organization:johns hopkins university

  • MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images | The Planetary Society

    This is a textbook example of a contact binary. Binary means two objects, of course, and contact means that they’re in contact with each other. Separated binaries are very common in the solar system and especially common in the Kuiper belt. But how can a contact binary form? Is it even plausible for two mutually orbiting bodies to somehow come together so gently and just stick to each other while preserving their originally round shape over billions of years?


  • Bernie Sanders cites Israel’s nation-state law in slamming Trump for inspiring authoritarianism

    ’There’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,’ said Sanders

    Oct 10, 2018

    In a major foreign policy speech identifying an emerging authoritarian strain around the world, Bernie Sanders included the passage of Israel’s nation-state law as an example of President Donald Trump’s inspiring anti-democratic moves.
    “It should be clear by now that Donald Trump and the right-wing movement that supports him is not a phenomenon unique to the United States,” Sanders said Tuesday in a speech to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “All around the world, in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere we are seeing movements led by demagogues who exploit people’s fears, prejudices and grievances to gain and hold on to power.”
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    Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said Trump by himself was not responsible for the rise of authoritarianism but was spurring it forward.
    “While this authoritarian trend certainly did not begin with Donald Trump, there’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,” said Sanders.
    He cited as examples the rise in popularity of a far right-wing politician in Brazil, increased repression in Saudi Arabia, and policies of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    >> There’s a reason the opposition didn’t attend the nation-state protest | Opinion
    “It’s also hard to imagine that Israel’s Netanyahu government would have taken a number of steps— including passing the recent ‘Nation State law,’ which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, aggressively undermining the longstanding goal of a two-state solution, and ignoring the economic catastrophe in Gaza — if Netanyahu wasn’t confident that Trump would support him,” Sanders said.

  • Psychedelic Mushrooms Are Closer to Medicinal Use (It’s Not Just Your Imagination) - The New York Times

    Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have recommended that psilocybin, the active compound in hallucinogenic mushrooms, be reclassified for medical use, potentially paving the way for the psychedelic drug to one day treat depression and anxiety and help people stop smoking.

    The suggestion to reclassify psilocybin from a Schedule I drug, with no known medical benefit, to a Schedule IV drug, which is akin to prescription sleeping pills, was part of a review to assess the safety and abuse of medically administered psilocybin.

    Before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify the drug, though, it has to clear extensive study and trials, which can take more than five years, the researchers wrote.

    The analysis was published in the October print issue of Neuropharmacology, a medical journal focused on neuroscience.

    For decades, though, researchers have shunned the study of psychedelics. “In the 1960s, they were on the cutting edge of neuroscience research and understanding how the brain worked,” Dr. Johnson said. “But then it got out of the lab.”

    Research stopped, in part, because the use of mind-altering drugs like LSD and mushrooms became a hallmark of hippie counterculture.

    The researchers who conducted the new study included Roland R. Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who is one of the most prominent researchers on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. The researchers reviewed data going back to the 1940s.

    Dr. Johnson said that the F.D.A. had approved a number of trials of psilocybin. If its use is approved for patients, he said, “I see this as a new era in medicine.”

    He added, “The data suggests that psychedelics are powerful behavioral agents.” In legal studies, he said, participants are given a capsule with synthetic psilocybin. (They are not given mushrooms to eat, which is how the drug is most often ingested.)

    He warned, though, that psilocybin is not a panacea for everyone. In their analysis, the researchers called for strict controls on its use. There are areas of risk, too, for patients with psychotic disorders and anyone who takes high doses of the drug.

    #Psychédéliques #Psylocybine #Champignons #Usage_médical #Pharmacie

  • #F.D.A. Did Not Intervene to Curb Risky #Fentanyl Prescriptions - The New York Times

    A fast-acting class of fentanyl drugs approved only for #cancer patients with high opioid tolerance has been prescribed frequently to patients with back pain and #migraines, putting them at high risk of accidental overdose and death, according to documents collected by the Food and Drug Administration.


    About 5,000 pages of documents, obtained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University through the Freedom of Information Act and provided to The New York Times, show that the F.D.A. had data showing that so-called off-label prescribing was widespread. But officials did little to intervene.

    #complicité #santé #opioides #opiacés

  • Why Did a Billionaire Give $75 Million to a Philosophy Department? - Facts So Romantic

    Philosophy matters. The new challenges of the genomics revolution, the rise of AI, the growth in inequality, societal fragmentation, and our capacity for devastating war all invite philosophical perspective.Painting by Otto Scholderer / WikicommonsLast week, for the first time in recent memory, a news story in this troubling period had me, a bachelor of arts in philosophy, sitting up straight in stunned delight. Johns Hopkins University was gifted $75 million to expand its philosophy department to near-twice its size—more professors (13 to 22 over a decade) and postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, as well more undergraduate courses. It’s apparently the largest donation any philosophy department has ever received, and for Johns Hopkins, it’s the largest gift the university has ever (...)

  • Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and… — ProPublica

    A black woman is 22% more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71% more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 300% more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes.

    • Travail impressionnant ! Cette histoire m’a bouleversée.
      C’est en comparant avec ce genre d’analyse systémique qu’on ne peut que regretter l’absence de statistiques mêlant race classe et genre en France. Interdire de dresser 1 éventuel constat sur ce genre de conséquences du racisme est un gros problème.

    • The disproportionate toll on African Americans is the main reason the U.S. maternal mortality rate is so much higher than that of other affluent countries. Black expectant and new mothers in the U.S. die at about the same rate as women in countries such as Mexico and Uzbekistan, the World Health Organization estimates.

      What’s more, even relatively well-off black women like Shalon Irving die or nearly die at higher rates than whites. Again, New York City offers a startling example: A 2016 analysis of five years of data found that black college-educated mothers who gave birth in local hospitals were more likely to suffer severe complications of pregnancy or childbirth than white women who never graduated from high school.

      The fact that someone with Shalon’s social and economic advantages is at higher risk highlights how profound the inequities really are, said Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who met her in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and was one of her closest friends. “It tells you that you can’t educate your way out of this problem. You can’t health-care-access your way out of this problem. There’s something inherently wrong with the system that’s not valuing the lives of black women equally to white women.

      For much of American history, these types of disparities were largely blamed on blacks’ supposed innate susceptibility to illness — their “mass of imperfections,” as one doctor wrote in 1903 — and their own behavior. But now many social scientists and medical researchers agree, the problem isn’t race but racism.

  • Sujets ou objets ? Détenus et expérimentation humaine Barron H. Lerner docteur en médecine, docteur en philosophie

    Source : Academic Commons – Columbia University, le 03/05/2007

    Dans les années 50, les détenus de ce qu’on appelait alors, à Philadelphie, la prison Holmesburg, ont reçu des inoculations de condyloma acuminatum [verrues ano-génitales], de candidoses cutanées et de virus causant verrues, herpès simplex et zona. [1] Pour participer à cette recherche et à des études les exposant à la dioxine et à des produits de guerre chimique, on les a payés jusqu’à 1500 $ par mois. Entre 1963 et 1971, des chercheurs d’Oregon et de Washington ont irradié des prisonniers sains et leur ont prélevé à plusieurs reprises des échantillons de biopsie des testicules ; ces hommes ont par la suite fait état d’éruptions, de desquamation et d’ampoules sur le scrotum, ainsi que de difficultés sexuelles. [2] Des centaines d’expériences similaires ont incité le gouvernement fédéral à interdire strictement en 1978 la recherche impliquant des prisonniers. Le message était : de telles méthodes de recherche sont fondamentalement abusives et par conséquent immorales.

    Un récent rapport de l’Institut de Médecine (l’OIM) a pourtant rouvert cette porte close, en avançant que non seulement une telle recherche peut être effectuée de façon acceptable, mais que les prisonniers méritent d’être inclus dans des études au moins ceux qui pourraient en profiter directement. L’analyse des justifications aux restrictions américaines à la recherche en prison et à ses applications peut offrir des lignes directrices aux actuels débats politiques.

    On connaît depuis longtemps la vulnérabilité des prisonniers aux abus. Dès 1906, par exemple, les critiques ont noté à quel point il aurait été difficile à des prisonniers de refuser de participer à une expérience sur le choléra qui a finalement tué 13 hommes. [3] Cependant, les enquêteurs cherchaient périodiquement « des volontaires » parmi de telles populations captives dont le placement en institution offrait aux chercheurs l’accès à des sujets peu susceptibles d’échapper au suivi.

    De telles recherches n’ont pour la plupart pas cherché à profiter aux participants. En 1915, par exemple, le chercheur du service de santé publique Joseph Goldberger a inoculé la pellagre à des prisonniers du Mississippi sains, auxquels la liberté conditionnelle a été offerte en échange de leur participation. Ceux qui se sont inscrits ont éprouvé des symptômes très graves de la maladie, y compris diarrhée, éruption cutanée et confusion mentale. [3] Goldberger a, cependant, prouvé son hypothèse que la pellagre était une maladie de carence vitaminique qui pourrait être guérie par l’ingestion de vitamine B, à présent connue comme acide nicotinique. Grâce à ce travail, comme la découverte de l’insuline et des premiers agents antimicrobiens, l’entre-deux-guerres a été une époque d’avancées pour la recherche scientifique.

