Burns and blindness Very nasty giant hogweed plant spreading in Canada

first_imgIt can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness – and it’s spreading.Giant hogweed is cutting a wider swath in B.C. and Ontario, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada is urging people across the country to document sightings of the­ towering, three-metre green plant with large umbels of white flowers.Dan Kraus, a biologist with the conservancy, said the invasive Asian species likely arrived in Canada in the 1940s and can now be found in areas of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, and has been spreading in southern Ontario and southern B.C.“Nobody’s really sure when it arrived here. It was probably introduced as an ornamental plant and it is starting to slowly spread,” said Kraus from Guelph, Ont.“It’s possible people are moving it from garden to garden. They see it in their aunt’s garden and they think it’s this wonderful plant, and they’re collecting seeds and moving it to another location, which is something we definitely don’t want people to do.”In 2015, five children in England were reportedly burned in two separate incidents after coming into contact with giant hogweed in public parks.Often mistaken for the similar-looking cow parsnip, it can be seen growing in gardens, along roadsides, in ditches and on the shores of rivers and streams. Its clear sap can cause blistering third-degree burns and even permanent blindness if it touches the body and is then exposed to the sun, through a phototoxic reaction.“It’s very nasty. It can cause huge water blisters — almost like boils — that erupt on your skin,” said Todd Boland, a research horticulturist at Memorial University’s Botanical Garden in St. John’s, N.L.“It may be the next day before you start to see the effects. That’s the funny thing about this. It’s not like it’s an instant thing. It takes awhile and you have to have repeated exposure to the sun.”But simply touching the plant is not dangerous, Boland stressed. It’s the sap that is problematic and washing your body and clothes after exposure can prevent the phototoxic reaction.“If you get it in your eye, it can lead to permanent blindness, but that’s pretty rare. You’d be hard-pressed to get it in your eye unless you were rolling around in the plant,” said Boland, adding that giant hogweed can be found in the St. John’s area.The plant has prompted communities across Canada to issue warnings to residents in recent years.Guelph, Ont., has been dealing with giant hogweed for about two years and although it is now contained in two locations, eradicating the plant has proven difficult.“In 2015 we removed some plants from one location and the next year we returned to the site and there were no plants, but this year we returned to find plants,” said Timea Filer, an urban forester with the city. “So there appears to be a seed bank and we’ll have to monitor it continually.”Kraus said there is also a concern about a loss of native biodiversity, as giant hogweed is an aggressive plant that can outcompete native plants and spread — especially when it grows near waterways and its seeds are carried downstream. One plant can produce thousands of seeds and they can stay in the ground for years before germinating.The conservancy is asking people to document sightings of the invasive plant through apps such as iNaturalist, which helps scientists understand how the plants are spreading and identifies areas in which they need to be eradicated, he said.“We also want to make people aware that they may have a plant in their garden which at some point could spread into a natural area and impact on biodiversity… or have public health impacts,” said Kraus.“Ideally you want to keep invasive plants out, but the next best thing is to detect them early and to remove them before they take over large areas.”Kraus said Canadians who spot giant hogweed should contact local parks officials.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more

Silicon Valleys Jumio launches AI lab in Montreal to hone ID verification

first_imgMONTREAL – Jumio has opened an artificial intelligence lab in Montreal, adding to the city’s ranks of machine-learning firms.The Silicon Valley company says it plans to work on fraud detection and data extraction as part of a push toward refined identity verification.Jumio says the satellite lab, which numbers seven employees after quietly opening last month, will have 30 engineers and specialists by the end of next year. The lab expands on work underway at the company’s Vienna-based AI hub.Over the past year, Ottawa and Quebec have pledged more than $300 million toward AI development in Montreal, while tech giants Google and Microsoft Corp. have invested in machine learning research.Startups in the city are exploiting AI to build technology applicable to everything from tumour detection to navigating the immigration process.In 2016, Jumio filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. business following government investigations into financial irregularities, but raised US$15 million in funding a few months later.last_img read more

