Sun setting on European solar

first_imgSun setting on European solarThe latest EPIA figures paint a grim picture of the European solar market. But outside the volatile German and Italian markets, installations in Europe stabilized at 6 GW last year. March 10, 2014 Max Hall Finance Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share The rapidly waning influence of European markets on the global solar industry has been illustrated by the latest figures produced by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). At the organization’s ninth market workshop in Brussels on Thursday, the EPIA revealed Europe’s share of the world’s newly installed solar capacity last year was just 28%, down from 59% in 2012, as the continent was overtaken by Asia as the world’s leading region for solar. With China – with 11.3 GW of new solar – and Japan (6.9 GW) driving the Asian powerhouse, the EPIA’s figures showed the amount of solar installed in former world number one Germany fell 57% to 3.3 GW thanks to planned regulatory changes with Italy‘s contraction even more startling – a 70% decline to 1.1 to 1.4 GW. Those falls came despite another record year for solar with at least 37 GW added worldwide to reach a cumulative 136,7 GW, up 35% on 2012. Regulators frightening off PV investors EPIA head of business intelligence Gaëtan Masson blamed ‘harsh’ support reductions, retrospective measures and unplanned regulatory changes for scaring away solar investors in Europe but the figures revealed a stable market outside the two volatile former leading players with non-German and Italian installations flat at around 6 GW. The EPIA highlighted regulatory changes in Belgium, France and Denmark which saw the trio’s respective installation figures shrink from 600 to 215 MW, 1.1 GW to 613 MW and 300 to 200 MW, respectively. With installations rocketing in China and Japan, the Asian markets of India – with 1.1 GW – Korea (442 MW) and Thailand (317 MW) also saw solid, if less spectacular, growth. The U.S. is the world’s third largest market, according to the EPIA, although the market workshop report states both 4.2 GW and 4.8 GW as the figures for 2013, with Canada also expanding with 235 MW of new solar. With the EPIA figures confirming the trend of Asia expanding as Europe contracts, there was little surprise to hear the organization repeat its oft-heard plea for policy stability across the EU and its neighbours.Popular content The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… 123456Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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Summit picture does not tell whole story

first_imgExchanges around the summit table during the behind-closed-doors sessions were polite enough, but as the moment approached for the family photo, there was much jockeying for position to be anywhere except next to Wolfgang.In the end, only one politician boycotted the event, which had been hastily rebaptised as a “group” rather than the normal “family” photo. This meant that the visiting Mexican president could be included, putting pressure on everyone to attend or else be accused of snubbing one of the EU’s allies.But Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel still stayed away, purportedly because one Belgian in the picture – Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt – was enough. Funny then, that Mr Michel changed his mind immediately afterwards and decided two Belgians should be on the coach which whisked the leaders off to lunch.Austria’s Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner insisted she had not noticed his absence, but warned mysteriously: “I think later it will be a pity for Mr Michel.”last_img read more

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Revolt of the British masses

