Opioid overdose epidemic likely to increase in the US in coming years

first_img Source:https://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=2351 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 3 2019A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. In their report published in JAMA Network Open, the team notes that the changing nature of the epidemic – which is now driven by the use of illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl – has reduced the potential impact of programs targeting prescription opioids.”The opioid epidemic started with a sharp increase in opioid prescriptions for pain in the 1990s; but since 2010 the crisis has shifted, with a leveling off of deaths due to prescription opioid overdoses and an increase in overdose deaths due to heroin,” says Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, of the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment (MGH-ITA), corresponding author of the report. “In the past five years, deaths have accelerated with the introduction of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl into the opioid supply, leading to a continuing increase in overdose deaths at time when the supply of prescription opioids is decreasing.”Chhatwal’s team used data from sources such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the Opioid Policy Model, reflecting the trajectory of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. from 2002 to 2015. They then used that model to make projections for probable outcomes from 2016 to 2025.Under a status quo scenario, in which no further reduction in the misuse of prescription opioids occurs in coming years, the model projects that the annual number of opioid overdose deaths will increase from 33,100 in 2015 to 81,700 in 2025, a 147 percent increase. The model also predicts that, during those years, a total of around 700,000 people will die from an opioid overdose, 80 percent from illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. The researchers also estimate that, by 2025, half of all new opioid users will begin with illicit rather than prescription drugs. In all scenarios tested, interventions directed towards reducing misuse of prescription opioids were projected to decrease overdose deaths by only 3 to 5 percent.Related StoriesBirth, child outcomes linked with maternal opioid use during pregnancyResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesPatients taking opioids for chronic pain could face health care access problems”The ongoing opioid epidemic involves several interrelated forces. Systems modeling, the mathematical approach used in our analysis, allows us to better understand the underlying dynamics and to quantify the impact of different interventions,” says Qiushi Chen, PhD, lead author, an assistant professor in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (https://www.ime.psu.edu/) at The Pennsylvania State University, and an affiliated researcher at the MGH ITA.Co-author Marc Larochelle, MD, MPH, of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, an assistant professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, says, “This study demonstrates that initiatives focused on the prescription opioid supply are insufficient to bend the curve of opioid overdose deaths in the short and medium term. We need policy, public health and health care delivery efforts to amplify harm reduction efforts and access to evidence-based treatment.”Chhatwal adds, “If we rely solely on controlling the supply of prescription opioids, we will fail miserably at stemming the opioid overdose crisis. Illicit opioids now cause the majority of overdose deaths, and such deaths are predicted to increase by 260 percent – from 19,000 to 68,000 – between 2015 and 2025. A multipronged approach – including strategies to identify those with opioid use disorder, improved access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine, and expansion of harm reduction services such as the overdose-reversal drug naloxone – will be required to reduce the rate of opioid overdose deaths.” Chhatwal is an assistant professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.​last_img read more