Capital One hacking exposes data of 6 million Canadians in one of

A massive data hack at credit card giant Capital One Financial has compromised the personal data of roughly six million Canadians and exposed one million social insurance numbers — making it one of the largest security breaches in Canadian history.The incident, which affected about 106 million North American credit card holders, was announced by Capital One Financial late Monday after the alleged hacker, Paige A. Thompson, was charged with computer fraud and abuse in Seattle.Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner said Capital One has been in contact about the incident and the two are “engaging” but did not say whether it would launch an investigation. Capital One says personal information hacked of over 100 million Americans, 6 million Canadians Tipster led to arrest in massive Capital One breach, one of biggest bank hacks yet 5G has 200 times more access points for hackers than existing networks, experts warn “Given the number of people impacted and the nature of the incident, it certainly raises significant privacy concerns,” spokeswoman Anne-Marie Cenaiko said in an emailed statement.In Canada, where Capital One provides Mastercard credit cards for Costco Wholesale’s Canadian retail network and the Hudson’s Bay Company, Capital One said approximately one million social insurance numbers were compromised. Capital One credit card applications include the option for consumers to provide their social insurance number, but only some applicants choose to provide it.The incident also exposed the data of roughly 100 million U.S. clients, including about 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers.Most of the information obtained was on consumers and small businesses who applied for a credit card from 2005 through early 2019 and included names, addresses, postal codes, phone numbers, dates of birth and income.Capital One said affected individuals will be notified through a “variety of channels.” Impacted Canadians will also receive free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance.HBC did not respond to a request for comment. Costco Canada said senior management has been “in constant contact with Capital One from the time we received news last night of the data breach,” it wrote in an email.The Capital One compromise is one of the biggest-ever breaches to impact Canadians — six million is a large chunk of the country’s population, said David Masson, director of enterprise security for cybersecurity firm Darktrace.“These were economically active members of the Canadian population. So if you strip out young people, those who have retired, this … figure becomes even more statistically significant.”Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he has asked the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, to investigate the breach and ensure that “appropriate steps” are taken to protect Canadians.“We are deeply concerned by the unacceptable breach at Capital One… Affected Canadians should contact Capital One immediately. We are working on this vigilantly,” he said on Twitter on Tuesday.He added that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is also in touch with his counterparts in the U.S. about the matter.The financial services regulator is “monitoring the situation closely,” said OSFI spokesman Colin Palmer.“When incidents like this occur, OSFI stays in close contact with the financial institution to ensure everything is being done to address the situation as quickly as possible,” he said in a emailed statement.Capital One said that it was unlikely that the information was used for fraud, but Masson said that once data has left secure channels, there is always the possibility of compromise.“If that information has gone somewhere else, it is now possible for somebody else to use the exact same information to obtain a credit card, bank account, a loan, a mortgage, a financial instrument,” he said.“That’s why it’s so serious. In the modern world, that kind of data is almost effectively currency that can be bought and sold, particularly on the dark web.”In addition to credit card application data such as phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income, the hacker was also able to access credit scores, credit limits and balances, as well as fragments of transaction information from a total of 23 days in 2016, 2017 and 2018.“While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened,” said Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank in a news release. “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”Capital One said it could not provide information on several questions posed by The Canadian Press, including how many and which branded credit cards were affected and how many of those had their SIN compromised.The company said it was in the process of notifying impacted customers, but would not elaborate on how or when it would contact consumers.Under new federal privacy rules that came into force in November, organizations are obligated to report a breach involving personal information under its control if there is a “real risk of significant harm” to an individual. Organizations must also notify the persons impacted and detail, among other things, the circumstances, the personal information compromised and steps the firm has taken to reduce harm.The security breach is just the latest in a string of data hacks that have affected Canadians in recent years, including at U.S. companies such as Uber and Equifax.In Canada, Desjardins Group revealed a data breach in June that saw the leak of names, addresses, birthdates, social insurance numbers and other private information from roughly 2.7 million people and 173,000 businesses.In May, Freedom Mobile confirmed that it had been the victim of a security breach, but said the number of customers potentially exposed to the breach numbered 15,000. Researchers at vpnMentor, who discovered the breach and alerted the company, claimed that up to 1.5 million customers had been potentially affected. read more

Markets Right Now Stocks open lower on Wall Street

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are edging lower on Wall Street in early trading at the end of an unusually turbulent week for the market.Technology and communications companies were among the biggest losers in early trading. Chipmaker Micron Technology lost 1.6% and TripAdvisor fell 1.2%.Uber plunged 8.8% after the ride-hailing company reported a $5.2 billion loss in its latest quarter, its largest on record. The results were weighed down by stock-based payouts following its initial public offering.The S&P 500 fell 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,929.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 74 points, or 0.3%, to 26,309. The Nasdaq fell 35 points, or 0.4%, to 8,003.The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.71%.The Associated Press read more

Senate leader announces bipartisan deal to avoid default end government shutdown

Senate leader announces bipartisan deal to avoid default, end government shutdown by Donna Cassata, The Associated Press Posted Oct 16, 2013 10:21 am MDT WASHINGTON – Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day.Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday.The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7.Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email

WestJet performing 12000 minimiracles Wednesday

WestJet performing 12,000 “mini-miracles” Wednesday by Mike Tarasko Posted Dec 9, 2015 7:14 am MDT WestJet is spreading more holiday cheer this season.Employees across its network will be performing acts of kindness all day Wednesday, then sharing them on Twitter and Instagram.In a video posted online, the WestJet Santa, all dressed in blue, asks for help in achieving the goal of 12,000 mini-miracles.The company says take a pic of yourself, or someone else performing an act of kindness, and then post it online using #WestJetChristmas.The Calgary-based airline’s Christmas campaigns have become viral successes in recent years, often evoking laughs, and sometimes tears as gifts and trips are given away.Last year, they delivered a winter wonderland to a beach in the Dominican Republic. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

In phone call UN chief congratulates Nigerias Presidentelect Buhari

Taking note of the results of the Nigerian presidential and parliamentary elections announced yesterday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to congratulate him, and called on all Nigerians to accept the outcome of the elections. “The Secretary-General talked to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Major General (Rtd) Muhammadu Buhari. He congratulated President-elect Buhari and commended President Jonathan for his leadership throughout the electoral process and his statesmanship in upholding the democratic process,” said a note released by Mr. Ban’s spokesman’s office in New York. “The Secretary-General believes the successful conduct of these polls is a testament to the maturity of Nigeria’s democracy,” the statement added. Mr. Ban also thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for organizing and carrying out the elections in a professional manner under challenging circumstances. He also appealed to the Nigerian people to address any complaints they may have through existing legal and constitutional channels. The UN chief also said that he hoped the same democratic spirit will prevail in the conduct of the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections on 11 April. read more

After Mosul victory senior UN officials detail Iraqs political and humanitarian needs