first_imgCivil servants, diplomats, charity bosses and media figures clutched their necks at the referendum’s outcome. Meanwhile, the arts world started keening like the chorus in a Greek tragedy. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling wailed “I don’t think I have ever wanted magic more” (i.e. to overturn the people’s verdict). Rupert Goold, a much-lauded theater director, attacked “the ugly face of this country’s spite.” Goold has for years earned his living in theaters supported by tax-payers’ money. Given the delicacy of his political views, will he now decline to work in the publicly-funded arts sector and thus show his disdain for this “ugly” populus?At Westminster the buzz word is “instability.” Pro-EU politicians and media are whipping up a sense of crisis in order to be able to say “told you so” to the impertinent voters. During the referendum campaign, pro-Brussels voices issued dire warnings about how dangerous life outside the EU would be for Britain. They predicted financial uncertainty — and, lo, it has come to pass, at least for a few days.Cameron has behaved with dignity in defeat. He, at least, “gets” what has happened here.But do the 52 percent of voters who supported Brexit care? They may actually be rather enjoying the discomfort of the City bankers and big-swank investors. The referendum was in large part a protest against the ruling class by the sort of voters Leona Helmsley might have considered “little people.” The neglected, underpaid blue-collar vote has exacted revenge on the pious snoots who have for years told them what to think. The pulpiteers have been given a wondrous pitchfork up the rump.You might have expected Westminster politicians to have welcomed the referendum for at least two reasons: first, this was a hefty democratic verdict (the 72 percent turnout was high for a British election); second, the result should restore to Westminster powers that have in recent decades drifted to the EU. But some MPs have sought to dilute the referendum. Kenneth Clarke, a veteran Conservative party Europhile, loftily denigrated it as a mere “plebiscite” and urged the government to ignore it. David Lammy, a Labour MP, suggested that a second referendum was needed — presumably so long as it came to a different conclusion. His attitude was like that of a child on a tennis court who, after losing a crucial point, claims he “wasn’t ready” and demands a replay.David Cameron arrives ahead of a European Council Meeting at the Council of the European Union on June 28, 2016 in BrusselsThe vanquished Cameron, who will remain prime minister until early September, firmly told Lammy and others that the verdict of the electorate must be obeyed. Cameron has behaved with dignity in defeat. He, at least, “gets” what has happened here. We have just seen a putsch in which the people have reasserted power over the pooh-bahs. For decades, Whitehall’s civil servants have followed a federalizing EU project that had never been approved by the voters (their only previous referendum was in 1975 on the European Economic Community, a quite different beast). Liberal “opinion formers” embraced the EU as some sort of enlightened force yet quite failed to see that they were not “forming opinion” in the slightest. They were being ignored by the majority of their fellow citizens. London, usually such an orderly city, is a-boil with rebellion. Impatient citizens heckle outside its citadel gates. On the other side of those flimsy fortifications, Britain’s ruling class trembles in a dithery daze, frozen by the conventions of modern European politics.Last Thursday the British electorate voted to leave the European Union, and the result came as a shock to the government, the opposition, business leaders and cultural darlings. With the stock market veering around like a car that had just blown a tire, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, adding further to the steering problem. Leading parliamentarians in the opposition Labour party launched an attempt to unseat their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, whom they accused of being insufficiently keen on the EU. They are angry with him for having quietly sympathized with the democratic majority.The neglected, underpaid blue-collar vote has exacted revenge on the pious snoots who have for years told them what to think. When David Cameron made his resignation statement in Downing Street on Friday morning, car horns could be heard tooting in celebration beyond the black, wrought-iron security gates at the end of the street. Members of the public were celebrating. Distant voices shouted “yeaaaaahhh!” and an old man played the patriotic “Land of Hope and Glory” on a hand organ. Although Cameron and his team were understandably glum, 52 percent of voters were delighted. Similarly, a large crowd assembled in Parliament Square on Monday night to show support for Jeremy Corbyn as he tried to face down the Europhiles in his parliamentary ranks. The crowd banged drums and shouted slogans. From my office inside the Palace of Westminster I could see, literally, the heat rising from that crowd. The air above them shimmered and turned a little smoky. Police officers formed a line of defense to stop these dangerous elements entering their own legislature.The financial markets will soon stabilize. They invariably do. But if London’s elite has any sense, it will not forget last week’s referendum vote. You can fool some of the voters some of the time —even for four decades — but eventually they will assert their sovereignty.Quentin Letts writes for the Daily Mail. Also On POLITICO Brexit summit — Live blog By POLITICO George Osborne: Brexit plan ‘not our responsibility’ By Cynthia Kroet Political science Inequality, not personalities drove Britain to Brexit By Matthew Goodwinlast_img read more

