By Jeff Clark, Casey ResearchEurope owns a sizable chunk of the world’s natural resources.Over the past few decades, however, EU countries have mostly imported their resources.Outlandish? Maybe.But it was simply easier, cheaper, and most importantly it avoided most environmental conflicts.Getting through government regulation and facing off eco-friendly groups is a time-consuming and outrageously expensive business… a fool’s errand.When you can simply import and let other countries deal with all the hassle, it made a lot of sense. But things change.When no one’s got a job, it truly focuses the political agenda.Europe’s job market is a mess. Demonstrators are crying out for action, for opportunity, for jobs.And mines employ a lot of people.The trend is reversing because of Europe’s sluggish economy and the real benefits of the increase in local jobs and the leap in tax revenue that mining projects bring.Of course, local economies benefit. Hotels are full of transient engineers and specialists, grocery stores feed the workers, and bars serve liquor to quench their dusty throats.Then, of course, the government got involved…Brussels, 2011.Seeing the benefits of the jobs, income-tax revenues, and all-around political advantages, a “Raw Materials Strategy” was initiated in 2008, then revised and updated in 2010, and again in 2011.The aim was to encourage sustainable supplies of raw materials from within the EU.It calls for policies in support of domestic mining.So far, so good…In September 2011, the European Parliament adopted the “EU Raw Materials Strategy,” a generally pro-mining document, though it’s sometimes criticized by the industry for being “too bureaucratic.”“It’s positive, of course, that the political climate in Europe is at least in theory becoming more supportive of mining” So on the one hand, the government says, “Sure, go ahead,” and spends years (and no doubt millions of euros) coming up with a plan, while the other hand slaps down a bunch of rules that stifles initiative, adds massively to production costs, and once more makes mining companies think twice before they put down the millions it takes to get started.Driller killers, indeed.Yet the gold mining sector in Europe represents 16,000 direct and indirect jobs as of 2009, and that is surely growing.So for the gold, the tax, the jobs, and for more than a few political careers, mining is right up at the top of the political agenda.And despite the regulation stranglehold governments put on mining companies, they are still reopening abandoned mines and are exploring entirely new areas.For investors, that’s very positive, exciting news.Europe’s New Gold RushIn Casey Research’s BIG GOLD, we’ve been talking a lot lately about the three main zones of metallogenic significance for gold in Europe: the Iberian Pyrite Belt; the Carpathian Arc; and the Baltic Shield.The first crosses from Portugal through southern Spain.The second stretches from the Czech Republic through Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and into Turkey.Number three, the Baltic Shield, traverses from western Russia through Finland, Sweden, and Norway.Europe’s gold mining contribution is approximately 1.2% of global mine production (though demand from the EU is roughly 15% of worldwide totals).Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Bulgaria are currently the largest gold producers in Europe. They mine about 640,000 million ounces of gold annually.Other countries with operating gold mines are Greenland, France, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, and the UK.Among the gold companies operating in the region are Eldorado Gold (EGO) in Greece and Romania; Agnico-Eagle (AEM) in Finland; and Gabriel Resources (T.GBU) in Romania, as well as other majors and juniors across the continent.Europe’s New Frontiers2011 was a banner year for European mining.Exploration expenditures were estimated to reach approximately €400 million (US$490 million), an all-time high. The largest share of those exploration dollars was concentrated in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Greenland.These countries, together with Poland, accounted for €288 million or two-thirds of total exploration expenditures last year.This is even more impressive when put into historical perspective.As you can see in the chart below, Nordic exploration spending has grown by almost four times in just ten years.[Source: Euromines.org]Both local and international companies are active in this region.Further, junior companies that we look at in detail in BIG GOLD are expanding rapidly; Euromines reports that in Sweden, for example, juniors account for some 50% of total exploration dollars being spent.Why has the attractiveness of the Nordic countries increased so dramatically?The area is largely underexplored, and its geological similarity to Canada, Australia, and West Africa makes the Baltic Shield a highly prospective place for new discoveries. Miners know what to expect and they already have the technology in place, so profitability for them and their investors comes that much sooner. These countries have well-developed infrastructure (roads and railways) and telecommunication.They have access to highly educated, trained, and experienced staff to support projects during all phases of mining is widely available.The attitude of both the public and politicians toward exploration and mining is generally positive, especially in the northern parts of the region, though anti-mine protests still take place. Since the area is not densely populated, the NIMBY (“not in my back yard”) factor is largely absent.Keeping the green lobby happy means keeping the mines open, operating, and creating a robust, investment-worthy business.Europeans tend to be very concerned about ecology, so environmental issues are closely watched and strictly regulated.Though most responsible miners make concerted efforts to reduce their impact on the environment, miners in Europe focus on this to a high degree.The divide between miners and environmentalists has shrunk over the past few decades due to advances in technology.But a bigger reason for the cooperation is the eroding economic situation. To a certain degree, politicians have been forced to find a more reasonable balance between conservation and the economic benefits mining can bring.Spain, for example, has its economic back to the wall, starting with a record unemployment rate of more than 24%.Astur Gold (V.AST) is working on getting the Spanish Salave gold deposit into production (which a previous company failed to do in 2005). The jobs it will bring no doubt add to the appeal; the company has received over 6,300 job applications.Management has received two of three environmental permits and hopes to finalize the third by year end. If the project is fully permitted, the economic impact on the area will be both immediate and dramatic.Will the Driller Killer Return?The biggest threats to mining in