Goa to post lifeguards at Harvalem waterfalls

first_imgPANAJI: Goa Tourism Minister Ajgaonkar on Saturday directed his department to post lifeguards at Harvalem waterfalls in Sankhalim, North Goa, following reports of locals and tourists dying at the spot. On Saturday, a 29-year-old man drowned there while on a picnic with seven other military hospital personnel from Panaji. The Minister said that locals had warned the group not to enter the water. “Time and again, the tourism department informs people not to throw caution to the wind,” Mr. Ajgaonkar said.The Bicholim police said that the picnickers went for a swim. Seven were rescued, but one drowned.last_img read more

Srinagar church bell rings again after 50 years

first_imgA new bell in Srinagar’s Holy Family Catholic Church is ringing in the spirit of harmony after the previous one went silent half a century ago.The 105 kilogram bell was inaugurated on Sunday at a short ceremony at 11.30 a.m. in the church located on Srinagar’s M.A. Road by representatives of Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs. The Parish priest Father Roy Matthews officiated. “It is a joyous moment for all of us. Kashmir has a rich composite culture and harmonious coexistence is the very essence of Kashmiriyat. So I see this against that background, with representatives of various religions joining us in our happiness. At the same time, we want to send out a message at the national, international and local levels that we are one here and we love and accept each other as we are,” said Father Matthews. Representatives of several religions were present, “to jointly ring the new bell for the first time in the past 50 years,” said church committee spokesman S.M. Rath. The British-era church, built in 1896, had lost its original bell in a fire sparked by “an arson incident” on June 7, 1967. The bell, the largest of its kind in the State, was a gift from a Kashmiri Christian family. Kashmir hosts a small Christian population, and has three main churches in Srinagar and Baramulla. The Christian population, as per the 2011 census, is 0.28% in the State. Around 30 Catholic families live in the Valley. “This ceremony is a historic occasion for the microscopic Christian community in Kashmir,” said the spokesman.Arab-Israeli warThe arson of 1967 was triggered by the Arab-Israeli war, and the church was rebuilt a few years later. The new bell is made of cast iron and was installed by local carpenters and labourers, aided by those from outside. On Sunday, as the bell rope was pulled by the representatives jointly, a group of children from different religious backgrounds sang in chorus.Pandits should return Gyani Jaipal Singh, a Sikh representative, said he joined in “to keep peace and harmony alive in Kashmir.” Haji Manzoor, another representative, said, “This act sends a message to those [Kashmiri Pandits] who migrated from the valley [in the early 1990s] to return.”Last year, the church members had a muted Christmas celebration in the wake of more than 90 civilian deaths in protests across the Valley.last_img read more

Two held for murder of Pune builder

first_imgPune: The police has arrested two people in connection with the murder of Pune builder Devendra Shah, on the night of January 13 in the city’s upmarket Prabhat Road area.The Deccan police nabbed Ravindra Sadashiv Chorge, a resident of the Sinhagad Road area, from a lodge in Jalgaon on Sunday. During interrogation, Chorge confessed to having committed the murder along with Rahul Chandrakant Shivtare, a resident of Pune’s Wadgaon-Budruk area, said Dr. Basavaraj Teli, deputy commissioner of police (zone 1).“Shivtare, a history-sheeter had been booked for murder in the past. The two accused dealt with real estate matters and were known to Shah,” said a senior police officer.Shah was gunned down outside his building at around 11 p.m on January 13.The assailants reached Shah’s home at Sayali Apartments on Prabhat Road’s Lane 7 and asked the laundryman who doubled as a security guard to call the builder whose flat is situated on the third floor. Following the call Shah and his son Atit came to the parking lot.After engaging Shah and his son in a brief conversation, the duo opened fire as father and son turned to head back home. The murder was caught on CCTV which helped police identify the suspects.last_img read more

CBI yet to take a call on appeal against Talwars

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was yet to decide whether it should file an appeal against the Allahabad High Court’s judgment acquitting Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case last year.The Talwars were released from jail on October 2017 after the High Court had acquitted them. In murder cases, probe agencies were required to appeal against acquittals within three months of such an order. The CBI had failed to do so in the Aarushi-Hemraj case.“The appeal has not been filed yet. However, the investigating team may approach the court seeking that the delay be condoned, as and when it decides to file the appeal,” said a CBI official.Aarushi was found murdered at her Noida house on May 16, 2008. A day later, the body of domestic help Hemraj was found on the terrace. The case was initially investigated by the Noida Police, which arrested Dr. Talwar for his involvement. It was transferred to the CBI that initially zeroed in on three helps. The agency then investigated the alleged involvement of Dr. Talwar and his wife. However, it filed a closure report on the grounds of insufficient prosecutable evidence. The Special Court refused to accept the closure report and converted it into a charge sheet against the Talwars.last_img read more