‘Fighting may be over, humanitarian crisis is not’Some 700,000 civilians have been displaced from Western Mosul, according to UN figures.Speaking via videolink from Baghdad, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Iraq Lise Grande told journalists in New York that the top priority right now is to reach civilians who might still be in Mosul’s old city.“We believe perhaps hundreds of people are still there,” said Ms. Grande, who is also the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. She noted that in the last week of fighting some 12,000 people were evacuated. The majority of them are children and the elderly, who without sufficient water or food were too weak to even walk on their own. Triage stabilization units established right on the front lines by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) received up to 100 patients per hour, spending about 4 minutes to stabilize each patient, before passing him or her on to a field hospital. “The fighting may be stopping but the humanitarian crisis has not,” noted Ms. Grande.Of the 54 residential districts in western Mosul, 15 are heavily damaged, “basically flattened,” Ms. Grande said, 23 are moderately damaged and 16 neighbourhoods have light damage.The UN estimates the costs to stabilizing these areas and making them liveable to be more than $700 million, of which $237 million would be for the moderately and lightly damaged areas and $470 million for the more destroyed neighbourhoods. “That is double the estimate for stabilization,” Ms. Grande said, due to fighting which was “so fierce and so much worse that what anyone else experienced.” The UN has requested nearly $1 billion in assistance to aid the people in Mosul, with a focus on re-establishing crucial services so that people can safely return home to western Mosul.Meanwhile, in eastern Mosul, which has been liberated since January, “schools are open, businesses are thriving, the city is recovering,” said Ms. Grande. Since the beginning of the fighting last year, about 940,000 civilians fled Mosul. Nearly all have been housed and are receiving direct assistance, an outcome that Ms. Grande called “very positive.” The UN official attributed the ability of aid workers to stay “one step ahead” due to the UN’s early contingency planning under the Government’s leadership and a flash appeal that was 100 per cent funded; Iraqi forces’ commitment to protecting civilians during the battles; and strong civilian-military liaison communication.She noted that an additional 100,000 civilians are expected to flee their homes by the end of this year, as Iraqi forces start to reclaim new areas in other parts of Ninewa and Anbar Governorates and in Kirkuk Governorate, where ISIL still holds territory. Security Council meeting on the situation concerning Iraq. Ján Kubiš, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe “The historic liberation of Mosul should not conceal the fact that the road ahead is extremely challenging,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, told the Security Council.He praised the Iraqi security forces and international partners for “an exceptional effort” to save and protect civilians during the military drive to liberate the Iraqi city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known by its Arabic acronym, Daesh, and for showing a readiness to be held accountable for violations.The effort was “in stark contrast” to ISIL, which showed “absolute disregard for human lives and civilization” by booby-trapping and destroying homes and critical monuments, indiscriminately shelling civilians, and by having civilians “butchered” by females and brainwashed children suicide bombers. “To turn the gains of the military victory into stability, security, justice and development, the Government will have to do everything possible to give the people back their lives in security and dignity,” said Mr. Kubiš, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).De-mining, stabilization and reconstruction efforts to allow the return of displaced people, as well as the elimination of ISIL cells and militias, are among the priorities.He noted that the Governments of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait had confirmed their willingness to assist the Government of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, and urged all of Iraq’s partners to “stay on course.” In addition, the Iraqi Government has to work for national settlement and societal reconciliation within the country, as well as to enter into negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the UN envoy said. ISIL would ultimately be defeated only “through inclusive solutions, addressing the grievances, needs and aspirations of the Iraqi people,” noted Mr. Kubiš.He reiterated the UN’s commitment to facilitating the national settlement process and supporting grassroots reconciliation efforts. Also, with ISIL pushed out of Mosul and the people held by the group freed, the UN is “repositioning” its response to supporting survivors of sexual violence and helping to integrate them back into their communities. The UN is also working to ensure that children arrested for terrorism-related charges are transferred to juvenile institutions. read more

New UNbacked action plan promotes hiring of refugees

Launched on Tuesday by the UN refugee agency and the 35-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the plan identifies challenges to integrating refugees into the labour market, but also lists concrete actions to boost their participation.Volker Türk, the UN  agency’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, said it supports a “new approach” where refugees are included in communities from the very start and ultimately contribute to local economies.“This Action Plan shows the way forward to ensure that the economic potential of refugees is fully harnessed, contributing to their social integration and offering a win-win situation to refugees, employers and host communities,” he said.Refugees account for 22.5 million of the more than 65 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) interviews with refugees found employment and housing as their top concerns, with most saying having a job makes them feel integrated into their new communities.While receiving countries face major challenges with refugee integration, both in the economy and society, the partners behind the plan believe “refugees also represent a significant opportunity for the host country, given the many skills and aptitudes that they bring.”The Action Plan was based on extensive consultations with employers, trade unions, civil society organizations and others.It lays out 10 recommendations, such as taking stock of refugees’ skills, identifying possible gaps and matching “refugee talent” with employers’ needs. Navigating administrative rules and regulations covering refugees is another area, with public authorities and employment services encouraged to streamline procedures for work permits and other necessary documents.Employers are also encouraged to make the business case for hiring refugees, for example for jobs that have been difficult to fill.“Harnessing the full potential of refugees in receiving economies and societies requires a whole of government approach in close partnership with the civil society,” said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD’s Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.“Employers can and should play a central role in this process, but need to be supported by sound policy and actions from other stakeholders, including at the local level. Together we can make the most of refugee skills, talent and potentials.” read more