    La Seconde Guerre mondiale a transformé l’expérimentation contestable sur des prisonniers en une entreprise artisanale. Tandis que d’autres Américains risquaient leurs vies sur les champs de bataille, les prisonniers ont joué leur rôle en participant à des études qui les ont exposés à la blennorragie, à la gangrène gazeuse, à la dengue et à la malaria. [1] L’urgence de la guerre a conduit à délaisser toute considération de consentement digne de ce nom.

    Il est ironique que le plus important coup de pouce qu’ait reçu une pareille expérimentation fût une conséquence, après-guerre, du procès de Nuremberg au cours duquel vingt médecins nazis furent jugés et qui a donné naissance au Code de Nuremberg, un ensemble de principes ayant pour but d’interdire l’expérimentation sur des humains sans leur consentement. Quand les avocats de la défense ont laissé entendre que les scientifiques américains avaient mené pendant la guerre des recherches analogues à celles des nazis, un témoin à charge, Andrew C. Ivy, a cité des expériences sur la malaria impliquant des prisonniers de l’Illinois comme un exemple de recherche non coercitive « idéale ». La publication en 1948 des conclusions d’Ivy a aidé à institutionnaliser l’expérimentation en prison pour le quart de siècle suivant. [4]

    C’est une expérience impliquant une autre population vulnérable qui a interrompu la recherche en prison. En 1972, un journaliste d’Associated Press a dévoilé que des hommes noirs pauvres du Sud atteints de syphilis avaient été délibérément laissés sans traitement pendant 40 ans, afin que les chercheurs puissent étudier le cours naturel de la maladie. Dans le contexte de la campagne pour les droits civils et des protestations contre la guerre du Viêtnam, une telle recherche a été condamnée. Le scandale a conduit à la formation de la Commission nationale pour la Protection des sujets humains de recherche biomédicale et comportementale et finalement au Rapport Belmont, qui a recommandé de réorganiser l’expérimentation humaine en appliquant les principes de respect des personnes, de non-malfaisance et de justice.

    Dans le cas des recherches en prison, le nouveau cadre se révèle particulièrement restrictif. En 1978, le ministère de la Santé et des Services à la personne (DHHS) a adopté des règles qui ont limité de plusieurs façons la recherche financée au niveau fédéral impliquant des prisonniers, en stipulant, par exemple, que les expériences ne pourraient faire courir qu’un risque minimal aux sujets. La préoccupation primordiale était que les prisons sont des environnements en eux-mêmes coercitifs dans lesquels un consentement éclairé ne peut jamais être obtenu. Le fait que des recherches offrent récompense financière, allègement de l’ennui et perspective d’une obtention de liberté conditionnelle plus rapide les rend même encore plus problématiques.

    Telle était l’opinion qui dominait jusqu’à 2004, lorsque le DHHS a demandé à l’OIM de revoir sa position à ce sujet. En août 2006, l’OIM a publié son rapport qui a reconnu qu’il serait judicieux de laisser la situation en l’état. Par exemple, la population carcérale américaine comprend un nombre disproportionné de personnes vulnérables : les membres de groupes minoritaires, ceux atteints de maladie mentale, d’infection au VIH et autres maladies infectieuses graves. Les prisons sont généralement surchargées et leurs services médicaux sont insuffisants. Tous ces facteurs ont suggéré que n’importe quel allègement des restrictions pourrait mener à la répétition des précédentes erreurs.

    La commission de l’OIM, bien que sensible aux « abus déraisonnables » du passé, a cependant conseillé que des expériences comportant plus de risques que le risque minimal soient autorisées, sous réserve que des études impliquant des médicaments ou autres interventions biomédicales devaient apporter un bénéfice potentiel aux prisonniers. La commission a aussi conseillé plusieurs garde-fous, comme la création d’une base de données publique des expériences en prison, la limitation de la recherche aux interventions ayant démontré innocuité et efficacité, l’assurance que les études incluent une majorité de sujets non prisonniers et l’exigence que les propositions de recherche soient examinées par des comités de contrôle institutionnels comprenant des représentants des prisonniers.

    La décision de la commission est valable pour plusieurs raisons. La première pourrait être qualifiée d’historique. Pendant la plus grande partie du 20e siècle, malgré les découvertes de Nuremberg et d’autres avertissements ponctuels, l’expérimentation humaine a été largement considérée comme « une bonne chose », qui ferait avancer la science et bénéficierait à la santé. La réaction de retournement contre l’expérimentation en prison est survenue dans les années 70, quand l’autorité était mise en question dans toute la société. Aucun mécanisme n’était en place pour garantir les droits de sujets vulnérables. Interdire toute recherche risquée dans les prisons était donc judicieux.

