View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today USA: Hydroid Opens Registration for REMUS 100 AUV Training Training & Education View post tag: Defence Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, the leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), will hold an Open Enrollment Training session during the week of August 5-9, 2013, in Pocasset, MA. Training will focus on basic operations and maintenance as Hydroid’s highly-experienced technicians walk participants through all aspects of the REMUS 100 system.The training course is an intensive 5-day program designed to provide a maximum of 10 participants with hands-on experience in the basic system specifications, components, capabilities and limitations of the REMUS system. The training is designed for a variety of skill levels, from beginners to experienced operators looking for a refresher. All participants will come away from the program with the skills necessary to properly operate the REMUS system.Hydroid also offers customized 2- to 10-day training sessions based on customers’ unique training needs.Hydroid’s REMUS AUVs are modular; they can be fitted with a large number of different sensors and have been used to aid in hydrographic surveys, harbor security operations, debris field mapping, scientific sampling and mapping, as well as many basic and applied research programs funded by ONR, DARPA and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. With more than 200 vehicles in the field, Hydroid is currently the AUV market leader with systems in use by 13 navies around the world.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, May 2, 2013; Image: Hydroid View post tag: 100 View post tag: AUV May 2, 2013 View post tag: Defense View post tag: Hydroid View post tag: Naval View post tag: Training USA: Hydroid Opens Registration for REMUS 100 AUV Training View post tag: REMUS View post tag: Navy View post tag: Registration View post tag: opens Share this article
APRIL 4, 202001:48Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat, issued an order on March 19 mandating the closure of the physical locations of “all non-life-sustaining business,” including gun shops. Timeline: How The Coronavirus Spread In United States What’s considered “essential?” Food, prescription drugs, sometimes liquor — and, in most states, firearms.To slow the spread of the coronavirus, 42 states have issued some form of a stay-at-home order, mandating that nearly all nonessential businesses close. Gun retailers in at least 30 of those states, however, have been allowed to stay open amid pushback from gun groups and the federal government.Balking at the prospect of shuttered storefronts, gun rights advocates have sued multiple states that did not initially or explicitly deem firearms retailers essential businesses during the pandemic, arguing that a public health crisis is no excuse to trample on anyone’s Second Amendment rights. Gun control groups hit back, saying the closures are strictly a public health matter — even as a number of sympathetic Democratic governors acknowledge bowing to pressure from lawsuits and the Trump administration.“It wouldn’t have been my definition but that is the definition at the federal level, and I didn’t get a vote on that,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said during a recent media briefingannouncing that he would reverse a decision not to include guns stores on the state’s list of essential businesses.Murphy, who faced multiple lawsuits from gun groups after his initial order, cited new federal guidance as the reason for declaring gun shops essential. Growing demand for workers at ‘essential’ companies after coronavirus batters economy The suit, filed in federal court in New York, accused the governor of having “indefinitely suspended a key component of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”New York officials, the suit said, are “going out of their way to protect liquor stores and release criminals onto the streets, while ignoring the public’s outcry over the suspension of Second Amendment rights,” the suit says. (Under Cuomo’s order, liquor stores were deemed essential businesses. Cuomo also ordered the release of some parole violators from the state’s jails out of fears they could contract coronavirus.)Cuomo’s office did not respond to questions from NBC News about the suit. The NRA also did not respond to questions from NBC News about the numerous suits it had filed. But Wayne LaPierre, the group’s CEO, said in a statement Friday, “There isn’t a single person who has ever used a gun in self-defense who would consider it nonessential.”The suit in New York also cited recent guidance from the Trump administration, issued just days earlier, that added workers for “firearm and ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors and shooting ranges” to the “essential critical infrastructure workforce.” That guidance, issued by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a unit within the Department of Homeland Security, however, is “advisory in nature” — “not a federal directive or standard,” according to the agency.“Individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements and discretion,” the agency said in a note included with the guidance.The efforts to keep gun purchases available during the outbreak underscores the extraordinary demand for firearms that the crisis has created.Firearms sales and federal background checks for purchases soared to all-time highs in March as the coronavirus pandemic brought buyers out in record numbers. The FBI conducted 3.7 million background checks last month, according to its latest figures, the highest total since the national instant check system for buyers was launched in 1998 and 1.1 million higher than the number conducted in March 2019. Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting, a consulting firm that tracks the firearms market, said the March queries to the background check system translated to nearly 2.6 million guns sold. And shares in companies that make guns and gun ammunition have risen — even amid a broader plummet in the stock market.Meanwhile, gun control groups have strongly criticized the decisions to allow gun stores to remain open.“Instead of listening to the gun lobby’s argument that they deserve special treatment during a pandemic that has nothing to do with guns, our leaders should heed the advice of public health experts, who are in the best position to evaluate the risks of virus transmission at gun stores and any other business,” said Hannah Shearer, the litigation director at Giffords, a leading gun-safety group co-founded by shooting victim and former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz.Everytown for Gun Safety, a national gun control advocacy group, pointed to the fact that experts have expressed concerns about domestic violence and mental health problems, including an increased risk of suicide, that the isolation of stay-at-home orders will cause — and made clear that access to guns is likely to exacerbate both issues.The group also ripped the legal reasoning behind the NRA’s suits, concluding in a legal analysis that the Second Amendment does not require that gun stores be considered essential businesses during a public health crisis.