Some food contamination starts in soil Rice husk residue can prevent uptake of harmful elements in riceFebruary 3, 2021 – When most people hear “food contamination,” they think of bacteria present on unwashed fruits or vegetables, or undercooked meat. However, there are other ways for harmful contaminants to be present in food products.Angelia Seyfferth, a member of the Soil Science Society of America, investigates food contamination coming from the soil where the plants grow. “It all comes down to the chemistry of the soil,” explains Seyfferth.Most recently, Seyfferth has been studying rice. The elements arsenic and cadmium can be present in the paddies where rice is grown. She presented her research at the virtual 2020 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting.“Contaminants being taken up by crop plants is a route of dietary exposure to contaminants that is understudied,” Seyfferth says. “We can help decrease human exposure to toxins by applying our knowledge of soil chemistry.”Small amounts of arsenic and cadmium are present all over the globe and can be detected in many food products. It’s the concentration in the vegetable or fruit, the chemical form of the element, and how much of it someone eats that determines if an individual experiences a negative health effect.High concentrations of arsenic and cadmium are harmful to the body. Consuming low doses over a long period of time can even cause cancer.Elements like arsenic and cadmium can be in different chemical forms depending on their environment. Contaminants are taken up by plants when their chemical form in the soil resembles a nutrient the plant needs.“How food is grown affects not only the concentration of contaminants, but also where the contaminants are stored within the food,” says Seyfferth. “If we understand the chemical forms of contaminants in soil, we can design solutions to decrease plant uptake of them.”In rice, arsenic and cadmium uptake results from opposite conditions. Arsenic can be taken up when the field is flooded. Cadmium is more likely to be taken up when the field is not flooded.Seyfferth’s work has searched for a way to prevent plants from taking up arsenic and cadmium from the soil. This is often done by adding materials to the soil, called amendments.An amendment helps change the soil environment. By changing the soil environment, researchers can help control the chemical forms and plant uptake of contaminants in the soil.In this case, Seyfferth found that adding rice husk residue to rice paddy so3rd ils can help lower the amount of arsenic and cadmium taken up by the plants. Rice husk residue is plant material left over after processing rice for human consumption.This solution is simple yet effective. Rice husk residue is high in the element silicon, which is an important nutrient for rice. The chemical form of silicon is similar to the form of arsenic taken up by rice plants when fields are flooded. This similarity helps ‘distract’ the plant, which prevents it from taking up as much arsenic.In soils where cadmium is a problem, rice husk residue helps make the soil less acidic. This helps to lock up cadmium in the soil. The silicon in the husk may also help decrease the toxicity of cadmium.“Not all sources of silicon behave the same way though,” says Seyfferth. “In order for it to be effective, the silicon source must provide silicon in a high enough concentration during the time the rice plant is filling grain. Rice husk residue is a successful source because it breaks down slowly and releases silicon throughout the growing season.”High arsenic can decrease grain yield, but Seyfferth’s work shows that adding rice husk residues can help prevent yield loss. Half of the world depends on rice as a staple food, so this research has exciting potential for positive impact.In the past, Seyfferth has studied similar contamination issues in mushrooms.For most American adults, the amount of arsenic and cadmium they consume from rice and mushrooms is not enough to cause concern. But there are other populations that eat these products more frequently and from an early age.“People need to be aware of their daily load of contaminants, which depends on their body weight, the concentration and chemical form of the contaminant in the food, and the amount consumed,” Seyfferth explains.“The daily load is highest for people who consume rice multiple times a day and who may also have arsenic in their drinking water,” she says. “Some examples include populations in South and Southeast Asia.”Angelia Seyfferth is an associate professor at the University of Delaware. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the University of Delaware. The 2020 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting was hosted by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.The American Society of Agronomy is an international scientific and professional society with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Our members are researchers and trained, certified professionals in the areas of growing our world’s food supply, while protecting our environment. We work at universities, government research facilities and private businesses across the United States and the world. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Agriculture, amendment, america, american, American Society of Agronomy, Asia, contamination, Delaware, drinking water, environment, Government, National Science Foundation, Professor, United States, university, vegetables
