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first_img 1 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The NFL Draft is a little more than a week away.Thirty-two players will hear their names called by Roger Goodell as first-round picks next Thursday night in Nashville, and most will come from the usual schools known for producing NFL talent.In fact, since 2010, 75 different schools have each produced at least one first-round pick. Your job is to name them.We’ve given you the number of first-rounders each school produced, you just name the program. HINT: The schools are listed in alphabetical order.You’ve got 10 minutes on the clock…good luck!last_img read more

Polish tripleplay service provider Netia has team

Polish tripleplay service provider Netia has team

first_imgPolish triple-play service provider Netia has teamed up with local mobile provider P4 to deliver mobile services to its customers. Netia chose to team up with P4, which operates the Play service, after several months of negotiations with both P4 and rival operator Polkomtel.Netia CEO Adam Sawicki said that Play was “the most attractive partner” for Netia thanks to its attractive pricing packages and simple and flexible settlemet rules. He said that the deal would enable to Netia to offer attractive and innovative mobile services to both individual clients and companies.Jacek Niewęgłowski, board member of P4, said that the partnership would strengthen his company’s position in the MVNO market.The pair have been testing some joint products with customers for some time. Netia plans to present a range of converged solutions in the second half of this year.last_img read more

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first_img Sponsor Advertisement (Click on image to enlarge) I have the usual number of stories today, and I hope you find some in here that interest you. The simple glaring fact being overlooked is that banks shouldn’t be involved in trading any commodities, including gold and silver, either for clients or for their own account. Banks have more important things to do for society as a whole and for their shareholders and employees than trade commodities. Under no circumstance should anyone be allowed to corner or control a market, bank or otherwise. That JPMorgan has come to corner both gold and silver trading on the COMEX is doubly unacceptable; it is the unspoken scandal that can’t be openly discussed. – Silver analyst Ted Butler, 31 August 2013 I hope you weren’t overly surprised by the price action in New York yesterday, as it pretty much turned out the way I said it would in The Wrap in Thursday’s column.  There was nothing free-market about it, and as I mentioned earlier, the small rally in the dollar index that occurred at the same time was the fig leaf that “da boyz” hid behind while they did the dirty. One question remaining is how bad a hit will the precious metals get at the 8:30 a.m. EDT jobs number release today.  Normally the price smash that occurs at that time involves only silver and gold.  As a general rule, platinum and palladium are spared.  We’ll find out pretty quick if that turns out to be the case this time around.  Of course I’d love to be proven wrong! It’s a given that JPMorgan Chase et al are gobbling up every Comex long contract in gold and silver that the technical funds and small traders are being stopped out on.  And as I pointed out yesterday, none of this volume data will be available until next Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, which is a lifetime away in these markets. Another question is, how long will this engineered price decline continue?  Blythe Masters and Jamie Dimon would know for sure, but they’re not returning my calls.  It’s possible that they may be gunning for the 50-day moving averages in both gold and silver.  Here are the 6-month charts for both metals so you can get an idea what the price points are.   If that’s their target, I would guess that they would get taken out just before the first Tomahawk cruise missile slams into Damascus. The gold stocks gapped down a bit at the open, and never stopped falling until shortly before 3 p.m. EDT.  After that they rallied a bit into the close.  The HUI finished down 3.42%. (Click on image to enlarge) (Click on image to enlarge) The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 19 gold and 60 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, JPMorgan was the issuer on 14 contract and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia stopped 17 of those contracts.  In silver, the big short/issuer was Jefferies with 56 contracts, and the two biggest long/stoppers were Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 31 contracts, and JPMorgan with 15 in its client account.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday. Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List,” updated his website with the changes in SLV for the reporting week ending Wednesday, 04 September.  Here, in part, is what he had to say:  “Analysis of the 04 September 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list — 1,988,213.5 troy oz. was removed (all from Brinks London) and 1,446,237.8 troy ounces was added (all to Brinks London), no bars had a serial number change.” “There was also a withdrawal of 128,364.2 troy ounces that has not yet been reflected on the bar list, and that should appear on the next bar list (as it normally takes a day or two for the bar list to get updated).” He also reported that “03 September 2013: Another unusual Sunday update, removing 1.99M oz. This was around 1:30PM EDT. Very strange.”  Ted Butler mentioned that to me as well, and we were both quite amazed by that fact, as they mostly update their website late in the evening EDT, which is the wee hours of the morning in London, which is where the fund, and the vaults, are located.  Why would they be open on that day, or at that time of day? The rest of what Joshua has to say is posted on his website linked here.  His June 23 comments are worth reading as well, as it’s similar to what happened on Sunday night. The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report.  They sold 1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, there was no in/out activity in gold.  But in silver they reported receiving 2,011 troy ounces, and shipped out 159,078 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here. The big news yesterday was that the Chinese imported 116.4 tonnes of gold through Hong Kong in July, and thanks to Nick Laird, here’s the appropriate chart. Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com. How bad a hit will silver and gold get at the 8:30 a.m. EDT jobs number release today? The gold price did nothing in Far East trading until 1 p.m. in Hong Kong.  Then, during the next hour, gold got sold down ten bucks. The subsequent rally lasted until the Comex open, and shortly after that the high-frequency traders did their thing.  The bottom came at 10:45 a.m. EDT, and the smallish rally that began at that point got sold off starting shortly after 2 p.m. in electronic trading.  Kitco recorded the low tick as $1,364.50 spot. Gold closed the Thursday session in New York at $1,367.70 spot, down $23.90 from Wednesday.  Net volume was pretty decent, around 171,000 contracts. (Click on image to enlarge) Just eye-balling the graph, I note that China has imported, on average, a bit more than 100 tonnes of gold for each of the last five months.  There’s also a Bloomberg story in the Critical Reads section about July’s imports, and it’s definitely worth reading. Here’s another chart courtesy of Nick.  This one shows the dollar value in gold eagles sales vs. the dollar value of silver eagles sold.  As Nick pointed out, the dollar value of silver coins sold has exceeded the dollar value of gold coins sold for the last two months. Platinum and palladium got sold down during the Comex trading session, but their losses on the day weren’t too bad.  Here are the charts. The dollar index closed at 82.16 in New York late on Wednesday afternoon.  It rallied up to 82.39 by 8:30 a.m. BST in London on their Thursday morning, before rolling over and hitting its 82.13 low just minutes before the Comex open in New York.  The index rallied strongly from there, hitting its high tick of 82.67 a few minutes after 10:30 a.m. EDT.  After that the index traded ruler flat into the close, finishing the Thursday session at 82.63, up 47 basis points from Friday. It’s my opinion that this manufactured dollar index rally was used to mask the bear raid on gold and silver that occurred at the same time, as the price declines during that time period were out of all proportion to the “rally” in the index.  But if you feel otherwise, I certainly won’t argue with you, as you’re entitled to your opinion. (Click on image to enlarge) Today we get the new Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close on Tuesday.  I’m guessing that we’ll see a small decline in the Commercial net short position in gold, but silver is too hard to call because of the big price rally on Tuesday.  The September Bank Participation Report is coming out as well, and since the data in that report is extracted directly from the COT Report, for this one day a month [Tuesday] the banks long and short positions as a percentage of total open interest are exposed for all to see.  I’ll report on this tomorrow. In Far East trading on their Friday, it was as quiet as the proverbial church mouse, both in price and volume.  Nobody wants to stick their neck out in front of today’s jobs report.  Can you blame them, dear reader!  London has been open about forty-five minutes as I write this paragraph, and this same price/volume pattern continues.  The dollar index is down a handful of basis points. And as I hit the send button on today’s effort, London has been open for two hours and fifteen minutes, and nothing has changed in the interim.  Prices are still flat and volumes light.  The dollar index is marginally lower, down 14 basis points. That’s all I have for this Friday.  I hope your weekend, or what’s left of it, goes well, and I’ll see you here on Saturday. The silver price action was virtually the same, so I’ll spare you the details.  Silver closed yesterday at $23.205 spot, down 25.5 cents.  Net volume was around 41,000 contracts. The silver stocks got sold down pretty hard, especially some of the juniors, and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index got smacked for 3.42% as well.last_img read more