“As broad laws that apply to thousands of businesses, these closure orders are clearly designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, not undermine anyone’s Second Amendment rights,” Eric Tirschwell, the managing director of the group’s legal arm said in a statement. “The courts have made clear that broad, generally applicable laws like these are constitutional.” FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail FOOTNOTE: Adam Edelman is a political reporter for NBC News. But Wolf backed down after a gun-rights group, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and a civil rights law firm sued, alleging that he had “overstepped his statutory and constitutional authority” by seeking “to impose criminal and civil penalties upon those” who do not comply. Wolf revised his list to exempt gun stores, allowing them to operate under certain circumstances, including proper social distancing measures. The revised order made clear that gun stores would be exempt from closing because, under state law, gun sales must be made in person.When California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, ordered all nonessential businesses to close on March 19 as part of his stay-at-home order, the directive caused confusion because it left the decision about gun stores to local officials.Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, for example, said he would begin closing firearms retailers, while the sheriff of San Diego County said he would not close them because they provide a “valuable public service.”Los Angeles’ decision was met with a lawsuit from gun groups,including the National Rifle Association.The suit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, cited the Second Amendment in arguing that the government may not engage in “deprivation of constitutional liberties during a time of crisis.” The 30-page filing also argued it was illegal to “use a public health crisis as political cover to impose bans and restrictions on rights they do not like.”Villanueva quickly reversed his initial decision after guidance from the top lawyer in Los Angeles County that said the shops could stay open.Ambiguity over what constitutes an essential business — most states with stay-at-home orders have allowed liquor stores to remain open along with grocery stores and pharmacies, for example — has prompted gun groups to seize on the uncertainty of declaring firearms retailers necessary during a pandemic.In New York, the NRA sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, last week over his March 20 order to not include gun stores as essential businesses that can stay open. Buckling To Pressure, Many States Deem Gun Stores Essential, Allow Them To Remain Open During A PandemicThe efforts to keep gun purchases available during the outbreak underscores the extraordinary demand for firearms that the crisis has createdApril 7, 2020, 3:17 PM CDTBy Adam Edelman
The UK is already the second largest investor into the country and the Trade Secretary’s visit will promote further opportunities for British companies in Turkey whilst also encouraging inward investment.The visit will build on the strong foundations laid by the Prime Minister and President Erdoğan in January 2017 when they established the UK-Turkey Trade Working Group.During Dr Fox’s visit he is scheduled to meet President Erdoğan to discuss how to ensure the strong trade relationship continues to thrive post Brexit. Dr Fox will also attend a number of high level meetings with key members of the Turkish government including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers as well as Ministers for Economy and Defence.Turkey is a key market for the UK with total trade in goods and services accounting for £14.5 billion in 2016. The UK is Turkey’s second largest export market, receiving 5% of all Turkish exports, whilst some of the UK’s biggest businesses including Vodafone, Rolls Royce and Diageo are all present in the country.International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said: During the visit Dr Fox will also see how the partnership between BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is helping to deliver Turkey’s TF-X indigenous fighter programme. The contract for the initial design phase of the fifth generation fighter aircraft was concluded in August 2017 and is worth around £100 million.This partnership with TAI will involve significant technology and skills transfer, and is the first phase in a long term relationship between the UK and Turkish defence industries.Notes to editorsUK trade and investment work in Turkey is growing, helped by the appointment of Lord Janvrin as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy.The most recent UK-Turkey Trade Working Group meeting was held in London on 9 November 2017 with the second scheduled to take place in Ankara on 22 February 2018. The UK and Turkey enjoy a strong trading relationship, but we must seek to build on this, deepening our partnership to boost prosperity and increase security throughout the region. As an international economic department, we will continue to promote British companies all around the world, strengthening our trade and investment relationships and providing continuity and certainty for businesses and consumers alike as we leave the EU.
Nicky Roche was a Senior Civil Servant until 2013, including within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. She is now Director of Strategy for Sporting Assets, a social enterprise which works with communities to use sport for wider social benefit such as employment, health and education. She has been reappointed to the Board of UK Sport and will continue to chair their major events panel. She is a Trustee of the Rees Care Leavers Foundation and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. She recently chaired the independent panel supporting DCMS in assessing English city bids to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.Nicky was Chief Executive of TdFHUB2014ltd, leading the co-ordination of the first three days of the 2014 Tour de France from Yorkshire to London. In 2007, she became Director of Operations, Government Olympic Executive. Alongside being one of the leaders on the logistical delivery of the Games, as a member of the senior leadership team Nicky also helped ensure that the budget of £9.3bn was managed and outcomes were on time and to quality. Prior to this Nicky held the post of Director of Sport and Board Member for DCMS. Nicky was awarded a CBE for services to the staging of the London 2012 Games. She is a keen horse rider and an athletics fan.The role is remunerated at £218 per day and this appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Nicola Roche has declared no personal political activity.
