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Updated: 1 hour 5 min ago

Amazon fires stir bitter dispute over who is to blame

1 hour 26 min ago

As fires raged in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government on Thursday denounced international critics who say President Jair Bolsonaro is not doing enough to curb massive deforestation. The growing threat to what some call "the lungs of the planet" has ignited a bitter dispute about who is to blame during the tenure of a leader who described Brazil's rainforest protections as an obstacle to economic development. On Thursday, Bolsonaro said there was a "very strong" indication that some non-governmental groups could be setting blazes in retaliation for losing state funds under his administration.

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Giraffes move closer to endangered species protection

1 hour 28 min ago

Nations around the world moved Thursday to protect giraffes as an endangered species for the first time, drawing praise from conservationists and scowls from some sub-Saharan African nations. Thursday's vote by a key committee at the World Wildlife Conference known as CITES paves the way for the measure's likely approval by its plenary next week. The plan would regulate world trade in giraffe parts, including hides, bone carvings and meat, while stopping short of a full ban.

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Tether sentiment mysteriously precedes USDT market cap shifts by up to 12 days, new study finds

1 hour 30 min ago

Redditors appear to influence shifts in Tether’s market cap—often suspiciously far in advance.

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UN chief Guterres says 'deeply concerned' by Amazon fires

1 hour 31 min ago

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Thursday he was "deeply concerned" by wildfires that have devoured large sections of the Amazon rainforest, blanketing several Brazilian cities in thick smoke. "I'm deeply concerned by the fires in the Amazon rainforest. In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity," he said on Twitter.

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New images from asteroid probe offer clues on planet formation

1 hour 53 min ago

Photographs snapped by a shoebox-sized probe that explored the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu have offered new clues about its composition, insights that will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system. The German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) hitched a ride on Japan's Hayabusa2 spaceship, touching down on the 900-meter (3,000 feet) wide asteroid, whose orbit lies mostly between Earth and Mars, on October 3, 2018. Ryugu's gravity is 66,500 times weaker than Earth's, and the forward motion of wheels would have launched MASCOT back into space.

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Democratic National Committee Votes To Reject Climate Debate

1 hour 58 min ago

The vote came a day after the 2020 climate candidate Jay Inslee, who had been pushing for the debate, dropped out of the race.

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New images from asteroid probe offer clues on planet formation

2 hours 8 min ago

Photographs snapped by a shoebox-sized probe that explored the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu have offered new clues about its composition, insights that will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system. The German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) hitched a ride on Japan's Hayabusa2 spaceship, touching down on the 900-meter (3,000 feet) wide asteroid, whose orbit lies mostly between Earth and Mars, on October 3, 2018. Ryugu's gravity is 66,500 times weaker than Earth's, and the forward motion of wheels would have launched MASCOT back into space.

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The Government Wants Your DNA. Don’t Run Away

3 hours 47 min ago

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the U.S. government’s most intriguing health programs is going to start bearing fruit soon. And the more people who join, the better.The National Institutes of Health’s “All of Us” project, launched last year, aims to collect genetic information from at least 1 million Americans and make it broadly available to researchers looking for medical breakthroughs. At least 230,000 people have enrolled in the free program, and 175,000 have contributed biologic samples.It’s not just about blood and spit. The program collects health questionnaires, electronic records, Fitbit data, and physical measurements from people who opt in. And unlike other similar efforts, it’s committed to giving data back to recruits in a useful way. On Wednesday, the NIH announced a partnership with San Francisco Bay area startup Color, which will provide genetic counseling services for participants. Color will help people understand how genetic test results might affect their health, adding a tangible benefit on top of the initiative’s more abstract goals. The NIH plans to incorporate health claims and even air-quality data, and will follow participants for at least a decade, making the program one of the most ambitious research projects ever attempted – some might even say intrusive. Yes, such a large-scale initiative raises significant privacy issues that will require strict safeguards. But the program’s long-term potential to improve health across a wide swath of the population, particularly those in marginalized groups and under-served areas, makes it an initiative worth rallying around.The falling cost of genetic testing is already changing health care. Researchers have developed gene therapies that can alter the course of deadly diseases with a single treatment, as well as effective cancer drugs targeted at specific mutations. Consumer-oriented testing companies are offering genetic insights (of varying quality) into everything from dietary issues to vulnerability to disease. So-called precision medicine that is informed by genetic data is still the exception rather than the rule, however, and there are considerable gaps in our knowledge. Like just about everything in health care, the benefits of these advances disproportionately flow to wealthy and well-insured Americans. The limited data that is broadly available to researchers isn’t diverse and is often divorced from crucial information on the many environmental and lifestyle factors that impact health. The NIH program is a promising step forward. Underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, make up 80% of participants so far. The program will continue to target those groups, which will help make future research findings significantly more reliable and easier to generalize. And the more expansive genetic dataset, especially when connected to the variety of other information collected by the study, will help scientists ask and answer a wider range of questions.  While there are real privacy concerns related to the collection of genetic information, data security and privacy protection are a priority, and the data available to approved researchers will have identifying information removed. The scientists at the NIH are also likely to be better stewards than the various for-profit companies that are already selling the genetic data they are collecting. The program will provide useful data and support to participants as soon as next year, when genetic testing of samples starts. Genetic counseling will be broadly available though the partnership with Color, and will be targeted at people with genetic variations that link to serious diseases. Counselors will  help participants decipher results and determine possible next steps. The potentially lifesaving benefits of the service extend beyond participating individuals to family members who might have the same genetic variation.The NIH estimates that 30,000 people will get actionable information about a serious condition and that more than 90% of participants will get useful facts on how well they might respond to certain medicines. The available insights are likely to become more valuable over time as we learn more, possibly as a result of this effort. This program isn’t going to result in novel public health interventions or new drugs overnight. It may, however, make a difference in individual lives as soon as next year and will help many more in time. That’s why it deserves support – and yes, by that I mean with a vial of your blood.To contact the author of this story: Max Nisen at mnisen@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Max Nisen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering biotech, pharma and health care. He previously wrote about management and corporate strategy for Quartz and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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MyoKardia Begins Dosing in Phase I Study on Heart Candidate