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Employers Assured of Skilled YouthJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedNYS Graduate Work Experience Programme Launched Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is assuring potential employers that a cadre of highly skilled and disciplined youth is being groomed by the National Youth Service (NYS), to become invaluable assets to their companies.She said following a strategic move a year and a half ago, the NYS was revamped and strengthened to have a greater impact on the development of the youth and to create more opportunities for them. This was done in recognition of the fact that a large number of young Jamaicans are unemployed and unattached.“The Board accepted the policy framework to put the NYS back on firm footing in terms of volunteerism, building that cadre of young people that saw their Jamaican identity as critical in terms of making themselves productive, but also in terms of learning those value systems that were going to be crucial for their own sustainable development,” she said.The Minister was addressing the launch of the NYS’ Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, on February 6.Miss Hanna pointed out that youth participating in the NYS programmes have been taught to recognize that it is not only important to obtain a job, but it is also crucial to contribute to the job and the employers’ establishment as well.“So at the bottom end, it is not only collecting a pay cheque…and doing nothing, but it’s becoming a valuable person to that establishment,” she said.The GWEP, successfully piloted last year, was developed based on the increasing underemployment and unemployment rate among youth, specifically university graduates.The Programme aims to provide tertiary graduates up to 24 years old, with an opportunity to develop workplace skills, while increasing self confidence and developing their skills in the application of theory to the practical work environment.In the meantime, the NYS is inviting businesses, organisations and institutions to partner with the NYS in providing graduates with relevant work experience.Under GWEP, the NYS will pay for the intern to work at the organisation for a period of six months.The NYS is assuring potential partners that it will deliver a university level intern ready for work who is punctual, respectful, disciplined, dedicated, appropriately attired and responsible.Interested persons can contact the NYS via telephone at: 754-9816; or email: [email protected] 1973, the Government of Jamaica formed the NYS to help with manpower needs in various sectors of the economy as well as to help school leavers develop a sense of nationalism and proper socialisation.Since then, young people aged 17 to 24 years, have been equipped with the necessary life coping skills needed to foster their personal and career development as well as enhance their contribution to community and national development.The NYS has impacted the lives of over 16,000 young people islandwide since 2011. A total of 6,125 youth were engaged in meaningful work experience, voluntary activities and character development workshops in 2013. RelatedYouth Minister Condemns Brutal Killing of 8-Year-Old Celena Edmond Story Highlights Minister Hanna is assuring potential employers that a cadre of highly skilled and disciplined youth is being groomed by the National Youth Service.The NYS was revamped and strengthened to have a greater impact on the development of the youth and to create more opportunities for them.Youth participating in the NYS programmes have been taught to recognize that it is not only important to obtain a job, but it is also crucial to contribute to the job. Photo: JIS PhotographerMinister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna (left), is greeted by Board Chairman of the National Youth Service (NYS), Maureen Webber, when she arrived at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, on February 6, to participate in the official launch of the NYS’ Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP). Employers Assured of Skilled Youth CultureFebruary 7, 2014Written by: Alecia Smith-Edwards RelatedRhodes Scholar Says Youth Must Be Positively Engaged Advertisements
The Washington Post:Joshua Tucker: The following is a guest post from social psychologists Jay Van Bavel (New York University) and Mina Cikara (Harvard University)*****As the Gaza-Israel conflict began escalating last month, there were widely circulated reports that Israeli spectators had gathered on garden chairs and old sofas to cheer as bombs rained down on people living in Gaza just a few miles away. This expression of malicious glee is hardly unique to Israelis; Palestinians have also been seen standing on rooftops and celebrating when Hamas fires rockets at cities in Israel.Though these displays of schadenfreude — in which people exhibit pleasure at others’ pain — often garner widespread condemnation, records indicate they have a long history. According to some accounts, people similarly