On Sunday night, Ween played their final concert of 2018 at Port Chester, NY’s historic rock palace, The Capitol Theatre. The five-piece rock act once again paid tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of beloved children’s cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants, and dusted off “Common Bitch” for the first time since February 14th, 2016.Ween opened up their set with “Polka Dot Tail”, played for the first time ever in the opening slot. The quintet moved forward with “Chocolate Town”, “Big Jilm”, and “Happy Colorado Marbles”, before delivering a rocking take on fan favorite “Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)”. Ween then delivered “Captain Fantasy”, “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)”, and “Touch My Tooter”, before shifting their focus to songs played less frequently live.Ween – “Polka Dot Tail”[Video: Jeremy Bierker]Following “Touch My Tooter”, the five-piece dove headfirst into “Ooh Va La”, played for the ninth time since 2004. Other rarities included “Common Bitch”, which was dusted off for the first time since February 14th, 2016, “Hey There Fancypants”, and “Kim Smoltz”, played for the ninth time ever live.Ween – “Common Bitch”[Video: Jeremy Bierker]After the band’s acoustic rendition of “Kim Smoltz”, Ween kept the acoustic instruments onstage to work through 2003’s “Tried and True”. A noteworthy take on “She Wanted To Leave” led to the band’s second tribute of the weekend to SpongeBob Squarepants creator Stephen Hillenberg, before Ween worked through “The Mollusk”, “Loop de Loop”, and “Ocean Man”. In addition to being inspired by Ween’s 1997 studio album The Mollusk and commissioning “Loop de Loop” for the show, Hillenburg and his team used Ween’s “Ocean Man” as the soundtrack for the closing credits of 2004’s The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie.Ween – “Kim Smoltz”[Video: Mathew Marsico]Ween – “Loop de Loop”[Video: Jeremy Bierker]Ween – “Ocean Man”[Video: Jeremy Bierker]After taking a second to catch their breaths and regroup, Ween came back out to deliver a two-song encore offering of “Your Party” and “Birthday Boy”.Listen to full-show audio of Ween’s final show of 2018 below:Ween – 12/16/2018 (Full-Show Audio)[Audio: Melissa Fry]Setlist: Ween | The Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 12/16/2018Set: Polka Dot Tail, Chocolate Town, Big Jilm, Happy Colored Marbles, Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down), Captain Fantasy, Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy), Touch My Tooter, Ooh Va La, Woman and Man, Demon Sweat, Wayne’s Pet Youngin, Wayne’s Pet Youngin (tease), Take Me Away, Common Bitch, Did You See Me?, Hey There Fancypants, Now I’m Freaking Out, Don’t Sweat It, Kim Smoltz*, Tried and True*, She Wanted to Leave, The Mollusk, Loop de Loop, Ocean Man, The Grobe, SomedayEncore: Your Party, Birthday Boy*acoustic– first Polka Dot Tail opener– Gene on keys for Demon Sweat– The Mollusk, Loop de Loop and Ocean Man dedicated to Stephen Hillenburg
Final touches As the actors are about to do their final run-through on the Loeb stage, choreographer and assistant director Lanise Antoine Shelley (right) gives directions. Rosy While searching for her friend Kai, Lisa Maley as Gerda is helped by these roses, played by Milia Ayache (from left), Teri Gamble, and Michael Kane. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer Costumer Mallory Frers (left) mends a bonnet; she is the show’s costume designer. Giving direction Allegra Libonati (right) directs Scott Ray in the role of Kai. Dreaded Teri Gamble (right), who plays the Robber Queen, leads the dance as she and other A.R.T. Institute students rehearse “The Snow Queen,” which runs through Dec. 31 at the Loeb Drama Center. “The Snow Queen” is springing to life in magical, icy splendor this month on the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) Loeb Stage.In the same spirit as that of the Muppets, the iconic puppets created by Jim Henson whose mayhem and mischief speak to children and adults, “The Snow Queen,” complete with its own set of enchanted puppets, engages audiences of any age with a clever and elegantly reimagined version of the classic fairy tale by Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen.The new stage adaptation is the work of a group of students from the A.R.T. Institute, a two-year, graduate training program for aspiring actors and dramaturges. Institute student Tyler J. Monroe adapted the story for the stage.Searching for a family holiday show, one that would attract theatergoers of any age, Allegra Libonati, an artistic associate at the A.R.T., turned to the mythical fable.“It is such an amazing story; it’s epic,” said Libonati, who directs the new work. “It felt like it was a story that a lot of people were intrigued by but didn’t know really well, so it had a lot of potential to mold into a new dramatic interpretation.”Andersen’s story, a timeless tale of good versus evil, centers on two young friends, Gerda and Kai. When a wicked sorceress captures Kai, Gerda embarks on a long, bitter journey to the North Pole to save him from the evil queen. Along the way, she encounters wild and wonderful creatures, including a talking reindeer, two kindhearted swallows, and a group of wood-dwelling bandits.“The story captures the imagination of the kids and brings a message for the adults. That’s what Hans Christian Andersen loved doing, and that is what we were trying to do, too.” said Libonati.Audience participation was an essential element for the show’s creators and is central to the family-friendly production. During the hour-and-a-half play, Gerda frequently turns to the audience for help, asking the crowd to dance, wave paper snowflakes and roses in the air, and even chirp loudly, to aid her quest.Inventive staging lends an ethereal quality to the show. Competing for time and space on the A.R.T.’s main stage with the recently opened “Three Pianos” sent the show’s artistic team into creative overdrive. Fortunately, “The Snow Queen” ’s designers were able to piggyback on the concurrent production’s evocative winter set. Still somewhat constricted by space, the designers chose to use simple everyday items to further transform the stage.