Europe are resource nationalism, significant skills shortages, and infrastructure access in certain areas (see first news item below).However, even on these issues, Europe is in a better position than many other areas.The continent has a strong tradition of transparent and stable laws, along with respect for private property, leaving few in support of outright nationalization.Western European countries also usually have well-developed infrastructure and an educated and skilled labor force.On the other hand, bureaucratic procedures, overregulation, and a dense population outside of the northern countries have worked to keep massive mine development across Europe from accelerating as it has elsewhere.Still, the carrot dangled by the mining industry looks awfully juicy…If Romania approves Gabriel Resources’ Rosia Montana gold mine, for example, the project is estimated to bring some US$30 billion of economic benefits to the country. The company hopes to mine 9.6 million ounces of gold and 51.5 million ounces of silver over 16 years. Eldorado’s Olympias and Skouries mines in the Halkidiki region will produce about 350,000 ounces of gold annually beginning in 2015. Management is spending €1.3 billion to develop the projects, which will create 1,800 jobs in a country where unemployment is close to 20%.Overall, the atmosphere for gold mining in Europe appears to be improving. Its importance is recognized in Brussels; even though only a few clumsy steps have been taken, the general attitude is making a positive shift.With the benefits mining can bring – more jobs and greater revenue – we think there will be fewer objections overall, especially in the more desperate countries. It won’t solve all their problems, but there’s no doubt it would relieve some of the fiscal pressure.From an investment point of view, it’s a region to watch. We fully expect to find increasing opportunities here.Jeff Clark is the senior editor of BIG GOLD, a monthly newsletter that follows the world’s best precious metals production and near-production companies. Jeff has recently completed a rather interesting special report – The Four Stocks I’m Buying My Mother – with details on precious metals stocks that are so undervalued he has recently begun buying them for his mother’s retirement account. Readers can receive the special report for no charge with a 90-day, risk-free trial subscription to BIG GOLD.
Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Czech Republic Egypt Hungary Morocco Poland Russia S. Africa Turkey Europe, Middle East, Africa China India Indonesia Korea Malaysia Philippines Taiwan Thailand Asia Source: Bloomberg So, a rise in the Index implies an increase in the production of food, electricity, housing, and steel, and points to future global economic growth. As shown in the above chart, the BDI has doubled since early August and tripled year to date. A big slowdown in global economic activity doesn’t seem to be in the cards. A Good Story The facts, however, seldom present an obstacle that a good media story can’t overcome. Such was the case with the media-induced, emerging-market selloff ahead of the Fed’s anticipated “taper” announcement. The story—or at least a chapter from it—went something like this: Emerging markets are carrying big current account deficits… any twist of the Fed’s liquidity spigot will slow the flow of Western capital into emerging economies and aggravate the deficits… a rise in interest rates would ensue… higher rates will slow economic growth… better to sell emerging markets and their currencies ahead of these events. The sand in the ointment that lubricated the media jaws is that “emerging markets” is not a homogenized thing, but an array of countries with distinct economic and fiscal profiles. For a real-world perspective, let’s look at the 21 emerging markets as defined by the MSCI Market Index. Here they are, sorted by region, with countries that run a current account deficit shown in red, and those with a surplus shown in green: The skies were clear as we started final approach into Changi International Airport. Still several kilometers out in the Singapore Strait, dozens of container ships sat idle, tethered to the seabed, and seemed to stretch clear to Batam Island, part of the Indonesian archipelago. Each ship formed part of a nautical queue and waited its turn for cargo to be transshipped or offloaded at Singapore’s port terminals. Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of cargo tonnage, and number one for the transshipment of cargo. This volume of traffic and trade has turned the Singapore Strait into a major link in one of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes that connects the South China Sea with the Strait of Malacca, and all destinations west. The above anecdotal observation from my window seat aligns with recent action in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). The BDI is an indirect measure of global supply and demand for shipping capacity. The index acts as a leading indicator in that it measures the demand for “dry” commodities (grain, coal, timber, ores) that are the raw materials used in intermediate and finished-goods manufacture. America’s Hmmm… I see a pattern here. The farther east you look, the greener it gets. It’s pretty obvious that most Asian markets were smeared as card-carrying members of the current-account-deficit club, a grossly inaccurate generalization. Indonesia, by the way, hiked interest rates in early September and revised its GDP estimate for 2013 lower to 6%, a growth rate that countries in the left and center columns of the table are yearning to achieve. Without Us, You’re Toast In 1965, Singapore, following a decade of strife to attain self-rule, became an independent nation. The thumb of British colonial occupation was lifted. The prognosis from the foreign press was immediate and unequivocal: Singapore was doomed. The only question was when. Britain had agreed to maintain its military bases in the country, the primary source of security and economic support for the fledgling country. The bases were a hundred-million-pound burden on the British treasury—closure was inevitable. A British withdrawal from Singapore was compared to the decline of the Roman Empire, where law and order collapsed as the Roman legions retreated and barbarians filled the vacuum. The latest round of emerging-market skepticism, concocted and perpetuated by an ill-informed Western media, embodies the nauseating ideal of Anglo-exceptionalism and is reminiscent of the “you can’t make it without us” conceit of the 20th century. Singapore is not an emerging market, of course, but it was, having clawed its way from backwater trading post in the hinterlands of the British Empire to today’s economic and financial powerhouse. Other Asian nations are following the path it trod, and intra-emerging-market export trends and demographics suggest that the region’s growth story is far from over.