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first_img Sponsor Advertisement The gold stocks attempted to rally at the start of trading in New York, but quickly fell into negative territory as gold hit its low at the London p.m. fix, which came shortly after 3 p.m. GMT, or 10 a.m. in New York.  The attempted rally off that low got nowhere, and the gold stocks slid some more into the close.  The HUI finished down another 1.55%.  The HUI is already down 7.5% in the first two trading days of December. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 328 gold and 126 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday.  The shocking thing about the gold deliveries was not that the big short/issuer was JPMorgan out of its client account with 300 contracts,  but that the big long/stopper [drum roll, please!] was JPMorgan out of it’s in-house [proprietary] trading account with 336 contracts.  How’s that for insider trading!!!  You either trick or lie to your clients into going short, and then the company itself scoops up their positions by standing for delivery against them.  You couldn’t make this stuff up!!!  The Volcker Rule can’t get enacted soon enough for either Ted Butler, or for me. In silver, the largest short/issuer was Jefferies with 103 contracts.  And it should come as no surprise that JPMorgan was by far the biggest long/stopper with 98 contracts; 84 for its in-house account, and the balance for its client account.  In distant second was Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 19 contracts stopped. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here, and it’s worth a quick look for obvious reasons. It was no surprise to find that an authorized participant had made another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time it was 57,881 troy ounces.  There was a withdrawal from SLV as well, but only 145,587 troy ounces.  That’s too small an amount for a ‘plain vanilla’ withdrawal because of price, and also too small to be a fee payment, so I’d guess that the owner of that silver needed it elsewhere. Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending on November 29, they reported smallish declines in both their gold and silver ETFs.  Their gold ETF dropped by 22,122 troy ounces, and their silver ETF fell by 256,081 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday.  They sold 9,000 troy ounces of gold eagles and 110,500 silver eagles. Gold movement inside the Comex-approved depositories on Monday is hardly worth writing about, as only 314 troy ounces were reported received, and nothing was shipped out.  Here’s the link to that ‘activity’. In silver, nothing was reported received, but 642,141 troy ounces were reported shipped out of HSBC USA’s vault on Monday.  The link to that action is here. I have the usual number of stories for a mid-week column, and I hope you find something of interest in today’s selection. By knowing that gold and silver prices only fall sharply when the commercials are looking to buy, one does not need to know much more. JPMorgan and the other collusive commercials are not rigging prices lower and buying more gold and silver contracts in order to sell at still lower prices. That’s not something you do when you control a market. I can’t tell you the ultimate bottom; but I can tell you JPMorgan and the commercials are not buying to sell those contracts lower still. Even if you guess that prices will fall lower as JPMorgan rigs prices lower in order to buy, there is a terminal point. That point is closer than ever before. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 02 December 2013 Besides the fact that another new low for this move down in both gold and silver was set, not much else happened during the trading day on Tuesday, and Ted Butler’s quote above tells you all you need to know about the who is doing it and why. Since yesterday’s data will be in this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, and the accompanying Bank Participation Report, we’ll get a real good look at how much more the Commercial net short position in both gold and silver have improved during the reporting week that ended at the Comex close on Tuesday. In the Critical Reads section further up, I posted a ZH story entitled “Top 4 U.S. Banks Holding $217 Trillion in Derivatives“.  In my commentary on that piece, I mentioned Table 9 in the latest derivatives report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  Here’s the table in question posted below, and the “click to enlarge” feature is a must here. The dollar index closed on Monday afternoon in New York at 80.90.  It rallied to its 80.99 high shortly before 1 p.m. in Far East trading, and then began to decline steadily until it hit its low of 80.51 around 11:45 a.m. in New York.  The index rallied slowly and unsteadily into the close from that low, finishing the Tuesday session at 80.61, down 29 basis points from Monday. Platinum had a tiny rally in early morning trading in the Far East that didn’t last.  But the next rally attempt that began at the Comex open, lasted until noon before trading sideways into the close.  Palladium finished in the black as well, but platinum was the star of the day.  Here are the charts. The chart pattern for the silver equities looked similar, but Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index only closed down 0.10%.center_img The silver price didn’t do much either, and it’s a coin toss as to whether the low tick came at 11 a.m. in London, or at the London p.m. gold fix.  Not that it mattered when it happened, I suppose, but it was another new low for this move down.  The tiny rally off the low at the p.m. fix met the same fate at the precise same time as the gold rally did. The highs and lows, such as they were, were $19.335 and $18.975 in the March contract as posted on the CME’s website. Silver finished the Tuesday trading session at $19.175 spot, down 3 cents from Monday.  Considering the lack of price movement, net volume was pretty chunky at 46,000 contracts. Based on these numbers, it’s pretty easy to see who runs the show in the precious metals It was a lot quieter on Tuesday as far as price action was concerned, but I’m sure you’ve already noted gold made a new low for this move down, and as is usually the case, it came at the London p.m. gold fix.  The subsequent rally didn’t get far, or wasn’t allowed to get far.  From there the gold price traded flat into the close. The high and low ticks recorded by the CME were $1,225.80 and $1,214.60 in the February contract. Gold closed at $1,224.30 spot, up and even $5.00 from Monday’s close.  Net volume, although not heavy, wasn’t exactly light either at 124,000 contracts. Forget the Total Assets and Total Derivatives numbers and just concentrate on the “Gold Maturity” and other “Precious Metals Maturity” numbers on the right.  In gold, JPMorgan and Citigroup hold $90.874 billion dollars in gold derivatives between them, out of a total of $121.328 billion dollars held by all U.S. banks.  I’m prepared to bet serious money that the more than 95% of the remaining $30.454 billion is held by HSBC USA, a U.S. bullion bank that doesn’t show up in the “Top 4” shown here, because they are listed by “Total Derivatives”, and would be #5 or #6 on the list if it were to include them. Before the financial crisis rearranged the big derivatives players in this report, HSBC USA was always in the top five banks, and they held major quantities of precious metal derivatives at that time, and I doubt very much that that has changed much since then. In other “Precious Metals Maturity”, JPMorgan and Citi hold $21.941 billion in derivatives between them out of the total of $28.234 billion.  Most of those amounts would be silver derivatives, because platinum and palladium are tiny markets by comparison.  I’d also bet serious money that HSBC USA holds the lion’s share of the $6.293 billion dollar balance as well. You should also note that Goldman Sachs and BofA hold zero derivatives in any precious metal. Based on these numbers, it’s pretty easy to see who runs the show in the precious metals.  It’s JPMorgan Chase by a country mile, with Citi and HSBC USA playing supporting rolls; along with [in my opinion] Canada’s Scotiabank giving it an “international flavour”. As Ted Butler said in the quote in The Wrap yesterday, JPMorgan Chase holds a bit more than 50% of all the long positions in the Commercial category of the latest Commitment of Traders Report.  That report shows that there are 58 traders holding long positions in the Commercial category in gold, and just one trader, JPMorgan Chase, holds 50+% of those long positions all by itself. I’m running very late today, and London has been open about an hour and a half at this point, and I see that JPMorgan et al are still at it, as their high-frequency trader set new lows going into the London open this morning.  Volumes for this time of day in both metals are not overly heavy, so one has to wonder just how effective these new lows are.  As Ted Butler said in the quote above: “there is a limit.”  And, not that it matters, but the dollar index is up about 11 basis points. And as I hit the send button at 5:20 a.m. EST, gold is hitting another new low once again, silver is off its low by a bit, and platinum and palladium aren’t doing much.  Volumes have changed very little since I wrote the above paragraph about 45 minutes ago, so all this price action, such as it is, is occurring on fumes and vapours from a volume standpoint, so I wouldn’t read much into it.  However, the trading day has miles to go, and anything can happen between now and the 5:15 p.m. electronic close in New York this afternoon. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if “da boyz” set another new low at the London p.m. gold fix today.  We’re really in terra incognita from hereon in, as JPMorgan et al shake the tree one last time.  To say that everyone is demoralized would be an understatement at this point, but it only matter what happens on the next rally, and based on the pounding the precious metals have taken this year so far, I’d be prepared to be that JPMorgan et al will [initially] be M.I.A. when it does. I’m off to bed.  See you tomorrow. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project.last_img read more

