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Kushner Says White House Is Still ‘Fact-Finding’ on Khashoggi but Will Do What’s ‘Best’ for Americans

NY Times - 15 min 56 sec ago
President Trump was mindful of getting answers about how the dissident journalist died, his son-in-law said, but he noted that Saudi Arabia has been a strategic ally of the United States.

Analysis: Trump gets revenge on Ted Cruz

CNN - 19 min 40 sec ago
On Monday night in Houston, Donald Trump will dunk on Ted Cruz one last time.

Joachim Ronneberg, Leader of Raid That Thwarted a Nazi Atomic Bomb, Dies at 99

NY Times - 20 min 34 sec ago
The Norwegian resistance fighter commanded a daring World War II mission to blow up a heavy-water plant and help sabotage Hitler’s nuclear program.

US-led coalition says it struck two ISIS command centers inside mosques

CNN - 21 min 33 sec ago
The US-led coalition fighting ISIS conducted two strikes against two ISIS "command centers" that were operating inside mosques in Syria in less than a week, the coalition said in a statement.

They Said Seattle’s Higher Base Pay Would Hurt Workers. Why Did They Flip?

NY Times - 22 min 21 sec ago
Researchers whose findings last year pointed to a downside from raising the minimum wage have taken another look and the reality is more nuanced.

Transgender People and Allies Rally Against Trump Plan at Protests and on Social Media

NY Times - 22 min 30 sec ago
The administration has proposed defining sex based on genitalia at birth. The L.G.B.T. community is fighting back with rallies and a hashtag.

Suspect in death of Georgia officer is killed

CNN - 25 min ago
Authorities on Monday shot and killed the suspected shooter in the weekend slaying of a Gwinnett County, Georgia, police officer, the department said in a tweet.

155 cases of polio-like illness investigated

CNN - 25 min 17 sec ago
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that there are 155 patients under investigation this year for acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that that can cause paralysis and mostly affects children.

‘Waste removal system’ could deliver drugs to brain

Futurity.org - 26 min 55 sec ago

A new approach to delivering therapeutics more effectively to the brain could have implications for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, and brain cancer.

Many promising therapies for diseases of the central nervous system have failed in clinical trials because of the difficulty in getting enough of the drugs into the brain to be effective.

This is because the brain maintains its own closed environment that is protected by a complex system of molecular gateways—called the blood-brain barrier—that tightly control what can enter and exit the brain.

“Improving the delivery of drugs to the central nervous system is a considerable clinical challenge,” says Maiken Nedergaard co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and lead author of the paper, which appears in JCI Insight. “The findings of this study demonstrate that the brain’s waste removal system could be harnessed to transport drugs quickly and efficiently into the brain.”

Plumbing system

A prominent example of this challenge is efforts to use antibodies to treat the buildup of amyloid beta plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

Because antibodies are typically administered intravenously, the entry of these large proteins into the brain is thwarted by the blood-brain barrier and, as a result, it is estimated that only two percent actually make it through.

The new research taps into the power of the glymphatic system, the brain’s unique process of removing waste that Nedergaard first discovered in 2012. The system consists of a plumbing system that piggybacks on the brain’s blood vessels and pumps cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through the brain’s tissue, flushing away waste.

Nedergaard’s lab has also shown that the glymphatic system works primarily while we sleep, could be a key player in diseases like Alzheimer’s, and is disrupted after traumatic brain injury.

Drugs and viruses, too

In the study, the researchers took advantage of the mechanics of the glymphatic system to deliver drugs deep into the brain. In the experiments, which researchers conducted on mice, researchers administered antibodies directly into CSF. They then injected the animals with hypertonic saline, a treatment frequently used to reduce intracranial pressure on patients with traumatic brain injury.

The saline triggers an ion imbalance which pulls CSF out of the brain. When this occurs, new CSF the glymphatic system delivers flows in to take its place, carrying the antibodies with it into brain tissue. The researchers developed a new imaging system by customizing a macroscope to non-invasively observe the proliferation of the antibodies into the brains of the animals.

The method could be used to deliver large proteins such as antibodies into the brain, but also small molecule drugs and viruses used for gene therapies.

Additional coauthors are from the University of Rochester. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Department of Defense funded the work.

Source: University of Rochester

The post ‘Waste removal system’ could deliver drugs to brain appeared first on Futurity.

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 12.1 to Developers

MacRumors - 33 min 37 sec ago
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing iOS 12, a major new version of the iOS software.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.1 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.

iOS 12.1 includes several new features that Apple promised would come to the iPhone XS and XS Max. The beta introduces support for the eSIM, which is a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.