Dear Reader, This is the last Metals & Mining Monday issue of the Casey Daily Dispatch you’ll be getting this year (we’ll be off for the holidays next Monday), so I wanted to report on 2014 and look forward to 2015. Happily, the news is better than one might imagine based on reading the headlines. Eritrea But first, I feel compelled to object to the recent spate of verbal and legal attacks on international mining companies operating in Eritrea and to encourage you to do the same. The issue is that the government has a “National Service” pseudo-law that compels not just a brief period of military service, but all men and women between 18 and 40 to accept government jobs as directed. I agree with the critics that this is a form of slavery that should be opposed on ethical grounds. It’s also enormously destructive economically and should be abolished immediately on practical grounds. This is no coincidence; contrary to Hollywood portrayals, evil is not good for business. I have been to the country, and I’ve visited several operating and dormant mines there. I’ve spoken with Eritreans who are ecstatic to have good jobs at modern facilities, with health clinics and other benefits. The truth is that miners do everything they can to avoid hiring National Service employees, precisely because slave labor is not productive, not diligent, not careful, and not good for business. And because the physical work of mining is for young people, Eritrea’s National Service drains the most important labor pool of eager, hardworking talent. This makes mining a force for positive change in Eritrea—the largest taxpaying force for economic and humanitarian sanity in the country, in fact. Canadian miners like Nevsun (NSU, NSU.TO) should be encouraged, not sued by misguided NGOs nor lambasted by misinformed politicians. I wish I had their contact information so I could set the record straight. But that’s the world we live in. Just don’t you be fooled by misleading headlines about slave labor in Eritrea’s private-sector mines. The implied image of prisoners in chains couldn’t be further from the truth, and the obstruction of the only major force for good in the country is completely counterproductive. Doug Casey Also, I should mention that Doug will be speaking at the Hong Kong Mines and Money show March 23-27, and the organizers are offering Casey readers a discount. On behalf of your Casey metals team, I wish you and yours very happy holidays and many more to come. Sincerely, Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 24.15 27.26 29.02 Gold Producers (GDX) 18.53 19.19 20.50 One Year Ago Rock & Stock Stats Last One Month Ago Oil 57.13 74.50 99.04 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 14,468.26 14,980.15 13,392.20 Silver 16.08 16.13 19.15 Gold 1,195.90 1,182.98 1,193.60 Silver Stocks (SIL) 9.10 9.69 10.57 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Gold (SGE) 1,204.78 1,195.45 1,234.61 Copper 2.88 3.05 3.34 TSX Venture 676.54 782.45 887.17
Free demo here The Turkish lira is in free fall… Two weeks ago, it announced a series of measures that it hopes will bring liquidity and support the country’s banking system. (You can read more details on these measures in this Dispatch.)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also asked Turkish people to get rid of their U.S. dollars and euros:If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out… immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and, by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future.In other words, Erdoğan wanted Turks to sell dollars to keep the lira from plunging.But many people did the exact opposite. In fact, my Turkish friend told me—at the height of the lira’s sell-off—that “all her friends were exchanging lira for dollars.”But that’s not all they were buying. I know because I was just in Turkey… We know this because trading volumes on major Turkish crypto exchanges surged during the lira’s recent crash.According to CoinMarketCap, trading volumes on BTCTurk soared 131% when the lira was falling. Paribu, another Turkish crypto exchange, saw a 108% spike in trading volume.This tells us many Turkish people took shelter in bitcoin and other cryptos. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. I spent about three weeks in Istanbul. I also visited Turkey’s gorgeous southern coast.That was enough time for me to truly experience Turkey’s currency crisis.You see, one dollar was worth about 4.8 lira when I showed up in Turkey. Three weeks later, one dollar was worth 7 lira.This means that the lira’s value plunged 31% against the dollar in less than a month. Put another way, the dollar strengthened 46% against the lira over the same period.Now, I didn’t mind this as a tourist. Everything from meals to cab rides got cheaper by the day.But the lira’s plunge hammered everyday Turkish people, like my friend. Things got so bad that the Turkish central bank stepped in… “I don’t buy anything from Amazon anymore. I buy everything from AliExpress now. It takes two months to get here, but I save about $1.”My friend Canset told me this recently. Now, you might be wondering why she’s using AliExpress—an online retail service based in China—to purchase her everyday items.She’s doing this because the money in her wallet is losing value rapidly.You see, my friend lives in Turkey, which is in the middle of a currency crisis.Of course, you’d already know that if you have been reading the Dispatch. I wrote about the situation here and here. It’s a major story we’re following closely—and it’s another reason why you should bet on cryptocurrencies today.I’ll explain why in a moment, but first let me recap what’s happening in Turkey. Of course, Turkey isn’t the only country where desperate people have turned to bitcoin… Just click here Recommended Link Turks have been embracing cryptocurrencies for years… In fact, the market research firm Ipsos recently conducted a survey on crypto ownership across 15 countries. And it found that 18% of Turks own some form of cryptocurrency. That’s double the European average of 9%.That’s impressive. But crypto ownership in Turkey should keep rising.I say that because the same survey found that 53% of Turks believe digital currencies will be the dominant online payment method in the future. And 51% expect the value of cryptocurrencies to rise over the next year.This is a big deal. Many Turks also loaded up on cryptocurrencies… This year the lira has fallen 38% against the dollar. That’s a staggering decline. Only the Venezuelan bolívar and Sudanese pound have fared worse this year.This is why my friend is changing how she shops. If she doesn’t, she could run out of money.She’s certainly not alone, either.People all over Turkey are under pressure. You can almost feel the tension in the air. It tells me more Turks will take refuge in cryptos if the lira keeps falling… — So consider speculating