Caisse Sun Life backing new 75 million fintech venture capital fund

first_img A new $75 million venture capital fund is being launched to develop early-stage fintech companies and artificial intelligence applications for financial services with the backing of large financial institutions including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sun Life Financial.Additional partners in Luge Capital include Desjardins Group, the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, and La Capitale, and the fund could be increased to as much as $100 million in the coming months.Luge Capital, named for the winter sport that involves hurtling down an icy course at high speed, will concentrate on seed and Series A financing. Initial investments will be between $250,000 and $2 million.“The fund will support the development of innovative solutions that improve customer experiences, enhance efficiency for financial institutions, and implement data-driven methods and artificial intelligence for decision-making,” the partners said in a statement Monday.Luge is expected to tap its financial backers for more than just money in the development their products and services.“Our AI and data-driven companies will have the opportunity to partner with our investors to access key insights in order to build best-of-breed solutions,” said David Nault, co-founder and general partner in Luge’s Montreal office.Nault, who has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and investing experience, will lead the Montreal office. Karim Gillani, who has extensive experience in fintech, will run an office based in Toronto.“We are looking for young mission-driven companies that challenge how the world interacts with financial services,” Gillani said.The initial $50 million of capital was raised and announced by the Caisse and Desjardins last October.“There is a booming startup ecosystem in this sector,” said Guy Cormier, chief executive of Desjardins, adding that the financial institution “wants to support and help develop this incredibly exciting industry.”The backers of Luge are not the first traditional financial services firms to back a venture fund dedicated to developing the financial technology-backed products and services that are disrupting the industry.The Desmarais family behind Montreal-based Power Corp. launched Diagram last year with 50 individual “angel” investors to fund entrepreneur-driven fintech startups. The fund raised an initial $25-million, with a substantial tranche coming from the family’s investment vehicle Portag3, which has been instrumental in the funding of robo-advisor Wealthsimple since 2015.Other investments were made in online lender Borrowell, and Koho, a mobile payments and banking startup.The increasing number of partnerships and funding arrangements suggest fintechs pose less of a threat to the healthy margins of traditional financial institutions than they were assumed to in their earliest days.Recent research suggests that disruption of business models and customer loyalty may come instead from “platform” players such as Google and Amazon.Last October, global consultant McKinsey & Company said 73 per cent of U.S. millennials would be more excited by a new financial services product or service from Google, Amazon, Paypal, or Square than from their bank. One in three said they believed they would not need a bank at all. Facebook Comment June 11, 201812:02 AM EDTLast UpdatedJune 11, 201812:02 AM EDT Filed under News FP Street Join the conversation → Barbara Shecter Twitter What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation 0 Comments Sponsored By: Caisse, Sun Life backing new $75 million fintech venture capital fund Additional partners in Luge Capital include Desjardins Group, the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, and La Capitale, and the fund could be increased to $100 million center_img Recommended For YouBWX Technologies, Inc. to Webcast Discussion of its Second Quarter 2019 ResultsNetflix shares sink 11%, analysts still see growthEuro and bond yields fall on report that ECB might amend inflation goalClimate fears lift Greens’ chances of running GermanyNorway’s Aker Energy IPO may be in late 2019 or 2020 -Aker CEO The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sun Life Financial are backing a venture capital fund to develop artificial intelligence applications for financial services.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press Share this storyCaisse, Sun Life backing new $75 million fintech venture capital fund Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Featured Stories advertisement ← Previous Next → Reddit More Emaillast_img read more

These new 1200 Boschpowered 35 mph city electric scooters are going global

first_imgIt’s an exciting time for electric scooters and mopeds. The number of manufacturers continues to grow, and that competition is also keeping prices affordable.SWAG isn’t the newest electric scooter company, as they’ve already been selling their products in Asia for years. But they are the newest electric scooter company to begin selling worldwide. And with a price tag of $1,200, it’s hard not to at least take a second look at these cute little EVs. more…The post These new $1,200 Bosch-powered 35 mph city electric scooters are going global appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

Another Financial Guru Is Wooed By Teslas Efforts Compared To Rivals

first_imgAbove: GM’s critically-acclaimed design aesthetic for its Volt concept car, shown at 2007’s Detroit Auto Show, never made it to production (Image: Ultimate Car Page)Indeed, one glaring issue is that Big Auto releases lackluster designs for their electric cars. Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s former VP of business development once explained that legacy automakers have “delivered little more than appliances. Now, appliances are useful. But… they tend to be unemotional.” Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, goes one step further, pointing out that an electric car shouldn’t “feel like a weird-mobile.” Big Auto Following Tesla’s Lead Beyond Just The Cars HEDGE FUND MANAGER: BIG AUTO’S ELECTRIC CARS ARE ‘BLAH’ COMPARED TO TESLABrad Cornell teaches financial economics at Caltech. He also happens to manage a hedge fund. And when it comes to Tesla, he’s by no means a bull. He still believes Tesla is overvalued. However, much like short seller Andrew Left, he’s becoming disillusioned with EV efforts from legacy automakers.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories: Source: Electric Vehicle News Above: BMW i3 and Renault Zoe (Image: Avto Magazin)According to Cornell, “When I see a Chevy Bolt, or a BWM i3, or a Nissan Leaf, or basically any electric car other than Tesla my reaction is – blah. And sales figures demonstrate I am not alone. Apparently, people feel morally good about driving one of the Tesla competitors, but they don’t actually feel good. Only Tesla had the design, the pizzazz and the performance to make driving special and not a chore.” Above: Teslas are imbued with a different electric vehicle design sensibility than what we’ve seen from legacy carmakers (Image: Tesla)Granted, Jaguar’s I-Pace deserves kudos for beating Das Auto to market. Audi is celebrating its e-tron at high-profile parties. And electrified concept cars are often front-and-center at auto shows. But right now, Cornell notes, “If you want a fun, cool, sexy, tech looking ride the choice is Tesla – period. And that is what my valuation models missed. The stock may still be overpriced, but how much depends on how quickly real competition emerges.” And he concludes, “It has not been emerging very quickly.”===Source: Valuewalk (via Brad Cornell) Above: Daimler’s Smart electric cars (Image: Cars Guide)Cornell admits, “My mistake in 2014 was thinking that competition for Tesla was just around the corner. Now, at the end of 2018, it is still just around the corner. Although Jaguar has been promising the iPace for some time, my visits to dealers have been rewarded only with promises. The same is true for the Porsche Taycan… there is not a meaningful Tesla competitor available today or in the near future.” Above: Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf (Image: Mike Suding)Cornell did a U-turn on Tesla. Why? He explains (via Valuewalk), “One thing I did not evaluate accurately when I began constructing valuation models for Tesla in early 2014 was how slow the competition would be to produce electric cars that people would want to drive. Tesla competitors, to the extent that any appeared, seemed to be saying that the point of an electric car was to be green and efficient, not sexy or exciting.” Big Auto Still Spends Big Dollars Promoting Gas Cars, Not Tesla Killers Do Legacy Automakers Have True Motivation To Bury Tesla? Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 5, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Used Electric Car Prices Start To Slowly Rise