    On a l’habitude de dire que ceux qui ignorent l’histoire sont condamnés à la répéter. Mais la décision de conserver les actuelles restrictions à cause des abus du passé conduirait à négliger plusieurs importants développements. Depuis 1978, un réseau de comités de révision institutionnels a été établi dans les instituts nationaux de santé, dans d’autres organismes gouvernementaux et des sites de recherche universitaire par tout le pays. Avec « le consentement éclairé » à présent entré dans le langage commun, les sujets d’étude sont plus conscients de leurs droits. Et, en grande partie à la suite du travail des militants de la lutte contre le sida et contre le cancer du sein, des personnes malades et à risques, même celles qui appartiennent aux populations potentiellement vulnérables, poursuivent à présent activement leur participation aux protocoles de recherche. Bien que tous ces développements ne soient pas clairement positifs, les ignorer eux et les opportunités qu’ils peuvent offrir aux prisonniers devrait être une attitude de régression. Comme dit le rapport de l’OIM, « Le respect des prisonniers exige aussi la reconnaissance de leur autonomie. »

    Un autre argument en faveur de l’assouplissement des restrictions est l’assertion que toute recherche en milieu carcéral est problématique pourrait ne pas être correcte. À la lumière des abus, les critiques ont tout naturellement soutenu que l’expérimentation humaine en prison a échoué parce qu’elle a lieu dans un environnement coercitif qui dénature n’importe quelle possibilité de consentement éclairé. Mais c’est une théorie qui peut et doit être examinée empiriquement par des études formelles du processus de consentement dans les prisons. De plus, comme le philosophe Carl Cohen en a débattu, la recherche à l’extérieur des prisons a souvent tout autant d’éléments coercitifs – si on admet que la coercition est employée, elle peut ne pas avoir grand-chose à voir avec la condition de prisonnier. [5]

    Finalement, rétablir, puis contrôler la recherche en prison offrirait à la société l’opportunité d’un contrôle continu et d’une réévaluation. En effet, la commission de l’OIM a trouvé que beaucoup de recherches non réglementées en prison avaient été menées sans tenir compte des directives de 1978. Nombre d’expériences tristement célèbres en prison ont impliqué la tromperie active des participants à l’étude – un abus facile à éviter si l’initiative entière est menée honnêtement. Il est même possible que de telles recherches, en ouvrant une fenêtre sur la vie carcérale, attirent utilement l’attention sur les lacunes des services médicaux en prison.

    Les nouvelles réglementations doivent cependant être abordées avec appréhension. Comme le sociologue Erving Goffman l’a montré dans son livre de 1961 « Asiles, “des institutions totales” », des prisons peuvent se moquer totalement des droits de leurs habitants. Peut-être devrait-on exiger de toute personne qui s’engage dans une recherche à l’intérieur des murs d’une prison qu’il lise ce livre.

    Le docteur Lerner est maître de conférence de médecine et de santé publique à l’Université Columbia, New York.
    1. Hornblum AM. They were cheap and available : prisoners as research subjects in twentieth century America (Ils étaient bon marché et disponibles : les prisonniers comme sujets de recherche dans l’Amérique du vingtième siècle). BMJ 1997 ; 315:1437-41.
    2. Welsome E. The plutonium files : America’s secret medical experiments in the Cold War (Les dossiers du plutonium : les expériences médicales secrètes de l’Amérique pendant la guerre froide). New York : Delta, 1999:362-82.
    3. Lederer SE. Subjected to science : human experimentation in America before the Second World War (Soumis à la science : l’expérimentation humaine en Amérique avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale). Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
    4. Harkness JM. Nuremberg and the issue of wartime experiments on US prisoners : the Green Committee. (Nuremberg et la question des expérimentations en temps de guerre sur des prisonniers américains : le Comité Vert) JAMA 1996 ;276:1672-5.
    5. Cohen C. Medical experimentation on prisoners (L’Expérimentation médicale sur les prisonniers). Perspect Biol Med 1978 ;21:357-72.

    Source : Academic Commons – Columbia University, le 03/05/2007, lien

  • How Silicon Valley Plans to Conquer the Classroom - The New York Times

    Silicon Valley is going all out to own America’s school computer-and-software market, projected to reach $21 billion in sales by 2020. An industry has grown up around courting public-school decision makers, and tech companies are using a sophisticated playbook to reach them, The New York Times has found in a review of thousands of pages of Baltimore County school documents and in interviews with dozens of school officials, researchers, teachers, tech executives and parents.