on cryptos if you haven’t yet. Bitcoin is a good place to start.Just remember that bitcoin and other cryptos are extremely volatile. As always, never bet more money than you can afford to lose. And you should use stop losses and take profits as they come. Regards,Justin SpittlerBudapest, HungaryAugust 27, 2018Reader MailbagToday, we see that not everyone agrees with Doug Casey’s take on the Alex Jones ban…Doug, you have gotten completely off topic with Alex Jones. All you say, and others as well, about Jones’ content and his delivery is correct. But ask yourself this question: How did this cabal all of a sudden come together? All of a sudden the technocrats and the media in unison attacked Jones. Feel sorry for Jones… NOT! As of Monday, he was the No. 1 news app. CNN, who had held that title for years, was destroyed. Why? Because you and the public jumped on his band wagon. Jones is a gate keeper for the Israeli agenda… and where did you get this that he was somehow a 9/11 truther?You need to re-examine your information, Mr. Casey. He argues all of the time whether the narrative was wrong and Israel was a haymaker of this false flag agenda. This was not to destroy Jones, as you and others portend. It was to drive the insouciant to his site to take the alt net to its extreme. Please take a different look to see what he has been and still is. You are as dead wrong as all who have fallen for the scam of the century. —RichardAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.In Case You Missed It…Have you seen these strange-looking metal poles in your city? Most people have no idea what they’re for. But in just a few short years, these towers could completely upend the entire $479 billion smartphone industry… and make well-positioned investors rich. But together they could light a serious fire under the bitcoin price. It’s also possible that bitcoin (or some other crypto) could emerge as a medium of exchange in one of these places. That would let the world know that cryptos aren’t just another speculative vehicle. They’re a legitimate threat to paper money. Relative to the dollar, the Venezuela bolívar has lost 99.99% of its value this year. The Argentine peso is down 40% on the year. The South African rand is down 12%. These are enormous declines. They’re the kind that push people to take shelter in bitcoin. NASDAQ calls it: “The biggest investment opportunity in years.” The Smart Phone Killer1000x faster, 1000x more capacity, plus the power to download a 2-and-a-half hour movie in one second. Get positioned by October 1, and you could pocket a sweet $150k profit. Of course, skeptics will be quick to point out that bitcoin hasn’t been a good store of value this year.It’s down 52% on the year versus the lira’s 38% decline. Not only that, many lesser-known cryptos are down 80% or more this year.I won’t dispute those numbers. But let’s not forget that cryptos are coming off an incredible rally.The bitcoin chart below says it all.You can see that bitcoin’s still up 2,874% over the past three years. And yes, that includes its recent crash.You’ve also got to remember that bitcoin’s been here before. You see, bitcoin has crashed 30% or more 11 other times since 2010. Each time, it bounced back stronger.You can’t say the same about the lira, which has been in steady decline. In fact, it’s lost 70% of its value against the dollar since the start of 2013. — Recommended Link Now, I’m not saying any of these countries could push bitcoin to new highs on their own… That would obviously be extremely bullish for the crypto market… President Trump Gives Order to Locate New Type of FuelRecently, President Trump signed an executive order that mandates the Interior Department to begin mapping the country to locate America’s “Brandt Oil” reserves.“Brandt Oil” is a new, clean super fuel that’s so powerful, less than two gallons worth contains enough raw energy to power your house for nine years. So it’s no surprise “Brandt Oil” applications are going mainstream.And just like any new energy revolution, early investors are minting millions. Already we’re seeing investors bag rare gains as high as 2,343%, 3,750%, and even 4,628%.To get the full story on exactly what “Brandt Oil” is – and why it’s making investors so much money right now…
First-year students who valued and enjoyed their alone time seemed to display greater psychological health Solitary time can be useful for detaching oneself from societal pressures and getting back to one’s own values and interests, which in turn allows for better behavior regulation (with a greater sense of autonomy, choice, and self-concordance) The association between freely chosen motivation for solitude and psychological health is stronger for those who don’t feel they belong in college The findings held across two independent samples of first-year students–one at a private university in the US and one at a public university in Canada Parents play a role in shaping their children’s capacity to be alone by allowing children time for independent play. The study provides empirical evidence for the theory formulated by English pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Woods Winnicott in the 1950s. What do the researchers wish they had known as a green, first-year student?”I wish I had known to worry less,” says Nguyen. The transition to college can be difficult with the pressure to socialize and make new friends, she notes. However, it’s important to consider that alone time is also valuable.”At times we do want time to ourselves, to relax, so it is OK to take time for that as well,” says Nguyen.”Being alone does not make you a loner, which is a very easy stereotype to internalize when you first enter college–especially when you think that everyone around you is socializing when you are not. Solitude is a personal experience for everyone, so it is a time for you to take if you want, and just explore different ways to make it a meaningful and enjoyable experience for you.