The return of volatility in October was no surpris

first_img The return of volatility in October was no surprise. Quantitative easing had been the driving force behind US stocks since the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed’s easy-money policies had also served as a soothing agent for market volatility. This should concern investors. After an impressive February jobs report, the Fed is now expected to raise interest rates as soon as June. But Fed Chair Janet Yellen understands that lifting rates too much or too soon could shock the financial markets, so don’t be surprised if the Fed takes its time. Nonetheless, the mere prospect of a rate hike has put the market on high alert. Investors aren’t used to this. For the past six years, US financial markets have taken bad news in stride. It’s easy to be lulled to sleep when the Fed is administering a steady stream of liquidity. Now that the QE gravy train has stopped, investors are finding it harder to ignore weak economic data and geopolitical instability. And there’s a lot of both to worry about. The possibility of Greece exiting the European Union still looms large. Conflicts between Russia and Ukraine are far from resolved. Commodity prices have tanked, and China’s economy is slowing. The US stock market also appears to be running on borrowed time. The S&P 500 just celebrated six years without a major correction. Bull markets don’t die of old age, but fatigue is more likely to set in if the Fed stays its course. For example, corporate America may struggle to attract investors if cheap credit dries up and prevents companies from juicing EPS figures via share buybacks. At this point, you may be nodding in agreement. But you’ve also probably heard countless arguments like this over the past six years, and all US equities have done is continue to set record highs. Point taken, but this time is different. The Fed is no longer propping up stocks through asset purchases. The market must also adjust to $50-per-barrel oil. Finally, the USD just hit an 11-year high against a basket of currencies and is approaching parity with the euro. The ingredients for a volatile year are in place. However, it’s important to realize that there is nothing inherently bad about volatility. Volatility is a trader’s best friend. It produces opportunities—both in rising and falling markets. The average investor, on the other hand, is less fond of wild price swings, and for good reason. Periods of extreme volatility usually precede a downturn or occur during a bear market. We obviously aren’t experiencing the latter. Still, a correction is not guaranteed even if 2015 turns into a roller-coaster ride. Yellen could calm the markets by merely dropping the word “patient” in her next address. Remember, central banks run the show these days. In any case, it’s critical that investors prepare for the unexpected. Unfortunately, traditional safe havens aren’t appealing at the moment. Precious metals have been stuck in a rut for years. US Treasuries are yielding close to all-time lows while US defensive stocks—utilities in particular—just took a dive. To stay afloat in these choppy waters, investors must be prudent, disciplined, and creative. That’s the very strategy Casey Research employs. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to tap the Casey brain trust. After lying dormant for most of last year, volatility has come storming back. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (VIX)—a leading measure of implied volatility of S&P 500 index options—has already cleared 20 six times this year. Last year, the VIX topped this important psychological barrier just 10 times, and six of those instances occurred in mid-October just before the Federal Reserve ended QE3.last_img read more