Farmers’ rally in Maharashtra: Maximum march

first_imgOn March 6, nearly 10,000 farmers embarked on a long march from near Nashik to the Maharashtra Assembly in Mumbai. By the time they reached Maximum City on March 12, walking about 25 km a day to cover the 180 kilometres, their numbers, by some estimates, touched 40,000.Men and women of all age groups walked in searing heat — the temperature peaked at 38 degrees Celsius on some days. Some were in their late seventies, and many walked barefoot as they tried to draw attention to their distress in a silent, dignified manner. En route, hey cooked simple meals for themsleves and refilled their bottles with water from tankers. By day, they kept up their spirits with slogans enunciating their rights and the strength of unity. At night, many relaxed with music and singing; some even had the energy to dance. Walking at the crack of dawn, they were off again by 6 a.m. every morning.As they neared Shahapur in Thane district, residents came out in support and provided water and refreshments. As they reached Mumbai’s border on March 10, the long strip of red evoked a poignant response from a city that is usually insular to reral distress. On March 11, , as they reached Vikhroli, residents showered flower petals on them and provided water. A nearby gurdwara cooked poha and served it to the marhcers. For the rest of the way, scores of people chipped in with refreshments at regular intervals.The original plan was to start from Sion on the morning of March 12, Monday, and gherao the Assembly. But that was dropped to avoid disrupting life in the city, particularly when schoolchildren are in the middle of exams. Displaying an empathy rarely seen among protesting groups, the farmers found secret reserves of energy to attain their goal and let the city go about its business. They marched through the night after just a few hours’ rest and assembled peacefully at Azad Maidan before daybreak. In the process, the farmers, with their tired limbs and steely resolves, not only won over Mumbai’s heart but also left the Chief Minister “humbled”. By evening, the government yielded to most of the demands of their long march, and special trains were arranged to take them back to their fields.last_img read more

Man gets 10 years imprisonment for abducting, raping minor girl

first_imgA court in Baghpat district has sentenced the head of a local mosque to 10 years of imprisonment for abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl in 2016. Additional District and Sessions Judge Ramesh Chand on Saturday also imposed a fine of ₹5,000 on Rihan. He was held guilty for rape and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, according to government lawyer Surender Yadav. The girl was abducted and raped by the man in a village in Baghpat district on January 19, 2016. The accused belongs to Muzaffarnagar district, he said.last_img read more

Dalit man beaten and forced to drink urine

first_imgFour persons have been arrested in Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh on the charges of beating a Dalit man and forcing him to drink urine after he refused to work on their fields, the police said on Tuesday.The station house officer of Hazratpur police station, Rajesh Kashyap, was also suspended for negligence in failing to lodge a case on the victim’s initial complaint.Sitaram Valmiki, in his complaint, said that some influential men in his village beat him with shoes and slippers and abused him after he refused to harvest their crops. Mr. Valmiki said he wanted to work on his own field first. He said the accused started hitting him when they found him gathering fodder in his field. He was then tied to a neem tree and beaten with slippers and shoes, he claimed.“They also pulled my moustache and forced me to drink urine,” Mr. Valmiki told reporters. Though the incident took place last week, it came to light only after the newly appointed U.P. SC/ST Commission Chairman Brij Lal wrote to the police to take action.last_img read more

Journalist Upendra Rai gets bail

first_imgA Delhi court on Friday granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, who was arrested by the CBI last month for allegedly using fake information to gain access to airports across India.Special CBI judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted bail to Mr. Rai on furnishing a bail bond of ₹5 lakh, with two sureties of a like amount. The judge had last month refused bail to the journalist.The counsel for Mr. Rai submitted that no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody as the court had on May 9 rejected the CBI’s plea seeking further custody of Mr. Rai.The other accused in the case are Air One Aviation Limited, its chief security officer Prasun Roy and unidentified Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) officials.last_img read more