New process enables 3D printing of biological tissues without scaffolds

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019Engineered tissues and organs have been grown with various degrees of success in labs for many years. Many of them have used a scaffolding approach where cells are seeded onto biodegradable supportive structures that provide the underlying architecture of the organ or tissue desired.But scaffolds can be problematic — ultimately, they should degrade and disappear, but timing that decomposition to coincide with the maturation of the organ is tricky, and sometimes degradation byproducts can be toxic. Scaffolds also can interfere with the development of cell-to-cell connections, which are important for the formation of functional tissues.Now, a research team led by Eben Alsberg, the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Bioengineering and Orthopaedics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has developed a process that enables 3D printing of biological tissues without scaffolds using “ink” made up of only stem cells. They report their results in the journal Materials Horizons. The micron-scale hydrogel beads allow the nozzle of the 3D printer to move through it and deposit cells with minimal resistance to that nozzle movement or the ejection of the cells. The gel beads support the cells as they are printed and keeps them in place and preserves their shape.Once the cells are printed into the hydrogel bead matrix, it is exposed to UV light, which cross-links the beads together, in effect freezing them in place. This lets the printed cells connect with each other, mature and grow within a stable structure. The media that bathes the cells flows easily through the cross-linked gel beads and can be changed out as needed to provide fresh nutrients and dispose of waste products made by the cells. The hydrogel beads can be removed through gentle agitation, or controlling their degradation, leaving the intact tissue behind.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populations”The hydrogel bead bath has unique properties which allow for both printing of the cell-only bioink in complex architectures, and subsequent temporary stabilization of these cell-only structures to allow for cell-cell junctions to form,” Alsberg said. “Using chemistry we can then regulate when the beads go away.”The cells Alsberg’s team used are stem cells — those that can differentiate into a wide variety of other cell types. They used the stem cells to 3D print a cartilage ear and a rodent-sized “femur” in the hydrogel bead bath. The cells they printed were able to form stable, cell-cell connections through specialized proteins.”For the first time, cell-only constructs can be printed in intricate forms that are made up of different cell types without a hydrogel carrier or traditional scaffold that can then be stabilized for a period of a day to weeks. We’ve demonstrated that cell aggregates can be organized and assembled using this strategy to form larger functional tissues, which may be valuable for tissue engineering or regenerative medicine, drug screening and as models to study developmental biology,” Alsberg said. Source:University of Illinois at ChicagoJournal reference:Alsberg, E. et al. (2019) Individual cell-only bioink and photocurable supporting medium for 3D printing and generation of engineered tissues with complex geometries. Materials Horizons. doi.org/10.1039/C9MH00375D. Our cell only printing platform allows for the 3D printing of cells without a classical scaffold support using a temporary hydrogel bead bath in which printing takes place.”Eben Alsberg, University of Illinois at Chicagolast_img read more

Data collected by ESHRE show rise in use of IVF in infertility

first_img Clinics in Europe continue to favor ICSI over IVF by around two-to-one (359,858 ICSI, 128,626 IVF cycles), a pattern now evident throughout the world. ICSI was developed in the early 1990s as a specific treatment for male infertility (low sperm counts, poor sperm quality) but is now clearly used for fertilization in non-male cases. Pregnancy rates are higher with five-day old embryos (blastocysts) than with three-day, another widely favored strategy. Pregnancy rates from egg donation continue to rise (now at about 50%), making egg donation the most successful treatment available. The rate of twin pregnancy continues to decline in Europe, in 2016 to around 15%. Similarly, the rate of single embryo transfers continues to rise – from 11% in 1997 to above 40% in 2016. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019The latest annual data collected by ESHRE from European national registries (for 2016) show another rise in the cumulative use of IVF in the treatment of infertility, although success rates after IVF or ICSI appear to have reached a peak, with pregnancy rates per started treatment calculated at 27.1% after IVF and 24.3% after ICSI. The figures, although indicative of a slight decline in pregnancy rate, continue a recent trend of conventional IVF cycles performing better than ICSI.The one treatment in which cycle numbers and success rates continue to rise is in frozen embryo cycles in which embryos cryopreserved in storage are thawed for transfer in a later cycle. Pregnancy rate per started treatment in 2016 was 30.5%, an increase over 2015 of 1.3%. Around one half of the total European cycles analyzed by ESHRE were transfers from frozen embryos, also an increase over 2015. Dr Christian de Geyter, chair of ESHRE’s European IVF Monitoring Consortium, said the number of frozen embryo transfers was likely to increase as more and more clinics adopt a single embryo transfer policy (and thus store more embryos) or take up ‘freeze-all’ strategies to avoid embryo transfer in an initial stimulated cycle.In Europe, Spain remains the most active country in assisted reproduction, with a record a record 140,909 treatment cycles performed. Spain continues to set the pace ahead of Russia (121,235 cycles), France (104,733) and Germany (969,226). The cycles monitored by ESHRE include treatments with IVF, ICSI, intrauterine insemination and egg donation.(2)The report covers a total of more than 800,000 treatment cycles performed in 2016, with 165,000 babies born – and represents the largest and most accurate snapshot of assisted reproduction in Europe.(2) Dr de Geyter will present the results today in Vienna at the 35th Annual Meeting of ESHRE.He estimates that around 84% of all European assisted reproduction fertility treatments are now included in the ESHRE monitoring program – although this year (for 2016) without ther inclusion of any data so far from the UK, which usually performs around 60,000 treatments a year.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyMaternal obesity may negatively affect children’s lung developmentWomen’s pre-pregnancy obesity changes breast milk contents which can affect infant growthAmong other findings: ‘Success rates have stabilized,’ said Dr de Geyter, ‘although outcome in egg donation and with use of frozen embryos is still moving upwards. The biggest upwards movement, however, is from treatments with frozen eggs, which have been revolutionized by the widespread introduction of vitrification.’ Twenty-two countries reported activity in egg donation treatment with frozen banked eggs (11,196 cycles), achieving a pregnancy rate of 43.7% and delivery rate of 29.9%.Dr de Geyter also noted that the availability of assisted reproduction treatment remains very patchy in Europe, with Denmark and Belgium each offering more than 2500 treatment cycles per million population, while others (such as Austria and Italy) offer considerably fewer. A study calculated that the global need for advanced fertility treatments was around 1500 cycles per million population per year. ‘Only a minority of European countries meet this need,’ said De Geyter. Source:European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryologylast_img read more