Sequencing a persons DNA is now a routine task T

Sequencing a persons DNA is now a routine task T

first_imgSequencing a person’s DNA is now a routine task. That reality has left doctors looking for ways to put the technology to work.A decade ago, a top federal scientist said, “Whether you like it or not, a complete sequencing of newborns is not far away.” Dr. Francis Collins, who made that statement, has been head of the National Institutes of Health for the intervening decade. But his prophecy hasn’t come to pass, for both scientific and practical reasons.Scientists have found that, so far, a complete genetic readout would be a poor substitute for the traditional blood test that babies get at birth to screen for diseases.Even when genetic testing provides useful information, it also can raise unsettling questions.One of the big concerns about running gene scans on newborns is how families will receive and make sense of the results.Christine Kim, a graduate student who studies international health, volunteered for a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to explore that issue.”I think when it’s your first [child], you want to be as prepared as possible, even though there’s no way to actually prepare for the experience,” she said.After her baby girl was born, the infant had the standard blood test to screen for rare genetic disorders. The baby got a cheek swab as well, so researchers could sequence all her genes. (This test is called exome sequencing, which decodes about 2% of a person’s DNA, the part that contains the actual genes but not, for instance, the code that regulates gene expression.)Both the blood test and the gene scan gave the baby a clean bill of health. But the next question was trickier: Should Kim and her husband learn about genes that could affect their child later in life?”On the chance they did identify something, would we need to put it in her medical records?” Kim wondered. “What does that mean for future health insurance?”It’s currently illegal to base health insurance coverage on genetic information, but Kim and her husband worry about efforts to weaken those protections. Life insurance and long-term care insurance could also be at risk.They thought about the ethics of prying into another person’s genes. “Should we have access to that information?” she wondered. On the other hand, learning about their baby’s genes would also tell them something about their own. “Maybe that’s selfish, but I was very curious about that too,” she said.And that information turned out to be eye-opening. Kim said the couple’s baby carries a genetic variant that puts her at elevated risk of a disease as an adult. For privacy reasons, she didn’t want to be more specific. And Kim learned if the baby has that variant, then she has it too. That has made her more vigilant about her own health.”I have given that information to my family, and it was suggested that my sisters and my mom also get tested,” she said.This wasn’t the point of the newborn genetic screening, but it’s certainly a consequence. And it plays into the conversation over whether to make DNA sequencing of newborns routine.Dr. Cynthia Powell at UNC helped run the study, whose results were published in June in The Journal of Pediatrics. She concluded that parents must get a chance to make an informed choice about how much information to receive — just the basics relating to their newborn or everything that could be actionable in the coming years. (Parents didn’t learn about genetic variants that are difficult to act on, such as those that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.)”We found that most people who were allowed that choice, about 70% of individuals, wanted information in all of the categories that we offered,” Powell said. That proportion may be high because the research team recruited people who were curious to begin with, but it’s clear there is a hunger for this information.But Powell’s study and others show that, despite their high-tech gloss, genetic tests are actually much worse than the standard heel-prick test at picking up metabolic disorders like phenylketonuria. Those conditions are the main reason newborns get a blood test at birth.The simple and inexpensive blood tests detect the actual biochemical defect that is a sure sign of these metabolic disorders.In many cases of genetic testing, it’s not that straightforward to identify the underlying genetic flaw. A disorder can be caused by any of a number of genetic variants, and those variants can be on different genes. Many have yet to be cataloged.Scientists discovered an even deeper problem. Just having one of these problematic variants isn’t necessarily enough to determine whether a child actually develops a metabolic disease.It turns out that other variants can sometimes come into play in ways that scientists have yet to understand. “It really opens a new can of worms,” said Dr. Jennifer Puck at the University of California, San Francisco.So DNA tests aren’t going to replace the standard testing without a lot more research.Still, there are reasons to consider the DNA test as a routine add-on.”There are other conditions that we have no screening test for,” Powell said. “Conditions that could predispose a child to cancer or other neurological conditions that are potentially treatable.”Powell and Puck spoke at a meeting in late June organized by the NIH to review the prospect of genetic screening for newborns.Dr. Robert Green, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, voiced one view about doing that: “If sequencing reveals health risks at any point in life, and if that’s good, then it’s better to do it early.”Why wait to find out potentially useful information, he asked his colleagues.One reason not to go all in for genetic testing at birth is that, unlike the blood tests, these genetic tests can be freighted with worries about privacy and personal preferences, as Kim discovered.And Puck said it would be a mistake to bring all those thorny issues to newborn screening programs that are now so widely embraced that parents aren’t even asked about them.”The newborn screening programs we have enjoy a huge amount of public trust,” she said at the NIH meeting. “And we have to preserve that trust.”Supplemental DNA screening would also be discriminatory, she argued, because it is not covered by government health insurance for the poor.”We can’t now follow up everyone,” she said, “and I don’t think it’s right to have only wealthy people followed up and have the rest of our population left behind.”Scientists at the meeting did agree that there can be good reasons to sequence genes if a child is sick and doctors don’t know why. That’s the story Patricia Bass of Greensboro, N.C., told me about her son, Aiden.”For the first eight weeks of his life, he wasn’t gaining weight correctly, and we kept going back to the doctor,” she said. “And finally my husband and I kept looking in his eyes, and we noticed a white opaqueness. We knew it would probably be cataracts.”That condition required emergency eye surgery. Aiden also had other troubles, including hearing loss and poor muscle tone. At age 2, it seemed he might have a rare disease.”So we had him seen by a geneticist locally, and they didn’t find anything,” she said.The Basses learned of the genetic testing study over in Chapel Hill, and they signed up.Aiden’s test revealed that he has a serious genetic condition called Lowe syndrome, which could have a potentially devastating effect on everything from his kidneys to his intellect.It’s not clear why his previous genetic test missed the diagnosis.The diagnosis was bad news, but at least they had an answer.”You grieve a life that you thought was going to be something different than what it is,” Bass said. “So that was very hard. Very hard.”As a result of the diagnosis, she has added more specialists to Aiden’s list of doctors. But more significantly for the family, the diagnosis has changed her outlook.”I decided to say it happened for us instead of to us,” she said. “And that one powerful word has really changed my life. Because I think of it as I was blessed and given an opportunity to love such a special soul, who has changed so many people that he’s met with such positivity.”Aiden lives his life with so much joy, she said.”I think I used to worry more,” Bass said. “Now I’m just living in the moment every day.”That revelation is a far cry from the aspiration that genetic testing will transform care of children, but it is a step in that direction.You can contact NPR science correspondent Richard Harris at rharris@npr.org. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A minister has been urged to resign after he thre