“It forced us to be creative,” said Libonati. “We alighted on this idea of the ordinary transforming to become extraordinary right before your eyes, and the power of your imagination to create a new world.”In that vein, white sheets and cloth become swirling snow, and an uncovered mattress instantly, and convincingly, morphs from a bed to a sleigh.Adding to the magic is the artistry of actor Michael Kane, the grandfather narrator who, like most of the other actors, also weaves in and out of many roles throughout the performance. In addition to being an actor, Kane is a skilled puppet maker who has worked with the legendary activist group Bread and Puppet Theater.Since August, Kane, with help from local children, has worked to create the mystical masks and puppets used in the show including the giant and beautifully eerie head of the evil snow queen.The puppets artfully animate the supernatural world of fantastic animals and entities and “were integral to how we wanted to tell the story,” said Libonati.After the opening performance Saturday (Dec. 10), the fun continued in the hallway outside the theater as the actors mingled with the crowd. Cast member Milia Ayache chatted with two young fans, helping them try on her wild wig made of multicolored yarn.“This isn’t the best way to make friends,” she joked with some third-grade students, pointing to her fake knife, a prop she uses as one of her many characters in the play, the gruff but lovable “Robber Girl.”In preparing for the production, Ayache and her cast mates used the acting techniques learned during their spring semester graduate studies at the Moscow Art Theater School in Russia. The work was part of the institute’s close collaboration with the Moscow Art Theater School, which includes a three-month residency in Moscow. Students who graduate from the A.R.T. program also receive a master’s degree from the renowned Russian theater school.Watching members of the Russian institute take their children-oriented productions just as seriously as they approached works such as Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” was a revelation, said Ayache, and inspired the A.R.T. troupe to do the same.“We never talk down to kids,” said Ayache, adding that for many young members of the audience the A.R.T. production would be their first exposure to theater. “We are building citizens. Theater builds citizenship.”It was clear that the first run of the show already had built a legion of citizen fans of many ages.“It was awesome, just awesome, even for an adult,” said Lynn Rose, who made the three-hour trip from Rutland, Vt., to see the play and hear the work of her son, Aaron Mack, the show’s sound designer.Seven-year-old Cambridge resident Jasenina DeJesus, who attended the show with her mother and 5-year-old sister, Janelle, captured the spirit of the production with three simple words.“That was fun!” she said as the lights came up.The show runs through Dec. 31. Kai Kai, played by Scott Ray, is reflected in the mirrored scenery. Ice cold The ethereal Snow Queen, played by Lindsey Liberatore, passes behind gossamer lace curtains. Puppetry Michael Kane’s puppets, illuminated through a lace curtain, represent the comical dreams of the Prince and Princess. Cue the snow Snow falls on Kai, played by Scott Ray. Hi-ho! A reindeer is just one of the wonderful creatures that help Gerda find Kai. Take a bow Bravo! Encore! Magic flowers Gerda, played by Lisa Maley, falls under the spell of the flowers, played by Teri Gamble (from left), Liza Dickinson, Dustyn Gullege, and Michael Kane. The Snow Queen
Billions of people worldwide marveled at the first image ever captured of a black hole. The photo of the glowing, blurry doughnut, taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team, showed the massive dark region, a monster the size of our solar system, that, like its peers, gobbles up everything — even light — that ventures too close.“I definitely got shivers down my spine,” said Alexander Lupsasca, a junior fellow in Harvard’s Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, remembering the moment he saw the photo for the first time. It was thrilling because so very little is known about black holes. And now, Lupsasca and a team of scientists at Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative say the image may help provide more answers: Hidden within the glowing ring are an infinite number of sub-rings that offer a way to capture an even higher-resolution image and more precise data on the massive enigmas of the universe.“They’re paradoxical objects. They’re the epitome of what we don’t understand,” said Andrew Strominger, the Gwill E. York Professor of Physics at Harvard. “And it’s very exciting to see something that you don’t understand.” Black holes are one of the great puzzles of modern physics — where Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics collide. Scientists still know so little about them — their mass, how fast they spin, what’s inside their warped space-time. Until the EHT produced the first actual image, Strominger could only investigate their mysteries with complex mathematics, pencil, and paper. “I cried when I saw their picture,” he said. Then, he asked: “What can we learn from this?”,The fear, Strominger said, was that the image would only reveal information about the swirling, glowing stuff, which is mostly gases heated to billions of degrees and back-lit by light looping around and around and around. The black hole, “the prize in the middle,” as Strominger called it, casts a shadow on that jetsam, gifting the scientists with a few nebulous clues about its mass.The photo brought theorists — like Strominger — together with observers like Michael Johnson, first author on the EHT team’s recent study published in Science Advances and an astrophysicist with the Black Hole Initiative. “It’s an example of how a new result can prompt these unexpected, new collaborations,” Johnson said.Together, the interdisciplinary team discovered the doughnut is not just one doughnut but a collection of sub-rings of light bending in thinner loops the closer they get to the black hole’s event horizon — a boundary around the hole, which is the point of no return where matter and even light disappear to no one knows where. Right outside that is what the team calls the photon shell. “In that region,” Lupsasca said, “gravity is not strong enough to capture the light rays forever, but it’s strong enough to deflect them so much that they go around in circles.” Nothing can bend light like a black hole. “[Black holes are] paradoxical objects. They’re the epitome of what we don’t understand.” — Andrew Strominger The Black Hole Initiative already has one — the virtual Earth-sized telescope they used to see the first ring. For the second, they only need a longer baseline between the two — one in orbit or on the moon would work. The longer baseline could improve the resolution of the original photo by a factor of 100, Johnson said.This year, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the EHT from capturing a new image of the M87 black hole. April is the only month when the weather is clear enough across the world for each telescope to obtain a clean shot. “That’s been heartbreaking,” said Johnson.Still, the team is hopeful they’ll capture higher-resolution images of two sub-rings in about 10 to 20 years — a short time, considering the first image of a black hole is only one year old. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Related Researchers unveil an image for the ages Black hole project nets Breakthrough Prize ‘Seeing the unseeable’ A black hole, revealed As Strominger feared, an image of just one of those rings gives information about the inferno outside the black hole but not much about the “prize,” he said. But the team has a solution for that: With an image of a second ring, they can compare the black hole at two different periods of time. Each ring is like a mirror image of the black hole at different points in its history, not unlike the rings of a tree. So, like the infinite reflections of a person surrounded in mirrors, the stacked images provide enough data to learn the black hole’s essential properties: mass and spin.The rings also betray how the black hole warps space-time. Their individual brightness, thickness, and shape depend on the monster’s manipulation of its surrounding geography. In reality, the rings are far from perfect circles — like a bug caught in the gravitational pull of a drain, each one weaves a warped path around the black hole’s bizarre landscape.Here’s where things get stranger: A black hole hoards images of the past. Light is composed of photons, and each one carries a bit of the image of whatever it hits. So when you see a tree the light hits the tree, bounces to your eye, and your brain eventually pulls it all together like a mosaic. Light stuck in a black hole’s gravitational pull can loop once, twice, or an infinite number of times, depending on its angle of approach, Lupsasca said. Those that finally escape in the direction of Earth carry a reflection of what the universe looked like when they entered the black hole’s pull. The longer light was held captive, the earlier in the past their image shows.“As we peer into these rings, first, second, third, etc., we are looking at light from all over the visible universe; we are seeing farther and farther into the past, a movie, so to speak, of the history of the visible universe,” said Peter Galison, the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, in the Black Hole Initiative’s press release.,To capture the original image of M87’s black hole, the EHT crew needed a telescope the size of the Earth. Since they couldn’t build an instrument that big, they created a virtual one, connecting multiple radio telescopes from across the world to provide different pieces of the black hole puzzle.Normally, said Johnson, this form of observation — called interferometry — requires more than two telescopes. But the black hole’s rings have a special property: They encode their properties in a distinctive oscillating signature. Because of that signature, Johnson said, “You can tell everything you need to know about the ring with just two telescopes.” Image of ‘last photon orbit’ opens new doors to research on the cosmos Event Horizon Telescope researchers reveal first-ever image of a black hole
This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Hospital officials, anticipating a surge of COVID-19 cases, urged deferring routine, nonemergency care so doctors, nurses, and other personnel could focus on pandemic patients. But a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that too many, either to avoid straining medical resources or fearing infection at the hospital, may have put off emergency care for issues like heart attacks and strokes, at a cost of lives. Dhruv Kazi, director of Beth Israel’s Cardiac Critical Care Unit and a Harvard Medical School faculty member, and associate director of the hospital’s Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology, spoke with the Gazette about the study’s findings of a 33 percent drop in heart attack patients and 58 percent drop in stroke patients at the hospital during March and April.Q&ADhruv KaziGAZETTE: What did you find when you looked at hospitalizations for non-COVID conditions at Beth Israel?KAZI: Early on in the pandemic, it became clear to those of us who work in the intensive care unit and more broadly in cardiology that the number of patients seeking care for emergencies such as heart attacks or strokes had dropped precipitously. Patients were simply not showing up.And, as we had conversations with colleagues across the country, we realized that this was a national phenomenon and, in fact, an international phenomenon. Patients are not seeking care for conditions that we would normally think of as emergent and potentially life-threatening. So we compared the rates of patients presenting with heart attacks and stroke during the course of the pandemic with an equivalent period of time earlier in the year, before the start of the pandemic.We used last year’s data to adjust for the usual month-to-month variation you would expect over this time period. We expected to find a decline but were still surprised by the magnitude of it: a 33 percent reduction in hospitalizations for heart attacks and a 58 percent reduction in strokes. The reduction in heart attacks my co-investigators and I had seen firsthand as cardiologists, but the stroke numbers were pretty stunning. “As we open up, we’ve got to do a better job convincing patients that hospitals are safe for routine care.” Vaccines can protect against COVID-19 in nonhuman primates, study says COVID-19 may spark cardiac trouble in multiple ways Applying wisdom from the Himalayas to the ER’s COVID battle Coronavirus and the heart GAZETTE: Do you know whether there were any cases of infections in the emergency room?KAZI: I don’t know of any transmission in the emergency room, and this is exactly the kind of question patients need answered. I think we did a really effective job communicating the importance of staying at home, and I’m not undervaluing what we achieved. Let’s be clear about this — staying at home and “flattening the curve” in Boston saved lives. We have the luxury in Boston of having numerous world-class hospitals, and each of the big hospitals more than doubled their critical care capacity. In hindsight, the early outbreak in the beginning of March may have pushed us all to prepare well in advance, yet, even with the flattened curve, most hospitals got pretty close to being full during the peak of the pandemic. So, I don’t interpret our findings to mean that we shouldn’t have locked down or shouldn’t have sheltered in place. Far from it. Even our hospitals with all of their spare capacity would have been completely overwhelmed if we had had the same numbers as New York. But I think we could have done a better job communicating about emergencies. And that’s a job that’s not