Legendary musicians and some of the world’s top artists and filmmakers – including Annie Lennox, Harry Belafonte, Oscar winner Laura Poitras, Jesse Williams, Piper Kerman, and MTV World General Manager Nusrat Durrani – will join Steven W. Hawkins, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, for a press event scheduled during the organization’s 50th Annual General Meeting.A plenary discussion, “The Gatekeepers of Truth,” featuring the musicians and artists will immediately follow the press event at 4 p.m.The gathering coincides with the relaunch of Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty program in partnership with the global Art for Amnesty, which works with artists, musicians, filmmakers, museums, art galleries, and entertainment industry non-profits around the world committed to human rights. By adding their voices to the organization’s campaigns, artists help reach out to their audiences. Using their exceptional skills and talents, they spread the human rights message across countries and continents and inspire people to act.The Annual General Meeting will be held in Brooklyn, N.Y. from March 20-22 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. AIUSA will be celebrating 50 years of gathering human rights activists from around the country who come together to engage in networking opportunities, actions, inspiring plenaries, outstanding key notes, and hands-on workshops as well as to shape the policies of the organization.The theme of this year’s AGM is “From Moment to Movement” because AIUSA believes every action taken to defend and advance human rights makes the global human rights movement stronger and ever more unstoppable. The event will elevate all the ways Amnesty International sustains activism and drive impact while celebrating their collective power to create solutions that respect everyone’s human rights.The Annual General Meeting gives AIUSA members, staff and allies the opportunity to come together to take action, participate in workshops and hear from experts, policymakers, celebrities and activists on pressing human rights issues.In the past year, AIUSA has been at the forefront of human rights developments both in the U.S. – including observing the protests in Ferguson, Mo. and calling for reparations for those tortured decades ago while in the custody of the Chicago Police Department – and abroad, including calling for the protection of civilians terrorized by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria and urging for the release of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia.Updates to the conference schedule, including event descriptions, notable guests and media opportunities, will be posted regularly to www.amnestyusa.org/events/human-rights-conference. WHAT: Press Conference with Artists for Amnesty leadership during Amnesty International USA’s 50th Annual General Meeting.WHEN: March 21, 2015, 3:00 PM EST followed by 4:00 PM plenary with the artists, actors, musicians, and filmmakers.WHERE: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn BridgeSource:AmnestyUSA.org
OTTAWA – The federal government has so far exempted 50 Canadian companies from surtaxes imposed last summer when Ottawa slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Tuesday as he faced pointed questions about his relief plan from political opponents.Morneau provided the figure before a parliamentary committee, where opposition MPs accused the government of being too slow in helping Canadian firms affected by the cross-border tariff fight.Members of the international trade committee also said Ottawa’s remission request process has been too onerous for many companies, particularly smaller ones already consumed by the day-to-day activities of running their businesses.“You said in your statement that we’re doing everything possible, but I have to be frank that we’ve heard quite the opposite here,” said New Democrat MP Tracey Ramsey.“From the witnesses at this committee, we’ve heard of the dire consequences of these tariffs and the government’s failure to get that support directly to people on the ground. Businesses are talking about laying off people.”Conservative MP Dean Allison said he’s heard from many businesses caught in the crossfire that are worried the financial relief isn’t arriving quickly enough.“I can assure you that that money cannot get out the door soon enough in order to keep these companies viable over the long term,” Allison told Morneau.The finance minister, who said 135 companies have submitted remission requests, agreed he would like to see the relief money flow faster — but he stressed there’s a process that must be followed.“This is pretty unprecedented. We aren’t in a situation where there’s a play book,” Morneau said. “And we certainly hope it goes away quickly.”In July, Ottawa applied retaliatory tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of U.S. imports of steel, aluminum and other products.The federal government has said it had no choice but to hit back at the U.S. with the countermeasures.It also announced a financial aid package for industries caught in the middle of the dispute, including up to $2 billion in new funding and support for workers in steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.During his appearance Tuesday, Morneau provided an update on another category of support provided via the aid package, which involves the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.So far, he said BDC has authorized loans totalling $131 million for 189 businesses, while EDC has authorized $44 million worth of loans for 24 clients.Morneau noted that firms approved for remission will also be eligible for refunds on duties they’ve already paid in the months since Ottawa imposed the counter-tariffs.He was asked how much extra revenue the surtaxes have already brought in, but he declined to provide a number and only said the duties were generating “significant” revenues.The tariff dispute has dragged on even though the Liberal government reached a new continental trade agreement this month with Washington and Mexico City. The Trump administration has maintained its stinging levies on Canadian steel and aluminum.Morneau said the government is still negotiating with U.S. officials in hopes of seeing the duties lifted.Committee member and fellow Liberal MP Peter Fonseca asked Morneau whether the government was considering a quota system as part of the potential solution to the tariff dispute.“We’re really not going to negotiate in public in terms of the actual approach that we’re trying to take,” said Morneau, adding he wants to make sure the market is stable and that the Canadian steel industry and users of steel are unharmed.“Clearly, we want to move away from the current situation. So, the mechanism to do that? We’re not at a stage where we’re able to talking about that because it’s not close to being done.”