A minister has been urged to resign after he thre

first_imgA minister has been urged to resign, after he threatened a traumatised child abuse survivor – who is waiting to give evidence about the abuse in court – that his benefits would be stopped if he failed to co-operate with an Atos reassessment.David* is a key witness in the trial and has been told by police not to discuss his case with anyone, or to allow DWP or its assessment contractor Atos access to his medical records, because the court proceedings are now live and the case is sub judice.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) finally agreed earlier this month to stop contacting David until after the end of the trial, after Disability News Service (DNS) and his local MP drew its attention to his case.But despite this agreement, Atos sent him a further letter, while Justin Tomlinson (pictured) – the minister for disabled people – wrote to his MP threatening that David’s benefits would be stopped within just two days if he did not submit to a reassessment of his personal independence payment (PIP) claim.David has severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by the horrific child abuse he suffered as a child, and which has led to several suicide attempts.Even though the toll of the criminal investigation on his mental health has been harrowing, resulting in a series of self-harm episodes, DWP has continued its attempts to force him to submit to a PIP reassessment, even though it has been told repeatedly that his health records are part of the court case.David only found out about Tomlinson’s threat this week, when the minister’s letter was forwarded to him by his MP.In a covering letter, David’s MP told him: “I do not normally comment on ministerial responses, as they are quite capable of speaking for themselves, but I will say that in this case I feel Justin displays a lack of humanity and understanding that does himself and you a great disservice.”David said Tomlinson’s behaviour was “a disgusting, vile attack” on a vulnerable witness by a government minister, and called on him to resign.He said Tomlinson “should not be anywhere near” vulnerable disabled people after his “insensitive, demeaning” actions, and added: “I wouldn’t put this guy in charge of a broom cupboard.”David had already forced an apology from DWP after he received a letter last week – which apparently was “generated by Atos in error” – warning him the contractor had requested evidence from people involved in his care, and that he may have to attend a face-to-face benefits assessment.Both letters – from Tomlinson and from Atos – were sent several days after DWP and Atos agreed that there should be no further contact with David until his trial was finished.DNS has already revealed that DWP contacted the police force investigating the abuse allegations to ask about his evidence, and had to be told twice by officers that its actions were causing David “considerable stress and distress”, that he was a witness in their investigation, and that details of his abuse-related health condition were sub-judice.The force is not commenting on these claims – while Tomlinson has denied any DWP contact with the police – but DNS has established that there have been several communications between DWP and the force, whose officers have continued to tell the department that it cannot release information about the case.David’s treatment throws a harsh light yet again on DWP policies and procedures for dealing with vulnerable people, an issue highlighted last month when the department was finally forced to publish redacted versions of 49 secret “peer reviews” into the deaths of benefit claimants.Those peer reviews showed that ministers were repeatedly warned by their own civil servants that their policies to assess people for disability benefits were putting the lives of vulnerable claimants at risk.David’s MP had written to work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb to ask him to review how his department had treated him, and it was that letter that Tomlinson was responding to.The MP said in the letter that he/she believed DWP had failed in its duty of care towards David.The letter added: “Sometimes intentionally, sometimes because of mistakes, errors or miscommunication within DWP they have continuously harassed him, reviewing his case unnecessarily, suspending benefits on a number of occasions, seeking details or interviews which could prejudice the criminal case and have in any case contributed to high levels of anxiety and distress being suffered by [David].“Whilst I am only aware of [David’s] experience I would be surprised if others had not suffered similar treatment.”The MP also asked Crabb to ensure that David continued to receive PIP and be exempt from any further medical assessments until after the trial.David, who is currently recovering from an operation, said his treatment at the hands of DWP and Atos had been “dehumanising and humiliating”, a “grotesque breach” of his privacy, and “the most outrageously obscene way to treat someone”.He refused to accept DWP’s apology about the Atos letter, and noted that the department had apologised via DNS, and not to him, and that he wanted an apology from a work and pensions minister, rather than a press officer.David also said he had no idea whether his PIP and his employment and support allowance (ESA) were still being paid, and that he was “fearful of contacting them over this”.He was appalled when, a day after a DWP press officer confirmed to DNS that he was still receiving PIP and ESA, he received a payment into his bank account that suggested that he was no longer receiving ESA and had instead been placed on jobseeker’s allowance.He then received a call yesterday (Wednesday) from a GP from his local surgery, apparently attempting to assess his state of mental health over the telephone on behalf of DWP.A DWP spokesman claimed that Tomlinson had been trying to underline in his letter that David needed to be reassessed, although he was also “trying to communicate in every way possible… that we were going to try and leave [David] alone and not contact him, in acknowledgement of the fact that he is a vulnerable person and he is going through a trial”.  When asked why DWP and Tomlinson appeared intent on harassing and persecuting David, the spokesman said: “In no way is this persecution, in no way are we trying to hound [David].“What we are trying to do is follow what we have to do with PIP, which is assess people so we can make sure they are getting the benefits that they need to be getting.”He said in a statement: “In the minister’s letter he says that wherever possible in these situations PIP reassessments can be carried out in consultation with the patient’s GP and using other medical evidence provided.“However, if there is not enough information available, a face-to-face assessment needs to take place.“The assessment process is key to ensuring that the benefit is fairly distributed, so that it can fulfil its purpose of supporting people who have extra living costs due to their disability.”He added: “When a claimant states that they do not wish to be contacted about their case or reassessment, they are advised that wherever possible we will do this in discussion with their GP without their involvement. This is always made clear to the claimant.”But David said he believed his life was now at risk as a result of Tomlinson’s actions and those of his department, while he felt that he had been “utterly abandoned to this vindictive violation of my human rights”.He said: “Every day is a struggle to live, robbed wholly of my dignity by the criminal process and further humiliated by the DWP’s utter inhumanity and failure to grasp my harsh predicament.“The original PIP assessment indicated that I required additional support. I don’t currently receive any support from any service and life’s bleak.“It’s not simply a question of money, but of life, living in guilt and fear, struggling with the horrors of childhood, and its impact upon one’s working life.“I do not accept their apology, and thus again seek further discussion as to why they treated me in this manner and how they will assure me of my welfare.”He is hoping that Crabb will agree to meet him to discuss his treatment.He added: “In the Irish Republic they have a small government agency that specifically assists abuse survivors. Here we are alone and it’s not acceptable.“My human rights were violated as a child and since. Both government and wider society need to stop, listen and act accordingly.”An Atos spokeswoman said: “We apologise for any distress caused; the letter referred to was sent in error.”A DWP spokesman said this morning (Thursday) that the review of David’s PIP claim had begun in June 2015 but the department had “made a special decision” to delay his reassessment for a year.He said that procedures had been followed for cases in which a vulnerable claimant had failed to return their PIP2 claim form, and that Atos had contacted one of David’s GPs to gather information about his claim in an attempt to see if it was possible to carry out a paper-based assessment of his PIP eligibility.DWP said David’s entitlement to PIP ended on 16 June and he would receive his last payment on 30 June. He said that David was still receiving ESA.The spokesman added: “In summary [David] is still being reassessed for PIP and the department are accommodating him under additional support procedures.“In order to continue to receive PIP he must be reassessed.“This reassessment is in progress and may not require any contact with [David].“We are awaiting evidence from his GP, and once we receive it we will be able to judge if it provides enough information for a paper-based decision to be made.”Despite promising to do so, the spokesman failed to respond to concerns about Tomlinson’s apparent harassment of a vulnerable benefit claimant, and why DWP was refusing to exempt David from the reassessment process until the end of the trial.*Not his real namelast_img read more