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Lights Up Louisville With DIZGO [Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images On Wednesday night, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong continued their 2019 fall tour with a stop at Louisville, KY’s Headliner’s Music Hall. Bloomington, IN-bred electronic funk trio DIZGO handled the evening’s opening duties.Pigeons Playing Ping Pong opened up their first set with “Pop Off”, which was followed up by a seamless segue of “Somethin’ For Ya” into “Havana” into “Julia”. Following “Water”, the band moved into a celebratory “Penguins”, which featured a “Happy Birthday” sing-a-long in honor of a young fan named Jonah’s birthday, completing an adorable saga which the members of The Flock have been following for days in the band’s Facebook fan group. As Jonah commented after his first PPPP show (via a post by his mother in The Flock), “If everyone in the world was as nice as these people, our world would be a lot better.”[Photo: ontheDL Photo via Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Instagram]Following “Penguins”, “Funkijam” coasted into “Totally, highlighted by some ferocious interplay between guitarists Jeremy Schon and Greg Ormont. The quartet brought their first frame to a close with a pairing of Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “Give It Away” into a set-closing take on “Moonwalk”.Following a brief setbreak, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong returned and opened up their second set with “Landing”, which continued into an improvisational “Jam” before finally landing into “Time To Ride”. Following “Sail On”, PPPP sandwiched The Rolling Stones‘ “Paint It Black” inside a funky “Skipjack”. The four-piece continued on with a pairing of fan-favorites “Horizon” into “Fade Fast” before closing out the set with “Ocean Flows”. The band finally returned to deliver a “Live It Up” encore.Enjoy a gallery of photos from Wednesday night’s show below courtesy of photographer Kendall McCargo.Tonight, Thursday, November 7th, Pigeons tour continues with a performance at The Vogue Theatre in Indianapolis, IN. Head to Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s website for a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information.Setlist: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Headliner’s Music Hall | Louisville, KY | 11/6/2019Set One: Pop Off, Somethin’ For Ya > Havana > Julia, Water, Penguins* > Funkijam > Totally, Give it Away > MoonwalkSet Two: Landing > Jam > Time To Ride, Sail On, Skipjack > Paint It Black > Skipjack, Horizon > Fade Fast, Ocean FlowsEncore: Live It UpNotes:* Happy Birthday Jonah!Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Headliner’s Music Hall | Louisville, KY | 11/6/2019 | Photos: Kendall McCargo DIZGO | Headliner’s Music Hall | Louisville, KY | 11/6/2019 | Photos: Kendall McCargocenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Bob Weir And Wolf Bros Bring Continue Winter Tour At Durham Performing Arts Center [Video]

first_imgFresh off the debut of their NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” and a weekend run of shows in Florida, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros kept their 2020 winter tour running at full speed with a performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) in Durham, NC on Tuesday night.The band’s North Carolina performance heard the trio visit more tunes out of the Bob Dylan catalog, mixed in with their stripped-down interpretations of songs made famous by Weir’s years of service to America in the Grateful Dead.Related: Bob Weir And Wolf Bros Close LOCKN’ 2019 With Help From Susan Tedeschi, Mikaela Davis [Videos]Tuesday’s 17-song performance opened with “Hell in a Bucket”, the uptempo anthem co-written by Weir, John Perry Barlow and Brent Mydland which started appearing in the Dead’s live arsenal beginning in the mid-1980s. The set continued with “Loser” and “Mama Tried” before returning to Weir’s solo catalog with “Gonesville” from 2016’s Blue Mountain. The trio continued with their first of three Dylan covers of the night with “When I Paint My Masterpiece”, followed by “Bombs Away” from Weir’s 1978 solo album.The first set came to a close following the performances of “Row Jimmy” and “Throwing Stones”, with the latter making a point to nod to the “Super Tuesday” voting day in states across the country on Tuesday with Weir’s lyrics, “And the politicians throwing stones/So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones/’Cause it’s all too clear we’re on our own.”Watch the band’s opening numbers from Tuesday’s first set below.Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – “Hell in a Bucket”, “Loser” – 3/3/20[Video: Charlie Barzola]Following set break, the band returned to the stage to open the second half of the show with their take on Little Feat‘s “Easy to Slip”. The band then took fans on a non-stop run of Dead classics starting with “Shakedown Street” which flowed right into “He’s Gone”, “Playing in the Band”, and “Bird Song”, before returning to Dylanland for “All Along the Watchtower” and finally wrapping with the relaxed vibes of “Stella Blue”. The band then closed the set with “Not Fade Away” before ultimately returning to end the show with an encore cover of Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”.The winter run of Bob Weir and Wolf Bros tour dates continues on Wednesday with a performance at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, NC. Head to Weir’s website for the full listing of upcoming tour dates and ticket info.Setlist: Bob Weir and Wolf Bros | Durham Performing Arts Center | Durham, NC | 3/3/20Set One: Hell in a Bucket, Loser, Mama Tried (Merle Haggard cover), Gonesville, When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob Dylan cover), Bombs Away, Row Jimmy, Throwing StonesSet Two: Easy to Slip (Little Feat cover), Shakedown Street > He’s Gone > Playing in the Band > Bird Song > All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover) > Stella Blue, Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover)Encore: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan cover)last_img read more