    Au moins en France, ils n’ont pas ce problème : c’est directement le Ministère de l’Education nationale qui a invité ses cadres aux formations et conseils délivrés par Microsoft...

    School leaders have become so central to sales that a few private firms will now, for fees that can climb into the tens of thousands of dollars, arrange meetings for vendors with school officials, on some occasions paying superintendents as consultants. Tech-backed organizations have also flown superintendents to conferences at resorts. And school leaders have evangelized company products to other districts.

    These marketing approaches are legal. But there is little rigorous evidence so far to indicate that using computers in class improves educational results. Even so, schools nationwide are convinced enough to have adopted them in hopes of preparing students for the new economy.

    Intéressant cette notion de « pharmacy-like » technique de marketing. Il n’y a plus seulement l’industrie du tabac comme modèle de la capacité à créer un foule d’accros.

    In some significant ways, the industry’s efforts to push laptops and apps in schools resemble influence techniques pioneered by drug makers. The pharmaceutical industry has long cultivated physicians as experts and financed organizations, like patient advocacy groups, to promote its products.

    Studies have found that strategies like these work, and even a free $20 meal from a drug maker can influence a doctor’s prescribing practices. That is one reason the government today maintains a database of drug maker payments, including meals, to many physicians.

    Tech companies have not gone as far as drug companies, which have regularly paid doctors to give speeches. But industry practices, like flying school officials to speak at events and taking school leaders to steak and sushi restaurants, merit examination, some experts say.

    Several parents said they were troubled by school officials’ getting close to the companies seeking their business. Dr. Cynthia M. Boyd, a practicing geriatrician and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with children in district schools, said it reminded her of drug makers’ promoting their medicines in hospitals.

    “You don’t have to be paid by Big Pharma, or Big Ed Tech, to be influenced,” Dr. Boyd said. She has raised concerns about the tech initiative at school board meetings.

    In Baltimore County and beyond, the digital makeover of America’s schools has spawned a circuit of conferences, funded by Microsoft, Google, Dell and other tech vendors, that lavish attention on tech-friendly educators.

    Another way tech companies reach superintendents is to pay private businesses that set up conferences or small-group meetings with them. Superintendents nationwide have attended these events.

    One prominent provider is the Education Research and Development Institute, or ERDI, which regularly gathers superintendents and other school leaders for conferences where they can network with companies that sell to schools.

    ERDI has offered superintendents $2,000 per conference as participating consultants, according to a Louisiana Board of Ethics filing. And there are other perks.

    “Because we are asking for their time and expertise, we commonly offer to pay the cost of their food, transportation and lodging during their participation,” ERDI’s president, David M. Sundstrom, said in an email.

    #Education #Edutech #Conflits_intérêt #Pharma_marketing_model

  • Doctors raked in cash to push fentanyl as N.J. death rate exploded | @fil

    The most powerful opioid ever mass-marketed was designed to ease cancer patients into death.

    It’s ideal for that: the drug is fast acting, powerful enough to tame pain that other opioids can’t and comes in a variety of easy delivery methods — from patches to lollipops.

    But a dose the size of a grain of sand can kill you.

    Meet fentanyl. It’s heroin on steroids. It’s killing people in droves. And, in New Jersey, you can get it after having your tonsils removed.

    In fact, doctors who treat children’s colds and adult’s sore knees are prescribing it with alarming frequency, far more than oncologists easing end-of-life cancer pain.

    The surge is stoked by companies that shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to doctors, wining and dining them in hopes of convincing them that their particular brand of fentanyl is the solution to all their patients’ pain problems.

    Evidently, it’s working.

    An NJ Advance Media analysis has found that eight medical specialties in New Jersey have filed more Medicare claims for fentanyl than those by oncologists. Family practitioners, for example, filed at least five times as many claims for fentanyl from 2013 to 2015 than did cancer doctors.

    “There are some powerful drivers of opioid prescriptions that have little to do with the presence of pain in the population,” said Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins University.

    The investigation also reveals:

    From 2013 to 2015, doctors in New Jersey were paid at least $1.67 million by pharmaceutical companies marketing various forms of fentanyl. In the same time period, fentanyl deaths in New Jersey increased from 42 in 2013 to 417 in 2015.
    Since late 2011, enough fentanyl has been dispensed to allow every person who has died of cancer in New Jersey to fill a prescription for the drug eight times.
    Doctors are being disciplined for improperly prescribing fentanyl, in several cases losing their licenses after their patients die while taking the drug.