The former civil servant commissioned by the gover

The former civil servant commissioned by the gover

first_imgThe former civil servant commissioned by the government to review its new disability benefit has refused to accept there is any dishonesty among the healthcare professionals who carry out assessments, despite being shown significant evidence of wrongdoing.Disability News Service (DNS) has twice contacted Paul Gray’s personal independence payment (PIP) review team with evidence collected during a lengthy investigation into allegations of widespread dishonesty by assessors working for the outsourcing giants Capita and Atos.But in his second and final review of PIP for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), published seven days ago, Gray dismisses any suggestions of dishonesty.Although he says in the review that some claimants “assert that the Health Professional has misinterpreted or even deliberately misrepresented what was discussed during the assessment”, he says there could be several explanations for this other than dishonesty.He suggests instead that PIP claimants may hold these beliefs because the assessor: failed to mention evidence they had provided, made “inappropriate assumptions” about the impact of their condition, or “may genuinely have made an error when transcribing their notes”.In early February, DNS passed on detailed evidence to Gray’s review team, which included excerpts from more than 40 cases in which PIP claimants had alleged clear dishonesty by healthcare assessors in the way they had written their assessment reports.The claimants spoke repeatedly of dishonesty, “fraudulent conduct” and “lie after lie after lie” told by assessors in their reports, on which DWP decision-makers based their decisions on their eligibility for PIP.DNS then contacted the review team two weeks later, with further evidence of widespread wrongdoing, including a news story which described how the investigation had by that time collected more than 100 cases of alleged dishonesty.None of that information has been included in Gray’s review.The position taken by Gray, who also chairs DWP’s benefits advice body, the social security advisory committee, mirrors that of the department itself, which has consistently stated that it does not believe there has been any dishonesty by its assessors.Asked by DNS about the dismissal of any suggestions of dishonesty, Gray said in a statement that the review’s role was “to make an assessment of how PIP assessments as a whole are operating, not to investigate individual cases or complaints.“The Review does though emphasise that the assessment process should be more transparent to help improve claimant trust in the system.”He refused to comment further.Elsewhere in his report, Gray says public trust in the “fairness and consistency” of PIP decisions was “not currently being achieved, with high levels of disputed award decisions, many of them overturned at appeal”.He is also critical of DWP’s new mandatory reconsideration process, the internal process that all claimants have to go through before appealing to an independent tribunal.He says in his report that tribunal judges are “sceptical about the thoroughness of the Mandatory Reconsideration process”.He adds: “Furthermore, currently 65 per cent of appeal hearings overturn the initial decision which is clearly eroding the trust of claimants and stakeholders in the system.”Gray says progress made by DWP to improve PIP since his first review in 2014 has been “mixed”, with implementation of his recommendations “either incomplete or slower than the Review had hoped in many areas”.He adds: “Professionals and organisations were asked to comment on progress since the first Review. The majority of feedback regarding this was negative.”In a further blow to the credibility of ministers, he says that tribunal judges told the review that “rather than further written evidence, it is cogent oral evidence from the claimant at the hearing that is by far their most common reason for overturning decisions”.Ministers and Tory MPs – including former disabled people’s minister Justin Tomlinson last week – have repeatedly claimed that the main reason for successful appeals was claimants producing fresh written evidence at their tribunals.Gray also warns that he had been concerned to see that some assessors appeared to assume that if a claimant had a job this was evidence “of limited functional impairment”.In his recommendations, he says he hopes that DWP “re-emphasises and ensures that employment will not disadvantage claimants when they seek to claim PIP and explores ways in which PIP may be an enabler in improving employment retention”.Among Gray’s other recommendations, he suggests DWP should introduce audio recording of assessments to increase claimant confidence, as long as there is an opt-out option.But there are likely to be concerns over another of Gray’s recommendations, that the responsibility for ensuring that further evidence is gathered should “primarily sit with the claimant” rather than DWP or the assessor.He made the recommendation even though more than 87 per cent of the professionals and organisations who responded to the question, following his appeal for evidence, believed claimants faced barriers to providing further evidence.Disabled activists, coroners and Scotland’s Mental Welfare Commission have all linked the failure to secure the necessary further evidence with the deaths of claimants of the out-of-work sickness and disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA).A legal case backed by the Mental Health Resistance Network resulted in the upper tribunal administrative appeals chamber ruling that the ESA assessment process discriminated against some disabled people with mental health conditions and learning difficulties.Asked about his recommendation on further evidence, Gray said in a statement: “As the review makes clear, the department should make a concerted effort to improve communication products to ensure accessibility and ensure that PIP claimants understand what evidence should be provided.“The review advises this should be done before the department emphasises that the primary responsibility for collecting evidence rests with the claimant.“The review also emphasises that, although the primary responsibility for evidence provision should rest with the claimant, the department and providers should make use of evidence they hold elsewhere in the benefits system and should also follow up evidence leads that emerge during the claim process.”When asked whether he was aware of the Mental Health Resistance Network WCA appeal ruling, and the links between the failure to secure further evidence for ESA claims and the deaths of claimants, he again refused to comment further.In a written statement, published on the last day before MPs began their Easter recess, Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people, said the government welcomed the review’s publication “and will consider its findings and issue a detailed response in due course”.Meanwhile, a petition on the UK parliament website which calls for all PIP and ESA assessments to be video-recorded because of the “errors and false or inaccurate statements” made in their reports by healthcare professionals, has reached more than 3,000 signatures.The petition, created by Sharon Ann Smith, says that a video recording of the assessment “would assist claimants, the DWP and appeals panels by giving an indisputable record of the assessment”.last_img read more