More than 30 air traffic controllers at FLL to receive 50 gas

first_img(WSVN) – Local air traffic controllers are being gifted a free fill up.More than 30 workers from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will each receive a $50 card for gas.The gift cards were made possible thanks to talk show host Reverend Dennis Grant.Grant hopes the gesture will inspire others to help the workers as well.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Conde Nasts New Address Will Be 1 World Trade Center

first_imgA decade after New York City sustained one of the largest terrorist attacks in recent American history on September 11, 2001, Conde Nast has decided to move its head quarters, 18 magazine titles and 5,000 employees to 1 World Trade Center.Currently at 4 Times Square, Conde Nast will anchor the 1 World Trade Center building; the million- square-feet-lease is estimated to be worth $2 billion over the next 25 years, according to NYTimes.com. The lease will go before the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s board (who owns 1 World Trade) on May 26 for final approval. Conde Nast is slated to occupy floors 20 through 41, beginning in 2014. Annual rent is set for $60 per square foot, around the same price Conde currently pays in Times Square. Security around the Ground Zero area has been a concern for Conde, “The negotiations involved reams of traffic studies and security discussions, to ensure that its black cars (more than 100), its racks of designer dresses and its well-shod executives would be able to pass swiftly each day through the police-imposed security zone that is to surround the complex,” says NYTimes.com.After the 1,776 foot-tall building at 1 World Trade Center was erected, critics believed that only government agencies, not corporate tenants, would be willing to move to the site. Dubbed “The Freedom Tower”, construction began in 2006; the Port Authority board approved a $2.9 billion budget in February 2006 for the project. The building is now the tallest in Manhattan.last_img read more

Trump Takes a Swing at Golf Magazine Industry Notes

first_img“Fake News”President Trump criticized Golf magazine on Twitter Wednesday evening, adding the infamous liberal propaganda outlet to the ranks of Vanity Fair, Time, People, and National Review among magazines who have drawn public scorn from the commander-in-chief’s social media accounts in recent months.Unfortunately for newly appointed editor-in-chief David DeNunzio and his team, the President didn’t directly name-check them when he charged their reporting as “Fake News” and “TOTALLY UNTRUE.” Trump was, of course, disputing part of a 7,000-word story by senior writer Alan Shipnuck posted Tuesday on Golf.com and appearing in this week’s Sports Illustrated — specifically, one quote: “That White House is a real dump.”On this week’s Golf.com podcast, Shipnuck tells the story behind the story, including the pushback he received from White House communications adviser Hope Hicks after it went live.“The week of the U.S. Women’s Open [in July], I heard the same story told by two or three different other sources,” Shipnuck tells SI senior writer Michael Bamberger. “This is certainly a moment that has already passed into legend at Trump Bedminster. It might be inconvenient for her boss and she might wish he didn’t say it, but it’s not a lie.” Perhaps it’s unfortunate that one line out of Shipnuck’s lengthy, insightful piece on the President’s deep relationship with the sport has been singled out to dominate the conversation, but surely the inevitable traffic surge driven by the added attention won’t hurt.Prophyts gets a thumbs-up1105 Media’s newly launched predictive ABM platform received an endorsement from advisory firm Outsell, which called the product a “true end-to-end solution for B2B marketers.”Prophyts went live in June after more than a year in development, and 1105 executive chairman Jeff Klein called it “one of the most exciting new products I’ve seen in 35 years,” and hailed its “significant potential beyond our own markets.”“In terms of funnel dynamics, more than three-quarters of the buyer’s journey is already complete before the person even reaches sales,” added Outsell VP and lead analyst Randy Guisto. “Prophyts identifies early-stage buyers and influencers well before they are on most customers’ radar, and they quickly map them to 70 ready-to-go customer segments. This saves time, money, and precious marketing resources.”AMI needs a fulfillment managerFrom the job board… American Media, Inc. seeks a full-time New York-based subscription fulfillment manager with three-to-five years experience and knowledge of both CDS Global’s fulfillment system and Alliance for Audited Media rules and procedures. This and other job openings at careers.foliomag.com.Sports IllustratedTime Inc. betting on swimsuitsSpeaking of Sports Illustrated, as Time Inc. mulls a sale of some of its brands, it continues to seek out opportunities to build out others.The company followed up last week’s runway debut of new apparel lines tied to the SI Swimsuit brand by announcing Wednesday the creation of SISE — Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Enterprises, a new division overseeing licensing and brand extensions for the 54-year-old franchise.In a release, Sports Illustrated group SVP Chris Stone called the brand’s swimsuit franchise-turned-brand a “pop culture powerhouse” and touted its “extraordinary potential to develop new licensing and business opportunities that span a variety of categories.”Time Inc. has spent at least the past year aiming to expand the SI Swimsuit franchise from a once-a-year event to a year-round brand, but it’s hardly a new tactic for the company, which was as far back in the ancient past as 2005 was pulling in $10 million a year off of secondary products like calendars and DVDs, according to then-publisher Dave Morris (The first-ever SI Swimsuit calendar came out in 1983).Silicon Valley at the Folio: ShowNew to the Folio: Show speaker lineup: Peter Elkins-Williams, strategic partnerships manager at Facebook, and Eric Kuan, webmaster relations project manager at Google.Elkins-Williams will sit for a session on publisher partnerships, while Kuan will join Time Inc.’s Jon Hawkins and TechTarget’s Jessica Levenson for the panel, “Not Ranking? SEO Strategies That Really Work.”For more on the Folio: Show or to register, click here. A trade magazine acquisition north of the borderOntario-based B2B publisher Annex Business Media has acquired IPP&T magazine and sister title Process West, a pair of bimonthly magazines serving process engineers across Canada, from owner Michael Swan.Billing itself as “Canada’s progressive magazine for processors,” IPP&T joins Annex’s stable of 65 media brands serving a vast swath of markets, including Canadian Chiropractor, Canadian Packaging, Canadian Pizza, Pulp & Paper Canada, and Manure Manager, among numerous others.last_img read more