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 10 2019Transitioning from high school to college can be stressful. Trying to fit in, making new friends, missing old ones and home, meeting professors’ and one’s own expectations–can all be daunting.The way that first-year students manage (or not) to navigate this change has long-term implications for their academic performance and ability to stick with their studies. Research has shown that one frequent pitfall during this transition period from high school to college is social isolation. Loneliness, of course, can have a serious detrimental effect on a student’s mental health, potentially leading to depression.But being alone isn’t necessarily bad, argues a team of researchers from the University of Rochester, Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and Ghent University in Belgium. They published their findings about the importance of me-time in the journal Motivation and Emotion.”Approaching solitude for its enjoyment and intrinsic values is linked to psychological health, especially for those who don’t feel as if they belong to their social groups,” says the study’s lead author, Thuy-vy Nguyen, who received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Rochester in 2018 and who undertook large part of the research for this study in Rochester.”These findings highlight the importance of cultivating the ability to enjoy and value solitary time as a meaningful experience, rather than trying to disregard it, or escape from it,” says Nguyen, who’ll be joining the psychology department at Durham University, England, this fall as an assistant professor.Loneliness versus alone timeWhat then marks the difference between useful and potentially detrimental solitude? The key is positive motivation, according to the researchers. A healthy, autonomous seeking of alone time is associated with greater self-esteem, a greater sense of feeling related to others, and feeling less lonely. Conversely, someone who wants to be alone because of negative social experiences will more likely experience the negative effects of solitude, such as isolation or social withdrawal. The reasons matter as they determine how we experience solitude and the benefits we can get from it, the study concludes.Nguyen is building on decades of research by her veteran Rochester mentors, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, co-founders of self-determination theory (SDT). The theoretical framework of SDT fits nicely into the investigation of how individuals’ motivations for spending time alone contribute to well-being, the researchers note. Per definition, autonomous motivation for being alone refers to a person’s decision to spend time in solitude in a manner that is valuable and enjoyable for the person.Previous research had shown that spending too much time socializing during the first year of college–and as a result having little time for oneself–may be associated with poor adjustment.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenPerinatal depression screenings may overlook women having suicidal ideationBut over the course of two studies, conducted with 147 first-year college students in the US (testing for self-esteem) and 223 in Canada (testing for loneliness and relatedness), the team was able to untangle the interaction between new students’ social life and their motivation for spending time alone as a predictor of their successful adjustment to college life.Nguyen says the interplay between solitary time and our social experiences has not been empirically studied before, at least not in this way.”In previous research, it has been framed in ways that those with more access to social connections tend to have a better time in solitude. But in our study, having a healthy motivation for solitude actually is associated with wellness for those who have less access to social connections,” says Nguyen.The findings in a nutshell: Source:https://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/college-freshmen-need-alone-time-373042/
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Insights into how a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease disrupts brain cells have been revealed by scientists.Brain tissue from people with Alzheimer’s showed that a protein called clusterin builds up in vital parts of neurons that connect cells and may damage these links.Scientists say the findings shed light on the causes of the disease and will help to accelerate the search for a treatment.The study, led by Professor Tara Spires-Jones at the University of Edinburgh, focused on synapses – connections between brain cells that allow the flow of chemical and electrical signals. These signals are vital for forming memories and are key to brain health, experts say.Related StoriesResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearchers showed that synapses in people who had died with Alzheimer’s contained clumps of clusterin, which could contribute to dementia symptoms. These synapses also contained clumps of amyloid beta, the damaging protein that is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.People with a common risk gene, called apolipoprotein E4, had more clusterin and amyloid beta clumps in their synapses than people with Alzheimer’s without the risk gene.Those without dementia symptoms had even less of the damaging proteins in their synapses.The discovery was made using powerful technology that allowed the scientists to view detailed images of more than one million synapses. Individual synapses are around 5000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.Synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease was previously established, but the clumping of damaging proteins together in synapses was unknown until now because of difficulties in studying them due to their tiny size.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 500,000 people in the UK. It can cause severe memory loss and there is no cure.Professor Spires-Jones, Programme Lead at the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: We have identified another player in the host of proteins that damage synapses in Alzheimer’s disease. Synapses are essential for thinking and memory, and preventing damage to them is a promising target to help prevent or reverse dementia symptoms. This work gives us a new target to work towards in our goal to develop effective treatments.” Source:University of EdinburghJournal reference:Spires-Jones, T. et al. (2019) Clusterin accumulates in synapses in Alzheimer’s disease and is increased in apolipoprotein E4 carriers. Brain Communications. doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz003.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a way of using gene expression conserved across species to divide patients with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis into two distinct groups. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications, and the researchers hope that the method can also be used to subdivide other autoimmune diseases.Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon and rectum. It manifests itself differently in patients, and only 50 to 60 per cent respond to the treatment with so-called biological drugs.There is therefore a need to divide patients into different groups so that new pharmaceutical targets can be identified and treatments tailored accordingly.Such a grouping has now been presented by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in a study published in Nature Communications. We’ve managed to divide patients with ulcerative colitis into two molecularly distinct groups using a method that we believe can be used for other diseases too.”Study’s corresponding author Eduardo Villablanca, associate professor at the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet (Solna) Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasThe researchers first used openly accessible data on gene expression – transcription data – from colon biopsies from 102 patients with ulcerative colitis. But the variation between patients proved too great to break the patients down into meaningful groups.They then hit on the idea of excluding irrelevant genes in the patient material by only looking at genes whose expression is changed in both humans and mice. To do this, the group analyzed gene expressions in colon biopsies from a mouse model with ulcerative colitis. They found 57 genes in common from the mouse and patient material.Using these 57 genes, the researchers were able to identify two groups of patients, which they term UC1 and UC2. UC1 patients are characterized by the higher expression of genes involved in the recruitment of neutrophils, which are a type of immune cell. Over 87 per cent of the patients in this group also responded poorly to treatment with two of the most widely used biological drugs for ulcerative colitis. About 60 per cent of the patients in the UC2 group, however, responded to this treatment.”We demonstrate the principle that it’s possible to combine datasets from mice and humans to group previously indistinguishable patients,” says Dr Villablanca. “The results provide new knowledge on inflammatory bowel diseases and can contribute to the more tailored treatment of ulcerative colitis.” Source:Karolinska InstitutetJournal reference:Czarnewski, P. et al. (2019) Conserved transcriptomic profile between mouse and human colitis allows unsupervised patient stratification. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10769-x.
The UAS User Log can be accessed from any internet-connected device, including tablets and smartphones. Credit: Purdue University Worried about being on Facebook? Some options explained The UAS User Log is a digital log book available around the world to serve those using UAS, or drones, for research, crop production, spray applications and other activities. The logbook provides options to interactively record the date, time and location of a flight, the make, model and registration information of the device, status of battery charge, type of flight (autonomous or manual), types of sensors used and data collected, safety precautions taken, weather during the flight and other related information.Dharmendra Saraswat, an associate professor in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, led the team that included researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University and Texas A&M University.”We’ve lacked a system to provide UAS users in agriculture with a way to record information about their flights, sensors and maintenance issues,” Saraswat said. “Thus, creation of a common protocol for UAS operations for various research- and production-related applications is an effort to plug that gap and bring standardization to flight data collection.” Explore further Citation: New tool serves as digital logbook for drone users (2018, April 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-tool-digital-logbook-drone-users.html A Purdue University researcher led development of a free, web-based application that will allow those using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to easily log their flight-related data. Provided by Purdue University Users can access the UAS User Log application from any device that connects to the internet, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop and laptop computers. Once loaded, the application does not need an internet connection or mobile data to function since the information logged is stored on the user’s device.Internet connection is required to access weather data and for crowdsourcing sensor specifications among the community of users. Once all the relevant information is recorded, the user is provided an option to save a copy on their devices (smartphones, tablets or laptops/desktops). Users can also upload any previously saved file, edit relevant data and save the updated file as a record for any subsequent flights. All flights can be time-stamped and saved independently.Saraswat said he can envision users employing the logbook for everything from tracking flights for research and business uses to gauging the life of batteries.There is also a feedback option that allows users to communicate with Saraswat and his team to make suggestions for improvements or elements that should be added.”I’m certain that at some point in time, this ecosystem is going to grow, and we’ll also see many features added to this tool,” Saraswat said. Dharmendra Saraswat led a team that developed the UAS User Log, a web-based application that stores digital flight records for those using unmanned aerial systems. Credit: Purdue University 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.
Analysis of the flight recorders of the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane has begun, the airline said Friday, and The New York Times reported that the pilot requested permission “in a panicky voice” to return to the airport shortly after takeoff as the plane dipped up and down sharply and appeared to gain startling speed. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Investigators looking into the Indonesian crash are examining whether the software automatically pushed the plane’s nose down repeatedly, and whether the Lion Air pilots knew how to solve that problem. Ethiopian Airlines says its pilots received special training on the software.At the crash site in Hejere, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Addis Ababa, searchers continued to pick through the debris. Blue plastic sheeting covered the wreckage of the plane. Students from an elementary school walked an hour and a half to the site to pay respects.Anxious family members began giving DNA samples and waited for news on the identification of remains. Members of Israel’s ZAKA emergency response team were granted access to the site for forensic work.Canada’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Antione Chevrier, told The Associated Press that discussions on repatriating remains would begin once the identification process begins to yield results. “The next steps will take some time,” he said. Canada lost 18 people.”We are not told what they have found so far,” Ethiopian citizen Faysal Hussein, whose cousin was killed, told the AP. “We are sitting here like forever. We were taken to the crash site on Wednesday but not allowed to get a closer look.”One relative collected soil in a plastic bag, perhaps for lack of anything else .A Kenyan citizen, Pauline Gathu, lost a brother. Thirty-two Kenyans were killed.”We were expecting that we will have our body well-kept but we are amazed to hear that there is nothing, totally nothing,” she said. “And people are waiting for us to give them reports of what we have found but we don’t have words, we don’t know what to do.” Ethiopian relatives of crash victims mourn and grieve at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Thursday, March 14, 2019. About 200 family members of people who died on the crashed jet stormed out of a briefing with Ethiopian Airlines officials in Addis Ababa on Thursday, complaining that the airline has not given them adequate information. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene) Ethiopian Airlines crash: What is the MCAS system on the Boeing 737 Max 8? Citation: Ethiopian Airlines says analysis of flight recorders begins (2019, March 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-ethiopian-airlines-analysis-flight.html The Max is the latest upgrade to the Boeing 737s. Because its engines are larger and heavier, they are placed higher and farther forward on the wings. That created concern that the plane might be slightly more prone to an aerodynamic stall if not flown properly, so Boeing developed software to prevent that. The report cited “a person who reviewed air traffic communications” from Sunday’s flight saying controllers noticed the plane was moving up and down by hundreds of feet.An airline spokesman has said the pilot was given permission to return. But the plane crashed minutes later outside Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.French authorities now have the plane’s flight data and voice recorders for analysis. They have said it was unclear whether data could be retrieved. The data recorder appeared to show damage. Ethiopian Airlines said an Ethiopian delegation led by its chief accident investigator had arrived in Paris.In Ethiopia, officials started taking DNA samples from victims’ family members to assist in identifying remains. The dead came from 35 countries.Countries including the United States have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 as the U.S.-based company faces the challenge of proving the jets are safe to fly amid suspicions that faulty software might have contributed to two crashes that killed 346 people in less than six months.The decision to send the flight recorders to France was seen as a rebuke to the United States, which held out longer than most other countries in grounding the jets. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board sent three investigators to help French authorities.The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said regulators had new data from the satellite-based tracking that showed the movements of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 were similar to those of Lion Air Flight 610. That flight crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.The data show both planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Both crews tried to return to the airport.Boeing said it supports the grounding of its planes as a precautionary step, while reiterating its “full confidence” in the safety of the 737 Max. Engineers are making changes to the system designed to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the jet’s nose is pointed too high and its speed is too slow.Boeing also announced it had paused delivery of the Max, although the company planned to continue building the jets. This photo provided by by the French air accident investigation authority BEA on Thursday, March 14, 2019, shows one of the black box flight recorder from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet, in le Bourget, north of Paris. The French air accident investigation agency has released a photo of the data recorder from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet. The agency, known by its French acronym BEA, received the flight’s data recorder and voice recorder Thursday. (BEA via AP) Explore further 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.
starfish out here lookin like a snack https://t.co/H7BPqTWsDw — XD (@radfag_) July 11, 2019 These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65934-ravioli-sea-star.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28 The photo of the starfish, captured on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent expedition to the deep Atlantic Ocean, propelled the tasty looking echinoderm to fame. But until now, the “ravioli” star (also called the cookie star) was a bit of a nobody. Even though scientists have known of the ravioli star for some time, only recently did the creature get a common (non-Latin) name, Christopher Mah, an invertebrate biologist at the Smithsonian Museum at Natural History, told Live Science. Instead, the starfish was known only by its formal scientific name, P. dentatus. [Photos: See the World’s Cutest Sea Creatures] That’s because until now, people rarely had the chance to observe the starfish in its natural habitat. Most of what scientists know about the ravioli star comes from specimens that were already dead, Mah said. Now, with the advent of remotely operated vehicles like NOAA’s Deep Discoverer, which captured rare footage of ravioli stars, everyone has virtual access to these creatures. It was sometime in the last year that Mah began hearing the names “cookie star” and “ravioli star” bouncing around the internet. “It’s just kind of amusing to me,” Mah said, “[The name] just took off so quickly.” The starfish isn’t new or unusual — it has existed at the depths of the ocean for much longer than its moniker. But the way Twitter is interacting with the ravioli star and other marine wonders is completely novel, Mah said. Just the fact that the internet has bred a new name for these creatures is evidence of a new kind of citizen science, he added. That’s a good thing. “Any kind of connection that I think the public has with natural history, with nature is important,” Mah said. As for the ravioli star, its moment in the spotlight is only just beginning. This is an exciting moment for deep-sea creatures like the pasta doppelganger, Mah said. For the first time, scientists have the chance to study how they interact with their environment — what they eat, how they reproduce and how they navigate their underwater world. On the Deep Discoverer’s most recent dive, for instance, the ROV captured another image of a group of ravioli stars ganging up on a sea sponge (a sea creature with no skeleton and a soft, porous body). Until now, scientists knew virtually nothing about this sea star’s biology. This is the Deep Discoverers seventh dive on an expedition called Windows to the Deep. In Photos: The Wonders of the Deep Sea If this starfish is making your mouth water, you’re not alone. When a photo of Plinthaster dentatus went viral on Twitter last week, pasta-lovers did a double take — the sea star looked just like a piece of ravioli. In Photos: The Stunning Sea Life ‘Stars’ of ‘Big Pacific’ Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatures Originally published on Live Science.