Novel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully tested

first_imgHoneybee – Image Credit: Daniel Prudek / Shutterstock Why adjuvants are usedFor successful immunotherapy, the antigen used must be capable of eliciting an adequate but not harmful immune reaction in the body. If the antigen is too weak, the time required to build up an immune reaction to the point where it is protective could be unduly long, making the process time-consuming, increasing the number of doses of venom, which is costly, and reducing the acceptability to potential users. Moreover, patients on immunotherapy may still suffer anaphylactic reactions while on immunotherapy until clinically useful levels of the antibodies are achieved in the body. This could defer the utility of the treatment for a prolonged period.To circumvent this, substances called adjuvants are commonly used in vaccines against infectious agents. These make them much more immunogenic, or capable of raising an effective immune response against the associated antigen.The Australian researchers who conducted the current trial used bee sting venom associated with a unique adjuvant compound called Advax, based on a complex sugar called delta inulin. Advax does not cause inflammation independently. The aim of the trial was to see how safe and effective honeybee venom immunotherapy (HBVIT) was when the venom was combined with Advax.Related StoriesComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the US$3.1 million NIH funding awarded to develop universal flu vaccineNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineThe Advax adjuvant was developed by Vaxine Pty Ltd in Adelaide, Australia, and has been a part of vaccines against hepatitis, flu (both seasonal and pandemic strains), malaria, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, among others. This study brings the number of individuals who have received this adjuvant in various vaccines to over one thousand.What was done?The current randomized controlled trial was performed on 27 adults who had a history of developing rapid systemic allergies in response to bee stings. The patients were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine with or without Advax adjuvant. After maintenance doses were attained, the vaccine was continued once a month for all patients for 30 more months.All patients reported a good safety profile, with no severe adverse reactions. By the 14th week, both groups showed peak levels of IgG antibodies. Blood tests showed that all 27 patients developed blocking IgG antibodies, though in different patterns, early in the course of HBVIT, and this response was sustained.However, the use of Advax significantly boosted the immune reaction to the vaccine, with the peak levels being attained earlier and reaching higher levels, and remaining high for longer periods. This would make it much easier to achieve and maintain useful levels of antibody against the bee venom, to neutralize the venom.What do the results mean? By Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJul 17 2019A recently completed trial on a bee sting vaccine containing a novel adjuvant called Advax to increase its efficacy has raised hopes that severe allergic reactions, sometimes fatal, to bee venom in allergic people could soon be a thing of the past.  The vaccine was designed to neutralize the venom of the European honeybee. The research titled, ‘Randomized controlled trial demonstrating the benefits of delta inulin adjuvanted immunotherapy in patients with bee venom allergy’, is published in the The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.In most cases, a bee sting is quite painful but the trouble ends there. With respect to a few individuals, however, the venom causes an overwhelming allergic reaction called anaphylaxis to occur which can even snuff out life if not treated in time. This reaction can be prevented in the vast majority of cases by immunotherapy, a procedure in which the agent causing allergy is injected into the body in minute doses, building up over time. This process stimulates the production of blocking antibodies against the venom in the body of the allergic individual. These bind to the venom as soon as it enters the body, preventing it from evoking anaphylaxis. Researcher Professor Nikolai Petrovsky comments, “Our technology is like adding a turbocharger to a car and in this case makes the bee allergy vaccine much more powerful, allowing the immune system to better neutralise the bee venom and prevent allergic symptoms.” Another colleage, Anthony Smith, explains that the currently available formulation for immunotherapy against bee sting venom is so weak that people need to take 50 injectable doses over a long period of 3 years to achieve a useful level of immunity. The Advax adjuvant tested in this trial will reduce that considerably while maintaining a high level of immune antibodies against the venom. He says, “The current treatment option for serious bee venom allergies is lengthy and cumbersome, so I hope this enhanced bee venom therapy brings about faster, but longer lasting protection to bee stings for allergic individuals.”The study was carried out at Flinders University and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Journal reference:Randomized controlled trial demonstrating the benefits of delta inulin adjuvanted immunotherapy in patients with bee venom allergy, Heddle, Robert et al., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2019.03.035, https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(19)30620-7/fulltextlast_img read more

