California.”But they do that at their own risk,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It could uncouple the apps from Apple’s stellar security and expose people’s devices to more malware and security threats. “Although Apple is at the center of the Pepper case, the litigation could have ramifications for other online outlets using a business model similar to Apple’s, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, California.”At the least, the ruling is likely to make the companies involved in those online outlets rethink and probably revise the way payments are made and managed,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Along with Apple, the ruling was also a slap at the Trump administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a raft of politically involved tech industry titans,” King observed.”That the ruling hinged on the vote of Brett Kavanaugh, a Trump appointee, probably shocked quite a few folks,” he said.”This is Justice Kavanaugh’s Obamacare moment,” said Consumer Watch’s Flanagan. “Kavanaugh is making a clear statement he shouldn’t be counted as a rubber stamp for big business.” Kavanaugh maintained that the Illinois Brick case sought to ensure an effective and efficient litigation scheme in antitrust cases.”The Court drew a bright line that allowed direct purchasers to sue but barred indirect purchasers from suing,” he wrote. “When there is no intermediary between the purchaser and the antitrust violator, the purchaser may sue.”Kavanaugh also attacked Apple’s “we don’t set the price” arguments.”Apple’s effort to transform Illinois Brick from a direct-purchaser rule to a ‘who sets the price’ rule would draw an arbitrary and unprincipled line among retailers based on retailers’ financial arrangements with their manufacturers or suppliers,” he wrote.”Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits,” Kavanaugh added. “In sum, Apple’s theory would disregard statutory text and precedent, create an unprincipled and economically senseless distinction among monopolistic retailers, and furnish monopolistic retailers with a how-to guide for evasion of the antitrust laws.” Apple Gerrymandering Supply Chain Logic The United States Supreme Court on Monday gave thumbs up for a class action antitrust lawsuit to proceed against Apple for alleged monopolistic practices at its App Store.In the case, Apple Inc. v. Pepper et al., the consumer plaintiffs maintain the Cupertino, California, company has monopolized the retail market for the sale of apps, and that it used its position to charge higher-than-competitive prices for the software it sells in its App Store.Apple tried to keep the case from advancing in the courts by arguing that it doesn’t set the prices for software it sells at the App Store. The developers of the software set the prices, so the company has only an indirect relationship to pricing.In a previous decision, Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, the Court ruled that antitrust lawsuits could be filed only against a company that had direct control over prices paid by a plaintiff.The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, didn’t buy Apple’s logic.”The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick,” he wrote.”At this early pleadings stage of the litigation, we do not assess the merits of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against Apple, nor do we consider any other defenses Apple might have,” Kavanaugh continued. “We merely hold that the Illinois Brick direct-purchaser rule does not bar these plaintiffs from suing Apple under the antitrust laws.” Kavanaugh’s Obamacare Momentcenter_img In the 1977 case, Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, the Illinois Brick Company made and distributed concrete blocks that it sold to masonry contractors who sold them to general contractors who used them in projects for the State of Illinois.When the state sued the brick company for an alleged conspiracy to fix the price of concrete blocks, which resulted in the state paying more for the building material, it was rebuffed by the Court.The justices at the time ruled that the state could not bring an antitrust lawsuit against Illinois Brick because the state had not purchased concrete blocks directly from the company.While it’s true that Apple doesn’t set the prices for apps, it does sell apps directly to consumers and collect a 30 percent commission on every app sale.”In this case, unlike in Illinois Brick, the iPhone owners are not consumers at the bottom of a vertical distribution chain who are attempting to sue manufacturers at the top of the chain,” Kavanaugh wrote.”There is no intermediary in the distribution chain between Apple and the consumer,” he continued. “The iPhone owners purchase apps directly from the retailer Apple, who is the alleged antitrust violator. The iPhone owners pay the alleged overcharge directly to Apple.” John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Not all of the justices agreed with Kavanaugh’s reasoning for the Court’s majority.Justice Neil Gorsuch who, like Kavanaugh, was appointed to the Court by President Donald J. Trump, argued in a dissenting opinion that the majority’s view could open a nasty can of worms.If the 30 percent commission Apple charges to sell through its platform is a monopolistic overcharge, Gorsuch noted, the developers are the ones injured by it.”Plaintiffs can be injured only if the developers are able and choose to pass on the overcharge to them in the form of higher app prices that the developers alone control,” he wrote.”Because this is exactly the kind of ‘pass-on theory’ Illinois Brick rejected, it should come as no surprise that the concerns animating that decision are also implicated,” Gorsuch continued.”Like other pass-on theories, plaintiffs’ theory will necessitate a complex inquiry into how Apple’s conduct affected third-party pricing decisions,” he added. “And it will raise difficult questions about apportionment of damages between app developers and their customers, along with the risk of duplicative damages awards.”What’s more, it is easy to evade the majority’s test for standing in an antitrust case. All Apple has to do is have consumers pay developers directly, then take its 30 percent cut, Gorsuch pointed out.”No antitrust reason exists to treat these contractual arrangements differently, and doing so will only induce firms to abandon their preferred — and presumably more efficient — distribution arrangements in favor of less efficient ones, all so they might avoid an arbitrary legal rule,” he wrote. Dissenting Opinionlast_img read more

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New project shows potential of extracting nutrients from seafood process waters