first_img Tesla Model S, X Hold Higher Resale Value Than Rivals Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Larry Dixon of J.D. Power says price increases “quite extraordinary.”For years, electric vehicles have had relatively low resale value for a variety of reasons. Used electric vehicles are typically priced with the $7500 federal tax credit baked in. The plug-in market is also rapidly improving. First gen electrics such as the Chevy Spark EV and 2015 Nissan LEAF simply cannot compare to the Chevy Bolt EV and the Gen 2 LEAF. Not to mention the sales success of the year: the Tesla Model 3.More About Electric Vehicle Resale Value KBB: 2014 Honda Accord PHEV Grabs Best Resale Value Title for Plug-In Vehicles Source: Electric Vehicle News Resale Values For Electric Cars Continue To Drop – Not For Teslas Though But depreciation on these older models appears to be turning around. According to Black Book’s three-year retention gauge, the value of used EVs this year is about 38%. That is a large improvement from from only 21% one year ago.J.D. Power and Associates has found that the 2015 Nissan Leaf is now retaining 30% of its original sticker price. That is up 23% from the fourth quarter last year. Wholesale prices of the 2015 LEAF are up about 1 percent from where they were last year.“Now we have prices up for the first time ever.” Says Larry Dixon, senior director of valuation services at J.D. Power. “So from a consumer standpoint, that means they have an appreciating asset.”Other first gen electric vehicles are seeing similar results. The Fiat 500e is retaining 21%, up from 18% last year. The Chevy Spark EV is retaining 25% this quarter compared to 21% from last year. Spark EV wholesale value is up 10% year over year.In the case of the Nissan LEAF, Dixon believes prices have reached rock bottom. The value of compact cars are similarly up this year. But he says automakers and some dealers are getting better at understanding the demand for these vehicles.Due to increased production, it might seem reasonable to assume that used values would continue to drop. However, this is being offset by growing consumer awareness of electric vehicles.As any EV advocate will tell you: ‘Butts In Seats’ is a key demand generator.“Based on what we’ve seen this year and starting in the latter half of last year, there’s clearly some consumer demand.”Source: Automotive Newslast_img read more

Tesla Model X Tows Gas Truck Away From Supercharger Video

first_imgDe-ICEing experiment.When a non-electric car (ICE) is blocking a charging spot, thus preventing EVs from recharging, it’s called being ICEd. Sometimes it’s accidental. Often times it’s intentional.Tesla Trip recently did a De-ICEing experiment with Chevy Silverado truck parked along several Tesla Superchargers. By towing it a bit with a Tesla Model X, which is capable of towing.See Also Source: Electric Vehicle News Hawaii Cracking Down on Electric Vehicle Parking Violators Washington State Governor Signs Into Law $124 Fine for ICE Drivers Who Illegally Park in EV Only Spaces The experiment – with their own pickup truck – is kind of a proof of concept and, at least on snow, it seems to be technically doable.However, especially in case of purposely parked ICE cars, we can’t advise towing the cars from charging spot because several; things could go wrong – from the legal and safety perspective (damage to the cars, lawsuit, street fight, etc.).We must also remember that there is a problem with EVs being left at the DC fast charger, while already fully or almost fully charged (low charging speeds).One of many real-life examples of these trucks purposely blocking charging stations can be found here:Angry Truck Owners Are Blocking #Tesla Supercharger Spots. The EV vs. ICE wars have begun. #electriccar #truck Read: https://t.co/ZqjZT536Kg pic.twitter.com/8x76EQE6Sn— CarBuzz (@CarBuzzcom) December 25, 2018 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 2, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Fully Charged Features The “Being ICE’d” Phenomenon – Videolast_img read more