JON Wilkin thinks the Wigan defeat was a timely re

first_imgJON Wilkin thinks the Wigan defeat was a timely reminder of what it takes to win a big match.He says Michael Maguire’s side were ruthless in defence and that has to be a key of Saints’ play going forward.“Our pride was dented after the Wigan match,” he said “We turned up to win that game and we got beaten. From the outside it may seem like we got beaten without a fight but that wasn’t the case. We tried hard, had passion and energy and but we didn’t have that last two per cent that gets you from a good team to a championship team.“Wigan were ruthless and disciplined with us and that is a timely reminder of what we need to do to win a big game. Our execution was poor and we defended too much. You can’t do that in the big games and win.“We have enjoyed the intensity in training this week. It has been the best of the season so far. We have been aggressive with each other and ruthless.“I didn’t realise we hadn’t beaten the teams above us until after the match and that isn’t something that sits comfortably with us. It is a massive game this week and we need to lay a marker that we aren’t a soft touch. We need to fight for every inch on the field and show desperation and desire. That’s what makes champion teams.“Warrington’s success this season has been their stingy defence as it gives them the energy to go out and score points. They are knocking teams over and making everyone sit up and take notice too.”Jon has been one of Saints standout performers over the last few weeks and has been playing nearly 80 minutes a match.He also played in the Origin game and admits he has enjoyed the challenge of backing up recently.“It’s been a difficult few weeks but to be honest I didn’t feel any knocks or anything like that until midway through the Wigan game. The Exiles match was a good experience and I didn’t get chance to recover for the Bradford match – but that didn’t affect me much.“We contributed four forwards for the Exiles match and we played a lot of minutes. But that’s no excuse as we are conditioned to play that about of time. My match fitness I as good as it has been for a long time.“I know there is talk of the game being on a free weekend, but I’m not that bothered. I enjoyed the mental and physical challenge of going from the Exiles Weekend to Bradford and then to Wigan.“I think there is plenty of scope for it to become a big day and possibly a series in the future. It was well supported and the intensity was there too.“It is certainly the closest I have been to playing in a Test Match environment without playing Australia or New Zealand.“It felt like a big game and that’s important!”last_img read more

Vanderbilt researchers isolate antibody that can neutralize West Nile virus

first_img Source:https://www.vumc.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 21 2018Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that can “neutralize” the West Nile virus and potentially prevent a leading cause of viral encephalitis (brain inflammation) in the United States.Their findings, reported this week in the journal Nature Microbiology, could lead to the first effective treatment for this mosquito-transmitted infection, which sickens 2,500 and kills more than 100 people throughout the country each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).Related StoriesScientists discover weakness in common cold virusMice cured of HIV in an experiment sparks new hopeVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds study”West Nile virus is still an important cause of brain infections in the U.S., and there is very little we can do to help these patients,” said James Crowe Jr., MD, co-corresponding author of the paper and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.”It was exciting for us to use our antibody discovery technologies to find naturally occurring human antibodies that can prevent or treat the infection,” he said.Crowe holds the Ann Scott Carell Chair in the Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He and his colleagues have isolated human monoclonal antibodies for many pathogenic viruses, including Zika, HIV, dengue, influenza, Ebola, norovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rotavirus.In the current study, the researchers obtained serum and blood cell samples from 13 adults who were infected by the virus during the 2012 outbreak of West Nile encephalitis in Dallas, Texas.Antibody-producing white blood cells from the subjects were fused to myeloma (cancer) cells to produce fast-growing “factories” of specific, monoclonal antibodies.One of these antibodies, WNV-86, completely inhibited the virus in laboratory studies. A single dose of WNV-86 completely protected mice from an otherwise lethal West Nile infection.Further studies are needed before human testing can begin. But these findings are raising hopes for development of the first effective way to counter this potentially dangerous infection.last_img read more