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 31 2018Process waters from the seafood industry contain valuable nutrients, that could be used in food or aquaculture feed. But currently, these process waters are treated as waste. Now, a research project from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows the potential of recycling these nutrients back into the food chain.During preparation of herring, shrimps and mussels, large amounts of process water are continuously pumped out as waste by the seafood industry. The water is used when boiling shrimps or mussels, or when filleting, salting and marinating herring, for example. Approximately 7000-8000 liters of water is used to prepare a ton of marinated herring, whilst a stunning 50,000 liters of water is needed per ton of peeled shrimps, or per three tons of raw shrimps.But these side stream waters contain proteins, peptides, fats and micronutrients, which could be recycled and used, for example by the food industry, as an ingredient in feed or for growing microalgae. In fact, the leftover boiled water from shrimp preparation is basically a ready-made stock.The Nordic project Novaqua, coordinated by Professor Ingrid Undeland of the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, has now shown the potential of extracting these important nutrients from the process waters.”It’s very important to help the industry understand that the side streams don’t need to be wasted. Instead, they should be treated as really exciting raw material,” she says.”The backbone of our project is a circular approach. In the past, we had a more holistic view on handling of food raw materials, but today so much is lost in side streams. Furthermore, we are in the middle of a protein shift, and there’s a huge demand in society for alternative protein sources.”The research project started in 2015 with the aim to recover nutrients from seafood process waters and create innovative uses for them. A similar approach is already successfully implemented in the dairy industry, where the residual liquid from cheese making – whey – is used in sports nutrition, as well as in different food and feed products.When the research team measured the composition of process waters, they found them to contain up to 7 percent protein and 2,5 percent fat. In process waters from shrimp, astaxanthin, a red pigment and antioxidant often used as a dietary supplement, was also present.”Our calculations show that in a primary processing plant for herring, as much as 15 percent of the herring protein coming in to the industry leached out into the water and was treated as waste, thereby lost,” Ingrid Undeland explains.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchUsing a two-step process, the research team managed to recover up to 98 percent of the protein and 99 percent of the omega 3-rich fats. The process resulted in a semi-solid biomass and a nutrient-rich liquid. After dehydration, biomass from shrimp boiling water was shown to contain 66 percent protein and 25 percent fat. Two tests were made, together with the University of Gothenburg and Skretting ARC, using this new biomass as an ingredient in feed for salmon, and the results were encouraging.The nutritious liquid was used for glazing frozen fish, thereby protecting it from going rancid. It turned out to be slightly more protective than water, which is currently used for such glazing. The fluid was also tested as a substance for microalgae-cultivation and was shown to enhance the growth of two types of algae. The algae biomasses can subsequently be used as sources of protein or pigment.All in all, the research project pointed out several different ways to recycle the nutrients which are currently lost in the process waters. The next step is implementation in the seafood industry.”A major challenge is to get the industry to manage the water side streams as food, beyond the stage when they are separated from the seafood product. Today, that is the point where the side streams start being handled as waste. This means there’s a need for new routines for cooling and hygiene,” says Ingrid Undeland.In Sweden, the waste waters are purified to some extent before they go out of the factories. This means that many seafood producers already have the flotation technology needed in the second step of side stream recycling. But there are also investments to be made, according to Bita Forghani Targhi, a post-doctoral researcher at the division of Food and Nutrition Science and colleague of Undeland.”The main challenge would be cost-related issues,” she says.The work now continues within the new project AquaStream, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Bita Forghani Targhi points out that an important next step will include consulting with local businesses, interviewing them on generated side streams and verifying the current nutrient loss through a primary characterisation of process waters. She has a positive outlook on the future:”I am quite positive on the fact that related industries, sooner or later, will be implementing these techniques. With ever increasing awareness on the value of recycling nutrients, this facilitates industrial processes to adopt feasible approaches towards a circular economy.” Source:https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/New-research-recovers-nutrients-from-seafood-process-water.aspxlast_img read more

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Researchers identify effects of nanoparticles on intestinal microorganisms

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 29 2019The intestinal microbiome is not only key for food processing but an accepted codeterminant for various diseases. Researchers led by the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) identified effects of nanoparticles on intestinal microorganisms. The ultra-small particles adhere to intestinal microorganisms, thereby affecting their life cycle as well as cross talk with the host. One of the researchers’ observations was that nanoparticles’ binding inhibits the infection with Helicobacter pylori, a pathogen implicated in gastric cancer. The findings will stimulate further epidemiological studies and pave the way for the development of potential ‘probiotic’ nanoparticles for food. The discoveries were published in Science of Food.Due to their minute size, nanoparticles have unique characteristics and capabilities, such as adhering to microstructures. Nanotechnology is as an important driver of innovation for both consumer industry and medicine. In medicine, the focus is on improving diagnostics and therapeutics, while industry addresses mainly product optimization. Hence, synthetic nanoparticles are already used as additives to improve the characteristics of food. But how can we use nanotechnology more efficiently and safely in food? And are there unknown effects of nanoparticles, which need to be further exploited?Nutrition strongly influences the diversity and composition of our microbiome. ‘Microbiome’ describes all colonizing microorganisms present in a human being, in particular, all the bacteria in the gut. In other words, your microbiome includes your intestinal flora as well as the microorganisms that colonize your skin, mouth, and nasal cavity.Scientists and clinicians are interested in microbiomes because of their positive or negative effects on the host. These include modulation of our immune system, metabolism, vascular aging, cerebral functioning, and our hormonal system. The composition of the microbiome seems to play an important role for the development of various disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, allergies, obesity, and even mental disorders. “Hence, nutrition and its containing nanoparticulates may affect the microbiome-host balance, finally influencing human health. In order to reduce potential risks and, ideally, promote health, the impact of dietary nanoparticles needs to be understood,” emphasized Professor David J. McClements from the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, USA.Related StoriesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerFood responses are governed by the gut microbiome, finds new study”Prior to our studies, nobody really looked whether and how nano-additives directly influence the gastrointestinal flora,” commented Professor Roland Stauber of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery at the Mainz University Medical Center. “Hence, we studied at a wide range of technical nanoparticles with clearly defined properties in order to mimic what happens to currently used or potential future nanosized food additives. By simulating the journey of particles through the different environments of the digestive tract in the laboratory, we found that the all tested nanomaterials were indeed able to bind to bacteria.” explained Stauber.The scientists discovered that these binding processes can have different outcomes. On the one hand, nanoparticle-bound microorganisms were less efficiently recognized by the immune system, which may lead to increased inflammatory responses. On the other hand, ‘nano-food’ showed beneficial effects. In cell culture models, silica nanoparticles inhibited the infectivity of Helicobacter pylori, which is considered to be one of the main agents involved in gastric cancer.’It was puzzling that we were able to also isolate naturally occurring nanoparticles from food, like beer, which showed similar effects. Nanoparticles in our daily food are not just those added deliberately but can also be generated naturally during preparation. Nanoparticulates are already omnipresent,” concluded Stauber.The insights of the study will allow to derive strategies for developing and utilizing synthetic or natural nanoparticles to modulate the microbiome as beneficial ingredients in functional foods. “The challenge is to identify nanoparticles that fit the desired purpose, perhaps even as probiotic food supplements in the future. Challenge accepted,” emphasized Stauber and his team. Source:http://www.uni-mainz.de/last_img read more