Carriers will need to implement support for eSIM, which is likely to happen after iOS 12.1 launches. In the U.S., AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile will support eSIM.

The iOS 12.1 update brings a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them. Right now, in iOS 12, Depth Control is only available for post-capture editing.

If you tap on the "F" icon at the top of the screen while capturing a photo you use Depth Control to adjust the amount of background blur in an image.

In addition to these iPhone XS and XS Max features, iOS 12.1 reintroduces the Group FaceTime feature that was removed from iOS 12 during the beta testing period. Group FaceTime was present in many early betas but was ultimately removed because Apple needed more time to test it.

Group FaceTime is designed to let iPhone and Mac users conduct video and audio chats with up to 32 participants at one time, with new camera effects features included.

The update also adds more than 70 new emoji to iPhones and iPads, with options that include red hair, gray hair, curly hair, cold face, party face, face with hearts, mango, kangaroo, peacock, lobster, cupcake, and tons more.

As for bug fixes, iOS 12.1 addresses a charging problem that could cause iPhone and iPad models running iOS 12 to fail to charge when connected to a Lightning cable while the screen is off and it fixes a bug that caused iPhone XS and XS Max models to prefer 2.4GHz WiFi networks to 5GHz networks, resulting in perceived slower WiFi speeds. Both of these bugs have also been addressed in the iOS 12.0.1 update.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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What the INF Treaty means for the U.S. and Europe — and why Trump mentioned China

Washington Post - 38 min 9 sec ago
The five things you need to know about the U.S. plan to withdraw from this 1987 weapons treaty.

Khashoggi Double Sent to Create False Trail in Turkey, Surveillance Images Show

NY Times - 39 min 43 sec ago
A member of the Saudi team sent to confront the dissident journalist put on Mr. Khashoggi’s clothes and walked around Istanbul, surveillance images show.

How a ‘mysterious’ creature moves with no muscles or neurons

Futurity.org - 39 min 47 sec ago

New research examines how a simple marine creature moves using ultra-fast cellular contractions that are so quick they should break its cells apart.

Almost eight years ago, bioengineer Manu Prakash was looking for a way to watch every cell in an adult living, behaving animal in elaborate detail. He searched the catalog of life and happened upon the simple marine animal Trichoplax adhaerens—or Tplax, as Prakash has come to call it.

This ultra-flat animal lacks both muscles and neurons, but still moves and navigates through its watery world. The Prakash lab found Tplax manages this feat through surprisingly fast contractions in its two skin-like layers—contractions strong enough that they would ordinarily rip apart such seemingly delicate tissues.

In the first paper based on their years-long study of the organism, which appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe the contractions and propose a hypothesis for how this creature withstands internal and external forces in a marine environment.

Tplax has no muscles or neurons and no defined shape but still manages coordinated movement. (Credit: Manu Prakash)

The findings could help inform not only how complex animals evolved, but also the creation of an advanced material, called an active solid, that could dramatically and quickly modulate its own physical properties.

“Much of the rules of biology that we read in textbooks have been, so far, dictated by a few sets of ‘model’ organisms,” says senior author Prakash, who is an associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford University. “If we intend to be the generation that will unravel laws of biology, it’s extremely important to understand and appreciate the diversity of what has evolved on our planet and think much more holistically about what is actually possible in biological systems.”

No muscles required

In the early days of studying Tplax, the creatures would move repeatedly out of view under the microscope. But over time, the researchers learned to track and quantify the animals’ every cellular squeeze and squirm. Prakash remembers when their efforts first began to pay off.

“There was literally a day where, for the first time, I had some of the stains that label Tplax cells working, and under the microscope we saw an explosion of cellular contractions,” he says. “It looked like fireworks under a microscope and that was the moment that told us there is something very special about this animal and we needed to understand it.”

Those fireworks were Tplax’s quick contractions, which occur in its flat layer of what are known as epithelial cells—essentially the equivalent of skin. Although these kinds of cells have long been known to contract, in embryos for example, Tplax’s contractions were 10 times faster than any epithelial cell contraction ever reported. This would tear apart the network of cells in any other biological tissue as thin as this animal, which is only about 25 microns thick, or one-quarter the thickness of a sheet of paper.

The researchers think the tissue’s strength lies in the fact that while some cells contract strongly, others soften—a hypothesis they call “active cohesion.” In many tissues, contracting in reaction to a force would cause a tear and relaxing would cause the animal to be at the mercy of that force. By doing both simultaneously and in a coordinated manner, the cells involved in Tplax’s active cohesion distribute the stress, letting the animal remain whole and in control.