CBI raids to stop SP-BSP alliance, says Akhilesh

first_imgA day after the Central Bureau of Investigation said the role of mining ministers in Uttar Pradesh under the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav would be probed in connection with alleged illegal mining, the Samajwadi Party chief on Sunday the “BJP has shown its true colours.”Mr. Yadav suggested the raids by the CBI by opening up old cases were an attempt by the BJP-led Centre to stop the SP-BSP alliance. The two parties along with the RLD are close to formally announcing an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.”The Samajwadi Party is trying to win as many Lok Sabha seats as it can. Possibly the CBI or the government that runs the CBI is trying to…What do we have? We can form an alliance and go to the people. And those who want to stop [us], what do they have? They have the CBI,” Mr. Yadav told reporters here.Mr. Yadav, who served as Chief Minister of UP from 2012 to 2017 and held additional portfolios of mining in 2012 and 2013, also said he was ready to be questioned by the probe agency.”If they question us, we will have to answer. We will give them an answer. But the people of the country are ready to give an answer to the BJP,” said Mr. Yadav.The SP national president also used sarcasm to allege political motive of the CBI raid.”I’m happy the BJP has once against shown its true colours. First the Congress gave us an opportunity to meet the CBI, now the BJP is giving us an opportunity,” said Mr. Yadav.He also warned the BJP that it would also have to face the brunt of the “culture” it was leaving behind.The CBI on Saturday said the role of the mining Ministers in UP between 2012 and 2016, which includes Mr. Yadav, may be probed in connection with a fresh case of alleged illegal mining of minor minerals registered on the direction of the Allahabad High Court.The CBI registered an FIR against 2008-batch IAS official and then Hamirpur District Magistrate B. Chandralekha and 10 other individuals, besides unknown officials and persons. Among those named in the FIR are SP MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit, who fought the 2017 election on Bahujan Samaj Party ticketSearches were carried out on Saturday on 14 premises of the accused persons in Delhi, Hamirpur, Lucknow, Kanpur and Jalaun. The FIR alleges that public servants allowed illegal mining of minor minerals between 2012 and 2016 by the fraudulent granting of fresh or renewed leases. Officials also allegedly permitted mining by the existing lease-owners during the “obstructed period” when the National Green Tribunal had barred the activity. The leases were also issued in violation of a May 2012 order of the State government for e-tendering.last_img read more

Jumbos to patrol Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve

first_imgPatrolling in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve is set to be strengthened as two trained elephants would be deployed there shortly.Trained elephants will help ground-level forest guards patrol deep in the forest where jeeps cannot go.The two elephants are being brought from the Similipal Tiger Reserve.“We are mobilising a few trained elephants as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The elephant deployment in STR at present has no connection with the possible release of tigress Sundari, imported from Madhya Pradesh, from the special enclosure set up inside Satkosia,” said Sandeep Tripathi, Principal Chief Conservator Forest (Wildlife).Sources in the Forest and Environment Department said the authorities did not want to leave any stone unturned before approaching the NTCA for resuming the ambitious tiger reintroduction programme in Satkosia.The tiger reintroduction programme in STR had run into rough weather following the death of India’s first inter-State translocated tiger last year.The Odisha government had planned to bring six tigers (three male and three female) from Madhya Pradesh to increase the feline population in Satkosia. Last year, one pair of big cats was brought to Satkosia.However, the programme did not go as per plan. While the tiger T1 reportedly died after falling into a poaching trap, there was huge discontentment among villagers residing in the buffer areas over the frequent straying of the tigress into human habitation. As the situation went out of control following a human kill, the tigress was captured. Subsequently, the programme was put on hold.last_img read more