4 hours 15 min ago

MyoKardia (MYOK) doses the first patient in phase I study on MYK-224, which is being evaluated for treating patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart disease.

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Last of its kind rocket puts GPS satellite in orbit

4 hours 42 min ago

A rocket that's the last of its kind delivered the newest, most powerful GPS satellite to orbit for the Air Force on Thursday. The Delta IV Medium ended its 17-year run with 29 launches. Denver-based United Launch Alliance said it will be replaced by the still-in-development Vulcan rocket.

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Killer smog: Even small amounts of air pollution linked to risk of early death, study finds

4 hours 59 min ago

Smog isn't just annoying, it's deadly: Exposure to toxic air pollutants is linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory death rates, study says.

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Hundreds of Pyrenees livestock farmers protest predator bears

5 hours 13 min ago

Hundreds of Spanish livestock farmers staged a protest Thursday in the Pyrenees town of Ainsa against the re-introduction of brown bears to the mountain region saying the predators are a menace to their flocks. The decision to bring the endangered bears back to the region was taken "without consideration for the lives of villagers and livestock farmers," said Felix Bariain, head of the UAG farmers union in the Navarre region of northern Spain. "We ask that the violent bears be removed from the Pyrenees," he told AFP.

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Wildlife meeting backs more protection for giraffes

6 hours 32 min ago

Wildlife-supporting countries on Thursday backed regulating international trade in giraffes in a bid to offer more protection to the gentle giants, feared to be facing a "silent extinction". The vote in Geneva by parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) recognises for the first time that international trade is part of the threat facing giraffes. The African giraffe population as a whole has shrunk by an estimated 40 percent over the past three decades, to just under 100,000 animals, according to the best figures available to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Scientists apologise for accepting money from Jeffrey Epstein as academia engulfed by scandal

6 hours 44 min ago

Leading American scientists have apologised for taking money from Jeffrey Epstein, as the academic community became engulfed in the scandal. As more details of his predatory activities came to light, several leading universities and respected figures were struggling to contain the backlash. It saw one prominent laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the firing line with its director apologising and pledging to return the money paid by Epstein. Another Harvard academic has apologised for meeting with Epstein after the billionaire’s Florida conviction on child prostitution charges. More scientists are likely to find themselves under the microscope over the next few weeks as critics demand to know how much Epstein’s beneficiaries knew of his activities, including his interest in eugenics and plans to “improve” the human race by impregnating 20 women at a time. Death of a financier | Jeffrey Epstein’s final days Scientists faced a dilemma, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson,  professor of communication and the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “Scientists need funding for important work and many forms of it are underfunded.” “If the funding is for legitimate scientific work, there is nothing wrong with accepting support from a billionaire.”  "However it would have been wrong for scientists to accept his funding if they were aware that he was planning a eugenics experiment that might draw legitimacy from his association with them. Epstein reportedly had plans to do things which were highly problematic, such as creating generations of himself.” And if scientists were aware that  Epstein was engaged in criminal forms of exploitation, "they were legally and ethically required to report him."  Epstein was a generous benefactor to scientific institutions for many years, in particular, Harvard. Despite never having completed a college degree, Epstein prided himself on his association with the university, even being pictured wearing a Harvard sweatshirt. The vehicle for many of the donations was the Jeffrey Epstein Vl Foundation, which was established in 2000 with the mission to “support cutting edge science and science education around the world”. According to the Foundation’s website, its donations included a $35 million gift in 2003 to establish the Programme for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard. Other sources suggest the figure was a more modest $6.5 million. He wined and dined some of the world’s most eminent scientists, including Stephen Hawking and George Church, a geneticist at Harvard. Harvard received millions from Jeffrey Epstein Credit: Paul Giamou/Getty Images Prof. Church has issued a public apology for meeting Epstein when he completed his 13-month sentence after pleading guilty to charges of soliciting and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. In an interview with STAT, a health and science website, he admitted that he had shown poor judgement.  “There should have been more conversations about, should we be doing this, should we be helping this guy? There was just a lot of nerd tunnel vision.” The controversy has caused considerable damage to the reputation of the  Media Lab at MIT whose achievements include developing robotic prosthetics capable of imitating the human gait has been badly hit by the scandal. The donations received by MIT were modest compared with Harvard. One estimate suggests that the figure was “in excess of $200,000”. Joi Ito, its director, issued a public apology admitting he had both allowed the Lab to accept money and allowed Epstein to invest in his personal fund for tech start-up companies. Jeffrey Epstein: The tangled web left behind “I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of,” he wrote. “That said, I take full responsibility for my error in judgment. I am deeply sorry to the survivors, to the Media Lab, and to the MIT community for bringing such a person into our network.” He has promised to return the money as well as raising an equivalent amount which he will direct towards supporting the victims of trafficking. The group was also deserted other figures including  Ethan Zuckerman, director of the lab’s Center for Civic Media, who severed his connections with the institution, even though he had no dealings with Epstein himself. “My logic was simple,” he wrote. “The work my group does focuses on social justice and on the inclusion of marginalised individuals and points of view. It’s hard to do that work with a straight face in a place that violated its own values so clearly in working with Epstein and in disguising that relationship.” Nathan Matias, a visiting scholar, also ended his association with the lab on Thursday night. The Telegraph approached both MIT and Harvard for comment.