The discovery of an ultra-fast contractile epithelial cell poses new questions for the role of epithelial contractions in coordinating cellular activity across the tissue.

“We look at this simple creature and we see it make decisions and move and hunt,” says lead author Shahaf Armon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Prakash lab. “It’s a huge evolutionary question, how single cells merged to become multicellular organisms and how such a minimal tissue made of identical cells is able to then perform complex behaviors.”

Strange creatures

Now, the researchers are exploring what other organisms might use active cohesion and are creating artificial material that replicates this mechanism to build an active solid. Key to the speed of these contractions is the unusual geometry of Tplax’s epithelial structure: T-shaped cells with a very thin top sheet and a hanging nucleus at the bottom that line up side-by-side like a single layer of bricks. That geometry, which they share with sponges, could inform the development of new materials.

Working with laboratory lineages and animals they caught themselves in Monterey, California, the group grew Tplax in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, creating animals that are hundreds to millions of cells. This variation in size provides a powerful window into understanding how cellular coordination varies as the number of cells increase or decrease.

“Tplax are really mysterious beasts,” says coauthor Matthew Bull, a graduate student in the Prakash lab, “but we use that to our advantage to find where our understanding of what it means to be part of the animal kingdom bends and then breaks.”

The Gruss Lipper Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Israeli Council for High Education, an HHMI-Gates Faculty Scholar award, a Pew Fellowship, a National Institutes of Health Directors Award, and the Chan-Zuckerberg BioHub Investigators Program funded the work.

Source: Stanford University

The post How a ‘mysterious’ creature moves with no muscles or neurons appeared first on Futurity.

‘There has to be a transition at some point,’ Pelosi says about Democratic leadership

Washington Post - 42 min 33 sec ago
Pelosi, speaking at a CNN event, would not say when she planned to relinquish power: "I am not going to make myself a lame duck."

HomePod is Ninth Most Popular Smart Speaker in United States According to Recent Survey

MacRumors - 1 hour 3 min ago
Apple's HomePod is the ninth most popular smart speaker model in the United States, according to an online survey of 1,011 smart speaker users conducted by research firm Strategy Analytics in July and August.

The top eight positions are held by various Amazon Echo and Google Home models in the Strategy Analytics rankings. The standard Amazon Echo tops the list with an estimated 23 percent share of the U.S. installed base of smart speakers, while the HomePod is estimated to have just four percent market share.
  • Amazon Echo: 23%
  • Amazon Echo Dot: 21%
  • Google Home: 8%
  • Google Home Mini: 7%
  • Amazon Echo Plus: 5%
  • Amazon Echo Spot: 4%
  • Amazon Echo Show: 4%
  • Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition: 4%
  • Apple HomePod: 4%
  • Google Home Max: 2%
Apple does not disclose HomePod sales in its quarterly earnings results. In August, Strategy Analytics estimated that HomePod shipments totaled 700,000 units in the second quarter of 2018, giving Apple a roughly six percent share of the worldwide smart speaker market at the time.

While the HomePod may have only a single-digit share of the overall market, Strategy Analytics shared data last month indicating that Apple accounts for 70 percent of the small but growing $200-plus smart speaker market, topping competing products such as the Google Home Max and a variety of Sonos speakers.

That data shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as Amazon Echo and Google Home models are regularly priced as low as $49, whereas the HomePod retails for $349. Apple has marketed the HomePod as a premium speaker that also has Siri, as opposed to a personal assistant that also plays music.

It's also worth noting that the HomePod only launched this past February, two to three years after its biggest competitors. Today, the HomePod is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany, with sales set to begin in Mexico and Spain on Friday.

Back in April, well-connected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, possibly in the form of a Siri-enabled Beats speaker. The status of those plans is unclear.

Related Roundup: HomePodTag: Strategy AnalyticsBuyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)
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Will We Protect Antarctica or Exploit It?

NY Times - 1 hour 3 min ago
A special multination commission should approve proposals for three marine sanctuaries in the continent’s bountiful seas.

Opinion: The secret to wooing Latino voters

CNN - 1 hour 5 min ago
"If Latinos don't vote, it is hard to feel sorry for the consequences affecting them. They should realize that and who their friends are. PLEASE EMPHASIZE TO THESE FOLKS THAT IF THEY DON'T VOTE THEY WILL BE FURTHER WORSE OFF. AND IF THEY DON'T VOTE; DON'T COMPLAIN."
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