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Social stigmas surrounding HPV could put women off going for cervical screening

first_img Source:https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/2019-02-13-hpv-shame-could-put-women-off-cervical-cancer-screening Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 12 2019The social stigmas and myths surrounding the human papilloma virus (HPV) could make women anxious, including raising fears about their partners’ fidelity and putting them off going for cervical screening, according to research presented at Cancer Research UK’s Early Diagnosis Conference in Birmingham today (Wednesday).A survey of more than 2,000 women by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust showed that the wide range of stigmas associated with HPV included shame, fear and promiscuity. Almost 40% said they would be worried about what people thought of them if told they had HPV and more than 40% would worry their partner had been unfaithful.Seven in 10 women would be scared to hear they had HPV and two thirds would worry it meant they had cancer.Many women who responded did not understand the link between HPV and cancer. One in three did not know it can cause cervical cancer and almost all of them did not know it can cause throat or mouth cancer.Researchers found that only 15 per cent of those questioned realised HPV was commonplace. Eight in 10 women will have some form of HPV infection in their lifetime but only very few who have specific high-risk types of the virus will go on to develop cancer.Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, said: “It’s really concerning that there’s so much misunderstanding about HPV. It’s a very common virus and most of the time, it will sit dormant and not cause a problem.”Testing for the virus is a better way to identify people who may have changes in their cervix, which, if left untreated, could develop into cervical cancer. So HPV screening is an excellent way to prevent cervical cancer from developing in the first place.Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer types”Every woman has the choice whether to go for screening but busting the myths and removing the stigmas surrounding HPV is vital to ensure people feel more confident to book and turn up for their cervical screening appointment.”This research comes as England prepares to replace the existing cervical cancer screening test, which looks for abnormal cells, with HPV screening later this year.*People taking part in cervical screening won’t notice anything different, but the new test can more accurately identify women who may be more at risk of developing abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer.Right now, samples taken during screening are sent to be analysed under a microscope, to look for abnormal cell changes that could lead to cancer.When HPV screening is introduced, samples will first be tested for the presence of HPV. If the test is positive, the sample will then be analysed by specialists under the microscope to look for cell changes. This has been shown to bemuch more effective at preventing cancer.Presenting at Cancer Research UK’s Early Diagnosis conference, Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We must address the level of misunderstanding that exists around HPV. Most people will get the virus in their lifetime so it is worrying to see such high levels of fear or shame associated with it. With the screening programme moving to testing for HPV first, which is to be celebrated, we must normalise the virus to ensure people fully understand what it means to have it.”Cancer Research UK helped prove the value of cervical screening, which now prevents thousands of deaths from cervical cancer each year.last_img read more

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EEG used to detect impact of maternal stress on neurodevelopment in 2monthold

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 9 2019A study of 70 mothers and their infants suggests that the impact of maternal stress on neurodevelopment is detectable by electroencephalography (EEG) at 2 months of age. The team of investigators, co-led by Pat Levitt, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Charles A. Nelson, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital, published their findings in JAMA Pediatrics on April 8, 2019.Early adverse childhood experiences have been shown to impact later learning, behavior and physical health. The prenatal and early-infancy periods are times of particular vulnerability when experiencing early adversity because the brain and other organ systems are undergoing dramatic changes as they mature.”The ability to detect signs of neurodevelopmental delay at such a young age could provide an opportunity to intervene early by minimizing maternal stress and providing other factors to buffer the impact on the infant,” said Pat Levitt, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and director of the Saban Research Institute and Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.In partnership with AltaMed Community Health Pediatric clinic in Los Angeles, and a community pediatric practice in Boston, mother and infant pairs were enrolled in the study soon after giving birth. When their infants were 2 months old, mothers filled out questionnaires to indicate their emotional state, recent life events that may have been disruptive, and overall maternal stress by the Perceived Stress Scale.The goal of the study was to determine risk and resilience factors using different measures of infant neural activity. One technology, electroencephalography (EEG), recorded brain wave activity while the infants viewed random scenes on a video screen. Waveforms on an EEG recording can be categorized into different frequency bandwidths. Each frequency indicates varying amounts of brain circuit activity. The neural networks in infants tend to be simple since the cells and connections are just being formed. As the baby develops, the circuits become more mature and capable of greater information processing.Related StoriesStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useThis increased neural development appears as activity in the gamma frequency of the EEG. The investigators found that increased maternal stress correlated with less gamma frequency activity, indicating delayed development of the brain compared to infants of mothers that reported low stress.”It’s important to recognize that this was a study of infants seeing their pediatrician for a regular check-up,” said Levitt. “The stressed mothers and the non-stressed mothers shared similar demographics, such as ethnicity, age and family income, yet babies whose mothers reported to be stressed appeared to be less neurologically developed.”An important finding reported in the article was that higher maternal education, such as high school graduation, may serve as a protective factor to buffer against the stress effect. Babies, whose mothers were under stress but had completed high school or had some college education, exhibited gamma activity indistinguishable from mothers who did not report being stressed.The initial report conducted at two months of age is part of an ongoing longitudinal study in which the research team is performing measures on the mother-infant pairs at 6, 9, 12, and 24 months of age. They are currently analyzing the data to determine if the changes in brain development are long lasting or if the infants may catch up over time.Of note, nearly all of the families enrolled in Los Angeles self-identified their ethnicity as Hispanic and indicated that this was their first opportunity to participate in research. Surveys completed by the mothers showed that this was a positive experience as it allowed them regular interaction with the research team who provided information about typical developmental milestones of their infant and how to access local community resources that may provide additional support for both parent and child. Source:http://www.childrenshospitalla.org/last_img read more