sat in chairs on hillsides and watched the slaughter unfold during the American Civil War. A poem published in the Boston Herald in 1861 vividly captured the revelry:Have you heard of the story so lacking in glory,About the Civilians who went to the fight,With everything handy, from sandwich to brandy,To fill their broad stomachs and make them all tight.There were bulls from our State street, and cattle from Wall street,And members of Congress, to see the great fun;Newspaper reporters (some regular shorters)On a beautiful Sunday went out to Bull Run.New research in social psychology helps explain these responses and offers one way we can help restore empathy for our enemies.In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, with our colleagues Emile Bruneau and Rebecca Saxe at MIT, we found evidence that this intergroup empathy gap — the tendency not only to empathize less with out-groups but also to feel pleasure in response to their pain — is a consequence of basic group dynamics.Read the whole story: The Washington Post More of our Members in the Media >
Obiter-friend Michael Mansfield QC is a candidate in an arcane election that is due to ‘hot up’ in the next fortnight. We speak of the ‘Election for the Office of Chancellor’ at the University of Cambridge, which takes place on 14 and 15 October. Mansfield has been nominated as an ‘anti-establishment candidate’ to take on the choice of the university’s nominations committee, Lord Sainsbury. And there is some strong feeling against Sainsbury outside the university hierarchy. ‘Is it too rude to call him a plutocrat?’ one of Mansfield’s nominators asked Obiter. ‘He has inherited wealth, and represents some of the capitalist focus that threatens the ideas on which a university is founded. ‘We’d like to see someone who is prepared to question the establishment.’ At first glance, a no-brainer for the independent-minded alumni who comprise the bulk of the electorate. Except that he is one of three anti-Sainsbury candidates. The owner of a local convenience store, Abdul Arain, was first. Shy and retiring actor Brian Blessed (pictured) secured a nomination after a Facebook campaign by alumni uninspired by the prospect of a Sainsbury coronation. In this crowded race, the runners have adopted radically different tactics. It seems Sainsbury or a supporter has thrown money at the campaign, securing the advertised Google link associated with the search terms ‘chancellor’, ‘Cambridge’ and ‘election’. Arain’s gone quiet, but Blessed will be greeting voters in Silver Street pub The Anchor on the Saturday. And Mansfield? Like the others he’ll make a final appeal by speaking at the Cambridge Union Society in the last week – Obiter hopes he knows the standard for a USP is unusually high in this election.
Olympic cycling legend David Weller has exhorted current Caribbean cycling champion Dahlia Palmer to persevere in her bid to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. Weller offered words of wisdom to Palmer on Saturday at the JAAA/JAMALCO Development Meet. He was among six Olympians honoured by the organisers of the meet. His tip to Palmer was to take her Olympic-bound journey step by step. Weller, who is the only Jamaican to win an Olympic medal in a sport other than athletics, understands better than most what it means to aim for cycling. “You know, when I look back at my own experience of cycling, and being against the odds, Jamaica is not traditionally a cycling country, [and] as we all know, [it] still isn’t,” he said. “Just persevere, put one foot in front of the next, and enjoy the journey, you know, enjoy the journey and live good, live clean.” In an inference to doping in sport during his era as an active athlete, the 1980 Olympic bronze medallist explained, “I had to say that because we’re now discovering that a lot of people didn’t, so encourage Dahlia to put one foot in front of the next and always stick to it, and the results will speak to themselves.” WELLER GRATEFUL Weller was grateful for the honour bestowed on him. “I’m amazed at what the promoters of this event have done over the years”, he said. “When I got an opportunity to come here, especially to get the award, I’m very pleased.” Notably, he was awarded the Order of Distinction after his historic bronze-medal rise at the 1980 Moscow Games. Weller competed for Jamaica in the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics, closing his international career with sixth place in the kilometre time-trial event despite a painful pre-meet wrist injury. Since then, alongside his long career in aviation, the two-time Jamaica Sportsman of the Year has coached cyclists in the United States. In the 2000 Olympics, he served as coach to Jamaica’s Iona Wynter in the triathlon. The other honourees were Olympic sprinters Lennox Miller, Clifton Forbes, Errol Stewart, Horace Levy and Alfred Daley. Miller, the 1968 and 1972 Olympic 100m medallist, and Forbes were awarded posthumously. Stewart, Michael Fray, Forbes and Miller equalled and broke the 4x100m relay world record at the 1968 Olympics. Levy was part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team in 1972 and Daley, the 1971 CAC 400m champion, was part of three Olympic teams and helped Jamaica to fifth in the 4x400m relay in 1976.