Tewari approaches Election Commission

first_imgSenior Congress leader Manish Tewari lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, seeking action against those indulging in “false and malicious” propaganda against him and his family on social media. In a video clip that was attached with Mr. Tewari’s tweet, it was alleged that his father, late Professor V.N. Tewari, was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and petrol was supplied from his filling station to “burn Sikhs”. ‘Gutter, despicable’ Describing the propaganda against him as “gutter and despicable”, the former Union MMr. inister, who is contesting from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, said his family never owned a petrol pump anywhere in the country and his father was assassinated by militants on April 3, 1984, six months before the riots. “My mother was a Jat Sikh. My father was an academic at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and my mother retired as the Dean of the PGI. Our family has never owned a petrol pump ever in our lives anywhere in India. We have complained to the returning officer, Ropar SSP and the CEC. They need to act against the miscreants as soon as possible,” he tweeted.‘Outrageous lies’ “Those who failed in trying to raise the outside bogey against me have now stooped too low to malign me and my family with outrageous lies,” Mr. Tewari said on Thursday. The Congress leader is locked in a four-way contest against sitting Member of Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, Aam Aadmi Party candidate Narinder Shergill and Punjab Democratic Alliance nominee Bir Devinder Singh. Voting in Punjab will take place in the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 19.last_img read more

Dolphin Memories Span at Least 20 Years

first_imgEver been at a party where you recognize everyone’s faces but can’t think of their names? That wouldn’t happen if you were a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The marine mammals can remember each other’s signature contact whistles—calls that function as names—for more than 20 years, the longest social memory ever recorded for a nonhuman animal, according to a new study.“The ability to remember individuals is thought to be extremely important to the ‘social brain,’ ” says Janet Mann, a marine mammal biologist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the research. Yet, she notes, no one has succeeded in designing a test for this talent in the great apes—our closest kin—let alone in dolphins.Dolphins use their signature whistles to stay in touch. Each has its own unique whistle, and they learn and can repeat the whistles of other dolphins. A dolphin will answer when another dolphin mimics its whistle—just as we reply when someone calls our name. The calls enable the marine mammals to communicate over long distances—which is necessary because they live in “fission-fusion” societies, meaning that dolphins in one group split off to join other groups and later return. By whistling, they’re able to find each other again. Scientists don’t know how long dolphins are separated in the wild, but they do know the animals can live almost 50 years. So how long do the dolphins remember the calls of their friends?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To find out, Jason Bruck, a cognitive ethologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, spent 5 years collecting 71 whistles from 43 dolphins at six captive facilities, including Brookfield Zoo near Chicago and Dolphin Quest in Bermuda. The six sites belong to a consortium that rotates the marine mammals for breeding and has decades-long records of which dolphins have lived together. The dolphins ranged in age from 4 months to 47 years and included males and females. Some of the animals had spent as little as 3 months together; others had been housed with each other for as long as 18.5 years before being separated and sent to another facility; and some had been apart for 20.5 years.At each facility, Bruck placed a submerged speaker in the dolphins’ pool and waited for one of the animals to swim past. He then played a recording of a whistle that the dolphin had never heard before. “They don’t pay much attention to signature whistles of dolphins they don’t know,” he says. But when he played the whistle of a dolphin they had once lived with, the animals often swam immediately to the speaker. “They will hover around it, whistle at it, seemingly try to get a response,” he says.Bruck also played recordings of an unfamiliar dolphin that was the same age and sex as the familiar animal—but these also did not elicit much of a response. “It was a striking pattern,” Bruck says. “They were potentially bored by unfamiliar calls but responded to whistles from the animals they’d known,” even if they had not heard the whistles in decades. “It seemed to be stimulating to them. In Bermuda, a mother dolphin even brought her calf over to listen to the whistles of dolphins she’d known,” Bruck says. Sometimes the dolphins got upset, slapping their tails in protest, when Bruck removed the speaker from the pool; but they quickly settled down again after he put it back in the water.In one case, Bruck played the whistle of Allie, a female dolphin at the Brookfield Zoo, for Bailey, a female in Bermuda. They had lived together at the Dolphin Connection in the Florida Keys when Allie was 4 and Bailey was 2. Twenty years and 6 months had passed—yet Bailey instantly recognized Allie’s whistle, Bruck says, as evidenced by her close attentiveness to the speaker.The dolphins often responded as if they were picturing their long-ago social pals, Bruck reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. For instance, two younger dolphins, Kai and D.J., became watchful and alert when they heard the whistles of Lucky and Hastings, two dominant males they had spent time with at the Brookfield Zoo. “Their whistles elicit a certain vigor and spirit in males that hear them,” says Bruck about the responses of Kai and D.J. “It looked as if those whistles put the image of those two dominant males in the heads of Kai and D.J.,” although he adds this has yet to be shown experimentally.The study demonstrates the “long-term stability of the dolphins’ whistles,” Mann says. “Even though dolphins may change in size and physical characteristics—getting scars and speckles—their whistles provide a reliable means of identification.” And that in turn enables them to “track relationships and connections between individuals,” she says. “We know they have relationships in the wild that last decades,” adds Richard Connor, an animal behaviorist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. “Remembering a particular individual—even in the absence of that individual—could help them navigate their current social milieu.”Bruck’s study, however, did not test whether the dolphins mentally picture the correct dolphin when they hear his or her signature whistle. So far, scientists have only been able to demonstrate this ability in horses. Researchers from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom videoed individual horses while a herd member was led past them and out of view. The scientists then played the whinny of that horse or of a different horse. If the whinny was from the horse that had just walked by, the watching horse continued doing whatever it had been doing before; but if the whinny came from a different stable-mate, the watcher instantly turned to look in the direction of the call, as if saying, “that didn’t sound like you.”A similar experiment now needs to be done with dolphins, says Stephanie King, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom. She wonders if the animals are paying attention to the whistles of their former pool-pals because the sounds are familiar—or because they “evoke a mental representation of the absent animal in the dolphin’s mind.” In other words, does Kai mentally picture Lucky when he hears the dominant male’s brassy whistle erupting from the speaker? Or does he merely register, “That call takes me right back to Chicago.” Stay tuned—Bruck has a test in the works to find out.last_img read more