Lynk Co 4 PlugIn Hybrid Spied Testing

first_imgIt may seem like a conventional ICE-powered vehicle but underneath the skin should be a compact plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor. This system should be good for a purely electric range of about 50 miles (80 kilometers) on a single charge of the batteries before the gas engine kicks in.Alternatively, depending on the market, the Lynk & Co 4 is expected to be offered with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel in versions with 150 hp (112 kW) and 190 hp (142 kW). At launch, a 250-hp (186 kW) gasoline unit will also be available, which will be joined by a smaller 180-hp (134 kW), 1.5-liter engine later during the model’s lifecycle.Photos: Automedia According to unconfirmed information, the model will be based on the architecture that will also underpin Volvo’s upcoming revamped 40 series of compact cars. The Swedish hatch and small wagon are rumored to go fully electric, but that won’t be the case with Lynk & Co’s sibling. Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo Wagon Spied For First Time Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 16, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 2020 Honda Urban EV Spied Testing: Still Looks Adorable 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE PHEV Spied Lapping Nurburgring: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News It’s China’s answer to the Ford Focus and VW Golf.Lynk & Co is progressing with the development of its fourth model which will take the shape of a compact hatchback. This fresh batch of spy photos reveals the company is in the advanced stages of testing as its prototype is featuring less and less camouflage.More Spy Shots The previous time we saw the Lynk & Co 4 during tests, it was out on public roads under heavy disguise. This time around, most of the plastic body panels are gone and the trial car is showing its production headlights and taillights more generously. You don’t have to be a car guru to recognize the brand’s now familiar design language with two rows of lights at the front and a muscular side profile.last_img read more

Im going to join Tottenham says Pavlyuchenko

first_imgTottenham Hotspur news Tottenham Hotspur Roman Pavlyuchenko is close to completing a £12m transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. The Spartak Moscow striker withdrew from his club’s squad to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League qualifying round tonight and spoke of his excitement at the impending move.”I can confirm I’m joining [Tottenham],” he said. “Right now I’m getting my visa and as soon as it is ready I will fly to England to sign a contract. I won’t play in Kiev. Everything has happened very quickly so I couldn’t even say goodbye to my team-mates.”Pavlyuchenko’s comments to Russian media came at the end of a whirlwind day. Earlier he had been quoted as saying that he would not join Tottenham, having already suggested that for family reasons he wanted to remain in Moscow.”I could not decide if I wanted to go to England at first – first yes, then no,” he said. “The only thing that stopped me from leaving was my family. But now all doubts are behind me and I decided to sign a contract with Tottenham and the formalities are practically settled.”Tottenham have long held an interest in the Russia international, who came to wider prominence with the goals that secured a 2-1 victory over England in qualifying for Euro 2008.”There is a concrete sum which Tottenham proposed and we have agreed the amount,” said Spartak’s general manager, Valery Karpin. “If Roman will agree a contract then we are ready to let him go.Pavlyuchenko, 26, who scored three goals as Russia reached the semi-final of Euro 2008, may not be the last arrival at White Hart Lane before next Monday night’s transfer deadline, with Spurs short of attacking options after Robbie Keane’s move to Liverpool. Darren Bent was the only striker in the squad for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Sunderland, and Dimitar Berbatov remains in limbo.The move for Pavlyuchenko is independent of the Berbatov situation. The Bulgarian trained yesterday with the Tottenham first team, having been dropped from the squad for Saturday’s game, but he is desperate for the club to sanction his move to Manchester United.Shaun Wright-Phillips has been given the choice of reviving his career at Manchester City or Everton after being told his first-team chances would remain limited at Chelsea under Luiz Felipe Scolari. City are believed to have offered almost £10m for the winger they sold to Chelsea for £21m in 2005, whereas Everton have proposed a one-year loan deal with a view to a permanent move next summer.Everton yesterday secured their first new arrival of the summer when the Denmark right-back Lars Jacobsen completed a free transfer. They are expecting a decision from Rennes today on their latest offer for Stéphane M’Bia. The Cameroon international midfielder has been a target for David Moyes all summer but Rennes have so far not lowered their £10m valuation of the 22-year-old. David Hytner and Andy Hunter Share on Twitter Spartak Moscow Share on Facebook Roman Pavlyuchenko scored three goals during Russia’s Euro 2008 campaign. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Share on Pinterest Tue 26 Aug 2008 19.34 EDT First published on Tue 26 Aug 2008 19.34 EDT I’m going to join Tottenham, says Pavlyuchenko Premier League 2008-09 This article is more than 10 years old Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 10 years old Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Premier League Topics Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Shares00 Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Halfmale halffemale bird has a rough life

first_imgThis bird might look like a holiday ornament, but it is actually a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis, pictured with female plumage on the left and male plumage on the right) spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois. Researchers have long known such split-sex “gynandromorphs” exist in insects, crustaceans, and birds. But scientists rarely get to extensively study a gynandromorph in the wild; most published observations cover just a day or so. Observers got to follow this bird, however, for more than 40 days between December 2008 and March 2010. They documented how it interacted with other birds and even how it responded to recorded calls. The results suggest being half-and-half carries consequences: The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing, the researchers report this month in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper. Intriguingly, another gynandromorph cardinal sighted briefly in 1969 had the opposite plumage, they note: the male’s bright red plumes on the right, the drabber female feathers on the left.last_img read more

Upgrade makes genome editor CRISPR more muscular precise

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email You wouldn’t know it from the excitement generated by the revolutionary genome editing method known as CRISPR, but as practiced now, it is far from perfect. Its standard components can find and cut DNA in only a limited fraction of the genome, and its molecular scissors are wobbly, leading to “off-target” mutations. Many groups are trying to do better, and now, a team led by chemist David Liu at Harvard University has engineered a version of CRISPR that potentially is both more dexterous and more precise.”This is very impressive and important work,” says CRISPR pioneer Erik Sontheimer of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.CRISPR comes in many flavors, but they all depend on a guide molecule composed of RNA to carry a DNA-cutting enzyme—the most commonly used one is known by the shorthand Cas9—to a specific stretch of the genome. This complex, however, homes in on DNA landing pads that have specific molecular features. The enzyme in the standard CRISPR toolkit, called spCas9 for its natural source, the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, can only land on genome segments that have at one end a specific three-base trio: N, where N is any of DNA’s four bases, followed by two guanines (Gs). Only about one-sixteenth of the 3.2-billion-base human genome has the right sequence. “That’s been a real limitation,” Liu says. KC ROEYER/UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jon CohenFeb. 28, 2018 , 1:00 PMcenter_img The new work, reported online in the 28 February issue of Nature, modifies the Cas9 enzyme, creating at least four times as many potential docking sites. In theory, this could allow researchers to, say, cripple or replace many parts of genes associated with human disease that CRISPR currently cannot touch.Liu’s lab began by engineering a large variety of slightly altered spCas9s. The group then selected for ones that could use a broader range of the 64 possible, three-base landing pads—technically referred to as protospacer adjacent motifs, or PAMs. They’ve dubbed their new enzymes xCas9s, and the best one works with NGN, a sequence that occurs in one-fourth of the genome.Liu expected that in return for gaining the ability to latch onto more places, xCas9 would pay a penalty: more of the potentially dangerous off-target cuts that concern researchers hoping to unleash CRISPR in medicine. After all, conventional thinking holds that Cas9, naturally part of a bacterial immune strategy, evolved to be as promiscuous in its DNA binding as it could be without compromising specificity. “PAM binding is supposed to be the gatekeeper, and if your gatekeeper is drunk and lets lots of Cas9 into the dance, that should screw up the targeting,” Liu explains. But the opposite happened. “If you ask me for a detailed mechanistic explanation for why that is, my answer is, ‘I don’t know,’” he says.Stanley Qi, a CRISPR researcher at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, says this win-win situation is “amazing,” and should excite many labs. “The real test here is if people rush to use this xCas9 while forgetting about the original version,” Qi says. “At least in my lab, we are very eager to try this out for our applications.”Liu cautions that the standard Cas9 has proved itself over the years; his lab has only tested the new xCas9 on a few dozen sites in the genome so far, compared with the thousands the original has been shown to hit. “I’m not 100% sure xCas9 is going to be flat out better than spCas9,” Liu says. “I want everyone to test it because I want to know the answer.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The genome editor CRISPR cuts DNA with help from a guide RNA (green and red) and a Cas9 enzyme (outline) that latches onto a three-base sequence (yellow). Upgrade makes genome editor CRISPR more muscular, preciselast_img read more

Despite growing budget US cancer institute slashes operating budget by 5

first_img Despite growing budget, U.S. cancer institute slashes operating budget by 5% Another pressure is a soaring number of grant applications at NCI, Sharpless told his two top advisory boards on 4 December (at about 13:00 minutes in this videocast). Proposals have gone up 46% in 6 years, from 4175 in 2013 to 6113 in the 2018 fiscal year (see graph, below). At NIH overall, proposal numbers rose only 11% to 30,874. Sharpless attributes the rising interest in NCI funding in part to “a very exciting time” in cancer research and growth in NCI-funded cancer centers, which support junior investigators seeking grants. But the downside is sagging success rates, or the odds that a submitted application will be funded. At 12% in 2017, NCI’s success rates were already much lower than the NIH-wide rate of 19%. A good year for biomedical research funding has turned sour at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, where the director is cutting operating budgets by 5% across the agency. Despite a rising overall budget, NCI’s funds are being stretched thin by various priorities and a ballooning number of funding applications, explains NCI Director Norman “Ned” Sharpless.Just 2 months ago, biomedical researchers celebrated a 5% budget boost in 2019 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the fourth large annual increase after more than a decade of stagnant growth. NCI’s share was a $179 million increase (or 3%) for a total of $5.74 billion. But only $79 million went to NCI’s base operating budget and $100 million is tagged for the cancer moonshot funded through the 21st Century Cures Act. And NCI’s funds are being whittled away by rising federal salaries, transfers to other parts of NIH and its parent department, larger grants, and a mandate to raise training stipends, Sharpless says. 20132014201520162017-1001020304050%% change compared with 2013NCI applicationsTotal NIH applications-10010203040​A surge in cancer grant requests ​The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has seen a 46% increase in applications since 2013.​Requests to the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH) rose 10.5% over the same period.Data: abcdefg hijkl mnop qrstu vwxyz 1234 56789 NCI hasn’t experienced cuts this large since 2011, a year when a 1% cut in NIH’s budget from Congress forced then–NCI Director Harold Varmus to slash grants and intramural lab budgets. By Jocelyn KaiserDec. 7, 2018 , 2:20 PM Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img To meet its obligations and prop up success rates, NCI is imposing a 5% cut to 2018 spending levels across all divisions, offices, and centers, Sharpless told his board and the NCI community in a 6 December email. That includes both NCI’s in-house or intramural labs as well as extramural grant programs. The cuts, which should free up $56 million, will not include staff salaries, however. Peer review–approved budgets for new grants and renewals, which were already subject to a 17% cut, will take another 2% nick (details here). Continuing grants will be trimmed 3%, except for the cancer centers, moonshot grants, and training awards. NCI will also continue a policy of funding early-stage investigators at a higher rate than established researchers. Daniel Sone/National Cancer Institute Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Graphic: D. Malakoff/Science; Data: National Institutes of Health Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emaillast_img read more