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Broadway Vet Catherine Wreford Finds Freedom from Cancer in Big-Time Return to Ballet Stage

first_img View Comments  Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:49Loaded: 0.00%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently behind liveLIVERemaining Time -1:49 1xPlayback RateChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Although Wreford once took a hiatus from performing to run a mortgage company and later become a nurse, dancing is what truly fuels her passion. “To me, dance means freedom,” Wreford says. “Freedom from my cancer, freedom to put aside everything and focus on what I truly love and freedom of the melody and rhythm that pours out of my body when I dance. I feel alive and extremely lucky. I try my best to take one day at a time.” Playing Lady Capulet in the current production of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Wreford will be supported by her longtime friend and dance partner Craig Ramsay, who is taking on the role of Lord Capulet. The two first met when Ramsay got into the professional division at the very same ballet company over 20 years ago. “I was in the general division but was allowed to take a few of the men’s classes that Craig was in and we were both mentored by Arnold Spohr,” Wreford says. “We came together because of our mutual fondness of musical theater, but knew that ballet would help us be triple threats on Broadway.”And triple threats they became. Wreford made her Broadway debut at age 21 in 42nd Street and also appeared in Oklahoma! and on the road with Annie Get Your Gun. Two years later, Ramsay began his Broadway career, appearing in Fiddler on the Roof and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.Now, the duo is back together again and Wreford isn’t taking the opportunity lightly. “Growing up at the Roal Winnipeg Ballet I could never imagine that I would get the opportunity to dance in this gorgeous company,” Wreford says. “To be playing Lady Capulet with my best friend in my sixth year after diagnosis is a dream come true. I can draw from all my experiences and use them to my advantage.” Catherine Wreford and Craig Ramsay in rehearsal(Photo provided by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) A dancer since childhood and Broadway veteran, Catherine Wreford is taking the stage once again in Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet this weekend, but this time she’s six years into her journey with terminal cancer.Wreford was diagnosed with brain cancer on June 24, 2013 when her daughter, Quinn, was only five weeks old and was given two to six years to live. “I had an awake Craniotomy radiation and four kinds of chemo for over a year,” Wreford tells Broadway.com. “It was on my speech center so I had to relearn how to speak, write and what the words meant.” Through the struggles, frustration and therapy, Wreford has continued to find solace on stage. Catherine Wreford and Craig Ramsay in rehearsal(Photo provided by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) “To be playing Lady Capulet with my best friend in my sixth year after diagnosis is a dream come true.” While every day is a new battle, Wreford has a strong support system that helps her find new strength daily. “My family gets to see me happy and not depressed even though I have this terrible cancer that will kill me sooner rather than later,” Wreford says. “They understand that I need to dance and that it keeps me positive and motivated to keep going and not give up.”Wreford and Ramsay can be seen in Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet through February 17.Watch the heartwarming moment where Wreford is offered the role of Lady Capulet below.last_img read more

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Kirk McClure named to Luke AFB Honorary Commander program

first_imgKirk McClure, Director of Business Development for McCarthy Building Companies, was recently named to the Luke Air Force Base Honorary Commander program.The Honorary Commander program at Luke Air Force Base allows members of the community to understand the importance of Luke, the Air Force and Department of Defense military mission. It represents a two-year commitment. Additionally, as an active Honorary Commander, McClure becomes a member Luke’s only community support organization, Fighter Country Partnership.“As a son of a Vietnam vet and growing up the grandson of World War II and Korean War pilot who flew both the B-25 and B-17s, this is a huge honor for me,” McClure said. “My ambition to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps in the U.S. Air Force was cut short by my lack of 20/20 vision, but I still have a love affair with aviation and a deep respect for our military.  I am humbly honored to now be a part of the Luke family being selected for this coveted position.  I am not only representing McCarthy but also my community, and I’m proud to share our support of the Luke mission for not only training the best fighter pilots in the Air Force, but also for serving as a key economic driver for the State of Arizona.”In addition to being a part of the Luke Air Force Base Honorary Commander program, McClure also serves on the board of directors for the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the Arizona Association of Economic Development (AAED). He is also a member of National Association ofIndustrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).  He is also the founder and organizer of the monthly A/E/C Golf Invitational at Grayhawk Golf Club, which includes a league of professionals that work and support the development industry.He earned his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU) and also holds abachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and Design, also from ASU.last_img read more