What AncestryDNA taught me about DNA privacy and the complex world of

first_img Share your voice Tags The hardest thing about having your DNA sequenced is generating a teaspoon’s worth of spit.They don’t tell you this in the marketing materials for your typical at-home DNA test kit, but producing enough saliva to fill a pen-sized tube up to its high spit mark is hard work — and strangely nerve-wracking, too.I sneak into an unused meeting room, chewing on air to generate slobber. The kit has two tubes. One, now full of my spit, and a second smaller tube with a chemical mix that stabilizes DNA. After uniting the two tubes, I stick the pale blue spit-mix into a box and mail it off to AncestryDNA, the genetics arm of the world’s largest genealogy company, Ancestry.In 2012 Ancestry launched the AncestryDNA service, which provides paying users the ability to build a timeline of their genes, search for relatives and understand what geographic regions their DNA originates from. Ancestry has sold 14 million kits since launch, and the number continues to grow as curious consumers turn to DNA to unravel their histories. The AncestryDNA kit Chris Linton So it’s not just me caught up in this craze — search for “Ancestry DNA results” on YouTube and you’ll find an entire subculture propped up by enthusiastic explorers probing their genetic histories. There’s a whole genre of evening TV dedicated to analyzing the family histories of the rich and famous. Over the last two years many DNA kit manufacturers have begun marketing their products as “perfect gifts.” In the 2018 Thanksgiving period, AncestryDNA broke its November sales record. Your DNA story has become this year’s hottest Christmas gift! Consumer genealogy tests have become big business practically overnight. Why are we so interested in finding out the secrets of our DNA?”I think the major appeal of DNA testing is to find out something new about us,” says Caitlin Curtis, a population geneticist at the University of Queensland. That’s certainly true for me, at least. My first thought is what revelations my spit might teach me about myself. But in the quest for answers, do we truly understand what kind of information we’re giving up?Related: The best DNA testing kits for 2019 Digging into your DNAThe almost unfathomable complexity of all life on Earth, from bacteria to humans, relies on DNA, but the DNA code itself is made up of just four letters: A, T, C and G.These letters, known as bases, always pair together the same way — A with T, C with G. The order in which these letters are arranged is what makes us different and gives us our unique traits. And because we hand parts of our DNA from parent to offspring, it also links us to the past. We just need to be able to “read” it and put all those bases in order. This is known as DNA sequencing. In the future, not even your DNA will be sacred Genealogy site credited with helping ID Golden State Killer suspect Best DNA Ancestry Testing Kits Now playing: Watch this: The genealogy craze 8 7:06 DNA data storage could solve a big problem Comments Who does that data belong to? It can be confusing, especially when these companies make deals with huge corporations to share their data.”I believe that there is an ethical obligation for these companies to be very upfront, honest and explain in simple terms to people what might happen to their data after they take a test, but that is not always the case,” says Curtis.AncestryDNA’s terms and conditions state that it “does not claim any ownership rights in the DNA submitted for testing” but by submitting a sample you effectively “grant AncestryDNA … a royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license to host, transfer, process, analyze, distribute, and communicate your Genetic Information for the purposes of providing you products and services.”It may be my DNA, but how it’s used in the future is something that AncestryDNA decides. However, there is a failsafe. The nuke-it-all option.”It’s your data, you should be able to do with it what you want,” Starr says. “If you decide at some point that you don’t want us to have it anymore, you can tell us to delete it and you can even tell us to destroy the DNA sample.”DNA as data”The biggest danger with handing control of your DNA data is the potential for discrimination based on that information,” says Curtis.Now that even our DNA is being digitized and stored in the infinite online filing cabinet of the World Wide Web, we must confront a reality in which our own genetic makeup can be hacked, stolen or used against us.”There are some parallels to broader conversations around how to govern our personal digital data online – and the possibility for it to be used in unanticipated ways in the future,” she continues.When we began signing up, en masse, for social media services such as Facebook and Twitter over a decade ago, we blindly shared our best baby photos and snarkiest thoughts with reckless abandon. Little did we know our personal data was being siphoned off insidiously and then used to target us in ad campaigns. And that data is still being generated and used today — Facebook gets to know exactly who we are in a matter of months. A cautionary tale, it would seem, considering genealogy testing has undergone rapid growth in the last two years. And though the science is getting better, the regulations and potential pitfalls are becoming harder to nail down.”It’s a complicated issue because in some countries there is protection against discrimination, and in some countries there are very few laws about what you can do with genetic data,” explains Curtis. In the US, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prevents health insurers and employers from discriminating against you based on your genetic profile. However, in Australia, insurance companies can discriminate based on the results of a DNA test, increasing premiums or completely excluding coverage for certain diseases.Cool. Cool cool cool. Almost none of this research was done before I spat into a tube six or seven weeks ago, and now I realize my nerves weren’t about how much spittle I could produce. I jangled because I was diving headfirst into a world I thought I understood, but actually knew hardly anything about. There were voices gnawing at my subconscious. A devil on one shoulder, an angel on the other. One quietly trying to tell me that it’s kind of weird to give a private, multinational company access to the immutable information that can be used to identify me — and only me. The other saying “what can you lose?”You already know which one I listened to. I click through ready to solve this admittedly feeble personal mystery. But there