  • Je me suis demandé si c’était une parodie : le New York Times a interrogé une foule de spécialistes parce que des Nord-Coréens ont joué au volleyball. Activity Spotted at North Korea Nuclear Test Site : Volleyball

    Analysts who examine satellite images of North Korea reported on Wednesday that they had spotted some unexpected activity at the country’s nuclear test site: active volleyball games in three separate areas.

    The surprising images were taken on Sunday as tensions between the United States and North Korea seemed to spike. The Korean Peninsula pulsed with news that the North was preparing for its sixth atomic detonation and that American warships had been ordered into the Sea of Japan as a deterrent, even though the ships turned out to have sailed in the opposite direction.

    The volleyball games, played in the middle of that international crisis, were probably intended to send a message, analysts said, as the North Koreans are aware that the nuclear test site is under intense scrutiny. But what meaning the North wanted the games to convey is unclear.

    “It suggests that the facility might be going into a standby mode,” Joseph Bermudez told reporters on a conference call organized by 38 North, a research institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. “It also suggests that these volleyball games are being conducted with the North Koreans knowing that we’ll be looking and reporting on it.

    Mr. Bermudez, a veteran North Korean analyst, emphasized the ambiguity of North Korean intentions. “They’re either sending us a message that they’ve put the facility on standby, or they’re trying to deceive us,” he said. “We really don’t know.”

    La (trop) classique expression « Untel défie l’Occident » prend une nouvelle dimension…

  • As Trump warned North Korea, his ’armada’ was headed toward Australia | Reuters

    When U.S. President Donald Trump boasted early last week that he had sent an “armada” as a warning to North Korea, the aircraft carrier strike group he spoke of was still far from the Korean peninsula, and headed in the opposite direction.

    It was even farther away over the weekend, moving through the Sunda Strait and then into the Indian Ocean, as North Korea displayed what appeared to be new missiles at a parade and staged a failed missile test.

    The U.S. military’s Pacific Command explained on Tuesday that the strike group first had to complete a shorter-than-initially planned period of training with Australia. But it was now “proceeding to the Western Pacific as ordered,” it said.

    The perceived communications mix-up has raised eyebrows among Korea experts, who wonder whether it erodes the Trump administration’s credibility at a time when U.S. rhetoric about the North’s advancing nuclear and missile capabilities are raising concerns about a potential conflict.

    If you threaten them and your threat is not credible, it’s only going to undermine whatever your policy toward them is. And that could be a logical conclusion from what’s just happened,” said North Korea expert Joel Wit at the 38 North monitoring group, run by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

  • Zcash, a Harder-to-Trace Virtual Currency, Generates Price Frenzy - The New York Times

    Speculators are snapping up a new virtual currency known as Zcash that was designed by university academics and built to be all but untraceable. (...)

    The company behind Zcash, led by a developer named Zooko Wilcox, has the support of privacy activists and computer scientists at Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has already secured $3 million in backing from a number of Silicon Valley venture capitalists who are involved in the virtual currency industry.

    #monnaie #anonymat #bitcoin via @Snowden

  • Hallucinogen Therapy Is Coming - Issue 40: Learning

    Three years later Daniel Kreitman still chokes up when he talks about what he saw, and how it changed him. Kreitman, an upholsterer by trade, had taken psilocybin, a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms, in a trial at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for nicotine addiction. He was 52, and he’d smoked between one and two packs a day for nearly 40 years. After his first psilocybin session, his urge to smoke was gone. During his third and final session, he had the vision that helped him quit for good.He saw lakes, roads, and mountains, and a broad-shouldered man at the helm of a ship, lassoing birds. Was it his dead father? He wasn’t sure. But he remembers giggling and feeling good. Music was playing in his headphones. During Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring he had the sensation (...)

  • To Measure the Power of Lightning, Get a Shovel - Facts So Romantic

    It was a rainy, early summer day in the Hamptons, a few years before the First World War. Robert W. Wood, a physicist (and later a science fiction writer) engaged in optics research at Johns Hopkins University, was out on his lawn spending time with his family when he had a close encounter with a lightning bolt. The ground ignited, producing a smoky column about seven feet high. Rather than being repelled by the situation, he later described it in a letter to Nature as a “fortunate accident”—he had “hit upon a way of extending our knowledge of these curious autographs of thunderbolts.” The autographs in question were fulgurites (fulgur is an old Latin word for lightning). Although they were at one point thought to be hardened gunk released from plant roots, we now know that these roughly (...)

  • Medical errors estimated to be third leading cause of U.S. deaths - Chicago Tribune

    Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, a new study contends.

    Johns Hopkins University researchers analyzed several years of U.S. data and concluded that more than 250,000 people died each year due to medical errors.