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Watch your language when talking about autism

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Words matter. The way we use them to communicate with or about others can have a huge impact on people’s lives. This is especially the case when it comes to disability. Handicapped. Retarded. Mad. Activists have campaigned hard to eradicate such terms, which are offensive and perpetuate a negative view of disabled people – one as passive, unable to take control over their own lives.Responding to this demand, recent government guidelines have encouraged clinicians and teachers to use positive and inclusive language, including the use of language that does not define people by their disability.“Person-first” language has become what’s called for: that is, calling someone a “person with autism” – describing what a person has, not what a person is. This has become the recommended way to speak with or about disability – in the press, journal articles, hospitals and schools. Email Pinterestcenter_img Share Share on Twitter It is difficult not to see the good intentions behind this approach. But perhaps it is not really as inclusive as it claims to be.Many disabled people have argued vehemently against the use of “person-first” language, instead preferring “disability-first” language, such as he or she is an “autistic person”. Nowhere is this issue more hotly debated than the field of autism. Many autistic activists argue that person-first language is dehumanising, as if they can somehow be separated from their autism, that there is a “typical” person affected by autism, rather than a person whose life is in part defined by being autistic.These are difficult questions. But it is surely not difficult to argue that truly inclusive language should be defined by the people who are actually autistic. Not by well-meaning outsiders, no matter how powerful. Take a look at the #actuallyautistic and #describingautism twitter handles to see some of these debates.Not right for everyoneRecently, together with the National Autistic Society, my colleagues and I asked 3,470 autistic people, parents and their broader support network, about the words they use to describe themselves, their children or the people with whom they work. Did they prefer to use “autistic person”? Or “person with autism”? Or “person who has autism”?The results clearly showed that people use many terms when talking about autism. The words “autism” and “on the autism spectrum” were clear favourites among all the groups added together. But there was much disagreement on the use of several words and phrases. Professionals preferred to use “person with autism” while autistic adults and family members preferred on the whole to use “is autistic”. They thought that the term allowed them to describe the centrality of autism to their lives.One autistic woman said:In describing someone who’s autistic as ‘a person with autism/person who has autism/(or worst of all) person who suffers from autism’ you imply that autism is separate from a person, and behind their autism is a ‘normal’ person.Agree to disagreeBut these preferences were not unanimous, of course. Instead, for autistic people, family members and professionals, the words they used often hinged on what people believed autism to be. Those who felt that autism is one trait of many in a person tended to prefer person-first language. Others, who felt that autism is central to their or their child’s identity, opted to use “autistic”. Others still noted the need to use different words depending on whom one is speaking to.There is no one way of describing autism on which everyone can agree. There never will be. In order to answer who the question of who gets to decide which terms should be used, first, everyone connected to autism needs to come to accept the fact of disagreement and to respond to it with openness, flexibility and tolerance of divergence of opinion. We should always seek to establish how people wish to be described – by asking them directly, if possible – and not impose external views or guidelines upon them.Perhaps even more importantly, we need to create the conditions for debate and conversation between all of the people who are touched by autism and work in the field. It is, after all, only when we listen to each other that we discover what individual words are taken to mean and why they often matter so much.By Liz Pellicano, UCL Institute of EducationLiz Pellicano is Reader in Developmental Cognitive Science at UCL Institute of Education.This article was originally published on The Conversation.Read the original article.last_img read more

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Circuit for experience-informed decision-making identified in rats