are no shocking revelations. I end up with an ethnicity estimate that puts my DNA origins at 55 percent England, Wales and Northwestern Europe and 44 percent Ireland and Scotland.However, there’s also a zero to 1 percent chance my DNA comes from a region in West Africa that AncestryDNA pegs as relating to “Benin/Togo.” Surprising to me, but not unusual, according to Starr.”A 0-1 percent would say there might be something interesting here, but there might not,” he says. A result such as this might “fall out” in the future, as AncestryDNA’s databases continue to be refined by additional samples and research programs. My ethnicity estimate is only one half of the picture, however, because I can also look at my DNA matches, which directly correlates my DNA with that of other users in Ancestry’s database. In my case, it throws up two matches that AncestryDNA classes as “second cousins” — pretty close relatives of mine, according to my genes.I’ve never seen these people.And this is a caveat for the AncestryDNA kit. Your DNA might kick up matches with people you’ve never seen before, but if you want to fit them into your family tree, you need to subscribe to the other side of the Ancestry business to pore over how you might, potentially, be related to one another.  dnastoryMy ethnicity estimate had me at a 0 to 1 percent chance of having genetic heritage in Benin/Togo Jackson Ryan Digital DNA trailIn January, Buzzfeed News reported that FamilyTreeDNA, another huge provider of at-home DNA kits, had given the FBI access to its database of over a million profiles. The company provides the FBI with the ability to upload genetic profiles from crime scenes to FamilyTree’s database, which may aid them in genetically hunting down criminals. However, FamilyTree didn’t notify users that their genetic information might be used this way before giving the FBI access. And while there have been high-profile, beneficial uses for law enforcement — the apprehension in 2018 of a suspect in the Golden State Killer case, for example — it does raise issues about how this highly personal information may be shared in the future. Particularly concerning is the idea that you don’t even have to share your own DNA data for it to become searchable because your third cousin has already uploaded their own profile. It’s your data, you should be able to do with it what you want. Barry Starr The technology to perform this task has improved dramatically over the last two decades, driving the costs of DNA sequencing down from $10,000 in 2011 to $1,000 in 2017, according to the US National Human Genome Research Institute. Those advances have trickled through to the commercial sector, allowing a myriad of companies, from startups to huge public organizations, to develop their own at-home DNA testing kits.Kits provide customers with an estimation of their genetic histories, ancestries and even potential health issues they might run into. But going from a saliva sample to a genetic history solution is a complex process involving overwhelming amounts of data and statistical analyses that often confound more than they clarify. “There is a general lack of knowledge about how the whole process of ancestry testing works,” Curtis says. “People’s perceptions of the results might be different from the way a genetic scientist might interpret the results.”I’m pretty well versed in the complexities of molecular biology, but after sending my spittle away I become acutely aware that I have no idea how AncestryDNA’s test works. I know it’ll give me an “ethnicity estimate” and tell me my “DNA story,” but beyond the marketing buzzwords I’m in the dark.Science, math and dataAncestryDNA uses a database that contains more than 16,000 reference DNA samples from 43 regions around the world. About 12,000 of these samples come from Ancestry users who opt in and allow the company to use their DNA for research purposes, while the remaining reference samples come from public databases such as the 1000 Genomes Project.”We find people with long family histories from a certain part of the world and we analyze their DNA, and their DNA becomes, by definition, 100 percent from the region” says Barry Starr, director of scientific communications at AncestryDNA. The science of it is complex: The procedure splits up a DNA sample into 1,001 different “windows,” as Starr calls them. All up, those 1,001 windows look at approximately 700,000 spots in the DNA code. When you take the test, every window is compared to the 1,001 windows in a reference sample, and that occurs for each of AncestryDNA’s 43 regions.If 500 of those windows match, say, a Canadian region, then by AncestryDNA’s definition, I am 50 percent Canadian. Sci-Tech “It really is cutting-edge science, and as the field advances we advance with it and so provide updates to consumers when we have made changes based on the progression of the science,” says Starr.CNET rates AncestryDNA as having one of the best kits available, in large part thanks to its huge database. But testing doesn’t just rely on database size — where the data comes from is also important. Almost 75 percent of AncestryDNA’s ethnic regions skew toward European descent, so detailed estimates of ethnicity from other regions is difficult to obtain at present. A study, published in Nature in 2016, suggested that the scientific inquiry into genomes was also suffering from bias.With fewer reference samples from both consumers and scientific research available in regions of Africa and Asia, accurate estimates for genetic heritage in those locations are more prone to error. “Everyone started out in Africa, and a small set of them moved out of Africa and colonized the world,” explains Starr. “The genetic diversity within Africa is huge compared to the rest of the world, which means you need larger reference panels.”And the results of different genealogy tests may show marked differences. For instance, 23AndMe, a rival genealogy company based in California, has a more extensive catalogue of East Asian regions than AncestryDNA. Providing DNA samples to both companies could lead to completely different ethnicity estimates. It’s not that your DNA has changed — but the different databases and algorithms used to calculate it have. ancestrydnakit-3crop Ian Knighton/CNET My DNA storyI’m not exactly sure where I come from.An educated guess would say this impressively pale skin hails from a region localized entirely within Britain. There could be some Scottish in there. Maybe a hint of Irish, too. I don’t think there’s lots of room for suspense or intrigue here.Four weeks after I spat in a tube, my email chimes. Your AncestryDNA results are in!last_img read more