    If confirmed, that would make medical errors the third leading cause of death among Americans. Currently, respiratory disease, which kills about 150,000 people a year, is listed as the third leading cause of death by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    However, “incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven’t been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics,” said Dr. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at Baltimore-based Hopkins.

    The CDC’s data collection method does not classify medical errors separately on a death certificate, according to the study authors, who called for changes to that criteria.

    The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used,” Makary explained in a university news release.

    #causes_de_décès #erreur_médicale

  • ‘A’-grade hospitals have 50% fewer avoidable deaths | Managed Healthcare Executive

    It is much safer to receive care at an “A” hospital versus a “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” hospital, according to new analysis led by Matt Austin, PhD, assistant professor at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

    Leapfrog contracted with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality on a new analysis estimating the number of avoidable deaths at hospitals in each grade level. The analysis finds that despite considerable improvement in the safety of hospital care since the Score’s launch in 2012, avoidable deaths remain high. 

    Findings point to a 9% higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35% higher in C hospitals, and 50% higher in D and F hospitals, than in A hospitals.

    The Hospital Safety Score estimates patients’ relative risk of avoidable death from errors, accidents, and infections and grades hospitals with an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F.” The Hospital Safety Score is the only rating that focuses primarily on errors, accidents, and infections in hospitals. 

    Of the 2,571 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 798 earned an “A,” 639 earned a “B,” 957 earned a “C,” 162 earned a “D” and 15 earned an “F.”

    (l’image provient de l’étude citée en lien )

  • Dans quelles arènes vont désormais se battre Riyad et Téhéran ?

    L’ennemi intérieur chiite se substitue aux subventions

    « Nimr Baqer el-Nimr est un grand agitateur, un tribun. On peut l’accuser de violences verbales, mais, a priori, pas de violences réelles », estime le diplomate. [...] « Ils pouvaient très bien le garder en prison. En l’exécutant, les Saoudiens ont ravivé le feu dans la région-est du royaume, majoritairement chiite, alors que la situation s’était apaisée il y a quelques mois ».

    • BREMMER: ’Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble, and they know it’

      But as The Soufan Group, a strategic security intelligence firm, noted in its daily briefing, “If the execution of Sheikh Nimr is intended to take the minds of Saudi’s Sunni population off the recent 40% price hike in gasoline and point the finger at an external enemy as the cause of current economic woes, it may not be enough.”

      The group added: “To pursue that line of exculpation, the Saudi royal family will have to continue to escalate its rhetoric and action against Iran.”

      Any action Saudi Arabia takes against Iran, and vice versa, will most likely be indirect. Neither country wants to become embroiled in a direct conflict, said Abbas Kadhim, a senior foreign-policy fellow at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, in The New York Times on Monday.

      “These countries don’t trust one another, and they see every event as an opportunity to raise tensions,” Kadhim said. “Both countries will try their best to try to fortify their proxies and their activities, which is going to create more trouble.”

      Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in a proxy war in Syria, where Iranian-backed Shiite militias are fighting Saudi-backed Sunni rebels battling to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

      Iran and Saudi Arabia also support opposing sides in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has been launching airstrikes against the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since March.

      “While a shooting war with Iran is unlikely, the kingdom will push back wherever it views Tehran as gaining advantage,” Eurasia Group wrote in its analysis of the new year’s top geopolitical risks. “More generally, expect an isolated and domestically weaker kingdom to lash out in new ways.”

    • Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Sectarian Game - The New York Times

      Why did Saudi Arabia want this now? Because the kingdom is under pressure: Oil prices, on which the economy depends almost entirely, are plummeting; a thaw in Iranian-American relations threatens to diminish Riyadh’s special place in regional politics; the Saudi military is failing in its war in Yemen.

      In this context, a row with Iran is not a problem so much as an opportunity. The royals in Riyadh most likely believe that it will allow them to stop dissent at home, shore up support among the Sunni majority and bring regional allies to their side. In the short term, they may be right. But eventually, stoking sectarianism will only empower extremists and further destabilize an already explosive region.

  • Pluton, comme on ne l’a jamais vue

    Images de Pluton (à droite) et sa pseudo-lune Charon (prononcer Karon) prises le 12 juillet par la sonde américaine New Horizons, qui devait passer au plus près de ces deux astres le 14 juillet.