VW hid devastating result from diesel exhaust tests on monkeys

Citation: VW hid ‘devastating’ result from diesel exhaust tests on monkeys (2018, January 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-vw-hid-devastating-result-diesel.html Explore further German auto giant Volkswagen tried to keep secret the results of a diesel emissions test on monkeys because it showed a worse health impact than expected, a news report said Wednesday. Germany probes Bosch workers in US over diesel emissions The firm’s suppression of the widely-condemned study emerged on the same day prosecutors in two German carmaking strongholds pressed forward with investigations of industry stalwarts Bosch and Audi over diesel emissions cheating.Bild daily reported that the exhaust fumes tests on 10 monkeys that have sparked fresh public outrage following VW’s emissions-cheating scandal “were never supposed to come to light” because the results were “too devastating”.Amid a storm of criticism over the experiment and over separate tests on German human volunteers commissioned by an auto industry-financed research institute, VW on Tuesday suspended its chief lobbyist Thomas Steg and labelled the testing “unethical and repulsive”.The human and animal tests were commissioned by an organisation funded by VW, Daimler and BMW, the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), which has since been disbanded.Daimler said in a statement Wednesday that it was suspending an employee who had sat on the EUGT board with “immediate effect”.Business daily Handelsblatt reported that the suspension had fallen on the firm’s head of environmental protection Udo Hartmann.”We will fully investigate the facts and make sure such things do not happen again,” the Mercedes-Benz maker said, insisting it did not have influence on the study’s design.”We are appalled by the nature and implementation of the studies… We condemn the experiments in the strongest terms.”‘Defeat device’The US study using monkeys in an Albuquerque, New Mexico laboratory, which VW said took place in 2015, was meant to show that the diesel exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle were cleaner than those from an older Ford pickup.”This was not what the results showed at all, however,” reported Bild, citing internal study papers, despite the fact that the VW model had been fitted with a so-called defeat device that reduced emissions while testing.The Bild report said that after four hours of exposure, blood was taken from the animals and a special endoscope was inserted into their windpipes and bronchia through their noses or mouths.It said some of the monkeys that had inhaled VW fumes showed a higher degree of inflammation than other animals.The new scandal follows VW’s admission in 2015 that it had manipulated 11 million diesel cars worldwide, equipping them with cheating software to make them seem less polluting in the lab than they were on the road.Suspicion spreadsSince then, suspicion has spread to other companies in Germany and abroad.In the Bosch investigation announced Wednesday, Stuttgart prosecutors said there was “initial suspicion” that two Chrysler models, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck, had been fitted with defeat devices.Some “relevant acts” to the potential fraud happened in their jurisdiction, the prosecutors said.”Bosch has supported the ongoing investigation since the allegations became known and is cooperating with the relevant authorities without limitations,” a spokesman for the group said.Workers at the world’s biggest car parts maker are already under investigation in three separate probes by the Stuttgart prosecutors over diesel emissions from vehicles produced by Volkswagen, VW subsidiary Audi and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler.Italian-American group Fiat-Chrysler is under investigation in the United States and France, accused of similar behaviour to Volkswagen’s.Meanwhile, Munich prosecutors raided the homes of six current and former Audi employees Wednesday, the second such searches against the company within less than a year following a first round last March.Some 13 people associated with the Ingolstadt-based firm are now suspects in the probe, prosecutors said, most of them engineers.Prosecutors are scrutinising motor development engineers closely to check whether an evidence trail leads back to the Audi board, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reported. VW admitted in 2015 to fitting emissions cheating software into millions of diesel vehicles worldwide © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Sites want your anonymized social media data