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Worldclass battery storage system helps to power country town

first_img“The Marshall Government has committed to invest $50 million to establish a Grid Scale Storage Fund to secure more new storage technologies,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan said.The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Provost, Professor Mike Brooks, said: “This new technology is a world-leading example of how the University of Adelaide is matching its research strengths to business and community need, with real benefit for the people of South Australia.”Our research and development expertise in energy has risen to the challenge.”Associate Professor Ertugrul said if an outage occurred because a tree had fallen on powerlines, the power would normally remain out at a regional community for longer, because there is a large area to check for debris.”Cape Jervis has been chosen as the trial location based on several criteria, including the high level of solar PV generation in the area and the large influx of people in the summer, which, when combined with very hot weather, results in high peak electricity demands,” said Paul Roberts, Manager Corporate Affairs, SA Power Networks.”From SA Power Networks’ perspective, the trial is an opportunity to look at alternative ways to meet peak demand requirements (which usually occur only on a few days a year), rather than more expensive investment in increased network capacity. Avoiding inefficient peak demand-related network investment will help contain long term network costs for customers.”We are keen to understand the benefits, reliability and cost of this kind of battery installation as an alternative option to direct investment in a network capacity upgrade,” Mr Roberts said.As part of the trial in Cape Jervis, the system’s performance will be monitored across multiple seasons to test performance under a range of conditions.The data generated from the Cape Jervis trials and all tests using the mobile test platform will be made publicly available on the Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank website: aeskb.com.au. A new energy storage system developed by University of Adelaide researchers and industry partners is now successfully supporting the electricity network for the country town of Cape Jervis, South Australia. Explore further Citation: World-class battery storage system helps to power country town (2018, May 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-world-class-battery-storage-power-country.html The new, world-class system is part of a $3.65 million trial led by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with SA Power Networks and system supplier PowerTec. The project is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government with $1.44 million in grant funding.The mobile battery energy storage system and its specialised control system reduces peak load of the local substation, stabilises the electricity network in the area, and supports a number of nearby customers in the event of a power interruption – all without manual intervention.The battery receives control signals from high-voltage electricity infrastructure more than 5km away at the main powerline to the town of Cape Jervis, and makes its own decisions about how best to support local electricity delivery.”This technology is novel because the mobile battery energy storage system’s operations are now completely autonomous,” said Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.”If an outage occurs, our mobile battery system automatically runs a range of safety checks before providing back-up power to nearby houses until the main grid is restored.”This feature means that residents can also share residential solar power with neighbours during an outage.”This autonomous battery system has many unique and advanced features. We can monitor the system and intervene if necessary, but the system can operate safely in all kinds of situations without the need for any operator instructions,” Associate Professor Ertugrul said.”It also allows us to understand the technology under real operating and weather conditions, and gives us the potential to create a knowledge base for industry and system developers.”The South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, welcomed the commissioning of the battery as an example of how energy storage can be help make our system more affordable and reliable.center_img Provided by University of Adelaide World’s biggest battery in Australia to trump Musk’s 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.last_img read more

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Versions of Han Solos blaster exist – and theyre way more powerful