20 May 2013 With South Africa confirmed as a key partner, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced October 2015 as the launch date for construction of the first phase of what could eventually be the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. The Grand Inga project on the Congo River is expected, once all the phases are complete, to generate a massive 40 000 MW of electricity, bringing renewable power to half of the African continent. The initialling of a historic energy cooperation treaty between the DRC and South Africa in Lubumbashi in March was a key milestone in the process of bringing the project, first conceived in the early 1970s, closer to fruition. At a meeting in Paris on the weekend, organised by the DRC government and with a high-level South African delegation in attendance, a range of stakeholders consulted on the implementation of the first phase of the project, Inga 3, which is expected to cost in the region of US$12-billion and produce almost 4 800 MW of electricity. Two existing dams, Inga 1 and 2, have been in operation since 1972 and 1982 respectively, together generating nearly 1 800 MW. In terms of the March treaty, South Africa “expects to purchase a significant share of the electricity production of the new dam, thus confirming itself as a key partner,” the DRC government said in a statement on Saturday. “As such, the Republic of South Africa will take 2 500 MW of the 4 800 MW of future power production of Inga 3, thereby becoming the principal purchaser.” Garrith Bezuidenhoudt, chief of staff in South Africa’s Department of Energy, said in the statement that the South African government had “affirmed our commitment to the project by already provisioning for this purchase in our budgetary plan”. Inga 3 is expected to fill the power gap in the DRC, with its fast-growing population and expanding industries, and to help meet burgeoning demand in South Africa. Subsequent phases, adding up to an eventual total capacity of 40 000 MW, will allow countries in southern Africa, north-east Africa and parts of west Africa to benefit from production at the site. “Grand Inga will thus provide more than half of the continent with renewable energy at a low price,” Bruno Kalala, the DRC’s minister of water resources and electricity, told Saturday’s meeting. However, Kalala said, issues around transport and connectivity had yet to be addressed. “Inga is a factor for integration, at both a regional and international level.” According to the DRC government, three consortia are competing to develop the project: Sinohydro and Three Gorges Corporation from China, the operator of China’s Three Gorges dam, currently the world’s largest; Actividades de Construccion y Servicios, Eurofinsa and AEE from Spain; and the Daewoo-Posco-SNC Lavalin consortium from Korea and Canada. The Africa Development Bank, which has been involved in the project since 2009, is financing the base studies and consultants, and has been joined by the World Bank, the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. “The question of financing is a major issue in the selection process,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, director for energy environment and climate change at the African Development Bank. “It is the public-private partnership financing solutions which will be vital for the success of the project.” SAinfo reporter
Vendors love the reliable stream of dollars a subscription model brings, but find that the model forces them to have to be more agile. A subscription model imply the need to be continuously updating features and functionality, as well as providing security updates. Flexera released today a comprehensive report on Software Monetization and Pricing. The report finds that the subscription model is already the most common licensing method used by software publishers, although perpetual licenses are still common. 74 percent of the vendors surveyed use subscription modeling for at least some of their products while 65 percent have at least one product with a perpetual model. Subscription versus perpetual licensing. While perpetual licenses are still out there, subscription pricing models, and utility pay-per-use models have become increasingly common, especially for SaaS applications. The report found that “the momentum behind flexible models like subscriptions or usage-based models will continue to build. While subscription is taking the lead, software suppliers must take action to get the systems and processes in place to understand and be able to implement multiple monetization models.” from: Flexera Monetization Monitor: Monetization Models and Pricing 2019
The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Tags:#mobile#news#NYT#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Blackberry users in the U.S. barely click on mobile ads, while those who own a Symbian-powered phone click on more ads than anybody else. According to the latest data from mobile advertising optimization platform Smaato, the most interesting development with regards to mobile ads in the U.S. over the last month is the fact that click-through rates for users of Apple’s iOS devices have increased dramatically. Worldwide, Symbian devices and feature phones still lead the pack with the highest click-through rates, followed by Windows Mobile phones and Apple’s iOS devices. In the U.S., click-through rates for feature phone users are low, but it is worth noting that even those users with phones that were not designed for Web surfing are still more likely to click on mobile ads than Palm or Blackberry users. On Smaato’s network, which handled about 16 