first_imgSocial media sites’ responses to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and new European privacy regulations have given users much more control over who can access their data, and for what purposes. To me, as a social media user, these are positive developments: It’s scary to think what these platforms could do with the troves of data available about me. But as a researcher, increased restrictions on data sharing worry me. Explore further Balancing personal privacy with detailed insights. Credit: Dawn Hudson/Shutterstock.com This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. 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. Citation: Sites want your (anonymized) social media data (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-sites-anonymized-social-media.htmlcenter_img Provided by The Conversation That’s the point of marketing, of course – but social media is different because the information is about me specifically. And using that information can affect much more than what food I buy, such as whom I vote for. However, as a researcher in finance, I also recognize that the same data can be used to help us understand collective behaviors that are otherwise impossible to explain.Some of my research, for example, explores short-term trends in stock prices. Financial experts have found that over the long term, a company’s stock prices are driven by the firm’s future value. Yet over the course of any single day, stock prices can vary widely. Many finance researchers and financial analysts will tell you that these movements are meaningless noise, seemingly random pieces of information about companies influencing investors’ perceptions and causing stock prices to vary constantly.But by analyzing social media data, I can actually understand what that noise is, where it comes from and what it means. For instance, what people write on Twitter about the new iPhone will affect Apple’s stock price, sometimes within minutes – but even over the course of days. The speed of the effect depends on the importance or prominence of the person sending the tweet, as well as how quickly others – including the media – pick up the message. Results from my research can help investors fine-tune when and how they enter the market. If, for example, social media users believe that the newest iPhone will not be as good as expected, investors might hold off on their investment in Apple stock. That could free them up to invest in something else with better buzz, in hopes of higher returns.Anonymizing dataIt’s true – and concerning – that some presumably unethical people have tried to use social media data for their own benefit. But the data are not the actual problem, and cutting researchers’ access to data is not the solution. Doing so would also deprive society of the benefits of social media analysis.Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this dilemma. Anonymization of data can keep people’s individual privacy intact, while giving researchers access to collective data that can yield important insights.There’s even a strong model for how to strike that balance efficiently: the U.S. Census Bureau. For decades, that government agency has collected extremely personal data from households all across the country: ages, employment status, income levels, Social Security numbers and political affiliations. The results it publishes are very rich, but also not traceable to any individual.It often is technically possible to reverse anonymity protections on data, using multiple pieces of anonymized information to identify the person they all relate to. The Census Bureau takes steps to prevent this.For instance, when members of the public access census data, the Census Bureau restricts information that is likely to identify specific individuals, such as reporting there is just one person in a community with a particularly high- or low-income level.For researchers the process is somewhat different, but provides significant protections both in law and in practice. Scholars have to pass the Census Bureau’s vetting process to make sure they are legitimate, and must undergo training about what they can and cannot do with the data. The penalties for violating the rules include not only being barred from using census data in the future, but also civil fines and even criminal prosecution.Even then, what researchers get comes without a name or Social Security number. Instead, the Census Bureau uses what it calls “protected identification keys,” a random number that replaces data that would allow researchers to identify individuals. Each person’s data is labeled with his or her own identification key, allowing researchers to link information of different types. For instance, a researcher wanting to track how long it takes people to complete a college degree could follow individuals’ education levels over time, thanks to the identification keys.Social media platforms could implement a similar anonymization process instead of increasing hurdles – and cost – to access their data. They could assign users identification numbers instead of sharing their real identities, and could agree to government regulations defining who could get access to what data, including real penalties for violating the rules. Then researchers could discover the insights offered by social media use, just like they do with census data, without threatening people’s privacy. I am among the many scholars who depend on data from social media to gain insights into people’s actions. In a rush to protect individuals’ privacy, I worry that an unintended casualty could be knowledge about human nature. My most recent work, for example, analyzes feelings people express on Twitter to explain why the stock market fluctuates so much over the course of a single day. There are applications well beyond finance. Other scholars have studied mass transit rider satisfaction, emergency alert systems’ function during natural disasters and how online interactions influence people’s desire to lead healthy lifestyles.This poses a dilemma – not just for me personally, but for society as a whole. Most people don’t want social media platforms to share or sell their personal information, unless specifically authorized by the individual user. But as members of a collective society, it’s useful to understand the social forces at work influencing everyday life and long-term trends. Before the recent crises, Facebook and other companies had already been making it hard for legitimate researchers to use their data, including by making it more difficult and more expensive to download and access data for analysis. The renewed public pressure for privacy means it’s likely to get even tougher.Using social media data in researchIt’s definitely alarming to consider the prospect that people or companies might analyze my data and find ways to influence me to make decisions I might not otherwise – or that are even counter to my own best interests. I need think only of the number of times I’ve seen a TV ad for pizza during a sporting event and ordered a pizza. Facebook ‘not aware of any abuse’ of data by phone makerslast_img read more