A Billionaire’s Final Gift to Six U.S. Cancer Centers

first_imgA trust fund created by billionaire shipping tycoon Daniel K. Ludwig ends today with a bang and a gift to research. Six U.S. medical centers will receive $540 million—$90 million each—from the fund to endow cancer studies in perpetuity, or until cancer is no longer a problem, as specified in the will left by Ludwig, who died in 1992. In all, his estate has given $2.5 billion to cancer research since the 1970s.The new money goes to Ludwig Centers already located at six elite research institutions: Harvard Medical School in Boston; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge; the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; Stanford University in Palo Alto; and the University of Chicago. The Ludwig trust had established the same centers in 2006.The funding by the Ludwig trust has been “sort of under the radar,” says oncologist Kenneth Kinzler, who, along with Bert Vogelstein, co-directs the Ludwig Center at Hopkins. These are among the most coveted awards in biomedicine, Kinzler says. The money is held as an endowment and comes with few strings attached—just a mandate to investigate cancer and find ways to stop it. There are no progress reports or renewal applications to write, Kinzler says, which “allows you to focus on what you think will yield the most important results without being concerned about meeting artificial intermediate deadlines.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The Ludwig group seeks clinical outcomes, Kinzler says, a goal that he and Vogelstein strongly endorse. Without the Ludwig money, the Hopkins group would not have been able to do the cancer genetics studies they’re famous for, he notes—for example, the duo has used exome surveys to identify genes associated with colon and breast cancers.The sheer size of the Ludwig endowments makes a difference, says cancer immunologist Jedd Wolchok at Memorial Sloan-Kettering: “It allows for a respectable research budget.” Wolchok figures that his group’s budget for cancer immunology research will double this year, rising by “several million dollars,” and likely will continue to grow, thanks to the money earned by the endowment. For Wolchok, that means that “we can go from concept to clinical investigation very, very quickly.” For example, he expects his group to launch a clinical trial in 2 months to test a therapeutic antibody developed by a Japanese company that could be used to modulate T cells that regulate the immune response. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering team also has a series of clinical trials under way to monitor immune system reactions to various cancer therapies, including radiation.Ludwig, a friend of President Richard Nixon, was a stalwart backer of Nixon’s “War on Cancer,” which was linked to the congressional legislation that reestablished the U.S. National Cancer Institute in 1971. That year, the shipping magnate created an independent outfit in New York City, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. The organization now has an endowment of more than $1.2 billion and employs more than 600 people, including scientists in six countries outside the United States, according to institute CEO Edward McDermott Jr.The philosophy that drives this research network, McDermott says, is the one that drove Ludwig “in his personal business enterprises—to find the best people and resource them well.” McDermott adds: “We invest in scientists, not particular science.  … We are not in the business of discovery for discovery’s sake. It’s a means to an end, which is improved patient outcomes. So we are very committed to … infrastructures that allow us to take our discoveries from bench to bedside.” McDermott says that the institute has sponsored more than 100 clinical trials and has eight under way right now. All of these focus on cancer immunotherapy.last_img read more