first_imgShare on Twitter How is the brain able to use past experiences to guide decision-making? A few years ago, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health discovered in rats that awake mental replay of past experiences is critical for learning and making informed choices. Now, the team has discovered key secrets of the underlying brain circuitry — including a unique system that encodes location during inactive periods.“Advances such as these in understanding cellular and circuit-level processes underlying such basic functions as executive function, social cognition, and memory fit into NIMH’s mission of discovering the roots of complex behaviors,” said NIMH acting director Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D.While a rat is moving through a maze — or just mentally replaying the experience — an area in the brain’s memory hub, or hippocampus, specialized for locations, called CA1, communicates with a decision-making area in the executive hub or prefrontal cortex (PFC). A distinct subset of PFC neurons excited during mental replay of the experience are activated during movement, while another distinct subset, less engaged during movement in the maze — and therefore potentially distracting — are inhibited during replay. LinkedIn Share on Facebook “Such strongly coordinated activity within this CA1-PFC circuit during awake replay is likely to optimize the brain’s ability to consolidate memories and use them to decide on future action” explained Shantanu Jadhav, Ph.D., now an assistant professor at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA., the study’s co-first author. His contributions to this line of research were made possible, in part, by a Pathway to Independence award from the Office of Research Training and Career Development of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).Jadhav and his fellow scientist Gideon Rothschild, Ph.D., led the study under the supervision of their post-doctoral preceptor, NIMH grantee Loren Frank, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). They report on their findings March 10, 2016 in the journal Neuron.When rats are exploring a maze, spatial locations on the track are represented in hippocampal and prefrontal activity, associated with slow, rhythmic theta oscillations. During awake SWRs, activity representing similar locations on the track is conjointly reactivated in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.Prior to the study, researchers knew that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex play a critical role in memory-guided behavior, but exactly what neural activity patterns underlie these abilities remained a mystery.Previous studies had shown that neurons called place cells in the hippocampus become associated with particular places when rats explore mazes. During breaks when animals are inactive, they replay these place experiences in their minds. The place cells that activated while exploring the maze fire again in the same sequence, but on a much faster timescale. This is reflected in telltale split-second bursts of electrical activity called sharp-wave ripples (SWRs), in the hippocampus.“We had previously shown that this SWR activity in the hippocampus is necessary for learning, but we didn’t know if or how it might engage other parts of the brain,” explained Jadhav. “We suspected that in order to support memory retrieval, hippocampal and PFC activity during SWRs has to be coordinated.”When they examined activity in groups of neurons in the two regions simultaneously as rats were learning spatial tasks, Jadhav and Rothschild’s team saw coordinated reactivation during SWRs spanning both the hippocampus and the PFC. In the PFC, they were surprised to see that this reactivation involved both excitation as well as inhibition of functionally distinct populations of neurons. Within a particular SWR, prefrontal neurons that showed spatial representations similar to the concurrently reactivated hippocampal neurons were excited, whereas prefrontal neurons with unrelated representations were inhibited. Any potentially distracting activity inconsistent with the replayed information coming from the hippocampus would thus be suppressed, presumably optimizing awake memory function.“Our results show that SWRs mark times of strong coordination between hippocampus and prefrontal cortex that reflects highly specific structured reactivation of representations related to ongoing experience,” said Jadhav.In a parallel study, Frank’s UCSF team focused on a neighboring region of the hippocampus called CA2. There, they were surprised to discover a distinct population of neurons that not only fire most strongly outside of SWRs, but also signal an animal’s location when the animal is immobile, including during sleep. The firing pattern of these neurons was thus complementary to the firing pattern of the SWR-associated place cells found in CA1.The study revealed that the brain employs distinct neural codes for formation of location-specific memories depending on whether the animal is moving or still. Notably, CA2 has also recently been linked to social memories; social experiences often take place during periods of inactivity, according to Frank.Remarkably, the timescale of the firing changes from SWR- vs. non-SWR patterns were similar in the prefrontal cortex and in CA2, indicating that the brain rapidly switches between the two coding systems with split-second agility.“Delusions and similar mental problems involve mistaking internally generated information for real things from the outside world; it may be that the rapid and precise switching between past and present that we see in normal brains is impaired in psychiatric disease,” said Frank.Frank and a UCSF team led by graduate student Kenneth Kay — whose research training was also supported, in part, by an individual NIMH fellowship award — reported on their discoveries online March 2, 2016 in the journal Nature.“Investing the next generation of research scientists, such as Jadhav and Kay, by supporting their mentored training in state-of-the-art research skills, is essential if the NIMH is to continue to accomplish our mission,” said Nancy Desmond, Ph.D., Associate Director for Research Training and Career Development in the NIMH Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science.center_img Share Email Pinterestlast_img read more