first_imgPeople who think physics is boring couldn’t be more wrong. It can explain everything from spooky interactions on the tiny scale of atoms and particles to how the entire universe behaves. As if that wasn’t enough, it can also be used to assess how realistic futuristic technology in science fiction is. My area of expertise – plasma physics – can explain many aspects of both lightsabers and the Death Star within Star Wars lore, for example. However, it isn’t easy to create plasmoids on Earth. Many of the demonstrations that we can do (unlike the ones in space) produce structures which quickly expand and dissipate in the air. The solution to this problem is to use magnets – their fields can contain the hot plasma. However, blaster bolts are projectiles so it’s not possible to have an externally powered magnet present at all times during their rapid journey. Thankfully, though, there is a solution. As plasmas are highly conductive, it is possible to set up electrical currents within the plasmoid itself. These currents, like all currents, generate magnetic fields that can confine the plasma. Such arrangements are known as spheromaks and they have received renewed interest in plasma physics experiments over the last 20 years. Citation: Versions of Han Solo’s blaster exist – and they’re way more powerful than real lightsabers would be (2018, May 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-versions-han-solo-blaster-theyre.html Han Solo’s BlasTech DL-44 heavy blaster pistol on display at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Credit: Quarax/wikipedia, CC BY-SA I’ve now worked out how feasible the blaster weapons used by, among others, the Star Wars character Han Solo are – and how they compare with lightsabers. In fact, real life versions of these weapons have already been developed. So with the prequel film Solo: A Star Wars Story being released, it seemed fitting to share this “research”.The key to understanding Star Wars technology is plasmas – a so-called “fourth state of matter” (in addition to solids, liquids and gases). This comprises freely flowing electrically charged particles which naturally interact with electric and magnetic fields. Plasmas are common in space but they rarely exist naturally on Earth. However, it is possible to produce them in laboratories.Powerful plasmoidsA common misconception about blasters is that they are laser weapons. But within the Star Wars canon, people realised that this wouldn’t make sense. Instead writers stated that a blaster was “any type of ranged weapon that fired bolts of intense plasma energy, often mistaken as lasers” and that it “converted energy rich gas to a glowing particle beam that could melt through targets”. This means that blaster bolts (glowing projectiles) are simply blobs of plasma – similar to a lightsaber flying through the air. Harrison Ford as Han Solo with his blaster in the old Star Wars triology. Credit: BagoGamesFlickr, CC BY-SA Explore further The temperatures achieved in such devices so far are up to a thousand times hotter than the surface of the sun. With enough plasma in each bolt these would cause huge amounts of damage, so the blaster as presented in the Star Wars films looks to be quite feasible indeed.But how would these real life blaster weapons fare against the other iconic Star Wars weapon, the lightsaber? A blaster bolt is essentially equivalent to a lightsaber blade, just without the hilt. But as I’ve mentioned before, magnetic reconnection is unavoidable when two magnetically confined plasmas meet. This is the case when two lightsabers collide, causing explosive destruction of both the weapons and the people holding them. However, with a blaster you are far away from that explosion – leaving you totally unscathed.So it turns out that Han Solo was right when he said “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” Real versionsOne way to create a spheromak is to use a “plasma railgun”, a device which uses an external magnet to induce currents in the plasma as well accelerate it up to high speeds. In fact, speeds of 200 km/s have been achieved with these spheromaks lasting some hundreds of microseconds. This is very impressive and certainly within the realms of use as a weapon. Indeed, from the 1970s onward, the SHIVA Star programme (named after the multi-limbed Hindu god) at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, conducted various “arms” of research into this kind of plasma physics. One of these, known as MARAUDER (magnetically accelerated ring to achieve ultrahigh directed energy and radiation), was one of several US government efforts to develop projectiles based on plasmas. The weapon was able to produce doughnut-shaped rings of plasma and balls of lightning that exploded with devastating thermal and mechanical effects when hitting their target and produced a pulse of electromagnetic radiation that could scramble electronics. However, its status as of 1993 remains classified. Why lightsabers would be far more lethal than George Lucas envisioned Coherent masses of plasma and their associated magnetic fields are known as plasmoids. Within the Earth’s protective shield in space – the magnetosphere – plasmoids are commonly generated by a poorly understood process called magnetic reconnection. This is an explosive reconfiguration of magnetic field lines that can take place wherever there is plasma present, in particular when plasmas are forced together. When this happens in our magnetosphere, charged particles are accelerated into the top of the atmosphere – causing the aurora, or northern lights. A huge amount of material is also ejected away from the Earth as plasmoids. Provided by The Conversation 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.last_img read more

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Indias Infosys reports 37 percent profit rise misses estimates

first_img Explore further Infosys on Friday reported a 3.7 percent rise in quarterly profits, well below expectations for the Indian software giant. © 2018 AFP Indian IT giant TCS’s profits soar 24 percent Net profit in the three months to June 30 came in at 36.12 billion rupees ($527.49 million), marginally above the 34.83 billion rupees it reported in the same period last year.A Bloomberg survey of analysts had forecast the Bangalore-based company to report net profit at $546 million. Infosys said its profits were impacted by ongoing negotiations over the sale of its Israeli software firm Panaya. India’s second-largest software services exporter maintained its annual earnings outlook at six to eight percent in US dollar terms for the fiscal year 2019, and reported robust growth in its financial services segment.Infosys shares had risen more than 1 percent earlier in the day, buoyed by optimistic forecasts after its rival Tata Consultancy Services reported a 24 percent rise in profits earlier this week. India’s $150 billion IT sector has long been one of its flagship industries but is facing upheaval in the face of automation, a failure to keep up with new technologies and visa restrictions.Infosys reported a 12 percent rise in revenue for the quarter-ended June to 191.28 billion rupees from 170.78 billion rupees reported for the same period last year. Citation: India’s Infosys reports 3.7 percent profit rise, misses estimates (2018, July 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-india-infosys-percent-profit.html 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.last_img read more

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How good is your therapist This machine will tell you

first_img Explore further The challenge is being able to tell the difference. Practicing counselors rarely receive feedback, so it’s difficult for them to know if they are providing optimal treatment to their patients.Northeastern professor Tad Hirsch is working to change that. He has developed a system that records counseling sessions and rates them, generating a report card for therapists.The technology is already in use at a university training clinic and a network of opioid addiction treatment facilities. Once scaled up, the system could create a new standard of care for therapy and lead to improved mental health for patients all over the world.Here’s how it works: Hirsch and his collaborators started by recording 356 counseling sessions. From those sessions, they pulled out 300,000 statements and compiled them into a database. Then a team of psychology experts combed through the statements and coded them.Coding is an analytical process in which data are categorized. In this case, the experts coded statements based on how closely they aligned with techniques used in motivational interviewing, a type of psychotherapy.Next, researchers used the coded dataset to train a machine learning model. This is a form of artificial intelligence. Once the model is trained, the result is a system that can record a counseling session, create a transcript of what was said, analyze the transcript, grade the session, and provide specific feedback to clinicians.In other words, a computer is evaluating therapists and telling them how they can improve.How do therapists react to being assessed by a machine? Hirsch and his collaborators recently completed a study to find out, testing the technology with 21 counselors. The results were overwhelmingly positive.”We found that across the board, they all saw value in what we were doing,” said Hirsch, a professor of design at Northeastern whose research focuses on the intersection of design, engineering, and social justice.”Clinicians described the technology as accurate, insightful, and useful. They also thought the tool was particularly valuable for training, as a way of providing feedback to counselors as they were getting certified,” Hirsch said.Therapists also expressed a high degree of trust in the machine learning model. Hirsch said this is likely because advances in artificial intelligence have been covered extensively in the news, and the public generally has a positive view of the technology. Plus, as Hirsch said one therapist put it, “It’s hard to argue with a computer.”And while the machine learning model evaluates therapy sessions with about 90 percent accuracy compared to a human expert, Hirsch cautions that the system is not infallible. And the stakes are high.”This is different than when Netflix makes a movie recommendation that you don’t happen to like,” Hirsch said. He encourages therapists to speak up if they disagree with the machine’s assessment and to use the report card as a springboard for honing their practice. “As designers, we want to ensure that the predictions our models are making are contextualized, such that people can understand how these systems are working well enough to interpret findings and results they might be seeing, rather than just take them at face value,” Hirsch said. For people struggling to overcome addiction, good therapy can be hugely beneficial. But bad therapy is worse than no therapy at all. Scientists unravel brain networks of cardiac arrest survivors Tad Hirsch. Credit: Northeastern Universitycenter_img Provided by Northeastern University Citation: How good is your therapist? This machine will tell you (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-good-therapist-machine.html 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.last_img read more