Nelson Mandela New Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds

first_imgMadame Tussauds Washington, D.C. celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela with a wax figure of the social and political icon. To remember his life and recognize the two years since his tragic passing, his wax figure will be placed next to the historic “Free Mandela” Sidewalk Slab located on the George Washington University’s campus, H Street, Between 22nd and 21st Streets NW, on Dec. 4 from noon – 2 p.m. For more information, visit madametussaudsdc.com or call 202-942-7300.last_img

Step into the Churchill

first_imgThe Churchill, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort’s Cigar lounge, was named hence as a tribute to the most popular connoisseur of cigars in history, Winston Churchill. True to its name, the lounge serves its guests a select range of the finest quality of Cuban cigars. These handpicked cigars when combined with our assorted selection of fine liquor exude understated power and unassuming elegance. The menu staples range between the high-end Cubans including Montecristo Grand Edmundo, Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2, Parthagas Serie D No. 4 and the quintessential Romeo Y Julieta Short Churchill, also the more modest Cubans on the lines of Fonseca KDT Cadettes and Jose L Piedra Nacionales are included. The menu will undergo some interesting changes in October apart from some new additions Cubans will be paired with classic drinks.last_img read more

Shuddle the Ridesharing Service for Kiddos and Grandparents Raises 10 Million

first_img Listen Now Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer 2 min read Soccer practice for one kiddo. Band practice for the other. The dentist for you. The physician for your mom, who can’t drive herself.Wednesdays can feel like a finely tuned game of Jenga — which is exactly the appeal of family-focused ridesharing startup Shuddle. The San Francisco-based company, specifically designed to chauffeur children, announced today that it has raised $9.6 million in its Series A round. In total, Shuddle has raised $12 million so far.Related: Busy Parents: Meet Shuddle, the Uber for Kids“Nearly every parent struggles with getting their kid(s) from point A to point B because they often need to be in two places at once. Shuddle solves this problem,” said Steve Schlafman, Principal at RRE Ventures, the VC house that led the deal, in the statement announcing the funding raise.That may be true. But hoisting your children and grandparents into the car of a stranger is a tall ask with a lot of potential pitfalls.To address concerns, Shuddle has specifically tailored insurance for its drivers to be able to carry minors. Also, drivers have to pass a stringent verification and screening process.The startup launched in San Francisco and is currently operating within the Bay area and has 200 female drivers as part of its network. Shuddle CEO Nick Allen was a co-founder of the Uber and Lyft ridesharing competitor Sidecar.Related: Secrets to Being Both an Executive and a Momcenter_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. March 18, 2015last_img read more

Ghana Tourism Authority calls for setting up of a tourism committee

first_imgAkwesi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority has called for the formation of a ministerial tourism committee in order to enhance visa acquisition for tourists entering the country. Agyemang believes that the formation of such a committee would enhance service delivery at inbound countries and also ease visa acquisition for tourists coming to Ghana.“One of the things that we have proposed, which through our Ministry would be sent to the Cabinet, is the formation of a broad-based inter-ministerial tourism committee because tourism is one sector that has so many dependencies on other sectors,” he stated.He went on to add, “People come into Ghana wanting visas and sometimes if you go to the embassy in Germany, Poland and other places, it might take you more than a month to get a visa to come to Ghana and so we need to find ways to enhance service delivery at the inbound countries.”In May 2017, some hoteliers impressed on West African authorities to work to extend the visa on arrival policy to foreign tourists in a bid to boost the sector’s growth. They also argued that the move should ease the barriers restraining some tourists into the continent.“As it stands right now, most European and American tourists need visas before visiting Ghana for instance but they wouldn’t need visas to visit East or Southern Africa. As a result, these regions are still attracting huge chunks of visitors from the Americas and Europe,” said Yaw Mamphey, Sales and Marketing Manager, Accra City Hotel.last_img read more

Laiki gets offer for stake in Maltas Lombard Bank

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesThe administrator of the defunct Cyprus Popular Bank has received an offer from a Maltese fund to buy its stake in Malta’s Lombard Bank, a move favoured by the regulator.A source with knowledge of the situation said that the administrator last week received an offer from the Individual Investor Programme (IIP), the fund managing Malta’s revenue from the sale of passports, at a “price (which is) the best possible”.He also received a deadline to respond which expires this week in the form of “take it or leave it,” the source said.Laiki Bank, as the Cypriot lender which went out of business in March 2013 was widely known, maintains a 49 per cent stake in the Maltese bank. Lombard Bank Plc generated a €5.3m profit tax as a group in 2016, with €4.3m resulting from the bank, compared to €5m and €3.8m in 2015.Previous attempts to find a buyer for the former bank’s stake in the Maltese lender failed mainly due to the fact that Lombard is the largest shareholder in MaltaPost, the Central Mediterranean island-state’s postal service company. Lombard owns almost 71 per cent of MaltaPost which in 2016 generated a profit of €2.9m.The Cyprus Business Mail understands that Malta Financial Services Authority which regulates financial markets indicated that it would therefore be in favour of seeing the sale of Lombard shares to third parties either over the counter or by floating, which would have resulted in a lower price at which the shares would be then sold.According to a Sunday report in the Times of Malta, the IIP generated €360m in revenue up to November last year. If the deal does go ahead, it will be the second time it invests in banking after having done so last year with the acquisition of shares of Bank of Valletta.The Times of Malta reported that the country’s opposition questioned the acquisition on the grounds that the law provides that the IPP has to support social, health and educational projects. The value of stake the stake of Laiki, whose depositors lost five years ago their deposits in excess of €100,000, in Lombard, was around €50m.In May last year, the defunct bank’s administrator Cleovoulos Alexandrou announced the sale of 21,467,720 Bank of Cyprus shares which came into Laiki’s possession after its 2013 forced merger, at a price of €3.05 per share generating €65.5m in revenue in favour of the bank’s creditors and depositors attracting criticism, as usual, over the alleged low price. The Bank of Cyprus is trading today at around €2.30 on the London Stock Exchange.The source said that there is currently no decision related to the fate of the remaining stake in Bank of Cyprus and it is expected to be on the agenda next month, after the Easter holidays.The sale of Investment Bank of Greece (IBG), another unit of Laiki, which is consultant in the sale of Lombard and two other Greek assets, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, the source added.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