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Puzzles persist as European E coli outbreak grows

first_img May 27 CIDRAP News story “Questions abound in European E coli outbreak” See also: The CDC said it was “not aware that a specific food has been confirmed as the source of the infections,” but it said travelers to Germany should be aware of the warning against eating cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes there. The CDC is working with state health departments to learn more bout the two HUS cases and identify others, the agency said in an e-mailed statement. It said anyone who recently traveled to Germany and has signs or symptoms of a Shiga-toxin producing E coli (STEC) infection or HUS should seek medical care and tell their provider about the outbreak in Germany and the importance of being tested. Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said today the number of cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney disorder, in the outbreak reached 373, with 6 deaths. The Associated Press (AP) said the death toll for all countries has reached 16, with 1,150 E coli cases in Germany and “hundreds more” in other countries. In the United States, two cases of HUS have been reported in people who recently traveled to Hamburg, Germany, the apparent epicenter of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this afternoon. But no confirmed infections with the rare outbreak strain, E coli O104:H4, have been reported in the US, officials said. German officials have identified the outbreak strain as a multidrug-resistant E coli O104:H4, which the CDC termed a “very rare” strain. The agency said today that this precise serotype has never been seen in the United States and has rarely been seen in other countries. As reported previously, a small E coli O104 outbreak occurred in Helena, Mont., in 1994, but the serotype was O104:H21, not O104:H4. Antibiotics as risk factorCraig Hedberg, PhD, a foodborne disease expert at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, commented today that if antibiotics are being used to treat E coli patients in Europe, this might help explain the high risk of HUS in the outbreak. Yesterday’s HUS total in Germany was 329 cases, two thirds of them in women, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reported. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration is stepping up inspections of cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes from Spain, according to a Reuters report today. FDA spokesman Doug Karas said Spanish cucumbers are not imported into the United States in large numbers at this time of year. May 31, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – Reported severe illnesses caused by Escherichia coli in Germany and neighboring countries continued to pile up in recent days, while mysteries about the source of the infection, why it’s so severe, and why it seems to strike mainly women remained unresolved.center_img “There is good evidence that treating a patient infected with E coli O157:H7 with an antibiotic to treat their diarrhea may increase their risk for developing HUS,” Hedberg said. “Most E coli O157:H7-associated HUS cases involve children, and children are not typically treated with ciprofloxicin. On the basis of a case-control study and limited lab evidence, the outbreak is believed to be linked to fresh cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes, especially Spanish cucumbers, but that has not been confirmed. Another persisting question is why the apparent proportion of HUS cases has been so high. A total of 373 HUS cases out of about 1,150 E coli cases signals an HUS rate of about 32%, far higher than in previous E coli outbreaks. In the outbreak linked to Jack in the Box hamburgers in 1992 and 1993, for example, about 7% of all cases involved HUS. Biggest E coli outbreak?The outbreak is clearly one of the largest E coli epidemics on record, but the CDC stopped short of calling it the biggest ever. “We are still learning more about the overall size of this outbreak,” the agency said. “The number of HUS cases involved indicates that the outbreak is very large.” “However, ciprofloxicin would be the drug of choice for empirically treating an adult with an acute diarrheal illness [in which the specific pathogen has not been identified]. If this were a common practice in Germany, it could account for some of the apparently high risk of HUS associated with this outbreak. I don’t have any information on this, but it is certainly something that should be evaluated.” German officials today continued to warn against eating raw cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes, especially in northern Germany, according to the RKI. A public health laboratory in Hamburg on May 26 identified E coli on four cucumbers, three of them from Spain, as reported previously. But according to today’s AP report, Hamburg officials said tests on two of the cucumbers pointed to a strain different from the outbreak strain. In other observations, he said that if fresh produce items are confirmed as the source of the outbreak, that may help explain why so many of the patients are women. Produce has been the source food in some Salmonella and E coli O157:H7 outbreaks that mainly involved women, he noted, adding, “Because women are more likely to eat these food items, they are more likely to be exposed to the [E coli] strain contaminating the food items,” he said. The agency also commented, “It is too early to know why this is such a large outbreak. The large size may have to do with contamination of a popular food item. However, to our knowledge a specific food vehicle has yet to be confirmed. It is also possible that the unusual strain is particularly likely to cause HUS.” Hedberg called the size and severity of the outbreak “unprecedented” and predicted that it will lead to research that will “greatly expand our understanding of the pathogenesis and variability” of enterohemorrhagic E coli.last_img read more

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