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Uranus is hiding 13 invisible rings. These images captured their warm glow for the first time.

6 hours 58 min ago

Astronomers measuring heat in Uranus's atmosphere stumbled upon its rings and measured their temperature for the first time: -320 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Fires in the Amazon could be part of a doomsday scenario that sees the rainforest spewing carbon into the atmosphere and speeding up climate change even more

7 hours 12 min ago

Fears for the Amazon's future have been heightened under Brazil's new, far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who encourages industry in the region.

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Sanders Releases ‘Green New Deal’ He Says Will Create 20 Million Jobs

7 hours 51 min ago

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on Thursday released his massive climate change plan, a more detailed version of the Green New Deal, which he said will address the "global emergency" of climate change and create 20 million news jobs."The scientific community is telling us in no uncertain terms that we have less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy," the Vermont senator wrote. "The climate crisis is not only the single greatest challenge facing our country; it is also our single greatest opportunity to build a more just and equitable future, but we must act immediately.""When we are in the White House, we will launch the decade of the Green New Deal, a 10-year mobilization to avert climate catastrophe," Sanders said.The $16.3 trillion program will create 20 million “good paying, union jobs” in a number of fields, including steel and auto manufacturing, construction, renewable power plants, sustainable agriculture, engineering, and public land preservation, the Sanders campaign promised.The decade-long project aims for a total transition to renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030 and complete decarbonization in the U.S. by 2050.The project would invest $16.3 trillion public investment towards efforts to combat climate change, a plan meant to mirror “the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII.” Sanders' plan would also $200 billion towards the international Green Climate Fund. Sanders would also invest $40 billion in a Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, which would help "under-resourced groups," communities of color, Native Americans, those with disabilities, children and the elderly to "recover from and prepare for" the effects of climate change.Sanders also promises to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2017, and declare climate change a national emergency.The two-time presidential candidate, currently polling behind frontrunner Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren, earlier this year signed onto a version of the sweeping Green New Deal, introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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GSK's long acting HIV injection gets boost from study

7 hours 56 min ago

ViiV, in which Pfizer and Shionogi have small stakes, is working on two-drug combinations and will use the lower drug burden in comparison with three-drug cocktails such as Gilead's Biktarvy as its main selling point to patients and physicians. It is banking on longer-term studies to yield hard evidence of fewer side effects over time.

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Dunnedin Trenches 0.89% Copper Over 46.0 m and 3.26 g/t Gold Over 7.0 m at MPD Copper-Gold Porphyry Project, Southern British Columbia

8 hours 46 min ago

Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - August 22, 2019) - - Dunnedin Ventures Inc. (TSXV: DVI) (the "Company" or "Dunnedin") today announced first results from the 2019 exploration program at its 100% owned MPD Copper-Gold Porphyry Project in Southern Central British Columbia. The MPD project is accessible year-round via paved highway and situated approximately 40 kilometres from Merritt, British Columbia. In preparation for upcoming drilling, the Company initiated mapping, prospecting, soil sampling and ...

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Sanders' $16 trillion climate plan builds on Green New Deal

8 hours 50 min ago

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has released a $16.3 trillion climate plan that builds on the Green New Deal and calls for the United States to move to renewable energy across the economy by 2050 and declare climate change a national emergency. While the Vermont senator had already endorsed the sweeping Democratic proposal to combat climate change and had teamed up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York on climate legislation, Sanders' climate plan provides the most detail yet on how he envisions the climate change moonshot taking shape if he is elected president.

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