Making batteries from thin air

first_img Provided by Freshscience Currently, we mine the materials we use to make batteries. One of these materials is graphite—a type of carbon—that has specific properties that makes it good at storing electrical energy, including high conductivity and chemical stability.But will this secure our long-term energy future?”As we move more and more to renewable sources of energy we’re going to need a lot of batteries to store energy, and manage the variability of the sun and the wind,” says Dr Jessica Allen, who is part of the research team.”We need to think about where materials for these batteries will come from, and look for more sustainable alternatives.”That alternative turns out to be a well-known chemical reaction, in reverse.When carbon (for example in the form of coal) is burnt in oxygen it produces energy, and carbon dioxide as a by-product. This is the principle behind coal-fired power stations.Jessica and her colleagues have found they can reverse this process using elevated temperatures and chemical intermediates. By using heat from the sun they can transform carbon dioxide emissions from industry into carbon, with oxygen as the only by-product.”This method allows us to make carbon which is even better at storing electrical energy than the mined graphite,” says Jessica, “which enhances the performance and stability of the final batteries we produce.””This is just one example of how solar manufacturing could be a game changer for Australian industry, and allow us to export of high-value products derived from our nation’s biggest untapped resource—the sun.” Citation: Making batteries from thin air (2018, September 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-batteries-thin-air.html Explore further Sunlight is being used to convert carbon dioxide into batteries, thanks to a new technology being developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle.center_img New carbon could signal step-change for the world’s most popular batteries Dr Jessica Allen is developing advanced materials to make better batteries. Credit: University of Newcastle 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