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Smart device detects food contaminants in real time

first_imgCredit: Eric Von Seggern, Shutterstock Some consumers place importance on locally grown or organic food. Others want the products they purchase to look and taste good. Yet others focus on low prices. However, no matter what their other requirements, everyone would like their food to be free of contaminants, which makes it quite worrying that over 97 percent of European food products contain pesticide residues. The problem is that current contamination testing processes can be long and expensive, and can only be conducted by specialist personnel. More information: For more information, see INSPECTO project website: www.inspecto.io/ Provided by CORDIS 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. A new device developed by the INSPECTO project team may now offer an affordable, fast and reliable solution to this problem. Coordinated by Inspecto Solutions Ltd, the EU-funded project has introduced a portable device that identifies in real time chemical contamination in food.The scanner device can detect chemicals at concentration levels specified by regulatory authorities. It also makes it possible for businesses to tailor their testing to their needs, scanning for specific sets of liquid or solid contaminants. Being able to conduct multiple scans in one day means they don’t have to wait for results. What’s more, the person operating the device doesn’t have to be a skilled chemist or technician, meaning that expensive and lengthy lab tests are eliminated. Farmers are able to measure pesticide residue levels on their crops and food producers can check for contaminants when purchasing produce. Additionally, supermarkets can conduct tests before distributing fruits and vegetables and quality assurers can enforce contaminant policies in the field.”We developed a portable device to ensure the safety of the product ‘from farm-to-fork’ and help food manufacture control their entire supply chains,” states Inspecto Solutions Business Development Vice-President Yair Moneta in a news item published on Cision PR Newswire. “It can disrupt the entire way contaminants are currently being tested, reducing the risk of recalls, food waste, and potential lawsuits.”How the portable device worksA sample of the product to be tested is placed in a disposable capsule that is specific to the contaminant it can detect. The capsule is inserted into the device that—with the simple press of a button—scans the sample and processes it automatically within minutes. The result provides a quantified measurement of the chosen contaminant.The technology that makes this possible is called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy that causes contaminant molecules to attach to enhancement molecules. This makes the impurity signals visible to the machine. The level of diagnosis achieved is in the range of parts per billion, which is the sensitivity needed for food safety testing.”Since each scan is conducted in real-time and the results are stored on the cloud, Inspecto can offer additional services to our customers that, until now, were impossible for them to implement,” explains Inspecto Solutions CEO Avner Avidan. “For example, it enables our customers to approve or reject a shipment on the spot based on the results, and they can even use blockchain to store their information more securely.”INSPECTO: A disruptive portable device with an innovative Method for Pesticides and contaminants Detection in Food concluded in 2018, but its project team continues to work towards higher safety standards in the food industry. Its current focus is on helping to ensure that the world’s most commonly grown crops are contaminant-free. Explore further Citation: Smart device detects food contaminants in real time (2019, May 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-smart-device-food-contaminants-real.html Handheld gadget to provide rapid food quality testinglast_img read more

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Faster cleaner less expensive method of dry cleaning

first_img Provided by Purdue University A pair of Purdue University graduates are developing a device called Presso, a kiosk garment cleaning device that takes only three to seven minutes to clean clothes through a combination of steam, a cleaning liquid and air drying.”Tackling this issue of making dry cleaning more environmentally friendly seemed like a worthy cause that could affect climate change in a meaningful way,” said Nishant Jain, co-founder of Presso Inc., who is an electrical engineering technology graduate from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.Jain and co-founder Thibault Corens, who earned a double major from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute in mechanical engineering technology and manufacturing engineering technology, have spent recent months in HAX, a hardware-focused accelerator program in China, working on the technology. They are now working on developing kiosks that they plan to initially make available through hotels.Dry cleaning and laundry also can be expensive, consumes time and uses a lot of electricity.”Our technology uses 100 times less water and three times less electricity per garment than laundry,” Corens said.The kiosk may be able to do most of the work people use dry cleaning for most often, removing dirt, sweat, smells, bacteria and wrinkles.”We spoke to a lot of people and we found that those were their main reasons for taking their clothes to a dry cleaner,” Corens said.Jain describes the steam cleaning kiosk as the microwave of laundry. Similar to how the microwave can be used as an alternative to the oven in order to quickly heat up food, Presso can be used as an alternative to the washing machine to quickly clean a piece of garment.”People have both microwaves and ovens, but microwaves are the ones you go to more often because they are quick,” Jain said. “Although microwaves don’t do everything, you can certainly use them as an alternative to the oven in a lot of different situations.”The kiosk can’t yet remove all stains, but Jain and Corens are working on that.The pair has already conducted pilots with apartment complexes and hotels and has more hotels lined up for their pilot program this summer. They are looking for more hotels in Indiana and Chicago to participate in the pilot program. They will begin fundraising in fall 2019 and are looking for investors interested in the company. Citation: Faster, cleaner, less expensive method of dry cleaning (2019, June 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-faster-cleaner-expensive-method.html The most commonly used chemical in the dry cleaning industry is a solvent called perchloroethylene, or PERC. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified the chemical as a likely carcinogen, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has linked acute exposure to it as causing dizziness, blurred vision and loss of coordination. 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.center_img Explore further Two Purdue University graduates are developing a device called Presso, a kiosk garment cleaning device that takes only three to seven minutes to clean clothes through a combination of steam, a cleaning liquid and air drying. The kiosk is less expensive than conventional dry cleaning and also more environmentally friendly. Credit: Purdue University What is ‘green’ dry cleaning? A toxics expert explainslast_img read more