Psst. Wanna Buy a Whale?

first_imgThe world banned most whaling in 1986, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. The number of whales killed by whalers has doubled since the 1990s, with so-called scientific whaling claiming roughly 1000 annually, and perhaps 600 more captured by scofflaw nations. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) appears stuck on developing new conservation agreements.Now several researchers are proposing a possible solution: Create a cap-and-trade market for swapping permits to kill or conserve whales. But critics of the “whale shares” idea have already sharpened their harpoons. In an article in Ecological Applications, Leah Gerber of Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, and colleagues spell out how this controversial idea would benefit both whales and whalers. They argue it also could be a model for helping turtles, sharks, and seabirds. “The paper succeeds in shifting the dialogue about whaling, and actually modeling the crucial dynamic between whaling and conservation,” says Stephen Palumbi of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Setting up a system of controlled fishing permits—known as catch shares—has helped protect fisheries. And a cap-and-trade system for trading pollution permits was a clear success in controlling acid rain. Gerber, along with Chris Costello and Steven Gaines of the University of California, Santa Barbara, first proposed applying similar market-based ideas to whaling in January 2012. In principle, they argued, a central authority could set a maximum harvest level, then offer shares or permits to anyone who wanted to buy the right to kill—including environmental groups that would have no intention of using the permit. The idea is that whalers might make more money by selling their permits to environmentalists than by actually killing the whales.  Now the trio has created a model to examine in more detail how a cap-and-trade market might impact whale populations and how the costs and benefits would change for people who want to hunt or conserve them. The model combines whale population dynamics with an economic model of demand for whales and shows what happens to prices and populations when whalers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) exchange shares. They examined the dynamics for three kinds of whales: minkes, bowheads, and gray whales.North Atlantic minke whales number about 72,000, and 550 are caught annually, including for subsistence, as well as for scientific whaling. The model predicts that conservationists wouldn’t have any incentive to buy shares of minke whales until hunters deplete the population to a level of concern, which could take 10 years. But with bowheads, which are slowly recovering from intense whaling in the 19th century, conservations groups would be highly motivated to buy all the shares for 13 years, until the population grows to the carrying capacity. And they would purchase shares in gray whales for 30 years. With all three species, prices converged on $10,000 a share.The total cost to buy all the whale shares of all three species over 20 years would run about $114 million, the researchers calculate. Considered on an annual basis, that’s a fraction of what NGOs spend now on whale campaigns. So, even at that price, conservationists could save more whales for less money than they do now, the authors conclude. And whalers would benefit when they sell shares because they make money without having to get their feet wet. “[A] well-designed whale conservation market simultaneously enhances conservation welfare and whaler welfare relative to the status quo,” Gerber and colleagues write. “In some sense this is unsurprising: Allowing voluntary trade, rather than forbidding it, tends to make both parties in an economic transaction better off.”Palumbi, however, says he doesn’t put too much stock in these numbers. “The paper is almost certainly wrong in detail about whales and whaling,” he says. “It misses many of the messy realities of modern whaling, such as the huge subsidy that Japan gives its whalers.” The main advance, he says, is creating a framework for calculating the values of competing uses.  A companion paper, by Martin Smith, an economist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and others, identifies several other problems with the idea. Any of these could lead to “lower overall welfare for society” and could increase threats to marine mammals, they say. The first problem is known as free riding. A dead whale is, in economic terms, a private good. Only the ship that pays for the right to catch a whale will profit from it. But a living whale is a public good. If one NGO pays to keep it alive, all the other NGOs derive the same benefit. As do all the whale-lovers who never contribute to an NGO. That means it could become difficult for NGOs to raise funds.  Second, if trade in whale meat is legalized, it could be difficult to identify black market meat. Monitoring and enforcement would be a challenge. “These problems are not easily solved,” adds Scott Baker of Oregon State University, Corvallis. His molecular sleuthing of whalemeat markets has shows a large trade in illegal or unreported whale products. A return to commercial whaling, he suspects, would provide even greater incentives for illegal hunting.And then there is the hot-button issue of setting a cap and allocating shares. Politics is already a challenge at the IWC, where small nations sometimes trade votes for economic benefit. “Replacing the IWC’s fragile moratorium with cap-and-trade does not guarantee that the geopolitical entanglements that have generated the current stalemate will be eliminated,” Smith writes. Worse, it could set off a dash to secure whaling rights in order to sell them later for cash. Gerber and her colleagues concede many of these points, but say they are not unique to a conservation market.Finally, what about the, well, moral repugnancy that some wildlife advocates feel about putting a price on majestic animals like whales? Gerber tried to address the issue last spring in Issues in Science and Technology. “The debate in biodiversity conservation between economics and ethics, or between pragmatism and principle, is in many ways a misguided contest, one that assumes that there exists a deep philosophical division between environmental ethics and societal action,” she wrote with her ASU colleague Ben Minteer, an environmental ethicist. “Being pragmatic in whale conservation policy does not mean selling out on conservationist principles.”At the moment, a whale market exists only in the realm of ideas. “My guess is that it would probably require a renegotiation of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling to make the structural changes required for the global whale auction envisaged,” Baker says. For the foreseeable future, the battle over whales will continue to play out with unregulated hunts, dangerous zodiac chases, and freezers full of aging whale meat.last_img read more