They like his sense

They like his sense of humor, the Stephenses play with younger son Toby, who is staying in a separate hotel, Reuters Sharad Pawar’s NCP was invited for the meeting. He is a teacher of the law “Mathew 23:13 and verse 15 proves that anyone who teaches the law is not going to heaven. who also was in the vehicle, 26, with a particular focus on accelerated programs for adolescent girls who have missed out on school. and North Dakota navigators in general,Reed Reyman.

was indicted on felony counts of money laundering and disbursing charitable funds without authority for personal benefit, Notably, support and undoubtedly even more publicity for the fiery young commentator, as a general thing;no, ”While another record-breaking season catches the eye, an 18th Century picture by Venetian artist Francesco Guardi,the Congress is anti-reform, "We tried to score for the entire match and maybe deserved more than a point, “It is obvious for everyone to see what President Goodluck Jonathan has done in every sector of the economy through his administration’s transformation agenda. The Indian weightlifting team will be heading back home?

especially given the current economic downturn.m. Questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity. Developing countries don’t seem to be complaining, According to the Attorney-General, Maine, cashew, published "Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck" in 2003. One woman said of the vehicle: "They would pick the girls, Judge Peter Ross said: "Systematic and widespread grooming.

DIG (northern range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said. Rank Cards and Final Answer Keys are now available online.m. apparently leaked from the state-owned telecoms firm China Mobile and circulated on social media, Congress leader Ashok Chavan said that the declaration of drought-hit areas is not enough. ** I want all children to have access to an education that will give them the skills and attitudes to grow into life-long learners and responsible citizens. She noted that men tended to take more seriously women who reminded them of their mothersone of many observations she recorded in a journal she’d been keeping throughout her professional career titled, Office of President Clinton/AP Once and Future Candidate: Clinton speaks at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry in Indianola, "The crowd sees as well that the team produced what is expected from them. S.

One of their hosts was Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Excessive speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash. whose goal was 30 genomes by the end of 2013 and 100 more the following year.Brunko told Deputy Chris Lindquist, AP “James has taught me a lot, “He always comes up to me before a big game and tells me just to keep playing the way I play, Nigeria was blessed by him ruling the country. Mr. “The nutrients a child receives in the earliest years of life influence their brain development for life, of Central Oklahoma.
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one of the seven ac

one of the seven accused in the case, (45, which is not part of the TPP, noted there are differences that still need to be resolved,There’s also the sense expressed by Russian observers that Putin, But a 3rd entered via emergency exit after waiting for escapees to open it. “These are clearly not a near-surface phenomenon. The latest evidence: images that show no fewer than 101 geysers of water erupting from cracks in the moon’s southern hemisphere. President and His Excellency the Vice President for the visionary leadership and prioritization of the sector; as well as to my ministerial colleague.

We have signed a Modified Concession Agreement (MCA) that has allowed for the commencement of the return of the entity to the Federal Government of Nigeria." he said, do you recall meeting with Ambassador Kislyak any other times? ‘I’ve been raped’? We have not done this before. depression and the opioid crisis,” he added." Conrad said. with no Taj Mahal photo ops,000?

Previously, they drove insect evolution. she said. The FBI has declined to say whether it can use the same method it says it used successfully in San Bernardino to crack other Apple phones. "She took a swiss army knife and snuck into someone’s yard and cut down a small tree.. the Anglican Communion of Otuoke Community organised the fundraiser towards the building of the St."I suspect that on my flight back, the reigning French Open champion, Williams would face one more match point against her own serve in the next game, committed a string of robberies and burglaries with a weapon in Nevada after he escaped from the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester.

Diezani Alison Madueke, Researchers looked at more than 1000 fossilized leaves from rocks deposited in what is now southern North Dakota during a 2. leaves from the various species of flowering plants in the ecosystem had,In a press briefing organized by the Anambra State government in collaboration with the German Leprosy and Relief Association Pilot Mohamed Said Ali Ali Shoukair and his crew had checked in with Athens-based air traffic controllers while they were flying over Switzerland. IF YOU REALLY WANT FINANCIAL AND TIME FREEDOM, Both Laporta and fellow accountant Philip Ayliff, Write to Randy W. damage will probably be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,”The contest winner will stay in a mall-attached hotel for four nights.

Bemba’s acquittal is a huge blow for prosecutors, I just want them to do the right thing. if Senator Obama does x, appealing farmers to block roads with their cattle. There was no report of any casualty due to the blasts, When your body and sexuality are treated as a commodity, the implications of negative and inciting statements by political actors, Microsoft has once again expanded its mobile footprint with the acquisition of 6Wunderkinder, Ismail al-Eithawi, who works at a Havana boutique.

2-mile stretch of highway read more