SLU researcher wins NIH grant to identify risk factors for opioidrelated depression

first_img Source:https://www.slu.edu/news/2019/april/nih-grant-opioid-mood-disorders.php Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 29 2019A Saint Louis University researcher has received a grant to study the pathways from chronic prescription opioid use to new onset mood disorder. Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., a professor in Family and Community Medicine, received $3,254,485 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”We hope our findings will inform pain management and safe opioid prescribing for patients with chronic, non-cancer pain,” Scherrer said.The grant will build upon Scherrer’s previous findings that indicate a new period of opioid analgesic use lasting beyond 30 days is associated with increased risk of new-onset depression.In several previous studies controlling for pain, researchers found long-term (more than 90 days) opioid analgesic use is associated with increased risk for depression and impairs depression treatment and recovery.This project collects data from 1,500 patients using prescription opioids to identify factors that may increase the risk of opioid-related depression. Data collection will occur at three sites across the United States. The study will collect baseline, six month and 12-month measures of pain, functioning, psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, sleep, social support and quality of life. Participants will also be asked to complete a brief monthly survey to measure rapid changes in pain, opioid use and depression.”We found that patients with depression were 22 percent more likely to develop treatment-resistant depression with opioid use of 31-90 days and 49 percent more likely if they used opioids for more than 90 days,” Scherrer said. “The consistency of our findings, replication in VA and in private sector patients and rigorous control for pain support the theory that opioid analgesic use is likely a risk factor for depression.”Related StoriesUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerIn multiple studies with robust control for confounding, including pain severity, longer opioid analgesic use predicted new onset depression in patients who were on average 50 years old with no recent history of depression, no evidence of opioid misuse and no recent history of opioid analgesic use.A prospective study is needed to advance research, Scherrer says, due in part to the limitations of medical record data. The records lack lifetime histories of mood disorders and other risk factors, including substance abuse disorder and trauma exposure. The records also fail to provide good measures of functional impairment, sleep quality and social support.”The electronic medical records do not contain prospective data on the sequence of pain, opioid analgesic use and depression symptom development,” Scherrer said. “Our key objectives are first to determine if patients with a prior history of depression are most likely to develop a new episode following prescription opioid use.”Scherrer also wants to determine if opioid-related adverse outcomes, such as opioid misuse and sleep apnea that occur after long-term opioid use subsequently contribute to new onset depression.”Next we want to expand on the limited knowledge about depression that was available in the medical record,” he said. “Our goal is to determine if chronic opioid use leads to major depressive episodes or to symptom clusters that look like depression, such as anhedonia, vital exhaustion, apathy and dysthymia.”Lastly, the study will seek to determine the characteristics of depression most strongly related to whether patients with mild depression have the same risk for misuse as those with severe depression and comorbid anxiety disorders.last_img read more

Scientists create a vanadium flow battery model

first_imgA group of scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), led by Skoltech Professor Aldo Bischi, has developed a mathematical model of the electrochemical cell of the vanadium flow battery. The model describes the battery’s dynamic behavior, including the flow of vanadium ions through the cell membrane. The results of the study were published in the journal Applied Energy. More information: M. Pugach et al. Zero dimensional dynamic model of vanadium redox flow battery cell incorporating all modes of vanadium ions crossover, Applied Energy (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.05.124 Citation: Scientists create a vanadium flow battery model (2018, July 3) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-scientists-vanadium-battery.html Provided by Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology Explore furthercenter_img Pharmaceutical material shows promise for better grid-scale batteries The vanadium flow battery is seen as one of the most advanced energy storage devices from the perspective of its integration with renewable energy sources. The battery’s operating principle consists of converting electrical energy into the energy of chemical reactions between vanadium salts. The flow battery differs from classical batteries in that it uses both the electrochemical cell and the liquid electrolyte stored in separate tanks and flowing through the cell when the battery is in operation. Thus, the battery’s capacity and power can be scaled independently, which gives the designers more flexibility in creating real power installations and enables them to design new high-power and high-capacity storage devices. Another advantage of vanadium flow batteries is that they have a much longer life compared to their conventional counterparts. Currently, vanadium flow batteries are used in combination with solar panels and wind power generators. The new model will help detect and monitor failures and expand the scope of application of the battery.The new mathematical model effectively describes the cross-over ‒ a major problem in the vanadium flow battery’s operation, leading to capacity reduction. The approach proposed by Professor Aldo Bischi and his team helps attain high accuracy in modeling the battery’s charge and discharge characteristics (voltage, capacity, and charge level) and the capacity reduction due to cross-over using reasonable computational effort.”Our model can be used to develop condition monitoring techniques for vanadium flow batteries as a way to prevent degradation of their performances due to long operation,” explains the study’s first author and Skoltech Ph.D. student Mikhail Pugach. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

SC judge recuses himself from hearing on Raos appointment as interim CBI

first_imgCOMMENTS Justice N V Ramana   –  THE HINDU COMMENT Published on RELATED CBI case: CJI recuses himself from hearing plea against Rao’s appointment Supreme Court Judge Justice N V Ramana on Thursday recused himself from hearing a plea challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint M Nageswara Rao as interim CBI director.Justice Ramana became the third judge of the apex court to recuse himself from hearing the matter as Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A K Sikri had earlier recused themselves from adjudicating the case.NGO Common Cause has approached the top court challenging the Centre’s decision to appoint Rao as the interim CBI director.While recusing himself from hearing the matter, Justice Ramana said Rao is from his home state and he had attended the wedding ceremony of his daughter.Justice Ramana referred the matter to the CJI to list it before an appropriate bench. SHARE SHARE EMAIL CBI case: Now, Justice Sikri recuses himself from hearing plea against Rao’s appointment courts and legal CBI January 31, 2019 SHARElast_img read more

BJP MP Virendra Kumar sworn in as protem speaker of Lok Sabha

first_imgPresident Kovind administers the Oath of Office to Dr Virendra Kumar as the pro-tem speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.   –  Twitter/ @rashtrapatibhvn Lok Sabha SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on COMMENTS President Ram Nath Kovind sworn in seven-term member of Parliament Virendra Kumar as the pro-tem speaker of Lok Sabha on Monday.Kumar will oversee the oath-taking of newly elected Lok Sabha members on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, as soon as a new speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha is elected, his role will cease to exist.Kumar, 65, won the Lok Sabha election from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh on a BJP ticket. He was a Minister of State in the previous Modi government.As pro-tem speaker, Kumar will preside over the first sitting of the Lok Sabha and administer the oath to the newly elected MPs. He will also oversee the election of the Lok Sabha speaker. The first session of the newly constituted Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26. COMMENT June 17, 2019 SHARElast_img read more