Panel Says U.S. Not Ready for Inevitable Arctic Oil Spill

first_imgAs eagerness to explore the Arctic’s oil and gas resources grows, the threat of a major Arctic oil spill looms ever larger—and the United States has a lot of work to do to prepare for that inevitability, a panel convened by the National Research Council (NRC) declares in a report released today. The committee, made up of members of academia and industry, recommended beefing up forecasting systems for ocean and ice conditions, infrastructure for supply chains for people and equipment to respond, field research on the behavior of oil in the Arctic environment, and other strategies to prepare for a significant spill in the harsh conditions of the Arctic.The report “identifies the different pieces that need to come together” to have a chance at an effective oil spill response, says Martha Grabowski, a researcher in information systems at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and chair of the NRC committee.Even in the absence of oil and gas exploration, the Arctic’s rapidly intensifying traffic—whether from barges, research ships, oil tankers, or passenger cruises—makes oil spills increasingly likely. So “the committee felt some urgency” about the issue, says geologist Mark Myers, vice chancellor for research at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The report, sponsored by 10 organizations ranging from the American Petroleum Institute to the Marine Mammal Commission, focused primarily on the United States’ territorial waters north of the Bering Strait, including the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Cleaning up oil in the Arctic is particularly tricky for a number of reasons, the committee notes. The extreme weather conditions are one problem. The lack of many kinds of data—high-resolution topography and bathymetry along the coasts; measurements of ice cover and thickness; distributions in space and time of the region’s fish, birds, and marine mammals—is another. And if an emergency happens, there’s no infrastructure in place—no consistent U.S. Coast Guard presence and no reliable supply chains to support a rapid response.On top of that, there is little real-world information about how the Arctic’s own oil (rather than an amalgam from an oil pipeline, as is now tested) will behave in the Arctic’s heavily stratified water column, which could prevent deep spills from reaching the surface. Then there’s the lingering question of how effective chemical dispersants or oil-munching microbes are in the frigid Arctic environment. And virtually nothing is known about how oil and sea ice will interact. “Ice really changes everything,” Myers says. Some oil might make its way into the ice, only to later become liquid again when the ice melts; some might remain trapped beneath it, moving with the ice—or possibly not. “We have very few observations of the under-ice environment,” he says.The report calls for upgrading oil spill response infrastructure, additional studies, and more coordination between agencies, industry, academia, and other Arctic nations. Grabowski also emphasized the need for standardization—of data collection and sharing, of oil spill exercises and responses.Who would coordinate all of this and who would pay for it remain unsettled questions. Grabowski notes that she and her panel members recommend public-private partnerships, interagency coordination, and working with, for example, local communities to develop trained response teams in local villages. “But in terms of an overall framework,” she says, “I think that that is a wide-open question. And obviously connected to that is a resource question. We can identify lots of ideas for a framework but without adequate resources that causes a real difficulty.”Still, amid the flurry of Arctic-related reports that have papered Washington, D.C., in the last few years, the committee hopes its recommendations will stick. By digging “deep into the science,” Myers says, “we felt it was going to be a good authoritative source which people can use to help make decisions.”“This is a study that’s both broad and deep,” Grabowski adds. “In terms of whether anyone picks this up and runs with it—that’s another step.”last_img read more

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