India not excluded from peace process in Afghanistan China

first_img Press Trust of India Beijing July 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 19:46 IST India and China have also conducted a joint programme to train diplomats of Afghanistan. (Representational Image)India has not been excluded from the efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan, China said Monday, days after it hosted a key meeting with the US, Russia and Pakistan on facilitating peace process in the war-torn country.Representatives of China, Russia, and the US held their 3rd consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing on July 10-11 following which they also requested Pakistan to join for a surprise quadrilateral meeting.”China, Russia, and the United States welcomed Pakistan joining the consultation and believe that Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan”, a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently holding talks with the Taliban to work out an agreement for withdrawal of the US troops and participation of the rebel group in the Afghan government, attended the meeting.Briefing reporters about the meeting here on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said “we have reached some consensus and exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and our effort to help to restore peace and security”.He said all four countries had agreed to step up coordination and communication and jointly promote reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan.Hinting that the quadrilateral meeting could be institutionalised in the future, Geng said the future meetings of the four countries will take place with mutual consultations.Asked why India was not invited to the meeting, he said “China has been in close communication and coordination with all parties including India” on the Afghanistan issue.The four countries have decided to hold the meeting based on mutual understanding, he said.”I believe we (China, Russia, the US and Pakistan) don’t exclude India in discussing and helping early settlement of the Afghanistan issue,” he said.The invitation to Pakistan to take part in the meeting came ahead of its Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first visit to the US starting from July 21 to hold talks with US President Donald Trump during which the peace process in Afghanistan is expected to come up.In December last year, President Donald Trump announced that the US would pull out troops from Afghanistan.The US still has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, nearly 18 years after the US-led invasion to topple the Taliban.Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of harbouring the Taliban militants who have been carrying out violent attacks and destabilising the country.Last month, China formally acknowledged that it hosted a Taliban delegation headed by its chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar for talks here.The meeting was seen as part of China’s stepped-up efforts to enlarge its strategic role in Afghanistan as the US is negotiating its way out of the war-torn country.Bardar has also been holding talks with Khalilzad.China, a close ally of Pakistan, has also been trying to iron out differences between Pakistan and Afghanistan over Kabul’s allegations that the Taliban has been making use of Pakistani territory to stage attacks in Afghanistan.China has also been holding talks with India over the situation in Afghanistan.Chinese Special envoy in Afghanistan Deng Xijun, who visited New Delhi in May, held talks with top Indian officials of the External Affairs Ministry.India and China have also conducted a joint programme to train diplomats of Afghanistan.Trump in his new South Asia strategy unveiled in August 2017 had sought a major role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan.He had accused Pakistan of giving “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror,” and said the time had come “for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace”.ALSO READ | India building 61 strategic roads along Pakistan, China bordersALSO WATCH | Indian troops beef up defences at India-China borderFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Next India not excluded from peace process in Afghanistan: ChinaRepresentatives of China, Russia, and the US held their 3rd consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing on July 10-11 following which they also requested Pakistan to join for a surprise quadrilateral meeting.advertisementlast_img read more

King leaves for Saudi Arabia July 12

first_img Nation 11 Jul 2019 State holiday on July 31 for Pahang KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah will leave for a special visit to Saudi Arabia beginning Friday (July 12) until July 14.According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, the three-day visit is at the invitation of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.”The special visit by the Agong to Saudi Arabia symbolises the close and special bilateral ties between the two countries.”It will also foster ties between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia,” it said.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– Related News Sultan Abdullah will be accompanied by Foreign Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah as well as senior Government and Istana Negara officials. – Bernama {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}center_img Nation 09 Jul 2019 Pahang to get another public holiday on July 31 Related News Nation 12 Jun 2019 King arrives in Abu Dhabi for special visitlast_img read more

Audi performs stunts in front of Parliament Watch

first_img Arvind Ojha New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:35 IST The whole incident was captured on a CCTV camera. (Photo: Screengrab from the video)HIGHLIGHTSThe incident happened at around 4 amPolice are currently looking for the driver of the AudiAn investigation, in this case, is underwayAn Audi was spotted performing stunts in front of Parliament on Saturday morning. The incident happened at around 4 am at the heavily guarded Vijay Chowk area where the Prime Minister’s Office is only at a short distance.Police are currently looking for the driver of the Audi which was spotted performing stunts in the early hours of Saturday in front of Parliament.AUDI PERFORMS STUNTS NEAR PARLIAMENT: WATCHThe whole incident was captured on CCTV. In the CCTV footage, an Audi is seen circling the police kiosk two times before disappearing from the scene.An investigation, in this case, is underway.(With inputs from Arvind Ojha)Also Read | Ranchi death reminds what not to do on escalatorsAlso Read | Chennai students climb, fall off moving bus while celebrating Bus Day | WatchAlso Watch | Watch: Audi spotted performing stunt at Delhi’s Vijay ChowkFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byChanchal Chauhan Audi performs stunts in front of Parliament | WatchPolice are currently looking for the driver of the Audi which was spotted performing stunts in the early hours of Saturday in front of Parliament.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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