billion ad requests last month, click-through rates for the iOS platform saw strong growth last month. The reason for this change in user behavior is not clear, but maybe the arrival of more interactive ads on the iOS platform (and the iPad in particular) tempted more users to click on ads than before. Of course, besides the different user experiences on these platforms, user demographics also play an important role here as well. In general, the more highly educated your users are, the less likely they are to click on ads, and this is clearly represented in Smaato’s CTR data for the top mobile platforms.Bonus: A Mobile Advertising PrimerSmaato also just published a new whitepaper that provides both publishers and advertisers with a good overview of the mobile advertising ecosystem and the role that ad optimizers like Smaato play in this business. frederic lardinois
Matt Asay Related Posts Mobile malware is exploding, though it’s mostly not where you live. If you live in Russia, where 10 gruesome factories churn out 30% of the world’s malware, you’re far more likely to have malware infect your mobile phone than, say, if you live in Sweet Home Alabama. That’s the good news.The bad news is that Americans are at far greater risk of having their phones hacked by their government than by Russian malware hackers.Android: Popular With The Malware CrowdRussia has been busy. According to a 2013 report, roughly a third of all malware globally is produced by 10 Russian firms. According to the Lookout Mobile report, which traced the malware back to its point of origin:These “malware HQs” are pumping out nasty toll fraud apps, largely aimed at Android users, which force the user to call premium rate numbers.While the malware infects users globally, the Russian hackers seem happy to focus on Android users close to home, according to a joint Kaspersky Lab/INTERPOL study. With Android accounting for 84.6% of all smartphones shipped in Q2 2014, according to IDC, it’s not surprising that Android would get hit the most. What is surprising, however, is that attacks against Android significantly outstrip its market share:Source: Kaspersky Lab, 2014It’s a booming business on Android, as the report points out: “[I]n the first half of 2014 alone, 175,442 new unique Android malicious programs were detected. That is 18.3% (or 32,231 malicious programs) more than in the entire year of 2013.” Other findings include:Over the course of a year, Kaspersky Lab security products reported 3,408,112 malware detections on the devices of 1,023,202 users; In the past year, the number of attacks per month was up nearly 10x, from 69,000 in August 2013 to 644,000 in March 2014; The number of users attacked also increased rapidly, from 35,000 in August 2013 to 242,000 in March; 59.06% of malware detections related to programs capable of stealing users’ money; Trojans designed to send SMS messages were the most widespread malicious programs in the reporting period, accounting for 57.08% of all detections.And one particularly interesting point? Nearly 52% of all malware attacks stay within Russian borders, according to Kaspersky Lab:Source: Kaspersky Lab, 2014The report authors are quick to point out that this percentage is skewed by the high number of devices they track in Russia, coupled with Russia’s heavy reliance on mobile payment services, making it a ripe target for hackers. But even if we cut its number in half, it still looks much more susceptible to malware.The Malware Is UsNot that we have it any better in the US. In part because Android isn’t as dominant here, the US gets off with just 1.13% of all malware attacks. And yet we may have far more “malware” coming from our government than others do.As the Electronic Frontier Foundation declares:The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Such surveillance doesn’t come through the front door. As Apple indicates, less than 0.00385% of Apple customers had data disclosed due to government information requests. That’s 250 or fewer such requests. Even despite the Lilliputian number, Apple announced that it’s shutting down backdoor access to iOS device data, encrypting all iPhone data, and not just the small sliver it used to encrypt. This is a good start, but it won’t be enough to thwart a dedicated hacker … or CIA bureaucrat.Security expert Bruce Schneier explains:The recent decades have given [law enforcement] an unprecedented ability to put us under surveillance and access our data. Our cell phones provide them with a detailed history of our movements. Our call records, e-mail history, buddy lists, and Facebook pages tell them who we associate with. The hundreds of companies that track us on the Internet tell them what we’re thinking about. Ubiquitous cameras capture our faces everywhere. And most of us back up our iPhone data on iCloud, which the FBI can still get a warrant for. It truly is the golden age of surveillance.This isn’t to suggest that we’re immune to hackers, Russian or otherwise, or that the US government is an evil Big Brother determined to spy on our every move. (I have four kids and my night life is considered wild if I have steamed milk and honey before going to sleep at 10:00. I’d be boring to watch.)But it does reflect the perverse realities of mobile security today. In Russia, the greatest threat is the black-hatted hacker. In the U.S., it’s the white-hatted spy.I’m not sure which is worse. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Android#Android malware#Bruce Schneier#Electronic Frontier Foundation#Kaspersky Lab#malware#privacy#security#spying#surveillance The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement