thepriority Theme Blog Text Area

Use this area to highlight something important you want to draw your visitors attention to, or just remove it in the Customize area in the backend.

Blog Title Goes Here

Is Intel’s Open Port community site too commercial?

first_imgThere’s nothing like a little criticism to spark reflection and introspection. Well, usually after a hefty dose of denial and defensiveness first. But we’re all about community self actualization here so I thought I’d take this opportunity to open up the dialogue and invite your feedbackpositive or constructiveon this site and our efforts in various new media forums across the web. Here goes.Holding up the mirrorAs a background, recently Open Port and our community managers received some criticism from the community-at-large that the site, and our technical experts, were too focused on marketing objectives. IT Blogger rodtrent on his myITForum.com blog complains that when he attempted to find vPro information on Open Port, he noticed in a discussion that the community was “inundated with responses from vendors about how their management product was the best.” Additionally, in an Intel-sponsored forum on popular IT fansite Ars Technica a community member laments how he is tired of hearing the product name vPro in the forum.So these criticisms are valid. We want you to know we hear you. And we wanted to ask more of you to join this conversation. What do you think? Are we “doing it right?” And by “it” I mean does Open Port enable tech enthusiasts and IT professionals like yourselves the opportunity to engage in technical discussions and connect with others who have similar interests in Intel technology?The Nacho AnalogyIn the spirit of engaged dialogue, I wanted to propose an analogy that might help frame the discussion. My colleague Bob Duffy came up with a brilliant one I thought I’d share with you. It has to do with nachos. He noticed that nearly every restaurant you visit includes nachos on their menu. And let’s face it, some nachos are better than others, depending on the restaurant. So what makes a good nacho, you ask? Bob says it is the “cheese to chip ratio.” The best nachos, Bob claims, have a well balanced ratio between cheese to chip. Too much cheese can drown the chip. And too much chip can be dry and difficult to swallow.The same holds true, he argues, for commercial information in community conversations. Since this site is on Intel.com, there is going to be some element of cheese (aka marketing). But the chip (aka non-commercial information) is the foundation of the information that is shared among the community and should be the crux of the community conversations. So what is a good community chip-to-cheese ratio? Is it 20% commercial information (or marketing) and 80% technical data?You decide. And while you’re at it, can someone please figure out how to make the real cheese as liquidy and gooey as the fake cheese product they put on nachos?last_img read more

Park n Patch Use Case – The video is ready..

first_imgHere’s the graphical picture of the use in deployment. I have finally finished the Park N Patch Use case on how you can leverage a Management console and Intel vPro Technology.  In this example I am using Symantec Management Console and a Panasonic CF-19 toughbook.The specific model of Panasonic is a CF-19Mk3 – http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/fully-rugged-laptops-toughbook-19-details.aspHD Version Youtube Versionlast_img

Trusted Compute Pools: What’s under the hood?

first_imgFigure 2 – Dynamic Root Trust of MeasurementTXT is the right technology for a measured launch and, in conjunction with Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x, VT-d and EPT); it’s also possible to implement run-time protection against malicious code.If you want learn more, I recommend you read an excellent paper this excellent paper by James Greene on Intel TXT technology. And  checkout the Cloud Builders Library Trusted Platform Module (aka. TPM) which allows for secure key generation and storage, and authenticated access to data encrypted by this key. By analogy, is a Smart Card embedded into the chip, because the private key stored in the TPM is not available to the owner of the machine, and never leaves the chip under normal operation;Memory and I/O virtualization performed by the Intel® 5520 chipset that among other things, protect certain areas related to TXT from DMA access;Intel® Xeon® 5600 series family or Xeon® E7 family that support the TXT instructions;Enabled BIOS and Hypervisor.We maintain a list of hardware that is TXT capable where you can find out what manufactures and models are available that deliver fully enabled solutions.How do these pieces work together?Before we explain TXT, there is some groundwork to be done. First let’s understand how a key component in this technology works. The Trusted Platform Module is the root component of a secure platform. It’s a passive I/O device that is usually located on the LPC bus, and nowadays can be found as part of the North Bridge chipset. TPM has special registers, called PCR registers (i.e. PCR[0…23]) and can do some interesting things: Seal/Unseal secrets, allow Quoting (Remote Attestation) and do some crypto services, e.g. RSA, PRNG, etc.The principle of TPM is that it is based on PCR extend operations, where it uses the previous PCR value to define the next one: As I previously explained in my last blog post “Mitigating threats in the cloud using Intel® TXT and Trusted Compute Pools”, Intel TXT has the capability to Measure Launch the Hypervisor and/or operating systems and consists of a series of hardware enhancements: Figure 1 – Sealing/Unsealing TPM operation due PCR registers matching.Intel® TXT brings a magic new instruction called SENTER that has the capability to attest the integrity of the hypervisor loader or OS kernel code in a process known as Measure Launch. As presented in figure 2, the hypervisor loader issues the GETSEC[SENTER] instruction, which essentially performs a soft processor reset and loads a signed authenticated code module (ACM), which can only be executed if it has a valid digital signature. This module verifies system configurations and BIOS elements by comparing against the “known good” values protected of sensitive memory areas by using Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d) and chipset specific technologies, such as Intel Extended Page Tables (Intel EPT). Then it verifies and launches the hypervisor, which configures low-level systems and protects itself using hardware assisted paging (HAP).center_img Best Regards! A single PCR can be extended multiple times and it’s computationally infeasible to define a specified value to a PCR, so the order where things happen matter [(ext(A),ext(B)) ≠ (ext(B),ext(A))] and the secret sealed in TPM can only be unsealed if the correct PCR values matches as presented in figure 1.last_img read more

Cloud Computing and Capacity Planning for SaaS

first_imgtable – 01In this hypothetical case, we have 40k users in a given day that can be graphically viewed, as seen in figure 01: We can now define how many users the system should be designed for based on probability, and not from guesses. Understanding the User BehaviorThe first method to understand the user’s behavior for a defined application is to observe and try to find patterns, such as when usage is at its peak (i.e. day, week, month, etc.), how long a user spends in a given transaction, etc.Just for exemplification of the method, let’s use the application log to estimate user behavior, as described in the following table: Cloud computing is a game changer for capacity planning. There are several differences that you will find. One of cloud’s principles makes this task even harder: elasticity.Some may argue that in order to respect the elasticity in a multi-tenancy environment, you should sum the peaks of your applications. However, this approach can degrade the economic gains provided by cloud infrastructure. The perception of cloud computing to facilitate unpredictable loads is merely a user’s perception, and not the reality of cloud IT architects.Usually, for a capacity plan for cloud computing, you must deal with three macro variables: user, application, and infrastructure. In a cloud environment, you have different applications and different user behavior sharing the same infrastructure. There is no golden rule to follow that characterizes each variable, but I personally adopt the strategy that starts from the less mutable (i.e. user) to the cheapest/fastest to change (i.e. infrastructure). If this is a brand new environment, and you don’t know anything about your users, you can follow the reverse order. Figure 01 – Users requests in a given dayUsing some math tools to make it usable for a capacity plan, we can try to describe this behavior with the Gaussian function (aka. Normal distribution) as expressed in this function: From this equation, σ is the standard deviation (=6829.69), µ is the arithmetic mean (=4444.44) e got the following Normal (y) value equals 0.98863. With this equation, we can identify what the expected amount of user requests will be in a given time during the day, and also the absolute peak where the first derivative is zero (maximum value).Diving deeply into these numbers helps us estimate how many users we should architect the system to handle simultaneously. In order to measure it, let’s use the Poisson theorem: Figure 02 – Poisson distributionIn this example, the probability to handle more than 20 simultaneous users is less than 2%.The big pictureAt this point we can mathematically express the user’s behavior with precision. For each service provided together, these equations can offer insight about the overall user demand for the entire cloud environment.In the next post, I’ll present how to use it to measure the application impact and how deal with it.Best Regards!last_img read more

Big Data is a Big Deal

first_imgWhat you’ll find in the Intel IT Big Data Edition of the Intel IT Business Review:General Manager of Enterprise Capabilities, Aziz Safa, outlines the past, present, and future of Intel IT’s big data journey. You can also read about our multi-platform BI strategy and the $100 million opportunities we are pursuing for the corporation. Listen to radio shows and download IT@Intel whitepapers in this edition —all focused on big data. So if you are interested in Big Data be sure to check it out. And be sure to connect with Aziz Safa on Twitter @azsafa. He’d love to get your input and hear what you are doing around big data and analytics. I attended the 2103 Grace Hopper Celebration, a women in computer conference with 4800 technical women participating. There I had the opportunity to attend a lively panel session on Big Data. After spending around 2 seconds on the proliferation of data in our digitized world problem statement, the panelists launched right into a focused discussion on how big data analytics helps us unlock the value and gain insights. They acknowledged the hype, yet stressed the point that every company needs a core data competency, must be accountable to uphold security and privacy regulation and need to deliver better performance and tuning (users expect responses quickly).The panel went on to discuss about career opportunities and the gaps businesses have right now in filling positions for qualified data scientists who have both the business acumen, programming and statistical knowledge necessary to unlock and visualize the data, so the business can make better decisions faster.Returning to my job as a Social Media Evangelist in Intel’s Information Technology Group, I realized that the Big Data Edition of our Intel IT BusinessReview mobile app (for smart phones) and digital magazine (for tablets) was about to be released. As I have been testing the app and reading the articles in the app, I am struck by how much progress Intel IT has made on its own Big Data Journey.center_img There’s some really good stuff – you can download the Intel IT Big Data Edition of the Intel IT Business Review mobile app and digital magazine right now.last_img read more

How HR can Mitigate Cyber Risks – Panel Discussion

first_imgThe distinguished panel, from left to right are Mike Walls – managing director security operations at Edgewave Inc, Timothy Hamon – senior forensic examiner at the FBI, Brad Hering – marketing executive at Barney & Barney, Matthew Rosenquist – Cybersecurity Strategist and Evangelist from Intel Corp, and moderator Jean Center – CEO for the Center Group. Human Resources departments are in a coveted position to help protect an organization from cyber risks.  However, there are a lot of questions to be answered.  HR intersects and influences a number of different areas related to and supporting cybersecurity.  A cybersecurity panel, including Matthew Rosenquist from Intel, discussed some of the challenges and opportunities at an EvoNexus HR Special Interest Group open forum in San Diego CA, September 2015.  The expert panel answered a number of great questions posed by the audience, across a broad topic scope, including:What were the key learnings of the OPM hack?How best can companies build secure products?What is covered in cyber insurance?What is the one technology which greatly improves security?Should HR be concerned about security when instituting new platforms and vendors?How can the mindset and culture of an organization be changed to be pro-security?How can employees be better vetted when it comes to cybersecurity?Should individuals be able to own and control all their private data?What questions do you have around HR’s role and opportunities in improving cybersecurity?Twitter: @Matt_RosenquistIntel IT Network: Collection of My Previous PostsLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquistlast_img read more

India Smart Grid Week: Intel Inside, Smarter Grids Outside

first_imgToday’s utility companies across the globe are facing unprecedented challenges, ranging from delivering energy, integrating distributed energy resources (DER), and dealing with an aging infrastructure. While some of the challenges and opportunities in the Indian market are different than what we see in Western Europe and the U.S., the underlying technology remains the same.That’s why I am looking forward to the second India Smart Grid Week, organized by the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), coming up March 15-19 in New Delhi. With more than 200 members comprised of ministries, utilities, technology providers, academia and research, ISGF has evolved into a globally-recognized think-tank for smart grids and smart cities.A major area of focus at India Smart Grid Week will be the Internet of Things (IoT). Tapping into the power of IoT, Intel is meeting smart grid challenges head on by improving connectivity, visibility, security, and automation.At India Smart Grid Week, Intel will be showcasing numerous examples of how the Intel® IoT Platform can deliver innovations to market faster, reduce solution complexity and deliver actionable intelligence by offering a defined, repeatable foundation for how devices will connect and deliver trusted data to the cloud. All are accomplished in conjunction with our partners, as the Intel® IoT Platform is an end-to-end reference model and family of products that work with third party solutions to provide a foundation for seamlessly and securely connecting devices, delivering trusted data to the cloud and value through analytics.Many of my colleagues and I will be attending the event. Thierry Godart, general manager of Energy Solutions from Intel’s Internet of Things Business Group, will be speaking on Thursday afternoon. If you are attending, be sure to stop by the Intel booth to see IoT demonstrations and solutions relating to demand response and energy efficiency. We will also be showcasing Altera Smart Grid solutions, as FPGA’s have an increasingly important role to play in the development of grid solutions.The Intel booth will also be focusing on Active Grid Management, Market Optimization, Situational Awareness, Cyber-Security, Cloud, Analytics, Smart Metering Infrastructure, Smart Grid Communications and Mobile Energy Workers.We’re looking forward to seeing you in New Delhi and fostering conversation about the future of smart grid technology, with Intel Inside, Smart Grids Outside.Follow us on Twitter at @GridInsights for live updates during the event.And I’m sure we will find time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March as well…last_img read more

Planning for Security Vulnerabilities in Drivers and Firmware

first_imgModern computing has brought significant benefits that help businesses develop new markets and innovative new products. But organizations are also experiencing an increasing number of security vulnerabilities as hackers become more sophisticated. Updating lower-level drivers and firmware, and accelerating the response to known issues can help mitigate these security risks. Driver and firmware dependencies are more intricate than ever, and OEMs are not able to test every scenario in every environment.At Intel, we manage over 300 individual drivers across more than 30 platforms. Simply updating drivers and firmware, without fully understanding application dependencies, can sometimes create additional problems and degrade the user experience. Intel IT has established a Gold Standard configuration and a process for driver and firmware maintenance to help keep our environment up-to-date and secure. When we encounter critical vulnerabilities, we can now accelerate our existing process without overlooking important dependencies. Read the IT@Intel White Paper, “Developing a Gold Standard for Driver and Firmware Maintenance.”Mitigating Complex TPM VulnerabilitiesOur Gold Standard configuration and the process for updating drivers and firmware include identifying prerequisites, a defined technical approach to testing and deployment, as well as change management and communication. When facing critical security vulnerabilities, we use an accelerated version of this process to ensure we do not skip important steps and that we deliver the same level of customer service and enterprise security as we would with any normal planned driver or firmware updates.Like many other organizations, Intel recently experienced a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) vulnerability in our environment affecting up to 55,000 devices. TPM is a widely used code library is integral to the encryption keys and certification processes that protect our intellectual property. The weakness opened opportunities for attackers to bypass critical protections. This critical vulnerability demanded a rapid response.Understandably, Intel IT initiated critical incident response to deploy the patch update as quickly as possible. By accelerating our existing process, including identifying prerequisites, testing, and engaging the incident response team, we discovered additional dependencies within our infrastructure. We learned that deploying the patch could interfere with some important applications when remediated in specific ways—resulting in a significant loss in productivity for Intel. Using our defined process, we were able to accelerate the timeline and develop an end-to-end pre- and post-configuration with additional scripts to prevent the problem.Our critical response process includes the following:Risk analysis. We analyze and evaluate known vulnerabilities to determine the risks to Intel and identify the best approach to mitigate them. We examine the impact of the patch to our users, and work with our OEMs and security teams to speed updates.Velocity. We use an agile release process to quickly evaluate the health of a package before releasing it. Depending on the severity of the issue, we define levels of velocity to manage critical updates with an accelerated approach using the steps that we use for planned updates. Regardless of severity, we identify prerequisites, conduct testing, determine sequencing, and communicate with technical support, as well as the users.Dependency mapping. We map dependent drivers and firmware, then sequence the updates before we deploy. We also bundle patches to ensure that all dependencies are handled and in the correct order.At Intel, we have learned through experience. Our Gold Standard configuration, whether the drivers and firmware deployment is a planned upgrade or in response to any critical security vulnerabilities, uses the same process. This approach saved Intel from a potential loss in productivity, as well as preserved the user experience and service levels our employees expect.Read the IT@Intel White Paper, “Developing a Gold Standard for Driver and Firmware Maintenance.”last_img read more

Common Signal in Cancer, Stem Cells

first_imgKOBE, JAPAN–Embryonic stem cells develop into all the different tissues of the body at the beginning of life; cancer cells often end life. Despite working at cross-purposes, the two types of cells apparently have something in common: a newfound gene involved in regulating their proliferation. “This could show that stem cell biology and oncology interact,” says Ronald McKay, a molecular biologist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, Maryland.McKay and colleague Robert Tsai, also of NINDS, first found the gene in cultured rat stem cells. The protein built from the gene was abundant while the cells were proliferating but abruptly disappeared when the cells began to differentiate, or turn into other types of cells. The researchers dubbed the new gene nucleostemin, because the protein built by the gene appears to be almost exclusively active within the cell nucleus.That locus of activity led to “an inspired guess,” says McKay. Other proteins active in the cell nucleus regulate the activity of genes that, when mutated, lead to cancer. McKay and Tsai searched human cancer cell lines and found a human version of nucleostemin.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To see what power nucleostemin wields, the researchers looked at its effects in both rat stem cells and human cancer cells. McKay and Tsai turned off production of the gene’s protein through a technique known as gene silencing, and in other cases they added extra protein to the cells. Both too little and too much nucleostemin protein hindered cell proliferation. McKay and Tsai conclude that nucleostemin is involved in regulating the proliferation of both stem cells and at least some types of cancer cells, they reported at a meeting here on 20 November and in the December issue of Genes & Development.Shin-Ichi Nishikawa, a molecular geneticist at Kyoto University, praises the work as being “an important contribution to this field.” But he warns against giving too big a role to a single gene. Different types of stem cells, he says, appear to have diverse ways of regulating proliferation and differentiation. And although the link to cancer is intriguing, Nishikawa says, “We really need more data before saying anything conclusive.”last_img read more

Virginia Official Wades Into U.K. Climate Investigation

first_imgVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is requesting years of documents related to work carried out by Pennsylvania State University (PSU), University Park, climate scientist Michael Mann when he was at the University of Virginia (UVA). Cuccinelli has filed what amounts to a state subpoena for papers related to two grants Mann received from the National Science Foundation and two from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, plus correspondence with dozens of climate scientists. The attorney general says the inquiry is aimed at determining if there were “inconsistencies” in Mann’s research while he was an assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at UVA from 1999 to 2005. At least one PSU group has cleared Mann of wrongdoing in the investigation into stolen e-mails from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and a decision is pending from another panel. Mann says that Cuccinelli is trying to “smear” him. The American Association of University Professors opposes the probe, as does the Union of Concerned Scientists. Even an opponent of Mann’s is questioning the investigation : Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Sir, As co-author of a book (Climategate: The CRUtape Letters) that was harshly critical of the performance of Michael Mann and his colleagues, I write in criticism of your decision to investigate Mr. Mann for potential violations of state laws on fraudulent payment of claims. Mr. Mann has been extensively investigated regarding his work product, and although I consider his actions to be often unprofessional and politically oriented, neither I nor any of the people interviewed for our book have any doubt whatsoever that Mann performed the scientific work he has been commissioned to do, or that he engaged in any fraudulent actions. No matter what has prompted your investigation, there is no doubt that it will be interpreted as a witch hunt. If you are in fact investigating a credentialed scientist for results that do not suit your political opinion, that interpretation is correct. Unless you can reveal to the public prima facie evidence that shows cause for this investigation, I beg you to reconsider.last_img read more

Senate Panel Weighs In on Threat to Stem Cell Research

first_imgIn a Senate hearing today on the ongoing legal tussle over human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, lawmakers and expert witnesses lamented the disruption to this promising research. Congress may have to act soon to fix the problem, two Democratic members said. Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA) called the hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, and education in the wake of the 23 August ruling by Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that hESC research violates a law barring federal funds for research that harms human embryos. Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction that froze funding for hESC research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); last week, an appeals court lifted the ban temporarily, but it could soon be in place again. The injunction “has placed a cloud of uncertainty over this entire scientific field,” said Harkin. The testimony began with a surprise last-minute witness: Senator Roger Wicker (R–MS), who co-authored the Dickey-Wicker Amendment barring federal funds to study human embryos in 1996 when he was in the House of Representatives. “The basic premise for the provision has not changed. … The destruction of or cloning of human embryos for research purposes raises profound moral and ethical challenges,” Wicker said. He suggested that he agrees that his law applies to hESC research: “If [hESC] research is to be done at all, it should be paid for with nontaxpayer funds,” he said. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Others disagreed. NIH Director Francis Collins worried that hESC research “has been thrust into a precarious state” and warned that some scientists may abandon their hESC work or move overseas to continue it. (Collins, an evangelical Christian, also explained how he reconciles his support for hESC research with his beliefs: Although he thinks the human embryo “deserves moral respect,” he balances that with the ethical benefits of using frozen embryos from fertility treatments that would otherwise be discarded to help develop treatments for patients. “What is potential here justifies” federal funding for hESC research, Collins said.) hESC researchers George Daley of Children’s Hospital Boston and Sean Morrison of the University of Michigan told the panel why research on other types of stem cells, such as adult stem cells and so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), can’t substitute for work on embryonic cells. They said the Lamberth ruling has been particularly troubling for young scientists worried about their careers. Daley’s lab has been acutely affected. A seven-investigator grant comparing iPS and hES cells that he heads, which was up for renewal in September, was frozen by the ban; now that it is lifted, he received his award letter on Monday. But he’s still worried about a future shutdown, he says. Senator Arlen Specter (D–PA), a longtime champion of stem cell research who introduced a bill to make hESC research legal on Monday, warned that the outcome of the legal process “is very, very uncertain.” He added that Congress “had better get busy.” Harkin is also working on a bill, but his staffers say they are also watching for a decision as soon as 24 September from the U.S. Appeals Court; if the court grants a more permanent stay, it would make the situation less urgent. See our complete coverage of this issuelast_img read more

NIH Urged to Consider Making All Applications New

first_imgWith researchers facing ever-stiffer competition for scarce research dollars, advisers to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are urging the agency to dust off an old idea for improving its peer review process. Instead of allowing researchers one more shot if a proposal is rejected, NIH would give them unlimited chances to resubmit, but consider all applications to be new. The suggestion came out of the December meeting of the advisory council for NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR). The council looked at several ways to help researchers “stay in the game” at a time when the NIH success rate (the portion of reviewed research proposals receiving funding) is stuck at a historical low of 18%. Topping a list of five ideas is this one: 1. Treat all applications as new and let investigators instead of NIH decide when resubmission is futile. Council members suggested that the resulting reviews would be more independent and simplified since earlier reviews would not be considered. Reviewers might also be more focused on merit because they wouldn’t get sidetracked by considering how investigators responded to previous reviews. The idea first came up in a 2008 report recommending an overhaul of NIH’s peer review system. The report urged the agency to end the practice of allowing two resubmissions for a grant (see pp. 32 to 33)—the A0, A1, and A2. Reviewers tended to favor the amended proposals, the panel said, giving them an advantage over fresh applications. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Scientists balked, arguing that they should be given a chance to improve their ideas. In a compromise, NIH decided to allow one resubmission. Many investigators have since tried to persuade the agency to bring back the second chance: the A2. But last fall, NIH extramural chief Sally Rockey said the agency is holding firm because the policy has had the desired effect of increasing the proportion of applications funded on the first try. Now, the CSR council is urging a swing back in the other direction by eliminating A1s and A2s. One possible downside, says CSR Director Richard Nakamura in a recent interview with the American Society for Cell Biology, is that the policy could drive up the number of applications and lower success rates further. The CSR council suggested a pilot study in which investigators would be allowed an unlimited number of resubmissions but no more than two applications over 12 months. The research community is divided on the merits of the making all applications new, judging from recent discussions on Rockey’s blog and the DrugMonkey blog. *Correction 4 p.m., 15 February: The NIH success rate is the portion of reviewed research proposals receiving funding, not submitted research proposals receiving funding, as previously reported.last_img read more

US Opposes Rajat Gupta’s Plea to Reverse Conviction

first_imgIndia-born ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta’s conviction on insider trading charges should not be thrown out. Related Itemslast_img

Countries Line up to India for Satellite launches

first_imgWith new offers in hand, Isro’s commercial wing Antrix is all set to become a major player in providing satellite launch services to its international customers. Related Itemslast_img

Hindu Migrants from Pakistan may Get Property Rights

first_imgWe have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries …India is the only place for them” Related Itemslast_img

China Slowdown May Have an Impact on India

first_imgChina’s economic slowdown will not affect India directly but the resultant global sluggishness may have a bearing on the Indian economy. Related Itemslast_img

Pak India Hockey Series in UK Delayed

first_imgA three match hockey series between former stars of Pakistan and Indian hockey teams that was scheduled to take place next week is likely to be delayed as some former Pakistan Olympians and internationals could not get UK visa in time. Related Itemslast_img

Why high ‘good cholesterol’ can be bad news

first_imgThe 67-year-old woman had sky-high high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the form of cholesterol long seen as protective against heart disease, and yet her arteries were lined with plaque. Her paradoxical case has helped motivate a team of scientists to show how high HDL can sometimes be a signal not of heart health, but of the opposite: a cholesterol system unable to siphon the fatty particles from circulation.In the last 10 years, HDL particles have confounded scientists. The normal role of these bundles of protein and fat is to ferry cholesterol from the rest of the body to the liver, which eliminates it from the body. More of something good should mean better health, and people who naturally have higher HDL levels are usually better off. But drugs that increase HDL cholesterol have flopped in clinical trials, and genes that help raise it don’t seem to track with less heart disease. “Nothing with HDL’s ever simple,” says Jay Heinecke, a biochemist at the University of Washington, Seattle, who has studied it for years.In this week’s issue of Science, Daniel Rader, a geneticist and lipidologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues suggest that the amount of HDL is less important than how efficiently it gets moved from arteries into the liver. Rader’s inspiration was a mouse model developed by Monty Krieger at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge about 
20 years ago. The mouse’s developers had deleted a gene called SCARB1, resulting in animals with startlingly high HDL and, just as startlingly, severely clogged arteries. “Mice actually get heart attacks,” Heinecke says. That’s because the system for moving cholesterol out of the body is broken in these mice.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Normally, HDL particles gather cholesterol from immune cells that line the arteries, and then deposit their load in the liver so that the cycle can begin again. The protein made by the SCARB1 gene, known as SR-B1, helps make that deposit happen. Mice without SR-B1 have HDL particles swollen with cholesterol, which struggle to draw more of it away from the arterial wall.Rader wondered whether the same thing might be happening in some people. He and his colleagues began by sequencing genes in 852 people with very high HDL and more than 1000 controls. They found one person—the 67-year-old woman—who had no functioning copies of the SCARB1 gene and had more plaque on her arteries than an average woman her age. Her HDL was 152 mg/dl, well above the average of about 62 mg/dl among women in her age group. Eighteen others had just one functional copy of SCARB1 instead of the usual two, and most of them also had high HDL. Detailed studies of nine people with SCARB1 mutations, including the woman, suggested that as in the mice, their abundant HDL failed to transport cholesterol effectively through the body.Rader then reached out to colleagues who had collected DNA on hundreds of thousands of people for studies of lipids and heart disease. Among them, he found another 284 people who had only one functioning copy of SCARB1. (No one else was like that first woman, with both copies missing.) Most of these people also had higher than average HDL. These people were also about 80% more likely than controls to have coronary artery disease—about the same increase in risk seen with traditional risk factors like diabetes and hypertension.“This is a key indication of what people have suspected from animal studies,” says Alan Tall, an HDL researcher at Columbia University. It appears that HDL is higher “because the flux is blocked,” not because HDL is excelling at keeping cholesterol out of the arteries.Still, because Rader could find so few people without fully functioning SCARB-1, and because the potential effects of the mutations on heart health appeared fairly modest, the link between faulty HDL transport and cardiac troubles is still tenuous, he and others say. And HDL’s behavior in a petri dish doesn’t necessarily reflect what it’s doing inside the body, suggests Jan Albert Kuivenhoven, who studies the genetics of lipid metabolism at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. “We have no good ways to do the tests with HDL that can really tell what’s happening” in a person, Kuivenhoven says.HDL remains extraordinarily complex, Rader and Kuivenhoven say. It’s possible that HDL-raising drugs failed in clinical trials because of the type of HDL the drugs produced—doctors detected more large HDL particles than expected. Overall, however, there’s little question that high HDL still tracks with a healthier heart for most people—except, Rader says, when it doesn’t.Ultimately, he says, we’d like to be able to say, “Your HDL is high because X, and that’s good thing,” and in someone else, “Your HDL is high because of Y, and that’s a bad thing.” Now, he and others want to nail down exactly what those factors might be—and, potentially, how to head them off.last_img read more

We’re asking frequent readers to register for Science’s free daily news

first_img By Tim AppenzellerJul. 17, 2017 , 4:45 PM We’re asking frequent readers to register for Science’s free daily news To our readers:If you are a regular reader of Science’s online daily news, you may shortly notice a change. Starting Tuesday, we will be asking something of you in return for the free, cutting-edge news and analysis we serve up every day. Not money—just a small amount of information. After you read three stories in a calendar month, we will ask you to enter your email address. You’ll get to keep reading, and as a bonus you will receive our daily newsletter, with quick descriptions and links to all the stories we published in the previous day, delivered to your mailbox each morning. After 10 stories in a month we’ll ask you to register and share a couple of other details. (AAAS members or current newsletter subscribers will be exempted if they enter their identification at any point while reading.) That’s it.We will phase this in gradually, so not all of our readers will see these requests at first. We’re doing this because we’d like to learn a little more about our readers, so we can serve you better and occasionally alert you to AAAS membership and subscription offers. We won’t share your email with outside organizations unless you specifically authorize us to do so.  If you have further questions, please see our FAQs.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

These lab-grown human eggs could combat infertility—if they prove healthy

first_img These lab-grown human eggs could combat infertility—if they prove healthy By Kelly ServickFeb. 8, 2018 , 7:01 PM A new laboratory recipe has created an egg (above) from immature cells in ovarian tissue. In an advance that could lead to new fertility treatments, researchers have coaxed immature human egg cells to fully develop in the lab for the first time. Still unclear is whether the resulting eggs, which reached maturity in just 22 days, compared with 5 months in the body, are normal and whether they can combine with sperm to make a healthy embryo.The feat nonetheless is “extraordinarily important,” says Kyle Orwig, a stem cell biologist at the Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania who was not involved in the new work. “It has real potential for application,” he adds. “We already have the patients.”Those patients include women who have gone through chemotherapy, which can damage eggs and cause infertility. Girls with cancer who haven’t hit puberty don’t yet produce mature eggs that can be frozen, so some choose to preserve a small piece of ovarian tissue, which can later be placed back in the body to start making eggs. But that’s a risky choice in some cases, because the transplant could reintroduce the cancer with the cells. If the new process is perfected, these women could instead rely on the tissue they saved as girls to generate eggs for in vitro fertilization.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)That ovarian tissue bears clusters of cells known as primordial follicles, which surround immature precursors to egg cells. As these follicles gradually enlarge and mature, the egg precursors undergo their own maturation process inside. After puberty, the follicles rupture—one per month—to release a mature egg to be fertilized.So far, different research teams have run only a few legs of this developmental relay in the lab. In 2008, reproductive biologist Evelyn Telfer and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh managed the first half. They started with primordial follicles from ovarian tissue and nourished them into a semideveloped state. Then in 2015, a group at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, ran the final leg. They created mature eggs from partially developed follicles. In the new work, Telfer and her collaborators completed the whole developmental cycle. They took small samples from the ovaries of 10 women undergoing elective caesarian sections, and isolated 87 follicles, which they let develop in a soup of nutrients. Then came a new step: They carefully extracted the fragile, immature eggs and some surrounding cells from the follicles, and allowed them to further mature on a special membrane in the presence of more growth-supporting proteins. In the end, just nine of these eggs passed the final test for maturity—they were able to divide and halve their chromosomes so they were ready to join with sperm during fertilization, the researchers reported online 30 January in Molecular Human Reproduction. The laboratory process may be inefficient, but it’s a thrilling first step, Telfer says. “We had no great expectations. To see at least one [egg reaching maturity], we thought, ‘Wow, that’s actually quite incredible.’”But others aren’t yet ready to declare this a victory. The paper doesn’t include any genetic analysis of the final eggs that confirms they are healthy, notes Mitinori Saitou, a stem cell biologist at Kyoto University in Japan whose team developed methods to create mouse egg cells from embryonic or reprogrammed stem cells. He’s concerned that the shortened maturation process in the lab can’t possibly mirror development that naturally takes place over months. And the details of the final chromosome-halving division give him pause. Normally, a smaller cell called a polar body pinches off from the egg. In the new experiments, the polar bodies were abnormally large, which to Saitou suggests that the egg hasn’t matured properly. “The final products they got are clearly abnormal,” he says. “Even if what they report is true, there are a lot of things that should be improved.”Telfer suggests that the eggs reach maturity faster because many inhibitory signals from the body are absent. Neither the speedy results nor the large polar bodies necessarily point to problems with the eggs, she says. Still, her team is working on improvements to the process, and also hopes—with approval from the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority—to try fertilizing the lab-matured eggs to create human embryos. Any such embryos would just be studied during their early development for now—there are no plans yet to try to create a pregnancy with them. David Albertini last_img read more