finished.GAZETTE: Do we know whether there were excess deaths that are attributed to non-COVID conditions and that did not occur in the hospitals?KAZI: Based on the heart attack and stroke data that we just discussed, it’s very clear that there are patients who are having heart attacks and strokes and deciding to sit it out. They are either presenting to the hospital late — and not eligible for some of the very effective therapies for cardiovascular conditions that must be administered early on — or they may have died at home. We know from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Massachusetts has had approximately 5,000 excess deaths since the pandemic started. Many of these are due to the pandemic itself, and some may be undiagnosed COVID-19 cases, but my hunch is that many of those deaths are from undiagnosed cardiovascular conditions, like heart attacks and strokes, where people decided to sit out the symptoms and it didn’t work out well. GAZETTE: Is it possible that people are calmer because they’re home, less stressed, so fewer of these things are happening?KAZI: The data can only tell us what’s actually happening, not why these numbers have dropped. There’s a possibility that we’re at home and, hypothetically, we’re eating better, working out more often, feeling less stressed about trying to beat Boston traffic. We also know that, to some extent, air quality has gotten better. But none of these factors, individually or collectively, can explain the magnitude of this decline. In fact, recently released census data suggest that concerns about the pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty are increasing levels of anxiety and stress in the population.The decline in heart attack hospitalizations has been seen across the country and the world, including places like Northern California, where the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hit nearly as hard as it did in Boston, and Italy, where they had a public health catastrophe. So it’s clear that the messaging that this is a highly infectious disease and that people need to shelter in place, combined with images of hospitals that are overwhelmed — even far away — has encouraged patients to stay at home. The effect we saw on heart attacks and strokes I think is primarily driven by fear of contagion. And that fear has important public health implications.It means that we, as health systems, have to do a better job convincing patients that hospitals are safe for emergencies. And, as we open up, we’ve got to do a better job convincing patients that hospitals are safe for routine care. Because if this fear lingers, people are going to continue to put off routine and even urgent care.GAZETTE: Talking specifically about Massachusetts, aren’t guidelines for nonemergency care loosening up?KAZI: Good point. It’s important to remember that even at the peak of the lockdown, there were no restrictions at all on emergency care. That’s why heart attacks and strokes shouldn’t, in an ideal world, have seen any drop at all. With regard to nonemergency care, the state is starting to open up slowly, but there are pretty strict requirements in terms of maintaining adequate social distancing and reducing crowding in waiting rooms. Patients should rest assured that hospitals and clinics have developed systems to safeguard their health while they’re in the hospital for care.GAZETTE: How dangerous were ERs for people presenting without COVID? Did you have a lot of cases of people who came in for other conditions who wound up getting COVID in the hospital?KAZI: No, all of our hospitals in Boston — and the same is true nationally — have extensive experience with infection control in emergency room settings. Very quickly, for instance, we split our emergency room into a section that would care for people with respiratory complaints that might be COVID-19 and an entirely separate section that dealt with individuals who clearly did not have complaints resembling COVID-19. In the COVID-19 section of the emergency room, patients were masked immediately, and clinicians took ample precautions to ensure there was no risk of transmission from patients to clinicians or among patients. This went into place even before the first trickle of patients started showing up in our emergency rooms. So, the risk was very, very low from the get-go. “We know from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Massachusetts has had approximately 5,000 excess deaths since the pandemic started.” GAZETTE: One of the reasons we’ve become a healthier society is that people have gotten the message, “Don’t wait; come in; get screened; get checked out.” How valuable has that “catch it early” message been and is it a potentially unrecognized casualty of COVID, from a public health messaging standpoint?KAZI: Absolutely. That’s exactly what is happening here. Over the past two decades, organizations like the American Heart Association have done a really good job of messaging around the “golden hour,” the need to respond early, the importance of — particularly among women — recognizing that some symptoms might be atypical. When in doubt, call 911, go get checked out because in cardiology we say, “Time is muscle.” The longer you wait during a heart attack, the more heart muscle you lose. The neurologists say, “Time is brain.” The longer you wait during a stroke, the more brain tissue you lose. We’ve communicated to the public that time is essential for these conditions and we’re going to have to get that message out again. Our data suggests that we’ve taken a small but real step backward in the time of COVID.GAZETTE: Besides heart ailments and strokes, did the tendency to avoid hospital visits have any other public health effects for non-COVID patients?KAZI: Talking about these unintentional consequences of our response to the pandemic, the second part of our study examines cancer diagnoses. Breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed by a screening mammogram, and blood cancers are diagnosed when a patient with minor symptoms goes to their primary care doctor and has an abnormal routine blood test. Starting in March, all screening tests and most primary care visits were deferred so if you didn’t have something urgent, you just rescheduled your primary care visit for later. Screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies were put off.Again, the intention there was a good one. We didn’t want healthy individuals to be coming into the health care system. We wanted to preserve our protective equipment for the surge of COVID-19 patients we anticipated were coming down the pike, and it worked. It’s one thing to defer a mammogram by two weeks, but when we start talking about deferring screening tests and primary care visits over a longer period for an entire population, that’s a lot of delay in care and a high potential for harm.We saw that, starting April 1, referrals for breast cancer and blood cancers and hematologic cancers went down more than 60 percent. Those findings are important because these findings are a real marker of health care disruption from deferred primary care and screening. And it harks back to my original point that, as a health system, we’re going to have to convince patients that, (a), the hospital is a safe place to come for emergencies. And, (b), as we start to open up again, it will be important not to defer routine care, because this is evidence-based care, tried and tested. We know that it works, and it saves lives. Related Wilderness medicine fellows return to lend a hand in Boston Second study suggests initial infection with SARS-CoV-2 protects against re-infection following repeat exposure to virus