Kolkata: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has held a closed door discussion with his West Bengal counterpart Mamanta Banerjee in Kharagpur on future plans of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). The meeting between Banerjee and Naidu took place for over 15 minutes late Thursday evening, according to a well-placed source in the TrInamool Congress. The two leaders met and spoke about the future plans of the Mahagatbandhan. Naidu and Didi (Banerjee) also discussed about the TDP leaders meeting with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi Wednesday, a senior TMC member told PTI. On whether Banerjee will be attending the proposed meeting of the opposition partioes likely to be held on May 21, the TMC leader said that the date of the meeting was yet not decided. Its not decided that the meeting will be held on May 21… it seems that it might be deferred by a couple of days and take place after May 23. Didi May be taking part in it, he said. Naidu and Banerjee are believed to have also talked about the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) issue and the probable voting percentage in the so far held five phases of polling in the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, the TMC leader said. Earlier, Naidu joined Banerjee at a campaign meeting of TMC at Kharagpur on Thursday where he spoke high about her and urged people to vote for Trinamool to oust the BJP from the power. Later, Naidu participated and delivered a speech for TMC North Kollkata Lok Sabha consituency candidate Sudip Bandyopadhyay at Sithi in the city. Banerjee, who has floated the idea of federal front of regional parties, has been playing an important role for unityt of anti-BJP bloc.
The World Heritage Committee of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reached the decisions at a weeklong meeting that began in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday.Timbuktu, which in the 15th and 16th centuries was one of Africa’s leading spiritual and intellectual centres, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988 and added to the Danger List in 1990. The Committee decided that the preservation of listed monuments had made sufficient progress after a range of measures including adoption of a management plan, work on water infrastructure, restoration of residential buildings and mosques, and the compilation of an inventory.Butrint, with its vestiges from the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian periods, was inscribed on the Heritage List in 1992 and added to the Danger List in 1997 because of looting, lack of protection, management and conservation, but the Committee said these reasons no longer applied.Sangay National Park, inscribed on the Heritage List in 1983, was placed on the Danger list in 1992, but the Committee cited a sharp reduction in human activity harmful to the natural environment of the Park with its full spectrum of ecosystems and numerous indigenous animal species.Over the coming days, the 21-member Committee will continue reviewing the state of conservation of sites on the World Heritage List and decide on new inscriptions. The Committee is in charge of implementing the 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which to date protects 788 sites of outstanding universal cultural or natural value around the world.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Giving a strong statement last month, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression. “Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests.” HMS Westminster escorted five Russian ships through the English ChannelCredit:Louise George And on Christmas Eve, HMS Tyne was dispatched to escort a Russian intelligence-gathering ship through the North Sea and the England Channel.A Wildcat helicopter was then also dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels. Activity has risen in recent years with warships passing Britain on their way to join Russia’s military campaign to prop up Bashar al-Assad in Syria. On Christmas Day, the frigate HMS St Albans was dispatched to track the Russian vessel Admiral Gorshkov as it made its way through the North Sea close to Britain. A Royal Navy frigate is escorting four Russian naval ships through the English Channel.HMS Westminster is accompanying two Russian frigates and two support ships as they head north returning from the Mediterranean.Naval sources said the contact was routine, but it comes amid an estimated 10-fold increase of Russian naval activity in waters around Britain and in the North Atlantic this decade.Commander Simon Kelly, the Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said: “HMS Westminster’s role as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires.”While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster’s ship’s company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep Britain safe at all times.”The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.”
So much of the technology focus today is on mobile. Laptops are a must have for most people and smartphones are evolving at breakneck speed. Who thought we’d have dual-cores, tens of gigabytes of storage, and even a full gigabyte of RAM – IN A PHONE! But for those who don’t need to be portable or would rather get the most performance for their dollar, there is no substitute for the trusty desktop computer.While desktops aren’t evolving like mobile technology is, you still have no shortage of the latest components. HP’s Pavilion Elite HPE-570t has a spec list almost as impressive as its name, sporting the newest Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, a free upgrade to a massive 1.5TB hard drive, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. You won’t be left wanting in the graphics department either, thanks to the AMD Radeon HD 5450 graphics card with 1GB RAM.All you need to complete this system is a monitor, sold separately, though HP does offer a 35 percent discount ($70 savings) on one of their 21.5-inch models. All told, the HPE-570t starts at $799.99 after $200 instant savings and a special $30 coupon.Visit LogicBuy to get the HP Pavilion Elite HPE-570t best deal.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The foreign secretary of the UK, William Hague, has ordered the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from the UK and announced that the UK is closing its embassy in Tehran, saying that the storming of the mission on Tuesday had the backing of the regime. Hague said Iranian diplomats had to leave Britain within 48 hours, and that all British embassy staff in Tehran had already left Iran. He said that the move would not mean the severance of all ties, as the two countries could continue to have a dialogue at international meetings, as the US has done since the seizure and closure of its embassy in 1979, but the move marks a new low in relations, which have been growing increasingly strained. The foreign secretary said it was not possible to maintain an embassy in the current circumstances.