Large strangely dim galaxy found lurking on far side of Milky Way

first_img Circling our galaxy is a stealthy giant. Astronomers have discovered a dwarf galaxy, called Antlia 2, that is one-third the size of the Milky Way itself. As big as the Large Magellanic Cloud, the galaxy’s largest companion, Antlia 2 eluded detection until now because it is 10,000 times fainter. Such a strange beast challenges models of galaxy formation and dark matter, the unseen stuff that helps pull galaxies together.“It’s a very odd object and kind of exciting because we don’t know yet how to interpret all of its properties,” says Andrey Kravtsov of The University of Chicago in Illinois, who was not involved in the work.The galaxy was discovered with data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, a space telescope measuring the motions and properties of more than 1 billion stars in and around the Milky Way. Gabriel Torrealba, an astronomy postdoc at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, decided to sift the data for RR Lyrae stars. These old stars, often found in dwarf galaxies, shine with a throbbing blue light that pulses at a rate signaling their inherent brightness, allowing researchers to pin down their distance. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Large, strangely dim galaxy found lurking on far side of Milky Way “RR Lyrae are so rare at these distances that even if you see two, you question why they are together,” says Vasily Belokurov, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a collaborator on the discovery. When the team found three, some 420,000 light-years away, it was “an overwhelming signal” of a large cluster of stars in that location, Belokurov says. But because the RR Lyrae stars lie on the far side of the disk of the Milky Way and its obstructing veil of stars and gas, finding their companions was not easy.Gaia data helped the team see past the foreground stars. Objects in the Milky Way’s disk are close enough for Gaia to measure their parallax: a shift in their apparent position as Earth moves around the sun. More distant stars appear fixed in one spot. After removing the parallax-bearing stars, the researchers homed in on more than 100 red giant stars moving together in the constellation Antlia, they report in a paper posted to the preprint server arXiv this week. The giants mark out a sprawling companion galaxy 100 times less massive than anything of similar size, with far fewer stars.To explain such a diffuse galaxy, Belokurov suggests that early in Antlia 2’s history, many young stars exploded as violent supernovae. This would have blown gas and dust out of the galaxy, weakening its gravity so that it puffed up. An abundance of the heavy elements that are strewn from the guts of exploding stars adds credibility to this idea, says Shea Garrison-Kimmel, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Antlia 2 could also have lost matter as stars were tugged away by gravitational tidal forces as it orbited around the larger Milky Way.Even so, its disproportionate size is hard to explain. Galaxies are thought to have formed when the gravity of enormous clumps of dark matter drew in enough ordinary matter to fuel the birth of stars. The team speculates that Antlia 2 might have been born from a fluffier, faster-moving type of dark matter than current models hypothesize.To Garrison-Kimmel, one example isn’t enough to say the dark matter in Antlia 2 is different from that in the Milky Way and its other satellites. “There’s nothing in this one galaxy that screams to me that we need to rethink dark matter,” he says. “But if there are a lot of these, then we might need to take a step back and ask what’s going on.”That could happen now that astronomers know how to find these big, elusive companions. “I think this object is a harbinger,” Kravtsov says. “A taste of things to come.” By Adam MannNov. 13, 2018 , 12:30 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Antlia 2 (upper left), hidden on the Milky Way’s far side, is as big as the Large Magellanic Cloud (lower right) but much dimmer. (A bright, artificial blob representing Antlia 2 was added to show its location.) Email G. Torrealba, Academia Sinica, Taiwan; V. Belokurov, Cambridge, U.K. and CCA, New York, U.S., based on an image by ESO/S. Brunie Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Hit the Road Jack The Undercover Drug Arrest of Ray Charles

first_imgRay Charles, a much loved and respected musical genius, had a long career as a musician that was almost cut short by his heroin addiction. In November of 1961, the singer was arrested at the Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.Shortly after he checked in, he received a call from a man wanting to sell him drugs. When the man arrived, Charles bought a dozen three dollar capsules filled with heroin.Ray Charles. Photo by Mallory1180 CC BY-SA 4.0He and his band traveled to Anderson, Indiana just northeast of Indianapolis for a concert the next day, and returned to Indianapolis.The plan was to go to a local club to hear Aretha Franklin sing, but Charles stayed behind.Photo of Ray Charles in one of his classic poses at the piano.The next morning a knock on the door of his suite woke Charles and when he asked who was at the door the reply was “Western Union” — but in fact, it was the Indianapolis police.They pushed their way in without a search warrant and searched the room with Charles not knowing what was happening.Ray Charles exiting the stageThey seemed to know just where to look and found a needle and ten of the heroin capsules empty with residue still remaining.Ray was arrested and hustled out the door with no respect for his privacy.Ray Charles in Hamburg, 1971. Photo by Heinrich Klaffs CC BY SA 2.0He was taken to the police station where the press was clamoring for a story, and the police staff let them into the room.Although Charles was blind, he knew the familiar sound of camera shutters being clicked.Trade ad for Ray Charles’ single “Yesterday.”The reporters crowded around him and fired off embarrassing questions reducing the singer to tears.The next day Charles was released on bond and headed to his hotel to meet up with his band, who had heard of the arrest on the radio.Charles at the North Sea Jazz Festival, 1983.They left for a gig in Evansville, Indiana across the Ohio River from the border of Kentucky.When they arrived, the group was met by reporters who, again, encircled Charles pressing him with ridiculous questions.Ray Charles at Grammy Awards – rehearsal – February, 1990. Photo by Alan Light CC By 2.0When Charles returned to Indianapolis for his court appearance, a media circus greeted him at the courthouse.They caused such a commotion that Judge Ernie S. Burke threatened to clear the building.He set the date of the trial for January 1962. Charles posted his $1,000 bail bond and left Indiana for Nashville, Tennessee.Charles meeting with President Richard Nixon, 1972. Photo by Oliver F. AtkinsThe concert tour was dogged by reporters who would not leave him alone. Repercussions of the arrest included a cancellation of an appearance on the Ed Sullivan television show, a venue that introduced many fledgling stars to the public including Elvis Presley, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Several other concerts were canceled as well.Ray Charles’ microphone. Photo by Andrew Russeth CC BY-SA 2.0In January, Charles returned to Indianapolis for his trial at the courthouse which was packed with reporters and fans.The judge heard his attorney’s arguments that the police entered under false pretenses and illegally searched the room.Charles with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan, 1984.Judge Burke set his response for three weeks later when he ruled that because of the illegal way the police tried to entrap Charles, the charges would be dismissed.For many, the fiasco would have caused them to think twice about returning to drugs but the pull of addiction was too strong for Charles and he was arrested for heroin possession again in 1964.Ray Charles monument in Montreux, Switzerland. Photo by Lysippos CC BY-SA 3.0Wisely, Charles checked himself into St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, California for addiction treatment.After about five months in the hospital he emerged addiction free and was put on probation for five years. By 1966, his songs were climbing the music charts again.Star honoring Ray Charles on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard.Ray Charles, whose real surname was Robinson, died from liver disease in 2004 at the age of seventy three, in Beverly Hills, California.He was entombed at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.Over one thousand people attended his funeral at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Some of his most beloved songs were performed at the service by Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, his longtime chess partner and songwriting collaborator and his son, the Rev. Robert Robinson Sr.Read another story from us: Ozzy Osbourne Bit the Head Off a Live Bat and Snorted a Line of AntsDuring his lifetime Ray Charles won twelve Grammy Awards and according to biography.com he performed more than ten thousand concerts and put out over sixty records.last_img read more