Study suggests undetected cases help speed COVID-19 spread With COVID now in more isolated spaces, there’s greater potential for it to take off Related Pandemic threatens to veer out of control in U.S., public health experts say Up to 87% of cases in Wuhan went undetected, according to analysis MGH, King’s College London researchers use crowdsourced data from app to monitor symptoms in 2.6 million, study how the disease spreads Loss of taste and smell is best indicator of COVID-19, study shows Temporary loss of smell, or anosmia, is the main neurological symptom and one of the earliest and most commonly reported indicators of COVID-19. Studies suggest it better predicts the disease than other well-known symptoms such as fever and cough, but the underlying mechanisms for loss of smell in patients with COVID-19 have been unclear.Now, an international team of researchers led by neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School has identified the olfactory cell types in the upper nasal cavity most vulnerable to infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Surprisingly, sensory neurons that detect and transmit the sense of smell to the brain are not among the vulnerable cell types.Reporting in Science Advances on July 24, the research team found that olfactory sensory neurons do not express the gene that encodes the ACE2 receptor protein, which SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter human cells. Instead, ACE2 is expressed in cells that provide metabolic and structural support to olfactory sensory neurons, as well as certain populations of stem cells and blood vessel cells.The findings suggest that infection of nonneuronal cell types may be responsible for anosmia in COVID-19 patients and help inform efforts to better understand the progression of the disease.“Our findings indicate that the novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells,” said senior study author Sandeep Robert Datta, associate professor of neurobiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS.This implies that in most cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection is unlikely to permanently damage olfactory neural circuits and lead to persistent anosmia, Datta added, a condition that is associated with a variety of mental and social health issues, particularly depression and anxiety.“I think it’s good news, because once the infection clears, olfactory neurons don’t appear to need to be replaced or rebuilt from scratch,” he said. “But we need more data and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms to confirm this conclusion.”A majority of COVID-19 patients experience some level of anosmia, most often temporary, according to emerging data. Analyses of electronic health records indicate that COVID-19 patients are 27 times more likely to have smell loss but are only around 2.2 to 2.6 times more likely to have fever, cough or respiratory difficulty, compared to patients without COVID-19. Some studies have hinted that anosmia in COVID-19 differs from anosmia caused by other viral infections, including by other coronaviruses.For example, COVID-19 patients typically recover their sense of smell over the course of weeks — much faster than the months it can take to recover from anosmia caused by a subset of viral infections known to directly damage olfactory sensory neurons. In addition, many viruses cause temporary loss of smell by triggering upper respiratory issues such as stuffy nose. Some COVID-19 patients, however, experience anosmia without any nasal obstruction. Pinpointing vulnerabilityIn the current study, Datta and colleagues set out to better understand how sense of smell is altered in COVID-19 patients by pinpointing cell types most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection.They began by analyzing existing single-cell sequencing datasets that in total catalogued the genes expressed by hundreds of thousands of individual cells in the upper nasal cavities of humans, mice and nonhuman primates.The team focused on the gene ACE2, widely found in cells of the human respiratory tract, which encodes the main receptor protein that SARS-CoV-2 targets to gain entry into human cells. They also looked at another gene, TMPRSS2, which encodes an enzyme thought to be important for SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cell.The analyses revealed that both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed by cells in the olfactory epithelium — a specialized tissue in the roof of the nasal cavity responsible for odor detection that houses olfactory sensory neurons and a variety of supporting cells. Neither gene, however, was expressed by olfactory sensory neurons. By contrast, these neurons did express genes associated with the ability of other coronaviruses to enter cells.The researchers found that two specific cell types in the olfactory epithelium expressed ACE2 at similar levels to what has been observed in cells of the lower respiratory tract, the most common targets of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting a vulnerability to infection. These included sustentacular cells, which wrap around sensory neurons and are thought to provide structural and metabolic support, and basal cells, which act as stem cells that regenerate the olfactory epithelium after damage. The presence of proteins encoded by both genes in these cells was confirmed by immunostaining.In additional experiments, the researchers found that olfactory epithelium stem cells expressed ACE2 protein at higher levels after artificially induced damage, compared with resting stem cells. This may suggest additional SARS-CoV-2 vulnerability, but it remains unclear whether or how this is important to the clinical course of anosmia in patients with COVID-19, the authors said.Datta and colleagues also analyzed gene expression in nearly 50,000 individual cells in the mouse olfactory bulb, the structure in the forebrain that receives signals from olfactory sensory neurons and is responsible for initial odor processing.Neurons in the olfactory bulb did not express ACE2. The gene and associated protein were present only in blood vessel cells, particularly pericytes, which are involved in blood pressure regulation, blood-brain barrier maintenance and inflammatory responses. No cell types in the olfactory bulb expressed the TMPRSS2gene.Smell loss clueTogether, these data suggest that COVID-19-related anosmia may arise from a temporary loss of function of supporting cells in the olfactory epithelium, which indirectly causes changes to olfactory sensory neurons, the authors said.