Most of the work being done on batteries is about increasing the capacities and charging time, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a battery that addresses another pain point. The system designed by doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai can be cycled hundreds of thousands of times without wearing out, which could lead to a battery that never needs to be replaced.The experimental battery is composed of gold nanowires, which have been a favorite topic of study for energy researchers. These structures, which are thousands of times thinner than a human hair, have extremely high conductivity and surface area, making them ideal for the transfer and storage of electrons. The problem has always been that gold nanowires wear out quickly when used in conventional lithium-ion systems.A standard lithium-ion battery like the one in your phone begins to show degradation of the electrodes after a few hundred cycles. Even under laboratory conditions, the best you can get is a few thousand cycles before things start breaking down. Thai mitigated this by coating gold nanowires with a manganese dioxide shell. This electrolyte has a gel-like consistency that appears to stabilize the nanowires and prevents them from breaking down.Thai tested the battery when encased in gel, and found that it completed 200,000 discharge cycles in the space of a few months with no loss of capacity. Many devices have moved to embedded batteries that are not user-replaceable. With most other components entirely solid-state, the battery is often the first thing to wear out. You can either pay to have the cell replaced or just throw the phone away. A battery that doesn’t wear out could lead to less e-waste and happier consumers. Give it a few years, and maybe this technology will be suitable for commercialization.
FERGUSON, Mo. — A couple hundred defiant protesters remained in Ferguson early Sunday morning after a midnight curfew took effect in a St. Louis suburb where a black teen had been shot by a white police officer while walking down the street. Hundreds of other protesters left peacefully before the midnight to 5 a.m. deadline took effect in Ferguson, Missouri.Remaining protesters mingled, chanted and taunted police, some shouting that they would not abide the curfew. Some stood with their hands up, the emblematic pose used by many protesters to characterize the position witness have said 18-year-old Michael Brown had assumed when he was fatally shot.Police dressed in riot gear kept their distance.Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday had declared a state of emergency in Ferguson. As the curfew approached late Saturday night, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz roamed the street with a bullhorn, encouraging people to leave for their own safety. Many appeared to follow his suggestion.“C’mon you all, let’s roll out,” Shabazz said through his bullhorn. “Let’s roll out of here, get some rest and come back tomorrow.”Crowds that were in the hundreds prior to the curfew had dwindled significantly in the final hour.Despite heavy rainfall and lightning, hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday night at a busy thoroughfare that has been the site of previous clashes with police. Scores of officers, a much more visible presence than the night before, stood watch — including some with shields.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (WSVN) — The U.S. Coast Guard stopped two groups of Dominican migrants at sea.One group was spotted on a 19-foot wooden boat off the coast of Puerto Rico.All 18 Dominicans who were intercepted were repatriated on Friday.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Listen On Thursday’s Houston Matters: Eight of the 20 declared Democratic presidential candidates descended on Houston Wednesday to make their case to women of color, a key demographic for the party, at the She The People Presidential Forum. News 88.7’s politics and government reporter Andrew Schneider was there and lets us know what the candidates had to say.Also this hour: The Netflix film The Highwaymen tells the story of the Texas Rangers who helped take down famed Depression-era bandits Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. In the latest installment of our monthly movie segment, The Bigger Picture, we examine how that movie and the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde tackle celebrity, crime, and Texas history.And we meet Galveston house renovators Michael and Ashley Cordray, the stars of a new show on the DIY Network called Big Texas Fix.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /37:08
Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits Stay on target Early last year, before GameTrailers went completely defunct, former Editor-in-Chief Shane Satterfield launched his new venture SIFTD Games. Creating a new gaming website these days is tough for anyone, but Satterfield’s years of experience and credibility made the site at least worth checking out. SIFTD provides a unique angle on games coverage. However, after using the site, I just can’t get past one of its major decisions. SIFTD seems to think that the ideal video game reviews are the ones that give you precisely what you think you want, not what you don’t yet know you need.SIFTD’s mistake comes from a noble goal, the desire to let you users easily tailor their game coverage. That same philosophy informs the cool things about the site. SIFTD is essentially a news aggregation service like Apple News or Flipboard specifically for video game news. You can create a custom feed of articles and videos on the specific games and companies you care about in the specific genres you care about from the specific publications you care about. Only want to see racing game reviews, Valve news, and Titanfall 2 interviews from IGN? You can.The site also features