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Flushed Goldfish Grew to Be KittenSize in Niagara River

first_img Alien Invaders: Destructive Invasive Species Photos: Giant Goldfish & Other Freaky Fish Image Gallery: Invasive Species A monstrously huge goldfish was recently captured in the Niagara River in New York. The goldfish was presumably a discarded house pet that may have been illegally released or survived a traumatic flush down a toilet. Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW), a nonprofit working to protect and restore the Niagara River and Lake Erie watershed, caught and photographed the giant goldfish in the river’s Black Rock Canal, sharing an image in a Facebook post on June 14. [In Photos: Thousands of Goldfish Swarm in Colorado Lake] In the photo, Marcus Rosten, an employee of the nonprofit, cradles the fish in two hands; the orange leviathan measured a whopping 14 inches (36 centimeters) long, according to the post.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65770-giant-goldfish-in-river.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  An even more supersized goldfish was nabbed in California’s Lake Tahoe in 2013; it weighed in at just over 4 lbs. (2 kilograms) and measured nearly 2 feet (61 cm) long. Goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) are native to eastern Asia and belong to the carp family. They usually reach about 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) in length when they live in aquariums or small fish tanks; at most, they grow to about 6 inches (15 cm) in captivity, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). But when goldfish are released into streams and rivers, they often grow to be 12 to 14 inches (31 to 36 cm) long. The first sightings of goldfish in New York waterways date to 1842; more than a dozen other states also noted the appearance of goldfish in rivers and streams by the end of the 19th century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Today, goldfish can be found in waterways across New York State, “the result of illegally released pets or escapees from bait buckets,” the DEC reported. The fish can survive year-round in the Lake Erie watershed, and goldfish reproduce very quickly; a handful of goldfish released into a Colorado lake in 2012 multiplied to number in the thousands just three years later. Invasive goldfish directly compete with native fish, and in large numbers, they upset the natural biodiversity of vulnerable freshwater environments, a BNW representative told Live Science in an email. “Aquatic invasive species that don’t naturally belong in the Great Lakes, like this goldfish, are a constant threat to the health of native wildlife populations and their habitats,” the representative said. Across all of the Great Lakes, goldfish populations are estimated to run into the tens of millions, the BNW posted on Facebook. Originally published on Live Science.last_img read more

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Nearly 200K People Have Signed Up to Steal Alien Secrets from Area

first_img Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 22 Declassified Military Secrets Pack your shades, your sunscreen and your coziest tinfoil hat, because the late-summer event of the season is happening in Nevada’s scenic Area 51, and you’re invited. According to a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” a ragtag army of alien hunters will meet up near the top-secret Air Force base in the predawn hours of Sept. 20, coordinate a plan of attack, then raid the grounds in search of captive aliens. Per the event’s hosts (a page that posts memes and a guy who streams video games on Twitch), the delicate operation will involve running supernaturally fast — faster than the guards’ bullets can fly — but will be worth it to “see them aliens.” So far, nearly 200,000 Facebook users have signed up to attend, with another 200,000 “interested” in the affair. [15 Far-Out Facts About Area 51]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65899-area-51-summer-raid.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  This event is, of course, a joke (please, do not raid this or any other military base). Area 51 — a massive plot of desert about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas — is a top-secret military installation that is infamously well-guarded by fences, radars and heavily armed “camo dudes” in white trucks. After more than 60 years of operations, the base’s primary purpose remains classified and its grounds restricted to the public, fomenting an aura of spooky secrecy that has intrigued all manner of skeptics and conspiracy theorists for decades. This much is known about the base: It’s huge, covering a total of 2.9 million acres (1.2 million hectares) and 5,000 square miles (12,950 square km) of restricted airspace. Officially, the base is part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), which is affiliated with Nellis Air Force Base; according to the Air Force, it is the largest combined air and ground space for peacetime military operations in the free world. Since the Air Force set up shop there in 1955, Area 51 has hosted hundreds of nuclear weapons tests and has served as a training-and-testing ground for all manner of top-secret stealth aircraft, Live Science previously reported. If you believe the most popular conspiracy theory about the base, one of those aircraft may be an alien saucer that crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico, in the late 1940s. The U.S. military claimed that the mysterious object was a weather balloon (a 1994 Air Force report confirmed this to be true — albeit, a souped-up weather balloon designed to detect far-off nuclear fallout). However, conspiracy theorists insisted that the wreck was indeed an alien spacecraft, which had been subsequently transported to Area 51 to be broken apart, studied and put back together again. This theory gained traction in the 1980s, when a man claiming to have worked at Area 51 told the news media that he had actually seen scientists reverse engineer alien saucers there. This man, it turns out, was a liar who never set foot on the base (he also lied about the colleges he went to and other past employment); but his stories gained enough attention that Area 51 had a new, permanent reputation as that eerie place in the desert where scientists might be tinkering with aliens. Subsequent tests of experimental, top-secret aircraft at the base have only strengthened this far-out legacy. The allure of the mysterious desert base is undeniable. So, what happens if you do attempt to trespass into Area 51 and liberate the juicy alien secrets contained within? For starters, you’ll probably be stopped at gunpoint by guards dressed in camo, as two intrepid adventurers experienced in 2016 after trying to sneak a camera through the base’s back gate. According to signs posted around the base, these infamous “camo dudes” are permitted to greet trespassers with deadly force — but, if past encounters are any indication, trespassers are more likely to be met with a hefty fine and a court date. When an SUV filled with tourists accidentally crossed into the base’s restricted area a few years ago, the driver and four passengers were each cited with a $650 fine and a misdemeanor charge. The unwary passengers eventually got their charges dropped, but the driver had to pay up — and was banned from leading tours in the area for several years. If you happen to join the joke raid proposed for this September, keep that man’s story in mind. When it comes to unearthing the truth of Area 51, you may have only one shot. Choose your plan wisely. Why Do People Believe in UFOs? Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoInsured NationThis Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers ConfusedInsured NationUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndo Top 10 Conspiracy Theorieslast_img read more