“We don’t fully understand what those changes are yet, however,” Datta said. “Sustentacular cells have largely been ignored, and it looks like we need to pay attention to them, similar to how we have a growing appreciation of the critical role that glial cells play in the brain.”The findings also offer intriguing clues into COVID-19-associated neurological issues. The observations are consistent with hypotheses that SARS-CoV-2 does not directly infect neurons but may instead interfere with brain function by affecting vascular cells in the nervous system, the authors said. This requires further investigation to verify, they added. The study results now help accelerate efforts to better understand smell loss in patients with COVID-19, which could in turn lead to treatments for anosmia and the development of improved smell-based diagnostics for the disease. “Anosmia seems like a curious phenomenon, but it can be devastating for the small fraction of people in whom it’s persistent,” Datta said. “It can have serious psychological consequences and could be a major public health problem if we have a growing population with permanent loss of smell.”The team also hope the data can help pave inroads for questions on disease progression such as whether the nose acts as a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2. Such efforts will require studies in facilities that allow experiments with live coronavirus and analyses of human autopsy data, the authors said, which are still difficult to come by. However, the collaborative spirit of pandemic-era scientific research calls for optimism.“We initiated this work because my lab had a couple of datasets ready to analyze when the pandemic hit, and we published an initial preprint,” Datta said. “What happened after that was amazing, researchers across the globe offered to share and merge their data with us in a kind of impromptu global consortium. This was a real collaborative achievement.”Co-first authors on the study are David Brann, Tatsuya Tsukahara and Caleb Weinreb. Additional authors include Marcela Lipovsek, Koen Van den Berge, Boying Gong, Rebecca Chance, Iain Macaulay, Hsin-jung Chou, Russell Fletcher, Diya Das, Kelly Street, Hector Roux de Bezieux, Yoon-Gi Choi, Davide Risso, Sandrine Dudoit, Elizabeth Purdom, Jonathan Mill, Ralph Abi Hachem, Hiroaki Matsunami, Darren Logan, Bradley Goldstein, Matthew Grubb and John Ngai.The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (grants RO11DC016222 and U19 NS112953) and the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain. Additional funding information can be found in the full text of the paper. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc1564.
Dell EMC knows that the cloud is a key element of any modern data protection solution. That’s why our best-in-breed protection storage platforms enable users to easily extend to the cloud to benefit from the economics & agility that it can provide.For modern disaster recovery, Dell EMC offers Data Domain Cloud Disaster Recovery (DD CDR) to copy backed-up VMs to the public cloud. And for long-term retention, Dell EMC offers Data Domain Cloud Tier (DD Cloud Tier) – which now supports additional cloud service providers as well as new support for highly-requested workloads. In this blog, we will focus on DD Cloud Tier.DD Cloud Tier helps simplify and automate an organization’s path to the cloud with automated and efficient movement of long-term retention data, thanks to its seamless integration and API extensibility. DD Cloud Tier sets Data Domain apart as the only protection storage offering that can natively-tier deduplicated data to the public, private or hybrid cloud for long-term retention.1 No separate cloud gateway or virtual appliance is required – which means that customers do not have to worry about any additional physical footprint or management overhead, and will see the benefits from Dell EMC’s advanced deduplication in their cloud environment.DD Cloud Tier helps enterprises ensure that long-term retention data is protected with modern efficiency no matter what happens. For a complete Dell Technologies solution, Virustream Storage Cloud & Dell EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) are both supported options for your long-term cloud retention needs. A number of third-party cloud service providers are supported as well, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.Now with DD OS 6.1.1, Dell EMC is expanding cloud provider support for DD Cloud Tier to include Azure Government Cloud, IBM Cloud Object Storage (Standard), and Ceph Object Storage. With the ability to native-tier deduplicated long-term retention data to these new options, Dell EMC continues to deliver flexible protection with a wide ecosystem of both enterprise & homegrown applications as well as cloud service providers. You can even tier to two separate clouds from the same Data Domain system if you desire, allowing you to create the modern long-term cloud retention solution that is best for your organization’s needs.Furthermore, DD OS 6.1.1 expands on the existing DD Cloud Tier support for IBM’s TSM Virtual Tape Library (VTL) workloads with support for Dell EMC Networker and IBMi VTL workloads. This means that Data Domain VTL users will now be able to extend their TSM, IBMi and Networker VTL workloads to the cloud for long-term cloud retention along with the rest of their data ready to be held for retention. With minimal changes to workflow, you can quickly & easily replace your Physical Tape Library infrastructure with the Data Domain VTL supported long-term retention to Cloud workflow. This year is the ideal time to finally retire any remaining tape infrastructure with this expanded VTL support via DD Cloud Tier.To learn more about Dell EMC Data Domain and DD Cloud Tier, please visit the Dell EMC Store to compare products and follow @DellEMCProtect on Twitter for the latest announcements, customer case studies and topical content.1 Based on internal analysis, November 2016