typical community tools like forums and achievements and custom user profiles, but curating your own content is the draw. SIFTD targets adult gamers with limited time to keep up with their hobby and wants to know exactly what they might be interested in as soon as possible, to sift through the noise. That theme makes it easier to swallow the fact that the site largely relies on content from other sites like a fancier N4G.That also explains why SIFTD is comfortable offering premium subscriptions for adults, unlike kids, tend to have more money than time. For $50 per year, users gain access to exclusive community perks as well as original content from Satterfield and other longtime collaborators like Marcus “AnnoyedGamer” Beer and Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.However, the most curious premium feature is “Custom Game Eval Scores,” and therein lies the problem. You know how you can tweak your SIFTD profile to only read the news you like? You can also tweak what you value in a game to get a score closer to what you like. If you don’t care at all about story but think FOV sliders are the single most important thing in a game you already reflexively (and politically) hate like Virginia, tell that to the inhuman algorithm and it will listen.It’s definitely an interesting tool. For good or ill, news (gaming or otherwise) is already moving toward highly targeted experiences. Applying that formula to game opinions and letting users play an active part in shaping that experience seems like the next step. But in my opinion, it’s kind of a horrible step. In encouraging users only to consume the content they want, SIFTD enables them to ignore the criticism they need, which is one of the gaming community’s worst ongoing habits.What good are graphics in a text adventure? How valuable are the plots in non-Spike Lee sports games? Who cares about connectivity in offline single player games? This system of quantifying quality mechanically shoves games that have their own unique and divergent goals, priorities, and identities into square boxes regardless of their original shape. Instead of art, they are treated as products made of Sound, Visuals, Multiplayer, and other component parts to be dissected; that exist just to serve the whims and particular preferences of the player. Even if it’s not intentionally malicious, filtering that granular can only prevent you from learning about a game you didn’t know you might love since it doesn’t conform to what you already know you like.Treating reviews like this is more symptom than disease. This is the same mindset that leads to giving a score like 9.283 out 10 in an attempt to make the review seem like the result of objective mathematical testing, not wholly subjective criticism. It’s not a review, it’s an evaluation, and in SIFTD’s case an evaluation you pay for the privilege of receiving just the way you like. Boiling down complex thoughts into simple numbers, or, The Rotten Tomatoes Effect. It’s the same mindset that causes gamers to complain to the Better Business Bureau when the ending of a game story is more concerned with making its own statement than delivering exactly what audiences want. It’s the result of video games continuing to awkwardly straddle the line between artistic entertainment and technology product.A lot of video game websites have come and gone over the years, but one of the more promising overall trends of games coverage is the slow shift away from churning out cold and sterile technical reviews toward crafting warmer, personal, more thoughtful, and more holistic criticism akin to movies, music, and other art. Players should definitely be able to easily learn technical information about a game, from framerates to texture quality to online latency. If anything AAA publishers are the ones trying to suppress “objective” reviews. Bethesda’s recent boneheaded review policy (eloquently shredded by my colleague Will Greenwald) makes it harder for players to know if a game like Fallout 4 is broken on launch day by shunning the press in favor of YouTubers dutifully delivering uncritical hype right on schedule. And yet some think they’re being pro-consumer, not pro-preorder and pro-self. Pro-tip, never preorder a game.However, for a richer gaming culture to flourish, it’s essential that we as enthusiasts don’t stop at just sharing technical information. Whether we’re journalists, fans, or developers, we should seek out games and writing on games that challenge our biases and provoke discussions. Don’t just glance at Metacritic scores. We should play inspirational games and read fascinating analyses, old and new, that make us think and create in new ways. Expand your arbitrarily rigid definition of Game of the Year. Reconsider a game you dismissed or gain a deeper, more nuanced appreciation of a game you adore. Critical Distance and the writers it highlights, as well as game stores like itch.io, are a great place to start.By all means give SIFTD a shot. Test out its free trial. In theory, a savvy SIFTD user could use the site to help become a more well-rounded gamer. They could enthusiastically seek out games and games coverage they never considered. But I fear far too many would do the opposite and willfully close their minds even further instead of broadening their horizons. For example, I find most YouTube gaming content to be shrill and annoying, but if I curated my gaming media diet with SIFTD I’d miss out on great YouTube shows like Errant Signal and Game Maker’s Toolkit.This isn’t really about SIFTD, though. This is about how gamers as a whole should embrace criticism especially, criticism they don’t agree with, in an industry that actively marginalizes meaningful meditations from all directions. So as we plow through yet another AAA gaming holiday season, here’s a friendly reminder that criticism is more valuable than numbers.