    Pour décrire celles-ci, Cathy Olkin (université de Boulder), qui a planifié la rencontre, évoque une « danse » : les capteurs de New Horizons sont fixes, il faut donc que la sonde effectue une chorégraphie millimétrée pour se tourner au bon moment vers chaque objectif : Pluton, Charon, mais aussi les quatre autres petits satellites Nix, Styx, Kerberos et Hydra. Au plus près de Pluton, sa meilleure caméra aura la capacité de voir des détails « correspondant à des arbres dans Central Park », a indiqué la chercheuse. « On verra le Soleil se lever, puis se coucher, sur Pluton puis Charon, pour étudier l’atmosphère du premier et savoir si le second en a une, puis on verra un croissant de Pluton éclairé par le Soleil, pour tenter d’y observer des nuages. »

    Avec quelques imprécisions dans l’article.
    Car les lois de la mécanique céleste sont implacables. Pour aller aussi loin en un temps raisonnable, les ingénieurs n’ont pas eu le choix : il a fallu propulser la sonde de 500 kg à une vitesse inégalée (presque 60 000 km/h), lors de son lancement, à l’aide de la plus puissante fusée américaine alors disponible, en sachant qu’il serait impossible de freiner arrivé près du but. Il aurait fallu pour cela emporter des tonnes de carburant.

    • la vitesse de 60000 km/h de la sonde est sa vitesse actuelle, pas celle lors du lancement !
    • et pour l’expliquer ce n’est pas vraiment l’idée du temps raisonnable, mais tout simplement les lois implacables de la physique : des calculs (plutôt basiques) de conservation de l’énergie totale (énergie potentielle de gravitation autour du Soleil plus énergie cinétique (plus, marginalement (8%), énergie potentielle de gravitation autour de la Terre)) aboutissent (sauf erreur) à une vitesse minimale de 12000 km/h

  • Study: TSA full-body scanners failed to detect guns, explosives | TheHill

    The Transportation Security Administration’s full-body scanners failed to detect a number of potential weapons, including knives, guns and explosives, according to a study released this week.

    The controversial scanners, which captured explicit images of passenger’s bodies, provided “weak protection against adaptive adversaries,” researchers from the University of California, San Diego; the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University concluded.

    “It is possible to conceal knives, guns, and explosives from detection by exploiting properties of the device’s backscatter X-ray technology,” the authors of the study wrote.

  • A Review of Asher Kaufman. Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty, and Conflict. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. xv + 281 pp. $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-4214-1167-5.

    Reviewed by James R. Stocker (Trinity Washington University)

    Atop a hill in Lebanon’s Iqlim al-Tuffah, a few miles north of the town of Nabatiyah, lies the Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, a Hizbullah-organized open-air museum that commemorates the Islamic resistance to Israel’s occupation. Visitors are shown a variety of exhibits, including a large pit called “The Abyss” containing remnants of Israeli tanks and weapons, and an underground cave hollowed out by the fighters for use as a bunker and command and control center. When this reviewer visited in late May 2014, a tour guide was on hand to provide commentary and answer questions. When asked why Hizbullah still retained its arms after Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, he insisted that Israel had not yet completely withdrawn; it remained in the Shebaa Farms and seven other Lebanese villages. Once they do withdraw, he continued, the “Resistance” would have no reason to keep its arms. A tour guide is hardly an organizational spokesperson, but these comments underscore the continuing relevance of border disputes in the Lebanese-Israeli-Syrian imbroglio—the arena that between 1973 and 2006 arguably saw the heaviest fighting in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    To understand the background of such claims, readers are advised to consult Asher Kaufman’s new book about the history of what he refers to as the “tri-border region,” approximately 100 km2 of rugged terrain at the intersections of contemporary Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. This region, a comparative backwater until the middle of the twentieth century, is largely mountainous, containing the Levant’s second highest peak, Mt. Hermon, as well as sources of the Hasbani and Jordan Rivers, and the rich farmland of the Huleh Valley. Previous works such as Frederic C. Hof’s Galilee Divided (1985) have examined the Lebanese-Israeli border dispute, and this book does not detract from their value; still, no other author has done more to look at the tri-border region itself. Indeed, part of the book’s content has been published in three journal articles in the Middle East Journal and one in the International Journal of Middle East Studies.[1] This work brings these insights and more into one volume.

    #Liban #Israël #Syrie #Shebaa #frontière

  • Campaigners vow to take clinical trial openness into their own hands : Nature News Blog

    Campaigners for more openness in clinical trial data have doubled down on their opponents, with a promise to produce their own publications of trials they deem ‘invisible’ or ‘abandoned’.

    In an article in the BMJ Peter Doshi, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and his colleagues say they have amassed some 178,000 pages of drug company research documents. They say they will give pharmaceutical companies time to publish their own studies on unpublished clinical trials, or to correct trials they consider misreported

    #pharma #études_non_publiées #santé #recherche #data