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The Last Lunar Eclipse of 2019 Occurs Tuesday Just in Time for

first_imgTomorrow (July 16), the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 to land astronauts on the moon and two weeks after the moon totally eclipsed the sun, it will be the moon’s turn to undergo an eclipse of its own. The full moon, in Sagittarius, will pass partway through the southern part of the Earth’s shadow resulting in a partial lunar eclipse. This event favors the Eastern Hemisphere, known colloquially as the “Old World”: Africa, Europe and western Asia. Most of South America will see the moon rise already within the Earth’s shadow. Conversely, for central and eastern Asia and Australia, the eclipse will still be in progress when the moon sets during the dawn hours of July 17. Unfortunately, North America will be completely shut out; the eclipse occurs during the daytime with the moon below the horizon.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65941-lunar-eclipse-july-2019-explained.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Related: Amazing Photos of the Super Blood Wolf Moon of 2019! Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers’ Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for Verizon FiOS1 News in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Mercedes-Benz Smart Models Worth ConsideringKelley Blue BookUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoScience101This Is The Smartest Dog Breed According To VeterinariansScience101Undo How Yesterday’s Total Solar Eclipse Looked From a Plane (Photos, Video) This Video of a 1900 Total Solar Eclipse Is the Oldest One Ever (and Made by a Magician!) Watch a Meteor Smack the Blood Moon in This Lunar Eclipse Video! This NASA chart shows both the map of visibility and times of major events (in UT) of the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak In Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the moon will enter penumbra (the weaker part of Earth’s shadow) at 18:43 and umbra (the darker part of Earth’s shadow) at 20:01. The midpoint of the eclipse will come at 21:30. The moon will leave umbra at 22:59 and leave penumbra at 00:17 on July 17, marking the end of the event. The magnitude of the eclipse, which refers to the maximum percent of the moon’s diameter immersed within Earth’s umbral shadow, will be 65%. This deepest stage of the eclipse will take place at 21:30 UTC, when the dark red-brown umbra will cover the northern 65% of the moon’s diameter. The moon will appear directly overhead, or very nearly so, from the Mozambique Channel. The penumbral phases of the eclipse occur when the moon is only within the penumbra, or the pale outer fringe of Earth’s shadow. The weak, pale-gray penumbral shading is detectable only within about 25 minutes of the partial eclipse’s beginning or end, depending on sky conditions and how carefully you look. A faint shading or smudge on the moon’s disk should become evident for most viewers around 19:35 UTC, and the last vestige of any faint tarnishing should disappear around 23:25 UTC. This will be the moon’s last interaction with Earth’s umbra for a while. During the next four lunar eclipses — all during the year 2020 — the moon will pass only through Earth’s penumbra. We’ll have to wait until the morning of May 26, 2021, when the central and western United States will be treated to a total lunar eclipse, although totality will be relatively short, lasting less than 18 minutes. Then, on the morning of Nov. 19, 2021, North Americans will be treated to an eclipse covering 98% of the moon’s diameter. Finally, on the night of May 15-16, 2022, an unusually long total lunar eclipse will be visible over most of the Americas. Totality will last almost 1.5 hours. Mark your calendars. This map shows the region of visibility for the partial lunar eclipse of July 16, 2019. Observers in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse, weather permitting. Credit: NASA/Fred Espenak last_img read more

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Maratha bandh Pune hit by violence arson

first_imgBurning issue Maratha protesters burn a fire truck as their day-long agitation demanding reservation turned violent at an industrial area in Valunj, around 30 km from Aurangabad ,on Thursday   –  Yogesh Londhe SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 09, 2018 Maharashtra COMMENTS Pune Violencecenter_img The strike call given by various Maratha organisations on Thursday partially affected life across Maharashtra. Large-scale reports of violence and arson were reported from Pune.Internet services remained suspended as a precautionary measure in many districts.In Pune, the protesters pelted stones in areas such as Kothrud and damaged public property. There were also reports of agitators entering public offices and threatening the staff. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) also kept off the roads, while petrol pumps and vegetable markets are closed.State coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM), Sanjiv Bhor Patil, told BusinessLine that the strike was peaceful barring eight incidents of violence. Members of MKM observed peaceful protests in over 7,000 places in the State, he claimed. Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai were deliberately excluded from the strike as any kind of serious violence could also escalate into a major conflagration in these areas.Thursday’s strike was seen by the MKM’s youth supporters as an ultimatum to the Devendra Fadnavis’s BJP-Shiv Sena government. Patil said if the government continued to have an indifferent attitude towards the Maratha community, then the MKM would be soon forced to go on an indefinite strike.In Mumbai, the strike partially affected everyday life but people chose to remain indoors as a precautionary measure. Attendance in schools and colleges was thin. The protesters carried out a peaceful strikes outside the Collector’s office in suburban Mumbai. They tied black ribbons around their mouths and eyes to portray an apathetic administration. In Washim district, State schools, colleges and markets were shut due to the strike. In Satara, no MSRTC buses were running and all vehicles were parked at the central bus stand. Petrol pumps and vegetable markets were also closed. Published on COMMENT SHARE Reservationlast_img read more