Animation of red blood cells (RBCs) moving inward and forward due to the action of optical forces, forming an effective waveguide of light. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1 New photonic tools for medical imaging can be used to understand the nonlinear behavior of laser light in human blood for theranostic applications. When light enters biological fluids it is quickly scattered, however, some cell suspensions can induce nonlinear responses in laser beams to self-focus and enhance the penetration of light for biomedical applications as a quantifiable marker of disease. In a recent study now published in Light: Science and Applications, Rekha Gautam and her colleagues at the San Francisco State University and an international team of co-workers showed that a laser beam shining through red blood cell suspensions could become “self-trapped.” The process reduced light scattering to retain the power of the beam of laser light within the biological samples. The observed nonlinearity depended on osmotic conditions and the age of the samples. The scientists propose using the technique to diagnose sickle cell anemia or malaria; diseases which impact the size and shape of blood cells. Osmotic conditions play an important role in the properties of human red blood cells (RBCs) crucial during disease analysis. Numerous efforts in the past decade have focused on the study of the biomechanical properties of RBCs suspended in varying osmotic solutions. In the present work, Gautam et al. determined the self-trapping and scattering-resistant nonlinear propagation of a laser beam through three different osmotic solutions/conditions. The results showed that the strength of the optical nonlinearity increased with osmotic pressure on the cells. Interestingly, in aged blood samples with lysed cells the nonlinear behavior was notably different due to the presence of free hemoglobin. To explain the experimental observations, Gautam et al. used a theoretical model with an optical force-mediated nonlocal nonlinearity. The present work on light self-guiding through scattered soft biological matter can introduce new photonic tools for noninvasive biomedical imaging and medical diagnosis. The scientists obtained blood samples from anonymous donors for the experiments. In the first set of experiments, they used a linearly polarized continuous wave (CW) laser beam with a wavelength of 532 nm. They focused the light into a 3 cm long glass cuvette filled with RBC suspensions in diverse osmotic conditions, as previously described. They monitored the linear and nonlinear outputs from the sample using a CCD camera and power detector, and measured the beam diameters using the Beamview program. The beam first diffracted normally at a low power of 10 mW and experienced strong scattering thereafter due to random distribution of non-spherically shaped RBCs. Gautam et al. then measured normalized laser transmission (output/input power) as a function of the input beam power. In hypotonic solutions, they noted the RBCs were in a “swollen” state where the effective refractive index of the cells decreased as the water-to-Hb ratio increased. In contrast, in the hypertonic solution, the scientists observed that RBCs shrunk, and their effective index increased due to reduced water-to-Hb ratio. In a third isotonic solution, the cells exhibited a “normal” state, in which the RBCs showed intermediate behavior. When the experiments were performed using the same blood samples two weeks later, the scientists observed notably different outcomes in which the nonlinear focus dramatically enhanced for the hypertonic solution. New shapes of laser beam ‘sneak’ through opaque media More information: Rekha Gautam et al. Optical force-induced nonlinearity and self-guiding of light in human red blood cell suspensions, Light: Science & Applications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1 I. M. Vellekoop et al. Exploiting disorder for perfect focusing, Nature Photonics (2010). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.3 Roarke Horstmeyer et al. Guidestar-assisted wavefront-shaping methods for focusing light into biological tissue, Nature Photonics (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2015.140Roadmap on structured light. Journal of Optics. iopscience.iop.org/article/10. … 978/19/1/013001/meta UPPER PANEL: Normalized transmission and output beam size as a function of input power. a Measurement of the normalized transmission and b output beam size change in fresh RBC suspensions of different buffer solutions. The cyan (triangle) curve depicts the results obtained from the PBS background solution without RBCs as a reference, which indicates no appreciable self-action of the beam in the buffer solution itself. The blue (circle), red (square), and green (diamond) curves show the data obtained from RBC suspensions in hypertonic, isotonic, and hypotonic solutions, respectively, where the error ranges in (b) are indicated by the shaded regions. c Corresponding results from the same blood sample but after the RBCs have been stored in a refrigerator for two weeks, where the nonlinear focusing is dramatically enhanced in the hypotonic solutions. LOWER: Optical gradient forces on RBCs under different osmotic conditions examined by optical tweezers. a–c Snapshots of RBC movement towards a 960-nm laser beam (position marked by a dashed green circle) in isotonic, hypotonic, and hypertonic solutions, respectively, as observed under a microscope. The red arrows illustrate the directional cell movement. d–f Power spectrum analyses showing the trap stiffness κx of a single RBC from the three suspensions in accordance with (a–c), where the vertical dashed lines mark the corner frequency fc. The inset in (f) illustrates a single RBC that moves into the trap under the action of the gradient force. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1. Explore further Self-trapping light through human RBC suspensions under different osmotic conditions. a–c Illustrations of the beam dynamics in (a) isotonic, (b) hypotonic, and (c) hypertonic suspensions. d Side-view image of a self-trapped beam. e–g Observed output intensity patterns at a low power, which show the linear diffraction and strong scattering of the laser beam. i–k Corresponding patterns at a high power, which show the beam localization due to nonlinear self-trapping. h, l 3D plots of the intensity patterns corresponding to (g, k), respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1. , Light: Science & Applications Nonlinear optical response of lysed RBCs (free hemoglobin) in water. a Output beam size as a function of input power through the Hb solutions for four different concentrations. The RBC concentrations for the four curves (Hb1-Hb4) are 2.4, 5.1, 8.6, and 15.0 million cells per mL. Nonlinear self-focusing of the beam occurs at ~100 mW for high concentrations of Hb, but it subsequently expands into thermal defocusing rings at high powers. b–e Typical output transverse intensity patterns taken for the self-trapped beam (b, d) and thermally expanded beam (c, e) for low (d, e) and high (b, c) concentrations. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1 In this way, Gautam et al. studied nonlinear beam propagation in human RBCs suspended in three diverse buffer solutions. They found that RBCs exhibited a strong self-focusing nonlinearity that could be chemically controlled based on the buffer solution. They therefore propose tuning the optical nonlinearity via osmosis and increased osmotic pressure, outside the cells in fresh blood samples. When the samples aged, free hemoglobin from the lysed RBCs played an active role in the observed optical nonlinearity and enhanced the nonlinear response in hypotonic conditions. Using direct video microscopy and optical tweezer measurements, the scientists showed that the beam trapping force was greatest for RBCs in the hypertonic conditions and weakest for hypotonic solutions. The scientists introduced a theoretical model to validate the observed experimental effects. The work will introduce a new perspective in the development of diagnostic tools as the results are very promising towards the development of laser treatment therapies for blood-related diseases. In a second set of experiments, the scientists used a home-built optical tweezer system to measure the optical gradient force on RBCs. Gautam et al. collected the forward-scattering light from the trapped cells with a condenser lens and subsequently focused onto a position sensitive detector (PSD). They calculated the stiffness and gradient force in the three separate solutions. To simplify the measurements, Gautam et al. treated hypotonic and hypertonic RBCs as disk shaped objects. They used a CCD camera to record cell movements from the three different solutions along with a microscope with two objectives, where the setup was driven using a 960 nm laser beam. The results illustrated the movement of cells against Brownian motion under the action of optical forces based on the conditions of the cell (shape, size) and their beam trapping capacity. Gautam et al. estimated the trapping force using the Langevin equation and informed that the force followed a trend of hypertonic > isotonic > hypotonic conditions.The scientists then developed a model to simulate nonlinear beam propagation in biological soft matter in order to understand the physics of optical force-mediated nonlinearity. They modelled time evolution of the particle concentration distribution using a diffusion-advection equation and considered the presence of a forward-scattering force to push the particles along the direction of beam propagation, alongside the optical gradient force. Gautam et al. calculated the change in beam size for the different gradient and scattering force parameters to simulate the nonlinear self-focusing effects under different buffer conditions. They recorded the changing size, volume and refractive indices of RBCs under diverse osmotic conditions that were accountable for the varying magnitude of optical forces that modified the optical nonlinearity. The simulated results were qualitatively consistent with the experimental observations. Pathophysiological conditions such as sickle cell anemia, malaria and sepsis are often closely related to the physical properties of RBCs, their shape and size. The fundamental features of varying refractive indices and cell shapes allow RBCs to react to changes in different osmotic environments making them ideal candidates to study scattering light. In the present work, Gautam et al. showed nonlinear self-trapping of light across a centimeter distance of propagation by scattering RBC suspensions. When they increased the power of the laser beam, they showed the beam dramatically self-focus within all three osmotic conditions – much like optical spatial solitons (nonlinear self-trapped wave packets). The optical forces that change with cell density and morphology can provide noninvasive tools to sort diverse cells, according to a specific stage of a given disease. © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Nature Photonics Human RBCs are disc-shaped malleable cells that possess a spatially uniform refractive index as they lack nuclei unlike most organelles, and show distinctive deformability for passage through veins and microcapillaries. The shape change can be prompted by modifying the osmolarity of the surrounding liquid buffer to use RBCs as tunable optofluidic microlenses. The optical properties of RBCs are important for in vitro and in vivo disease diagnostics in which the refractive index of the RBC is determined by hemoglobin (Hb)—the largest part of the erythrocyte dry content by weight. As a result, if the cell volume decreased due to varying osmotic conditions, the refractive index increased. Simulations of the optical force-induced nonlinear beam dynamics in RBC-like suspensions. a–c Beam size (FWHM) change as a function of the gradient and scattering forces obtained via numerical simulations using a 350-mW input power and neglecting random scattering effects, where one observes the change in beam size when either the gradient or the scattering force is “turned off”. d, f Side-view of the beam propagation and e, g corresponding output transverse intensity patterns after propagating through an RBC-like random scattering medium at low (d, e) and high (f, g) beam power. The beam side-views and output intensity patterns are normalized with respect to their respective maximal input powers. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0142-1. Citation: Optical force-induced self-guiding light in human red blood cell suspensions (2019, March 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-optical-force-induced-self-guiding-human-red.html 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.