Army jawans stand guard at the site of an explosion in Lethpora Pulwama district south Kashmir. Photo: Nissar Ahmad – The Hindu Published on The involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Thursday’s terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir has raised serious questions about the role of the Pakistani spy agency, ISI, in it, American experts on South Asia said.The Pakistan-based JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack that left at least 37 personnel dead and many critically wounded. The experts said the terror strike shows the United States (US) has failed to persuade Pakistan to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups.“The self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation,” Bruce Riedel, a former Central Investigation Agency (CIA) analyst, saidThe terrorist attack, which has direct footprints inside Pakistan, poses the first major challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said Riedel, who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institute think-tank. “This will be a real challenge for Imran Khan, the first serious challenge of his administration,” he said.Anish Goel, a former National Security Council (NSC) official in the previous Obama administration, said the horrific attack highlights just how actively Pakistan-based terrorist groups still operate in Kashmir.By claiming such quick credit for the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed is clearly indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke tensions between Pakistan and India, he said.In the wake of this attack, there will likely be increased pressure on Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to take action against all militant groups still active in Kashmir,” said Goel.Alyssa Ayres from the Council on Foreign Relations said, “Unfortunately, the attack also shows the limits of the US and international policy efforts to date to persuade Pakistan to take serious action against these groups. The urgent question is what else the international community can do. According to Moeed Yusuf from the US Institute of Peace, the current situation has all the making of an India-Pakistan crisis. Prime Minister Modi cannot take it lying down but Pakistan isn’t going to be able to absorb any Indian action either. Things are simply too tense between India and Pakistan, he said.Ironically, the biggest deterrent to any escalation is the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in the region, he said. “Salman arrives in Pakistan Friday and is coming to India too. His visit will be seriously overshadowed. The Saudi relationship is too important for either side to want that to happen,” he noted.I think the damage to India-Pakistan relations is going to be immense — even if the situation doesn’t escalate. The hope was that India and Pakistan will get back to talking after the Indian elections later this year. I think the hawks on both sides are going to make it very difficult for that to happen now, Yusuf said. Terrorist attacks as in Kashmir are not possible without an ideology or theology that justifies terrorism and brainwashes its followers that massacring others leads a person to paradise. The terrorist mindset must be removed along with the terrorist infrastructure on the ground, said noted Hindu scholar David Frawley.The latest attack by JeM is another example of how Pakistan’s intelligence services continue to sponsor terrorist incursions into India, Washington-based Hindu American Foundation said.While it’s heartening to see that a wide swath of the international community is unequivocally condemning the attack, such statements of solidarity must be backed up by actions which help bring to an end the ability of such terrorist groups to kill with impunity and destabilize the region, the foundation said.Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP)-USA in a statement demanded that United Nations (UN) designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist.China should be ashamed of itself in blocking Azhar’s ban at the UN. The Indian diaspora demands that if Pakistan is sincere in seeking peace with India, it should arrest Maulana Masood Azhar and his cohorts and disband all terrorist organisations station in Pakistan. “Pakistan is a pariah nation anyhow and if it wants to exist in the real world, it should not play games, resort to lies, and abet terrorism. It should get rid of all terrorist organization from its soil, it said. February 15, 2019 Cabinet committee on security meets to discuss Pulwama terror attack SHARE At least 37 CRPF personnel killed as explosives-laden vehicle rams into bus in J&K The experts said the terror strike shows the US has failed to persuade Pakistan to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups RELATED COMMENTS White House to Pakistan: Stop being safe haven to all terror groups Jammu and Kashmir SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT
The Information and Public Relation Minister of Manipur Th Bishwajit Singh on Saturday said the process to increase the monthly pension for retired journalists and ex-gratia for families of the deceased scribes is underway.A cabinet memo regarding this has been prepared as well, Singh said in the assembly, while responding to a query raised by a legislator, O Surjakumar.“The cabinet will soon pass the welfare scheme despite being delayed due to some obstacles,” Singh said.He told the assembly that at present the monthly pension for retired journalists is Rs 4,000 and it will be increased to Rs 10,000.The family pension (for families of the deceased journalists) will be increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per month, Singh said.Singh also said that the one time ex-gratia for families journalists, who died in unfortunate incidents, will be increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.The retirement age of journalists in the state is 60 years, officials said. March 02, 2019 COMMENT Published on COMMENTS media Manipur SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL government
THE spotlight is on the country’s smallest lender, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, which could be looking at paring down its stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alliance Investment Bank Bhd (AIBB).The move, if it materialises, will come amid an extremely competitive time for the investment banking scene both here and globally where it is becoming increasingly difficult to survive without a strong niche.IPO deals have dried up in recent years not only here but regionally while other deal-making activities in Asia have had their worst start to this year since about five years ago due mostly to a global economic slowdown. A source says that advisers have already been hired to start off the process of Alliance Bank selling its majority interest in AIBB. AdChoices广告When asked, Alliance Bank neither confirmed nor denied the matter.Unlock exclusive insights, analyses, and curated news on the economy on The Star Online’s Business section with Starbiz Premium.SubscribeLog In Corporate News13 Jul 2019IJM contract termination likely due to deadline issueCorporate News13 Jul 2019Yinson continues to draw interestProperty13 Jul 2019Pioneering the wellness concept for offices in Malaysia More Stories Tags / Keywords: Economy13 Jul 2019Much to benefit from Malaysia-China tiesBanking12 Jul 2019Fed’s Williams joins with other officials leaning toward rate cutsOil & Gas11 Jul 2019OPEC action and trade truce may give oil the lift it needs Corporate News