Incredible Forest Crop Circles Appear in Japan

first_imgAn aerial photograph of a forest in Japan caused a stir on social media last month, as it appeared to show a pair of epic crop circles made out of trees. A crop circle is an area of flattened crops, typically a cereal crop, which produces a regular, circular pattern that can be viewed from above.Interest in crop circles is a perennial feature of internet controversy, and many people believe them to be signs of extraterrestrial life or attempts at alien communication.Original Google Earth photo. Copyright Google 2019.However, the appearance of these circles in a forest near Nichinan in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, left even the most avid conspiracy theorists lost for words. These enormous circles, visible from the sky, were not produced by the flattening of cereal crops. Rather, they were grown into the forest itself, and made completely out of trees.Although it’s tempting to attribute these strange patterns to alien activity, or enterprising hoaxers, the circles did not appear overnight. According to Business Insider, they are the result of a 45-year “experimental forestry” program run by scientists seeking to understand the way in which forests develop.The trees have grown in perfect symmetry.This Southern Miyazaki District forest is populated by local Obi-sugi cedar trees. In 1974, a team of scientists decided to plant 720 new cedar trees as part of an experiment designed to understand the effects of forest density on tree growth.The scientists wanted to observe what would happen if they planted trees in close proximity to one another, and how this would affect their growth and development. It was hoped that the results would inform new forestation projects.They are the result of a 45-year “experimental forestry” program run by scientists seeking to understand the way in which forests develop.According to Business Insider, the trees were planted in a sequence of circles, evenly spaced in 10 degree radial increments. The result was a pattern of concentric circles with varying diameter.The pattern was not chosen for aesthetic reasons, but rather to allow the scientists to easily identify which trees were part of the experiment. The team has been making regular observations over the course of the past 45 years.The study challenges the prevailing assumption that tree density does not significantly affect growth and development.The results of the investigation were particularly surprising. As the aerial images show, the trees have grown out in a concave pattern, suggesting that close planting does limit tree growth.The trees that were placed in the inner circles, with proportionally less space, were significantly smaller than those in the outer rings. The difference in height between the smallest trees at the center of the ring, and the largest at the outer level was more than five meters (16.5 feet).dense beech forest with tall trees. beautiful nature backgroundIt seems that those trees that grew with more space suffered less from competition from other trees, and therefore were able to grow taller and stronger.Those in the inner rings, however, had limited access to water, sunlight and soil nutrients. The team had expected that this would produce some differences in growth, but the extent of the difference was not anticipated.Furthermore, this study challenges the prevailing assumption that tree density does not significantly affect growth and development.The experiment was designed in order to calculate the optimum distance for tree planting, in order to create the biggest yield of timber in the smallest possible space. The experiment was originally supposed to run for 50 years, meaning that the trees were designated to be felled in 2023.However, scientists did not anticipate the beautiful patterns that would be created as a result of the planting scheme. The varying sizes of the trees in the ring create a three-dimensional effect and produce a particularly interesting pattern only when photographed from above.Indeed, until 2016, observation of the trees was carried out on foot, meaning that the team was unaware of the existence of the crop circles in the forest. However, the development of drone technology meant that in 2016 they were able to see the forest from above for the first time.Read another story from us: Drunken Trees – Two Surreal Forests that Abandon the Laws of GravityThis birds-eye view has encouraged the scientists to see the experiment in a whole new light, and these beautiful forest crop circles will now remain exactly where they stand.last_img read more

Return of the 80s Punky Brewster Coming Back to TV with Original

first_imgSay hello again to the 1980s. A sequel to Punky Brewster is being launched, with Soleil Moon Frye reprising her popular role from the mid-1980s sitcom. In the original series, Punky was a bright young girl raised by a foster dad, played by George Gaynes. Now Punky is “a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self,” according to Deadline. Frye was an instant success when “Punky Brewster” premiered on NBC. The series ran four seasons and earned three Primetime Emmy nominations including two for Outstanding Children’s Program. Frye later voiced Brewster in an animated series that ran for two seasons, It’s Punky Brewster, which earned a Daytime Emmy nod of its own.In the years since the sitcom ended, Frye has done quite a bit of voice work, including Robot Chicken, Bratz, and The Proud Family. She also appeared on several seasons of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as Sabrina’s college roommate, Roxie.Soleil Moon Frye. Photo by Nan Palmero CC by 2.0Huffington Post said, “The show may have only lasted four seasons, but ‘Punky Brewster’ left a lasting impression and made pre-teen Soleil Moon Frye, who played the little leading lady, a household name.” No network is attached yet. Should it get picked up, it will join a flood of 80s revivals, including The Lost Boys (TV show based on the movie), Cobra Kai (Karate Kid spinoff) Murphy Brown, and Full House. 80s nostalgia is back in a big way it seems.Related Video: 80s Nostalgia Alert!Frye will serve as an executive producer on the new project, along with original series creator David Duclon. Steve and Jim Armogida (who worked on Nickelodeon’s School of Rock adaptation) will write the script.In the original series, Punky’s father has walked out and her mother abandoned her at a shopping center. She and her dog find shelter in a vacant apartment; the complex is managed by a widowed man who is on the grouchy side. He eventually adopts her.  Although not officially an adaptation, Punky Brewster contains many elements in common with the novel Silas Marner, in which a miserly  hermit whose only friend is an elderly woman adopts a young girl who was abandoned by her parents.Of the original cast, only Frye, Cherie Johnson (who played Punky’s friend Cherie) and T.K. Carter (elementary school teacher Mike Fulton) are still alive. George Gaynes, who played Punky’s foster parent, died in 2016 and Susie Garrett, who played Cherie’s grandmother Betty Johnson, died of cancer in 2002.Cherie Johnson. Photo courtesy of Cherie Johnson CC BY-SA 3.0NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff reportedly named the series after a girl he once had a crush on. Punky’s dog is named Brandon, after Tartikoff himself. There were more than 3,000 child actors who auditioned for the role of Punky. Soleil at 7 years of age had already acted in television, with siblings and parents in show business, and won the part. Frye quickly gained a following. She appeared in parades and for some reason was prominent in Nancy Reagan’s anti-drug campaigns.One of the best things about Punky Brewster was the unforgettable theme song intro:After the show ended in 2003, Frye turned her focus to motherhood. She and her husband Jason Goldberg, a television producer, have two daughters.Slate said of the show in a 2013 story, “Punky did embody aspects of both punk and feminist thinking, it turns out. But she was trapped inside a show that was all about reinforcing mainstream middle class values circa 1984. This was, after all, the mid-1980s, the throes of the family values era, when Reagan Republican Alex Keaton somehow spawned from hippie parents.”Related Article: 80s Cult Classic ‘The Lost Boys’ to Return as a TV SeriesThe BBC Review said of the original show, “Depending on your view point, this was either a ghastly, sickly sweet, cheaply made sitcom of the worst kind, or a harmless slice of Apple Pie America.“Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more

County health assessment details serious concerns

first_imgCounty health assessment details serious concerns December 18, 2018 By Linda Kor       The Holbrook City Council met on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and listened to a presentation by Navajo County Health Director Jeff Lee regarding the 2018 Navajo County Community Healthcare Assessment.       TheSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Circadence VP Keenan Skelly Changing the Cybersecurity Paradigm

first_imgKeenan Skelly is vice president of global partnerships and security evangelist for Circadence.In this exclusive interview, Skelly shares her insights on the state of cybersecurity, the importance of establishing global norms, and the abundance of opportunities in the field. Circadence VP Keenan SkellyTechNewsWorld: Could you describe the trajectory of your career? How has it evolved over time?Keenan Skelly: I started out in the Army as an explosive ordnance disposal technician, and I had an interesting career. I was last stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, where we focused on chemical and nuclear weapons. It wasn’t very cyber-related.While I was doing that job, I happened to be at the White House on 9/11, and in that capacity I got to see the national response plan acted out. It brought me back to my past before the military, working for the Red Cross and responding to large-scale crisis incidents.I was interested in transitioning the skills I got from the military, so I went to work for the infrastructure protection division of the Department of Homeland Security, where I ran vulnerability assessments across the country — nuclear, chemical, water — looking at these from a personnel and a physical security standpoint, as well as an information security standpoint. We saw then that information security was the single point of failure across all these sectors. Despite that, we weren’t really providing a lot of assets for the critical infrastructure community.Here we are, 15 years later, and a lot of the same issues are still being played out, but on a larger scale. That pushed me in the direction of learning more about information and cybersecurity.I went back to school and got a bachelor’s degree in information technology and came back to the field to promote some of these things at the critical infrastructure level. Since then, I’ve been working with smaller companies on ideas about how to address the cybersecurity issue.TNW: Why do you have a passion for cybersecurity?Skelly: One part is that it’s only a few times in the history of the U.S. and in specific domains do you have the opportunity to make decisions and have a lasting effect on that domain. If you talk about the nuclear domain and chemical domain, the opportunity to impact those domains does not happen regularly.In terms of information cybersecurity, we’re right in the middle of it right now. We’re just figuring out what global norms should be. The things that we put in place — whether they’re policies or advanced technologies, are going to shape this domain for many years to come. That’s really exciting to me, being able to be part of that change and influence this domain.The other part is that it impacts every bit of our lives, more and more every day. Just in the last 10 years, my personal reliance on technology and the Web has grown exponentially, and our reliance on cyber is a double-edged sword.We’re able to communicate much more efficiently with people all over the world, but we’re more vulnerable to attacks. We need to figure out what the best way is to move forward, and what things we need to scale back on.TNW: In what ways is working in the business world different from military and government work?Skelly: I enjoyed working for the government and military for the sense of purpose, and because I was able to make changes that were seen across the environment.As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that rapid change and innovation typically come from smaller, more agile organizations. I’ve embraced that, and I enjoy working with smaller companies that have new ways of thinking about complex ideas like artificial intelligence and machine learning. That really inspires me.In terms of predictability, when you’re working for the government or military, there’s a cadence to processes, and that’s part of why it doesn’t lend itself to being agile. That’s what I like about the business world — the ability to innovate new ideas and technologies and get them out to people more quickly.TNW: What are some of the most challenging things facing us in the world of security?Skelly: One of the big challenges we have in cybersecurity is norms in cyberspace. People like to refer to cyber as the wild, wild west. There are all these things going on, and people are testing the water. But this is not the first domain where that’s happened. We saw similar things with nuclear weapons and chemical weapons, and now we’re seeing that in cybersecruity.As a community we need to draw that line in the sand about what’s appropriate in cyberspace and what’s not appropriate. We need to determine what that line is. Cyberspace can be weaponized.I often use the IED threat that we faced in the Middle East as a similar construct. The threat was changing so rapidly that it was difficult to get the message out to the troops about how to stay safe. We had to change our way of thinking about the problem, and that’s kind of where we’re at with cyber.Today, the biggest problem that people are working on is phishing or ransomware, but there will be new threats. We have to change our paradigm about how we think about the cybersecurity problem.TNW: You do volunteer work for Team Rubicon and Red Cross Disaster Services. Why do you see this volunteer work as important?Skelly: Team Rubicon is for wounded warriors who have specific skills in crisis management, and when something happens in the country — a flood or hurricane or train wreck — you can be picked to respond to it. It depends on your individual skills.When I was younger, I started volunteering for the Red Cross Disaster Services in my hometown. Within a couple months of doing that, I was a part of two separate train crashes, and those really influenced the person I am today. They taught me how to react and how we can, as a society, better respond to these incidents. It’s helped me to be a more responsible human being, both in life-and-death situations and in business situations.TNW: What advice would you give to girls and women who are interested in getting into the security field?Skelly: One of the big things I stress is that security is not just about the person sitting behind a laptop with a hoodie. That’s a very dated version. Because cyber is so pervasive, you can have a job in cybersecurity in just about any job. There is no one-size-fits-all for your aspirations in cybersecurity.You may have hundreds of different options. I do recommend that you be hungry for knowledge. There are so many tools and techniques and ever-changing threats, and you have to be interested in all of it. If you are, you’re going to be way ahead of the game.center_img Vivian Wagner has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. Her main areas of focus are technology, business, CRM, e-commerce, privacy, security, arts, culture and diversity. She has extensive experience reporting on business and technology for a varietyof outlets, including The Atlantic, The Establishment and O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds a PhD in English with a specialty in modern American literature and culture. She received a first-place feature reporting award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.Email Vivian.last_img read more