Related Content Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more News | October 26, 2010 MRI Advances to Focus on Boosting Productivity Feature | Contrast Media | July 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite Macrocyclic contrast agents have the best safety profile of all the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast media that are n read more News | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | July 10, 2019 Insightec’s Exablate Neuro Approved With GE Signa Premier MRI in U.S. and Europe GE Healthcare and Insightec announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and CE mark for Insightec’s… read more News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 01, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Medical Device Safety in MRI Environment The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new draft guidance titled Testing and Labeling Medical Devices for… read more News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 16, 2019 AAPM 2019 Features More Than 40 Presentations on ViewRay’s MRIdian MRI-guided Radiotherapy ViewRay Inc. announced that the company’s MRIdian System is the focus of more than 40 abstracts selected by the… read more News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 06, 2019 Canon Medical Introduces Encore Orian MR Upgrade Program Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. is helping to provide low-cost patient care solutions for its customers with the launch… read more Technology | Contrast Media | July 15, 2019 FDA Approves Bayer’s Gadavist Contrast for Cardiac MRI in Adult Coronary Artery Disease Patients The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gadavist injection for use in cardiac magnetic resonance… read more October 26, 2010 – New magnetic resonance (MR) imaging advancements from GE Healthcare to be displayed at RSNA 2010 will focus on patient comfort, enhanced clinical utility and workflow improvements to boost radiologist and technologist productivity. 1.5T Optima MR450w, a 70 cm whole-body scanner, will be featured together with Continuum Pak 22.0, the latest clinical applications package designed to enhance utility. GE will also highlight the 1.5T extremity MR system which is easier to site, more comfortable for the patient and produces high-quality images comparable to whole-body 1.5T MR systems. Patient comfort has been improved with the introduction of soft, flexible coils that drape over the patient, rather than the more rigid, hard plastic offered on some MRI systems.Propeller 3.0 extends the advantages of an innovative technique pioneered by GE to combat patient motion and reduce susceptibility artifacts. It helps make MR brain exams much more robust, even for challenging patients and difficult-to-scan anatomies.Additionally, Inhance 2.0 is a complete suite of noncontrast MR angiography techniques optimized for diverse anatomies. MR-Touch is a commercially available product based on magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), a technique developed at Mayo Clinic. It uses low-frequency mechanical waves, generated in the body through an external acoustic driver, to probe the elastic properties of tissue. For more information: www.gehealthcare.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | Neuro Imaging | August 07, 2019 Synaptive Medical Launches Modus Plan With Automated Tractography Segmentation Synaptive Medical announced the U.S. launch and availability of Modus Plan featuring BrightMatter AutoSeg. This release… read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more News | Neuro Imaging | July 05, 2019 Delta T1 Maps Provide Quantitative, Automated Solution to Assess Brain Tumor Burden Imaging Biometrics LLC (IB) a subsidiary of IQ-AI Ltd., is highlighting a recently published study in the American… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. Two brain metastases from primary lung cancer are contrast enhanced in the brain of a 61-year-old male. Speakers at AHRA 2019 will state that ProHance and other macrocyclic MR agents present a very low risk to patients. Images courtesy of Bracco
Zambia Tourism Board recently conducted a FAM trip in association with Ethiopian Airlines for prominent tour operators in India.The agents took an 11-day tour to Zambia to explore the culture, wildlife and lodges in the country. This was coupled with some excellent service and connectivity by the airline.The agents also participated at the Zambia Travel Expo (ZATEX), 2016, held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) in Lusaka. Agents at the show not only exploited networking opportunities but also met some of the key global tourism players.The trip consisted of agents from Global Connections, Travel n Living, Earthwalk and Footprint Holidays along with Dency Mathew – Marketing and PR Manager, Blue Square Consultants. The group visited Lusaka, South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Livingstone. The group also enjoyed canoeing in the Zambezi river amongst hippos and crocodiles; day and night game drives in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Park; microlight flight over Victoria Falls and a cruise on the African Queen in Livingstone.The trip was supported by Taj Pamodzi, Intercontinental, Sanctuary Retreats, Chinzombo Camp, Chongwe Safari, Sausage Tree Camp, Avani Victoria Falls Resort, Protea Hotel and the airline Proflight Zambia.Felix Chaila, Managing Director, Zambia Tourism Board, said, “India is an emerging source market for us and we want to see a positive growth from this market. Zambia is the new face of Africa and is a safe and secure destination. We feel Indians are looking at exploring new and exciting destinations and Zambia is a product they will love. Moving forward, we plan to conduct more familiarisation trips, focused network events for trade, branding activities and one-on-one sales meetings in India with the help of our India representative Blue Square Consultants.”
Less than three weeks after Morgan Stanley announced a substantially higher over-the-year profit in 2015 due to reduced legal costs brought on by mortgage-backed securities settlements, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced on Tuesday that the investment banking firm has agreed to pay $62.95 million to settle claims of selling toxic mortgage-backed securities to FDIC-insured three banks that later failed.According to the FDIC, the amount of the settlement will be distributed between the receiverships for the three failed banks, which are:Security Savings Bank of Henderson, Nevada (failed in February 2009)Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Alabama (failed in August 2009)United Western Bank of Denver, Colorado (failed in February 2011)The FDIC, as receiver for the failed banks, filed four lawsuits against Morgan Stanley and other defendants from February 2012 to January 2014 claiming violations of state and federal laws in connection with the sales of residential mortgage-backed securities to the three failed banks. FDIC alleges there were misrepresentations in the offering documents for 14 securities that Morgan Stanley sold to the three failed banks. The FDIC has now filed 19 RMBS lawsuits on behalf of eight institutions seeking damages for violations of federal and state securities laws; this total includes the four filed against Morgan Stanley.The $62.95 million settlement with the FDIC brings total RBMS claim settlements by the FDIC with Morgan Stanley to $86.95 million, including the $24 million settlement last year of RMBS claims related to Franklin Bank, S.S.B., of Houston, Texas (which failed in November 2008).A spokesman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the most recent settlement with the FDIC when reached by email.In February 2015, Morgan Stanley entered into a settlement with the Justice Department for $2.6 billion to resolve claims that the investment firm packaged and sold toxic MBS in the run-up to the crisis. With litigation costs of $3.1 billion reported for 2014 as a result of the settlement, the firm’s earnings for that year took a significant hit. With legal costs significantly lowered for 2015, Morgan Stanley’s net income rose from $3.5 billion in 2015 up to $6.1 billion in 2015. Morgan Stanley Settles Mortgage-Bond Suit With FDIC in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market February 2, 2016 584 Views Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Financial Crisis Morgan Stanley residential mortgage backed securities 2016-02-02 Seth Welborn Share
by The Associated Press Posted Jan 8, 2018 6:35 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 8, 2018 at 7:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Box Office Top 20: ‘Jumanji’ knocks ‘Star Wars’ to No. 3 FILE – This file image released by Sony Pictures shows Kevin Hart, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan and Jack Black in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” Columbia Pictures says Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, that the Johnson-led “Jumanji” is estimated to have earned an additional $36 million, bringing its total to $244.4 million. (Frank Masi/Sony Pictures via AP, File) LOS ANGELES, Calif. – “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Insidious: The Last Key” knocked the reigning box office champ “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to third place this weekend. “Jumanji,” in its third weekend in theatres, earned $37.2 million while the fourth film in the “Insidious” franchise launched with $29.6 million.“The Last Jedi,” now in its fourth weekend in theatres, fell to third place with $23.7 million. The film has earned $572.7 million to date.“The Greatest Showman” took fourth with $13.8 million and “Pitch Perfect 3” landed in fifth with $10.3 million.The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theatres Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theatre locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:1. “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle,” Sony, $37,233,653, 3,801 locations, $9,796 average, $245,606,319, 3 Weeks.2. “Insidious: The Last Key,” Universal, $29,581,355, 3,116 locations, $9,493 average, $29,581,355, 1 Week.3. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Disney, $23,728,944, 4,232 locations, $5,607 average, $572,691,546, 4 Weeks.4. “The Greatest Showman,” 20th Century Fox, $13,770,951, 3,342 locations, $4,121 average, $76,875,323, 3 Weeks.5. “Pitch Perfect 3,” Universal, $10,298,345, 3,458 locations, $2,978 average, $86,055,435, 3 Weeks.6. “Ferdinand,” 20th Century Fox, $7,697,773, 3,156 locations, $2,439 average, $70,466,891, 4 Weeks.7. “Molly’s Game,” STX Entertainment, $6,856,578, 1,608 locations, $4,264 average, $14,073,138, 2 Weeks.8. “Darkest Hour,” Focus Features, $6,050,225, 1,733 locations, $3,491 average, $28,086,332, 7 Weeks.9. “Coco,” Disney, $5,382,651, 1,894 locations, $2,842 average, $191,925,612, 7 Weeks.10. “All The Money In The World,” Sony, $3,571,226, 2,123 locations, $1,682 average, $20,153,135, 2 Weeks.11. “The Shape Of Water,” Fox Searchlight, $3,139,084, 804 locations, $3,904 average, $21,692,548, 6 Weeks.12. “I, Tonya,” Neon Rated, $2,445,877, 242 locations, $10,107 average, $5,419,569, 5 Weeks.13. “Wonder,” Lionsgate, $2,381,646, 1,258 locations, $1,893 average, $126,638,732, 8 Weeks.14. “Downsizing,” Paramount, $2,202,311, 2,020 locations, $1,090 average, $22,932,429, 3 Weeks.15. “The Post,” 20th Century Fox, $1,698,027, 36 locations, $47,167 average, $3,847,683, 3 Weeks.16. “Lady Bird,” A24, $1,572,031, 562 locations, $2,797 average, $34,128,122, 10 Weeks.17. “Father Figures,” Warner Bros., $1,262,474, 1,717 locations, $735 average, $16,772,934, 3 Weeks.18. “Call Me By Your Name,” Sony Pictures Classics, $747,129, 117 locations, $6,386 average, $6,073,057, 7 Weeks.19. “The Disaster Artist,” A24, $746,034, 478 locations, $1,561 average, $19,431,782, 6 Weeks.20. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” Fox Searchlight, $705,188, 310 locations, $2,275 average, $25,392,902, 9 Weeks.—Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
By Angelos AnastasiouTHE head of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) Klea Papaelliina has decided to forward a file containing mismanagement of funds by sports organisations within its remit to the Attorney General’s office, as urged by outgoing Auditor General Chrystalla Georghadji before she took the helm at the Central Bank of Cyprus.Some 50 sports organisations under KOA’s administration received state funding of €6m in 2012 and are required to account for expenditure following clearly laid-out rules. Such rules include a transparent expenditure authorising procedure, inviting supplier tenders and regular accounts submission.Papaellina’s list contained the findings of an audit performed by PwC for 2011 and 2012 which revealed instances of improper, and possibly illegal, funds’ management practices.Points raised in the audit report include payments made through unclear expenditure authorisation procedures, inflated expenditure reports and expenditures to suppliers connected with board members of various sports organisations.With these in mind, Georghadji – as Auditor General – had warned KOA that it needed to hold its sports organisations accountable for their financial affairs, which needed to be streamlined and become more transparent. “Otherwise, KOA will risk being shut down,” she said, citing the Troika’s list of ‘troubled semi-state organisations.’In a letter to Costas Clerides dated March 26, Papaellina informed the Attorney General of the issues raised and requested that he “act accordingly.”An example of the suspected wrongdoings was the case of the archery federation which the PwC audit report for 2012 stated that it had bought supplies from a company run by one of its board members, even though this was explicitly forbidden by the organisations’ regulations. This board member, the auditors said, even sat in the board meeting that evaluated and approved the supplier tenders for the contract his company was eventually awarded.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoSenior Living | Search AdsCheap Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
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