LSQ Software Engineer Ishita Mandhan Find Your Community

first_imgIshita Mandhan is a software engineer at LSQ and program director for Girls in Tech.In this exclusive interview, Mandhan shares some of her perspectives as a woman in a male-dominated field. Vivian Wagner has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. Her main areas of focus are technology, business, CRM, e-commerce, privacy, security, arts, culture and diversity. She has extensive experience reporting on business and technology for a varietyof outlets, including The Atlantic, The Establishment and O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds a PhD in English with a specialty in modern American literature and culture. She received a first-place feature reporting award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.Email Vivian. Girls in Tech Program DirectorIshita MandhanTechNewsWorld: Describe the course of your career. How did you get interested in software engineering?Ishita Mandhan: I grew up in a family of doctors, so it was natural to take math and science in high school. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go into, so I did pre-med and juggled both that and tech.I interned at a few companies, and I thought, I’m enjoying working in tech so far, and if I don’t like it I can always go the MCAT route. That’s how it all started.A lot of people feel like you have to have it all sorted early on, but it’s OK to give it time and let yourself figure out what you want to do. I ended up staying in tech, and I get to give back in my role in different nonprofits.TNW: What do you like about software engineering in particular?Mandhan: I like problem-solving — taking a use case that’s in the world, breaking it down, and figuring out how to solve it. Going through that process — talking about it, brainstorming, and coming up with a solution — really excites me.center_img TNW: What challenges have you faced as a woman in technology, and how have you overcome them?Mandhan: That’s a hard one. I think we’ve all faced our own challenges. It’s not rare to be the only woman in a room full of male engineers. There are moments when you wonder if you’re saying the right thing or if your opinion is valued.The key is finding the right coworkers — where your opinion is valued, and you’re treated for who you are, not because you’re male or female. You’re a good engineer, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.TNW: What advice would you offer for girls and women interested in developing careers in technology?Mandhan: Keep at it. Find more than one mentor. Find a support group. Find the people who are going to be there for you no matter where life takes you.You have to understand who you are as a person. Maybe being in tech isn’t what you want to do. Take time to understand yourself. If you choose to be in tech, make sure to develop a sense of community.Find leaders in the industry and talk to them. Find professional mentors — women in the positions you want to be in or people whose work you admire. It doesn’t have to be one person who is perfect.Find a group of three or two or 10 mentors and pick up skills from all of them. Get into roles where you work closely with them, talk with them, and spend time with them, and then apply those lessons to your life.TNW: Describe the mission of Girls in Tech. Why do you think it’s an important organization?Mandhan: Girls in Tech is a global nonprofit. We focus on engagement, education, and empowerment of girls and women in technology. It’s important to provide the support network to help women to develop their careers in STEM fields.TNW: Could you talk a little about Girls in Tech’s Global Classroom? What is it, and what functions does it serve?Mandhan: The Global Classroom teaches girls and women around the world. It’s a free-for-all course where you can learn to build a website, and it takes a holistic approach.We help you walk through the process, go through the design principles, and figure out who your client is going to be. Every student who goes through the program builds a website for an organization of their choice.We’re trying to spread the word and do good by teaching people to do good. It’s 100 percent virtual and 100 percent free. It’s great because you see people who are 60 or 70 years old trying to learn to write code because they want to be closer to their grandchildren. You see mothers and daughters bonding and going through the course together.It’s really important to have it open to all age groups, since that gives it a broad approach. There are people from all different countries and with different perspectives, and they’re bringing all of that to the classroom.It’s cool to observe the classroom in action, to see the course in execution. There’s a lot to gain just from learning from different people. You see how they learn and how they solve problems, and you also see the wonderful websites that they come up with.TNW: How do you see Girls in Tech evolving in the future?Mandhan: I see it continuing to focus on a new generation of women in tech and entrepreneurship. The three missions — engagement, education and empowerment — are key to the organization. The different programs fall into those categories, and they really help push it forward.last_img read more